Silencing the inner critic

Do you have an inner critic that harasses you? I certainly do. It can be ridiculous sometimes. I am about to start reading a book, Get out of your head by Jennie Allen to help me deal with this a little better. In the mean time though, I started to research what I needed to do to essentially work on my self-talk. 

I know that if I am more critical of myself I am more critical of other people. I don’t want to be that way. Based on my research this is what I have discovered.

I saw this definition of inner critic vs inner guidance. Wow.

 

Chloe Bailey Wow GIF by grown-ish

giphy.com

 

innercriticvs.innerguidance 

I felt both seen and attacked at the same time. This description is excellent. I didn’t even realize that I do some of these things but now that I have the framework I can begin to change my thought process.

The first thing on here is thinks in black or white. I definitely do that. I am not big on seeing shades of gray. Either it is or it isn’t. People have been pointing this out to me recently so I am working on trying to see additional options.

I wrote a post about combating the devil with Gods word.   This a great idea, I just need to be more consistent. I also need to memorize the word. Study it so if you can’t memorize you know what it means. Speak it to yourself. That way as soon as something bad pops in my head, I can tell my inner critic to hush!

Stop Talking Fix My Life GIF by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

giphy.com

I will also stop rehearsing events. Sometimes after going someplace I would replay things that I said and how I responded to things. Should I have said it differently? Should I have responded differently? This doesn’t help me however because the event has already happened. It does me no good to replay every word I said.

When do you hear your inner critic the loudest?

What books or passages do you read in the bible for comfort?

My inner critic comes out sometimes when I read the bible. That’s not good because I take what should be conviction and turn it in to condemnation. Condemnation doesn’t come from God.  I just read that we shouldn’t just look to the bible for just conviction but also for comfort. Which I know in theory makes sense but in practice is something very different. I have been reading Psalms every night before I got to bed. It has been helping.

The picture below is exactly what is going on in my head. I wouldn’t say that I was being mean and critical to myself. I would say that I just trying to improve upon whatever I am doing. Clearly that is FALSE!

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@justgirlproject I love their page!

 

I don’t mind taking risks but the “putting myself out there” is the hard part. I am learning however that when I am weak, I am strong. I will talk more about this concept in some upcoming posts. 


Resources

https://www.projectinspired.com/how-to-silence-your-inner-critic/ https://thinkdivinely.com/setting-your-mind-on-christ-are-you-ready-to-silence-that-inner-critic/

Pray for your friends

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 1 Timothy 2:1 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/1ti.2.1.NLT

 

When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Job 42:10 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/job.42.10.NLT

 

I saw a IG post that says pray for your friends because you don’t know what they are going through. Very good point. One of the things that I asked God for was to help me pray for my friends and not worry about them as much. I find myself worrying about them even more now because we are in a pandemic. I will say, because we have been in a pandemic and not able to go many places I have seen them a lot more often than normal circumstances. What about you? Have you seen your friends since you have been in pandemic? 

I realized recently that I was not really praying for the right things for my friends. I was praying for Gods will, but it was all surface stuff. Help in finding a job, help in a dispute with a boyfriend, peace for a death in the family, but I should have been doing more. I should have been praying for their souls more. For them to know God, for Him to give them wisdom, and peace beyond understanding, for endurance in their trials, for comfort to get through another day.

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Philippians 1:3 NLT 

I didn’t give thanks enough for them either. My friends are all awesome. They all exude #blackgirlmagic. They are smart, funny, businesswomen, creatives, loyal, patient and kind and I wouldn’t be the woman I am without them. I love my husband but there is nothing like my girlfriends. They build me up, call me out, encourage me, listen to me complain and inspire me. I’ve known the majority of them for years and even the new ones have moved into my life and inspire me daily to be a better woman. 

I don’t want to be the person that says I’ll pray for you but it doesn’t really happen. I don’t want to be the friend that needs to know all your business before I can pray. We are intercessors on the Lords behalf, sometimes we may be the only praying that happens for someone that day. 

The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. Remember that as you are having your prayer time. Pray not only for yourself but for your friends as well. 

the cover image is from Dictionary.com! 

