The Dangers of Hidden Emotions

Hello crowned Royals, I hope you are all doing well despite all that is going on in your personal life and the world right now. I hope you continue to take your position and stand firm knowing that God is with you through it all. For the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking of the complexity of our emotions as humans and how easily they can damage us when kept hidden from others and ourselves. You know what I mean right? Think of the times you had to hide your sadness from others because you feared being judged or maybe the time you masked your bitterness with a smile so life could feel normal for just a day. As humans, we are often dealing with our emotions on a daily basis and how we experience them can be a challenge for most of us. The challenge is not with desirable emotions such as happiness, but it is with the least desirable emotions such as sadness, anger, jealousy, bitterness, disgust, shame, guilt, fear. While it is quite easy to display happiness, joy, and laughter, the other undesirable emotions are often kept hidden. Why do we do that? Well, there are several reasons, but two main reasons are; we hope no one sees them expressed in us and two, we don’t want to see us express these undesirable emotions. The posed danger is hidden emotions from yourself, which we do consciously and unconsciously. So, what are the dangers that come from your hidden emotions?

At the very beginning: Where did it all start?

I would like to think every habit we adapt to had to start from somewhere. When is the time you began to hide your least desirable emotions from others and yourself? Let us think back to when were children for a second, we were expressive of almost all our emotions both good and bad. We displayed our face of disgust when our parents fed us vegetables, we threw huge tantrums to convey our anger when our parents didn’t give us what we wanted and cried tears of sadness when our mother left without us. So, when did it become hard to convey these emotions? Is it when your parents said you are growing up and you needed to cry less or compose yourself more? Or is it when your sad tears seemed to irritate your peers and you began to understand the complexity of other’s emotions towards yours? It had to start somewhere and where is started can be anywhere that those least desirable emotions began to be hidden. A perfect example I could think of was from the movie Frozen. There is a scene at the beginning of the movie between Elisa and her parents that we may or may not relate to. Elisa was told by her parents to conceal and not feel (in other words, not be expressive) and that poor girl was haunted with these hidden emotions for way too long. We are in some shape or form have just like Elisa concealed and not felt for way too long. So again the question is, where did it start?

Triggers

I would like to believe we all have emotional triggers. If you have lived quite a bit in this world, there are several triggers that can stir up different emotions. It can be something that someone says that takes you back to that painful experience or something that you watch that is relatable to your situation. It can happen in many different ways, but when something triggers our undesirable emotions, we try to conceal and hide. But how long can you do that before you have an outburst and all the hidden emotions unravel at one time? Sometimes it just takes one trigger to have you lost it because you have bottled up so much for way too long. I get it, been there, and done that and it only took one emotional trigger to bring to the surface all that was hidden for way too long. Was it necessary? absolutely! All that unexpressed anger, sadness, panic, bitterness, and fear had to get out if I want to be liberated from it all. I would imagine that you would want the same thing for yourself too. Nothing is more liberating than being honest with how you feel or felt from the situations you experienced.

7 dangers of Hidden emotions

What we do to ourselves when we hide our less desirable emotions can harm us in the long run. We are created to feel, and God knew exactly what he was doing when he put these emotions in us. Suppressing them only can lead to bigger mental issues such as depression, major anger issues, extreme fear and anxiety just to mention a few. Listed below are 7 of the dangers you are likely to face your hidden emotions;

  1. Immaturity: You inability to fully master your emotions and unable to identify a healthy way to express them. If you are constantly hiding them, how do you mature your expression of them?
  2. Instability: The danger of unstable decisions can lead to long term consequences that could have been avoided.
  3. Self-Sabotage: Ruining almost every good thing in the fear that you will have to expose things about yourself to others.
  4. Regret: Constantly replaying past situations that make you wish you did something different.
  5. Stagnation: Being stuck in the past, constantly unable to move forward because there are still some unresolved issues within you that you have kept hidden.
  6. Isolation: Choosing to be alone and missing out on healthy human relationships.
  7. Resentment: You resent others for things you did not communicate. You also resent yourself, which I think is more tragic.

If you have been noticing some of these dangers in your life, then it means it may be about that time that you feel what you have avoided feeling for way too long. It may be time to dig out all the hidden emotions you hide behind a smile. The good thing is that if you are not open yet to express this to others or lack healthy support, God is always ready to listen and allow you to express those emotions. Here is what he has to say to you;

10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart

    and cast off the troubles of your body,

    for youth and vigor are meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 11 v 10

Banish all anxiety that you have built up from all the hidden emotions. Cast off the troubles and go boldly before the Lord. Speak to God about it in prayer. This is a good place to start better communicating your emotions. Emotions are not a bad thing! Even the bible says get angry, but don’t sleep anger. The bible also talks about different times in the book of Ecclesiastes and emotions are mentioned too. We are human, we are far from perfect. God knew perfectly well what he was doing when giving us these emotions. Being the compassionate God that he is, he is able to turn those least desirable emotions we consider bad to good. He does however require our honesty and openness to him. I pray you see the beauty in opening up from those hidden emotions and finding liberty in finally being expressive in a healthy way. It is time for us to take our rightful place! It is time for us to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

What was darkness: Step into light

Photo by kilarov zaneit on Unsplash
How did darkness become a place to hide out in fear of the light? Why do you avoid the light?
-Xholiwe

Hello crowned Royals, Happy new month! We made it to the 5th month of the year and we probably can agree that for some it feels like a century, but we can only pray that God sees us through it all. I have been doing a lot of resting and I must admit that it is time to get back to writing before rest turns into laziness. This blog post is going to be heavy before it gets light, so brace yourselves and let us unpack this together. To get us started, I want us to think about the times as kids when we feared sleeping in the dark and preferred the lights stayed on. How did the darkness make us feel? and why did we prefer the lights stayed on? I personally feared the dark because I believed monsters would get me and I was unsafe, but the light made me feel secure and safe because I could see around me. My reasoning as kid and as a grown adult about light has not changed because the light indeed makes me feel secure and safe. While I am proud to say I can sleep in the dark with the lights off now, it doesn’t mean that I did not overcome the kind of darkness that requires more effort than a flick of a switch. You know what am talking about right? The darkness in our lives that may have come into our life in many ways. It could have been through loss, sin, abuse, abandonment and the list goes on. Because this requires a whole lot more effort, we settle in it despite the fear and uncertainty we feel. What happened to being in the light? How did darkness become a place to hide out in fear of the light? Why do you avoid the light?

