The Depth of your Struggle…

My sister just texted me this quote to encourage me after some disappointing news I received today. In return, I wanted to share it with you.

“The depth of your struggle will determine the height of your success!”

She ended her text by letting me know that it’s okay to be disappointed tonight as long as I know that, “Joy comes in the morning.” I’m thankful to have people in my corner, cheering me on, dusting me off along the way, but mostly I’m thankful that my encouragement and hope comes from the Lord. I know that He is the ultimate decision maker and that as long as I rely on His direction, nothing is impossible!!

I’m reminded of a scripture in Galatians and as I’m feeling a little “tender” (as my dear friend Angie would say) I will keep it close to my heart. I pray that you have the same hope in the Lord and if by chance you’re struggling with something today, that you will also hold this scripture close.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Continue to press on and never give up on your dreams!

Love,

Shalena

 

The Coolest Black Family in America, No.32: The Smiths

The headline read, “High school sweethearts Shalena and Calvin Smith have nurtured their love through 14 cool years of marriage.”

What a blessing to honestly and openly share our testimony with Ebony.com! I can’t say that we’re the coolest but we definitely are a family! Thank you Jesus for being the glue that keeps us together. I’m so thankful for my husband and my two daughters…. And how can I forget to mention our multipoo Kobe!

It was pretty amazing to wake up yesterday and see our family on the home page of Ebony.com! Thank you Alexandra Phanor-Faury for contacting us and telling our story!

I look forward to celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary in 2014 and all the other awesome things that God has in store for our family!

Wishing you tons of love and success in the New Year!

Shalena xo

Ebony Magazine Home Page Slide- The Smith Family

Miracle Twins

You can’t tell just by looking at someone that they’ve struggled, you can’t see the true depth of their pain or their courage for that matter. Sometimes all you see is the victory and the Glory that belongs to God. I saw this picture today of my friend and client that has an amazing story. It’s not mine to tell, but let me just say this…
Miracles happen and God is always faithful to complete the good work that He begins in you. This photo of a “real life” family and their little boys is my proof that God is the greatest!!
And by the way, their nursery is super cute!! One day, I’ll have to share.
Love,
Shalena

New Year Off to an Ncredible Start!

Happy New Year!

It’s crazy that it is already February 2013. I hope you’re year is off to a great start!

January was super busy for Shalena Smith Interiors, Gaga Designs and I. New design projects, new babies, new clients, new products and new business relationships.

The year is off to a great start with Ncredible meetings with Nick Cannon, Michael Goldman and our amazing team!!

Michael Goldman, Shalena Smith, Nick Cannon and Amber Mazzola: Ncredible Team!

 

Just me, smiling!

Nick Cannon, Shalena Smith, Michael Goldman and Amber Mazzola!

Shalena Smith, makeup by Kweil- Revealing Beauty!

Reflection & Heart: Happy New Year!

 

As this year comes to an end, I hope that you use the next 24 hours to reflect on all your blessings of the past. Good or bad, God brought you to it and got you through it! This year we have grown and developed into the people we are today and for that we should give Him praise! Looking back, I see why God chose me to carry certain burdens and I thank Him for that. Looking forward, I can see that He’s entrusted me with a platform to continue to carry out the assignments He has given me.

What are you thankful for?

As I pray, I can’t even think about moving forward without searching my heart and I ask you to do the same. There’s a scripture, Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” that comes to mind. This next year don’t just be the person you proclaim to be with your lips but actually have a change of heart that will come out through your actions. I searched my heart and I found unforgiveness and so I addressed that immediately… just last night! I also have a heart that wants to live a life without fear, serving and loving others as much as I can.

What’s in your heart?

I now feel prepared and ready for what’s to come this next year! I am stronger, I am wiser, and I am loved immensely by a God who is for me! Read that one more time because I wrote it for your spirit to receive too! 🙂

Happy New Year everyone! From my the bottom of my heart I wish you good health, love, prosperity, peace and joy every single day!!!

Love,

SS

Throw out your Plan B!

Throw out your Plan B! I just got rid of mine… So what do we do now?

Well…. Now we have to throw out FEAR and self-doubt, get rid of negativity and the negative people in your life, a.k.a haters. Stop the self deprecation and never dim your LIGHT for anyone again! It’s time to pull out your wastebasket and throw away the back-up plan and go for God’s plan!

