Day 11: Veteran’s

It’s Day 11 in my #23DaysofThankfulness and I am thankful for the men and women that have served in our armed services. Today is Veteran’s Day in the U.S. and we have to honor those that serve to protect our country. Those that were in the kitchens to those on the battlefield. Everyone plays a role.

I’m thankful for each of you. Your service matter. You matter.

I spent yesterday dropping off toiletries at the VA Hospital in Washington, DC with some of my sorority sisters. It was amazing to give back to those who have given so much. How will you honor those who have served?

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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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Day 10: Naysakers aka “Your Haters”

Listen, there will always be people that you meet in life that will doubt your dreams. They are naysakers, haters or just miserable people. You can’t focus on them. You have to stay focused on you and the dreams that you are turning into reality. Manifestation of your dreams starts when you decide to not let fear hold you back and step boldly into your future. No one said that it will be easy. It won’t. But, you deserve it.

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You are stronger than you think. Read the story of anyone who has succeeded and they will tell you that there were those that doubted. However, their doubts don’t pay your bills or ensure your success. You do. Your grit. Your determination. Your spirit. You are responsible for it all.

Leave your haters where they stand and keep pushing towards your goal. No one can stop you, but you. Remember that.

My Day 10 in my #23daysofthankfulness is for all you naysakers out there. Watch me succeed from the place you stand. I will win.

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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/.07

Grandma’s Love

One of my favorite songs is Bill Wither’s “Grandma’s Hands”. It’s the perfect song that reminds me of my own relationship with my grandma and how wonderful she is. My grandma is one of the most beautiful, compassionate and strongest women I’ve ever known. She’s comforted me, disciplined, cooked for me and loved me all my 41 years on this earth. Her love is immeasurable.

Having been blessed to be loved by my grandma I have to tell you that there is no better relationship. I learned how to be a grandma from her so that someday (far, far, far away) when my munch grows up and gets married and decides to make me a grandma I would have learned from the best. What makes her so wonderful?

Everything.

She mixes discipline with love and that good old country wisdom. It always has God at the core of everything. Because that is what my grandma believes. She taught us that. I remember sitting next to her in church and falling asleep on her breasts. She rocked me. She hugged me. She taught me how to be a young woman.

She only had a third grade education. But, my grandma believes in education and was so proud of me when I graduated college. She birthed 11 children and raised some grandchildren too, but she didn’t mind. She loved us. Each of us. Individually and collectively.

My grandma’s love endures and wraps my spirit in faith when I fall short. I am because of her. I will always love my grandma and there’s nothing like my grandma’s love. Trust me.

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Broken And Wounded

I have to tell you that sometimes I don’t pray. Not that I don’t know how to pray. It’s not that. It’s that I am embarrassed because I hadn’t done it in so long. I hadn’t just had a conversation with God and meditated on His word. I was so busy being me and living life that I put God in the corner. I put the almighty in a box. – Journal entry

Sigh.

As I started writing my #wednesdaywisdom message, I re-read my journal post and realized that I was fumbling with my faith. That I was not praying like I should. Actually, I hadn’t prayed in almost a month when I wrote that journal entry. I was trying to handle my own stuff.

I bet I’m also not alone on this. I think we all get in the mindset that we can handle it on our own and that things are going well we don’t need to check-in with God because He can see us right? I became a fair weather Christian. Calling on Him only in my time of need. Making decisions without seeking God’s counsel.

You know what happened next right? Tragedy. I found myself in the worse pain of my life. My marriage had ended and I was brokenhearted and distraught at the pain I was going through. It was brutal. It was like a never-ending cycle of hell. I was so wounded by the words that were thrown around, the sides people I loved were taking and the inability to stop the noise in my head.

I was on my knees praying and crying for a peace that I felt like would never come. How could it? How could I get the peace I was praying for when I couldn’t stop the noise?

By submitting. I needed to submit. I needed to submit to the will of the situation and allow God to come in and do His will.

He did.

It was done.

