#TBP – On the way to Zoe

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#TBP’s or Throw Back Posts are posts from my previous blog that I think still carry relevance. Be blessed as you read.

I think some of the most relieving moments in my Christian walk are when I find out that I’m not the only one being/that has been attacked by whatever monster is attacking me. My relief doesn’t, however, come from knowing that you bled as much as I did but rather from the fact that you bled and yet you’re still standing.

This afternoon I watched a sermon called Hello Zoe by Pastor Pushie Watson. It just hit me that sometimes, hearing someone minister, knowing what they’ve been through, helps you to start believing that even this shall come to pass. The second heaven unleashes all sorts of monsters that will not only make you doubt God (sometimes doubting God is unintentional) but also doubt who you are in God. I think the only thing more terrible than not knowing who you are is not believing who you are. There are times when you listen to sermon after sermon and still leave lost. There are times when your pastor reminds you that you are apple of Gods eye and at that very second the devil reminds you about what you did 2 years ago and you shrink. And in that corner there’s a small voice reminding you that the devil is a liar and that your sins have been forgiven and that you have the authority and the ability to crush that lie…but you stay in that corner.

I don’t know about you but I’ve had a lot of those experiences. I’m at a point where God is literally starting from beginning, reminding me of who I am and whose I am. From ephesians 1 to ezekial 16. He is slowly drilling back my identity. Pushie reminded me that God never lets His children go. We were born for a reason. We ought to stop meditating on the problem and start praising the God that gave you victory even before time began. Problems come but rest assured that they also go. And when they go…oh glory! When they go! When king Nebchednazar realises that there is a fourth man and decrees that anyone who says anything bad about Shedrack, Meshak and Abednigo’s God! When Job realises that God did not His back on Job but that he was being attacked by Leviathan and God restores Job’s riches! God does not let things happen for no reason! My pastor said that sometimes you have to let God put you in that basket, floating down the river, feeling rather directionless, just so He can place you in a palace where you will be king or queen. Sometimes a little wind and a couple of potholes are what will make your meet with Zoe more meaningful.

How am I getting by? The word. You read it, you believe it, it manifests. There’s someone out there waiting for you to claim that victory and climb higher heights with the Lord. There is someone out there whose victory depends on your victory. Keep on keeping on.

#Foodie – cheesecake

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One of my favourite channels on tv is the food network channel on DSTV. One of my favourites shows on this channel is Siba Mtongana’s show, Siba’s table. What a joy! She has an incredible personality which truly transcends the life lived in front of a camera. Anyway, in one of her episodes, she was making my favourite (for now anyway) cheesecake! Now those that know me know that I am hopelessly in love with cheesecakes. It’s so deep that I think it’s turning into one of those things that you have to conciously tell yourself to stay away from. If you’ve never had cheesecake, you, my friend are missing out on a life changing experience. It’s like having little fairies doing the electric slide on your tongue lol 🙂 This recipe is from Siba’s show and you can get more of her recipes by going to www.foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes

Ingredients

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  • For the base:

  • 400g digestive biscuits
  • 200g butter

For the filling:

  • 500g cream cheese
  • 770g (2 cans) condensed milk
  • 250ml fresh cream, Technique: Whipping whipped
  • Technique: Grate Shredding a large ingredient to produce small, evenly-sized morsels. You can grate ingredients using a grating disc fitted inside your food processor. Grated rind and juice of 4 limes

 

Directions

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How to make Perfect No-Cook Cheesecake

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan then remove from heat.

2. Place the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until fine crumbs.

3. Add the crumbs to the melted butter and stir to combine.

4. Tip into a greased and lined 28cm tin and press down firmly with the back a spoon.

5. For the filling: put the cream cheese in a bowl and Technique: Whisk Using light, rapid sweeping strokes to thicken or thoroughly combine ingredients. You can also use a whisk attachment attached to a food processor. Whisk until soft and creamy, this will prevent lumps from forming and make it easier to combine with the other ingredients.

