This is my first entry of Sunday Serenity. Well, for you guys anyway! So I find this entry most appropriate to explain what it is. Sunday Serenity is the time on Sunday morning before church where I’m reflecting on last week and planning for the new one. I’ve been doing this for quite some time now. This is something I started when I was having trouble getting back into attending church after nearly a year of not going. At times I’d oversleep because it wasn’t habit anymore and other times my flesh just didn’t care to go, and most of that had to do with people. I had to create a distraction to take my mind off people and focused my spirit on God and obtaining peace. I had to force and trick myself in order to make it to church. It took A LOT of failed attempts before I got on track again and became consistent. After while I forgot the other people were even there! I wasn’t thinking about people not speaking to me who previously used to, those who simply unfriended me instead of asking what was wrong when I wasn’t myself, nor those who may be wondering where I’d been. I had to be there for ME!
Here’s how I did it:
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, but due to a long night of work every Saturday, I rarely saw breakfast and slept through it. I could easily make breakfast in my house clothes and fall asleep on the couch with it still sitting on the coffee table while the show I’m three or four seasons behind on watches me in dreamland.
One day I had a taste for an omelet, but was way too tired to make it. I had a bright idea to go out for breakfast early in the morning once I was done with work. By the time I’d driven to a restaurant, decided what I wanted, waited for my food to be cooked and actually ate, it was close to being the time the first or early service would be starting. However there was still a gap of time left. About an hour!
I took this time to not rush out of the restaurant, but pull out my journal (a writer always keeps a journal nearby). I would write out my thoughts and get so busy doing what I loved, the time would fly! It showed to be very therapeutic for the undealt with emotions I had bottled up, being an introvert by nature. My journal entries seemed to develop somewhat of a pattern. They would often include things like my high point of last week, as well as my low point, what I learned, what I can do better this week or where I need more discipline. I was forcing myself to grow and press back into optimism and positivity, beyond where my negative emotions were trying to keep me bound and stagnated.
Besides that, I write out my to-do lists for the week to remind me to do things like pay my bills, make a deadline, write more in my book, buy groceries, workout, household items I ran out of, do my taxes, make sure I call mom and dad or visit my brother! Of course I’m not going to share those kind of tid bits with you, but I’ll make sure to let you know if I crossed everything off the next week.
I typically end with prayer and a scripture to meditate on for the day and something new to incorporate into the week (like actually taking a small break from work and being somewhat social). Since I have an audience now, my final note will be advice and gems of wisdom I’ve acquired. They say to eat breakfast like a king, and this is my guilty pleasure! I’ll also let you know what’s on the menu. I started to visually document these Sunday morning dates with myself once I decided it would be cool to actually add these to the magazine as a reoccurring weekly feature. Next week I’ll have your first full entry ready! Here are short snippets from my journal and photos of food!
Happy Serenity! Breathe. Pray. De-stress. Drink tea.
Serenity (noun) – the state of being serene.
Serene – clear and free of storms or unpleasant change; shining bright and steady; marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose [repose: a state of resting after exertion or strain – absence of activity] or quietude.
Sunday, April 16, 2017:
Today is the end of Lent, and also Resurrection Sunday, so I probably won’t hang around here too long because I need to make sure I can actually find a parking space and a seat, as today is the day a lot of those who normally don’t attend, will be in attendance. I’ve heard some believers make jokes about them who only show up to church on Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter, but three times a year is better than not entering the house of the Lord at all. Hopefully their hearts are open and God can touch them. Hopefully a seed becomes planted today that will grow later. I don’t believe there is a more powerful message in the Bible than the message of the cross and it is my prayer that a lot of people will be able to hear it.
For now, I’ll be cracking open my new book for the very first time that I’ve been dying to get my hands on since I bought it. Now that all the tedious tasks are done and my magazine is finally available to the public, I can do more of my favorite pass time besides writing – which is reading! It just so happens to be a book on prayer and the subject of intercession. Intercession is when your prayers aren’t about you, but you secretly step in and pray intentionally on the behalf others, usually for their protection, health, provision, salvation and well-being!
