Love Challenged?

If you ask me, love should be celebrated everyday. Do something everyday to remind the people you’ve surrounded yourself with, that you love them. This weekend my hubby and I are heading out to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. We got a cute little tiny-home Airbnb to enjoy for the weekend. If I’m being honest, Valentines isn’t really celebrated in our marriage and that’s okay. I think our annual wedding day celebration is much more rewarding! Each year it causes us to reflect on how far we’ve come in our marriage and how much we’ve grown yet remain united.

What I’ve learned this past year is that I struggle loving myself more than anything. Through multiple counseling sessions and heart-to-heart conversations, it kept surfacing. The guilt and shame that would rise up when I thought of how I could love myself better. If anything, this ‘month of love’ inspired me to do more things that show myself love. It meant not waiting around for the perfect time to draw myself a bubble bath, a much deserved one. It meant filling up my day with more things that brought back life into my existence. It meant spending un-rushed time in the Word. Allowing my body to rest by sleeping at a decent time and showing gratitude for all that it does for me by feeding it food that nourishes and keeps me feeling vibrant and fueled.

An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” -Unknown

For so long, I’ve lived out of survival mode. Giving and giving and giving to everyone and leaving myself the leftovers of my soul. For FOMO (fear of missing out) on something or to please everyone around me. I became addicted to earning love and favor by doing more and giving more and more of myself, leaving me feeling depleted and empty. I was living and serving people with wrong intentions. I thought my value and worth was amounted in what I could do for others but overtime, burnout birthed resentment. I started discovering parts of myself that were ugly and negative. I couldn’t even articulate who I was seeing in the mirror. What was my life reflecting?

I resolved to going back to doing the things that support me being the best version of myself. They say that the way we love others reflects on how we love ourselves. For so long, I believe I was loving others more than I loved myself. I’m learning that it is NOT selfish to take care of your own wellbeing first. This month, I choose to do the things that heal and nourish my soul. I’m choosing to live out of a place of love. Knowing & believing that I deserve love without doing anything first. I no longer need to earn love. Love was mine from the beginning.

“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” -Christopher Germer

I created a 7 day challenge to encourage self love. If you resonate with any of this, then I want you to try checking off some of these things. It might be easier to accomplish these simple acts of self-love for some more than others. You can commit to checking off this list in the next 7 days or spread it through out the month. You decide! Happy Valentines Day!


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To My 29 Year Old Self

Happy birthday to me!

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It’s funny, I went through a season of not caring much about celebrating but as I draw closer to a close on another decade in my life, I realize there is just so much to be grateful for. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’d like to place this list here to remind myself of how thankful I am for being me.


Dora,

  1. Thank you for choosing to seek a more simpler life.

  2. Thank you for never losing Hope.

  3. Thank you for going after the crazy things that you’ve been pushing off.

  4. Thank you for feeding your body with plants that nourish and strengthen you.

  5. Thank you for loving children more than I ever thought you could.

  6. Thank you for always remaining a student at heart. I love how passionate you are about learning new things.

  7. Thank you for finding counsel in this season of your life. You’re seeking complete healing and it definitely starts with dealing with the roots.

  8. Thank you for making time to move your body whether indoors or out in nature.

  9. Thank you for learning to embrace the uncomfortable.

  10. Thank you for pushing yourself out to meet new people and making special connections.

  11. Thank you for loving your own story enough to encourage others to share their stories.

  12. Thank you for loving yourself well first before loving others. You can only love others well if you’re kind to yourself first.

  13. Thank you for being such a strong person. You’ve gone through so much yet you wake up everyday with joy and anticipation.

  14. Thank you for being such a light. Your joy and optimism is priceless.

  15. Thank you for being such a self-reflective person. I love that you’re always striving to be the best version of yourself.

  16. Thank you for loving animals and making decisions to partner up with God in caring for Creation.

  17. Thank you for putting your selfishness aside and becoming such a conscious consumer.

  18. Thank you for putting effort into being a pebble in the ocean creating a ripple with ending modern day slavery.

  19. Thank you for having a heart of advocacy. Being a voice for the voiceless.

  20. Thank you for fighting for your marriage and making it TOP priority even when its difficult.

  21. Thank you for challenging yourself and learning to go against the grain and embracing resistance.

  22. Thank you for practicing compassion with yourself and others.

  23. Thank you for being such an inspiring and creative person. You’re perspective of life is so unique and beautiful.

  24. Thank you for having such a servant heart. You can never say no when it comes to helping people. It’s one of your strengths and weaknesses.

