Bible Study | Why Do We Give Thanks?

Bible Study, Lifestyle

Psalm 28:7

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield; My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I shall thank Him and praise Him.

Flashback to summer 2018, I started working as a preschool teacher with the most vibrant and fiery group of toddlers I’ve ever met. It was my first job after graduating college and I was definitely looking forward to becoming the best teacher ever! Apart from teaching the kids the days of the week or the months and seasons of the year, the head teacher insisted on making it a priority to teach the kids manners. Obviously I could see why that would be an important lesson among others. However, when it came to manners, she would literally stop the entire class for a learning moment to emphasize the importance of a please and thank you.

One evening while supervising a small group of two year olds, one of the other teachers brought in some snacks to share with the kids. They all gathered around the table as she gave each child a cookie and some chips but no one said thank you at first, until she gave the last child his cookie and chips. Finally, someone said thank you and then of course they all chimed in saying “Thank You Miss Lisa” except for one. Since he was known for being defiant and rebellious, initially I didn’t want to force him to say thank you so I asked him, “Aren’t you going to tell Miss Lisa thank you?” He looked at me while nibbling on his cookie and asked “Why?” Keep in mind, this was still during my first month working there and this was a child who didn’t really know me that well either. Apparently he felt comfortable enough to question me, staring right back at me with his big blue eyes.

To be honest with you, that caught me a little off guard so I asked the other kids “Why do we say ‘please’ and ‘thank you?’” They all looked at me puzzled, one kid eventually said “because Miss Gina said so!” I interrupted him by trying to explain that we say ‘thank you’ to show gratitude but then I thought to myself, they’re two, maybe I should make it simpler. I explained to them that Miss Lisa didn’t have to share her snacks and we should be grateful that she thought of us and wanted to share with us. I also asked about how they felt when they randomly got cookies and chips late in the evening, which was quite unusual for their after school routine. One kid said “Happy” another said “Excited” and Henry, staring at me with his big blue eyes said that he felt like singing and dancing!

Have you ever really took into consideration all that God does for us and the role He plays in our lives? Have you ever thought about why we should glorify God, give thanks and sing praises to His name? Of course it’s easy to give thanks when God shows up in our time of need and obviously we’d want to sing and dance like Henry did when God blesses us with our hearts desires. Although, understanding the ultimate reason why we should give thanks to God would definitely strengthen our relationship with Him and give purpose to living a life that glorifies His name. We shouldn’t just give thanks to God because the pastor said so or Mom said so or because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to do. Here in Psalm 28:7, David explains that God gives His people strength, protection and help to persevere and that we can all trust that God will always be there for us. I’m certainly guilty of forgetting why and when we should give thanks to God. In the past, I used to only give thanks to God when I’d see His work materialize in my life. But is that truly honoring Him and thanking Him for who He is? Or am I only being thankful because I know what He can do for me? Isn’t it interesting that this scripture says “The Lord IS my strength and my shield” instead of ‘gives me strength’ and ‘gives me a shield?’ As my relationship with God grows, I pray that I learn to appreciate Him more and more and thank Him fervently everyday just because of who He is. That, to me, is the real reason why we should give thanks.

Bible Study | The Little Voice in My Head

Bible Study, Lifestyle

Jeremiah 17:10

Jeremiah 17:10 I, the Lord, search and examine the mind, I test the heart, To give each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.

For the past few years or so, ever since graduating Secondary school, I would often have dreams where a random little voice in my head would try to compensate my lack of spiritual dedication by commending me for my worldly accomplishments. From getting good CXC grades to getting a scholarship to getting degrees! And sometimes this little voice would even try to compliment me on how incredible I was for being independent and doing it all on my own; as if isolation and loneliness was some sort of prize.

Throughout my spiritual struggle, I would sometimes find myself having to wrestle away my worldly desires. Anytime I’d fall short, the little voice would always pop up in an attempt to reassure me that God knows my heart, trying to convince me to pretend that despite my actions that were unpleasing to God, everything would be okay. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I used to agree with that voice. After all I’m sure God would be proud of how smart and responsible I’ve become. However, soon enough, this little voice became less of a motivator and more of an enabler.

