Brown Sugar Refocuses in the Pearl of Africa…

So, I’m straight up typing this blog on the steps of the ADMIN building on the campus of Watoto – Suubi Village. I’m able to overlook the campus, listen to the administrators discuss next school year, hear the children talking, and enjoy this 60-ish degree weather. There’s a bit of an overcast so the day is cooler than it’s been, and this gentle breeze low-key has my nose running, but it’s amazing. Everyone is returning from lunch now, and the teachers are walking up the stairs where I am. They are all so courteous. Several of them remember our names from the Education Summit and were able to call me by name, or told me to send greetings to someone else on our team here. They are so kind and generous here!

I didn’t hear Roy the Rooster this morning, thank God. Before I move on to the next day, I absolutely need to back track a couple of days. I’m a little behind in blogging because we don’t have Wi-Fi, and our days are just so full!!! One of these days, we went to see the Watoto Children’s Choir practice. These children travel all over the world singing songs of worship, and they are awesome for real! When we reached the church campus, it took us a minute before we could find out where to go because we were so intrigued by the goats and baby chickens. It’s hard to take us city folk anywhere. As we descended the two ridiculously steep steps of the van, we could hear the children rehearsing. I can’t even explain how full of life those children sounded and we weren’t even close to the building. Some of us walked towards the building, but most of us danced all the way over there. It was like your body couldn’t not celebrate on the way over there!

When we walked into the room, the children were finishing one song, and we sat there in awe! Because of the maturity of the voices, I was expecting to see a room filled with teenagers. I believe the oldest child in there was Brian, and he was 14 years old. I was tickled at the choir director sitting in front directing those children for their lives honey! YAS!!! She was on it! When they finished rehearsing that song, one of the adults let us know that they were in the middle of rehearsal and would love for us to worship with them. The director signaled for them to line up and the children quickly and quietly filed into a bowling pin formation. Then they passed the smallest girl in the room the microphone. So we’re all sitting their smiling super goofy like Americans do in another country, and as soon as that baby opened her mouth, all of our mouths dropped. The power that billowed from that tiny girl left us astonished! She welcomed us in perfect diction and dialect, and she had a smile that illuminated the entire room! Her presence was huge and she demanded your attention. By the time I snapped out of it and thought to record her, she was wrapping up her part. My bad ya’ll.

So the children began singing and dancing and the room sounded like it was filled with 50 children rather than the 15-20 that were in there. Those children were so anointed. I hope I can upload a few of the videos so you can grasp what we experienced. We danced along with the children and had an amazing time. When they got to this song that talked about here I am God. This is the very best I have to offer… I was so moved. To see the love, joy, and hope in those children’s faces moved me to tears. I’m standing on the front row watching these children genuinely express a love for God and it sparked something in me that shifted my focus here. I needed to clearly see the people in Uganda so I could serve them, but before I could serve them, I needed to identify a root that needed to be snatched out of my heart.

Big question of the day: God what is it I’m allowing to fester in my heart? Show me what it is, and give me the strength and courage to uproot it, and the guidance on what to do next to keep it from growing again.

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Brown Sugar Observes in Uganda!

I woke up again this morning to my wonderful friend “Roy the Rooster” (insert aggressive eye roll here). Today is the first day of the educator summit and we’re not real sure what to expect, but we’re excited!

This morning, breakfast, consisted of freshly scrambled eggs when fresh eggs are scrambled, they are white, not yellow. We thought they were egg whites at first) with bell peppers and tomatoes, toast, and freshly squeezed mango juice. I think we’re figuring out that Ugandans eat a very light breakfast!

The van left at 8am and we were headed to Suubi Village. The ride was soooooooo bumpy because the roads are not paved. We were able to see the culture along the way, and I was beyond fascinated at the women with babies strapped to their backs and carrying baskets on their heads! I just need one Ugandan woman to teach me how to do that!

