Not Bound By My Background

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. – Maya Angelou

 

I entitled my post today based off a sermon my pastor preached a few weeks ago entitled “But By the Grace of God I am what I am”. One of the points that he was making in his sermon was about not being bound by my background. He spoke about this in relation to Paul and how Paul is not the only one with a shady background. But, he said that the favor of God is significant in the life of the believer. The message had been resonating in my spirit for the last few weeks and I can’t seem to get it out. I guess that means I need to focus on it right?

So, I did. I started thinking about my past and how I’m not bound my background no matter who tries to hold me hostage to my past. Like Paul and I suppose many of you reading this now, I had to remember that I have God’s favor and he is not holding my past hostage and using it to destroy me in my future. That’s what I had to remember because I’ve been having a heck of a time “co-parenting” with my son’s father lately and I realized that one of the things he was doing was trying to bound me to my background.

Have you ever had someone try to use your past as a weapon against you in your future? By using your fears, insecurities, experiences and/or bad decisions in your face as fact of the person you are and who’ve you become? I have and you know what? I ain’t worried. I know that’s not grammatically correct, but in this instance I need you to understand where I’m coming from because it is about to get real.

No one is perfect. No one. Only one man was perfect and none of us have ever come close so we need to stop worrying about being perfect and just live our best lives. Seeking to do His will. The bible is full of situations in which Jesus used the undesirable to spread the word. He showed favor and these people realized it. I realize it.

You know when I realized it? When I had suffered abuse at the hands of man and all my walls were built up to protect my heart, God protected my spirit. The enemy didn’t win. Was my life rough? Yes. Am I better having lived and survived the experiences. Yes. Is God through with me? No.

I have often spoke of how we need to encourage ourselves in order to get through difficult situations where people are trying to persecute you. Sometimes that is all you can do is to pray, submit and give it to God. I won’t let those who don’t believe in God’s favor persecute me for my past. Because those persecutors are not perfect. They have a past like me and many times it is worse. The great thing I want you to remember is that your past is just that…your past.

You can’t erase it. You can’t forget it. You may have had no control over the events that happened in your past. But, you can choose not to relive it. Don’t be bound by your background. Know that you are blessed and highly favored.

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A Brutally Honest Lesson

As someone who has had their fair share of heartbreaks and love gone wrong I wanted to share this piece that I read on The Huffington Post  by author, Michelle Horton, “8 Brutally Honest Lessons I Learned About Love From My Therapist”. I read this list and breathed a sigh of relief. There are so many lessons that I could relate too and some that were new. I wanted to scream “Preach girl!” I love this list and I think number 7 is my favorite.

So, here are Ms. Horton’s 8 Lessons that she learned from her therapist:

1. Love is about reciprocity.

On the surface, one might scoff at such a statement. Love isn’t contingent on what we get back, right? Love doesn’t keep score, doesn’t need anything in return, isn’t needy. Yet the very basic definition of love — caring about the health, happiness, and well-being of someone over ourselves — should be reciprocal. If you’re in a relationship where you’re always giving, giving, giving to the point of depletion, and if you aren’t feeling important, cared for, even considered, then there’s something else going on besides love. Even though the scales won’t always be balanced, the love in a marriage should be reciprocal. It’s such a basic concept but really helped to put things into perspective as to what I’m giving vs. what I’m receiving.

2. “This is an abusive relationship.”

A blunt statement that changed my life. I spent over 5 years in a marriage that was abusive and I had absolutely no idea. He never hit me, never yelled, never called me hurtful names — and yet the abuse was there, hidden beneath my excuses and justifications for his behavior. Sometimes it takes an objective, outside perspective to shine a light on a truth you didn’t want to see.

3. You can’t be the supporter and the enforcer at the same time.

This was in the context of my husband’s addiction and my enabler tendencies, but it applies to my marriage and parenting, too. Enforcing boundaries and rules isn’t easy (especially for someone like me, who wants to perpetually support and love everyone in my life), but it’s important. And, no, it’s impossible to be the enforcer and the support system at the same time.

