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My first U-Part Wig by LuxHair Box!

I think I have discovered the best thing the good Lord has given us since clean water.

The u-part wig.

 

Okay. So here’s my story. Years ago I went on a healthy hair journey. I am relaxed, but at the time my hair was breaking. So I started stretching my relaxers, learned about moisturizing and sealing, co-washing, protein treatments, etc. I saw AMAZING results.

However, as of late, it seems my hair is starting to break again. So I decided to go on a “heat fast.” Starting in November, the goal was to not put (direct) heat in my hair. I did this by going to my beautician and letting her wash it and do a roller set (even though I HATEEEE sitting under the dryer. UGH!).

I then decided that I wanted a protective style. I was going to get Senegalese twists, but then my beautician suggested a u-part wig. A wig? Really? I had ZERO experience with weave (other than letting her sew in two tracks about 4 years ago which lasted about 3 weeks. I hated it. LOL), so this was new. But I decided to take a chance, especially after looking at some pictures. I got REALLY excited!

For a frame of reference, here are some pics of my real hair…

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My problem areas are on my left side – edges/temple/hairline areas and my nape on the left side as well. Those areas are breaking badly.

Okay. So u-part wig, here we come!

My beautician, Latasha Stephens, makes custom wigs. They are sewn, not glued. I went and did a consult with her, and she got the measurements of my head. I then purchased the hair. I purchased the Bohyme hair in Premium Yaki. I got this because it was closest to my texture. Here is Tasha (my beautician) sewing the last pieces on my wig.

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Okay! Now here comes the fun part! Again, I did this because it is a protective style. So my hair is braided under the wig.

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^^^On this picture, you can see one of the problem areas on my left side that I was talking about. That hair has broken off! The piece there in the front is going to be left out.

 

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Here is the wig when it was first put on my head…

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Yes, this is a wig.

And OMG. At this point…this point right here? I was SOLD. Done. Period. LOVE. IT.

It’s sewn onto my head around the edges on my braids. Not tight at all. VERY lightweight.

Here’s the final result:

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I. LOVE. IT.

Some more pictures my beautician took….

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I. DO. NOT. KNOW. WHEN. Y’ALL. ARE. GOING. TO. SEE. MY. REAL. HAIR. AGAIN.

My goodness. I am in looooooooooooove.

This is 1.5 bundles of hair, by the way.

One question I was asked (after I posted a picture on Facebook) was how I was going to sleep on it. I asked my beautician the same question and she told me to wrap it just like I would y real hair. Here’s the result from that.

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At the time I posted this, I literally had just taken it down. No product, no heat, nothing. Just unwrapped it and brushed it like I would my real hair.

Amazing.

And just for fun, here’s later on that day….

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Yeah. Um. Have I said I’m in love?

More:

I reccommend this is any and everybody. LOL. I love it. And I WILL be getting more made.

If you’d like more information about my beautician (Latasha Stephens, LuxHair Box), let me know. We’re in Houston, Texas, by the way. She also does full wigs, etc.

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I. LOVE. IT.

UPDATED: January 8, 2015

Hey guys! Here is an update on my u-part wig and maintenance! Enjoy!

As stated in the video, here are a couple of pictures of me doing my own curls….

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Yes, I am a bible believing Christian, but no, my head isn’t about to explode over gay marriage.

I need to start off by saying that I tried to do this in a YouTube video because it was just TOO MUCH to type out. Well, that failed. Horribly. Repeatedly. So I gave up. I decided to leave it alone, but then I changed my mind again. So here I am….attempting to write coherently, yet succinctly.

I am a bible believing Christian who was raised in the church. I believe the word of God is true and doesn’t change.

Having said that, if you were to ask me how I feel biblically about homosexuality/gay marriage, most of you (if not all) know exactly what bible verse I’m going to refer you to. So that is that. Again, I believe the word is the word, and it is clear.

Now. If you were to then ask me how I feel about gay marriage from a non-biblical perspective, I would say that I 100% understand it. It makes COMPLETE sense to me.

Most of the arguments and the strong reactions I’ve seen against the ruling has to do with a spiritual perspective. The mistake here is 1. assuming that everybody subscribes to the Christian faith (they don’t) and 2. not understanding what the Supreme Court’s role is.

The argument that was in front of the Supreme Court was not, WAS NOT, a spiritual one.