When we arrived to Suubi Village, we took a small tour around the school grounds. The first stop was the technical school. If students do not desire to attend University, they learn a skill. The skills taught there include cosmetology, tailoring, electrical, media & technology, etc. Students in grades 11, 12, & 13 take college level courses to help prepare for University. The school grounds were absolutely beautiful: the landscaping, the positioning of the buildings (similar to a college quad), the words of affirmation posted around the campus. I remember thinking, “They get it here…” By the time we made it to the church on campus, which is where the education summit was held, we met with the director of schools. The team has divvied up to best help serve Watoto. So of the 15 who are here, the six educators are working with teachers, and the other nine are assisting with renovating a set of bathrooms on the school campus. Uganda is still a very young country, so there are no power tools. They were roughing it with sledgehammers and bow saws.

We walked in to be seated (in the front). Tami had us all introduce ourselves to open the summit, and then we were off to our separate sessions. I sat in Jean’s differentiation session and the room was packed. The teachers are so studious and they all sat attentively taking notes the entire time she talked. Although Ugandans speak English, there’s still a bit of a language barrier. Jean asked the class full of teachers a question, and it took a few moments for one of them to raise their hands to respond. Once Jean responded, she passed back a pack of pens to that teacher. You should have heard the excitement that erupted in that room! It was rewarding just to be able to see teachers so grateful for so little. It made me wish I had thought to bring them school supplies for my session! Once Jean’s session ended, Elena and I walked to Qwita’s session to support her. Because Ugandans walk. so. slow. we were told they knew we weren’t from around here.  Qwita’s group session was just as eager! They actively took notes and were filled with questions. Back home at sessions like this, teachers rarely ask questions because they either A – feel like they know everything and just don’t ask questions so they can leave, or B – don’t want to appear incompetent in front of their colleagues. Either way, it’s backwards. This is why some African children can run circles around some American children academically…

Now it was time for lunch. The teachers had lunch set up outside. Let me stop here and tell you that the high all week has been upper 70s (take that Memphis!), We ate inside the church and were able to eat with some of the other educators who traveled from the US and Norway to help lead the educator summit. Lunch was really good. We had matoke (not sure if I’m spelling that right) which is mashed banana, and we also had beef, and rice. Once lunch was over, I sat in on Elena’s session, and Qwita and Charmane sat in on Brittany’s. What I learned today, if anything, is that children are children everywhere! These kids cut up just like the kids in the states! I don’t know why that realization tickled me like it did…

My session is tomorrow, so I have a little time to prepare. After these sessions, I talked with Maureen, one of the principals to ask what she felt they needed, and we headed out. We met with the rest of the team, and loaded the van. Everyone was tired today. Once we made it home, we learned that Tami wanted to have a dinner meeting to discuss how day one went and fine tune things for tomorrow. We stopped by the house, then headed to dinner. Believe it or not, there’s 5:00 traffic in Africa too! So what should’ve been maybe a 20-minute drive took 50 minutes!

The restaurant was nice, and we had a good time! The dinner portions were crazy ya’ll. Three pork chops? Really? A tub full of mashed potatoes??? We sat and talked with Maureen about Ugandan weddings, and other traditions. After dinner, everyone said their good-byes. On the way out tho, I got stuck. A few of us couldn’t leave the entrance of the restaurant because of this ridiculously sweet aroma. The guard told us it was the tree. I’m not sure what kind of tree it was, but it smelled AH-MAY-ZING! Imagine the sweetest honeysuckle! Afterwards, we loaded the van and headed back home.

We had some really interesting conversations on the van with our host Andrew. He talked about the issues Ugandan men faced. He told us boys don’t have a consistent definition of manhood. It changes based on the woman he dates. He can date one woman and she’ll say as long as he provides for her and buys her things then he is a man. So that’s what a man surrounds his manhood in, at least until the woman becomes mad and tells him he’s not doing anything right. “The worst thing a woman can do is tell a man he’s not doing something right.” Then he will date another woman who tells him all she needs is for him to spend time with her and then he associates that with manhood. He told us that women have aunts and other women to teach her how to be a woman, and womanhood does not change. It’s the same no matter what. Even though I’m paraphrasing his conversation, because it was much deeper than what I’m typing here, it amazes me how even 8,006 miles apart, there can be so many similarities. The single mother population here is huge.

