50 Self Care Ideas – Subscribe to View List!

I have a friend who harps on self-care.  I honestly don’t think we ever get through an entire conversation without those two words being mentioned at least once.  So what is self-care?

Self-care can be defined as….

“…any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated.”  wikipedia.com

“care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.” dictionary.com

“care for oneself” merriam-webster.com

But if you ask me, self-care is some good old-fashioned and much needed “me” time.  

Define it as you will, it should include some type of mental, physical or spiritual rejuvenation.  

Why is it important?

There is a Bible scripture that says, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”  Matthew 5:13 NIV

Well, the same goes for us as women.  If we lose our savor, lose our shine or our glow due to the hustle and bustle and the daily demands of life, what good are we to anyone?  We become more susceptible to the tricks of the enemy and can even become more emotional which could cause us to lose direction, focus and purpose. Gary Chapman (author of The Five Love Languages) mentions a love tank; well let’s talk about our self-love tank. Just like a car needs fuel to drive we need fuel to live….effectively, that is.  It’s time we stop driving on fumes and take the time to fill up.  

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

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Brought to You by the Letter E

Today I woke up like…it’s Monday…again. Now there are two ways you can look at that. You can say, hey, I’m alive to see another Monday so no matter what challenge may have come my way between this Monday and last Monday, it obviously didn’t kill me. I’m still breathing, and as a girlfriend of mine would say, I’m still kicking. Or you can say, it’s Monday and I got 5 long days to go. You choose. Sadly, most of us probably choose the latter. At least I did. But as I lay in bed trying hard not to open both my eyes because once I do, it’s a wrap and any sleep left in me is officially ruined, I heard the word “evidence”. My first thought was, what? evidence? I really need to stop watching Law & Order: SVU marathons before I go to sleep. But shortly after, “Remember to Rejoice” popped in my head from Sunday’s sermon and then “evidence” again. I’m like, what? Now mind you, I still have one eye open and one eye closed. I am determined to hold on to the last little bit of sleep in me. But of course, I lose that battle. I pretty much always do when my opponent is the Lord. He was trying to speak and I was trying to sleep. So the next thing I hear are the lyrics “The evidence is all around, that the spirit of the Lord is here” (Elevation Worship, Here as in Heaven). Then the scripture, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). God was trying to 1) get me out of bed and 2) get me to look around at the evidence of His faithfulness. Not necessarily physical evidence but His presence in my life. Him leading and guiding me, opening and even closing some doors. Although things may not be perfect in my life and there are things I still desire and so many unknowns, I can’t deny His presence and Him continually calling me to go higher and deeper in Him. All the unexpected turns in my life were for his glory and my good. I see that now.

So what did I do next? I remembered and then rejoiced for seeing another Monday by getting up with a renewed perspective.

This was the longest wake-up call ever but it also led to a very productive workday.

What evidence of His faithfulness has He placed right in front of you? Open your eyes, look and remember to rejoice.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

The Answer

Not too long ago I had this unsettling feeling that lasted about a week. I couldn’t seem to find my groove, my fire, my “umpth”. Now some of that could’ve been attributed to me just getting back from vacation. I was out of town for a week and had an awesome time but how many of you know, sometimes you need a vacation from vacation. That’s exactly where I was…trying to transition back to reality. If only I had a few more days before I had to “adult” again. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. Your bills, rent mortgage, utilities…they don’t take an “adult” break. They’re coming no matter what you decide to do or don’t do.

So I kept it moving, but I was literally just going through the motions. Not engaged at work…or life really. I had a few emotional breakdowns which were not uncommon but this week was different. There was a deep emotional desire or thirst that I couldn’t seem to quench. So by Thursday, I was like enough is enough. You need to get it together, you can’t continue like this. It’s not normal, it’s not healthy…boss up, put your big girl panties on, do whatever you need to do to reconnect to yourself, to life, to God.

God? Maybe that was it. When was the last time you spoke to God? And not just spoke to Him but spent time with Him? Where you were talking to Him and listening to Him.

That’s the missing puzzle piece, the bridge…the path to a calming in my spirit.

So at lunch, I went to my car and went into thanksgiving mode. Just started thanking God for life, health, strength, my job, friends, family, awesome relationships. Everything! I ended with a bold declaration that I was going back into the office focused and re-engaged. Yeah…that didn’t happen. I told my friend later that day about this. I said God didn’t come through for me…in a joking way of course. I gotta say that because some of you might think I lost my faith or hope or something. No, it was still very much there.  I wouldn’t have been in the car making those declarations if it wasn’t. But I digress.