When darkness settles in your life

On a normal day to day we always know when darkness is about to settle, the sun sets, and the buildings around us light up. As you walk or drive you notice the street lights come on and the drivers on the road turn their lights on because darkness is settling. It almost happens naturally and because we are used to it, it becomes second nature to turn lights on once darkness settles for the night. How about when darkness settles in our lives? Can we tell that it is about to happen? Most definitely we can! We can tell that the toxic relationship is turning into darkness when we have been emotionally or physically abused once too many times. We can tell when we lose a loved one and depression kicks in that darkness is about to settle. We can tell that it is turning dark when we have repeatably committed the sin we have been struggling with for quite a while. So why do we decide to stay in the dark then? There are several reasons we refuse to turn on the lights, one main reason being that a lot of things that happen in the dark always come with a couple of other things. Things such as shame, hurt, anger, bitterness, regret, guilt just to mention a few literally push us into further darkness. We then fear the light because we fear our truth, not realizing that very truth is what will lead us to the light after darkness settles. Understand that living a life in darkness is tragic whether you believe in God or not. I was listening to an old sermon by my pastor and he asked this question, do you know how expensive living a life in the dark is? You pay for it with you peace, rest, joy and destiny. You can’t afford it! Don’t allow for darkness to settle. It is time to find the light.

Finding the light

Can we be honest? We all have at one point got so tired of the darkness and wanted to find the light. The question is not where do we find the light. It is who is the light? The light is found in Jesus and the word of God clearly says it several times. There is one of the many verses that let’s us know Jesus is indeed the light;

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8 v 12 NIV

Because we often look for where the light is instead of who the light is, we continue to stay trapped in our darkness. We may find temporary light that will never last you as long as the light of life from Jesus. With Jesus as you light, even when darkness comes upon you, his light will quickly see you through. You no longer have to feed off the light provided by man when God becomes the light of your world. Find your light, not in the “where”, but in the “who” and that is Jesus!

Stepping into the light

If you ever tried to step into the light after a long time of living in the dark, you can probably agree with me that it does take a lot. The decision to step into the light can simply be you being tired of the dark and realize it is taking you nowhere. Other reason could be;

  • The word of God that is spoken in truth and proven that darkness wasn’t meant to last forever.
  • Godly assigned people that help you find the “who” in the light and pull you out of darkness.
  • Your own desperation to leave the darkness.

Realize that stepping into light takes a ton of readjusting. Just like the human eye readjusts itself even exposed to light after being in the dark for long, so does the spirit reform. Somethings may feel foreign until the spirit readjust to the light, but that is part of the process.

Walking from the dark into the light will expose you, but the key is to be transparent. My pastor said in one of his sermons that living a life in the dark is living in a life of falsehood and people who live there fear being exposed (John 3 v 20). He continues to say you can not be powerful if you are not transparent. The absence of transparency keeps a person longer in the dark. In the dark you nearly forfeit all power and allow the devil to have authority over you, but it is time for you to step out now.

One thing that we should also prepare for as we step into the light is the shadow behind us also known as our past. As long as there is light, there will also be a shadow. What do you do when you come face to face with your past (shadow)? Well, now that you are exposed to the light it is clear to see your past in the light. It is no longer a giant form of darkness that consumes you and makes you believe that your life is over. Be rest assured that your past (shadow) will go with you, but that is no reason to be ashamed, but rather let it be your testimony. Someone battling the same form of darkness needs you to tell your story!

Living in the light

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! My last words are that stepping into the light is the best decesion you would ever make in your life. Here is what the light does for you;

  • You see clearly
  • You are refined
  • You are made whole
  • You heal
  • You are set free
  • You walk into your destiny

Those are some nice things to have right? Sound like a perfect recipe for what we call “living my best life”. So why not make the choice to trade that darkness for the light? Let’s do this! It is time for us to take our rightful place. It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much love,

Xholiwe

When purpose is birthed from pain

Take the blindfold off and see that there is more to your life than the pain that has limited you for way too long.
-Xholiwe

Hello crowned Royals! Hope all of you are doing great. Shame on me for being away for too long. I am back though and hopefully we can continue on our journey together as we trade our thorns for crowns. I have so many thoughts about pain and how it usually takes away from us being able to see beyond it. I am often fascinated by how pain has a way of connecting us all in very different ways. Pain almost like a universal language knows no boundaries, it doesn’t matter what religion you belong to, what race you are or your economic status, we all have felt pain. Pain can be felt from the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, a major heartbreak, divorce, molestation, rape, emotional abuse, injustice and the list goes on. Often times if ever faced with any of these painful situations, it is almost hard to see the purpose from the pain. We ask ourselves a ton of questions before coming to the conclusion that there is nothing good that can come out of all the pain. I totally get it and that is why I want us to talk about it. So the question is how can purpose be birthed from pain? Purpose is birthed from pain when we understand the reason for the pain and why it had to be us and not someone to experience it. Understanding comes from the process, which we will also talk about in this blog. So let’s keep reading

Rawness of pain and how to handle it

Pain expressed in its rawness leave much to be desired for many of us. It is a messy emotion that we often times want to silence and cover up. Pain is a complex emotion that can not be handled with simplicity. Have you every seen a serious injury only be covered up by a band-aid? Am guessing not, but that is how most of us handle our pain. We cover big and painful wounds with band-aid only to continue to feel the pain and miss out on proper healing. If we are not intentional about healing from our pain, we can get buried and blinded by the rubble from all the pain we experience. Very few of us decide to dig ourselves out of the rubble because we lose hope. We experience despair and go under to only acquaint ourselves to similar people and things in the same exact situation. I remember handling my pain wrongly, like a badge of honor I paraded myself in my pain and thought this would be my life moving forward. At least so I thought. I asked the question that most of you have probably asked yourselves too “what good can come from this pain?” To my surprise, a lot of good can come from seeing beyond the pain. The experience of pain when handled in its rawness allows for you to feel and master ways to change those feelings into purpose. You are not handling pain well if you suppress the tears, lie to yourself, avoid conversations that remind you of the pain and turn away people that can help pull you out of the rubble of your pain and in the process birth your purpose. All these examples point to honesty, be honest about you pain and that is one easier way to handle pain. So with that think about what is it that you are currently doing that is not helping you handle your pain correctly. And then think of what can you do differently to handle it better.

