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

Cubic Zirconia, Real or Fake…Diamond

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I asked a friend while at a lunch why do men hold a Diamond in their hand and let it go for a Cubic Zirconia, he replied because sometimes they can’t tell the difference between the two! Wow! That answer blew my mind and ignited a curiosity in me about the two gems and their unique forms.  I did some deeper research on Diamonds verses Cubic Zirconia and found some interesting facts. This lead me to compare the simulation of Diamonds to woman of character and Cubic Zirconia to females with the lack of…Oooooooh spill the wine darlin, lets have a conversation, shall we?

After each fact about the two stones I will give my interpretation of the facts as they may relate to relationships.

Here are some facts about Diamonds versus Cubic Zirconia

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1. The primary difference, Diamonds are naturally mined gems CZs are synthetically manufactured.
2. The largest supply of CZs are manufactured China, Diamonds can be found in some of the come unique places around the world.
3. The Wealthy  find it safer to wear CZs  than the real Diamond.
4. Diamonds lose value when purchased but are valuable alone!
5. Diamonds have meaning and power.
7. CZs are affordable, diamonds are expensive.
8. A gemologist needs special equipment to tell the two part! Ummmmmm
sounds like a job for the Omniscient Heavenly Father! He see’s the real deal and
deals in truth.
9.  It takes another Diamond to cut a Diamond! Amazing
10. Diamonds are formed in rough dark places cubics are made in a factory.

The price paid for a fake doesn’t alter its  value…

These are a few but very important facts about these two gems! Yet one is Fake and the other is Real.

Fact 1.  Diamonds are naturally made, CZs are synthetically manufactured. When choosing a mate it’s important that they possess character, integrity, morals, and good values, self confidence, spiritual convictions, and many other characteristics that make for good a person. This means the person has gone through some things in life and has applied lessons learned to build character worth living with forever, and being an example for others . That’s a true Diamond. One without character just mimics the character of another but has no depth and most likely never practice what they preach! CZ!!!!

Fact 2.  CZs are manufactureed in China! Hello can we say copies! Diamonds can be found  in unique places around the world. A person of character allows different facets of life their to create character and true moral depth. They recognize and embrace their true purpose and live in their truth. It’s sad to say but some people never develop any true character and will leave nothing impressionable in this life. A special friend once said to me, “some people will live and leave earth with a certificate of attendance.” Ha now ain’t that a word”. They showed up and never learned a thing! But once again they mimic the life of another! You never get to know the real person and most times they covet and maligne others to make themselves feel and appear important. Their validation comes from external means and their extrinsic values are based on things. How can one build with someone if they never know who you are. Lack of self worth and insecurity is a sad combination.

Fact 3. The Wealthy find it safer to wear CZs  than the real diamond; now here is where I have some food for thought. I’m not a big fan of social media but do you ever wonder why people tend to post a lot about their relationships or personal lives wearing the face of greatness; yet if you had the chance to see them behind closed doors the face of their union is ugly and cold! I say this to say when you have the real thing you don’t have to convince anyone or impress them because you are  secure within yourself. When you are confident you don’t have to convince anyone of anything.

Fact 4. Diamonds lose value when purchased but are valuable alone!
The good book says he that finds a wife finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22) also that a married woman’s interest is divided God /husband but unmarried she has time for the Lord . Let’s not interpret this to mean she looses her essence and value by any means . However let’s look at the fact she is valuable and validated alone. When married she is serving multiple purposes.

Fact 5. Diamonds have meaning and power and to possess them means you must have experience and wisdom, knowledge and understanding which gives you power! It’s meaningless to know something and yet you don’t put it into practice or even have the know how to carry it out. In your union with the right person you walk in understanding of each other with the power to sustain a healthy relationship. Diamonds have been put through the fire! The hotter the fire the more their brilliance is undeniable .

How then does one settle for something Fake? It’s also important to remember that a real Diamond can have inclusions or imperfections, their true essence is they are a Diamond! Your mate isn’t perfect but your  love should be! Perfect love casts out fear. There is no fear in love! Love must be unconditional, sacrificial, patience, endurable, otherwise it’s not love.  Now that’s powerful!

Fact 6. CZs carry more weight equivalent to the size of a Diamond, (sounds more like baggage). Now this may have an ambiguous connotation to it . On one hand the ability of a diamond to shine or a person to possess character and strength is contingent upon their ability to withstand pressure and still stand strong. It’s another when they break under pressure, ahhhhhh Fake Diamond! CZ-bad unions break up under pressure. In order to shine you have to be willing to have staying power through the good and the bad times. It’s work y’all! But it’s impossible if it ain’t the right fit!!!!  Another out look …We all have issues and imperfections but when they become too weighted it’s extra baggage. It’s soooooooo critical not to bring extra baggage into a new relationship and occasionally the more mature ones need periodic cleaning. Do not ever allow your past baggage to interfere with your present. Clean up!

