Where I am Now- A BOLD Young Lady

I am constantly being asked the question, “What have you been up to?” I have my standard line that I answer to, however, if I were to respond in a one word sentence I would respond with one acronym…. I have been B.O.L.D.

Believing

On

(The)

Lord’s

Direction

For those of you who are not familiar with my background, my past year has been a faith building experience. I graduated from high school in May of 2016, moved to a different city to work over the summer, the job did not work out and I went back to Wichita and to live with my parents for the summer. When summer was starting to end I went to enroll in a program and I found out that the institution that I was planning to attend cut the program. I applied to a different school, was interviewed, and accepted, but I felt God clearly saying, “No” to me. I was stubborn, but listened to His direction and did not enroll. So you could be wondering… what now? Well, I was wondering the same question!

He has always had a purpose for my path even though I have felt lost at times. This past fall God revealed to me through some sisters in Christ that He is “preparing me.”  I am not yet sure in which ways He will take me; however, while I am waiting on Him to show me where I am going to be walking , I am still believing in His perfect direction. 

Within the time that I have not been in school, I have dedicated myself to my Lama Leah blog and my writing career. I have learned about myself, too. For instance, I love advertising, who knew? I always said that I would not work in the same field as my father but he has had me work on some projects with him and to my surprise I enjoy it.

I have also had the honor to be a guest blogger for some amazing ministries: The Dawson McAllister Network, The Starving Christian, and Urban Society Christian Ministries just to name a few. Additionally, I have become a permanent writer for Discovering You Magazine.

Even though I have had some rare opportunities for being a typical 19 year-old, I still have feelings that I am not “enough” because I am not currently pursuing higher education. I somehow have it in my head that my core value lies in earning a degree that I have not achieved or even really desired.

For instance, (almost) every time I have a writing deadline, I deal with anxiety and self-doubt. I deal with thoughts of being unworthy to write a simple article because I have yet to pursue higher education. I tend to think thoughts along the line, “I cannot do this because I am young.”

It is when I have these thoughts that I do two things.

  1. I give myself a pep talk. I put on an outfit that I feel beautiful in and promptly say, “I am wise, I can write; my words can be used to impact others for the work of Christ, and I can do this!”
  2. I remind myself that I am doing this type of work for God and I truly believe that is what He has called me to do, at least for this season. I may not be “qualified” by the standards of the world but He is equipping me and If I wasn’t supposed to be writing, God would not be blessing my ministry in the ways He has.  The words I share are never originally my own. God gives me the words and concepts that I am supposed to share with my readers.

To this day I am B.O.L.D. I cannot compare my journey to others my age because my path is different than theirs. I have made great strides in my own well-being over the past year. For the first time I have built the confidence to speak up and share my own thoughts and opinions. I stand tall and have a genuine smile; NOT because I am overly confident in the form of being conceited but I have learned my true value in Christ.

I am truly believing in the Lord’s direction as I wait upon Him to show me where I am suppose to be going with Lama-Leah blog and wherever He is going to take me after He is finished, “preparing me.” At the same time I am excited to see where God is going to take me in the future and how my writing is impacting the Kingdom of the Lord. I humbly ask my readers to pray for me as I expand my writing. I do not take it lightly that I am Christian writer and that my works can help show others the gospel, therefore, I am cautious not to misrepresent Yeshua and the book of God. It is an honor to know that this blog has played a part in some of my reader’s walks.

As I go through the motions of life, feel free to follow my journey on social media as well as this blog. My account names are the following — Facebook: Lama-Leah blog; Twitter: lamaleahblog; Instagram: lama12215leah and lamaleahbog Additionally, you can send me an email at lamaleahblog@gmail.com

I challenge you to be BOLD and share with others how you have been doing it, and where God has brought you.

-Lama Leah

Will You Defeat Haman?

Chag Sameach Purim! Happy Purim!

Purim is the celebration of Queen Esther saving the Jews from being persecuted from Haman. If you are not already familiar with this event, I encourage you to read the book of Esther. This festival is celebrated on the 15th of Adar (usually March) and is a time of rejoicing. Often times children dress in costumes of their favorite character in the story, some perform a purim ‘spiel’ (retelling of the story), and a traditional purim food are cookies called hamantaschens. 

