Funny Friday: Why You Should Make Love Once A Year

Hey Friends,

So, I’ve been M.I.A (missing in action) for the past few days due to a Lupus flare and a couple of other health issues, but the Lord has been good to me the entire time (as he promises) and your girl is almost back to 100% tip-top shape. Just in time for…

Funny Friday!!!

 

 

 

So, please enjoy today’s joke brought to you by www.RD.com. I pray that each and every one of you is having a wonderful start to your weekend and please don’t forget to have a Funny Friday! 🙂

Why You Should Make Love Once A Year

A therapist has a theory that couples who make love once a day are the happiest. So he tests it at a seminar by asking those assembled, “How many people here make love once a day?” Half the people raise their hands, each of them grinning widely. “Once a week?” A third of the audience members raise their hands, their grins a bit less vibrant. “Once a month?” A few hands tepidly go up. Then he asks, “OK, how about once a year?”

One man in the back jumps up and down, jubilantly waving his hands. The therapist is shocked—this disproves his theory. “If you make love only once a year,” he asks, “why are you so happy?”

The man yells, “Today’s the day!”

 

Who Prays When You Can’t?

In yesterday’s post Prayer Is The Best Medicine , I spoke about the importance of prayer.

Although prayer is important, there are times where we feel like we just do not have it in us to pray. There was a time when my heart was so broken, all I could do was cry out, “Abba Father, help me!” 

I felt so helpless and alone because I was once told that when praying to God, I had to be specific about what I wanted, needed, and craved. So, if I am unable to verbally express my needs, then how would he know what I need prayer for? How would he be able to answer my prayers if I am unable to articulate my heart?

In scripture, it says, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” -Romans 8:26

This is so refreshing because there are many days where I feel that I do not have the words or even the strength to utter the appropriate words to says to our Father in heaven. So knowing that the Holy Spirit is like, “No worries girl, I got you!” is truly amazing.

So, if you are unsure what to say, how to say it, or even if you should say it, the Holy Spirit knows your heart and he will pray it for you. Lean on the Holy Spirit to carry you when your feet or too tired to carry you the rest of the way.

God bless you all and I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your week.

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” -Romans 8:15-17

 

Prayer Is The Best Medicine

Have you ever complained about chaos or pain happening in your life and someone responded with “Just pray about it.” 

oh my god what GIF

I don’t know about you, but my response would be, “I don’t need prayer, I need help!”  Little did I know, prayer was exactly the help that I needed.

Prayer is the most powerful tool anyone could have. I am proof that it truly works.

God says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” -James 5:16

I used to think that when I prayed, it had to be formal, otherwise, the Lord wouldn’t accept it.

But then I learned that prayer is just having a conversation with our Father. So, I did a little experiment. I began praying to God like I was talking to one of the homies. Here’s a fictional example:

Dear heavenly Father. How’s it been, Lord? I’m not doing so well. Today was such a hard day and I’m really upset about it. Kelly said something that hurt my feelings and I just wanted to smack her upside the head, but I’m trying to get right with you, Jesus. It says in your word to forgive those who trespass against me, so please, Lord, help me forgive her. Cause you know I struggle with tolerating foolishness.

There is absolutely nothing formal about the above prayer, but he still hears us AND answers us. I love to tell new Christians to not get caught up in the formalities. Concentrate on developing a personal (intimate) relationship with Jesus and the rest will follow.

Once I began my prayers like normal conversations, I noticed that I felt more relaxed. I didn’t say, “Ummm” so much, nor did I feel ashamed praying out loud in front of other people.

Here is an example of a prayer that I wrote in my journal a few weeks ago:

Abba, Father. Please throw me a bone! Please give me some kind of relieft from the constant tragadies in my life. Please provide a break through.

After this prayer, our Father didn’t say, “Girl, what kind of prayer was this? Get it together and come back later.”

Instead, he said, “Yes, baby, I got you. Just hold on a little longer.” I mean, that’s how I took it…and guess what! He answered my prayer. Not only did he throw me a “bone” AND provide a breakthrough, but he also continued to bless me beyond what I deserve.

