He Sees You, Mama

He sees you, Mama.

I’m not talking about your husband. Although I know he sees you, too. At least most of the time he does, unless the game is on, or a car auction, or fill-in-the-blank favorite television show. That’s when you fade into the background, only to be seen when you block his view.

No, I’m not talking about your teenager who thinks you’re ruining his life. He sees a lot, though, more than he’s willing to admit, and definitely more than he’ll thank you for now.

And I’m not even talking about your toddler who’s stealthily pilfering in the cupboard hoping you don’t see him, the one pretending he can’t see you shaking your head when he asks for another cookie. He’s not who I’m talking about, either.

The “He” I’m referring to is the biggest He of them all. That’s right. I’m talking about the Big Man upstairs, the Creator of the Universe, the all powerful and all gracious, true and living God.

He sees you, Mama.

But just as the angel told Mary, don’t be afraid. He’s not watching you to see if you burn the meatloaf. He’s not interested in the piles of unwashed laundry you have lying around. And He doesn’t care that the floor is overdue for vacuuming by more days than you want to admit. He sees these things, but they are not His concern. Just like your husband’s tunnel vision during the football game last night, He has tunnel vision for you.

In the book of Psalms, David writes, The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. His eyes are on you and He sees you. Every day, and every night, you are in His line of sight. Through successes and stumbles, He sees you. Through messes and mistakes, He sees you. Through faults and failures, He sees you.

Those mornings you can’t get out the door on time no matter how hard you try and the dark circles under your eyes can’t be hidden with any amount of make-up, He sees you.

When your heart breaks because you long to rest at your Father’s feet, but you just can’t find a way to make it happen today, and you couldn’t yesterday, either, but you so desperately need to, and want to, He sees you.

The nights you walk the floor with a sick baby in your arms that you cannot consol with any amount of singing or rocking or snuggling, He sees you.

When your tears fall down as your replay the day, wishing you’d hugged your baby longer, or hadn’t snapped at your husband, or simply sat down instead of rushing and worrying and being productive the way you know you should be because you just have to get the dishes done tonight or you’ve failed at life, He sees you.

The Sunday mornings your lips are singing How Great Thou Art, but your eyes are resting on the two year old that’s trying to climb under the pew for the third time in ten minutes, and you can’t help but release a sigh of frustration as you watch him, He sees you.

And the nights you’ve fallen asleep without telling Him goodnight or giving Him praise because you truly cannot hold your eyes open another second, because your soul is worn to a frazzle, and your heart simply needs a recharge or it just won’t make it through another day, He sees you.

Let that truth sink in for a moment. God sees you. And He cannot see you and not love you. He cannot see you and not care for you. He cannot see you and not know you. And herein, lays your comfort. Herein, lays your safety. Herein, lays your peace.

In the book of Jeremiah, God said, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee. Just as He knew Jeremiah before he was born, He knew you, too. He knew you then, and on your first birthday, and the time you flew over the handle bars of your bicycle, and the day you married you true love. He knew you when you saw those two lines on the test that changed your life forever. He knew you through hours of labor, and midnight feedings, and the first terrifying fevers. He knew you, then. And He knows you now.

He knows you, Mama.

He’s knows you’re doing the best you can, but sometimes you stumble. He’s not mad at you. He’s not disappointed. He knows you are so much more than the sarcastic remarks you threw at your husband because you felt overwhelmed. He knows you are more than the sobbing soul on the couch because you just need a minute to yourself. He knows you are more than that preoccupied woman who forgot to enjoy bath time with her boy because her mind was on everything that needed to be done after.

He knows you as the Mama who gives all you can every day, until you have nothing left to give. He knows you as the wife who adores your husband and treasures the man he is. He knows you as His daughter who longs to meet Him at the beginning, and end, and middle of your day.

