Random Thoughts

Year 38: Birthday Reflections

So here I am up enjoying the sounds of my hubby and his mom battling over how my birthday breakfast should be prepared. She’s adding oil AND butter to the frying pan. My husband is having a heart attack just watching her cook.

I smile at the banter and have no regrets that for the first time in a long time, I took the day off. Yep it’s Wednesday and yep I have a load of work back at the office but guess what, tomorrow has it’s own issues. But today is all mine.

Students at my school bring huge balloons and cakes to school for their birthdays and celebrate in grand style. Folks on baller status close down entire clubs and “party til the break of dawn.” Well me, I have never been one for outward displays of celebration. My husband is usually more excited about my birthdays than I am. He does the week count down, sends random texts and sings silly songs. Blame my reservations on my mom’s ‘Jehovah Witness’ approach to birthdays and holidays.

Yet as I eek closer to the “big 40” am shedding some of those inhibitions. But my birthdays are still on my own terms. Silence, reflection time, solitude–those are the things I crave. My mom reminds me that I am overextended and I need to make sure I take time for me. Her words are and always will be gold to me.

So here’s to a birthday that’s unplanned, impromptu, and totally unconcerned.

When I tell my students that I turn 38, they gasp and whisper “she doesn’t look old.” There’s a group of them who call me “old lady” (I actually respond) and it’s our inside joke cause they know am no where to being or feeling old.

I like 38. I like this getting one step closer to meeting my Maker in spirit and truth. I like being in my own skin and knowing there is no other skin I would rather be in. I like becoming an expert in my profession, I like growing from mentee to mentor, I like shedding hang-ups, and I like evolving day to day.

Happy Birthday To Me!!

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Love & Marriage

Navigating Through The Valentine Mine

When I think of Valentine's, I think of just enjoying the company of my mate
He can’t dance, but he still has some moves.  

 

Me and my roomies from FIU.  Great memories made without men clouding up the picture.
Me and my roomies from FIU. Great memories made without men clouding up the picture back then.

One thing I know single ladies hate to hear from a married person is “Trust me, it’s really not all that.”  Knowing that it’s a bald faced lie and to patronize a single friend is a big no-no where relationships are concerned.  Married ladies, let’s be honest, if you have a man that’s into spoiling you like that, it’s one of the best days on the calendar.  If you’re married to one who thinks it’s just another day, then it’s just another day.  

Eddy, my husband of fifteen years, used to bring roses to my dorm and give to all my single room mates.  He was always sweet and considerate like that.  Now that we’re married, he’s still taken the lead on Valentine’s Day because I’m the one who thinks its over commercialized and over-rated.  Who wants to stand in line for two hours to eat some food you could really do better at home?!  He still manages to make it intimate and personal somehow.

During my single years, Valentine’s Day was less about trying to find a man, and more about just hanging out with my friends.  One year we all piled up in a car and went to a late night diner all dressed up.  I still remember that V-Day dinner and I’m happy I had friends to share it with.  Singing at the top of the lungs in my old Corolla all the loved songs of pining for unrequited love was a college girl’s idea of Valentine’s Day.  Thank God we had dumped the” losers” who broke our respective hearts and never looked back. They’re losers cause they “lost” a great opportunity to be with great women.

There is this unseen but yet palpable pressure to be with someone on a day like this and this is where all sorts of wrong decisions take place, all because you want to post pictures of chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne on Facebook.  Don’t believe the hype folks and definitely don’t feel like you have to make a mad dash  to find  a man or woman for that temporary fix.

Some simple suggestions for the singles:

  • A spa day is in order.  Take this weekend and spend it at a really nice hotel with beach and pool access.  Bring a book and meet some new friends while you’re lounging pool side.
  • Dinner with gal pals.  This favorite past time will never grow old.  Decide who has the space and take the dinner to a friend’s if the lines are too long.  
  • Reach out to someone that God has been leading you to speak to for sometime, but you hadn’t found the time to.  Maybe they have no plans and catching up with an old friend or colleague is always refreshing.

To The Lovebirds

  • Do something different.  Why does dinner and the movies have to be the beginning and end of your plans?  Go indoor rock climbing, paint balling, the gun range–do something out of the box to test your mettle.
  • Be creative in your gift giving.  Don’t give the jewelry store all your hard earned money.  In your many conversations over the past few months, something should stand out that you know that person wants.  Last year, I did daily letters leading up to my hubby’s birthday.  I knew that words of affirmation was his thing so I wrote my heart out.  He ate it all up.  Still reaping benefits from that move.  Check out Pinterest!  They have some great dating ideas.
  • For our married couples, learn a new  position, a new way to tease him or her into blissful submission.  The bed is un-defiled, so “making them bands rain” is perfectly okay.  Just know Valentine shouldn’t be the only day you work your “skills.”  For my single couples, you’ll get a whole ‘nother post about WHY the buck stops here–just not today, lol!

Needless to say, be safe and use sound judgement in what you do today.  Love God, consider His precepts and most importantly love yourself.  Without self-love, it’s going to be pretty hard for anyone else to love you.

Happy Heart Day!

READ Initiative (Bible in 365)

READ-February 13th “Don’t Bother”

Proverbs 9:7-8

7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.

8 So don’t bother correcting mockers;
they will only hate you.
But correct the wise,
and they will love you.

Being a Christian is about relationship-building with brothers and sisters in the faith. It’s about encouraging that sister when she’s at a low point, speaking to that brother who just got caught in a bind, and just generally helping keep one another steady in the race towards eternity.

There will come times when you have to pull a brother or sister to the side and remind them of their responsibility to walk a blameless and righteous life. After all, none of us are perfect and there will be times when we lose sight and compromise our testimony.

I myself struggle in this area because no one wants to be the one to do the “Matthew 18” and approach a friend to speak of a wrong committed. And no one wants to be in the receiving end. But like every other chapter and verse in the Word, it’s there for a reason. I wouldn’t want to be veering off course and not have anyone remind me to be human, to smile more, to be warm, or not to be so uptight. Am so lucky to have close friends and church family who take the time to remind me that I need to “slow my roll.”

When I read this particular Proverbs, my first thought was gosh, why so harsh Lord?! So don’t bother correcting the wicked it says. It says to correct the wise and they will love you. Yep, even the wise need reminding that they aren’t perfect and that their armor is getting dull in the faith. But the difference between correcting the wicked and wise is that one will receive while the other will not. And Proverbs says it simply–don’t bother.

Don’t bother to take the time to remind those whose hearts grow cold that there may be some areas in their lives that God isn’t pleased with. They know it, but it just isn’t a priority right now. The only thing that will come out of that is hurt feelings.

It’s the wise who will thank you for taking the time out to share what God is saying. It’s the wise who will take that time to reflect on what was brought to them. I have a friend who reminds me that I tend to come across as mean to folks and that can be a turn off. Now the flesh in me just wants to say “well that’s me so deal with it” but I know that I can’t win folks for Jesus with a chip on my shoulder. We all have soft spots in our faith and I need reminding that correction isn’t a negative thing, it’s only to build a stronger me. Like my old pastor used to say, “eat the meat and spit out the bones.” It’s not everything that is brought that will have merit but I thank and love the bearer for thinking enough of me to share.