God is so good! And there is no one that can tell me otherwise. He continues to bless me and provide all of my emotional needs. And do you want to know why??? Because I talk to him like he is one of the homies…I pray!

In scripture, it says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day has passed.” -Psalm 139:16

This means he knew he that I would struggle with prayer. He knew that the enemy would try to convince me that I didn’t know how to pray, therefore I shouldn’t do it. I say, not today, nor any day, Satan.

Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. - Mother Teresa

Seeking God Part 4

Happy Sunday Friends!

This journey of seeking God has not been an easy one, but it has been worth it. I have seen God’s power, love, and mercy so much since I’ve taken my journey seriously. If you haven’t noticed, my blog has turned into God’s blog. A couple of months ago, the Lord told me that he wanted me to use my blog to spread his word. I was hesitant. I didn’t want to lose my non-Christian followers and I didn’t want to offend anyone. After a while, I could no longer deny his request.

Whenever I posted an article that he didn’t put on my heart to post, my numbers were down. You guys weren’t messing with me. Then, when I began to post content that he put on my heart, the number of views and followers increased tenfold. Don’t get me wrong, I lost a few followers, but I gained many more.

So, I have no choice but to trust him. He has shown this undeserving sinner more love and mercy than I expected. That is what’s so awesome about God. When he blesses you, he blesses you in overabundance, forcing you to do nothing but fall to your knees and cry out, “Abba, Father, thank you!”

If you are stubborn like me, the Lord will use your circumstances to bring you closer to him so he can mold you and strengthen you. In my case, I would say he has used Lupus and mental illness to get me to surrender to his will. Surrender…what a strong word. A lot of people think it is an insult to surrender, when in fact, it is a blessing. A Christ believer will tell you that surrendering is not a sign of weakness, as some will make you believe.

Surrending to the Lord requires more strength than people would like to acknowledge. Yet, once we surrender, we are able to get out of our own way and allow God to work. And, baby…when God works, he works wonders. His wonderful blessings are always more than we wanted for ourselves. Miracles happen. Please Letting Go, Letting God read how Jesus showed up in my bathroom and saved my life. True story 🙂

I no longer see my illness as a punishment, yet an opportunity to grow. Kind of like job training. I ask the Lord to allow me to be a great mom to my children. The Lord responded, “So be it my child, but first, I must prepare you.”

Think of a block of clay. When you purchase it from the craft store, it’s bland, boring, and ugly. But once the artist purchases it from the store (in God case, Jesus purchased us with his life), the artist then begins to transform it into a beautiful masterpiece.

Image result for lump of clayImage result for clay masterpiece

The tools that the artist use are sharp and plentiful. If clay had feelings, one would think that the artist is torturing the clay, being unfair. But the sharp tools are necessary in order to mold the clay with precision and accuracy. Jesus paid the price. God uses our circumstances as tools to create a wonderful masterpiece within us. More times than often, it is going to hurt. But while he is sculpting us, he has given us resources to help us through the process, such as the Bible, elders of the church, prayer, and other Christians.

“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.” -James 5:14-15

Most importantly, he gives us his love and promises to be with us no matter what through the process.

The Lord says, “For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.” -Jeremiah 31:25. To me, this means, during my sorrow, he will be there to give me comfort.

He also says, “…I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.” -Psalm 91:14-15

Personally, I can’t speak for every Christian. I believe in Jesus because he was the only one that showed up when I cried out for help. Not Buddha, not Deity, not money or sex, but Jesus himself. The only thing I can do is give my life to the one who saved it, to the one who continues to bless my children with a mother.

Yesterday, I was blessed with mood stabilizers. As many of you may know, I struggle with Bipolar Disorder I. I have been unmedicated for some time now, which is dangerous. But, the Lord was so gracious and he heard my cries. So, I was able to receive a 90 day free supply of Depakote. I’m excited and scared at the same time. My biggest fear with taking mood stabilizers and anti-depressants is that I will lose the best parts of me; my creativity, my bubbly personality, my love of all things Life. But this is where trusting the Lord comes in.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

My faith, my trust in God’s plan (cues Drakes “Gods Plan”) for me is the only reason why I’m still alive. If I followed the world’s thinking, my kids would be without a mother.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts and for sharing this journey with me. I truly hope that I am able to inspire someone to trust that God has a plan for your life, and the struggles that you are facing are NOT it. God bless you!

