Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monkey in the Middle

Wow...found this blog entry from 9/6/07 and I will be doggone if this same thing isn't happening today too...uh huh..I see a pattern here, devil!!

Monkey in the middle was an interesting chiild's game that we used to play. It's now a board game...but back in the day...it used to be that people on two opposite sides threw a ball back and forth between them and you "the monkey" would try to catch it by intercepting it. Unfortunately, you end up running back and forth between people constantly. You jump up only to find that they threw it low that time...you dip only to see it fly overhead. By 20 or so passes you are tired and you want the ball...but after awhile you don't care...it doesn't seem worth it.

Today, I am the "Monkey". I am running in between issues, people and problems trying to make and keep everyone happy...while I "make do". I make do with feeling neglected, I make do with feeling misunderstood, I make do with not having what I need. I try not to complain, cause in some areas (but not all)...I have more than I have ever had. But the running, the missing, the jumping, the dipping...has worn me out. I want to scream to the world...I'm not perfect...I can't hold your weight and mine too...BACK OFF. However, in the midst of it all..I have remembered to take of me. That's right...no over eating...no eating a ton of junk...no drowning my sorrows in food or shopping. I am valuable even and though I feel like crud...feelings are an unstable source of information. I am not perfect, but I am loved...by ME.

TODAY 9/22/09:
The enemy thinks he's slick..I will not be fooled another year, I betcha that!

Always darkest before the dawn

I wrote this in an older post on another blog 9/17/07. I am absolutely floored that it is still applicable and accurate for my life...a whole year later...

Whose knows who said it first...but it seems to be true. It gets SOOOOO dark in your life right before the "wonderful" or the "awesome" thing happens. Or does it? Maybe it's just been so dark that any glimmer of light no matter how signficant brings hope to a seemingly hopeless situation. I am looking for glimmers. On the surface everything appears great, but deep down there are some inner struggles, some issues and disappointments that I struggle to keep at bay. There are some hurt feelings, some trampled emotions, some ignored needs that keep kicking me deeper into darker places that when I get a ounce of good news, I jump at it and grab it for dear life.

That's not living...at least not the level of living that I am believing for. I want JOY and happiness. I want peace, simplicity and to diminish the need to explain or defend myself all the time. How do you climb to a life like that when every rung is met with fear, disappointment, a mistake, judgement.... You keep on walking. Past the critics, past the heartache, past the needs...you keep on stepping. You can't linger anywhere too long-even in your mind. If you are working out an issue, work it out in your head, or on paper then let it go. If someone doesn't understand you, oh well! If they are not someone of influence in yor life, or a credible authority on the subject matter that they are criticizing you about, reject it and move on.

I guess in a way peace has to be pursued, joy has to be a choice. It sure won't fall in your lap. There are glimmers of light everywhere. Look for and be grateful for small things. Because when it's dark is when light shines the brightest.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Duck and Roll

My children will battle all day about who the greatest superhero is. They will call out pairs and try to determine things like "If Thor fought the Incredible Hulk, who would win?" They base their hypothesis on what specific powers each of them possess and which power would overcome the other.

My absolute favorite hero (next to Superman, obviously) is Wolverine. Ok, yes he is a tad rough around the edges. He isn't quite the most "polite" hero and those claws are FIERCE! But its his other power that I admire and its what I believe gives him the edge over his enemies...its the ability to absorb a knife cut, a wound, a bullet, a bomb, a scape, scratch, or bruise and within seconds..be healed of the pain from the inside out and have NO scar to show from it.

If I could only choose one superpower, that would be it. Why? Because complete healing gives you the ability to persevere without fear and the wherewithal to keep fighting indefinitely, healing inwardly along the way. I can't imagine all I could have done, accomplished or changed if I didn't have to stop along the way to lick my wounds or take a "season off" to get over an offense, or what someone did or said to me or assumed about me.

How is that possible you say? How can you not allow hurtful things, not to deeply hurt you? I tell you how I am doing it, and others may have different ideas....but as for me I "duck and roll".

When I notice that something is going on that can potentially be determential to me (a negative conversation, an inappropriate tv show, a nasty attitude, verbally abusive, or even physically) my first response is to move me. I move me mentally, physically if necessary, emotionally most certainly. My first goal is to protect my heart from foolishness. To "duck" if you will from anything that can potentially damage who I really am and what I am really about.

