Her-Story Spotlight: Wendy Magee

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This month on the Her-Story Spotlight, we are featuring author and speaker Wendy Magee.  Wendy is the author of the book “And She Called Him Lord,” a road map to making sound and Godly choices in marriage.  Wendy also recently launched her ministry entitled “Speak UP” with the purpose to lift up marriages through edification and empowerment through the goal of establishing divorce proof marriages.  Wendy Magee was born and raised in Port Arthur, TX and moved to New Orleans in 2007 through the now 10-year marriage to husband David Magee, Jr.  and is the mother of two children, Kaleb and Kyrie.  As Wendy and I sat down, we delved into what God’s purpose for her ministry is and how it all got started.

 Why did you become an entrepreneur?

“God gave me the revelation about the order of family and I wrote my first book. I didn’t intend to start a ministry, but I believe it’s a need that has to be filled. “

How long have you been in business? 

I’ve been in business since January of 2016.

What inspired you write the book “And She Called Him Lord?”

“Going to Franklin Avenue Baptist church marriage ministry, there was a couple there that did a poem and at the end of the poem, the wife told her husband she would call him Lord.  Initially, my husband asked me would I call him Lord and I told him no, but then not even a month later the Lord began to reveal to me the purpose of family, the purpose of what it meant when Sarah called her husband lord, and it brought me to an understanding of how God ordered the family.”

When you wrote the “And She Called Him Lord,” what were your initial intentions for it?

“My intentions were and still are to create an atmosphere where people that are married or desire to be married can create this divorce proof marriage.  Even people in the church are getting divorced and they are not understanding that if you have the order and your foundation is solid, that God will sustain you in anything. When that order is lost and the woman thinks she is the foundation or roles are reversed, then it leads to cracked foundations, which in essence leads to divorces.  So, that’s my intention to really just give people the revelation of what God has given me.  Not necessary to become this famous author.  You know, if happens by way of that, great…exciting, but it’s really to get the message out and to restore marriages.”

How long did it take you to write your book?

“My book took actually 4 months to write and publishing took 6 months.”

What assisted you in writing the book and what fed you to keep writing?

“The book is not long.  It’s 7 chapters and 77 pages.  I journaled a lot.  I kept my journal with me all the time for when I heard a word or someone speak about marriage. I did a lot of research. I used a lot of my own testimony, my own life experience about my marriage.  I was very open to allow people to see that I was married this long and hey, I didn’t get it right.  I also used people that I knew like friends and family who actually would read every chapter and they were my sounding board.  They would tell me if I needed to research or change something so that really helped as well.”

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How did the ministry “Speak Up” come about?

“In wiring the book, this year God really put into me a ministry.  That’s where Speak Up came from, which is lifting up marriages through edification and empowerment.  It’s just really going around speaking to not only people in the church, but women, men, single people, just giving the essence of the foundation and that’s really the whole essence of speak up.  Creating this understanding where people are like ‘No, commitment is commitment.  We’re in it.  Were married. We are committed to each other.’  Even through dating, you’re practicing divorce by dating a bunch of people rather than courting. Your intentions are to get married and it starts from the beginning.”

What made you decide to re-brand yourself this year?

“Right now, a lot of people don’t like to read and I know that.  To get people to get more interested, I think creating interesting shirts and re-branding the whole look would help.  I think if they hear a little about what the book is about they may be more interested in what the entire message.  Reading has been lost. It’s just something about that written word.   I’d like to get people back to reading. It’s something about writing things down. I’d like for people to discover why the subject of submission bothers them and get down to the root of it. Something creative to get people back to reading.”

 What makes your brand different?

“When I do research, and look around, I don’t see anyone teaching on submission.  The heart of what god gave me is submission.  God commanded us to be submissive, not only to your husband but to Him.  People don’t want to talk about submission.  Submission is not a bad word.”

What are your goals for your business?

