Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Wouldn't Change A Thing-2

The clarity, the peace, the knowledge, the self-love. All of this I have received since I accepted God's will for my life. My job, my business, my desires, are all in line with God's purpose for my life.

I wouldn't change anything that has led to the peace and self-love I feel at this very moment. There are people whose sole purpose is to try to make you feel bad about yourself. They want to try to steal your joy, keep you from reaping the benefits of living a life pleasing to God.

I wouldn't change a thing and I wll continue to do what I believe is right and in the best of interest of myself and others.

Gluttony: The Overlooked Sin

For years I told myself I didn't go to church because folk were fake, preachers were greedy, etc. As I became more mature spiritually, and began to really look at myself mentally and physically, I realized my soul was not being fed the word it needed to hear. My sin was gluttony. Preachers don't talk about gluttony. We all know why, most of them would have to sit in the audience because they are just as guilty when it comes to eating too much. I have not found a church yet that talks about gluttony in the proper context. The most you hear of it is when the other six deadly sins are mentioned and it is done in passing.

My 14 year old daughter is a glutton. She over-indulges and over-consumes food. The word gluttony derives from the Latin word gluttire which means to gulp down or swallow food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste.

At over 350 pounds, she is not only wasting food, but her life. She has been to many doctors, specialists, etc. They have wanted to insist she has been molested, or has low-self-esteem, neurotic, on and on. The real story? She eats too much and moves too less.

She has become addicted to food. When she was born, she was the smallest baby I had. I breast fed her and she ballooned within weeks. I knew the fat cells were ripe, so I purposely did not introduce table food to her. She was 2.5 years old before she had any spiced foods. It was my mother who could not stand the fact the child was almost three and never had "real food." She was the one to introduce her. I will never forget. It was Thanksgiving and we had all the trimmings. I came into the dining room and my mother had her on her lap feeding her. After the first bite, she was hooked. My mom was not feeding her fast enough, so my little future glutton, took both hands and grabbed the hot food stuffing it into her mouth.

Whenever a therapist asks me why I feel she is the way she is, I tell them this story. Her problem is like that of many of us, we eat too much, too often and at the wrong times. When allowed to prepare her own meals she always makes enough for three which she will promptly sit down and eat alone. When you confront her, she simply says, "I wanted that much."

If I feel guilty about anything, it is not knowing the effects of the white sugar, white pasta, white bread, would have on her body. She is insulin resistant which adds to her addiction because this disease makes you feel hungry all the time. Since I've gotten rid of the white stuff, she doesn't ask for food as much between meals. Still, she eats too much of the good stuff. So, I can buy strawberries and she'll use them all in a smoothie, or sit and eat out of the bag the grapes come in, instead of counting out the ten she should have which is equivalent to a serving size.

I remember clearly when I realized I was addicted to food. Having worked on a lot of my issues and feeling more balanced than I ever have, I still found myself eating too much. It was different than before because it wasn't triggered eating, but more of a habitual eating. So I clearly understood that even though I had worked out some of the emotions that were making me run to food, I had keep the habit of running to food with or without the emotions behind it. I was addicted and I had to work on that.

Seven years later I can say I have successful combated the food addiction that threatened my life. I no longer snack all the time and I can actually eat half a candy bar, or cookie. I can pass up stuff I would have "had to have a taste of." I conquered my misplaced desire for food.

I have hope for my daughter, or surgery which ever works before her 18th birthday. I am seeking an African-American therapist for her. The ones she has had in the past were not culturally equipped to deal with me as her parent. She is much more assimilated than I am which throws them off when they talk to me. Their passive aggressive way of dealing with her let her off the hook too much for my taste.

Gluttony is a sin. St. Gregory the Great, a doctor of the Church wrote of five ways one can commit the sin of gluttony:

1) Eating before the time of meals in order to satisfy the palate.
2) Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the "vile sense of taste."
3) Seeking after sauces and seasonings for the enjoyment of the palate.
4) Exceeding the necessary amount of food.
5)Taking food with too much eagerness, even when eating the proper amount, and even if the food is not luxurious.