4. Not all relationships are meant to last.

Here’s a hard truth that transcends every “’til death do us part” vow. My therapist has a rolodex of examples, some personal, some professional, of relationships that needed to end. Some relationships are toxic and damaging and sometimes a relationship reaches a point where there’s nothing left to learn from, no way left to grow together, and has to be let go. That doesn’t make the relationship a failure — we learned something from it — it simply makes the relationship over.

5. Sexual attraction isn’t everything.

Just because I’ve historically been most attracted to damaged, baggage-carrying men doesn’t mean I’m meant to be with them; it just means I might not be as healthy as I assumed. When my therapist told me that his healthiest relationship is the one that started with little to no “spark,” I initially felt sad. How could you be in a relationship where there’s no heat, no fireworks? But from a wiser perspective, a “spark” isn’t always a green light. In fact, in many cases, it can be a red flag. In future relationships, I’ll ask myself why I’m attracted to a certain man before trusting my sex organs.

6. You can never love anyone until you love yourself.

This was phrased more like, “Have you reached the realization that you really can’t love anyone until you love yourself first?” As if loving myself was a marker on the way to true healthy thinking, a marker I’d eventually pass. Of course I nodded, given the very familiar cliché that everyone thinks they understand. I’ll be honest, it took a good six months of consciously practicing self-love before I realized the depths of that statement. After finding a more tender, compassionate attitude toward myself, I was able to understand how other people need to be loved. Beyond romantic love, contractual love, tough love, I-love-you-but-I-don’t-like-you love, there’s the true essence of pure LOVE — in all its warmth and softness, a love that can only be understood through experiencing it from ourselves to ourselves.

7. “He might not be capable of loving you.”

“Is he capable of loving you?” my therapist asked one day. It was a question I’d wondered many times, as I mulled over his damaged past, his abusive tendencies, his disease that makes him self-centered and manipulative. Maybe he’s loving me the best way he can, but is it enough? After asking myself this question in the quiet stillness, the answer was something I always knew, deep down. Maybe we should stop asking our partners, “Do you love me?” and start questioning if they can love us the way that we define love. Just because he understands love differently, and just because he has certain walls in place that prevent real love from seeping through, doesn’t make him a bad person. It’s not personal, but it’s also not my problem to fix.

8. The best thing you can do for your family is to be healthy.

My therapist doesn’t define “healthy” with a BMI number or a specific diet. Healthiness, rather, is having a clear mind, strong boundaries, and a pulled-back perspective on life. And being healthy, from that definition, gives us the ability to offer our best selves to our partner and children.

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Imani Cezanne “Flowers”

Wow is all I can say!

I am so moved by this poet’s words that I had to share this. It touched my soul. As someone who is plus sized, grew up without her father, dealt with sexual abuse and all the manifestations of that trauma and life…food became my solace. It comforted me. It didn’t hurt me.

Some people may never understand the true pain of an emotional eater. We judge. We laugh. We act like they don’t exist. We was me when I used to hide behind big clothes to not be noticed. I tried to stop eating. To do fad diets. No results. I had to change me. I had to get to the root of the problem.

I did. I was camouflaging the pain. It is only then that I was able to understand what I was running from and how I could change. I have lost weight (45 pounds to be exact). It is a journey. It is something that I will never stop living. Each day is a gift and I understand it. I don’t use food as a crutch anymore. But, I will never forget.

The Fish Tales

I’m not a murderer, but I’m not good at taking care of fish. Particularly gold fish. I have a dog, that I love, nurture and care for like he is my own child. In essence, I guess he is. Bailey is my first-born. He is munch’s older “brother”. But, munch is a child that knows his own mind and decided that he would like another pet. Not Bailey. A new one.

So, he decided that he wanted a bird. We said no. “Why not?” he questioned. “We don’t think you’re ready for that responsibility” we answered. “Okay, I want a gold fish for Christmas” was his reply. We agreed that gold fish would be okay and off to the pet store I went to purchase three different gold fish on Christmas Eve.

