A few weeks ago I was having a chat with someone close to me about some changes in my life. That person was actually my mother who will probably read this as soon as she gets her new laptop and facebook account set up.
The more I spoke, the more I could tell that her motherly instincts had kicked into the easily reached gear of “concern”. As I shared my scenario and stated my case, in explaining my point of view, I could tell she wasn’t quite feeling it. Her preference, as with any good mother eagle, would be to know that her eaglet would be okay, and that she would have a birdseye view in watching it unfold. There seemed to be nothing I could say to her to get her to understand that either way I would be okay. Truth be told, I didn’t quite understand it all myself, but I believed that on way or the other, as Romans 8:28 reminds me, all would be well and GOOD.
Not being able to make my mother understand what I didn’t even fully understand lead me to a strong revelation. There will be times in life where figuring it out isn’t an option. And that’s by design with our greater good in mind. Some things aren’t meant to be understood, but endured, for the sake of something greater. That’s what I know for sure.
What I also know for sure is:
- Things do get better.
- Life will turn out as great as it’s meant to be.
- There is nothing a problem or person can do to rob you of who God says you are, or what He intends for you.
- Trust is needed most when things don’t make sense.
- Some situations are sent to simply cause you to know Who’s in control.
- Some problems come to rev up our communication with God.
- Time trying to figure things out could be well-spent living out life.
- Trouble loves to steal the spotlight.
- “Crazy” can’t be explained (and I mean that as in problems, not people:)
- Some issues can’t be solved until God allows all the players to be in place.
- Things do get better. (Yes, I’ve said it already.)
Here’s a little secret. Life is full of ups and downs. Often when the up finally arrives, we’re still so down we can’t see that “up” has entered the building. So many times we finally arrive at the place that has been prepared for us and allow fear to talk us out of participating, appreciating and celebrating.
There’s something about having a prayer answered that, if truth be told, can be a bit frightening. It’s almost as if, as long as the prayer hasn’t been answered you have all the confidence in the world of how you will be once it is. Then it actually is answered and doses of doubt try to creep in. That’s not cool:)
How many parents have prayed for a child then been afraid of the process of rearing them? How many people have prayed for a mate then developed “cold feet” en route to, and after the alter? How…
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Anyone who knows me and knows my passion for food knows I love cornbread. Recently I’ve perfected a recipe using corn and some other ingredients to really give my cornbread a kick. Pair that with my chicken stock based collard greens and you have a meal that would make a southern grandma proud!!!
Often when cooking my “soon-to-be-famous” cornmeal delight, I would sulk and silently comment that I wish I had a cast iron skillet to cook my cornbread in. I’ve not purchased new cookware in ages. It’s been more than 10 years to be exact. I’m desperately in need of new everything to help my cooking stay on point. Not being in a place financially to allocate my money to pots, pans, skillets and the likes, I would shrug my shoulders often when I cooked, or become internally defensive when someone said, “Girl, you need some new pans.”
Fast-forward to recently and I was looking for a lid for a pot I received as a wedding gift back in 2001. Already convincing myself that I probably didn’t have a lid, I decided to search anyway, and move some things around with hopes of a lid being found. This time I actually took the time to scoot down to see what all was in my cabinet. Much to my surprise I saw, perched atop the shelf on the cabinet not one, not two, but THREE beautiful cast iron skillets. I almost cut a jig at the sight of those black beauties. The immediately took me back to the days of seeing them at my Grandma Scott’s house, or eating out of them at my godmama Ella’s house. Cast iron skillets to me represented grown woman cooking and that was what I wanted for my cornbread! Not only will my cornbread become even greater, but I looked at the sight of those skillets as a gentle reminder to take my thoughts off of what I don’t have so that I can clearly see what I do have.
The moral of this story is: Look again, my friend. What you need is right where it needs to be.
I was recently watching an episode of the Steve Harvey Talk Show while he was interviewing Whitney Way Thore. Whitney is now becoming famous for her No Body Shame campaign, which is often called No B.S. I just love saying “No B.S.”! Anywho, Whitney details her journey with weight and took to YouTube to share some of her major dance moves that could put an “In Living Color” Fly Girl to shame. She can move, y’all! Check her out below.
More than the dance, it was her attitude and candor that captivated me. Through all her ups and downs she’d arrived at a place of self-love and acceptance.
Fast-forward to the week of my birthday and my bestie, Edith Arms sent an old photo from my 20s that showed me at one of my lowest adult weights. I was too thin. My arm looked to be just an ounce or two bigger than the wing of a pigeon. With the exception of the time I went to the Student Health Center to be placed on a weight-gain plan by-in-large, I had no clue how small I was. Take a look at how I looked.
(That’s me at 115lbs as a 20-something-year-old. For a person that is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, that is thin. OAN, If you see the not-to-be-named “boyfriend at the time” pictured above tell him he’s made it to the big time in one of my blog posts.)
Rewind back a few months ago to me searching for pictures of myself for a #TBT (Throwback Thursday) and I found some reminders of my unwanted relationship with the other side of the scale also known as the 200s…as in pounds. I cringed when I saw the pictures, but oddly enough I don’t remember at all feeling too bad about myself when I actually was this way. Just like my thin years, through my thicker years, yes, I was aware of the weight gain. Yes, I definitely wanted to be smaller and yes, I wanted to be healthier, but I never stopped loving me and seeing me how I wanted to be.