Food is to the body, like gas is to an automobile, fuel. It is not meant to replace sex, or soothe angry feelings, or be our friend in times of need. Food kills just as many, or more than cigarettes, drink, or drugs. Gluttony is a sin.

The Hardest Thing

It used to be the hardest thing for me to do was to allow others to question me without becoming defensive, or trying to explain myself. Since I've taken on the calling of Martyr for Marriage, I have been challenged in some way almost everyday.

From family to friends, Christian or not, folk expect me to act like everyone else would in my situation. They expect me to leave my husband, especially since things have gotten even more difficult with his chronic illness. They want to see me break, or they want to hear me cry, or they want to me to really complain. They obviously don't know God like I do. The obviously are missing something spiritually.

I recognize and respect this. I was like them until I listened to God's will. I didn't get to where I am until I went where everyone feels I should go, to the divorce court. Filing for divorce showed me I didn't want a divorce. After making that decision, I had to examine why I felt that way and it became clear to me, I want to please God. I don't own anyone an explanation for my decision to stay married to someone who has been disrespect, disloyal, irresponsible and unreliable.

I feel blessed to have had such a formidable opponent during this spiritual battle. Believe me when I tell you, God is winning. He triumph's every time my husband looks at himself first before blaming others, every time he takes his medicine, and goes to his appointments. God wins with each expression of regret, willingness to repent, and moments of clarity and self-awareness.

Yes, they are baby steps, but they are steps in the right direction. God knew what he was doing when He declared marriage sacred and forever. Forever is a long time, and some of us need almost forever to grasp certain concepts, principles, etc. Does that mean they do not deserve to be loved until they get them? Does it mean, because they aren't spiritually on your level that you are not obligated to love them?

Many like to throw up to me, "What does darkness have to do with light?" My reply, "Everything, one does not exist without the other. The darkness needs the light to guide the way." I am not running from my decision to marry the man I did. It is all in God's hands and plan. I pray for those who can't accept what is.

What the Hell?

Donald Trump has successfully removed any doubt that racism still exist in America. All he has going for him is that he is white, 21, and rich and this is enough in this country to dehumanize the President of the United States. He has never written a book without the help of someone else, yet he has the nerve to question the academic prowess of this very brilliant Harvard Law School graduate.
I am really scared for the first time in my life because I can no longer lie to myself that all I have to do is keep doing the right thing, work hard, be honest and I’ll get my just rewards as an American citizen. I have accomplished every goal I have set for myself. I own my own company, I have written and published eight books, I have been married 21 years and reared three productive citizens, but if I were to believe Trump, I have to be a fluke, just because I’m black.
This man has made it crystal that he and those who support him believe black people are inferior and they cannot make it without their help. Wow! Really! Still? Yes, it is true. We need to wake up and get real with ourselves and stop looking for the white man to set us free. It will never happen. I don’t care how much you accomplish, if you ain’t white, something ain’t right if you have a degree, or a new car, or good, decent children.
What’s even worse is the mainstream media, and NBC is prompting and supporting his efforts to spread this very hurtful and hate-filled message. Black folks, what is happening to Obama, is the equivalent to back in the day when our once enslaved brothers and sisters had to show their papers to prove they were free.
I am American! I was born in the “Show Me,” state and reared in one of the toughest cities in America, East St. Louis, IL. I never experienced overt racism until I moved to Louisville. I’ve fought every instance of racism even if I had to take someone to court, but this, this has taken the wind out of my sails. I just can’t believe that 40 years after Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his life that this country is still dealing with racism on the very same level. We have not evolved. Many thought by electing a black president that American was moving in the right direction. All it has served to do is to bring the dandruff of racism to the surface. Open your eyes America.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seeing Yourself

I know this all too well. It is hard to see yourself. It is hard to recognize your flaws and deal with them appropriately, but it is oh so necessary.

I work with a woman who is discriminatory, prejudiced, and completely unaware of how rude and dismissive she is to others. She's leaving the job and I cannot be happier. She liked me the least and made sure I knew it at every turn.

I am glad I chose to rise above her pettiness and be the woman I am, but it is still difficult to tolerate a person so unwilling to take a step and look at themselves. I wish her well and I just pray and hope she is a better wife and mother than she was a supervisor. I know her newlywed husband well, and personally I feel he deserves better. No one knows better than me that you can't always help who you love.

