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.

Who is your enemy? (26)

I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me.

Psalm 41:11 NIV

Who is my enemy? I used to read this literally, that this was talking about a actual enemy doesn’t triumph over me. For a long time I didn’t think it applied to me. I was well liked, it sounds nice but I don’t need this actual piece.

When you start asking questions like who is my enemy then you notice it is saying something deeper. If the world is my enemy then I have some work to do.

How can the world triumph over me? By making me think things of this world are acceptable to God. TV, social media, movies, magazines, etc.

People get mad because the bible doesn’t explicitly say you can’t do certain things. Children need you tell them exactly what they want you to do.God is your parent he wants you to start figuring things out for yourself. He kind of was of literal if you think about it. He said don’t be transformed by the things of this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

James 4:4

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

I deal with this on a daily basis. Trying to not to conform. I don’t always do so well. I don’t want to be a nun. What is the balance?¬†Have you found it? I think the older I get the easier it is, but it is still difficult. The method is easy, closer you are to God easier it is to be like him. The action is what is harder.

Saints walked with Jesus. You can’t cut up when you standing right next to the person who knows your intention. You can’t run or hid from. God he is compassionate. We don’t have to be saints,¬† he will be with you any situation if you invite him in.

 

 

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.

Not in crisis

I felt like at the beginning of the year I was always talking to God about something and he was talking to me. I felt like there were some things he wanted me to work on and I was definitely going through a pruning phase. I do not feel like that now. I don’t know if the devil is messing with me because things are going really well. I have still been doing all the things I normally do for the most part. I was sick all last week, so I didn’t do much reading or writing because it physically hurt to do so. I have caught up on my Bible in a year plan. Thankfully I wasn’t too far behind. Something seems like its missing though. Don’t get me wrong, nothing is wrong just something seems off. Things on paper are great but I feel distant from God.

I know as always that is not him that moved but me. I know that I have to be intentional about keeping the fire in our relationship going. I know also not to trust my feelings because feelings will lead you astray. I don’t want my relationship with God to be me moving from crisis to another. I want to continually feel his presence. If I think hard enough I am sure there are some things I am supposed to be doing that I have not done. Not many though. Thank goodness! I have been down that road before and it can be a miserable one. I also know I have been spending a lot of scrolling through Instagram. It was the only thing I could really do on the internet while I was sick. It was mindless and took no effort. I am going to make some tweaks and see how I feel next. My creative juices don’t seem to be flowing as much either which is why I haven’t been writing. I am going to write a separate post about that.

Do you ever feel just a little off? If you do, how did you get over it?

Do the right thing

Do you do the right thing just because its the right thing? Is that a bad thing?

I have always tried to do the right thing because it was right even when I didn’t want to do it, sometimes to my own detriment. Interestingly enough I never want somebody to do something for me if they don’t want to do it. I feel intentions matter and if you’re heart isn’t in, don’t do it for me.

In Sunday school we talked about doing the right thing because it’s right and my friend said its like by building muscle memory. The more you do it the better you grow and develop that muscle. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. The more you do something the more you want to do it. Which makes good sense. Joyce Meyer says the mark of spiritual growth is sometimes doing things you don’t want to do. I appreciate that and I am working on it.

I remember when I first started going to Sunday school I didn’t want to go. I only went because the teacher asked me like three times to go. I went and I did enjoy it and I have been going since he invited me, almost 2 months ago.

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That’s the thing with doing what’s right even when you don’t want to, God will change your desires to match his desires. If you are continuously doing something and you still don’t like it and it has been a few months, pray about it. Even though God is more concerned with our character than comfort, he doesn’t want us to be miserable. If you are not growing in a situation then it may be time to reevaluate.

I talked about doing the right thing even when you don’t want in my post WWJD. In that post it was more about doing the right thing when somebody is being reckless and you decide to be the bigger person. In the situation I’m referencing now, I am thinking more about going to church when you don’t feel like it, volunteering, going to baby shower/retirement party/social activity when you don’t want to, visiting your grandma, things like that. Sometimes it is good to push outside your comfort zone because things are usually worse in our heads than in real life. You may even get there, enjoy yourself and want to do it more often.

What are you feeding your soul?

What you feed your soul is just as important as what you put in your body.

  • Poison- Things that will kill you such as self defeating thoughts.
  • Junk food-stuff on tv, no nutritional value, making your spiritually fat
  • super food-bible

Most people genuinely try to eat healthy, whether its organic, vegan, more water, shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joes, etc. You probably are fairly diligent in your exercise program. Making sure you hit the gym a few times a week or do some type of physical activity. However,are you that diligent about what you are putting in your soul? I would hope so, but I don’t always think that is the case. If you only talk to God on Sunday at church then your spiritual diet is probably a little junk food heavy.

If the only time you pray is over your food or when you are in deep trouble then you may want to make some modifications. You don’t want your spiritual diet to make your soul sluggish. You may not be able to hear God because you have a bunch of things in the way.

