Fighting For Friendships

Relationships are hard. Friendships take time to cultivate and go through seasons of distance. It has made me realize that Friendships have to be fought for.

Recently my life has been busier and because of this, I have allowed some things to fall to the wayside. Busyness has become the easy excuse to not do things or to engage with people. Along with being busy also comes both mental and physical exhaustion. Busyness can be a good thing but we can also use it to avoid other things in our lives. As if it gives us an out for those things we engage in full schedules and obligations.

Which can lead to self isolation without realizing it is occurring. This has happened with my friendships recently. So preoccupied with the what I had to deal with and my own struggles, that I was missing what was going on with my friends. Accepting the odd text or social media comment made up for lack of conversation or time spent with each other. In doing so, I am missing what is happening in their lives and vice versa.

There are times when friendship can be easier, when we see each other at church every week or at a Bible study during the week. But when it is not as convienent to make those lunch plans, we can get used to letting friendship fall to the wayside. It takes effort to keep a friendship going, to go deeper than responding “I’m good”.  Or not asking for help or telling the truth of what is happening in our lives because we know the other person has a lot going on as well.

[Tweet “The reality is I forget how much I need friendship. In the busyness, I turn away from people.”]

The reality is I forget how much I need friendship. In the busyness, I turn away from people. In my exhaustion I hit decline an incoming call or answer a text the next day. But I need relationship, I need others to speak truth into my life. When I drift away from these kinds of deep of friendship, I lack true accountability.

Getting caught up in the busyness, I turn away from people. In my exhaustion I hit decline an incoming call or answer a text until the next day. But I need relationship, I need others to speak truth into my life. When I drift away from these kinds of deep friendship, I lack true accountability.

This can make once deep friendships all about the surface, eventually leading to an end. I would like to know that I fought for a friendship before it comes to an end. I know there are seasons for certain people to be in my life and I in theirs. And others, others that will last the rest of my lifetime. No matter which of my current relationships fall into, I will fight for it. Fighting through the busyness of my life, widening my view to  no longer be so narrow.

Mid Week Motivator: Goal Setting Reboot

Setting goals is hard for me, it means I have to plan things ahead. This is skill I am still learning and have not yet mastered. I do know if I ever will in actuality. I’ve learned something crucial about goals and setting them. Here are three things that have stood out to me.

1-We romanticize them. I know I have done this, fantasing about how I would accomplish it or what life would look like once I did. I can tell you that achieving a goal looks entirely different then what I had imagined. Only to end up feeling disappointed or sad that it was or over.

2- Achieving a goals or goals often means working towards smaller goals first. This part is often overlooked, look at what steps or gains you need to achieve before getting to the main goal. When I started running, I had to first run a lap without stopping before I ran a half marathon.

3- Goals can change and that’s ok. Here is the truth, our lives, schedules and dynamics can change. A backburner goal can become your main goal. You may find you have more time for one thing and not another. This may mean pushing back a due date or rethinking your strategy.

And one last thought, January first is not a deadline to start . While it does fit in nicely, it being the first day of the new year and all. But it isn’t necessarily the right day for you to start. Perhaps the next month is better or even later in the year. But by setting January as  this arbitrary date allows for us to push back pursuing our dreams and goals. Jumping into your goal can be scary and uncomfortable. Set a date and stick to it, then go for it but  be willing to be flexible.

Understanding Mental Illness Better

May is Mental Illness Awareness Month. Better awareness of what Mental Illness is good but so often this can come from a negative connotation, as a description of a criminal.

This phrase is being used more and more in social media and on the news. Mental illness is used as a generalized descriptor for a varying range of brain diseases. While it is great that there is a greater awareness of mental health in this country, it also spotlights the great divide there is in treatment and attitude towards it. Because there is a stigma in our society for this kind of health issue. Depending on your health insurance coverage, the help and medications that one may need is not always readily available.

