Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Instagram Post: One of those days... A Fatigue Day

I’m having one of those days....

Where everything hurts and I’m sacked by a fatigue so strong that makes it hard to physically move around and makes for a foggy brain function. Shout out to my PCOS & Hormones for hitting me like a bullet train this morning. 

Hubby had a hard time waking me, and I’ve had a hard time staying awake. I’m not complaining- just being real. It’s been a while since I’ve had a day like this, so it kinda caught me by surprise. It’s more than just being tired πŸ˜“ and the reason I point that out is because I used to be that person that listened to my friends with chronic illness and disorders... I heard them, but never really understood. It’s not something you can really understand unless you’ve been there I think. I didn't until I was there myself!

But my intermittent bad days and hard days- this is everyday life for some people. It’s a reminder to pray for them, and a reminder to rely on God for strength and to continuously look to him for my day to day grace. I’m still working on that Blog Post that I told ya'll was coming about body positivity, so hopefully I’ll get it out later today! 
If I can’t, know it’s coming soon!

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

On This Mothers Day | Holding The Complexities Of Mothers Day

Image courtesy of Simon Dalmeri via Unsplash

{I know that some of you read that title and did a double take- 
TRIGGER WARNING: discussion of loss, infertility, and death.
Please consider leaving a comment below if you read to the end!}

Tomorrow is Mother's Day....

The day that we celebrate and honor our mom's and shower them with a little extra love can be sweet memory makers... or it can be a day full of complex emotions. I've been blessed to have a decent relationship with my mama- something I know not everyone is able to say. This is at the forefront of my mind as I think of a friend with a complicated relationship with their mother, and as I think of the children of my husbands cousin who lost their mother earlier this month. There is both that to remember, that to celebrate, and yet that to grieve tomorrow.

This year is the first in a long while that I get to celebrate and celebrate with my mom and my mother-in-law. We've been out of state for the majority of our dating and marriage, so this is kind of a big deal. It also comes on the heels of a major surgery for my mom, so I'm thanking Jesus a little extra for her this Mother's Day. Last night, Freddie and I joined her to see Avengers: Infinity War to celebrate Mother's Day. Go ahead and laugh, but if there is one thing I know about my mom its that she likes action and superhero movies! Sure, we've had our ups and downs like any other relationship I suppose, but Mothers Days haven't ever really been of the tense variety for me.

That is... until last year.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, than you know that a little over a year ago I found out that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and I have written quite a bit about the things I struggle with in relation to that... But I have never really written openly and honestly about this particular aspect of that: Infertility.

When I went to that appointment to find out what was going on with me, I thought I was either having an ectopic pregnancy, or maybe even a miscarriage. To be honest, I was just scared. I had been suffering from a ton of health issues leading up to that, and I was kind of expecting the worst. I had read about PCOS, and all the things that could come with it. The diagnosis was not surprising.... yet I was shell shocked. We had been talking about getting pregnant... so to hear that this could be harder for me (I even had a doctor tell me I might not be able to have kids at all, which isn't really true), was pretty hard. What made the following Mother's Day so difficult was that word- infertility - and the fact that this desire to become a mother had been growing so strongly within me.

After that diagnosis... all of the children and mothers in my life, through friendship & work, had become painful reminders to me of not just my desire to be a mom, but that which I was lacking. It was also a painful reminder that something was wrong with me- my body wasn't working right.
Because I worked with so many mothers and children, and so many women in my life were pregnant or had kids, I did all I could to push those feelings down and away. I didn't know how to healthily work through them, and I certainly couldn't just cut all of these people out of my life. I didn't know how to talk about it, It seemed too taboo. It was exhausting. So on mothers day... it all came to a boiling point. 

I did my best to be happy at church, to hug every last little one. I even had my picture taken with some of the kids as we were doing Mother's Day photos for the mom's and someone wanted me in a picture with the kids since I was a "spiritual" mother. I appreciate that photo so much now, but at the time it was a pinprick on my heart... and I couldn't wait for it to be over. All day long I felt like I was wearing the word "infertility" across my forehead, and "barren" across my waist. It was all in my head of course... but the fragility was so real. Church was so difficult that day. I wanted to run out of the building. I wanted to go home and hide in my bed in a nest of pillows and blankets. I didn't know how to talk with anyone in church about it, so I avoided anything but pleasantries to keep my heart from breaking in two.

