Learning to Trust Again

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I will be the first to admit that I have trust issues.  It's kind of hard not to when many of the memories embedded in your mind involve betrayal of trust. Just as the thought of those things that are beautiful; your favorite birthday party, the best family cookout, or the best trip you ever took can elicit feelings of joy, memories that were unpleasant; your worst relationship break-up, the death of a loved one, or a scary encounter can evoke feelings of hurt and pain.  Those moments that can’t easily be wiped away because they’ve been permanently memorialized in the form of a brick around your heart.  Your wall of distrust adds bricks as you navigate through life’s tribulations, eventually becoming so high; scaling it, tearing it down, or even finding your way through it is an incessant impossibility.  What’s even worse, those around us seem to be more interested in fortifying the structure with more stones rather than explosives that are able to blast through to the other side.  How can one recover from the relentless onslaught of betrayals?

Communication is number one.  You must examine whether or not you are communicating your knowledge of the injustices that have been committed against you.  There are times when infractions are evident like stealing or cheating but there are other times when dishonesty constitutes actions perceived or taken as a violation of some unspoken rule. These misfortunes can often get lost in the sea of communication and carried off on a wave of what is never said.  Here’s an example, you tell your cousin a secret and make her promise not to utter a word to anyone. She pinky-swears and you spill the beans.  Later, you find out she not only tells your secret but the person she tells spreads the news and when an argument breaks out between you and someone else at a large family gathering, you’re soon humiliated by the fact that everyone in the family knows your business.  Now your trust is shaken and you’re feeling some type of way. The person you thought you could entrust with a secret has failed you miserably and you vow to never tell family a secret again. In a situation such as this, communication about how the offense has made you feel.  You must tell them how your confidence has been damaged you and what that person can do to change the way you feel or right their wrong.  Allowing someone to be redeemed and start over again. 

 Family secrets are secrets of the worst kind. Your family is holding onto something that could change your life forever.  As a black woman, these types of secrets plague almost every family I know and often cause more pain when kept hidden than if they were to be revealed and all parties allowed to heal.  Such secrets always involve such painful topics as molestation, paternity or a spouse cheating and are never revealed under joyful circumstances.  Once revealed, the news is no doubt devastating, and the pain becomes almost too much to carry or even fathom.  How can you bounce back from such a blow? How do you forgive and move on? How can you find it in your heart to allow those people back into your life and once again trust them? 

If the blow is life changing then the only possible solution may be time.  Just as a cut bleeds, clots off, scabs over and heals, so shall the wounds inflicted upon by those you love.  Time may require that you separate yourself from the offenders, give yourself space to thing and room to breath, allow you anger to subside and for the burning desire for revenge to be quenched in the cool sands of time.  The stitches in your heart will dissolve leaving it mended but scarred. With time, the memories will fade away and be replaced.  Eventually, once the work is done and those who have wronged you prove their sincerity with their actions, the walls within your heart will start to weaken and eventually fall down.  Even better, if you continue to develop a relationship with our Father in heaven, He will be the dynamite that blows those walls away.  

In closing I say this, trust is precious.  It is something that, once thrown away, it is hard to be retrieved.  In closing, I will say this, never ignore your feelings.  If something or someone hurts you, let them know. Second chances are about an important part of growth in life and, no matter the circumstances, you must give yourself permission to take down your walls and trust again. 

 

 

 

Am I My Sister's Keeper?

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Does my title speak for itself? Maybe.  Continue to read and find out.  As one of my previous blog post revealed, I have a love/hate relationship with the female gender. We are often the sources of one another’s pain and misfortune because we fail to follow some simple rules.  If there is any major example of how petty and trifling women can be, look at any reality show currently on television; Real Housewives, Love & Hip Hop, Bad Girls Club, Basketball Wives, R&B Divas, and the list goes on and on. These shows display the sad shape of our sisterhood.  Even Married to Medicine, where women who are professionals and the wives of professionals, exhibits it’s own amount of drama and mess among women who are educated and well to do. No one is exempt.

