bec ming. APR/MAY 2019
A Ray of Sunshine: Crystal Obasanya
with Keehnan Parks-Camacho
Yuwonka LaFrance: PrettyIsn't Enough
contributors April/May 2019
LashantĂŠ Stubbs Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry Bachelor of Medicine Founder of Pearls Empowerment Founder & Editor of Becoming Magazine Medical Student
Zemi Holland- Stewart Bachelor of Arts, Mathematical Economics & Finance Founder of Wife HER! Ministries Bridal Coach Wife
Dava Bullard Bachelor of Business Administration- Accounting
Yuwonka Lafrance Bachelor of Arts, English Studies English Teacher Counselor Mother & Wife
Lucy Wanjiru Blogger Founder of One Grateful Leper
Singer & Songwriter, Owner of Serenades by NevAndria Lyriic
contributors April/May 2019
Chryshawnda Adams Founder of Queendom Living
Crystal Obasanya Graduate Student Youtuber Wife
Carisa St. Bernard Medical Student
Timmesha Forbes Bachelor of Science, Biology Medical Student
Founder of Energy-Zone (E-Z) Fitness, Blogger
contributors April/May 2019
Law Student Blogger
Student Beauty Enthusiast Mother
Christna Stubbs Bachelor of Arts, English Studies Graduate Student Blogger
from the editor
" It is our responsibility to take authority over our lives."
few weeks ago, I was reading the parable of the sower and the seed. Three scenarios stood out to me. The instance where the seed fell on good ground , the instance where the thorns choked the seeds and the instance where the seeds fell on rock. Just to recap: the seeds on good ground are those who hear the word of God, believe and produce fruit. The seeds that fell among thorns are those who hear but allow the worries, riches and pleasures of life to stop them from growing, so they never produce a crop. The seeds that fell on rocky ground are those who hear the word of God, accept it but only believe for a while; when troubles come, they turn away from God. We all like to think that we are the seed that fell on good ground (especially if we’re Christian). We immediately begin thinking about people in our lives who may fall into other categories. You should’ve seen me sitting there thinking, I know some people who need to read this parable again!”.
7 | April/ May 2019
Immediately I was corrected. I could not dwell on those thoughts for a minute before I was prompted to think about the many times when troubles came my way, and I began to doubt or the times when I allowed my own desires to stop me from doing what God told me to do. I felt so broken and ashamed. I quickly prayed and asked God what my response should be to this parable. How could I be better? How could I correct these broken areas of my life? I learned that guarding my heart is a huge part of it. I must guard my heart from selfish desires, I must guard my heart from worry and anxiety, I must guard my heart from negative people and negative environments. Pretty simple right? But every day we allow these things to easily hinder the seed of God’s word from growing. They hinder us from blooming. My question to you this issue is “What are the things that are holding you back?” “How rich and lush would the garden of your heart and life be if you weren’t allowing fear, insecurity or negativity to choke your seeds?” I think about a quote from one of my favorite books, Candide by Voltaire “We must cultivate our gardens”. It is our responsibility to take authority over our lives. We must step up to the plate to ensure that (1) The seed of God’s word is really taking root in our hearts and producing fruits (2) We are living our very best lives and not living beneath the mark of our full potential. It’s time to start blooming.
XOXO, L. Stubbs
Founder, Pearls Empowerment
"...shine like lights in a dark world." -Philippians 2:15
contents April /May 2019
for your spirit
for your body
Yuwonka Lafrance: Pretty Isn't Enough p.24
Strawberry Spring Salad p. 29
Chryshawnda Adams & Queendom Living p.45
E-Z Fitness p. 90
for your soul
Letters From Lucy p. 41
GirlBoss: Zemi Stewart p. 73
Wanderlust: Cambodia p.30
Before The Bloom p. 20
11 | April/ May 2019
A BEAUTIFUL S UL The Interview with Nevadria Lyriic
12 | April/ May 2019
"THERE IS NOTHING MORE prestigious than a beautiful soul painting the world with his or her vibrant colors." ― Ms. Bonnie Zackson Koury
his 25 year old is taking her city by storm. With a voice that rivals the top in the industry, Nevandria Rolle also known as Nevandria Lyriic is leaving her mark and blazing trails. Originally from Abaco, an island in The Bahamas, Nevandria enjoys building her spiritual practices- prayer, meditation and visualizing her goals. Her biggest fear is not living out her full potential. She dreads the idea of being a person who only talks about what they want and never actually does it; she never wants to be the person satisfied with the “could have”. She desires to build a legacy! 2018 was a busy year for her. It was during this time that she found herself and was able to the build emotional and mental strength required to pursue her dreams. In 2018, she also lost an aunt who was her biggest supporter. After walking through this, she resolved to push even harder toward her dreams. Although often bullied as a kid, Nevandria starting singing at the tender age of 7. She admits that at a very young age she was exposed to neo soul music by means of her father.
She remembers very well singing in church and at school. Artists like India Arie and Musiq Soulchild played a very important role in her decision to sing neo soul music. She explained that in 2012, she decided to make a career of singing. To women struggling to pursue what they love, Nevandria believes that doubt and uncertainty are all normal emotions. She shared that even for her, it is a struggle to stop focusing on the doubts. However, she focuses her emotions by remembering that music is her purpose and that it is what she loves. She advises women to trust their intuition, ask for help and talk to people that they trust their dreams with. She promises that upon doing so, you will feel motivated to go full force in pursuit of your dreams. For the future, Nevandria anticipates her music and influence growing. She wants to solidify the Bahamian music and entertainment industry. She expresses that her generation of artists, actors, radio personalities, writers, social media influencers and tv personalities are working overtime to make this happen. Other than that, she anticipates marrying Aubrey Drake Graham and promises to send us all invitations via doves. We will wait patiently.
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15 | April/ May 2019
M I S S
I sometimes feel afraid of marriage. I want to be married in the future but I have seen so many failed examples of marriage. I am now left wondering if I would end up the same way. What can I do to overcome this fear?
