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.
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
There is a humbling that happens within us when we have a shadows experience. I just think that we can become comfortable and complacent when we stay there too long. I think we then become afraid to step out of the shadows into the forefront even when we know Christ is calling us into the front lines of ministry. Nobody knows better than Jesus, you and honestly the devil of what your truly capable of doing with the gift of God in you. I think we forget that satan knows what’s inside of us too and he fights us to keep us surrendered to our own plans rather than walking in Jesus plans that he has for us even before the foundations of this earth. You were not created to stay in the shadows. You were not created to hide out behind the scenes. Come out of the shadows, you have stayed there long enough.
I felt in my heart that at the beginning of this new year would be the perfect time to encourage you to stop playing small. I want to encourage you to stop pretending to be less when deep inside you know you have more inside you. You bring so much to the table when you bring all of who you are with you. Your in that room because you need to be. You have operated in the background long enough. There are countless well known individuals in this world who started with nothing but realized who they really were and cultivated that gift to allow it to to take them forward. Let this year of 2023 be the year you come out of the shadows. Let this year be the year you be who you truly are. Let it be the year you stop playing small. I believe in you. Go be great💚.
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💚.
To the one hurting this holiday, I want you to know, I’m thinking of you. I want you to know, I can relate to you. You can have the good things, a beautiful tree, it can be filled with gifts but still feel empty and sad inside. Right now, you might be sitting around family that you love so deeply and still feel all alone. Maybe you are grieving the loss of a loved one and tonight you are longing for what never can be again. I understand the longing to hear their voice one more time, to receive a hug or even just to sit in their presence. I have no magical words but I want you to know, I’m thinking of you. I feel you tonight, the one hurting during the holidays. Your pain is just as real as the next person’s. Even though everything is completely amazing in your life right now but your still hurting, I get it. Honestly mental health struggles don’t take a back seat to the holidays. I want you to know that you are not alone in your pain. Physically it might feel like it, mentally it might seem like it but I’m praying that your soul knows that you are never alone.
Lord I thank you for the person reading this right now. God I thank you for comforting their heart right in this moment. Let your unconditional love surround them right now. May they know that you are with them and they are never alone. Thank you God……Amen
Lately this has been my greatest struggle. I’ve found myself afraid of the future which is the unknown to me. I’ve found myself worrying about things that are beyond my control. I’ve been over processing in my heart and mind all the what if’s. Just allowing the noise in my head to become louder and louder. Right now the unknown makes me feel unsafe and a little out of sorts. As this world is changing and I see things happening around me, I feel like I can’t trust the things in my world that use to feel stable and safe for me. It feels so overwhelming at times as I consider what the future holds. I think I’ve believed that Christians are not suppose to be afraid but we’re human and as humans we are going to experience human emotions. I’m learning how to place my unknown future into the hands of an unseen God who has great plans for my life.
I want to know all the details of what is ahead of me. I find myself trying to plan out the unknown when all I need is to trust God who created me and knows the details of my future. I find my heart being overwhelmed and anxious about not being able to see how this world will continue to unfold . Are you like me wanting to know every single detail before it happens? You want to know every step you will take and how those steps will work for you or against you. You don’t want to trust in what you can’t see. You would rather see it all and then trust because only then will you know how it all works. Oh how we wish the world was simpler just like that. Unfortunately that is just not how it all works in this earth. You may never know all the details of what’s next. You can plan and plan and plan and it still not go as you planned but, it’s ok, it really, truly is ok. Fear can paralyze us and keep us from the beauty of what’s in our futures. I will be honest with you, it can’t possibly ALL be ugly, it’s just sometimes we can’t see the beauty because we’re so focused on the ugly.
I’m encouraging myself with this one. Fear is natural but letting it keep you stagnant is harmful. Go for it, give fear a punch in the face. Step out in that dream. Write your plan to accomplish that goal and ask God for courage to do it. Write the book, make the call, create the resume and don’t sell yourself short in it. Fill out that application, go to that counseling session( it might just save your life), make that friend connection, join the church you’ve been visiting, have that conversation. You know what it is you have been so afraid of. Only you know the fear of your unknown. I know the unknown to you is known to God. If he said do it, DO it. If he said go, GO. As we are approaching 2023 more quickly than ever, let’s do the thing we’ve been wanting to do. Maybe it’s an art class, a pottery class, maybe it’s a writing class or a branding class for your new company. Let’s go for it. Let’s walk boldly into the fear of the unknown trusting a God that knows.