And He knows you’re trying. He knows you’re trying so hard to be everything for everyone and sometimes you get caught up in what that entails. Sometimes you forget to let the little stuff go and let life’s frustrations get the best of you. Sometimes you focus so much on who you want to be that you forget the what you already are.

His girl.

In the eight chapter of the book of Romans, verses 16 and 17, it reads, The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

You are His, first and foremost, before being a mother, before being a wife, before being anything to anyone, you are His. His to hold, His to take care of, His to love.

So don’t drop your eyes to the ground. Don’t let the weight of this world keep you down. Hold your head up high. You may be struggling today. Your heart might be broken. You may feel numb and far from God, but I can guarantee He still sees you.

For you are His daughter. You a child of the Most High King. You are of royal decent, with your Father still sitting on the throne. And from way up there, He sees you.

And, Mama, you are precious in His sight.

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I Am Failing

I am failing. I am failing at being a wife. I am failing at being a mother. I am failing at being a Child of God. In life, everyday, I am failing.

I don’t say this to plead for sympathy or persuade you to tell me I’m not failing. I say this because it’s true. It is my truth right now, a truth I must face and find a way to conquer before it conquers me. It weighs on me with every passing minute, to the point I am in tears for no reason at all. No reason, other than I’m failing, and I know I’m failing.

I don’t look like I am. I do the things I’m expected to. I get dressed and head to work like an adult should do. I love my job, really. The family I work for is a blessing and I am fortunate to be part of their company. I pick my son up from daycare, “school” as he calls it. We walk hand in hand to the car. I count the stepping stones out loud as his feet hit the rough concrete because I know he’s learning and I want to teach him. At home, I make dinner or heat up leftovers or pick up take-out to ensure our nourishment. I sit on the floor and play animals. I vacuum when I can. I give baths and read stories. I give kisses and dance. From the outside looking in, you’d never know I’m failing.

But I am.

I’m failing at the big stuff, the deep in soul remember for the rest of your life stuff. I am failing at being the person I’ve always considered myself to be. I am failing at being me, and in turn, I am failing everyone I care about. I can’t be the wife my husband needs. I can’t be the mother my son looks to. I can’t be anything to anyone because I can’t even be the person I need me to be.

I just don’t know what to do. So, I came here to just write it down. Maybe to help my heart and head sort it all out. This is how I feel today, and most days, if I were honest. This is the feeling of weakness I cannot hide from, the shadow stealing my smile. This is the scary truth, the bud of the bud and the heart of the heart, I needed to admit today.

The worst part of it all is I don’t know how to fix me. I don’t know if I can be fixed. I am completely and utterly at a loss. I don’t know even know how to put into words exactly why I’m failing.

I know I am, though.

Make It Happen

Saturday was supposed to be a great day, a day to make me smile when I’m feeling down, a day to remember and gush about on Monday morning when work rolled around, a day to be a child again.

Saturday was not the day I planned.

This Saturday, my husband and I were supposed to see a musical production of Beauty and the Beast at the Lexington Opera House. Instead, this Saturday, my husband and I spent the early morning hours in the emergency room. Turns out, my husband has another kidney stone. Turns out, life had other plans than Beauty and the Beast for us on Saturday.

I was disappointed, devastated actually. We had already bought the tickets, took our son to his Mi Mi’s house, and planned for a wonderful day. I am not too proud to say I cried like a baby. I really wanted to see that play, doggonnit! My husband felt so bad. He offered to still take me, but I refused. I knew the pain that would follow when the started to move. We needed be close to home in case he got worse. So we stayed home.

The first part of the day, I sulked. I pouted. I stewed in self pity and anger. And then, I showered and got ready to face the day, still upset, but ready to at least try to salvage the remainder of our Saturday. So we went and picked up my husband’s medicine and drove to a local shopping center.

I had wanted to visit the Marshalls since it opened, but had never had the time. So today, on our Saturday, we made the time. We browsed and plundered around the store. Eventually, coffee mugs caught my eye. I’m an avid coffee drinker, so I love coffee cups. I found one for a sister at church and then I found one on clearance, one for me.

