Tag Archives: faith

Pearls of Wisdom—Words to My Younger Self #1


Dear Little Miss Missy,

 

Learn not to let people use you—family, friends, co-workers/bosses, or even a man.  Often times you get so caught up in being the person who knows everything or has her hand in everything that people begin to count on you to do everything.

It’s okay to offer your help now and then when the help is really and genuinely needed, but learn to be able to discern between the two—really needing the help and just being plain lazy.  You are a perfectionist and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that…well there is on caveat…but we’ll save that for a later time.

Family—learn that just because you are the oldest does not mean that you should shoulder everything. At some point, people will have to realize that they will need to accept responsibility for their own actions. You need to learn early that you cannot save everyone.  You’re not Catwoman or Wonder Woman.  You’re just plain ole [insert government name here].  Stop trying to the barrier between a person and whatever bed they made.  While it is okay to be there for your siblings and mother, etc, learn know that you cannot save everyone.  God gives us all an internal system that gives us an inkling of a feeling, if not more, when something is amiss.  You have to let people use their own wings…and if they fall learning to fly…well, that’s just a part of life. You get up and try to fly again.  The point is that eventually they will learn their way…as long as you remember to pray for them.

Unfortunately, I have some sad news. The world is going to become a crazy place to live and life will be short.  Learn how to develop an ear and a mind for God now.

Friends—everyone cannot be trusted.  Period.  Friends can sometimes be the ones that hurt you the most because you generally trust them and spend more time with them than you will your own family as you get older…especially during the teenage years.  You’re a smart girl and you have a way with words.  People will use that to ask you for help with homework or to actually do the work for them. Family and a man may try to pull this card too.  Learn to put your foot firmly down and flat-out tell them “no.”  While you like the praises they sing for the grades they get and to hear how wonderfully something was written, the fact remains that your name is not on it. You’re a ghost writer.  Why do that when you can put your own name out there?  Furthermore, you’re only enabling that person.  They will never learn to stand on their own two feet because you’re their crutch.  Get from under their arms already.

Co-workers/Bosses—thankfully, you won’t have a problem with bosses so much.  You’re pretty much able to set the tone during the interview process and you’re pretty much headstrong so when you decide you have had enough…you’ll move your feet. However, learn ahead of time that your boss may be great, but their boss may be a pain in the rear.  Learn not to let them use you by using a very powerful word. NO. N-O-.  Let them know that you will come in and do your job, but that you are not doing salary work on hourly pay…in your case, “Director/Manager” work.  Understand that your quality of life is more important than any job.  Unless it is your career, they can step off.  When you let employers use you, your unhappiness only leaks over into the parts of your life that are happy—the parts of your life where roses grew from concrete.  If you let that happen, your job and the associates become some pharmaceutical drug that was supposed to cure one thing and then has drastic, unwanted side effects on everything else. It’s so not worth it.

Man—eventually, there comes a time in every person’s life where the significant other attempts to use them.  Recognize the signs early.  A man should never expect something of you that he wouldn’t expect his mother to do for another man.  Men, as the world gets older, become what others refer to as “losers.”  They expect a woman to take care of them or in even more prevalent cases, be a ruse for the buffoonery that he really delights engaging in.  Either way…never let a man use you.  When you’re older, we’ll discuss this in more detail.

 

Until we write again,

 

–Ms. KeepingItReal

Winning Back My Life: One Step at a Time

I was doing some thinking…well reflecting…over my previous employer while in the middle of a conversation with a dear friend of mines. She was talking about her job and a promotion she had recently received. While congratulations were most definitely in order as always, that old crypt keeping job finds a way to rear its ugly head in the midst of our dialogue. However, this was for the last time.

During the talk though I began to discuss how I always gave more than I should have at my old job. I became some disrespectful, sub par image at best of my true self. I dedicated more hours to the success of a multi-million dollar corporation and did not even see anything close to a million dollars. The president of one section of the company knew my name. I was called upon to help train hundreds of new employees for the startup of a new department. I often times came in early in the morning and left late at night. I was the go-to-person for everything no matter what it was because everyone knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I, and I alone, could and would always get the job done.

