By Kischa Peña
March 15, 2012
In today’s world, positive role models are hard to come by outside of your community and especially in entertainment. However, in one of my random YouTube searches for uplifting music, I came across this “average, not so average” girl. Her name is V. Rose. Listening to the songs from her self-titled album, V. Rose (Clear Sight Music, 2011), I felt even more empowered and encouraged to be who God made me to be. In a world that is constantly trying to get you to change who you are and fit you into this mold of “perfect,” hearing her music was refreshing to say the least. V. Rose represents exactly what B.L.O.G. stands for and she is definitely redefining beauty, inside and out. Read further to see what she has to say about beauty, grace, being a teen and being comfortable with who you are.
Q: Define what beauty and grace mean to you.
A: Beauty to me is what’s on the inside. My ministry, I feel, is to young girls a lot. And I’m always telling them that it is important to look to God and to have Him tell you who you are as a woman, as a girl, and how beautiful you are. And for you to have that on the inside, then you put it out to the outside and tell people who you are because you have looked to God. Whereas in the world now, a lot of people look to other people to try to find beauty and say, “Okay, I need to be like that.” Then they try to take that and put it in their heart. That is not how it is supposed to be. It is supposed be the other way around. So beauty to me is looking to God and being who God made you to be.
And grace…being graceful, I honestly have to deal with this a lot in my life. There are so many situations where you don’t want to be graceful and you want to have an attitude with people. You want to say what you feel and your flesh gets in the way, but you have to be a lady and you have to say, “You know what… That’s not the right thing to say right now” or “That’s not the right way to act” and “I wouldn’t act like that if my dad was standing right here or my parents were right here. That’s not the way I was brought up. That’s not the way I was taught.” So grace is being cautious of what is going on around you and deciding to respond to the situation in the right way.
Q: What is it like to be a Christian artist in a secular world? How easy or how hard is it not to focus on that?
A: It’s actually really cool. I’ve always done Christian music. And I’ve always recognized that God is the One who gave me this gift in the first place and so I’ve always exalted Him with it. But it’s cool because I have a lot of fans that actually aren’t Christians or don’t listen to Christian music, who will listen to my music and say, “Wow, I really like that” and it draws them and I just see it as being cool. It’s not hard because my whole thing is that you don’t have to be this in-a-box Christian to be a Christian, but you can have fun and you can be beautiful without being promiscuous. So I don’t feel drawn to the world. I do feel that if I let God show me how to be cool or be beautiful, that it will draw the world and show them that you don’t have to do all of that to get attention or to be beautiful. So I think it’s just cool to be used in that way and to have confidence like that as a Christian artist – knowing that there are secular artists selling themselves in different ways to get attention and just knowing that I’m deciding not to do that, and doing that in the right way, a graceful way, is just pretty cool.
Q: A lot of us have grown up in the church and that sets the stage for becoming a Christian. However, a lot of people don’t. What do you say to people who don’t have that upbringing but may be feeling that tug or drawing toward God that you were speaking of?
A: I would definitely draw from a personal experience. I grew up in church – going to church every day, having to read my bible every day, and stuff like that. Then, when I was 16, I sort of had the opportunity to do what I wanted to do and to turn away from God if I wanted to. At that time in my life, there wasn’t really anyone to tell me that I had to or that I didn’t have to. I decided within myself, “Ok, I want to know God for myself.” I felt like, I go to church, but is that really what makes you saved? I remember saying, “You know what, God? I’m going to give you a real chance. I want to know You for myself. I want to read my Bible because I want to know You. I want to have Your Word in my heart. I want to have that personal relationship. I’m going try it and I’m going to see what it is like, without someone telling me that I have to.” I did that and I’ve never turned away since. I’ve found that knowing God for myself and having His spirit in my life guiding me has been such liberty and freedom. I’ve noticed that He has never left me. Like the Word says, He’ll never leave you or forsake you. And there have been times in my life where I feel like I have nobody here for me, like nobody cares, and I felt God’s love holding me, keeping me from going crazy or doing things I shouldn’t have been doing.
If you didn’t grow up in church or you don’t know God because you weren’t brought up like that, that doesn’t mean that you weren’t meant to go to church or that you weren’t meant to know Him. It just means that you need to decide in yourself, do you want this? And if you feel a tug, I would beg you to please give it a chance, because it is priceless what you will attain from having a relationship with Christ. It will change your life. It’s worth it. So, that’s what I would say.
Q: Do you have any advice for parents of teens?
A: Man, I feel like I could write a book on that. As I was growing up, my mom was one of “those moms.” I used to say that she was like a CIA agent because she was so over-protective. I think it had its ups and downs, but I would say to parents that you have to realize that your kids are going to make their own mistakes. To my mom, I was probably the best kid in the world. Truthfully, behind her back I was sneaking out or I was doing whatever and she never would have known. Parents, you don’t know if you tell your kids not to do something, they are going do it. It is better to tell them, “You know what, I’m going to let you do this, but I’m going to monitor you.” I feel like if my mom would’ve said, “Okay. You can have a boyfriend when you’re 16, but I want to meet him. You guys can hang out in the living room.” Or something like that, then it wouldn’t have pushed me to sneak out and lie and go behind her back and say I’m at this person’s house, when I’m really over here doing this. That’s just one issue, something that I know personally. Kids and teenagers are going through a lot more than you see on the outside. The pressures of school and friends and trying to fit in, I have experienced firsthand. And it would be cool to have someone to not judge you and just listen. Try to understand and put yourself in their shoes.
