Archive for January, 2014

My January Part 2 ~Venus

Hey everyone! I forgot to add some details in my last post so I’m adding it to this one. Earlier this month I got on my first bible study teleconference call w/ The Pinky Promise Movement. I’m a member of the ministry. Heather Lindsey’s message was “You’re Pregnant w/ Purpose”. She described as being pregnant w/ purpose as going through trimesters like an actual pregnancy. She used the trimesters as stages w/ dealing w/ purpose. I thought her message was pretty good!

I was visited by two young ladies that were Mormons (they knocked on my door). I’ve met w/ them two times after the first meeting. I have to say that it was my 1st time actually learning about the Mormon religion. It’s quite interesting. Some of the beliefs that Mormons have I believe but some of their views are different from mine. For example, they believe that there is a place of preparation and learning in the afterlife. The place of preparation and learning is a place where your spirit goes to have one more chance to hear about the gospel and accept it. I don’t believe that before you die, you have to make the decision to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and live for him. They young ladies gave me the Book of Mormon, told me to read it, and pray for God for truth. As of right now, I’m not interested in being a Mormon. However, I don’t mind learning more about it or other religions.

Last week,  I received a letter from unemployment stating that I needed to reschedule my appointment w/ at Career Center not far from where I live. Earlier this month, they sent me a note in the mail stating that I needed to report to the Career Center by the 16th and to take an assessment. In the comment section of that letter, I put that I returned back to work on the 9th and that I was unable to attend the appointment at the Career Center. I also mentioned the name of my employer. So I had to send the 2nd letter (the letter I received last week) to a call center in another city and restate what I wrote on the 1st letter they sent me. I realized after I received the second letter from unemployment in the mail, that I sent the first letter to the wrong address (I thought I sent it to the right one). Smh! I sent the first letter to the Unemployment Office and was supposed to send it to the Career Center. I realized why I received the second letter..lol!  It’s my fault for  not reading the first letter close enough.I ended up taking pics both of the letters and sent the photographed copies to both the Career Center and Call Center. I just hope that this whole ordeal don’t mess me up for when I have to file for unemployment again. Dealing w/ that whole ordeal stressed me out. Since I’ve been receiving unemployment, I never been asked to report to a Career Center if I haven’t returned back to work. I was picked out of x amount of people to do an assessment and go to an appointment w/ a Career Center. Anywho God bless!

~Venus

P.S. I had my first teleconference call w/ Empowermoments this month. It was awesome! I had a discussion w/ my best friend about our friendship..I just hope that she understood where I was coming from. Tuesday in snowed in my city. The weather was pretty bad in my area and other cities. I had to work on Tuesday and Wednesday. One of my co-workers was nice enough to give me a ride to and from work both of those days.

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My January ~Venus

Hey everyone! So this month has been ok so far. Not too much has been going on. I returned back to work earlier this month. I was glad because I got tired of being at the house. lol! One of my friends that was staying in my city moved a few weeks ago. That was kind of bittersweet. My radical moments: I made red beans & rice  w/ smoked turkey sausage,chicken broccoli Alfredo penne pasta (I never made it before), and I became an Empowermoments writer. One of my female friends came to visit me and she spent the night! We kind of had a girls day out which was fun. We visited some boutiques and the thrift store. I was able to talk to my HIS last week on a teleconference call and see my best friend, her boyfriend, and my Goddaughter.  I was happy to hear my friends voices on the teleconference call! I  received a nice gift (it was a package in the mail) from one of my friends this week. I loved it! She know who she is! =) I’ve been talking to a guy that is pretty cool. =) I wish that he lived in the area as me.  I bought myself a promise/purity ring for Valentine’s Day (yeah I know V-Day isn’t here yet..lol) w/ a gift card I received. I received the promise ring in the mail on Monday. That’s all I can think of the moment..lol. God bless!

~Venus

Here is a link to my first post on Empowermoments:

http://empowermoments.org/2014/01/14/my-testimony-surrendering-to-god/

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Invisible syndrome-Renee

This blog is for no other reason then my hopefully successful attempt at keeping myself sane. This would tie into my emotional health goal.
I’ve really struggled with feelings of loneliness since I moved last year. I’ve made no friends in the city eventhough i really have tried and to top it off many of my friends back home have all but moved on as well. Im stuck in some weird limbo land where my old life no longer fits but my new life still doesn’t fit quite right.
After losing Baby Smith i joined a few ectopic pregnancy support groups online. Those have really helped me try to make sense out of that situation. I’ve noticed that ive had a loss of concentration lately which according to the ep ladies that’s quite normal. I’ve not really had a chance to sort through that process because i had to work through the entire process. Literally one day i was in the er the very next day i was back at work. I took the mtx shot  and was back at work within four days (because of the Thanksgiving break). This has also caused me to stress out because I’ve made a few basic mistakes at work that I wouldn’t make if I was whole and well. Ive always prided myself on being a dedicated worker and hate that since starting my new position I’ve been not as on my game as I usually am.

