31 October 2008

It's Halloween...again

Yesterday, all the kids belonging to the attorneys and staff of my group came to the office to "trick or treat" in a safe, loving environment. (Pictured here is one of my attorneys' son, little Master Reese.) Ok, I don't have children - so, after about 20 minutes of them running around on the floor, I jetted! But, they were cute...they had a great time...and I guess it was worth it.

As a child, my parents didn't play the whole "trick or treat" thing. As Christians, we didn't believe in the whole "ghosts and goblins" thing - and as (what would now be called) overprotective, psychotic parents, they totally didn't buy into the allowing my brother and I to roam the neighborhood streets begging for candy. In fact, I can only remember one time that my parents allowed us to dress up and participate in a Halloween event and that was when we were living in Japan and there was an activity (a parade) on the Air Force base where we were stationed. I was a princess and my brother was a hobo. (When you think about that, not much has changed. - hahaha, just joking...a little)

As an adult, I hold to the same principles. As I said I don't have kids - but if I did, I would be one of those "mean mommies" who probably wouldn't allow them to participate in such events. I have always questioned the weirdness in teaching your kids all year long that you shouldn't take candy from strangers - only to allow them to do so - with great glee, greed and anticipation for one day a year (and let's face it - between going to Mom and Dad's job(s) and church functions called "Fall Festivals" or "Harvest Nights" (that's a whole 'nother blog in itself!) and other neighborhood or school "safe" events - Halloween has become a month long event!). What are we really teaching our kids during the month of October when we "celebrate" this "holiday"?

Just something I think about.

On a different note: Tomorrow is November 1st. The year has just flown by. I begin the two week countdown to my 44th birthday. (I know, I look so young in my pictures! hahaha) And my four week countdown to my trip to Mexico with my godsister Linda. I apologize now - in advance - for any obsessive "nah nah nah nah nah"s that ensure as I look forward to these two major events in my life.

Be blessed.

30 October 2008

Girls Night Out...

I want to pay homage to friendships. We all have 'em. (At least, I pray that you do). I am blessed to have some of the best sistagirl friends in the world, and last night, I got to hang out with three of them - and saw some additional ones along the way.

In April 2007, my friend, Dorothy Johnson (aka "DJ") organized a day trip from Atlanta GA to the north Georgia mountain town of Dahlonega. She pulled together a diverse group of women - some who knew each other; some who knew her and no one else; and one who knew me and no one else. Five women - different backgrounds, beliefs, ideaologies - pulled together by one woman. Since then, we have made a point every other month or so to do something together. Usually DJ organizes it, but others of us have stepped up to the plate and come up with some really interesting things to do as a group. It usually involves food (and wine) and picture taking and lots and lots of laughter. Sometimes, all of us make it - but can you imagine trying to get a date when EVERYONE is available; over the course of the year, we've added another woman to the mix and a few months ago, we temporarily lost DJ to a move out of state. (but she will be back in Atlanta soon! I cannot wait!) DJ said her motivation for doing it was that she has "the best girlfriends in the world" and she wanted us all to meet each other.

Last night, four of us got together to attend an event geared towards women and their friendships. It was an evening of shopping and a goodie bag stuffed full of gifts and shopping and some really hot men pushing gym memberships and serving margaritas and mojitos (I shoulda taken some pictures!) and shopping and food...and did I mention, shopping? We had a blast. We laughed and giggled and scoped out the "competition" and shopped and..as we sat and ate a late dinner at California Pizza Kitchen later, I realized, she does have the "best girlfriends in the world" and because of my friendship with her, so do I.

Be blessed.

29 October 2008

Less than a week...

We all know what will happen in less than a week...in the United States of America, we will choose the next President of our country. We will decide who will lead this country, at least, for the next four years.

Yeah, the President of the United States of America...and yet, we really are not UNITED at all. I have never in my life seen one political race cause such division and dissension and controversy and name calling and ... I could go on and on. And I'm sorry - no matter how people try to couch it in difference in "issues" or "policies" - deep down in my heart, I truly believe the division is caused because of the color of one man's skin.