He loved them instantly. He named them, “Max, Figureo and Bella”. Not sure of the gender, but it doesn’t matter to munch. He believes in gender equality. LOL. So, they were the new additions to our lives. Beautiful fins, color and they liked their environment. They were welcomed into our family and all was well.

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Munch seemed to forget about his pet gold fish. They were just swimming along in their bowl not making any noise. All was peaceful. A couple of days later, munch went to spend a couple of weeks at his dad’s house. He soon forgot about his fish. Why? Probably that old saying, “out of sight out of mind”.

His dad asked him, “Do you miss your fish?” His reply, “No, mommy’s taking care of them.” There it was…the fish became my responsibility. So, I made sure to feed them and say hello and good night every night because that is what munch would want. And all was well…

Until, less than two weeks later when two of the three fish died. I thought it best to share the “circle of life” story with munch and to let him know that all things die. That his fish went to that big fish bowl in the sky. He cried. He was hurt. I told him, “I will buy you another fish baby.” He sniffled, “Okay, mommy. Are my fish with God?” “Yes” I replied.

I took the dead bodies of the two fish back to the pet store for a refund or more precisely to exchange the dead fish for the exact same species of fish that he had. Unfortunately, they didn’t have them in stock. So, I made a parental decision and got him a beautiful big black gold fish. I followed the instructions from the fish technician and put the new fish in the bowl with the other one remaining one.

Munch came home the next day and was excited. He told me that Max and Bella had died and Figuero was the one in the bowl. He loved the new fish. He said, “I shall call her Blackie. Blackie the gold fish.” I laughed. All was well in our house…

Until one week later when Blackie decided to die while we slept. Before we could even clean the bowl (because we were rushing off to school), Figuero died between the morning rush out the door and when we got back home that evening.

Munch was devastated again. We talked and I told him that I was returning Blackie’s body back to the pet store for a refund but that her spirit will live on. He asked, “Did Blackie and Figuero go to heaven with Bella and Max and God?” “Yep.” He smiled, “Mommy, I want more gold fish.” “Really munch? Let’s try some other fish. We’re not doing good with gold fish thing. How about a beta fish?” “No, I just want another gold fish.” “Okay” I responded.

As I cleaned out the bowl and tried to disinfect the smell of death in my house, munch asked “Where did you put Figuero and Blackie?” I looked at him ashamed, “Umm, Figuero is in a ziploc bag and going out with the trash and Blackie is in a ziploc bag going back to the pet store.”

He just stared at me. I turned my back and caught him rummaging through the trash looking for the body. I said, “Munch, get out of the trash. He’s gone.” He then looked at me defiantly and said, “I want more gold fish mommy”.

And so the fish tales continues.

It’s My Fault

Last week I read the below Facebook post and experienced my own Aha moment! Not that there was a great idea associated with the author’s post that I didn’t know, but it was more that I was listening to my inner spirit. My conscience was reminding me that I’m going through a transformation period and like I said in an earlier post, God is telling me to harvest my field. Reading this post reminded me of one fundamental fact…It’s my fault.

It’s my fault if I allow people to disrespect me and the relationships we have. It’s my fault if I don’t acknowledge the brokenness and continue in a perpetual cycle of insanity. Then why can’t I be honest with myself? Why can’t I stop trying to find the good in people and understand that the only thing I can control is…me.

My girlfriend reminded me the other day about this. When we were talking and I was expressing my frustrations about things that were happening and she said it, “Sweetie, you can’t blame them. You need to blame yourself because you are allowing the disrespect, dysfunction or insanity to continue.” She reminded me what the late Dr. Maya Angelou said…

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

Yep, I was trying to fix and give people all kinds of chances because I knew I could see good in their character. It isn’t that they aren’t good people. They just aren’t good for me. So, when I read the Facebook post it was confirmation of what my inner spirit was saying. Stop trying to make a square peg fit in a round circle.

I’m my own worst enemy and over the years, I’ve had some amazing and some not so amazing people enter my life. The good ones give me advice that speaks to my spirit years later and reminds me when I’m at a crossroads that I need to evaluate and change things. For example, a young man that I met at my second job outside of college said to me

“Relationships are supposed to be symbiotic which means we both get something from them. If you are the only one giving and you’re not getting anything from it then it is parasitic and you must end it.”

