I have a confession to make, I sometimes have a hard time saying NO! It is a really bad problem. The word “No” is one of the most powerful words that you could use. I don’t know what it is about that word, but sometimes it is just hard to say.

A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

-Mahatma Gandhi

I have to look at myself and evaluate where and how I make my decisions. Saying no is difficult because for me because I know I I don’t like being told no lol. I know that is strange, but I need to differentiate my Nos. Saying no is not only in my best interest, but also in the best interest of others. Gandhi captured EXACTLY how I feel and I’m sure many of you can relate.

“No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that.
When we don’t want to do something we can simply smile and say no.
We don’t have to explain ourselves, we can just say “No”.
Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say no expanded my ability to say yes and really mean it.
My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice even my no came from a place of love.
Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.”
― Susan Gregg

Susan Gregg has given me a new perspective on the use of the word. Although the word sounds harsh, it can be said from a place of love. If you don’t say no, you will have a hard time getting through life. It will take a toll on you mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and even financially. Sometimes the things that people ask are just ridiculous and saying no is pretty easy, but sometimes people will be disappointed because you are unable to help or grant their request.

I realize that you have to get to a place within yourself where you feel content with the word no. Everything does not deserve a yes and we have be comfortable with that. No is not a bad word, it is life saving.

I guess in this post I will tell you what I have been up to and why I haven’t been up to since I haven’t been blogging as consistently as I was previously. January of this year I set certain goals pertaining to this blog, my career in fashion, and the overall brand of Her Goody Bag. Of course God had a different plan for me and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to accept it. Many of you know that I am a teacher and have a sincere passion for educating today’s youth. Things in education reform across the country have people wanting to “jump ship” and pursue a career where they will make more money, have less stress, and be respected. Well I felt like “jumping ship” plenty of times and it wasn’t the summers off that made me stay. After I set my goals for the HGB brand in January, God quickly changed the direction of the path that I was taken. Late January I found out about a Masters Program at Columbia University for pursuing a degree in Educational Leadership. I had intended on getting my 2nd Masters in about five years, but God said “No, you’re going to do this now.” Long story short, I had about two weeks to get transcripts and recommendation letters, and write a personal statement to meet the February 15th deadline.

Fast forward to March of 2013. I was scheduled to have my virtual interview the day of my mother’s birthday. We had planned a huge dinner for her and I tried to reschedule, but to no avail. March 25th was my interview and about two weeks letter I was accepted into one of the most prestigious programs across the country. In May, I began my first semester, but that was only with pre-course work. I started classes immediately after the school year was over and was in school Monday-Saturday 8-5 (somedays 6:30) with the exception of a few days for the month of July. It was intense, but amazing.

So here we are, October of 2013 and I feel like I am drowning in work. Not only am I grading papers constantly, I’m planning lessons, going to meetings, facilitating meetings, doing school work, and much more. I fee like every area of my life is suffering, not because of the program, but because I do not have balance. I knew this year would be extremely difficult, but it feels like whenever I think I have a grasp on everything that I need to accomplish and I am finally “together,” I am set back. I have a long year ahead of me and I need to get everything under control sooner rather than later.


My spiritual life is suffering, my blog is suffering, my relationships are suffering, my health is suffering (I’ve been sick twice already , I’m always in physical pain, and let’s not talk about the weight gain). I know that I won’t be able to do everything exactly as I have done in the past, and I know that I will have to make sacrifices, but today is the day I get some of my life back. Here is my plan on how to achieve balance because “Balance is Essential to Life.”

  1. Assessment- I had to look at the areas of my life that i pay the most attention to, the areas that could use more attention. You have to acknowledge that there is a problem.
  2. Write Goals– what do you really want to achieve? You have to write it and make it plain. So it’s like creating a balance vision board
  3. Set a schedule for EVERYTHING-I have three planners in addition to my calendars on all of my electronics. If I don’t schedule time to do something I will forget and it won’t get done. I even have to schedule time to eat. I haven’t been eating properly lately, especially at work and we all know how much I love food. I schedule dates, relaxation time, pampering sessions, social gatherings, etc. I have a color coded planner so I can see where most of my time goes, and I try to reorganize my schedule so I don’t feel overwhelmed or like I can’t meet deadlines.
  4. Disconnect– I am not on my social media channels as frequently as I used to. I realized how much time I was spending scrolling and double tapping on Instagram. I a lot a certain amount of time each week (somedays I really don’t go on to avoid distractions) for Social Media.
  5. Prioritize I look at my schedule and see what is most important. Then I create a plan to get things done.
  6. Set a Timer– When I’m grading I allot a certain amount of time to spend on a class or a specific assignment. I set a timer on my phone and I feel great when I get all of my work done before the timer goes off. I do that with everything now.
  7. Say No– This is probably one of the most valuable lessons that I have learned. I get asked to do things and go places all of the time. I used to feel guilty when I said no, but now i see the importance when it comes to achieving balance.

I pray that I get it together soon. I feel like I’m talking about balance every other day lol. I hope this post helps!

I was reading one of my devotionals yesterday morning from the YouVersion Bible App (If you don’t have it, download it ASAP. It is an amazing APP). and the focus was about facing storms. Throughout life we will face many trials and tribulations because avoiding adversity is impossible, but what do you do during the storm?

