The irony behind fact that I’m posting this on the World Wide Web is funny itself. It’s courageous and its on the Internet. The irony pretty much stops there though. If you know me, you know that the things I post below are things I have no problem escaping my thoughtful lips.

The fact thaat I’m writing this on an iPad MINI should tell you just how desperately I felt I needed to say something. (Okay need may be a bit of an exaggeration, but typing on this on screen keyboard ain’t for the faint at heart.)

Now that I’ve said that, here are some things that have been on my mind lately…

  1. Everyone has an opinion. Go with yours, but only if it’s well informed.
  2. Society deserves to not have to be subjected to every Tom, Dick and Harry’s opinion…so if you don’t have anything to say to better society, then keep your comments to yourself.
  3. To the internet trolls, stop! It’s funny how much courage a person gets behind a keyboard. The bible says, “judge not, lest ye be judged.” Try that on for yourself.
  4. And before you decided to have an opionion, educate yourself. We have enough people hurting from all these made up societal standards. Remember several of the social “rules” are made up. There is nothing that actually makes them real. In fact, they vary by geography. So put your elbows on the table.
  5. Why do you care so much?! This is something I seriously ask often. Like what makes you care enough to have an opinion. Example: there’s a young lady at my job (a global organization that’s number one in the industry and likely setting standards for the place you work)…this young lady is probably brilliant. I caught myself judging her. I was a hypocrite to my own thoughts, but I caught myself. So my future thought was anyone who’s putting that much energy into judging her probably doesn’t have enough work.
  6. I won’t say anything more than the name of Donald Trump because 90% of America agrees with me even if they’ve voted for him.
  7. If my boyfriend’s son huffs at him one more time… Momma bear rising up. I’ve raised too many kids to be passive.
  8. WWMLKD
  9. Everything Jesus did wasn’t pretty
  10. I wish people could have as much compassion for Christians as they as we have for them
  11. No, Christians won’t agree with everything. That’s part of our faith. We chose it and there’s not enough Christian bashing and bullying in the world that would make me change that.
  12. Leave the mom from the Harambe situation alone.
  13. Fear and boldness do coexist. One just eventually wins.
  14. I guess I have an opinion. I’m gonna go with mine. I’ll try to be informed.
Until next time,
Regina

Love. What is it really?

Is it a feeling? Is it an action? Is it a word to describe a feeling or an action? Or is it something else.

The bible says that “…God loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him would have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The Bible also says that love is patient and kind and doesn’t boast in evil and a whole slew of other things.

And if you ask my Pastor, the Bible is a 66 book love letter.

So why is it so hard for us as humans to wrap our brains around love?

Maybe it’s because love is so much bigger than just a feeling or an action?

Maybe it’s not about the kisses and the gifts and what media – or social media – portray.

Maybe it ‘s about sticking through it when times get tough. (Patience)

Maybe it’s not about running our mouths when he or she has presumably done you wrong. (Kind and Not boasting in evil.)

Maybe it’s not about the flowers and kisses and warm and fuzzies; those are all just by-products.

It’s about sticking to it when you hate his guts; when you feel ultimately heartbroken, but decide to let him explain.

It’s about bending further than you’ve ever bent before only to learn that you, indeed, won’t break. Instead, your flexibility increases with every patient, kindness and not boasting in evil exercise there is.

It’s not about seeing who pulled the short stick. Maybe it’s about realizing and accepting that when you put the sticks together, you both win.

It’s about seeing you need as much growth as you think you are valuable…all without losing sight of your worth.

Books have created fantasies…Cinderalla was the greatest of them all, but as soon as we remove the Disney enamored lens, we’ll realize that love isn’t pretty. It’s messy. It doesn’t end merely with a happily ever after. Instead, the ending is more like…they worked each day ever after.

They found happy and they found love, but that was only the first step. The rest was a great big culmination of the chorus of Rhianna’s most recent hit, work (and all that crap you don’t understand in the middle). And when you put it all together, a hit is made.

I’m simultaneously living that hit and looking forward to it.

And that’s what I mean by “love is messy.”

Until next time,

Gina

Don’t go rolling your eyes at me talking about “you can say that now, you’re in a relationship.” I’ll say, “touché,” and then ask that you stick with me for just a bit.

