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IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!! Well, 1/2 Birthday that is…


The last few weeks I haven’t written anything due to illness and just being down in the dumps overall (sometimes the ones that encourage others need encouraging themselves). So yesterday I celebrated my ½ birthday (yes, that is a thing) with cake and ice cream…white chocolate cake and peach cobbler ice cream to be exact. I know that sounds a bit childish and to some it may even be immature (though Bahama Breeze and Michaels agrees with my notion by sending me coupons), but let me tell you the top 3 reasons why I did it:

  • Reflection is good for the soul – lately I’ve encountered some things that put me in a sour mood. Was overwhelmingly missing my Mom, had a few health challenges and financially I was running on empty. To top it off, it seems as if everyone turned a deaf ear to me and everything I wanted to do or trying to do was stopped dead in its tracks. For a moment, I had to step back and think about everything I’ve already done by the age of 40 and ½ (see, that ½ is important). I’ve written a book (shameless plug – and contributed to a few others, I’ve gotten several degrees (a bachelors, 2 masters, 2 graduate certificates and will begin the journey to complete my MDiv next month), I have a beautiful daughter, I’ve experienced homeownership (hoping to experience it again soon), bought a brand new car off the lot, etc., etc. Lesson learned: Never focus so much on what you don’t have, that you forget what you do have.
  • Life is always a reason to celebrate – it wasn’t until my 35th birthday that I started actually celebrating myself in terms of having a get together or something of that nature. It took for me to experience some health challenges (I believe I’ll experience COMPLETE healing) in addition to caring for an ailing parent to convince me that my life mattered, and those that agreed would help me celebrate. I must admit that there have been times that nobody celebrated with me, and there are times that everyone that has been invited celebrated me. Either way, as long as I celebrated me, that is ultimately what mattered. It really is okay for us to clap for ourselves, pat ourselves on the back and throw a party if we must to celebrate ourselves. Because if we don’t believe that our lives are worth living and that our presence serves a purpose, nobody else will. Lesson learned: There is a difference between living and existing, and we must choose to live!
  • YOLO is bad advice – I honestly believe that because we tell ourselves that we only live once, we use that “one” opportunity to do something big or impactful. We save up to take that big trip in 5 years because you know, YOLO!!! We go sky diving for our milestone birthday because you know, YOLO!!! We do this and then we do that because you know, YOLO!!! Truth is why wait to do it? You have the opportunity to do something you love, or have been wanting to do EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!!! Living by the YOLO mantra unknowingly has put many of us in a box (I USED to be guilty) and it doesn’t make sense to think outside the box either (because the box is still there), but eliminate the box altogether. Make a “Life List” (no bucket lists allowed), remove the limits and do everything your heart desires (legally of course). Lesson learned: YOLO is a lie, truth is we have the choice to live every day!

Well, I’m still celebrating and will continue to find ways, big and small, to live my best life and enjoy every moment of it.

Remembering My Superwoman

My thoughts, my words: Today marks 1 year since my beautiful mother made her transition into eternal rest. I’m not sad today though I miss her more than mere words can ever express, however, I am reflective. During the 6 years my Mom was sick I was unemployed for 3 and ½ of them, my wedding was called off, my house was foreclosed and I moved within a week, faced health challenges due to a Cancer scare, my job at the time caused high blood pressure and my grades dropped significantly in school. So it was becoming increasingly difficult to see her because of financial, physical, mental and emotional strain overall. I never allowed my Mom to see my cry, but many times I cried the whole 5 and ½ hours back to Georgia. I had car issues and encountered obstacles at times while I was there due to varying expectations concerning her care. Yet still, I was always reminded of her resiliency and tenacity to never give up (I mean she was still enrolled in school y’all…seriously). It is THAT in which I leaned on to get me through her celebration of life and to this point.

There are no words to express my gratitude to the loving, supportive and encouraging members of Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta, GA and the AME church overall. With the grace of God and your presence/presents you kept me from giving up and giving in, and for that I am eternally grateful. To this day many of you still check on me and reach out to me knowing what I really go through. For 6 years I experienced a different level of grief every time I lost a part of her, and my losses on top of that took a toll on me in ways I didn’t expect. Without going into detail, never discount someone’s cry for help due to their display of strength. Well today I honor My Superwoman and thank God for giving me such a beautiful, intelligent, strong and selfless example of motherhood and womanhood overall. I miss you much, I love you more, and I will see you again! #TheOriginalDiva #MySuperwoman #Strawberry #Nanalicious #MSFighter #Strength #Resiliency


Dear Mommy…

I cried and I prayed, I prayed and I cried. I felt numb for a number of minutes, then the rush of emotions hit me and took my breath away. The selfishness of being your daughter wants you here with me. Even in seeing you suffer and fight for 6 years, I just wasn’t ready. I struggled with knowing that you were approved to move here the very week you left us. I wrestled with giving up my life as I knew it and move just to be closer to you. I pondered taking another job so that I could afford to see you more often. 

