All posts by pleasingabba

Wife and mother to seven. Author, speaker and social innovator. I have a vision to move the nations and restore a sense of love with commitment to our youth.

Ask For Nothing

The game of love. The dance between male and female. I have a desire to share my insights with younger women, in the hopes of sparing them the agony of figuring it all out alone. The blessing of experience. It teaches. Looking back over of the years of my life, I can laugh pretty hard about how clueless I was about men, what they wanted and how to keep a solid – respectful partnership intact. But that’s okay,  I figured something pretty important about men and how to have a fighting chance with the one you really love.
While there are multiple ingredients to obtaining fabulous intimacy, I so clearly see how this simple insight could have spared me years of battling and much heart ache about the quality of my marriage. You see, really and truly ladies, men are created to give and provide. Men actually do spend time thinking about how to give pleasure to the woman they have set their sights on. They naturally give. I did not know this. I did not understand men and I did not have older women teaching me this truth, either. But I learned. I figured it out after years of making constant requests. Hints, subtleties, pushes, dare I say it?? – straight up manipulation on every available level. The truth is I wasn’t trying to sabotage my love life, I just thought I had to vocalize my wants and needs. I mean, how would my man know how to please me if I did not make it clear?

Truth was I was a little too Type A about the whole thing, and too wrapped up in achieving soul mate bliss. I needed to chill. I needed to shut-up and let my man do his thing. My constant hints and pleas were only stifling his natural ability to satisfy me. If as women we are going to be all caught up in romance, then we might have to have a measure of faith in our knight in shining armor. If you choose him, if you’re drawn to something deep within him and just have to get next to him, then trust that what you’re attracted to is his potential to rock your world. Just saying, ask for nothing – wait and see what he has thought up for you.Chances are it exceeds anything you could have requested. #PleasingAbba

Burkinis & Modesty At Heart

Clothing, Fashion, Femininity: Things that are important to most women in the modern world. The recent uproar over the burkini has men and women debating the battle of what females should and should not wear in public on a global level. I love how women are banning together over this cause, excepting one another’s right to live as they see fit. I love even more how it has brought the spotlight to the touchy subject of sexism and how basically, cover too much or cover too little, women are subject to ridicule for their appearance.

Working in fashion, as well as being a Christian and wife, the topic of modesty has led me on a heartfelt search for wisdom and discernment. There was a time when I thought I had this all figured out, of course. I had a born again experience in my own life when I was 22 years old. I always considered myself a Christian,  but my early twenties proved to be a real time of transformation as I began to seek and hear from God in a much more personal way. My mother had always been my rock for spirituality, but at her sudden passing when I was 21, I found myself desperate for my own revelations. Far from perfect in my early walk, I was however devoted to the studying of scriptures and spending time in the house of God.

Shortly after, literally 3 months into my awakening, in walks my husband on the scene. It wasn’t much time that we ever spent apart from our first meeting and we were married shortly after. As a new Christian wife, my plan was complete modesty. I dressed in a manner that deterred glances and stares from other men. I searched for clothing that would keep me “covered” as a nursing mom, but the local stores left me disappointed. I carried scarfs and shawls everywhere I went, even covering my head in church because I believed it was what God wanted of me. My heart was fixed on doing it right and I even went to the extreme of having clothes tailored especially for me to nurse in without having to expose my midsection.

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Being ready to cover up in public is a way of life….

 

All would have been well and good, if I lived during the 1800’s. There was only one big problem with my determined mindset to be what I deemed Godly in appearance, my husband hated it. To give him credit, he tried to hear me out and understand my woes of lifting up my shirt to nurse in low-cut jeans (which were such a craze at the time, it was nearly impossible to find a fashionable higher waisted fit). He sympathized with how I wasn’t trying to get stares as I walked our kids and dog around the neighborhood most afternoons, but the truth was, he wanted me to dress the way he liked. He didn’t want me to look trashy or too seductive or be exposed, no. But he did want me to look modern, feminine and, yes, even sexy. And as much peace as I found covering up, I realized I could not and would not change the tastes and likes of those around me. I learned that being modest as a law left my heart hard and indifferent to those nearest to me, most importantly to my lover. I had false piety and I looked down on others who did not go to the lengths I did to remain a non-temptation to men in society. Many tears and years of this internal battle, I have come to the conclusion that it’s OK to please my husband in how I dress and while I don’t take modesty lightly, God made us to be who we are. We dress for the lives we live. Most days of my life that is casual work apparel.  I am cleaning and cooking and changing diapers and bathing babies and cutting grass, 7 days a week I am on the move. I’ve learned to dress for life, my life.

