There is something to be said about being surrounded by a loving supporting community. Some people call it the village; others call it their tribe, their peeps, their crew or whatever name they’ve decided upon. I am fortunate to have two villages! Almost three years ago I followed God’s prompting and moved to Daytona Beach, where I didn’t know anyone. Back home, in Kentucky, I had tons of family, friends. Coworkers and plenty of people who loved and supported me. Tanking a huge leap of faith and leaving everyone was not easy but God didn’t let me stay alone for long.
My third day in the apartment I was out grocery shopping and pumped into a lady at the produce section. She started up a conversation and asked my name and if I was from the area. I told her no, I’d only been here three days. She was elated to hear my story. She wanted to keep in touch and get together once I was all settled in. Over the course of the next few weeks she called to check in, share job leads, resources, and simple kindness. She even invited me to visit her church. She’s a sweet lady and I can say almost three years later we still keep in touch.
I ventured out to a writer’s workshop and met some more amazing people who would soon become a part of my village. The ladies I met at the writing workshop took me in as family and invited me out to events, to church, their homes, and celebrations. I was afforded access and opportunities to meet city officials, sit in on banquets, meet judges and presidents, doctors, state representatives and community influencers. When the fall rolled around and I was facing my first hurricane one of the ladies invited me to come and stay at her house. We played games, Grilled, prayed and had an amazing time reflecting on God’s lessons through the storm.
All of this may seem like no big deal but when you look at the current state of community in our country now compared to what it was 20-30 years ago, it’s huge! I received more support in 3 months of being in Daytona Beach than I did in over 30 years of being in my hometown. Where God sends, He always provides. Not only did He provide me with a sense of community with these great people, but He kept adding and adding. He opened up opportunities for growth in business, personal growth, networking within the population I serve on my job, educational opportunities, and created an environment for me to thrive in.
As much as we like to be in our comfort zones, our biggest blessings are usually waiting right outside of it. God is always stretching us and expanding us so that we have the capacity for the next level. I’m grateful for the village, the community, and the obedience that made me go!
Who knew a group of strangers would become so loved…
Daytona Beach, FL
Matthew 25:31-46 The Message (MSG)The Sheep and the Goats
31-33 “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’
My sustainable goal is the blueprint to achieve a better and more valuable me. I know that from where I have been I have seen both sides of the lens.
Decent work which is used to describe something which is considered to be an acceptable standard yet characterized by conformity. I am a respectable citizen who has lead a decent life. We all have been employed and received paychecks. But, how many of us have done something for someone not to look for a return or for them to pay you back? What do you mean? Well, I’m glad you asked. See, I believe this season of my life God has me truly focusing my lens on Him by me helping others. I felt here was my chance to do what I love. Being available and going where I am needed. I have always had the compassion of building meaningful, long-term relationships with the individuals and families who want to change their lives.
According to the Will of God. A vessel meaning mind, Means that when we come to God, we should bring an empty mind that He might fill it with his truth. Giving to others being at faithfulness to Him and His word. Life choices comes with consequences but to much is given much is required. Meaning being a good steward over what is given to you whether financially and spiritually. Connecting with the community networks with the willingness of learning God's way of how and when He opens up doors for us. I had to start looking up and not at man for my return. He is building me spiritually! This is why I started to look for the return on investments in better ways as to my spiritual, emotional and social wholeness.
As a child of the most high, a mother and a daughter etc. My faith means more to me from an economic growth. Glory to God. Richness to me now doesn't have anything to do with my wallet. But, in fact, it does mean the return on your investment. See, I have been allowed to see my growth through the peaks and valleys of my own life. I use to be in bondage and now total freedom in Him looks amazingly different. It has always been second nature to me to do for others, without hesitation and now I know why. In life, you have to be able to deposit in order to receive a withdrawal. In the bible, it states, He gave so that we can give from the heart.
Economic growth is the increase in the market value of goods and services produced over a period of time. I want to be able to focus on desiring to be where I am at all times whether employed or not. For me now its not just about a 9-5 but my heart in the service of Him providing for me and my family as well as others.
