Top Four Things I Learned From My Ex-Husband: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

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It takes two to destroy a marriage. –Margaret Trudeau

Over the Memorial Day weekend my family celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday in true black family style. Soul food, music, laughter, and doing all of this while dressed for the occasion. My ex-husband was kind enough to drive my son all the way from North Carolina so that he could be a part of the celebration as well. In the words of my older cousin Carmelita “our family is like the mafia once you are in there is no getting out”. That is unless you my second ex-husband. But that’s another blog for another day.

My son’s father hung with my family the entire weekend and I must say it was refreshing, fun and eye-opening. This was probably the first time in almost 10 years that we spent that much time together. I learned some new things about myself over that weekend. This blog is dedicated to anyone who has gone through a bad divorce, breakup or separation and felt like you could never learn the other person. We must look past the failures and focus on what we can glean from others; even if it’s someone who may have hurt us. You can learn from anyone. Even those who may have broken your heart.

  1. Some Things Are Just a Matter of Time
  • There is a difference between being healed and being made whole. When something is healed the scar still exists but it is covered. People can tell that something happened in that area although they may not know the specifics. However, when you are made whole there is no scar, no evidence of injury and people can’t tell that anything happened. This weekend taught me that even though I asked God to heal me of past hurt the ability to retell the story of my divorce in all of it’s guts and glory prevented me from coming forth and asking to be made whole.
  1. Put on Your Big Girl Panties and Own Your Part
  • It takes two people to tango, ballroom, cha cha, fox trot, Chicago two-step or perform any other dance you can think of. You need one person to lead and another to follow. Move too quick and you are stumbling over each others feet. Move to slow and you lose count. Being loud, strong and wrong lead me not be the best wife as a young twenty-something. I needed to own that. I knew it in my heart. The original narrative made me feel better when he was the villain and I was the damsel in distress. These big girl panties feel way better than those young girl thongs. Own it. Say it. Forgive it.
  1. Allow People The Opportunity To Grow.
  • Just like seasons change so do people. Like the leaves of a tree some habits die off during certain seasons and new leaves/habits sprout. Allow people the space and grace to grow, change and shape into who they truly are. Most people cannot be judged by one moment in time. No matter how short or long that moment happens to be. People learn new skills, knowledge and techniques to cope daily. Allow them the chance to rise to the occasion. You just might be surprised at the experience.
  1. Help Comes From the Strangest Places.
  • Now, I must be honest and transparent. Having an extra pair of hands to help me was a wonderful feeling. Someone driving most of the time was an awesome feeling. Carrying a gabillion grocery bags in the house becomes annoying and using all of my gas to chauffeur my children around is not my idea of fun. But nevertheless these are all things that a single mother must do. It’s not that I didn’t think my ex-husband would help me; however it was a feeling that I had to get used to. Single mamas have a hard time asking for help and an even tougher time receiving it. I am learning daily that vulnerability does not equal weakness.

My motto in life is that you can learn anything from anyone. People either teach you what to do or what not to do. You determine in each situation whether you are the student or the teacher.

The Power of Connection: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

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One of my best friend’s, Andrea, gave birth to a gorgeous bouncing baby girl, Zoe, two weeks ago. I decided to surprise her and be there right after she gave birth. Watching my friend become a mother after years of waiting, fasting, and praying was nothing short of a blessing and miracle wrapped into one sweet-faced brown baby package. As I watched the nurse place the baby directly on my friend’s skin an idea crossed my mind. There is so much power in hearing a person’s voice and being close to them before you even meet them in person. That baby girl knew her mom’s voice instantly and it was the only one that could soothe her. As my friend cradled her to start the breastfeeding process, Zoe latched on quickly. It was at that moment I realized the power of connection.

Zoe never saw Andrea’s face or felt her skin until the day she arrived out of the womb. I liken this to the whole online process of doing business with people. There are many people and causes we become close to in business and in our personal lives simply via the power of connection. Because we are in a social media day and age we share many of our lives tragedy, triumphs and tribulations with folks we have never met in person. The power of connection has the ability to move mountains. Shake foundations and establish strong bonds.

Our connections must be authentic just like the love between Andrea and Zoe. As kingdom-minded business people we must remember our “why”. Why did we fast, pray and wait for our divine business and connection the way Andrea did for Zoe? Only you can answer that question. But if you dig deep enough into your heart I am sure you will find the answer.

