Thursday, December 25, 2014

His Birthday is For You

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love. 
Thank you for your response 
To us that You would leave 
Your home in heaven to 
Come to earth in the most 
Humble way so that mankind could 
Experience hope, unconditional love, 
An amazing sacrifice and joy!
Amen. Selah...

The message of Christmas has reached the hearts and homes of many. Sadly,  this same message has become so commercialized that we've forgotten to take time to bask in God so loving the world that He gave His only begotten son (John 3:16); not one but twice. As much as I love this holiday season, the bells and whistles of friends, family, food and fellowship; I can't help but pause and reflect on the ULTIMATE gift - Christ the Savior was born that he would later die.  For me.  

I don't know about you but I've never been so loved and treasured and cared for (thanks Momma but Jesus topped ya). God has really set the bar high (know your worth). Today if you are alone (single), with just your kids  (single parents), sitting by someone's bedside who is Ill, if you suffered a recent loss or had a tramatic event occur don't despair. 

The little baby came to change that situation and bring you life and light. He's hope for a broken world. A broken heart. A broken life. Love has spoken from the throne of heaven. Through the cries of a mother in birthing pains. Through a child born in a stinky stable. To the cross. Declaring His love for you, His concern for your life and a road map to Him that your joy may be filled. 

Receive Him as He offers His best,  his birthday, a day that should be all about Him to make it all about you. 
That's love. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

JESUS is Calling

Good morning divamoms and gents,

This space is becoming quite the place where I’ve been sharing glimpses into my faith walk. Today is the second day of my winter break. Shout out to all the teachers resting themselves and relaxing! Yesterday I ran two errands and spent most of my time in bed and the majority of that journaling and writing to Jesus. Yes, Jesus! He’s becoming more and more the center of everything I do. ACTUALLY HE IS MY CORE! This past year has moved me from seeing the Savior as someone who is in heaven to someone who is so close and available anytime.  James writes in 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Sometimes I wake up with a song, scripture or word in my heart that moves me so heavily. This morning it was Jesus is calling. Now before you start to think I’m crazy you must first have a personal relationship with Christ to receive the message in this post and it has to be intimate. #nojudgement #noshade One thing I wanted to be able to do during my break is spend time with God unrushed. So I’m up with my journal, a cup of tea and a banana. I read through the entire 4th chapter of James and made notes. That’s a bonus for me. I will read my Bible and usually it is my favorite chapters or scriptures (mostly in the book of Psalms). One reason for that is because I really like the book and secondly the Bible is well boring. #FixitJesus Not the stories that read like novels but the instructions part. Prolly because I wasn’t in a place to fully understand and change.

Now I enjoy studying the Bible. When I read I use my bible app, biblegateway.com, the Amplified and Message versions of the Bible. This has helped tremendously with me understanding the text. So now when Jesus calls, I’m eager to get in His presence. Stephen Hurd has worship song, ‘Zion is calling’ that I begin to hum as I was brushing my teeth preparing to come to a space (right now my dining room table) where I could spread out my Bibles and journal whilst sipping tea. It brought tears to my eyes just thinking about Jesus being so in love with me that He would wake me up from my beauty sleep to come and learn of Him. That made me feel special. It made me feel secure in my relationship with Christ.

As we approach Christmas remember the whole point of this holiday is to remind us that Jesus is calling. He always is and has been. He called out from the precious throne of heaven and because some didn’t want to hear, He decided to come not as a King or royalty that He is but in a way that we would understand so that we would approach Him humbled by His self-offering. Someone who would give up so much for us. I don’t know about you but I don’t like sleeping outside. I hate barns and the smell of farms. Ha that rhymed...giggles. So that in and of itself makes me grateful He took on that role. Listen for the cry of the sweet baby Jesus and now the call of a loving, faithful God who has called you friend.

Enjoy the holidays. 



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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Look 3: Christmas in the Park

My final Sunday holiday look for this series. I was able to get the kid to participate resulting in a staged holiday card.  We wish you all the merriest Christmas. May your faith in a loving God increase making your heart lighter.  Enjoy your family. If there aren't any gifts cool because it's Jesus birthday and the only gift he wants your life! #GettoknowHim


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Matters of the Heart

Good morning,

Hope all is well with each of you who take the time to stop by my blog. If I had to set a goal for 2015 it would be that I'm granted more opportunities to write about my faith walk and someone is uplifted,  encouraged and blessed. No matter what is going on around you keep going.