As there is rejoicing during this season, it is also a reminder that we live in a word filled of anti-semitism. I have witnessed it in my own communities and you probably have too. As I was doing research for this post, I accidentally came across the google search, ‘anti- semitic memes.’I was shocked by the hatred of Judaism, especially towards events such as the Holocaust. I would not recommend searching this term.

Every year during Holocaust remembrance we say phrases such as, “never forget” but I can’t help but wonder if we have. If we have forgotten where anti-semitism thinking leads to. The Jews are God’s chosen people and the enemy delights in the destruction of them. Throughout history Satan has tried to demolish the Jewish nation. Even within the Garden of Eden the serpent attempted to destroy God’s people. Although there have been generations of an anti-semitism mindset, we can be grateful for those who have the courage of Queen Esther to who defeat the Haman’s.

You may be wondering how anti-semitism relates to you if you are not ethnically Jewish. It is easy to look away, especially if it does not directly affect you. However, if you call yourself a believer anti-semitism should be a concern for you. The Jewish nation is G-d’s chosen and they must be protected. Jesus was Jewish. If Hashem hadn’t used his people as tools to protect the nation of Israel, would Jesus have been born? If (strong) anti-semitic thinking ever becomes a part of the church, what kind of testimony are we having for the Jews who do not yet know Christ?

My challenge to you is to reflect upon this:

  • Has anti-semitic thinking become a part of my thoughts in anyway?
  • How has anti-semitism become a part of the community that I am a part of ?
  • Who are the Haman’s in my life? How can I influence their thinking, minister to them, and be a Queen Esther in their lives?

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE BELOVED! National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

It is national eating disorder  awareness week. If you are fighting the demons of an ED I want to remind you of three words.

YOU-ARE-BELOVED! 

You truly are. You are worthy of fighting to recover. Your value does not consist of the outside of your physical body but is in the depths of your soul. You were created with precision and passion by a loving heavenly father. He is in pain as He is watching you struggle because you don’t understand just how much He deeply loves you. If you are considering taking the rewarding road to recovery here a just a few of my thoughts on how this can be achieved (note that I am NOT a therapist these are just some of my own ideas).

  • Research and try *fresh* juices such as Boathouse, Naked, and local juice companies
  • Seek professional help. I cannot stress this enough
  • Create a reliable accountability system
  • Make an appointment with a nutritionist
  • Make a list of your goals
  • Remind yourself regularly your reasons to be healthy
  • Stay away from fashion magazines
  • Take a break from social media
  • Meditate upon the bible
  • Volunteer work on making genuine change in the world in the areas that you feel most passionate about
  •  Adopt a pet
  • Reward yourself the small but yet challenging steps of healing physically and emotionally!

If you choose to recover it might not be an easy walk, however I promise you that it is worth it. I challenge you to consider if it worth to die only to be thin.  YOU ARE BELOVED!

Transformation Tuesday 

Today is Transformation Tuesday. If you actively follow this blog you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently. I have been working on several writing projects and I am excited to (finally) share with you how God is using Lama-Leah.

I am honored to officially announce that I recently became a permanent writer for Discovering YOU Magazine. This magazine is published once a month and my first article was in the February issue that was released this past week. I am grateful for Dr.Tunishai Ford giving me the opportunity to write for Discovering YOU. 

I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to continue this small blog that has grown. I give all of the glory to Him.

If you are interested in reading this magazine, below is a link to subscribe!

http://www.drtford.com/DISCOVER_YOU_MAG_SUBSCRIPTION_REG.html

The Surprise Guest

It was a typical day in New York City. I had been in the city for a full day so far and I was enjoying it. It was evening and decided to have some dinner. I was enjoying a delightful salad and was starting to relax a bit. As I was finishing my meal a celebrity that frequently comes to New York came in the restaurant. I have to admit, my emotions got the best of me. I was in shock to see them in there. I almost screamed! Who was the celebrity you may be asking? I will give you a hint – he ran inside the salad shop to get some salad. He is small in stature and can be seen in different, diverse parts of the city on any given day.

Who was it???

Well, he was almost cute… He was… a mouse! A rodent ran through the restaurant.

I made a quick exit and continued my evening.

This was one of the first impressions that I had of this city.

The restaurant that I was in seemed to be a nice. It was in a lovely district, not an area of town that you would expect a mouse to be traveling through to the restaurants. However, it was a chilly evening and for some reason they were keeping the front door open. If the door had not open the rodent probably would have made his way inside.

