L-O-V-E, More than a song or a day…


What does it mean, L O V E?

It is a condition of the heart and of the mind. Love is a concept bigger than humanity, but we are gifted daily with the opportunity to experience it. Love is brilliant and mysterious, and perplex, and multi-dimensional. Love is a breeze in springtime and the sunlight in a cold winter. God is love. God’s love is sacrificial and unending, it’s full of grace and forgiveness. When one who is a believer looks for a standard to follow, it shouldn’t be people, movies, or myths, but God. Humans err. It’s innate in our nature. We rise and fall like the ebb and flow of the waves, but God is everlasting. He is infinite and vast. Our understanding will never be His understanding though we seek to enlarge our mental composition with His help and grace.

valentineWe are approaching a season where love is commercially celebrated. Do not mistake that sentence for an arrow or shade. While I highlight the fact that it is when stores, shop owners, jewelers, and restaurants hike up prices and promote sales all in the name of love, I enjoy the season when love is on display. I am a believer in the sentimental things that come from building a relationship and knowing someone. Knowing if that person likes mixed chocolates with mystery cream, all in the name of having a gift (lol, I do not like mystery chocolate). Or even if that person wants to be a part the Valentine shuffle at all, because some people don’t (I do 🙂 ).

I love LOVE. Literally. I love the idea and concept of ceremonially drawing attention to those whom you feel an unremarkable affection for. Furthermore, I celebrate those who CHOOSE love daily. There is a difference between being in a relationship for default reasons (public commitment without private effort, business agreements code name marriage – when the covenant is missing, or even because you don’t want to be alone – ALL RED FLAGS) and those who are intentional about doing the work to sustain love after the feeling has faded. Did I lose you?

Love, the feeling, according to some research in a book I love -> The Five Love Languages , gives the max “falling in love feeling” two years. That means after that time frame, the rose-colored shades may fall off like the scales on Paul’s eyes after the Damascus road. Then, one must actively choose daily to be self-less in his or her relationship. If God is the model, there can be no selfishness. So, you must chose daily to communicate, care for, hear out, forgive, sacrifice for, provide for, nurture, respect, and honor the one you love.

During the month of February, I will highlight via video a few people who have who have endured and come out on top as it relates to love and marriage. The truth is, one can love even in tough times. As a matter of fact, I would argue that how you love when you don’t feel like it speaks to the depth of that love. I can only think of a million times that God could have withdrawn His love from me, but MERCY said NO!

Enjoy the days leading up to the public celebrations of love and the private ones that we can only imagine occur within the parameters of healthy relationships. Enjoy the holiday and the splashes of non-anatomical hearts, pinks, reds, purples, and whites glittered throughout stores, the love songs streaming the airwaves, and the reservations as they are made. Enjoy the standard of Love and the human journey to be more like Him. Then come over to the blog and enjoy the videos soon to thrill you!

In LOVE and crushing on my Valentine,


Ivy Out                        


2017 Conclusions

According to some brief googling… the word grace is mentioned 170 times in the KJV of the Holy Bible. 170 reminders of what I need to exude in the 1,440 minutes of each day. If I got nothing else out of 2017, I was reminded that the Lord has extended a great deal of grace to me. I am also to extend that grace to others. The strongest acts of love and grace are to extend it to those who need it most.

2017 taught me A LOT. 🙂

Ivy Out

My final sister feature is Jai Pierre Raven. “How did God grow you in 2017?”

Mentally: God grew my mind with not only vision but the focus and stillness to listen and hear the divine messages to guide me as I walk in my purpose. I started offering meditation classes at my studio last year and while I was guiding my sisters in this practice on Saturday mornings, it became a process for me to be more intentional about my own meditations. Now, when I ‘hear’ the message, I do not second guess, I accept it and move forward trusting the process. At times, it can be scary but gratitude pushes me through to not be afraid to claim the blessings that are in store. Affirmation: My thoughts are divine and I will cancel the negative and accept the positive as my sacred compass.

Physically: My body went through some changes last year to say the least. I gained some weight and went up some bra sizes, lol. And then several months into the year, I lost some weight. I came to realize, just as I have a new God-given mind, I have a new God-given body. I found myself frustrated in the beginning of this transformation. Then, I had to self-check and accept I am one and all connected mind, body and spirit. This means as my mind changes so will my body and my spirit. I begin to appreciate my expanding curves and celebrated with a trip to Victoria Secret. It also made me more intentional with exercise and diet. I wanted to honor my new and beautiful body just the way I am. Affirmation: I am a beautiful vessel and I will take very good care of my body in all shapes and sizes.

