Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Gift for and from Hannah

If you are like me and grew up in church there are Bible stories we’ve heard so many times. So many times that we know them and have such a familiarity with them that we might not pay as much attention when we hear a message. The story of Hannah (1 Samuel 1 & 2) is one of them. I’ve heard the story ministered and the emphasis seemed to always be that Hannah prayed for a son and God answered her petition. Nothing more or less. Straightforward. End of message. Aww but Hannah in desperation went to the House of the Lord, prayed in anguish for the Lord to open her womb. She was barren. To add insult to injury her husband’s other wife made fun of her. Recently her story was illuminated in a whole new way by the Holy Spirit to calm my anxious heart concerning my son, college, and my future. Now before you get excited do know that I have not been praying for a kid! A good GOD chasing man is welcomed but I ain’t here for diaper duty.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be wife #2. That’s a definite no. The other wife was petty. I have read and heard, even witnessed firsthand the pain of those who desire children and have been unable to reproduce. I have prayed with and for couples who are barren. I can imagine Hannah presenting her request at the altar. She was unashamed of her deep need for an answer from the only who would could say yes. She laid it all out! Ever so gently the Lord reminded me of the times I spent praying praying for my son, for his future, his life. He reminded me that there are desires and dreams that I have laid at his feet, bathed in tears and pieces of my broken heart. Days when I felt like folks were wondering why I would throw myself at the feet of Jesus during worship.

The reality is I knew it is/was because I’ve carried dreams (seeds) inside of me that have yet to be born. I need them to produce. It is/was because I recognized my limitations as a single parent. Like Hannah during those times when my world was titled off course, I asked God to sustain me. I pleaded with him to take care of my son with His resources. He is still doing great things. I know that my best days are still ahead. Krystopher is college bound soon. That my barrenness in specific areas will soon end. I’ll have an even greater testimony to encourage someone. Whatever you are tempted to give up on. Don’t! What you have been praying and praying and praying for year after year after year like Hannah has not gone unnoticed by the King of the world.

Make the scripture personal: “For this ______ I have prayed
and the lord has given me what I asked of Him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

Stay in faith, 



Saturday, February 11, 2017

I'm Guilty

Taps pen on desk! Ok so I’m not really writing with a pen. Although I do. When I journal. But I haven’t journaled in almost a month. Yikes!! I know that is really really bad to share with you but it’s true. Heck this whole entire post is going to be true. Ugly truth. You might not agree but that’s why I decided to come here and share what I’m dealing with so you can give me feedback. I am battling with a huge amount of guilt as if I’m parenting a toddler. Let me explain.

Life has been on 300,000! When I’m not running a race living, all I do is self-care to ensure I’m in shape to juggle the rushed days. Rushed days are 6 out of the 7, weekly. Seriously! This is my kid’s senior year of high school. Bittersweet. He’ll be receiving his high school diploma and transitioning to college. He’s the 3rd male in our immediate family to do so on time and not the GED path. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that path but as a single mom who focused on ensuring he made it to this point; I am extremely proud of this pending momentous event. There are so many things that go into finishing high school strong, picking a college, and having the finances to attend. Plus all the things I must do working full-time, adulting and being a single mom there are some things I simply overlook intentionally.

I don’t want anyone to see my closet of clean clothes stacked on a container waiting to be folded, hung up and put away. I don’t want to confess that I am feeding my kid Little Caesar’s pizza as I type. BTW, I prefer Pizza Hut. How I am walking over and around the stacks of scholarship applications and supporting documentation on my bedroom floor. That my truck hasn’t be washed and detailed in months. I am glad it rains in sunny South Florida. While this may seem horrible, I am laser focused on what I need to complete, manage and maintain to get my kid to graduation day and figure out what’s next for me.