Now, whether you agree or disagree with me, I say this because never before have I had to "defend" my candidate's heritage when discussing political issues with friends. Never before have I had to break down what it means to be "Black" when it comes to politics. Never before has a candidate had to have Secret Service protection EQUAL to the current President since early in his campaign. Never before has someone come to me and said, "Well, I guess you are happy now" when discussing the political race. (I will never forget the Republican friend who on the day of the first primary race in Georgia - not knowing if I was a Hilary or Barack supporter - just assumed it didn't matter one way or another to me...because hey, there's a woman running and there's a Black man running - so I was covered no matter who won the Democratic nomination) I just don't get it. I even had a dream about it - the race - the political ads - the debates; how different it would have all been if Hilary had gotten the nod instead of Barack...hmmm....but that didn't happen and I wouldn't want to speculate on where we would be now if that had been the case.

And then this week, we hear the reports that some misguided men (and of course they HAD to be from the South!) decided that they want to "take out", not only Barack Obama, but 88 random people who look like me... JUST BECAUSE they look like me! Not because they did anything horrific, or posed a threat to them or their family in a personal, in your face way - but just because they have melanin in their skin and their skin is not lily white. I don't get it.

No matter who wins on November 4th - we all still live in the same country. Unless there is going to be a mass exodus of American citizens to Canada or Mexico or Europe - on November 5th, when we wake up, we will all still be here. We will still be American citizens. We will still ride on the same streets to go to the same jobs. We will all still be here. We will all have to pull together and make it work. One man, one party - cannot do it alone. If Obama wins, and you voted for McCain - I am sorry. Complain for four years and start now to support a candidate who can step up to the plate in four years who can effectuate policies more in line with your beliefs. Because if McCain wins, that is what I am going to have to do.

And let me say this right now - if you do not exercise your right, your privilege, your obligation to vote - whether early or on November 4th - don't say nothing to me about the results on November 5th! If you don't vote, you have no voice about what happens!

I pray every day for the Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin families. For whatever reason, these men and women ('cause the spouses are in this race just like the candidates) have been chosen for this purpose at this time. Regardless of who wins and who loses, there will be people in this country (and let's face it: in the world) who will be ecstatic and there will be people who will be devastated. And there will be people who will react inappropriately - whether from joy or anger. I pray every day for my country.

Because it is MY country.
Because it is YOUR country.
Because it is OUR country.

And we are ALL in this together...

Be blessed.

28 October 2008


God loves me, oh yes, He does!

For the last two weeks, I really have not been feeling well. I am not a "complainer" when it comes to how I feel - mainly because that leads to the inevitable "how are you feeling?" and other hovering questions by well-meaning relatives, friends and loved ones. And while I know they mean well, I am a bad patient - I hate when people hover - and get very irritated when people do. (Sorry, Mom and Grandma and Julie and ... well, you know who you are...) And yet, when I get in my self-pity mode, I want to scream that no one seems overly concerned that I am sick. It is a vicious, vicious cycle.

But God showed me today - actually, over the last week - that He loves me, that He is concerned and that He cares. "Out of the blue" (and I say that in quotes because I don't believe anything is truly random, but all a part of His plan for our lives), the following things have happened:

- a phone call from my former pastor, who just called to say Hello and ended up encouraging me in ways he will never know.
- a phone call from my father in which he literally said, "I just called to say 'I love you' and that I really mean it." - which if you knew my father, you would know this is HUGE. (and he's reading this, so I ain't talking about him behind his back...)
- a co-worker of mine told me today (when I was relaying to her my distress about how fat I feel and about the size of the gown I just bought for my church's anniversary gala that I will be Mistress of Ceremonies for next weekend) - "stop it! You are beautiful just the way you are!"
- an email from a high school friend who hadn't heard from me with the frequency that she normally does who wrote me to say, "I just wanted you to know that I've been thinking of you and that I care tremendously about you."
- the phone call from my brother this morning expressing his concern about all the medical tests my doctor keeps running (with no seemingly good results) - and if you knew my brother, you would know this is HUGE also...
- the comment to a blog I wrote that said, "keep up the good work" - (and I'm feeling all guilty for not writing all the blogs God has put on my heart to write...
- and there have been other things....too many to write about - and some too personal to share.

All I am trying to say is this:
Often we get bogged down with the "busy-ness" of our lives
and feel overwhelmed
and that things are out of our control
and that nothing is going right
and that everything is going wrong

God knows
God cares
and if you stop and listen, He'll let you know that He does
in just the way you need to hear it.

God loves me, oh yes, He does! And He loves you too!

Be blessed.

