Monday, December 29, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
John and the Jamersons (his children) will be going over his sister's house. As of this writing, it is not quite confirmed which drives me nuts since I am a planner...but they are used to it...so I'll leave food, drink and plenty of toliet paper just in case...and Praise God...because..
Me and my crew are at my family's house for the Family Monopoly Game and Family Feud Tournament. We changed the theme a bit and made Christmas more family focused. We signed up Thanksgiving and pulled names (so gift exchanges will go pretty quick...more like here, here-thank you...here..Merry Christmas-now GAME ON).
So, unfortunately John and I won't be together for Most of Christmas again but..guess what? I sleep with him every night! I see him every morning...and when the day is done he's coming home. So "other people's normal" no longer pressures me or gets me in a state of foolish expectation. Be where you wanna be...do what you need to do..make the choices you need to make....no pressure..no running around all over the city trying to meet everyone's expectations....I'll see ya when I see ya. Sounds harsh...maybe..but you have to have thick skin and a steel protective coat to be a Superspouse and Superparent. You can't be overly sensitive or let small stuff get under your skin. That's why I am called to do it and many are not and could not. Its not the dream job from heaven..trust me.
Some of the kids were talking and one of them mentioned "that's why everyone should come over here". I gently reminded them that what makes you think that everyone wants to be at your house all the time? Secondly, that's selfish and self centered. Everyone in our families has in-laws and other family besides the nuclear family and they want time with them at their home as well. They can't and shouldn't have to adjust their lives just to accomodate our complexity. That's our problem...not theirs. Its our hand and we have to play the hand were dealt and everybody else can understand...or not understand...it doesn't really matter. We are the not the center of attention or the main attraction-Christ Is. As long as their is love and Christ is being glorified ..wherever you are...you are in the right place.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
There is a movie out now called "Four Christmases". The premise of the movie is that there is a couple that has parents that are divorced and they collectively are a part of four "step" families. The goal was to always be "busy" during the holidays so they wouldn't have to wade through trying to see everyone, every holiday. This year, the vacation getaway plans get canceled and they have to make an effort to be everything to everybody that's important to them. I haven't seen the movie but we can relate. Being in a Superfamily, we actively deal with at least 3-4 families every holiday not including our own household. First of all, there is my family. That includes mama and em', daddy, my sisters, brothers, in laws, nieces and nephews. Then there is John's family, he has a brother, two sisters, nieces, nephews and in laws. Then there is John's kids family (his former wife's relatives) which include their grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Then John's oldest son has his own family which includes his children and wife.
So you figure it out...who do you go see first? Who do you say no too? What happens when it is your turn to host on "your side" of the family but your spouse's sister turn on the other side. Or a scenario could be-your kids are pulling you to see their mother's family which of course cannot include your current spouse and her side of the family. So, to take them means leaving them and their children behind and spending time with your former family, when you really have a new set of in-laws that you need to get to know. UGH, all you really want is to get back into bed with your husband or wife, eat a TV dinner and some popcorn and forget everyone else. Its enough to bring you to heap of frustrated tears, if you allow it. You stretch yourself so thin and in the end without fail someone is left disappointed-usually you. Trust us, real "stepfamily" life is a far cry from the what was displayed on the Brady Bunch. There is no Alice to help clean up messes and NOTHING gets solved in 22 minutes plus commercials.
For example, Thanksgiving this year was over my brother's house (on my side of the family). John's side did not have any concrete plans. He decided to go to his son's house to take his children to visit and visit with my family later. To which I said NO. Really, I did. I said that because I don't want him running all over the place trying to make everyone happy. I said if you are going to be with your son, just be there and I will see you later. Me and my kids would be fine, we would miss the other side of the Superfamily but we would still have a great time with mama and em' and catch them back at the house. Unfortunately for John, his plans did not go as orchestrated and he ended up over his son's house for the entire holiday. He felt bad about not being with me (as well he should have, because I am the bomb:-). But I was fine, I missed sharing a new memory with him, but we had an absolute blast, much too much food and hated to leave. My family was already are talking about the next time we will all get together. Everyone that was suppose to be there was there. That's how God does things.
