Gratitude Journal #6 ~ Thankful for Chaos

What a week and I am grateful even among the chaos of overscheduling!  This week has been incredibly busy.  My smaller children are blessed with wonderful activities and friends and we have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to be stressed.

My 21-year-old gave a message at Church this Sunday for their Campus Ministry Retreat this weekend. PROUD can’t describe how I felt with what he shared. Just a year ago, he attended that retreat and three months later he was baptized and gave his life and worries to the LORD!

Baseball session is in full swing and my 11-year-old’s coaches are WONDERFUL!  He has three practices a week and his confidence is really blossoming under their guidance.

My 10-year-old daughter served as the Mistress of Ceremonies at her school’s Black History Month Program on Wednesday, followed by a meeting to discuss her academic plan and current GATE status and we ended the night with her induction into the Citywide Honor Roll.

My husband has been extremely supportive and my friends have rallied around to support me during this uncomfortable time and period of waiting.

I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am.  But most of all I am grateful to know whatever happens I am loved and I have a great supportive people around me.

That’s all for this week.

Love,

Sammie

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Song Of The Week ~ STAND by Donnie McClurkin

I wrote a post about Whitney Houston last week and I believed it would serve as my final farewell.  But one of my favorite gospel singers sang a song that was so appropriate as a farewell to Whitney Houston.

Pastor Donnie McClurkin’s lyrics truly saved me at at time in my life when I felt all hope was gone when my life was at its most difficult and all the lies I told myself to try and cope with being raped rapidly began to unravel.  Pastor Donnie McClurkin was raped at the age of eight by his uncle, his family was ravaged by domestic violence and drug abuse, but he went on to do great work to help people with healing their lives.  I found strength in these words and it reinforced what I knew in my heart but couldn’t reconcile in my head — “You just stand when there’s nothing left to do. You just stand, watch the Lord see you through.  Yes, after you done all you can, you just stand!”

Whitney Houston’s life was full of ups and downs just like everybody else’s, her down period was more notable than most but she stood and held onto her roots and her love of GOD.  There s a lesson for me in this song.  There was a lesson for her in this song.  Sometime in your life there may even be a lesson for you because after you’ve done all you can — you just STAND!

STAND ~ Lyrics

What do you do when you’ve done all you can

And it seems like it’s never enough?

And what do you say when your friends turn away

And you’re all alone, alone?

Tell me, what do you give when you’ve given your all

And it seems like you can’t make it through?
Well you just stand when there’s nothing left to do

You just stand, watch the Lord see you through

Yes, after you done all you can, you just stand
Tell me, how do you handle the guilt of your past?

Tell me, how do you deal with the shame?

And how can you smile while your heart has been broken

And filled with pain, filled with pain?

Tell me what do you give when you’ve given your all

Seems like you can’t make it through?
Child, you just stand when there’s nothing left to do

You just stand, watch the Lord see you through

Yes, after you’ve done all you can, you just stand

Stand and be sure

Be not entangled in that bondage again

You just stand, and endure

God has a purpose, yes, god has a plan!

Sending My Love To You (Did I mention this is a list of things I love about me?)

A girlfriend of mine (She-She) asked me to write five things that I love about myself and I decided to publish it as a reminder to myself of just how many ways that I am loved and I am a reflection of self-love for my children and friends:

Dear Me,

Here is the things that I love about me:

1.  My Faith in GOD ~ I am faithful to GOD and his plan for my life.  It has not been easy to follow or accept GOD’s plan but it has always guided me down the appropriate road for my benefit.

2.  My Open Heart ~ I love my open heart.  So many things have happened that could have easily made me harden my heart but I didn’t allow it to close me off from people or to close my heart to new people, places or experiences.

3.  My Determination ~ To look into myself and discover and unravel all of the layers of me. The un-perfect layers that have melted together to become the me that I am today, in spite of the me that I was yesterday.  My determination to review my life with accepting eyes and through a lens that allows for human errors, human tragedy and self-acceptance has been the key to living a healthy life with PTSD for me.  Sure, I still stumble and fall from time to time — but I do not collapse like I previously used to when situations occur that trigger my PTSD.

4.  My Willingness to Help Others ~ I take pleasure in helping others.  I have been so blessed by the people who have helped me in all aspects of my life and I know it is a privilege to help others!

5.  My Creativity ~ I truly know how to make lemonade when lemons are thrown at me.   Lemonade is my way of making the best out of unpleasant circumstances, it’s a way of stretching resources and getting positive/negative energy out of me.  My creativity helps me express myself in ways that I may never verbalize.  I quilt to tell a story with fabric.  I write to vent, to tell my truth, to tell how I desire something to be and to help others that may struggle as I have struggled.

