It’s Ok

‘Sup you lot!

This week was Mental Health Awareness Week, so I thought I’d speak on getting to a place where you can be open with your feelings. Not just with people, but with God and yourself.

I wanted to write this post for people who are sensitive like me, people who feel like their sensitivity is a major weakness that they keep their emotions to themselves, too afraid of being called too sensitive that they hide a lot of themselves.

I wrote it to uplift those who have been branded as too sensitive, so that they can see the positives in their sensitivity because we all know that holding in our emotions can be so detrimental to ourselves, which is not good for our mental health at all.

So I hope you can gain confidence in this post by seeing the positives and know that God is a God of all things, including sensitivity.

Last week, I started to feel a little bit low and I wasn’t really sure as to what it was that got me down.

Now for me, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to be completely open regarding my feelings with myself and sometimes others, which people may find weird because I’m also the most open person. I’m an oddball I guess.

When I was growing up I was super sensitive, I’m still sensitive today just not as much, and people used to always think and see me as the ‘sensitive one’. I was called a crybaby and too soft and this stuck with me and continued to play around in my head.

One day when I was 14 years ago, during my depression, I was in my music class and one of the boys in my class said something, I don’t remember what exactly, and one of my friends at the time replied with “don’t say that you’ll just make her cry again” and everyone, including my friend, started laughing.

I was so embarrassed but I held everything together and decided to go home early, without waiting for my friends. As I got off the bus I let it all out and cried as I walked home, using the alleyways so I didn’t bump into anyone. I started praying to God “why didn’t you make me this way? I don’t understand, why didn’t you make me strong? Why did you make me weak?”

When I finally got home, no one was home so I went straight into my bedroom, changed into my pyjamas, closed the blinds, got into bed and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Once I had stopped crying I made a vow to myself that I will never cry again.

Ever since then I have had trouble with actually knowing how I feel and managing my feelings. Sometimes we make promises with ourselves that are detrimental to growing our relationship with God. These promises put a barrier in between us and God because they’re not from God. Some people know them as unholy covenants or unholy promises.

I know that sometimes it’s hard to be open, trust me, but sometimes in order for us to be better, in order for God to help us overcome thing and be better, we have to let our guard down and be vulnerable.

God made me to have feelings, and yes being sensitive can be a negative but it can also be a positive.

I’ve googled and found many positives of being highly sensitive. Here are my top 3 for you:

1. You’re highly considerate.

2. You have high levels of empathy and you’re deeply moved by other people’s emotions.

3. You experience positive emotions more deeply.

Being sensitive is not a bad thing. You don’t need to fight your feelings, you don’t have hide your emotions away. It’s ok to admit you’re not ok. It’s ok to have feelings. It’s ok to feel down and out, and not know why. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok.

I had to say that to myself the other week. I’m so adamant that I don’t have to cry and I’m ok, but all I’m doing is putting a big mask and hiding myself from God who’s probably looking down at me like “you’re clearly not ok and you know that I know this. So come to me and lay it at my feet.”

Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

– Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

I had to admit to myself that I was not ok, cry it out and pray to God about what I was feeling in that moment.

I know it’s ok to cry because even Jesus cried.

Jesus wept.

John 11:35

Jesus, the Son of God, who has healed many, who was a great leader, also cried. Feelings come from God. If we didn’t have feelings we would be emotionless robots, which is not from God, which would mean we were not made in his image.

If you need to cry out to God, then do it! He will hear you.

The righteous call to God and he listens; he rescues them from their troubles.

Psalms 34:17

Instead of making unholy promises that will create a barrier with God we should cry out to him, in our most deepest, darkest and saddest times. He is listening always.

It’s ok to have raw prayers with God when you’re literally in bits and you’re just asking why. The same way you can be honest with friends, is how you should be honest with God in all areas.

Moses prayed earnestly to the Lord and said “What can I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me?”

Exodus 17:4 (GNB)

In all his frustration Moses cried out to God. It’s ok to speak to God through all the frustration you’re feeling.

We know God has feelings. God showed love, anger, disappointment, compassion, joy, just to name a few. So don’t condemn yourself if you’re ‘too sensitive’, see the positives in it.

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:1-2‬ ‭(MSG‬)

Take this passage and apply it with your high levels of empathy. Your sensitive can be more of a strength than you know.

I hope you’ve been able to find some sort of confidence boost within this post.

Remember always be open. Don’t let anyone say that you’re too sensitive without remembering the positives that come from being highly sensitive. Remember it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to admit that you’re not ok.

God is listening and he’s always around, it’s up to you as to how open and vulnerable you want to be towards Him.

