Blogs to Enjoy

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

Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Believe with Bianca, Life as Bianca

Serve In the Waiting

Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

Something God has taught me is there is purpose in the waiting. When God calls you to wait, it is not like a waiting room at a doctor’s office where you fiddle your thumbs till your name is called. No, God is preparing you for the next moment or season of life.

I say this because I am in a long season of waiting. Initially, I thought waiting was pointless like a waiting room. I just existed and tried to live. But life is more than pleasing myself. Through time and some growth, I realized the true meaning of “the wait.”

One thing I know about God is that He does not work idly, thinking as He goes. He creates moments of preparation for the next thing. God created the universe in seven days. Could He have just snapped His finger and make everything come into existence? Yes. But He chose to take His time to create and fashion everything.

God would bring different people to my path and for whatever reason had a need. Whether it was a church friend, family, friends, or stranger, their presence served a purpose. Whether it was meeting a simple need or using my skills to serve another, God had a purpose for it. God did not let my skills and talents go to waste. I was and continue to be in preparation. My biggest cheerleader, my mom will encourage me to act or volun-tell me to act and tell me to remember there is blessing in my obedience. AHA! Blessing in obedience. That’s not to say that you serve to get something in return every time BUT God honors our obedience. We act on His Will and Plan, not in our own power.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.-Galatians 6:9

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;  fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!-Psalm 37:6-7

Waiting is hard. Believe me, this season has gone longer than I thought but I am learning that God has the Master Plan. My dear friend said to me, “HOW you wait is what is important.” Complaining and anxious thoughts do not help me wait. It hinders the lesson of the wait. Each day is a struggle but God makes a way out as long as I am willing to obey. So I serve in whatever capacity God reveals and I make the best of each moment in each day. Yes, I have to remain still and know God will work it out. Yes, sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me. But I am never too far away for the Holy Spirit to get me back on track.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-Jeremiah 29:11

Ultimately, the waiting will result in a prosperous future whether it be financial wealth, spiritual growth, character, and other various ways. But this I know: God upholds the outcome but also uphold me and you in waiting.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

A New Church Home

Photo by Ghost Patriot on Pexels.com

As a Christian, I have grown a lot these past few years in more ways than I thought. I am intentionally eliminating toxicity but also allowing myself to be open to new doors and opportunities.

Recently, something new happened in my life: I found a NEW CHURCH!

Spiritually, I was broken with all unarmed black people killings and racial injustice and a global pandemic changing life as we know it. I was inside with my thoughts constantly. My anxiety was driving me insane. I needed refuge and encouragement. I needed to feel that my Christian life mattered and my black identity mattered to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. My prior church served its purpose before but I needed to grow more and deeper. I just wanted more. I prayed for a new home where I could be fed, I could give my talents fully, and I could be accepted. I was wanting to change churches for a while but there was not a fit where I really felt I belonged. So I just let things be as they were in the mist of a pandemic.

But God…

It happened so unexpectedly. In the summer of last year, friends of mine invited me and my siblings to view a Juneteenth Sunday at their church online. Wow! How interesting…a pastor speaking on social justice!?! Crazy.

God found the right church for me. It is amazing how strangers with a love for Jesus can just…click just like that. Who knew a pandemic would draw me to a new church body!?! Only God knew what I needed.

A few Sundays of watching turned into joining a summer bible study turned into finding friends turned into friends following up with me during the week turned into more bible studies and a life group turned into partners/members of the church. Like a crazy love affair. But, God designed us to draw close to His Church. Church is not a building with activities but a community with the common DNA of Jesus and living authentically in unity in a lost and dying world.

To be honest, I needed hope. HOPE, I tell you. I was just in a stagnant place and God met me where I was. He brought me to higher ground with people I worship and fellowship with. As I said, my prior church served its purpose. I met amazing people who I love but it was time.

