Taking Care of Your Heart Pt. 1

HI FRIENDS! I wanted to share my heart, give an update on life these past 6 months, and a few tips on taking care of your heart.

My life has changed DRASTICALLY in the last 8 months and I am in such a beautiful season! I got a big girl job and work 8-5, which I said I would never do but strangely, I LOVE it lol I am also officially dating someone, the sweetest person ever (more blogs on that later) and I have plugged myself into a new home #ILOVEHTX

Anyways, life is pretty great right now! And I’m so thankful for this season and trying to soak it ALL in.  

I have gotten way better at taking care of myself and I think this is something so many of us struggle with so I thought I would share what I have been working on. I’m sharing the ideas over 5 posts as a mini series for the blogs. I hope you enjoy & let me know if you would like more of these types of series.

  1. Treat yourself
  2. Prayer + Word
  3. Rest
  4. Guarding your heart + your peace
  5. Soaking

The older I get and the more that I want to just make sure my heart is healthy. My inner peace has become one of the dearest things to me and something I intentionally look after. I used to let everything and everyone in and out of my life regardless of how good or bad, or anxious it made me. And although I am still learning how to filter through situations and people, I have gotten way better at guarding my peace.

Over the last few months, I decided I wanted to be someone who people like being around, someone who speaks life because I really do believe in people not just because it’s what we’re “supposed to do”. I wanted to be full of confidence, full of love. And I believe the only way to really live this out is to be at peace with yourself and your world. We cannot offer anyone else anything if we ourselves are empty. And even more so, we cannot offer anything healthy, if we aren’t taking care of ourselves – mind, body, and spirit.   

One of the things I love doing is treating myself (sometimes a little too much LOL). Weeks and days can speed by without me even getting a chance to catch my breath until I’m exhausted because how the heck are we already in July?!? I learned in my previous season that I burned myself out at 23 years old because I was constantly giving to the wrong people, sowing into the wrong situations, and never made time for myself. I am still in the process of learning of ways to take care of myself but here are a few of the things I enjoy:

  1. I love dancing! ( ya know, dancing in your love lol?) Dancing makes me happy, it’s a good workout and a good time! I try to go dancing at least once a month or try to take classes every few months. One of my major goals this month is to go to more classes. You can find easy $10 classes around the city or simply go for a night out in town and dance the night away.
  2. I love facemasks and little spa days. There are many different options from target and ulta that I love to purchase. I would just recommend really knowing your skin and how it reacts to certain products before going all out. My face is really sensitive so I have to be careful what I use. I’ve also created natural face masks that I found on pinterest.
  3. Treat yourself to a Mani/Pedi. This is one of my favorite things to do because my life is together when my nails are done and perfect. It doesn’t even have to be expensive or even at a salon! Look up at home Manis, play some tunes, and relax while you hook yourself up!
  4. Treating yourself to a…. treat. In this generation of perfect bodies, health diets, workout regimes, and more, sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to something sweet. Buy the cookie, have some ice cream, enjoy that snack that you think about all day!

I had the opportunity of visiting Essential Body Bar this past weekend and it was such a relaxing experience. In the center of downtown, this spa is in a cute little house that was turned into a relaxing spa. As soon as you walk in, Letrice, the owner is very welcoming and so is the decor and ambiance.

I had a Microdermabrasion and a Swedish massage.

I had never had a MD done and I was really nervous about it because my face is very sensitive but I was actually able to relax because Sarah explained everything before she did it and there is a mini facial before the actual treatment began.

The treatment itself is not painful. The tool exfoliates and has a suction tip that helps clean/unclog your pores. And it left my face smooth the rest of the day without any noticeable redness or bruising. Today my face is a little dry but I expected it. Nothing a little moisturizer can’t fix!

The Swedish massage was very light pressure and very relaxing. Sometimes, the massage therapists apply too much pressure and i’m always WAY too shy to say something but this was the perfect Swedish massage. I had never tried hot stones and they were so so so relaxing. The massage therapist was also very professional and explained everything he was doing.

Essential body bar formulates their own products and use a lot of essential oils that help you relax during your services. Lavender is probably one of my favorite oils.

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I would definitely recommend treating yourself to one of the services, it is definitely worth a little self care and the prices are very affordable.

In order to offer the world the very best version of you, you have to be the best version for YOU. The world needs what you have to offer and there are only people YOU can reach so be intentionally about taking care of and treating yourself.

