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How To Completely Change How Your Praise Is Set Up

THE HIM, my husband, said something to push me to the edge.
His words caused me to look at him differently, and ya’ll know, I look at him with a soft eye.
When I recall the moment, my stomach pauses a moment, all over again, like it did the minute moment it all occurred.

I see the dull sunlight hitting across his face and spreading itself on the wall behind him.

Then, quickly, and forever, everything between us changed.

He said, “My eyes are getting darker. Praise be to God.”

I stopped everything in my hands and told my heart to wait for me. My heart has never listened well. My past relationships show that and it didn’t leave me wanting this time either. My heart raced. And slowed down. Raced again.
I said nothing.
He stared straight ahead as he does frequently at home. I know he’s in his “mental moment” and solving the world’s problems, balancing the national budget, mentally auditing Trump’s taxes, praying, wondering what’s for dinner or meditating.
Basically, he’s a deep thinker. Always.

After a few moments passed, I asked, “Did you hear what you said? You told me your eyes have less sight and then you praised your Lord? That’s a pretty high personal achievement. I’ve never heard you speak this way.”
He said, “I know.” And moved on to live his life while the remaining eye-related darkness slowly targets him through glaucoma. He seemed ok.
Me? I was stuck.
My heart became a telescope for me to see my husband in a way I’d never achieved before now. If this man had reached a level of self-awareness to express this level of humility for his loss of sight, I knew I was gon’ hafta work on my own character. I ain’t there! Not today.

During this loss of sight journey, we have lost so much. Things you can see and things you cannot. We have argued. Been angry. Cried together. Cried alone. Blamed each other. Blamed ourselves. I have looked at him, breath to breath, with tears in my tears and he couldn’t see them. I have no regrets for his inability to see my tears. I was able to get his comfort, release my emotion and keep my internal privacy as he lived such a public pain. Now, it is my prayer, with a blind man leading our spiritual way, we will always see a need to praise God in the good and to praise God with the bad.
I’m not naive. We’re gonna get tested again on this journey, but I see more praise coming for us.

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You Can Get Trapped Into Being A GOOD WIFE!

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God Ain’t Piped Up Like That

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you sat in discomfort when He didn’t answer your prayer right away.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you went back to school and you trusted He’d pay the tuition.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you got the divorce because He never told you to marry that person, but He allowed you to.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you didn’t defend your child because your child needed that lesson.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you took care of your mother by yourself and watched other family members walk away.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you left that job cause it was never good for your faith and He pays your bills.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

God was pleased when you took care of your health because your body deserves honor.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

When you stayed up at night crying and praying, He knew you knew loving Him is #squadGoals.

You don’t believe it, but God is pleased with you.

Hard moments and hard choices can bring God closer even when it doesn’t feel like it.
We’ll believe it for you until you can. 

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What No One Tells You About Blind Love

It was a normal evening of counseling clients, managing social media content, coaching teens to obedience, dinner, talking and me flirting with him in between the social media content. Then, Hasan sat down and said, “Baby, I’m blind.”
I didn’t know what to say. He’s been blind for a few years now. This was not new information, but in this moment, we were having a different experience with one another. I wanted to say, “Ok….” and punctuate this one word sentence with a deep sigh at the end. But that didn’t feel right in my common sense and in my spirit. Seconds were passing.

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I couldn’t google nothing captivating to say and what is the keyword for, “He said he was blind and now what do I say?”

He was blind, but he could still tell time. I needed to give the man something from me and it needed to be some really good viral content! The three words he spoke to me deserved a locked and loaded response concentrated with hope and resilience. And I didn’t have ish to say.

So, I said, “Yes, Baby you are. We don’t understand this overwhelming test. We just know we have one heck of a pop quiz on our hands and we trust in God’s infinite wisdom to let us get from this test all that we need to.”

Hasan said, “Ameen.”

Then, his words were as silent as his eyes have been for some time now.

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Seconds later, he arose to sit next to me with totally new, random and unrelated conversation. He was still blind, but in that “We-In-This” moment, he and I saw what we needed. We could clearly envision poppin’ up with emotionally intense topics the other person is completely unprepared for and feel unjudged and with a friend.

You don’t need eyesight for this kind of loving feeling. To hear more about our story and to get your own unseen love seen by only the two of you, SEE US. 