I’ve found myself being very emotional and today was just a super weird tipping point for me. At home everyone else comes before me and i feel so lost in my role as wife and mother that… I don’t know i feel like the Renee’ that i knew just a few short years ago is gone and i really just don’t know how i feel about that.
I don’t think i ever learned how to put myself first. Growing up i always tried to fix every thing for everyone and clearly that has spilled into adulthood. This would be fine if others were intune with someone elses emotions and would notice that bleed..but rarely does anyone notice. Ive tried reaching out and haven’t gotten results. Im working on trying to stay positive (which is not my natural response to saddness),but this has been a tough season. I’m hoping this is mostly hormonal since im still waiting for my hcg numbers to hit zero.
Woosah
Renee

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I Will Wait for You~Audrey

In her daily devotional, “Coming Out of the Dark,” Mary Southerland talks about her journey with clinical depression. In her rise from that dark pit, she realized she needed time and patience and that God was in control. It was her definition of to “wait” and what that mean to God that really moved me and caused me to look differently at my current situation. I am ill and I need to wait for God to help me.

“To wait means to admit there is a problem”
I am sick. This will change my life.

“To wait means to accept the pit”
My life has changed but it doesn’t mean that it has to be a bad change. I have to accept that this is how life is going to be.

“To wait means to be still”
The only thing I can do is waiting for God to lead the doctors to the diagnosis and care of my illness. I can’t diagnosis myself. I can’t prescribe my own medicine. I can’t change my immune system. I have to be still and let God move in my life.

On February 4 I go to see an immunologist. Yet another doctor. Plus, I am without one of my medications because the doctor failed to tell me I had to have an eye exam before they will give me more medicine! So I will be without a vital medicine for a week.
I am tired of doctors. I am tired of medications. I am just plain tired. I didn’t want this life. I wanted to everything to be simple. I want to be able to trust my body. I want a peaceful life, and I have tried to force my life into that ideal.
My life will never fit in that ideal but my life can get better. First, I have to admit I am stuck in this pit. I have to accept that this is my path. I cannot do anything; God will bring the right doctor with the right relief.
So now I have to work on patience. That is insanely hard. But God will help me.

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Change comes within-Renee

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I grew up going to an uber conservative church very similar to the one Danielle described in her last entry. This shaped my world view and made me look at life in a very narrow way. Either you see things my way or youre wrong especially when it came to religious veiws,beliefs and actions. 

Even when my own actions didn’t mirror my own belief i had a hard time learning to use this as a chance for humbling and instead condemned myself for missing the mark.

Last year i got into a debate about substance abuse. I was pretty staunch on my how in the world could anyone do blah blah blah. The other person had a legit stance on  how we never know what would cause someone to take such drastic actions. I did not understand this point of view at all. I mean how in the world could anyone do X,Y,Z?

A few months ago I took a position working with a prevention organization that focuses on teens.

As someone who has always had a sober lifestyle I realized that this would challenge the way I have always thought (or actually more importantly not considered) issues surrounding addiction. It would challenge the very debate i had months before while allowing me to actively make a change.

How does this tie into my Radical 7even journey? Remember I’m purusing working on my relationships.

I watched Super Soul Sunday (an Oprah production). I usually don’t watch her any more because her views are drastically different from mine ( but im trying to be more open). Oprah interviewed a woman named Karen who is a well respected religious expert. Karen started off her journey studying to be a nun. She spent a year or so in a convent and she spoke on how difficult this was for her. She then turned her pursuit to knowledge of religion and cultural context. She contends that the most important thing that binds all religions is the focus on helping others. Almost every single religion emphasizes self denial and respecting our neighbors.

Many times we view our beliefs in a vacuum, making excuses for our short comings yet judging others harshly for falling in an area we do not struggle.

Do we actively try to understand and respect our neighbors?

