Purging My Life (The Physical Edition) We can do hard things Pt.2 (Adjust My Focus)

May 29, 2021

The Lord has told me it is time for me to adjust my focus.  I know I talk a lot about my journey with grief and depression, but I want to adjust my focus.  While those issues are still at the forefront of my mind, for me to continue telling you how I survived, how I have overcome, and how I am not just alive but living, there is more. 

In previous blog posts, I have talked about purging my life. 

Purging my Life “It’s Time for a New Thing” From Greif & Clutter to Joy & Tranquility

Purging my Life 4: Physically Purging the house and the Body Purge/ Heart Matters

My home, my mental health, and now it is time for my physical health. 

Yes, I have accomplished some hard things, but there is so much more!  In our journey of mental health wellness, we cannot forget about our physical health.  I knew that I could not do anything about my physical health until I handle the things that were going on in my head. Now that I am doing well in that area, it is time to move forward.

I received some numbers from my doctor that I did not like.  It has taken me two years and a global pandemic to face that diagnosis.  I was told that my blood sugar levels were elevated.  I knew that I need to take action to bring those numbers back down so that I don’t develop diabetes.  Whenever I went to the doctor, my numbers have always been perfect, so I was in shock.  In all honesty, I shouldn’t be shocked.  I did not have the best diet, and I did not stick to an exercise program long enough to make a difference, not to mention that I was grieving a significant loss and COVID-19 25.  (I equate this to the Freshman 15).

I can do hard things!

I do not want to end up with diabetes, so I decided to take charge of my physical health, make significant changes, and fight against it.  I knew that I needed to change my diet, but I also needed some physical exercise.  I decided to invest in myself and made a mini gym in my home, including the little bike that goes nowhere, a Peloton Bike.  It is nothing fancy, but I can get up every morning and work out for at least 30-45 minutes and again in the evening. 

No, when I first received my bike, it sat for a while unused.  I kept thinking about what I have gotten myself into!  I completed my first ride, and my behind was sore. I was breathing breaths I have never breathed before.  I had to call on the name of JESUS to finish that ride!  Then I stopped for a few more weeks thinking, what in the world are you doing!!!  LOL.  I eventually got back in the sandal and found some wonderful support groups through Facebook, and I have completed 65 bike rides and a few boot camps! 

I can do hard things!

Now I have started to attack my diet.  I needed to make some significant changes because any fitness and nutrition expert will tell you that you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.  So, it did not matter how many miles I rode, how high my cadence, or the level of my resistances; I was never going to be successful without changing what goes into my mouth.  So, this where I am now in this next phase of my journey.  I will keep you posted about my progress. 

Just know that GOD is GOOD, and he has equipped us to do the hard things!

Have faith in God and then have Faith in yourself.

I love you all with the love of Jesus Christ!

 

What Would You Change?

Late Night/Early Morning Thoughts

March 24, 2021 @ 2:30 AM

I could not sleep tonight, so I am evaluating my life and my choices.  You know the, Did I do this or that right?  What if I could change something, even one thing? Would it make a difference? 

We often ask each other, “What would you change if you could go back in the past?” Like most of us, I always have a laundry list of things I would change like, school and career choices, financial decisions, and places of residence.

At what cost would those changes come?

Would that change who my daughters are and who they are supposed to become?

Would that change mean changing the people who have planted seeds in my life?

Would that change the people who have touched my heart and I have touched theirs?

Would that change who God means for me to become?

Regardless of the hard, sad, painful, and tragic events of my life, I would not change one thing. 

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The Lord said in Isaiah not to remember the former things or things of the past.  He also told me to listen carefully. I am about to do a new thing, and it will spring forth, and I will not be aware of it.  He will even put a road in the wilderness. (Isaiah 43:18-19)

There is a joy that God will instill in you that will allow you to withstand any storm that life brings to you.  God has taken the events of my life and weaved and molded them into who I am today.  The pain, joy, laughter, and tears have led me to this moment and this season of my life.  Healing from God is more than physical illness. God has healed my heart, my mind, and my soul.  The hard times in my life have forever changed me.  They have made me stronger, resilient, and knowing that all things are possible if I trust in GOD. 

“GOD, pick up the pieces.

Put me back together again.3CAC0122-08AE-42DC-948F-BDD61F821720_4_5005_c

YOU ARE MY PRAISE!” (Jeremiah 17:14)

 

 

It is my prayer every day that if God takes everything that I have been through and uses it to help others, it will all be worth it. 

 

We Are Tired: More Than A Hashtag!

June 2, 2020

I have watched and read posts in my timeline.

I have seen Instagram posts and Twitter tweets from everyone.

Sadly, I have had to unfollow, unfriend, and delete people whose true colors started to show through their masks.

