I’ve almost made it to the end. I did not think I could stay focused and keep it going till the very end. As soon as I discovered we would be celebrating women’s History all month long, I decided to honor the women that have been a strategic part of my history and made such an impact on my future. I wanted you to see that age, race, cultural differences nor beliefs should stop us as women from supporting one another. I don’t necessarily have to look like you for you to encourage me. I want to encourage you, when you see women posting accomplishments or struggles be the first one to like or write an encouraging message under the post. It doesn’t matter if you know them there is nothing wrong with supporting them. Honestly, you might just find a sister from another mother😉😁. So let’s keep going, I’m almost done.
I will be closing this post with this sweet friend Jane DeLong . This is my sister in Christ that I connected with….guess where…..😯🙃🤔……Instagram. God gives the best gifts to us. This is the sweetest friend who will earnestly pray with you and for you. I love her blog Pleasing Aroma Ministries. You will find strength, encouragement in the word and inspiration. I share scriptures with her that I’m studying and she brings clarity and understanding to passages that I don’t see. I love her love for God’s word and her passion to teach it in a way that others learn to love it and understand it. I love that she will offer tools that will help you study God’s word for understanding. She is a true woman of God, who loves like Jesus does. The impact she has made in my life is the encouragement through her love for Jesus word to love it more myself. I have been impacted by her kindness towards me. I’ve been impacted by her sweet check-ins to see how me and my family are. I will be grateful for her friendship💚.
This month and writing these has truly been life changing for me. Every single lady I’ve written about, I truly believe God put them in my life for different reasons but all the same. I know he used them to be his hands and feet in the earth in my life. As I’m walking through some tough days, I needed these reminders of just how bless I truly am. I feel so undeserving of them but I’m so glad God still found me worthy. I have one last group to share over the coming days. I’m so honored for your presence here. This last group I’m excited to share with you is the reason I’m here outside of Jesus. Hang in there we are bringing this series to a end.
So, in this post I’m so excited to honor the women who have cared for my health both physical and mental. I truly believe we cannot be well in one area while allowing the other to suffer. I also believe with my whole heart that physical and mental health works hand in hand. You are only as well mentally as you are physically and vice versa. I learned the importance of taking care of both. I noticed as I became mentally healthy my physical health began to improve….it’s like they compliment each other🙃. As women we are very quick to lay ourselves down for the sake of others. We are very quick to sacrifice our well-being for what may seem like a good cause but at the end of the day we’re suffering inside for it. You are worth fighting for. You are worth thinking about. Please stop making yourself an afterthought in certain situations. It’s ok to think of yourself first. It’s ok to set aside time for you. It’s okay to buy that ice cream that no one else in your house eats, but you😉. It is even okay to take the scenic route home, just because you need time to unwind. So, let’s go with this next group of amazing women that keep me healthy.
As a woman I want to encourage you to fight for your physical and mental health. I want you to make it a priority. Fighting will look different for all of us. Don’t be afraid if protecting your mental health might include medicine for a season. It might include regular medical checkups. It might include hard counseling sessions. It might include exercise and eating right. It might include saying no to things that affect your mental health negatively. It might even mean saying no to things and people you love as a way of protecting yourself. I truly believe that you are worthy of being kept safe.
I’ve been so overwhelmed writing each of these, not in a bad way. Just truly overwhelmed with gratitude at the faithfulness of God. Hang in there with me, only a few more left to go. I hope you will take time to tell your medical provider how much you appreciate the care you receive from them. Take a moment in your next session with your therapist to let them know how grateful you are for the care they give you for your mental health. Keep going. You are worth it
I’ve been taking time this whole month honoring women in my life both young and old for the impact they have been to me. The response to me doing this has been so beautiful. I honestly don’t think we do it enough. Women need to know from other women that they are a gift to them. We need to feel appreciated by one another. When you cheer for other women you are in fact cheering for yourself. When you build up another woman, you are in fact building up your self. When you support other women, you are truly supporting yourself as well. I have tried to make sure and say kind words to other women I pass throughout my day. I try to make sure to give an encouraging word to them when necessary. Some women have no one in their corner and honestly that makes my heart ache. The leaders in my church often say, “You do not have to do life alone, we are here for you”. I truly believe that as women that would be a great life goal to make. Let our goal be that no woman do life alone no matter what their economic status is, race, culture or disability that they have, let’s be women of inclusion. We are not messy but we are strong and inviting💚. So, here we go with this next group of amazing women I’m honoring that have impacted my life.
