Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying My First House

Buying my first home was much deeper than just owning property. For me, it was breaking a generational curse. My parents never owned homes, neither did my husband’s parents. It felt like a childhood dream that felt tangible yet unreachable. So, when I married my husband and we started to expand our family, we prioritized not only finding the perfect home for our family, but also ending the cycle of renting within our family.

Unlike what’s seen on television, purchasing a home is a stressful and tedious process! However, on the day you sign what feels like a trillion papers, and you’re officially handed the keys to your new home, the stress you were once anxious to neglect, becomes a faded minuscule moment.

Because this was our first time buying a house, we experienced a few stressful moments that we could’ve avoided if we were more knowledgeable about the home-buying process. Now that all our boxes are unpacked, and we’re comfortably settled in, let’s go over some essential nuggets I wish I new before buying our home!

1. Find the perfect lender!

What’s a lender? Your lender is the financial institution that finances your home with the expectation that you’ll pay them back. After a credit check and an extensive loan application, your lender tells you what you’re qualified to borrow. Researching what lender is best for you is pertinent. Different lenders have different interest rates and some lenders even offer incentives. Don’t get caught up in JUST being qualified for a loan, search around and make sure you’re using a lender with the best benefits for you!

My family chose to use veterans united for our lender. Using them guaranteed us not only one of the lowest interest rates, but they also supplied us with a realtor. A perk of using their realtor was an additional credit for an even lower interest rate.

Veteran’s United also sent us cute housewarming gifts like this cute cup!

2. Find the best realtor for YOU!

Find a realtor that is willing to fight for what you want! Don’t feel pressured to use any realtor. Use someone who understands your wants and is willing to go above and beyond to find them for you! The realtor we originally started the process with turned out not to be the realtor we stuck with. While searching around for the best realtor, remember to be honest about what you want and your wariness about not wanting to commit to one person upfront. For example, before fully committing to the realtor we closed with, we worked with someone else. Thankfully, we didn’t sign any paperwork binding us to our first realtor, because of that, when we decided they weren’t the best fit for us, we were able to use another person.

3. Understand the housing market!

Is it a buyers market or sellers market? This determines how much power you hold as a buyer. When we purchased our house, it was a seller’s market. This meant that the seller had the upper hand. Houses were selling fast and because of this, we had to not only act fast in putting in an offer, but be willing to compromise on certain upgrades.

4.Just say NO!

Be willing to walk away from bad deals. Remember, buying a house is a serious commitment. Stay within your budget, and be willing to walk away if the price and home aren’t up to par. Separate your emotions from your reality. Take a step back and consider life after your emotions have settled. Is the house worth the cost? Can you see yourself in this home forever?

5.What’s Earnest money and why do you have to pay it?

Earnest money is the money you put down when you make an offer. The amount can be as little as $500. The amount you put down shows the seller how serious you are about purchasing. In the end, your earnest money is used towards your closing cost!

6. Find the perfect inspector!

When making a serious purchase like purchasing a home, getting an inspection is important. You want to ensure that the home you’re purchasing is quality! The worst thing that could happen is finding out your dream home is more than you bargained for after already closing. Finding a good inspector is easy! My realtor provided me with a list of prospect inspectors. I selected the inspector that provided the best price. I urge you to find an inspector that bundles the first inspection and re-inspection in one price. This tidbit can save you a few $100. At this point, you’ve probably already shelled out a lot of money not to mention the money you’ll have to pay at closing. Cut all frivolous cost!

5. Check every corner of your house at the final walk through!

So far, you’ve had an inspection performed by a professional inspector and an appraisal (another inspection to dictate the home’s worth.) You’re probably tired of hearing about inspections but take heed of the final walk through! This is your FINAL opportunity to have anything rectified before you officially own the home!

Everyone doesn’t have the liesure to take a homebuyers class, I get it. Or maybe you didn’t expect to be buying a house so soon; so, you didn’t have the proper time to educate yourself on the process. Look, buying your house doesn’t have to be stressful, utilize these tips to your advantage! I hope you find your dream house!

