You’re Either A Lesson or A Blessing: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

The singer Mikki Howard sang a song that said “experience is a good teacher, it takes someone like me to knnnnnooooowwww”. As a 13 year old in the 7th grade at a Catholic school I really didn’t understand the phrase or the song; although I sang ‘Love Under New Management’ with the conviction of a scorned 50 year old women. Okay let’s have a moment of transparency. I have been a “serial monogamous dater” my entire life. I have never been one to date multiple people at the same time. That at times has been a gift and a curse. But hey! It is what it is. I like familiarity, comfort, and I like being in relationships, not situationships. That’s just how the good Lord wired me.

So tonight’s Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed is dedicated to the men in those relationships who either brought me a lesson or a blessing. And if I got real lucky they brought me both. Aliases will be used to protect the identity of the innocent as well as protecting my pockets. If someone decides to make a movie about my life, I don’t want anyone trying to get my “wiggums”; that’s a word my old co-worker and I made up to replace money. Jennetrice, if that word starts trending we need to hurry up and trademark it!!!!!

  1. Tyrone: This is not the friend that Eryka Badu was telling ‘ole boy to call. He was actually ‘ole boy. This was one of my very first real boyfriends. I learned a lot about life real quick dealing with him. Lesson: As a young teenager never settle. Know your worth and if folks don’t rise to the occasion it’s okay. Let them float somewhere else. Blessing: I dodged a bullet because he ended up later in life going to jail for murder (yeah, for real). But, what I heard through the grapevine is that he gave his life to Christ. And that good people is a blessing for the Kingdom of God.
  2. Benjamin: This gentleman was the master of disguise. Now that I look back on it we fell in lust/love too quick. See that’s one of the curses of being a “serial monogamous dater”. But hey we always had a great time together. We hung with some cool folks and loved to go out to eat. And really he was a good guy. He was a serious dreamer but lacked in the doer section of life. Lesson(s): Pay attention to a person’s family, because it will tell you a lot about that person and the dynamics of what you are getting yourself into. Talking about doing something versus committing it to paper and actually doing it are two different things. When dating, the talk and walk should line up. Blessing: One of my biggest accomplishments came from this relationship.
  3. Rock: Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself  “this is the opposite sex version of me”? This gentleman was one of my closest male friends ever. I could tell him everything about me and he wouldn’t flinch. We grew up together as teens in the same neighborhood. His family was my family. Lesson(s): Some relationships need to be left in the friend zone. In the words of Chris Brown (I cannot believe I am quoting him) “I don’t wanna go there, please don’t go there”. Needless to say, we are no longer friends after 24 years. There are times that I miss him, but really he was “messy boots”. Blessing: His mom helped me get closer to Christ. And she taught me so much about what I truly deserved.
  4. Man: Remember those gold metallic pants I wrote about the other day, yeah well…you know the rest of the story. Man was a provider, a protector and the first time I ‘thought’ I heard God say marry someone. He liked to do all the things I loved to do: ride around the park with the windows rolled down while bumping the quiet storm radio station, chilling hard with friends and family, playing board and card games (he flipped over a game of adult monopoly, true story, red flag) and just laughing a lot and having a great time. Lesson(s): Soul ties are real people. The break up of this relationship in my late-20’s taught me so much about myself. I was braver, wiser and fearless after this relationship. I also learned that hurt people, hurt people. And in the infamous words of my mama “you cannot fix, what you did not break”. Blessing: It was the first time I realized that purpose could come out of a painful situation. This relationship also created another important accomplishment in life.
  5. Jo Navin: I picked that name because I love the movie “Jerk”; let me leave that alone. Anyway Jo Navin, caught me at a very vulnerable time in my life. His quick wit, love of music and implied potential had all the makings of a Tyler Perry movie ending. However, it ended more like the novel and made for Lifetime movie Disappearing Acts. Lesson(s): When your gut tells you something ain’t right listen to it; your gut really is just the Holy Spirit leading you. You cannot marry, date or create with potential. Potential has to come with tangible actions that can be seen, heard or felt. Blessing: I was blessed with another accomplishment. I left in my right mind. I now understand the power of knowing God’s character.

