Monday, June 30, 2014

Getting Out Of Your Depression

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As someone who has worked in the mental health field, I have helped people with depression. Sometimes it can be more clinical and sometimes not. But here is a secret, no counseling or coaching is going to work on you if you are not willing to come out of it. Some people want to play the victim, they still want to blame everyone else for doing things to them and want to blame the way they feel and how they feel on other people.

No one can make you feel anyway but you. You have more control over your emotions than you think, and not accepting that fact can cause you to always feel out of control of your life.

If anyone knows my story, they know I am a single mother, and my son’s father has been incarcerated since he was a few weeks old. Even before then, he was not involved in my son’s life. I do not say this so that you can have a pity party, I say it to use myself as an example.

There comes a point in which you can sink or swim. There comes a point that you can chose to sit in your depression or you can chose to do something about it.

For me, I chose to do something about it, and because I did not play the victim in my circumstances it made me stronger. Now, I can proudly say that there is very little things that can cause me to be down and out forever. This is because I been though life, I have been through hard time, just like most people.

For me, I never went to counseling. I chose to go to God and through his goodness and mercy He brought me out of a lot of things I had no business being in, and even better He used my mistakes, sadness, and downfalls as a platform to be able to help others.

The key is, I had to be willing to see the light at the end of the tunnel and chose not to see the temporary situation I was in as permanent.

A friend recently told me that a few years ago they tried to commit suicide because they felt no one cared about them. This is the advice that I gave them. You cannot look toward other people to make you happy, because if you do you will always be let down.

You cannot look toward a husband, wife, girlfriend, friends, children, or any “person” in this world to fulfill your complete happiness. This is because eventually weather intentionally or not, they are going to fall short. And when they do, if you are putting your complete and total happiness in them it is going to cause you to fall, and it is going to cause you to fall hard.

As an individual, you have to be able to regulate your own emotions and not be affected by the shortcomings of others. Life will let you down, I am sorry to say that. Friends and family will die before their time, you will lose your job, struggle in your finances, struggle to pay bills, struggle in relationships, be in bad relationships, be the black sheep of the family, and the list can go one and on.

Trust me, I have been there. In fact I cannot think of one person in the world that has not gone through something, and although it is okay to be said and mourn. Do not get so consumed by your emotions that you simply fall apart and give up on life.

When I was playing the victim of my circumstances once, getting all depressed in a situation I was in. God reminded me of something. This may sound cliche, but the message hit me hard.

I was watching the show Life Today and children who did not have clean water. I watched village person after village person go to a dirty lake, fill up their containers, and drink. The water was not even clear but brown and dirty.

They knew the water was contaminated. Manty families lost children and other families members from the contaminated water. But it was the only choice they had. They either remained dehydrated or drink water they knew could kill them. What a choice?

In that moment I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. Because any given day, I could walk to a faucet and get clean water and not worry about dying from it.

I think sometimes when God hears us complain, He is saying to us “If only you can see every life in every part of the world, you will realize you do not have it that bad.”

This was a turning point for me, I decided to make a change in my mood and I encourage you to do the same. Everyday you wake up, your situation has the opportunity' to change and things have a chance to turn around. Try to focus on that as oppose to focusing on what you do not have, or what you are not, or what other people have done to you. As long as there is a tomorrow things can change.

I am not coming to you from a place in which I have not been broke, or have been trough struggles, or bad relationships. In fact I encourage you to read my story and listen to how I overcame it. Get my book, “ Waiting For A Man After God’s Own Heart.’’

If you click in the “my book.” Tab you can get purchasing information. Read the first two chapters free through Amazon.

My Book Recommendations on this topic:

How To Keep Yourself From Getting Catfished Online.

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As a single mother, I am not ashamed to admit that I have tried online dating.  Online dating for me turned out to be more of a social experiment as oppose to a way to find love.  There are many commercials and real life stories of people who have found their husband or wife through online dating.  So, it is a good assumption to say that there are some people who do reap some benefits from online dating.

But if you watch just one episode of catfish you can see that their are many online dating horror stories.  In fact it amazes me at how many people get tricked into dating people for years without ever really knowing what they look like.  So here are my tips on how to prevent yourself from getting cat fished online.

Ask For Pictures

Obviously if you met the person online, then you are going to see pictures of them. But just because the pictures are on their profile does not mean that these are pictures of them.  Once you start talking to someone, try to ask for random photos at random times of the day. Most importantly ask them to text it to you.

A red flag is if when asking for a picture of someone, and they constantly put you off or send you a picture days after you have asked them.  This may be a sign that they got the picture from somewhere or someone else.

Skype or Video Chat.

