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 A Breath of Fresh Air, Believe with Bianca

A Leap of Faith

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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 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 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

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.

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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