If you are looking for a way to make divine connections with women who are dedicated to their purpose, vision and gifts please join us in the Dreamers Circle on Facebook. If you need help discovering your “why” please email me at giftedvisionsunlimited@gmail.com. I would love to assist you in uncovering your purpose in life.

Uncivil Disobedience: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

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Image Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and cooldesign

Last week on my personal Facebook I stated the following: “What’s really prolonging our blessings is disobedience. People don’t want to hear it but it’s the truth. You better put yourself on punishment before God does….ijs..and I ain’t exempt! ‪#‎appliestometoo.

That statement came from a very real place for me. For the longest I had been Tootsie Rollin’ around the perimeters of uncivil disobedience. Now you may wonder what exactly is “uncivil disobedience”? I am so glad you asked.

The definition of civil disobedience is belief in the need to obey a higher authority and to be cleansed of self-interestedness. (Lopach and Luckowski, Uncivil Disobedience). Uncivil disobedience is the exact opposite. It is reckless abandonment of a higher authority and it satisfies the fleshy carnal side of who you are.

When we make decisions that don’t involve God; that’s uncivil disobedience. When we decide to take matters into our own hand; that’s uncivil disobedience. When we hear go say “I have made an escape route for you to avoid temptation”, but we still open the door, pick up the phone or go to that place; that’s uncivil disobedience. It is taking us far too long to have conqueror and slay some of these bad habits of ours.

Now, I am speaking directly to followers of Christ. We say we have all power. God is a deliverer. Jesus can turn our situations around. And all of the other feel good stuff. But let’s be honest. There are things that feel good to us and we are still doing them. Because it’s not at the top of the sin ladder. If it’s not murder, steal or kill then it’s okay. All other forms of uncivil disobedience are non-fat skim milk sins. In other words I shouldn’t have this latte but since I ordered non-fat skim milk instead of regular whole milk it’s okay. Yeah, well that’s a WHOLE LIE!

Businesses aren’t being birthed, lives aren’t being changed, blessings are being missed and gifts are going to waste because of our uncivilized-willful-prideful-not wanting to give up a good thing to get a great thing-disobedience. We must put an end to this epidemic. We must hold each other accountable and just like The Mayor told Spike Lee “always do the right thing”.

If you need help refocusing, recommitting and ridding yourself of “Uncivil Disobedience” come on over to the Dreamers Circle on Facebook. We are a group of women dedicated to supporting, uplifting and networking to leverage our gifts and talents for the greater good.

Quit Quitting: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

youwinHalf of the year is already gone. It is now the beginning of June. What did you declare, commit or resolve to do on January 1st that you are not doing today?  Did you declare that this was your year to lose that extra 20 pounds? Did you commit to planning the work and working the plan? Or did you make a resolution to simply quit quitting. As a child I was allowed to quit most activities when I either lost interest or my friends no longer showed up. Violin, tap, girl scouts….you name it I quit it. This behavior then carried on into my teenage and early adult years. I quit school, jobs, and people when the slightest bit of adversity crept into my life. Yes. I. Quit. Quitting never feels good. It makes us feel ashamed, embarrassed and guilty as hell that we never finish what we start.

Let me be real transparent for a second. As much as I encourage, support and motivate other folks I almost had a moment of quitting last month. I wanted to throw in the towel. And go back into my honeycomb hideout and just be old regular Vanita who worked with youth, ate $5.00 sushi on Tuesdays and drank green tea at night. I wanted to shut down the part of my brain that loves to create, write and strategize for myself and others. I felt like I wasn’t making any progressive. My finances and life were getting the best of me. I know how to pray. I know how to journal and I know how to reach out to others. But I still wanted to quit. The young girl inside of me wanted to retreat back to old habits, sit on the bench and watch the game as a spectator and not a participant. I would just live vicariously through others.

There are two things that forced me to suit up and get back into the game. First, was a note my 7 year old daughter wrote. She likes to read and write like her mama. I know she is watching my every move because of messages like this:

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“Sometimes it can be hard to work but you have to keep trying”~Alexa, age 7

The second was something that God whispered ever so sweetly in my ear about three years ago “the blessing is in the book”. That message has two meanings. All blessings seen and unseen can be traced back to the Bible aka The Good Book. But my ability to write books is what will bless my life and help with legacy building.

In order to quit quitting sometimes you have to remember the reason you joined the team in the first place. Other times you have to constantly tell yourself that my purpose is bigger than my adversity in this moment. At what point will we quit quitting and make our hopes, dreams and visions a reality?

Tell me in the comments why and how you will quit quitting. I would love to hear from you.