about me · Personal essays

Maintain – My 2018

I follow a few bloggers who have declared a word for their year. I cannot recall what my word may have been last year, but this year it came to me quite quickly – MAINTAIN!

Here’s the story: Every new year brings this euphoric high. Of course, armed with this feeling, I was wondering how could I keep or maintain this attitude all year long. What helped with this belief was an Instagram post by one of my favorite bloggers/vloggers, @askproy, where she is doing #askproyselfloveproject. For January, she has encouraged her followers to post a selfie and attach a positive affirmation (I have yet to post my selfie). On this day, January 2nd, her statement was: I have come this far & I can keep going. She goes on to describe how we all make goals at the top of the year and then give up. She instructs to just take a moment, day, week, etc. at a time. My response was: My goal for this year is to keep this feeling all year long! And that’s when it hit me, the song lyrics of Jonathan McReynolds, Lord, Help me MAINTAIN!

Per my google search, Maintain is defined as:

  1. cause or enable (a condition or state of affairs) to continue
    1. It is my utmost desire to stay high all 365 (it’s already been a struggle!)
  2. provide with necessities for life or existence
    1. This is all God! But it also ties into a new venture I am exploring as well! WIN-WIN
  3. state something strongly to be the case; assert
    1. Now this one, it does not automatically come to mind when I think of maintain, but I declare/assert/affirm/avow/profess/claim/allege/contend with the notion that I will remain optimistic and motivated all year long.

But my visit to the hospital for some tests provided me with a 2nd word for 2018: HOPE. I was reminded that my God can use anyone at anytime to confirm something He planted in you. Words have power and actions carry weight.

I am moving confidently in my faith.

This is my scripture for the year: Psalm 16:5 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion, my cup; You hold and maintain my lot.

I’m in a zone. Lord, Help me Maintain…


Give Love. Get Love.


Personal essays

The New New

January 1st signifies a newness. But as time ticks on, some people have begun to avoid the cliche’: “new year, new me” or even ignore new year’s resolutions. For most, before the 1st quarter is over, the resolutions have dissolved and old habits have resurfaced. Some, like myself, have tried to work on or plan for those January resolutions in November or December in order for maximum success. For me, I have tried not to fall into the same old mindset. However, I am realizing that there is absolutely nothing wrong with using January 1st to start all over again. It’s a new day, a month, a new year that has never been seen before. The wisdom comes in planning:

  • I can create a new path to wellness in January but I need to plan for whichever I decide to follow.

Thinking about yoga + pilates, combined with some weight training. However, water aerobics would be the bee’s knees!

  • I can create a have aspirations for my blog but I must plan and schedule my posts.

My blogger/writing guru, Javacia Harris Bowser of See Jane Write has offered this as a guide for her Janes!

  • I can desire to a better steward of my time, talent, and treasure but I must apply discipline.

The Parable told in Matthew 25:14-40 paints a descriptive picture of what we are required to do with what God has placed in our hands until He returns.

Overall, I am very excited about 2018. I have enjoyed my Christmas break. I have lounged and ate and thought and planned and ate and slept and laughed and lounged. All of that served me quite well. However, I am ready to move forward guided by wisdom and led by love.

Give Love. Get Love.

Cheers to 2018!



Gifting from the Heart – Parents edition

With 7 days left until Christmas, I am updating this post from last month targeted towards a specific group – PARENTS!

If your home is already overrun with toys (see yesterday’s post )and you know your child will not be excited about any piece of clothing, consider these options:

  • Create experiences!
    • Ask relatives for memberships to local museums, like the McWane Science Center, or to the Zoo, or even play experiences such as Kindermusik, ArtPlay at UAB
    • Download/print the upcoming schedule of your local event arena and allow your child to select a performance.
    • Plan a road trip or your child’s 1st train/plane trip. You can include your child in the planning process by allowing them to pick stops or attractions. They can also help save towards the trip (a lesson in responsibility and delayed gratification 😉).
    • Take your child to their favorite restaurant or play spot. If you are a parent of multiples, spread this treat through your Christmas break with each child.
  • Participate in Random Act of Kindness
    • distribute socks and toiletries to the homeless
    • distribute homemade Christmas cards at a local assisted living facility
    • give old/gently used books to your pediatrician’s office
    • donate coloring books and crayons to a children’s hospital
    • offer a homecooked meal to a family spending the holidays in your local Ronald McDonald House

However, if you feel that your child deserves a toy or something tangible to unwrap Christmas morning, how about

  • if your child is in preschool, ask your child’s teacher if there is a toy your child prefers or plays with daily
  • choose toys that they can grow into such as magnetic tiles, legos, building blocks (search for patterns online for your child to attempt)
  • board games (they allow for not only teaching experiences but also help create family memories)
  • invest in your child’s interest (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)
    • voice lessons
    • acting classes
    • joining a team sport

Again, make Christmas more about the giving. We are all given the gift of Jesus, God’s son. He’s the reason we celebrate so in that spirit, show your children how to express that same level love, beginning in your home, and spreading it everywhere they go.

Give Love. Get Love.



Gifting and Re-gifting

We live in a day where technology has become a daily necessity and in some cases, an obsession. Toddlers know how to how to talk selfies and/text. People neglect the simplicity of just talking. But this is not an anti-technology rant but an awareness of the importance of appreciating each other and the things we currently possess. Because tomorrow is not promised, each day should be treated as a gift. That is a lesson that our children need to obtain, especially during this time of year where getting is emphasized over giving.

I read something – either a blog post or a meme – about giving each time you get. It was stated that each time you purchase something, that you should give or get rid of something. So when you buy a new purse or a new pair of jeans, you have probably just replaced a purse you no longer carry or a pair of jeans you no longer wear. I have done my best to abide by that principle because it makes so much sense to me. As much as I would love to have variety and options in my wardrobe, I lean to the comfy and the black or neutrals. My fashion instinct tells me that I should always bet on black when I dare to venture into color!! So, unfortunately, those pops of color usually end up in my “give” pile. This will definitely apply to your children!

First, it is always best to rotate toys, particularly for children 5 years and younger. “Out of sight, out of mind.” Presents that are opened for Christmas or a birthday can be divided and stored for a later day. Even those toys that don’t pop with your aesthetic, can be passed along.

Second, depending on the age of your child, you can sort through those old toys yourself or make it Saturday morning project, and decide which toys can be given to a family that cannot afford toys. Or the toys can be given to a friend that has younger children. Either way, the point is to give.

  • Children 2 and younger – just sort and bag.
  • Children 3 and up – I would involve them in the process explaining to them that there are those, the same age as them, that are not able to celebrate in the same manner. Children are able to understand lending a helping hand especially if it is taught. Do not underestimate their abilities to comprehend.

Aside from wanting to make room for the incoming, the lesson “tis better to give than receive” for the attitude towards the outgoing. Children need to be taught the appreciate the feeling that comes when you are able to give. If they can embrace this principle, they can spread the love that the world needs.

Use a few days over the Christmas break to create a new tradition. Allow your children to be the change you want to see in the world.

Give Love. Get Love.

about me


Alright, so I am a day behind on my 30 days of blogging commitment. But today’s post is the theme from day 3 of allthemanylayers writing challenge: over too soon.

When I read this day, I really thought about skipping it but I think I can write with full honesty and share about a recent event that I am confident was over too soon.

I completed a week-long medically mandated bed rest on Thursday. I did all the right things to make sure I would arrive to work on time but failed (but did not feel like a failure). The failure came with me thinking I could handle going from very little activity to a great amount activity. I usually push my recovery from any and everything but I forced myself to stay in bed a few days. Thursday was a shock to my system and to my entire being. As much as I hate to admit it, my bed rest was over way too soon.

There is such as thing as too much rest and I truly thought a week would be too much rest to recover from a virus. I underestimated the demands of my job and the state of my body. Over way too soon…


Give Love. Get Love.

about me · Personal essays · Self Love

Let Go

I went to bed last night full of hope. I got some exciting news from a close friend. She and her husband had been praying all year and believing God for a laundry list of things to happen. Last night she shared how many things had been crossed off, but the biggest prayer request had been answered, and I am thrilled.

So last night I laid in bed, trying to clear my mind for a great night’s sleep. I am returning to work today after being placed on bed rest. For the 1st time ever in life, I was forced to just rest. I have had recovery time from surgery, but this was not the same for me. I was being forced into 7 days of rest. It seemed promising but not as natural as I thought it would be. Nonetheless, last night, my prayer was to sleep sounding but awake on time, hearing my alarm. There was a noise in the middle of the night that seemed as if someone was preparing to enter my room. My doorknob jiggled. I waited to see who chose to disturb my sleep but thought if it was a spirit or something ungodly, I decided to prayed my voice to yell, “Jesus!” but I just went back to sleep.

I promised myself I would not be late for work and my current formula for that is to wake up earlier. (I am in the process of changing this idea of me ALWAYS being late.) I found myself hearing a rustle and felt my body slowly exit sleep and begin to wonder the time. I searched for my clock/alarm, hitting the button on the slide. My phone died. The idea of that seems so laughable because out of all mornings, I need my alarm. I was wrong in thinking my cord had hit the floor. Somehow, some weird way, my charger, and the phone had separate during the night. It was laying on the bed near my phone. I plugged it in, thinking it was around 330. It was 4:59 am. At that moment, I sat up and thanked God for loving me enough to wake me right when I needed it.

Two nights ago, I laid in bed thinking that maybe I had not been praying enough or listening to God closely enough or just making time to be still and learn how to wait. This morning, He lovingly and gently reassured me that He’s here, He’s listening, and I know how to hear His voice. It was a moment of reassurance that I could not have planned but desperately needed.

This was the 1st morning I attempted to meditate. My heart full of gratitude demanded a Selah – a moment to pause and quietly reflect. As I cleared my mind, a song played in my ears. I tried to remove it from my thoughts, but my spirit said, “Listen to the words. Listen to what you have been declaring. Listen to what you have been putting power to. Listen to what to what you have placed in the atmosphere.” So I allowed, “We are desperate, we are waiting for You, Lord. Have Your Way” to play in my head. This morning served as a reminder that I need to let God have his way. Not just sing about it but believe it, trust it and do it.

Give Love. Get Love.

about me


November has presented herself in such lady-like fashion, and I’m here for it!

For the past several years, an old friend yet quite accomplished blogger/writer/boss babe, Javacia Harris Bowser, has established a community for women writers who have been given a 30-day challenge to #bloglikecrazy. I merely read about it last year. I had not created my blog yet and thought it very lofty to think I could even remotely tend to this blog for thirty whole days.

But I am here, and I am writing and challenging myself. I have found myself adopting a sense of failure. I realized that I rarely complete those things I commit to like eat healthy for a week, workout for 21 days, become vegan, learn to knit, etc. So this is something that I have mustered up the courage to accomplish. I need to practice. I want to become a freelance writer, and that cannot happen if I am not writing and providing content worth searching and being compensated for.

I am excited. I am nervous. I am so glad November is here. I am ready to finish 2017 so high and full of passion and hope. I am appreciative of Javacia for her consistently, as an example of her tribe of scribes.

I am not going to be intimidated by word count or readership. I am just going to embrace the craziness and do what I do….and I write.

November: Novem– Latin for nine (number of finality).


Give Love. Get Love.

about me

Gifting from the Heart

I have found a love for CRAFTING! Making things with my hands is a nice distraction! Pinterest has helped me find ways to turn my anxiety in trying to see my vision through coloring, gluing, pasting, and cutting while at the same time,  provide me a strong sense of pride as I stand back in awe of my creativity.

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Since I am not in a position to create as often as I would prefer, I love to support those who have mastered the art of handcrafted production. That’s when I turn to the world wide web because I specialize in gift-giving! The holidays are a perfect time to personalize your admiration for those you love. Uncommongoods.com is the perfect site for those specialty items that fit every member on that Christmas list! I also love a site that offers sustainable products because loving the earth is a gift in and of itself.

What drew me to their site was the picture of records/vinyl discs as bowls! I immediately knew I could find something for my extremely talented and gifted brother and sister-in-love! Whatever I choose from their unique selection of gifts for men* would work for either of them. I love being able to gift the unexpected, especially since my sister has had to come to grips with sharing the holiday with my nephew. They deserve gifts that speak to who they are as people and as a power couple who just happen to be great parents!

If your mom is like mine, shopping for her can be very tricky! Jewelry? My dad has that covered! Clothes? She handles that well all by herself. Keepsakes? Mementos? She really isn’t into those at all. Uncommongoods.com gives me the opportunity to present something to my mom that I can be proud of! Thankfully they offer an excellent assortment* for all the women in my family. I have yet to find a gift that I could custom create to suit her tastes but their recipe book is perfect because she has a very worn book of dishes passed down from my grandmother and my aunt.

Being the researcher I am, I was ecstatic to find out that this site could also assist me in shopping for my extended family. My One Love babies will always be within my circle of gratitude. Their parents trusted me and my efforts to open my childcare business. The one-of-a-kind array of Christmas gifts for children* will help me further express my appreciation. what-I-want-tags-for-kids-for-the-holidays I am certain I will be able to combine The Want, The Need, A Wear and A Read, somehow…

This gift-giving season will not be as stressful. Whatever I am not able to accomplish through the works of my hands will be done from the coziness of my bed. Yet, I don’t think anything will ever take away from searching catalogs and posting lists on my bedroom door.

Give Love. Get Love.

*affiliate link

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