My big question from today is, how can America be so much more advanced than Uganda, yet our cultures be so similar?

Day 2 in The Pearl of Africa!

This morning, I woke up to a rooster yall. I real life rooster cock-a-doodling at the top of his tiny lungs. It was 4-cussword-am. I was able to peep one eye open to realize the sun hadn’t come up, and think of a few different ways to shut that rooster up for another 3 hours, then I drifted back to sleep. My alarm went off at 6:15, and it was time to get up, get dressed, and see Kampala. We’re staying at the Mission House, which is absolutely beautiful, and we were all excited about what the day would bring! When we got downstairs, the chef hadn’t yet finished breakfast, so Judith (our Mission House host) walked with us to tour the grounds. The avocado and Jackfruit trees filled the backyard, and were surrounded by the most beautiful flowers. We asked Judith how they get those massive avocados and she said that they either fall from the trees, or one of the boys will climb up to retrieve them. We headed back up front to the kitchen, which is similar to a large covered patio for breakfast. He prepared, eggs, toast, bananas, and freshly squeezed mango juice. I literally drank like four glasses of that juice. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do know that this coffee is nothing like the states! The team all enjoyed breakfast, then we loaded up the van to head to orientation.

On the ride there, we were able to see the culture of Kampala. How nearly everyone has a skill for survival. No one was standing on the streets begging for money, there were various fruits, clothes, and items for sale. We stopped first to exchange our currency, and it low-key felt like a Colombian drug deal. Think about it. I walk up all discreetly cause I have this wad of US dollars in my hand, then I slip it to someone through a glass window. She placed my bills in the bill counting machine then counted out Ugandan shillings. I asked for a receipt and an envelope then tucked it in my fanny pack and discreetly walked back to the van. Ok maybe it wasn’t like a Colombian drug deal… Maybe that was just my overly imaginative self… Whatever!

We reached the church and headed into orientation. Everyone was so nice and excited to meet us. We were told about the history of Watoto, and watched a video about their neighborhood project. I remember the campus pastor on the video saying, “how can I claim to be a Christian, and not do something about the things that break Jesus’ heart?” The resonated so deeply with me, that I was able to apply it immediately. I started jotting notes in my phone. They offered us fresh apple juice (It. Was. So. Good!) Once we completed the orientation, we walked around to Living Hope Ministries. This ministry is for the single mothers Watoto has helped. Their mission is to embrace single mothers (bringing them in and walking them through healing and forgiveness), empowering single mothers (teaching them a skill), then equipping them with a job.  When we walked into Living Hope, there were about 20-25 women tailoring and crafting. We were able to purchase items here to support these women. There were clothes, bags, stuffed toys, necklaces, bracelets, etc. Of course I fell in love with a doll, and this amazing bag! We were able to talk with the women until everyone on the team purchased their items, and prepared to leave. As we told the women thank you, and waved goodbye, they all waved, told us goodbye, and began to do this trill sound! I almost OO-OOP back, but I held it in yall.

We loaded the bus, and headed for lunch. We ate lunch at Café Java, and the food was so good and the portions were so large, that we all ate until we hurt (literally). So we all dragged ourselves back to the van to take the commute back to the Mission House. When we got there, everyone was ready to take a nap, but we actually ended up hanging out in the front yard doing yoga (Alisha got her forearm stand!), talking, and getting to know each other better. I sat on the porch talking and working on my presentation while Vikitta braided hair, and Andrew, our other host, laughed at us all evening. It was a good first day! The bus rides were eventful and the people here are beautiful. My big question from today was, “what does this look like in Memphis?”

