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As I sat and watched Evelyn Lozado’s open discussion with Iyanla Vanzant, there were various emotions felt.  At first I viewed this as an opportunity to capitalize on her 15 minutes of fame(judgment), then I felt indifferent but once I got past her horrible behavior on Basket Ball Wives and saw a hurting and broken woman.  I was able to feel  sympathy, remorse, conviction and then gratitude.

As I got down off my high horse and realized just like this woman, I too struggled with and still do with some of the very issues she just so happened to display on public television.  I began to cry as I remembered that emptiness created in me from a not so involved biological father in my life, how something that happened to me at the age of 3 formed the way I related to not only myself but how I allowed men to treat me. The failed relationships, low self-esteem, anger and depression, which seemed to taunt me day in and day out because deep down this is what I felt I deserved.  Feeling as if it was normal for men to leave because if my father didn’t love me enough to stay why should I expect that from any other man.  I began to date with the notion that men were going to hurt and use me so my goal was to hurt them before they hurt me.  Just wrong and broken on every level but was too blind to see.

It is so easy to judge Evelyn because we saw and see her struggles but what if someone displayed our lives, the private struggles, the scars and even the current emotional wounds we face and carry around with us every day?  What if we took the time to address the root of our brokenness instead of dressing it up and pretending “all is well,” in my best churchy voice?  With the repeat violence at the hands of people who are suppose to love us and this I mean our ownselves, how can we say all is well, when so many of us are screaming for help, hope and love?

As the title says, I can identify with Evelyn Lozado, my heart goes out to her and all who are using people, money,  sex, and or any other temporary thing to fill a void only God can fill.  And this does not exclude those of us who have given our lives to Christ.  Sadly on some level in my walk with Christ, I’ve attempted to fill this void with meaningless things.  It was not until I was ready to own up to my part in everything that has opened to me.  Of course we cannot control what has happend to us as children but we can control how we allow or disallow that thing to control us.  I am at a point where I do not want another human being to have control over my life.  I had to make some hard choices, which is still a daily process but never the less there is progress.

For me the first step in my healing process was to reach out to my father, have an open discussion with him about the scars left in my life as a result of us lack of covering and then forgive him.  I forgave him because I recognized that he could not give me what he did not possess and in hindsight his absence was a blessing in disguise.

After forgiving my father, I had to forgive myself and continually remember that I cannot change my past but I can learn from it and do better in my present for a greater future.

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How many times have you witness someone do something and you thought to yourself that you could do that as well?  I know for myself, I am the type of person who believes I can do anything and nothing is ever off limits to me.  Not saying this thinking is wrong but what I am learning is just because you or I have a desire or even the ability to do something means it is for us to do.

Right now wearing your hair naturally as a black woman has become a mainstream topic.  So of course there are bloggers, vloggers, writers and youtubers, who are being blessed tremendously in this arena.  Immediately, I figured since I am also a black woman who wears her hair naturally for over 3 years, I needed to document my journey.  But I have yet to obtain the success and/or following that some of my other curl friends have experienced.  Now did this discouraged me?  Absolutely, it did at first but it wasn’t until I realized my motives for documenting my journey as well as, God’s hand in my journey.

I realized that it does not matter what I want to do, if God is not the originator of it, then it will fail.  Also, if my motives are self-serving then you guessed, the endeavor more than likely will not be successful.  I am sharing this because each one of us has something so unique and remarkable to contribute to the world.  Whether it is building upon, adding to, or creating something new, but it is imperative that we recognize our part of the puzzle.

It is wonderful to try and experience new things but do not be moved with every new fade or happening.  What looks fun and easy when another person does something could in fact be hard and devastating for you simply because you are operating outside your scope of expertise and gifting.

With that I leave you with first and foremost, get a true understanding of your purpose.  Why are you here?  What is it that you have to contribute that no one else can quite do like you?  And believe me there is something that only you or I can do.  Stay in your lane and stop switching and jumping from lane to lane because after a while you’ll cause a huge jam and mess.

 

Growing up and I’ll admit even now, hearing the word, “no,” to a request would cause my world to shake.  Now when I was a child I lacked the ability to fully process the benefit of not receiving everything I’ve requested.  Of course being in my 30s I possess the ability to fully grasp the reasoning but even with that ability I have still managed to revert back to my youthful responses to being denied what I thought I wanted.

I can only speak for myself but not receiving what I want initially is not a good feeling because it is not a natural response.  Through life I’ve had to learn to accept and became conditioned to adapt to “no,” as a way of growth and survival.  But it was not until recently that I truly have learned to see both the gift of hearing and saying, “no.”  Being denied and denying a request that would produce a far greater  negative impact than positive for me far outweighs the temporary pleasures of the ,”yes.”