Ephesians 5:22-24 KJV

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Is it that simple? I think so. Of course we must obey God rather than man, and to be biblical, modesty concerns specifically the areas of our bodies from the shoulders to the knees. These areas are the attention-getting and ever so luring features to the opposite sex. The real issue here in this debate is that women are sexy. Their feminine curves ooze the essence of life. Our bodies are powerful, and whether we cover them or uncover them, that power is what people fear. So if you’re like me and you’re trying to get this whole beauty-fashion-modesty thing right, just remember the next time you question your own style, it is your power they’re watching. Use it for good.

1 Peter 3:3-4 King James Version (KJV)

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Relationship 201: The Power of The Tongue and What I Wish I Learned Sooner

I have learned a few things in 12 years of marriage, and although I consider myself humble in all that I still have to master, I think it so valuable what I have paid for in pain. If my platform allows me to help other young women avoid mistakes and gain knowledge prematurely, then my work is complete. Looking back, the power of my words was something I thought too little on and never gave enough weight to, until I suffered the consequences. And where else are we more likely to be wounded the deepest, then in our love lives and personal relationships? I bring it up because, as I discussed a little more in Missing The Father of My Child As A Teen Mom, I felt incomplete as a young, single parent. I knew I had a family, but I was missing the man. Now we all hear how you should be confident and single, and I totally agree it is a place to work towards, but this “hole” in my life consumed a lot of my thoughts. It became a need and I became focused on meeting that need in my life. The problem therein was that a man became my solution, and in that, I was totally deceived.

I like to make sport of love at times because I have come to the belief that it is a matter totally out of our control, who we fall madly in love with. I believe in destiny. I believe we are slaves to that biological demand and we will only mate with those humans who are completely compatible for reproduction. Primitive? Maybe, but the kind of love I feel, it’s for one man alone. It’s powerful. It defies reason and no force can stop it. I can’t explain it, but I can tell you that you, too, may find yourself in the same predicament. My goal here is to point out the maintenance of such love, to make you think about the power of your words towards those whom you say you need.

Love is amazing and having a family is amazing….. sometimes. Other times it is really boring or hard or self-sacrificing. Like any good thing, the harder you work at it the better the outcome. I was convinced that getting married would solve many of my problems. Life has been more enriched sharing my journey with my spouse, but my weaknesses, my character flaws – they didn’t magically disappear because I got married.

I needed to understand that hard work on my own integrity was the necessary key to my happiness.

Because the primitive need is always there, but how do we respectfully and intelligently nurture our love? Ladies, please hear me, the power is in your tongue. To keep quite in the storms, when stronger voices rage. To speak words of healing and power over the one you chose to spend your life with. I promise you, if you place a high standard on the words you allow to come out in your relationships, you will live to see the fruit of your labors! If only I had learned this sooner.

#PleasingAbba

I’m a Terrible Wife

I admit it, I have messed up pretty bad as a wife. I didn’t mean for it to happen like that, but when life beat me down, the time came when I threw in the towel. I took the self-centered, easy way out. I have confessed my wrong. I am seeking amends and clarity through my higher power. I have turned to the church for guidance and I have committed myself to a new way of life. It hasn’t been easy. It has been really hard at times. It is what people do, though, when they blow it. They try their best to make it right. It’s called character, or integrity, and it is something I think young women need to here more about. Because if we get honest, everyone makes mistakes. If you get hit hard enough in life, you may find yourself on the bad end of an ill placed decision.

I start by coming clean with one of my own flaws before I point out those of my fellow woman. You see, I really have another point. For Mother’s day this year I got cash instead of flowers and when I went to the supermarket to get myself something nice to cheer me up, I decided to splurge on fashion mags; a personal lust. The covers of Vogue and Bazaar caught my eye, bright and beautiful colors, both featuring successful blondes we all recognize well. Once home I poured from cover to cover over the next 24 hours, soaking in the latest in style. I especially love to see what the top dogs have to offer my endless crave for beauty and the perfect look I can create in my own mind’s eye. I have a background in fashion and in modeling, so I am hyper sensitive to what is shared on these popular pages. My passion for work with young women is a constant tug on my heart and it is always critiquing the images these wealthy publishers are pumping out to my culture. I am always hoping, but seldom finding, class. Women who will carry the staff of self-worth and respect with the load of wealth and fame.

