29 February 2012

He asked THE question

7:09 AM
Yesterday after soccer practice, in what seemed like random timing, Munchkin asked THE question I've been anticipating him asking for the past 2 years.

I've been honestly answering questions since he was able to talk. "Why does Daddy live in Baltimore?". "Because Daddy is from Baltimore and works there". "Why doesn't daddy come live with us?" "Because daddy's job is in Baltimore". Simple, honest answers that I pray his 3 year old mind can understand.

But this....

"Mom, why did daddy leave us".

Preceded by "I'm still praying for Daddy".

I wasn't prepared to respond.

I know my reaction feeds a lot in to how he reads a situation, so I calmly asked "would you like to call daddy and ask him that question?". "No".

That's the best response I could give at that time. Just as I share the excitement of his life with his dad, his straight A's and soccer practice, I also share these moments I have to witness. These difficult moments where for that moment I feel like I'm not enough.

Ummm.....that's it? Am I the only one not moved by this?

I mean I know my lesson this week is in trust
- so instead of trusting in his response and looking for him to help provide an answer, I am trusting that God will send the answer that is perfect for my little boy to understand.

So the good thing is Munchkin moved right on and didn't seem to dwell on it. The good news is I now know he notices. I now know his little heart is wondering what's up. So I can prepare. I'm not interested in telling him made up fairy tales. I'm interested in telling him the truth, in a way his 3 year old mind can wrap itself around, in a way that respects his dad. What that is - I'm not sure.

26 February 2012

A Lesson in Trust

6:45 AM
More days than not, I wake up and enter fight mode. Not aggressive, pick a fight with everyone I come across type of fight mode, but the I have to make it happen, go get them, fight mode.

While I don't perceive anything seriously wrong with my instinct to get up and do, I also realize that sometimes I get a little carried away. Case in point - yesterday morning.

I recently started Iyanla Vanzant's "One Day My Soul Just Opened Up" which is a 40 day devotional. The "rules" are that you are to pray and read the day's lesson before getting out of bed. Yesterday, instead of following those rules, I started my day. The first thing someone did was lie to me and immediately I felt it was my duty to make sure he knew that I knew he was lying. That immediately caused a defensive reaction on their part - and once again left me looking like the self-righteous know it all that I can sometimes be.

Well - 5 minutes later I picked up my devotional - and there was the lesson I needed to learn 10 minutes prior. The lesson was on trust and the difference between trusting someone and placing your trust in someone. This lesson hit me so hard and was so necessary.

When you trust someone -

"you are not reliant on them", "you see them in the highest light possible", "you know that their eternal light of truth will shine forth, eventually".

When you place your trust in someone -

"you expect them to do what htey say they will do", "you place your reliance on words or promised action".

Do you see the difference? One is how you respond to what you trust and one is how you try to trust what others can do, which often disappoints because you cannot control what others will do.

So yesterday I laid down my right to feel I needed to call everyone out on their lying or any other behavior I feel is not cool. Instead, I trust that God has it all under control.

23 February 2012

Mary Christensen posted on my timeline...

7:47 AM
....and it's a BIG deal to me!

On Tuesday evening, Mary Christensen posted this to her Facebook:
Are you supporting the Go Direct campaign by buying your products from other direct sellers? Think of the difference 70 million people (that's how many direct sellers are currently active worldwide) can make by supporting each other as customers.

I reposted it to my wall because it is the idea that I have been talking about and why I love direct sales. If we all went direct and supported our friends and neighbors in building their dreams - we could furnish our homes, fill our wardrobes, supply our beauty counters and stock our pantries all through men and women going in the same direction as us.

After posting that a friend responded that she had been looking for a local Avon representative to reorder some lip gloss and couldn't find one! Really? Can't find a local Avon rep? ...and who has the nerve to say Scentsy is saturated? (ok that's another post)

So I responded that I knew an Avon rep - because I know like 6 of them now that I think about it - and I shared her contact information with her. This is where life gets exciting - Mary herself mader her way over to my little Facebook timeline and commented!

See for yourself. It's kind of a big deal!

So why is this a big deal to me? Mary Christensen has more than 25 years of experience in party plan businesses. She is one of the most sought after speakers and trainers across the globe. My Rising Stars are currently following her plan found her book "Be a Party Plan Superstar" - so to have her pop up on my timeline is a huge deal to me!