Spiritually: Without a doubt, hosting my first Self-Love Retreat grew me spiritually. From seeing the vision, planning and creating a space for my Tribe to bond and support each other, each endeavor was one that was spirit-lead. Trusting the divine messages as I made decisions fortunately came with ease. The challenges arose when I had to make decisions that may have disappointed some people. I lean on the words of Oprah who said ‘You cannot live a brave life without disappointing some people’. The Retreat was the most beautiful and soul lifting experience I have ever had in my life. I am honored God chose me to nurture this movement. I feel so blessed to have my Husband support my every move and my Tribe by my side doing their amazing work. I am forever grateful for the Sisters who attended the Retreat and allowed spirit to move through them that weekend. I will never be the same. Affirmation: I am divine being creating sacred spaces and I will nurture and protect those spaces.

Love and Light,






Yup, that error was my own…

There are times we can say with certainty, the enemy did XYZ. Then there are those times we know – OUTRIGHT – that the error was our own. A few blogs back, I admitted some of the choices I made in 2017 that were WRONG. Listen, I can own them now, as a mark of maturity. It wasn’t always so easy to admit that the pit I was in, was one I dug for myself. Childish, yes, but the reality is age isn’t an indication that childishness has been irradiated. We can detect that by how we react when we reflect. What is your default when you realize your choice should have been different? How fast do you bounce back? Do you reflect at all? What about repent? That turning away process is an entirely different blog…to come. I won’t be before you long because this sister had a lot to say. I need you to read every word. The blessing can come in the form of someone else’s lesson. ((See what I did there?))

2017 taught me to own my error and take the necessary action to change them…

Ivy Out

Today’s sister feature is Antoinette Staples. “How did God grow you in 2017?”


As I think back on my 2017, growth is one of many words that I would use to describe how God moved in my life. It was a year of stretching and learning. It was a year of setting boundaries, making sacrifices, and embracing change. God taught me how to find peace in my progress, perseverance in my process confidence in my in-between stages.  You know that weird space between here and there, between then and now, and between what was and what will be. Growth is sometimes the place that you can’t readily identify while it’s happening, but you know that it occurred because you are not where you used to be.

According to the world, growth is defined by “the process of increasing in physical size”. So considering this definition, I often had the misconception that in order to experience growth I needed to see the increase, I needed to see the bigger, the better, the more. While seeing increase is significant, it is not the ultimate reward. Through last year, God showed me that it is less about the increase and more about the process to get there. It is more about the work and intentionality behind the pursuit of my increase. Increase is what you reap once you have sown a little while, so in order to properly sow I had to learn what I needed where I was.

God showed me that there were some areas in my life that I had not yet been freed from. I distinctly remember one night in prayer God said something so profound to me. My prayer was not one of words, but it was one of tears. No words came from my lips and the emotions that flowed were wrapped in tears of defeat and discontentment. In that moment God spoke to my spirit, and said, “I have to let you go through this here, because where I am taking you, there won’t be any time for it there”. At 34 years of age, I had realized that I was still seeking acceptance and desiring approval, and at times it became very crippling and overwhelming.  Sometimes lack of support and unrealistic expectations of people can put you in that place. And although I thought I was beyond that, God allowed my broken and confused places to show me that I wasn’t.

So what did God show me about growth? He showed me that growth requires me to acknowledge my broken places so I can allow Him to heal and mend those spaces. God revealed to me that I had to accept my strengths and my weaknesses. God showed me in my growth that forgiveness is necessary, but so is setting boundaries. God showed me that Love is accepting, but it is not ACCEPTANCE – which means love is accepting of flaws, imperfections, and challenges, but it is not without correction and conviction (notice I didn’t say condemnation). God showed me that change is inevitable and the more I embrace it, the more I can learn from it. God showed me that sacrifice is being willing to let go of what I want for the short term, so I can have what God wants for me for the long term.

