When sitting at Starbucks working, mingling, or just relaxing is a part of your daily routine the baristas get to know you and your order. It has benefits such as your order being ready before you even go in line, faster and better than mobile service. I spend so much “off time” there that I am missed if I don’t go one day and o even get text from some of the baristas checking on me. It’s another family community. Just as the baristas knows the regulars we also get to know each other and even though for the most part we are in our own world of electronics, headphones, and current task at hand every once and a while we look up or put down and connect in real conversation. This is how I met Samantha. She asked if I had kids and reminded me every chance I get to make sure to hug then and let the hug linger a little longer. I smiled and say yes I know life is too precious. She went on to tell me about her son. She loved him and hugged him even now as a grown man but just like the rest of us, she also sometimes got caught up in life and put off some of the small things. She couldn’t remember if she told him she loved him but as life happens and things happen the morning of the last time she saw him she wished she had one more hug.
I paused and think of my kids and how many times I get mad at them for stupid things and leave the house expecting to be back that afternoon and move on, time to think but we always expect to get back we don’t think maybe this is the last time. Life is so precious. Don’t take it for granted. Get that hug
My oldest daughter Rae-Kyea is very quiet. She prefers to read a book instead of most things kids enjoy and add worship music to that, the girl has died and gone to heaven. For the last 2 years I’ve watched her take on role of mom and wife and I’ve watched this sweet child become an amazing woman as she advocates for her husband and son. I think if even surprised Rae-Kyea that she had the strength to stand up to insurance companies for her son with baby #2 on the way and realizing this was a tough year for of our family and just maybe I was feeling overwhelmed (which I was) the girl has appointed herself as my “guardian angel” ensuring i am taken care of from surprise shopping trips to day at the park with her and baby E and coffee dates. Her random texts of her checking on me making sure I know she loves me. Oh sweet precious “refreshing spirit” I am so blessed to have you for a daughter and yes I know you love me and so do I but I am so proud of the strong amazing virtuous proverbs 31 wife that you have become and is becoming
As I prepare my family for the news, the prognosis, will it be as bad as expected or will I get a Miracle. It was the worst day of my life filled with regrets, sorrow and sadness. Going over in my mind the lost time wishing I had not out off some things. Wishing for this first time for a magic wand to get a do over. This is one lesson I didn’t want to learn. I wanted to wake up and realize it was just a nightmare. I spend the night finishing up projects, preparing for the worst and praying for this best. As the hurricanes was fast approaching america my personal storm was fast approaching and just as vicious as all the hurricanes together. So I pray and I make preparation and as morning break not wanting to wake my family up too early but wanting a moment to spend with each of them before our world spins off it’s axis and we enter the twilight zone at 6 am, not wanting to waste anymore time I enter Shawn room and gently wake him up. He got up and hugged me so tight and before I can go over the speech I had gone over for months, letting the years call easily. He hugged me and said “it’s okay, i got this”.
The little boy who scared me on so many occasions with his daredevil actions had grown up to be an amazing man and wise beyond his years. Knowing I will not be able to keep it together as we prepare to face this giant. He just hugged me and said “I got this”
Oh sweet angel baby boy, you have always covered my back and picked up so many responsibilities at such a young age. I have always count and depended on you when your siblings were sick and you filled the gap of the missing parent and picked up some of the responsibilities. So I know you got this and I got you.
Because of your words I feel unworthy, unloved. Because of your words I almost gave away my baby. Because of your words I felt like a failure and unfit to be loved by my family. Because of your words a dream was denied and a future was detoured. Because of your words I almost committed suicide. Because of your words my mistakes were my torturers. Because of your words my life was changed for the worst.
Because of his word I am saved and free. Because of his words I have eternal life. Because of his words my sin was forgiven and tossed in the sea of forgetfulness. Because of his words I am loved with an everlasting love. Because of his words I have a future. Because of his words I am healed. Because of his words I belong to a loving family. Because of his words I am wonderfully made. Because of his words I am a promise.
