Monday, December 28, 2015

Dating God and Drinking Pretty Coffee


Photo Quote: @adamcappa. Photography: LaToria Pierce
"I mean... God and I, we hang out all the time but we've never dated before." I uttered this comment in all seriousness but my sister-friend Yvette burst into girlish laughter, tickled by the thought of "dating God." It was an exciting but peculiar thought. I had only twice heard the mention of dating God, once by Pastor Toure` Roberts  in his sermon "Identifying Your Purpose Mate," (as he talked about his experience dating God following a divorce), and this particular day as I drove to meet up with Yvette. (Side Note: Both men and women can "date" God...just an FYI).

I couldn't wait to share the idea with Yvette and get her perspective. We set in DC's Union Market, gitty and fascinated about the concept that had consumed my heart- "If while single, I "date" God, it allows me to continue to be molded by Him, continue to become whole in Him. God will be positioned as the Head of the House, already leading every area of my life. Then, when God says "It's time," He brings my guy into the picture. The man He chose for me will take his place as the Man of the House, and we've got our team (aka power couple)- God, him, me!" 

Yvette listened closely and I could tell she had already begun forming her own thoughts about dating God. While still exploring her thoughts, she shared: "...so I could ask God what trip he wants to take me on..where we should go for dinner..or for dates?! He would be my provider.... [Since I'm dating Him, I can say] 'God, it's all on you!'" 

Not much of a coffee drinker but excited about a cappuccino with a design, I sipped my "pretty coffee" and at this point, I knew Yvette and I had discovered something bigger than the both of us. I've always understood that the closer a woman gets to God before her spouse enters her life, the closer her and her husband stand to be. Being close to God can only make us better women for our purpose and even more, the best wives for our predestined husbands (and vice versa). However, who knew that "dating God" was a part of the plan?!


My Sister-Friend Yvette! She's not only a Heaven-sent friend! She's an amazing Health Coach:YVETTEALMENGOR.COM.

GOD is THE GLUE: 
The fact of the matter is, another person cannot be the root of our contentment and happiness. Those two things should root from God and start with self. A spouse is a gift. A teammate. Not a savior. A true marriage starts with God, He's the author of the love story, the counselor through the tough times, and the one responsible for keeping the marriage fresh. God is the glue.


The God Triangle is such a great visual-aid!

He's the reason couples married for 50+ years still nudge each other back and forth, flirting like youngins', and the husband 50 years later, gives the wife butterflies. THAT is the love I desire. So while single, I'm in love with the idea of dating God, knowing that trusting Him, His timing, and growing closer to Him, results in such a beautiful love between me and my predestined "boo thang." ;) #Heeeeeyyy 

.....back to the story:

Hours later, it was obvious that both Yvy and I would be telling God 'yes' to His requests to date. We giggled as we talked about how God's "love languages" are Quality time and Praise, and realized that we'd have to be sure to give Him both while "dating" Him. We were like young girls, talking about a crush...excited about all the blessings to come after each deciding to date God. As we grabbed our bags to head out of Union Market, I took peace in knowing that while I focus on God, He'd put me in the line of vision of my husband when it's time. This is something I'm not to worry about. In the meantime, my only responsibility is to live in the moment and enjoy my life...enjoy the love and presence of God. I could hear a whisper in my heart saying, "Where should we go on our first date?" My reply? "Lord, I know just the place!" 

Join me on IG at #DatingGod and share your thoughts and comments below: 


xoxo

LT 

A "Blog" thanks to my friend Yvette Almengor for all the always inspiring girl talks, and being okay with me sharing our amazing convo with the world! lol! Love you lady!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Flowers and Forgiveness for the One Who Broke My Heart"


At the point of forgiveness is freedom. I know because I've been there. Three years ago, a perfect stranger called me and in the midst of heartbreak, with great wisdom, he spoke to my (then) current situation. He later told me, "...one day you'll send that man flowers and a note saying thank you for getting out of my life." Apostle Ron was so right! Back then, I was so hurt and angry by the complete and utter hell I had been put through. It just didn't seem fair that someone could effortlessly break someone so easily. I was a different person then. Innocence bred an ignorance that made me believe that my dedication and the pureness of my love could heal a broken person, and that person in return would fulfill their word, and do right by me. It was a hard lesson learned but I understand now more than ever, that only two individuals can change the foundation of a person- that person (themselves) and their Creator.

