Favorites…

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Growing up, I had two favorite uncles (one on my paternal side of the family and one on the maternal side), and a favorite aunt.  As a kid, you don’t know that you could potentially hurt your other family members feelings because of your “favoritism”.  You just knew you loved your favorites to pieces, and that they meant the absolute world to you.

67357013_492385934890477_3947146769762091008_nMy paternal uncle was my favorite uncle because he took time with me.  He talked to me about life and some of the do’s and don’t.  Even though I hadn’t entered that arena of life yet, he was preparing me for what was to come.  There were times when he would ride me on his back up and down my grandmother’s stairs and run through the house with me on his back, even though he would have been in major trouble with his mother had she known of the shenanigans that went on behind her back.  It was the best fun ever as I squealed with delight every single time he did this.  He taught me how to ride my bike for which I’ll always be grateful.  He was even supposed to teach me how to swim but, unfortunately, he was murdered before he had the opportunity to do so.  This happened in February of 1972, and I was absolutely devastated.  I cried and cried, and cried some more.  I can remember saying why couldn’t it have happened to someone else in my family and, at that time, I didn’t really care who it was.  I was 11 1/2 years old, and I felt like the world had stopped — that it had come to a screeching halt.  How was I to deal with the fact that he was no longer with us?  Even though, my uncle was put to rest over 40 years ago, it still has an impact on me as I miss him, and occasionally wonder what our relationship would be like today.  It might sound strange, but I can still remember the outfit that I wore to his funeral as if it were a few short years ago.  I believe I mentioned my Uncle Larry in a previous blog; he was the one who was so proud to show off his niece (me) that, when he played the guitar with Chuck Berry in Atlantic City (before it was a casino; I was only 2), he had my grandmother bring me to the stage.  Being 2-years-old, I was absolutely terrified and cried something awful, from what I’m tol

Then, there was my maternal uncle — Oronde (couldn’t find any pictures of him).  I was a bit older when he became my favorite.  He used to take us rollerskating every Wednesday at Painters Mill back in the day.  He loved to have fun, and wanted us to be a part of it.  He used to also go camping, which I never wanted to be a part of — I’m not an outside kind of gal, LOL!  He was also the type who wanted to get into your head to find out what made you tick, and if it didn’t make sense he would tell you as much.  Unfortunately, he is also no longer with us either.

One of my paternal aunts was my favorite aunt.  The funny thing is she used to live 100’s 67430500_2452284328325369_641048736788643840_n of miles away, but we had that connection.  I could talk to her about anything, and she would listen and advise.  As I got older, and my situations changed, she would always tell me that she was praying for me because she wanted me to be happy and wanted the best for me.  I remember a time she told me that she’s glad that we didn’t live near each other because we’d both be in trouble because of our personalities because it would be on when we had enough of people’s foolishness.  We laughed about that as we shared many things.  Sadly, her health is declining now that she’s in her mid-80’s.  I have to admit it’s extremely difficult to see someone who was once so alive and vibrant seemingly waste away right before your very eyes.  Even though we know our loved ones are getting older, as are we, we never process the fact that one day their health will begin to fail and it will be their time to cross over.

As I mentioned my favorites, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love my other family members; they are all wonderful human beings and I love every single one of them — I just had my picks.

Some parents even have their favorite child or children, but try their best not to because they don’t want the other kids to feel like they aren’t loved as equally or at all.  In all fairness, though, sometimes you spend more time with one child than the others because they might have health or behavioral issues that dictate that you to do so.  However, you try not to have your other children feel neglected, even though they oftentimes do.  You honestly love all of your children, just in different ways.

Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t have a favorite and are able to love everyone equally, and that’s really good.  I haven’t mastered that as yet.  I don’t think my favorites actually knew they were or the “special” role they played in my life.  Let’s just say, “I kept it on the down low”.  Do I, personally, think it’s okay to have a favorite — absolutely because it’s nothing wrong with sharing and letting people know how much you love them and what they mean to you.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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The Struggle Is Real…


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What can I tell you – I LOVE FOOD — ALL KINDS OF FOOD!  Food is definitely one of my best friends.