What is one of our main sources of contention as women? Well, men of course.  We often find ourselves at odds because one of us has allowed a snake to slither in our grass for a while and we got used to seeing it.  Then, when he decides to slither away because the grass is seemingly greener on the other side of the fence, we end up hating our neighbor instead of the snake.  We feel our neighbor is obligated to return to us what is “ours” and to apologize for the fact that “our” snake decided to slither away.  Is it our neighbor’s fault? In some situations, it may be but, even if your neighbor knew the snake was yours, what obligation do they really have to you?  More than likely, the answer to that is none.  Instead of taking your garden hoe and chopping that snake into tiny little pieces like you should, you continue to fertilize your grass in order to tempt him back to your luscious green turf.  Then, when your efforts to attract him are not enough, you choose to attack your neighbor; either physically, verbally or by ruining their character, not knowing that the snake will soon move on from you both because he’s always looking for the greener garden.  What’s even worse, often in this situation, children are brought into the mix and, instead of having mothers who are able to put aside their differences and bring the siblings together, you get mothers who would rather teach their children to hate their own flesh and blood.  You're also not keeping in mind that there is more out there to be had than just a little snake poison.  AIDS is real.

I don't have the desire to beat a dead horse.  We all know there are those of us who will never respect the boundaries of others, we will never choose the path of least resistance, and we will never take responsibility for our actions enough to see past our own desires.  We will continue to be at odds; spending our money on the best fertilizer (make-up, sexy dresses, weaves, lashes, and heels) and weed killer (slander, rumors, and petty fights) to attract the snakes slithering all around us.  We know there are those who don't mind playing second or third or hell, even sharing and playing on the same snake's team just to say that they have a little bit of meat in their flower bed.  Who don't care that their situation will never be permanent because the snake will continue to slither and find other yards to nest in. So why fight with our sister over a temporary situation? Why create enemies when, soon enough, you will both be at a loss? I don't get it and I never will. There is never a need to fight over a little rattlesnake meat when the one that is destined for you could be out there and you miss him because you're holding on to something that doesn't mean you any good.  But I digress.

The real lesson to be learned here is, when going about your everyday actions and dealing with those of the same gender, always ask yourself, am I my sister's keeper? If the answer is yes then, you would help her look for the snakes in the grass and you'd both get your lawn mower, cut down the grass so you can see him, then get your hoes out and chop him into itty bitty pieces.  What more is there to be said? As always, make smart decisions and never give more than your willing to take. Watch out for those snakes.

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Love/Hate Relationship with the Female Gender

There’s no doubt that I am a woman; curvy, beautiful, intelligent, fashionable, nurturing, intriguing and constantly changing.  I am the first to cheer my fellow sisters on, to encourage them, offer them advice, lend them a helping hand and be an ear when they need to listen.  I love the fact that women are so versatile; strong enough to bear the children and soft enough to make a man weak in the knees.  We possess the power and wisdom to be the backbones of every nation, rearing up presidents, generals, and inventors.  We’re the glue that holds our families together, the concrete that keeps our children grounded, and the heartbeat of the world.  With all those compliments and accolades, it seems like it should be easy for anyone to love a woman.  Not me.  I admittedly have a love/hate relationship with the female gender.

How can I hate women when I’m a woman? It’s not hard to do.  I don’t necessarily hate women, but I do hate their ways.  What’s their ways? Their gossiping, fighting, backbiting ways, and conniving ways.  The way we can’t praise or be genuine with one another because, we may smile and congratulate but as soon as that person turns their back, we’re downgrading and marring their success.  When we see them in love and happy, we find ways to place seeds of doubt in their head because we’re lonely and miserable and we want our sisters to be that way too.  In their bad times, we rub their backs and hand them tissues then walk away and spread gossip filled with out sister’s shortcomings and issues.  We air her dirty laundry with reckless abandon and ignore the possible damage, pain or loss of trust our words may cause. We see one another as competition; I have to look better than her, be better than her, be skinnier than her, prettier than her, heels higher than hers, diamond and bags bigger than hers, kids smarter than hers, an ego larger than hers, hell I want to be her, steal her man, take her kids, or whatever just to get at her.  I FREAKING HATE HER! Sound familiar?

