Spiritual Journey

Girls with Pearls; Guys with Ties

Hey!

Last weekend, I had the HONOR of conducting part of a workshop titled: “Girls with Pearls’ Guys with Ties.”  This workshop was geared toward young girls and young men ages 8-17.  The pearl reference is to show the girls the correlation between the priceless, incomparable value of pearls, and the value of themselves.  The title of our segment was “Remaining Pure in an Impure World,” where we presented Own Your Peach.  It had been quite some time since I allowed God to use me in this way, so I was somewhat nervous.  However, that was eliminated the moment we arrived!!

For the elementary school age girls, we had the girls create self-portraits.  The point of this was to get them to see how they view themselves, and why.  It was also to remind them of the importance to see themselves the way God sees them, beautiful inside and out.  The early adolescent period is crucial for a girl’s emotional and psychological development.  We must dig deep and consistently reinforce positive, healthy self-concepts.  They need to be reminded of their worth and value, especially because images they see in the media fails to do this.  The third point of this exercise was to show them that how we view ourselves, whether good or bad, impacts our lives at school, with family, friends, etc.  At the end of the activity, we had the girls present their self-portrait in front of the rest of the group.  This was great to see because initially, the girls were apprehensive about speaking in front of the large group.  But it was amazing to see the encouragement that they showed one another throughout this unfamiliar process.

The middle school girls had a different activity.  We played a unique game of BINGO.  Some of the BINGO pieces said things like “believes sex is a bad thing,” “believes that God loves us no matter what,” and “loves chocolate.”  The point of these BINGO pieces was to open up and encourage a conversation between the girls and their mothers about sex, abstinence, and purity.  That is one of the goals for Own Your Peach.  Not just to encourage abstinence, but to create a community that encourages open dialogue between young girls and women about the struggles they face.  This BINGO game was successful because everyone left encouraged, light-hearted, and empowered to continue the conversation.

Finally, we met with the high school girls, where the conversation got deep.  We discussed bullying, premarital sex and the emotional consequences, and the importance of positive relationships among young women.  We also dialogued about Own Your Peach’s up-and-coming website relaunch, goals and events.  We also discussed the mission of Own Your Peach which seeks to meet girls and women at whatever life stage they are in; regardless of their religious affiliation or lack thereof.  The girls also had an opportunity to share their input regarding what services and outreach programs they would benefit from through Own Your Peach.  This part of the workshop was especially powerful because myself and one of our other mentors had the opportunity to share our personal experiences coming into adult womanhood.  We always seek to empower, encourage and provide a safe, transparent, relatable space for the girls to belong and connect.

Although I always seek to be an encouragement to the girls we are privileged to meet.  However, they never cease to amaze and encourage me to continue striving to be the best version of myself.

Until next time…check out some pictures below from our successful event.  The remaining photos are posted on the Own Your Peach website.

All in all, God graced us with a successful event and we CANNOT WAIT for the official relaunch of the website!! Stay tuned. Hit follow and be the FIRST to know!

Elementary-age girls 🙂

oyp2.png

oyp1.png

Middle school-age ladies 🙂

oyp3.png

oyp4.png

oyp5.png

We love silly pics! Some of us anyway. lol

High school ladies in deep thought…

oyp6.png

High school ladies with one of the grandmothers/gracious event hosts

oyp7.png

Final silly pic 🙂

oyp8.png

Farkarwa

Spiritual Journey

Are you a turtle?

Happy Friday!

I had something on my heart today that I wanted to share with you all.  As you know, part of this blog will share some of my spiritual journey.  And today’s post fits that description.  Let’s get to it!

So, I run a trail right outside of my neighborhood every morning.  Like clockwork.  So much that I pretty much see the same people each time.  It’s located right behind a school, so sometimes I see the children playing outside.  I often find myself reminiscing about the innocence of childhood that they still get to experience.

Well, today was no different.  I hadn’t even worked up a sweat, when I approached what I thought was a large rock from a distance.  As I got closer, I noticed it was a turtle!  Now, I’ve never been a person who is fascinated by a turtle.  However, this time was peculiar.  I felt inclined to stop and get a picture.  The turtle was minding his/her business, doing what turtles do (whatever that is)…until he/she saw me.  Not just as another part of nature.  But as a potential threat.  I witnessed the turtle with its neck extended, only to quickly stick its head back into its shell.  I immediately thought to myself, “how many times have I acted like this turtle?  How many times have I reverted back into my ‘shell/comfort zone’ because of fear, discouragement, or a perceived potential threat/disappointment?

