Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Good Wife

When my fiancée proposed in May, I had all sorts of anxiety about being a good wife. I never considered myself the domestic type nor was I able to grasp the concept of submission in previous relationships. I'm tickled as I write this entry because I was so worried about becoming a wife and had no clue that months later I'd also be preparing to be a mom, a full time business woman, the staple for my families spiritual growth and more. My life as I knew it doesn't really exist anymore. Well, not totally true, I'm still a Working Creative in the industry of entertainment but it feels so different. I've shifted from being a single woman on the go with more appointments and opportunities than she could handle to a stay at home creative think tank. Shifted from being a youth leader tending to her teens to a mom-to-be & wife-to-be tending to her family. From traveling multiple days in a week to chillin at home and resting my body multiple days a week. [Chevy don't get much love these days.] It doesn't seem like my life sometimes and then other days it feels so much like where I'm supposed to be that I just smile and whisper "Thank you Lord".

This new journey of life has been so humbling, revelation flowing, spiritually growing, emotional, and a purely joyful occasion. Saying "yes" to becoming his wife has opened the door for God to do so much in me. I have no clue what's ahead but I'm so amazed at the awareness I have about purpose and Gods hand in everything I do. If all this was just to teach me the lessons of the past 7 months that would be enough. But I know there's even greater ahead and He is preparing me so I say "Eyes be ready yall!" LOL!

Peace!!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Walking in Forgiveness

It's more than just accepting that God forgives no matter what. Placing yourself in a position to stumble again. Its about a sincere repentance and turnaround. A new commitment to do things differently. To be more aware of your weaknesses and be diligent to protect yourself in those areas. Walking in Gods forgiveness really begins when your understanding of His commandments are clear when looking at your sin. When you begin to see why God says don't do this or don't do that. Of course, we should just be obedient regardless of knowing why God says and does things. But for those of us stubborn fools who have to learn things the "hands on" way, the clarity comes as He walks you out of your mess. I think about the 32 years of life I've been granted and all the things I've done my way. I lived a lot of life in this time and can't help but appreciate God protecting me through all of it. I also can't help but recognize that there's a more peaceful, stress-free way to do things...Gods way. It aint easy and Lord knows even with this understanding I still stumble and mess things up. However, accepting that God loves and forgives me for my weaknesses is the best comfort I know. Its not man saying "Child please, you take this stuff too serious. A little of this or that aint gonna hurt you". And yes its been great to have the support that reminds me I'm human and that we all fall short. But I can't allow that to slip me into a ungrateful forgetful state of sin and forgive. Ya know, I'll sin and he'll forgive and just do whatever. In order to really walk in His forgiveness, I must do things different, vow to let Him transform me and not fight God along the way. It gets easier with each day to not beat myself up over moments of weakness. Easier to love my circumstances and embrace my trials, for on the other side is my abundant greatness. Counting it all joy and letting patience have her perfect way with me. I'm walking in forgiveness, thank you Lord.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm Too Churchy?!?!

I sit and think about comments folks have made to me about my Faith in Christ. I have friends that make Jesus jokes and get great laughs at the conclusions they formed about my image on social media. Ya know, always posting scriptures and professing how much I love the Lord. Some even closer to me say that I'm heading down a religious path and have predicted that I'll be one of those hypocritical gossipy meddling church women. Some who knew me pre-salvation still question the authenticity of my beliefs because I was the total opposite of a Christ loving female.

I sit and think about these things and what people say and my only response is "who would I be if I weren't in Christ?". Anything good that people see in me isn't of my own mind and doing. I am by habit judgmental, angry, critical, selfish, competitive, defensive and more. But the God in me, softens all this and makes me want to do things differently. When I judge and get critical, I'm reminded that God didn't judge and punish me according to what I did. When I'm angry and defensive, I'm reminded that my correction comes from the Lord and so does my definition, so just block out the haters. When I'm selfish or competitive, I'm reminded to do for others as God has done for me time and time again.

When folks label me as "too churchy" I have to laugh and not take it personal. I know for some its hard to process right now because they haven't reached their own reverence for God and His awesome hand in their lives. He's with them but they just can't see Him yet, their enlightenment will come. For those who serve a different God or no God at all and judge me, it doesn't make my God any less powerful because of your bashing. For those who can't let go of the old me and accept that God is the real deal for me and not for show...well maybe God hasn't revealed Himself to them as He has to me. I have testimony upon testimony of God's turnaround and love in my life. If it weren't for Him I'd be such the opposite of anything I am today. Current day God is taking me through some things and correcting my shortcomings. Its been most challenging for those who only know me after salvation and can't believe some of the "mess" I'm in. Even they have labeled me to be a perfect "incapable of mistakes" saint. They can't begin to process where I used to be before Christ and without ill intentions, they judge.

