Let IT Go

If you are alive, breathing, and moving you will face some challenges in life. Life is designed to chisel away our known and unknown imperfections to help us live a better life while on Earth. I have encountered some “life” moments that have absolutely shaken me to my core. I have wept so bitterly, that I felt as if this was the end of my life. But I have also lived some life moments that have left me speechless. You know the kind where your mouth is open in awe and amazement and you thank the Good Lord for allowing you just to witness what happened. However, the question that plagues my mind is why? Why are there moments that we can explain and then suddenly moments we cannot explain.  Why is there so much pain in the world? Why does it seem that sometimes evil wins and good is hiding? Why am I living a life that I didn’t exactly plan?

WHY? This three-letter word has plagued people for centuries. Here’s what I have learned in my short time here on Earth. Why is a question that although we ask it, we rarely want the answer to it.  We question circumstances, like when the car breaks and you just spent your emergency fund on braces for your oldest child. We question people, when your spouse that you love with all of your heart suddenly walks out your front door. We question, God… if you love me why is all of this happening to me?  Without ceasing we ask why, but do not stop to hear the response.

When why happens to you, don’t spend the rest of your life being angry in search of the answer. Let IT go.  Know that life is going to be filled with some why moments but let IT go. You know IT, whatever is keeping you from recovering from one of those moments. You know IT, that holds you hostage to hate, rejection, loneliness. You know IT, a failed marriage, prodigal child, lack of money to survive. Let IT go.  Don’t let IT stop you from living.

Happy New Life!

Advertisements

Look Again

So today I spent about an hour cleaning my daughters clean room…sound crazy?  It was. She, at 11, sent me a text message, from school, begging me to find her lost gift card because she wants to use it after school. Well, since I am the best Mom ever I decided to venture into her room to find this “missing” gift card. Her room was already clean (it’s required), so I really just tried to retrace her steps from two days ago when I handed her the gift card. She is such a free spirit not worrying about anything, except her fashion! As I cleaned the room again, I still didn’t find the card. I felt sad because I didn’t’ want to disappoint her.

This afternoon when she came home, I encouraged her to look again, and see if she could find it. After about fifteen minutes elapsed, I walked by her room and there she was, tears in her eyes, sprawled out over her bed. “Did you find it?” I asked.  “No.” She could barely speak because of the tears. Well I began some lecture about responsibility and the value of things, and told her to look again. She did not move off the bed. While I continued, I opened a drawer that I had just searched two hours ago and there among her shirts, was the gift card.

I picked it up, still lecturing (ha) and said, “See daughter, sometimes, you just have to look again.” Just like life, those tests, people, circumstances that cause you despair, instead of laying on the bed with tears in your eyes, get up and Look Again!

Happy New Look!!  🙂

 

Teamwork

When my Daughter was growing up , there was a show on called the Wonder Pets, it was about three friends that were the class pets for a preschool. They had amazing adventures helping other animals in danger after the kids left for the day. The three friends were a turtle, a duck, and a hamster. I absolutely loved this show! It was totally adorable and believable, it was a great reminder of the importance of teamwork.

Teamwork. That word is not heard very often today. Everyone is trained to accomplish goals alone. We live in a world full of “I”.  I can do it, I don’t need help, I make the difference, I am important. Now, don’t get it twisted, there are somethings that I can do, but we were made for relationship. It’s no fun to work in an organization and lie, cheat, manipulate others so I can be number one. Why are we so afraid to work together with others? Why do we fear others knowing if we are weak in an area? Why do we spend our lives chasing possessions, money, empty relationships just to be hurt in the end? Because if I admit that I am weak, you might use that against me. If I admit that I spend all of my time working to show off my “keeping up with the Joneses” stuff, you might think I am shallow. If I avoid people and relationships at any cost you might think I am scared to be myself around others.

You want to know the truth? We need each other. Skin color doesn’t matter, economic standing doesn’t matter, education doesn’t matter, we need each other.  What I learn from the Wonder Pets is they are individuals that alone are not successful but together they are awesome. Each of them have insecurities but when they work together they have the right stuff. The world is longing for people to work together. Relationships, families, schools, need everyone to make our future successful.  Get around some people who may not look like you, think like you, or even act like you, but they are human just like you. As the Wonder Pets always say, “What’s gonna work…TEAMWORK!”