So this beautiful young lady is a daughter to me. I did not birth her but, I love her like I did. My daughter and her became friends in church as little girls and they still remain friends today. It was their friendship that caused her mom and I to become very close friends as well. This young woman here is a fighter, she is a hard worker and she loves deeply. I love how she has not allowed things in this world to keep her stagnant but she continues to go after her goals. I love her heart towards celebrating others. I’ve watched her walk through some difficult growing pains and come out better and not bitter. I’m so proud of how she has faced her fears and come through on the other side winning. I will tell you this, she is a planner. This girl right here will plan every single detail of an event and it will be executed in excellence. I’m super proud of the woman she is growing into. The greatest impact she has made in my life is honoring me with the gift of being a second mama to her. I do not take it lightly and I am completely humbled by it.
I’m praying for you to be surrounded by women who truly see you and support you. You are loved, you are needed and you are valued💚. I have a few more women to be honor. I am grateful you are here.
In honor of International Women’s History Month, I’m sharing with you women who have impacted my life for good. I want to remind you just how valued your presence is in the earth. We carry a lot of things on our shoulders and in our heart. Today I want to give you permission to take a break from all of it. Today relax your shoulders and rest your mind. I know it’s heavy and you might feel overwhelmed but, don’t quit, just rest and be restored. Our strength amazes me. We carried life inside us. Our bodies were stretched, changed and strengthen. There are some of us who cannot carry a child in our womb, but we find courage to carry a child in our hearts. To me it’s all the same, we still are all mamas. I’m so excited to introduce you to this next group of women and this group is a little different. The first two, we met through Instagram and have never met in person. The impact has been just the same as if we met in person. Social media is not all bad, you can meet some amazing people there. The last one, we met a very special way. Keep reading to find out.
My encouragement to you is pray for God to put strong women in your life. Don’t think that because they are older they won’t understand. Honey these older seasoned women who have not forgotten what God has brought them out of can help you break free. Get in their spaces, ask questions, glean from them. Let me remind you that we’re strong but the older seasoned saints know the way. What good is strength with no direction. My challenge to you is, do something special for the women who have impacted your life. Write them a letter and tell them how God used them to help you. Don’t ever forget that we are stronger together. This isn’t over yet….I have a few more woman I will be sharing with you next week. Keep going, God is madly in love with you.
I’m so grateful for the contributions that each woman has made in my life. I am indeed a better me because of them. Stay tuned, I have more amazing women to introduce you to. I hope that this month, you will take time to tell women who have impacted your life how much you appreciate it. I hope you will take time to notice the women around you and cheer for them. Find ways to encourage them, finds ways to support them and help them feel seen. I will keep saying this. The woman on the outside looking in, please make sure to invite her in. Be sure to celebrate each other and more than anything, please pray for women all over the world that they will truly know just how much they are truly loved💚.
So, I have a couple more weeks ahead that I am so excited to share with you women who have invested in my life. I will say this, most of them were honored I wanted to write about them but hesitant to send me a picture👀. I’m praying that we as women will learn to embrace our beauty and live in it. I hope we will learn to include women from all walks of life and from different ages, backgrounds, ethnicity in our circles we run in. Don’t be afraid to leave the crowd to see the one. Make sure that not only do other women feel seen but make sure they feel invited to the table. Add more chairs if needed, shoot get a bigger table so you can invite more women. We are in this together, let’s love well and cheer each other on. I’m super excited to share over the next few days my next group of women.
