What I learned last week

On Monday, July 2, I attended the Homegoing Celebration for my church’s Children’s Ministry Director. Though I never had the opportunity to develop a deep relationship with the 46 year-old awesome woman of God, I felt her presence, her Spirit, her teachings and her reach every time I entered the Chapel doors. Her leadership will drive the Children’s Ministry far into the future. Our dear Sister left a mark that will never be erased.

I felt moved to attend the Homegoing. Again, Sister probably never even knew my name – much less my face – but the Spirit told me I was going to attend. I haven’t been to a Homegoing Celebration in nearly a decade. I did, however, attend my Nana’s funeral in 2008. I wouldn’t classify Nana’s event as a Homegoing. It was a funeral. Funerals are not really my thing. I do enjoy a good Homegoing, though. At Sister’s, our Pastor explained what it’s like for a Christian to leave his physical body and prepare for the Heavenly body which awaits all of those who are born again. It was a necessary reminder of the greatness our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has bestowed upon us. If only we would just hang up our hang-ups and walk in the gift.

As I sat with my fellow Children’s Ministry volunteers in the red t-shirt lined pews, and as I tried to stifle my sniffling, I couldn’t help but wander off into my fairy tale space. I thought about how Sister was only 10 years older than me, and how she left such a magnificent legacy. I wondered what kind of legacy I would leave. I thought about how I could become a better Christian, a better woman, a better mother, whether or not I would ever marry the man whom I adore, and how much I hated my job.

Well, as I drove out of the parking lot and started to dread going back to what, to me, is the equivalent of the County Jail, I realized that I needed a change. I’ve been working at this job for 6 years and have been miserable for at least 4 of those years. I’ve never considered this job to be my “legacy job,” the job that would define my life’s work outside of my home. Through serving at church, I’d renewed a failed passion of mine – writing. I decided that writing would be my legacy. But, writing doesn’t pay as much as my job does. So, I felt stuck again. As I drove on 85N heading towards Buckhead, I realized that neither my job nor my passion would grant me much solace or provide me a suitable legacy.

But, my character would.

This past week, I learned that my character needs reshaping. I found out that I am not the woman I was 10 years ago, or even 3 years ago. Much good has happened to me in the past 10 years: I was born again, baptized, learned to love the Lord, I am raising awesome young men, learned to teach my children how to love the Lord, I have found an earthly best friend whom I adore, and I’ve actually found what some may call “success” at my miserable job. But, I have also allowed negative feelings I have towards others to control me. Routinely, I feel envy, rage, frustration and other unhealthy emotions towards my peers, some family members and, sometimes, just regular passersby. Harboring such feelings eats away at my character.

And it has to end.

What I learned this week is that I want to be celebrated as a woman of God and a woman of great character when it’s time for my Homegoing. And, I also want to love life again. I want to love people again. I want to reclaim that joy that God gave me long before I knew who God was.

It’s going to be a process and I’m going to journal it.

Follow me.

Peace, joy, love and blessings,

inspiredheiress

P.S. Last weekend, I took an impromptu trip to jump into the ocean and allow the saltwater to quench the thirst of my dreadlocks. Isn’t the ocean lovely?

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Laying the groundwork for relationship success

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Every few months, our community discusses the so-called epidemic of single and unmarried Black women. With the success of Steve Harvey’s Think Like A Man (adapted from his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man), the discussion is back on. While Harvey’s best-seller aimed to teach Black women about male mentality, Hill Harper’s book, The Conversation: How Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships, offers self-reflection and communicative assessments as solutions for maintaining long-lasting relationships. I lean towards Harper’s expository work for my relationship education.

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Hill Harper tackles communication in his third book

The decades-old query of why Black women are single and unmarried is a tedious, yet necessary topic. Responding to such an inquest calls for a series of discussions and posts. As a divorced Black woman exclusively involved with a majestic Black man whom I adore, I cite lack of substantive communication and undisclosed expectations as the major culprits of singleness and “unmarriedness.”

Communication, or lack thereof

If we’re talking, we’re communicating, right? Wrong. What are you talking about? Are you discussing the future of your relationship? Or, are you talking about those crazy chicks at the office or his baby’s mama? Talking to your man is wonderful, ladies. I’m all for that. But, before we hop in the bed with a dude expecting him to become our man, there are some serious inquiries that should be communicated. Questions like: What is your idea of commitment? (Because he could’ve considered his philandering father committed). What goals are you trying to accomplish in the next 5 years? (Because those goals might not include marriage or a relationship). What are your expectations of women you are involved with? It is imperative that such issues be discussed in order to establish and maintain a successful relationship.

Undisclosed expectations

Where there’s lack of communication, there’s undisclosed expectations.  If we don’t ask our mates (or potential mates) certain questions, we are setting our relationships up for failure. Do you hold high the traditional roles of Black men? Do you expect your man to be King of the Castle? Is he expecting you to be Suzy Homemaker? Are you expecting your man to spend a considerable amount of time at home? Or do you encourage him to still hang with his boys on a regular? Are you all faithful churchgoers? Are you expecting him to help you raise your kids? These issues seem simple enough, but not disclosing your expectations of your man (and his expectations of you) could be a fatal misstep in your relationship.

While some of us independent women chime on about not needing a man, I don’t buy it. You might not need a man, but it certainly is nice to have one. And, if you’re going to have one, why not try to make it long-lasting? Communication and disclosing expectations will save you lots of time and heartache on your quest for your King.

My safest haven

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Words cannot express how light and unchained I feel when I am near the ocean. Not just at the beach – but actually on the shore of a huge body of water. No, I am not a world class swimmer. I’m not even a flapper or paddler, or whatever they call the toddlers who learn to swim at the YMCA.

Being on the shore of a body of water is where I find my peace. As I searched through blogs to use a model for this site, I saw several with “bucket lists.” I’ll be honest, I had no clue what a bucket list was at first. As I read the entries, it became clear to me that I needed one.

Stay tuned for my complete bucket list. It’s going to take me some time to compile a worthy list. If you’ve read anything about me so far, you can be certain that a comprehensive manifesto of theatrical performances will be included. But, seeing all the oceanshores is a must.

I’m an active, working, single mother devoted to the development and character-shaping of my sons, aged 15 and 9. While I am eager to drag them across the country to see all the great shores America has to offer, I am not quite ready to offer international trips with them in tow. My international oceanshore tour will be with my best friend and mate, who is a single, working father.

So far, we have ventured to the Emerald Coast and, separately, I have enjoyed the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. I look forward to those trips and cannot wait to post pictures here.

Emerald Coast

When I get to a beach, I float to the edge of the shore and stare at the ocean in awe. I never want to leave. I walk the shore, pick seashells and cast all of my worries and concerns into the ocean. Nothing beats sitting in the sand in a crossed-leg meditation posture with my eyes closed as I listen to the waves gently play hide and seek with my toes. Nothing is wrong in the world when I sit at a shoreline. It is my place of solace.

Santa Monica Pier

Peace and blessings,

inspired heiress