I am not referring to the times where I practice God-given wisdom and discernment with life’s situations and people.  In fact, Psalm 119:66 reads: “Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.”  Additionally, James 3:17 shares with us that wisdom from Heaven is “pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

As we can see, applying knowledge that God gives us is important.  Instead, I am referring to the times where God has planted a seed in my heart, and because of my fear of the unknown…I chose not to follow-through.  Have you ever been guilty of this?  If you’re like me, where your faith has wilted at times, causing you to be like a turtle and ‘put your head back in your shell,’ may I encourage you for a moment?  Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we “take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  I believe the key part of this verse is not the Lord giving us what we want, because He can do any and everything according to His perfect will.  But the importance is in delighting in Him.  Taking pleasure in spending quality time with Him through prayer and studying His word.  Taking pleasure in knowing that He has our best interest at heart. Therefore, we have no reason to live in such fear.

After-all, the writer of Romans reminds us in Chapter 8, Verse 31: “What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Therefore, he would never give us a reason to revert into our shell, but to stand bold and firm in His promises to love and care for us.  As He has already proven.  I mean, He does have a perfect tract-record.

Have a beautiful, faithful weekend!

turtle3.png

Farkarwa

Uncategorized

#MeatlessMonday Mock *Chipotle* Burrito

‘Dooo you knowww what todayyyy is?’

No, it’s not my anniversary…it’s #MEATLESSMONDAY!

Can you feel the excitement? I hope so! Because I have a good one for you. Another simple, yummy, healthy, #Meatless idea for those of us who have had a hectic Monday and want to wind down to something light and fresh-tasting. As much as I looooove cooking (those who know me know that I do. I’m frequently bugging family and friends with pictures of my little creations), there are times where I do NOT feel like spending 45min-2hrs over a hot stove. (Yes, I can spend that much time in the kitchen. I cook with love, so I tend to get lost in it! Lol) AND it’s Summer in Texas? Aint nobody got time for that. Today anyway.

Okay, enough rambling. Let’s get to it.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Shout-out to all the mamas! You make the world go ‘round. Life comes from you. I thank GOD for you. You are loved and appreciated. In any decent Mother’s Day fashion, there was LOTS of good eating. MY mama wanted to have lunch at a place called “This is It” which is a historical soul-food restaurant in Houston, TX. My true Houstonians know about this place and its popularity over the last 50+ years. Anywhoo, we. Ate. Good. From oxtails, pepper steak, rice and gravy, collard greens, mac and cheese, turkey legs, yams, and cornbread. We at it all. And I had my fair share. That being said…I was looking forward to going meatless today. To recover. And my body sure needed it. So, I came up with this “mock Chipotle” burrito. Similar to last week’s veggie tacos, but a little different. And it still takes less than 30min from start to finish. Hope you enjoy! I sure did 🙂

Mock “Chipotle” Burrito

What You will need to ‘Dig In’:

1 cup Jasmin rice

¼ cup quinoa

1 can black beans *I typically stick to organic canned goods (and produce as much as possible)*

1 can sweet corn, drained

2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

2 large carrots, shredded

Pico de Gallo

2 radishes, chopped

2 organic tortillas

Parmesan cheese

Olive oil

Fresh fruit

burrito1.png

Instructions:

Add rice and quinoa medium-large pot

Add 2 1/4 cups of water and cook for approximately 20min, set aside

Cook black beans and corn as instructed on can, set aside

While rice, black beans, and corn are cooking, chop remaining vegetables

Once rice and quinoa are fully cooked, in medium pan, add 1 teaspoon olive oil

Turn to medium-high heat

Coat both sides of tortilla with olive oil, allow to cook for 1min on each side

Remove from heat

Add all ingredients to tortilla based on your preference

Serve with fresh fruit

Enjoy!

burrito2.pngFarkarwa

Uncategorized

Let’s talk about…sex?

