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.

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

Come Out of The Shadows

I know it feels safe. I know you believe that it’s not costing you anything to hide out in the shadows. I know it feels like you can protect yourself from hurt if you just stay in the shadows. Let everybody else get the applause for your hard work. Nobody sees you, so the expectations for you to do or be anything are very small if any. Psssst….the sacrifice of the blessing God created you to be will never be worth it, never. Now, I am not saying that God can never use you in the shadows, for a period of time yes he might use you. It’s like a place of preparation. I truly believe there are some people out front that never walked in the shadows and it shows👀. It is definitely not a place to remain. I truly believe that while working in the background it can build great character in you that sustains you when God places you out front.

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 have come to the place where I have made a life for myself in the shadows that honestly feels right. It feels safe. I have zero pressure to do anything or be anything. I’ve felt as if I’ve somehow buried the call of God in the shadows where I hide. To be honest stepping into the front lines of ministry again feels overwhelming even though I know it’s Jesus calling me, Jesus nudging me, Jesus pulling me away from the shadows and back into the place he intended for me to be. I know coming out of the shadows means that I have to walk away from some places that make me feel safe in the shadows. I know I will have to walk away from some relationships that allow me to feel comfortable hiding. Writing this post is me taking my first few baby steps out of the shadows. I can tell you this from experience,”Playing small only keeps you trapped in a lie”. A lie that is definitely keeping you stagnant. Don’t shrink back when you are among great people with titles and college degrees. Trust me, your in that room because you deserve to be. The things you have to say will really add value to the conversation. You were invited in that room because someone in that space needs what is in you. You would be amazed at the many times my experience with certain things helped a person with a degree and no experience. Please don’t show up pretending to be less than the amazing person you truly are. Trust me, I’m taking my own advice in too.

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💚.

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.

     

     

     

To the one hurting during the Holidays

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.

This is what I’m believing for you and I. Joy is not based upon circumstances to me, joy just bubbles on the inside. Smiling faces are not necessary an indication of joy. I’ve looked in the faces of many people smiling but later found out they were broken and hurting inside. Notice I didn’t choose a picture of a smiling face as a representation of joy but I choose the word. Joy shows up in many different ways. It is an emotion that almost to me feels like peace and love all intertwined together bubbling from our souls. You can have joy even in sad situations. You can have joy even when happiness runs out. Happiness is based upon circumstances or good things happening to us, for us or around us.
So tonight my sweet friends imagine someone reaching out to you, pulling you into peace. Let that peace fill your soul. Let that peace wash over you. Not just peace but love, let love fill your heart and wash over you. Fill it flooding your soul and overwhelming your heart. Now dear heart let joy bubble up within you. Will it change your circumstances for the holidays, probably not but it will certainly give you new perspective. I see you and I’m thinking and praying over you tonight. Merry Christmas dear hearts. May the joy of this season flood you💚❤️💚❤️💚❤️

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

Fear of the Unknown

     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.

Fear if allowed can cripple us and keep us stagnant in places that no longer serve us well. Fear is only powerful when we allow it to rule and reign in our lives. Now, you might say fear does not control me…..ummmmm. ok, so make the phone call, go on the interview, write the book, prepare the message, make the connection, start the blog, do the podcast, just stop overthinking it and letting fear decide for you. When we know there are things we need to do and we struggle with admitting the truth, we’re really just afraid of the unknown. Would you do what’s in your heart if you knew it was going to be successful? If you knew the blog would be amazing, would you do it? If you knew the book was going to be a bestseller,would you be writing it right now? A healthy amount of fear is natural but fear that cripples you into not moving is very unhealthy and needs to be dealt with. Sometimes to face our fears is simply to just admit that they are real. Explore the reason we’re afraid, take time to understand what is it that we’re really afraid of in our future or concerning our future. I will tell you that oftentimes the true reason we’re afraid is not surface level reasons, it’s more in-depth than we’re often willing to go👀. I chose the picture above because it looks like the face of courage and fear at the same time. My motto I adopted from Joyce Meyers years ago is,”Do it Afraid”.

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.

Rest

I know you might be wondering why I would choose this image with this title. Well, for one thing this picture invites all of me into a space of rest. It brings my heart to calm, it slows my thoughts, it quiets my spirit, it soothes my mind and I feel it inviting my weary body to sit and embrace all of the beauty that comes with rest. If we would be honest the recent pandemic called all of us into a place of rest, most of us were unwilling to do it but the invitation was certainly there. We were called into a place to slow down and see those who we love in a deeper way. We may never admit it, but before pandemic a lot of us lived on auto pilot. I myself would do things but not remember doing them because it was what I was use to doing. I didn’t even have to be mentally present to do it because it was embedded in my mind because of repetition. I didn’t even know how desperately I needed REST, till I got injured at work and had to be out. Sometimes we are forced into things that our necessary to save us from self destruction.

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

Hold your head up

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

Do the thing that fills your soul

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