Listen! The year 2020 has been CRAZY! There is no other word I can honestly find to describe it. It has had A LOT happen in just one year thus far. Most people that I know have concluded that God is in control! PERIOD! As much as we try to plan and navigate through each day, most days do not go as planned. And not that certain tasks do not get accomplished but the stress level of getting the tasks done was more than anticipated. Therefore, I want to encourage mothers (and everybody) by simply saying: DROP THE BALL!
If you are juggling several things at once and you feel overwhelmed, it is ok to drop some of the things or tasks (the balls) in your day to day juggling routine. I know I am not a circus act – that is not my calling! LOL! Recently, I was praying and talking with God because I was so overwhelmed. Then He reminded me 1 Peter 5:7 about casting all your cares on Him. As He spoke to me He emphasized the word ALL. Not a few or a couple. But ALL! That is easier said than done. So, I started off with a few and then I eventually said, “SHOOT, HERE GOD! I’M TIRED!” Now, of course, I had to still pick up a few ‘balls’ or tasks because I still had tasks to accomplish. However, God then reminded me of the characteristics of a wife and daughter of God (too many scriptures to reference but starting at Proverbs 31:10-31 is a good starting point). The characteristics are not meant to cause me to be overwhelmed. In fact, it is to teach me to mindful of what I am doing and to ensure what I am doing matters to Him! Some of the tasks I was trying to accomplish did not mean anything to Him or to the betterment of the ministries I am accountable for. For example, I am accountable for being a wife in the ministry of marriage to my husband and there are some tasks that are important to ensure our marriage is sustained. However, I need to mindful to not stray away by becoming overwhelmed with other tasks that are not helping to sustain our marriage.
Examine the balls or tasks that you juggle daily. And if you drop some or all of them, it is ok! I am here to tell you: DROP THE BALL! It is ok because sometimes that is the only way to breathe and accomplish what is most important. When I encourage or offer wise counsel to people, I often tell them it is about harmony and not balance. Allowing certain areas to work together that helps create a soulful and spiritual rhythm. This also helps maintain the proper purpose for certain aspects in life. I enjoy harmony and being able to listen for what the season or day is calling for. Sometimes balancing sort of causes one to overthink or stress over what is most important. With harmony, you do the best with what you got and move on! No reason to overthink or stress over it. It is like the spilled milk lesson: so, need to stress over it, just clean it up and move on. No need to stress if that was the last of the milk and now you need to go the store, get more milk, stand in long lines just for milk, UGH!! See how that became stressful in just a few seconds? Do not do it!
So, I give permission by the authority I possess for helping others: DROP THE BALL! OR TWO! OR MORE! Breathe. Practice mindfulness. Take the time and appreciate the simplicities of life. The other day I made the decision to drop the ball or two (stressful day – a lot happened) and when I did, I stood looking out our kitchen window and notice a beautiful, little hummingbird! I felt that was God’s way of saying, “See, told you not to worry.”
As you ‘drop the ball’, be sure to notice something you normally would not. Leave a comment below about your experience of just taking a moment to breathe.
My full-time job is working as an IT Help Desk Team Lead. As you may have guessed, we have had an increase in calls for people who are working from home. In fact, our team is now working remotely. Working from home and the kids now having the option or mandate to do schooling from home can be a challenge. I personally have had to work and try to monitor our now 6-month-old son! So, believe me, I UNDERSTAND! LOL!
However, as a techie, I just wanted to offer some honest tips to help with virtual schooling and work. You may be a household with a mixed situation of adult(s) working from home, small child not even in school yet, and another (or a few) who are school age but are now are mandated to attend school virtually. Here is what I believe are at least the top 5 tech needs:
Question: To the parents with kids at home for virtual schooling: How are you all managing? Or plan to manage once school starts back? How has the back to school shopping been like? I would love to read your comments below.
I dedicate this post to my husband -- and the real black fathers. We often overlook Father's Day because it is often said that a mother does more than a father. It is true that in a standard and ideal situation that the mother does give a lot of herself -- including an extra 9 months of unique care and protection that the father cannot give. However, that does not mean we can dismiss the real father who gives their all to ensure they provide, protect, and guide.