The process before the purpose

While we all want to live our purposeful life, a lot of us neglect the process. Purpose from pain could be the easiest to find, yet most of us have a tough time coming to terms with the the pain hence the process feels like torture. Unfortunately, life is not like that blu-ray disc that you can fast forward and skip the process and land on purpose. The process is necessary even for purpose that is not birthed from pain. Think about it, a doctor goes through the process of learning tough medical procedures just so that his/her purpose can be birthed. Another example in relation to pain is a guy that experienced pain from substance abuse, then went through the process and finally got better and later opened a rehab center for people currently dealing with substance abuse. See anything similar in these two examples? Their purpose is to help others. So here is how we can process, what from your pain triggers you to want to help others who have experienced similar pain? Dig out from the rubble of your pain and you will be surprised to see how many valuable things that will come from it. Some of these valuable things will even help you know you better. You will learn what you can and can not handle as you allow yourself to process. The process can be ugly and dirty, but you must get dirty for your purpose to be birthed from it. The process can even cause more pain and sorrow, but your job is not to quit, you are to dig deep and understand the reason for the pain. The understanding of the reason surely helps birth purpose. While you go through the process be patient and allow for God to help you through it. When pain hit you, God knew you could process and find purpose in it. If you don’t believe me then here is some scripture;

He [God] will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1 v 8

Another version of this verse says that God will sustain you. Will you still experience pain? Absolutely! But it is surely good to know that God will sustain you! He will carry you through until all the pain makes sense to you and others. Take this from someone who birthed their purpose from pain that God will sustain you. God has held me firm and kept me from falling when I let the pain in my life almost bury me and blind me to see beyond it all. Here are a few things that I did to help birth my purpose;

How to birth purpose from pain

  1. Acceptance – accept your pain and be raw about it. Feel all the emotions and don’t deny those painful situations
  2. Forgive – You need to forgive yourself and others that caused the pain.
  3. Reflect – This can be very hard to do, but you will have to re-visit the very moment that caused you pain. Write it down! How did you feel in that moment, where were you went it happened? who were you with? etc
  4. Ask questions – Yes, those though questions you try to avoid, ask them. Have talk with yourself or a trusted person in your life
  5. Learn valuable lessons – What can you learn from the pain about yourself? this can be both positive and negative.
  6. Connect with supportive people – You can’t process this alone. There are people who have experienced similar pain that you can learn from. These people processed it and found purpose. So learn from them!

Realize that there are several way to get to birth purpose from pain, but these are just a few that helped me birth my own. My last words are keep going! You can’t quit now when you are so close to birthing your purpose. Learn the valuable lesson and expand yourself to see beyond the pain and grasp on to your new found purpose. No, you will no longer be blinded by your pain and be buried under without a fight for more. Take the blindfold off and see that there is more to your life than the pain that has limited you for way too long. It is time to take our rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love

Xholiwe

The Villain in the story: Why them?

The villain lurks into your strengths and weakness so that you never see the attack coming.
Xholiwe

Hello Crowned Royals! I don’t know if you feel like I feel, but I have one question for January 2020 “What’s with the rush?”. I am guessing not everyone will feel the same, but January is almost gone and there is still a lot more to do. On a less shocking January note, I was hoping to talk to you all about villains in the story. I am a huge Disney fan in case you don’t know, so I am heavily invested in many stories that Disney shares through film. One common element that creates the perfect story line is the villain. Often times the villain is overlooked, but surely they play a vital role in each story. In a Disney movie, there is no guessing what is good and evil. The villain’s intentions, motives and desires seek to destroy that which is good. The good characters in the story seek to overcome the evil caused by the villain. I hope you know where I am going with this regarding your own life. While your story is far from the perfect Disney fairytale, you can agree with me that you have in some point in your life come face to face with the villain in your story. My question for the sake of this blog is, why them?

what is the role of the villain in your story

The distinct role of the villain in your story is to distort what you deemed to be the life you were supposed to live. Like an interruption to your perfect story line, the villain comes suddenly without your knowledge. The villain lurks into your strengths and weakness so that you never see the attack coming. They study your strengths and your weaknesses so that they know exactly where to interrupt you in your story. While you think it is a sudden attack, the villain carefully crafts their attack that range from days to years. The attack is one that can destroy all that you considered your life be and then later it doesn’t make sense to live. Realize that the motives and desires of the villain like I mentioned earlier are to destroy that which is good. Now that we know the role of the villain, let us answer this question; why them?

Question: Why them?

Just like most Disney stories and even some great Bible stories, the question that still lingers is why them? It could have been a stranger that barely knows us, but usually it never turns out that way. It is the people closest to us that know our weaknesses and have mastered our strengths that turn out to be the villain. The perfect example is from the Lion King, my all time favorite movie from Disney. So the villain in this great story line is not just a regular lion that is part of the pride, but Mufasa’s brother and Simba’s uncle Scar. Scar desires the throne, but since he knows it is impossible he creates his own narrative that destroys the lives of others. Scar knew more about his brother and nephew than any other regular lion would, so he used the knowledge he had to craft his attack. The unfortunate truth is that the people that know more about you are most likely the ones that end up being the villains. For some it may have been that uncle that knew you were vulnerable and raped you. For others it may have been that step mother or father that abused you. For majority of us, it was the people we chose to trust and they turned out to be the villain in our story. So why them? Why is it the ones that we love? The ones that we trust? They ones we chose to be vulnerable to? I wish I had the perfect answer that would make you jump up and dance, but I hope you heal with your tears as things come to your mind. If you are still the person that has not risen above the attack from the villain in your story, I think it is time you triumph over evil.

What is your role?