This one should be a no brainier, if you want to make sure the person that you are talking to is really the person you are talking to, then of course you need to see them.  It shocks me how people can go on for years and years with talking to someone online and not see their face.  Then magically they are somehow shocked that when they really see the person it is not them.
After talking to someone for a while, video chatting with them is perfectly normal and expected.  Once again if someone is actively avoiding you from seeing them, then they are not who they say they are. You should be concerned.

Talk To Them on The Phone

Talking on the phone is one of the easiest things you can do.  Almost everyone has a cell phone and there are no long distant charges so there is no reason why someone cannot talk on the phone with you.  Some red flags to look out for is not being able to talk on the phone, never talking on the phone while they are at home, or being rushed off the phone.  This may not only signify that they are are not who they say they are, but that they may be hiding a spouse or a hidden life from you as to why they are not free to talk on the phone at various times of the day.

Background Check

I am not talking about running their social security number but rather researching the information they tell you.  This includes running their image through image search to see if the pictures on their profile come up as someone else. Also do a reverse phone search, their phone number should come up registered to them and in the location they say they are in.

Progression of the Relationships

 As with any relationships, their should be some type of progression.  This means you should be talking on the phone, seeing each other, making plans to go on real life dates. Never under any circumstances should you be in a situations where you have been taking to someone for years and years and have never even seen their face.  After of about two month (max) of talking to someone, you have not seen their face in person or on Skype then just let it go.  Something is wrong here.

For more online dating tips check out my blog here (Dating Online)

As a single women and mother I have tried all the dating tips and trick.  And they are all in my book “Waiting For A Man After God’s Own Heart.” Click on the my book tab for more information about the book.  Read the first two chapters free on Amazon.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Loving The Skin Your In.

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For the longest time I struggled with a poor body image.  From my teenage life until adult life I always wanted to be super model skinny.  When I was younger, I would exercise excessively  and eat nothing in attempts to be thin.  At one point in my life, I lost so much weight others would tell me how sick and unhealthy I looked.

It took me a long time to accept by body for what it was.  There were times where I would exercise excessively and right and still not loose weight.  There were times I would stress out so much about it, exercise even more and still gain weight.

It took a doctor’s visit for me to finally realize my body type and I was not going to ever be super skinny.  The doctor told me that I had a very high muscle mass, which was common for people from African descent.  And me gaining weight came from a the fact that I was stressed and it added to my cortisol level which increased my fat.

With this being said, I learned an important lesson. Whatever my body was going to be it was going to be.  As long as I was eating healthy or at least semi healthy, and exercise then I had nothing to worry about.

In this day and age we are so obsessed with being super skinny.  If skinny is what you are then fine, but do not kill yourself or develop and eating disorder to get this way.  The wonderful thing about your body is that it is yours, it is unique, and it was made a certain way. My body type although it will never be a size one or two is something I chose to be happy about.

Yes I chose it.  I chose not to compare myself to others and to be happy with both my looks and my body.  With this acceptance came confidence. Are there times when I feel like I gain weight and I still try to loose a few pounds? Sure, but I do not go on crazy diets or exercise excessively to try to make by body fit into a mold that it is never going to fit.

One thing about accepting your body image is accepting yourself.  Accepting the uniqueness (check out my post on how God made you unique) about your body makes you beautiful.  The most important thing you should be doing is not focusing on being a size zero but being healthy and making your body the healthiest body you can make it.

Loving the skin you are in, is the first step to moving forward in any goals in your life.  This include relationships, friendships, etc.  My book “ Waiting For A Man After God’s Own Heart” Encourages women to know and love the person they are before getting into a relationships.

Read the first two chapters free through Amazon, click on the book tab for more purchasing information.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Train up a Child The Way That He Should Go.

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When I became a mother, one thing that was important to me was that my son had a strong spiritual foundation.  And not just a spiritual foundation but was raised as a Christian and had a relationship with God.

During that time the Bible verse that I kept hearing was “train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverb 22:6

When looking at how to bring up your child in a Godly way, the answer is within the context of this short verse.  I think a mistake that so many people make is discounting the younger years of children and not enforcing Christian values in them, because they feel the child is too young or they will not understand.  What I mean by this, is parents want to wait until their children are older are in their teens before they want to instill Christian values in them.

My son is 6 and I have come to learn that teaching a children the way of Christ starts at birth. During the first three years of a child’s life is when they start to learn the ways of the world.  So while some parents think they are too young, these are actually where children are the most receptive.  They are taking in everything around them, even when you do not think they are.

Children look at you for guidance.  The best way that you can teach your child or children about being Christian is modeling Christ like behavior.  If you say one thing but behave another, children are going to do what they see you do not what they hear you say. Modeling behavior for them from the very beginning will help your child see and understand Christian values.