Everything in my life began to take a back burner to my job…

Job—something that has to be done; a specific duty, role or function

Career—a field for or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life; a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling.

everything took a back burner to my job…a j-o-b. I began to avoid phone calls from family because I was too annoyed, too tired, maybe even too depressed to move my lips let alone use my ears. Lateness became synonymous with my government name. I was late showing for any engagement that I had committed myself to. I would stay inside my apartment all day and never come out and if I had anything to do for myself like grocery shopping, I was late for that too. I dragged ass with everything that I did. If anyone asked me to do something, I would take forever to get to it and it eventually the people who I cared about began to feel neglected. I had nothing positive or happy to say and I pretty much didn’t want to talk about anything. My responses became terse to say the least.

And yet…I still gave a damn about my job. I still felt the need to go above and beyond to prove what? I was taken advantage of for my failure to cut the head off of ugly Medusa and put my New Orleans street degree in taxidermy to use for the Devil. Point blank, I cared too much about what the people at my job thought about me. I felt like I had something to prove and had to do the right thing although I hated that. I always said that I wanted to do the right thing because I believed that it was the right thing to do, not because it is the right thing to do.

The New Year came with no positive, self-fulfilling changes and that was the beginning of me taking over my life. I began to let my unhappiness spill over into the workplace…barely clocking in on time…leaving my house at the last minute…arriving to meetings without a notebook or a pen to name a few.

And I say all that to say this…while I was on the phone with my friend I began explaining how we, as human beings, get so caught up in doing the right thing for a job, a family member, or even a friend that we forget to do the right thing in terms of how God may view us. In the end, His viewpoint of our life will be on the only one that matters. We spend our time going above and beyond to win someone’s affection or to keep them in our lives when we should be doing all that and more for God. We fail to treat our relationship with Him like it is a priority. In the end, He is the only person that we need to love us. He will never fail to love us and show us with affection and let us know that He cares about us and give us recognition for being a faithful believer. He is all-knowing and all-seeing. He never offers us a promotion and then fails to put us in the position. He never calls on us to take on more than we can handle and He will never judge us for the mistakes we make. I’m not ostracized because I have put my foot down and decided to live my life a different way.

This is my rambling for the night.

–Ms.KeepingItReal

The BluePrint 101

1. Someone who listens and is not judgmental

2. Gives great advice

3. Takes  the time out to ask how my day is

4. Pushes me to be a better woman

5. Supportive of my dreams and goals

6. Washes the dishes when I cook

7. Gives amazing back massages

8. Goes to church with me

9. Reads the Bible

10.  Makes me laugh

11. Understands that it is important to show me that you love me

12. Says the words “I love you”

13. Is spontaneous

14. Likes to try new things—becoming cultured

15. Can make breakfast at like 3 in the morning—my own personal iHop

16. Someone who says how he feels and feels comfortable expressing himself to me

17. Rubs my feet after a long day

18. Humble

19. Respects women, especially his mother

20. Takes care of home and makes sure that I never want for anything

21. Someone who doesn’t take me for granted

22. Makes sure that I always feel comfortable

23. Introduces me when I meet someone that I never met before

24. Always has my back even when I am wrong—when I’m wrong tell me behind closed doors

25. Helps me to grow and challenges me

26. Pushes me to be more positive

27. When I set a goal, he holds me accountable whether I like it or not

28. Accepts when I disagree with him

29. Doesn’t make me feel inadequate or give me a reason to feel insecure

30. Answers my questions honestly and straight up

31. Understands that I am on the road to success and I need someone who will help me to keep standing upright when times get hard during school

32. Loves my curly natural hair as much as I do

33. Appreciates poetry and art

34. Understands what it means to be a man…you do not have to have the best job, but you have to be able to take care of home

35. Makes me feel safe. I can know without a shadow of a doubt that he would do whatever he had to in order to protect me.

36. Understands that separately we are nothing, but together we are everything…unstoppable…and immovable force…team of we

37. Allows me the time to cry when I need to. I’m not a man. I handle and process things differently.

38. Understands that I am his better half and that he can depend on me when he needs to. By the same token, he knows that I am not trying to emasculate him, but only help when I do something for him that he did not ask me to do. If that’s something that he doesn’t want me to do then he needs to say so and not expect me to be a mind reader.

39. Loves that I love high heels

40. Appreciates that I’m not one of those women who always wears make-up, but accepts that there is nothing wrong with wearing it sometimes.

