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Make It More

Every year we get a BOGO coupon to Cold Stone for our birthdays. Over the weekend we used Joi’s and we always get the smallest size, the Like It cup (which is the smallest “adult” size). Funny thing is, they had to put our creation in a larger cup because it wouldn’t fit in the small one. I’m just reminded that sometimes we may ask for one thing because of what we believe our capacity to be (you know, what we can afford), but end up being blessed with more in the midst. Well, it’s the beginning of a new week and I know it will be another #WowGodDay. Just remember that our limited capacity doesn’t necessarily dictate the blessing we will receive. So let’s move in faith and walk in the belief that we will have a MAKE-IT-MORE MONDAY!!!

 

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Focus on Finishing

By now, it’s known that I like to play Ruzzle; it breaks up the monotony of my day. Well, yesterday while having some down time, I started a game and was on a roll beating my opponent. I got down to round 3 and was still on a roll when I heard some noise outside my office door. I paused for a minute then got up to make sure everything was okay, then got back to my game only to realize that I had a few seconds left and eventually was beaten by my opponent. This is just a reminder to not allow distractions to make you lose a911711cd549c32c85d43efe411466e5your focus, because truthfully that’s what they are there for. Well, this morning has started off great, so I know it will be another #WowGodDay. Remember that some things don’t require your immediate attention, especially if your task is almost complete. So, don’t sway and have a FOCUS-ON-FINISHING FRIDAY!!!

Treat People Right

The street in front of my apartment complex was backed up this morning, but usually cars slow down or stop to let those of us that are coming out of the apartment complex in because traffic moves steadily in both directions. This morning, that wasn’t the case as this car sped up as soon as another car slowed down to let me in. I didn’t blare my horn or anything, but gunned it when I had the opportunity, because otherwise my wait would have been much longer. That same car ended up directly in front of me, but turned into the school that was a short distance away. As I was pulling up with the rest of the traffic closer to the light, cars were coming out of the school and lo and behold, it was that exact same care that wouldn’t let me over trying to merge into traffic in front of me. It may not mean much to some, but to most, this is just a reminder that tables turn…PERIOD. Well, my morning started off great, so I’m expecting a #WowGodDay. Just remember that what you do to others ultimately comes back on you, so have a TREAT-PEOPLE-RIGHT TUESDAY!!!

 

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Move to Maintain

36585122_190214418502216_5190577043615514624_nYesterday I had the pleasure of going to see Christopher Robin. People that know me real well know that one of my childhood nicknames given to me by my Mom was due to my likeness (me loving honey/cake/pie/cookies/ice cream) and love of Winnie the Pooh. So, it was no surprise that while watching the movie, I hung on to every word uttered by Pooh (I even teared up a little). One of the quotes in particular was, “I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been”. All too often we remain stuck in our pasts, not realizing that in order to get anywhere, we must move forward…doesn’t matter the pace really, as long as we’re not standing still. Well, this morning has been delightful, and I’m expecting it to be a #WowGodDay. Remember that in order to stay on the path that has been created for us, we must not focus on what’s been, but celebrate the present and look toward the future to have a MOVE-TO-MAINTAIN MONDAY!!!

Storms


In 2005, there was much devastation around due to Hurricane Katrina. It was responsible for over 1,800 lives lost and over $100 billion in damages, yet dissipated 7 days after it started (8/23 – 8/31). The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina couldn’t fully be articulated as families were destroyed, dreams deferred, and hopes dashed. In a twist of fate, it was exactly 2 weeks prior that I was evicted from my apartment of 5 and ½ years and lost my temp job within 24 hours of each other (with losing Joi’s dad, an ex and having major surgery just a few months before that). Joi had just turned 4 years old, and I was bouncing from couch to couch and zip code to zip code as others took us in…we were homeless. My storm never dissipated however, it raged on and on and on. I eventually became angry and numb at the same time, a very dangerous combination. I honestly felt like the walking dead and saw no hope, though I was in church every Sunday. And I threw myself into giving my time and energy at various donation centers that were created to assist those impacted by Hurricane Katrina (but if it weren’t for some of those donation centers, we wouldn’t have had clothes and shoes).
During that time, a few knew of my full circumstances and extended love and compassion towards us. There were also those that knew that treated me like the scum of the earth (talk about kicking someone while they are already down…whew!). It hurt. Like hell. I didn’t defend myself, I just took it and added it to the long laundry list of things that I was being told was wrong with me. I was hurting. I was in pain beyond what I could even comprehend, but I didn’t even know how to put it into words to share my heart and my soul. I could barely think straight my head was so cloudy. It took 7 months for me to eventually secure shelter of my own and begin the process of becoming wholly healed. Because in addition to the losses, I was dealing with residuals of abuse and rape that I never shared with anyone.

Now here we have Hurricane Irma that happened almost exactly 12 years later (8/30 – 9/14) causing 81 fatalities and over $60 billion in damages. Immediately I started receiving text messages and phone calls asking if Joi and I were okay and if we were prepared. I know everyone was referencing food, gas and supplies, but all I could ask myself was “Are you ready for the storm…again?”. Truth is, the storm never stopped. As with many of us, there is so much that we go through that sometimes we just cry out and ask God can we get a breather. Just one moment where the seas are calm and the sun is shining. When I lost my Mom last year, I felt a familiar pain…the one I felt 12 years prior. My heart was broken in places I didn’t know existed and my head was cloudy. Just like it was also 12 years ago, there were those that extended love and compassion, and are continuing to do so. And then there are those that aren’t quite as nice…eh. So, I sat and braced myself for the storm (ironically, we only received a little rain), and as I did so my Mom’s favorite gospel left my lips in a quiet hum. Before I knew it, I began to belt the words out as a personal testimony rising from the depths of my soul with tears flowing freely down my cheeks. I can’t sing worth a lick, but it was music to my own ears. 

Whether  it’s a figurative storm or a literal one, I’m reminded that my soul is anchored…thank you Mommy! (Hebrews 6:18-20)

My Soul Is Anchored by Douglas Miller – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENv7zIo_j9M

Though the storms keep on raging in my life; 

And sometimes it’s hard to tell the night from day; 

Still that hope that lies within is reassured 

As I keep my eyes upon the distant shore; 

I know He’ll lead me safely to that blessed place He has prepared. 

But if the storms don’t cease, 

And if the winds keep on blowing in my life, 

My soul has been anchored in the Lord.

Move IT Out of the Way

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to get a snack since it was on sale. Once I got to the aisle and the section where the snack was, I was immediately disappointed because it looked as if what I wanted was gone. But y’all I wanted my snack really bad, so I started moving other items out of the way in hopes that I’d find some. And sure enough, tucked in the back unharmed and seemingly untouched was a package of cinnamon bun Oreos (yaaaassss!!!!!). This is just a reminder that sometimes you have to move some things and possibly some people out of the way to get what you want. Well, I’m grateful for good rest and no pain, so I know it’ll be a #WowGodDay. Know that you want may be there, but there may be something or somebody blocking it. Don’t abandon the desire, just be focused on the goal and have a MOVE-IT-OUT-OF-THE-WAY MONDAY!!!

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

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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 – https://www.amazon.com/Can-Power-Embracing-Blessings-Philippians/dp/1490768890/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=) 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.

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