I won’t say that I figured it all out in 2017, but I will say that God has grown me in many places emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Last year I learned that I have not arrived, but the goal is not to arrive at all, it is to learn as much as God wants to teach me along the journey that leads to my destiny. God taught me that growth is all about my ability to expose my truth- good or bad, not necessarily to the world, but to myself and to Him. I’ve learned to say, “Less of me God and more of you”. That is real increase, and ultimately the best form of growth.


Levels of Truth

There’s nothing as satisfying, in 2018, like old school video games. Ok, there is, but you get the point. I remember playing Nintendo and Sega Genesis and getting really excited when I advanced to the next level. It never happened without some sort of battle. There was always tests of endurance and then an enemy that was guarding the exit of the current level and the open door to the next. In Mario Brothers, a victorious player would get to jump to the top of the flagpole and watch the points rack up as the victory song played. Well, life is like that game. There are spiritual levels and physical levels and career levels and relationship levels and… you name it… there are levels to this. I am grateful to have leveled up after 2017. It taught ME to put on the FULL armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) to stand against the enemy and remember I fight FROM VICTORY not for it.

In 2017, I learned to armor up to level up.

Ivy Out

My next sister feature is Sheridan Labbé…”How did God grow you in 2017?”

Thinking about how God grew me is such a pleasant twist on revisiting the ups and downs of 2017. God grew me by allowing me to learn more quickly when faced with adversity and setbacks. Instead of lingering on a roadblock, failed attempt,  or what may have seemed like a “no,” I have instead been blessed with the wisdom of discernment and clarity. Although I know there will be more tests to come, I’m more grounded with each test. My outlook has changed when it comes to negative experiences and encounters. I listen and trust my intuition more, especially when allowing new people and energy into my space.

God has also grown me by causing me to ask myself,  “Why wouldn’t I be deserving?” For so long I felt like I have to complete steps A-Z to receive certain blessings, but God showed me another way to operate. I am deserving because I AM. No longer will I sit back and think “I have to do this in order to be worthy of that.”

In the most important way, God drew me to be authentic, not only for myself but with others. It’s easy to be authentic with yourself when you’re alone but being who you are 100% of the time, with no apologies, is a life I strive to live daily. So many people don’t grow comfortable with who they are until much later in life after spending decades of hiding behind others expectations and projections,  but God blessed me with a tribe of women who serve as a mirror to me to live authentically every day and in every way.

2017 was growth. 2017 was understanding the beauty in growth. 2018 Mantra: I am deserving because I am. Bloom & Prosper.

Sheridan Labbe


2017 Blessings,Lessons

We are ELEVEN days into 2018. Can you believe it?? How are you doing? Are you still rejoicing and moving toward the goals you set? Don’t lose hope!



3 Letters that make all the difference.

B – Beneficial. Although we don’t always greet the lessons with open arms, because some of them are as comfy as thorns, they are always beneficial. They benefit us and those in our path that we will encourage from them.

I – Intentional. There is nothing haphazard or accidental about lessons. They aim for specificity. They very RARELY miss their mark. Lol

G – Grace. LISTEN. When we think of all of the many things God has done for us, then it’s easier to extend grace to others. Sometimes that’s taking the time to have the conversation where your lesson may be a blessing to someone else, paying kindness forward, or even a moment gratitude and worship.

2017 taught me to see the Blessing in my Lessons.

Ivy Out

Today I feature two sisters! Mrs. Desiree and Ms. Catheryn. Again, the questions is…how did God grow you in 2017?

Catheryn Kennard –
I believe I have goals and would like to continue growing and moving. In the past, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and stayed stagnant. No matter the pain I feel, I am still able to move forward for my daughters.

Desiree Ray – In 2017 grew me by taking me through a host of heartache and struggle completely alone. I thought I had people who cared and stood with me.  I’ve faced many of my high and lows with just me, and an occasional word of encouragement from my cousin. I learned I’m the strong friend. No one is reciprocal to the strong friend. I learned to own my pain and to be sincere with myself. God grew me by teaching me to deal with my pain and reminding me that it hurt,  but it’s not killing me. I have to process and if I’m not okay,  I’m not okay.  I must communicate the truth of myself. I’m allowed to be human too. I’ve rediscovered the value of myself to myself, and to cut out people that don’t fit is my right. I’ve learned to be honest with myself about the good and the bad… and to work THROUGH.  Work through is a huge requirement that few people choose. I have to be transparent and let the people who love me reveal themselves.