I have read post after tweet about how the looters are savages and scum.  Those same people posted, NOTHING on their timeline about the murder of George Floyd, that happened right in front of the world.

If that is, you, and you care nothing about the plight of African Americans and not willing to listen, have an intelligent conversion that will invoke change then, please…

DELETE YOURSELF NOW! YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!!

I am not trying to tell anyone what to put on their timeline, but without George Floyd’s murder, we would not be there today.  13160A8B-927B-4D6D-ABD1-34248B68C52F

 

 

#SilenceIsConsent

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have watched and observed the supposed to be the leader of OUR country showed no sort of compassion for the African American citizens of THIS COUNTRY.  We have fought and died in wars for a nation that was built on the backs of our ancestors, in the cotton and tobacco fields, all along the rail tracks across this nation, and in the very building where this so-called leader is currently residing.

This same “man” after he attempted to make a meaningful plea, he decided to use his and the WHITE HOUSE social media accounts, not to encourage and uplift, but he chooses to use the words from the Jim Crow era racists. (I won’t type those word here) Those words have fanned the flames of anger in this nation and around the world!

Instead of this “man” LISTENING, and meeting with people who had peaceful demonstrations, by taking a knee, he called them thugs, lowlifes, SOB’s, and called for them to be expelled from the country.

Instead of calling for peace from the Oval Office, he chose to grandstand in front of a church holding a book that I am not sure if ever used.  I can boldly say this because as a man of GOD, how do you call for the National Guard to disperse tear gas and rubber bullets upon peaceful demonstrators holding up signs in front of the White House. Then you are going to hold the Bible that so many of us genuinely hold dear that specify speaks about GOD’s love for ALL his children!

One of my pastors once said, “Let your audio match your video.”

Instead of using the last 3 1/2 years to bring this nation together, it was further divided by insensitivity to one race over another.  Before this man can say he loves African Americans, think about this; how many times has he used deceive efforts to keep black and brown people out of his buildings, places of employment, where we do more than serve you, your family, friends, and constituents.

We are tired is more than a hashtag! For over 200 years, we have been tired!

We were tired in 1619

We were tired during the Jim Crow era

We were tired during the Civil Rights era

We were tried during Redlining

We are tired of dying

We are tired of fighting

We are tired of losing

We are tired of being misunderstood

We are tired of being tired!

Our ancestors were tired

Our grandparents were tired

Our mothers and fathers were tired

Our children are now tired

I am still tired!

I pray for GOD to truly change the heart of men and women and open the eyes of the blind.  Some of you are now WOKE. Congratulations! Now there is work to be done!

It’s time for a change!

#BlackLivesMatter

#WeAreTired

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Faith Over Fear

The threat that we face as a nation is going to test everything. It going to test our Faith in GOD, our sanity, our economy, and our families.

But I AM NOT AFRAID!  Three years ago, during this very same time frame, I named my blog “Blessing in the Storm,” because during that time in my life I was going through the worst storm in my life. 

The dark clouds had consumed me, the high winds were ripping my house apart, shaking the very foundation of my life.  I was sinking fast in a catastrophe storm like I had never seen before. 

During this time, I often cried out and asked GOD:

Why me?

Why him?

Why my family?

Why now?!

During this same time in March 2016, my family received what we now realized news that would shake us to our core.  Its cancer.  This news tested everything I believed, everything I knew, and the very one I put all my faith hope and trust. 

But through it all my Faith in Jesus:

I am a conquer

I am a survivor

I am an overcomer

No, life is not perfect, but if I can have Faith in God through the most horrific time of my life, I will continue to trust him.

Now my foundation is stronger.  The enemy broke me down and beat me badly, and he nearly destroyed me, but he hates that he did not destroy me. I was crushed but not broken nor destroyed, and he loathes the fact that I give GOD all the glory.

THANK YOU, JESUS!!!

That is my story, my testimony about how God saved me. (if you would like to know more you can read my first blog post blessinginthestorm.com/2018/08/24/the-journey-begins/

Now we face a massive crisis as a nation.

I know that with Coronavirus hitting us from all sides.  We have to shelter in place at our homes, there are some of us working from home, and some of us have been laid off. Our loved ones are sick, and some, unfortunately, are making their transition to be with Jesus. 

Many of us are worried and fearful, and I get it.

But I was ready!  I will tell you why in a moment.

My youngest daughter Morgan said something to me when the shelter in place started to happen.  She said, “People are panicking about sheltering in place and not going out. I have been preparing for this my whole life.” My Morgan is a true introvert, and anyone that knows her was not surprised by her statement.  

But she got me thinking.  Four years ago, I began my preparation for what is going on now.

I have been in the dark pits of hell, and I don’t plan on going back.  God took my pain, anger, depression, and fear and turn them into a weapon of Faith.