I can totally relate to your fear. I too was deathly afraid of marriage for years! Not only were marriages failing around me, I literally had ZERO examples of what a healthy marriage should look like. The only marriages I saw seemed more like curses as opposed to blessings. It seemed like everyone’s marriage started off good, but somewhere along the line things went totally wrong! I often thought about skipping the whole marriage thing. My foolproof plan was to adopt a child and do life with the kid. Who needed a man right? Please! However, after years of thinking this way I’ve learned that: (1) Not all marriages are bad and (2) I shouldn’t use the experiences of other people to make predictions about my future.
"...don't use the experiences of other people to make predictions about your future" Marriage is a beautiful thing! I’m sure you’ve heard it many times, but it really is! When two souls- two completely different people, from different backgrounds, with different likes and dislikes, become one despite the 1000+ things that make them different- that is a miracle. Marriage also affords you the opportunity to create something new and “bigger” than yourself- a family; a rich legacy of whatever you decide it will be. And I believe that is dope!!! I know marriage is not for everyone, but for those who desire it and aspire to itthere are many pros to look forward to.
As I mentioned before, PSA: not all marriages
Which brings me to my second point. You
suck! I quickly learned this when I shifted my
must set the standard for your own life. Just
focus. When we focus on certain things we
because marriages around you are failing or
become consumed by them, it becomes all we
may seem to be messy, does not mean that
know, and it controls the way we see the world
your marriage will be the same way.
around us. I knew that a healthy marriage was something that I desired, so I began to seek out couples whose marriages were healthy and thriving. And not just couples who were married for a few years. I looked for veterans- people that were married for 20, 30 and sometimes 40+ years. All of which have great marriages. Not perfect marriages but rich marriages marriages filled with so much love and a bond that went beyond anything Iâ€™ve ever seen.
"...not all marriages suck" So, I encourage you to look for role models in this regard. Not to become obsessed with them and what they have, but to simply use them as a healthy reminder that marriage is beautiful, and a satisfying, happy marital life is possible.
I truly believe that if you remain prayerful and if you have a strong community around you, it is possible to court and marry an amazing man who will be willing to invest in the relationship just as much as you. You guys must must must set the standard for your own relationship and hold yourselves to that standard and that alone!
" As for the women that choose not to marry, I respect their decision. " Itâ€™s important to remember though that marriage is not a walk in the park. Just like anything worthwhile, it will require lots of work and sacrifice. What you put into the
" two completely different people, from different backgrounds, with different likes and dislikes become one despite the 1000+ things that make them different "
relationship is what you will get out.. You should take marriage very seriously and enter it with wisdom; however, you shouldnâ€™t be afraid.
Dear Miss A is written anonymously by someone that we love and trust at the magazine. Submit any questions that you may have for Miss A, and maybe yours will be answered in the next issue. Questions can be submitted via our website, all submissions are anonymous.
19 | April/ May 2019
Bloom Before the
by Shardlee Thompson
veryone loves springtime; the flowers showcase their beautiful colors and the sun shines ever so brightly. Fresh fragrances fill the air and birds chirp sweetly. Everything just seems brighter during Spring. Everything just seems prettier. But while spring is very beautiful, people give little thought to the fact that before the beauty there was “ugly”. Before the flowers were able to bloom, there was a time where the tree had to get rid of its dying parts and allow its leaves to fall- all of this took time. In life, sometimes we expect things to happen overnight. We expect instant success and fame. Sometimes we forget that we need to do the work; we need to face the “ugly” and we may very well need to do the things that we do not want to do. For some, this might be the time when people may not notice. It might be the time where you must be faithful at that job with the tough boss. It might be the time where you must sacrifice a social life to study for a class. Although this time may be painful and uncomfortable, it is the most important time. Your favorite athlete did not just become great overnight. When no one was paying attention, they were working and training.
21 | April/ May 2019
Before the beauty, there was ugly. Before the bloom, there was dying. I understand that this time might be frustrating but what will follow (if you handle this season the right way) will far outweigh the discomfort and frustration you may be currently facing. Once you receive the vision of what God's plan is for your life, it's now time to take active steps to achieve the dream. You may need to read a book about your ield, watch videos from experts, listen to podcasts, take classes, brainstorm ideas and pitch your ideas. It's important for us to work hard for what we want. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” -James 2:17 Don’t disregard the season before your bloom. Use this time wisely. Use this time to grow and develop in all aspects of your life. How are you striving to better yoursel ? What are you illing your mind with? What/ Who is it that you need to let go of in order for you to bloom?
23 | April/ May 2019
P e a r l s
E m p o w e r m e n t
E s t .
2 0 0 9
pretty ISN'T ENOUGH by Yuwonka Lafrance
retty face, smooth skin, and long nice hair echoed in my ear for most of my life. These innocent compliments overtime began to damage my self perception. Many may find this statement confusing. How can compliments damage one’s self- perception? The answer to that is simple. When you only see what others see and you lack a deeper understanding of who you are, it is easy to be driven by the opinions of others. It won’t be long before you begin to accept whatever labels are stamped on you. Admittingly, I was “stamped.” The moment I began to take on these labels, the most important parts of me began to vanish. These parts I am referring to, are more spiritual than physical. The spiritual part of any human is extremely delicate. It is the core of your emotions-the essence of who you truly are. More importantly, this is the part of us that suffers the most damage. It is the first part of us that the enemy begins to attack. He launches fiery darts such as doubt, fear, depression and lack of confidence- all of which add up to a low self-worth. The enemy understands that once he invades our minds and he begins to plant negative seeds, the seeds will take root and produce rotten fruit.
the spiritual part of any human is extremely delicate
He knows that it won’t be long before we began to embody low self-esteem, depression and fear. They quickly become engraved in our nature- they become who we are, and ultimately dictate how we live. Transitioning from a child into a young adult, was a critical phase in my life. The labels “pretty face”, “smooth skin”, and “long nice hair” no longer had the same impact as it did earlier on. Maybe I had heard it too much, but eventually I started to focus on the other parts of me that were rarely complimented. Waves of questions began to flood my mind. “Am I just pretty, with smooth skin and “nice” hair? Why wasn’t anyone noticing anything else about me?