Later that night, after calling my own mother (states away), I let everything crash down. I gave myself room to grieve. I yelled at God. I tried to understand his purpose in it all... I couldn't. I sobbed through prayers for a long time in the shower. I didn't know how I was going to keep doing what I was doing with this weight on my heart. I love kids... I love mothers... I love church... and to try and hold that as well as such pain and confusion around if I would ever get to have my own kids, experience pregnancy, and live out the role of mother... It was a day I had to decide whether or not I would allow all of this to make me bitter. I chose against bitterness, and at the same time recognized that feeling these things and letting them run their course was probably the healthiest thing I could do.

This Mothers Day, I am a bit more removed from those feelings and working through this part in my journey to motherhood in a more healthy way. Still, Mother's Day comes with a handful of complexities for me. I am a lot closer geographically to my mom and my mother-in-law, so I get to enjoy spending time with them. I have grown in appreciation for spiritual mothering, and have been able to provide that to some who really needed it and to celebrate those who have provided that for me myself... Yet, unlike some will say, that doesn't fulfill this desire for children.

I find myself walking the tension between joyously celebrating / honoring my own mom and the women in my life who are also very much deserving celebrating, and this deep rooted desire that comes with questions and a little sadness and the reminder that I need to be ok with possibly never being in the biological role of mother... which to me, feels like a loss. And as I write these words now, I know I am not the only person who will have this kind of tension on mothers day. I might tear up tomorrow, I might be totally fine. Some of you may cry in the shower this weekend... That's ok.

I am learning to hold the complexities of Mother's Day in my hands. I am learning to let God lead me through these feelings and emotions that can be hard to express and understand. Motherhood is something to both celebrate, and yet can be something to grieve. Unfortunately, while our society has become a little more open about discussing issues pertaining to women, we still brush past things like infertility, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, still births... all of which can be very hard to be vulnerable about and unhealthy to try and work through alone, or even just with a spouse. I dream of a day where these things are not taboo or shameful, but openly discussed and talked about just as much as motherhood is celebrated both in society as a whole and in church.

One thing that I have found helpful is not just being able to talk to my own mother and family about these things, but becoming more open about my own struggles in church and random conversations with other women so that maybe they can be empowered or encouraged to open up as well. People don't always understand, which sometimes hurts just as much-  so use wisdom- but I'm in a place now where I am more compelled to share because I don't want someone else to have to go it alone or feel like there is no one who can support them in this part of their journey. Jesus is present in this too.

So today, the day before Mother's Day, I have prayers for those who will struggle through tomorrow.

"I pray for those who have lost a mother, whether that be due to a death, a lack of relationship, or a loss of relationship- 

I pray for those women who have lost a child, to a natural death, to gun violence, to drugs, to miscarriage or still birth, to loss of relationship-

I pray for those women who are still praying for their miracle baby, their rainbow baby, for things promised and prophesied-
I pray for those men who have lost and are grieving the mother of their children with their children-
May you hear the Lord tomorrow, and feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit
May you know in your heart of hearts and deep down in your soul
That Jesus is with you
He sees you
He knows you
all of your desires
all of those promises 
And the things that are broken
He longs to make them right
May you know his spirit
Stronger than ever tomorrow
And may he reveal himself to you
In a life changing way."
-A Prayer for those torn on Mothers Day

Me and my mama <3

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Instagram Post: Luna Bar Quotes On Greatness


Luna Bar reiterating lessons I’ve been having pop up over the past couple of weeks...
And by popped up, I really mean that it feels like ‘lessons yelled at me’.
Lessons like this are hard to swallow these days, as I’m feeling pretty uncomfortable in almost all aspects of life right now... and it’s been that way for a while. Do you know the feeling of being uncomfortable in your own life? It’s not pleasant. It’s awkward. It’s like going through puberty all over again, or learning a new culture that was supposed to be your own.

It’s u-n-c-o-m-f-o-r-t-a-b-l-e.


I find myself thinking, “ok God, you better be doing something freaking amazing up there!” And I know that He is. He’s moving behind the scenes and doing all the things that only He can do. He’s offering peace in the midst of the uncomfortable messes I see around me and within me. He’s offering love and a hand to steady me. And in its own way... that is enough for me. I don’t want to admit that because I want the uncomfortable messes to lessen and cease, but I know that walking with Him has never steered me wrong and has always kept me and made sure I had what I truly needed.

Can I be honest?

Following Jesus is difficult.

