Funny Friday

Oh crap! I’ve been so wrapped up in mental wellness, I almost forgot to post today’s Funny Friday. Why didn’t anyone tell me? Oh yea, that’s right…you’re not suppose to!

Today’s Funny Friday is brought to you by my 4 year old, Christian.

Christian: Mom can we go to field trip (QuikTrip gas station) to get a donut?

Me: I don’t mind, but I have to take a shower first.

Christian: Why?

Me: Cause I haven’t showered yet and I’m starting to smell.

Christian: …don’t forget to wash your tate o tots (testicles).

Me: Girls don’t have testicles

Christian: Yes they do. And they’re musty so you have to wash them!

Have a wonderful Friday! Stay blessed

7 Reasons Why We Avoid Progress

Hello Friends!

Have you ever been afraid to become a better you? That sounds crazy right. You’re probably saying, “why would someone be afraid of progressing in life?” We would like to think that we want and need progression in our lives, but very few people will admit to being afraid of it. I know I am.

I so desperately want to get better, feel better, and do better. So why does the thought of “being a better me” frighten me so much? There must be something wrong with me, right? WRONG!

Ron Edmondson is a church leader and pastor of Immanuel Baptist Chruch and is an avid believer in Jesus. I was introduced to him by one of my church elders and leader of the group that I’m in called Crash the Chatterbox, Bert.

Bert gave our class a handout that explained why we are afraid of progress written by Ron Edmondson. When I first read it, I thought the same thing you said, “Why would anyone be afraid of progress?” But then I started reading. The reasons he stated makes sense and has transformed my perception, so hopefully, it’ll transform yours as well. Let’s do this!

7 Reasons We Avoid Progress by Ron Edmondson

  1. It stretches us– Progress will lead to unchartered territories; areas that you have never been in before. The unknown can be scary
  2. It invites us– Progress loves to create interest in new activities and circumstances. In order to fuel and maintain the momentum, one must embrace the continuous change that is going to happen.
  3. You HAVE to improve– Progress requires more energy and effort as it progresses. Keep in mind, “You have to get better to get bigger.”
  4. It’s often messy– I like to say, “Anything worth having is going to require a fight.” If it were easy, everyone would be rich, everyone would be successful, everyone would have the spouse of there dreams.
  5. It often defies logic or boundaries– Think about this, 100 years ago, you would have been locked up in an insane asylum if you told them that is it possible to pick up a device, put it to your ear, and talk to someone 2,000 miles away in 30 seconds? Sometimes, stepping outside of the box will take you further than staying in it.
  6. It invites competition– “Show people a little progress and someone will want to join the fun!” -Bert V. In today’s social media infested society, it seems that everyone is losing their individuality to become more like celebrities, and the celebrities are copying each other.  So, maybe, if you progress, then others would want that for themselves, too.
  7. It begs for more– This couldn’t be truer. One time I thought to myself, “Ugh! Blogging requires so much time and attention, and I need my naps, soooo…. maybe this is something I don’t want to do. I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself but instead listened to God. I sounded stupid. Blogging has become my safe haven, my beach, my getaway. Why would I deprive myself of such harmony just because I need naps? Don’t be a turd in a hot tub, floating around, waiting to get flushed. Nurture what nurtures you.

Reading over this broadened my perception. I didn’t know that I was afraid of progressing until I said, “Yea, I’m afraid of that” to most of the reasons. I was like the chicken in the video clip. A part of improving, unfortunately, is taking a really good look at yourself. Not your outer appearance, but your soul. And you may not like what you see. I surely don’t! But you know what, it is very much worth it.

I love the feeling that I have when I know I’m improving myself. I feel great when I know something that I have struggling with is now no longer a concern. All it took what a hard look, a little vodka, and a whole lotta Jesus. Joking about the vodka, cause boy, I wish.

Anyway, thank you so so much for reading my thoughts. I appreciate all of the love that is shown to me and I love each and every one you in Jesus name. Stay blessed, family.

PS…sorry for all of the cute furry animals. I wanted to use furry cuteness to represent my mood, but I think all it’s going to do is make you guys go…

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” -Benjamin Franklin

 

 

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

I’m Done Ya’ll!

Good Day, All!

So, yesterday was the last day of My 30 Day Fast From Social Media and I would love to share the results with you.