There is no one way that mental illness can look either. Not everyone dealing with a diagnosis of some kind of mental illness will not necessarily look or act how most of expect. This generalization can be dangerous as those who are diagnosed feel the need to hide it. Perhaps fearing judgement, having people look at them differently. Let’s face it, when someone is diagnosed with a physical disease, we know better how to deal with that. But a mental illness, which is something that cannot be cured but only maintained. It is scary and foreign for most of us.

My family is all to familiar with the ravages of mental illness. It is in some sense a part of our legacy, my grandmother was Schizophrenic as was my mother. I did not know my grandmother as she passed away when I was a baby. My mother though, I had in my life until her passing twenty-four years ago now. In fact this month is the anniversary of her death.

What I recall is her warmth and sweetness. The times I could not sleep, she scratched my back until I drifted off. She liked to dance in the car when a good song came on the car radio. But her illness stole her from my sisters and I. Breakdowns meant that mommy would be in the hospital and that she could not be with us. Then there were the times when the combination of medications meant she stared off into space, disconnected from the rest of us. She was not violent as some schizophrenia can be.

The times her medications worked for us, we had our mommy back. She lived her life, living with our grandfather not far from us. The day to day care of myself went to my aunt and uncle. She was in my life, picking me up from school a few days a week and spending weekends over at her place. But her illness left her in a stagnated place, she was unable to hold down a job for too long.

Today, it can be different, someone with mental illness can hold down a job, raise their families. This is if access to right medications and therapies is given. For so many, it is not. Either there is a cultural bias against treatment or simply not being able to afford it. There can be this picture of what someone with mental illness can look like, and it is not always a good one. Which can lead to people hiding their illness or even avoiding getting treatment altogether.

Mentally ill are not people that need to be kept away from or be frightened of. So many need to know that they are loved and will continue to be loved. We also need to understand the scope and breadth of Mental illness, to stop generalizations. Because until we do the lack of understanding and compassion will continue.

Do research, talk to those in your life who deal with this in their lives. Ask questions and most of all love those who are fearlessly. Because all anyone really longs for is to know they are loved and cared for no matter what.

Mid Week Motivator: Facing Fear

I have added a new page to the website! A Hire Me page for writing services. Adding the page  in itself was a feat of bravery for me. Seriously, I wanted to reach out to my friend who designed my site for me to do it. I was worried I would click the wrong thing and that would be the end of my website.

But I wanted to learn how to do this myself and so after taking a deep breath I did. And my site did not break either. That was a victory. If you know me, you would understand how far I have come with these techy type things. Just a few years ago I would of allowed fear to prevent myself from even attempting this type of thing. I know it is just a website but it’s a victory for me.

Is fear holding you back from the attempt? I understand if it is. Trying something new or stretching your skills can be scary. Especially that first attempt, but trying is better than letting fear get in the way.

What is something scary that you have tried recently?



The Never-Ending Weight Loss Journey

This past week a few articles about the effects of metabolism can have on those who have lost weight years after their initial weight loss. While this article focused on former The Biggest Loser winners and competitors, it made a lot of sense to me. Since I lost weight four years ago, I have slowly put on weight. A lot of what I have been struggling suddenly made sense to me.

Essentially, the body is fighting to return to my previous state. While I can do my darndest to remain at that initial weight, my body it seems has other ideas. It was so used to the amount of calories and lack of exercise that it adapted to burn off these calories. Once I began to eat more mind fully and exercise, my body did not know how to process this, and so the pounds fell off. But once things settled down for with my weight and eating habits, it then began to recover. However what it was recovering was my old metabolism, having not adapted to my new lifestyle. After all I was now smaller so there-fore my metabolism slowed down.

The reality of maintaining weight loss years later is that it takes more effort than initial weight loss. Often times it means having to always to vigilant about the food I eat. Making sure I exercise at least six days a week in order to burn off those calories. And that is just not feasible for me right now. For one thing, constantly keeping track of my calories can be exhausting and stressful. It became all I thought about it. Tracking my intake with MyFitness Pal ( which is a great app by the way and very helpful!), adding and subtracting based on the amount of exercise I did that day.

