Sometimes the people closest to you (family, close friends, children) are ok with saying the most hurtful things to you simply because they're comfortable and allowed to. You've spent so many years turning the other cheek, continuing to do for them in the exact same way with no accountability, no boundaries and no voice. All because you fear conflict or because you feel obligated to do what "everyone else" says you should do in that role. I'll share the example of what just happened that led me to say that.
My kids are ok with disrespecting me while they respect everyone because there's little discipline, no uncertainty or fear of what I'll do. I'm not talking about beating them either. There's been little accountability over the years because I was feeling guilty. Guilty for the moments where I was "less than" based on someone else's standards. And kids are smart, they can manipulate that to get what they want.
In my mind I felt obligated to walk on eggshells because the behavioral issues and trauma they encountered only came into their lives because of my choices and mistakes. I felt like I owed them the ability to do whatever they want, to take whatever frustration and resentment out on me because I deserved it. How many times have you let someone mishandle you because your past mistakes tell you that you don't have a right to do otherwise?
I brought my past into my present and refused to give myself grace for growth based on the actions and beliefs of others who can't even see me clearly. Then God gave me the last two babies. The two that came after I started changing, after I started becoming a better me. And I realized something, they're all doing just fine. Nothing will be perfect, especially in parenting, someone is ALWAYS going to have something to say about the way that you do things.
There's no manual that covers all aspects of parenting. As young, or new, parents at some point we must get to the point where we transition from taking only the advice of those who went before us and into trusting our own abilities. As much advice as my family can give me, they can't parent for me. God made me their mother for a reason, there is something in me that is perfect for helping to mold who they are meant to become. I can't do that if I'm too busy being who everyone else says I should be.
Times are changing, generations are evolving. My kids deal with things that I never had to face as a child so my parenting has to evolve past how I was parented, to an extent. Some stuff still works now lol. So I've had to mesh the newfound thought that, children have a psychological and emotional aspect that must also be nurtured, with the sternness that doesn't spare the rod.
As mature and wise my kids may be at certain times, at other times, they're just hurt, scared children who have trouble trusting that they will not be hurt or separated from someone in their circle again. And hurt people hurt people or say certain things until they are taught and assured that things have changed and will be different. As I parent I violated their trust by allowing certain things but a good friend reminded me yesterday that taking responsibility for cleaning up my mess, doesn't always mean that I have to accept the blame for everything that is going wrong.
Yes, you made a mistake, yes there are consequences but no, that does mean they get to condemn you. That does not mean that you have to accept the lie that you're doomed to repeat those same mistakes. That does not mean that you can't come back from that and be better. I don't care how many times I've made the same mistake and it became a toxic habit or cycle, I can and will come out of it because my bible says, in Proverbs 24:16 "the godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked." If I was really as wicked or as evil as "they" say I am, that first time would've taken me out. I wouldn't have the courage to clean up the mess now. I wouldn't have the courage to keep getting back up and into the ring. I wouldn't have the courage to stand up and correct the issue.
The other week I did just that I stood my ground and have remained consistent since then. I've been on it and refuse to back down. I've taken my authority and my power back, not just as a parent but as a woman and it is paying off. I've set boundaries and don't apologize (because I'm not really sorry about it anyway) for doing so. I'm setting healthy boundaries where there once were barricaded walls of no resistance. Where absolutely nothing would get in or out. Not even love. My boundaries don't remove my love, they actually allow me to love better in ways that are healthy for me.
Someone I admire told a story the other day about an Olympic skier who trained for four years for his moment. As soon as the race started, he fell and his pole broke. He could've given up but he got back up and got back out there. Even though he was so far behind it looked like he'd never catch up. He kept going. By the last leg of the race, he'd gotten within the first five places. Then he ended up winning the gold. What if he would've remained defeated? Stayed down instead of getting back up?
See, the test for me lately has been trying to tell me that because I failed to properly discipline, failed to end a toxic pattern, failed to protect them before, failed to do any other task that can better my life; that I have no rights to try to do it now. So, because I once was so passive as a parent I can't "switch up" now and be authoritative. Because I allowed someone to come in and hurt them before, I have no right to protect them with all the fierceness I possess.
My best friend reminded me yesterday that setting boundaries has to include everyone in my life even my children, my parents, my significant other, etc. She also shared a quote that said, "what you allow is what you will end up with". It's never too late to do what's right if there's still breath in your body. I encourage you today to stand up. You don't have to do it rudely or disrespectfully for it to be effective. Just be real and be firm. They say that people can't change, that's a lie. Many people can change, they just don't want to. So they use that excuse that "people don't change" to remain set in their ways. YOU can't change them or make them do anything (good or bad) it's always a choice on their part. But you also have permission to hangs how you respond and what you will allow.
