Stay Strong in your Strength

Whatever your strength may be, remain strong in it. Strength isn’t how much you can hold on to without bending. Strength is the core pull that keeps you.  I know life is difficult, rocky, tumultuous, unwavering, different, exciting, unexpected and yet, wonderful. Life is full of change and it molds us into great individuals. Many times life hits us with a gargantuan why! However, we have to be cautious, observant, for remaining in a hurt does so much injustice to you, to others. Losing pieces of your soul constitutes nothing; it betters nothing.

There are so many reasons to go forward. Holding in an act of violence is a violation to all that is you. Soul wounds are God’s jurisdiction yet if you do not have strength enough to voice it, see it for what it is how He is able to heal completely? God loves intimately, without reserve. We have to take part in our own healing.

Your strength is not a mute response. Silence is not a healing mechanism for hurt. Your strength protects you, heals you, and directs you. God is the source of my strength and yes there are times I can forget that He is. But we have to be more than a statistic, be more than what was done to us.

Refuse to drown yourself in self-doubts, negative feedback, and devastating insults. Stop living within your hurts…caused by others. It is hard to maneuver and to be motivated in broken places. We can mend, hold on and continue to try a self-fix but a broken vase still appears cracked, chipped despite the different methods used to put it back together. The damage is there. Self-fixes include silence of a soul hurt, self-hate, low self-esteem, self-abuse, victimization, and ignoring a cycle of debilitating behavior.

Stay strong in your strength. You know what your strengths are, don’t let anyone’s action strip them away. My strong strength: Faith. It is a strength no one can see nor are they capable of creating it nor do they have the ability to diminish it or take it from me.

Any thing you do, whatever keeps you from falling into an emotional abyss of less than is your fallback, your anchor. When the world does not make sense what is your strong strength? I remind myself that I am an awesome Mom, my strong strength. No matter the challenges in life, I have to be better than a hurt, greater than a disappointment. It is my responsibility, my right, a privilege to overcome.

A fragile heart is a strong strength. Keep it. Being hopeful, having expectations keeps you from settling for less than what you deserve. Do not let your thoughts descend into what ifs and why nots for they only produce negativity and intrude upon your imagination. It requires so much to outdo others and even more to be better than the best. You have all you need to be who you are…its right there inside of you. Take the time to enhance all that you have to offer the world.

A hurting stuck requires no growth; it doesn’t move the world.  Remain strong and strengthen yourself for far greater than you imagined.

Always expecting more for you,

A.Michelle!

Letting go….

It is okay. To let go of what you wanted to happen. There is so much more when you do.

I ask that you not lose focus in wanting to want….all will happen in ways greater than you wished.

When the most difficult is happening deal with your now, do not push away; it all is preparing you for your future.

My wish is that we remain hopeful in disappointment, heartbreak and in our sacrifices,…you are so worthy and deserving and if “they”, if none see that, if none recognize your You

Well my dear you push forward ever so expectantly. Your strength has guided you this far and frankly you cannot be stopped. I believe in you. I believe in us….we who despite it all Hope.

Let go so that more comes. Be ever so proud of how far you have come.

 There’s more.

A.Michelle!

Choose You!

When my writing reveals more vulnerability than I want to say, my soulfulness caters to my surroundings I cave. I stop writing. My creativity is blocked.  This is the third draft to this post; I began writing it a few days ago.  The walls I have had to build to steady, right my way and block the negativity of others chisels away bit by bit. As a mother, I do it alone. There are greater blessings I am learning in being a single mother. The role is a joy more that it is a hardship. I smile more than I hold on to what ifs. As a teacher, there are days children break my heart yet there are more days when I know the difference in what they see, what they do begins with me. There are no small winnings when teaching for that I am humbled. It is the season of spring, Lent and Resurrection Sunday….new beginnings, time for newness, time for changes.

This year one of my intentions is to be more open when developing new friendships. Sounds easy enough. What I know: many things I will not entertain, life is just too short. In addition, personal experiences have led me to slot a number of issues as unnecessary.  I do not understand the point of going through unavoidable drama. I refuse to entertain it. We know we “see” crazy before full-blown crazy hits.

It is ironic that these past few weeks a few good friends have communicated issues in their relationships, seeking my opinion. I am careful not to advise. Cautious in not stating my opinion. I listen, with care. Sunday, in conversation with someone and she feels comfortable enough to share this information concerning her dating wants and issues.  I am open-minded. I do not expound on the matter with negativity. She is 38 to 40 years of age, attractive, confident, Black, a single parent, employed and believes in Christ. Her: “My dating is brief and the sex is always awful. On a first date, this guy picked me up and immediately pulled out a condom once I got in the car. Can you believe that? I still went out with him. It was not worth my time. I got me an ace in the hole. He is my best friend, still. We use to date. I know all about his girlfriends. He is my best friend. Our chemistry is off the chain.”  Me: “Why are you two not together?” Her: “I’m not into women.” Me, naive: “I know you aren’t. Why are you and him not together?” Her: “I’m not into women.” My confusion shows.  Her: “In order to be with him you have to agree to have sex with another woman in front of him. He tells all his girlfriends this from the beginning. They agree to get in then when its time that say no.  Once they disagree to his initial requirement he calls me.”  I am shocked and whisper, “Lord Jesus.” She laughs and goes on to say, “That’s my buddy though. My very best friend. I still see him when I need my fix.” Inwardly, my mind is whirling from all the body fluids just passed around. (Mental vomit.) I did not give any advice. She did not ask. I did not ask any more questions. What I noticed, she was happy when speaking of him. This arrangement, and him, however the prerequisites are this is her comfort zone. Her want. Her happy.

