Archive for category inspirational
It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged because honestly the past month and a half have been …lets say challenging.
Darren was sick for two weeks and I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He was having breathing issues and if you read our birth story you’ll know why this is such a stressor for me. Come to find out…he had pertussis. Scared me to death.
Then Lennon ran back to back fevers for two days the highest being 104.2 and back to the ER we went. He had walking pneumonia and last Friday..my mom was in a car accident.
This year has been a season of loss for me. A season of pruning and it’s hard. Every time I feel like I am about to take my first deep breath something else hits me in the gut.
I’ve not blogged because I didn’t want it to be so negative…but what I realized is that’s what makes this blog different. We all aren’t just the perfect Christians that never doubt God. Or get angry at Him…we have real emotions; real stressors.
Plus when God does fix it so sweet and I’m sure He will…this will be my testimony.
I’m not sure if anyone noticed in the last post, I mentioned moving to a new city with my fiancée. That was my first mention of ever having a relationship on Radical 7even and that’s because I was in a secret relationship for the past 8 years.
This is my coming out story…
National Coming out Day 2017 was October 11. I am late, as usual but I felt it was time to share and be open. Even as I am typing this, it is very hard to put into words. For the longest time, we denied the relationship, even hope the feelings would revert back and we could chalk it up to experimentation.
But it didn’t.
During my junior/senior year of College, I began falling in love with my best friend, who happened to be a girl. We’ve had this conversation before and we can never pinpoint the moment where we knew we liked each other. It was simple stuff like having lunch together at the café, started from one day a week to every day. She would walk me home from work. I would keep her company on her Sabbath. It just became a time where my day began and ended with her. I felt it was strange but it also felt very natural to be her.
Then, the first kissed happen. It seemed like time had stopped. Up until that point, I could chalk up my feelings to just my overactive imagination. The kiss made it real. Where do we go from here? It began as nice and fun, but she never wanted to be open and refused to even call it a relationship. That saddened me, but honestly, did I want to be in the open? Quite honestly, you open yourself to criticism and to actual physical pain. I grew up in a world, the same world most of you grew up in, the world that said and still says same sex relationships are wrong and Hell will be your final destination.
I honestly never thought we would ever be known to the light of day. I had convinced myself that the feeling would one day stave itself off but it didn’t, it only intensified. One day, we were going through things and I felt like I was slowly drowning. I reach out to my best friend and asked her if I could tell her something. She said as long as you haven’t hurt my husband or my kids, there is nothing that you could tell me that would make me love you any less. A burden was lifted. Her words were a spark. I no longer had to stay in the darkness. It allowed me to share with my other close friends and family.
I wanted to let others know, falling in love with a girl and marrying her, makes me no less of a Christian. I love God and Jesus, with my whole heart. Everyday, I sin and fall short but HIS grace saves me for another day. I have been blessed to have wonderful people in my life, who have prayed, laughed, and cried with me.
I married my fiancée on October 21st.
Until Next Time
The picture above was taken 24 hours after Darren was born. As you may know it was very trying. I was blessed to not go through that alone.
When many people envision marriage the first thing that usually comes to mind is the actual wedding. Weddings are the celebration of two people joining together…a marriage is the verb of said commitment.
What? You didn’t know marriage was a verb? Oooooooh yes it is the very definition of what a verb is. A marriage is a living breathing entity of two people who choose each other and for many bring forth life because of said union.
Marriage is also a combination of you and your thoughts and ideas as well as what you’ve been exposed to and downloaded both subconsciously and consciously.
Mant times we don’t even realize our expectations are unreasonable until our partner is like…um that’s just not me.
There’s no 30day risk free trial in marriage. You say “I Do” and…you’ure.
In my almost 5 years of marriage Ive been blessed to grow as a woman. Growth comes with a very steep price Ive been humbled more times than I can count. If you read some of my previous blogs you know I am in recovery for yelling. I’m sure it’s not a real thing but for me it should be working on extending grace can be hard. Especially when you’re tired…I am not one of those people who functions well when tired. I’m irrated quickly when I’m tired.
But I’ve been working on not using that (being sick, tired, overwhelmed) etc. Instead I try and center myself for a few minutes. I find myself a quiet spot and just focus myself. My yelling has gone down quite a bit. Not perfect but it’s definitely decreased.
Trials will come. That’s just life, but how you choose to deal with them…
It’s been one wild journey trying to seek after The Most High. I’m excited to see what He will do next! I decided to do seven goals which are basically an accumulation of my goals over the years. …so without further ado…. Year 7 Goals:
1. Eliminate debt:
Proverbs 22:26-27 Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you?
I am ready to make employment decisons based on only the Call TMH has on my life and not just worrying about paying bills. I’ve been blessed to work by following my heart but..that also means I haven’t always had the highest pay. I’ve been really doing some research on minimalism and really trying to simplify some things and maximize experiences. The combination of sheding unneeded things will help free up cash to pay off some debt.
Take more risks:
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
I tend to be overly cautious and rigid. Having four boys has taught me that anything can and will happen. It’s not the what it’s the how. How will you handle new situations or stressful situations. I’m ready to do more and stretch my potential.