HAPPY NEW LIFE!!

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!!

Untie and Unite

Did you just say those two words aloud? I know I have been saying them since about 5 this morning. I was attempting to sleep but I could not get away from these two words. Being a word junkie I looked them up and jumped out of my bed to write. (ok, I’m writing about 3 hours later, ha!)

So, this is what I found out: Untie- to loosen or unfasten to free from restraint, to resolve. Many times we only think of untie in relationship to our shoes. Unite- to join, combine, to form a single or whole unit, to act in concert or agreement.

What is so crazy about these words is they contain the same letters just placed differently. I thought about life, there are many things in our lives that use the same words but their place in our lives are drastically different. When you unite  in marriage you join your family to another family. You no longer function as a single unit you become whole and during that process you must untie  some knots in your life in order to live free from restraint and conflict in your new life.

Wow!!! As I thought about my life today, I was blown away. What things have I united with when I should have untied? Where have I untied relationships, family, change for my level of comfort?  This is a self check for me. I must pay close attention to how I am using words and knowing what I mean, but not aware of what I say. Today, UNTIE and then UNITE.

Happy New Life!!

 

Shut Up!!?!

When I was younger, ‘Shut Up” was a bad word. I mean you would have thought I said some serious profane, vulgar word when I let that phrase slip out of my mouth. I used to dream of the day that I could say it without fear of consequence. My mom would always say, those words are so ugly and there are better words that you can use to convey the same message. Man, I didn’t want to hear that. If I didn’t like something said, I would not prefer to use, please close your lips, cease from speaking, could you please employ silence, I wanted to say SHUT UP!!! Ha!

Anyway, even still as an adult, I always think twice and look to see where my mom is before I say those words. This really has me thinking, words indeed have power. Words can build, destroy, grow, change the course of action, mean everything or mean absolutely nothing. Take for instance how many words we read in a day, whether through our news feed, a blog, email, text, words are everywhere. Those words are just read silently, but we say them aloud, in an instant those words become alive, active, engaged, moving.

When I say shut up, I usually mean stop talking, and I want instant silence for a minute. But what is heard is; stop talking, I don’t want you to speak, what you say is worthless and invaluable, please don’t waste my time talking, just stop. Now, I think, what I am doing? I don’t mean anything other that be quiet when I use those words, but when someone hear’s it, they may just shut up. I cannot bare the responsibility of speaking words of death, gloom, hatred to anyone, and my only reply is, “sorry that’s not what I meant.” Although that is probably true, I am responsible for what I say.

Let’s clean up our words! Speak Life! Proverbs 18:21 Death and Life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it will eat the fruit thereof. 

Happy New Life!!

Bye Bye Anger

Have you ever been angry? Is that a silly question? I know there are some people who will say, “I’ve never been angry,” and if that is true I need to come talk to you immediately, but for the rest of us, we have at one time been angry. Let me tell you first hand the problem with anger, it controls you. I mean if you get upset because the kids made a mess in the house, or you forgot to turn off the oven, or you left your thumb drive at home for your meeting, there is a slight elevation in our stress.  But I’m talking about anger, I mean when someone jumps in your face and starts yelling, when you are lied on at work and as a result lose your job, when you are heartbroken for nothing, then you get angry.  The second problem with anger is it is an emotion driven by fear. Fear, is a killer. It paralyzes its victim and scoffs at the result. In the heat of the moment, when all the emotions are at the surface, the fight of flight reflex initiates, in like a millisecond your body (at that moment) on autopilot decides what to do. It is a scary thought, but a more painful reality. The final problem with anger is that it changes your natural body function, it changes YOU.  Your body responds  quickly to anger. It can change how you think, move, live. I mean you can blackout, fight, scream or just shutdown.