“If the stars were made to worship, so will I. If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I. If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I. For if everything exists to lift You high, so will I. If the wind goes where You send it, so will I. If the rocks cry out in silence, so will I. If the sum of all our praises still falls shy, then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times.” -So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Worship

To catch up, please read:

Imbalance

It seems that when one is trying to get right with God, the enemy tries to discourage you. I’m apologizing ahead of time for the grammatical errors and misspelling. Tears are streaming down my face as I try to wrap my heart around how I’m supposed to deal with everyday life and battle my mental illness. It seems so impossible.

God has been trying to convince me that He will not put anything on me that I cannot handle and I know He knows me better than I know myself, but…why, why do I have to hurt so much? Why is it so hard just to get through one hour or even one minute of every day?

Lord I’m trying to flood my mind with your word, but my thoughts are becoming louder. Please save me.

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Today, I was supposed to post another article on Autism, but really, my heart isn’t there right now. So, please visit Autism Speaks to get more information on ways to cope with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They have helped me understand what autism means and provided wonderful ways to support my son, RJ.

To catch up on his story, please visit 💙❤️💛💚Dancing To Your Own Beat: Autism Awareness💙❤️💛💚 and Rj’s First Fist Fight…And Im A Little Proud!.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts. Please pray for one another. Everyone is struggling because more and more people are depending on God, instead of themselves, so the enemy is working overtime to prevent that from happening.

For those who are having a rough day, here is a cute puppy video to lift your spirits.

Love you all and stay blessed!

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

How to Maintain a Successful Relationship

At 32 years old, I never thought that I would find anyone to marry me, let alone two people. Before my current husband, I was married for about eight years. My ex-husband and I got married very young for the wrong reasons. After we separated, he expressed to me that the only reason why he married me was that I was pregnant with our daughter and he thought I would leave him. I couldn’t be offended by that answer because I only married him so I wouldn’t be another statistic. I was 19 years old, pregnant, and wanted my daughter to grow up in a two-parent household. At that time, I think we loved each other. Honestly, I think we both were in love with the idea of family and not in love with each other.

Shortly after my daughter was born, things quickly changed. I think for my ex-husband, he became a father without knowing what that really meant. So he withdrew himself. He distracted himself with online games and hanging out with his friends. The more pressure I put on him to be a good father, the more he withdrew himself away from us. Until eventually, I gave up and asked for the divorce.

I spent many years after our separation blaming him for the destruction of our marriage. I blamed his selfishness and lack of attention that he put into the relationship he had with me and our children. After a while, though, I was forced to look at my actions that contributed to marriage failing. It was hard. It was easier for me to blame him for everything, but most of the time, when a relationship fails, it was caused by both people.

Looking back, I see the things that we both could have done differently. After our divorce was finalized, I took time to learn about myself. I had to take a hard, honest look at who I was and what kind of partner I would be to someone else. I’ll be honest, a lot of the stuff that I learned I didn’t like. For instance, I realized that I was extremely controlling. I not only wanted to control my household, but I wanted to control my ex-husband. I wanted to control his feelings and his reactions to my feelings. I wanted to control how he treated me and I wanted to control how he treated me as his wife. I allowed my expectations of what a husband and wife relationship should be versus allowing us to learn and grow together.

I didn’t notice that I was being so controlling. I was so afraid of being treated badly, I allowed my fear to create another wedge in our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely do not belong together. We are better parents apart than we ever were together, but I’m glad that we went through it because it was one of the greatest learning experiences that I’ve ever had. My relationship with my ex-husband prepared me for my marriage with my current husband. I’ve definitely learned something along the way that has helped my husband and I get through those annoying marital issues that come up every now and then.