“I see me really just going and doing conferences, speaking engagements, panels, and going around teaching the workbook that’s coming up.  Eventually God has put in me some different books and it’s all driven around family and really focusing on family and never losing sight of what God initially gave to me about the family because it was the first order that God set up and I don’t want that to be lost.  So, in the future I do see more books and some creative t-shirts, continue to write blogs about marriage and relationships and guiding people on how to have proper relationships.”

What mistakes have you made while being in business that you wish you could take back?

“Moving too fast and not really researching the people who I get involved with.  God has really been pumping into me to slow down with making decisions and do my research before I enter in a contract with anybody.  I think that’s the biggest thing for me.  I’ve really lost out on money and God will redeem it.  I knew I was ignorant in that and people were trying to get over, so I knew that God would never allow me to lose out when I was trying.  I would just tell people that even if they have messed up, to go back and look at what happened and slow down, research the people.  Ask other people that have dealt with them about these people first. Get their honest feedback before signing a contract and make sure you read the contract from top to bottom and get an understanding before you enter it.  That is my biggest mistake.”

What piece of advice would you have given yourself prior to starting your business?

“Do a lot of research before launching to make sure you have the right tools, connections, and knowledge.”

How has your faith attributed to your journey as an entrepreneur?

“Faith in God’s direction and wisdom continue to guide me. God is the one who gave me the revelation so I continue to see him out for direction.”

It was a pleasure sitting down with Wendy to hear her story about her ministry and to be able to follow her as her business grows to reach the masses.  If you are in the New Orleans area, you can catch Wendy as a key note speaker and even purchase a book or t-shirt at the Women Mean Business Expo today, August 6th located at the Algiers Auditorium from 1 p. m.- 5 p. m.

Follow Wendy and her ministry:

Wendymagee.org

Facebook: authorwendymagee

Twitter: wendymagee

Instagram: wlmagee07

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Tuesday Topic: Self-Image

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Someone told me I was beautiful today.  She said there was something about my smile and the way that I articulated myself when I spoke.  She told me I am bold and full of confidence. She told me that I was enough because God was enough.  She told me that I was created in God’s image and that the likeness of Him that I carried seemed to light up the room.   She told me that my freckles danced with every smile.  I smiled on the outside, but on the inside, my head hung down in disbelief because I did not feel like those words held any truth.  As I looked to the eyes staring back at me in my broken mirror, all I could do was smile at the girl who handed out compliments in the form of bright yellow and hot pink sticky notes.  I put on my red lipstick, filled in my untamed brows and walked with her words whistling in my ears.  With each step, I became that person she spoke so highly of.

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27

This month on the “Tuesday Topic,” we’re discussing self-image.  A lot of us walk around like we are so full of confidence, but on the inside we see an image of a person we do not want identify with.  So many women are in competition with one another to the point that they are actually tearing themselves down.  They cover up behind pounds of makeup, extensions, and fancy clothes and create this outer shell of manufactured self-acceptance.

Sticky Notes

At one point in my life, I literally depended on sticky notes to get me through the day.  I posted these notes with scriptures, affirmations, and words of encouragement all over my house, my car, and my purse.  I would find these notes stuck to my children and crumpled up or torn in random places.  I’d dust each one off, unfold them and place them back in their designated place.

Yep, I was broken.  So much so, that I felt that a few sticky notes would literally keep me together.  I truly broke out of that place in my life one day when I realized that my encouragement was within.  God did not create me in broken pieces but he created me as this whole person with a whole purpose.  He created me in the likeness of His own image which is an honor.  I got tired of piecing myself together and acting as if everything was fine while not really dealing with how I felt about myself.

You are okay!

I’m saying all of this to say that we must be able to get to this place in our lives as women where our smile is purely a smile and the words “I’m okay” are just that, not two words masking an inner scream.  When we look ourselves in the mirror, we must be able to look at ourselves the way that God sees us.  In love, grace, and compassion.  It took me to fall a few times and literally lose some hair to realize that I absolutely love this woman I see in the mirror.    I realized that I was hand crafted by my created and what I might have seen as a flaw was His imperfect perfection.   I’ve literally just gotten to the point where I can go out in public without filling in my eyebrows.  Yes, that is a true accomplishment for me.  I’ve learned to embrace my insecurities over time and turn them into what I love the most about myself.  Many women deal with issues of self-image on a regular basis and it’s not an easy hill to climb.

