Friday, September 21, 2018

I Woke Up & Everything Changed....

Ever wake up and you couldn't feel or move your legs? 

Then to have a series of events spiral out of control after that? 

Well, that's what's been going on with me for the past few months. 

Struggling with faith is hard. Struggling to let it go and let God is harder especially when it seems like he isn't working. It's a lonely feeling to think he's not there. He removed all of those who were NOT there for me, just to show me who really IS there for me. Take a look, it's a quick vid. 

<3 Eb 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Coffee Shop Diaries: Elderly Love

I frequent a certain Starbucks in the valley. I'm here at times in the morning, sometimes during the day and this place is also my nighttime lover on the nights where I can't sleep. I'm not here to drink coffee, as a matter of fact, I don't drink coffee. I very rarely drink caffeine.  Instead, I'm here because of the people. There are a few faces that I recognize, maybe they are like me. A wanderlust trapped with the bank account that doesn't agree.

I sit here to watch people. I love the laughs, those who are silently arguing and others who come alone, like me, to just watch. So much drama unfolds between the sips of coffee. Someone cheated, someone died, another is being taken advantage of at work, while others are searching for work. All these stories I hear before I sip my iced green tea with no sugar. Bland and plain, I wish that is what I could say about me.

Instead, I'm complicated. I'm difficult. Life and traumas have made me this way. It's not bad actually, not being afraid to call people out on their bs not caring about what position they might hold in life. My bluntness can be a little much. It's always too much for those who say they are all for it until it gets turned on them. Now, all of a sudden, it's an issue...I wonder why? Anyways, my scattered thoughts are painting pictures in my mind. Are they doing the same for you?

Elderly Love 

There's an elder man,  wearing a purple, orange and teal plaid shirt. He's short, glasses, and his smile lit up this entire coffee shop. He passes by an elder woman who is wearing a cute cotton floor length dress. She comes a lot, she loves to smile. I can't help but think that she has no one. Like me, we sit alone in these shops for the company.

They smile at one another. She's watching him, I think she's interested. He looked over his shoulder, she turned red and turned around. He ordered his drink, the barista is loudly asking him if that is all..... he pauses, and orders something else. A few moments pass, his order is ready, he's about to leave and she's fixing her hair. This is so adorable.

He grabs a napkin and passes her table, he looks back at her, she smiles, he hands her a drink. She blushes and takes it. They take a sip, he looks deep into her eyes. I can see her melting. I can feel her heart fluttering because mine is too. She says thank you softly, he nods his head and leaves. She walks towards the door with a slight limp. She watches him, he's still looking back. He drives away.

She exhales as she presses the coffee cup against her lips. It's like she's smelling the cup trying tog et his essence back in her presences. Like she wishes she were the cup and his hands were holding onto her instead of the paper. She walks back to her seat and grabs her necklace. I watch her as she stares off into space, then that smile comes back and she blushes again. She grabs her bags and leaves.

A simple romance in the coffee shop played out before me. Makes me crave for it. Makes me want to know what it's like to have someone look at me like that. I want that feeling but have yet to have it, I'm almost 30 and I have no idea what it's like to have someone completely take your breath away. Maybe she waits here for him daily? Maybe that's their dance, maybe that's how they say hello.

Now I feel a hint of jealousy all from a cute little speechless romance between two elderly people. Silly? I'm not sure if it is, we're all entitled to our own feelings. Coffee shops are gold. This place brings me so many feelings wrapped in so many colorful skin types. We all want one thing, to create. Whether that is a life or a work of art, we want to be expressive we want to be free.

More coffee shop diaries to come.

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Blame Game!

Tag You're It! 

How many times have we messed up but instead of owing up to it, we decided to blame someone else? Say your life is screwed up right now, you've been through some stuff, and instead of accepting the fact that as an adult, you've yet to make good choices. You decide to take it ALL the way back to when you were a child and blame your parents, or guardian, or that one time at band camp? Now, you're trying to express your situation to friends and other family members who seem to not care anymore?

Now you're upset. "Why don't they care?" "I knew I was alone?" so many things start to race in your mind. If the radio played the same record back to back would you listen? If a CD kept skipping and saying the same lyrics over and over would you shut it off or keep it going? If a movie you're watching pauses and keeps going back to 10 seconds prior to play, will you keep watching? So why expect someone to keep listening to the same story over and over again?

Here's the honest truth. At some point in time, those people that you "vent" too will stop listening. It doesn't mean that they don't care, or stopped loving you. You can only go so long, when you're an adult blaming others. At some point, your problems are because of you. It may have started out based off a terrible situation, but how you handle it, isn't that persons fault.

Take yourself off of repeat. 

I have a friend who was put into an identical situation as me as a kid. We actually met in therapy and our background is why we're friends today. She always expresses how amazed she is at my ability to stop blaming what happened to me and move on. When she speaks on herself, she simply said she blames the past because it gives her an excuse as to her situation. I.E. it's easier to say I'm this way because of xyz, instead of saying I'm this way because I don't want to change, or whatever excuse might come to mind.

