Tag Archives: Girls

Got Love?

So here is a little food for thought. It may be heavy and kind of “in your face” but I am done with superficial Christians living their superficial lives and presenting to the world that this is what Christianity is all about.

Christianity is not about performing “good deeds” and then being done with the person that the deed was done for, it is not about telling people that you are going to pray for them yet not having a praying bone in your body, it is not about wearing a certain type of clothing or not wearing make-up, it is not about being one person to the world while you are a different person behind closed doors. It is about being transparent, it is about serving others and continuing to build relationship with them, it is about displaying the character of God in the good times and the bad.

How can you display His character if you don’t know Him? How can you know Him if you don’t spend time with Him? This is why relationship is so important. Relationship requires us to be selfless, to forgive and to put others’ needs before our own. This world has gotten it so twisted and we don’t understand or hold relationships sacred anymore.

Religion has been intertwined with the Word, lies have been mixed with Truth, for a very long time and it’s about time we started to acknowledge it, address it and change it. If you are a born-again believer you need to begin seeking the Lord for understanding, as it pertains to His Word, because true understanding can only come from Him.

How can we love if we walk in pride?Some of us have been walking in pride for so long that we do not even realize we are in it. That’s scary but it’s the truth and I know because I was once the most prideful person anyone could have ever met but thank God for deliverance!

Pride and love cannot and will never mix; they cannot exist together. You cannot unconditionally love anyone if you walk in pride because pride forces us to love conditionally. God’s love is not conditional. Jesus did not die for us to love others conditionally! His love is so unconditional that we cannot wrap our carnal minds around it, which is why He tells us that our minds must be renewed. This truth may go over certain ones’ heads however, some things can only be received by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit that is. This is a continual process, not a one-time deal.

Don’t take my word for it, read the Word and seek the Lord in everything that you hear, see and do.

There is always something to learn, something to receive and something new that God wants to reveal to us through His Word. It is only when we do what it says in Matthew 6:33 and “seek first the Kingdom” and seek the wisdom, understanding righteousness of God, that our minds can be renewed, we can be delivered from bondage and we can walk in liberty and unconditional love toward all. Peace and love, family!

College: Is it really necessary?

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Some friends and I were talking a few days ago and we happened to get on the topic of college. That conversation was probably one of my favorites since I love talking about and understanding the impact that our choices have on our lives and on society as a whole.

So, one of my friends said that he and his wife feel that having a college education is very much needed to get to where you want to be in this life. A few of my friends were torn in what they truly believed or had no real opinion about it one way or another. The majority of my friends felt like most of their parents expected them to go to college and obtain a degree and, as such, they knew they would require this of their own offspring as well. I was joined by only one other friend who felt that while a college degree is great to pursue it is not absolutely necessary for lifelong success.

I’m of the belief that when the Lord has called you to a particular thing He will open the doors – that you will need opened – to get you to where He’s called you to go. God can, will and has already given you certain gifts that will help you on your journey of life. One of my dearest friends, who barely finished high school and is one of the smartest people I know, has a very evident gift of knowledge. A gift of knowledge, for those who don’t know, is having a mind that is able to figure out, quickly learn or just plain know things that most people only know if they’re “formally” taught those things. This is the way that the gift has manifested itself in my friend however, I am sure it can manifest itself in other ways as God wills. All in all, this IS a real gift that can make a person look – and sound – college educated without actually being so.

I understand that it is the goal of colleges and recruiters to enroll as many students as possible. That is their mission and their job and I’m not mad at them for taking their jobs seriously and holding their position in high regards. I’m appreciative to these institutions for being here for the many people who can, will, have been called and do desire to attend college. What frustrates me is that we, as parents, are not truly in prayer for our children and for our children’s futures. What grieves my heart is that we are not consulting God – in everything that we do – in how we are raising, what we are speaking and how we are guiding our children. Since my belief is that not everyone is supposed to go to college, it makes no sense for those individuals to go and put themselves in the position to incur student loans and other debts for an education that they will either never fully use or walk down a path that they’ve not been called to in the first place.