Disclaimer: This is not what you might have been thinking.  This wont contain any juicy secrets or stories.  In fact, it contains the complete opposite.  I was lead to create this post because I can’t count how many times I have been asked, “what are you waiting for?” “does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?” “are you/why are you a prude?” OR how many times I’ve been called a “goodie goodie.” *insert eye roll* OR how many times someone has simply/genuinely inquired about it.

 Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate being a 27—going on 28-year-old virgin.  Yes, a VIRGIN!  Oh my goodness.  Did I just ‘say’ that?  I’ll allow you a few moments to gather your thoughts or ‘clutch your pearls’ as they say.

Are we good?  Good.  Let’s dig in.

Noooo I don’t run around screaming this information or forcing it onto the masses, but it is something that I am no longer uncomfortable discussing.  As a matter of fact, I invite and appreciate the conversation it elicits.  Now, had I known this would be part of God’s plan for me to reach my destination, I probably would have prepared my 10-year-old self when I naively made such a declaration to “wait to have sex until I’m married.”

Before we continue, allow me to set some ground work and provide this disclaimer: Sex is beautiful.  It was created by God.  It is not dirty or disgusting.  It is not something to be ashamed to speak about…in the proper context.  It was created to be enjoyed FREQUENTLY between husband and wife.

Now that we have that out of the way.  As a little girl, growing up in church, it was automatically a ‘thing’ that sex is intended for marriage.  Christians know this.  It was not a conversation piece.  You just didn’t question it.  My fellow church brats know this.  However, at a young age, I felt inclined to take a personal stance.  No one coached me into it.  Neither of my parents had the dreaded “talk” with me.  I felt not an ounce of pressure to conform to this ideology.  I just knew it was something I wanted to share and experience with my husband only.  At the tender age of 10, that was all it was.  The depth and breadth of it all came later.  About 13 years later to be exact.  You’ll see what I mean later in this post.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, my reasoning to ‘save myself for marriage’ extends further than biblical principles.  Although it happens to be the root of my choice, there was more to it for me because I didn’t consider it a burdensome commitment.  The word of God teaches us that we were created in the image of God: Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  And that our bodies are a holy temple: 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  And that we should conduct and express ourselves based on these truths.

In addition to my faith, my reasons for choosing to ‘wait’ are quite complex.  Over time, I would hear stories from friends about how they had given their body to someone, who only left them heartbroken and abandoned.  Who wants to experience that?  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!  The way my heart and mind are setup…I knew that wasn’t an option for me.  So, that added weight to my “no!”  I understand that sex in and of itself does not lead to heartbreak.  And the lack thereof does not prevent it altogether.  However, I am only speaking for myself.  And my experience has allowed me to avoid extensive ties with men whom I would have deemed it impossible to move on from had that level of intimacy been reached.

Until recent years, my decision to remain sexless also stemmed partly from fear.  Not fear of getting in trouble with my parents or anything like that.  Not even fear of the pain experienced during my first time.  But fear of consequences I was not interested in facing.  Whether it was unplanned pregnancy, diseases, etc.  Now, some might say “those things can happen when you get married too!  Look at the divorce rate!  Look how common infidelity is!”  I get it.  I REAAALLY do.  Fortunately, I am no longer fearful of the negative consequences.  Instead, I became hopeful and optimistic of the benefits that accompany saving myself for marriage (if that is in God’s plan for my life).  I look forward to sharing this precious gift with my husband.  OFTEN.  God will be pleased!  Amen!  Aaaaand I have an opportunity to hopefully be an example to those around me.

This leads me to my final reason for such a commitment: *drumroll*…PURITY!

Purity is defined as “freedom from contamination.”

1 Timothy 4:12 advises us to be an “example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”  More so, Philippians 4:8, which also happens to be one of my favorite scriptures, tells us to purify ourselves and think on things that are pure and godly.  We purify ourselves from the inside out.  That is what I strive for.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I understand that if I seek purity…not marriage…not pleasing those around me…that everything will awaken itself at the appropriate time.