I pray the Lord helps me not to let my heart harden. I only want what you want for me. I only want to focus on that. Help me restore order within myself and within my home. My heart is not growing sick from hope deferred. I am not cursed due to my past mistakes. I am not cursed due to the sins of my ancestors. I put the cross of the Lord between their sins and my birth. It ends with me. Thankful that He sees the depths of my heart and STILL loves me. Thankful that everytime the enemy tries to shut me up, I keep on talking. Thankful that I'm maturing enough to know when I'm being attacked (and have the strength and courage to go to war) and know when I just need to get it together lol (it's me oh Lord lol). Thankful that I can take the advice that's for me and leave the rest. I renounce every ungodly soul tie even the ones that weren't created through sex. I come out of agreement with any vows and contracts I made in the past that attached me to things and people not aligned with my destiny. I turn my back on and tear down any idols I've made whether money, marriage, my ego, my children, success, etc. I'm baby stepping this with the Lord and I cast my cares onto Him. Even if He has to carry me through this, I'm OK because I can't afford to lose. There's too much to be done to give up. Too much to be done to be disobedient. Too much to be done to go back on the run. I have the ability to see this through because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have the authority to speak to my storms and tell them to cease because greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. I have the specific strategy to recover all and nothing outside of what God says matters. God is stretching my capacity and building my endurance. My hope is built on the Lord and nothing else. My mind is renewed and refocused on Him. Mine eyes look to the hills because I KNOW my help is coming from him. I speak life over myself, my family and friends. I embrace my process with joy because I know I'll be changed for the better. I am more than a conqueror. I shall subdue. I shall pursue my dreams and purpose. I will not run from my calling. I shall run towards my fears, facing them head on, without backing down; standing in my truth and celebrating my triumph because I've already won. I have a NOW praise because I've already WON! I see myself already finished, already on the other side of this. And WHEN I get there, all I'll do is thank God because he didn't leg me fall and #Ididntquit
Someone needed to read this moment of transparency. We all fall short. Give the same grace you seek.
I was getting some reflection time in and setting goals for 2018 and it hit me...I really will be 30 this year!! I often joke that I'm much older than 29 because I was raised by my grandmother and father but it really put things into perspective for me. I still have life ahead of me and I have already come so far in these past 30 years. I have seen and overcome more than I would've thought possible, had you asked me when I was 8 or 9, I wouldn't be able to tell you that my life would play out the way that it has.
I started to think about how monumental this year is going to be for me. Not just because I'm hitting a milestone age but because of the promises that are resting on this year from the Lord. So much is in store and I'm still in cheerful expectancy!
In addition to it being my 30th year, it will also be my 5th year in business. The very same day actually (best birthday gift ever lol).
I'll start with the significance of the number 5 which is God's grace, goodness and favor. I can definitely attest to the fact that adding that 5th child has given me a grace and favor like never before lol. But that excites me because there is much more that will follow in this 5th year of business.
Now let's talk about 30...it signifies dedication to a particular task or calling. A symbol of authority, leadership, or rulership. The Aaronic priests were said to be physically and mentally mature at the age of 30, thus making them ready to enter ministry. Joseph was elevated to power at the age of 30 and David was 30 when he became king. See where I'm going with this?
Some encouragement for my '88 babies lol. 30 is my year for dedicating myself fully to leadership and my calling. Guess it's not so dirty after all!
Peace and Blessings
Ok let me explain. Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly. Coincidentally my middle name Vanessa for a Greek name means butterfly. I am all about profound and beautiful transformations. I've talked about the legend of the Phoenix and the transformation that occurs after it dies. Beauty from the ashes over and over again. The butterfly also has an amazingly beautiful transformation process.
It originates as a creature that some might say is "ugly" or funny looking. Then it enters its maturation stage. During this stage the creature that some may mock, tease, despise and criticize; is hidden (catch it if you can). Hidden in a secret place while it rests and transforms. In this secret place the creature is being made new. Then the creature emerges. It breaks out of that secret place revealing its newfound beauty.
God has taken me through a similar process to both the Phoenix and the Butterfly. My old life and old self had to die so that, from the ashes, I could rise and fly again. I also went through a period of ridicule, shame and attack during a time when I wasn't at my best. So God hid me in His secret place. He veiled me so that He could mold me into a new beautiful creature. This formerly Caged Spirit is freed; flying in new beautiful majesty ready to change the world and shake the planet.