The success of every Disney story and Bible story is that the good person always wins. Notice how they never die and take their pain to their graves? Even when they are completely at their weakest, there is a moment that they rise up and overcome the evil that plagued their lives. Your role in your own story is to overcome! You have the exact strength to rise up and overcome the evil that has plagued you for way too long. You have a vital role in your story line that can change all that was meant for evil towards you to good. Here are a few things you should be doing while you seek to overcome:

  1. Learn some lessons- what did the villain’s attack teach you?
  2. Find better ways to deal with pain rather than taking it with you to your grave.
  3. Master your own strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Still be good, even if you have every reason to be evil.
  5. Face your fears!
  6. Work with others- Cinderella had mice friends, Simba had Timon and Pumba and Elsa had Anna. Build a healthy circle of people around you. You can’t do this alone.
  7. Rise up! Nothing happens for people that sit in their misery.
  8. Remind yourself always that you are able to change what was meant for evil into good!
  9. Love always wins!
  10. Give yourself and others grace- that means you have to forgive yourself and the villain if you want to move forward. Very hard to do and it takes time, but it has to be done.

I hope this list helps you being your process to triumph over evil. It is possible because so many times in my own life, I have made the choice to triumph over evil. If you don’t believe me, at least believe the word of God that say;

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12 v 21

My last words, Show that villain that their evil will not end your story line. The attack may have been an interruption to the story, but is certainly doesn’t end there. There is more your story has to tell and inspire people to overcome evil for good! It is time for you to take your rightful place! It is time for you to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love!

Xholiwe

Masks Off: Your honesty with God

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Hey Crowned Royals! I don’t know about you, but these winter days are what I live for, which also means I should be working out little more because all these holiday treats are not helping this sister out. While winter is not for everyone, I hope you make the most out it this year. On a less wintry note, I wanted as to talk about masks and how masks have kept most of us from being honest with God regarding who we truly are, where we are in life and how we hope God works in our lives.

Here is a disclaimer, this blog is not going to address physical masks that are visible to the human eye, we will talk about the masks that are impossible for human eye to identify, but there a lot of masked people right now. Solely, the purpose of a mask is to hide the true identity of a person. We all know that from the superhero movies we watch right? Marvel fan moment here, how messy would it be if people knew Spider-man’s true identity? I am guessing pretty messy because true identity is not always well received by others. Also, being able to say I am spider-man to everyone down the street without fear of being rejected, made fun of, and ridiculed would be wonderful. I hope you are thinking of your masks right about now because we have all worn some or continue to, at least I know I have. I wore the masks that misidentified me and rid me of who I truly was, where I was at in life and how I hoped things would change. I eventually came to realization that my masks had to come off, because I would still be doing well with keeping the masks on and acting like I had life figured out. So maybe you too have some masks on right now and are acting like you have life figured out, but like always I am here to burst your perfect little bubble. A life lived behind a mask only gives you so much to survive and never enough to thrive in who you truly are. You most certainly are surviving to keep up with the act, and from my experience, it can be exhausting. It can be exhausting to act like you are happy, when you are not. It can exhausting to act like you have money, when you don’t and the list is endless. If you are exhausted with all the acts, it maybe time to take those masks off and come clean with who you are, where you are at in life and where you need God to bring you. How do you do that you ask? Well, you get honest with God first. Are you honest with God?

Our honesty to God is not possible with masks on, if anything, it actually is a barrier. Perfect example is when Adam and Eve realized their were naked and hid in the bushes to cover up their sin towards God. While we are not hiding behind bushes, we surely have had some form of covering to mask some things in our lives. But wasn’t God still merciful and showed Adam and Eve grace? Yes! Despite their mess, he still provided them some form of covering that was not as shameful as hiding behind bushes. Most of us, have not stepped out of the bush or behind that mask because we fear, we are shamed, we are prideful, guilty and the list goes on. It will take complete honesty to come up out of that mask and own up to God. The beautiful thing about taking the mask off and being honest with God is that he gives you grace. I feel like often times we complicate grace and altogether miss it, but I listened to pastor Hart Ramsey this week, and he said something that I thought you can apply to your life. Pastor Hart Ramsey said this, “trying to get God to accept who you pretend to be will not render grace from him, but rather God is trying to get to the real you”. The you that messed up time and time again is the person God would render his grace to, not the person who you have decided to mask up in hopes that God will work some magic. God is not a magician, he is God. We often mistake God for people, and because we have experienced evil from the people we were honest with, we liken God to them. That my friend, is a wrong way to approach God in all honesty. God needs to see that vulnerability that we often hide from people in fear that we will be different. Our openness allows God the permission to work on us, after he renders grace, he works on us. Grace will unmask us and then allow us to know who we really are, where we are in life and where we want God to bring us to. When the masks come off, be prepared to see the good and the bad about you. When in the process of unmasking, don’t be quick to cover up again because all you see about you is bad, but rather let God know about it. He will be glad to work with an honest person that is willing to change and live a mask free life. Here is some scripture that tells you it is okay to unmask yourself;

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4 v 13 (NIV)

There is no use hiding from God. He sees you, the real you. You maybe doing well with painting this false picture to your friends and family, but not with God. The scripture says that Nothing! Nothing is hidden in all creation to God. We exposed and naked before him, but unfortunately we also have convinced ourselves that God needs people that are perfect and can only speak in KJV. My bible says that he came for the sinners, not the perfect, he came to render mercy and desired it for sinners (read Matthew 9 v 9-13). The truth is that God is always willing to work with you, but only if you come to him in all honesty.

My last words, Be honest with God. Let him know exactly what is going on and do not leave out anything. You may even have to revisit some past experience to figure out why you wear certain masks, once you discover why, take that to God in all honesty. Have no fear for God has a covering for you, his grace! Allow for the all so powerful, loving, gentle and graceful heavenly father to help you through this process. Masks off! It is time to take our rightful place! it is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Much Love Royal Fam!

