Category Archives: Life Changes

Know Your Gifts…

 

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Brenda Wilson

Have you ever had an Ah Ha moment and wondered why you waited so long to listen to that inner voice – the voice in your head – God’s whisper to you? Well, I had one of those moments recently and it took me aback, so much so that I had to pray for forgiveness because I got caught up in day-to-day life and forgot who’s really in control.

Here’s what happened! My valet key became separated from my regular car key and I could not find it anywhere. Thankfully I made only 2 stops that day so the key had to be in my car, in my purse, on the ground in the parking lot, at work, or lost forever in the parking lot at Publix. Of course, the first place I looked was in my purse. I tore my purse and computer tote apart but still no key. Then I my job called; we have gated parking so there was a good possibility that someone found it and turned it in. However, yet again I came up without the key.

Each day since I “lost” my valet car key, I would get these taps on the shoulder, voices in my head telling me to check at Publix. I ignored those whispers for 3 days. Then finally when returning home, I got a “strong whisper” to stop at Publix and ask. So rather than rushing home to continue working and stressing over unachievable deadlines, I pulled up to the curb and went in.

There was no one at the desk so I waited. Tempted to walk away, again feeling stressed that I was wasting time and could be working instead, I waited for almost 3 minutes. Finally, the front counter person came up looking quite flushed. She said she was not feeling well and apologized for my wait. Instinctively, I asked if I could help her or get someone on the staff at Publix to assist her. She insisted that she would be fine and that’s just what we do sometimes…press on even when things get tough.gifts_mainsml

Well…you could have knocked me over with a feather with the next conversation. Seeing that she would not let me assist her, I asked had anyone turned in a valet key. Not only did she say yes, but also told me the model of my vehicle before I could even get my words out to ask. She went on to say that the patrons at our local Publix often turn in lost items such as jewelry, debit cards, etc.

Well can I tell you that I broke out in tears at God’s almighty favor over me that day. I had already called the dealer and learned that a replacement key would cost almost $200 which I was not prepared to spend. Yet, I know I really needed that valet key because that was the only 2nd key to my vehicle that I had. So finding out that I could have save myself a ton of worry had I just listened to the whispers in my head, I was overwhelmed with the blessing that God bestows over me in big and small ways.

To top off my week, my son wrote his 1st “devotional” for school. Yes he attends a Christian school and this was homework. But it warmed my heart that he picked a verse and told a simple story around the verse revealing that no matter what we do, we should always do it to glorify God. Whew!

God did his thing this week and he wasn’t done with me. Before the end of my work week, I got the sweetest voice mail, email, and phone call from a lady that I met one time thanking me for my support and words of encouragement and how much my words had helped her get over a major hurdle in her life. I had no idea what I said that had impacted her life so deeply. So to hear how profoundly my words had fed into her spirit, went further to help me understand and appreciate how truly blessed I am and how God favors me on a daily basis.

So 1, 2, 3!!!!! This has been a great week. I found something I thought lost, discovered something in my son I prayed was there, and was humbled by something that I didn’t even realize was of any consequence to anyone.spiritual_gifts_1

Thus I leave you with this question: What are your gifts and how do you use them, see them, and/or acknowledge them as you travel through life every day? Every now and then, I get caught up in life and forget that I’m not in control. I love that God is so forgiving and kind that he shows me in so many ways that the gifts that He has given me are always there. I just have to listen, pay attention, and allow HIM to do what HE does better than anyone on earth can ever do.

Forever thankful and grateful for my many gifts,

Smooches!
Brenda

A Good Kid

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Brenda Wilson

As a parent, one of the most important jobs I have is to raise my children to be respectful, independent, God fearing young men who will one day make me proud to call them son. Thus far I have been enormously blessed with a grown son who has shown himself to be just that and more.

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To add in a laugh, my other son was born 20 years after his brother. Yes I know; what was I thinking? Believe me, there was absolutely no thought on my part to do this at all. Yet, 12 years into raising my 2nd “only child”, I tell you, the struggle is REAL!

My younger son is by far NOT a bad kid. He however is spoiled and is growing up in a different generation that some of “us old folks” have trouble adjusting to. My son’s generation is driven by technology. You call them, they text you. They have questions or want to share things they see in life with you, you get a text or email. Fading are the days when kids jumped out of bed on the weekend to eat quick and dash out the door to play with their friends. Nowadays, they wake up late because they stayed up late only to resume last nights’ antics involving a headset and a gaming remote.

This isn’t all that my son does but it now takes “encouragement” to get him to spend more than a couple of hours on the weekend outside of the house. While some would say that’s not a bad thing because the world is a cruel place and inside you can keep them safe. That isn’t not entirely true these days because cruelty and evil can slip in over the “internet” and you may not even see it coming.