My girlfriend was like, nah, He was there, He came through, you didn’t. Or at least that’s what I think I heard her say. Funny thing is, I was reading an article earlier that day about doing your part. The promise was already made and declared but we need to activate it.  But how do you do that?

So fast forward to the next morning. I spoke to my friend briefly, texted another and then began my day. But this time, with a praise in my heart. “Praise Jehovah” was the song of choice that morning. I just started praising, releasing and ultimately reconnected to myself, to my life, to my God.

I activated His power by simply praising Him. For who He is, what He’s done, what He’s doing and what He will do. For His continual presence in my life, in the good and the bad, when I understood and even when I didn’t.

I was home…I was back!

Back to life…back to reality…that’s for my 80’s babies!

But seriously, join me in activating His power in your life. There’s nothing like it. Don’t think about “that thing”. Don’t list your needs. List all that He is. Your provider, your healer, your joy, your strength, your peace…the great I AM. Whatever you’ve needed, He was that. And watch the atmosphere change, your posture change and His presence consume and take over you. Don’t ever forsake thanksgiving and praise. It’s the answer you need and have been looking for.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” Psalm 100:4

Controlling Comfort

So I was talking to a friend and the word “control” came up. She was walking me through an interaction she had with another friend and ended with, “that’s not controlling…is it”?

I’m typically of the adage, if I have to ask myself the question, the answer or response is likely the very thing I’m asking.

But this is my girl so of course my first thought is, “nah girl, that’s not controlling”. Eventually we moved on from this topic but for some reason the thought seemed to linger. So since I couldn’t shake it, I decided to explore it a little further. This was actually not the first time a friend had asked me, “am I controlling?”.

My response to the question the previous time was, “you’re helpful…you simply like to help people”.

Now some would probably say, that was a very “PC” response but I felt it was very honest. But despite my honesty,  it still led to yet another question…

When does a feeling of being helpful move to a feeling of being controlling?

Good question…so here’s what I found to be true…

If the recipient of this unsolicited “help” becomes rebellious, bitter or resentful, you’ve probably crossed that line. This can be seen more often than not with kids. You know, those kids that went off to college and went “buck wild”? Yes, that is still a word…but I digress. These kids despised the way in which they were brought up. With the rules and controls and pressure inflicted on them, it was only a matter of time…they were a ticking timebomb…a soda that you shake and as soon as you open it, the contents come spewing out…they couldn’t wait to be released. This is human nature. But not God’s nature.

We’ll come back to that thought. But before we do, let’s talk about another possible result of control.

Becoming someone’s crutch. Yes, the distant cousin of rebellion. In this case, the child never leaves home and can never keep a job for that matter. But why should they have to? You’ve made it very easy and comfortable for them. Their actions or lack thereof have no consequences…in their eyes. You are their fallback plan. They never fall or never fail because you’re right there to catch them, save them. But they also never learn, grow or mature. You stunted it.

So, I’m sure you would agree that these are both equally undesirable results of something that started off so innocent. I mean, our motives were pure and so was our heart. So how could something so pure end with something so not?

God.

Now I’m not suggesting that God was the result of it but perhaps the absence of God was.

This can be a very touchy subject simply because we all like to think we consult God and include God in everything. But do we really? I’ll let you sit with that thought for a minute…

In the meantime, let’s talk about how the previous scenarios play out in our everyday adult lives…

The same exact way.

The above scenarios aren’t too far fetched from what we may experience as young professionals, devoted husbands or wives, loving friends, and family.

But God. He can make the difference.

But if we know that, why is it still so hard to relinquish control?

Our sinful nature…the natural propensity of our flesh to go left versus right.

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” Romans 7:19-20 NIV

So definitely nothing to beat yourself up about but definitely something to be aware of.

This was classic Trina. I lived a very unaware dating life. I often felt I needed to help God out. Yes, the man that made the moon and the stars needed my help with finding me a suitable mate. So what happened with that? A lot of falls, a lot of bruises, a lot of scars.

Now some things just come with life.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

But others were self-inflicted.

My fear of being alone led me to some pretty isolated places. My fear of failure resulted in me failing, my fear of letting go resulted in me falling. Where God intended me to soar, I was barely even walking.

