reality.

Well, y’all, it’s official. A set date has been made for when I’ll be returning to work, and it all seems so surreal. Part of me wonders how I’ll be once I do return; will I go back to the same habit of being constantly busy? I really hope not; seeing the hours I’m going to work though, I’m nervous that it’ll just be going back to same old, same old for me.

But I still have about three weeks left of social distancing, so I’m going to take advantage of it as much as possible!

Even though going back to work seems like going “back to reality,” I know for a fact it won’t be the same. Already, we’re having to change so many ways in which we need to do things; I’m afraid the place that I worked at before will never return to be the way it was even months after we return.

Don’t get me wrong, it will be sweet to reunite with my coworkers, and to see what new children I’ll get to have this summer. But a part of me does wish I could have had just one more week with the kids I had for this past school year. Even if I was rippin’ and runnin’ this semester (well, most of the school year), I still enjoyed my kids. I enjoyed teaching with my co-teachers, and getting to talk with them, not only about school things, but also about our lives.

And I could say that the routine was bearable, but maybe now I can have a better handle on how I do things from here on out when it comes to the time I do have outside of work.

Another part of me feels sort of selfish because I know that while I’ve had practically ten weeks off, there have been so many people who have continued to work, either on the front lines as essential workers, or from home. For some, it has picked up their workload even more so, and I do want to say how grateful I am for those who have been continuing to work through this whole pandemic time.

I can only continue to pray that even before I go back to work, things will get better. Life will return to when we can all be in large groups together without face masks, and without the concern that we may be endangering each other. And I can also pray that, when it is time for me to return to work, that I won’t return to the same habits that I had, but will be more present, more aware of how I’m feeling, more willing to sacrifice a routine or schedule to do things I feel led to do instead of doing things I “have” to do outside of work, and more grateful for the way things are, because things change quicker than we can blink our eyes.

What are some things you’ve learned that you can take with you once a routine away from social distancing starts for you? How can you be sure that you’ll stick to those things moving forward?

Mishy 🦋🤎

if you know an encourager/motivator/supporter…keep reading.

As someone who is known as an encourager and motivational speaker (I was also told yesterday that I’m viewed as a “life coach,” and I am humbled to have that title attached to me and what I do), I have something to say:

Please check up on people like me.

Sometimes there can be this misconception that people who are great at encouraging, motivating, and supporting others don’t need anyone to help them stay encouraged, motivated, or supported. This is a lie; truly, I could not do what I do, or say what I say, first of all without the help of the Holy Spirit, but it also helps to have wise, caring, and supportive people in my life to help me get through as well.

what I’m not saying…

  • I’m not saying that motivators/encouragers/supporters are always down in the dumps. But personally, I do go through my moments when I feel like I can’t do what I do; I can’t write, I can’t organize the projects I’m working on well, I can’t create well, etc. Everyone goes through those moments at some point in their journey, so just be mindful that those inspirational people go through them too.
  • I’m not saying that you need to check up on these people every single day. But if you think about them, shoot them a text. Call their phone, and if they don’t pick up, don’t take it personally, but leave a nice voicemail for them to listen to later. If you see something that reminds you of them, get it for them (depending on what it is), or take a picture of it and send it to them telling them that you thought about them when you saw it. There are so many ways for you to show someone that you’re thinking of them, or just hear for them if they need you. Sometimes these things are all it takes to turn someone’s day around. Get creative! 😊
  • I’m not guilt-tripping you right now if you haven’t checked up on these kinds of people in your life, I’m simply here to remind you! We all need reminders every now and then, and even though I’m an encourager, I have friends who are also encouragers that I need to be mindful about checking on too!

You know who the encouragers in your group of friends are, so I challenge you to reach out to one or two or all of them this week. Because it takes a lot for anyone to pour into people, or to pour out onto a platform or brand, and even though it may seem like they’re always up for it, I can guarantee you that there are days when they don’t feel up to it, and they most likely still do it anyway!

And for the record, I’m not writing this post because I’m currently feeling some type of way right now. I’m actually doing quite well, and I’m grateful for the people in my life who do check up on me when they think of me, or when they get the chance!

