Filling up on {faith}

Six weeks later and we finally have a post! I’d say we’re off to a good start (sarcasm).

You know, I’m always having an internal debate when it comes to my schedule. I feel like I rarely ever have downtime and I can’t decide if that’s just how life typically is at this phase or if i need to take control of it and be more intentional about creating downtime / learning to say “no”.

….anyway, I digress.

Last time I wrote, I promised to update you guys on what has been going on in my life in each of the 6 “F’s” so today, it’s all about Faith.  I would definitely say I’ve always believed in God but, over the last year or so, I feel like I’ve really been learning how much He loves me.

I know, I know. That sounds so cliché…

Especially because those who know me well know that I’ve been going to church since literally the womb. For most of my life I was one of those kids that went to sunday school, “big church” and some other form of activity on Wednesday nights. But honestly, I don’t know that I can say I had much of a relationship with Him (at least until these last few years). And I definitely feel like I didn’t fully start to grasp His love for me until this past year or so.

Growing up I would say I was a pretty good kid. I got good grades, I had a great relationship with my family, I was involved in sports. I was everything that I feel like a parent would want their kid to be. But then I hit the teenage years… and not only did the devil horns come out (am I allowed to blame hormones?), I became someone that I hardly recognized. I did things I wasn’t proud of. I hurt people that I love. I was so far from God and honestly wanted little to do with Him.

But that’s the amazing thing about Him – even when we want little to do with Him, He never stops pursuing us.

It wasn’t until I moved to Richmond that He really started to get my attention (you can read a little about that here and here). In one of my last posts, I was talking about how I had just joined a new small group (shameless plug: if you’re not in one, you should join one. do not pass go. do not collect $200. join one. like now.). When I wrote that post, I had recently joined “the Fan Fam”. As part of that group, we all committed to sharing our stories at some point throughout our time; not as a confessional, but more as a testament to the work God had been doing in our lives. As my date to share was nearing, I had so many mixed emotions. Part of me was finally getting somewhat comfortable with the fact that I would be sharing intimate details of my life, but also part of me felt kind of sad. I felt like God had been doing so many amazing things in my life… things I wanted to be able to share with my family, but i felt stuck. Because for my family to understand all of the things God had been doing, I’d have to tell them what I’d been through.

Isn’t it weird? Sometimes it’s easier to tell people you just met your deepest darkest secrets, yet we’re crippled at the thought of telling those closest to us… those who have shown and proven that no matter what you do or have done, they will always love you.

Anyway, I decided to start with my mom.

For those of you who don’t know my mama, she’s amazing. She’s loving and caring, wise and supportive. Of all the people in my immediate family, we are probably the most dissimilar. I’m often loud and boisterous, she’s typically the type that doesn’t mind playing more of a “behind the scenes” role (although don’t let that fool you, she can still talk your ear off). Yet, no matter what, when I really really need someone, she’s usually the first one I call.

So yeah, I called her and asked her to come to Richmond. I basically told her that in my (at the time) 24 years of living, I’d never had one-on-one time with her so I wanted her to come spend a weekend with me. (How can anyone say “no” to that?). We locked down a date and put a plan in place. She was going to come on a Thursday night and leave that Sunday afternoon. I scheduled the weekend with a dinner/girls night in on Friday, a gala with Dr. Ben Carson on Saturday, church on Sunday, followed by brunch at Graffiato afterwards… and I was going to share my testimony with her (that part I never told her).

It was going to be the perfect bonding weekend.

But before I knew it, the weekend had arrived… and when she got here, I couldn’t muster up the courage. Before bed each night, we would lay for hours (literally hours) watching Suits and as each episode played, I would tell myself that as soon as the episode ended, I would bring it up. As every episode neared the end, I would pray, asking God to remove the fear and to give me the courage to talk to her… yet every episode would end and I would just let it go to the next one. Finally at around 3AM each night, I would finally call it quits, go to bed and promise to do it the next night.

Except Thursday night passed. Friday night passed. Saturday night passed… nothing.

