As Women, Where Do We Draw The Line…

I chose to be happyWhen a man disrespects you by calling you a b***h, wh**e and trap, why do you still allow him in your life. You were given a birth name. Others terms of endearment are fine but NEVER allow a man or woman to disrespect you. It poisons your mindset and then you think less of yourself. Stop dealing with little boys, cowards, abusers and males who will not get a job and instead lay on your couch, eat your food, use your air, water and lights, are mean to your children and then take your money. There are men out there who were raised well. You can do better!!! KNOW YOUR WORTH!!!
DYSFUNCTION is not a option!!! Love yourself and your children enough to get out of that unhealthy relationship. There are all kinds of government and private resources, family and friends that can help you ONLY if you want better! Always have a plan in place so that you are safe! I am fighting and praying for your strength!
From the heart!
Gwendolyn

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His Merices Are New EVERY Morning

RSWY CEO Gwen OwensFor some time I’ve had health challenges and they began to weigh heavily on my heart and my spirit was broken. However, God brought to the forefront of my mind the miracles He has performed in my life.

After educating children and adults for 14 years, I was told at the end of the 2011-2012 school year “you’re not a good fit.” I knew that statement had nothing to do with my job performance but it have EVERYTHING to do with being on sick leave for 4 months. I struggled with that but I remembered that if God touched my body and made me whole after being placed in a coma, on a respirator, having physical therapy to learn how to walk again then there is NOTHING too hard for Him. Every heartache, disappointment, rejection and illness gave me purpose-to tell the world of His goodness and mercy.

I am no different from you; I have my days. However, one thing I am certain of is God’s love for me and He promised that He would NEVER leave nor forsake me. Sometimes I shed tears and even in my weakness I question the direction he is taking me. But, at the end of the day, I understand my purpose.

Don’t give up on God because He knows and cares about your situation. It’s only temporary. As long as God exist there is hope.

From the heart…
Gwendolyn

I AM NO DIFFERENT FROM YOU-BROKENESS TO WHOLENESS

gwens_before_and_after-266967

Good morning everyone,
I started Relationships Start With You because I wanted to reach out to women who were broken and in despair. I was once that same woman. It breaks my heart when I see my sister despondent, not knowing which way to turn or what to do. So, I became transparent about my own personal demons and insecurites to let women know you can make it. No matter what stage/age you are in life there is always hope. I take my business seriously; my page is not a place to see how many fans I can get but to reach out to my sister in need. If I can help one woman then my work is not in vain. I know what it feels like and I am no different from you. I’ve dealt with infidelity, physical and verbal abuse and it made me feel that life was not worth living. My first step towards healing was making the decision to get out of my depression, receive the help I needed, leave my toxic relationship and start anew. It did not bother me anymore what people said or thought about me; my number one concern was my sanity and the example I was setting in front of my children. I wanted to live and be happy. As a result, I graduated from college in 1995 and 1998, set free in 2004, married my soulmate in 2009 and lost 61 lbs. in 2011!

You are not alone!

From the heart,
Gwendolyn

Women and Relationships Days 24-25 Renewed Faith (My Testimony about Healing)

MY BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES

Gwen-before

Gwen after

Why do we worry?  We worry because we don’t believe in a power that is greater than us. God orchestrates everything. It is not based on how many degrees you have or  if you are poor or wealthy. There is one God. We depend on jobs and people to make us feel important. God does not not deal with your status; he deals with your mind, body and soul.

We trust Him when it is convenient. When things are going well, we forget about the One who has blessed us. Yet, when things in our live’s fall apart ,then and only then do we cry out to God.

Last year,I learned a very valuable lesson about trusting God. Two weeks prior to my hospitalization, I had sinus surgery; my sinuses were impacted so bad, that the MRI showed evidence of fluid in the sinuses and thickened mucous membrane. On January 14, 2011, I was taken by ambulance and rushed to Dekalb Medical Hospital because I was too weak to make it to the prestigious Emory University Hospital.  All I remember about that cold snowy night was telling my husband that I felt funny and I used my nebulizer twice. He called 911. The paramedics placed me on the stretcher, placed the oxygen mask  over my face, wheeled me to the ambulance and placed me inside. I kept taking the mask off ;afterwards, everything was a total blank.

I arrived at the hospital. The doctors realized I was hallucinating because of low oxygen levels. In addition, I had a partially collapsed lung and pneumonia in the other one. I was panicking and screaming because they asked me if I had ever been intubated.  Well, according to the doctors, nurses and my husband, I was hysterical and I told them to “get away from me and I will not be intubated again.” I was not conscious of my erratic behavior. Later, the doctors told my husband that I was very ill and I would not remember the incident. I was in ICU for nine days and a regular room for three days.