No wonder why so many college students change their majors on average 3 times before settling on one. We are sending our children into the world and expecting them, at 18 years old, to have a well thought out, surefire plan so that we can feel good about sending them out to begin and fulfill that plan. We are not setting our children up for success but rather for failure. If we will be real, we can all see how this is sending a message to our kids that conformity is better than being distinct. This message says, “Don’t have your own dreams, goals or vision, just do what everyone else is doing and be what everyone else is being and everything will be fine. Oh yeah, and God doesn’t need to know about this but you can bring Him along for the ride!” Are we serious?!?

I said all of this to say that it is up to us to understand how we are gifted, know what we have been called to do and to be obedient and walk in that calling and our own individual purpose. I know of so many people who believe if you do not hold a college degree, that you are uneducated and/or unintelligent and thus not on their level. This could not be further from the truth. I also know of those who believe so deeply in being college educated that if, for some reason, they are not able to attend college their identity and self-worth suffers. I was one of those people but thank God for grace!

As you can see, this is one of those topics that I could talk about for hours. It intrigues me, indeed. But enough of my thoughts on the subject, I’d love to get a real dialogue going. Go ahead, chime in and let me know your perspective.

Welcome Lil’ Lady

So, you can say I’m a proud mommy right now. I’m going to brag for a second so don’t shoot me and don’t hate. (smiles) First of all, my 9-year old daughter was a contest winner, with Poetic Power, and had one of her poems selected for inclusion in their quarterly book.

Yes, yes, she can officially say that she is a PUBLISHED WRITER now!!!!

Now, my eldest daughter, who has been begging me for months to start blogging, has started her own blog. I figure she will be able to really perfect her craft of writing and, with this, she will be able to decide if this is something she would want to do for a career or just as a hobby as she grows and goes through life. Either way, win-win for her and I am so proud of how much she has accomplished in such a short period of time.

So, this post is to let you all know that my baby girl officially published her first blog post today and she is super excited, as am I…if you couldn’t already tell. (smiles again) I can see this being the beginning of something great and we would love, love, LOVE for you all to visit and support her blog as you have supported mine! Imani tends to love music and has always been an excellent writer. So, without further ado, please allow me introduce you all to a budding blogger and my very beautiful and insanely talented daughter, Imani.

Now, go and show her some love!

You can check out her blog at: http://imaniivey.wix.com/manimusic. Looking forward to many more blog posts and big things in the future. Until next time Wordies! Love ya much!

I Am Not Superwoman

“The way we spend our time defines who we are.”  – Jonathan Estrin

Guilt is something that all moms may feel but I have a serious question for you. Do you think that the guilt felt is even greater for single moms? I tend to think the answer to that question is a resounding ‘Yes’. Maybe it can be attributed to our society or just because we feel extra pressure to be “on” ALL of the time but I know there have been times when I have wanted, very badly, to take some much needed time for myself and I have felt like I was the most awful mother in the world for feeling this way. Just the thought of wanting my children to leave me alone so that I could have a moment of silence or just to sit and relax without hearing “Mom” being yelled out every 5 seconds appeared to literally be heaven on Earth. However, for some reason, I would never fix my lips to ask for, much less take, that time. I mean, there were (and still are) times when I’d have to talk fast just to be able to pee alone! (TMI? Yeah, maybe it was.)

What do you do to not feel so guilty? And, if you don’t feel that guilt anymore, what have you done to make “mommy time” seem acceptable to you?

timeoutMomI know, for myself, I need just even an hour a day to recharge so that I am not so snappy with my children and/or others. I notice that I am sometimes not able to make that work, especially with children still under the age of 2 in my home, but I really try hard to get the rest that I know I need every night and to get the time, throughout my day, to just sit and relax… BY MYSELF. During my “me time” adventures, many times, I will do something that I enjoy like having lunch with a friend or reading a book or working on my writing projects, both here and elsewhere. However, there are times that I do things that just need to be done like cleaning my house, going grocery shopping (ALONE) or balancing my checkbook. I just try to make sure that I get a chance to have some ME time as often as I need it, without neglecting my children and my responsibilities as a parent, of course but still being true to who I am as a woman.