Sunday morning rolled around and we got up to go to church and anyone who knows me knows my favorite part of church is usually worship. I just love listening to the words and really meditating/reflecting on their meaning. That Sunday, for the first time ever, my church decided to play a song called You Make Me Brave and I seriously felt like God was speaking directly to me. If you don’t know the lyrics, there’s a part of the song that goes like this:

I have heard You calling my name
I have heard the song of love that You sing
So I will let You draw me out beyond the shore
Into Your grace
Your grace

You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way

I. Started. Bawling.

Like ugly crying. Tears, snot, everything. And as you can imagine, this blew my cover a bit… but my mama, being the patient woman she is, just handed me a tissue and kept singing (she’s a lot like Jesus in that way. Patient. Very Patient.)… and me being the woman I am, still just tried to play it off like everything was cool.

Church ended and we went to brunch, we hung out with friends, we made dinner… I literally kept going on with the weekend like nothing had happened. After dinner, Mom wanted to keep watching Suits and since she wasn’t working on Monday, she decided that she would just stay the night and leave Monday morning (deep down, I know the real reason that she stayed). So we go to my room to watch Suits… and as the first episode is coming to an end, I say my prayer asking for courage, I pause the show and tell my mom I need to talk to her…
 
 
 
… Not really, I let it go to the next episode. (Didn’t I already tell you what kind of woman I am lol?). Yep, I literally chickened out AGAIN. We watched a few more episodes that night and then got ready for bed…nothing. We wake up the next morning and lay in bed talking… still nothing.

Finally, I went upstairs to make my mom breakfast while she got ready and as she comes upstairs and sits down at the bar, she looks at me and asks me if everything is okay. Naturally, i look at her dumbfounded and say, “yeah, why?”… she brings up what happened at church and I ask her if we can wait until she gets in the car to talk.

So we pack the rest of her stuff up and go sit in her car and I just burst into tears. I tell her about Needle’s Eye. and how amazing the Fan Fam is. and I tell her that God has been doing some great things in my life and how I want to be able to share those things with her but that scares the poo out of me. because for me to tell her who He’s molding me to be, I have to explain to her who I used to be… and that’s terrifying. It’s terrifying because I love my family and I love my parents and I would never want to do anything that hurts them…and then she stopped me.

and you know what she told me?

She told me that she loves me. and that my dad loves me. and that there is literally nothing, NOTHING i could ever do that would change that. She told me that she understands that there are some things in our lives that we don’t need to tell everyone, and sometimes that includes our family. and that’s okay but that if I ever want to tell her, she’s there with open ears and arms. She also encouraged me to make sure that I at least talked to someone about it because often times the Devil uses secrets to hold us captive (or as another woman that I look up to always says “Secrets make us sick”).

She told me that there were people in the bible who had done all sorts of things and that not only did God love them, He used many of them to do amazing things for His kingdom… because at the end of the day its not about what we did, do, or will do. It’s about what Jesus did on the cross.

And then she grabbed my hands and she prayed for me.

And when she finished, she looked me dead in the eyes and asked me if I knew that Jesus loved me. If i really, deep down, believed it… and when I told her that I knew it but didn’t feel like it, she told me to wake up every morning and thank Him for loving me… because she knew that the more I said it, the more I would believe it.

And she was right.

——————————————————————-

How Can it Be by Lauren Daigle.

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

Chorus
You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That You could love me
But in Your eyes there’s only grace now

Chorus

Bridge
Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You
Oh the grace reaching out for me
How can it be
How can it be

Chorus

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Guess who’s back… back again.

Wow. To say “It’s been awhile” is an understatement… but I’m baaaack. And hopefully to stay this time.

For those of you that used to read my last blog, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve changed the look and name. I changed the look because I wanted it to be a little more feminine… and I changed the name because when I thought about all of the areas God has been working on me over the past year, it seemed like a majority of them started with the letter “F”. (Plus the name is a little sassy which I think accurately reflects my personality ;).)

To start off, I plan to do a blog on each “F” and sort of fill you in on what has been going over the last year or so and then we’ll jump in.