I’m 35, not married and no kids. Personally, that means that I’ve had my fair share of time being single. In fact, I’ve been in this relationship for only 8 months. The one before that…3 months. And almost a year gap before the one before that. So, I think it’s fair to say that I know a thing or two about being single.

I know the struggles. I know the things that annoy single women. And I know that tomorrow will be a tough day for many of you.

As Feb 14 rolls around for another year, you’re gonna hear all the things that make their boo amazing, see pictures of flowers, balloons, chocolates, and gifts, and maybe even become a little jealous of held hands, gushy embraces, and proposals and such.

Conversely, you’ll be enamored with messages of those commiserating with you. You’ll see messages calling out “Singles’ Awareness Day” and maybe even posts about why he ain’t crap.

Ultimately, you’ll be tempted to sulk in self-pity once again, thinking that you’re not pretty enough, not good enough, too aggressive or some other reason that media tells you that you’re single.

I’m here to be your conscience. To tell you to stop right there, and really remember why you’re single.

I ended my relationship with a guy last year on the day before Valentine’s Day. Yes, I could’ve held off a day or two just so I wouldn’t be single on the day of love, but that’s not my style. I was over his inconsiderate actions. And because I was tired of it, I went into Valentine’s Day alone. And you know what I did? I hung out with my brother.

My family laughed because I’d told them he had 2 weeks to get it together. He made it not even a full 1 week. Which takes me to the entire point of this…

I was single by choice. I knew what I wanted and what I didn’t want to settle for. His inconsiderate actions was one of those things that I didn’t want to settle for.

Chances are that you are single by choice also. Yes, you’d love to have someone to spend time with. Someone to spend romantic moments with, laugh with, and even shed some tears with. Someone who will rub your back when it hurts or call you beautiful every day. Someone who will affirm you, who will partner with you. Someone who will see you worthy enough of compromise and personal and mutual growth. But you just haven’t met that person yet. (Because they all ain’t that person.) And because you haven’t met the person who’s deserving of all you have to offer and accepting of your shortcomings that come with, you’re single. And that’s okay.

In a nutshell, you’re single because you love yourself enough to be single. Not to sacrifice. Not to compromise. We all know where we can give and where we can take, we know our deal breakers.

Singlehood, dating, and marriage are all times of growth. Singlehood is tough. Relationships are tough too. And marriage, well, it’s probably the toughest of all. But possibly (maybe) the most rewarding. (I haven’t been there so I can’t speak for that.)

Take a page out of my book. Be single and love on yourself. Play dress up. Get your makeup skills down pact. Spend money on ridiculous things without having to justify it to anyone but yourself. And just love on you. Fall in love with yourself so that when he comes, you’ll be that much more ready for him.

Enjoy Valentine’s Day with a friend, family member or loved one. Even though I’m in a relationship, that’s what I’ll be doing cause boo had other things to do. (See how that works. I can accept it because I know how to love on me even when he has other things to do.) And in the end, remember, it’s only a day.

2013 was the year I joined the team; the brand online team, that is. My boss was pregnant, lived in France, and was soon (very soon) to go on maternity leave. Little to my knowledge we were in the middle of a very big project.

This was the 4th site redesign I was involved in, and I was confused.

“How did I get to this place? How did I get in the middle of another site redesign.” I was in the middle of the restroom and those were my thoughts.

Soon I would be spending hours upon hours including late nights and sometimes weekends on this redesign. By the end, I’d had it.

Daily View - Work/Life Balance Planner
Daily View – Work/Life Balance Planner

But I’d also developed a habit, the to-do list.

Lists and more lists

While I’ve always been a “list” person, I noticed my dependence on a list intensified as the project intensified. I was beyond creating the occasional project list that lived with it’s respective project or the daily to-do list that may go on to the next day. Instead, I was at a point where lists were coming out of my wazoo.

There was the project (or projects within a project) lists. There were the priority lists. There were the red flag lists. And then there were my infamous lists…the monthly, weekly and daily lists.

I had literally started writing out monthly, weekly, and daily lists. And over time, I noticed the beauty. The beauty I found lied in 2 things…

1) Successful prioritization. As I saw things more holistically, I was able to better prioritize what was on my plate. And pairing that list with my daily calendar, I was better equipped to not tell someone yes or no, I was able to help put requests in their place, whether it was request for task work or requests for meetings.