Can I be honest? It was seeing you fight through everything that came at you that gave me the strength to fight through everything that was coming at me. Nothing seemed too hard because I was going to do what was necessary to make sure you knew I was there. When you left, I felt as if all my strength was gone. 

And then I remembered when I asked you a long time ago why it seemed as if you pulled back when I needed you. You made me some pancakes, sat me down and said “Shanah, you gone be alright…I’ll never have to worry about you”. That frustrated and slightly angered me initially because I honestly thought it was a cop out, but you were right Mommy. You have taught me so much, and though I drew my strength from your fight, ultimately I know Who my strength comes from.
So to the most beautiful, knowledgeable, generous, loving, God-fearing, well-dressed, sassy, resourceful and strong woman I know…My Superwoman…The Original Diva…Strawberry…I miss and love you more than mere words could ever express. Thank you for giving me the most beautiful gift I could ever receive on a day like today, the gift of being the daughter to the best mother ever…your legacy of strength will forever live on!!!

Wherewithal To Wear It All

It can be a challenge to work within limits set by someone else designed by someone else. Whether it is on a job, in an organization, as part of a ministry, and sometimes among family and friends; we attempt not to disrupt the status quo. Yes, that can be a challenge. But I think the bigger challenge is stifling your growth, creativity, spark, passion, intelligence and all the other wonderful things you wear because of those limits. This is nothing more than a reminder to put on who you are every day, because you were created on purpose, for a purpose and with purpose. My morning has already been wonderful, so I know it will be a #WowGodDay. Just remember to be you and have a WHEREWITHAL-TO-WEAR-IT-ALL WEDNESDAY!!!



Make Meaningful Work

Last Friday I had the amazing opportunity to attend Leadercast 2017 in Duluth at the Infinite Energy Center. And it was so refreshing and empowering to see so many leaders in one place, and to hear from so many amazing speakers. One of those speakers was Jess Ekstrom of Headbands of Hope, and there was something she said her mother said to her that keeps echoing in my head. She said “Your book doesn’t have to be on the New York Bestsellers list to have meaning”. CATCH THAT!!!


All too often we get caught up in positions, platforms and profit that we forget that we’re making the most profound impacts in our homes, in our churches, on our jobs, at our schools and within our communities. *confirmation for ME* Well, I’ve had a blessed weekend overall and looking forward to a week that is just the same, so I know it will be a #WowGodDay. Just remember that your purpose isn’t like the next person, so don’t focus on them, focus on what God has given you to do and have a MAKE-MEANINGFUL-WORK MONDAY!!!

Make It Over and Make It Right

Our apartment complex took some time a while ago to repave and repaint some of parking space lines around our unit. Of course I was all excited because there were a couple of spaces that weren’t even, and no matter how you parked you looked like you were crooked. Well, yesterday I lucked up on the first space, which just so happen to be one of the “crooked” spaces and guess what? It’s STILL crooked!!! This just reminded me that we waste effort, time and resources if we just do what was already done as opposed to putting in more effort, taking more time, and using more resources to fully correct a mistake. Well, I didn’t get a chance to do everything I was supposed to do this weekend, but I did everything I wanted to do and now I’m surely going to have a #WowGodDay. Remember if you’re going to do what was already done, just leave it alone and move on or else have a MAKE-IT-OVER-AND-MAKE-IT-RIGHT MONDAY!!!




Frustration Fuels Change

Yesterday I took Joi to Georgia State for an educational opportunity related to STEAM. However, if any of you know where Georgia State is located, it’s in the midst of the hustle and bustle of everything that is going in downtown Atlanta…along with it being rush hour. UGH! Well, if you don’t exactly where you are going when you get there, it can be frustrating and to a degree overwhelming. Needless to say, I was on the frustrated end. Normally when someone is frustrated they typically give up (or give in) and just go in another direction, but this made me more determined to get Joi where she had to go so that I can offer feedback later. This is just a reminder that frustration doesn’t always have to serve as a hindrance, it can also serve as a catalyst for change.


Well, it’s the weekend so that by itself makes it a #WowGodDay. Let’s think about what can be turned around as a result of things not going how we’d like and have a FRUSTRATION-FUELS-CHANGE FRIDAY!!!

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