My new church came in God’s perfect timing. I found my community. I guess the pandemic did cause a little good…

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Blissful Tips of Life

A Quote to Inspire

I was inspired by this quote. This season has been quite long but God wanted me to learn a lot of lessons. One lesson I have learned is stewardship in the opportunities I am blessed with. I am learning not to grow in my own strength but allow God to use my presence towards my growth. My purpose is to be God’s representation making the most of all my opportunities (Ephesians 5:16). So I live in the best way I can but God is the One who creates and orchestrates the harvest for me. So I just live.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Blissful Tips of Life

Like My Mama

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to keep things light. I am a lot like my mom. The older I get, the more her habits become mine. I remember as a kid, I would say, I am going to be a cooler adult than my mommy. How naive I was then…lol. But it’s all good because my mom is a fantastic woman of God and I love her so much. So I wanted to share things I do more of because of my mom’s influence in my life.

  1. I keep a physical planner to that holds all receipts, coupons, and masks just like my mom.
  2. Sometimes I get up on Saturday and clean up everything before noon…ya know don’t waste the day as my mom says.
  3. I make my dog extra clean on wash day the same way my mom bathed me when I was young…so detailed.
  4. After work, I don’t want anyone to bother me cause I just want to sit (Mom was the same when she worked on the hospital floor as an RN).
  5. Thinking ahead with everything just like my mom.
  6. Always smiling like my mom.
  7. Using my mom’s isms, wisdom, and phrases more than I am used to.
  8. In relation to #7, more prone to give an encouraging word to someone and praying with others.
  9. Always thirsty for a sale..”if the sale is not salty enough, I will see you later” as my mom says.
  10. Not understanding all the new trends and my sister having to explain what’s trending to me.

So what habits do you have now because of your mom and/or mother-like influence? Happy Mother’s Day!

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Blissful Favorites

Blissful Favorite: Old Church Basement-Elevation Worship & Maverick City Music

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

Have you ever listened to an album that speaks to your soul. It is an amazing feeling isn’t it…almost like God knew you would need to hear something so beautiful yet so real.

God knows how to align my love for music with His Word. Elevation Worship’s collaboration with Maverick City Worship in Old Church Basement is GROUNDBREAKING! I dare you to listen to each song with an open heart and mind. I hear scripture in each song and a reminder of God’s truth.

My favorite songs are Jireh, Talking to Jesus, Names, and Million Little Miracles. The album is on repeat because May is a big crossroads month for me with possible opportunities that could be on the horizon. I get quite anxious at the thought of what is to come, but these songs give me comfort on a spiritual and mental level.

If you did not know already, this is BLISSFULLY APPROVED. Tell me what you think.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca, My Lenses on Life

Sharing My Testimony

This was a big step. It was the summer of 2020 after the protests and outcries for justice was everywhere. I wanted to do my part. I sat in my stuff and said to myself, “I can’t hide anymore. I have to be uncomfortable and make people uncomfortable.” But it’s in the most uncomfortable moments where we grow. It was the self-therapy I needed to not hide the repressive thoughts of unworthiness in who I was. It was a release in putting myself out there as fully me. I shared my testimony of things and emotions I felt in my racial identity as a first generation American of Haitian immigrants and Christian.

Remember this is my experience and my story to tell. I own every part of the experiences that have made me who I am today. I grew from that moment and continue to grow. I am a work in progress and learning that my voice matters. So take this with a grain of salt and listen to my words.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Blissful Favorites

Blissful Favorite: PJ Morton’s Album, Gospel According to PJ

Talk about music that speaks to your soul. If you did not know, I am a big PJ Morton fan. His music catalog is mostly R&B but for this new, Grammy-winning album and artist, Morton goes back to his gospel roots. This album came out during the pandemic and it is on repeat. The music is just powerful and meaningful like any other song he created. My favorite tracks are #8, All In His Plan and #10, God Can/Let Go. All speak to me in my current season of life. All the features are amazing. Listen and tell me what you think. But as for me, this is Blissfully Approved!