A turning point for me, was during my final semester of undergrad.  It was when I realized my true purpose about this whole ‘waiting until marriage/purity’ thing.  I realized it was soooo much bigger than lil ‘ol me.  I began to realize that GOD already had a plan for my life that would be centered on this concept.  But I have just begun to scratch the surface.  Upon realizing this, I was lead to found a nonprofit organization (Own Your Peach Inc.) with hopes to encourage other young girls and women around the world to see the benefits in this decision.  My purpose is not to ‘convince’ people one way or another.  But hopefully inspire those around me to see that there is a different option.  The one that God praises.  It is no longer so much of a ‘save yourself until marriage’ issue, but an ‘honor God and myself with my body’ commitment.  You can learn more about Own Your Peach here 

This adventure has sent me on a journey greater than my ten-year-old, innocent, angelic, pure heart bargained for.  And I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Why would I?  We’re just getting started.

Farkarwa

16991877_1096108893867846_6821134504650477813_o

Meatless Monday

#MeatlessMonday Mia’s Vegetarian Tacos

Happy #MeatlessMonday everyone!

Today’s recipe sounds too good to be true.  Why?  Because not only is it CRAZY delicious, but it only takes 15MIN…from start to finish!!  Crazy, right?  Maybe. 🙂  Anywhoo, I had a taste for tacos.  And I knew that it had to be meatless.  And, I didn’t want to spend a ton of time standing over the stove.  This recipe is perfect for a quick, yummy, light, semi-healthy (if you don’t count the tortillas) MEATLESS lunch or dinner after a long day.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! Chime in and let me know if you’re going to try them.  And let me know how they turn out!

Mia’s 15-min Vegetarian Tacos

What You will need to ‘Dig In’:

Picture2

Fresh in-store made tortillas (our local grocery store makes them fresh daily)

2 large carrots

1- 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen kale (I usually freeze mine a couple days after buying to make sure it doesn’t go bad)

Cilantro (for topping)

Guacamole (for topping)

**you can make your own or buy fresh from the grocery store

Pico de Gallo (for topping)

Parmesan cheese (for topping)

Extra virgin olive oil

Butter (optional)

Instructions:

With a shredder or knife, carefully shred the carrots into thin slices

Add kale to small pan on medium heat

Cook for 1 min, remove from pan and set aside (I cook the kale first because kale can produce a lot of water)

Drain any excess water

Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to pan

Add carrots and cook for 3-4min, tossing often

Add cooked kale to pan with carrots

Season to taste (I used garlic powder, paprika, parsley, and a pinch of all-purpose seasoning)

Set aside

vegetarian tacos

Tortillas:

**This process is just to warm the tortillas since you’ve already purchased them fresh**

Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter (optional) to small pan on medium-high heat

Once almost melted, add tortilla to pan, quickly coating both sides with butter

Allow one side to lightly brown (approx. 30 seconds)

Turn-over and allow other side to brown

Serve with toppings.

Serving size: 2 tacos

*These ingredients make 2 servings

Enjoy!

Picture1

Copyright @MiaCreswell2017

Uncategorized

#MeatlessMonday

Hi there!

So, I have been doing a #MeatlessMonday challenge with some friends and family since March 27, 2017.  The idea is to eliminate meat from our diets every Monday for the rest of the year.  In this Facebook group, we share recipes and encourage one another to move towards healthier eating and lifestyle habits.  We are not food/health experts.  Everything we share is simply what works for us.  I stumbled the second week and gave into the pressure while I was at work.  So, I ‘made up for it’ the following day by going meatless.  But I’ve been sticking to it since!  If you stumble, just get back up!  Initially, I thought it was a bit extreme to commit to going meatless on Monday’s for the rest of the year.  But honestly, it’s been great.  It allows me to get more creative with my meals when I’m up to it.  And I’m incorporating so much more veggies and fruits into my diet.  I’ve even been getting my family to go along with it, and they’ve been allowing me to experiment with them on the recipes I muster up.  So far, all happy tummies!  That being said, you will see a new post every Monday in celebration of #MeatlessMonday.  If you are seeing this for the first time, no worries!  It’s not too late to join us.  To join, search on Facebook for “MeatlessMondays 2017!”

Uncategorized

Awaken!

I have awakened eager and prepared to share my purpose with you! This is a place where I will be sharing my unique spiritual journey, as well as my passion for spiritual and physical food.  My hope is to inspire and encourage at least one person along the way.  Will you journey with me? Make yourself comfortable!

Note: “Awaken” translates to “Farkarwa”  in the language “Hausa,” which is one of the most spoken languages in Nigeria.  You will find me using the term frequently.