I wish them well.

The Good Mother

I have no doubt in my mind that I have been a good mother. I may not have been the best, and I am sure I could have been better, but I know I am at least good.

My kids have never gone without their needs being met. They have most often gotten what they wanted, when they asked for it.

I have done right by my children. I have protected them as much as I could, made sure they got an education, and gave them opportunities to grow and learn and play.

I have been a good mother. Now, I am ready to do what I need to do for myself. I have four more years to go with the last one and I am preparing now for the life I plan to live once she goes off to college.

I took motherhood seriously, and I plan to do the same with my womanhood. I seriously want to have more of a life that is centered around what I want to do. One that does not always have to include others. The good mother is ready for a good break.

Never Say Never-2

I vividly remember saying I would never be with someone who did not take care of themselves. I watched my father die from neglecting to take care of his body and now I am watching my husband do the same.

I cried today because I just couldn't take watching him being in so much pain. He has had the surgery and the wound is leaking heavily. He can barely release his arm from the bent position and now he has found out he may have to go back into surgery to relieve the pressure that is causing the leakage.

I was so hoping the surgery would go smoothly, especially since he is so upset about getting dialysis in the first place. He looks so tired and worn. My heart really goes out to him.

I have learned a very valuable lesson. Never say what you won't do. I'm living proof that you just never know what life will require of you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Full of Myself

I must admit I am getting a little full of myself sense I have combated my desire to be unyielding in my marriage. I do feel like I know something a lot of folk don't. I also believe I have grown in ways that many people fight.

I chose to fight to keep my marriage and family. I prayed for God's will and I do believe I received the answer, "Stay married!" So I have done that as hard as it has been.

My husband and I both have changed in ways I could not have imagined. He is becoming more and more sensitive and attentive. He has always been involved in our kids lives, but he now seems to really pay attention to what he is involved in, not just going through the motions.

I am full of myself, because I have refused to let worldly ideas and expectations dictate how I act in my marriage, and I am able to be positive about marriage with other people. I want my marriage to be an example of what holding on and staying true can do if you are willing.

Even though I get full of myself at times, I still know that there is still so much more we can do to make things even better. I want to share our joy and wisdom with others in hopes that they too will become proud stewards of happy marriages.

No Matter What

No matter what you do as a parent your children will find something wrong with you. I'm going through it right now because my children feel they have the right to tell me who I should be married to.

Even they can't complain about the mother I've been to them, but they still feel I am putting their father before them because I have chosen to keep my family together. I know when they get older they will understand, but it sure is not much comfort right now.

My son has it the worse because he is comparing himself to his dad and he feels I can do better. No one can do better than having someone in their life who gets them. Someone who allows them to be who they are and are supportive of their efforts to express themselves. This is what they do not understand about my relationship with my husband. We both have found the person who loves us for who we are. That matters to me more than anything.

No, their father has not been a good husband to me. And now that he is sick, he probably will only get to be better a short while, but I want that. I want whatever he can give that is better. He is putting forth the effort, which they won't see because it is between us.

All I know is I've done my job as a parent and I'm not allowing anyone to tell me who to love.

Living Right

I have always wanted to be a good person. When I was younger I would think of ways that would exhibit how good I was. I made sure I didn't do things to hurt others and I would be the first to tell if I saw my siblings doing things they were not supposed to do.

To me being a good person was not a given. I knew people had to work at it and that working at it would be hard because it is so natural to do what makes you happy, whether others are or not.

Now that I am an adult, I measure my words and steps, I often overlook infractions, and I do what I can to be honest. Even with all this, I fall short at times. I still yell when a calm word will do. Sometimes I'm quick to anger. I can be dismissive at times and I often find myself wanting to be mean to people I think are stupid.

Living right ain't easy. It takes effort and dedication to doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. I'm a work in progress.

Sunday, April 24, 2011









Thursday, April 21, 2011

Keeping My Mouth Shut-2

I am proudest of the fact I have learned to keep my mouth shut. I don't feel the need to respond, or have an opinion about most things like I once did. Whether I know a lot about the subject or not, I am choosing to keep my shut.

