This was inspired by the thoughts running through my head as I scrolled through the highlight reel that is Instagram. It is very easy for an individual to feel less about themselves or feel the need to compare themselves to others when they’re constantly looking at the perfect moments of someone elses life. I am not beyond reproach to say that I’ve never scrolled past a picture and thought ” what does she have that I don’t have?” We’re human!! As humans we will have moments where experience…dare I say..envy!!! As dreadful as it sounds, its normal.
So what did I do? I unplugged and went for a walk. The beautiful thing about my neighborhood is that it has beautiful little trails that surround the ponds. Makes for a really nice moment to take in Gods creation. As I walked and got lost in my thoughts.. a voice came to me. The voice asked “do you need a reminder?” It then dawned on me that I needed a reminder of how blessed and favored I am. I needed to be reminded of how good the Lord has been to me. You see, every time we compare ourselves to others and become ungrateful for what we have, its like a slap to Gods face. God has blessed us with life, health, love and prosperity but we lose sight of that in the seconds of a scroll. Picture this. Your child asks for a toy in which you finally give in and buy the toy. Once the child has the toy, they start talking about how much they would love this other new toy!! How insulting right!? You think to yourself how ungrateful this kid is. Well..are we not that ungrateful kid sometimes?
With all of that being said, I just wanted to come by and remind you of just how blessed and amazing you are. God made no mistake with you and He has you right where he needs you. When you find yourselves focusing on someone else’s life, look around YOU and look at your blessings. We all have different paths for different reasons. We are all here to inspire and encourage others with our very unique and personal stories. A good rule of thumb is to remember that (1) you don’t know what that person had to do to get to where they are and (2) is what their showing even real? In the age of social media lies tons of smoking mirrors. Instead of getting caught up in the highlight reel, press pause every now and then and remember how great God made you. Just a little reminder.
Take a moment to remind yourself. As always, stay safe and be blessed. xoxo
Have you ever sat and thought, “Wow!! This year really flew by!” With every speeding year that flies by, we get older…and older..and…older. The more birthdays you have, the more you began to realize that you’re getting older and time is running out. The anxiety begins to kick in as you think of all the things you haven’t accomplished yet. Maybe you don’t have the cookie cutter life that society wants you to think you should have. You know the one. Married by 23. Two children. A house on the hill with the white picket fence? Yea, that one. Is that really realistic? Is it fair for society to put those type of expectations on someone? Regardless of your answer, we know that it happens and it is a very real societal pressure that we’re going to delve into today. Grab your wine glass ladies!!
How We Got Here
In many cultures, men and women are expected to be married and have children by a certain age. I was reading a blog post that in Chinese cultures, if a woman is in her 30’s and still unmarried, she is considered a “leftover” or undesirable. In African culture, the father picks a husband for his daughter and there is immense pressure for you to be married early and have children. My father is from Senegal, West Africa and I have definitely felt the pressure of this age old tradition. Can you imagine the choice of being forced to keep up tradition or to be an embarrassment to you family? The black sheep even.
These standards are felt even more if you live in the South!! As you’re scrolling through social media, you see proposal after proposal and pregnancy announcements. Its not unlikely that this will lead you to believe that you’re missing out or that somethings wrong with you. Honey, there isn’t ANYTHING wrong with you! These close minded traditional views are tiring.
Anything you do in life should be done because of YOUR passion and desire to do it. Not because your family is pressuring you or because you don’t want to feel left out.
It makes you wonder how many people rushed to get married or have children because they didn’t want to be looked at as “damaged” , awkward or as a “leftover”.
Don’t Succumb To The Pressure!!
As a woman who is in her 30’s AND a single mom, I have felt these pressures on a whole other level!! Coming from a Christian background on my mothers side and an traditional African background on my fathers side, the pressure is real to not disappoint anyone. From my own personal experiences in life as well as seeing “epic fails” in other peoples lives, I have learned that:
You CANNOT live for someone else. Some people failed in their own lives and endeavors so they try to project their failed dreams onto you in hopes of reliving that moment they lost. They lived their life. Live yours!!
Do what YOU’RE comfortable with and what makes you happy. Some people take jobs because their parents said so. Some people marry because their family said so or pressure from society caused them to fold. At the end of the day, can you sleep at night with the decisions you’ve made or will you live in regret?
Be CAREFUL who you ask for advice. When someone gives you advice they’re are sharing based on THEIR perceptions and beliefs. If someone married for money because they didn’t want to work or because they wanted to secure themselves financially then their advice to YOU may be to do the same thing regardless of love.
