Life

Wednesday Writings

Obedience. The definition of obedience is – an act or instance of obeying (following the command or guidance of).

As many of you know, I have been on this journey of completely allowing God to lead; to follow his guidance without wavering. Well.. just imagine how that’s going. Sigh

So, there is this little thing called free will, which is the ability to act at one’s discretion. Well, I’m finding free will isn’t always my friend. During this journey, free will has popped up numerous times and continues to pop up whenever – 1) I don’t believe God is moving fast enough or He’s moving way too fast; 2) I believe things are going in the wrong direction; or 3) whenever I flat out don’t want to follow His instruction. Y’all, sometimes free will is a pain and often delays blessings. Ugh!

Last night I was given specific instructions to leave a certain matter alone, to allow God to work so that I could see His glory. Y’all know I love watching God work! Well, that didn’t happen. I kept picking at it. Checking to see if progress was being made. Kind of like putting a bandage on a wound and removing it every couple of hours to see if it’s healing. Uhh.. It won’t if you don’t leave it alone. So, this morning I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t leave things alone. I went in and started manipulating things. I was like, “God, I’m just gonna do this one little thing then give it back to You.” And that’s exactly what I did. And guess what, I feel like I have failed another challenge. Not in a shameful way, but in a way that has me regretting my decision. However, at the same time, I still have the desire to do better. I just have to know how things will turn out if I allow God to lead.

Okay.. y’all, I just had another “Aha” moment. Imagine going into a lab, starting an experiment and when the experiment isn’t moving along fast enough, you decide to manipulate the process. Guess what?! You just altered the outcome. You will never know what could’ve been had you left it alone.

Slowly but surely, I’m learning. If I am going to allow God to lead, I must be obedient. Period.

Thanks for reading! Hope you have a lovely Wednesday!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Manifestation: the act, process or instance of manifesting (to make evident or certain by showing or displaying)

Manifestation. Have you ever thought or spoken (written or verbally) something into existence? If you have, then you know it’s like one of the most thrilling experiences ever (even the negative ones). To be able to see what you put into the universe manifested, is pretty amazing.

Yesterday, director, Matthew A. Cherry, took a picture in front of a billboard with his tweet from June 2012 stating, “I’m gonna be nominated for an Oscar one day. Already claiming it.” Well, in February 2020, he actually won an Oscar for the animated short, Hair Love. It actually happened, to include a little extra (the Oscar)! YAY!!

As a young child, I only heard about the negative side of manifestation. My mom always warned us to be cautious of the things we said because they could come true. She had witnessed it and gave examples. I don’t know about my other siblings, but after hearing her stories, I was always mindful of what I said, especially when I became upset.

Well, as I got older, I began to notice positive things happen.. or I guess you could say, I became more aware that I could actually think, write or speak things into existence. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true. The kicker is – 1) nothing ever happened as imagined; 2) nothing was ever intentional (always a random thought); and 3) I never saw it coming. There are tons of examples I could give but I’ll only give a few (smile).

The very first major moment I can recall is getting orders to be stationed in Germany. I remember as clear as day sitting in the park writing in my journal asking God to take me far away from home. I was sad and depressed and just wanted to get away. If you have been following me for a while, you know I am very random and spontaneous. Well, one morning I woke up, took out a phone book, found an Air Force recruiter, scheduled an appointment and the rest is history. Nothing was planned. Nothing was contemplated. Just done. Well, during basic training, I was asked to select up to five bases where I preferred to be stationed (my dream list). Although I said I wanted to get away from home, I chose stations that were within a 5-8 hour radius. You know, wanted to be close enough to travel home often but far enough away so that no one could just pop up unannounced.

That was what I wanted. But the joke was on me. Y’all, God really does have a sense of humor and WILL give you what you ask for. When I got my orders, I was asked if I wanted to go to the United Kingdom or Germany. Y’all, I was devastated! I wanted to get away but never wanted to go that far. Since I had taken years of French in high school, I chose Germany because it was close to France. Two weeks after I left basic training, I was in Germany. This all happened – from me writing it down to arriving in Germany – in less than 6 months. That was my first major moment of manifestation.

