You are beautiful

 

I have this intrinsic viewpoint of myself. I believe it to be more humble than critical, an innocent naiveté. I speak and communicate with strangers yet it still blows my mind when others want to be a part of my world. All right, I rip myself apart. You do too. I am friendly enough, very independent and make my own way but not at the expense of others.

I have been teaching for the last three months. I have prepared myself so that I will not fall in love with these teenagers. My expectation when transitioning to teaching was and is to gain their respect not to be their friend nor to gain love. My big picture is to finish graduate school, pass the exam and achieve licensure as a counselor. I am a year and half away from the complete process.

I enter the teaching field based on a suggestion, good advice, a solid “to do” until graduate school is completed. My wall is up, my heart guarded and my emotions are in check. I want you to know these children, these teens that are deemed “at-risk”, who are less than respectful, that are mean, they are hurtful and hurting….they come find me now. They seek me out. The ones I have had removed from the classroom. The same ones who call me names, the ones who walk out of the classroom, and the ones who have fought one another in front of me…..they purposely come find me in this huge school. It is a new semester and I have a free fourth block every other day. It is my planning period. I expect them to ask me for something or to do something and I hear, “We don’t want anything. We miss you. You mind if we sit in here with you?” I breathe, we sit, and they talk. My heart melts….I have no clue why they want to be here with me. The children that are expelled….referred over to alternative school they search for little ole me. They come in between classes to speak, to give a hug, to smile and just to let me know they made it to school. It truly amazes me.

I have teen females telling me their troubles. How being girls in their household leads to violent acts, how they are touched inappropriately and how, “Mom has had three different boyfriends. She is pregnant now.” They tell me how being gay and sexually active at 14 years old is, “what I know. I know how men are. I see what my mom goes through. How she takes his side. How she did not come out her room when he was beating me. She threw me out. I mean I’m back now and he is gone.” Her head down and my response: “Our children should come first.” Her: “We should.” I just hug her because I do not know what else to do. I want to bring her home with me. Not just her, all of them. Oh how my heart aches for they go right back into the same environment.

As a counselor, as a mother I know how to do this. As a teacher, I am amazed, blindsided, lost, and heartbroken. I have so many questions. This hurt, their hurt is on a grand scale and it is a lot of them. Her story is not new to me and her story has happened to so many of them in this school. I completed an essay and had an open discussion with my professor. I ask, “Why do they share with me? I do not know them. They are students not necessarily mine. I just got there.” Her response: “You are trusting. That is what they see. You’ll figure out what to do.”

While I am trying to figure out the best way to aid, help, assist who I am does not stop becoming, does not stop progressing. My soul stretches. The gray hair multiplies before my next salon appointment. I tend to wear my glasses more than my contacts. (I think they hide my crying, red eyes better.) I do not see any increased worry lines. I still manage to smile. I have to. I love on my children even the more. I am ever so grateful for my parents, my family and my extended family.

Wednesday of this week, I am waiting in the line at the grocery store talking with my Brutus, my youngest son. An older woman walks up to me: “I love your hair. I absolutely love it. You know we spend so much money on our hair. I know you not spending $300.00 on this and it is beautiful. Do not change. God has blessed us as a people with so much and we try our best to make it into something else. I have dreads and people do not even do that naturally anymore. We so quick to hop away from us. This is what I love to see. I am not going to stop at your hair. I looked at your skirt, beautiful. Your shoes, beautiful. You are doing it and doing it divinely. I had to come and speak to you. I watched you talk to your son. You, your you is just beautiful. Keep it up. Don’t change!” I thank her tremendously. Yet, I still wonder why she and others open up to me. I tell my daughter the conversation and I ask her, “Women will compliment me quicker than men. This woman compliments me and I turn heads but not one man spoke to me. Why is that?” My Autumn, (she is 12) hunches her shoulders: “She is right. You are attractive Momma. Maybe men see more and are intimidated.” My resolve, she is watching me too.

We reflect what we want to portray yet it is what others see that is /will be our greatest impact. Continue to believe more of who you are rather than in what you are trying to do. God has this God-way of making it all work for our good. Your efforts will impact, direct lives to overcome, have others stand strong, motivate change and encourage others not to quit.Be beautiful in every way. Let them see you, your beautiful you.

Light the way,

A.Michelle!

You, my audience

My hope is that you will see, my dream reader, within my words is Me.  I love a lot. I can encourage others yet give so little effort in encouraging myself. I am the greatest supporter in whatever your dreams are yet I will push my dreams aside because of fear….I doubt myself more than I doubt others. I will fight for you, protect you and forgive you. I believe that love conquers all. Yet, despite how strong Love is it is the most fragile and greatly misinterpreted concept, misguided method in history—present and future. But I know Love reigns as the greatest champion in all the world.