If It Makes You Happy
I don’t want this to turn into a soapbox session but I just want to encourage men and women to slow down and take a breath. Enjoy your life at every moment and know that God makes no mistakes. As we grow anxious and impatient, what may seem like an eternity for us is only seconds to God. Allow him to create the masterpiece that you deserve. That masterpiece could be a job you’ve been waiting for, a house, a husband/wife or even the ability to conceive. Whatever your desire is, it will all work out in the end and it will be well worth it.
I hope you guys enjoyed this read! Thanks for tuning in. Continue to be safe. Continue hygienic practices to avoid getting sick and as always, be blessed!! xoxo
When I first started out on my newfound walk with Christ, for sure I thought that the journey would be easy-peasy…sunshine and butterflies!! Don’t get me wrong. Having a sense of security, knowing that you have salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ, does make life easier but lets not forget, we are still beings going through a very real life experience. That means we will face DAILY challenges (work, peer pressure, financial issues, etc) and facing and overcoming them is enough added pressure in itself.
I would like to share 5 things that I have learned thus far in MY journey and I hope by sharing them, you can maneuver through your own personal journey effortlessly.
Disclaimer: These are MY thoughts and experiences on MY journey and to be taken as nothing more than advice to you and yours. 🙂
(1) Rome Wasn’t Built in A Day
After I gave my life to Christ, I went into full blown Super Christian mode! I told myself that I would be the best Christian anyone ever saw. I would read my bible 3 times a day. I prayed in the morning, noon and night and even prayed while falling asleep. I would beat myself up if I was a minute late for Sunday School. Although God wants us to be the best we can be, I don’t think he meant for us to kill ourselves trying nor condemn ourselves for not being perfect. Perfection will never be attained in this human vessel and I had to realize that for myself.
(2) Be Honest with Yourself
Once I came to the realization that I couldn’t be this Super Perfect Super Christian, I began to calm down and take one day at a time. The reason why being honest with yourself is so critical is because it allows you to not have unrealistic expectations. We know that achieving perfection is nearly impossible, so why place that expectation on yourself? In no way am I saying settle for lackluster performance but don’t condemn yourself if you miss a day of reading your bible. I am speaking from experience. I would literally feel worthless if I missed bible study or if i didn’t pray morning, noon and night. These things are important but beating yourself up mentally and emotionally isn’t Gods way. God knows that we could never achieve perfection, which is why he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us.
(3) Change Is Necessary
We know that there is nothing that can separate us from Gods love; however, its also important to know that we cannot live our same old lives and expect to bear the fruit of a child of God. Being baptized and asking God for forgiveness are 2 great essential steps on your walk with Christ but you also have to make a physical change. Changing your way of thinking. Changing your social circles. Changing your habits. Change is necessary because without it, you will never grow.
Here’s a point for you. When I became a police officer, I began to change my group of friends. This was necessary because the group I used to hang out with didn’t align with the values and morals that came with being a police officer. Its the same principle with your journey. When you become a new person in Christ, you cant continue to hang around those who are not walking the same road as you. If two people are together but have different paths in their viewpoint, you’re bound to stray away from each other OR you make yourself vulnerable to the chance of being pulled in their direction. You make the choice. Clean house or be led astray.
(4) Be Intentional
Are you on this journey because of fear or are you on this journey because you want to be intentional about your love and gratitude to God? I remember a time when I used to attend church because I was trying to make my aunt happy. Then I remember a time when I did it because…everyone else was doing it. When I made the conscious decision to go because I wanted to go, I felt so light. So weightless. I was no longer under the pressure of making someone else happy. Isn’t that beautiful!? Being intentional about your journey is essential because you need to know who you’re doing this for. This is between you and God and you should only be doing this to build your relationship with Him. Lately it seems like being a Christian is the latest trend. Its the cool thing to do right now. Being a Christian is cool but its more than a fad. Its a way of life. This is your soul that we’re talking about people!! God was intentional when he sent his son to die for our sins. Can’t we be intentional about our love and devotion to him?
(5) Mind Your Business
Last but not least, we have come to one of the most important steps. Minding your business. Staying focused on yourself and your journey. I learned how important this step was after a head-on experience that I had.
I would see how people would claim to be Christian but they continued to live like everyone else with no thoughts of changing. This would frustrate me to the point where I began questioning myself. This is why you have to focus on yourself and mind your own business. Focusing on others will have you lost and confused about your own journey.
Some people believe that going to church every Sunday will suffice for them. Others believe that they don’t need to change their ways at all and that’s the thing. Everyone has their own thoughts and beliefs and this is exactly why you have to focus on yourself. This journey is hard enough dealing with your own thoughts, trials and desires. Don’t add more unnecessary strife by dabbling in others life.
We have covered a lot of ground and I hope it wasn’t too much to take in. This journey can become overwhelming at times but it can also be rewarding and a true eye opener to how much God really loves us. Just remember to continue to spread Gods love and remember his word.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. Romans 15:13