  25. Thank you for not waiting for anyones approval to pursue your dreams.

  26. Thank you for surrounding yourself with people who build you up, challenge you, and empower you.

  27. Thank you for living in the present moment.

  28. Thank you for practicing to be an intentional and mindful person.

  29. Thank you for finding the courage to being more vulnerable and sharing through this blog.

I can’t wait to see what 29 brings you! God has blessed you with so much already, and thats just the beginning. Remember to not carry things that don’t belong to you. Your identity is in the Lord and you are worthy of love. You don’t need to be loved by many but a good few. You may hit a point where you become discouraged but remember just how far you’ve come and all the great things you’ve manifested already. No matter what, keep telling your story. Keep seeking connection and making time for the things that add value to your life. I love everything about you. Your pain, imperfections, flaws, dedication, and your voice. Continue to use your voice for the voiceless. Here’s to another year of awesomeness

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Tests, Tests, Tests

I don't know how many of you guys feel about tests, but I hate them. Its one test after another. I just had one this past Monday. Which I almost decided to just miss it because I wasn’t thrilled about the test that I was going in for.

The Pregnancy Test!

There is so much pain when you are taking this test. And even though it may just be a little pee stick, its heart breaking you know? I feel like I’m being judged. I am of no womanly-hood if I cannot get pregnant. To hear or see the “NOT Pregnant” sign is so disappointing. It just really makes it all the worse.

Why did I have to go in for this test?

Well, because I have PCOS, I lack female hormones, therefore I don’t have my periods, therefore, I can’t produce/release eggs, & that makes my chance of Pregnancy very low. After my first visit with my doctor, she decided to just jump right into the wagon & try to help as best possible. She had me starting out with something called Provera. This just gives me the hormones that I lack & need and it basically helps regulate me so I can actually have a period. The second thing they put me on was a bit of Clomiphene Cytrate (Clomid) and this is to multiply my eggs & give us a higher chance of pregnancy.

So after my first month of taking the medications, they wanted me to go in & test for pregnancy.

“Not Pregnant"!” was what the bars yelled on the “dollartree” worth test. How painful!

 

I just instantly prayed for peace & joy. I honestly don’t know what the Lord’s plan is for us, & we’re just really trying to seek that. So I just ask the Lord to really prepare my heart for whatever it is that the results would be. Whether it be to have kids of our own or adopt, or more. Lord, whatever your will is, let it be done. Thank you Father for supplying me with that peace & joy. Because I wouldn’t have been able to shrug it off like that even though it does bother us.

The Truth

So, Roger & I have been married for about 6 years now. It was a young marriage & we didn't think about how or when we were going to have children. As most people assumed that the reason as to why we got married at such an early age was that, he possibly knocked me up. But the truth of the matter was we never slept together. So the answer was no. We didn't get married because I was pregnant. We got married because two people came together & felt love for each other & wanted to commit to each other for life. We wanted more in our relationship. And we felt that God had made His plans for us pretty obvious. We were to get married. 

At age 15 & Roger was 19, exactly 4 years older, we got married, traditionally/culturally on February 19th, 2005. We've had a great first couple of years testing each other & getting to know each other. Learning our ways & our passions together. We never really planned to have kids right away because we were so young, but we weren't going to use any contraception. We felt that if it was God's plan for us, we would conceive when His time was right. But another year passed by, and then another, and another. And we just couldn't figure out what the problem was wrong.

Well, I kind of felt like it was my fault. I mean, with no protection, you would've thought that we would've conceived right away. But no, we didn't. A little detail that I forgot to mention. Just about a month after our 'wedding,' I missed my period. Now of course, I'm sure anyone would have assumed that they were pregnant. That's what I thought. So Roger & I got kinda of antsy and we decided to run to the store & get a test. I don't recall how expensive it was or what the brand was. But as you can imagine, the result was NEGATIVE. It was pretty heartbreaking. Good thing we didn't tell our family & friends or else it would've been harder on us. 

In that moment when fertility was questionable to us, we felt a sense of joy & we immediately wanted to talk about everything we wanted in life. Kids, family, house, I mean there was so much running through our minds. And in a blink of an eye, it all fades away. Now, my period never really came back. It never restored itself, & to be honest, no pain was in sight, & so I let my body "feel" like it was ok for a long time. Now ladies, unless you have menopause, it is not normal for you to not have a monthly flow. I can't believe how long it took me to actually go out & see a doctor. I tried many things to brush it off. I just thought, "Hey! I know I can have kids! Maybe its just not the right time right now!" But really, I was starting to lose a little hope everyday. 

I'm blessed to have been born into a church going family. I am a Christian. We both are. Christ followers. I'm blessed to have a handful of people around me which include my family & few friends, who've slowly gave me words of encouragement to keep on moving forward & keeping my hopes up. To have FAITH. Most importantly, my husband Roger. Our experiences & times that we share together, and these struggles that we are facing, are bringing us closer together. Not just with eachother, but also with our relationship with God.  But sometimes I feel like no one really understands this feeling of "barren-ness." I truly do believe that in His time,which is the right time, we will conceive. I just want us to be able to open up our hearts & our minds to those of you who care. Asking, for your thoughts & prayers. Which is why today I decided, I'm starting a blog. I don't care if you want to judge us. But this is my space. My blog. And it helps when I can talk about it.

Welcome to our world. There it is. The truth & nothing but. Our pain, our struggles. And its only the beginning....