Archive for September, 2012

My 2nd Post ~Venus

So this is my 2nd post for the month. I usually write my posts once a week but I haven’t been in the blog mood lately. I’ve been tired and overworked..lol..This post is going to be very random but it will compose of things that happened since I posted my goals for this year.I did my first job search last week! Woo hoo! I haven’t applied to any jobs yet but doing job search was my baby step. I know that I have to get on it w/ applying for jobs. I say my post radical moment this month was going on a trip to Birmingham. Birmingham is about 2 hrs from where I live.The trip to B-Ham was for the Founder’s Day weekend for my sorority (Sept. 21st-23rd). At first I was orginally going to go on the trip. I made preparations to finding people I could room with and finding a ride. One of my sorors (sorority sisters) created a Avon E-Party fundraiser for me so I could raise funds to go on the trip..Well one person only decided to buy something from the site. So due to that, I decided not to go on the trip.

Ok second time around, I decided to go on trip they tried to made it more affordable for the sorors to attend. So I was like ok, I’m going to try to go. So I began trying to find a ride and someone I could room w/ at the hotel again. Well the ride situation really didn’t work out..I had a ride to B-Ham only if I could find a ride to Montgomery..I couldn’t find a ride to the Gump. I ended up finding ppl I could room with. I was going to use the money from my savings to go on the trip. However, when I wrote down the cost of everything, I realized I didn’t have enough money to go so I decided not to go on the trip. The funny thing about the hotel room situation,  is that everyone that I originally roomed with dropped out of the room and there was 1 only person left. Me and her was going to room together but we decided not to because we didn’t have enough money to share a room together.

Ok last time around, I asked one of my sorors if she was going to go on the trip and if so, if I could  ride w/ her and room w/ her. Well she wasn’t sure if she was going to go to B-Ham or not but she told me is she was going to go, she was going go down that Friday and come back that Saturday. So on the Sept. 18th she called me and told me she was going to go.  I was like yes, praise the Lord! lol! So me, her, and one of the other sorors rode down to B-Ham and went to Founder’s Day weekend. I also would like to mention that when I heard the trip was more affordable, I put my time off request from work for that weekend. I told my manager I wasn’t going to go but then she (my soror) told me was going to go, I had to get my days back that I took off..lol..

On that Friday we had a meet/greet and went skating. I almost busted my butt  a few times trying to skate..lol! I haven’t skated in a while and I wasn’t expecting to not be a good skater..lol…On Saturday, we had 2 tours set up. One for 16th Street Baptist Church (1st tour)  and the Civil Rights Institute (2nd tour).  Later on that night was the banquet. I didn’t attend the 1st tour. However, I did attend the 2nd one. It was a walk through tour. There is so much history in B-Ham that I didn’t know. After the 2nd tour, we visited the gift shop and went to a jazz festival that was not too far from the place of the 2nd tour. The jazz festival was really nice! There were a lot of different vendors (food vendors, art vendors, jewelry vendors, and a hair product vendor).  After that we went to the hotel that our other sorors were staying at and hung out with them. We left around 4p.m. to come back. On that Sunday the agenda was to attend church and go to lunch afterwards. Of course I didn’t attend the events on Sunday because we left on Saturday.I really wish I could had attended the banquet  (also stay for the whole weekend) because I bought a dress to go to it. =( I’m glad that I was able to go to the trip.

I had so much fun and it was something I really needed!  I used the money out of my savings to go but it was affordable! I still  had money left in my savings account so I wasn’t wiped out if you know what I mean (don’t get it twisted, I’m not ballin lol). There were times when I was like “forget it” when trying to go. I was very discouraged at times because it was seemed like nothing was working out. So I’m glad that my soror and other soror decided to go! =)Sorry for the long book but I had to tell the whole story..lol..