My husband is an extraordinary man. He is among the few who still understands the importance of working hard and providing for the family. As a daddy's girl, I had the privilege of being raised by an extraordinary man who provided, protected, and guided his family. My father was not perfect. Neither is my husband. A real black father is not perfect. They are extraordinary. The reason they are extraordinary is because they endure and uphold a level of integrity that is rare in society. In society, we have the terms like, "dead beat dad", "lousy father", "no good (fill in the blank for yourself)". It is almost expected by some for the black man to forsake his child. I know when I talk to others about my father being in my life and how we spent time together, I can feel the other person's sense of, "wow, your father really did that...". Even now when I tell others of what my husband does with our son, many do not believe that he does all that he does.
I do believe having a father and mother in a household makes a positive difference for a child. I do know some extraordinary mothers who raised their child without the father around and that child is doing great in society. However, I must admit, if the mother took extra time to ensure her child had some type of mentor or example of a stable and responsible man, that child had a little more confidence than one who did not. I believe a real father influences a type of positive confidence that cannot be done with just the mother's influence. A mother loves unconditionally and is the nurturer. She teaches the patience, sensitivity, and how to be more aware of others. A father can also love unconditionally. They also love from a place of more discipline and structure that is not easily negotiable. A father can help teach the lessons about life that is more about common sense and human survival. A mother can also teach all these things but the father can help ensure the child actually applies the knowledge.
I love the look in my husband's eyes when he plays with our son. I love watching their interaction. Even though our son is just a baby, the way they interact is so unique from the way I interact with our son. I am more gentle. More patient. More nurturing. Softer spoken but stern. My husband is not as patient but he pours out so much unconditional love you could not tell. My husband has been the daycare center during this pandemic. My husband took over at night when our son was first brought home so I could rest. He warms bottles, feeds the baby, changes diapers, gets on the floor with the baby for tummy time, he sings to him. Then he cooks dinner, cleans the house, tends to some yard work. All the while find time to cuddle with me as long as we both are not exhausted. LOL! Sure, he does more now because of the pandemic and most places have been closed including his place of employment. But even in the beginning, before the shut down, he did everything I described while working full-time. We both worked together and not against each other. We did not try to make it about a "father only does" or a "mother only does" type of setup. And this is why he is a real black father!
I love you Iradel! Thank you for all that you do! XOXOXO
I am a geek and not ashamed. I use to be. Around the time I hit puberty was when I tried to hide my 'geeky' side. As a geek, you never really stop being a geek when you feel ashamed or embarrassed. At least for me. I would hide it so that I would avoid the constant judging or teasing. I actually became more goofy when I was around people and then once I was alone or with really close friends, I could be a geek then. But some may wonder why I consider myself a geek. Well, I will explain...
It is not because I wear glasses. It is not because I find sci-fi interesting because I actually dislike sci-fi. My geekiness wants nothing to do with science -- I failed in the majority of my science classes. LOL! However, technology was where my brain was! I loved computers since I could remember. I loved video games. I love action-adventure movies which includes Marvel and some DC comics. In fact, when I found out I was having a boy in 2019, I actually texted my friend about the excitement of being able to play video games again! LOL! Of course, her response was, 'oookkk'. I work full-time on an IT Help Desk. I do not like fixing computers although I could. I do not like computer programming although I could. I enjoy helping others learn more about technology and how it helps them in their daily lives when used properly. So, my geekiness is unique to me -- and that is why I say I am a geek.
I believe we all have something that we get 'geeked' about so for me, that means everyone is a geek in their own unique way. This is why there should be no shame in having a super favorite or something that makes you enthusiastic when you participate in it. I get enthusiastic when I read books -- either by myself or to my son. I love volunteering and showing kindness to others in unique ways. I love being a mom and learning more about this updated journey of motherhood. I get enthusiastic when I watch PBS cartoons with my son and I learn something new from that cartoon. I encourage everyone to never be ashamed to learn more and dive deeper into your expertise; especially if that gives you joy. Enjoy being a geek!
*Photo by James Pond on Unsplash
Question: What makes you a geek? Leave a comment below.
The Internet is certainly the spot to exercise that great freedom of speech law. I personally understand that -- hey, that is why I have a personal blog. However, as a computer geek who desires technology to be used for good and not evil, I cannot ignore the fact that there are groups of people who are racist -- or practice hate -- who have access to the cyber world and will use it to help further their hate message. For me, that is not why the freedom of speech law was created.
Are we allowed to send letters to the legal organizations who handles the laws of cyber world to ask if we can some how regulate these types of people? Maybe. In light of all that is happening, I can guarantee there are those special hate groups talking among themselves via the Internet; just angry and disgusted with people who are in disagreement with their opinions. If you do not believe these hate groups have online footprints, please take the time to use Google -- like I did! They are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter -- all over. I personally feel they should be monitored as closely as terrorists groups, cyberbullies, and those that are considered a threat to the peace in the world.