This is recycled from last year. I want to take the boys a few places this year but I also want an adult get away. It’s important to explore the world around you.
Read a book a month
Again…pretty simple. I think I’d be further ahead in life had i read more. I have to stay focused to get this task completed.
Find a church home:
Hebrews 10:25King James Version (KJV)
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Since moving to Birmingham I’ve went to church a handful of times. This saddens me because I was once so active. I know tje benefit of setting aside a day just for God and I miss the communion.
Increase social interactions:
I tend to stay home alot. Which is new. This is a result of being sick for months on with HG. Home gets comfortable but I need to grow and do more.
Read the Bible all the way through:
Joshua 1:8 For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Again I said I’d make this a goal until I complete this task. So here’s hoping this time I complete it!
Hey! Hey Young World,
I’m writing to you in a sleep deprived haze because……Darren K.W Smith is here! I’m literally holding him in my arms as he decides if he wants to nurse again or go back to LaLa Land….but with all things…things are not what they seem
It’s no secret that I wanted to do a TOLAC ( Trial of Labor after a C-section), because my recovery from my emergency c-section with Lennon was waaaaay harder than that of my natural delivery with Daniel. For 40 weeks and two days…i had one pregnancy complication….hyperemesis gravardium which was about 80 percent controlled by Diclegis (an anti-nausea medication) for 6 months and then I just managed the systems by powering through because although I felt nauseated I didnt actually get sick everyday any more.. I digress…
Hubby and I were watching a Kareem Abdul Jamar documentary on Tuesday, July 18. We were laughing because we just kicked the boys out because they were so hyper. Lennon wanted to literally lay on me…head on my shoulder leg around my belly…didnt work, Daniel asked 2340988 questions before the first credit rolled and Landyn well he really wanted to shoot hoops so…yeah they went to their rooms. All of a sudden i felt a…it felt like pressure and literally heard a pop! I looked at my husband like…i think my water broke! Sidenote it’s actually a rare occurrence to have that happen as a first sign of labor.
I stood up… and yes…there the Niagara falls flowed. I was shocked. I’d done everything to encourage Baby Darren to emerge and there i sat at 2 cm dialated noooooo effacement for 3 and a half weeks…I had Hubby look up pressure points to induce labor earlier Tuesday night and did a membrane sweep that Monday. Something worked lol.
So we gather all our things and head to the hospital. Laughing, joking, calling family. I had zero contractions the first hour. I change into my gown, get hooked to the monitors…..and wait. My contractions came on strong and Baby Darren was not happy; his heart rate would slow pretty significantly. The nurse had me lay on different sides to take pressure off the lil guy but…it would only work temporarily. In triage, I was about 3 1/2 dialated and 50%effaced around 11pm.
Moving into the LD room, I was in good spirits. My mom had arrived and she and hubby were keeping me focused on breathing and other pain managing techniques. Again I was told to lay on various sides because of his heart rate. At 1 am I was about 4 1/2 dialted 75% effaced. During this time his heart rate dropped pretty low and the c-section convo began. Which I already knew because this happened with Lennon. They were going to put more water in the womb thinking that would give him more cushion but never did. Around 2am his heart rate dropped again with heart tones in the 60s so…off to the OR. I cried because as with Lennon, i was progressing well physically (I was 6cm and 75% effaced) but yet again the baby wasn’t doing well. But I was ready. The problem was no one explained 2 things:1) we are going to put you under general anesthesia* this is a huuuge fear of mine, I’d never been put under and…I would miss the birth completely. 2) my husband would NOT be in the room
In OR I kept asking for my husband. If I couldn’t see the birth I needed him to. People were everywhere, telling me to drink this, breathe into this. But not one question was answered and I was petrified. But God sent my labor nurse who had been in my room monitoring me into the OR. She held my hand, got me to slow my breathing and helped me swallow whatever the heck was in that vile. Sidenote 2.2…how does one drink laying flat? That seemed like a bad idea.
I wake up in a blurry haze asking for my baby. I’m told, he’s in ICU….wait,what? What happened? Did my husband see the baby? No. And you have to stay here for atleast an hour. One hour…he was housed in my body for 40 weeks…and not only did I NOT see him, no one has. No real updates. Nothing. Im a weeping mess. Like my husband wasn’t there in my room. Nor my mom, nor my bestie which had made it in by then. They were able to come back about 20 minutes later.
He was born at 234 am. I met him at 5:00 am. I was rolled down with pain pump, catheter and oxygen monitor in place. Hubby,mom and bestie were my escorts.
The first time meeting my child was pretty emotional. All the wires, and random people (which of course are staff) and him being so pale and not alert….I cried yet again.
The pediatrician’s first words to me were “They saved your baby’s life”, before I held him, before I got to process the scene that was now my birth story.