A few other big moments were – me saying I was going to have my first child at 21, and did; saying that I was going to get married before I was thirty and have my 2nd child at thirty (got married at 29 and had my son at 30); also writing a list of names of people I really wanted to meet and meeting the top two – Marcus Samuelsson and Leah Chase at the same event three months after I wrote it down. There are so many more moments I have experienced that have been just as exciting and rewarding. Maybe one day I’ll share them in a book. Of course it will happen spontaneously. Smile

Y’all, my life is very interesting. To be honest, it seems like the things I randomly think, speak or write actually happens, and the things I’m intentional about speaking or writing rarely happens. I’m not sure why, but that’s how things happen for me. Honestly, my most rewarding experiences have happened after I have randomly thought, spoken or written about them, and have always happened unexpectedly. And y’all, I love it!

I am not sure what will happen next. Can’t even remember if I have thought, written or spoken about anything in a while. Right now I’m just living, being present. Hmm… an “Aha” moment. I am already living in my manifestation. Wow! It is nothing like I imagined, but I am here.. in it! Guess I needed to write it all out to see it. Can’t say it enough, God is so good!

Thank you for reading and please enjoy your Sunday!

Shaun

Life

Wednesday Writings

Happy Hump Day! It’s Wednesday again. The second Wednesday of the year, to be exact.

Feeling some kind of way this morning because I am not really feeling anything at all. I don’t feel happy, sad, excited, mad, nothing. As my son would say, “Meh.” Not sure if that’s a feeling but that is exactly where I am.

Usually, by this time of the year, I have created a vision board, made a “progress” video (I make short progression videos at least twice a year where I talk about my goals and things I have accomplished- believe I only made one last year) and have written at least ten journal entries by now. Well, I have not done any of it. So far I only have three journal entries for this year. I know, I blog and make social media posts, but it’s not the same. Five years from now, I need to be able to find out what I was doing on a particular date and without it documented, I will never know. Maybe it’s not as important as I am making it out to be. Maybe I just woke up in my feelings, or with the lack of feelings. Nah.. I’m definitely feeling but unfortunately I don’t have a name for it.

This morning, while going through my Facebook memories, I found this gem, which is more than 30 years old. I shared on Facebook in 2016 with the following caption:

My 12th grade English teacher gave me this 20+ years ago. It inspired me then, and continues to inspire me today. 💗

My Inspiration

Everyone in our class received cards from Ms. Tressin, but mine was special. Looking back, she saw something in me that I thought was hidden from the world. She knew I was a dreamer.

Maybe that’s what I am feeling this morning. I have imagined it. I have dreamed it. And yet, here I am thirty years later still chasing the dream. Or am I? Y’all, I believe I am having an “Aha” moment.

So… transparent moment… if you have been following me since last April, you know that I resigned from my job in pursuit of fulfilling my dreams. Well, over the months I have felt like a boat without an anchor, being tossed all over the place. When I resigned, I had no plan, no real direction about where I wanted to go. All I knew is, I was free! Hadn’t felt that free since I was in high school. I felt like I had the opportunity to begin again. However, I had too many years of education, degrees, and experience to just throw it all away. Plus everyone kept making suggestions about where I should be or could be heading. So, I felt compelled to continue along that path. Exactly like a high school senior! Wow!! Well, to be honest, every time I attempt to do it, I feel trapped. I know what to do to make it work. I have done it for years, but it is not where my heart lies. So far I have wasted money on trying to pursue things that would make me money but my heart has not been in anything I have done. Yeah.. it all sounded good but my heart kept screaming “NO!”

Here’s what I truly want at this moment in time, and what I wanted when I resigned. I want to be the best mom I can possibly be. I want to be able to spend as much time as I possibly can with my children. Right now I have no desire to pursue a career and be a mom. I just want to be a mom, create memories, share inspirational thoughts and spread love, kindness and hope throughout the world. Sounds pretty flower-childish, doesn’t it? Lol! But that’s what I want to do! And guess what?! It’s exactly what I have been blessed to do. I am living off of less than I have ever made and I’m okay. Question is, shouldn’t I want more?

