In the Morning

In the morning, you have given gentleness, kindness, patience, calmness. In the vigor of the morning, you have provided sun-rays, birds chirping, a risen Savior, a song for the day that resonates in our hearts.

New mercies, new grace, in the morning!

Our mornings are normal. Historically, tears daily and wandering minds inquired, “Is it normal for individuals to cry everyday? Is it normal to yell daily?” Present day, there’s no recollection of the last overwhelming response. Recently, there is no remembrance of days consumed with consecutive big emotions that flooded the gates surrounding green pastures. Because the mornings have evolved, there needs to be a talk about those past days to revisit those feelings to ensure they don’t lie dormant, they don’t fester, they don’t develop resentment. There were insecurities, frustrations, uncertainties, disdainful feelings that drowned the mornings. Now there’s resiliency, recovery, courage, awareness.

God’s greatest gift unto you could be under attack because the enemy is aware of the glory received of God, the prayers ascended, the deliverance experienced, the believers birthed as a result of the gift. Your greatest gift is a reminder of His glory, His capabilities, the possibilities. God has given a constant expression of his goodness and faithfulness by rendering such a blessing! The devil is defeated.

Mornings are filled with love. In the morning, there are greetings filled with passion and enamored with care. In the morning, exudes the anticipation of jubilance shared and received. In the morning, reigns huddles in the kitchen, scurrying to the door, thrills to share moments of gratitude, willingness to listen to praise reports and prayer requests. In the morning, it is another present to unwrap and utilize as opportunities to brightly shine, climb mountains, walk adjacently, listen attentively, uphold one another in care. In the morning, we appreciate, celebrate, anticipate the goodness of the day.

We anticipate the love, joy and peace that awaits us in the morning!

Great morning! It’s a good morning to be a great morning!

Promises Fulfilled, Even in Grief

If you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one, I want to share some promises with you from the author Clare Mackintosh. Thank you so much to a friend who shared these words a year ago. It has helped me and I hope it helps those who have loss love ones.

I promise this will not always be the first thing you think about in the morning.

I promise you won’t always lie awake at night, sobbing until you can’t breathe.

I promise you will not always feel that hard lump in your throat, like grief is a rock that cannot be moved. It can.

I promise those waves of grief that knock you off your feet will become smaller, less violent. You will be able to stand and let them wash around you, not over you.

I promise walking won’t always feel like you’re dragging your legs through treacle; breathing won’t always be something you have to remember to do. You will do both these things effortlessly again.

I promise you won’t always be winded by someone else’s happiness – their social media updates and photographs. You will smile and feel glad that they have something so special, and that you once had it too.

I promise you will be able to say their name without crying. That you will share a memory and feel wistful; sad, but not broken.

I promise you will not always have to take the day off work on anniversaries, because you are unable to function. You will find something special to mark it, or you will treat it like any other day, and either is okay.

I promise it won’t always hurt like this.

December 13, 2022 will make five years that my late husband has been deceased. Over the years, I have responded to my grief in the following ways. The coping mechanisms serve as support, a rescue, comfort, a reminder that grief is present, but so is the opportunity to endure the sadness that it brings.

Coping mechanisms

• Scheduled prayer time, I have an alarm set for 8:30 p.m.

• Support system

• Grief camp

• Journaling

• Color therapy journal

• Play games with your children, it helps lighten the mood and provides a sense of purpose

• Seek professional therapy

How to Face what you feel, list the emotions, tell the emotions why you feel that way, decide what to do with the feeling. Are you ready to overcome it? Do you want to over come it? Who will help you? Below are emotions that I’ve felt sometimes in isolation, other times simultaneously.

Conflicted

Sad

Hurt

Alone

Uncertain

Insecure

Strong

Masculine

Excited

Happy

Blessed

Thankful

Peaceful

Calm

A joyous and cheerful season that the world anticipates annually may cause irritability, while triggering hypersensitive emotions when you have experienced loss. How do I enjoy the season?

Pause

Cry, ask why, contemplate, brainstorm a plan for my future

Disclose honesty and regrets – so much freedom in vocalizing hurt and acknowledging pain. There is self captivity in holding those emotions hostage.

