Many of us are rattled by the outcome of the Breonna Taylor decision. As a black woman what does this mean for me? This is triggering as it brings me back to the day I heard about the death of Sandra Bland. We were not as used to hearing about the lives of black women being taken while in the hands of law enforcement. She was a young black woman. Not that much older than I was. It really hit home for me, that I was not exempt. Had a come across someone that felt I didn’t have the right to ask questions for clarity or for my own safety, that could have been me.

Black women are often seen as feisty, having an attitude, or overly opiniated. Unfortunately, we live in a world where our value is attached to these stereotypes. We are looked at as less than and people not worthy of justice.

It is natural to become emotional when the constant reminder is ever before you that your life does not matter. Breonna’s life mattered. Sandra’s life mattered. Atatiana’s life mattered. Fatigue settle’s in and you get tired of the hashtags, tired of the thoughts and prayers, and tired of being angry. What do we do with this pent up emotion, frustration, and weariness?

For my own self care, finding different ways of coping with these tragedies have become imperative. I have learned there is more than one way to fight. Sometimes we can become overwhelmed and feel like change is not going to come. The issues seem insurmountable and bigger than we are. Our contribution to the fight seems like it won’t even matter.

Don’t feel this way. EVERY. LITTLE BIT. HELPS!

You may be asking yourself, “what can I do?”

If you are skilled in written communication use that, if you are an awesome orator, use that. If you are skilled in creative communication use that. We are not all designed to fight the same way. It can be easy to feel like you are not as effective as someone protesting; but this fight, our fight NEEDS what you have. Hone in on what you are good at and do that. It’s okay to be emotional but don’t let it be for naught. Your contribution to the cause matters.

There is more than one way to fight!

Do it for Breonna! Do it for Sandra! Do it for Atatiana!

JUST PLEASE DO SOMETHING!

  1.  Sometimes love just isn’t enough.

Love with no commitment makes for weak bonds for a marriage.  In the last 6 years we have been through enough to know that if it were not for our commitment to each other we may not be here today.  Rings, engagement photos, and bridal showers are all cute; but when you are in the trenches none of that stuff really matters. 

2. No one really changes; but there should be some growth.

Sometimes we say we want our spouses to change, when what we really mean is we want them to grow.  In no way do I ever want my husband to change.  If he were to wake up tomorrow and was a completely different person in the same body I may not be too fond of that person.  I want the goofy, caring, loving, sweet man I married.  What I do appreciate are the opportunities he has taken to grow. 

3. Kiss More!!

At times kissing can be more intimate than sex.  It allows for a deeper connection because it causes both people to slow down and be intentional about being in each other’s space.  In that moment each person  is making the other their one and only priority.  Early on in relationships a shared kiss (especially if it is the first ) is special.  Sometimes going back to the basics is just what the doctor ordered.

4. There are times doing what’s best for the marriage doesn’t always feel good to the individuals.

As a person that has studied marriage and family therapy I have learned more than anything the importance of individuality and autonomy.  It’s easy to get lost in your role as a husband or a wife and you lose yourself.  However, there are times you have to do things for the health and wellness of the marriage.  For example, setting boundaries with family members outside of your marital system may not be comfortable for you.  If failure to set and maintain boundaries has been to the detriment of your marriage you will have a decision to make.  No one likes to feel they are giving up anything; but sometimes adjustments are needed for a successful marriage.

5. Sometimes you just gotta let stuff go.

I’ve never appreciated the phrase “pick your battles” more than have being married.  Small moment of transparency here.  Sometimes I have a hard time letting things go.  In particular, if it is a situation where I am more than confident, I am right!  In the end it doesn’t benefit anyone to continue pressing an issue where there is no resolve.  Sometimes you have to find the peace in just letting things go.  Not everything requires a deep dive or detailed explanation.  JUST. LET. IT. GO.

6. You should find at least one thing to laugh at everyday.

As we have grown together I’ve seen how we now find a lot of the same things funny.  In my humble opinion, between the 2 of us I am the funniest. LOL.  I introduced my husband to King of Queens and his life has never been the same.  Just like kissing, comedic relief also makes for a deeper connection.  Some of the best marriages are made up of 2 people not taking themselves too seriously.  The best arguments are those that end in spontaneous laughing.  It shows just how shallow arguments can be. 