I also do not have the ample amount of time to workout as I did a few years ago. There are days when I can squeeze in a quick workout. Honestly there are days where I just really do not care what I am eating, I just want it so I will eat it. The thing to remember is weight loss is unique for each person. Some go into this journey believing that by losing weight their entire life will change. Perhaps it will and perhaps only aspects will. This in itself can lead to disappoint and therefore a why bother attitude on continuing on.

[Tweet “The reality is that weight loss is a never-ending journey, one that has its highs, lows and valleys.”].

The reality is that weight loss is a never-ending journey, one that has its highs, lows and valleysThere are times when it is easier to say no to bad habits and other times when it is harder. So many factors go into getting healthy that it can be overwhelming. These studies will continue to come out, often saying the opposite of a previous study. Along with these studies will be those opinions to follow. The only ones that matter for yourself are your doctor’s and yours.

I know better today what I want for my goals, putting into practice the tools I already know to lose weight. But also not wanting to get down to a designated number. I know what works best for my frame and sanity. That being a certain number on the scale does not necessarily equal good health. Because if mentally you are constantly worried about how much you exercise and eat then it will only lead to exhaustion and burn out. Overall health is more important than maintaining an impossible weight.

Take your time in reading these kinds of articles and studies, resist jumping to some for gone conclusion. Examine what is working for you and what isn’t. Confer with your doctor and restructure your plan if need be. Keep going, keep running or dancing. Keep cooking and eating well and try not to be too hard on yourself when those days are not the greatest.

After all  starting this journey to health is about getting to enjoy this life more so than before. Remember that.

What has been your struggle with maintaining weight loss? Do you perceive the struggle is more physical or mental?


Washington Post article

New York Times article

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or clinician. I am a woman who lost weight a few years ago through healthy eating and exercising.


Mid Week Motivator: Motivation To Keep Going

I started posting these mid week motivators because at times getting through the week can be hard. Getting to Wednesday can often seem near impossible, forget about Friday or even the weekend. Or what is your Friday depending on your schedule. My hope is for you to find them helpful and encouraging.

Getting through the week, heck even a day can be rough. Just the realization that it is only ______ can be enough to suck the motivation and intention to do what we want to do right out of us. Maybe it is a packed schedule or waiting to get to a certain day because X is going to happen.

Confession time, I too need these mid week motivators. I need to remind myself to keep going in pursing my goals. No matter have tired I am or lacking confidence in where I am. So these are helpful for me and I hope they are for you too.

After all who could not use a little encouragement during the week?

Getting Through A Hard Day

Mother’s day is coming up next week. It can be a day wrought with emotions and tough to get through. Whether it is a longing to be a mother or missing yours. Or a mother missing her children. Perhaps the pain of hoping and trying for children, only to continue waiting.It can become a day to avoid attending church or engaging with people. It can be too much, too hard.

Know that God sees you and loves you in this. That he too grieves for what you grieve. Some years I feel the loss of my mother more and others not as much. This holiday was created to honor our mothers. All kinds of mothers, from those who gave birth, those who raised and loved on us. The women who have invested in our lives. It is about stopping to take a moment to acknowledge these women is important.

If it hurts too much because of loss or loss of hope it is ok. Take care of yourself. Do what you need to do to get through the day. No matter what that looks like for you. Whether it is being with your church family or friends. Or holing up in the house with your favorite people or even Netflix. You will get through this day. I can’t promise that this will dull the ache you feel, at least not right away.

In this hardship, God is with you. May you be comforted by him, know that you are being loved through this by Him and those in your life.

For those of you who get to celebrate the day with family, enjoy your time together. Eat well and laugh together, creating memories is not about planning something ahead but enjoying the moment. These times in our lives to simply be with the ones we love are fleeting.

Beyond any gifts that can be given, ones time is certainly priceless.