41. Gentle

42. Kind

43. Lovable

To be continued…

Southwest Friendly Faces

On Sunday, April, 15, 2012, I woke up to an email from Southwest Airlines. I was supposed to be heading back to St. Louis from Detroit on flight 1276. My flight was to depart from DTW at 7:05 PM and arrive at 7:50 PM, but the email advised that my flight was to be delayed. The new scheduled departure time was now 8:35 PM with an arrival time of 9:10 PM. I looked at the email and reread it several times not quite understanding something about it. I mean I understood that the flight was delayed and I would be leaving later, but I think I could not wrap my mind around it because Southwest had never ever delayed a flight I was going to be on.

Unlike other people I know, I am a loyal Southwest customer. To someone who typically flies Delta or any other airline the concept of not being able to pick your seat ahead of time is bothersome at best. For me though, I like the idea of only having to pay an extra $10 to check in early or I can just wait until 24 hours right before my flight and then check in online. The earlier you check in that determines what letter (A-C) and number (1-60) that you are on your ticket. You board accordingly and choose whatever seat it is that you want to sit on. You can check two bags for free and are allowed two carry-on bags. The plane is also brightly colored and while this may not matter to some, I have always thought that search and rescue workers would be able to find the plane if it went down, but that is my theory.

While I’m at the airport with all my bags checked and waiting for the plane to board, I am talking to my aunt. I’m catching her up with my plans in terms of when I would be arriving home and she was catching me up with what is going on back there on the home front. When I see the plane pull up, I get off of the phone and get ready to board…A21. It was at that moment that I looked at the time on my phone. It was not even 8 o’clock…my flight did not leave until 8:35. We started boarding the plane. As I passed by the middle rows near the exit doors, I paused not sure if I should sit there or not…but that pause was nothing more than a fleeting thought and I took my typical seat at the back of the plane…far enough from the bathrooms, but close enough to an exit if I needed it. I always take the window seat though. If there was an emergency, I would have to run over two other people on my row before I even hit the aisle and then headed for an exit door…not very smart, but I do it every time.

I sat in my seat and buckled my seat belt and began to people watch. The flight attendant came on over the intercom and stated where our destination was to be and how long it would take to get there. I glanced to my left and saw that the plane was pulling away from the departure gate…and then I looked up. People were still walking from the front of the plane to whatever seat it was that they wanted to sit in while carrying their bags. The bags still needed to be placed in the overhead bin storage containers and the flight attendant was still clamoring it seemed about the general stuff. I looked to my right and realized that for the first time ever, I had an entire row on an airplane to myself. The other two seats were empty and so before I turned my phone off, I sent this post to FaceBook.

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We took off down the runway and soared up into the sky. Eventually, the intricate details of the Detroit metro city area was nothing more than tiny specks that then became non-existent once we were reaching the altitude needed to cruise into the city of St. Louis. The clouds were beautiful as always…fluffy white…the kind that I always wish I could touch when I am flying just to see if they feel like anything at all. After a while, it seemed that we are flying above the fluffy white clouds into clouds that are more thinly stretched and not as thought-provoking. I sat back and enjoyed the duration of the flight as the flight attendants like to instruct all passengers to do.

I drank my Sprite Zero and ate my peanuts which were pretty decent. It wasn’t long after that I began to see the plane descending enough where I could make out buildings, etc on the ground below. I was thinking to myself “about time” when a few minutes later, I noticed that the plane was begin to ascend again into the sky. I looked around and right at that moment the flight attendant came on the intercom and stated that the fasten seat belt light is on that everyone should remain in their seats and not form a line at the bathroom. Then came the real…the pilot came over the intercom and started by saying, “This is your pilot.” He proceeded to state that air traffic controllers were not allowing the plane we were on or any other planes land at Lambert International due to inclement weather conditions. He was advised to fly out about 80 miles and so he advised that they were just circling around out there at the moment as a result. I was like seriously? What if the plane runs out of fuel?! He said that there were other planes out there as well and I was like you mean to tell me that there are other planes out here circling as well at night in the sky waiting to land… o_O

I just began to pray that everything would be okay and settled back into my seat of just waiting. Everything was going okay and we were just flying. And then we ran into turbulence. Now I’ve flown before and while I am not a fan of turbulence, I know that it’s the nature of flying and it does not bother me much. But the turbulence got worse. It was nothing like what I was accustomed to and that’s when it happened.

