Why?

First of all, I want to start off by saying Happy New Year to everyone.  We made it!  For some 2018 was their best year yet while for others, it was a year that they are happy to see go with the expectation that 2019 will be the greatest year ever.  The truth of the matter is that none of us knows what lies ahead.  Sometimes, I wished I did, so that I could brace myself; however, the knowing would probably kill me as I’d worry myself to death.

I had no clue as to what my first topic of the New Year would be until one of my friends asked me to write about grief because she lost her son, unexpectedly, over the holiday.  This is probably not what some people are expecting to read about because we’re so accustomed to hearing about people’s resolutions (perhaps, some of you have even made your own), and claim to being the best year ever, etc.   However, things don’t always go as planned.

When I found out about the passing of my friend’s son, I hesitated a few minutes before I called her.  What do you say to someone at such a time as this?  I couldn’t say I understood because I didn’t.  I was honest and told her that I didn’t know what to say.  I could comfort and encourage her as best as I could, but I know that prayer is what’s going to take her through.  I check on her daily just to be sure she’s okay, but how can she be?  Her son is gone — forever.  I think the most hurtful part of all was that she didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.  She wasn’t there with him.

I’m sure she has a million and one questions, but the biggest question is “why”?  I understand loss as I’ve lost my biological father, great grandparent, grandparents, uncles, one of my best friends, etc.  Some were expected and some were not.  For the family members who were sick, even though I had a chance to spend time with them before they passed, it certainly didn’t lessen the pain.  I knew that I would be saying goodbye to them forever.  For the unexpected deaths, it was extremely difficult to process, emotionally.

I can remember when I was approximately 11 1/2 years old my uncle died tragically.  He had gotten into a fight with someone because they wouldn’t return his TV.  My grandmother (his mother) begged him not to go out that night but him being a man, who didn’t want to be looked upon as a “chump”, didn’t heed her warning.  He confronted his “friend” who refused to return the TV and it was on from there.  My uncle, my favorite uncle was stabbed to death.  His death, I believe, impacted me more than any other family member, perhaps, it was because I was so young or, perhaps, it was because of the great love that we shared.  Who knows?  This was the man who taught me how to ride my bike, and taught me about some of life’s lessons.  He would ride my sister and I on his back and run up and down the stairs of my grandmother’s house.  Of course, he wasn’t supposed to do that, but it was a lot of fun (if she had known, we would have all been in big trouble.  LOL!).  He was the greatest uncle ever!  I kept asking why did it have to be him.  Why couldn’t it have been someone else in my family?  I had just seen my Uncle Larry about a week or so prior to his death and he told my sister and I that come summer he was going to teach us how to swim.  Well, until this very day, I still can’t swim.  This is also the uncle who was so proud of me that when he shared the stage with Chuck Berry over 50 years ago, he had my grandmother bring me up there with him just to “show me off”.  I was about two years old, from what I was told.  I cried so much that they had to take me off stage.  I guess I missed my shot at stardom.  LOL!

Some of you may have lost loved ones earlier in 2018, while others lost their loved ones right at the holidays, which everyone expects to be full of festivities and long-lasting memories, as you spend time with your family.  No one ever thinks they will planning funeral arrangements during the holidays.  Let’s be honest.  It hurts like the dickens, and you’re often left with the “Why’s”.  None of us have the answers to this question.  We can say it was their time.  We can respond “God loved them best, so He called them home”.  We can say they rushed it by doing foolish or inappropriate things.  No matter, whatever answer we give ourselves, it still hurts, nonetheless.  Their time here on earth has passed and, sadly, they are with us no more.

Some people’s grief stems from the fact that they didn’t treat the person correctly, and they cry nonstop because they no longer have a chance to make amends.  They attend the funeral services and want to either take the person out of the coffin or get in the coffin with them.  Others may have a difficult time with  grieving because they didn’t get a chance to say goodbye due to the fact that their loved one’s death was totally unexpected.  While still others grieve because they can no longer make happy memories with their loved ones.  No matter the reason for your grief, it’s real and you’re still reeling from the pain.

People tell you that it will get better with time.  It will; however, no one can tell you how long it will take to get over your hurt and loss, and don’t let them.  It took one of my friends three months after the passing of her mother for her to really break down.  She had “made” herself so busy that she didn’t have deal with it emotionally until several months later, when it hit her, unexpectedly.