Image result for chocolateWhen we’re young, most of us have a very high metabolism and are able to eat all sorts of foods and goodies, and still keep our “girlish figures”, LOL (I was Olive Oyl in the comic strip and cartoon, “Popeye”.  The only thing I had were two feet that were suspended from this “extremely” thin body.  I was miserable every single day because no matter how much food I consumed, I couldn’t gain weight to save my life.  When I graduated high school, I only weighed 102 pounds.  Then, not long after graduation, I had issues with my stomach and was hospitalized for a week wherein I lost ten pounds.  Well, can you imagine what I looked like — nothing but pure skin and bones.  I was so thin that the doctors at the hospital thought my parents weren’t feeding me.  My father wanted to give them a piece of his mind but my mother advised against it since I was in the hospital alone.

I finally gained weight — a whopping 115 pounds.  During that time, I couldn’t eat during Image result for images of someone gorging on food the summer because it was too hot, so I only ate fruit and drank juice, so I would lose about ten pounds every single summer.

I didn’t really begin to gain weight until I was 30 years old.  I was the perfect weight for my height at 150 pounds.  You couldn’t tell me that I hadn’t arrived  I was certainly ready for the runway, LOL!  When my stomach would become a little “larger” than normal, I would exercise immediately for weeks on end to get it back down.  I was serious about keeping my weight down back then.

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Sadly, there came a time when I topped the scale at 205 pounds (I’m just talking about myself; some people are fine with their current weight; everyone is different).  I couldn’t believe it.  It seemed like it happened overnight.  What was I thinking as I was having to buy larger clothes?  It didn’t matter.  I continued to eat and shop — for larger clothes, that is.

A number of years ago, one of my friends and former coworkers had a “Biggest Loser” contest, and that helped me shed 27 pounds and put my 8 pounds away from my goal weight.  Did I make it there?  Absolutely not!  After feeling really, really good about myself and loving the way I looked in my former clothes that I had outgrown (I don’t ever get rid of timeless pieces), I felt like I could eat a little more and a little more, and then a little more.  What do you think happened?  I gained most of my weight back.  Thank God, I never reached 205 pounds again, but I wasn’t too terribly far from it.  How did I allow this to happen “again”?  Why couldn’t I remain disciplined in my eating?  The only thing I can say is that, “old habits die hard”.

Several years ago, my place of employment had a contest wherein I was able to shed some of the weight and inches that I had put on.  In fact, I lost the most all over inches and actually won in that category.  I was excited, again, about my weight loss journey.

Well, history repeated itself “again”.  I put on some of the weight and regained some of the Image result for images of snacksinches.  I want to be disciplined in my eating habits and make exercise a regular part of my daily routine.  However, I make excuses for not tearing myself out of bed extra early in the morning or walking in the evening when I get off work.  I just can’t seem to peel the covers off me.  Perhaps, I need someone to shove me out as I hit the snooze button a million and one times on some mornings.  My 4-year-old granddaughter has more discipline than I do.  She went for her annual visit with her pediatrician, and I was told that she should not gain any more weight but rather we should limit the amount of snacks and juices that we give her because she’s in the 90th percentile for age as far as weight is concerned.  I had no idea my granddaughter was even paying attention until the following week when I picked her up from daycare.  The daycare provider told me that my granddaughter told said, “I can’t have a lot of chips.  I can only eat a little.  My doctor said so.”  I don’t know any 4-year-old who would be honest about that.  I was shocked and pleased at the same time.  It has now been several weeks, and she still says that.  Wow!  Imma need her to help me, LOL!

The struggle is real.  However, we have to start somewhere.  Many people fail because they set unrealistic goals for themselves, i.e., “I’m going to lose 40 pounds in two months. I’m going toto exercise for an hour each day.  I’m going to decrease my caloric intake.  I’m going to, I’m going to, I’m going to”.

The weight journey can be difficult, but it’s not impossible as I know first hand.  However, if you don’t stay on top of what got you there in the first place, i.e., losing your focus and momentum, you’ll be right back where you started; therefore, finding yourself disappointed.  Life, sometimes, has a way of getting in the way of things — children, jobs, spouse, illness, etc.; however, we have to learn to take better care of ourselves.  Sometimes, it’s okay to put your needs before the needs of others, and, no that’s not being selfish at all.  You’re just putting everyone on notice that you need time to do “you”.

