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Thankful to the Fullest Measure

yes lord

I WISH FOR YOU the happiest Thanksgiving Day that your heart can hold. I pray your day be filled with love, joy and gratitude for those you love and have responsibility over. I hope that you will laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and love a lot deeper. May your troubles be few and your victories countless. I pray that you are filled to the measure with unspeakable joy.

This year I found the joy that I searched for, for so long. It’s awful that it took divorce and cancer to get me straight but it worked! No longer do I devalue myself or discredit my worth. I’ve completed some pretty deep soul searching and I found out that I am a pretty awesome lady and above that, I’m a survivor!

So this year, I am grateful that I still get to be mommy to my beautiful daughter and auntie to my six nephews. I’m thankful that my two brothers can still call and bug me about nothing. I’m thankful that I can call my mama anytime that I want to and listen to her talk about whatever is on her mind. I’m glad that I can still receive the occasional text message from my grandma and answer when my aunt calls me by the nickname “Luc” (short for Lucy). It’s an awesome feeling to understand that all of this could have worked out differently for me, but I’m still here! I’m still living and I still have the ability to answer when my name is called! But most of all, I’m thankful that Jesus Christ saw fit to intercede on my behalf and heal my body of a disease that has claimed far too many lives.

With all this thankfulness and gratitude, I reach back to the next woman who may be feeling discontent about life and confused by current situations. Whatever you may be experiencing right now is only a bump in the road. There is peace and fulfillment on the other side of hurt and fear.

Don’t lose hope and let me know if I can help.

Peace and Wellness,

SuGa

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2016 Goal Setting Workshop

Are you ready to get intentional about your life? Are you tired of making New Year’s Resolutions that you never fulfill?  If so, join me for my upcoming workshop:

            “Intentional Goal Setting and Vision Illumination for 2016.”

Goals image

This is an interactive workshop where I will give you the skills necessary to:

  • Set solid goals for the New Year
  • Ensure that your goals are established in P.E.A.C.E.
  • Create a plan of action to move toward your goals
  • Create a Vision Board to illustrate your goals
  • Hold yourself accountable for goal completion

There are only a few spots remaining for this complimentary workshop. To reserve your space email me today at: sugawellnessboutique@gmail.com

We will meet on Saturday, January 9th from 12:30-3:00.                      Location details will be shared with participants at a later date.

Peace and Wellness!

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From God, With Love

From God With Love Image

I am so excited to announce the release of my first e-book, From God, With Love. A Woman’s Guide to Achieving Peace in the Midst of Adversity.

This book is a collection of poems, short stories and declarations that I created while navigating through various challenges in my life. I touch on topics such as grief, low-self esteem and depression; with the hope of giving readers inspiration to overcome those conflicts and crisis situations that we sometimes are forced to deal with.

From God, With Love is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and is available in the following formats: Android, IPad, IPhone, Windows Phone, PC and MAC. Click here to order.

The following is  an excerpt from a featured poem entitled, Another Chance which is inspired by Genesis 4:25 NKJV:

God has appointed another seed just for you

Another hope, another opportunity, another chance to start brand new

For he sees you and considers all the pain that you feel

He heard your cry, he longs for your laugh and he weeps because your issue is real

The issue is sin and it keeps us bound

It cancels out faith and welcomes fear to hang around…

It steals our confidence and keeps us trapped

It muffles our testimony and holds us in lack

It spoils our relations and curses our generations

It keeps us divided and un-united as nations…

But God…

Hopefully I’ve enticed you enough to order the book!

Peace and Wellness!

Melissa

 

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Premeditated Interruptions

We need more interruptions. We need more people who are willing to take an interest in the welfare of others.

When you consider the number of suicides that are happening around the world, interruptions are necessary and needed.  Far too many lives are being cut short from this tragedy. Demitri Allison, a college student at Elon University was found dead outside of a UNC Chapel Hill residence hall. His death has been ruled a suicide. From all accounts his family and friends were worried about his emotional state and well-being. How does a young man with such a promising future end up a suicide statistic? How does someone whom many describe as “talented and loved” end up taking his own life.

Demitri’s life is but one instance of a growing crisis. Suicide has affected many people from various walks of life for differing reasons. Thousands have turned to suicide when they feel there is no other alternative. People use suicide as an escape from bullying, heartbreak, financial problems, health issues, loneliness and guilt, just to name a few. Our society is riddled with people who are in crisis.

According to Save.org, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, surpassing homicide which is ranked at number 16. Studies show that a suicide is completed every 13 minutes in the United States and it is the 2nd leading cause of death for young adults between ages 15-24.

So how can you help? You can Question, Persuade and Refer.

QPR is a community based training program that teaches those who are in a position to recognize the warning signs, clues and suicidal communications of people in trouble to ACT vigorously to prevent a possible tragedy. This training is available to anyone who wants to be an interruption in the growing problem of suicide.