With the passing of your loved one, reflect on the “positive” memories you shared.  Think about those funny moments, those happy moments, those loving moments.  Let your lips curl into a smile as those thoughts come to your mind.  Pull out your phone or photo album and look at pictures that you guys make have taken together.  Perhaps, you call their phone just to hear their voice on the recording.

They are no longer with you physically, but the memories of them will last a life time.

It’s okay to cry because that’s perfectly normal.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to get over it or that you need to be strong for other people.  Crying is not a sign of weakness.  It’s perfectly healthy to let it out.  The last thing in the world you want to do is bottle it all up inside.  Talk to people who will listen to you as you vent, cry, go down memory lane, etc. because you need a good support system.

If you know someone who has experienced recent loss, please stay in touch with them.  After everything is over and everyone has gone home, they have nothing but free time on their hands to think, which could lead to anxiousness and depression.  Don’t leave them by themselves because they really do need you now more than ever.

I know it’s difficult now, but…

Always remember #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Much love,Royal heart emoticon with a crown

Grace

We are here for you!

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

Merry Christmas

My wish for you is that you have the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years.

As you near the close of 2018 and enter 2019:

  • Remember all of your past failures as they will make you stronger, and your past successes because your hard work, sweat and tears paid off.  

  • As you enter 2019, don’t neglect yourself because you’re the only you you’ll ever have (i.e., love, pamper, and unplug). 

  • Spend time enjoying your family and friends because life is too short, and when they’re gone it’s too late.  

  • Lastly, never forget to hang out your “Sister Is In” sign for those who may need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or an encouraging word.

Always remember, #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

Trust Your Gut…Feeling, That Is

We all have these feelings which are referred to as 6th sense, intuition or discernment.  We may not initially know what it is, but often the “gut” is right.

I remember when my kids were young, I would get these “feelings”.  One year, when they were in middle school, I kept them all home on the last day of school because I had one of my “feelings”.  I felt as though something was going to happen.  They cried, moaned, pleaded and begged for me to let them go to school, but I was insistent they didn’t and they stayed home.  I found out later that there was going to be a huge fight on that day.  I was extremely grateful for the “feeling”.  There were a few other incidents concerning my children when I got certain “feelings” about things.  I didn’t get these “feelings” most of the time because, trust and believe, I would have been ahead of the game when their “undesirable” behaviors surfaced or should I call them “growing” pains.  However, it happened enough that it began to “creep” them out.  They would say to me “stop having those feelings”.  I explained to them it wasn’t me and there was no way that I could just turn it off.

Sometimes, you’re in a relationship with someone and you know that something is “amiss”.  You may even approach them about your “feelings”, but they flat-out deny there is anything wrong as they scramble to cover the “tracks” they’ve made.  However, we as women, don’t give up that easily.  We are natural-born “detectives”.  I  remember being in a relationship with someone once who would do things, and when I confronted them about my “gut feelings”, I was told that I was imagining things.  Well, me being who I was back then, became my own “detective”.  I could and would find out most of what I needed to know and would begin building my case.  I would snoop, dig, and break into phones and various other things until I found the answers that I needed, and would come up with Exhibit A, B, C and so forth and so on.  Even when I confronted them with the “proof”, they still denied it.  They were pretty “convincing” at one point having me believe that I was really crazy.  I think the truth of the matter was that even though I held the proof in my hands, I didn’t really want to believe it.

I had someone come to me recently who felt their partner was lying about some things and she wanted to “trap” them or “catch” them in a lie.  They asked for my advice.  I flat-out said, “I don’t live in that world anymore.  If you’re with someone who you can’t trust, then you shouldn’t be with them at all.  If you have to try to catch them in a lie or touch their things looking for evidence, they are not the one for you”.  I was done with the matter, and it felt good not to be a part of that.

For women, who live like that, it takes a lot of mental energy because you’re always “looking” for something.  You are so totally consumed by proving that your “gut” is right that not a whole lot else matters.  You get sick to your stomach because of it.  You call your girlfriends and, of course because they love you, they help you with your “witch” hunt.  STOP RIGHT THERE.  Love yourself enough to say, I don’t have to nor do I want to live like this.