XX,

Dancing in His love

Leslie Tatiana

Bloom with Grace

WELL, if you know anything about me, it’s that when I don’t write, I’m avoiding a process.

I thought that maybe if I pretended I was over it, didn’t care, then it wouldn’t hurt.

And man am I wrong again.

But then it’s beautiful because I get to pour out these random words, make them into sentences, and bring freedom to myself and to someone else.

It’s only February.

And my word for this year, restoration, has felt more like TURMOIL!

But when I take a step back outside of my emotions, I realize just how much restoration has been happening. I promise I’ll write an update next week on the things that have been in the process of restoration but for now, lets get real and dirty.

I sit here typing as tears form in the corners of my eyes, and I can’t even fully tell you why. Partly because I don’t even know…….  and partly because maybe I do, but for the sake of the drama-less community of DYL and the Holy Spirit always being like girl calm down, I generalize.

I am angry. I feel lost. I feel free. I feel stuck. I feel opportunity rising. I feel depression around the corner. I could punch a hole in a wall. I could crawl into my bed and not come out until Sunday night. I could be the life of the party and talk your head off.

I don’t share this for you to be concerned about me, or for you to pity me.

I am stronger than I know, and I always figure it out.

But what dilemma to feel so many different things all at once!

I left a place I called home and people I called family in October (which I’ve mentioned in previous blogs) and I never would’ve imagined that my entire being would be shaken by this. Silly I know. But it did.

My routine of life as I had known it abruptly changed. I had to make an attempt at new friends. I had to find a new home to attend on Sundays, at a new time, with strange faces. I had to really decide what LESLIE believed in. And I had to be vulnerable.

Which I have been, in building friendships, in trusting where the Lord was leading me.

But I am still hurting. The carpet was snatched from under my feet, and I fell hard and when I looked up, it was me who had done the pulling, without warning.

Like girl, can I get a schedule, an explanation, a 10 page research essay next time before these life-altering decisions happen?!? LOL

I can 100% stand by my decision to leave, but I wish I would’ve prepared myself for the heartache that I was about to walk into.

It’s heartache for many reasons but mostly because I forced myself out of my comfort zone and things I wasn’t expecting to change, changed.

I was complaining to myself today about the weather. It’s been raining and chilly again, when just last week, the sun was shining (80 degrees bright) and the wind was just right. I woke up two nights ago because there were loud thunderstorms at 3:00AM and the showers have been making an appearance on and off for 48 hours now.

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It’s that rain that sprinkles and doesn’t fully come down, the one where you can’t turn on your wipers, but you also can’t turn them off. The one that stops when you grab your umbrella but starts as soon as you start a conversation with the friendly stranger in the parking lot. It’s a rain you cannot predict… or trust.

And you know what that reminds me off? My emotions right now.

I cannot trust what they are feeling, because tomorrow, I might be laughing and loving my freedom, while last night I was sad and overwhelmed with this process.

But when you embrace the rain, let it fall on your windshield a few seconds longer before turning on the wipers, when you don’t get angry that your blowdried hair is going to frizz but instead you allow the waves and the curls to do their thing, when you don’t get mad that you cannot wear your suede boots but instead you pull out your shoes that have a little character and a little history to them, the rain suddenly doesn’t suck as much anymore right? Somehow NOW you can trust it. And what’s even better is that in May, the flowers will bloom. The one’s that died in our cold winter were replaced by new seeds, and these random days of rains are bringing that life, allowing the seeds to develop, to grow roots, to be planted, and then to be enjoyed in the summer on the hottest and brightest of Texas days.

See, I’m going to choose to embrace my emotions, to embrace the pain that I feel, the anxiety I feel when I walk into a new group of people to introduce myself, the awkwardness I feel when I share my heart with strangers only to find we do have things in common. Embracing though closely related is not trusting. I am not placing my hope in the wild emotions, but rather in the seed that has been planted; which is the Word of God in my life.

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The Lord has promised many things to me and my heart, both through His Word, but also through His presence. And I know that these showers of emotions and processes are bringing life to those seeds I am planting and have previously planted. And as I continue to be faithful and obedient, the flowers will bloom. I will bloom. My heart will bloom.

And you will too.

If it’s a hard season for you, if you are not where you thought you would be, if you are in the middle of a thunderstorm, if you are in the best season of your life, know that you are PLANTING seeds that will turn into beautiful flowers, or trees, if that’s more of your liking 🙂 The Lord has ALSO promised you many things.

