Happy Resurrection Day!

What a beautiful Easter Sunday in Maryland! I’m going to both church services this morning because the Drama and Music ministries will be doing a program for the second church service.

I’m excited.

My Munch is in Danville, Virginia with his dad’s family. It’s a tradition that I started when he was an infant and one that he will always keep. It’s important for him to have the love of his grandma and her family engulfing him. She’s an amazing woman.

Munch was telling me last week that he was super excited to go and visit his grandma. He saw her last month for her 75th birthday, but he enjoys spending time with her. I smiled. When I asked him was he going to do an Easter egg hunt at his grandma’s house he said “I’m not sure.” “Well, I’m sure that she’ll get you a big Easter basket baby” I said. He said “Mommy, the Easter bunny brings me my Easter basket, not my grandma.”

And just like that I remembered that my son still believes in the magic of the Easter Bunny. I love that. In all the drama from the last week, it warms my soul to know that he still believes in the great things about being a kid. He knows that Easter is more than baskets or colored eggs. He knows that it is about the resurrection of Christ.

He will go to sunrise service at his grandma’s church with his dad. A beautiful church in the country where everyone has watched him grow up year after year. He will go downstairs after church is over for the sunrise breakfast that is a mandatory part of their service. He will eat breakfast and smell the scents of good ole’ country cooking. He will probably just eat the bacon and potatoes. He’s pretty particular.

He will pray and he will remember what this day is all about. I pray that he will hear me whispering “with God all things are possible.” This is not a day of sadness but of happiness because we know that Christ rose. So, on this beautiful Sunday I wish you thoughts of colored eggs, Easter baskets and bunnies, but more importantly I wish you the comfort of knowing that Jesus paid it all.

happy-easter-wallpaper-2014-images-greetings

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/.

Destiny

“You can meet someone and you can sense that your destiny is tied to that person” – Bishop T.D. Jakes from his sermon Nothing Just Happens

Dang! Speechless. Bishop preached on how you occasionally meet someone and you sense that your destiny is tied to that person. Has that ever happened to you? Nope?

It’s okay. You’re still young. It’s scary. But, the sermon was important because it reminded me that nothing in your life just happens. It is in God’s plan. It piggybacks on some things that men of God have said to me about my life. Something my pastor confirmed last year.

Whew! My God! My post may seem all over the place, but I’m telling you that you need to just stand. God will keep you and help you through your circumstance. Stop letting people hold you back, deter your destiny, block your vision or try to coach you on your life. Let it go!

Give it to God and let it go! Your destiny is already written love!

plans-for-your-life-jeremiah-29-11

 

Co-Parenting and Death

Hey Everyone!

Sorry for the delay. It’s been a rough weekend compounded with a bad Monday where I didn’t feel good and was home in the bed.

As I’ve stated before, co-parenting can be a real drag when the parents think and do things differently. As a strong personality (yes, I will admit it) it can be hard for me to not intercede my opinion on what is in the best interest of my child. I’ve learned that I can’t do that. My ex often referred to me as a controlling b**** and I have to remember that what he does on the week’s that he has my son is what he chooses. Do I like it? Nope. Do I think you should follow that logic? Nope, but to keep the peace – I do.

That being said, let me tell you how that dang logic can fail. Last Thursday, my son’s father stopped by to see munch at his request and then proceeded to tell him that the family dog, Bailey, will have to be put to sleep soon because he was sick. My son had a major breakdown and ran in the house crying to see me and talk to me about it. I asked his dad, “Why would you tell him that?” He replied, “It’s true, the dog hasn’t eaten or drank little water since last Friday.” “So, you’re letting him suffer and wait it out?” I asked. “No, munch said he wants to say good-bye to Bailey first” was his reply.

I disagreed with this logic. Our child was 7. He didn’t need to see him dying. WTH? I said nothing though. You know, that dang co-parenting thing.

Bailey had been sick for two years. Two years. The longest two years of my life. I watched his slow decline and offered to split the vet costs with my ex. He never responded. Last November, I decided that I would no longer split custody of the dog. My ex wasn’t taking good care of him and I had hoped that my decision would have forced him to give Bailey up or take him to the vet. I said that I would keep him if they should go out of town.

He said nothing. “Okay” was his response. In April was the last time I kept Bailey. I told my ex that Bailey’s health is failing and this is ridiculous. You need to get him to the vet. It didn’t happen. My ex was hospitalized in June on a Friday. On Sunday he asked me could I get Bailey. It was 48 hours later. Didn’t you think of him Friday when you were hospitalized? Why are you now thinking of him on Sunday? I replied “No.” He called me all kinds of names and told me how I failed Bailey and threw him away like I did our family.

I was hurt. I didn’t throw away our family. I ended our relationship. I cried. But, I resolved to not give into the bitterness and let the pain suffocate me like a wet blanket trying to extinguish a fire. It was no good. It did suffocate me.

I told him through text that Bailey needs to be taken care of by someone else. My ex couldn’t walk him anymore. He was in denial and couldn’t see beyond his own need for Bailey to remain with him. Bailey was going to the bathroom on pee pads in his house , no exercise or medical attention.  I said a prayer and let Bailey go.

It pained me to see him when I would drop off things at my ex’s house. He looked so sick and sad. I prayed. I let him go in my heart. I begged my friends who were friends with him to please talk to him about giving up Bailey. They didn’t. It wasn’t their place. Whose place was it? Mine? Nope, he didn’t listen to me.

Bailey was getting sicker.

That suffering ended Friday, September 25th when my son and his dad walked in their house and found Bailey dead. He was 9. Would have been 10 on November 4th.  My son had a breakdown.

When I spoke to him he said, “Mommy, Bailey’s dead. His eyes were open and he had a scratch on his eye. Mommy” My heart broke. My munch was experiencing first hand the pain of losing someone very close to him. Bailey had been in his life since he was born. We introduced them as brothers. I tried to calm him down. My son asked, “Mommy, don’t you care that he’s gone?” “Yes munch, but Bailey is in a much better place. He’s not suffering anymore and I need you to calm down. To know that he is not in pain.”

Saturday morning my ex calls and tells me that he needed me to take munch to therapy. He can’t take him. He has to deal with the proper disposal of Bailey’s body. Yep, I had a WTH? moment but couldn’t say anything right? My munch spent the night at his dad’s house with Bailey’s body. I was hurt. I was angry. What is wrong with his dad? Why can’t he see past his own pain and take his son out of the house? But, I’m not allowed to ask questions.

My son cried in my arms all Saturday. Heartfelt, deep and painful tears that came from the depths of his soul. He cried asking, “Mommy, why won’t God raise Bailey from the dead like he did Jesus? He knew we needed Jesus and he knows I need Bailey.” With tears streaming down my face I just held him and rocked him. I kept telling him, “Bailey wouldn’t want to see you sad. He hated to see you cry. He cried when you cried. He loved you.” But, what should I have said? What am I supposed to do?

Pick up the pieces of a child’s broken spirit? I’m trying. We made a memory box that we will be putting words, thoughts, stories, memories and pictures of Bailey in it. There are so many things that munch didn’t know about Bailey. I’m adding to the box. Encouraging his dad to do so and trying to  ease my son’s pain.

He will never forget the loss. We will never forget. We just have to do the best we can in the midst of his pain. Co-parenting through death sucks. You have to live with the other parent’s decision even if you don’t think it is in the best interest of your child.

image

image

image

image

 

Baptized and Blessed

Jesus Blesses Little Children

Mark 10:13-16 (NRSV)

13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. 

 

So, munch got baptized last Sunday at church. I was super excited. My son is 7 and made the choice to commit his life to Christ. I was anxious and scared because it was a sign that he was growing up.

Sidebar: I’m not ready for him to grow up. He’s still so little.

But, it was his choice. One that he’s never doubted and will tell you with the greatest of ease that he loves the Lord. That God is the father and he will always protect us. Didn’t I tell you this kid was awesome?

His commitment to Christ had me in tears. When the pastor asked him, “Do you believe that God sent his son Jesus to Earth to die for our sins and that he died on the cross, has risen and now sits at God’s right hand?” Munch loudly proclaimed “Yes”. He said, “I now baptize you in the name of the father, son and holy spirit”. I was literally crying. Tears streaming down my face and squeezing my girlfriend’s hand tightly.

My baby was no longer a baby and was now a proud Christian. After he received the right hand in fellowship I had to fill out some paperwork, get his certificate and a whole packet of welcoming information for him. Everyone was congratulating him. In pure munch fashion, he asked, “Mommy, why do people keep congratulating me?” I responded, “Because they’re happy that you made the decision to follow Christ and get baptized. He looked puzzled. “It’s a big deal” I said. “Oh” was his reply.

See, munch understood the commitment he was making, he just didn’t understand why people were making a big deal out of it. He was just doing what he thought was right. How awesome is that? How many of us just do what we think is right? Without hesitation? Without fear? Without worrying about what other people will think of us? Without accolades or fan fare he was making a decision simply because he loves God.

You know I’m emotional right? I’m one proud mama and I just can’t help it. This little boy amazes me each day. He reminds me that God loved me so much that he gave me a son.

Check out the photos:

20150607_081636
Munch preparing to put on his baptismal robe.
wpid-20150607_082859.jpg
Munch in his baptismal robe. He said, “Mommy, I look like an angel.”
wpid-20150607_1156060.jpg
Munch and his godfather.
wpid-20150607_115922.jpg
Munch and his godmother.
wpid-20150607_120447.jpg
Munch and the Senior Pastor at our church.

 

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.

thankful-and-blessed-chalkboard-printable

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Yep, we say “Happy Resurrection Day” to all to remind you that He has risen. There was no greater sacrifice than Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. It may seem small to some now, but trust me when I say it is not. I am reminded everyday of this sacrifice and how awesome it is to have a God that would send his child to die for my sins.

When you take the time to remember the ultimate sacrifice it helps you to take life in stride. To forgive and to know that you are forgiven for your sins. How many of us would be willing to give our only child to die so that others may live? It is a truly selfless act.

Remember that today is not about the candy, Easter baskets or big dinner, but about our risen savior. Happy Resurrection Day folks!

He-Is-Risen

Don’t Let Go

For those of you who may be going through it, I wanted to encourage you today. I have to tell you that I feel your pain. As I was listening to Pandora earlier this week, Kurt Carr’s “I Almost Let Go” came on and I started to cry. I was having a come to Jesus, full on testimony experience. I’ve been going through some things and I tell you when God is working on me and through me HE gets inside of my spirit and I am transformed and renewed knowing that HE knows what is going on with me. How wonderful is that?

I Almost let go
I felt like I just couldn’t take life any more
My problems had me bound
Depression weighed me down
But God held me close
So I wouldn’t let go
God’s mercy kept me
So I wouldn’t let go

– Kurt Carr “I Almost Let Go”

Kurt’s words above are simple yet poignant. Depression weighs you down. I’ve been there. Heck, sometimes I feel like I’m still there, but you know what? This too shall pass. God’s mercy will keep you when you feel that there is no way out. When your back is against the wall and you feel like everything you touch is crumbling and you can’t see through pain, trust me that God’s got you.

I have to remind myself of this and I want to remind you to be encouraged because it could be worse. WE WILL OVERCOME. There is strength in numbers and you need to remember that we serve a faithful God. Always.

Proverbs 4:25 (MSG)

23-27 Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
    that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
    avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
    ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
    and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
    leave evil in the dust.

Be blessed loves!