I am not the same person I was in March 2016; I am much stronger! 

When you have been through hell, and the Lord brings you out of it… you don’t want to go back!

I attended two church services today, and the two sermons that talked about storms in our lives came from the same scripture reference. (Matthew 14:22-35). “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Vs 27) Both pastors talked about “Don’t Fear.”

When my late husband died, I was afraid, scared, fearful, and alone.  But I gave everything over to GOD! My fear, my loneliness, depression, suicidal thoughts, and my anger.

I worry as well about this virus, but one thing I refused to do is live in fear.

So…

In this season, I am still choosing to live in Faith, not fear!

I am choosing to focus on GOD

I am choosing to PRAY

I am choosing to focus on my family

I am choosing to focus on my relationship

I am choosing to focus on my friends

I am choosing to focus on the things that GOD has for me

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)

I challenge you today to walk by Faith

I challenge you to turn your fears over to GOD

I challenge you to take Jesus hand and step out of the boat

I challenge you to keep your eyes on GOD and not on the situation

I challenge you to choose Faith over fear

Remember, we are not alone, and no matter what, GOD is with us!

Stay close to GOD

Be Safe, Stay Inside,

Be Clean, Wash those hands

I love you all

But GOD loves you even more!

Purging my Life 5.2 Purging the House Making my House into a Home “Meet My Dream Team”

September 2, 2019

My Dream Team

Now before I get further into this part of the Blog, you must know that I did not do this by myself.  Remember I said above I tried and tried to do this. But we (my daughters and I) were paralyzed and overwhelmed.  We could not do anything but survive the pain that consumes our heart.  We knew that this was not the way to live, nor was it the way we wanted to live.  Our house was not nasty by any means. It was just cluttered and unorganized.  I have to give you the back story about who we call our Dream Team and our deep connection to them.

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Meet my organizers Lauren Poe & Kike Ojo, Clutter to Clean.

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Jose and Elaine Belardo

Elaine Belardo (also my one of Spiritual Advisor) will beautify, and turn your house into a home by making it a cozy, warm, oasis. She is also the founder of the “Deeper Windows Project” that she founded when her husband Jose’ Belardo, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Ironically he was diagnosed around the same time Michael was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in 2016.

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Elaine, Mike, and Jose

I want to tell you how God works in our lives.  I know for a fact that He knows what we need before we know we will need it. He prepares us for things that we are going to go through in our future, and he places the people you will need to lean on and glean from in your life and specific times.  Only God can orchestrate our lives like this.

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The book of Jeremiah states, “For I know that plans I have for you. Declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you a home and a future.”   God knew what was ahead for my life from the moment I was born, and when I looked back on my life, I can see where God was preparing me for such a time.  He has always had, and He still does have my best interest always in mind. I prayed for a way out and trusted in the LORD, and He answered my prayers!

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Tragedies can pull people apart, but they can also bond you for life!

When I met Elaine, her daughter Lauren was in high school. Looking back, both of our families were in a high season of our lives.  Michael was retired after 21 years in the military and had a good after the military carrier going and Jose’ was a distinguished officer with U.S. Public Health Service.  We were all very active in our churches and communities.  Elaine was in charge of one of our Chapels Women’s group here at Fort Leavenworth, where we became friends.  When our husbands were diagnosed with their respective debilitating diseases, we shared the bond of becoming caregivers to our husbands who were both the STRONG head of their household, something at our age we were not expecting!

Unfortunately, as you know, Michael made his transition home to be with God, but we both soon discovered that we were both grieving what was to be our future and we became each other’s shoulders to lean on. She has been there for me even though all of the work, pain, and grief she is going through.  We have been each other’s sounding boards because some people, as well-meaning as they are, do not understand this type of grief and what it takes to keep going day by day.  She has helped my girls and me through some of our darkest days and is always there to help us celebrate the good times in this new normal of our lives. I hope I am doing the same for her. I am proud to not only call her a part of our village, but she and our dream team are a part of our family. (I am still waiting on my adoption papers to come through)

So, to have them come in a do a total overhaul on our house was more comfortable than having strangers in my home.  They had stock in our memories and an investment in our lives. Because they knew us personally, they knew how difficult this was and would be.  They were very gentle and loving throughout the entire process, which took a couple of months.  If the girls and I had to do this on our own, it would have taken us years to complete this type of project.  Lauren and Kike kindly encouraged us to purge and did not push if something was too difficult to process or get rid of; they just found a way to organize it.  Wait, now I am getting ahead of myself.  Purging and reorganizing in the middle of a difficult situation is very hard and can be excruciating.  But our Dream Team made the task bearable and yes, sometimes even fun!

