Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I, Too, Am a Woman

History is the memory of things said and done.
Carl L. Becker

Next month in March, the world will celebrate Women’s History Month. I am ecstatic. You are probably wondering why since I’m not famous or my cute model face isn’t on anyone billboards in New York. I am excited about my own She Story. I am excited to reread the history I’ve already written in the pages of my biography.

GOD knew me long before my parents were blessed with me. HE placed inside of me everything I would need to become a Woman of worship, war (prayer changes things), work (I always have a hustle or two in the works!), winner (I’m only competing against my own resume) and wonderful (my mom calls me her ‘Sunshine’). I can’t say that I was always this confident. When I look at pictures of me growing up, I still feel the sting of being the ugly duckling, the nerd (I wore bifocals and always carried a book) and the skinny girl with beautiful hair (which I no longer treasure). Now, I realize all of those things were superficial. Deep inside I was like Joseph the Dreamer, whose story can be found in the 37th chapter of Genesis (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis%2037&version=AMP).

Growing up in a small town which offered very little recreational activities that interested me (non-athletic in every way), few role models making it BIG and life happening slowly all around me; I was thinking of ways to move ahead, to see more of the world, to have more, to give more, to become more. It was a strong feeling inside of me that often I didn’t understand it; I was restless. I spent a lot of time reading (now I’m a MS Reading Coach). Books would transport me to places I never dreamed of traveling to, I shared tears with characters that experienced the same hardships and I learned from trailblazing educators that passion and truth meant more than my teaching certificates & college degrees.

Those childhood years and throughout my teenage years my love for words and writing blossomed. I kept a diary like most young girls, as I got older I began to journal. My Godmother would indulge my fetish for beautiful journals and pens (and she still does). I wrote and wrote and wrote. I even majored in English in undergrad. I wanted to record as much of my story to share with those I could trust with the intimate details.

Today I am still on that path. I am still writing. My love for reading and writing now affords me the luxury to go back & reread what I learned about myself and others on a rainy day several years ago. Or that young man who I thought I loved so dearly and would marry (Whew, the bullets I dodge, LOL!). I am not chasing my history because it is with me tucked away in the pages of numerous journals and spiral notebooks that I sit and read when I need a reminder of the roads I’ve traveled. During these times I am able to reflect on my progress as a single African American woman.

I can see the strides I am making. I can see the bridges I have crossed. I am able to whisper a prayer of thanks for those who have allowed me to lean on them all these years. I am honoring my history. It is tainted in some areas, there are blemishes that would cause some to tuck their tail and hide. NOT ME! I am living. Some have said I make wearing all the many hats I do look easy including parenting. To that I say: I know there is a GOD. He walks with me daily as I create the history of a dIvA mOm on a journey worth remembering.

In His Love,

~dIvA mOm~

“I’m every woman,

It’s all in me.

Anything you want done, baby,

I’ll do it naturally.”

~I’m Every Woman Lyrics by Whitney Houston~

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Forgiveness

It has taken me a while to write this post. I started days ago. It was long before the girls arrived in time for our fantastical weekend. It just came to me suddenly as I went about my daily routine one day in my apartment. Like an epiphany, with clarity and confirmation that I was experiencing another upward level of my best life. After harboring hurt and resentment for so many days, weeks, months and years my life had finally come full circle in the area of forgiveness. As I pondered this I began to think about you, my readers. I asked myself if you were also living in a place of tranquility and if not how would my story assist with you arriving to your own place of bliss.


The dIvA mOm has experienced major disappointments and letdowns. I know you’ve been hurt before, right? Silly question, I know. Often times we pretend that we are superhuman beings. We act as if it didn’t really matter when it did or that it does when it really didn’t. It’s our coping mechanisms. If you answered yes, at this moment we officially have something in common (smile). What did you do about the hurt? Where did the pain go? Is it still lingering someplace? Does it have any influence on the person you are today? Why so many questions today? I want to encourage you to think about the state of your heart. There are many self-help books about positive thinking, talk-shows that encourage us to change our thoughts and clean out our past. And there is also a book that has caused much controversy but I believe it. The BIBLE. It speaks of forgiveness in Luke 6:37b: Forgive, and you will be forgiven (as well as in many other scriptures). I’m not trying to preach but it is as simple as 1+1 = 2. If you let go of the wrongs that have been done to you, others will reciprocate when you or I mess up. AND WE WILL! Simple truth.