Xholiwe

Mocked Crowns: One against all

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
Beyond that mockery is a greater purpose that is birthed from our standing one against all
-Xholiwe

Hello Crowned Royals! Here we go again, another week for another trade in. I hope you all are doing well and continue to trade those thorns for crowns! I have so many thoughts regarding what am going to write about this week, so get your reading eyes and open minds ready. This week I think it is fitting to talk about mocked crowns. Xholiwe what do you mean by mocked crowns? Well, I will let the story of mocking of Jesus help us understand the term mocked crowns. So it was at the release of Pontius Pilate Jesus was left into the hands of the Roman soldiers. The Roman soldiers mocked Jesus several ways that included, flogging, laughter, spitting, insults, piercing and as if that was not enough they put a crown of thorns over his head. Oh what such pain to bear, all that for the redemption of a magnitude of people. Jesus from this example was the one against all, but even while he was mocked and crucified to death he still have the victory. While most of us can’t compare our pain to that of Jesus, we surely know what it is like to be mocked physically and spiritually, but there is the good news, we already have the victory! While you stand in the presence of your mockers, be reminded that it too shall not last. So what will we unpack in this blog? We will unpack on how to stay standing even in the presence of your mockers.

Modern day mockery is not as gruesome as the ancient day mockery that involved brutal torture, but it has its effects on people that don’t choose to stand against it. So how does modern mockery attack the one person? The mockers of today don’t have to flog you, insult you, or spit at you, all they need are a couple of hurtful words, lies about you, and old truths that no longer define you to get an unfulfilled satisfaction within them. Unfortunately, so many people fall for this and that is why I think bullying is so predominate in schools, work places and churches, yes, I said it churches have bullies too. Your choice to stand alone against all is what will determine your moving forward. If you are the person falling every time you are mocked then you have some work to do. In the midst of your mockers, it is important to know who you are, just like Jesus knew he was even when they Roman soldiers mocked him. When you know who you are the hurtful words, lies and old truths will not effect you as bad as they would if you didn’t know who you are in the first place. Standing alone is not glamorous as many people expect because it comes with some persecution that is often times unexpected. Can we be honest, not everyone does well under persecution and when the pressure gets too much most will tap out. But why should we not tap out? because beyond that mockery is a greater purpose that is birthed from our standing one against all.

Making the choice to stand one against all can be scary because what we often think is what will people think of me, so then conformity happens. Oprah said it nicely, she said that, “I was once afraid of people saying, “who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am”. Conformity comes from the “what will people think” and victory comes from the “This is who I am”. If Jesus worried what people said towards him and conformed to the mockery of others, we would be telling of another story of our redemption. Jesus knowing who he was brought all of us victory. Knowing who you are is what will bring you victory. I remember being wrapped around the the fear of what will people think of me or say about me and now I acknowledge that limited a lot of the things I actually wanted to do. You may still be that person that is still wrapped around this fear and you are probably looking at how you have limited yourself, but there is a solution! It will take a whole lot of courage stand while everyone else makes mockery of your choice to stand. Let us get this clear, standing is not the weak, it takes a little more strength to stand than it does sitting with the crowd. So what are you currently doing? Are you standing or sitting because it is safe? Please stand up because every season in your life will have some mockers and you will will not sit around mocked and defeated.

Since we still continue to deal with mockers, standing one against all is not a one time thing. We have already established that at every other level or season in your life their will be mockers, so realize that every season will require a little more courage. Courage means you confront the mockers with the confidence of you are. You are a crowned child of God! You are set apart and made for a time such as this! You may not believe me, but there is a word that never lies;

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2 v 9 (NIV)

The royal priesthood or in other words “crowned royals” are to be set apart because for most of us, we are aware of how God called us out of the darkness into his marvelous light. So while others will not understand why you are protective over your crowns, they mock you for it, but I commend you to hold on to it! Hold on to the victory of knowing who you are and refusing to be someone else because mockers stand against you. Reminder how I told you modern mockery is not as gruesome as ancient mockery, it actually sounds like people care, so there are a few words that may be spoken to you as you stand against all that you should have solid answers for;

  • You have changed. Answer: Yes, I am supposed to change if I am growing and healing
  • Everyone is doing it. Answer: Doesn’t mean I should be doing it
  • That is how things have always been. Answer: Well, it has to end with me
  • It doesn’t take that much. Answer: It does take that much for me to get to where I want to be
  • You take this God thing too seriously . Answer: Yes, I do because he takes me seriously too
  • You will not make it. Answer: Unless God is not on the throne, but I know he is so I will make it
  • You think you are all that. Answer: I am a pretty big deal to God, so yes!
  • You are too happy. Answer: What else should I be other than happy?

I know there are a whole lot more other statements that mock others, these are just some that I have personally experienced. Some of these questions I answered out of fear, now I know better and so do you! Let’s continue our conversation in the comments, share any mocking statements you have dealt with either in fear of what people would think or from knowing who you are. I would love to see more of us standing one against all the mockers that do not know better. It is time to take our rightful place, it is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Much love,

Xholiwe

Problem Solving: Do you have the right tools?

what happens when we are uncomfortable and the discomfort is coming from an unresolved problem? we immediately want to fix it. But are we using the right tools? -Xholiwe

Hello crowned Royals! I hope you all are doing great! I am beyond great because my favorite season is upon us. It is fall season and I couldn’t be more excited about this change. I could talk about fall all day long, but I would we have more pressing matters I would like to share with you in this blog. I was recently thinking about problem solving in a much different way than I usually do. While thinking about problem solving, what came to my mind was the memory of me as a little girl and how I always wanted to fix broken things in our little apartment. I did that with the sense that I did not want my mother to incur another expense over a broken door handle, clogged bath tub or leaking tap. So I usually would take matters into my own hands and use the wrong tools. The tools I used were either ineffective to solve the problem or too complicated to solve a simple problem. Because of using the wrong tools, I did not solve the problem, but rather made it worse in most cases. Fortunately, that did not make me give up my desire to help take the burden off my mom incurring repair expenses. So I started to get curious of how I could fix stuff around the house and what tool would be effective and not complicated. So I would closely observe what tools the professional repairer would use. I started to pay close attention to what the professionals did to solve the problem and I slowly became better. Eventually, I was changing door knobs, unclogging bathtubs and fixing leaking taps. I did that for some time and mastered ways to solve small house repairs that now that I live on my own, I can get the job done! I gave you this entire example, just so that we can connect my example to how most of us solve our life problems. Can we talk about how many of use continue to use the wrong tools to solve our life problems?