We often overlook the cyber world as a powerful platform for spreading negativity. We each strive to connect positively but that does not happen as often as we hope. Cyberbullies are still out there. Hackers are still out there. Sexual predators still use online tools to prey on the innocent. We do not hear much about them because the Internet is a common place now. It is like money or food -- it is used every single day. We do not consider how the Internet is being used because it is no longer a "new" fad. I remember when the Internet first became public. The excitement to connect with people around the world from a computer, not a telephone, was awesome! LOL! I remember the first chat rooms and using special applications in school to connect with teachers and friends. Of course, we have more advanced applications now but much of what we have today is the same of what was available when the Internet first came into existence.
However, as with most great tools, people who had negative motives got on the Internet and caused a lot of harm. I remember being in chat rooms and when I described myself, the person would leave the chat room. Yep -- and the sad part, it was not a dating type of chat room (I was too young back then...LOL). It was a basic chat room where you have a personal chat with someone as a friend. Even times I wanted to play a game with a person, I would get denied or rejected. LOL! I laugh about it now but I knew why back then. It was not because I was a girl or I was just in elementary school.
It may be difficult to regulate how far hate messages go via the cyber world. However, I believe if major organizations take the time to monitor and enforce common respect practices, it may help to ensure that hate is not lingering in the cyber world. I know some may consider what these people do is their personal opinion or agenda but honestly, it is not. If they are teaching and sharing hate then hate is wrong. Racism is hate and racism is wrong. If racism does not belong in regular society then it does not belong in the cyber world either.
*Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
Question: How do you ensure you do not entertain hate on the Internet?
This is my handsome son! He's was birthed into our lives as a true miracle and yet I have never imagined feeling this overwhelmed about having a black son.
He was born January 12, 2020. Little did I know how 2020 would unfold. Everything that has happened in our lives has felt like a roller coaster ride. A pandemic erupts. The economy unstable. Social injustice becomes more vivid -- this is what I wish to write about in this post.
As a black woman, I am not naive about how my skin color makes certain people feel. Some people are impressed and attracted to me while others are disgusted and afraid. When I tell certain people that's I've worked for the same company for more than 15 years and been in the IT industry for over 13 years, I either get the 'you go girl' look or the 'really? but you're a black woman...' look. I make even more heads tilt and eyes open wide when I say I have a Bachelors and Masters -- both of which are in IT. Please know I am not bragging on myself nor am I seeking more accolades. I am just sharing my reality as a black woman.
Now, as a black mother, I am still not naive. Once I knew I was having a son, I immediately shifted my prayers to be more specific about what to teach him. If I was going to birth another girl (our first daughter was stillborn at 38.5 weeks -- our angel), I already knew what to teach her to a certain degree. However, for a son to develop into a strong intellectual black man, I had to ensure my prayers were specific. Why? Because I already knew what this society will try and do to him. In light of what is occurring now, I must admit I feel God heard my prayers.
I am a prayer warrior. I participate in the prayer ministry with my church. I do not believe my prayers go unheard. I do not find it ironic that such a shift is taking place in the world in 2020. My hope is in Jesus Christ alone. After all that has occurred due to the injustice of innocent black men and women from law enforcement, my hope is a little bigger that more of the world will pause and reflect before judging my son prematurely and inaccurately based on his skin color. That's one of the aspects of justice that we all want: just a fair chance at being considered equal. Being judged as someone who will and can be successful without breaking the law. Not every black person lied, cheated, or stole their way to having a nice home, car, great career. People have actually judged my husband (successful black man) about him driving a Cadillac Escalate -- believe it or not, my husband is not a drug dealer, drug user, and never stolen to get to the position he is in. His gifts made room for him and they always will. As my gifts will make room for me and always will. We, as a black community, desire for others to see and appreciate our gifts as we want to help the world by using those gifts.
As 2020 moves ahead, I continue to pray for my son and husband. I pray for the world as a whole. I pray we focus on what's more important in life. I pray that we all come together and unite in order to set the stage for a better future for all people. Black lives do matter and we just want to live in peace. No more hate. Just unconditional love. It won't happen overnight but it is possible because all things are possible with God!
Question: To the mothers of young black men -- how do you plan to ensure your son has a far opportunity in society?