Friday, December 14, 2012

This year think S.M.A.R.T....and plan ahead..

Before you know it, 2013 will begin. But before 2012 becomes a memory, why not evaluate where you have been and where you would like to go so that when January 1, 2013 arrives, you will be prepared with a clear plan in mind.

More often than not New Year’s Eve events are full of more celebratory moments than reflective ones. So I have learned to start the entire year-end process beginning in mid-December. I spend time during this month thinking about the year as a whole and what changes I have made to my character because of the things I have experienced. I also begin to turn over ideas of things that I would like to accomplish in 2013.

 While most are involved in last minute hustle and bustle of gift buying and wrapping, on Christmas Eve night, I will start a fire in my fireplace, and get a very comfortable seat. Armed with my list of goals and plans from this year and a new journal/planner for 2013, the work begins of planning for a purposeful new year. There are many strategies and approaches to do this, but this is the way that has worked best for me.

1. Congratulate yourself for what was accomplished in 2012. Think about everything that happened over the year (going through your planner or calendar on your phone will help you remember). If it was a memorable moment to you, challenged your paradigm or represents a once thought ‘impossible goal” document that in the back of your 2012 journal. Also include any lessons learned and what you learned about yourself. This year, I was honored as a Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence. The things I learned during that experience were priceless, surely a highlight of the year.

2. Develop the new goal list. What changes do you plan to make in the New Year? What new skills do you hope to learn? What places do you hope to visit? What projects need to be completed? Perhaps you can choose 3-5 general areas in your life you want to improve (i.e health, relationships, finances, education, organization, exposure etc..) and then define the goals you want to achieve within these areas.

3. Be precise. The S.M.A.R.T goals system is a GREAT method for goal setting– (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely). Why is this imperative? When you clarify what you want to accomplish, what it will look like when completed and the process as to how you will attain it, you designing a guide of how and within what time frame the change should occur if you are on task. In short, accountability. If people have no measurable goals in place, it is usually because they want NO ACCOUNTABILITY.

4. Create a plan (think small steps). In keeping with the SMART goal approach, break down the various elements that need to be completed in order for your goal to materialize. Pull out your planner and set up daily, weekly, monthly goals based on what is necessary. Set up recurring reminders on your phone. Example for 2010 I wanted to make a conscious effort to pray for my daughter about school every day. I pray for my family regularly but I wanted to specifically target school for her. So I set up a recurring reminder on my cell to go off while I am driving to work. When it rings it is a reminder to pray for her. It was a small step, but now even two years later, it’s a habit. I automatically set my phone up at the beginning of the school year and even note her teachers’ names, classes etc. in the reminder so I can include it as well.

5. What’s your motivation . . . What is your-Why? Once you have made a list of the goals/projects you want to achieve in 2013, ask yourself WHY you want to pursue them. What is your motivation and what do you believe the goal will bring into your life? Is it for self-improvement, self-fulfillment or is it for someone else? Setting goals with someone else in mind isn’t always a negative thing. My “why” for my business building has very little to do with me. I am building it for my children and my grandchildren.  When times get tough and you don't feel like studying or exercising or reviewing the accounts payables again..your "why" can give you the push you need to continue.

December is a month of festivities, love, family, giving, activities, big surprises and the perfect month to begin to dream beyond what you can see. Don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to plan your future. Start today and come New Year’s Day 2013 be ready to implement the strategy that will catapult you into your next level.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Give the gift of "slack"

Being in a Superfamily, we actively deal with at least 3-4 family schedules every holiday not including our own household. First of all, there is my family. That includes my kids, my parents, my sister, brothers, in laws, nieces and nephews. Then there is my husband’s family. He has his children, a brother, two sisters, nieces, nephews and in laws. Then there is my husband’s kids family (his former wife's relatives) which include their grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. On top of that we have 5 kids that are married with families and in-laws of their own.

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 it’s your spouse's sister turn on the other side? Or what happens when your kids want you to see their other parent’s family which of course cannot include your current spouse and their side of the family. So say yes means leaving your spouse and their children behind and spending time with your former family. To say no means disappointing your children.

Welcome to REAL "Stepfamily" life and it is a far cry from what is displayed on the 70’s show The Brady Bunch. There is no Alice to help clean up messes and NOTHING gets solved in 22 minutes plus commercials. It’s enough to leave you in 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.

Every day we face new awkward complexities and the Holidays intensify those complexities. Sacrifice and disappointment are inevitable, but how you deal with it can make the difference.

Our holiday advice for stepfamilies or any complex family:

1. 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 the plans. Work toward compromise but not at each other’s expense.

2. Relax, ignore the stereotypes and 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. Don’t allow people to say what you should do just because it’s what they do. Do not let "other people's normal" pressure you or get you in a state of foolish expectation. Do you.

3. Understand and accept that this is your life now. It will only get more complex from here. Our children will have to visit other family members as well as us, their grandparents etc. Accept where you are so you can plan effectively for where you are headed.

4. Enjoy where you are, wherever you are. One holiday we were split up and my husband was supposed to join me later. He didn’t make it. BUT I could have ruined the holiday for me, my family and my kids if all I did was worry about if my husband was coming or if I constantly called him, bugged him, texted him, wondering where he was or if they were going to make it. Instead, I put my phone in my purse, 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 my husband and his family had a good time together as well. BE where you are.

5. Protect yourself. If one and/or both of you have crazy or insensitive family members that you simply 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. Never ruin or sacrifice your holiday by being someplace more than 60 minutes where you don’t want to be. 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 absurdity. Both of you and your family deserve better, especially during the holidays.

6. Don't give ultimatums. Why not? Because simply put-it’s stupid, as ultimatums usually are. Don't try and force someone else to make a decision. I tried it, and it doesn’t work. You and what you want may not be the priority in every case. Make no demands. You are going to have to spread the love around and share her/him, so deal with it. They had family when you met them and they will have family should you leave. So, instead of being jealous or possessive, be grateful that they have family that love them and that they have the heart capacity to love others. Send them on their way if you can’t work out a viable alternative and go have a great time yourself.

7. Carve out time with just the two of you during the season to reflect on the year and dream for next year. Last year my husband and I did a breakfast on Christmas Eve at a restaurant and it was great to slow down from the hustle and bustle and jusy enjoy being together. That time alone together more than made up for the few hours we missed together on Christmas. As a matter of fact, I am choosing that again this year.

