Friends with Purpose

Hey My Loves! There’s a new tab here on jamiedreamsbig.com and it’s all about doing what it takes to maintain friendships. The word friend can be used so loosely sometimes so some may not understand this… But, if your “friends” are true friends you want to hold on to them. “Friends with Purpose” is about doing what it takes to make sure your friendship is purposeful… Girls nights, book clubs, traveling, volunteering, and most definitely praying among many other things. We will soon be hosting events and all that jazz but for now feel free to join in on one or many of our initiatives to help the world and continue to nurture true friendships

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Some of you may be familiar with our prayer call “Prayer and the City” a spin off of “Sex and the City” where we still have all the regular girl talk that is necessary but we also engage in prayer for our friendships and about some of the struggles that sometimes arise. Make sure you’re following our Social Media accounts so you’ll know when the next call is…

Our next initiative is EXTREMELY important. We are absolutely outraged by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and definitely want to join in the efforts to get some clean water to these families. All week we will be taking donations!! If you want to help out but want to make sure that the help is received and is received in a timely matter you can absolutely trust that we will be getting them this water.

To join in our efforts please head over to PayPal by pressing the button below and when making a donation specify “Water for Flint” in the notes or comments section.

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Thanks so much! We too often take things like water for granted and your contribution will definitely be a great expression of your gratitude.

 

 

Protect your Happy!

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Hey my loves!! Just stopping by with some Monday morning inspiration to jump start your week…

I am really learning the value of not only my solitude, but what I am capable of completing in solitude when my circle of people steer clear of negativity. A lot goes on in our minds… it’s where we as humans operate. So if you are surrounded by negative people when you do finally get a moment to yourself all you can do is either reflect on how they’ve pissed you off or try to relax your mind because let’s face it- negativity is draining! Let’s do ourselves a favor and surround ourselves with people who are in pursuit of not only success or money, etc., but JOY! When you truly find joy or are at least in pursuit of it, you realize that nothing is worth sacrificing that joy for. Not gossip, not arguments, not even money!

Find your happy and protect it by surrounding yourself with people that want to protect theirs just as much.

Love ya,

JNB

 

Sober Saturday: Sick and Tired…

When I was younger I could go NON-STOP!

I had 3 jobs, I’d make sure I volunteered at least once a week at a shelter, did all kinds of things with my younger niece and little cousins, and I was apart of the Drama Ministry at my Church. (Great Commission Baptist Church, Fort Worth, TX)

I did many shows over the years but right now one in particular sticks out to me…

It was the Black History program and I was all set to be Fannie Lou Hamer. A civil rights and voting rights activists who was known for her straight forward approach and the quote

 “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired”

Have you ever been there?

Sick of your situation… so far on the edge that you can see the end but cant reach it?

I’ve been there.

I’ve stressed over and over my hate for drugs and alcohol and how it destroys people and their families and I know this is Sober Saturday but I also know that there are people out there like myself who don’t have a substance or alcohol abuse problem but are SICK AND TIRED!

Is it your job? Is it your lack of a job? Your family? Is it this messed up world we live in? (It’s bad out here ya’ll) Or is it in fact an addiction to something you NEVER thought would even cross your mind and now it’s all you think about?

What is it?

What are you tired of?

I love Ms. Hamer. I cant remember the complete monologue. I cant remember much about her. I don’t know if I should be typing Mrs instead of Ms. In fact, the only thing that I remember confidently is the quote that she’s known for so much that it is engraved on her tombstone. What I admire most about it is that despite her tiredness mentally, spiritually, and even physically she took action. And aggressively! Even as a Black woman in those days, with all she had against her to begin with she found ways to try to change her situation and the world around her.

What are you doing to change your situation? It’s not enough to just be tired. It’s not enough to just want change. I’m not going to go into the whole “you have to be strong”, “you have to push through” speech because we all know what we have to do OR better yet, we know what NOT to do. Don’t put yourself back in the same situation because it convenient. Don’t do that to yourself. Do what you gotta do. Get it together. No more sulking, being lazy, and JUST being tired.