Thank you Mary!

14 February 2012

Inspiration Comes From All Different Places

4:52 PM
Since really becoming vested in the direct selling/network marketing profession, I have made it my business to network and support others in the industry who are working to build their dreams.

One of my recent Facebook friends is a Body by Vi representative, and she posted a video that nearly brought me to tears.

This story truly embodies the power of the journey those of us who have chosen that we are going to work this profession full-time with all of our hearts, that success is the only option, and that failure will not touch our lips. It shows how ordinary, or sometimes those who feel they are less than, can turn their lives around with the power of belief and crazy, massive action.

Now some may think, "why would she post a video about someone's crazy success with another company?". Why not? I celebrate her success and it inspires me. While celebrating her I use it to hopefully inspire others. You see - she is with the right company for her. I truly believe I am with the best company - for me. I would never put down another company, because somehow, someway, we were all led to where we were supposed to be.

I encourage you that if you've ever considered starting your own business, or if you are just trying to figure out how you will pay for gas this month, buy groceries, or earn a little extra spending money for "me" time, I hope that you will make the decision and follow your heart. Once you make the decision, commit to act, in a big way, and don't stop until you get what you want. Of course, I hope if you are considering joining direct selling company that you will seriously consider joining my team.

So just as I've been saying over the past few days that I needed to write this post, something else came up on Facebook that totally inspired me.

The Network Marketing Pro posted this photo on Facebook that immediately caught my attention. Here's what the caption read:

Madame C.J. Walker was the 1st African American Millionaire made through the Direct Sales Industry! "I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations....I have built my own factory on my own ground."

Madam Walker,
National Negro Business League Convention,
July 1912

The racial codes of the day prevented product distribution via normal outlets like drug stores, so Madam CJ Walker was forced to go around this issue by building a direct sales distribution network which required her to build a sales force of several thousand agents to sell her products. (Original members of her Direct Sales Distribution Network on the pic below which in time grew to a Million Dollar Empire)
Talk about an inspiration. Madame C.J. Walker HAD to make it happen. The biggest obstacle in taking my business to the next level is, you guessed it, me. I love that when others would only promote her to where they wanted her to be, she promoted herself to where she wanted to be. She faced obstacles that I could never even imagine facing. She overcame setbacks that would probably never present themselves to me. Thank you Madame C.J. Walker. Your determination, through the sweat and tears, has inspired me to stop taking the easy route.

11 February 2012

09 February 2012

One of those days

12:46 PM
Today I'm feeling a bit beat up. I missed going to Phoenix for the Scentsy Spring Sprint because me and my team at The CommunityChange Group have been working on a kick-butt proposal for the past 2 weeks. It involved two outside partners, was really detailed and was due in office tomorrow. When I had not received the final materials from one of our partners yesterday, I pulled the plug on going to Phoenix for Sprint because I knew I would have to complete all the final crafting and get it overnighted today.

I was already feeling crappy at the response I received when I told certain people I couldn't go but those things I just tend to shrug off. I knew I had to prioritize getting this proposal out - so I was ok with my decision.

Then I walked in the office this morning to a message that one of our partners wouldn't be able to get their proposal done, making our proposal and our other partner's proposals void - because it is mandatory that each presenter have two partners. Crap!

So today I'm feeling good at nothing. My clients' funding needs are constantly increasing, my Scentsy business, gratefully, is constantly growing and both need my attention. Both need me to show up.

I know anything worth having will not be easy, but definitely worth it. So I've got to fight the funk today and start again tomorrow.

06 February 2012

I Made It Through...I'm making it through

10:26 PM
I know I'm doing a bit much with two posts in one day - technically in 30 minutes it'll be a new day so maybe I can get away with it.

I'm up tonight. After a wonderful day, I'm sitting on my couch listening to this song, worshiping God and crying tears of joy, tears of being scared out of my mind, tears of joy, tears of uncertainty, tears of faith, tears of gratitude.

I feel like I've lost so much. Sometimes I feel like this is the most unfair thing anyone should ever have to go through. I don't get it.

I thank God that despite of it all, despite the scars, bumps and bruises my heart has taken through all this, He has picked me up and told me that my ways are not His ways and I take His unanswered prayers to mean He has a great plan for me. I know this and I'm making it through. I'm trusting His plan. I know it is working for my good. I'm so glad I made it.