“Before I knew you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you.  I ordained you a prophet to nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

While dealing with my own issues on how I saw myself, I realized that I needed to make sure that my daughters did not have the slightest opportunity to feel the same way I did.  I’ve learned to not only speak life over myself, but over them and to them as well.  This world outside of our household can be an ugly place and we must make sure that our daughters are equipped for what’s out there.  My daughters know that they are beautiful both inside and out and that they are intelligent and loved.  We write each other love notes and whisper compliments in each other’s ears.  We play dress up and makeup artist and have a “girl’s night out” every weekend.  They know that they are the most beautiful girls in my world.  They know that they are capable of doing all things.

My shadows saved me

I watch how my oldest wants to be like me.  She dresses like me and follows my every step.  These girls are part of the reason why I love myself so much more.  They see me in a light that I would not normally see myself in.  They are my shadows and follow my every move.  They encourage me and find beauty in my flaws whether I’m “dolled up” or dressed down.  Who knew a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old could teach me so much about myself?

What do you see when you look at your reflection in the mirror.  What is your perception of yourself.  How can you change that perception? What do you do to encourage yourself each day?   Let’s talk about it in the comments.

 

 

Tuesday Topic- Uncomfortable Conversations: Depression

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“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. …For You are the God of my strength…”

-Psalm 42:5, 43:2

This month on the “Tuesday Topic” we’re discussing depression.  Depression is definitely a topic that leads to uncomfortable conversations in today’s society.  I’ve been seeing this topic slowly come to surface more and more on social media, which is a good thing.  It needs to be discussed.  There are more people dealing with depression than you’ll ever know.  Some don’t even know they are dealing with it themselves. It could be your best friend, co-worker, or even your spouse.  Depression is something that needs to be understood and dealt with carefully in order to fully see healing in that area of a person’s life.

For most people, depression is one of those things that they just don’t deal with.  It can be perceived almost as an invisible creature that doesn’t really exist, as if it were the “Boogie Man.”  It’s constantly brushed under the rug along with other happenings that often occur in the household that are left on the hush, such as eating disorders or molestation.  We’re told to close our closet doors and cover up our truths with our security blankets in the hopes that it would somehow just go away with the rise of daylight.  Depression is a silent monster that seeps its way into spirits without a trace of its entry.  It is a spirit that is not of God.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, depression is defined as follows:

a state of feeling sad :  dejection anger, anxiety, and depression (2) :  a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies bouts of depression suffering from clinical depression

Depression can occur in any woman at any time for several different reasons.  It can be caused by abuse, medications, conflict, death of a loved one, genetics, major events, personal problems, illness, and substance abuse.  So basically, it can be caused by almost anything in life at the drop of a dime.  Some are more susceptible to depression than others and it can take a toll on all aspects of one’s life.  According to an article from Mental Health America entitled Depression in Women,  “approximately 12 million women in the United States experience clinical depression each year and about one in every eight women can expect to develop clinical depression during their lifetime (2017).”  Depression is NOT a normal part of life and it must be dealt with, but delicately.

In my own personal experience, depression can feel like drowning in a river while tied down with cement blocks.  I’ve felt immovable and lifeless during the state of depression.  It feels like intense pain inside disguised as comfort.  It feels like being sucked into quicksand and falling into an unknown sunken place of darkness filled with doubt, anger, sadness, and low self-esteem.  Depression is a constant battle that I’ve fought continuously in my life and I still do at times.  It’s something that hurts my soul and somehow leaves me breathless.  Sometimes, as I find myself crawling out of my “sunken place,” I slowly slip back down with my arms stretched out helplessly, but I find that others don’t quite understand.  I’ve only recently expressed this to my husband, but there is still a disconnect when it comes to explaining the feeling.  It’s like I’m yelling at the top of my lungs, but only the sound of silence reaches the tip of my tongue.  It’s hard to fully describe or explain what the feeling is to someone who has never felt it.  To someone else, it may be just a phase that can be cured with a little prayer.  Yes prayer works indefinitely, but I would often find myself hiding away from my faith in the comfort of my depression when things got tough or just hard to deal with.  I would see myself at a standstill as the world around me is continuously spinning uncontrollably.  My faith during these times was tested immensely.