Some of the things I do with my son include him going to a Christian school, when he is in church I make him sit there and listen (not play video games), I also allow him to go to children’s church.  It is through these things that children learn about God and appropriate Christ like behavior.

I cannot tell you, how many people have 12 year old children and up and when they are in church they allow them to be on their DS during church or feel they are too young to grasp Christian concepts.  This is a news flash.  If you are not going to teach your children how to sit and listen to church as children and adolescents, when they are adults they are not magically going to change their behavior and magically start going to church and paying attention when you haven’t taught them to be that way as a child?

Another important factor is not to come across as teaching your children Christianity is a forcing way.  Children can rebel against religion by parents who paint an unrealistic version of God.  Some parents do not give their children any freedom and keep such a tight leash on them, that when they find any source of freedom they rebel.

Being a Christian, is not about locking your children up as shut ins and slaves.  You have to teach them Christian values and allow them to apply it in real life situations.  This means loosing the leash and allowing them to make their own choices and mistakes.  It through their mistakes and interacting with others, that children learn how to apply Christlike behavior in every situation.

A minor example, is when my son plays with other children outside of his school.  They have said and did things that I would not allow my son to do.  My son will often tell me about it.  Instead of rushing, jumping to the rescue, or forbidding him from playing with every child that isn't Christian. I allow him to deal with it on his own.
When my child gets older I will not be able to protect him from a bad boss or a secular world.  If I try to protect him from the secular world now, then I am enabling him and he will go into the world shell shock and unable to cope.  This is one of the worse things you can do for your child, that is not to prepare them for the real world.  If you do not prepare them for the real world and they are not able to cope, this is one of the top reasons why Christian children as adults get lead astray.

In closing raising your child in a Godly child starts from birth.  They are never too young for you to read the Bible or talk to them about God.  Even if you think they do not understand, they will if you keep teaching them, talking to them,  and modeling Christ like behavior.  And most of all, do not become an over bearing parents that tries to keep them from growing up or having any freedom.

Check out the book tab from my book “ Waiting For A Man After God’s Own Heart.”  It speaks about  my experiences a a single mother and how I sought to be a good mother and raise my son, the right way.  You can read the first two chapters free through Amazon.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Are You Being a Christian or Are you being Religious?

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Since the beginning of time, there seems to be a disconnect between being religious and being a Christian.  So many people are so religious, that they miss the point of being a Christian.If this concept confuses you, then let me explain.  Have you ever met a Christian who put so much emphasis on their church, what their church is doing, and how their church is better than everyone else’s? This is an example of religion.Have you ever met a pastor whose whole sermon, every Sunday, is focused on speaking against other pastors and how they feel what other churches are teaching is wrong? This is an example of a religion.

Have you ever seen a church, which was planted in the middle of a community that was in need, but they were so busy building onto to their church, they never reached out to those in need? This is an example of religion.When you look at the above examples, they all have something in common.

They omit the basic principal in which Christianity was founded off of, doing God’s work by mimicking the behavior of Christ.

There are people who are so wrapped up in their own church they take on the role of worshiping the church over God.  Some religious people are more concerned with what position they hold in the church or going to the right church, they forget to go to a church in which they are being spiritually fed.Pastors around the world base sermon after sermon speaking against other pastors, when we are all supposed to be one in the body with Christ, not fighting against each other.Matthew 12:25 states “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined.” So what sense does it make for Christians to speak against other Christians? Is this not counter productive?

Many churches have taken on the role of wanting to be the biggest church on the block, but forget the fundamental principal that the churches should be active in the community. After all, is this not what all of us Christian’s were called to do? Is this not what Jesus did? When you look at the life of Jesus, he wanted the Pharisees to understand that it was the relationships with God that was the most important.

Jesus warned against following the laws, religion, and rituals so closely, because you will miss the whole point of having a relationships with God. Jesus did everything He saw His father do. He was what we all should strive to be.  But because of “religion” this point was missed completely.  He was crucified by the very ones He came to save.Therefore, I asked you. Examine yourself.  Are you being a Christian, a called servant of God, trying to do only what you see your father do?  Or are you being religious, doing what you think other people want to see you do as a Christian?

The Bible states:“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 7:21

This means many “religious Christians” are going to be disappointed when they get to heaven, because they never did grasp the will of the Father. This is why, we must all remain focused and never get to consumed in our religion that we forget this was the same ideology that Jesus fought against.

Check out the book tab for my book "Waiting For A Man After God's Own Heart." Check in the book tab for purchase information. Read the first two chapters free on Amazon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014