Whose report will you believe?
I have always set the bar high for my kids and over the years I have even heard friends says that I am too hard on them. My kids breath life into the phase “tiger mom” and my daughter even wrote an essay about her “tiger mom”.
I smile because now they are older and start having kids of their own, the understanding and appreciation is there. I tell my kids when you grew up with quotes like “aim for the stars” you don’t have a choice of Setting the bar high. It was already high.
The thing about me setting a standard for my kids, I always want to do it in front of them first, live out the standards I want them to have but of course I am only human and oh so not perfect, I have made my share of mistakes and at the time those mistakes are whoppers, so how do you live out a standard when you are human. Well for me that’s the easy part, I am always aware that my kids are watching what I do not necessarily listening to what i say. My actions are always speaking louder than my words so when I mess up and we face things like divorce, illness, homelessness, etc for me it’s how I get through it, not sitting and saying oh this happened but always thriving to be my best in all situation even as my kids watched me struggle with my faith when it seems like God is not answering prayers the example is yes I am struggling but I know he is able. I quote in their hearing “even when I don’t understand his way, I trust his will” and then I back it up with my actions. I am going to be the best version of myself, slaying giants and trusting the will of God even in this situation and have hope that God will do exceeding more than I can think or ask. He has set the ultimate bar and I just trust him.
The average person will usually say “I’m a good person, I don’t lie. Don’t Steal. I haven’t murdered anybody, etc. So I’m a good person and I’m going to Heaven.” They may even be able to say “I don’t swear or curse.” but Is your good, good enough? Is your standard the same as Jesus? How do we know what he is looking for and yes it tells us in the bible. Have you ever told a “white lie” to get a job or call in sick to get a day off? Have you ever cut in front of a line? Do you look at a person situation and make a negative assumption? Are these really sin or does God understand?
I personally have my own opinion but again I am human. I am not perfect and is just as guilty of some of the above. My only thing is God’s amazing grace, that he looks at my heart.
So for me I don’t know if my good is good enough but I know on a daily basis I strive to be more Christ-Like, I strive to renew my mind and be transformed, and daily I stop to think before I do because I want Eternal Life.
One Sunday afternoon, my family came home from church early (around 1pm) because we didn’t have an evening service. My now ex husband went to a friend house to watch football so I decided to take the kids to our apartment complex community pool. After a couple hours of pool fun, the kids were tired and so we went into the apartment for dinner and prep for the next day. While I was cooking dinner in the kitchen I heard a knock at the door and I asked “Who is it” a guy answered “my friend told me you have a daycare and I wanted to get some information for my 2 year old.” (Sidenote: I owned a home daycare as well as the kids ran a candy table out of our apartment) My oldest son, Ray-Shawn (who was 10 years old at the time) opened the door thinking it was a prospective parent while I went to get some paperwork for him. All of a sudden a feeling came over me that something wasn’t right I called out Ray-Shawn name and got no response so I went out the of kitchen to check to see what was going on and I saw a guy with a gun pointed at Ray-Shawn’s head. I pushed my two girls behind me into the kitchen and told the guy “Don’t hurt him, what do you want?” He said “give me all the money in the house” he walked -with the gun still pointed to my sons head- to the candy table and took the money out the jar. He saw the safe that I keep the money from my daycare and told me to open the safe. I took the safe and put it on the table to open it, when he walked towards the safe to grab the money the second he took the gun from Ray-Shawn I grab Ray-Shawn and pushed him behind my back. Not knowing where my other son was I didn’t want the guy to walk around the house so I told him that there wasn’t anymore money in the house and no one else is here. He then tell me to take off my wedding ring and my daughters bracelets. I did and gave it to him then he left. I locked the door and called family and the police.
After the incident:
Through investigations with the police and neighbor we found out the the guy was a boyfriend of a neighbor who was a friend of one of my daycare parents and it was a set-up.