This blog is for all the problem solvers, which I think is all of us. We are constantly trying to fix stuff because we are wired for comfort. So what happens when we are uncomfortable and the discomfort is coming from an unresolved problem is that we immediately want to fix it. We want to fix it as soon as possible so we can be comfortable again, but unfortunately certain problems do not get resolved as quickly as we imagined. We then get frustrated from the problem, which often times worsens the problem. We often worsen our problems because of our lack of understanding on how best to address it and what would effectively solve the problem. If we were honest with ourselves, we would be able to admit that most of us are not the best problem solvers. We have been doing it wrong or have not been effective and now we deal with the same problem over and over again. So how do we change that?

Change starts to happen when we acknowledge that there is a problem. While most of us can’t compare our life problems to me fixing door knobs at 8 years old and getting good at it, we solve of our life problems in a similar way. We mess up at first, worsen the problem, learn and lastly we practice then get good. The question is do we eventually get good at it? Funny thing about problems is that you just can not pretend like there are not there and hope they disappear. It takes a little more than just wishing on stars. Solving problems comes from experience and since experience is the best teacher it may be time for you to jot things down. Ask yourself what did you do last time that did not solve the problem, but made it worse. This is not rocket science, from what you learned from your experience, do you do things differently? Do you now know how to manage your finances? Do you know how to handle your emotions? Do you now know how to speak your mind in a non-toxic manner? There are many more questions I could ask, but based off these questions, there has to be something done differently for someones response to be positive and change.

It all starts in the mind, the mind is a very powerful tool that God gave us, but if it is used ineffectively to solve problems it benefit us nothing. There is a reason why God asks of us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). Why should we renew our minds? Because some of our minds may have learned the wrong ways to solve problems effectively. In some cases it is was not even our fault, but it is what we saw the family do and so our minds only know of that way of solving problems. While all of us have minds, not all of us have the mindset to solve problems effectively. It is unfortunate to see the right tool being wrongly used. Just imagine what the world would look like if we had more people solving their problems with a right mindset.

Another tool we use wrongly and ineffectively is people. We can learn a thing or two from people. I learned how to fix things around the house from observation. There are people in your life you should be observing that will help you solve problems the right way. You can also observe people that dance around their problems so that you make the choice not to do so because you see the consequence of not solving problems effectively. Many of us fail to realize who we should be learning from on how to solve problems effectively because again the mindset might have to unlearn some things so it can learn new things through other people. Who are you learning from? Are they the right tool?

As we get our mindset right and learn a thing or two through other about solving problems, we have to get Jesus on this journey! We can’t effectively solve our problems without getting God involved. Why do I say this? Well, a couple of times in my own life I tried to solve the problem without God’s help and let us just say I paid for it in tears. God has a way of solving problems that no other person can. It is solid, effective and all the way right when you God is part of your problem solving. He is a God that is bigger than our problems! There is nothing he can not do!

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121 v 1-2 (KJV)

Where does your help come from? is it from the temporary tools the world has to offer? You can go on as many spa dates and still not deal with half the problems that has been a thorn in your life. Who are you looking to? If it is not to God, you might be dealing with that problem for what will seem like forever. Let me just tell you that problem solving with God involved, the right mindset and learning from the right people will change your life! Guaranteed that problems will come, but you will be working with the right tools! You might have some work to do if you have been using the wrong and ineffective tools to solve your problems. But it is never to late to work on that mindset, learn from the right people and most importantly to get God involved. It is time to take your rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Much love!

Xholiwe

Botched Plans: Trusting God’s plan

Photo by fotografierende on Unsplash
A couple detours and stabling blocks will still get you there, it may be different from what you imagined or it may be exact, but trust that God will get you there.
-Xholiwe

Hello Crowned Royals! It’s crazy how quick the weekend comes and goes so fast and not all weekend plans are accomplished in their scheduled time. Today I planned to do my laundry in the morning, but plans to do so were botched because I snoozed my alarm way too many times. This is not the first time I have experienced botched plans and some of the plans I actually needed to be botched because God knew better. Ever planned to leave for an event at a certain time, but ended up being late and hating yourself for it? Then Later on you got word that the exact street you planned to use had a terrible accident. You then took a moment to thank God for that botched plan because maybe that would have been you. I know this has happened several times that we got saved by 5 late minutes.

I am not much of a planner so when I do plan, you best believe I have calculated every possible and impossible event that will make or break my plan. I have had some serious plans concerning my life that were well thought out and planned so precisely, but not all my plans fell through they way I imagined they would. If I were to be honest, most of my plans were botched and I couldn’t be more grateful to God for my botched plans because they saved my life.

I am probably not the only one that has experienced botched plans, if you are reading this you know what I am talking about. You had plans for your present and future that did not fall through the way you imagined them. This is not the time for you to be hard on yourself for the plans that didn’t fall through, but it is time for you to be grateful. God being all knowing knew exactly that 5 years from now your plan would not be sustained and so he turned things around. I don’t know about you saints, but when God turned things around, I was not very happy about it, in fact, I would be low key mad until God showed me why he had to botch my plans. For me it took several botched plans for me to trust that God has better plans for me than I did.

Botched plans can come in different ways when in comes to serious life plans. I think if you have lived long enough you would agree with me that failure, disappointments, delay, lack of and heart break have a way of telling us our plans did not work. How we deal with all these pains that come from our botched plans will determine whether or not we trust God for a better plan. For example if a particular failure paralyzes you not try again then you trust your botched plan and not God’s plan. In the same way, if you keep repeating the botched plans in hopes that they will have a different outcome, then you are more trusting of your own plans and not God’s. I totally get it, your plan is well thought out and pretty perfect, but did you ever stop to think in the long run how well this plan would serve you? I mean it is great plan that you want to accomplish so much, but do those plans line up with the greater plans God has for you? A couple detours and stabling blocks will still get you there, it may be different from what you imagined or it may be exact, but trust that God will get you there.

