Blogs to Enjoy

Posted in Blissful Favorites

A Blissful, Blackity, Black Playlist

June is Black Music Appreciation Month. It was initiated by President Jimmy Carter for June to honor the contributions of black artists and musicians (a new fact I learned). It was initially called Black Music Month but President Obama changed the name to Black Music Appreciation Month. In the spirit of that, of course, I had to make a playlist. I have to say it is lit…it’s music to vibe to, to dance to, and to just chill. I have recent artists that I have discovered and love right now. I do pay homage to the legends like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Sade. I have music that I grew up listening to. It’s really great. IT’S BLISSFULLY APPROVED! So happy listening.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in My Lenses on Life, Poems of Bliss

Fighting for Freedom Still: Juneteenth Then and Now

Though we come from struggle and marginalized institutions, with our strength pulsing through our fists, we birth something beyond the struggle. Happy Juneteenth! #blissfulart

To not know freedom is real.

Imagine the jar lid opening but never knowing freedom.

The chains are broken but how to be free: that is the question

Well, we thank God each day for another day

Though violence, genocide, lynching, Jim Crow, and segregation, we resist and we rise.

Though the powerful seek to erase us and our history, we persist.

We fight and we try…and try.

We lift our heads to the sky though society says we belong in the ground

Though Juneteenth was monumental then we still encounter modern forms of oppression

High incarceration rates, racial discrimination, voter suppression, hate crimes, black maternal mortality rates, disparities in society…it never stops.

We still resist the stigma, we still want to be free.

We still fight for injustice and we still are fighting for our lives to matter.

But just as our ancestors, we lift our heads to the sky and we try.

And we try.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

I Get It From My Daddy

In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to do a blissful list of traits I inherited or have grown into from my dad. My dad is a simple man. He’s a hard worker who loves the Lord and takes care of his family. He lets me be crazy me. He puts up with me cause sometimes I get too type A. He is a go with flow type. It drives me crazy but I still love and admire him for it.

So here goes my list:

  1. I am a carbon copy of my dad…same smile, same long face, same facial qualities.
  2. My sense of humor and -isms comes from my dad. The things that come out of our mouths can make people drop to the floor. My mom does say “You act just like your father” or “You are your father’s daughter”
  3. Roadtrip masters– my dad taught me how to drive and everything in-between. All the tips and tricks to a successful road trip, I owe to my dad.
  4. Taste in Music– My dad loves all kinds of music. My love of Michael Jackson and Sade comes from my dad. Great story: This past Grammy award, during the in memoriam slideshow, I saw that Bunny Wailer, a famous reggae star passed. My mom was shocked that I knew who he was. I replied, “Of course, I would. Daddy would play Bob Marley and the Wailers all the time.” It’s safe to say my dad was proud.
  5. I love listening to podcasts because of my dad. When I was a kid, I would be so confused as to why my dad would stop listening to music and listen to people talk. Well, a few years back, I started listening to podcasts on my road trips and now it’s like television to me. A week is not complete without my podcasts.
  6. My talent– my dad is not a singer but plays guitar. But still, I was a musical kid because of my dad’s passion for music.
  7. My love for Jesus– One of the most endearing qualities of my dad is the fact that he points me to Christ. Our deep talks are always good. When I need advice, he points me to Christ. I love him always for that.

But that’s us. Me and my dad.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Believe with Bianca

A Leap of Faith

Photo by Anastasia Lashkevich on Pexels.com

It’s ok to be scared but leap. God’s got you. In this past week, I had to choose whether to leap in faith or let my toxic pride cloud the help I needed.

I knew what I wanted to do but it was just terrifying. I asked God for one thing and He gave me something different. He likes to do that.

I am a cautious person so I don’t like surprises nor uncertainty about what is next. I am a type A planner, control freak through and through. But, that’s not faith. It’s fear. Fear is quite the monster. Fear is a thief of life itself. You can either give into it or fight with faith. Toxic pride creates a control freak mentality over everything and I get so frustrated when things are different than my plans. My anxiety goes through the roof and the past mistakes creep up. I am on edge. Fear cripples and eats me alive.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.-Hebrews 11:1

Faith in action is hard. It’s not a noun but a verb. It’s a daily exercise and practice. Faith is going into the unknown but it is also knowing that God is ever-present leading and guiding you. He knows you (and I) are scared but He’s a Comforter and Sustainer. He will not let you fall no matter how many times you (and I) think otherwise. Breathe. Inhale and Exhale. It’s scary but God’s got you. He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

So I just wanted to share that. It’s ok to be scared. We are human. Every day is a battle. But just know God is with you even in the unknown places and decisions we need to make. Leap in faith. When God puts faith inside of you, all things are possible. With that comes surrender to self and pride. Fear does not allow you leap, faith does. Trusting God takes faith not fear only. Living takes faith not fear.