This exercise took me about 1 hour to write.  It is very short but I honestly struggled to think of things I love about me, mostly because I have never been encouraged to make such a proclamation.  This my Valentine’s Day gift to myself.  This my proclamation of self-love!  If you are reading this and you have never done this before I highly encourage you to do so!

Here is your challenge:

Name five things that you love about you!

Write it down, shout it out to the world, toot your own horn, because if you don’t who will?

Love,

Sammie

Song of the Week ~ We Found Love (Cover by Boyce Avenue)

I love music and it touches me in the strangest ways and at the strangest times sometimes. The melodies evoke emotions and memories of times long since passed.  Music is the pulse of my life.  I love popular music, acoustic music, gospel music.  Honestly, I love a little bit of everything!

I am always attracted to the words of a song.  I wonder what the writer was thinking when I hear it.  I often try to avoid seeing a video to a song until I have gotten a grasp of its lyrics because I find that video treatments often don’t match the song.  I had the pleasure of hearing WE FOUND LOVE by Rihanna as an acoustic cover version of the song by Boyce Avenue and I am so glad that I did!  This stripped down version truly touched my heart.

I had forgotten all about Boyce Avenue’s version after Rihanna’s synthesizer infused original version hit the airways and the seductive drug reference filled video hit the video channels.  I watched a behind the scenes show about the making of the video where she said,  “Love is unexplainable, intoxicating and illicit just like a drug.”  She went on to talk about the good and bad sides of love and the feeling of being out of control and how sometimes we need to release the very thing that we value and love in order to love ourself.  To say that I was dumbfounded was an understatement!

Flash forward two months.  It is Sunday morning. January 29, 2012 at my Church’s Bring A Friend to Church Day.  The theme is the “Power Of Love.” The message was about finding a place of love during difficult times.  It was full of hope for the hopeless, spiritually broken, and those that needed to reconnect to the power of the cross and reconnect with GOD.  The message spoke of promises of forgiveness and new life.  Communion was served and the chords of the piano began to play and my favorite soloist began to sing:

“Yellow diamonds in the light and we’re standing side by side”

By the time she sang, “Because the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny. But I gotta let it go.”  I was in tears.  I never thought of this song in this context but it was a beautiful call to the altar to restore people’s hopes and dreams.  A call for people to release addictions or hurt and pain from their past.  I was uplifted in a way that I have never been before while listening to this song.  It took on a whole new meaning and its one that I am going to keep in my heart this week and beyond.  Like I said, music can soothe the soul, convict the heart, and release the past.

We Found Love LYRICS:

Yellow diamonds in the light
And we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive
Because the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Shine a light through an open door
Love and life I will divide
Turn away cause I need you more
Feel the heartbeat in my mind
Because the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Yellow diamonds in the light
And we’re standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive
I because the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny
But I gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Tag Line of My Life (Writing on Edge)

Today’s meme was to come up with a creative title and tagline that captures your life, or a moment from your life. Here is mine…

“TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS!”

I’m so grateful know that I know and understand this. I’ve seen dark days, truly dark days that I never dreamed would end. Yet, in spite of these periods of trouble my faith has sustained me and proven that the sun will always come from behind the clouds and the storms of life will come and go. Troubles don’t last always and I am eternally grateful!

Song of the Week: Jennifer Hudson – I GOT THIS LYRICS

I am really feeling this new Jennifer Hudson song! I love the strength of this song and it stands as a testament for all that she has had to endure to become a professional singer. Her story echo’s so many of our own if you stop to think about it. How many times has someone said that you couldn’t achieve one of your goals? How many times have you heard that your dream is an impossible one? Am I striking a nerve yet?

Was there ever a time when those closest to you doubted your ability, or talents? Did their nay-saying motivate you or did you second guess yourself?

Well, whatever happened previously, I hope that this song will give you the encouragement to press forward and follow your dreams and reach for your goals!

Love,

Sammie

JENNIFER HUDSON – I GOT THIS LYRICS.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Not only does October 1st begins Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it also begins a season of hope for cancer research and hope for a cure. I could go on and on about the importance of taking care of yourself and doing monthly self-examinations of your breast but I am going to leave you with this thought, the breast you squeeze can actually save your life! Take time to have your annual breast Mammogram after the ago of forty or younger if your Mother or Grandmother died of Breast Cancer. Yes, it’s temporarily uncomfortable but as uncomfortable as fighting for life against cancer.

This month I will be posting reflections about cancer, lots of facts about cancer and providing resources for cancer survivors. I promise it’s not a time to sulk, it’s a time to come together and celebrate cancer survivors and create opportunities to love and support those currently in the fight for there lives!

