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Immortal

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Dear Brande

How I’ll miss you

You’ll never know

She was ambitious

And she was #goals

Prayers of rest and peace

For such a beautiful soul

We’ll never know

When it’s our time to go

In my mind you’ll

always be immortal

©Jocsalyn Janay, 2017

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About Last Night

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The sky belongs to the stars -Buddy Holly

I’m not an athletic person. I’ve never played on a sports team for softball, soccer, water polo or even Marco Polo for that matter. Yoga, Pilates, and ballet are more my thing; however, I’ve always admired the spirit of the team. Teams are great, you’ve got a whole group of people, all doing different things to achieve one common goal. Once that goal is achieved, everybody wins together.

Last night, I had a chance to be a part of a team. Not a sports team, but a team of another sort…

I attended the 69th annual Primetime Emmys as seat-filler. As a seat-filler, your goal is fairly simple: make sure the camera doesn’t catch any empty seats. It’s basically a game of musical chairs all night.

While us, seat-fillers were working as a team to fulfill one goal, we watched as so many other teams of directors, writers, actresses and actors, etc. achieved their own goals. Even if one person won, the entire team won. Not one person got on the stage to say, “I’d like to thank myself, because I’m the only one that made this possible.” It was a group effort. There’s no such thing as a one-person show at the Emmys.

Speaking of teams achieving their goals, three teams in particular had an exceptional night. The cast and staff of Veep, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Big Little Lies all took home multiple awards. Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale each took home a total of eight awards, while Veep won a whopping seventeen awards! It was a great night for women in television. Having the opportunity to attend the Emmys has by far been the highlight of my year. Seeing so many people’s hard work pay off is both inspiring and incredible. I literally got to see history unfold before my very eyes as Donald Glover aka “Childish Gambino” became the first African-American to win an Emmy for directing a comedy. Lena Waithe also made history as the first African-American to win for comedy writing.

So congratulations to all of the winners and best wishes on everyone’s future endeavors. Thanks to FIJI water for keeping everyone hydrated and L’Oreal for keeping all the ladies beautiful with complimentary lipstick and mascara in the bathrooms! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I look forward to returning next year.

Team work really does make the dream work.

 

Role model

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So this morning while checking my email, I noticed there was a sale going on over at Spiritual Gangster. And the wonderful thing about shopping online is that when there’s a sale going on, you’re only one click away! So I headed over to check it out. I came across this swimsuit that I thought was absolutely gorgeous, but what really caught my eye was the model wearing it. She’s a beautiful girl, of course. But what was intriguing to me was the fact that she had stretch marks. Yes, she’s a model with stretch marks, and she’s still absolutely beautiful. I was so surprised to see her, because, you know it’s not everyday you see a model that looks like an actual person, not some dreamed up version of what someone decided all women should look like. I’m so glad that Spiritual Gangster didn’t Photoshop or edit her to look unnatural. It was a good move on their end. I hope to see more untouched photos of models in the future. Our so-called flaws are what make us unique and individuals. No one should have to strive for an unrealistic goal of perfection. We’re all uniquely beautiful.

P.S. I totally bought that swimsuit!

Xoxo, enjoy your day and don’t forget to be beautiful!