Xoxo,

Christian

I Gave My Daughter Her Dream Pinterest Nursery For Only $10

My daughter has never had her own room. Immediately after her birth, we shared a nursery and a few months after that she was moved into her big brother’s room. I’m sure she’s dreamed of her own space since her days in the womb! Recently, we moved into a new home and the most exciting part of the move was knowing that I’d get to decorate my daughter’s room!

To cut cost, because buying a house is EXPENSIVE, I decided to repurpose everything we already owned for her room makeover. Kids are destructive, and too often do parents spend money for elaborate room decorations and furniture just for the kids to break it! I didn’t want to be that mom.

I sought room decor ideas from Pinterest. I like to think of Pinterest as the little encouraging angel that sits in my shoulder reminding me that, “anything is possible.” And it is! I found several ideas for inspiration!

I already owned a lot of bohemian furniture so the boho theme was definitely a no brainer. No matter your style, finding a theme is poignant. Your theme is the overall goal for the space. Within that theme, you can play around with colors and style!

Another goal I had for her room was to make it practical and light. I didn’t want my daughter to feel like her room was crowded or too perfect for play. I kept decorations light and fun!

Link to the wall decals: Polka Dots Wall Decal Irregular Dots Wall Decal Removable Vinyl Polka Dot Decor Modern Wall Sticker Nursery Wall Decor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087RKMGG4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fab_gFoDFbRE0YXA0

To add some character to her walls, I purchased polka dots to create an accent wall. Overall, her room makeover cost $10! That’s it!

Remember, you don’t have to be rich to live the life you want! Repurpose what you have! Create new memories with old things in your home! Most importantly, think twice before you throw things away!

“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” ― Oscar Wilde

Xoxo,

Christian

There’s Power in Patience.

As a freelancer, you get accustomed to the word no. Even if it’s not said directly, you can take the hint when a piece you’ve written gets rejected from a publication. It can be discouraging, but I’ve learned that for every no, there’s a yes. When you consider the millions of publications around the world, one measly rejection email from one out of a million other publications seems minuscule.

In all transparency, I didn’t always possess this optimism. As a matter of fact, I was apprehensive to share my work for a long time. For a while, I didn’t. Consequently, when my last writing gig fell through, I felt like that experience reflected my talent as a writer. I questioned my talent and abilities.

So, imagine my astonishment when a friend reached out to me about a writing job. This friend is an established writer with a pretty impressive resume. Her considering me for ANY job in my eyes was/is an honor. (For the past months, she’s been a driving force of encouragement and light.) I’ll be forever grateful for her kindness.

She asked me to write an article covering Black hiker’s week on Instagram. I did. I conducted interviews with the curators of the movement and managed to write and submit the piece before the deadline. (All while mothering my two little ones) Immediately after receiving my article, I received the green light for layout. A few days later, I was submitting my invoice and W9!

Screenshot of my article, visit my publication tab to read the full piece

While I sat on the same bed I once shed tears on now writing for a bigger publication than my last; I had an epiphany. Last month I was distraught about my last writing gig disrespecting both me and my writing. Of course I knew that experience wouldn’t permanently hinder my writing career, but that didn’t make the trial any less hard. To be sitting in the same spot I once bawled my eyes out, now ok’ing article edits in a real deal publication felt like the biggest HAHA to the ones who doubted me—to the ones who hurt me.

Right then and there I heard God’s voice loud and clear. “Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalms 46:10) I’m unsure of why I hadn’t heard Him before. I’m sure this wasn’t His first time telling me to trust Him

While I had been questioning the reason, “why,” at my last job, God was orchestrating a plan—a major one! He needed me STILL and PATIENT so that I could prepare for my next task. The irony of it all was that just last month, my “Pro-black article” was too Black to be published in my old publication. Yet, my that article that was just published in Outdoor Retailer was Black as hell and in company with other beautiful Black stories.

To whoever’s reading this, remember to be still and patient, because although you’re weary and even a little anxious, your current set back is apart of a major comeback!