I can generally read a person’s mood or emotions pretty accurately, and especially in my line of work I need to know if someone is going through a “storm.” It’s funny that once I read this devotional I started to think if I wear my emotions, my moods, and my problems in my facial expressions, and body language. The last few weeks have been extremely stressful and many people have said that it looks like something is wrong and that I’m not being myself. I am not one to run to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to broadcast my issues like other people.


God doesn’t want us to wear our problems. When we do that people offer advice and sometimes we seek others before we seek Him. Often times we go to God when the problem is out of our control. We want Him to fix what is happening when we should’ve gone to Him first. Of course sometimes we want to vent and just want someone to listen, but before venting we should pray. Pray that God keeps us calm in the midst of the storm. If we believe that He is who He says He is then we know that we already have the victory. That will make our testimony that much greater.

We have to praise God during the good times and the bad times. When we pray and give our problems to God, He’ll reveal the answers to our problems. He’ll put us in the right places with the right people in order to be triumphant. We just have to trust Him. We just have to be still and not broadcast the storm, but broadcast the victory of how God brought us through the storm.

Psalms 46:10 says,

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

We just have to have faith and know that He is not a man that He should lie. We have to trust Him to guide us in the right direction to be victorious.

The format for service this past Sunday was so simple, but the anointing was so powerful! Galley Molina, Israel Houghton, and Stephen Baldwin were all there to talk about their newest movie “I’m In Love with a Church Girl.” I actually saw the trailer for this movie quite some time ago and thought “What in the cheesy church movie,” but after hearing Galley Molina’s testimony I am definitely going to support on October 18th.

church girl2

The story is based on Molina’s life going from drug lord to pastor. He spoke briefly about how God was able to enter his life because he knew that the only way he would go to church was because of a woman. The movie “I’m In Love with a Church Girl” reflects his life as a drug lord and how he gave his life over to christ. It’s not your ordinary redemption story, it is the story of how God truly works within our culture and society.

church girl

God says come as you are, but many people feel you have to be fixed up and “perfect” so God can accept you. What we don’t realize is that God knows every fiber of our being. He knows our heart better than we do. If we come to Him “perfect” what good would our testimony be. Our struggles and how God helped us move forward by overcoming them is a powerful story that can and will help someone. We just have to come to God as we are because only He can heal us.

After the Q & A session with Galley Molina and Stephen Baldwin, Israel and New Breed BLESSED us with a “mini concert.” When I tell you we were #TurntUpForJesus I mean it. He sang quite a few songs and the anointing of God’s spirit was so powerful. He sang a few of my favorites, then again I love all of his songs, “I am a Friend of God,” “Lord You are Good,”It’s Not Over” and “Moving Forward.”

no limits

“It’s Not Over” has gotten me through some tough times. It made me realize that God has the final say in everything. Although many things that I have wanted and prayed for I did not receive, I know that it was for the best. The lyrics say

I know its darkest just before dawn
this might be the hardest season you’ve experienced
I know it hurts, it wont be too long
Cause your closer than you think you are
Closer than you’ve been before
so look to the sky, help is on the way


Is not over, its not finished
its not ending, its only the beginning
when god is in it,
all things are new, ooh ooh ooh ooh
all things are new, ooh ooh ooh ooh

Verse 2

Something is moving, turning around
Seasons are changing, everything is different now
Here comes the sun, piercing the clouds
You’re closer than you think you are
Closer than you’ve been before

So look to the sky, look to the sky
Help is on the way, help is on the way
Our God is faithful, faithful to say

It’s not over, its not finished
It’s not ending, its only the beginning
It’s not over, its not finished
It’s not ending, its only the beginning
When God is in it
When God is in it oh oh oh oh ooh ooo

If you keep God first in your life know that there are no limits. God can do above what we can ever imagine. We just have to remain faithful and in prayer while looking to the sky because as the song says help is on the way. Remember with God THERE ARE NO LIMITS! This has to be our thought process as believers.

Check out the trailer for “I’m in Love with a Church Girl” which hits theaters October 18th!

“It’s Not Over” Israel Houghton featuring James Fortune and Jason Nelson


Sale- offer to be sold; opportunity to sell; made available for purchase

God has blessed us all with special and unique gifts, talents, and abilities. We are supposed to treasure what we were given and not covet what he has blessed others with. Our talents, gifts, and abilities were solely given to us to use as we walk in our purpose. We are given the strength in certain areas to minister people to be a blessing in their lives. We have to value and treasure what God has blessed us with. Sometimes we want more or we want less, but we are given exactly what God knows we can handle.

Often times we want lives similar to others or we want to trade in what we have to get what we perceive to be better. Everything that God gives us is for us and we have to treasure it. Our gifts, talents, and abilities are not for sale. They cannot be traded in because we don’t want to use what we have. We cannot take even the smallest blessing for granted. Whatever you appreciate increases in value because you will take care of it and protect it. What ever we don’t appreciate decreases, so let us not sell our time, talents, gifts, and abilities in hopes of something better. Let us treasure, protect, and use what God has set apart specifically for us.