Natural hair is a lot of things. It’s fun, bold, lovely, funky …. and expensive. Being a teenager, I (unfortunately) don’t have to spend on the latest Shea Moisture products. So I had to get smart. I researched several DIYs to use on my hair that help me save money by using ingredients around my house!
Yesterday, I was surprised. Saddened. And very convicted. I went to a conference called That Girl Is Smart. http://www.thatgirlissmart.com/ One of my mentors, Mrs. Monica Johnson, started it to inspire girls to live their lives with Godly confidence and success. I had an amazing time and left very encouraged! One of the moments that hit home for me was when Mrs. Monica got down on our level and sat on the floor with us. She encouraged us to open up and be real about how we were doing. How we felt. How life was treating us. A lot of people did open up. As different girls shared their different struggles and situations, I was surprised, saddened, and very convicted. I was surprised, because so many girls, go through the same, exact problems. No one is exempt. It was so sad to hear the pain in people’s life and its wide reach and impact in so many. I felt convicted. I realized that it’s so easy to forget that I’m not the only person dealing with stuff.
It’s so easy to get caught up with my life and my ups and my downs, that I don’t care about someone else’s. The person I sit next to at church could be dealing with depression. The neighbor I wave at could be dealing with self-hatred. The person I eat lunch with at co-op could be in that moment battling with peer pressure, yearning to be accepted and not feeling wanted. When I’m rushing past someone and say “Good, how are you,” do I really want to know? Why is it so easy to not care?
When I was in session with Mrs. Monica and the other girls, we talked about how people say they’re OK when they’re really not. It makes it easy to forget the sin that plagues ALL of us and the negativity that lurks in our hearts. But both are very real consumers of the soul.
God showed me that it’s time to get it together. To stop thinking I’m the only one struggling and to realize that people’s hearts are bleeding right next to me. In my devotion, I’ve been reading 1 John 3, which talks about giving love to our brothers and sisters. How are you doing loving the people right next to you? Do you encourage them, even if you don’t know what they’re going through? Do you pray for your friends, even if you don’t know the exact problems they’re facing? I’m working on that. I now understand that everyone is struggling, whether I know it or not. Therefore, if I actually care about the people in my life, it’s my job to lift them up through encouragement and prayer at all times. Please pray for me and my efforts, as I am praying that this article will impact you!
Just one word: Cheesecake. I already know that by the mention of this two syllable word, your mouth has started watering uncontrollably, and you’ve decided, after you’ve read this article, to find the most tempting-looking cheesecake recipe on Google. Well, you don’t need to look any further.
No eye has seen, nor ear has heard of a cheesecake such as this! On a more realistic note, this is one of the best, creamiest, perfectest cheesecakes I’ve ever had. AND, its pretty simple, so its right up MY alley. I am pleased to present to you, my perfect strawberry cheesecake recipe.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 (10oz) pkgs frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed
1 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS sugar
2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1-3/4 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 TBS water
Start yourself off with a box of graham crackers OR graham cracker crumbs. I literally asked every worker at Walmart if they had graham cracker crumbs and I just could not find it. So I bought some graham crackers and crushed them into smaller chunks to fit into my coffee grinder. Honestly, this part took me the better part of an hour, so if you can find graham cracker crumbs, that would probably be a huge time saver.
After grinding up two cups of graham cracker crumbs, I put them in a bowl with ⅓ cup of melted butter, ½ tsp of cinnamon, and ¼ cup of sugar and mixed that well. Then, I spooned it onto the bottom of my 9 inch pan and packed it down with a fork. Toss that in the fridge for 30 minutes.
I blended 20 oz. of frozen unsweetened strawberries, 2 TBS of sugar, and 1 TBS of cornstarch in a blender until it was smoothie textured. Then I poured the mixture into a saucepan and slowly brought it to a boil and stirred it for 2 minutes. Then I placed ⅓ of the mixture in a bowl on the side, and refrigerate the rest.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, dump in two 8 oz packages of cream cheese, and beat that until it’s nice and creamy. Then, I poured in 1 ¾ cup of condensed milk and ¼ cup of lemon juice and beat it until it’s JUST mixed well, then add 3 eggs on low, again, until its JUST fully integrated.
