Friends first…Lovers second, they say. We were friends. There was trust. There was love. Strut in HER Shoes… We were friends for about three years prior to entering into our relationship. So, I thought I knew him. I never thought that someone I trusted… I loved… could turn into a man I never met. The abuse was gradual and, in the beginning, seemed so minor that I ignored it. I would make excuses for the behavior.


Prior to the relationship that left me heartbroken, I always had the mentality that if I lost a parent then I could never be hurt (silly I know). I also didn’t really have high expectations for men. I had been disappointed by men in the past but it wasn’t really a huge deal. It became a huge deal when I finally decided to take someone seriously and give them my all. So when it ended, I was completely broken because I felt like I had given it all I had and was left with nothing

First Day Out

I was about a year out of my divorce, and I remember telling a friend while preparing that I needed a name. Something to go by. Jo Thurmond just didn’t fit where I felt I was headed in life. In fact, it reflects my past in more ways than one. So this wasn’t an “I need a name” in a “make me famous” kind of way but rather an “I am not what I’ve been through” kind. She told me to pray, after all, God was the first one to call me Jo, surely He’d instruct on what’s next... best advice ever! It was this day that I heard the audible voice of God. 

Young, Black & Depressed

There’s a stigma that surrounds mental health in the Black community. We rarely speak of it and when we do its often in hushed whispers. We’re told to pray or suck it up or get over it. But no one ever tells their grandma to pray away her breast caner and not go see a doctor. No one tells their granddaddy to suck up his diabetes. No one yells for their mama to get over her sickle cell. So why in the hell am I expected to magically erase my depression?

Fallen from Glory?!

I didn’t think I had fallen from glory at all. In fact, I felt like I was walking IN the glory and everyone around me couldn’t see it nor let me live. Such a selfish way of thinking and further proof that I wasn’t quite where I thought I was. And if you know me, you know I am nowhere near the 'Hillary Banks' type of girl but I digress. 

Reality 101: Let Go & Let God

I remember hating myself, and everything this man said I was or was not I started to believe. I’m not special, I’m fat, I’m crazy, I’m insecure, I need professional help, I’m not good enough; I mean I could go on and on. The point is he put that in my head and spirit so much that it started to manifest. Pain doesn’t even begin to describe how I would feel, try disgusted with my life and just over it.

7 Ways to Protect your Peace

Life has its ways of just shaking you up and it’s not always pleasant. I know that in my life, I have had my own experience with depression dating back as far as elementary school. Of course, I didn’t know it was depression back then but I know now how serious it was. However, I am grateful that I was offered different avenues to keep my mental and emotional health intact. Some of these opportunities or ideas were not intentional but they still helped. So here are my 7 ways to help protect your peace.

Welcome to my Reality...

The reality of the situation is that I tried everything, BUT GOD. The restoration and rebirth of Toya - that's what I named my journal as I started to write, dig deep, stop playing the blame game and work on my real (new) reality and my relationship with God. 

In the Mirror...

I glared into a mirror, maybe for 20min picking out all my flaws and reminding myself of things I didn’t like. I would beat myself up because I didn’t look like those girls in music videos and my hair wasn’t perfect like those girls on Instagram.

What Does Your Patience Look Like?

Patience is that one area where we can always practice and improve on. This has been a HUGE theme for me throughout the past year. I've been been tested in the areas of employment searches, friends, relationships + dating, and my own self-abilities + skills. The constant rejection, not receiving the results I wanted, and daily life revelations and own experiences and hearing other positive stories helped me come to grips with needing to improve and increase my patience.

My 600LB Life

Sometimes we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders and we wonder if we’re even strong enough to carry it all. We all experience this at some point in our lives. We take the worries and burdens of other people and lay them on ourselves; thinking we can solve every problem and change the world. And yeah, sure... in some way we can but let's be honest, we can't even defeat our own giants let alone the giants of the world. 

Where were the warning signs?

If someone would have told me that by the age of 20, I would be failing my courses, depressed for almost 2 years and losing myself because of meaningless situations with guys, I would have laughed! But that was me, pieces of where my story began and felt like it was ending all in one. 

Candidly Speaking: Why Don't You Love Me?

Let's stop supporting people and their bullshit and work towards building a better community because there is power in numbers but until our men support us women the way that we support them, we are going to stay in a never-ending cycle of broken homes, broken promises and disrespect. It's time to step up to strengthen our homes, our bonds, and our families. Then we will feel and know that love is there and never have to ask if you love us again. 

Hello, from BRITTNAY !!!

Hi! I’m Brittnay or Britt from The Nut Butter Hub. I work in HR by day and currently contribute to Empowered Wellness, Honest Cooking & The Huffington Post by night. However, my passion lies in creating a healthier lifestyle for my family (sometimes easier said than done).

Faith- walker

March 21st was the day I put on my shoes and tied the strings as tight as I possibly could. I became a faith-walker. It was my last day working in an office that I had been part of for about ten years. I had walked away from a director level position and interrupted the dream and story that others wanted to tell.

Who's Sitting Where?

So let’s talk about the seating options. We have the front row, the mezzanine, and the balcony. Who gets to sit where and why? Think about relationships that you’ve had in the past, romantically or your favorite homegirl and think about where these people fell in your life. Most times we give people access to the front row when they’ve only earned space to be in the balcony, or better yet; wait-listed. I’ve had some great friendships that have mutually come to an end but I’ve also had some that didn’t end so well.