The respiratory therapist put me in a medically induced coma for five days so my body would heal . My husband stood vigil; they had to make him go home and get some rest. He was concerned that if  I woke up no one would be there. They had to reiterate that the coma was controlled by them and he would be notified. Finally, I was taken out of the medically induced coma but I was still intubated. Confusion set in; I realized I was in the hospital but I didn’t know why so I started crying.

My sister, Tammy flew from Dallas, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia to check on me . My husband, Vargus did not know if I would live or die but he prayed and read the bible to me. Then, I heard my sister’s voice, turned my head and tried to sit up. They had me restrained because I was pulling the tube. Then, I tried to speak and instead I gagged. I was terrified because I was trying to figure out why she was in Atlanta and why I was in the hospital. I started kicking my legs and of course the monitors went crazy: my blood pressure rose, my heart was racing and I was confused. I lost five days of my life.

No one wanted to tell me what happened; they felt I would not handle the severity of my condition well. My sister begged the nurse to take one of the restraints off and promised that she would not allow me to touch the tubes. Tammy and Vargus told me to calm down and that I was okay. How was I okay when I’m hooked to a respirator, intubated and weak? I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Later that day, the nurse told me very little about my diagnosis and prognosis; however,  it was enough to keep me calm. One of the nurses, Helen sang daily to me “Nobody Greater” by Vashawn Mitchell and I began to believe that He’s  the greatest.

On day seven (Friday), they tried to remove the tube but it was stuck in my throat. Finally on Sunday morning, the respiratory therapist came in, cut the switch off, released the tube and it came out. I was excited but it was difficult for me to speak so I had to write everything.

Then, I remember when my sister and I were growing up we learned the alphabet in sign language. So , that’s how I communicated with my sister because; no one else knew it. I kept signing “I love you” and she interpreted to my husband. I felt so much love from my husband and sister . Of course, my children came after I was released out of the hospital. I did not want them to see me. I’d lost 29 lbs. in 12 days and I looked like hell. Nevertheless, they gave me the courage to live because I was emotionally unstable. It was so traumatic!

I had a long road to recovery; I could not walk because my lower extremities were weak and I had difficulty speaking.  My mother-in-law and husband took care of me. From February to April, my physical therapist Crystal and R.N. Rhoshima helped me with the healing process and I am indebted to them for their love and care. I went back to the hospital  this year to personally thank everyone who took care and prayed for me. I cried tears of joy and I prayed for the individual who was in the same room in ICU.

A friend of ours said,” I was so worried about you being at DeKalb Medical.” My response to her was God does not limit himself to certain hospitals; he also visits DeKalb Medical plus my life was saved and I have no complaints.  My situation was not a disaster; I experienced God’s healing power.

As a result, I lost 61 lbs. God healed my body and I am no longer a diabetic, have hypertension and after 14.5 years of steroid dependence for asthma, I am free. It took those series of events to genuinely trust God will all my heart and might. He allowed me to live and He made me whole.

Today, I don’t worry because I know for myself that God takes care of His own.

Believe.

Blessings,

RSWY

Women and Relationships Days 18-19 Sexually Transmitted Diseases

English: Logo of the Centers for Disease Contr...

English: Logo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. White on blue background with white rays but no white “burst”. No detailed wording. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you protecting yourself against sexually transmitted diseases? Are you having discussions with your partner concerning his/her health status? How would you tell your future partner or spouse that you have been exposed to a potentially deadly disease? No one is worth putting your health at risk!

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “50% of sexually active people will have Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) at some time in their lives.” HPV is the most transmitted disease. So many women put the needs of their partner first over their personal safety. On the outside, women see a handsome, virile, successful man but never question his health status. Whether you wait to be intimate for a day, months or until you are married or already married, you are still at risk.

Testing is key! Women feel uncomfortable examining their mate’s genitalia and vice versa. While most men and women do not have symptoms or visible signs, there are things you can look for: one or more growths and warts that may be single, grouped, raised, flat, or cauliflower-shaped. Most women find out they are infected through routine wellness check-ups which is indicated by abnormal cells. Further examinations and a biopsy are done to check for cancer, look at the cervix or remove the warts. It is best that both partners are tested at the same time. Everyone should know their health status before taking a relationship any further. Use protection when engaging in relations. Also, keep in mind there are other transmittable disease that have deadly and/or long lasting effects. If you are infected, do the right thing and tell your mate. It is criminal if you expose someone to a STD.

I will not be afraid to___________when it comes to protecting my health.