This little voice, which I now consider a pest, was only good for making excuses. I wish I had recognized sooner how those useless compliments inhibited my walk with God. Lately, during my interactions with God, while examining my life, I’ve noticed that I barely have anything to show when it comes to fruits of the spirit. Have I really made it anywhere in my spiritual journey if my fruits of the spirit are still little seedlings hanging on for dear life? I am grateful for all the strides and successes I’ve been blessed to achieve in my life thus far but I honestly have a burning desire to grow spiritually as well. As I continue my walk with God I pray that the results of my spiritual journey would be indicative of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Happy Holidays| Single for the Holidays

Lifestyle, Relationships, Uncategorized

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Being single for the holidays had never made me more certain that I want to have a family of my own someday. I literally feel like the Christmas grinch, but instead of stealing Christmas, I am being forced into solitary confinement while everyone else spends a holly jolly Christmas with their loved ones. My instagram feed is a constant replay of mommies, daddies and their kiddies in ugly matching pajamas, baking stupid Christmas cookies and decorating their dumb gingerbread houses. Ughh it’s so sickening and yet I want it all. Around this time, 25 years ago my mom, who was also 25 at the time, was celebrating her first Christmas as a family with my father and I. Shouldn’t it be my turn by now?

I’ve always heard that Christmas is for the children, and I am starting to agree, without any little kiddies around me to buy presents for, it feels like just anther day. I don’t mean to seem shallow, obviously Christmas is more than just a holiday for gift giving but it’s one of the things I love most about the season. Sharing tokens of love, whether its cheesy hand made DIYs or the season’s hottest doorbusters, the gift of gift giving is the gift that just keeps on giving. Not that I could afford any gifts anyway, as a full-time college student working a minimum wage part-time job, although my gifts may be limited to the shabby chic sale items in my nearest department store, I’m still eager to wrap it up with love.

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What am I going to do this holiday since I’m still away from my parents home in Trinidad? Although I’m stuck in New York’s cold, I still have the opportunity to visit a nearby relative and enjoy her family for Christmas.

So how else do I plan to enjoy a fulfilling Christmas holiday this year? Here are my top 5 ideas for enjoying being single during the holidays:

  1. Visit a relative or close friend
  2. Plan and cook/bake your favorite meal or desert (doesn’t have to be fancy!)
  3. Load up on stocking stuffers (if you love affordable gift giving)
  4. Donate seasonal clothing and blankets to those who may need
  5. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

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I may really need to consider dating seriously for the new year. I’m trying to avoid setting it up as a new year’s resolution, cause surely, judging by my progress in the dating world, this may be a resolution bound to fail.

Senior Year | Fall Midterm Jitters

Education, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

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So I am finally a senior! It’s been five long years and I am so ready to cross that finish line. This year was supposed to be smooth sailing, I’d planned to finally have a social life, go parties, make friends, go out on dates and everything fun. Oh boy how was I fooling myself. As an English major I’m just stuck reading books and writing papers all day. I’m finding myself working overtime to get my gpa up after a horrible first year at Queens College.

My dedication throughout my first two years at community college rewarded me with my AA degree in Literature and Writing Arts and a 3.4  gpa but sadly life at a small school like Borough of Manhattan Community College was nothing life at Queens College. The classes are bigger, the work load is significantly heavier and the professors are less likely to make accommodations for the everyday circumstances of life. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t assholes but I’d wished someone would have warned me that things were gonna be so different.

Last year I when I started school at QC, I wanted to be involved on campus, I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself, I wanted to be a sorority girl! I thought it would have been a great way to make friends and build life long connections, someone should have also told me that Greek Life, given my age, personality and circumstances, wasn’t the way to go. I was a 24-year old pledge among bubbly playful 18 and 19 year olds but I figured that some way, some how we could still build a bond beyond the constraints of age. Wrong again! I was able to become acquainted with a few of the girls, I had a mom, a big and a twin of whom I was happy to get to know and love but after being unable to afford to pay dues, I saw our friendship fade away. I never became a sister but at least I thought the girls in my pledge class would still be willing to be my friend but, you guessed it, wrong! I was so disappointed, and looking back now, I’m disappointed in myself that I allowed that situation to affect my mood and also my gpa. I even tried to pledge again in the spring when I was more prepared financially but, they didn’t give me a bid, denied! I thought at least I would get a bid because they knew me and we did get to build some kind of connection, but maybe paying for friends wasn’t the way to go.

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It’s fall again, and no, I’m not pledging but I did join the yearbook club and I have been trying to be present at meetings however the schedule of a working college student isn’t as free as the average college kid. I can’t believe it’s almost midterm of my senior year already and the jitters are here too. I hate to admit it but I have been sucking up and kissing ass lately. I need these As! Do you know that you need at least a 2.0 gpa to graduate? Having a 1.7 gpa and being on academic probation really puts the odds against me but fortunately there’s a great possibility that my two INC grades  from the spring may be a bitter sweet opportunity to push my gpa over the borderline. It’s not going to be easy but I am determined to get all As this semester. My math isn’t all that great, but if my calculations are correct, if I get at least three As this semester and 3 As next semester I will be able to graduate with at least a 3.0, not too shabby for a girl who spent both of her entire junior and senior years on academic probation right?

