Friday, December 30, 2011

Authentic Assessment of EPIC FAILS

During this time of reflection we get caught up in the laundry list of everything that was absolutely wonderful about the year…eh..nice, feel for a "swell your chest up" look what I did moment, but without balance its' ineffective at real personal growth. 2012 is a year of divine order so pat yourself on the back if you must, but balance it with truth about what really didn’t go well, so you can be ready.

Me? I have had MAJOR EPIC FAILS this year.  Things, projects, people that I wasted time energy and resources on that should have been handled differently.  Other things that I should have devoted more time to that I threw by the wayside. I could have done more, way more.  For instance…..

I did a theater production this was almost a 2 month run, it was good! But there were many auditions I turned down, and I shouldn’t have. I turned down teaching a girls group class because I thought I should be doing something else.  I shouldn’t have-FAIL. (Lesson: things that I enjoy and can do now that my children are older, should not be sacrificed out of fear, guilt for people that don’t notice or things that don’t matter..My God given gifts will no longer be unemployed)

 This year I had to admit that a project that I gave much energy into has yielded very poor results and I kept pouring more energy into it-FAIL (Lesson: Make honest assessments earlier in the game.  When something reveals itself as a dead should believe it.  There are other doors, and God’s promise is that he will open up a window.  Look for opportunities everywhere and outside of the box that others put you in.  Quit wasting time spinning in circles with intimidation-look for confidence and sow into it.)

Yes, I took my daughter to Chicago and to see Wicked as promised….but what about all the weekend trips to the mall, movies and lunch at our favorite place that have been canceled..not so good. Or her last band performance of the year that I missed to race across town to help someone who really didn’t need my help after all. EPIC FAIL-ooooThis one still burns me up...I digress (Lesson: Family first period.  This was me and my husband’s consistent confession since 2007 and we’re going back to it.  Everything and everyone else, simply secondary.)

Nope, this isn’t as fun as ooo I got a new car or a new job this year! But whatever.. my car is good..but it won’t get me to the next level.  Its only by being honest with me, God and everyone around me that I can truly grow.  I can do this all night…gotta a list of about 16 so far.   I care enough about my kingdom assignments (ministry, books, teaching, training), my husband, my kids and my friends to do this so I can be a better ME. Take time this weekend and make a true assessment. Ask your friends…no, not the ego strokers- I mean the straight up ones that know you, that you trust and that trust you..that will say frankly..”you suck at this, this and this and you need to do better. Listen, really listen, pray and work on a strategy to change.  Let’s put 2012 in divine order starting with YOU.

Strategy...plan....list ...HOW??  Stay tuned for the Superfamily's final blog post of the year on tomorrow along with an exciting announcement!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tribulation worketh patience…and both are annoying

The Superfamily is finally back into our house, but it’s still far from being our home. We still have boxes everywhere! We are going through the process of going through each box to determine what goes and what stays. I view this as a fresh start, a new beginning…a chance to rid ourselves of the old and look forward to the new. Ideally, this would be a good exceptthe process is painstaking. If this was just my home, over 80% of these boxes would not have made it back in the door from the restoration people. Why? If you haven’t seen it, worn it or use it in 2 years you don’t need it, chances are you are merely accumulating it with the fear that no more is coming. Fear is a horrible, inconsistent motivator. I've seen for years what the poverty mentality does to people and it’s sad. Remember, It doesn’t matter whether you have “money” or not, the mentality of being poor is worse than actually being poor. Message to others:  Learn to let things...GO.

That’s a difficult principle to teach especially in a blended family. Every piece of paper, all 4,954 photos, every other stitch of clothing reminds someone on one side or the other of what their life USED to be. In order for us to get to where I believe God is calling us, that can no longer be the focus or driving force behind every decision. A memory maybe…the focus…no. Whereas I have worked hard over the years to get to the place that the most important memories I have aren’t captured in a book or something material…they are captured in my heart and in my spirit…I learn daily that everyone hasn’t gotten there yet nor do they view it at the same level of importance.

So in the interim, I live in clutter and there MUST be extra grace being applied from God for me to deal with it, because people that know me “for real for real” know that this stuff (mine, his, hers, there's EVERYBODY's) would have been on the curb weeks ago and my house would have been cleaned, organized and decorated for Thanksgiving. What is this teaching me…patience? Well, Tribulation worketh patience…and BOTH are annoying. But I will need patience to become the multipreneur that I am working to be. I will need patience to edit my 2nd and 3rd book simultaneously. I will need patience to work on this TV pilot project. I will need patience to continue to go to work everyday and seek out new and  different things to learn. I will need patience to sow wisdom into my lil’ heirs. I will need patience with myself to forgive me when I screw up and when I don’t have enough patience with others. There is the very next verse that I reference above..patience brings experience (or character) and experience reaps hope! Character and hope are excellent fruit of learning how to I believe I'll just teach by example, sit still and wait right here....bouncing my leg up & down and tapping my fingers feverishly :).