I have come to this conclusion for several reasons: 1) My marriage has been much better since I have learned to choose my battles, 2) I have accepted that even though I may be right, folk just ain't ready to hear the truth, 3) It keeps others from seeking me out. I have found that when I speak out people want to take advantage of the fact and will actually bring subjects to me to try to get me to voice their opinions.

Keeping my mouth shut has become a practice I actually enjoy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Son

My only son turned 20 years old yesterday. I must say I am truly proud of him. He has never been in any serious trouble. He has no children. No girlfriend drama. He doesn't run the streets and he is pretty content to be at home.

"Mom, I look just like you," he said yesterday, with a big smile on his face. He is always trying to find ways that he is like me. Even though he says he doesn't like me, he considers me a great role model, because I am. He is aware of my value as a person.

He has a reputation in the house for being selfish and self-centered. His sister and I are often trying to help him understand how uncool that really is. He knows it, but he still does it. He'll have to have real life experiences before he truly understands he can't make it realistically just thinking about himself all the time.

I am proud of my boy. I wish him well and I know he will continue to be the thinking man he is today. Happy birthday Sonny Son.

Are They With You or For You?

Many people do not know the difference. I person can be with you but not for you. Folk that are with you will only be around when things are going good, or they are getting what they want.

Folk that are for you will be there no matter what.

How many folk are just riding with you in life?

How many are for you?

You need to know.

Peace Faking

My son and I had a talk the other day. I started it off by saying, "Son, I know if I weren't your mother, we wouldn't be friends." That went over his head obviously by what he said later to me in the conversation.

"I love mom, but I don't like Wanda."

"Son, that's okay. I don't like you either, but you're my sonny and I love you to death. There is nothing I wouldn't do for you."

He looked a little shocked, but he got it.

He went on to tell me that he thinks I am a fake. He said he thinks I am going to breakdown. He said, "You are greater than what you are dealing with, with dad." He feels I could do better than his dad. He feels he is not a true man. I reminded him that he was man enough to make him and no matter what he is still his father. I told him he has no right to judge people and that he has not lived long enough to really know anything that can help him understand what I am going through.

At first I told him I couldn't explain to him, in a way he could understand, that I am repenting for the wrongs I've done in the marriage. I explained to him that sin is sin and wrong is wrong. Just because I didn't cheat on his dad, doesn't mean I haven't done things to hurt him. Instead of leaving and running away from my problems, I choose to deal with them, and have decided to see my marriage through.

Yes, his dad could be a better person, but he's not. I have chosen to continue to be the best I can be whether he is or not. I told my son I wanted to please God and I didn't think God would be pleased if I divorced.

I told him I would be a better person for it. I could see him softening up his posture and he said, "Mom, I don't fully understand what you're talking about, but I do get it a little. I can see how you would be greater afterwards." I reminded him of the song by TI, MOTIVATION! I told him, "Son, I got street cred. I just might make me a rap song."

People think they know from the outside looking in, but they don't. My son needs to know that you don't run just because something is hard. He needs to know that he would love to someday have a woman like me.

He and his dad are making up and I really glad. I stayed out of it and let them do what they had to do. God is good. My little raggedy family is holding on.

Chronic Illness-6

He had the port put in, but not before he put himself through a lot of worry and indecision. I had to call an ambulance to take him to the emergency after he had thrown up for over four days and was having problems breathing and standing.

So much is going on in my life, but I must say I have found a peace that can only be achieved by having a true and honest relationship with the Creator. I let God soothe me. I look for times for peace and quiet reflection. I no longer my husband's mean spirit bother me. Sometimes it gets to me that he can be so cruel, especially since he is so ill and needs so much from others. The fact that he can be cruel is amazing to me.

I still find a way to do what is necessary and not linger on the uncomfortableness he causes with his negative attitude.

I sat and watched him temporarily lose his eyesight and that was frightening. I can only hope and pray he continues to take his medication and find a way to eat in moderation.

