Category Archives: God

Death

It’s been a while since I’ve written… anything. Let me just be real. It’s been a while since I’ve done much of anything. I find victory in the fact that I’m still here, despite what I’ve been through.

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The past two years have been the hardest in my life. I went through a divorce that I wasn’t expecting and last night, I lost my grandmother. Death can come in many forms and quite honestly, I’m not wanting to see any more.

As a child, I spent so much of my time wishing I was grown so I wouldn’t have to do chores, stay at home, or follow 80 million rules. As an adult, all I want is the freedom of a child. I want to run around in the grass barefoot, to climb trees, and sit underneath the sun and watch the clouds all day. I want the opportunity to not be stressed or worry about the weight of the world on my shoulders… to not worry about failure, loss… to not worry about death, in whatever form it comes in.

As I lay here, waiting on the sun to rise, I think about my grandmother. How hard she worked in a yarn mill for decades. I think about her sense of humor, her quick wit, her no nonsense attitude. I think about her sweet potato pie that I used to love, her chicken dressing that I never got the recipe to, and how spending the night at her house meant fried chicken and rice for breakfast.

I think about my grandfather who is suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. I think about everything he and my grandmother went through together and in the end, nothing was left but their love for each other. I  think about how this disease could never be considered a gift except in that moment. 

Amist all these thoughts and feelings, I consider myself blessed. My grandmother helped raise me. It’s because of her that I am able to keep going in life. My strength, my determination, my witty sense of humor, it all is from her.

The last conversation I had with her was of her encouraging me to move on with my life after my divorce.  I saw how angry she was at what I was going through and I was glad because again, my grandma had my back and even now, I know that she always will.

Rest in peace, Grandma. I will always love you.

Stay

365 Grateful: Days 71-75?

So, how about I don’t know what day I’m on. This weekend has been hectic but, I’m grateful for the busyness.

Thursday, I had a photoshoot. I was inspired by roses (June’s flower) and Frida Kahlo. Hence, this awesomeness!

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Photographer: Rey Granger, http://www.jelaniphotography.com, granger.rey@gmail.com

I almost cried when I saw the pictures. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to see my vision come to fruition. (P.S. Video tutorial coming Thursday!)

Friday, I worked to get ready for a show on Saturday. I was thankful for my creativity and work ethic.

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Saturday was the show. I am thankful that I met some amazing people and it’s a natural high when people praise your work.

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Yesterday, I looked in my closet and a part of me that I thought was gone, reared her head. Next thing you know, this outfit made itself known.

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Then, I worked out with some buddies.

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AND I enjoyed this on the way home:

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Today, I’m back in the shop again. I have a headache now but, I’m grateful that I have work to be done. Thank God!

365 Grateful: Day 70

Man… today was eventful. I’m grateful that I got to do some things for myself.

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A little shopping…

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Some yoga…

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And this henna tattoo… even though I think it looks like a penis. Hey, I’m just saying.

I’m also grateful for life because right before my yoga class, there was a terrible accident that came a couple feet from my car.

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I’m standing right by my car here.

The car pictured flipped in the air and came down on the driver’s side. The other car involved did a 180 and hit a tree. Two people were involved. One is okay the other I assumed went to the hospital. Please pray for him.

Almost two hours later, they are still trying to get this car out of the ditch.

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I just pray the other guy is ok.

The silver lining…

  Today is day 68 of my “365 Grateful” challenge and although I will probably post later on what I’m grateful for today, I felt a need to explain why I decided to participate. 

I tried this challenge before, you know. I tried to “be” grateful even though my world, as I knew it, began to fall apart. I could blame it on the fact that I picked the word “fearless” for the year or the fact that I needed healing (who doesn’t?). Instead of placing blame, I decided to take ownership. 

Do you know how empowering it is to actually take ownership? There’s power in focusing on what you CAN do and not what you can’t. So, in the midst of the fall out, I made a decision. I was never going to be this unhealthy again.

Usually when we think of unhealthiness, we think of junk food, a lack of exercise, and maybe a lot of television. But, I’m not speaking of unhealthy in the physical sense. Recognizing that you are physically unhealthy is a lot easier that recognizing if you are unhealthy emotionally.

Not dealing with issues, acting like everything is okay, and reasoning that always makes it someone else’s fault, will lead you to being emotionally unhealthy. It’s a sneaky culprit because we are taught by our environment that confrontations have to be avoided and crying is weak. Even small children learn to place blame of someone else to avoid getting into trouble. 

So how do we become healthy? Make a decision. Make a decision to do the work. Make a decision to work on yourself. For me, it’s a lot of prayer, reading, self talk, counseling…and taking ownership. For you, it may be something completely different. 

What does this have to do with being grateful? Well, part of my self care is to focus on what was good In my day, even if I have a hard time finding it. I don’t always hit the mark but, I always try. So, if you see me say, “Today wasn’t such a good day…” or “Yeah, today kinda sucked…” know that I’m being honest but, the fact that I posted means that I am trying. I’m in the process of grieving and it can be a lot sometimes. 

I wrote this post to encourage you. Work at seeing the silver lining. Work at being grateful for everything. Even the bad that occurs in your life is there to serve you. What is it that you can learn from it? 

Keep your chins up, your chests out, and conquer the friggin day!

Until next time…

Shine!

365 Grateful: Days 61, 62 & 63

So… Monday, I was grateful for food….a bunch of food. And this banana pudding…

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… which gave me my entire life! (Picture taken from my friend, Natasha’s Facebook page.)

Yesterday, I was grateful for routine. Sometimes, we take that for granted. No picture needed here.

Today, I’m grateful that I don’t let problems defeat me. My son broke the lawn mower a week ago and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. This afternoon, I went into the garage determined to figure it out. Needless to say, the lawn mower is fixed. Now, if only this rain would stop so we can cut the grass.

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365 Grateful: Day 59 & 60

Yesterday, I danced for the first time in over a year. Going forth had become to painful to me but, I was intentional about dancing in spite of. I’m glad I did. I feel better because of it.

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(I stole this pic from my friend Michael Green’s Facebook page. I’m on the left.)

Today, I again went outside my comfort zone and went to the Hot Air Balloon Festival here. Although we didn’t see or ride in the balloons as we’d hoped, we enjoyed festival food, spoke to some amazing local artists and enjoyed being hippies for the day. Meet my friend, Britney.

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365 Grateful: Day 58

Today, I’m grateful for work. I know that sounds crazy but, I’ve realized throughout painful realities in my life that change will require two things: pain and work. I’ve felt and dealt with the pain. To be honest, I’m still dealing but, now it’s time to put the work in.

If I want to be successful, I have to work at being a person who has the integrity and wherewithal to handle success. If I want love, I have to work to be lovable and loving. If I want to be disciplined, I have to work at sacrificing what needs to be sacrificed in order for discipline to occur.

Nothing in life worth having, is not worth working hard for… or something like that.

(No picture needed.)

365 Grateful: Day 57 (late)

Today (yesterday, again), I’m grateful that God has given me perspective. For so much of my life, I have felt tossed and driven by other people’s opinions, other people’s desires, and my innate desire for a happiness that I’ve never been able to obtain.

Today, I take my power back. That power that God gives you at birth to choose Him. That power that you have to stand square footed against the enemy and say, “If my God is for me, what is the world against me?”

I don’t have to figure anything out or feel guilty because I can’t do or be what others want me to do or be. I can even let go of the guilt that I’ve placed on myself to be perfect…a goal that I’m obviously falling very short of.

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I can simply stay in this moment, take this breath, shed this tear, and live.

365 Grateful: Days 44-51

Yup…it’s been rough out here in these streets BUT, I am still here. I gotta be honest, I haven’t been grateful most of these days. I am, however, grateful for the following:

 
My lillies. They are finally blooming.

   

My art…for giving me something else to focus on.

  

My son…because he reminds me of what I’ve done right.

  

My business…for giving me purpose.

 
 My art room…because I’ve finally cleaned it and it’s my escape.

I’m still here‚Ķstanding.

Have you ever gone through something that you just knew was going to take you out of here? Something that is so hard, so painful that you don’t know how to move forward from it? That’s where I am.

I try very hard to press past my pain and keep one foot in front of the other but, I just can’t right now. Most of the time, all I want to do is get back into my bed, pull the covers over my head, go to sleep, and pray that when I wake up, this will all have passed. That’s what I want to do but, I just can’t.

There are people and things in my life that demand my attention. It’s probably better that way. I have something other than myself to focus on.

In the midst of all of this, there’s this little flicker of hope that still dwells within me. If you were to take a look at my situation, I shouldn’t have any hope. I feel crazy, stupid even for looking for a light at the end what seems to be a perpetual tunnel. Even still, it’s there. This little voice that is sweetly saying, “Don’t give up.”

Trust me. I’ve given up before, a couple times. I walked away and justified it by blaming other people or saying that it was too hard. Giving up is always easier than just standing.

Standing still and seeing God fight on your behalf is hard to do. Our natural instincts scream “fight or flight” and standing is neither. Sometimes, we have to go against what our desire is and just be obedient.

I’m not sure what God has in store for me. I don’t know why what happened, happened. What I do know is that I’m still here and that means there’s still something for me to do.