Baby Steps

I am fortunate enough to attend Central Missionary Baptist Church of Detroit, MI where, Robert E. Bolden, I, is Pastor. Currently our Midweek Oasis (Tuesday night Bible class) Series is on the topic of Healthy Habits. One of these nights, Pastor Bolden (or PB as we know him) told us that little changes add up to big changes and that’s how you conquer change and create new habits. Then we wrote down 3 things that we wanted to change on a card and turned them in before we left the service. Our homework was to go home and make a list of what little things we could do to help us achieve the three things that we placed on the card. I have no doubt that PB has been praying over our lists and this teaching has really stuck with me.

Here’s the profound example that PB shared. A plane was leaving Los Angeles, CA heading to New York, New York. If the pilot turned the nose 3 degrees south upon departure from LA, over time it would change the trajectory of the plane to land in Washington DC. Consider that something as small as 3 degrees could do that!

Now imagine, changing your lunch meal on Thursday one week. Then the next week changing lunch on Thursday and Friday. Or, going to the gym one day a week and walking for 10 minutes then increasing your increments each week or each time you walk. Over time you will have made small steps that add up to change over time.

I think we get side tracked like the memes below:

Baby steps are not mutually exclusive to changing your eating habits or working out. It could be about learning something new at work, a new language, a new hobby, arts and crafts, essentially anything! I was so moved by this teaching that I am taking baby steps in several areas of my life and I don’t feel overwhelmed. I feel successful. I feel like I can finally be successful moving forward because all of my baby steps will combine to make great progress!

I hope you count your baby steps as small victories and move forward!

#SDG

I’d Do Anything For ME!

I’d do anything for me, but I used to didn’t. (Read that again)

I used to put everyone else’s needs before mine.

Really, I used to.

But, I don’t anymore.

Why did I stop? Well, I am glad you asked. And really, the answer is very simple. I love myself enough to know that I can’t pour from an empty cup! And I know this, because I’ve tried. ALOT!

We do a lot of self care talk these days. Life overwhelms us. We struggle mentally and emotionally with our own issues, ones that others project on us, and even ones that we shoulder the burden of because we are compassionate and hate to see others struggle. Our physical man has health concerns that we have to work through.

As a result, we end up back at ground zero. Back at finding our joy. Our Peace. Getting back on right track. Drinking more water. Making healthier food choices. Finding a boot camp or group exercise class. Going to see a doctor.

What exactly would I do for myself? Well, I am very glad that you asked.

I will tell you no. I will decline your invitation. I will sit in silence. I will take a nap. I will binge watch tv for an entire day. I will stay home for a day. I will book a trip. I will call my best friends so that I can giggle. I will get a mani pedi. I will buy a dress. I will do what ever is necessary to make myself happy and that’s not limited to not participating in conversations that don’t uplift me and walking away from tables when love is no longer being served.

And, here’s why. Nobody, I mean, NOBODY is responsible for you, but you! So, do what fills your cup. Refresh and reset in a way that allows your spark to grow into a zest for life. Take the trip or take the nap. Make the phone call, the salad or the cake. Take the class. Shoot your shot. Whatever you need to do. But commit to yourself because self care is YOUR divine responsibility. Be careful with you.

How will you care for yourself?

#SDG

The Other “B” Words

The scenarios replay over and over. Did this really just happen? Did they really just do that?! My Sunshine, Marlon, always describes betrayal as “Forget your chick and the click you claim!” This is a PG excerpt from “Hit Em Up” by that great philosopher, Tupac Shakur.

Here’s my thing, people with huge hearts, that love unconditionally, that pour wisdom and invest themselves in the advancement of others really FEEL betrayal. I’m equating betrayal to fire that shot up in my bones while an elephant has one leg on my chest, and I can’t jump up and run. You are forced to sit in it, deal with it and process it before it walks away from you, leaving you puzzled about what to do next.

Here’s what I’ve found out about betrayal, it’s a blessing. Consider this… you have been praying and believing God for something in your life. That something could be tied to the betrayer. You prayed and cried asking the Lord to remove people, places and things that aren’t like Him so that you can receive His promises and BOOM 💥————- YOU HAVE BEEN BETRAYED!

Reflect on what you’ve been praying for. Time? Increase in finances or prosperity? Debt forgiveness? Better health? How to step into your passion or purpose? Increase in self esteem? A path to self care or self love? Supportive friendships? A healthy, equally yoked relationship?

