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.

Celebrate Vice Tv GIF by STICK TO SPORTS
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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.

Ways to go from planning to action

I hear a lot of people who talk about they read something good in a book, or heard it on a podcast or YouTube video but they don’t know how to execute it in real life. It can seem overwhelming when you have learned a lot of information but you are unsure how to implement it. Here is a list of things to try. The list is long so you can figure out what works best for you, it may be on thing or a combination. Keep trying until something sticks!

Write it down-Hearing something is not always enough. Jot a note in your phone, in a journal, somewhere you can reference back. Your brain remembers things better when you write them down.

Do one thing at a time– You probably hear good stuff all the time. You can’t do all the things, at the same time. Pick one good thing you heard and see if it works.

Carve out time with yourself -How busy are you? Have you set assign time to get things done? Are you exhausted after work? What changes do you need to make to give yourself more free time?

citrus and style: How to Make Time for Yourself in College
Citrus and Style

Change your thought process– even if you have started and stopped before, believe that this time will be different. You are different. You are coming at this with renewed energy and focus.

Treat yourself how you would treat a friend-Give yourself a break. Remember you are doing the best you can.

Set timers/alarms on your phone-this is a great way to get an external reminder. I set an alarm on my phone for 3pm everyday to write. I don’t need it anymore but it was great in helping me establish a routine.

Put post its up in your house or car to remind yourself of the things you learned

Make a Note to Do Great Things! — The Memo
Being Mary Jane

Get rid of distractions-Set blocks on your phone for notifications. I put my Instagram and Facebook on a timer and when my time is up thats it. My friend just completely deletes the app off her phone. Whatever it takes.

Get to the root of the problem what are you afraid of?

The fear of success and the fear of judgement are REAL — Brigitte Linford

Only person stopping you is you. Do you think that it won’t Really happen? Is what you want Gods plan or yours? You may need to double check. Do it despite how you feel, the more you do it you’ll start to get used to it.

The key thing with all these strategies is being intentional. Its waking up everyday and deciding that I am going to do better than the day before. You already did the first part which is the research. You were able to look into resources, that’s a good thing. Celebrate that small win. Now you just have to do the next step. The harder step, which is putting in the work. I believe in you. You got this!

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Beyond righteousness

I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:8‭-‬11

We are studying Philipians in the Wednesday noon bible study class I go to at church. This verse really spoke to me. I have been thinking about this concept for a while since I started my identity in Christ.

I spoke the other day about being truly Free. Being free is really about going deeper with God than just following the rules.

I used to focus a lot on following the rules. On making sure I was doing everything I was told to do. In some ways that is easier, you have a checklist to follow and you just do it. Relationship doesn’t necessarily play a role in that.

As I learned more about my identity in Christ, I realized its bigger than just following rules. Not just being blameless, but truly unlearning what I thought was right and really pursuing to know who God is and once I know truly who he is, I can better know who I am as well. I’m in a good space, but then I saw this verse and realized I still am missing something.

I am missing power. I know the power is there, waiting to be tapped into. I know God has great plans for me. He gave me the tools to do the things he called me to do. The bible says we have power and authority and victory. I’m not talking prosperity gospel stuff, but just genuine power to change the trajectory of our lives with Jesus help. If Christ was raised from the dead and we have the same power. Is there anything we can’t do?

When you look at things this way, I can do all things through Christ takes on a whole new meaning. Philippians 4:13

Joyce Meyer says that a lot of Christians will make it to heaven but they won’t have much fun on the way. The bible says that God wants us to live life to the full. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

The thief has stolen to much from me already. I never knew what I could really do, because I allowed him to take my past circumstances and use them against me, to limit what God could do because I didn’t realize the power I had.

Don’t let the thief take anything else from you. Tap in the power you have. Use it live life abundantly. If you are doing anything other than living life abundantly, you are short changing yourself and not receiving all God has for you.

Do you need to say anything?

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
Proverbs 19:11 NLT
I know this is something I need to work on. I never thought I was a sensitive person and I still don’t think so. My hormones are definitely all over the place considering I just had a baby, a little over 30 days ago. I think people forget that. I probably am more sensitive and I already think too much so the last few weeks have been challenging. I was pretty upset with family members for certain comments they have made or jokes. I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it and then this scripture popped in my reading. I felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks.

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God doesn’t believe in confrontation all the time. Everything you are thinking doesn’t need to be said. There is something to be said about letting things go. I have never seen this verse in the bible before but I understand the sentiment. It takes a big person to let things go. It’s like turning the other cheek in an argument which is much harder for me because I used to like to argue.

This scripture is also good to keep in mind when we are thinking about being a good partner. My husband often reminds me that I don’t need to say what I’m thinking. I’m getting better. Now if I could only control my face. One thing at time Lord, one thing at a time.