Maybe I’m thinking too much this morning. This probably should have been a journal entry. Lol. But here it is, my first random rambling of the year. Not going to delete any of it. Just gonna publish and keep going. Everything will work out.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Shaun

Life

Wednesday Writings

Here is another awesome post that I found amongst my Facebook memories.

Facebook memory – December 22, 2018

In response to a quote by xonecole: “Don’t go back to less because you’re too impatient to wait for more,” I wrote:

Happy Saturday!! Here’s today’s social media find. As Joe [from Tyler Perry’s Madea movies] would say, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it.” Don’t you dare look back and miss out on what’s to come! Believe me, God is working. He’s ALWAYS working! Now, do your part and be patient.🤗 Y’all be blessed.💕 Wait. God’s got you. Your blessing is coming. Don’t look back. Don’t settle. Goals for 2019.

Well, 2019 was a year of so many highs and lows – moments of happiness, anger, euphoria, sadness, loss and depression. It is one year of my life that I absolutely hate revisiting. But as you can see from my post in 2018, it was also one I was so looking forward to. Little did I know, those high, euphoric moments would help me through some of the worst moments in my life.

Now, here I am three years later, still not settling, refusing to go back to what was, and moving forward. And yes, I am still waiting for whatever and whoever God has planned for my future as well as to fulfill His purpose. Without a doubt, I know the best is yet to come. As Bishop T. D. Jakes often says, what God has for you will not be found in what you left behind. It will be found in what is in front of you. Eyes forward.

God’s got me.

Thanks for reading! Wishing you and your families peace and joy.

Be Blessed

Shaun

Life

Trying to Understand Why?

Yes, this is my second time writing today. Had to get this off my chest and see if anyone can help me understand, “Why?”. Why is it so difficult for some – not going to say most or all – men to dissociate their child from the child’s mother? Here’s my story:

After several attempts at watching Christopher Nolen’s A Christmas Wish, I finally finished it. For me, it was unbelievably difficult to watch because I felt like I was the mom in the story having to provide for a child without conditional financial assistance from the father. You see, the father (ex-husband) in the story refused to pay child support, but said he would provide everything the child needed if and when she asked. This was the first issue I had. The next was the father’s plea to the mom – “Why don’t you let me take care of you? You know I still love you.” Which brings me back to my original question, why is it so difficult for men to see the mother and child as two separate individuals? Why couldn’t he take care of the child without associating it with his love for the mom?

After I had my daughter, I refused to ask her father for child support. I was not going to beg him to take care of his child. Plus, just like the father in the movie, he kept saying he wanted to take care of both of us. He wanted us to be together. But he was already with someone else. And when I refused, he decided not to provide for her. He told me if I needed anything, to just ask. Well, I didn’t. I believed if he wanted to take care of her he would do it on his own. I mean, mothers don’t have a choice. We do it whether the father is around or not. Well, after a couple of years of my mom telling me I needed to put my pride aside and seek support for my daughter, I did. I filed for child support before I left for Turkey. The agency reported that they were not able to locate him. Then a few months after arriving in Turkey, I received a letter from him stating if I wanted support, he was going to seek joint custody. My daughter was three years old and had never laid eyes on him nor spoken to him. Not because I would not allow it, but because I chose not to be with him. Y’all, he never even spoke to my baby! From birth, I kept him and his parents informed about her progress. I sent pictures. I wrote letters and neither him nor his family made an effort to have a relationship with her. So there was no way I was going to give him joint custody just to receive a check. So, I chose to raise her on my own.

Fast forward to today and my now ex. Almost the exact same scenario. I’m not going to lie, it hurts. Never in a million years did I expect it from him because he knew what I went through with my daughter’s father. So yeah, watching the movie was very difficult. The pain is still very fresh. In the movie, the little girl’s wish was for them to be a family again on Christmas Day, and of course it happened. Well, up until two years ago, I did the family Christmas thing, but ended it because it only gave my ex false hope of us getting back together. Before the next Christmas rolled around, I informed my son that we were no longer going to spend Christmases together. This was also after finally being granted the divorce after over four years of waiting. And guess what? My son was actually okay with it.

