What Tugs at My Heart…

Moments that inspire me are often moments with my family, hearing from God, thought provoking things that people say or I come across in reading. In my travel this first week of May, I have encountered moments that have inspired, one that stands out to me as I read 1 Peter 4 at 3am in the morning has to do with using our gifts for what God has intended it.

My true North to ignite in others a can do mindset and a will do attitude is taking me places and immersing me in diverse conversations. When I get asked “must be hard to leave your family and come over here right?” My first expression is to smile, not a smile masking something but a genuine smile of joy. My family is my strength and God is my bedrock, my foundation. I take them with me while living in my purpose…using my gifts… so yes, it is ‘hard’ but there is joy…a whole lot of joy knowing that my family is fulfilled even in my absence, God sustains them…He sustains me.

When you have a great foundation and understanding of peace, joy and purpose, what tugs at your heart isnt what keeps you up at night, what tugs at your heart is what thrives you, moves you, keeps you going. 💖 ~Kate

Soul Detox: Balanced and Blessed. Part 2

After I posted part one of this journey, I received a lot of responses via all my social media platforms… looks like my blog resonated with a lot of my readers. Before I jump into sharing my practical steps of getting to a place of balance and truly living out a blessed life, I want to say this:

Dear reader, set your mindset right. Release any negative emotions, toxic thoughts, less than feelings, doubt, impossible thinking, stressors…and just breathe…
Haaaaaa.
Now let your imagination run free to that place where you see a
 huge smile on your face and your heart feels light filled with
 gratifying release of freedom.

By now you are wondering, ok Kate so you Soul Detoxed. What is it anyway and do share these practical steps. Well, ask no more. Soul detox is basically a practice of cleansing your soul of all the junks that can taint us from truly living a balanced life. We are on the go 24/7 throughout the year, some of you are reading this blog – you think you are reading – but what you are really doing is scrolling through picking up words that will stand out to you, then you feel accomplished that you read something. Some of you are racing through Instagram, Facebook timeline mindlessly scrolling through looking for pictures, videos, memes, virtual objects that will again stand out at you – you tap to like or love, or cry, or frown, or laugh then you move on. I don’t even want to mention commenting or taking the time let your brain process the information, so you find meaning and purpose.

That was me. I was all of this and more seeking to attend to each one from family, to friends in real life or friends in global village to work to colleagues to church to community to school to everything in between. Now that sounds and is way too much for any human being to handle in a twenty-four-hour period. Question I often got was what time to you sleep? What time do you wake up? These questions caused me to think a bit but not much. It wasn’t until my personal, professional and spiritual and mental processes came clashing that I knew something had to be done. To soul detox, I started from the place that I knew was the center of all this clash.

Social media: I asked myself one question “what is the essence of this in my life?” I realized that I hadn’t thought about the role Instagram, Facebook and their cousins played in my life. Can you blame me? Smiling at you, oh yes you can! I am from the Gen Y era in layman’s terms ‘Millennial’ and so while I may come off as a ‘matured millennial’ as some would refer to me by, I still wanted to be up to date with all things my generation is about – touch all, do all, be super hyper informed! In other words, ‘be in the know’. Now that is a lot of work! Listen, I get it, we all can have FOMO (fear of missing out) so we just race through life trying to YOLO (you only live once). I went cold-turkey and shut all social media down – basically fasted, went on a sabbatical, took a break – whatever phrase you want to call it. I was just out. It was a struggle, but I knew I needed to do this to regain control of myself – my mind, my thoughts, my soul and really answer the question “what the essence of social media in my life is” Until I could answer this question, I wasn’t going back to Instagram, Facebook and their cousins. During this break, I didn’t sit idle. I realized a few things:

  1. I spent a lot of time on social media
  2. I multitasked everything, even my kids bath time
  3. I compared my life with others (a very dangerous line to cross, leave that for another blog)
  4. I wanted to try every idea, tip disguised as life hacks which let’s face it if I’ve been living my life all this while without these hacks, how come I suddenly think I need them now?
  5. I woke up and went to bed consumed by what to post next, who will like my post, what’s the caption?

…and all this while, many interesting moments were happening around me that I was zombieing through. So, I realized that the essence of social media in my life was skewed and I needed to fix that permanently…and I did.

