So, Long time no talk, ammirite?

You wanna know why?  Because I have been trying to keep myself sane and my head above water.  First, you won’t believe it. 

I had Covid. 

Sure did.  The ‘rona caught up with me.  To be fair, I did okay.  Some of my co-workers struggled a lot more than I did.  I felt achy and had a headache.  Basically it.  OH!  And I lost my sense of taste.  It’s like getting tackled on the two yard line.  I got so close…. but in the end, she showed up and got me.  Luckily – no one else caught it, and I am now Covid free! And can I tell you, I was so scared.  This is Bella’s senior year, her graduation is tomorrow, and if I had missed it – That would have been terrible. 

I don’t mean that to make light of it in anyway.  I know how blessed I am that it wasn’t worse.  One of my dearest friends and his wife, they were both down for two weeks – and still not completely well.  I have had friends in the hospital, and know people who have lost family members to it. I was very, very blessed and lucky.

Now, let’s go on to something a little more uplifting, shall we?

Remember the lady that called me names, etc?  The one who made me cry in a facebook live video like Chris Crocker crying over Brittney Spears? I saw her.  I saw her in real life.  Face to face.  And let me tell you – Jesus and his angels must have came down and handcuffed my wrists and paralyzed my feet because it took everything I had to not call her out in front of the crowd that was there. Not to walk up and punch her square in the jaw.  I wanted to. I am human.  I really wanted to.  Guess what guys – I was the bigger person. I looked at her.  I saw that her daughter was with her.  I wouldn’t embarrass her in front of her kid.  (There is one difference between us), but I got another lesson in this. I really did.

I have never been that close to her.  In my whole life.  She was like 8 feet away.  And I realized that she was older than me.  Like, I knew she was older than me.  But I saw it.  She is a lovely woman (in appearance), but she visibly her age.  And It shocked me – that someone who looks that age, would act that way. And I know there is no age gap on gossip, meanness, or stupidity.  We all know that – but to be fair, it is the first time I ever encountered it.  You can expect that from girls. Even young women.   But to see someone over 50 – acting like a 20 year old.  It made me sad for her. 

And for clarity – it took about 5 days for that sadness to set in.  Definitely wanted to fight her for the first five.  Again, I’m human.  But when I thought on it – how sad it must be to feel the need to  spin stories on others’ lives for your own entertainment. Or maybe make yourself feel important? Some level of dissatisfaction has to be there. 

I want to make a declarative statement – God’s children fail.  We all do.  This woman is very Christian on her social media.  I want to make it clear – gossip, idle chatter – this is not okay.  This is not the way we as believers should behave.  Nor should we sit in judgement of others.  That is why I choose to pity her, and pray that my heart lets go of its anger.  We are getting there.

But I want to add, for anyone who may need to hear this, we know gossip is bad. Even so, we find it all too prevalent in society. Worst yet, it’s in our churches.

There are many reasons people struggle with this appalling, divisive, and detrimental act. One of the more obvious ones is justifying it because the gossiper believes what he or she is spreading is true. This is a basic misunderstanding many of us have, so let’s clear it up.

Biblically, gossip is sharing information that ought not be shared. It may or may not be true.

This is where we assume too much concerning gossip. Too many people think it’s OK to share information that shouldn’t be shared, because they believe it is true. So they justify sharing personal, private information that is nobody’s business to share. In their minds it’s fine to destroy things like relationships and reputations because, “Hey, if it’s true, they deserve it.”

Slander is spreading false information. We need to understand that one can be gossiping and slandering at the same time, and one can be gossiping and not slandering at the same time. In other words, gossip can be true and slander is false.

Some information is nobody’s business to share. So what if you have the dirt on somebody else? Why is it OK for you to spread other people’s personal and/or private information?

Jesus said, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (ESV).

True or not, don’t share others’ personal and/or private things. That’s gossip.

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends”

Both of those are from Proverbs. You want more info about gossip and what believers should do– there are a lot of great pastors out there who speak about it.  Pastor Jeff Adams at Paramount Christian Church has some great articles about it.

*Edited to add – Graduation was a huge success.  The podcast is going to launch in a couple weeks, and I am so happy in my life right now.  Thanks guys for always standing behind me.

Love Fully.  Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

Welp.  It’s almost May.  2021. For some, 2020 was a terrible year.  Most, I’d say.  But for me? 2021 – that’s the one.  That’s the one that has tried me. 

  1. My parents live in Tennessee – both had Covid in Nov/Dec – and were still recovering this year.
  2. Hashimoto’s and SLE – have kicked my butt. Some days literally – some days figuratively.
  3. I watched a couple people that I adore, come under attack.  Brutally.
  4. My son, my little son, has had such a tough time.  From School, to home, to growing.  His teeth.  He’s been such a trooper.
  5. I have seen my kids experience heartbreak. 
  6. My Company was sold – and I was afraid I would lose my job.
  7. My son learned not all friends are really friends, and why I am kind to everyone – yet keep my circle small.
  8. I have been called names, made fun of, called ugly – all because I chose to do the right thing. By people that don’t even know me.
  9. I have seen my daughter shook to the core, by the above. Realizing that someone that she respected was a complete fraud.

But guess what guys!  Let’s flip that script – because I am over that!

