A Decade of Blessings

Bye 20s

19 year old me.

Y’all, tomorrow, I will be 30. I can already feel the tears. I am entering a new decccccade. LET’S GOOOO!

I remember crying the day before I turned 20. So, let’s keep the tradition alive.

God, you didn’t have to, oh, but you did!! My life is differently than I expected.

I started my 20s fighting a legal battle and I truly thought my life was over... That legal system ain’t no joke! Oh, but God!

God, I give you all the thanks. *I’m crying!* You saw a light in me from day one. A light I didn’t see.

This is a thanks to every person who has ever mentored, talked to, prayed for and with, and/or inspired me! I am where and who I am because of YOU!

Looking back, my 20s were spent learning from the beautiful people God exposed me to. I learned the power of networking, importance of financial literacy, healthy families exist, alone time is a necessity, and Black women and natural hair are GOLD!

Black women taking over wine country! 2019

People believing in me is why this Black woman with a criminal record (I cannot believe I was ashamed of this entire experience *rolls eyes*) got degrees, a beautiful career, wonderful family of choice, and living her best life. I don’t take this for granted. People saw the light in me and continue to show up! I will never forget the love people had and have for me.

This is why I blog and instagram. I want to see all of us W I N and share what I know and have! What is mine is yours!

The road may be tough and with God and your community you are tougher. Remember who you belong to!

The world and *some* people may have written you off. Oh, but God! God can turn water into wine. God qualifies the called. GIRLLLL, tell me what God can’t do?!?

God didn’t and would never write you off! Again, remember who you belong to! You were perfectly and wonderfully made!

Natalie “Janine” Gates, go get what’s yours! 30s, let’s gooooo. 

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Let’s Check In

Covid -19; How Are You Coping?

Covid-19 is a rollercoaster of emotions! Some days, I am living my best life and other days, I am soaking in MY realness of online classes (UGH! Not my fave whatsoever), unemployment and wondering when I will get a job, healing from a car accident (do not get me started) and wishing I could dance, hang out, and travel. And the realness of the world is doing a number on me!

Sister, do not get me wrong, I AM BLESSED! I have what I need. Living with family, entertaining Dais (my sweet baby doggy), the opportunity to get a second Master’s degree, learning my way around the kitchen, spending more time with God, and the list of blessings could go on and one. I have to remain in the now/this goodness and work on activities that are in my control. I cannot worry about tomorrow because I do not know what that will bring!

I strongly suggestion us to focus on activities that are life giving and please stay home/social distance when seeing folks! Also, wear your mask! Yes, it is uncomfortable and hard to breathe out of and it saves lives. So, wear it!

Below is a list of things that are keeping me calm, grateful, and are IN MY CONTROL!

  • Starting the day with prayer, thanksgivings, and/or gospel music. Spotify’s Rhythm & Praise playlist will have you singing and stomping through your house. I am sure my entire family knows this playlist and honey, that is FINE! We could all use a little more Jesus. HA
  • When my body is cooperating, I practice yoga (Yoga with Adriene – she is phenomenal. A fave. The videos are free), walk, and explore nature.
  • Baker Janny in the HOUSE! HAHA! I can bake some delicious bread and cookies. I started a business – Janny Panny’s Pantry. We are working on a website. Currently, taking orders here for Portland people only.undefined
  • Tell me you do not want a loaf? You know your mouth is watery. HA! I enjoy baking. It is relaxing and keeps me in the present moment! If baking isn’t your thang, try cooking. I enjoy SkinnyTaste, their meals are as simple or complex as one needs them to be. Check it out and let me know what fabulousness you’ve created.
  • WRITING! Write your feelings, thoughts, needs, or whatever else comes to mind. I am currently working on a daily devotional called, All in All. It is perfect for our current reality and a great time spent with God, understanding how God is with me each and every step of the way, and everything will be alright!
  • Spending time with loved ones. Sis, schedule that zoom meeting with your friends or family. Every other week, I chat with some of my Spelman (Oh, don’t you wish) Sisters and we are heard, seen, and laughing! Several weeks ago, I hosted a virtual pizza party with my niblings. (Nibling is a gender neutral term for niece and nephew.) It was so much fun and full of nibs’ updates!

Sister, how are you coping? What is working and isn’t working? How can I support you? Seriously, I mean that! We are in this together!