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!

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Future

I keep starting and a post then I get distracted and I never finish. It’s frustrating because some days I wake up and want to write instead of heading off to work. Other days there’s so much in my head, I find myself overwhelmed with the thought of putting together a post that will satisfy me until I have another pressing desire to write. So I end up not following through but not tonight! It’s the last day of Thanksgiving/Fall break at 11:42 and I’m up writing. I needed this. We are closing out 2016 SOON, I’ve changed so much since this post and I want to share parts of these lessons with you. There were days it wasn’t easy nor did I have the desire to be intentional in pursuit of pleasing God or being purposeful and living well but I believe I did. My life is better for it. I hope you are able to feel and sense it through my writings.

I’ve spent most of my time since returning to work, working of course and supporting my kid’s college dream. I wish someone had told me the amount of work it takes to prepare for college. I mean I went and all but I applied to two schools in-state and that was that. Not my son. Kid has BIG dreams and I am here for them! Who doesn’t want their child to have a better life than the one they are living and what parent wouldn’t do anything to help their kid reach the goal. So we’ve been busy with all the things we laid out to finish his senior year strong. I’m one proud momma but oftentimes tired.

The Future

If you are wondering where is the ‘me’ and my goals in all of this, I have to truthfully admit my dreams are still on the back burner. Not so much because I don’t have the time but I feel that I am in a new season of transition and preparation. I was sharing with my mom on the phone Sunday evening that I am experiencing the same feeling that I had 12 years ago when I decided to move away from my small hometown, I so desperately wanted to try something new and different. I had no husband, no savings, no roommate or relatives nearby. I just wanted to go and spread my wings and I did. I had a 4 year old toddler and a dream. I survived so much then and I’m stronger.

I’m also still adventurous and I’m itching for something new. Not necessarily a place but something different. I’m being stretched and challenged now so I know my next destination in life will be one that will require me to dig deep and rely on all the lessons I’m learning now. I can’t say that I know fully all that the future will hold once I’m an empty nester but I know that time will present opportunities to step away from comfort and be more purposeful in m living. From Intentional to purposefully journeying.

The Future_2

I know I’m not the only single mom/woman in a state of suspension. Between the here and now. We aren’t complaining about our current assignment but we aren’t yet satisfied that we are living our best lives after parenting. We aren’t solely focused on being wifed or making millions but being used by the Creator to share our story and the lessons we’ve learned in hopes that someone is inspired. I want someone to see the way God has made especially during the desert seasons and realize they too can live well.

There’s so much more to come here. Thank you for your patience as I move towards giving more here without sacrificing other areas of my life. Send a friend here to read old posts who needs to read transparent stories of triumph and trials and tears and joys with a whole lotta highs and lows. Oftentimes when I need it most a post will pop up and I am so moved by the words I’ve released. This is when I am doing my best work, when I am giving you raw and heartfelt writing. I am fortunate to have this gift. It ain’t perfect. I’m sure my grammar needs some work. But it’s mine and I’m honored to use it.  In all things I give thanks for each time I’m able to hit publish.

In His love,

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

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