Friday, July 1, 2011

Its' all gotta go....

As most of you know (if you follow me on FB or Twitter)The Superfamily just recent had a fire in our home. No one was hurt and nothing of any real value was damaged (no major structural damage etc..). However, even after the fire dept aired the house out with “superfan”, the house still smelled of burned plastic and smoke. Although the fire was contained to the basement, its effects permeated to every lower level bedroom as well as up to my bedroom on the main floor to the kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom. In short, the whole house was contaminated because of a small fire in a contained location.

The insurance company has set us in a several hotel suites and the family is doing ok, terribly inconvenienced but ok. But the house is another story. The professional restoration people has practically wiped my home out. They have taken everything from the pictures that were on the wall to every VCR tape we had in the house. All the furniture, tables, chairs, beds, dressers, clothes, shoes, washer, dryer, pots, pans, vases…EVERYTHING was packed in a box to be cleaned offsite and brought back after renovation.

I had a tough time with this. It seemed a bit overboard and it was inconveniencing me even further. I had to go buy pans & pots to cook with at the hotel for goodness sake. It seemed to me that as long as the basement was cleaned, the rest of the house should be fine. But the professionals knew better. They knew that after the reconstruction, the painting, the cleaning of carpet, washing on walls and every crevice of the basement was not enough to ensure that my home would smell appropriately and not continue to push smut though the air from one room to the next…. They HAD to take out everything that was touched by smoke, take it away and clean it. In so many words they told me, its all gotta go. At one point I went and sat in my living room and cried. I spent four years designing the walls and finding the perfect B & W photos, finally picking out furniture and making a pretty big house a warm home. To see it all in shambles, dirty, smelly and boxed away was overwhelming. To know my family had to scramble to find a few day’s worth of clothes and my husband lost rest and time having to handle the business of this was more than I could take. Angry wasn’t the word. I should be studying for a play, finishing my book and helping to plan a wedding, not hauling clothes and food in my car to 4 different hotel rooms. However, the professionals also told me that when they return the items, they will look like new and the smell of smoke will not be on them anywhere. Hmmm...that's an upside...

Somebody out there has some things in their heart that were ruined by poor relationships, a torrid past or bad decision making. My advice to you…its all gotta go. Give it all to God and allow him to make it all brand new. You will be inconvenienced for awhile, but when He begins to restore you to your rightful place…you will be like new again. So sit in the living room and cry, like I did if you must…but please know DON’T’ keep the damage hidden from the Lord. Expose your hurts, your disappointments and your desires to Him and let him restore to you the joy of your salvation. But first…its all gotta go.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why am I given so much to do!!

About a week ago I had lunch with an acquaintance of mine..for no other reason but to get re-acquainted. There was no pretense or agenda…just two women getting together at Meriweather’s (A GREAT place to eat by the way) to eat, laugh, talk and eat some more. For that reason, expectations were low. I didn’t expect to come away with any thought provoking revelations..just eat & have a good time with her. However, revelatory knowledge is available everywhere if you look for it.

Not even sure how we got on the subject, but we begin talking about the parable of the talents from the account in bible & my lunch guest brought out something I knew…but needed to be reminded of. In the parable the master gave three servants “talents”. The 1st got 5, the 2nd received 2 and the 3rd got 1. When the master returned to see how the servants had fared with the talents the first two both doubled their talents so the 1st had 10 and the 2nd now had 4. The 3rd servant was afraid to do anything or try anything daring or new and he decided to bury his talent and presented the master with the 1 talent that he initially gave him. Now I know this story. I have heard it since I was a little girl but it was the next part that I had always overlooked. The master then dogged out the servant with the one and gave it to the servant who had doubled 5 into 10. Why is that interesting?? Well, why didn’t he give it to the one who had doubled 2 into four since he had less than the 1st servant? Why didn’t he give the servant another chance? Then my guest said something that opened my eyes to why I have the schedule, giftings, talents, abilities, dreams, desires, assignments, tasks and jobs that I have.
God has entrusted me with more, because I have handled more and doubled it. I am not afraid to try something new or do something different than anyone else. Even with the responsibilities I already have, I am always seeking how to maximize moments and take things to the next level. So writing a book, winning a beauty pageant, raising five children, working full time, remarrying and now managing a superfamily is good, actually it’s darn good. But now God has seen the fruit of those areas and now there is more to do. So add writing more books and creating conferences and workshops, developing a business, volunteering at the Junior League, stepping up responsibilities at work, traveling, exposing my children to more, different & better, planning weddings and events, developing legacy opportunities for my grandchildren and acting in Community Theater are the next layer. So the next time I ask …Lord why me? I will check myself HARD. I have it to do, because I have been faithful over a few things (not always….but eventually). I have it to do because I can handle it (even through frustration, I get it done). I have it to do because I am not afraid and Lord instead of always asking YOU for double….my goal is to bring YOU back double.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gardening in the house