The plane began to dip on the right wing side as the pilot attempted to keep the plane steady and level while flying. The winds were strong and the force of the weather and gravity challenging the pilot’s ability to keep us above ground in the sky was nothing short of a dare. The plane rocked and the sky was grey—not just dark as in the nighttime sky. The clouds were grey. I looked out the window and saw the blinking lights on the plane which sometimes were not visible due to the clouds I assume. I honestly don’t remember why because my mind was all over the place. There was a man to the right in the next row of seats on the other aisle. He had his head firmly planted against the headrest of the seat and he had his kung fu grip on the armrests. The lady behind him was originally playing some card game on what appeared to be an e-reader of some sort, but that game had been abruptly ended. I looked around the plane and saw that the lights were flickering throughout the cabin. We were still flying and the turbulence was there still. The time seemed like an eternity and then the plane dropped…not a nose dive…just a flat drop. You could hear people screaming and the flight attendants at the back of the plane looked scared. They strapped themselves into the seats as well. The pilot got control of the plane and ascended a bit, but the turbulence was getting the better of him at times. I began to cry. I kept saying over and over “Oh my God. Oh my God.”

I was crying when I began saying my prayers. I asked God that that He keep all of us safe on the plane and more so to have mercy on everyone’s souls on the plane. I asked God to give me peace and to calm my spirit because let’s face it, if the plane goes down, there is nothing I can do. I then asked that God give my loved ones peace should I perish on this plane. “Amen.” Then I thought about my mom, him and Pam. I wondered what they would do…how they would cope and eventually move on when I was no longer here…

But the pilot got clearance to land at the airport sometime between the first announcements and when we landed on the runway. The flight attendant came on when the plane landed advising that it was still not safe for passengers to get up so we were to remain seated. When the plane pulled up to the departure gate, the flight attendant then came over the intercom and breathed a sigh of relief and then she said, “We made it!!” Everyone on the plane clapped. I did as well and thanked God for His grace. As I got off of the plane, I looked ahead. I waited until I was almost the last person to get off of the plane because I wanted to thank the pilot. The flight attendant was there, but not him. I looked and the cockpit door was open. I could see him in there, but I wasn’t able to thank him.

A guy got off of the plane and when we were outside he told me that he had cried on the plane. He, too, had an entire row on the plane to himself. He thought it was going to be the end. It was the first time ever that I thought to myself that I wished someone was sitting next to me on the plane so that I would have had someone’s hand to hold. I wished him luck in life…just in case we never cross paths ever again.

Dear Pilot of flight 1276 from DTW to STL,

You did a hell of a job flying the plane and landing us safely and gently on the runway. I appreciate that you came over the intercom calm so as not to raise alarm. The funny thing is that in the sky, anything can give us cause for alarm. 🙂 I kept thinking that when I got off of the plane I was going to thank you for doing a wonderful job. I know that it was your expertise matched with that of God’s.

Thank you.

–Ms. KeepingItReal

Shell Shock…. o_O

So I was wondering if my little brother made it to Italy today which he did because I got a message from him. Praise the Lord, thank you Jesus for that.

However…with that came a reality check of sorts…

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My brother is a man now and as much as I want to protect him from everything, I can’t. I’m the big sister and I have always been the one to come in and protect my siblings from harm or clean up any messes. While I am in no way speaking anything negative into existence in his life, I am somber about where he will be going…

Dear Lord,

Only you know what path his future holds. I just ask that you help me to accept it so that I can continue to be supportive of him. I ask that you place hedges of protection around him and keep him safe from all danger seen and unseen and all evil seen and unseen. I ask that you have mercy on his soul and forgive him for any sins and transgressions that he may pass–both those that he is aware of as well as those that he is unaware of. I ask that your will be done. I know that you not a man that you should lie and you didn’t bring him this far to abandon him now. I ask you that continue to keep him safe in the palm of your hand.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Army Strong

April 2, 2012

12:24 A.M.

Today my little brother embarks on the beginning of a new life…a new Journey. I am beyond proud of him for becoming a man and not just any man.  He’s a soldier of the United States Army of America. Now he’s my soldier and protecting the lives of millions of Americans that I have never met before. I’m in awe of him and how he has embraced the challenges that life has dealt him—even some of them that were Josh-made. The one thing that separates the losers in life from the winners is how they handle adversity. You can choose to get beat down, say woe is me and wait for someone to drag you out of the valley that you fell into or you can cry, dust yourself and put on the boxing gloves ready to go toe to toe with life.