Taylor Swift was on the cover of Vogue posing in a mini skirt dress. Her legs were open yet crossed, leaving the eye staring down there wondering if you maybe can see something more. She sold out to do a shoot in a short dress with her legs open. What else can you say? I was sad, to see this iconic singer, whom so many young girls and boys are looking up to, pictured in such a way. I wish Taylor saw the impact as a negative for so many young women. Women need to use their minds to succeed, not their nudity. Period. If the leading women aren’t teaching that, then were are all in trouble. Jennifer Lawrence also left me wanting. While I don’t remember any opened legged pics in a skirt, she basically posed topless, wearing only a see-through black dress. In the article she discussed her recent involvement in the fight for equal pay. She said she was standing up for the average woman, not someone that’s as “absolutely fabulous” as she is. But, Jennifer, if you really are standing up for the average American working woman, like me, I have to ask, what are you going to do about it? I mean, you do have an advantage, to really help other women. Maybe you could start by getting dressed, with underwear, just when you’re posing for images that are going to be blasted in front of your millions of young fans? Think about it. Women leaders need to use their intellect and stick together. Baring skin won’t beat out the old boys’ club, ya know? #PleasingAbba

Missing The Father of My Child As A Teen Mom

It was the winter of 1995. I was 15 years old and due to have my first baby that summer. Terrified to my core, I knew I had no real relationship with the man who had got me pregnant. I was facing the total upheaval of my life without a partner or even a responsible party. I was deeply ashamed. Everyone seem to be involved in my personal life and the drastic situation I found myself in. As the truth came out about my pregnancy, so the relentless questions followed. Mostly, all had one primary concern:

“Who is the father?”

It was known to most that I wasn’t involved with anyone. It was known to me that the last few months had consisted of a some scattered interactions with men that could basically be summed up in the term One Night Stand. I was enjoying many aspects of being in high school, but finding a serious relationship among my peers, in a town that I was not from, didn’t work out for me. Similar was the occasion when I met the father of my first child. We hit it off right away, but it wasn’t a relationship I was able to mentally maintain. He was a young man juggling college and fraternities. Our worlds were separated. He called for months after our meeting, I never returned one call.

My life from that time went on, slowly but surely. I adjusted. My mom and I moved back to our hometown area only weeks after finding out I was expecting. Just like that, I had a clean start. My mother handled much of our care. She was the real backbone for my son and I those first few years. While I am grateful, I still struggled. I knew I didn’t have what most couples did when they fell in love, got married and started a family; I didn’t expect that. I just desperately wanted the father of my child in our lives, regardless of where that would lead for me romantically. The birth of my son made everything new in a way that went beyond dating and being in love, I was now part of a family. It was a family that felt so very incomplete without the support of a co-parent. Many times over the next decade of my life I wondered and thought about this missing man. After things settled I considered trying to find him, but it was too late. I knew too little about him and we no longer had mutual relationships. I stressed, I suffered, I wept – but I did all alone. I felt as though it was a load to heavy to bear. I hadn’t gotten pregnant by myself, so why was I solely responsible for my son’s needs? I got my first job at sixteen, graduated on time from high school and then college. We moved out of my parents home when I was 18 and my child was 2. We seemed to be coping, but there was always a hole, especially for my son.

The toughest part about being a teen mom was facing those questions. This was never more clearly covering over all my undertakings then on the days that those questions were asked by my child. To be alive and not know who you come from is an isolating pain that I can only imagine. I saw how my son longed to know his dad. My answers to his inquiries were too brief and empty. I could not explain to the heart of this little boy why every else had a dad, but he did not. I could only offer him my faith in God. I could only answer with utter certainty that I knew everything would work out for the best in the end. That God had intended for me to be his mother and we could trust Him for our future. My son is grown now, and I have never once regretted my choice to give him life. I do know now from experience that the role of a father in a child’s life is invaluable and cannot simply be replaced or over looked. No matter how little the involvement, we must instill in our youth the immeasurable value each of us play as responsible adults and parents. We are needed.  It’s time to rethink manhood and what that means coming of age in America. We need to place a higher value on the stability of the family and the integrity of a gentlemen. Sexual liberation in our day in age is costing us something: The emotional wholeness of our children and subsequently the moral stability of our nation. Fatherhood is that profound! With communication and unity we can make that difference.

