Guest Blogger| Passionista Brandi Thompson |Just Give Me Jesus

Hello Passionista-

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Brandi Thompson is a dear sweetheart I had the pleasure of meeting during my days attending The “Unsinkable” Albany State University. She has a joyful spirit that makes you smile every time you are in her presence even if you’re not in the mood for smiles and laughs. I had a change to watch her grow from a freshman to the AMAZING women is she today. I look forward to more of her greatness as she walks in her passion.

Now introducing my FIRST ever Guest Blogger and fellow Passionista, Brandi Thompson…. 

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Living in a world filled with famous sayings, its hard not to start a blog without one… For the longest, my favorite was: “not all who wander are lost”. Little did I know, I was living my “best life” on a lie.  For 22 years, I wandered. Truthfully, I was lost. Dangerously, I was so lost I didn’t even realize I needed to be found. Honestly, all who wander are lost.

 

 

How lost, is lost?

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From the age of 11, the taste of liquor satisfied my curiosity for the “good life” I would see on VH1 and MTV.  It was like the stock market – high risk, high reward – The higher the shelf, the better the taste. For 11 years, I struggled with blacked out drunken nights, near death intoxication, and a loose sense of moral direction.

From the age of 13, I chose to jump in and out of relationships with guys just to appease my insecurities. Being touched cured my need to be loved. A title soothed my longing for identity no matter where it came from. For 9 years, I indulged in a series of soul ties with many men (and 1 woman if I’m being honest) whose inner connection gave me “peace”.

From the age of 18, my wandering led me away from the nest of home to a new land to roam – ready to be conquered. With no sense of identity, purpose, and security, my aimless journey led me into the arms of an emotionally abusive man. I convinced myself that ‘leaving was easy’ and ‘my damage has to be worth something’. For 3 years, I endured an emotionally debilitating relationship built off a false perception of mental fortitude all to say I was “loved”.

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For 22 years, I wandered and filled my heart with the joys of the world, adding layers of darkness to my heart, building a life on sinking sand. My wandering grew dark, cold, depressing… the person I displayed was never an accurate depiction of the dying person I was on the inside. I was beginning to understand why suicide seemed to be the answer 9 years ago.  Being at war with my reality and convictions created a battle of inner conflict that I began to question my own purpose for being here.… After 22 years of wandering, all of the questions I had, the “good life” I was longing for, the “peace” is desperately needed, and the “love” I was searching for all could be found in one place…. The answer to it all was Jesus.

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“There is nothing I desire that can’t be found in you. You’re everything that I’ve ever needed… Just give me Jesus!”

 

 

 

The new passion I found to live the life God has called me to live has redefined my life. His plans have surpassed my expectations of the life I thought I was supposed to have. His will has created a new perspective of what really matters in the world.

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What good is my business if my family isn’t truly saved?

What good is owning a home & nice car if salvation hasn’t reached all four corners of the Earth?

What good is my life, or anyone else’s, without Jesus?

In Him, you will find your identity – the knowledge to recognize you’re a child of the most high.

In Him, you will find your purpose – the reason He created you to be here.

In Him, you will find your stability – the foundation to stand firm on your purpose.

Inwardly, there has always been a love to help people with a problem and to have a great time with amazing people. No wonder event planning and designing party décor became my career aspiration. As I continue to give my life’s plan to God, He continues to open my eyes of how HE wants me to solve problems by having a great time with HIS amazing people for the Kingdom.  There is so much peace in his plan! You may be thinking, “well what about my dreams?”

Be passionate about your business. Be dedicated to your education. Be invested in the present life you are walking in. Embrace the development taking place in each season you are in. Seek correction and direction from the wise ones who surround you. Develop your talent, master your craft, and perfect your gift. Do all of this while posturing your heart to desire the One. In Him, you, your plans, your goals, and your business will have identity, purpose, and stability!  

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What good are our passions without a true Passion for Christ?

All who wander are lost… but I pray you wander into arms of Jesus.  

 

 

 

Shirt can be found at www.dopeanalogy.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkIaJo7T3Bc

#SelfcareNovember | Week Recap

Hello Passionista…

VOTE TODAY! YOU’RE VOTE MATTER! YOUR VOICE CAN BE AND WILL BE HEARD!

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November has been pretty amazing so far. There is so much to look forward to between now and the end of the month. If you follow my social media accounts, I have been posting my daily recaps of the #selfcarenovember challenge. This challenge has really been going well for me. It is helping me slow down and be more mindful.

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Day 1: No Complaining for a day

I thought no complaining for a day would be hard, but what it lead to was me not talking much that day.  It was different but not so bad. I listened to music and podcasts most of the day and I felt much more energetic.

Day 2: Do something kind for someone else 

It was a long work week for me. Honestly, I don’t know why. It just seemed like the week dragged out. Friday on my way to working, I thought I’d get Krispy Kreme donuts for the office. Sweet treats always make me feel better and nothing is better than a warm donut about an hour after lunch. And I know if I had a long week, so did my coworkers.