But like a parent, God was always right there to pick me up, dust me off and comfort me so I could try again. But this time, not so much in my own strength but in His.

Instead of finding comfort in controlling my plan I began finding comfort in God’s uncontrollable, unpredictable and sometimes uncomfortable plan.

Open your hand…open that tightly clenched fist and allow God to deposit the strength needed to find comfort in being uncomfortable. This and this alone allows you to live a truly free and unrestricted life. This allows God’s power to operate in it’s fullnesss in your life and finally relinquishing your control for His.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

Gut Check

Have you ever been gut checked by God?

Gut checked??? What, pray tell, does that mean, Trina?

Glad you asked…

According to the Oxford dictionary, a gut check is “An evaluation or test of a person’s resolve, commitment, or priorities, typically with respect to a particular course of action”.

Put in simpler terms and for the purposes of this blog post, it’s when God “calls you out” or He “reads” you as the women on The Real Housewives of Atlanta would say.

And it’s not an obvious on a bullhorn type of call out. It’s an undercover, sneaky type of read. It’s one where God asks a rhetorical question. You know, like the one he asked Adam and Eve when they were in the garden. Really God? You know them two fools were naked. So why ask a question you clearly already know the answer to? Very good question. Now we’re getting somewhere, now we’re on the right path. Exactly where God intended us to be.

God is trying to get us to the point where our question lines up with his question and our response lines up with His response.

God created the heavens and the earth, He knows your rising and falling….He’s with you in the valley and on the mountaintop.  Do you really think He would ask a question that He already knows the answer to without a purpose? He’s trying to open your eyes to the possible error in your ways or misguided preconceptions or thoughts about whatever the situation to bring about correction, redemption and ultimately relationship.

He is a gentleman and seeks to have a relationship with us and is not afraid to ask the obvious question to get the not so obvious answer.

He did it with the woman at the well and with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.

And He does it with us today.  He asks simple questions that lead back to Him.

So in what ways is God leading you back to Him? What situations, good or bad have you saying, “hmmm…”?

For me, it’s been in several areas.

One was something as simple as a thirty-minute weekly prayer call.  Can you believe I was thinking this frequency was too much and that it should be dropped down to every other week?

Really? You can’t take thirty minutes out of your week to join a call that is uplifting to you and to others? This is likely the only time you’ve set aside for Me all week…ouch! God’s truth can pack a punch.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrew 4:12

God’s word can comfort you but also bring about correction. He’s been as equally forthcoming in the areas of my finances and relationships too.

He spares no expense when it comes to growing and maturing His children. It’s like My way or….My way when it comes to God.  Yeah, He doesn’t give you too many options when it comes to that.  I mean, you can do it your way but you’ll find that’s a road better left untraveled.

So check your commitment….check your priorities.

Do you have a heart for God? Prove it…stop talking about it and just be about it. It’s time out for all the lip service.  Doing what’s “right” in the eyes of others.  Saying all the right things…posting all the right things but in the eyes of the One who truly matters and makes the difference, failing miserably.

Let’s make it a point to make God a priority this week, this month and the rest of this year.  And then sit back and watch how things begin to shift.  You know, things like…attitudes…emotions…relationships. Yours and those of others.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

Unlikely Candidate

I am me…you are you…what are the odds?

How could this be? Can this be?

I’m black, you’re white
I’m ebony, you’re ivory
I’m tall, you’re short
I’m an introvert, you’re an extrovert
I’m a good girl, you’re a bad boy
I’m white collar, you’re blue collar
I’m the nerd, you’re the kool kid
I’m guarded, You throw caution to the wind

Like Trump, another unlikely candidate, you speak your mind. Somewhat crass, somewhat crude but always honest. Others think it, you say it.

Maybe that’s the draw…the pull…

It’s refreshing.

I never have to wonder.

We’re so different.

They say opposites attract but let’s be real, how true can that be? We’re like oil and water, right?

So what about my list? You know what list I’m talking about. Mine started off with over twenty items. I was told that was a bit much so I cut it down to ten. But even that’s a lot so a list of three to four became the new ten to twenty. That’s good, right? I think so anyway. Well, why am I re-evaluating “the list”?

Are maturity, experience, and wisdom causing me to re-evaluate? Or something else? I’m at a crossroads here. A mental and emotional crossroads.

God, help!

