Be Who You Are

Accountability 101


When things go wrong in life, as an adult, we figure it out. When things go wrong in life, as a child, we look to our parents. As a child, we are not expected to figure out the hard things. we are only expected to be a child. Sleeping, playing, learning, growing, and eating a vegetable every now and then – the good life, right?!

We all grow up, and with adulting comes accountability. We become accountable for our actions whether they are right or wrong. We are taught to tell the truth, and that what we do when no one is looking matters. Somehow in all of our daily walks in life we forget. We forget that we have to be accountable for our own actions or inaction, even if no one is there to remind us of what is right or wrong.

The problem with not remembering to hold ourselves accountable is that we allow ourselves to make excuses for the actions or lack there of in our lives. It starts with a commitment to do something. Day one, great! Day two, momentum is still there. Day four, a struggle – but still committed. Day 10, why are you even doing this? Day 14, give up. The cycle continues, because every time there is a push within for change, something has to happen to force that change.

We are not meant to simply grow up, and stay the same from whatever age it is that people think they have arrived at, for life. Life doesn’t work that way. However, it can. It can work out that way, if we allow our selves to stunt our growth with excuses. It can work out that way, if we stop holding ourselves accountable. Imagine how your life would be if no one expected anything from you, including yourself. Imagine if you only did the things you wanted to do, and only when you wanted to do them. Sounds like a very selfish and lonely life. And, I can only imagine how healthy mentally and physically you would be living this way.

Take account for your actions today and everyday. We all seem to move away from this concept when there is no one there to point out what we are or are not doing. It doesn’t matter whether or not someone else will hold you to something. It matters whether or not you will hold yourself to your own actions. We all have goals and dreams. Some of us will hold ourselves to personal growth, and some of us will make excuses and bury our talents in the sand. You see, without accountability, we aren’t able to fulfill the purpose God has for us. There is a purpose on each of our lives. Sometimes we forget to listen to the small voice inside that is holding us to a different standard, because it sounds like something you’ve never heard or done before. Know that all the talent you need is already there to accomplish your purpose. It may just be buried under all the excuses and sand. Let today be a day where you hold yourself accountable for every action you take today. Mentally shift your thoughts with a sand shake off. See yourself buried in the sand. Then, see yourself trying to lift your legs and arms to get up from the sand. Finally, see yourself breaking free from the sand. Watch as all the sand is removed, falling to the ground, freeing you. Every talent within you is at your disposal. Shake the sand off, and take on your purpose one day at a time.

 

 

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Mom Shaming is Not Ok, Love and Support is

Special shout out to all the first time moms out there! Another special shout out to moms of multiple children that range in toddler years! Let me not forget the moms of multiples, triplets, quadruplets, etc.! Wait, l can’t forget the single moms! We also have to shout out those moms working to develop careers and maintain home! And, what about those moms who thought they were done parenting, but God decided to bless them with another little one – 10 to 15 years after their last child. The point is, the list can go on and on with the different lifestyles that a lot of moms are working within while trying to raise the next generation.

We all know this, and we are all aware of the fact that we are all working with different situations. So, where does the mom judgment and shaming come from? We are all doing the best we can out here, right? But, for some reason some moms feel the need to make comment on how other moms are out here just trying to survive! Trust me, I see you moms out there! I know some of you are really hanging on by that last chicken nugget your kid didn’t eat! And, I support you!

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There! I said it! I support you! How hard is it to show, in our actions and words, support? It isn’t very hard, but time after time we judge instead of supporting. I remember talking to another mom about my process for making our daughter’s food. And, as soon as I started going into detail about how I pick fresh organic veggies and fruits from the store to puree, the subtle eye roll happened. Now, I understand that it sounds so extreme to go through that process for some moms. I also understand that time is not on your side when you are doing this. I can recall the many nights up making food for our baby, and wishing I could let go of the need I felt to make our little one’s food. Reality took care of that for me. I took a more demanding job, and the days/nights of making fresh pureed foods went out the door. I settled for the best organic brands I could buy. Then, I settled on the best rated brands organic or not. Now, I am thankful if she decides she likes chicken enough to eat some frozen Tyson Anytizer’s. Don’t judge, Tyson does wonderful things with chicken. And, Publix is always making my life so easy with the buy one get one on Tyson and Purdue products. But, back to the eye roll. My dialogue about my process for Leyah was in no way a jab or dig at the other mom. The reality was that I was tired as all get out doing all that I was doing – working full time, and caring for our home. If she had even given me the chance to finish talking before her eye roll, I would have went on to ask her about what she does to make sure her family is fed. And, I would have gladly welcomed some new suggestions. You see, I am a first time mom. We all know that first time moms do the most. It’s only because we think we have to, and because the judgement is real. I didn’t need an eye roll that day. I needed some support, and I needed a mom secure enough in her parenting skills to say, it’s ok.