The mug had a simple saying, “Make It Happen,” in white lettering on cornflower colored ceramic. It became mine for a whopping $2.00. I know I shouldn’t have broke the bank, but it captured me. It was simple and direct, to the point, and it spoke directly to me.

This year has been a year of goals made and goals met when it comes to pursing avenues for my writing. I have been published on a few webpages and just found out yesterday one of my articles will be running on a new site, a site that will actually pay me for my work! This is the first time I’m even been paid for what the words I write. Needless to say, I’m ecstatic. I’m hopeful. I’m pumped.

And I’m ready to make it happen. I’ve denied myself my dreams of writing, always pushing them to the side, putting them on a shelf in the back of my mind but never allowing them to process. This is no longer true. Now, I’m working toward being the writer, and the person, I’ve always wanted to be. The person God made me to be.

So, this morning I had my first cup of coffee in my new mug. And I was reminded to work hard, dream big, and to make it happen. No one else is going to make my dreams come true. It’s up to me. And I’m ready to take on the challenge!

make it happen

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Published

Good Morning Friends! I have been taking a hiatus of sorts from my blog to work on several essays for the Good Men Project. One of those essays was published today on Yahoo Parenting! I simply had to come share with you! Here’s the link:

https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/my-son-doesnt-need-a-pinterest-mom-126758920248.html

I am trying to figure out exactly what my goals are with my writing and although that is still uncertain, I KNOW this is a step in the right direction! Hope you have a blessed and happy day!

❤ Like Baby Bear Soup

You Are Not the Man I Married

wedding

You are not the man I married. I can’t love you like I did.

We were young standing at the front of a church before God and our families when we exchanged our vows. We slipped on our rings and traded our hearts for each others’ to have and to hold. But that was then. This is now.

Then, we were googly eyed and star struck. We had the world at our feet and we had on running shoes. We were ready to take on anything, you with your big brown puppy dog eyes that made my heart melt like butter on hot cornbread. Me in my white dress with sparkles all over and nails made of plastic covering the ones I like to chew when I get nervous. Plastic nails trump chewed nails in pictures every single time.

We took each other by the hand and prayed because it was what was expected in a wedding. Neither of us prayed on a daily basis, but we followed custom and bowed our heads. We light a candle in the center to signify the coming together of two lives and I nearly cried when it started to go out. You lifted the lighter towards the candle and suddenly the flame shot up, renewed. We both tried to keep from laughing. What a way to start our lives together!

We kissed and the preacher presented us for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Our smiles were contagious as we walked down the aisle toward the back. All in attendance clapped their approval and thus our married life began. I had no idea that day how you’d change. How we’d change.

When I look at you now, before my eyes is not the man I married. I see a better man.

You are still the kid at heart that I absolutely adore. You still stand in awe at the night sky and amazement at the sunset. You still have those same puppy dog eyes that make my heart melt. But your hair is gray in places and your beard is much, much longer. You wear a white coat over your polo and you drink coffee more than you used to. Your eyes have cried more tears, and your lips have smiled more smiles, and so your face has lines where it didn’t before.

Still, it is the face I look for every morning and every night. It is the face I look to for reassurance and comfort. It is the face that is ever in my memory when I think about love. You are still as handsome as ever, more so. Time has been good to you.

You are not mine only now, either. I have to share you. You are not solely devoted to making me happy as you were when we were dating and in the early years of our marriage.  Your attention is pulled and divided between work and school and home. You rush out in the morning, most days without a goodbye kiss, some days while I am still dreaming. You go here and go there. My time with you is not as plentiful as when we started this marriage.

It is, however, just as precious, and you treat it as such. I don’t mind to share you, for I share you with a blue eyed little boy who adores his Dada. You are still wholly mine and wholly his, just the way it should be. And while my happiness may not be your sole concern now, providing for your family is. Still, you make my happiness a top priority and somehow you make time to love me even when you don’t have the time to give. You still make me feel like I am the only woman you have ever laid eyes on. You are the epitome of husband and father.

