Faith, Family, Journey to Mommyhood, Uncategorized

Daredevil Mommies

I’m a scary cat by nature. I don’t swim. I don’t bungee jump. I don’t do anything that takes me off the ground and places me outside of my element. I wonder had I been given half the chance and opportunities whether my predisposition for all things safe and secure would have been different. My mom was a scary cat. God bless my risk taking dad. Had he pushed just a little bit more, maybe my brother and I would have been a bit more risk takers ourselves. 

Children take their cues from their parents and especially their moms. If that child looks back and sees a petrified look on mommy’s face, there is no convincing them to move forward. I was watching a Ted Talk the other day about a man who goes on adventures around the world. Of the 80 people who went on his last trip, 65 were ages 9-13. Gulp! What mother in their right mind would send their child out to dive in caves?! What mother would allow her child to go swimming with sharks?! Mine wouldn’t even let me go to sleepovers! 

Being that mother who encourages an adventurous spirit can’t be easy for those who grew up sheltered or underprivileged. But ut is necessary for your child’s well being. Here are some reasons why. 

Your child will dream big. They won’t get stuck in the muck of what others think about them because you have already made them a believer in their own capabilities. Any child that can do back flips on a beam is ready for greatness. 

Your child will have faith. It goes without saying that “Kingdom Children” children of believers of Christ’s teachings, lead a more purpose driven life. Compound that with exposure to climbing trees, non-traditional sports, or trips to off the beaten path locales, and you have a child who dares to believe beyond what their eyes can see and what others would like for them to believe. 

Your child will make a great human being. He or she will see beyond the mundane and strive for excellence in all aspects of their lives. Exposure to the outdoors yields respect for the environment. Exposure to different cultures and backgrounds builds empathy. Exposure to higher order thinking builds intelligence. 

Your child will not suffer fools gladly. I always admire children who can advocate for themselves-appropriately that is. Let’s be honest who among us doesn’t enjoy a rousing discussion with a nine year old. Children whose “bull crap” alert stays on high lead safer lives. Stranger Danger is only the half! 

This self-professed scary cat has dreams of raising a child that will do all the things I couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I guess I gotta start by learning how to swim. Yikes! 


A Safe Place

In between burger and quesadilla  bites, this group of women chatter about the mundane. Whose job was the easiest. Who just got a raise. Who was doing what with their retirement years. Whose child is now in college. Who needed a vacation. But it was inevitable that we would eventually get around to talking about what has brought us together on this balmy afternoon. 

Each from different walks of life. Each living in different parts of South Florida, drawn together by this simple fact–we had each experienced the loss of our mother. I didn’t quite know what to expect. I figured a meal and a margarita wouldn’t hurt. Anywhere there are beautiful sistahs would also mean great convo. It was that and so much more. 

It is the gentle reminder that loss is a natural thing. Be it ten years or ten days, it’s as fresh as yesterday. It is knowing that one’s experience is mirrored in the eyes of another. It is the stories that ring with so many similarities and differences all at once. It is the feeling okay with where you are in the grief process. It is being able to speak without watching your listener squirm. It is laughing and holding back tears all at the same time. It is knowing that life will never be the same without your mother. 

As we each grab our purses to leave, I know the collective sigh we breathe is thankfulness to be heard in a safe and welcoming space. 


Remember Me When

The sixteen year old Jewish girl lay on a cold metal slab as her German oppressors worked about her performing surgeries and removing the ovaries of women ages 16-35. Friendly fire bombing began to shake the building they were in. The Jewish surgeon who was forced to participate came to her table and whispered that he would take one ovary from her and fake an incision to make it appear that both ovaries had been removed. He asked her to make two promises. To hide her menstrual cycle every month and to remember him when she had children. She kept her promise and had four boys. 

My husband, ever the extrovert,  would engage this now 90-year old woman in personal conversation and hear her remarkable story. I tease him about random old women’s affinity for him. He would explain that she did in fact have a soft spot for black men. Uh-huh… (eyes roll). 

