Women Who Have Impacted My Life

      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.

So, let me start with this beautiful soul right here,  Tabea Oppliger. I am not sure completely how we connected on Instagram but my heart is glad we did. This woman has been a gift to my life. I met her almost 5 years ago. The big thing is, her and her family runs a ministry is what I call it all the way in Israel. I love her heart to bring the broken to Jesus through his love that flows through her. I can say, she loves hard, she sees the ones that most would push to the side, step over or even walk right by. This woman not only sees them but she lets them know that God sees them too. I love her heart for God’s people. The name of their business/ministry is Kite Pride. Tabea along with her husband employ people who are coming out of the sex trade industry. They teach them a trade and they provide a safe space for them to heal. Tabea is such an amazing woman who makes you feel so special. I’ve never chatted and felt less than, each time I’ve been inspired, encouraged and loved on. Honestly though many miles, flights, oceans, hills and valleys sperate us, God still bought our hearts together. Tabea has impacted my life by seeing me, I mean really seeing me. I’ve been reminded of the beauty of me. I’m indeed better having known her. I will be eternally grateful for the beautiful gift that she is to me.
So, I’m so moved to tears sharing with you this gift to my life in the form of  Libby Patton. There are so many things I can say about her and her love for people. I know her desire is to see others walk in complete freedom and healing. I met her many years ago when I was on Facebook. We have stayed in contact, checking in with each other and more than  anything praying for each other down through the years.  We had never met in person untill right before the pandemic began. It was the very first time we came face to face and got to hug each other’s neck. It was a dream come true for me😁. This lady has showed up in my life in so many ways. Most recently God has allowed her to walk with me through a journey I always wanted to take but never saw it as being possible. I’ve spent the greater part of my life on meds as I’ve worked through a lot of traumatic events from my childhood. Over the last 2 years so many things changed in my life and I knew it was time to come off meds. Please know this might not be for everyone. I’m definitely not against meds but for me, I knew it was time to come off. I told my psychiatrist, my doctor and then Libby who works in the mental health field. I had gotten a new job, I was in a church I was so happy at, my family was supportive, my friends were supportive and I felt it was God’s timing. I no longer take anti depressants nor anxiety meds after over 20 years of it. I take a very low dose sleep aid. I met with her, together worked through other things that needed to be processed and I’m medication free a few months now.  She was a part of a support system I used during that transition. Let me say this, if I should ever need to go on meds again,  I’m not opposed to it but,  I truly believe it is God’s will for me to be medication free . I’m grateful for how God has used her in my life. I’m so thankful for the gift she is to me.

      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.

The Women Who Care For My Health

      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.

First I want to honor this lady right here. Several years ago, I was looking for a new doctor. I went online and began to research doctors in my area. I came across her name and face during my research. I read reviews and decided I would give her a try. I called and sat up the appointment. Now let me tell you, I was afraid because it was something new and that meant I would have to open up to trusting another medical professional again. I sat in the room waiting for her to enter for my very first appointment. Soon in walks Sara Carter Spencer, her smile and kindness was the first thing that put my fears at rest. My heart opened the moment she sat down in a chair and talked with me. Not only did she talk to me, she listened, I mean like truly listened to me. Now more than over 4 years later this woman still sits and listens to me. I love that she allows me to be a part of making decisions concerning my health. She cares about my health both mentally and physically. I love that she will refer me quickly to a specialist if needed to ensure that I receive the best quality of care to keep me well. This lady has impacted my life by restoring my faith in medical professionals. This is what moved me more than anything recently. During the pandemic on one of my visits at the peek of all the racism that was happening in the world, we sat down and had a chat. I shared my fears and concerns and I listened to her feed back. I felt heard and seen by her, it meant so much to me.  Dr. Sara is a gift to my life and she has taken care of my physical health and made sure to put me in connection with the right people for my mental health. I will be forever grateful for the gift she is in my life.
Next is this lady right here who has been a gift to my mental health. I made my very first counseling appointment with Meg in 2017. I remember the first time walking into her office, there was this peace that filled me and I knew I was in the right place in that season of my life. Every single week, Meg showed up and she listened and she taught me tools to keep fighting. I was so broken and the mental pain felt like it would take me under. I learned tools to work through triggers from my past. I learned that my story did not have to define me and nor could it rob me of my future unless I allowed it to. Meg helped me believe that I was worthy of good things. She reminded me often that bad things happen to good people but it doesn’t make them bad. Meg asked questions that made me dig deep within places inside of me that needed to be healed. I love that her office was safe for me. It became sort of a sanctuary in that season of my life. I am not sure I would have came through my husband’s surgery 4 years ago without her. I faced so many fears in her office. I let go of pain that I had pushed so far down inside that I thought it would go away. The pain was eating me from the inside out. In session with Meg, I learned that my life was worth living, not just life but the life I had been given was worth living. We have worked through a lot of trauma, I’ve cried many tears in her office and found healing for many wounds. I’m truly grateful for Meg and the years she has walked alongside me in my mental health journey. It takes a village and I’m grateful for this part of my village. If you are struggling find a therapist you can trust and begin to heal. We all deserve medical professionals we can trust and mental health professionals we can heal with.

