Many people followed my journey to Ms. World Universal and shared with me that they loved my red dress. But what they did not know about the red dress and teh shoes, was the story behind it. The evening gown that I wore at Ms. World Universal was red, and, on the bottom, it was embroidered with The Gift of Life in purple. No one saw it, but I knew it was there. It was a reminder that you do not always have to share with the world the charitable deeds that you do. Sometimes you work for a charity and help others without anyone knowing about it. That was the rationale for putting the embroidered Gift of Life on the front inside layer of my dress. After God, the Gift of Life was on stage on my dress before me.
The red shoes that took me on the walk across the stage were made for me by my sponsor Angela Nuran Shoes. She has been making these shoes for each pageant that I have been in. But this time it was different, they were red. They reminded me of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when Glenda said to her “you always had the power to go home to Kansas.”
So likewise, for me, I had to believe in myself. As I look back, I always had the power to make my dreams come true. Many times we think we are not good enough and that we cannot shine in all that we do. But we are all winners, you may ask how, and the answer is simple. It takes a lot of courage to stand on a stage in a short cocktail dress, fitness wear, and an evening gown, with hundreds of people looking at you. It takes a lot of confidence to sit in a room with 6 strangers and share who you are and why you are passionate about your platform in 5 minutes via a question-and-answer session. Finally, it takes love, love of yourself, and love of others to be compassionate about the people on that stage with you vying for that same title.
With the coronavirus amongst us, so much has been affected. The way we conduct business, attend school, socialize with people, and just in general we have been pushed into more of a virtual world than we are used to. The virtual world has always been around for the business world, but with the pandemic, we are faced with this virtual form of conducting business now more than ever.
For many people that were already working from home, this was not new to them. They already had their routines established and were already aware of the dress code that they needed for working at home vs working at home in front of a screen with others.
So styling our clothes has been a challenge lately because we think we are home and shorts and flip flops (my favorite outfit) would be great. Well if you are not in front of a zoom with others that may work. But what I have found is that even when you are not in front of a zoom meeting, getting dressed for work is important. With the mental health issues that people have been dealing with due to social isolation, keeping a dressing routine helps to lift up our morale and spirits.
If you are sitting down for a zoom, then yes it is okay to have your shorts, sweat pants, jeans, or yoga bottoms. However, the top should look and feel fabulous to be ready to work. Finding tops that are light in color and adding jewelry to match the outfit helps to give you that overall polished look. Dressing for work helps to uplift your spirits, but also the spirits of those that you are speaking with on teh zoom. Here are some ways that sweater dressing for our ladies in the cooler climates can enhance that professional look for you.
Now if you are speaking on the zoom and you are standing to do your presentation, then by all means the bottoms count. Wearing dress slacks for the presentation is appropriate with some flat shoes for comfort. This is the one time that the heels are not necessary. My favorite flats that are not only comfortable but pair well with skirts, slacks, or dresses; they are Tieks by Gavrielli. They come in many colors, they are comfortable, and they have a great track record for lasting many years. A shoe that never goes out of style.
Here is a look that can take you to the daytime or evening meeting
And you can see how I tie in some of the same accessories but change out the dress for a different look in the daytime as opposed to the one above for a later evening presentation. So my jewelry is very versatile because it can be dressed up or down for any occasion.
Now here is a look for an early morning or aftermnoon presentation.
So as you can see whether your climate is warm or you are in a climate that has fall cooler weather, there are many different looks that you can wear to enhance your mood and look professional for work. Once you are ready to go back to face to face work, you will already have the styles that you worked on during the pandemic so that you don’t have to ask yourself daily, what should I wear and does this go with this or that.
Today is National Day of Prayer and with everything that is going on globally and in our back yards, we all need to come together and pray not just today, but daily!