Getting on the path of your weight loss journey, and healthy lifestyle really is mind over matter.  How much do we really want it?  It’s so much easier said than done, trust me, I know.  My metabolism has come to a “screeching” halt (okay, it’s really nonexistent) as I’m in the throes of that “dreaded” menopause, so diet alone doesn’t work; I have to exercise at least 4 to 5 times a week to see any type of difference which I haven’t done in about two months now.

Image result for image of stomach hanging over top of your pantsI saw my doctor a month ago, for abdominal pain and bloating.  When I told her I had bloating, she looked at me and said, “How do you know it’s not fat”.  I laughed out loud because I certainly wasn’t expecting that response.  However, she was extremely serious.  Then, she looked through my records and saw that I had a previous complaint of bloating a number of years ago.  Then, and only then did she agree with me.

I “live to eat,” when it should be in the reverse “eat to live”.  There is a group on FaceBook, “Eat to Live, Not Live to Eat Conscious,” that one my best friends started; she includes all types of tips and gives great information on healthy eating.

There are many times that I know I’m full, and just continue eating because it tastes “sooo” good.  I tell myself just one more bite which turns into another and another and then another until I’ve practically consumed what I told myself not to.

Realistically, I know that I’m going to have to “make” time to get my exercise in and not view it as a chore or something that I can afford to do without because I really can’t.  I don’t want to gain all the weight back that I lost because now that I’m older, it takes a whole lot longer to shed even one pound.

If you are like me and “struggle” to keep the weight off, figure out where you went wrong and what triggers you to “fall off the wagon” and, then, correct the issue.  Be bigger and stronger than what is preventing you to be or remain successful.  Don’t beat yourself up when you miss or don’t make your mark.  Do better.  Get back on track.  You got this!

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Me, at my heaviest weight — 205 pounds…
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Me, at 178 pounds…

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

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Siblings…

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66774551_1168119210027813_2233124913630150656_nI am the older sibling of three children, and growing up I took that role extremely seriously.  Nothing, and I mean nothing was going down on my watch because I knew that I would be the fall guy.  No way was I ever going to allow that to happen.

In my article, “Summertime,” I shared how my sister, who is the closest in age to me (nearly three years separates us), and  I spent the entire summers with my paternal grandmother.  She was a wonderful woman, but someone that you didn’t want to tick off.  Trust me when I tell you, I never made it on her “bad” list (LOL!).  During that time, she worked a few days a week, typically in the mornings.  Since I was the oldest sibling, I was left “in charge”.   When she told us not to answer the door, even if it was someone we knew, I took that literally.  One of my uncles came by, and I told him that I couldn’t let him in.  He wasn’t happy about it because he was a relative, but I had no intention of incurring her wrath.  Another one of her rules was not to answer the phone unless it was her calling, and there was a special code that she used.  All of these instructions were set in place for safety reasons, and I adhered to every one of them, and made sure that my sister did too.  After all, I was the “boss” or so I thought.  I was very familiar with all the do’s and don’ts, and even though I was 9 and my sister was 6, I didn’t play because I wasn’t going to be the one getting in trouble:  a) for something I didn’t do, and b) because I allowed my sister to do things that I knew were wrong.

There was one incident wherein my sister was doing something she had no business doing (I can’t even remember what it was now); however, I’m sure it wasn’t that serious.  I told her to stand in the corner on one foot for five minutes (keep in mind she was 6 and I was 9).  She followed my orders, but told my grandmother when she got home.  I didn’t get in trouble per se, but my grandmother let me know that in no uncertain terms was I her mother, and I shouldn’t have done that.  There were other instances wherein, I took command of the situation with my sister.  However, as she got older, she would tell me herself that, “I wasn’t her mother”.  I guess that was the beginning of me wanting to be in “control of everything and everybody.”  I had a very strong personality at a young age, and was an absolute CONTROL FREAK (I have been reformed, though, by this thing called life).