  1. My parents are better, vaccinated, and doing well.
  2. My doctor is quite amazing, and it working with me to get myself and my meds all straight and get me feeling 100%.
  3. The two people I saw attacked, are thriving.  Literally.  Healed physically and mentally.
  4. My boy – he’s getting braces. Getting teeth pulled. And homeschooling.  I believe that he has found a good flow, and so have I, and he is doing much better. 
  5. My heartbroken babies? Back in the saddle and moving on – and realizing that there are other fish in the sea.
  6. Albeit my position switched, I feel more productive, and more utilized, than I ever.
  7. I want to find the upside to betrayal and lying- but I can’t.  Jacoby was crushed by this.  The only thing I can say about that is that it might can prep him for the future? I dunno, on that one. One day – I will right a full blog about that whole situation. 
  8. I’m proud of my integrity.  I am proud of who I am. I am proud for standing firm in what I believe.  And I am proud – that I am not a mean, catty, hateful girl. 
  9. It was a good lesson, albeit one that I wish no one needed – ever in life. And that just because people have alot of age on them, doesn’t mean they aren’t catty and gossipy. But hey – it is what it is.

And let me add… all this occurred, while attending college full-time.  OH?  What was my grades for the semester, you ask? 4.0.  What is my overall GPA? 4.0. OH!  And also all while prepping a new business venture.  But whatever, no big deal.

So, I work full-time.  Go to school full-time.  I’m a single mom of three. And I would not change a thing. I am proud of myself. I’m grateful for the closeness between my kids and myself over the past year or so. 

I finally went back to school to get a degree in something that I work in.  Not Geology- not dinosaurs – Business Leadership and Economics… LOL!  Not near as interesting as Dinosaurs, but a lot more useful . For years, I have pushed back the fear of going back as an adult, overcoming massive internal resistance, and choosing to take the leap despite feeling like I am  jumping through a ring of fire, above a pit filled with burning acid.

Starting this business is one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. It has dredged up all my deepest insecurities, triggers,and feelings I’d rather stuff down and ignore, and brought me face to face with the most fragile, vulnerable parts of me.

The fact that I have done either of these things are huge. Monumental, really. Just the fact that I chose to get up and say it is an accomplishment worth acknowledging and celebrating. A lot of folks don’t. They will do what they’ve always done and remain stuck in discontent, wishing they could know a life less limited.  Blaming their situation or others for ways they are unhappy.

But Me?  I’m trying. I’m taking a chance at being the woman I want to be, knowing full well there are no guarantees. And let me tell you – I see myself as a freaking Rockstar. I am not one to brag  – but I am gonna tell you – I’m proud of me. And there are no apologies for that. 

Bring it 2021.  We lets ride this wave out.

Love Fully. Live fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

And for those of you who have asked, I Love Yoga. It’s part of my daily life.  When I lived in VA – my license plate actually said, “Luv Yoga”.  Kundalini Yoga is one of my favorite forms –  and Sat Nam is a mantra often used. Like namaste in other styles of yoga, Sat Nam is used as both a closing salutation at the end of class and as a general greeting. In this context, Sat Nam acknowledges the true nature or the Divine within the person being greeted. So in a way, the best part of me, acknowledges the best part of you. Hope that helped!  (Gabrielle Bernstein has some amazing Kundalini Yoga videos on YouTube since we aren’t doing classes right now!)

You know what I hate? When people say – “choose happiness”. It’s not that simple, guru. You don’t know what I have went through. You don’t know they pain I have been subjected to. You don’t know my health struggles. So guess what? If I was capable of simply “choosing” happiness – I would do it! Right? I mean, I think I’m right. Am I right?

Of course I am – but I am also completely wrong.

Choosing happiness, doesn’t mean that you won’t have moments of sadness, anger, fear, dread, or embarrassment. I think, that choosing happiness means that you literally acknowledge those moments – and choose to move on from them. You know I am going to give personal examples, right?

I am going to talk about two separate friendships. One male. One female. And for about two to three years, I was close to both of them. Me and the female? Never had a real spat or disagreement. Me and the male? One disagreement, but we both moved on from it. Before the pandemic, I had lost touch with the girl. She literally ghosted. I still to this day don’t know what happened. I know she was going through a lot of personal things in her life, and maybe she chose to focus on that and only that. The guy, made a move during the pandemic. And during the pandemic – my life went into chaos. You all know. Freaking chaos. Not making excuses at all – just stating facts.

So, as far as the female goes – I don’t know, and I probably never will. And I hope all is okay. But there is nothing I can do about it. So, I see pics of us every now and then – and now I choose happiness. I choose to smile, and I am grateful for the fun times and laugher. And every time one pops up, I say a little prayer for her. I believe that she was doing the best she could at the time.

With the guy? It’s a little different. There were things I wanted to tell him, but I couldn’t. Things I wanted to confide, but I wasn’t sure how to. Things I was scared of – so I acted tough. I wasn’t a good friend to him. Not near as good of a friend to him as he was to me, looking back. But I also know, that at that time of my life, I was doing the best I could. I was fighting my own insecurities. My own demons. I am still so grateful for that friendship, though. I called him to apologize once, but no answer. He could have blocked me, his number could have changed, I don’t know. What I do know, is that I choose to look back at our fun moments, and be happy. I choose to pray for him often, and that he becomes brilliantly successful – because he is super talented! And I pray, that if our paths ever cross again, that God gives me the words so he can hear how grateful I actually am to have known him. Because I believe I was doing the best I could at the time.

Now, you may say to yourself, “Self! Those are a lot easier to choose happiness over – You don’t know my struggle, you don’t know what I’ve been through.” You are right. I don’t. And I am not saying that I choose happiness in each situation. I don’t. Not at first. But I get there. I had someone close to me steal from me. They literally stole my money from my account. It caused a big financial issue for me. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I dreamed of beating them about the neck and throat. But… I didn’t. And it took some time, but I am so glad that I am not filled with so much greed or irresponsibility – that I would put myself before others. Or feel like I had to steal to survive. You see, if she would have asked. I would have just given it to her – what I could. And then, I would have looked for help elsewhere. It hurt, yes. But I choose to be happy despite of that. I believe that she was doing the best she could at the time.