Stay blessed, stay safe

That’s all she wrote …

Music into My Ears: The List

Hiiii!

Welcome back.

Right so, like I said I would, this post is about artists I listen to. I’ve put a small description about them, my favourite song and a recommended album to get you started.

This is not necessarily my Top 10 because my favourites change pretty much every week, if not everyday.

So let’s get right to it.

Here is a list of 10 Christian and gospel artists that I love. In no particular order of course:

1. Hollyn

Hollyn is a Contemporary Christian (R&B, pop) singer who I love! One of my favourite female artists.

I’ve been listening to Hollyn since the beginning of my Christian walk. I love how she writes her songs, how open they are about her struggles and triumphs.

Favourite song; I have many but Isaac is the one Ive playing first at the moment.

Recommended album; Hollyn (EP) but I also recommend One Way Conversations

One thing I love about her EP’s/Album there’s a mixture of songs, in terms of genre.

PICTURE!

2. Gawvi

Gawvi is a Christian electro-pop artist. He raps as well as sings, and his new album is FIRE! Every single song on that album for me is just so 👌🏾. I would definitely recommend Gawvi.

I’ve only just started listening in January. My friend played his song Fight for Me (ft Lecrae) from his PANORAMA album and since then I’ve been listening to him. I know it says he’s an electro-pop artist but this album is a mixture of trap, 90’s pop, rap

Favourite song; Girl. That has to be my favourite song at the moment.

Recommended album; Heathen. Which is his new album, where you can also find Girl (Track 7). Listen to us honestly.

I love Gawvi’s rhyming ability, and how he can take the bible and create a lyrical metaphor. Like he says in … “this is my version of psalms”.

3. Wande

Wande is a Christian rapper, not only that but her instagram and TikTok always entertain me.

Accidentally found Wande when looking at Gawvi’s page on Apple Music. One of the best musical finds I’ve made to be honest.

Favourite Song; WAKANDE. Bro, the beat is just too much! And I love the fact that she incorporates her Nigerian heritage by speaking her native language, Yoruba, at the beginning of the song.

Recommended Album; As I’ve only just found Wande a few months ago and I haven’t really gone through her previous albums, I’m going to recommend her newest album EXIT.

Wande = lyrical genius. I really love when rappers are just lyrical. Another thing I love is the fact that she doesn’t shy away from her African heritage, incorporating Yoruba into her songs, telling a brief background story as to when she moved to America from Nigeria. As an African myself it does make me happy, as growing up it wasn’t really seen much.

4. Limoblaze

Limoblaze is an Afrobeats artist from Nigeria.

Another accidental find when I was doing some house cleaning last month. His songs got me dancing whilst mopping, got me in the best mood that day!

Favourite Song; Your Love (ft DJ Horphuray). “I know I don’t deserve it, your love is so overwhelming”. Love the beat to this song.

Recommended Album; Afrobeats, Rap and Jesus. I haven’t managed to listen to previous albums/EP’s yet but I really do like this one.

5. V. Rose

V. Rose is a Christian and Gospel pop artist, although she does dabble in trap.

I found V. Rose when looking for more female artists because at that time I only had male artists and Hollyn, I was just missing more female vocals in my playlist.

Favourite Song; Take a Broken Heart (ft Derek Minor). The first song in her Young Dangerous Heart album, it caught me off guard and it’s always the first song I play when I want to listen to her music.

Recommended Album; Forth. This is her newest album, released 2019, and boyyyy! I love it. Maybe because it’s the newest but the songs, the lyrics, the rapping (oh yeah, she raps too), it’s just really good. I don’t really remember her rapping in her previous albums, might have to take another listen, but I was shook and I loved it.

Some of V. Rose’s songs can be girly at times but I love it because it can speak to areas in my life that are just ‘girl problems’ (love, heartbreak and all that jazz) but she also speaks the truth in all of her songs.

Second Fav Song; I Surrender. I had to add a second song. This song is from her Forth album (Track 2) and I love how she incorporates a song most of us will know which made me feel like I immediately knew the song.

6. nobigdyl.

nobigdyl. is a Christian rapper, who’s style is described as ‘mellow’, but regardless, still bangs.

I first found nobigdyl. when I was making a playlist for my friends barbershop opening a few years ago (shout out to PH Barbers; if you’re ever in Bolton and need a trim, check them out). I knew the playlist I currently had wouldn’t fit the aesthetic they were going. Found nobigdyl. and the whole Tribe on The Move gang.

Favourite Song: Morning. Such a raw song. This song is about how he was before he got saved and how God came into his life and I love how honest and raw it is. “I said Jesus where you is, you ain’t come back by this times … so I did all that I could”. I mean isn’t this how we were all thinking before we became saved?!