I can’t tell you enough that the Lord is faithful. And if you don’t believe in that, the simple law of reaping and sowing is seen in every situation. You are sowing into your future, into your next season…. and you WILL reap the benefits of it. Both you and I will.

Embracing and Blooming and Dancing in His Love,

Leslie Tatiana ❤

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When the 20 Floor High Rise Falls

Happy Monday! I hope November has treated you well. I have absolutely no complaints about this month except that I hate how cold it has been but I’m sure many disagree with me lol I have grown in many areas this month and have truly enjoyed every week which I am so thankful for. 2017 has turned around and is looking bright!

I do have something laying heavy on my heart which means it’s time for me to write and process it out so I can heal, let go, forgive, or whatever else I need to do.

To be honest, I’ve been afraid of processing this. Because I never want my blog to be a place where “shade” is thrown or felt or talked about but then if it’s taken that way, I can’t control it. The point is I never intend for it to be taken that way. I just like to share my heart, my struggles, and what I learn in the journey.

I have also been afraid because I didn’t want to cry. Crying would make what has happened real and I wasn’t sure I was ready to comprehend that. I’m not sure if these words will bring those stored up tears out but I am finally ready to process.

Sometimes you spend years building a reputation for yourself. You lay down the cement and build each floor year after year until hopefully by the end of it, you can step back and see a beautiful high rise.

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On the first floor, maybe you have generosity and all that occupies those hallways is how much you have given to friends, family, strangers. Resources, time, love, without desiring anything in return.

Maybe on the fifth floor, you have all the things you are against residing. Like lying, stealing, killing, betraying friends, cheating, bullying.

And maybe ALL the way at the top, you have your goals for your friendships, relationships, career, ministry.

Only after 10 years of building, something, someone, or an event completely destroy it.

Well that’s where I am currently at, but not quite. (I will explain, hang tight)

In this case, I won’t share details because they are unnecessary to me. But I have spent the last ten years of my life building a life, a world, and a reputation for myself. I knew I was kind, loud, adventurous, a believer, a friend, a natural leader, a girl who was against this and that, a girl who stood up for this and that.

And in this past month, all that crumbled.

I felt as though a bulldozer came into the comfort of my heart and my home, knocked the walls down until only dust remained. And my heart was exposed, cold, afraid, and very fragile.

Along with building a reputation, I also had walls that were mighty and strong and impossible to get over, but those all came tumbling down in just one night.

Reputation is defined as the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.

And to simply put it, that is ALL that it is. Mere OPINIONS held. They do not control your destiny, your calling, your character, or your future. And that is why I am not quite crushed under the rubble.

I want to be someone who is more concerned with my character than what my reputation is made out to be. You see, if I spend another 10 years worried about what people think of me and how people view me, not only will I have not advanced, but I would have gotten it ALL wrong.

I am more concerned with what’s in my heart, what the Lord says about me, and how I am bettering people’s lives. I haven’t had the time, the energy, or the desire to defend my reputation because part of me could care less. I also know that God will do that for me.

How is my heart? How do I treat my friends? How do I handle my job? How do I love my brothers and sisters? What can I do to change someone’s day today? These are the things that my mind is on and that is all about my character, not the opinions held about me.

 

I wrote in my previous blog that I recently made huge changes because I didn’t like who I had become over time and this month, so much within me has changed that I am pleased with who I am becoming.

I have to remind myself that it is okay to make decisions for myself, and that I have no obligation to explain that to anyone. My circle knows my heart, they know what’s best for me, and they stand by me without me asking for it.

The best part about my high rise being demolished is that I am already at the bottom. There is nothing left of what was and I love that. I have the chance to be who He intended me to be and not who I made myself appear to be.

I want to encourage you if you are currently in a similar situation or if you have ever been there before and are still in the aftermath of it.

Take courage friend.

Your life is not over and your world is not crushed. Who have you always wanted to be? How have you always wanted to live your life? What are your dreams, your passions, the things that make you come alive? Now you can run hard after those things without a reputation holding you back…. Because as bad as it sounds, you no longer have one.

I won’t lie and say it didn’t hurt. It wasn’t a boyfriend/girlfriend breaking up with you type of pain. It wasn’t even as dramatic as me losing my breath and becoming anxious. Yes I was caught by surprise nonetheless, but it hurt in a way that ignited me to become better and to pursue my dreams even harder than I ever had before.

