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Showing posts from 2017

No More Auto Pilot

I was driving down the road and at the last minute I realized that I wanted to get into the left lane to go straight instead of doing my normal by staying in the right lane to bear right. I had to quickly turn off the auto pilot responders and I proceeded forward. I watched the traffic pattern and wondered if it was my time to go. I looked up towards the stop light. Problem was that I couldn’t see my stop light from where I was positioned. I moved too far forward and stopped my car past the light. As I backed the car up to the stop light, I was reminded of these things: Auto pilot may not get you to your destination. Often times, we get so used to doing things in a certain way and we do those same things over and over. Because we get so comfortable with a thing, we often allow the subconscious to take control and we move without any thought or effort. Be careful living in this place. God’s way are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Just bec

Confession Time

I grew up in West Philadelphia, just a few blocks from the University of Pennsylvania. There were several stores within walking distance.  When I was around eight years old, there was a convenience store built and placed right in the middle of a block where UPenn students could get food and snacks. I'm pretty sure it was a WaWa. That quickly became one of my favorite stores. My Favorite Childhood Bubble Gum Flavor I remember going there one day with my mom. As always, I asked her to buy me pack of bubble gum and she said no. Wait, what?! I couldn't believe she told me no. It was less than a dollar. And I wanted it. But she sho nuff said no. I was determined to get that gum. I found a way to get away from her while we were still in the store and I grabbed a pack of gum. I found a way to get the gum out of the store without her knowing it. Nope, I didn't pay for it. So yep, I stole it. My mom and I got out of the store and were walking down the street. I was so happ

Stop Being Afraid

Ever hanger counts! My closet has been overflowing. It was time to create space. But nothing was ready to be thrown or given away. Or was it? Those shirts had been hanging in my closet for years. I received them from two different marriage retreats. They reminded me of so many good things. They reminded me of the time that we spent together early in our marriage. They reminded me of the hours of research, conversation, and planning we did around fostering long-lasting marriages. They reminded me of the ministry opportunities we received when we first relocated to Tallahassee. But that wasn't all. As time passed, those same shirts served as a reminder of the worst times within our marriage. They were a reminder of the deepest level of pain I ever experienced. They were a reminder of bad decisions. They were a reminder of emptiness and voids. In spite of all the negatives, these shirts remained in my closet day after day, year after year. I didn't wear them but they were

Don't Harbor Unforgiveness

“ His mother left him and his father turned his back on him .” These words struck me like a bolt of lightening. They were words spoken directly to me. They depict a part of my life that I failed to acknowledge. A part of my life that I suppressed. A part of my life that I chose to ignore. Failure to acknowledge. Suppression. Ignoring. None of these things cause the past to flee. These things do not cause the past to change. Nor do they allow for full ability to walk into true purpose and authority. This is not an isolated story. With a human service and child welfare background, I know firsthand that this story is one in a million. But we also see it every day. If you're like me, you sometimes find your escape in movies and television series. Instead of spending time in your own realities, you spend time watching scripted realities. It's an opportunity to disengage ourselves from the characters on the screen. It's a way to passively accept or criticize the s

The Next Chapter

September 13th  It's an annual holiday that marks a new chapter for me. It's the start of MY new year. While many people look at the calendar year to set goals for themselves, I look at my life cycle. Each year that I have an opportunity to breathe new life, is my opportunity to breathe new goals. Think about it : As a small child, we celebrate our birthday with a cake covered with lit candles. After a cute song, we are encouraged to make a wish and them to seal the wish with blowing out the candle. The ceasing of the fire signifies the end of the old and the beginning of the new. We blow out the candles with a bout of expectation. Yes, you did too. When you blew those candles out, you were hopeful that you wish would come true. Why else would you have closed your eyes, smiled, took a deep breath, and blew? You were moving into your your next chapter, with hope. This year, I received an extra special gift. All gifts are special in their own but this one will be unforget

Our Pressure Washer

You know the saying, " Out of sight, out of mind. " Often times, when things and people are not consistently in our view, we lose sight of those them. We sometimes forget that they exist. We fail to maximize the utility of the things. We fail to recognize the full potential of people. This even rears its ugly head within my family. My husband and I often refer to ourselves as the Greenhouse Effect 6. Most people easily recognize five family members, my husband and I and three daughters. I'm sure there are some who silently wonder about the number six. Yes, we have a dog. But, no. Mystic is not the representative of the number six. The sixth member of our family is my 20-year old son who lives in Maryland with his Mother. He has lived with us on and off over the years. He doesn't get to visit often but there is still a connection. Even in his absence, he is still an important part of our family. Similarly, my husband recently did some work on

