BEAUTY

“Keep The Good Stuff Covered” Response To Ayesha Curry’s Tweets

On Saturday Ayesha Curry, wife of NBA’s most valuable player, Stephen Curry, tweeted  two tweets while reading Style Weekly.

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I personally don’t see anything wrong with these tweets. I think they make perfect sense. Adversely, so many people had a problem with her tweets.  Some said her tweets were insinuating female bodies are “consumer goods” for men. Others thought her tweets were demeaning or condesending. The most disturbing part about this is the majority of the negative comments were from other women. You would think women would be supportive. Most of these women who wrote the negative tweets were trying to prove a point on behalf of feminism. But they should keep in mind, feminism does not mean sacrificing standards.

As a Christian woman I think her comments are spot on!  All Ayesha said was she has standards in the way she dresses and presents herself. As an advocate on “expressing God’s best in the way you dress”, I too believe revealing clothes should not be worn in public. The whole world should not see your “goods.” Save it for your husband. Or if you’re not married, save it for your future husband. Presentation matters.

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The Bible says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

First off, our bodies don’t belong to us they belong to the Lord. So if one thinks dressing in revealing clothes is a self-expression, they are mistaken. Dressing in revealing clothes is a flesh-expression.  Those who are of the world will not understand this. Those who are in the world but not of it will understand this (John 15:19). Revealing clothes on a woman serves one purpose-to illustrate sex.  And if wearing revealing clothes is one’s style then that means their worth is in sexual appearance and worldly attention. It’s obvious their worth is not in Christ.

 Wearing revealing clothes is not her style. Which is rear for her being a famous basketball player’s wife. There are so many reality TV shows like Basketball Wives and Real Housewives that highlight wives of athletes who wear tight revealing clothes. Ayesha is a light and she is changing the perception. Thanks Ayesha for embracing modesty and expressing God’s best in the way you dress! 🙂

By Patrice McKenzie

Photo: Washington Post and Instagram/ayeshacurry

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Styled By Christ: Wearing Your Whole Armor Of God

What are you wearing?

No; I’m not asking you if you are wearing a dress or a blouse. I want to know about your spiritual wardrobe. In order for us to stand up against the enemy, we must be styled by Christ. How do we do that? By putting on our whole armor of God.

Every morning we put on our physical clothes, but we cannot forget to put on our spiritual clothes.

Ephesians 6:12-18 tells us, we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

It is the enemy’s job to “kill, steal, and destroy” (John 10:10)  and that means robbing us of our joy daily. Do not give him that satisfaction! Don’t let worldly things distract you from God’s truth and purpose for your life.

If you feel like the enemy is getting the glory, or you are feeling spiritually drained, run back to your spiritual closet. Go back to your spiritual wardrobe and put on the whole armor of God. The best part is your spiritual closet is always with you because God is always with you.

Ephesians says, “pray in the spirit”. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have in our Full Armor of God. Sometimes I have to pray at work just to get through the workday. Nothing is wrong with it; sometimes you have to suit up multiple times to be prepared for this battle.

So I encourage you ladies to put on your whole armor of God daily because the spiritual attacks will not stop when you have the mind of Christ.

Choose to be styled by Christ today, tomorrow and every day.

By Patrice McKenzie
patrice@areyoushe.com

How To Beat The Heat Without Sacrificing Modesty

Spring is in the air and summer is closely approaching. With summer comes hot weather and with that comes less clothes. So how do we stay fashionable, modest and keep cool in these warm weather months? Well first off, modesty does not mean you have to wear a turtleneck, a long skirt and boots. It means dressing in a way that exemplifies Christ, dressing in a way that does not expose you’re body and a sexual way.

So what do modest summer outfits look like? Check out few ideas I found online-

Ayanna_Celia_Styled_grandeI found this great modest swimsuit designer on ReySwimwear.Com. Jessica Rey is a fashion designer who believes you don’t have to sacrifice modesty in order to enjoy the water. I’ve seen women wear unflattering one piece swimsuits and even big baggy T-shirts to cover up their bodies while swimming. Jessica Rey’s swimsuits are cute, modest and fashion forward. Her designs are inspiring and come with so many styles. I personally like the two piece swimsuits like the one shown above. These are perfect for the beach or the pool.

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What about shorts?  How short is too short? Should I just wear pants? This is something I think about all the time. A great alternative to infamous summer short shorts are Bermuda shorts. These shorts cut off at the mid or lower thigh. They come in a variety of patterns and styles. They are comfortable and keep you cool. Pair them with a tee shirt, polo or wide strap tank top. Bermuda shorts are a great way to look great and feel great in the summer months.

