Its on your street

Have you ever heard this saying before? I have only heard it in the church setting, it essentially means when people around you are being blessed then your blessing can’t be too far away.

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Part of me believes that and part of me doesn’t. You all know I have known so many pregnant people in the last few years and I haven’t had a whiff of being pregnant. So I’m not sure. I was talking to someone at work and he reminded me of this concept.

He said I should be blessed to be around so many people who have the direct hand of God on their lives. I never thought about it that way. I guess I was looking at it from a victim perspective. Maybe not a victim but definitely selfish, like, look at all those people getting blessed and not me.

I know so many people, myself included who feel like when other people are being blessed that they need to “catch up”.

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How do you do that exactly? There really isn’t anyway you can do that. I used to think that whenever someone lapped me with a baby who hadn’t been married as long as I have, like sheesh I really need to get to work now, like that makes any difference. Not! Everything happens when it is supposed. We know that, its just easier said than done when you are in the midst.

I wrote those words a few years ago ironically a few months before I found out I was pregnant.

Now that I have had more time to think about it I do believe that its true. It’s God giving us another sign of Hope.

Its like he is saying hey I haven’t forgotten about you. I know its confusing to see people around you getting the things you want. Its confusing being happy for them and sad for yourself. You don’t have to stay in that space. You can look at it as God was just sending me a reminder that my turn is coming.

I’ve had that happen to me a few times. We have to trust God at his word. You’re waiting anyway so why not have a better mindset about it.

I know this way of thinking sounds bogus. Somebody else being blessed is supposed to make me happy when I’ve been waiting?

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It definitely works to shift your mindset. If you have to wait anyway, you might as well make the wait time as enjoyable as you can.

Hope

The word I am focusing on this week is hope. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

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I spent so much of my life waiting on things. I had to wait 7 years to get married. I had to wait 7 years to have a baby. I see now why I had to wait on those things but I certainly didn’t understand it at the time.

The bible talks a lot about hope. A few of my favorites:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.” Jeremiah 17:7

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

This Hebrew verse is one that I relied on a lot when I was trying to get pregnant. It talks about holding on to hope because he who promises is faithful.

I can remember month after month waiting on God and not knowing why it was taking so long. What did he want me to do? I would start on the downward spiral of losing hope. What if this never happens? Maybe I don’t deserve a baby.

Something would always stop me though. As bad as I felt I never stayed that far down for too long. I knew if I lost hope I would have nothing to cling to. There would be no where else to go.

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I felt like I couldn’t lose hope because I knew even though it had not happened yet that God could do it. I didn’t come by this feeling overnight. I did a lot of research. I asked God to take this desire away if he didn’t want me to have it. If it wasn’t in his will, then take it away because it hurt to bad to continue to be disappointed month after month.

Feeling like you are losing hope?

Ask God to grow your faith in the places of doubt. Have him show you in little ways how he has been faithful.

Make a list of all the things God has done for you this year.

Ask Him if your dream or desire needs to be tweaked.

Find verses about your situation in the bible to build your hope back up. There is nothing new in the world your situation is in there. I have written down so many verses about infertility and being a mother.

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Hope is powerful. It doesn’t have to be big. When you feel your hope fading just ask God to help you in your unbelief. He understands. He wants you to reach out. Anything is possible even if you only have a sliver of hope, hold on to it. Remember what God has done for you before and know that he can do even more than you could ever imagine.

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Resources

https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/hope/

Gratitude and Thankfulness

As everyone starts talking about Thanksgiving now that we are in November I feel like they use these two words thankful and grateful interchangeably. I used to do this as well. I even started a post about being thankful. In the midst of writing it though I came across this article that says that thankful is a feeling and gratitude is an action.

I never looked at those words that way before. I think it makes a lot of sense. Its cool to feel thankful, that’s inward. You feel all warm and fuzzy. Grateful is the outward expression of that thanks. It’s an action word.

How do we show thanks and appreciation to someone who does something nice for us? Get them a card, write them a note, take something off their to do list, tell other people how awesome they are or that great thing they did for you.

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How do we show God we’re thankful? I believe its the same way.

Praise. Thank God for all he has done. Listen to praise music, dance, sing, shout.

