Help!

I don’t know about you, but I do not really like to ask for help. Being the oldest child I have learned how to offer help to those who are younger than me. I have always extended courtesy to others when it is obvious to me that they needed some assistance. My sister says, I have the heart to help the “underdog.” But when I need help, I find myself scrambling to figure out the problem and save face so others do not perceive me as weak. What’s up with that? The world teaches us how to take care of me and mine, and you get whatever is left. The world tells me to step on, and step over those in my way of success or getting what rightfully belongs to me. Use whatever means necessary to ensure my ability to climb the ladder of success, have the best house, the best children, the best marriage, even if it is a lie.

For the last few weeks I have been attending a women’s bible study that has challenged me to my core. As a believer, it is easy for me to offer help to those that I believe are struggling more than me, why, because I know the secret-don’t let anyone know I am really the one who needs help. So where’s the disconnect? When did it not become ok, to need help? When we were children, we asked our parents, as students we asked our teachers, as adults, we become silent.  Today, I need help. I need God. I need unconditional love. I need grace. I need mercy. All of these things can only come when I ask for help, genuinely without fear, without wondering who might talk about me, without consequence because I want to be whole.

Life is so precious and wasting time pretending to be fine when you are screaming on the inside doesn’t make sense. I challenge you tonight to ask for Help!

Happy New Life!!

Passwords

For the last two months I have been trying to remember my password to my school issued email account. The university sends out reminders that your password is going to expire and in that email they give you the option while reading the email to click the link and reset your password. Now, here’s the problem.  I was in the computer lab and did not have my journal to write down the new password, so I found a receipt in my purse and created a new one.  I should have used one of the generated ones and taken a picture of it with my cell phone, but no I wanted to be fancy and make up one that I could remember. Well I scribbled the first combination of letters, numbers and symbols that came to my head and created a new password. All was well until I received notification on my iPad I had a new email for the upcoming semester. Well, I touched the app and it launched and then the dreaded pop-up box appeared. “Please enter your new password.” I didn’t even sweat it, I went to my purse and looked for the receipt.

Oh no!!!!!!! I can’t find the receipt. I don’t know where it is. Did I throw it away? This can’t be happening, how am I going to fix this problem? Oh wait I know, I can hit lost password and reset it with no problem, except when it asks me to answer the security question, I don’t know the answer!!  AUGHHHHHH!!!! I panicked and attempted this daunting task. I hit the reset button and up pops the security question, and I knew the answer!! Success!  I reset the password, wrote it down in the proper place and thought no more about it.

I giggle when I remember the sheer fear that gripped me when I couldn’t remember my password. I mean I didn’t want to see those dreaded words, Access Denied appear on my screen, because then it would seem that I am not authorized to open this account. My identity and authenticity of ownership would be questioned. Although I know I am the rightful owner, the system did not recognize me without the password.  Our life has a series of passwords.  See, these unique combinations represent change and as I’ve grown I have given access to those that I want in my life. If today you have anything or anyone in your life that doesn’t quite fit, and your access denied box keeps popping up it may be time to change some passwords!

Happy New Life!

 

It’s NEVER Too Late

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all have hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations, plans and then reality hits. You lose your scholarship for college, you have to work two jobs just to pay off your tuition balance, maybe you become a parent, unplanned and unexpected, maybe there is a family emergency and you have to place your life on hold to be with the family. Maybe you fail your first semester and end up on probation, or maybe you just quit. Regardless of the circumstance, your performance, or your diligence, sometimes life is just hard and dreams sometimes fade. For the last five years, you have promised yourself to go back to school and finish that degree, to become more so your children have an example to follow, to pay off debt, and revive the dream that once burned within you, but you are stuck right now. You are doing your routine, work, family, home flawlessly but secretly wondering is this all my life is going to be? I am ever going to finish anything that I really want? Something has to give…

Right now, you have been blessed with an amazing opportunity, TODAY. Stop planning to do something and do it now. I know, it sounds good and it even may get you excited but life has a way of reminding you what your priorities are. Well, no life is worth living without a dream. Children are the best example of how adults (grown children) need to live. They want to be astronauts, presidents, scientist, rock stars, teachers and all of those dreams live because they do not worry about what tomorrow may bring. Children remind us that we always have time to live the dream that is inside our heart. Children remind us to have NO FEAR!! Take the limits off yourself and run until you finish.  No, I certainly don’t want to be five again, but I do want that faith of my five-year old self. I tell you the truth, It’s Never Too Late! See you at the finish line!

Happy New Life!

Begin Again

Life.  It is one of the most rewarding, most difficult, most complex, most fun gifts that we have been given. Life takes everything that you are and then demands more than seems possible for you to give. Life, is an individual journey, shared with family, friends, enemies, and strangers. There are moments when words escape you to describe how you feel, then there are moments when life causes you to burst into uncontrollable laughter, some moments that you cry, and some where there is no emotion at all. Yet, we all have one life.