The argument that was in front of the Supreme Court was a LEGAL one. And when thinking about and understanding it in those terms, there was not a legal leg the court could’ve stood on to come to any other decision than they did.

This morning, my bishop said that marriage is a biblical institution, not a civil one. And I agree. BUT. That is not the same view that everyone else holds. Also, the fact of the matter is that marriage DOES have legal components in it, hence the term, “legally married.”

If you would’ve asked me a few years ago how I felt about gay marriage, I may have had a different/stronger point of view. But then I saw a video. It was about a man who came out to his family. His family disowned him. Threw him out and all of that. They were from the south (Texas, if I’m not mistaken). He ended up moving up north with his partner. After a while, he got really ill. His boyfriend took care of him. Did EVERYTHING for him. He was his caretaker. Well, one day he ended up in the hospital, and died. The boyfriend had NO legal recourse. The family was contacted and they took him back home and shut the boyfriend out completely. He wasn’t allowed to go to the funeral or anything. He got a program because the sister “snuck” it in the mail to him (I can’t find the vid, if one of you can, please share).

This was mean. And watching the video made me cry. Nobody should have to go through that.

A reader knew what I was talking about and gave me the link. It’s actually a movie! I didn’t know. I just saw like a 5 minute clip. Here it is (I haven’t watched it yet):

This is when I really understood what the fight was about. And I get it.

I’ve never understood the church’s obsession with gay marriage. I just don’t get it. If the “gay” part is the issue then all of this focus and fight is totally misplaced. Gay marriage being legalized isn’t going to *make* anybody gay, and if gay marriage wasn’t legalized, it wasn’t going to make gays say, “Oh! Well then I’m not gay anymore!” So I honestly just don’t understand the strong reactions and efforts toward gay marriage by the church.

The best analogy I can give is that of someone who is sick..let’s say with the flu.

NO, I AM NOT SAYING GAYS ARE SICK. I. AM. NOT. SAYING. THAT.

So let’s say I have the flu. As a result of being sick, I’m sneezing and have a runny nose. So I start taking antihistamine.  This only addresses the SYMPTOMS. It does NOTHING for the issue.

If the church wants to address homosexuality, why oh why is so much energy being given to gay marriage? That is simply the result. Gay marriage has NOTHING to do with people identifying as gay and lesbian. Nothing.

It is my personal opinion that the church has gone about addressing homosexuality in a way that has come off hateful and judgmental. It is in this that people have left the church or felt pushed out, and that should NEVER be the result, or the goal, of a faith whose GREATEST commandment is to love. We’ve got some work to do.

I don’t feel my spirituality has been jeopardized by the SCOTUS’ decision. I don’t feel like biblical marriage has been jeopardized in ANY way.

I honestly believe that if believers were to look at the Supreme Court for what it is, A COURT OF LAW, and not as something they WANT it to be, an extension of the faith and an institution to uphold the bible, then the ruling would make more sense. There is NO legal argument that could reverse the SCOTUS’ decision (however, if you have one, I’d really love to hear it).  States have legalized gay marriage, but couples have been told, “Yeah you’re married, but you don’t get the same benefits as other married couples.” COME ON GUYS. You KNOW that isn’t okay. It’s discriminatory. And that is something I don’t tolerate. Discrimination and hate.

I want to take some time to say that I appreciate how my pastor approached this issue during his sermon. He simply spoke on sin, period. In fact, I left convicted about my own stuff.

All in all, my point of view is that grown people have the right to be who they are, and be with who they want to be with. They have that RIGHT. No matter what my particular faith has to say about it, people have the right to do what they want to do in their romantic lives and they should be able to do this without being discriminated against or being subjected to hate.

Also, people have the right to feel how they feel about the decision. Just because someone disagrees, that doesn’t mean they are hateful, a bigot, or homophobic. However, there IS a way to disagree with the decision without being mean and hateful. People shouldn’t be attacked just because they have a different view.

In conclusion, I am going to leave with this thought:

If you don’t “agree with” gay marriage, don’t go to a gay wedding.

Peace and love to you all.

 

What if you never find love?

I stopped reading Thought Catalog a while ago, mainly because there was an attempt at “satire” or something on there that was highly distasteful and offensive. I can’t even remember what it was about, to be honest. However, today I saw an article entitled,“Read This If You’re Worried That You’ll Never Find ‘The One'”.

Actually, I’d seen it a few times and ignored it, but decided to go ahead and click it. And I’m very happy that I did.