His Highness and I are stepping up our gardening this year.  We started a small garden last year and successfully grew green peppers, banana peppers and the like.  This year we are branching out and planting other fruits and veggies such as greens, watermelons, crowder peas, lettuce and tomatoes.  

Our ground (zone 5) is hard and cold right now.  Our growing season is short comparatively.  Knowing this, it is wise to start your seeds in a planter..grow them inside to prepare them for outside.  You are limited by space in the house of course, but by starting small, you gain an advantage to have a bigger harvest than what you would have if you had waited until the ground was ready.

Step parenting or parenting in general is a major lesson of seed….time….and harvest.  If you wait until your children are “ready” to hear instruction from you or accept your advice or guidance, you have lost prime time in making a difference.  With stepchildren this is even more vital because in some cases, depending on the situation, or due to resentment or family structure you may not be revered as an authoritative voice in their life. BUT that does not preclude you from the lessons you can teach from afar, by example…seedlings.

There are things I do, or don’t do that “teach” all time.  The way I serve my husband, decorate my home, organize my day, plan in advance, what I wear, how I speak, my mistakes, my triumphs..  It may be “small” in that I am not sitting down having a one on one consultation on the do’s and do not’s…but my little actions can speak louder than words.  One day when the “ground is ready” my wisdom, insight, or perspective may be better received and a harvest greater than what would have been realized if my little seedlings had not been planted along the way. Seed...TIME....and Harvest..

Monday, April 4, 2011

Get The Rebound...

The 1989-1990 Detroit Pistons was my most favored sports team of all time. Partly because there were no “stars”. Noone really shined more than anyone else…it was The Detroit Pistons against Larry Byrd and the Celtics, or Magic Johnson and the Lakers…they Pistons were always billed as a team (much like the Superfamily :). The reason I believe that their back to back championship seasons were so successful was due to wisdom of their coach Chuck Daly who put every Pistons in the right role for the right time.

Just recently NBA retired Dennis Rodman was in back in Detroit to retire his jersey number 10. Dennis was a rebound rustler. His job was to get the rebound…Dennis rarely drove the ball down court, or took three point shots. Again, His job was to get the rebound. He was named Defensive Player of year and helped the Pistons get two championship rings by doing what he was designed to do and staying in his lane. Other Pistons may have gotten better stats in points or free throws but that “1” in the win column would not have happened had it not been for Dennis’ role. He was designed to play defense. His job was to get the rebound.

In Stepfamilies, the lines of roles and responsibilities can get blurry. You get a lot of unsolicited, although perhaps well-meaning advice from people who have no clue as to the intricacies of the dynamics you face on a day to day basis. Trying to navigate what others think, and what your role actually is in every separate new relationship in the family is draining, demanding and emotionally strenuous. You cross a line here and get slapped back. You don’t do “enough” here and get criticized behind your back. Its enough to make you want to retreat and mind your own self-business (as grandma would say). I know, because I’ve done it and its an emergency tactic to have to get refocused and hear clearly from God.
Like Dennis, You need to hear from the "coach" to know what you are supposed to do. You may think its shooting, blocking, or dribbling..but you could just be assigned to getting the “rebounds”. ..just picking up pieces…here and there..getting in where you fit in.. Its not as glamorous, but your family will not get one in the win column without your skill set and tenacity. They may not even respect it, but eventually…even if it years later…”your jersey” will rise to the rafters and many will rise and call you blessed.  Be diligent about learning your role and then stay in that laneTHAT is the only place where there is grace to prosper.  If you veer or get into the roles that others should be doing, you will be operating on your own..and alone is NO place to be if you are running a Superfamily.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What are you putting into your child's MEGAMIND...