Remember faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I haven't seen some things yet. Other things I wish I hadn't  seen or experienced. On the other hand,  I've grown and matured so much. So I recognize the importance of my struggles. They've pushed me closer to God and further away from depending on humans. Not that I don't have a good support system but  I NEEDED to learn total dependence.

I've learned to keep dreaming for myself and my students. I'm more sensitive to the roadblocks they face. My gifts are being utilized to the max! I'm Ram tough. #PBLCHS

I've learned how blessed I am to have KT for a son. I spent the first few years of his life worrying that I wouldn't do a good job caring for him. To see the humble,  smart,  handsome, talented young man he's grown into speaks volumes that I did /am doing something right. Note to parents: I didn't give him a lot of materialistic things but all his needs were always met. The memories we've made as a family are more valuable than anything money can buy.

Today take time out to reflect on the good. There are so many others who would gladly trade journeys. Don't judge an individual by their social media life. Reach out to an old friend or family member. Don't text, call. Show them you care. If you are reading this,  you've been given another day. Grab life forcefully and live.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holiday 2: A lesson from Mary and Elizabeth

This is my second time typing this post so I know that someone is going to be encouraged. I wanted to share a little bit of today's sermon taken from the first chapter of Luke. Pastor Whitney shared with us today how easy it is for us to be competitive, it's our human nature.

If we look at the story of two cousins Mary and Elizabeth, we will see both of them receiving the same promise and were expecting the same blessing. How often has this happened tobus as we look around and see others moving ahead and we are still waiting for our window of opportunity? We've been putting in the work and still no BIG break!

The lesson to be learned from this Bible story is that we must be patient. An even greater lesson is that we must learn to celebrate when others receive greater. Learning to be happy when someone receives what appears to be the blessing we have waited so long for is a sign of maturity in our faith.

Think about it. Your blessing may be tied to your neighbor. Don't doom your future with a jealous spirit. Put life in your mouth! Continue to speak those dreams into existence. Hold fast to your confessions of faith. Instead of speaking ill of someone's promotion, applaud them. You'll look up and see your awaited promise has been birthed.

Cardigan & purse//Forever 21 
Skirt//ASOS 
Shoes//Just Fab 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday: Peppermint




It's truly the most wonderful time of the year and I'm excited to be doing a holiday look every Sunday until after the New Year. 

The twist for me is to repeat these shoes except for my New Year's Eve look. If you're wondering they are comfortable and absolutely fantabulous. 

I'm already planning a few looks with them in January when my sorority  (Delta Sigma Theta) celebrates its founding. So be sure to come back weekly to see what I've come up with. 

Look:
Tee//Old Navy
Clutch//Old
Skirt//ASOS
Shoes//Hadley -Just Fab

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

His Hand At Work

It is 5 o' clock in the morning as I type this. I felt impressed to encourage someone who may feel like they aren't making progress on this journey called life.
I'm lying in bed this morning praying and I started to smile. Immediately I thought to myself, "Kerissa pull back. Prayer is a serious matter!"  That was religion trying to interrupt my moment. Faith reminded me that I can wake up each morning with a smile on my face even though:
1.   My family is experiencing one of the most difficult health challenges we've had since the death of my Granny. Our resolve is being tested.
2. I haven't seen my mom in a year.
3. My truck needs some expensive and extensive work .
4. I'm a single mom playing the role of Superwoman! (See this post here).
There's a host of other things I could write about and turn this post into a complaint but l REFUSE!!! I refuse to give negativity top priority in my daily living or so much control over how I view each day I'm given.
This scripture reminds me that God is at work daily to bring to fruition the plans He has for me. Several months ago I was battling severe depression. My therapist told me if I couldn't dig myself out of the rut utilizing the exercises, suggestions and prayer I would need to be medicated.
Praise be unto God, I fought back! I fought back to a place of peace,  safety,  assurance and joy. So when I awake with a smile it is because I've consciously decided to not be moved into a place of despair by the student loans, frustrations  to reach and teach my students  (they really are listening, learning and growing), the turn up on racism & hated in the world, cost of truck repairs, missing my mom, family illness and whatever else that may occur.
I can smile when I'm praying because I am confident that my Heavenly Father is working on my behalf. The plans He has for me according to Jeremiah 29:11 are going to blow my mind and supercede what I've dreamed up for myself. 
As we continue into the holiday season, I challenge you to daily remind yourself to give thanks in ALL things because Jesus is the reason for every season of our lives not just Christmas.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Through My Eyes