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  1. I feel less stress and worry– When I was on social media every day, I always felt an overwhelming amount of gloom and worry. When I would close my Facebook or Instagram app, I would walk away from it feeling all of the negative status’ and comments made by strangers. Now, I am free of that.
  2. Better relationship with God– I find that my relationship with God has improved immensely. Without the noise of social media, I’ve been able to discern the voice of God. I find myself developing a more intimate relationship with Him, which in turn, is helping me manage the symptoms of mental and physical illness.
  3. I’ve become a better mom– The time I used to spend on social media, I now spend with my kids. We’ve been able to grow closer by having more conversations, playing board games, and outside activities. At first, I thought that it was helping me keep my mind off of social media, when it fact, it was helping my kids and I grow closer, like we used to be. It feels amazing.
  4. It freed up space on my cell phone– I was able to backup my contacts and media after deleting the social media apps. Something I haven’t been able to do for 17 weeks because how much memory Facebook and Instagram was taking up.
  5. I feel, overall, better about life– Removing tragedy from my life has been awesome-giphy1sauce! When I was online, I read about one tragic event after another. Without social media, I didn’t hear about the awful happenings of the world all of the time. Even when my husband would try to tell me something that he read on Facebook, I would simply reply, “Babe, I’m not on social media for a reason”.
  6. I’ve learned to control my desire– Due to this time apart, I have lost the desire to be on social media completely. Social media is necessary because I am starting an online business and social media is one of the greatest resources. That being said, I now know that I will only use social media to grow my business, not to argue with silly internet trolls and obsessing over meaningless celebrity gossip.

Completing a 30-day social media fast has truly been a life-changing experience. I really feel like this was the right step to my recovery journey. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect at the end of this fast or even what I wanted to accomplish, really. I just knew that I wanted to disconnect from the stronghold that social media had on me. I was able to accomplish that and more.

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me during my fast. I would recommend this fast to anyone, even if you are not a social media junkie.

“Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place. Have faith in your own abilities, work hard, and there is nothing you cannot accomplish.” -Brad Henry

Steps to Manifesting Your Goals

Hello fellow bloggers,

giphy8Sometimes, when dealing with stress, we forget about the goals that we had before those other situations arose. My kids were surprised when I told them I had dreams. Hannah said, “…but moms don’t have dreams. We are your dreams.” 

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I realized at that moment, that they only know me as, Mom. Not, Ashley the poet, Ashley the dreamer, Ashley the artist, Ashley the super beautiful, super intelligent, super awesome-sauce life giver. 😉☝🏽Just, Mom.😎

I spend so much time doing this and doing that (mom duties) that they haven’t seen me in Ashley mode. Well, in their defense, I haven’t been in Ashley mode in over a year due to mental and physical ailments, but all of that is slowly changing. I am determined to be “me” again, whoever “me” is.

Today, I finally took a step towards developing my candle business. “You make candles, Ashley?” Oh, thanks for asking, and yes, yes I do! It’s so relaxing and I love it. I came up with a bunch of excuses (which we love to do) when it comes to following our dreams:giphy13

  1. I cant afford it
  2. The candle supply store is too far
  3. No one is going to buy them
  4. That money can be used else where
  5. I’m too busy
  6. Ain’t nobody got time for that

So today, I took that leap (well my husband drug me) to the candle supply store to buy supplies. Now, I can’t wait to get to work.

I would like to share with you a list of goals that we should try to manifest in our daily lives in order to LIVE our lives to the fullest and accomplish our goals.

I found this list from a wonderful Instagram page dedicated to meditating and love. If you have Instagram, I recommend visiting her page for daily doses of inspiration. You can find her at @meditateandlove. Don’t worry, I took a screenshot of this list before my social media fast. I just found it and was like, “Ooohhh, I don’t know what to blog about, so I’m just going to blog about something that someone else came up with.” 

  1. Meditate to reprogram your mind
  2. Set a vision/goal board and visualize it
  3. Be grateful and have faith
  4. Have a plan
  5. Acquire necessary skills to get there
  6. Focus on your goal
  7. Take action

Thoughts I had after I read this:

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🌸“Come on, warrior!” (I call myself warrior when I’m trying to get motivated. Don’t judge me!) 

🌸”You got this!”

🌸”Get up, move.”

🌸”Push it, push it, push it.”

🌸”If they can do it (whoever ‘they’ is) then you can do it.”

🌸”Make Jesus proud. He didn’t die for you to moan and cry all the time.”

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23)

The moral is follow your D.R.E.A.M.S! Do not allow your circumstances to discourage you. My motto is, if you think about a goal that you want to accomplish more than fives times a week, then you need to get off your rump shaker and go for it!🤪👍🏽

“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” -Wayne Gretzky

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! 