After hanging out on Twitter the day of Tiger Wood’s press conference and reading the comments posted, I concluded it is imperative that we learn to forgive. Why? Forgiveness isn’t about the other person but all about you. He’s ready to move forward. Are you? Acknowledging that a bad choice was made is good but forbidding it from entering into your future and residing over the rest of your life is great. Bishop Noel Jones tweeted today: “You're not living to go backwards; you're living to go forward. You have to leave the past behind. Take its lessons but not its pain.” This quote captures the truth of how cancerous grudges can be. Allowing someone to live in your heart, mind, life and control you without their knowledge is absurd. Look at it this way. They are bad cells (cancer). If you knew there were bad cancerous cells living in your body, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to rid yourself of them (even if ridding yourself of them was painful)? It is the same with bitterness. It’s emotional acid eating away at your very being. Wreaking havoc on the wonderful person you are and preventing the world from experiencing all you have to offer. I challenge you to live for your future. Begin planning for the best years of your life that are still ahead. If the person or event isn’t included in the destination you are headed to à dismiss them!!!! Take a deep breath. Exhale. Feel the sun. Walk away from the past and sail happily into the future.


Forgiving because I’m forgiven,
 ~dIvA mOm~

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beautiful Friendships & Birthdays


I just recently celebrated my birthday. The amazing thing is I didn't celebrate alone. No, no what I mean is that I share my birthday month with 3 other outstanding ladies that I met at different points in my grade school career. My BBF Q and Cousin Geraldine (not her real name) met in Kindergarten. Peg (not her real name either) and I met in MS (don't quote me on this). What I do know is that we formed a bond and called our group the E.B.S.  The Educated Black Sistahs were all the brainy girls on campus who loved books more than boys. At the time, it was a cool high school group of girls that hung tight. What we didn't know was how prophetic our label would become. Side note: if you dare to dream, speak those things and work diligently to make them your reality.

Fast forward to many years later (Gotcha! A Lady never tells her age, lol!) and we are still getting together to celebrate. Shocking, I know. The media would have you believe that women can't get along especially black women. We are portrayed as if we are always in competition and catty. I can make a list a mile long; maybe longer of the stereotypes that have been placed on women & friendships. Instead of wasting words on negativity, I'd rather use this post to salute the women who are coming to visit this weekend. Women who are accomplished in their respective careers, full of life, filled with love and ready to go to war for a sister-friend if needed.

We've laughed, loved, cried, stood for each other in marriage, cheered each other on through undergrad and graduate school, celebrated births and deaths. We've made friends and contacts from each other's social networking circle. Many of my closest friendships were branches from these friendships. We've shared clothes, had sleepovers (you are never too old), swapped beauty and fashion tips. The list is limitless but memorable. The sistership we've established has stood the test of time. This weekend as I host these amazing ladies, I find myself teary eyed thinking about where we started, our current status and where we are headed. There is my dream BIG challenge again.

I couldn't ask for a better support group. I never dreamed our bond would be as it is but selflessness has enabled us to maintain the E.B.S. and the code names given (chuckling). As we gather to celebrate the start of our new year (better late -our birthdays were in January- than never) 80), I hope they will enjoy the time away from the everyday grind, that they will enjoy the peace here in my home and we take a moment to plan & recommit to being even more GLAMOROUS this year than the previous. As the hostess, I am ready to show these ladies how much I love them, appreciate them cheering me on and putting up with my not so diva mom moments [True Confession].














Happy Birthday to Us,        
                                                             
~dIvA mOm~

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dreaming with Balance

President’s Day was a great day. I didn’t do much and that’s what made the day super duper great. As I mentioned in my first post, I’m a mom, reading coach and graduate student. At this point, I’m sure you are thinking: “Why wasn’t she doing homework on her day off?” I have an answer for you. Dreams don’t happen overnight (ahhhaa moment). Yeah, yeah, you know this already. So did I but I failed to live daily with this knowledge. It wasn’t until recently that I decided that life happens at its own pace. Besides, I enjoy playing Wii with KT and board games. I enjoy reading novels and fashion magazines (although I have tons to catch up on dating back to Summer 09). The past two nights I’ve stayed awake long past 3am reading Jacquelin Thomas’ novel 'The Ideal Wife' (no time for reviews because I haven’t finished yet). No amount of staying up all day and night, giving up every ounce of my social life nor sleeping in the library will cause my dreams to come true overnight.

Here is where I am going to lose a few readers. I’m speaking directly to single moms and dads like me who are juggling too many hats (but you enjoy the challenge). I emphasize single because there are different types of single moms and dads. There are those whose world centers around the kid or kids, work and possibly school. There are those who are recently divorced so being a single lady or man is new to them. They have their old friends, play dates and afternoon shopping after lunch or golf dates at the country clubs with the boys. There are also those who are single in every way. No kids, no school, working at their dream job and driving a cute Audi (enjoy yourself). Regardless of the responsibilities we have, we each need to take time to be rejuvenated and renewed.

