Chapter 34…Bloom

If I could title this next chapter of my life, I would definitely name it Bloom. It totally fits. For the past few years, I was just a small, tiny seed, trying to find my place in the world. Lost, needing a specific type of guidance to navigate this thing called life.

Around, 25 years old, God decided to step in and take charge, to work on me from the inside. He planted me in a place where He knew I hated. He would just talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Other times, I just let it go in one ear and out the other. But the whole time, His words became the soil I needed to grow. When my husband came into my life when I was 27, he became the water that helped God continue to make me grow. They became the friends I needed at the time and the more our relationship cultivated, the more I grew. God also allowed me to grow my relationship with others that I still rely on to this day. I grew and I grew…and then His light shined on me. Here I am, 7 years later…a flower that is ready to Bloom.

I could probably go into detail, because this wasn’t an easy process. I was dug up, pricked and pruned, surrounded by weeds and sometimes I had to go back into the ground, starting the process over. Then God would still water me, add more soil if needed.

I got to know me. What I like, what I don’t like. How I wanted to be treated and addressed. I can recognize toxicity real quick and immediately rebuke it. I’m learning to find my voice and speak up. Because let’s face it: my voice and feelings matter. Never let anyone tell you different. I know what makes me happy and I know what brings me joy. 7 years is a long time and I’m still going. The point is to keep evolving. I evolved so well I became a wife and mother, two things I never looked for or thought I’d have. But that’s what God does. He gives you what you need to be better. In your case, it may not be these things, but He will guide you to your purpose.

So, here I am at 34. With confidence I never knew I had. Back with strength I didn’t think I’d  obtain and a purpose ready to fulfill. Ready. To. Bloom.

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2020: Manifesting the Vision

Happy 2020 y’all! Now that the holidays are over and done with, its time to get down to the nitty gritty. It is time to decide what kind of year we want to have. Bringing in the new year gives you a chance to start fresh. Some people see it as a way to invite something new into their lives, a chance to be great. Its been a challenging last few years for my husband and I. We spent that time doing a lot of sowing and building a foundation. We were wronged on so many levels, were disappointed by a lot of people, struggled, but managed to come out on top. We celebrated our first year of marriage and welcomed our baby girl into our lives! We spent time cultivating our marriage and other friendships as well.

This year, we decided that we wanted to manifest everything we sowed in the last few years. A year of manifesting the vision that we prayed for. A year of “multiplied blessings.” We believe that this year is only the beginning for us and everything we prayed for will come to pass.

This year, we’re being very specific about what we want, but allowing God to still work His will, because let’s face it, He can do more that we ask or think. We’re spending the first few weeks of this month creating our vision boards, writing out our goals specifically (there’s that word again), praying over them as much as we can (because God never gets tired of hearing from us). He’s waiting on us to get serious and be truthful and concise about what we want because He can do it and then some.

Every year, our church has a “theme” for the new year and ours is 2020: Our Year of Multiplied Blessings. When I walked into church and saw this, I felt my spirit shift in excitement because it goes hand in hand with how my husband and I wanted our year to go. If you need a theme, feel free to take this, especially if you’re looking for God to truly bless your life this year.

After you’ve created your boards, and wrote everything down, believe that it is already done and that God has made a way for you.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepare for then that love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

Happy 2020 guys. I can’t wait to see what God Does for you.

Follow me on IG here to share your amazing adventure!

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Dress: Lane Bryant/ Get it here

 

Depression & Postpartum Blues As a New Mom…

I thought I was crazy. I thought something was wrong with me. These were exciting times. I’m married to the love of my life, a man who treats me like a Queen and honors God for all his blessings and we were planning to bring a baby girl into the world in the fall. So why was I upset, sad, angry, tired, and motivation-less this year?

Although I had a great pregnancy physically (except body pains), I was struggling mentally. I feared bringing a baby into this cold world. These people crazy. Wrong was becoming right, and right was becoming wrong. How could I bring a precious innocent into this? What did I do that God trusts me to mother a baby girl, who will later turn into a young woman? Who said I was good enough? I dealt with this my entire pregnancy, not to mention being tired and hungry all the time. My goal for 2019 was to increase my social media presence and take my blog to the next level. There were events I wanted to go to, networking I wanted to do, content I wanted to make. I also wanted to work on getting a newer and better position for my 9-5. All of my applications were getting rejected and I was physically too tired to create content.

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Here, I felt my lowest. Harper is so tiny 🙂

For some reason, “pushing” wasn’t something I was interested in doing. Maybe I should just relax and focus on bringing in a healthy baby. I’ve worked my butt off since I was 15. I barely worked this year and somehow still managed to keep my job. My social media presence wasn’t up to par but I always got DM’s from blogger friends who told me to take care of myself and I can put my all into it after baby comes. Then doctors said I had gestational diabetes, and I was so upset. No matter what they say, dietitians and doctors have you on a diet. I was angry because I could possibly pass this to my child, so there was lots of guilt, and I was hungry. The things I couldn’t eat were the things I was craving. More importantly, I had to poke my finger 3-4 times a day and take insulin. In my leg. With a syringe. That even brought my spirits even lower, but, things will get better.

Then…she came. Such a beautiful, tiny, human. Resembles both of her parents, more me though (LOL). I braved a scary c-section and both my baby and I went home healthy. I was so thankful that my husband had 4 weeks off to be with us and my mother in law stayed our first week home. I couldn’t do anything because I was supposed to be healing. If you know me,  you know I can’t sit still and I have to be doing something. I literally felt like a failure and that I wasn’t healing faster. I would cry every day and didn’t know why.  My husband told me he was surprised I wasn’t crying or feeling sad until I told him I would hide from him. Then he made sure that we took a few minutes out, just us, to talk. If I took too long in the shower, he’s knocking and coming in. And I would tell him. We would talk about how scary it was to be on this new journey, how I wanted a new job, how I wanted to brand CurlsWithStyle, remove the keloid from my jaw, etc. The more I talked about it, I started to feel better. I think.