Straight Face GIF by memecandy
a common facial expression I make. Giphy.com
Say What Excuse Me GIF by Election 2020
another one of my faves. Giphy.com

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 NLT

Update: I wrote the above words about a year and a half ago. I still agree with this sentiment. Probably even more so now then I did a year ago. I have been working on controlling my tongue, not only monitoring what I say but also how I say it. I know this is something that I am going to need constantly work on. My mouth often moves a lot faster than my brain. I am better than I was in high school or college but I know I can do better.

I think now more than ever we need to be careful of what we are saying and how we are saying it. Everyone seems to be ultra aware and ready to pick a fight over anything. I am not saying to not stand up for injustice. I am also not saying to question peoples intentions. I am saying to pick and choose your battles. Especially with your loved ones. Our patience always seems the shortest with the people who know us the best.

The next time your MIL questions the cleanliness of your house or your grandpa says you look fat, or your husband asks you a question he Knows the answer to, think before you respond.

60 days is plenty of time

I stole this from my friend, who stole it from Instagram.

My friend dropped this in the group chat the other day and it was great reminder. Even though we are at the end of the year doesn’t mean God can’t show out. Its funny in our human mind it feels like there isn’t enough time left to start something new or break a bad habit or let something go. Not true.

New living translation.

With that in mind, I decided to pull out the vision board I made at the beginning of the year.

my vision board.

Did you make a vision board this year? Do you still look it at? If not pull it out. Now is a good time to evaluate and see the progress you are making on your vision. I completely understand that this year probably looks nothing like you had originally planned it to be. That’s ok. This is a great time to make adjustments if you need to.

One thing I plan on doing with my vision board before the year is over, is finding scriptures to match the pictures and phrases I cut out. I believe it helps to have a biblical backing that way you know what you want is confirmed in the word.

I also need to tweak some things I put on there. I was in a different headspace back in January/February then now. This is ok. We are not people who are meant to be static, change is fluid. We aren’t locked in to anything.

I have something easier for you if you don’t feel like making a vision board. I wrote out a prayer and then I found a scripture to match my prayer. Having that scripture to go along with my prayer helps me when I feel like what I am praying for isn’t happening or its moving slow. Having the scripture as the foundation lets me know that what I am asking for is in God’s will because it is in his word. For the word of God will not fail. Luke 1:37


Prayer

We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. Colossians 1:9-12 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/col.1.12.NLT

God please give me wisdom to be a good wife, mom and leader. Help me instead of taking on my friends problems pray for them more. Help me count my blessings and be thankful for everything I have. Help me not compare my life to anyone else’s. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Unlearning

One thing I’ve picked up during this odd year of 2020 is unlearning.

What have you had to unlearn? For me it’s been a lot. I used some of these thought processes for protection to make sure I wouldn’t get hurt. Im learning to be more vulnerable, to trust more, and I realize I don’t need to think this way anymore.

1. Everything is not what it seems. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong. We are making decisions based on limited knowledge, our bias, our feelings. All those things could potentially not be right. Keeping this in the back of my mind has helped me look at things from all angles before making a decision.

2. Everything is not black or white or even gray. I was very much a person who thought things were one way or not. No shade but, it is what it is. In the this world of COVID-19 I’ve learned things are not always one way or another. There could be a third option that I never even considered.

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3. Everyone doesn’t have to move at the same pace. I used to think I was behind everybody in spiritual knowledge, in having kids, fancy careers. However I have to remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. God put me in this place. It’s not a race. I’m not competing with anyone, not even myself. There are no timelines or schedules because God’s timing is always perfect.

4. What works for you, may not work for me. This is another small thing but changing my thinking has been huge. The first thing that made me think of this is the natural hair movement. You can watch tons of tutorials and it still not turn out right. Follow someone’s regimen to the letter and still not get the changes you were expecting. What worked for them may not work for me. That can be applied to just about anything in life.

5. People aren’t judging me. People aren’t looking at me. Or even thinking about me. Folks are more concerned about themselves than they are with what I’m doing, wearing etc. Letting this go allows me to live more free.

6. Its never too late. For anything. Ever. The older you get the more people start to tell you your too old for this or that. Not true. It’s never too late. If your good, it’s going to come through in what you do. You want to make a career switch? Do it! You want to move out of state? Do it! Nothing is holding you back but you.

These lessons have been huge. They may seem like simple changes but they represent gigantic changes in mindset. As we get to the last quarter of the year think about how you might need to change your mindset. Its never too late.

Being a good partner

I was with my girls last weekend and of course we start talking about our men. Why don’t they listen, why are they so slow, why don’t they do things the way we do? These are great questions. If you think I have the answers here, think again!

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I’m no marriage expert but I have been married almost 10 years. Its wild. When we first got married I couldn’t imagine what 10 years married even looked like. My pastor talks all the time about what makes a good partner and it may surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

He says you shouldn’t tell the other person what to do, you should pray for them.