Recommended Album: this was hard for me to choose because I have two but I think I’ll stick to Canopy as my recommended choice, although SOLAR is also good.

nobigdyl. is another lyrical genius. I’m sorry, I might say this about a lot of them, but guy fully said “Looking at the pictures at the cornerstone, backed into the corner by the Cornerstone”. If I was to pick my favourite lyric from nobigdyl. it’ll be that one. Gets me every time.

7. Koryn Hawthorne

Koryn Hawthorne is a singer who’s voice is so soulful and smooth, yet powerful. She’s also a minister’s daughter.

When on the look for more female artists I found Koryn’s Won’t He Do It (Remix) and she continues to remain one of my favourite artists in the Christian and Gospel industry.

Favourite Song; You Still Love Me. Another song that’s very truthful and open about the struggles we can go through but God still loves me.

Recommended Album; Unstoppable. This is currently her only album to date, which has songs from her self-titled EP included in it. This album has a range of genre, including rock, which is what I love about it. I love the variety, it’s as if there’s a song for everyone.

Koryn’s voice is what made me fall in love with her music, as well as how her sings made me feel. Want to just have fun or be in worship and I love that.

8. Jor’dan Armstrong

Jor’dan Armstrong is an R&B gospel singer and his songs all bang!

Jor’dan was one of the first artists I found when I started looking for Christian and gospel songs that appealed to me and I remember just downloading his whole album.

Favourite Song; Light Up (Litty). Such a vibe this song, I swear! Gets me dancing every time.

Recommended Album; Vibes. Just like the title, this album is just a vibe, keeps me in high spirits every time I listen to it.

*Fun Fact; it’s the first album I play when I’m about to start cooking :).

9. Riley Clemmons

Riley Clemmons’ music is mostly in pop and R&B genre.

Riley is a recent-ish find when I was listening to a Christian playlist on Apple Music and I heard her song Broken Prayer. Due to the season I was in when listening to this song, it really spoke to me and continues to do so now.

Favourite Song; Fighting for Me. A new favourite of hers, a reminder that God’s fight for me never ends, it’s continuous. A great song to listen to during hard times.

Recommended Album: Riley Clemmons. I haven’t really listened to her whole album yet, it’s on my list of artists to listen to, but I’m sure it’s a good’un.

10. CalledOut Music

CalledOut Music is a Nigerian born musician from the U.K. who dabbles mostly in Afro-gospel and acoustic sounds.

I actually don’t remember how I found CalledOut Music it must have been a really random find if I don’t remember.

Favourite Song: I Am Free. This song is a song that just makes me bop, don’t think I can ever sit still and listen to this song. I have to be up or moving in my seat.

Recommended Album: when I was looking at his profile on Apple Music I realised he has just released a new album, Portraits, which is exciting. I’m looking forward to listening to it!

So there you have it, my Top 10 list of Christian and Gospel artists.

I hope you can find songs that you like in these artists and also I hope they can lead you to find more, the same way they have led me to others.

Stay safe, stay blessed

That’s all she wrote …

Music into My Ears

Hey gang!

Hope you guys have had a great week, excluding these circumstances we’re currently in.

I’m so excited to write this blog because it’s one of my favourite things on this earth.

Music!

My parents told me that when I was a newborn I was always crying because I was born in the peak of the summer in London and I couldn’t take the heat. To get some quiet, especially for new parents who had no clue, they would play some music, leave the room for 10 minutes, and I would stop crying.

Even when I used to help my mum around the house on Saturday mornings, if she wasn’t playing some sort of gospel music through the CD player I was creating my own tunes and songs. As I grew older, I started to write them down in my song book and gave myself a stage name.

Kristy Brown. I was obsessed with Chris Brown at the time and wanted to be his sister, don’t judge me, I was only 12/13 at the time.

It’s been a very exciting month for gospel/Christian music. So many groups, artists and bands, have released singles, EP’s, albums, and I have been delightfully overwhelmed by it all.

I just wanted to quickly speak about what we take in, which is why I titled this post “Music INTO my ears”.

As Christians we have to be wary of what we take in. Conversations, music, tv shows, and other things. It’s important because what we take in through your eyes and our ears, can affect us in ways that we don’t even realise.

We all know that words can be powerful right?

Death and life are in the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit

-Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

Which is basically saying that we have learn to get along with our tongue, be able to speak words that are of encouragement, praise and love. But if we speak words of negativity we will have to accept the consequences that come with it.

It’s the same with music. Listen to music with words that are encouraging, fulfilling you spiritually, you will eat from its fruits, because it’s one way of helping you with your walk with God because you’re guarding your heart by protecting your ears.