OAS: Please pray for me as I dealing with a situation from my past. Last week, I ran into one exes and it started up emotions I thought was gone. Of course my Heavenly Inspired Sisters know the full story.God bless!  ~Venus

Just wanted to share this Empowermoments that touched me. The funny thing is that this message was written on the same day that  I ran into my ex-bf.  “Take It With a Grain of Salt–>http://empowermoments.org/2012/09/26/5218/

 

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Just Keep Swimming~Audrey

It’s been a rough two weeks for me. I made headway on some of my goals and then became so busy and tired that I dropped many. I haven’t started a savings account, my exercise routine started strong and then faltered. I have been house sitting, busy at work, and did overtime with a birthday party. I learned new information on my mom’s surgery: they are doing something new. They will cut open her abdomen, move her stomach over and fuse the vertebrae from the front. This will be less painful for her and quicken the recovery time. This is great for her, but scares me because it is new.

Last weekend I was very discouraged; my second year was already off to a bad start. I was letting God down, people at work down, and myself down.

On Sunday, I went with my family to see Finding Nemo in 3-D. As usual with Disney movies, I come out with a new sense of what life is about: in this instance, family and friends. I also reminded of a great motto that I needed: Just keep swimming.

In the movie, Dory sings it when she is faced with a challenge. Just keep swimming and you get through the worst challenges. Whether it is a dark chasm or fishing net, pushing forward can ensure you come out on the other side. So this week I faced challenges with my boss and being sick, but I just kept swimming. I ask my girls for prayers and moved forward the best way I knew how.

The Bible says it like this: “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” The passage from 2 Chronicles 15:7 embodies the same message: don’t give up, keep moving forward. This promise to us, that we will succeed if we try, is pure motivation. Sometimes we hit challenges but as long as we work through it, we will succeed. So I had a troubling week or two, I haven’t given up. I will continue to push on.

This week was a great week spiritually because I faced challenges and didn’t give up. I just kept swimming.

Here’s my promise to you: we will have bad weeks and days of non-motivation. But God promises to see you though.

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*BabySteps***/Kelly/*

Before I get to the juicy stuff, here is an update on my goals:

1) Being more social is going well. I’m keeping in touch with friends out of state a bit better. (baby steps) I’m more social at work, which is important for sanity reasons. It is much nicer being overworked in good company rather than getting in the zone and realizing I’ve been lonely all day. I’m so thankful for my fun, thoughtful co-workers.

2) This goal of disengaging from fruitless efforts has gone pretty well at work. I’ve stopped focusing on making my parents like me to the detriment of actually getting the job done. I still go the extra mile when parents are willing to meet me half-way, but I’ve stopped wasting my time. For example, I will give any parent a ride to rehab that needs transportation, but I will not spend an hour begging them to get clean for their kids. I’m focusing on the clients that want and are ready for help. So far I’m much more productive.

3) I did go to church once out of two possible times since my last post. It was wonderful. I really enjoyed getting out of the house as a family. The pastor at the Presbyterian Church in DeFuniak made me feel welcome. It is a potential home church for us.

4) I have a kumquat tree, two muscadine vines, basil, thyme, and parsley. This is a good start. 🙂 I’m also composting at Pam’s house. She has a really cool compost bin (if you are into that kind of thing). In a couple of months we should have good compost ready to use.

5) Not good at leaving work at work. I excel at leaving work late and using weekend time as well. I almost never include all the hours I work on my time sheets. I know they can’t pay me as much as I work. (safe zone–can’t be held against me)

6) I have a good book on how previous sexual abuse effects the birthing experience. It was recommended by my lactation consultant, whom I adore. I’m making my way through slowly but surely.

7) Done! I’m eating very healthy. Tonight I made a dairy and non-dairy lasagna, organic steak, and grilled shrimp for my family. Everyone loved it, or at least that’s what they told me! 😀

 

Onto the good stuff…

I’m having pretty radical thoughts in terms of something I’ve been seriously contemplating since my second trimester of pregnancy. Actually, it was Beyondai I’ll credit with first getting the thought process rolling. Back before I realized pregnancy is an incredible thing, I did not take my positive pregnancy test well at all. I complained and felt sorry for myself during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Beyondai reminded me in a wise, tough love approach, something along these lines, “Kelly you should be thankful because some women can’t have children. You are blessed. God would not give you more than you could bear.” I realized soon after how superficial and narrow-minded I was acting.

I have two women in my family who had issues having biological children. I won’t say who they are, but I can say I greatly admired their perseverance and love their bravery in pursuing the family they dreamed of. Now they are both happy parents: one through adoption and the other biologically. I also have quite a few friends that won’t be able to have children when they want to start families, because they are in same-sex relationships. It is ironic that I became pregnant so easily, but others who desperately want to have babies can’t sometimes. Not being able to have biological children may not seem like a big deal to some, but to those who dream of it,  not being able to have their biological children can be a heart-wrenching experience. Many couples, gay and straight, turn to gestational surrogates (some call them ‘angels’) to help them realize their dream.

This brings me to my current interest in becoming a gestational surrogate. I loved being pregnant and miss it dearly. I can’t imagine a more beautiful experience than helping give a baby to his or her loving, joyful parents for the first time. What a beautiful journey that is for some surrogates and parents. Of course you hear those horror stories about babies that are born like a business transaction, or surrogates who try to keep babies. There are awful examples of almost any endeavor. I have been reading many happy, success stories that I have found and that the other HIS girls have given me links to lately. It really can be an experience that creates not only a new family, but also lifelong friendships. That’s what I want.

So there we are… I’m in the early planning stages of becoming a gestational surrogate. Just to clarify this means the baby belongs to the parents genetically as well as legally. I would not be donating eggs or making a baby myself, but providing a safe, healthy place for someone else’s baby to grow.

This is a controversial topic I realize. I have gone into this with prayerful consideration. I pray every day this will work out only if it is meant to, and with the right parents. I’m following my girl Renee’s wise advise when she told me to follow as God directs. I get more excited and sure each day that this is perfect for me. Nathan is behind me 100%, as are my closest family and friends so far.

I don’t mind answering any questions anyone has. I do ask anyone who has something to say on the topic to be respectful, considering this is an intensely personal topic I’m putting out here for everyone to see. It’s awkward introducing such a personal decision online. At the same time I’m very excited to talk it over. It may take years before I find the right couple to help. In the meantime, I’ll keep praying. Pray with me when you remember. 🙂

Much love,

-Kelly

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It’s Elementary My Dear ~Danielle

Hey My Radicalnites!

Radical moment of the week: I went back to my old elementary school this week. I have a nephew who is in the first grade and who is having problems doing his work. I have to admit it was a blast from the past, to see old teachers, old classrooms, the old playground, some things have changed while others remained the same.

Visiting my nephew class gave me a refresher of things that are now for me second nature–things like counting by 10s, phonics, and punctuation marks. Hearing them blend sounds to make new words and learning new facts about their favorite zoo animals was fun to watch.

This week taught me that to go forward, you have to to back to the basics. For example, when my nephew got stumped on a word, I would get him to say each letter, The sound for each letter, then we blend each sound to make the word. The same goes for us, as Christians, when we get stumped by life’s trials and tribulations, we need not give up, instead we have to go to God’s word, pray, and believe. Blending our faith and God’s promises will always equal success.

Beauty sidenote:  So, I’ve been reading a lot of different magazines lately and I’ve come across this DIY beauty scrub that I wanted to share:
1 Tablespoon honey (dark, organic preferred)
1 Tablespoon sugar
–mix ingredients
This was called a facial scrub. I used it on ky face but I don’t really think it was a good idea to have that much sweetness that close to my tastebuds. I used it again on my feet, which I liked much better. My skin felt really soft and smooth.

Still Pushing with smoother feet,

Dani

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The Inner Game of Faith Part 1~Audrey

Every game is composed of two parts, an outer games and an inner game

So begins The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey. I got this book to help me with my nervousness while horse back riding. My brain is my own worst enemy. Gallwey’s book taught me to listen less to my brain and more to my body. It has helped with my riding position, nervousness, and lack of self-confidence. But I have also found that the method has helped me in every aspect of my life—especially my faith. I want to share with you these tools and how it has helped me as both a rider and a person of Christ.

Reflecting on the Mental Side of Faith

In the first chapter, Gallwey explains how he arrived at his theory of the Inner Game. He postulated that players get too much verbal instruction, so he gave a visual example and then watched his player. He noticed that, without saying a word, his player would change and adapt to the visual he had given them. Instead of being caught up in words, players were moving to a picture in their head.

This idea alone helped me in my horse back riding. My brain would spit out a million directions and I would be so caught up in those directions that I would get frustrated. I knew I wasn’t doing it perfectly and got nervous. As I started to visualize what my riding position should look like, my brain slowed down. I felt my body naturally sink into place. As my brain quit barking orders, I as able to relax and not stress out about being perfect. I now take instructions just from my teacher and visualize the things she tells me to change. This method has helped me tremendously.

Gallwey’s point is that we are often over instructed. Both by our teachers and by our selves. Our body knows what to do and, with a mental picture, the body can conform. This is true of faith as well. We are taught by priests, preachers, parents and Sunday school teachers, and everyone has their unique spin on the Gospel. We are given the right ways to live as a Christian from many different people and many different interpretations. Our brains swirl with too much information. But we have the perfect visualization to help us in our faith: Jesus Christ.

The Bible agrees: “The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith,” Galatians 3:24 While the laws are guides to teach us, we must shut our brains off. To do that we must visualize Christ and let our body move with his actions.

You know the feeling that athletes have hen they are “in the zone”? You have to be in the Faith Zone. You have to quiet your brain and let the Holy Spirit dictate what you do. To get in the Faith Zone, we have to let the Holy Spirit roam free

There is a simple trick I used to get into the Faith Zone. When face with a problem or a choice, I pray. I pray that God leads me to the right choice. Then what my gut tells me, I act on. God has not led me astray. Try this exercise out and see if it helps you. I will continue to share the techniques in the book as well as how they have helped me achieve radical things in my life.

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The Virtue of Paitence&Peace-Renee

This picture brings a smile to my face every time I see it.I love being a mother, I love my son and I love the journey that God has allowed us to be on together. 🙂

Why is this the beginning of my blog, because most of my “radical” moments over the past two weeks have dealt with my son. I took Daniel to the zoo for the first time this past weekend by MYSELF and boy was it an experience. Remember when I spoke about his irrational phobias they came out full swing at the zoo. All kind of new bugs and animals..he seemed excited until a bug flew near him and all Hades broke lose. He had a fit so much so I almost cut our journey short, because he was crying and screaming and really causing a scene. BUT God spoke to me in those moments, don’t allow what you think other people are saying or thinking alter you from teaching your son a valuable lesson. Things in life will be uncomfortable, scary and unnerving you can’t just kick, scream and run away from those challenges. If I were to take him home that’s what I would be saying to him; instead I said son, spiderman is not afraid of (insert fear here)..why are you afraid? You see just a few short weeks ago he became obsessed with all things spidey related. In fact, he constantly talks about spiderman now. So for me to mention spiderman to him was a reference point for being brave. After his meltdown I calmly showed him all the animals and the bugs that he thought might harm him. I told him that he was safe and that he should enjoy being in view of some awesome creatures..guess what happened? Once I took his focus off his fears and placed them on positive things he calmed down and actually enjoyed himself. BTW he loves the chimps and elephants 🙂

Every time I am with my son I feel God speaking to my Spirit. Remember I too have irrational fears and worries and it helps me to thank of God in that loving fashion of trying to take the fear and burden away. A situation might look one way in the natural, but that has nothing to do with what God is doing spiritually and once I let go and trust Him..all things will fall into place 🙂

Being calm and collected with Daniel when I was so close to losing my cool really focused on my out of love goal. If we are to do anything on this planet it should have a two-fold goal 1: To bring God glory and 2) to show His love..period those are the only two litmus tests needed to making any decision. Can what I do bring glory to God and how would this show His love? I am really focusing on this goal, because I believe it is the very essence of the Christian walk.   When I fear, i should ask the same question I asked of my son, but instead of saying Spiderman I will tell myself; Self Jesus did not fear (insert fear here) instead He gave it all to God.  Just change my focus. 🙂

I also did a new natural hair style so I have been doing awesome on a few goals…on the reading Bible goal..ugh not so much. I read everyday, but I haven’t actually read ALL the chapters I should have by now. So I think I will alter this goal a bit and say I will STUDY the Bible for a year. You can read all day and not fully get understanding. So my goal is now more knowledge based than actually quantity.

Renee`

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I Love it Much too Much ~Audrey

It’s one of those weeks where I had a post written and ready to post. But then I was inspired by something more timely. I did something radical last week, but to truly understand, you need a little background.

I love music. I have loved since I was a teenager. Music was the one thing that helped with my depression and pain. These days, even though I am more of a happy camper, I still love and depend on music to lift my mood. It can make a bad day better and can lessen my stress in most all situations. I have my favorite bands and artist and am very loyal to these people. They are like long distance friends.

One of my favorite bands is 100 Monkeys featuring the amazing Jackson Rathbone. I loved the eclectic style of their music and how much fun they were live. I attended many concerts, sharing the music with my closest friends and family. These nights were some of the most fun in my life. I got to meet the band, both swooning over Rathbone and later recovering to flirting. It was all great fun.

At work, I would put in my head phones and listen to “Orson Brawl” when I was stressed out by tasks. I would sing “Reaper” whenever I became nervous while riding. I used “Made of Gold” as an outlet of pain when I lost my dear Echo. My best friend and I are signing along in a live version of one of their CDs. And I got to meet one of the hunks I have drooled over.

Months ago I got the news that 100 Monkeys were loosing Rathbone and Jerad Anderson. But gossip quickly started. Anderson claimed he wasn’t leaving the band; he just taking a hiatus. Then when Rathbone was starting legal proceedings to make the band change their name more rumors started. But then the truth came out. The band had internal problems the whole time and people didn’t leave the band by their own choice. A new band was formed, Pink Fuzzy Animals but the drama didn’t stop there. That band continued to have issues while the 100 Monkeys Street Team and Fan Club basically went to war, airing out dirty laundry to the fans. In the end, I was tired of everyone and everything. I didn’t get into PFA. I had a hard time listening to 100 Monkeys music.

I don’t like change and never wanted to loose my band. Slowly, I started listening to the music again without sadness. Then last week I realized that I was ok. They were gone but not forgotten. I pulled the 100 Monkeys Street Team magnet off my car. I still share their music with others, wear my shirts, and still have all my posters up. But I can’t be in a street team for a band that does not exist. This was a radial moment for me, to let go.

When I posted on the fans pages, some fans were supportive. Others didn’t say directly say I was crazy, but they talked about how they would never take off their magnet yadda yadda yadda. While I do not tell other how to grieve, I know that there are not as far in the process as I am. I was saddened by the lack of acceptance. I am not leaving 100 Monkeys behind, I am just forward.

So I was radical and was able to see the truth about the band:  they were a great band whose music still makes me happy but no longer exist. The members all have other projects and it’s time to support those.

As for the rest of the week, I did well on several of my goals, getting into good patterns. So I’m working on goals and did something radial. I’m having a good week!

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