Concerning technology:

  1. Use time conscious prioritization and practical steps such as login and logoff to develop boundaries around your access to social media. Did you know that even when you logoff, Instagram and Facebook will still send post notifications? I had to manually disable notifications on my phone’s settings. Ahhhh relief!
  2. Assess your first act and thoughts upon waking up and your last act and thoughts before sleeping. Replace these with soul enriching actions such as meditation, devotion, reading, being still, praying. Use physical Bible – I use Bible app as reinforcement and to track chapters and verses I want to remember throughout my day.
  3. Rearrange apps on your phone’s home screen. Might sound silly but if the access to the apps is a couple of steps, without thinking through it eventually it becomes a habit. I replaced my home screen apps with soul enriching apps – the Bible app, notepad (because I love writing), calorie counting app, alarm clock, podcast app to name a few.
  4. Reconsider your restroom companions. Take a book instead or nothing. You will spend less time in there and you will be fully engaged with the whole hygiene process – wash hands, wipe hands…smile at your beautiful self.
  5. Check your motives – it can wait. Instead of picking up your phone at every sound, count to ten and ask yourself, can it wait? Is it that urgent? Set times throughout the day when you want to check messages etc. For me they include, after working out (before I leave the gym so that is about 10 minutes because I take my gym workouts seriously), before I leave the house for the office (again a small window as I am on conference calls most mornings), lunch time, before I leave the office. What I have learned is that any behavior can change, you just must make the decision to be different.

Soul Detoxing is a habit-forming process that helps you develop best practices for any areas in your life that needs restructuring. In this new year 2019, everyone will be motivates and hopeful with new goals and resolutions. Don’t make them an event rather build a lifestyle. Soul detox first, assess areas in your life that need change and do the work of changing it. Making anything in life a lifestyle takes time, and patience, and perseverance and the right positive mindset. Let this be your goal in the new year – to move an inch each day from ‘I don’t think so to not yet to possibly to possible”.

Wishing you blessed 2019!

Love,

Kate

Soul Detox: Balanced and Blessed. Part 1

It all began when these five words were spoken to me in the form of a reward after a very tough season in the office. My HR leader started our regularly scheduled one on one meeting by first acknowledging that indeed it had been a tough season for the team and thus a day off to ‘woosah’ was needed by all. She put it this way “just take a day, pick any day, take a mental health day…let me know whatever you want to do…a spa, shopping…I think some time off work will be good”.

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I had been going and going non-stop between meeting work deliverables, home obligations and personal goals that when I heard those words it was as if God had spoken to me through her – I believe he did. I did take that mental health day and I must say it set in motion a series of events that ultimately changed the trajectory of my ‘busy life’.

Besides this tough season at work, I also had a major decision to make concerning my career which took every ounce of mental and emotional processing to get to the best outcome. I was offered a good career opportunity by another company – deciding to pursue that opportunity or not to pursue was not an easy decision to make. I will save the details of how – I appreciatively let go of a Director level role at this time to pursue what I believe to be where I needed to be – for another blog someday. The unexpected happened as this career opportunity opened another door for me in my current company – blessing upon blessing, overwhelming and in awe when I think about the months of August, September and October of this year.

Then not to mention a string of life obligations I needed to meet – you know, the many hats that we often wear, some may sound familiar to you and some you may have. Moving from a family of three with a dog to a family of five with a dog isn’t as easy as 1-2-3-4-5…6! I am a planner, my MBTI profile type is ISTJ, I like order, I like logic, I like detail, I think through, I reflect, I prefer introversion, I am loyal, I keep a small circle of friends… and so on. This year, I have ventured out and tried many engagements. I went out of my comfort zone – surpassing stretch zone – close to panic zone to try new things, being adventurous, extending my connections with people, trying to make new friends, extending myself beyond normal limits!!! Trying to keep a level head and balance all these roles left me; one, emotionally drained by mid-October; two, mentally incapable of thinking through my day-to-day logically without the feeling of burden; and three, spiritually disconnected from God which left me ‘empty’. Something had to give, something had to change!

I went to the library with my daughter one Tuesday evening after work, and while she

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read books in the children’s area, I went to find a book too. I came across Courtney Carver’s book – Soulful Simplicity – that immediately grabbed my attention and I knew I needed to read it. So, I grabbed it, checked it out from the library every three weeks over a three month period until I finished reading it cover to cover (yes it took me that long to read it …gone are the days…ok I’ll pause here. Back to Soul Detox) Courtney’s book in summary is what the book’s title is – living a life of simplicity where your mind, body and soul are in sync; letting go of the junks of life and being at peace with the simple things in life. She raises a key point which I have reminded myself of repeatedly since reading it. She says instead of stressing about resources to make ends meet how about you make fewer ends. BOOM! The light bulb went off in my head – I need to make fewer ends – the Bible affirms this in many verses – James 1:27b “…and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” 1 Peter 5:7 “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”, Philippians 4:19 “and my God will supply all my needs according to his riches in Jesus Christ”

