Faith Series: Vanity Hill

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Hello everyone. Here we are with our 3rd Christian blogger of this series, Vanity Hill. I had the pleasure of attending LSU with Vanity and although we were always social media friends we never met in person. It wasn’t until I read her post ‘Eye of the Storm’ that I was like I would love to get to know this girl. Her post resonated with me so much. Eventually I reached out to when God placed it on my heart to start this series that we formed a genuine connection and are now friends in real life. Enjoy Vanity’s testimony, i’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I did.

1. Introduction (short 2-3 sentence bio--give snapshot of what your blog/social media page is about)

My blog “The No Love Lost Project” began with a different name and served as launch space for whatever writing I felt like sharing. It naturally turned into a motivational blog centered around God. My pieces tell the story of a young woman trying to navigate life, acknowledging her mistakes and trying to let others know they aren’t alone in this journey to self-discovery. With my recent rebrand, I hope to expand the subjects of my writing into different types of series and feature writing.

2. What is the one Bible scripture you live by? Why?

I have two. Habakkuk 2:2-3 and Jeremiah 29:11. Those two scriptures carry a lot of weight in my life.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 reads:

2 And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it may tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

It motivates me to write my dreams and visions down and offers peace in patience to watch them come to fruition.

Jeremiah 29:11 reads:

11 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.

It also offers me peace when the plan I envisioned doesn’t work out. I read this scripture in the many times where I feel like some things are out of my control and I have to trust that God will see me through to the unimaginable plans He has for me.

These two scriptures are the root of my vision for The No Love Lost Project.

3. What is your testimony?

It’s always tough to write a testimony because I have quite a few! All of my blog posts showcase different testimonies I’ve had over the last year and a half. I didn’t have a lot of confidence or self-awareness growing up. As a young girl, this lack of true confidence was detrimental to my decision making. It took a world of hurt, time, lessons and guidance to get to a point of self-love and love for God. My relationship with Him is consistently growing stronger and I’m happy to share pieces of my journey with my readers.

My story is one of a broken, ever evolving path to self-discovery. I am still learning, still making mistakes and still trying to figure this thing called life out. I am proud of my imperfections and take pride in being relatable to anyone who takes the time to read my blog. My mission is to empower anyone that encounters my writing to discover the powerful, forgiving and infinite love of God.

4. What does your quiet time with God look like? (bible/bible app resources used, time of day, etc.)

I wake up every morning and read a scripture in my Bible app then a quick devotional in Joyce Meyer’s ‘Confident Woman’ app. It’s the first thing I look at before anything else in the morning. When I get home I do yoga, meditate, read another Bible scripture, then journal. Some days I spend watching sermons and taking notes. I try to pray out loud and on paper. I’ve recently taken in writing prayers for others and it’s turned into a time with God that I really look forward to. I’m not perfect so this routine doesn’t happen every day, but I try to do at least two of these things every day.

5. Why have you chosen to use your social media platform to talk about your faith journey?

I never intended on being open with my faith journey on my social media platforms but as I became more and more of a God-fearing woman, it came naturally. I feel that when God passes something along to me, I must share it with others. I have to give back what He has given to me. It always touches at least one person. As I begin this journey with The No Love Lost Project, I hope to create a space for people to be inspired to take action to develop their own relationship with God.

6. Any tips/advice for new believers or believers who seemed to have lost their way?

This journey with God isn’t perfect and you will fall many times along the way. Even when you think you have it all together, there will never be a day where He won’t have any more lessons to teach you. The faith journey comes with loads of tests, additions and removals from your life. Let the fact that your plan has already been written bring you solace in difficult times. Don’t be so hard on yourself to be perfect. God doesn’t call on those that are ready, He readies those that answer the call! Keep that in mind.

7. Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like people to know about?

The No Love Lost Project is my new blog name and also the name of an organization I have recently launched! The mission of the organization is to empower young women and men to focus on God’s infinite love, enhancing self-love, discovering their God-given gifts, writing their visions down and manifesting them into existence. I will be working on some special projects for the organization and blog this fall. I am also working on writing my first children’s book based around the same mission as the organization.