I want to encourage you on this #wisdomwednesday with this message:

Psalm 147:3 (NRSV)

He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

No matter what you’re going through know that God heals the brokenhearted and will bind your wounds. Give it to God! Pray. Sometimes it will seem that you can’t hear God’s word because of the noise in your head and here’s how you can clear the noise:

Write a list of three things you’re thankful for on that day!

That’s it. It’s that simple. Make it a part of your daily prayer and meditation process. This writing your blessings and acknowledging His gratitude and grace over your life will help clear the noise out of your life. It will start to diminish the chaos in your mind and spirit. You are then able to see visually all that you have in spite of what you have going on in your spirit.

It is easy. It won’t happen overnight though. You have to keep with it. You know you “have to go through it to get to it” right? Peace will come. Your spirit will heal and your wounds will be bound. You will have a testimony once you’ve gone through the test. Just be patient my love.

Be blessed!

Attitude Check

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. – Alice Walker

Lesson #1 – Attitude of Gratitude. I’ve spoken about this a couple of times and how I have an attitude of gratitude and I’m raising munch to have the same. Lately though, his attitude has been less gratuitous than I expect. He’s downright ornery and complaining about everything. Let me give you some examples:

  • Last Saturday my best friend and I had gone to Cracker Barrel (my favorite breakfast spot) for breakfast and I brought my munch along. This was his first trip for breakfast and he was fine eating out. Until…the waiter brought his orange juice and it had pulp in it. Munch hates pulp and the waiter said he would bring him something else. Munch requested lemonade. The waiter said that lemonade has pulp in it. Munch then requested milk. The waiter didn’t bring the milk for 15 minutes. Munch pouted and was upset about not having his milk. He said, “I’m really upset that I don’t have my milk mommy. Can’t we leave and just go to IHOP? I don’t like this place.” Finally his milk came and then his meal. I ordered one pancake and a side of bacon with three slices of bacon. Only two came on his plate. I notified the waiter and he said he would get us another piece. Munch was so upset and said he wasn’t going to eat until his other slice came out. I told him that was ridiculous. Eat now. He pouted and ate his food. The other slice of bacon never came. The waiter (whose service was less than desirable anyway) removed munch’s meal from the bill.
  • Later that afternoon on our way to my nephew’s first birthday party, my son decides he would like to give his cousin a special gift. (He apparently didn’t like that we donated to his college fund). So, I said, “What would you like your cousin to have?” “A book” he replied. I said “Okay, go get one” and he rushed back to his room to pick out a special book. He decided to give him the brand new book “The Lorax” that had just arrived from his book club. He signed the book and put his own card inside it and a bow on the book. He was so proud. Until…he told me that his cousin can only keep the book for two months and then he had to return it. What? He’s a one year old. He’s not going to read it and then return it. I explained how impolite it was to ask for a gift back that you’ve given to someone and that he has so much surely one book would be fine. He pouted the entire way to the party complaining about how that was his favorite book and he wanted to loan it.
  • Monday as we’re going to school and I’m quizzing him on his spelling words for his test he tells me, “I will probably fail.” I was asking him why he thinks he’s going to fail? His response, “Because I failed the practice test last night.” I told him to do his best. He said, “Okay”. He then decides to complain about how he is so upset that he can’t go outside and he is tired of playing in the gym during recess. I explained that the weather has been cold and snowy, but that the school would start letting them go outside later when there is more sun and less snow. I explained that spring is coming and that he will get to be outside soon. He said, “fine”. We pull up to the school and he complains as we get out the car that he almost fell into a puddle of melted snow because I didn’t park close enough to the curb. What?

I had it. I was done. Really? Is this  a stage? What is happening to my beautiful baby and when did he become such a complainer? I stopped him before we went into the school and I told him that we wake up each day thanking God for life. We have an attitude of gratitude because we are blessed. We practice saying thank you instead of complaining all the time. I told him to try and just be happy and be positive. Say please and thank you and know that your attitude determines your altitude. How high you fly depends on how much happy fuel (filled with love and gratitude) you want to put in your plane. The happiest children have lots of happy fuel in their plane and are in great spirits because they are flying high in the clouds enjoying life. They are grateful.  He looked at me and said “Okay, mommy.” I kissed him on the lips and said, “I love you munch. I’m proud of you and I’m happy that I’m your mommy.” He smiled and walked away.

Wow! I’m suffering from a case of the complainer blues. But, I’ve been known to do it too. I have to adjust my attitude and correct myself by getting a refill of happy fuel to keep in good spirits. We all do. But, I never knew how I could sound complaining until I heard my munch do it. It’s overwhelming to a listener. We have to do better.

I want to encourage us to be grateful for everything because if you can’t appreciate the small you won’t value the big things when they come. Gratitude is a choice. Be grateful. Be thankful and be happy.

Screaming…I’m Beautiful

I read this incredible post that talked about definitions of beauty. The article entitled “50 Reasons You Are Beautiful” was just what I needed because I was having one of those days were I felt I wasn’t beautiful. You know those days where your hair sucks, you have a breakout and you just can’t seem to get your make-up right? Well, it was driving me nuts!

I hated going to work not feeling or seeming “put together”. So, I sat there fuming and really just getting down on myself. I was having a serious problem with my own self and started feeling ugly. In my meditation moment I reflected on how wonderfully made I am and started to feel a little better, but dang, this fly away piece of hair was annoying the heck out of me.

Enter God. God talks to me in a KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) manner and I love it. He allowed me to read this posting and realize that I am beautiful. Just the way I am. Not based on my looks, but because he created me. I am screaming…I’m Beautiful and let me tell you why.

I Have an Attitude of Gratitude

I am thankful for all the blessings and disappointments that I suffer. I believe in taking the good and bad of life and knowing that I am blessed regardless. No one thing is because I am super smart, super beautiful or super successful. It’s because I have a super attitude of gratitude about who I serve. Gratitude is beautiful.

I Am a Boring Nerd

Yep, I said it. I am a boring nerd. I’ve always tried to shy away from this because I didn’t want folks to know so I would jump up at any chance to go out to a party or to the club instead of just being me. I love to sit at home reading a good book. There are many days that I don’t even turn on my television. I just appreciate the silence and focus on growing and expanding my mind. I love politics and any and all legislation that affects my job, life, or people. But guess what? Being a boring nerd is beautiful.

I Can’t Dance

Nope. I can’t. I can move with a beat, but I’m not as smooth and sophisticated as some other women you may know. I’m not that gracious on a dance floor, but that’s okay. I like to be held. I dance to my own beat and you know what? Not knowing how to dance is beautiful.

My Nose is Weird

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with my nose. More hate than love, but you get the picture right? It’s a nose that doesn’t fit in anywhere in my family. It’s awkward and long and kinda round, but it doesn’t seem to go with my face. It just is there. I’m always nosing around trying to find glasses that fit my face or better yet, my nose. But you know what? Weird noses are beautiful.

I Can’t Walk in Heels

I never truly learned to walk and balance in heels so anything beyond 3 inches is asking for trouble. Unless the shoes have thick heels, are platforms, wedges or anything that stabilizes my clumsiness, I can’t do it. I’ve had to make due with cute flats that allow me to maneuver through the day, but I always hated the fact that I wasn’t coordinated enough to master walking in heels. But, you know what? Walking in flats is beautiful.

My Waist Size is in Double Digits

I posted before about how I’m learning to embrace my femininity and accept my double digit figure each day. It’s been a growing experience and I realized that no matter how much I work out, how healthy I eat and how much I want to be small (without surgery of course), I may never get there. Instead of punishing myself for my flabby tummy or the rolls on my side I just smile and blow kisses. I may never get to be a perfect size 8 and you know what? That’s okay. Why? Because the round me is just as beautiful.

There are many more things that make up the whole of me that point to my beauty both inside and out. I’m thankful for all the things I’ve experienced and I love me.  I’m going to print out this list and tape it to my mirror to remind myself of these things every day and know that I’m beautiful, simply because I’m me. And you know what? So are you.