I thought I would take a moment to talk about how I use music to encourage myself. I really like to just take a moment during my cleaning/cooking/ weekend-frenzy to really listen to music.
Sometimes that listening to music sesh ends in a full worship sesh that can be heard reverberating not just through the walls of my apartment but probably down the hall in the entire apartment building.
The songs that I really enjoy are as follows:
New Wine- Hillsong Worship
King of My Heart- Steffany Gretzinger, Jeremy Riddle & Christine Rhee
Ever Be- Bethel Music
Who You Say I am- Hillsong Worship
No Victim- Kristene DiMarco
Known- Tauren Wells
I have to say of all these my #1 fave is King of My Heart. I cannot explain how much I connect with this song. I need to be reminded that no matter what, God is still good. I especially love the version with spontaneous worship where at some point Ms. Gretzinger just starts singing “ You never fall off of your throne” and I JUST LOVE THAT. God never falls off of His throne. Never.
As someone who really has been through a disproportionate amount of hardship, it really helps me to believe that all of it can be used. That all things will work together for good and that God is making new wine.
Ever Be reminds me that I should pray without ceasing and most of what I need to do is Praise. God is who He says he is and there is always a reason to Praise.
I am Who He Says I am. This is a really hard concept to understand in a world that is always trying to break us down. People who are constantly criticizing our work, our appearance, the sound of our voice, our clothes, etc. I am who He says I am. Periodt.
I am no victim… reminds me that I cannot dwell in dark places. I just can’t. I am a victim in a lot of ways. But that’s not the point. I wasn’t born a victim. I was not meant to be a victim. My destiny is not victimhood. I am covered by a force of love.
Known is one of my favorite songs. As someone who feels like I cannot really relate to others on a deep level, this song reminds me that I am already fully known and loved. As the name of this blog says, I am irrevocably beloved. I cannot do anything to change that. And I didn’t do anything to deserve it. I did nothing to endear God to me. I am just beloved.
Since I talked to you a bit about my body image/ weight struggles, I thought I would take a moment to talk about my meal planning- plan.
Firstly, I freestyle breakfast. I do not prepare breakfast. I used to bake some breakfast muffins but that’s just too much work/ mess for me. I know some of you are fans of baking so breakfast muffins might be right up your alley. Instead, I make green smoothies with blueberries, oat milk, green smoothie powder, and vega powder. I also have instant oatmeal and cereal available. Sometimes I feel in the mood for some homemade avocado toast so I keep that option open too.
Secondly, I make a big lunch and I make a big dinner– and separate it out into four portions in glass containers for the week. Basically, on Friday, I eat out. I’ve seen a lot of meal planning plans that are just too complicated for me. I simplify my life by eating the same thing for lunch every day and then making a unique meal for dinner and eating that for dinner every day. This is only doable if you are okay with eating the same thing for four days straight. Or if you have family/ kids that will be okay with eating the same thing for four days straight.
I find that it works for me and I really love how it simplifies my life and budget. I just have to find two recipes to make a week and then make a lot.
I will recommend the amazon products I use every day in my meal prep life. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
I am sensitive about my body. Any comments at all about weight (whether positive or negative) will lead to obsessing about it. I am not the only one. Social media, the million weight loss programs being advertised, pills, surgery etc— all of those things let me know that there is something about this world that makes us believe we’re not adequate.
It’s about the mind before it’s about the body. I can lose weight, and run marathons and still think I am unfit/fat. Pay attention to what you’re telling yourself. What are you saying when you open your fridge? When you plate the food? When you warm it up? What are you telling yourself?
I didn’t realize that I was telling myself a lot of things about food or my body or other people’s bodies until I lost weight. After losing 30 pounds and seeing all the positive attention I was getting, I started to realize that something was wrong. I was obsessing about keeping this particular number on the scale, in a way that became alarming.
And then when I gained any weight back, I started to spiral –especially when people’s comments shifted accordingly. “Why are you gaining weight? You looked better before” etc.
I had to stop listening to other people and start listening to the word.
I am not worthless.————— I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I have to level up —————– Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised
I cannot be healthy and thick———My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
I have to eat anything I want/ I can’t eat anything I want ————I am allowed to do anything but I must not become a slave to anything.
I have been mostly plant-based since I was ten years old. There is nothing wrong with me. I have been healthy and thick. I suffer from chronic illnesses and I try to ameliorate my symptoms with nutrition and health BUT THOSE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OBSESSING WITH A NUMBER ON THE SCALE.
I am not perfect. I struggle with my mind as it analyzes my body. But I move my body and I eat healthily. That is what I am doing to honor the temple God gave me. That is all I can do.
Let’s talk about race. In honor of Black History Month, I feel like I have to take a moment to discuss this uncomfortable topic.
As many resources exist on liberation theology, diversity, critical race theory for Christians, the reluctance to engage is still very large. Not surprisingly. White supremacy is still a Christian colonialism concept. The Klu Klux Klan is historically a Christian organization. It is 2022 and we are afraid to look at our history, which, in turn, means we are somehow doomed to repeat it.
It’s not just about race. Discrimination based on race causes educational disparities, financial disparities, food deserts, puts people medically at risk, and causes a lot of harm.
If we are the body of Christ, Christ’s arms need to be reaching, Christ’s hands need to be healing and overall we need to be addressing structural inequality as Christians.
What about using that church basement for after-school tutoring or a GED class? Or a Narcotics Anonymous Meeting? NARCAN training? Finance classes? These are simple things that do some harm reduction in terms of addressing inequality. You can help one child get up to speed before high school, preventing them from dropping out. You can help one mother get off drugs and become a brilliant addition to the Parent-teacher association. You can help save a life with NARCAN. You can teach black youth and adults how to use what little resources they have effectively.
But I don’t know how to do anything? I guarantee you someone next to you does. Maybe you have the funds to power the next after-school program. Maybe you have the mom-group that can be its part-time tutors.
It pains me when we think, it’s hopeless, we can’t really do anything.
So What if I can’t? I serve a God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or even think. All I have to do is pitch in.
I’m just taking advantage of Black History Month to recommend a book. I really did not want to read this book. As a Black woman, living and making my life in this world, I was quite frankly tired of the discussions around race. But this book provided so much really important factual information— some of which I had never heard before — that it bears recognition.
It is also written incredibly well. I bought both the audiobook and the actual book. Sometimes I just want to listen and sometimes I just want the physical experience of turning the pages of a book.
Please Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.