8. Where can people get in touch with you? (social media handles and blog/website)

Website: https://nolovelostproject.com

Facebook: @nolovelostproject

Instagram: @nolovelostproject

Email: nolovelostproject@gmail.com

Don’t forget to leave us comments. Let us know what you think. If you or someone you know would like to be apart of this series please feel free to email me at kiyadaupshaw@gmail.com

Love, Light, & Peace to you,

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

Story Time: I Was A Toxic Friend

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” 
― Donald Miller

Overview

I mean who really wants to admit they were a toxic friend? No one, right? Everyone can easily say such and such was a toxic friend so I had to cut them off, but no one admits that they were in fact a toxic friend. My entire life I had this idea that friendship was you have a few friends that you hang out with on a regular and all of you are best friends and you tell each other everything. You go everywhere together. You call them when you're happy, when you're sad, upset, you name it. Ever since then I placed a high expectation on just about anyone I came in contact with that I felt was worthy of the ‘best friend’ title.

Now make no mistake when I say I was a toxic friend that doesn't mean I was a horrible friend. I have such a huge heart that I welcomed people into my life far too soon before seeing them for who they were and accepting them for who they were. They were introduced to my family and taken on as if we had been knowing each other since diapers. That's just how I am.

At the time I didn't realize that my high expectations caused me to put a strain on true relationships because when they didn't live up to this idea I had in my head I put them in the disintegrator and there was no turning back from there. Over time this happened with friend after friend after friend that I eventually started to ask was there something wrong with me that I couldn't keep friends? Was I not a good person? Did I not tell them enough or call them enough? What was so wrong with me that I couldn't have a best friend? Recently I went through what was yet a repeat of the same old things to find myself in a very uncomfortable position. Do I look past the hurt or do I throw them into the disintegrator like everyone else? This was such a hard decision for me because throwing people away was all I knew. It was safe because I didn't want...well I didn't know how to find it within myself to see what I was doing to cause these friendships to end.

Eventually I got to the point to where I was actually able to talk to my friends and let them know what was bothering me. Before I would never say anything—my grandmother would tell me ‘you ain’t no butt kisser, you don’t kiss nobody’s butt.’ I guess I interpreted this as, if I talk to so and so about xyz then I am running behind them and my grandmother told me not to do this. So I’d just cut people off with no notice. Unfortunately, my talking to that person became if I don't see any changes then it would go back to me feeling some type of way. Then I would just keep bringing it up. Something would happen and i’d be like okay I need to talk about this, again. I am the type of person that if I am still bothered by something no matter how far down the road it has been I have to talk about it or else I don’t feel like I am being genuine and honest. This is also a problem, that I didn’t know I developed. I would get so frustrated with myself and wonder why the heck am I still feeling some type of way. What happened has happened. There’s absolutely nothing I could do about it, but choose to move forward. It’s like when I would find myself trying to move past the situation, my thoughts wouldn’t allow me to which would bring back those feelings so I continued to repeat the same cycle.

So then I told myself well I just won’t get close to people anymore so I can avoid this from happening. Umm, that totally didn’t work. We’re always going to form a bond to those we’re in contact with on a regular and vice versa. We’re going to lose contact with those who we don’t see on a regular, not because we want to, but life happens. So KiYada had to put on her big girl panties and make a decision. Do we continue to follow down the same path of going through friend after friend because she can’t get it together or do we simply get it together?

Lesson Learned

In the past few weeks leading up to my 25th birthday and even after, I have been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on life. This realization started a while ago, but recently came full circle as I began to spend more time with myself and really getting to know who is KiYada and what does she want out of life. First, I had to find forgiveness. I had to give it to the people who I felt hurt me and I had to give it to myself. I also had to extend grace, compassion, and understanding. We’re humans and we’re going to mess up—all the time. Secondly I had to stop rushing my healing process. Some who offered a listening ear would say it’s not that big of a deal get over it, so I tried to force myself to get over something that really hurt because someone else said so. Some said pick up where you left off, can’t do that either because the hurt ran too far to pick up where we had left off. Some of those friendships truly needed to end and others needed to be reborn. Thirdly, I had to STOP trying to change myself because the other person didn’t want to change based on what I felt like I needed. I was being so unfair to those around and most importantly to myself.