Then, came along my youngest sister who is 3 months shy of being 15 years younger than I am.  I was definitely the “boss” of her.  My mother would make me take her everywhere I went (against my many protests, of course) to keep me out of trouble.  There were times that I didn’t mind, but then there were also times I resented it too because this wasn’t my child so why should she have been my responsibility, I questioned.  The cool thing, though, is that when she was 5, she told me she wanted to be just like me (now she’s probably saying, I’m glad I’m not like her, LOL!).  She would torment my sister who is the middle child, but was relatively a good listener when I told her to do something.  One time, when she was around 5, she stole some candy from the store.  I marched her back over there and made her return it.  She was embarrassed but guess what?  We never had that problem again.  I loved her enough to teach her that’s not what we do — after all, she was my baby sis and I wanted her to do the right thing.

History kind of repeated itself with my three kids.  I watched as my oldest daughter “attempted” to be the big sister.  Unfortunately, her siblings weren’t having it.  They had no desire to listen to her because she was smaller than they were (especially, my middle child).  As I watched them grow up, I encouraged them to be supportive of each other.  I told them at the end of the day, all they had were each other because friends come and go.  They couldn’t understand it then, but I have watched my two daughters (who used to fight like cats and dogs, physically and verbally) form a bond — a sisterly bond.  In fact, they now talk to each other regularly as they are building their own separate lives.  All of my kids are  now adults and managed to weather the storm of childhood without killing each other.  Whew!  It was certainly touch and go there for a minute.  However, I’m sure most parents deal with the “She touched me, he looked at me, that’s mine, I’m not sharing,” “he hit me,” and calling for “mom” at least a million times a day to the point where you want to pack your things and run away from home.  The cool thing, though, is there is nothing like a bond between siblings.  I remember when my kids used to cover for each other; it was a code they didn’t break — no matter what.  My youngest daughter would even take my son’s punishments for him (I would make him write like a million times, which he hated; she loved writing and their handwriting was similar enough that she did it for him).  Now, that was either love or sheer craziness, LOL!

Now, onto the third generation of siblings — my 4-year-old granddaughter clearly thinks she’s the “boss” of her 5-month-old brother.  The poor fella has no idea what she has in store for him, LOL!  Recently, she put him in her doll stroller, strapped him in (she knows all about my safety rules), and pushed him around the apartment (don’t worry, he was safe).  She thinks she should feed him all the time and make his bottles.  She loves being the older sister and even changed his name to match her initials “JM” (is that smart or what).

Fast forward, one of my sisters and I are closer than we’ve been in years and I have to admit that it feels good to be able to “discuss” our adult issues, “laugh” about goofy things, and “reminisce” about the “good old days”.

If you haven’t spoken to your sibling or siblings in a while, give them a call, schedule an outing or drop them a line to let them know you’re thinking about them (this is something I need to do more often; life is short and family is important).

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Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summertime…

 

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School’s out, and most kids probably get to sleep in a little later, which is something they look forward to all year long, particularly, during the last few weeks of school.  Everyone gets a little antsy and testy then because it seems like the end is taking forever.  They make plans to hang out with their friends, and just have lazy days because they feel as though they’ve earned it by working hard for the past nine months or so.  Some families plan vacations while others have staycations and schedule occasional day trips with their family.

When I was growing up, my sister and I used to spend the entire summer with my Image result for images of apple piepaternal grandmother.  We couldn’t wait to go because we knew we were going to have “big” fun.  My grandmother was one of those people who felt that children should be well rounded, and she made sure of that.  We were always up and down the highway going someplace or another.  She took us to the movies, museums, the theatre, amusement parks, fairs, malls, etc.  My great-grandmother would often save quarters for my sister and I in the change card holder so that we would have spending money.

Image result for images of lemonadeOn one of our trips to Atlantic City (before it was changed over to a casino), we saw the dancing chicken.  You put a coin in the machine and the chicken moved around like it was dancing.  My aunt couldn’t stop laughing (cackling, LOL!); she was laughing so hard that it made me laugh as well.  That was the absolute highlight of our trip that day.

Another memorable event, was when the Columbia Mall first opened in our area, and my Image result for images of hot dogsgrandmother took us there for the very first time.  She didn’t have a lot of money, but we always had to stop and eat (hence, food is one of my best friends until this very day, LOL!)  This particular time, we stopped at the hot dog stand.  I had never had a hot dog with everything but decided to go for it.  What a real treat!  I truly had everything (sauerkraut, cheese, chili, mustard, ketchup, relish, onion and whatever else they had back then) — my bread was so wet and soggy from all of the toppings, but it didn’t stop me from eating it.  That was the best hot dog I had ever eaten in my entire life.