I see it now…all the emotional ups and downs about the career, about life changes, about postpartum over the last six months have brought me to this place. A place where I had been pulled in many directions, I allowed many good distractions and not so good distractions to fill a need I had to have Peace around me BUT the only way I could have this Peace amidst all the blessed chaos was to get back to my core – the very essence of my being. I needed to ‘Soul Detox’. I’ve done it with my body, I’ve done it with my mind so naturally, spiritually, and even logically this was the next step. So, I did! I soul detoxed? How did I do it? Stay tuned for the next read.

In the meantime, remember to be still and know that he is God.

Always stay FREE,

Kate

The Cost of Peace of Mind, Body, Soul?

k2Hey world! The news, the media, the social media posts, the conversations in the hallways, in the stores, in churches, at birthday parties, weddings, family gatherings…amongst the many topics discussed, there is one that over the last few years has remained constant; on the radar of many information outlets and on the lips of many people. Some are for and some are against and some, well remain neutral rarely voicing their opinions.

I took a break from blogging and writing to give birth and focus on the new role of being a mom of two. I have been quite occupied with postpartum activities – new baby (not so new now), raising an almost seven year old daughter, being a wife, career woman, daughter, friend, getting post baby bod in check, but above all, and before all these roles, being a daughter to my heavenly father – mentally staying FREE from the wiles of the enemy that may seek to take my mind – in the form of postpartum depression. For those who have followed by blog pre-second baby, you know where I was at after my first born and how I rid myself of such bondage.

A year post-baby and I can testify that the Lord has been good to me, and my healing and freedom remain intact. I have been following the news and everything #metoo movement, Bill Cosby, Politicians and powerful men caught in sexual scandals, Judge Kavanaugh etc. Let me offer some perspective on these from someone who was held captive by her past for many years – I’m talking twenty-five plus years!

Concerning #metoo movement: I acknowledge that me too, I was sexually abused and molested countless times; me too, I was raped; me too, I was harassed; for years I lived under the shame and guilt and anger and disdain and fury of the existence of such wickedness. But then Jesus got a hold of my heart again and over the course of a year took me on a personal transformation journey to freedom. I emerged from this journey a new woman in Christ, accepting my past, forgiving my abusers, handing every single hurt and pain and guilt and shame and anger over to Him – JESUS! At the end of this journey, I was set FREE – Faithfully Renewed Encouraged Exceptional woman of God. Since that monumental encounter with God, I do not identify as a victim of sexual abuse but rather a victor – I am FREE from my bondage and thus cannot claim a hashtag on my soul, on my being. I will acknowledge it, but I will not claim it. See there is a difference – one confirms that a circumstance occurred, the other affirms that by not holding on to that circumstance, my heart remains FREE and at peace. I forgave my abusers when I released all the pain and hurt. Jesus has won my battles for me – so there is no need for me to claim victim rather I proclaim and claim victor! I pray for the courageous women who have bravely been at the front of this movement, fighting for the injustices and rights of girls and women. We are given different purposes – some to advocate, some to be the voice for others, some to write, sing our experiences to inspire and motivate others. While pursuing our purpose in this world, it does the soul a wealth of good to do so from a place of peace and forgiveness.

Concerning politicians and powerful men: I believe that there is a time for everything under the sun and that we as a people allow the rule of law and the courts determine the fate of anyone accused of such allegations. If due to worldly means they can hide and deny allegations, so be it. But I strongly believe that the truth no matter the number of years gone by, surely comes out – even after they are long dead and gone. With this belief, as a victor, I don’t fret over the outcomes of elections, or legal proceedings. Let’s remember that to be FREE and remain FREE, there is a higher order on your being – living in anger, thriving on anger only deteriorates the soul. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So, on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation? Ha isn’t it amazing how our past will resurface repeatedly until it gets the attention that should be given to it? I applaud Dr. Ford for speaking up…her truth and in fairness, allowing Judge Kavanaugh to also speak his truth. I believe Dr. Ford, not because I have been abused before, but because I saw in her eyes the truth. An adage says if you want to know if a person is telling the truth, look in their eyes – you see their soul. The judge got confirmed anyway – not surprised. My thoughts? Whether an accused is found guilty or not, my very core must be at peace. My very core should be FREE and remain FREE so that irrespective of the outcome, I know who the greatest judge is – God – and someday, the truth will come out. Going back to previous sentiments – when I choose forgiveness, I release the abuser’s hold on my life. When you choose forgiveness, you find immeasurable peace irrespective of the outcome from the worldly courts of justice.