I want to spend time writing and blogging but I’m have zero mental juice after hard days teaching (I will not complain about the world of education in this post). My comfort has been ensuring that I am definitely entrusting my days to God. Reminding myself that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I am careful not to do any living leaning on my own understanding of how this season will play out. But still I feel like I should be doing more and better at this mommy and soon to be empty nester thing. Yes, I know it is false guilt but it shows up occasionally. Today just happens to be the day.

You may not even have any advice. It just feels good to share with someone else that I don’t have it altogether right not. It also feels good that my life isn’t falling apart. The chaos is good stuff. I just need an assistant to manage the things I am not. Please continue to be patient with me here. I have a late first of the year post I started writing and haven’t posted. My birthday blog hasn’t happened but will. Turning 40 was good to me. Most importantly, God has been growing me up through it all. Maybe that’s it. This year which I have declared as the Year of Yes, the Year of Transition and the Year of Transformation is happening so rapidly. Not a bad thing because I trust that God will perfect those things which concerns me.

Thanks for reading. If you know a single mom who would benefit from my thoughts feel free to share. I’m off to eat pizza and read a book I’ve been working on for 2 months.

Being perfectly imperfect,

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Spot On!


When I picked up this sweater during a winter break Starbucks coffee date with @moriahily, I was excited about the price but didn't really think I'd have an opportunity to wear it since the weather has been perfect here in West Palm Beach. I mean I was just on the beach a few days before we decided to meet up.  I considered taking it back and getting my $10 but my love for anything animal print kept me from following through. Plus the additional 20% made it a necessary purchase. #nojudgementzone

Spot On!


Well as you can see from this pic I posted Sunday on Instagram and the ones below, the weather cooperated and the sweater was worn twice. Now that's how you make the most of a purchase!

Spot On!

I kinda felt as thought I pushed the envelope with this look at work but I totally was feeling myself so I embraced it with my head high and hoped I wasn't called out by admin. I'm mean where else am I going to rock such a creative look besides church? 
Spot On!
Jacket// H&M
Sweater// Target
Skirt//Old
Shoes//DSW
Photographer// A student during lunch. #FTW

Too much or nah?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

FENCESSSSSSSSSSS was FIERCE!

Fences was Fierce.

I saw Fences. Before you read my thoughts about the movie please note I am NOT a movie critic. I’m just a teacher who has read a play or two and some novels. And before that I was a student so I learned to identify theme, author’s purpose and intent as well as how the setting affects the plot but I am won’t be giving an English lesson. I would like for you to keep in mind this is the first time I’ve written about a movie. I do more reading than I do watching flicks and I haven’t written about a book here either but I digress.

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I’ll go ahead and state for the record that it is a MUST see because it speaks volumes to the resilience of black folks. It speaks to trial and triumphs of being a black woman, black man, black child. It challenges marriage roles. Forces one to look at the way we view living life with another human being who has the power to shatter our hearts and bring us to our knees in despair. You rethink trust. Honesty. The struggle. Poverty. Dreams especially when they are deferred.  It was brilliant. I want to read the play. Anyone have a copy I can borrow? I’ll try my local library this summer. Yes, summer I have no free time to read for pleasure. I’ve dedicated 2017 to finishing up some books I’ve had for a while and two new ones. Maybe I’ll blog about them. Please don’t hold me to this statement. But for now back to the Academy Award worthy acting of The Viola Davis and Denzel Washington.

IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS MOVE WALK AWAY FROM MY BLOG. CLOSE YOUR PHONE BROWSER AND GO PURCHASE YOUR TICKET.

Their roles were so well played that I was left drained emotionally watching their love story unfold. And it wasn’t just love between a man and a woman but between parents, children, friends, siblings. Honey! Rose was a better woman than I’ll ever be even with Jesus living on the inside of me BIG and BOLD. Rose reminded me of the times when folks, black folks fought for marriage. Ok so our grandparents and parents took a lot of ish and swept more under the rug for the marriage to survive. And maybe the kids weren’t better for it but they built lives and families something we lack immensely today. I am so unable.

