Contemporary Christian Music To Shake The Monday Blues!

 

 

It’s Monday… I know… I know… Sucks… or Does it?

I try to live by the Philosophy that that everyday we’re still breathing is a gift. So in essence Mondays are truly no different, but yeah… we still ride the struggle bus every week. I find that every chore I do is made easier with Jesus, from getting in the shower to my hair, to sitting at my desk attempting to find new and exciting things to talk to you lovely people about. I bring him with me everywhere I go.

I feel more deeply connected with God through music. My worship is magnified through song. I find peace through out my day by singing to my lord, my father, my savior. It’s the best way I have found to beat the Monday blues so I thought I’d share my Christian Rock playlist on Spotify with my Warrior Women. I hope that in doing this maybe one or two songs will resonate with you and you can feel the spirit move in your life.

This playlist is ever growing. As soon as I hear a song that resonates with me I plop it right on in there. In the future  plan to write mini devotionals about these songs, how they relate to scripture, and how they impact me personally and on a spiritual level.  This is not something I take lightly so I have to really do my homework before I’m comfortable putting those posts up. I want be a beneficial resource not just someone shouting what God says about blah, blah, blah. There is enough of that foolishness on the internet.

Once I had a job where my supervisor was really riding me. Really really riding me. I would pop my ear buds in, excuse myself to the restroom silently sing and pray and ask God for strength to get through this day. It worked. Every single time.

Have a great Monday Warrior Women!

I Am A Terrible Mother and How I Forgave Myself.

Ok Confession Time!

This is not going to be pretty but God placed this on my heart to talk about. I always try my very best to be an obedient servant but this one was hard. I talked to my fiancee about it, and really had a very stern talking to by my mother about it (lol) and I prayed about it. After a nice long cry I decided that there may be a woman out there with a guilty mom conscience that needs to hear my story. So here we are Warrior Women, ready to speak some truth and hoping you all don’t get too mad at me….

Confession: I Didn’t Raise My Kids…

Let’s back up for a bit here… I had my kids at 17 and 20 years old. I have no excuse for what I’ve done but I really want to try and paint an accurate picture here.  I’ve been severely depressed for probably the bulk of my teenage and adult life. My children were little rays of sunlight that penetrated the dark clouds of my existence. Now I did not just give birth and hand them over. I think that early on I was a good mom.  I fed, clothed, nurtured, and loved on them the best I could given my age and financial circumstances. Early on we had a good life.

I moved out of my mom’s house at 19. Thanks to public housing I was able to secure us a nice little 2 bedroom apartment not to far from my family. I didn’t want to be too far away, but on my own at the same time. For the time being we were pretty happy. The darkness didn’t stay away for long. I reverted to my old ways of using sex and a tool. It was a momentary escape from the war raging inside me. My own insecurities, my suicidal thoughts were getting louder and I needed something to shut it all up – even if it was for a few minutes. ( I didn’t know Jesus back then)  Well out of this came my youngest. I didn’t know what I was going to do, how I was going to care for him but I was going to make it happen

At this point my oldest was going back and forth between my house and my mom’s. Which seemed perfectly OK with us at the time. He loved his Nana and would have rather we all lived there, which was a possibility but I was always at odds with my mother so it didn’t seem like a good fit for me. So at this stage in the game I was still a full time Mommy with a few breaks here and there. Totally normal.

When my youngest entered the world I was in complete awe of him. He came from something pretty ugly – but he was a gift from God and treasured him. I was all about being a good mom to both of my boys. To me at the time that was making sure they ate good, were clean, had a roof over their heads, and were clothed decently. I probably overwhelmed them with I love yous, hugs, and kisses… but I didn’t feel like I heard that enough growing up so I made sure they never questioned that. Not even for a minute.