So how do we overcome depression?  How do we assist others that we are close with that feel like they are battling depression alone? Support from others is key whether it’s by giving a person space or being by their side every step of the way.  Either way, you are supporting that person by respecting their wishes within reason.  Do not ignore signs of depression and do not sweep it under the rug.  So many take this topic lightly and don’t realize that depression can easily lead to suicidal thoughts.  “Over 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder (WebMD, 2016)”.

For some people, alone time and space is necessary for healing. It allows them to sort through their thoughts and emotions to enable them to push through the process.  Sometimes they just don’t want to be bothered.  They know what they need to do and how, but it just takes time to get out of that dark fog.  Some prefer to just be alone in their bubble, so allow them that time for healing whether it’s in the course of days, weeks, or even months.

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Others may be seeking support and understanding from loved ones.  They may need someone to be a listening ear to let out any pain or frustrations they may be dealing with while in their depressed state.  A pillar of utmost support is needed without judgement. Hold that person’s hand every step of the way and be present.  Understand that it will not be easy.  What is not needed, is negative energy, or being told that it’s a phase or to just get over it.  You see, depression is not so simple for those who are in the midst of it.  Coming out of depression is truly a process and staying out is even more of a task.  Being depressed can really mess with a person’s mental and spiritual state.  The state of depression can have a person off track in their spiritual walk with God in a major way.  Each day that they fall deeper, they can find themselves further away from Him.

Between  molestation during my childhood, a time of separation in my marriage, diagnose of a disease, stress, doubt, and low self-esteem, I felt completely broken to a point where only God could put my pieces back together again and He is… one by one, piece by piece.  While finding my way out, I’ve made bad decisions that led to even worse mistakes.  I remember nights of sleeplessness to the point of insomnia because of deep depression.  There were days when I just could not function at all.  I felt incapable.  I felt worthless.  I was to the point where I felt as if my presence was no longer needed on this earth.  Through many trials, I had to realize that my life did have a purpose and I was needed.  I had to pull through the pain, hurt and frustration in my life and turn it into something I can use.  I realized that all I was going through was a test and I needed to pass in order to see a true breakthrough in my life.

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Of course the ultimate cure for depression is God.  He is always the answer and the cure.  During my times dealing with this, God and His word were the furthest things from my mind.  I found it easier to just sit and sulk rather than to push through and lean on His word.  I would feel the spirit tugging on me to get on my knees and pray or dust off my bible and see what the Lord had to say about my situation and I would turn a deaf ear to it all.  Now, I’m not at all saying that breaking out of a depressed state is easy, but what I am saying is that with God there is ease.  His word is the complete handbook for the ins and outs of our life’s daily struggles.  I find so much release and relief in His word.  Daily, I would make baby steps to find my way back on track.  I would immerse myself in song, journaling, and devotion to keep my mind steadfast.  I’ve used sticky notes around the house with positive reminders and scriptures to get me through the day.  I constantly reminded myself that the storm I was going through was temporary and that God would pull me through as long as I had faith in Him.  I wouldn’t allow the devil the satisfaction of using my soul as his playground.  I smiled through my rough days and encouraged others as I encouraged myself.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things”

-Philippians 4:4-8

Don’t think for a second that you are alone in this.  Regardless of your situation, God is available.  He is listening to your prayers and requests.  He hears your cries.  Be encouraged and keep pushing through, whether it be a loss of a loved one, difficulties in the marriage, or issues in health, He is the only way out.  It may seem like it’s hard right now, but just know that this is only for a season.  Jeremiah 29 verses 11 and 12 states, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”  God’s plan for your life does not end here in this moment.  If you have fallen in depression because of fear or guilt, please know that God is not mad at you.  Your mistakes are not who you are.  They are your testimony of where you have come from, not where you’re going.  He created you for a purpose whether you see it now or not.  You are needed.  You are loved.  You have purpose.  You are capable.  You are enough. Trust, believe, and know these things.