With that said, I know that every situation isn't the same.
But, you do have the power to not give it life. 

There are plenty of people who had a horrible upbringing. They've suffered abuse of many kinds from parents or guardians, they were born drug and alcohol babies, they've even been left in the system, so many things I can list. For some reason, those people that I know, grew to be amazing human beings. They admit to having a hard time with trust. They also admit that it was their choice to sit in the pain of the past or to have a different future; not just for them, but also for their children.

You deserve better. Allow yourself to grow and be better.

The greater reward, isn't blaming others because it's convenient. The greater reward would be to face what damaged us and fight it head on. I'm speaking from experience, and it wasn't easy. I'm a person who at one point in time, was blaming someone for their abuse, neglect and constant lying as to why things for me are tough in my adult life. About 4 years ago, when I started therapy, I realized that yes, this person played a major role because they were a parent. HOWEVER, it was my choice to let them have this hold on my life.

I wasn't willing to let someone who did awful things
have a hold on my future. My future belongs to ME. 

After that, I realized the crutch it had on me. It was so easy for me to say well, I have trust issues because of xyz. I don't like to drink alcohol because of xyz. I'm not a fan of xyz because of xyz. And it all had to do with ONE person. It's a very captive feeling, to be free and yet still in chains. The sad part was, that I was the one responsible for the chains and captivity of my mind. They moved on, and never accepted accountability, so why was I still sad? Why was I still upset? Why was I still allowing this to fester in my body and mind?

More importantly, if they didn't care, why did I? 

It took me years of therapy,  and I'm still in it, to get through over two decades of bullshit. It's taking years to sift through which bullshit is mine, and which ones aren't. Digging deep into those wounds that are lightly coded over with a thin piece of flesh was tough. Allowing myself to half-ass heal only to rip into that scar with a jagged edged razor blade, was necessary.

I know that was a vivid picture, and I hope you use
 it when referring to your own scars from the past.

I stopped blaming others when I realized that I'm not a child anymore. I'm capable of making my own decisions and I'm now in charge of my happiness.  We all have a past and no ones pain is greater than the next. Some are able to get over it quicker, and others aren't. My hope For you, is that you become that person who is able to let it go. Who is willing to live your best life through forgiveness and allowing God to restore your peace and childlike faith. 

Forgiveness is NEVER for the one who hurt you. Forgiveness is FOR YOU. 

We have a tough road ahead of us, if we chose to stop blaming and start accepting, forgiving and moving on. Like I mentioned before, it's taken me so far almost 10 years to reach this level of peace. That's only because I was unwilling to forgive. The moment I understood what forgiveness was about and who it was for, I accepted it, and things got so much better. 

I still struggle from time to time,
but never long enough for it to effect me. 

You're not alone in what happened to you. You're not alone in how you feel. You're not wrong for how you feel. You will be okay if you want to be. It's up to you, to make this happen my friend. I really hope that today you make the decision to allow yourself peace and happiness. You deserve all the blessings that life has to offer. But first it starts with you.

I am with you on this journey. I'm literally a click away. 

<3 Ebony 

Friday, August 31, 2018

It's Hard to Take Your Own Advice

Funny thing about writing these blogs, I write them so much that I plan them out on when they'll post. I try to aim for every Monday, but then life throws me a curveball and I have to write something else. I have to write in the present I have to share with you the thoughts that are on my mind at the time that they happen. Which brings me to this:

How come it's easy for us to give advice but
 so hard for us to take our own advice?

As of late, I feel like I'm Vivian Green. Some might know that name so let me explain a little more, I'm on an emotional roller-coaster. Get the reference yet? If yes, you know that song is simply amazing. If you don't know that song, Google it, you won't be disappointed. I had a friend tell me that when she gets down, she reads my blogs and she gets encouragement. I was instantly humbled because she is someone with great faith.

She's someone that I turn to for prayer. She's someone that's beside me on this journey and I love her dearly. She's more than a friend, she's family. To hear her say that she looks to my words, someone who has no idea what she's doing most of the time. Someone whose faith is up and down. Someone who at one point wants to play in traffic and in the same breath praise God. She finds a sense of peace in my honesty. Then she hit me with this: 

You should re-read your blogs and pray to renew your mind 

After she said that, I went into a deep prayer mode. Secluded in a room for an entire weekend. I didn't see anyone, I didn't answer anyone. I was alone in a room that was extremely hot, and I was determined to hear from God. Shortly after, someone I admire needed prayer, he didn't mention it, but I sent one to him. His response "wow what made you send me this timely prayer?" All I could say was ... basically... Jesus. Then another friend of mine the next day said she needed prayer, and I sent one ASAP. 

How could I send these amazing uplifting prayers to my fellow peers,
and not receive those same powerful words for myself? 

Why am I blocking my own blessings? Why am I making it harder for myself? I know the darkness. I'm no stranger to this place. I also know that there's a magnificent way out. But yet, I can't seem to get over this hump. I have yet to get over this hump. I refuse to say I can't. Because there is nothing that I can't do when it comes to bettering myself. There's nothing that I can't do when Jesus is right by my side. 