When I first arrived home on September 13th 2013, it was scary for me. I wanted to build goals, financially get back on track and build my confidence of being home all at the same time. I was so overwhelmed I began to sleep a lot; but, finally received the motivation to focus by catching the bus to the Job Center, where I was connected to the MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE Of REENTRY with Ms. Jamie Gee, and the Offender Workforce Development program– which is designed to help restore offenders and get us back to work by attending weekly classes. Their motto which is: “Action, Alliance, and Accountability”. I was given resources to keep me productive, and stay on track. Therefore, staying busy with the appropriate resources. I was employed by Delphi November 13, 2013 until Dec 2016. So in fact, the OFFICE OF REENTRY gave me back hope and reassured me I still could be hired. I had gained life skills and experience that can be transferred into any job. I had medical insurance and benefits.
But, as you know being a single mother, doesn’t come without challenges; being away for almost three years puts a strain on my bonding time; and at times, I had to work from 3:30pm in the afternoon to 3:30am. However, Delphi employment allowed me to take care of my financial responsibilities. Although my employment schedule did not always allow me to spend quality time with my 9 year old daughter at the time; I was and still am very thankful for my employer. Since then I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. Joined the program in 2014 and now we have a house being completed this year. Previously employed by The Mustard Seed Foundation and I am a recent graduate of AmeriCorps. For those who provide a second chance, you are appreciated.
As a current volunteer, and former consumer of Montgomery County Office Reentry program and services. My commitment (2013), as a Community Speaker & Champion (2014-2017), Volunteer & Mentor (2014-2017). I believe I have been committed to my reentry transition as a returning citizen, and through my hard work and dedication, have been successful to achieve multiple accomplishments. Since completion of our Ohio Workforce Development Program in 2013, I was selected and am committed to being an agent for change through my transformation. I provide community education through motivational speeches, including but not limited to, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC) Board Meeting and Membership Breakfast, Agape for Youth evening program, Annual Greater Dayton Christian Connection Breakfast, and I continue to mentor other returning citizens from the Dayton Correctional Institution through a network of supportive services, and faith- based and community resources connection and engagement.
As a reentry stakeholder, I believe through observation I possess a level of maturity, reliability, and respect as a young woman, advocate, and mother. It is my belief that I will remain very loyal and valuable asset to the mission of my heart to always serve with my heart.
I now believe my record is not who I am, and doesn’t define me. Through my adversity, I am dedicated to my personal mission statement which is to: nurture, influence, answer challenges, gather the unmovable, and discover the unreachable; yet be loving, sincere, and determined to give back & succeed by Grace of God.
Huber Heights, Ohio
It raised me...
I looked over the topics for this blog at least 10 times, and it was rather hard when narrowing down the topics to categorize God as number 2-but God knows my heart, and honestly the topic I chose still has ALOT to do with HIM and he will forever be #1 in my life.
I was raised in an African American Methodist Episcopal Church from the time I was 5 years old. I was at every bible study, vacation bible school , church picnic, car wash, choir practice and so on. Although I cried most times when my grandmother dragged my sister, cousins and I along with her , eventually it all made sense.
I always knew that I was outgoing and loved being around people. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher or host some awesome show on television , but didn’t really care for college because not too many people from my family went and it wasn’t something that was talked about, other than at church.
When I was 10, my grandmother and God Mother would drop me off to Saturday YPD meetings and conferences at church , and we would volunteer in the community by passing out food to the homeless , or spending time with the sick and shut in at nursing homes. Although I would have rather been at a sleepover , or at the popular skating rink with my friends , I volunteered because I was told to.
When I was 13 years old , my God Mother , who was also the YPD Director forced me to run for President of the YPD, and of course I did it .... a chance to boss people around and talk .... SIGN ME UP!!!
But ... it was more than what I thought it would be. It was more volunteering, more Saturday’s spent in the community , conferences at colleges , building friendships and relationships all while keeping God first. I absolutely loved what I did , and eventually became the President of the YPD until I was 18 years old. In those five years , I had spent more time in the community, traveling , meeting people who I probably would have never met had I chosen to go to a sleepover or party at the skating rink with my friends.