Each day spent in intimacy with the Father reveals more and more of my identity and calling. I encourage you to develop that intimacy. You never know what flightplan He'll put you on.
Peace and Blessings
These are the theme words for 2018 that I received for my family from God. In 2017 I almost gave up. On love, business, purpose, destiny, family and life. The enemy really tried to take me out, make me live in constant discouragement; and that pissed me off. Well it oissed me to purpose, to ACTION.
God told me that I better not give up and forfeit the return on the investment that He's made in me. He is finishing what He started. Stop letting people, including you, and their finite minds dictate how BIG HE IS! You made it to 2018, stop complaining; you still have purpose.
This year is the 5th quarter! That's what I received from a sermon yesterday. Things started to turn around a bit in the 4th quarter of 2017, so this whole year is going to be the extra 5th quarter that was needed to see a 360 degree turnaround!!! God is delivering EVERYTHING He promised last year. Everything that was held up is released! This excites me greatly because I have some important and valuable promises on me.
I was set back in 2017 and thought I was going to have to bulldoze my way through some stuff; some obstacles that arose. But instead I'm going to be catapulted OVER it all. Receive that for your 2018 as well! Forget what happened up until this point because it's ALL NEW from here on out! Rise up and possess the land. Period. That doesn't come with an "I guess" or an "I hope so" following behind it. You have to attach an "I KNOW so" to that. There's power in you and there's a CHAMPION in you. Go fight and WIN the year and the rest of your days!
God's grace and peace are sufficient. His peace keeps me focused. He gives me the grace that I need in order to handle all that He has assigned. It's not that it's effortless but it flows so well that it seems that way. If it's not flowing, check your assignment. It might either be reserved for a later season or it might not be yours at all. If it's reserved, stop trying to access it early, it's yours already just wait until it becomes available. If it's not yours, stop grabbing at it and release the death grip. That grip is killing you AND it.
His grace and peace keep me grounded, rooted in Him. They keep me calm, faithful, and trusting in the midst of trials. His peace allows me to transcend above my circumstances and lifts me out of despair. This in turn allows me to show His love and let His light shine through me. That confuses my enemies and makes the devil mad (you big mad or little mad lol).
His grace and peace give me permission to be whole and joyous despite the brokenness and hell that surround me. His grace and peace speak the truth that, while I "SHOULD" be out of my mind and strung out, I "SHOULD" be bitter and unforgiving, I "SHOULD" be full of hate, I "SHOULD" lack faith and hope; I still have beauty for my ashes. His grace and peace are the foundation for my Phoenix Song. His grace and peace are the assurance, the blessed assurance, that I will continue to rise, that I'll always bounce back, that through Him I will always win. They can be the same for you if you let them. Despite your flaws, faults and imperfections He longs to GIFT these to you. Not because you did anything to earn them but because He's just THAT GOOD. And don't even get me started on His MERCY!!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾
Single Parents....whether you are single and just happen to be a parent or you truly are holding things down on your own, don't let anyone tell you what your future will be like based on their negative assumptions. Here's what I mean...
I had an ex who used to tell me that I would never find anyone who would deal with me and 3 kids. His goal? To get me to keep settling for him and our verbally abusive relationship...Then my ex-fiance' came along and changed my mindset about that lie. After we split, someone else told me I was a "dub" (a wrap, a lost cause for those who don't know lol) because I had 4 kids and I might as well be single for the rest of my life. His goal? To keep me thinking that he was my only option even after he had already proven that he would only pick me up, use me and tuck me away until he felt like using me again....Then yet another man came along and still wanted all of me, including my four kids.
Now, I could've settled for that man because he was a great guy but his purpose didn't align with my own. I had to accept that while he was a great guy, he wasn't my guy that God had set aside specially for me.
That second guy? The user? Told me that I should definitely hang it up after my 5th child. By now I had gotten really good at laughing in his face and my block ministry was and is hella strong lol. I let him know that his plan to keep me available to him without the actual commitment had failed and to have a nice life. I could've settled for him too because he was familiar but that came with non-negotiables that I wasn't willing to expose my children to. And lo and behold, God still sent some men to remind me that I still had hope if I would just hold out and WAIT for His best. Not that impatient waiting where you say you're waiting but you keep picking the situation back up and try to play god in your own life...nah, truly WAIT in cheerful expectancy (yall know that's my phrase right there lol).