Brown Sugar Travels to “The Pearl of Africa,” UGANDA!

The day had finally come, and we’re traveling to Kampala, Uganda! Last night, I still had to unpack wash and repack from Atlanta, get Kelcie packed and dropped off, try to see Rowan (which didn’t happen-aggressive eye roll), and tie up any lose ends. Well, I started watching Handmaid’s Tale and got all the way caught up in that show!!!!! It was soooooo good!!!

I finally had everything in place or so I thought because I absolutely left some things behind, but I was packed! I had written bae 15 “Open these when…” letters because this would be the longest time we’ve had apart since dating, and had everything else in place. All 15 members of #TeamUganda were packed, prayed up, and headed to the airport. There were a couple of minor incidents, but nothing major. Our first flight was from Memphis to Minneapolis (3 hours). Next up were all of the international flights. You’re served breakfast, lunch, and dinner on international flights, and I really don’t even remember how many times we ate! The next flight was from Minneapolis to Amsterdam (8 hours) very nice airport, but we had to search high and low for a place to charge our phones! The next flight was from Amsterdam to Kigali, Rwanda (11 hours). I can’t even explain to you how I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown from the screaming… nah that’s not strong enough. Wailing… yes that’s more accurate! Wailing babies on this plane! We understood how that flight must have been long and tiring for them, not to mention how their ears must have hurt, but there was one little toddler… Think of Junior from the movie Problem Child. Lil baby was climbing over chairs, sticking his finger in other people’s plates. Running up and down the aisle poking people, and shrieked whenever he had to sit down. This is when I took the zzzquil. Probably more than I should have, but I’m sure yall understand… The final flight was from Kigali to Entebbe (about 45 minutes). I started watching Bad Grandma’s on this flight, and laughed out loud quite a few times! I have to see that whole movie soon. I walked around the plane a bit when I got too restless, and almost knocked myself senseless in the bathroom when we hit a little turbulence, but God is good! LOL Between resting, eating, and watching movies, we didn’t have a bad journey at all.

After going through customs, and picking up our luggage, our host Andrew met us at the airport and drove us the hour to Kampala. Add in the layovers, and that gives us a whopping total of 36 hours of travel time! Bruh…

On the drive to where we’re staying, Andrew explained to us why Africans wait so long to get married. He said that when a man and a woman go on several dates, the woman generally asks, “is this serious?” When the man finally makes up his mind, they enter what is called the visitation phase. This is when the man takes the woman to meet his parents and he meets her parents. BUT, the woman tells him to get her something nice, and the man is responsible for buying her dress, and gifts for her family. The male sibling always gets a nice gift. In the next phase her family begins to negotiate with his family on how much he will spend for the marriage ceremony, and the groom decides on who will attend with him. The larger, the better. Most African marriages stop here, some go on to have the final large ceremony. This is the one they fundraise for, and it’s usually a huge celebration!

I’m sure that most of you noticed the same things we noticed when Andrew was sharing this with us, and that’s the amount of money the groom spends. What I noticed was how valued family is in this process. That’s something many of us have lost along the way. Family…

We made it to our living quarters around 1am and we were all pleasantly surprised at how nice they were, yet aggressively exhausted. We all settled in and crashed in spite of the family of dogs barking all. night. long. outside.  Day 1 in Uganda will have to be amazing, and it starts at 7am….

Brown Sugar Is Beyond Grateful!

gratitude “Healing begins where the wound was made.” -Alice Walker

Thank you. Thank you to the person in G. Alston restaurant in Cordova, TN who followed your heart today. That small gesture moved me today, and you did it anonymously. So, secret person who loved on my son and me today, let me share a story with you.