8. You can do the “one hour at each house” thing. But why drag your kids and spouse all over town? None of you are really connecting with anyone because you are on time limit to get to the next stop. Pick a side of the family for thanksgiving, another for Christmas and maybe even another for the New Years. If it works, great, continue to manage it effectively and keep your sanity as the priority.

Let some expectations go. It’s a sure fire way to keep stress down and reconnect with the people that are important to you. Put a different gift under the tree this year..try giving each other some slack this holiday season. When you give the gift of choices, you receive the gift of liberty.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Not even the HULK....

I had no doubt that I would love the Avengers Movie.  I went to see it in theaters, but now that it's on video I have been able to watch it a few more times and glean even more from it.  THOR…who is hailed as a demi-god really stood out in a particular scene and it spoke volumes about our gifts, talents and abilities.

This scene was Thor’s fight with the Hulk.  Thor and Hulk were battling and Thor’s hammer got away from him.  The Hulk sees this as an opportunity to get the hammer and use it on Thor.  One problem, Hulk can’t lift the hammer, why because it is not his and only Thor can wield that hammer.  Hulk with all his incredible strength and supernatural might could not pick up a mere sledge hammer because he did not have what it took within him to lift it.  It didn't take strength, or might, or education, looks, youth, race, gender, denomination or specific socioeconomic circles..only what was in THOR could use the gift of the hammer the way it was intended.

In church circles…we call that grace.  Only Thor had the grace to use the power of the hammer effectively. Only YOU have the grace to use your gift, talent and abilities the WAY that you do.  It is imperative that you know your gifting and how to use it. Don’t get it twisted, God will not allow you to use it to Lord over others or allow continuous misuse of it.  Sampson is a prime example of being stripped of power when he walked in iniquity.  Even our subject today, Thor..could NOT lift his hammer when his heart was filled with rage and vengeance.

Wield your gift with respect, with honor and in humility.  Know who you are and what you can do. Take the time to clarify your purpose and whose side you are truly on. You have to know your “WHY”.  In a blended family, the dynamics of who you are and what you are about can easily get confused or lost in the shuffle of trying to make everyone blend. That has its place, however, the individuality of what each and every family member on both sides must be realized. Everyone is gifted and all must understand that you can't do what I do...and I can't do what you do promotes growth..respect and humility.
Empowered with a pure heart, a gifting used effectively and a defined purpose no one, not even a hulk (anything seemingly bigger or stronger) will be able to defeat you. It’s Hammer time. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rx for the Minor Funk..E.F.U.P.

Today, I got an encouraging word from someone...just when I needed it.  It wasn't a big fan fare...or anything major.  Just a nudge, a simple 'atta girl" said at the right time to snap me out of the minor funk I was I in. When you are juggling a new business, a full time job, plus the added responsibilities, thin lines and stresses of a blended family, maintaining your marriage and nurturing your can wear thin and not even realize it.

I am great at (and a STRONG proponent of) encouraging myself and keeping myself motivated.  However, I hadn't even realized that I was suffering a tad that is until the "Rx" came to fix it.  You expect support from certain people, places, things...BUT sometimes it doesn't happen that way and before you know it, you are in a "woe is me" mode and have no idea why.

It usually stems from the fact that there are people that matter to you, that you want to notice that you have improved, done something spectacular, totally revamped a project at work or even changed your hair style...but when they don't respond as you think they should, you are left feeling dejected.  God cares about how you feel.  He sends a remedy for that ..and I call it an E.F.U.P. (Encouragement from Unexpected People).

If you need encouragement today..please allow me to tell you that you are simply marvelous and fearfully and WONDERFULLY made. I know you are thinking...but what about this...and that...and them...Forget those things that are behind you and PRESS forward.  Everything that you need, to do what you are called to do is within you.  God has fully equipped you to be the spouse, parent, sibling, employee, manager, grandparent etc..that you need to be to fulfill His purpose.  You are even equipped to handle the issues, troubles and problems you have right now. How do I know?  God was fully aware of the problems that would come in your life BEFORE you were created and He built you to be able to carry the load that He would allow.  He is not shocked at what you are facing, he KNEW it and built your character, gave you tenacity, strength, wisdom, and faith to be able to fortify you to walk through the storm. Your past was planned, your schooling, parents, friends, injuries, accidents...all planned.  God foreknew you would be RIGHT where you are now. God specifically designed you and everything about you to be able to bear more than that, but certainly no less.  So, my simple word to you is a line from an old gospel song..."God knows...He cares...and He's working it out for you" .

I am so grateful for my gave me just the ray of light I needed to be able to share this word with what will YOU do with the encouragement that I just gave YOU :) ? {{HUGS}} 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bathroom Stall Missionary Baptist Church

I am so blessed to work in a place now (my day job) that fosters a pleasant environment. It’s peaceful, and quiet for the most part at least in my area. It promotes health, service excellence, wellness, and clean eating. It’s a pleasure to come here to serve and I usually leave with more than I came with. BUT it hasn’t always been that way for me. I have worked in settings that were the polar opposite. To walk in the door and feel the heaviness of immediate stress was common place. Department team members warring with each other and all of the office politics that you could imagine, plus some you can’t. It was in those types of environments that I became a member of Bathroom Stall Missionary Baptist Church and I would like to extend an invitation to you.

This church has been SO faithful and always available when I need it. When I would feel the stresses of the job overwhelming me or when I can see I was losing the battle with my emotions I would make a visit to this church and come out encouraged and fortified…and yes, all it takes is a simple trip to the bathroom.

The bathroom (especially at work, but even at home) can be a GREAT place to regroup and get yourself together so you can represent yourself as a lady would. I go sometimes to just have a moment to pray for direction, peace, guidance or grace. Some go to their office and close the door, that’s an option. But at Bathroom Stall Baptist, you are less likely to get a knock on the door, a buzz from your secretary or a ding from your computer telling you about a meeting. Bathroom Stall Baptist offers just a few moments of peace. It’s not even that you are “using” the bathroom perse’, you are just stopping by as a member getting the time and space that you need.

I can specifically remember prayers that I prayed in the stall at very intense and difficult moments. It was usually at times when the pressures of life at home begin to meld with the tensions at work and I became ticking time bomb. If I had not had the wisdom to detach, take a walk, phone a friend and/or go regroup, there is a good chance that MANY times I would have made a mess of things by either overreacting or reacting out of emotion.

