Life

I Trust You, Lord

Hopeful.

Laying here thinking. The first of three scheduled presidential debates happened last night. No, I did not watch it. I already know who I am voting for. The debate would not have changed my mind. Even with knowing who I am voting for, some would say I should have watched the debate anyway. But why? Only to feel as hopeless and discouraged as those who did watch it? If anyone has followed the two candidates over the past several years.. not months, but years.. you would know their character. Their character has not changed. Then you add age. I believe as a person ages their true character surfaces even more. It is as if the older a person becomes, the more prominent their “I don’t give a ______” attitude becomes. Am I right, or am I right? If you have ever spent time with older adults, you know what I am referring to. Sometimes they are very amusing. However, when it comes to leading our country, amusement is the last thing we need.

So… the reason behind the title. As I was reading headlines and social media posts, I began to feel hopeless, and even fearful. I felt like what was the use of even hoping for a better outcome when this is all we have. Is our country doomed?

Then God reminded me that He is still in control. He is hope. You see, the goal of the enemy is to create fear and chaos. To get us to take our focus off God. Once we have done this, he has won. Y’all, I refuse to let him win. Hope will win. Love will win. Kindness will win. Peace will win. God will always win.

Therefore, I trust You, Lord!

Amen

Life

Feeling Some Kind of Way

I have had a headache since yesterday. Finally took something for it. What was supposed to be a fun extended weekend has turned into a weekend of reflections and questions. Nothing new, just the same questions I tend to ask myself when someone close passes. Basically, am I living or am I wasting time. On one hand I feel like I’m exactly where I need to be because when I rush things I tend to make bad decisions. However, I feel like if I don’t move, I might not live to see my dreams come to pass.

Today is one of my sisters’ birthday. I am so grateful she is still here. Today should be a joyous occasion for her, instead she is trying to cope with our sister-friend’s loss. God please give her peace. Give her family peace.

Life is precious and so short. I have a lot of decisions to make. I do not want to find myself in the same place and predicament this time next year.

Next month would have been my brother’s 47th birthday. Yesterday my dad finished his tombstone. My stepmom had to push him to get it done. We know this was the hardest one to make, but he had to do it. None of us want his death to be real, but it is. Yesterday my stepmom said that her girls are her angels. That she could not have made it without us. Life.

Just felt like writing. Going to go back to sleep, now. My headache seems to be subsiding. I cannot wait to get on the road to head home. I miss my babies. Can’t wait to hug them, if I hug them. I cannot ignore the fact COVID-19 is still here. Everyone I have interacted with have taken proper precautions, but I will not take any chances with my babies. So I will skip the hugs for now.

Good night, y’all. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Shaun

Life

Trusting God’s Plan

The song, I Understand, by Smokie Norful has been playing over and over in my head since yesterday morning; and this particular verse seems to be stuck on repeat:

One more day, one more step
I’m preparing you for myself
And when you can’t hear my voice
Please trust my plan
I’m the Lord, I see and yes, I understand

The part that mostly stands out– well, for me that is– is “I’m preparing you for myself.” To me, this says it all. Too often we forget that God created us to fulfill His purpose. Y’all, it is not about us. It is all about Him.

Honestly, who knew 2020 was going to be this WILD! I know I didn’t. HA! God definitely has a sense of humor. I was just reminded that I entered 2020 without expectations (Happy New Year! Let Go and Let God). All I can do is smile. Y’all, God has receipts! Lol

Yep… I am trusting His plan.

#BeBlessed

Shaun

Life

My Facebook Memory: August 11, 2019

Hello! Here is a Facebook memory that I thought I would share. It was written on August 11, 2019, after a year of being in the doctoral program. This past March I decided to take a leave of absence, again (details included in the memory). This time it was the uncertainty of COVID-19 that had me stressed. I just could not focus on school. So I decided to take a year off. As I did last time, I have questioned myself about my reasons for pursuing this degree. Is it something I truly want? Glad I have a few more months to decide. Then we shall see what happens.

Here’s the memory (unedited):

Good Morning! No social media find this morning. I just feel like sharing.

Today’s the last official day of class. It’s been a year that I’ve been in the DrPH program. I’m not sure why I thought it would be easy. I’m still puzzled about that initial phone interview with my advisor. I was just so chipper. Why???🙄 I work at a university. I’ve seem so many students struggle through their doctoral program. Yet, somehow I thought things would be different for me. What was wrong with me?😩

A few days ago I finally really looked at my degree plan. Yeah, I never really reviewed it. I just started taking classes and going with the flow. When I saw how many hours I had left, my heart sank. The thought crossed my mind, “Will I ever have a life?” Y’all, this program is about to consume ALL of my time. I’m not going to lie, so far I haven’t been disciplined at all. I started off really disciplined. Had everything scheduled down to my “Tyler Perry Tuesdays” tweet time. Yeah, one hour to watch and tweet during the show and 1/2 hour afterwards to reply to tweets. I was serious. Then, life happened. It’s amazing how one little thing can shake you and your whole system crumbles.

