Friday, November 30, 2007

FAITH FORWARD FRIDAY: FAITH TESTED/TESTING FAITH

Today I am still in my upbeat mood. I have been beating back the negative chatter like a Warrior Queen. Each time a negative thought tries to creep in, I immediately call it out and send it on it's way with a few curse words...yep I curse. This seems to be working. There is, however, in the back of my mind the thoughts of "sure I am doing well now but how well will I do when my faith is really tested" I can feel myself letting fear and indecision and discontent creep in. So far I am winning. But, and the "BUT" is really the negative chatter emissary, when the "BUT" shows up that is usually the first indication that the whole family of negative chatter is just behind it. Oh my faith is being tested and I am testing my faith. The thing about walking out on faith is that you have to keep your eyes to the heavens. You have to stay focused and you have to keep your balance. My strength lies in knowing this. Knowing that I recognize the negative chatter and stop it cold. Even when I want to give in and allow myself to accept the invitation to the pity-party and the woe-is-me cocktail hour, I can't. If I am messing around there, then I run the risk of missing my miracle. And I need and want and deserve my miracles. So, in this moment I am good and I am boldly making friends with GOD and I am assured that all is as it should be. I have great faith.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SEASON OF MIRACLES

My house IS NOT IN FORECLOSURE yet. I am trying to work it out. I am going to modify my bankruptcy plan. I was in the belief that I was going to lose my house any day now---I have been feeling this way since May. Nothing is over. nothing is done. I have another chance to turn things around. And you know with God on my side I am going to do it. I am so optimistic right now I am shaking. Yes I have a million hurdles but that is OK. I am beating back the self-defeating thoughts and so far I am doing well. Yes I need money and lots of it and I have no idea where it's going to come from. But I do know I am walking out on faith. My heart is open to a miracle. And I know a miracle(s) is in the making. So from here on out I am treating my house like it's my house and not a temporary shelter. Whatever happens it will be as it should be.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

YES I DO MISS HIM...I AM OWNING THAT

I miss my husband. I miss him. I am allowing myself this emotion without beating myself up and with full knowledge that he is not coming home. I miss him, that is it. There is no hidden agenda or longing for days gone by. I am turned toward the horizon and I am stepping foward in God's care. But in this moment, in this season, I miss my husband.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: GOD'S INTENTIONS

I believe God does not intend for Us to be blue, sad, depressed, out of sorts. I believe that God intends for Us to live an abundant life, full of grace, love, joy, music, art and faith. For me this is key, because I am learning that when I believe I am an independent woman, disconnected from God, then discontent takes root. I notice that when the world closes in around me, I automatically feel as though I must make something happen. I must try to force an outcome that is favorable to me--having everything turning out the way that I want. Forgetting that my power, my faith, my grace securely lies with God. I must LET GO and LET GOD. Each and every time I forget this simple act of faith and love, I end up sad, blue, depressed, out of sorts. Debbie Ford, author of "Spiritual Divorce, Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life" says "When we finally surrender our picture of how things should be, we make ourselves available for a new reality to emerge." So I am changing my mind to change my life. When the negative chatter starts in my head and in my heart, I am turning it off. When fear tries to creep in, I am now prepared to stand still...God's got my back. God has a bigger dream for my life and I want to be present in peace as it unfolds.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanks Mauro in Portugal!

On November 23, 2007 I was awarded the Great Blog Award "Best Love Related Blog" (look right) OOOOweeee I am so happy! I got the award from www.1millionlovemessages.com. Mauro Correia is the brainchild behind this fab site, he lives in Figueira da Foz, Portugal. I am delighted that he found me half-way round the world! The power of the www is phenomenal. So stop by and bask in all that love.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

STANDING IN THE NEED OF PRAYER

I am tired. I am tired of everything and everybody. Yep I am feeling low. This is my favorite time of the year and I am usually good at beating back the demons. I am usually caught up in the throngs of holiday cheer, Peace On Earth God Will Toward People...damn it. Right now I am not feeling cheerful. I am feeling overwhelmed and alone and afraid. Afraid that I am not capable, not able, not very warrior-like. I am allowed I hope to vent and feel blue. I will of course kick the blues to the curb and get up swinging...tomorrow--I am good at that. But right now I am wounded, the battle is starting to pierce my resolve. I can feel myself laying down for the count. It is the aloneness of the world that has got me by the throat. It is feeling like I DON"T want to fight ANYMORE. The romantic optimist is feeling like a hater-pessimist. AAArggh! The aloneness can sometimes be crippling to the spirit. Today for me it's crippling, because right now I am doubting my ability to stand still and let GOD do the handiwork. I am tired and I am afraid and I am crying. Perhaps this is my only way to salvation and grace--being brought low before I can soar high. Pray for me and my desperate self. "It's me, It's me oh Lord standing in the need of Prayer"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