Q: When you were 8, you said a prayer to God about giving you the gift of writing. What was that like hearing the voice of God and knowing that He answered your prayer that quickly?
A: It was cool. I was always the type of kid – if I can see it, I can do it. I just had so much faith as a child. I looked up to someone in my church who wrote songs and I asked, “How do you write songs? How do you do that?” She said, “I just prayed and I sit down and I tell God I need a song and He just gives it to me.” And I just was like, “Wow!” I can do that too then. God is God. He is no respecter of persons.
I remember going home and I prayed and God gave it to me. I just thought it was so cool. I never doubted that God would do it. I think that’s really why he respected me as a kid and actually gave me the gift. I remember telling my friend that I was in a group with at the time, “Hey, I have some songs. God gave them to me. Come over and let’s work on them.” When you believe, that’s all God wants. The Bible actually says to come to Him as a child. Children are not even aware of the troubles of the world. All they know is safe and all they know is to dream. That’s how God wants us to be and how He created us to be.
Q: What is the Bible verse that you recite or keep in mind at all times?
A: I have a lot that I like to quote. The one that I’ve always kept close is 3 John 1:2. “Beloved I wish, above all things, that thou mayest prosper and be in good health even as thy soul prospers.” It is just something that I like to pray over my family and over myself. I like to be positive when I pray. So I like to go through all the positive scriptures that talk about how God looks at us and how we should walk as Christians, how we shouldn’t necessarily focus on negative things but focus on the good things that God says about us. That’s just one of the things that I like to pray.
Q: Is there anything else that is on your heart to say to young girls and women or anyone that B.L.O.G. Magazine will reach?
A: I have a single off my album. It is pushed to radio right now. It’s called “Not So Average.” I wrote this song for young girls. I actually have a young girl that I’m mentoring, who is 8, and she would come home focused on what was going on at school and not necessarily interested in homework and things she should be focused on. She was so concerned with fitting in. “I have to wear this. If I don’t, I won’t be able to sit with these girls.” Apparently, it is very common. I remember being sort of like that when I was her age. When I was 8, even though I was writing all this music, I wanted to be just like my best friend. I even wanted to be her height sometimes, stuff that you can’t help. I never really saw that I was my own person or that I was special. I just see that more and more these days. That is a lot of the problem that’s going on. The girls that may not be as popular are looking at the girls that are popular and saying, “I want to be like that. I want to get her outfit. I want to do my hair like that.” And those girls are looking at the magazines and videos and saying, “I want to be like that.” No one is really realizing that nobody is perfect.
There’s even a line in the song, “Models aren’t really models when they’re not modeling.” I saw this ad, and there’s a girl and she just looks like a plain Jane. A team of about 10 people comes and they cut her hair and do her makeup and they take her picture. Then, they put the picture in Photoshop and slim her face and make her look flawless. They put this picture out and everyone sees it and says, “Man, I should look like that every day” until you get up looking in the mirror and you’re not happy with what you see. No one is focusing on God; no one is focusing on school or anything else that is important. Everyone is just trying to look “Hollywood” every single day to impress the next person. The next person is trying to impress the next person and it just becomes a domino effect of wasting time.
I wrote this song that says, “I’m going to do it God’s way. I’m just your average, not so average girl.” There is a scripture that says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” which means God made us each unique and different and He didn’t make us all to look the same. He took His time on each and every one of us to make us beautiful. So, it’s important that you look to God. He is the One who created you, not these magazines, not these videos and not these TV shows. God actually created you. So, why wouldn’t you look to Him and say, “Who did You make me to be? What am I supposed to be doing with my life?”
I actually did that when I was a teenager. I said, “I’m not going to care what people say about me. I’m not going to care if I don’t fit in. I’m going to ask God, who did You make me to be?” The second I decided that I’m going to live from the inside out, I was more confident and I felt free from all of that bondage. That’s the number one advice I can give you. Ask God, who did You make me to be? If one of your friends says, “I don’t like your shoes. Why are you wearing those?” Say, “Well you know what, I like them. So, sorry.” That’s what I had to do, is get past what people say. Be comfortable in how God made you eventually people will stop saying that. Praise God.
Check out her new video below!
Co-Editor & Contributing Writer, B.L.O.G. Magazine
Kischa has a passion for positive expression through writing and music. She studied Business Management through the University of Phoenix at Axia College. She is an active member of United Voices of Efland, a non-profit organization in her hometown of Efland, North Carolina and a Greensboro TraCS Community Advisory Board Member. Her most important role is being a single mother to her 8 year old son.Although Kischa has been living with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for the past 8 years of her life, she doesn’t let that stop her desire to help others in need. Actually, it has ignited a fire within. She is currently starting an ongoing clothing drive for families in need, as well as beginning her own non-profit to promote reading and writing proficiency amongst teens.