It’s imperative that we know OURSELVES. You KNOW when you feel like you are about to lose it. You can feel when emotions are beginning to overwhelm you. YOU recognize the stance you take when you are angry, upset, tired or misused. You know when you are PMS’ing and how you respond to things when you don’t feel well. Maturity dictates that your tendency to use excuses to fly off the handle in rage, argue or go into a dramatic crying temper tantrum has to be managed so you can grow. It’s time to stop allowing people to make excuses for you as well. When you act a fool, apologize for it and say out of your mouth “there is NO excuse for talking to you like that no matter what I was feeling”. Or you may have to tell someone that you used your emotions to manipulate them or to persuade them to see your point of view.  Its all a part of growth in our conduct, and I tell you...this "church" can help.

It starts with recognizing these signs earlier rather than later and taking steps to manage what you are feeling and facing appropriately:

1. Be honest about what you are feeling and then be responsible. Meaning, care enough about you to not push yourself to the brink of disaster assuming that you can handle it.
2. Remove yourself from where you are. There is NOTHING wrong with unplugging for minute. It is wisdom to put yourself in time out.  Do not feel guilty about it.
3. Re-emerge with a plan to face your issues or the rest of your day.
4. Visit again soon, even if nothing is wrong.  Just go in there and be thankful for a day of peace.

You may have a church home, and that’s great but I highly recommend that you become a secondary member of Bathroom Stall Baptist…there is room in the stall for YOU.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A SCANDALous thought…Ladies, Wives, Moms are you merely an ornament?

ABC’s Scandal is one of my favorite new shows, not necessarily for the storyline because there is truly nothing new under the sun. However, the dialogue on this show is phenomenal. If you are a writer, you notice when words function well together and deliver the gut punch that was intended. One of those gut punch moment happened when a husband told his wife (after she shamelessly overstepped her bounds on national television) that she was “ornamental, NOT functional. BOOM. Definition of an ornament is as follows:

• Decorative, serving as a decoration and having no practical use; grown for show: describes a plant grown for its beauty rather than for food;

MY definition for an ornamental “person” is

• Someone whose presence serves no purpose. Nothing is added when they walk in the room.

• A person whose exterior may indicate that they are attractive, pretty to watch, but is designed strictly to look at as they bring no nourishment of thought to those around them.

I actually overheard a young lady travailing over a breakup or betrayal of a boyfriend and when she went on to say that the boyfriend was now in a relationship with someone else, she said she couldn’t see why he picked her “because my body looks way better than hers”. I wanted to vomit violently. Have we become so superficial and shallow that our biggest desire is to be someone’s arm candy? As soon as she made that statement, I laughed and said to myself …after hearing you say something so stupid I know EXACTLY why he left you; you are an ornament…a nice shiny, sparkly one. You are pretty to look at, shaped up real cute but truth be told you have no real substance. You waiver with the wind and your character is flighty, unstable, and erratic. I say in my book A Princess Cut Diamond: How to overcome your past and reign in your God-given Kingdom that “You have to bring more to the table than bills, booty and babies”.

What are you about? What do you stand for? What is your value-add? What do you husband, family, child or friends get when they get you? Is it just someone to do the laundry and fix dinner? Are you a pretty date for the office functions or are you someone adding significant value, purpose and order to the vision of the house. As my grandma would say, do you have a clear thought in your head? I have nothing against attractive women; I’d like to think I am pretty decent to look at myself. However, I do take issue with the mismatch of the inside and outside. It may be time to do some character building. With us being in the last quarter of the year it is time to reassess the superficial and become functional (performing purpose; an action or use for which something is suited or designed that produces a result). Take the last portion of this year and work on YOU. Study something new. Read. Take an online class for something you need to learn how to do better. Take the time to listen to your spouse or child to help them complete something they need to do.

Remember, what comes out of your mouth is more important than the lipstick you put on your mouth. What is IN your head is more important than the latest fad you are using ON your head. The size of your heart is more important than the size of your waist. Step up your game and FUNCTION.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Keep The Main Thing...the main thing: Lessons in prioritizing

This actually happened a few years back, but in reading it in my book again, I thought to share it again here...

My sister and I were talking and sharing our woes about over committing ourselves and trying to fulfill the expectations of others yet, our to-do list got longer. We shared about how we found ourselves making poor choices so we wouldn’t let down “important” people that counted on us, but noticeably at the expense of the people that truly mattered. 

For example, I had spent a week before an awesome trip to Cancun taking my daughter back and forth to auditions and call-backs for movie. She didn’t land the lead role, but she did get a great supporting role and taping was an all day marathon session scheduled for the day after I returned. I was responsible for her costume, hair, makeup, and transportation. I was so incredibly exhausted on the day of taping, I actually thought of what excuse I could come up with to not take her. I know…BAD MOMMY! I agree it was horrible, after the fact I couldn’t believe that I even thought it. 

Why? Because I know that if other issues came up that may have had nothing to do with family, for example if it were for the church, or my job, I would have dragged my tired self wherever it needed to be to help with the crisis for people who actually may not have noticed, appreciated or cared about the sacrifice. I made the right choice. I put the time into my daughter and I am so glad I didn't miss the opportunity to see her shine. I was utterly wiped out, but her energy and appreciation rejuvenated me and yet made me ashamed.

Since when has the smile of a child taken a back seat to the half-hearted kudos of a boss? When did it become ok to spend all afternoon in church, because it’s “church”, even though your wife really needs you at home. Why does the phone call of a manager or leader evoke an immediate response when your spouses’s call rings at an annoyance to you? Where is the same diligence that you spend grandstanding and campaigning for the dreams of other people when it comes time to move forward in what you should be doing for yourself and your family? 

In the last quarter of this year... RE PRIORITIZE..Its time to make the main thing...the main thing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Begin again...Begin Here... A Princess Cut Diamond Second edition is offically RELEASED

Purchase your copy of A Princess Cut Diamond TODAY

Watch the emotional video promo HERE

The Book's Description:

A Princess Cut Diamond: How to overcome your past and reign as a Princess in your God-given Kingdom is a spiritual Princess Boot Camp manual that will help pull you out of the mindset of a peasant and pull back the curtain to reveal the Princess you were designed to be. Through hilarious antedoctes, incredible paralells, movie analogies and "sister girl "side notes", this book will dust off your crown and have you viewing life from a throne of authority versus the mindset of a peasant. Each chapter features a "reflection and application" section to be certain that this is just not another book that's read, but one that's LIVED. Camille Jamerson knows something about living as a Princess. She has spent years winning titles across the nation and internationally as a pageant Queen. Her roles and responsibilities as a Queen are now converted to principles that she teaches in her book to face the past but focus on the future.

