Just Two Words

Recently I wrapped up another successful year of working with a group of amazing 6-8th grade mentees. We recognized our graduates at a luncheon attended by their families, community members and other mentors.

A few things I enjoy most about working with mentees is seeing them grow, come out of their comfort zone and develop their self-esteem. All of this they learn through our time together every month. I do this because it’s an area of service near and dear to my heart. I don’t  expect anything in return but it feels good when a parent says thanks for all you have done or when the student tells me how much they have enjoyed our time together.

Just those two words, thank you, can make all the difference in the world no matter what language you say it in.

Thank You

 

 

 

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Fatherless Gaps

Today in the United States we observe Father’s Day which is held every year on the third Sunday in June. Many however may not know that the first observance of Father’s Day occurred July 5, 1908. The observance occurred as the result of the lives of fathers lost in a mining accident leaving their children fatherless.

(Source: http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day)

There are some men who are amazing fathers. They take care of their families and provide for their children. There are also men who step in to fill the fatherless gaps for the men who do not take care of their responsibilities. They become the circle of influence for children of single parent homes.

These men are leaders in their communities, teachers, mentors, coaches and relatives. You may not receive a card today but know that you are truly appreciated for the nurturing and support of children who are not your own.

God bless you for filling in the fatherless gaps.

nurturer

 

 

Can you hear me now?

Earlier this week I was sitting in a meeting and the room starting spinning. I could still hear the conversation but felt completely out of whack physically. After taking a few sips of water I was able to get it together. I spent the rest of the day trying to figure what was the trigger and what was my body trying to tell me. I know that I had gone full steam ahead with my work schedule but I had also made it a point to take out time to spend with my family. So what was it?

I know that I am at an age now that I have to be more conscientious of when I feel out of sync. I understand the importance of addressing these types of things rather quickly. I also don’t find it a coincidence that I have been postponing scheduling my annual physical. It has been on my to do list for weeks. Last week it was as if my body was trying to tell me something. Whatever it was I don’t want another room spinning event to occur for me to find out.

As moms we schedule doctor appointments for everyone else in the family and usually save ours for last. Don’t wait for the warning signs before going to see your doctor. Don’t wait until the room is spinning and your body says, “Can you hear me now?”

Can you Hear me now.jpg

 

 

A Successful Journey

Celebrate I love when I can celebrate with others especially  moms that have successfully raised their children. This weekend I was able to do that and much more with my friend Tammy!

I was super excited to celebrate with her and her twin daughters on their successful completion of college. Yes, one tuition payment times two and here I am freaking out about paying tuition for one!

Family and friends came from near and far to join together for this wonderful achievement. We enjoyed good food, music, laughter and conversation. Amazed how quickly the years had gone by,  we celebrated how Tammy’s daughters blossomed into beautiful young ladies with a plan and a bright future ahead.

Although the storms earlier in the day made the drive to the celebration treacherous, the clouds parted and the sun began to shine. This is very much like our life’s journey. Our journey may take us through storms, growing pains, failures and successes. Then,  we get to the success and the sun begins to shine.

Today I salute my friend Tammy for being an AWESOME mother and on your successful journey with your twins.  Congratulations not only to your daughters on earning their college degrees but to you as well. You earned it too!

 

 

 

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.

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