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If you like wearing dresses, a summer dress should be a staple in your closet. Maxi dresses are my favorite because they are airy and easy to put on. You don’t have to worry about anything showing as far as your lower body is concerned. If the top of the dress exposes too much of your chest, you can wear a light cardigan over top. I have a few maxi dresses with slits. Some may say this is not modest because my legs are showing. I think its fine because the slit starts at the mid thigh–the same length of a Bermuda short. This is how I measure my comfort in dress length. I don’t let others opinions convict me, only God can do that. If I don’t feel like my outfit is upholding Christ standards for me, His daughter, I won’t wear it.

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For short summer dresses, be aware of where the dress lays on your body, specially the back. Again my comfort length is mid to lower thigh. However, I am 5’2 so my legs may not be as long as yours. Remember, the back of the dress will be slightly higher than the front so before you  wear that dress out doors do the length check test by reaching up high, seating down and pretending like your picking something up off the floor. All acts you may do outside your home. If it seems like it’s too short wear capri length leggings underneath. Check out Hemlines and V- Necks: Exemplifying Gods Best In The Way You Dress for more tips on how to wear your not so modest clothes in a modest way.

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Lastly – Shoes! The shoe should complement your outfit but it doesn’t have to match perfectly. Sandals, wedges or light sneakers like Keds work well in the summer. Just make sure your toes are painted first:)

A few blogs I like to browse through for modest summer outfit ideas are:

Style Pantry 

Modestly Hot 

Thriftoutloud (My personal blog-shameless plug lol)

As you get ready for the summer, remember you don’t have to compromise modesty for the heat. You can still be cute, modest and stay cool:)

By Patrice McKenzie
patrice@areyoushe.com
Photo: ebay.com, reyswimwear.com, thriftoutloud.com, stylepantry.com

Don’t Take The Bait: Lessons I Learned When Recognizing My Self-Worth

How many times have you heard these pick-up lines? bait

“Girl, you’re looking good today.”

Or, “I just want to let you know you’re the prettiest woman here this evening.”

These compliments can really be genuine. However, 9 times out of 10, these lines just give off a false sense of security that a guy is really digging you.

Women have to be aware of these situations and weed out the wolves from the sheep. A friend of mine recently saw two young women walking past two older men. They were in party dresses, hugging every curve of their bodies. The men complemented them and began to hold a brief conversation. The girls were flattered but what they didn’t realize was that these men were hitting on them, in hopes of getting something in return. Thankfully, the girls did not take the bait and continued on their way.

These men were obviously wrong, but they are not the full blame. These young women dressed in tight dresses knowing their shapely figures. I’m sure they were just trying to emulate what they see on the TV or magazines. I’m sure they knew the attention they were going to get. Thank God, they were smart enough not to get trapped by these men. Some women are not that lucky. When a woman is broken in insecurity with self-image she may believe these lies. She may accept empty compliments. She may even believe her worth is in her body and in order to be accepted by men she needs to exploit her body. I know this kind of women because that woman use to be me.

One incident when I was tempted to take the bait was right after I broke up with my boyfriend of nearly 3 years. My self worth was wrapped up in him and in a way I lost my identity. So when the the first guy came along after I broke up with my ex and complimented my appearance — I believed him. It was someone I knew and thought we were friends. So one night I went out with a group and he was there. We had a way too much to drink. He complemented me and whispered sweet nothings in my ear. We danced all night long. And a few hours later I ended up in bed with him. I totally took the bait. The next morning it was obvious he just wanted to have sex with me and he was waiting until I was available to do so. The compliments were just lies in an attempt to mask my insecurities of being single and vulnerable. Until this day, we haven’t spoken since.

It wasn’t until 2013 when I began to grow stronger in my faith that I no longer desired to go out. I meditated on Romans 12:2 for days. God truly transformed me. I no longer got a thrill out of getting compliments from men or attention from them. I know my self worth is in God. I began to cover up and fix my eyes on God.

Here are a few lessons I learned in this process:

1. The bait will not feed the faithful. Have you ever heard the saying there are more fish in the sea? Well I’d like to think I am an exotic fish. Gold fish eat any type of fish food. But an exotic fish can’t eat any kind of fish food. In this post, bait refers to anything that will make you have a false sense of security. These come in the form of empty compliments, casual sex, and material items. This bait will not sway God’s faithful followers.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

2. My body is not on display. No matter how good your body looks it doesn’t need to be seen by everyone. It is great to have self-confidence in your appearance. But when you’re intention is trying to get attention from men or envy from women– it is not right. I dressed this way for attention. Some of my friends in college were more shapely than me. I thought the only way to top them is to show a little more. I didn’t have the curves to compete. The bible says: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

I know my body is a temple and I should not exploit it. I’m more than my body and the only man that should see it will be my husband.