Pour ½ of this mixture into your pan with the graham cracker bottom, then, using a ½ teaspoon, drop on the ½ of the strawberry mixture that you set aside. Then, carefully spoon in the rest of the cream cheese mixture into the pan. Again, using the ½ teaspoon, drop the other half of the strawberry sauce on. Use a butter nice to swirl it, if you want to be all fancy. I swirled in the initials of the person I was making the cheesecake for.
Now its time to place the pan in a water bath. The only thing big enough for my cheesecake pan was a large aluminum pan. I placed my cheesecake pan inside, and placed it into my oven, already preheated to 300 degrees, and poured in enough water to come halfway up the cheesecake pan. Let it stay in for about 45-50 minutes. Take it out and allow it to sit in the water bath for 10 minutes. Afterwards, run a butter knife around the sides, and take it out of the water bath to cool for an hour. Refrigerate overnight.
When you get ready to eat it, mix one TBS of water into the chilled strawberry mixture, and pour over the top of the cheesecake.
Add a comment if you try the recipe! We'd love to see how it turned out for you!
Soooo, when I was checking out of some of the GORGEOUS naturalistas on Intagram, I came across some amazingly perfect accessories for curly hair! Some are classy, some are funky, and all of them just took my breath away. I just had to share! Hope you guys enjoy these pictures!!
By Nia, Jada, and Bailey
Hi, guys! This is Nia, Jada, and Bailey, doing our first sister collab! We wanted to do this because the three of us have been studying wisdom in our Youth Group.
It’s been so enlightening!
God’s Word has spoken to us, shedding light on our weaknesses and revealing how Christ wants to refine and pattern every part of our life to His. We just wanted to open our hearts up to you guys and we pray that the wisdom God has opened our eyes to can transform your life as well!
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
I love this Scripture! It makes me realize that a lot of the bad things that happen in my life are preventable - by me. If I had made a better decision, had a better attitude, reacted (or not reacted) in a better way, all the trouble I’m having wouldn’t be there! Because I would have wisdom protecting me and guiding me to do better. But when I’m looking at Seventeen magazine or watching Freeform, people act like being young allows you to be stupid and thoughtless. Not true! Even though the older you get, the wiser you should get, (Job 12:12) the beginning of being a wise person is simple: to get wisdom. Seriously, it’s that simple. But wait, how do you get wisdom? Where does it come from ...
Proverbs 2:6: For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.
Wisdom. A lot of people want it. Everybody needs it. But where can we find it and how do we get it? Teen magazines? Parents? Teachers? All of these things can have wisdom but where does it truly come from? The answer to that is God. All wisdom comes from him. And He’s literally dying to give it to us! All He asks is that we ask. There’s no crazy formula, no grade average, no special record required. Just a heart, willing to humble itself by asking for a priceless gift.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
This is God’s wisdom. I love this Scripture so much because it clearly outlines what His wisdom is, making it easier for me obey! I especially love when it says that Godly wisdom is full of good fruit. It reminds me of the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and how closely the Scripture above aligns with them. Applying God’s wisdom helps us achieve the fruits that please Him. I want my life to be parallel to this Scripture and full of fruit He would be pleased with.
We hope this devo sparked something in you. Something that desires to pursue God’s wisdom and draw nearer to His heart. Don’t try to stifle the spark! It’s easy to push even truth to the side because it’s hard or costs us something. But wisdom’s not hard to get and every little cost is nothing compared to what God has in store. Instead, feed the fire, so that the sparks explode like fireworks: beautiful, brilliant, and burning a hole in the darkness that can never be filled.
This is our prayer for our life and for yours! Share your thoughts about wisdom and your journey towards Godly excellence below!
The Kamau Sisters
Hi! We're Nia, Jada, and Bailey Kamau. We laugh, sing, read, and have Narnia marathons probably more than we should. Thanks so much for checking out our blog!
"Sisters by chance, friends by choice."
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