In my opinion, there is no way her thoughts are connecting with being who she wants to be. Her statement disappointments me greatly, “He’s my best friend.” How? Why? Why settle? Why conform for someone on a part time basis? Their “best friend-sex-ship” has lasted over ten years. I question her requirements on intimacy, privacy and the meaning of best friend. Our population does the excessive for something that has been around since creation. Sex, the pleasure principle! #ego

The heart is fragile. If our experiences mold, strengthen and at times temporarily break us; why entertain activities that will lead to the demise of who you are and who you want to be?  We all are “being” something, someone; we are in a process of pursuit. The pursuit of prosperity, of bliss, of peace, of affluence, of joy….seeking our own happy.

The early stage of a relationship represents “let’s try and see where this goes”, and opportunities to reveal one’s hope in what they want. Simple.  I will admit at the first sign of conflict, I am the first to say, “We do not have to do this.”  In all truthfulness, we do not. We choose to remain in the early stage believing we can “fix” or change the person of interest. By experience, we know so much more yet we are willing to overlook tangible signs and push forward idealizing our self-definition of change and hope.  We should be able to grow, increase from knowledge. Self should never fade. When in doubt never run so far left field that no one recognizes you, not even you.

Love and hope enhance, they should not break you. We are unable to fix people. Our parents, Life can be our greatest teachers. Continue to embrace common sense and core values.

My thoughts, my five cents when it comes to embracing something new:

  • Do not enter an arrangement that will devalue you in any friendship or relationship.
  • Communicate effectively and with authentic honesty.
  • Do not mislead. Do not allow yourself to be misled. Do not purposely deceive. State your intentions, your wants, and your discomforts.
  • Do not settle. Settling undercuts your self-worth deeply and with precise thoroughness.

I try my best daily to see the bigger picture in every aspect of my life. My hope, my want is to be in love, to be loved happily and with consistency.  Outside of self, my focus is my tribe. No matter how old they get we are a package deal. No matter how long it may seem remain hopeful. Seek more than momentary pleasure. Fight for and expect more. You define what your more is. One great thing about more, it changes and grows you. Choose you.

“Instead of holding onto broken dreams hold onto Love.” Alicia Keys.

Take care of you,

A.Michelle!

 Singleness: 1,026 days and not settling

Broken Relationships

Dysfunctional moments have the possibility to lead to decisions that will set us on paths unintended. How we treat each other, love each other is one of the greatest gifts we give. It is priceless. Yet, everyone one of us has someone we will not talk to nor deal with due to personal and private issues.

Healing begins when we are able to let go. Letting go of the guilt, the anger, the remorse as well as the mindful playbacks of what ifs. Concerns about what could have been are mere distractions that can keep you unfocused on what is ahead. Apologize if the desire is there but prepare yourself—your readiness, your act of kindness has the potential of non- reciprocation.

Life gives so many challenges. The opportunities of having more are multi in number. Continue doing what is right. When we take the necessary steps often times that is when the unpredictable happens. Our hearts mend with the intent to move forward.

If we allow it, Life will cater to our pain—to the perceptions we have of others and ourselves. Friendships stale, our versions of love and being love can deteriorate. We bury our emotions; we skip over life lessons and expect resounding forgiveness from those our actions destroy.

What I love about forgiveness is the two-way of it. Forgiveness removes the fault lines, those consequences of failed hope without a trace of residue. Do not push away, do not shut down on the things that matter the most. Matters of the heart are genuine steps to all you wish for; remain expectant in God’s better. Think of it this way….broken relationships are broken at times for new growth. Brokenness is not an ongoing exit for guilt, shame, arguments and doubt. Move forward.

Love as our Creator commands. Forgiveness is counterintuitive to love. Forgive because it betters you. Let God do the rest. I worry less when I trust God more. My heart has taken its share of bruises; my soul wounds have been many yet trust God I do. This time of my life, this winter season has been the warmest ever.

 You have what you want in this life; make it work!

Happy kisses,

A. Michelle!

 

Humility, a lesson by Bru

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I purchased a footstool when my older sons left home. I am exactly 5 feet tall—plenty opportunities for my children to joke me. Oh how Damien and Darius loved to purposely place the salt and pepper shakers or any cooking ingredients on the second shelf out of my reach. Of course, they would laugh and chuckle while I fussed.