Seeing my name in Outdoor Retailer’s latest weekly issue was a reminder that things are always working for my good (Yours too) by the grace of God! Let today serve as a reminder for you to be as still as an anxious Amazon Prime shopper anxiously waiting by their door for the postman to deliver their package. Stay where you are and let God deliver (to) you!

Xoxo,

Christian

Affordable and Unique Father’s Day Gift Ideas

There aren’t enough words to describe how important dads are. I mean for starters, they play an important role in creating you, then they spend the rest of their lives loving you outside the womb. Despite society knowing how vital dads are, for some reason, dads always seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to Father’s Day. In comparison to Mother’s Day, it seems that dads don’t get as much appreciation. I mean, most restaurants don’t even offer dads FREE meals on Father’s Day. It sucks, because dads deserve love too!

Someone who once shared my same notion was, Sonora Smart Dodd. Dodd founded Father’s Day in 1910 at the YMCA to celebrate fathers like hers. Her dad was a single father rearing 6 children. She wanted to dedicate a day of appreciation to him and others that shared his same plight.

Sonora Smart Dodd

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has us all forgetting what day of the week is. This means special holidays like Father’s Day feel as if their date is approaching out of nowhere! Don’t let this pandemic make you forget about Father’s Day!

So why not buy the gifts for all the special fathers in your life now? Let’s knock this thing out the park! Let me help you!

Dads might not be as straightforward about the gifts they want compared to moms, but it’s safe to assume that most dad’s don’t want another tie! Being in the midst of a pandemic has affected many American’s pockets, but what if I told you that you don’t have to break the bank to find dad the perfect gift? Frankly, I’m confident in my abilities in assisting you find the special man in your life the best and most affordable gift. Why, because I’ve already purchased all my Father’s Day gifts!

First things first consider what the dad your buying for likes. There’s no such thing as a one gift fits all.

My husband and children

Due to Covid-19, many stores are still closed. This makes ordering all your Father’s Day gifts online a no brainer! Thanks to quarantine my online shopping skills have enhanced immensely meaning; I’ve learned how to really navigate and shop purposefully online. I told you, I’m the perfect person to help you with Father’s Day shopping!

Below I’ll list some of my favorite gift ideas! I also enlisted some things we bought for my husband!

1. Running Shoes

You can never go wrong with running shoes and because we’ve all recently been enjoying outdoor exercise, it’s no better time than now to indulge in new running shoes. I visited the site bestproducts.com to find the perfect running shoes for my husband. The site details what sneakers are best suited for certain fitness activities. You’ll be sure to find the perfect shoes for dad!

Image taken from bestproduct.com

2. Jewelry

You might not be able afford the most expensive dad bling, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still purchase jewelry dad likes. Search for personalized jewelry. In the past, I got my husband a wooden watch with an engraved message on the back from the kids. He wears it everyday!

Image taken from Amazon.com

3. Clothes

I know when you think of purchasing clothes as gifts, you probably think you have to purchase expensive namebrand clothes. You don’t. In fact, my husband tends to cherish personalized tees the best. You can get a special message plastered on a shirt and gift it to dad. I promise he’ll cherish it forever!

Image taken from Amazon.com

4. Books

Buy your dad a book about fatherhood, honoring fatherhood, or a book that has a personalized story about him! There are books that give you the option to add names and personalize your stories! Gift a gift dad can keep forever.

Taken from Amazon.com

5. Art

If you have children, chances are, the kids have already made dad some type of art, and although dad will appreciate that art forever, consider making dad something more long lasting than a drawing. Visit an art center and make dad a plate or mug! You can customize your gift and guarantee that it’ll be safe for dad to use!

No matter what you decide, the best gifts should be heartfelt. I try to gift my loved ones gifts that are meaningful to them. This means that my gifts aren’t always the most expensive. Sometimes they’re not even store bought. Remember to buy gifts based off what you know the recipient would appreciate. Happy early Father’s Day and Happy shopping!

Xoxo,

Christian

I’m Scared.

It’s not that police brutality or the mistreatment of African Americans in America is new; it’s that before, I didn’t feel the same urgency to consider and protect, until I became a wife to a black man and a mother to black children. I’ve been black all my life yet I didn’t become vocal about black rights—human rights until I became pregnant with my son. It was in 2015 when I was welcoming new a life while many black parents like the parents of Sandra Bland were saying goodbye to a life.