I’m still trying to determine if Troy (Denzel) did more harm than good trying to make his sons into men. When you watch the scenes and key in on the dialogue between a father and an adult son with no job and a woman and a younger son who bears all the hopes and dreams one has ever had, you wanna fix the story and then go and fix all the broken black men and sons in America. History really does repeat itself!

Now I told y’all I’m an English teacher so I must make note of the sounds and scene shifts. I’d say this story had multiple climatic points and when they occurred the music was perfection. I kept telling Shea of Curves and Confidence (it was our day out) that I could feel the earth shift and tilt. I wanyted to yell out, “be still my heart” and do a few breathing exercises on my Apple watch. I mean you could feel in your soul the emotions of every character. I can’t say anyone was a minor character in this flick. You talk about supporting roles they held each other up. Or is it down?

I wanna tip my hat to the scene director. Is there such a thing cause I didn’t read the credits? I mean I know Denzel was the movie director but each scene was well crafted like it was supposed to be exactly what it is a stage play. The way the screens faded to black, I knew someone brilliant with an understanding of how setting shapes the readers mood had captured this play and bottled it up for Hollywood in a real unforgettable way. And finally the title. I didn’t go into it even considering the literal and/or figurative meaning. I don’t think it settled in my mind even when Mr. Bono alluded to it. I had to ponder the entire movie to embrace it. 

So here are my thoughts. The characters had been fenced in most of their lives due to the circumstances they were born into, life experiences and their interactions with the other characters. The color of their skin kept them fenced out of opportunities. Troy couldn’t play professional baseball. Rose gave all of herself to her family until she was no more. Corey was kept away from football and college. Some of the characters made and continued to make decisions that trapped them inside a difficult life and kept them outside of a better one. On the other hand, the fence served as a safety net when a character was spiraling out of control.

August Wilson’s Fences compels you to deal with the fence(s) in your life. Look at the ones you’ve constructed and determine if they need to be repaired. You need boundaries to protect your spirit, soul and mind. Should it be torn down? Why did you erect it and have you dealt with those reasons? Face more than your fears. Face your faith and like Rose you’ll discover how strong you are. Like Troy you will have given your all to those you love even when it hurts. As long as you are pouring from a well-supplied place and purposefully walking in your living; you'll know what side of the fence you need to be standing on. 


Image result for fences movie poster
Source


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Lessons from Sweet 16

I would say 2016 has been hard but I’d be lying. Life has been filled with trials since 2012 when my Granny passed away. I kid you not the following year my Mom’s hubby died (2013), cancer showed up in our family 3 ways (2014) and last year my Aunt the baby sister lost her battle with breast cancer (2015). Here comes 2016 and I am forced out of my job because I was injured at the hands of a student.

Are you starting to feel sorry for me yet? DON’T! In the words of Monica “I’m still standing. I been through the storm, had dirt on name. I’m still holding on, champion of the game.” I give God all the glory and the honor His name so richly deserves for being there to see me through it all. Todd Delaney wrote, “Through all that I have gone through, Lord it was you. It was You, pulling me through. When I stumbled, when I cried, when it felt like I wanted to die. When my friends (and I use that term lightly) turned and they walked away, You were here right here to stay.”

Yes to all those lyrics and the emotions. Yes to the heartache, the discipline, the growth. You might be reading this with your head tilted, surprised. Maybe you have never been so low that you weren’t sure how you were going to bounce back. Or maybe your story doesn’t look like the perfectly curated one on Instagram that constantly gets 1K likes but you pretend that all is right in the world. Mine was mismatched, hard and tough. It was painful yet beautiful. I learned so much, lacked very little, learned to hold my head eye even during the dry seasons. I gained some valuable lessons these past 365 days. Allow me to share the Sweeetttt Sixteen.

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1.      I’m strong. Mind, body and spirit. Tragedy and trials built me up where I was weakest. I know how to endue hardship with a smile while the people around me are waiting to see if God will fail me. He won’t ever!

