Mission Monday

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So, it’s Monday….most people’s least favorite day of the week.  At this point, you’re either laying in bed contemplating on what excuse to use in order to get out of work or you’re swallowing the huge pill labeled “ADULT” and proceeding to go about your day.  As you scroll your timeline, I’m more than sure you see a lot of “Motivation Monday” posts on Instagram and Facebook, but do they really motivate you?  Are you really going about your day with an extra boost of energy ready to conquer the world after reading it or is it just worth a quick double tap?

What’s your mission today?  What goals do you plan on crushing?  What giants do you plan on slaying today and everyday afterward?

 

I read the following in my devotional this morning:

“We should be on a mission and that mission is to be who God intended us to be as we live and work in His world for His glory.” -‘What is My Mission’ (via the Bible app)

Yes, to those of this world, Mondays can be a drag, but as God’s people, we must be joyous in each day that we are blessed to receive and do the work that God intended for us.  We have to have the intention that everything we do is for God and give everything nothing less than what He would approve of.

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.” -Psalms 90:17

Start the week off the right way and be ready to be on a mission for God.  Get up.  Plant your feet on the ground and push through anything holding you back.  Devote yourself to God each morning and have a conversation with Him.  Dragging your feet is not an option anymore.  There are too many blessings to be had and souls to be fed for us as believers to continuously push the snooze button.  Just being present and allowing His works to shine through us can make a huge impact on others.

What’s your mission?

 

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Hair Does Not Define Me

My Strands Do Not Define Me

With the coming of fall, which is my favorite season of the year by the way, I decided to grow out my fade and let my curls pop again.  My main reason for chopping my hair off for the umpteenth time was because of hair loss associated with symptoms of Type One Diabetes.  I had bald spots galore and my hair literally fell out in clumps.  Rather than sulk over lost strands, I decided to embrace being without hair and I became even more confident with myself.  It was a bold move to go completely bald, but I loved every minute of it. I learned to love myself for who I am and not my hair.  Being a “Baldie” was fun and so much easier as far as maintenance is concerned.  It has been so liberating and I felt the most confident with no hair at all.  I have so much respect and love for those that for medical reasons do not have the option to just grow their back.   I got a chance to walk in another woman’s shoes.  I was able to get an understanding of how it feels to get those awkward looks and stares from people who have no idea what my hair journey was and to look them in the face with a smile.  Now, I’m ready to take the plunge again and enter yet another hair growth journey.

So, for the past few weeks I have been dodging making my usual appointment to the beloved barber shop and opted to wear wigs to work and a hat or head wrap over the weekends.  I’ll be honest with you and tell you that I did text my barber once to see if I could get a cut, BUT he was booked, so needless to say I did not get that haircut.  I purchased my very first straight-haired wig to change things up to avoid going through that “awkward” stage, you know, that point when your hair just looks unwearable…when it’s growing in 100 different lengths and you look like who did it and ran away.  Yea that stage.

When I debuted the new look, I received an overflow of comments with my “drastic” change of appearance, which was to be expected, but some of them kind of upset me. The way society and people in general are when it comes to the standards of women’s beauty is wrong on so many levels, especially as a woman of color.  I actually had a male co-worker give me a compliment on the new wig and then follow up with stating that I no longer looked like I stuck my finger in a socket, referring to a curly wig I wore previously.  The amount of anger and frustration I had when I received that comment was indescribable.  As the days went on, I received more and more compliments from men and women alike on how good I looked and that they preferred me with long straight hair.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to receive the occasional compliment, but when I realized how much more acceptable my appearance was with straight hair, opposed to curly hair or none at all, it upset me.  It’s sad to say that even now, when natural hair is becoming more accepted, there is still an underlying stigma of unacceptance for what naturally grows from our scalp.  Some days I just wanted to rip the wig off and rock my one month of hair growth with no lining and thin edges.  That awkward stage is no joke y’all lol. There were days when I would walk confidently with my picked out fro or voluminous twist out and get the side eye as if my hair was untamed or unkept. There were days of me being completely bald and I would be asked if I had some type of cancer or asked why I would cut off my beautiful hair.  I’ve stated in previous blog posts that I am not my hair.  My hair does not define who I am or what I believe.  My hair does not define how I feel about myself.  This natural hair journey is so much more than hair.  It has taught me a lot about who I am, flaws and all and I’ve gained so much confidence in my own inner beauty that I refuse to allow others to determine what beauty looks like for me.

Regardless of what people think, I love to change up my hair and I’ll continue to do so.  It’s fun and it allows me to express myself freely.  I’ll definitely keep you updated on my growth journey as time goes on.  What are your favorite protective styles or ways to promote growth?  Have you experienced any type of backlash for your choice in hairstyles in the workplace or in general? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments.

 

Back to school tips for the mom on a mission

Tips for the Hustling Mom

So, by now the school year is well on its way for many. We’ve depleted our bank accounts on school supplies, uniforms, shoes, and accessories.  We’ve spent late nights washing and styling kinks and curls, laying edges, and early mornings at the barber shop for that perfect lining.  We’ve cried our tears of either happiness of lower grocery and light bills or the sadness of seeing our babies head into another year of growing and learning. So now what? How do we maintain our sanity and structure during this school year without losing our cool?

I’m going to be honest and tell you that when it comes to being organized and maintaining structure during the school year, I’m not the one.   My girls are heading into the second month of school and I can tell you that it has not been easy at all from the long nights of homework and chores and the early mornings of…well, just early mornings (I’m not a morning person at all).  This past month has definitely been a struggle for this mamma.  Don’t get me started on the dreaded carpool line or pushing a smile through to greet teachers when all I want to do is crawl back into my warm bed.  I’ve been a one woman show lately with a recent change in my husband’s work schedule and here are just a few things that have helped me along the way for the last few weeks.

Pray Consistently

First and foremost, prayer is essential not only during the school year, but every day, all day.  We as parents have got to ensure that our children are covered continuously.  Too much is going on in the world these days that praying is a must.  Instill in them that no matter who is watching, they should always pray.  Instead of being embarrassed, they should be a light unto others and may even influence someone else at the lunch table.  I pray with my girls before we leave out in the morning and make sure we say our prayers before bed.  They never let me forget to make sure we pray before the night is over.  We pray for grace and favor with good grades in school, good behavior, and that we all come home safely.  Of course, we pray for dad and travelling mercies as he’s on the road during the late nights and early mornings.  Consistent prayer is the true key to keeping things afloat.

Make preparations ahead of time

This may sound cliche and I’m sure many of you already do this, but not all of us are “Susie homemakers.”  This is a task that I’ve only just gotten into the habit of doing not only for my children, but for myself as well.  Making preparations for pretty much everything ahead of time has turned out to be pretty beneficial and narrowed down our time getting ready in the morning.

Select the week’s worth of outfits and uniforms and iron them ahead of time.  The simple task of picking out what to wear can sometimes become time consuming in the morning when you can’t find that matching sock or you notice that your favorite blouse is wrinkled.  Make sure that all of the essentials are laid out with each outfit for yourself and the kids, including jewelry and even hair bows.  I’m telling you from experience that having to hunt down even the smallest of items can take up a large amount of time.  Every second counts!

 

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Pack lunch the night before.  I allow my oldest daughter to pack her own lunch.  It gives her a sense of responsibility and she chooses what she puts in her lunch bag, so I know she’ll eat everything.  I also meal prep my lunches for the week.  This saves me a lot of money verses eating out everyday.  I may create a post specifically geared toward meal prepping in the future.

Meal preparation is essential for my household for both lunch and dinner.  I choose to take advantage of my weekends off and throw some food in a crock pot and in the oven for the week. Sometimes I’ll prepare more than one meal and even freeze some of the food for another time.  I also buy pre-seasoned meats, and packaged sides sometimes to make things a little easier on myself.  Now, this does not happen every week.  As much as I love to eat, I’m not a fan of cooking and sometimes I just don’t have the time.  I keep hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and lunch meat handy for those nights when I need to fill little bellies quick like when there is bible study or a parent/teacher conference.  Sometimes I even make breakfast for dinner like grits and eggs or even pancakes.  As long as they eat and are satisfied, I’m happy.

Unwind Before the Grind

I allow my children a chance to calm down and relax a little before starting up homework.  My girls are in school for eight hours, so when we get home, I let them have a small snack and play for a while to unwind.  I find this helps when it comes time to do homework and they’re not as frustrated with completing the task of getting those motor skills going.  It also allows me to unwind from my work day and be able to move forward with “mommy mode.”  During that time, I usually start on warming up dinner and I check my e-mails.

Don’t stress the small stuff

I remember running around like a mad woman years ago when my oldest first started school.  I use to stay up until the middle of the night mopping floors and scrubbing toilets just to maintain the household.  Yes my house was spotless, but I lost out on sleep and time with my children.  So now, I don’t stress over things that can be done the following day.  The goal in the end is to make sure that my children are fed and bathed, hair combed, homework is complete, and they have clean clothes to wear.  I make sure that I put time aside to just sit with them and talk about their day.  I learn about their new friends at school or any concerns they may have and let them know that I’m available and I’m listening.  I never want my daughters to feel as though they were put on the back burner.

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The amount of time and love you invest in your children will yield so many great things in the future.  Keep pushing for an amazing school year and continue to speak life to yourselves and your children and they make steps to becoming scholars.  It won’t be easy, but it is always worth it.  Leave a comment below and let me know what tips and tricks you use to the ball rolling during the school year.

 

 

Prayer

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Prayer:  “A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” – Merriam Webster Dictionary

Prayer is the way we communicate with God.  He hears our prayers and He hears our cries. He also speaks to us through our prayers.  The bible talks about praying without ceasing. 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Praying without ceasing does not mean that you must be on your knees with your eyes closed at all times speaking to God.  It simply means that you are constantly keeping your mind steadfast on Him.  Don’t look at prayer as such a strict or uptight form of speaking to our creator.  Talk to God in actual conversation as you would your father on earth. Involve Him in your everyday practices.  Speak to Him about your struggles, reveal to him your innermost thoughts.   Praying without ceasing should be compared to living and breathing.  The two go hand in hand. If ever worry or fear comes upon you, prayer should be the first thing that comes to mind.  When you are thankful, encouraged, or going through a storm, prayer should be constant.  Prayer can be a small “Thank you Lord,” to a full out session of prayer and praise, eyes closed and body bent. Prayer is a way to show that you put all of your trust in God at all times with all situations.  When you pray you are letting God know that you place your life in His hands and that all is well with Him.  When you start to pray less, you begin to put more trust in yourself which can lead you astray.

Prayer is not only a time to talk, but a time to listen as well. The Lord knows the desires of our hearts. He knows what our needs are.  We must take the time to sit in silence and listen for His voice.

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

-Matthew 6:7

Listening for God’s voice allows Him to reveal to you his vision and desires for you.  He begins to birth a purpose inside of you that you never could have imagined.  He uncovers the blueprint to reach higher heights and deeper depths in your life and the lives of others.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation of shadow of turning.”

-James 1:17