Even though it took me several attempts to get through the movie, I did it. It may seem insignificant to you, but it’s an accomplishment for me. Y’all, I really didn’t think I could do it. It hurt too badly. At times I found myself yelling at the television begging the mom not to take him back. Yeah, it was painful to watch.

Here is my takeaway from the movie, or what I needed to come to terms with. Yes, some people settle for package deal because that is what works for them. And guess what? It’s okay. Me, I did not accept the package deal so I must accept the consequences of my actions. Lastly, I have to let it go. My son is 18 and my daughter is 26. There has never been a time in their lives that I was not able to provide for them or did not ask for help when I really needed it. I can no longer beat myself up over the relationship/lack of relationship they have with their fathers because I chose not to accept the package deal. Yes, it’s time for me to let it go.

After I had my daughter, I would often ask her father why he could not take care of her without taking care of me. He said because he loved me and all of us should be together. I’m still bewildered.

If anyone has the answer, please let me know.

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

There is no way I can go into another relationship broken. I must realize there is no knight in shining armor to rescue me from myself.

Journal Entry, December 12, 2014

Whew! What a statement! “. . . there is no knight in shining armor to rescue me from myself.”

Several weeks ago, I watched an Oprah interview with Will Smith. It was about the release of his new memoir, WILL. Y’all, before the interview was over, I had already preordered his book. Much of what he said during his interview resonated with me so much that I just had to hear more!

Like Will, I’m a dreamer and a lover. I have always envisioned my life playing out a certain way. In his book, he mentioned Dallas was one of this favorite nighttime soap operas when he was younger. He said he always wanted to own a ranch like Southfork and imagined his wife riding up to the family house on her horse. Listen, that was me. I had the same dream. I was the wife. I was Sue Ellen. Lol. As we know, real life is not scripted. We have to factor in others’ feelings, desires, wants, needs and dreams. And most of the time theirs are different from ours. I believe when we fail to embrace people for who they are, our beautifully, scripted dreams become tarnished, which eventually leads to unnecessary heartache and disappointment.

When I got married, like Will, I had this picture in my head of how my marriage would be. In other words, I had created my own fairytale. You see, the story began years earlier with both of us in his aunt’s wedding (true story). We were in the wedding picture – he was the ring bearer and I was a flower girl. Perfect set up, right? So when we were reintroduced 20 years later, I was like, “This is it! This is my story.” After two months of talking on the phone and me imagining this 6’3, built dude on the other end, we finally met. He was not what I had imagined. And I am pretty sure I wasn’t what he had imagined either. Sadly, he did not have my heart, he only had my imagination. Instead of me letting go, I felt too embarrassed and obligated to see things through. Plus I was obsessed with my crazy timeline. So I got married.

Even in the marriage, I kept imagining how things could be. I was going to be Donna Stone or June Cleaver (both were homemakers on old sitcoms). Unlike them, I was a professional; however, I still imagined myself as the loving, supportive wife and homemaker. Then reality hit. He kept saying he was not happy. For the longest I could not figure out why he was not happy. I thought I was being a “good” wife. But in actuality I was just playing a role. My heart was not there. Years later, around the time I wrote my journal entry (2014), he told me he always knew I didn’t love him but chose to marry me anyway believing one day I would fall in love with him. Hmm.. sounds like Aaron from one of my favorite shows, Tyler Perry’s Sistas. Anyhoo, it never happened.

Back to my opening statement. There is no knight in shining amor who can rescue Shaun from the fairytale. Only Shaun can rescue Shaun. Will’s memoir was the perfect reminder. Life is not perfect and people are not created to live as characters inside our world. Do I still want a life similar to Sue Ellen (nah.. she was an alcoholic and JR was hell), Donna or June? Honestly, with the exception of Sue Ellen, absolutely! Donna and June weren’t just tv characters. They were Madear and Momma Kate. They were the women I spent most of my time with as a little girl. It’s them that I dreamt of becoming.

Last night, I told the kids that I am already living the life I have always imagined. No, there is no Alex, Ward, Big Daddy (Robert Campbell) or Mr. Sonny Mane (William Moore). There’s only me, my children and God, and I am absolutely loving life. Even without a husband, I am already living the life I have always dreamed. I guess you can say, I’m finally, finally free!

Thanks for reading!

Shaun