Mishy 🦋🤎

meet pops. 🌿

Story time!

It’s been a minute since I’ve told a story on here, so I’m excited that I get to indulge y’all in something different!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I posted a picture of this little guy on my story this past week, asking who wanted to hear a story about him…

I also asked my followers what I should name him, and after only several good name choices were offered (Xavier, Edward, Jeffrey, Pops) I decided to go with “Pops” because of what this plant has gone through. And here’s where I’ll explain…

it looks like the end…

One night, my boyfriend closed my porch door. Normally, Pops is on the complete opposite side of where the door shuts so that he isn’t in danger of getting shut by the door.

So, you see what happened then…

Yes, my boyfriend accidentally shut him in the door, causing many of his little leaves to come off, and the top half of one of his branches completely came off. I felt many emotions…sad, upset, frustrated. I had watched this little succulent grow in over a year after my stepdad gave him to me for Valentine’s Day 2019. He was the only plant that I kept alive since Reyna and Tula 1.0 were unfortunately not taken care of properly last summer. And suddenly, he’d been crushed because, as my boyfriend put it, “He got up and walked toward the door without him seeing.” 😭

I honestly felt like Pops was going to die after that, and I was so sad about it (this was before I got my hibiscus plants, Reyna and Tula 2.0). I loved watching him gain new leaves, and I eventually wanted to repot him this summer.

pop go the new leaves

You read it right!

After several days of continuing to water Pops and give him as much sun as he needed, I took a good look at him, and noticed that there were little new leaves popping up where the old leaves had been (I guess those old leaves were dead).

I couldn’t have been happier! I’m really glad I didn’t throw him away when he got crushed, because now I get to see the new growth happening first hand! 😍🌱

let’s talk about us

As I thought about Pops’ story, I thought about us as people. There are a lot of things in life that can and will crush us at some point, and in those moments, we have choices to make. We can either throw all the potential we have stored within ourselves away, and give into what crushed us, or we can choose to try to keep growing and striving toward moving past it.

Of course, I encourage us to do the latter; we are so much more capable of healing if we give ourselves time. But too often, if we don’t heal in the time we desire, we can tend to give up, or try to take shortcuts to healing by just pretending everything is okay.

A plant may be able to pretend things are okay by looking okay for a small period of time. But then what happens? One day, it starts to droop, or it loses leaves, visibly showing that it’s not okay, that it needs water, sunlight, or fertilizer. And the same goes with us as people!

Pops was a great reminder for me to keep going, even when I’m being crushed by a heavy emotion or event in my life. He also is a great reminder to keep taking care of myself with whatever I may need spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. And I hope you’re reminded of this as well!

What’s something in your life that’s been a great reminder? It can be a plant, an animal, a game, an event, etc. What was the lesson it reminded you of? Did it change the way you view yourself or others?

Mishy 🦋🤎

put to practice.

And just like that, y’all…I write a blog post about how things change, and today, things went and changed up on me! 😂 God must’ve been like, Okay, so you writing all this stuff…let’s see how well you put it into practice when it happens!

Some of the meetings I’d set up for the Brown Skin Girls project had to be switched around, leaving me another free day to do what I needed to do! In my mind, that just tells me that God thought I needed an extra day to prepare myself, and I’m grateful for that. Because I was excited, but also low-key nervous to start this project up, and having another day allowed me to truly be ready!

How do you handle change? Sometimes it’s easier to brush it off when it doesn’t inconvenience us, but when it throws a whole wrench in matters you’d already planned, it can be many things: annoying or frustrating. It can cause us to place a whole raincloud over a day that can still be just as good even if things didn’t go as planned.

I could go into how we’re all doing this thing that none of us ever planned, but I’m sure you all understand by now. I’m sure many of us have gone through different phases during this time, and are still going through those phases as it drags on longer and longer. I pray that you see each day not as an inconvenience, but as opportunity. That we allow ourselves to see the silver lining when a cloud comes through.

Did anyone write down their end-of-the-month check-up based off my blog post yesterday? If you missed out, you can find it here. It’ll help you think about all the changes that have occurred, the ways in which you’ve changed, and what should leave or stay in regards to May being tomorrow!

