Posted in A Word from Mama B!, Life as Bianca

The 30 Year Audit

I am experiencing a harvest that I did not expect.

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Year 30 has been an interesting start to a new decade of living. Last year, I turned a new age at the height of the pandemic. I was in an identity-crisis like everyone else, just trying to navigate life and figure out, “What am I going to do?” I thought that it would be fruitless to be honest. I thought that I would be in waiting for a harvest. But you know what? I was yielding a harvest I did not realize. I was growing, changing, and evolving.

Mental health was a defining moment for Year 30. Going to therapy was a BIG STEP in my growth process. To divulge hurts, disappointments, and traumas that I knew or did not realize that I kept in. I LOVE MY THERAPIST. I do believe God hand-picked her for me: a black Christian therapist. She has been a great, guiding facilitator in my growth and development. I do feel a sense of ownership in my narrative.

Knowing my worth is a lesson in all facets of my life. I made very big decisions to walk away because I realized that I deserved more. I did not deserve to be ostracized, criticized, nor belittled for who I am. I can eliminate the situation or the person. I don’t need to feel bad at all for protecting my soul. My worth is defined by God in every facet of my life as a black, Haiti-American Christian. So I can hire and fire people and situations accordingly.

My story is worth telling. During the pandemic was the height of racial tension and reckoning. I had two choices: hide and destroy myself internally or be about change and open myself up. It was hard to be honest, sharing racial traumas in my life. I had people reach out because they honestly thought I was fine but I was just trying to survive. Yes, people gave me flack and tried to explain away my experiences but I stood in my truth. I had to let go and it felt good in the end because I had real dialogues with people about race and gave people perspective. My hope was to make people think.. and I believe I did that.

I am curating my quality tribe. I have had great people come in my life in Year 30. Quality, salt of the earth people. I am learning to ask for help and prayer. Not just be a friend to someone but allow my friends to be my friend (or at least rise to the occasion). I am quite stubborn with friendships; I give all of myself but I don’t allow people to do the same. But I am trying to be better. Not everyone who is my friend on social media is my friend. There are levels of “friendship” but then there is my tribe and village. That is special to me and I am curating that. They know who they are. I feel loved and supported by them. It’s pretty awesome.

My life has teachable moments for others. Alongside my story is worth telling, my story is worth helping others. I guess I am old enough to give wisdom. God has given me opportunities to invest in the future generations. Young adults and kids are listening and looking up to me for advice and guidance. I was once in their shoes so it is amazing how God can use “little old me” to show me how far He has brought me.

***BONUS***– Back pain is real in your 30s. Like I have to give myself a moment to prepare my body to wake up. My body is changing I guess.

That is my 30 Year Audit. It’s been a great start so we will see where it goes in Year 31.

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 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

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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 A Breath of Fresh Air, Life as Bianca

Your Story Matters In The Valley

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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

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

Serve In the Waiting

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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

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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 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