One day, when we all realize our power as women.  The gems we all are; the shine we all have, the light we emit, maybe, just maybe we can all be sisters again. When we stop coveting what our neighbor has and focusing on better ourselves, being mothers and wives, we can find that we also want to come together again.  We can renew our bond.  When we stop worrying about the streets and impressing Mr. and Mrs. Jones, we can once again become one.  Join hands and march like we did with Dr. King, or dance and rejoice, praise and enjoy one another again. Love one another. Offer a hope, encouragement, love, loyalty, honesty, and genuineness. Once again, be friends.  Be sisters once again.

Learning to Trust Again

I will be the first to admit that I have trust issues.  It's kind of hard not to when many of the memories embedded in your mind involve betrayal of trust. Just as the thought of those things that are beautiful; your favorite birthday party, the best family cookout, or the best trip you ever took can elicit feelings of joy, memories that were unpleasant; your worst relationship break-up, the death of a loved one, or a scary encounter can evoke feelings of hurt and pain.  Those moments that can’t easily be wiped away because they’ve been permanently memorialized in the form of a brick around your heart.  Your wall of distrust adds bricks as you navigate through life’s tribulations, eventually becoming so high; scaling it, tearing it down, or even finding your way through it is an incessant impossibility.  What’s even worse, those around us seem to be more interested in fortifying the structure with more stones rather than explosives that are able to blast through to the other side.  How can one recover from the relentless onslaught of betrayals?

Communication is number one.  You must examine whether or not you are communicating your knowledge of the injustices that have been committed against you.  There are times when infractions are evident like stealing or cheating but there are other times when dishonesty constitutes actions perceived or taken as a violation of some unspoken rule. These misfortunes can often get lost in the sea of communication and carried off on a wave of what is never said.  Here’s an example, you tell your cousin a secret and make her promise not to utter a word to anyone. She pinky-swears and you spill the beans.  Later, you find out she not only tells your secret but the person she tells spreads the news and when an argument breaks out between you and someone else at a large family gathering, you’re soon humiliated by the fact that everyone in the family knows your business.  Now your trust is shaken and you’re feeling some type of way. The person you thought you could entrust with a secret has failed you miserably and you vow to never tell family a secret again. In a situation such as this, communication about how the offense has made you feel.  You must tell them how your confidence has been damaged you and what that person can do to change the way you feel or right their wrong.  Allowing someone to be redeemed and start over again. 

 Family secrets are secrets of the worst kind. Your family is holding onto something that could change your life forever.  As a black woman, these types of secrets plague almost every family I know and often cause more pain when kept hidden than if they were to be revealed and all parties allowed to heal.  Such secrets always involve such painful topics as molestation, paternity or a spouse cheating and are never revealed under joyful circumstances.  Once revealed, the news is no doubt devastating, and the pain becomes almost too much to carry or even fathom.  How can you bounce back from such a blow? How do you forgive and move on? How can you find it in your heart to allow those people back into your life and once again trust them? 

If the blow is life changing then the only possible solution may be time.  Just as a cut bleeds, clots off, scabs over and heals, so shall the wounds inflicted upon by those you love.  Time may require that you separate yourself from the offenders, give yourself space to thing and room to breath, allow you anger to subside and for the burning desire for revenge to be quenched in the cool sands of time.  The stitches in your heart will dissolve leaving it mended but scarred. With time, the memories will fade away and be replaced.  Eventually, once the work is done and those who have wronged you prove their sincerity with their actions, the walls within your heart will start to weaken and eventually fall down.  Even better, if you continue to develop a relationship with our Father in heaven, He will be the dynamite that blows those walls away.  