A Turn For The Worse…

As time went on my oldest spent more and more time at my Mom’s house. It was a gradual thing and I honestly can’t even remember how this all started. Sorry… there was no big event to mark him being their permanently it just sort of happened. This is going to be a common theme in this story. When I was younger I had no voice. No backbone whatsoever and as a result a lot of things just sort of happened in my life. I always had custody of Ian and he always had a room at whatever house I was living in but it just kind of happened that he wasn’t there. Now at this point I am living directly around the corner from my mom so it never seemed like a big deal to me. I was right there… Or so I would tell myself.

I got a job working third shift because it was higher pay. Of course I’m still a single mom and needed help with the boys as far a child care was concerned. My mother agreed for both boys to stay at her house at night and I would be home to get them off to school in the morning. This went on for almost a year, then the youngest came back and the oldest seemed to be making guest appearance at my house. He has Asperger’s and does not like things to change to much so we never forced this issue. He actually preferred being at my Mom’s and enjoyed it when I came over to visit with him. I always brought groceries for my Mom’s house when I was shopping so she didn’t have to worry about feeding him.

I know, I know these are the little lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better. At the time I really felt like I was doing something! Like I was caring for my child by buying groceries and new outfit here and there.

I Thought I Was Doing The Right Thing…

So my youngest began having major behavioral problems at school. Like really bad, calls every day behavior problems. Then he’d come home and be my sweet little angel of  a boy who never caused me a moments grief. This kid would do anything for you. He’d clean anything, do anything you’d ask… just awesome at home get him to school and he was Mr Hyde’s manipulative little brother.  I was at my wit’s end and I had no idea how to fix any of this. I did everything… you name it. I tried it. He would not behave. My brother eventually gave me an olive branch – he figured he needed a firm man’s hand ( his father has never been in the picture). My brother offered to have Devon go to school from his house, which was a better township, and he’d come home every weekend and breaks etc.

So that was the arrangement… My son was to stay at my brother’s home for school only and would be at my house whenever school was not in session. It worked great for years. No discord, no arguments,  in my mind it was the best arrangement ever.  His grades were improving, he was getting the structure and discipline he needed and everything was sunshine and rainbows. One day I got a call from my brother that the school found out I didn’t live there and he was going to be charged tuition if I didn’t give him Guardianship. I sat on this situation for weeks not wanting to give up rights to my son. But eventually I caved and just let it happen. I signed the paper thinking this is my brother and he would never keep my son from me.

Yeah – So I thought. Eventually breaks and holidays were not mine. They always had plans. My I cried about it, complained about it but ultimately I had signed that piece of paper in that lawyer’s office and had no voice anymore. I was told by the attorney that I would have to go to court and prove that he was better with me and let’s be honest I have not had the best track record. I lived in the hood and was at this point out of a job, I didn’t have a leg to stand on.

 Then It Got Really Ugly…

I spent years beating myself up over letting other people, family or not control my life. i had the most sever case of mom guilt ever. My spiraling resulted in me becoming homeless which meant I had nowhere for either of my kids to stay, well with me anyway. By this time i was living at my mom’s house and she moved in with her new husband, however my older sister was better adept to renovate and upkeep my mom’s house as I was still unemployed. I was going from place to place at the time, and was just not stable. Eventually I got my own place but it was too late. They were established where they were and the worst mom in history.  I lost them.

How I Forgave Myself….

God. That’s just all I can say. We know that God forgives us but it is quite another thing to forgive ourselves. I have spent years praying that this situation would be magically altered but the truth is we have to own our mistakes. Jesus wipes away sin, not consequences. We may be forgiven but we may, in some cases, still face the ramifications of our deeds.  I gave my power away. I must face the music not only in my own spirit but with my children as well. But prayer changes things.

One of the ways I forgive myself is by practicing self care and doing things for other people. Just being kind for no reason other than I am a good person, and by being in my boys lives as much as I can. I also refused to carry around any more baggage so I have to tell myself I can not change what happened but I am in control of how I move forward. What I do from here. They are old enough to make up their own minds now. My oldest is in college and my youngest is starting his senior year of high school this fall. The best advice I have ever heard was….