You are not only my best friend and my companion in this life the way you were when we wed. You are my brother in Christ now. You don’t pray because it’s expected anymore. You do so because you love the Lord like I do. You bow your head over our meals and pray aloud as you hold my hands because you are truly thankful for what you’ve been given. You have allowed the Lord to mold you and shape you. The result is the man I am in love with today.

The love I thought was perfect that day in May nearly eight years ago was just a seed planted. Surely, the rains came and watered it, the storms of life beat it down a few times, but roots took hold. And when, finally, the Son shone upon it, it blossomed.

You are a new man, a better man, a Godly man, and I can’t love you the way I did when we said I do, because you and I have grown together. We became new under God’s thumb, and I don’t love like that anymore. I love you deeper, because God’s love is deep. I love you truer, because God’s love is true. I love you stronger, because God’s love is the strongest of all.

And you love me, too.

Thank you for not being the man I married that I can’t love like I did.

❤ Like Baby Bear Soup

An Open Letter to My Church Family

To Every Member of My Church Family:

I urge you to see the recent events in South Carolina for what it is and not what politicians serving an agenda are making it out to be. This is not a gun problem. This is a tragedy.

To make the massacre in South Carolina about gun control is to disrespect the lives that were lost. The believers there were not congregating to discuss politics and it is disgraceful for the media to do so now. They were there to pray to the one and only mighty God. They were there to lay down the burdens of this life at His feet. Instead, they rest there in His presence. This is not the time to call for stricter policies and tighter laws. This is the time to mourn the beating hearts that stopped and to pray for the grieving families they left behind.

We must be brave and chose to feel this, not analyze the what if’s and how it happened. Today, the victims’ families have no choice but to feel it. We cannot let them feel it alone. It is all too often that lives are lost as a result of senseless acts of violence. Society is becoming numb. Victims are just part of a new story to everyone but the families. We cannot let that happen with this. They were our brothers and our sisters in Christ. We must do what we can to bring attention to the One they died serving. Changing a law will not bring back the lives that were lost, but by acknowledging the testimony of our brothers and our sisters we continue to carry the torch they set aflame at that prayer meeting.

I almost allowed my heart not to feel. I don’t know a single person in South Carolina. My life is going on today as if nothing has happened. My son is safe and my husband is secure. I saw the headline this morning, but chose not to read. God told me to. He told me to get to know who the victims were. Here are their names and what I know about them:

  • Cynthia Hurd, 54, a manager with the Charleston County Public Library system.
  • Ethel Lance, 70, a retiree who recently worked as a church janitor
  • Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41, a South Carolina state senator and pastor at the church
  • Susie Jackson, 87, a longtime member of the church
  • Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49, former Charleston County community development director
  • Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a church pastor, speech therapist and a high school girls’ track coach
  • Myra Thompson, 59, a pastor at the church
  • Rev. Daniel Simmons, Sr., 74, another pastor at the church
  • Tywanza Sanders, 26, a 2014 graduate of Allen University, where Pinckney was also an alum

I read this and tears filled my eyes. Mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons lost their lives. How many baptisms did Susie Jackson get to see? How many children did she watch grow up in her church? How many children did Sharonda coach? How many did she help learn to talk with confidence? How many times did Ethel vacuum the pews in her church? How many people did she witness to? What were Tywanza’s plans for the life she had yet to live? She was only three years younger than me.

I want to remember these names. I want to honor their memory. These were my sisters and my brothers and I want to mourn them as such, not as simply a name in a news story.

We, as the body of Christ, cannot ignore this. We must rise to meet the days we live in. We must carry the banner of Christ with more fervor, with more passion, with more fire. Especially, with more prayer, beginning with prayers for our blood bought family mourning just a few states away.

Let us love and be loved by our God.