But if it were in the reverse, Honestly, I would probably have felt just like John. Feeling.... just like my super cape had a hole in it and I fell instead of "flew". He and I worked through what he was feeling and I reiterated why I did all I could to relieve any expectations or pressures in that area. I never want him to feel like that again. However, we are complex and everyday we face new awkward complexities. Sacrifice and disappointment are inevitable, but how you deal with it can make the difference. We're learning.........
Our holiday advice for stepfamilies:
- PLAN ahead. Do not wait until the week of, or day of and think that you can manage a complex family situation-it won't work. Communicate your plan ahead of time and listen to (and consider) your spouse's suggestion about your plans.
- Learn to say NO. Sometimes to your kids, sometimes to your family, sometimes to your job, church, neighborhood or club. You cannot do everything, get over it and let other people know they need to get over it too.
- Understand and accept that this is your life now. It will only get more complex from here. Wait until our children begin to marry and have children of their own. They will have to visit other family members as well as us, mama and em' etc.. Accept where you are so you can plan effectively for where you are headed.
- Enjoy where you are, wherever you are. I would have possibly ruined Thanksgiving for me, my family and my kids if all I did was worry about if John was coming or if I constantly called him, bugged him, wondering where he was or if they were going to make it. Instead, I put my phone in my purse, ate two plates, made punch, ate dessert with my nephew, played a hilarious charade game with the whole family and let the chips fall where they may. I assume that John and his family had a good time together as well.
- Protect yourself. If one and/or both of you has crazy or insensitive family members that you don't want to be around (and everybody has them :-), set up a signal or a time limit ahead of time as to how long they can stay or how long you will be there. Also, never ruin or sacrifice your holiday by being someplace more than 30 minutes where you are likely to be dishonored, ignored or inundated with an abundance of memories, paraphenalia or consistant reminders of your spouse's former married life. Unless you have the tenacity of a bull and you know your spouse will protect your heart from people who don't understand or don't know any better, its a set up for heartbreak. Don't do it. Stop by if you must, keep the car running, be polite, wave from the door, send a pie, but don't subject yourself to any foolishness both of you and your family deserve better.
- Don't give ultimatums. Why not? Because its stupid, as ultimatums usually are. I tried a psuedo ultimatum with John unwittingly once and I lost. I will never, ever do that again. Don't try and force someone else to make a decision. You present the issue and share with them the decision that you have to make that's best for you and drop it. In this case-no demands, you are going to have to spread the love around and share her/him, so suck it up. They had family when you met them and they will have family when you leave. So, instead of being jealous, mean , standoffish or possessive, be grateful that they have family that love them and that they have the heart capacity to love others and still have a special love for you and your kids. Send them on their way and have a great time yourself.
- Carve out time with just the two of you during the season to reflect on the year and dream for next year. Last year John and I did a breakfast on Christmas Eve at a restuarant and it was great to slow down from the hustle and bustle and enjoy him. Try it...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Camera team arrived at “The Superfamily Estate” on Thursday October 16th for an afternoon of interviews and backdrop taping that went well into the evening hours. The taping involving the children recorded them singing, having dinner, discussing current events and watching satirical political parodies on You Tube. For the interview portion, John and I were asked a mirage of questions. Besides our thoughts on the election, we covered many more topics. We discussed diversity, our thoughts on the separatism of races due to class, location, education or economic levels. We discussed the “Bradley effect” regarding the election and our prediction(we were right). John covered the historical impact of slavery and the innate inclination of mistrust among African Americans.
Overall, the opportunity was a great learning experience for us and a grand opportunity to showcase our family, the love we have for one another and the fun we have when we all get together. The kids had a great time "performing". The interview with John and I was extremely in depth (lasted almost an hour). It was very eye opening (based on the questions) to hear the global perception of Americans, African Americans, diversity, The Bradley effect , Christianity...and a whole lot more. Prayerfully, we made some headway in dispelling some of the myths!
