In Whatever State I Am…


If I’ve done it once I’ve done it a thousand times…COMPARING!!! It’s so hard sometimes to just be happy where we are with what we have. Knowing we would be challenged in that area the Bible breaks it down simple and plain, basically saying be good with what we’ve got.


Philippians 4:11  (NKJV) says… Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content


I’m truly aiming to reach the “in whatever state I am” state. But why is it we think we’re the experts on the life we could have when it’s possibly not the life we should have?

  • Singles may think marriage is a better life because they’ll have more money coming in. I’ve been married and not had enough money just like I’ve been single and not had enough money.
  • People growing up in single parent homes may feel like people from a two-parent home have it easier. While it is a tremendous blessing having two parents in the home, growing up in a single parent home is not an automatic indicator of failure or struggle just like growing up with two parents isn’t an automatic indicator of victory or success. I truly, truly appreciate my parents for staying together and rearing us well, but as nice as it was, for me, growing up in a two parent home also meant two whippings (or whuppins) when I did something “cra-cra”.
  • Heavier people think being thinner will make them happier. Some thinner people think if only they had a little more weight they’d be “fine”. Let me tell you, I’ve been too big and too little and neither are a walk in the park.
  • People from the south want to go north. People from the north want to go south. People from the east can’t wait to go west and people from the west…well, I hear they’re pretty happy out there so I guess that’s a moot point:)

The bottom line is we have to be good with what we have until it either gets better or gets gone.



My Tamaritis Has Hit a New Stage


***This post is a revision of one written in 2012 called I Have a Touch of Tamaritis following the release of Tamar Braxton’s single “Love and War”.  On today, September 3, the day the full album is released, this remixed rendition is one that focuses more on the message her story brings and the music that comes along with it.


WARNING!!! This post contains content that might be eye-opening.

Tamar Braxton’s new single, and now new Album “Love and War” have been the talk of the town since the December 2012 release of the single and the September 3, 2013 release of the full, 14-song album. If you don’t believe me stop for a moment and check your timelines, newsfeeds, social media sites, talk shows and other stats. “She” is all over the place!

I, for one, admit that since the release of her two singles preceding the album I was hooked. Her vocals are absolutely amazing! Not only that, the songs are expertly crafted, arranged perfectly, modern, hip and almost refreshingly familiar at the same time. On my ride into work this morning at 4:45am I listened to snippets of each song from the long-awaited CD. Yeah, Baby!!!!!!!!! She/Her did that, and in a mega way!!!!!  Real R&B has returned to the scene, causing me to further declare that My Tamaritis Has Hit a New Stage!

Hearing Tamar sing brought a lot home for me concerning “Her”….and myself. Now I get it. I get why “She” was no longer satisfied being the “do wop bop chic” as she so eloquently called herself. I get why she was so very persistent in pressing her husband to help her. I get why she fought so hard for her own sound. I get why she didn’t understand why her time hadn’t yet come. I don’t get the made-for-TV shenanigans, bouncy head commentary and hissy fits that were likely for entertainment value, but I do get how it feels to think you’re ready for something that’s not quite ready for you. She knew “She” could sang! She knew “She” had paid her dues backing other. She knew “She” was connected to “this man right here” that could help her get to the next level. She knew what “She” had in her and “She” was ready to get it out. And, hunni, “got it out” she did!!!

I too have been there, and am, quite honestly (still) there now, even months after posting the original version of this blog. My touch of Tamaritis has morphed into something more. Now, are you going to see me acting out of character (i.e., because I can’t have my way, even though I’m well aware of that fact that my way is coming one day? But I will say I’m going to take a clue from the “drop it like it’s Hot Sugar” diva and pursue, pursue, pursue like never before the plans I know have been laid out for me. For years professionally, personally and socially, I was the best benchwarmer, back-up player, help you before I help myself sidekick, cheerleader I could be. I specialized in helping others be their best and I’m oh-so cool with that because so many have and do help me. Like Tamar, I would even get a glimpse of what “my turn” and my “I got next” looked like. Then it would appear that someone else’s dreams were fast-forwarded in place of mine, or my so-called dreams come true came and went. And I’m oh-so cool with that too, because God knows it’s not yet my season to shine. But you better believe I want a reason to celebrate and when it comes anyone who will listen will know what it took to get there, Who allowed me to get there and who He sent with me along for the ride.