Secondly, I "roll"! If something has managed to hurt me, I learn to shorten the turn around time until I get over it. In other words, let it roll off quicker which allows me to get back in the fight and ensures another chance for success. Whatever I have to do, whether its pray, cry, listen to a song that inspires me, run around outside, watch something funny on TV, write, whatever I need to do to work through the effects of a blow, I do it, I do it quickly and I move on.

To be able heal from issues quicker is not only better for you mentally but physically. You cut down on heart issues, stress, ulcers etc.. I have discovered its not worth it. I have some issues and other people have some issues but NO issue is worth altering my destiny for. Don't internalize everything or take others problems personally. Don't own other people's issues.

Heal "Wolverine style" from the inside out, and heal quickly. Don't let offense, hurt, mistrust or fear rob you from love, relationships, or the mind blowing plan that God has for your life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Personal Board of Directors

In the book Mastering the 7 Decisions by Andy Andrews, I was reminded of the importance of having a Personal Board of Directors. Since I also work in Governance, this parallel rings very real and purposeful for the next seasons of my life. On the Board of Directors at my job, we are careful to select people with specific backgrounds, expertise, education, cultural backgrounds, family makeup, economic levels and social circles that will benefit the corporation. Everyone doesn't come from the Auto industry, everyone isn't a teacher, everyone doesn't understand finances, everyone isn't African american, everyone isn't a parent, and they don't all go to the same church, there are dfferences so vast that the corporation benefits from a wide scope of ideals, connections and experiences.

You need to have a "Personal" Board as well. People that you can turn to and count on to give you sound advice, true experiences, encouragement, correction and connect you to the right people and places so you can achieve your goals and vision.

My Board is very diverse, everyone serves their purpose and I tap into them for their specific limited scope for the different catagories of my life. Since I am married, my husband serves as the chairman. As a steparent, I have a two very "successful" (very important) stepmothers that I can go to, to glean wisdom from. As an author, I study and seek out the style & experiences of Andy Andrews & John Maxwell. As a wife, my godbrothers' wife is my sounding board and she will encourage me when I am on target and slam me unmercifully when I am not-lol. As a believer, my pastor, by nature of his role would be considered a Board member. As a future multiple stream- business woman, legacy builder and billionaire, I have a mentor and motivator that I have tremendous respect for that takes time to talk to me, answer my questions and push me. To learn grace under pressure, class and ladylike demeanor, I watch Queens, Princesses, The first lady of the US, and my founding pastors wife. For my professional career, there are two attorney's and a roundtable of trusted co-workers that I use to bounce things off of. For everything else, there is my mom/dad, sister and brothers and my e-mail crew from my 1st church home-"The Cats".

You might think wow....that's alot of folks to get advice or direction from. Actually it isn't. You have neve heard of a multi-million dollar corporation having 2 board members? I am much more valuable than that, so I need wisdom from all directions. The bible even teaches that in a multitude of counsel there is safety. All of the counsel I get is submitted to the ultimate authority-God and he has always caused the things I need to know to be in line with what I have been told and His Word.

So give it some thought. Your dream, your vision, your family's destiny is much to big for you to carry it alone, isn't it? You are going to need help. You are going to need answers. You are going to need support. The people on my board never attend a meeting or come to a board retreat. They may not even know I consider them a board member in my life, its not about formality. Its about the sincerity of looking at their life, desiring a trait or characteristic they have and being humble enough to learn from them. I have young ladies that have come to me directly and asked me to mentor them. Honestly, the 1st few I told them no in so many words. I didn't feel that I was "perfect" enough to do it. I didn't get it, now I do and as I get mentored, and learn from my "board" the more wisdom I will have to share with them.

Its time to round up your board-WHO IS IN YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE and WHY? Where are they taking you and is it where you are supposed to be going?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Tug O' War of Today

We played the game of Tug of War when I was growing up. The coaches always tried to be sure that the teams were even in size and number. We would pull and pull and pull until finally one side or the other would end up letting go, getting scared of the other side or lost their footing and are then pulled over onto the winner's side. Tug of War has strong archaeological roots going back at least to the 12th Century AD. In other words, its been around a long time.

Regardless of whether the game is played in school, on the playground, on Cardoni street, in the coliseum, or in the Olympics, the fundamentals of the game are still the same. One side either let go of the rope, got fearful or the other side pulled hard enough to cause them to lose their footing and be pulled across the line.