These relationships have spanned over a period of 25 years. I write this blog not to bash men. I take full responsibility for the part I played in this show. Everyone has flaws, imperfections and areas of growth. I write this blog to simply say; don’t let a bad relationship keep you from living your best life ever. Don’t beat yourself up over a decision from your past, present or future that was not the best one. When we know better, we do better. And to be quite honest, I have finally learned how to forgive them; but most importantly myself.

There is a lesson in every encounter and a blessing in every situation. You really just have to find it, then move on. Cry, scream, shout, roll around on the floor like Patti LaBelle used to at her concerts; but whatever you do, do not stay stuck. Otherwise you end up being bitter, cold, and damaged like a box of lemon heads with freezer burn LOL (that visual is killing me softly right now)!

Now please don’t share this blog with any of my exes. Why?

  • I have no money to put on anyone’s commissary.
  • I don’t feel like hearing their side of the story again.
  • I don’t want to play another game of monopoly.
  • I don’t do backsies anymore.
  • I cannot rationalize with irrational people.

I hope by now you know I am just kidding. I am the “Queen of Transparency”Tell’em, hopefully they have some blessings and lessons about me. Otherwise, our encounter was in vain.

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Tootsie Rollin’ Mama from the 313: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Good Evening, Good People! It’s a just got paid, Friday night type of  evening (although, I don’t get paid until Monday, be careful whatchu’ ask for). Where are you Mama V on this Feel Good Friday? At home, on the couch, in my pajamas and drinking a cup of green tea. And guess what? I like it. This NSRTBB is dedicated to the former Tootsie Rollin’ mamas and papas out there who have hung up their biker shorts, Coogi dresses/sweaters, basketball jerseys and everything else from the 90’s and 00’s. Who partied at Fat Tuesdays at Maxi’s, the Dancery, the River Rock, Chuck’s Millionaire Club, Franklin BC’s (I met my ex-husband there wearing a pair of CUTE metallic gold pants) and every place in between?

Here are my top five ways that I Tootsie Roll in Life instead of the club:

  1. I insert the term “Tootsie Roll” in moments that are of the celebratory or congratulatory nature. Don’t believe me ask my work family

Director: Hey everybody we have extra money to spend on the GEAR UP futurez (students) should we get Ipads?”

Me: Awww shoot I’m about to Tootsie Roll across this conference table like Martin (Lawrence, not King).

2. When I finish a blog, I turn on the Tootsie Roll song and dance around the house. My kids are used to it; their friends think I am the coolest mama ever created.

3. I love a good compliment, heck most people do. It makes you feel good and can put a smile on your face. So when someone says to me “you don’t look like you have a 19, 15 and 6-year-old”. I will Tootsie Roll on the spot. No cares for the location or audience.

4. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to do one thing no matter the day or night. No wind, rain, hail, sleet or snow shall stop me. I am free and happy while doing this one thing that most people dread…..grocery shopping. I can never go in and get one thing. I must peruse the aisles with the grace of a gazelle and the eye of the tiger. And when I use my coupons or get major money deducted from my bill because of my MPerks or Target Cartwheel app, I immediately Tootsie Roll in the check out lane. It’s only right that I celebrate in my favorite place on earth.

5. I love a good wedding. Love, marriage, vows and happiness always makes my heart sing. But what I love more than a good wedding is an even better reception. Tootsie Rollin’ goes from 0-100 real quick at a reception with a fabulous DJ, some fantastic food and wonderful company. I was a bridesmaid for the 1st time last year. The bride’s main request for her reception was that 90’s R& B was played. I Tootsie Rolled until my legs gave out. The whole wedding party went wild to all of the music of our adolescent and teen years. My two endcaps (the oldest and youngest children) Tootsie Rolled with mama until we were tuckered out.

See, even if it’s Friday night and I’m at home chillin’, drinking green tea and writing this blog I can Tootsie Roll without the party atmosphere and the gold hot pants. I am the party no matter the environment. Tootsie Roll on good people, Tootsie Roll on!

