You're Waiting On Your 'Boaz', But What If You Aren't A 'Ruth'?
Black love is such a beautiful thing. It's something that I aspire to have one of these days. When it comes to examples of black love, there are so many chocolate-dipped couples that give me hope; one in particular being Ciara and Russell Wilson. From afar, we all witnessed their love evolve, and all the girls wanted Ciara's prayer; word for word, verse for verse. Some people even equated their relationship as the modern-day "Ruth and Boaz".
The Ruth and Boaz Biblical narrative is #relationshipgoals in the faith community. A couple of years ago, I came across an interesting article entitled, "What If God Doesn't Send Your Boaz?" by Richelle Henry. Richelle provided insight regarding how your husband may not be a "Boaz-esque" man, but he may be like Jonah, Moses, or David, each of whom had flaws but were highly favored. So it got me thinking..."What if I am not a Ruth?" A woman who was hardworking, humble, submissive, and obedient. As I continued to chew on this thought, I did some Biblical research on some other women in the Bible who were perfectly flawed, but divinely directed.
What If You Are A Rahab?
Rahab was a woman with a promiscuous past. She was a well-known prostitute. Men only sought after her for pleasure but overlooked her cleverness. Rahab was presented with an opportunity to hide Israelite spies in her home. When the king came looking for them, she lied. Now not only was she a prostitute, but a liar, character flaws that would welcome judgment and scrutiny. However, her fearlessness and quick wit saved her family from being captured and killed when the Israelites conquered Jericho. She went from being an outcast harlot to an applauded heroine. She would later become the mother of Boaz.
Maybe you're like Rahab, and there is more than meets the eye, and your past does not predict your future.
What If You Are An Esther?
Esther was a woman of undeniable beauty. So much so that it garnered the attention of King Xerxes, who was so enamored that he made Esther his wife. Unbeknownst to him, she was hiding a secret. She was beautiful on the surface but conflicted because she was concealing who she really was: a Jew. She knew that exposure could mean execution. When an unforeseen event caused her husband to command all Jews to be killed, Ester had a choice to make. She used her position and power to take action to save her people, even if it meant putting her life on the line.
Maybe you are like Esther, experiencing Imposter Syndrome, but "perhaps you are in a royal position for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14), to take action as an advocate and activist. To be a woman who sheds secrecy to stand confidently in who you truly are.
What If You Are A Deborah?
Deborah was an unconventional leader. She was the "Olivia Pope" of her time. She was a fixer, consultant, and a warrior. Her profession of a judge was unheard of during that time. It was a man's world, and women were to be seen and not heard. She delivered messages of prophecy to men who trusted her guidance and direction from God. Deborah's tenacity and power cultivated confidence in others. Where she led, others followed. Where there was war, she spoke victory.
Maybe you have a Deborah spirit that is so infectious that it awakens strength, resilience, and boldness in men and women.
What If You Are A Miriam?
Miriam was the older sister of Moses. When Pharaoh called for all infant boys to be drowned in the Nile river, Miriam and her mother said, "Nah." They placed Moses in a basket to float upstream outside of Pharaoh's palace, where his daughter frequently visited. Miriam secretly watched and stood guard for her brother to ensure his safety. She watched as the princess scooped a hungry Moses out of the basket and into her arms. Miriam saw an opportunity to ask the princess if she could assist in finding someone to nurse the hungry baby. Clever, right! I'm sure the princess was thinking, "Where did this little girl come from?" Miriam was her brother's keeper.
Maybe you're like Miriam who will go out of your way to protect our Black brothers. You'll do whatever it takes to provide support and relief to the hungry outcries of our Black men.
What If You Are A "Woman With The Issue Of Blood?"
This nameless woman speaks to the issues we all have, whatever they might be. The woman with the issue of blood suffered from continuous bleeding for twelve long years. In her affliction, she was relentless to find relief. In her distress, she stopped at nothing to pursue wellness. In her sickness, she was desperate for deliverance. When she heard that Jesus was in town, she stopped at nothing to get to Him. She maneuvered through the crowd of people to touch the hem of His garment. She knew that with a little bit of faith, and a lot of Jesus that the hemorrhaging in her body would cease.
Maybe you are like this woman who was afflicted but anointed. Hurt, but on the hunt to be healed from the wounds of your past, heartbreak, and trauma.
While Ruth is a woman to be admired, so are you. Just because you don't reflect her attributes, does not mean that your love story won't be just as beautiful as hers. God will align you with a man who will help you to elevate in your faith, propel you in your purpose, protect your heart, and soothe your pain.
You won't need Ciara's prayer, nor Ruth's playbook.
All you need is faith, knowing that God is writing and casting a love story that is uniquely yours.