I was constantly being recognized by the Mayor and City Commissioners for my work in the community , always being asked to speak to a group of kids at local schools and I traveled more between the ages of 13-18 than I do now.
I spent more time in the community than I did at home , and it was an amazing feeling. I was always in the local paper , and because of my work in the community , many scholarships were awarded to me and now the thought of going to college was embedded in my brain. The amazing people in my church and community made sure that I was at every college tour available to me.
When my grandmother died , it was the people in my church and community , my aunts , and God Mother who prayed for me , and picked my sister and I up for church. When I had no idea how I was going to afford Tawawa , or the Connectional YPD meetings, it was the members of my church and community who ensured that I had the money I needed to pay my registration fees as well as my flight to and from.
Once I graduated from highschool, my church and community was there for more , helping me pack up a Uhaul truck to go to college , always sending money to make sure I focused on my coursework and not on finding a job, and of course always praying for me and keeping me encouraged.
Now , even at the age of 10 times 3, plus 1, my community although now in a different city, still has my heart. Instead of being forced to help, and volunteer , my community now comes first , and even with a 2 year old who keeps me on my toes , I still find the time to volunteer and give back to my community. It’s embedded in my heart , and had it not been for my church and community , I honestly would not be the woman I am today.
Our community , this community, you and I , we are all responsible for ensuring that our youth , and sick and shut in know that we “‘have their backs”. They depend on us , and I don’t know who I would be , or I where I would have ended up had it not been for my amazing community. My church; Greater Allen AME , the youth of the community , the YPD, and the Big Brother Big Sister Programs will always have a special place in my heart. Even when you feel like you’re doing enough , do more. - and now I volunteer because I love to!!
-a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
“Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me? When will my reflection show who I am inside?”
When we were kids, we loved this movie. A girl being pushed to be someone she wasn’t, pulled herself together to save her family by being someone no one expected her to be. She ends up saving the entire world. WHO RUN THE WORLD? GIRLS
But as kids, we couldn’t comprehend the dilemma that Mulan had before going off to save the world.
At the beginning of the movie, Mulan was being tucked and pulled in so many different directions to go before a woman who would connect her with a man in the town. The other women had it all together. No clumsiness and not a single hair out of place, but Mulan on the other had, was looking absolutely crazy trying to FIT IN with these other women. She ended up embarrassing herself and her family trying to be someone that she wasn’t. When she finally got a moment to herself, she wiped away her makeup and took off all the extra things that wasn’t her. She didn’t even recognize herself. In her quest to please everyone else, she lost who she really was.
Comparison can do that to you. Comparison can make you lose sight of who you are meant to be. It can cause your internal flame to be dimmed because you feel as if your light isn’t as bright as the other lights around you. When you live in the constant state of comparison, you forget the amazing purpose and vision that you possess because it doesn’t seem the match up with the others around you and what they look like. For some reason, we feel as if those we see on social media have lights that were meant to dim our own, when in reality, we all have lights that were meant to shine in different place, different times, and for different purposes.
But if I’m constantly comparing myself to others, I can’t see or understand how my purpose is meant to be fulfilled. I can’t see the beauty that I possess. I can’t see the uniqueness and value that my talent has, just because someone else has the same one. I can’t look in the mirror and see success if my view of success is altered because of what social media shows me success is.
We place all that we are created to be in the hands of others who, without knowing, make us feel less than amazing because they themselves are amazing. We start to question if this is what we really want in life. We start to question our dreams and talents and wonder if they’re really any good or make sense. We deny ourselves the place in this world we’ve been given, just because we think someone has taken all the space available for that “thing”. By the time we’re done comparing ourselves, we’ve lost sight of who we are and wonder when the REAL US will be reflected back.
I believe it’s when we take time to look in the mirror and realize that we aren’t who we know we’re meant to be that change comes. When we become dissatisfied with what we see in the mirror, then we can jump start our lives and who we were meant to be.