6. Add the condensed milk and Technique: Whisk Using light, rapid sweeping strokes to thicken or thoroughly combine ingredients. You can also use a whisk attachment attached to a food processor. Whisk again until well combined and smooth.

7. Stir through the lime juice and rind, reserving some of the rind to decorate.

8. Technique: Whipping A vigorous stirring motion to thicken cream or eggs with either a hand or electric whisk. Whip the cream to soft peak then fold through the cream cheese and condensed milk mixture.

9. Pour over the base and smooth over with the back of a spoon.

10. Place in the fridge and leave to set for at least 12 hours or preferably overnight.

11. When set remove from the tin and transfer to a serving plate or cake stand and sprinkle over the remaining zest just before serving.

 

Enjoy 🙂

Izaci namaqhalo

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“Uyazazi izaci?” the taxi conductor asked. Though this question was not directed to me, I strongly wanted to answer. But the strange thing is, I wanted to answer him in Afrikaans! I’m not entirely sure what my answer was going to be but everything in me wanted to tear him apart with some Van Riebeeck lingo. This question was directed to a young girl that attends Umtata High School who, at the time, had caught the attention of a rather enthusiastic and surprisingly well-mannered sliding door operator (SDO’s). Now this school is a well-known model-c school in Mthatha. While it is a highly sought after school, it is notorious for its articulate and good accented students who are, most of the time, mistaken for being snobs hence my desire to respond to this fella.

For as long as I can remember, I have been on the receiving end of young black on black discrimination. Growing up, some of my best friends were white…well actually just one of them was. Beyond that, I had the undeniable privilege to attend an excellent primary school; Transkei Primary School. According to psychologists, the first seven years of a child are really important in terms of all-rounded development, so combining the aforementioned with the fact that I was a quiet, shy and nerd looking girl that loved reading, I could not but turn out a defeated coconut. This is something I have come to accept and embrace but it wasn’t always so. Funny enough, my first encounter of discrimination was from my siblings. While helping my mother with the dishes, my brother and my little sister freely expressed how much of an oreo I was. I cannot remember the entire conversation but I vividly remember being told that I was white on the inside and black on the outside. It wasn’t long before my dad got involved and bailed me out of that situation. Little did I know that that was the first of many encounters.

Soon after enrolling in high school, I was, for the first time, made aware of my accent. I didn’t know myself as a person with an accent more than just a girl with a really lovely way of stringing words together. Furthermore, during my matric year, I found out that most of my fellow mates had me painted as a diva, and trust me, it wasn’t because of girly tendencies because in my case, it should be the lack thereof. To top that all off, first year, and really just throughout varsity, I was greeted, yet again, by people who were focused on finding out why I had an accent and chose to take up rowing as an extra curricula activity than they did in trying to get to know me. Truth is, like every other living being, I’m different. I was not raised in a highly cultural environment and to a certain extent, I understand why.

Ostensibly, my parents didn’t find it necessary to give my siblings and I rich lali experiences and considering the person I have become, I have absolutely no regrets about the decision they made for us. I do, however, wish I had not added ignorance to my list of imperfections. Originating from the Eastern Cape, there are certain areas of my life where I have failed myself when it comes to being cultured. An example of such areas would be the inability to express myself above and beyond the ordinary everyday speech.

I completed my undergraduate degree at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. For me that wasn’t just a change of geographical scenery, but it was also a change in language. Xhosa spoken in Port Elizabeth is nothing like the Xhosa spoken in Mthatha and this difference somehow made me want to learn more about my mother tongue language. It’s a language that sometimes leaves me wondering why people are so onset on making life difficult for us Xhosa speaking people that took Afrikaans as a second language therefore have no knowledge of izaci namaqhalo. Even so, it is a language that I have slowly grown eager to learn. A couple of minutes ago I almost cracked my skull trying to figure out what the word “responsibility” is in Xhosa. I must admit, one reason why I’m really eager to learn Xhosa is because of my senior pastor’s wife. When she begins to pray in Xhosa…yho! When she says, “Uyawelwa lo mwonyo!” I don’t know what a mwonyo is but I will. As for izaci namaqhalo…geen kommentaar.