Let Ms. Hamer inspire you and do it no matter how BIG the task seems.

DO SOMETHING!!

and then get some rest…

“You can pray until you faint but unless you get up and try to do something God is not going to put it in your lap”

-Fannie Lou Hamer

Rest In Peace

Shine!

Hello My loves!!

We are all well into the week and If you’re like me, sometimes you are SO over going through the motions of life just to LIVE, and pay bills, and eat, etc… Well, PLEASE understand that none of this is in vain and you have to be willing to be “used” wherever you are.

Although I can VERY easily get discouraged sometimes (because ALL of my dreams are SO big!) My personal experience with this is a pretty cool one…

I’ve been working in hospitality for the last few years because I LOVE customer service jobs but every once in a while I not only get fed up with “my job”,  but really the fact that I’m not where I thought I would be at this age in my career. (Yeah, I’ve always had dreams bigger than life)With all of that being said, I’m not the type of person to come to work and do a horrible job because of my lack of satisfaction with how I think my life is supposed to play out as opposed to how God says it will. So, one night I was at work and something that NEVER happens happend. One of our guests truck was stolen. WHAT?! Yes, a whole truck. I felt so bad and so helpless for the guest because no matter how good my customer service skills are, there was nothing I could do in this situation. Im a “fixer” and I couldnt fix this… Determined to help, I did what I would do if the guest were my Mom or any of my Sisters and they were in a city they knew nothing about and now, dealing with the fact that their car was stolen. I tried to encourage her and shift her focus from this horrible thing to all of the GOOD possibilities that could come out of it. (A new, better truck, etc)  At the time I was reading “I Declare” by Joel Osteen and I made a copy of a page and wrote a note on it for he and left it and im sure some kind of snack (I love snacks!) for her.

Im a pretty cheesy person so I do things like leave notes and treats often but because of the work I do I CANT always openly let the guests know “I’ll pray about it” or that they should, or that God will surely fix it and has to have a bigger plan in mind. This situation was different… discernment stepped in and I could just feel that it was needed. I was unsure of how it would play out over time but since then I’ve stopped working this particular job regularly. (because my work in theater has picked up SO MUCH) But a few weeks ago SHE CALLED! I just so happen to be the person working that day (insane I KNOW) and I answered… She explained who she was and thanked me for all of the encouragement and said since then she has gotten A new, better truck! The one she actually wanted anyway! She went on to say how she’s gotten her whole family to start the book and that she thinks about the situation and how I tried to turn it around for her. This was exactly what I needed at the time… to hear that basically all of the blogging, and making videos, and time I put into uplifting others wasnt in vain.

Now its no secret that I think pretty highly of myself… I mean, what’s not to love?! Lol. But, I’m not writing this to brag on myself… I want to share how your willingness to be used for good and continue to shine even when you aint feeling it can help someone else. Shine consistently, shine bright, shine when you dont feel like it, shine when you really want to be working on Broadway instead of at a Hotel, SHINE!! You’ll get the desires of your heart and you can encourage others while you are on your journey.

So, yes it’s Thursday and this week may be dragging for you… continue to shine even when you dont feel like it… It may help someone else through something. Be willing to be used where you are and you’ll be blessed with more and more and more.

Sober Saturday: ALIVE

April 2010 I very happily packed my Mazda 3 to its capacity and moved to Atlanta to pursue film. I very quickly got work being an “extra” on many films one of which was Footloose. Nearly everyday we’d meet for 12 hour shoots and we began to “really” learn each other… Who would want to play Mafia, who had a car, the part of town everyone lived in, what movies they’d been on, etc…

Well, today’s Sober Saturday post is by someone from my Footloose Family. Someone I learned basic things about while waiting to go to set… Someone who was always nice and always had a smile.

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Emi is the one on the left… I’m on the right looking a mess!

