This Sunkissed Life

Confidence Challenger

Jahara Stevenson

I learned that art school is definitely going to be my confidence challenger. However, if I focus on myself the artist opposed to the artist everyone else is, I can tackle most of these projects. I can even get through the ones I may not naturally be good at. The things that are hard for me are still going to be hard but shifting my focus and reminding myself to look at it from the standpoint of a calligrapher makes it less challenging.

"Hey Neighbor!"

Jahara Stevenson

From emergency contact, cheerleader, babysitter, chef, and everything in between, you were superwoman in my eyes. I feel like you were taken away too quickly and way too soon, and I am totally not ready, but I know you're not in pain anymore and you're probably so happy hanging out with Jesus right now. I'm sure you're shaking your head at me for being so upset and crying because you're right where you've always wanted to be. I love you and I can't wait to see you again one day. And don't worry you'll know its me because I will make sure to yell nice and loud, "Hey Neighbor!"

What if? Even if?

Jahara Stevenson

A “what if” mentality often pushes us towards the worst possible scenario. “What if” comes from a place of fear. It is derived from being afraid that the worst of the worst is the only possible outcome. It can sometimes lead to us getting mentally stuck in a very hopeless place. “Even if” directs the mind to think of a positive outcome. It’s more hopeful. “What if” equates to fear, “even if” equates to faith. 

Do you have what it takes to be a "Boss Babe"?

Jahara Stevenson

There is never a dull moment. There are days I feel exhausted, creatively stuck, unsupported and so many more emotions, and yet I wouldn't trade this for the world. There are very realistic challenges that I have to be aware of, but I also get to enjoy the luxuries of running things. If you think you have what it takes, step out. Write that business plan, launch that product, create that website, do whatever you think is your first step and make it happen. Ultimately, only you get to decide if you are qualified to be running things. Do you have what it takes to be a "Boss Babe"?


I'm Proud of You

Jahara Stevenson

baby girl look how far you've come. You're not the same person you were a year ago, two years ago, 5 years ago. You are a strong, self aware, intelligent young woman who is going to do some really great things in life.Don't be ashamed of the tears, they just mean you're working through one more thing to make yourself even better. You are talented. People say it all the time. They buy your products and even trust you with their visions. I know deep down you're still insecure about if you're actually good enough to call yourself an artist. This has literally been your dream since you were 5 but you didn't think you deserved to have it. Here you are. Checking things off and tackling things some people could never handle. There's no perfect way to become a better version of yourself, but you're doing it.

NO MORE LIES

Jahara Stevenson

The devil is only going to attack what he feels threatened by. If I didn't posses something in me that threatens the devils territory, he wouldn't bother to mess with me. He is smart, and intentional. He's going to attack the very thing that he is confident will take me out. There is death in isolation, however the devil convinces us that isolation is the safest place because no one can hurt us there. The problem is, thats a breading ground for lies to take root. They thrive in a place where we are so cut off from everyone else. Lies can't hold on to anything if you're constantly around people who will speak truth and light into your life. But we get so convinced that if everyone is hurting us, the best thing to do is get away from all of these people and cut off any opportunity for anyone else to come in. THAT'S A LIE. Isolation is from the enemy, quiet time is from the Lord. The Lord calls us to shut out distractions and outside forces and really commit to time with Him. He wants us to shut down everything and focus on Him. But He also calls us to community; to walk through life with other people. He gives us people on purpose. If we were meant to do life alone we would be alone. The devil convinces us that isolation is the safest place.

Are you Praying for the Right Thing?

Jahara Stevenson

I was stuck confused and frustrated that this disaster wasn't ending. It finally connected for me that I didn't need to ask for God to remove the people, or me, or the circumstance. It wasn't that simple because sometimes I can't just go away from whats bothering me. Sometimes running away, or wanting out of my circumstances isn't what God wants for me. Maybe there's something that the Lord is trying to teach me through the crappy situations.

Remember It’s Always A Choice!

Jahara StevensonComment

“What can I eliminate from my schedule? What emails and texts can wait to be responded to? How can I prioritize what I truly want to do first? Remember it’s always a choice!” I stopped immediately after reading that and agreed. It’s a choice. Everything has deadlines and timelines, I’m always in constant communication with clients and friends. Always on my phone, iPad, or computer working, planning to work, or submitting work. I told myself, “you can prioritize what you want to do right now.”

Loving My Curls

Jahara StevensonComment

After 7 days I already want to reorder a whole new box and I am nowhere near out of product yet. This sister team is really passionate about the health and integrity of your hair and work really hard to come up with a formula that is pleasing to all of the senses and gentle with your hair. I can definitely say my hair appreciates the switch up, and I can confidently say I have found the product that I can honestly say is perfect for my hair.