The buttafly, uhn, uhn that’s old, let me see you Tootsie Roll

69 Boyz (Tootsee Roll)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs7f3ssuEjA

Things My Children Taught Me: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

I always say that you can learn something for anyone; including your children. My children teach me daily about my patience, my attitude, my compassion and my aptitude. This evening’s NSRTBB is dedicated to the 3 biggest accomplishments in my life: Shay-Shay Boule, Duke and Lexa Cat (yes, we give out nicknames in this family). These three amigos always keep a watchful eye and a hustling ear to everything I say, do and think. They are at times my biggest headache, while at the same time my greatest joy. Here are a few things I have learned from them:

Shay-Shay Boule

  1. When your world is spinning out of control just breath.
  2. Even if someone tap dances on your last nerve at the end of the day love wins.
  3. Be a champion of people; especially your friends.
  4. It’s okay not to be brave all the time, but when you are brave kick ass and take names while doing it. (Disclaimer: Nana if you are reading this, no she didn’t literally say this.)
  5. Relax. Life is not fun if you are always yelling.
  6. Dancing and good soul music are mandatory requirements no matter the environment.

Duke:

  1. Distance can never break the bond of people you love.
  2. Be confident in who you are and what you believe.
  3. You are entitled to your opinion even if others disagree.
  4. Young men can be compassionate.
  5. Being analytical can prevent a lot of mistakes.
  6. Dads matter a whole lot.

Lexa Cat:

  1. You can see the beauty in anything; even if it’s old aluminum foil. (This is the craftiest child that I have ever laid eyes on.)
  2. Having voice and choice is important, even to children.
  3. If someone hurts you, it’s okay to express your feelings and cry. But not for too long.
  4. Sometimes you need to dance in the rain. Your hair needs the moisture and it’s fun.
  5. Mom doesn’t know everything.
  6. A soy chai tea latte is the answer to all life’s problems.

I can seriously say that my children are fierce, fabulous, grounded and loving. Each has their own unique qualities and characteristics that make them a joy and a pain (I’m just being honest). But isn’t that what life is all about. Bringing your full self to the table of life. I may not always be the most loving parent. I make mistakes and do the best I can with what I have.

Just like the song says, “I’m only human, born to make mistakes”. However, our children need to see our human side. We are not invincible, we don’t know it all, we don’t move through the world with an “S” on our chest, we don’t always have the answers (Just ask Kanye and Sway) www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RcAzPMhdB0. Yet, we love, we dream, we praise and worship, we do know somethings and have some answers. And this good people is the making of well balanced parents and children. Our children are not one size fits all and neither should our parenting style. We do the best we can with what we have and leave the rest in the hands of the Lord. As parents we must be teachers and learners.

These two songs always give me strength in the world of single-mommyhood! Be encouraged people you are doing better than you are giving yourself credit for.

Chrisette Michele ‘Super Chris’ www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BpTAcMJsr4

Chrisette Michele ‘Supa’ www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u4CLsTzV_I

Kindred the Family Soul ‘I Am’ youtube.com/watch?v=KpeNGpu9Lv4

The 40/40 Club: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Good Evening! Good People! I want to have a long relationship with sleep right now; but first before I go rock-a-bye baby I wanted to share with you my thoughts on turning 40 years-old in January (don’t clap, just throw money…just kidding…but not really).  I have been looking forward to turning 40 since I was 30.

My 20’s were my time to make dumb mistakes, have children, get married, get divorced, party, buy a house, sale a house, start college, stop college, start a job, quit a job, pack up and move 3 hours away to finish school with children in tow, not know your purpose and focus on things that I didn’t know would not matter 10 years later.

My 30’s were the time to work on my purpose, explore who I was, process what happened in my 20’s, start graduate school, become a MSW, be a better mom, get married, get divorced, learn lessons, get closer to God, know my purpose, start to pursue my passions, take calculated risks, and start to focus on the things that WILL matter 10 years later.