I’ve been cheated on. That sucks. Big time. I was big mad. But through therapy – I realized that cheating was a symptom of a bigger problem. We broke up, cause I couldn’t get past it. Now, I look back and smile. And I am actually friends with him and we have seen each other a lot since then. He is married – has two beautiful daughters, and is a great husband and daddy. He has apologized for it – and although that was tough and it hurt, it was his issue – not mine. So I choose to be happy for the fun memories, and happy that he is happy and such a good person to his family! And again, I believe he was doing the best he could at the time.

I found my husband dead. That was tragic. And scary. I mourned. I grieved. But I found happiness. I am happy that he is in heaven. I am happy that I got to bear witness to himself turning his life around. But his death taught me something. Live well today. Forgive, today. Don’t go to bed angry. I think that’s why so many people struggle, because they forget that this is all we have. This life, this moment is the only guarantee we have because tomorrow the doctor may tell us we only have a few weeks to live. Tomorrow, a drunk driver can kill us. Tomorrow, our world could end. But TODAY at this moment, we are alive, and if we really believe that we are going to die, how much better can we live today? We can live so much better. When we really hold onto the truth that life isn’t going to go on forever, we can believe it and savor every moment. I think this is the gift of death. Death can remind us to live well today. When we forget, we struggle. When we forget, we hang onto fears and anxieties, hopes that preclude us from living here and now well. The one thing that is guaranteed is that this life on planet Earth will end. If you knew, that tomorrow could be your last I bet you would behave differently, I know I would.

Again, I am not some saint. I am not some perfect guru. (See Facebook video from a month or so ago, the mimicked Britney 2007). My page is public, feel free to go watch. And no, I haven’t taken it down, because that is part of my story. No need to delete, and it reminds me that I am growing everyday – because I have yet to physically assault the said insult thrower. (Yet, keep praying for me ya’ll, cause I wanna. I wanna hit her hard.) But I am growing everyday. Speaking of that – “Hey girl, you are probably reading this – I appreciate all the hits. It really helps me in search engines. But FYI, posts about my husband who passed away, and my son – should be off limits. Those weren’t a “crazy lady” – those were broken hearted. Girl, choose kindness and quit being a gossip and spreading false info. Grow up – I mean, you are literally an adult – I’m an adult – and you are older than me! Quit making kids uncomfortable. Quit hurting people – because you are hurt. Think of the dangers of your mouth. And remember, you with all of your claims of loving Jesus – You are gonna have to stand before him one day for this. He knows about your gossiping. He knows that you gossip to give yourself an elevated sense of importance, because you feel unheard. He knows what you do, why you do it, what you say with your lips, and what you do with your heart. Don’t ruin your testimony. Find happiness in your day today. Like I am doing. Feel free to send this one to your friends, too. And, I forgive you – albeit I am still angry by it. Feel free to contact me. I am willing to talk. You don’t have to mock my writing looking at insights to my soul. You can ask. This is really who I am. That’s the difference between us. What you see is what you get.

So again kids, be happy. Choose it – even if you feel like you can’t. And if you can’t in that moment – maybe you can in an hour. A day. But one day – choose it. Don’t waste your days with resentment and hatred, we only have a few – and they will never be enough. And be grateful. I am loved. My kids treat me like a princess. My parents are hilarious. I am on a waitlist for a puppy. And my gel main/pedi is still fly, three weeks later.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

As we all know – I have been ran through the mud. I have been hurt.  Angered. I have been mocked.  Made fun of.  All by people who really don’t know anything about me. That being said, you all have been supportive as can be. I am grateful for each and everyone of you. So here is an answer to a question I got.

The email read,

“Hey.  I don’t know how you are holding up.  I have watched this going on…  The job. The gossip. The health issues. The kids. How are you holding up – I mean this as a question, not even a “How are you?” (I care how you are, I’m just struggling too- help me!) I’m losing my mind from the past year, myself. Any advice?”

Well first, I am holding up shocking well – now.  Keyword is now.  In an hour, who knows. But right now, I am doing ok. And of course.  I have advice.  Here’s my top ten things you should/shouldn’t do to complicate your life any futher. All written and determined of the past 10 year chaotic journey of my own. Enjoy. LOL!

10. Keep everything in Perspective.

Perspective is underrated. In each moment of our lives, things seem huge, am I right? I’m a widow – and this isn’t even widow talk.  You all saw my crying “Chris Crocker” style video because my feelings got hurt.  People often think that once you know real trauma -you have a gift where other things don’t phase you.  Not true. I might be able to snap out of quicker, but it still hurts.

What gets me through is perspective.  This woman calling me names, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought when I was enduring chemo. I wouldn’t have cared. And guess what? I choose to try my best not to now. It’s perspective.  She was nonexistent to me before, really.  Why care now? It’s perspective.

9. Healthy People take their Health for Granted.

And sometimes, sick people who get healthy-still take their health for granted. So, whether it be physical or mental health – take care of it. And be grateful for it.  For real.  If you smoke stop.  IF you are overweight and sedentary – get healthy.  If you struggle with your mind, get therapy.  Check your heath insurance.  You probably have benefits that you don’t even know about. Take advantage of it and be the best version of you that you can be. If you don’t have health insurance, there are a lot of programs out there to help you.  I know it’s hard.

Let me be honest, If I ate what and how I wanted, and I didn’t exercise, I would be morbidly obese.  For sure.