My Grandmother Fannie was big on movie going, and we probably saw every kid movie that premiered.  She also loved taking in the theatre, and we saw a number of theatrical shows.  In fact, she had taken us to a performance (can’t remember what it was), and Richard Roundtree was walking around upstairs as I went to the bathroom.  He was so close that I could have reached out and touched him.  I wanted to say something to him so bad, but my fear and shyness kept me from doing anything about it other than going to the restroom which is what I was doing upstairs in the first place.

Image result for images of icecream trucksOn hot days, it was nothing like have a Root beer float or a slushie (that’s before they became a thing).   We had buckets that we put in the freezer.  Once they got cold enough, we poured our drinks in there and stirred.  Nothing like a cold drink on a hot summer’s day.  There were also times that we got an extra treat when the ice cream truck came around.  Some of you may remember this slogan “I scream.  You scream.  We all scream for ice cream”.  

When we weren’t traveling up and down the road, my sister and I played jacks, rode our bikes, played with our Barbie dolls as well as paper dolls.  I was very competitive back then and when my sister would lose at any game we played, I would gloat and stick out my chest and walk around like a proud turkey.  LOL!

As goofy kids, we’d do stupid stuff, while my grandmother was driving, such as turning around and making faces at the people in the cars behind us (kids better not even consider doing that today).  We’d randomly pick numbers from the phone book, and play on the phone asking people were their refrigerators running.  One time, I got the bright idea to ask for this lady’s husband because his name was the one listed.  I said something silly like I was his girlfriend.  Her response was, “My husband died a number of years ago”.  I was so startled, that I immediately hung up.  Guess what, they cured me; I never played on the phone again.

Honestly, I wished I could go back to those times of innocence and playfulness.  If I could turn back the hands of time, I think I would have enjoyed them even more.  As children, we are always think about “being an adult”, and have no clue what will be awaiting us when we reach that status.  My granddaughter, who is only 4, says she can’t wait to be a grown up.  I told her to have fun playing with her friends and doing things that 4-year-olds should do because she had the rest of her life to be a grown up.  I assured her that kids should be having a boat load of fun, particularly at her age.

What are some of your most memorable moments from your childhood?

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My cousin, Ann (left); my sister, Pam (right); and I (middle).

 

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My cousin, Stevie; my sister, Pam (half of the body); and I (have no idea what she was doing, LOL!)

 

 

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My sister, and I (she’s going to kill me, LOL!)

 

As always, remember #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

 

 

It Takes a Village…

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About three months ago, my son did something extremely foolish which affected his Photo of It Takes A Village - La Mesa, CA, United Statesmental health.  He was plagued with this day in and day out.  Not only was it wearing him out, but me as well.  There were many days he would call me and ask me to pray for him as well as nights when he would ask if he could sleep in my room.

We had many conversations about what was going on with him.  It came to a point where we were both angry with one another:  him because he felt I wasn’t supportive enough, and me because I was ticked offHis decision messed with my comfortable life, which had finally become peaceful, and I was happier than I had been in years.  I felt like “How dare you rain on my parade because of your selfish behavior?”  Now, let me say this — my son is no longer a child (he’s still my child, though) because he has reached 21 years of age; however, he still wants and needs his mama.

Image result for it takes a villageHe talked to his friends, and they helped him as best they could.  He went to the emergency room on numerous visits, and even had appointments with a physician to try and get to the root of his issues, so that he could manage his day to day living.

I would ask him the same questions over and over again, hoping that they would eventually jar his memory so that we could figure out what was really happening, even though, I had pretty much figured out the culprit that caused his situation.  He would then say, “Are you a doctor?  You don’t know what you’re talking about.  I don’t need you to keep asking me the same questions over and over again; I just need you to listen.”  At that point, I tuned out.  My thought process was that if he didn’t think I had some of the answers because I didn’t have an M.D. behind my name, then obviously he didn’t really need my help; this angered him even more.  I thought to myself “Oh, well.”