If you are a professional caregiver, police officer, fireman, minister, priest, rabbi, school nurse, coach, youth leader, paramedic, high school counselor, case manager, volunteer or paid staff in any of a hundred different kinds of human service organizations, you will very likely have firsthand contact with suicidal people.

EVERYONE Needs to Know QPR!

QPR training is offered by the Mental Health Association in your local area at no charge. If you are interested in hosting an event at your church, club or organization, send me an email and I will help you set up a workshop at your facility. (sugawellnessboutique@gmail.com) If you or someone who you know needs immediate help, please call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Be the interruption in someone’s life by recognizing the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide

Peace and Wellness,

SuGa

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Protecting Our Elders

Keeping our elders safe is a “peacekeeping” tactic that everyone can embrace. As a community it’s up to each individual to watch out for the safety and well-being of one another. Numerous stories in the media detailing how trusting elderly citizens are falling victim to scams and losing their life savings to the fake promise of love are becoming very prominent. Dr. Phil has featured many of these stories on his show to help raise awareness and equip people with the knowledge of this cruel and heartless scheme.

Sweetheart Scams are known as the act of preying upon a victim for financial gain, while deceitfully promising them love. These cruel acts of intention can be played out online or in person. The perpetrator convinces their victim that they are madly in love and then plays on their emotions to cheat them out of large sums of money. It’s sad to say that many elderly men and women have fallen victim and lost millions of dollars.

The recent story of Georgia Muller caught my attention. Ms. Muller, a great grand-mother who loves to paint and post her pictures on Facebook was targeted by someone online pretending to be the Captain of a ship. The more they communicated with one another the more Ms. Muller developed an emotional bond with the pretend Captain. He would send her poems and love notes and she enjoyed the attention. When the time was right, Ms. Muller was asked to wire several hundred dollars to the Captain. Luckily for Muller her internal instincts alerted her that this was a case of fraud.

My appeal to you today is to become more active in the life of an elderly person. Take a vested interest in your loved ones to ensure that they are not falling victim to the schemes, strategies or plots of the enemy. As the bible says, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities and power in the dark places. The enemy attacks us at our weakest moments and wages an all out war on our self-identity and our emotional being.

Send me a comment and let me know how you plan to become more active with the elders in your family and community.

There are several different ways that the elderly are being deceived out of their money. Some of the tactics that are being used are threats and deceit, pressure tactics, jury scams, computer scams, financial planning scams and home renovation scams.

If you suspect that and elderly family member of friend is in trouble there are three things that you can do to help.

  1. Go to IC3.gov. The FBI runs the site. It lists various scams and even buzzwords to listen for.
  2. Go to FBI.gov.  It also lists scams and how to spot them.
  3. Report your suspicions to the local authorities.
Peace and Wellness,
SuGa
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Identity Crisis

By now, you may have seen the awful pictures that detail the scars and bruises that Nicole Holder suffered at the hands of Greg Hardy. These photos are a terrible reminder of the physical abuse and terrifying situations that many women find themselves faced with daily. Statistics reveal that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than vehicle accidents, muggings and rapes combined. It’s disturbing to know that a woman is abused every 9 seconds and even more disturbing is the fact that 1 in every 5 teenage girl has reportedly been threatened with violence or experienced harm if she decides that she no longer wants to be in a relationship with a boy. Even more shockingly for the Christian body, 25% of Christian homes witness abuse of some kind. Spousal abuse is just as common among church goers as it is with everyone else.

So what can we do? There are tons of causes, organizations and awareness campaigns that are aimed at raising awareness for domestic violence. As a society, WE ARE EXTREMLY AWARE. We have the desire to create change, knowledge of the issue but we lack the ability to make real change and challenge what is seen as normal in many households. I’m under the opinion that we need to introduce some type of identity intervention program to challenge those beliefs and misconceptions that women and young girls hold about themselves, while we deal with the issue of abuse.

Truth is, we have to recognize things for what they are. Human beings are experiencing a lack of love and compassion toward one another, and this goes against everything that God says in his Word. Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

As heirs of Christ, our identity is established in love. Until we are able to deal with those issues that make us doubt our ability to love others and the things that keep us from fully receiving love, we will always have the issue of domestic violence

“If I were your enemy, I’d devalue your strength and magnify your insecurities until they dominate how you see yourself, disabling and disarming you from fighting back, from being free, from being who God has created you to be. I’d work hard to ensure that you never realize what God has given you so you’ll doubt the power of God within you.” (Excerpt from, Fervent, A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer).

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Focus On Truth

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NKJV

Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder is a true and real mood disorder associated with depression and related to the seasonal variations in light that occur during the winter months. For many people, mainly women, this time of year can be filled with anxiety, mood changes, overeating and lethargy, just to name a few. Some of the suggested treatments include medication, outdoor activity or phototherapy.