I leave you with this personal testimony. It was my junior year in college and I was trying my best to fit in. I wanted the college experience some of my friends were having. By this time, I had been giving up the goods to a few guys on campus. My freshman year, I promised myself that I would never sleep with a guy who I wasn’t in a relationship with or didn’t like... but I had just been dropped off to my dorm room by my new Friend with Benefits. We had no connection, no relationship, no nothing. But we were sleeping together.
When I got back to my dorm room, I looked in the mirror. Not to see if I had a zit, but I finally took a GOOD look in the mirror. I looked directly into my eyes. They weren’t mine. I took a minute to examine my face. It wasn’t mine. I had no idea who I was looking at.
I stepped back and asked her “Who are you?”. I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I had gotten to a low place, a place where the REAL ME knew I didn’t belong. It was in that moment I realized that I had to change. I had to get myself together. I wasn’t reflecting who I was created to be inside. I don’t know WHO that was looking back at me!
Take a moment. Look at yourself. Look into your eyes. Do you recognize that person? Is that who you were meant to be? Are you reflecting who you TRULY are inside? Or has comparison pulled you far away because you’re not living up to who everyone else is... even though you were never meant to do so?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”
It’s funny when we start to scroll through social media, start comparing followers and likes with other we follow, we internally start to make decisions about what we’re going to do next... especially if we’re desperate.
I follow a few of my students from Baltimore on social media sites. I have watched some of them transform right before my eyes, doing things that go against everything I know they have been taught at home, and especially by me when I was their teacher. Twerking on camera, lifting up their shirts, wearing a bra and dancing seductively for IG. I know they weren’t taught that... they’ve seen that all over social media from other women who do the same thing for likes and followers.
Many times, when we’re not getting the attention that we want, we begin to ask ourselves the following questions :
1. What am I not doing?
2. What are others doing that I’m not doing?
3. What can I do to gain more followers and likes?
4. How far am I willing to go?
Question 4 is the one that causes us to create an alternative version of ourselves to gain the attention we want. We could have a set of internal morals and values that we are willing to put on hold and push aside just so we can get what we want, when we want it. We’ve done the same thing in real life too.
We’ve compromised our character to fit in. We’ve put aside our beliefs just to fit in... when we were never born to do so! We create a false identity and begin to live as someone else completely. It gets to the point that we try to figure out who we are and what we’ve done with the REAL us.
I can remember compromising who I was for years just to gain friends in school and in my city. I stuck with it for so long because that’s how I was getting the attention and recognition I wanted. But when what I was doing was put on hold, I had to backtrack to pick up who I was because I had lost her somewhere among the friends, recognition, and acceptance that I was receiving. I had to pray and seek God on my purpose and who He had created me to be because I didn’t know anymore.
Comparing yourself to others can cause you to look at yourself through different lenses. You’ll start of changing small things, not because you want to, but because you feel you NEED to do it to be accepted by others. You’re putting your life into the hands of those who don’t know you, but for some strange reason are the ones you’re looking to accept you! The problem is that we don’t realize that at some point, the audience will move on after you’ve done your tricks and impressed them for a while. Now you have to go back and pick up the pieces of your REAL life that have been scattered... and none of your audience members will be there to help you.
Stay true to who YOU were born to be. The one thing that you have going for you that NO ONE else in the world has... is the dimple fact that YOU are YOU. You’re unique. There isn’t another person in the world who is YOU. If you spend your life trying to be someone else, than you end up being a watered down version of someone else. But if you strive to be your best YOU, then you’ll never have to compare or compete. You’re in a category all by yourself.
“There she goes again!”
“She has posted some new photo of her and her fiancé out and about in the city on ANOTHER date night. She just HAS to flash that ring doesn’t she.”
“Whatever. He’s ugly anyway and she looks like she’s gaining weight.”
Does that sound familiar? It may not be anything you’ve said out loud of course. You don’t want people to think you’re hating right? It’s just an internal conversation between you and your inner comparative hater. Whether you’ve had this exact situation or you’ve had an alternative situation, the end result is still the same: Hateration.