In closing I say this, trust is precious.  It is something that, once thrown away, it is hard to be retrieved.  In closing, I will say this, never ignore your feelings.  If something or someone hurts you, let them know. Second chances are about an important part of growth in life and, no matter the circumstances, you must give yourself permission to take down your walls and trust again. 

 

 

This Race Called Life

We all have times in life when we feel inadequate.  Times where, no matter what we do, no matter how many accolades we receive from others, we just don’t feel like we are worthy.  The timing of our heartbeat is off, our soul is wounded and there’s an empty black space inside of us. It’s like you’re fighting your way through a thick fog. When you’re walking in your cloud of darkness and despair, there seems to be no end in sight.  Every step you take saps your energy, daily tasks are a burden, and finding something to smile about in life just seems to be impossible.  I can vouch that I’ve been there, where the trouble that isn’t supposed to last always seems to be a never-ending barrage of tumultuous rain. You pray for relief, but all you get is another deafening blow.  Your hope is hanging on by one hand on a ledge and screaming for your help.  Your mind has taken over and, instead of being a source of encouragement and now you can’t even bring yourself to face the person reflecting back in the mirror.  

Depression and constant sadness are topics that are continuously swept under the rug or hidden from those around us.  Those of us who are clever enough to hide it; paint on a smile, silently swallow the tears, will our heart not to bleed, and drown out our pain in the noise of others. But then, we go home and the mask we wore must be removed. The feelings of inadequacy, disgust, irrelevance, and unworthiness stalk in and cloud our psyche with shadows.  The feelings inside cannot be explained and all you know is there’s a dull ache inside that no form of medication can pacify.  You feel broken and unable to be repaired. You feel like no one around you could ever comprehend or understand.  I’m here to tell you that, we all have suffered from the same thing.  We’ve all taken massive blows.  We’ve all suffered loss.  We’ve all felt undeserving, not good enough, and unable to get a handle or a grip on the sadness within.  And yet, there is hope. 

When you look around, take a step back and allow yourself to not wallow in your own despair, the sadness you feel inside can be washed away.  How? First and foremost, by casting all your cares at the feet of our Creator.  Through prayer and faith in God, there is no sorrow that can’t be turned to joy, no wound that can’t be healed, and no sea of tears that cannot be washed away.  In Him, we can find joy, peace, and a renewed love for ourselves and our lives.  Second, we can take the focus off of ourselves and think about those around us who deeply love and care for us.  How would their lives be altered if we continue to allow despair and sorrow to have it’s way? If nothing else, we must find joy and happiness in the role we play in the lives of others and, if we can’t find the strength to do it for our own sake, we must find the strength to endure for those we love.  Next, we must take a step back and look at those around.  Place ourselves in someone else’s shoes and, see that our situation often pales in comparison to that of others.  Our sorrows, our hardships, our pains are but a small portion when compared to those who are truly going through.  Selflessness can bring you out of each and every situation and reveal to us just how blessed and fortunate we truly are.  Lastly, when all else fails, talk to someone. Let them know how you’re feeling inside and be sure to allow them the opportunity to assist you on your journey to healing.  

In closing, I tell you this.  I am strong, determined, driven, educated, loved, revered, trusted, and a true believer in Christ but, I too have my moments.  Times when I feel less than blessed. Moments when I feel inadequate and worthless.  Periods when I just want to escape this life of mine and become someone or something else.  Life is hard and no doubt trials will come but I’ve learned to talk about how I feel.  Let my insecurities be known so that I can get the reassurance and encouragement that I need.  I get down on my knees and pray; allow God to work.  I make it my mission to encourage others in the midst of my storm and suddenly, when I look around, the storm has passed over, the clouds have moved on and the sun is shining, brighter than any star in the heavens.  Strength comes from lifting weights, endurance and training.  The tests and trials that we go through is our training. It prepares us to run in this marathon called life.  There are times when we shall grow weary, times when we will thirst, and times when we may want to give up but, the prize at the end of our journey, must be enough to keep us putting one foot in front of the other. Just know, that in order to break the ribbon at the end, you first have to approach the starting line at the beginning.  Stay in the race. Never give up and never give in for life is not a sprint, but a slow and steady jog.  Hope this helps someone. Be blessed.

