Category Archives: Self-Love

New Year, Better Me: It’s All In The Bag

Hello world!! Happy New Year!!! It’s 2023 and I am ECSTATIC about what this new year is going to bring. It has been a loooooong while since I’ve written here, but NEVERTHELESS, here we are! The Vision Blogger is here again!

My last blog post was written in May of 2021. WHEW! What a journey I have been on since then! I have crossed many bridges, conquered even more mountains, and God has continuously kept me alive and my mind intact. I’ve sprouted a few new strings of grey hair and cut most of it off (I still can’t believe I did that one) but God has been faithful. Thank you, Lord!

Where did I leave off? I was released from my job assignment with the county in April of 2021. I worked solely on my business up until September of last year when a work-from-home job almost fell into my lap. Literally. I accepted the position with the intent to continue to focus on my business as much as possible. *I dare not give up on my dreams ever again for a job.* So, while working for this company, adding a few more business ventures, along with writing books (which I released my first word search puzzle on Amazon here) and being a mother, I continued to serve in ministry. Needless to say, I am a very busy woman. Now, the issue I have with being busy is making sure I’m being productive. Productivity is not only what I produce with my hands, but what I produce in my mind, body, and spirit. I, sometimes, focus so much on producing with my hands, that I neglect what matters the most. So, when I was invited to the New Years’ Eve Purpose Brunch by Lady Tina Armstrong, I cleared my entire day to take time for myself and focus on what God wanted to say at that moment.

I was the first one at the location because I wanted to get there to take a few pictures and drop off some items Lady Tina asked me to bring. As I entered the front door, I was given a SUPERWOMAN box of goodies, a purpose planner/journal/devotional/everything to help you get through the year, and a pair of cozy socks. Lady Tina had me remove my shoes, put on the socks, and allowed me to make myself at home. She was still in the kitchen cooking and prepping for the other guests to arrive. I did as requested. I kicked my feet up and prepared my heart and my mind for what was to come.

As I sat on the cozy couch, in my comfy socks, that moment brought back memories of going to my grandparent’s house for Thanksgiving, which had been years since my grandmother has not been able to cook for us after having to live with dementia. I felt at home. I made up my mind right then, this was a safe space. As the other ladies started to mosey in, introductions were made, hugs and kisses were exchanged, and conversations about seating arrangements through laughter filled the room. Brunch was served. As you can see, there was a SPREAD. You had fried chicken wings, seasoned potatoes garnished with fixings, grits, eggs, biscuits and gravy. WHEW! I got excited all over again. Not only was there good food, but your favorite choice of juice was available with champagne to make a sweet mimosa. This wasn’t Thanksgiving dinner, but it definitely was the breakfast I wish I would’ve had the morning of.

With our bellies full, it was time to go to work. For our first activity, we were given white bags and instructed, by Lady Kenisha Malone, to decorate this bag however you would like to, might I add, without knowing what the purpose was in the end. I drew a complete blank as to what I wanted this bag to say or have on it. The first thing that came to my mind was “Only The Beginning” because this was my beginning. The beginning of focusing on the moment and taking better care of myself. I placed those words in the middle, drew a few flowers to represent growth, and wrote my name on the back. After making this bag ready for display, I was told to take some sticky notes and write down my “baggage”, which were things I wanted to leave in 2022. I dug real deep inside of me to those secret places to pull out “the baggage”. I learned quickly these bags were not going to be for display, but was reminded that this is what we do with our baggage. We put on these facades to display “everything is alright” or “I’m good” or “I’m not hurting”, so no one will see what we are dealing with or what we are carrying. After filling these bags with our baggage, we were forced to crush it. My beautifully decorated bag full of things I felt made me who I was or comfortable at one time or another was headed for disposal. This was only the beginning.

Now, let’s get into this purpose planner/journal/devotional/everything to help you get through the year. Lady Tina hit the motherload with this one. This book was not just your ordinary planner. This book had scriptural-based meditation pages for a daily devotion, letters of encouragement from the SUPERWOMAN herself to get you through the day, week, or month, pages to write out your prayers, coloring pages to decompress from heavy days, and everything else to discover WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, and WHY. Yes, it’s a lot to take in and digest, but it’s so necessary.