Now, the flip side of the coin is that sometimes we suspect people that we are in relationships are doing things because of our past relationships.  We can’t enjoy time spent with them, when things are going great, because we are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.  You may have shared how you met this really great guy with some of your girlfriends.  One of them, who isn’t in a relationship mind you, may try to put put doubt in your mind by saying, “Girl, he seems like he is too good to be true.  I would watch myself if I were you”.  Okay.  I get it.  The saying is that, “If something looks too good to be true, it usually is”.  My response is “yes and no”.  Women have been hurt and, sometimes, a lot in their lives by former partners.  Because of this, they say there aren’t any good men around.  When one does come along, it is impossible for them to rest easy.  However, there are some guys out there who are still playing the “slick” game no matter how old they are; they just simply never grow up.  Here’s the thing, if the person you’re in a relationship with hasn’t given you any clear indication that something is going on, don’t go looking for or borrowing trouble.  Enjoy your relationship and stop waiting for it to fall apart.  Stop blaming or holding all men accountable for the things that one man or a few men from your “past” have done to you.  You’re either in a relationship with a man or, I hate to say this, a boy.  A man won’t play games, and can be honest about what he wants — whether it’s just purely a friendship or if he, indeed, is looking to have a committed relationship (that is, as time goes on).  Men usually know what they want and the type of woman they are seeking.  When they find her, they do what’s necessary to keep her because they realize they’ve found the “one”.  A boy will usually go from woman to woman and not commit to anyone and, quite frankly, isn’t relationship material — period!  He wants to date for 100 years without any real intention on settling down.  If this is you, I’m not knocking it.  At the end of the day, you have to do you.  I’m just saying, women, you’ve got to know the difference.  “Stay woke”, as they say.

Now, let’s pause here for a minute.  If you have a guy who is still running around playing “little boy” games, shame on him.  I prefer to be told that, “I’m just not into you anymore” than to be strung along.  Oh, yes, it will hurt like the dickens and my heart will have stabbing pains for a minute or two, but I will, ultimately, get over it.  We have to respect it when people’s feelings change toward us, and they are mature enough communicate it.

Now, if you have a “strong” feeling about something, don’t ignore it but, rather, observe.  People’s behaviors and patterns will usually change when something “fishy” is going on.  Again, in a past relationship, sometimes this person would arouse my suspicion by giving me too much information about something that didn’t really matter.  Immediately, my antenna would go up, and the “detective” was all over it.

We get feelings about many things, not just relationships.  It could be about taking or not taking a job or maybe taking a different route in to work.  There are so many times our “gut” is speaking to us.

Learn to listen to your “gut”.  It won’t steer you wrong.

Always remember that #GurlYouGotItGoingOn

Love ya,

Grace

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

Isn’t She Lovely…

Last night, I was going through the notes in my phone trying to determine what my post would be about this week.  My nearly three and a half granddaughter saw the studious look on my face and asked “Ma, what’s wrong”?  I responded, “I’m trying to figure out what I want to write about”.  Her response was, “Write about me”, and then she gave me one of her big hugs with a big ole grin on her face.  So, this week’s blog will be about her.

IMG_4348

IMG_4217Jordyn-Marie was born nearly three and a half years ago.  There were complications during childbirth and my daughter’s obstetrician told me after everything was said and done that “we could have lost them both”.  Every single time that I think about that night, I get teary-eyed because I realize just how blessed I am to have them both here with me today.

Where do I begin with a child who is so wise beyond her years?  Jordyn-Marie is so IMG_4302intuitive and discerning, and often keys into your moods and facial expressions because she watches every single thing that you do.   Her daycare provider has said on multiple occasions that she is “gifted”.

I know I’m biased, but I feel as though she is the funniest kid ever.  The things that she comes up with keeps me doubled over in laughter.  Trust me, when I tell you that you will never have a dull moment when she’s around.  LOL!  One day, I felt that she had called me a million times — she kept saying “mama” over and over again.  Finally, I said to her “Jordyn-Marie, please stop calling me”.  She changed it to “gram, gram, gram”, which is what I wanted her to call me in the first place.  I just laughed and shook my head.  There was another occasion wherein I asked her, “Who’s gram’s favorite girl”?  She said, “I’ll tell you tomorrow”, and she was done with the subject.  I could only laugh as we had done this many times in the past, and she would always respond, “me” or point to herself and smile.