So yes. Here’s to picking this up again and to seeing where it goes! Hopefully you’ll stick around for the ride!

xx

Vulnerability

I feel like I start every post like this… but I’m so embarrased at how long it has taken me to write on here. Back in the day, I started this blog for two reasons. The first was to help keep myself accountable with goals that I’d set for myself. I figured if I was writing about them publicly, and people knew about them, it would force me to do them, right? Clearly that isnt the case.  It’s been a while since I’ve started this blog and all the goals that I set are STILL goals that I am working towards to this day… over a year later. What’s that saying again? “Nothing in life worth having comes easily” haha. The road definitely hasnt been easy… and there’s definitely been setbacks along the way, but I guess I’ll find solace knowing that I’m a lot closer to most of them than I probably have been in my entire life.

The second reason I started this blog was to allow myself to be more vulnerable. To quote an earlier blog, I believe I wrote “I wanted to put myself out there more and show people the side of me that I usually keep to my close friends… or most often, just myself”… The problem is, when it came to doing it, I chickened out. For some reason, I thought it would be easy to say what I wanted to say because I was hiding behind a computer screen… but not knowing who could read this made it ten times more intimidating. So now, a year later, I have come to the revelation that maybe that was a bit aggresive… Time for a new plan haha.

Today I was reading through some of my old posts and then decided to go catch up on posts from the blog that inspired me to start blogging, Walking Barefoot. One of the reasons I love that blog is because she is always so open, and puts it all out there.. and honestly, I hope that one day that will be me. Anyway, as I was reading (creeping), I came across one of her blogs talking about bearing witness. She was talking about how her friends are going through a rough time and how her family has been able to be there for them. Here is an excerpt from her blog:

“My friends bare themselves, and now we can bear with them.  Now we bear together.  

And life gets just a little easier.  

But to bear with each other, we have to bare with each other. Which is really scary, and exposing.

It’s terrifying, if you get right down to it. 

You’d much rather cry in your closet and then go reapply your makeup before facing the world.  It would be much safer not to talk about it, and if it comes up, just duck and cover, duck and cover.

But then, miracle of miracles, you find that instead of ducking and covering, you stood still and told someone. You let them see your tears. You let them in. And instead of laughing at you, or offering you a Kleenex and walking away to go get someone who is much more experienced at helplessness and pain and wracking sobs, they stayed. They actually felt really special to be part of the inner sanctum of the three other people on earth who have seen you without makeup.  

They bore up with you.  

It’s the closest thing to heaven this side of heaven.”

As I read that, tears just started rolling down my face.

Had I read that even a few months ago, I dont think it would have had any effect on me. A few months ago, I dont think I could’ve understood what “bearing witness” meant or comprehended its impact. A few months ago I didnt know what it felt like to be that open with people… to tell them the things that are REALLY going on in your life – the things you keep under the mask. A few months ago I didnt know what it felt like to tell people about your “messiness” and have them love you even more in spite of it.

But now I do.

Over the last few months, I have been a part of a few mentoring groups/small groups that have really started to stretch me in this area of my life. Most recently, I was at a small group (or should I say “team” or “household”? haha) that I just joined. It was our first time meeting so we were going over norms, expectations, goals, etc. and one of the common themes that kept coming out was that we all really want to do LIFE together… that this group would be more than just a group that shares at the surface level but that really feels comfortable diving in, sharing the good, bad and the ugly, and lifiting each other up. When we started mentioning all these things my first reaction was excitement because that is something I’ve craved for a while. I want genuine, intentional, authentic realtionships. I want people who hold me accountable in my faith. I want to meet people in Richmond to “do life with”. Who wouldnt? But then fear started to settle in. The word “testimony” got brought up and I started to sweat. I’m already not good about asking for help and it’s even scarier being vulnerable and  telling people about the good, the bad and the ugly.

As the night wrapped and we were going over prayer requests, I asked the group to pray that I would have the courage to not hold back. I then, very briefly, shared a few struggles that I’m facing in some close relationships and some internal battles that I’m fighting. Honestly, it was somewhat vague but that was as much as I felt comfortable saying at the time. Since that night, one week ago, I have received numerous calls, texts, facebook messages, etc. from people checking in on me, offering words of encouragement, letting me know they’re thinking about me. It is so humbling. I honestly dont think i’ve cried this much in a while haha. But its not a sad cry. It’s more of a “shocked/surprised” one. That people would really think about my problems during their day… and really pray about them… and honestly want to know if they’re getting better… even after only knowing me for such a short period of time.

