I’m saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, fire baptized – blah, blah, blah. LOL! Yes, I did just end that with blah, blah, blah. It’s because I honestly have seen this phrase used more as a mask to hide spiritual identity crisis. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I have to ignore my body and mental health. God IS AN AWESOME GOD! Anyone that knows me knows I give God glory and praise; not ashamed to praise Him where ever I go. However, I also have learned as I’m maturing in this spiritual formation journey that there are some layers that I need help with. To overcome issues that were known and unknown. That’s when I made the decision to get a licensed mental health counselor.
When I started seminary in 2017, during the initial courses, there was book about living a kingdom life. Within that book, it didn’t sugar anything about this life on earth. IT’S HARD! We encounter so much on this side and to believe that we must endure all this alone is not true. Even now, I get emotional thinking about all those who do have to endure hardships and obstacles alone. Not by choice but still they are alone for a specific season. As a vessel for God, it’s not easy. One of the things I found so profound was that the author strongly recommended to seek counseling when necessary. This was a well-established pastor! Someone who counseled others but even he said there’s a need for a professional counselor when necessary.
I decided to start counseling about mid-year of 2018. Why? Honestly, to ensure I don’t go crazy. No offense to those who have gone crazy and had a major mental meltdown. But it finally took one occasion to say I needed help. And it was a Sunday morning! Yep, right in the women’s bathroom at church! I had a meltdown. Not a major one but I had a meltdown. Only a few people know but when I drove to church, I tried so hard that day to get it together. Ya’ll know, ladies! The cute dress, the nice heels, hair exactly right, the fake smile – by the time I left my house, parked my car on the street next to the church, and walked into that bathroom, I WAS DONE! And the whole time I’m driving to church, I felt myself getting overwhelmed, but I couldn’t control it. Every emotion overtook me, and I just busted out in tears in my mother-in-law arms (who just so happen to be right at the bathroom sink when I walked in). I finally got it together after she prayed for me and another woman of God helped me. But I knew then, I had to decide.
Few people know I see a therapist. My husband knows. My best friend knows. A few others. Now, it’s not because I’m ashamed! First off, my therapist is a Christian therapist. And by the time I started seeing her, God had started speaking to my heart about all that I need to do. But God still said, See the therapist because she’ll help keep me accountable. And she’s done just that!
I’m a Godly wife. I’m a Christian author. I’ve accepted my calling as an evangelist. I’m doing better at seeking guidance and support from my pastor, husband, and close friends. Then I also have a therapist! I’m determined to help others transform their lives with God. But I must strive to maintain a healthy balance in order to be the most effective. I want the power of the anointing to flow freely in what I do for ministry and not just a bottle full of emotions that tickles ears. Just like I want yokes destroyed in my life, I want yokes destroyed in EVERYONE’S life! I challenge all Christians to ensure they have a dedicated support group to help them mentally, physically, and spiritually! Do NOT think it’s a sign of weakness or doubt in God’s ability. God works through His chosen for a reason!
Love all of you! God bless!
Stress in ministry is real! This includes mental health issues. I want to hear from my fellow Christian brothers and sisters! How are you ensuring you maintain good mental health so you can stay effective in the Kingdom of God? Comment below! :-)
We all are busy. As a Christian, I know I struggle to figure out how to apply and exercise my spiritual disciplines throughout the day. I’m not perfect by no means! I have thoughts and actions I need to get victory over. I can always improve in some area of my life. Recently I discovered something that I am trying to apply to my daily life. For some Christians, they may already know this. I, however, did not and I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years now. This habit or spiritual discipline is meditating on God’s word.
I’ve been doing OK with this, but I certainly can improve. Like everyone else, I’m busy thinking of everything else and to try and think about God and the Bible is hard. I’ve tried to ‘manually’ write into my daily To Do list – that didn’t work. I’ve tried devotionals but once those 3, 5, 7, or 30 days was over, I didn’t start another one. As I was reading some materials for one of my seminary classes, Deut. 6:7 came into discussion. This verse was supporting the importance of studying and teaching the Bible. This verse also describes the times when you can continue to think, or meditate, on God’s word. There were four different moments mentioned within this verse. They are (1) when sitting, (2) when walking, (3) when laying down, and (4) when rising. When I thought about these, the obvious Psalm 1:2 verse came to mind for the laying down and rising. To meditate day and night. However, it never occurred to me to consider when I’m sitting and walking which can be moments of waiting or literally walking.
