Sunday, August 21, 2016

Finding Beauty When Broken

There’s a song I love called ‘Joy’ by Housefires. Part of the song reminds us there’s beauty in brokenness. I know this to be true. I’ve seen so much good come from the bad I’ve experienced since April which is a HUGE blessing. Ya’ll know I’m very genuine here so I’m just gonna come right out and type that on the other hand; I can’t quite see, sense or feel the joy in returning to teaching. I knew it was what God wanted when I sent the email stating I would be returning to the same school site. I know this now with certainty. What I also know with certainty is that I had hope that at the llth hour God would have opened a new door that paid better, would allow me a desk and office space, heck even a cubicle and I would be at peace pushing paper #wishfulthinking. Never in a million years did I truly expect to be serving again at the place I became the victim of a crime at the hands of a student I was entrusted to teach. But I am.

Ya’ll it has been so difficult for me. Not the kids. The students are fine. Difficult where I cried every day the week of preschool and slept every day this past week after work. I was mentally and emotionally drained. Even today I’m trying to tell myself that I have the capacity to do this when I know that is so far from the truth. I don’t. I’ve been broken and all of the educator me leaked out. I was reading my Jesus Calling by Sarah Young devotional Sunday morning and it spoke to healing. How Jesus sometimes healed everything all at once or other times as part of a process. He said, “I rarely heal all the brokenness in a person’s life (it’s written as if Jesus is actually talking to you.” I was able to breathe a bit easier and let myself off the hook. It’s ok that I’ll never be the same educator, employee, coworker I was last school year. At least not so quickly.

God showed me who folks truly were and he showed me me. Y’all I’ve got some work to do and some work God is still doing! #prayforasistah What he hasn’t shown me is purpose. I know it is produced out of pain but I was kinda hoping I’d have a clue by now. Like what is going to be my ROI after I give and give and give again this academic school year. Will I get a promotion? More money for the college bound kid. A longer vacation that requires a plane ride to get there? Cause I never feel like there’s any reward in being called to this profession. I haven’t always felt this way but for a few years now I’ve done everything I could to quit and move on and I’m still here. Some days feeling stuck. Like I’ve been cursed with this gift that keeps giving out but doesn’t give or satisfy the owner, me.

I struggle with a burning desire to be doing work that matters and I can see the results. To be considered as one of the magical black girls doing something worthy, a joy to be celebrated. I now it’s weird for you to be reading these typed words but I feel like I’ve disappointed my mom, Goddie in choosing teaching. I;ve played the what ifs and why game so much no one else can win: If I had done xyz in school. Been smarter. Gone to law school. Not be single. Not be a single mom. On and on and on. Pondering how I’ve sacrificed being a better mom to my son because I had to put other kids before him from open house to putting up with the behaviors and being a mom when they needed it. After I got hurt I realized that education didn’t love me the way I loved it and I was ready to quit more than I had ever been. Cause who wants to be a punching bag? Not I said the cat. #linefromabook

In all of this I know that God is with me. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 reminds me that it’s ok to be weak and rely on Christ to see me through the next 35 weeks. I know it’s His doing because I’m operating on zero. I hope to get to a place of acceptance where I can see all the good in this part of my journey. Where I am ok with this hardship because I’ve never once fallen and been unable to get back up. Heck I wanna wake up one morning more enthused about seeing kids than I am because I just get to wear clothes. My truth. Don’t judge my entire teaching career based on it…shrugs! For now I attempt to rest in the promises that come to sustain me from God’s word daily as I walk out this season of my life.

Here’s a few things I am asking you to do besides pray - please please PLEASE don’t take the work your child(ren)’s teacher does for granted. They learn to value what you value. Some of my fellow educators have put their entire heart into teaching and learning only to have it stabbed and stomped and kicked around the school year like a soccer ball. Encourage your son and/or daughter to appreciate the gift of learning. Teach them to respect the classroom leader and their peers. Hold the teacher to a high standard. We like it. At least I do. And hold the lawmakers and administration accountable for decisions made. Maybe just maybe this is what will encourage teachers like me to stay. 