Today has been near perfection

6:36 PM
....that is what I tweeted about an hour ago. It really has.

The entire day flowed perfectly but I won't bore you with a play by play.

I did take my Mommy goals seriously - and started checking some of them off the list.

After picking Munchkin up from school, we went to the market (which is what people in Baltimore call the grocery store) and then came home. He played and I cooked dinner.

Nothing fancy - but I do have to say I make a mean sauce

I've also decided that I want to start baking, which is why I checked out a baking book by Martha Stewart from the library today. However, serious baking takes some serious equipment and instead of wasting my money on cheap baking goods in the meantime, I' decided I'll take my time building up my collection as I go.

So we stopped at World Market on the way home and picked up these

So tonight I decided to start with this
It looked delicious in the box and smells delicious cooling on top of my stove. When I say I want to start baking - I mean from scratch. I just couldn't start today with ALL the goods that go into that but this was still a lot of fun

I'll come back and add a picture of the finished product once the cakes cool and I have the chance to ice them.

Also on the Mommy goals list - reading just for fun. So I made a quick stop by the library on my way to pick Munchkin up from school.

Yay for days of near perfection!

05 February 2012

Mommy Goals - Doing a Better Job of Taking Care of ME!

10:45 AM
Just as I stepped in the shower this morning and began to enjoy the warmth of the steam - Munchkin came riding in to my room on his scooter talking a mile a minute. While I laugh while typing this post - I definitely need to start setting some mommy goals that focus on me spending time with myself and taking care of me as a woman.

So - here are a few of my mommy goals:

1. Read at least one book a month just for pleasure. These will probably be checked out from the library as they'll be books for me to "escape" a bit.

2. Read at least one book a month geared towards personal and/or business development.

The happiest life is that which constantly exercises and educates what is best in us.

3. Take better care of my hair and stop pulling it back in a bun (just being lazy).

4. Give myself a manicure and pedicure weekly.

5. Cook at least one homemade meal a week.

Ok - I think this is a good enough list to tackle for now. I'll keep you posted!

I mean - you can easily get sidetracked on taking time to do the small things for yourself when you have this little one commanding your attention.

What are your Mommy Goals and what do you do to spend time taking care of you?

03 February 2012

This is My Life

11:01 PM

Munchkin and I are just returning from one of my sorority sister's homes. I love these moments when we get to spend some time together - because they're pretty few. Munchkin loves the chance to hang out with his friend and I love the chance to hang out with my friend.

Driving home, it made me think about some things that have been on my heart lately. God really has me in an interesting place right now. I don't really desire to go out with my single friends because I'm not necessarily interested in the things singles are interested in, but I don't fit in with my married friends because I can't necessarily go on "date night" with them. Munchkin and me are truly in a season where he is my main focus.

People often comment about how close him and I are. How could we not be? Everything I do right now points back to him. The work I do, the desires of my heart, all point back to making sure he lives a full life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm so grateful for the friends God has placed in my life and for the fact that they serve a very specific purpose in my life in this season.

I wonder how other single parents feel about this.

02 February 2012

Bible Study - Ruth Chapters 1-4

7:42 PM
Tonight I wanted to start getting to know the women of the Bible better. As I sat down on the couch with Bible and coffee in hand, I was led to Ruth - and it has made my heart so glad.

The text is literally rich with God's purpose and promise. I mean really - what other reason is there for Naomi - whose name means "my joy" - to experience such great loss. There was nothing joyous about her life at this point. She moved away from her people with her family in tow - her husband and two sons - and then just like that, one after the other after the other are gone. I imagine she felt God was extremely mad at her, at turned His back against her. I can hear her whispering in her bitter spirit - "why me"? What's the point of continuing on? I guess she better go back and see if her people will accept an old widow.

Her bitterness is seen in the way she tells her daughter-in-laws to go. Go back home. I have nothing for you. I am nothing. God has left me with nothing. This pain. This bitterness was all apart of God's plan.

At first, Orpah acts as though she will stay with Naomi, but as bitter old Naomi persists, go back to your mother and father, I have nothing for you, she sadly leaves. Sometimes people will stick around at first, but press on them a little more, let your heart show, letter your bitter heart show, and if their purpose is not tied up in you, they will leave.