2.      I’m worth the wait. I’ve been praying about love. The God kind. Not the ones I admire on social media because their journey isn’t mine. I’ve been inspired but I desire the relationship designed specifically for me and my future partner based on who we are at the time of our coming together. I know the meaning of marriage. It’s all about Jesus. And Jesus was/is all about ministry.

3.      Parenting is rewarding and bittersweet. You have this little human that you pray for and pour into. You are anxious to see the young adult s/he will mature into. And when they arrive at the stage to transition, you experience a little bit of sadness, ok maybe a lot that your best role will change. Krystopher will always be my little BIG man. I don’t like the idea of being an empty nester but I am grateful for the blessing of being someone’s mother.

4.      Forgiveness is vital. For your own well-being. Too many illnesses and diseases manifest when you can’t let go of hurt. It destroys you spiritual, emotionally and physically. Let it go. Not with the thought that God is going to punish them but grateful that you were/are forgiven for all that you’ve done especially those hidden things.

5.      Love. It makes the world better. It is the cure for all that ails. If not Christ wouldn’t have come as a baby to grow up into a man that would die. He loved us so much that he forgave us before He even descended from His throne. Then He asked His father for an earthly vessel to come down and extend to us the ultimate act of love.

6.      Say NO and mean it. Don’t panic. Don’t go over the woulda, shoulda or maybes. If you don’t want to, don’t. Don’t feel up to it. Don’t! Every event and happening isn’t vital to living well. I’ve found so much joy in being still and quiet and resting. Do more of it in 2017.

7.      Buy less. This one is hard for me and the kid. We love stuff. Especially clothes. #iknowyoujudgingme Pinterest is my friend. I’ve worn pieces so many different ways just by perusing pins to freshen up my wardrobe. Had to remind KingKrys that senior year can be epic or you can have a boat load of clothes to wear home while your classmates are participating in the activities to celebrate. What ya’ll think he chose?

8.      Read something positive daily. A devotional. Your bible. Both! I don’t recommend the news. I mean be well informed (TY Twitta) but feed your faith. Feed your spirit food that produces all the abundant things you want to show up in your life in the natural. That produces peace and fuels your purpose. WARNING: Careful with self-help books that aren’t Christ centered.

9.      Exercise. It reduces stress. Increases your self-confidence. Energizes you. Makes for a healthier and happier you. I don’t care if you walk briskly around the hallways of the building you work in just get moving. Everybody ain’t a gym rat. I treated myself to an Apple watch and my daily goal is to close those 3 rings. Have me standing in front of the mirror after a shower thanking the Lord for his handiwork.

10. Prayer changes things and you so pray daily. Prayer is what I do. It’s a part of my core. I think I pray when I’m asleep. No seriously. It's more than a habit. I mostly pray riding in my truck or in the shower/bathroom. Inspiration seems to flow freely in these places. What I’m attempting to say is getting on your knees is still right but the Lord wants to fellowship with you anyplace, anytime. He doesn’t care who’s around (thanks Janet).

11. This one is new for me but use your time wisely. Time Management. Friday as I was praying prayers from one of my favorite books “Prayers that Avail Much” by Germaine Copeland, I was taken to a prayer titled ‘The Setting of Proper Priorities’. I’m sure I’ve prayed it before but this time I felt the Lord saying I needed to get my life with Him so I could get my life with Him. I can no longer spend all my time looking at others or doing nothing because I have become complacent. My eyes are set on Him and it’s time to move.

12. Clear the clutter. In your mind. Your life. Heart. Home. Work space. Organize it. File it away. Shred it. Gift it to someone else. Let it become their new treasure. But if it isn’t being use or serves no current purpose…POOF be gone. I declared months backs I was going to start the best minimalism lifestyle for me I could. I failed. I still want to but I just purchased a Happy Planner and loads of stickers so nopah. I have been purging clothes. I’m really good about doing this. So if you need to pick an area, do so. Just get it done. And then celebrate without replacing it with something else.  