But I do have a “rising” good kid. He’s smart, loves to read, gets straight A’s in school (that is a requirement to keep his gaming system), and on his better days thoughtful and engaging beyond a text or email. It takes effort on my part to stay connected with him “face-to-face” through the eye rolling and teeth sucking that comes when I want to “talk”. And yes he still has all his teeth. I am however keenly aware of the differences between my sons and how my child-rearing strategy has changed and continues to change with this male millennial in my house.730c05fc7a03e8f4fb112f862322c80c

My older son can tell you that his butt was not sparred as he grew up and he often thought I was trying to kill him. I wasn’t but sometimes a little butt action will do you to keep you on the straight and narrow. My baby boy hasn’t “adjusted” well to the same strategy so I have had to adjust, mainly out of fear that he’ll need therapy! So other methods of discipline have been devised that have the same effect as a good butt whipping had in years gone by.

My not so little one values his money and his gaming system way more than the pain of a spanking. And being the baby with older parents, a grown brother, uncles, aunties, cousins, and a whole slew of more financially stable friends, his birthdays and Christmases net a pretty penny towards his college fund. I don’t take all of his money but after tithes and savings, he can accumulate a few “Tubman’s” to spend as he pleases.

Recently when his grades seemed to be taking a back seat to his focus on a game, I had the blessed opportunity to acquire over $200 from him. You would have thought I ripped out his soul. His “selective remembrance” came up a few months later and again I reminded him of the consequences due to his lack of responsibility was the forfeiture of his prized money. When tears didn’t work and after another long lecture, I think he finally gets it. Being a Mom ain’t no joke and I take my job very seriously. When the situation and circumstances change and old habits and ways no longer work, I am more than willing to be flexible and creative to come up with new and inventive ways to “show how much I love him”.

Having less energy and more resources have been an enabler to my son’s lack of maturity. Yet when I see him clear the dinner table without asking, share his last with a friend, or freely pray for peace and good things, I let my guard down for a minute and thank God for his continuous hand over my spirit and my son.

He is a good kid and one day, Lord willing and with more “adjusting” he will one day grow up to be a GOOD grown man too!

Smoochies, Brenda

How’s Your Pot

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Brenda Wilson

There is an old saying, “now ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black”.  I don’t get to use this often as I’ve gotten to a point in life where other’s opinions really aren’t worth my braincliche-examples cells.  And often even when we have opinions about others, they aren’t willing or open to seeing another side of things so why bother.

However, a recent situation has caused me to press “pause” on my nonchalant attitude and get into this with a friend.  Here’s what happened…I will try to be brief while protecting the identities of those involved.

A recent situation occurred with an acquaintance of me and a friend.  Other than dealing with the situation (one of many) straight on, this friend brings the complaint to me.  Typically, I would tell anyone to fight their own battles but since this situation also affected me, I choose to address it.  So I addressed the issue with this acquaintance, and an immediate remedy was implemented.  Now I don’t know if it was my request or simply that this person was done with the task that was annoying me and my friend.  Either way, I thanked the acquaintance and felt good that I was an adult and dealt with the situation while displaying dignity, honor and respect.

Well as it turns out, my friend’s opinion is far more jaded than mine and my friend feels that the acquaintance hates us and does not respect us.  Now this was a shock because the friend went on to say that if you do good, good will come to you as if this acquaintance went out of their way to be disrespectful to us because we are hated by this person.  That totally blew my mind for several reasons:

1 – my friend has NEVER spoken to this acquaintance.  Even when there were other situations, the friend has not ever spoken to the acquaintance or bothered to address it.  I get the complaints but never any direct action by my friend.

2 – my friend is a minority as is the acquaintance and I would have surely thought that with just that little fact, my friend would be less judgmental toward someone else.

3 – what pot are you stewing in whereby you can make an assessment that someone hates you because they do things that you consider inconsiderate and in this particular case not neighborly at all?

It occurred to me that my friend should take a serious look in the mirror and realize that not everyone is cut from the same cloth.  We all have different views on what and howab02d4eed466a4a127e70beeca632c9b things should or should not be done.  In addition, I’m of the opinion, that people just sometimes do stupid stuff that can come across as insensitive, disrespectful, and downright rude.

Ultimately, in my maturity, I have learned not to internalize the action of others as a direct attack on me personally.  On the contrary, I honestly do believe that people (in this case younger people) don’t think or care about others enough to really assess how what they are doing will affect their “neighbor”.  That does not make it right but it surely keeps me from “hating” someone that I deem hates me when I haven’t bothered to get to know the other person.  So, to my friend I said, not to judge unless you want to be judged.  The acquaintance may just be cut from a different cloth.  The baggage that we carry throughout life doesn’t get unpacked and filled with new stuff just because our situation or status changes.

The world would be a better place and life’s stresses easier to manage if we all just took a look at our own actions and saw how we may be calling the kettle black when our own pots are stained.