This world has taught us that when we see someone else doing well, we don’t immediately support them or encourage them. We break down the situation to find something terrible about it to feel better about ourselves. We feel threatened at times by other’s successes because we don’t feel that we have successes of our own.
We hate on the girl who has a fiancé because we’re tired of being single. We talk about the guy who settled down and found a wife because internally we want that to be our story and it’s not. We’re mad that they’re traveling again to a new country and having great experiences, when in reality we wish we were there with them. We face the fact that our life isn’t as great as the other person’s SEEMS to be, so we compare lives, and instead of getting up off our behinds and doing something about it, we hate.
And the killer part?
We like the picture. We comment “You look good together”, when in our mind we just called them both ugly and internally hope that it all comes crashing down. Internally, we don’t wish divorce on anyone, nor do we hope and pray for someone’s demise. But in that moment of comparing where that person is to where we want to be, that comes up and out of our heart.
For a while, I had to remove myself from Facebook, IG, Twitter, and SnapChat because that’s what I was doing. I had to have a heart check. I had a problem. These people had done nothing to me personally, and some of them I didn’t even know! It was an internal thing I had to pray about. The obvious thing was that I wasn’t happy with where I was in some, if not all areas of my life. Someone innocent came along who was celebrating something in their life, and at the moment I saw the picture and their joy, I compared my life of little to no joy to theirs. Instead of me praying for more joy, I internally hoped for the loss of theirs. That’s not good!
You have to take some time and analyze YOU. Analyze why you aren’t where you want to be? Why are you threatened by their experiences? Why does seeing them excited make you miserable, to the point that your want them to join you in your misery? It’s a heart issue! We have to deal with matters of the heart.
I leave you with this story.
I had traveled with a group of people from my college to sing in a national HBCU choir. One of the people I traveled with use to be my best friend. There were tryouts for solos, and one of the solos was one that I had back in high school, so I knew I was going to get it. But for some reason, my voice was not acting right! I was losing my voice on the day of my audition!
I went to audition for the solo and it didn’t go that well. My best friend went in to audition for a different song and she did well. Later on that day, they offered her the solo that I auditioned for! One that she didn’t even ask to audition for! I WAS HEATED!
We were roommates, so we still hung out and laughed and talked. But internally, I was wishing for her to lose her voice. I wanted her to get up on stage and her voice crack. I was hoping she was going to get sick.
But I realized that my heart wasn’t in the right place. I needed to get it together but I was so angry. I prayed about it and had a friend of mine pray for me. Later that day, God had me CONFESS to her what I had been hoping would happen to her. She sat there with a stunned look on her face. But I felt a weight had lifted for me. I challenged the evil in my heart towards her and confessed it aloud so that God could deal with it.
Now I’m not saying go around and tell everyone who you’ve been hating on that you’ve been doing it, but I am saying you need to go to God and ask Him to start dealing with you on it. You don’t want to have a bitter heart because of something YOU are dealing with. Others are just trying to enjoy their lives, not please you and make you feel comfortable by being less than they are.
And step two? Take the necessary steps to become better than who you are now! If you’re not happy with your life, then start making moves! Write something, say something, do something!
That’s how many makeup brands exist in the world. From small, dollar store brands, to the expensive, arm and a leg brands you can only find in the fanciest of department stores.
Yet that didn’t stop Rihanna from starting Fenty Beauty in 2017. Can you imagine her watching all of the YouTube videos from beauty gurus doing videos discussing the makeup products that they love? Can you see her going to the store and seeing the hundreds of products on the shelves... and even seeing the empty shelves of the products that continually sold out?
It’s hard to think that Rihanna didn’t compare herself and her products to the millions of others that already existed... but through the comparison, she still understood that her make up had a place in the world. Now every time you go to a Sephora, things are continuously sold out.
But what if she decided to give into the other makeup companies successes? What if she said to herself “I shouldn’t do make-up. Everyone else is already doing make-up.”