One day, I had an epiphany and realized why I couldn’t be supportive in the way in which he needed.  Now, mind you, I didn’t totally abandon him.  I listened.  I got on his nerves, and I prayed behind the scenes.  I was not, however, going to walk him by his hand as he made the choice to do something he knew full well he shouldn’t have because of a prior experience several years ago.  28468641_1626614514073301_3703910466251574713_nI had to be reminded that I had done some pretty outlandish things a time or two in my life, and my family and friends listened to me despite my poor choices. At that moment, I got it and was able to let go of the anger that I had been holding onto.

One Saturday night he came into my room to talk.  I asked him the same questions that I had previously.  He got upset again.  I told him that he needed to leave my room because he was yelling. He didn’t listen, of course, but did eventually calm down; then, we were able to have a decent conversation.  Two scriptures popped into my head which I looked up for reference and sent to him via text message, so that he could refer to them on his own time.  I told him he had one of two choices — he could either fight for his life to overcome the situation or succumb to it.  I spoke to him with authority — in fact, at some point, I didn’t even recognize my own voice.  He asked me why I hadn’t said these things to him in the past, and I just shrugged my shoulders.  Before my very eyes, I witnessed his breakthrough.  I knew the exact moment that it happened because he lied across the floor in my room and was very peaceful, even his demeanor was peaceful.  He finally went into his room to go to bed.

The next morning, we talked and I told him he had a breakthrough and he agreed.  I had to change my thinking and get over my anger in order to really be able to assist him.  I had to look at myself and be completely honest about how I felt and what I was thinking.  Was it easy?  Absolutely not!

People at my church were praying for him and there was a couple who took him under
their wing.  I believe he was their assignment as they had left and come back just at the right time.

I’m so grateful for my son’s release.  Our adult children are going to do some very unwise things as they are still learning.  Even though, they drive us absolutely bananas with some of their negative behaviors (and yes, some of it still stems from peer pressure), we have to support them, even when we want to distance ourselves and let them figure it out.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are times when, we as the parents, have to cut the apron strings and let them hit rock bottom, but we have to know when.  Doing so too early can clip their wings so that they are unable to soar.  Sometimes, we need the patience of Job as it can be quite challenging to be the parent of a young adult who is being rebellious, disrespectful and a know it all.  However, we have to keep in mind they still need us.  There are people out there who are just waiting to take them in and destroy them because they know they are looking for love from anyone as they continue their search for acceptance.  We must continue to show them love (sometimes tough love).  Don’t focus so much on what you see them doing currently, but concentrate on what you are claiming them to be.  I don’t care how bleak or looks or how dim the light is, there is hope.  However, don’t go along with the negative behaviors; stand firm and be consistent and persistent.  Trust me, they have not forgotten the morals and ethics that you’ve instilled in them.  LOVE them back to life.  DON’T GIVE UP NOW!

#GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

Remember, you don’t have to fight this alone:

What About the Children?

Kids, Children, Doodle, Sketch, Drawing, Watercolor

My friend came up with the topic “What about the children” because there is just so much happening in our society concerning our children and youth.  They are dealing with some real issues and because of that, sadly, some aren’t even allowed to enjoy their childhood.  Kids are being bullied and because they are so tormented, they choose to end their lives by committing suicide — some at the tender age of 9 years old.  When I was that age, I was having the time of my life playing with my Barbie dolls, dressing and undressing them.  I even had paper dolls which was a big thing when I was growing up.  I played outside with my friends.  I played jacks, and even hopscotch was a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, in today’s society, some kids have never had the distinct pleasure of being able to just have “fun”.

It seems that our kids, our most precious gems, are under attack.  Every time you turn on the TV or click on any app on social media, you learn that something tragic has happened to someones child — they’ve been beaten, murdered, raped, molested, etc.  I often ask the question through my tears, “What in the world is going on?”  How can we protect our kids?  When they attend school, it’s supposed to be a pleasant experience as they grow and mature, right?  They are supposed to be able to go outside and play with their friends, right?  Sadly, it’s not always like this.  Things have certainly changed tremendously (and not for the better, as far as I’m concerned) from when I was growing up.

dv image 20Tons of children are in the foster care system because of neglect, abuse, etc. by those who were supposed to protect them.  Family members are sexually abusing kids who were left in their care.

