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Trusting the Rhythms that Lead us Forward

Photo Credit: Thanks you Markus Spiske 

Ding! My phone goes off. “No more working, I need an update!” A good friend of mine replied to my post stating that I’m no longer working full-time. Earlier this year, I transitioned out of the job I’ve held for the last five years. I’ve had dreams of having more time to spend with my family and growing our business but it seemed the time was never quite right to take the next step. Little did I know that a prolonged sickness while pregnant, would make the perfect exit plan. I spent the remainder of my pregnancy resting as much as I could, managing the sickness and preparing for what I thought life would look like after I delivered. It was nothing that I had imagined and I felt completely blindsided by all the emotions surrounding my new rhythm.

“Do you have any projects you’re working on?” I asked.

She replied, “It’s the first time in my life that I haven’t had an event or some thing that I’ve been working on and it’s kind a hard and difficult to let go of because that was a huge piece of my life before having kids.…” I felt that.

I did not realize how hard it would be to let go of my old season. Part of the struggle with my transition was that so much seemed out of my control. There was a level of security and confidence in having a paycheck every month and not having that felt almost traumatic. When people asked what I was doing after baby, I could barely put the words together to describe what life would be like. When I said I was going to potentially stay at home with my kids I received great praise but my heart was broken. Why? I love my kids dearly but I was grieving what I let go and did not realize that who I thought I was, was actually tied to the work I did. Without the title, without the responsibilities, who was I to others? Most importantly who was I to me?

For about a week, I allowed myself to grieve and then got to the important work of seeking God. It was only after I let go that I began to see the gifts that were already present in my life.

This is the first time in my life where I actually feel more rested and unrushed…. I think I’m getting to a place where I actually have peace and the confidence to trust God like never before in this season.

Experts who believe in sustainable practices of living say that slow movement is about being aware of and connecting to the natural rhythms and cycles of life. Your best outcomes derive from working with the rhythms and cycles instead of against them or unaware of them.

What rhythms are showing up in your life right now? Are you working against them or with them?

Over the last 6 months our world has been forced to slow down and whether we like it or not, we have some decisions to make. The rhythms of change are constant so you have to think about how you will respond and what it means for your life right now?

My new rhythm allows me to rest, be more present with my children, heal physically and emotionally, identify what I want, build a business, spend date nights with my Husband, laugh more, spend time with my friends, connect with my Mama friends and their littles, and create a more simpler, organized home. All things I attempted to make time for previously.

” I  just knew after delivering my son things would start to turn around again, but it wasn’t that simple. I also felt purposeless or pointless. I confided in Wes and my therapist and they both agreed that I needed to reshape my perspective and pay attention to what is happening right now. I had to grieve what I lost or gave up so that I could really see the beauty in this season… I have also used the tool of daily prayer, journaling. Its like I’m daily submitting to His plan and walking with childlike faith as He guides me to my next brave step, but also holding my hand in the wait to get to the next step…”

After much reflection, I can confidently say that this is the life what I want: slow and steady, joy filled and Holy Spirit led. With the way God created you and I, I’m sure life will speed up again but in the meantime I’m thankful we can enjoy these new rhythms.

Candy

Tips to help you move forward in your new rhythm:

  • Allow yourself to grieve what you are letting go. If you already let it go, did you move on immediately? If so, I encourage you to take a moment to express gratitude for your previous rhythm and recognize it’s impact on your life.
  • Adjust your goals to the season of life that you’re in.
  • Do not compare your rhythm to someone else’s. You have no idea the work that goes on behind the scenes for them to have what you see.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Pay attention to your capacity so you know when it’s time to speed up, slow down or pause.

Featured post

Keeping the Faith after Divorce

Quarantine Diary featuring Nikita Davis

 

My life has been full of failed relationships in regards to men since childhood. Therefore, from the beginning I had a very skewed perspective on what a healthy female to male relationship should look like. The “best” relationship I ever had was a 5 year relationship with a married man. When we met I didn’t know that he was married and actually didn’t find out until about 7 months later and by then I was very pregnant and very in love.  We stayed together until he was murdered in 2011. I will never forget the feeling I felt when I knew it was all over.

His Wife’s forgiveness and kindness towards me was pivotal in me being able to move forward. I ended up joining a church and built a strong relationship with God.

God really helped me to understand that I was worth more than what I had been settling for.

At this point in my relationship with God, I decided to be celibate. During those 7 years I learned a lot about myself and who I truly was outside of relationships. I found out that I was really a nerd-kind of –and that I enjoyed the outdoors which was a far stretch from the times past of selling drugs, partying, drinking & smoking and moving from one relationship to the next.

In October 2018, I met my soon to be ex husband. On our first date I told him my testimony in great detail. I also told him what I would and would not settle for and at the top of that list was cheating. From my previous experience, I don’t believe that cheating is a mistake. I think cheating takes a lot of effort and it takes a lot of thought and the time that you put into cheating could be put into either fixing or bettering your existing relationship It could also be put into ending the relationship and moving on. Either way I made it clear that I would not settle for this. Ever.

