Empowered Through Music

Empowered Through Music

Music has the power to transcend language and meet us where we are in life. I wanted to share what has been empowering me. I have had a lot of up and downs so I have been clinging to worship music.

  1. Lauren Daigle (Look Up Child)

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A very beautiful, soulful voice with real lyrics. You hear Lauren’s range and variety of genres she dabbles into. I was a fan of Lauren’s from her prior hits. I listened to this album on a whim (i.e. Youtube). I was hooked from the get go. God led me to this album for a reason. I found this album a week before I received my Bar results (Yup…needed). This album has taught me no matter how bad or good things get, it is important to look to the Lord. Not to be ashamed of my faults. Not to feel like God has left me. God is still good and faithful to His promises. I would love to tell you my favorite song but they are all my favorites.

I can give you a snippet of my favorites lyrics and description from each song:

“Rise up” Still Rolling Stones (like a better Christian version of Rolling in the Deep by Adele)

“I will send out an army to find You. In the middle of the darkest night
It’s true, I will rescue you”Rescue (One of those comforting songs with an awesome  gospel choir. This song encouraged me when I did not pass my exam)

“Oh, I know. I searched the world to find my heart is Yours. Oh, my heart is Yours. I searched the world to find my heart is Yours. Oh, my heart is Yours.”This Girl  (Taught me that my heart is God’s and how the world can’t satisfy me the way He does)

“You’re my covering. I’m safe, I’m safe. Whatever comes at me. I’m safe, I’m safe”Your Wings (A chill, reggae Christian song)

“You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing. You say I am strong when I think I am weak. You say I am held when I am falling short. When I don’t belong, You say I am Yours. And I believe. I believe. What You say of me. I believe.”- You Say ( Beautiful words that truly uplift me. I may not be ok but I am enough with Christ.)

“You give me everything I need”Everything (He provides all my needs)

“I cannot earn what You so freely give. What have I done to deserve love like this?”Love Like This (I am unworthy of God’s blessings.)

“Look up child”Look Up Child (Even in the valleys, look up to God. He’s got me)

“I’ve been an actor on a stage. Playing a role I have to play. I’m getting tired, it’s safe to say. Living behind a masquerade”Losing My Religion ( My testimony and my desire to think of my relationship with God rather than “religion”)

“I remember, I remember. You have always been faithful to me. I remember, I remember. Even when my own eyes could not see. You were there, always there”Remember (Thinking of His goodness even in the valley).

“And now this rebel heart belongs to You.”- Rebel Heart (A bluesy song about denying myself and turning heart to Christ)

“Ever running to what I can’t see. Fighting out of all my unbelief. Father, even then my song will be. I know You will always carry me.”Inevitable (Yup…realness. My life circumstances)

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace.”Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (One of my favorite hymns. Daigle does this song with a twist and I love it).

I know God uses music to bring us closer to His truths. This album came at the right time. I am facing a valley, a step back, an uncertain turn. But God’s assurances are real in this album. I encourage you to listen and be empowered and uplifted.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Empowered Even Though I Am Not A First-Time Bar Passer

Empowered Even Though I Am Not A First-Time Bar Passer

15 minutes. 

15 minutes is how long my mom gave me to sob and let my emotions out. She held me as I let out the worst cry of my life. I received the news that I did not pass the Bar. All the hard work, sleepless nights, studying, and sacrificing my social life and I fell short. I felt like a failure and the prayers and well wishes were in vain. I just cried. I could not believe it.

But after those several minutes, my mom said, “Now we are not going to pity ourselves. No more crying. You tried your best and it’s just not God’s timing. You tried. You’re still my favorite lawyer. You will be one.” 

What a mom…I know she is really great.

(P.S. I took a nap, my mom made me fried plantains, sweet potatoes fries, and gave me lots of hugs. I took a week-long break from social media to clear my mind and refocus.)

So life has been interesting. What I thought was the plan is not the case. It will be another several months to prepare for the exam. It will be awhile before I get another set of results. I will be in-between states again. I will not be sworn in yet. I will not have the attorney job I have dreamed of.

Sounds like a powerless situation.

But I choose not to pity myself. 

Jeremiah 29:11 states: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Even though the bad news hurts, it’s not to harm me. I had to remind myself if God did not want me to be an attorney, He would not have allowed me to live 6 hours away from home. He would not have allowed me to pass each semester of law school. He would not have allowed me to graduate law school. And many other obstacles I faced.