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That doesn’t seem super helpful. Prayer feels passive. I want action.

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I want to ask him to take out the trash and he just gets up and does it, no questions asked, no comments, immediately, not at the commercial, not after this play, NOW. That’s not a partner though that’s a child. I didn’t get married to have another child.

My husband has expressed to me on more than one occasion that he doesn’t always like the way I talk to him. He also told me he doesn’t say anything about it, he has just gotten used to it. I didn’t like that at all. I need to work on my tone, not him get used to it. I came across this verse in Proverbs that spoke exactly to what he was saying to me.

When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Proverbs 31:26 NLT

Gives instructions with kindness. Do I do that? Not every time. Do you do that? I was listening to my girlfriends talk to their partners over the weekend and I didn’t hear a lot of kindness. According to Dictionary.com kindness means being generous, compassionate and friendly. I don’t yell or nag at my husband but can I be short, snappy, or rude? Yes I can.

I don’t much feel like giving instructions with kindness when I’ve had to give them more than once. I don’t feel like giving instructions with kindness when I feel like you shouldn’t need instructions in the first place. The bible doesn’t say that though. We are to give instructions with kindness every time.

If you read Proverbs you will notice there are wayyyy more things about wives than husband’s. I’m going to get more into that next week. I used to have some pretty negative thoughts about the Proverbs 31 woman. Not so much anymore, but we’ll talk about it.

The key thing about being a good partner is remembering you can’t change anyone but yourself. That’s why my pastor tells us to pray instead of nag. You will change how you react to whatever your partner is doing, which is the bigger issue anyway. Right? Right.


Prayer

Lord help me give instructions with kindness. Help me have grace and patience instead of anger and resentment when my husband doesn’t do what I ask him to do in way or speed that I would do it. Help me be thankful that I have a partner that is willing to help me and be an active parent. Remind me of the love that I have for him and how awesome he is. In Jesus name, I pray amen.

Here is a sermon my pastor preached on about the secrets of lasting love.

Small beginnings

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin Zechariah 4:10

This is one of my favorite verses in the bible its a little known book in the bible. Zechariah is one of the minor prophets.

This verse applies to so much of what is happening right now. As Black Lives Matters protests continue to happen across the country we are starting to see some changes.

One Instagram account pullupforchange has been having major corporations post their number of employees, executives,  to show how diverse they were or not. This may seem like a small thing but its huge! In posting how many black employees they have this not only allowing them to be reflective in their business practices but explore any implicit bias they may have.  This move could potentially lead to real change at many of these organizations. Many have already come up with a plan to review hiring practices to allow more black people and people of color to work at the top level of their company.

Corporations having to let people know they have work to do is the first way for us to fight systemic racism. I just read that Aunt Jemima will finally be getting a new logo for its syrup and pancake/waffle mix. This is great. Its about time. I always thought it was weird that a company run by and founded by white people had a old black woman as its “mascot”.

aunt j

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/aunt-jemima-brand-will-change-name-remove-image-quaker-says-n1231260

Some people feel that’s it too little, too late. They wonder why these things weren’t done before. This isn’t the first time that people have complained about the lack of diversity. I have read comments online like why does it matter now? Just because something has always been a certain way, doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way.

Change has to start somewhere. Any step towards progress is still a step. Change doesn’t happen overnight and if we turn our nose up at small change then it can become more difficult to make big changes.

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.

Its my birthday!

33 years I have been rotating around the sun. I don’t feel 33 years old. I am not sure what that is supposed to feel like. I don’t feel as old as the people I knew were this age when I was younger.

I am excited for 33. I pray that this year is truly my best year yet. I say that every year and then the end of that year comes and I don’t necessarily feel that way. I told someone the other day that even year birthdays have not be great for me, so I hope this year is better. My 30th birthday was not great. I didn’t do anything to celebrate and tried to through something together last minute that wasn’t representative of my awesome party throwing skills. I don’t have an issue getting older. I still look like I am in college and I know this to be true because I work with high school students and there isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that someone is mistaking me for a student.

My biggest issue with birthdays is that they are a reminder of all the things that I still need to get done. I don’t feel that way so much this year. I finally have been obdienet to all the things God wanted me to do. That right there just takes a weight off my shoulders. I still don’t have a baby but for the most part I am ok with that. I am working on TRUST. That is what God wants me to do.

I have a great trip planned for my birthday this year which I am excited about. A girls trip and trip with my husband. Right now I am currently in Toronto living it up.

32 is was not as bad as I initially thought it was. I made a list in April of all things I wanted before the summer was over I had those things. I would have never imagined that it would happen so quickly and with little intervention from me. God set those things in motion. I grew a lot last year, not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I had too. It has made me better though. My blog has grown. My writing has gotten better and I have taken additional steps to grow in my craft. I am a creative. Who would have thought?!