Share your testimony. Tell people about the awesome thing/(s) that God has done in your life. You don’t go through things just for yourself and when you come out on the other side and our blessed, let people know!

Give generously. I don’t always do this but I saw it online and thought it was really nice. If God blesses you with a check, spread the wealth! We don’t receive anything just for us. I’m sure it makes God smile to see you sharing what he blessed you with.

Serve. I also saw this online when researching. I think its fair. I know going out and sharing the gifts that God gave me, makes me feel good. I also like helping do His work, with the church, food pantry. Giving to others is a great way to show your gratitude for the things you have received.

Live right. Do the things that God asks you do, read your word, and spend time with Him.

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Verses

As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should! Psalms 119:7 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.119.7.NLT

I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. Psalms 56:12 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.56.12.NLT

Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Psalms 105:1 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.105.1.NLT


Resources

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/turning-gratitude-into-a-verb_b_7898888

10 ways to have peace in turbulent times

  1. Start your day in prayer and devotion. This will set you up for success. You can give anything that you are worrying about to God and thank him for all he has done. You can walk into your day/work with a sense calm and strength. This way you can take on anything!
  2. Don’t get on social media during the work day. At the very least wait until after lunch.I know this can be hard because social media typically provides an escape but not right now. Too much is happening in the world.
  3. If you have to go on social media, stay out of the comment section! The comments are were you are going to see the wildest things. People have no chill in the comments and you don’t want to be a part of that. Its going to instantly make you mad.
  4. Remind yourself that you don’t have to teach everyone. We are dealing with adults on a day to day basis, you don’t have to school everybody. You can provide a list of resources and remind them that Google is free everyday.
  5. Consider the source. Before you go and get mad at some random person on the internet remember that they probably don’t know you personally and if they do, this the perfect opportunity to block them. I went and unfollowed a bunch of people that didn’t serve me anymore and it has done wonders to my timeline. I very rarely see things that I don’t agree with. I understand that it is important to see views that are different than my own. However, peace of mind is priceless.
  6. Pray. When do you come across something that makes you angry or frustrated. You don’t have to hold on to it. Release it back into the atmosphere. Ask God to help you get over whatever foolishness you just witnessed.
  7. Find something else to entertain you besides the news and social media. Ride a bike, walk outside, yoga. In the world of COVID-19 we are not able to be as social as we normally would, so now would be a great time to find a new hobby. If you can find something that is free even better.
  8. Journal. Writing how you feel about whats going on in the world is a great way to get it out. You can even write it down and burn it later. I talk about how cathartic it is to burn things in this post, Burn it away
  9. Reach out to a friend or family member to help lift your spirits. Being in a funk by yourself is never a good idea. You may not be able to see them in person but talking things out with someone is better than holding it in.
  10. Watch, read or listen to something funny or light-hearted that will lift your spirits.

 

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This my son LJ and my dog son Hunter. Don’t they look so peaceful.

I know that these are crazy times. Between COVID- 19 STILL running rampant in the streets and the many injustices facing Black people, its a lot going on right now. You have to choose how much you want to be dialed in. Its perfectly ok to step back, take a break, and re-calibrate. There will always be work to do but you can’t serve if you don’t have peace within yourself. That leads to burnout. We don’t want that. Your voice is needed.

Cover image from The Practical Path

What ways are you taking care of yourself right now? Is there anything missing from this list? Let me know.

10 things I’ve learned since becoming a mother

1. Empathy- no one helps. People literally watch you struggle. I never noticed this before. Being a mom has shown me how to express feelings outside of myself and better understand other people’s emotions.

2. Patience- with myself, family, friends, the baby, its crazy. Patience was a big lesson I needed to learn. If I would have become a mother earlier in my life I wouldn’t have gained this skill set. Listening to babies cry or throw their bottle at you, patience is what you need.

3. Dont compare- to my old self, to my husband, to other moms, nobody. I thought the biggest comparison would be to other moms but I was definitely wrong on that. More on this in another post.

4. Be humble. Motherhood is nothing like I expected. I didnt have a ton of expectations but what I thought I knew I definitely was wrong. You can’t find all the answers on Google. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and judge what you would do when it isn’t your kid but having a kid of your own changes things.