2) Self-care. During this time, I also realized a need to take care of myself. Like I said, I was spending a ton of time working. Therefore, I had to make concerted efforts to take care of myself. Whether that was to exercise, sleep or simply turn off for the weekend, I knew I needed to find work/life balance.

Additionally, thanks to a friend, I’d been introduced to printables on Pinterest. (Printables are essentially cute to-do lists, life planners and so on.) While I printed these lists for a while, I felt daily printing was a waste. I also didn’t feel the printable I enjoyed using was the most professional design.

Because of this, I moved on to writing out these lists on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. As you can imagine, this got old. And this is when the planner process began; mid 2014, I started designing the planner.

Single chicks don’t want a mommy planner, but moms and pops can use this too

This planner was designed for a unique type of person. It’s not a mommy/family planner. It’s not a date/appointment keeper; we have phones and other devices for that. It’s for the boss lady or man; the person who is focused on successfully managing a hectic personal and professional life while also making a commitment to take care of themselves.

This planner is for:

  1. People who get ish done without going crazy operate on to-do lists and successful prioritization.
  2. People who want to know what to say yes to and what to decline.
  3. People who know and value the importance of making time for family, extracurriculars and others, and
  4. Most of all, people know that to be the best they can be, they have to take time to take care of themselves. So if they have to be deliberate about self-care time, so be it.

 

Find out more about the work-life planner and pre-production by following me on Instagram and Facebook.

And starting next week, you’ll be able to order online. In the meantime, take a look at (or order) some of the pre-releases.

Note: This was written before the previous post.

Decisions are an essential, inevitable element of everyday living. What to wear? What to say? What to eat? Even what to think? But some decisions are bigger than ever. Some are life altering driven by the core of who you are.

These include where to go to church? An overall way of living. Your career path and even where to work.

Then there are decisions that are even bigger. Decisions that you seemingly have little control over. Decisions that are not influenced by, but yet dictated by the essence of who you are.

These are decisions that you have little control over. As much as you desire to be liked or change certain behaviors so that you can be liked, the makeup of yor DNA, personality, and might I add calling, don’t allow you to change.

This is why singers will always sing. Dancers will always dance. Those who are naturally charismatic will always be charismatic. And those who are naturally influential will always be influential.

I happen to be all of the above…so I get it.

On the other hand, it’s hard when your calling is to be something that’s not popular. It’s hard when your character is to go against the grain. It’s hard when your calling is to be different.

You often approach a fork in the road when throwing in the towel and jumping on the bandwagon seems like a good idea.

“I’ll just be fake nice,” I said to myself. That was when I was internally chastised for giving in to the pressure. For even considering not being who God called me to be.

That’s when I was reminded that Jesus wasn’t liked. He wasn’t fake nice and he offended a heck of a lot of people.

I, by no means, am saying I’m even close to being Jesus. But isn’t it funny when your character reflects his boldness and his ability to go against the grain and suddenly you’re not Godly. Our lens of a holy God is so blurred by the smear of a “nice” God that we get it wrong.

We go out of our way to select the right words, put on the fake smile, and act “Godly” when we forget that it was that same God who called the lady out for being a prostitute. The same God who chastised the Pharisees for being pompous. And the same God who pointed out the fact that his closest friends had little faith.

Yet, this is the same God that we praise for being loving, patient and kind.

It’s funny how we can appreciate, see and accept both sides of Christ. Yet, we have little room to do the same for those we call our brothers and sisters.

If I said I didn’t know that I rubbed others the wrong way, I would be lying. But that was part of what I’ve been called to do; to go right when everyone is going left. To strive for better when others will settle for good enough.

Going against the grains isn’t a smooth process, but it can be a refining one.

It can bring fresh air to an otherwise gray world.

It can bring light to an otherwise dark existence.

To you I ask, what parts of your brother have you discarded because it rubbed you the wrong way, and have you ever considered the validity of the approach. Paul wanted to kill Christians but them became the leader. His zeal caused him to go too far on one side and bring massive change on another. Same person. Same personality. Different goals.

My question to you…have you ever thought how you’ve rubbed your brother, yet had patience, forgiveness and acceptance shown toward you. That’s what being a Christian is about. It’s not about trying to mold someone to who you want them to be. It’s about understanding how their piece of the body works with yours.

Which part do you play and how does your brother fit? 1 Corinthian 12:27.

 

My goodness. The Holy Spirit is working with me so please bear with me as I write this post.

I’ve struggled with the concept of fake nice until right now…this very moment.