Below are tips that I have learned that has allowed my husband and I to have a great relationship. We still have out bumps in the road, but the following tips have made those bumps more like ant hills and less like mountains. So let’s begin.

Tip#1: Always be willing to adapt– Would you say that you are the same person you were ten years ago? Probably not. You’ve changed, right? Well, that is never going to change. As human beings, we are constantly changing, growing from our experiences. So, the person that you fell in love with will more than likely change over the years as well. You have to be ready to fall in love with the new changes that your partner may present. For example, let’s say you fell in love with your partner because he/she is a successful musician, but then one day, they wake up and decide they want to become an accountant. Would you leave them or adapt to their decision? Having a successful relationship means choosing to love them through whatever decision they make.

Tip #2 Be Honest- Trust takes years to earn, but only seconds to lose. We all lie (well most of us) to protect the people that we love, but lying has the potential to do more harm than good. It easier to work through a bad decision that your partner made versus working through a bad decision and a lie. In my experience, the truth will always be revealed.

Tip #3 Patience– Having patience with your partner will take you further than you realize. When my husband and I are having a discussion, I have to take a deep breath at least 20 times during our conversation. It’s a little trick I’ve learned to prevent myself from interrupting him. It’s not 100% effective, but it has made a huge difference on how our conversations turn out.

Tip #4 Seek God Together– Discerning the voice of God will play a huge part in any relationship you are in. When you know Gods instructions on how he wants us to treat each other, it helps with how we interact with each other. I respect my husband more because of the love I know that I am supposed to have for him. I allow Gods love to guide how I feel about my husband versus allowing the world to guide me on how to love my husband. I see a lot of post on social media that tells us that we should love each other based off of what that person can do for us, but God says that we should serve and love each other, despite how it may benefit us. Do not love your spouse because of what they can do for you. Love them because God loves you.

Tip #5 Respect each other– This is a hard one for a lot of people because nowadays, people only respect someone if they too feel respected, but being in a relationship isn’t about that. In a marriage, sometimes, you may feel that your spouse has disrespected you. When my husband was unfaithful during our marriage, I felt very disrespected. I felt he disrespected me, our relationship, and our family. But does that mean I should stop respecting him? Absolutely not. This is where I had to learn the true meaning of forgiveness. As easy as it would have been to walk away, that would have been the wrong choice. His bad decision did not change who he is as a father and a husband. It just simply meant he made a mistake. And since he is human and mistakes are expected, I trusted God to help us work through it. Now, we are stronger than ever before. All thanks to his mistake.

Tip #6 Pick your battles– Not everything has to be a fight or a battle. There are some potential arguments that you are able to walk away from. When we first started dating, my husband told me that I was like a doormat. That I allowed anything to fly. This couldn’t be furthest from the truth. It’s not that I allowed anything to fly, I just didn’t like arguing over things that were meaningless. If he does something that was annoying or something I don’t like, I think “Is this really worth an argument?” In my opinion, some situations are unavoidable, but other situations can be let go if you don’t allow your pride and ego to get in the way. Sometimes you just have to LET IT GO. Save your energy for the more important fights because trust me, they will happen.

Tip #7 Active listening– I used to complain all of the time about how I felt my husband wasn’t actively listening to me. Sometimes when I would talk about a subject that was important to me, he would be playing his game or reading an article online. I would purposely say an assinine remark, just to see if he was listening and the majority of the time he was not. I’m sure a lot of men get grief about this when sports are on television or if they too own a game system. But just imagine how much less bickering you hear if you look your partner in the eye while they were talking. This would benefit your relationship in three ways:

  1. It will allow your partner to feel like you are listening, thus creating trust and desire to share more intimate details about themselves.
  2. It will give you an opportunity to add your two cents. If you listen to what that person has to say, then they are more likely to hear what you have to say, thus, creating a healthy “back and forth” conversation.
  3. The bond between you and your partner will grow that much stronger. We all want someone that we feel we can talk to. Why not that person be the person who’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with.

It took 2 marriages and multiple failed relationships for me to come with this short list. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, so I take pride in learning from each and every one. It is my hope that, regardless of what kind of relationship you may be in; husband and wife, partner and partner, best friends, work relationship, church relationship; you are able to take away any helpful tips to gain a healthier, successful relationship.