To my constant planners who plan your life by the hour, it may be hard for you to deal with botched plans, but when you see why God had to interrupt that day to day planner you had going on, you will be grateful that he slowed you down. He slowed you down not because he doesn’t want you to accomplish your hourly tasks, but also to remind you of his existence. There is nothing wrong with planning your day and getting things done, but somewhere in your plans do you have some time for God? Or are you so wrapped around your planner so much so that your planner is full and God has no slotted time? God needs some time with us, we were created to relate with God as much we do with our family and friends. God desires to have a relationship with us and so if an hour planned date is botched for some time with God please take it. Enjoy some quiet time with God either through prayer or praise and worship, you will be grateful you did.

To my quick planners that are so quick to plan, but not well prepared for these plans, you too may deal with some botched plans. Perfect example, this year I quickly planned to change my closet like I always do from Winter to Spring as the days approached. Did I do it? No, days went by and I was not prepared for Spring. On a more serious life note, how many plans have you made that you are not well prepared for? Have we ever just taken the time to sit down with our plans and honestly look at our lives to see if our plans match our preparedness? God wants us to be prepared for what we ask for, so if you deal with botched plans from your quick plans trust that God wants to prepare you. Remember that quick fixes sometimes cost you so much later because most of them don’t last. So trust God as he prepares you for his plans.

Often times when things don’t go as planned all planners tend to be mad and want to throw their fist at God rather than be thankful. I have been there and after I learned why my plans did not work I broke out into a praise break because God knew best! Thank God for my botched plans. You too need to rejoice in those botched plans because those botched plans saved your life. God knows better! Here is what he has to say about planning;

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29 v 11

Until you allow this verse to sink into your spirit, you will continue to make your plans and end up frustrated when they do not fall through. God is not on his throne waiting to harm you, but his plans are to prosper you in all things, not just some. Unfortunately, we look at God’s direction as harm until weeks, months or years down the line where we realize why your plans were no good. I don’t know how many times I can emphasis this, but there is no use being mad at God for your botched plans. There are many reasons for you to be grateful and not hurtful. A closed door does not mean that God doesn’t have a plan. Stop relying on plan A, B and C when God only has one plan for you.

My last word before I eat these perfectly glazed wings are you are not the best planner. Yes, I said it, you are not the best planner. Allow God to do the planning and be amazed at what he does for you. Don’t let the botched plans paralyze you from trusting God’s plan for your life. Also, don’t make plans without first consulting with God. Are your plans well aligned with God’s plans or are you basing them of your own human understanding. Remember God knows better! While you are at it, be well prepared for the plans God has for you. You can’t be so quick to make life plans in a hurry without fully understanding them. Slow down and take some time to look critically at the plans you make concerning your life. Lastly, make some time for God talk to him about your plans and trust him when he botches some of your plans for better ones! It is time to take your rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Change Shock: What it feels like when change happens

Photo by Havilah Galaxy on Unsplash
The process is near its end and now the caterpillar has to be the butterfly.

Hey Crowned Royals! After being away for so long I think I would like to share with you my recent culture shock experience and how similar it is to making a change in our lives. I recently visited the beautiful country of Morocco and like every visiting tourist I was hit with culture shock. As soon as I landed in Casablanca I was in for a rude awakening, this was a different place, a different people, different languages and different daily way of life than I was used to. I was excited about all of this because it was a learning opportunity for me, but if I was to be honest I was not well prepared for it. You would think for some that studied International relations I would know exactly what to do, but I did not and so I needed all the help I could get. I could list a ton of situations that shocked me and left me wondering why do they do what they do the way the do it, however, since my blog aims to keep your attention we will talk about that over a cup of tea. One of many experiences is when people kept cutting the lines in stores, at the markets, at train stations and other places I visited, it did not happen all the time, but when it did I would be so shocked. Coming from a place were waiting your turn in line is so important it was hard for me not to wonder why the did not see the same importance of waiting in line. This one experience may not be as shocking as others, but when it happened it would leave me wondering. In a similar way change in our lives can come as a shock and leave us and others wondering. When we decide to change at first things will be different and the people around the change we want will also be different so we need to be ready for some change shock.

I remember making drastic changes early this year and I was beyond shocked at what I was capable of doing. As much as I was shocked, I wondered what could have happened if I did not make these changes. Was I scared? absolutely! The changes I had to make were very different from what I am used to. Since the changes were different I had learn how to manage them and not only stay in the state of shock. After the shock comes the learning. Often times we as people in the process of changes get stuck on the shock and never learn. In the case of my culture shock in Morocco, I had my best friend explain to me why people did what they did. She has lived in Morocco longer and knows the culture very well so she was a great person to learn from. She helped me cope with my shock so that I could learn this new culture. Same thing would apply to change, if you are in the process of change connecting with or learning from a person/people that made similar changes would help you shift from shock to learning to embrace the new change. Ask the questions that will help you process the change shock and be open enough to the advice or answers aimed towards clarifying your process. Change is not something you have to do alone.

So what does it feel like when changes happen? It totally depends on what kind of change. You changing your old car for a new one is very different from changing a bad trait you have or changing your entire way of life. The new car makes you feel good, but it is not something that will require you to dig in deeper into yourself and make serious life changes. When making changes that effect your life and those around you, you might want to be more serious about them. The feelings that come with changes regarding your life can shock you. When you make the change it is not always the good feelings because if you were honest you would rather stay the same. You would rather stay in the unfulfilling relationship, the unfulfilling job and the unfulfilling way of life because it is scary to change all that without being certain that things would get better. God never said live your life unfulfilled, but since change is scary people usually have opted for the surface level change that only gives you the good feelings. Problem with the surface level change is that it don’t last for so long. There is also change that cuts right deep into all of you and this type of change comes with a roller coaster of emotions. Once you get through this type of change and shift from shocked to learned you better feel good about it.