Father I pray for every woman reading this. I pray that she feels seen, known and loved by you. I thank you for her life. I pray that you will surround her with sisters who love you, so she does not have to do life long. We praise and thank you. Amen
1). In the beginning decide how you want to finish. I truly believe from the start of anything we need to have a vision of how we desire to finish. Once you have that vision, then you know what your end goal is. Nobody can determine how you finish like you can. You are more than likely going to make decisions that help you finish strong. You will keep the end result before you. It will be a reminder of what you are working towards. Your end vision whether you believe this or not will help direct your decisions. If you have a vision of finishing strong in anything you do, you will make decisions that support that vision.
2). Surround yourself with the right people to support you. This can be a biggy. You cannot finish strong if the people in your inner circle are full of negativity. It can be difficult to move forward if the people that surround you are not for you. Sometimes we have people in our lives in places they don’t need to be. The people you seek wisdom from should be people who have earned a place of trust in your heart. The wisdom that people give, should line up with the life they live. To finish strong, surround yourself with people who are living well. People that finish strong are people who live well.
3). The in-between can be hard but beneficial. Before you disagree, let me explain. Most of the time we can get tired in the middle of our journey. The in-between is not where you started and it’s not your finish but your caught in the middle. In this place, people would say focus on your finish. I’m going to say be all there in the middle. Don’t be afraid to look back at where you started and celebrate how far you have come. The middle helps us appreciate how far we have come, and look ahead for how far we need to go. The middle can help us rest a little from our journey, it’s a place to strategize ways to ensure that we finish strong. Don’t despise the middle but celebrate it. Your not where you started, your not where you want to be, but baby you are on your way.
4). Finish I know this one word may sound crazy as a key to finishing strong😁, but this is one powerful word. You need to finish. Don’t give up a long the way. It is fine to pause and rest but just don’t quit. It’s okay to pause and reevaluate but, after you evaluate then keep going. To finish strong, learn from the lessons, look at your failures for what they are but please do not camp out there. Failures are only opportunities to find true success. Out of all the good things you can do in life, the best thing you will do is FINISH.
My whole intentions in writing this post was to encourage you to finish strong. Do not quit in the middle, rest, evaluate and keep going. If you quit in the middle, you will not experience the joy of finishing strong. You were born to win, you were created to finish strong. God’s plans for you are good and not evil, his good plans for you include a strong finish. I know it is difficult and sometimes giving up seems better than continuing to fight forward. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. You can make it through. God is with you and you can finish strong
God I am so grateful for the one reading this tonight. I ask that you continue to give them the strength they need to finish strong. Surround them with people who will speak wisdom into their heart. Help them to stay focused and to not give up in the middle. We’re so grateful for you Jesus. Amen
6. You don’t always need to start over, just start again.
7. Be intentional with your time.
8. Be in the moment your in.
9. Everybody has an opinion but every opinion concerning you does not always matter💚.
Choose Jesus more this year. Oftentimes we can find ourselves choosing everything but Jesus. Choosing Jesus every morning as a way to start your day. Make sure to find a scripture to read and meditate on throughout your day. Invite him in to your day. Spend time in his word and talking to him. We can sometimes make talking to Jesus so complicated and it makes others believe they can’t do it. Prayer is simply just talking to God about anything and everything. He is waiting on you. I know there were times I’ve chosen unimportant things over Jesus but this year my desire is to choose Jesus more.
You are always important. I want you to remember that when making decisions this year. Sometimes we make decisions and we never consider how those decisions will affect us. I know I’ve sacrificed myself a lot in decision making to make sure that others were happy even if I was miserable. So, this year I decided to make sure to consider myself more this year. Some people may see it as selfish but it’s not selfish to think of yourself. I think what is selfish is to think of everyone else and never consider yourself. So this year, please remember that, “you are important too”.
Boundaries are healthy and needed. Boundaries are an excellent way to care for you and your mental health. Boundaries even with the people you love and call family are healthy. Setting a healthy boundary is another way of choosing yourself and making yourself important. A boundary says to others that they will not treat you any kind of way and still have access to you. Boundaries tell others that you love yourself enough to protect yourself from those who don’t know how to treat you well. Trust me practice setting boundaries and enforcing them, you will end a lot of toxic relationships and be bless with healthy ones.