So, tonight’s Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed are dedicated to the people, places and things I pray God brings to me in my 40’s:

  1. Fulfillment of Promises. God promised me certain things many years ago. And because I know that He is a keeper of promises and never fails, I know He will make good on what He told me and showed me. This blog is a manifestation of His promise, So Yummy Products a manifestation, Gifted Visions Unlimited a manifestation, and my current career a manifestation. You see where I am going with this. This NOT to brag on me, but to brag on GOD. He makes good on His Word no matter how long or arduous the process. For all of you on the cusp of turning 40; hold on there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  2. Fulfillment of Purpose. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our manufacturer doesn’t even have a blueprint to create junk. We are all made for purpose and impact. I am so excited about my purpose that sometimes I get on my own nerves talking to myself about it LOL. But with great purpose comes great responsibility and power. My path to my 20’s and 30’s was created to make sure that I could stay where God took me. I had to learn some hard lessons, eat some humble pie and get my pride slapped to sleep (figuratively, if you know me, you know I love that saying) in order to walk in my purpose.
  3. The Gift of Travel. Due to my own failure to protect and be a good steward of  my finances, I have not been able to travel with or without my children like I want to. Yes, in my 20’s and 30’s I made some horrible financial decisions due to a being financially illiterate, impulsive, irresponsible or just because certain decisions are an act of survival and I was forced to make them. That limited my travel opportunities. Well, “c’mon 40 with ya funky self” because I promised myself that I would bring in my 40’s somewhere besides Michigan or hopefully the United States and I mean it. Even though my children live in a very diverse community; it’s very different when you immerse yourself in communities that are different. Besides, we get along better when we go out-of-town. In the words of one of my closest friend’s mother “If money is the only issue, that’s not really the issue”.
  4. A Significant Other. Now let me put this disclaimer out here. I am in no way, shape or form actively on a “manhunt”. However, if the good Lord decides to be so kind as to send me a helpmate, I am not complaining. I have learned so much about myself and relationships being on this earth for 39 years. I have fully examined myself, my motives, my mistakes, and my shortcomings. And I have also fully examined my worth, my qualities, my heart, my successes and my standard for having a God ordained, healthy, meaningful and sustainable long-term relationship. My grandmother aka Ms. Agee the Original OG asked me “are you gonna be like Elizabeth Taylor?” I told her “naw girlfriend, 3rd times a charm”. That’s my story and I am so sticking to it.
  5. A Successful Business. I am at a place in my life where I do not want to work solely for someone else for the rest of my life. Being at a corporation or organization for 40 years and receiving a pendant or watch is no longer on my list of things to do. I like stability, but I am learning that in my 40’s I want to take more calculated risks that benefit my purpose, my children and the world. I have so many ideas that have laid dormant for so long. But I now understand why they had to. I was not mature or experienced enough to handle them in the manner intended.
  6. Continued Peace of Mind. In the words of my favorite Hip Hop Soul artist, MJB, “I need a peace of mind, a peace of mind, I need a good night sleep…”. Peace of mind can’t, shan’t, won’t be bought. At 39 years old, there is a certain peace I now have that I cannot really explain. When I say I ain’t worried ’bout nuthin’ I mean it. The control freak in me has finally realized that I cannot worry about things that are outside my locust of control.

This list is by no means exhaustive or in order of priority. I just wrote them how I thought of them. Everyone I talk to that is over 40 says the exact same thing. You become comfortable in your skin, you understand who and what are of the utmost importance in your life. Most importantly, you understand the true definition of living life to the fullest.

This quote that I recently found about the significance of the number 40 exemplifies why I wake up excited about January 20th 2016 (again, I am just putting it out there, don’t everybody rush to pre-order me a gift, bwahahaha):

“The number forty is used by God to represent a period of testing or judgment (the length of time necessary to accomplish some major part of Gods plan in his dealings with various portions of mankind).”  The Significance of the Number 40 www.ecclesia.org/truth/40.html.

Some resources to make sure your 40’s are just as fabulous as you are:

Michelle Singletary www.michellesingletary.com/home.html

Black Hedge Fund Group  www.facebook.com/groups/BlackHedgeFund/

I Don’t Do Clubs www.idontdoclubs.com/

Coursera www.coursera.org/

Black Girl Travel blackgirltravel.com/pages/home.html

Black Wealth Network www.bwnonline.com/

6 Books That Will Transform Your Mindset and Grow Your Business www.huffingtonpost.com/kimanzi-constable/6-books-that-will-transfo_b_8021906.html

And last, but certainly not least please support me check out So Yummy Products at www.soyummy.biz/retailers/371021

If you are a small/minority business owner please leave your business name and description in the comments section. I want the world to see the amazing things we are doing out here. Support!