My dream of high school, college, career, marriage, and kids didn’t quite work out as planned. The latter two keep eluding me. But in this, I’ve come to learn more about me and my purpose. So if my life can take a different and unexpected path, I’m guessing my list can too. But how do I hold true to my deepest desires while still being open to Gods? After all, didn’t God place these in me? Or was it society? Church? Religion? If we can be honest, most of us do or don’t do things based on what others will think. No one wants to be the odd man or woman out. We all want to fit in, be normal and not stand out too much. We never take the time to find out what is it that we really want…what God wants for us. It’s a scary journey, can put you in a lonely, isolated place. Have you saying “No” more than you say “Yes”.

But this will prove to be worth it.

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” Philippians 2:12 NIV

Now back to my list. Well, it’s still a work in progress as am I, and my journey.

I ultimately want what God wants. No matter what that looks like. No matter what others may think, feel or understand. No matter how unlikely the candidate.

Be Bold, Be you, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

Did You Ever Love Me?

Did you ever love me?

The words that somberly came out of his mouth during one of our last conversations. The words I was shocked to hear and honestly didn’t know how to answer. He hurt me and although the remorse of what he had done could somewhat be heard in the tone of his voice, it was way too much for me to process in that moment.

Two months?!?!…Two months?!?! Where were you? Who were you with? What happened? A whirlwind of thoughts and emotions running through my mind. So much so that I couldn’t begin to answer his question, I had too many of my own. Questions I don’t think will ever get answered. Not at the level in which I need. His answers, at best, would be vague and at a level that would allow him to save face.

Which still leaves me with, how do I begin to formulate a proper response to this seemingly simple question? Wouldn’t you agree this requires some deeper thought? At least, more than one might initially assume anyway.

So several days go by allowing me to get over the initial shock of the phone call, the question and also allowing me to vent to my girlfriends. After this, I was finally able to articulate what was in my heart.

My response…I loved the person I thought you to be. I loved the representative. The idea…the potential…but at this point in my life, that’s not enough.

Truth be told, it should have never been enough, because what that would mean is, I didn’t love me enough.

These are some tough, hard truths that we as women have to face sometimes. Truths that can often shatter OUR hopes and OUR dreams that we had for OUR lives. Notice I said OUR.

This can leave open questions that begin with when, what, and how? When is he coming? What do I do now? How are you going to work this out?

Only to hear silence…nothing…my hurt, my pain, my cries are so loud and You…where are You?

I’m here…

Where?

In the silence…in the seemingly nothingness…I’m here…Be still…Do you love me? Did you ever love me?

Of course…

Show me…with your life…with your trust and faith in the plan I have for you. It won’t look like others, it won’t feel like others but I am with you guiding you every step of the way. Will you trust me? Will you love me? With the same measure of trust and love you put in men? I am doing a new thing…trust and lean on me and me alone. Can you do that?

Yes…

Your willingness and obedience have freed you from the bondage of The What, The How and The When because you now know The Who.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

 

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

Love Song

With the month of love or rather the one day in the year set aside to celebrate love behind us, and the season of love about to spring upon us…do you hear the wedding bells? I thought it only fitting to write a blog post about…you guessed it…Love.

So what is love?

Kirk Franklin starts off his song with…”Love a word that comes and goes But few people really know what it means to really love somebody…”

Musiq Soulchild says, “Love, So many people use your name in vain…Love, Those who have faith in you sometimes go astray…”

Two different artists….two different genres yet similar takes on love. However, both are coming from a people perspective of love versus the unfailing love of our heavenly Father.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “you don’t know, what you don’t know”. What if you’ve never been shown love by your earthly father? What if you were abused or even abandoned by your earthly father? How in the world can father ever equate or translate to Father in this instance? As humans, we often mimic what we’ve been taught. It’s hard to love pass the capacity of what’s in us or what we’ve been shown or received.

So what now? Will I ever know what is to love or be loved?

Absolutely! I said it was hard but not impossible. Anything worth having rarely comes without a little resistance.

I truly believe that people innately know right from wrong, good from bad. And in the same way we know that, we inherently know what it is to love and to be loved.

But just in case you’re still struggling with the concept, let me help you out.

