Monday Meditation - No Guilt

Both my sons play basketball year-round, so a weekend without basketball is rare. Sunday, they both had to go separate ways, so Firstborn took one car and hubby and Secondborn took the other car. We don’t roll with three cars, so I was without transportation on Sunday. I felt guilty for not going to church, but later realized guilt was not the right emotion. Several questions crossed my mind…how many times did you miss forgiving someone this week? How many times did you miss showing compassion and love this week? How many times did you miss not judging this week? And I felt guilty about missing church? I laughed at my self-righteous and guilty feelings. 

I went through a stage when I was just going through the motions of going to church and feeling good because I went on a regular basis. God isn’t going to love me any more or any less by my sitting on the pew, but He sure wants me to worship Him – year round – every day of the year. I don’t want to get into that “going through the motions” slump again and forget how important it is to apply what I’m learning Sunday after Sunday, Wednesday after Wednesday. I’ve got so much church in me; my light should blind others before they approach me! I should be a shining example of what going to church will do for you! I was reminded – going to church is something I do, but worship is something I live – it’s a lifestyle. 

Many of you reading this don’t attend church on a regular basis or not at all. God doesn’t want your guilt; He wants your life, all of it – mind, body, and soul…not just on Sundays, but year-round! The boys’ year-round basketball gave me a wonderful life lesson and my Coach doesn’t want me to get comfortable sitting on the bench!

Monday Meditation - Where's Your Concentration?

I’ve been working on a writing project for someone and I thought I was finished weeks ago; however, after reading over it, I noticed several things wrong with it, so I started over. This morning, I needed a spiritual word to dive into it again. I opened my devotional book and read, “Beware of any work for God that causes you to avoid concentrating on Him.”  I love it when I receive exactly what I need in my present situation.  I’ve always been careful to depend on God when I sit to write – always.  This particular writing project is one of the most demanding pieces I’ve ever worked on and because it’s not for me, I feel pressure to perform. My pressure has led to stress, which led to doubting my abilities, which took my concentration off God. It doesn’t take much to forget where our abilities come from! Even my day to day tasks should be done while concentrating on God, and I should definitely concentrate on God while fulfilling my roles as wife and mother! 

God can give me every word for my project just as He gives me the words for the Monday Meditations – every week. If I take myself out of the project, I can fully depend and lean on God, and allow Him to complete this project through me. Also in my morning devotion was, “Once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work.” WOW! My pressure has turned to peace, and my doubt has turned to dependence - on Him. Whatever we’re working on right now - a case, file, client, event, book, or a load of laundry, let’s get the pressure off of us, concentrate on God, and watch how He works!

Exercise or Die

Are you a couch potato?

 Okay, so you won’t literally die if you don’t exercise, but you’ll die trying to deal with aches and pains as your body ages. Trust me; your beautiful young body gets a little older every day. 

While walking through the hospital recently, I found myself walking behind an older couple. The woman appeared much younger than the man and he could barely walk even though he had his companion's help and the help of his cane. I walked around them and a couple minutes later, they walked into the same waiting room I was in. 

Out of all the seats in the waiting room area, the woman chose to sit right next to me. I chuckled and decided to find out what I was wondering while I was walking behind them earlier. We spoke and smiled, so that was my cue to ask, "Is that your husband?"  She said he was and told me he was 88 years old, she was five years younger, and they’ve been married for 66 years. I stared at her in disbelief because there seemed to be a huge age gap between them. I wanted to boldly ask her why she looked so much younger than her husband, but I didn’t have to. She continued talking. Are you ready? She said she always believed in exercise and taking care of her body, but her husband – not so. Wow. She also mentioned she’s been exercising for over 50 years. I wish you could have seen this 83 year old woman. She looked all of 60 – maybe 65 years old. She really blew me away when she told me she still teaches aerobics a few days a week! Get outta here! Really? I felt an electrifying urge to start jogging through the hospital halls and do a few jumping jacks, but decided to maintain my composure and sit still. I was so grateful this woman sat next to me and shared her pearls of wisdom. I caught each pearl she tossed me.  “Stay active. Don’t stop moving! Exercise makes a big difference as you see for yourself.” She was referring to the difference in her health and her husband’s health. By looking at them...HUGE difference.  