With that being said, it took my little brother a while—a while to realize that he needed to grow up. I remember him being a baby. I remember him being born. Both and he and my mother almost died when she was giving birth to him. I changed his diapers and fed him. I remember him wanting to wear cowboy boots like his father. I remember when my mother dropped him off at daycare and he wore those boots. He fell in the daycare and hit his head. He could have had a concussion and the incompetent daycare workers let him go to sleep and it infuriated me. But God is good. I remember walking him to class when he started school. He would start to cry when he knew I was about to leave so I would stay as long as I could. Then he grew up and he got into remote-controlled monster trucks that he would race in the middle of the street. He got into WWF on TV and for PlayStation along with Need for Speed. I remember one day my mother was cleaning up the house and under his bed she found a shoe box with holes in it. He had caught numerous lizards and he had put them in the shoe box with leaves for food and punched holes into the box. Needless to say, my mother unknowingly knocked over the box and let them loose. Can you say, OUCH?!  There is nothing like watching a movie in the living room in the dark and getting bit by one of those lizards that is now a full-blown komodo dragon because he feed them too much!!

Then he got older and he began to become his own person. The boy has a way with clippers that is unmatched and he’s a beast with giving a lining so it comes as no surprise that he even cuts the hair of his fellow Army comrades. Then he developed his own swag. Gucci Mane on full blast making me want to pull my hair out…why must the music be so damn loud?! He started rocking a goatee and paying attention to girls and he grew taller and taller until he began to tower over me…the big sister. I went to Phoenix in 2010 and had an epiphany. I could actually hold an intelligent conversation with my brother and he was on some real type ish. I actually watched him give grown man, Think Like a Lady, Act Like A Man type of advice to his older sister truly desiring for her to become a stronger woman for not only herself, but for her child as well. It was a proud moment.

My brother is not perfect, but he’s my brother…so…here’s my open letter to him.

Dear Joshua,

I’m so very proud of you. I know that we don’t always talk as much as we should, but when we do, we go hard. I pray for your happiness and that you discover wonderful things about yourself that you never knew was inside of you. So here are some things that I want you to keep in mind while you are away from home.

  1. Keep God first. Always remember to say your prayers when you wake up in the morning. Your knees should hit the floor before your feet. You should pray before you leave the base for anything. Anytime that you are in a vehicle pray for God and your guardian angels to place hedges of protection around you. Remember to also say your prayers before you go to sleep. Give thanks for God’s grace and mercy and for allowing you to live to see another day.
  2. Follow your instincts. If something tells you not to do something or to go somewhere, heed it.
  3. Believe in yourself. God gave you good sense and a sound mind. You can do whatever you put your mind to. You know that the family will be rooting for you.
  4. Association brings on assimilation.  Be careful who you let into your circle. If someone shows you that they cannot be trusted or does not genuinely have your best interests at heart, then pull out the tools and tighten up the circle. You are the company you keep and because you are in the military even more eyes are on you than normal.
  5. Everything is a test.
  6. Remember that you represent more than the military. You represent us as well. If you think that it will disappoint mama, try not to do it. You’re human so you will make mistakes and we will be there for you regardless of what the case may be.
  7. Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.
  8. Be leery of those who say that you can trust me. If I can trust you, you don’t have to tell me. I should already know.
  9. See through the temptress that will be in abundance over there. Married women in the military are the worst. Marriage isn’t sacred there, but it is grounds for a dishonorable discharge. Steer clear of those females that are off limits…those that you report to, etc. I don’t know all the rules, but I have a few decent guys that I am cool with that are in there. “Don’t come back with no baby. “
  10. Read the news. Just because you are in the military doesn’t mean that you will always know what is going on in the world.

As I write this, I cannot help but to get teary eyed realizing that in less than 24 hours you will be on a plane flying across the world to begin your new life for the next two years. I pray that God keeps you safe. If you need anything, do not hesitate to call, Skype, or write. I’m praying for you—always. I can’t wait to come visit you!!!!!!!!!! I’m so proud of you!

Love always,

Your big sister

God Bless Our Troops!

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