There is literally NOTHING you can do about the past. The best thing you can do is to  atone and make the present and future better. We all make mistakes, some small some massive, but the trick is to not wallow in it for too long. Don’t get so beat down by what you have done that it makes it impossible for you to do any good at all. Forgive yourself and move on… Easy to say, not so easy to do. But you will not truly live an abundant life until you let go of the past, forgive your own misdeeds, and accept yourself for who you are, who you truly are. I allowed being an inconsistent mother define me. Do not let your past define you. You are beautifully and wonderfully made! You are a child of God.

 

How to Treat LGBT Church Members and Why You’re Doing It Wrong

 

 

I have been going back and forth on whether or not this post is a good idea. Don’t get me wrong the situation needs to be addressed and I really want to talk about it, it’s just that internet trolls are plentiful and this is guaranteed to ruffle more than a few feathers. See the thing is internet that the LGBT community loves Christ just as much as the next person, we’ve just been made to feel that we don’t belong at church and if we take the church I grew up in as an example if we do exist within in the church we are not given any position of leadership or even allowed to sing in the choir. Basically seen and not heard. Yes, church hurt is real and it runs deep.

I understand that the church as a whole has spent quite a bit of time setting up this gay blockade that no one ever took the time to learn anything about us, or how their actions effect us on a deep spiritual level.

John 13:34 (from the New Living Translation) tell us “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other”. This apparently does not apply to the gay community because we haven’t felt very much love in the place we are supposed to feel welcomed and embraced because we are sons and daughter of Christ, let’s just put the gay part aside, we are all the same, the same as you, we are believers who wish to fellowship, worship, and pray with you. As a fellow believer – how can you turn your back on us? 

There is a lot that goes into the decision to wake up on that Sunday morning, get in the shower, get dressed, and get in the car and go to church. Just for the average person, but for members of the LGBTQ community this decision is even more complex. Understand that we are coming to you broken. We have been beat over the head with scripture and proclamations that God HATES us, or that we are going directly to Hell: Do not pass Go, Don’t even think about collecting $200. So a lot of us are left feeling – if I’m going to Hell anyway – why fake the funk?

These thoughts caused a crisis of faith in me that actually lasted every bit of an entire year. I honestly felt that since who I am is so wrong then why go to church, why study the bible, and why dig into my sinful bank account to give back to a religion who despises my very existence? I came to realize that religion is not what Jesus desires us to have but  a relationship with him. That all these thoughts, the actions from fellow Christians, the words that hit me like daggers in the heart – these are the work of the enemy, designed to keep us from reaching our full potential and growing our faith. Let that sink in, by your actions you are doing the work for the enemy.

So you’ve stuck around for my ravings, let’s dig into how you should treat LGBT members of your church.

  1. We are not sick, we do not have a disease and do not need to be shown the light. Please stop with the scripture. Seriously, if we do not know any other scriptures we know Genesis 19:4-9; Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. My main point is we do not require YOU to tell us about it. We love you but… JUST.. Stop.
  2. Our families are blessings and we are ever thankful for them, no our children will not be confused by having two moms, two dads, or any other variation. Please stop whispering about it. Gossiping is not a good look.
  3. I said previously that it took a lot for us to come to church, please be kind, welcoming, and inviting. It was a big step to take and we’ve been burned before… We are fragile. Handle us with care.
  4. Don’t ignore us either! We want to pitch in and help out, we want to plan events, and bring our expertise to the table for glory of Jesus. Don’t exclude us from the conversation or talk around us as if we are invisible.
  5. A little personal experience I have watched church members be dismissive of my fiancee and break their necks to be nice to me. Why am I different from her? Because she is a minister and they don’t feel like she should be. It breaks my heart every time I see it. To the point that they refuse to call her Minister Gilbert, but they have no problem calling the other female ministers by their given titles. I have seen people talk around her like she is not even there. I have witnessed the disrespect, the hurt in her eyes. Needless to say I no longer attend that church. Please don’t do this in your church. Give every member of your church  the respect they deserve.
  6. Being gay does not equal sexually depraved. We are not abusers of children, or interested in you. Sorry honey, I love women as a whole but that does not mean I am trying to flirt with you when I am being nice, pleasant, or helpful.
  7. You can hug us. I promise you won’t catch “the gay”.
  8. Our partners are our family. It is important to us that you treat our family with respect. Don’t be all nice to one of us and, because the other party is more masculine or feminine than you would like to see, you treat them like garbage. That is not ok.
  9. Acknowledge Trans members by the pronoun they are comfortable with. For the love of all things holy do not call him a her or her a him. Respect their identity.
  10. Treat us like everyone else. We don’t actually ask for special treatment. We prefer our sexuality to not be biggest part of who we are. I am Erica, same Erica I was before I came out. The same Erica I will always be. Now with experience and growth  I will be Erica 2.0 🙂 But I’m still me. I don’t want to be treated like the lesbian from church. I want to Erica from church. The same woman you fellowship with, the same woman you worship with, the same woman you pray with and for.  All we ask is for a little acceptance, respect and love. The same love we give to you and the same love Christ gives to us.