Today, one thing I know for sure is that freedom for me came when I could forgive. Boy was it hard! I wanted him to pay! I wanted the time he stole back... but that's not the direction I was supposed to take. I could hear a whisper in my spirit say, "Whatever direction he goes, you take the opposite route. Move on, forgive him and let go of the pain." I came to understand that forgiveness was for me more than it could ever be for him. That in order to live the life I was meant to live, I had to let go and forgive.

This didn't mean that I had to have a conversation with this individual. It didn't mean that I ever had to speak to him again, it simply meant that with all my heart, I had to release the pain, hurt, and disrespect. I had to let the past die and understand that although he took a lot from me, this man owed me nothing. That God is the one who gets vengeance not me. That God would restore me. It was a process. A very painful yet progressive and then peaceful process. It took daily effort and a small number of family and friends but God picked me up, and from the ashes came the most beautiful version of me. Stronger, lighter, wiser.

So to Mr. "You know who you are" I've forgiven you years ago. However, this is my "thank you and flowers." Thank you for showing me time after time you were not meant to be in my life, and for going your way. The best thing I could have done was to walk away from you but the greatest thing was to forgive you.

A year ago, my mother asked that I shake the pain and get my smile back so that I don't "miss the prince God has for me." Well mom, my smile is not only back but it's big and it's genuine. Whomever the beautiful man is God has for me, he won't miss this smile! I'm in God's perfect peace, and when God says it's time, I'm in the perfect place to love him from my soul and with all of my whole, healed and blessed heart!

To the person out there enduring the pain of a broken heart or who's a prisoner in a relationship, know that there's no heartbreak that God can't fix. You just have to take the first step in the direction of getting out of that unhealthy place. Then watch and see where you end up when you let go, move onward, and truly experience genuine forgiveness. Better to go through the process of healing from a broken heart then to spend years with a person who's not meant to be. Complete forgiveness won't happen overnight but with every effort you make, you'll feel the pain fade and happiness reside.

I've been in the broken place, and now I'm in complete peace, and one thing I can say is it's SO much better here! Oh, and all those things fear is telling you- they're lies! You WILL love again, you're not too old, you're not too damaged, (if you have kids) your little ones will be okay, and there is nothing  a toxic "significant other" has that you can't get on your own or elsewhere. God will provide and true happiness will overwhelm you but it all starts with you. It all starts with your choice.

I'd love for you to share this blog because I believe you know at least one person who needs to hear it. Thank you.

xo

LT
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Walker's Legacy in DC: How to Survive Business and Personal Failure



It's not everyday you get to be on location at Microsoft in the nation's capital (pause for happy dance)!  While the location was an amazing experience, even more, I enjoyed the conversation. Walker's Legacy hosted an intimate event jam-packed with inspiration, and I captured some words of wisdom from the night! If you or someone you know is dealing with any form of loss or discouragement, here's a vlog that will give you hope in getting back up, and trying again! Comment, Share, and Enjoy!
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Friday, November 13, 2015

I Never Knew I Could, Until I Did: My First 10K! Why You Should Run Yours!

There's nothing like the feeling of crossing a finish line. It's empowering! So you'd think the most exciting part of finishing my first 10K would be crossing the finish line (which was really awesome) but it wasn't the most exciting part. For me, it was trekking across the Bay Bridge, and running past each mile marker- my most exciting part was the journey.

Surprisingly, I ran most of it! Still it was tiring, I had my doubts, and my main concern was if my body could handle the run. 7 years ago, the complete surprise of an Auto Immune condition (I'll share the details in another blog), put me in a state where I was unable to do any physical exercise, other than use the bike at the gym. Thank God for miracles! Nowadays, I'm much healthier and having my life back- I've hiked, danced, yoga'd (I know that's not a word), and so much more and it's been great... but I've feared running. Every thought had told me I couldn't do it. When my best-friend invited me to sign up for the "Across the Bay 10K" back in June, I was nervous but knew I had to face my fear.