Surprisingly, I don’t feel guilty about taking time for myself anymore. It took me a LONG time to get to this point – it definitely was not all peaches and cream – I most certainly struggled with the thought of being able to take time for myself, away from my kids, and still being seen as being a “good” mother. My struggles were mainly internal and fear-based, stemming from current circumstances and also from how I was raised, but I had to realize that not every woman or mother is the same and what works for one family may not – scratch that, WILL NOT – work for my family and that is OKAY. Honestly, once I got this internalized and deeply rooted inside of me, it allowed me the freedom to finally start taking that time I so craved and deserved but never would ask for or act upon. What I learned is that I need time to replenish my energy, especially with how active my children are and with the busy schedule that we sometimes carry. The fact of the matter is simply this, I cannot be the best mother, friend or woman (period) that I want to be, and that I know I can be, if I do not take some time to do the things that bring me joy and that make me who I am.

So, what are you struggling with today?

As moms and as women, in general, we tend to take on the burdens of this entire world and it usually leaves us drained and unable to be the best us that we can and want to be. I think that it is time for a change and time for us to brush off what society (or other people) try to say to us concerning this subject. The thought for the day is to remember that it is alright to take some time for yourself. Your kids will still be there and they will still love and respect you. Not only this, but it will teach them that everyone needs – and deserves – to have some time for themselves to just relax, do things that they enjoy and to just be free. Don’t let society or the thought of being a bad mommy scare you because those things are not true and do not define who you are, in the least.

Until next time, Word-ies! Have a very, very happy hump day! 🙂

I’m Telling Your Mama!!!

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Do your kids ever make you just want to pull your hair out? This is a very serious question by the way. This week alone my daughter’s school has had to call me, at work, to come to her school to bring her a change of clothes. Why, you say? Well, because she wants to leave out of the house dressed any type of way. Mind you, this is a little girl who is only 8 years old!!!!

I guess I need to start seeing if there is any way that I can go into work a half an hour to an hour later because obviously my sitter is not really checking my children before they leave for school in the morning. I have to be at work an hour before the kids leave out for school so I have a sitter who comes to the house to be there with my kids so I can get to work on time. She is a young college-aged girl and pretty responsible, from what I thought when I interviewed her. My kids love her and so do I but this past week has brought an issue to the surface that I didn’t know that we had. This issue of clothing and dressing appropriately.

Now, before you judge me, please listen to all of the facts. I do not go out buying my kids inappropriate attire. I am fairly modest and I dress my children in modest, yet also trendy ways, as well. However, we all know how kids can be, especially little girls. There have been times when I have thrown new clothes away and had to send one of my daughters back to their room, to change, because I noticed that one of them had decided to cut their pants up or do something else destructive (yet creative in their own minds) to look more “stylish” and to “fit in”. I was no angel when I was younger either but I think this is a different issue totally. Kids today definitely have it much harder than even my generation did when we were kids.

Celebrities – who are supposed to be “role-models” for our children – are talking about things and making it seem as if you have to wear a certain thing or look a certain way to be accepted. The media is presenting images and they are targeting our young girls more now than ever before in history. This whole world is being oversexualized. Our kids minds are being warped and their innocence is being taken away, little by little. I think it is an absolute shame.

If we don’t do something now to change this and teach our daughters that they are beautiful no matter what then we are going to have a bigger problem on our hands in the future. But this is not just something that we should be teaching our daughters because our sons also need to be taught to respect their mothers, sisters and any other women who may come into their lives. After all, we are raising young boys and girls who will become men and women someday. Something to think about…

So, what do you do when you have an issue with your child that you are not sure how to approach? How about your sitter or anyone else who is supposed to be a responsible adult in your child’s life?

Holiday Fashion

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If you’re looking for some threads for your kids, look no further. You are in the right place! Whether you’re shopping for an infant, toddler, tween or teenager, you are sure to find some items that fit your fashion liking. So sit back, get your pen and paper out and keep reading.

When I first started shopping for holiday outfits for my children, years ago, I thought it was going to be an endless battle, especially when shopping for my son, and it kind of was. I don’t know about you but it seemed (and sometimes still seems) like there is an unlimited supply of cute things for my daughters, however, for my son it is a completely different story. I mean, I would find some good items for him but most of the super affordable places had nothing that I thought looked nice on him. It didn’t, and still doesn’t, help that my son is a little on the husky side already…yep, that’s my football player.