What instructions are you giving to your children? Who are you telling them that they are or can become? You may not think your input is important, but it is. The recent family hit movie “MegaMind” does a great job of displaying this theory. In the very beginning the Main character “MegaMind” is being sent by his parents to earth to save him from his exploding planet. When his parents place him in his space tube, they begin to tell him his awesome destiny when the hatch closes prematurely and MegaMind doesn’t hear the whole thing. Fast Forward, he ends up being raised by prisoners, shunned by school mates and determines within himself that he is supposed to be a super villain.

Eventually he learns that he doesn’t “have” to be evil. He learned that he can make different choices. But not before demolishing most of the city, taking over city hall and destroying the citizens way of life.

How many paths of destruction will your child have to stumble down…and how many messes will he or she make before you tell them and convince them of who they are and what they can do? Don’t let the "hatch" close (lines of communication) without letting them know what they are wired to do. This means you have to know your child. You need to know their strengths, their weaknesses and the way that they learn and respond.

In stepfamilies, this is extremely important because in most cases you have at least two parents that are missing from the everyday lives of any children involved that were brought into the marriage. Your job as their parent is to make sure that you don’t abandon this dynamic of your role in your child’s life. You cannot focus so much on blending everything together that you disregard the unique gifts of your children that God charged you with explicitly to nurture and cultivate. You are equipped with a unique perspicacity for your child….regardless of how old they are. Use your gift and sow words of wisdom, power and direction into them as often as you can. Tell them the have the Mind of Christ...which is a MEGAmind indeed!

Monday, February 28, 2011

"YOU Again"

While enjoying a nice afternoon in the nail salon, my daughter and I watched a movie called You Again. It starred Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis as two former high school rivals who daughters also became high school rivals. They meet back up when Jamie Lee Curtis’ son decides to marry Sigourney’s daughter, who again is the rival of his sister.

Wild antics occur when past feelings, hurts, fights and emotions seep to the surface between all four of the old rivals. So much so, that the wedding rehearsal is destroyed and the wedding is called off. Although not quite as planned, cooler heads prevail and *spoiler alert* the wedding goes on. It was near the end of the movie that caught my attention. At the very of the grandmothers, played by Betty White runs into another older woman at the reception and they look at each other with disdain and shout “You Again”. In an “a-ha flashback moment” It is insinuated that this feud started long before the daughters and mothers. It started with the grandmothers and the cycle has been revisited in every generation since.

The movie just served as a reminder to me that negative cycles will reappear in your relationships, your children and their relationships, your job etc.. if you don’t change and modify behavior toward the positive. It is on my worklist to never have face another negative cycle and mumble in submission ugh.. not “You Again”. It is imperative that stupidity I dealt with, faced and fell under...ends with me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

99 1/2 won't do!

For the last year or so I have been praying that each of my children would get a decent paying job-at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t slothful and still did what they had to do to manage. One son sold a lot of his possessions to keep money in his pocket, another son worked as a volunteer at a ranch part time cleaning, another begin to hone in on his writing skills creating drafts of screenplays, and my daughter did hair on the side to make ends meet.

I could have gotten complacent and stopped praying and believing. I could have blamed the economy or just knuckled under to the pressure that jobs were hard to come by. But I refused. I have learned that anything worth having is worth fighting for. My kids well being is worth fighting for. So I had 3 working, and one left. It just made me dig my heels in harder, fast more, pray more and exercise more faith in this area. I kept him encouraged and prayed in agreement with him.

But today as I dropped this son off to his new job at a very prestigious country club, I smiled in gratefulness as I realized that God honored our diligence in seeking Him. It wasn’t about the job. It was about strengthening our faith and our developing our perseverance. It was also about my son’s attitude. He was sincerely happy for his brothers and sisters as they seem to leap ahead of him. He celebrated the wedding of one, the birth of his niece with another brother and rejoiced over a promotion his sister earned. He had the right spirit.

So I encourage you today to ask God to create in you a clean heart and renew a right spirit within you. One of my mentors says, “What you want is on the other side of what you won’t do”. Be relentless in your pursuit of what God has for you. I did, and now have, 4 out of 4. Go after your 100% . No settling. 99 ½ won’t do.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Perfected Phoniess

Your smile is plastered, but your heart is breaking. All you need to do is talk about it, or at least hear that somebody else has gone through it and made it. All you need is to not feel isolated and alone. You just hate feeling like you are the only one that has ever had a baby out of wedlock, had a sexually transmitted disease or been cheated on by a no good knucklehead. But where can you find someone that has “gone through”? Everyone around you looks so perfect. Everyone appears like all is well. Everyone is jumping, shouting, running, and dancing all over the sanctuary.