Ruth, however, had her purpose all wrapped up in her staying with Naomi. So much so that the Word says she "clung" to her. Have you ever clung to something? Have you ever wanted to be with someone bad, no matter what they did you held on? Have you ever wanted something so bad, letting go made your heart sick? This was Ruth. From this comes the passage recited in so many wedding vow exchanges:

Wherever you go, I will go.....
Your God will be my God.....
Where you die, I will die.
You can only truly make a commitment like that if it is a part of your purpose.

This book becomes the perfect love story to me from here on. From Ruth and Boaz's first encounter - he becomes protective of her. When God introduces the man He has been preparing for you - He will be prepared to take care of you. Do you receive that? We jump at anyone who shows an interest in us. We are so focused on being with someone, anyone, that we jump even if they're not the one God is preparing for us. We're willing to settle. We're willing to accept that they don't have their own relationship with Christ. We make excuses and oh, we even think we can make them change. Read Chapter 2. God is preparing your mate - stop jumping.

I would have been good with that lesson right there, but this book gets even better to me. After Naomi tells Ruth how to approach Boaz and she does so in her obedience - Boaz - her prepared one - KNOWS her virtue. (v. 11). So many us ladies in waiting sometimes feel alone, unnoticed and forgotten. We are trying to do everything right and live a virtuous life, but no one is noticing. It seems as those who are "out there" get all the attention. Girl! Don't you get it? God has not designed it so that just anyone and everyone will know your virtue. He has called your prepared one to KNOW your virtue. It is for him. Stop trying to make everyone else notice.

So by now my spirit is leaping - I'm shouting about this lesson on purpose and promise. Had Elimelech lived. Had Mahlon lived - Naomi may have never wanted to return to Bethlehem. Ruth would have never met Boaz and birthed Obed - King David's grandpa. That's a lesson in and of itself, but I still had one more chapter to go. Here comes the suspense. Boaz has to first offer her to the "close relative". When he first says this up in Chapter 3, I'm like what's the close relatives name? Then in Chapter 4 is started to make sense. See what happens in life is we start giving names to the people and things that can possibly abort our destiny. We call them things like "the bimbo that stole my husband", "debt", "fear", "bitterness", "lust". We call them all kind of things and give them a name. They are so insignificant to your purpose and don't even deserve a name.

Had Boaz given this "close relative" a name, he would have given him the power in his life to abort his destiny. What happens though? At first the "close relative" is like - yeah I'll take that" but at the mention of Ruth he backs up because it would jeopardize his own inheritance. Listen to me - the thing you keep giving a name to cannot stop your promise if you stop giving it a name. At first glance it may seem as though you've lost it. The "close relative" is going to get it. Get this - at the mention of your name - every no name person and thing will go away. Your purpose and their purpose are not meant to play together.

Weeeeee!!!!! You ever see the commercial of the pig hanging out the car window screaming "weeee!!"? That's how giddy my spirit is right now!


01 February 2012

You Should Be Disgusted...I Am

1:21 PM
So as you come down the hill from my house, at the major intersection crossing town sits a McDonalds - with a Play Center. Every time we go down this hill and have to sit at the light my Munchkin asks "can we go there"? So, to get out of this question time after time - I started calling it "Nasty Donalds". Now whenever we drive down the hill my son says "we don't go to Nasty Donalds".

Well recent reports have not made me a liar. McDonalds really is Nasty Donalds and I'm disgusted. Did you see this article on the Pink Slime McDonalds has been using in their burgers. Treated with ammonium hydroxide to make them edible. YUCK!

Look, I'm not here to tell you what to eat in your family. I'm not here to preach that we all need to become vegetarians - although after reading this I wanted to. Really though. The decisions we make for our families are our decisions. What kind of food we choose to bring into our homes is our decision. We can't get mad at Paula Dean for continuing to cook high cholesterol, diabetic meals on tv even when we know they lead to health problems if we won't first step up and make the right decisions for our family.

I often think about how long my great-grandparents lived and how healthy they were up into their golden years even though they ate the "worst" of the pig. The difference is now what we call organic. I can guarantee they weren't eating Pink Slime.

No more Nasty Donalds for my family.

I'm disgusted.
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