After always needing to go to multiple stores to find something nice for my son, I decided that enough was enough. I was now on a mission to find just one or two stores that I would be able to regularly shop at for my little boy. To my surprise, I found a store that ended up being able to work for both, my sons and my daughters. The main store that I shop at for my son is Crazy 8. The girls also get a lot of stuff from Crazy 8 and Target but I mainly shop at Justice, especially for the two older girls.

So, are you having trouble arranging a good holiday outfit for your kiddos to wear to family events this season and/or for pictures? I have come up with a few styles that I am planning to dress my children in that may also help you out. Take a look…

My Boys:

The grey check button-up shirt paired with the black and grey Argyle sweater vest goes nicely with black corduroy rocker pants. I am going to let him wear some grey and black colorblock high-top sneakers and a grey herringbone cap. Everything came from Crazy 8.

*** I love it when my little guys dress up. I get very few chances throughout the year to get them all nice and “classy” so I take the holidays very seriously and this is usually the only time of year when I can get all of the kids together and looking nice for family photos. So, yes, it is an extra special time of year for us, indeed. ***

This year I am going to let my girls dress differently than they usually have in the past. Throughout the years, I have styled all the kids outfits to be almost exactly the same and the girls have always dressed very much alike for our pictures (don’t judge me; I thought that was cute). Now that they are getting older, they have asked to be able to wear things that are more of their “style” and to be different from each other, so we will see how this works out. We are all still going to be color coordinated (there is no one that will be wearing bright pink and orange while the rest of us wear grey or black, hahaha) but we are all wearing things that are more our own individual styles. With that being said, here is what the girls have decided to wear for our holiday photos.

Oldest Daughter:

My sassy singer’s outfit of choice includes: a grey belted top with a grey jean skirt and black leggings. She is wearing a  black accessories and black Mary Janes. The clothes and accessories came from Justice. The shoes came from Gap.

Middle Daughter:

Miss Free Spirit will be wearing: a grey and black patterned sweater dress with some black tights and black Mary Janes. The clothes and accessories came from Justice. The shoes came from Gap.

Youngest Daughter:

My little princess will be dazzling them in: a grey princess-like dress and black shawl with black tights, grey accessories and grey Michael Kors shoes. The clothes and accessories came from Crazy 8. The shoes came from Macy’s.

Hope this helped with some of your styling needs. Be sure to check back every Friday for more fashion tips, tricks and styles. Happy Friday!

 

School Days: Helping My Kids Adjust

On August 23rd, my daughters and I went school shopping. When we returned home from our shopping trip I noticed that I had a missed call from their school. I learned that the school had finally sent me the email that my girls and I had been waiting for…the email that would tell us who their teachers would be this school year. When I read it, I knew that at least one of my daughters would be disappointed since they had already expressed to me which teacher they each were hoping to have.

So, after I read it, I called my girls downstairs, from their rooms, to tell them the good (and not so good) news. Once I told them which teacher they each had gotten, it was time to deal with the “aftermath” – which surprisingly was not that bad. Both of my daughters took the news very well however, their next question was if their bff’s would be in class with them this year. Each of my girls have a bff, already, and they do almost everything with these little girls so this question was already, pretty much, expected.

Later that evening, as I was typing a text to the mother of my 8-year olds’ bff, I noticed that she had beat me to the punch and texted me asking which teacher my daughter had gotten for third grade. (I ended up finding out that her daughter had asked her the same question that mine had asked me.) When I responded back I told her that our daughters are both obviously very anxious to be together for another school year and I informed her of the teacher that my daughter had been placed with for the 2014/15 school year. She texted me back and said “Darn it! I can’t believe they didn’t put our kids together this year.” At first I thought she was kidding around but when I texted back she informed me that she was not and that her daughter did indeed have the other third grade teacher. During our text convo, we promised that we would make sure to arrange play dates and sleepovers and other things for the girls to be able to still see each other. I guess it was our way of helping to nurture a friendship that we both felt was mutually beneficial for our girls.

Now, it was on to daughter number 2. She actually asked me if she could call and speak to her bff so I let her use the phone to call her. When she got off of the phone she had the biggest smile on her face so I knew the news she had received was good. I asked anyway, just to let her tell me and have her moment of excitement. Isn’t it always worth it…to see our children happy about something? 🙂 My daughter exclaimed, “Mom! Mom! My bff and I are in the same class again this year! I cannot wait to start school now! I hope we get to sit next to each other!!!”