Throughout the pages of this planner, it helps you write it out. I don’t know about you, but my thoughts are so much clearer on paper. There are even times when I don’t even know what to write about, but this book opens that dialogue within yourself that allows you to discover or rediscover YOU. There were other pages that made you think about who you are and what you really want. There was a page for you to write a letter to your future self. This page stuck out to me the most. I really had to think about where I see myself in years to come to be able to write to that person. I believe this book is perfect for anyone looking to learn, grow, and evolve.

Lady Tina took us through a few vital pages through the planner. Together, we completed these pages to the best of our ability and some of us shared what we wrote. We talked about one thing we could do that day to improve ourselves, one thing we would tell our teenage selves, our biggest inspirations, strengths, and weaknesses. Tears flooded this living room as we shared our thoughts. Through these tears, there were moments of reflection, encouraging words exchanged, love and understanding was dispensed. There was no judgement or shame about what we had been through or the damage others or ourselves had caused. We were in the LIVING ROOM to share and/or empathize with our sisters who needed an uplifting word, advice, or just prayer as they completely gave God their YES. We weren’t only there for ourselves at this point. We were in this together.

It’s moments like these that help you understand a key factor about life: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It may feel like it because of what we see, but there is SOMEONE who understands where you are. A lot of times, when we are going through situations in life, we can feel like we are the only ones who have had the experience or understand our process. We might not have been the person it happened to or we might not have had the exact same details of the experience, but we share the emotions. That is one thing I love about God. Those tough circumstances don’t always feel good at the moment, but He makes it very clear that every test and trial serves a purpose. It might not be for you, but it can definitely be used for someone else. He’ll place you in LIVING ROOMS, even if it’s your own, to minister to a group of women who need to be freed by your testimony or granted strength in knowing they can be completely healed from past hurts, love after being taken advantage of, or overcome any and all situations.

The theme for this brunch was butterflies. Upon my research, according to PBS, “Butterflies are one of the most diverse and most recognizable creatures in the insect world. They are famous for their symmetrical wings that often display amazing colors and patterns. But the life of a butterfly is far more than their beautiful wings. The butterfly’s life is one of complex change.” In a nutshell, the butterfly lays very small eggs that are so small you can’t even see them without a magnifying glass. The eggs are placed under a leaf until it hatches into a caterpillar that now uses the leaf that once covered him, for nourishment. The caterpillar continues to eat and grow, shedding layers of skin throughout its time until it can’t grow anymore. Then the caterpillar finds a safe space to create a cocoon until it is ready to break free. When the adult butterfly is released from the cocoon, their wings unfold and it’s ready to fly to fend for itself, mate, and start the process all over again.

I related our lives to a butterfly. We are eggs growing into babies in our mothers’ wombs, considered the covering, only able to be seen by a special machine called an ultrasound. We are under this covering until the birthing time where we become caterpillars, feeding from who gave us covering or any person God places in our path to provide nourishment. We eat and grow until it’s time for us to find our secret, safe space to privately deal within ourselves until it’s time for us to be revealed to the world covered in bright, unique colors. The beauty about each of us is that everyone’s time is different. Everyone’s path to birth and growth is different, but we all have our moment to be presented to those who will receive enlightenment from our process or our wings. Be Blessed and never stop flying.

My Love Letter To My Valentine

Dear Valentine,

Yesterday you allowed me to see something that I did not understand until later on. It wasn’t something that I was looking for. It’s just something that came across my view. But what I saw kind of threw off my day. I became agitated, irritated, just pathetic. When I had finally gotten to the point to where I became over it, all was well. What I saw still sat in the back of my mind, but it didn’t bother me like it had earlier in the day. I watched the movie of a couple go from middle school to high school with all these dreams to be together forever and what I saw came back to me like a ton of bricks. So when the movie ended I do what many single mothers do in pain. Turn the shower on, turn the music up as loud as I can, get in the shower, and cry my heart out to you. But, instead of thinking about everything that is going wrong, even though that’s how my cry started out, I begin to think about everything you do right. You make everything happen for a reason. If you did not allow me to see what I saw on yesterday, I would not have thought to release myself from whomever I needed to release myself from. I would not have broken soul ties that needed to be broken from my life. A few hours before Valentine’s Day, I cried my heart out to you. Told you how much I love you. I told you how much I needed you. I released my heart to you. I released my life to you. I released my soul and my spirit to you. I fully submitted my life to you. And as I watched the water go down the drain of the tub, I proclaimed the tears in that same water go down the drain forever. I will not have to cry about this again. I told you how I still have the faith to believe in you and Trust in the plan you have for me. I told you I wanted my desire to match your plan and purpose for my life. I believe you are going to give me the desires of my heart because I totally depend on you to have my heart and never break it. I love you. You have my heart Forever and always.