Me time is necessary for your mental health. I did not know how vital me time was to taking care of my mental health. I plan to make more time for it this year. I feel so much better when I take time for myself. The same way we prioritize everything else is the same way we should prioritize time for ourselves. I love going to Barnes and Nobles alone and looking at books, slowly walking the isle just taking my time. I’m on nobody’s schedule but my own. I often will go to the lake and just sit on the peer and dream. It does not matter how you spend it as long as it’s time for you. Do what makes you happy during that time. Learn to be with yourself. Try it and see how much it helps you this year. My desire is at least 3 times a month to do something for me. I hope you will join me.
Stop talking yourself out of good things. This is simple, YOU deserve good things. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of good things because it seems like a risk. Believe it or not something’s that require a risk can still be a good thing for us. So be willing to take a little risk to get to the good things that you so deserve.
You don’t always need to start over, just startagain. It can be difficult to start over, and unnecessary too. I truly believe that there are more times than not that we just need to start again. When we start over and go back to the beginning we waste precious time that we could use. When we just start again we honor the work we have already done and we can move further along. Now there might be times that we do need to just start over, but keep in mind that starting over is not so bad, it’s a chance to get it right for you. I just want you to remember this year that starting over is not always the answer, maybe starting again is the better option.
Be intentional with your time. This one speaks for itself. Be mindful how you spend your time. Time is precious so in this new year let’s be more intentional in how we spend our time.
Be in the moment your in. One of my favorite quotes is,”Be where your feet are”. Basically meaning to be in the moment your in. We can find ourselves being physically present but mentally checked out. We can find ourselves being physically present but thinking about all the other things we need to be doing. Let me remind you that we miss precious times with those we love and sometimes we miss important information that we need to hear. To be in the moment means that every bit of your attention is in that moment. It means that mentally you are in that moment that your living right then. Don’t miss precious moments this year, be in the moment your in💚.
Everybody has an opinion, but not everyopinion concerning you matters. So this one is my favorite one. It’s true that everyone is entitled to their opinion but it’s not true that you have to navigate your life through their opinions. I know personally what it feels like to live in the opinions of others trying to fit in. I lost who I was and began to feel bitter towards myself. It was exhausting chasing everybody’s opinion concerning my life and decisions. I not only chased their opinions, I then let them dictate my life. I quickly learned that I needed to take back my life. I decided to only invite a little bit of wisdom in from those who had truly invested in my life. The greatest voice in my life today is Jesus and my family including very few friends who are like family to me. You will not believe the peace and confidence I live my life in now💚.
I was looking at some of the photos my daughter has taken and edited of herself. I’ve always been captivated and intrigued by this one of her. Our daughter is absolutely beautiful but in this mask you can see slight glimpses of her beauty but some of her beauty is hidden behind the mask she is wearing. I must admit that the mask intrigues me. It makes me curious about who is behind the mask and what is she hiding.
I think that as a person who is learning to thrive even with a mental illness diagnosis of depression and anxiety I have worn many mask. I believe I had chosen to wear the mask of happiness because I felt afraid to let others know the deep sadness I faced daily. It felt like no matter what I did, there was this underlining sadness that was always there underneath the surface. It felt like I couldn’t quite be happy enough to make it go away. No matter how many times I put on the mask of happiness it couldn’t change the reality of what was happening in my heart. I truly believe that choosing to wear mask to cover up our mental health struggles are keeping us in a place of hiding and hiding leads to shame. So this post is to talk about the mask we wear to cover up our mental health struggles. I believe sometimes those mask hinder us from receiving the help and support that we truly need. I know hiding it feels safe, it makes you feel like your protecting others from your pain but really you might just be keeping yourself from the real support you need.