Not only is she funny, but very caring and giving as well.  If she’s got something, she is going to share even if it’s my stuff.  I often ask her, “How can you share my things”?  She just laughs and continues to do her thing of “giving”.

Jordyn-Marie loves to assist in the kitchen and always drags the chair from the table to the counter to help stir, shake or whatever she is allowed to do.  Thank God, I can wash my chair pads because they are usually covered in whatever we’re doing.

She has many talents:  singing, choreographing her own dance moves, playing soccer (her version), throwing the ball (boy, does she have an arm), and is great at taking pictures.  In fact, she had taken some pictures of my best friend one day who told her to stop because she wasn’t sure if she’d figure out a way to upload them to Facebook.  Trust me, she has caught some not so “desirable” pictures of me as she is always looking to capture her next subject.  LOL!

Several months ago, some of the women who attend my church got together for lunch at one of my “sister’s” houses.  We ate and talked, and as we ended, we held up our mirrors, looked in them and said “Gurl, you got it going on”.  Jordyn-Marie ran around doing that for about a month afterwards.  It’s important for us to teach our young girls that they matter, and that they are somebody.  We have to build their self-esteem while they’re young, so that they realize their self-worth and not spend years as an adult trying to figure it out all.  I am forever telling her that she’s intelligent, beautiful, and loved.

In the short time, that she has been on earth she has bought so much joy and laughter to my life and to those that she comes in contact with.  However, the flip side of the coin is that she is definitely a spitfire, and has no problem saying what’s on her mind.  She truly gets that from her mother.  Oh, yes!  I remember saying to my daughter what my mother said to me when I was growing up, “I can’t wait until you have children so they can do the things to you that you’ve done to me”.  Now, mind you, I did things as a child, but my issue was mainly stubbornness.  Jordyn-Marie, on the other hand, is starting out mighty young.  Her mother looks at her and then looks at me as she tries to figure out what to do with her.  I’ve told her, she is you; she just started out much younger.

I never would have imagined that being a grandparent is totally different from being a parent, but it is.  It’s really a great feeling and I’m sure most of you grandmothers would agree.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m glad I took Jordyn-Marie’s advice this week, and hope that you guys enjoy!

Have a great rest of the week, and enjoy your weekend.

By the way, can you tell that I’m just a “wee bit” proud to be a grandmother?

As always, remember that #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

Christmas Then and Now…

IMG_7896Can I just start off by saying that Christmas is my favorite holiday ever!  I love to see all the decorations, sample all the good foods (okay, have platefuls, lol), spend time with family and friends, and certainly never lose focus on the real reason I celebrate Christmas – Christ.

Every year, I reminisce about the wonderful fruit cakes that IMG_7894 my maternal grandmother would make at Christmastime.  I vividly remember her going to Lexington Market to get all sorts of jellied fruits and candies as well as nuts to put into the batter, and I couldn’t wait to lick bowl when she was done.  I have never had a fruitcake as good as hers, and am saddened that no one in the family got the recipe from her before she passed on because that would have been a great tradition to hand down.

IMG_7907 2

Christmas Through My Eyes As A Child:  I think when someone came up with the saying “Do you believe in magic”, they had me in mind.  One Christmas Eve, when I was approximately five or six years old, my mom and dad told me to go to bed so that Santa Claus could bring my toys.  I didn’t want to go, of course, because I wanted to see him put my toys under the tree.  However, my parents insisted that if I didn’t go to bed, Santa Claus wouldn’t come, so off to bed I went.

I was such a believer that I convinced myself I heard Santa and his reindeer on my rooftop.  I actually believed that I that I heard him land and heard the bells on his reindeer too.  Some imagination, right?  I know.  It’s really funny how our minds work.  Well, one day, my “magical” world came crashing down because one of the neighborhood kids told me there was no such thing as Santa Claus. What?  Wait?  Did he say what I think he said?  He repeated it.  He said that Santa Claus didn’t exist.  I ran home, which was across the street, screaming and hollering like my best friend had just died.  My grandmother asked me what was going on.  I think I scared her half to death.  I told her what Dennis said, and her response was “Don’t pay that boy any mind”.  That was the day that Santa “died” for me.  The magic was gone.  I was no longer a believer.  The magic was gone.  The “O” in my “joy” had just been erased.  Wow!  I was very naive back then, but it was fun while it lasted.  Okay, so my reaction was just a wee bit dramatic, but it was Dennis’ declaration was devastating.