It really is the closest thing to heaven, this side of heaven.

So thats my new plan: To let go of the fear. To learn to let go of shame. To learn that its okay to let my small group in and to show them how much I really dont have it together. I know it’s going to be hard. I know I’m nowhere close to where I hope to be… But I am confident that there is power in the name of Jesus and that He can break every chain.

And I’m excited to tell you about it someday… when I get the courage.

Present Tense

I came across this poem a few weeks ago & it really spoke to me. Being a planner (and mild control freak at times) I sometimes feel like I’m always looking to the next phase of life rather than appreciating the one I’m in. Over the past few weeks, I made a conscious effort to stop putting so much emphasis on the future & start paying attention to the beauty in the present. I can honestly say this is the happiest I’ve been in a long time… So here’s to sharing in hopes that it has the safe effect on others as it’s had on me :).

XX

It was spring, But it was summer I wanted,

The warm days, And the great outdoors.

It was summer, But it was fall I wanted,

The colorful leaves, And the cool, dry air.

It was fall, But it was winter I wanted,

The beautiful snow, And the joy of the holiday season.

It was winter, But it was spring I wanted,

The warmth, And the blossoming of nature.

I was a child, But it was adulthood I wanted,

The freedom, And the respect.

I was 20, But it was 30 I wanted,

To be mature, And sophisticated.

I was middle-aged, But it was 20 I wanted,

The youth, And the free spirit.

I was retired, But it was middle age I wanted,

The presence of mind, Without limitations.

My life was over.

But I never got what I wanted.

Give Me {Faith}

Give me faith

“I need You to soften my heart,
To break me apart.
I need You to open my eyes,
To see that You’re shaping my life.

Pre-Chorus:
All I am,
I surrender.

Chorus:
Give me faith to trust what You say
That You’re good, and Your love is great.
I’m broken inside, I give You my life.

Verse 2:
I need You to soften my heart,
To break me apart.
I need You to pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me.

Chorus

Bridge:
I may be weak, but
Your Spirit’s strong in me.
My flesh may fail, but
My God You never will.”

“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord.

I was inspired to start blogging by a former teacher at Battlefield. I never had her as a teacher when I was in high school.. honestly, I doubt she even knows who I am. I, too, didn’t know much about her…I just knew she was married to another teacher at Battlefield. I remember thinking how cute they were as a couple. They just looked like the kind of couple that gets married and has the perfect wedding and make perfect beautiful babies and move into a beautiful house with the white picket fence.  Eventually, they both left Battlefield and I never heard about them again.

That all changed a little over a year ago. Their family had just lost almost everything in a house fire and many of my former classmates were trying to help raise money for them. Through their posts, I happened to stumble upon her blog and ever since then, I’ve just kept reading. Her blog is called “Walking Barefoot” and its all about what she calls her “mess”. She writes about her vulnerabilities and weaknesses and all of the things that she considers her shortcomings.. and I so admire her for that. I admire her for the fact that she is willing to put it all out there and showcase her faults. I think so often we all try to pretend that we live this nice, perfect, fairy tale life when none of us are perfect. Every “perfect” family and person has their own “mess” and instead of sharing that with each other we build up these walls because we are so afraid of what people’s reactions will be when they find out that we might actually be human.

When I started this blog, I started it with every intention of trying to follow in her footsteps.. I wanted to put myself out there more and show people the side of me that I usually keep to my close friends… or most often, just myself. I wanted to let people see the issues I deal with so that if they are dealing with those issues, they could know they’re not alone. I honestly must’ve been drunk or something because I clearly could not have been in the right frame of mind. I’m the kind of girl that keeps 99% of my feelings inside. I am so afraid of showing people emotions because in my mind, that’s giving them some power that they could potentially use against me…or worse, they might not like the real KK that exists under there that has a whole bunch of “messiness” inside… so instead I started writing about my goals & things I’m learning about myself… which isn’t a bad thing or “wrong”.. but it is definitely me avoiding the uncomfortable.