The summer progressed and we were getting closer.  Not officially dating yet, we were enjoying getting to know each other.  I still couldn’t believe we were hanging out.  Did he really like me the way I had liked him?  Still guarding my heart and feeling somewhat nervous around him, I decided I would just be in the moment and not overthink anything.

My birthday weekend rolled around and we celebrated with some friends with a trip to Kings Dominion.  As it grew closer to the park’s closing time our friends began leaving and it was just him and me.  We were sitting near the entrance waiting on my brother to come out.  Things were a bit awkward which I thought was strange because between the two of us, he was usually the more relaxed one.   We sat in silence for a little while and all I can remember is the stifling humidity and wishing my brother would hurry up. There was an anxious energy that I had only  felt from Keith one other time before (when he initially asked me on a date).  “Did you have fun?”, he asked. I nervously told him “yeah”, not knowing what his next words would be.  The details get a little fuzzy here, but I remember he took his time and asked me in so many words if I would be his girlfriend.   All I can remember next, was a flood of emotions that I could not sort out.  Sure I had high school crushes and flirted here and there; but I had spent all of my teen years avoiding getting close to guys so I would not have to be asked this question.  What was I supposed to say?  What was I supposed to do? How was I supposed to act once my brother finally came out? What would my dad think?  My mouth got dry, my heart was racing and I nervously said “Yeah.”  He seemed both relieved and happy.  Relieved that he had finally asked the question and happy that I agreed to be his girl.  Were we now a “couple”?  LOL.  Poor little 18 year old me was all alone in my head.  Completely overthinking EVERYTHING.  He asked me how I felt and if I was happy.  Unsure how to respond and still very anxious, I gave the rudest response a new girlfriend could give to her new beau.  I turned to him and said, “Yeah, what do you want me to do?  A back flip?”  *insert face palm here*

Of all the responses on the planet why did I have to say that!?  Thankfully he took it in stride and decided he wouldn’t write me off just yet.  The whole way home I was full of anxiety.  Wondering if I had made the right decision agreeing to be his girl.  I started questioning everything.  Should I have consulted God first? Am I doing the right thing?  It was a pretty quiet ride on the way back. I can remember him turning his music down occasionally to check on me, making sure I was okay.  He had no idea the war going on inside my head.  Looking back now I am able to see that while it is beautiful that someone my age would want to acknowledge God with such a decision, I took myself through way too many emotional changes.  Rather than being relaxed and at ease, I felt God did not approve and that HAD to be the reason for all the anxiety I was feeling.  Not sure how or why I pinned the reason for my angst on God.  Rather than just understanding this was something new for me and that may have explained the anxiety, I made it super spiritual.  If you’ve read my blogs How my Human Sexuality Course Challenged my Spiritual and Religious Attitudes or Hey Church Girl you know by now early in my life I found it difficult to rest in God.  I often made things more difficult than they had to be.  This was something fresh and new with a great guy and I robbed myself of something beautiful because I became my own God.

Rather than being filled with anticipation to see my new boyfriend the next morning, I tossed and turned all night. Wrestling with my thoughts and anxious feelings made for a restless night.  Sunday morning was getting closer and closer and I was contemplating every way I could avoid him the next day at church.  

My family was traveling down to Atlanta for T.D. Jakes’s Megafest.  This conference was apart of our family vacation that year.  I’d managed to get through the entire Sunday service and not make contact with Keith.  He called me to say that he had missed seeing me and had hoped to see me before I left for vacation.  While on the phone with him I acted like a complete weirdo.  I didn’t know what to say so I made up something stupid as to why he hadn’t seen me.  He had no idea I was actively hiding out in the church building, watching from afar until I was sure he was gone.  Thinking back now I would not have blamed him if he chose to end things and moved on with someone a little more “sane”. 

We stop in North Carolina and I am going back in forth in my head on what I should do.  Do I call this guy and tell him I couldn’t be his girlfriend? What reason would I give?  Would he understand if I told him it was God that told me to end things with him?  When and where would I have a private place on this trip to call and talk to him about how I was really feeling?  I reached in my back pocket, pulled out my little red LG flip phone, scrolled to his name in my contacts and began drafting a text.  I send him a message that contains the 4 dreaded words no man wants to hear “We need to talk”.