8. Always Choose Kindness.

I haven’t always chosen kindness.  Sometimes, my words have gotten the best of me.  Sometimes, I have allowed jealousy to enter into my heart with such malice.  Sometimes, I have judged others to make myself feel better. But every single time I have chosen kindness, I have not been disappointed.  Sure, revenge feels good – for a second.  But it doesn’t for the long haul.  So have some good people around you that can be a voice of reason when you are being crazy – and work towards kindness.

7. Confidence is not being well-dressed. Confidence is expressing who you really are.

We all know that my hair is my pride and joy. We all know that my fashion choices maybe a touch out the norm. But I will tell ya this, mohawk and all – I feel like I am living my best self when I am me.  Fake eyelashes and all. I love animal prints – and nontraditional art.   So be yourself. IF you want purple streaks and they make you feel good – get purple streaks. You wanna shave your head, shave your head. Be confident. Confidence looks good on every single person. And if you like your hair in a side part – BY ALL MEANS GET THE SIDE PART! Don’t listen to TikTok!

 6. Allow yourself to be touched.

This is science.  Physical touch can heal.  Like I’m serious.  It really can. Google it.  Physical touch has healing benefits.  It can increase your immune system.  It can lower the blood sugar of people with Diabetes.

There are studies showing that touch signals safety and trust, it soothes. Basic warm touch calms cardiovascular stress. It activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is intimately involved with our compassionate response, and a simple touch can trigger release of oxytocin.

And think of babies – holding a baby can calm a baby.  It’s physical touch.  If you are single, and don’t have a partner, that’s okay.  It isn’t just a couple thing.  Hug your kids.  Your nieces or nephews.  Your friends.  Or even, schedule a massage.  I’m serious.  It helps.

5. Gossip is Capital – Don’t be involved in that Market.

Again, I have went down that road in my past. Never ends well.  But what I can say is this.  If you have ever confided in me – your secrets are safe. For life.  Even if you hate me now.  Steel trap.  And if we were friends, and don’t talk anymore – still, I got you. Don’t be one of those people who air things that were given in confidence. It is actually gross.

My therapist told me this today – and it’s freaking brilliant.  She said, “When people gossip, their whole purpose to gossiping is create worth within themselves.  When people gossip – they are either experiencing fear, a desire for belonging or inclusion, and a craving for intimacy and a sense of connection.  If someone is gossiping, they are sad people. Looking for someone externally to give them approval.” It makes it a little easier to forgive when you think of the damage they have are feeling internally.  

4.  Address your problems as the arise – and complaining will not fix things.

Problems are like splinters.  Might not seem like a big deal, but ignore it – and you might end up with a full body infection.  Address each issue as they come up. Let me give you a real life “Kristie” example.

At one point in my adult life, I was seriously financially burdened. Medical bills, life, and everything else – was sucking me dry.  I was “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”  Finally, it got to the point to where I couldn’t sleep at night. I literally had to get a grip on my finances.  I needed to see just how poor I was.

Had I not done that, I would not have been able to solve the problem. I would have been a slave to ignoring the mailbox, and feeling like I was going to throw up when I had to pay bills.  Now my finances are top priority. I manage my money so it doesn’t manage me. I can go get the mail without a brown bag to hyperventilate in. It feels good.

And complaining, doesn’t do anyone any good. It doesn’t fix  your finances, it doesn’t fix your mood. This one, I am good at.  When you want to complain, think of the opposite, and choose gratitude.  Turn, “I’m starving” into, “I can’t wait to get to Publix for $5.00 Sushi night!”

Acceptance is the first step to freedom. If you are in denial about your present circumstance, you will be locked in a cycle of misery. Once you accept things as they are and you find that you don’t like what you see, you can take the next step to change things for the better.

3. It’s not all about you.

We are the center of our own worlds, of course. But what if you actually flip that switch for five minutes a day.  Take your kids or partner for example… Instead of “What do I have to do today?”, try “What do we need to do today, and maybe I can help you achieve your goal.”

Pay attention to the actions and behaviors of others in your life. Look at the context clues.  Are they sad? Scared? Being bullied, maybe? It’s normal to be intensely aware as to what is going on in your life, just be mindful, that others are around you also.

2. Love is more than a feeling.  It’s a choice.

Everyone wants to be in love, right? Falling in love is mad easy.  Staying in love – not so easy.  I recommend before entering any relationships – be honest.  Don’t change who you are – because overtime – you will change. I am not the same person now that I was at 20. So, if I “fake it” at 20 – end up married to be someone’s ideal – naturally change as they do – BOOM. Problems. And fun facts, this goes for friendships, too.  For a long time, I wanted to morph to be what I thought people wanted.  I am a people pleaser.  I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be liked.  Now – everyone gets the garbage from jump.  You are welcome. (and I am happier than I have been for it.)

Be honest.  Admit your flaws.  Your hang-ups.  Example? I smoked for years. You think I am gonna hide that from anyone? Nope. Why? It is a struggle for me each day.  So if you see me even consider a cigarette – slap me hard. My best friend smokes. If I asked her for cigarette, she would punch me In the face.  I love her for that.

But with any love, we must choose to be kind, to be loving, let the annoyances pass, be respectful, and supportive.  It isn’t always easy.  But it’s worth it.

1. Don’t ruin your testimony.

Have you ever seen someone face their demons? Let me tell ya, I have twice in my life. And what I have to say, is both times – I had such respect for these two people beforehand, and after – even more.  And both times, I watched both people be brutalized by Christians.  People of my faith. If I didn’t have a strong personal relationship with God – I would definitely never wanted to be part of that religion.