Taming the Beast

We all have different callings and stations in life. Inside of me is a beast with an inherent need to succeed.  It nags me when I feel like taking a break from bettering myself, it slaps me across the face when I want to give up and sometimes, it gets scared of the continuous upward climb and questions me to see when enough is enough.  How far in life do I have to go before I’ve decided that I’ve reached the level of ultimate success? What position must I reach before I decide that I’ve finally “made it”? With the beast of success driving me to my destination, there are often feelings that I push to the side and hide from even those near and dear to my heart.  Deep inside, tugging at the beast’s core and yelling to be recognized is guilt.

What exactly do I have to feel guilty about? Why should I feel guilty about wanting to succeed, wanting to have a career, or wanting to provide a better life for my family? What’s so wrong with that?

As I have stated in a previous post, one of my main issues is, I’m superwoman. Really, I am.  I want to be everything to my husband, children, family members and friends. Why, because it’s the beast inside that feeds off of excellence that is driving me to do it.  I want to be the best wife I can be; have an immaculate home, cook hot meals morning, noon, and night, have no laundry piled up, kids in perfect tip-top shape, workout for hours at a time, and be the woman of his dream, and more.  I want to be the best mom; always having a fun activity going on, continuously educating and schooling, taking them out to play everyday, keeping up with what is going on in their lives, and staying abreast of their current feelings.   To everyone else, I want to be the best; best daughter, sister, cousin friend by attending every event, helping everyone out, always showing support, and never missing church or Bible study.  Pretty ambitious, I know but hey, I’ve got to feed the beast.  His appetite is ravenous and he never sleeps.  I mean, I’ve worked two jobs, taken three Masters courses at a time, started a new career, traveled everywhere, helped coach a YMCA basketball team, worked on a novel and blogged, simultaneously.  All the while being a wife, mother, sister, and friend.  I don’t think I slept more than four hours at a time in two years.  Hey, I was thing about me, with my family in the background.  The beast wanted to have a Master's degree and become a leader within the healthcare industry and would stop at nothing until he had the sweet nectar of success in his mouth, all the while knowing that it wouldn’t be enough.  His appetite to climb the corporate ladder, make more money, and have more letters behind his name came first while my family, my home and my health came second. I won’t lie, I fed this beast feverishly until one day, something set in and I did a complete about-face.

I didn’t want to feed the beast anymore.  He needed to go on a diet.  Besides, the more I examined myself, my life, and what was important, I realized that my children were suffering.  They had a mother who was smart, driven, accomplished, and educated, but they also had a mother who was tired.  Distracted by her research and papers or the every growing list of things to do and appointments on her calendar.  She only half-heartedly listened when they told her about their day. She didn’t have time to play games with them like they wanted her too and the park was something they did with their dad because hey, mama had two papers to write and a three chapters to finish reading by Sunday. They seemingly lacked for nothing. Except for their mother’s undivided attention.  One day, I decided to sit down and have a long talk with the beast. He was running my life and it was time we got an understanding.

I had an epiphany and, instead of taking the beast’s word for it, I went out and bought a chain and a cage. I put the beast away. I decided that, watching my children grow up, truly enjoying them and being the type of mom to them that my grandmother was to me, was way more important that making a name for myself in the world.  They are my world.  My reason for living and breathing but, they are also my reason for slowing it down.  I reevaluated myself and decided that the most important role I could play in this life, besides being a fervent follower of Christ, is to be a wife and a mother.  Nothing else matters.  Teaching is the first job I’ve ever had where I’ve never gone home at night and said, ‘I want to quit.’ It’s the one job where I’ve never minded going.  No matter what issues may arise, no matter how much my students may drain me, and no matter how many times I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants.  I have found my peace, my ultimate place in the world.  Nothing could make me happier (except being on the New York Times National best seller list but, hey in due time).  As I told my husband the other day, you can always, ALWAYS make more money, but you can’t make more memories.  My kids are growing fast and I cherish every second that I get to spend with them. From going to the park, checking out books from the library, visiting museums, watching movies together on Netflix, and being off every weekend and holiday, I enjoy the time we have together. It’s priceless and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I’m not saying that I don’t like going out into the world meeting new people and making connections but, what I am saying is that, the most important lives that I need to make a difference in, came from my own womb.