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Left For Dead

As young twenty-something, single mothers she and I were the only ones in our low-income apartment community to be college students. Our children were close in age. She was a mother of twins and I had a one-year old on my hip. Her family was disgruntled with her for being an unwed mother, but still peeped in with occasional support. My own family gave help, unwanted advice and the side-eye as I too struggled to raise my son alone.

We made sure each of us had gas money. We put our coins together to buy groceries. Weekends were spent going back and forth from our respective apartments. We would run go back and forth from the back door, from one house to the other. She had this silent way of speaking to you with her unyielding light brown eyes. When I first met her, I felt she was weird. Her stare. I didn’t know how to read it or what it meant. I came to learn it meant nothing other than, “I’m here with you.” Later, our friendship grew as  another Beloved Soul embraced our circle. For years, our struggle was real, but softened by the three of us.

Few could relate to being so broke, bougie at heart and down for long haul to get up out of that Section 8 housing! We stuck together like thieves cause the three of us understood the plan even when we didn’t really have one.

Over a span of 25 years, self-acceptance, grandchildren, 10-40 extra pounds, graduate degrees, weddings, more children, entrepreneurship, buying our first homes, our first divorces and loving our last fool passed over our lives. It was never planned or discussed, but two of us ended up as mental health therapists. She opened her own mental health agency with a partner. There were bumps in there, but she made it work for her. And we all lived our lives.

Like many, social media became the place to catch up, but we did. Her giggle! It comes in spurts and then closes with a smile! The spurts are like a water faucet struggling to let water flow, but nah…said the water spout!

Yesterday, she became locally famous, but I’m not proud of her.

I’m pissed actually. Yes, there will be lights, and crowds and hand holding and speeches to commemorate her, but I’m pissed. I don’t want her death to be her greatest achievement.
To see crowds of people who don’t know her water-spout laughter to stand in a public park stained with her blood and acknowledge her as a victim of domestic violence pisses me off. Hthe-benefits-of-anger-management-counseling-3.jpger life is so much more than the location of her last moment of knowing breath.

I’m pissed because an Ex not to have known to have ever struck her before allegedly stabbed her to death after threatening her for weeks. I’m pissed because he allegedly planned to enforce his death wish on her without any concern for those who loved her to life.

His anger for Alicia having left him couldn’t be killed so he chose to kill her.
Alicia was found leaning against her car in a public park. Alone. She bled to death. No one should die alone. What was she thinking? Were her thoughts comforting to your own soul? How does a dying mother tell her children goodbye when they don’t know your leaving them? My other friend, the Beloved Soul is helping Alicia’s young adult children navigate this tragedy, bury their mother and holding the hurt in her own heart simultaneously.

When the alleged attacker was arrested, it was reported his hands were bloody and cut up. I smiled. She fought back. That’s my girl.

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No Nonsense Truths You Lie About

The lies you tell yourself are becoming a hardship for us all cause we can’t benefit from your good cause you don’t see.

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Ya see, cause of the random naysaying throwing-shade-at-yourself-talk you say to self, you get stuck. Don’t progress. And the world loses out on your gifts

It ain’t fair!

When you lie to yourself about how about badly you need your job because you don’t want to be broke, tell the truth about how broke you already are.

Can you get broker than broke? Once your coins get on the down low, your come up will come at a cost only God canlies-22 pay. Quit letting that job overwhelm you and you still can’t overcome the light bill. 

When  a co-worker made a comment about your consignment clothing, you lied and told yourself you never did like those pants.

When you quit telling yourself you ain’t crazy & your friend really is jealous of you…Thank God for knowing exactly what to pray about for him or her.

You knew she had been lightweight hating on you, but you convinced yourself there was no way anyone would envy your broke and used clothes wearing self. She wasn’t jealous of your closet. She desired the unseen gifts you tried to hide, but God revealed anyway.

When you didn’t know what to do about your family… Thank God for freeing you from it cause you didn’t know what to do.

If you don’t what to do with this freedom, we can guide you through it. 

When you stopped seeing how you were a blessing to others…Thank God for giving you humility even at the expense of your ego.

You can be glad your ego ain’t bigger than your consignment britches.

When you felt uncomfortable about what they did at work after they tossed your lil input aside… Thank God for the discomfort cause this is how you know comfort when you see it again.