I encourage you to go read it in it’s entirety, but there are two parts that I wanted to highlight.

If you knew that love would never be an option for you, what would be? How would you structure the rest of your life? Would it have a heavier focus on career, a stronger inclination toward success? Or would you use the time to invest in yourself – go on a few more vacations, travel further outside your comfort zone? If you knew that you would never again feel the rush of budding romance, where would you turn to for your thrills? How would you get your blood pumping?

And what about your other relationships – would they suddenly take on more weight? Would you spend more time appreciating your family, if you knew that they are the people who will have loved you the most strongly at the end of your life? What about your friendships? Would you nurture and care more for the people who love you platonically if you knew that nobody would ever love you romantically? Would you show up a little more often, share a little more of your life?

My inclination is to believe that never finding love would be a game-changer for most of us. One we’d initially consider to be devastating but may eventually realize is the ultimate liberation. Without the fear of ending up alone, the opportunities open to you would become endless. You could live on every continent. You could scale the corporate ladder. You could go back to school and get that degree you’ve always felt interested in, without worrying about the financial burden your debt may place on somebody else. Love holds us back in an infinite amount of subtle ways that perhaps we do not even realize. And the guarantee of its absence may just be the ultimate sense of liberation.

Whoa.

This is…spot on.

My story —> There was a time when I was strictly family oriented. Career? Blah. I mean, as long as I had gainful employment then so what, right? This was honestly my thought process, even after finishing my first master’s degree and starting my first job out of graduate school. At that point, I was in a relationship and I was SOOOOOO happy. I mean, that is where my focus was. And it seemed to be heading in a direction that I wanted, a family. So all was well.

Until that relationship ended.

It was then when I was forced to face other areas of my life and it was then that I discovered that I HATED my job. And that is when I started making moves in my career. That’s when I got focused on what I really wanted to do. What would make me happy in that area.

I’m not saying that the desire to have a family is completely gone, but what I AM saying is that I was forced to look to other areas for “happiness” and fulfillment when I no longer had the joy of my relationship.

What’s funny is that my best friend and I had this conversation last year (I think). We were talking about me and my lack of a serious relationship at the time. She told me that she thought that God kept me single for that season because if I was in a relationship she seriously doubted I would be making the moves that I was at that moment. At that point, I was heading toward finishing my second master’s degree (in my desired field!!) and was contemplating applying for a doctoral program (I did. And got accepted.).  I immediately agreed with her. For me, I HIGHLY doubt I would’ve wanted to take the time/money away from my family that I had to invest into that master’s degree while working full time.

But still, after reading this article, I reflected and found out that there are still things that I hold back on (at times) in hopes of a relationship.

Hm.

The second part of this article I wanted to share:

If there’s one thing we all need to stop doing, it’s waiting around for someone else to show up and change our lives. Just be the person you’ve been waiting for. Live your life as if you are the love of it. Because that’s the only thing you know for sure – that through every triumph, every failure, every fear and every gain that you will ever experience until the day you die, you are going to be present. You are going to be the person who shows up to accept your rewards. You are going to be the person who holds your own hand when you’re broken. You are going to be the person who gets yourself up off the floor every time you get knocked down and if those things are not love-of-your-life qualities, I don’t know what are.

We have to start appreciating all that we bring to our own lives. Because the ironic truth is, you are most attractive when you’re not worried about who you’re attracting. When you’re living your life confidently, freely and without restraint, you emit the kind of energy that it just isn’t possible to fake. The kind of energy that’s capable of transforming not just your own life, but the lives of people around you.

So stop looking for The One to spend the rest of your life with. Be The One.

And let everybody else come searching for you.

Yes.

Yes yes yes yes yes.

I think it’s normal to feel some sort of way about the thought of not ever finding someone, but, it does us single folk a disservice to harp on that. What’s the point? If it’s not gonna happen, we may as well ride this whole life thing until the wheels fall off, right?

So yeah. It’ll take more reflecting from me, and A LOT of cognitive restructuring, but this is a promise I’m making to myself. Live my life for and with myself and the ones who I love and who love me that are in it right now.

This sounds much better than trying to “prepare” my life for something that just may not happen.

I’ll live, and let him just find me, if it shall be. 🙂

Diary of a Nervous PhD Student: My Decision

As you remember from my first post about being accepted into my PhD program, it was something that was an amazing and exciting next step in my academic and professional journey.