I AM MORE THAN JUST A “PRETTY FACE” WITH “SMOOTH SKIN AND NICE HAIR”;
Then the enemy (being the opportunist that he is) came running with all the answers, “you are fat”, “you are just a pretty face.” Ephesians 6:11 says to “put on the whole armor of God so that we would be able to withstand the enemy’s attacks.” Having no relationship with God, I was “naked” and my mind was open to whoever and whatever wanted to have access. It wasn’t long before the lies of the enemy became “truth” in my life. As these seeds sprang up, fruit of selfresentment were produced. Little by little, I loved myself less. I did not like what I saw in the mirror. I became extremely uncomfortable and insecure with what I wore. I isolated myself from others. I became more afraid and less confident. Pretty wasn’t enough to make me feel whole. I felt as though others were doing me an injustice. I did not want to be defined by my face, skin, or hair. I wanted to be accepted for me, all of me. I wanted them to give me more than those compliments.
...my mind was open to whoever and whatever wanted to have access. It wasn’t long before the lies of the enemy became “truth” in my life. It was only when I developed a stronger connection and relationship with God, that I began to see myself through His eyes. God transformed my life. He taught me how to weed out the enemy’s negative seeds and replace them with positive seeds. His unconditional love for me enabled me to love myself the right way. Yes, I am more than just a “Pretty face” with “smooth skin and nice hair”; I am a complete person who exudes beauty from the inside out. I have so much more to offer this world that goes beyond how I look. The more I sought God and allowed him to pour into my spirit, I became a new creature. My thinking has been transformed. I have become more aware of what I accept and who I listen to.
28 | April/ May 2019
with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Ingredients For the Salad: 6 cups Spring Mix 1 cup Strawberries sliced 1 cup Red Grapes halved 1/2 cup Candied Walnuts chopped 2 Tbsp Dried Cranberries finely chopped 1/4 cup Feta Cheese crumbled For the Dressing: 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice 2 tsp Honey or Agave Nectar 1 tsp Dijon Mustard Pinch Kosher Salt
Instructions In a large, salad bowl, combine spring mix, strawberries, grapes, candied walnuts, cranberries and feta cheese. In another bowl or jar, combine olive oil, lemon juice, honey, dijon and salt; whisk or shake until thoroughly combined; chill until ready to toss with salad just before serving.
Adapted from The Kitchen Girl
caMbODiA BY TIMMESHA FORBES
33 | May/June 2019
32 | April/ May 2019
There I was, all by myself, travelling half way around the world to meet people that I’ve never met before.
n August 2017, I went on my first medical mission to the beautiful country of Cambodia for two weeks. Just to give you guys some background: I was born and raised in The Bahamas, and Cambodia is in southeast Asia! Cambodia is so far away that my travel time was 32 hours overall, and it included 3 different airplane rides, crossing through three different country borders! I was extremely nervous for most of the trip. I was afraid that I would get lost or that I would miss my flights as I connected from airport to airport. Did I mention that I travelled alone?! There I was, all by myself, travelling halfway around the world to meet people that I had never met before. To make matters even more intense, most people in Cambodia speak Khmer, and I of course speak English. Truthfully, I never imagined that such an opportunity could be possible for me. The organization that I travelled to Cambodia with, called HOPE Worldwide, specifically required volunteers to be healthcare professionals or a medical student, and I was neither. I simply had a dream, and I stepped out on faith by contacting the directors of the organization to share my passion and interest. Without hesitation, they told me to come. I went on the journey not expecting much. I simply wanted to serve, but I ended up leaving with much more than I could have ever asked for. This experience changed my outlook on life and my expectations for my future..
I witnessed medicine as a universal language which inspired me to travel even more. I can say without a doubt that one of the best experiences during my trip was indulging in Cambodian food. It is amazing! Not only is the taste good, but the way that they serve it was also impressive. The food is set in bowls that would then be passed around the table for everyone to choose their portions. What I found so interesting about Cambodian culture too, is that the dessert course always consists of fruit, never a piece of cake or sweets. In addition to this, we were introduced to the more exotic foods such as fried spiders, crickets and silkworms, while passing through the countryside markets. Amongst the thrill of being in this new place, my biggest struggle was the weather. The Bahamas is hot most of the year; however, the weather in Cambodia is EXTREMELY humid and hot. Most times, it felt intolerable. With Buddhism being the official religion of Cambodia, I was astounded by the architecture of the temples throughout the country. They were intricate and large, like castles. These temples glistened as if they were made of gold and diamonds. At the temple grounds, there were certain guidelines and dress-codes that were strictly enforced. Cambodian culture is very reserved, and as such, they strongly uphold modesty. Visitors to the temple had to ensure that they were always appropriately dressed.
31 | Jan/Feb 2019
34 | April/ May 2019
The temples were intricate and large, like castles. These temples glistened as if they were made of gold and diamonds.
It was also mandatory that anyone entering the temple must remove their shoes. This is a sign of great respect. Although the culture and country are extremely beautiful, there were some heartbreaking moments that I experienced during the trip. One moment in particular occurred while touring Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (which is a prison that was once a school). I learned that during the time of the Khmer regime, there were mass genocides of Cambodian minorities which significantly depleted Cambodia’s population. The prisoners were repeatedly tortured and coerced into naming family members, who were in turn arrested, tortured and killed. This experience made me reflect on my freedomit made me appreciate the small things in life, something as simple as being able to make your own decisions and live in peace. The hospital that we spent the most time serving in was the Baray-Santuk Referral Hospital. In just 4 days of serving at this hospital, the volunteer team was able to serve over 1200 patients! I was exposed to different fields of medicine including, OBGYN, emergency medicine, general surgery, and family medicine. This hospital had an open layout where there was no air-conditioning in any part of the hospital; not the surgical ward, not the maternity ward, not in any of the
hospital rooms. Along with having no aircondition, the maternity ward was disheartening to see. This small room consisted of beds without mattresses – just bedsprings where the mothers and their newborn babies would lie, as the whole room shared one rotating fan. The triage area consisted of only 100 chairs, while the other hundreds of patients had to stand out in either the scorching sun or the cold rain without any coverage. Some stood in line for up to 6 hours and many stayed until the end of the day just to return the next day if they weren’t seen. There was a specific patient that traveled 4 hours by bus to receive care that he was unable to afford under regular circumstances. For those patients that were unable to be seen, many simply wanted to express their gratitude to us for serving – even though they left with nothing. This type of heart really showed me a deeper meaning of gratitude and appreciation. Being able to see the state of Cambodia and the healthcare system made me realize just how much more I want to give to my own people in The Bahamas. I also left with the thought that not only would I become a doctor, but after, I would return to my own country to provide much-needed care to better our hospitals and build the trust between the patient and the healthcare provider.