Though pregnant, I hadn’t really comprehended what it meant to mother while black. I remember reading about Sandra Bland and acknowledging that her treatment was unjust, but still being unsure of the possible truth behind the evil accusations made against the police department. I couldn’t fathom such cruelty in modern times. I just couldn’t.

It wasn’t until I experienced the first disregard to my little black baby’s life that I realized, white society doesn’t feel the same urgency to respect or nurture black lives.

“It’s no big deal,” the nurse said to me rolling her eyes as I nervously ask her what was next. With little regard, the nurse pointed to the hospital gown I was to get dressed in and exited out the room. I dressed in my hospital gown to deliver my baby boy prematurely. Although Liam was full term, he was induced 3 days early due to lack of amniotic fluid.

“No big deal,” I thought. If it was no big deal, why was I being wheeled across the hospital and being told to remain calm? Why did my baby need to be born today if this was in fact, “no big deal.” It was in that moment when my body was consumed with fear, my mind monopolized by hypotheticals, and my family still 2 hours away from comfort that I realized, I, the black mother of this black baby had to advocate for his life—our life. The nurse with her biases treated me and my unborn child as nuisances. In those moments I quickly grasped the meaning of what mothering while black would entail.

That interaction shaped how I parent and love my son. It shaped how I maneuver in life. In that same hospital days after my son’s birth I remember a doctor’s astonishment that my son had a present father in his life. “Oh, he has his father’s last name,” the doctor asked with a raised brow. Liam, my sweet baby boy hadn’t even settled in this world, yet somehow society had already written his story.

So when I hear of stories about sweet brown baby boys now black men like Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, my heart doesn’t just break, it shatters. These men’s mother’s looked at their babies the same way I look at mine. The bond between mother and child is well established before the child enters the world and being a black mother to a black child enhances that bond times 10. Everything leading up to birth has been calculated, well thought out, and understood. For instance, black mothers know that the maternal rate for them is abnormally high. So a lot of consideration goes into choosing the best hospital to deliver. Black mothers understand that schools aren’t picked based solely on zoning. The school your child goes to has to be racially diverse enough to empathize with black plight, but white and wealthy enough to offer better opportunities. Black mothers understand that although they bring life into the world, they too have to acknowledge that there’s a possibility that at anytime life might be stolen from them by the hands of authority.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to let my babies grow up, “as if I have a choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared to let my babies “just be a kids,” “as if they have that choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared to send them out into the world, “as if I have a choice.”

I’m scared.

I’m scared for white society to be scared of them because of the color of their skin, “as if they have a choice.”

Times like this I question God. I do. Why? Why is this happening? Why is this still happening? Why is it happening to people of color?

My son matters. My husband matter. My daughter matters. I matter.

Today I have no powerful words or insight to share, because the truth is, I’m just scared.

The Journey to Becoming the Mother I Never Had

Coming of age memoir

The first vivid memory that I have of my mother is when she sent me to stay with my grandmother after my brother was born. The memory serves as small flashbacks; suddenly, my mother was rushed to the hospital to give birth to my baby brother, at one point I was asleep on a visitor’s chair in the hospital lobby. Next, I was handed a box of orange juice by a nurse, and the last thing sketched in my memory is my aunt’s car pulling out my grandmother’s driveway, and me, a newly promoted sister, 5 years old, watching as the car sped away. No one really explained what was happening. I was left to assume that mommy had gotten a new baby and no longer needed her old one.

Before my baby brother, my mom treated me somewhat like a burden. She took me places, and she bought me things, but often times, it felt like a tired routine that she was over performing.

I remember walking into my grandmother’s house the day my mom welcomed my new brother. The blinds were open to let in sunlight, but the eerie of truly believing that my mother was getting rid of me tented my vision with the darkest gray. Grandma’s house was dark both literally, and figuratively. My mom and my grandmother were never close. My mom had made it clear that she didn’t approve of my grandmother’s parenting. Knowing this while standing with my luggage in my hand at my grandmother’s front door solidified the feeling that my mother didn’t care about me.