Let them describe me and I'm a celibate, only marrying a Pastor, never saying a curse word, rich and always working, don't ever get rejection, totally perfect Christian. This woman just doesn't exist or at least not in me anyway. I am far from perfect and I'm not too churchy. Where would I be if it weren't for God? If I didn't hang on Gods word how much "mess" from my past would I still be standing in? If I didn't profess my love of Christ and how awesome God is, wouldn't that be the phony BJ as opposed to the too churchy BJ that folks think is phony? You can't go through this stuff and not wanna tell everyone how good He is. You just can't!!!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Seasons Go!

"Seasons Come and Seasons Go!" As I sit in the lobby of this casting I'm hearing this phrase in my head. As my patience shifts to impatience and I feel anger and annoyance rising up, I hear this phrase. As I remind myself of the joys ahead for me in my new season, this one is less appealing. I'm ready to scream "I'm done!".

Got an audition, arrive at audition, my name wasn't on the list, girl at front desk not super cooperative. Agent says he emailed client, I'm telling the girl, and waiting waiting and waiting. I text back and forth with my agent, other actors are signing in making my wait time even longer and more waiting. I'm thinking "I barely had the damn money to get to this audition and now they ain't gonna see me? Oh Heck No!!!". Finally as I'm almost to tears with frustration and ready to just leave regardless of what the casting directors says, two things happen.

Another agent rings my cell and I answer quickly cuz they never call unless its important. As I hear my agent say "You booked ***!", I hear the girl say "the casting director would like to speak with you". Huh?!?! In the middle of this busy audition and while my agent is giving me booking details... Uh OK! "Please hold!" The casting director proceeds to explain why she can't see me today and to come back tomorrow and she'd be glad to audition me. [Sidenote: In the very very back of my mind I was like "Really? If you stopped the casting to call me in personally and explain, than you could've just auditioned me lady" but that's called favor. A personal explanation given by a super busy woman who didn't have to do anything but say NO!]

In the front of my mind all I could hear was my internal praises to God for stopping me from plummeting even further into my trials. I still wanted to cry after I thanked the lady for her explanation because I really didn't have the funds for this. But my tears shifted from frustration to praise in a split second. [Sidenote: its been almost two months since I booked a gig and as an actress, you don't book, you don't get paid. Just so yall understand my frustration.]

My conclusion from today's lesson is that there is definitely a season in need of ending and one in need of beginning. But its really not the season of family versus career. This season of unbelief and doubt in God's provision and protection needs to roll out. I need to embrace a new season that perseveres, believes in His promises, doesn't waver, doesn't entertain doubt. I need to remember previous seasons of His covering and how I got through just fine, even when I thought I'd hit rock bottom.

So I choose to believe that I didn't spend money I couldn't spare on a stupid casting. Rather, I was obedient to God's nudging to go through today's lesson and the reward was so much more than the cost. I had this gut feeling since yesterday that this casting would be drama and I almost didn't go and God would have ALMOST blessed me with this revelation. There's always a Blessin in the Lesson!

"Lord, I believe! Help me with my unbelief" Mark 9:24 (NKJV)

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm Ashamed

I'm re-reading "Praying God's Word" by Beth Moore in preparation for book club tomorrow morning. The introduction chapter has so much food for thought that I've read it several times. As I read, I was reminded of the definition of strongholds. A stronghold is anything that exalts itself as bigger or more powerful than God. Now this could be a person or it could be emotions or circumstances you've experienced. The biggest reminder for me was that we have to allow the strongholds. For example, if there were a person in my life that thinks they're bigger than God its only a stronghold for me if I agree and put that person before God. Our thoughts are usually the breeding ground for strongholds. What we think up, imagine, or assume about a situation can easily spiral into strongholds, robbing us of the full freedom God intended us to have. Caution: Don't assume that because you've been released from a stronghold that you can't pick up another one. Don't assume that you don't have multiple strongholds, as most of us do. And please be aware that an old stronghold can creep back into your life without continued prayer battle and wise decision making.

Real Talk: My biggest stronghold (as I believe it to be today) is Shame! I think bigger than pride or anger, my shame over decisions I've been making lately has consumed me. This is a stronghold because in my mind the things I've done and my resulting circumstances were so bad that I believed God couldn't fix them. I placed my guilt and shame above the power of God to redeem and deliver me. As if redemption and deliverance are a one time get out of jail free card with God. But Hallelujah! Thank the Lord that ain't how it works. Here me clearly, I'm not proud of disappointments to God in my life but I'm grateful to see His mercy present in my circumstances. What's incredible is how His truth, promises and love for me are breaking me free of this yucky stronghold called Shame because HE IS BIGGER THAN MY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Reading Gods Word and praying specifically to those promises has been revitalizing. One of my fav scriptures ever is "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Not because its a free pass to sin and act a fool but because He already knew all this would happen. And He still loves unconditionally and said He would never leave me nor forsake me. Praises to the Most High God!