He proposed Aug 2019 and we got married Nov 18, 2019 in a small ceremony with plans to have a bigger ceremony on July 26, 2020. After we married we moved in together and blended our families. Almost immediately, it became evident that I had been deceived. He was a completely different person. He was not nice. He would go out of his way to try and say things to hurt my feelings and he avoided spending time with me at all costs. It was unhealthy and went against how I saw myself.

June 6th, 2020 while I was supposed to be away with my bridesmaids I found out that he had cheated on me.  In that moment, I had a decision to make. On June 10, 2020 I filed for divorce and I refused to look back. One month before my big wedding I pulled the plug because I know for a fact that I deserve better.

Today, I am well and I think that surprises people. I kept the matters of our marriage very private therefore no one knew that I had basically been crying the entire 7 months that I was married to him. His attempts to break me didn’t work, they only made walking away that much easier. I put everything I had into my marriage until it was over. Several people have told me to keep the faith and not give up on love because there is someone out there who will love me the way I deserve to be loved. Even after all of this I believe that whole heartedly! The air he slowly took from me is now mine again and I am breathing-DEEP!!

Bio:

My name is Nikita Jenell Davis. I am 34 years old. I have an 18 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. I work full time for the Omaha Public Power District. I run a small business named Whip’d By Kita that specializes in all natural hair/skin care products. I am also a loctician.

LFB: Nikita J Davis
FB: Business Whipd By Kita
IG: Whip_bykita

Featured post

Growing Through It

Quarantine Diary featuring Maritza Mateo Asboe

I’ve been growing through this COVID times instead of just going through it. I say that because I’ve had some time to read more personal growth on leadership, marriage and parenting when I have some me time. I originally had the opportunity to stay home with my kids and do things from home but what changed is that we can’t go out and do our adventures like we normally do. Since things are all closed. The Black Lives Matter movement has for sure changed my heart and mind, I’ve been more aware of what’s really going on in our world. 

This season has changed the way I parent just a bit, I’ve been enjoying my kids even more, since things are all closed. I have been practicing patience, grace and teaching moments with my kids. I have explained to my older child that there’s a virus and people are getting sick so we need to be careful and stay home, be praying for our world. I’ve been helping my older son to cope and or thrive  with this season by talking to him and expressing to him that we are here for him. He can freely talk to us also by going outside our backyard, reading books and utilizing technology to FaceTime family so that he can see them and know they are doing okay. 

What has surprised me about how I’m handling this is that I am at peace and know things will be okay.

One of the reasons is my faith and the wisdom I’ve implemented prior to the pandemic.

I think as people we can lean into the current challenges in life with effectiveness and enthusiasm by being there for each other in many ways. By praying, giving, being an example in our community, speaking up for others, taking leadership roles in our families first and then community. Knowing that you are not alone in this time! Change will happen and good will win. Everyday choose to have joy and be glad in it no matter what’s going on. And making others aware of what others are going through and not being blind to it. Be the change you want to see. 

Bio:

Maritza is a proud Wife and Mommy of two boys, Micah and Augustine. In 2016 she launched Itza & Eta, a childrens clothing line that offers the softest handmade clothing for your little ones. Every purchase made they give back locally. Follow her on Instagram: itza_and_etaand Facebook: Martiza Mateo Asboe

 

Prioritizing Wellness

Honestly, I’ve had highs and lows like everyone else. But I believe there was one difference. My heart won’t allow me to give in to the negativity around me. I had to get in touch with myself and dig deep to find the strength to continue to motivate, inspire, and grow all while keeping a balance. I had to balance being my son’s teacher, working from home, continuing to develop my business, and training for boxing, all while in school. I had to be creative, patient, and find new ways to maintain my everyday life.

I have learned that maintaining physical health and nutrition strengthens the immune system. Mental health is very important to take care of as we know many  illnesses stem from stress and anxiety.  I try to balance my life by making sure I add to my Mind, Body, and Soul daily. I work out, eat healthy by incorporating vegetables and fruit as often as I can in my meals, and pray or complete a bible study. It has become my lifestyle.

Here are some tips to support your Mind, Body, and Soul.

Mind – Try meditation/yoga. I recommend this yoga playlist by BIPOC [ Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color]. Also, many mental health professionals are still operating via web calls.

Body– Please try to exercise. It can be a walk, jogging, or running. We have a few nice trails around Omaha where you can go biking. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try a few workout sessions.

Soul – Journaling can be a great outlet for your feelings and negative energy. Just grab any notebook and start writing. You can find journal prompts online for free. Or start by drawing, listen to some music. Just express what your soul is feeling. For those who are religious, try praying. I like to use the bible app, it is free and has study plans for you.

If you take the time to treat your body well, you like me, will be surprised by your strength.


Bio:

My name is Brittany Parker and I am originally from Omaha, NE. I worked in corporate for years until I moved to nonprofit to help people attain self-sufficiency. I’m a proud mom of my son. Originally, I turned to boxing as an outlet and now I am an Elite Boxer ranked #2 on Team USA. I am a five-times National Champ. In winter 2019, I competed in the Olympic Trials and placed 2nd. In February 2020 I founded my company Brittany’s Balance to give Black women a wellness program designed for them. I found balance in my life with wellness and I want to ensure everyone, especially Black women, can find that balance too.