Feelings of abandonment, and uncertainty consumed 5-year-old me, and even after my mom retuned to pick me up from grandma’s house (after what felt like a few years later,) the feeling of rejection never subsided.

I spent the latter part of my childhood desperately trying to gain attention from my mother. Any attention was welcomed, no matter how it was rendered. I gave my mom a hard time in elementary school, talking out in class, and constantly finding myself in disappointing situations. Although I didn’t always know why I behaved the way did, I remember just wanting to be seen, heard, and loved.

Old age and spankings quickly taught me that good behavior offered the best attention given to me by my mom. So, I took heed, and became an angel child. My favorite pastime was being around my mom on those “good behavior days” in front of company.  An audience fed my mom’s desire to appear as a doting mother, and with every ounce of praise she received, my mom performed harder.  These performances never mattered to me. I was always overly eager to indulge in any affection offered to me by her. This temporary acknowledgement that came with these shows was always worth it. People would eat up her act, and that made her perform even better. Our relationship was never organic, but situational. I knew this, but I didn’t dare accept it.

When I became a pregnant with my first child, I remember feeling lost—mostly unsure. I knew failed parental relationships dwelled deep within my family. I understood that the only way that I’d know if I had inherited this cancerous trait was after I too became a parent, vulnerable and new. It was only logical that I address my childhood traumas with my own mother before I could ever be someone else’s mom.

After my son was born, I fell into the deepest love with him. He was perfect in every way; I awaited the moment that I would fail to make him feel loved in the same way that my mother did to me. Late feedings would end with me mesmerized by a face belonging to a being that I loved more than myself. Acknowledging this admiration for my child, conjured unanswered questions as to why my own mother didn’t feel this way about me. The ache of not knowing the answer to my question began to haunt me. I was never alone in my thoughts, because every moment I was granted time to think; the ghost of, “why” persisted a fixation. The question “why” took the form of my child. Despite my baby being alive, they question, “why” haunted my child’s very existence. My son became a ghostly reminder of the love I always wanted but would never get.

Liam and Zora

 I didn’t know what to do, so I continued to do what I had been doing for the past couple of months; I nurtured him, I fed him, I talked to him, and most importantly I loved him—so much. My haunted baby might have become the Casper I never wanted to encounter, but still, I couldn’t fathom even a ghost feeling alone. So, I became a ghost whisperer and as soon as I started to accept my new norm, something happened. One day, I looked down at my son’s face, he once Casper, no longer looked ghostly. In fact, he looked new. It was as if I was meeting my son and he was meeting his mother, for the first time.

In this realization, I felt as if chains had fallen at my feet–invisible shackles broken. The ghost that once consumed my child was gone. Before I could fully wrap my head around what just happened, I had an epiphany. In that moment of cradling my baby boy in my arms, I realized what that ghost symbolized. It was a ghost from my past, a generational curse. When it realized that it had no place in my home—my life, it concluded that it had no ability, no power! By giving my son the selfless and pure love that I never had, I was discontinuing a long viciously and unhealthy family cycle. Selfless love had broken my family’s generational curse. I was free of burden! We all were. The ghost of my past no longer had a place to fester or feed. So, when the ghost and I realized that, I was immediately emancipated.

On that day, that’s how I became the mother I never had.

How A Nikki Giovanni Quote Gave Me The Confidence I’d Been Longing For

Putting your art out for the world to critique is hard. It’s one of the most vulnerable things I’ve done in life. I always knew that I wanted to explore and nurture my artistic side, but I allowed my low self esteem to dictate my vision.

Time and time, I would map out these life plans and dreams just to find every excuse in the book not to follow through. I became a first class quitter. I mastered quitting and I had grown comfortable in defeat. This was all until I learned the definition of defeat. Defeat means to overthrow. All along I had been allowing negative thoughts to OVERTHROW my purpose.

Taken from lifechrome.com

On one of purposeless days , I came across an old video of Nikki Giovanni interviewing James Baldwin. The video had resurfaced online.