Then my mother in law suggested that I might need a little “help.” It is normal to need a little medication. I was opposed to it. I frowned upon it and turned my face up at her.

“There is no way I’m taking any drugs for feeling sad. That’s not a good reason to ask my doctor for medication. I can get over this. I’m just complaining and it will pass.”

Only, it wasn’t going away. Then my husband added his thoughts and told me, I didn’t look like myself. I wasn’t me and that its okay to ask for help. After weeks of being convinced and telling Jesus all about my troubles, I asked my doctor and she prescribed a low dosage of Zoloft. Only 30 days.

Then I decided to do what I never do in church: participate. Yeah, I sing on the choir, but that’s it. So I decided to talk to Jesus more. Stop looking at other people. Praise him. Worship. Yell if I needed to yell. Speak LIFE into my situations. PRAY MORE. I told a great friend of ours, whose a minister all about struggling with postpartum. My mother in law told her mom, and they all prayed for me, husband included. They didn’t judge me. They just hugged me and took their concerns to Jesus. For that, I appreciated them.

I took those pills once a day for about 9 days. I didn’t need them anymore. I felt like a new person. I was back to my normal self, but better. I started job hunting, making content for my blog and social media, reading to my baby, indulging in intimate times with my hubby, hung with my brother, went shopping, just…..did things that made me happy. I realized when I was happy, I can pour into my daughter and husband. I even let my daughter spend time with her grandparents for about 4 days! I’m also spending more time with God, and journaling. I’ve never felt better. For me, this journey took about two months but for someone else, it could take longer or shorter. I’m sure the next challenge is when I go back to work, but it is a challenge I’m ready for.

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This photoshoot made me realize…I still go it. 🙂

It is okay to have feelings like this as a new mom. The key is to get help. Don’t stay in it too long. Understand that you’re no good to people, if you can’t be good to yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. I’m here to tell you, that you can live the life you want and go for what you want. With God, It’s only up from here. 🙂

 

Stay tuned on Tips to Slay 2020 as a New Mom.

 

Forgiveness is Not For Them…it’s For You.

“I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry, and accept an apology I never received.”

Or may possibly never get.

I saw this quote on social media after giving birth and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

In the last two years, I’ve seen the true colors of so many people and the lengths they would go to provoke negative reactions and in turn play victim. I’ve seen what a slight disagreement would do to people who you thought were your friends. I’ve seen people hate on you, so green with envy, you would think they were the real Bruce Banner. People would go above and beyond to paint a picture of you, that’s not you at all, and in turn, pit people against you. This is what hate will do. One person’s hatred towards you can cause others to hate you as well, or at least make up in their mind that they won’t even give you a chance.

I never understood why people never wanted to hear all sides to a story, rather than just the one; especially when the one was flawed. I never understood how, a person who knew the entire story, would still act like they didn’t, and in turn never stand up for you. Imagine this happening to you for years. After awhile, you start to think, maybe it is you. You’re the problem. But that’s what the enemy would do. The enemy would make you feel like that to isolate you and make you feel alone. I constantly had to talk to my husband, my best friend, my brother, my sister-in-law, and cousin to make sure I wasn’t crazy. They would tell me the truth because that’s what I expected. Tell me if it’s me and I can improve. I became paranoid because I thought I was the problem, but it turned out that people hate when you stand up for yourself. When you won’t take toxic behavior no matter who the person is.

I struggled with forgiveness, especially when my daughter was born. I never understood why God wanted me to forgive when I was the one who was wronged. When I felt like I was being made a fool. Why do you want me to forgive when the people who hurt me, never said they were sorry or even acknowledged that my feelings were hurt? I’m human too. I have feelings. And if I forgive them, wouldn’t that make me look stupid? Like, they one up me? Lord, I know if I hurt someone’s feelings and I knew I did, I would apologize and make it right. So why can’t people do that for me?

But then I learned, that, forgiveness is not for those who hurt you. Forgiveness is for yourself. Why, do you ask? Because the one who is wronged, is always holding grudges. They are bitter, and upset. This was me. When you can’t forgive those who wronged you, how can you expect God to forgive you? How can you expect to reap the blessings that God has? So here I was, holding my beautiful daughter listening to God tell me that the forgiveness he wanted me to do, was for me. It was so I can move on. It was so I can experience the blessings that God was ready to give me. It was to show that the God that people talk about and claim that they know, lives in me.

“You might be the only Jesus that some people see.” Jesus is all about love, forgiveness, and grace and because we are all striving to be Christ-like, it is important to start practicing what we preach or go to church every Sunday for.

“So, honey, if I forgive them…do I have to say it to their face? This is the question I asked my husband. He then reminded me that forgiveness is not for them. So I didn’t have to. It was for me and between me and God. When I forgive, I must show in my actions. So I pondered a few more weeks because, I’m a Capricorn and I’m stubborn.

But then I did it. I let it all go. I gave it to God. And it felt great. I want my blessings. I want to move on. I have a whole daughter now. My job is to teach her about giving grace, compassion and forgiveness. I will also teach her that is is also okay to guard your heart and never put yourself in a position to be treated a certain way again.

So if you’re struggling with forgiving, remember, it is not for them. The Bible says “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord (Romans 12:19, KJV), so it’s not our job to get back at those who wrong us and believe me, I wanted to. Our job is to let go and give it to God. Let him handle our heavy load because he can do it better than we can. And when you do, life will get better. Trust.

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Outfit details: Sweater Dress: Eloquii, Belt: Lane Bryant, Boots: Torrid