I have experienced this myself on a daily basis. I’ve had to overcome comparing myself to others to push towards my own dreams and passions. Using the right hashtag, you can probably find 100+ people doing the same thing you dream about doing... and some of them might be doing really well at it! The problem isn’t that someone “stole” your idea or that they’re better than you at carrying it out. The problem is that you use that person as an excuse to not do what you KNOW you were born to do.
I sometimes wish I could see the fruit of my labor in the future, which could show me exactly why I HAVE to do what I know I’ve been called to do. Even if someone else reaches 1 million followers and participants, I have access to BILLIONS more. There is enough room for everyone to be great in this world, in the same time period, and even in the same country, state, and city!
There is a reason why you have that drive. There’s a reason why you had that dream. There’s a reason why even after you seen hundreds of others doing it, you can’t stop thinking about continuing your dream and making them your goals and life achievements.
You have to fight past feeling like your dream isn’t good enough, because it is. You have to move past comparing yourself to others and learn to appreciate what they are doing while also appreciating what it is that makes you different than what they’re doing. At one point, they were also in your shoes, watching others do what they wanted to do... but they were able to push past that, and so can you.
Don’t let comparison kill your dreams. There may be hundreds of people doing what you’re doing. But the BIGGEST difference... and your BIGGEST asset...
They’re not you.
June is always such a dominant month for me. Not just because I was born in such an amazing month but because its the halfway point. Here we are at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018. For some, it's stressful because it's the end of a business' fiscal year and with that comes reports and moments of truth as you look at how productive you've been. For others, it's a wake-up call. How many times have you said, " It's June already?"
We are taught to measure progress based on time since well that is one of the easiest ways to keep a universal timestamp on where you been and how long it took to get to the next step but why? What if my four days only takes you two because you're making more significant strides? We are all on our Journey to "there." Although each of us may have entirely separate destinations, we often fall into comparing our journey with those we see around us. This one's for you.
To the seed who lost its way,
If I had the power to show you the end from the beginning, I promise some days I’d jump at the chance because I don’t want you to give up when your tomorrows aren’t going to be as rough. If I could stand and hold your hand as you stumble to get back on your feet, I would just so you feel a little safer and a little less alone. If I had the power to carry the load just so you could breathe a little easier for a moment, I’d do that too. But if my thirty-two years in life has taught me nothing else its taught me the importance of allowing life to touch you. Life was not meant to be just a walk in the park on a clear spring day as your favorite band plays a live concert on a parade float behind you. While tossing your favorite candy. Life was meant to be lived. The beauty of living is actually in the pain, growth, and victories you experience altogether. I personally believe God allows us to experience all of life’s highs and lows as a reminder that this life isn’t meant to be lived without him. He didn’t promise to make it easy he promised to never leave us. So even now as you look around and you only see the dirt that life has tossed on top of you remember baby you’re a seed. You may think your being buried alive but you’ve actually been planted. It’s your choice to sacrifice your seed for the plant that’s waiting to push through the dirt and live. Don’t do what I did and waste time looking for people and things to brush off the dirt of life. PUSH THROUGH AND LIVE.
To the first sprout of the season,
So here you are in a new place, with nothing but opportunities and adventure all around yet the only thing you focus on is that you don’t see the group of seeds you went in the ground with. You grew comfortable in the dirt together because you knew if they got sunlight so would you. If they got a little extra water so did you. But then it happened. You woke up one morning and you didn’t feel the same. Your needs were different. You felt a pain and stretching that was uncomfortable, unfamiliar and none of those in the ground with you could relate. I get it. I too felt the struggle between growing and holding on to what I had grown accustomed to. I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone yet everything in me hurt because I’d outgrown that place. I too had to push through the dirt of life because of the overwhelming desire to grow up toward something new. To you, I say look up. I know it doesn’t always feel good to be the first out of the group to break away and begin living life as it was individually purposed. We weren’t really prepared growing up that although nice and comforting in thought you really won’t go to college with your childhood friends. No one prepared us for the possibility that life could take us far enough away that living in the same place, starting a family and your kids and their kids may never even meet let alone be close friends. Although I’ve seen it happen that’s not the reality of many. It is okay to be the first. You are in season right now and who gave you the right to not grow just because you’ve been among seeds that have died, didn’t retain what was given to thrive or simply didn’t push. Your new life in your new place although scary at times is the beginning to something far greater than the world has ever seen simply because no one on earth was given what God placed in you. Grow and allow God to make you someone’s favorite flower.
