Reblog: Yep I’m Scared

I get scared sometimes. I think back to all the times I’ve hid my true self, my feelings or my insecurities in an effort to put on a brave face for everyone else and how that has somehow held me back all these years. I get scared. I am sometimes too afraid to tell someone how I feel about something because I don’t want to seem argumentative. But, if it’s how I feel, does it matter?

I’ve been exploring and self-evaluating my life a lot lately and I realized that I’m a scaredy cat. I get afraid to reveal the real me and let folks in. My friend gave me a great piece of advice last week when he said, “You can’t go through life being afraid to let folks in and keeping pieces of the real you hidden. Life is about taking the plunge and just wading through the water and see where it goes.” (It was probably less poetic because he is a man, but you get the gist right?). I do hide the real me and don’t like to let people in. I’m guarded. I’m closed off when in unfamiliar territories. Especially those that deal with the heart.

So, I wait. I try to analyze, micro-analyze every problem and situation so that I can’t see the forest for the big tree in my vision. I am a runner. I justify my running away as a part of life. It’s me. If things get to complicated or too emotional, I’m out. I don’t want to get hurt. So, I shield myself, my heart, my mind from folks who just want to get to know the real me. But, the real me is too sensitive for this world. She’s not someone use to sharing pieces of her soul.

Until now. I have bared more of my soul in the last year than I ever have. I’ve let my guard down (that 100 foot barbed wire wall around my heart) and started letting people see the real me. Nothing fancy. Just a glimpse of who I am. I had to. God said it’s time. It’s time to let the wall down and share. But, I keep dragging my feet. Slowly because I’m afraid. I don’t  want my heart to get broken. I don’t want to be uncomfortable.

But, you have to be uncomfortable to grow. I need to face my fears no matter how scared I am. I remember my pastor preaching about growing in the valley with the myrtle trees and I am reminded that life is just that. Growing in uncomfortable places and situations.

I’m terrified, but I know that I need to move forward and grow. Just grow.  Whether it’s my branches that spread to support the leaves in my life or my roots that grow deep in the ground, I need to grow. Growth is good. I’m not saying that it won’t be hard and I will continue to guard my heart, but I can’t move forward if I’m too afraid to jump.  I may get hurt, but I will learn. I will grow. I will survive.

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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/.

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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/.

Happy Labor Day!

I’m in Tennessee right now with my family. It’s been an amazing weekend. Food, fun and family. Who could ask for more right?

I love this time with family because it allows me the opportunity to rest and relax among those that know me best. Munch is enjoying himself immensely. He loves seeing all his cousins and playing with the boys. He loves to rough house.

Enjoy your time with your loved ones and if you are off, enjoy your day off! Spend time eating, being at the beach or cooking on the grill. Summer is winding down. I wish you an awesome Labor Day 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/.

Welcome September 2017

It’s September dear friends. A new month. A new chance of possibilities. It is the first Friday of the month. How are you with your goals? What are your wishes for September?

My Personal Goals for September:

  • Take Munch to an amusement park
  • Attend Back to School Night
  • Spend time with family in Tennessee
  • Prepare Munch for school
  • Celebrate Mr. C’s birthday

My Blog Goals for September:

  • Increase my Twitter followers by 10%
  • Increase my Instagram followers by 10%
  • Increase my WordPress followers by 10%
  • Write 3 articles this month to be published on other websites
  • Restructure my blog layout

That’s about it for me. I have both personal and blog goals. I’m heading into my busy season at work so please bear with me if I’m slow to reading your posts. I will read them, but the next couple of months will be hectic.

This month, I wish you the cool autumn breeze of September as you walk down the street. I wish you the most vibrant leaf colors you’ve ever seen on trees in your neighborhood. I wish you the peace and satisfaction of knowing that everything is as it should be. Happy September friends!

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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/.

Child Support: My Story

The issue of child support is a touchy one. This will be a three part issue. The first part will be my story, the second will be a man’s story and the third will be a woman’s story. I’m going to explore multiple sides about the importance of child support and give you truth here. This may be a trigger post for some of you. So, if it is, please stay off my page with your drama. I am all about trying to equalize the argument for the benefits for financially supporting your children.

Many people see child support as a bad thing. It’s deemed the devil because many states require a man to pay 1/3 or more of his salary supporting a “lazy momma” while being denied visitation or being forced to work multiple jobs to even live.  Others see it as the only way to make a man financially responsible for his child while checking out emotionally. It is a vicious cycle and in reality there are some truths to both sides. Let’s discuss the reality.

In reality, children require more than just love to grow into healthy adults. It takes money. Can your child live without clothes, medical, dental, food or shelter? Nope.

Okay, good. Now, before you start saying that I’m pro the destruction of the man, stop it. I’m not. Women who don’t raise their children should also pay child support. I believe that everyone has a financial responsibility for their children.

For the record, I don’t get nor have I ever filed child support against my ex-husband. He doesn’t get it either. In fact, we agreed that we would equally split expenses for our son. So, I have no “skin” in the game to protect any financial support you think I may be getting.

Now, the difference between me and some other women is that I can afford to take care of my son without his father’s help. It’s not a bad thing. It’s reality. I’ve been blessed to have a great career that allows me both the financial and emotional means to be present for my son. However, I recognize that not everyone can say that they are as fortunate. Some women and men actually need the financial support of the other parent.

 

When I was growing up, my dad was ordered to pay $200 a month in child support for three kids. Yes, I said that right – three kids. Ask me how many checks we received?

Zero.

Not one.