 

P.S: responsibility=uxanduva (not entirely sure about the spelling though)

Enough

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I praise God for the work that He is doing in my life. I once shared that when God takes you out of a funk, there’s no time to keep quiet about it! Keeping quiet about the Truth that the Lord is revealing in my life would be a serious crime. One example of Truth that has become very apparent to me is that being truly honest with myself, no frills, no bells and whistles, helps a great deal. You begin to deal with things differently; honestly. It also helps you be honest with those that are around you. A couple of days ago I shared about my experience with people pleasing and how the Lord is delivering me from that and it is such a thrill to not care what people think or what they have to say. It is such a relief to not care about being right all the time and just…being.

Three days ago I attended a beautiful event that was aimed at bringing worth to the female child (or at least that’s how I saw it). One of the guest speakers talked about beauty; how the world defines it versus how God defines it. Now let me be honest. Growing up, I thought of myself as the black sheep of my family. In fact, I was just a black sheep wherever I went. I was, and still am, the kid that wasn’t Xhosa enough or light skinned enough or slim enough or athletic enough or intelligent enough. I remember being about 13 or 14 years old and the one thing that I really wanted was to be an indispensible (necessary) part of someone’s life because I thought that that would give me, for the first time, the experience of what it feels like to be enough. Yho! But the worst part was all of these things culminating and making me feel like I wasn’t pretty enough. I mean I still look at myself in the mirror and think if only I was… This is me being honest. The standards of “beauty” are constantly highlighted by the media that when you fall short by a centimetre, you instantly label yourself ugly. The sad part is that if one person tells you that you’re ugly, it literally takes a village to make you truly see otherwise.

With no better way of dealing with this, I dragged my not enoughness into my relationship with the Lord. I cannot count how many times I must have made Him feel like He was not enough. He tells me I’m beautiful and I’m like thank you Jesus but if someone else, preferably a male, were to tell me that, haike then I’d start to believe it. Funny thing is, they came, the males now, and told me how they thought I was pretty but because I had agreed with the devil so many times when he told me otherwise, I still could not believe it. Now all of this has taught me that the only one that can change and/or render powerless that which truly comes from the pit of hell is the one who is great enough to dwell in heaven yet loving enough to live in my heart. You see, the devil always opposes the work of God. If after creating, God said, “It is good” then the devil will surely say the opposite. Therefore, no man, no matter how handsome he is, can ever restore me not being enough; only God can. Currently I am in a space where I am learning to have confidence in God; that when He says that Kanyi you are beautiful, I become fully persuaded that I am beautiful.

God is enough. Kurt Carr says if He never does anything for me again, I would still praise Him because He has been enough. His grace is enough. His love and mercy is enough. Slowly but surely I am learning that everything He has made me to be is enough. There is a level of peace that comes with this knowledge. He is enough, actually more than enough. Be blessed 🙂

High tea

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This past Saturday I had the great privilege of attending a High Tea event organised by my sister’s friend. What an experience!!!! It was sooooo beautiful! I bless God for the lovely weather! And by the way, this post is going to have a lot of exclamation marks so brace yourselves. As I was saying, what a beautiful event it was! The decor, the food (omg the food! So simple yet so lovely), the strawberry daiquiri, the photo booth, the ladies that were there but mostly the guest speakers!!!! Yho! My God!!! I’m in awe and I really don’t think I can post anything meaningful about the event so I’ll just share some pictures. I will, however, be referring to the words of wisdom that were shared by the three beautiful guest speakers as time goes by. Yhu hayini yaze yantle into!!! It was so gorgeous that I am not ashamed to say that I am taking every bit of that decor and using it for my grad party next year! Yes! I said it! Mbali yandiva, Siyanda yandiva, Lusanda sisi yandiva!? Goodnightini engok, Nkosi inisikele betuna 🙂 

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#Foodie – lemon poppy seed muffins

 

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I have a pretty steady relationship with food. It started when my mom sort of forced me to learn how to cook and I realised that there’s more to life than rice, colourful veggies and meat. Macaroni and spaghetti with all sorts of cook-in sauces started replacing the staples. Varsity came and I could afford a few delicacies. After learning how to use my money wisely, I was one of those girls that had to have at least two different types of cereal and one yoghurt six pack. Lol sometimes cereal would be the only thing left for me to eat! Anyway I hope you get the picture, I’m a hopeless #foodie.