6 steps to finding your passion

1. Ask God to help you. The very first thing you should do is pray. We will talk later about taking assessments and quizzes but none of that really helps if it isn’t what God wants you to do.

Lead me in the right path, O Lord , or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. Psalms 5:8 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.5.8.NL

2. Think about what you’re good at. What do you like to do? What are your hobbies? When I asked God to help me find my passion the first thing that popped in my head was writing and reading. I didn’t think those things could be gifts because they weren’t hard. I didn’t have to work at them. I went to see an author speak at a high school in my area and when she talked about how she got her start it was from journaling. I was amazed! I journaled everyday for years. If this lady could use that as her jumping off point to a successful writing career then so could I. I never thought it could be that simple but it is.

For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/pro.2.6.NLT

3. Take some aptitude tests if necessary. I have done three different types of assessments, spiritual gifts, Strengthsfinder, and the Enneagram. For me, all three assessments were important. I wanted to do the spiritual gifts test because I wanted to know how what I have could used inside the body of Christ specifically. I do feel like most of the things I discovered were similar but that isn’t a bad thing. Finding some of my skills were similar gave me confirmation that I was moving in the right direction.

https://giftstest.com/

Spiritual Gifts Test – Adult Version

https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/strengthsfinder.aspx   (Strengths is not free, but very informative. You could see if your job could pay for the test.)

https://www.truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test ( This is free and I felt it was the most accurate when describing the type of person I was.

4. Think about your experiences good and bad. This can help you develop your passion by thinking about how you would recreate those experiences for other people. Everything we go through can be used for good not only for us but for others. When I decided that I wanted to take my writing seriously, I wanted to write the things I was searching for and not finding anywhere. I want people to type in a key word or hashtag and find my blog. Eventually, I want to write the books that I have not seen written for people my age.

5. Try something new. Is there something you have seen online that looks interesting? Is there a master class you want to take? Is there something that you always wanted to try but have been afraid to? 

6. Don’t worry if the thing you already want to do is being done. It doesn’t matter how people are doing thing you do. There is someone that needs what YOU have to offer and nobody does it like you. We are each unique and designed with a purpose. A good friend of mine told me to think about how many different types of bread are in the store. Tons! Has that stopped people from making bread? Nope! 

Pursing your passion is going to involve taking a risk. God has put everything inside of you already that you need to succeed. Don’t let fear or fear of failure stop you from giving your gifts to the world.   

 

 

Dear Future Me

July 9, 2018

Hey girl! How you doing? Life is treating you pretty good right now huh? You finally have the kid(s) you prayed so hard for. You have a new job and Jesse has one too. Did you see how God worked all that out for your good? How all the rushing and plotting and planning you were doing didn’t speed anything up? How even after you got what you wanted you still weren’t 100% ready? Do you see how everything God had you go through was preparing you for these moments you are experiencing now. There is no room for selfishness as a mother. Shouldn’t have been any as a wife but you let that slip by you. You have people who depend on your every mood now. You thought you had to be perfect at everything but do you see how that is holding you back? Nobody is keeping score but you. Does it matter what anyone thinks outside your house? No it doesn’t. I’m telling you these things now because you think you’re over some things but you aren’t. You are pushing forward like you don’t need help but you do. Ask. Fumbling along is not doing anyone any good. Enjoy each moment you are in now. Life will give you ups and downs.

Today is July 9, 2020. All these things did happen, even the not being 100% ready for the blessing. As I reread this letter to myself, I think the biggest thing I notice is that I am being a little hard on myself. I definitely remember this time in my life vividly. I was still trying to get pregnant and having no luck, but I could sense that God was making a move in my life, I just didn’t know what and I wanted to be prepared. I was starting to relax and have more genuine fun. I wasn’t so worried about when I was going to get pregnant or what the future held. I wanted to enjoy life and God in the present and worry about the future later.

I wrote this letter when I got back from visiting one of my best friends in Chicago.

