Hey everyone! I know it’s been a minute since I wrote a post. I haven’t been blogging as much but I plan on posting more often. I’ve had a quite a bit going on & I’m trying to get back focused. I have done a few radical things this month. I worked on my goal of investing myself by investing in Being the One marriage training. It was a webinar by Natasha & Jamal Miller from Married & Young. Married & Young is a ministry that helps Christian singles, engages couples, & married couples. The training gave me a deeper insight into what marriage is about…I learned more about the inner work that a person has to do prior to marriage & how the way a person was raised affects their marriage. I also learned that the issues that a husband & wife has individually is brought into a marriage..They have to learn how to deal with those things & grow together spiritually. I learned more than I what I mentioned. I just wrote the things that I could think of at the top of my head. Lol! The training was very intense (three hours) but very helpful! I know what to expect whenever I do get married. I know that my future husband & I will have to go get marital counseling. I’m still single but I don’t think that there is anything wrong w/ learning more about marriage since it is something that I desire. I know that are more things that I need to work on. ;-) Last month I worked on my goal of investing in myself by investing in a life coach for six weeks. The investment was a sacrifice but I think that I got a lot of it! My life coach (Carla) was someone that I already knew. The assignments that she gave me really challenged me & made me more aware of myself. Carla & I had a teleconference call once a week.
This month I attended two high school football games( homecoming game on Oct. 9th & senior night on Oct. 30th). My little cousin Trey is on the football team for his high school. Both of the games I attended my cousin’s high school football team won. I like that I was able to spend time with family at the football games. My mom, a few of my family members, & I attended the homecoming game. Yesterday my mom, Pris (my next door neighbor back home), few of my family members, & I attended senior night yesterday. Last night at the game, the seniors that were cheerleaders, in the band, & on the football team were recognized w/ their parents on the field. I’m glad that I was able to be part of a special moment. I also liked that the football team, cheerleaders, & football fans wore pink to support breast cancer awareness.
P.S. I hope that everyone had a good Halloween! I have two roommates moving in tomorrow the apartment. Eek! I’ve gotten used to having the apartment to myself so it will be an adjustment dealing w/ roommates. One of my friends (Kat) is I’m town for the weekend so I’ve been enjoying the extra company. ;-) The time will be changing tomorrow. Don’t forget to set back your clock by one hour.
***This post was written on Saturday Oct. 31, 2015
I have been working on what it means to love, God calls us to love one another and I have been really trying to open my life up to love. As I’ve stated many times before I used to “protect” myself from so much and now I really want to know how I can walk in love. What does that look like? Is love strength or weakness? Does it cause people to lose their intelligence or is it where we find true wisdom.I think this will be how I will try to put some action behind my words. Please check out the following video on Maya Angelou on her views on love:
I was inspired by Daniele’s post to create a list of things I would tell my teenage self. Here is my list of 7 Radical Things I Wish I Had Known:
- He doesn’t love you
I know you love him and your love for him is real. It is first love, and it is strong and powerful. He says he loves you, but he wants to share you with his friends. He wants you to be a back up to all his plans. That is not true love. It will hurt to break away but, and I know you won’t believe me, you will be ok. You will become a strong independent woman. Don’t try to please him or make him happy. Move one to other loves and other mistakes.
- You are not what you see.
Your perception is off; you will be diagnosed with hypothyroidism. The chemicals rushing through your brain are making you hallucinate in what you see in the mirror. Until you get that checked and fixed, you will not see yourself as you truly are. There will be issues with your parents not getting you help, but you will get it and you will turn into a lovely, happy teen before you leave high school. Count on it.
- There is an answer for your physical and mental health
You get sick and hurt a lot. People will make fun of you and call you names. They will not believe you. But there is something physically wrong with you. You won’t learn about until your early thirties but it’s true. Your sinuses infections and mood swings are all related to an overall health issue. Keep going even when doctors brush you off. You are not crazy; you just need some help for a rare disease. You are what the medical community calls a zebra, and you are special.
- You and your mom will be close again
You tension is both of your faults. Your disease is making it hard, and you are mad at your parents for not getting help. Your mom doesn’t see it. She is quick to think that if she can overcome you can too. Some of it is her selfness but some of it is your belief in your strength. You won’t see that for a long time. But you will be close again even if it does seem like it will take forever. The two of you will move past those struggles and have life events that will bring you close. You will empathize. So it will be alright with your parents especially your mom. Just hold on.