How was your Thanksgiving holiday? I spent the day quietly in my apartment and then ventured out to Cracker Barrel for dinner. I even went to Target in hopes that I could pick up 2 more of those wonderful tees in red and white that I wore in my last post here on the blog. Can someone tell me why folks buy more than one 72” screen tele? I mean how much tv does one really watch?! And how HUGE does the screen need to be?!?! Does that mean you stop going to the movie if your tv is supersized, lolol?! But I digress. Needless to say that didn’t go as planned so I came home and crawled into bed with a magazine.

Best part of my Turkey day was getting up at 7 and meeting my sorority sisters to volunteer at the Keith Straghn Foundation Feed the Needy Thanksgiving Day dinner. There’s no better cure for the negative that ails me than serving others and being reminded of how much my son and I have to be grateful for. Another positive is I added 2 miles to my walking game. I’ve been doing 4 miles for quite some time. It was time to challenge myself to more and I really needed to fight the lonely demon that was chasing me! Y’all do know I’m neither alone or lonely right? LIES, I tell ya, LIES!  So I put on my sneakers, workout clothes and hit the park. Pandora gave me a fairly decent Boys II Menz Christmas playlist and made some strides for about 2 hours. I left the park feeling better physically and emotionally.

If you are thinking why I was alone, well…the kid flew to be with his father on Wednesday. Due to some transportation issues I’m unable to travel in my car. I could have rented a vehicle but I figured it would set me back financially form getting the EXPENSIVE repairs I need. Your probably also thinking that I appear to have a large circle of friends and networks so why didn’t I just spend the day with someone else’s family. I did have multiple invites to share a meal with others. It’s really weird but the only thing I can tell you is I didn’t feel like it. I wanted my family. My mom. Siblings. Extended family. I haven’t seen them in a year. So the plan is to get my car repaired and get back to my road trips home. Nothing like a country life to refresh me. Birds chirping. Pecan trees, not palm. No planes. Zero traffic. Can you tell I’m homesick?

Yeah after I paid the last car note installment, the Incredible Hulk (I drive a green SUV) decided it needed major work. Until educators get paid like the ballers we are, I won’t be purchasing anything new for a minute. Gotta give back to the government and make sure FedLoan gets that lump sum out my check. #FixItJesus So I survived Thanksgiving Day. I did battle a few moments of feeling low and sad. My mom called twice and I just didn’t want to ruin her day so I acted all perky and fine on the phone. When I was leaving dinner, an older lady told me I needed something to cover my arms from the chill in the air. It was something my Granny would say so when I got to my truck I had to talk myself back from a teary breakdown.


I shared all that to say reach out to single parents and people during the holidays. Y’all know the suicide rate goes up. It’s a time when the enemy of our joy will try and bring us so low that we feel unloved and uncared for. Some of us will isolate ourselves from the very people who are concerned about our well-being. I’m so grateful that I know the truth about myself and journey. It ain’t always easy but if the lessons I’ve learned can help someone else keep the faith and keep pushing forward then I am living my life with purpose. 


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bright Winter

Happy Wednesday Faithful Followers!

A cold front arrived yesterday a little after 12 here in South Florida. I didn't leave work until after 7 and almost froze my butt off! I'd already said in my head I'd be rocking my Dagny boots from Just Fab. My blogger friend Shea at Curves & Confidence had the same idea. She texted me before I hit her up  (we text chat everyday ) to style me and we stated brainstorming. We get turnup when we can rock winter clothes and shoes, LOL!!

I ran to my closet grabbed this skirt, sweatshirt and two docent statement necklaces  and thought I'd wear the fit with black tights and heels. She suggested I go with the boots and belt the look. A bit later this outfit came together although I wasn't really sure after leaving home this morning  because I tucked the sweatshirt instead of leaving it out as she suggested. I received a lot of compliments on my bright wintery attire so I give the look a thumbs up.

What say you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Target Clearance Perfection

What I can create when I find two beautiful Fall floral pieces on the clearance rack at the Bullseye Boutique. I plan to rock the shirt as a dress on a weekend with flats. My butt would make the this tunic problematic for work in heels. So in paired it with the skirt and loved the print on print!

