Feeling Burnt Out?

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“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” - Matthew 11:28-30 TPT

Hello again, Dear Diamonds. It's been a while since I've written a blog post.

I must say that life has been interesting since I've last shared with you. I finally stepped into a new level of the woman I want to be: Boss Woman. 

Let me give you a bit of background information: I was born in the 90s, into a predominately female home. I know what it's like to have to provide for my family. I know what it's like to do it alone. In essence, yes, I'm an independent woman.

 

I'm definitely an alpha woman who is used to taking care of herself. I take pride in my capability and achievements, especially because prayer gives me an extra boost. God has given me grace, strength, strategy, and energy for all of my goals this year.

I've been on a roll and I'm still going.

So here's my problem: I don't know when to stop.

I confess to you that I feel like I've wasted my youth. I spent the first half of my life depressed. While most kids in my class decided to join clubs or sports, I isolated myself in my room and did nothing but sit and stare at the wall. I wasn't interested in anything. I wasn't motivated to do anything. I was just super, super sad.

As an adult, I find myself making up for lost time. Between writing, helping others build their brands, and filming video projects, I have a lot on my plate. I am in a season of creative overflow and I want to get the most out of these ideas inside me.

Still, my body doesn't function properly without balance.

So after a few weeks of nonstop sowing, I finally sat down and told the Lord "I'm tired. I have so much more to do but I'm burnt out. My brain isn't even functioning the same way. I need rest. Please help me to feel well rested."

He responded with:

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis."

"Refresh" is definitely the right word to use. Reading that scripture revitalized my spirit.

What stood out to me was the word "oasis".

The website Enotes defines "oasis" as a "fertile or green spot in the desert. It represents a type of shelter from the storm. ... Out of something that has come to symbolize a lack of life and something devoid of vitality, the oasis emerges".

How on point is that? Even as I type this, I feel like the walking dead. I feel unfocused, drained, and lifeless. And God responds to my burn out with LIFE.

God stresses that time spent with Him restores our spirit. In His presence, anxiety, sickness, and all ailments fall away. In your quiet time with Him, He reminds you of His promises and instills confidence within you. When you are still before Him, you gain peace for the storms of your life.

Dear Diamonds, rest is important.

I know we all live in a #TeamNoSleep society, but you will never get the results you need this way. Resting leaves room for inspiration and enlightenment. It leaves room for solutions to materialize. It leaves room for your body to catch up to all the great ideas in your head. Sometimes you cannot move forward until you mentally and physically rest.

For me, resting means discipline. It means going to bed early enough to get 8 hours of sleep. It means rearranging my schedule so that time with God is prioritized and idle time is minimized. It means giving myself a mental break when I'm in a creative rut or just plain tired of staring at my screen.

 

I love becoming this boss woman, but I can't be a great leader without proper, intentional rest. So projects, planning, and social media will be on pause for today. I'm joining my life with Jesus, so I can be refreshed.

How do you define rest? Are you working when you should be resting?

Listen to your body and His spirit. God is your oasis. He has everything that you need.

Until next time, loves.

With Love, Kay

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"I Am"

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Hello, Dear Diamonds.

I recently had a health scare that forced me to have an honest evaluation of the ways I handle worrying and stress.
Throughout my life, I’ve learned to repress a lot of mental and emotional trauma.
It’s similar to filing papers. I file the event away in a designated cabinet and address it at a later date.
What I didn’t realize, however, is that sometimes our bodies carry the weight of stress without us being aware of it.

A few nights ago, I was laying in bed with a lot on my mind.
I ended up praying, repenting, and pouring my heart out to God with the hopes of starting fresh in the morning.
But I couldn’t fall asleep.
I tried playing soothing music, breathing exercises, and even changing the position I slept in.
Still, nothing worked. My mind was just racing.

I suddenly started to have trouble breathing and sharp chest pains, right in the area where my heart is.

 My immediate reaction was “What is going on?!” because I’m too young for a heart attack.
I wouldn’t even entertain the idea.
To make a long story short, the pains persisted and I traveled to the emergency room. I was diagnosed with costochondritis, chest wall pain.
The pain was not actually in my heart or lung but outside of it, and believed to occur because of emotional stress.

Emotional. Stress. Ugh. Really??

I won’t bore you with details of how challenging this year has been for me, but emotional stress has been at its peak.
I guess the weight of it all came crashing down upon me. Stress really shows up in ways you don’t anticipate.

Anyway, God spoke to me in several different ways these past few days and all roads led back to Moses.
If you’re not familiar with the story of Moses, you can read the full thing here. Here’s what God wanted me to focus on:

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a]the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai,[b] the mountain of God.  

There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 

When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

“Here I am!” Moses replied.

“Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father[c]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

God replied to Moses, “I am who I am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” – Exodus 3:1-14

Now I’ve read this part of Exodus a few times in my life, but this particular time God put an emphasis on “I AM”.