It’s never too late to begin exercising, but why wait? How you treat your body now is exactly how it will treat you 10 – 20 – 30 years from now. Just because we age, doesn't mean we have to become immobile, slow, or have stiff joints. I saw it for myself!

Middle Finger Ministry

I’m tutoring a very sweet girl who had a very sour attitude during our last tutoring session. She didn’t feel like learning or listening and I didn’t feel like dealing with her or her attitude. My patience was running low – real low. I stopped trying to teach and we prayed.  Before the end of our prayer, I opened my eyes, looked up and the sweet girl’s middle finder was staring me dead in my face. GASP! I can’t begin to tell you the number of thoughts that immediately raced through my mind. She wasn’t able to lie about what she did because I caught her in the act. I questioned her actions and she fully admitted her wrong. 

  I was so angry, I silently prayed again asking God how to handle my anger and her actions. I was led to talk about the Jesus we were praying to and the reason he died on the cross for us. She listened intensely - I had her full attention. I found out she had never seen a picture of Jesus on the cross, so I purposely searched the Internet for the bloodiest portrayal of Jesus I could find. She looked at the picture and was in shock. Well, we were even because I was in shock when I saw her middle finger in my face. Later that evening, I thought about Jesus on the cross saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” I thought about the little girl and said the same prayer for her. I then asked for forgiveness for myself for wanting to judge her and break her middle finger. I’m reminded once again - it doesn’t matter what it looks like or how bad it seems, if I stay focused on God, He can use ALL things for His glory and my good – ALL things…even the middle finger.

I Killed Travon Martin

     I haven’t said a peep about the Travon Martin case and now it’s time to share my very small piece of mind. My fourteen year old recently started jogging around the neighborhood – at 6 a.m. in the morning.  Being the protective mother I am, I accompany him - on a bicycle. This morning, as we started on our way, he on foot and me closely behind on wheels, I began to pray for him as I always do. He’s such an inspiration and such an unusual young man, my prayer is to support him and be the mother he needs to help him accomplish the extraordinary goals he has set for his life. While praying, I noticed he was wearing a hoodie. It was a hoodie his father and I purchased for him from Belks. It’s a nice jacket and if it had not been on sale, it would still be on the rack or on someone else’s back. At the very moment I noticed my son’s hoodie, was the very first time I ever gave the Travon Martin case any serious thought. 

What happened to Travon Martin happens more frequently than we care to imagine, but Travon’s case, as puzzling as it is,  is touching hearts and homes across the world. My son’s hoodie wasn’t the first thing I noticed while he ran, I was mainly concerned for his safety at 6 a.m. in the morning – not as a young black boy, but as a young man falling prey to predators; his hoodie was an afterthought. Why on Earth, does the hoodie hold so much power?  Why does the hoodie hold so many stereotypes when all ages, genders, and colors, wear them? I too, had on a jacket with a hoodie, although the hoodie wasn’t on my head.

My 6 a.m. jogger
It wasn’t the hoodie that killed Travon Martin, it was the stereotype in Zimmerman’s mind that killed young Travon. We all have stereotypes secretly tucked away in our minds where no one can see them. I have my own set of stereotypes and if you’re a truthful person, you’d admit you have a few secret stereotypes also.  I did not shoot and kill Travon Martin, but I have mentally murdered many other Travon Martins with my stereotyped opinions and narrow- minded views. You have killed some Travon Martins also with your own prejudice beliefs and pompous observations. If you think you haven’t killed, you’re in denial of your own mental misdemeanors. The elderly is a prime example of the unspoken prejudice thoughts we entertain. The elderly are victims of injustice merely because of their age; talk about stereotypes! We don’t care anything about them – they’re old! The elderly are forgotten in a world they built.

All it takes is one personal experience for our hidden racism to be unveiled. Whatever Zimmerman’s personal experience was with young black men wearing hoodies, it was nurtured in his mind for so long, he couldn’t help himself when he made his impulsive 911 call. What hasty calls or actions are you guilty of?

As my son continued to run, I noticed the hoodie was no longer on his head. When we returned to the house, 30 minutes later, I asked him why he took his hoodie off. He said it just fell off his head while he was running. Wouldn’t it be nice if our hoodies of racism, stereotypes, and prejudices fell off? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could remove the portion of our brain creating illusions and prejudging people? A part of us won't allow us to see individuals as…individuals. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be you?   