13. So back to me specifically. I am learning to stop expecting from folks what I give easily and freely. Note to self: you are you are others are who they are. Believe them. Accept them for it. I am the type of individual who shows love through acts of service. I am going to call and check in on you even if you haven’ called me in 100 years. If I hear you are in need of a pick me up, I’m going to send you a long text. I send notecards. Ok well I did it more before I became too busy. Just to let someone know they were thought of or appreciated. I’ll pray for you without hesitation even when it felt like my own prayers were blocked. I didn’t get that in return. I tried to change. I fought so hard to just stay within the boundaries of people who responded like me and it didn’t work.  Too much work to be negative!

14. Don’t shrink to make others feel comfy. Or to accept you.  I realized I had been doing this for a while because of words spoken into my life and over me for years. Not from a malicious place but to protect me. I started hiding and pretending to be mediocre because I didn’t want people to hurt me for being strong, smart, talented, bold and beautiful. I didn’t want people to be drawn to me then fall out of love (both sexes) when they saw I was a wildflower. Well I am.

15. Be you. Everyone else is already taken. Everyone else has flaws. Someone appreciates your quirks. You are made in the image of God. If that doesn’t tell you how vast and how many traits He encompasses then you are in BIGGGGGG trouble. So you like tuna no mayo. Eat it. You drink smoothies each morning for breakfast and still explain your belly fat as baby fat from 17 years so. Cool. You’ve embraced you. I love it!

16.  And finally I learned that music is the blood that flows through my veins and my kid’s. I can’t imagine a world without it. My oldest brother recently asked me what happened to my singing voice. I sang a lot growing up. Church choir of course, but nevertheless I sang. Now I still do, in the shower and care but I sound horrible. Now I enjoy hours of listening to various genres. I have music in my class every day all day for 180 days. We keep a radio on in the apartment. It’s the way God speaks to me. And it ain’t always a Christian song. Go ahead and judge me. He’s still speaking. Turns music louder. So get you a playlist or create a Pandora (am I the only one still using this app?) or Spotify or Apple and Amazon music station and fill your lungs with air, sing. Fill your soul. The atmosphere of your home or workspace with words that makes your soul dance.

2016 has been a good teacher!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On Christmas Day

How was your Christmas? This year was the first time I spent the day alone (but not lonely). I did have a moment or two in which I had to tell the Grinch aka Satan to SHUT UP and stop lying to me. I mean cmon’ it’s the most wonderful time of the year and there was no way I was going to allow circumstance to take my focus off of the One who came so we could have a day off, spend money and swap gifts. None of which I did. It was a hard battle but Christ and I won. I have been INTENTIONAL about stopping to get on my knees and praying if I find my emotions been stirred into negativity and this has helped me tremendously to stay settled.

I hafta admit I was freaking out a bit thinking if this is what empty nesting is going to be like, I don’t want no parts of it. I started wishing for the gift of Krystopher to going to sleep and waking up my baby boy again but that’s not happening so I NEED to start figuring out what a divamomsjourney will look like after Summer 17. The assurance I have that all is and shall be well are the moments now that have given me a glimpse of what the future holds.

Holiday Happenings

I have been praying about NEXT long before my kid entered his final year of high school. Teaching was what I did to be on the same schedule as my kid so as not to be away from him so much since I was single parenting. I actually had plans to transition from teaching into counseling. Earning m PhD didn’t go quite as ‘I had planned” but similar doors to speak and empower both young people, single moms, parents and women have given me the same joy as behind closed doors counseling has and would.

Holiday Happenings


I am not exactly sure where my next destination will be but I am EXCITED ! I’ve tossed around the idea of teaching abroad, relocating to the same city KT will attend college, earning another Masters degree or teaching on the collegiate level. I have the skills just seeking the Lord for His leading to the opportunity that will allow for me to earn income while building in the Kingdom. So much in the past shaping my future but in a positive manner. All I ask is for our God to go before me and lead the way. 