Today I saw this on twitter and retweeted it:

 

God doesn’t need a plan B. His plans will always supersede yours, they will always work out for your good, and they will always be on time!

 

Disarming the enemy of not enough time, money & always needing to have my press and curl :)

On a daily bases I thank the Lord through the good & bad. At any given moment I give Him his due praise but over the last few days, I find myself sounding like an old southern women, “Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus” every few minutes, I just can’t help it!
My eyes just filled up with tears and I said it again…

For a long time I was controlled by fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of not having enough, fear over my finances & my marriage.
After years of trying to juggle both fear & faith, I finally got to a point of such confusion & anxiety that fear had finally won. I was exhausted from carrying the burdens of life & constantly worrying.
Today it feels so good to know that Jesus saved me from that! He has restored everything that the enemy tried to take away from me and I can’t help but to thank Him!

I’m on a family vacation & just one day away from my normal daily hustle & the Lord has already showed me this: Although I may no longer be drowning in fear, I’m still not fully trusting Him. I went from worrying to working my butt off. Working so many hours, up until all hours of the night, my “fear” was just in disguise. Not taking a day off to spend time with my husband & children or drive 30 minutes to see my mother & grand-parents because fear made me believe that I had to constantly work non-stop to provide for my family.

What a lie! Lord I want to trust you & I’m so thankful that you’ve showed me the truth!! As I played with the girls in the pool today, yes I got my hair wet, I promised myself not to let the enemy rob me of my time with my family any longer!
God is the giver of time and money and it is only by His grace that we have it! I trust that He will continue to provide & give me the opportunities to spend these priceless moments with my family. Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus!! 🙂

The Beginning of a New Season!

I’m Official!

For years now my friends, clients and colleagues have encouraged me to start a blog. I’ve resisted every step of the way because of my already busy schedule and to be very honest the thought of “who cares about what I have to say” always popped into my mind. As the years have passed I’ve found myself regretful of not having journaled the ups and downs, the trials and the blessings that have come with being a Wife, Mom and Entrepreneur.

Today, I called a dear friend of mine to express my reservations and anxiety over starting a blog. She expressed to me that the first blog is the hardest but once I get started, it would get easier and easier. That sounded simple enough to me and with less apprehension, I’ve decided to start my first blog with the very beginning of my journey going GaGa. 🙂

Over a decade ago, when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I decided that I would work from home and make a living designing nurseries, which then was an unpopular niche. Although there were many naysayers in my life, no start up cash or investors, I possessed what was most important. I had an amazing husband that supported me, a dream and my faith!

Although I had prior experience in the baby industry, this would be the first time that I completely stepped out on my own. No blueprint, no guidelines, no publicist and the scariest part, no pay check! I didn’t start my business the conventional way. I didn’t run out and get a loan, draw up a business plan or take any design classes. I simply was led by my heart, my passion and with much prayer I created GaGa Designs on March 25, 2001.

God’s dream for my life has always been way bigger than my own! All I wanted to do was design a few nurseries, make life easier for expecting parents and stay home with my babies. However, eleven years later God has promoted me as the designer to the stars, made my company Internationally known and has put me in various platforms to further grow my business.

Today is another big milestone for my company. I am not only writing my first official blog, but I am also launching my new website for Shalena Smith Interiors. As I continue to develop a brand of amazing designs, products and services, what will continue to matter most are the relationships that I develop along the way.

I could go on and on about the highs and lows throughout my career. I could focus on the mistakes and the victories but they aren’t as important as the lessons that I’ve learned through the experiences. In many ways I’m still exactly at the same place I was when I created GaGa Designs. I have two daughters that I want to be home with, a husband that supports me and a big ole’ dream. What has changed is the understanding of why I’m here and why my company exist. God put these desires on my heart from the very beginning specifically to be a blessing to others. Even when I didn’t know the how, what or why, He directed me and guided me. I was indeed equipped from the very beginning with the blueprint and guidelines, fear just made me blind to it, but not anymore!

It’s amazing how almost everything in my life begins the way this blog started. At the beginning of any new creation there’s uncertainty, fear, doubt, resistance and so many other emotions. Luckily I’ve come to the realization that all I have to do is “start” with my passion, be led by my faith and somehow I’ll get exactly where I’m supposed to be.

To the end of my very first blog. YAY!! 😉