No More Supporting Roles

Jahara Stevenson

Lately, I've found myself to be focusing on my creative block. I almost feel like instead of being the lead, i'm playing the role of supporting actress in my own art. I feel that I have hit an inspirational wall and I haven't been able to tap into the creativity that I usually have access to. What most often times is so simple to me, suddenly has dissipated and I am struggling to envision more than one possibility for every piece. Dealing with this block has been emotionally taxing. I challenged myself to create an entirely new line, and I drew a blank every time I opened my sketchbook. For any creative that can be a very stifling place to be in. The things that inspired me for so long, no longer peak my creative interest. The things that I felt were so artistically mesmerizing, aren't evoking emotion anymore.

Adoption is For Always

Jahara Stevenson

I think of what my life could’ve been and I instantly am excited just for where I am now. I’m thankful for the opportunities I have had, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned. With the right perspective I can look at my adoption as a reward, as a second chance, as a gift. It’s an opportunity that never goes away, its forever. Adoption is for always.  

Life in Community, Death in Isolation

Jahara Stevenson

While isolation is easy, natural, and sometimes what feels the safest, community is literally essential for us to grow and succeed. Doing life with other people who have our best interests at heart, care for us, and share similar beliefs can be key in tackling life’s ups and downs. There is always life in community, and death in isolation.

The Breakup Heard Around the World

Jahara StevensonComment

My life has gone from mapped out to completely being taken one day at a time. At first I was bothered by the lack of control, but now I am more confident and okay with it than I have ever been. Most of the people in my life have really wanted to know what’s going on, and I haven’t really disclosed too much, simply out of respect for my own emotions, mental state, the other person involved, and our growth through this time. I know a lot of people have wanted the details but I had to wait until I was ready and lucky for you, now I am.

STILL FEELING TRANSPARENT?

Jahara Stevenson

My lack of time to sit down and focus on writing has been hard for me because in my mind it represents me drifting away from my roots and losing focus. Obviously I realize that is slightly dramatic and probably way deeper than necessary. In reality I have just been insanely busy.

I wanted to work more, and I got exactly what I wished for. I nanny for 3 families during the week, attempt to keep my house running smoothly, eat healthy, run my business, fulfill orders, love my cat, be a good fiance, and make time for myself and my friends. Since I began this journey, I feel like I failed in a lot of my personal goals...

HUMBLE TRANSPARENCY: HOW DID WE GET HERE? IS IT WORTH IT?

Jahara Stevenson

"I believe in growth, the kind that hurts and the kind that heals." (this is my journey's mantra)

"Wholeness comes from brokenness."

"Always remember, you can find your way back to yourself."

"You don't need them to love you, for you to love you."

"Self- forgiveness isn't only a brave act, but a necessary one."

I AM DESERVING OF LOVE BECAUSE: I am selfless and love others with all that I have, and am worthy of receiving that in return.

TODAY I AM FOCUSING ON: breathing techniques prior to and during anxiety attacks, focusing during meditation, eating two full meals a day.

TODAY I AM AFRAID: that my anxiety will get the best of me

I PLAN TO COMBAT MY FEAR BY: taking a step back and reminding myself, "it's okay"

SAVED BY THE WINE

Jahara Stevenson

PSH. Lets be honest, the real key is to always have wine. If I can plan effectively, everything will go so smoothly. Minimizing stress one bottle of wine at a time. Wine just makes it all better. Stressed out addressing a million and one envelopes? No problem! Pour a huge glass of bubbly and all of a sudden I have all the momentum in the world. Needless to say, to keep me from being a bridezilla, keep the wine stocked and everyone can be saved by the wine!

SAY YES TO THE DRESS

Jahara Stevenson

All of a sudden I looked up and saw 11 of our closest friends and a photographer and began piecing together what was going on. We took our jackets off and the water works immediately kicked in. I was trying to hold myself together as I listen to her tell me how amazing this past year and a half has been and how happy I make her. She looks at the wall where there was a huge elephant art piece and under it a fixture with a vase of white roses and sunflowers and said, "You like elephants, you like flowers, and you like me" 

FALL...DUH!

Jahara Stevenson

How perfect can this morning be. Simplicity speaks to my heart and fall is my love language. Put the two together and I am in heaven. Certain experiences stir up memory filled emotions in me and this situation does just that. My heart is full, now once my nails dry my tummy can be full too. 

ITS J-DAY!

Jahara Stevenson

Some people view January 1st as the day for a fresh start. They use the New Years as a day to set goals, refresh themselves, and move on. I have never been big on celebrating New Years. I look at my birthday as my new year. My birthday is the day my first year of life began so I view it as my restart button if needed.