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.

Voting Michelle Obama GIF by Joe Biden
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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.

Birthday reflections

Rainbows are a sign of Gods promises. He put up the first one after he flooded the Earth and saved Noah and his family.

on my drive to work

My birthday was Sunday and it also reminds me of Gods promises. I got pregnant around my birthday two years. On this day as I’m writing this (9/10) I was told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant on my own. So every year since then it all comes back and reminds me that God is a promise keeper. He does what he says he will do. He doesn’t lie or change his mind. I know that in theory but its nice to have a reminder.

My birthday has always been a big deal to me even from when I was a little kid. Its at the tail end of summer so it could be blazing hot, last year it was 90 degrees! Or it could be cool and chilly. It has always signified new beginnings for me, even more so than the beginning of the year.

real housewives birthday GIF by Slice
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I remember my 33 birthday that was supposed to be my Jesus year and that didn’t happen. Last year was just survival mode in learning how to be a new mom. 35 though…will this be my year?

I dont want to say so and it isn’t but this year feels different. I think the biggest change is consistency. I have been exercising 5 days a week consistently since August 3.

Cbs Love GIF by LoveIslandUSA
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I have been going to noon day bible study on Wednesday at church since May.

I’ve been doing the work to make lifestyle changes that I can sustain. Sustainability is key. I used to start off super hard but I couldn’t maintain that momentum.

I used to worry about what I could do to keep the momentum going. I was so worried about the something disturbing the joy I was feeling that I wasn’t enjoying it.

Not anymore. I am making sure to take each day one at a time and that has helped tremendously. I am learning how to stop my negative thoughts in its tracks. I am exploring new things and becoming open to new ideas and thought processes. I am learning how to be 100% me, 100% of the time.

I set that goal in December but I didn’t start working on it really until we were forced to stay in the house. The last six months have been a lot of work but I have definitely reaped the benefits.

Let the good times roll

Recently I have been in a very good place in my life, work is good, Being pregnant, my husband got a new job. We have no complaints over here. Its been a long time since I have been able to make this kind of declaration. It’s an exciting time in my life with lots of changes and growth. I must admit that its been going to my head a little bit. Its very easy to spend time with God everyday when things are not going well. When you are in a PIT (personal intense trial, Wendy Pope) all you have is the Lord.

I talked about this some previously in Using your gift about not doing what I knew I was supposed to be doing because I was so sick. I had a decent excuse then. I was so giddy and happy that it was hard for me to focus on my bible reading and nothing was holding my attention for very long. I knew I needed to get back on track but I just didn’t know how. I asked this question in the leadership class I take at church.

How do you maintain the same level of personal relationship with God when things are going well? 

We have seen many fall in the bible fall victim to their own success, Saul, Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, just to name a few. I don’t want that to happen to me. A young lady in the class gave a great answer to my question. She talked about Asa a king in the Old Testament. Asa was king during a time of peace and what he did during peace time was tear down idols and prepare for war. This makes perfect sense! This brings up another set of questions.

How do we today tear down idols? How do we prepare for war?

Clearly we don’t have physical idols to or battles that we need to prepare for but what spiritual idols do you need to tear down? What spiritual battles do you need to get ready for? I am going to talk about how to do this in my next post.

 

Comparison is the thief of joy

Such a true statement. People always talk about not comparing yourself to other people. Easier said than done but you can work on that. It’s obvious why you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people so I feel like its easier for me to not do that. How often do you find yourself comparing yourself to the person you used to be? How often are you comparing yourself to the person you thought you would be?

These two questions are the one I have the most trouble with. I have drastically cut back on comparing myself to other people by cutting down on my social media usage. However, its really hard to stop comparing this self to my former self.

I look at old pictures in my phone, like man I wish my skin still looked like it used to, even though back then, I thought my skin looked bad. I’m sure we can identify with this meme. I have certainly been there. Or how I used to party and have such a great time out and now every time I go out its wack. You can compare how one friend treats you compared to another friend or you can compare how your boyfriend treats you vs how he treated his ex. Its all comparison.

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I like this quote by Iyanla Vanzant. I never thought about it like this before but its very true. Quickest way to put yourself down is start comparing. When I try to compare myself to where I am supposed to be vs where I am, its a recipe for disaster. Its so unnecessary too. If I wasn’t supposed to be in the space I am in, I wouldn’t be here. Nothing is by coincidence. God laid out every day of my life before I was born. Remembering that brings me great comfort because I know, nothing is happening to me that he is not aware of or has not ordained.

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The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He doesn’t want to us to be happy. I feel like sometimes I am doing ok and I feel bad out of nowhere, its because the devil wants to knock me off my block. I’m not going to let him though. I am not accountable to anyone but me and I am perfectly fine where I am. My story is mine alone. It doesn’t matter where I was or where I am going as long as I am content right now. The past has already happened and the future will get here in its own time.