The Lord says you and I are whole. We are full of wisdom, we walk in power, in love, we laugh at the days to come because we are not afraid. He said He makes us strong, His peace surrounds us, and we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Speak that over yourself daily, especially when the reputation sucks.

He speaks LIFE over you and so do I.

We will get through this and the fruits to come are better than any 20 story high rise that was demolished. What a beautiful place to begin because He takes ashes and turns them into art to be displayed for His glory.

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead..” Philippians 3:13

Here’s to character and better days,

Forever Dancing In His love, 

Leslie Tatiana

Entering A New Season

Happy November!! I have been so busy enjoying my life these past three weeks that I haven’t had the time to sit and write, which I’m so excited about because

  1. The #writersblock is finally gone and
  2. I am truly enjoying my life.

The first of the month always marks a significance for me. It’s a do over, a fresh start, a new season, a new time in God.  And honestly… it is exactly where I am right now. I’m sure I could tell you a million stories and make this blog endless with all the things that I could tell you from these last few months, but I won’t. I’ll keep it straight to the point and maybe on another blog, I’ll break those stories down. But here’s the deal….

About 3 years ago, I was part of a church plant and God stirred up a fire in me and a vision and for the season, it was all I could think about and all I wanted to do.

A few months ago, I start feeling a nudge, a push from God to move away from my comfort zone and to take a leap of faith. I tend to be very impulsive but leaps of faith are not always my forte.

But I was not moving forward where I was at and I felt like the Lord wanted to do a new thing in me so I made the decision to venture out away from my church plant and follow where He was leading me.

My decision was based on many different things that I prefer not to share at the moment because I am still processing and God is still moving in my heart, (so maybe for another time) but the biggest thing that led me to make the decision was God and I am 100% confident that the work He began, He will walk with me and see me through it. Leaving a place of familiarity is always scary, but what’s ahead is always better than staying somewhere God is no longer calling you to be.

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It’s a new season.

My heart has been eager for this season for over a year now and I finally made decisions to take care of myself.

You see,  I am someone who selflessly puts others before myself and I am not ashamed to say that. I don’t mean it in a prideful way, it’s just truth. And because I am also someone who is an extremist, I usually don’t find middle ground in anything.

But it was time for me to put my needs before anyone else’s…. and I did that.

I needed to be honest with myself and realize that the bitterness, the anger, the confusion, the brokenness I had in my heart wasn’t going to be removed in the same environment where I picked these things up. It was time to take care of Leslie…. to remember what it meant to dance in God’s love… not in shame, condemnation, lack of faith, fear, or anything else hindering my dance with my favorite being, Jesus.

And as I’m being honest with myself, I will be honest with you. I have not been happy for 2 years. And I don’t think that’s how life should be lived. What an insult to myself and to my God to be unhappy for two years, wasting my potential and my breath…. but I’m finally free to say that out loud because I found the light at the end of that dark road.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had some great memories these past two years, but I can’t remember the last time I really enjoyed my seasons, my life. You can see the brokenness in my blog posts, which again, I am thankful for because my brokenness has blessed some of you because of the words I have been able to string together to explain not only the pain, but also the promise at the end of it.

I can truly tell you that this past month, I have been full of joy, full of life, full of hope.

And finally catching my breath.

I don’t feel the anxiety for the future….

the heaviness of my chest when that relationship ended.

The short breaths when I would stay awake trying to find a way from under the rubble that was holding me hostage between who I wanted to be and my current state in life.

The drenched sweats I would wake up to because my nightmares were constant.

And this is the reality of what the last 7 months have been for me.

This is the truth of what was going on inside. God was tugging at my heart and trying to move me from a season I had overstayed.

And as soon as I made the decision to free myself from it and look to God, my entire life changed.

I want to share with you what I did to step into a new season, very briefly and maybe there will be a part 2 with more details.

 

First,

You have to come first. You have to take care of you at all costs. Because when you take care of you and put yourself first, it may seem selfish, but it’s not.

When you are at your best, the world gets to enjoy that and have the best version of you.

For example, I was constantly putting others needs before my own by guarding, protecting, showing up to every event even when I was exhausted, staying quiet instead of speaking up, and who did that bless? Really no one because inside I was tired, bitter, angry, confused, annoyed, etc. And that’s what everyone around me received.