I think we all agrees that CANCER SUCKS but together we can help KICK CANCERS ASS! Join me, tell friends, show up in pink on Fridays at your office and show everyone that you are on a mission to SAVE THE TA-TA’S!!!

Love,
Sammie
XOXO

Song of the Week — OPTIMISTIC by Sounds of Blackness

Wow it’s Monday already! So many things to be grateful for. So many things to appreciate that people have done for me. So many reasons to keep my head up and be

OPTIMISTIC!

The economy has definitely taken a bite out of my livelihood, my personal finances and my daily way of living. When people lose their jobs they don’t need childcare and when people don’t need childcare — I have an employment problem.

Just two months ago, I sat in my Town & Country with airbags deployed all around me and the engine and other car parts from under the hood sitting at my right hand inside of my demolished van. I was banged up, bruised bit not broken! My van was totaled but I survived.

My job was eliminated due to low enrollment, and I was offered a lower position with much less pay. A couple of weeks later I had a panic attack as I approached my new car and was about to get in to go to my job. My employers were less than understanding and I was extremely frustrated as I finished my last days of my employment with them but I survived and I got a better, higher paying job.

Live has not gone like I planned this summer but I kept pushing harder. I kept things in perspective. I suffered with unimaginable pain, but I took each day to remind myself that I’m still here. It was my optimism and faith in the midst of sorrow, chaos, and uncertainty that ultimately prevailed and led me to a new job, a new car, and a new understanding of who I am and how much I could bare. I know on the days when I didn’t have the strength to get up, it was GOD who carried me. It was GOD who kept food on our table, and friends at my beck and call.

It’s so easy to get bogged down in sadness, but we have to hold onto our dreams and keep our vision while remembering who we are, what we are capable of, and most of all remembering WHO we belong to! We were created to live in the winner’s circle, regardless of how hard our reality seems.

You can win, as long as you keep your head to the sky. Be OPTIMISTIC!

Love,
Sammie
xoxoxo

OPTIMISTIC Lyrics
Keep, keep On…. Never Say Die….

When in the midst of sorrow
You can’t see up when looking down
A brighter day tomorrow will bring
You hear the voice of reason
Telling you this can never be done
No matter how hard reality seems
Just hold on to your dreams

Don’t give up and don’t give in
Although it seems you never win
You will always pass the test as long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky

Be optimistic

If things around you crumble
No, you don’t have to stumble and fall
Keep pushing on and don’t you look back
I know the storms and strife
Cloud up your outlook on life
Just think ahead and you’ll be inspired
To reach higher and higher.

You’ll always do your best
If you learn to never say never
You maybe down, but you’re not out.
Don’t give up and don’t give in
Although it seems you never win
You will always pass the test as long as you keep your head to the sky
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky (you can win child!)
You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky

Be optimistic
Don’t you let nobody stop you…..
Be optimistic
You can win, Yes
Never say die….

Defying Gravity


(Glee Version featuring Chris Coffer and Leah Michelle)

Last week seemed to have a recurring theme for me and those around me online and offline. Many of us dealt with FAITH! We either tempted it, my online friend @SharonDV did the CN Tower Walk in Ontario, Canada and survived. Alex @L8enough struggled with faith, My friend/Sister @MOMmagRocks as we begin to challenge ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and do something DARING! Finally, I literally verbally fought with someone I love because of my faith (I assure you it wasn’t my finest Christian moment).

This week has been an incredible week for each of us, but when I look back at it I hope Sharon, Alex, Tamara and J know that they are loved beyond anything they can humanly measure. I hope that they continue to challenge themselves and continue defying gravity and press forward with the courage and questioning that inspires so many people. We are each evolving, growing, clinging to and testing our FAITH. Life can be a bumpy journey but I’m so glad to have met each of you as I have traveled along my path.

Defying Gravity Lyrics ~ from the Musical WICKED
(Melody Sung by Idina Menzel the first wife of MY HUSBAND Taye Diggs — LOL)

Something has changed within me,
Something is not the same.
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game.

Too late for second-guessing,
Too late to go back to sleep.
It’s time to trust my instincts,
Close my eyes and leap.

It’s time to try
Defying gravity
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I’m Defying Gravity
And you won’t bring me down…

I’m through accepting limits
‘Cause someone says they’re so.
Some things I cannot change,
But till I try, I’ll never know.

Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost.
Well, if that’s love,
It comes at much too high a cost!

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity.
Kiss me goodbye,
I’m defying gravity.
I think I’ll try
Defying Gravity
And you won’t bring me down.

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity.
Kiss me goodbye,
I’m defying gravity.
I think I’ll try
Defying Gravity

And you won’t bring me down.
Bring me down!
Ahhahhoahh