31 | Jan/Feb 2019
...a deeper meaning of gratitude and appreciation
36 | April/ May 2019
I C H O O S E M E
BY CARISA ST.BERNARD
F O U N D
A N D
M Y S E L F
E V E R Y T H I N G
P E O P L E
A R O U N D
D O I N G J U S T M E
I was the type of girl who needed to be loved by EVERYONE! Because of this, I was the perfect people pleaser. I found myself doing anything and everything just to make the people around me happy. However, I quickly learned that it’s impossible to make everyone happy! Let me be the first to tell you that trying to make every else happy can become very toxic, very soon. I know this because people pleasing became a toxic trait for me. In my last relationship, my goal was simple- to make him happy and to keep him happy. I invested sooo much of my time and myself into this relationship that it was almost as if I had nothing else to give. It even got to the point where I would overlook wrongs and let him win arguments. Side note: Everyone that knows me, knows
A N Y T H I N G T O
M A K E
T H E
H A P P Y !
that I am very headstrong and opinionated, but I felt like I needed this relationship to work; I needed it to be “textbook perfect”. Months later however, things ended suddenly. What a disappointment! I couldn’t understand why. Hadn’t I done everything perfectly? Didn’t I give everything to make him happy? I found out a couple weeks after that there was someone else. This was groundbreaking for me but, I honestly felt like I needed this experience because in that moment I truly understood that there was absolutely nothing more that I could have done to make him happier- for him, I just wasn’t enough. I learned that in the game of people pleasing, the people pleaser never wins. So, I decided to change the game.
D E C I D E D
C H A N G E
It was time for me to start looking out for Carisa! I asked myself, “When will it be time to choose Carisa? To invest in Carisa?” My entire life, I strived to make everyone around me happy. I would often satisfy myself by thinking that their happiness was my reward. However, this experience made me realise that I needed to be free of people’s opinions. I needed to be free of the burden of wanting to make everyone happy but me. I also realised that I needed to stop SETTLING! Because of my desire to please others, I often settled for 2nd choice and 2nd best. It was so messed up that I even tried to be less of myself just to make those around me comfortable. However, this time around, it was time to choose me. It was time for me to become my number one priority- my wellbeing and my peace of mind needed to become a priority to me. The first step was for me to actively ignore the “noise”. Instead of thinking, ‘What would others think?’ I started to think about how I would feel and the consequences of my actions. This is still a work in progress,
T H E
G A M E .
but I always remind myself that ‘Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep’ so why should I? Another key aspect of my journey was learning to be confident and comfortable in my OWN skin. It is a step by step journey to freedom. Every day, you must choose to pour the same love, the same time and the same attention that you pour into everyone else, into yourself. The rule of the game is simple- to nurture yourself; to be who God created you to be and not a slave to people’s opinions. You must ensure that your cup is full before trying to pour into someone else’s life. I invest in my physical health, my future and spiritual journey because I now understand that it’s important. I spend time with God. I ask Him to continually make me a stronger woman. I have a long way to go, but little by little, I am seeing improvements. Now it is your turn, “When will it be time to pick YOU, choose YOU and love YOU?” I encourage you to make that decision today.
Despite how things may seem, don't give up on the dream.
Letters F R O M
L U C Y
LucyÂ Wanjiru IS 29 years old and is from Nairobi Kenya. Read about her life experiences in this column or check out her blog @OneGratefulLeper
I come from a very humble background
come from a very humble background. My mum never made it to high school, but she was a very hardworking woman. She made sure I got to school, she paid for my evening tuition after classes and she made sure that on Saturdays I was never idle at home. I was either being tutored or helping out my mum by selling some mangoes. By this time I was around 10 years old. When she went to be with the Lord, her last wish was that my aunt would educate me. Nothing fancy-just up to her financial ability. There was never a time that I had it easy in life, especially with my education . During high school I attended more than 5 different schools . Not because I got expelled or anything like that, it just so happened that the schools I could afford were not registered. As a result of this, eventually they would end up being shut down permanently and at random. Each time this happened, I had to put my studies on a pause to look for another "affordable" school.
Nevertheless, God was faithful. Godâ€™s favor was always upon me. I got favors from my teachers. I was able to obtain my certificates even though I never cleared my fees! I was able to successfully finish my high school education after some time. Immediately after completing my high school education, I got a sponsorship from the United Nations Organization by means of a non-profit organisation in my community. This sponsorship enabled me to study a little bit of computer sciences. Not long after, I discovered that I had a passion for writing. I love being able to express myself my means of the written word. I was able to take the painful moments in my life, and write something that has the power to encourage and inspire someone else.
There was never a time that I had it easy in life... I learned that I wasn't the only person going through hard times and instead of waiting for someone to encourage me, I was going to be that person who encourages the broken. I wanted to be a source of hope.
I felt so inadequate. I felt unqualified. I felt unworthy.
I took my writing a step further and began to write small encouragement texts and sent them randomly to people on my contact list. The responses that I would get often swept me off of my feet. As a result of this, I took my writing another step further and began posting articles on Facebook. My Facebook readers suggested that I start a blog. This was the hardest decision for me. I kept postponing it. Even though it was clear that it was my calling, I felt so inadequate. I felt unqualified. I felt unworthy. I kept listening to lies about me not being good enough. I would look at my background, my level of education and think "This is crazy! Who am I kidding? I can NEVER be a writer or blogger!". I am grateful to God for the few people in my inner circle who believed in me. These people kept speaking life into me. They kept reminding me to ignore the lies of the enemy. I finally stepped out and created a Facebook page , “One Grateful Leper”. It took weeks before I could muster up the courage to invite anyone to like the page. At this time, I was still not completely convinced that I was the "right "person to do this- to launch this Facebook page.
Months later I set up the official blog for “One Grateful Leper”. This was the boldest step and decision that I have ever made in following my calling. I rose above the lie that am not good enough. I rose above the lie that I am unworthy to be used by God. Like the one grateful leper in the Bible I submitted to God.