Picture: The kids are pictured in our living room with Christa Hoffman from Austria. Starting from the gal in pink and working clockwise are:
Jerica A., Joelle, Jordan S., Jason (red shirt), Stevan (purple), Bryan (aganist the wall) Jordan J, Christa and Jerica J (Center-dark shirt)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
A few days ago, a member of my choir called me to tell me that she was out of town, and that the individual that she has asked to take care of her toy Chihuahua had left it in a bathroomfor 4 1/2 days unfed etc. Knowing what was coming next, I agreed to get the house keys from the previous doggie care taker, and go take care of the little pup for two days myself. Although there was a lot to clean up after 4 1/2 days gone bad in the bathroom, everything else seemed to go smoothly. . . . .until today when I went over to the house to feed the 2lb (if that) pup. I had previously told his owner that the food that she had bought him was entirely too big for a dog his size, and that she should seek out puppy chow in the future. Unfortunately, this would be to poor little Boogies (the dog) detriment!
Today durring feeding time, Boogie ate his food too fast, tried to throw it up, chocked on histhrow up, and died. It was such a terrible, and grave thing to witness! I was freaking out! If you know me, you know that I am DEATHLY afraid of anything dead and limp! I begged my lil bro (no relation) to do CPR on the Dog, and unfortunately, he "TOO" did not like the sight of dead animals!!!! What to do, what to do!!!!?????!!!!!
Two people deathly afraid of dead things, a woman on her way back from out of town expecting to see her "Boogie" alive, + well in a experienced pet owners care, and poor little Boogielaid out under a tattered living room chair DEAD! Immediately, with adrenalin pumping, nervous jittering, the cringe in the pit of my stomach predicted what I "HAD" to do, I had to preform CPR on this dog like he was my own!!! I picked up the limp puppy,whose limbs and head were lifelessly dangling took him outside and quicklystarted the procedure! One. . . Two. . . .Three. . . .rest. . . . .One . . . . .Two. . . .Three. . . .rest. . .It occurred to me that I was doing something wrong! If this were a child, I would have most certainly cleared the airway first, and checked to see what waslodging it. Another grusome thought came to me. . . I would actually have to stick myfinger down a "DEAD DOGS THROAT"!!!!! I almost threw up at the thought, but time was of the essence! Into his mouth and slightly down his throat my finger went swiping out all of the throw up, .
I took my barf covered yucky, gunky fingerout his mouth and continued with the CPR procedure as I previously had only this time silently praying that God would work out some kind of miricle! As I started to getdiscouraged, I felt his body get stiff, I thought for sure that he was dead after that! But then, very faintly, I felt his lungs inhale. I thought that I was the one manuallyinflating and deflating his lungs. Suddenly I noticed that his eyes were opening, One. . . .Two. . . .Three. . .rest I kept on going "Come on Boogie, you can make it,you can do it Boogie, come back.. . . That's right come on"! Finally his tail began to wag, and he tilted his head up at me. Beginning to feel relief, Boogie clinged on tomy shirt as I held him, gazed up at me with greatful eyes, and licked my face with his nasty tongue previously covered with barf! Although it took him a couple minuetsto collect his barrings, he has running, zipping, and terrorizing the house again in 5mins tops! God is so good! I remember only minuets before this situation occured, my lil bro asked me "Do dogs have souls"?
We sorta laughed at the thought, but only moments later Boogie was lifeless on the floor, and we'll never know what, or whohe saw in those lifeless moments, or if he saw anything at all. But I am here to tell you today, that you, a Human Being "do" have an immortal soul, which at any time could be called upon! You could be out with a friends just hanging out, eating a bowl of morning cereal, playing football, I had a friend just fall out on the basketball court and die this year. . . . . or you could very well be reading this message and kill over (not wishing that on anyone of you, I rebuke death in Jesus name). The point is, you never knowwhat will happen in life, so "Choose ye this day who you will serve"! God is waiting for you, and if you don't know him, he would love to be introduced to you by his son JesusChrist. The Bible says in the book of Matthew that "I am the way the truth and the life,no man comes unto the Father but by Me (the words of Jesus)". It also says inJohn 3:16 that God loved the world so much that he gave his "only" son that who everbelieves in him will not perish like the ungodly, but have eternal life with the Father. Do all dogs go to heaven? I'll know the answer to this question someday, but for now I would liketo ask you this question, "Are you going to heaven"?
If God would spare a little puppy such a fate, what more do you think that he would do for you, his most prized creation? Whetheryou are saved or not, the Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, this means me as well. Today, right now is the most opportune time for you to get your life rightwith the Lord because tomorrow is not promised! If you want to make things right with Christtoday all people, saved, and unsaved, please repeat this prayer: "God, I know that I am a sinner.I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However, I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust inJesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me! Amen!"
If you just said this prayer, and meant it with your whole heartyou "ARE" saved! Praise Jesus, and Hallelujah! The angels in heaven are rejoicing because of what you did today, and I would like to as well! Please send me a note if youprayed this prayer, so that I may pray for you! I promise that I wont post yourresponse to this prayer all over facebook, and I don't want you to be ashamed to tell peoplewhat you have done. The bible says that if you are ashamed of Christ before men, he will be ashamed of you before his Father on the day of Judgement! The Lord bless you, and bewith you! Stay encouraged! AGAPE
Jayna A Jamerson
Monday, November 3, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
As I was leaving, someone (who I knew) had parked right next me and she waved and drove off. Her car stopped abuptly and she backed back to tell me that she was led to pray for me earlier..actually for me and my family. She mentioned that God told her to tell me to think about my wedding day....to think about how happy I was and how perfect everything was (and mind you it was absolutely perfect:-). I started to cry. She had no idea how fitting and timely her message was. I just hugged her and told her that God was so faithful and I just thanked her for stopping to tell me that. It just confirmed that God knew ahead of time what was going to transpire throughout the evening and He already had people in place to 1. give sound advice 2. to give further instructions and 3. to intercede for me in prayer.
However, had I not followed God's initial leading, I may not have thought to call the right person and I for sure may not have ran into that person in the parking lot. One act of obedience changed the course of a night that could have ended disastrously. Never minimize trusting the right people. That ONE thing that God is telling you to do may seem small and insignificant, but it could hold the key to your success in every single area of your life. God's preordained plan is equipped with everyone and everything you need to be "ok". Get on that path and TRUST me you may still have to go through, but you won't be alone.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
In a "spiritual gifts" test I took a few years ago, I found out that my gift was administration. I was a tad disappointed, I actually preferred something a little more sensational. However, God's wisdom is incredible and His foreknowledge of what I would need to run my family successfully was put in me before I was even born.
I have been a manager, administrator and/or a corporate Executive assistant in the career world for the past 15 years or so. That experience, plus my certification at Harvard (for free, mind you) has put me in the place where God has given me the tools necessary to run an orderly ship with structure, balance and grace. The lady in the picture is smiling, not because she has to handle all that she does...she is smiling because she CAN handle all the she does. She may be tired sometimes or may delegate an assigment here or there. She is not lazy, she is strong and a hard worker just like the "lady' in Proverbs 31. One of my mentors is a very wealthy, incredibly successful pastor who runs a successful publishing company and cosmetics business. She is the co-pastor (with her husband) of her church, a wife, mother, author of over 10 books and has her children in business for themselves. She told me that "laziness is defined as the monumental effort it takes to refuse to inconvenience yourself." Watching her success and the cohesiveness of her family, I have decided that my family is worth a little inconvenience.
So, simple things that I do in the workforce I use now to solve issues at home. For example, my husband and I were shuffling appointments, events, rehearsals and meetings with the other person finding out at the last minute or after the fact, what was going on. So now, we have a Monday morning-mini debrief over the phone (we are both at our separate offices)where I type out the schedule for the week and discuss it with him. I send him a copy of it via e-mail and he can add anything that was forgotten and send it back. This way we both see what is going on ahead of time. It also allows us to plan better. One week, I sent the schedule over and my husband saw that we were out almost every evening during the week, so he canceled an event that the two of us had so we could be home instead. Had we not seen the whole week at a glance, we may not have even noticed that we were gone so much.
We have cut our busyness down some, but we may still have some more decisions to make. I never want to be the type of mom that I have to hire 20 people to the things for my husband and my family that I want to do. No, its not always convenient-but its my job and other things can wait. I mean if I don't have an hour to do my daughters' hair or clean my own husband's underwear then doggone it I am just WAY too busy. I am all for calling in some help if you need it on occasion. But my family is my "company" and my priority. I never, ever want to be too busy to serve them. Some of the best memories of my childhood was getting my hair done by my mom or talking to her while she ironed and starched my dad's shirts. I wouldn't trade those teachable moments for anything.
I am the Chief Operating Officer and my husband is the CEO. We have God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as the Board of Directors and our children are all Executive VP's of their world. My part of the success of our company rest on the ability to take the vision of the CEO, market it, structure it and make it happen. Sure I would love have an Oscar or a pulitizer prize one day...but one the best rewards of all will be hearing my kids tell their kids that..."My mom/stepmom rocked, she was always there for me, She took good personal care of my stepdad/dad and she ran our house with grace, love and constantly running vacumn cleaner."
Monday, September 29, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I don't mean that in a mean or derogatory way, but I'm not-they do not revere me as such, we don't quite have that type of relationship. Its more a friendly, acquaintence type than family oriented. So, in order for my husband's grandchildren to get an idea of their true legacy, he will need to remember and record information about him and his 1st wife...their grandmother. Since she passed, they won't know anything about her unless they teach them. Well, that sorta sucks for me. But it was my stupid "unselfish" suggestion ...that really wasn't so stupid as it was right.... and right is just well, right. It doesn't always feel comfortable or nice as the outside parent..but it doesn't change it from being right.
So anyway I started my "Nana Files" for my awesome "practice" baby. And its alot of fun.... telling her about my teen years, my mistakes and my Favorite things. Although she is not my natural granddaughter, she is my spiritual granddaughter. The Word teaches that God "sets" some in families. And to be set, means to be strategically aligned and placed on purpose. I believe that God set them with us so that I would have someone to pour into and to share with. I am so grateful...'cause umm as quiet as it is kept I have a whole lot to say. My thinking is I will leave it as such that my husband's grandchildren would be welcomed to glean from it if they want. But for my grandchildren to come... its a must read item :-).
I encourage all of you that are stepparents or parents alike to leave a legacy journal for your children or grandchildren. Just record your thoughts about God, living, dating, marriage, your mistakes, what hurt your feelings, what makes you happy, raising kids, going to school, important character issues, money management, credit, your childhood...anything that will teach them and give them an idea of what you were about. If you don't have any yet-I am a witness that if you have a heart to sow, God will set someone with you that will appreciate your wisdom, honor your presence in their life and have a teachable, meek spirit to learn from you. At the end, write a blessing upon their lives, based on what you know about them and what God shares in your spirit about them.
Remember your words have life. If you read the account of Jacob (in Genesis) blessing his children and grandchildren...you will understand that they will walk in whatever you speak that was given to you by revelation. Tell them who they are, and what they can become. Tell them what they can do and what they can achieve. But I declare... The "Nana Files" will be a hot item...you may want to tell YOUR kids to seek it out too ...lol..
Friday, September 12, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Later on that evening, I thought about that grasshopper and how in the Bible when Israel’s spies were sent out to view the promise land they came back with a "wimp report". They mentioned that they (The Israeli Army) could not take over the land that was promised because there were giants in the land. They also said that they (the giants) viewed them at grasshoppers. Nowhere in the account did they mention that a giant said that to them or that they heard from anyone that that’s how the giants felt. They just assumed that they were viewed as icky grasshoppers because of how big and fierce they viewed the giants and how THEY viewed THEMSELVES. Their assumption and wimpy perspective kept them out of a promise. Those however who were courageous (Joshua and Caleb) eventually got the promise land and their children were blessed as well.
I recently had a “wimp report” moment. I had been invited a month or so ago to attend an open house for membership consideration for a very prestigious organization. At first, I was excited and ready to apply, interview and get started. As it drew closer and I begin to do research on the group, their projects and some of the incredible backgrounds and resources they have- I got intimidated. Thusly begin my “wimp report”. “They are going to look at me this way…I don’t have enough this…I don’t know that…I didn’t come from here…they must think I am someone else…I’m too short…I don’t have the right clothes…trust me, it was pitiful! But I went anyway (taking my daughter with me for moral support) and it was incredible. I was so welcomed and embraced, it was surreal. I even found out that the president and I work for the same company system. My thought about how they viewed me was totally unfounded and my icky grasshopper syndrome symptoms soon subsided.
Whining and Winning don’t mix. Joyce Meyer says you can be powerful or pitiful but you can’t be both. Regardless of the giant, I am NOT a grasshopper. I am learning to be more confident in who I am…and who I am not…and being ok with me either way.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
World domination is a goal of mine. It’s right up there with losing 10 pounds and traveling to Milan for fashion week. I’m sure it sounds lofty to some but I suppose that explaining what world domination is to me would help…My father in ministry used to tell us all the time about dominating YOUR world. He would say you are responsible for taking over and mastering of your domain and everything that encompasses your “world”. He’d say (imitating MLK) that if you are a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper the world has ever seen, Sweep streets so well that everyone who sees them will have to take notice and admire the excellence of your persistence and commitment.
So, in my world…”stepworld”..how do you become the best stepfamily there is? How do you measure it? How do you take over and restructure the thought patterns and perceptions of what the general world believes blended families to be? How do you get over the hurdles and heartaches to be an example? How do you dismiss the hurts and wade through the disappointment of what you thought your life would be versus what it actually is? In a word or two, “faith and persistence”. No matter what, keep believing and keep going.
Which brings me to my picture….Pinky and the Brain was one of my favorite cartoons. They were lab mice and Brain’s main purpose in life was total world domination. Every episode was a new feeble attempt at some strategy or plan to take over the world. Pinky, who was a tad less “alert” than Brain would usually be an unwilling accomplice to Brain’s projects and sometimes the cause of it going awry. But no matter how badly the plan failed, when they were put back in their cages- Brain never faltered. This exchange between them was the end of every episode.
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
So after every time a child displays crazy behavior, or treats another sibling badly, or disrespects the authority in the home we keep going. Every time I disappoint my spouse or he treats me poorly, we keep going. Every time lines are drawn in the day to day that display separatism rather than togetherness, we keep going. When you hear or see behavior that yells “you’re not my mom”, “or you’re not my dad”…”or she was better than you” or “you pale in comparison to him”…you keep on going. Draw back for a moment if you must, but regroup, strategize and pursue.
And when the enemy tries to get you to go in another direction and ask you….
So….Superfamily after all of this drama “what are you going to do tonight”?
”The same thing we do every night, stupid-Try to take over the world.”
Monday, August 25, 2008
At his open house, I watched and marveled at all of those that stopped by. My sister was there hours before it started and jumped in everywhere making it happen and stayed til' the bitter end. So did my mom and dad and brothers. It was amazing and heartwarming as well. There were some who had just gotten back from out of town who came. Some who had 3 other stops to make. Some who came when it was almost over. Some we didn't even expect. We had so much fun. We ate until we were stuffed. The smaller kids played while the older kids watched action movies. The adults laughed, ate and encouraged my husband and I. I was also humbled to see my husband’s family and kids chip in and help. They brought food, gifts and even helped cleaned up. Their very presence really blessed me and Jay as well. Eventually, we had the opportunity to pray over him and Jay had the chance to honor some people that came that meant alot to him.