Challenge your thoughts

Renee’

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Slow Down and Smell the Roses ***Pam***

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     Today seemed like a good time to reflect on my goals. I did not make any New Year’s resolutions for 2014. The radical7even goals that I began in September are where I will concentrate my efforts. I have not blogged in way too long so I will list them again.

1. Take better care of my physical health by keeping up with my own doctor appointments.

2. Be joyful about something every day.

3. Have fun time with my kids.

4. Go running or do yoga on a regular basis.

5. Meditate on small sections of scripture.

6. Let go of unnecessary guilt.

7. Sleep an average of at least 6 hours a night.

     My health has forced me to spend plenty of time in the doctor’s office for the last 2 months. I have recently started Humera injections. I have psoriasis, but more severe than most people. My immune system is it’s own enemy, so this is not just a few dry spots of skin like some people get. I have gotten sick with everything from a respiratory infections, ear infections, a u.t.i., strep throat, to bad allergic reactions. All my immune system wants to do is fight itself instead of protecting my body. I feel like I have carpet burn all over. I stay in constant pain. I take lots of different pills just to keep from getting worse. I am exhausted, but cannot sleep well due to the itching and hurting. Also I get extremely cold because your skin does a good bit of the work when it comes to your body’s temperature regulation. This is not a new thing for me. I have had this condition since I was 7 years old. I have been hospitalized in the past when it was this bad. The blessing is that this is only temporary. Cold is my enemy. In the warm months, I soak up the sun and get to be like everyone else. Just another reason that I love living in Florida. We get more warm weather than most places.

     Dealing with pain can be useful. That is a strange statement but it is so true for me personally. Pain helps the good things in my life stand out clearly. The strength of my husband, the sweetness of my children, the love from my parents, the comfort of my home, the support from true friends, and the peace of mind from my heavenly Father. I cannot carry my own load right now. I am physically weak. This is difficult. I am stubborn, and try to do more than anyone thinks I should. My norm is to push myself physically and not to accept help if at all possible. Now I need help constantly. This gives me the opportunity to be thankful that I do have that help. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. This has also helped me to weed out relationships where I was the only one giving.

     I have slowed down the pace of my life. There is time for reflection which I needed. I am doing well in all of my goals now, except for physical exercise and sleeping through the night. I will eventually get better and be able to do that again. Until then my plan is to accept this frailty as an opportunity for spiritual growth. I will be patient and wait on God’s timing for my body to become strong again.

                                                                                            Peace and Love, Pam

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2014…How Do You Do?

Happy New Year!! It is such a blessing to have made it through one more year. Amen? Amen! It was a year of ups and downs but always laughs. Before beginning Radical Year 2014,  I would like to take the time to update you all on my personal progress on my current goals.

1. Find a new church home. I visited two new churches, onea non denominational church and one a Church of Christ. I visited both churches twice. With the Church of Christ, I liked the way the pastor of the church connected different verses in the bible to his main message that he was teaching. What turned me off from this particular church is his consistent need to say the Church of Chrisy is the only way to truth and that all other churches, are imposters. I’m not sure if there is just one church that you can get salvation from, I would like to think not but I couldn’t see myself  listening to that, every Sunday. I then decided to visit my sister’s church in Selma. It was a little larger  congregration than what I was looking for, but I did love that they had active ministries ( youth, women, praise team).It  definitely had the upbeat feel I was looking for but something was still missing for me. So, currently, I am still going to my home church but I hope to resume my search for another to call my home.

2.  Gain more experience in event planning. I haven’t done an actual event,  but I have created an idea board for a gender reveal/ baby shower party. My plan for 2014  is to plan and execute (with the help of siblings)  my mother’s 65th Birthday Extravaganza. I also plan to create more idea boards. Any ideas are welcomed.

3. Create a business plan for my nonprofit business. ?…does it count that I’ve been thinking about it?

4. Begin an online business. I’m happy to report on November 1st that I opened my online store. It has had steady business since I’ve opened it. My plan is to incorporate more jewelry/accessory theme talk to boost foot traffic on my sites.

5. Become a semi vegetarian. (…) does it count that I researched recipes?

6. Continued Education in mental health. I honestly forgot that this one was on my goals list :-\.  I haven’t read any books in anything pertinent to my current population but I have read articles related to working mothers.

7.  Develop my online blog. I have done one blog post before 2013 ended. My plan is to do at least one a month. Ive created blog topics that I think will be helpful for me.

With my Radical 7 goals, I really don’t create New Year resolutions but I have created a slogan for 2014:  to LIVE WITH INTENTION.

Still Pushing With Resolve,

Dani

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