I was 24 when he said this to me. So, how come almost 20 years later I’m just truly understanding the value in what he said? How many of us are staying in parasitic relationships because we believe that we can change the other person? How many of us feel depleted emotionally, spiritually, financially or physically because we can’t let go? Me.

I had arrived at my Aha moment and realized that it is my fault. If I am honest with myself from the start then I will see people for who they truly are the first time. I will embrace the truth – the first time.

Be blessed my loves!

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I’m a Conqueror

I woke up this morning excited. I have been sick for the last week and a half and it felt good to be out and about and even back at work. I was pumped. Yes, I have some things that are going on. Some worries I’m working through. Some concerns that are on my mind, but I was thankful for another day. I woke up feeling like superwoman. I told myself, “Girl, today is a new day. Yesterday was the past and today is a gift. Be present in the moment and know that no matter what happens today you are incredibly blessed and highly favored.”

Even when it doesn’t seem like it, I need to remember that I am a conqueror and this too shall pass. So, my #motivationalmonday message is based off one of my favorite chapters in the bible: Romans. Romans 8:34-39 which reads:

“Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.[a] 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So, I want to tell you the same thing. You’re a conqueror. Nothing we can do will separate us from the love of Christ. Trust me (I’ve done some things I thought would separate me and He still loves me).

Listen to Estelle’s song “Conqueror” and tell me that you are not inspired. No matter who is counting you out. Estelle sings “I’d rather stand tall than live on my knees because I’m a conqueror and I won’t accept defeat.”

Neither should you. God has already determined that you will win, so love, know that it will happen.

Beywagon

Okay, so let me start off by saying that I truly love and respect Beyonce as an artist. She’s talented, beautiful and just an incredible representation of a woman with class. Now, I don’t think I’m part of the #beyhive or anything, but I am a fan. Not a diehard, I would spend my baby’s after care money to go see her in concert fan, but a fan who can watch and observe from the sidelines.

That being said…during my time of transition, I’ve gone through a metamorphisis and I realized that Beyonce has songs that really speak to where I’ve been, where I’m going and where I’m at. This is real here folks, I’m baring my soul so please don’t judge me.

Here are the four songs that speak to my life:

Crazy in Love

Believe it or not, I was crazy in love. I was his ride or die. I was the chick that always had his back until we had a child. I couldn’t seem to balance being his everything and being a mother. I went from being crazy in love to just being crazy in the end. But, in the beginning it was fire! Fire that burned out of control and caused an inferno.

 

I’m Scared of Lonely

Right after it ended and I was laying on the floor wanting to find peace in chaos it was this song that spoke to me. Beyonce sang “And I’m scared of being the only shadow along the wall and I’m scared hearing the only heartbeat I hear beating is my own and I’m scared being alone.” Yep, I was in it. Wallowing, self-pity, heartbreak and pain. Trying to breathe. Realizing that I am alone.

 

Love a Woman – (Okay Not All Bey, but fabulous nonetheless) Mary J Blige featuring Beyonce

But, after I got up off that floor realizing that it is going to be okay, I needed something to keep me motivated. It was this song that spoke life into me.  Mary sang “If you think you know how to love a woman, I feel there are some things you still need to know…”

Yep, I was there like “Sang it ladies”! (As she lifts her wine glass with tears in her eyes) Dang, I was going through it.

 

I Was Here

Now, isn’t that what it’s all about? Getting to the point of accepting your new reality? Realizing that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger? Understanding that pain is a part of life and that you must go through some things to gain clarity on who you are as a person. Beyonce sang, “I was here. I lived, I loved. I was here.” No, there was no happy ending for me, but I loved. Truly. Completely. I’m a better person for my experiences. I’m stronger than I knew I could be.

 

So, there you have it folks. Sometimes you will go through situations where you see no way out and they are seemingly hopeless, volatile and unmanageable, but I tell you from experience…breathe and know that it will get better. The hardest and darkest days are seemingly while you are going through your storm, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Get to the end of it because I promise it will get better.