5. I can do more on less sleep than I thought. So little sleep. Its insane. I used to love taking a nap but now I just do without. Nap when the baby naps is really a lie. Lol

6. It’s ok to say I dont know what I’m doing or admit I messed up. Once I started talking to people about my feelings I realised I wasn’t the only person going through that or thought that way. Moms are expected to have all the answers and that’s just not the case. Lots of things are intuitive but not everything and it was nice to admit that.

7. I have to be intentional about my self care. Writing, alone time, spending time with my friends, all of it has to be intentional or it won’t happen. I hate to admit but I’m better about spending time with my friends than with myself sometimes.

8. Water truly does a body good. I have heard this but I never tested it out myself until I was pregnant and after. The rumours are true. I had to drink it when I was pregnant and the results were great. I’m trying to get back to that space.

9. I will receive tons of unsolicited advice and opinions. I most often bite my tongue. Ive gotten much better about this than when he was first born. People are just trying to help. Their intentions are good. More on this in another post.

10. Everything has changed. I am ok with that. I have been trying so hard to be the person I was before but that girl is gone. A new better person is emerging.

I am stronger than I think I am.

My son just turned one. The hardest thing to put into practice is the self care. Its so easy to put yourself on the back burner when you have a kid.

I can expand on just about everything on this list. So much of this can be unpacked. I will in the upcoming months.

New kid on the block

I have been working in the same job for the last 4 years. I am a college counselor. I love my job and am I good at it. I recently made a move to a new school this year and it completely shook my confidence.

I have only been there a month but I have learned a lot of lessons in the last 30 days.

1. I don’t have anything to prove. I am good at my job and I don’t have to do it the same way the previous person did.
2. I can not be everything for everybody. I was literally running myself ragged trying to make every meeting, do every presentation, sometimes trying to be two places at once. It was unnecessary. I wasn’t giving anything 100% because I was trying to do too much.
3. I can make mistakes. I am not perfect and that is ok. Nobody is putting any pressure on me but me. I just need to relax and do what I’m good at.
4. Trust is a very interesting thing. I’m going to talk more about this in a later post. I don’t really know the team I am working with that well yet. I am used to being excluded from things and being left off emails so I have been just showing up places. I don’t need to, my counterpart hasn’t left me off anything. He hasn’t done anything for me not to trust him.

Being a new person is not easy for me, nor is change. When I first started it was hard. I was lonely and nervous and unsure of myself. 30 days later I feel more relaxed. I have made some friends and I am learning the lay of the land. This change is exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I am so glad that I didn’t block my blessing by being afraid.

Do you have the right spirit? (7)

Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord .
Psalms 4:5 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.4.5.NLT

What are you trusting God for? Are you making any sacrifices? You all know that I have been trying to get pregnant for a while. I have definitely sacrificed a lot of things, time, money, vacations, jobs, my skin. I know all of us have made sacrifices as we attempt to accomplish our dreams.

As you are trusting God and making sacrifices are you doing it in the right spirit? I came across this scripture last night and it was a great reminder. God doesn’t just want our sacrifice, he wants the right attitude as well. Your sacrifice doesn’t mean much if your attitude is not right. Sacrifices suck while you are in the midst but you know everything is for your good. I say that a lot but it’s a good thing to remember while you are working toward a goal. When you get what you have been working toward it will feel much better if you had a good attitude along the way.

How do you know if your spirit is right? Are you complaining about every missed opportunity? Are you jealous of other people who didn’t have to sacrifice as much as you have to get to their goal? Do you only do a half job at one you are trying to do because you are tired of working towards a goal and seeing no results? I have some point have definitely done all of these things. Here is a prayer to help with that.

 

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You can just pray that line and let God change your attitude. He wants to help us and he would rather we admit we need the help to change then grumble our way to accomplishing our hearts desires.

 

Keep that same energy

I just got back from vacation and it was amazing. My husband knows how to show me a good time. It was exactly what we needed after having a rough winter. I love to travel, going places doing things, just being out of my house and doing something new. Research shows that it’s easier to get through your days if you are planning a vacation or have something to look forward to. Why is that? Shouldn’t we have joy in our day to day?