Your child.


Over two years ago, I was involved in a car accident. It was said that an accident happened behind me and pushed into my car. The third car spun in the air and landed to the right of me facing the other direction and I don’t even know how the car ended up on the left of me, but I was surrounded by damaged vehicles on every side except in the front. My vehicle was the only one able to be driven off the freeway, being that I only suffered damage from behind. Pieces from one of the cars sat on my bumper on the way to get the kids, on the ride home, and even on my way to work the next day, tucked over to the right side. I didn’t notice the pile of glass and screws until I was headed to lunch, while examining the damages in detail before driving off. I decided to get a piece of paper from my car and remove the pieces to the ground so I wouldn’t cut my hand, but I needed to move them out of the way in case I caused any damage to my tire trying to drive away from that spot. As I moved the pieces, I had to sweep them even further as to not damage any other person’s tires. Those broken pieces of glass lead me to believe this is how we do some of our relationships. You can either be the broken pieces sitting on someone’s bumper or you can be the holder of the broken pieces. Either way, both can be uncomfortable.

Be careful causing other’s to bleed from pieces of glass they didn’t break.

My children’s father and I were together for 6 1/2 years before he passed, which left me full of grief, bitterness, and anger. Now, at that time, I wasn’t honest with myself about those particular feelings, but one feeling I was most clear about was loneliness, which was normal after having someone laying next to you everyday for 6 years and suddenly you are alone. I was VERY reluctant on getting in another relationship after experiencing those emotions all at once. I, truly, didn’t want to believe, as a mother of three very small children at the time, I would even be liked let alone loved unconditionally by a man anyway. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen many single mothers and fathers get into happy and long relationships after a heartbreak, but that way of thinking I had was a reflection of how I felt about myself. I didn’t have nearly the level of confidence I have in myself now compared to then.

Now, I have only had one or two serious relationships since my ex’s passing. The one thing I tried my best to consider in those relationships were not allowing that particular person to pay for the emotions brought on by someone previously. Just like the pile on my bumper, I didn’t want someone to have to hold on to my broken pieces trying to love me. I knew my heart wanted to love again, but I was afraid. I was afraid of wasting my time. I was afraid of being lied to again. I was afraid of even getting my hopes to be let down. All of those fears led me to not actually be serious about a relationship. I was just meeting guys to talk on the phone to sort of fill the void of companionship. Not saying I don’t have those fears still at times, but I’m learning when you allow God to truly guard and guide your heart, you can’t go wrong. There are situations we put ourselves in for whatever reason that may be, but I’ve found God will allow those situations to teach us lessons and show us what He might have been trying to protect us from.

Be careful trying to love people whole. You may end up losing some of your pieces.

With me trying not to have my broken pieces held, I’ve found myself being the holder of others’. One particular man I was with was deeply hurt in his previous relationship with his children’s mother. I found myself losing my marbles trying to understand why he tended to kind of shut down when things were going in a good direction. Through many conversations, I learned the hurt he experienced caused him not to be able to fully expect good in a relationship. He just wanted to “ride the waves” and I felt like I made more waves with my irrational behavior caused by me not fully understanding what I tried my best not to do in a relationship. I thought me being there and continuing to love him through everything would make it all better, but I had to learn the hard way it would never be possible. While he tried to protect me from his broken pieces, I found myself trying to piece them back together, so to speak, while literally cutting my hands in the process.

Studying the meaning of these pieces left on my car allowed me to take a step back and realize the parts I’ve played in my own heartbreak and even good relationships I messed up with my own hands. First, I had to forgive myself for those parts and trust the process of becoming whole. I knew I could never have a successful relationship if I didn’t deal with things internally within myself. I knew I wouldn’t be able to be receptive to the type of love and companionship I desired. I would just continue to cut others with my broken pieces and even ones I’ve picked up from other’s damages. Second, I had to learn how to effectively love myself. I can almost bet there are millions around the world who look in the mirror daily and find something they don’t like about themselves. I believe when you effectively love yourself, you love the good and the bad because both ultimately make up who you are. If you don’t love you, how can you expect someone else to love you? The good and the bad. We can try because I most certainly have, but the foundation of love starts in you. Love you the way you desire someone to give you love, maybe even more. Be Blessed.