Along with treatment, it’s important for us to practice spiritual remedies as well. We have to utilize the powerful weapons of warfare that are made available to every believer who has accepted Jesus as Lord over their life. When we are feeling out of sorts and in a state of depression we have to affirm, meditate and visualize a strategy of success. By focusing inward with peaceful thoughts about ourselves and our importance in society, we develop a stronger connection to God and a greater dependence on the healing effects of love.

Our strategy must include the truth about us that can only be found in God’s word.

  1. John 3:16-For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.-Remember that God will not withhold any good thing from you. His mind is set on loving you and gifting you with everlasting life.
  2. Isaiah 54:17- No weapon formed against you shall prosper. And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn.-God already knows every issue and challenge that you will face. Even though things may look bad at the moment, God has other plans for you and you come out victorious!
  3. Jude 24-Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy-You will stumble and make mistakes along your journey but God has already planned to restore you. It makes Him happy to see you doing good. It pleases God to see you shine!

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you!

SuGa

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Usable Experiences

1 Peter 4:12 NIV – Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

Sometimes life just isn’t fair. We’ve all encountered situations that have left us asking the question “how did this happen?” or repeating the phrase, “why me.” Some of the stories that we hear about in the news are simply heart-breaking. We hear about senseless killings, reports of abuse and attacks on innocent people.

Whatever happened to common courtesy and basic human decency?

The word of God instructs us to not think it a strange thing when we face trials. We are actually encouraged to rejoice in times of pain and uncertainty. I know it’s a hard thing to hear but, as long as we live and breathe  conflict will forever be part of our story, with new chapters spontaneously forming daily.

In the newly released book: Stand, Learning to Lead Through Conflict, Dr. Timothy W. Sloan encourages us all by saying, “we are men and women who have been endued with heavenly power to fulfill our divine purpose of leading others.”

To become more effective in dealing with others and their circumstances, we have to face our personal crisis with authority and boldness.

Here are a few things that we can do to transform our personal conflicts into opportunities to help others.

  1. Be Transparent in your approach: People are more willing to listen to what you have to say and follow your lead if they can relate to you and establish a sense of trust. Use your experiences to create opportunities of Peace by listening, offering encouragement and simply being available.
  2. Step out of you Comfort Zone: Change your approach. If you’re constantly running into resistance, it’s time to do things differently. Create your own personal prayer of Jabez. Dee Marshall of Girlfriends Pray says it best, “Lord show me how to take Who I am, Who I want to be and What I can do and use it for a purpose greater than myself. Now that’s a prayer that will certainly enlarge your territory!
  3. Be Flexible: Be willing to work with others, the word says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Remember, experiences both good and bad are usable. Incorporate your experiences and the three approaches listed above to deal with others and help them along their path to healing.

Peace and Wellness,

SuGa

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There’s No Other Way to Explain My Pink

 Luke 8:10 NKJV – And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that

‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.

On Tuesday, October 20, 2015, The American Cancer Society changed its breast cancer screening guidelines to begin screening woman on an annual basis at age 45 instead of age 40. Their website states that these guidelines were put in place to detect breast cancer early and when treatment can be most effective (www.cancer.org).

I’ve read the statistics of breast cancer diagnosis by age and I agree that in the past most new cases of breast cancer have occurred in older women. There has been an increase in women being diagnosed at an earlier age.

My concern is that this new guideline doesn’t take into account the thousands of women who are under the age of 45 that are diagnosed yearly with these ugly disease. Marketers dress breast cancer awareness swag in pink to make it appear more appealing, but there is nothing pretty about this disease.

I was inducted into the “Hall of Pink” in April of this year. In my case there wasn’t a sign or a symptom, there was simply a suggestion and yes that suggestion came straight from God.  I was 39, recently divorced and trying to establish a new sense of normalcy for my life. As I went about my normal, daily activities, God spoke clearly to me and said; “Melissa, go get a mammogram.” I didn’t hesitate and because of my act of trust, the cancer was found very early and it has been removed. I now try to live each day more aware of the power that is available to me when I trust God and believe that his words for my life are true.

So that is my story but for many others it doesn’t happen that way. Many women and men walk around with no symptoms of breast cancer, although the disease may already be attacking their body. African-American women under the age of 45 are more likely to get the disease and die from it than any other female ethnic group.

With as much fundraising and research taking place because of this disease, I don’t understand why the screening guidelines would move in a direction opposite of the increasing number of women who need to be screened. It would seem that more would be done to catch it early with the hope of eventually eliminating it. Delay the screening means delaying diagnosis.

As a society, we have to become our own advocates. It’s vital that we eat healthy, exercise and take an active part in managing our health care needs. I highly recommend the book, The Cancer Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi.

Be well and stay in peace!