- You are special and God loves you very much
Your faith is fluid. You grew up Baptist but in your dark depression you don’t get any of it. You struggle with being agnostic. You wish for an easy faith as you see of those around you. But faith isn’t easy–especially in a world of false Christian and a closed minded attitude. You will meet a group of girls who will show you what Christianity is about. You will study the Bible and become deeper in your faith. Finding a church is sketchy and by the time you’re 32, you will find one that makes you p hopeful. But you will be fully aware that He loves and made you special. You are who you are supposed to be and He will lead you to great things. He’s there even if you can’t feel him in the darkness.
- You are not alone.
Even though you feel lonely it does not mean you are not loved. You feel alone one because of your depression and because you are different. But it’s okay. Keep reading books. Keep writing. Don’t give up. You will have friends who see the light in you even if you aren’t popular. When you get to college you will bloom as a person and attract people who care about out and who you care about. There will be men who truly love you, and family who don’t give up on you. And you will have a network of great friends. They won’t always be physically close but they will be emotionally. Some people will come in and then they will leave. But you only needed them for a season. People will replace them. There will be times when you feel lonely no matter what, but remember you will never truly be alone.
- You will change the world.
You have known since you were little that you were different, that you would go beyond your peer’s hopes for money and fame (even though you wouldn’t have minded a little fame). You would be someone you would make a ripple in this world. You will do this. It will be more subtle than most people think of when they say they want to change the world. You will preach on peace and love. You will change the lives of children daily as well as work with animals which you adore. Then you’ll move on to changing the world at an international level: you will help orphans find homes change the lives of people both in the US and the Ukraine. You will help your friends and be a rock for them. You will spread love to each of them and you both will change each other’s lives. You will accomplish your goal. Stay Strong. Keep your eyes set on it. Don’t ever let go.
Originally posted on The Spoon Project:
It’s invisible Illness Week. You’ll see people come out of the woodworks who have issues that you never knew about. This people are brave as living with these illness are tough and not everyone is comfortable being as transparent as I am.
I have only been recently diagnosed with chronic illness, but I have been suffering my entire life. When this all came to a head, I went through a lot of changes and, for some time, I looked sick. I had the prednisone moon face; the huge bags were I didn’t sleep because of the pain; and out of breath at every walk past three steps. But as I have fought to regain my life, my illness becomes even more invisible. I am losing weight and toning my body and my face has finally gone back to a healthy color. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t still have…
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I honestly feel that this year has been an eye opener for me. Well, really the last couple of months have had me bugging my eyes out. I thought this would be a good time to reflect and to talk to the 18 year old Danielle. The 18 yr old Danielle was in her first year at AUM. She turned 18 on her first day of college. She cried home to her mom, scared about doing something different and just wanted to go home. She felt like she was country girl-who felt fat and that others would see right through her. She felt that she would be lonely and never make new friends. This is what I would tell her.
Learn to love yourself at whatever stage. Danielle you are beautiful. You have a great personality. That is what will shine through more than anything. So what, you have a gap or you think you have your daddy and grandma’s hands or that you have thick eyebrows (you will be introduced to waxing in 2006 and it will be Amazing!) You are gorgeous, at 270-280-310 (yes, you will get to 310 but you will work it off.) and don’t let anyone dim your light. Don’t lower yourself for the sake of fitting in. You will learn latter on but fitting in isn’t really your style.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It really is small stuff. You have so much anxiety. We still have it but it’s about different things. Learn to loosen up. Yes, sometimes you stutter because you get too excited. You may say inappropriate things (well, we still do…that’s just who we are.) It’s okay. Life will go on. You may have a bad day but you will also have good days, days where you will laugh hard enough to cry. You will have joy in your heart.
Don’t forget to live. Stop waiting for the right circumstances. Stop waiting for you to look a certain way or feel a certain way. Just write down some goals and go for it. You will have friends who will be supportive of any idea you have, they will be your biggest cheerleaders. It is okay to see an event on campus and go, even if you don’t know anyone.