I Suck At Maintaining Friendships

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I suck at maintaining relationships. Whew! There, I said it out loud. I’m sure people that I used to be friends with would say the same thing. It’s always something I’ve known deep down, but I don’t think I’ve actually admitted it until now.

I would love to say that my failed friendships are completely and utterly the fault of said ex-friends, but I would be lying big time! Some friendships I’ve lost because they were toxic. Some I’ve lost simply because we grew apart. But more than I would like to admit, most friendships were lost because of the depression I would have after a manic episode and my inability to seek the appropriate help.

After going through a manic episode, I would go into a deep depression, completely withdrawing myself from everyone; friends, family, co-workers, etc. This was not intentional of course. I would just become a recluse. Now, most people would allow me to wallow in my own misery without a second thought for my concern. But there were a few people who really tried to be a great friend during my moments of severe depression, but eventually, they would feel neglected and leave the friendship, which I totally understand. Afterwards, I would feel so embarrassed and ashamed, I wouldn’t contact them anymore. Regrettably, I’ve lost a lot of great people in my life this way.

pexels-photo-207896.jpegOddly enough, I’ve never been upset with them. I know it is hard to be friends with someone who suffers from severe depression and bipolar disorder. We can be unpredictable. How can I expect anyone to understand what I am going through if I don’t even understand what I’m going through? I mean, honestly, I don’t expect anyone to put up with it. A person can only take so much rejection. Maybe, I’ve never pursued a failed friendship because I know they do not deserve to be shut out of my life just because I’m going through a rough time.

Truly, I don’t think that I’m a very good friend. I love all of my friends, past, and present. Especially the ones that were there for me during some of my dark times and I will always hold them close to my heart.

If you are reading this and we stopped being friends due to my inability to function because of my mental illness, please forgive me. I want you to know that I did love you and appreciate you and it was nothing that you did. It sounds cliche, but it was ALL me, not you. I am so very sorry for not being able to be the friend that you deserved. I’m sorry for abandoning you and leaving you without an explanation. Futhermore, I am sorry for causing any trust issues you may have in the future for anyone who is trying to be your friend. 

pexels-photo-46024.jpegI do have one friend, that no matter how long I go without talking to her, she never gives up on me. She’ll constantly call and harass me until I reply. Even if weeks go by without a word. Somehow, she’s always there. One time, I tried to purposely push her away. At the time, I was unable to see past my own issues and felt she would be better off without me as a friend, but she is relentless. She is a like my husband farts; no matter how far you go to get away, she still lingers. I love her to pieces and sometimes I feel I don’t deserve her. She never reads my blogs post, so she’ll never know much I love her being so dang annoying 🙂

Sometimes, I become sad when I think about how I don’t have many friends. But I think, they are better off. Until I learn how to better handle manic episodes when they occur, no one should be subjected to a part-time friend. People, especially good people, deserve better than that.

pexels-photo-279470.jpegIf you are friends with someone who suffers from a mental illness, please have patience with them. It is not an excuse, but during manic moments, we are not ourselves. Our brains are trying to make sense of the rapid emotions flowing through our body and our mind. Everything feels right but wrong. The sun is shining 24 hours out of the day, while the nights’ dark skies gloom in the background. Up is down and everywhere is nowhere.

Does anyone else struggle with maintaining any kind of relationship while dealing with a mental illness? I would love to hear how it is for you.

Thank you for reading my thoughts.

I’d walk through fire for my best friend. Well, not fire because that’s dangerous. But a super humid room… well not too humid, because you know… my hair. -Anonymous 

Ode To My True Love

As I lay on your chest while hearing the song of your heartbeat, I reflect on the life that we have together. Who knew that five years ago, God would bless me 😇with someone who would heal all of my wounds from the inside out.

Many told us that we shouldn’t be together, but I thank God every day for allowing our love to blossom 🌸into a beauty that many do not understand. Thank God that He knew what He was doing by blessing me with you 💕

You were made for me and I was made for you. We finish each other sentences. I know what you want before you even ask. My soul is directly connected to yours.☯️

You remind me every day of how much you love me. You are my best friend, my confidant, my lover, and my protector. You are the light 🌟during my darkness, the inspiration 💓 during my self-doubt, and the encouragement 💞during my tough times.

img_1887-e1518618794646.jpgThank you for being the best husband a lady could pray for you. You have exceeded my expectations of what a loving husband is and it is all thanks to our Heavenly Father.