 A few insiders that make me Michelle…..I read magazines from the back to the front. I will read my favorite book and watch my favorite movie over and over again–and each time get something new out of it. This fact is very seldom due to age, when I eat french fries with a meal I consume all of them first. One has to eat fries while their hot. Cold fries are a waste of time and energy, be respectful.  I am first to reach out, touch and comfort a hurting person but will pull away if a person touches me. Oh, I give great hugs, too! A person told me this, “I love your hugs. They are not half way or soft. They are so real. Needed.”

I love God. I believe in Jesus yet I’m no one’s chump. I think our population has watered down the characteristics of Jesus. In my opinion, He wasn’t a pushover. My confidence, guarded self-esteem is solely based on knowing God loves me….yet I ain’t no shabby chick. I am no wall flower. I believe I stand out in a crowd because of this huge smile I have. As a teen I always shyly covered my smile with my hand. (It is huge and kids are mean.)

I am wanting and in wait to meet the love of my life. Yes!…at my age, after divorce, after four children (ages 26, 23, 12 and 9.) I love Love even though we don’t seem to agree, click or meet. (Laugh)

I have moments of uncourageousness that have led to one profound truth: I hope. I hope a lot. I think settling is a travesty, a comfort so unwelcome to the heart, so unfair to others and to you. I choose not to write from hurt –somehow the beauty of it (writing) is taken away and “they” win.

What are the things I hide from others? ….hurt feelings–I package them away. As well as the full bluntness of my anger, my tongue is vicious–I’m working on that. My moments of self defeat….well I take that to God. He listens His way and checks off my to do list on His own time. He has a sense of humor.

So I hope you read my blog, my two cents, my words with an intimate knowledge of unbiased truths of me by Me.

With hope,

A. Michelle!

1103

Humility, a lesson by Bru

2014-11-09 19.13.18

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.

Image result for humility quotes

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

their Mom,

~A. Michelle

Reciprocity…a published work.

IMG_20140911_034455
So in my real life….I haven’t written for a publication in 19 years! For everyone God has placed in my life to get me to this point I appreciate you! Kisses. (and you know I have water in my eyes.) All smiles.
 Below is the digital link to the magazine featuring my article. Please read and enjoy! Also support the magazine via the website She~ol~ogy, magazine for the modern woman. Great tips on becoming the whole you.
 

Self-orchestrating God….

IMG_20140911_034409

When it seems as if He just doesn’t hear me; that He’s not listening my “Me” skills, and my “but God” kick in for every difficult situation.

Honestly, we the faithful ones we self-orchestrate God the worst. We pray, we sing, we lead, we encourage, we teach, we love, we live life with our own meaningful meaning….for our wants. Stick with me, if this is painful for you to read imagine my writing experience. (Its 4:30 am on a Saturday!)

I want God to immediately fix things for me. I want Him to make right where I feel I have been wronged, NOW. I want sunshine everyday. I want my heart to mend quickly, sufficiently so that I can be in love again, but like 5 years ago. I want my children to never suffer a hurt or a bruise, yet this world deems it necessary; this is Life. I want more of the greatest things He offers but I hold on with all my might that which keeps me from having greater.

Self-pity, pouting, spiritual temper tantrums are not methods of faithfully letting Him lead. God is in control. Knowing how to pray is separate from believing Him to handle every discord, every detail of your being. His way although right is often more challenging.

We move in front of God with a purposeful intent to do it our way.  Spiritually, we are connected to God. He so genius-ly anticipated this moment….your birth, every life event that gave you joy, the ones that strengthen you, your heart breaks, the moments that almost broke you. He orchestrates, perfectly without aid from us. Let go of self-orchestrating Him. I promise if we let go of our “Me” tendencies whatever your “more” is will fall exactly where it needs to be.

My God-connects for this month have been so intimate, so spiritually motivated that He takes my breath away. It’s as if every worry experienced, every thought of defeat was stopped before the doubts grew, before depression surfaced. That financial need met —NOT by another (it so easily could have been) but God provided just so. He replenished. The friendships that bind, the phone call of encouragement just when you want to cater to self-defeat. He is All-seeing. He knows.  The wise elder who prays a prayer with you, for you that is on a whole nother level that it scares you….because HOW does she know?!  You know, (I’m crying now) how He puts you right where you don’t want to be to show you your future, unexpectedly….and you don’t know how its going to happen but you know its going to happen…He prepares. Ten days into October, not even a month into the Fall season, new expectations. Wow!

Ok, my tears are covering this keyboard so I’m gonna end this. He is God all by Himself. He requires faith, trust, belief, honesty, forgiveness of self (not just for others), love. He gives grace, mercy, peace, new chances, prosperity, love….what He requires He also freely gives just for you, because of you.

With Faith,

A. Michelle!

FYI: “spiritual temper tantrums” …..well that’s my phrase. If you use it give proper credit. (Sensitive about my stuff.) Please continue to be encouraged, live faithfully hoping even when it is outside your comfort zone.