ESPECIALLY when you are committed to authenticity in relationships and not just faking your way through religion and religiously just backpacking it through life.

Jesus is enough. Life is hard.

And these things and paradoxes can coexist in the same space and not cancel each other out.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Black Panther: My Top 12 Reacts

None of these are in a particular order, but they all describe moments that had me catching my breath, wanting to cry, or screaming! This movie is just so good- if you haven't seen it and you are reading this... GO SEE IT!

1. When Okoye says, "We are home."

     Not so much to say except- THE FEELS! You could feel the pride and love the movie was trying to portray.

2. When T'challa's mom yells, "SHOW HIM WHO YOU ARE!"
     This. Was. Powerful. Yes yes, I get the lion king reference, BUT it really added to the movie.  T'challa didn't just remind Mbaku who he was, but WHOSE he was. It also made me think about the importance of not just standing strong in knowing who we are, but remembering who we are, and being able to remind ourselves in the midst of difficult circumstances. This scene reminded me of how I belong to Jesus and that it is important to decree that from time to time, and to remind others of that as well.

3. When Okoye complains about the wig...
     When Okoye says the wig is silly and shows her displeasure in wearing it: SO refreshing. I love seeing people wear their natural hair or however it makes them happy, and this scene of Okoye wanting to strip away the need to conform even if for an undercover moment filled my heart with a resounding YES!

4. When Okoye THROWS that wig across the room...

     The next best thing is when Okoye THROWS this wig across the room and uses it as a defense in her fight against white men with guns. THAT spoke to me on so many levels- outside of just being plain funny! It was cool to see something that has been used according to society as a way of deeming black women socially acceptable or "beautiful" as something that helped Okoye blind the enemy and get free of their clutches to help T'challa and Nakia catch Klaw (Klau?)

5. Shuri & T'challa testing the Black Panther Suits

    The playful brother and sister love between T'challa & Shuri is beautifully shown throughout the movie. One of my favorite parts is when they are testing the Black Panther suits and Shuri is video taping her brother getting bounced away by the suit and he tells her to delete the footage. SO funny and the scene drives home the type of relationship that they have.

6. Shuri and her colonizer comment...
     Enough said really....

7. Shuri fighting Killmonger...

     What I love about this is the fierceness that Shuri shows, and the fact that she didn't hesitate to do what she felt like needed to be done to help her brother and save Wakanda. Even though you can see that she is a little fearful, she does it anyway because it needs to be done.

8. Just EVERYTHING related to Shuri!

     I have to admit that Shuri was definitely one of my favorite characters in the entire movie... It was a breath of fresh air to see a young person of color in a role like this, and it was also really empowering to see a young woman in this kind of a role. Her sass and strength and smarts shine through, and actually she reminds me of a family member!

Image result for shuri gif

9. Killmonger's last words...

     Killmonger's last words really got me and made me cry. When T'challa says they might be able to save him, Killmonger basically says there is no point in living the rest of his life as a prisoner. Then he says:
"Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from ships because they knew that death was better than bondage"
There are not enough words to describe exactly what I felt the first time I watched this movie and how hard those words pierced my soul.

10. Nakia telling Okoye where her allegiance lies...

      When Okoye tells Nakia that she should be serving her country regardless of who is on the throne, and Nakia tells her instead that it is her duty to save her country... man.... I choked up on this one. I feel like this is such a powerful and bold statement. It made me think of activists that do what they can to sway for change, It made me think of my role as a follower of Jesus, It made me think about the pledge of allegiance, it made me think of what we consider to be important and how that is different for everyone, and it made me want to ask people what they think of when they think of personal allegiance. Blindly serving... is that wise?

11. Killmonger telling his father, "Everybody dies. It's just life around here."

don't cry don't cry don't cry....

Image result for michael b jordan black panther gif

12. Okoye and her husband facing off in battle...

     One of the things that irked me the most in the movie is Okoye's husband calling her "My love" and asking if she would really kill him.... DUDE- you just started a war within Wakanda, you didn't listen to her, shut her down in front of the council, and tried to have her killed during battle... THE NERVE! I think it also speaks to her strength that she was able to choose between her husband and Wakanda in that moment, and also not act on her own feelings even though she had clearly been feeling a lot since that moment her husband shut her down in front of the council.

Image result for Okoye and husband gif

I had so many favorite things, it was hard to narrow it down to just 12! What were your favorite moments in the movie? Any best reactions you have to share? Make sure to leave a comment down below!
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