So leap in faith.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca, My Lenses on Life

I Am A Proud Haitian From Haitian Immigrants

June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month and Immigrant Heritage Month.

As I have said before, I am the daughter of Haitian immigrants. I love the Caribbean roots and culture that I come from. The older I get, the more I appreciate the authenticity of being proud of where I come from.

It took me time to understand my parents. They were just modern-old school God-fearing parents. Yes, they allowed experiences but it was lakay, lekòl, legliz (translation: home, school, church). Education was enforced. We were to be good citizens of good character outside the home. I really thought my parents were crazy. But, that changed when I went on a mission trip to Haiti after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It was one thing to hear stories of Haiti but to experience it brought more perspective. It clicked…my immigrant parents wanted more for me, that is why they pushed so hard.

I always called myself the daughter of Haitian immigrants. I never called myself Haitian…ever. It was not because I was ashamed. I honestly did not say it because I did not think I qualified as Haitian. I was not born in Haiti nor had many experiences traveling to Haiti. I was not fluent in Haitian Creole (I’m learning and trying to speak it more). But also, I had bad experiences where a few Haitian people in the community said and made me feel like I was not Haitian. So, I shut down and let my parents be Haitian.

But, in therapy, one of first things I explored was my racial identity. It was not just being black enough; it was also not being Haitian enough. Damaging experiences of the past made me feel that I was less than worthy to be considered Haitian. Their insecurity was not my weight to carry. That is on them. I even asked my parents:” Am I considered Haitian?” Their response: “Of course you are. Just because you are born here, that does not change that you are Haitian. You are. You come from us. You are Haitian.” That was a relief.

New Affirmation: I am Black and Haitian.

Yes, I am born in America but I am no less Haitian than my parents. No one’s opinion of me matters. My experiences may be different but Haiti runs through my blood.

I am proud to be Haitian and to come from immigrants. It is the essence of me, being created in God’s image as a black, Haitian woman placed in the here and now for a greater purpose than myself.

That’s pretty awesome.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Blissful Tips of Life, Life as Bianca

Simple Bliss: Gratitude List

Though I am grateful internally, I wanted to express gratitude externally for this season of life. It is easy to talk about what is going wrong in your life and things you want to fix/change. I’m speaking to myself. Just know, there is always room to give gratitude.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Yes, be grateful in ALL things. So here is my gratitude list:

  1. My mental clarity has evolved in the way I protect my mind, body, and spirit. Therapy has been a game-changer. I see its positive effects in the way I carry myself and deal with situations.
  2. My style is AMAZING! My LEWKS for the spring and summer are beautiful and just my style.
  3. Having a job has given me some financial relief. A steady paycheck is good to have.
  4. My summer hair is GOALS (to me)! Long, brown braids…yup. I be cute!
  5. I am grateful for my support group of family and friends. There are some days where I do not feel my best. They are a text and prayer away from giving me encouragement. I feel loved and it is a great feeling. I am blessed for my tribe and my tribe knows who they are
  6. My new church- truly a great community.

Enough about me. What are you grateful for like right now? It will make you feel good when you list it. It does not have to be big…it can be as simple as waking up to see another day. But, do that and you will see the difference in your mood.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

Vaxxed Redemption Summer Fun List

Photo by Travis Rupert on Pexels.com

This time last year, summer was spent inside. Yes, some still ventured like there was not a global pandemic outside. But, me, myself, and I stayed safe and erred on the side of caution for my health and my family’s health.

But ya girl is vaxxed and READY FOR SUMMER. To specify, a warm, Christian grown lady summer. I’m not going crazy but I really want to do stuff. So, here is my list for Summer 2021.

  • Paint Night
  • Outdoor Activity (i.e. a hike, go to the park, etc.)
  • Do something daring *Bonus*
  • A spa day
  • Brunch with a friend(s)
  • A fun redemption birthday celebration (June 28th baby!!)
  • Attend in-person church
  • Have a pool day
  • Go to a museum
  • A day of nothing/chill day

So what is on your summer fun list for 2021?