What did I do then? I focused on me and the ROOT of the issues behind these decisions that I kept making. I was lonely and I kept operating out of and making decisions out of that loneliness. I was basically telling God that I didn't think that He and myself were enough. That I didn't trust Him in this area of my life. That I didn't truly believe that His promise to send my husband was real. That had to change.
My future husband isn't here yet to take his place to lead our family, that's ok. But I also know who he isn't, especially those manipulators. I pray that you single parents out there realize that there is someone out there who will love you the way you want and deserve to be loved; don't settle for someone who seems nice or just good enough or even those who you have a familiar history with (that chapter is closed, move on boo.) Make sure to hold out for God's best for you. Don't let anyone, including you, make you feel like you don't deserve the best love. The love that is reflective of God's love for you.
Your past relationships failed, not you. You are not defective. You are not in need of a price reduction. Stop giving discounts just because you've made mistakes. Stop operating, loving and settling out of your broken, defeated past home. You don't live there anymore. As of today you are evicted from that place. You're not unworthy of God's best just because the last few relationships didn't work (even if none of them worked out you still can receive it). He wants to give it to you because He loves you. If God gave His gifts because we deserved them we would be hit; you are worth them because He claims you as His own.
Think about it this way, often times as parents we give our kids gifts even when they haven't been on their best behavior or made some poor decisions. He's our Father and does the same.
Don't ignore the red flags just because you're lonely or because they love you and that love has made you blind. I used to think so lowly of myself that I would overlook ANYTHING just because a man loved me. It was like, someone actually loves ME? Me, who keeps messing up, repeating the same cycles and still ain't learned from the mistakes? Oh, he has to be the one simply because he can love such a wretch. No honey, that's Jesus who gets the praise for loving my wretched self, bae gotta come with more than that ok? lol
Being brave enough to love again is a process with the goal being to get it right. Problem is most of us quit or settle before we get it right. My mistakes do not disqualify me from being smart enough to hold out for the best. They don't disqualify me from receiving what God wants to bless me with. My children are not a burden that my husband has to "put up with" in order to be with me. They aren't a justification for settling for crap or for less than I deserve; they are the reason that I CAN'T settle. It is because of them that I am not allowed to accept anything less than the best so that they know that they are worth the same; simply because of Who's we are.
Be blessed, I love you and there's nothing you can do about it.
Yes can be a powerful word. It signifies agreement and acknowledgement as well as understanding. Whether you are saying yes to a simple question or yes in commitment to a project or assignment; yes gives you a responsibility to that which you have agreed to or upon.
Yes in business:
Almost 5 years ago, I had to make the decision of whether or not to say yes to yet another home based business. You see, I could have used the excuse that my other attempts had failed so I shouldn't bother trying again. I also could have fallen into complacency as I had just started a decent paying job. With a "good job" why would I start a home-based business? Wouldn't that be overkill? Greedy?
The reality was, I never gave the other businesses 100% effort and my job didn't award me the freedom to raise my kids the way I wanted to or the income to get my own place without struggling.
My yes from that day not only helped me finally make a profit in business but also opened many other doors. I was set on a path to becoming a better woman and mother, less selfish and strengthening my relationship with God. Yes, my home-based business helped me re-connect and re-commit to God and His will for my life. It wasn't easy, however, it required sacrifice. I sacrificed time mostly as the investment yielded a return rather quickly. I probably would not have had to sacrifice so much time in the beginning if I wasn't so stubborn and dead set on doing things my own way. Which leads to my next yes lol.
Yes to ministry:
I ran for 10 years from anything having to do with ministry. My understanding was that ministry had to be in the pulpit, in front of the congregation weekly or nightly. I did not understand that there are different types of ministry and different platforms to operate from. We suffer from lack of knowledge right? Right. As a result of my disobedience and running, I endured much unneccessary pain. Well, I guess it was necessary because it made me who I am and molded me into who God needed me to be, but I definitely could have saved some time and pain if I would have just listened.
I remember talking to a friend about stepping into ministry and he told me that it is not a light weight to bear. Therefore, you should be really sure that you have in fact been called and that you have the maturity to see it through. But when I think of all the suffering that I endured by being disobedient, I would much rather go through the "pain" of being processed for ministry.
Once I finally gave God a yes (which was only in the last year or two), I was quickly realigned with God's will and, though things weren't perfect, they sure began to flow. I finished my first book and got about 10 other titles. I developed a 3rd stream of income with a strategy for a 4th. I became a Certified Christian Life Coach and continued to help those around me more efficiently. But most importantly, to me, I experienced peace for the first time and began to guard it like never before.