Support means saying, “it’s ok.” Those words mean so much to a mom who is suffering from whatever unrealistic expectations that some magazine or baby expert site have put in her head as the only way to ensure your child is perfect in every way. It’s easy to judge, but hard to accept. You see, saying, “it’s ok,” means that we accept whatever is being said or done. It’s ok, means that I may not carry my infant in a Moby wrap, but I accept and appreciate the moms that do. Those children may grow up to be the true lovers and peacemakers of the world. It’s ok, means that I may not let my child cry it out, but I accept the mom who does.

Truth is, every mom needs to hear “it’s ok,” you’re awesome,” you are enough,” you’re doing a great job,” and any other supportive phrase you can think of. Even if we don’t all agree on the how, we all agree on the outcome. The only outcome most of us are expecting is that our children feel loved. It’s ok to show love in different ways, and it’s ok if we don’t all agree, but it’s not ok to shame another mom for simply trying to love the best way she knows how.  Next time you talk to that new mom, check yourself. Are your words, tone, and body language supportive; or are you passing judgement?

I got the inspiration for this post from a post from Parents Magazine (Found Here). I will leave you all with this wonderful video from Similac. Please watch it until the end. It will not be a waste of time.

Working It Out

Women have a built in ability to simply work things out. No matter how many hours are in a day, or how few resources are available, we seem to just work it out. So, I’m sure any woman can understand my frustration with not being able to simply… work out. Seriously, I have been a human yo-yo with my weight, eating habits, and workout discipline the last few months. The struggle is all too real!

I had begun to doubt my ability to be the strong woman I usually know myself to be. Standing in the mirror saying – “You are wonderfully and beautifully made in His image. You can accomplish and achieve all things, because your strength comes from above” – was no longer holding the same uplifting and motivational boost it once held before. My faith hadn’t changed, but my faith in myself and my ability to push through had definitely changed. Truthfully, I thought it was gone. I wasn’t able to find the motivation to do workouts at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm like I had done so long ago.

*side note: yes, I say the statement above to myself almost every morning!

The reality is that life has changed for me. We never really think about how external changes effect everything going on inside. I was trying to work out and navigate life like I did years ago. That makes no sense, right? But, it made sense to me when I became frustrated about things not being as easy as before. Of course I could work out at 9 or 10 pm before… I wasn’t a wife and I didn’t have a little one who fights her 8:30 pm bedtime well until after 9:00 pm. I didn’t have the same responsibilities. My job did not demand extra hours of work outside of the traditional 9:00 to 5:00. Things have changed, and the reality is that I will probably never go back to the days of extreme workouts at all times in the night. But, that doesn’t change this one fact: I was not happy with where I was with my body.

Here’s the mantra, “I can and will change the things I can change.” There are so many things that I am not in control of, but these things… what I put in my mouth & how I treat my body… are things I have control of. Though I may not go hard in the gym daily, I do make sure I get some cardio in at least 3 to 4 times a week. If you are a curvy girl, I recommend getting some great workout gear that won’t have your thighs on fire. Recently, I invested in a couple of items from Lane Bryant’s Livi Active line. The signature stretch active knee shorts have been great! I hate that I always have to find some leggings or some biker shorts to wear under my traditional work out shorts to keep my thighs from chaffing and hurting after a jog. Plus, it’s hot outside! Who wants to workout in 90 degree plus weather in leggings?

My frustration has become a form of some acceptance. I accept that things in my life have changed for the good, and that means making decisions that work for me at this stage in my life. My time is limited, and if my workout happens while playing with my little one, it’s a win for the family. I may not burn 800+ calories, but I am being active and spending time with my family. My choices revolve around a greater goal than simply looking a certain way. My choices revolve around my happiness and the happiness of my two loves. I may not be happy with my body, but I’m happy with the choices I’m making to change it now. The results will not be as fast, but the results will be there when they come. I’m working it out for the season my life is in now.

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 LB Livi Active Knee Shorts – Get Them Here

Photo cred: My hubby – TJ Glenn @Goodfella_t1k

A Little Motivation

Your Body Hears

My intentions for the New Year were to be more dedicated to blogging. It’s still January. However, I do feel that I have fallen behind. My hope is that this little page of mine can be a little piece of positivity for someone out there. This blog is a space to share what little wisdom I’ve learned in this short life of mine, and a space for me to reset.

Today, I truly needed a reset. Have you ever just had a day where you wish you could just rewind and start again? The problem with wishing for something like that, is that nothing would really change. We are who we are, and if we don’t change the person, the end result will ultimately be the same. You may think you would choose door #2 the next time, but you wouldn’t.

