Motivational Monday Moment – 9.18.17

I am exhausted. Mentally and physically. It is sometimes overwhelming just trying to get it all done. Last week was one of those weeks that required so much and gave so little in return. Have you ever had that? 

Whew! I was tired. I was running on empty by Sunday and I allowed myself and my body the opportunity to rest and gather my thoughts. I didn’t know what I wanted to talk about. I felt overwhelmed and I felt like I was just existing. 

What words could I use to encourage you this Monday? How could I make you see that you must keep going on when I felt so tired to even lace up my shoes? How could I tell you that it is not whether you lose or win, but you must keep moving. Moving forward no matter how tired you are.

Then I saw this quote by Maya Angelou: 

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

I realized that was my message. In those 11 words above I knew what I needed to tell you. I needed to encourage you and tell you that no matter how tired you are or how many times you’ve been knocked down that you have to get back up. You must get back up. We must not be defeated.

I know that life sometimes gets hard and it feels that you are being pulled in a million directions. You feel overwhelmed and you don’t know how you can keep going on. You haven’t found a job, you are in a horrible court battle or you lost a close friend or family member and you just want to lay there. 

But, this situation love that you find yourself in is temporary. You will encounter the defeats, but you must not be defeated. You need to get up and get out into the world and fight back. Fight for your piece of the pie. 

Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be worth it in the end? Yes. 

It was Theodore Roosevelt who said:

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

Don’t envy those that seem to have it easy. You will go through pain and difficulty, but it it will strengthen and encourage you. You will get through this week and any situations that you may be going through. The race is still going on. Just join in.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Reblog: Faith Doubters

Recently I heard a friend say to me that “God must truly hate him.”  I was taken aback by his statement and wondered why he would say something like that. Why did he believe that God had singled him out and decided that he hated him because he had to go through trials and tribulations?

Sometimes when we are in the midst of our storm, we can’t see the goodness of God’s grace because we keep trying to get out of the valley.  I explained to him that God doesn’t hate you and that if He did, I wouldn’t be here. Because as a child of God, I believe that he sometimes uses ordinary people like me to minister to those who may be down on their faith sometimes.  I told him he was being a faith doubter. Someone who has doubts that their faith in God is genuine.  I explained to him that what he needed was to develop an authentic relationship (as spoken by my wonderful Pastor) with God and understand that having faith doesn’t mean that you are immune to trials and tribulations.  Your faith will always be attacked and tested, but you can’t let that stop your praise.  Praise must continually be in your mouth when your faith is being tested.  I told him that our God is a God of second and third chances and that if he truly knew my story, he would know why I continually say thank you.  So, I surrounded him in love and prayer and lifted up his name in prayer.  I reminded him how awesome our God is.  Our God is great!

Sometimes when you doubt your faith, it helps to have a friend or friends that are praying for you to get through your storm so you will learn the lesson and know that God never gives you more than you can bear.  I’m thankful that I have had many folks do that for me and blessed that God allowed me to do that for someone else.  I found these great Do’s & Dont’s about getting through difficult times that I shared with him and I want to share with you when you are doubting your faith.  These are from one of my favorite websites, www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com.

Dos

Be Vigilant – don’t hide under a rock when life gets tough. This is the time to Courage UP; face it, and learn whatever you must to DO what’s necessary.

Be Wise -never stop learning and applying what you know. There’s a huge difference between awareness and application. The difference in how your circumstances turn out is hugely based on what you do, not what you know to do.

Be Set Apart – When you’re thinking like the herd it’s a good sign that you’re in deep doodoo. The herd takes the path of least resistance. You have to be willing to stand alone – to separate yourself from the chaos – from the company you keep to the noise in your head. You can’t think average or behave according to what’s expected by the herd.

Don’ts

Be not distracted – whatever has happened is to coexist with as much normalcy as you can muster. Whatever predominates your mind, reigns. Practice peace; it’s king.

Be not dismayed – after the initial hurt, even shock which you have to sit with in order to become present with your new reality, you must not lose faith in rebounding; resilience is built here. Courage UP: verbally reassure yourself that “this too shall pass” and “I can handle this” because it will and you can.

Be not discouraged – when it’s over don’t argue with the results. Accept them. That includes whatever your new reality is. The life ahead of you with your new conditions will draw you like a magnet if you’ll embrace it. There’s always a beautiful “life after”, regardless of the storm you’re currently facing.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Reblog: Ghost

I had a dream last night with my ghost.

We were running in a field of wildflowers.

Big

Open

Majestic

We were laughing and playing.

Like old times.

We paused.

Laid down in the wild flowers.

He held my hand while I cried.

I told him about my dreams that were unfilled

My hopes that had died

My bones that had been broken

My tears yet to fall

He smiled

He whispered five words

in my ear.

I was comforted by his presence.

Renewed by his encouragement.

I awoke knowing that I would get through

this life.

No matter what may come I know he meant it

when he whispered

“Never Stop Believing In You”

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Where Am I?

Where Am I? I don’t know. It’s a simple question. But, I struggle to answer. Why? Because it seems that I am nowhere, but somewhere. Where? I don’t know.