Engage in festivities

Host Thanksgiving, particularly because my eldest daughter’s birthday is the week prior and she loves to continue the celebration with family.

Travel, pre pandemic we began a new tradition that includes traveling during the month that my spouse passed, which is during the holiday season. Due to his cause of death, anxiety is another feat that I have to manage and I haven’t quite gotten the best practice under weigh to cope.

Incorporate a family tradition in your love one’s memory perhaps the thankful tree, paint a bench, plant a tree, give to a cause, watch your fav movie, prepare your fav’s meal.

Scripture memorization is a tool you can access immediately to mentally shift your feelings of despair. While doing so, a best practice includes removing yourself from the physical space you’re in such as if those feelings begin in the living room or your desk at work, I advise moving outdoors with natural light, to a cafe shop, Target, your favorite retail store to shift your physical mood as you recite your scriptures to shift your mental mood. Below are a few to memorize.

Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” This is who we are: the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.

Psalm 91 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” … “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

It won’t always feel this way. There will be triggers throughout your life, but proclaim your stance in life. Be it, I will live a life of peace. I will be intentional with my day. I will live in the moment. You can do this. How do I know? Because while I am struggling five years later, it matters that I am doing it. Peace!

38 and GRATEful

A year of satisfaction for the sake of mankind and for the uplifting of my spirit. The year of 37, I shared my grief journey with countless widows. I have met and bonded with some phenomenal new people. I have failed my exam a few times. I have used an inappropriate tone and body language with my daughters. I have second guessed myself. I have questioned the path that I have my daughter on in terms of school. I have pondered moving to another continent. I have been dissatisfied with my progress in my career. I have felt inadequate. I have worshipped and praised. I have sat in worship wandering about my tomorrow. I have weeped. I have smiled. I have been honest with myself. I have hoped that I would be a better model for my daughters. I have contemplated what life would be like for my girls if their dad were here. I have had self sabotaging thoughts. I have been thankful. I have felt blessed. I have felt confused. I have felt drained. I have felt left out. I have felt a part. There have been days that I have felt as if where I am is not where I am supposed to be no matter what the saints say.

As a teenager, I’d plan to graduate college, solidify my career, marry, move into a home, have children and live happily ever after. To my surprise, my happily ever after has been painted with a deeper blue than I imagined. I have had prayers answered. Some unanswered. Yes, as fluctuating as my state of being seems, I feel thankful, GRATEful and blessed to have a connection with all five senses, healthy humans who are turning out to be all that God says, great friends, loving family and a decision to live my life to the glory of the Most High God. Goodbye 37 and tomorrow morning I welcome 38 and GRATEful!

As I embark upon this new year around the sun, I anticipate goodness and fondness of all the things that should meet me along the way. I anticipate lessons to learn. I anticipate wisdom to gain. I anticipate communication with patience and understanding. I anticipate caring for me internally and externally. I anticipate discovering and exploring God’s Earth. The moment of anticipation drives thrill and eagerness as I am trusting God on this walk. I am met with much jubilance as I approach the next moment of time. A season to continue my development. A season to continue to gain insight from wise ones. A season to deprogram and shift thinking that stunts connection and correction, which engages my inner self to become greater for the next level within my life. I am gearing up for 38. I am praying for a season of rebirth. I am cultivating seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. This year will be a year of 38 & GRATEr!!!!

So much love to you all!

Life is hard. Life is full of adversity. Life is saturated with unexpected circumstances. Since this is true, what armor do you equip yourself with for trouble? What mental strategies do you access to endure and overcome?

Bruised & Broken

Be careful how your past hurt may be inflicted upon someone who genuinely loves you. The impact of your hurt may cause stress and fear within someone who wants what is best for you, desires to be near you. If you are not careful, your unhealed wounds will infect those who are near.

Don’t miss the journey towards the destination. That’s an ultimate part of life’s dash.