Now, think of the betrayal. Is it directly tied to or did it make the space and opportunity for your blessing to move in? For you to start to move into that space that fulfills your dreams? The betrayals against me did. What held me back, frankly sometimes what holds me back is not recognizing this, trying to make sense of betrayal and not seeing the blessing!

I promise on everything that is within me, betrayal is a blessing. My close friends wonder why I don’t argue (speak up) when something happens . . . I learned to go straight to Jesus. Like, “Hey 👋🏾, it’s me Jesus. What IS HAPPENING!? What’s the rhyme or reason behind this mess, but more importantly, WHAT are you trying to teach me?! This ain’t cool. That was bogus, but I trust you Lord!”

I am a few days past the most recent incident and when I got to the end of this post, is when the Holy Spirit reminded me that I asked to clear debt and move into prosperity. I prayed that anything hindering me from making it to the next level and moving in God’s purpose in my life be released from me. I didn’t anticipate betrayal in this fashion. I blinked 7 times and saw the blessing!

Be encouraged. Before you boss up on the Betrayal, look for the Blessing!

Love Is

My childhood sister-friend, Kendra always says, “Love Is.” Every time I read or write it my mind wanders. Action, love IS action.

I choose love every-time. I love love. I love the feeling of love. I love its mystery. I love being able to watch others discover love. I love watching others feel love. I love pouring my love into others.

In my mind, when I see others hurt as a result love (or loving), I silently rejoice because I know that it’s just a test. A test of endurance and strength. I know there’s a lesson in it and better is on the other side.

Love changes lives. Love heals. Love hurts. Love teaches. Love punishes. Love grows. Love stunts. Love stuns. Love begs. Love Is. Love Is not.

You learn so much about yourself when love is involved. Your potential knows no bounds. Nothing can stop you. Dreams are born and become masterful. You learn who you are and who you are not.

Love isn’t just centered in romantic relationships. It’s culminated in friendships, sister and brotherhoods, family ties, volunteering, shopping, work… and the list goes on.

Love is when a coworker gives you their homemade chicken noodle soup because your aren’t feeling well, and they go and buy a lunch for themself. It’s when your best friend is more excited for your birthday than you are. Or when the person you are in relationship with creates an environment for you to rest and be catered to. It’s when someone sacrifices their comfort or convenience to accommodate your needs.

Love provides joy, peace, serenity, lessons, growth, uncomfortableness, teachable moments… but, Love NEVER Fails.

I Should Have Stopped At The Oil Change

One November Day in 2006, I stopped at the neighborhood Oil Lube place to get an oil change in my 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser. The Pit Guy comes up and starts explaining to me that I could invest in less expensive oil. I thanked him and asked how I could repay him? He told me I could buy him lunch. When I returned with his lunch, he asked for my number.

He courted me for 5 months, we moved in together and got engaged in March 2007. We got married in July 2007. We got divorced in March 2014.

“I Should Have Stopped At The Oil Change!”

Sometimes we marry because it’s our hearts desire but not God’s desired person or time for us. We are hard headed. We want what we want, when we want it.

I fell in love with potential, married it, and tried to develop it. The thought of having a husband was so exciting to me. I changed my last name. I tried to turn houses into homes. I took his dreams and made them into realities.

Then one day I woke up, looked at him and thought this is so lonely. There must have been someone praying for me to find wholeness in my life. If you are reading this, THANK YOU. See, my ex-husband was a great guy, just not the right guy for me. We were total opposites. I was a social butterfly and he was 100% introverted. I needed family gatherings and girls dates, he didn’t want to be bothered with family gatherings and had no friends. I tried to contain my zest for life to fit our relationship and it physically made me ill.

There were signs after we got engaged and I ignored them all! Being with the wrong one will have your insecurities weighing you down. You will feel like you are asking for to much and nothing you do will ever be enough or right. He talked about my weight, compared me to others, and the list goes on.

I lost weight, I tried new things but there was always something. Do you have any idea what it’s like to cry because you don’t think you’re good enough for a person that’s supposed to love you unconditionally? I mean I was a rock star at work. I have great friends and family, but in my marriage, I wasn’t enough!

So, back to that day that “I WOKE UP” and realized I’d never be enough… I got out! It didn’t happen overnight, it was a process, but you have to “Let Your Heartbreak 💔!” (see previous post)

Self preservation. Self esteem. Self care. Self love. It’s what you know in your heart to be right, just and true! I pray that if you are in a situation similar that the Lord grants you the power and strength to let it go and build better for yourself.