He has so many ailments that I have decided to write a script because I can't remember everything when the ambulance comes. I am hoping the dialysis will stop his need to be rushed to the hospital. He has been doing pretty well with taking his meds regularly. I think he has made the decision to live.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chronically Ill-5

He did go, but he did not have the procedure. I had to really let go and let God because it was very upsetting to me to see how unwilling he was to save his own life. They sent him home that day and told him they would contact later. They got a hold of him yesterday and even set up an appointment which he literally begged out loud not to happen. Even though he went, there is a part of him that is so fearful that keeps entertaining not taking dialysis, which will translate into death for sure. I have become silent and have very little to add when he asks me what I think. I just don't want to make matters any worse. It is more than obvious we have different views on personal health care. I am blessed to have learned some things in my 30's, that are benefiting me now when I truly need it the most. He is not the only person in my life unwilling to live a healthy lifestyle and do what is needed to keep themselves alive. I see self-hate in almost every face I look in and it is tragic. He tried to be surprised when I said, "And when I pray for you." He stopped me with, "You pray for me?" "Of course I pray for you." I went on with what I was saying. There was no point into going off into the prayer thing. he knows. We'll he is supposed to have the surgery on Thursday. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Calling

This weekend has been a life changing weekend. I am a relationship coach and I have been working with a young 30 something who is having problems being the man he wants to be and his relationships are suffering because of it. I was awakened at 3:10 a.m. in the morning needing to talk to him because I felt he offended the God in me and I had to confront him about it. I was talking him about things that basically amounted to basic Christian principles. After talking to him, I began reading the book The Peacemaker, written by Ken Sande. As I read, I became overwhelmed with feelings of favor and grace because I had come to the conclusions in this back when I was 15 years old, or younger even. I have always been a peacemaker and this book verified my authenticity as one who has taken on the task of livng a life that gives glory to God. Back in 2007, God put it on my heart to write about my marriage and how I was able to forgive my husband for his transgressions and really move forward with our relationship. My friend/lawyer read the book and I could tell she wasn't really getting where I was coming from because as the author says in the book, "These principles have also proven to be universally countercultural. No matter what race or country we come from, none of us is naturally inclined to obey Jesus' commands to love our enemies, confess our wrongs, gently correct tohers, submit to our church, and forgive those who hurt us. In fact, left to out own instincts, we are disposed to do just the opposite." She could not believe I shared the things I did, but I also took reponsibility for my role in my husband's infidelity. After reading this book, she called me and said, "Wanda, you are a peacemaker." "You must not have read my autobiography. I've always been a peacemaker. My friends used to call me Martin Luther King." Reading this book has shown me exactly where I need to be in my journey. It has confirmed that I know, what I know and that I am being called to share what I know. My friend has honored me by sharing this book with me. It has given me the push I needed to go ahead and do what I gotta do. I decided I would get out of the way and allow God's will to truly be done, especially in my marriage. This book has confirmed for me I need to go ahead and listen to God and do what He ultimately wants me to do and that is to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. He has prepared me and now it is time for me to show. I am answering His call. I am going back to school. No more hesitation. It is time for me to do what is going to make the biggest difference in my life in every aspect.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Recognizing the Truth

I know I talk alot. I present very well and for the most part, I am what I present. But it only takes a real look at my family dynamic to show I am vulnerable to a great degree. More and more I am recognizing the truth that my family has my number. They know who I really am, and boy do they take advantage of it. I have always known that I would much rather show my vulnerability than to be the hard ass I have become in the outside world. In my household, it is quite a different story. No, my kids don't rule the roost. I am a very hands on parent and I take my parenting responsibilities seriously, so I have been firm when needed. But my kids know that I want to give them everything. They can tell that, whether I do or not. So, they strategically use me against me. Recognizing this truth has taken a while, accepting it is not so hard because in a perfect world, I would give them everything.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Agenda