Fact 7. CZs are affordable, Diamonds are expensive. Sometimes in life people desire the real things but do not want to pay for the value! At times they either rise to the occasion and save to afford the real deal, get in debt to own it or wait for a sale. One may desire a real Diamond but because they cannot afford it they settle for what appears to be real when deep down they know it’s not.images

When you find a mate worth having you will do your due diligence to put in the work; it takes time to not only capture that person but you will be consistent in your love and actions inorder to maintain it. Whatever you did to afford that person you must be willing to continue the behavior. One should never have to adjust themselves for acceptance but adjust to coexist . You should be celebrated not tolerated. If it’s worth fighting for then don’t give up! No one said it will be easy but if it’s worth it, it takes two to fight for it. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. Mates should never take each other’s value for granted and should continue to work to afford their most precious investment …Each other!

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Love Is…

IMG_3907I asked some of my friends on Face Book to describe what love means to them.  I am always  amazed how descriptive some people are and others find the fullest of what they feel in just one word.  I am a women so this conversation will be from a women’s point of view, you thought otherwise…hmmm.

By all means, have a seat.  So how are you doing.  It’s been quite some time since we last spoke.  You look a little perplexed.  What’s on your mind?  Is there something that you would like to say?  Please,  speak up, I can’t hear you, “I LOVE YOU”.  Did you hear that?  Yes, why are you yelling?  You said that you didn’t hear me.  I lied, I heard you, but in the moment didn’t believe what I was hearing and wanted you to repeat it.  We’ve  not been in each other’s company in over two weeks.  The last time we spoke you said I had issues and you couldn’t deal with them. I said, “Okay” and I moved on, now you’re back up and say you “love me”. Love is the emotion that inspires and motivates one to improve the quality of their loved one’s life...#bfly126 (Sammy).  Believe, it only takes a minute and your entire outlook can change.

Love is unconditional, Love is someone you can call your best friend. Love is someone you can be yourself around.  Love is someone you can spend the rest of your life with...Sharon Caliman.  Are you saying that you want us to spend the rest of our lives together?  I said, “I love you” and wherever that love takes us, that’s where we’ll be.  Now I am confused, is there nothing else you want like to say, yes, I’m hungry.  Would you like to go out for a bite to eat?  (“He has commitment issues”)  Love is a misunderstanding by many that it’s just a feeling. True love is more than a feeling, it’s a commitmentBaron Coker

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For me, it’s obvious that you and I are not in the same place at the same time and that’s disappointing.  Things aren’t always what they appear to be. I am ready  to settle down and from your comments or lack there of, it makes me feel like you want things to continue as before.  The  only difference is you’ve actually said the words “I Love you”but your words have no substance or depth.  Thank you for  dinner, I enjoyed the meal. Before  we leave I want you to know, I love you too and I forgive you.  You forgive me, I tell you “I love you” and you forgive  me. I wish you all the best..Love is forgiveness even when you can’t be together…Angelia

Love is certain and secure.  It’s the ability to close your eyes and fall knowing the person you are with will catch you over and over again.  Love is a flame in a wild storm, it burns bright at times and smolders at others but as long as you fan it, it will never go outDaya

IMG_3908I am left with an empty feeling, loneliness resides in the abyss of my soul.  The heart you left behind covets the pain I feel.  Our love resembles a wind-blown torn shirt.  I need to release the pain.

Love Ya Always…Chris

 

I Will Be Better Than I Am

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Chris Rouse

I Have God, I Have Direction, I Have Goals, I Have Dreams, I Have Wants, I Have Desires,

 I Have Needs, I Have Stamina, I Have a Will, I Have Joy, I Have Hope, I Have Power,

I Have Strength, I Have Drive, I Have Courage, I Have a Plan, I Have Weaknesses.  I Have Positive Energy, I have Resiliency, I Have a Winning Attitude…

I will be better than I am…I own who I am, watch me do what I do, you won’t be surprised when you see me rise…I said It! I am doing some of the things that make me happy, not all but some. In time, in time everything will fall into place. I am a believer, I stretch myself, I dig in and make things happen, for myself! I utilize my resources and I am positioning myself to be the “BEST” “ME” I can possibly BE.

I will be Better than I am. I love God first and I love myself. can you honestly say that you love the person you’ve become? Many people cannot acknowledge where they are in life and then own that place and until you can actually do this it will be difficult for you to be the best “you” that “you” can be.

I own my power and my strength, some of life’s challenges become powerless over me because I have the knowledge and the will to move beyond my current situation.

These are self encourging words but I would hope they inspire you to create your space and surround yourself with positive and encouraging individuals.

I Will Be Better Than I…Will You?

Chris 

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

Bury IT!

A Conversation

IMG_3711Hello ladies I know it’s been a while since I’ve graced pen to paper ! As life has its seasons so does life’s responsibilities . I’ve been quite busy nursing my baby RS Salon, she is growing constantly and beautifully! So I’ve been out of the loop for a spell… I’ve missed talking with you. Yet we meet again. While traveling through the experiences of life I was inspired to write about something that I could relate back to relationships! Amazing how God teaches us lessons in the simple things! Let’s talk…Our lives are liken unto a book and everyday we write a word, phrase, sentence, paragraph page, or chapter of that book. Yet every chapter is best written through experience in seasons. I’m more inspired to write when I experience the maturity of seasons and circumstances.

Time goes on so does life and life will happen to each and…

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