My relationship with my husband isn’t perfect and it will never be perfect. We are two human beings who are constantly evolving in a sinful world who’s bound to make countless mistakes. Knowing this, I chose to fall in love with my husband every day that I have the blessing of waking up next to him. Each day, I learn something new about him. Sometimes I like what I learn and some days I don’t. But I chose to love him despite his flaws because he chooses to love me despite mine. Sometimes I feel I give him more reasons than none NOT to love me, but he continues to show me through Gods love, his love, support, and dedication to our marriage every day that his love for me is unconditional.

Thank you for reading my thoughts. I pray that God blesses each and every one of you beyond your deepest desires.

“Nobody can predict the future. You just have to give your all to the relationship you’re in and do your best to take care of your partner, communicate and give them every last drop of love you have. I think one of the most important things in a relationship is caring for your significant other through good times and bad.” -Nick Cannon

Music is Life

Hey fellow bloggers!

The last few days have been extremely busy. First, I was hit with an unexpected Lupus flare (which slowed down my “to do” list). Secondly, we’ve been very busy getting prepared for an upcoming family trip to Disney World. I’m super excited because this is really a dream come true for my family. I think my husband and I are more excited than our children.

Just to give you a visual. My husband and I reactions when we officially knew we were going:

What I thought my kids’ reaction was going to be:

Their actual reaction:

Honestly, I think they won’t believe it until they see it. We’ve had to cancel family trips in the past due to my illness or finances and I know how disappointed they were back then. So, I think they are holding their excitement. I do see, the closer we get to the leave date and the more we pack, the more excited they become.

Anyway, since I haven’t had that much time to put into blogging (hence the reason why I didn’t post yesterday), I wanted to share with you a very inspiring cover sang by one of our fellow bloggers, Haley with Red Letters Blog. I love listening to her while I blog. Her angelic voice is soothing, allowing inspiration to flow easily through my mind and spirit. I would recommend giving her a visit and a listen. Below is one of my favorite covers that she has done. You can also find her on YouTube, just click the video below.

 

There is so much inspirational music that I listen to on YouTube. Some you may have heard and some are hidden gems (like above). Starting now, I will be sharing that list. I believe that music is vital to the survival of humanity and without it, we would become, even more, emotionally disconnected…in my opinion.

So take a listen and have a wonderful rest of your evening (early morning to my friends overseas). Stay Blessed!

“Where words fail, music speaks.” -Hans Christian Andersen 

Fuel for Thoughts: Monday Motivation

Happy Monday Friends!

I want you to know that right now, your struggle is only temporary. I mentioned in my post yesterday Seeking God Part 2 that your circumstances aren’t designed to hurt you, but to make you stronger. If we avoid our problems, then we will be missing out on a chance to become a better “us”.

Allow your struggles to teach you, not hinder you. Allow them to mold you so in the future you become to better equipped to deal with any of life’s challenges.

Related Post: Trust The Process: What Choosing Life Looks Like

It’s ok to feel defeated, but that is when you pick yourself up by your bootstraps and push forward. Don’t live in defeat. Don’t allow defeat to become apart of you. Acknowledge it, pray on it, and give it God. Stay faithful to his will and the Lord will provide you with everything that you need.

Have a wonderful Monday, my friends. I pray your day is as beautiful as you are.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” -Napoleon Hill

Seeking God Part 2

Good Day Fellow Bloggers,

I hope each of you had a wonderful weekend. My weekend went well. I was able to get shopping done for an upcoming family vacation. And…I didn’t get angry with my kids, which is a huge improvement. Anger has been a difficult hurdle to cross, but with Gods love, I am able to push forward and overcome it. In the near future, I want to share with you guys techniques that I have learned to control my anger. 

Anyway, today I wanted to speak more about a blog post that I started talking about my journey to seeking God, per his request. To catch up, please read Seeking God to get the full story of why I started this particular journey. I shared that my purpose in Christ, right now, is to know him intimately. Through prayer and elder guidance, it is clear that my mission is to simply, get to know him. The more to I study my bible, the more his answers become so clear.