 

Enter to Win 5 Free Redbox Movie codes in the #SuperDad Giveaway Hop

 

 

Welcome to the Super Dad Giveaway Hop

Hosted by: MamatheFox, The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island

 

At each stop in this hop you will find amazing prizes that are sure to make any Fathers excited this Fathers Day. Be sure to check out MamatheFox’s Grand Prize valued at over $300! Come back daily to increase your chances of winning! Good luck

Enter for your chance to win:

This Grand Prize is valued at over $360!

 

Father’s Day will be here before we know it and we really wanted to do something special to celebrate. So we decided  to give the Dad in your life something to help him kick back with a cold one while watching an action packed superhero repping manliness. So how’s 5 FREE rentals from Redbox? I mean who doesn’t love movies? After a hard day of manning the grill and saying an endless array of “Dadisms” every dad deserves to kick those feet up and veg in his man cave with a movie he choose. No Romantic Comedies or kid’s movies just action, violence, and gore. (You know I think i might actually be a dad. lol)  Enter using the rafflecopter entry form below. Don’t forget to stop by the other bloggers giveaways and show them a little love.

Don’t forget to give Mama The Fox some love on the Grand Prize giveaway.

 

 

 

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MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

 

 

 

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I Prayed Last Night… Here’s What Happened

So last night… it got real.

I have been fighting this battle with depression for years. I was bullied as a kid and I guess I never really got over it. What bullying produced was a girl who never thought she was good enough. This grew into a teenage girl who would do just about anything to feel wanted, loved. I was seriously looking for love in all the wrong places. I was taken advantage of. Treated like a toy men would use for a time and then toss aside. There’s a lot more to say about that. But as of right now it is far to painful for me to articulate right now.

I was not a religious person in my youth. I was not saved and holy ghost filled. I was just a girl. Feeling that no one would ever truly love her and that I had to just get by. I was suicidal and every day that I survived, every breath I took felt like torture. I did not want to be here anymore. The mental pain and anguish I experienced was overlooked by everyone. Friends, family… It was like no one could see it. I felt in my mind that I was screaming out for help. My actions were literally cries for help. I just wanted someone to say… SAVE ME!!! But no one could hear me. I guess I was expecting them to decipher my puzzle. To figure me out and to pick me up in the biggest bear hug they could muster and say “we love, we are here for you. Let’s get you some help.” That day never came.

Fast forward 20 years. I am a mom of two and in the best relationship I could ever wish for. But that sad girl, she still pops up every now and again. This is what happened last night.

I’ve talked before about being gay. My fiancee is the most supportive, loving woman in the world. I have been feeling lately that I love God, but according to some very vocal Christians I’m wrong. The fact that being gay is going to keep me out of heaven. No matter how much good I do. I’m not right. This has caused me a lot of mental anguish over the past couple of years and start to feel like “What’s the point?” Why pray, attend service, participate in bible study if I doomed to go to HELL for who I love.