I realized there were expectations I was putting on people and it was wrong. I am learning to accept people for who they are and able to meet them where they are. I am allowing the friendships to grow organically and not place any expectation of what friendship is on new people entering my life. I have also accepted that what I thought friendship is is true for some, but not for all—and that's totally okay. I'm learning to accept, as I reflect on all the people I called 'best friend', that most of those friendships were meant to end due to the fact some people are meant to be in your life for a season and others for a lifetime.

I can honestly say there has been a loooong time gap between then and now that I didn’t understand, and quite frankly, didn’t want to understand why this was happening. I wanted to stay stubborn and stay selfish and have a pity party for myself because I was so hurt so many times. Yes such and such may have done something, but the fact of the matter is, my own expectations blinded me from seeing the reality so when the glass shattered I couldn’t believe what happened. Until I started to come from a place of understanding I was never going to get over anything that anyone had ever done to me. My mom also told me that I hold grudges, that I have a cold heart, and so many other distasteful personality traits, but because I didn’t understand I brushed it off. So many other friends told me I was judgemental etc, but no one never once said let me challenge to grow higher, to be better, to do better.

Overall, I have found a true friend in my husband. He is the only person (outside of God & my parents) who loves me unconditionally no matter what I do or say and he is not afraid to tell me what my character flaws are. He was the first person that decided to challenge me. He told me what my flaws were then laid the foundation for me to fix them. This is what I had been searching for my entire life, I just always thought I would find this in a female friend, but it came wrapped up in my life partner which I am much more grateful for. 

I hope that you enjoyed this post. It was very difficult for me to open up about this struggle—but it’s worth it if I can help someone to look inside themselves or possibly get an old friend to find understanding and forgiveness towards me.

Do you feel like you were a toxic friend at times? Or if you’ve had a toxic friend, are you able to forgive and extend compassion and grace and understanding to them. Please like ,comment, and share this with your community if you enjoyed. Let me know if you’d like more transparent post like this, because trust and believe, I have a lot that I can share! :)

Love, Light, & Peace to you

-KUpshaw 

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

Story Time: I Went Through Depression In College

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A big part of depression is feeling really lonely, even if you're in a room full of a million people. -Lilly Singh
 

Overview

During my first semester of college I went through a depression. As always, we never know that we're facing depression until something else occurs in our life that either brings us out of it or brings us deeper into it. I can so vividly see myself sitting down in the corner of my dorm room at Blake Hall in the dark, alone. I used to listen to Danity Kane's song "Is Anybody Listening" on repeat. Not because the song itself related to me, but those three words along with "Can anyone answer my prayers" was is exactly what my soul and spirit was wanting, but the body--the physical appearance--showed no vulnerability or signs of needing help.

Moving from Lafayette to Baton Rouge, I was still expected to show up every weekend for church and church activities. Even though the drive is only an hour away, I never had enough time to study or meet genuine friends and get connected in college because I always had to go home. At school I didn't have many people to talk to and when I was back at home I still didn't have anyone to talk to. This was one of the darkest times of my life. I realized that this moment was the moment when I began to drift away from God. Once my second semester came I got a job at the mall because I needed an excuse not to go home. I, unfortunately, got caught up with the wrong group of friends and went to a bar for the first time. Needless to say this friendship didn't last too long, but I was longing for friendship and at the time they were listening they heard me desperately wanting people to hang out with and not be alone. 

Lesson Learned

During my college years I was nowhere near the Godly woman I am today. I was going out almost every weekend, underage drinking, and really just living my best life. I still got my work done though *pats self on the back* I had so much fun and made so many memories, but was I glorifying God while living my best life? Not at all. In 1 Corinthians 15: 33 says, "bad company corrupts good character." My depression caused me to seek companionship from people who I should not have been seeking companionship from. The devil knew what I was going through and distracted me with what seemed like good friendships. 