In this modern day, most people are clinging to technology as they wait. They are looking at their laptops, tablets, and/or cell phones. Now, a few of us may be looking at some scriptures or reading a devotional book. However, many will be busy with other things. This can also include those who walks for exercise purposes. You may listen to music or a book while walking. Again, it could be something spiritual. But for many it is not. The one thing I’m learning about meditation on God’s word is it does not have to be long and drawn out. For example, if your walk is 20 minutes and you really like Psalms 23, then meditate on that. As familiar as that scripture is, you may discover an important message within that scripture for a situation you are facing. The same is with waiting. Maybe you’re sitting in the airport and you have a 45-minute wait. Consider a verse or two from Philippians 4 about what to think on or 1 Corinthians 13 about what love is. When meditating, it does not have to be this elaborate moment in time. In fact, it is better to take those briefer moments to build up to a time when you can devote yourself to solitude for a longer duration of meditation.
I’ve been praying for God to help me more mindful of these moments. As with any positive transformations, it takes time and a willingness to do better. Personally, I desire to meditate more on God’s word because my mind gets overwhelmed with other things that may not always be positive. With God, I can always ensure either a positive word or a word that will convict me to make a positive change. I’m fine with either because my overall goal is spiritual transformation for me and for those who connects with me.
I want to hear from you! When do you find the best times to meditate on God's word? Or how do you plan to do better? I've actually started incorporate real moments at work; 10 -15 minute to close my eyes or listen to some worship music that uses actual scripture so I can recite it and meditate on it. Comment below! :-)
This phrase tickles me. I’ve heard it so many times. Some people really meant it while others did not. I guess they liked how it sounded but obviously did not mean it. That phrase, “I’m an open book,” is one that people should really be careful with. Even if you say this to someone who is close to you. If you have trust issues with anyone (I mean ANYONE), I recommend not saying you’re an open book.
I’ll be the first to admit, I am not an open book. With my husband, I’m about 95% open book. I’ve striving to get to 100% because that other 5% has more to do with personal development. Anyway, I’m not sure what his percentage is but I’m sure it’s not 100% either. I don’t purposely hide information from my husband. In fact, I’ll tell him more about my personal issues than he’ll tell me about his. Guys don’t talk much until they’re ready – and that’s cool. I will text my husband a TMI message at any point of the day but hey, that’s me! LOL! But outside of an intimate relationship, I’m not an open book. I have various entry ways that I filter people through. If you think of a house – not everyone can come into my yard. And even once you’re allowed in my yard, you may not be allowed to come through the front door. Even if you come through the front door, you may not be allowed to come upstairs. I think you get picture. That’s who I am, and I’ll admit at first I thought something was wrong with me for being that way. But there’s not. The truth is, I’ll meet you in the yard, at the door, or wherever. And I have no problem telling you’re only allowed to be in a certain area of my life. It doesn’t mean I don’t consider you a friend. It also doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I may not trust you, but I’ll love you no matter what.
I believe being an open book to everyone requires being vulnerable all the time. I personally don’t have the energy or interest being vulnerable all the time. I’m an introvert and I like my moments of being in my ‘space’ by myself. I’m not depressed or lonely. I just like my personal space. Even when we tell our spouse that we are an open book to them, it requires being vulnerable way more than we realize. We can’t question our spouse when they start to ‘read’ those pages or try to tear out the page and say, ‘not that one’. Then you’re not an open book. I remember during our courtship, I wrote a small book for my now husband. It was about me. It talked about my childhood, past mistakes and everything that led me up to meeting him. Not sure if he if still got it or if he read all of it. LOL! But the reason I did that was to signify the open book concept. I’ve never done that for anybody else in my life. Also, I wanted him to know that I was willing to love him unconditionally.
I believe the main idea of being an ‘open book’ is to love unconditionally. I mean, some of us have a tough time being an open book to ourselves. We don’t even want to deal with our own crazy stuff most of the time. We can get on our own nerves. LOL! But seriously, I know that finding that unconditional love is difficult. Some men don’t believe their wives loves them unconditionally; and vice versa. Some best friends don’t love unconditionally. I love my best friend unconditionally. I love my husband unconditionally. I’m learning daily how to love everyone unconditionally. Why? Because it’s hard enough in this world. (I bet most of you all thought I was going say because God is love --- Ha! --- just kidding) Honestly, I have found it takes more energy to be judgmental, to backbite, to gossip, to envy, and all that immature stuff than it does to just love. Maybe I’m getting lazier as I get older, I don’t know. But I still believe what the whole Bible says about life and that includes loving unconditionally. We have issues and I need all my energy to overcome my own issues versus wasting my energy on immature habits. So, if you really desire to be an open book, consider seeking after those individuals who will love you unconditionally versus saying you want to be an open book.