It was the summer of 2005.  Mario’s Let Me Love You, Mariah Carey’s We Belong Together, and Chris Brown’s Yo ( Excuse Me Miss) were all radio hits.  The final season of the Newylweds (which I am STILL devastated about) had aired.  I’d just graduated high school and started my first job.  Before I graced the campus of THE Virginia State University, I had finally been asked out by my long-time crush. 

He was tall, dark, laid back and most of all respectful.  I’d had a crush on him for years but played the “big brother/little sister card”.  Some of you KNOW what I am talking about.  That one guy that may have been in your circle that you were crushing on. Unsure how he felt about you, you played it cool and called him your “brother” or my personal fave “best friend”.  Anything was better than nothing.  Never being the type to be forward or one to “shoot my shot”, I let those feelings linger.  We’d known each other most of our lives growing up in the same church; but never had anything more than a few exchanges of laughs. 

One night after a church service he had asked me out.  I was caught COMPLETELY off guard and thought that he was joking around.  He had never expressed an interest in me nor dropped hints that he may have liked me in any other way than the “big brother/little sister” dynamic I had fostered.  Feeling uncertain about how serious he was I laughed it off and never gave a real response.  A week or so passed and he asked me again. Maybe he was serious the first time after all.  We picked a Friday and decided he’d pick me up from work.

Yall! I was nervous as can be.  Growing up in a house with a father that was present caused my dating experiences to be limited.  He never technically said I couldn’t date.  Just assuming the answer would be  “NO” I never bothered having the conversation with him.  In high school there was no dating, no one was taking me out, I tried my best not to get close to any guys so I wouldn’t be asked out on a date and have to tell them no.  Asking my dad if I could go on this date had me shaking in my boots.  The only reason I was probably even allowed to go was because my father knew he came from a good home and knew his family.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  That entire night before and all day at work I was so nervous my stomach was in knots.  He arrived at my job.  I opened the car door and the smell of Curve cologne greeted me as Bobby Valentino was playing.  He could definitely sense my anxiety but I do not know if he knew this was my first time ever going on a date.  I’m sure he did his best to make me feel comfortable but I found it hard to be as relaxed and laid back as he was. LOL.

This was something new for me and I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel…

It wasn’t until I was in high school I had the words to describe my quiet introspective nature.  Most of my life up until that point I was always called “quiet” or “shy”.  I hated mixed company and meeting new people but enjoyed my own company and had a very active imagination.  I was an introvert; but did not know what that would mean for me as I advanced through life.

While extroverts typically recharge from being around others and may often be seen as the life of the party, introverts sometimes find it hard to find their place in the world.  Not until recently more and more corporations are acknowledging and becoming more aware of the value that their introverted associates bring to the table.

Extroverts are often more readily received because they do a good job of making others feel comfortable. Introverts are often misunderstood for being stuck up, distant, not approachable, and the list goes on and on.  For most introverts this is not the case.  Yes we may like to work independently, and often prefer our own company over being in the company of others at times.  This does not mean however that we don’t care for others.

What does all of this have to do with being a mom….who just happens to be introverted?? Glad you asked.

Early into the stay at home order due to  COVID-19 my husband and I made the decision to bring our boys home from daycare.  I knew it would be tough but I didn’t know just how tough.  Immediately, we understood how important a schedule would be if we would make it having a 3yr old and 16 month old home ALL DAY…EVERYDAY.  Not wanting them to fall behind we did our best go over what we thought kids their age would probably be learning if they were still in daycare.  We were doing all of this while still attending to our work responsibilities between calls and Zoom meetings.  It was exhausting!

I often found myself irritable, fatigued, and looking forward to their nap time.  My boys were not “being bad” but they were certainly being busy.  Between my 3 year old thinking he was Miles Morales re-enacting the Spider Man movie (…which had very good representation, if you haven’t seen it I’d certainly recommend it.) for the 300th time and my youngest finding every single thing he possibly could to get into I was running out of steam.

It was so easy to take for granted the services child care provides when it is on you to be the mom, the chef, the teacher, etc.  As the weeks rolled on and COVID not letting up there were moments I felt I was at my wits end.  There did not seem to be an end in site.  I just needed some relief.  There was no break.  Even with a pretty sold schedule in place it was hard.  I was DEPLETED!  I started wondering if there were any other moms feeling how I felt or if I was a horrible mom for having these feelings.