Not too much to write about today, BUT I’ve decided to tell the story about my succulent plant here on the blog tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Mishy 🦋🤍

april: end-of-the-month check-up.

April’s last day is tomorrow, and May is open for so many possibilities.

Thirty-one days for things to change. People say a lot can happen in a year, but a lot happens in just one month! For instance, in April, I did a photoshoot for a clothing brand (go, Modern Hippie!), I bought two hibiscus plants and repotted them (and am scheming to buy a shelf specifically for plants in my apartment, along with another pot to replant my succulent). I started a new skin care routine that has my face ✨GLOWING✨ (plus I’ve been drinking more water too), and I’ve been doing a 6-week home workout challenge to keep myself in shape since the gyms are closed (and I won’t be stepping foot in one until this whole pandemic is fully resolved!).

See how much changed for me? And now I’ve got another guaranteed month off of work, and I’m curious to see what God will do in this time for me. I’ve already got things planned, but how many times have things that we’ve planned not go the way we thought they would? And how often are we okay with that?

I’m going to do something I haven’t done since January, when I originally posted this, and give y’all an end-of-the-month check-up. Just a list of things for y’all to think about as April is closing, and May begins!

Accomplishments 🎉

  • What did you achieve this month?
  • Did you start something new?
  • Did you finish any resolutions you made at the beginning of the year?

Lessons 🤔

  • What did you learn this month?
  • How can you take any failures/mistakes you made this month, and turn them into lessons learned?
  • How can you apply these lessons to this next month coming up?

Goals 📝

  • What new goals do you have for next month?
  • Which goals from last month will be transferred to this month? How long do you think it will take to achieve them?
  • Write down specific things you need to work on. Remember that your goal isn’t to get these things perfect by next month, it’s to progress in them next month!

Spiritual Life 🙏🏽

  • What was one major thing God revealed to you this month?
  • What was a prayer God answered this month? (Not answered with a “yes” specifically, just answered: yes, no, wait, etc.)
  • In what ways do you feel like you’ve grown spiritually?
  • What areas in your spiritual life do you need to work on? 

Relationships 🤝

  • Name at least 3-5 people you got to meet/got to know this month.
  • Name at least 3-5 people you would want to meet up with/get to know better next month.
  • If you weren’t really social this month, write down ways you can make more time to spend time with those you love 

Self-Care ✨

  • Did you get to make time for yourself this month? 
  • If “YES,” in what ways? Which ones will you hold onto this next month? Will/how can you switch things up next month?
  • If “NO,” how can you be sure to make time for yourself/take care of yourself this month? What things will you focus on in your self-care routine? 

***Remember! Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive…you don’t need to spend money! There are plenty of ways to take care of yourself that cost nothing 😊

I know I’ll be spending a significant amount of time in my own journal jotting things down so I can anticipate the changes going to occur!

What are the thoughts you have when the end of the month, or even the end of a season occurs? How can you better anticipate the changes that will happen? Do you even take thought to when time changes?

Mishy 🦋🤍

healing wholly.

Happy Tuesday, luvvies!

It’s been days since I’ve blogged, but it’s because of the new Brown Skin Girl Project I’ve been organizing! I’ve been scheduling meetings, emailing reminders, creating content, all the while just trying to get in some time to do all the things I’ve been doing since the quarantine started.

Last week was a good week for me, honestly. It was the first time in a while that I’d felt more at peace, more grounded and centered, and actually okay with who and where I am, and what I look like. Maybe the latter is because my skin is clearing up due to my new skin care routine, and actually drinking enough water 😅 And maybe the other two are because of my willingness to surrender everything I’d been feeling, and to allow God to work through all of it in His own way.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. I wish I could say that I recently felt the same way as I did last week, but the Enemy does his best to kill the joy that you feel somehow, especially after you feel like you’re “in the clear.”