Learn to embrace the gift of “no,” don’t despise or lose heart but see if for what it is a gift. 

I had the pleasure of reading a note written by a fellow Sister in Christ and CAU Alum, Robin May.  She shared personally things she and her husband have been dealing with this past year.  In her note she shared a link from the ministry of Andy Stanley entitled, “The Story of Your Life,” this prompted me to jot down my own notes on my life story to date.  I began to think how I would want someone to tell my story and of course all the wonderful things I’ve done came first and with ease but the reality is I cannot tell my true life story without mentioning the bad.  And all of the bad things were not at the hand of the enemy or even other people.  The things that hurt the most or were considered bad in my life were the results of my own doing. Yes, I can say from personal experience the scripture that tells of a woman destroying her home with her own hands is something that even saved, Christian women can do. I can speak how I personally for the last 2 years of my marriage to Gerald, I stop trying and trusting not only with him but with God, I can speak on how instead of trying to make myself better in the midst of a dry place I added fuel that helped to ignite the fire that destroyed what took 6 years to build.  Now I know there are many people who have heard bits and pieces of what happened, but only few know the truth. And the truth of the matter is just like many others I used the scapegoat defense mechanism instead of “womaning” up and dealing with it.

Since this is just the beginning of an ongoing story there will be many drafts, rewrites, and tweaks along the way so I’m not concerning myself with being grammatically correct at this time.  I’m sure my story will play out of sequence according to man standards but according to God’s standards they are truly in divine/perfect order.  So with that this chapter in my life story is one of redemption, rediscovery, forgiveness, and the life changing Grace of God.  I cannot expect God to so graciously share these things with me without extending the same to others.  Gerald, thank you for the man you were and are not only to me but to others. I’m sure to those on the outside looking in they wonder how you and I have maintained but we both know that it is the God we serve.  Thank you for even in the midst of what I took you through, regardless of the outcome, thank you for trying.  Please know that tough love at times truly is a blessing and much needed correcting tool.  With that I love you and will always cherish the years we were together because they helped to play a role in my growth.

Growth not always easy or even wanted but definitely necessary so I’m done fighting it and embracing it with arms wide open.

It has been almost a month since returning to the workplace. Of course being a new mom, I’m faced with the challenge of being sleep deprived but nevertheless I’m grateful to have a job. But I’m still struggling with finding my balance between work, obligations and me. The extra hours I use to spend at work, dancing or volunteering, I now find are no longer available because I’m literally trying to squeeze in so much into a small frame of time.

Anyone, who knows me, knows that I love to dance. And that was a huge part of my life but now picking up my son and getting to practice seem to always end up at the same time. So needless to say, the only dancing I’ve done have been the stolen moments in the middle of the night with my son in between feedings. I sit and ponder, when will I be able to resume dancing and my other commitments without feeling I’m short changing my son and family? Or will I always feel that way?

I find myself asking God to help me balance because He is the one who called me to these various areas. But as I type this I’m laughing because I had a co-worker tell me, “that people would begin to refer to me as being Bryce’s mom.” And sure enough when my neighbor greeted me that same day she said, “Hi, Bryce’s mommy,” Now, I proudly wear the badge of being Bryce’s mother but hey, the woman that God called still has to be about her Father’s business. Being mommy is just one portion of His bigger picture. Now, I just have to keep my focus on Him so I can see, hear and feel His guidance on how to put things in proper perspective.

I’m so glad, I don’t have to work this out on my own! THANK YOU, LORD

For so long I excused my own shortcomings and the shortcomings of others under the umbrella “I can’t give what I don’t have.” But as I continue to grow and mature in God, as a woman and mother I realize the error and immaturity of my ways. Yes, there was a time and will continue to be times when I can’t give what I don’t have at that time due to the newness of a situation or lack of previous knowledge.

If I lack the capacity to love someone the way they want to be love, is it really acceptable for me to say “oh well, I can’t give what I don’t have,” and expect that person to remain? What about when it comes to raising Bryce, I didn’t have 100% knowledge of raising a child and the truth be told I still don’t have it. But does that mean I stop and accept that and do nothing to improve upon this area? Of course not, all it means is that I am required to grow, go, and press to be and do better in this area and all other areas where I am lacking. I can no longer hide behind what I don’t have, I am requiring more of myself and more of others at least when it comes to how they deal with me.

So what I don’t have right now just means its an opportunity for me to go and get it. A masterpiece in the making…

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The Big DayMay 14th, 2012
The big day is here.
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