I challenge you to write down on a notepad – every dirty, despicable thing you have done.  Thought.  Every wish of ill will.  Every bad act.  Moments of gluttony.  Times of giving into sin.  Now, I want you to think of everyone you know – and everyone you don’t tuning into a TV channel – where someone reads every, single deed.  No one would be able to hold their heads up.

The reality is that I’ve sinned in just about every area. It pains me to say that, but it’s true. If people hear the Gospel and reject Jesus, that’s one thing. If I’m the barrier to people accepting Christ because of me and my sin, that’s a completely different deal. Fortunately, God’s much bigger than my stupidity.

So I end with this, When does your humanness get in the way of people knowing the hope, forgiveness, and love of Jesus?  Does your life make them curious about Jesus’ love, or does it make them want to run away screaming.

So, I challenge you – if you are a Christian – don’t use prayer as an excuse for inaction.  Don’t sit around and wait for God to do his thing, step out in obedience and faith. And hey, don’t think you are better than others, either. Don’t create some internal rules to differentiate your holiness while you decide others aren’t.

That’s a wrap, Jack.

So there it is.  That’s how I get through.  An amazing support system.  Being supportive.  Love.  Laughter.  Jesus. And Gratiude.

Hope it helps.

Love Fully.  Live Fully.  Shine on. 

Of course, something stems me, and I write a blog.

I was made fun of. I cried – hard – after I saw this woman make fun of me.  She made fun of something she assumed I wrote. She made fun of my face. What affected me the most? Making fun of my face.  I’ll tell you why.  One, I am confidant in my writing and my skills.  That’s math.  Numbers don’t lie This week, my blog was read in 15 different countries, and in 41 states. This year? It was 54 countries and all 50 states. United States #1 – England #2 – Australia and New Zealand tied for #3.  Another place that my blog is read and followed a lot? Nepal.  So crazy.  

Two, I am transparent.  My Facebook page is public.  I hide nothing.  So everyone can come and see what they want to see. Of course, I use filters.  I also retouch.  I get pimples.  I get dark circles. I never hide that.  I’ve seen this woman numerous times in real life. Her profile pic is beautiful. It is also retouched.  And why in the world would you not put the best photo of yourself out there.  Be clear – I am not throwing shade.  I am saying if you like your pic filtered and it makes you feel better? Filter it!  I often say, publicly – that my makeup routine mimics that of a successful drag queen.  And I love it.  I also love my face scrubbed and clean. ? There are a ton of photos out there of me with no filters and no makeup. Again.  My Facebook page is public.  I don’t hide a thing about my appearance.

Another transparent moment? I hate the fact that I don’t have eyebrows or eyelashes.  I hate it.

But I was called ugly.  That I filter my pics.  I was told that I write on a third-grade level. The third-grade level comment didn’t phase me.  One – that is just false.  If she isn’t capable of reading it – that’s on her – but I have been published numerous times, (twice in two scientific journals), along with this blog-so that part didn’t hurt me.  That’s like telling Pavarotti he can’t sing.  You might not like it, but that does not mean that he isn’t talented.

But I am self-conscious of my face.  I have clear eyebrows and they are few.  I also do not have eyelashes.  After I had chemo, they never came back in.  So yeah, that hurt me because she literally took the one thing that I can’t do anything about – the thing that I can’t help – and made fun of me for it.  To be fair, she probably didn’t know that I had cancer.  But key point – you never know – so don’t be mean. Below is a slide show, click through. Two filtered. Rest unfiltered. All on Facebook or the blog. Scroll down though guys, there’s more.

All of this done, by a woman that I had done nothing to but been kind.  And why? Because I won’t crucify or slam someone.  I am made fun of – because I give grace.  I am made fun of – because I will not girl gang up.  There were so many other assumptions, that were completely wrong.  It was gossip.  Literally it said, “I can’t confirm” – well if you can’t confirm, you shouldn’t be speaking. If you want to know – you can email me. Call me.  I will tell you everything. And let me tell you something – it was so apparent that this woman had focused so long on my life, and trying to figure it out, it blows my mind.

And in the big scheme of things, by her being a “mean girl” – she literally helped me more than she can ever know.  The outpouring of love and support was huge. I have a great group of women that are around me and build me up every day. But this went way beyond that.  I knew that Michelle, Tamara, Rachel, Crystal, and Jenn – those girls got my back.  This was over 300 – READ THAT – 300 PEOPLE.  Over three hundred people took the time to comment, text, or dm me.  I am so grateful.  So freaking grateful.  

Unfortunately, through her selfish comments – she hurt a few people. But the ones she intended to hurt, she actually lifted. Funny how that works.

Now, lets get down to what I want to say. This woman speaks Christianity.  Offers prayers for others. She does not look like me.  She does not talk like me. She just does not.  But please do not judge a book by it’s cover.

I have bleach blonde hair.  Sometimes it has looked like a rainbow. I have tattoos.  My clothing style is just that – MY STYLE.  I like what I like and how I like it. I know people talk about the way I dress.  Talk about my hair.  Ask anyone who has ever been out with me in public, every single time, this is said, “I love your hair”,  “I wish I had the courage to do that”, or “You look like Pink!”  This past weekend, I literally had a guy run up to me, because he got excited because he thought I was.  And I love Jesus. Why? Because I have made mistakes, and I have been given grace.  I have not known how I would function the next day, and he got me up.  Jesus is the one who got me here today. Jesus is the one who has taught me radical grace, and radical non-judgement. And my number one goal, it create a life, and a story – of just that.

I promise, I will never judge you.  I will always be a shoulder to cry on.  I will call you out on your trash.  And I accept being called out on mine.  And I will grow and learn from it.  But my only request, is that people need to be more accepting. People need to be more accepting of others growing and learning from their mistakes.