When I started training for the 10K, I'd run two miles here two miles there and stop and walk. I was terrified to push myself. Then things changed. The weekend before the run, I hit DC with a friend and ran the National Mall...it was tough but as the African Proverb says, "If you want to run fast run alone, if you want to run far run together." Having company took me out of my thoughts  and before I knew it, we had hit 8 miles, and that was my first victory! It was mind over matter. I couldn't believe I had just run (with some walking) 8 miles! I had never done that in my life! After this, I was confident I was "10K Ready!"

...Until fear crept in and declared..."Ok, you can do the 10K but what happens if (insert multiple thoughts of fear)... play it safe and walk it."

That Sunday came and how invigorating! Our crew was about 14 strong and everyone was so excited. My plan was to walk and try to run a little but boy was I surprised! Our team broke up when we crossed the starting line and I ended up with 3 of our crew (aka my Mini-squad). We just started running up the bridge...we passed the 2 mile marker..still running..then 3. We'd walk for a few  minutes (and pose for the professional photographers- pictures below), which was the perfect opportunity to take in the scenery, and recognize how grateful I was to have the physical ability to run this race.

Before I knew it, I saw 6 miles but there was still a little stretch..and I wanted to stop but 1) my people weren't allowing that to happen and 2) neither was my heart...I needed this personal "win." The Finish line came before I knew it and I had accomplished my first 10K!

Being healthy is a gift. Breaking barriers and doing things I never thought I could is a blessing. Funny how a run across a bridge can be the voice of wisdom you need that reminds you that, "Nothing is impossible." So if you're feeling down, depressed, or like giving up or quitting, I urge you to sign-up and get out and walk... jog or even run a 10K! You'll see why I say so when you cross that finish line!

XOXO

LT 


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LT is Officially in the DMV: FALLING IN LOVE WITH FALL




Running laps at Centennial Park in Maryland! Uber excited over my first Fall in (what feels like) 1,000 years...but really more like 12.


#LTintheDMV is a hashtag I've been using for awhile..I've always loved the DC, MD, and VA area and so moving here is a dream come true! I saw it only fitting to create some space on my blog where I can share my running around, new adventures and experiences. Furthermore, I LOVE meeting new people and talking about EVERYTHING, so I hope to branch out and interview business owners, artists, life changers, politicians, and just good folks with amazing stories, here in the Capital area! Check my blog from time to time for more LTintheDMV entertainment ;) I'm not known for having dull days so it should be fun! Also,  if you know someone I can feature or a restaurant/place I should visit put me in the know: Message me.

About the photo above: My best friend introduced me to Centennial park. It was one of my first stops and I fell in love! It has the perfect running course that outlines a lake and beautiful nature, and the Fall foilage has me going crazy! I'm loving all these amarillo, anaranadjo, y rojo hojas! Word has it, the park has won multiple awards for it's landscape and design and it only makes sense- wildflowers, birds, boats, it's definitely a place I'll be visiting often.

I have yet to scratch the surface with all the places to visit and things to do but so far, it feels good to be home :)

LT 


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Vibing with DJ Louie Flaco of Dapper Appetite DJs





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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Why You Shouldn't Care if 'He's Just Not that into You'



If I read one more article explaining to women why "He's just not that into you," I seriously think I'm going to go crazy! Since the movie (which was actually pretty good), it seems like that phrase has become some sort of "indirect diss" to let women know, (in a voice of pity) "sorry you just weren't the one he wanted."

When I read these articles explaining to girls why oh-so unfortunately a man is just not that into her, it takes me back to school yard games. Those ones where two captains pick who's going to get to be on their team, and everyone waits anxiously hoping to be chosen and to not be picked last. Love is not a game and being a man's woman, is not about you being the best-of-the-best amongst his "selection."

 Each of us women have a value, a uniqueness, and strength that is incomparable. If a man can't see that, if he's just not that into you, then maybe that's a sign that he's not the one for you. My entire life (props to my mother), I've believed with everything in me that the man you're with doesn't need convincing of who you are, he doesn't need you to parade how fabulous you are, nor for you to convince him that you are the woman he should be with. You will be an investment and his interest, affection, and love will come genuinely from him, without "push" from you. Who doesn't want that?