Second,

Do not take anything that is hindering you into your new season.

I let go of relationships & people who weren’t blessing my journey.

I let go of my old mindset that life was never going to get better, that the waves would always come ashore and crash the life I was building.

I let go of bitterness, realizing I am in control of my life. I make my choices. I decide how I want to live and the life I want to create and enjoy.

Third,

be humble enough to take advice from the right people.

I have surrounded myself with leaders, pastors, sisters in Christ who are going to challenge me, correct me, and guide me to be the best me I can be. These people walk with me despite my attitude that day, despite any unwise decision I made, and they encourage me with love and most importantly, truth.

 

Stepping into a new season after you have been bound for years is intimidating but I can tell you firsthand that the sound of freedom is real. A burden is lifted and your vision will be cleared.

You will hear the chains falling, new doors will be opened, and He shall be faithful to complete the work He began in you. And enjoying your life and taking control of it is worth losing a few things along the way, in my opinion.

I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him.” Psalms 62:1

Dancing in His love once again,

Leslie Tatiana ❤

(P.S. Enjoy the new dress that launched on Mari Sabe. The cute sweater dress is true to size and so comfy!! Really enjoyed shooting this and being able to share it with all the ladies! You can shop for it directly here )

The Power of a Single Mom

Growing up, I was always jealous of my friends who had dads. I would go to Limited TOO (LOL) or to any clothing store really and the shirt “Daddy’s Little Girl” would pierce my heart and I would think to myself, “why am I not good enough for a dad?”

Daddy. Dad. Father. Papi. Pa. STRANGE WORDS. Because I didn’t grow up using these words, they are a cluster of empty words I cannot comprehend. The words have no meaning for me except they leave behind a feeling of emptiness and though I am ignorant to the word, it has had such a power over me. I’ve known no different. I used to believe that maybe I wasn’t loved, or that maybe I was the lucky name that got drawn out of the life hat that decided “hmm this girl won’t have a dad”. Though now, I am two months away from 23, I understand that it didn’t happen this way but rather it was a mix of actions, feelings, decisions, people and simply human nature that led to me not grow up with a father. Nonetheless, my heart still stings when I come face to face with a Daddy’s little girl, or when Father’s Day comes around and I am left at church standing alone as everyone goes to pray with their daddies, holding back the flood of tears that so desperately want out.

I wish I could tell you that not having a dad doesn’t affect me and that there aren’t tears wanting to race down my cheeks as I write this, that there isn’t a knot in my throat that is making me hold my breath as I type…. Sadly it isn’t true. I am constantly in a process of healing, of anger, of forgiveness, of reconciliation,

healing…anger…forgiveness….reconciliation…

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 and one of trusting that my Heavenly and perfect Father is not man to fail me, that He is not man to forsake me, and that He is actually very much a lover of me.

But today I want to focus on the parent I do have. I have been so privileged to grow up as mommy’s princess. My mom, since I can remember, has been my entire world. I have seen her strong, yet so tender. I have seen her quiet and patient, yet firm and a discipliner. And through it all she has loved my brother and I so well. I have never lacked or not had a roof over my head because she always made it happen.

I do not know what it is like to be a mom because I am not in that season yet, but I do know what it is like to have a single mom who has been victorious. The Lord knew what he was doing when He gave me my mom. She has guided me and loved me through every season. I was the angry child who hated the world, the rebellious teenager who hated her mom and was sent to the assistant principal’s office every day, and now I am the young adult figuring out my finances and my career and my love life and through it all, she is supportive. I can’t imagine what my life would be without her and I never want to imagine my world without her.

I am strong and bold and fierce and adventurous and loved because of how my mom chose to stay, because she chose to be around, because she chose me.

You see, God knows how to turn bad situations around. This fatherless girl grew up with the best mom possible. And though society came against her, finances lacked at times, overtime at work was a must, and she grew weary, she fought the fight. This is the power of a single mom. To take the resources you DO have, despite what has happened and who has walked out, and use them to raise little people who will one day become adults.

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Mom, I love you. Happy Birthday! I rise and call you blessed. I pray that you may have 100 more years here on this earth and an eternity in heaven. You are amazing and 43 has never looked so good. I am blessed to call you mom and I am so thankful for what you’ve done for us and how you continue to take care of us. I am a little mad that you are vegetarian now because now I am always hungry LOL Chicken Tenders for life.

You have helped me dance in His love ❤

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