Then, there comes a day when you actually want to pick another door. You want a different outcome, and the only way to do that is to change something. Change is you becoming different in some way. Change can happen in your attitude. Change can happen in your eating habits. Change can happen in your efforts to work out. Change can happen in a number of ways, but we all have to change to grow. I’ve chosen to really start back working out, and to change how I respond to things that I ultimately can’t change. I have been so sluggish lately, and I’ve gained weight… enough to make me uncomfortable. Honestly, I’ve looked at myself and have said some pretty bad things about this body. I can preach body positivity all day long, but if I am unhappy, I have to do something about it. I would suggest the same to anyone else.

There is a clear difference in being happy in your body, than being unhappy because someone else made you feel that way. Most of the time, women are simply unhappy because we are constantly comparing ourselves to what some other woman, ad, magazine, or man has said is the picture of beauty. That unhappiness is unhealthy, and sometimes we let these things do a good job of making us feel insecure in own perfect bodies.

My need to change comes from an evaluation of myself, and a comparison to my own standards. And, today was the worst. I had so much on my mind. I had to motivate myself to do a 30 minute workout. The 30 minute workout was by far one of my worst and slowest. Everything just seemed to be off.  I got off the elliptical and started beating myself up from that point forward. I kept thinking, “why didn’t you do an extra 10 minutes? Why didn’t you go harder? You will never lose this extra weight?” I kept thinking all the negative things, and totally forgot about the positive.

I forgot that I was actually blessed to see another day. I forgot to be thankful for my little family at home. I forgot to be supportive of myself in the fact that I actually did go workout, instead of just turning around and having another day of drinking wine. I forgot to think on the good, and I let my mind focus only on the bad. And, honestly, I forgot to love myself today. We can have all the good intentions and want to change for whatever reasons in whatever areas. But, change will never be permanent, if you can’t love the person you are trying to be. Love yourself today, and everyday! I hope this is a little motivation for someone.

Little Hands = Little Blessings

When it’s time for our little girl to go to bed. We sit on her floor, we hold hands, and we pray. This is by far one of the best moments of my evening! I am sure you all can image how hard it is to get a 2 year old to sit still. But, most every night, she sits, takes my hands, and prays. Her sweet, “Amen, ” warms my heart, and brings a spirit of joy at the end of whatever day I may have had. It is in those moments that I find peace, and it is in those moments that I realize that this little girl is our blessing.She is truly our gift from God (Psalms 127:3).

These moments at night help me to reflect on who I am. This little blessing is influenced by me in every way. Every emotion I show, and every word I say in her presence is a moment she will remember or imitate. I’m a reflection for her. A reflection of what she will see a woman as. My actions and mannerisms, though it is cute now when she copies me, will be more permanent as she gets older. These moments at night help me to be a better reflection for her. When we pray, I reset. I reset my thinking, and remove all the negative insecurities that I have let into my mind throughout the day. I remember that God has made me wonderfully in His image, and I say the same words to my daughter.

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Sometimes it takes the smallest acts to bring us back to our core. People say that meditation works wonders, and I believe in taking some time to quiet our minds. However, it takes more to overcome insecurities and negative emotions that may present themselves when we least expect it. Knowing that my little blessing is tied to my actions, has helped me overcome most all the insecurities that were once present in my life. I have changed a lot for her, but it was truly for me and my growth too.

Find your little blessings in life that make you feel like your most confident you. It is in the small things that we find our greatness.

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Jumping in 2016 – One Day at a Time

Another year is about to begin, and a lot of us are probably thinking one of the following:

  1. I totally failed at every resolution I made last year.
  2. This year is going to be my year!
  3. I’m going to get fit, eat less sugar, lose weight, workout more, drink less, cut out breads, and cut out any other food that would deprive your body of something that it may crave.
  4. New Year and a New Me!
  5. I’m going to spend more time with family and friends.
  6. I’m going to start a business or something!
  7. I don’t make resolutions
  8. New Year’s Day is just another day

I don’t think I got every single thought you all maybe having, but I think I covered most. The reality is that New Year’s Day is just another day, but is symbolizes so much more, because it seems to bring about a new beginning for most of us. It is the start of another 365 days for us to accomplish something big! This is true, but to accomplish something big, we have to do small things. Remember that each day is a new day, and can start the beginning of something big.

I wish each and every one of you peace and blessings this New Year. However, my hope is that each of you wake each day in 2016, and treat the new day as if it is the start of a new year. Each day you accomplish something good, leads you into the next with a more positive outlook.

The best way to bring in the New Year is to be the best and most stylish you, you can be! Start by looking into a super cute Jump Suit for your festivities tonight. I must admit, with a 2 year old, I will not be doing much this evening. However, this jump suit, would be my go to tonight! In fact, I may just wear it in our home, as the hubby and I sip champagne! I have loved this jump suit since I got it in the mail from Eloquii. I simply paired it with a belt that I have had for years, and the perfect outfit for a night out came together! Check out their other jumpsuits here: Eloquii Jumpsuits.