“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

-2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18

Have you ever dealt with depression? If so, how did you deal with it? 

 

Merrium Webster: Definition of Depression Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/depression

Recognize the Warning Signs of Suicide. (2016)  Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/recognizing-suicidal-behavior

Depression in Women (2017) Retrieved from http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/depression-women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her-Story Spotlight: Kemi Oshimokun

 

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Kemi Oshimokun- Khonsu Travel  www.khonsutravel.com

 

This month on the Her-Story Spotlight, we are featuring Oluwakemi “Kemi” Oshimokun.  Kemi is the owner of Khonsu Travel, a full-service travel agency and tour company.  This 22-year-old, Chicago native went head first into the travel world and never looked back.  She started her business when she was 19 years old and decided to use social media to build her business and form relationships rather than catching up on the latest gossip.  This young lady is a go getter in her field and her main focus is to allow people the option to affordably travel abroad without breaking the bank.  She offers reasonable payment plans for group trips to locations such as Ghana, Cuba, and Benin, just to name a few.  If you are not looking to travel abroad just yet, Kemi can also help you find the most affordable rates for local trips across the country for you and the family.  Keep reading to find out more about Kemi’s journey to beginning Khonsu Travel.

 Where did the name Khonsu Travel come from?

When I was thinking of the name of my business, I had just come back from studying abroad and I went to Egypt while I was there.  Khonsu means the Egyptian God of travel.  The Khonsu guided night travelers on their journeys.  I liked the concept and decided to name my business Khonsu travel.

Why did you become an entrepreneur?

I became an entrepreneur by accident!  I studied biology with a minor in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies in college. I wanted to work in global public health and tackle the many issues underserved communities around the world experienced. But studying abroad in Morocco changed my perspective forever. Living in Morocco was such a liberating and eye-opening experience that it altered my outlook on life. In particular, one night changed what I wanted to do with my life and career. While traveling with my new friends I made in Morocco, we took a long walk one night that landed us in a new area in the city we were living in. Somehow, we got on the conservation of what we will do when we go back home. My friend, Paloma, said she would love to get paid to travel the world and photograph her experience. We all nodded our heads in agreement and talked about how amazing it will be to have a career in travel. We all laughed at the end and walked back to our college campus.

That conversation resonated with me throughout my duration abroad and when I came back to Chicago, but I was unsure on how I was going to have a career in travel. So, I put it in the back of the mind. One day while scrolling through Facebook, I saw a post regarding becoming a travel agent and I was in disbelief that travel agents even existed with websites like Expedia, Hotwire, and such, but I wanted to learn more about how I can start a career in travel.

The following Monday, I took a one hour bus ride to an information meeting. I was so shocked to see all the African Americans who travel agents were making great profits in the industry and helping others travel more. I loved the energy in the room and I felt this was something I had to do. I encountered many people after I studied abroad who wanted to travel more, but fear, lack of funds, and misconceptions held them back from experiencing the beauty of life. By becoming a travel agent, I could take them by the hand and help them from being skeptical and nervous to becoming confident and having the experience of a lifetime. That night I started my travel business, Khonsu Travel. Six months ago, I launched Khonsu Tours and we will be taking our first group trip to Ghana in October 2017.
What piece of advice would you have given yourself prior to starting your business?

If I could tell my 19-year-old self anything, I would say a couple of things:

  1. Do not wait for your friends and family to support your business.

The gold mine is in the strangers who will not have any issue working with you. One of the first frustrations I encountered in my business was that many of my friends and family did not book their vacations with me. This disappointment paralyzed me for almost a year. My mentors told me that strangers will happily support my business, but I didn’t listen to them. I wish I would have listen to them. I would have made a lot of money that year.