Thanks for coming out, God Bless and Goodnight. May the 40’s be with you!

Jesus Said “Put Your Hands Up”: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Good Evening, Good People! Tonight’s Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed is focused on the “S” word that we really dislike, but need to love in order to get further in whatever journey we are on. This “S” word makes most people uncomfortable, want to retreat, take back control, take their marbles and go play elsewhere. The word is “Surrender”. On this expedition called life, we must learn to fully surrender to the process we are going through. Yes, I said fully. Let’s look at the why and the how of surrendering to the process:

The Why

  1. It’s good for your sanity. When you constantly try to fight against the current of life it’s tiring . You become weak, you are not your best self. You become an unrecognizable fraction of yourself and you feel crazy. Have you ever watched a little child learn how to swim? When they are super afraid of being let go, they start screaming, flinging their little arms and legs. The first thing someone tells them is to calm down. But they look crazy while going through the process because they are literally in 3 feet of water (acting a nut). They may even start to feel out of control. That’s because they have not surrendered fully to the process. They don’t trust the water or the person who is helping them. However, have you noticed that most children still want to go through the process because they know swimming is fun and they have a goal to accomplish. Surrendering is Fun. There is “freedom” in surrendering. See the blog from yesterday if you don’t believe me (notsorandomthoughtsofmamav.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/let-freedom-ring-not-so-random-thoughts-before-bed/). And you eventually accomplish your goals once you let go. (Disclaimer: I don’t know how to swim and neither do 2 out of my 3 children. See I’ll tell it before somebody else puts me on blast, but now I feel like I have to put that on my things to do before 2015 ends list because it is public knowledge. I just punk’d myself).
  2. You don’t want God’s foot on your neck. When the Lord “gets down to where you live and breath” (my mama’s favorite saying) He literally and figuratively has His foot on your neck to make you tap out and just surrender to His will and way for your life. Most times we want to do who & what feels good to us but ain’t good for us. (Yeah, I went there!) However, there comes a point that God will intervene and put His foot down. We are gasping for air and end up tapping out like a MMA fighter. It would have just been easier to not go there in the first place.
  3. We want to grow. Surrendering requires a lot of maturity and trust. If we want to grow in a way that is positive and live a full life we have to grow like a flower— in the direction of the “Son”. Did y’all get that?
  4. It speeds up the process. Okay, let’s have a transparent moment. My name is Mama V and I was previously a control freak (Everyone, say hi Mama V). Wanted to control the situation, the process, the logistics and the path of everything in my life and others. I wanted to tell them what was best for them…even if they didn’t ask. But guess what, it stunted my growth. If I learned earlier in life to surrender I probably would be further along in my journey. But I am glad that God knows how to redeem the time.

The How

  1. Renew your mind. A made up mind is as comfortable as a made up bed. When you shift to letting life happen and being intentional about your “surrender plan” –your mind, body and soul are at ease. You are equipped to handle any situation that life throws at you because your mind is constantly renewed. You know who runs the world (no, not Beyonce) and who the world is run by (no, not the illuminati).
  2. Read. I love to read and write. When I was younger I thought I was going to be a journalist or an investigative reporter. I was nosey and inquisitive..a lethal combination if not directed in the right way. But never the less, I have always had a thirst for knowledge of how I could better myself. I also started reading autobiographies of other people who have surrendered to the process. See a list of books at the end of this blog.
  3. Surround yourself with others who want to surrender. I should make my 6 year old say that 5 times quickly (she lost 5 teeth over the summer, go figure). But anyway, when you are around other like-minded people who are on the path to surrendering it makes the journey not so lonely. You can delight in the fact that you want complete peace and tranquility in every area of your life. Even if it’s not that way ALL of the time. But when you surrender, you stop giving the devil so much credit and understand that certain things have to happen in order to get you to the ultimate goal of leaving this earth an empty vessel. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at the top 5 people they hang with.
  4. Put your hands up and open your mouth. When you put your hands up in the air, the first thing that usually happens is that your arms slowly lift and your hands immediately open. Just as the saying goes “closed mouths don’t get fed” a “balled up hand can’t receive a blessing”. When you wave that white flag of surrender, miraculous things start to happen. And the best thing about this is that it is not solely dependent on who you are or what you did. It is merely based on you saying to God “I trust the process, I surrender and give EVERYTHING to You”. Then just like that, your atmosphere changes, you see things differently, your hear things clearly and you make peace with your past because you finally understand who holds your present and future.