Getting My Praise On

Last week, I was going through a mini-crisis with the 117% increase in my car insurance next month. I was devastated. I literally went through the 5 stages of grief at the amount of increase. I was crying and falling out all over the place. But, people told me to “get a grip” because I’m the most faithful person that they know. I was offended. My going through the stages didn’t mean that I am without faith. It meant that I was utterly human and fallible. Don’t judge me.

Sometimes we need to go through the stages to get to the praise. Some people don’t but I do. I am not alone. It is not a sign that I am not faithful. On the contrary, it shows that I need to work through a crisis and analyze it from all angles. So, let me tell you what happened at each of my stages so that you can realize how completely normal I am.

Denial and Isolation Stage

This was the first stage. I literally couldn’t believe the amount that I was seeing on my renewal notice. I assumed this is a mistake.

How could you remove the responsible driver discount? I mean two accidents in one year, I get it, but they were small and no one died. Why is this happening to me? No one knows what I’m going through. God, I hate my life. It sucks to be me.

Anger Stage

How could they increase my dang insurance this much? How am I supposed to live? You obviously don’t want me as a client, so kick rocks. I will find someone else. I have had a great driving record for the last 21 years and this is the kind of foolishness that I get? Well, screw you big insurance company! You’re always trying to stick it to the little person. I’m going to talk to my elected officials about Tikeetha’s law to put a percentage increase in place so that insurance companies can’t increase your car insurance over a certain limit without tickets or money paid out in excess of $10,000. Now, where is my congressman’s number? I need to write the Insurance Commissioner about this ASAP.

Bargaining

Okay, I know that this is more than my car note and I can’t afford this amount. I am one step from the poverty line. I can’t get a second job. I’m in a custody battle and my ex will go for full custody if I can’t pick up my son during our scheduled time. I would rather die than be without my baby. I asked my sister, “Do you think people will judge me if I become a prostitute?” My sister responded, “No, judgement, but have you thought about stripping first? Why jump to prostitution? Baby steps okay?” I can’t afford this. Ugh! I need a soup kitchen line because this is where I will be eating from now on.

Depression

I hate my life. Why oh why didn’t I just stay in my beautiful Corolla? Why did I get seduced by the beautiful body of “Blue Magic”. She’s a gorgeous sports car, but am I really that responsible? Apparently not and no one can empathize with the financial burden I am dealing with. I want to crawl under my covers and jump off a tall building in my mind because I can’t handle this.

I couldn’t stop crying in this stage. Everything affected me. Everyone who couldn’t understand was my enemy.

Acceptance

Okay, this is happening and I need to figure out what I’m going to do. I can’t afford the premium and I know that there is a lesson I must learn and I need to fix my mind and call the insurance company because their suggested increase is still the cheapest. These insurance companies suck! I need to switch fields and open up an insurance company because that is where all the money is going. But, let me get it together and call the insurance company…

Me: Hi, I’m calling about policy number 123-455-5789

IA: Hi, I have your policy, how can I help you?

Me: (Burst out crying) Ma’m I can’t afford the increase. I need my car to drive to work and get my child back and forth to school, but I don’t want to become a prostitute. I have a 6 year old son. Do you know how hard it is being a single parent? What will his friends think?

IA: (Extremely sympathetic) I understand your concern. Let me look and see what I can recommend to get your policy lower.

Me: (Sniffling) Thank you.

IA: We can increase your deductible to $1,000 and that will take $300 off your yearly premium.

Me: Okay. I hope no one hits me or that they total my car out.

IA: That’s still a lot. We can run your credit as part of your renewal and that may lower your premium.

Me: Okay, do it.

IA: Good news, it lowered your premium another $900 a year.

Me: Okay.

IA: I know it’s still expensive, but try to bundle your insurance with us and it could save you another 10% a year. I know it’s not much, but it may be worth it.

Me: Yes, 10% is definitely worth it. Thank you for all of your assistance and I’m sorry for crying.

IA: It’s okay, I would definitely be doing the same thing in your situation. I couldn’t afford this.