  1. Do not be afraid of your greatness.

I am type of person that embraces my ADHD because it works in my favor as an entrepreneur (sometimes lol). There are times where I am super focused on a task and I can finish it through. But there are times that I cannot and my mind races with brilliant ideas that I can use to enhance my business. I use to be scared of the ideas I had because I felt like they could not come true and doubted myself. For example, I’ve had the idea of starting a tour company for over a year, but I was afraid it would fail. One day, I took a leap of faith to start my tour company and we sold out our first tour!

  1. Surround yourself with eagles and not crabs.

When I first started my business, I surrounded myself with a lot crabs who told me my business would not work and I should quit. Crabs like to bring people to their level. I was not born to a crab. I am an eagle! I started to surround myself with people in my business who making money and I became a sponge. I wanted to know everything they knew and how they worked their business. They pushed me to be creative and ambitious. Eagles soar with other eagles while crabs hold each other back in the bucket.

How has your faith attributed to your journey as an entrepreneur?

My faith kept me in business this long. It was times I wanted to quit because no one booked trips with me and I was not making any money. Also, I had crabs in my ear who told me that I should quit. It came to a point where I had to look at myself and see how I was contributing to my lack of success. Once I look at myself in the mirror and realized it was me that was holding my business back, my mindset changed. I increased my belief in what my business can produce, I sought out help, and I became creative in my marketing strategy. Also, I started practicing the Law of Attraction and being more grateful with what I had. I’ve been doing that ever since and my business has been overflowing with new clients, great partnerships, and many vacations booked.

Speaking with Kemi was truly inspiring to hear so much ambition and drive come from someone so young.  I learned so much from her in the few conversations that we’ve had and she has inspired me in so many ways. Although she has pursued a career in travel, Kemi has decided to travel less and save more as she prepares to purchase realestate.  She calls this current time her “building season.”   Kemi makes travel look easy and so accessible for everyone.  If you’re looking for some assistance on your next weekend getaway or want to take a tour outside of the border, contact Kemi for all your traveling needs.

www.khonsutravel.com

IG: @khonsutravel

FB: @khonsutravel

 

Father’s Day Buying Guide

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Father’s Day is less than a week away and your sitting here still at your computer wondering what to get that special guy in your life.  No worries.  I’ve got you covered.  I’ve come across some awesome small businesses created by some  amazing women that can take care of that issue for you.  Guess what?  These gifts won’t break the bank and you’ll be coming back for more.  Let’s take the time out this year to support those in our community that don’t get the recognition they deserve when it comes to the phenomenal work they put in behind the scenes each day.  Below are a few of my favs that are offering some pretty dope products for Father’s Day.  Check them out and let me know what you think.

  1. Mess In A Bottle- Dad Mug, Dad Shirt  www.messinabottle.com

 

  1. Silksations Creations Regal for Men Body Butta & Body Scrub

www.etsy.com/shop/silksationscreations

Regal Scrub

  1. Crafts By Meesha- The Dad Box https://www.facebook.com/craftsbymeesha

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4. Fleurty Wick Candle- Hand poured soy candles “Man Cave Collection” www.fleurtywick.com


5. Koils By Nature- Natural Men’s Care Products

http://koilsbynature.shopgate.com

6. Keys of Beauty- BeardTiFULL Beard Oil

www.keysofbeauty.com

7. Monnie and Me

 t-shirts, Mugs, & aprons

http://www.monnieandme.com/

Overcoming the Impossible: My T1D Story

Overcoming

Around this time last year, my body was going through some major changes and I didn’t even know it.  I went from weighing 200 pounds even to going down to 130 pounds in less than 6 months.   I seemed to have lost weight without even trying.    I found it kind of odd at first because by that time I slacked up on my work outs, but I just attributed it to my continuous healthy eating habits.  I started to notice significant hair loss as I briefly mentioned in my post titled “The Big Chop Experience.”  There was literally hair everywhere no matter how gentle I was with it.  I remember seeing large globs of it on the shower floor as I washed my hair and standing in the mirror only to see bald spots.  I wore wigs for months to cover it up, but I didn’t feel like myself.  I eventually cut it all off.  I was devastated and was looking for answers.  I was growing my hair back from cutting it off a few years back and felt like all of my work toward growth was in vain.  I eventually figured that maybe I was losing hair do to a lack of protein, so I supplemented thinking it would fix the problem, but it didn’t.