HONEY PLEASE, MAMA IS COOKING

It is Wednesday...Thanksgiving Eve. I am so organized and so on point that I am basking in my badd self! I just finished cooking my sweet potatoes for pies...yes pies made with Grande Marnier. My turkey is ready, my stuffing with sausage is done. My brother Roberts' fiancee is making mac and cheese and a turkey ham...yes it is to die for! She is also making a cake. I picked up a pecan pie. My church put together a basket for me that included another pie--pumpkin, a turkey and all the fixings--I am donating most of the stuff because I have been so blessed with so much, but it was so wonderful of them to think of me!. I have all my libations--wine, beer and I am making a punch for the kids. I am so proud I stuck to my tight budget.

I invited my estranged husband...3 fucking times and he turned me down, he would rather sit in a diner with strangers. Oh well, if he prefers that to eating with his kids...fuck him. I am feeling too good right now to stress over his madness. I am really in my element. The holidays are so incredible. I love all that peace on earth, goodwill toward men/people!

Yesterday I had a divine lunch with the most engaging Sister I have met in a long time. Our paths have divinely crossed and I am grateful.. She is someone I know God meant for me to catch up to. Her sage words were healing and thoughtful. I don't think she knows how far she has carried me in my personal development...sitting and spending time with her was like having crib notes on my right now life.

I am so Thankful. And prayers for the incredibly spirited women graciously doing their time at Danbury Prison Camp. I hold them and their families all in prayer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL IS LEARNING TO LOVE ONE'S SELF

I have been battling weight for quite sometime. OK not really. I sort of just let the weight arrive little by little until one day I looked at myself and WOW! I am really heavy. Heavier than I want to be. I was fine as a full-figured beauty--size 18 was OK, but now I am just Obese--size 26/28. I weigh 278 lbs. I am 5'8 I need to lose at least 100lbs. I realize that if I don't take care of me, love me that I will be doomed to die at an early age like my mother at 58, her sister at 40, their mother -my grandmother 60. My Dr. once asked me:"what are you doing to change that fate for yourself" Hhmmm...I don't know I answered. Then he said you got to lose weight! I have high blood pressure, I am close to having diabetes, and I am always tired and I drink too much alcohol. No I am not falling down drunk, nor am I drinking to oblivion. However I could cut back.

Being raped as a child by my Father and then having him sell me for sex to others was very traumatic and I believe has a lot to do with why I am carrying all this weight. Now I am an adult and what was done to me, was done and I have made some peace with that. However there is a part of me that is hiding behind this weight. I know this. And I know I have to deal with it. I can't in good conscience continue to talk about love when I am not fully in love with myself. I have to fall in love with myself. And that means taking greater care of myself. I have little kids and if I want to see them all graduate from college and I do, then I have to love myself more than I already do to lose this weight.

And then there's the vanity issue: I am getting divorced and at some point I will want to date and have mind-blowing sex. There is no way I can think about that now; but I want to be ready. I want to be game ready! I want to be fit and fabulous. I want to love myself more and have it show. So today I am making my plan. I am resurrecting my on-line support group that I started 2 years ago, I am making a timeline. I am going to really make this year my last year living fat! I am going to date me, I am going to pamper me, I am going to support me, I am going to love me MORE!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Totally Fabulous Award

My Sister-Friend Lisa McGlaun over at http://compassionate-news.blogspot.com/ awarded me the Totally Fabulous Award! See to the right of your screen! I was so pleased by this, because 1) it was unexpected and 2) I needed it after the last few days. Lisa McGlaun's blog is all about good news and good things in her life and in the world. So you know I am a huge fan of hers. As promised I am passing the award forward to a few blogs that I love a lot!

My Sister-Friend Laurie http://www.notjustaboutcancer.blogspot.com/ she is amazing! I am lifted every time I visit her blog.
http://www.confessionsofabottleblonde.blogspot.com/ talk about a good time, this Chick is hip, cool and funny all at the same time.
http://www.thethinkingblackman.blogspot.com/ I know this Brother will not put a pink award on his blog...or maybe he will, anyway he has a fine mind and thinks passionately about the affairs of the world and Black folks in particular.