I found that praying for others is a hate-proof strategy when I have difficulty forgiving someone. You cannot bless and curse someone at the same time. Eventually those negative feelings will leave your heart. I don’t believe any Christian will ever become greater (in their spiritual growth) than their prayer life. It is something I’ve developed the habit of doing throughout the day. It keeps me calm and keeps my spirit high, keeps me focused and it continually increases my level of faith! Also, I can’t wait to do a review on this book!
Sunday, April 9, 2017:
This morning I’m focusing on body goals. I’ve been so, so busy working and having my hand in different projects that I have not been to the gym at all this year, though I have been watching most of what I’ve been eating! It’s great to be focusing on building a prosperous life for myself and future children, but I’m no fool to knowing that the most productive and peaceful life comes from being consistent, well-planned and finding the proper balance to not neglect other important areas. The last time I went to the gym (in October) I was watching my kick-boxer friend train as I did some exercises with her and her retired champion trainer, but as someone who ventured into kickboxing herself seven years ago, I could not keep up! So I released some stress on some punching bags. I love doing gut busters, but I was frustrated I had gotten that out of shape.
As soon as this magazine is published, I’m heading back to the gym. I find it amazing how I could get distracted from doing something I actually loved (working out), when I used to facilitate the gym multiple times a week! I’m currently taking the free time to read the April issue of Health magazine, and if Tracee Ellis Ross can look like this at 44, what’s my excuse not to be completely snatched at 28? I’m aware I’ll be turning 30 next year and I owe it to myself to step into my third decade both wiser and hotter than my twenties! It’s five months until I turn 29. I’ve set a goal to meet, and when I meet that goal, I’m treating myself to some new swimsuits and a photoshoot! That’ll be my personal birthday present to me – my own transformation story!
Sunday, April 2, 2017:
This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24
This scripture means so much to me because a lot of times when we’re stressed or facing a difficult chapter in life, we tend to forget that it is God who orchestrates our day. Proverbs 3 tells us not to lean on our own understanding and that if we remember to acknowledge Him, or keep Him at the forefront of our lives (which would include our thoughts and the things we meditate on) He will guide our way for us and keep us on the best path!…
P.S. – I just Shazam’d this song playing that has me on the verge of tears. I will not be crying in this restaurant this morning! I love songs that touch your soul and one that tells a good story. It’s called Tough Little Boys by Gary Allen. I’m sure my tears will escape during worship in just a bit. It’s okay to cry. Happy Sunday! Let it flow!
Sunday, March 26, 2017:
About two weeks ’til I launch the magazine! Lots of I’s to dot and T’s to cross. I admit, the nervousness has left me, and I started with a lot of it! The past few years have shown me such a level of growth I didn’t even realize I needed to get to within myself. Many times facing my own truth was overwhelmingly painful but you don’t become stronger in any sense without facing some level of pain first…
“Pain is weakness leaving the body.” -Used by the US Marines, author unknown
Sunday, March 19, 2017:
Looong night of work and a long week ahead! The good thing is we are one day shy of being halfway into Lent. Most people only eat fish during Lent, but since I absolutely love seafood, I go a step further and fast within Lent! This is exciting for me because I go without eating seafood for the first two weeks, which means I’m a few days overdue for one of my favorite dishes – shrimp and grits with country toast! I once dated a guy who was Creole a few year ago and he put me onto this. I haven’t stopped eating it since. That also means it is less than a month before I launch my magazine! I decided to keep the initial articles completely on the focus of the editor and keep it personal so you guys can have a feel of who I am.
“My eyes ain’t used to these rays. I’m feeling exposed, but I can’t hide no more. As the sun shines on all of my glory, my flaws don’t look so bad at all. What was I so afraid of? …and now I see the pretty colors on my canvas…I’ll share my picture with the world. Not afraid to let it show anymore.” -Jazmine Sullivan in her song Masterpiece
Sunday, March 12, 2017:
I can’t believe that I’ll be launching my very own magazine in just one month! I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was just a little nervous, as I’ve never been this transparent before. This is something I wanted to do since 2011, the very first year I’d fully given my life to Christ. Everything hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to. What I realize is that this is something I have to do completely on my own…
“If God led you to do something, it is meaningless to be contingent upon someone other than God to give you clearance to proceed.” -Debrinah S. Dorsey