Smoochies, Brenda

THAT “THING”

Ever wonder when things in your life will change? Get better, be different? We all travel through our lives, working, sleeping, preparing meals, partying, eating, drinking, exercising and a host of…

Source: THAT “THING”

THAT “THING”

FullSizeRenderEver wonder when things in your life will change? Get better, be different? We all travel through our lives, working, sleeping, preparing meals, partying, eating, drinking, exercising and a host of other activities…is anyone praying? For some this is all their life is about and they are completely satisfied while others are always looking for, waiting for or trying to create that “thing”. Not really knowing what that “thing” is but constantly searching for it. Why, well in my opinion they believe there’s is something else, they just can’t seem to bring it into focus…is anyone praying?

Yes, I am one that believes there is more for me to do. I believe I can do more but most importantly that I should be doing more in my immediate life. Some days I think I have it figured out but then I realize I’m not passionate about it, instead it’s just something I enjoy doing…is anyone praying? So once again I return to my thoughts for the answer. I am just like most people, going through it to get to it, that “thing”. I am determine to find out what my calling is, my purpose, because although I know what I’m passionate about I can’t honestly say that my passion is my purpose. I have always been passionate about home decorating, it puts me in another zone and I am, if I must say so myself, really good at what I do. I consider myself a colorist; I can coordinate a color theme in a matter of minutes, truly. I can walk through a hardware store and catch a adrenaline rush. This “thing” has never made me drop everything else and just go for it, hence, I’ve begun to believe that home decorating is just a hobby that brings me joy.

When I figure out how to find my “thing” I will share my process, did I say process, hahaha. It’s not a process it’s more like a deposit into your sprit and then believing what God has put on your heart is the direction that HE is guiding you in to ultimately fulfill his purpose for you…is anyone praying? We all have one or the other, a gift (GOD given), a talent (you’e worked hard to craft it), or a desire (you spend days and nights thinking about it)…is anyone praying?

One last thought, you are never to old to receive God’s deposit into your spirit. Once Moses learned what was really important, God’s purpose, it took him another 40 years in the desert to discover how God intended to use him.

Get out of your own way and hop on the prayer bus. Free transportation to finding out your God given PURPOSE, That “Thing”.

Chris

The Truth Will Set You Free

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Brenda Wilson

It is a damp, cold day in Georgia and as I contemplate the day’s successes and failures, I am drawn to write this convo to address something that isn’t an easy subject to confront.

That is the Truth

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There was a movie on Hallmark this afternoon wherein a young girl made a Christmas wish that her Aunt could no longer tell a lie. I only saw the last half of the movie but was able to get the gist of things. Ultimately, the Aunt was known for not telling the truth and not keeping her word to the young girl. The niece made the wish so that not only would her Aunt not be able to lie, but that she also could only speak the truth even if not asked a question.

This intrigued me and I thought, how often everyone (me included) had stretched the truth, bent it, or flat out lied for one reason or the other. How often had we been truth-tellers regardless of the consequences and would we be able to handle even one day of nothing but the truth? I honestly have to say that I’m not sure I could handle 24 hours of truth-telling, especially if I had to leave my house, interact with others, or do anything other than sleep. Even then, would I have the fortitude to be a truth-teller if I were alone for a full day? Could I admit to myself how depressing that would feel and how much I really miss having a close knit circle of friends?

Now don’t hear me say that I go around lying all the time and I don’t keep my word. I do try. But like Jack Nicholas said in the movie, “you can’t handle the truth” is how I feel in many situations. But as I have developed my “feedback” skills over the last few months, I have found that the fact of lying or not lying is less of concern than how we deliver the message to start with. It’s sort of like good news/bad news. Which one would you want first? Regardless, in the end is there will be at least two options each time there is something to be said or done.

Thus, my challenge to you (and myself) as we approach this holiday season is yes to be a truth-teller but more importantly, tell that truth with as much honor, dignity, and respect as I can muster. I think if we lead from this position, regardless if the news is good or bad, it will be better received and believed by the recipient of your truth.

Smooches!

Don’t Sweat It!!

Brenda Wilson

Brenda Wilson

When did things change from ambition and drive, to peace and happiness? I remember the days when I was almost possessed with that next promotion or the next recognition and raise.   The energy I expensed and the sacrifices made now seem so not worth it.

I have friends who are miserable in their jobs but they are making awesome money. I have other friends who have no job but every time I talk to them or hear of them, it’s always with a smile or a happy occurrence.

So why don’t we know this reality in our 20’s and 30’s? Why does it take our late 40’s, 50’s, and beyond for it to sink in that life is REALLY too short and all the fortune and fame are not worth the peace and happiness that maturity brings.

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Daily I pray for my friends and family who are stuck on “stupid”, yes and I mean stupid, thinking that life revolves around money and making that next jump or having that next title or initial behind their name.

Now, I am not saying that you should be lazy and trifling. That is absolutely not what I want to say. But I would advise and strongly encourage everyone to take a few steps back and just take an honest look at their lives both at work and at home. Life is rarely perfect and you will always have bumps in the road. But forever I am thankful and blessed that God has allowed me the bruises of life and the sweet relief of HIS blessings to know that in the end, life is really too short to sweat the small stuff.

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Smooches Brenda…