January is the first month of the calendar year, most of the world makes resolutions, determinations, just plans to live life differently than the last twelve months. By the end of this first month, most of us have returned to Life, just how it was last year. Why is that? I mean is it difficult to commit? Do we really think that changing is the best option until we have to do it? Is it peer pressure, is it laziness, is it fear? What happens between December 31 and January 31 has stifled the entire population. There is a drive to be, to do something anything new, until Life interrupts. So how do we change that?

What guides you? What are you passionate about? Who do you love? These questions hold the answer to your attempt and mine in January that fail by February. If we set a goal, why is the goal not centered around my passion? If we want a change in our lives, why not focus on the people we love to help change it? If we want a new career, why are we afraid to follow our hearts desire? Why? Because we think if we try to and fail, it’s over. Here’s the truth, every morning we have new mercies, new grace, to begin again. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, but you have today. Begin Again, right now. Accomplish something today. Don’t spend this gift of today planning for next year, live right now.

Begin Again.

Happy New Life!

Lamentations 3:21-23

I would like to introduce, Me

Identity, it can be a blessing or a curse. Most of the time in life, we never stop to think about who we are. We spend most of our time telling people who we are based on what we answer too. I am the oldest daughter of Leroy and Cynthia, I am the older sister to ReeKa and a Mom to too many children to list… ha! However, are those names accurately describing who I am or are they just part of who I am? Part of the struggle I have had with my identity,  is based on defining who I am, in order to meet or match the expectations of those who know and love me. I strive to be excellent, kind, loving, loud, bossy (indeed), but also loyal. The problem however, is not knowing when or how to pull back and remember who I really am at my core.

Shakespeare, said it best, “to thine own self be true” but who is that? We define ourselves by our position; manager, owner, CEO; our occupation, doctor, lawyer, teacher, police officer; our responsibility, mother, father, sister, brother, but none of these words really describe me. I do not plan to spend anymore time looking for myself. I want to be found, immediately. I want to figure out what I like to eat, what I like to wear, where I would like to live without the pressure of anyone/anything else to influence my decision to be happy with me.

One of my favorite scriptures states; I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are thy works that my soul knoweth right well (Psalm 139:14).  And since I totally believe this verse. I wanted to introduce me to you.

I am joyful, quirky, a lover of learning, at times lazy, a food connoisseur, cannot make anything crafty,  but I love to see them made, NEVER WANTS TO WORK, loves to shop on clearance, and I literally want to be retired from this day forward. I am totally fine with me and invite you to become fine with you. Peel back all the names you answer to and get to your core, and embrace Y-O-U! It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Happy New Life!!

One more try

How many of us have said, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try try again?” Some of us may have even said the later modified version, “if at first you don’t succeed, quit.” These two statements make me chuckle. I am amazed at how when I was younger, trying to do anything was a daily routine. I did not capitalize on my inadequacies or fear, heck I’m not even sure I knew what those words meant back then. All I understood is that if I want to do something I can just try.  The failure, I thought was is not attempting to do it, not actually failing at it. Now as an adult I am saddened at how often in life I have done the latter, just quit. Why? Absolutely for NO REASON! I can’t explain why I quit, it just seemed like the right thing to do. I mean who works to accomplish a goal, not reach it, then try again? No one.

It doesn’t make sense to keep going, right? If I fail at learning how to drive a standard car, it means that I buy an automatic. If I fail at college the first time, it means I was never a college student anyway. If I fail at money management, I just blame the government, they are the reason everyone has debt.  If I fail at my personal relationships, it is ALWAYS the other’s person fault, why because I am perfect.  Funny this sounds ludicrous for anyone to think or act in this manner, yet I have done those things and used those excuses and believed every single word.

But this moment is new. My life has become precious, not due to any tragedy or magical epiphany, it is a choice. I choose to live differently now because it is possible. I decided that my legacy will not include the words, failed to try because that is just selfish. How can I inspire, motivate or change others if I refuse to change me first? I decided no matter the cost, no matter how uncomfortable I may be or become during the process, His Grace is more than enough and my life is worth One More Try!

Happy New Life!

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

So, I am sitting here at my computer writing this note and the only light is the glow of my computer screen. Growing up, my parents would always say, “you’re not afraid of the dark, go to bed.” I used to think, Yes I am!!!! But now I wonder what was I really afraid of? My room looks exactly the same in the light as it does in the dark, right? Nothing changes, so than what I am really afraid of, less light?  These questions rattled my brain for years and tonight I finally answered myself.

