I have never looked at my boutique as simply a boutique: an online store where I sell women's clothing. It has always been bigger than that, deeper than that. A special place is held in my heart every time I put forth the effort and consistency that I do. Like I mention in About Jess Mi, women are sexy in every way. We're sexy in our confidence, our pain, our struggle, and our victory. Every thing women overcome is worthy of being celebrated, internally AND externally. However, my heart aches for those who don't always express their womanhood of sexy as they should. I understand the effects of life can make it difficult for us to present our best selves to the world. Nevertheless, our outer appearance is a part of our God-given light. It is a part of our salt in which we are called to flavor the earth (Matthew 5:13). Did you know that soldiers in ancient Rome would some times get paid in salt because it was so valuable? The word 'salary' today comes from the Latin word 'sal' for salt. So if God is calling you the salt of the earth, that is nothing to take lightly! As much as this revelation hits home for me now, it once came from a place of brokenness, pain, despair, and uncertainty. I'd like to share with you a little about myself. The woman that you see or may know currently was not always this way. Looking back I some times feel like I should have came to this understanding years ago, but God's timing is so perfect. I didn't always know how to value the "salt" God gave me and keep myself together at all times. As a matter of fact, there was a time I couldn't do makeup, had no clue on doing my hair, and was very apathetic in the way I dressed. Being in t-shirt and jeans was where I felt most comfortable. Because I always thought I was attractive, that wasn't the issue. The issue lied in me being extremely content in myself to the point that I had stopped caring. I figured my appearance didn't matter because I knew I looked good regardless. When in all actuality, it became the biggest, laziest excuse for me to not put in any effort nor partake in self care. Because those thoughts did not correlate with what I was truly feeling in my heart. Truly, I felt less than, not woman enough, and unworthy. When I had my moments of wanting to feel sexy, it would get snatched from under me. I was either doing "too much" or not enough. So I gave up altogether. And in return in affected my life and past marriage drastically.
God recently took me BACK, all the way back. Back to when I was the complete opposite of who I am today. Classy sexy? Well dressed and put together? Noooo not my entire life. To be quite honest with you, I didn't come into the full knowledge of looking and feeling my best until a little over a year ago. I was married from 2014 to 2018. During that time, I did not keep myself up nor did I really care to as I mentioned earlier. I was an amateur at doing my makeup. I couldn't even put lashes on properly! My ex-husband use to help me with my lashes and he did a heck of a lot better than I could! I thought, "How Jesus??" LOL He would get so annoyed with me every time we tried to hang out and go places because I'd often wear a T-shirt and jeans/sweatpants. And that wasn't just outside the house, but inside too. So he use to try and motivate me to dress sexier around the house because at the end of the day, he's still a man and he WANTED to look at me. So he got me into wearing PINK which I became obsessed with in that season. But despite all of that, ya girl was still apathetic for the most part and could care less about trying to look good, ESPECIALLY when I was at home. On top of that, my confidence was already shattered because of the severity of our marriage in terms of abuse and other issues. So in my mind, we had bigger fish to fry than to worry about my appearance which will not be coming with me when I die anyway. Nevertheless, the lack of keeping myself up was an actual indicator that I had reached the point of losing myself completely. The woman I became in that marriage was never who I was meant to be. I once had great desire for my ex-husband to see my beauty, to see how sexy I was and look at me the way he use to when we were in high school. But those stares became more and more distant as our marriage continued to deteriorate and I began to not care how he saw me. Of course there were other serious issues in play so that wasn't what ultimately led to our divorce. Nevertheless, it certainly played a role. How, when, and where did this ignorance come from to where I felt so inadequate of being the woman I was meant to be and keep myself up as such? I couldn't do anything but weep as I began reflecting on my past seasons as "Jessica, the girl." Oh yeah, God took be back way further...
