Monday, April 17, 2017

These light Afflictions

I miss my grandmother. A lot. As far back as I can remember I talked to her just about everyday and we would talk about everything from school, to work decisions to what color lipstick I should wear to my next dinner date. She was a woman and a mentor; a girl and a sage. I miss having someone I could always call who would always answer and would always respond to my thoughts with my best interest at heart without fail. So now, in her absence, I am smiling in celebration that her soul has transitioned beyond her achy knees and unreliable heart while simultaneously sulking because I don’t have her words to comfort me everyday when I want to be encouraged.

So when stuff happens, I feel abandoned because I don’t have my Trusted to talk to me. To position herself comfortably in the bed to either emphatically agree with me or hum softly in disapproval. Instead, I hear her words in my memories. Instead, I have to close my eyes and reach into my imaginations to remember the texture and tone of her voice. If I am careful I can experience them as they were because truthfully, they are still on my mind. Still answering questions and lending me solutions.

She didn’t abandon me. She prepared me.

Everything she needed to say she already said.

Today ladies, as we talk and as we listen, let’s remind ourselves that everything is as it is supposed to be at the time it is and even in the difficulty we are fully equipped to handle everything we face, be it pain or pleasure, exactly as we are.

Be your own inner peace. Be your own encourager.

Be beauty for ashes.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The ministry of motherhood invites you to be grateful

Yesterday my children woke me up 630 in the morning and I wanted to curse. It was Saturday and my only morning joy is to sleep late. So, after an hour of unsuccessfully falling back to sleep I decided to get up and get some errands done all three children in tow. At some point of my frustration with their questions, bickering, loud playing and running into places they did not belong I started to yell when a small voice interrupted me saying "there are women wishing they had this kind of problem". There is such a thing as a good problem. More business coming in than you have employees to manage. More closet space than you have clothes to fill it. The Ministry of motherhood, with all of the stretch marks, sleep deprivation and sorrows that accompany it, is one of those good problems. And when embraced and evaluated against the opposite of motherhood we truly begin to realize that it's completely worth it when we work it. When I think about the seasoned women I've met who worked motherhood well and are now grandmothers and great aunts of children now adults who reminisce about summers spent and dinners cooked. Mother's who spent years pouring encouragement, wisdom and unconditional love into their children and the children around them who are now cared for and honored by communities of people who's lives she residually touched by the sacrifices in her own. The legacy of life that begins in a womb and spans through generations beyond her passing; Saturday morning dreams pale in comparison to the children who interrupt them. Today ladies, when you and your children are moving through the days routine and you find aggravation building in your chest, take a deep breath and be grateful for that moment. I can certainly introduce you to a few ladies that wish they had you specific problem. Be beauty for ashes.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Not so fast

In 2011 my brother called me and told me he had cancer.


Like a good nurse I listened. Like a good Christian I prayed. Like a good sister I encouraged. But in my heart, time was standing still.

“This isn’t happening. He is too young! He is too strong! Not MY brother! His body is NOT about to turn against him!” None of these indignant assertions matched any of the training and knowledge I had. In truth, I knew there was nothing he or I could do. He wasn’t too young. He wasn’t too strong. And with our family history, it wasn’t that surprising. But it was too close and it made me miserable.

I’ve read CA in so many charts for so many years. However, at that moment, all of my desensitization arrested as abruptly as a physical jolt of electricity. Something about my love, to imagine my brother, my pedestal...

Gone…
…cancer

In 2012, my dear friend suffered a breast cancer scare. I listen to her, prayed for her, encouraged her. This time, in my spirit I knew she wasn’t going anywhere. But my ache was for the anxious pain she felt. Her spirit wasn’t telling her the same thing mine was telling me. But then again, what if it were my breast? Would it soon be my turn? Will I be so confident?

So much fear…

On Facebook, I saw a high school friend. A model. A business woman. A fellow nurse… Draped in a hospital gown.

Cancer eating her. Reducing her …

As I walked the Relay for Life last year I looked at the luminaries with names, faces and obituaries. My heart swelled with mixed emotions. I could walk in the victory that my loved ones had survived. My Facebook friend still fighting. Still smiling. But circling the track, looking at the beautiful sea of lights, each one representing a painful story of tragedy or triumph, hope for a win in a battle most of which had already lost… and me with all my sass and determination: powerless.

But what if I’m not. What if I can do something…

I must do so with purpose.

Ladies, I’ve listened. I’ve prayed. I’ve encouraged.

Today ladies, I’m in this fight too.