First let me explain what fake nice is. It’s the concept that we have to deliver the truth or more broadly where everyone puts a smile on their face while rubbing each other on the back to make them feel good about themselves. It’s a mask; a facade to be accepted, politically correct or to not hurt anyone feelings. Or that we have to say things certain ways for them to be accepted. At the nitty-gritty of what it is, it’s a lie.

A bold-faced lie.

It’s covering up how you really feel. Just because someone doesn’t say racist statements doesn’t make them less racist. It just makes them more politically correct.

Just because someone knows good bible verses doesn’t make them a Christian. It just means they know scripture.

 

And jus because someone doesn’t package a message exactly the way you want them to say it – or the way society has trained them to say it – doesn’t make them rude. It makes them human.

We live in a society full of lies.

We talk about muslims and cover it up with the fear of terrorism.

We talk about Mexicans and we cover it up with fear of economic stability and safety.

We talk about African-Americans and we cover it up with false truths.

And we talk about whites, but cover it up with the notion of equality. Yep. I said it.

But we never talk about the real problem. The fact that all of this – racism, political structure, the things that keep us up at night – is a measure of the heart. The fact that as long as we can  point our fingers at others, we will NEVER need to point our fingers at ourselves is the biggest problem of all.

Accountability is our real issue. As soon as someone holds us accountable, we become offended. As soon as someone stands up for themselves or projects their voice, that’s when we suddenly have a problem with people.

Don’t believe me. Prime example: Jesus.

People loved the “loving”, miracle-working Jesus. But when Jesus laid down the law – confronted the proud – that’s when problems arose. He shook things up. It was no longer the status quo. There was a new leader in town, and people weren’t ready for it…so they tried to play with his mind.

The pharisees tried to trip him up. (Help me Holy Ghost. yep I went COGIC on y’all right there (smile)) They tried to make him lose at his own game, but they missed one key factor; Jesus wasn’t just another guy on the street. Jesus was called for one reason and one reason only. To save the world from their sins. And that’s what he did.

Jesus never strayed from his purpose. No matter how much people spit on him. No matter how much they beat him. No matter how they pierced Him in His side.

He asked God to take him off the project. Then He humbled himself and said, “not my will but Your will.”

In this season of transition, I will prayerfully say, “not my will, but your will.” I will be spat on. I will be teased. I will be ridiculed. (There’s no question to it.) And in the end, God will get the glory.

He chose me because He knew I could take it. He also knew that I’d point it all back to Him.

Lord, while I don’t like it, I still say thank you for trusting me with such a responsibility.

Now I ask, what has God chosen you for?

 

Over the past 6 years, I’ve heard (or had it implied) that I was not okay how I was.

Wait. I’ll take that back, I’ve heard that for A LOT of my life.

You’re not poised enough.

You’re wild.

You’re crass.

You’re not pretty enough.

You’re not good enough.

And the list goes on.

And despite my SEVERAL accomplishments, I believed – and internalized – EVERY SINGLE ONE of the comments above.

I ruminated over them. I agonized over them. I’ve been anxious about them. Heck, I’ve even cried over them. So it’s to no surprise the amount of self-esteem battles I’ve had to fight.

Simply worrying about what others would think and trying to change with the mask of bettering myself became my reality. I’d try to be prettier. Wish I was more poised. Be better.

And to this day, I agonize over the fact that I feel SO misunderstood.

But let me tell you. I WILL NOT and DO NOT accept someone else’s reflection of who Regina is because your reflection is the exact antithesis of who Regina really is.

I wasn’t created to make others feel good.

I wasn’t created to be the Queen of England.

I wasn’t created to be the soft spoken pushover that some want me to be.

No. I was created to be a BOLD child of the King able to stand against ANY form of principality that comes against me.

The Word Says:

I am more than a conqueror.

For me to cast down vain imaginations.

The battle is not mine.

And when I have done all that I can do, just stand.

See there are people in this world who want to take your joy. And the Bible says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.

But today, I say, I recognize the enemy. And He CANNOT have my joy. He CANNOT have my peace. He CANNOT rule over me.

I am the heir of a King.

I am part of a royal priesthood.

Maybe that’s the reason “God Made Me” is one of my favorite songs. Though the children’s choir sang as I directed, it ministered to me…

“God made me, He made me who I am…

I’m a conqueror

I’m victorious,

I’m a winner

I’m a winner.”