Concerning Bill Cosby: oh, the TV father I grew up watching from across the ocean in Ghana. When I think about it, while he was on TV being the perfect father, I was experiencing various forms of sexual abuse and harassment. To think that he had a double life just makes me cringe and pity him. Finding out about his demons, I remember vividly my reaction – I just smiled. Because no darkness can be hidden for long; eventually the light shines through and brings what is hidden to light. He has faced the consequences – good – no wasting energy on him; but I turn my concern to all the women he abused. I hold your hands, look in your eyes and encourage you to release him from your soul, from your heart, from your mind.

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Reclaim your control not from a place of anger and spite but from a place of serene inexplicable strength! So that should the worldly court system reverse or amend its verdict, you my sister, will be and remain FREE.

There are few things that over the years I have found to be precious, priceless – the peace of my mind, body and soul is very important. What is the cost of peace? Forgiveness. Forgiveness sets you free which brings you peace. Having this peace centers my world and everything I encounter. I have only one life, here but for a short while, therefore I will always choose the gospel of peace; there my heart, my soul, my mind remains FREE.

Love,

Kate

 

You Can’t Share My Joy; But You Can Share My Happiness

IMG_20170612_072243_477“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy” Prob 14:10
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Happy Monday…A serene view from Stone Mountain park on my walk with a friend this weekend did us some good as friends. We caught up on all things family, kids, marriage, life, love, our walk with God, laughter…it was a good 5mile walk. As I reflect on our time together, this insightful scripture is what will be on my lips this week.

You see during our chats, we poured out our challenges and successes; we laughed at ourselves and freely admitted our faults; we talked about our hopes and our frustrations… at the end of our time together, we shared messages of faith, hope, love, joy and peace. But each of us walked away still just knowing what the other shared and nothing more. It was a #nojudgingzone We shared in each other’s happiness but could never share the joy; we shared in each other’s pain but could never share the frustrations; we shared in each other’s experiences, but could never share the peace. Because what we could share, we had seen and felt, what we couldn’t share we knew had to come individually from the heart in our pursuit of God’s light in our lives.20170610_090621
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This week and beyond commit to sharing what’s on your heart with a loved one but know that your expectations should be that of a listening ear. The joy, peace and understanding you seek can only come from your personal walk with our heavenly father. So seek His face and trust that only He can give your heart love and light. Blessings to you.

Love,

Kate

Unapologetically…

20170517_080434Earlier this week, I shared on my Instagram page a note on being self-motivated and didn’t include a Bible verse. I received a comment basically stating that what I blogged about was real and not that “Bible nonsense…” you know when I share posts with Bible verses…

Well to that I say when you don’t understand my Joy, don’t come for my heart. When you don’t understand my peace, don’t come for my soul. When you don’t understand my faith, don’t come for my strength.

I am unapologetically:
– Jesus lover
– Bible believer
– Peace restorer
– Joy promoter
– Heart warmer
– Mama bear
– Wifey on fleek 😂
– FREE Woman!

My strength comes from the Lord and He is the foundation on which I stand firm…even when on one leg 😜. I do not seek worldly approval and opinions, I know whose I am and everyday He reminds me of His grace, mercy and love. In His truth I will always stand firm in my convictions that Jesus is Lord and He alone can set my soul FREE! He did a moon or two ago and its the best birthday gift ever. I know where I am going and can’t wait to meet Him when He calls me…do you?

Friend, when you don’t understand someone’s praise, do seek to understand…not from a hurting confused place, but from a genuine, loving and heart wide open to receive kinda place. That is how you are understood and you gain understanding. 💖~Kate

Find your Inner Beauty! All Outward Beauty is Already Taken.

20170420_141530Its no secret that what the world considers beautiful is what is mostly seen on the outside. Outward beauty is easy to see, easy to manipulate, easy to pretend, easy to create. The most important form of beauty – inner beauty – can’t be manipulated, pretended, or created. It has to come from within, from your soul, from God. Having inner beauty isn’t just saying or doing nice things; it is when you are in a test how you foresee your testament unfolding. When your inner beauty outshines what people see on the outside, it speaks volumes. When your inner beauty is evident, you seek to impact others, look for the good in others and you are full of life. You have an unexplainable joy and peace because you have an unexplainable joyful and peaceful God!