You can find them here. Skirt. Shirt.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday's LBD

Happy weekend y'all! I haven't posted a oufit in a minute because I still don't have a camera and anyone to take my pics. With the time change KT and I rush home, eat dinner, homework and sleep, only to start over the next day. He's doing well in achool.and band so I ain't complaining. 

This morning was one of those tightly packed days that I blogged about in my last post. Today was National ACT & SAT day so I took him to take the FREE practice test.  A bit later, I was headed to my sorority's Senior Citizens Luncheon. All after working in my classroom for an hour or so. #supermom

Attire for the  event was all black and our chapter blazers. It was already sunny when I left the school at 9 so I didn't wanna dress to warmly as I was going to be running around. I have body temp issues ladies!!!! My blogger friend Shea over at Curves and Confidence gifted me this dress the first time I visited her for the weekend. Now we find time to take the hour drive to hang out. She's fit, fine, an inspiration and feeds my shopping habits.

The first time I wore it I had to pull and tug on it every step I took. As you know, I've been working out since the summer but fell off once school started. I forced myself back into it despite my hetic schedule. More work to be done in the tummy area but the butt is lifting and tightening up. My arms and legs look better too. One of my students complimented my arms. Well he asked me if I box. Huh? Boy bye!! **grabs weights and lifts**

The back zipper is my favorite part of the dress. Gives it some umphh! I'll get the top altered once I can slip into this cutie without the hip hughing, LOL! Shea also convinced me to find a good seamstress and tailor and get. The work done. I love you girl!

I'm on the treadmill typing and need to pick it (go faster). Until next post...GO NOLES beat the Canes!


Monday, November 10, 2014

I've got the single super mom cape on and I wanna take it off!

I've been trying to get around to blogging but my life just won't slow down long enough for me to pose for a few photos or write good content because I'm exhausted when I get home. I sit on the couch and exhale, shower and go to sleep.

I've got the single super mom cape on and I wanna take it off! There are times, I just wish for days off. #youcanjudgeme I've mentioned before KT is in the band this year. He's a sophmore at the high school where I'm now working as well as involved in numerous community service driven/mentoring activities. We don't do everything but we do enough to have us falling into bed after homework is complete.

Being at a new school this academic year that's high needs requires me to work a lot harder than I did my last few years. There's new standardized testing expectations, common core standards and kids who need me to assist them in meeting old testing mandates to graduate! In addition, I'm a band parent. This means I show up at every game, competition and now parade season. Can't give to other people's kid what I don't give to my own. Right?!?!?!?

At the end of the week, I don't want to do anything but pretend to catch up on sleep because I still have church and other commitments. Believe it or not, I've scaled wayyyyy back on my personal activities. There's no real justification for running myself into the ground where I am no good for parenting,  teaching and enjoying life. I refuse to make myself sick. #bewarealowdownsingleparent

This Saturday I spoke at a parenting conference. One of the questions I was asked in the session was, what is the hardest part of being a single parent. That day I said not being able to teach my son how to be a man. Today I say, having to give so much of myself with no help. I can't recall if I've felt this way before. Maybe when he was younger and needed me more but he's 15 and I swear he controls my calendar. #waitingonmyROI

I also don't think having a partner, mate or boyfriend is a TOTAL FIX IT cure. I just need to work on balancing more so I can get back to my blog, reading for pleasure, working out more than once or twice a week and road trips.

So to those moms and dad's who maybe frustrated and weary. I feel yoy! Yes indeed!! God didn't intend for parenting to be solo. As I shared Saturday, it doesn't matter how your family came to be one without two parents...it just is. Make the best of it. Do what you can. Plan. Plan. Plan. Make breakfast at night if you must. Cereal and sandwiches are considered meals.

I'm praying for you. For us that we not get weary in well doing for our children. They are our ministry. Not a spouse. At least not now. I'm counting down my 2.5 years before Stella gets her groove back. #ratchetbehaviorforthcoming #kidding The best you can give your child(ren) is love, time and being present in the moment.

God sees our journey,  Amen.

Monday, October 27, 2014

My Test Was A Testimony

Today provided me with an opportunity to share my story of domestic violence with an 18 year old student. I was visiting an office to recommend another student for intervention services and was asked to provide a woman's touch to a counseling session that was taking place. Y'all it was too early for something so deep to be in the mind of a young lady who aspires to be a doctor! Yep!! Here's the short version.