There is fear about what our economy is doing, our physical and mental health is being compromised, and it also seems that our constitutional rights along with our Biblical values are being affected. Many people both Christian and Non-Christian are saying, this is all crazy hype, where is your God? Don’t you have faith? These are the times that you bend down in humbleness to God and ask for wisdom to answer the question. My answer is not that we do not have faith or fear, it is that God gave man the intelligence to treat mankind from a health standpoint and we need to follow what the guidelines recommend to help each other. I know it is easy to complain about the circumstances, point fingers to find fault, and say this is not going to work. But what if in our obedience it did work? What if we humble ourselves and pray? What if God listened because it says in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
America needs our prayers. Today is May 7th, the National Day of Prayer. It is the official day that has been set aside to remind us that our country was started in prayer before any major decision was made. But somewhere along our history, our nation turned their backs on God. We have as a nation decided that we can do all things through our own strength and intelligence and we do not need to credit God for it. This coronavirus has put us all in a state of standstill. It has made us realize that Yes, we do need God and His wisdom in order for our leaders and doctors to make the right decisions. I know many in this world criticize our mayors, governors, and president, but guess what? Look at where we are, we are at home sheltered, we do not have decision making powers except to follow the guidelines laid before us. So what can we do? Pray for our leaders, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers so that God impacts wisdom on them and protection as they take care of us. Pray for ourselves and our families that we can draw closer to God, love one another, help others, and come out of this in a manner that will remind us to just be kind and care about what matters most, people’s hearts. Many will be affected by this due to job loss or health concerns and maybe even death. We can only get through it and help each other when we care to pray and help others.
So today, pray for God’s mercy on us. We may not be able to get together with friends and family especially some moms for Mother’s day, we may not have graduation ceremonies, weddings, or gathering together to worship God in church, but as Pastor Chuck of Family Church says, the church is not the building, we are the church, so go out and Be The Church.
I have to admit that the last three weeks have been a whirlwind of information overload. We have heard updates from our President, our Governor, and our County Mayor. Through all of the news stations, online journalists, and newspapers, our social media has been bombarded with news of people getting sick with the COVID-19, people dying, businesses laying employees off, food and other supplies unavailable on the shelves, and families forced into working from home and homeschooling their children. But through it all when I sit out on my back porch the silence is deafening. I have been praying daily several times a day for our nation and our leaders. I have also prayed for my family’s protection from this invisible but deadly virus.
I feel God’s peace in my life. I go to bed at peace, I work during the day and I am at peace, I wake up and I am at peace. But I have to ask myself why is there silence? Has God forgotten about His children? Are we being punished as a global nation? As I read through scriptures and devotions and pray, it occurred to me that the reason there is silence is that for many years there was noise. The hustle and bustle of driving to work on overcrowded interstates, rushing to go here and there, parties at bars and venues, hate crimes, protests for different causes, bullying in schools and the workplace, as well as an increase in divorce rates, and abortions.
With the closing of non-essential businesses and a shelter-in order of everyone in their homes, the earth has been silenced. I see people walking and running outside for exercise, families playing on their front and back porches as well as riding their bicycles. There has been a silence of the news talking about crimes, protests, and all the news that causes stress to many because the focus has shifted to the virus. But again, I ask myself, why now? What is God trying to do with our global nation?
Yesterday I sent out messages on Facebook on our support pages for Empowering Women and Girls, our neonatal intensive care unit support page, and several texts to friends to just do a well check. I felt the need to connect with them to see how they were doing and what I can do to help them during this difficult time. Many responses were general to say that they were doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances; but some were sad because their jobs laid them off, while others were scared or angry because their employers were making them work without any protection of wearing a mask not knowing who they can be exposed to. I thought about it and responded with words of encouragement. But as I thought further, I sent information to some on work at home jobs and to others, I encouraged them to take this time to do something for themselves that they wanted to do; whether to go back to school or something as simple as rearranging closets, answering emails, and organizing their business marketing and websites.
As I continued about my day yesterday, I still felt a pull in my heart that there was something I was not grasping during this time. I prayed before bed and asked God to show me what is the lesson that we are all supposed to learn here? It wasn’t until midnight that it came to me and immediately I got up to write this blog that you are reading today. This is all about a Silent Night, a Holy Night, and John 3:16; ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ” I know you may be asking what does that have to do with this pandemic. We are “one nation under God; indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” When you look up the meaning of indivisible, it means unable to be divided. Our nation and our families have been divided for quite some time. Our worship to Him has been diminished because something always distracts us from our time spent with Him. Our family life has suffered for many because we are focused on working all the time (myself included). This is not a post about pointing fingers and shaming anyone as the phrase says when you point at someone remember there are three fingers pointing right back at you.