So today I’m going to do something new… I’m going to take very, VERY small baby steps because you have to start somewhere, right? I’m going to tell you that really, this week has been a really rough week for me and that I’ve been very unhappy and very emotional… I’ve been dealing with a lot of internal struggles and although the only one I’m ready to talk to  is God, I really could use some positive vibes right about now. (So that being said, please no calls or texts or comments… I don’t mean that to be mean, I just know it’ll push me back into my “shell” however, prayers & positive thoughts are much appreciated :)… I said baby steps, right?).

It’s ironic because last week I was talking to my dad and joking about how sometimes I feel like if I stay in Richmond, I will be single for the rest of my life. Even though I was COMPLETELY kidding (well, maybe not completely) my dad told me I should go read the posting he had just put on his Facebook. That night, once I got home, I clicked the link but got distracted and never read it… Tonight, 11 days later, I was cleaning up my internet tabs and happened to see it so I finally decided to read it.

The post was talking about Jeremiah 29:11 which states “‘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.’” It said that most people read the verse and take it out of context. We read it and think that God is saying if we follow him, he will give us a life full of prosperity and wealth when really what that verse is saying is that he will never abandon us… even though sometimes we may not feel like he’s there. As I read the post I just found it so amazing that a post my dad had told me to read 11 days ago for a completely different reason could speak the words that I so desperately needed to hear after the past few days.

God, you are so amazing and I thank you for never abandoning me.

Week One Recap

When I decided to start this journey… I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I didn’t really think it would be this hard. It’s only been one week and I already feel like I’ve been slacking on some of my goals.

Here is my week one update on my goals:

  • Health/Fitness: Take vitamins everyday and go to the gym at least 4 days each week
    • I took my vitamins every day except for Saturday
    • I only went to the gym 3 days: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. On Wednesday, I drove all the way to the gym to find out that they had closed early due to the snow storm (darn you weather!)… Long story short, I ended up doing a quick workout using OnDemand :(… let’s hope I don’t have to do that again haha. This week, I have only gone 1 day so far but I plan to go Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday as well.
  • Spiritual: Spend time with God daily
    • I was so good about his earlier in the week but as soon as I left for Nova, everything went out the window. I either need to learn to be consistent even when Im away from home or stop leaving home as much haha! I am hoping to be fully caught up with the pages in my book by tomorrow.
  • Hair: Research ways to maintain healthy relaxed hair (#blackgirlprobs) & buy hair products
    • I officially scheduled my hair appt! It is going to be this Saturday at 4:30. Now that I have a date set, I am excited yet nervous! I expect my hair to be healthy but I’m nervous about how long it will be. I just want to feel like these past 21 months really did something.
    • I also spent 5 hours tonight re-reviewing how to properly take care of my hair and jotting down what I will need to buy. I am hoping to get everything on my extensive shopping list tomorrow. I will be sure to post a pic once I have everything :).
  • Life: Pay off credit cards & create a budget
    • So far, I have paid off one credit card. I have the money for the other credit card but am waiting until as close to the due date as possible. I don’t know if that is a good idea or a bad idea- haha.
    • I still haven’t created a budget yet but technically I have a few more weeks in March so maybe that will be my focus for next week.
    • Minor setback: My friend Jessye introduced me to eBay this weekend -_____-. Let’s just say I’m a little addicted. I have already bought 5 things (I’ll post pics once they arrive)! I have decided no more impulse buys and am now forcing myself to wait at least 24 hours before buying anything. Usually that is enough time to knock some sense into me.

Hopefully this week I can get on track.

Until next time…

xx

What on Earth Am I Here For?

I always call myself a Christian but sometimes I look at myself and I look at the world and I don’t see much of a difference. For so long, I was okay with it I guess. I knew I wanted better but I never wanted to put in the time to make it different. In the beginning of 2013, I was going through so many internal struggles. With all the distractions of moving and starting a new job now gone, I was now forced to face many issues that for so long I had been trying to suppress. I was so unhappy- with Richmond, with myself, with life. One night I was laying in bed upset at the world and I started to really think about everything: who I am as a person; the good, the bad and the ugly. Do I like what I see? What kind of person do I want to be? What do I want my life to look like? What do I want my future marriage to look like? A lot of my answers were “I want it to be like what I had growing up”. I want to be a strong, Christian woman like my mom. I want a strong Christian husband who treats me the way my dad treats my mom. I want a family like my family. And then I started thinking about how they got all of that and it all came back to one thing: God. In happy times and in hard times, that is the first person they turn to. I’ve always admired that. I admire that fact that they rarely worry about things… that they whole-heartedly believe that no matter what happens, it is in His hands and He will take care of them… and I decided I wanted a relationship with Him like that.