For the kids who are being bullied in school, they are too afraid to alert the teachers or office staff or their parents and, unfortunately, some commit suicide because of the pressure.  So, now, we have parents who will forever have a hole in their hearts.  They feel terrible because they had no idea their child was so upset; therefore, they were unable to help them.  They couldn’t keep them safe and blame themselves for not seeing the signs.

How many times have we heard that children have been missing and, unfortunately, most of them are not found alive?  Every now and again, we hear a happy ending and I cry tears of joy.

How many times have children been brought into the ER with broken bones and covered You Want To Save The Trees, Animals, The World. What About Saving The Children? The Ugly Truth About Child Abuse  in bruises?  How many times have teachers come out of their pockets to help feed children and/or clothe them.  You have children who are raising themselves because the mom may be a single mother and has to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.  Also, there are kids who are raising themselves because the mom has a habit that she can’t kick.

Back in the day, families took care of the children when the parents couldn’t.  That’s not so much the case these days because some of the grandparents are so young themselves and are trying to get their life.

So what happens to the children?  Who is there for them?  Who will be there to help these scared children who don’t know what to do?

Children are being taken away from us when they should be having the time of their lives.  When I was growing up, we played outside all the time.  There were no cell phones or video games to play.  Now, even though you want your kids to have fun, you’re terrified to let them go out for fear that some tragedy might strike.

The million dollar question is what can we do to keep our kids safe?  In my opinion, it’s imperative that we cover them in prayer every single day.  We have to teach them about safety, and encourage them to tell an adult if they are being bullied or sexually assaulted.  We have to reassure them  it’s not snitching.  We have to teach our children when they are very young about appropriate and inappropriate touches and behaviors.  I started talking to my granddaughter about it before she turned 3.

Also, we have to, as much as we can, monitor our kids social media activity.  When my daughters were in middle school, they had a MySpace account that I knew nothing about.  I was in the dark ages and hadn’t even heard of MySpace.  Their aunt found it and forced them to delete it.  When I allowed my youngest daughter to have a FaceBook account, the agreement was that I would have her password, so that I could see what type of activity was going on.  As far as my oldest daughter goes, I found her password and would log in from time to time to see what she was doing.  My son, who is the youngest of the three, made an account and I decided to hack into it and have a little bit of fun with him by saying, “This is your mom.  You know you’re not to have an account.  Delete it now”!  It’s impossible to watch everything our children are doing because there is so much going on.

You turn on the TV and there are a million reality shows with so much profanity being spewed out of people’s mouths that it is totally unbelievable.  My kids lost the TV’s in their room when they were in elementary school because they were busted watching Flavor of Love in the middle of the night; they were never allowed to have TV’s in their rooms again.

We have to encourage our children.  We have to support our children.  We have to educate our children.  Most importantly, we have to shower our children with lots of love because if they don’t get it at home, they’ll seek it elsewhere which could certainly lead them down the path of destruction.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all unite and come up with a way to protect and keep our children safe?

WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

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#GurlYouGotItGoinOn

#ChildrenYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

He Loves Me…He Loves Me Not…

He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not

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A fair amount of girls that I grew up with used to pull flower petals with the hopes that the last petal would land on “he loves me”.  We felt for sure that meant our “little” boyfriends really loved us.  We were young and in elementary school, therefore, we had no idea or concept of what love really meant outside of those flower petals.  I have to admit that some of the girls took this seriously, and  got more than a little upset when they were left with “he loves me not”.  Reflecting back on those days, I now see how funny it was that we believed the petals had a real bearing on our relationships.

Fast forward past teenage years and middle age, one can still ask the question “Does heImage result for he loves me he loves me not love me or does he love me not”?  That’s always the million dollar question every female asks herself and, perhaps, even her friends because she might be afraid to ask her partner.  We always want to know (as we should) if the person we’re involved with has the same feelings we do or if they have feelings for us at all.  Quite honestly, it’s a fair question — but just how do we measure whether or not “he loves us”?

I had the occasion to talk to two different women on two separate days about their relationship with their respective partners.  Ironically, both of them are the tender age of “26,” and neither one of them knew the other had spoken with me.