Be a giver. Join our team or make a donation for April 2013’s Relay for Life Be Beauty for Ashes team at  http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?team_id=1317663&pg=team&fr_id=54739&fl=en_US&et=f084HFWx2fmrbu7sw8jwZQ&s_tafId=1118029

Be Beauty for ashes

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Limited

I just realized today that by rushing I'm slowing myself down. Today ladies, accept that you can only do so much in a limited amount of time. Don't waste it by repeating your last fast job. Be beauty for ashes

Monday, March 19, 2012

a GROUP

Today I needed some reassurance on leadership. In reading, I gathered that every leader should be under girded by a personal advisory team that will provide:

Godly wisdom

Realism

Optimism

Understanding

Perseverance

a GROUP.

The reading had an exercise. The exercise required me to select the five top individuals I seek advice from and determine what role they play in my GROUP. Although I always do it, I always feel it is a gift and a curse to seek advice from others. Number one, people will know your personal business and number two, some people make comments that can sometimes have a less- than- your- best- interest- agenda or can be outright offensive. I do it still because the bible says there is wisdom in a multitude of wise council, and I never want to be the foolish girl we have all met; thinking she knows everything about everything and is a brick when it comes to hearing wisdom that will keep her from ruining her life.

So, let’s see my GROUP. I have the sassy bus driver who never gives an actually opinion, but always has the applicable scripture, with or without request, no matter how late at night or early in the morning I call. The lady cop who has seen so much ugly in the world she knows her stuff and can keep it real about the situation and provide real solutions to the problems. I have my bff and f and even when we don't speak, who always understands me, even my most selfish emotions, and through that understanding gives me permission to be me for just enough time to get over myself. I have my personal cheerleader who is always optimistic, so proud of me, always encouraging me and forcing me to see myself as an amazing, smart, beautiful woman and mother. And last, to keep me going, I have my ride or die chick, who, believes that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” yet in spite of everything that does goes wrong in her life or mine, has been a living example of perseverance through the odds, always giving me a right to never mind the opposition and keep going strong.
So what now? Now is that awkward moment when I realized, my definition of multitude could use some narrowing down. My GROUP gives me five beautiful women, ranging in lifestyles and ages that provide everything I need. I can release myself from the impulse to seek or satisfy the opinions and haunting suggestions of others. And even within my GROUP, each has their own purpose and anything offered outside of that is a weight I do not have to bear.
The moral of this story is this; a true leader is a leader in her own life, wise enough to listen and strong enough to choose.



Today ladies, when your listening to or reading through someone’s thoughts, suggestions or opinions, it’s ok to take it and it’s ok to leave it.



Be beauty of ashes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The hierarchy

Behavior therapy teaches us we can condition subjects to pursue secondary reinforcements in the place of primary reinforcements because value is learned. No one needs to learn that eating to relieve hunger is rewarding, yet we can learn to pursue money to buy the food that meets the primary need. In the elapsed motion we utilize in our individual pursuit of fulfillment, we expend our most valuable commodity; our time. And as primary to our existence our time is to us, most of us, if not all of us, have to learn to place real value on our time. Contrary to what Mr. Franklin may like to think, time is so not money. We can't steal time, we can’t borrow time. We can never regain once lost. If we blow it, there is no biweekly cycle to replenish our metaphorical account. Realistically speaking and contrary to what we think, we can’t truly save time, because every moment is still coming, we can only decide what we will do when it gets here. Education doesn’t open up more doors for more time. Conservation doesn’t present us as wise stewards of our time. No matter how much we give to others, the gift is still used by the giver and if we waste it, we will have something lasting to show for it; regret. We all have a certain amount and at best, our goal can be to recognize that our purpose is lived out not in what we think of ourselves but how we prioritize every 24 hours to pursue the things that reflect those thoughts.



Today ladies, consider your time budget and ask yourself if the transactions leave behind footprints that represent the legacy you wish to leave behind.
Be beauty for ashes

Monday, April 11, 2011

Because I can

When I would be grounded as a kid for a weekend, from Friday after school to Sunday night iron Monday morning’s school clothes, I would think so hopefully about all of the things I would do next weekend because this one was taken from me. I was full of plans and excitement of how wonderful it would be when I could get my weekend back. Knowing how miserable I was when I couldn’t do something always made me appreciate what life would be like when I could do it again. But the appreciation would always wear off until the next time my freedom to do was taken from me. As an adult when I was broke, I would think about everything I would do when I had a few dollars. When it rains, I think about how much I will enjoy my time outside with the kids when the sun comes out. Under the false pretense of lasting thankfulness, as a culture and as a species, our human condition predisposes us to an innate under appreciation for what we have, until we don’t have it anymore and we need to keep not having to keep renewing our thank you for the blessings.

Today ladies,

When you are upset about your misbehaving children, think about the woman who can’t have any.

When you are disappointed because something came up and you can’t put as much money on that bill as you originally planned to, think about the woman who has to beg the utility company to keep her services on.

When you are too unforgiving to let go of your righteous anger at your other, think about the widow who just lost her husband and friend.

Today ladies, let’s just be grateful for what we don’t have to endure. And smile because we can.

Be beauty for ashes