I challenge you to consider if you have any doors open in your heart that could attract rodents. If you are a child of God your heart is pure through His blood and no rodents have a reason to be within you because you have Christ. Your heart is a reflection on your relationship with Yeshua.

Philippians 4:8 states. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

 

Single Girl’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day a few days away. I am writing to those who do not have a special someone to share this day with.

To some being single on Valentine’s day makes them sad. To others it is empowering. I am the latter one, but I understand the feeling of being alone too. If you are feeling sad, here are a few ideas on how to spend February 14th:

  • I highly suggest that you distract yourself. Do a project — either a project that you need to do around the house or something creative such as trying a new recipe or a Pinterest DIY.
  • Take the day to “unplug.” Turn your phone off! It is easy to go into a single girl pity party when you see how your Facebook friends are being spoiled by their significant others.
  • If you are in the Valentine’s day mood, make heart inspired crafts for your friends. Use the washi tape and make it fun!
  • Write love notes to strangers and leave them in public spaces. Show complete strangers that they are loved and valued; it may just make their day.
  • Spend time on yourself. Go to starbucks! Spend time in nature, go on a walk, make an appointment at a spa.
  • Spend time in the word of G-d.
  • Throw a “Galentine’s” day party (a Valentine’s day party for just you and your girlfriends).
  • If you can, go on a road trip.
  • Buy yourself chocolate and eat it in one setting while watching Legally Blonde 1, Legally Blonde 2, and Mean Girls.
  • Make coffee, buy some pop-tarts and watch Gilmore girls.
  • Have a Karaoke night with yourself.
  • Go to Target because Target makes everyone happy.
  • Go thrifting. Hit every thrift store within a twenty mile radius.
  • Offer to “babysit” your friend’s dogs for the night.
  • Give yourself a makeover and just stay in. Put on those high heels that you feel great in but can hardly walk in!
  • Read a book that you have been wanting to read (avoid anything written by John Green or books that are “gushy”).
  • Dance party!
  • Try making Kombucha – that’s different!
  • Go to the gym and play basketball.
  • Have flowers delivered to yourself.
  • Try doing the Pinterest hairstyle that you have been wanting to try but looks difficult.
  • Paint! Fill up several canvas in one setting.

Please remember you are loved! You may not be given flowers but you have a heavenly Father who loves you enough to give you eternal life! Your value has not changed, nor will it change based on your relationship status. You are important and an asset to the world, remember that! Valentine’s day is really just another day and the real holiday is February 15th, 16th, and 17th when Valentine’s day chocolate is 20%, 30%, and 50% off on clearance at Target. 🙂

How I OVERCAME Depression

In the past few weeks I have been open about my best friend saving me from suicide. I have been celebrating that I have made it two years and have not since tried to end my life (again). When I share my story many assume that I no longer fight depression, this is not true, however, I have learned how to overcome.

I recently went on a nature walk. I was stressed and fighting depression. I took the time to simply enjoy some fresh air and took along a journal and a pen. I wrote the following while admiring God’s creation.

“To me victory over depression is not having the privilege of being happy, it is finding the courage to leave the house when you don’t feel like it. It’s putting on an outfit that you feel good in and going on a walk when sadness is taking over, even if you only have enough energy to walk around the block once. It is the point in which you discover that YOU are worthy of self-care. Victory over depression is when you see the smallest joys in life, despite having the spirit of depression over your soul.”

Some have assumed that after that cold January night I no longer fought depression or suicidal thoughts, but that could be no further from the truth. I can honestly say that if my parents and my school hadn’t constantly “watched” me, I probably would have tried to end my life again. At points I felt suffocated, however, I was not in a mental state that I should have been alone. That night was not the end of my battle nor the beginning, however, it was when I began learning how to achieve victory.

In order to be an overcomer, I had to start doing the following.

I had to grid my teeth and endure therapy. My therapist was beyond patient with me as I was a stubborn patient. Yet, I learned valuable lessons within my time spent at counseling. Some argue that therapy is not important as long as they have someone to talk with. In a few situations this could be true. I say this because therapy can be extremely beneficial — you could be struggling with other mental health issues besides depression and the therapist will share techniques on handling your depression.

Before therapy could be beneficial, I had to believe that I was worthy of self-care and recovery.

Additionally, I had learn what my limits were, and how to say no. On certain days I cannot handle situations that can be triggering. On some days I can endure but not always. I am a protector, however, I oftentimes forget to protect my own mental health. I have had to be able to find the courage and strength to walk away from situations that can hinder my recovery.