The young lady is dating someone who is verbally abusive. Having grown up in a home with physical abuse and dating someone who had requirements I could never maintain daily, I knew this was a God moment. Before I continue with the story let me tell you why I believe my steps were orchestrated to visit the office at that moment.

Recently, I've felt pressed to pray for single women and moms. Many of us are juggling so much to the point of weekly exhaustion!  We'd love to have a helpmate.  Who am I kidding, I'd love to have someone run things for a week a month, a year so I can rest. But for me that wasn't a viable option until now. I couldn't see myself bringing someone into my son's life and things go gravely wrong so I kept my dating life separate.  Recently I've been hit over the head south the realization that in a few years (2.5) I'm going to be alone. Panic almost set in. #faithoverfear

I see others falling in love,  getting married,  blending families and still I felt like this wasn't something that would happen for me. I'd pray about being a Proverbs 31 and being swept of myget then I backtrack after hearing of a ANOTHER failed marriage or another church relationship scandal. Recently,  I've begun seeking God to teach me what it truly means to know Him as my everything. For my desire to be for Him not an earthly man who could disappoint. For me to grow in faith and truly know my value before venturing back onto the dating scene. #toomatureforplayplay

This in no way means I'm looking for him #menarehunters or that I'm ready for marriage. It means I've surrendering and have surrendered #workinprogress to God writing my fairytale love story. Taking all I've endured from my childhood,  not having quality examples of a Christ centered marriage and protecting my kid heavily influenced me to go ssssssllllloooowww! So I am.

So when I hear this young woman's story, I jump at the chance to tell her that she's  valuable to God. That He has a purpose for her life. That a man's validation isn't necessary.  It's nice but she's capable of soaring alone until her God mate is sent to her. He might be a high school sweetheart or she might meet him in college. Whenever their paths cross, he'll build her up and not tear down! She will beer more than his part time chick while he stills chill with the ex.

I reminded her that if he verbally attacks her and she accepts this behavior,  there will come a day when words aren't enough to give him that feeling of being powerful and controlling. I wanted to say run like hell but instead, I asked to pray with her. She sgreed. So I did. I asked God to guideher as she grew into loving herself so much that she'd be certain how someone should love her. That her dreams of becoming a doctor would take root and manifest. For her protection, daily provision, strength to walk away and to learn the heavenly Father's voicefor guidance to make wise choices. 

It was an unforgettable moment. If I do nothing else on my school campus,  I've intercepted the evil that could take this child down a road that could end in death so young. I'm humbled being able to use my own struggles as a single woman to empower a young lady who has a destiny of greatness inside yet to be unfolded.  Our daughters are younger and our sons involved in violence against each other. Be aware. Be alert.

For more information,  please visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/teen_dating_violence.html

http://m.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/dating-violence-statistics

https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-teen-dating-violence

Lovingly,
KTsdivamom

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Job

Once upon last school year,  I hated teaching. Today. . .this school year, I can truly say that God has placed me in a place to serve.

I'm humbled!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fall Foliage

I'm enjoying the Fall fashion posts from my favorite bloggers.  My absolute favorite part of this season is the vampy and dark lipsticks. South Florida has been experiencing the perfect days. This weekend was beach weather but I ended up watching football, cooking and tidying my apartment.

I ordered this dress during the ASOS summer sale.  It can be perfect for any season. The orange red sandals from Just Fab put me as close to Fall as I'll probably get until the early months of next year.

You already know I love midi skirts and dresses.  I adore this printed number because of the low back. I pinned it for church and almost threw on a cardigan but decide against it. See the way my body set up, I stay hot.

I also got another haircut. Karrie grows so fast. I got a trim and was slightly tapered August 31st. I felt I had to much hair and wanted the sides shortened. So I took a trip to my barber. You can see up close pics on my Instagram. I love it. Quick to style. Edgy. Cute.

You like?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pink

I don't know anyone who hasn't been affected in some way by breast cancer. My mom is a survivor and so many others (Hey Sorors Sara and Shanda, mi favorite Cubanita Abdi, Aunt Mary). There are also those who have lost the battle (Rest well: Mrs. G. Barnhart, Aunt Val, Aunt Ruth and Soror Asbury) to this dreadful disease. So today I dressed to proclaim that I will continue to fight for a cure. I participate and donate to Making Strides. My loved ones will always be remembered not for thr cancer but the vibrant life lived before it knocked on their door.

Remember to get your Mammograms and support finding a cure!

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