Can you have everything? (8)

In less that a year, one of my friends has gotten married, bought a house, got a new job and had a baby. She is definitely having the best year.She is living her best life. All the things that many women are trying to accomplish she had it happen in no time, so it appears. It looks like she has everything. How many people do you know that have everything? I used to believe that you couldn’t have everything. Life just cannot be that good. Even Paul one of the greatest biblical figures of all time, had a thorn in his side that he prayed that God would take away, and God didn’t.

I wrote before about being happy but not really being able to enjoy it because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel like that is a pattern in my life that I can be really happy but I don’t have everything. I am still wanting for something. I am not wanting like that never satisfied wanting but really truly waiting on God to answer prayer. Although I have never seen God show up like that in my life yet, I now believe you can have 90% of what you want.

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I am not talking about prosperity gospel or any name it and claim stuff. I am just saying that I believe God wants us to be happy on this side of heaven.The bible has lots of scriptures about having an abundant life. 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 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

I say 90% because I think about Serena Williams who people would consider to have it all, nice husband, daughter, tennis champion but she cried because she missed her daughters first steps because she was out practicing. That Oprah quote really resonates with me. I want as much as God has to offer for me and I want to be in a position to give back to others. That is why we are blessed, not for ourselves but to be a blessing to others. So when we have it “all” we can be in a position to help someone else get their “all”.

 

 

It’s not you, its me

Such a cliche right? I know but cliches are well known for a reason. It definitely fits my situation.

I have been pretty M.I.A most of the winter and spring. I usually hideout during the winter just because it’s cold and get over that post holiday hump but this year was different.

So many people had awesome things going on around me, new babies, new jobs, new houses and we didn’t have anything new happening. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing or surprising. We have been cruising in a good space for a while, we have found a good rhythm. Its hard to admit you are jealous or envious of your friends or family or coworkers. I don’t want to use the word envious or jealous because those are usually described as negative emotions. It’s more I’m happy for you and sad for me. Nobody wants that kind of energy at their birthday party, housewarming, BBQ, etc. I never want to be a Debbie Downee when I go somewhere so I just decided to stay away. That probably wasnt the best way to do it but hey we do what we know.

I know somebody who has had to watch other people around her have kids for years and she has been nothing but supportive. She is older than me so maybe it takes years to grow to that level of maturity. I admire that because I definitely couldn’t do it. I am not there yet but I’m working on it. God is making it more and more uncomfortable to be in this box. I haven’t been to a baby shower in years but now the people having babies are getting closer and closer to me. No choice but to go. I’m also trying to grow. I know I should be doing better, it is just hard.

The next time you haven’t heard from someone you care about in a while, reach out. I appreciate all the invites I got even though I wasn’t going.

The biggest reason now that’s holding me back from jumping back into the fray of where I used to hang out is because I don’t want to explain what I have been doing or why I wasn’t around.

That’s probably selfish of me. Would you feel like you wanted an explanation? Would you accept its not you, it’s me?

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.

0 to 100 real quick

I tend to do that more often than I realized. I was all excited a few weeks ago because a lot of things were happening at once, got a raise, interview opportunity, and I thought I was pregnant. I was like wow God you really are laying it on me. Ok. I wasn’t prepared but I’m like ok this is a good thing. Then I thought like wait, its too good to be true, God is doing this to get my attention there is no way that all this awesomeness can happen at once. I was freaking out because I kept thinking that it was too good to be true. I didn’t think that I could get all the things that I was praying for all at once.  For now, I was right.

womp womp

Didn’t get the job and wasn’t pregnant. A bunch of let down right around the same time. I’m not super disappointed anymore about not being pregnant because as you are reading this I am chilling on the sandy beaches in Mexico and being pregnant here would not have been as fun. I’m not upset about the job because I got beat out by the best and I can’t really be mad at that. I want to explore this topic more, having it all. Where did it come from? Is it actually achievable? I will talk about this more in a later post.

I know what’s for me will be given to me. Nobody, not even me can get in the way of that. I don’t know if God had all that happen to get my attention. Its definitely possible. I haven’t prayed and fasted that much in a long while. I knew that I needed to step it up. I talked about that in a previous post.  I feel like there was other things he could do to get my attention although I have to admit these were definitely the best. Maybe it was the devil messing with me. I will never know. I do know that God will never play me and he is not a trickster. I couldn’t find any examples in the bible where he gave the people  something good and then snatched it away or gave someone something good to get their attention and then changed his mind. If there is something out there please let me know. One of my favorite verses is, God is not like man he doesn’t lie or change his mind (Numbers 23:19).

So I’m essentially right back where I started aside from the pay increase. When I think about how ridiculous I was acting it makes me laugh. I couldn’t even enjoy the blessing because I was waiting on the other shoe to drop.

shoe to drop

I’m sure if it was from God his feelings would be hurt over how I was acting. Who wants to give their kid a present for them to keep checking if you are going to ask for it back? I wouldn’t. So if learned any lesson this week it would be to relax. Enjoy each moment. I know everything works out for my good (Romans 8:28) and I know God has plans he made with my name on them (Jeremiah 29:11).

be here now