God I thank you for the person reading this. Give them the peace they need. Help them to not allow the fear of the unknown to keep them stagnant. Help them to know that you are with them in all of of it. Amen.
I will never forget how long it took me to give myself permission to actually rest after the accident. I was home and laying in bed but I wasn’t truly resting. My mind was constantly going with the why and how questions. I was sleeping at night but my body wasn’t resting. Did you know that mental well being works together with your physical well being. When I finally let myself REST mentally, I noticed my physical body begin to rest too. Rest is not an indication of laziness. Slowing down in your life is not an indication of laziness. It actually is self care at its best.
So the quote below pretty much sums up my thought about rest. It takes mental and physical rest together in order for our bodies to reap the benefits it brings. You feel better and you think with more clarity when your entire being embraces REST. Rest has a way of soothing tired muscles and relieving stress. Rest has a way of bringing new fresh perspective about situations that have been troubling our heart. Rest is like deep restoration to our souls. There is one other kind of rest I want to talk with you about. This rest is a rest that we can enjoy in Jesus. Did you know that he loves to give us rest. Those times when everything seems to be falling apart and you don’t know what to do, how to feel, where to turn or even how to take the next steps, you can rest in knowing that Jesus has you. Please stay with me here in this next paragraph as I share with you a more excellent way to rest.
Rest in Jesus is more like trusting in him. To trust in anything it has to be tried and proven to be worthy of our trust. When we trust Jesus we find that we can confidently rest in him. We have an assurance that he is going to work it out for us. Now be reminded working it out for us does not mean he will always give us what we want but be assured that he will always give us what we need. When we find rest in Jesus, we can rest from striving knowing that if Jesus is in it, everything is going to be alright. I notice that when I finally rest in Jesus there is this peace that floods me. Now the situation may not change but I change in the situation. Peace overwhelms me and I remember that Jesus delights in me resting in his strong arms of mercy. There is safety in the rest that Jesus offers to us.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
I want to invite you today to rest from all the things today. You know the things that have been weighing your heart down. Those things that you have absolutely no control over. Rest in knowing that Jesus created you and he knows the very numbers of hairs that are on your head. He knows you from the inside out and he loves you unconditionally. You are always on his mind, just because he loves you that much. Rest knowing that you are seen, known and loved.
Father thank you for the one reading this. I thank you that they will find rest in knowing that you are always at work. Let them rest in your everlasting love for them. Father help them to stop striving but find sweet rest in all that you are. We praise and thank you for being God. Amen
So this beauty of mine(my daughter) sent me this photo of her. I was immediately captivated by the message I felt building in my heart surrounding it. I thought of this scripture and wanted to share it with you.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in. Psalm 24:7 KJV
I know life itself can burden our hearts. It can make us forget about the beauty we find when we find the strength and courage to hold our heads up. There was a time that life felt so overwhelming for me that my head was down. Not in the literal sense but spiritually. I was so bound by my circumstances that I was missing beauty all around me. I will never forget the moment that I noticed the beauty of the sky and I immediately realize in that same moment that spiritually my head had been down. This scripture was such a blessing to me. It tells us to lift up our heads….hold your head up beautiful and see that though life is hard in this moment, there is still hidden beauty for us to see. The ugliness of my situation was robbing me of the beauty that was still there. My strength was beautiful, my perseverance was beautiful, my courage was beautiful and more than anything Jesus was still taking ashes and making something beautiful.
to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 KJV
Did you know that looking up can give you a different perspective and new hope? Looking up refocuses your attention on how far you have come rather than on how far you have to go. Lately the sky has been absolutely beautiful. I’ve found myself drawn into all the beautiful colors and designs found when I look up to the beauty of the sky. I would not see the sky holding my head down nor would I see it if I was not looking for it’s beauty. So, once you hold your head, then look for the beauty, it’s there I promise. Life is beautiful. Is it hard? Yes, it’s hard but it’s also amazing. Every single breath you take is beautiful. So, I want to leave you with this thought,”Holding my head up invites me to see the beauty still around me”. The situation might be ugly, but your courage is beautiful. The circumstances might be difficult but your strength is beautiful. The desire to quit in it is real but the beauty of your perseverance is amazing. The struggle to keep your head up is painful and exhausting, but the beauty of the peace and rest that Jesus gives us life giving.