But one thing I can say, is that I’m thankful for this time I’ve been given; these couple of months being stowed away at home have given me time to heal wholly.

half the healing

Before when I was working about 10 hours a day then going straight from work to the gym then back home just to have enough time to shower, eat, and then go to sleep, I had hard days when I thought self-sabotaging thoughts and placed the weight of everything associated with me upon myself. And what did I do? I’d just shove those feelings down my throat as best as I could, and kept it pushing. Because there wasn’t time to act like that; I had things to do, people to work with, a schedule to uphold. If I cried, I’d have maybe 10 minutes in the bathroom at work to do it before my coworkers wondered where I was (doesn’t mean I never did it. I just felt guilty for doing so). Or I’d have 10 minutes before my boyfriend had to clock into work to briefly talk about it before I couldn’t speak to him for another 2 hours.

Those little 10-minute moments were simply mini-healing sessions, times I tried to sort through what was going through my mind in as little time as possible before I just pushed it all to the back burner and got back to my routine. Sometimes they worked, and sometimes they didn’t. In hindsight, I I feel like it was mostly unhealthy for me to rush the healing process, but during that time, I really thought they were somehow still helping me by getting it all out little by little.

The problem was that there wasn’t really healing happening, just bandaging it up. Maybe not even that; more like putting duct tape over an open wound, and planning on taking it off later, only to rip the tape off, opening the wound even more, and seeing that there was no healing ever happening…the wound may even look worse because I didn’t tend to it properly in the moment it should have been dealt with.

Unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with all of those duct-taped wounds during this quarantine time, and while what I may post seem all peachy keen to you all, what I’d been feeling on the inside has been truly hurtful. Not all the time, mind you, but I definitely have had some hard times mentally. Having all of those wounds patched while I tried to truly heal only allowed their toxicity to come through, and try to tear down those parts of me I was working on.

still surrendering

Honestly, I started writing this post yesterday morning, and I went through different phases. Yesterday morning, I was talking bout how I could see the progress I was making in surrendering, not just creative projects, but in my life. Then yesterday evening, I was having a hard time letting go of some of the things I thought I let go. And today, I’m feeling so much better!

I even had to go back and reread the last blog I posted about surrender to remind myself what I even said. How often do we do that though? Feel like we’ve taken three steps forward, and then in a day or so, we feel like we’re right back to where we started.

But I’m learning to be more gentle with myself, to be okay with the surrender being a process, as everything is. It’s a daily battle: to surrender the burdens I feel like I need to hold onto, and the weight of things in my life that I feel I must carry, or it won’t make it to where God eventually wants me to be.

what about you?

Have you been healing during this time? What are some ways you’ve been doing that? How have you been handling the rough days? The good days? How do you remind yourself that God is in control of all things, and that you need to daily surrender to Him?

Mishy 🦋🤍

surrender.

I just had to surrender.

Sometimes, when I want to create something new, be it a poem or full on project, I get frustrated when it doesn’t come to me quickly. I try to think of new ways to do things, try to look things up, brainstorm, and nothing will come.

But there’s something about that moment of surrender…

When you just roll with the punches, when you just go on about your day, doing the things you had in mind to do, or letting the day unfold before you; I find that it’s in THOSE times…an idea is formed. I truly believe my best ideas are God sent, and I believe He won’t send them until I surrender the process to Him. Because if I try hard to think of something, and end up with a plan, more than likely, I’ll pat myself on the back for it than give God the credit.

So I’m grateful for the times He reminds me to just let Him work. To just keep my hands open to receive what He has for me.

I did a lot of letting go this morning as I started my day, and I feel like it made my day go 10x’s smoother than when I’ve just got a closed fist over everything. Keeping my hand shut tight gives me the illusion of control, when in reality, it only hinders me from opening my eyes and heart to the things around me, to other things I haven’t thought of.

I encourage you: surrender. Wherever you are and whatever you’ve got going on, open up that hand of yours. Release any sense of control you think you have or should have, and ask God to open your eyes.

I believe that what He reveals to you will be more beautiful, more extravagant than you can imagine!

How hard is it for you to surrender? What are some things you might need to let go of to make room for God to show you something new?

Mishy 🦋🤍

re-commit.

Hey luvvies!

I’ve just been keeping myself busy these days still: working out, keeping my plants alive, signing up and attending little seminars and classes on Zoom. Just doing what I can with the time I have since it sounds like some things may be opening back up here soon.