Because my Tamaritis has hit a new stage I realize, just like “She” had to wait for the right platform to perform, I must wait on the right platform to produce. Tamar wouldn’t be Toni’s sister and Vincent’s wife from “Braxton Family Values” and “Tamar & Vince” if it weren’t for those and many other afforded outlets. It’s about connections, appreciation and honor. We wouldn’t know her from Adam (or Toni, Traci, Trina or Towanda) for that matter. It was all about timing. The same is so with me. I plan to watch and wait, prepare and get poised, purposely focusing on the good in each and every connection and holding on for dear life to those God says cling to. It was also timing, albeit unconventional many might say, for one dream of hers to come true in the midst of preparing for another dream to come true. I’m not in the music industry, but having a baby while promoting an album can’t be the advised way to go. But God said so!  So I choose to open my eyes for the unexpected surprises in the midst of the anticipated victories. I’m taking the limits totally off and ready for back-to-back-to-back blessings whether they make sense or not. 


Because my Tamaritis has hit a new stage I know I won’t spend the rest of my days selling the words God has given me for free. I know what I’m supposed to be doing with my words, and the part I don’t yet know is going to be even greater than what I do know. I know what’s in me that needs to get out. I know what’s already out that simply needs to reach the right people. And now I certainly know that the time is drawing near.

Something has to change and it will for me…and for YOU TOO! The clock will soon catch up with our calling. Our connections and catapult to success will follow suit. And it’s all up to the God who set it all in motion in the first place to make it come to pass. And for that, taking a cue from the CD, I say “Thank You Lord”!


The moral of this story: I, like many, had several strong opinions about Tamar and her quest to success. Television antics aside, for the life of me I couldn’t understand why where “She” was wasn’t good enough for her. Then it hit me like an a cappella high note. It wasn’t good enough because “She” knew good enough wasn’t God’s best. I’ve also learned that you should never judge a book by its cover, especially when it contains a chapter of your life.


It All Makes Sense (or so I choose to say and see)

An early morning breakfast in a Birmingham, Alabama coffee shop with a friend took an interesting turn as I told her about some of the lessons I’d learned over my 41 years, particularly relating to dating, careers, and social relationships. Of course, we hung our hats a little longer on the aspect of dating, as I shared with her how I prefer to look back over that aspect of my life.


I must say, hearing myself talk about myself made me instantly think of how life seems to make sense.  It all makes sense. I challenged her to do the same as I told her that I embarked on the daunting task of being able to connect each relationship to something or someone wonderful in my life, even if the relationship didn’t feel that way or end that way. From my first boo, to my last boo-hoo I choose to strategically look for the good in each boy or man with which I spent a part of my life. Whether the relationship (or whatever it might have actually been) ushered in life-long friendships or family, taught me a very valuable lesson, brought me a much-needed, closer relationship with the Lord, granted me a bit of God’s grace and mercy just when I needed it, showed me who I really was or what I really deserved, unveiled some pre-destined purpose, welcomed in new networks and expanded social circles, gave me amazing fun memories or funny stories, or simply proved that I’m tougher than an overcooked skirt steak, each association that I entered in (notice, I’m not blaming anyone:)) made sense in making me who I am today with a WEALTH of knowledge, empathy, grace and compassion to help others (and myself) stay the course for nothing less than God’s best.

Am I saying they were all great? Nope. Am I saying I was “all that” in them? Nope. Am I saying I’ve always been able to step back and see the good in things that were bad or felt bad? Nope. Am I saying I always operated in the will of God for my life (especially when I didn’t even know what the will of God was)? Nope. Am I saying if I knew better I still wouldn’t do better? Nope. But since it’s done and there’s nothing I can do about it all I can do about it is put Romans 8:28 on it and watch God work it all for my good (even the ones that brought me to tears that could figuratively flood the Sahara desert.)