Me: But, God. I guess it’s time for me to get my praise on.

IA: Amen. You have a good day.

So, I got some money off and the increase is now $5.00 less than my car note a month. Something is better than nothing and I am thankful that she could do that. I have extreme faith that God will never give me more than I can bear and that He won’t let my baby starve or have me living in the streets or prostituting to make ends meet.

Sometimes I need to go through the stages before I get to the point of accepting that He has me and He always will. Don’t question the fact that I go through the stages as a lack of faith. It’s not. It’s a sign of my authenticity. Because, God knew where I would end up at the end of my 5 stages. Right where I was supposed to be. On my knees…praying, praising and thanking Him for his continued support and love over my life.

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Yep, I am officially depressed

So, this is what happened. Last year in November I bought a 2012 Nissan Maxima. I was excited. My first grown up purchase. Well, two months later I was living in the hotel (multiple pipe bursts in my kitchen with flooding) and I pulled my beautiful baby out the hotel garage and scraped the driver’s side door on the yellow concrete posts. Ugh. The damage to my car was $2,900. I had to get it fixed. I just got the car. So, I paid the $500 deductible and got “Blue Magic” fixed.

I resounded to pay attention and not get distracted by life because I couldn’t afford another expensive lesson. Well, in June of this year, I went down the wrong way of a roundabout. I realized it and began to back-up when I was hit by another driver who couldn’t see me. Damage to both cars, but no injuries and I thankfully didn’t get a ticket. God was watching after me on that one because I was praying that the officer’s would have mercy and make it affordable. I sat there in shock and realized I can’t afford to keep paying these dang deductibles. I hadn’t had the car a year. What was happening?

My mom didn’t make me feel better. Her response, “Kee, you need to be careful and pay attention.” Like a petulant child, I yelled “I know mom and you ‘re not helping. I’m already depressed. I laid in bed crying.” I said, “I didn’t tell you that when you got into your two accidents within a month of each other.” She said, “No, but I told myself.” She reminded me to count my blessings that I didn’t get a ticket.

As I’ve been sharing I’m exceptionally happy. I said it out loud. I didn’t just write it, but I woke up and thanked God for his continued blessings over my life. But, I always knew that something would happen because I was happy. I didn’t know what form the happiness thief would take, but I knew it was coming. Would I be prepared? Would I crumble? Would it be that bad that it would destroy me? All the questions that I kept pushing out my mind. I wasn’t going to “think it” into existence.

I just went with the flow and enjoyed the moment. Then it happened. I was checking my emails on my Ipad this morning before work and got the renewal information from my car insurance company. My insurance was increasing by 117%. I sat there dumbfounded with tears in my eyes. All these thoughts ran through my mind:

  • I can’t afford this.
  • That is more than my car note.
  • How will I be able to live?
  • OMG, I want to die
  • I would be better off selling my car and paying off the balance and buying a vehicle outright

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I was freaking out. It was way too early to start calling folks and asking them to pray, encourage and remind me that I will be okay. I was already planning on how I would pack up my spot and move back home with my mom with a defeated attitude. I was lost. I was officially one step up from being in a crack den or on the streets or living in Blue Magic. Yes, Blue Magic is roomy and all, but I couldn’t bring my baby to living in our car while trying to get bootleg wi-fi so he can watch Disney Jr. and Netflix on his Ipad. (I told you I was having a mental breakdown).

I called my best friend who said, “Wow! Call around. Stop freaking out! You have 6 weeks to find another insurance company. Do your research.” I sniffled, “Okay, thank you. I will do it.” I hopped in the shower and got dressed and headed into work. I prayed to God that Blue Magic and I will not have to live in a seedy part of town dodging bullets. I went about my normal routine and arrived at work 15 minutes early. I started trying to get insurance quotes to see if I can get a cheaper rate.

I sent a text to my other best friend to let him know and seek his counsel. He replied, “It’ll be okay. You’ll find something. It was your two accidents in one year and the fact that you were at fault for both and your car is considered a sports car because of the horse power. It’s going to be expensive, but you will have to budget and make some adjustments.” I sat there listening to him with tears streaming down my face, “This is one of the worst days of my life. Definitely the worst day in the last 15 months. I can’t breathe.” “Stop overreacting please. I will help you” he replied.