To the college student going through depression and wanting friendship, if you truly want to live for God, don't get distracted. In this moment your spirit is vulnerable and can be corrupted very easily. You are stronger than your depression, but you are not stronger than the desires that come from the depression. If you need friendship, join organizations that line up with what you believe in i.e Campus Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, NAACP, Black Student Union, (if your school offers these) and so many more. These are organizations that will allow you to meet like minded people and still be true to yourself as a believer. Also don't listen to depressing songs (haha) these sad songs that you think are getting you through are only feeding the depression--it's not really helping, trust me. 

If you have suffered from depression during any season of your life i'd love to know how you overcame it in the comments below. If you would like me to pray for you, send me an email or leave me a comment if you feel comfortable doing so. Dont forget to like and share this post if you feel this helped you. 

Love, Light, and Peace to you.

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

Faith Series: Alicia Rollins

Hi everyone. I am pleased to introduce our second Christian blogger in the 'Faith Series' Alicia Rollins. You're going to love this one, too. Don't forget to leave us comments and share this with your friends.

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1. Introduction (short 2-3 sentence bio--give snapshot of what your blog/social media page is about)

Hi! My name is Alicia Rollins and I am a speaker, author, and creative director! Most of my work is centered around inspirational content, music videos, and documentaries.

2. What is the one Bible scripture you live by? Why?

The guiding scripture of my life is Luke 4: 18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” I strongly feel convicted that this verse is my calling in life. Everything I do is to be in alignment with that calling. This was Jesus speaking but as I emulate him, I want to continue his work in this world.

3. What is your testimony?

Roughly around 2014 was when I truly encounter Christ for the first time. It was in a bible study at my church in Baton Rouge and after I left I could feel that God loved me. It was a different feeling knowing that God loves you and has chosen you. I think for most of my life I had struggled with acceptance and wanted to be in the “in” crowd so badly. God was saying to me, despite your past, I still choose you. Despite everything, I want you to be my child. That feeling was like no other. But I still had things and people I needed to let go of. I still had residual internal issues that stemmed from those acceptance struggles of the past. It took me a bit over a year to be truly free. Through broken relationships and a season of depression, God allowed me to see what he had been trying to show me my entire life, that I was enough. I didn’t have to sleep with anyone to be enough. I didn’t have to fight to prove my love to him, God chose me without any reservations. That was something I had never had and something I never wanted to lose.

4. What does your quiet time with God look like? (bible/bible app resources used, time of day, etc.)

My quiet time looks different every day. Sometimes it’s me reading through a plan on the Bible app, other times I watch videos on Right Now Media. They have really great resources breaking down scripture from well-rounded ministers/pastors. Other times it’s me praying while I am on the way to work. I love listening to worship music on the way to work and really getting centered for my day. It helps me remember God’s faithfulness and encourages me especially when I’m prepping for a difficult day at work. I usually try to do it first in the morning but sometimes it’s in the evening when I am winding down.

5. Why have you chosen to use your social media platform to talk about your faith journey?

Social media is a tool. Just like anything else in your life, it can be used to be a good influence or a bad influence. I choose to be a light on social as it can be a sea of bad influences. I want people to see that you can be a person of faith and live a regular/fun life. I feel that my faith allows me to live a more free and abundant life and I want my platforms to represent that.

6. Any tips/advice for new believers or believers who seemed to have lost their way?

My best advice is to find community. You can’t do this faith thing alone. It’s hard. I never want anyone to be disillusioned to think you just wake up one day and don’t want to do the things you used to do or have messups. But, you are encouraged and strengthened by living in community with others who are on the same path as you. The times where I really felt lost was because I felt alone and like I was the only person going through what I was going through. Community allows you to see that it is not the case at all. Live in community with other believers.

7. Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like people to know about?

Right now I am entering the film festival circuit for my documentary “Shades of HER: A Commentary on Colorism” It’s one of my passion projects and the first documentary I directed. It can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy5wRFLASrY

8. Where can people get in touch with you? (social media handles and blog/website)

My IG: aliciaj.rollins My website: www.aliciajrollins.com

Thank you Alicia for your encouraging words. Be sure to comment below, like, and share this with others. 