So remember, respect yourself, know your self worth and don’t take the bait!

By Patrice McKenzie
patrice@areyoushe.com

Photo: https://stocksnap.io

20 Things My Twenties Have Taught Me.

It’s a decade like no other. Our twenties can be some of the craziest, most transitional times of our lives. We graduate from college, land a full-time job and hope to find love along the way.

Even though I’m over my mid quarter-life crisis and still have three years to go until I hit 30, my twenties have been quite the spiritual journey. And since I turned 27 over the weekend, I thought what better what to celebrate my birthday than to share the wisdom God has given me.

Here Are 20 Things My Twenties Have Taught Me:

1. When doors close, let ’em. There’s no need trying to open a door when God has clearly closed it. “What He opens, no one can close; and what He closes, no one can open.” Revelation 3:7 (NIV) If you’re not walking into something you really want, there’s a reason for it. Christian film executive Devon Franklin explained it in this way in his book, Produced By Faith: “If He prevents you from getting something that you were aching for, it’s because it would not have turned out to be the blessing you expected.”

2. Not everyone can go where you are going. If friends fall off, it’s okay. The process isn’t easy but it’s necessary. People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Sometimes we have to let people go because they are not on board with our vision or plan God has for our lives. Just like Gideon’s 300 men, God chooses certain sister-friends for the battlefield. “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there.” Judges 7:4 (NKJV)

3. No one has life figured out. If you don’t have it together, you’re not alone. Somewhere along the way, we’ve believed the lie that we’re supposed to have life mapped out before we turn 25. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We’re all in this boat of life together, trying to figure life out. That’s why it’s important to put your hope and trust in God–not man. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

4. The devil attacks your identity. We all know the enemy is about low blows. And if you ever noticed a pattern with spiritual warfare, he always goes after your identity. He’ll tell you you’re not a great writer or your business plan is terrible. But that’s when you have to turn off the chatterbox going on inside your mind and remember all the great things Jesus has said about you instead. “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10, AMP/NKJV)worship

 5. Worship is your weapon. There’s no greater way to fight than on your knees. Singing praises and giving adoration to God sets a ring a fire around you and protects you from your enemies. This scripture lays out the battle plan so beautifully: “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you…and Jehoshaphat bowed his head down with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 20:17-18

6. We’re all addicted to something. Addictions aren’t just physical. They’re also spiritual. We’re all quick to point out the alcoholic or the drug addict without really taking a good look at ourselves. Addictions are things that take a tight grip on us, causing us to fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). It’s important for us to recognize the things that try to pull us away from walking with Christ. Addictions nowadays can look like pornography, lust or the need for continuous monogamous relationships. “Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but I won’t allow anything to gain control over my life.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 (GWT) .

7. The wilderness is inevitable. “You’re either going in or you’re out.” That’s how one of my spiritual mentors explained the wilderness to me. The Israelites went through it. And Jesus experienced it too. So don’t be surprised if the wilderness is right around the corner for you. The process can be painful but the breakthrough is one of the most beautiful experiences of your life. It’s in this place where tragedy and tribulation turns into triumph. “Behold, I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth. Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 (NKJV)

8. We have to come to the end of ourselves before God can begin. Caterpillars shed many layers before they become a butterfly. And the same thing happens to us. God has to strip us from hate, doubt and fear. When the Spirit comes upon us, that’s when the miraculous metamorphosis begins. Shedding dead mindsets gives us the ability to spread our wings and fly. Rebirth allows us to walk into the revelation of the promise. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [she] is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)healed

9. We’re called to birth spiritual things. Women don’t just birth babies — they push out promises. In Hebrew, Eve’s name is Chavah which means “to give life”. According to an article written by Sara Esther Crispe for Chabad.org, chavah embodies both the essence of life itself and the creative ability to grant life to others. Women are called to birth both joy and pain, new realities and revelations. As females, we are constantly delivering things naturally and spiritually, both within ourselves and for those around us.“Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” Genesis 3:20 (NKJV) 

10. God is our first husband. Our relationship with Christ is a marriage more than anything else. All throughout the bible, the word tells us we are the bride of Christ. Jesus died on the cross for us so we would be presented without blemish or wrinkle. (Ephesians 5:27). He wants to spend the rest of our lives with us in holy matrimony. But before we even get this revelation, we’re more caught up with getting a man. How can we be faithful to a man if we’re not even faithful to God? That’s what God put on my heart one day. God wants us to make a covenant with Him first before He gives us away to another man. “For your Maker is your husband. The LORD of hosts is His name.” Isaiah 54:5 (NKJV)