It’s so crazy to me because, on the one hand, I was so happy for my 10-year old daughter but, on the other hand, my heart kinda broke a bit as I listened to her because I knew what I had to tell my 8-year old and I knew that she would probably be very hurt after seeing how excited her sister was and she would not get a chance to feel that excitement this time. So, I decided to wait but that decision was quickly thwarted when my 8-year old came up to me and asked if I had heard back from her bff’s mom. I couldn’t lie to her and I couldn’t postpone telling her, as much as I wanted to.

The conversation went something like this:

Me– “Yes, honey, she actually texted me before I got a chance to text her.”

8 year old- “And???” *her eyes bright and full of childlike excitement*

Me- “Well, her mother said that she got the other teacher this year.”

8 year old- “Oh.” *silence*

Me- *walking over to hold my precious girl* “You know, sweetheart…this does not mean that you two can’t be friends and her mother and I are both going to make sure that you both get together as often as possible so that your friendship can continue.”

10 yr old- “Well, the 3rd graders all go to recess together so they will still be able to see each other at school too.”

Me- “Is that true?”

8 year old- “Yeah.”

Me- “Awesome! So see there, you all will still be able to play together on the playground and spend some time together during the school day.”

8 year old- “Yes, actually, we will. I didn’t think about that.”

*…we hug each other tightly and I try to take it all in because I know this is a moment that I will not forever but also one that I will never forget.*

10 year old- “And both of the 3rd grade classrooms are right next door to each other and I think they might even go on field trips together too!”

8 year old- “I didn’t think about that either. Thanks! I needed that, sis.”

*…the girls smile and hug each other too.*

I’m aware that it will not work out this way for everyone and that there will be other situations in the lives of our children that will be a lot harder/tougher to handle – and will require a deeper/different answer/response – but I would bet that all children just want someone who will listen and care about the things that they care about.

Now, I said ALL of that to say this… So many times we, as parents, put off and devalue the things in our children’s lives; that we feel is not that big of a deal and that they should just “get over”. Many times, it may be, the things that hurt or concern them seems trivial to us but if we put ourselves in their shoes – or simply think about the things that probably mattered to us when we were their ages – then it is pretty easy to respond in a loving and caring way to their worries. Sometimes, all our kids want is to know that we care about what they care about.

While we may sometimes have to “fake it”, isn’t it better in the end to have a happy child, that wants you in their life because they know they can talk to you and you will listen, than to have an unhappy child, that wants nothing to do with you or your advice about their situations?

I know that it’s definitely not always going to be this simple (or this easy) to speak into the girls lives, in this way, or to help them to resolve problems that they may encounter in their lives but I want to have happy, well-adjusted children who will be ready for the world and who will include me in their lives, always.

I didn’t have the greatest relationship with my mother so my mission has been to change that with my own children, especially with my daughters. I highly value the mother/daughter relationship (and just the relationship between a mother and her children period, whether they are male or female) and believe that it is one of the most important relationships to nurture in this world. When we get old and gray, it is not going to matter what career we had, how many degrees we earned or even how much money we made – all that will matter will be whose lives we touched and who touched our lives – and my children’s lives are some of the lives that I have a hand in helping to mold and am able to touch everyday. How I raise them will determine who they will become and how they will treat others. So, in essence, you and I are going to touch hundreds, thousands, even millions of people through the lives of our children and grandchildren. Something to think about, right?

I know that some people feel like you cannot be your child’s parent and their friend – that you HAVE to choose one or the other – but I tend to believe differently. I want to be their friend and be able to laugh and joke around with them but I also know that I am their parent and I must set the rules for them to follow. I know that I am capable of drawing the line when I have to, so I am not too worried about the naysayers.

We all have to do the things that will work for us because no family (or situation) is exactly the same. Sometimes that means making the hard decisions while other times it’s as simple as a hug or being a listening ear. In the end, and in all things, I just want to ensure that my children know that they can come to me for anything and that I will always love them, no matter what!

Until next time…stay blessed!