About a year ago, my sister introduced me to lemon poppy seed muffins…my life hasn’t been the same since. I’m not hooked on them or anything, I can control myself but once I do eat them, I feel completely heaven bound. As a matter of fact, I just had one…heaven!!! So when it comes to desserts, I’m down to malva pudding with custard, lemon poppy seed muffins served with absolutely nothing and lemon cheesecakes. Lemon cheesecake…yho!!! My God! Ja but that’s a story for another day. So considering that we’re on holiday (well at least a greater part us is), I thought I should try making my own desserts. I, therefore, will be sharing recipes to my favourite meals. Today we’ll start off with these incredibly moist and delicious muffins 🙂

Ingredients:

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1/2 cup sweet creamy butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs, separated

1 1/3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons poppy seeds

2 lemons, zest of, grated

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Directions:

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  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176 Celsius) Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Beat well after each.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, alternating two times with the buttermilk, then lemon juice, and then vanilla.
  7. Beat just until smooth.
  8. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  9. Gently fold them into the muffin batter until blended.
  10. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, 3/4-full.
  11. Bake at 350°F (176 Celsius) for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  12. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely.
  13. I sometimes sprinkle the muffin mixture with sugar prior to putting in the oven just to add a little extra sweetness.

 

**The above information can be found on www.food.com/recipes/lemon-poppy-seed-muffins

I haven’t tried this yet but I sure will. Do let me know how your attempt turns out. Happy holidays 🙂

Procrastination – the ungovernable “a luta”

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It’s 20:15 and I have set up camp in the toilet due to an unbridled level of diarrhoea (t.mi?). Uncharacteristically, I’ve decided to read an article about procrastination titled Why Procrastinators Procrastinate by Tim Urban. Not too far along the article, a string of words bring me to a halt.

“The thing that neither the dictionary nor fake procrastinators understand is that for a real procrastinator, procrastination isn’t optional-it’s something they don’t know how to not do.”

Being completely stunned by this I can’t help but think about an interview that Oprah Winfrey had with Russell Brand. While talking about Russell’s addiction to drugs, he mentioned (and I’m highly paraphrasing this) that as a global society, we need to get to a point where we no longer look at drug addicts with disgust but rather see them as people who are not well.

Now I know that the two struggles, drug addiction and procrastination, are not on par but the attitude behind them is. They both carry the sentiment of not knowing how to not do what they are doing. The sad part is that as the human race, we have come to perceive of this behaviour of continuously putting things off as an acceptable characteristic. The nonchalant attitude towards procrastination is not helping those that are caught up in it get out of it. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that socially, it is everyone’s individual responsibility to correct their own unbecoming behaviours but it wouldn’t hurt to give a disapproving grunt whenever someone casually mentions how much they procrastinate.

I procrastinate, a lot. Now this is not a casual statement, it’s a confession, so no grunting. I am well aware of the consequences of such a stronghold; because that’s what it really is, a stronghold. Had I not continued to put it off, I would have a fully functioning blog and an online magazine right now. But at the thought of working on both projects, I somehow find a way to distract myself. I am not well people. I think every procrastinator knows what to do to disassociate themselves from this mental block but at the end of the day, we end up putting that off too.

This group of people (not excluding myself) is often said to be lazy. Many argue that that isn’t true…but I agree. I agree because I know (here comes another confession) that I am pretty lazy. I’m a person of extreme opposite ends, if I am not very busy I tend to get very lazy. It’s like I get hit by a huge wave of disinclination to do anything and all rational decision making ceases to exist. This usually happens when I’ve found myself deep in thought…or just daydreaming really. Yes, to top it all off, I am a daydreamer. Again, I am not well lol. Those of you that know that I am a born again Christian are probably wondering which bible I’m reading because while there may not be much verses about procrastination, there are plenty about laziness.