Romans 12:6-7  “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. 
If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 
if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;”

Monday, June 27, 2016

Shattered Faith

At the beginning of 2016 I wrote this post. I just knew this year would be the season of reaping. I would get all the things I’d been longing and praying for. God was going to grant me a way out from teaching. I was going to be propelled into destiny and the things neatly laid out in my vision journal would manifest. KT and I would be on our way to a better life and my money woes were going to be nonexistent. Chile none of that happened. In fact, just the opposite occurred. March 8th my world was turned upside down and stomped on, jumped on and what felt like to me spit on. I shared a teeny weeny bit in this post but fear, anger, disappointment, rejection, depression, emotional and physical hurt/pain, stress, distress, worry, anxiety, doubt, pride, impatience, loneliness, feelings of inferiority, unbelief, guilt, failure, discouragement, oppression,  depression, blaming, wrong attitude and every other negative feeling and thought showed up and sat on my chest. Yeppers smothered me like Flat Stanley. #references

I know what you are thinking. Not me right? The one who posts positive quotes and scriptures all the time. Not me who wanted to believe the best of everyone and their intentions. Not me who looked good for the camera. Not me who practiced speaking life instead of death. Now I’m not painting me or my life as perfect but I was intentional about living in a place of peace. I had fought hard to regain serenity in my life and assured my therapist I was going to protect it at all costs. See what I wrote there? I was going to. And I did. Until a life altering moment thrust me into worker’s comp, a forced UNPAID leave from my job, relationships dying instantaneously, caring for my son being in jeopardy and the icing over of my teaching heart. It took exactly 3 weeks for this to happen. Like a sore that won’t heal and festers. I was taken under. I couldn’t eat for a month. Thank God for Missionary Vee and my Mom! These ladies found a way to get food into my mouth and my belly. Shameless plug……Dear Mommy, thank you for always always saying save some money. I’m salty about my vacation this summer tho. #soserious 

The biggest hit was to my heart and my mind. I can say this now but I couldn’t earlier in this process Satan is not after my job, my bank account or my provision. He is after my faith. My trust. My hope. My mindset. He had me all discombobulated and distraught. Cause y’all know I am waiting on God to apologize for allowing this and explaining to me why it happened right **insert sarcastic gif** There are days when I am praying and weeping because I have zero idea how this will continue to play out. Cora Jakes may have coined faithing it but I am living it out daily! The devil pumped up the pain for the win with this trial. I don’t know if this would have shaken me so much if the previous years were pleasant but they weren’t.
2012 – My Granny dies leaving a hole in my heart and our family structure. She was the glue.
2013 – Mom’s hubby dies & her cancer returns. Aunt diagnosed with breast cancer.
2014 – Aunt diagnosed with bone cancer.
2015 – Aunt dies from breast cancer.
2016 – Student sprains my neck and back and I’m deserted by school site and penalized by the district for speaking up about the cracks in the system.

Before I do a somersault and cheer notifying y’all that I’m still here; let me tell you what it took to keep standing. A lot of bending. Well not physically but prayer can happen any time, place, location and position. If nothing else was strengthened, my prayer life has been. The two best lines that were birthed out of this and I stay spitting are “God is faithful!” and “I thought I knew God but I got to know God in a real (tanglible, we are bffs) way!!” I swear I thought I was going to start having panic attacks. From the way my case was handled by school personnel to the Union doing nothing to assist although I’ve paid them for 11 years all the way up to the district level. When the Corporate Care worker tell ya to make peace with working for a company that doesn’t care about its employees, huni you are in a bad situation. So what did I do to get to this moment? Cried. Prayed. Add scriptures to my prayer wall. Sat still and trusted. Listened for direction. Repeated. Repeating.