I am grateful for the people who believe in me. I am called to write and give hope to the hopeless. I am called to write and encourage the hurting and those who think that they have messed up beyond repair. I am called to write and encourage those who believe that they are enslaved to the mistakes of their past. I am called to write and share the message of hope to those who believe grace is beyond their reach.
Honey don't let anything stop you from going after what you want and the purpose that God has assigned to your life. It is not going to be easy, but fight for your way. If you fall down, get back up! You are made for greatness. However, in order to reach to that greatness, you must be unstoppableyou can't let anything (including your background) hold you back. A piece of advice : Never wait for circumstances to “favor you”. Never wait to have it “altogether”. All of the articles for my blog and even this letter I write using my smartphone. In the meantime, I am working on purchasing a laptop. If you want something, want it so bad that you don't let challenges stop you. Another thing, fear will hold you captive only if you allow it to. Get out and get up, even if you do so with your knees shaking. We learn from the mistakes we make on the journey. Don’t be afraid to bloom, don’t allow your past to hold you down. Your circumstances don’t define you and your past does not dictate your future.
Never Wait for circumstances to favor you. Never wait to have it all together.
44 | April/ May 2019
queendom living WITH
ryshawnda Adams is short in stature, but is filled with so much life and power! At 25 years old,she is the founder of Queedom Living, a lifestyle brand for Christian woman. In 2018, she hosted her first event ever “Single, Saved and FAB”. She also hosted another conference under the Queendom Living brand, “Assume the Position”. Chryshawnda shared that 2018 was the year that she embodied Chryshawnda. She shared that prior to 2018, she simply carried the title and that 2018 was the year of rebuilding for her. It was during this time that she grew to appreciate who she is and what
she has to offer the world. Her biggest fear is the unknown. During the interview she explained that in her 25 years of living, she’s experienced “sure moments” and “not so sure moments”. She’s faced circumstances where she knew exactly what she needed to do and did it. However, there were other times when she felt lost or confused about the next step. Chryshawnda went on to explain that there is really no fear like not knowing what’s next; not knowing what the future holds, where to go and how to get there. However, as a Christian she has learned to depend totally on God.
Chryshawnda shared that at a very young age she lost her father. She describes him as "the man who gave her everything" . She shared that he provided for her and made sure that she was well taken care of. After his death, she and her family were left in a hard place emotionally and financially. She felt robbed of everything and left to fend for herself. Nevertheless, she now understands that the situation groomed her to be an independent woman and pushed her to depend deeply upon God. Chryshawnda talked about how her mother has done a remarkable job at raising her. She admitted that her mother never “spared the rod” but also instilled morals and values in her that she’ll never forget. At 25 years old, she explained that she still hears her mother's voice ringing her ear when she’s about to do something.
After moving to New Providence, Bahamas she shared that eNue, a group of young people passionate about pursuing purpose were very influential in her life. She is eternally grateful to have met them. She has fostered amazing friendships by means of the organization. Chryshawnda’s biggest challenges are consistency and comparison. However, she agrees to have made significant progress in both areas. She explained that it is important to embrace that you won’t be everyone’s “cup of tea “and that is perfectly fine, in her words “maybe they just like decaf”. She shared that she has learned that comparison kills; it kills vision, it kills your ability to maximize your potential and it produces condemnation. She stressed that it is so important to know who you are and that you give yourself grace to grow. Chryshawnda shared that she has to learn to be more kind to herself and that this is something all women should learn. Her advice to women seeking to walk in their purpose would be to first seek identity. To those who are currently struggling to
build a brand she advises that they shouldn’t be afraid to start over, mess up or re-brand. She explained that sometimes we start things out of excitement or enthusiasm without the substance needed to sustain that thing and that it is completely okay. She shared that if it’s something you are sure of, then you should take the time to put the details in place and keep going. Also, she advised that you surround yourself with a community that helps to make the load a bit lighter. Currently, Chryshawnda is not working on any major projects; however, she anticipates resuming “Monday Motivations” very soon on her Instagram page. She is also in the process of branding a personal blog as a separate entity from the Queendom Living Organization.
You can follow her on Instagram @_iamchrysh.
follow us on the gram. @BECOMING.MAGAZINE
R A Y
S U N S H I N E :
52 | April /May 2019
ewlywed and graduate school
For Crystal, that quote means that marriage
attendee Crystal is a 25 year old
is not for us to merely have someone
Houston native, currently leading
present to fix us and cater to our every
a busy life! Between enjoying her new
need. Instead, marriage is about
marriage and completing her graduate
unconditional love and service for the other
studies, Crystal does however find time to
person. She asked us to imagine a marriage
do that things that she loves like; exploring,
where both individuals loved and served
listening to music, and creating and editing
each other unconditionally, reminding us
Youtube videos. Her current daily routine
that this is what she would call a marriage
involves attending her course classes or
goal and that is what she and her husband
internship, mixed in with working on other
strive to cultivate in their own marriage.
school projects and serving at her church.
Crystal reminded us that being a newlywed
Crystal expressed to us that due to her
can be hard at times because of pride and
current status as a graduate student, she
our selfish nature, but she believes that like
does not have the time that she would like
anything else in life, the more that she and
to live the spontaneous dream life that she
her husband works at it, the easier it will be
would like, but hopefully when she
graduates in May of this year, she will have loads of time!
While Crystal claims the status of wife and student, she is also a successful Youtuber.
As a newlywed, we had many questions for
Her Youtube channel CrystalOTv recently
Crystal about what she has learned since
wrapped up a talk show series featuring
tying the knot. She honestly expressed that
different believers from all walks of life!
while married life is fun, it does comes with
When asked how she became involved with
highs and the lows. We appreciated
the Youtube community, Crystal expressed
Crystal’s transparency when she assured us
that she began Youtube during her junior
that she always tries to be vulnerable about
year of college and she has been at it ever
the hardships in marriage because she
since. On her channel, Crystal speaks about
would never want anyone to think that it is
everything from faith to lifestyle and
limited to “cute instagram pictures”. She
encourages many women and men around
asserted that she once heard a quote that
the world. Her boldness and zeal for the
said, “Marriage is not for you”, and
God has attracted many subscribers to her
explained that after being initially
channel, many of which are apart of the
perplexed, she is now able to understand
what the quote meant.
...she would never want anyone to think that marriage is limited to â€œcute instagram picturesâ€?