God made me into ALL these things and more.

So to the naysayers…if you’re not reinforcing who God says that I am, why are you talking at all. Remember, the power of life and death is in the tongue. (And I’ll go on a limb and say it’s in the written word as well. Not scriptural, but I know words – in whatever form – make a difference.) So if you’re not speaking life, why are you speaking at all? Or maybe I should say, then WHAT are you speaking?

Maybe I’m not the person you’d hope I would be. Or the person you expected me to be. But you know who I am, the person God created me to be. And I actually like who I am. And that is why I’m no longer apologizing.

I’ve fallen in love…again. Maybe that’s a bit drastic, but I think it’s safe to say I’ve been immersed in a world of creativity. And if I liked hearts, I’m sure they’d be twinkling in my eyes at the mention of design, business and just trying new things.

My life in photos *story continues below*

See, I’ve had a thing for stationery for quite some time. And if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll notice that I’ve been posting some of my free printable designs of cute paw prints, autumn printables, and colorful chevron template.

Well, this design thing has turned into a full-blown business. I’ve opened an Etsy shop and have been working on products like crazy. And while the shop may seem a little empty now, rest assured… I’ve been working on product development. From sourcing pictures to writing to working with templates, I’ve been doing it all. I’ve even been making sure I have my legal crap in order. (Good thing this isn’t my first run at business. So much easier and less stressful this time around.)

But that’s not it. Scarves are also part of my product assortment. And I’ve been working my butt off on this too. There’s advertising, the photo shoot, creating my photo studio, and *ahem* replacing my crochet needle because I left the other one at my boyfriend’s house. (Yeah…that happened.) Oh…and the crocheting. Let’s not forget the crocheting.

Add that to my day job, church servanthood, and love life, and you find a busy girl over here. But I was excited to share with your what was going on. And if you’re into customizing your planner, scrapbooking or are a stationery freak like me, you have to keep checking back on my Etsy shop. Have a product you think you’d like, let me know.

If you’re interested in a scarf, feel free to email me at regina.r.patterson@gmail.com. I ship. I also hope to add inventory to Etsy. (I sold out of my current inventory.) Adult sizes start at $20. Children start at $10.

Finally, stay up to date with me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Instagram

Until next time. Mwah.

Gina

Well, it’s that time again; time for a new collection. Here are a few cute handmade, autumn-themed printables. Go ahead. Indulge.

File specs:
Size: 8.5 X 11, File type: JPG

Click to print or view larger.

Legal stuff

Free for personal use. Not for resale or to be incorporated into any other print work. Please attribute any digital work to me and link to this website.

More designs can be found at affirmeddesignsrrp.etsy.com.

Copyright Regina R. Patterson. All rights reserved.

I’ve been in this four-year relationship, and it’s pretty dysfunctional. She loves me. I love her. But there are times I HATE her. There are so many HORRIBLE, disrespectful things she’s done.

  1. Your food is her food.
  2. Her food is her food too.
  3. She pees in the house sometimes. And I’m tired of cleaning it up.
  4. When I tell her “down,” she just looks at me…
  5. …Or just goes to the end of the bed or couch and sits or lays there
  6. Her thirst is real.
  7. She talks back
  8. She’s the epitome of a cry baby
  9. She barks incessantly
  10. She gets in my bed when I don’t want her there
  11. She’s hard-headed.IMG_2949
  12. She has no respect for personal space. Can I pee please?
  13. She has no respect for the things you spend your hard-earned money on
    • My roman shades…chewed
    • My door, scratched
    • My door trim…hole in it
  14. Her persuasion methods are outright rude (the staring)
  15. She pulls trash out of the trash can
  16. She could care less if it’s supposed to be recycled. She treats that like trash too.
  17. She has no idea how annoying it is to clean up a shredded paper towel
  18. She chews gum and leave it’s on the carpet for me to clean up
  19. She’s an escape artist. I have to put a lock on her crate, otherwise, she’ll undo the latch.
  20. She hates her crate unless the door is open
  21. She has separation anxiety
  22. She will follow you around as if you’re life depended on it
  23. A cracked door is her best friend and your arch nemesis. You will not catch her if she runs away. So don’t even try chasing her by foot. Persuasion is your best bet.

Her name is Piston. She’s my pooch. And as much as I think about taking her back, I just can’t.