But listening to secular music will derail you from God, your salvation, and can lead you down the road of giving in to your temptations and backsliding.

I’m not saying that I listen to gospel/Christian only, but I know that because I’m thriving to be stronger in my faith, I’m not reckless with what I listen to. And if you listen to secular music, you know how hard it is to find a song that doesn’t have profound words. And when you do find one with no swearing, it’s hard finding one with no subliminal references to sex, drugs, alcohol and the likes.

So my secular music list is very limited to very particular songs. Which is why I’m so grateful for Christian music. The way it’s expanded to different genres is so great.

When I was younger I didn’t know about gospel rap or pop. Certain churches and older Christians will say “that music is demonic. It’s not Christian music because it doesn’t sound like the one we sing at out church” but my argument to that is

Why isn’t your praise and worship only limited to harps and organs as they are the very first instruments to be invented by Jubal? (See Genesis 4:21)

If God was not a God of creativity, you would not have Hillsong Worship, United or otherwise. There wouldn’t be Elevation Worship or even Kirk Franklin.

We have to stop limiting God. Especially when it comes to music.

For me, if I didn’t find out about the likes of Hollyn, Trip Lee or nobigdyl. I would still be listening to the worse secular music on the daily, because I’m not always in the mood for your typical worship songs.

If I didn’t branch out to find Christian artists by myself, I would not be filled with Godly thoughts or be moving towards a more Godly lifestyle because the music going into my ears would be about sex outside of marriage, drugs and be full of profanity.

Also, people who limit God in the area of music don’t know the history of the gospel/Christian music they listen to.

Let’s look at the ones I mentioned. Elevation worship for example. Pastor Steven Furtick and Chris Brown (not the R&B singer) were into rock during their younger years, got saved and thought “how can I incorporate my love for this genre with my love for God?” And BOOM! They are now one of the biggest gospel worship groups in the Christian Rock genre.

Hillsong United/Worship = Christian Rock

Hillsong Young and Free = Christian Synth-Pop

Kirk Franklin does r&b, hip-hop, the genres most churches tell us to stay away from, as well as the typical gospel genre. As do Mary Mary, and the list is endless.

Why am I writing this post? Because I want you all to know that you can still enjoy your genre once saved but in a way that’s not putting your salvation at risk! And actually enjoy music and not feel limited to just typical worship, because our God is not limited.

Although, I still do listen out to the words that are used because sometimes there are some artists that are Christian but sing worldly songs.

So my advice when it’s your first time looking for Christian artists outside of the genre of gospel or worship music:

1. ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE WHOLE ALBUM

You might listen to one song and dismiss the whole album and miss a gem! I always listen to songs between 0:30-1:00 minute before dismissing the song completely.

2. ALWAYS LISTEN TO THE WORDS

Make sure they are actually Christian songs and are glorifying God. I know a lot of people aren’t always sure because sometimes they don’t say God or Jesus but you can always tell because they’ll use some way to connect it to the bible, God, Jesus or The Holy Spirit. But if you are unsure just leave it or scope out their socials and see if they’re truly living for God.

3. MAKE A PLAYLIST FOR JUST CHRISTIAN SONGS

If this is the first time you are listening to Christian music and you’ve not 100% stopped listening to secular music, I would suggest making a playlist. That way you won’t be in the middle of enjoying songs about God and the next minute it’s a song that isn’t nourishing for the soul.

4. SHARE WHAT YOU’VE FOUND

Always share the music! You don’t know which of your friends are also struggling to find Christian music that they like, if you share what you’ve found they may be able to find what they like through your recommended artists.

A friend introduced me to Hollyn and from Hollyn I found V. Rose. Then she introduced me to Trip Lee and from him I found nobigdyl. and other artists.

With that being said, let’s be mindful of the music that we put into our ears. It’s already hard as it is to be saved and you’re not making it easier if one of your windows to your soul is taking in unGodly things.

I know my triggers. I know the music I have to stay away from and what kind of songs I have run from. Do you know yours? Will you be obedient when listening to a song, feel a trigger and hear that voice of conviction that’ll say “you need to let that go”?

Have a think about that.

Don’t think I’m going to be leaving you without giving more suggestions of artists.

The next post I’ll be sharing my Top 10 gospel/Christian artists, bands and worship groups. Including some that I’ve fallen in love with again and the new releases of this month.

Also, I will be working on making a Spotify playlist for those without Apply Music. If you do have Apple Music click on the link below and it’ll take you to my own personal playlist, which I update as often as I can. I don’t mind sharing with you guys :).

Christian 🙌🏾🙏🏾

Stay safe, stay blessed

That’s all she wrote …