In January, I started looking for a church home – one that I would be excited to go to on Sundays and not just go to because I felt like I needed to check it off some checklist. I had been praying to God that he would work on my heart, that he would motivate me to take action and that he would make it clear to me where he wanted me. My first Sunday looking, I went to a church in downtown Richmond called Commonwealth Chapel. Because it is downtown, they don’t have a formal parking lot- it is street parking or parking garages. (Keep in mind, I chose to live in the suburbs because I hate trying to navigate the city). That Sunday, I got to the church ten minutes before it started but could not find parking for the life of me. I started praying to God like “God, I’m trying to do something good here… PLEASE just help a sista out”. I drove around aimlessly for about 15 minutes trying to figure out where to go and finally just paid $5 to park in a parking garage. Once I got in the church, they had already started praise & worship and since everyone was standing it was impossible to find a seat. After a few minutes of walking around like an idiot, I finally found a seat all the way in the back corner. By this time I was a little frustrated with how my morning was turning out… so again, I prayed. I asked God to clear my mind and help me focus on the message and to help me to hear what he needed to say to me. That week the message was titled: God’s perfect work through imperfect people. The main points of it were:

  1. Trust knows God is working even when we can’t see him
  2. Perspective doesn’t focus on the outward and superficial
  3. Glory belongs to God and not a person
  4. Grace: We’re broken people in the process of being made whole

It was one of those messages where it came right at the perfect time. After feeling so alone and discouraged it was exactly what I needed to hear. As if that wasn’t crazy enough, for the closing song the band played the song “Stronger” by Hillsong. The chorus of the song is “You are stronger, You are stronger, Sin is broken you have saved me. It is written, Christ is risen, Jesus you are Lord of all”. I literally just started crying right then and there. I felt like it was God’s way of telling me He hears me, He is with me, He isn’t going anywhere, and He will always be strong… especially when I can’t be. It was at that moment I knew I had just found my church home.

For February, my goal was to try to get more involved at the church. I emailed the church to find out about membership classes, bible studies, etc. I got an email back from a co-ed group that meets on Thursday nights. I tried it out and met some pretty cool people but I knew the next two Thursdays I was going to busy and I didn’t want to start out the month already missing two bible studies. The next Sunday there was a newcomers social at the pastors house. The purpose of it was so new people could meet other new people as well as the staff. I ended up meeting one of the Staff members who is a girl that is a couple of years older than me. She mentioned that she hosts a girls bible study on Tuesday nights so I got her information so that I could go that week. When I showed up, they had wine and krispie creme donuts… It was at that moment I knew I had just found my small group.

For March, my goal is to spend time with God daily. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, after going to Barnes & Noble to look for a devotional, I came across the book What on Earth Am I Here For? I had planned to start it today but the first thing it said when I opened it was that they suggested reading it with a partner. Ecclesiastes 4:9 states “Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up… Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.” So I got my three cords: my brother, sister and I will all be starting tomorrow :). Needless to say, I’m excited to see the things that God has in store for my life this month!

Until next time…

xoxo

Resources: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren

Goals for March

Goals for March

At work when I set goals, I have things to hold me accountable: my manager, performance reviews, paycheck/bonus, etc. In my personal life, I feel like I’ll set goals, work towards them for a few weeks, and then fall back into old habits. I think a lot of this is due to the fact that I have nothing to hold me accountable. Like most people, when the new year started, I created resolutions. They are probably the same as everyone else’s: save money, eat better, exercise, go to church, etc. I started trying to do all of them, all the way, all at once… Needless to say, I was very overwhelmed and failing MISERABLY. Thankfully, each day is a new day. That being said, today marked my new “day one” for the goals I’ve set for myself… This time I decided to break them down into more manageable chunks. There are 4 main areas of my life that I have set goals for: Health/Fitness, Spiritual Health, Hair, & Life.

