Archive for October, 2012

The End of October! ~Venus

Hey everyone! It’s funny that this is the last day of October and I’m doing my 2nd post for the month. o_O  Anyone that knows me  know that I’m random especially with my thinking so this post is going to be a little scattered. Anyway my radical moment for this month was applying to a job and finishing my application w/ Americorps. I did that last week.  My friends were really supportive and gave me a deadline of when to have it done. The deadline was last Friday. My friends have been really “on me” about applying for jobs. I haven’t been on top of that goal as much as I should have been. However, I’m glad that my friends really pushed me and gave me a deadline. I’m going to be honest, w/o that deadline I probably wouldn’t have got my application done and applied to that job. Thanks to my HIS for giving me tough love!!! I love ya’ll!

Another thing that was very awesome for me was trying on bridesmaid dresses w/ my friends. One of my friends is getting married and it so surreal to be a part of the wedding planning process! The realization that I was going to be a bridesmaid actually set in when I went to the bridal shop. I know it might sound crazy..lol.. I never been a bridesmaid before or been to a bridal shop. I was like WOW this is what it feels like! lol!! I’m so happy that my friend is getting married next year! =)

So onto a personal story I would like to share. Last month many people remembered 9/11. I remember being at high school on that day in class just hearing about what happened. 9/11 was also the day of my grandmother Sarah’s funeral. I didn’t attend her funeral. I hate funerals and anything associated w/ death.  I remember one of my classmates asking me why I didn’t attend my grandma’s funeral..I was like I didn’t want to go..lol..To understand my reasonings I have to give more information. I moved to Alabama, Dec. 2000. Before I  moved to AL, I used to live in Mesquite, TX which 30 mins away from Dallas. I’m originally from Dallas, TX. My life in TX was a lot different. I grew up in the city in a mixed neighborhood. I was used to being around different kinds of people and being around my church family. My mom and I  attended church in Dallas. We attended Heartline Ministries (I have so many memories of that church).

My grandma always had health problems. My grandma had a massive stroke and heart attack. No one in the family could take care of her so my mom decided  that we were going to move to AL. I remember being so pissed about it. I wasn’t happy because I was going to leave my friends and I would have to give up all my toys (lol). Our apts caught on fire I want to say in 1999. My mom and I just came back from visiting her family in AL.  I received a lot of Christmas presents that year. Many people from the community helped us out financially and gave all the kids presents.  We were able to get new furniture and clothes. I remember seeing a lot of motorcyclists with tons of items. I also remember the American Red Cross helping us out. We were able to move to another bldg in the apts we were living in. The apt bldg we lived in prior the new one, had smoke damage but none of our stuff got burned up. During the time of the fire, my mom and I went out to eat at Ryan’s I believe.

Back to the story, my mom moved to AL first and I stayed to in TX w/ her friends to finish the 1st half of my 8th grade year then I moved to TX.  We moved in my grandmother’s house. I went from living to the city to living in the country..Yeah it was completely different..lol..My grandmothers’ house was in a black community, something that I wasn’t used to. I also went to a black school in Tuskegee, again something I wasn’t used to. I was ahead of everybody else in my class education wise because the things that they were learning, I been learned that! lol. I’m not trying to brag or anything but Alabama is super slow okay! lol.

Anyway it took me a while to adjust to being a new state and being around my mom’s family. I never grew up with my mom’s family because we lived in another state. We visited AL from time to time. I also would visit my dad’s side of the family which I wasn’t used to. My mom and I took care of my grandma until she passed away. I watched my grandma lay in her bed (she was bedridden) and not being able to say anything really (besides moaning when she was in pain) since the stroke affected her speech. The stroke has affected her ability to walk.  I would help my mom feed my grandma by feeding tube, empty her pee pouch (I can’t think of the technical term lol), and change her diaper. My mom did most of the caretaking even though I helped. I remember my mom using the lifter to put my grandmother in her lazy chair so she wouldn’t be in the bed all the time. We also had a nurse that would come to the house to help w/ my grandma. It sucks when you have to see someone you love not being able to say anything and not move around. She was just “there”. I was at home when my grandmother passed away. I attended her wake (I cried like a baby) but I couldn’t bear the funeral so I didn’t go. My grandmother passed away Friday, Sept. 6, 2001 and again her funeral was on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. The funny thing is this year, the day she passed and the day we had her funeral were on the exact same days (on a Friday and a Tuesday). It took me a while to get over my grandmother’s death. I wish I could had been around her more. My older cousins grew up with her so they knew her better than I did. I knew that my grandmother loved me. She would always send me cards and when I would visit AL she was very nice to me. Most of the time when I did she her, she was sick. My grandma lived to 80 yrs old.

At the time that I was taking care of my grandma, I didn’t understand it. I was like why I have to move to AL. I hated AL so much. I couldn’t understand why I had to give up the comfortable life I had. I know all that sounds really selfish but I was around 13 when I moved so you have to understand my mindset. Now that I’m older, I understand the reason why we moved here. I understand now that you have to make sacrifices to take care of the ones you love. You don’t want to one day think of when your love one passed away, what you could have done to assist them. You have to do it while their living. I don’t regret taking care of my grandmother. However, I kind do wish my mom and I moved back to TX like after my grandma passed of course. lol.. I often think of what our life would had been like if we would had stayed in TX. I understand what caretakers go through to take care of their loved ones. Being a caretaker isn’t easy. It’s hard work! As a caretaker, you have to make some sacrifices to take care of someone else.  It’s no longer about you and how you feel. It’s about the person you’re taking care of. You have to make sure that they have everything they need and try your best to assist them with the tasks they can’t do themselves. God bless!

~Venus

P.S. I couldn’t think of a title for my post so hence the title..lol..

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The Inner Game of Faith Part 3~Audrey

Discussing the third chapter of The Inner Game of Faith by W. Timothy Gallwey and how it relates to horseback riding, faith, and my radical journey

Catch up here:

Quieting Self 1

In his book Gallwey likens tennis practice to baseball. Instead of being the player, you should be the umpire. The umpire is not biased. He has no emotional stake in a play. He just calls each play as he sees. Players have to do the same and not put negative or positive emotions in their plays.

As a horse back rider, I put an emotional value on everything. I couldn’t get Baba to do what I wanted? I would beat myself up and feel bad about myself. I had a break through in our trot or canter? I was on the moon. The emotion I felt that day dictated how well I practiced.

As I judged myself, I got to the point where I didn’t enjoy riding. It was a huge stressor in my life. But as I slowly pictured what I should look like, let go of judgment and moved with my gelding, riding became easier and fun. I let go of judgment that led to anger, displeasure, and frustration.

Gallwey says that Self 1 wants all the credit. It wants to brag about doing well. But faith in itself does not boast. Faith shouldn’t be about how we view ourselves as Christians in comparison to others. We should give up preconceived notion of what we should be, and let God mold us.

Walking with Jesus is an emotional experience so it is hard to removed emotional judgments of your actions. It’s not that we should remove emotions, but the judgment of how we measure up to anyone other than Christ. We cannot all be Mother Teresa nor should we be. God made us special with a specific purpose.

As I learn to trust Baba more, we accomplished more advanced skills. As I learn to trust God more, I walk down a more meaningful path. I have let go of comparing myself to other riders and Christians in order to motivate myself. I let God (and Baba) move me instead.

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In Limbo and Lost ~Venus

Hey everyone!! Have you ever been on a road trip or heading somewhere and then all of sudden you get lost? You where quite sure where you were going but then you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere and you end up being lost. You try to find your way to your destination. In the midst of finding your way, you become worried and stressed. You also become anxious of not getting to where you need to be on time. I say all that to say that that’s where am in my life. Hence, the name of this post.

I have to admit that I’ve been in limbo for a while now. It’s not a fun place to be! I’m trying to figure everything out in my life especially career wise. I’m afraid to take the “leap of faith” with applying to jobs (also learning I have to take the leap of faith with other areas in my life). I haven’t been on top of that goal as much as I should be. My HIS have been on me! I appreciate that ya’ll care so much to check on me to make sure I’m doing what I suppose to do! I’ve received a challenge from my friend Gem to finish my application for a job by the end of the week and apply to the job. I definitely want to prove to myself that I can do this! I know that applying to a job might sound so simple but it’s not that way for me. I have my fears…What if I apply to a job and I don’t get a call back? What if I get a call back for interview but don’t get the job? What if I get the job and I don’t have transportation to the job? What if I don’t have the experience for the job? I know a lot of questions right? This is how I think..lol..I’m an OVERTHINKER!

Last year, God revealed a little bit of my purpose to me. I really want to know what the rest of my purpose is. I feel lost because I don’t know all of it. I don’t want to spend my life doing a job that I hate/dislike. I want to do something that I love that is in my field. It seems like when God talks to me, he talks to me in bit and pieces. It’s like getting puzzle piece to a bigger puzzle. I get frustrated with God sometimes {GASP! lol!} I be like God can you please let me know SOMETHING, ANYTHING! LOL! Someone told me that teachers don’t talk to you during your test. In the way that teachers do that, God also does the same when you’re going through your test. It’s after the test he will talk to you. Yeah marinate on that..lol..That was so deep right? lol!

I guess you can say I’m also in my limbo when it comes to romantic relationships. I had a guy asked me out on a date a 2 weeks ago via text. First, that’s a turn off for me  (lol)  but anyway I told him I would get back with him about it. He asked me out on a Wednesday. I contacted him on that Thursday (the following day he asked me out) to let him know that I would go out on a date with him and I let him know my availability. I also contacted him again the day after that (that Friday), no response. I didn’t hear back from him until two days later (that Saturday) another turn off. lol! He told me why he didn’t get back to me the day I contacted him. He told me that he was in the process of moving and that he has been busy. So after that I decided to give him a 2nd chance and be understanding. Last week I talked to him a little bit, I contacted him  a few days ago to let him know when I was available to go on date on last Friday. I haven’t heard back from  the dude. So in my mind NEXT! lol! I’m sorry I don’t have time for foolishness right now. If I contact a guy to let him know when I’m available, I expect to be contacted the same day or within 24 hrs. I don’t have time for games and for people who aren’t consistent. My time is important! I bet he is going contact me before the month is out and be like I’m so sorry blah blah. Dude already has 2 strikes. 3 strikes and he is out! lol. I know that might sound mean but I know what I want and again I don’t have the time. I sure don’t have the patience for this mess. lol!

I’m trying my best to be open towards dating..lol..I know I’m a piece of work lol! I know right now that I’m not ready for a relationship. I just want to chill and work on myself. However, I do want to get to know a guy that I’m interested in or may have interest in me. I’m learning to take the time to really get to know someone before I make any moves. Also to pray about getting into a relationship with anyone instead of “jumping in” based on emotions. Please keep me in your prayers! Much love and God bless!

~Venus

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Everything I Do, I Do It for You~Audrey

As part of my Radical 7even goals, I’ve endeavored to read the Bible and another spiritual/devotional book each day. I just finished Finding a Treasure: 101 Devotions for Parents of Special Children by Tracy Breland. Even though I’m not a parent, I figured the book would enlighten me in my career working with children with disabilities. While many entries touched my heart and changed how I looked at the children I worked with, it was “Write it Down” that affected me the most.
In this devotion, Breland discusses the ideas of writing down her thoughts and visions. She thought the same thing I have had: my thoughts aren’t profound or important enough to write them down. I didn’t want to write down my struggles; I didn’t want to remember them.
But Breland pointed out something I hadn’t stopped to think about: we aren’t writing for us, we are writing for Him. He loves our words, our emotions, our visions, or ideas. He wants us to share them with Him. He also wants us to share these with others-believers and non-believers alike. The point is to praise him and share our praises.
I write about what Radical 7even does for me. That’s just secondary. Radical 7even is for Him. And I’m getting so close to Him!!

Let this be recorded for future generations,
so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord.

Psalm 102:18

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Wisdom, Solomon, Queen of Sheba

This morning I had a chance to read the Bible. I’m currently in 2 Chronicles. I am making some progress on my goal to read the Bible, but haven’t made much progress on documenting scriptures to apply in my life. The story of Solomon is a great place to start. Here is a man whose dad was famous. His dad conquered so much. When it was time for Solomon to take his place as king, the Lord asked Solomon the desires of His heart. Solomon asked for wisdom… Not to be famous, not to be a greater warrior than his dad, not for wealth, but wisdom. What makes this so amazing is that this was really in his heart. Sometimes when God ask us what we desire, we say what we think God would like for us to say. But He knows our heart. He knows what is truly in our hearts. Because Solomon’s heart was pure, God blessed him with the wisdom he wanted and so much more. What’s really in your heart? I think it’s time for me to do a heart check.

Now, on to the second part. Queen of Sheba. I love this woman. Here is a woman, very influential woman. She realized that she needed something from Solomon, but she also recognized that she couldn’t go to him empty handed. She brought not only the finest things, but things she knew Solomon would not have. She blessed Solomon and Solomon blessed her. That’s what a relationship is. Many of us women desire a relationship, but rarely to we ever look at what we can bring to the table. Sometimes we are bringing things to the table, but are they good and rare valuables that he would cherish, or is it something he has experience before: baggage, drama, insecurities, etc. I have chosen to be single because I want to work on bringing something rare to the table. I want to be a complete woman in God. That takes time to develop. A few years ago, I asked God to take away the desire to be with a man so that I could work on me and figure out my purpose. He has granted that desire. Yes, there are times when I am like, oh I really like him, but God always says it is not time. I’m cool with that, but God is doing an amazing work in me that I could have never imagine.

Now to tie both stories together. When i was in high school, all i wanted to do was get married and have kids. Even my first two years of college, i was praying for a family of my own. After talking and dating a few guys, I realized i wasn’t prepared for marriage. Like Solomon, I asked God to keep me from guys that would distract me from His purpose for my life. In return, I have been blessed with so many opportunities to grow as a woman. I have discovered many hidden talents that I never knew I had, conquered a few fears about my life, and have taken many adventures I would have never taken. In doing this, I hope that I am preparing to bring something rare to my soulmate. I have no intentions of getting married anytime soon, but I am grateful to have many examples of marriages in my life. From those planning to get married to those who have been married for over 50 years. It has given me a great framework to study and learn from. Thank you. Well I have to get back to work. Be blessed everyone!

Getting my Queen of Sheba on,

Bey

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My Son From Another Mother-Renee

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Hey world!

I just wanted to update everyone on my goals. So far…so good. I have been getting Daniel out of the house more we both have been more active. I have been doing the kickboxing dvd once a week (not as good as I’d like), but I do other exercise coupled with that. I have been working on my “out of love” goal and trying to see others as God would. I had a very emotional conversation with the person I talked about in my previous post and I did extremely well, instead of using emotions to build walls I allowed myself to leave the door open for whenever this person decides to want to really be involved in my life.

Radical Moment: I began dating the love of my life 8 months ago. We have been friends for well over six years and during that time we became extremely close, but I was hesitant to cross that friendship barrier. Letting go of my “list” was extremely difficult for me and one of the things on my list was a man with no kids LOL I know it sounds hypocritical, but when a woman has a child the father may or may not be involved, but if a man has a child then the woman is 99.999% involved. SO when dating a man with child(ren) there will be the involvement of another parent. That was something that really scared me, i’ve heard horror stories about co-parenting situations and didn’t want that, BUT God’s plans are always better than our own. My love has a son that is exactly one month and ten days older than my son. Daniel and he love playing and running and just being together. BUT it is different to have a child that is not biological yours and to fall in love with him. See when you date someone that has a child you need not only fall in love with him, but the child as well. The two are a packaged deal. The blending of two families can be complicated, but through prayer and patience it is something that is beautiful. I mean a child can never have too many people that love and care about them and want their best interest. I’m thankful that Daniel has both his biological father and my love in his life; it has been a godsend. I would have missed out on so much had I decided to not get on this journey I would have missed out on loving an incredible kid and missed out on learning how to compromise. My life is now filled with conversations of trucks, Thomas the train and Spiderman and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Co-parenting between Daniel’s father and I has changed for the better as well and I credit no one but my Heavenly Father. I know for sure had I not had my son Daniel I would not be in my relationship now. Having to work with someone else for the betterment of your child can be tough there were days when I questioned if it was all worth it, BUT if I didn’t have that glue (i.e Daniel) I wouldn’t have worked on anything that I needed to. My patience,understanding and even long suffering grew out of my co-parenting relationship…and wouldn’t you know those are the keys for any long-term successful relationship. I didn’t see it then, but oh I see God’s plan now. I needed the humbling of not always “knowing what’s best”. Before I was the “cut em loose” girl, not going like I want it to, cut em loose LOL so I didn’t have many long term relationships. Being forced to work on a relationship I wasn’t romantically invested in helped cultivate me into a woman that would be ready for a romantic relationship.  Basically, I am saying: allow God’s plan to unfold it is a beautiful thing to watch

Eyes on the Prize

Renee`

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Better late than never. ;D *Kelly

 

Bi-monthly goals review:

1) Social: I will strengthen my relationships with others.

I’m doing a great job with keeping up with facebook lol. I occasionally message/text. I haven’t had an authentic phone conversation or written a letter as planned. I didn’t even get around to writing my HIS blog last week. This is assuredly an area for improvement.

2) Emotional: Disengage in fruitless efforts.

I find that my work is more efficient now that I’m focusing on the important tasks. I do what I need to get done in order to keep myself on track with deadlines. My ‘others first’ attitude is not something I want to lose, but there is an appropriate time and place for it. For example, I am not going out of my way to say… visit a parent in jail after they avoided me for 3 weeks prior to being locked up. I know this hypothetical person would like a letter for the judge. They’re not getting it. I have other things to do—like helping ensure the children are safe and have everything they need.

3) Spiritualspiritual: I will find a new home church with my new family.

I just realized I missed an opportunity to try the church down the road today. Last week Nathan thought of it, but an hour too late. It is easy to lose track with the baby and Nathan being sick and all. I’ll wish myself better luck on this goal next week.

4) Environmental: Garden for food.

Composting is fun! I love that all my veggie trimmings are no longer going to landfills. I have a system of giving the compost to Nathan and he’ll add it to Pam’s bin. At some point this week I need to add a layer of dry stuff (like leaves), buy some worms to toss in, add water, and aerate it with a pitchfork. Well, I’ll put the worms in after I’m done with the pitchfork out of consideration lol. It’s gross, but my plants will thank me later. I’ve been good about watering them every day, or asking for someone to help me do it if I’m too busy. Cooking with my fresh herbs is so tasty! The kumquats are getting big and starting to turn yellowish. I also added sorrel –a leafy herb that tastes just like a sweet lemon. I’m going to grill fish with it when it gets bigger. J I’m rocking the socks off of this goal.

5) Occupational: Find a balance between work and family life.

Coming home at 5pm every day is not going to happen. I have too much going on, and get way more work done when I’m alone at the office. It’s the perfect time for me to zone out of socializing—which I love—and delve into my to-do list. The balance I’m finding is just to block off Saturday for pure family time. I had the best time with Elias yesterday. I was the only one caring for him, and we bonded even more. I could already feel the difference. I love him the same, but actually spending a whole day with him has helped me understand all of his little noises, needs, and cuddles all the more.  I am BLESSED.

6) Intellectual: Increase my understanding of topics pertinent to my counseling interests.

Ha! Maybe if I had some of those books you can listen to on an IPod.  I have zero time for reading. This was not a well thought out goal.

7) Physical: Be mindful of what I consume.

This is going well, aside from the little candy bars at work. They are so hard to resist when the coffee energy wanes. I must be strong lol. In related news, I lost a few pounds since I started Warrior Yoga with Bob from the Biggest Loser. It is intense, but Kim and I have a fun time pushing ourselves and mastering new poses.

In other news:

The gestational surrogacy idea has become a reality. I’m still in the first stages of paperwork and such. There are still many things that could go awry, but I’m hoping everything keeps going well. I found a couple that I adore and will be amazing parents. One dad-to-be is a doctor and the other will be a stay-at-home dad. They live in Miami and have a wonderful family full of children they have helped raise. They are at a great place in their lives to expand their family, and I am happy to have found a couple I mesh with so well. I know it sounds strange, but I am excited to be pregnant again. I will not reveal any identifying information about this couple, as this is a private matter for them I’m sure. I just want to include everyone in on this experience as much as possible. I feel blessed and am glad to be in a position to give this couple something so very meaningful. I get to help create 2 families—mine and someone else’s. I can’t get over how amazing gestational surrogacy is. Just to clarify that is someone else’s biological baby that I get to carry. Science is incredible. Anyway, I must conclude this post before my chubby little man awakes. His afternoon naps aren’t usually more than an hour (for me).

Much love to all!

-Kelly

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