It’s funny because I’ve been a Christian for 21 years, but this is the first time since being saved that I have actively sought out having a relationship with God. It now seems that the blinders have been taken off. So as a blogger, I feel it would be irresponsible of me not to document this season of my life. I mean, it’s the reason why I started blogging in the first place. I  love each and every one of you, but blogging started because of my Father and it’s running on His Spirit, alone. If I trusted blogging to myself, I probably wouldn’t get it done. Since I know this is what I’m called to do, then I shall obey. Plus, I would be a terrible person if I didn’t admit that I absolutely love it and it shows how gracious God is. He chose blogging to be my outlet, something I never thought I would become. I’m basketing in the glory of knowing I am on the right track to becoming his tapestry. 

Related Post: Weakness Is Strength

I’m rambling, so let’s get to the point.

I’m surprised you guys deal with it. Hehe 🙂 Today, I want to talk about what I have recently learned on my journey to seek God. (I said that already, oh well, too late to delete it.) Sometimes, I feel so burdened by my responsibility, followed by guilt that I am unable to “fulfill” my duties as a wife and a mother. There are days where I am so mentally drained, I am unable to function. And other days, I am so physically drained, I am unable to function. And there are those days that I am so emotionally drained…well, you get the drift. I have wasted a lot of time trying to get through this by myself. My husband will yell at me to “put the laundry basket down, I got it!” or “save your energy and get some rest.” There is so much that needs to be done, and pridefully, I love providing for my family. I feel that I’ve done my due diligence when I cook dinner or fold laundry. You know, mom stuff. Then, it becomes too much and my body will begin craving a comfortable sitting or a heating pad.

On those days that we are soooo mentally, physically, and emotionally drained, we are to look to God because He will ease all of our burdens. God knows our limitations and breaking points. When we feel alone and burdened by our daily responsibilities, we should pour out our hearts to him and trust him to provide relief.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

There is no limit to his power and what he can provide. The Lord will never fail us, nor forsake us. It may sound cliche and I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times before, God will never give you anything you are unable to handle. Plus, if you are unable to handle it, he will handle it for you. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9)

Whatever storm you are going through, just know it is supposed to make you grow. It is supposed to make you stronger. Your storms are not meant to break you, but to build you. Don’t allow the enemy to control you, trick you into thinking you are going through alone. You are not alone!

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Mt. 21:22)

Learning this during my journey has helped me immensely. I finally don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore. You can read all about that here Living with Depression. I pray that you all have a wonderful rest of your Sunday (or a beautiful start to your Monday for some of my friends in a different country). 

Lord, I pray for whoever is reading this, that you give them strength to continue their fight, but find peace in knowing that you are there to carry the burdens. Lord, bless them and comfort them. Allow them to feel your presence. Grant them comfort in their mind and in their hearts. Stay Blessed!

Lord, help me remember that no matter what happens, nothing is going to happen to me today that you and I cannot handle. -Unknown

Image borrowed from kcm.org

Apple Pickens Giggen Bottoms

Hey friends!

So I wanted to share a true moment of joy for me. Right now, I am chilling in very large/very small sofa couch thing. Sorry, I don’t know the technical name for it. Anyway, it’s in a private spot that my husband set up for me next to our patio door so I can have a “zen” writing area. My view is filled with naked trees, modern buildings, but most importantly a beautiful, bright blue sky.

wildmedicalindiancow-size_restrictedSo this moment of joy that I’ve just experienced was brought by one small memory. Picture this, 12-year-old Ashley, feeling unloved and unwanted by her loved ones. While struggling with the developments of puberty (but then again, who didn’t struggle with puberty?). My boyfriend (very 1st) introduced me to the sweet sounds of Boyz II Men.  I will never forget hearing…

I long for, the warmth of, days gone by
When you were mine
But now those days are memories in time
Life’s empty, without you
By my side
My heart belongs to you
No matter what I try

-Boyz II Men, 4 Seasons of Lonliness

…for the first time.

sinfulclumsybactrian-size_restrictedSince that moment, I became obsessed. I consider myself one of the biggest Boyz II Men fans in the world. There are very few celebrities that I would stop traffic for, Jesus, Leonardo Decaprio, and Boyz II Men. I developed a connection with this group because they got me through a lot! They were with me when the depression began to rear its ugly head. They convinced me to forgive when my boyfriend broke my heart. They told me to forgive my mother when I was upset with her. They taught me I am worthy to be loved. They taught me to love God and most importantly, love myself. Every song, every melody, every precious note that hit my hear was inspiring my soul.