If she hadn’t written this story I could’ve never guessed she was struggling with something SO heavy at such a young age. It’s an extremely inspiring story about a young woman with a backbone. Strong enough to make a man be a man!! I’m proud of her! And I’m glad she’s telling her story…

“Alive”

My story is not one of trials and tribulations. I do not know what it is like to be alone, feel hunger, or abuse. My goal is not to make you cry, but to bring to light how easy it can be for a simple young girl to get caught up in a whirlwind of bad decisions.

He was five. She was five. Pinkies were crossed, and a promise was made. A promise that they would one day get married, have babies, and be best friends forever. He was fourteen. She was fourteen. He cheerfully talked about his new girl friend while she desperately wished he was talking about her. He was sixteen. She was sixteen. She nervously sat by a tree in the woods as he rolled a joint. She declined when it was passed her way, but was terrified he would not want to see her anymore. He was eighteen. She was eighteen. The date she had always dreamed of, and the goodnight kiss she had prayed for finally happened! The end of that night marked the beginning of a relationship.

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He was happy. She was happy. He would still roll joints, but, it was only weed. He would offer, and she finally began to accept. Remember, it was only weed. He opened her life to new friends, music, clothes, possibilities, ideas, and adventures. Every question seemed to have an answer. Till one day she came across a pill in a plastic bag. “It’s only Xanax. I need it because it calms me down.”, was his immediate response. She stayed quite because, after all, it was only weed and Xanax.

He was nineteen. She was nineteen. All the answers slowly became questions. Unanswered phone calls, deleted texts, and hostile conversations became part of their daily routine. She did not read the signs when his head was in the toilet every day. She did not understand why he quit his job. She justified why he had to live with her and her parents. She did it all gladly in the name of love. Surely he could not be doing anything terrible because it was only weed and Xanax. Every argument ended in her apologizing to him; for how dare she suggest he was on anything stronger. Even her friends were alienated if they mentioned the words “pain pill addiction.” She never thought to ask why he was so skinny, and finding him searching through her piggy bank like a mad man was no big deal at all. Remember, it was just weed, Xanax, and maybe, sometimes, every now and then, a pain pill. His compassion slowly turned to control. Control of what she ate, who she saw, and what she did.

He was twenty. She was twenty. He was getting his fix. She was sitting at her birthday dinner with her family making yet another excuse as to why he could not make it. Her innocence vanished, confidence shattered, faith altered, and heart broken. That night at one miraculous moment of what some people would call God, and others Fate happened. She experienced clarity for the first time in a long time. As she laid crying on her brother’s shoulder, the radio sang, “Everything’s gonna be all right. Rockabye. Rockabye.” She went home, packed his clothes, records, and every trace of the life they shared. She realized she could no longer follow down his path. She then said the hardest goodbye she had ever made. Trying months laid ahead. His addiction became worse, but her mind became more clear. She never regretted her decisions because they made her stronger. She realized addiction had stollen away the one she loved, and he was not coming back.

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She finally let his actions become his responsibility. He hit rock bottom and slowly resurfaced. She, on the other hand, fell into the best kinds of addictions; she fell in love.

He is twenty three. I am twenty three. Only those close to him know about his well being. I however, am a mother, friend, sister, daughter, and companion. I love a wonderful man, and we are raising a beautiful daughter.

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My story could have ended in tragedy, but thanks to friends, family, and a whole lot of prayer, my story is one of hope. Stories like mine do not happen every day, and I am extremely thankful. I am passionate, beautiful, and smart.

Most importantly however, I am alive.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY ADDICTION AND WOULD LIKE YOUR STORY TO BE FEATURED ON SOBER SATURDAY EMAIL JAMIEDREAMSBIG@GMAIL.COM!!

Kendra’s Fashion Challenge: Epcot with the Family!

Hey my loves!! I hope all is well in your world…

So, I’ve got some pretty big news. About a week ago travel expert Kendra Thornton emailed me and expressed how much she loved my personal style and invited me to participate in her fashion challenge. I couldn’t believe that someone who has been featured on TV shows with Tyra Banks and Nate Berkus even knew about lil ole me.

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Kendra on the Tyra Banks show

 

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She’s beautiful huh?!