Please hear me…..YOU have absolutely positively NOTHING to be ashamed of because you might have some mental health struggles. Please don’t hide this struggle from those who love you and especially those you feel safe with. Sometimes we crack jokes, and make others laugh but inside were hurting. A pain you cannot put into words but it’s there. It’s just as real as the happiness you feel from time to time. Be you, the beautiful authentic, raw, real honest you. You are so brave, you are so strong and more than anything you are capable. I know it can be difficult to navigate the ups and downs of depression. Sometimes the medications seem to treat one part of it and cause difficulty in other parts of it. Just keep going, keep pushing through, keep fighting, keep raising your voice to advocate for your needs to be met. You are not hopeless, you are not worthless….you are worth the son of God’s life. Jesus gave his life for you. I truly believe that the crown of thorns that were placed on Jesus head was for mental health issues. I believe that he allowed that suffering so that we could find peace from our suffering. I hope you can find the courage to take off the mask around those you feel safe with. Be honest with them about where you are with your struggle. Share those thoughts that keep rushing around inside your head that you feel forbidden to share with anyone. Suicidal thoughts can be indicators to the deeper issue that is going on inside. If your depression has taken you into consistent thinking suicidal thoughts, it’s time to reach out for help. Do not allow yourself to suffer in silence. You don’t have to hide behind the mask of happiness, you can get the help you need and truly find a level of happiness. There is joy inside of you just waiting to be discovered.
Just remember the mask we wear to hide our mental health struggles that really need to be brought to the light only hinder us from the help we need. Mental health struggles are no match for who God created you to truly be. Our struggles are a part of us but they don’t define us. Our struggles don’t dictate our destiny. Keep going the light is just beyond the place you lay down the mask.
I see you and I am truly inspired by your courage, faith and strength.
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad”.
I felt it creeping in one thought after the other. I tried to stop it before it spiraled completely out of control. I knew I was heading into the fight for my life once again. Anxiety does not give up easily, it fights you until you feel as if there is nothing left inside you to fight back. Anxiety fights you in the good and the tough times. When something good happens to you, anxiety comes to make you feel unworthy of that good thing. When something bad happens to you, anxiety comes to make you feel that you are deserving of that bad thing. At night anxiety keeps you wrestling for any amount of peace and calm so that you can rest and not just sleep. When you cannot find that peace, you fall asleep, but you do not rest, so you wake up feeling exhausted. The reason is that even in your sleep your thoughts are still going and going and going. You wake from sleep oftentimes and feel like you have been wrestling and fighting all night. When anxiety becomes too big inside of us, it finds a way to show up physically in us. It can show up with rapid heart rate, rapid breathing and sweating.
Anxiety is not a lack of faith issue. Anxiety is not a punishment for some type of sin you think you have done. It is not in your life because you are a bad person. There are many causes for anxiety but regardless of the cause for it, God can still heal it. I believe that for healing God uses a mirage of different ways to bring it to you but healing is healing. No matter if it is currently coming by exercise, relaxation tools, talk therapy, scripture declaration, prayer, fasting, medication or worship however God chooses to heal you, please don’t complain like Naaman in II Kings 5:11, he wanted to be healed but he wanted it a certain way. He wanted the prophet to lay his hand over the leprosy but that wasn’t the way his healing was coming to him. We cannot always decide how the process looks to healing but we can decide if we’re going to submit to it.
Anxiety is real and misunderstood a lot of times. It seems that as a society we judge harshly sickness that we can’t necessarily see then things we can. We can’t see anxiety but we can see the symptoms of it though. Did you know an estimated 275 million people suffer from anxiety disorders. That is around 4% of the global population. This was a shocker to discover that 62% of those suffering from anxiety disorders are female(170 million). It was also shocking to find that 264 million individuals worldwide have an anxiety disorder. Did you even know that 40 million adults in the US alone (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder. So, this is proof if you needed it that anxiety is real and you are absolutely not alone in your struggle. Please know that you are seen, known and loved by God. I believe that he sees us in our struggles and he cares so deeply for what we are walking through. He has not given up on you, he has not forgotten us. We are stronger than we allow ourselves to believe. Be encouraged anxiety does not define you but it definitely creates a strength in you that you didn’t even know you had. Please if you need help, don’t be afraid to seek the help you need. There is no shame in getting help when you can’t find your way through the hard places. I believe in you and I believe in God to see us through.