I would learn it had had less to do with my husband’s bright smile and more to do with the Black mother in Chicago who died in her arms leaving behind four black boys alone in the world. She hasn’t heard from them in years but she did keep her promise and ensured they would all be placed with a loving family. 
Humanity has a way of reminding us all that God transcends the horrors of life and brings along hope and redemption to bear witness. That woman kept her promise twice over in bearing four sons and saving the lives of another four. God bless any and all who keep the promises made. 

Life Coach, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

Just Enough Ahead

So I just thought that turning 40 meant I got a cool trip to Vegas with my gal pals, work out some issues on blog paper, and go about life buying up pretty shoes along the way. Psych!!! 

This aging thing has got me where people actually think I have something to say. And since I was for many years the wallflower/introvert (and still am believe it or not), I didn’t get the memo that folks actually expect me to know more and do more in this new season of my life. Drat!

In plowing through this mentorship devotional I’m reading, it drove home some reminders that my years on earth just weren’t meant to be check marks on a calendar; but rather milestones to be shared. 

I am “just enough ahead” to talk to a high school senior about leaving home and not looking back. I am just enough ahead to guide in choosing the right premarital counselor. I am just enough ahead to share on the sorrow and newfound grace that comes with the loss of a parent. I am just enough ahead to push someone off the cliff towards pursuit of their professional goals. I am just enough ahead to admit that I’ve failed in many relationships and can identify the pitfalls. I am just enough ahead to say I really don’t know. 

For those of us who are just enough ahead, you may get downright disappointed when you say right and hell if them hard-headed ones don’t go left! You may get disgusted with the current state of affairs in those coming up behind you. You may even want to turn your backs and say “F this” and go about your own damn business. Le sigh. I know I do. 

But I’m here to say, I’m reminded daily that Jesus never gave up on me and damned if he doesn’t remind me day in and day out to duplicate his love for me to others. Long suffering (fancy word for patience), compassion, wisdom…all those and many more things we are “just enough ahead” impart to others. 

To my “just enough ahead” squad, you may be right out of college and feel like you’re sinking. You may be ten years in your job and feeling stagnant. You may be 25 years into a marriage and wondering where did the time go. You may be a parent barely making it through with Kleenex and some Clorox wipes as your shield.  

Wherever you are in your bless-ed life stage, remember you are just enough ahead to be a blessing to someone else. 

Faith, Grief And Loss, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized

Not All For Naught

Not sure what prompted a mentor of mine to tell me this particular story. Maybe she saw that I was going a hundred miles a minute with no brakes. Or that I had bitten off more at a time that I could possibly chew. Whatever it was, I remember her recounting the story of a head janitor that fell dead in the school office and the principal bending over, unhooking the master keys and passing it on to the next janitor. 

I’m sure there was some wailing and carrying at that moment. I’m pretty sure blood pressures were sky high and tears flowed down like the River Nile. I’m even sure that the memorial service for this head janitor was packed to the gills. I’m sure his loved ones miss that dear man deeply and that life without him is unbearable. 

I am also sure that life still went on. 

We rise from bed, we drink our coffee and we start each day. Some of us pray. Some of us don’t. Our days are filled with agendas, meetings, conference calls, classes, all sorts of activities that keep us busy busy busy. 

When a life is cut short be it at twenty or ninety we seldom pause to take stock of our respective lives and ask God:

Am I where I need to be? Am I doing what I should be doing? What am I driven by? Why do I even bother? 

Experiencing loss is the worse and the best thing that can take place. Worse in that the devastation that grips you and won’t release its hold can lay you real low. But best in that while you are out for the count, God does His best work in you. Paradigms shift. Transformation takes place. Dead skin is shed. And you walk away changed. 

I guess my mentor was trying to drive home the point that all this right here wasn’t worth a damn at the end of the day. That the Ecclesiastical outlook on life is the real truth. You are born. You live. You die. What’s done in between makes a world of a difference. Your eternity’s destination is the final call. 

Because when they reach over your body and hand the keys to someone else, it cannot be all for naught.