This book looks at the fight that you are in, applies God's wisdom and principles, gives you PRACTICAL, APPLICABLE information that you can use to start making changes. This is a book that requires WORK. If you are SERIOUS about operating like royalty from here on out, and leaving the life of the defeated behind you then start here. A Princess Cut Diamond will make you laugh, cry, think but most importantly it will cause you to CHANGE. Invest in you and take the time to train to be and live like the royalty you are called to be.

It is temporarily at an introductory get yours TODAY...Also, if you already have the dowload and have read the book...PLEASE leave your review on AMAZON.  It is so important that you share what ministered to YOU.  It is usually the comments of other women that will inspire women to take a leap of faith on a product, idea or concept.  Your testimony is IMPORTANT!.  Those that got their reviews in early were included on the back of my hardcover (to be released soon)!!  THANK YOU.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What we have here is a failure to communicate

Watching a rerun Dallas the other night was like watching a train wreck…you knew what was going to happen but you couldn’t help but watch.

Scenario: John Ross is brutally attacked in prison and could go back to jail and be killed if someone doesn’t do “something”. The family is at the hospital and all say that he can’t go back to prison and all agree that something has to be done. BUT that’s where the problem starts.

Uncle Bobby decides to do the forbidden and drill on Southfork to get the oil, to pay the gangsters. Mama Sue Ellen decides to bribe a medical Examiner to remove the evidence that got John Ross in jail in the 1st place and Cousin Christopher decides to give away rights to his project to the gangsters in exchange for his cousins’ freedom and evidence that could clear him. All of these are noble attempts at relieving the issue. However, they create an even bigger problem by having the failure to communicate. Noone is telling anyone what they have planned and what they are doing.

Everyone was off doing what was right in his own eyes and someone ended up doing what wasn’t necessary because the problem had been resolved by another method. John Ross is free but it came at a BIG unnecessary price.

The failure to communicate is not just a plot line on a TV series…is happening everyday with most families. Stepfamilies are no exception and because of the unique dynamics are more susceptible. The Husband and Wife of such a family can really take a hit if they fail to inform, express, share and expound on what is important and be able to work together to be certain that they are not doing the unnecessary.

Example, my husband planned an open house for his son at the last minute. He didn’t really include me on the plans to get it done and I found out almost like everyone else, a week or so before and on the phone. To his credit, we have a lot going on and he didn’t want to burden me. However, planning, hosting and organization are not his strong suit. So although he reeled me in at the end to handle some last minute details and it turned out ok, it was not nearly as smooth as it could have been had we worked together.

Another example in the reverse is the remodeling we are having done in the kitchen. We had our kitchen gutted out and had to plan and choose every aspect of the new kitchen. We had to choose the floor, the paint, the countertop, the cabinets, the backsplash, the lighting, ceiling fan, the handles and on and on. We picked out everything together and in full agreement. One of my husband’s kids even complimented us how we are doing this together. She noticed that we weren’t bickering, fighting, complaining, demanding or making decisions without the other. It’s going noticeably smooth because we are working together.

Work diligently at communication; “Over” share if you have to. Your spouse needs to be in the loop at the onset of ALL of your plans not as an after thought. Trust me, the children are watching and you are teaching communication skills whether you realize it or not.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wait this isn't blood...

A few weeks ago the medical facility I work in had an “active shooter drill”.  It’s a scenario that is carefully planned and mapped out including local authorities, swat teams, employees heavily made up to play the role of casualties and victims.  We also hired an actor to play the role of the shooter so no one, not even the employees participating would know who he was.

Working in administration I got to see the whole thing play out, gun shots, blood splattered on the walls, people screaming, hospital security barking out instructions, the gunman terrorizing the employees and threatening them…SWAT team swooping in rifles drawn...EMT’s trying to get to the victims…and the cameras were rolling…remember it was just a drill.  

Once the “gunman” was apprehended and the drill was over we did a debriefing with the employees involved.  Sitting around the board room table were employees who were actually crying, hyperventilating, visually upset, holding their makeshift wounds, wiping syrupy blood from their faces and completely undone by what they experienced.

It took almost a half hour to calm everyone down, shake some of them into reality and remind them that the blood gushing from their heads was not real.  They had gotten so involved in the action..that they forgot it was just a drill.  Going in, each of them knew that the gunman would be apprehended, no one would be hurt.  But actually living out the active shooter script caused most of them to almost forget that was just a test. They filed one by one in the bathroom to wash off the remnants of a war not fought and eventually went back to their offices.

As believers, we sometimes forget that the little battles in our marriages, our parenting, our jobs, our families, our churches all belong to the Lord.  In the end, it has already been pre-declared that we win.  So to allow the battle to overtake you, no matter how real it may seem is to forget who is sitting on throne. Now sometimes the pain is excruciating and the blood IS real, but it is in those times that we have to remember that we are trained for battle. We did the drill. We know how to fight and with what. The bible teaches that the weapons of warfare are not carnal but spiritual. There is nothing coming that you don’t have the grace to deal with. Don’t live in fear, but in faith that you are fully prepared and your God is well able to always deliver. The blood is just syrup…now wipe your face and go back to work.

Monday, July 9, 2012

By the power of GRAYSKULL...I have NO POWER??

We lost power on the 5th of July….it was just restored last evening. During the time the power was out, it reached over 100 degrees so we stayed in a hotel a few days..just making the best of an uncomfortable situation. I went back to the house a few times during the outage, and it was eerie. The dead quietness was deafening. No TV’s, no radios, no computers, no dishwasher humming, no dryer tumbling, no iron steaming…nothing. The house didn’t even feel…well for lack of a better word…"alive".

You could quickly tell the difference between the houses in our area that had power and those that didn’t. Those that did, were happening….animated…active..those like ours…were dark and dead. There was a house or two running on minimal power with a generator, but not for long. They soon joined the ranks at a nearby hotel until the power was restored.

When that power came back to our would have thought we could take over the world..if we had a mountain, we would have yelled just like HE-Man...By the power of Grayskull...I HAVE THE POWER!!!  Why, because when you are can DO things. Flat Irons started heating, music started playing, washing machine started swishing.. And just like He-man (who had the authority after getting power to change his pet into a roaring Lion) you can also then empower OTHERS.