      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

     

Honoring The Gift of Womanhood.

      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 kicking off this next series of women who have impacted my life. This super awesome lady right here is Minister Johnsene Barber. We met through church years ago and it has been a tremendous gift in my maturity in the faith. I will tell you this, she is tough, she is committed to seeing you walk out your full purpose in Christ. I always say, “When your ready for true wisdom that will challenge your heart to change, you go see Minister Johnsene”. I truly believe that you have to get it in your heart to bring about true change. This lady will get in there with you and fight against the enemy along with you. I love how she invest in helping you break free from things holding you back from total surrender to God. The biggest thing I think I love most is that every conversation ends with prayer over you and whatever situation your facing. I love that she will quickly tell you that these are my thoughts about it but first she will tell you what the word says about it. I’m grateful for her love towards God that causes her to love his people well. I’ve learned that when we love God most, we’re going to give people the truth of his word even at the cost of relationships. I truly believe she lives what she teaches about. I’m grateful for the Godly impact she makes in my life. I believe in my heart that God winked at me when our lives intersected with one another😉.

      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’ve had so much fun and shed tears as I’ve thought about how each one of these ladies and the ones to come have impacted my life. I never want to forget how truly bless I feel having them in my life. I want you to know that a lot of these women, I don’t speak to each and everyday but I still love them deeply. Each of them have served different seasons of my life and just because that season had ended doesn’t mean my honor for them has. This brings me to this absolutely beautiful soul right here. Believe it or not, we actually met on Facebook several years ago. God was so sweet to me, in that we have actually had a chance to meet and hug each other’s neck before. I’ve been so inspired and encouraged by this woman right here. I’ve shared a part of my journey with her and found that I’m not alone in my story. Have you ever met a woman and you knew they were a safe space to exhale? Almost like a safe place to land. We all need places we feel safe to tell our story. I’ve found strength in being validated with her.  You may laugh at this but this chic will get in your stuff to help you get over your stuff. The baggage you carry, she will help you unpack it and sort through it and pick up things that will only make you better. I love how she loves Jesus. I believe she is truly about helping women heal and be truly free. I know that she will not allow you to let your past rob you of the beautiful plans that God has for you. The impact she made in my life was helping me embrace the beauty of me. I learned to love me, every single part of me. I learned to celebrate myself and not wait for others to do it. I am grateful God let us connect, she is a beautiful gift to my life.

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.

When Women Impact Each Other’s Life

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.