Here’s the thing obviously I knew he was in distress. Lennon had been as well. But once the cord was unwrapped he was great. Well, Baby Darren did not have his cord wrapped and the placeta was sent off to see if we can find out what happened. No one can really tell me the cause of him not getting oxygen while in labor. But essentially he was suffocating. His APGAR scores were 4,6 and 7 (which are low). And because i was put under he also had some anesthesia in his system. The ped. doctor said they’d be monitoring him for neurological abnormalities since no one knew how long he wasn’t getting proper levels of oxygen. Oh the comfort.
I was dumbfounded how did we get here. How? A full term baby with no prior issues was in the NICU.
I had prayed in the recovery room and in his room because although it seemed like chaos, I knew God is in control. I would have to leave my love there. And despite having a csection hours before i breast fed every 2 to 3 hours. The first 2 times i was wheeled in my wheelchair but the hospital was so busy the elevators were too full for all of my equipment. This meant waiting for a clear elevator for several cycles. The third time I walked. 6 hours after the csection, I grabbed my IV pole and slow walked from 6th to 3rd floor (using the elevator). That’s how I spent my first 24 hours.
As the day developed, i found out more details. Baby Darren was not crying when he was born, they spent 7 minutes giving him oxygen. It also took about 7 minutes to get him out. Later he would pass every single test they do for well baby checks 😁 it appeared he had no deficits!
God honored our prayers. Baby Darren started flourishing. In fact, after the pediatrician gave his report I had nursed him. His color started returning, he ooened his eyes, he turned towards my voice. By Thursday, talks started in on him FINALLY coming to my room. And at 8 pm, he was there!
For him to have such a dramatic start he’s a very chill baby. It’s scary to know that my litte guy entered this world fighting for his life, but I’m glad it’s a fight God allowed him to overcome!
I’m forever thankful for my husband mom and bestie Danielle. They helped me relearn walking, changed my dressings, helped me shower. Walked down 45 million times to nicu, wiped my tears. Thank yall so, so much!!!
Also a special thanks to Simone Plus Photography for the beautiful family pictures! It was such a healing experience after our ordeal.
…just can’t get my po’self together.
It’s been a minute. Your girl been going through some things but I am happy that the writing bug has bitten me so here I am. I would love to say that I promise to do better but I’m going to take this thing called Life, one day at a time.
God speaks to me but he doesn’t talk with words. He shows me things. He uses visuals with me.
My occupation has me driving. A lot. I put on average 1,000 miles on my car a month, not including what I do outside of work. So, I am in my car. A lot. If you are in Alabama or in the surrounding states then you know that it has been raining on a daily basis. So recently, I drove for miles and saw nothing but sunshine but after a while, I noticed rain was on the horizon. It is a mixture of dark grey and Aegean blue. It’s hazy but I can see through it. The closer I get to it, I notice subtle changes to the atmosphere; Fog begins to arise from the asphalt, there’s a misty smell that comes through the vents, and then the rain and I finally meet. At first, it’s not that bad and I am sure that I can see the end of it. However, after about 3 minutes, the rain is not letting up and visibility is nonexistent at the moment. I put on my blinkers and I get my speed between 25 and 30 mph. Not even 5 minutes after that, the rain ceases. I shut off my emergency lights and my windshield wipers. The sun is already coming out. I look back in my rear view mirror and I see where I just come from and it still looks gloomy but I made it out with no wounds.
I know you asking what the heck this got to with God speaking to me…..
Welllll, like I said earlier, I’ve been going through stuff. In the next couple of months, I will be making life changing decisions but that doesn’t stop my day to day responsibilities from not going haywire. For some things, I can feel things are starting to change, and not always for the best. At first, it feels manageable but then for what ever reason, my visibility becomes cloudy and I have to put on my emergency lights (prayer) and windshield wipers ( faith). It feels like forever but the storm doesn’t last always. The sun will shine again and it’s okay to look back again to see how I overcame the storm.
Self Doubt. Anger. Confusion. No Time. These past couple of months have been challenging, to the say the least. I was asked to take on another role at work, which I was such an honor and I was so happy to even be considered. What I didn’t immediately realize would come would be difficult work situations and extra responsibilities that doesn’t always end at 5 o’clock. During this time of transition, I’ve doubted myself, became stressed and anxious to the point where the only thing that got me out of bed was the fact that I knew I could hop back in as soon as I got back home. I hate that feeling but sometimes it felt like it was unavoidable. I was able to decompress with trusted coworkers and my best friends but I felt like I was hitting the same wall on a weekly basis. Is this what it looks like when you are given more responsibilities? If so, I was looking for the receipt and the package that it came in.
But God. He knows what I need even before I ask. He gave me April 16th. He gave me the holiday to celebrate his son’s resurrection. He gave me (US) his only son, the ultimate sacrifice. It was doing this day that it hit me that he sacrificed his life for me, not to live life in ever-anxious state but to LIVE. He wants all the praise. The life I live should be a joyful one, a one of thankfulness on our tongue.
Life can be daunting. It can be uncomfortable and scary. However, I believe in God. I believe that he has his best interests for me. It is a reason for me to be going through this. It is for preparation for something greater. God has made ME in his image and he makes no mistakes. He has given me the tools for my purpose in this world.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” -John 11 25-27