Love, Light, & Peace to you,

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

Faith Series: Hanha Hobson

Hi everyone. I am pleased to introduce Hanha Hobson. This interview truly blessed me and I can't wait for y'all to read it. Be sure to check Hanha out over at her blog and connect with her on social--links are at the end of the interview. 

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 1. Introduction (short 2-3 sentence bio--give snapshot of what your blog/social media page is about)

Hi, my name is Hanha and I am the founder and writer behind Transparency Blog, a faith-based blog helping hundreds of women grow in their faith and uncover their identity in Christ. By sharing real stories and reminding them that they are not alone, I am passionate about encouraging and loving people through written works and events. A few fun facts? I’m addicted to Grey’s Anatomy, I have a special place in my heart for Chickfila, and I love connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!

2. What is the one Bible scripture you live by? Why?

My favorite Bible verse hands down is 2 Corinthians 12:9, "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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I love this verse because it reminds me that God’s grace is everything I need. I don’t have to have it all together. I don’t have to be perfect. In fact, God encourages the opposite! When I decide to delight in my suffering, God’s strength is made perfect. I can completely depend on Him and He will take care of everything.

3. What is your testimony?

My first year of college was probably one of the hardest years of my life. It was the first time I felt like I didn’t have a community, and everything I found identity in was taken away. I had never felt so alone, and I questioned absolutely everything about my faith.

There was a moment when I remember being on the phone with my mom confused about who I was as a person. But she encouraged me to read the Bible with her from the start of Genesis to the end of Revelation. We emailed scripture back and forth and wherever one stopped, the other would pick up until we had finished the entire Bible.

Growing up in the church, I always knew the Bible stories, but rereading about Moses and the children of Israel was the perfect illustration and parallel to my life at the time. Before truly walking with God, I was broken, insecure, lost, empty, confused, and prideful. I was just like the children of Israel who were trapped in bondage under Pharaoh’s rule. But instead of a king, I was trapped by worldly chains like the opinions of others, idols of success, and the desire to be perfect.

That’s actually how I found God or should I say He found me? It’s almost as if He showed up and poured out His grace, love, and mercy all over me. I was overwhelmed by His faithfulness and how He chose to love me in spite of my brokenness. He pursued me when I didn’t want to be pursued, and accepted me when I couldn’t even accept myself.

So in October of 2012, I made the decision to rededicate my life to Christ and fully surrender myself to Him. I remember standing in church one Sunday morning sobbing because I finally felt whole and loved. It was my first step towards a relationship with Christ, and since then, I have been determined to live solely for Him. I’ve never looked back since.

4. What does your quiet time with God look like? (bible/bible app resources used, time of day, etc.)

My quiet time with God varies. But generally, I like to spend time in the morning reading a short devotional or studying the Bible to set the tone for my day. And in the evenings, I like to spend time in deep prayer or journaling.

When it comes to studying the Bible, I love using a life application study Bible or reading commentary to help me better understand what’s going on in the text. Apps like Blue Study Bible is a helpful tool for this! When it comes to reading devotionals, I’m currently loving Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, but apps like Youversion have great options as well.


My method of studying the Bible involves the SOAP method - scripture, observation, application and prayer.  I’ll usually read a passage of scripture and think about a particular verse that stands out to me. Then I’ll take note of what the verse is saying, decide how I can apply it to my daily life, and then pray and ask God to help me with that.

I have a couple of posts that can help you if you’re looking for ways to grow in your study time too:

●      Helpful Bible Study Method (SOAP)

●      10 Ways to Remove Distractions and Choose God First

●      Going Deeper: Bible Study Resources

●      Help! I Get Anxious When Studying the Bible

5. Why have you chosen to use your social media platform to talk about your faith journey?

I chose social media to talk about my faith journey because it was the easiest place to start! As I continued growing in my relationship with Christ, I had this overwhelming urge to just tell everyone about Jesus. I would meet God in my prayer time, and without fail, I would come out literally wanting to shout from the rooftops. I wanted the WHOLE. WIDE. WORLD. to know how good God was, and I remember telling God, “I just want everyone to know you.”