 

Here is some of what Ms. Kendra had to say about the Challenge… It includes her plans for the trip and even a site for Travel information that she uses herself! Pretty cool…)

 

“I’m looking forward to my trip to Orlando with my family this spring. I don’t want to embarrass my kids by stepping out in out of date fashions while vacationing and taking pictures. I need help picking out the perfect outfit for our family-fun adventures? To help me plan, I’ve created the contest “Kendra’s Fashion Challenge”. I can’t wait to see what recommendations my favorite fashion bloggers have for me! I’ve personally reached out to Jamie to help me put together a chic ensemble for Epcot! The laidback atmosphere of Orlando provides an inviting environment for families coming here on vacation. I used the online website gogobot to help me get reviews of many attractions in Orlando. Many attractions even have special amenities specifically for those traveling with young children. I look forward to enjoying shows and dinners with my family. We’ll probably take the kids to a mini golf course for a few rounds of fun, and I imagine that my husband and I will slip away together to enjoy cocktails at the hotel bar some evening. No matter what my itinerary looks like during my vacation in Orlando, I know I’ll have more fun when I look great. I’m excited to see what outfit you choose for my family’s fun filled day in Epcot!”

 

Well of course, I gladly accepted the challenge. In addition to my love for fashion, I LOVE DISNEY!! I HAD to be apart of this challenge!

 

I had so much fun “shopping” for this challenge… It’s my personal style with Kendra and her family in mind. Now, I don’t have any children (or a Husband. Yet.) but I can imagine that she would want something comfy AND cute. Something that would allow her to be fashionable and on trend but not dressed TOO young. Hmmm… Don’t worry Ms. Kendra- I got ya. I shopped at some of the same places I shop so it was challenging at times because our overall lifestyles are COMPLETELY different. All in all I think it turned out well. Let me know what you think…

 

 

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The first outfit is very trendy yet comfy! If the family wants to get up and go explore Epcot this would be the perfect outfit to do it in. The solid tank and print shorts are made of very light fabric so she can stay cool and dry easy if there are any water activities. Yes, the leopard print shoes are TOMS THEE most comfortable shoes ever in life!! (Seriously tho!) Now although I don’t have any children I am a very maternal person… When I travel I’m always the one with the things every one needs. The band aids, the camera, the water, etc… So, of course you need a bag. The bag is what really makes this functional because it’s small and light weight enough that it can hold essential things but won’t be so heavy that you don’t want to hold it. All of the accessories are basic enough to let the print on the shorts and the print on the shoes be the focal point of the outfit without throwing in yet another statement piece.

SHORTS- H&M    SHIRT- H&M    SHOES-TOMS    LIPGLOSS-REVLON BELLINI    BAG-MOD CLOTH

SUNGLASSES-H&M    NECKLACES- H&M

 

 

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This second outfit really serves as a “just in case” outfit. In my opinion, if you’ve been out in the sun riding rides, playing games, etc you may want or NEED to freshen up and change before dinner and shows. This is the perfect outfit for it! You can be cute and casual in the dress which is simple enough for this look but also can be dressed up or down for any season and most events. I LOVE a good, basic all season dress. Throw on a jacket because most inside live shows are cold… The shoes are the pop of action for this outfit, are great for spring, and because they’re flats you’ll be able to keep up with the kiddos. The same shades and necklaces as before with a bracelet added for a little wrist action. Now, the braids… I love the braids! Omg I do! I actually wear my hair like this often. I don’t know how wild these activities will be but if you’re on rides and running around you don’t want to constantly have to keep pulling your hair back… This style is simple to do but does so much for the overall look.