As I sat at work frustrated I decided to go see my good friend to get her advice and perspective. I had already received quotes that were more than $300 over what my current insurance company was going to charge me. I was spiraling downhill fast. She said, “Don’t let this get you down. I am claiming it. You will be saved from this situation. We are not going to give the happiness thief satisfaction in seeing you defeated.” I just put my head down on the table and sighed.

I went into my office after lunch still consumed with this travesty of injustice on my mind and in my spirit. I checked my emails and read my devotional from Bible Gateway called “His Princess Today”. I got too busy to read it yesterday so I opened it up and this is what it said:

Come to Me

I saw you before you were born. Even then you were on My mind, My daughter. I knew you were coming, and I did everything possible to express My love to you and extend My invitation to you. Now that you are Mine, I want you to continue to come to Me. Come to Me when you feel strong and when you feel weary. Come to Me when you are rejoicing and when your spirit is crushed. I ask you to come not only to give you rest, but also because there is so much more I want to teach you. There is more of Me I want to reveal to you. You see, I did not create you for this fallen world. I created you for Paradise, but the curse of sin tore us apart. I’ve conquered sin and death for you through the death of My son, so come to Me… and live.

Love,
Your King who is waiting

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and
carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:28–29

I realized that I went to everyone with my problem (that I could think of without disturbing) but the one who could truly put peace in my heart and remind me that He will carry my burden. My burden is heavy. I told you yesterday I grew up poor and I was determined not to go back to the poor house and God was reminding me that His yoke is easy and I should take that. Wow! I sat there with tears in my eyes apologizing for my selfishness and realizing that HE NEVER FAILS!

Yep, I am officially depressed, but you know what? I will get through this because it is a temporary setback. Sometimes we all need a reminder to stop going to everyone first. Go to Him first. My grandma used to say, “Trouble don’t last always” but I know that my God is a burden bearer and he can carry this burden too.

Be blessed my loves!

The History of Labor Day

It’s Labor Day folks!

What an incredible day to be off and just spending time with the family. That is what I did today. I headed to a BBQ thrown by my beautiful nephew’s mommy (Cameron). I had a ball. As I sat there enjoying both my wonderful nephew and my blended and interracial family, I was in awe at how blessed I am. My SILIT (sister in law in training) is not only a phenomenal mother, but a phenomenal person that comes from a great family. How awesome it is that we get to spend guaranteed time off with each other eating and making memories? But, why do we have a Labor Day holiday? I couldn’t recall from U.S. history class in high school where the true origin of Labor Day came from, so I hit the internet. I wanted to find out why the government recognizes Labor Day as a national holiday and you know what? It’s pretty interesting.

Labor Day originated in the late 1800’s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States.  At that time, most people worked 12 hours each day for 7 days straight barely squeaking by. In some states, children as young as 5 or 6 worked in factories earning a fraction of working adult’s wages. Can you imagine that? My munch is 6 and I can’t imagine him working to support the family. Hard times. But, beyond the fact that we were working folks to death and illegally the workers often faced extremely unsafe working conditions.

As manufacturing grew, so did the labor unions. They began organizing strikes and rallies. They were protesting the conditions and arguing for new salaries and hours. Many  of the strikes and rallies turned violent. It was on September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in NYC, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country. However, Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later. Why did they wait 12 years to do it? Economics people! On June 26, the American Railroad Union (the union for all the railroads) called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars. This boycott inevitably crippled the railroad industry nationwide. Now imagine only having trains and horses to transport your items and now you can’t use the faster of the two. What do you think would happen?

So, in order to end the strike, the federal government stepped in and released troops. This only made things worse because riots happened and more than a dozen workers were killed. So, the government attempted to repair ties with the workers and Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. Cool huh? Many thanks to labor unions for organizing and requiring better wages and working conditions and many thanks to Congress for recognizing our labor.

Happy Labor Day!

 

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