Selfless Love that Endures

happy mother's day

Today is Mother’s Day! A special day not only for me but for mothers all over the world! We recognize this national holiday the second Sunday of May every year but, one day a year is not enough!

A mother’s responsibility is 365 days of the year through age 18 and/or until college is completed. Mothers who develop a selfless love for their children want to ensure that their children have all that they need to live a productive life. It is why some mothers may still provide assistance, advice, and words of wisdom well beyond the college age years.

As this Mother’s Day weekend comes to a close think about all the mothers who give of themselves selfishlessly. Take the time to call,  send handwritten notes, text, or whatever you can throughout the year. Encourage mothers for all that they do and their selfless love that endures every day of the year.

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Celebrate While You Can

Thanks to Chicago weather I am in bed not feeling well recovering from a weekend filled with prom send offs, graduations, and other celebrations. These however are monumental moments I am glad that I didn’t miss.
Generally proms take place a week or two before graduation serving as pre celebratory activities of the completion of high school.  As we waited patiently for the prom attendees to get dressed and depart in a chauffeured vehicle, I listened to elders of the family discuss how prom send offs were in the “old” days.
In the “old”  days, prom attendees would get dressed and parade around the block so that the neighbors could see the well dressed students in their dresses and tuxedos. Today, everyone comes to the prom attendee’s home for prom activities. These activities include all the food you can eat and  sweets on a themed candy table.
prom-candy-buffet
Prom has come a long way from picking out an outfit and exchanging corsages. It is the official red carpet event of the year for family and friends to also partake in. As we wrap up this school year remember to celebrate while you can. Cherish the moments that you have with the youth of your family because there are many that did not live to see this weekend of prom. Celebrate moments both big and small!
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Living a Lie

When you live a lie you never have that feeling of ever really being fulfilled. While telling a lie is not hard to do, keeping up with the lie is. You have to work at keeping your story straight about what you did, remembering where you were and who you were with. People lie for so many different reasons but the common factor is always selfishness. It is that selfishness that causes them not to be concerned about those they hurt in the process. They were only concerned about themselves.

As I continue to teach life lessons to my daughter, the life lesson of being hurt by someone’s else lie is an uncomfortable one to discuss. Especially if you have been the object of someone’s else lie. It eventually  happens to all of us. We give people the benefit of the doubt and then we discover the truth in the end. Either someone lies to us, we ourselves withheld the truth, or we lie to ourselves.

Truth

When it is all said and done we are held accountable for all of our actions. Even those we consider to be minor.  Until then, we have to  live with what we have done good or bad. Why not stop the selfish way of living and live truthfully?

Everyday A Sunday

Preparing for church this Easter morning, I listened to “He’s Alive” by DeAndre Patterson. It took me back to  when I was younger getting ready for church. Although the song came out much later after my time as a youth, it is a traditional gospel song performed by a large church choir with all the energy they could extend to deliver a message. These songs add to my Sunday which is first day of the week where I get to worship with a body of believers and give God praise.

I remember how I wanted everyday to be a Sunday. Even with the mad dash to get to church on time for Sunday School, sit in service all afternoon, go to the corner store to buy Chic-O-Sticks, and be back again for evening service; I truly enjoyed Sunday. Sunday was my day of peace and no worries. Sunday was my day to be away from the foolishness and woes of the week.  On Monday, it was back to reality of fighting the good fight of whatever it was for me at that time.

He's Alive

As I sat in church this Easter morning, I am thankful that God woke me up! I am appreciating that I have peace throughout the week simply because He’s Alive! I realize that everyday is a Sunday because everyday I remember the sacrifice made on the cross. It is a sacrifice made not only for me but for all of us! Grace be to God that no matter what it looks like on the outside, the battle is already won because of the ultimate sacrifice. He’s Alive!

Why not take that truth into everyday of the week? Let that be your peace to make everyday a Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

Embracing the Parenting Journey

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Honors Convocation for my daughter at her school. Considering our schedule including volleyball games, mentoring events, and ministry activities this was a huge accomplishment for her and especially with her being a Freshman.

By the grace of God my daughter was able to keep her grades up and maintain her status as an Honor Roll student. Through all the practices, games, meetings, projects, the papers, quizzes and exams- she did it. We did it! Yes, I said we did it!  God, my daughter and I.

As I continue embracing the parenting journey I am embracing my role in the life of a teenager. I am embracing fulfilling my role as the editor of research papers, practice exam proctor, chef, designated Mama Uber,  physician, and then some. This means that when an accomplishment is made I am that Proud Parent feverishly clapping, taking pictures and saying that’s my Girl!

Honor Roll.jpg

 

 

Keeping Your Word

It is understandable that when a friend needs help that we want to try to be there for them. We say yes when we really don’t have the time. We commit months in advance. Then, we forget either because we didn’t write it down or it just completely slipped our mind (maybe because what they needed wasn’t our top priority). What do you do when you offered to help out with something but now find that you won’t be able keep your word and follow through? It is really simply. Just be up front about it.