If I allowed my son to run alone, I wonder if he would be looked at strangely or if other early morning walkers would be cautious of their own safety? He’s a sweet boy and would do anything to protect you, but because he was wearing a hoodie and running outside at an ungodly time of the morning, he made himself a target in the minds of many of the neighbors who have no idea who he is. So, before you point the finger at Zimmerman or anyone else for an unjust act, check yourself. Take your hoodie off before you judge someone else’s hoodie. Think about your thoughts of others and don’t be so quick to mentally or physically kill another Travon Martin.  

Eric Benet's "Real Love"

Secondborn and I listened to Eric Benet’s “Real Love” over, and over again last night while baking cookies. The melody is so beautiful, and the words are profound. The song speaks of a relationship that stands the tests of life and whirlwind of changes. I looked up whirlwind and my favorite definition stated a whirlwind being a confused rush or a violent, destructive force. When a relationship is still standing after experiencing a confused rush of violent and destructive tests and trials, I believe it has proven to be a relationship of real love. Real love isn’t conditional love or a selfish love, but a love that you’ve wanted to walk away from, yet stood strong. Real love is forgiveness instead of allowing anger to give birth to bitterness. Real love is looking beyond faults and recognizing the face of the enemy. Real love in spite of.

I’ve faced my share of destructive tests in my marriage and I’m not sure I show real love – not yet. Real love doesn’t just happen over the years, but it’s the violent whirlwinds which produce real love. It’s the destructive tests which show us what real love is made of. It shows us what we’re made of – OUCH! I’m positive I have a few more whirlwinds to go through. Marriage, in itself, is a whirlwind – a confusing rush of tests. God allows these destructive tests in marriage to reveal our lack of real love and to meet real love. We all experience real love…God’s love, which is probably the only real love on Earth. The best we can do is strive to show that same love to others as God has shown to us – that’s real love. For your listening enjoyment, I’ve placed Eric Benet’s, Real Love, below. Make sure you think about your significant other and not Eric Benet, and have a marvelous Monday!

    Forties are...FABULOUS!

A mother's love is...
 a child's first introduction and knowledge of what love is.

Chocolate or....

What's the big deal with being a chocoholic? Is it a crime to be addicted to chocolate? Has craving chocolate ever hurt anyone? 

In my own little, half-warped, chocolate thinking mind, chocolate saves lives, solves problems, invites peace, and comforts the soul. 

Check it out...

You can either

Curse your husband for something he didn't do or eat chocolate


Yell at the children for not cleaning their room or eat chocolate


Exercise for 30 minutes or eat chocolate for one minute


Cook dinner or eat chocolate


Be in a bad mood or eat chocolate


Drink alcohol or eat chocolate


Get high of illegal substances or get high off chocolate (it works)


Eat chocolate for the sake of eating chocolate!

White chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or just pure good 'ole my book...


Fill Me Up!

At 4:30 a.m. this morning, I sat and thought to myself, “I don’t feel like cooking a pot of grits or flipping pancakes this morning.” It was early, but this was the time God wakes me, most mornings, to spend time with Him. My Bible and devotion books were next to me waiting to be cracked open, so I did. I sat and read about Paul and his amazing commitment to Christ. Paul’s entire life was completely consumed by Jesus, and there I was complaining about cooking grits. I bet Paul didn’t have to get up in the morning and cook breakfast. I’m sure he had the liberty to wake up and fall on his face in prayer for as long as he wanted to. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I can get up and fall on my face also, if I want to. My life can also be committed to Christ. What does cooking breakfast have to do with it? Absolutely nothing. 

A complaining spirit wanted to control my thoughts today. It started early, didn’t it? One complaint about cooking breakfast would have led to another complaint, and another, and another. If I don’t awake early to spend time with God and allow His Spirit to fill me up, I’m full of junk - complete negativity – trash thoughts! Yuck! I can hardly stand myself when I’m like that, so how would anyone else stand me? My prayer every morning is for God to hide me from myself and cover me with His Spirit of love, joy, compassion, mercy, understanding, longsuffering, and any other characteristic of Christ, but not my own! After I finished reading and praying, I felt like cooking breakfast. My mind was renewed. A little consecrated, contemplated time with God goes a long way. Trust me; I know! My mind is on Him now, not myself. Now, excuse me while I cook breakfast for my family. Have a marvelous Monday!