I believe one encounter with God can change someone’s whole life. And I wanted to create a space where people could have that. Whenever someone comes across anything Transparency Blog related whether it be an email, a blog post, or these mini-blog Instagram captions ... I pray that they will feel like they met Jesus, that they will feel just how loved they ACTUALLY are, and get a small glimpse of why I’m so freaking crazy about the Man who saved me from my own self.

6. Any tips/advice for new believers or believers who seemed to have lost their way?

My advice for anyone who is a new believer or has seemed to have lost their way is to first plug  yourself into a good church, and then find some ways to spend consistent and quality time with God! Those two things will literally help you grow in your faith.

A good church will provide you with an encouraging and supportive community that can also provide accountability in living a godly life. And spending time with God consistently will just help you grow deeper in your relationship with Christ. That in and of itself will just blow you away. You will begin to be so amazed by God’s love and grace that you’ll wonder how you lived your life without Him!

If you’re looking for some guidance in this area, check out the Jesus is Bae Challenge! Or you can also check out my Christian Survival Guide if you’re looking for more encouragement in this area.

 7. Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like people to know about?

Yes, 2 things!

I’m publishing two devotional books that are scheduled to release this fall so that’s super exciting. The first one is called Jesus is Bae, which helps people learn what it means to be in a relationship with Christ and the second one is called #TheConfessionsProject which is a devotional book filled with 52 God-given promises that believers can declare over their life!

And lastly, I’m planning another T-Time event with a friend called Truth or Dare Raleigh, and that’s scheduled for Friday, September 21! Everyone should stay tuned for that. It’s going to be SO fun!

8. Where can people get in touch with you? (social media handles and blog/website)

People can find me blogging over at www.cleartranspareny.com or if they want to connect more, I’m always hanging on Instagram at @transparencyblog or Facebook at Transparency Blog. Or you can email me at hello@cleartransparency.com

Let me know what you thought of this interview in the comments. Be sure to like, comment, and share. 

Love, Light, & Peace to you,

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

Faith Series: Introduction + My Answers

Hi everyone! :)

I am so excited to present to you a new series on the blog "Faith". Each week I will release a Q+A with a fellow Christian blogger. God placed it on my heart to begin this series because there will be times where you may need something that I don't have to give you, but someone else out there does. So with that being said every Tuesday you will meet a new Christian blogger and hear all about their faith journey. For the sake of this introductory post I will present to you the questions I asked them and go ahead and answer them and on Tuesday you will meet the first Christian blogger.

1. Introduction (short 2-3 sentence bio--give snapshot of what your blog/social media page is about)

If you are new to my site and haven't read my about me post yet--my name is KiYada Upshaw. I am a devoted believer, wife, and aspiring entrepreneur and speaker. My blog and social media page is all about my journey. It initially started off as something completely different than what it will begin to be moving forward. I wanted this blog to showcase my rise to being this fashion designer, but as I continued to talk about God in the process I loved pouring out my highs and lows in all areas of my life and letting people know how He brought me through it or how He is bringing me through it. 

2. What is the one Bible scripture you live by? Why?

Romand 8:31 

 "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Romans 8 is an amazing chapter, please read the whole thing if you haven't. This verse along with many others are getting me through this season in life. For the longest I was looking for validation in likes, comments, and follows then I finally realized I am not doing this of myself, but of God. My validation comes from God, so if He has given me this vision then I know that He is surely for me not the people I am looking to for validation. What I have to offer is not for everyone, so the select people who my content is for like, comment, and share. Let me know in the comments if you'd like me share a blog post of my favorite Bible scriptures. 

3. What is your testimony?

I feel like testimonies are never ending. We should always be willing to dye to our flesh and allow God to bring us through. In this season of my life my testimony is waiting and trusting in God. I am aware that the plan has already been made, but that doesn't mean that I easily accept this. Daily I am asking God to help me to be self-aware and mindful when thoughts try to arise to cause me to worry or be anxious and create a false environment based on the unknown, based off of desires that God did not place in my heart. Although I have not overcame this yet, this is still my testimony because it took my a while to get to the point where I can notice the thoughts and release them before going into a mental panic attack. 