Hope without work yields no results so I need to be consistent in my efforts toward my academic success. Although it seems like I may never get the oh so amazing college experience that I’ve always wanted, I value my long term success way more than a few shallow friendships and frat parties.

The Daily Post | Launch

Lifestyle, The Daily Post

bwi

What do you want to be when you grow up? Every kid is probably asked this question a few times throughout his childhood long before he even has to start making direct decisions in pursuit of his dream. It’s quite normal for a person’s foresight to change throughout the different stages in his life. There’s our kindergarten fantasies, elementary and middle school curiosities, high school dreams, college goals and then were expected to have our life’s plans.

The average college freshman enrolls with an undeclared major, relatively undecided about what career he wants to pursue. Maybe after taking his rudimentary college courses, by the time he is a sophomore, he should be able to make a fair guess about what journey his life’s path involves. Although, as a senior in college I’m still not too sure about where my life is going. As an English major/Studio Art minor, I was leaning toward journalism and editing however, after working in an after school program, I gained interest in education. I could see myself motivating and inspiring young minds like Hilary Swank in Freedom Writers, but then again I’d have to go back to graduate school for education certification, not impossible but surely quite costly.

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Since I’ll be graduating in the spring, by now you’d think I’d be preparing for internships, and I am, after all the purpose of this blog is to create a portfolio, yet I still find myself applying to internships within the education field. Can I be an English teacher by day, Essence Magazine columnist by night? Is it possible to be efficient and successful in two careers simultaneously?

Just like NASA’s largest rocket of all time, set for it’s 2018 launch, designed to take astronauts further into space than ever before, I too have my own 2018 launch to prepare for after I graduate. For anyone, like myself, who can’t seem to define a clear path to follow, it is imperative that we work extra hard to gain the accomplishments we desire. Put in that overtime! We have to work twice as hard to launch ourselves as far as possible into the magical realm of success and happiness that we’ve been fantasizing about since childhood.

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Success isn’t made overnight! A lot of college students fall into the post graduation syndrome trap due to lack of planning. Its quite easy to fall off the hype of being a college grad into the pits of unemployment and frustration. Thankfully, many colleges offer workshops, seminars, job fairs and career days for their students, some of which are exclusive to upcoming graduates–where you’d find the most opportunities to help with devising strategies to approaching internships and jobs.

Start applying to internships and jobs you see yourself having after graduation during your senior year. Although most jobs may require that you must be a college graduate, be sure to create a telling resume and cover letter expressing your experience, knowledge and favorable attributes. Be assertive and confident, yet willing and humble in your cover letter describing your drive and eagerness to gain hands on experience. Even though you may not get a response every time, some employers admire proactive applicants and they may even offer you an interview.

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Practice makes perfect! Many websites have generic sample interview questions that you can use to practice. With consistent practice answering these questions in detail paired with some research about the company or industry to which you are applying you’d be able to gain confidence and it would also help relax those silly interview jitters.

So far, I have been to two interviews for positions within education. One interview went extremely well, but I couldn’t land it just yet. Although I had the experience and recommendations, I didn’t have the necessary teacher’s assistant certification. My most recent interview though went horribly wrong, the complete opposite of the first. I had the qualifications, yet I didn’t have the appropriate experience. Nonetheless, since it was a group interview, I did get to meet some great people and learn about their different experiences throughout their careers working with children.

I have not been discouraged, and as I continue to seek out journalism internships, I am determined to publish articles on my blog nurturing my writing style as well as building my audience as I prepare for my 2018 launch into success.

The Daily Post | Launch

The Daily Post | Sting

Lifestyle, The Daily Post

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The G.O.A.T, Muhammad Ali, coined the phrase “float like a butterfly sting like a bee, the hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see” when he described his boxing style in 1964. Still known as Cassius Clay Jr., the underdog was matched against the then world heavy weight champion Sonny Liston where Clay won by a technical knock out. A year later, coming back as Muhammad Ali, he earned his place in boxing history as the greatest of all time becoming a role model for anyone with a passion and desire for success.

As an English major and aspiring novelist, I can appreciate Muhammad’s witty cleverness, also, in any ring one would always hope to be as agile and light as a butterfly while still having the penetrating zap of a bee. As a newbie publishing articles on a blog with barely any readers it can become quite easy to lose motivation, however in any endeavour it is always important to define one’s purpose. Initially, my Hello Mira Belle blog was created to form a portfolio and develop my article writing style for contemporary readers, yet I constantly find myself itching for followers and more readers. After a month of publishing, the support and advice from friends and family have done quite well to keep me going. Just like an agile butterfly, one’s success isn’t instantaneous, it has to crawl and spend time developing before it can crack out of it’s cacoon. Maybe this blog is my cacoon?