Three valuable things I learned:

1. You quickly can tell the difference between those that operate in power and those that don’t. People whose dreams, ambitions and purpose have been back-burnered, sidelined or trampled on, live without any light in their eyes. You’ve seen them. They have no hum of activity or growth, just doing the day in, day out. As the kids would say “get yo’ life”. Translate: Things are in disarray, out of order, out of balance and messy in your life. Fix it.

2. You can only run on a generator for so long. THIS is where most of us are. We are operating at minimal power from a temporary source. From us on the outside, our neighbors’ light in the window looked like a beacon of hope. But on the inside of their house, things were still out of whack. Most appliances were unplugged, they all slept in the living room with one fan and everything was shoved into a smaller frig to conserve energy. You can only run like this for so long. You can only fool everyone, and yourself for a short amount of time. Eventually you need let go of the temporary and seek the permanent.

3. The power was available all along…WE just weren’t connected to it. It was evident when the power company did the testing, fuses were blowing and sparks were flying. All of which was an indication that the source of power was where it was supposed to be…there was nothing wrong with it, there was something wrong with the connection. The power and favor of God is available to us that ascribe to living a godly life. He says that there is no good thing that he will withhold to those that walk uprightly. Get connected, not to the temporary, fleeting or flawed…get connected to HIM.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

If Eve had watched Independence Day…we may not be in this mess…

In my first book "A Princess Cut Diamond", I shared a truth that still rings in my head today.  The devil is not trying to make you uncomfortable…he is trying to KILL you...blow you, and your family off the map.  Eve thought the enemy was her friend…that he was just trying to show her who she could become if she bent the directives of God.  Eve fell for it, why?  Because she didn’t know the undergirding strategy of the devil and he didn’t tell her.

Had Eve watched Independence Day (yeah the one with Bill Pullman and Will Smith), she may had had a clue.

When the aliens’ arrive on planet earth, of course there is panic and gunfire.  At this point fear is ruling on both sides. When the dust settles…The people of earth, (America in particular being the “sweethearts” that we are) want to believe the best about the alien race.  We want to learn about them, learn from them, hang out with them..making the stupid, na├»ve assumption that they came in peace. In the course of the initial fight, one of the aliens is knocked out cold and captured.

President Whitmore goes to see the captured alien and that’s where the grits hit the fan… This is the scene where the movie takes a hard left. It’s the moment when true intentions are revealed.  The President asks the aliens do they come in responds “no peace”.  President Whitmore goes on to talk about what we can learn from each other blah blah blah..the alien is not having it.  Finally, the President  asks, “what do you want us to do?”  The alien responds…DIE, DIE.  Needless to say, that alien never makes it out of the lab alive. The President now knows that the goal is annihilation of mankind. Peace isn’t an option…he tells the armed forces “Nuke em’.  When people show you their true intentions...or when you finally figure out that someone is all about them, or that this relationship is toxic, or this habit is need to make a presidential kinda decision. Get your armed forces (the Word of God) and make a command on the promises of God. When you truly know what is on the line; your stance needs to change from passive to aggressive and defensive.

Living a passive lifestyle, waiting on the enemy to hit you is silly and it will destroy your home...while you playin'. Be on the defense with prayer, exercise, confession, sowing time into your family, eating healthy, correction, being fiscally responsible, work life balance…areas where the enemy would love to rip you a part and give you the impression that if you bend the directives of God, you can have it all.  Let today truly be your Independence Day from everything or everyone that is sucking the life out of you, but putting nothing back.  Declare your Independence from immature behaviors, irresponsibility, and lack of vision.  Declare it LOUD in the words of President Whitmore...

 Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and "I "will once again be fighting for "my" freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. "I" am fighting for "my" right to live [an abundant life]. To exist. And SINCE "I"  will win today, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day "this family" declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! 

Don’t get it twisted…ever. As far as the enemy is concerned… No peace…lets NUKE EM’...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Who asks questions like THAT??

Almost six years ago in Dunkin Donuts parking lot with a beautiful Princess Cut Diamond and White Gold Ring, His Highness asked me a hard question….”Will you Marry Me”…??  It’s obvious I said yes, and after knowing him almost 10 years..this week marks our 5th Anniversary.  Hard and or sensitive questions are status quo for us now.  It’s a part of who we are as a couple, why?  Because we care enough to cause a little hurt in feelings, for a greater healing in spirit.

So this year’s hard question from me to him was…..

“What about this marriage so far has disappointed you?”

Who asks questions like that?  ME that’s who.  Why?  Because more than I want to have the silly immature illusion that I am a perfect, seamless, wonderful, amazing, faultless, virtuous wife…I want to always operate in truth, even if the truth sucks. 

The bible says that houses and wealth you get from your folks…but a prudent wife is from the Lord.

I love the very first part of the definition of prudent…“having good sense”.  A wife with good sense can asks the hard questions knowing that an atmosphere of phoniness is the breeding ground for failure. I know it’s hard to believe people…but “everything ain’t been wonderful”.  You have to know and operate in truth so that you can do what is necessary in your character to build an environment in your marriage conducive for your spouse to grow and be nurtured in.  

Its sad to see marriages that look “wonderful” on the outside, but when you peel back some layers..wives are afraid of damaging their spouses esteem so they won’t tell him that their temperament, ego or pride is causing a great divide in the house.  Husbands won’t tell their wives, afraid of offending them, that it embarrasses him when she isn’t dressed appropriately or acts loud and brash in public. It isn’t easy, but I will always ask the hard questions and make sure that I keep my ego and pride in check so when my husband has to ask me a hard question, there is grace available to think, not be offended or worry to cause offense and to answer in truth.

Marriages and families (blended or otherwise) cannot grow effectively without having these crucial conversations. If you haven’t had a conversation like this and you have been married over a have some catching up to do.  Don’t let your marriage go on for 7, 10, 20 years without knowing what the little foxes are that have the potential to spoil your vine. Care enough…love enough.. to ask the hard questions.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shut up and while you're at it- don't hit anyone in the neck with a bat!

“Son, Never miss an opportunity to Shut Up”….-JR Ewing, Dallas..

That is a classic line if I ever heard one.

Just Perfect! I was all set to write a post on instructing others on the biblical principal …Studying to be quiet. I brought up the word document to begin to type and then I get a phone call..and guess what I had to do. SHUT UP. No, I don’t mean simmer down, choose my words carefully or speak sparingly. I mean I had to SHUT UP and fast. Had I not, it would have been some smoke in the city and I would probably have spoken out of disappointment and anger and not have been reasonable. I am so glad that God authenticated the gravity of his Word just that quickly. It further confirms that I continue to share out of experience and NOT from what I heard or that I am mimicking from others.

