It was a Sunday afternoon this group of women would not soon forget.
They gathered at the invitation of Onika Mars, the owner of ELONIS International, a booming men’s and women’s fashion boutique.
But it wasn’t the clothes or fashion that brought them together that day.
These women were all there to discuss the damaging impact of domestic violence.
It had been almost eight years since Onika left her abuser, though this would be the first time she’d host an event to share about her journey.
Her idea, “Come Sit and Chat with Onika” would be the first of its kind in a community where many abuse victims are forced to cope with their pain alone.
For most of the women in attendance, this was the very first time they were able to speak about what they endured.
It was a night to talk, laugh, pray, but more importantly it was a night to release the burden they’d been carrying alone for so many years.
It was a night to not only see but hear that they were not the only ones abused by a loved one.
And since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I asked Onika to share more about her story so we can continue to break the cycle of suffering in silence.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14 (ESV)
There are many things I can do well:
Being organized. Bargain shopping (or any kind of shopping). Braiding my daughter’s hair with minimal bickering.
I’m pretty sure when God was handing out the gift of patience, I skipped right past that line for something else.
Blame it on being the baby of my family for twelve blissful years. Or perhaps it’s because of my notoriously headstrong streak which dates back to my toddler days.
Whatever it is – I’m a huge fan of when everything and everyone around me moves in sync with my timing, my plans, and my way of doing things.
The world just seems to flow better when I feel like I am the one in control of my life and my circumstances.
So to hear the word “WAIT”, it’s the equivalent of someone trying to snatch that control out of my firm grip.
And my initial response is to put up a fight…even if it means fighting with God.
If reading “Why God Keeps Interrupting My Shopping Sprees” nudged your heart in anyway, then I’d like to invite you to join me on The 30 Day Money Saving Challenge.
I know starting something new can be overwhelming but the challenge is really simple. For the next 30 days, let’s commit to:
- Set a weekly cash budget and not exceed that spending limit…unless it’s a life or death situation.
- No credit cards and no debit cards. (Because when’s the last time you tracked EVERY SINGLE TIME you swiped on your debit card?…exactly!)
- No unnecessary spending…not even if there’s an amazing sale.
- No impulsive shopping.
- No retail therapy.
- DIY whenever possible (like DIY hairdos, manicures, and pedicures to name a few)
- Bring a bag lunch to work.
- Home cook meals, instead of dining out…unless someone else is treating of course.
- Make a list whenever we do have to shop, and STICKING to the list once we get to the store.
- Sign up to receive our free annual credit report to get a true indication of our credit health.
- Actively look for ways to reduce spending (like coupons, canceling services we don’t absolutely need, attending free events, etc.)
- SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!
These are just a few quick and easy lifestyle changes that will benefit us spiritually, physically, and financially.
The goal isn’t perfection or to stop spending money completely. The goal is to develop more self-control and to be more discipline with our shopping habits.
Throughout the 30 days, I’ll post more practical money saving tips and encouragement on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
And I’ll be looking for comments and pictures from your journey as well! Just be sure to use the hashtag #30daymoneychallenge
Some days will be easier than others but I’m excited to see how much money we can keep in our purses and wallets. Most importantly, I’m excited to see how this challenge will help change our spending patterns for the long haul.
So before we find another sale, let the savings begin!
I’ll never forget the day a minister at my church put me on the spot in front of the entire leadership team. Everyone was getting ready to head home when out of nowhere he got the brilliant idea that we should take turns quoting one scripture verse.
Simple enough, right?
Well, I panicked. And instead of reciting my favorite scripture (Philippians 1:6), I awkwardly fumbled over a verse I thought would make me sound super deep and sanctified.
With terms like “boss chick” or “boss” becoming the new standard for female empowerment and success, it’s always refreshing to see women who aren’t conforming to the world’s standards; women like Anesha Collins, the CEO of Unashamed Imaging.
Originally from Staten Island, New York, Anesha has deservingly become one of Florida’s rising stars in the field of visual media.
She is a published and award winning photographer and cinematographer.
Her portfolio ranges from the modern-day family or person to well-known clients like the NFL Corporation, Nina Sky, and Martha Munizzi to name a few.
Her company is also listed as a preferred vendor for various premiere venues.
While Anesha could easily brag about her bossness (let’s pretend that’s a word), she’s one of the most humble and down to earth women you’ll meet.
I recently caught up with Anesha to chat about life and of course business. Check out our interview below to meet the brain behind the brand, Unashamed Imaging.