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I started to notice an increase in my thirst almost overnight.  I was always thirsty and my tongue felt like a desert.  I found myself standing in the kitchen at two in the morning with the refrigerator door wide open, drinking anything and everything straight from the jug.  I remember going through a gallon of Tampico in less than a day after I drank all of the water in the house.  Of course, after drinking everything in sight.  I remember driving to the nearest gas station every day at lunch and after work for large cup of ice and a large slushi to relieve my extreme thirst and even then that was not enough.  I also experienced increased urination because of this.

Among all of these things, I was extremely tired, fatigued, and exhausted, which is why I began to slack up on my work outs.  I was literally falling asleep at work in mid-sentence with customers on the phone.  I set a timer on my phone just to take naps during my lunch break and once I got home from work. I was still losing weight and beginning to look sick. The new clothes I bought were falling off of me and my collar bone and ribs were showing.  Things were getting bad and I was completely confused.

In October of 2016, I went to my yearly appointment with my gynecologist.  She mentioned to me that I had high sugar levels in my urine and they may possible mean that I might be a diabetic.  She wanted to do some blood work to confirm.  Jokingly, I told her that I went to the movies the night before and had a big slushy.  I was really confused after hearing this.  I looked great and in my opinion.   I felt great, especially after a good nap.  I wasn’t sure what to make of all of it. I started to Google search everything that had been going on with me and all of the symptoms that come with diabetes.  This only made things worse.  Google had me thinking I was going to be on my death bed soon.

Instead of going in the following day fasted for blood work, I came in about two weeks later.  I didn’t expect to get a phone call for another couple of days.  My doctor called me about two hours later with my lab results.  She said that I tested positive for diabetes and my blood glucose level was at 330.  I still didn’t know what that even meant.  I felt fine.  She kept asking me how I had been feeling.  I responded by telling her that I was pretty fatigued, which had been the norm for the last few months.  She urged me to make an appointment with my PCP immediately.  I was scared at that point.  Like most, I was pretty ignorant to what diabetes was and how dangerous it can be if not cared for properly.

When I contacted my doctor’s office, I was told that I would not be able to see her until mid-January and it was only October.  I ended up making an appointment with a nurse practitioner.  I was extremely nervous for my first appointment.  I had no idea what questions to ask or even what to expect. At the time I was told that I had type 2 diabetes and all I needed to do was diet and exercise.   Because of my high glucose levels, I was issued a glucose monitor and placed on Metformin the same day.  I explained that I ate right and lost a significant amount of weight, a total of 65 pounds in six months, but the nurse could not come up with a reason as to why this happened. She brushed me off and told me it must be in the family.

The following week at my next appointment, I was placed on insulin that I had to inject once before bed to help regulate my glucose levels, which is called basal insulin.  My blood sugar levels were in the high 400’s and 500’s.  Days later, I was to the point of injecting insulin 4 times a day just to keep my sugar levels regulated. I learned that every time I ate no matter what I ate, my levels would rise. I carried needles and syringes with me everywhere I went and had to inject prior to each meal.  It was painful and embarrassing.

I finally ended up seeing my PCP, who later did more research and blood work to find out that I was actually a Type 1 diabetic.  She explained to me that I have a rare case of adult onset type one diabetes.  Type one is usually found in adolescents.  The cause is currently unknown.  In most people with type 1 diabetes, the body’s own immune system, which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses, mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.  Being a type one diabetic has nothing to do with your weight or how many cupcakes you eat at a time.  It is an autoimmune disease.  Once I found this out, I was partially relieved, but still wanted answers.  I researched day and night.  I bought books on amazon, read articles, and joined Facebook groups and Instagram pages just for adults with type one diabetes for comfort.