Friday, November 16, 2007

FAITH FORWARD FRIDAY: AT SOME POINT YOU HAVE TO GET ON WITH IT

My life is amazing. Extraordinary even. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried. There are times when I want to lay down and die. I mean just check out and not do another thing. But I can't. I love living way too much. I am who I am and nothing changes. It never occurs to me that I won't fall in love again. It never occurs to me that I won't have mind-blowing sex again. I will and I shall! Don't get me wrong I am firmly rooted in the NOW. But I am a romantic optimistic so I just believe what I need will come my way...it always has. So my faith NOT is being challenged at all. I know what I know...GOD is real and sustains. I am fearless in my everyday life--even when I am not sure how. Even when I am at my breaking point which is every other day--I know GOD has my back. And, I do know I am being prepared for the greater part of my life. The greater calling of self. I know there is much to be done in this life--my life. I am refusing to surrender to regret. I am moving forward in my faith with the loving belief that I am blessed and loved and loved.
It has been a tough few days but I am recovering. My bounce back time is becoming less and less longer. At some point you just have to get on with it...and I am.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY:THE POWER OF FILM:TYLER PERRY'S "WHY DID I GET MARRIED?"

My Girlfriend Robin and I went to see Tyler Perry's movie "Why Did I get Married?" Robin has seen it , but was more than willing to see it again with me. Now this post isn't a review of the movie. It is about how the film affected me. There is a scene in the movie when the Jill Scott character has just learned her husband was cheating and tells her he is leaving her. The Jill Scott character is talking to another fine man in the movie who has taken her up to this beautiful bluff somewhere in Colorado. Anyway he tells her this is where he comes to work out his issues,to pray, scream, whatever. She says to him that her ex-husband is her life, and she can't live without him, he is everything or something to that affect. The minute she utters those words, I saw myself. I saw myself thinking the same thing when my husband walked out on me and our children. Now prior to seeing this movie on Sunday, my estranged husband let me know that he has been cheating since July. And has gone out on date(s), while I was in prison camp. Of course I was sick with tears and overwhelmed with heartache yet again. WAIT! now here comes the grace: The tears were cleansing and the film was affirmation of that. Seeing that woman in that state of mess allowed me to see my own being. I am on the right path. This blog and all these posts reflect that. I have grown and you can see it. I am moving forward. I have moved forward. Thanks to Tyler Perry for helping me do that...who knew.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

TODAY I AM GRATEFUL FOR...

Since we are in the season of thanksgiving , I am grateful for:
  1. My sister Lo who keeps me grounded and supported--she is the best woman I know and if ever I was trapped in a fox hole she is the one I would want with me, if I was ever stranded on a deserted island she and a good bottle of tequila and aspirin and a Oprah magazine would be all I need to survive;
  2. My children, God knew exactly what he was doing when he placed them in my care--they have rescued me, healed me and shown me unconditional true love;
  3. My brothers Robert & Michael--men of great strength and courage, they have been watching my back since they were 7 & 8 years old. I admired them;
  4. My best girlfriends Robin and Karen & Bette in Seattle and Ruth FTB in Nashville, every woman ought to have sister-friends to hold them up and push them forward;
  5. My minister Reverend Dr. Shelly, what an amazing woman. I know God needed her to be in my life to help steer me forward;
  6. My blog community. I am in love with you all--(see to the right of my blog all my favorite sites) these folks blog about things that capture your heart and give pause to your place in the world;
  7. my church family, they are amazing people, they never tire of helping and giving and praying and fellowship;
  8. All the spirited women I met while serving 29 days in Danbury Prison Camp--I didn't know what grace was until I was in community with these women;
  9. My ability to choose love at every turn; I know who I am and I like me more and more each day;
  10. My Dearest and Bestest friend Ron, who for the past 18 years has been my touch stone, my sounding board, my shoulder to cry on, my voice of reason, my cold slap, my biggest fan. His friendship has taught me so much about love and commitment and friendship. I've not met a more honorable, kind and generous man than him.