Through medical trials, a hint of laziness, genes or whatever, I just can’t recall beating myself up for not being where I wanted to be. Now, absolutely, there were times I was frustrated to no end about clothes, or going from the smallest to the not-so-smallest in my circle, or had a bit of beach trepidation, but it didn’t stop me from loving me. Through the wiggles, jiggles, “oh mys” and “what in the world is going on with the scale” I decided to love me. Look at all I had to love:
(Say cheese! It’s me, at a 225lbs and smiling. Check out those rosy red cheeks and that hot red hair too!)
(Here I am at 215lbs and still smiling.)
(My sister’s wedding was a special day. I was not only on a cane, but in a size 20 dress and still cheesing.)
The thing about when I was larger, as with the thing about weigh back then when I was too tiny, is that I didn’t let how I looked define who I was, or how I carried myself. Call me crazy. Call me caught up in what my Daddy (God) and daddy (Sylvester Scott) have said about me, but after a brief fling with low-self esteem in my teen years I just decided to love me even when I didn’t like what I would see.
I’ll be honest and say that my physical body is still not where I would desire it to be. Suzanne Somers and I have a regularly scheduled meeting with a Thigh Master. Recently turning 42, I realize I’m getting older and want to take care of some minor problems before they become major. I’d love to be able to go into any store and be certain that my size is available. I’d love to break up with the cellulite on my thighs. Plus, I’d love to be one of those people passed around with “ohhhs and ahhhs” on facebook as a “fit at 50” or “Can you believe she’s this age”. But for now, I’m super cool with Angela and love her regardless.
I thank Whitney Way Thore for the gentle reminder of tolerating no B.S., especially when it comes from within. Regardless where you are in the scale of life don’t stop loving you.
The Lenten season is here. I’m very much willing to sacrifice in honor of the sacrifice Jesus made for me. I love Him so much! I try each year to truly search my heart for the thing or things I need to be rid of during this time. In year’s past, I’ve fasted from things like soda, pork, desserts and other temptations I carry on close relationships with throughout the year. This year, I had the hardest time deciding from what to fast. It was literally half-way through Fat Tuesday before my sister shared with me the most brilliant thing I’ve heard in a long time. “I’m going to give up commenting on people for Lent,” she said. “What?!?!!?” was the first thing I said, before spitting out faster than I’d planned to, “Okay, I’ll join you.”
From now until Easter I’m watching my mouth like never before. It’s been a tough journey so far, but a small sacrifice for the ultimate Sacrificer. My funny comebacks, my quick wit, my “two-cents worth”, my opinion, my eagle-eye observations and all of their close relatives are placed under lock and key. Taking their place are genteel phrases like “Bless his/her heart”, “I have no thought on that”, “I shall remain silent”, and my favorite, “I can’t speak on it.” So if you try to engage me in chit-chat about my thoughts on the latest reality show drama I can’t speak on it. If someone says or does something to hurt me and I have something extra special to share in return I can’t speak on it. If I observe a trait about someone I don’t prefer I can’t speak on it. If someone makes me madder than a bull in a china shop I can’t speak on it.
And so there you have it. I am on a mission to tame my mouth that will hopefully last longer than Lent and will help rid my mind and my mouth of saying things that may be true, but don’t have to be said.
Yesterday morning my daily routine of warming up my pre-cooked breakfast almost turned tragic when a simple trip to the restroom which took too long due to an abundance of primping caused me to return to the scent of smoke filling the hallway.
I rushed to the toaster oven in the kitchen to find my Sister Schubert’s Orange Rolls charred at the top and smelling anything but citrusy. Immediately I panicked! I mean I freaked out! What was I going to eat for breakfast? Would I have time to run out and get something? Would I have to be hungry all day, especially during a planned meeting? Would people hear my stomach growl? Would I have to wait to eat until a road trip to Jacksonville later that day. What would I do? What would I do? I was in a simple shock about breakfast, one of my top three meals of the day. I love (me) some breakfast!
Then, I looked further. Only a teenie, tiny portion of the orange rolls was burned, a very small morsel indeed. That little scorch sent a serious stench through the hallway, but it didn’t ruin my rolls. So, like the handy woman I am, I took a spoon, scooped off the stinky stuff and devoured the rest of my rolls.
The moral of this story is: Things are often not as bad as they seem. And if they are simply cut the crappy part and enjoy the rest.
Being in college, in your 20’s or out of your parent’s home is fun, but there’s a lot of other STUFF that comes along with it that isn’t! As I was driving to work one morning I thought about what I would have wanted someone to say to me (or wish I would have listened to from those who actually said it), about the practical parts of life after high school and before the official start of the “grown with a husband, a house, responsibilities, children and a job” world.
A recent trip to a high school basketball tournament where far too many of the young ladies were scantily clad, feisty (not is a good way) and clearly unaware of their inner and outer beauty reinforced the need for me to share this post again.
So here’s what I would have said to the tall, scrawny teenage girl who helped…
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