We all fall down, but the amazing and true testimony begins when we get back up and allow God to love us through it!

"The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit." Psalms 34:18

Peace yall!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Got My Mojo Back

On February 16, 2011, I began to jot down dreams and creative goals I wanted to accomplish. I kept saying to myself "You've done too many things in your young lifetime not to be able to create another revenue stream". I jotted down any and every talent I believe I had and anything that I've trained in or accomplished and started connecting dots. Unfortunately that chart sat for months and my dreams on paper stayed right there. I'd get some motivation here and there to revisit it and see what I was ready to do or could afford to do, but still no real movement. In October, I started my own black business woman's mastermind group called Purpose Driven Women. This was a result of me needing other like minded woman to encourage me and we could all hopefully do joint ventures with our individual business goals. Meeting after meeting I'd get some great feedback and inspiration but just couldn't see what my avenue of income would be for a business plan. I struggled with knowing that I had knowledge and services to offer but not believing that people would pay me to receive those services and knowledge. Self doubt held me back for quite some time, even when God would make it so clear what I should be doing.

In February 2012, the Pastor of my church in Maryland gave me the green light to use their facility and offered to cover travel expenses for me to start my business. I still sat on my dream and doubt ate away at me. In March, while walking to church in NJ I had an amazing talk with God about starting the youth acting workshop. Up until this point I had only thought about teaching kids how to act and had no real vision for how to develop the workshop. God dropped some nuggets into my spirit during that walk, I was blown away. I could not get to church fast enough to write down the vision and make it plain. Then God spoke further through Pastor's sermon about the Abundant Life and how to take what God gave you and use it. He confirmed the age range, the pricing (which I lowered because of doubt and later proved to still be selling myself too short), and all the youth requirements for participating. He said I needed to create an official proposal to present to locations and be decent and in order. There was so much more and I was on fire but still I sat on my dream and more doubt set in.

In May, I attended a woman's retreat and I think God just about had enough of me and my doubting Him. As soon as I sat on the bus a lady sat next to me and we quickly started our fellowship. She shared a lot with me but as I listened to her pour out her burdens I kept hearing her say that she and her boyfriend just signed their teenage daughters up for a scouting cruise with BARBIZON (this should be a curse word, a dirty little curse word!) for... hold your seats...$3500 each! I was flipping in my spirit with rage over this scandal of an offer she was locked into. (Sidenote: God's divine appointment is so awesome. He sat that sister next to an aspiring youth acting instructor so she could share that testimony and light a fire under my butt.) Moving on, all I kept thinking was this scam agency has placed their value at $3500 per youth and I have the nerve to question God's confirmation about my value and the value of the services I'm offering to folks. Yeah I got some nerve!!! I got my buns home from that retreat, dusted off my notes, updated my flyers and got to Facebooking, Tweeting, texting and emailing folks to sign up for my first youth acting workshop.

The divine silver lining in all this was that God's timing can't be matched by us moving ahead of or behind His will for our lives. When I went to update the flyer from a workshop I did 7 years ago, the date of that previous workshop was one day off from the day that God confirmed this new workshop to start. It was like a took a 7 year hiatus and God took me through all these events to be prepared for such a time as this. I successfully completed my first four week workshop last week. Bonus: I got the sister from the retreat to sign up her daughter and niece and now I'm steering them on the right track with their career and will stand in the wings to protect them from further scandals. God is so friggin awesome and while I may have doubted what He told me to do repeatedly, He came back for me repeatedly! It's hard for me to process financial challenges at times because I've always had multiple revenue streams and have never been afraid of hard work or multiple jobs. I got so complacent over the years and I'm so glad I got my mojo back. Thanks to the G-O-D!

Peace yall!

Yes I'm Perfect?

It's funny how I go back through old entries I never published and they have much more meaning to me today than when I originally wrote them. Here's another old one from last year in response to just letting people be themselves.

I'm learning the high standards I set for other people aren't always the standards that I even live up to. We can be great motivators to "do right" but fall short of taking our own "Miss Know it All" advice. For me, I'm learning that in my passion to prevent others from repeating my mistakes I can come off a bit Holier than Thou. Learning to let people be themselves and not judge or compare as we grow is the ultimate goal of God's Agape love.

It's also important to recognize when people aren't letting us be our less than perfect selves when they judge us for shortcomings they didn't think we had and not beat ourselves up about their comments. Comes with the territory though. Some say leaders are always held to a higher level of scrutiny and surely as Christians we're called to live under a higher standard. Some people label me as a Proverbs 31 woman and I humbly appreciate them and recognize that I strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman but I'm not yet. But I will continue striving for that Proverbs 31 status by allowing God to work in me and the rest will come.

Peace yall!