Goals

  • Health/Fitness: Take vitamins everyday and go to the gym at least 4 days each week
  • Spiritual: Spend time with God daily
  • Hair: Research ways to maintain healthy relaxed hair (#blackgirlprobs) & buy hair products
  • Life: Pay off credit cards & create a budget

Health/Fitness:

  • Take Vitamins every day (pretty self-explanatory)
  • Go to the gym at least 4 days each week: Back in 2012, I was doing a great job of going to the gym. I was going anywhere from 4-6 days a week, I had healthier eating habits: I was so disciplined. Even when I went to Florida for Christmas, I made sure to bring my healthy food with me so that I wouldn’t be tempted. All of that changed when I went to nova for New Years. The combination of crappy food, late nights and no exercise completely derailed me. When I got back to Richmond, I was so depressed from having to leave Nova that I had no desire to get back on track… 2 months in to 2013, and I have maybe gone to the gym 3 times… So today, the journey starts over. I went to cycle this morning at 5:30am- Calories Burned: 529. (I knew I had things to do after work and didn’t want to mess up on my first day). Since its my first day back, I also decided to retake my measurements :(. (As much as I hate that part, it always gives me something to measure against). Today’s Measurements: Bust-33.5; chest 28; waist 27.75; hips 36.75; Weight: 122.0

Spiritual: Spend time with God daily

I have struggled with this for so long. I’ll try to do them in the mornings but I can’t pry my eyes open so then I’ll try at night but I have so many things going on in my mind that it seems so inauthentic. The last devotional I had been reading was Joyce Meyer’s “New Day, New You“. While I loved it, I didn’t feel like I got to know Jesus any better. I felt like it was more of a reflective devotional. Yesterday, I decided it was time to go get a new devotional. When I checked the family book store hours I found out it was closed on Sundays so I decided to try Barnes & Noble instead. Most of the devotionals I saw were like the “New Day, New You” one- more about words of wisdom.  As I was heading out of the store, I passed a table that had many books on them. I happened to come across a book called What On Earth Am I Here For?, written by Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life. (For a while I have been telling myself that I was going to ready that book but have never gotten around to it). I decided to pick it up and on the first page it said this “Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life he created you to live – here on earth, and forever in eternity”.  While it could just be a brilliant sales ploy, it worked, and I bought it :). Over the next 40 days, I am committed to reading this book as my quiet time with God. I plan to write about it on here so if you’re reading this, go grab a copy so I’ll have someone to share with :).

Hair: Research ways to maintain healthy relaxed hair (#blackgirlprobs) & Buy Hair Products

I have decided that at the end of this month, I am going back to my hair… aka no more weave. (Ill pause for a quick second for all of the white people who are shocked that the hair they have been seeing on my head for the past two years hasn’t been mine- haha).  In the Summer of 2011, my hair had gotten severely damaged by a relaxer that was left on too long. When the stylist went to wash out the relaxer, clumps of my hair were falling out with it. I tried to make do for the summer but finally in September 2011, I decided to give my hair a break. I haven’t had a relaxer since May 2011 and haven’t had any heat on my hair since September 2011. For a while, I was contemplating the whole natural thing but quickly nixed that idea after my new hair stylist had to brush through it at my last hair appointment. Since I have decided to go back to the “creamy crack”, I decided I want to educate myself on how to properly take care of my hair. I spent an entire day this past weekend reading blogs online and watching YouTube videos and want to continue to do that so that I feel prepared once I get to “D-Day”. (I feel like im preparing to take a baby home…. Haha). My ultimate goal is to have bra-strap length relaxed hair so we will see how that goes :).

Life: Pay off Credit Cards & Create a Budget

  • Credit Cards: pretty self-explanatory
  • Create a Budget: Right after I graduated college, I made a budget that I told myself I would follow when I started working full-time. Everything seemed good in theory but I never accounted for all of the expenses that are required for getting your life started. Instead of creating a new budget, I just decided to spend whatever. Because of this, I haven’t been actively saving. My goal for this month is to create a new budget based off my current circumstances so that I’ll have a plan to better actively save.

Wish me luck!