Every morning, as soon as my great-great grandmother stepped foot out of bed, she would grab her huge white bible, flip to Psalm 23, and began reading– well, more like reciting– the entire chapter, aloud. Not a day went by that she didn’t do this. Y’all, I hate to admit this but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized this ritual set her mood for the day. That one chapter had her smiling, humming and singing all day long. Well… let’s just say that I choose to believe that’s what had her humming and smiling all day long.
Anyway, a few months ago, I decided I wanted to be like her and establish my own morning ritual by reading a chapter from the book of Psalms. However, I wanted my own chapter because, thanks to her, I already knew Psalm 23 by heart. Plus that was her chapter. Well, I’m not sure how or why I chose Psalm 113; however, once I read it I knew it was for me. Just for me. Here’s a snippet of what gets me going each morning.
Psalm 113:1-3 NIV
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord. Psalm 113:1
Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. Psalm 113:2
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm 113:3
As I said, this is just a snippet. There are six more verses in the chapter. I don’t know about you but the first three verses have me smiling already. Y’all, there’s just nothing like starting a day with praise.
Seems like the older I become the more death seems to bother me. I’m not saying I wasn’t bothered by it before, but it was just different. When I was younger I believed I would live forever. Now that I’m almost 50, I see things differently. I often feel like I’m in a race against time. Will I achieve my goals before death takes me away from here? I try not to think about death, but it’s hard not to. A week ago, one of my mom’s long-time friends passed. Two weeks before that, a couple my family used to attend church with, died within days of each other. Their son and I were classmates. Then, two days before Ms. Cicely Tyson passed, one of my friends texted me that her dad had just passed unexpectedly. It’s like death is lurking everywhere. Honestly, it’s becoming a little too much.
Y’all, I have so many questions that only God can answer. Am I in a race against death? Will I die before I achieve my goals? Will I live to see my dreams come to fruition? What is God’s definition of “fulfilling your purpose”? Because I believe we could possibly have two completely different definitions. Sometimes I feel like I should stop pursuing my dreams, goals, and purpose, and just settle where I am. You know, just be content with what is. I mean, it would be less stressful. Less time consuming. Less heartbreaking. Less complicated. So why do I want more? Why do I continue to live as if I have 50+ years ahead of me? Why am I still moving forward as if I can have anything imaginable? Why?
Smiling as I write because first of all, I’m actually a mother; and secondly, I’m a mother of a 26 year old queen. How? When? On most days, I still feel like I’m in my 20s.
So, around this time (6 a.m.) 26 years ago, I was trying to rest but couldn’t get comfortable. I was having contractions but they were only 7-10 minutes apart. The night before I had called my friend Sue, my unofficial birthing partner, to prepare her for what was next. Then, I called my other friend, Trina, who was the only one with a child and “experienced” in childbirth, to give her a heads up. Trina also lived across the street from the hospital so I had somewhere I could chill before checking into the hospital. I remember her saying not to have the baby until she got off work. Like I actually had control over when the baby would come. Y’all, we were so young and naive.
Well, around 2:00 p.m. my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart. I’m just going to let y’all know, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! I was following instructions I heard tv doctors give their pregnant patients, “Wait until the contractions are 2-3 minutes apart, then go to the hospital.” Y’all, I hadn’t called a doctor at all! The last time I called the doctor’s office was when I lost my mucus plug and that was days before. However, I did call Sue, who lived 30 minutes away in Ft. Walton Beach.
When she got to my house we grabbed my bag and headed… not to the hospital… but to Trina’s house. According to wonderful doctors like Heathcliff Huxtable, I needed to wait until the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart before heading to the hospital. So I was going to wait. By the time I arrived at Trina’s, I was so hungry. Hadn’t eaten anything all day because I heard some women used the bathroom while giving birth and that was the LAST thing I wanted to do. You see, my obstetrician was FINE!! Whew!! He had muscles everywhere! The last thing I wanted to do was use the bathroom while giving birth. But y’all, I was so hungry. First, I ate a bowl of ramen noodles. Then, I ate a little bit of every sugar-sweetened cereal she had in the house. Honestly, I don’t believe I knew what I was doing. I was in pain. I was trying to wait for the right moment to go to the hospital. Y’all, I was scared. All I knew to do was eat.
Anyway, once the contractions became unbearable, I went to the hospital and checked into labor and delivery. When I got there, I attempted to explained to the nurse that I was in labor. I don’t know what was going on that day but I remember her snapping at me and saying if I wasn’t dilated 4 cm they were going to send me home. That’s all she said and left me standing there. I guess the people in the waiting room felt sorry for me because they were the ones who got me a wheelchair and talked to me until Sue came up (she was parking the car). Everything that happened afterwards happened really fast. When the nurse checked me, I was more than 4 cm dilated. That’s when she actually tried to help. In hindsight, I guess I didn’t appear to be in labor. Like that’s a real thing. Believe me, the contractions were coming and I was in so much pain. But the cramps I endured during my menstrual cycles were far worse. So I just did what I did whenever I cramped, I beared it. I never once screamed or got out of character. I just took it.
Less than 3 hours later my baby was born. And no, I didn’t use the bathroom while having her. Lol. Another crazy thing happened afterwards. Sue asked me if the nurses were playing some kind of joke (told you we were young). Our wristbands had another mother’s name on them. Y’all, we had on the wrong wristbands! Talk about CRAZY!! I’m so happy we got that cleared up or I would have brought home someone else’s baby.
So that was 26 years ago. Today, I’m happy to report that the last 26 years have been just as adventurous, if not more. I have truly enjoyed motherhood. It’s been an honor watching KiSondrea become the woman she is today. I pray that today, and everyday forward, is just as wonderful and adventurous as the day of her birth.
I guess you can say this is my second blog for this morning and third blog this weekend. Earlier, I decided to post a thread on Twitter. Just had a few things on my mind and didn’t feel like journaling or using it for my Hello Sunday’s blog.
Read this quote minutes ago- “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” In some ways it’s misleading. The quote doesn’t factor in things that happen randomly such as things we can’t control. On the other hand, it’s still accurate. Whatever future we desire we have to be intentional about creating. Which brings me to the book launch for Finally Free – it was a success!! Y’all, I’m so proud of myself and all of the other authors. We worked our butts off promoting this book. In the end, it all paid off. See reblog below.
Anyway, since the beginning of the year, I’ve often found myself telling others, “This year will be different because I plan to make it different.” I feel like it’s becoming my mantra. I have chosen to intentionally create the future I desire and deserve, all while following God’s lead. After the book was released, I asked God what’s next. You see, life is too short to keep taking unnecessary breaks. I’ll rest and pamper myself when needed, however, this time, I have to keep moving.
I’ve had some good days I’ve had some hills to climb I’ve had some weary days And some sleepless nights But when I look around And I think things over All of my good days Outweigh my bad days I won’t complain
Sometimes the clouds are low I can hardly see the road I ask a question, Lord Lord, why so much pain? But He knows what’s best for me Although my weary eyes They can’t see So I’ll just say thank You, Lord I won’t complain
The Lord as been so good to me He’s been good to me More than this whole world or you could ever be He’s been so good to me He dried all of my tears away Turned my midnights into day So I’ll just say thank you, Lord
I’ve been lied on But thank You, Lord I’ve been talked about But thank You, Lord I’ve been misunderstood But thank You Lord You might be sick Body reeking with pain But thank You, Lord The bills are due Don’t know where the money coming from But thank You, Lord Thank You, Lord Thank You, Lord
God has been so good to me He’s been good to me More than this whole world or you could ever be He’s been so good He’s been so good He’s been so good So good So good So good So good To me
He dried all of my tears away Turned my midnight into day So I’ll say thank you Lord I won’t complain
Found this quote in today’s Facebook memories from 2019. In the memory, I had written a long caption about how I had been reading journal entries from the 90s and discovered I hadn’t changed much. I noted that I had grown spiritually and professionally, and was also making better decisions. However, my personality, heart, and spirit hadn’t really changed. I questioned why I had not grown stronger in those areas, meaning, why hadn’t I changed? You see, those were the areas that made me feel inadequate around others. That made me feel vulnerable in certain situations. That made me love harder than I should have. You would think 30 years would’ve made a difference, but it hadn’t.
That was two years ago. Here I am today, same personality, heart, and spirit. At first I asked myself why these characteristics hadn’t changed. You see, over the years I have tried to change them. Tried not to be so sentimental or emotional. Tried not to wear my heart on my sleeve. Tried to fit in by being less silly and more poised. Yeah.. I tried to be everything I wasn’t, everything I’m not. Then it hit me, those aren’t weaknesses. Those are my strengths. They don’t need to be changed. They need to be embraced. The only reason I continue to feel vulnerable while embracing them is because I’m trying to get others to embrace them as well. I guess you can say I’m having an “AHA” moment. Maybe that’s the lesson Tony Gaskins was referring to. I will never be able to move to the next level as long as continue to remain in the presence of those who do not fully accept Shaun. Umm… I believe it’s time to re-evaluate my circle. What’s that old saying– “If it don’t fit, don’t force it.” I will no longer try to force myself to fit where I’m not embraced. Period!