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!

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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!!  🙂

 

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!

 

Today

Last night I spent over a half-hour watching and listening to some new internet based 100% commission program that is absolutely free. Why was I watching it? Well, I received a friend request on Facebook and ventured to the person’s page to see if the request was legitimate. I did not know the person but clicked on the link anyway. As I listened to the CEO speak about this unprecedented, once in a lifetime opportunity, I will admit I was intrigued; but after doing my own research I found it to be another type of scheme where those already “in” were rich and those “joining” were not going to be rich.  I thought, man we live in a world where words can cause you to do almost anything!  People are thirsty for words that affirm, build-up, encourage, challenge, and give hope. Yet, we spend our entire lives using words in the opposite context. We use them to lie, hurt, manipulate, and destroy.

Today, I will use words to change my life and the lives of those I love. I will not waste time offering a promise that I cannot deliver hoping to trap someone by my words. I will use words to love. I will use words to build up. I will use words to strengthen anyone who is down. I will use words to LIVE.

Today, you and I have been blessed with another chance to get it right. Today, we have the opportunity to give hope. Today, right now as I type and you read we have the choice to change our world with our words for better. Today, is a gift, use it well.

Happy New Life, TODAY!!!

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

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!

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Unseen Grace

I pride myself on being a very involved mother to my children. I take the job seriously, because how I raise, instruct, and nurture my children is a direct reflection of my rearing and a future indicator of their success when they one day become parents. Let me paint a picture, my mom believes in the power of prayer. She has never been a medicine person. She took my sister and I to the doctor routinely and kept us well, however her instruction to us every time we experienced a slight sniffle was prayer. If we fell and hit our knee as we ran toward her for comfort,  she would say, “pray baby pray.” As I grew, prayer became as natural as breathing. I learned that I could always ask God to help me and immediately He would and then I could go to the doctor if I needed to.

My baby girl, who is 11 is full of life. She is spunky, sassy, intelligent and one of my greatest joys. When she was about 7, she was not eating her sandwiches in her lunch box. She came home and told me, ” Mom, I don’t like the bread.” Now I am a wheat bread junkie, so I told her, “too bad. Just eat it!” I mean seriously, we don’t waste food! Later that night, I was preparing for bed and I heard the Lord say,  “just let her eat white bread.” For those who know me intimately, I am real stubborn….don’t tell me what to do without an explanation, because you and I will have problems. I remember in that instance I shrugged my shoulders and decided to buy white bread. From that day til now she has been devouring every single sandwich. Fast forward four years and just last week I found myself  in the hospital clinic with my baby and she is having blood drawn for a possible undetected allergic reaction.

Now, you know I immediately heard, “pray baby pray,” and so I did. The results of the test confirmed that she was indeed allergic to wheat and most nuts. I almost cried as I heard the doctor this morning explain how to use an EpiPen in case of accidental ingestion of those foods. I recounted the times that I noticed her sneezing, coughing, and eyes running, seemingly out of nowhere because I didn’t know about this allergy. I thought to myself, if I would have known I would have changed everything. I thought, Oh my God, for the last 11 years You have protected my baby and kept her alive without any assistance from me.

We thanked the doctor for the information and left the office. As we drove home, I just couldn’t figure out how I missed the signs… why didn’t I know, why didn’t I recognize the changes? When we pulled into the driveway, all I could do was shake my head and thank God, for his Unseen Grace.

Are they any witnesses out there?

Happy happy New Life!!

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!!

I Got a New Attitude

Sing it with me….

I’m feelin’ good from my head to my shoes
Know where I’m goin’ and I know what to do
I tidied up my point of view
I got a new attitude                                                                                                                 Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
I got a new attitude!!  ~Ms. Patti LaBelle

We have all heard and probably said, I have a new attitude. What affected me last year, last month, heck even yesterday, will not today! Sadly by 8:30 in the morning the same ole’ attitude is back in full effect. I can not tell you how I used to always say, her attitude is ridiculous, that is exactly why no one likes her or him. If they ever intended to make it in the world they better do an attitude check quickly. During my rant and being the internal disposition police for society, I never could gauge my own attitude.

It is as easy as breathing to point out what’s wrong with someone and why their life is in the pits because of their attitude. We spend our entire educational journey learning how your attitude determines your altitude. If you grew up in a house like mine, the only person authorized to have an attitude was my mom, all others would be shut down. So I better save my neck popping and eye rolling for my homies at school, because at home I would definitely be a candidate to meet My Jesus sooner rather than later.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder now as an adult how my attitude has shaped my life. If I choose to allow what others say to me to become what I say about myself, I have now taken on their attitude about me. The problem? Those people and what they say is really about them. I cannot help how I look, that is genetic, I cannot help where I was born, my parents are responsible for that, but I CAN HELP MY RESPONSE TO LIFE! No, nothing is perfect, nothing is easy, but all things are worth the fight.

My attitude is one of my biggest enemies. It tells me how to look at others and judge, it tells me how to criticize no progress, it tells me how to blame others for my failures, it tells me, I’m always right. What my attitude fails to tell me is,  at the end of the day I will be alone, because I choose to keep my attitude instead of my life.

Dude, 2014 is WORK!! Work that I am willing to pay daily for the best life ever. I will not waste one more day, or roll my eyes at anyone else, today I got a New Attitude! 

Happy New Life!!