What does this have to do with step families?? Nothing in this case, but EVERYTHING in general. I've said it before, people have a misconception that everyone gets thrown into a blender, you hit a button and out comes this wonderful blended family smoothie. Uh No. That’s not everyone’s story. More often than not, people although they love each other to a degree, are vying for attention, pushing to be the priority, to feel important, to make sure nothing is being “taken” from them…sometimes at the expense or disregard of others. With all that drama going on….sometimes (not all the time) its best to not miss the opportunity to shut up....pray, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.  Don't get off center...and don't hit anyone in the neck with a bat (whatever, THAT's just good advice).

I Thessalonians 4:11 scripture says in the Message Bible “to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands.. Grandma said it all the time”baby...mind your own self business..”

I am so glad Dallas is back on..*I see you laughing, skip yall* laugh if you want to..but I learn something everytime I see it. Something about it..just makes me look for the layers..for the lesson…for the revelation and this past was the words of the Rock..Know your role…and shut your mouth. Shhhhhhhh.

*pic courtesy of TNT

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Time to turn this SHIP around...

This picture is worth 1000 words, and it’s interesting that “words” are the culprit for the obvious pain we see.  The power of what we say can deal a defining blow to those we love.  The pain we can cause with our mouth is absolutely mind blowing.  The bible says it simply (paraphrasing) Life and death is in the power of the tongue. Our tongue is like a rudder...guiding the ship of our lives in the direction that we verbalize. We are learning to watch what we say to our children.  We have become mindful of how we talk to our spouse, our co-workers even our neighbors.  


What if the woman in the picture was YOU..and that fist…that tongue…that mouth…was your own?  What if it’s your words to YOURSELF that are defeating you and beating you into the ground at every turn?

You will have what you say. Period.  In order to speak something…your mind has to think it.  Your feet CANNOT go where your mind has not been first. You are steered by your tongue and by the thoughts you think.  

Are you stuck? Have your family or relationship dynamics hit a wall in some area?  Are you feeling defeated in overcoming an obstacle? Do you feel as if someone has their thumb on your future? Are you just simply…down?

Change your mouth....or SHUT UP until you can speak with more positiveness. (Yes, not talking is better than speaking negatively)

Instead of “I am having a bad day today”
Try: “This day is getting better by the hour”

Instead of “This relationship is never going to be right”
Try: “This relationship is going to take work, but all good things are worth working for”

Instead of: “I don’t have what I need”
Try: I am working diligently to get what I need

Instead of: “ I hate my job”
Try:  I am grateful to have employment to meet the needs of my family

Instead of: “I’m an idiot!” (usually said after hitting yourself upside the head)
Try:  If I need wisdom, all I need to do is ask for it and God gives it freely. I am smart enough to know that.

I’m sure you get the picture.  The point is, you are NOT lying to yourself, you are simply training your mind and your mouth to speak toward the good that the Bible promises.  Romans 8:28 says that ALL things work together for the good…sidenote:  there is nothing, absolutely nothing outside of “all”.  So, today in order to turn this ship around... 

I proclaim that I am an awesome spirit being with infinite potential.  The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead; lives inside of me.  I am the head and not the tail. I am above only and not beneath.  I shall have vineyards that I didn’t plant and houses that I didn’t build. every place my foot treads is blessed.  I will have influence and honor in every area. Wealth and riches are in my house and I will build a godly inheritance for my children’s children. I am a Queen in the Kingdom...I am part of a royal priesthood.I walk in the righteousness of Christ, and therefore the children of the righteous are blessed. No matter what I see, no matter what I feel, no matter what is said or unsaid…in every area of my life from this day forward I boldly proclaim that Jesus is Lord.

Your turn.

(photo credit by: adsoftheworld)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Three Crutches?

In a recent sitcom, Linda was grilling Audrey about going over the top in one of her relationships. She dogged her for always being there, sort of waiting on her boyfriend, “Trevor” hand and foot, cooking when he what he wants, when he wants, laundry etc…in short WAY too much. Audrey responds to one of Linda’s many questions by saying” But he has a broken leg” and Linda’s classic response “I know, I see all 3 of his crutches, 1…2 and YOU.

I often say “my circle is so small it’s a line”. That’s funny, but its truth. But the folks in my line…I can count on. It can be 3 AM or 3PM, I can call from jail or Jerusalem if I need them, they are ride or die.  Yet I can’t tell you the last time I talked on the phone with them for over 10 minutes. However, that is also why I value them.  I know if they do call - there is a problem or something is happening good or bad that I need to know… I know we don’t just “shoot the breeze”. So that means it’s important or serious and I come to a full stop.  Sometimes, I become one of the crutches holding them up until the pain has passed. Sometimes they are the crutch for me. That is the ONLY role of a crutch and it’s TEMPORARY. I then resume my place in the background of their life, like a safety net. Now, if you saw someone still walking on crutches a year or two after a simple sprained ankle, you would know that something went WAY wrong in the healing process or they are afraid of falling again.

Some of us treat our “friends” or relationships in general as if they are in a full body cast.  We act as if the relationship is helpless to stand on its own unless you are there feeding it constantly with activity, favors, and compliments.  Seriously, take a lesson from God.

God called Abraham his friend, yet in a span of about 30 years from Genesis chapter 12 until chapter 22, God  is recorded as speaking only 7 times to him. If your friend only called you maybe once every 5 years or so…YOU would not call them friend, but they may be. That's not to say that relationships won't need work on occasion or that you won't need to take the initiative to reestablish a VALUABLE friendship sometimes.

Yet, relationships are more than activities. Its’ found in connection. It’s in a look, a knowing glance that says, “I hear what you are saying, but I know what you are feeling”. It’s in being able to freely say to a friend that they are acting like an idiot, fight about it and then go to Wendy’s for a frosty.

Needy people will need people all the time.  You will rarely see them stand on their own two feet without “crutches”.  You will rarely see them alone.  As soon as one relationship ends, they are with another guy, friend or buddy filling an emotional vacancy that is a sure sign of a deeper issue. I’ve got five dollars that says you don’t have that kind of time. Quit taking the term friendship so lightly. You owe it to you and your true inner circle, to do some assessing (I call it circle editing) and see who stays, who goes or gets a brand new title: acquaintance.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Love on TOP...from that GREAT theologian Beyonce

Let me start by saying that I am not some screaming crazy Beyonce fan.  I certainly admire her talent, semi-envy her "stature" and applaud her business acumen-no hatteration…she just isn’t my thing.  However, God can reveal himself and teach you concepts and principles using anything he chooses…back in biblical times it was parables..Today, it’s that great “theologian”….Beyonce.