You’ve made all of the pain and heartbreak in my past worth it, because, without their rejection, you wouldn’t have found me, loved me, healed me, and reminded me that I am worthy of true love.

img_2660We have been through the trenches of hell together and because of it, our bond and love have been transformed into a foundation that cannot be destroyed by anyone or anything.

You have loved my children as if they were your own and you have blessed me with a mini-you👶🏽that has all of your most beautiful qualities.

Saying I love you will never be enough to fully express the gratitude and admiration that I have for you. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for setting an example for our children of what real love looks like. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Most importantly, thank you for loving me for me. 😘

Happy Valentines Day and Happy Anniversary, my love.

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” -A. A. Milne

 

Divine Valentine

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Valentines Day 💕. Let today be a day of love and forgiveness. Love on your spouse, love on your children, love on your parents, but most importantly☝🏽☺️love on yourself! 😉🤗🌹

Funny Friday’s

Good day all!

This has been a trying week, but I refuse to be defeated. This joke is dedicated to everyone who has had a rough week, but is still kicking butt and taking names👊🏽👊🏽Keep smiling through the chaos🤪 😁 Don’t give up ☝🏽& tell a stranger you love them today ❤️

“Tricky Jar”

An 85-year-old man goes to see his doctor for his regular physical exam. The doctor says that the man needs to provide a semen sample and gives him a jar saying, “Take this jar home with you and come back tomorrow with a semen sample.”

The next day the old man goes back to the doctors and gives him the jar, which is as clean and empty as when the doctor gave it to him. So the doctor asks what happened and why there is no sperm sample in the jar. The old man says, “Well, doc, it’s like this… first I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing. Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand – nothing; then with her left, still nothing. She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out, still nothing. We even called up Maisie, the lady next door and she tried too, first with both hands, then an armpit, and she even tried squeezing it between her knees, but still nothing.”

The doctor is really shocked by all this and asks incredulously, “You asked your neighbor???”

The old man replies, “Yep, not one of us could get the jar open.”

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” -Charlie Chaplin

 

Joke borrowed from LaffGaff.com

Social Media Fast Update

2370150Good day all,

So, you want to know how I’ve been doing on my 30-day Social Media fast? Well, I’ll tell you anyway 🙂 To catch up, click here My 30 Day Fast From Social Media to read the details of my social media fast and why I am doing it.

I was doing really well. I really was, until…I received a notification on my phone from the Apple News app saying, “Kylie Jenner reveals the birth of baby girl.” This was a trigger because social media has been in a frenzy since September due to pregnancy allegations. No one has been able to provide tangible proof of this “alleged pregnancy”, until Tuesday. I looked at the headline for about two minutes arguing with myself. I wasn’t sure if Apple News counted as “social media”. It is a news outlet, right? So, I clicked on the article.

After I read it, I felt a bit ashamed. I was excited that I had gone a week without reading celebrity gossip. I was able to convince myself that this is more of an announcement than gossip, so I hit the link to watch the video that she made during her secret pregnancy. I was so curious, but later felt robbed of the 7 minutes of my life that I gave to watching her video. It left no satisfaction at all.

I thought long and hard as to why I was so interested in this girl having a baby. Millions of women have babies every day and I’m not lurking on Apple News to read about their experiences.

I am going to take my little slip up as continued motivation to complete my challenge. Honestly, it has left a nasty taste in my mouth.  I’m not sure what made me more upset, the sudden urgency I felt to check her pregnancy video or me giving in and watching the video. Either way, this incident has further proven why I NEED to do this challenge. I should have control over what I read and watch, not the other way around.

If you are trying to overcome any addiction right now, I am proud of you for taking the first step. I also want you to know that if you have a slip-up, forgive yourself and keep pushing forward. You may have thoughts of self-doubt, but give yourself some credit. You taking that first step to admitting that you have an addiction and setting a plan in place to subdue it is a lot more than many of the people living right now.

We got this!

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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Photo Credit to http://goaliefights.blogspot.com/

My 30 Day Fast From Social Media

*Yawn* I wake up, roll over grab my phone to see the time. I then determine how long do I have before I actually have to get out of the bed. If it’s more than 2 minutes, I scream “yes!” in my head because that’s enough time for me to hop on Instagram. Specifically, to check gossip blog pages. I know, I know, I have a weakness for gossip. I’ve been able to bring it to a halt in my personal life by living by one rule, “minding my bizness!” But celebrity gossip is a completely different monster.