 

SHOES- GAP    DRESS-TOP SHOP    JACKET- GAP    BRACELET- AMERICAN APPAREL

 

 

 

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I was the most excited about this outfit but I have to say it’s the one that challenged me the most. I wanted to find something that was sexy in a subtle way but because I shopped at the same places for her that I shop for myself I was afraid it wouldn’t be age appropriate. So, I kept it pretty simple with form-fitting skirt and a top with a nice print in a great color. The accessories will really give this outfit what it needs… They add a touch of class but in a casual, not too dressy kind of way. Now, anybody that knows me knows I love a good lip color. Lol. This color is light enough that it’ll keep this a Spring look but dark that it’ll be great for an evening look. I looked around for a hairstyle and came across this messy bun/ponytail dressed with headbands. I love it! The reality of this situation is that there won’t be a lot if time for changing and bringing out the glam squad but when it’s time to leave the kids behind for adult fun, it won’t be hard to put your hair up and put a headband on.

 

SHOES- PIPER LIME    TOP- TOP SHOP    EARRINGS- AMERICAN APPAREL

SKIRT- TOP SHOP    LIPSTICK- HEAVENLY HYBRID BY MAC COSMETICS    RING- TOP SHOP

NECKLACE- TOP SHOP

 

So, what do you guys think of the looks I created for her? I had so much fun shopping and living vicariously through her and the upcoming trip to Epcot. Please leave you thoughts in the comment section of this post and visit Kendra on her twitter page @KendraThornton. If you’re not following my blog PLEASE press the follow button and like my Facebook page. MUAH!

Sober Saturday: Faith Driven

What drives you?….

A question that I realize can mean many things so of course, we’ll explore what I’m talking about a little.

 

Some of you know that I’m an aspiring actress. Always have been! Well, recently I’ve was blessed with several offers for several positions in theater that will span from now through this Summer. Great! I know… IM SO EXCITED!! In addition to those Theater jobs I was also offered a position in Hospitality. I was a bit apprehensive because I’ve done hospitality before and although I love interacting with people IM OVER IT! It always comes back to the fact that it’s just not what I REALLY want to do. I was still excited about the income I could generate with all of these new opportunities I had been blessed with AND what the increase in my bank account would mean for other areas of my life. I could move, help out more, FINALLY start a new initiative I’ve been trying to introduce to the blog, etc, etc, etc. The only thing is… This new hospitality job would eventually have conflicting hours with my sometimes VERY demanding Theater schedule BUT it is consistent in many ways that I need at the time. So, after praying and thinking and obsessing over what to do- I quit the hospitality job. Yep! Only 4 days in and I was done. I was very upset about it… I felt like I’d wasted the time of so many people and I just felt bad. I knew it was right though… So I marched forward with the decision.

A few of the first thing most people ask is “Will you make enough money doing Theater?” “Are you still going to be able to move?” Blah, blah, blah.

Honestly my answer is “I don’t know” I’m trusting that God will work it out for me. And I don’t know how or when… But I know HE WILL! I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, I’m a faith driven person. Gods promise is enough for me to lean on.

 

I know many of you are probably wondering what this has to do with staying sober. Well, like me, some of you may have decided you aren’t going back to where you were. You’ve prayed about it, talked it out, obsessed over it and you’ve decided that every move you make will be a step in the right direction for your life, your career, your family, your dreams…  Be strong enough to tell temptation NO when outside distractions come and paint a pretty picture of what one moment of your life can be like. Look at the big picture… How will you feel after? How do you feel even going into it? If you can say that the big picture regarding addiction is a good feeling then this post isn’t for you. Do what it takes to make big picture changes. Don’t be worried about what other people say because everybody just won’t understand. Find something good to be driven by. And don’t allow it to be materialistic, monetary, or a temporary fix. Those things will fail you every time!

 

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Dont you dare look back! Keep going! Keep pushing!

There is life after addiction!!

Go find yourself!!

Sober Saturday: ENABLING. When “helping” is hurting

Happy Sober Saturday!!

One thing about addiction is that it not only takes a toll on the addict but often affects the entire family. Today’s topic is enabling and honestly, it is SO easy to fall into without even realizing it we can all probably say we’ve enabled someone at some point.