This season has absolutely been a challenging one. The kind of challenging that makes you realize you’re an adult. The most recent curve ball life has thrown me deals with my son. I worry often about him because of his lack of male role models. I think it’s so important for little black boys to be connected to someone who looks like them. “Women have been forced to choose time or money out of fathers who are too selfish to understand that kids need BOTH.” I stopped trying to figure out how to get his father to be consistently involved in his life years ago and started putting him in sports with firm and invested coaches. I want him to have an outlet. I want him to have everything he needs to prevent him from becoming the little angry black boy who’s a good kid, but made a bad decision that will cost him his life. Well, in spite of my efforts, he’s still angry. He has questions that requires answers from a man, and some days it deeply frustrates me.

Just this morning I sat in my bed in tears about this little magical boy of mine. He’s so smart, outspoken, energetic, curious, and competitive. I watched him drag himself down the hall to my room wrapped in his blanket (he’s totally not a morning person) and wondered how could someone not want to spend time with him? How could someone not want to walk around and explore all this world has to offer with him on their shoulders? All I wanted to do was sit in bed and think of a master plan, but realized all I needed was to trust the Master’s plan. So, he and I got up and headed to church. We called my daughter on the way to see how she’s enjoying Chicago, and walked into service.

I can’t begin to explain the peace that washed over me the second we got inside. Today, I got up and dressed up. I didn’t look like what I had been through. These past three weeks hit me back to back like Drake. Behind the car accident my kids and I were in a few weeks ago, and the financial strain I faced with being forced to pay for my son’s hospital bill on my own, I walked into church and surrendered.  Worship was what I needed. The atmosphere was what I needed. Being a friendly church was what I needed. During the alter call, I told God that I came with expectancy. I was laying my worries, things I didn’t understand, and situations I couldn’t control at His feet. I asked for guidance and patience as a mother, as a leader, as a woman. I was restored today. No matter what was thrown my way recently, I can say I’ve literally hung to Ephesians 6:12 for dear life. Despite the many tears this season brought, I remained grateful. Because I know He knows the plans He has for me, in the midst of some really tough situations, I chose to express an attitude of gratitude. Even when I had valid reasons to be angry, I knew that what mattered most was the two little people who watch me intently. I want them to be able to mimic my habits, not my tantrums. “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” ― Octavia E. Butler

After church, I decided my son and I would go to brunch. We sat in the church parking lot strongly disagreeing about McDonald’s. No matter what he said, we were not going to McDonald’s. Period. I remembered that G. Alston’s wasn’t far from me and I’d been wanting to try it. So, we went. The place is absolutely beautiful! My nine-year-old was less than enthused. There were no golden arches. No playground. No menus to color. Me on the other hand absolutely fell in love with the ambiance of the restaurant. My response to each room caused him to give the place a chance. Then Kita waited on us and reigned him right in! She was attentive and descriptive in describing the menu to him. After we placed our order, he relaxed. We played a few rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors. I let him order coffee (against my better judgement). We held conversations with the other patrons seated near us. But most importantly, we talked. His insight shocked me. After explaining a few things to clear up his innocent thinking, he actually laughed and said ahhhh! I was tickled at the fact that we were talking so intently, but overjoyed that he trusted me with his feelings.

Our food was absolutely delicious (definitely going back) and we had a ball. He asked for a to-go box, and when Kita came back with it, she told me, “your bill has been handled.” I was stunned. I told my son what she said and he was just as shocked. After Kita walked away, he recalled the message in Kids Life today that talked about being generous. “Momma, why would a complete stranger be so generous to us?”

I knew when I headed to the restaurant that I should probably take Rowan’s advice and go to McDonald’s, but I wanted him to experience that restaurant, so we ordered modestly. I had no idea that someone would be led to pay for our meals. You may have felt like it was small and insignificant, but let me tell you what you really did. You reinforced what it means to be generous to my son. You reminded me that gratitude is the tool that turns what’s been placed in my hands into more than what I need. You are the present reminder that God takes care of His people… when we least expect it. Thank you for your obedience to God’s call and your big heart for a couple of complete strangers. I pray that you receive the same generosity 100 fold!