When God sent His Son to die on the cross for us, He sent Him to save us, forgive our sins, and to worship Him. As a nation we did okay for a few years, but then the inevitable started and we lost our focus along the way. This last year we have seen hate among races and preferences, bullying, suicide, mental health problems including depression, murders, employers overworking employees not leaving enough time for them to spend with their families, and fearful if they do not keep up that they will lose their jobs. I am not saying that God came down from the Heavens last night and said all this to me, I am saying that when I prayed last night and asked God why this is happening, this is what I felt in my heart. Since we as a nation will not or cannot stop and change our circumstances either by choice or not, He gave us a way to stop and have a Silent Night/A Holy Night. What does that mean? Well, there is not one person in the entire world that is not affected in some way by this pandemic. Either we know someone that has it, we have it, our job is affected, or we are home on shelter in. Everyone has been touched by this. Now that God has our undivided attention, it is time for that Silent Night/Holy Night. Spend time with God, ask Him to forgive your sins (no one is perfect so we are all sinners so no saying that you do good and help the world, therefore, you are free of sin!), spend time talking with your family, playing outside with the kids on the porch or backyard, talk to your neighbors through the social distancing, by phone or the fence. This is the time for a Silent Night/Holy Night.
During these difficult days to come as we shelter in, “Keep the Faith” do not worry or stress for The Lord will provide. Allow His perfect peace to dwell in your hearts.
Remember Psalm 127:1-2
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.
In this verse what the author was trying to say is that God blesses us while we sleep probably just like He gave Solomon the desires of his heart while he slept. King Solomon could have asked God for riches and power but instead, He asked God for wisdom on how to lead his people and he, therefore, became one of the wisest men because he asked for wisdom instead of riches. So like Solomon let our daily prayer be, Lord please give me wisdom on how to be a good servant to You, how to lead my family during this pandemic, and do what is in Your will. The second prayer is, Lord please give me faith like Noah, because when things look grim and without hope, I want to have a faith that surpasses all doubt despite what I hear, read, and see. And lastly, as women our prayer should be, Lord during these difficult times when we think our beauty is affected because we cannot get our hair and nails done at the salon, or workout at the gym, etc, give us a heart like the Proverbs 31 woman. Help us to rest on the verse in Proverbs 31:30 ” Charm is deception and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Follow Galatians 6:9, ” Let us not become weary in doing good.”
I know that I may not have the popular vote today for blogs and some may choose to unfollow my posts, but that is okay, I am not here for the popular vote, I am here to just say what I felt in my heart. If this blog has blessed you let me and others know by sharing and commenting on it. I greatly appreciate the time you have taken to read this post.
As we approach International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020, let us not forget that this is just one day that we celebrate on the calendar for events and to raise awareness; however this is a year-long situation that warrants being addressed in order to improve it.
According to the United Nations statistics, globally women only make 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes. This results in income inequality between men and women. This problem is seen in all countries due to the fact that women’s work is not valued the same as that of a man even though they require the same skillset and education. The only way to bridge this inequality is through seeing men and women as people vs.gender and paying a person based on their talent and expertise in a field.
This blog today is not about bashing any gender or playing victims either, it is about standing up for each other as professional men and women against stereotypes and bias in all walks of life. For those of us that are mothers, we have a duty to show our daughters and sons how they can make a difference in the world. We as mothers and fathers can set that example in how we view gender equality in the work world, community, political offices, and society.
Gender equality is valuing the ideas and dreams of women and men equally. It does not mean that men and women have to be one and the same, but that the opportunities that are available to them be the same regardless of their gender.
So on International Women’s Day find ways to get involved and learn more about the movement and what that means. Spend time as an employer looking at the teams that work for you and see if the talents that your team has are equally paid based on their expertise or if they were being paid based on their gender. It is time to make a difference that impacts everyone towards the resolution of this imbalance that has our society struggling financially when there is no need for it.