 

Proverbs 13:4

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Proverbs 21:25

The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labour.

The second verse hits home for I desire much but only find myself doing little. The decision to be better to yourself and get out of this hole can only come from you. Consider that I said to be better to yourself. Procrastinating hurts the procrastinator. It’s a mental form of self-inflicted pain. It’s an incredible issue and I’m trying to conquer it. Hopefully writing this is a step in the right direction. If only I could put off this diarrhoea though…

#TBP (Throw Back Post)

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Can I not play in dams when I have found my river

A while back my pastor preached about the narrow road and the broad road (Matthew 7:13) and how we ought to strive to travel on the narrow road and stick to it. Now that I think about it, the message was more personal – on my behalf – than I had thought. On my way home that very day, God made an illustration for me. Think of a piece of coal, right before you set it alight. If it could talk, I’m sure it would tell you that it was made to live (out of purpose) for a little while, burn and die. Now let’s break this down a little:

  • Live (out of purpose) for a little while

This period, for coal, begins when it is packaged and it ends when someone buys that bag of coal with the intention of putting them to use. This, for us, begins at birth and ends when you choose between the narrow road and the broad road. This is a time of growing, learning, realising and deciding. Living out of purpose is a floaty point of ones life. You know you exist but for what exactly is still a mystery. Everyone goes through this, for some it lasts longer than it does for others.

  • Burn

This is when the piece of fossil fuel lives out what it was made to. Shortly before you burn, you must have had an encounter with your purpose. This will help ease the process of burning so that when it gets too hot, you don’t regret anything but rather endure knowing that this is what you were born to do. You cannot burn if you don’t know what you are burning for. This is a point where you know that you know and therefore all these other things in your way lose significance. Recently I have been  listening to an Indie Jazz group from South Africa called The Muffinz. One of my favourite songs at the moment is The River. This song talks about finding your river, which could be anything but in their case, it is their love and passion for music. There’s a part that says, “I would fight for the river.” When you have found your God given purpose, you will fight for it if need be. Understand that a river is a mass of flowing water that provides not only for the animals and plants that it meets but also for the people around it. Your river must bless those around you because you are blessed to become a blessing. Moreover, when a coal burns, it burns. It does not pretend to be burning. It does not burn half heartedly. It does not burn with the hope that God will save it and give it another purpose in life. When you know your purpose, you should not need to be begged to live it out. When you know your purpose, you ought to do it with all your might. Soldiers who know and believe in what they are fighting for possess an ability to fight to their last breaths. Don’t turn your river into a dam. Burn.

  • Die

2 Timothy 4:7-9

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.

In this portion of scripture, Paul encapsulates his purpose driven life, a life that has been thoroughly lived, a maximized life. Life, at some stage comes to an end. There is a level of peace that is gained in knowing that at the end of it all, a crown of righteousness will be waiting for you.

I am preaching to myself with every word that I type and my prayer is that this helps someone as much as it is helping me. Finding your river is a life changing experience. Embrace it. Burn. Burn for God, burn for your river.

Point of entry

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I was 12 years old when I got born again. Many applaud this not knowing that I knew nothing about what I was getting myself into except that this was a step that I had to take. Why? Partly because I knew that answering that particular alter call would bring a level of peace into my life but mostly because it was what was expected of me. The latter part of that reason has made my relationship with the Lord rather retarded. It wasn’t until I was 16 when I started getting serious with the Lord. The year 2014 came and as much as I love the Lord with all my heart, I started seeing cracks that I could not (but mostly did not want to) account for. This has, by far, been the greatest year of my life yet the most tear filled year ever. God has taught me so much during the course of this year and He hasn’t stopped. Yesterday morning, while gardening, He highlighted something that shook me; my entry point to the kingdom was not ideal. A greater part of the sense of relief I felt that day was due to the fact that I had finally taken the step that those around me considered so important. It was as though I had finally met the need and could move on with my life. The evidence of this is in how long it took me to actually have a relationship with God.  Doing what is expected of me aka “people pleasing” has been one of my greatest struggles. From thinking “what will so and so say when I don’t attend Wednesday intercessory prayer” to thinking of the right things to say just so fellow brethren don’t see that I’m a believer that’s in deep trouble…