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Blissful Favorites

TedTalk Favorite: Stacey Abrams

Talk about resilient, grit, determination, and advocacy. Stacey Abrams is a powerhouse and fierce advocate for voting rights, the first African American female in a major party gubernatorial nominee in the United States, founder of Fair Fight Action, lawyer, former member of the Georgia House of Representatives, author, lawyer, etc, etc. She has a resume so look it up. With the loss in 2016 of the Georgia Governor’s race, she did not give up. It was only fuel to work harder to create change. Though this TedTalk is a few years old, her passion caused Georgia to turn blue in the 2020 Presidential Election electing President Joe Biden and the general/special election for senatorial seats now held Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock. The questions she asks herself is the question we should all ask ourselves. I hope you take this to heart and apply it. It is BLISSFULLY APPROVED!

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Life as Bianca

Your Story Matters In The Valley

Photo by Matteo Badini on Pexels.com

Your story is not yours. It’s for the next person.The older I get, the more I realize God uses my experiences not just for growth but for others. You never know who you will inspire or motivate.

I am almost used to bad news…it’s just life. Recently, I just got news that was not too good. It hurt. But, I am not giving up. Though I have this setback in my life, my inner circle still believe in me and said how they are inspired by my perseverance and positivity. I love my inner circle.

Don’t ever think people are not watching you cause they are. Especially as a Christian, people are watching how you live and carry yourself, not just your preaching. They are watching your reaction to difficulty and setbacks…like is she really who says she is. It still amazes me how God uses my faults as inspiration for the world. I always thought people would appreciate and be inspired by the wins. However, God can use the losses as well.

It is hard to walk through the valleys, not much people see you. Few see the struggle, tears, anxiety, and sweat. You are walking through the mud and rocks. You’re falling down. You have missteps. You get lost. You think you made it but you are still in the valley.

The mountaintop is beautiful; you are seen by everything and everything is looking at you. The sun is shining. It’s clear.

I wait for that moment. But while in the valley, my testimony is still being formed and curated. You can still find strength and speak in the valley. It shows you are learning something. It shows it is possible though you miss a step, get lost, or scrape your knee from a fall and still keep going.

The mountaintop does not come unless you are in the valley. So keep going. Keep walking in the valley. Keep speaking.

People are watching.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca, My Lenses on Life

Mental Health Matters to Me

It would be foolish of me not to acknowledge that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

A lesson God is teaching me is valuing my mental health. A wise person once told me, ” If you have heart issues, you take heart medication. If you have a headache, you take headache medicine. So if you have issues with your brain and mind, why not take care of that too?”

I’m not saying that you need to take prescription medicine (if you feel you need to, seek a medical provider for assistance and resources. no shame if you need it). What I mean is why not take care of your mental health? Your mindset matters in everything you do. The way you move matters based on how you treat your mind.

For me, it has been a journey. For many years, therapy was a dirty word…like rich white people problems or the 90s sitcom, Fraiser was my first impression of therapy. In the African American community and the Immigrant Community, therapy is taboo. You just learn to deal and keep moving and not look crazy. As a Christian, I was told to pray it away.

While it may work for some, it did not work for me. I wrestled with my own thoughts and buried it in the deepest parts of my being. I maintained a facade, a mask of sorts to hide my depression and anxiety. But even that temporary solution failed….

The pandemic really brought me to a head where I could not hide from my thoughts.

But God…

God gave me love and assurance in little things. I would cling to the hem of His garment and hope for better. He gave me the resource of a Black, Christian, female therapist earlier this year. It has helped getting out my feelings, doubts, and insecurities. I can explore different facets of my identity as a black woman and as a Christian. I have learned so much through speaking my truth and using the Bible to fight against the Enemy. My church family and my personal relationship with God helps me navigate my life. Therapy does not negate my relationship with Christ, it gives me more Godly tools to move in my daily life.

I tell my story because I want you to know: MENTAL HEALTH AND THERAPY IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. I don’t want you to feel shame nor guilt for taking care of your mind. Each person is different in their mental health needs. One is not any worse or any better. If it helps, it helps.

You matter.

Your sanity matters.

Your mindset matters.

Your life matters.

Your mental health matters.

Only you know what you need. Acknowledge what you need. It does not necessarily have to be in-person therapy, there is online therapy. You can get a gratitude journal, listen to soothing music, eliminate toxic people and create boundaries, etc, etc.

Just care for your mind. God gave you this body and this life for a moment in time. So make good use of your time. Take care of your mental soul.

Blissfully,

Bianca