Huge appreciate for my sorority sisters who jumped right in and did what was needed for me and the kid. For the three amazing prayer warriors who stood with me, no are standing with me in faith that this season will bring blessings after the rain has gone. The love I hold for family and true ride or die I’ll help you pay the bills friends who were willing to grease their face and fight somebody for every act of kindness that has kept/is keeping me going. I’m getting weepy. Types faster, LOL!! And you reading this story. I hope you are more aware of the gracious God who sees and provides for every one of our needs. His will is still perfect. How can I say this? He didn’t come to grant me any of the things I was clinging to. He came to offer the gift of salvation. Eternal life. I can’t expect a fallen world to protect me and care for me. Did God use individuals to bless and support us? Of course, that’s Kingdom principle but the goal was growth. I’ve been increased and been enriched. I never wanted the child to be punished. I did want him to be held accountable. It cost me something to fight that particular fight but awareness of who I am, choosing me and caring more about the bigger picture for African American students makes it worth it. I’d change a few things about this journey but then I lose the lessons. No bueno. DRAWING CLOSER TO CHRIST WORTH IT ALL.

What I learned was /am learning is forgiveness, what vengeance being the Lord’s is scripturally about, to be grateful (life can change in a split second), how much I have that I don’t really need, money will not prevent God from getting anyone’s attention (duh JOB taught us this), beside prayer being powerful it is uninhibited communion with a real living Creator who cares and acts, that I’m stronger than I thought I was when I became a single mom 17 years ago, my childhood struggles, losing both my Grandmothers, battling cancer with so many women I can’t bear to think of walking through life without and so much more that could have been the breaking point of me quitting.

I fell down but I got up. I KNOW confidently there is purpose in this pain. HE HAS BEEN INTENTIONAL.The story is still being written.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


Summertime is the right time for an off the shoulder look to help me get back into the swing of living. I purchased this dress from Forever 21 about two months ago while I was planning out summer vacation with my mom and son. And then my world somersaulted me into the unknown! Today I’m just delighted to be right side up. Despite, I was ecstatic to celebrate my son’s 17th birthday and conclusion of his junior year of high school. If you follow my Snapchat, you might recall I had spent a few hours at the beach the day before so my glow was fresh. #poppin

My plan was to have dinner with the kids (there was 17 teenagers total) and slide off to walk around the downtown area. The plan was to  catch's someone’s eye but nope they wanted to hang with me the entire evening. I told my work daughters they were keeping me from getting booed up. Why’d I do that? They went into let me find you a man mood. Teenage girls are silly. I enjoyed the unsolicited help. But as of today, I am still single and ready to mingle. LOLOL! I plan to wear this dress again. It might have the magnetism needed for a summer romance :) 

Dress // Forever 21
Sandals // Off Broadway Shoes
Tote // Macy's
Pom pom // High Heels High Goals Boutique

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Current Playlist To My Life

Image: Pinterest

I’m that girl. The one who has a song for every memorable event in life good or bad. I believe God speaks to me through songs. Well most of them cause recently I lowkey started jamming to Kent Jones’ Don’t Mind. Judge me! God is still in the saving bidness. She said konichiw. #songlyrics Whatever that means. Let me know if I should delete this.  And no I am not gonna Google the lyrics because my kid said I shouldn’t. Listen to your kids moms.

But if I had to compile a list of songs that haven’t pulled me through the latest highs and lows of my life. The songs that were playing during those scenes that were molding me into who I am yet becoming as God continues His precious work in me it would have to be these:
* Broken Vessels – Hillsong
* We’re Blessed – Fred Hammond
* It Is For Me – Miami Mass Choir
* Never Runs Dry – Housefires
* Glory to the Lamb - Geoffrey Golden
* Forever – Bethel Music & Kari Jobe
* Heroes – Amanda Cook
* Intentional – Travis Greene
* All To Him – New Life Worship
* You Will Perform – Geoffrey Golden
** I Look to You – Whitney Houston
** I Didn’t Know My Own Strength – Whitney Houston

I’ve had at least one of these songs on repeat for 6 or more times depending on where my mood was trying to take me. Others I’ve played for the entire day. Yes one song until I heard it so much I blocked it out. I’d go to bed listening and wake up singing the lyrics in my head. It was just that serious. My injury and all the challenges I faced fighting for me were unable to drown me when I lost myself in reading my Bible, writing in my prayer journal and a constant stream of worship. I believe God ministers directly to my current situation through this avenue. When this happens I experience the same lifting that occurs when I read a book where the words are more than just printed on the page and I am captivated & transported. I can imagine this is the constant exhilarating feeling of the angels as they worship in heaven 24/7 #slayage!