Through her social media platforms,
much more powerful for others; she
Crystal has become a beacon of hope and
believes that as young women, we must get
encouragement to many young women
to a place where we trust that God will
around the world. When asked what advice
equip is to do His work. In her own words:
she would give to a woman struggling with
â€œIf you were perfect, how would God get
her relationship with God, Crystal stated
the glory? Use your shortcomings as a
that it is always good to get plugged into a
launching pad, because in your weakness,
healthy church or Bible study, where you
God is strong!â€? While she expressed that she
can grow. She explained that life in
too struggled in the area of feeling insecure,
community is extremely important, and
she divulged that an event that molded her
she reminded us that even Jesus had the
into the confident woman that she is today
disciples and the disciples had each other
was moving to Nigeria at the age of
fourteen. Crystal stated that this move developed and moulded her leadership
Crystal also asserted that we as young
skills, diversified her views on life and
women must fight to remain focused, since
made her more proud of her rich Nigerian
there are so many things fighting for our
culture, all of which played a role in
attention, seeking to distract us from
building the strong woman that she has
focusing on God. She encourages the young
woman struggling in her relationship with the God to not allow these things
When asked about future plans, Crystal
distractions to win.
expressed that she is not currently working on any projects at the moment. However,
Crystal also has some advice for young
she does plan to begin working on some
women who might feel too insecure to
new things in the near future, so stay tuned!
pursue her God given purpose. She asserts
Crystal ultimately hopes that God will
that these women must simply fight back!
continue to use her to speak life into others
Crystal stated that she too struggled in this
in any capacity.
area often and has learned that the enemy is crafty and even our own thoughts can
We loved getting a chance to talk with
discourage us most. She however reminds
Crystal! Her life and her ministry has been
us that God can take our mess and make it
a huge blessing to the Becoming team and
our message, so we should never be afraid
many other young women across the globe.
to share what we have been through or to
You can connect with Crystal on her
walk in our unique purposes. When we walk
instagram account at CrystalOTV, as well as
in our purposes, we can be so
her Youtube channel with the same name.
58 | April/ May 2019
SUNLIGHT. WATER. SOIL. ALL
38 | Jan/Feb 2019
Plants are all different, and the growth of each plant reflect this. Plants in the desert store water in order to grow in the arid conditions. Plants that grow in windy environments have tiny hairs that slow the loss of water from their surfaces. Some plants are perennials, meaning that they bloom for a longer period. Others are annuals, meaning that they only bloom once a year and then they die. Like plants, we all grow at different rates. Our circumstances and our environments are all different, our lives are the products of this truth. Nevertheless, no matter how different we are, we are all capable of personal growth. So, what causes a plant to grow? Since elementary school we have been taught that a plant needs sunlight, water and soil to grow. I will show you how these three elements are important to us as women.
SUNLIGHT: Plants need sun for photosynthesis. By this process, they produce energy and food for the plant to grow. Without the sun’s rays, most plants will not survive! As women, a relationship with God is the sunlight that we need to survive. Without God, we are nothing and can do absolutely nothing. John 15:5 (New International Version) reminds us of this by stating, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” WATER: If a plant does not get enough water, the nutrients that help it to grow cannot travel through the root system of the plant. Eventually, the plant withers and dies; the leaves fall off and the weakened root system is now more prone to damage from insects and diseases. On the other hand, if it gets too much water the roots also rot, and the plant doesn’t receive enough
38 | Jan/Feb 2019
oxygen from the soil. Be weary of what is being poured into your life and how much of it. Too much negativity will hinder your growth. John 4:14 (NIV) exemplifies how the water that is poured into us from Christ benefits us. It states, “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” SOIL: To bloom, the plant must be rooted in good soil. To grow, most seeds require soil as well. Matthew 13:4-8 talks about the parable of the sower and the seed. In this parable, we note that some seeds fell along the path and the birds came and ate them up. Some fell on rocky ground, the seeds sprang up quickly and because of the shallow soil, the sun scorched them. The remainder of the seeds that did not fall on good
soil ended up among the thorns, which choked them to death as they grew into plants. Human beings are no different, we thrive in healthy environments. We grow best when we are around the right people, our minds are in the right places and when our lives are built upon a firm foundation. The seed needs sunlight, the right amount of water and good soil to grow. Do you have what you need to bloom?
38 | Jan/Feb 2019
Want to be a part of the magazine? Email us today!
team "THE ZINE"
63 | April/May 2019
PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU; MY PEACE I GIVE YOU. I DO NOT GIVE TO YOU AS THE WORLD GIVES. DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED AND DO NOT BE AFRAID. JOHN 14:27 NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
1 DR. BRONNER'S ORGANIC VIRGIN COCONUT OIL We have been using this coconut oil for everything; hair, nails, skin, food and everything in between! You don't have to use this brand, but we suggest adding coconut oil to your daily care regimen.
MARK GLOWDACIOUS ILLUMINATING POWDER SHIMMIED UP For an everyday glow that is suitable for both work and class (for the students out there).
4 BATH & BODY WORKS EXFOLIATING FO OT MASK WITH PEPPERMINT OIL
MAC BEAMING BLUSH EXTRA DIMENSION SKINFINISH For a glow that is out of this world. This highlighter takes your finished look to another dimension. Great for those sunny days or a night out on the town. Bring your look to life.
Tired feet? No problem. This foot mask will leave your feet refreshed and rejuvenated.
BLK/OPL TRUE COLOR® SOFT VELVET FINISHING Perfect finish to your look. This powder controls shine and does not leave the skin feeling excessively dry.
NEUTROGENA MAKEUP REMOVER CLEANSING TOWELETTES We absolutely love these! These wipes are a cleanser and make wipe all in one so no rinse required after use!