I began to realize I used social media as a way of coping with the things happening around me. Whenever I wanted to get away, I would log on and mindlessly scroll down my timeline. Social media is a great distractor when you don’t want to deal with reality. At the time, I was going through the divorce. Somehow, in my little mind, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it wasn’t. Also, things at work were becoming stressful. It was just a lot. Then, on top of that, I had school. I had to post and respond to discussions every week. Honestly, it was all taking a toll on me. I finally realized I couldn’t take anymore and sat out the spring term.

During my break, I did a lot of soul searching. Was this program for me? Could I fulfill my purpose without the degree? Was my purpose even worth the struggle? Why couldn’t I just let everything go and just enjoy life like everyone else? I mean, I’ve already retired from the military. I’m sort helping my community through my research projects. Why not sit back and enjoy life? Why do I always have to make things harder for myself? Well, because that’s exactly what I do. I love a challenge. Something inside of me, no matter how hard I try to fight it, wants the adventure. So, when my advisor called me before the summer term began, and asked me if I was returning to school, I confidently told him I was going to finish the program.🤦🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

So, here I am. This time I’m really serious about being more disciplined. I’m trying to narrow down my use of social media to things that will help me along this journey. I’ve discovered that the Twitter accounts I follow on my ResearchDiva site reflect were I’m going (UN in Geneva☺️). I’ve been able to use some of the information I’ve come across for my discussions and assignments. My Mississippi Thriving IG makes me feel like I’m still supporting my community. My blog, It’s Shaun’s World, gives me an outlet for sharing my random thoughts. And this page… y’all make everything worth it. I love logging on and seeing your smiling faces. Y’all keep me grounded.

I know this was long. I needed to get it out. So, if I miss posting a few social media finds, or showing you love, it’s not because I don’t care, I’m just trying to stay focused.

I love y’all!

GodIsWorking

BeBlessed 🙏🏽♥️

Thanks for reading!

Shaun

Life

Psalm 23

Makes me feel like royalty.

My first thought was to save this for my weekly Hello Sunday blog since it sounds like a Sunday message. But this is how I am feeling now– in this particular moment. So I am sharing.

After checking Facebook and Twitter this morning, I began to feel discouraged. Every post/tweet was about chaos and doom. If someone was not sharing stories about us going to a cashless, socialist society, then they were sharing stories about injustices and living in the last days. Sometimes.. no.. most of the time, it is so overwhelming. However, this morning, as always, God reminded me that He is still in control. Our job is to trust Him in spite of what we see.

Story time:

When I was a little girl, I spent my summers with my great-great grandma, Madea. Every morning Madea would get up, pray, and read one chapter from her ginormous white Bible. That chapter was Psalm 23. It was her morning ritual. Y’all, she did this every morning before she started her day. To this day, that entire chapter is instilled in me. However, verse 4 is my secret weapon. Whenever I feel afraid, that one verse seems to calm all of my fears. I dare you to recite it when you are afraid. Whew! Talk about peace like no other! Personally, it kind of makes me feel like royalty. As if my daddy is The King and I am His princess. Like nothing can touch me. Sounds crazy– huh? But it does.

Anyway, without further ado, here is Psalm 23. Enjoy! And use it!

Psalm 23 KJV

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Amen. Y’all, God is with us. Trust Him.

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Thankful for life.

Thanking God for life. I had written an entirely different blog and decided to save it for another day or space. Today I would like to focus on God’s greatnesses.

Y’all, I am always amazed at how God works. How He connects the puzzle pieces of life. This is one reason I write and document everything. It allows me to go back and review past events and follow God’s work. If you do not journal, search your social media posts or look at old photos. See where you were a year ago, three years ago, or even ten years ago and compare it to where you are today.

Some of you might believe life is worse now than it was before. While some of you are finally living your best life. For me, life is definitely better. However, even during my lowest moments (documented in journal entries), certain aspects of my life were really good. When I suffered financial losses, my relationship with my children became stronger. During relationship problems, I grew closer to God. Problems at work, I expanded my knowledge. Y’all, there were always positive moments during adversities, heartbreaks and disappointments. I could not see it then, but I do now. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

Now, do not get me wrong, I am not saying that life is so good that I do not have disappointing and heartbreaking moments because that would be a lie (in Maury’s voice- lol). It is in those moments that I refer back to where I was, compared to where I am now. God saw me through everything then and He continues to do the same today. So yeah.. life is definitely better.

Please enjoy your Sunday.

Shaun