This weekend I was mentally bruised by two men. As a result of my tears, there was an abrupt disconnect. What appeared to be abrasive was a reflection of his feelings that he did not want to uncover at that moment. Actually, ever! Hurts me terribly, but as I reflect upon intent and impact, the intent was to protect himself from exposing his vulnerabilities. He did not want me to trigger what is truly deep down inside of him. I will allow him time and space to contact me. The other gentleman felt disrespected because my intent was viewed as malicious rather than a way of escape, a means to diffuse a disgruntlement, but the impact terminated the beginning of a strong friendship. Or was it? The lesson learned is to hear with your heart and not your head. Keep the goal in mind. Identify the value within the relationship. Is it worth salvaging or trashing? Is anything so bad that it can’t be resolved amongst two mature adults who have one common goal, connectivity, chemistry, oneness? Be it due to pure friendship everlasting or exclusivity.

I empathize with him in terms of the effects of being impulsively disconnected. Fault was admitted and an apology was given, but not accepted. It is funny how, mentally, I think I’m taking the necessary steps to prevent issues and things begin to operate smoothly. Suddenly, an explosion sets everything on fire causing destruction to all progress. What I meant to use in order to calm chaos so that the discussion may be better handled once revisited, negated everything that was given within our time spent because of one or two mishaps. That truly does weigh the strength of what was or what was to come. I remember when Cleo I and were at a wedding. The preacher mentioned if a marriage had been tested and tried and the couple remained within holy matrimony that proved the marriage sustainable and definitely title worthy. You know, bragging rights? Intentional friendships, exclusive relationships take desire, forgiveness, patience and understanding. These qualities will maintain any relation in a healthy manner.

What I find to be fascinating is how some of us allow defeat to abort possibilities, progress, potential. The moments spent mattered, but the moments possible will never be. That is ok and it is not ok. It is ok because what and who God has for me is for me. It is not ok because there was a positive and careful intent behind every action that was made lovingly and willingly. It felt good residing in this newness. However short lived, the lessons learned amongst the two circumstances include; some individuals are bruised, broken, safeguarded, and lack proper problem solving skills. Let’s commit to internal healing all 2022, beginning now. It starts with me. I’ve committed to answering my phone all 2022, beginning today, which was a good start.

So much love to you all!

Pointless

Sometimes when you’re faced by obstacles, life seems pointless. Sometimes when you attempt to live your best life and adversity continues to hit, life seems futile. Sometimes when you are walking in the light and it seems as though it’s cloudy, you begin to feel lifeless, tired, drained, attacked, defeated. Guess what, you’re not.

Everything that seems bad to you is not bad for you. I know you have heard the saying, everything that’s good to you, isn’t good for you. Same thing applies in terms of all things that seem unbearable, unfavorable. We have to go through in order to get through. Sometimes we become complacent in our lives, but there’s greater inside of us and we know this, but do not know what steps to take. We may not believe. We may be gripped with fear. There is more potential inside of us that we will not tap into at times, unless we are coached to do so. That’s all God does. He knows there is vision, there is implementation and there is a gift that needs to be shared with others who do not know how to set themselves free. You are the hope dealer. You are the rescuer. You are the lifeguard. Sadly, if YOU do not operate, no one will be saved.

I was trapped at a job for four years, full of misery and anxiety. Before beginning the job, I was excited, felt pretty blessed to be chosen, filled with ideas and anticipated building relationships and changing lives. Unfortunately, I worked under a controlling dream snatcher who wavered and chastised from an extremely toxic place. I felt stuck, hurt and stressed most of the days working there. While I was in that situation, I knew my future was going to be amazing, but I was anxious. God allowed the discomfort and taught me a lesson on how not to kill dreams, but build individuals, genuinely care. While doing so, it takes nothing away from your present or future. Circumstances may ensue hopelessness but they are there to build your spiritual muscles.

Lifting people up is sure to bless the individual who is doing the lifting. It is an act of selflessness, humility, leadership, kindness, concern. Life may seem pointless when things are unfortunate, but endure the journey. Be present. Learn the lesson. Use the teachings in days to come. Share it with others. Isn’t that what life is all about! Lifting others as you lift self. Go! Live! Love! Laugh! Be for real!

Black girl, Colorful heart

Blessed with so many friendships, black, brown, white. I am attracted to personalities. Unfortunately, we do not discuss racial injustices because it is not the most comfortable for many whites and sometimes myself, but the truth is being black in America has not been the most comfortable due to so many stereotypes. I do not want to overlook the concern from my friends from other racial backgrounds who have expressed genuine concern. I know it is genuine and not routine.