Let’s look at Moses.
Moses who has been charged with a divine assignment, a divine purpose.
Moses with all of his flaws and insecurities.
Moses with his past.
Moses with all of his doubts and worries.
Moses with all of his objections and questions.

What Moses was basically saying to God was
“You chose ME, Lord? Don’t you know me? I KNOW you know me! I can’t do any of that!”
Moses couldn’t see past the lens of himself, his flaws and his worries to realize that it was not about him.
It was not about his fear or inadequacies.
It was not about what he thought he could or could not do.

He asked God, who shall I say qualified me? Who is this God who sent me? What name should I give the Israelites and Egyptians so they could see this is a legitimate thing?
God told Moses to tell them “I AM has sent me to you”.
Just rest on those two words for a second.

I AM.

I don’t know about you guys, but I am very much like Moses.
I have all of these objections, questions, and fears when it comes to the simplest things in life.
I have all of these bills, all of these dreams, and no possible clue how any of this is going to be resolved.
And how does God answer me?

I AM.

Not you are, not it is, not it will be. I AM.

Not you are, not it is, not it will be. I AM.

Lord my bills are past due and I don’t have the money:
I AM [providing for you].

I just can’t seem to kick this addiction God:
I AM [stronger than all your addictions].

My family has completely abandoned me:
I AM [here with you].

I don’t know how I’m going to do what you called me to do:
I AM [going to do it through you].

I AM. I AM. I AM.

So often we look at life and our problems through the lens of our limited wisdom and understanding.
We don’t look at things from God’s perspective.
We don’t always aim to have a God’s eye view for things.
But whatever it is you are facing, whether it is overdue bills, much needed healing, or the confidence to finish a task, the answer is:

I AM.

Maybe if we looked at our lives and circumstances with the knowledge of who HE is, the absolute truth of His identity, the anxiety would fall away.
Maybe we would have that peace, deep trust and confidence we pray for.
I mean, it’s worth a try. MY way surely isn’t working.

So I just wanted to encourage you today, as well as myself.
There are times where it’s hard to look forward to anything, but I believe God when He says I AM [working it out/making it interesting/holding your hand the whole way].
Tell your mountain how GREAT your God is.
He is the King of GLORY after all.

With Love, Kay

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Be Intentional.

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“Taking charge of your life means being intentional.”
– Steve Spring

Dearest Diamonds,
Have you started working on your goals for next year?
As 2017 nears to a close, I’m sure everyone is reflecting on this year’s trials and triumphs.
Whether it was good, bad, or a mixture of both, it is time to align ourselves with what we want the next year to look like. This is a time of introspection and preparation.

It’s time to plan and do the work.

2017 was by far the most challenging and emotionally scarring year I’ve experienced thus far. I do not look back on this year fondly. Some truly great things have happened in my life, but overall, this year has been a bit too sour for my taste.
So instead of kicking myself and dwelling on what could’ve been, I’ve decided to be a cause in the matter and focus my energy on creating the year I want to see.

Today’s #DailyDiamond is to BE INTENTIONAL.

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Looking back on this year, I realize that a great majority of my problems stemmed from a lack of direction and intent.
I had a bunch of great ideas but didn’t make a clear intention or game plan for what I wanted to do.
My goals were written but my focus was honestly all over the place.
Even worse, when I was derailed from my original plan (which has happened several times this year), I just went with the flow, putting my mind and spirit on cruise control.
I’ve been all over the place and I’ve been exhausted.

No more I say. NO MORE!

My intention for 2018 will be CREATION, COMPLETION, PURPOSE & FUN.

 Sometimes you have to declare it folks. Say it out loud and write it down.

So I challenge all of you to get started with creating what you intend this next year to be.
Whether you like writing your goals or creating a vision board, choose the avenue that will challenge and motivate you to stay focused and purposeful.
I personally will be working on a vision board so that I can see exactly what I’m aiming for.

Here are a few questions I’ve taken from Cindy Trimm’s book “The 40 Day Soul Fast” to help you declare your intent for the next season:

 💎  What are you intending for this season of your life? 💎

💎  What cannot come with you in the next season? 💎

 💎  What do you need to do, shed, learn, or stop doing NOW to equip yourself for the coming season? 💎

Be honest with yourself. Do you want to be stuck in the same routine/cycle or do you want to grow past your current way of being?
Aren’t you the least bit curious to see if there’s more to you than you allow yourself to be?

Once you’ve answered those questions, I encourage you to create 3 Long Term and Short Term goals.
Your intention inspires your goals.
Use this inspiration to be as creative and focused as possible.

Here’s an example of what I want 2018 to look like:

Here’s an example of what I want 2018 to look like:

 💎 What are you intending for this season of your life? 💎
-Creation, Completion, Purpose & Fun!

💎 What cannot come with you in the next season? 💎
-Doubt, procrastination, bad habits, etc.

 💎 What do you need to do, shed, learn, or stop doing NOW to equip yourself for the coming season? 💎
-I need to do more activities that encourage discipline and creativity.
Old habits and mindsets must be shed. 
I need to learn to be obedient to God’s plan for my life, no matter how crazy or unappealing it looks.
If I stop doubting myself now, I can enjoy the process!