Pressure Cooker

I've heard people say " I can't afford to have children right now. I have to get a better job and start saving some money. And I need to be more settled. " The truth is, there will never be a time when you believe you are completely 'ready.' After all, parenting doesn't come with a handbook or a checklist that tells you the things to look for and to prepare for. Every experience is different. Every child is different. Every approach is different. Parenting my twin daughters helped me to hone in on this. The process reminds me of a pressure cooker. And boy am I thankful for my pressure cooker. It changed my life and ... One key about the pressure cooker is its design. By design, the pressure cooker seals itself, forcing steam and liquid into the foods. The items within the pressure cooker are able to start out raw and unprepared but after a short amount of time, the items are fully cooked and ready for consumption. The pressure cooker creates a c

The Washing Machine

I can’t imagine existing without a washing machine. It’s a necessity for me. You already know, but a washing machine is a cleansing agent. We use it regularly to get rid of the dirt and grime off of our precious items. Our clothes. Our undergarments. Maybe even our muddy shoes. In its best condition, a washing machine restores things back to its original state. It refreshes scents and replenishes shape. In this same way, my giving birth to my oldest daughter, who is also my first-born child, was a cleansing agent for me. She cleansed me from my past. When she came along, I had an opportunity to turn away from past behaviors. I had a chance to close the lid on a few things. As you know, that's important when operating a washing machine. Top loading machines only function properly when the lid is down. Think about it...when you open a washing machine during the spin cycle, it immediately stops. When you run a washing machine without the lid being shut, the agitato

Find Your Inner Spartan

Have you ever watched a movie or tv show and found a scene that completely grabbed you? Something that took you to a place of desire, admiration, or ambition? The singer’s voice. The dancer’s grace. The nice home. The strength in the stunts or obstacles. The corporate position. The happy marriage. The faith-filled mother. The present father. I’ve seen and felt it all. One day, I got tired of imagining. I wanted to do. I wanted to feel. I wanted to experience. At least two times during the race, I heard people say “ …and, to think, we paid for this ?” Yep! Sure did! Whether a Spartan spent eight hours volunteering or the minimum $149 to touch the course, we paid a price. We also agreed to pay the insurance, and transportation, and parking, and maybe even other travel expenses. But what do we get for it? A medal. A t-shirt. A free beer.           We also got muscle cramps. Lots of bruises. Body aches for days.                                The ultimate question: IS IT W

Getting Lost

If you look up 'geographically challenged' in the webster's dictionary, I am certain you would find my picture. I am the person who gets lost going around the corner. I have two deficiencies: I don't pay attention when I'm a passenger in a car. That means that when it's my turn to get behind the driving wheel, there's a problem.  I don't always trust my directions. Even though I have printed directions or use the gps on my phone, I sometimes use my own intuition to veer off and get myself turned around.  Story of My Life I shouldn't have been surprised when I went to go pick up my daughter on FAMU's campus and ended up at a dead end. Yes, this was the same location that the camp was in last summer. Sure, the building was the same building where orientation was held 3 weeks ago. And, yes, you guessed correctly....I'd dropped her off and picked her up several days during the week. AND YET. I. WAS. LOST. You know how I got lost

Your Fuel Pump

" My car is officially gone. My fuel pump just died ." When I received this message, I immediately thought that maybe 'gone' and 'died' didn't really mean that the car would no longer operate. I thought maybe it was a temporary problem that could be fixed at a cost.  I don't know what you do when you're not sure about something but I tend to turn to my friend " Google ." She is so good at pointing me in the right direction. I can find scriptures, images, and information. I get options and can decide whether I trust or distrust something. I can compare a myriad of content. I can also easily cross-reference and drill down until I am satisfied that I found what I was looking for. So of course, when I received the text message about the fuel pump, I turned to Google . I learned that " the fuel pump is an integral element of any car or truck. Give the responsibility of literally pumping a vehicle's fuel from its tank to the e