In closing, all have an expiration date. Don’t let a moment pass you by without cherishing it to the fullest. You can always make more money, but you can’t always make more memories.

 

 

When He calls...

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I am often asked how can I be so sure that I've made the right choice. What makes me so sure about my decision? Why don't I have doubts when there is no light at the end of the tunnel and I seem to just be fumbling around in the darkness? Recently, life has pulled me in so many directions, it has been difficult to keep up with my blog, social media, or even offer a daily encouraging word, because I was still trying to figure out what I want to do. Then this morning, it all seemed to make sense. All the questions in my head disappeared, and the reason for my being came to me crystal clear. No, it wasn't what I expected...not even close, but the beauty in it is that, the reward in the end will be greater than I can fathom. This post is actually the first step in my transparency. In showing the world who I am destined to be, and no longer being ashamed of what I carry inside of me.  The thing that has haunted me for the past thirty-five years. He asked me a question...and I had no answer. What could I say? How can I tell Him that all this time, I have been a afraid? A coward of sorts. Wanting to have it my way, yet cling to Him in the shadows. No more. My life was so at peace before. When I was dedicated to His purpose and living my life as He would have me to. In reality, I made this bed, but unlike so many others, I refuse to lay in it. It's time to put away childish things. Time is short. This world will soon be no more, and I cannot continue to struggle...

God will let you know exactly where He wants you to be. I waved my white flag of surrender today. I'm done. My legs have grown tired and I can run no more. His steps were deliberate. How you ask? Well, here it goes:

1.) He spoke directly to me. In the form of a minister, telling the young people how to break the chains of generational curses, to live different, commission themselves to a life of purity, and to guard themselves against attacks of the enemy. In seeing the youth singing today and speaking, it hit me...they need you. This is where I want you to be. (See I had been contemplating going to another church because it seemed more hip) If you're a believer, you know His voice and when you hear it, you have the assurance and peace that no one around you can understand.

2.) He will allow things to fall into place. You see, I was determined to go to the other church I had visited. I even started an argument with my husband because he didn't want to. I threw a tantrum and told him I would just stay home, then...my brother-in-law texted and said he was staying in today. Well, the decision was made for me. It all fell into place and an understanding came over me because if not for that, I wouldn't have made the decision that I did today. I mean, I walk in the door of that church and I want to shout. That doesn't happen at the place I wanted to go.

3.) He will send you a messenger. The youth sang one of my favorite Christian rock songs. Like, besides my son, I was the only one in the audience who knew the words. Afterwards, the leader was timid, but one of the musicians asked me to join the praise and worship team. You see, no matter how much you think you're hiding, your gifts will come forth and God will make you use them for Him.

4.) His word will give you the answer.  God used Esther, Deborah, Bathsheba, and countless others to reach His people. I want to be among them.

5.) He will close one door and open another. Sometimes, in large churches, you can get lost in the midst of those who are competing for positions and power amongst the congregation. I don't want that. I want God to use me to change people's lives. To influence others to live for Him and give Him their all. I like intimacy, closeness, and the feeling of family. That's what I came from, and that's where I will feel most at home.

I pray this little revelation has helped you as much as it has helped me to write it. For so long, I took the things that people who called themselves Christians and held them against God. I blamed Him for allowing those people to scar my heart, so I refused to fully commit to His will. Silly me. My rebellious spirit is no match for the Creator. Be blessed everyone, and never allow the pain and bitterness of others to make you continue to fight against what God has for you. The whooping He will put on you isn't worth the small feeling of power you may feel.

Where Have You Gone?