0201-beyonce-twins-pregnant-instagram-8.jpgWhen Beyoncé broke the internet by announcing her pregnancy (both times), I religiously checked the gossip blog sites for updates on maternity shoot photos and gender reveals. I was an addict. I found myself getting sucked into her life and drama. When I found out Beyoncé got cheated on, I was angry. When I found out she had a miscarriage, I was devastated. It’s crazy when I think about it because I’m feeling so many raw emotions for a person that I don’t even know! And I wonder why I’m depressed.

Before, I lied to myself about saying deleting Facebook was enough, but my addiction to Instagram has proved otherwise. My husband made a snippy little comment about how much I love Instagram. I have to prove to him (and myself) that he’s wrong. So, I’ve decided to start a social media fast. It actually began at approximately 8pm (CST) this past Wednesday night and I’m jonesing a little bit. I’ve deleted all of my social media apps (except this one ☝🏽☺️) so I won’t be tempted to “check something really quick”. That’s usually how an hour long binge of trying to find out who cheated with who begins. Nah!

gossipNow, usually, when people decide to fast, they abstain from food. In my case, abstaining from food is not a problem since I’m limited to what I can eat. So, I am offering Instagram as my sacrifice because it really is something I enjoy, but it’s bad for my mental health and just simply a waste of time. I could be doing something more conducive to my recovery. I want to be able to use social media for business only. This is what I pray that I will accomplish at the end of my fast.

My faith teaches me that fasting, or “to abstain from” pleasurable things will bring me closer to Christ through prayer(1 Corinthians 7:5) which is what I want to accomplish as well.

fasting-monks-250x179But I believe the idea for fasting should be an open idea for anyone who wants to evolve from depression and anxiety. Maybe, abstaining from some of your desires will give you a sense of control and pride when you accomplish it. Plus, it’ll help you focus on something other than your own thoughts. Making such goals and sticking to them will be awesome for your recovery. It’ll give you pride and self-worth. Most importantly, it will feel grrrrreat! I’m more than positive that taking this step will boost my mood overall and I can’t wait!

Here are the tips that I plan on using to fast:

1. Find something else to do when I get tempted

2. Consider the personal and spiritual consequences if I give into the desire

3. Don’t think about it, pray about it.

If you guys have any tips I can use, please drop a comment below. I would greatly appreciate it. Wish me luck 🤞🏽

“The philosophy of fasting calls upon us to know ourselves, to master ourselves, and to discipline ourselves the better to free ourselves. To fast is to identify our dependencies, and free ourselves from them.” -Tariq Ramadan

Time for A Celebration!

Picture me, sliding across a wooden floor in white tube socks like Tom Cruise in Top Gun, because I just realized I’m at 365 followers!

All of you, each and every one, is awesome sauce for hitting that follow button. You guys are the real MVP’s, seriously. You inspire me everyday with your blog post, likes, comments, award nomination, etc. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

In celebration, I would like to share the wealth. I want each of you guys to know each other. Most of us follow the same blogs, but here is a chance to meet someone knew. I’ve meet remarkable people with different religions, backgrounds, ethnicity, etc. Its been a beautiful experience. I encourage you guys to do the same.

My favorite feature of the WordPress community is we all have at least two things in common; we’re all human and we all have something to say. I love that I can share my thoughts and struggles without being judged for my race or social class. I’m just one person amongst billions trying to make it through life.

I came across a wonderful blog, CharlieCountryBoy and he reblogged a wonderful idea from Dream Big, Dream Often blog that says IF YOU DROP A LINK IN MY COMMENTS, I WILL REPOST YOUR BLOG! And I want to participate.

So, I want to you to drop a link of your blog in the comments below. I will reblog it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I will also try to remember to reblog this for any new followers.

Let’s all help each other. Drop the link below to get a little exposure. We’re all here for a reason, right?

Stay blessed loved ones! And thanks again!

How I Got Rid of Toxic People In My Life

hb1tf1aAbout ten years ago, I allowed a close family member to break my heart. So, much so, I was bedridden with grief for about two days. It was hard for me to overcome because I couldn’t wrap my head around why she would betray me. I didn’t do anything to her to deserve it. She saw an opportunity to take advantage of my kindness and took off with it like she was Usain Bolt. It left me feeling worthless because, at the time, I truly felt like she genuinely wanted to build a relationship with me. It was all I was praying for; understanding and love from someone I grew up with.