New Territory

I was running along minding my own business when I started to become more aware of my surrounding. Something began to feel different. I felt alone. I was approaching The Bridge Between the Familiar and the Unfamiliar a wooded area. There didn't appear to be anyone around. I was starting to feel unsafe. I knew that I needed to get myself out of that area and back to the main park area where many people where available to me. Just at the right moment, I heard voices. I didn't know where they were coming from. Were they safe voices or were they unsafe voices? I took a deep breath and when I looked up, there were three bicyclists on the opposite side of the street. I was no longer alone. Anyone lurking in the woods was sure to be scared off. I refocused and got out of the wooded area as quickly as I could. Here are the three lessons I learned:  Even in times when you feel you're on the path alone, keep trudging forward.  Sometimes, we think we are traveling al

June's Lessons from God

Have you ever realized that life doesn't always go as planned? I'm sure my husband would tell you that I have a type A personality. (Whatever that really means!) I guess it means that I like to be planned and calculated. I like to think ahead. I like to create systems and work linearly instead of in circles. Point A to point B to point C. No zigzagging. No spinning wheels. I even do this on vacation. Well, I think I'm getting better at my vacation planning. I am learning to go with the flow....but with some ideas in mind, of course 😜 During this past vacation, my ideas were just that. They were just ideas. More than 1/2 of them did not materialize but that was a blessing in disguise. I was just there. Living in the moment! A husband, three daughters, full time job, ministry and organizations. Trying to keep everything afloat is sometimes a challenge. Every now and then God finds a way to slow us down and quiet our spirits. Instead of running and writing last w

Thoughts from the Air

Guest Blogger:  Oliver Green Today was one of the roughest days I've had over the last five (5) years at work. If you work in a place where they don't value your existence but they expect you to perform to the top of their expectations is very difficult.  Now don't get it twisted, I haven't always felt like I wasn't valued but when I opened my eyes 👀 and now I realize I am not just a supervisor but an asset to the squad even though I am not an asset to the team. It sounds kinda wanky so let me explain; my squad are people I directly have access to and can either pour into or drawl out of experiences. The team is the mother agency. "The White House" - they have their own world order but have failed to deliver the expectations to the workers.  You can't have a business and expect to have a quality product but don't have clear expectations MADE KNOW but in the same breath want to hold them accountable for those uncommunicated expectati

The Ride of Temptation

Who doesn't look forward to going to the Fair or Amusement Parks? There's so much to see, eat, and do. One of my favorite rides was the Gravitron. It's the ride where you lean up against the wall on a padded My favorite ride: The Gravitron panel. Once the ride starts, your get "sucked into" the padded panel, your feet leave the floor and you spin around in circles. You aren't holding on to anything and there's nothing supporting your feet. I remember trying to pull myself off the wall during the ride, but I was "sucked" back in. I couldn't move. Even trying to lift up a leg took lots of energy. This ride reminds me of temptation. Temptation has sucked me in, taken control over me, and made me feel powerless. This doesn't have to be you. Take heed of these three things: 1.  Temptation will come . Yes, even to you. You are not exempt from being tempted. You might not fall prey to the serpent, but he's coming. Be ready! 1

The HEART of Soccer

I remember when Saturday mornings were sleep in days. Days to sit in front of the t.v. eating a bowl of cereal and watching cartoons. Not just any cartoon. Tom and Jerry was the best. Admittedly though, I never really knew who was who. I mean, who was the cat and who was the mouse? (I sure hope this is a judgment free zone! 😅) It didn't really matter. I still laughed throughout the whole thing and looked forward to my morning routine. On most Saturdays, my cartoons were followed by a series of dance classes. Ballet. Tap. Jazz. I had a routine and carried it out for many years. As time passed, my routine changed. Many years later, I found myself creating a Saturday morning routine for my daughter. I needed to guard her time. I needed to control her environment. I needed to protect her developing a spirit of laziness. She needed a routine. Having relocated from Philadelphia to Tallahassee and transitioning from a two-income household to a single-income household, the options fo

Couch to Clarity

Life was beginning to wear us down! Our days were draining the life out of us, so 9:00pm was mommy and daddy t.v. time. He would lie on a blanket on the floor and I would lie on the couch. Occasionally, we have our cell phones in hand. On this particular evening, the periscope symbol popped up on my screen. When I saw who was broadcasting, I immediately clicked the button to view the scope. I listened to this couple have a fun and frank conversation about relationships. It was early February and I began to feel myself sinking into a pool of emptiness. My heart was broken. My joy was gone. My church affiliation had turned upside down in the blink of an eye. I felt completely disconnected from God. I felt like I was talking, asking, and crying out to him but receiving the silent treatment in return. I felt like I was running around in a circle and not getting anywhere. My husband and I were on the brink of celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. I was clear that this milest