I guess I would say that I am somewhere between bliss and exhaustion. Heaven and hell. Uncertainty. Indecisiveness. The location evades my consciousness.

So much has happened. In the world. In my life. In Charlottesville. Sigh. I can’t.

I’m tired ya’ll. You know that I’m tired of living in a society that values ignorance over humanity. I’m tired of living in a country where the color of my skin matters more than the content of my character. I’m tired of having to talk to my son about racial bias and yet educate him on the realities of racism.

He’s 9.

He still believes in the tooth fairy. He still believes in Santa Claus. He is innocent. I have to protect him. So, I decided that I needed to take a break.

I unplugged.

I took some time to gather my thoughts, pray and re-center myself. School starts next month and so does my busy season. I have to get it together. No more drama. No more negativity sucking away at my time, money or life.

One foot in front of the other.

I march.

Slowly and with determination and uphill. It doesn’t matter. Life is what is. No crystal stair, but there are stairs to climb.

I can’t stop.

I won’t stop.

Fighting.

Fighting for Munch.

Fighting for you.

Fighting for me.

Fighting for everyone.

My break has allowed me the opportunity to reflect on my journey and recenter my expectations. To realign my goals and just breathe this sometimes heavy atmosphere into my lungs and exhale the fear and frustrations.

Can I just tell you that I was tired ya’ll?

I’ve joined so many Facebook groups trying to learn and align myself with my tribes. To inspire others. To let people know that sometimes the enemy we face is our own self. When we look in that mirror and realize that we are blocking our own blessings. We have to be accountable. We have to hold each other accountable. Only then will we feel the shift.

The shift in our perspective.

We have to heal. We have to be better. We have to see that change is gonna come if we believe.

Be blessed loves!

You were all missed.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 08.07.17

Happy Monday Everyone!

Sorry for the delay in posting the Motivational Monday Moment. I didn’t have it scheduled for today and I didn’t know what to talk about. It’s a rainy Monday morning and Munch is with me this week. This means that I will be working late because I have to take him to camp in the mornings and my mom will pick him up from camp in the afternoon.

I had no clue how to motivate you today, but it hit me. When I was in the car driving being annoyed at the rain, feeling uncertain about Munch’s angst at going to a new camp, I realized I was struggling. It came to me that I would talk to you about attitude.

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See, I was upset that it was raining and I hate driving in the rain. Mainly because others can’t drive. I hate that I’m exhausted because I had a combined total of maybe 12 hours of sleep this weekend and my Munch was going to a new camp and feeling unsure about himself. I was struggling.

I needed to change my attitude. My attitude needed to be better so Munch could see that despite circumstances and changes in our schedule that we are blessed. Our attitude should be reflective of our spirit. Our spirit is filled with thankfulness. I was the adult so I had to show that to Munch.

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I started by saying, “Wow, it’s a rainy day Munch don’t forget to grab your rain coat.” He did. We got in the car and I said “Let’s thank God for rain because the grass and tress need it.” He smiled. I said “When I was little there were all kinds of stories of why it rained. Some would say that God was crying because we weren’t remembering how to be good people.” I reminded him that we don’t have that problem because we thank Him for everything. We are kind to people.

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I didn’t rush in the rain. I was extra cautious choosing to be positive despite the number of people on the road going 2 miles per hour. Munch began telling me about the Hermit Crab and how it’s not an insect (he’s such a genius). We pulled up in front of the new school where he was going to camp and he said “Wow, that’s a big school. Why is it named after Martin Luther King Jr.?” “Not sure baby. School districts name the schools that they build” I replied.

We got out of the car and walked into the school and headed to the gym where the campers were gathered. Munch held me tighter. I said “It’s only a week Munch and next week begins art camp.” I hugged him and smiled. He entered and saw a counselor from his last camp and said “Mr. Christian, hi. I was over at the other camp. You’re here too?” The counselor smiled and said “Yep, buddy. Good morning. I’m going to be here with you.” Munch smiled.

He relaxed. I relaxed. He was going to be fine.

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A lot of times our attitude about a situation whether it be fear, anger or distress really affects how we feel about things and in turn the day. Our day starts off on the wrong foot. But, it’s not our day that’s the problem. It’s our attitude about the things that we are going through that makes the day seem like hell.

Yes, I hate rainy days because of bad drivers, but I am blessed. Yes, Munch was scared of going to a new camp today, but he recognized one of the counselors from his last camp and relaxed. That’s all we need to do. Relax about things that seem overwhelming. Breathe through the uncertainty and know that it will be okay.

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By shifting our focus on the positive we are able to smile and relax through the rough periods. They will not break you. They may shake up things in your life, but your attitude about the shake-up needs to stay positive. No weapons formed against you shall prosper. So, what are you worried about?

You got this.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Motivational Monday Moment– 7.24.17

Today’s Motivational Monday Moment is about finding your joy in the midst of your storm. I know it’s hard. I know that life can be overwhelming sometimes. I get it. You may be in a transition, a storm or a dang hurricane, but hold on love.