My Heart is Being Held Hostage


In life, as humans, we allow things that happen in our lives to hinder us from moving forward. I am guilty of doing this several times and not just in the past seven months, but most of my entire life. I have let fear, unhappiness, and anger cause me to become stagnant going absolutely no where. I let fear of being hurt or rejected cause me not to do something or go somewhere. I let unhappy situations or lifestyles hinder my growth as a person causing me to settle for what I did not deserve. I allowed anger to scrutinize every person I meet or come in contact with. I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want my past to hinder me from receiving what God has for me. I have learned, more now than ever, that if I am destined to have something or someone, be somebody, or go somewhere, it has to happen. The only person who can stop it is me.

In an activity with some of the ladies from my church, we had three strips of paper. On one strip, we wrote our God-given name. On the second, we wrote our nickname. On the last one, we wrote something that is important to us. As a mother, I was going to immediately say my children because they are my life. But, the woman giving the assignment stated that we could not put our children. So, I began to think about something immaterial that is important to me. My Heart. I love with so much power and might that I sometimes neglect myself, my well-being, and even my dignity. I have never regretted loving anyone with this type of love, no matter how much it hurt me in the end. In showing this type of love, my heart has been broken into several pieces many times to where I felt it could never be mended back together. Even in the mist of being in pieces, I would always allow love to be given and taken in. I have found that my heart is being held in an open glass. I’ve been holding it hostage, trying to protect it and I have found that The more and more I try, the more vulnerable I become.

I have to move forward from here. I deserve every piece of love my heart can hold. And it starts with me. I am going to love every part of me without limits. I am going to love myself with a vengeance, an unrecognizable, unexplainable force. I want this love for me to be so strong that it spills over into everything I do and who I come in contact with. I will love again and I’m going to love so hard that instead of my heart shattering, if it is ever hurt again, it will have just a missing piece. My love will be so strong that I can put it back.

Redefining Ebony

Hello family. I will refer to anyone who reads my blogs as my family because only people who care about what you are doing in your life, are family. Again, thank you for taking time. Sorry it took me so long since my first post, but the month of March was a little, or maybe a lot, more tougher than I expected. There is one subject that I find myself discussing on a day to day basis is redefining myself. Some of the things that I am going to confess are very sensitive and in no way am I putting down anyone that I speak of in this blog. Every person was a very intricate part of my life.

When I was 7-years-old, myself, my mother, and younger siblings joined a church where I continued  worshiping there until I was 20-years-old. Circumstances came around when I was about 8 or 9-years-old where my mother was faced with a choice of staying at this church or leaving along with others.  God told my mother we were to continue being members. Being a child and not understanding fully of what was going on in the “world of grown-ups”, I had no choice but to follow. Over those 13 years, I found myself beaten, battered and bruised. This abuse was not physically, but emotionally. I worked from dusk to dawn to please my pastor, but in trying, I only hurt myself more. During this time, I was being told what I was supposed be and there was a certain way I was supposed to act, not even realizing what God actually wanted me to be, but because she was following God, there we were. Throughout these years, Ebony was my name, but I did not know who Ebony truly was. I was going day-to-day just existing, literally terrified. I never knew what was next. While trying to “make myself feel better”, I found myself looking for comfort through sex. This showed that I did not care about myself or my well-being. I just wanted to stop hurting.

In May of 2008, I met Jerod, the father of my children. At that time, he had just gotten out of a relationship and I was hurting as well, so, we started a really good friendship. My apartment, that I lived in alone, was burned down to where nothing was left. At this time, I felt this was a wake-up call to get myself together. Jerod and I became a couple that August and, then, I didn’t know how to be truly committed.  Jerod loved me just that much that he stayed with me and showed me how true love can heal hurts. Then, I became “Jerod/Ebony” because it was VERY rare that you saw one without the other. I tell everyone that Jerod had me spoiled. He, absolutely, did everything that he could to make me happy and in turn, I wanted to do the same. Now, with Jerod gone, I am having to redefine who I am. Not saying Jerod did not allow me to be my own person, but like I grew up, I found myself trying to please others more, even if it made me miserable.  I just wanted to make him happy.

So, on my purpose journey, I am learning Ebony.  I’m learning what I like and don’t like.  I’m learning how to make decisions without having to consider others feelings or worry about how anyone will react. Now, I am making decisions on what is best for me and my children. In making these decisions, I am following God with my children following me.  This is truly a process, but I believe anything in life that is on it’s way to greatness, has to go through a process. Until next time, Be blessed.