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 KJV

Meditate on it…

God loved me so much that He sent His son to die for me? How many of you parents would do that? Sacrifice your only son? daughter? Especially knowing that many would still reject you. In this day and age, we’re ready to “unfriend” a “friend” on Facebook for not “liking” a post. Or even cut people out of our lives who don’t live up to our expectations or standard of friendship we placed on them. So as fickle as we are with our virtual friends, God’s ultimate sacrifice of His love towards us should hit home. Because reality check….WE don’t live up to the expectations and standard of living God placed on us yet He still loves us.

God is patient, God is kind, He is not envious, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud. Never rude, self-seeking or easily angered and He doesn’t keep a list of what I’ve done wrong. God protects, always hopes, always perseveres. God never failed me.

So that’s what love is? That’s what I should expect to give and receive?

Absolutely!

Now let’s circle back to the two song lyrics about love I opened up with. Those were simply excerpts from these songs. If you listen to the songs in their entirety you will be introduced to an entirely new perspective regarding love. Same goes for our lives. If we simply listen to excerpts of what our lives say about love we will never know The Truth.

Don’t go through life singing one verse or stanza of a song. Learn the whole song or better yet write your own verse. As long as you’re alive, and I’m guessing you are since you’re reading this, your song is not over. There are verses still left to be written. Write them! Allow God to hold the pen to the love song of your life.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

I See You

No matter what you may feel
No matter what you may think
No matter what you may see and experience

I see you

No matter what this world may throw your way
No matter what hand you may have been dealt
No matter what the statistics may say

I see you

You are not forgotten
You are not alone
I have saved every tear you cried
And I’m waiting for that glorious day when you see me like I see you

When you see you like I see you

Stop looking around
Wondering what others may see, feel or think
It doesn’t matter because I see you

I see your good and your bad and still love you
I feel every pain inflicted on you
I feel every hurt you’ve had to endure and want to provide you comfort
I think about you everyday
I was thinking of you on the day I breathed my last breath

Do you see me? Do you feel me? Do you think of me?

I am in the acceptance and the rejection
I have provided you comfort when no one else could
I have provided you peace when no one else could
I held you, rocked you to sleep and wiped your tears
Though you may have been lonely, you were never alone
I have carried you and strengthened you when the thought of taking one more step was too much to bear
I was there in the diagnosis and I will be there in the recovery
My promise to never leave you or forsake you hasn’t changed and never will
My love for you is endless

So sweet baby girl, always remember, I see you. Now see me…trust me…seek me…I’m waiting.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina

Dear Nobody

Dear nobody, it’s been fun.

Dear nobody, it’s been real.

Dear nobody, it’s been exciting and exhilarating but I think it’s time to bid you adieu.

All rides aren’t meant for you…in this case for me.

We had lots of ups, but sadly, more downs.

I forgot to read the sign that says you must be this amount of crazy to ride this ride. Possess this amount of brokenness and this low level of self-esteem and self-worth to match and be able to tolerate the twists and turns that come with this ride. Why oh why did I not read the sign? Every ride comes with one.

In fact, life comes with signs. Stop. Yield. One Way. Dead End. Do Not Enter. Detour. They’re for our own good. To protect us. Some signs even come with pretty little pictures and colors for those of us who don’t really like to read. Yes, these signs can be annoying. They slow you down, make you turn around or change direction. But ultimately caution you to what’s coming. They bring about order. Imagine life without them. It would be pure chaos and confusion.

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV

So if the DMV deems it important enough to test you on these beloved signs before you’re given a license to drive, how much more important should it be to ensure your “ride or die” is truly your “ride or die”? After all, it’s holding precious cargo.

And although you don’t need a license to ride a ride…you do need one for other things like entering into a lifelong committed relationship…otherwise known as marriage. Isn’t that what this is all about?

Which should further impress upon you the importance of paying attention to the signs.

Let’s take a pop quiz. Does your ride lie, is it manipulative, deceptive, display signs of untrustworthiness or character issues?

Think before you answer. Loneliness and delayed promises from God can often blur your vision. You may be taking this quiz with rose colored glasses or even worse, someone else’s.

Take this quiz with a clear more precise lens. A lens that provides focus and perspective..a lens found and hidden in the Word of God.

Are you ready to take the quiz…the not so pop quiz…this seemingly recurring test in your life?

Answer carefully, this could be the difference between life and death. Not literally or physically but then again…

“…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV

Did you pass? Don’t worry if you didn’t. God is a redeemer of time and freely gives His grace and mercy.

So study up, take notes because no ride is worth ignoring the signs.

Be Bold, Be You, Be Blessed!

~Forever Trina