Day 3:  Buy yourself a gift (something you really like)

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As I was in Big Lots I came across some nice smelling candles. I love candles, But I only buy bath and body works candles. I thought to myself, I can buy other brands of candles. If you like the scent get it. So I bought it. Big Lots is dangerous. I spend more money there, than I do in Target. That’s bad! Not really tho, cause Bigs Lots as great discount stuff for everything.

 

 

Day 4: Pamper Yourself 

Sunday was a great day for pampering myself. I woke up early and started cleaning up my place. I was even in the mood to rearrange some of my furniture for comfort. Once I was done cleaning, I took a hot bath, relax and listening to ” Don’t settle for safe” by Sarah Jakes Roberts.

Day 5: Write a letter to someone

I decide to write my letter to a decaesd loved one. It felt good to release some of those inner thoughts in a open letter.

Are you taking the challenge with me? How’s it going? Let’s dialogue!


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Black Panther Party Group Costume | Halloween 2018

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!

As a kid, I never really got to dress up for Halloween. So now, I love to get dressed up for Halloween and luckily so does my friends. Halloween is one of my besties favorite holiday, so I have to dress up no matter if I like it or not … lol

For the past 3 years, my sister gals and I have did group costumes. As hard as it is to get 6 girls with different preferences on one accord to decide on one idea that everyone likes, the finish product and the good time we have is always worth it.

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Year 1 we managed to achieve ” The Royal Flush” – DIY costumes made by me.

Year 2 we quickly put together “The Purge Trio“- DIY costumes put together by me.

 

 

 

This year, we pulled off the ” Black Panther Party” costumes put together by all of us.

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Honestly, this group costume was the easiest to put together. Everyone picked an all black outfit to fit there personal style and comfort level – because its was cold. We all purchases black gloves, black berets, and black sunglasses.

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My entire outfit is from Forever 21, but it was all stuff I already had in my closet (off shoulder sweater, Black ripped jeans, and booties).

Black Sunglasses from the Dollar Tree

Black Beret from Target ($12.99)

Black Gloves from Amazon ($7.99)

We hit the town for a fun night of loud music, dancing and eating sweet treats. I swear I had to much candy and cupcakes for comfort.

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I think we nailed the look, what you think?

Amazing Tour of “The Old City”

Hello Passionistas!

 

During my trip to Israel, I was privileged with the opportunity to tour “The Old City” of Jerusalem. There are no words to describe this experience. There was so much history, pride and culture in the atmosphere. I was amazed to see how multiple groups of people lived (and still live) together in PEACE.

The day started with meeting tour guide at the hotel and traveling from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is like an hour drive.

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We started the tour at the “Tower of David” which is the highest point for The Old City. From the top of the tower you can lookout to the entire city. Being at the top of this tower was so quiet and peaceful. We spent almost an hour at the top enjoying the sunlight, as the tour guide told several of the most interesting stories that took place in this tower over the years.

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The tour was very interactive and the guide allowed us to make decisions of how we wanted to spend the day. So after the Tower of David, we walked the walls of the Old City from one side to the other. Our next stop was to visit King David’s tomb and the Room of the Last Supper.

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The tomb of King David sits in a room that is divided, women enter on one side and men enter on the other due to religious reasons. This is a main attraction in The Old City, people come to pray at the tomb of David.

 

The Room of the Last Supper is was not what I expected. I expected it to be fully furnished with the a long table and painting on the walls, with dark dem lighting. But it was actually a bright empty room, only decorated with the details in the walls and the first trend of stained glass art.

Our next stop was to the main street of the city, which is historically known as the market. Here, we were able to see a masonic version of the map of The Old City. Over the years, artist have sought out to preserve the history od the old city with creating other masonic pieces to showcase how things changed year after year.

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Finally, after almost 5 hours of walking we stopped for lunch. The lunch was amazingly flavorful. Herb and Lemon seasoned Salmon with Rice and cucumber and tomato salad on the side with pita bread and of course I had to have a coke.img_0927

After lunch, we traveled to the Western Wall. There is an amazing story behind the Western Wall and why its such a main attraction. The Western Wall is a support wall of Mount Moriah. People go to the Western Wall to pray and reflect. There is a tradition that  you write a prayer on a little slip of paper and put it in the cracks of the wall. When the wall is full, the notes are pulled from the wall (but never read) and buried.

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We decided that our last stop of the day would be the Via Dolorosa, known to be the place Jesus was crucified. This stop must have been the most emotional moment of the whole day. The feeling was so powerful and inside I felt all types of emotions.

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When you first walk inside, there is a rock. This is the rock where Jesus body was laid after he was brung down from the cross. People come here to kneel and pray. Also it is popular for tourist to place items of value on the rock for good blessings things like wedding rings, prayer cloths, wallets, pictures or any other items of special value.