Well last night my fiancee was asleep and I tried to wake her up. No dice. She recently had back surgery and the pain pills she’s on knock her out. I was crying and said “Baby I NEED You!!!” Then I thought – no I don’t. I need Jesus.

I dropped down on my knees and began to pray. A sobbing prayer full of hurt and anguish. A prayer of submission. I can’t remember what I said. But I basically told him that I was tired of this pain. I don’t want to carry this hurt anymore. I want to be whole, I want to feel complete, I want to be strong. Please take these thoughts away from me Lord, Please give me the confidence to love and to share Erica, the real Erica underneath all this despair, this pain, this loneliness, with the world. I want to do your will. I want to be your faithful servant.

I sat up and looked around my dark room and closed my eyes and just listened. Just waited for Jesus. I Sang a quick little rendition of Here’s My Heart

and just waited on him. Meditating on Psalms 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 Over and over I recited this over an over and really understood it. Through all of this he has been close to me. How it must have anguished him so to see me hurt so badly! 

Just then it dawned on me that what I call depression is a spiritual attack. Then enemy attacks my mind where I am weak and takes places seeds of doubt and insecurity. I Saw my self and this white light radiate from me and formed a shield around me.  I also saw these shadowy figures circling me menacingly, but not attacking me.  I knew – THEY CAN’T TOUCH ME!

Jesus is my shield. I pledged to shield myself in the love of Christ, in his blood. I have made a commitment to myself and to the Lord, to unburden myself, and to give my troubles to God. You see I keep all these emotions to myself because I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy. When I feel these feelings creep up I vow to give them to God and ask him to give me peace and I will remember Jesus is My Shield, they can not touch me.

If you made it this far. Thanks for listening and I hope this can be a blessing to someone else.

Peace and Love,

Also see

Why I Walked Away From God and How I found My Way Back 

 How To Be Grateful When You Feel Like Complaining 

Sleep Better with the Mediflow Floating Comfort Pillow Giveaway

Contest runs from May 15, 2017 12:01 AM to May 29, 2017 11:59 AM EST

Giveaway open to US Residents only 18 years of age or older.

Read Rosey’s full review here and watch her video demo as well!

 

The kind folks at ­­­­Mediflow want to give one lucky random Reviews And More By Rosey follower their very own Mediflow Waterbase Pillow. Please be sure to complete each task as all entries will be verified before any prize is awarded. Any fraudulent entries will be disqualified.

Contest terms and conditions: http://www.reviewsandmorebyrosey.com/giveaway-terms-conditions/

You can purchase your very own Mediflow pillow directly from the Mediflow website (Use Code Rosey15 at the checkout for a 15% discount) at Buy 1 pillow for $39.99 (with my discount code you get it for $33.99.) Select the Twin Pack Option and get a second pillow for only $30 more and no additional shipping. Your final price is only $69.99 for 2 pillows PLUS 1/2 price shipping (with my discount code you get it for $59.49.) Check out the entire line of Mediflow products on their website here!(Use Code Rosey15 for a 15% discount at the website)

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No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Contest open to US residents 18 years of age or older only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. All entries will be verified before prize(s) will be awarded. Any fraudulent entries will result in forfeiture of your entries. Reviews And More By Rosey is not responsible for product shipment and/or delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or Instagram. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Prize winner must find the Congratulations post on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/reviewsandmorebyrosey and comment according to the instructions in the winner’s email.

Burt’s Bees Classic Gift Set Sweepstakes

*Discolsure – This post may contain an affiliate link. I may receive a commission for entries or sales made by clicking the links in this post.

Hey  Warrior Women,

I just go wind of a new giveaway and wanted to share it with you. Burt’s Bees is one of my favorite beauty brands. They are natural and cruelty free, two things that are very important to me. With Mother’s Day right around the corner I am on the hunt for pampering products ideal for every mom. Whole Mom is giving one lucky winner a Burt’s Bees Classic Gift Set and we are OVER the Moon about it! 🙂

Enter To Win by clicking the link below.