My mother is an amazing woman. I honor the sacrifice and love she has shown me. So much of my shamelessness, wittiness, and silliness comes from her. She knows how to make light of any situation. I'm thankful for the characteristics I have because of her as well as the confidence she instilled in me. I certainly wouldn't be where I am today without her influence. Nevertheless, there were things I missed from her while trying to get established as a young woman. There were a lot of pointers I had to come into the knowledge of on my own that I should have grasp while in the home with her. Things such as cleanliness and self care. But God is a Restorer and Redeemer! Whatever I lacked from my mother, His grace covered. And that grace extended beyond just what He's done in my life, but hers. Everything I learned and didn't learn was not her fault. In fact, it was no one's fault! It was those life-circumstances: the ones you don't get to choose but happen out of your control. And so we can date back to my grandmother. As much as I honor my mother for her sacrifice, I honor my grandmother just the same. She raised my mother as a single parent. Yes she was married, but my biological grandfather was abusive (physically, mentally, and emotionally) and unfaithful. He was also a severe alcoholic. So the responsibility of my mother and uncle was solely in her hands. In order to provide and keep them comfortable, she had to sacrifice her time and work 2/3 jobs. This meant not much time was spent with my mother the way a daughter needed. So as much as I missed from my mother in terms of how to become a woman and keep myself up, she missed twice as much from hers. That created a fear in her heart once news hit that she was having a girl, me. And she later admitted that she was indeed fearful of having me. Not because she didn't love me, but because she didn't know if she was capable of raising a girl. She felt inadequate, like she may not be enough. Sound familiar? ;-) The bible is clear that we are to raise a child in the way that they should go so that no matter what happens, they will always come back to their roots (Proverbs 22:6). So according to the way my grandmother raised her, it was all she knew which made it "the way she should go." And that meant it subconsciously became the way I "should go" as well. All the things I did not receive from her was because she did not receive it from her mother. I'm not saying she didn't later teach herself or learn from the other women in her life, but registering the importance of that from a mother to a daughter did not happen so I was often left unaware. And that easily carried over to my lack of knowledge when it came to womanhood once I got married. I remember the feeling: insecurities rapidly growing because my ex-husband had a wondering eye for other women and slowly stopped paying attention to me. He cared enough in the beginning and did everything he could to help me step my "game" up despite how unmotivated I was. He would push me to get better at things like shading my eyebrows, laying my edges, shopping, and offering what looked good on me. Oh yeah! My ex-husband was THAT guy! He also tried to teach me techniques when it came to cleanliness; techniques that my mother should have brought to my attention. Nevertheless, it was only so much he could do. After all, he was meant to be my husband, not my mother. So because those lessons wasn't coming from my mother, I didn't fully receive all he was trying to teach me during that time. But his influence certainly helped bring out my love for style despite how miserable I felt. It was God-ordained for him to be in the intimate parts of my life as a husband during that season. The LORD is in full control and He allowed that because He saw the good that would manifest from it. The hell of that marriage turned into one of the greatest blessings of my life! It birthed this boutique and awakened my passion for fashion. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until my relationship with God grew closer that I was able to look back and truly honor him through the love of Christ. No bitterness, no hatred....pure honor. He was an essential piece to the greater purpose in my life and I’m so thankful he was there the way he was. Because he taught me a lot: caring for myself and business-wise. What the enemy meant for my evil, God certainly turned it around and made it work for my good (Genesis 50:20). As I share this story, I cannot help but think about some of the most beautiful words Jesus ever spoke when He walked this earth: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). If those who once affected you in a negative way knew the damage and brokenness they were producing, would they really continue to do it? You can also look at it this way: if they knew how much it would bless you later, out of hatred, would they continue? If the things that were passed down from generation to generation came to light, would your parents, grandparents, or even your great grandparents let it continue? No. Generational curses would have been broken long before you if they REALLY knew what was happening. But only through God's grace and mercy is He able to take anything we did or didn't do and make it work for the good of the kingdom, the good of His glory.
The first time God spoke to me and emphasized the call on my life, I had no idea why. Yes, I had been married before and now divorced; currently living my best single life in Christ. But I was still asking why. Like, why me God? I'm just me. Sure I've receive negative feedback from others and have dealt with not being accepted (praise God I have overcame from caring about those things). But because of my environment and the circumstances I was given, I kept asking why. Nevertheless, God spoke so clearly to me. He made me realize that I had forgotten to bring that broken version of me along for the ride. I had gotten so caught up in who I was presently that I never cared to look back on who I use to be. So much so that I blocked that version of me out which was ultimately doing a disservice to God. Because how can I relate to others without connecting to that broken little girl? How can anyone? God had opened my eyes and gave me permission to mother myself. Because yes, that little girl is still inside of me. But instead of abandoning her, it is imperative that I grow WITH her. We all have a little girl/boy inside of us. But it is that same little girl/boy that God will use to not only keep you humble, but bless others (2 Corinthians 12:6-7). I could no longer allow the pressures of getting to a certain point in my life stop me from walking with the little girl inside of me. It was never the fact that I wasn't whole enough or that the little girl needed to "grow up" already. Because in fact, I AM whole. How? I'm connected to the God of wholeness (Colossians 2:10). And that little girl had been crying out for me to grow with her versus just growing her up and forgetting like she never existed. That process is the grace God has given me to connect to another woman's "little girl" who may be ashamed or simply oblivious to who she is as a woman; who may not see how marvelous she is. That it's okay to be sexy and look and feel your best. But it's also okay if you are unsure on how to manifest that out of you. Sexiness is both external and internal, but external is certainly not something to be neglected and tossed aside either. Check out my last blog post entitled Saved, Sanctified, and SEXY to see exactly what I mean by that.
Thank You, Father God, for giving me beauty in exchange for my ashes (Isaiah 61:3). God wants to do the exact same thing for you. Allow Him to gracefully take your ashes and exchange them for identity and purpose! Because it's not something that needs to be created, but manifested. No matter who or where you are, there's always beauty, fieriness, sexiness that's just waiting to burst out of you. And if you're unsure on where to start, feel free send me a message or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I don't claim to be an expert at ANYTHING. But whether it's prayer, a listening ear, or even just practical tips to help inspire you to look and feel your best on a daily basis, I'm open to partnering with you so that everything God sees in you can align with how you see yourself too!