 

Over the past few months, I have gained back several pounds.  All of the new clothes I purchased for my small frame are now fitting snug or not at all.  I lost a significant amount of hair prior to diagnosis and have been wearing a low hair cut since December.  I have been through several up and downs since diagnosis and have been to several appointments.  I lost my sight shortly after diagnosis and had to wear glasses.  Now my sight is back as I have my blood sugar levels under control.  I am now using an insulin pump which looks like  a small cell phone and holds enough insulin that my body needs for 3 days.  I am attached to my pump 24/7 and change out the tubing every 3 days.

I have to calculate my carb intake to regulate the correct amount of insulin I need for each meal.  I prick my fingers around 10 times a day if not more.  There a many instances when I have extremely low blood sugar levels and that’s when things can get scary.  I start to get cold sweats, I shake uncontrollably, and I can feel nauseous.  It’s almost as if I lose all control of my body.  Because of this, I keep snacks, juice boxes, glucose tablets, and candy on my person at all times to keep myself leveled.   I also keep an emergency glucagon shot with me at all times in case I can’t raise my blood sugar up on my own.  It was upsetting to know that I would never be able to just eat whatever I want, whenever I wanted.  I have to plan each meal accordingly by counting carbs and taking the right amount of insulin at the right time.  Sometimes I splurge with my food and make sure my math skills are up to par when adjusting my insulin.

I battle with depression on and off.  Some days are harder than others, but I push through and I am thankful that I am alive.  When I was first diagnosed, I couldn’t handle the news.  I couldn’t find the strength to get out of bed, let alone leave the house.  I felt sorry for myself.  I cried so many tears and tried so hard to understand why something like this would happen to me.

I’m going to be honest and say that for a moment, I lost my faith that God is healer.  I had to reevaluate the situation and realize that I am a King’s kid.  This is not the end.  It’s only the beginning.   After time, I got back on my feet and decided to live and not die in my situation.  I put a smile on each day and pray for my healing.  I try my best to make light of my situation by encouraging others.  The God I serve is a healer and I claim total and complete victory over my life in Jesus’ name.  I feel like this happened for a reason and my trial is a testament.  I choose not to allow the devil to take my joy.  I am living on purpose.

Prayer

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Prayer:  “A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” – Merriam Webster Dictionary

Prayer is the way we communicate with God.  He hears our prayers and He hears our cries. He also speaks to us through our prayers.  The bible talks about praying without ceasing. 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Praying without ceasing does not mean that you must be on your knees with your eyes closed at all times speaking to God.  It simply means that you are constantly keeping your mind steadfast on Him.  Don’t look at prayer as such a strict or uptight form of speaking to our creator.  Talk to God in actual conversation as you would your father on earth. Involve Him in your everyday practices.  Speak to Him about your struggles, reveal to him your innermost thoughts.   Praying without ceasing should be compared to living and breathing.  The two go hand in hand. If ever worry or fear comes upon you, prayer should be the first thing that comes to mind.  When you are thankful, encouraged, or going through a storm, prayer should be constant.  Prayer can be a small “Thank you Lord,” to a full out session of prayer and praise, eyes closed and body bent. Prayer is a way to show that you put all of your trust in God at all times with all situations.  When you pray you are letting God know that you place your life in His hands and that all is well with Him.  When you start to pray less, you begin to put more trust in yourself which can lead you astray.

Prayer is not only a time to talk, but a time to listen as well. The Lord knows the desires of our hearts. He knows what our needs are.  We must take the time to sit in silence and listen for His voice.

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

-Matthew 6:7

Listening for God’s voice allows Him to reveal to you his vision and desires for you.  He begins to birth a purpose inside of you that you never could have imagined.  He uncovers the blueprint to reach higher heights and deeper depths in your life and the lives of others.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation of shadow of turning.”

-James 1:17