Skimming thru Sirius XM radio I stumbled across her song and heard that child preach...I mean sing "You're the one that gives your all. You're the one I can always call. When I need you everything stops. Finally you put my love on top…" ok now that right there caused me pause. If it were a cassette, I would have rewound that! Not everyone has experienced a love to where you know it could be 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning, but if you call them and you need them they will drop everything and see about you. Their love for you is a priority with them…it’s on top. When it comes to YOU...nothing else matters. Now once you have had a love like that in your life, trust me you never forget it. You measure everything against it and oh for sure, it'll make ya’ sing and modulate 7 octaves if necessary to get your point across.

Tomorrow is Easter and thinking about the Love that God had for world, to send his son to  well true and my gratitude will never be enough. But to think about the sins I struggle with, the weights I carry, issues I am still overcoming that Christ died for and he STILL gave me direct access to call HIM, Christ…Lord of the universe anytime I want. And in spite of my filth or his disappointment…He will drop everything to be there for ME? Now that’s priceless.

We talk about Christ dying so we can live an abundant life on earth and then go to heaven and that’s true, I’m outta here at first trumpet, believe me. But something we don’t talk about much is that one of the 1st things that happened after crucifixion is that the veil in the temple was rent from the top down.  God’s first act of redemption after the price was paid was restoration of access. That’s putting your Love on Top.  When you are establishing or reestablishing a relationship with someone, the 1st thing you do after the preliminaries is give them access to you.  You give them a cell number, email…someway for you two to connect. As the relationship intensifies, both parties have learned the level of commitment to each other based on the response of the communication between you. I have learned to trust God based on his consistency to be available to me, attentive to my needs, my heart’s desire and to always put what’s best for me first. Some people have friends in their life like that..honor them. Some have spouses that are on the job making it happen...light a match, stand on your head and sing about all about it. But I am learning that greater love have NO man than THIS..that he would lay down his LIFE for his friend...

So Jesus, It’s YOU, you’re the one I love…you’re the one I need.  You’re the only thing I see…Jesus Its YOU.. You're the one that GAVE your all. You're the one I can always call. When I need you everything stops. Thank you Lord..You put my love on top… (take it up…now yall know modulating came straight up from the Baptist church…lol) *skipping away from computer sanging…* Jesus, its you...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Playing Solitaire and then God shows up...

I learned an interesting lesson the other day from playing solitaire on my tablet.  I don’t really play it often just sometimes to clear my mind or while I’m in line waiting.  But I noticed a feature that surprised me.  It’s called a “winning deal”. This means that this hand that is dealt is designed for you to win. I’m thinking shooot...this is GREAT. Why in the world would you play any other way!

So I started playing using this feature and I noticed my demeanor about the game changed.  Anytime I got stuck and it appeared that I didn’t have a move, I would maneuver cards until I could see a possibility.  If I kept getting stuck, I wouldn’t move to a new game, I would re-deal that one and play until I won. Why?  If the computer says I am supposed to win, and that’s it’s a winning expectation is to win and I keep playing until what happens lines up with what was is supposed to happen. I don’t act as if something is wrong with the computer…I approach it as if there is something that I am not doing.

It’s amazing that I believe that computer…but it’s difficult to trust God the same way.  He said from the beginning that I was a winner.  He proclaimed over his people that we are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. We are the lenders, not the borrowers. We should have houses (and yes that’s plural) we didn’t build and vineyards that we didn’t plant. But when the game of life deals it out rough and we don’t seem to have a move…we stop playing.  We won’t try anything different.  We won’t change our paradigm or way of approaching a situation, project, relationship. We won’t seek out new information-we just stop playing and life becomes a hum drum of “everyday-itis”.  No purpose, no goals, no drive, no plan…just winging it and settling for the cards in front of you. You play your hand haphazardly and throw them in when it ‘appears” you don’t have a move.

You are supposed to win-period.  So reshuffle your gifts, your talents, your abilities, your resources, your education, your information, your prayer life, your gumption…and play again….and KEEP playing until you win.  The cool thing about solitaire is that it’s a game for ONE. You are not competing with anyone and you don't have to worry abut anyone beating you to the punch. What God has for you, is for YOU. Your life is a game of ONE.  You have a calling and purpose to fulfill and it’s not about anyone beating you to YOUR destiny…you are not in competition. Its solitaire. There is one player…and you are playing a winning deal. The computer doesn’t lie and neither does God. 

What a month!!

Just a short thank you to all of the calls, messages and tweets:) from my circle of folks during this last month.  Its been a rough one! We had a death in our family for an uncle who had suffered for over 20 years.  Then there were services to prepare for and we leaned on our friends and church families to get it done.  As always God comes through and sent us who we needed to do what needed to be done.  Then soon after my mother was injured and hospitalized. So there were hospital runs and concerns and we praise God that she is now coming out on the other side.

In between there...there was still work, rehearsals, teaching, housework, kids, projects, a marriage to nurture and much to do.  But through the grace of God...we came out on the other side.  This spring & summer holds so much for us and I am preparing now, knocking things out to get ready for it.

I have an award I am receiving in March and I am preparing for the responsibility that comes with that. We have two weddings coming up, a major conference to attend, a book release, a BIG remodeling for our kitchen and two your continued prayer would be much appreciated!  

So...I got a little off track with my blog and the direction...but a lesson that happen while doodling on my tablet caused me to put pen to paper and get back at here we go!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I CAN handle the truth, keep your pom-poms

My boys used to play football and I am not one of those parents that coddled them after games and kissed their scrapes. I always probed them to see what they learned by their action whether good or bad. Once my son and I discussed a game that they lost and he told me that the coach yelled at them for over an hour.  I know some parents would have called that coach and read him the riot act. Thankfully, I know THAT is a big mistake….so I thought about it and then asked him…well what do you think about that? He shocked me…he said…Ma, Coach was right. He said some of us were so busy chanting with the cheerleaders and pumping up the crowd that we didn’t listen to him and were confused on plays. Then he took a piece of paper and began drawing plays and showing me what they should have done versus what they did. I had no clue what he was talking about at this point but he was so excited to know WHAT to do and what didn’t work.  At 13 years old, he knew how to take, process and understand criticism without OFFENSE. That lesson was priceless.