42-23039081Needless to say, that wasn’t the case. Fast forward to 2017, this same person needed my help again. I should have said no. She is a toxic person. You couldn’t deny the energy in the room turning sour once she entered it. It was a stench that you couldn’t ignore. She was someone that couldn’t be trusted, but I thought that was in the past. So I helped. Sometimes, I ask myself why did I bother. She would only turn around and do the exact same thing she did years prior. This time, it hit me even harder. I was already going through and hard time and bam! Here she was with her shenanigans.

At the beginning of this post, I said I allowed her to break my heart. I say I allowed it because I feel that people will only do to you what YOU allow them to do. I knew how she was (both times), but I thought that she had grown into a better person. I was wrong. She played me like a cheap violin. While she was basking in the glory of my pain, I was letting out the real pain of betrayal and heartache.

I had to figure out, what does God say about toxic people? How do I NOT allow them to affect me so much? What do I do about them? How do I get “over it”? I prayed every day to become the kind of person to brush things off as easily as she brushed me off, but I had to learn to get through it and here is how.

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I came across a book that would answer most of my questions. It’s called How God Sees Your Struggles by Lynn R. Davis. In the first chapter, she makes explains how God wants us to handle toxic people and their foolishness. Below are the lessons that I learned to get rid of her and other toxic people in my life and here is how you can too:

  • Stop allowing yourself to get worked up about what other people think, say, or believe about you.

“There are some people who always seem angry and continuously look for conflict; walk away. The battle they are fighting isn’t with you. It is with themselves.”                -Anonymous

  • You are a beautiful creation of God. The only opinion that matters is His and His alone. God wants you to know that you were not created to be abused, used, mistreated, or mocked.

“What is the price of two sparrows-one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid ; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows?” -Matthew 10:29-31

  • You will never have peace if you do not overcome your need to please people and expect to maintain your health, peace, and sanity.
  • Do not allow yourself to get sucked in by other peoples foolishness.
  • Do not allow them to pollute your faith.

“Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense. Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” -Proverbs 18:1-2

  • Toxic people will try to make you stoop down to their level. Do not allow them to do this. It will only cause more stress and heartache for you in the end. Although it’s hard, walk away. Only speak in love, let it go, walk away, and pray for them. They are miserable, not you. Give it all to God.
  • Do not waste your time and tears on toxic people. If you do, you will never have peace. Only God can change their hearts.

“When a wise man has controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.” -Proverbs 29:9.

  • Stay encouraged for doing the right thing. As long as your heart is right with God, so will your actions. Don’t worry yourself about how to get back at the people that attack you. God will deal with them as He sees fit.

“The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked.” -Proverbs 10:29

  • Toxic people bring destruction on themselves. Spend time in prayer and meditation so you don’t allow yourself to get sucked up in their chaos. Once you’re sucked in, it’s hard to get out. You will then find yourself reaping the benefits of their turmoil.

After following the do’s and don’ts of dealing with toxic people, I can say that I have peace. I love my close family member, as I should, but that is as far as our relationship goes. I pray that she is able to let go whatever is causing her so much misery, but until then, I can’t deal with her and now that I know my worth, I refuse to. I used to feel bad about it, but now I don’t. God says that I have to love her and pray for her. He doesn’t say anything about me taking abuse from her or anyone else. Sometimes I have to ask God to give me the desire to pray for her. That way, I can heal from her destruction and move on.

I hope you are able to let go of the toxic people in your life. Trust me, you will be better off. If you are interested in reading her book, you can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE. You can read it for free by downloading the 30-Day free trial Kindle Unlimited by clicking HERE. It’s worth it and honestly, this is how I was able to read it. Thank you for reading my thoughts. God bless you all.  

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Quill Commander Award

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A few days ago, I was nominated by a wonderful blogger, JGomez, Journey of Reflections for The Quill Commander Award created by Dronstad. Thank you, good sir, for thinking of me. I love how inspirational your blog is and how much love you always show to your readers. Thank you for being awesome sauce! If you have a chance, check out his great blog.

The purpose of this award is to promote patriotism and unify bloggers from different countries through tolerance and appreciation of their nationality.

Unified by our love for writing and reading, this reward is a token of that love.

The rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog
  2. List the rules of the award
  3. Post a photo of your National flag and anthem
  4. Leave a favorite quote
  5. Nominate a few loyal bloggers

One of my favorites quotes is (because of course, I can’t just have one)

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” -Maya Angelou

You guys should know by now that I do not like to nominate any particular blog. I would like to nominate everyone who is reading this. I would love for you all to share 🙂

Thank you all so much for your time.

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