It is my desire to blog about the day-to-day interactions, my thoughts about the past, and the glory of my long-term marriage. I have been married 21 years. My marriage forced to me take a real look at myself. I found myself consistently thinking my husband was not good enough for me. I was frequently feeling disappointment about where he is in his life. I truly believed, for a long time, that he was a reflection of something very wrong with me. I began to pay more attention to myself and what I was bringing to the relationship that contributed to a lot of the discourse. As I traveled on that journey of self-discovery, I noticed I began to feel less and less anxious and negative towards my husband. When I really looked at how ugly I could be. He didn't seem so bad. I began to be grateful he had been able to still desire to be with me, even though I could be really mean and cruel at times. It is my agenda to get individuals who are married to stop focusing so much on what their spouse is or is not. We need to learn to let go and let God guide that persons life, just as we should do for our own. My agenda included a book series title Get Out of the Way! Claim God's Will for Your Marriage, and hopefully a radio or TV show in the future that is just for married folk. We need to elevate marriage back to the status of importance it once held. There is a survey out done with black men and women, 46% of them said they thought marriage was obsolete. The 54% who value marriage are the ones that matter. We need to work with them to help them cultivate the type of marriages they can be proud of. No one could have ever told me I would become a self-appointed Martyr for Marriage. It is a hard role. Lots of folk want to be married, but obviously they don't want to do what it takes to stay married.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Good Time

My husband has been taking his medication consistently for over a month now. I am very happy for him from the standpoint of his blood pressure being regulated, but what it does to him is awful. We went out yesterday to do some routine shopping. He got dizzy riding around in the cart. He literally couldn't keep his balance sitting up. I am sure anyone who witnessed us thought he was drunk. I stopped briefly to go into a store that does not have the riding carts. He refused to stay in the car. He couldn't leave the counter the entire time. He can't give up living his life, but he is having a hard time living his. On the way, we talked about why were with each other. He tried to make a joke out of it stating that I was with him because no one else was going to love me like he does or put up with me. I challenged his statements and let him know I know there are women out there that would take him as broke down as he is. They might not keep him, but they would still take him and find out later he ain't worth keeping. He then said to me, "I don't wish me on you." I said, "Really! Does that mean I can leave? I don't have to have the experience." He got silent. "Well, can I leave?" He gave me the "over my dead body look." We laughed. I am so interested to see how this thing is going to unfold. I want to know. I am involved in my life.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

People Know Better

People know better to do some of the things they do, yet they do them still. So many folk want to be play the victim role nowadays, making it hard to believe anyone. Folk telling hard luck stories who haven't spent a day in discomfort. Folk looking for someone else to carry the load. I have found the best solution to this problem is to let people know you are a straight shooter from the beginning. Still they may try you. People like taking chances and for some it is worth it to get what they think they want, which they usually don't after they get it. People know what they need to do to make things right, yet they continuously keep on the wrong path, expecting something different to happen along the way. People know better, but refuse to do better because usually doing better means you have to work harder, be more aware and willing. Everybody wants a job, a marriage, a family, but no one wants to do the work.

Just Not Right

So many of us feel we have the right to tell others how they should live their lives. This happens for various reasons, but none of them are valid. Each of us are born to live our own lives. It is so easy to say, or feel it is selfish, but quite the contrary. It's just not right to have a child, give it the world, with little else, then expect them to know how to love. It's just night to have a child, feed them, clothe them, yet abuse them abuse them all the while. Leaving the child to forever feel this pull back and forth between love and hate. They say things like, "She let him have sex with me, but then she'd take me out for ice cream." It's just right, to use a man for the sake of pregnancy, then throw him away because you just wanted a baby. It is a sin. A horrible sin against yourself. It's just not right. It's not right to treat your child as a slave, or manager, or sister, or brother. You are their father, or mother. Act like it. It is such a fine line. I was really good to my kids. I allowed them to be who they are. I looked for, and nurtured the abilities they revealed to me and I questioned what their desires might be. Still I pay. There are two reasons why it doesn't bother me when they blame me for their shortcomings, 1) I've always known my place in their lives as far as God's will, 2) I have always been a loyal parent to them. I have given my children each a gift of self. They each will have the experience of just having me. They know nothing of having to vie for my time and affection, at least not the first two. My youngest has had to struggle with that more since I have been doing more of the things I want to do. We get by. Our time is more scheduled. With the others, it is was constant. It's just not right to divorce and use your children as pawns. I became a martyr for marriage because I want to be an example of true adulthood. I want my children to examine my life and recognize I did what I did so that they will have a great since of loyalty and respect for the journey that brought them to adulthood. I want my kids to know their parents could have and maybe should have divorced, but they decided to fight the good fight. And that's just right.