ENTER HERE

Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop: Win a Curlkit from Erica Ever After

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase using a link in this post I may receive a commission.

 

Welcome to the Life’s a Beach Giveaway hop Sponsored by The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island. I am super excited to be a part of this event. This is going to be fun! 🙂

Summer will be here before you know it. You’re going to filled with lazy days, sunny skys, green grass, and some interesting hair. #curlygirls

I love my curls, maybe a little too much. Hello. My Name is Erica and I am a product junkie. I have naturally curly hair and I am always on the hunt for the next best thing to add to my Holy Grail of Hair Care Products. So I thought to myself… You probably are too! Curly hair always needs a little TLC and Curlkit Curates some of the best products in the curly girl game.

Related Post: True Confessions of a Product Junkie

Curlkit is a monthly subscription box for women with naturally curly hair. Every month you’re treated to shampoo, conditioners, stylers, styling tools – all designed for bouncy curls. I have drastically reduced my spending on hair care products by subscribing to Curlkit retailing for $25 (including shipping).

 


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Don’t forget to check out all the other sweet giveaways in the linky below. Show them some love!

Cultivate a Thankful Heart Challenge from Spiritually Hungry

I admit it. I am a sucker for challenges. I guess it’s the self help – personal growth aspect. Maybe it’s because I can’t figure things out on my own until I am forced to. IDK but if you want to intrigue me… give me a challenge.

Spiritually Hungry is one of my favorite blogs. They offer well thought out challenges that actually grow my faith and bring me closer to Jesus. I received an email the other day inviting me to join them on a new challenge, this one is all about gratitude which is one of my favorite topics to talk about.

Related Post:  How To Be More Grateful When You Feel Like Complaining

The general premise is to read the scripture outlined in the challenge and spend time reflecting, meditating, and just being present with the Lord. Through this you’ll have these little light bulb moments and that, ladies and gentleman, is when real change begins.

Scriptures about Gratitude and Thanksgiving

 

Psalm 107:1 — Giving thanks

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!”

Lamentations 3:22–24 — God’s never-ending mercies

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’”

There are countless more, but we’ll save those for another day.  I am 2 days into this 7 day challenge. Go at your own pace, and really open yourself up to the experience. I think you’ll be really glad you took the time to with God and really invested in yourself – spiritually.

I invite you to come on this journey with me and Spiritually Hungry and cultivate a thankful heart… One day at a time.

P.S Did I mention it’s FREE? lol

 

 

Worship Song of the Day: Live With Abandon by Newsboys

Hey Warrior Women! Welcome to our newest daily feature on Erica Ever After, Worship Song of the Day! I started this feature because I worship God through Music daily and I thought “You Can’t be the Only One!” So here we are! 🙂

Today’s selection jumped right out to me because well, I happen to be a BIG fan of The Newsboys. I actually LOVE them for several reasons which really deserve a post of their own. Let’s just talk about this song in particular.

This happens to be my Personal Faith Theme Song for 2017. I want to give God everything within me. All of Erica.  All. Of. It. I want to live in service of Christ and his people, which is really the same thing. I want to live in complete and total abandon. I feel that this song is perfect for worship because as Christians we should all want to Live in Abandon. Ok I promise I’m not going to say the title again.

Related Posts: 

When I Walked Away From God and How I Found My Way Back
How to Be Grateful When You Feel Like Complaining

Earlier this year I was praying to Jesus over my life’s purpose and He answered with, You are supposed to help others. The Sick, The Poor, The Frail. God put Mission Work on my heart. This is a huge undertaking both spirtually and financially. LIVE. IN. ABANDON

Here’s the Song. May God reveal amazing things to you in your personal worship service.

 

Ok I almost forgot – We are launching a FREE email course on Gratitude Journaling. Gratitude and prayer journaling are passions of mine and it has grown my faith by leaps and bounds and I want to help each of you develop the same relationship with Jesus. Just to be safe sign up for my email list – I’d hate for you to miss it!

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