19 For I am about to do something new.

    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43 v 19

This bible verse can speak to a lot of people including those that have made major life changes. People that have decided to change from their old ways to embrace new ones can relate to this verse. Angry people who want to change and be more gentle, selfish people who want to change and give more, rebellious people who want to change and be obedient etc. Do you see it? God is about to do something new because of your change. The process is near its end and now the caterpillar has to be the butterfly. The change was not familiar, but now you understand why you needed it. Because when God clears the pathway a lot of the things that did not make sense now do. The change was necessary for you and those around you. God allows us to go through the process of change because he knows that our change despite the heavy feelings will be worth it in the end. The story that comes to my mind when I think of change shock is Rahab in the bible. She went from being known as the harlot of the town and when she changed she was began the pathway in the linage of Jesus. I can only imagine her change shock that made her unfamiliarized herself with being the harlot of the town and now a woman of God. Also, when she changed she probably shocked people around her, those that knew her as a harlot probably were unable to fully comprehend what happened and were left to wonder. I don’t know what your change shock is, but you are better off unfamiliarizing with it and embracing the change that will make you better. People are watching you too and are shocked at how you are now different, so keep them wondering by making more changes.

My last words to you regarding change shock is that as long as you have made the decision to change expect shock to come. You and those around you will notice the change. It may not be something you are used to, but it is something that you will eventually learn and master. You don’t have to go through the process of change alone, speak with people that have made similar changes and learn from them how you can deal with change shock and all the feelings that come with it. God is already 10 steps ahead of you and is ready when you are to walk into your promise because you made the change. Get unstuck with thinking that if you change certain aspects of your life things will not get better because fear has gotten the best of you. The butterfly within you will not emerge if you are still a caterpillar trying to hold on to the old ways of your life. Push pass it and take your rightful place! It is time to shift from thorns to crowns!

Much love,

Xholiwe

Obedience: Your way or God’s way?

directions
Your way or God’s way?

As I was driving back from work today, I tried to imagine a driver’s life without road signs and stop lights. I had these thoughts and imaginations because people drive crazy especially in Chicago. There is a reason we have road signs and stop lights because these signs and stop lights regulate the flow of traffic. I know you know all this, but just stick with me because I am going somewhere. These road signs and stop lights serve a purpose, the are placed in areas that caution drivers on what action to take. We know when to exit when we see the exit sign and when to stop when the light is red. We are instructed to do so and our disobedience to follow these signs can have some major consequences. When you miss your exit, you may be adding a couple more minutes to your drive time. Also, when you run a red light at a intersection you are most likely to get involved in an accident. So it is probably easy to obey than it is to disobey, right? But have you ever been late to something and put the pedal to the metal? I have, I was driving 80 miles per hour on a 60 speed limit zone some time back when I was a running late to an event. Unfortunately, the cops got me where I shouldn’t have been, so I was ticketed and I still didn’t make to the event in time. I was disobedient and had some consequences to because of my actions, it cost me money that I could have used for something else. My thoughts after that were, “oh, if only I just obeyed and drove within the limit” and later on I questioned my use of google maps versus the waze app that lets you know that there is a speed trap ahead. On a more serious note, take all that I have said about roads and drivers and think of how disobedience in your life left you dealing with some bad consequences and regret. Now lets talk!

Disobedience is a thorn that we fail to often recognize because it is well disguised in our determination, ambitiousness, greed and self-willed spirit. Being a self willed person myself, I can tell you that I have been quite disobedient to God’s instructions based off my own idea of the right way was way. So God had to work on that with me and obviously it took a lot of work on my part to finally understand the important of obedience. You know how much time and peace you can save yourself if you just obeyed God’s instructions? You know you would be way ahead than you are right now, if you just obey. Obedience is a challenge, and it also can be rewarding if done right. The challenging part about obedience is that sometimes things don’t make sense. God will instruct you on certain things that won’t make sense and obeying that can be hard. Think of the times you were instructed by God, but you didn’t act on the right instruction. You did it your way and later on there came those unnecessary consequences and regrets that could have been avoided. This is were I ask you, do you want it your way or God’s way?

I worked in the kids department at JCPenney a couple of years ago. In the front of the cash registers we had toys and kids throw tantrums when they did not get the toy because mom and dad said no. It was a sight to see, so many meltdowns happened almost everyday and there was nothing we could do as sales associates but watch in wonder. Try to imagine with me, but this time picture yourself throwing a tantrum when things don’t happen your way. God said no to the relationship, he said no to the job you wanted, he said no to all the things he saw would not serve you in the long run, but because you are mad at God you venture off in to disobedience think you figured it out. Only to come back to God wishing you could have followed his clear instructions. God being a God of several chances will give you another chance in hopes that this time you will trust and obey. You are not the first one that has been disobedient, there is scripture that will show you that you are not the first one and certainly not the last.

He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9 v 59-62

Based off the bible verse, I want to highlight the words that defeat the purpose of obedience “let me first”. Notice how all the men Jesus asked to follow him said those three little disobedient words? Jesus’s command was clear, he asked these men to follow him, but they were disobedient by just saying those words. How many times have you said “let me first” when you were given an instruction by God? For me, I am going to be honest and say a lot. I felt I had to have my ducks in a row before jumping, but what that did was that it delayed some certain things. Thorns to Crowns could have been started three years ago, but I said “let me first” a whole lot of times in disobedience. What are you saying “let me first” to that God has clearly instructed you to do? Take sometime to think about it and work on just doing and believing that God sees way ahead of you. If you can see what he can see, you won’t say let me first.

Logic is one of the biggest enemies to obedience right along side being self-willed. Logic and self-willed individuals go through a series of disobedience because the logic thinker wants things to make sense, while the self-willed wants their way. To my logic thinkers obeying God will require you to let those ducks go and step out in faith believing that if God instructed it, he is sure to complete it. To my self-willed friends, your way is not always the right way. You need to give God a chance to prove to you that he knows what is best for you. To all my logical thinkers and self-willed friends if we want to stop the series of regrets, we have to stop putting our decisions ahead of God’s. Rather than us making our own decisions with the little that we know, how about we seek guidance from God that knows it all.

My last word before I chow down and watch America’s Got Talent, is that if you are a crazy driver please follow instructions be courteous to other drivers lol. On serious note, I hope you can take some time to think about being obedient to God’s instructions concerning your life. Trust me when I say that it makes life so much easier for you and others. It is easier to obey than dealing with disobedience and the regrets it tags along to remind you that you messed up. I challenge you to just do it like Nike’s instructions. There are so many rewards that come with obedience. Take that crown! It is time to take our rightful place. It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe