Archive for August, 2013

Last Day of August ~Venus

Hello everyone! So my plan was to post the awesome pics that I took of food that I cooked but for some reason, I’m not able to do so. =( I sent pics from my phone to my e-mail but my computer won’t let me save them as pictures, instead they are showing up as links. I don’t know why. Once I figure the whole picture situation out, I will post them. =) Anywho, I can’t believe today is the last day of this month! Crazy right? I went through a lot this month. I was laid off from work for 2 weeks (towards the end of July). I received my final paycheck for the summer at the beginning of the month. I returned back to work on August 10th. August 10th was also my birthday and I turned 26 yrs old. I didn’t do anything special. I bought myself icecream cupcakes from Winn Dixie.

On August 9th, I received a gift card from my apartments so I was really happy to receive that! Also on the 9th, I went to my job’s orientation. At the beginning of this month, “Wale” and I stopped talking which made me sad. The roughest week I had this month was the week of August 11th because I was super stressed out. I walked to work that whole week. One of those days, someone I knew gave me a ride to work half of the way from where I was walking. It rained a lot and I remember one day I got soaked in the rain even though I had my umbrella. On the days that I walk to work, I wake up two hours before my shift starts. The first hour I eat and get ready for work. The second hour I walk to work. It takes me 45 minutes to walk to work usually. It’s not fun walking to work in the sun, the rain, or when it’s cold. I walk to work when the transit bus is not running. The transit bus, the public bus (they are two different buses), and the night shuttle are my main modes of transportation.

August 14th was the deadline of the scholarship that I’m the director of for my sorority. I’ve been working hard all summer to promote My bills were due back to back that week and the following week (August 18th). I had to use the money that I had from my savings to pay my bills because I didn’t have a lot of money in my account. By the end of the week, I was out of it. I went to a Purity Ceremony for the Pink Tourmaline program of my sorority on that Friday (August 16th) w/ my soror that lives in my area. The funny thing is that she asked me if I wanted to go to the event and my brain was stuck on the things I had to do on Saturday..Smh! It took a while for me to realize that she was talking about Friday and not Saturday.

Someone blessed me (by paying my way which was $5) w/ a online session for a women’s conference on that Saturday. I basically had to create an account on a website and then watch the conference online. The session I watched was called “Running of Faith w/ E Resources”. Boy, did I need that word!The E stands for empty. The message in a nutshell was how we should have faith despite of how things look like and trust God. I got a cold on last Saturday and I still have a cold! =( I hope that my cold be over by next week! A few radical things that I did this month was cook enchiladas for the 1st time, fajitas for the 1st time, and BBQ meatballs! I also ate/bought icecream cupcakes which I talked about earlier in the blog. I’m planning my best friend’s baby shower. It’s in November. My friend “Candy” visited me twice this month. It was so happy that she visited me! My best friend “K” also spent the night w/ me one night. =) I always be happy when people visit me because I hardly have any visitors. I also met w/ my mentor at the beginning of this month. I joined a new ministry called We are the Standard of Excellence! God bless!

~Venus

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Bye-bye-bye: Renee`

Well..it’s that time of year again…the Rad7even review. I would like to say that this year was the year of release for me. I let a lot of things go this year (people, places and things) and I am feeling much lighter as I enter this third year. Releasing can be very painful. I cried an awful lot this year..more than I have in quite some time. I finally let go of two people that were really hurting my growth as a woman. These people I expected to act a certain way because of the title/position they held in my life and they just didn’t. I realize (and accept)  that I have no control over what people do, but I have control over my reactions. I also realize that you have to let people be whoever they want to be. Even if you see what you believe is a better version, life or path..you have to respect the choices of others..even the bad ones. Those are their decisions to make and I am not responsible for anyone else’s failures or even successes. That last part has been the absolute hardest lesson for me to learn..but I am finally understanding. 

Here’s a list of my 2012 goals:

 

1) Build Radical faith-This year I believe I did step out on faith; I entered a relationship near the end of Rad year 1 and married in the middle Rad year 2. I moved, switched jobs and pretty much completely changed every aspect of my life. I felt lead to make each step. I had to declare things over my life and I am seeing the fruits of my labor.

2) “out of love” another goal this year is to love how God would have us to love. -I have worked really hard to do everything out of love..the only motive i had was to really help others. I learned the most important step of “out of love” is to accept people for who they are and not who you want them to be. And even loving people enough to step back and watch them from a distance pursue their passions. 

3)read the Bible all the way through this year.- this goal..didn’t go AT ALL.. I don’t even think I read a book of the Bible all the way through this year. I have a really bad habit of bouncing around and reading things at a whim..which means I have no clue what areas I’m rereading and what areas are new. Next year I think I will try to have an actual Bible study plan. 

4) Allow Daniel to explore his surroundings- I have taken Daniel to museums, zoos, on train rides, libraries etc. I have worked hard to get him out and about. My husband and his biological father also helped with with this goal . My husband and I even started teaching Daniel how to swim and ride a bike this year. So I feel really great about this goal. 

5) Explore and hone my passion-moving to a new city allowed me to reevaluate what I really am passionate about. I joined a few different organizations to really see what Birmingham has to offer and I must say that I did find out what my passion is: children. I have always loved working with youth, but now that I work almost exclusively with adults I realize that although I love my job I really would like to work with more youth. 

6) Have Daniel to recognize sight words- This goal is probably about a “c”. He does recognize quite a few words, but I was advised by a teacher friend to focus on phonics first. SMH..i know that’s how I started yet somehow forgot. So this goal went well, but I probably went at it backwards. .

7) Fully embrace my “natural”,- So..I actually “wore” my natural hair for about a month. I never truly embraced my relaxed hair because I always had someone else do it..so honestly the natural hair journey has been overwhelming and I am honestly lazy. It takes so much more work to do my hair, but i have learned how to flat twist and do twist outs..SO I did learn a little something-something. My hair is actual to my collarbone; so I made the hair length goal as well.

 

As I enter year three, I have some very specific goals that I want to really work on. Thanks for following along thus far..see ya next year!

Renee`

 

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Familiar Places ~Venus

Hello everyone! I’m trying to figure out how to write this post because I have a lot going on in my mind as usual..lol.. When I write, I have ideas of what I would like to mention but I don’t ever write anything out. I write from the top of my head. If you read my post “Caught Up” then you know what I’m going through. You may wonder why I named this post Familiar Places, well if you continue reading you will know why. A familiar place is a place that you’ve been to several times. You’re very acquainted with. My familiar place is lust. I truly thought that it was something I overcame but when I started talking to “Wale” it reappeared HEAVILY. Hebrews 21:1-2 KJV states “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”. After doing some self-evaluation, I realized that lust is my besetting sin. Let me explain. As you some of you may or may not know, I’m celibate. I’ve been celibate for 2 yrs and 9 months. It’s been kind of rough. When I met “Wale” I was instantly attracted to and had chemistry w/ him. Every time I was around him I didn’t want to leave his presence. It was like something always had me coming back. Oh the temptation was real! In that situation, I was very close to get things popping if you know what I mean.

Let me explain what a besetting sin is. The definition for beset is “1.to attack on all sides; assail; harass: to be beset by enemies; beset by difficulties. 2. to surround; hem in: a village beset on all sides by dense forest. 3.to set or place upon; bestud: a gold bracelet beset with jewels. 4.Nautical . to surround (a vessel) by ice, so that control of the helm is lost” (www.dictionary.com). Ok I will give an example. Let’s say Judy is 27 yrs old and is an alcoholic. She has been an alcoholic since she was 21 yrs old. Judy started attending AA meetings to deal w/ her alcoholism and overcome it when she was 25 yrs old. Judy haven’t had a drink in 2 yrs since she went to the AA meetings. She did everything she could to stay away from alcohol even though it was difficult. Well Judy goes to her homegirl Vanessa’s 27th birthday party and there is alcohol. Judy tries not to have a drink but her friend Vanessa talking her into taking one shot of Vodka. Well Judy ended up having 7 shots of Vodka. Judy starts drinking again heavily.

To me a besetting sin is something that you struggle with. It’s that one thing that you try to get away from but once you’re tempted you might end up taking the bait. It’s like a stronghold that is on you. In Judy’s case, she took the bait of one shot. So how does one overcome a besetting sin? First recognize what your besetting sins are. Then repent and ask God for his deliverance. Fill yourself w/ God’s word and pray. I strongly recommend reading Galatians 5, James 1, Romans 8:9, Romans 7:7-25, Eph 4:23-24, Col. 3:3-8, and Heb 12. Also don’t put yourself in situations where you can be tempted (Read 1st Cor. 10:13). Remove yourself from that situation ASAP! Know what your boundaries are and stick to them! Also get an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone you can call on and confide in when you feel like you’re getting tempted. They should be non-judgmental and willing to help you when you find yourself in sticky situations. They also keep you on the right track but if you do fall, they will not judge you and tell you to brush yourself off and get back on track! My accountability partner is one of my good female friends. =) I talked to her several times while the “Wale” situation was going on.

I found myself not sticking to the boundaries that I had. I’m glad that I have such good friends that were able to help me during my situation w/ “Wale”. I really thought that I was good w/ not budging w/ my boundaries but when I was tested, I found myself compromising a little bit. No, I didn’t go all the way w/ him but it could had been that way if I wasn’t removed from the situation.”Wale” and I no longer talk. Yes, I still miss his presence and think about him. However, I know that I can’t put myself in another situation where I can be tempted. My problem isn’t w/ guys that I’m not attracted to but w/ guys that I’m attracted to and have chemistry with. Please don’t let me see a guy that is physically attractive! I think of all impure thoughts. lol! Remember that you are precious and you’re valuable! God loved us so much that he sent his son Jesus to pay the price for us! Don’t give up your “goods” for someone who isn’t worth it! Please keep me in your prayers! God bless!!

~Venus

P.S. This post has been on my heart to share for a while. Being celibate isn’t easy! However, it is doable! Don’t compromise (I’m saying this to myself as well)! If someone is trying to get you to compromise, remove them! Believe me when I say, you don’t want to pay the price of falling! I think it’s important for us to share what we go through, it will help someone else. You never know what people are dealing with in their own spiritual closets.

Here are a few helpful links:

Please visit my mentor’s Chante Truscott website http://www.wivesinwaiting.com/#!recorded-webinars/cp29
Listen to the webinars More Precious Than Rubies Part 1 & 2. Also Freedom and Freedom 2. They will bless you!



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Dire Straits Part 4~Audrey

The Road to Answers

Last week was crazy for me. I had to work without a weekend and was very tired. But something great came out of last week: I finally got onto the road to answers.
I went to see my General Physician for a follow up. He saw I was not doing better, and agreed to refer me to a rheumatologist. When the nurse called, they didn’t have a new opening until October. When my nurse told them how badly I needed to see the doc, they told me there had been a cancellation at 1:30. I made a few phone calls (covering things at work at) and went.
I spent an hour there. The whole time was spent with a nurse or the doctor. The doc asked me questions and seemed very concerned. He did a brief physical exam and confirmed that, yes, I did have neuropathy. The neuropathy is in the smaller secondary nerves which would not have shown up in the tests the neurologist did.
The nurse then took at least a dozen vials of blood testing me for a variety of things. I had to do a 24 hour urine test to see if I had heavy metal toxicity. I go back Sept. for results. He did not give me a guess; he’s waiting to see what the tests say. But there is a big possibility that it’s autoimmune. The worst part? Because of my Chronic Kidney Disease, I can’t have an arthritis medicine. We are going to have to be creative about dealing with pain.
I am very excited and not really scared. That’s not to say I’m not upset. The fact that I have dead nerves bothers me a lot, but I know already that whatever it is it isn’t fatal. Right now the worst case scenario is lupus, and with that, I can still live a healthy, active life.
But we don’t know anything concrete right now. I will not let this disrupt my peace. I am still going to Dragon Con at the end of the month. I have rented a scooter to use since it hurts to walk. I refuse to let this ruin my life. Answers come soon.

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Ghosts of Friendships Past- Renee`

I cannot believe I have been on this Radical 7even journey for almost three years! Every time I think about it I am just so glad that I decided to join in and document the wonderful (and challenging) times God has brought myself and my girls through. This post is one of reflection. I have lost a few friends along the way and I just wanted to acknowledge what friendships mean and evolve into.

In the past, I had a history of doing what I like to refer to as “fading to black”. I was notorious for doing this. This is where you slowly pull away from a friend, boyfriend, group etc until you are just no longer involved. I would do this usually after a confrontation and would try to do this to avoid another argument (if I knew that things couldn’t/ wouldn’t be resolved). I never had this done to me..until recently..and then recently again LOL.

I had a friend of several years, one that I traveled with, one who took me under her wing and mentored me, celebrated birthdays with and when I first found out I was pregnant was one of the first very positive voices on my side. Then she moved..we kept in touch and when she was in town promised to see me. Not only did she not make an effort to see me when she came to town….she deleted me off of Facebook. I was so confused. I never knew we had a fight..or disagreement. When I reached out to ask why…I never got a response. A five year friendship ended without any sort of blip or anything.

Then…this happened to me again. A friend started slowly pulling away…coming late to events..leaving early. Not coming to things at all..then slowly she disappeared from all things social media related. No real warning..just a slow shift. Like air seeping out of a balloon. I did the reach out..which did get a response..but no follow up. Again..I was puzzled. Had I done something to hurt this person and not know…was she going through something and I just was unaware. I felt like maybe I should take the signs that she gave and give her space. So for months..that’s what I did. Then I reached out again..and again response was made..but no follow through. I realized then..the friendship had evolved to something else and it was time I stopped holding on.

An ending of a friendship is (to me) worse than any break up I think I have ever had. I never spent as much time thinking about what I did wrong or what signs I missed then at the end of a friendship. For awhile I had a mix of emotions, but then I just decided to be thankful. Thankful that I had such a positive time with these individual. I thank God for each person that has entered my life..because I cherish those special moments. This blog is dedicated to those lovely people who spent time with me on this journey. I hope our paths cross again 🙂

Renee`

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Anger Colonic for Room 111 **Guest Blogger**

Anger, It’s Deep. It’s been pushed down for so long and it’s so much that now it’s always near the surface. What do I do with it? How do I get rid of it? As a woman, I should be sugar and spice and everything nice right? So how does the cayenne pepper of anger fit into my spice rack of life? I feel as though if its ever released, it would be a never-ending flow of fury– years of being hurt,abused, misunderstood, and just a general feeling of not belonging.

Anger, it’s foreign to the body but yet has a familiar feeling. It’s draining trying to hold it in all the time, trying to path up the cracks, making sure nothing seeps out. What would happen if I stopped patching?

How does anger fit into The Christian lifestyle? Is It sinful to be angry? Vengeance is mine says the Lord but sometimes…. What’s a girl To do?

All these questions are confusing but at least for the moment Im not angry.

Until Next Time,

WilloW J. Dew

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Letting Go of Baggage- Renee`

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26 KJV

Recently I helped a family member move and I remember thinking: “my God…when did we accumulate all this stuff?”. When you live in a place for a certain amount of time your items tend to pile up and you may not notice it at first or at all,until something happens that makes you take note. I always thought of myself as not materialistic that things are just things and I do not get attached…well when I moved to the “city” from Montgomery….I realized how attached to my “things” I was. You see, when you move there are things that you have to throw away..or get broke.. it happens in almost every move. I was so stressed out, because I had a plan for every piece of furniture. Every piece. Then…my husband and his friends moved my items while I was at work and when  I came home; yall I had a meltdown LOL. Don’t get me wrong my hubby did a great job moving, but like I said sometimes things get broken or end up left behind. I wasn’t ready just yet to let certain items go. I realize now that the “things” were important to me because it was a physical manifestation of how far I had come. How far God brought me. I moved from my mother’s home,-to a two bed room apartment(with a roommate)-to my own two bedroom within a year. That was a huge accomplishment for me to really begin to stand on my own two feet. This was my first real apartment where everything inside those walls were mine. I worked hard to get it furnished and decorate it just like I wanted..so when I moved from there I wasn’t sure what to do with how I felt. It all seems absolutely ridiculous now that I even mourned my items the way I did and thank God my husband didn’t think he married a complete nutcase and still welcomed me with open arms LOL.

But I realized as I moved my family members things, that I did not need all the stuff that I actually brought with me to the city. In fact, for the past 6 months…all of the items that were so near and dear have been sitting in storage collecting dust. It was then that both my husband and I realized..it’s time to let that stuff go. I don’t use any of it on a regular basis in fact..if you asked me to recall what exactly was in storage I couldn’t do it.

So we have decided to sell all the items in storage, save the money and when the time comes (and the need arises) replace the stuff. You see everything here is temporal. That car you love so much will eventually rust, get into an accident or just flat out stop working. That dress you’re eyeing right now will eventually get stuck in the closet ( sometimes somewhere towards the back) with all your other must-haves. I am not saying that having nice things isn’t good, or that everyone should live like nomads, but I am saying that sometimes we get so caught up in things that have no value outside of it’s place on this earth. Our relationships..those are things that are eternal. If you submit to Christ and build one with Him; you will get a chance to be with Him..forever. Hopefully, if you live your life right-those other brothers and sisters in Christ will be there with you as well. I hope and pray that my HIS and I will be eternal friends 🙂

Eternally Focused,

Renee` 

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