First up is this sweet lady right here, Hillary Grigel. This woman is such an amazing example of living surrendered to God. I saw her a few years ago on someones live sharing her story and began following her. I love her account on Instagram and her Blog. You will find words of wisdom, words of encouragement, and words that will challenge you. You will find out just how deeply God loves you. I’ve felt so encouraged by her. When I share with her, I know it’s taken to God in prayer. She shares scriptures to encourage me. I’ve never felt judged by her words, only the love of God. I recently shared things that I would love for her to cover on her blog, she covered every single topic with scripture support and statics and words of wisdom. Honestly that said a lot about her heart to see people walk in the fullness of God. Hillary continues to reach out and check in to see how I’m doing or how she can pray for me. I’ve learned that God will use anyone to get a message to you. God will use anyone to love on you through. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this woman hears from God. I know her heart is the heart of Jesus. I’m grateful for how God allowed our lives to intersect with one another. She is an amazing woman of God. Be sure to look her up on Instagram @hillarygrigel and give her a follow…you will not regret it.
So my second person I want you to meet is this amazing lady right here, Shannon. Now, let me tell you about this lady and her beautiful heart. I think God put her in my life at just the right time. What I think is so beautiful is that each of these women have impacted my life in different ways and in some of the same ways. Have you ever looked in the face of someone and knew you were looking at someone who truly loves Jesus. That is how you feel when you encounter Shannon. We have chatted very deeply about a lot of things and the wisdom she pours out is straight from the heart of Jesus. It’s evident that she spends time in her word and time talking to Jesus. I love how she gives you scriptures along with ideas to help support you in what you are going through. She reminds me that I’m a daughter of the King and how much he loves me. We all from time to time need to be reminded of that. We need to know that Jesus never forgets us. We need to know that we are never alone. Granted Shannon and I have never met in person but we’ve chatted A LOT on Instagram and she has prayed for me many times. I know she cares about others deeply. I’m honored to know her. I will be forever grateful for the impact she has made in my life. I’m grateful for every prayer, every bit of time she has spent investing in my heart. She is truly a woman of God and I truly believe that she makes God’s heart smile.
Well, this one right here is the last one for this post but not the least. This awesome woman of God, I affectionately nick named Ma B. When I tell you this is a woman of great wisdom, she lives the heart of Jesus in the earth. We met more than 12 years ago. God truly is amazing with causing us to encounter those that are suppose to help us walk through hard seasons. Ma Brenda has a granddaughter that was a baby at the childcare facility that I worked at, years ago. She would come in and out to get her on different days. She was always smiling and so kind to all of us who worked there. In 2010 unexpectedly my mom died. I will never forget her daughter telling me that they were praying for me. Ma Brenda and I began to talk and a beautiful bond was formed. We walked through my loosing my mom together. This woman checked on me, she let me cry in her arms and she prayed for me. Oh my God, she spoke the word of God to me and over me. I loved that she did not let me give up on life after loosing my mom. I loved that she would support me in church events and things that I was doing. I cannot tell you the many times she declared life into me. I still check in with her all these years later. I love that she has not changed from the woman of God she has always been. You are gonna get the word of God no matter what😁💚. Your going to get some wisdom and you might even get some hands laid on you with oil💚. She is the real deal. I’m so grateful for the impact she has and continues to make in my life.

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.

International Women’s History Month

So, I’m doing a whole series on women who have impacted my life for better. Last post I introduced you to three very important women in my life. This post, is an introduction to more of those women. I believe that we as women supporting each other empowers all of us to live well and strong. If we can help it, we should never let another woman stand alone. We should always stand with them if possible. We should be women who honor each other in and out of each other’s presence. We are never as powerful standing alone as we are standing together. I hear people talk about how messy women can be and how we don’t support each other. I’ve heard stories of women who have been deeply wounded because they were excluded. Let’s not be that type of woman. When you hear of a woman you know walking through a difficult season, be the first to check in with her. Not because you want the information but because you want her to know that you care and she is not alone. So let’s do this.
So first off, I want to introduce you to this amazing woman right here, Dr. Sylvia Burgess. Our daughters brought us together as sister/friends. We have known each other for over 20 years. We have both stood by each other during some very difficult times. I learned the importance of boundary setting with her. She taught me how to say NO and mean it with zero regrets about it. I’ve learned the value of protecting my safe space. I love how she encourages me to go after my dreams. A few years ago she walked with me and my family through one of the most difficult seasons of our life. She showed up and helped me to get through it. I believe God used her home as a place of refuge and strength for me. I’ve seen her walk through places that should have torn her apart but she came out fighting and winning. I must admit she always challenges me to be everything God created me to be. I know I work her nerves sometimes but she still loves me all the same🤣😜. Honestly I’ve never seen anyone that cheers for others to make it like this woman does. I love that she she is all about seeing those she love walk into a wealthy place. I cry writing this thinking about a season I was deeply struggling with my mental health, between her and my husband, they spoke life over me, she helped to make sure I made counseling appointments, I knew she was a safe space to really check in. I absolutely love her and I’m so grateful for God connecting our hearts and spirits.
Secondly I want to introduce you to this jewel right here, Minister Jackie Wilson. She knew me before I was married and before kids. She came into my life when I was a teenage girl and I needed someone to look up to. I needed someone to help guide me in the right direction. I needed someone to stand with me as I discovered how deep God’s love for me was. I learned that living for Jesus was cool and that it was possible even as a teenager. I trusted her which is really special. It is a honor when a teenager finds you worthy of trust. She always had the right balance of love and discipline. I always knew with her, I was going to get the truth and not the truth that always made me feel good but the truth that challenge me to live better. I remember the long conversations on dating, premarital sex👀, living holy and loving myself. I knew she was praying for me. As a teenager when someone takes time to notice you and invest in you, it makes you feel special. I loved that she actually showed up in my life at a time that God knew I desperately needed an adult I could trust. We have traveled some roads together but we have still remained in each other’s life. I still check in from time still with her and she is still a woman of God and she loves God’s people. I promise you that your going to get the truth when you talk with her. I love how wisdom from God flows through her. She is and will always be a gift to my life.
Last but never least is my friend Mrs. Pam. So, I met Mrs. Pam at the church I attend now. My first time seeing her, she was at the altar, praying over people who walked up and loving on them. I saw the gentleness she treated them with, I saw the kindness in her eyes and the embrace that looked like Jesus was embracing them through her. Several months went by after that moment went by. I ended up joining my very first small group and she was the teacher/small group leader. I remember mustering up the courage to walk through the doors of her home and found that this was the same lady I saw at the altar. The hug I longed for from her, I received it that night. She embraced me physically and she embraced me spiritually. Mrs. Pam began to pour into me spiritually. I was walking through wounds from my old church and I was not trusting of anyone. I had walls around my heart and I decided that NOBODY would hurt me like that again. I loved that she didn’t force her way in but she loved her way in. Day by day God used her to teach me that I could trust again. He taught me that I can feel safe in church again. I believe that wherever you get wounded at that place becomes a place of pain and it then feels unsafe. I also believe that when we find healing in another place(church) that place can feel safe again. I love her for answering  ALL of my crazy biblical questions😁🤣. I’m a deep thinker and processor when it comes down to scriptures. I will eternally be grateful for the gift she is to my life. Oh and I’ve learned so much about Greek and Hebrew words and how they can bring clarity of scripture when you understand what they mean. Now, she will get down on me about stuff that needs a stern word but I know it’s because she cares enough to see me do better. My heart is just full of gratitude.

      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💚.

International Women’s History Month

This is International Women’s History month. In times past it was a day set aside to honor women who have made great contributions to impact the world for better. International Women’s History month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. Women’s History month is a dedicated month to reflect on the often- overlooked contributions of women to the United States history. In honor of this special time of month, I’ve decided to take time to honor women who have impacted my life for better. We are powerful and courageous. We are full of strength, honor, dignity, pride, integrity and love. We are persistent and forgiving. We make priceless contributions to this world everyday just by our existence. God created us with a great purpose and destiny in mind. I thought it to be befitting to introduce a group of absolutely amazing women.  Women that I admire, honor and respect.
First up is my absolutely amazing daughter Jada. She is full of wisdom and courage. I’ve watched her grow into this beautiful young woman both within and out. I love how she set standards for her life and she does not bargain with them. She is sensitive to the voice of God. I love the compassion she shows towards others. She lives what she believes. So many times she has challenged me in a good way to  stretch my thinking outside of the box. This daughter of mine helps her mama view things from all angles before I form an opinion. I am so much better having her as a daughter. I love how she studies the word of God. I love her excitement to share with me what God is speaking to her. To be honest, most people think she is quiet and to some degree she is, but once you get her sharing about things important to her, you realize she is not quiet at all.  I tell her all the time that she is a quiet storm, you don’t see it coming till it’s there. The impact that she has made in my life is….well she made me a first time mommy. Everything with her was the first time for my husband and I. My daughter has been the example of doing it afraid. In last year, I watched her push pass her fears and go after her goals. She is the epitome of grace and beauty. I watched her learn to cheer for herself and not wait for others to validate her. I love her quiet confidence believing that in Christ the sky is never the limit but definitely pass the stars and moon is a great start💚💚.
This beauty right here is my spiritual daughter Precious, we have been in each other’s life since she was a little girl. We met in church and the bond grew. I’ve watched her grow into this beautiful wife and mama of three handsome young men. We have done a lot of life together. I’ve watched her blossom in her teen years and discover who she really was. I loved watching her discover what a gifted writer she was, which led to the discovering of the amazing spoken word artist that was living within her. She has taught me to love fiercely and have no regrets  about it. I love how she continues to challenge me by the life she lives. She has taught me how to truly listen to others and make them feel seen and known. I got a front row seat to watch her fall madly in love with Jesus. I am so proud how she has learned the importance of having boundaries and the necessity in enforcing them. She has impacted my life by the love that she showers on me. I love how she has cheered me on, she has been one of my biggest cheerleaders. I am indeed better, having her in my life. I most recently watched her walk through one of the hardest seasons of her life. I watched her walk through loosing her mom to cancer and the very next year loosing her brother. I saw her lean
into the arms of Jesus for comfort and strength. Grief is powerful and if not faced well it can literally take us out. This beautiful woman is grieving loss with so much strength and courage. I’m grateful for her entrusting me as a spiritual mother.
Last but not least for this post is this sweet lady right here. Erika is one of the leaders in my church. From my very first encounter with her, I felt seen and known. I love how much she absolutely loves Jesus and people. It’s evident in the smile she greets you with or the hug she embraces you in. I truly believe that she loves as Jesus does. There is no judgement in this lady. I feel like you can tell her the worst thing and she never stands in judgement. I know that she still believes that God has a plan for your life. I have many things I love about her. I will share three that are on the tip top of my list. The first one is her pure love for Jesus and how she showers that love all over those she comes in contact with. The second thing is her ability to share the word of God with such and anointing and with clarity. It is evident that she truly spends time in the face of Jesus. I can tell right off when she speaks that she has heard from God, it’s not words that tickle your ears but words that challenge your heart for change. Last but not least…my favorite thing is how she will walk away from the crowd to embrace the one. So many times that has made me feel seen. There are many Sundays that my anxiety is a all out war to enter those doors for church. It feels good when service ends and everybody is heading out and you see her standing with a group but then she walks over to you to greet you. That is one of the greatest investment she has made in my life. I am truly grateful.

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

Finish Strong

I am sure you have heard the famous quote” It doesn’t matter how you start, but how you finish”.  If I could add a line to that statement today it would be “Your start does not determine your finish”. I think sometimes when we don’t start well, we believe the lie that we cannot finish strong. No matter how you start, I believe that you can still finish strong. In this post, I would like to share with you ways I believe can help you finish strong.

      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

A Few Reminders

1. Choose Jesus more this year.

2. You are always important.

3. Boundaries are healthy and needed.

4. Me time is necessary for your mental health.

5. Stop talking yourself out of good things.

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💚.

10. LIVE

      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 start again. 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 every opinion 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💚.

     

Live. My greatest encouragement for this new year is simply, “live”. It’s one word but it’s one powerful word. Live every moment of your life. When we live our life we find ourselves feeling more stable and at peace with ourselves. Live your life like every moment is precious because honestly, it truly is. Live in a way that your soul feels full and your heart overflows with love to those around you. Take time to do things that fill your soul. Only you know what makes you feel fully alive. Please don’t get caught in a routine living your life. To truly live your life takes away the feeling of just going through the motions. I pray this year brings joy, peace, stability, encouragement and deep love to you. I pray that you take the risk to have the good things waiting for you. I pray that you commit to choosing more of Jesus this year. Thank you for being here. I honor your presence here. If your just stopping by, I hope you will stay a while.
Happy New Year.

     

     

     

The Mask We Wear

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.

The Fight with Anxiety

Proverbs 12:25

“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.