I changed my health by what I put in my body. I learned for me consuming meat changes my mood. When I eat meat my anxiety and my depression becomes high. Therefore, meat is not in my diet. *I get plenty of protein for anyone who is wondering.*

Lastly, I have learned how to push myself. I have times that I desire to stay in bed all day. I try not to let myself do that though. When I am deeply depressed, even as I have limited energy, I make sure that I leave my home and go for a Target run or a nature walk.

I am an overcomer because I have learned how to live life in a healthy manner despite fighting depression. I have learned my limits, and how to appropriately push myself while having this disease. I see every moment that passes as a moment to celebrate recovery because each moment is one that I continue to live as the enemy has tried to defeat me.

If you battle depression, let me assure you that you too can win victory with the simple power of self-care — physically, mentally, and spiritually. Please be reminded that it is always worth the fight.

Two Years- Thank you!

If I could go back in time and be able to tell myself something, I’d tell myself to have faith that life will change. Today marks the the two year anniversary of my best friend, Hannah saved my life from suicide. I was beyond mad at her, but over time we were able to have a genuine friendship again.

I have been celebrating this week, especially today. Out of anticipation I could not sleep last night. I struggled for years and the spirit of suicide has tried hard to hurt me between now and the past two years. I am proud of myself for making  it this far. I never thought I would live to even the age that I am. 

Tonight I am dancing and am excited for the future. I personally want to thank everyone who has cheered me on along the way. I couldn’t have done it without you. ❤

To the Family of the Young Woman at the Mall

It takes more strength to leave in the middle of the night than to stay a hundred years (domestic, emotional, and sexual abuse awareness).

Recently, I re-read the blog that I wrote three months ago titled “To the young woman at the mall.” If you are not already familiar with the piece, it is linked here https://lamaleah.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/to-the-young-lady-in-the-mall/. I thought that it would be appropriate to write a part two/continuation of that post; this time it will be an open letter to the friends and family of the young lady in the mall.

Dear friends and family of the young lady at the mall, I understand that you are hurting for it is hard to see someone that you love be in an abusive relationship but here are some things to remember:

~ Do not blame yourself for the situation that your loved one is in. It is not worth the time or the energy spending your time wishing that you had done something different. It is easy to say, “If I was a better sister, aunt, mother, (whatever your relation may be) they wouldn’t be in that position.” It is convenient to think in that manner but you can’t be sure that if you were a “better friend” that they would make different life choices.

~Be the role model in their life that they need. Keep toxic influences out of your life, and don’t let others push you around. How will your love ones have a desire to leave an abusive relationship if you yourself are in them?

~ Don’t judge them for staying because it takes more strength to leave then it does to stay. Make sure they know that you can be a listening ear when they need it, encourage them to leave but remember that it takes a lot of courage to do so. If they reach out for help, and the abuser finds out, they probably will not be safe. It takes courage to leave when the victim knows what the risk factors are of leaving.

~Pray for everyone involved in the situation. I believe that people can change but only through the blood of Christ. “Prayer changes things.”

~Remind them that they are loved. You may be the only influence in her life that unconditionally loves her. She needs to know that she is loved and worth more than being abused before she will ever leave.

And lastly…

When they are ready to leave they will, but they will definitely need love and support when they take the steps needed to leave. If they leave, they will need your help to enter back into society. But in the meantime, while you are praying for them, love and show them Christ as much as you can in creative ways. I know that it hurts now, but remember that our heavenly Father is waiting for them with open arms.

“It takes more strength to leave in the middle of the night then to stay a hundred years (domestic, emotional, and sexual abuse awareness).”

To the Young Lady in the Mall

Lama-Leah

This weekend I went to the mall with my mom. After shopping for awhile we decided to take a break. As we were sitting I noticed a group of ladies sitting not too far away. It was a beautiful girl who appeared to be in her early twenty’s, her mother, her aunt, and the older women’s children were there too, but they were playing in a designated area for children. As I am trying to mind my own business, the group near me seemed to become louder and had more of a sense of urgency in their conversations. What I could pick up was that the mother and aunt were desperately trying to get the young lady to leave her boyfriend; he doesn’t treat her well. She, however, did not want to listen to what they had to say. I almost went over and joined their conversation but I didn’t…

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