Think about what goals after college. I know that feeling that you’re having. You’re on a high because you said you were going to college and you have made that a reality. You are going to learn that getting your degree is the easy part. School comes easy to you. The hard part states after you walk across the stage. You think that people will be throwing jobs at you: nope, it doesn’t happen. SO, take this time to start to see what you like or don’t like. Don’t be scared to apply for internships, in and out of state. This goes back to the prior point—don’t be too afraid to take risks. Also, know that being afraid is not a requirement to not pursue your goals. Do it afraid!
I hope that I didn’t scare you with this letter. I want you to feel empowered. You will go places you never dreamed of. You will learn how to drive and get a car! Won’t he do it!! (That’s will be one of your phrases). I want you to feel empowered. I want you to live life, not go through it. Allow your eyes to be open. Live life and have Faith in God, in all situations. Don’t be afraid of what others will think of you. Heck, who cares what others will say. There will be nothing you can say or do to stop them anyway. Don’t forget—you are beautiful, inside and out. You are worthy to have good happen to and for you.
I have been pretty obedient to God as of late. I followed him into domestic ministry at Bridges of Faith. Living off the support of those with generous hearts to put food on the table and paying the car payment is scary! But I tell myself if He brought me to it, Hell bring me through it!
I have had a wonderful time with the Ukrainian Orphans we bring to Alabama for cultural exchange and family networking. Our first group was a great group of young children. I have always loved young children and those with disabilities. But what I never liked as teenagers. I couldn’t deal with their attitude and sass. I’ve said this for years. Nothing was going to change that. So when I learned our second group included eight teenagers, I freaked out. I told God I couldn’t do this. I wouldn’t be able to bond. I wouldn’t be able to deal with their attitudes in a Christian manner.
God does not accept “no”. He just doesn’t. He brought over eight beautiful teens and one younger child to enjoy the month of August at our camp called BridgeStone. There were three girls, and I was dreading them the most. They’d freak out about getting dirty and a variety of other issues. I didn’t want any part of it.
But from the moment they stepped into the airport, these children were nothing like the American teenagers I have worked with. They weren’t yelling or screaming, (to be fair they didn’t know a lot of our language). In the van ride home, they didn’t fight among themselves. They had their snacks and took nap. Even though, this would be the most composed they will be for the e entire month, they never reached the hectic, loud, negative brouhaha that I was used to. Most of them were well behaved (but as allays with the boys, you had to keep an eye on a couple of them).
But they were so much fun. They participated in a variety of activities from actively learning English to trying new food to getting dirty with horses. No one whined or complained that they didn’t want to do something. They weren’t “too good” for anything. These children had seen the bad side of life and instead of lashing out at those around them, they had pulled inside themselves. So our job was to bring them out if their shells. Some came out quickly, embracing all the adventures in front of them. Some of them were slower, wondering if they could really trust US. But eventually they saw that and reached out to US.
Though I bonded with all the teen and learned about them, there are two that really taught me something about life. The first was a boy with the sweetest smile. He had been through a lot in his life: he had been abused as a child; he had been shuffled off to an orphanage because his mother couldn’t take care of him; and he had grown up with only the bare minimum of everything in life. But he always gave you a smile and loved to give hugs. He hadn’t given up looking for someone to trust, someone to take care of him. My heart broke to realize that he made the best of a bad situation, and when I let the dumbest things get to me. He inspired me to smile more, to be happy more.
The second teen’s effect on me was more subtle. She did have a drama streak, but she wanted so much to connect with people, to be included and loved. She would help me up and down stars. If she missed helping me, she would be sad and apologize. She loved freely and laughed often. She wasn’t afraid of tears. She totally changed my mind that all teens were all self-centered. She realized to be loved, she had to give love.
You have to give love to get love. Isn’t that just a profound thought. We can’t be loved by someone unless we have an open giving heart. Sure we can be grumpy and need help, but we have to be willing to get out there, to put our hearts on the line. These children did nothing but that.
The day they left, I cried. Heck, I cried the night before when we were all together. I cried more than I had even cried for the first group! I had such bonds with this children-one boy even told me “I love you” and told me not to cry! Each child was so dear to me: they had each changed my life is some monumental way. They didn’t even know it.
I had told God no, and he threw back in my face 9 instruments of growth and love. He proved to me that he was right and I was wrong. I am humble before him, honored to help these orphans. I must always remember not to tell God no, because he will always show me a yes!
If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/
And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billinngsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!