 

Brown Sugar Gains Another Village

VillageDisclaimer: Old blog post, but still relevant!

Yesterday was the first day after fall break. I was excited to see the kids, and they were excited to see me! I normally stand outside in the mornings and tell kids, “Come on in this house.” They always laugh, but head inside. Well, yesterday was cold, and the kids came on in the house without prompting.

The day went smooth as a day in a high school could go. I learned very early that it was Bosses Day, because our staff was so generous to our Administrative team all day! But do you remember a time when your parents or grandparents would say, “It’s too quiet. What them kids in there doing?” Yea, it got too quiet on us. LOL

I had two young men brought to my office because they had gotten into a bit of trouble. One student I knew in passing. I just learned his name this year, and that was enough for me to get the truth out of him. The other student, let’s call him Lucas, I’ve known since middle school. I taught both of his older brothers, and when it was an issue, I didn’t call his momma. I pulled out the big guns… I called grandmomma!

So I walked in fussing. It’s just October! You know how to act in school! You’ve been in school 11 years and 3 months! Then I had to lay the guilt trip on him. I can’t even do my work cause you ’round here showing out! I just want to go home and start over!

Then, Lucas took a deep breath and said me too. Honestly, I wish I could just start my whole life over. I looked up and saw that he was serious. All I wanted was to send my few lil emails, knock out 3-4 classroom observations, and eat lunch. That’s it. Nothing major. A lil lightwork! But that face immediately told me, today had other plans.

So, you remember the part about our faculty being super generous all day? Lunch was already on the table in the office. So I asked, at what age would you start? I started fixing my plate of neck bones and potatoes, greens, mac n cheese, and candied yams. Yep. That’s how we do it in the South!

Lucas told me his whole life story. How he was a good kid, when things got bad around age 13, and the decisions he made that took him from bad to worse. He unloaded like he had been waiting on someone to listen. I listened. I asked questions. He left no stone unturned. He knew the best place for him was at his grandmomma’s house because she was there, but he made the decision to move back in with momma because he missed her. Life with momma wasn’t what he thought it would be, but a life with his mom was better than no life at all. He paused for a second, looked at me, and said, “I bet you’re a good momma.” I told him that I try to be. I even told him that I’m struggling with finding a balance between being a momma and work. Then his real grown self told me not to be hard on myself. I got tickled. He talked some more, and all I could do was listen.

It was time for me to deliver my verdict, and this is the hard part of the job. I know that boys reach a certain age when they only learn from pain, not from talking. It’s when you take the time to listen to their stories, and your heart goes out to them. I want to figure out how to let them go home and start their lives over. These conversations are the most humbling ones in my career because it allows me to see them as real people rather than hard-headed kids who don’t know any better. In education, it’s easy to lose sight of your “why” and your own story. I was real “spirited” in high school! I should’ve received WAY more than the one suspension I got #favor.

I made my decision. I issued the suspension. I asked if he wanted me to call his mom or his grandmother. He begged and pleaded for me not to call his grandmother. Just call his momma. I picked up the phone and said, ok cool. I’ll call your grandmother. His mouth hit the floor, and I fell out laughing. Always call the one that’ll get you more bang for your buck.

This sweet little lady answered the phone. She listened to the story, and then she said some information that really confirmed everything Lucas had said. Sometimes, I deal with the kids who don’t think they did anything wrong. This kid was very self-aware. She asked to speak to Lucas and all I heard was, yes ma’am. No ma’am. He looked shattered over the fact that he had disappointed his grandmother.

This family let me into their village. Trusted me enough to stand behind my decision, and supported it by sending Lucas back up to the school the next day to get his make-up work. It should be mandatory for schools to build partnerships with parents/guardians. This becomes their village. Their tribe. Their real squad. I’m looking to see Lucas do some amazing things in the future!

Brown Sugar is a Single Mommy…

“Some days she has no idea how she’ll do it, but every single day it gets done.”