Somewhere between me sobbing in the bathroom and making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the 100th time it donned on me. Just because I became a mom, that did not mean I stopped being an introvert.  How I was hardwired did not take a backseat to my role as a mom.  Moms pour out a whole lot.  We give even what we don’t have often times.  Because introverts recharge differently than others, if we are not given an opportunity to escape and be alone we start to crack.  Parents don’t always get the opportunity to be alone especially with very young children.  Having someone to depend on you for everything can take every ounce of what you have.

Once I came to this realization I started being a little more lenient with screen time and we put the boys back in daycare a few days a week.  I had to put mommy guilt to the side so that I could take care of myself.  Getting a break from not having your name called all day and trying to adhere to a schedule [I think] has made me a better mom during this pandemic.  Truth be told as much as we feel we need a break from them, they need a break from us sometimes.

I could have judged and/or shamed myself and my introverted nature for not being as emotionally present of a mom as I would have liked to be with my boys home. However, I thought about all the ways my introvertedness (definitely think I just made up a word) made for a positive experience for my kids.  I’m more patient when it comes to their emotional needs.  In my alone time I have been able to reflect on how my own children are wired and what they may need from me to feel heard, appreciated, and respected.

This pandemic has affected me more than I have been willing to admit.  I have to be honest, when I first heard about the outbreak, like most I did not understand the severity of it.  There had been little to no reported cases in the US.   Even with our first reported case I still wasn’t too concerned because it was so far from the east coast.  I figured it wasn’t something a  quarantine couldn’t take care of.

Weeks go by and more and more cases are being reported.  These cases are getting closer and closer to home.  Now we are in the middle of March and an email comes through at work.  It is a message from the CEO and he is imploring that all associates that can, work from home until further notice.  Initially not going to lie I was not sad about that at all.  It would save time and gas with no commute and not to mention this is an introverts dream come true.

Things begin to get more and more serious and the death toll is rising.  Self-preservation kicks in and the only way to bear the stories of grieving families dealing with sudden loss is to push it away.  All the while story after story I’ve read on Facebook or heard through word of mouth is being stored in my subconscious.  Although I was limiting my news intake from television I couldn’t seem to close my social media apps and it was doing a number on my emotions unknowingly.  Thinking back now, days I was a little more snippy with my family than usual, I had probably read about another heart wrenching story of a mother losing a child due to the virus after symptoms seemed to improve.  Or I saw a video clip of a funeral with only  10 people in attendance.  Couldn’t help but imagine how hard it must be to need the love, comfort, and support from family and friends and just can not because of COVID.

The hardest part for me during this pandemic has not been fewer date nights because everything is closed or 24/7 children running around with no relief but bedtime; but watching people die and grieve alone.  For one second, as best I could, I put myself in the shoes of someone taking their last breaths without a loved one near to hold their hand.  I imagined myself standing over the body of someone I loved and turning around to go back to my seat an seeing a sea of empty pews.  To sum it up it has left me heartbroken.  Pushing these emotions and feelings away only work for so long.  Being an empath I’ve always been a person that carried and felt things very deeply. I try to avoid situations that trigger sadness because sadness for me is a little more intense and lingers.  I do not handle death, grief and loss well.  This pandemic is causing me to face this head on.  Thankfully I have not lost anyone close to me during this time; but I would be lying if I said there was not some anxiety as we do not know who may be next.  People are getting the diagnosis and dying 14 days later even with signs of improvement.  Because things are still so uncertain it’s difficult for someone to still their heart when we don’t know what’s next.

It’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to grieve even if you haven’t lost anyone.  Life as we know it has changed.  We don’t know when things will be back to normal and we are all just doing the best we can.  Give yourself permission to feel whatever feelings or emotions may be coming up for you.  Find something you DO have control over, find at least 3 things to be grateful for EVERY DAY (gratitude has changed my life),  and take comfort in knowing you aren’t alone.

There’s a quote that I came across one day that says, “In the end it will be okay.  If it’s not okay it’s not the end.”  Hang in there.

When I asked a few people what came to mind when they heard the words “conscious sophisticate” I received varying responses. I’ll share a few here: “someone that thought they were better than others, stuck up, and bougie”.  Others expressed, it sounded like “someone that is put together, and holds themselves to a particular standard”.  These mixed responses made it apparent I needed to clarify the purpose of my blog and what will eventually evolve into my brand.

What is a “Conscious Sophisticate”?