Krystopher has even practiced on his drum set this week since we’ve been confined to being at home after his oral surgery. #raremoment Listening to him strive to perfect his craft and increase his gift gave me pause. I mean think about it. Hearing/witnessing my son does for me no matter what type of day I’m having reminds me of what David did for Saul. Changed his life. Uhmazing! The power of music is truly influential. Science backs this up. Create your playlist wisely. The lyrics one absorbs can encourage and strengthen or weaken and destroy. So grab your headphones and plug into a soothing song and block out the negative noise.

Happy Listening,

Monday, June 13, 2016

Truth Tee

Pray to Slay 2

I had zero plans to be away so long. I was starting to be consistent as I gleaned during my devotional time and God was downloading messages for me to write. But if you follow my Instagram you know that I was injured by a student on March 8th. I attempted to handle the situation using the proper channels at my school thinking the system would work for me but ummmm NOPE! I've sat down to write about the incident a few times and I just couldn't bring myself to do so without getting emotional. Now that I've processed it in therapy my current mindset has shifted from the hurt and pain. I had to work hard to avoid depression, anger and unforgiveness. I've been saying throughout this entire ordeal that God has been faithful. Without a relationship with Him, this situation could have taken a turn for the worse and gotten real ugly. That's why a prayer life is vital. I can't slay if I don't pray.

I've spent the past few hours writing. Team no sleep was welcomed. It was productive. God just lifted the block. I'm excited to share! What better way to kick off reconnecting with you all than with a fashion post. Took these photos while I was still forced into flats full time. I debated sharing because I don't feel they are the 110% me but perfection isn't me at all so I'm ignoring the negative noise and sharing.

Pray to Slay
Sunnies // Versona
Tee //
Skirt // Windsor Store
Lace Up Flats // Nordstrom Rack
Clutch (Ipad case) // Neiman Marcus Collection Target

Saturday, March 26, 2016

FEAR Can't Live Here Anymore!

No more fear!

March 8th my life was changed dramatically. At this time I'm unable to reveal all the details but SOON. I'm one of those people who will pray a prayer thanking GOD for the air we breathe even if it is polluted. But that day and in the days ahead when I was unable to do things especially taking care of my kid, I came to the realization that life really is short. God put me here not just to declare what I want to be according to His will but to actually DO IT! #teamNike

I've been a whole lot of lip service. I've failed myself, you my readers, my son. I've pushed and challenged him musically. Finally last Sunday he joined the praise and worship band on stage for morning services. Both. He played for Jesus before 600 people (that's almost 1200!!!) and here I am still asking God when? YOU MAY SIDE EYE ME PROMPTLY NOW!

I've received every confirmation that He has said yes. I really have. Doors have been opened for a few years. I can acknowledge that I've stayed where I am too long. Part of it was due to disobedience. God given dreams never work outside of His will. Psalms 91 The other part is fear and worry that dream chasing would leave me and my son begging for bread. Psalms 37:25 should have helped me with that part but umm yeah I was too I to myself and my abilities. I NEEDED a 3rd degree. Cause y'all know credentials mean I'm capable and ready right? #nopaaa

The absurd mindset I was operating in. The I can. I will and I shall. Not can God, He will and He shall. Back to the life changing event, the thought leaving physical therapy one particular day that my body would never be the same brought on a stream of tears. I had just spoken to my nephew concerning working out again once the fitness centered was completed in my complex. And then to be unsure. No way!! I started thinking about how much I given and sown and sacrificed and prayed and watched and cared and....and start the cycle again, 1. because I believe in our young people and 2. it was the career I choose. I was clearly shown by the actions of many that this season is quickly coming to an end. What I've been praying for. It was a bittersweet realization but if my current world hadn't fallen apart I would never have received the messages GOD has been sending for months that I won't fail in His will.

