I am Strong and Brave

This particular Saturday morning, I’m looking at my 2-year-old son playing with puzzles and looks at me and said: “Mommy, this is too hard, but I got it.”

All parents have read about bed or morning routines. Even Daniel Tiger and Elmo have this covered. My family has always believed in the power of words or confessions. My mother confessed to my sister every morning: ” You are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath.”  I believe (& think my SiSi would agree) that these words resonated in her mind when she wanted to throw in the towel.

Every night we pray for my son to be thankful for family, friends, and provisions. But additionally, I pray (out loud) for my son to be strong & brave. I never saw that world as a scary place until I became a mother. These glasses of parenting put a filter on everything as terrifying. Most importantly, I know the world will be unkind to a young black man. The joy he has today is delicate and needs to be preserved. I want to protect him, cover him, shield him… but I know I can’t. I can only pray that he always finds the strength to be joyous, strength to trust God and Strength to be brave enough to keep moving forward when the world will feel cold.

I guess, I never meant for this reflection to be so emotionally heavy. I am generally not that type of writer, but out of your heart flows the truth. Take the time to speak life over the children your world. Nieces, nephews, God-children,  neighbors, & friends every child deserves to hear that they are loved and amazing.

With Love;

Southern Fried Mommy

8 years and counting

This past March my husband & I celebrated 8 years of marriage. I’m blessed to know many people who have hit 8 years of marriage 8 years ago. Along the way we have had no shortage of highs and lows and time will tell us which one we’re in today. He finally cut the grass, so this week is definitely a high point!

My brother once told me “you guys are the couple no one wants to be around.”  At a barbecue a few years back a little girl asked me “do ya’ll ever fight? Do he ever get on your nerves? You always like him?” Although she was 8 or 9 years old at the time apparently we put of a different vibe.

There is no secret formula to a joyful marriage ( Note: NOT PERFECT marriage). We have no time to be two different people in public than we are in private.

Over the weekend, we attended a marriage small group and during that time we talked about how to fight fair. I was reminded not to let small things build up and create a foothold in your marriage. Mario & I are very blessed that in the beginning of our marriage we attended a church that focused on young couples and helped us to have an open line of communication. We learned very early in our relationship to separate the “business” of running a home from the love that it takes to build it. Something that has stayed with us and taken us this far is to “try to out love your spouse.”  Ask yourself, “what have I done to  bless my spouse today?”

I believe that when you make your marriage your ministry, your spouse is a reflection of your best self.





Goin up Yonder

Nothing brings back to your center like a funeral. No matter how far you wonder from home a funeral is the final stamp in your passport here on earth. I attended a funeral this weekend of a very dear family friend. He was the type guy that always had kind words to say. If you needed him he was there no questions asked. He enjoyed a simple life and you knew he valued God, family, and work… in that order. This year he would have been 40 and passed after 3 days in a coma after a stroke. I don’t have many other details and didn’t really ask. Not because I wasn’t concerned but because I knew in that moment I wanted to celebrate his life. So the details of his death escaped me.

Traveling to his home town to attend the funeral was somber but peaceful. In the way that any one would feel when you travel somewhere that is similar to the way you grew up. One thing is certain, the Southern Funeral, is alive and well. As it should be.

Travel opens your eyes and heart to customs and traditions of the world. But as we grow and the world becomes smaller, so many things about our southern roots have to change. But our funerals should  not be altered. When this life is done and your chapter has been written will the pews fill with people who loved you, knew you, and will truly miss you. Will there be standing room only? Will the final thoughts of your life be filled with laughter and heartfelt tears. or will there be an empty spot in the program for anyone with a few words to stand? will anyone stand?  will people struggle to find something about that can be shared in a place of worship.

On this warm, April day the body of a God fearing man was laid to rest. A life to short but filled with the things that bought him joy.

I have tasked myself to focus in on what brings me joy, to reconnect to my center, embrace my roots, and appreciate each glorious day. One day the hollow tomb will close around each of us, no matter our differences or likenesses. I find comfort in knowing, if I wake up in the morning, I will branch out and take on new experiences with an open mind. But, When I lay my head down I will be thankful for the roots that bear southern fruit. So if anybody ask you, where I’m going… you can tell them I’m going up yonder to be with my Lord. Sacred

Preparation is not always enough

So I’ve been planing for July 1 2013 for 6 months. I truly thought I was ready the day after I turned in my application and now it’s time to move. Call to action, my hubby told me this morning how proud of me he was, but next mission trip “we have to go together.” Of you know my husband you would know that he is pretty calm, but there was a firmness in his voice that i usually only hear when I try a new recipe that didn’t turn out like the picture and he says ” you don’t have to make this again.”

My mother and sister cried. One on FaceTime and one over the phone. I know there proud and worried all at the same time.
My prayer is that God will allow me to remain calm and hear his voice and control my anxiety to follow God’s plan for our journey.

A Thank You to All :-)

How God shows up in what seems like impossible odds and circumstances never stops amazing me. I have had the opportunity to meet wonderful people at a powerful church. I’m so grateful to have  a church home that believes in loving and serving People all over the world. That God is truly in our service to others.

But with that I didn’t know I would even be able to attend. I was completely in over my head. I started to doubt that I would be able to participate and then like always the power of God rushed in, in the form of donations from family, friends and co-workers. It’s amazing b/c ppl say what a cynical world we live in, that people only care in times of tragedy or disaster. But I didn’t have to step on forgien soil to know that there is still good in world, even in the smallest details.

Africa Awaits: Psalm 139:23-24

In preparation for a Short term Mission trip to Swaziland Africa, We were asked to meSwazi 2013ditate on Psalm 139. While some of the verses were familiar to me. There were other verses that I had heard in the past but not quite understood them the way I understand them now. I have to say I find that this happens a lot as I have matured. 
In reading verses 23-24 I was drawn back to these verses over and over again. By no means am I a theologian, just a christian woman trying to do better today than I did the day before.  However, I love the plea in the words “Search Me, Try Me, Test Me”. In my life it is reflective of my constant cry for God to take hold of my heart when I know I’m knee deep in warfare. I’m taunted by the days that are ruined because me worry and “anxious thoughts” consume me.  But what I like most, is verse 24, “lead me”. Its funny because to ask God to Lead You means you must first want to be led… you must first submit to follow. Now this is where the light bulb went of for me: I want to be lead away from somethings and not other.