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Believe with Bianca

Believe With Bianca: Preach Truth & Be Still

We can all be our worst critic…I am preaching to the choir on this. A deep realization of growth is learning to preach truth to myself and be still. For me, it is staying in God’s Word, the real truth that speaks life.

But, I’m not gonna lie…sometimes I read Scripture and there is no spark or burning bush revelation. Yes, the Bible is God-breathed and active (2 Timothy 3:16). But God’s instruction may cause different responses. Yes, I get conviction and truth but lately, I have been still in His truth and put a verse(s) in my Christian tool box.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;-Psalm 46:10a

I have been learning to take in scripture and really marinate on a specific truth in my life. I just need to be still. My mind just races constantly about the future. Will life fall into place with my career, with friendships, with a romantic relationship, marriage, children, etc? I almost give myself headaches and anxiety just thinking about an unknown future.

But I am learning to be still. Easier said than done. I remind myself not to worry for what will it add to my life?(Matthew 6:27). Absolutely nothing. The Enemy is trying me but I feel greater is coming…that’s why he is working so hard.

A passage that causes me to be still and preach to myself is: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.-Philippians 1:6

I am choosing to be still and preach currently: God completes what He starts. So God is not done with me and the things that worry me will be completed in Jesus’ name and timing.

Photo by Patricia McCarty on Pexels.com

What do you need to be still and preach truth to yourself about?

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca

My Own Advocacy

So in the past year, human rights and civil rights violations came at its peak. People were stuck in their homes and things were shut down. Almost every day, an unarmed black person was killed unjustly. Hate crimes and discrimination was rampant. There was a need for justice and advocacy.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

In the mist of that time, my thought was “How do I advocate for justice in my own world?” I can’t hide from it. Though I can’t save the whole world, I can be effective in my community.

I’m not going to lie: I did not go to protests then and I was not donating to any organizations. I was an unemployed, post-graduate struggling mentally, physically, and emotionally.

For most of my life, I have struggled with racial identity. It carried with the statements of not being black enough, “acting white,” and selling out all because of the environments I interacted in. I wanted to help my community but I did not want to hurt my white friends. I always hid parts of myself to my white friends out of fear of losing them. So that was where I was the summer of 2020, at a crossroads.

But as I researched and listened to different sources, a revelation came: Not everyone’s advocacy for justice looks the same. You have find out your own personal way to advocate for other groups.

What a relief.

I did not have to do what everyone else is doing. I can be my own person and advocate in my own way. So what was that? Well, I started sharing my story and speaking out about my experiences with discrimination. I had a diverse following so why not give perspective. Why not be transparent of the experiences that shaped me.

For the most part, people listened and empathized with me. I choose who to give more knowledge to if someone personally reached out privately. I did not allow certain narratives to distort the work I wanted to do in educating others. There were some who did not want to understand and wanted to refute everything I said. I even had people tell me I was race-baiting or making everything about race. For that response, I blocked them.

In therapy, my therapist told me how my purpose is being a bridge. My experiences are unique but no less black nor less white. I was just Bianca. I have always interacted with different people in my life and that is nothing to be ashamed of. So why not use that skill to bring people together. To find common ground and open eyes, hearts, and minds.

If you are struggling in how to be an ally and advocate for others, find what works for you. You know yourself well to know what you can handle. Everyone does things different and that is just fine. Do what works for you.

Sources I look to for news and ways to advocate is the NAACP, AND Campaign, ACLU, and Human Rights Watch. I am looking to expand my horizons so tell what you use as sources. It is a start. But do the research for you will get a worldview to personally and effectively serve your community.

Lastly, You and I can do our best. A win for me is when a person tells me, “Thank you for sharing. I will consider that in my own life. What you said made me think in another way I never thought.” Change starts with the heart. My form of advocacy is to tell my experiences and listen to others to cultivate a heart change that creates stronger allies. Remember we are stronger together and every little act towards justice can make a bigger change.

Blissfully,

Bianca