People at work seem to be oblivious to anything other than their own ambitions. Your spouse is one way at home, another way at church and still a different way when you are alone.

The masks we wear hide our grief, our shame, and our “realness”. We cover up using humor, material things, performances, or by becoming mean, tactless and standoffish. In other words, we become phony. We play the role…the starring role actually, in our own lives. People clap after each performance, but when the curtain goes down and the lights are out, the mask is removed. We look at the stranger in the mirror, wipe the tears, apply more makeup and get ready for Act II. Our routine becomes flawless. Our phoniness becomes perfected.

How do you end the performance and get on with reality? It is only in reality that destiny can be achieved. God can only bless and prosper who we really are…not who we pretend to be. Therefore, it is imperative that we re-learn how to be authentic. How do you begin.. by striving to speak the truth in love, even its it the truth about ourselves.

An excerpt from an upcoming Book by CDJamerson

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Its the little things..

About a month ago...I looked across the sanctuary at church and observed my sons worshipping.. All of a sudden..I was frozen in place for about a minute.. tears welled up in my eyes as I realized that at that moment..I was SO happy. I have had tons of happy moments...and have prayed for a gazillion things..but right then I saw more than boys (ok...young men) praising God. I saw a full circle of God's Word coming to pass.

I have another son that is a youth pastor and lives away. I felt the same way when he sent me a picture of him in a national magazine and the photographer had "caught" him worshipping. So yup...I jump up and down with glee when I see where God has brought them. I also know that it hasnt always been this way. I remember pleading with God to save my children when they were babies..before they could even talk. I was on my face in front of their bedroom doors praying for their choices, their friends and their future spouses. Things looked grim everytime I had to go to school because one of them acted up in class, or when I had to call their father because they were fighting or breaking curfew. BUT...

God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. I disciplined the STANK out of all my kids...I never let up...I prayed, fasted, and sacrificed. I taught them the word, made them memorize the word even when they didn't want to. I played word music around them that they still remember to this day..and now that they are "old"...they have not departed from it. They have made doubt about it. But I see the light of Christ in them, like never before and I know that my prayers have been answered. It took PATIENCE and TIME.

The same is true for things you may be believing for in your family, business, workplace or neighborhood.. It may look grim...but one day you will look up and see a glimmer...a small thing..that let's you know..that God sees and hears and soon you will see the manifestation of everything that God has promised.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reposition Yourself...

The GPS on my phone is pretty helpful. You know the drill, you punch in where you want to go, and the smooth voice tells you which way to get there. They tell you every turn, calculate traffic, distance, barriers and upcoming freeways. All goes well until you do something that the “voice’ did not tell you to do.

You know how it is…we see a familiar street and say…Oh, I can go this way…or traffic looks heavy and you decide to turn off on an exit instead of being patient and waiting. Then the GPS goes into begins to yell at you “You are off course”, Incorrect turn, Incorrect turn. At first it tries to tell you to make a few turns to get you back on the road you were on. However, after you get so far out, you will hear nothing while it “thinks” of what to do with you next. Then after it loads back up you hear recalculating route…meaning the GPS sees that you are WAY off track and is now trying to find the best route based on where you are and where you still say you are going.

Usually that route is longer and more complex than if you had stayed on the initial path to begin with. You will still get where you are going but it will take longer and probably be a little more frustrating than if you had just stayed on the path.
I have spent the end of last year and the beginning of 2011 getting back on the right route. Sometimes you can get so caught up with the projects, dreams, responsibilities and visions of other people that all of a sudden you look up and everything you are supposed to be doing is taking a back seat, Not gonna work.
In a family our size its easy to get lost in my husband's projects, fitness, rehearsal schedules, responsibilities or my daughters camp activties, school/homework, hanging with the Grandkids, housework, work and projects for my employer, and Junior League & Church is another life of its own. But in the hustle and bustle of all of that am I excused from what I am supposed to be doing? Nope. God fully expects me to use what I have to get it done. I am equipped with what I need to do it..and if I choose to do 50 million other things too...thats on me, but I still have a responsibility to my assignment.
So my GPS was off a little...but I'm back on track.. my husband, the Superfamily and the assignments that I have been given from God are my priority. Everything else is secondary and hopefully I will make fewer "incorrect turns" in 2011.