It was about two months ago when I started feeling like God is, as Steffany Gretzinger would say, undoing me. The word “strip” explains this feeling a thousand times better. Every time I feel like “this is it, I can’t get more undone than this”, another layer comes off and I’m left dumbfounded. Sometimes, when God brings your flaws to the surface, you don’t really want to own up to them. Having to admit that I am more interested in what people have to say than what my Lord and saviour has to say…it’s not something I ever thought I’d ever have to own up to. I thank God for opening up my eyes to this though; it just means that this is not where my end is. I thank God for His mercies that are truly new every day. I thank God for His grace that is more than sufficient for me. I thank God for loving me so much that He could not just leave me as is. I thank God for my weaknesses for in them I have witnessed His power. My entry point may not have been good but it has brought me to a point of experiencing the love of the Lord in an immense way. Having shown me my wrong doing, the Lord left me with a song by Michael W. Smith and Kari Jobe called the one that really matters…

“I know that I have been found

The cares of life can’t hold me down

‘Cause you’re the one I want to please

What matters now is what you think”

And this is a song that my heart is singing. What matters now is what God thinks. He’s the one that really matters. Writing this and making it public knowledge isn’t the easiest thing and it may not be the wisest thing to do but written words are my mouthpiece and I pray that someone will be helped by this. Be blessed.

Take the bull by the horns

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I’ve always wondered why fashion designers would take the haute couture route when you’d find that half of the collection isn’t appropriate for anything but Halloween parties. Well that’s what I thought at the time. The reason is, however, slowly but surely starting to dawn on me. There is power in individuality. The reason things like peer pressure even exist is because of the fear or lack of confidence in being an individual. The weird thing is,  we are constantly working toward something that will make us stand out from the crowd. I call that the paradox of life (I just made that up). Haute couture garments defy “normal”. They go beyond what the audience expects. Experts explain haute couture as a creation that stems from highly expensive material. It is designed to be elegant but furthermore, it is designed to make the person wearing it look elegant. They say a haute couture garment is made specifically for the wearer’s measurements and body stance. When the designer seams the garment, they keep in mind that a garment such as this, will never exist again. One can never be like the next. It’s almost as if they throw away the design once the garment is finished.

God works like that. He never replica’s His work. Science will tell you why you show a close resemblance to one of your parents, but it’ll also tell you about DNA and fingerprints and how no one can be likened to another. When we turn our back on the idea of being an individual, we not only twist God’s intentions, we also undermine His ways and His work. Looking like your father doesn’t mean you have to act like him. Looking like your mother doesn’t mean you have to be her. God didn’t make a mistake when He created you. If He wanted two Beyoncé’s in the world, He would’ve performed a miracle and given Beyoncé a twin who shared the exact same DNA with her. But He didn’t. It’s time we start embracing our garments. Our society has given us standards that most of us can’t and shouldn’t even have to live up to.

I can only imagine that sometimes models get mortified at the thought of wearing a gown that looks like it is swallowing them up. Be that as it may, the job still has to be done. Keep in mind that as much as models are there to show off and eventually lead to sales of clothing, they’re also there to sell themselves to potential designers. With that, they cannot let themselves be sucked in by what they have on. They have to stand out. Don’t let your situation suck you in. Grab the bull by the horns! Be that girl that put on her garment, understood it and rocked it. Be that girl that knows how much her garment is worth. Be that girl that knows that not everyone will like what she has on but that doesn’t matter. Be that girl that shines through a haute couture. Wear it, understand it and walk it gracefully. Fix your posture, stand up tall. Sway your hips with your hands on your waist. Don’t just live life knowing that you are the apple of God’s eye, be the apple of God’s eye. Be bolder than a haute couture piece. Be extraordinary. Be you.

Class is in session

Take note 🙂