Inside the Via Dolorosa is the tomb Jesus was placed in for 3 days. I don’t want to get too biblical, but the bible states that Jesus was buried outside of the Old City. So, how can the tomb now be inside the Via Dolorosa, which is inside The Old City. After the burial and rising of Jesus, The Old City continued to grow. It grew to the point of the Via Dolorosa was build and the tomb was preserved inside. Many people (of all religions) enter this church to pray, fellowship and worship everyday.

If you ever have the opportunity, I recommend that everyone visit The Old City at least once in your lifetime. This is a place where all people, no matter your religion or nationality, are welcomed in peace and exist TOGETHER in peace.

Stay tuned for my next blog of my day in PARIS !!!!!!

Be Passionate! TTYL !

Valentine Gifts by PassionLocked

Hello Passionistas!

I know we are still in January, but I have already started my Valentine creations. With my cricut air 2, I have made a few gifts and decorations for Valentine’s Day.

For order follow @PassionLocked on Instagram and DM me with your needs. All orders can be personalized to your liking.

Mini Tin Mailboxes… $6

Glitter Mugs with straw… $10

Candy Jar… $6

Mini Flower Vase… $6

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Couples Glass Mugs… $15

Large Flower Vase… $10

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Deal of the week: Cricut

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Martin Luther King Day

Hello Passionistas!

In 2009, I was a recipient of the Athens Area Human Relations Council Scholarship. Every year the organization hosts a Martin Luther King Awards Banquet. As a senior in high school I didn’t really understand the direct impact that a Martin Luther King celebration or scholarship had on the African American community.

Today, I am reflecting on the reason why we have Martin Luther King Day and what it really means for our culture, our community, and our history. I am disappointed in myself, because since that award banquet in 2009 I can not remember celebrating MLK Day.

I remember always being a part of my home church MLK Day program as a kid growing up. I even remember participating in some volunteer day programs. But once I became a college student, MLK day has just been a  free day. A day I was off work and had no classes. A extra day to hang with my friends and party or chill…. And I’m embarrassed, personally.

As a 20-something year old adult, I need to grow up and make a larger effort to participant in MLK Day event within my community- at the least. So if you are like me and have not really celebrated and embraced what today really means, I challenge you to make a change. I challenge myself to also make that change. Starting today!

 

 

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Merry Christmas, Passionistas!

It’s Christmas Day!!!!

I must admit blogmas is a struggle. I started off strong but this season had been so busy for me that I miss and day of two.

Last year my family started the tradition of making gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve.

I purchased my Hershey’s kit from CVS for $7.99

I am a master at this …. look 👀

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Merrry Christmas !!!!!!

Christmas Party Decor

Happppppyyyyyy Saturday Night!!!!

Tonight, my family and I had a cute little snack and game night.

We played a series of minute to win it games and ate good food. The kids made ginger bread houses.

But I wanted to share the cute little dollar tree decorations I created…

I made these cute little DIY snow globes, everything purchased from the dollar tree.

I found these cute candle stick holders at dollar tree and loved them so much that I bought all that were on the shelf. They came in white but I spray painted a few of them silver for my the base to my snow globe.

Using double sided tape I taped the bottoms of a toy Christmas tree to the candle stick holder. I used a steamless wine glass as the globe- putting just a little bit of white confetti as snow.

So cute quick and easy …

You can also use a wine glass with a steam as a globe with a candle on top.

To complete my table decor, I used Garland and toy gift boxes, mason jars and candles, and candy canes.

Super easy and super cute!!!

Brunch with Friends

Helllloooooo !!!!

I know I’ve been missing for two days of blogmas. I’ve been busy with orders and shopping…🤷🏽‍♀️

But, I’m back now !!!!! 😍

I recently hosted a Christmas PJs Brunch with all my girlfriends. It was super nice! But of course – as the host, I did not get any pictures. What I can say is— we had a good time.

I cooked a really nice brunch. I made lots of mimiosas and we drank lots of mimiosas!

We played “dirty santa” and cards against humanity… so many laughs and memories made…

I did manage to get a few snaps with my polaroid camera for my next scrapbook..

Until next time 💝

Ornaments for Christmas (Blogmas Day 13)

Happy Blogmas Day 13!!!

Growing up my mom would buy special ornaments for me to put on the tree every year. It would always be of something I was interested in as a child. I loved that tradition and even now she still has those ornaments on the tree year after year.

As an adult, I now buy a special new ornament to place on my tree every year. Last year I was lucky enough two ornaments.

Belle from Beauty and the Best- which is my favorite Disney movie.

The 2016 Holiday Barbie- which is a gift I could expect every year.

This year it has been hard to find that special ornament. I mean I have been the the Christmas tree shoppe and multiple Hobby Lobby stores… nothing!!!

Today, I found one to my liking.

This year I graduated with my Masters’ degree- so this personalized graduation ornament is perfect for my collection.