They replanted the seed of self-worth that has been slowly picked out by heartbreak and betrayal. They taught me how I deserved to be treated as a woman and a mother by my future spouse. I developed a sense of love, hope, and happiness. They helped me daydream of moments that inspire me today to be a good woman, wife, and mother. I wanted to be loved, but I wanted to love deeply and unconditionally. They inspired the hopeless romantic poet you see before you. They taught me how to be expressive. Oddly, they taught me how to love and how to be loved. They taught me my first lesson of developing healthy habits to control my emotions.

I was able to use poetry as an outlet. This later grew into a hunger for learning as much as I can so I can write as much I can. And now I am a blogger. I’ve been writing since I could remember, but it was Boyz II Men (and the love of Jesus) that ignited a passion for what I wanted to write about. A flood of emotions began pouring out like a wild but tamed storm Each time my pencil would mark my notepad. I felt a star being born (a literal star, not “I’m going to be a star” star).

Just now, while typing another blog about (well, I’ll let it be a surprise), a sweet angelic voice came out of my laptop speakers singing

She was like nothing I’d ever known
Her eyes shine like diamonds in a field of snow
The way destiny led her to me
Made me feel like life was now complete

-Boyz II Men, Pass You By

I had to stop what I was doing to share this moment. When Wanye began singing his heart out from my Youtube app, I was immediately reminded of the amount of self-worth and pride I developed. I was reminded of a happier time in society, where self-esteem was not an issue because there were men in this world who knew the value of a woman, a good woman. That woman aren’t b***ches and h**s, but are beautiful creatures gracing the earth with our knowledge and love.

So, ok, you’re saying, “Ashley, get to the point! Why did you to completely stop what you’re doing to share this moment with us?” Or maybe you’re saying, “Ashley, get to the willingfrailasiandamselfly-size_restrictedpoint! This post is taking way too long to read.” Either way, I wanted to completely stop what I was doing to tell you that you are loved. You deserve to be treated like the king/queen that you are. Live every moment of your life feeling every positive emotion that you can; happiness, joy, hope, serenity, kindness, gratitude. Remember the awesome things that make you, you.

You are awesome-sauce! I don’t care what your boss said. I don’t care what your mama said. I don’t care what your kid said. You are BEAUTIFUL! You are WONDERFUL! You are the perfect result of God’s creation and best believe He makes NO mistakes. Boyz II Men told me, now I’m telling you. Love deeply, love intensely, but most importantly, love yourself!

“I love the lord, he heard my cry.” Boyz II Men, Dear God

By the way, if you had noticed, my blog title has nothing to do with my post. I just couldn’t come up with a title and this was the first thing that popped into my head. Thanks for reading. Even all the way down here cause this is a long post. 🙂 Love you all! 

My Time in SAA

love-yourself

I’ve allowed the curser on my laptop is blink for at least 20 minutes while I thought about how I would begin my post today. I even have my notebook open to my notes about self-forgiveness. But, there is a very intimate story that I would like to share, but I am afraid. I am afraid of judgment. I am afraid that my children may read this one day and think less of me. I am afraid that talking about this would bring up old feelings of resentment and self-hatred. But, this subject has been on my heart to share. I feel there are so many women who are afraid to address this topic because of the same fears. So, then, is it my responsibility to share my story so other women like me can know that they are not alone? So they can have the courage to speak their truth? I don’t know. I honestly, do not have the answers. So, I’ll just get into it with hopes that you, as my readers, will understand my story and why I am deciding to tell it.