Now trust me, I would never share anything with you that I have not tried myself. I ain’t ’bout that lie life. What I want YOU to know is that if He did it for lil ole me, He can certainly so that and much more for you and your circumstances. Life is not merely about what happens to us, but more about our outward and inward response to what happens to us. I want to leave you with three songs about surrender that capture the essence of this topic:

Kindred the Family Soul-Surrender to Love open.spotify.com/track/3iNUTL4DcRNvpRRshVwC9N

William McDowell- I Surrender All www.youtube.com/watch?v=NATl1SrW6RQ

William McDowell- Withholding Nothing youtu.be/ZdnV75zIQUA

Books to help you wave your flag and surrender:

  • A God Dream by E. Dewey Smith
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • From Failure to Fearless by Kisha Mays
  • The Blessed Life by Robert Morris
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
  • Conversations on Purpose for Women by Katie Brazelton
  • Commanding Your Morning by Cindy Trimm
  • Move by Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkins
  • The 7 Day Prayer Warrior Experience by Stormie Omartian
  • Bedside Blessings by Charles R. Swindoll

Let Freedom Ring: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Before I start this edition of Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed, let me first take the time out to thank all of you who have read, shared and supported me through this experience. I greatly appreciate all of you.

So let’s get this blog crack-a-lackin’! Tonight I want to talk to you about “Freedom”. Freedom can come in many forms, shapes, sizes and colors. There is financial freedom, relationship freedom, freedom of speech, etc. But tonight, I want to talk about a freedom that I experienced while being on vacation for 2 weeks. I was at home the whole time. Instead of my toes being in the sand somewhere tropical; I played Uno, Spades, Speed, Scrabble and Apples to Apples with my awesome children. Let’s just say I’m ’bout that winning life. I show no mercy not even to the 6-year-old.

My FREEDOM OF TIME was PRICELESS. Let’s explore this before I drink this Sleepytime Vanilla Tea and doze off to Netflix:

  1. Freedom of time allows God the opportunity to steady your mind and impart thoughts, visions, ideas and concepts that normally would be pushed to the side because you are so busy doing that you don’t allow yourself to be. When I slowed down and took the time out to really hear Him I opened myself up to the possibility of a different life narrative.
  2. Freedom of time helps you understand your children better. When we are working, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework and taking work home we never fully connect in an intentional way with our children. When we are so focused on the next thing we need to do, we miss the moments that matter the most like your child asking you to watch her make doll clothes out of socks and band aids. (True Story, KCK Designs coming to a TOYS R US store near you)
  3. Freedom of time helps you prioritize YOUR GOALS! That sounds so nice, let me say it twice YOUR GOALS! Being beholden to someone else’s goals, dreams, and quotas is not fun at all. We all were made for something bigger than us to impact the world. When your time is “other-centered” instead of “self-centered” you miss the mark on what is important to your (-) dash in life. (The most important date is not your birth or your death, but the dash in the middle.)
  4. Freedom of time gives you permission to try new things; but not in a hurried state. Having free time birthed this blog, a business, and increased my So Yummy Products sales. Yes, I did all of this within a 2 week period. (Shameless plug: Smell good, look good and feel good with all natural, organic/vegan hair and skin care. Check me out at soyummy.biz/retailer/371021)
  5. Freedom of time allows you to connect with those friends I talked about yesterday. We have to nurture all of our relationships. Now God hasn’t sent me a boo thang (yes, I love that word) yet; but I do have friends and family that I call my boos’ and having this time off provided an outlet to live, love and laugh with those I cherish the most.