1 John 5:14-15Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that [a]if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us.15 And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thy Will Be Done

Wednesday I went to court for a deposition regarding the incident from the previous school year which resulted in a student spraining my neck and back. You can read about it here and here. I arrived a few minutes late and hustled to get to where I needed to report. Unfortunately, I had left the subpoena at home. The front desk information clerk would know right? Wrong. She sent me to another floor and suite. The clerk on that floor and in that particular suite couldn’t see any juvenile cases so she couldn’t give me any information and this was after I waited in line for over 10, maybe 15 minutes. The 2nd clerk directed me across the hall on the same floor to another suite but not the main section. Here directions were something like go left and left. Or was it right then left or the opposite? By now I’m losing all the cool and calm I possessed before arriving. Every ounce of peace Pastor Mom prayed over me was 2 secs from being completely gone.

I make it across the hall and I check the calendars that posted for the day regarding hearings and depositions and whatever else the sheets included. There was no 9:30 listings the time of my appointment. The clerk who worked that window wasn’t there. The clerk in the next cubicle peeked and said he’d get someone to help. That someone had no documentation of where I should head and had to call someone else! While she was on hold the State Defender called me and after finding out she forgot about me and THEN her decision not to come look for me after asking for my location, we were able to get the show on the road. Now I’ll tell you I was sizzling in the room because I was asked questions that were an attempt to paint me as a horrible educator. Well I pushed back all the noise in my head and answered truthfully and forthrightly. Over and done. THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR ME BEING INJURED AT THE HANDS OF A STUDENT.

As soon as I exited the building so many emotions came back. Mostly ones that were going to take me into a negative space if I entertained them. I’ve been in this career 12 years and before I show up for 180 days to cause a child harm I’d work at the gas station pumping gas and cleaning windshields. That’s how passionate I am about saving children’s lives. That’s how sincere I am about doing my best even when I’ve been physically battered and deserted by the company I work for and school personnel at the school site. I always try to remember I have a kid who will receive blessings or curses based on what I put out. This keeps me from treating kids who treat me like crap the same way. Well maturity too but I sometimes don’t want to be the mature adult. Don’t act like you can’t relate.


What I realized as I have been doing so many times in this year is that nothing I go through is wasted. My heavenly Father knew and knows about all of the incidents of my life before they happened. He knew and sees all the good and the bad pieces to the puzzle of my life. This knowledge allowed me to make a conscience decision that I was going to remain professional with the attorneys, check my emotions and not allow the negative ones to overshadow the beauty of the day and rest in the truth that God’s will is going to be done regarding the outcome of the situation. I must accept whatever it is good or bad. The growth isn’t for those who have wronged, abused and abandoned me.

This insight is going to take me through and out of 2016. God has pruned and pruned me so that I am not learning to say ok Lord whatever You say, whatever Your will. I know that it is best for me. Misrepresenting his name only brings shame to the Kingdom. Truth of the matter is He won’t allow the trials of life to take me out and cause me to give up hoping in him. Hillary Scott has a song titled, Thy Will. It speaks to confusion and following Christ and sometimes still ending up in a painful place. That’s life. It happens to us all. Instead of allowing that moment to separate me from God’s love and peace, I sat quietly in my truck after I vented to my Godmother and waited for the Lord to comfort me.

He did. She sings in the chorus 4 words, Thy will be done over and over. I embrace His leading fully for the remainder of this year. I’m ok with no. I’m ok with the unexpected. I’m ok with not being yet all that he’s called me to be. I’m even ok with a little teeny tiny bit ok with this case being dragged out and my name being dragged but Jesus covered that on the cross. With a sincere heart, I move through the rest of the days fully aware that His will shall be done even when it’s difficult to count the happenings all joy. I have my health back. My son and I didn’t miss a meal. The bills were paid. There was gas in the truck. And that’s just the physical needs that were met. God increased me and my capacity to rely on Him, my trust in Him and what I know to be true about him.

Thy Will


I am NOT alone!
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