With that being said: how are you feeling? I’ve honestly heard of a few states opening businesses back up, with city governors advising the cities they are head of to stay put. It’s like it gives us some hope, but also, leaves us questioning if it’s truly hope, or just an illusion. I guess we’ll do what we’ve been doing for the past couple of months: wait and see what happens.

As for me personally, I’m little frazzled on what to write about right now 😅 I’ve been reading, researching, and taking online classes on how to upgrade my brand, my blogging, my writing. I feel like every day brings something different, and I don’t want to overwhelm myself, but at the same time, I don’t want to waste my time either. I feel like I’ve been working so hard, but not getting anywhere sometimes, but I always have to assure myself that working at something will get me somewhere! Progress will be made regardless!

If I were to encourage you, I’d say this: keep going. Keep focusing on what you’re doing, not on what someone else is doing. It can be easy for us to lose sight of our own tasks when we are looking at what other people are doing, and we might be tempted to keep looking at what other people are doing because we have the time to keep scrolling through their lives on social media.

Just because we have the time to do something, doesn’t mean we should be doing it. Use your time wisely!

I’ve been inspired by so many wonderful friends to keep going, to keep doing the thing I love to do most – write. And they’ve been encouraging me by doing the things they love to do most; we don’t even have to have a conversation, they’re just doing it! And I love to see it!

Honestly, while I’ve been writing here on my blog, I haven’t really done much writing outside of here. I’ve written a poem here or there, and even a couple of journal entries, but not every day. So, starting tonight, I will continue to commit to blog here every day (minus Sunday), and I re-commit to writing outside of here (whether it be journaling, poetry writing, etc.) as well! Because that’s the type of writing I love most!

What is something you need to re-commit to? It can be something you began when this quarantined started, but then slowly faded away from doing it. It can be something you used to do pre-quarantine, and haven’t done since we began social distancing. Or, what’s something new you can commit to doing today?

Mishy 🦋🤍

“with us.” (PRAYER)

Happy Monday, luvvies!

How’s your day been? My day was pretty productive: had a Zoom meeting with my class, started week 2 on this 6-week home workout plan I started, made sushi…and here I am on the blog!

Yesterday for our church service, the pastors discussed how the church can be praying for our city during this time with the tornadoes having gone through a week ago, and the coronavirus situation still happening. One of the things we prayed for was the reminder that God is still with us during these times, even if He may feel distant, and I wanted to share what I wrote during that prayer time with you all!

Because I feel like, despite the jokes about being quarantined and whatnot, and also those of us who are simply complaining because we’re getting cabin fever, there are really people who are having a seriously hard time being isolated and alone through all of this. There are many who are still asking where God is in the midst of this too; how He can seem so silent as days and weeks and now months are going by, and we’re all still at home. I know I’ve had moments where the thoughts in my head just seemed to be way too loud and overwhelming; I felt like the light seemed way out of reach.

But these are the words I felt the Holy Spirit push out of me yesterday morning during that time of prayer:

Even in times of confusion,
Amidst conversations in which we try to understand,
You stand by us, You are with us.
Although we may not recognize You, or
May not be able to feel You,
Your Presence remains.
While we ask where You are in the midst of chaos, You
Gently place Your loving Hand upon us.
You whisper in the quiet and the violent noise,
“I am Emmanuel. I am with you.”
May we feel You, and not just that,
But let us believe You past the feelings for they can be fleeting.
Let us have faith that when we can’t see: You are there,
When we don’t feel: You are there,
And You will never leave us, You
Constantly surround us.
Emmanuel, Emmanuel.
That is still Your Name!
Help us not to just pin or stick that to you during Christmas time, but to
Carry it with us, to see You near in every season.

“with us.” – written on Sunday, April 20, 2020

I pray these words can remind and encourage you tonight, and through the rest of this time! Much love you y’all! 💙

Mishy 🦋

more than the major.

Where my Bible reading people at?!

Y’all, I’ve been going through this plan to read the entire Bible in a year (which isn’t going to happen in a year because I’m SO MANY DAYS behind, but it’s all good!), and I’ve reached one of the parts in the Bible maybe many of us skip over…and you know what parts I’m talking about!

