Marriage Gets Easier

My husband was so excited yesterday to attend a class offered at church titled, The Measure of a Man. After eighteen years of marriage, now he wants to be educated on the measure of a man. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful, but where was this class when we were going through hell? We’ve taken quite a few marriage classes and even led the Couples’ Ministry at church. I’m here to tell you – hubby and I have the real deal marriage. We are complete opposites and we experience our share of ups, downs, arguments, seasons of bliss, and even entertained divorce. 

I had a thought last night – marriage is like wisdom…it doesn’t come until you’ve experienced all the bumps, bruises, and battles of life and by that time, you’re on your way out of the land of the living. Now that I’ve experienced some of those bumps and bruises, I know the early years of our marriage were only a test of our will to survive the marriage. The middle years of marriage were a test of our patience and longsuffering. The surviving years (where we are now) are continual pop tests of trusting God. I pray our final years will be…years of contentment? 

Marriage gets easier, but the bumps keep coming. Hubby’s eleven-week class is an overdue tune-up for our marriage. No tune-up, no marriage….and that’s NO JOKE. For those of you entertaining the thought of leaving your marriage or stuck in a season of staleness or suffering, don’t look at your husband’s face, your circumstances, or other couples faking the funk, but look to God. Unless you’re in an abusive relationship, stand strong through your seasons. It doesn’t matter what your situation is (I’ve experienced it all), God is real. Don’t walk out before you’re shown the measure of your man. 

Do your part and God will surely do His.  I’m a witness!

Our High School Senior Kicked Off Football Team

“Police officials identified your son.” When a parent hears a statement like this, the alarms are sounded and the world stops. Thankfully, our son wasn’t in an accident, but he was kicked off his high school football team – his senior year.
We immediately scheduled a meeting to find out the reason for Javan’s (aka Firstborn) dismissal from the team.  During the meeting, we were told #6 was identified as the ring leader and initiated a fight between his team and another area team one Friday evening. 

  Although several other players were present, only three players were kicked off the team. The punishment seemed a little severe, yet we respected the decision. We wanted to immediately defend our son, but when police officials identify your son what is there to defend? Not only was Javan identified by police officials, but we were told school officials and coaches from the other team identified him also. Wow….my husband and I were shocked. Maybe we didn’t know our son as well as we thought. In the meeting, I suggested to my husband that we get Javan tested for drugs. What we were hearing was completely out of character for him. 

 Javan has never been in a fight in his life, so to hear he initiated a fight with a football team was a big pill for us to swallow.  We know Javan gets extremely “in his zone” on game day. He wants to win and his ostentatious athlete mindset is in full force, but is this a crime? After his games, he is upset and doesn’t want to be bothered. With a 1-7 record, he should be use to losing, but he has a winning spirit and doesn’t give up. If I may, the one game the team has won....Javan made the first touchdown.
It’s important to mention the said “fight” never escalated into an actual physical fight, but was just a lot of trash talking between the two teams. Coaches from both teams broke the ruckus up – not one punch was ever thrown. 

One day, while sitting around discussing the incident with Javan, he mentioned not seeing police at the scene. My husband told him he was too busy talking trash to notice the police – we still believed the alarming statement of him being “identified” by police.

I couldn’t sleep or eat and was led to do my own investigation. I contacted the head coach from the other team plus police officials present at the game and no one was identified – NO ONE. The police weren’t even there! No one even knew which team started the trash talking! So, why was our son kicked off the football team?
My husband and I were outraged – downright pissed off.  Were we lied to or was this a big mistake? Surely they wouldn’t lie on our son, but would they lie on police officials? Regardless of any details, the bottom line is – our son was falsely accused. 

 We were also told our son’s behavior was another reason for him being kicked off the team. Okay, make up your mind; what’s the real reason he was kicked off? I attend the football practices quite frequently and the things our son was accused of seems to be the norm of over half the team. We won't even go there! Are we defending our son? You better believe it! What are we supposed to do? Let him be accused of something he didn’t do and pretend it didn’t happen? Sweep it under the rug? We’re sorry, but the wrong child has been accused. We wish we could say Javan was a perfect child, but we can't.  A typical teenager he is, but a trouble maker he is not. We couldn’t care less about Javan getting back on the team; we want only his name cleared from this vicious lie, which doesn’t seem to be important to anyone except us.  

 We refuse to defame anyone’s character by mentioning names. The reason for this blog post is because it’s what I do. I blog about my life and the sometimes crazy events that happen in my family. I was hesitant about sharing this, but I share everything else, so why not share this? My hesitation to blog about this was a red flag in my own character. Now is not the time to be quiet. It happened and those involved will answer to God just as my husband and I have to answer to how we handle this false accusation. We pray for direction, patience, peace, and wisdom. We even pray for the accusers. If we weren’t praying, we would have already called the local television station, newspaper, and a lawyer. Our son is off the team for no sound reason – he was falsely accused – period. Have we forgiven? We had to in order to be sane citizens and parents. We HAD to.   

This is not the end of the story. There is so much deceit going on behind this, our heads are spinning in disbelief. We’ll spare the details – clearing Javan’s name is our main concern. We hope this blog post will open the eyes of parents of athletes and to those athletes who have ever been mistreated or falsely accused, IT’S NOT OKAY. Flag on the play! 

Parents usually immediately defend their child when told of misbehavior, but we were careful not to do this and we made a mistake. Unfortunately, someone else made a mistake and accused the wrong child. Javan, we are sorry we doubted you. We know your character and we will stand by you and behind you to clear your name from this false accusation and all the fallacious statements attached to it.  Stay strong and keep your head up. You have done nothing to warrant being kicked off your football team. Remember, ALL things work together.   