Friday, November 9, 2007

FAITH FORWARD FRIDAY: KEEPING PERSPECTIVE

If I really sat down and really thought about my life and all that has happened and is happening, I probably would go to the nearest tallest building and jump. Yes, jump. Because on first glance there is drama and turmoil and uncertainty, financial ruin, pending divorce, supervised release--newly released from federal prison, house in foreclosure and issues with being overweight. Who's life is this? And why would anyone want to go on in the face of all this madness? I DO! Even though all this seems overwhelming in print, and it is in real life too, I remind myself of what my dearest friend Ron always says: "let's keep some perspective" and he runs through all the good things that have happened to me, and he reminds me of my resiliency to overcome obstacles. Good friends are like that, they remind you of who you are and wrap you in the blanket of keeping perspective. The reality is, yes I have a lot of shit on my plate--which is more like a buffet platter now! How can I whine about anything when I have my health and people who love me and care about me and have supported me without so much as a hint of being tired. Yes, I have my moments of despair and blue-ness but at the end of the day, I pick myself up, say my prayers and as my dear brother Rob likes to say "Keep it Moving" So today I am sad and blue but I am also keeping perspective--it is not the end of my world and good days are right now.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

HOLDING IT DOWN

Yesterday was a tough day. The job that I thought I was going to interview for can't hire folks on supervised release. I am beginning to see how difficult it is for people on probation or newly released from prison. I have skills, education and a strong professional work history, and still it is going to be an uphill battle. Or maybe not. Maybe I have to think about this in a much more optimistic way--which suits me. I am very optimistic by nature so I can't imagine that I wouldn't find a job. It never occurs to me that I wouldn't find a job. So last night I cried myself to sleep because I was feeling overwhelmed and alone and tired. But this morning I popped up said my prayers and I am right back to holding it down. I said this before and it bears repeating--Alice Walker wrote: "The way forward is with a broken heart". So I am holding it down like a Warrior Queen and I am moving forward with my broken heart in tow.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

TRUE LOVE TUESDAY: THANK YOU FOR LEAVING ME

I was so pissed at my estranged husband. I have been praying and praying to have the grace to let go of this mess. He left me. I am standing here not understanding what happened. So since I asked for the keys to the house and my ride, he has been busy. Busy separating me from the car insurance, the cell phone account and the joint bank accounts. He said I need to be independent and that he was happy that I asked for the keys because he was tired of being responsible for me. OK. I was so furious that I emailed him my feelings--not cussing him out, but really saying what I wanted to say for a long time--from the safety of my computer. I let him know how I felt about all this and our past history. Then I re-read what I wrote and the light from on high came on! Looking at our history laid out before my eyes startled me. WHY IN GOD"S NAME WOULD I WANT TO CONTINUE IN THIS MARRIAGE WITH ALL THIS PAST AND PRESENT DRAMA. Oh my God! I got it! Now there are 3 sides to a story, my side, his side and the truth. I gotta tell you I think I am closer to the truth than he and I have family and friends who support this. Truth be told I should have left him years ago when all the physical and verbal abuse started. But we went to counseling and moved the marriage forward. But as the years went on there were more incidents of abusive behaviour and still I hung in. Telling myself all marriages have problems. All marriages have their issues. Dr. Robin was right, "as long as we are willing to call things anything and everything except what it is, then we allow ourselves to stay in the mess."
My husband did me a favor by leaving me. He really did. And I am able to see it now because I can speak truth to power. All this turmoil and upheaval in my life is really about preparing me for the greater days ahead. I understand that today, in this moment. I was so tortured about being left that I was willing to believe his spin about me. I almost let his shit become my reality. I almost lost my confidence in who I am and what I can do. I am a Warrior Queen.
So we have called a truce and I am committed to co-parenting. And I am moving forward on my own terms, on my own steam and on my own strength.
So thank you husband for leaving me. You have set me free in ways you could never imagine and I say THANK YOU!

Monday, November 5, 2007

FEELING LIKE THE WARRIOR QUEEN THAT I AM

Today was pretty good. My minister stopped by with a lead on a gig. I almost jumped out of my skin! Do you know what a job will mean? Anyway a woman in church heard me address the congregation before I left for my 29 days in Danbury and she was so moved by whatever it was I said. Anyway she spoke to my minister and said perhaps there might be a job where she works. Honey I called that woman today and we had a nice talk. They are launching a new initiative--now hold on and know the power of GOD, this initiative will help women who are newly released from prison or are on probation to help link them to community programs. Are you kidding! If this ain't a job for me I don't know what is! Anyway, she did say that the money was low and of course she was well aware that I could command a big salary. Are you kidding me...I have no salary at the moment. A sister ain't proud! So I am emailing my resume to her right now and if the stars are aligned and my mojo is working, I could have a job SOON! I am going to be this excited each time a job prospect comes my way. I am going to get a job!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Warriors, Come Out and Play…..