It’s one thing to call people out on their crap, but once they accept it and begin to learn and grow from it – you we need to be accepting and lift them up. So right now – publicly – I am calling her out on her crap.  And at the same time, I want to lift her up.  I believe she is better than this.  Maybe she doesn’t have enough friends.  Maybe she was excited to be involved in gossip.  I don’t know.

I have all the photos of the messages. And it being Facebook, it shows the name, and the profile pic. I could post it.  I could send it to her employer. I could say this is the way this person talks about parents and people she whom she does not know.  I could cause pain and hurt in her community.  Complete shock in her community. 

But I won’t.  Why? I don’t want to ruin her testimony to others – the way she ruined her testimony to me.  I do not want her family to be hurt by my actions, the way she hurt mine.  I don’t want to ruin her reputation.  And the meanness, just would.  Six people (besides myself) – 5 who know her and one who doesn’t – has seen the messages. (Well seven, but I don’t know that person).  The five who knew her – were floored.  Floored. Michelle, the interceptor, was shocked.

So as a person who loves Jesus.

I don’t team hate.  Ever.  I listen to people.  You want to know why? I have been on the other end of mean girls over and over.  You don’t know what someone has been through.  You do not.   In the past few months – I have been called so many horrible names. Made fun of. Had my intelligence insulted. And every night, I go to bed with peace. Because I know I have loved as I am called to love, I have given as I have been called to give. I have been real. I have been factual. And I have been transparent. I have never been a victim of my own choices, I have championed all my mistakes into growth.

That doesn’t mean, that I don’t want to punch some people in the face. It doesn’t mean, that I don’t struggle with literally posting everything and I have, and say let’s go.

What that means though, is that I won’t.

Romans 12:19 says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

So, today I choose happiness. I choose productivity. I choose to love people and lift them up they way they did for me. I choose love. I choose peace. And I choose prayer for those who hurt me. I added some more stuff for you to see, some texts and dm’s from some amazing people. Let’s find the positive in the negative.

And to tie in the title and image? Google that crow.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/05/27/the-oddly-sweet-story-of-a-crow-that-stole-a-knife-from-a-crime-scene/ He meddled in a murder scene.

Don’t be that guy. LOL!

Love fully. Live fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

Today my baby boy turned 11 years old. The number 11 has always been my lucky number. When I drove up to my shop, the first time, I should have known that I would be there for a long time… When the address was 1111 East Landstreet.

Insert column left my sweet baby Jacoby in his eleventh year. Jacoby is my strong-willed child. Out of the three, he got all of that. God gave every one of us free will, but my goodness, Jacoby cherishes that gift more than the other two combined. With my other two kids, they have always pretty much fell in line without much of a fuss. But with this kid – you tell him about his clothes, his free time, what he reads – anything that he feels that he should have complete control of – he will fight back like a caged opossum.

I am learning, that I don’t have to force him to what I want, but I also don’t have to give in to his tantrums or demands. So, this year, he wears sports shorts and t-shirts to school. I am of the belief you dress for school and church. I am now mentally prepping him for middle school, and what I expect him to wear. But we scroll pinterest and find things that he believes would be good for him, also.

I am listening to him FaceTime his grandparents right now for his birthday wishes. He sounds like a politician or a reporter, telling about his day. Very in command. Very confident. Yet he’s only eleven.

And although it’s funny to hear him,  being the parent struggling to guide a strong-willed child to Christ-like maturity – is not so amusing. I have cried more tears than you can imagine. It’s relentless, it’s exhausting. Sometimes, he seems so disrespectful, it’s infuriating. His behavior at times can seem so ridiculously defiant, that it seems hopeless. Like, literally, I said this week “Why did you not sit down when the principal told you to!? Just sit down. It’s two seconds? Where is your want of self preservation?” He replied, My pants were too tight and dug in my belly. Girls don’t have to sit down if they don’t wear shorts under their skirts. Why do I need to sit down, when girls are standing? I wasn’t acting out. I wasn’t being disrespectful. I wasn’t being rude. I wasn’t in anyone’s way. I won’t let someone cause me pain, because they want power. I wasn’t rude, mommy – ask anyone.”

Are you proud or mad? MMMMM. Both. The maelstrom of emotions he can create is all absorbing. And then, last night, I hear this. My sweetie came by after to work to say goodnight. I was finishing a test for school. And I hear laughter and talking upstairs. I walk up, and the two of them are laying in the dark. I ask what is going on. Jacoby says, “Just having some man time. Let me have that.” Bro. Chill. I’m cool. But understand this – at the end of the day – I’m still the boss of you, little boy.

This kid.

I am learning that with this one, I have to give in on some little things. But the big things are non-negotiable, no matter how much he tries to negotiate. But what I have forgotten, is while my self-esteem is taking a bruising, so is his. Beneath that tough I-don’t-care-and-you-can’t-make-me attitude is a seriously wounded heart. It hurts to always be “the difficult one,” “the stubborn one,” the one rejected by classmates for being “too bossy.”  From researching all of this, I learned that “The compliant child typically enjoys higher self-esteem than the strong-willed child. . . . Only 19 percent of compliant teenagers either disliked themselves (17 percent) or felt extreme self-hatred (2 percent). Of the very strong-willed teenagers, 35 percent disliked themselves and 8 percent experienced extreme self-hatred.”

That broke me.

So this year. Is going to be a good year. A year of guidance. Balance. Equality. Duality. And most of all, Kindness. I will be a good momma to my strong willed boy. And be grateful that he is courageous and strong. And teach him when to use it.

I’m so proud of my boy.

Love fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I’m back to blonde! And I am loving it!