I do have a hope and a future. My season is temporary even though it feels like forever.

By Morgan Harper Nichols

I am not the only person who did not pass and I won’t be the last. This is a very hard exam. Florida is one of the hardest states to pass. My outcome from the Bar does not indicate my fitness or capacity as an attorney.

This does not stop me but empower me to fight.

Just because I did not pass does not mean I lost everything. I have wonderful parents who are still willing to help me and allow me to live with them. I have a wonderful support system and church family. I have my health. I have breath in my body. I still have a purpose.

So I will be empowered because God said I can do all things in Him, including passing the Bar and being the best attorney I can be. 

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I’m not saying that I am not upset, hurt, or feel inadequate. I am human. But I am saying  there is still hope for me.

I still have God’s power to make it.

And I will.

Blissfully,

Bianca

 

Allegiance to the Cross

Allegiance to the Cross

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The Cross is powerful. It breaks the chains of sin and gives power to all people who believe. It restores. It redeems. It wins every time. 

But lately, some people pledge their allegiance and entire being on other things: the flag, the national anthem, a political party, or a person who is not Jesus.

I am not saying not to be thankful for the blessings of life and living in America but America is not heaven. None of the temporary titles will serve an eternal purpose. Admission to heaven does not require a color, party, or denomination. 

I’m not saying that you can’t be passionate about the things of this world. There are things that I am passionate about too. But what I am saying is don’t let the troubles of this world cloud the eternal things.

There is no human, institution, or solution able to solve the troubles of the world. So don’t get so worked up about the current news that it drives you crazy. God is the one who will restore humanity at the appointed time.

So the bickering and “taking extreme measures” to show allegiance to a temporary political view, person, or issue is futile in the grand scheme of things.

This life is fleeting. All these things will pass away but the Lord’s Word and Will reigns.

So rethink your allegiance.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Wisdom from the Wise

Wisdom from the Wise

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.-Proverbs 1:8-9

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.-Proverbs 4:1-3

Remember that time in your life when you wanted to live your own life. When you thought your parents and older people were out to ruin your life and cramp your style. You think you know the world…

For me, I grew up with Haitian, Bible-believing Christian parents. To give you insight to my life,

  •  I was not allowed to go to sleepovers,
  • I was chaperoned everywhere with my friends (i.e. movies, malls, hangouts),
  •  Back to school shopping: reliable supplies took precedence over fashionable supplies.
  • At least a 20 question deposition before I could ever go anywhere
  • Summers were spent getting ready for the new school year
  • I could not share clothes with other people
  • And the list goes on…

I was not cool at all growing up. If anything, I was the plain jane girl who just went to school and church. I craved to be cool but my parents were not the ones to be messed with. They were a team. They were active in my upbringing. There was a standard to keep: go to school, go to church, serve the Lord, and be a good citizen.

I hated how strict they were.

Fast forward to today, my adult life is quite different. Yes, I am living at home. Yes, the rules still apply BUT…I value them so much. The parent-child dynamic is different. I seek their advice and they give me guidance.

I started realizing from college till now, my parents were right to be strict. I am not the person I am today without the structure, spiritual maturity, intelligence, and discipline of my parents.

My parents were both raised by single parents and had to make a way all by themselves. They had little support.  They did not have all the guidance I had or someone checking on them. So as new parents, they gave my siblings and me the upbringing they never had.

My parents really guarded me but also educated me about life. They did not want to make my life miserable; they wanted to prepare me and teach me for life ahead.

My parents were not rich monetarily, had privilege in their community, or had elite status. But they invested values that I did not depart from. 

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Whether it’s a parent, mentor, or parent-like figure, their wisdom is valuable. They lived longer than you or me. Yes, if they love you enough to give you tough love and Godly wisdom, listen. Take their advice to heart.

To have what I have is a testament to God’s grace in giving me God-driven parents. No, they are not perfect people but that’s ok. I am not a perfect child but they still love me.

So I do ask for advice for approval and support. I do believe they like the fact that I come to them for advice. But I know my parents truly have my best interest at heart. They KNOW me almost too well. I am an adult but I am thankful for them. No matter much I grow up, the instruction of my parents does matter to me.

So value the people in your life who pour life into you. 

If you are blessed enough to have your parents on this side of heaven, value them. If not, remember their instruction and the memories.