I'd like to know how you all feel about the phrase of "I'm an open book". Maybe what people really mean to say is, "what you see is what you get." Leave your comments below! :-)
We hear it all the time. To stop being so negative. Stop being so judgmental about self. But then we hear about humbling ourselves and recognizing we are not perfect. We really are not all that great. For someone who is trying to figure this thing out, it may seem quite confusing. So, which should it be? Should we think we suck, or should we think we are awesome? Well, I believe there is a healthy balance that should lean more towards the awesome with constant reminders of there’s always room for improvement.
I recently told my husband he is too hard on himself. His response was that is what keeps him humble. I agree if you know how to keep a healthy balance. My husband sometimes does not have that healthy balance. But sometimes, neither do I. I have done faith coaching and it often involves helping people get over negative self-thoughts. The phrase about us being our worst critic is true. But somewhere along this path of self-criticism, we ended up too far on the negative end. Some have surpassed the negative end and that is dangerous. The same can be said if someone surpasses the positive end. I believe humility does begin with recognizing we need help. In the Bible, it talks about we should humble ourselves. This means recognizing we cannot deal with life on our own. We need God, family, friends, spouse, a pet(s), and more. As we advance in life, to maintain humility, we should remember where we started and how far we still must go. Even for someone who has a successful business, a great house, a nice car, stable savings and investments – they still need to remain humble! They still need help and there’s still room for improvement in their life.
But recognizing we need help is not negative. I am not sure who that was but whoever that was that thought it was shameful or embarrassing to admit you need help, I say shame on you! This shame has now caused people to hide their issues and now they feel isolated and alone. True humility does not dwell in self-negativity. True humility means your feelings will get hurt more than what you like them to. True humility means learning how to embrace all the good and the bad but use the good to triumph over the bad. This includes loving yourself enough to seek help to become better. To become a better person and to do better. Humility is not shame or guilt. Will you feel that way sometimes while humbling yourself? Yes. But do not dwell there. The good news is God helps us to feel shame or guilt no longer. And if we have real family and friends, they too will help us no longer feel shame or guilt.
Humility is a powerful attribute to have. We all possess some amazing gifts and are wonderful in those gifts. We all can make a positive difference in this world. No one is better than the other while, yet we all are awesome! LOL! That is something that amazes me about God and how He created us. He assigned each us just enough to balance each other out. There are those people who are often considered giants in their field but honestly, there will always be room for more giants! I challenge all us to stop the self-negativity and really learn true humility.
Don't be so hard on yourself! There is always room to improve but recognize you are awesome and amazing! Let hear from you! Comment below on how you learned to humble yourself and how you continue to ensure you exercise true humility!
Life consists of eternal transformation. If we live on this earth, we are constantly transforming. Perfection will never be obtained. However, we can achieve good health in our minds, bodies, and spirits. The way we can achieve those things is by the power of choice. God is truly present and all-powerful. However, God does not force His way. He provides influences that are natural; some may say overwhelming. At the end of the day, God still needs a ‘yes’ and that is a choice. With this great power, comes great responsibility (yes, I know that is a famous phrase that is overly used…sorry…LOL). Here are 3 ways to positively embrace the power of choice to help achieve good health:
Let the world know that you have the power of choice! Check out the awesome t-shirt apparel at http://teespring.com/stores/ichoose. I'd love to hear from you! Comment below on what you choose and which t-shirt you plan to grab to let the world know #ichoose!
Why do we care about wearing masks? We all do it. I do it. My favorite mask to wear is a smile. I smile to hide my emotions. I use it while at home and out in public. I understand that if we all just walked around, going crazy, and not caring how others feel, then it would be quite chaotic. I know and trust me, I would rather see smiles versus all those emotions. However, at some point, that mask needs to come off.
Now, think about when someone constantly wear a mask or masks. No time to breathe or be honest about their feelings. We all have moments when we know life gets tough. Life gets tough for everyone. Guess what? It is ok to acknowledge when life gets tough. The mask clouds our judgement and perception. The mask is what society says is normal and it is the only way to cope with life. But I do not think so!
As a Christian, I do study the Holy Bible. Despite the various stories contained within the Bible, there are several consistent ideas throughout. Some of these include not being afraid, God is always present, God loves His children, God wants to take care of His children, let God fight your battles and/or struggles, etc. Now, to me, that would signify that life is going to be tough. Why else would these be repeated so many times in the Bible? It does not mean that life will not have great moments too, but it does mean life on earth is meant to include some tough times. And because of those tough times, we will cry. We will scream, break things, drive aimlessly to clear our heads, and more.