Attending church regularly can be beneficial in many ways, from providing a social setting full of support to allowing parishioners to relieve stress. For seniors, belonging to a church can give so much more to their daily lives, including offering counseling, support groups, and services for those who cannot physically attend. Attending church can promote good mental health by preventing depression and even substance abuse.
Here are some of the best ways belonging to a church can be beneficial to a person in their golden years.
Services at home
Many church groups are supportive of seniors who cannot leave home to physically attend services, with pastors offering to stop by and talk and members taking it on themselves to make sure the individual is safe and comfortable in their environment. Because the elderly are often at risk during the hottest and coldest months, many churchgoers ensure that they have access to heat or air conditioning as well as medication and food.
Most churches offer counseling for married couples, teenagers, individuals with substance abuse issues, and anyone else who is going through a hard time. This includes the caregivers of elderly or ill family members who might find it difficult to take on their daily needs. These counseling sessions can also help with depression or stress, depending on the qualifications of the church staff.
Adult day care
For elderly individuals who need social interaction and stimulation, many churches offer a daycare of sorts that allows them to come and spend time with other adults, play games, and participate in arts and crafts and Bible study. This can be a blessing for full-time caregivers who live with the individual and need to know their loved one is in a safe environment while they take a break.
Many seniors continue to hold an active driver’s license for years, but for some, disabilities or impairments can make driving difficult or impossible. For these people, churches often offer transportation to and from a doctor appointment, grocery shopping, or to pick up medication, among other things.
Some seniors have a hard time cleaning or making small repairs around the house, but local churches will often help with these issues and send someone to assist the individual free of charge. They might help with a leaky faucet, cleaning up the kitchen, tidying in the bathroom, or doing yard work when the grass needs cutting or there are leaves to be raked.
The church can be highly beneficial to a senior who needs a little help, and for their families and caregivers as well. If you or a loved one need assistance, consider contacting a local church to see what they might be able to do for you.
As I sit here and write this blog post less than 24 hours before my daughter’s birthday, I just sit in awe of the blessing that was bestowed upon me almost 2 years ago.
Now you see when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was 35 years old, never pregnant, excellent job, devoted relationship with a great mate, and most importantly, I was living my journey through the steady instruction of God.
Prior to the findings of my pregnancy, I came to the notion that at that particular point in my life it probably wasn’t in His will for me to be a Mother, and I accepted it as just that. I didn’t question Him. I became content with the life that I was living. I was in my late 30’s, who in their right mind would want to conceive a child at that age? Based off what society says: “I’m too old”.
From the outside looking in you would have thought that I had it all together. As I stated before I had what the world would consider the “luxuries” of life (degrees, job, relationship, church home, etc.), but to be totally honest I still felt like something was missing. Here I was tutoring, mentoring, advising these beautiful children of all ethnicities, but deep down inside I still yearned for my own “seed”.
Let’s now fast forward to April 24, 2016 at 12:10am.
This is the day that my life changed forever as God awarded me with the best gift imaginable, my daughter Ebonni Joella Moss. After all those months of aches, pains, sleepless nights, swollen limbs, facial changes, surgeries, endless Doctor appointments it was evident that
“God gives his hardest battles to His strongest soldiers”. And it was at that very moment I realized not only was I now someone’s Mother; but my life was no longer just my own.
Now, here I am embarking on 2 years of this precious journey of Motherhood. Even through the obstacles, as well as the triumphs, I wouldn’t change it for anything in this world. My daughter has shown me strengths (weaknesses included) about myself that otherwise I would have never discovered if it wasn’t for her. I’m thankful every day for this miracle, and just when I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it; it was shown and proven that I could.
That just goes to show: “When the World says No, leave it up to God to say Yes”.
By Nina Frazier