The most surprising revelation I experienced was on Friday. My 6-year-old and I were walking down the street headed to the School of Social Work to meet with the awesome James Logan, owner of Hire Level Coaching (www.hirelevelcoaching.com). I heard a voice clear as a pair of 20/20 vision contacts say: “Remember, when embarking on this new path, freedom of time is more important than money.”

If I am mindful of the time that God provides, the 24 hours that He gives everyone in a day, the 60 minutes that everyone gets in an hour and the 60 seconds that we get in a minute; then He will be mindful of the money because both time and money are His to begin with.

Check out these Six Kinds of Freedom that I read about earlier http://www.williamgairdner.com/journal/2006/7/4/six-kinds-of-freedom.html

Friends How Many of Us Have Them: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed August 24, 2015

Have you ever had a day that ended in you saying “Who in the hell left the gate open?” Well for me, today was that day. This Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed is brought to you by the letter “F” for Friendship…walk with me as I take you through these  NSRT (Not So Random Thoughts):

  1. I wonder if I was in my late teens or early twenties how I would interface with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, (insert any other social media avenue) when it came to my friendships. My close friend circle is NOT huge, enhance the word “close”. However, I come from a time that if I am your friend, especially if we have history (done dirt together, kept each others secrets, skipped school together, tootsie rolled at the club, etc…you get where I am going with this) there is no way in the world 140 characters will get in the way of our friendship.
  2. Listening in on my 19 year old’s conversation about friendships and relationships is very interesting, confusing and remarkable all at the same time. I am glad to say that she has taken a page from my life when it comes to friend loyalty; however social media still rears its ugly head in a way that at times makes me cringe.
  3. In the words of my Mama “in order to have good friends, you have to know how to be a good friend.”
  4. As I have moved and grown through life I have gained and lost many friends maybe because of distance, where we were at in our lives, moving or just life happening. However, social media has brought many of these people back into my life and for that I am happy.
  5. A “true” friend is someone who you can be your “complete” self with, a no judgement zone type of person, but will get you together if they see you about to marry someone who is really not for you, still be your friend after you marry the joker and then not throw it up in your face after you divorce the joker. (Disclaimer: Yes, I am talking about myself. My name is Mama V and I am real transparent). Thank you Andrea, Quian, and Courtney LOL.
  6. All of your friends should not possess the same qualities nor should they think and act just like you. Diversity in the “frienshipplace” is just as important as diversity in the “workplace”. You need to have the following type of friends:

Prayer Maven: Someone who is an expert at praying at the drop of a dime, without hesitation even when you don’t have the words to express your request

Rational Reality Counselor: Someone who will give you sound advice and not give in to your whining, crying and complaining about your life.

Comic Relief: Someone who you can laugh with about any and everything including yourself. They are here for all of the shenanigans.

Super Sensitive Thug: Someone who has a heart of gold and loves Jesus, but you know  they will  quickly cry with you as sure as they will ride out in the Kia Soul and get somebody together. (FYI…that’s me)

Fantastic Fashionista: Someone who will not let you go outside looking like a clown, or with too tight clothes on. They will lovingly tell you to try a different lipstick or a larger size. ‘Cause you are just too fabulous not to be cute, even on a bad day.

Lively Listener: Someone who will listen to all of your crazy hopes, dreams, visions and aspirations and tell you “Yeah girl, do it!” and remembers each thing you ever shared even if it’s 20 years later.

7. I am happy to say that my circle of friends has grown. I love them all dearly. Some of them are friends of original friends and some I picked up along my journey of life (Heck, one I even married, then divorced ha!). From, 5248 Larchmont, to St. Mary’s of Redford lateroom, to Joy Rd. Exit 9, to the halls of Cass Tech High School, to Little Rock Baptist Church, to New Light Baptist Church, to Comcast Cablevision, to Ferris State University, to the University of Michigan and Fresh Start Church I have been blessed and privileged to have friends who have enriched my life in such a way that I can’t really explain. Each one brings their true self to our friendship and we laugh, cry, scream, holler, eat, praise, and worship. But ONE thing I can say we DON’T DO is DRAMA!!!! Not many people can say that.

8. Let these songs by Whodini and Destiny’s Child be a reminder of what TRUE friendship is really about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxni-FM-UVA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxni-FM-UVA