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The One Method That Changed My Curls For The Better
I know you’ve heard of it before and probably had the question, “What is the Curly Girl Method?” If you’re new to getting your curls to where you want them to be, then you’re in the right place!
I remember when I would look at pictures of people with beautiful curls with the definition I wanted. It was 2013 when I realized my hair was far from where I wanted it to be. Imagine curly roots and straight ends or straight ends even when my hair was wet. I didn’t experience a relaxer, but I fried my hair over and over again from straightening it.
(L-R) My hair before the Curly Girl Method, during, and my hair at its longest (with shrinkage)
I remember dreaming about full luscious curls and healthy hair. So how did I get my hair to where I wanted to be? Years of practice and training my hair, yes. But ultimately, learning a version of the Curly Girl Method saved me!
The Curly Girl Method is a hair care approach that emphasizes the use of natural, sulfate-free, and silicone-free products to enhance and care for naturally curly hair.
The Curly Girl Method: In 4 Steps
The Benefits of the Curly Girl Method:
- The Curly Girl Method encourages the use of gentle, natural haircare products that are free of harsh chemicals. This can help reduce hair damage, breakage, and dryness, leading to healthier and stronger curls.
- The Curly Girl Method emphasizes techniques like scrunching, plopping, and diffusing to enhance and define natural curls. This can result in more defined, bouncy curls with less frizz.
- By following the Curly Girl Method, people often find that their hair becomes more manageable, making it easier to style and maintain on a day-to-day basis.
- For people with naturally curly hair, the Curly Girl Method can be a way to embrace and celebrate their natural hair texture rather than feeling like they need to straighten or manipulate it to fit in with societal beauty standards.
So where to start?
A good place to start is to think about your full routine. And now would be the perfect time to take a look at the products you’re using on your hair because they could be doing more damage than good. What to look out for? When shopping for products, it's important to steer away from products that include sulfates, silicones, and parabens. Also, since water is one of the only ways to hydrate your hair, ensuring water is one of the first items listed in the ingredient list for your products is important.
Bonus Step: Prep your hair before you wash.
Trust me when I say this, detangling your hair in sections before washing will not only save you time but help you decide what products to use on your hair for cleansing and styling. Part your hair into four or six sections, then dampen your hair with a spray bottle that has water. Or sometimes I like to use a mix of conditioner and water. Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus is a product you didn't know you needed until you use it. The slip creates the perfect base for detangling. Once you've detangled, twist or braid the hair before cleansing.
In the shower or in your sink, wash your hair in sections, starting with one section at a time. Apply shampoo on the scalp to start. There is so much controversy about not using shampoo and using a co-wash-type product, and truthfully, a clean scalp and hair are how you’ll see the best results with styling and moisture. Additionally, you can use a shampoo that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils.
Products can only work properly if the base is prepared correctly! Every hairstyle lasts long with a good base. Ensure that the shampoo touches all of the hair shaft.
Replenishing the moisture after shampooing is key. Apply a deep conditioner for the time it says on the product label. I’ve tested it out and can confidently say that there are no additional benefits from keeping products in longer. On the contrary, doing so can sometimes do more harm than good. Unless the product suggests you can keep it overnight, I wouldn’t do it. After rinsing out your deep conditioner, be sure to condition your hair. Don’t skip this step, this step is the beginning of the styling product, believe it or not.
DO THIS STEP WITH YOUR HAIR SOAKING WET. I'm not yelling, but I can ensure that you'll get the best results this way. Whether you're twisting your hair or preparing your hair for a wash 'n go, apply your product in sections using the praying hand method, gentle finger combing, or a Denman brush. Also note that leave-in, styling product, and mousse will be your best friend.
Oh, and if you've heard about the LOC (leave in, oil, cream) or LCO (leave in, oil, cream) method, skip the oil. Oil is not intended to go on wet hair. It creates a layer on the hair and makes any maintenance hard. Think about it, if you apply oil to water, what happens? They don't mix!
How you maintain your hair is up to you because this part of the routine looks different for everyone. But my recommendation is to do low manipulation styles. The phrase “less is more” in this scenario is true. The most important part of maintaining length or preventing damage is ensuring your ends aren’t split, and your hair isn’t breaking off. If you find your hair is missing hydration or moisture, spritzing with water or a water and conditioner mix will do the job. If needed, massage your scalp with oil but not too much or too often because your hair grows from your scalp, and too much oil could clog your hair follicles.
Other key factors in achieving flourishing curls include little to no heat styling, taking your time, and being gentle with styling and detangling. Overall, the Curly Girl Method can help people with naturally curly hair achieve healthy, defined, and manageable curls while also embracing their natural hair texture. I would recommend the Curly Girl Method to anyone who is just getting started.
Ultimately, find what truly works well with your hair, experiment, and be patient!
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