Now I'm not going to make a crazy rash decision but I'm going to pick up the pace on preparation. Fear is paralyzing. I've been paralyzed! I can't anymore. It's like when the children of Israel had enuff! It was time to go. They knew God was with them. They didn't know what He'd do in the days ahead but that was the demonstration of faith. I don't either. I might have to eat meals that aren't extravagant. I might hafta loose to win but if He sent manna in the wilderness, I can trust that He will send manna to me aka whatever the need is will be met. I can clearly see the hand of God guiding my son to purpose so I'm letting go there of worrying about his future.

All I want to do is assist single mom's on this journey. Maybe eventually dads if a male comes along who can relate and partner with me. I want to be a fill in for those young people who aren't being noticed and need someone to believe with them. I want to offer what I've learned over these 16 years as a single mom and 11 years as a educator to others who can't afford to pay for it without starving or being homeless. I don't have all the pieces but in the days ahead as I sit quietly with God, my steps will be adequate secure and ordered.  Social service careers are rewarding. Unfortunately compensation reflected on a pay stub is pathetic. Funny thing is I haven't lived to bad financially all these years so.....what will drastically change? Ha! I need my own space to breathe and live my truth that I've made it this far because God found me worthy. To share and show and help another mom make it. To give to another kid what I've given to KT because it works. Love and support is more valuable than anything else. Kids know this deep down.

So this post is a good riddance to fear.  Come what may. Storms. Uncertainty. The promise isn't that they won't come. The promise is the storms won't win. There will always always be sunshine and peace aftwrwards. Maybe even a rainbow. I trust that by grace, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." according Phillipians 1:16.

No more fear!

Won't you stand in faith with me for the courage to walk into my destiny?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#KTsDivamomSpeaks Challenge

Sunday I was home because KingKrys was under the weather. He has been since Wednesday night. Y’all say a prayer for my baby boy. I catch the service at The Potter’s House online (TPHonline) and the message (Believe) was timely. Very motivating. What resonated with me is the life I am living is a manifestation of what I’ve heard spoken, received and allowed to manifest. In January I declared #twentysixteen as the year of #Intentionality. He then issued a challenge to use positive confessions to mute the negative voices that creates doubt, fear, uncertainty, depression and other negative forces that hold up the blessings and goodness due us. The voice inside my head needs to remind me daily of the gifts and talents inside of me waiting to impact lives.

So as a believer I was compelled to self-evaluate. Do a mind and heart check. Determine what voice was the loudest and make the adjustments. I had to answer what good was the Bible if I didn’t have the faith to believe it. Why pray if I didn’t have faith I would be heard and an answer sent? Jesus spoke to his disciplines in John 6:36b AMP “The words (truths) I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.”  In other words, what He says about us (His creation) is what gives us the spunk we need to live the life He has called us to. I began to think heavily on what I’ve been professing and confessing lately. I pondered if I was talking myself out of the dream and plan I know God has established for me in this year. I wondered if I was clicking on motivational quotes on Instagram but not brave enough to speak them out. I’m even considering plastering them around my bedroom. I feel that strongly about becoming!!

I realize that I must do more than just post or speak positive affirmations and scriptures to achieve the goal but the start is changing my mindset. The start is in saying who I am, whose I am and what I can do with His leading. Please join me for 21 says of #KTsdivamomspeaks. I want to encourage myself and you to remember that our own words have the power to manifest life and death according to Proverbs 18:21

I’ll be posting my affirmations/declarations/scriptures for 21 days on my Facebook fan page and Instagram account. You can follow by simply clicking one of the social media icons above. Join in this challenge and let’s verbally create the life we want to live and then work diligently to ensure our God given talent is used and our dreams manifested.

Speak LIfe Challenge

I look forward to seeing your post. Use the hastag #KTsdivamomSpeaks and let’s pursue greater.  

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