We love you and God has your back!

Months later, I've turned my anger into advocacy. Read how here

Time for Change

While watching an interview with Steven Spielberg last night, he mentioned his usual action packed movies don’t excite him anymore, which explains his upcoming political movie on Abraham Lincoln. The same is with Tyler Perry. Mr. Perry is doing something completely different than what he’s known for; he was ready for change. The driving force for change within these two men overpowered their doubts and fears, which both admitted to having. 

I’ve spent my entire life, as most women do, making sure things are in place, in order, and on schedule; so as soon as a change of heart or mind comes up about something in my life, I begin to doubt whether it’s me or God’s leading. The only way to know His voice is to abide with Him through prayer and reading His Word. Because I have some major life decisions on my plate, I’m abiding like I’ve never done before and His voice is loud and clear. That deep driving force in the depths of my gut that just won’t go away is definitely my Father’s leading and now is not the time to listen to the voices of others. Whether the change is in residence, job/career, closure in relationships or initiating new relationships, we want to be submissive to the change – to God. To say no to change is saying no to God’s plan for our life! Debating and reasoning with God is dangerous.

I don’t believe in coincidence; and watching the Steven Spielberg and Tyler Perry interviews was right on time for me. Go for the change, laVender! Do you feel a sense of shifting in your life? What’s stopping you from moving forward with the change? Fear of the unknown, doubt, the opinions of others, or being comfortable with redundancy in your life? You only have one life, so let God direct you and embrace the change!

The Fight

 After sitting on my behind and watching football on television all day yesterday, it was hard to convince my body to get up and move; I needed to exercise. I’ve been exercising daily, but yesterday was a fight. My mind was exercising, but my body wasn’t budging. I saw myself stretching, doing jumping jacks, and aerobics, but I was actually still sitting down. I sat comfortably on the sofa laughing at the warfare going on in my body. Hubby was switching through the channels and briefly stopped at Michael Jackson’s This Is It concert rehearsal. Hearing a good beat was all I needed and before I knew it, I was up dancing with Michael. 

Watching MJ instruct and correct his crew on the set, showed what a perfectionist he was at his craft. I thought about my own craft. Do I spend enough time and effort with it to perfect it and become an expert at it? Even my writing style – am I giving it my all? Whether it’s making jewelry, designing clothes, cooking, sewing, counseling, singing, gardening, or even mothering and being a helpmate – we should be doing it well enough for others to know it’s our work - not just enough to get by.  I always wanted to be the best wife and mother ever, so if another woman had to take my place, she would never be able to fill my shoes. Look at MJ – no one will ever be able to fill his shoes. Most of us have the will to perfect our craft, but it’s always a fight with the flesh. There is always an excuse or reason to not move or excel. Can you imagine what would happen if we perfected our craft and did it unto the Lord? We’ll never know unless we get off the sofa and move!  Have a marvelous, moving Monday!

Strange Sunday

 The strangest thing happened to me Sunday morning. Football was heavily on my mind. Between the two boys, we have games every Thursday and Friday night, but I don’t wake up thinking about football every morning; Sunday morning was different. I prayed and praised God fervently trying to get football off my mind, but thoughts of practices, games, and preparing high carb meals and protein drinks arrested my attention. I was scheduled to share during the church school hour, so I needed my mind clear, but the thoughts wouldn’t leave. Finally, the worship service freed me from football and so did the church school hour.

Now, here is where the strange experience occurred. As I brought the church school class to a close, I looked to my right and saw football shoulder pads sitting in a chair as if they were attending the class. What in the world? I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me because I had not noticed the pads during the entire class. I looked harder – they were definitely football shoulder pads – in the senior women’s class! Okay, Lord what does this mean – if anything? Maybe I was being led to pray and cover every aspect of my family’s football-filled life. Football was obviously on my mind for a reason and I ignored the soft voice; I actually tried to dismiss the thoughts!

I wondered how many other things God has placed on my mind to pray about, but instead chose to allow the thoughts to just linger and loiter in my mind. Just as God places a person on my mind, I need to pray for that person instead of simply thinking about them. God definitely guides me in my prayer life, but when I ignore Him, He still manages to get my attention… even if it means football shoulder pads in church school! Where are your thoughts today? If you're not sure how to pray in regards to the thoughts you're having, pray for wisdom in that area of your life and have a marvelous week!

Mornings Don't Mix

 It’s October and although that scary holiday doesn’t come until the end of the month, I endured a scary situation this morning. Secondborn was extra foul! I asked a few questions only to receive a nod or thumbs up for a response. Firstborn knows his brother well and said to me, “He and mornings don’t mix.”   We got out of the house without killing each other and stopped to pick up our morning commuter; he was foul also. Eeewww. I’m a morning person, so I chose to be quiet and allow them to bask in their own stuff.  I remember my previous pastor in San Diego saying that whatever time of the day we have breath in our body should be our time. In other words, if it is morning and we’re alive, we should be a morning person. If it’s late in the evening and we’re still breathing, we should be an evening person.  

 I’m far from having that 24/7 demeanor – especially when my telephone rings after nine o’clock in the evening. It’s a shame how ugly my face turns! As a said “Godly” woman, my attitude should be one of gratitude throughout the day. Regardless of the foul personalities around me and even foul circumstances I endure, I should practice maintaining expressions and conduct of someone with some sense! I know I’m human, but I have a supernatural power available to me at all times to hide me from my Self. I’m still learning to tap into that power when I feel Miss Flesh rising. She lingers like a bad aftertaste! When I decrease and allow God to increase in every situation throughout the day, I don’t appear to be moody or chemically imbalanced, which I am at least once a month. 

How about you? Are you a morning person, evening person, or a Godly person? Ouch!