Desperate Housewife

Potiphar drinks the last of his orange juice, grabs another slice of toast and sprints out of the kitchen as if his iPhone had been timing him. “Goodbye honey,” he says as he kisses his wife on the cheek. “I wish I could stay and finish breakfast, but I’ve got an early meeting. Joseph should be here any minute. Tell him I left the blueprints on my desk.” Potiphar’s wife smiles and waves through the window as her husband disappears inside the black BMW and backs out of the driveway. Mrs. Potiphar heads upstairs to the loft. Reclining on a divan, she pulls up her favorite web store on her tablet and begins a round of online shopping. Suddenly there’s a knock at the door, then another one. Mrs. Potiphar debates whether or not she should get the door, then she hears a voice. “Hello?” “Hello?” Mrs. Potiphar walks over to the banister to see a handsome, well-built young man standing in the foyer. “Good morning, Joseph,” she says. Joseph looks up to the banister, “Oh, hey Mrs. P. Umm, I knocked. I didn’t get any answer so I used my key. I hope it’s alright.” Mrs. Potiphar smiles, “Of course, don’t be ridiculous. You’re always welcome here.” Joseph nods his head in appreciation, “I was just dropping by for some blueprints Mr. P. left for me.” “Oh, yes, those,” Mrs. Potiphar says. “They’re up here on his desk,” she says, walking back to her divan. Noticing that Joseph has made no effort to move, she calls over her shoulder, “You can come get them. I don’t bite.” Joseph makes his way to the loft and locates the blueprints on Potiphar’s desk. “Thanks, Mrs. P. I’ll be in the yard if you need me.” Mrs. Potiphar walks over to Joseph, “Actually, I do need something,” she says. “Yeah?” Joseph asks. Mrs. Potiphar grabs Joseph by his shirt, “Come to bed with me!”   …And scene
No, this isn’t some long lost script of the tales of Wisteria Lane. This is Genesis 39 (well, minus all of the modern day amenities). Basically, Joseph worked for Potiphar, an Egyptian official. Potiphar trusted Joseph enough to put him in charge of his household and everything he owned. Gen.39:7 says, “And after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said ‘Come to bed with me!'”(NIV) As we continue to read in verse 10, we see that this wasn’t one isolated incident. “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her (Gen.39:10 NIV).
At this point, Potiphar’s wife has made a few things clear, 1) She has no boundaries, 2) She doesn’t understand what ‘NO’ means, and 3) She has no regard for her husband. But the story doesn’t end there, we’re about to see just how desperate Potiphar’s wife really is.
In the very next verse, Joseph shows up to work and none of the other servants are inside, that’s when Potiphar’s wife grabs him by his cloak and again, tells him to “Come to bed” with her. Joseph runs away from her, leaving his cloak in her hands. Having been rejected by Joseph for the last time, she decides to make him pay. She calls her servants in, and tells them that Joseph tried to rape her, and when Potiphar hears this, he throws Joseph in jail.
Potiphar’s wife is the epitome of a desperate housewife or desperate woman altogether. Not only was she desperate, but also shameless and resentful. Her selfishness and lies caused an innocent man to go to prison.
We can learn a few things from Potiphar’s wife. Number 1, being that no means no. All jokes aside, if you’ve ever you lied to cover yourself; your actions are parallel to that of Potiphar’s wife’s actions. We need to own up to our mistakes instead of deflecting them on to someone else. Also, everyone deals with rejection at one time or another. In high school, I didn’t get asked to the prom by the guy I liked, and I’ve gotten passed up for positions at work that I really wanted. It happens. Revenge isn’t the answer. It should never be the answer. What are some ways that you deal with rejection?

Scars To Your Beautiful

Last year, singer-songwriter, Alessia Cara released her third single, Scars To Your Beautiful. If you’ve never heard it, please come out from the rock you’ve been living under! Scars To Your Beautiful has such a positive, uplifting message for girls and women of all ages. It’s a nice contrast to so many other songs that degrade women and glorify their body parts, but never the woman as a whole.
In an interview with Lipstick.com, Alessia shares how overcoming her own struggles with hair loss helped to serve as inspiration for the song. Peaking Billboard’s charts at number 8, the chorus sings, “There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark. You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are. And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart. No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful.”
Those lines alone, make for a perfect song. There are far too many girls out there that judge themselves against some made up standard of beauty that doesn’t exist. They’re  implanting and injecting themselves according to whatever the newest trend is. I’m all for people being happy with how they look, but happiness is only temporary, and I’m concerned about how those girls will feel about the way they’ve made themselves look once the trend has died. Will they go on in pursuit of the next hot thing, believing that their own look is now subpar? Or will they finally draw the line and say enough is enough?
I am extremely grateful to Alessia Cara for this song; which is well on its way to becoming a timeless classic, and I wish her much success on her future projects. I’ll definitely be keeping an ear out.