Women and Relationships Days 12-13 Time to End a Relationship

break up

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statistics show that women have a tendency to stay in a failed relationship far too long. What reasons do you stay when you know it is over? Are there childhood issues i.e. abandonment, absentee father, afraid child’s father will be a dead beat dad or low self- esteem? Some women stay because the ring has been purchased, house has been bought and everyone is expecting a wedding.

The question is what do YOU really want to do? Can you love, cherish, and commit to this person for the rest of your life?  Are you constantly having negative feelings toward your mate? If any of these questions are running through your mind, then it’s time to do some soul-searching. If your relationship is draining, full of drama, destructive or you question your mate’s loyalty then, more than likely, it’s time to get off the roller coaster ride. These are red flags and if you continue to ignore them you will be heartbroken and bitter. Some women have superficial reasons why they stay in a loveless relationship: he is wealthy, cute, a good lover and we have fun. You have to think about the long term effects of a dwindling relationship.

RATIONALE: Breaking up is hard to do but often necessary. Many people involved in long-term relationships feel they have given up their identity to “fit” into someone else’s. The difficulty in breaking up often stems from people being concerned about what others think or they feel the person will change. This creates tension, desperation and insecurity, which bolsters the desire to keep an unhealthy relationship together. The reality of a dead end relationship is you are alone anyway. You have a physical body but an emotionless soul that wants out just as much as you. You need to release yourself from the torment and anxiety of holding on for dear life to a loveless union and allow the right mate in so you can build a meaningful, satisfying and fulfilling relationship.

Everyone experiences highs and lows in their relationships. Pay attention to your inner voice and stop ignoring the obvious. Make a list and write down the good and bad points of your failing relationship. Ask yourself what is the ultimate deal breaker? Dispel the thought that it is better to have someone than to be alone. The loss of a significant relationship can be painful but necessary.

MANTRA: The main reason I should break up is because I am no longer getting what I need. When communicating my feels, needs and desires to my mate and they are ignored or dismissed, it is time to call it quits. The last straw is when I do not look forward to spending time or being intimate with my partner. I must be happy and fulfilled in my relationship and I will not lose my identity to appease someone else.

In my next relationship, I will make sure I am getting _____________ from being with this person. If my needs are not being met, I will_________________.

Women and Relationships Days 10-11 Happiness

Are you really happy with yourself? Is your happiness based on your economic status, material wealth, level of income or someone else i.e. partner? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of happiness (happy) is enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment; having or marked by an atmosphere of good fellowship and expressing, reflecting, or suggestive of happiness. For some women, we have been conditioned to be dependent on others for our happiness.I chose to be happy

RATIONALE: Happiness is making choices or decisions that can increase your joy. It comes from within. You make the decision to be happy no matter what circumstances you are facing. In other words, even in a storm there is always a silver lining. Happiness is knowing that the situation is temporary and there is a valuable lesson that will improve the quality of your existence.

TESTIMONY: I remember in my 30’s and early 40’s , I based my happiness on the way others treated me and/or if I had someone in my life, I depended on them to make me feel happy, whole and complete. But, when the relationships ended, I would become depressed because I felt there was something wrong with me so I was not worthy of being happy.I was always afraid to be alone. I would watch couples holding hands at the mall or watch them have an intimate moment at a restaurant and wish it were me. I found it hard to be happy for someone else because I was so miserable.

Then, one day I made the decision to stop placing my happiness in someone else’s care. I was miserable and entangled with fear of men leaving me and they always did. I had to learn to love and value myself. It was a process. So, I unearthed those skeletons, looked at each situation for what it really was and I started enjoying being alone and not feeling lonely. I asked God to teach me to appreciate my life and to stop being a victim of my circumstances. I began reading self-help books; one of my favorite reads was Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers. I also went to counseling. The greatest lesson I learned about being happy was if I radiated the love of God, it was reciprocated from my family, friends, and colleagues. I spoke love and acceptance over my life. I volunteered at the nursing home, took interest in the elderly at my home church and I did not have time to think about “poor little Gwen.” Someone else needed my love and I was able to give it without reservation.

MANTRA: Do something different; try new things. Enjoy taking yourself out to eat or to the movies. Get involved with an organization or women’s group. The best medicine for learning to be happy is volunteering and seeing that your situation is really not that bad. Take a walk, pray, get enough sleep, love on yourself, have a sense of accomplishment, reconnect with your friends, get a massage and most of all choose to love yourself unconditionally.

Today, I choose to be happy. My happiness is not based on someone else but____________. I will open my heart to others who are in need. I will forgive______ so that my spirit is free to receive love.