I faced much warfare but it was easier to go through with that peace and clarity. I discovered more and more about my purpose with each day. I got numerous revelations about where God wanted to position me and what He wanted me to do once I got into position. It all happened so suddenly.
There was a sacrifice that came along with this yes as well. I had to sacrifice who life had made me and get back to who God created me to be. I had to sacrifice the need to be accepted and validated by people; the need to be liked. I had to sacrifice the need to require payback from those who mistreated me; relinquish my grip on unforgiveness. Either way, there will be some type of sacrifice when you say yes to what is required. The question is are you willing to give up comfortability for prosperity?
I wanted to talk a little about colon health. This is an important topic for me because I have struggled with poor colon health for over 20 years. When I started my lifestyle change journey, I couldn't seem to get my tummy flat to save my life! Despite seeing some results, I kept hitting that "last 2 inches" plateau. Then I started to do my research and realized that the problem wasn't external fat, it was an internal blockage.
The colon is a major organ that is apart the process of getting rid of toxins and waste from the body. When your digestive system is irregular, the waste products and toxins build up and can cause health problems. Cleansing the colon regularly can help prevent blockage and decrease exposure to potential carcinogens (cancer causing agents).
This potential danger is one of the main reasons why it is important to watch what we eat. Putting toxic food in your body naturally leads to a toxic digestive tract. When you eat these toxic foods, they slow down the digestion process and causes incomplete elimination and waste back up in the intenstines. You could also become dehydrated which comes with its own set of problems.
Another issue that can result from impacted intestines is swollen lymph nodes in the abdominal area. The waste can build up and be stored there. Thickened lymphatic fluid plus dehydration can impair the immune system.
So, as you can already see, keeping a healthy and happy colon is important for prevention of other serious health issues.
Now, let's talk about ways you can get your digestive tract back on track
-Increased fluid intake: water will be one of your best friends when flushing the toxins from your Gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract.
-Increasing your fiber intake: we hear all of the time that we should have a lot of fiber in our diets and that it helps with digestion, after this you should have a good idea on how important it really is and how you can get a good start.
-Eating lots of fruits and vegetables: not only do they each serve a different purpose in regards to strengthening various body parts, they also have water and juices that can help with your fluid intake.
Here are some foods that can help clear out your colon:
§ Peas- They are rich in protein and fiber (there it is!). which helps with weight management as well as preventing constipation.
§ Tomatoes- they have a high water content which helps keep you hydrated thus leading to regular bowel movements
§ Apples- when the fiber (and again) found in apples ferments in the colon, the chemicals produced help fight the formation of cancer cells.
§ Lettuce- good source of fiber (it just keeps coming!) to help regulate bowel movements.
§ Garlic- (guess I'll have to break out the gum and deal lol) The antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic properties help to rid the body of toxins, disease causing agents and parasites. It also helps to reduce swelling, thus improving digestion and food absorption.
There are also two plant extracts that help to cleanse the colon especially when paired together.
§ Aloe vera leaf gel: the antioxidants found in the aloe vera leaf gel promote immune system health. Aloe vera helps detoxify the intestinal tract.
§ Blue agave extract- contains inulin which is a probiotic (good bacteria) and a type of fiber (get the picture yet?)
When the two are combined, they work together to nourish the good bacteria on your colon and promote healthy colon cells.
I can only speak on what I've researched and what I have experienced but, I happen to have found an excellent source of this power combo and I must say that my tummy is very happy!!!!!
Yesterday I got on Periscope and talked about the definition of catalyst. The definition that I chose to focus on was from dictionary.com:
a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes
others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.
That is part of my mission. To allow my light to shine so bright that others will be caused to be "lit" lol. To fire people up so that they can be their best selves. To inform, instruct and inspire; unlock the cage, unleash the fire.
So many people are stuck in cages or boxes that they've either put themselves into or that someone else has put them in. They become stuck in bad habits, harmful cycles, damaging relationships, etc. Until they become empty shells occupying the land and nothing more. Some barely functioning.
So many people dying full instead of pouring out what God gave them to the world.
My catalyst moment was a broken engagement. It followed a job loss and debilitating morning sickness. Initially it made me so mad and that's what fueled my steps forward. That changed shortly after (yet another post lol)
Soon I was setting goals and smashing them, operating from a place of peace instead of one of pain and desperation. That catalyst changed my entire life and those around me even though the situation itself didn't change. That didn't matter to me afterwhile because I had gotten the best end of the deal, I got freedom