Make room for the space that is about to come your way. Do the work to make it happen.

100When you didn’t shut your mouth & you wish you had…Thank God for your big mouth & ask Him to put it to good use before you get locked up behind it.

Your Momma always said your mouth would be your downfall and it will, after you breakthrough.

When your child embarrassed the mess out of you… Thank God for letting you know to be empathetic with another parent trying to raise a strong-willed child.

When you let your body be dishonored & devalued… Thank God for leading you to Him so you can know better.

The lies people tell you that you repeat to yourself, don’t come true because the words become your mental mantra. Those deadly words feel true cause you gave them life, but they are killin’ you.
Tell the truth about how these thoughts and feelings drag you. Tell the truth about how many times you think about it, over and over and over, again, at work, after work and a week later.  The Truth Shall Set You Free4.jpg

Telling the truth lets you free yourself from the lie so you can find relief in your own thoughts.

 

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2 Things NOT To Shoot For In 2018

At the start of a new calendar year folks make many promises to themselves and to others. Thus far, THE HIM, Hasan, made the New Years Resolution to be more of the debonair and 30 lbs lighter man he assured me I would have all the days of my life if I married him. He lied! And if he loses 30 lbs, his legs may get to skinny.

Who wants that? So, let’s keep the weight so we can keep the legs.

See the trade off? It’s worth it…right?

Your life and well-being is so much more relevant than weight, skinny legs or to be delegated to 365 days in a New Years Resolution.

With that being said, here are 2 things NOT to do for 2018.

  1. You will not make any New Years Resolutions. We said it! Close your mouf! None. Not one.
    Your resolve comes over time. Some issues, you can create resolution in a month. In another matter, it may take the remainder of your life. Another heart thumper or head blocker may keep you stumped for a year or two. 2018 is not the beginning of your life. You jumpstart your life, not a new calendar year. You are the central focus of all of this. You make this merry round Go! Goal-Setting
    Sure, we encourage you to have self-awareness, to be a more directed learner, to put away your coins, to earn more coins, to start the business you want or to get the nerve to dye your hair purple in your 40’s. Do that! Help is here if you want it. Don’t relegate your desires, needs, dreams to a timeline created by man. We can work this out with you.
  2. You accept that your best moments may not develop in years or a specific year, but it will be moments in your life that give you the most joy.
    Have you ever asked an elder what they enjoyed most in their life? You’ll be hard-pressed to find one to tell you it was the year 1967 or Y2k.
    Most you say something like, “When my first child was born…Driving my first car… The moment I met your father…Graduating from college…Buying a house…Seeing my grandchild for the first time…” Or even sharing an endearing childhood memory. Who the heck says it was their New Year’s Resolution? No one. And you don’t have to start the pattern. high five.jpegSeek to create the best moments of your life and get in as many as you can. Now, that is something you can start in 2018.
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How Being Mad Can Inspire Your Marriage

Husbands and wives require many things for a marriage to work. We can name a few such as mutual respect, transparency, not sharing nude pics with another person, supporting the goals of the other person, good regular sex, displaying mercy to one another and the sliding in like a superhero with lil’ random acts of kindness. Ahh, everyday isn’t perfect. We hit or miss one or three of those every now or then. However, intentional folks will come back to the good acts of marriage they overlooked within time, preferably a really short period of time.

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And then there are the other folks. The folks who treat their husband or wives worse than a stranger on the street. Failing to give a greeting in the morning, offering a nice compliment or assisting someone with a task is something one would do for a co-worker. For what reason does your colleague get the lil goodies of behavior from you that your spouse doesn’t?
Have you been smiling at random people in the grocery story lately? Your husband or wife deserves to see all of your teeth behind stretched lips even more than this stranger. Did you pick up something for someone or offer to do something for someone cause, “It’s really no problem at all.” Your spouse deserves something even greater.

Now, the problem is your husband or wife has likely done something to piss you off, to cause your heart to harden or to care less at this point whether or not they can find the orange juice in the fridge. How do you get through these moments and change the relationship narrative? Nothing changes the incidents that got you where they are. It is what it is.  Did you choose to marry someone who has no good in them?

shock.jpgNada? Not a drop?