Yes, I know, I said I was finished blogging for Babz. But I need(ed) to blog about Babz. My sister thinks I am very smart and extremely talented…which is true. I’m not boasting, but I’ve long since acknowledged my talents and strengths, and am the first to identify my challenges (read weaknesses to others). However, I recognize my source of strength, or rather the foundation by which my talents and intellect were born and nurtured. My mother, brothers, sister, 6th grade teacher and my father have had the most significant impact on my life. I included my father, because the level of brutality, mean-spiritedness, and abusive behavior forms the crux of how I interact with men specifically, and people in general.

Anyway…. my sister was one of my heroes before I knew what that really meant. I couldn’t verbalize her significance in my pubescence, but began to clearly understand her impact when I reached high-school. With college, I could appreciate what having Babz for a sister was worth, and by the time I moved to NJ, knew that we were not just great sisters, but she is a best friend. Now, I don’t use the word friend lightly. I only have a few, and four of them I’ve already mentioned. My rule is, if I have more friends than fingers, I’ve got too many friends. Not that I don’t care about people, and I want them to care about me. But, I only have a few people that I know will go to battle w/ me no questions asked, or if they do ask, they ask the questions that matter, not what did I do, but what do I need now.

My Mom taught me what unconditional love looks like, feels like. If I don’t feel that, you can’t be my friend. I know some will say that’s harsh, but I don’t take friendship lightly. If you’re my friend, it’s for life. I didn’t get to choose my brothers and sister, aunts or uncles. But, I do/did get to choose my posse, my ride or die partners, my I-got-your-back-no-matter-what crew. Enough said about friendship. Now, Babz has had this episode that I think has shaken her to her core and made her doubt her capabilities. I post this for all to see. Babz is not a survivor, she is a warrior. We are warriors. Survivors… survive. Warriors survive and conquer. So, let’s kick some ass Babz. Yes, my cage has been rattled, and I want Babz and whoever else reads this blog to know this: this episode was one moment in time, one episode in the life of Babz. An anomaly. The good times are coming back around. But, I want my sister to know I love her, I adore her. I know you.

Babz, I’m sorry your marriage is ending. But it is. Let’s keep it moving. To Babz’ husband if he’s reading: too bad for you. I don’t wish you any ill will, but too bad for you. I’m sorry for the kids. I’m really pissed that the concerns you had for your marriage weren’t important enough for you to check that shit before now, before the marriage, before the kids were adopted, before the house. I have said to Babz frequently, you set the bar to high for him and now you’re tripping, not him, over the bar. So, in closing, Babz, I’ve got your back. I think you can save the house, reinvent yourself, and make six figures. Yes, I believe, because I know you. Fuck the husband, the media, and the naysayers. They don’t exist in my world and they shouldn’t exist in yours. Because at the end of the day (my favorite saying), it’s only about you…Babz. Be who you are, better yet, be the woman you want to be.

Warriors, come out and play…...

MAKING MY WAY FORWARD OR HOW I AM BECOMING THE GREATEST DRAGON SLAYER THAT EVER LIVED

So yesterday, my estranged husband comes by to give me money for the groceries. He lets himself in with keys. I decided in that moment to take the keys away. I asked for the keys to this house and keys to MY minivan. If this marriage is over...and it IS! then he can't just waltz in whenever he feels like it. There has to be rules. A couple of weeks before I left to self-surrender to the federal prison camp he stood in my kitchen in the midst of an argument about him seeing his kids on a regular basis and said to my face: I left you get over it! So this is my getting over it--give me my keys to my house, keys to my ride. Call before you come over and I will do the grocery shopping from now on.

Here's what I now for sure: I can get through this. I just went to prison. I am bankrupt and will probably lose this house. I am getting through this all. I am not broken and I am not defeated. My fighting spirit is strong.
My estranged husband is right, he left and I have to get over it. On to the next dragon!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

THE SPELL OF PRISON IS BROKEN...AND I AM SO FINE

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED MY BLOG WHILE I WAS DOING MY TIME.

Thanks to my Sister Lo for holding it down for 29 days. She mailed me the blog entries a few times and they were really good. My sister is so talented. I must have missed that gene.

I have a lot to say about my prison camp experience, I just need a bit more time to process. I should have blogged earlier, but I couldn't. I just didn't have the nerve to do it. But here I am, today was my day to snap out of my pseudo-funk and break the spell of prison.

I am grateful to be home with my kids in familiar surroundings. I'll have more to say in the days ahead...trust that.