Now onto my goals!

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3 Long Term Goals:

💎 Become a successful writer/author who is able to live off of 1 published piece.

💎 Pay off all of my debt and build my credit score to 740.

💎 Start a non-profit organization that uplifts, educates, and empowers women.

3 Short Term Goals:

 💎 Finish writing another chapter in my upcoming book.

 💎 Complete a 7 day fast of food and social media.

 💎 Do a photo shoot for fun!

It doesn’t hurt to be specific, folks.

I encourage you to create a deadline for all of these goals but don’t be discouraged if that deadline changes.
Life happens. Trust God. If your route changes, it’s an intentional move on His part.
And He knows what He’s doing.

Your challenge is to be intentional, stay focused, and get right back on the horse if you fall off.
It doesn’t matter if you fall off, it matters that you get back on.
God will work it all out for your good, especially when you do your part.
So get to praying, planning, and performing, loves. It’s never too late to take the reigns and be purposeful.
I’m rooting for you!

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With Love, Kay

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Motives.

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Guess who randomly started fasting today?
Me.
I’m randomly fasting today.

This is my first official fast, prompted by my friend Mela Kayleen.
I’ve tried to fast several times before but my discipline needs divine assistance.

Anyway.

I jumped on this opportunity because I’m finally ready to shed these old thoughts and habits.
I want to become the woman I am in my head.
And I need God’s direction and presence to serve these things notice.

So I’m being really intentional about cutting down on social media, tv shows, and being distracted by idle behavior in general.
I’m aiming to carve out time specifically to LISTEN to God, set some goals, and read/write obsessively.

(Can’t be the woman I want to be if I don’t act like it.)

So today, I decided I would read a bible verse or two to get me started. God led me to read a bit about King Solomon. Nothing really grabbed my attention until I came to this verse in 2 Chronicles 1:10 :

“Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”

Those words jumped right off of the page and grabbed me. God told Solomon that he would give him anything he asked for. ANYTHING Solomon wanted, he would’ve received. He could’ve asked for riches (like I would’ve), fame, victory over enemies or any other superficial thing you can think of.

Yet, he asked for the wisdom and knowledge to lead God’s people.
He essentially asked God to train him for his assignment.
He was humble, intentional, and thought about someone other than himself.

I probably shouldn’t have been shocked at this but I was.
My experience with people of power often included abuse, neglect, and selfishness. This show of humility was powerful…and startling.
I mean, Solomon is no longer just the son of a king at this point in the story. He IS the king. Of all the things he could’ve asked for, he asked for something that wouldn’t benefit just his family’s legacy but would benefit NATIONS and GENERATIONS to come.
That show of humility was not what I was expecting at all.

It takes a truly meek and compassionate heart to realize that:

1. Despite your upbringing or high opinion of yourself, you don’t know everything.

And

2. It’s not about you.

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but that was definitely a #HeartCheck for me.

What are my motives?
What is the driving force behind what I SAY, DO, THINK, and CHOOSE?
Who benefits from these decisions?
I had to reevaluate WHY I do what I do.
How much of my thoughts and actions align with my purpose?
I’ve always wanted to help others.
How does my life prove that?

While fasting will personally benefit me, this decision will also affect my family, friends, and everyone I meet or minister to in the future.
So I’m deliberately taking care of my mind, soul, and spirit because I want to function properly in my purpose. It’s a gift that keeps giving and healing as it goes along.

You see, Dear Diamonds, there are people attached to your purpose.
People who benefit from every trial, shameful moment, or difficulty you face. Nothing you’ve gone through will be wasted, UNLESS, you continue to allow yourself to be distracted.
Don’t delay your calling!

Are you just going through the necessary motions of life? Or are you LIVING ON PURPOSE, with the full knowledge that what you choose now affects the NATIONS and GENERATIONS assigned to you?

Who are you in this season?

More than ever, I feel convicted to continue on with this fast and cleanse myself of the things that distract and delay me.
It’s more than me just wanting to get my life together.
Walking in and on purpose will spread like WILDFIRE to all who are connected to me.
Now, more than ever, is a time to get and stay focused. Our time is rapidly approaching.
We must be prepared.

So I’ll leave you with this: One of my favorite Kendrick Lamar verses comes from his song “Sing About Me”. It goes:

I count lives all on these songs
Look at the weak and cry, pray one day you’ll be strong
Fighting for your rights, even when you’re wrong
And hope that at least one of you sing about me when I’m gone
Now am I worth it? 
Did I put enough work in?

Well did you?

Be your best selves today, loves.
As Cindy Trimm said in her book The 40 Day Soul Fast:

“Make sure everything you SAY, DO, THINK, and CHOOSE is lined up with who it is you truly want to be.”

Ask for wisdom, and live IN and ON purpose.
Think about who is counting on you.

With Love, Kay

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