Don’t get me wrong, being a ‘My Little Pony’ was a good time, but blonde is my go to. I feel like myself. And…. I can wear any color I want to and I don’t have to worry about clashing with my hair! Yep. That was an actual problem.

Oh! I hope you guys had a wonderful Valentine’s day! I did! I had such a good time! My sweetie got me a gorgeous outfit and heels – LOVED IT! And my babies got my flowers and chocolate covered strawberries. Then we spent the afternoon at Epcot.

Now, I put the word “Narcissistic” in there… did ya see that? Well, obviously I am not narcissistic. But I wanted to point out how freely I see people throwing around that word. So I am going to clarify something. Narcissism is a mental illness. A MENTAL ILLNESS. ILLNESS. And I am gonna be honest, I have dated some doozies in my day. But not a Narcissist. A Narcissist is rare.

So let’s stop using the term “narcissist” as a slur, when it’s a true sickness. It’s rude and disrespectful to those that have it.

And for clarity – narcissists do not try to make amends, do not try to protect feelings, are not caregivers – and are only self consumed. A narcissist can drop you in the blink of an eye – and write you off to never speak to you again. Not try to maintain friendships and working relationships.

So, you lie with dogs – you might get fleas. That doesn’t make them a narcissist anymore than it makes you one. Because often times, we can all look at ourselves in the mirror, and say we made choices that were only for self. Maybe we chose to go on a vacation, rather than a family reunion. Maybe we went to a day spa for mother’s day, rather than going to a nursing home to visit a grandmother. Maybe, we dated a person who was already taken, but we wanted them anyway. Maybe we invested money in stocks, with insider information and didn’t tell anyone close. Does that make you a narcissist? No. It makes you human.

But as humans, we can be so arrogant, that we believe that we are the center of the universe. We see it as “Look what they did to me”… when maybe it should be “Look what I did to…..”. We love to victimize ourselves. Myself included. I can tell you how people have screwed me over, and how right I am. But if we are honest, and real transparent, I don’t want people to see – that I have done wrong things in my life too. Things I am not proud of. But as God forgave me, I now have to forgive those that I felt wrong me. Because, how can I accept forgiveness – and not grant it? Wouldn’t that make me a narcissist?

But luckily, God knows we are human. And God knows our hearts. And God’s grace, well that is a beautiful thing. It covers us all. It covers your name calling – to murderers on death row – and everything in between.

For the past year – I have had the best year of my life. I really have. But to get here, I had to put my foot down back in 2019 and make some decisions. I had to extend grace. I had to pray. I had to work. And for some… I had to let go. I had to forgive. And with that came the biggest blessings of my life. It hasn’t been easy, not a bit. And some days are still hard. But everyday is worth it.

So, I say all that – to say this. I love you all. I am praying for all of you. Every Single One. From haters to fans. I really hope all your hearts heal, and you find happiness – extend grace – and self reflect. I know I have – and my heart is so happy. And I really want that for everyone on this planet!!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

This could go for men also, I suppose. Based upon my gender and my friend groups – I see it with women moreso than men. If the shoe fits, though – Wear it.

Here is what I am talking about. Let’s get down to it. If you are broken up with, don’t be petty. Don’t go after their job. Their kids. Their families. If you have been broken up with – say a prayer of thanks, and move on. Because if that person isn’t with you anymore – they weren’t meant for you. If you cared enough about them to be in a relationship with them in the first place, they can’t be all bad.

I have done things that I am not proud of. Things I don’t want to be judged for. Therefore, I do my best not to judge back. I have been a garbage human in relationships. I have been treated like garbage in relationships. It’s all relative. I guess, I just have the foresight and/or hindsight to see my part in it.

Now, I’m not saying I want to sit in singing circle with my exes and sing “Kumbaya”, but I don’t wish anything bad on anyone of them. The good exes and the bad exes. One of my exes just started dating a new girl. One of my friends sent me a pic and said “Look!” You know what I did? I sent him a text and said “Congrats! I am so happy for you! And she is beautiful!” And why is that? Cause I’m woke? Maybe. But in all honesty – I she is beautiful, and I am so happy for him! I want all my exes to find their special person – because we are all human and worthy of love. I can also look in the mirror, though. Even in the relationships that I really feel like I did no wrong, I have done wrong in others. Am I a bad person? No. Did I make a mistakes? Yes. So I haven’t got a high horse to sit on, and I know deep down my heart is good.

So before you dog out others – look in the mirror. Think about the mistakes of your past. The ones you think you got by with. Would you want your parents to know? Your grandma? Your church? Your job? Because let me tell you something else – we often want to tell others people’s dirt to hurt them. What you don’t realize is this – it actually sets them free. I remember hearing a sermon one time, and going to my mom. I was heartbroken. Like any other teenager, I had lied to my mom over things, and I love her. And I wanted to apologize and tell her the truth. I was crying and told her that I had some things to tell her. And before I could even get a word out, she said to me, “Stop. I forgive you. Right now I forgive you for it all. I don’t want a roll call of it though, it will just upset me. Some things I might know, I might not. But you are forgiven, so just keep it to yourself.” She kissed me and walked on. I talked to my dad about it, because my mom had confused the bejeesus out of me. And daddy said, “If you forced her to hear it, you were doing it to ease your conscience – not for her. So maybe, your punishment in this is to carry the weight of it and protect her from it.” Well, that hit a cord. I say to say this, when you gossip and you spread either truths or rumors – The ones that you hurt are the unintentional victims. The ones who care about that person and you. And if you think that for one second, that the ones you told aren’t running and talking to everyone else about you – they are. It’s what people do. It’s messy. It’s embarrassing. And it’s shameful. And while you are out to ruin them – you really are shining a spotlight on yourself. You also lose credibility and trustworthiness. Because if they will talk about others and spread their business – they will talk about you. Word gets around – and no one will ever hire someone who creates drama. Remember that.