To conquer the demon of facades we must embrace the fact that life is going to include tough times. We must be comfortable with knowing this and be comfortable to uncover ourselves before God. If you want to know a safe place to not wear your mask: in the presence of God. If that means you take a moment to be by yourself, wherever you select, and share all your emotions with God, then do it! I encourage you to find one other person, e.g. best friend, spouse, parent, etc., and take off your mask before them too. Taking more time to not wear a mask will help you conquer not needing a mask. I do have my ‘smile mask’ but I do have a genuine smile of joy. And guess what? Most people can tell the difference!
It is not cool being fake and wearing tons of masks. It takes more energy to fake it. There is a way to conquer that mindset of facades. I'd like to hear from you! Comment below. How do you practice not having to wear masks so much? Tell others so they can be encouraged on how they stop wearing masks and dealing with facades.
For our 10 year wedding anniversary, Iradel and I took a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, FL! We had so much fun!! I don't think we have laughed that much in a long time. LOL!
My personal review of the entire trip is I'm glad we decided to stay at a resort hotel within the parks because everything was so quick and easily accessible. Our hotel was wonderful. Great customer service. Not a lot of kids (no offense to those with children -- it was just a nice perk for us since we were going for anniversary purposes -- LOL). Of course, we did go during the week and it was in September -- most kids are in school. We also used our AAA benefits which allotted us some great deals on food, park admissions, and more!
I'm not going to include all the pictures from the parks but basically Universal had like 3 major parks. We mainly visited 2. The 3rd was a water park that we just didn't have time to get to. We did the 3D rides, e.g. Spiderman, one of the Harry Potter rides, Transformers, etc. We visited some of the restaurants and just enjoyed our stay. We do plan to go again! This was definitely a place that you could take family or just make it a trip for two! :-)
For those that do not know, in 2016, I discovered I had multiple food allergies. This included wheat, egg, soy, dairy -- to just name a few. In the last 2 years, I have enjoyed the adventure of finding meals that are quick while yet still incorporating those meals that are created from fresh veggies, poultry, and fish.
Yes -- I still eat chicken, turkey, and certain fish. I recently had to stop beef and pork -- the pork break-up is still a little tender so I'm taking it one day at time.
About a couple of months ago, while grocery shopping I discovered these pasta kits. At first I only saw the mac and cheese version. I actually liked it. I will admit I had to add a little pinch (and I do mean little) of sweetener to it (Stevia). Just to ensure my taste buds were fooled into believing it was real cheddar. LOL! Then I saw the others for Alfredo and the veggie like mix. I've tried all three from Daiya and I have enjoyed them all! For the others, I didn't have to add no sweetener! Also, I do add a little almond milk to help with creaminess -- maybe cashew milk would work too.
For the Alfredo and veggie, I add chicken breast that I either boil or cook up in a pan with light oil. I've even added steamed broccoli to the Alfredo!
I'm probably late with this tip but hey, those that may not know these are out there: CHECK THEM OUT!! I get them from my local Meijer store and I'm pretty they're available in other major grocery stores too!
Happy eating!! :-)
Now, here's the second self-paced module! Remember, this does contain old contact information. If you wish to ask me any further questions and/or tips, email me at email@example.com and I'll be sure to respond when I can! God bless you! ♥♥♥
Many people may know (or may not know) I have a lot food allergies. I discovered these in November 2016. Since around August of 2016, I had stopped eating bread and fast-foods. It's been a heck of a journey but it's been worth it! I explain it more in my video blog so check it out!
Now, holidays are still a challenge for me! I must try to discover how to enjoy food without causing issues for me. And one of my many talents is baking -- and sugar causes issues for me along with dairy and gluten. So, I strive to look for ways that won't cause me to have to add sugar because I recognize that sugar is EVERYWHERE! LOL! So, when I have to time to make dessert, I strive to go after simple, easy, and not a lot of ingredients. This one is of the first simple desserts I've tried since my food allergy discovery. I have bought desserts and all that. Some were a huge fail and others were satisfactory. I was inspired by a similar recipe where you make your own whipped cream and all that. But like I said, I just wanted to go for something very simple! In fact, I used an 8x8 glass dish versus the longer one used in the similar recipe. But I believe prep and timing are exactly the same (if not a little less). I am no 'cook' -- so here's the details of what I used:
As a Christian wife, author, and evangelist, I want to love and help others to enjoy life! I offer tips, empowerment, and more on my blog! Be sure to follow me on FB & Twitter to stay up-to-date!
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