Keep that same energy is Teyana Taylor new album title. I haven’t listened to it but the title really got me thinking. How do you do that? Once you get back from vacation why is there such a plateau, such a crash? It literally has a name…post vacation blues. When you are on vacation there is such a high and when you get back home its like, uh, let me get back to the grind. I want to break that cycle.

When I got home I didn’t get all sad, like man my vacation is over. Instead I’m making the best of my time here. I’m taking that just go with the flow vacation vibe and carrying that into my work week. I dont want to be down and just waiting to leave again. I want to enjoy my time in my home and in my city, just like I do on vacation.

I want to keep that same energy. I want to be carefree and let the stress roll of my back.

How am I am going to do that?

1. Be here now- when I am vacation I’m not on my phone. I am just enjoying each moment. I will continue that philosophy when I am home, limiting my time on social media and group chats. This way I am in control of what I take in.

2. Quiet time- when I am on vacation I dont have to rush through my devotional. I really get good one on one time with God. It is harder to not rush my devotional at home but it can be done, I just have to be more intentional with my time.

3. Be active- if you can believe it, even though I did a lot of laying around on vacation I actually exercised every day too. Definitely not something I do at home nor will I necessarily be able to duplicate but I can get close. Being active puts me in a better mood than laying around. Instead of getting off work and trying to catch up on shows or social media and I am going to try to do some physical activity.

4. Try new things- best thing about vacation is trying stuff you wouldn’t normally do at home. That can be anything, new food, drinks or experiences. Why can’t we do that at home? I am lucky that I live in a city that I can find all kinds of new things. So once a month I am going to try and find something or someplace I have never been before.

I know none of these things are super hard but it is the small things that make vacation great. If I bring all the small things I like about vacation into my every day life then I can bring a little bit of vacation back with me.

Broken

 

Broken-
having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order 

(of a person) having given up all hope; despairing.

I used to think I was broken using both definitions. That I was living a lie, that I was going out in the world and acting like everything was ok when it wasn’t. I felt like something inside of me was broken and could not be fixed. I had a hole in my heart that was irreparable. I tried a lot of this but nothing could fill it, not partying, not work, not my friends, not my husband, everything I was trying to do wasn’t working.

So in my last resort I turned to God. I’m glad I did. I learned I’m not broken. God made me this way. He has plans for me that are good. I didn’t always believe that or understand but I stayed in the word. It made a huge difference on my outlook in life. There is beauty in my brokenness. I wouldn’t have grown in my relationship with God if I wasn’t broken. Everyday is practice in reminding myself that I have to meet no one expectations but my own.

If you feel broken just know you don’t have to stay that way. There is a way out. You won’t be able to do it on your own, not long lasting. Getting out of your head and closer to God is the only long term solution and potentially seeing a therapist.

Updated: since I wrote the above words Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have both committed suicide. This has sparked debate about what role does prayer and God specifically play in mental health. I think that God is our first resource in working on our mental health. Getting into your bible, prayer, fasting, meditating, it’s all an important part of the healing process. We can’t do it on our own and believing you can may be a fatal mistake. You need tools to overcome things you have been through. Seek help if you need it.

Patience

Patience-the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

I haven’t really been writing this week because it’s been a pretty crappy week to say the least. It sucks but it happens. I spent time with my girls this weekend in a quick getaway which lifted my spirits a bit.

I saw the prompt of the day was Patience. Sheesh! I immediately felt that in my spirit and then the verse of the day from the Youverse bible is about patience.

I’m like ok God I get it. I’m working on it. I just feel like I’m always having to be patient. I’m listening to my girl Joyce (Meyer) and she said something that really struck me. Don’t try harder, get closer to God.

In bible study this week, Beth Moore talked about different types of patience.Patience with situations and patience with people. I find I moreso need patience with circumstances than people but Beth brought up a good point. God is testing your patience with people because he wants to bring something out of you that is holding you back from greatness.

God gives us patience in circumstances to see if we are going to act differently in the same situation. This really got me thinking. I don’t always act differently in the same situations. I am making more of an effort to do so after hearing this lesson.

I don’t want to keep going around the same mountain over and over. I want patience to do a good work in me until it is complete. Philippians 1:6.

Patience is definitely a challenge but there is good reason to wait well. I’m going to stop trying so hard to be patient and seek God more. That way, I am so focused on him that patience is my natural response things.

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