Personal IG: @briparkerboxing

Business IG: @bribalance

Business fb: https://www.facebook.com/bribalance

Brave Avenue: “Who is your Leader?”

 

 

Obedience = “to hear” + “under”

Obedience means to listen first and it includes the idea of submission. 

How do you define a good leader?

How can submission be a partnership?

  • It’s about going somewhere, accomplishing something, together. 
  • God is perfect leader to partner with!

What hinders you from listening to God?  

  • From submitting to God?  
  • From trusting God’s leadership?

How do you sense God’s leadership?

  • Little pressure, pressing, nudge in a direction? (Dance example)
  • Pay attention to the pressure! 

There is freedom in submission. 

We can trust our ability to follow, without the fear of missing the nudge or step.

What signs indicate who you are following?

  • Sometimes we need to slow down; we can’t hurry faster than the one we are following. 
  • Worry and anxiety are antithetical to trust and submission. 
  • It’s freeing to know that we don’t have to pull it off!!
  • The work is to believe. 

Psalm 37:5 “Give God the right to direct your life and in the end you’ll find that he pulled it off perfectly.”

Matthew 11:30 “For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

Resources:

  • Secrets of the Secret Place, Bob Sorge
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer
  • The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People, John Ortberg 

 

Brave Avenue Unscripted: Surprised by Struggle

Episode 2: Surprised by Struggle

Welcome to Episode 2, where we discuss the surprises of struggle, and overcoming. Below you will find our show notes.

 

Unexpected struggles arise for everyone:

  • Struggle of new motherhood.
  • Struggle of capacity for motherhood and work balance.
  • Struggle of not knowing.
  • Struggle of where we are in life not matching expectations.
  • Struggle of taking on too much.
  • Struggle to admit we could use help or support from others.
  • Struggle of life not going as expected.

We don’t know we’re unprepared for these struggles until we see our responses.

What is your usual response to struggle?

  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Try to make small changes, take single steps forward
  • “Float in grace”
  • Journal
  • Be vulnerable with others
  • Other?

What is the underlying fear stealing your joy?

What do you feel like you need to prove?

Who is your support network?

Who in your life can you walk alongside through struggle?

How can you struggle well?  How can you struggle bravely?

  • Talk to a trusted friend
  • Be vulnerable
  • Check on strong friends
  • List what you are thankful for today

2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds…”

  • Joy is deeper than happiness.
  • Joy can be found in struggle.

Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Philippians 4:6 “Tell him every detail and his wonderful peace will make the answers known to you…”

Resources:

What happens when we run towards the danger.

Last night I had the opportunity to hear from national best selling author Donald Miller at the Hope Center for Kids gala. His presentation was a God-wink from Heaven. The term God-wink became popular in 2002 thanks to a book called, “When God Winks.” It is basically what some people would call a coincidence or a moment of certainty.  I knew this was a God-wink because what he was sharing helped me tie together the story I had planned to share on Brave Avenue today.

Donald Miller spoke eloquently on how we have the choice to wake up everyday and write the story that we want to live. He likened our lives to the process of writing a movie. Movie writing is basically a recycled story-line that can be told with four different perspectives.

  1. Victim- this character does not change or evolve, their part is very small and not memorable.
  2. Villain- villains are characters who do not process their pain and as a result they are constantly seeking revenge on the people who hurt them.
  3. Hero- this character is usually broken, filled with self-doubt, and not sure if they can get the job done. They also learn from their pain.
  4. Guide -this is the most important role! This character has already won the challenge and their mission is to help others transition from victim to hero to guide.

As I reflected on Donald’s talk, I thought of my kids favorite character from the movie, “Home.” It is a little alien named OH.  In the movie you get to see how OH was taught to not care for others and to run away from danger. Essentially, he lives like a victim until he meets a brave little girl named, Gratuity Tucci. I have watched this movie a trillion times yet I always cry when OH has an ‘ah ha’ moment about his life and chooses to do something that instantly changes his story.

…..he runs towards the danger.

When you choose to run towards danger (emotional pain, tragedy, uncomfortable situations, etc., you are showing your willingness to confront pain or situations head on. This takes a great deal of risk, but the good waiting on the other side of the pain is worth defending the process. When you look back months, weeks, even years you will see that the pressure from enduring the process was so small in comparison to what you actually received. This is something God continues to show me through the healing process of my miscarriage. I am in awe to still be learning so much from the experience months later. God knew losing my baby would hurt me, but He has been so faithful to me in the process as I intentionally run towards the danger (pain). I know that as I continue running, I will be able to help other women who endure the same pain.

As we go into the last quarter of this year, I encourage you think about the story you are writing for your life. Do you want people to know you as a victim or someone who sees the setup for their pain as a way to help others rise up?  I am choosing to be a guide in my story!

What story are you writing for your life today-are you the victim, the villain, hero or the guide?

 

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