Jump Full

 

Jump Close

Jump Multiple

Photo cred: My hubby – Terrance Glenn (@goodfella_t1k – instagram)

In the Midst of A Self-Hate Attack Storm with Nothing to Wear!

I was in the midst of a real rut last week, and felt like I had nothing to wear! I went to the closet and looked, and looked, and looked some more… I just kept flipping through each dress, skirt, shirt, blouse, etc. until I just gave up. I had to make a decision! Our baby girl will only sit quietly and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so long while mommy gets dressed in the mornings.

I was in a dark place, some of you may know this place, where you are feeling so down about your body and appearance that you just can’t see the good right in front of you. I only had nothing to wear because I was in the midst of a self-hate attack! It’s hard to pull out of a self-hate attack. How can you pull yourself out of something that you think is true in that moment? I felt like I didn’t look like the image of myself that I had idealized in my head. The funny thing is that I couldn’t tell you what image that was! I just kept looking in the mirror and thinking, “this looks horrible!”

The mind is a powerful thing. Your thoughts have the power to make you believe that you just aren’t good enough some days, and they have the power to make you believe you can take over the world some days! Normally, I have more days where I believe I can take over the world, than the days like the one I was having last week. Finally, I took a step back in the mirror to just see me. I had on a dress that I had worn earlier this summer. I looked back at a picture of myself with the dress on, and tried to see what made today different from a month or so ago… I had gained weight. I hadn’t noticed it in my day to day comings and goings, but I had gained about 15 lbs, and all of it seemed to be in my belly. So, the dress that once looked great, looked horrible because of my bigger belly.

I don’t know about you, but once I know the root of an issue, I can handle any problem! It was like my rut was over! I went back to my closet, picked up a black ASOS skirt that I loved, and just slid it over the dress to see what the end result would be. Like magic, my mood instantly changed and the day could go on! My belly was no longer the focus, and my outfit was complete – just in time too! I had a little munchkin standing at our bedroom door within seconds of the Hot Dog song ending.

I hate that I went to that place of self-hate with myself, because I am constantly trying to promote self-love and body confidence. I guess it was necessary for me to see something I needed to change. If being the best you, means re-shifting back to a more active and healthier you, then do it! I know that is the case for me. I have worked out on and off about 3 times a week, but I can’t say that everything I have put in my body has been in moderation… everything that I have put in my body has not been good, either! I’ve been feeding my body junk, and in turn I have been feeling less than myself. I know that I can change that feeling now, and simply slide a little black skirt over my troubles, until I get it back together!

Blog B&WBlog Leyah - Blue and Black

Talks for Our Baby Girl: Be Who You Are at Your Core (Fruits of the Spirit)

There was a point in my life where I became overly concerned with how I came across to other people. I slowly started to adjust my responses to make sure I was not offending. I started over thinking every single word that came out of my mouth to people that really needed no justification of my actions or my life. My life became more difficult, because I was trying to make life less difficult for everyone else. That makes no sense, right? But, who wants to be called mean when you are just straight forward? Who wants to be labeled as difficult, when you simply question the laws that need to be put to the test every now and then? Who wants to be called something that they know they aren’t? I don’t think anyone does, but it will happen. So, when I talk to my daughter later on in life, I imagine I would say something like this:

Everyone forms their own opinion of you whether it is right or wrong. Usually, it takes 30 seconds for someone to form an opinion about someone. It’s hard to agree with opinions, because there is no way we can truly know someone in 30 seconds. These are the opinions that are the hardest to change, and no matter what… that person will think what they think – and feel how they feel.
So, be grateful for the people that have known you for more than 30 seconds of your life; the ones who have seen you at your worst and at your best; the ones who know you at your core, and still love you. Everyone isn’t going to like you, and that is ok. So sleep at night knowing that you keep love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in your spirit to guide your actions daily (Galatians 5:22-23). Sleep knowing that every opinion formed about you is only a piece of you. That piece of you is miniscule compared to the seconds you will spend with the ones who will love you for who you are. I’m not certain who you will become baby girl, but when people tell me now that you are like your mommy, I smile and say a prayer. The smile is because I know you will be amazing at whatever path you take in life, and the prayer is that you seek out wisdom and hold tight to her. That wisdom will keep you from ever feeling doubt when someone calls you something that you know you are not. And, that wisdom will keep you from repeating your mommy’s mistakes. You will make your own mistakes in life. But, don’t ever let your mistakes be the ones you made because you acted in any other way than the way YOU would choose to act. Because, in the end, it’s only you who will have to live with the consequences or rewards of your actions. Don’t live a life of results that are all based on someone who has only known you for 30 seconds saying, “you’re mean.”

Our Daughter, Leyah, and Daddy.

Our Daughter, Leyah, and Daddy.