The endless lists of names…
The measurements of items for the building of the Tabernacle, the designs of the priests clothing, etc…
The Old Testament laws that are HELLA specific…

Honestly, reading all that stuff got me looking at my Bible like…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always steered clear of these parts of the Bible, and it’s because honestly, reading about all of that is just boring. Let’s admit it: it’s hard to read about the specifics of the Tabernacle of God when you know Jesus came thousands of years later to die on the Cross, and completely get rid of the purpose of the Temple all together! I know it’s in there to show us the importance of what it was like for people pre-Jesus’ death to be close to God; to show exactly what it took to have the presence of God descend onto earth because that’s how He wanted it to be, it seems. But I know there aren’t too many Bible studies these days on the book of Leviticus. Or Numbers. Or even the last half of Exodus; we go through the “meat” of Moses’ story, and then stop there, skip to the next famous Bible story there is.

why is that though?

Why do we skip all the “______ the son of ______ who was the son of _______” parts of the Bible? Why do we skip reading about the numbers of people who were in those tribes back then? I can think of a reason why I personally do…

We as people connect with STORIES more than anything!

Stories about one person or a group of people are just more interesting. We can connect with someone’s story. And when you’re growing up in a Christian household, some of the first things you learn as a kid are the specific people and their stories that are highlighted in the Bible. Yeah, you right: there aren’t too many children’s Bible books about how the Temple was built. Or VeggieTales movies, for that matter.

That’s understandable because children’s attention spans can only be held for so long, that we need to tell them major stories to get them to listen, to get them to understand. The problem is though, that we sometimes take those major stories into adulthood, and only focus on those things when it comes to our faith. And maybe that’s how it was supposed to be…or maybe we’re supposed to read those parts of the Bible that aren’t as interesting, and learn what we can from there as well!

things I think we should learn from these parts

History

The details that are in the Bible show an amount of history that will lead up to the major stories we read and know. How will we know the lineage of David which will lead to the lineage of Jesus if we don’t know the people who came before them? It also gives us a sense of time with generations being named one after the other.

And too, I think about understanding the size of Israel. I wonder how big they were compared to the other nations surrounding them at the time, and I can’t help but feel like maybe, if they were one of the smallest, the victories in battle would be all the more miraculous with God on their side.

Obedience

It also shows the people’s obedience to God. Like, God told them exactly how to make his Temple. Down to the measurements, down to the “minor” details, and the people didn’t complain and say, “Really, God? You really want us to be that specific?” They just did it, without hesitation (at least, from the writer’s point of view they didn’t complain). The laws, of course, had to be written down because there were SO MANY, surely, it would be difficult to forget! But they were written to keep the Israelites accountable; even if they were to forget, it would be on a hard copy somewhere for them to see for themselves!

Not to mention, at the end of Exodus where I read today, it talked about how the Israelites had to watch the cloud the Lord put over the tent to see if they had to stay where they were, or pick up and leave. Talk about waiting on the Lord! Full on obedience here as they watched the cloud ascend and descend.

Contrast

And, as I mentioned before, we’re able to contrast the amazing Grace of God through Jesus’ sacrifice by seeing what we don’t have to do anymore. We don’t have to go into the inner place of a tent where the tabernacle is located. We don’t have to wait for the cloud to ascend and descend (although, I’ll admit, sometimes when I got to make a decision, I’d love if God could physically show me a cloud of where I gotta stay, and then let it disappear when I gots to go!). We don’t have to go and kill the best of our livestock for the sacrifice…we don’t even have to own livestock.

But we can be grateful for all of that because Jesus paid the price for us once and for all on the Cross. So, we can see the contrast between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and how it affects us as Christians.

I encourage those who do read the Bible to take more than the major parts into consideration. To read through as best as you can (trust me, my mind starts wandering when things start to get repetitive in those verses!), and analyze what you can learn from those passages. What is God teaching you?

What are you favorite parts to read in the Bible? Do you have a favorite person or story? What’s your least favorite part or book of the Bible? How can you read through it and gain wisdom and knowledge from such a part?

Mishy 🦋🤍