We’re gonna tell ya our true thought, that says a lot about you. We’re gonna give you the side eye about your selection process cause it’s defective. We’ve got a remedy for that also. Tell ya single friends. You’s “muh-reid nah. So, we gotta go into recovery and repair mode for you.

For now, we’ll think good of you too and trust you didn’t marry a complete butthole and your partner has a twinkling and two teaspoons of good in him or her.

What you can do is make the decision to see the good in the person and not function from a position of fear. Look for good in the other person and really give some thought to what keeps you holding on to this negativity. What good does it do you? Negativity does nothing for your edges, your pocket book or your faith. So, what’s the point?

Before being a husband and wife, your spouse deserves the same humane kindness you would give stranger or a person at your place of worship. Familiarity breeds contempt. The longer you live with a person, you’ll have many, ” What You Not Gon’ Do…” moments or “Really? Is that where you are now?” You’ll learn the other person faults. When you find out your spouse can’t pick out produce as good as the cutie pie at the Farmer’s Market, it can be a bummer. Or, your husband or wife doesn’t always tell you the truth. Or, they continue to be dismissive of you as you talk to them. You may need to call on the big dawgs for relationship help. 
Yeah, the kindness and mercy weans off. And giving the best of you to folks who have hurt you less seems easier.
This is your beautiful challenge. You get to be the better person even when it doesn’t feel the best. Your marriage is a platform to practicimages.jpege mercy and kindness on a higher level. If you feel confused about where to start, it’s ok. Wouldn’t it feel good to get unstuck? However, if you know if you make the bed in the morning and heat the water for hot coffee, your spouse will be happy, shocked as all get out, but happy, then, do it.

Whatever they did in the past won’t change, but you can.

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Facts About “Mommie Dearest” No One Dares to Say

Mothers are to be revered. To be respected. To be adored. To be taken care of. To be honored. And if you feel otherwise, you will quickly be shamed, condemned to the darkest corners of earthly motherless guilt and it will not matter if you’ve had a good mother. It will not matter if your mother was unloving. If you don’t know youmom2.jpgr mother no one cares. She birthed you so you must respect her for her super power. You don’t need to know her name or to care if she calls on your birthday. If she’s a bad mother, be sure not to repeat those same qualities with your own kids. You know how it feels so do better. Find a way to recoup whatever decency you’ve create within yourself and get over it. And dammit, you better not say anything bad about your mother.

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Alcoholics exist and some of them are mothers. Abusers exist and a few have given birth. Addicts have children. Inmates leave their children in the care of God’s grace to satisfy the punishment of poor choices. Some mothers may not go to such visible lengths of poor mothering. Many mothers lack the ability to give hugs as needed. To kiss boo-boos. To show up for school events. To clap when no one else does and to not be staring at the phone during incremental minute seconds of a child’s needs.

There are those mother’s who compete with their daughter’s for attention. What is a daughter to do when she is told there isn’t enough room in Mother’s world for both to exist? Where does the daughter find the space to be her unlimited self? Who gives her consent to be who she is fully without always trying to reserve unwanted room for a mother who does not want her daughter to save her a seat?

When your mother is an overachiever and you’re growing into who you are and on most days you’re quite unsure of whatever that is…but your mother knows with certainty who EACH of you are. How do you fit into the mold she’s created for you?  We promise you can. What does this daughter do to keep up with her mother’s repetitive successes? She sulks internally while her mother’s life becomes her reflection and all this daughter sees is ugliness and self-hate. This does not have to be your entire existence.

For the daughter whose mother’s made her hug another temommporary “uncle” who liked more than hugs when Mother wasn’t around and for the daughter whose Mother took her to her father to be pleasured by the same penis that impregnated Mother and for the daughter who got put out of the house because she fought Daddy when he hit Mother again. The mother’s of these daughter’s get jingles played on Hallmark cards, praised in public places and commended at forced family events. These mother’s smile and assume the prestige given by their wombs and earned by the souls that came from them.

Mother’s and daughter’s have tricky relationships. This is the first same gender relationship many have. Some screw it up and others thrive from the success, love and care within it. There are those who do a lil bit of both, with enough screw up and enough love to keep it balanced and beneficial. For any mother or daughter wanting help, it’s available. Mothers and daughters can get it ristrong.jpgght. There are mother’s who lack super powers, but have an overwhelming ability to be super human as needed.