18 October 2008


Wow. I knew I hadn't written in a while, but didn't realize it'd been almost a month! And I have no really good, viable, reasonable excuse. I could blame it on my laptop being out of commission almost since I got back from my Gatlinburg vacation (but I do have a computer at work and I get in early enough that I could have written before I started my work day.) Or I could say, I have nothing to say, but anyone who truly knows me would bust a gut laughing if I ever tried to say that about anything. I could say I was so caught up in the election debates and pundit reviews that I haven't slept and therefore, couldn't put two or more coherent sentences together in order to write anything - and while true, not necessarily honest. I could also blame my inattention to my blog to my attention on so many other issues: friends who are battling illnesses and personal issues - celebrating the joys and sorrows of my friends' lives - trying not to freak out over gas prices that hovered and then topped $4.00 a gallon - and let's not talk about what the stock market has done and continues to do. And I could say concerns over some recurring medical issues have been the reason, but that would totally negate all those blogs I wrote about why we, as Christians, should not worry - so, I cannot use that .... hmm... I think I've run out of excuses about why I have not written and just have to say: I didn't make the time to do it. I missed it. Want to start again. Hope you will forgive me. Now, let's move on.

Because it's been a while, I have a million (ok, slight exaggeration) ideas swirling around in my head to write about, but don't want to bore anyone with several blog postings all with the same date. How boring (and confusing) that would be. So, here's a quick snippet of some things I have been thinking about:

1. The election: with (you insert the number) of days left before we vote for a new President of the United States, I am anxiously awaiting Tuesday, November 4th so I can stand in line, cast my ballot and pray that my guy wins. I know both parties are pushing early voting - and my friends who have done it say that, even now, the lines are ridiculous. That is WONDERFUL! I am glad to know that people are voting, that people are getting involved in the process. People, like my brother who has never voted in his life, are involved for the first time. And no matter who you are supporting, that is important. But I find it interesting that some people are taking this so seriously that friendships are strained because of people being on different sides of the political fence. Tempers are flaring over stupid stuff and I know people who are not speaking to people that just months ago, were considered "best friends." Foolishness. And yet, in a spiritual sense, this is only a foreshadowing of things to come. In the Bible, we are admonished that husband will turn against wife, parents against children, friend against friend - all of this will happen in the days right before Christ returns for His Children. If friendships are strained because of a difference of opinion between Obama and McCain - can you imagine what the conflict will be when the difference of opinion centers on religious freedoms and/or belief in Christ and His redemptive power. Something to think about.

2. Worry v. Prayer: My godsister and I recently had a conversation about the "Mt. Carmel" experiences in our lives. How we will have an experience where we have seen the glory of God manifested in our lives, only to be immediately followed by a temptation that has previously been rebuked and overcome - or a new trial will befall us. And how that is a ploy of the enemy to distract us and make us doubt. The last few posts I wrote were all about "if you worry, why pray. If you pray, why worry?" And I believe that - honestly, deep down, I do. And then the stock market crashed. And I saw financial security slowly seeping through the cracks. Money set aside in my 401K gone. Personal stock portfolios reduced overnight. And I would be less than honest if I denied that for a minute, I worried. I fretted. I talked to friends who were more financially savvy than me. I cried tears of anguish and "why me?" (Poor Linda...) But eventually, I pulled myself together and realized, just as I'd been saying over and over and over again - GOD GOT THIS! He has promised to provide our NEEDS, He blesses us with "the extras". And there is a promise in the Bible that "His seed will not go begging for bread." I know this to be true - so, I'm back on the "trust Him" ship and not worried about what is going on around me. I am being prudent...not doing too many stupid things with my finances (smile) ...but I am also not sitting up at night, watching the NASDAQ and other stock indices to see what they are doing, which direction they seem to be moving in. I am trusting in the Lord.

3. So let's count those blessings: I have a measure of good health. I have a (most days) I enjoy going to and am paid a salary that is more than sufficient to responsibly take care of the needs of myself and my retired mother, as necessary. My house, while still without the skylights that I have been trying to get installed since late June!, is standing against the weather and keeps me, my mother and my vast array of stuff protected against fire, flood and invasion. And although it seems like $1.00 goes no where as far as it did a year ago, I still have a few of those laying around somewhere - enough to provide for some "wants" in the near future. I am blessed with family, friends, and acquaintances that love and support me - in my good ideas and the ones that make them scratch their heads and go, "are you sure you want to try that?" And I have a loving Saviour who died for my salvation and loves me - even when I miss a step and am not the best of example of who He wants me to be. And that is blessing enough!

Be blessed. I'll write again...soon!