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3 months and 1 day later from my writing this I would find out I was pregnant. I never would have thought. I write all this to say, prepare for the blessing you are praying for, but allow yourself grace as well. God sees the work you are doing and He is pleased. Remember also what is for you, is for you. Nobody can mess that up, not even you. God doesn’t want you to be perfect, He wants effort.

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Now that quarantine is over

I am in an interesting space as we come out of strict quarantine and summer is upon us. Summer definitely looks different with COVID-19 and protesting happening all across the country. I saw tons of memes on my social media about if you didn’t come out quarantine having accomplished something then you were just lazy. I just don’t believe that to be true. Thankfully someone agreed because they changed it. This one makes a lot more sense.

lacked discpline reddit

reddit.com

 

If I am being honest. I have not completed a ton of projects in the 2 months that we were forced to stay. Posting again was one of the things I wanted to accomplish, so Yay me! for getting that done.

I just felt really stuck with not working in the traditional sense, and my baby and husband being here and the days rolling together.

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I had been feeling really off spiritually for a while, and that’s another thing that quarantine helped me get on track. I have attended more Sunday school and bible study than I ever would have if we were not in quarantine.

I felt bad though. I was spending too much time on Hulu, social media and reading books. I was having a mini vacation from the world and seeing other people have something tangible to show for their quarantine efforts really bothered me.

In my noon day bible study that I go to, she told us to go back and read your old journals to see where God has brought you from. It wasn’t really a pleasant experience, like I see God answering prayers but I also see a lot of heartache. I also decided to go back and read some of my old blog posts. There are over a 100 so it was more a skim, but I came across this one. Its one of the first posts I did and it talks about the name I picked for the blog. That was three years ago and I am still having this same problem. I talk about being stuck in research mode instead of just taking the leap and doing the thing you said you were going to do.

I sat down about 6 weeks ago and laid out my plan of my hearts desires. I asked God to be with me in those plans because there a lot of things my heart desires. After I wrote them down and prayed some more I put dates that I wanted to accomplish them. I continued to pray about those things in my quiet time until my Pastor preached a sermon on fear. Click the link. It’s really good you should watch it. It had a lot of great points but the one that stuck with me is we need to quit praying and move! I felt like God had slapped me, like, Hey, I’m talking to you! All this research and worrying, you are not going to get anything done. Just do it!

Then I had a conversation with my friends one Sunday after a nature walk (more on that in a later post) about pursing your passions and how much people pay for content, how to get things done and my mind was blown. I left so inspired! So ready to hit the ground running.

My next few posts will be about pursuing your passions and how to ensure you accomplish the goals you set. Stay tuned!

p.s-COVID-19 is still a thing, wear a mask.

 

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This may have been in March but its still relevant. 

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.

Spiritual check

I know that 2020 has kind of had a dumpster fire of a year especially after having such a promising start. So much is happening in the world, it is easy to lose your faith or struggle with God right now. There is a lot happening with Covid-19. We are spending time in our homes much more than we ever intended, people are reading more, watching more, learning more, trying to make good use of this time. These are great ideas! I am trying to do more of these things myself. I would hope that you would take some of that energy and apply it to your spiritual life as well.

The first three months of the year have already gone by. Have you thought about any spiritual goals you may have set at the beginning of the year? Are you trying to read your bible more? Extend your quiet time? Pray for not only yourself but your, friends, family and neighbors. These are challenging times and it is very easy to do too much of the wrong thing while trying to cope. There are some great resources on the internet right now. Churches are livestreaming, bible studies are online, Sunday school. I haven’t been to Sunday school in almost a year but since it has been meeting via Zoom, it has been a lot easier to go to. Don’t just use this as an opportunity to binge Tiger King or Love is Blind but take in some good things as well.

Being pregnant

I know I was pretty casual about announcing my pregnancy. I have been that way the entire time. People always think its really funny. I am not trying to downplay anything. I don’t I have been this happy and overwhelmed at the same time in my life. The only other time I can think of is when I was planning my wedding.

One of my bfs said that I am acting way differently then she thought I would about this pregnancy. I am not sure at all what that means. I’m going to ask her before I post this so I can have an answer for all of us. UPDATE:  Still don’t have an answer to this. It will be in the part 2.

When I first found out I was pregnant it literally came out of nowhere. I went to the doctor in August to get some testing done, because I wanted to start trying again. The news I received was not encouraging. The doctor told me that there was no change from last year and that I probably would not be able to get pregnant without the help of fertility drugs. This was two days before my birthday, September 11. I left the doctor feeling pretty bummed but I was going to Toronto for my birthday that weekend so I rescinded to not be bitter. I told the doctor I didn’t want to go the fertility drug route, so even though she wrote me a prescription for Clomid, I never got it filled. A direct quote from my journal….

TMI alert:

We got back from our trip (which was sooo much fun) and life moved on. Fast forward its the first week of October and my period is late. I didn’t think that much of it because I have had false alarms before. Took at test after about a week that was inconclusive. I continued to party and have a good time. Hence my I extended my summer vacation post. Still nothing after another week, so I take another test. Its positive!!

I didn’t think it was real. I thought I had a false positive. I think I walked around the entire first trimester in a state of disbelief. I was sick and felt awful but that was the only evidence I was pregnant. I lost 7lbs, it was not good. I believed God gave me this blessing but I just was so worried that I definitely didn’t enjoy the experience.

I wrote all that to say, its an odd place to be to be pregnant when it took so long to get there. For it to happen out of nowhere still blows my mind. I never doubted it would happen, I just thought it would take a few months, maybe at the end of the year or something.

UPDATE: There will definitely be a Part Two. I have a lot more to say about this subject it ended up getting posted before I was finished. Stay tuned.

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?!

 

Can’t be the girl I used to be

Someone on a podcast I listen to said the above phrase and it really resonated with me. I have desperately been trying to go back to the girl I used to be. Back to a time when I was carefree and wasn’t worrying and second guessing all the time. I don’t need to be that girl anymore though. I can be better than her, different than her. 2.0 in fact. I don’t have to go back to where I used to be, to be happy or content. I need to own the space I am currently in and be ok.

Are you content? Are you happy with the space you are in currently? I’m trying. I really am trying. I want to not only be content but be able to celebrate others. I’m working on that too. Those people that I was worried about seeing a few weeks ago, maybe last month. I saw them a few weeks ago and it was good. Nobody asked where I had been or what I was doing. So progress has been made on the celebrating others piece.

Being content, that is giving me more trouble. I used to think that I didn’t want to be too happy because I didn’t want God to think I was satisfied with my situation. Sounds silly when I say it out loud. God knows how I feel. He knows everything about me. He knows me better than I know myself.

I heard a sermon a few weeks ago from Jeremiah 29. It was when God told the Jews they were going to be under captivity of the Babylonians for 70 years. He told them to get comfortable, they were going to be there for a while. In the face of these circumstances he also told them that he knew the plans he had for them, for them to prosper.

I knew God was talking to me when I heard this. He wants me to be comfortable in this current space I am in. First I heard this sermon then I got this scripture during my quiet time.

But the people of Israel, who tried so hard to get right with God by keeping the law, never succeeded.

Romans 9:31 NLT

Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by trusting in him. They stumbled over the great rock in their path.

Romans 9:32 NLT

This was me 100% I didn’t think I was trying to earn a blessing but I certainly was doing everything that I could control. Trust is the opposite of control. I believe this is true because if I have to be in control it means I don’t trust the person that is supposed to be guiding me. I say God is the guiding force in my life but then I pray and try to help him along or devise my own plan. Nonsense!

God doesn’t need me to do anything but trust him. That’s the hardest thing to do. You want me to volunteer 10x a month, feed the poor, give to charity, read my bible, do a 100 blog posts I got you. You want me to trust you… well I have some questions.

Help me in my unbelief. I know God can do anything but his timing never seems to align with mine. That’s ok. Trust requires the most work of all and it can’t be quantified. Trust is hard but remembering all God has done for me makes it easier. Everyday when I wake up I thank God for the things he is doing to build that great wall of trust. It helps me calm down when I am anxious about a situation, I remind myself of all the things he has done for me.

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Big or small, he has never let me down. I greatly appreciate that. I have walked away from God a 1000x but he has never walked away from me.