I ordered my books about a month ago. I got them and….left them in the box.

This is when things kind of got strange for me. Because that’s not like me (as my friend pointed out when I called and told her my final decision). I had chapters to read! A paper to write! I’ve always, at the very least, opened my books to look through them. Not this time.

It was about to come together for me.

About two or three weeks ago, I got an email from the supervisor from one of my classes. One class we have to take is a practicum, which means we’d be working in a clinic (I was excited about this). What it also means is that we have to be supervised (which is necessary) and it had to be with someone within the program, and outside of class time. The email was her introducing herself, letting us know that she is aware we work full time, and that she doesn’t work in the evenings.

What.

But…….

So I went back and fourth with her. Her telling me about being flexible, and me informing her that I don’t need flexibility and sacrifice explained to me, as I am NO stranger to it, as indicated by my successful academic track record. I was honest with her and told her that I was frustrated because one line she’s telling me she knows we work full time, and then the next line she’s saying she doesn’t work in the evenings. She suggested to me, more than once, that I leave work in the middle of the day to meet with her. And again, I told her that I just can’t up and go missing from my job for almost 3 hours in the middle of the day (45 minute drive there and back, and meet with her for 45 minutes).

After explaining that, she opened an evening time. It would mean me going up to the campus another evening, but whatever. Sacrifice, right? So that was worked out.

All is well!

Last week I got a phone call from the professor of that same class. He wanted to know if I could come in the middle of the day to run a group session, which is a requirement for the class.

WHAT!?

Guyssssss! I WORK!?!?!?!?

In orientation, we were told that the group session would be apart of our clinic time (4:30 – 9:50!!!!!!!). But now he was telling me that he DIDN’T want it during clinic time, and that I needed to get it done outside of class time. To be fair, he was very nice about it. He tried to work with me. He asked if I could run a group at my job (I did my internship here for my master’s program). I can’t. Summer is our busy season and when I am at work, I’m going to be expected to be in my office, doing my job. But. We came up with a plan.

At the end of it all, I wrote out what my weeks, for ten weeks, would look like with the changes.

Mondays – getting home at 10:30pm (at the earliest)

Tuesdays – getting home at 10:30pm (at the earliest)

Wednesdays – getting home at 11:00pm (at the earliest)

Thursdays – work late

Fridays – work

Saturdays (two times over the summer) – have to go up to the campus for an all day doctoral workshop/class

All of this with my days starting out around 5:30am.

I looked at this and wondered…..HOW. When am I gonna study? When am I gonna read? When am I gonna live? HOW AM I NOT GONNA DIE!?

By the way, my job has been SUPER flexible. They let me work out my hours so that I could get to class on time (in the summer, we work until 5:30pm). Leaving two hours earlier one day, even earlier that that the next day…and letting me make up the hours on the weekend (we don’t work on Fridays during the summer). My job has been MORE than accommodating.

After looking at that schedule, I called my mom and said, “Mom, I’m thinking about not starting the program this summer.”

Her response? “Okay.”

Which shocked me, to be honest. She then said, “Tash, when you decided to do everything else, it all fell into place. There was NO hesitation on your part. It was just done. Maybe this is letting you know it’s not the time right now. Take some time. Pray about it. Think about it.”

She was absolutely correct.

Later, I spoke with my close friend and my former clinical supervisor. They both gasped. My friend was like, “WHYYYYY?” LOL. They knew how excited I was, and what I went through to get into this program. But then I explained the latest developments with them and laid out my schedule. They both agreed with me. My supervisor has gone through a doctoral program and even he said that was a tough schedule to keep up with week after week, and be present at work. He said that whenever I started, I wanted to have a GOOD first semester, and not set myself up for failure.

Again, absolutely correct.

My mind is made up, and my decision is that I am not going to start the doctoral program this upcoming summer semester.

But watch this.

I explained all of this to the director of the program. I asked him about options. Can I do a fall start (the program always starts in the summer)? Can I substitute the practicum for another class (it is a cohort model so all of our classes are already laid out)?

He told me no to both of those.

But he also told me this:

“As Director of the Doctoral Program, I can (and will) move your admission to next summer’s cohort.  So you will start next year.”

Just like that.

Isn’t it funny how things work out? I FULLY believe this is God saying, “There are some things you KNOW you need to do before starting this. But I wanted you to know that you CAN have it. It’s yours. Just not right now.”