4. What does your quiet time with God look like? (bible/bible app resources used, time of day, etc.)

I use the YouVersion Bible app. I have been loving it ever since i downloaded it. I realize that i enjoy reading plans because I don't have a true study Bible. I keep meaning to order one from Amazon. I enjoy going through the devotionals--i can set a reminder to read the plan. So in the mornings before work I put on meditation music and read the reading plan for the day. In my journal I write down whatever I feel like was key from the devotional and also the scripture(s) that were listed. At the end I write in "Apply It" in my journal and write down how i can apply what was mentioned to life today. I can say on weekends this is a bit harder to do because I am not on a set schedule of waking up, but I just pick it up wherever I am in the day or the next day. And if God leads me, I sometimes share it on my stories--make sure you're following me to see those in the highlights of my insta stories.

After I finish the reading plan for the day I go into regular journaling then I write down prayers. I never realized that's what I was doing until recently. I am visual and I feel like the way I hear God talking to me is when I write what He is saying down in my journal--which works perfectly in times where I need to go back and reflect--His words are with me even when my mind in so full of thoughts and I can't reference a Bible scripture. 

5. Why have you chosen to use your social media platform to talk about your faith journey?

I choose to use my social media to talk about Jesus because one I love Him so much. He didn't have to give me his grace. He didn't have to lay his life down for me--so why not talk about someone who would think of me before i was even thought of.

Secondly, I'm so tired of the negativity. The devil is using people for things like cyber bullying, comparisons, self-doubt, and so many other things that are just not positive. For a while I thought about deleting all my social media accounts, but I didn't want to be disconnected since this is the way we communicate, so i figured if I am going to use this tool I am going to use it to spread positivity and bring God and Jesus back into people's lives because so many people seem to have forgotten about him. 

6. Any tips/advice for new believers or believers who seemed to have lost their way?

For new believers: Live moment to moment. Each new breathe you take is a new moment, a fresh new start. God gives each and everyone of us His grace and don't ever think you're unworthy because you are completely worthy, if you are breathing you are worthy. It wont be easy, especially when you first give your life to him. Everyone and everything will come at you left and right and the only way to keep your salvation is to get around believers who can pray for you and with in times of temptation.

Believers who have lost their way: Don't allow anyone to tell you that you are something you are not. Be sure to read my post on how my faith was tested. Had I allowed the devil to pry with my mind based off of something someone said who no longer knew anything about me, I would not be the believer I am today. Know that this is an individual walk and we all have to work on our own soul salvation. God knows your heart, but in Him knowing your heart, you also have to know yourself and have enough self control to do better each day and not return to ways he has saved you from. Remember each test will be harder each time you fail and when you yield to temptation whatever you were praying for you will have to wait even longer because you failed your test.

7. Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like people to know about?

Yes. Y'all I have so many new projects coming up. I am ecstatic. I hope you have checked out my SHOP page. This is the first of many more products to come to my online store. God is really giving me clarity and favor. I truly appreciate your support of my journey to entrepreneurship. 

8. Where can people get in touch with you? (social media handles and blog/website)

Blog: www.kupshawweekly.com | Social Media: Facebook and Instagram @kupshawweekly

Shop Social Media: @kiyadaupshaw

I hope that you enjoyed this and are looking forward to the amazing guest Christian bloggers. Leave me comments, let me know what you thought. If you need prayer feel free to email me. Don't forget to like and share post.

Love, Light, and Peace to you,

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

You Version App: Hope When It Hurts 7-Day Devotional RECAP

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If you are going through a tough situation it's okay if it draws you closer to God. -Pastor Matt Anderson of One Community Church

Overview

If you were following my Instagram about a month ago, I talked, in a few posts, about this 7-day devotional. I found this devotional during one of the worst and best times in my faith. Before I found this devotional, my faith was challenged and for a split second I almost let what this person said crush me. That one sentence really had me questioning my relationship with God. In the beginning I was so upset. I was like how dare said person say xyz. During this time I had absolutely no peace and all I could do was pull strength from the Hubs, the parentals, and the few people who knew the situation.