Blissfully,

Bianca

The Storm’s Blissful Lesson

The Storm’s Blissful Lesson

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You know those rainstorms that are wind, rain, thunder, lightning and everything in between.  You can’t see where you are. Speeding up can lead to uncontrollable hydroplaning. Even familiar routes are difficult to travel to.

Doesn’t that sound like life?

The storms of life can throw us for a loop. A friend once said people are either in a storm, about to enter a storm, or have left a storm.  We all have a storm.

It is easy to succumb to the storm and fall into despair. I have had my fair shares of storms. It feels unbearable.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.-Psalm 34:17-20

Though it is easy to throw in the towel, DON’T!

Though it storms, the rain will stop, the clouds will appear, the loud clashing of lightning and thunder will be silenced, and then sunlight.

For every rainstorm, there is sunshine.

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With any storm, God can overcome it. Jesus silenced the winds and the storms at His command (Matthew 8:23-27). Nothing is too hard for God.

What you and I cannot do is control our situations. Sometimes life is out of our reach. Things happen that are unexpected, from left field,  unplanned, and abrupt. And sometimes with as much preparation you do, you still fall short. But God can and is in control. 

With the storm, there is provision, safety, and sanity that God provides. He does not lead you where He will not provide for you. He knows what you can handle even though you think you can’t handle it.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 4:19

God will bring you out of the storm into the sunshine. I can’t assure that life will be exactly what you expected but all storms will strengthen you and your testimony.

So hold on even though it’s raining, God will give you the umbrella (i.e. provision) and the direction.

I leave with this: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.-2 Corinthians 12:9

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Wherever you fall short, God will fill in the gaps.

The storm is temporary.

It will pass.

God will bring you out of whatever tried to end you or break you. 

The sunshine will come. 

 

Blissfully,

Bianca

The Silver Lining to the Current Presidency

The Silver Lining to the Current Presidency

I know what you may be thinking: And what may that be, Bianca?

The silver lining is I see who people really are.

I feel like prior to this era, people’s prejudice would show it’s ugly head every now and then. I had faith in people. I thought the best in people especially Christians.

But once the current president ran, I started to see where people stood and people’s tolerances. I really started to see who people really were.

Maya Angelou says “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Usually people’s first reactions is really how they feel.

When the current president would say or do something unbecoming, the people that I thought would be outraged would make excuses or be silent.

What? I thought you were better than that.

Then, I would see how people really thought through their social media. The racist propaganda against Obama and promotion of the current president’s rhetoric. The mean-hearted comments. The videos displaying hate. The articles of angry rhetoric and division. The “us” against “them” attitude.

I’m not saying everyone should think the same. We can have disagreements but it should not turn into name-calling and empty, divisive rhetoric. 

Now, I am guarded when I encounter people. I watch people’s actions much more than the words they say.

What you talk and how you walk matters to me.

A backtrack from what you say originally speaks louder to me.

Yes, no one is perfect. But sometimes the evidence can be overwhelming.

I love and befriend from a distance. I try to take the high road towards ignorance. I post God’s Word because it cannot be disputed. I try to live as an ambassador for Christ in a lost and dying world.

I will not be perfect but I try to be who I say I am.  To live what I preach.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Watch Your Mouth!

Watch Your Mouth!

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Watch what you say and how you say it.

You can’t burn your pipe on both ends and expect respect for one side and not be criticized for the other side.

These days, there are some people who have really confused me. I don’t know which person to believe.

For Christians, the world is watching our words. Believe that. That does not mean we cannot stand on our Biblical values. The Bible says to stand firm and let nothing move us as long as God is the center of what we believe.

Just filter what you say. I don’t always post what is on my mind. I think about my audience. I think about if what I am saying is uplifting, edifying, or encouraging. Am I saying words for my own self-benefit and ego or for others? Does what I say reflect Jesus or reflect my own pride and ego?

Yes, no one is perfect. I mess up. I am preaching to myself. I have watch my mouth too. 

The best thing I can do and you can do is: If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything. Think before you post. Check your sources. 

This is not Bianca’s words. Read what God says about my words and your words.

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.- Proverbs 12:18, 25

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.-Proverbs 15:1, 4

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.- Proverbs 16: 24

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.-Proverbs 18:21

 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.-Ephesians 4:29

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.-Colossians 4:5-6

 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.- 1 Peter 3:15-16

So remember to watch your mouth, please.

Blissfully,

Bianca