What you don't want is the man who is lukewarm. If you have to do any form of convincing as to why you are the right choice, it's a telltale sign. You see how great he is, and assuming you are a person of integrity and demonstrate self-respect, he has a brain to think, ears to hear, and eyes to see, he should be able to comprehend the same thing about you, and on his own.

Consider this, how often do you hear the phrase: "she's just not that into you?" If a guy likes a girl and is giving her the time of day but he starts to notice she doesn't call, check on him, spend time with him, pay attention to him, he moves on! Why? because he knows that he deserves better..or he'll chalk it up as her loss, and consider the fact that there are other options. His life doesn't stop over one woman's lack of interest. In this way, I think it's time that we ladies take a page from the guys' book.

There are many wonderful men out there and all you need is one. So if you're currently in a place where you're realizing the guy you're into isn't into you, go on with your life! Don't you dare let your feelings or self-confidence be affected. Build yourself, accomplish goals, have a freakin' good time, Eat, Pray, Love, etc. etc. and LIVE YOUR LIFE! Then, watch how in the midst of living, the right guy will come along and he won't only be into you, you'll be his choice....oh and PS. He'll love you ;)

It's a truth I can't help but to believe. What are your thoughts?

LT
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Happy Birthday Mr. President: 5 POTUS Quotes that will Inspire You




It has been an enduring ride and 7 years of history in the making for President Barack Obama. From rebuilding an economy, catching Osama bin Laden, ending wars and still strategizing to avoid ground combat, health reform, marriage equality and so much more- He’s managed to impart a lot of change. As "Leader of the Free World," his understanding seems to be that he can’t make everyone happy but he can do his best to increase the value of living for U.S. citizens. Whether or not you're a POTUS fan, it's undeniable he has a way of inspiring and influencing hope…to think- his presidency started with a simple phrase: “Yes we can.”

In celebration of President Obama's 54th birthday, here are 5 POTUS quotes that will go beyond your political beliefs and inspire you:

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

"The future rewards those who press on. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I'm going to press on."

“If you work hard and meet your responsibilities; you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.”

"If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."

"What the American people hope -– what they deserve -– is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared: a job that pays the bills; a chance to get ahead; most of all, the ability to give their children a better life."

Happy Birthday Mr. President!

LT
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

What We Miss When We Don't Live in the Moment

 

For most of our lives, some of us have lived physically standing in the moment but about 100 steps ahead in our thoughts. I'm guilty of this. Recently, my mother and a friend of mine both seemed to echo the same sentiments: "Live in the moment" or "Stop trying to figure things out...just be present." With concern of having regret later in life, I decided to make a conscious effort to live in the moment. It started with me understanding why I struggled to simply be present, and that's when I realized, it was a lack of trust. Some of life's challenges had made me so unnerved that my 'survival mode' was to mentally try to have a plan, a back-up for every situation. This was a bad habit I had to break because if I didn't, time would pass by and I'd miss today's opportunities, the big and little blessings that were all around me, and the peace that awaited me in the moment I was in. These are the things we miss when we fail to live in the moment.

Each new day has something new. We miss it if we focus on and worry over things we cannot control. I personally believe being comfortable with living in the moment, starts with the choice to understand who created us and why we were created. I've seen the hands of God in my life, so I'd be a liar if I tried to deny His reality. My peace to live in the moment comes from knowing that God's hands are holding me-they always have been and they always will be. I can't trust "chance," the unknown is scary, faith is challenging, and sometimes people can be fickle and unreliable but God's hands are unfailing. For those of us who understand this, we learn that the presence of God is something we miss if we don't live in the moment. We take for granted the mercy, grace, and joy that God gifts to us each new morning. 

So my effort is to loosen my grip of fear, worry and concern, and just rest in the fact that I should:

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to an all-knowing God.

Here's to letting go and simply living in the moment! Even if it is one step at a time. 