A photo by Mathias Reed. unsplash.com/photos/wEoRDzrgmT8

Whether success is achieved by a technicality or determination of skill, fighting to the finish remains constant. I’m almost certain Muhammad Ali barely took any days off in pursuit of his greatness. And while I hate admitting that I’ve come close to giving up, why not make an article about it right? Just another daily post in my cocoon, determined to write my sting!

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The Daily Post | Sting

The Daily Post | Anticipate

Lifestyle, The Daily Post

tech-for-long-distance-relationships

You’d think that long distance relationships have become much easier with all the advances in communication technology. Think about it, before the convenience of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or FaceTime, much of long distance romances depended on phone calls or emails and sometimes, it was only the simple hand written letter that kept love afloat. Much of the connections among millennials are being developed through double taps, likes, shares, retweets, follows and subscriptions.

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Admit it, being part of the ‘look at me’ generation has made it quite easy for knowing someone to resemble knowing of someone. It’s true, you might be able to get the gist of a persons character, values and ideals based on the content of their page but that’s only if they’re actually willing to be open and genuine. When you meet someone for the first time, in getting to know each other, do you find yourself curious about their social media? Do you become curious about their posts, who their friends are and who the friends of their friends are? What pictures they posted 3 or 4 years ago? Do you get the urge to dig up all the dirt you can possibly find through their unequivocal, impulsive posts? Has social media tricked us into being inquisitive about a person instead of being interested in them?

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We hardly ever leave room for anticipation anymore. We’d scroll through a person’s posts for a couple weeks and we’d think we know them. Instead, wouldn’t it be more nurturing to a genuine friendship if we’d take the time to learn about each other naturally? Maybe there is some correlation between the shortness of today’s relationships and the short span of time it takes to scroll through a persons life online. It’s the anticipation, the exciting beauty of suspense that holds our interest, which sets the perfect atmosphere for a relationship to flourish. Although social media may have alleviated a bit of the strain on long distance relationships, maybe social media is also the cause of the strain on long lasting relationships.

 

The Daily Post | Anticipate

 

 

 

The Daily Post | Priceless

Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, The Daily Post, Travel

Have you ever stopped to think about what you really value most in life? Not what has the most value, but the uncountable treasures that you wouldn’t trade for the world. Your education? Your family? Your children’s happiness? Your spirituality? There are so many things that come immediately to mind when thinking of priceless treasures, but after crawling out of the pits of depression, experience protests that peace of mind holds the most value in life.

 

We all have had some experience with sadness, whether directly or indirectly. Think back to a moment when you felt your lowest. Be it depressed, angry, disappointed, frustrated, unhappy; do you remember how exhausting that lack of level headedness was? Were you able to think clearly? Did you make appropriate decisions? Did your state of being affect those around you? Did you like the way your thought processes flowed when your mind was at its weakest? It must have been a challenge to come to terms with your inability to accept that you were not your usual self. Whatever caused your shift in emotions may have been the trigger–gaining weight, losing your job, flunking out of school, marital problems, being abused; but what haunts our mind the most is our inability to come to terms with our situation. We’re only human, of course losing a job will take a hit at our emotions, however, can we control these emotions? Can we ever experience experiences without being broken by barriers?

Have you ever seen the calm waters of the Nylon Pool off the coast of the tropical island of Tobago in the Caribbean? Peaceful knee high clear waters in the middle of the ocean bedded on oat white sand; seems unimaginable, maybe near impossible, but it does exist. Despite the surrounding shark infested rough waters, the Nylon Pool remains unaffected and constantly at peace. Shouldn’t we be able to train our minds to be uninterrupted by our unfortunate circumstances? Why should we let our rough waters disturb our peace of mind?

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In the age of millennials when our minds are constantly at work–busy at school, busy at work, busy on our commute, busy on our social media, busy being social, busy being successful; we train our minds to think, rethink and overthink almost everything we do, so much so that it becomes automatic. So of course when we’re faced with a situation that causes discomfort our mind kicks into overdrive frustrating our sanity with figuring out how to be comfortable again. Our mind shouldn’t just be “comfortable” our mind should be allowed to bask in the everlasting bliss of peacefulness; seems unimaginable, maybe near impossible, but it can exist. We should always train our mind to relax, not to overthink, but to think less.

 

Meditation has been proven to stimulate peace and promote a sense of calmness and overall well being. Among those who practice the art of meditation, holds the ability to maintain composure and sustain level headedness in the face of emotional disfunction. Granted, successful meditation may not be accomplished on your first try, however it’s definaelty worth the effort. After all achieving a lifetime of peace will surely cost you far cheaper than a trip to the Nylon Pool.

  • plane ticket to Tobago – $496USD
  • boat ride to the Nylon Pool – $10USD
  • Peace of Mind – Priceless!

 

The Daily Post | Priceless