A Mother’s Love

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A mothers love is a feeling that can never be replaced. Oftentimes we allow life, people, and relationships to distract us from what is most important. Sometimes we have to take a step back and evaluate our relationship between us and our child or children. If they are acting out, sick all the time, too engaged in outside activities, depressed, complain about being home, or otherwise preoccupied just step back and think. What can you change? What are you missing? Are you giving them enough positive attention? Are you spending enough time with them? Is a friendship or relationship taking up to much time? If you are in a relationship does you and your child have enough one on one time? Do you eat dinner together? Are you engaged in their activities?

The list can go on and on. Point being before you engage in outside relationships, make sure you have built the security net between you and your child. I have been guilty of forgetting the value of my children in the past especially in new relationships. My reality is relationships may come and go but my children will always be my children. Yes I believe in taking “me time” because if I don’t take care of me I can’t take care of them; however, there is a balance. It can’t be so much “me time” that my children get “no time”.

It is not enough to tell your child you love them or take them to McDonald’s or Chuck E Cheese’s when they start to complain to pacify them. We have to put just as much energy as we do in friendships and relationships into our children simply because they are worth it. If we don’t show them their value, they may never know. I encourage all mothers to take a step back and evaluate your position with the most precious beings in your life. Let them know that they are worth it!

One love,

MJ

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Recognize your Growth

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This week I was faced with a challenge concerning my children and I had to decide how I was going to respond. Was I going to respond as an immature child or respond as the grown up that I am. Do I pick up the phone and flip out or wait until I am calm enough to address it appropriately? My first thought was to cuss people out but again the thought, do I respond as a child or as a mother. My-ex husband use to call me a “momma bear” because my automatic response to someone hurting my children was to protect and destroy. After listening to my child and hearing the hurt in his voice, I was definitely in the mood to destroy but again do I respond as a child or as a mother. Not to mention my children are watching me. I sat quietly for a while and decided I would first address my child and correct the negative words spoken to him. I reminded him that is okay to remind people if they do not have anything nice to say, they shouldn’t say anything at all. I told him that he is perfectly fine and God created him with his own personality, mind, and creativity for a reason. I also reminded him and his brother of Psalms 139:14, that they were fearfully and wonderfully made and not to allow anybody (family included) to make them feel bad about who they are. I then decided to pray for the adult and ask God for peace in this situation instead of raising hell.

One of my greatest irritations is when an adult speaks negatively to a child and tries to make them feel bad about him or herself. Children are to be loved and protected. There is a great difference between discipline or behavior correction and tearing a child down. In this situation it was nothing but negativity.

Although the situation started negative a few positives came out of it: 1) I took the time to remind my sons of who they are and it brought a smile to their faces; 2) I paused before I responded; and most importantly 3) I could see my growth because many years ago the ending would have been much different. I realized that protecting my children doesn’t have to start with a mutha f**** it can simply start with “God you know what I want to do but I ask you to help me do what I need to do”. It’s not easy but I have to decide what I want my children to see.

I encourage adults to be mindful of the words they speak to children whether it is your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, friend, or stranger. You cannot speak negative words over a child then be distraught if they act them out. As a young person many negative words were spoken over me and after a while I started to believe them. It took many years to grow beyond the words spoken and see myself in a positive light. So I appeal to you instead of being negative, try speaking life to children and young people. You will be amazed at what a difference it makes. 

One love,

MJ

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Encourage Yourself

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Sometimes you have to encourage yourself. People are not guaranteed to be there when you need them so you have to be able to tell yourself that “I love myself”, “I’m doing a good job”, “I am worth it”, “I am good enough”, and “I can do anything I set my mind to do”. It is easy to get caught up in the negativity of life but learn to turn your negatives into positive, which oftentimes begins with encouraging yourself.

One love,

MJ

Just a thought…

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I woke up with a thought yesterday and wanted to share it:

Just because some people take you for granted doesn’t mean you have to minimize your value. At some point they will look back and realize what they missed but in the meantime, be your best and live your best life. Never place your value or how important your role is in someone else’s hands. We were all created for a purpose!! Live your dream, fulfill your purpose!!

One love,

MJ

Inspirational moment 9/6/12

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I was asked some time back why am I so open about my past. Another person could not believe that I was writing such personal details about myself on the internet. I thought about it for a while and even scaled back on my writing. However, I realized that there is a reason I was allowed to experience certain things; to help others. I was not ashamed when I was making questionable decisions so why should I be ashamed to acknowledge the mistakes I made and how I came out of it? Most of my actions were taken with no regard of anyone else. I didn’t care who knew or who was watching, I was just “doing me” and I was proud of my ignorance. Why not be just as proud or more to share how I overcame those situations?  

Growing up, people were more concerned about their public persona than being real. Many acted as if they never made a mistake in their life and often looked down at me or dogged me out when I did. I become irritated with people who act as if they are above everyone else without realizing that their story may be the one thing a person needs to not go jump off a bridge (extreme but real). If my story can help save a life, help someone renew positive thoughts or simply know they are not alone then why not?

People have to come out of selfishness and fear that someone will find out who they were/are. No one was created to be perfect. The past is the past for a reason. Everyone makes mistakes and stupid decisions, big deal. The question that matters is did you learn from it? Are you working towards making better decisions in the future? You may run into the same situations two or three times (or however many) and fail before you get it, so what. Maybe someone needs to hear that you failed 86 times before you made the right decision. At some point paying it forward has to be more important than covering up. Can you imagine what this world would be if people were more open to helping one another? Can you imagine how different the state of our young people would be?

I choose to think beyond myself and release my pride to help someone else. Are you willing to do the same? Sharing personal stories are not for everyone you meet but when the opportunity is right you will know. Pay it forward!