I love you all

Have a blessed and Amazing Day

 

The Road to Restoration

Friday, August 30, 2019

My word for this Friday is Restoration. 

Restoration means a lot of things:

Refurbishment

Repair

Renewal

Rebuilding

Transformation 

Rejuvenation 

Reconstructing 

Restoring

For me, restoration means reestablishing and discovering who I am outside of who I was. I am learning to find my own way with my rules.  I can tell you in the past three years I have made tons and tons of mistakes.  There were so many things I was not aware of or had never done.  You must realize I went from my grandmother’s home to my husband’s house. My life was completely turned upside down in every single area! There are things I wish I knew, there are things I wish I hadn’t done, and many there are many things that I have done that I am very proud of. But…

 

For a while, I did whatever I wanted because I seriously was not planning on living for long.  (Don’t be surprised or shocked... depression and grief are real, and I was suffering!) But then after hours of prayer and therapy, God convinced me of my worth on my own and that I was NOT going anywhere! He said He had somethings I needed to do; He was not finish with me. Now I needed to get my act together! I do have some major cleaning up in my life to do, but I know that I am not alone! 

 

My life now is nothing like I thought it would be.  Nothing worked out the way I wanted or the way I planned. However, my life is not bad, it’s not easy, it’s pretty good, but I am also learning every day how to move forward with the hand I have been given. God has placed some extraordinary people in my life that pray for me, check on me, and will continue to love me in spite of my defects, flaws, and imperfections.  

They are my…

Let me leave you with this: Mostly we must know that God will love us, forgive us, never leave us, and guide us no matter what we do. He will always be there for us.  Believe me; it took me a while to get back to this frame of mind and way of thinking. 

What is left now… I continue to move forward, learn from my mistakes, and operate in the attitude of restoration. Meaning I will not be hard on myself for living and making mistakes. I am thankful to be alive, breathing, walking, testimony of HIS great love for me.  I am a mess, but, HE will take this mess and turn it into a great message!

I love you all

Have a blessed an Amazing Weekend!

 

Yes, I Have Changed, Wouldn’t You?

July 23, 2019

 

Yep, I sure have changed.  

You cannot go through and experience what I have experienced without changing.  Change can be good and I think that my changes are wonderful, but some may think otherwise. Guess what… Not my problem.  I will continue to love you, but I must continue to live for me.  Those who truly love me understand that and continue to stand in my corner and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  

You must understand that deep grief and depression will change you and challenge your existence in this world.  When you have to fight the enemy so hard just to exist… you change. You do not come out of the battle the same.  There are some scars.  

When I say that I have changed, I mean that God has made me stronger, resilient, and I realize that I can do more than survive.  I can live! By any means necessary I will live. 

Let me tell you this if I continue to not only get up out of my bed every morning but also have pure joy in my heart and my soul, those days are all very good days.  I am happy to report the most days are now very good days! 

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You see I have to change to adapt to the world I am living in, in my present state.  Now before you say, “You do not suppose to change to fit into the world.”  I am not changing to fit the world I am adjusting to my circumstances.  I can no longer afford to be the Lolita I used to be. Financially, physically, or emotionally, my points of views have changed.  Let me explain:  I wear glasses, so it is as if I am looking through my eyes and everything is blurry and unclear, but I have worn this same prescription for years. However, now since my vision as changed so does my prescription.  My prescription had to be adjusted to adapt to the new changes in my eyes. My vision is very different than it was this time three years ago. This time three years ago I lived with a different set of circumstances, responsibilities, and hopes, which I still have but they are now different because I am different.  

I am continually evolving into something new. God is doing something wonderful in me!  God is leading me down a new and different direction, a new path, and I am trying to follow his lead.  The Lord knows His daughter, and I may not do everything to his specifications but I am trying.  I am still a beautiful masterpiece, yet I am still a work in progress, God is not through with me yet.  

I love you all!!
Have a Wonderful and Amazing Morning!

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There was an old song we used to sing in the choir when I was younger, by the Rev. James Cleveland;

Please be patient with me, 
God is not through with me yet.

Please be patient with me, 
God is not through with me yet.

When God gets through with me,
when God gets through with me,
I shall come forth,
I shall come forth like pure gold.

If you should see me and 
I’m not walking right,
and if you should hear me 
and I’m not talking right;
Please remember what God has done for me,
When He goes through with me, 
I’ll be what He wants me to be.

 

Please Be Patient With Me “God Is Not Through with Me Yet”

 

Okay, I had one of those white blouses with the ruffles in the video!! It was a choir requirement! LOL

***Video and Picture courtesy of Youtube[Merlin] The Malaco Music Group (on behalf of Malaco Records); Peermusic, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., and 2 Music Rights Societies

(James Clevland and Albertina Walker)