Author Bio

 My name is Jennifer Hoge. I am a woman of God, the wife of a fearless American and a homeschooling mom to seven. I blog to encourage teen moms and change the negative statistics surrounding teen parenthood. I self publish to fund my adventures, 3rd book due out summer 2016. #Amazon

Rap, Nudity and Women

I enjoy a good rap song. As a music lover it was bound to happen. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s in the suburbs of Detroit, it was practically inevitable. I remember the dances in middle school and the jams from the skate rink. For my generation, rap is pop culture. I’ve always had a very particular taste and to be honest, once I got to college, I had outgrown most rap. I still love to hear a good rip, especially if there is a level of integrity behind what the song writer is trying to express.

Lately though, I have noticed a disturbing trend in the rap videos I watch on YouTube: blatant nudity using women. Now I know this has happened in the past, but now it is the norm. To get specific, large naked female butts draped across the images of a rapper’s lifestyle. All to the beat of the newest song being played in brainwashing repetition by your local radio station. Let me get straight to my point:

I am trying to encourage young mothers and women alike to get their secondary education. I am doing this because I understand the difference a college education can make in a single mom’s world. It is dog-eat-dog out there! Trust me ladies, you need all the advantage you can get in this life. Yet, my competition is rap music; a multi-million dollar industry that is now using the naked female body to portray success. How can I encourage young ladies to keep their clothes on and focus on their minds along with their attributes towards society? How can I convey to my nation that glorifying sexual nudity in public is satanic and downright trashy? Hopefully I just did.  #PleasingAbba

The Blood of the Innocent and the Towers of Baal

He who has an ear let them hear the word of the Lord. The towers of Baal stand in plain view across America and the cry from the blood of the innocent comes up before the Father. Like Martin Luther King Jr. who was sent as a great voice to our nation, I firmly now understand that the redemption of my country will be secured through one means and one means only:
The elimination of all racism and the systematic shut down of Planned Parenthood.
The light has been shown into the darkness for the entire land to see. And now, what will be done about it? I for one am grateful for the opportunity and platform to make know my stance and the stance of my family across the world. No mistake can be made whose side we are on. The decree has been sent. Chose your sides. Place your bets. The Lord will not stand for it. He will put an end to it for the sake of His righteous.

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Our newest baby. She had much more of a chance at life – simply because of the color of her skin. I, too, have a dream to see the United States of America as the moral high ground of this world, just like Martin Luther King Jr. taught me.

Current stats as of today on #Google reveal African Americans account for 17% of the American population yet they make up 42.4% of all abortions. Planned parenthood was founded in the hopes to keep the white race pure and target immigrants. These are documented facts easily uncovered.

I am ready. Are You?

#PleasingAbba

#DaddysGirl

Knowledge Sabbatical

Becoming an author has been a learning experience. The vision for the book comes. Once you decide it is a project that you are taking on, from that moment, you live the book. You live the process. You must give yourself to it. You become a journalist. You gather your facts and information which you know in advance will be needed. Every writer probably has an unique process. I have heard many describe writing a book as “Birthing”. However you want to say it, you must allow the space and time to create. You must GO there. Wherever that is, your imagination or your past, maybe deep into the recesses of your own soul, to find the ultimate story, to tell it exactly as only you can. It is an adventure. It is deep, it is draining and, like giving birth, it takes a strength that must be summoned.

God has opened up a door for me to get away from my normal surroundings and go to a Christian retreat. There, I will be able to rest, gain support and have a lot of free time to write. I will miss my social media relationships while I am gone, but like my phone experiment, I know I will flow right back into my constant presence on Facebook, WordPress, Google, Instagram and Twitter. I thank you all for following me through this journey. Know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers as I prepare for the next phase of my ministry. I am so geeked to complete this next project and link up with more like minded women who share the Pleasing Abba vision:

Every Nation

Every Language

Creating Opportunity

Eliminating poverty

#PleasingAbba

Synergy As A Source

The power that comes together when like-minded people join forces, Synergy. In this life of struggle and dog-eat-dog, let’s face it, we need all the support we can get. A huge part of my ability to overcome negative statistics as a teen mom was the devotion of responsible mentors who wanted to see me succeed. I was down. I was overwhelmed and I needed a team of people to set my feet on solid ground. Trust worthy caregivers to care for my son who was only weeks old when I returned to high school. Compassionate counselors who knew my pain and the kind of direction I needed to be imprinted with. And of course, the administrators who ran the programs and saw to it my educational needs were accessible. My life changed drastically when I became a first time mother at sixteen, but I have a success story that came out of despair and I can promise you it was not something I could have done alone. It required synergy as my source.