EOS LIP BALM This lip balm has been a favorite for quite some time. Use them for dry chapped lips or for a pick me up on those days when you simply desire a healthy supple look and feel.
beauty. BY MIA
brows. BY MIA
Start with a fresh brow.
an arched line 3 Draw above the brow.
a spoolie to bend and to lighten the 5 Use front of the brow.
foundation color 7 Use above the brow & to clean up the arch.
one line under 2 Draw your brow.
in the brow,but 4 Fill not at the front
Use a light concealer under brow to highlight
a blending brush 8 Use to clean up concealer & blend it in properly.
p e a r l s e m p o w e r m e n t @ g m a i l . c o m
YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING THE
BLOOM ISSUE Read other issues of the magazine at www.becomingmagazine.online
#Persistent #Strong #Wise #Leader #Beautiful
#GirlBOSS #Inspiration#Trendsetter #Graceful#Dedicated
emi Stewart was raised in Gregory Town, a settlement on the island of Eleuthera, one of the many
islands of The Bahamas. After losing her mother abruptly at the age of 12, Zemi has endured many trials. All of which has molded her into the woman that she is today. She mentioned that one of the turning points in
74 | April/ May 2019
her life was leaving an abusive
now 28 years old is an all-around
resources company “Math with
relationship that she kept from
Miss Zemi”, the owner of a bridal
the people closest to her. Zemi
coaching and wedding planning
explained that after this
There are women that are good
company, “Heaven Sent Her” and
relationship, she willed to live a
at one thing and stick to it. There
the founder of “Wife HER!”
transparent life- to be open and
are also women that venture into
ministries. She is also a creative,
honest about her life experiences
many different spheres and find it
and in her spare time, she enjoys
and to share her story. She
hard to fit into one category.
writing poetry and creating
believes that transparency is key-
Zemi is one of these women. Not
content such as: books, blog posts
that it is essential to share your
only is she a devoted wife and a
and social media text images.
story, as there is always someone
“cat & dog mom”, she is the
While she has achieved great
that can benefit from it. Zemi,
owner of the educational
success in many areas,
48 | Jan/Feb 2019
Zemi explained that her greatest
weddings, blogging, writing and
challenge however, was
so much more”. She further stated
determining what she wanted her
that although she understood that
brand to represent. Another
this was in fact who she is, she
challenge that Zemi faced was
still found it difficult to accept
becoming comfortable with the
this about herself because she
fact that she would never be a
wanted to love and be a master
woman that is simply focused on
of just one thing. Zemi admitted
one thing. She explicated “Some
however, that she has learned
women are known for their hair or
that acceptance is key. In her
just for their fashion and I love
own words, “I am eclectic and
that … but that is not my reality... I
therefore it IS okay if my social
love reading, vintage clothing,
media pages and overall brand
thrifting, mathematics, teaching,
As a newlywed, Zemi shared with us how her marriage has been progressing thus far. She agrees that married life is beautiful; however, she also admitted that it is challenging. She explained that her husband is “her mirror”- that their relationships helps to reveals her flaws and although the experience is enlightening, it is also very difficult. She went on to share that her impatience (in particular) has been fully exposed through marriage. To the
unmarried, she advises that
many women feel that they must
everyone’s opinion. Have a few
marriage is not something that
be 100% qualified to launch their
trusted advisors, a strong plan
should be rushed into. To the
businesses or projects. However,
and a brainstorming session with
married, she advises that you
she believes that God’s leading
God. If He gives you peace to
should search for the beauty and
and direction is most important.
move forward …then leap! As you
the purpose in the “coming
She explained that if you’ve
journey, get the certification-take
together”. She shared that during
gotten God’s okay, then go for it!
the course, take the
her first year of marriage, she
Zemi shared that when she
apprenticeship and continue your
clung to Galatians 6:9: “And let us
started one of her recent projects,
education.” Zemi recently
not be weary in well doing: for in
Heaven Sent Her (HSH), she had
released an eBook called “Pretty
due season we shall reap, if we
very little experience.
Pennies”. She also is the author a
GLAT (Bahamian School She stated that she did lots of
To women seeking to start a
free work and her clients ended
workbook. She is in the process of
business or a brand, Zemi says
up loving her! Zemi proclaims:
launching a coaching program for
“Go for it!” She explained that
“You do not need to hear
brides and new wives.
by Dava Bullard
SECURE THE BAG
As promised, we are continuing the series from last issue. In this issue I will discuss budgeting. I know for many of us the word “budget “is like a curse word or a word that only our moms and grand moms use. We often over spend money on things that we really don’t even need. The bottom line is that budgeting takes discipline. There are many tools and applications that you can use to become better at it, for example excel templates, Learnvest.com or Mint: Budget Tracker & Planner” (Skinner, 2016). Personally, I use an excel spreadsheet. The first step is to know (not guess or assume) your sources of income and list them. If there are multiple, I would separate them accordingly. For example, salary, passive income from rentals etc. Then, sum the amounts to obtain your total income. The second step would be to know (again, not guess or assume) your monthly expenses. List out all your expenses beneath the total income and determine your operational or net income.
Once all the facts and figures are before you, the third step is to be honest about your spending habits, to gain a concrete understanding of what you currently spend monthly. You must also find areas where you can curb spending and determine what you may anticipate spending in the future (e.g. vacation, leisure activities). Be aware of unforeseeable circumstances that you did not budget for and be open to the wisdom of sacrificing one item to cover another. Simply put, to be prepared, save a reasonable amount for rainy days. If you get caught without savings for such a situation, which I have experienced firsthand, apply the following: o Do not panic or be frantic. Breathe. o Take note of the unforeseeable circumstance and the expense amount. o Determine the total expense amounts necessary to have food, shelter, transportation, electricity, water and internet
until your next pay day. o Wisely determine from which avenues of your budget the cash outflow will take place. o Save toward a future emergency for approximately the same amount that you noted in the first bullet point.
Naturally, there will be times when your cellular phone and vehicle have depreciated and aren’t functioning properly. Get yourself a new one! However, this is where wisdom comes into play. You may need a new vehicle or cellular phone but you may need to ask yourself the following questions:
A concept which I deem interesting is the basic concept of cash flow which is that “income comes in, and can only go to one of 4 places” (Skinner, 2016). A flow diagram of this can be seen on the next page. We should apply the “PROPER CASHFLOW” example (next page) and prioritize saving.
o Can I truly afford this? o Did I budget for this? o How would this purchase throw my budget awry? o Is this a reasonable price to spend on such an item? o Have I saved?
Let us truly be honest with ourselves and learn the difference between a need and a want. I know that sometimes the lines may be blurred and the new iPhone, pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or Honda Accord 2019 may look like a necessity.