After my emotions calmed down and I finally reflected, I realized that I could be doing better, I could be doing more to secure in my relationship with God, and in the event that something like this ever occurred again, I wouldn't have to question my relationship with God, but know without a doubt that me and God and here (imagine me making the eye to eye motions).

Lesson Learned

There are so many lessons I learned from this one situation. 

First, I learned that pain and suffering is something we have to go through in order to accept and value joy and happiness. When we think back on Jesus and him dyeing for us, He took on our iniquities and transgressions, our sins and rose above them on the 3rd day. With that being said, pain and suffering will come, but because Jesus overcame them, we can surely overcome them too. We can overcome them because we draw our strength from what God hid inside of us.

Secondly, because I made a decision about 4 years ago to leave my childhood church, for personal reasons, the only thing I new about God and Jesus was from the foundation they laid for me. I had to, and still in the process, of uprooting that old foundation so I may lay a new one I can build on based upon what I believe to be true. 

Thirdly, I learned that everyday I have to make a decision to spend time with God. I have to be intentional with getting to know more about him. Not just when there is a problem, but just because I want and need him in my life everyday. When those words were said to me, I was heartbroken, I was in complete disbelief. I NEVER want to go through that again because I know how much God means to me. As hurtful as those words were, I needed to hear them so that I can put myself in check.

This y'all. This devotional was so much better than any other devotional I have every attempted to read. That's possibly why I would begin and then slack off. I never found anything that truly ministered to me. 

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this post, if you've read this devotional on the You Version Bible app or if you plan to read it. I'd love to compare notes and know what you got out of it. 

Love, Light, & Peace to You,

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

A Letter From My Deceased Grandmother :: Edna Mae

Overview

I stumbled upon a podcast titled Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbreth--the author of the self help book Big Magic. Which I have been meaning to read for a almost 2 years now. Anyway--I stumbled upon her podcast on my commute to work and listened to her interview with Hope, an aspiring poet. Hope’s story was literally my story, too. I have been wanting to do something really big that will set me on the path to entrepreneurship for while now and every time I think about taking that leap, I come up with some reason as to why I can’t or shouldn’t do it. Well Elizabeth suggested that Hope write herself a letter from her great grandmother and from her great grandchildren. I thought that was such a cool idea and decided to write myself a letter from my maternal grandmother whom I never got the pleasure of meeting, but as a young girl always wished I did.

Dear granddaughter,

You’re 24 now and what a beautiful young lady you have grown into. Although we haven’t met in person, I am always with you. I see you when you wake up and I watch over you as you go throughout the day. They say you can’t miss someone you never met, but that’s not true. Everyday I miss you. That hug I never got to give you. That kiss I never got to give. And most important, the teachings you or your mother never received.

Here’s a little bit about me. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away at 28. Before then, I was very active in the St. Mary Parish community helping those in the projects and Section VIII housing. I wish I could be there with you right now--be there for your mother and your brother. Unfortunately, my time on Earth came to an end, but if I was standing by your side I would give you that hug you never got, give you that kiss you never got, and tell you how beautiful you are and how proud I am of you. My spirit lives inside of you, why do you think your Uncle always gave you money when you were younger? When he saw you, he saw me. Thank you for following your dreams. I want to encourage you to continue to follow your heart because you live in a time where women are capable of doing such remarkable things. Never stop learning and never stop reaching for the stars because that’s where you’ll find me--beyond the stars.

Love always,

Grandmother Edna Mae

The Lesson

As I was writing this letter I could feel her presence. The spirit I always knew was there when I’d think about her as a young girl. I got really teary eyed and wanted to just pour out the tears because she was gone way too soon and it just opens my eyes at how blessed I am to live in a time where health care, medication, and ultimately health knowledge is available to me. Missing someone you never knew is very real especially when you know a part of them lives within you. I honestly feel like her spirit of being activism lives within me, just in a different way.

Let me know what you thought and if you decide to try out this exercise in the comments below. You can write a letter from whoever you chose to write one from even if the person isn’t deceased. Get what you need to follow your dreams and do it for the ones who came before and for the ones who will come after you.

Love, Light, and Peace to You

-KUpshaw

 

 

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.