Pretty Little Liar

“Oh what a tangled web we weave…when we first practice to deceive”

Anyone who’s ever watched Pretty Little Liars, knows that Alison, the main character isn’t just a liar. She’s charming, she’s deceitful, and she’s a master manipulator. Alison lies to her friends, then gets them to lie for her. When her friends aren’t willing to lie for her, she resorts to whatever tactics she deems necessary to get what she wants. I could go on and on about Alison, but this blog isn’t about her. It’s about another pretty little liar (and no, it’s not Aria, Spencer, Hannah, or Emily). This blog is about Delilah.
“Who’s Delilah?” I’m glad you asked. Delilah may as well have been the Old Testament version of Alison. Delilah’s story begins in Judges 16, when she starts dating Samson. Samson was blessed with supernatural strength. The source of his strength was in his hair, which had never been cut since the day he was born. Samson was in love with Delilah, but her feelings weren’t mutual. So when the rulers of the Philistines came to her and offered her money to find the out the secret to his strength so that they can “tie him up and subdue him,” she was all for it. At first, Delilah doesn’t even try to beat around the bush with Samson. She literally says to him, “Tell me the secret to  your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” (Judges 16:6 NIV) Samson, determined to keep his secret, lies to her. He says, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” Delilah hides the Philistines in her room, ties him up, then calls to him, “The Philistines are upon you!” Samson breaks loose. Delilah, seeing that her boyfriend is alive and well, accuses him of making a fool of her. Delilah tries to detain her boyfriend two more times unsuccessfully. She starts playing on his emotions and the fact that he loves her. Verse 16 says, “With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.” Samson finally gave in to her manipulation and told his secret. Delilah had Samson’s hair shaved while he slept in her lap and the Philistines captured him. Samson went against his better judgement and trusted Delilah, which ultimately led to his own demise.
How often do we find ourselves in situations similar to Samson and Delilah’s? Sometimes we’re so blinded by love to the point where we don’t use our heads and other times we’re manipulating others to get what we want. Maybe there’s a guy you know who really likes you. He’s always buying you gifts; if you’re not interested, don’t pretend that you are. That too, is a lie.

You Can’t Sit With Us

Mean Girls, one of my all-time favorite chick flicks takes you into the lives of the most popular girls in high school and exposes them all for what they really are; hence, the title of the movie. During the course of the movie you’ll find that these frenemies aren’t being mean just for the fun of it. Behind the rude comments, insults, and plain old put-downs were girls struggling with their own insecurities and jealousy. While this movie is both, a classic and comedic gold (or at least, in my opinion) it’s not exaclty original. Girls have been using the shortcomings of others to assert themselves over one another since biblical times. Just look at Hannah and Peninnah…
Hannah and Peninnah were both married to the same man (because it was legal back then). However, Hannah was unable to have children, whereas Peninnah had multiple children. 1 Samuel chapter 1:6-7 says, “And because the Lord closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.” Peninnah’s definitely earned her seat at the table with The Plastics. Instead of having compassion on Hannah, she completely ripped her apart, year after year. So if Peninnah had kids and Hannah didn’t, what did Peninnah have to be jealous or insecure about? Love. If we go back to verse 5, we see that Peninnah may have had all the kids, but she didn’t have her husband’s heart, not like Hannah did. Because of the void in her own heart, Peninnah made it her mission to taunt and torment Hannah.  How did Hannah respond to Peninnah’s cruel antics? Did she fight fire with fire by teasing her about not being loved as much by their husband? No, she prayed. She prayed that God would bless her with a child, and he did. Not only did he bless her with one, but also five more.
Have you ever had any encounters with mean girls? If so, how did you respond? Or have you ever been the mean girl? Think of how different Peninnah’s life could’ve been if she’d just taken her sorrows and insecurities to God instead of taking it out on Hannah.
Thanks for reading.