With time and practice budgeting can become a real habit. To begin practicing, try the 30-day Grocery Challenge by Skinner, 2016
30-day Grocery Challenge: o Figure out your monthly grocery budget o Make a list each week of what is needed o Take out the cash for that week’s groceries only o Use a coupon book to track receipts or keep them in a safe place to figure out your monthly grocery budget
REVERSE CASH FLOW (Our perspective)
PROPER CASH FLOW
our reading list
Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer "Priscilla Shirer...brings her new role from the 2015 film War Room into the real lives of todayâ€™s women, addressing the topics that affect them most..."
Books worth reading this month!Â
100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous by Annie F. Downs "Whether you're making a major decision, dealing with a difficult transition, or facing a fear, 100 Days toBrave will give you courage and confidence to move forward."
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst "The enemy wants us to feel rejected ., left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose."
The Set-Apart Woman: God's Invitation to Sacred Living by Leslie Ludy "In The Set-Apart Woman, women of all ages will be encouraged to stay grounded in Jesus amid the many distractions and temptations of their daily lives. "
Brave by Faith: Stepping Out In Faith And Doing What God Is Calling You To Do by Juliette Bush
"In this book, Juliette shares her own personal experiences with hopes of helping you dive deeper into your relationship with God and encourages you to step out in faith."
Conquer the year 6 Tips for a More Fruitful Year
Check out issue 3 of the magazine for #1-6 of conquering 2019
Join A Support Network
It's easy to set goals at the beginning of every new year, following through is the hard part. Try joining a support group or network that's specific to you. Never underestimate the power of community. Some support networks that we've found useful are listed below. Christna K. Writes: www.ckstubbswrites.com WifeHer! (For singles and married women): InstagramÂ @WifeHerMinistry Becoming Magazine: www.becomingmagazine.online
Make Time for the Ones You Love
Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the grind of everyday life. Deadlines, meetings and new business ventures often take the place of time that should be spent with the people that God has blessed us with. Don't get caught up. Remember to unplug and invest in the things that money can't buy.
Invest in Someone Else
How much time do we spend doing things that benefit us? Not that this is a bad thing, we must take care of our bodies and ensure that our own lives are in order. However, it's also important to give back; to help and to inspire our communities. Our lives should be marked by generosity. We should not only seek to help others financially, but we should be generous with our time and with our talents. Everything doesn't require a price tag. Every now and then, try doing something for free for others. We reap what we sow, sow generosity.
Invest in Yourself
Some of us find it easy to always give, help and pour into others and we hardly have time for ourselves. I commend you. Nevertheless, we can't pour from an empty cup. Take some time to unwind, take some time to invest in your own health and growth. For some of us investing in ourselves may look like working on a building suitable wardrobe. For others, it may be making the decision to buy healthier foods.
Evaluate Your Life
Many of us are not growing. Even more of us are not where we would like to be in life. It is safe to say that it is mostly due to our lack of diligence and prudence. We must get serious about life and we must get serious about our future. Take some time to evaluate your habits, your investments and where you want to be in the next few years. Pray and ask God for direction. If you don't have a relationship with God, make the decision to develop one.
Healthy eating has become a fad, one that many women feel they can't embody and others simply feel they can't afford. But great news, healthy eating is possible! Take it one step at a time. Those cookies that you love so much-stop buying them and instead keep fresh fruit around the house. Swap those sodas for 100% fruit juice, coconut water or infused water. Small steps all add up to something beautiful.
NEW BLOG SERIES . COMING SOON.Â WWW.CKSTUBBS.COM
Corrie Ten Boom Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.
FITNESS Making Strong Women, Stronger
90 | April/ May 2019
Joining a fitness community can be an intimidating thought for solo souls. Finding what works for you while trying to accomplish your body image goals and consistency can all become overwhelming. In my own life, community has played a key role. Communities provide a sense of belonging; they provide strong support networks. Not just a community of random people, but one filled with people who have been in your position mentally, physically, emotionally as well as those who are now pursuing their wellness.
The mission is ‘Making STRONG women STRONGER’. By working together, and building each other up as a team, we, as a group, prevent each other from making unhealthy lifestyle choices. We swap recipes, provide advice and support one another through difficult moments in and out of the gym. We believe that we are stronger together!
focus on working together...
Communities provide a sense of belonging; they provide strong support networks.
Energy Zone Fitness -ezFIT is a company based in Trinidad and Tobago. When I created this company, I didn’t want it to be based solely on fitness, but inspiration, motivation, transformation, relationships, organization and creativity. Therefore, eZFIT is a fitness community or a team as I like to call it. We focus on working together, building the body of change with the bricks of commitment, discipline, habit, persistence, and determination, while competing with stress, body confidence, low self-esteem and nay-sayers. Having the faith and following through.
Train like a BEAST…Look like a BEAUTY! My small group classes are capped at 12 participants. This allows me to give each person some individual attention, but it also allows the group to get to know each other. Sometimes, there are stations so different groups can work at their own pace. There are also individual circuits whereby camaraderie is developed through challenging exercises. I also "buddy up" based on similar modifications, or I would connect long-time members with new members- introducing “the Buddy System”.
community, strength, commitment. Building connections in a community is crucial! When this occurs, members begin to encourage each other and cheer when they see someone accomplish inches lost, habits changed or even the ability to perform an 80lb Deadlift! Unexpected connections blossom in a community environment. I have seen women who were not fond of each other and have less than courteous dialogue in the bleak landscape of an office, become training BUDDIES! These very same women who were once not friendly towards one another, meet up and even bring a healthy smoothie or meal they opted to create and share. Faith is renewed in humans when they show up for each other! The pride I feel when I witness how these women encourage each other and grow individually as a team encourages me to persevere in my endeavors. I always feel as though I am training my friends and not just a group of clients. I am inspired, passionate and I feel incredibly blessed to have created this dynamic community and to see its growth. This community allows me to create and make a bigger impact on lives than I EVER dreamed I could have! ezFIT has taught me many things; however, fostering a community when training and seeking to live a much healthier lifestyle is one of the most significant lessons that I have learned. If you desire to get healthier and change your lifestyle, but feel as though you donâ€™t have the self-control, I encourage you to get in a community with other young woman who can cheer you on and assist you in your endeavors! You can do it! Yours in Health! COACH K