Screenshot_20171212-090007.png Being a single mom (SM) was not a goal I set out to achieve. I never envisioned my life this way, and yet, here I am. Being a single mom has become the norm in our society to the point where I believe we have become desensitized to it. There are so many memes and videos slithering around social media that bash the livelihoods of single mothers as if it’s a curse!

I’ll admit that one of my challenges in transitioning from marriage to single-momdom was the fact that I had two children, no wedding ring, and my last name was different than my kids. I know… I know… Who cares what people think, right? But it wasn’t me I was concerned about. It was the questions I knew my children would have to face knowing they wouldn’t have the answers. As time passed, I cared less, and equipped them more.

Being a SM for me kinda sounds like this:

I wake up every morning around 5:15am and humbly sit on the side of my bed like that little fox meme, then I get my day started. I shower, get dressed, check my calendar to see what’s due today, wake the kids, get breakfast ready, chat with them, fuss about them getting dressed without it turning into WWIII, pack their lunches, check their faces, and head out the door. Then it’s on to battle a 40 minute commute while reviewing vocabulary words and study guides, and life lessons about friends, drop offs, then I head to work to love on as many of the 500 kids in my building as I can. After work, it’s check homework, talk to my kids about their day, run them to their extracurricular activities (This is literally every night of the week except Friday), cook dinner (unless I drive past Sonic and I’m dog tired) cause they pack all the leftovers for lunch, bedtime routines, and once they’re in bed, I work on any unfinished tasks from work until I drift off to sleep.

That’s my weekday routine (cause I assure you that my weekends are literally the same), and I do all of this like most single moms, with very little help. The above doesn’t mention how I have to reroute and adjust when one of my kids is sick, or I have a parent-teacher conference at one of my kids schools, or I’m sick. Either way, single moms have ZERO DAYS OFF! Unfortunately, I don’t have help with the day-to-day needs of raising them. I don’t get to say, “Naw I can’t get them today,” or “I can’t get to his/her game/event this time,” or “Let me give it to you next payday,” or just simply not answer my phone on issues pertaining to my babies. I’ve tried telling MLGW to wait, and that still hasn’t worked, so I know I can’t do it with my children. Being a parent is not optional.

I remember my mom having the sex talk with me when I got my period (Which might I add is even more agonizing when you’ve experienced this life altering event LOL). It was so short and to the point. “You can get pregnant now, and don’t have no babies, cause once you have them, they yours.” I used to think she was so cynical, but in real-life, I can’t find the lie in what she taught me.

Being a mom is a hard job. I try not to complain, but let’s face it, I’m human. I absolutely love my children; I couldn’t imagine who I would be without them, but I’m doing a job designed for two people! So I get overwhelmed, and tired, and confused, and unsure, and stressed. These emotions are all associated with parenthood. I haven’t even scratched the surface of how it feels when things fall apart at work, or in dating, or just because. One of the hardest parts of being a SM is that EVERYTHING falls on you no matter what. All of the educational needs and concerns, financial needs, doctor’s visits, their emotional crisis, their correcting, fostering good habits, monitoring their sugar intake (because they will literally eat junk ALL day if you allow it), and everything in between.

There are days when it seems almost unbearable, so I get a good, healthy, private cry in my shower. It’s so symbolic of honoring, acknowledging, and releasing those emotions. Once I’ve done that, I’m ready to get back on the grind.

I allow my children to hear me thank God for them each day, and ask Him for wisdom to be the mother He’s called me to be. Without that prayer, I don’t think I would have made it to this point. That’s what I call grace…

I typed this blog to encourage all of the single mothers who are hurting, broken, discouraged, angry, struggling, and/or have simply lost hope. You’re not alone. It’s not just you. It’s not just your children. It’s not just your situation. Hear me when I say: Sis, you have been graced for this season, and NO one can do this job like you! You were handpicked, so, fix your crowns and werk mommas!

“As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible, and trust GOD with the impossible.”

 

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