I told my son that cheerleaders are not there for YOU.  They are there for the crowd….God love em, I was one- but they are NOT in the game. Their job is to stand on the sidelines and keep other people on the sidelines engaged in your game. Coaches may not be as pretty and they have no pon poms, nor will they tell you how cute you are after the game, but they are the ones with the wisdom.  While everyone is cheering, and yelling and chanting…coaches are watching, writing, instructing, developing, noticing and sometimes praying that you do what he knows you can do. That’s why after a winning game or matter what players thank COACHES (after their mama, that is:) not cheerleaders. It’s the coaches that are truly in the trenches designing victory.

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday..well actually it just confirmed something I already knew.  There is a MAJOR difference between cheerleaders and coaches. I spoke with someone yesterday about some angst I was experiencing and some career moves that I was looking to take within my current position. Thankfully she didn’t coddle my wounds or tell me how awesome I was…she came at me with both barrels. I loved it! 1.  She was right  2. I trusted her opinion  3.  She trusted me enough to know that I was mature enough to handle it without offense and 4.  She didn’t use any cutesy techniques to tell me.  She just laid it out.  All the way home I turned over what she said and got myself together, I prayed and now I know WHAT to do.  Had she wasted my time with compliments, I might feel mushy and loved…but I wouldn’t be challenged or helped. I’ll take the latter. I want to grow. Don’t sandwich truth between two pon poms and a cartwheel. Also, get you some people in your circle that can get in your business and coach you to the next level. If you need cheerleaders, encourage yourself. But to raise a stepfamily or run a multimillion dollar corporation…you are going to need people with a clipboard, a whistle and megaphone. 

A clipboard, a whistle and megaphone??  We will talk about that in our next post…

Friday, February 17, 2012

Put your big girl panties on and make grown folks decisions

During a conversation with a former co-worker of mine “Simone”, she said something that stuck with me all that week.  She said, Camille…I’m 40 something years old.. it was time to make some “grown-up” decisions.  She was sharing some of the things she was facing and how everyone was looking out for themselves and trying to diminish her voice in the process.  Eventually, when the rubber met the road Simone had to plant her feet, be confident in her value and do what was best for her regardless of what everyone else wanted.  Her grown up decision ended up paying in spades.  She got a new position, title change, wage increase, no additional stressors, doing exactly what she was already doing, without having to move out of her office and without settling for an escape to another position that would have been like going from the frying pan into the fryer. PRICELESS.

Flash forward to a conversation with my sister in law, Crystal.  She was telling me how she encouraged a young lady who had to deal with a death of a loved one.  The young lady “Leanne” had never really faced anything like this without having someone with her to lean on and being in her mid 20’s, hadn’t had too many instances where she had life altering moments.  Crys told her flatly…This right here is what women are made of…dealing with stuff like this is what separates the girls from the women…time to put your big girl panties on and deal with it.  Leanne did well…texting Crystal through the process telling her that her big girl panties were on and she was doing ok.  There was a point however that a message from her said that the “panties were out the window” and she had no idea where they were.  But in the end…Leanne made it through her life lesson and her capacity for dealing with “hard things” grew exponentially that day.

Being in a blended family or in life period, you can get so lost in the shuffle of making everyone happy that you make decisions that are for the good of everyone but YOU. Or you can find yourself faced with something hard and you want to ignore it, fall apart, whine or divvy the issue to someone else to deal with…I used to do that too and then I turned 11 and thought it was time to change. (Ok, more like 31…but eventually it happened)

The bible records Paul saying..When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things (NLT).  Some of us have decisions in our lives that need to be made-YESTERDAY. There are people that are sucking life from you that you need to cut off.  There are things happening in your home that you need to regulate and call to order. You have career decisions that need to be made and changes that need to occur.  There may be development in your character that needs to be addressed. You may be in a season of slothfulness…lazy and undisciplined.  Its time…past time to confront some things head on. Everyone can’t wear big girl panties…you have to be ready for the responsibility that comes with it.  There may be days like Leanne that you throw them out the window.  Have your private tantrum if you must, but eventually, slip the panties back on and continue to make daily decisions that move you toward the grown up you are called to be.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Left my beer by the side of the road...

I worked in the audio/video department in my church and this particular Sunday I was responsible for putting the lyrics of the worship songs on the big screen.  While listening to the music of the next song to be sung…I thought I recognized it.  But the worship leader sung something that sounded like….Left my BEER by the side of the road… WHAT???  Although, I guess it would be an ok thing to do-leaving beer that is…just didn’t sound like it was shaping up to the kind of song that we would normally sing in church.  I brought up another screen and begin searching on the internet for a song with those lyrics so if I could type them in as we went.  Nothing came up…not even close.  As the leader kept singing…the screen stayed blank…I had no idea where he was going…and then he got to the chorus of the song….”All I need is you…All I need is you Lord..”

Now this part I knew…but I had no idea that there was more to this song than the chorus which was all that we used to sing.  Secondly, I still couldn’t figure out how “beer” fit into the whole scheme of things.  Later I learned that the verse starts…”left my FEAR by the side of the road…”  OOOkay…making sense now.  Scary for me…not having the lyrics up and thinking our worship leader had lost his mind…BUT it was two GREAT lessons in listening.

  1. I MISHEARD what was said.  I know what it sounded like…but that was not what he said.  How many times has our spouse, our kids, our siblings, our parents, our boss said something that WE misinterpreted?  Especially with modern technology…an email or text can be taken all out of context if someone leaves their caps lock on by mistake. By now you should know the rule…REPEAT what you thought you heard and get clarity.  If I had just asked the question..more than likely somebody in the studio had heard the song before and could have told me what it was.  In a conversation, what you may have thought was offensive, may just be frustration that has nothing to do with you.  ASK and REPEAT.

  1. I didn’t know that there was MORE to the song than what I had previously heard before.  Anytime you are in a conversation…know that 8 times out of 10 there is more to it than what you are hearing.  Search for the root, dig for motive, keep asking why in new and creative ways. I didn’t know that the chorus had a verse that connected it. Don’t think that a bad day at work for your spouse isn’t connected to his response to you. Don’t view your kids moping as just them being moody…connect the dots.

So the next time you hear about beer on the side of the road…don’t panic….it’s probably just the verse to a chorus that ends up turning out ok.