Image result for he loves me he loves me notOne young lady’s boyfriend broke up with her for a brief moment (lapse in judgment according to both of them) because he felt he really had nothing to offer her due to his perception that she truly had it “going on”.  He actually thought that he didn’t measure up to her and that she deserved so much more.  His girlfriend is established — has a stable job, is buying her own home, has a car, etc., and is currently making more money than him.  He felt inferior to her because he is still trying to put his life together, and figure out exactly what it is that he wants to do with the next 100 years.  Of course, she was absolutely devastated as she didn’t see this coming — there wasn’t even the slightest hint.  She cried about it because she loved this man, even though they’ve been together for less than a year.  They talked about it, and she made some stipulations on their relationship, effective immediately.  What he didn’t seem to realize is that none of that mattered to her.  She loved him and he had told her that he loved her as well.  She was well aware of what she was bringing to the table, but cared about him enough to be in a relationship because she felt he was working towards his goal, and she knew that, ultimately, he would be making more money than she.  So the question was “Does he really love me.  How could I be dumped without first having a conversation about how he was feeling”?  She felt as though a discussion should have been had, so that she could have reassured him that in the grand scheme of things none of that mattered because she loved him.  “He loves me, he loves me not”.

The other young lady’s situation was totally different.  She has been with her guy for a Image result for he loves me he loves me notgood while.  He has her on an emotional roller coaster — one minute he wants her, and the next moment he is telling her to find someone else because she deserves better than him.  She, of course, loves him like there is no tomorrow since they have many years of history together.  She is beginning to question his love for her.  She wants to know “If he truly loves her how can he be so on and off again”.  She is in a quandary because her head and her heart are telling her something totally different.  In her head, she knows that she needs to move on for her mental well being; however, her heart won’t comply with her head — in other words, the two aren’t in alignment as yet.  “He loves me — he loves me not”.

Image result for he loves me he loves me notNow, just because your man is not always telling you that he loves you and is not the kind who gushes over you 24/7 nor is he the mushy type, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.  Yes, women want to hear it sometimes; however, as the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words”.  Does he treat you with respect?  Does he listen to you?  Is he compassionate?  Does he make you feel like you’re the only woman in the world? Does he look at you with love (not lust) in his eyes?  Does he take a real interest in what’s going on in your life?  If you answered yes to some or all of the questions (which is a very small list), then this is your man showing you just how much you mean to him.

Women have kicked good men to the curb because their guy didn’t tell them that he loved them like a thousand times a day.  They couldn’t associate his actions with how he truly felt about them, which is unfortunate.

At the end of the day, no one can tell you whether or not your man really loves you or is

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just going through the motions.  I will say this — nine times out of ten, you will definitely know if he’s not that into you.  If you are unsure, and are driving yourself crazy about it, ask your partner.  He may feel that he is showing you (and more than likely he is); therefore, he thinks you should already know.  Some guys, may be a little sensitive in this area and take offense because they are doing everything in their power to show you. However, the flip side of the coin is that, if you’re anything like me, you hate to assume anything.  I had a friend tell me they thought they were showing me and in all actuality they were, but I was afraid.  I wasn’t used to being shown how someone truly felt about me, but I have to admit it feels mighty doggone good!

Sadly, sometimes, we find ourselves stuck in dead end relationships with someone that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt doesn’t love us and at some point, we’ve fallen out of love with them.  We’re afraid to move on or are afraid to be alone or are afraid of what people may think or are afraid to hurt our partners feelings or are afraid we can’t make it financially, etc.  However, we owe it to ourselves to be happy.  Quite honestly, it’s okay to be alone — that doesn’t mean we’re lonely; these are two different things.  I was alone for a long time, and had to realize that it wasn’t the end of the world. Yes, I wanted to be in a relationship, but this time around I told myself I wasn’t going to just settle for anything to be with someone, and was going to wait until Mr. Right came along.  I have more years behind me than I have ahead of me, and I want to live them out in happiness.  I don’t expect things to be perfect, but right — it has to be the right fit.  Ladies if he’s not the one, walk away.  Don’t waste years of your time because you can never get them back.  Trust me I know what that feels like because I’ve traveled that road.  Love yourself enough not to be desperate to hold on.  At the end of the day, I don’t want to be left wondering whether “he loves me or loves me not,” and neither should you.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace