I realized recently that I’ve been in a real battle with loneliness. Some parts of social media was feeding that feeling. I would look at smiling people with their friends, love ones and my heart felt an ache in it. I saw people in photos doing real life in church community and my heart longed for it. Sometimes I found myself scrolling images of people I know and worship with each Sunday doing life in community and I allowed the lie I was believing to be driven deeper into my heart. Those images were proof that I did not belong, which was the other lie I was believing. I had allowed those lies to some how become attached to my interactions on Instagram. If I sent a Instagram message that people didn’t respond to, I felt rejected. I had no idea because I had experienced so much rejection as a little girl that I had the belief that things that were not even rejection was. Instagram became a unsafe place for me. Honestly Instagram really wasn’t unsafe but because of my struggles and the additional emotional struggle I allowed it to become, it was unsafe for me. I didn’t need anything to add to those feelings. So, I’m on this journey of letting Instagram be what it was created to be. Instagram is a place to keep up with friends and love ones, it’s a place to meet new people, it’s a place you can use as a tool to encourage others. The thing I forgot was that my life is not on Instagram. My life is right in front of me. Even if nobody likes one image, or comment on any post the one who created me loves me unconditional. Those likes don’t add any value to the beauty of who I am, nor can they take any away. The only reason it was causing me not to feel valued was that I was attaching my value to the likes on a post. Now my value is attached to Jesus, the one that created me. I’m so grateful that on or off social media God is always with me. God is faithful and true. I belong to him and he belongs to me. I recently started something that helps me so much with Instagram, keep reading to find out what it is💚.
If you are struggling with an addiction to social media on any platform, I want to encourage you to surrender that addiction to Jesus and let him break you free. You don’t have to have an unhealthy addiction to social media, you can be free of it. The first step is admitting to the addiction. As you are honest with yourself, it gives you the courage to let Jesus in to those places that need to be free. Social media will never be able to fill the void in your life, only Jesus can. I am praying for you and walking this journey with you. You are not alone, God sees you and he wants to help, please let him.
Lord Jesus I thank you for therapist who help us to live mentally well. I thank you for the wisdom that they have inside us. I thank you for the journey to healing that you walk with us through. I thank you for those beginning therapy that they will find strength, courage, healing and the will to keep going. I pray for those ending Therapy that they will know you are always with them. In Jesus name. Amen
So as I have been thinking and preparing for this month to bring awareness to what the world is considering a mental health crisis. I thought the best place to start with is the definition of mental health. I found this definition in multiple places,”Mental Health includes our emotional, psychological and social well being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices”. So paraphrased in my own words, “Mental health affects the way we think, process and socialize. It helps to determine how we respond to stress which determines how stress affects us. It helps determine how we process social situations and how those environments affect us”. Mental health can affect a wide range of things within our bodies. We oftentimes don’t even realize that it is our mental health causing some of the high emotions that were experiencing. Depression can sometimes come with headaches, fatigue, digestive problems and upset stomach. The fatigue was the worse for me. I felt like it took all of my strength to get up, shower and get dress. I could not really think clearly, it always felt as if my brain was foggy and my thoughts were rushing around inside of my head like racing cars. I was not sleeping at night. Years ago I did not know that all of this was connected to trauma and it piled on top of my mental health. I struggled with PTSD, anxiety and depression. I want to let you in on a secret, mental health matters to God. God does not desire for his children to suffer in silence. God has created resources through the hands of humans that can help our mental health💚.
Lord, I pray for every person that is living with a mental health condition. I pray for supernatural healing to their mind body and soul. I thank you God that you will place people around them that will walk alongside of them. I thank you for just being God. In Jesus name. Amen
I was given the gift of time away for my recent birthday. I received a plane ticket to go visit a friend I have never been to see in Kentucky. Let me just say, I’ve never been able to go away like this. I traveled alone and it was glorious. I cannot began to tell you the sweet moments where I knew God saw me and heard the sacred whispers of my heart. There was such a peace of God in her home. I was showered with love from the moment I arrived, till the moment I flew home. I was somewhere where no one needed anything from me. I had the opportunity to just be. As a woman oftentimes we are always doing, being, helping, serving and giving of ourselves. I truly believe we need to take time to lay all of that down and just be. When I say just be, I mean just be still, be quiet and rest. I’m not referring to sleeping, I mean rest. We should rest from the titles, rest from the people that need us and rest from work. Rest automatically invites you into a sacred space of stillness and peace. Shut the voices off that make you feel guilty of it. You are worthy of time away that’s just for you.
Thank you for being here. I don’t take it lightly that you would even consider reading my words. I’m truly honored and completely humbled by it. Praying that God will give you provision for time away. If you do, please come back to this post and leave a comment, I would love to hear about it or read about it💚.
I’m going to warn you ahead of time that this will be a tough post to read. It will probably be one of the hardest post I will ever write. I want to challenge you to stay here with me. I have found so much healing here in this space through writing. I write from my heart in hopes that it will shine a light into your heart. I’m hoping in my post that you will find the courage to step into the light. Stepping into the light simply means, stepping into the truth. There is light in the truth. There is power in the light of the truth. I am going to share a longing that I’ve had the greater part of my life with you. Writing this post already feels uncomfortable, it feels like I’m being gutted the way we do fish in the cleaning process. I’m going to share my deep ache for a dad. Some of this may be triggering, so please be gentle with yourself. Please know that it’s okay if you need to skip this post until you are ready.
From the earliest time that I can remember my dad was always a man that worked. He went to work no matter the circumstances or weather, he did not miss work. My dad made sure the bills were paid. He loved to cook big dinners and have others brag about how good the food tasted. He was in the home, he provided but I spent my life wondering if he hated me. My dad never used the words he loved me but as I’ve gotten older and matured, I don’t think he knew how. It’s one thing to have a dad who is physically absent, but to have a dad in the home but feel as if he is physically and emotionally absent is a different kind of beast. I think I could deal differently if he wasn’t there. I know my expectations of him would probably be different. I spent my entire childhood dreaming of a father that my dad could never be. I finally realized that it wasn’t because of me, but he just did not have the capacity to give to me what he never received. Honestly my father was a angry child that grew into a angry adult and raised children with all of that anger. I oftentimes wonder what was that thing that made him such a angry person. I wonder what happened in his childhood that he buried and let bitter and anger grow in that space where healing should have taken place. Honestly all I ever wanted to be was daddy’s little girl. I wanted him to see me, I mean like really see me, the little girl that desperately needed him.
This little girl in the picture above is me. When I look at her, my heart aches for her and the mental abuse she lived through. I can remember still to this day, incidents that happened at my father’s hands that should have destroyed me inside. There were times it felt as if it did. My dad was a yeller and a cusser. I remember him calling me and fear would course through my veins. The fear I lived in at my childhood home became anxiety in my adult life. From my earliest memory, I was called all kinds of degrading and derogatory names. The names were names I didn’t even understand the meaning of but yet I felt shame. I didn’t understand that what I was feeling was shame but it was. I was ashame because even as a little girl, I felt that those words were bad. Even as a child, I felt like I was a bad girl. Why would my own father call me names like that unless I was really bad inside. So, I set out on a mission to make myself good inside so that I could finally be worthy of his love.
I look at her and I remember how much I wanted to get the attention of my father. I wanted him to cheer me on when I reached a milestone in my development. I needed him to give me words of affirmation that validated me inside. I spent a lot of years trying to get out of him what I thought I deserved as his daughter. Honestly I thought all little girls deserved to feel safe with their fathers. I thought all little girls deserved affirmations from their fathers. After he died about 3 years ago I realized that a father is not made just because he got a woman pregnant and she gave birth to his child. A father is made by the care he gives to his children. The gift of having a dad in your life is so precious. The way a dad treats his daughter will in some cases help decide the type man she will marry. As a child growing up, I remember reminding myself often, to never marry a man like my father. I did not want my kids growing up in the fear, hatred and anger I grew up in. I’ve wasted a lot of head space trying to figure out why he was the way he was. I have wasted a lot of mental headspace trying to figure out why I couldn’t be the child he loved. The truth is, he loved me the best he could. I truly believe that the way we are loved as a child can sometimes hinder us from loving well as adults if we allow it. I love deeply but with reservations. I love but still struggle with loving completely. Thank God for how he continues to heal my heart.
The picture above is me today. I married an amazing man and he is a wonderful father to our children. I feel like as I’ve watched him father our children, it has healed places in my heart that I thought would never heal. Do I still struggle with not having a good father? Yes their are moments still that I long for that relationship with my father who is no longer here with me. As a matter of fact a few years ago when he died, I remember thinking…all hopes of having a relationship with him died. I think I grieved more for what could never be than for my father. I had to make peace with those dreams of the father I still hoped he could be. I remember sitting at his service and I did not shed one tear. I felt so guilty but I felt nothing on that day. It was just recently that I actually really let myself cry and be sad. I’m still sorting through all of my feelings and strong emotions surrounding his death. The one thing I know is that Jesus will be our father if we let him. I know that we never have to prove our value to him. I’m his daughter who he loves even before he placed me in my mother’s womb. If you are reading this and you are struggling with daddy issues, please know you are still so loved. You are desperately wanted by our heavenly father Jesus. He sees you and he knows the deep ache in your heart to be in relationship with your father. Jesus deepest desire is to be in relationship with you. Jesus desires to hear about your day. Jesus desires to comfort you when your hurting. You do not have to earn his love, it just is. Today may you know the deep, deep love of your heavenly father. May you feel it in those places you are hurting. You my friend can stop striving for his love and begin to thrive in his love.
Heavenly father I pray for the one reading this that might be hurting from daddy issues. God I ask that you would heal their heart. I pray that your love would flood their very being. In Jesus name. Amen
In this post I want to share with you about the word unconditional. When you hear the word, take a moment and think about what it truly means to you. What are the first thoughts that come to your mind. Are there memories attached to what the meaning of that word is to you. Maybe you think about significant people in your life that you believe love you unconditionally. As I was studying and preparing to write this post I did some research on this word and one of the definitions I found was,”Not subject to any conditions”. This is the kind of love we all long for. This is the kind of love we all thrive in. It means we’re safe to be who we are. It means that we are loved and we never have to earn it. It means we can rest in this love. This love is not bargaining with us. We don’t have to perform for it. It just is. This love surrounds us and fills our hearts to overflowing. This is the love that carried Jesus to the cross. Jesus has no regrets about loving us. He definitely is not sitting in heaven thinking, “Look at them, I wish I didn’t love them as much as I do”. I truly believe he looks at us and no matter where we are, he longs for us to experience the in-depth overwhelming beauty and strength found in his unconditional love.
Maybe you have been believing lies about the love of Jesus for you. Maybe you have done things that you feel have separated you from the love of Jesus. I want you to know anything telling you that you don’t deserve his love is a LIAR. Not only are you deserving of his love, you are worthy of his love. This Holiday season, I pray that you experience his love in such a way that you never doubt it again. I pray that his love tares down every wall, every boundary, every lie and it runs into your heart like a huge wave from the sea. I pray he gushes his love all over your life, washing away every mistake and all the regrets. I pray you finally stop fighting his love and just let go. Let him love you dear heart. Let him love you into relationship with him. I’m praying for you. Happy Resurrection Weekend.
Father I pray for the one reading this blog that they will be overwhelmed as they step into a real love relationship with you. Father we thank you for what you did on the cross for us. We thank you for loving us even when we struggle with loving ourselves. God help us to know your love and to shower others with your love. Amen
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
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
“The dash is not just how you live, but it’s who you were too”.
Who are you? A big factor in living our dash well is being who we are. When we live our authentic self, we use our dash well. God has a plan for who you really are but not for who you pretend to be. We don’t truly know how long our dash will be so each and every day, we should live our dash well. Those things in your heart that you want to do or experience, go after it. Maybe there are words you need to tell those you love, tell them. Maybe there is a phone call you need to make or someone you need to forgive, do it. Don’t waste your dash holding forgiveness in your heart that you need to give to someone. Trust me withholding forgiveness to someone who hurt you doesn’t hurt that person but, it does hurt you. Your dash is not worth it. You need all the time you have been giving to live and not be stagnant holding forgiveness that you know you need to give to someone. Let your dash be all God intended it to be.
Celebrate the dash you have been given.
At the end of your life be sure that you have lived in such a way that your life will be celebrated. You know how you do that? Celebrate your life while you live, it helps others to celebrate it when you are gone. Leave your mark in the earth for good. Leave a legacy that your loved ones will be honored to be a part of. My mom left a legacy of serving Jesus. I’ve lived every day loving and serving my Jesus. Now my children are living a life of serving and loving Jesus. Don’t be afraid to celebrate your life, even if you have to do it for yourself. I hope that you celebrate your accomplishments and find a way to not live in your failures. Did you know that the way you fail at something is a key factor in how you will be successful at it next time. Failure is not the end, oftentimes it is a beautiful new beginning. Live well, live forward, live all in and most of all live the heart of Jesus creation of you.
I will leave you with this to ponder. You have been given this dash, only you can decide how you will live it. What will you do with this beautiful dash you have been given?
God I thank you for every person that will stumble upon this post. I pray that they will know how important the dash they have been given truly is. God help them to seek you about the dash you have given them. You have a complete plan for the dash you gave to us. Help us to surrender our dash to your plans for us. Thank you Jesus for your everlasting love. Amen.