Anger, the word makes me cringe and cry at the same time. I have been at times a willing participant with anger. I have used words and actions to paralyze those who may have crossed me and because of fear I attacked first. Anger is a real problem, but only the surface problem. When in life do we find enough courage to deal with the root. I have a joyful disposition most of the time, it is not like me at all to be mean, but I find myself questioning who I am when I get angry. It is a dark place to be, but absolutely necessary if I want to change.  Last night, I laid in a hospital bed, IV hooked up, blood drawn, medicine coming through the IV, because I allowed anger to drive me. The doctor tested everything, heart, lungs, urine, thyroid, stress levels, and all results were normal. But although in that moment I was relived, I was more disappointed that I choose anger and that choice could have damaged my life permanently.

Today, is a new day, with new mercies, new choices and me. I will from this day forward dismiss anger from my life, it no longer lives here.

Happy New Life!

And now, The Rest of the Story

“And now,  the rest of the story”, with these words Paul Harvey completed some of the most intriguing stories ever told on public radio.

My life is not on the radio, and sometimes I think it’s not that interesting so who would want to know me or what I am about? I think the daily grind of my world is just that, mine. I do what most mothers do, what most wives do and I don’t think that deserves any type of recognition or does it? You know I have taken this journey in writing this blog and really reflected on the rest of my story. I have quite a bit of life yet to live,  so if I sabotage myself in thinking I will do nothing more that what I am doing now, my story is over.

How many of you have ended your story in your life? How may of you have taken one thing that happened to you and made it your entire story? Please understand what I am saying to you. Life is full of difficulty, change,  and triumphs, but the beauty of life is its ability to in one moment be unbearable and be fully relieved in the next. How many times have you looked over your life,  and said, “whew, I’m glad that’s over.” See that’s just it, things come in and they go out, but what matters; family, friends, love, and peace remain. Those are the tools we need to use to write our story.

This year, 2014  is only 19 days young, meaning we still have 346 days yet to be seen or lived. Don’t waste time planning and have NO ACTION to work the plan. Pick one thing you want to do and do it. You wanna know how I found the strength to do this? I can’t swim, so instead of talking about learning, I drove to our Family Recreation center and signed up. I was shaking, because I have a slight fear of water and being in it too long makes me uneasy. But I paid my money and in two weeks my lessons start. I have been practicing, where? In the shower of course, I mean I don’t want to look totally ridiculous! Now it’s your turn, what is one thing you want to do, make a plan and then ACT, and let this year be “your rest of the story.”

Happy New Life!!

Write a Note

If you are like me, there is something special about a handwritten note. First of all, the person used actual pen and paper and thought about the message they were going to leave you. When I grew up, in the 80’s there were no mobile phones. Ok, there were except they were as big as your face and you could not Facebook, Tweet, or even text. So instant communication was pen and paper. When we would come home from school, our Mom would leave notes for us explaining what chores she expected to be completed when she came home from work. The note would be extremely detailed, leaving no room for misinterpretation of her expectations. Sometimes she would write(draw) a smiley face on the note. Now if you could imagine your mom or dad drawing, it was kind of like this. A huge circle, ( that was my head), two smaller oval shapes for my eyes, two dark big dots for my eyeballs,and about 5-6 lines for my eyelashes. Now to complete this, she would draw a huge smile ( no teeth) two half-circles attached to the side of my face for my ears, and some BIG HAIR!!! That image, no Picasso but beautiful nonetheless made me smile.

Words and images are so powerful. We take the advantage we now have with social media and abuse the reader by writing words and posting (drawing) images that damage all those who see. It almost seems like that the art of communication has been lost, because we forgot why we write.

My Mom wrote to provide instruction, guidance, humor but most of all love. When I became a Mom I followed her example and began to write notes in the children’s lunch boxes. I would use that moment to say to each of them what they mean to me. Most times after a conversation with each of them separately, the theme for that week’s note is made. The note is designed to make them feel special, to help them remember who they are, to remind them of their dreams, but most importantly to never let them forget I love them.  Taking time to put a few thoughts to paper was overwhelming at first. I thought with the schedule of the morning, I am not adding one more thing. But the first time I forgot a note and all three of my kids said, “mom where’s our note?” I knew it was more than just a chore, it was a connection.

Take time to tell those you love, those you are working on loving, even those you don’t love right now, the truth through pin and paper. Use those words to reflect what you need to do, and how you want to change the relationship. It may be old-fashioned, but today I wrote you a note!

Happy New Life!

20140118_155912

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!!