Life today was a major game of tug of war for me. I am not sure if I was on one side or the other or if I was the rope. I had appointments, meetings, deadlines, unexpected calls and issues and of course it all happens within a 45 minute window. I am still detoxing from the drama of the day and I have to admit, I made it without loosing my cool, almost without loosing my patience and for certain without throwing up my hands. There was grace to handle everything. Now everything that I wanted did not happen and I still don't know how I am going to take care of what's ahead, but I learned three things:
1. Don't let go. Do not just throw your hands up and allow the issues to just "be". Do all you know to do. Bishop Jakes says Do all you can, leave NOTHING out. Even if its not enough, you will have an assurance that you truly did all you could. We have great confidence in what God can do, but we don't believe that we have been given the power to do anything. When you go to God and you turn it over to him you should be able to say with confidence that Lord I did everything within my power to do. I did all I could with what you gave me. I need you to take it from here. I refuse to let things just "happen" to me and I just lay there...I am SO the warrior! God equipped me to be a fighter so I can do battle and win. With me, its not likely that the issue will continue to survive as long as I am steadfast in the things of God.
2. Don't lose your footing. You have to know who your rock is and what you are rooted and grounded in. You have to release anything that is flaky, insecure and wavering-be it people, situations or relationships. Its easy to want to try this and try that in order to get this, but in some things you have to simply get back to basics. For example, you want more money? You can fast until you are blue in the face and 57lbs, put oil on your checkbook and pray 17 1/2 times a day but the Word says GIVE and it shall be given unto you. So all of that stance is fine and good...but if you are not bringing in multiple streams of income, tithing and giving out of what you have..prawlly NOT gonna happen. Don't lose your footing and get caught up. Do what you KNOW to do.
3. Don't be a punk and get fearful. People really made alot of assumptions when my husband was attacked the other day. One of the biggest assumptions was that I was SCARED. Was I concerned for him, you better believe it, was I angry that he was hurt-that's a certainty, but scared? Like I told my daughter, I ain't never scared-bad english but true none the less. I may not like the situations that are happening to me..but I am not afraid of them. I am a seasoned, decorated war hero who is not afraid of battle because I remain equipped to fight at all times-at any time.
So if you find your mind, your life, your relationships in a Tug of war, don't be afraid. Dig your heels in and hold your ground. Don't let go and I am a witness who made it through the craziness of today that you can outlast any enemy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Out to destroy me??

(Picture from recent Tennessee Vacation)

Most of you who follow us know that just recently my husband was car jacked at work. Outside of the inconvenience of replacing everything, adjusting here and there and your occasional anxieties, we have come through this fire without even smelling like smoke. He’s fine, I have him, so I’m fine. All Praise to God.

Yes, we dealt with the "Spirit of Stupid" as there were idiotic rumors going around about what happened with people who don't even know him anymore. I really wish wisdom would have prevailed and that kind of irreverent garbage would have been kept out of my husband’s space. He had enough to contend with without having to take precious time to squash plain ole dumb stuff. He laughed it off as is his nature, but it was SO not funny, not appropriate and mature believers should know better, just the enemy using them and their immaturity to take another swing...BUT-Anyway…we came through that as well.

However, although grateful I am still deeply and thoroughly annoyed. Why? Because my husband told me that although this incident happened physically to him, that the enemy wasn’t out to get him, he’s actually out to destroy me. Now THAT ladies and gentlemen ticked me off, probably because I knew that as soon as he said it there was a ring of truth to it.

The enemy, my friends, family, co-workers, and even my hairdresser knows that if you want to send me swinging or see me drive a minivan through your living room window, mess with my husband, Stevan, Jerica, Bryan, Jaivon, or Jordan. That my dear, will get you injured. I am sure there is a more spiritual, politically correct way to say that but rather than try to comprise that, I think truth speaks loud and clear.

Now mind you that there are others that are important to me, there is my mom and dad, my siblings, My husband’s family, my nieces and nephews, my goddaughter etc.. Trust me the enemy knows my protective nature of those I care about, am committed to and are committed to me. He also knows I have been attacked directly so much and so often, and in so many ways, I suppose I have developed a blasé immunity to how an attack against me directly effects me. Armed with that kind of information about people you are planning an attack against seems to be a major advantage.

Thinking about my husband’s statement, I think what does the enemy gain by taking me out? And furthermore “How can I win against a foe that knows my most targeted vulnerabilities”.

I’m going to think about that…and get back with you.