During my childhood, I thought sex equaled love and love equaled sex. Due to this ideology, I lost my virginity at a very young age. Maybe it had something to do with being sexually assaulted by a close family member or maybe it was all of the dirty movies and televisions shows I watched late at night on HBO. By the time I had turned nineteen, I had already had over fifteen sexual partners. Half of them were one night stands. It wasn’t until almost ten years later when I had to spend three weeks at a addiction and mental illness outpatient facility, where I learned that I had an addiction and that having sex with every Tom, Dick, and Harry wasn’t a healthy lifestyle to live. Not an addiction to sex, per se, but addiction to the feeling that comes along with sex. I was addicted to the 10-15 minutes (sometimes shorter) of peace that I had of NOT feeling worthless, empty, doomed, sad, angry, etc. I even carried on a relationship with a man who had a live-in girlfriend with children because he made me feel like someone other than myself. I allowed men to destroy my self-esteem. I listened when they told me that I was only good enough for sex. They didn’t verbally say it, but their actions did and I allowed it.

After my outpatient treatment was over, I felt good about myself again. I vowed that I wouldn’t put myself through spiritual damnation any longer. That I will not tolerate men who wanted to treat me less than I deserved. I began going to SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) meetings. It felt weird at first. When I was first told about the meetings, I thought it was for people who were considered nymphomaniacs. It never occurred to me that you could be addicted to love or the illusion of an unhealthy definition of what love is. At first, I only attended women’s meetings. I thought I would be more comfortable there and I was. The women there were so nice and sweet. To my surprise, a lot of them were there to learn how to love themselves again. To treasure their bodies as they would a holy temple and not use it for a few minutes of human gratification; to feel absentee emotions.

One night, the women’s meeting was canceled. The only group that was meeting was a mixed gender group 30 minutes from my house. I was really dedicated to my recovery, so I decided to go. As I walked into a small room filled with old, musty books, I looked around to see about 10 white men over the age of 40, sitting there waiting for me to join them. I felt so awkward. I immediately wanted to turn around a leave, but the leader came up to me and introduced himself. He was surprisingly welcoming. After he introduced himself, everyone else introduced themselves and welcomed me like I’ve been a regular part of the group for years. It was amazing, yet intimidating. They didn’t judge me, nor treat me like I was a young, black woman. They treated me like someone who needed help just like them. After we sat down and shared our stories, we found that we all had a lot in common. How this addiction had affected our self-esteem and our personal relationships. Although, our stories we different, the outcomes were ultimately the same. I walked away that night feeling fulfilled. I had a better understanding from a man’s perspective. The leader of the group told me afterward, that because of my story he felt like he had a better understanding of this illness from a woman’s perspective.

I will never forget this time in my life because this was the beginning of how I have learned to love myself. It also taught me to have so much compassion for other people. Young, old, black, or white, everyone has a struggle. Some struggles can be seen and others you can’t see. A lot of those men and woman I spoke to were successful and well-put together. Some were professionals, some were homemakers. There were people that were single and other’s that have been married for decades. Being all together in one room for an hour or so was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever felt. We all had different backgrounds, were from different cultures and religions, but we each knew exactly how the other was feeling. It’s the biggest connection I’ve ever felt (outside of my family) to another human being. That is what I was missing. Not sex, not a few minutes if possible pleasure, but to feel real love and real human connection.

This is my truth. This is my story. I want young women and men to know that sex does not equate to love. Love is endless. It fulfills a void that you didn’t even know was missing. Love is beautiful and sirene. It is not questioned, nor oddly observed. Love is all and all is love. Love is not a quickie in the back seat. Know your worth and love yourself. Treat your body as a beautiful temple made by our Creature. You are worthy. You are special. You are beautifully made.

“Love who you are, embrace who you are. Love yourself. When you love yourself, people can kind of pick up on that: they can see confidence, they can see self-esteem, and naturally, people gravitate towards you.” -Lilly Singh

To those who have nominated me for awards, I have not forgotten about you. I will post my responses soon. Thank you and I love you all.

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