I’d always been a Nikki Giovani fan, but I’d never watched or listened to her interviews. In the video clip I watched, she was beautiful and confident. There she was interviewing a legend, she a legend too, and she conducted herself with so much boldness. Seeing this made me fall in love with her even more. Giovanni dominated that interview, but not in a negative way. She asked questions and received the answers, but she never gave the impression of demure.

Sometimes, when in the presence of a powerful man, we women feel the need to stifle ourselves or hold back out of reference. It’s been ingrained in us since birth to always let the man lead. This is ok sometimes, but never ok ALL the time. In the interview, Giovanni didn’t do that. She conducted herself like she knew she deserved to be there, and she did! Nikki didn’t let James Baldwin or his status intimidate her and that…

That’s what I wanted for myself.

Afterward, filled with newfound excited, I searched for a Nikki Giovanni quote to post on my daily agenda. I’m really into beautifying quotes thanks to my favorite fictional journalist, Mary Jane Paul from the series, Being Mary Jane. In the series, every episode starts off with a profound quote.

One of the first quotes I found of Nikki Giovanni was, “I am so hip even my errors are correct.” The quote is so simple, but to me, it represents everything Nikki Giovanni is to me and taught me to be—unapologetically fierce! She taught me with that one sentence to embrace my flaws—failures, because owning them makes me who I am.

There’s no better time than now to pursue your dreams! Write! Love! Do whatever it is that you’ve been putting off!

You’ll never live the life you want if you dwell in defeat.

Xoxo,

Christian

My Husband Wasn’t My Type. Well, I Thought He Wasn’t

As a young girl, I spent countless hours dreaming of my wedding, future family, and spouse. I still have some of my dream wedding gown sketches from 6th grade. I was young and my thoughts about marriage were pretty shallow. It didn’t help that my parents were divorced and couldn’t stand to be in the same room with each other. I didn’t have the best examples of what a healthy marriage looked like, so I dreamt of what I wanted my my ideal marriage to look like—be like.

When I met my husband for the first time, it was a weird encounter. He wasn’t my type. He was socially awkward, and we had nothing in common. (I thought we had nothing in common.) It’s safe to say that we both shared relief when the date finally ended.

It wasn’t until I needed a roommate that I reached out to him. He had room and he was never home. Perfect, I thought. We tried our hardest to dislike each other and remain at a distance, but the intimacy of living together forced us to learn a lot about each other. We saw each other’s dates, saw each other sad, angry, smelled each other’s poops, and saw each other drool in our sleep. Living together made having our guards up impossible to do.

One day out of the blue, my husband told me that he was deploying to Afghanistan. He was really causal about it, but he wanted me to prepare to find a new roommate. I don’t know what shifted, but in that moment, we both felt the need to protect each other. It was apparent that we both really cared about what happened to each other next. I had been saving for a car and hadn’t reached my goal. “I’ll add $1000 to your car fund,” he offered. “Where are you going to go,” he asked. “I’ll write you everyday,” I promised him.

Before he left for Afghanistan, I visited him in Virginia. Did you know that Virginia is called the love state?

We spent a weekend together, holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. It felt right. We’d never behaved like this before, but for some reason we fell into this flow.

On the way back home, my friends and family checked in. “Did you tell him?” “Tell him what?” “That you love him…”

It took a deployment for us to realize that we were in love and had been for a very long time. I prayed for a safe deployment, but God had other plans. My husband ended up not deploying.

He came back to me and the rest is history.

You don’t make love. You grow it.

Xoxo,

Christian

They Weren’t Using You, God Was

Have you ever felt like somebody got over on you? Like, you gave this person all you had, yet they stabbed in the back and deserted you–turned on you. We’ve all had that feeling. Whether it was an old ex, a family member or friend, we’ve all been let down by someone we cared about. After the perpetrator’s egregious acts, we usually sit back and think about all the things we did for them. “I did this.” “I did that.” In the end, we end up feeling lost, angry even. We feel used!