Here are some things you can do to change and heal our world continuously.

• Use your influence, do not remain silent through your social media outlets, email, meetings, etc. It takes bravery and courage, but united we can impact change.

• Eliminate your ignorance, have courageous conversations about what you don’t know and be genuine about it.

• Be in tune in all sincerity
Would you want your feelings discredited? If you were bullied, would you expect for your friend to be a bystander or upstander? When you’re angry with your spouse or your close friend, do you sometime act unreasonable?
I presume you know what the right thing is and you do it!

• Use your imagination, what if you were black in America?

• Search inside of yourself. What did you see growing up in terms of racism? Have you naturally adapted those same habits and views? Are you numb to what blacks have to endure even after you’ve been educated on what the problem truly is?

A colorful heart is filled with love and tender care, unique qualities, an array of ideas, a mind filled with wonder and limitless imagination. The world is full of colorful hearts, those who love authentically. Those who want to learn what they do not know in order to be a part of the solution. No matter if you are used to remaining silent or not, what can you do to change that in order to contribute to healing? Change begins with knowing and continues with effort. This black girl with a colorful heart commits to learning as much as possible about history in order to better our world that we reside in. ☮️ Peace!

Give it All You Got

People may not understand your happiness. People may question your friendliness. People may wonder about your joy. As the old folk say, “This joy that I have; the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.” Perhaps you’re like me and you have fought to feel as blessed and grateful as you feel. Maybe you were near death as a newborn. Maybe you have been drowned by two second trimester losses. Who knows, you may have become a widow at 33 years old. Or maybe you woke up with every activity of your limbs, breathing on your own, you have keen five senses!!! It could be that you are in a wheelchair or on crutches!!! Whatever it maybe, give life all you got! I have been grieving for quite a while. In 2008 and in 2009, I loss my two boys. In 2017, the love of my life suddenly passed away. In 2018 and 2019, I didn’t know most days if I were going or coming. Unbeknownst to me, the blessing was in the pressing. My spiritual muscles are stronger. I am grasping life with both hands and all of my heart.

This is 37!

Today I commit to continuing to be the best me possible. I am thankful. I am grateful. The Lord has truly blessed me. I have a stable mind. I have the activity of my limbs. I have breath in my body. I feel pain. But I also feel healing. I feel hurt. But I also feel joy. I feel disappointments. But I also feel hopeful. Thanks to a mighty good Jesus for allowing me to take my rightful place in the wonderful world of 37 and satisfied!

May 16, 2021, I am going to give it all I got. In this life, I am going to possess the space afforded me. I will love with everything inside of me. Treat folk right. Tell the truth and shame the devil. Continue being persistent, pushy as my homeboy says. Be true to myself and laugh until my belly ache. Love the life you live and live the life you love. Get up, wake up, dress up and stay prayed up! I’m giving it all I got!

The Elephant in the Room

It’s not how much money you earn that counts, but how much money you keep. Furthermore, how does that money give you a return? Financial literacy is an underexposed topic within the middle income market. Families earn money, but lack money management skills. In my experience, families spend more than they make because of 1. Impulsivity 2. Living beyond their means, consuming more of what depreciates 3. Unadvised in terms of financial concepts.

What have you been taught about money? What do you do with your paycheck once it deposits into your account? What is your net worth? Do you have a will? Does your love one(s) or a charity serve as your beneficiaries? How advantageous would it be if your parents taught and left you a financial legacy? Think about it, if one generation has been educated on a subject matter, how wise would it be to influence the next generation? It is the same as a parent attending college and expecting the same from their child. The parent understands the benefit and the foundation that will help build a healthy and wholesome present and future. When you know better, you do better. When you learn more, you’re more empowered to possess more and you are able to bless more. No matter if it’s your children’s children or by supporting causes that you deem important. Frequently I say, meetings would not be so long if someone could write the check. Transformational giving cannot happen if transformational wealth is not being invested and passed through the generations.