My dad lived his life getting paid under the table. He avoided paying child support like it was a contagious disease. He refused to catch it.

Did he feel bad? In my opinion no. Anyone that avoids the financial support of their child doesn’t have a conscious. Therefore, they can’t feel bad for not doing for their child. Combine that with the fact that he lived in another state and didn’t see us and you have the trifecta of a poor example as a father.

He was not present. Financially, emotionally, spiritually or any form or fashion. We were a non-factor in his life. The life he lived in avoidance.

So, I watched my mother struggle. Struggle to put clothes on our back and food on our table. Struggle to work multiple jobs and go to school so she could provide a better life for us.

I imagined that the better life she was working on would provide better clothes, better shoes and more of an opportunity to have her present. See, when a person doesn’t take care of their children, it leaves the other parent to take care of the slack. But, it took two people to create that child. How come one person gets to slack on their responsibility?

 

Because of that hard life of learning to survive in spite of my circumstances, I worked hard. I didn’t want children. I wouldn’t bring a child into this world without being able to support them on my own. I would never give anyone that power to determine the fate of my child/children.

I would be better than that.

And I did. I worked hard to get my career off the ground. Even when my marriage ended and I had to re-shift my focus, it became about the most important asset in my life. My Munch. He was more important than any job or my career. I needed him to know that.

So, I spoke up. I told my employers during the interview stage that I am a mom first. That it is just me and that I will always be there for my son. I won’t miss school plays, programs or games. I will be present on the first day of school and every day thereafter. I only have him for a short time before he is released into the world, hopefully making it a better place.

My responsibilities were to my son first.  My employers understood. They respected my decision. So, I continued to rise in my career without sacrificing because I was a mother. I have been very fortunate to have that.

Even this summer when I had to adjust my schedule to get my son to and from camp. I called on my village and they helped out. My supervisor understood that I had camp that started at 9 am and there was no before care. I didn’t get to work until 9:45 am. My mother went in early and took off to pick up Munch from camp at 3pm.

I take off to take him to doctor’s appointments, to volunteer in his school, attend his programs (like the art camp) or if he’s sick. My supervisor allows flexibility because it’s just me. I need it. My mother didn’t have that. She had me.

I missed school if my siblings were sick. She had to work. We had to take care of each other.

I’m not ignorant to the fact that Munch has the best of both worlds…a mother that can afford to provide and a mother that is present. This is in direct contrast with what I experienced, but experience taught me. I chose to be a mother and I chose to have a career and thankfully I am able to have them both.

The lack of child support or financial means pushed me to work harder and become more determined to not be another statistic. We needed the financial support from my dad, but we lived and thrived in spite of. No one should ever have to be in that position.

-Part 2: His View On Child Support is Next-

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/.

Parenting: Munch’s Art

Munch just finished two weeks at Art Camp last Friday and I couldn’t be more proud. He asked to attend and he learned so much. He learned about different textures, mediums and artists. He had a blast.

I think the best part of the camp experience for me was listening to my son explain his art work. The camp had an art show for the finale and the kids were super excited to showcase their work.

These last two weeks were memorable for him. He was excited and learned a lot. It was definitely worth the investment.

Since he transferred to his new school last September he actually got straight A’s in art all four quarters. This was a change from his last art teacher who I firmly believed pulled grades out her butt. When I questioned his grades changing from a B to A, she had no answer and couldn’t produce graded work that showed a B.

I explained that my son loves to draw and will often spend hours drawing out these great characters. He’s talented. He loves art. She didn’t listen.

Oh well.

Change happened and he’s excelling in his new school so we are blessed. It is as it should be. Art camp was awesome and he was winding down summer on a positive note. Here are some photos of his work.

 

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 – 08.28.17

Happy Monday Loves!

It’s the last Monday in August and I was looking for words to inspire you today. To motivate you. To put you in a good mood. Sigh.

I didn’t have any. My life and my words are all jumbled together. I am working like crazy and preparing Munch for school. He’ll be in the 4th grade. I’m excited. He’s not. He doesn’t like change.

Then it hit me.

The inspiration…

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Change.

I love the above quote. Change is inevitable. Progression is a choice. Change is a process. It means to transform or convert. Munch is transforming from a third grader to a fourth grader. He’s scared. His mind isn’t ready.

But, haven’t we all been there at one time or another in our lives? Afraid of change? Scared of the outcome of some things?

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Change is hard. We like the comfort of the normal way things are progressing. We like to take comfort in the things that we know. But, we have to move forward. Change happens whether or not we’re ready for it.

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I never expected to get married, have a son and then be divorced. I never imagined that would be my life when I said that I never wanted to be a single parent. But, here I am. Change happened. I am good. I survived. And so will you.

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We have to accept that things change. We grow older, we lose jobs, families and the things that we took comfort in will sometimes look foreign. That’s where the opportunity to build again lies. In the newness.

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A transformation occurs. In our attitude. In our ability to see beyond the horrific or tragic situations we may find ourselves in. We begin to let the dust clear and find comfort in knowing that we are still here. No matter what.

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That old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” begins to make sense. You survived. The situation you found yourself facing didn’t kill you. You survived the change. You are a survivor.

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So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about accepting the change. Anticipate and then accept the change. We’re never ready for it, but look at each day and situation as a new opportunity to grow. To learn something new.

Just like Munch is not ready for changing grades, I will help prepare his mind. I will remind him of the new adventures that await him. I will comfort and console and lead and guide him in this new transition. It’s part of life. He’s growing. I’m growing and change is the the only part of life that is inevitable.

Be blessed my loves!

 

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/.