What comes next depends on your spirituality, if you’re still in you’re Simon stage, you just might get even–curse the other party, the (bleep) out. If you’re in your Peter stage, you’ll take the high road. No matter the phase you take, you’re hurting, because, “they used you!” But what if it wasn’t “them” who used you, but “He?”

God knows everything before it happens. He places us where we need to be. Our flesh has taught us to think that He places us places we need to be for our own agendas, but sometimes He puts us in places others need us to be. Because God moves through people, He uses us to do His work–if you allow Him to anyway.

No long post today just a short and simple message. Instead of being hurt by what you think someone took from you, thank God for Him using YOU to SHARE what He GAVE you. Let God use you! Amen Jesus! 

Philippians 2:13 ESV

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Taken from Pinterest
Xoxo,

Christian

Effective Ways To Keep Depressive Thoughts Away

Like most Americans, I’ve been dealing with depression for awhile. It’s a forever wave of sad and negative thoughts sometimes triggered by stress or trauma. One year, my depression got so bad, I called the suicide helpline. It wasn’t that I wanted to commit suicide, I just needed direction. I knew that I refused to leave my family behind without trying, and I knew that I refused to give into to devil’s lies.

I sat sad in my dark room, cried and thought to myself about what things I could do in that moment to make me feel better—at least feel a little better. At the time, I was still newly postpartum with Liam. I didn’t feel beautiful, and was struggling with my new identity as a mom. I’ve always been a girly girly so I thought about ways I could improve my outer being, and in turn improve my inner. I started my weight lifting journey, started to make time for myself every 2 weeks to get my nails done and I made sure to wear clothes that made me feel sexy!

When I started doing these things, I started to feel good about me! I felt good and I looked good. I was making progress. It’s seems silly that me investing in cosmetic things helped my depression, but it was deeper than that! When I really examined my life, I was already doing to the hard stuff—completing the steps to achieve my larger goals. I was back in college, I was mastering motherhood and my marriage was on the ups. I realized that although my depressive thoughts directed me elsewhere, the real source of this wave of sadness was from not being happy with me. So, what better way to fix me than to invest in me, right?

When I found the source of my sadness, I was able to address it. My friends and family started to notice the change in my mood, and it felt good to be on top of Mt. Depression!

Depression sneaks in at our most vulnerable times, hoping to masks its minor issues in larger issues. Depression will make you feel like you’re not good enough, causing you to want to quit when in reality, an example source of your depression could derive from you being overwhelmed in school. Depression attaches itself to our subconscious and acts through our conscious. There’s so cure for depression, because depression was made by the enemy to plant doubt in a mind that already knows the truth. The truth is, depression can only take hold of you if you give it your hand. Don’t!

Cry, scream, pray and then sit alone in your thoughts! Write down how you’re feeling. Your feelings will most likely be lies like:

I’m not good enough.

No one likes me.

I’ll never get anywhere in life.

Beside those “feelings,” write down the truth depression doesn’t want you to know.

I am enough!

Jesus likes me, I like me!

It may be hard, but I’ll get there one day!

After that, think about what triggered your bad thoughts. Was it a falling out with a friend? Was it your job? What happened to send you in this downward spiral?

When you figure this out, compose a plan to change your situation. If it’s a spit with a friend, talk to them. If it’s your job, maybe it’s time to talk to your boss or find another place to work.

If you’re reading this, and think this sounds like too much to do, ask yourself if you’re ready to divorce depressive thoughts? Maybe you’re not ready to get better, and that’s ok. We have to remember that although no one asks for depression, it’s still our responsibility to climb out of the dark hole.

Try these steps, they helped me tremendously! Depression never leaves, it’s a silent attacker that attaches itself to your life when you’re most vulnerable. Be prepared. I use these steps each time I find myself in a bad place. It’s ok to take time to re-evaluate your situation. Depression will make you think you can’t beat it, but you can!

When depression makes its return and attack on my life, I 1.)find the cause of the relapse, 2.) I strategize on how to rectify the problem, and 3.) I rectify the problem!

Don’t let depression become bigger than you. I love you! Be happy lappy, not depressy lessy!

Xoxo,

Christian