As life went on I found seasons change. I settled down to have a family. The simple fact of having a baby (or 6) at home can make it seem like there is no getting out. I became very isolated during the thick of my childbearing years. Suddenly, I was submerged. The long hours and the sleepless nights that went on for years. The challenges of money that come with acquiring more responsibility, it all was too much to handle alone. I looked around one day and realized losing my support system, or failing to ensure a new one, was a mistake. I needed help. I needed friendship and quality people in my life for it to be balanced. Though I benefited from the support of other good people during my single years, I had let it go thinking that was the normal thing we all did as spouses and parents. I excepted that everyone became more involved with tending to their own families and I followed suit.

When God called me to begin this ministry, my instinct was to surrounded myself with people who were already living ministry leadership. I changed my news feeds so I only saw posts from these mentors. I began to seek out my guidance and direction through anointed relationships. God was using others to bring me into this new level of my life.  I had reached a place were I understood it was no good for me to operate alone. The work God was doing required MANY. I faced the issues of hard relationships. I faced the issues of negative relationships. Both of these complications had kept me closed off and isolated in the past. I needed tools and I needed synergy again to beat the odds, to be a success at what God was calling me to do. One of these important relationships came in the form of a Twitter follow. Someone I had connected with recommended daily emails via #DailyProphetic and Neilvermillion.com. This became a powerful connection in my social media experience. I felt whenever Neil put a word out, it was an opportunity to meet with the Lord Himself and be refreshed.

 

Synergy as my source has become a motto in my life. I need the right people to break out into influence if I intend to reach the youth of this world with the love of the Father. It is a work I cannot do alone. It is bigger than me. It requires many experts. It will require a strength that must be tapped into through the anointed elect. Whatever you are trying to accomplish for God, I know you will find yourself in need of empowerment. Stay connected to the anointing of the Holy Spirit which is present in this age. Together, we can do great things! #PleasingAbba #DailyProphetic #TeenMomSuccess

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Phone Love

The phenomenon of phone love. It has overtaken my world. I love my phone. I usually end up buying a new cell phone once a year. My phone is comforting. It has all my music and playlists. Playlists that rock me out of stagnation, or carry me through it with the most soothing tones. My work is in my phone. Little apps in the form of little pictures at my fingertips. I can bounce from Facebook to Twitter and Pintrest. I can check out my domain’s stats and see which countries I have reached with my words as their shapes light up on the map of this magnificent world, all from my lovely phone! I won’t deny how much I love my phone and the age in which I get to create.

With all that being said I recently challenged myself. Well, really I smashed my phone in a temper tantrum. Embarassing, but I was really stressed out. I had just finished self publishing my first book and it was co-written with my husband. New territory is freakish.  As I looked at the totally nonfunctional screen of my large ZTE, I knew it was going to cost me. Being self employed and having a large family means being patient with money. Halloween was around the corner. I could take the money I had to spend on new clothes, or I could replace the screen on my phone. Getting a new phone on my plan wasn’t an option. I’d just bought my phone less than 2 months before. This would be crazy to some, but you just have to understand my love of fashion- I decided to give up having a phone, at least until I had the money to buy one I really wanted.

I still had my laptop and I still had access to my husband’s cell, but no cell phone for me.  It was weird. It actually hurt. It made me sad. I found myself having moments of my day that I usually shared on social media. It was frustrating trying to manage all my accounts, too. As the days past I became slightly used to it. I had to ask myself, was half of what I posted even necessary? For work it has to be a steady flow of posts, but for my personal accounts – was sharing my life through my phone really worthy of my time? I seemed to be much more present in my relationships now that my phone was gone. I share on social media to be social and I am social, but the time away to reflect on why I use my phone and what my attachment to technology really meant to me was powerful: It was phone withdrawal.

The entire time I went without a cell was three months. I bought the phone I wanted and was instantly back in the mix. Going without didn’t change my phone use or love, much at all. Phones do fill a place in our lives and I do not know if there will ever be a life without them…. now. I do crave real relationships and while I love being constantly connected to my favorite peoples’ lives at all times, I would much rather see them in person, kick back and have a good laugh. And that is all I can do in this techno world that I love. Embrace with control and a constant reminder that I can survive without my phone, if I really need to. #pleasingabba