         I mean, we’ve all witnessed it for sure.
Whether it’s someone who allows their child to dictate how the trip to Target goes because they just don’t feel like hearing them cry (Spoiling them even more) or someone who pays the crackhead down the street to wash their car because “they do such a good job” (you’re giving them money for more drugs! I know you didn’t think that money went towards more supplies did you? And yes, I said crackhead) or allowing your Mom to use your car to go get drugs (feeding the addiction)
 It’s all enabling!!
Now, the REASONS we enable can vary… We all have our personal demons.
The thing is we’ve got to figure outa way to stop doing it.
Please watch the video and feel free to leave comments and other solutions you may know of.
Also, BE WARNED:
I am at home. I didn’t get all dressed up to
sit in front of the camera because I wanted it to be like I’m having a casual conversation with a friend. There’s no makeup or fashion to distract from the message. So yeah, I look a mess. Lol.
And share the video!!
        Thanks SO much for your support of Sober Saturday!
Send you story to jamiedreamsbig@gmail.com
to be featured on Sober Saturday and be someone else’s inspiration.

Psalm 107

 

its pretty clear guys… I’m not begging anyone to share what God has done for them. If you’ve been delivered from something as bad as addiction and still don’t want to share for whatever reason there may still be work to do. God has been good… If you want to share that then email me!! MUAH

Opportunities

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I want to start this off by saying that I am not exempt from going through things, having bad days, times where I doubt my whole existence or any of the regular problems we all have just because I have this inspirational blog. In fact, sometimes I feel that I go through more because I’ve allowed myself to be so transparent in hopes of inspiring someone… It’s just that I TRY my hardest to see a slither of Hope or something more than just a messed up situation when things happen.

So, with all that out the way- let’s dive into this question.

A question I’ve seen and heard many times before… What do you guys think? Is God just giving us what we ask for? I think the way people can sometimes view God is a BIG problem. A magician, a genie… Waiting to grant our wishes. Hmmm… Well, I think it’s more about the opportunity to show God and ourselves that we really do want and really can handle what we’ve asked for. As I said before, I am well acquainted with this question but lately it’s really stuck!

All my life I’ve dealt with being misunderstood but lately it’s been RIDICULOUS! Lol. I’ve been so frustrated (with myself mostly) because the things I do and say with pure thoughts are received as angry and sarcastic (among other things) Finally I broke. Completely. I prayed and I said “God what am I doing wrong…” ” Why are my intentions on the smallest things twisted?” “IM NOT AN ANGRY PERSON!!” Lol. Yes, I was upset. Lol. I said “God these are all the things I don’t want to be, these are all the things I just prayed my way out of… IM A HAPPY PERSON” And of course, almost immediately I felt something tugging at me saying “Prove It”

I realized that all of these things are happening so that I can prove myself.
Fine Jamie… You say you’re not sarcastic? Let’s see how you respond to this. You want you friendships/relationships to be better? Hmmm, here’s a stumbling block for you and your friend… We’ll see how real the friendship is. You say you’re patient now? Let’s see how you handle the things you desire taking A LOT longer than you expect. Oh really… You’re not angry? Let’s see if this doesn’t make you flip.
Yep! That’s been my life lately…

Now, I will say I’ve come a LOOOONG way from where I was but I’ve still got a lot to do. All of these things coming at me are my opportunity to grow and improve and to show people that I really am a different person. You really do have to be careful what you ask for. IF it lines up with God’s will he will likely give it to you but it won’t be without work!!

Are you REALLY ready for what you’ve asked for? I guess the real question is are you really ready to do what it takes to get what you’ve asked for? Don’t give up on your dreams, friendships, happiness and improving yourself just because problems keep being thrown your way. The fact the you’ve even been given the opportunity to show your growth says a lot! Take full advantage of these opportunities God is giving you. And even if you don’t get it exactly right the first time or two or six… Get better each time. Grow a little everyday!

I’m not where I used to be. But if I can’t showcase that when things happen no one will know but me. That will cause MORE problems because now I’ll have to defend myself and my growth. No… I’d rather take a different route. It’ll be hard but I’m going to seize EVERY opportunity I get and in turn I won’t have to announce my improvements because instead they’ll be seen.

MUAH!! I love my followers! I really do. Thanks for listening…