Please know that I’m writing these same words on my heart as I’m writing them in this space. I’m so grateful for your presence here. I’m honored that you would read my words. I don’t take it lightly. Be encouraged💚
Father I thank you for the person reading this right now. Please fill them with your peace. Let them know that they are not alone. Be with them. Help them to lift up their heads and see the beauty still surrounding them. Please don’t let the ugliness of their situation keep them bound to what they see. Help them to experience your beauty in all of it. In Jesus Name. Amen
What is that thing you love to do that fills your soul? You know the thing that feels like your soul is smiling inside you. Whatever that thing is, set aside time to do it. You know how you make a plan to do other things, put that thing on your calendar and don’t compromise it. As long as it’s about you and creates a space that your soul feels nourished and full go for it. It does not have to be the same thing every single time. It can be different and I honestly feel like it should. There are times our souls need something more to nourish it. I love to study my Bible, listen to podcast, read books(Karen Kingsbury fan), write poetry, sit at the lake, guided meditations and so many other things. Lately I’ve found myself taking quiet rides in the car, no music or nothing, just me, my Jesus and my thoughts. I also love to listen to worship music. These things are just a portion of the things that fill this soul of mine. I realize that when my soul is in a good place, my heart feels lighter and happier which helps me to be better and do better.
I guess your probably wondering why I’m I writing a whole blog about this topic. Well when we do the things that fill our soul, I firmly believe it helps us get or stay in a mentally healthy place. Our soul is deeply connected to our mental health. When we can think clearer and our emotions are not overwhelming us, we can do the things God created us for. I hope you know, your mental health does not negate the call of God on your life. You will read that often in this space. I think we all need to be reminded that a mental health struggle does not make us BAD or UNUSABLE. It might take some exploring to discover what really fills your soul. I’m not talking about what makes you happy necessary but that thing that makes you smile inside first. That thing that restores the weary places in your soul. Now this might surprise you but, I’m going to write it anyway😁👀. That thing might not have anything to do with something spiritual. Hear me with this, I’m not saying it cannot be spiritual but it does not have to. I think it can be connected to self care. A day of self care is a way to fill your soul. I can share lots of ideas but you have to explore things for yourself to know. You will know when your running on empty and hopefully you will step away and do that thing or things that will fill your soul to overflowing.
Catching beautiful sunrises is something that has a way of filling my soul. It’s nothing like watching the sun rise and take it’s rightful place. I like to chase beautiful skies and take pictures of God showing out in his masterful work. I love to think he is doing it just for me, because I’m his favorite 😜. I scroll through those pictures and just smile thinking how faithful God has been in my life. When Satan wanted to take me out by my own hand, God intervened and said NO. So, yes I find things that work for me to keep me mentally healthy. One of those things is doing the thing that fills my soul.
I want to challenge you in my closing of this post. What is it that you can begin to do that would fill up your soul? Now, I want to warn you that this might require you to actually think of yourself, which might be hard for you to do. I give you permission to do it anyway. Trust me, you will thank me later. Honestly when I show up here and write, it fills my soul in ways I can’t explain. I give you permission to go on a exploration of what fills your soul. I would love to hear what you discover or what you already have in place and might just need to add to it.
I’m so grateful and honored for your presence here. I do not take it lightly that you would read my words. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart💚.
Father I thank you for every person who would stop here and read these words. I thank you that they will dig deep inside and find that thing that fills their soul. That thing that helps them to smile from the inside out. May your presence surround them and may they feel your love all around them. Bless their coming and going. I thank you for the sweetest of encounters with you. I thank you for love notes written on their hearts from you. You are faithful and good. We praise you for it, in Jesus name. Amen