There have been some moves that I’ve wanted to make at my job…and have procrastinated doing so. If everything works out, my current situation will not be the same situation by summer of 2016. More on that later, but in (and through) it all, I trust God, and believe in myself, to get it done.

I’m at peace with my decision. I didn’t even cry (which is HUGE)!!! I don’t want to have more stress than necessary. I don’t want to burn out. And I want to go into the program with enough time to properly dedicate to it and with a certain amount of experience.

So here we are.

I have been admitted into the Counselor Education, PhD program, to start Summer 2016.

 

I have a testimony.

Late night Wednesday, April 29th/early morning Thursday, April 30th, I was awake. Worrying.  There was a certain area in my life that was lacking and I did not know what in the world I was going to do about it. Time was running out. Decisions needed to be made. I felt helpless….hopeless. Suffocated. I was frustrated…angry even. Telling God that He KNOWS I am doing all that I can…so why? At some point, I just resolved that “it is what it is” and tried to calm myself down. Cause no real solutions come to you when you’re frustrated, upset, and emotional, right?

When it was time for me to wake up, I went and read my devotional for that morning. This is what it said:

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“Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence” – Sarah Young

DO YOU SEE THAT FIRST SENTENCE!?

I mean, I was in shock at the timing, accuracy, and message of this devotion. The very morning after I had stayed awake worrying about this very thing?

Okay, Lord. Enjoying you in the present and being COMPLETELY dependent on You, and You alone. THAT is what I can do about *this.*

Got it.

Also, on Monday (April 27th) I started fasting and praying about this area in my life. At first I said I would do it for a week, but then by Thursday, I resolved to continue my fast until I got some answers and/or clear direction.

Back to Thursday, April 30th.

4:05pm.

Phone rings.

I got my answer. It was done. Problem solved. Just like that.

My prayers were answered, immediate problems solved, and let me tell you something, God gave me DOUBLE (triple??) FOR MY TROUBLE! He showed up and showed OUT.

I cried. I’ve continued to cry. Every single time I think about it, I cry. I’ve had to contain myself when I’m in public cause I really could break out into a shout at any given moment (so if you know me personally, don’t be shocked if I suddenly start crying all over the place. I’m serious).

And watch this. —> I was blessed because others around me were blessed. I had been praying for a blessing for some specific people in my life and God came through and man LOOK.

EXCEEDINGLY AND ABUNDANTLY.

That phone call at 4:05pm on April 30, 2015 was to tell me, “Look. God did this thing for me, which means He did this thing for you. You’ve got it.”

Speechless. I did not have the words. I DO not have the words. My heart is so full. There ARE no words to tell the Lord how much I love Him and how much I thank Him.

If I had 10,000 tongues….

Let’s recap.

BEEN worrying about this for forever. Started fasting and praying Monday. Up in the middle of the night Wednesday. Devotional telling me to focus on the present and depend on God Thursday morning. Thursday at 4:05pm, PRAYER ANSWERED.

Exceedingly. Abundantly.

The ENTIRE point of this post is twofold.

1. To give God ALL OF THE GLORY and tell about how good He is in the most public way I know how, and the most public medium I have.

2. To encourage *you* to JUST HOLD ON. His timing is PERFECT. He knows what we need and when we need it. When your back is against the wall, and you are your most hopeless and helpless, DON’T FORGET ABOUT WHOSE CHILD YOU ARE. Do whatever you need to do in order to refocus on God and not on your problem. The harder it gets, the harder you pray. And how about you go ahead and praise Him, too?

I can’t be 100% sure about most things, but I can tell you all, with 100% certainty, that WHEREVER it is that you are lacking, God WILL fill that place in a SUPERNATURAL way so that you can ONLY say it was Him! Trust Him! Lean on Him! He WILL come through!

Throughout the past months, there has been a song that, whenever it came on, it encouraged me soooo much and snapped me out of my (CONSTANT) state of worry and got me into an immediate posture of praise. This song was done FOR me. I’m convinced of it! I’m going to share it with you, and I really hope it blesses you as it has done for me.

“This ain’t the first time
Won’t be the last time
Each time I learn to trust Him more
Cause I’ve seen him do it before! 
Now I am learning
To praise without seeing
I’ll start right now
Cause I know in the end
HE’S GONNA DO IT AGAIN!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21