A woman of Christ, a beautiful soul, a sweet, yet bold champion for all the things she loves— her faith, her husband, her family and fulfilling her mission in life.
After spending the last month in New York City getting acquainted with the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps, I thought I’d take a slightly different approach with this week’s blog and ask….How are you? Not so much in a rhetorical sense, but really digging in deep here beyond the surface hoping to crack the sister code.
So let me ask you again my sister…How are you?
As women, we get so caught up in this imperfect idea of life that sometimes we forget to stop and ask our sister how she is doing. There is something so significant and genuine about your sister being uplifted by someone who truly understands her struggle! So let me encourage you on today, to send a note, make a phone call, schedule a visit, whatever you have to do, just do it… and let your sister know that she is in your heart and that you stand in agreement with her on everything she is praying for God to do in her life.
I am certain that when we do this, we break the sister code and establish a bond with one another that is not so easily broken. And when we establish this unbreakable bond, we begin to break chains in our lives that have held us captive for far too long. Thus, creating an atmosphere in our lives that ushers in breakthroughs at the times when we need it the absolute most.
Breaking the sister code causes us to have power in our agreements with each other. Agreements that we will need when we are fighting that good ole fight of faith….faith for our finances, faith for our health, faith for our dreams, faith for our marriages and relationships, and much more. For it is written in Matthew 18:19-20 NLT If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.
It is my prayer, and I believe it is yours too that we don’t get so consumed with everything we have going on that we isolate ourselves from the very people that God has placed in our lives to lift us up in prayer and stand in agreement with. Father God, we pray that in our struggling moments we can use what has been designed to weaken us as a testimony to strengthen our sisters. We pray that we can become so connected with our sisters that even the slightest amount of envy and jealousy is uprooted and completely destroyed. Lord God, give us a heart of compassion for our sisters that unselfishly strives to cover them and help them in any way we can. We ask that you give us the wisdom, knowledge and true understanding that is needed to constantly break the sister code. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!
I have been so apprehensive about writing this post but I think it could be cathartic and maybe help someone else. I'm pregnant! Such a blessing but nerve-wrecking at the same time. You see, I already have a 15 month old daughter and she’s a handful. Do I have the energy for one more, the love for another, the patience for another? These were all questions racing through my mind shortly after the confirmed pregnancy.
It’s funny; Jeff and I knew we wanted another child. We discussed it, kinda planned for it, and BOOM prayers answered. He was surprised considering the timing yet still excited. He went about his day while my mind continued to plan 9 months down the road.
After those initial thoughts dissipated, I began to criticize myself. I had such negative thoughts regarding my post- pregnancy body (yes, I was still calling it that), my laughable eating habits as of late, and my nonexistent fitness routine since arriving in Houston. One day, I am making excuses for myself citing the move, the vacation, Joy’s ability to walk, then other days I was on social media comparing myself to the graceful pregnant women that were avoiding maternity clothes, running marathons, eating vegetables and balancing their already full plates. I was in such a destructive place when I was supposed to be celebrating the incredible journey I was about to go on again and enjoying every minute I had left with my only child, Joy.
I know they say comparison is the thief of joy, but there is so much more to it— It had caused me to want to hide my pregnancy in shame. I had no problem waiting till the second trimester to share the news on social media because I refused to be in pictures for the first twelve weeks. Hence the reason I’m just now typing this at 20 weeks! I would run into old friends or acquaintances and make a deplorable joke about my weight gain. I would say, “oh, you thought I just got really big, don’t worry— I'm pregnant!” I was so uncomfortable with my rapidly changing body that I was looking for ways to deflect.
My poor husband; he was so confused. He couldn’t tell if I was happy, upset, or sad. It was such a range of emotions that I just didn’t expect to experience this time around.
After I had Joy, my baby weight journey started with abounding optimism, followed by more reasonable goals, met with extenuating circumstances and exhaustion. Fast forward one year, here I am pregnant again hanging out with those 10 pregnancy pounds from before. I wrote this piece to let you know you're not alone. We aren’t all rubber bands that are going to bounce back immediately, if ever. Our family (now of 4!) was a priority and life is unpredictable. If we’re being honest, had I paid more attention to the clock I probably would have been more adamant about my workouts and diet. Hindsight is 50/50 right?
I have since come to terms with my bulging belly and am enjoying the tiny kick and wiggles of the Allen baby. I also made a decision to get some help! I am working with Leah Egwatu of fitfoodiele.com (@fitfoodiele) who specializes in pre/postnatal fitness. Our weekly sessions have done wonders for my mental health and wellbeing. I make better food choices and feel strong again. I would highly suggest committing to something during your second pregnancy that makes you feel strong. That might be walking every evening or doing yoga. It could also be continuing modified versions of your workout and fighting the strong urge to indulge in ice cream every night.
No two pregnancies are the same but if you find a way to take control of how you feel, you will reap nothing but the benefits. Find a new way to enjoy your pregnancy. The stronger I feel, the less concerned I am about that fact that I broke out the maternity pants way earlier or the shirts I saved from last time around are a little tighter than I remember. I don't obsess over weekly bump pictures though I still take them!
I hope this helps someone that might be frustrated with losing the last few pounds, anxious about having another one or currently pregnant and loathing their swollen feet and soft tummies. We are all fighting struggles not documented on social media. Find your strength and carry on! We are capable of so much more than comparison.
When thinking of the NFL, the first thing most people think of is the players which was my initial thought as well. Then, I met Jim and realized all the work that goes into the “behind the scenes” aspect of the NFL. With that being said, I am so excited to share with you ladies my views of being a girlfriend of a scout. It all started last summer when my boyfriend got a job as the scouting intern for the Kansas City Chiefs. He is a former football player and when he mentioned he got the job with the Chiefs, I was so excited for him that he was still able to work around his passion for football! Downside of things: it was 1,300 miles away from me in Connecticut. Our relationship was long distance for the majority of our time together. I was a dance teacher back in Connecticut and not ready to leave my students, while he was going to be a busy intern and traveling played a huge role in his job. Moving to a new city, not knowing anyone and having Jim travel a lot was terrifying to me so I was ready to take on the challenge of a long distance relationship! Trust me when I say last season was not an easy time and the distance really showed us how strong our love is.
Fast forward to this season! I have officially moved and joined Jim in Kansas City and I couldn’t be happier. Jim is no longer an intern and is now working full time for the team and I am ready to take on this season. Since I know what is coming, I am much more prepared for the amount of traveling that goes into scouting and all the late nights that are ahead! Living with him now will make a huge difference in our relationship because when he travels, I know he will be coming home to me soon enough. Last year was very hard trying to coordinate weekends that he wasn’t traveling with weekends I wasn’t involved in a show with my dance students. I would go one to three months without seeing him and it never became easier.
Thankfully, we no longer have to do that and let me tell you it was worth the wait! I am so excited to experience Kansas City and Chiefs Kingdom! Recently, I was able to go to a few training camp practices and the first preseason game where I felt so welcomed by the Chiefs and it was nice to talk to some other wives and girlfriends of scouts! I look forward to meeting more ladies and can’t wait to continue to share my journey!