11. The right one will wait for you. That’s what my best friend Shannon from college told me when I wanted to give up on waiting to get married. Her words not only encouraged me, but sparked a new mindset in me. Waiting doesn’t just come from your end; the guy you’re with has to be willing to wait for you too. The one God has purposed for you will be convicted of this truth before he even meets you.“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” Song of Solomon 8:4 (NLT) 

12. In sexual sin, we violate the sacredness of our own bodies. That’s the translation from The Message version of the bible for 1 Corinthians 6:18. That scripture is not only potent but powerful. I would meditate on those words day and night during my seasons of singleness. No matter how jacked up my relationships with other men would be, I would speak those words of truth and love over me. It changed my whole way of thinking. It challenged me to view sex as something sacred — not just something to do to validate a dating relationship.

13. Marriage is supposed to make you holy not happy. That’s the greatest lesson I learned from Pastor Brian Edmonds while taking pre-marital classes with my man at Macedonia Baptist Church in Pittsburgh. Even though I’m not married yet, I know my pastor’s words are key for a successful and godly marriage. We spend more time planning for the wedding than actually preparing for the marriage. God’s purpose for marriage is for the couple to reflect Christ and be a living example of God’s love.“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”- 1 Peter 4:8″

14. The word of the LORD gets tried. If you receive a prophecy, you best believe it’s going to get tested. When words of life are spoken over us, the enemy will do anything and everything he can do to choke out the seeds of our destinies . That’s why it’s so important to stand on the word of God and use it as your weapon during prayer and intercession. When we declare and decree the promises of God, it’s one of the ways that helps us win the war. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried. He is a Shield to all those who trust and take refuge in Him.” 2 Samuel 22:31 

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15. He wants us healed and made whole. Therapy and inner healing doesn’t mark the end of our journeys. They’re just a sign of the beginning. I received the revelation many women are healed but not yet whole during a night of worship for women. During my own season of life coaching, my mentor taught me healing isn’t a point, but a process. God doesn’t just want to mend our hearts; He wants us to discover completion comes from Him.  “And [Jesus] said to her, ‘Your faith has made you whole.” Mark 5:34 (AKJV) 

16. God revives dreams that have died. We can be our own dream killers because of fear and doubt. But God is always on standby, preparing for our planes to land. No matter whether you’ve given up or lost hope, the LORD will bring dreams back to remembrance. What God put in you, no one can take away from you. It’s up to you to give your dreams a fighting chance.“For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29

17. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. Anytime I argued with my man, I saw how my words would hurt and not help the progression of the relationship. Over and over again, the Spirit would remind me of Proverbs 18:21. We can either speak life or speak death into our situations and over our lives. If we’re not careful, our tongues are like a flame a fire, threatening to destroy the blessings God has put in our lives.

18. Watch out for little foxes. Boundaries are essential for maintaining healthy and godly relationships. My accountability partner, Rev. Dionne Edmonds taught me you can’t just let anyone come into your garden. It’s up to a couple to water it, till it but more importantly, protect it. That’s why it’s important to have a conversation with your partner about past relationships with the opposite sex and set up guidelines for certain situations. When you’re courting and called to be married, you have to protect the relationship from tactics the enemy may use to destroy it. “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Song of Solomon 2:15 (NIV) 

19. Put it on the altar. There’s no use holding on to something God doesn’t want you having anyway. Even though it hurts, sometime you have to pray, asking God to take it away to make sure your will isn’t getting in the way. So many times I’ve put relationships and job opportunities on the altar just to make sure I’m walking in alignment with the Father. “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42 (NKJV) 

20. Our scars are what makes us beautiful. The ugliest things become part of our destines. I never thought my story of surviving sexual abuse would become such an integral part of my testimony. But like my pastor and friend Shirly Lyle once said so eloquently, the pain pushes us towards our purpose. It’s through the scars where vulnerability never looks so beautiful. God gives us beauty for even the most darkest ashes.

“…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:3 (NIV) 

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com

White As Snow: The Revelation God Gave Me

A lot of us in the Northeast just got hit with a snowstorm. And for many of us, we hate the snow. It can be dirty, brown and slushy. But God wants us to change our perspective on things. While I was driving home from the gym today, He turned my attention to the snow on the hillsides. As it glistened, He gave me a revelation about me. He sees me white as snow. snow

He didn’t just give a revelation about me — but for all the ladies. 

Check out my latest video! (Please excuse me looking like a hot mess! Haha)

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow” Isaiah 1:18

By Sydni Grant
sydni@areyoushe.com

Photo: geotimes.ge