God teaches us forgiveness. And those that sit and speak of God’s love, but will then run and trash talk another human out of their own personal choices, well – It’s sad. So think more of yourself. Of each other. Hold your head up – and quit being a victim. Own your life choices, and carry on. I know I have. And I am so happy and grateful for it.

Love fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I am going to be real transparent here.  I have never “unfriended” anyone.  I have blocked them. Of those I have blocked, I only personally knew five of them.  When I get super weird requests, inappropriate messages, etc. – that equals a block.  The only people I have blocked that I have known, were toxic to me in one way or another.  Not saying they are all bad people, because to be honest, they aren’t.  Three of the five, mentally put me in a dark spot.  Not of their fault – just of that time in my life. Two of the five?  Yeah, kinda garbage in my opinion.

You know why I titled this I wish it was Nov. 16, 2009? Because it was Nov. 17, 2009 – when the word “unfriend” was added to the New Oxford American Dictionary. Unfriend is a sad word. To me, anyways.

That being said, I have been unfriended – and I was unfriended recently.  The second I realized it, I reached out.  I am never confrontational or opinionated on social media, to be honest I am quite vanilla.  So when I saw that I was unfriended, I was concerned.  I never want to hurt anyone, and if I do, I want to apologize.  So, I reached out.   

I sent a message letting her know I noticed and asking if I had done something to upset her.  What I received back was a “No, I just have unfriended people that I haven’t talked to in awhile.”   Whether that is true or not, is between her and Jesus.   But, I did the right thing for me.  And now I move on.

Here is why I am writing this.  I am sensitive. But the last “unfriending” I went through, made me think. First, my feelings were hurt. We wouldn’t walk up to someone we know and just slap them, right? When I realized I was unfriended, it stung.  Then I thought about it again.  All relationships evolve.  Some grow into beautiful and lasting connections, some end.  This one ended.  I trust that it evolved into what it was meant to be. She was right, we hadn’t talked in a while.  Why?  Because as we say in Tennessee, “I have nothing against her, I just don’t have anything to say to her.”  I wish her well.  I hope she has a lifetime of happiness and success. 

And that was just my personal example. I am sure you all have yours, too.  If you really think about it, you can get unfriended for a million reasons. We live in a society where people throw other people away for something so small. Many people also feel powerful on social media.  You know, the keyboard warriors. Keyboard courage allows us to behave in ways we would never behave to people’s faces. Can you imagine going up to someone and telling them you do not want to see their guinea pig photos anymore so you are not going to be their friend anymore? Sounds hilarious when you think about it.

And to close this out, I advise you all – be politely discreet.  I hide nothing, but I also don’t broadcast everything.  My personal and familial relationships matter more to me than anything.  So I keep a hedge of protection around those things.  I do this, so this garbage doesn’t get into my home.  Social media is a great tool, use it as a tool.   

And if you haven’t read  The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, I strongly suggest you do.  One of the four agreements is :

“Don’t take things personally. “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”

Don Miguel Ruiz

So chin up buttercup, and keep being the awesome person you are.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

So, I’m good. I got more than a few emails, asking if I was okay because I hadn’t posted. I AM SO SORRY THAT I HAVEN’T POSTED ANYTHING! I am here. And I am good. To be honest, after my last post, I sat back and enjoyed the break. It was super cool the way Christmas and New Year’s fell, so I had some extra long weekends. And I took advantage of that!

My Christmas was fun! We opened presents super early in the morning – and I don’t know if I was more excited or the kids! LOL! But it seemed that everyone had a great time and was super grateful. The gratitude makes my heart swell with pride in my kiddos. I got a treadmill for Christmas – and I was so surprised and excited! I love to walk/run – but I don’t like going alone at night – and I leave too early to go out in the mornings. I have become totally addicted to this thing.

For New Years? Well, ya girl went to sleep. I woke up at 11:57 – Kissed in the New Year – 12:02 – back to sleep. Exciting, I know. New Year’s I took down all the Christmas Decor – and basked in the cleanliness of my house. I love to decorate for Christmas – and I also love to take it down and get my home back to normal.

Since then, to be honest, I didn’t even think about posting. There has been so much crazy stuff going on! I am not getting political – that isn’t my vibe – we all know that it’s been a lot these past couple of weeks. I felt that anything that I posted or said, could be considered bad timing. So, I stayed quiet. That being said, I enjoyed my weekends, and enjoyed my work. I had some super fun dates with my sweetie. OH! And I got my hair done again!! My hair is life right now. I wanted to do something fun again before it is summer – because fun colors come out so easily – so Michelle gave me my dream hair!

So, now you are caught up on me.

What have you guys been up to? I pray that you all are hanging in there, and that everyone is staying safe and healthy.

And if i can give you a piece of advice to close this up. Be kind to each other. Connect with your people. Send your friends an uplifting text. Kiss your significant other. Kiss them for real. Don’t take them for granted. Next time you see them – Just lay one em! Let them know how appreciative you are of them.

Remember, none of us are perfect. You know, how you feel like deep down you are a hot mess? Everyone else feels that way, too. At least at some point. So build each other up today, and everyday. But especially your kids and your s/o’s, make sure you don’t take them for granted. Make them feel special and loved. That has been the biggest game changer for me. I always feel like a priority – and therefore I want to make him a priority. And then, well – it becomes a beautiful cycle, rather than a vicious cycle.

I love you all! Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.