Do you ever listen to inspirational or gospel music? Or is it secular music all the time? Nothing wrong with secular music. I enjoy a trap beat as much as the next person but with any diet, it needs to be balanced. You can’t just eat Flaming Hot Cheetos and never have carrots. You should try to balance your secular music with some inspirational music. What are you watching on tv? Is it a steady diet of “reality tv?” Fistfights, drink tossing and love triangles? If so, maybe limit how much of that you are taking in. I enjoy escaping into fantasy, especially after a long work week but I caution that from being the only thing you watch.

priority

Just like a diet is a lifestyle change, your spiritual diet should be one too. Just like you always keep a few staples in your diet, there should be some staples in your spiritual diet. Those staples include a quiet time with God, bible reading/studying, and prayer. I would say those are three main things you need to grow your relationship with God. I try to do those things before I go to work in the morning and before I go to bed at night so I am covered in my comings and my going. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or intense. There are a lot plans you can find that will give you structure to your quiet time. I try to do 15 minutes before work and 30 minutes when I get home. I have my quiet time before I turn my tv on when I get off. I want God to know that he is a priority in my life. There is always time to make changes and adjustments. God sees your heart. No matter how big or small, just get started.

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Confession: I don’t know

Not knowing things is not something I’m comfortable with. I like to have a clear plan outlined with action steps. Things don’t always happen that way in a growing season. You only can do some much planting and then you have to sit back and let it grow.

I’m in a growing season right now and growing hurts. The term growing pains is definitely real. It hurts to be stretched more than you thought you could handle. It hurts to let things go that you thought would always be there.

Growing requires more faith than planting. I believe that because you don’t know how the seeds you planted are going to develop. You can’t see on the the outside how the seed is doing or if any growth is happening. You have to trust the process.

I don’t feel like I have been in a real season of growth in my life in a long time. I have had seasons of change but nothing to this extreme. I feel like I’m going through a metamorphosis. I feel like God is working on me about a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much. Why do I have to go through all of is?

I feel like everything in my life is in transition and I am questioning a lot of things that I thought I knew for certain. I thought I was on a solid career path but where I see myself headed is different that what I originally envisioned. I am afraid. Am I ready for where God is leading me? I don’t know. I do take comfort in knowing that he won’t leave me on this journey and will give me what I need to be successful.

God is working on me to take me someplace but I don’t know where that is. I have to just walk beside him one step at a time. I am not going to run out in front of him or move to fast. I have done that before and the results were not great. I know I sound sad or down but I’m not. I’m restless. I sense something coming but I don’t know what is. I’m going to continue to keep the junk out so I can hear Gods voice and know it’s him. I’m going to pray and I’m going to wait. I’m going to continue to do meet God half way and I know he will make up the rest. I will have to just continue to be patient and trust the process.

February wrap up

I like reading other bloggers February wrap up or round up so I decided to do a monthly wrap up as well.

Favorite posts

Borrowing trouble

Conversant

Things I’m watching/reading

Sarah Jakes Roberts-I just discovered her on Youtube after listening to her husband Toure Roberts. I really enjoy her. She is young and fresh and energizing. She is also very transparent. I am excited about going back and watching her videos on Youtube.

John Gray-I just discovered him on Youtube as well. He is super funny. He may be a bit long winded but I really appreciate his story telling and his laid back approach.

Some personal things with me

I started going to Sunday school. I have not been to Sunday school in years. I go to a leadership meeting at church once a month for the caregroup I am in because I am the maturity coach. In the class we talk a lot about leadership and spiritual growth and I really enjoy it. One week in class, when we were discussing leadership, I asked, “what do you consider a leader?” He said, “Great question, you should come to my Sunday school class where I talk all about that.” He mentioned it like 2 more times before the meeting was over, so I felt like I had to go. I am glad I did. It has been dealing directly with some things that I had been praying about. I almost cried the first class. It was uncanny how much of what we discussed, I had previously been to God in prayer about. The class is about how to be a leader when you are not in charge. It has been very insightful to say the least.

I volunteered at the food pantry our church has the other day. It was really good to give back and just get myself off my mind. It also provided good perspective to check my privilege and social bias. I am going to try and volunteer there twice a month.

I also signed up to work in the daycare the church has one Sunday a month. I haven’t started that yet. I did send in my background check paperwork, so that’s a good start. I am hoping that I will be able to start in March.

Things I’m working on

Balance!

In between, work and church activities my past week was hectic. I was asleep before 9 for crying out loud! I didn’t get to hang out with my husband or do any blogging. My two favorite activities. To prevent this from happening again, I need to be more proactive with my blogging. I always have lots of things I want to write about or posts that are started but I need to spend more time scheduling posts. I also need to be more intentional sometimes about spending time with my husband or hitting him up during the work day.

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