Why don’t I find a balance you ask? Thunderous applause: I have! I’ve decided to put my dreams first. The dream to live for HIM, to be a magnificent mom, to teach online and pursue my final degree. I visualize myself at the finish line. Chanting: YES I CAN!! I write my name with Ph.D after my last name. This also means that I’ve learned to say NO! Are you thinking you can’t because they need (emphasis here) you and no one else can do as good a job as you? News Flash: you are wrong!! Build someone else up so that you can have a break which leads to balance. I recently retired from teaching Sunday school for a few months. No, I am not going to hell because of this decision, LOL! I’ve made this decision before and returned when my plate wasn’t so full. I have 3 invitations for next weekend but can only attend one event (maybe two).

The point is you have to decide what you want to accomplish and zero in on the finish line. Nothing last in this life but the legacy you leave. What will it be? Do you without losing you along the journey. What are you waiting for? DREAM but remember to occasionally clear the calendar.

~dIvA mOm~

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FCAT Frenzy

It's that time again across the State of Florida. It's FCAT frenzy. All students beginning at grade 3rd to 12th will be participating in standardized testing. This post isn't to rant about how much I hate the test (even though I do). I've learned to play the cards I am dealt (so far I’ve been winning). I love teaching/coaching and until the FCAT goes away (if it ever does) I am going to go into classrooms daily and spread my love of learning.

So why am I writing about this crazy time? No particular reason than to celebrate the positive in place to help our students succeed. Most of the discussion about the test would have you believe that students are grinding daily without any doses of love, care and tenderness. That's because my MS hasn't been showcased. Today the Principal changed the music that signals class change (we don't have bells). He selected R. Kelly's 'I Believe I Can Fly."

The day was so positive and the kids got a kick out of the Principal, Assistant Principal and I singing all on the same key, out loud and strong. We had movements to fly and soared around the main office hallway entrance like superheroes. It was fantabulous (yes, this is a word)!! What we communicated to the students today was they are capable of achieving any dream, mastering the FCAT, making an A in their science class, being kind to a student on crutches or setting an example by wearing their pants pulled up with a belt or the buttons to their collared shirt closed and still be a cute teen girlie girl.

Yes, FCAT is upon us (sighs) but we can use this time to teach students relaxation techniques. Remain calm, believe in them and most importantly be there to cheer them on even if it means you have to do something silly like sing in the hallway. In the end our students/children learn an important lesson: KEEP SINGING EVEN WHEN THE PRESSURES ON! What a life lesson that isn’t found in textbooks.

Muah, Xo!

~dIvA mOm~

Monday, February 15, 2010

About Me

Greetings, I am soooooooo excited to finally be on my way to blogging. It didn't take much to get here. What I mean is no one had to twist my arm to get me to write. I love writing. I love words and I especially love literature. Am I aspiring to be a novelist? Not quite, but if it is in the plans GOD will bring it to fruition. I am only interested in sharing my wonderful life with you.

What makes my single mom status so different from others? Why is my blog attractive? I'm not writing about looking for love. I'm confident it will find me. I'm not griping about not dating? I'm busy doing me (more about my Runway later).On Valentine’s Day, my First Lady Pastor Debbie ministered about diamonds. They don’t just come out gleaming. They go through a process. Once the gemologist works his magic the gem shines with a starburst. I’m doing me into my gemologist finds me and brings out that reserved starburst. I call myself a Lady Actively Living (No, I am not waiting nor am I on standby). I am not broke, disgusted or busted. I am currently a middle school reading coach, an online facilitator (don't ya just love eSchools?), a fantabulous mom to 10 year old, Krystopher Tyler who is affectionately known as KT, a graduate student pursing a PhD in Higher Ed, a daughter, sister, member of a local chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a Sunday school teacher for middle school students, an active member in my church (Shout out to WC!) and an addict for social networking (yep, I am on Facebook and Twitter, more about that later as well).

I have bad days but I don't have them often. I love parties but funerals and sad occasions aren't where life is vital. It's a waste of a good celebration. (Don't you agree?). I'm a dIvA mOm because I juggle all of the above hats and look great (as in model status) doing it while maintaining a home for my son who is an honor roll student (I even cook) and a relationship with a loving GOD. I adore my Heavenly Father, my son and this occasionally bumpy but eventful thing called life. So without further delay, I’d like to invite you to partake in my journey. Sometimes we’ll travel by car, plane, train, spaceship, jog or walk. I promise to keep you entertained along the way. I hope you enjoy reading and find time to write back to me. Hurry, tell your family, friends, Facebook & Twitter contacts there's a new writer in town and she's has a lot to say.

Blessings,

~dIva mOm~
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