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I need you to hold on and anchor yourself. You need to remember that you can’t control the storm, but don’t let it take your joy. You have to hold on.

I remember going through a rough period four years ago when I ended my marriage. We were in a bad space. I was hurting. He was hurting. I was literally being engulfed in a sea of pain and anger. I was drowning. I had let go of my joy.

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Have you ever literally fallen because of the emotional pain you were experiencing? There was nothing physically wrong with you, but the emotional pain was overwhelming? I have. It is unbelievable.

I would be walking and fall out and start crying. My son was holding my head begging me not to cry. He said “Mommy, don’t cry. I’ll protect you. Mommy, please don’t cry.” I’ll never forget that.

It took everything in me to get beyond the grief that I was experiencing. I was dealing with so much pain and grief at the dissolution of my family structure and how we were treating each other that I thought I was going to lose my mind.

I couldn’t hold on to my joy. It was slipping through my fingers. Until one day…

I literally heard God speak to me and say “Get up! It is done.” 

And just like that I had regained the strength to keep on fighting. To keep on moving forward despite the pain that I found myself in. I was not alone. God reminded me of that. That remembrance of his love and mercy helped me to regain my joy.

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You see God had given me back my joy. But, I’ve strayed. I’ve let life and situations that I find myself in overwhelm me. I allow the hopelessness and pain of my situations choke the joy out of me. Until now.

I am reading everything lately. Nothing is one sided. Where there is darkness there is light. Where there is pain there is joy. The good and bad exist on the same plane. I can take the good, but not the bad, but is that fair?

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Nope. I need to remember re-frame a situation, re-establish boundaries and restructure my outlook on life. My joy doesn’t disappear when there is pain. When there is despair, joy is still there. I have to remember that.

And I want you to remember it too. There is nothing that you are going through that you can’t find and hold on to your joy. You are a vessel of positive light and you are loved. No matter what the situation you find yourself in, please know that you are of value and joy is within you. Don’t despair my friend.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

My IVF Journey: Blackout

I was in a perpetual hell. Pain. The pain was indescribable. No one knew how bad I was suffering. The excuses.

I made so many excuses for not being present. I became engrossed in work. Always working late or focusing on other things. Hiding the mask of pain for those who knew me best. Those who knew my struggle.

I had other things to focus on. My cousin was dying. He was 9 months older than me. He was my best friend. My life’s purpose became about making sure he was okay.

We talked often. I told him of my fear that I was broken. I told him how I feared that I couldn’t give my husband a baby. That I was scared. That maybe God was punishing me.

He listened. He loved. He encouraged. He never judged.

Even after his radiation treatments or chemo treatments he encouraged me to talk to my husband. To let him know what I was feeling. I couldn’t. I changed the subject.

I made my cousin promise that he wouldn’t leave me. That he wouldn’t die and leave me alone because I had no one. My heart was breaking and I told him that I couldn’t have another organ breaking since my womb was broken. He laughed.

He was tired. He was exhausted. A planned trip to spend some time with him in April was just what I needed. I needed to get home to see my family. To hear the sounds and laughter of those that loved me.

I felt so alone in my house that it was hard to come home. I would smile.  I would make polite conversation. I would go into the room and watch television. I tuned out. I turned my back on my marriage and grew smaller in my shell.

We became roommates.

I told my husband that I needed to go home to Tennessee. I needed to be with my cousin. He thought it would be a good idea. He encouraged me to go. Maybe he was hoping it would help me. A change of scenery. A breath of fresh air in this toxic environment that we were creating.

I went home to spend the weekend with my cousin and his new wife. She seemed nice enough. Surface. I couldn’t see beyond the surface of her personality so I just accepted his choices. He was who I needed to encourage me. He was who I was there to see.

My cousin had baked two pies for me. My favorite custard pie called a chess pie. It was so good. Perfect. Even after his cancer treatments he wanted to do something for me. He told his wife “My cousin is coming. I want to do it for her.” I felt special.

A bond that had formed when I was born this man was the big brother I never had. The father figure. The protector. I ate and slept that weekend. Good conversation, food and family. It was as though my life was reset. I saw value in the things that mattered.

I took my cousin and his wife out to dinner. I bought them groceries. He was on a fixed income. He had to maintain his COBRA payments until Medicare kicked in. She didn’t work. She took care of him. Food stamps helped some. But, she longed for coffee.

Coffee.

That was the least I could do. I called my husband and asked him was it okay that I bought them food. They had little and had given me so much. He encouraged my generosity.

I was at peace.

My cousin decided that he wanted to bake me a couple of pies and a caramel cake to take home. I asked “How am I expected to get this home?” “Ship it.” I laughed.

We shipped 4 desserts back to Maryland packed with ice packs. It was expensive, but I needed it. I needed a piece of family. I needed the love that was in that box. The love that a man who was dying gave me every day.

The next day I headed home. Back to my life. Back to the toxic feeling of failure that was engulfing my spirit. I wasn’t getting better.

I was getting better at hiding my pain.

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.