What do you do when the one from which you draw your strength suddenly becomes weak? How can you hold on when the person who always has your back seems broken beyond repair? I need G. I need him like to come back from the dark place that his mind has taken him and be the man he once was.  He's still in there...I can see him in the depths of his eyes.  I wish I could understand what he sees...hear what he hears...breathe what he breathes. I want to know what's going on inside his head. What has him so...lost? The tears flow like the mighty Mississippi. What snapped? What caused the damn to break? What drove him to the edge? What has him hiding in that place? How long will he be gone? I need him...like a plan needs the sun, like air and water. He's my nourishment. The center of the world. Keeping us grounded like gravity.

Where are you? Where have you gone? How thick is this forest that you're wandering through? Sometimes, there appears to be a clearing in the trees, giving you a moment of lucidity.  Are there birds that will sing to him? Their melody providing a soundtrack to lead him back to us.  Does he hum along? Can he hear my voice in their song? I see him there, so close, yet still beyond my reach.  My hand is outstretched to him. He retreats into the trees. He's pushed to the bring...teetering on the edge.

Whose plan was this? Why does my love have to suffer? He's magical...like a mythical phoenix. And like that bird, he will rise from these ashes victorious and renewed. Come back to me my love. Whenever you're ready, I'll be right here waiting. Come back...I need you.

Doing it My Way

I've had the last few days to just relax, not think about work and troll the internet since a virus had me bed bound. The more I scrolled, the more I saw a trend...women, climbing the ladder, reaching the top, and proclaiming their prosperity. On one hand, I think it's an amazing thing; women making a name for themselves and carving out a world where they are equally successful as their male counterparts.  But, on the other hand, it kind of makes me sad.  Why? When I think back on my childhood memories of my mom, the one thing that stands out the most was that she was always working. Basketball games, track meets, awards ceremonies, plays, church events...she was always working. I never had the pleasure of having my own mother cheer me on, and on senior night, one of my aunts would fill in.

It's kind of like being successful in career and business has been added to the list of pressure already applied to the requirements of today's women. Be pretty, be smart, be sexy, have your own, be famous, be a mogul, etc., etc. It's as if being a mother and a wife have disappeared.  Like catering to your husband and family are no longer a part of a woman's vocabulary.  I know, the feminists will probably attack me, but I just want to be great to the people who matter to me most.  I just want to do things in the order that God intended. Not that working and having a career is wrong, it's just the fact that I know that, in all of this, the children suffer. (Let's face it, in this day and age, it takes two income to raise children half-way decent) I was there too; continuing to educate myself, standing on the rungs of the corporate ladder, and striving to make a name for myself in the field, but I am grateful that God has caused me to have a change of heart.  When I actually sit down and evaluate everything, my degrees, my position, a title, or the initials behind my name don't mean a thing if I'm not using them to please God.  In reality, my heart's desire is to be the best child of God, wife, mother, and sister I can be, and none of that requires me to have a PhD, make six-figures, or have thousands of followers.  I'm trying to get there...slowly but surely. If being on top is what you desire, by all means, get your money, as for me, I'm okay staying in my own lane and being my own competition.

The Question Is...

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Answer the question. What's holding you back? What's stopping you from being the person that you want to be? What's preventing you from reaching your goals? What's standing in the way of your destiny? It could be one thing, or a combination of many things. Either way, the obstacles in your life have to be overcome in order for you to move forward into your future. In order for you to get ahead, you have to push those things out-of-the-way, and walk into your season of success.  The time is now...to seize the moment, to be who you are destined to be, and to hold the person in the mirror accountable for fulfilling their destiny.  What are you waiting for? Opportunity? Well, opportunity is what you create. Despite what people say, it doesn't knock on your door; you have to go out and find it.Go out and grab your destiny by the horns and take charge. You are the master of your own destiny, the author of your own biography, and the star of your own Emmy award-winning sitcom. Where you land on the charts is totally up to you. Stop waiting for someone to make you an offer, and go out and get your blessings.