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. 

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”.

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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.

Cancel culture

My number 1 choice for tv inspiration would be Joyce Meyer. You guys know she is my favorite. I have read several of her books and I even saw her in person over the summer (for free!). My second choice would be Rick Warren. I would say he is my pastor’s favorite. Lately though I’ve been looking for something else. Just a different voice. I came across Steven Furtnick on YouTube. I really enjoyed the sermon I watched. He was young and fresh. Different than the preachers I’ve watched in the past. So of course I start to research him on Google. I was surprised to find several disparaging articles. Now granted they are 5+ years old but still. Everybody is a critic nowadays and when you are in the public eye it can be even worse.  I don’t know what to do.

Should I continue to listen to his message or do I take the critics seriously? In the world of cancel culture its easy to write someone off. What would you do?

I wrote the first two paragraphs back in February before the Black Lives Matter protests starting happening even before COVID-19. Does it feel like there was a time before COVID-19?

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Cancel culture has gotten even bigger in the face of Black Lives Matter. People are cancelling celebrities left and right as they come out saying all kinds of things.

Once a person is cancelled do they get to be redeemed? One example would be Kanye West. I LOVED Kanye West when I was younger, his music was great and it spoke to the people. Remember this?

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I saw that happen live! It was amazing. It was what a lot of us were thinking at the time and he just said it. However, that Kanye left us and was replaced by this guy.

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Kanye has definitely been cancelled by many of his fans. Myself included. I have not listened to a Kanye album in a long time. Recently however, Kanye has donated 2 million dollars to support the families of George Floyd, Breona Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/04/entertainment/kanye-west-two-million-dollar-donation/index.html

How awesome is that?!

It is amazing and I am very proud of him for doing that. The question remains…Is he still cancelled?

I’m still on the fence. I need to see more from Kanye before I make a decision on that or not. 

The one thing missing in all my observations is GRACE. When we think about cancelling people, or not listening to their message because of one mistake they make, what kind of person does that make us? 

Do we take into consideration what might have been going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about?

As we consume content and products out here in the world, where do we draw the line?  

Ask yourself what matters to you as you watch people/corporations make their statements about Black Lives Matter. Do their actions back up with what they are saying? Are they ready to truly change their ways? Have they learned anything? Does the action feel genuine? 

Remember that everyone is redeemable. Just as quickly as we cancel someone, remember they can be un-cancelled as well.

Progress over perfection

I’ve been avoiding my blog because since I have become a new mom I really haven’t the time to dedicate to it that I did before I was pregnant. You know how you avoid someone you haven’t talked in a while. Like we don’t have any beef but at this point its kind of awkward if we talk again. What will we talk about?

Several people have asked me and I didn’t want this blog to turn into a “mommy blog”. I don’t feel like I have a enough experience to speak about that, although I know that is the kind of vulnerability people are looking for.  I don’t want to alienate any of my readers though. I didn’t read mommy blogs when I wasn’t a mom. Its a new element of my life and it will be featured but I am going to try and not let that dominate my content.

I heard this phrase progress over perfection the other day and it really touched me. I want this blog to be the very best of me and I would like it to reach hundreds of people. To do that I need to dedicate more time into making sure its good. At what cost though?

The writing is never the problem. That’s my passion. The gift that God gave me that I haven’t been using to the fullest. I felt like God gave me the greatest gift of all time, my baby boy but  I haven’t been giving him back his gift. I’ve talked about this before, using the gift God gave you. I’m trying. I heard once that Jesus is gentleman, he never pushes you. I have been getting subtle hints for a while now, different verses and confirmation. I saw this on Instagram and just decided to go for it.

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Its always the extra stuff, the pictures, the memes, the gifs that I add in to make you want to read and keep coming back. I wrote all summer while I was off on maternity leave but I have posted any of it. That’s about to change.

Content will be coming out, not as often as before. I am thinking once a week or twice a week at first and see how that goes. I appreciate all the followers I have for sticking by me. So we are back on the train again. Funny thing this is when I started posting on the blog when the blog first began. Welp, I’m back at it. Come hang out with me!

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.

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.

Brave

Quite a few people have been coming up to me and calling me brave lately. Its funny because I never really feel brave. Often times I am the exact opposite of brave. I have come to a point in my life where I am afraid, but I am doing it any.

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I won’t say that confidence always follows but what I will say is that people recognize the good in me. I was nervous, I was vulnerable, I was worrying about being judged, however when it was finished it turned out well. I was told that I was doing a good job, that I had a gift. I don’t feel like the things I do are a gift, it just is how I am, so I discount it. I shouldn’t do that.

 

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The main reason I don’t want to do things is because I am afraid typically of the unknown. People are saying they can’t blog or talk about their problems because they aren’t brave like me. That’s not true. I don’t feel brave when blogging.

I don’t think it is something that I am going to be doing for years but for now it is something that I needed to do. I could no longer hold in it and journalling was not enough. Blogging can be very passive, especially when you use a platform that people have to find.

I feel liberated and validated through blogging. I know that many of things I go through I am not alone. It has helped me be more honest with myself and other people. Like the other day, one of my friends wanted to go to lunch. My fun money has been tight this summer because I am working part time and I told her that I couldn’t go because I didn’t have the money. The old me would never have done that. I would have went and spent the money and done without for something else later. That is small but its the growth that counts in that. My friend told me something personal things about her marriage and she said she was able to do that because of this blog. I appreciate that. She said she feels like she has to have this public persona because people don’t get it. I have lived that life so it makes sense to me.

I notice how other people are much more in tune with their feelings and even though they seem more anxious they also seem more comfortable in their own skin. Or comfortable being uncomfortable.That’s brave to me. That’s where I aspire to be.

I am doing better. We have these big social gatherings at work and I just don’t feel comfortable. Its just not the way I operate. I am much better in one on one or small group settings but instead of sitting there and worrying about what I was going to say, I decided to remove myself from the situation. It worked out much better. As I drove home today I didn’t have to replay everything I said to make sure I didn’t say something stupid or jerk like, etc. I am happy about that.

If you want tell your story you should. Its therapeutic. Being 100% Authentic is whats really brave. I don’t believe I do that 100% of the time but I am working on it. If I can do it, you certainly can as well. Don’t let fear hold you be back.

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The cost of being ordinary (29)

Brene’ Brown says in her book Gifts of Imperfections:

Our culture is quick to dismiss quiet, ordinary, hardworking men and women. In many instances, we equate ordinary with boring or, even more dangerous, ordinary has become synonymous with meaningless.

I read this and immediately agreed. Nobody wants to be ordinary, basic, regular. In the world of social media, ordinary people are not getting second looks.

So many teens look at people online and think that’s the way it has to be. They want to be social media influencers, versus influencing people in real life.

Those folks who are considered ordinary get lost in the shuffle. People who go to work, take care of their families, go to school, do the general right thing get no recognition.

We can live our whole lives and not have anything extraordinary happen. That doesn’t discount us. It doesn’t make us boring or regular, or lame.

People are  chasing images of what they think life is supposed to be like when in reality it’s not that way at all.

Nobody celebrates the dad who goes to work everyday, the kid in college working hard. This isn’t sexy or cool.

We have to change the conversation. I have recently started seeing Instagram post giving props to the ordinary citizen. The every day hero. We need to start the conversation about what makes a person important. What gives them value? It certainly is not how many social media followers they have. What are they contributing to society for the greater good? These are the things that matter.