And allow a daughter to reverence the womb that bore her and to love the life her Mother so superbly introduces her to.

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5 Examples of Gut-Wrenching Adulting Issues To Inspire You

The month of October sucks. Big ones.

And then, we turn to Allah in gratefulness for what He has done for us.

This sounds like we may be all over the place. This month right here…October 2017, flipped up, turned us over, put us in reverse, choked and spit us out. Prayerfully. We’ve been all over the place emotionally, spiritually and mentally.stressed-out-278x300.png

Our youngest son was hit by a car this month. En route to the hospital, we had no information. Suddenly, everyone at the police department and the hospital staff knew nothing. How did everyone get stupid as soon as my child is hurt?

The silence hurt my heart and caused every Mother’s unimagined fear to come to life as I drove. The closer I got to Atlanta Medical Center, the more intense my fear. We rode in the car in silence. I ran out of prayers to say. Each prayer said the same thing. For my son to be alive and to not have any long-term illnesses or to be a paraplegic. Then, I swapped that prayer for another one, because I wanted to love him even if he were wheelchair bound. Next, I found myself praying for Mother’s who had already lost a child, and to be humble enough to know my son was no greater than theirs.

By the time we walked through the doors of the ER, Hasan had to hold me up. I wanted to know if my youngest child was alive, but the fear of a potential dead body consumed me. Hasan held me. He told me we had to go in. And I wondered what do you ask the ER Front Desk under these circumstances? What is the best question to get the best answer that does not lead to death?

I concluded I needed to remain silent. If my fear, my pain or my worry spoke the motherly words I wanted to say, I knew I’d be hospitalized too. My words was gon’ show out, sound crazy and not make sense!
Hasan said something. Who knows what it was. I recall the attendant saying, “He’s in Room 118.” 

This meant life. I fell limp. Again. I praised Allah in Arabic and in English in that ER! I needed to move to go see my son, but right then, a praise pause was needed. muslimah in dua.jpgThe neck brace still held onto his rigid, swollen, bruised and bloody body when I entered the room. Miraculously, his face did not have a scratch on it.
I wept. I stood next to his hospital bed and I cried. I cried for the life he had been given. For the life that he had to come. For the life that had not been taken from him. For the life I had taken for granted.

When my son told me how he called out, “Mom…Momma” when the pain was so intense and I had yet to arrive at the hospital, I felt like shit. Guilt took over and called me all kinds of names. I made sure during his entire hospital stay, this moment never occurred again. I rarely left his side. Had I not required a bath,  I wold not have left when I did.

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His hospital room already smelled like…well…a hospital.
The bleeding wound on his back earned a sour smell from his sweat and lying on his back for hours. Atlanta Medical Center did not need me to add to the smells in that hospital room!

While dealing and living with our son’s recovery, 5 days later, a beloved family member committed suicide. Devastation appeared all over again. I will not rehearse the questions, feelings and thoughts that ran through my mind. These questions, feelings and thoughts continue to run a marathon in my head. One day, they will stop. Just not today. I’m ok with that. I cleaned my family member’s blood from her home. Initially, I felt angry that there was any blood to clean up at all. I scrubbed, cried and turned to Hasan as needed while I cleaned. I’ve decided that despite the hurt within all of this, this act…this cleaning up…is a gift I was able to give to her and to her children.

During this time, Hasan and I have gotten upset with one another. This month, for the first time in our marriage, we were so exhausted, we slept in the same room, but separately. We’ve never been together and slept apart. NEVER. We’ve trusted each other to show up, to be quiet and to love when we didn’t know how to ask each other to do it.

During this time, Hasan and I have appreciated one another more. During this time, we’ve gone back and tried to recover from a wrong or to repair a snipe expressed verbally. We didn’t want to leave it in hanging on the ears of the other person.

Hasan has contacted a loved one struggling with their own mental health symptoms and laid down some ground rules of love to ensure this person lives. And lives a life knowing love despite every mental health symptom they struggle with or never share with us.

marriage meme.jpgAs a husband and wife, we took moments to be more vulnerable. To ask more questions. To make sure that when the pain occurs, we make sure, we make a difference. To make sure we leave this marriage and this life better than we came. And October 2017 did that for us.
This has been a gift.