There was a project I recently agreed to work on. After getting all the subsequent meeting dates, I realized my current schedule did not allow me to make the commitment needed to complete the project successfully. I wrecked my brain trying to see how I could make it all work. Although I was making real progress in keeping a balanced schedule, I had to come to terms that by agreeing to do this project I had overcommitted.  In order to keep my balance I had to pull out of the project. Since I was looking ahead at my schedule I was able to let my friend know up front. If I had not done this early, I would have overexerted myself and disappointed my friend.

Keeping your word is important. It is a matter of showing someone respect for their time and it let’s them to know that they can count on you which in turns builds trust. If you can’t keep your word it is just best to be up front about it and just say it. Keep Your Word

 

Beyond Personal Privacy

In an effort to be cool, many of our teens today are living out their lives on social media. They tag their locations, share provocative photos and share so much more with the world. Although social media providers have privacy settings that can help to limit who views your posts, there is always someone lurking behind the scenes.

Think Safety.jpg

I have additional safeguards for my daughter in addition to encouraging her not to tag her locations unless it is with a group or for special events. Some parents may feel their teens should be allowed privacy. I disagree. My daughter will get her privacy when she is living on her own and paying her own bills.

My spirit grieves when I hear the news of young teenage girls who are missing or the news of them being found murdered from a connection they made with someone on social media. This is why it is very important to know who are teens are connecting with on social media. Do you know what their latest posts are on Facebook? Do you know who their streaks are with on Snapchat? Do you know the latest story they are reading on Wattpad?

Wattpad stories and various social media posts can be pretty outrageous and some too much for a teenage mind to comprehend. I would rather my daughter have a conversation with me and ask me questions about what she is reading on social media rather than someone else. I would rather my daughter understand that knowing what she does on social media is a matter of safety and is beyond her personal privacy.

The Words We Speak

words

Yesterday I listened in on a youth group discussion and was shocked to hear a guest panelist berate one of the attendees because of where she attended school. As she sat with slumped shoulders, the adults in the room were noticeably uncomfortable with what was said. I made a response which I am sure wasn’t appreciated, but nor did I appreciate the response of the guest panelist. Although I understand the point the guest panelist was trying to make, our points can be made without having to belittle someone else.

Whether you are a guest panelist or motivational speaker, it is important that you know who your audience is. Trying to keep it “real” to make valid points should not be done at the expense of devaluing someone else. When you understand your audience you become sensitive to the needs of your audience and this by no means takes away from the passion you have regarding the topic.

The attendee of the group discussion did not need to be berated about where she attended school. What she needed was encouragement and support on how to approach a challenge she was facing at her school. Thankfully another guest panelist responded to her original question and provided her some guidance.

We can feel very strongly about a topic but we also need to be able keep our cool when giving responses. We can’t inspire our youth by berating them. We inspire them by leaving a positive impression. It would be an impression that leads them to be encouraged that they can make a difference at whatever school they attend. The words we speak should uplift. So the next time you speak, watch the words you speak!

From a Lenten Perspective

lentThe Lenten season is upon us when we acknowledge in the company of others that we are flawed and only human.  By participating in Ash Wednesday services, where our heads are marked with the sign of the cross, we acknowledge that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Also during this time we observe a period of fasting, bible reading, focusing on our spiritual discipline, and praying on one accord with our faith communities.

I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I am a child of God, a believer, and a sinner saved by grace. I am flawed. During this season of Lent, the life changing moments that have occurred for me has caused me to look at things  through new eyes from  a Lenten perspective. Now, I am asking myself the following questions:

  • Why do I focus on my spiritual discipline more during Lent rather any other time of the year?
  • Why do I fast longer during Lent rather than any other time of the year?
  • Why do I mediate on the word of God, on one accord with  with my community of believers, more than any time of the year?

I am charging myself to do more during the year than I do during the season of Lent. From a Lenten perspective I realized I don’t do enough.  In the times we are living in now more is required.

Before the Streets Lights Come On

When I was little my Mama would tell us that we had to be home before the street lights came on.

.street-light

“If you come in when the street lights are on, you are late!”

I wasn’t the only one that had to live by this rule. You heard many parents calling their child’s name after the lights came on. Whether you heard your own name being called or a name of a friend, you knew that somebody would be in trouble that evening. On the other side of the threshold was a mother with her hand on her hip and of course you can just imagine the rest.

I didn’t appreciate it back then, but as a parent I understand now. Our parents were protecting us from the foolishness that happens when the sun goes down. They felt it was best to have their children safely at home. That was then when that thought process held to be true. Today,  foolishness can take place at anytime of the day. From 8 a.m. when our children arrive to school, to 2:30 p.m. when they leave school, to their afternoon ride on the bus to get home, or even in the car on our way to the grocery store our children can get injured or lose their lives to violence.

Every once in a while I still find  myself trying to get in before the street lights come on as I still consider my daughter to be precious cargo as we take our commute home. While I may not always be successful, I pray for my family that God covers our going out and our coming in. I pray that God sends His angels to protect us and blocks anything that tries to rise up against us. I pray God gives us discernment  to be cautious of our surroundings and unforeseen dangers. I pray before and after the street lights come on.