The dark, an absence of light, does not change what the light illuminates, it only casts a shadow over the things that are already known. The dark means I need more light in order to function, just as I do when I have light. It means although I know my surroundings, I must be careful not to take for granted my sight. When it’s light I don’t necessarily pay attention to anything, because my eyes know my environment well. But those same eyes, adjust when there is only a shadow of what it knows to be true and sends a signal to my brain to proceed with caution to avoid injury.

Funny, how we spent our childhood avoiding what as adults we want to live in, the dark. We think that our ability to adjust to shadows will in some way keep us from dealing with what is known in the light. We plot revenge at night, plan to leave our homes, children, employment, at night, we fight at night…why because in the dark I only have to see a shadow of myself and those I intend to injure.

I confess, I am afraid of the dark, not because of what I can’t see, but what I do see. It is a good place to hide, it’s lonely, sometimes it feels good, and I never have to deal with the truth. Unfortunately, I learned tonight that darkness doesn’t last. Its strength, power, and control is severely handicapped because light is always ready to return. See when the sun sets, it is making plans to return. The sun (the hottest burning star) provides time for darkness to enter but not remain. Don’t fear the dark, destroy it. Use your eyes for vision, use your life for purpose, live in the light!

~You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14~

Happy New Life!

And just like that…it’s Over

I think the world moves so rapidly that when we finally find time to stop and think about what has happened in the last twelve months, three more months have passed. Usually I put my Christmas Tree up immediately after Thanksgiving Dinner has been served, but it was almost the middle of December and the incessant reminders from the kids, “Mom, can we please put the tree up,” that I finally conceded. While the children were putting up the tree, I was preparing dinner and making sure all homework was completed since the next day was the final day of the fall semester. I was so preoccupied with other things, I didn’t participate in a tradition that shaped me from my youth.  When I walked into the living room, the Christmas tree was stunning, and it had a certain sparkle to it that made me stop and stare for fifteen minutes.

In those fifteen minutes I thought about the entire year. I couldn’t believe almost 52 weeks had passed and honestly life was a blur. I mean I could remember birthday’s, anniversary’s, school events, and church, but intimate moments seemed vague in my memory. As I stood there, I thought, that’s it…it’s over.  What I have done with one more year of life, granted graciously to me by God? What I have done with my time? What have I done with my dreams, goals, hopes….The answer, NOTHING.

Just like that, the year over, and now today taking down the Christmas tree, I stopped to write to serve as a permanent reminder to myself to not just let my life be over this time next year, but to work, live, and love PRESENTLY. Every moment is a gift and yes, hurt will come, death will come, grief will come, happiness will come, but when those moments are over, I MUST MOVE ON! So, of course I’m already planning for Christmas 2014, but before I get there, I will LIVE.

I will embrace my children, my husband, my family, myself. I will take each day and Be Still, seeking God to guide me to make a difference that day. I will love, because He first loved me. I will change my mind therefore changing my life.

And just like that…Happy New Life!!

THANKS

Thank You. Two simple words. One meaning.  I have really begun to reexamine how I use words but more than that if I am sincere in how I use them towards others. I say thank you ALLLL day long. I say it to my children for keeping their rooms clean, to my husband  when he opens the car door for me, and to cashiers at Wal-Mart after I spend $100.00 instead of $10.00. But what I really want to focus on,  is how to change what I say by understanding WHY I say it.  Words have power and although when I was younger I said,  “Sticks and
Stones…..but words will never hurt me,” I realized that was a lie, my feelings are hurt by careless words and most of the time I responded by saying careless words to someone else.

My own personal goal for the next 24 hours is to know why I speak the words others hear. Do I want to build them up, tear them down, give me an advantage, or just hear myself talk. I want to know when I speak to those I love that ‘s exactly what they hear. Pure Love. Pure Thanks. Pure Appreciation. Pure Truth.

Thank You for letting me talk to you about a life lesson.

Happy New Life!

thanks

 

Crick in My Neck?!

This morning I woke to a crick in my neck…. Man it hurt! We have all experienced that kind of pain that is so dull, but yet so invasive that we will do anything to make it go away. If you are like me you tried to turn over and sleep on the other side, praying the pain might work itself out, but when you get up it’s still there. This pain today caused me to think about pain in life and how we tend to avoid dealing with it.

Webster defines crick as a, “sharp powerful spasm of the muscles as of the neck or back.” I thought, why only the neck or back and then I understood those two parts affect your mobility, the power to get up and change! So because I love words that definition prompted me to look up massage, which is the natural remedy for a crick. Massage is defined, “the act or art of treating the body by rubbing, kneading, patting, to stimulate circulation, increase suppleness and relieve tension.”   Translation-Pain is Necessary. It is an indication that the body is out-of-order and a massage will stimulate circulation, return the flow back to normal for my body to be able to MOVE!!!!

So the next time you have a crick in your neck, ask what in my life is out-of-order!

Happy New Life!