I went through a test last week Tuesday and through that received the best compliment one could ever receive in the workplace – it was better than being patted on the back for a job well done. It was about mid-morning of actively helping managers through some separation processes when a manager paused a separation meeting to ask me that despite the tough situations that we were going through with employees, where my joy and peace was coming from. He indicated that he’d noticed that I had a calm about me that he’d never seen before. My response to this manager – it comes from God, my faith, the Bible. I read a good Word before going to work day knowing the kind of day it was going to be and my time with God helped set my mind right. My faith carries me through in all I do. See friends, that is the type of inner beauty we ought to strive for daily; lets “be beautiful inside, in our hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God”. 1 Peter 3:4

Find your inner beauty; chase your inner beauty, do the work to discover who your true self (soul-heart) is and when you find it, your outward beauty will simply compliment what your inner beauty portrays.

Stay Blessed, Stay FREE

Kate

A Builder of Souls or A Downer of Souls?

20170403_082841I snapped this random pic yesterday before I left my driveway for work. At the time it was just another random pic but this morning as I see it in my gallery I keep hearing the words “by this hand a woman blesses many, and with the same hand can tear down many”. Wow! That is quite a statement Lord. So then I go to His word and in Proverbs 14:1 the words are clear “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish woman tears hers down”.
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Ladies, meditate on this scripture today. And honestly answer to yourself…which one have you been or are you? I have been both! The foolish one that tore down her husband with her tongue-oh the disrespectful, sarcastic, smart I-am-right-all-the-time responses; the foolish one that had no patience when it came to her child snapping left and right; the foolish one that had no compassion, mercy and grace for folks who made mistakes, acted ‘stupidly’ or just plain naïve. But then something happened in my self discovery to building a closer relationship with God. He unearthed my imperfections, forgave me, cleansed me, made me whole and loved me which helped me love myself first, and then pour that love to others.
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I’m not perfect, I have my moments but I have learned self-control, discipline, and something called grace. Friend, how do you see your hands? A builder of souls or a downer of souls? I hope you learn to be the builder… 💖 ~Kate

A Prayer for Any Day…Week of the Year

Hi Friend,

Happy New Month! Its already the third month of the year and I’m pretty sure we all can’t wait to see what this new month has to offer. I woke up this morning with this prayer on my heart; probably because of the type of week I have ahead but also, the type of days, weeks, months we often have as we live our busy lives. I hope this prayer brings you peace and focus as you go about your weekly plans.

“God, it is impossible for me to tackle this week in my own strength. I need the spiritual strength of David to defeat the Goliaths that will try to bring me down. Please remove any spirit of fear that may cause me to be timid and doubt my abilities. I need the faith of Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Job, Jesus…to move mountains out of my way. Cover me and my loved ones with your cloak of wisdom to protect and guide our paths. In Jesus name, Amen”. 

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Godspeed in all you do, aim higher, reach for the stars, go get what He has promised you. Until next time…

Stay Blessed, Stay FREE

Kate

Happy New Month! Focus on Fruits of the Spirit!

Dear Friend,

Wow January was taking forever to be in the history books! It was a month filled with so many uncertainties and instabilities and change too! It felt like the New Year just came in and very quickly it was already June – yeah, a lot happened in January. Mostly spiritual growth through life’s happenings at work, family and 21-day fasting and prayer. I can’t help but hum this song by Cyndi Lauper as it is how I felt “If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me. Time after time. If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting. Time after time” Through it all, I know there was someone looking out for me; He kept me focused, He kept me grounded, He kept me sane and joyful…that someone was Jesus!

In the month of February, the word is FOCUS – it is my prayer that we focus on things that matter in life – on fruits of the spirit Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Irrespective of all the political chaos going on in the country, unstable jobs and the minor stresses of life, choose to keep your focus on things that awaken your spirit every day. This means reading God’s word and uplifting literature, listening to while worshiping and praising God through the days. This means searching your heart on a daily basis, forgiving and letting go of things that linger. To stay focused, you shouldn’t worry, you shouldn’t fear, you shouldn’t allow the enemy a foothold in your heart; instead embrace the days and nights with clarity and wisdom from God; with the strength that comes from God and an abundance of faith that all things will work out for your good.

Oh February it is indeed nice to meet you! Plans have been set but definitely allow God to order your steps (Proverbs 16:9). I am looking forward to it with confidence, strength and absolute surrender. I know that He is always there to catch me…time after time…I hope you feel the same way too and will remain FOCUSED.

Stay Blessed, Stay FREE

Kate