Think about this, if you died last week, would your family’s quality of life be the same, better or worse? Would your family have to sell their home? Would your children have to stop attending private school? Would your son be able to continue enrichment programs and sports? Would your daughter be able to attend sleep away camp? Would you have to secure a couple more jobs? Additionally, investing the way you are investing now, are you on track to retire? How much money do you need in order to do so? In other words, what is your financial independence number? Do you understand the meaning of a portfolio? Where do you get your advice from? Do you deem it necessary to gain accurate knowledge from a skilled and licensed professional? Is this important to you? Is it an urgency?

From the I Am app

Learn how to build a financial house beginning with an education and attaining an understanding, followed by implementing the concepts. Procrastination is the thief of progress. My mom used to always say, study long and you study wrong. What does that mean? My interpretation is if you think about something so long, you will illogically and irrationally talk yourself out of something that is necessary, yet unfamiliar to you. It is similar to relocating to a foreign country. Well, it’s a culture shock. You’re unfamiliar and you understand the benefit, but uncomfortable with the process. You have to study the country and language, trust the process, walk by faith, talk to trusted natives, do it afraid. I encourage you to wise up when it comes to building your financial home. Your children do what you do, not always what you say. Once money is earned from working hard and smart, teach yourself and them how to respect money. I know you have been taught to YOLO and that you cannot take it with you. If there is a substantial amount you can take it with you. Take it with you to your next generation. Talk about leaving a legacy! Your grandchildren will forever speak your name. Because of your heart and hope for their present and future. Wise up! Gain a financial education. Talk to a licensed professional. Read wealth building books. You will thank me once you do.

Take off Your Mask

Pressure all around to be someone you are not. Internal tug of war with your flesh and spirit. Temptations all around. Battle between righteousness and happiness. Living underneath a disguise when inside of you screams the truth. Take off your mask. Be who you are, everyone else is already taken. Define yourself when you are solitary so when you are accompanied by others, you are true to self and your counterparts.

What a relief to know who you are, what you like, what you have to offer! Living without a mask heals what you are trying to hide. It liberates you from living a double life, which is always threatening. It’s a threat to your truth. It is self sabotaging. Unmask, understand yourself, undo what is inauthentic! Your superpower lies in knowing who you are.

Ways to be true to yourself include:

  • Know who you are
  • Affirm your truth
  • Say no to negative self talk
  • In terms of self talk, ask yourself this question, would I be pleased if someone says this to me?
  • Compliment yourself
  • Do something special for yourself weekly
  • Write out your good characteristics
  • List your areas for growth and respond with ways to self improve
  • Do not allow others to tell you who you are
  • Find your voice and use it
  • To thine own self, be true
From the Motivation app

Stretching Season

If you are the smartest person in the room, be sure to hang in other rooms. Yes, rooms where people are more educated on various subject matters. What’s one of the most common ways we gain knowledge? It’s from someone else. Assess your circles. What’s the subject matter? Do any of them stretch you? Do any of them challenge you to research more or jog curiosity? Are there ideas in the room? Does this room contribute to your growth? What positive influence does this room have on you?

Healthy relationships promote peace, good decision making and a passion for intentional living. When you are surrounded by those who are driven, self assured, and smart it is contagious. You’ve heard the saying birds of a feather flock together. It is true that you become who you hang around. Do you wonder why you have the habits that you cannot break? Perhaps, it is because there is no accountability and it is the standard among your circle. Is there any discomfort? Is there value in the friendships that you possess? Do you add value? Are you encouraged to become your best just by being in their presence?

From the I Am app

Stretch yourself to your fullest potential by centering yourself around those who you genuinely care about, but you can learn from them and I’m sure there are matters that they may learn from you as well. Stacy Abrams discussed in her book, Minority Leader, how she was recruited into Telluride Association Summer Program. She was totally out of her comfort zone living amongst brainiacs. She said one young lady had written a book of poems and it served as intimidation because she’d only written a few poems for articles at her school. Think about that, Stacy was the smartest one within her circle, but once she attended a prestigious program she was exposed to those who thought beyond what she has been doing, which were amazing contributions within her territory. Now she was aware of what more she could pursue. She was uncomfortable and fearful. She wanted to go home, but her parents refused because they knew it would stretch her thinking, pull out her potential and shape her into the leader she was destined to become. Like Stacy, we all have gifts to give to the world, so let us not neglect the opportunity to enhance that gift so that we may continue to advance the industry that we have been purposed to shape. So much love to you all.