But I understand that it's hard to believe that when 
you're the one in the middle of the turmoil. 

The burden of guilt and shame is a beast. The devil in itself in full form stomping around in my mind. That's where he lives, in our minds because that's the only place he can get to us. He can't physically harm us, but he can make us think that he can. That's why it's important to take control of your mind and your tongue. It's important to watch how you think and what you speak. YOU have the power to speak things into existence. 

Control your mind. 

When you think bad thoughts, you speak bad thoughts. When you speak bad thoughts then your heart starts to feel those bad thoughts. Once it's in your heart, its hard to get it out. It's not impossible to get it out or change your heart, but there will be work ahead to heal your heart. If you want to go through more battles then let the ill wills fester in your mind. If you want to avoid that altogether, then my friend please work on your mind. 

It's not easy but listen to your own advice. 

We all have people that come to us for advice. We're that shoulder, that voice of reason. So next time you give advice, whether it be in a text message, social media post or phone call. Remember what you say. Then I want you to look in the mirror and repeat those same words and personalize it. Look at yourself and acknowledge that you're: 
here for a reason
highly favored
cared for
douted on 
not forgotten 
not alone
but instead
you are loved 

<3 Ebony 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Struggles With Faith

I get so many messages, whether they're from social media or directly to my cell phone pertaining too how "strong" my faith is. I'm so sorry, but, I have to insert the biggest eye roll here. My reason for that is simple, I might seem strong but I've very human and weak.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  
Do not be frightened, and not be dismayed, 
for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go. " 
Joshua 1:9

I have to recite this verse along with plenty of others because the struggle bus with faith is real. Truth is, following Jesus is great! What people don't tell you, is that when you make that decision, you have to be ready for the trials that come with it. It's not a walk in the park, actually, walking with Christ was never meant to be. Hell, it wasn't easy for Jesus to be Jesus and walk the walk that he talks, so why would we think it'll be easy for us? 

"Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually" 
1 Chronicles 16:11

Yes, reading my blogs, watching my videos, logging onto my social media accounts is great. It shows purpose, some form of obedience, growth and happiness. This is what triggers my messages, "how can I be like you?" or "how can I experience this type of joy?"  or "I admire what God is doing in your life, I want him to do the same in mine." 

Those messages make me happy, however, let's get real. 

What you don't see, is the struggle between those blessings. You don't see my break downs. You don't experience my massive weight loss or hair loss because of stress. You don't see the nights slept in cars, couches or days without food. You don't know that I have more spiritual attacks from the devil more now than ever. You might not understand the level of restless nights, one week I slept once for three hours, the rest of the days I was wide awake. Or the nights when I do sleep, I wake up in the middle of the night with night sweats. 

Trusting God is not easy. 

I have to learn to let go and let God. It's an old cliche, but it's true. Trusting God requires you to be put in the most awkward, uncomfortable situations ever. It causes Him to move in a way that hurts at first but, it's for the greater good. If you want Him to move in your life, you have to expect things to be moved around or moved out. You can't have your cake and eat it too with Him, you go all in or not at all. He wants all of you, not part of you.  Have you ever tried to make a cake with just the powder and nothing else? That's what having a half-assed faith life is like.

"What's one thing that happened to you that we don't know?"  Question via Instagram

Not to long ago, a few weeks actually, I experienced the most painful paralyzation ever. One morning I woke up and couldn't feel my legs. I was confined to the bed and had no one to call. I was going to call 9-1-1 (non-emergency line) but I managed to drop my phone. It rolled under a bed that easily sat up a good 4 feet high. I was stuck, in pain, unable to move no matter how hard I tried. I stayed like that for almost two days. 

Before that, I was getting the inclination to rest and relax. Something that I heavily ignored. When it became a little bearable to walk, the pain lasted for months. I still have the pain, it's something I'm currently getting fixed. Instead of posting about it, complaining, crying to social media I decided to pray. I was angry and frustrated with God that he allowed this to happen but, in the end I understand.  

How is the road treating me now? 

I'm now in a position to where I'm comfortable enough to tell God, that if what I want isn't what He wants then to please align my heart with His will. After all, I'm living my life with my talents for Him. I'm moving in way that gives Him all the praise. So, if He wants me to move a certain way, I don't hesitate. When. I decided to give my life to Him, was the day that my life was no longer mine, I was choosing to live in honor of Him. 

The reason I wrote this post, and why I'm so open is because I want you to know that you're not alone in the struggle. I want you to know that every person who decides to follow God or whatever being you call Him, doesn't have it easy. We all have issues and are going through something. Even the shiniest of celebrities that some of you love have it tough. 

I know it's hard, don't give up. If you feel like you're about too, don't hesitate to contact me. I'm one prayer request away. Praying for and with others is something that I'm passionate about, it's one assignment I will never neglect. 

<3 Ebony