Let’s break this down:

To be Conscious one doesn’t rely solely on their 5 senses to take in knowledge or to gain an understanding.  It’s understood one should also rely on discernment and data received from a world outside of themselves as a feedback loop.  To be conscious you have an awareness of things that are not exactly overt or spelled out.

In my own words a Sophisticate is one that is put together and polished.  A sophisticate is poised in their expression and understands there is a time and place for everything.  We should be careful not to judge these people as being dry or stuffy.  This is someone that has experienced life outside of their realm of comfort.   Some sophisticates are well traveled and have acquired knowledge from visiting places outside of their hometowns and countries.  They may also be well learned allowing them to engage in discussions of various topics.  While being well traveled certainly makes for rich experiences there comes a time where the expedition of one’s own heart, mind and soul is of more value.  Exploration of this kind helps to polish the “sophisticate” in all of us.

Is a Conscious Sophisticate perfect?

By no means is a conscious sophisticate perfect.  They are however striving.  Doing the hard work of self exploration helps them take charge of their own narrative.  This in turn impacts how they show up in the world as well as what they attract to themselves.   There’s an awareness of their flaws and weaknesses and they have no longer settled for the “oh well, that’s just who I am” mindset.  They’re intentional about being the highest form of themselves.

My Journey to the Conscious Sophisticate

I hope through transparency with my own stories which also include becoming “The Conscious Wife” and the “Conscious Mom” that I inspire and encourage you to do your own work.  I’m excited to be apart of  your journey and thank you for being apart of mine.  It’s my goal to help as many people as possible so that we together help beautify the earth, leaving this planet in a little better condition than it was before.

For a little added inspiration, you can find my shirt below.  The “Sophisticate” shirt can be purchased for $15 in sizes ranging from XS-2XL.  All order request can be sent to conscioussophisticate@gmail.com, cash app $consoph.

4 sale.jpeg

 

#1. You find it difficult to say no.

We have all at some point in our lives been people pleasers.  No one likes to feel like they have let down someone they love.  However, when taking on too many tasks or favors has drained your resources, time, and emotions it’s time to take a step back to re-evaluate your motives.  There are some people in our lives that take advantage of our willingness to help and to be kind. No one is saying not to help a friend in need or not to make sacrifices for the ones you love.  Be there for your family and friends but not at your own expense.  Take a look at their behavior the next time you have to say no.

#2. You make excuses and give reasons why you have to say “no”.

This is a carry over from number one and will tie into #3.  Sometimes you may find it difficult to say no or to speak up for what you need. Instead, you make up excuses to tell that needy friend or family member why you can’t help them out this time. Your lack of firm boundaries makes you feel responsible for their feelings and how they may respond to you saying no.  No you don’t have a flat tire, no you are not sick, no your dog did not pass away.  Stop speaking illness and misfortune on yourself because you don’t know how to say “not this time”.

#3. Guilt and Manipulation is often used to serve their emotional needs.

The use of guilt and manipulation can be subtle or bold and outright.  Sometimes this is characterized by excessive crying or anger, passive aggressive behavior, the silent treatment, and emotionally disconnecting.  Those that have trouble maintaining and respecting boundaries often have poor emotion regulation.  The situation is not congruent with their emotional response.  These people are often dramatic and know your weak spots and target them everytime.  Boundaries are seen as a threat.  If you are not careful, these types of people have a powerful way of making you believe you are the only person in the world that can meet their need.  The goal is to make you feel responsible for their feelings.   In the end, you serve them by remaining emotionally engaged.

#4. You can’t identify your own feelings, thoughts, and opinions independent of others.

Having a sense of independence and a strong sense of self is crucial.  Without those you find yourself living a life that is/was never your own.  All too often people go to the college their parents choose for them, follow career paths expected of them, or marries a spouse their family wanted them to. They never got to explore who they were and any steps moving toward independence are met with strong emotional responses.  These emotional responses are enough to cause the person to reconsider and second guess where their place is in the world should be.  Parents that foster these types of unhealthy relationships raise children that are sometimes stunted in their emotional growth and development.  These children grow into adults that constantly seek validation from others and question their own abilities. The expectation is now for these emotionally underdeveloped adults to be fully functioning and they simply just don’t know how.  Unhealthy cycles and patterns are perpetuated.  Unfortunately, patterns of poor boundary setting carry over into marriages and newly formed families and intervention is often needed.

#5. Your loyalty is often called into question.

This is a big one.  The biggest threat to a family with weak boundaries, is a family member that has somehow developed a healthy sense of self.  This family member is often known as the “black sheep” of the family.  They have not succumb to the “group think” mentality.

Every family has 1 of 2 types of people.  The first type is those that see when things are wrong but won’t speak up and defend what is right.  The other stands for what’s right and challenges wrong even if it means they stand alone.  Family therapy uses a term called differentiation.  To be fully differentiated one has achieved optimum emotional independence.  I don’t know that any one person has fully reached this level of emotional independence; but some are closer than others.  The term loyalty is often misapplied when speaking in terms of familial support.  Disturbing the unhealthy patterns of a family with enmeshed boundaries may mean you are being disloyal to the family’s dysfunction rather than the family itself.  It’s important to know the difference.

#6.  Your resources, emotional and mental bandwidth is depleted.

If you feel you are always coming away with the short end of the stick, it may be time to realign some boundaries.  Setting and maintaining boundaries is crucial for self-care.  The saying “you teach people how to treat you” is spot on.  You get what you permit.  It is not always easy to set boundaries especially with those you love; but remind yourself of all the ways you show up for them.  Those relationships that can not handle healthy boundaries will shed themselves from your life.  Those that respect you and your decisions will stand the test of time.

I had a wonderful childhood and upbringing.  I was born to and raised by 2 loving parents and a wonderful village.  My parents served in the church my mom a missionary and minister and my dad a deacon.  They loved to serve the people of God.  More than that they loved the God of the people.  I like to say I was given a fighting chance to make this Christian walk possible.  I was raised in a church where the gospel was being preached, uncompromised where there was a standard of holiness.  Here’s where I was privileged and didn’t know it.  What was taught at church was reinforced at home.  It was not unusual to walk through the living room and to hear my mom praying, or to hear my dad having intimate moments with God.  These people nurtured their relationship with God when it mattered most….when no one was looking.

I didn’t realize it until much later in life that a lot of my peers were not afforded this same experience.  For some the life portrayed at church was not always congruent with home life.  This can be one of the first damaging things a child can witness when talking about establishing and understanding one’s own spiritual identity.  Is living a life of holiness truly possible?  Is this God I am being taught about real, does he really exist?  If he does exist why does he only seem to work at church?

Thankfully for my brother and me, our parents were not overbearing.  While they believed wholeheartedly in living by a standard of Holiness they weren’t weirdo church people.  They always provided a healthy balance.  No we were not allowed to listen to secular music or attend school dances but a relationship with God was never forced on us.  Our walk with God was our own.  No one forced us to get baptized, bargained with us to join the usher board, or negotiated with us to sing on the choir.  These were all personal choices.   Our parents lead by example.  They were not perfect but their hearts were pure and it made me believe this life of holiness and upright living was possible and the walk could be sweet.

My foundation was a good one, a solid one. I had the best examples in front of me.  Why did I make this journey more difficult than it had to be?

Hey Church Girl! is my personal story in my own words of how I went from spiritually bound (and didn’t know it) to living a life of spiritual wellness. Living a life governed by rules and laws, do’s and dont’s made for a not so peaceful walk in my early life with God.

For most of my life I viewed God the way I viewed myself and other people.  Super critical and lacking mercy.  It was hard for me to accept grace and mercy.  I felt I had to work for God’s approval and I didn’t realize it but I was driving myself crazy.  Constantly questioning or wondering where I stood with God caused occasional bouts of anxiety.

It wasn’t until I gained more clarity on the origin of these thoughts and feelings that I realized I was governing myself.  I wasn’t trying to nurture a relationship with God as much as I was just trying to stay out of Hell.  Much of what I felt was the voice of or conviction from God was really me.  I was making my walk with him strained rather than sweet by setting unrealistic standards for myself.  That was ROUGH y’all!

I know I am not the only one that identifies with a story much like my own.  There are so many expectations of who a church girl is or what a church girl should be.  So many of us have walked away from our pursuit of a life with Christ due to poor examples and influence.  We feel or have felt we will never do enough to live up to what is required to be a “good” Christian.  I pray as I share my story you are able to begin redefining what your relationship with God looks like.  I also pray you are able to see achieving a balanced life of spiritual wellness is possible.