One love,

MJ

Happiness comes from within 8/29/12

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As I have grown, I realize more and more that happiness comes from within. Internal happiness cannot be given to a person by another human being no matter how hard one tries. My mistake has been trying to fill a void that was beyond my human capabilities. If a person is not happy within, trying to be happy with them (in a relationship or friendship) is almost pointless. Their views will be distorted, they may never see the positive in anything, everything around them is a threat, they are unable to handle any opinion against their own, making them defensive about everything.

When one is unhappy, it is very easy to point fingers and blame someone else. However, we  have to remember that no one can do anything to us without our permission. Permission is not always verbal. Permission can be passiveness, playing ostrich, acceptance of bad behaviors because one feels nothing will ever change, or a decreased self value that doesn’t allow one to speak up for self. My permission has been acceptance of bad behaviors because I felt the individual would never change. Accepting people for who they are is fine but oftentimes when it (directly) negatively affected me I let it “roll off” not realizing that it was building resentment, which of course made me unhappy (pissing me off even more).

So here’s what I’ve learned:

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is be honest with self. So many people spend time looking and judging those around them that they never evaluate their inner being. I began a practice several years ago that has helped maintain my happiness and sanity; soul-searching on a quarterly (sometimes more) basis. I started this practice because life can become so overwhelming (especially as a parent) that it is easy to get caught up and forget about what makes me happy. I take this time to trim the fat out of my life (i.e. meaningless relationships, negative people, useless activities, and unhealthy habits, behaviors, and practices). I also evaluate anything I want or need to change about me. I have found this practice helpful in maintaining my “cheerful disposition” ;). It also keeps me grounded by remembering that no one is responsible for me, but me. It sounds simple but it’s not. I am human, and some things or people I just don’t want to let go even if they irk me. Also, sometimes I just want to blame somebody else because after all it must be them, not me right? I couldn’t possibly have all of these flaws right? Ha!

Point being, when we are willing to be 100% honest with ourselves, it is much easier to pin point the source of unhappiness. I encourage everyone to be brave enough to search your inner self. It can get tough at times because some faults are hard to acknowledge; however, to get to a point of inner peace it is necessary. I promise you it is well worth it in the end.

One love,

MJ

Inspirational moment 8/8/2012

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I made many bad or questionable decisions in my life but only had one major regret in my life; allowing my son (2 years old at the time) to go live with his father. Many of my mistakes or choices have been learning experiences that made me look at myself and become a better person. However, in that one decision I couldn’t see the benefit beyond my son having his father everyday. I lost many nights of sleep, would become angry every time my son left after a visit, and would cry for days (literally) because my baby was not with me. I would lash out at my honey because my honeys’ children were both in the home (which was totally unfair). It got so bad at one point that I couldn’t deal with my honeys’ youngest because she and my son were the same age. Bottom line, I was angry.

It didn’t help that many people questioned me and asked how I could do such a thing. Some assumed I was a bad mother and spoke judgment. Others were mad at me because they felt I gave up. I questioned myself and came to a point of mentally disconnecting and wearing the front of “I’m used to it now” so I wouldn’t feel, knowing that I was screaming on the inside. I do pretty well in not carrying things but that one decision I could not let go.

I was driving the other day and realized that my greatest regret has turned into my greatest blessing. Who knew that my sons last five years with his father would literally be his last five years. What if I would have said no? What if I would have been selfish and only considered my feelings? I understand now that everything happens for a reason and even when my mind couldn’t get past the decision, God had a plan.

From that decision my son has gained irreplaceable memories that may not have otherwise been there because we lived 300 miles a part. His father was able to plant some seeds in him that will positively affect him throughout his lifetime. I learned that my decision was one of the most selfless acts a mother can make. I learned to do the one thing I struggled with for years because of prior hurts; trust a man. Deeper than that, trust a man with my child. I had to trust that he would care for our son to the best of his ability. I had to trust that he would make decisions in the best interest of our son and trust that he had it.

The greatest lesson I learned was not to waste my energy being angry or trying to understand why things happen. I spent so much time being angry and mistreating others because I was trying to understand something that was beyond me. I was doing the exact opposite of what I was taught to do, leaning on my own understanding and I can’t get that time back. Eventually, I came to a place of praying for God to give him the knowledge and understanding to make the right decisions but it took me 4 years to get there.

I say to you, don’t waste your time trying to understand situations that are beyond you; just trust God. Yes it may hurt sometimes, you may start to beat yourself up, or you may feel like giving up, but learn to pause for a moment and look up. It’s easier said than done but the end result is much better than living in agony. Let yourself go and breathe in the peace that passeth all understanding.

One love,

MJ

 

 

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Featured Artist ~ Aaron Hurst with Holy Spirit Come

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This is a little upbeat praise groove. Its one of those songs that has you tapping your foot or bobbing your head without realizing it. I will admit that when I first heard it I was like dude really I guess this one is for your mother; but once I continued to listen it grew on me. It’s great to have an artist that reaches just about every audience and not just focused on one genre of music. Take a listen and tell me what you think.

One love,

MJ

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Featured artist of the week: Aaron Hurst with No One Can Compare

Aaron Hurst is an up and coming artist/producer who truly has a heart of worship. He dabbles in several genres of gospel music (rock, soul, crunk, quartet style etc.) but it is something about him in worship that allows our hearts and ears to open. It’s like the anointing of God smacks him and everyone around him leaving every part of our being open to receive what God has for us. I have witnessed this young man open his heart to God and live by a “God just use me” attitude. I look forward to continuing to watch this man of God grow and reach the nations.

I introduce to you my artist of the week…Aaron Hurst.
http://www.aaronhurstmusic.com/

One love,

MJ