My footstool has become a point of argument for Brutus and I. He believes it is his toy, the family “what-not”. I get frustrated because when I need it I can never find it. Our first argument, I told him how it would be and his sarcastic retort was, “Its for everybody.” So I hid it in my closet out of view.

Thursday morning, after everyone is at school, I decide to try a protein smoothie. I am blending blueberries, bananas, walnuts and I want to use just a little bit of honey. I think I see the honey way back in the back of the cabinet. I can’t reach it. I’ll just go get my footstool. It’s not in my closet, nor in the pantry. I search every room in the house and I can’t find it. So now I am mad. No longer do I really want the smoothie. Every time I try to be healthy, do something for me these little people move what is required or  it magically disappears. I’m a routine person. I know where I put my stuff. If I don’t move it, it should be right where I left it. I’m so mad I have already played out the conversation I am going to have with Brutus when he returns home.

He is home. We talk about school. He had a great day. Me: “Bru where is my footstool? I looked for it everywhere.” He runs happily into my bedroom. Bru: “You didn’t look on my side of your bed, did you?” He hands me the footstool. (I’m still mad but hiding it.) Me: “Its my footstool. I couldn’t reach something earlier today and I needed it.” Bru: “The footstool is for everybody. Its not just yours. I keep telling you that.” Me: “It is mine. It is not a toy. Again, it is mine. If you are going to use it just put it back where I can find it.” Bru, big sigh “Momma it is the pattern of life for me to want what you have.” He pauses: “This conversation is over because I don’t know what I am saying right now. I don’t know where it came from.” He has this strange look on his face and jumps off the footstool and begins his homework. I am dumbfounded. He’s eight years old. I remain in the kitchen.

Me: “Bru do you think you are different?”  Bru: “Yes, but only because I tell you I love you every day and all the time. I don’t think other kids do that. Why?” Me: “Just wondering.”

What do you do with that? “….it is the pattern of life for me to want what you have.”  I didn’t take his statement as an envy or jealous emotion.  I am pointing out my selfish wants for the footstool. He is  pointing out the value in having the footstool. “It’s for everybody.” I am the Psych grad; the graduate student. I’m Momma.

My children have this astonishing strength of faith, they always have. I don’t mess with it; I let it be but man they scare the heck outta me. At times I wonder why God has me as their protector, their mother, in this role. I tell Autumn what Bru says, she laughs. I ask Autumn: “How am I suppose to take care of you two, alone?” Autumn, shrugs her shoulders: “You’re doing it. You have been doing it.” She continues her homework. Brutus plays with his legos.  Well, I just send up a silent prayer for strength, wisdom and continue reading my book.

The smoothie wasn’t nasty without honey. I drank it….go me! No sugar. At this moment the footstool is in the pantry. Grateful, I am learning from two of the four greatest gifts God has ever blessed me with.

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Let go of the distractions. At times the lessons are right in front of you.

their Mom,

~A. Michelle

Fall, season of new Expectations

Bru's Love

Studying…love note from my Bru

                               
     How awesome is our God by Israel Houghton and Yolanda Adams
​        “You love me  and no boundary  can come between us
You have me  and no power can separate us  and oh my soul cries out  Hallelujah​”
I am beginning to love this song. It has been playing in my head all morning, all afternoon…while being Mommy, while exercising. Now, even when I am trying to write for my blog the song continues. What I want to write about I can’t so here goes:
Love…. ​God’s love is overwhelming….”You have me” resonates deeply within me, within my thoughts. Letting God love you seems like the easiest path to take, yet when He has you and you know it the more difficult it is to actually believe. No one could possibly love all of me.
My experience as I sat in my Human Development class Tuesday night:  
The lecture was on Adult love, adult relationships. As a divorcee, I normally keep my mouth shut when topics of love and marriage come up. The professor stated there were three major components that lead to long relationships/quality relationships. Passion + Intimacy + Commitment is what she wrote on the board. Her next question: How do we develop intimacy? The only person to speak up…Me, the divorcee, Ms. Long-term Single: “Trust, vulnerability, openness, honesty and touching.” Her response: “You are exactly right.” I mumble: “I know it,  just never had it.” She smiles. I laugh. The class remains silent. The majority of the class members are married and or have significant others.
I know that love is one of the most delicate emotions we experience; it also is the most fragile and yet the strongest. I have written from God’s love to adult love, my point: love is one of the greatest healing systems designed by God. As well as the easiest emotion for us to corrupt, destroy and manipulate. If you have love mold it, develop it into what you wish for. Make it come true.
God has me without boundary, no matter, no issue can separate me from His love. When you are loved by the Creator all else will come, sooner than later. Move toward your wants with God-confidence.  As an individual who loves love, keep loving; It wears well.
Expect more,
A. Michelle!