LT
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"LaToria's Secret 1: Church Boys in Sheep's Clothing"


I saw this shirt that read "I love Church boys." The first thing I did was (roll my eyes and) think to myself, I've got to say something even though I know a few people who won't like it: Just like every guy you meet on the street is not a bad guy, every man in church is definitely not a Man of God or good guy. Period. Numerous times women have told me they're going to church to meet a man. My question always is, "What if the man God has for you is not at your church? Then what?"

I've learned that just because he attends Sunday service, sings in the choir or is the head usher, doesn't mean that 1) he's committed to God nor 2) he'll be committed to you. "Church boys" or "Church girls" are HUMAN too. It is a personal relationship with God that solidifies the "Christ-integrity" of a person not church attendance. I define Christ-integrity as allowing God to lead your life, and thus, the leadership of God influences how you treat others.

A VERY long time ago, I too thought that if he was in the church, he must have a relationship with God (moment of silence for this lie). The bible says you'll know the tree by the fruit it bears [Matthew 7:20]. So whether the man is in church or you meet him at the gym, you look for the "fruit." The walk of his talk or "soul characteristics" like honesty, respect, integrity, compassion, wisdom...I think you get my point.

Side Note: No one's perfect...we all fall short, yes even us Christians, and that's the beauty of being Christian! You accept that you're an imperfect person, saved by a perfect Savior. So while we strive to do our best, it's the inevitable that we all will make mistakes.

So am I saying that all Church boys are "wolves in sheep's clothing?" Not at all! What I am saying is that just because a man or woman is in the church, doesn't mean that they have a relationship with Christ. WHO they are will show through time and how they treat others will tell you who they are. I'll share some of the best advice I've been given: If you're sincerely relying on God to send your man or purpose mate, then let God do what He does. Live your life, and in due time, whether it be at church, the airport, a coffee shop...God will send him or present you to him, and it will be the right time.

Have a thought or opinion you want to share? Chat with me in the comment section!

LT
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Friday, July 10, 2015

4 Reasons Why You Should Be the Girl on the Right


Aaah life! It's an unpredictable, exciting, enduring journey! You never stop learning or experiencing, and there comes a point where you realize you've got everything you need to accomplish your heart's desires, and the outcome of a situation is all about your response. Still, no matter how old you get, there's that desire (and sometimes struggle) to live out loud and be your best self. My suggested solution and personal advice? Take a look at the picture above and BE THE GIRL ON THE RIGHT! Maybe not always but sometimes, and here's 4 reasons why: 

1) Life is about taking chances! Setting your thoughts and fears aside and taking a leap of faith! I heard this quote: "If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives." So if there's something pulling on your heart strings, firing up your spirit, and heightening your fears,  it might be time to take that leap. When it comes to your heart's sincere desires, you have to feel fear and do it anyway!

2) You only live once! Don't be afraid to be uniquely you. Girl, show your personality! It's a MUST that we allow ourselves to be expressive, creative and pursue a good idea. It may be a business you start, an opinion you express, an event you put on, a vacation you take, or simply an outfit you decide to wear. If it's an expression of your best self, then who cares what others think?! As long as you and God are in agreement with your decisions, you're gonna be alright ;) If there's one thing life has taught me, it's to keep the pen that writes my life story in God's hands. He knows me better than anybody.

3) Sometimes you have to blaze your own trail! There are times when we just aren't meant to do things the way everyone else is doing them. What works for one person, may not work for you. Where as everyone else you know may get hired for a job because of someone they know, it may be meant for you to start your own business. Ralph Waldo Emerson could have very well been speaking to you when he said, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail!" 

4) She's a lot of fun! My friend and motivational speaker Alicia Amie has a saying that "sometimes you have to be 30 going on 13." You know those moments when you just don't care what anyone thinks...in fact it's not even a thought? You live and laugh out loud, dance like no one's watching! Those moments you let the 'kid in you' come out to play? Those are some of your most powerful moments. Always hold on to that part of you!

Here's to being the girl on the right...at least sometimes.

XOXO 

LT




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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Confessions of Beautiful Single Women: Pt. 1










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Friday, March 13, 2015

Confessions of Beautiful Single Women: Part 2


                      



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