After I realized that it was my parents and grandparents who actually bought all the toys and gifts, my sister and I  would go on a scavenger hunt to find them, and we always did.  For whatever reason, we were too excited to wait until Christmas (I’m sure most kids probably do this and that’s why I hid my kids toys in the trunk of my car when they got old enough or at someone else’s house).  My parents always hid the gifts in the basement, and my paternal grandmother always hid the gifts behind the chair in her living room.  We oohed and ahhed over all of our toys, and were careful to put everything back exactly the way we found them.

Christmas With My Kids:  I never told my kids there was such a thing as Santa because I didn’t want them to be crushed the way I was.  However, I told them not to tell their friends because some parents wanted their children to believe because they felt that was part of the magic of Christmas.  Since my children knew that we bought the toys, I tried to be a little more creative in hiding them by leaving them in the trunk of my car or at someone else’s house.

Call me a “meanie”, but there were times that one or two of my three kids didn’t get Christmas from me because they refused to behave themselves.  Around October, I would start the count down and “remind” them that Christmas was coming and they needed to get themselves together.  When they were younger, they all got ten gifts a piece (toys were pretty reasonable then).  I would start off my deducting one at a time and, trust me, I kept tally.  Again, I reminded them that I wasn’t joking and there would be nothing under the tree for them if the negative behaviors continued.  Well, they wanted to see if I was really serious.  Oh, I was.  Christmas day rolled around, and there was nothing under the tree if you didn’t listen.  I was told that was a bit over the top.  Perhaps, it was.  I don’t know.  Sometimes, as a parent, you are so desperate to find something to curtail the behaviors that you’re willing to try almost anything in the hopes that something will work.  For my one child who was the first to lose Christmas, outsiders gave her things so she didn’t really feel the pressure the first year.  The next Christmas rolled around and the same thing happened, I think people got the message and she didn’t get anything.  Guess what, I never had that problem from her again.  She had, indeed, learned her lesson.

I’m nothing more than an oversized kid, and am excited to still be able to make lasting memories with my family and friends.  Last year, I started a tradition, which I’m hoping was the first of many to come.  I invited my parents and best friend over for breakfast on Christmas morning.  My sister from Charlotte, North Carolina was in town.  We had an absolute blast.  I’m not bragging, but the food was super delicious!  What tradition do you hold onto or would you like to start?

Some of you might be a little down right now because you don’t have money to purchase gifts for your loved ones.  Trust me, I get it, but don’t be.   Life is rough sometimes.  They will still love you no matter what.  Because at the end of the day, it’s not about the gifts, it’s about being together, enjoying and loving on one another.

Some of My Favorites:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.

Always remember that:  #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love,

Grace

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

It’s Not Your Fault…

R A P E D : why rape is wrong ?

In today’s time, we hear quite a bit about sexual harassment, molestation and the like.  I cannot count the amount of times that I’ve personally read the headlines or heard about it on TV or have been caught up in conversation about this very topic.  Unfortunately, this is something that has been going on since the beginning of time.  There are so many people who have been affected and who have kept quiet about it either because of fear or embarrassment or both.  When I was growing up, I’m sure it was happening but certain topics were deemed taboo back then.  However, if you were exposed to this, you knew it was wrong because it just didn’t feel right.

I can recall four separate incidents that affected me:  Someone who was very close to me had been drinking and touched my face inappropriately, but then thought about it and it never, ever happened again.  I must have been around 12 years of age.  He and I never spoke of it, and life went on.  Did I say anything to anyone?  No.  I dropped it because it was the only time it occurred.

A family member asked me to go down the basement with him to see his fish.  When I got down there, he moved closer to me but I didn’t think anything of it until someone started down the basement steps and he moved away.  I was probably around the age of 13 or 14 when this occurred.

I used to work with a guy who was old enough to be my dad.  He would come over to my desk and say inappropriate things, which I typically ignored; however, it could have definitely been deemed sexual harassment in the work place.  One day I was sitting at my desk when he came by.  For whatever reason, he felt the need to comment on me getting a hair cut.  He had the audacity to say that I didn’t ask his permission.  Well, all bets were off at this point.  When he went back to his cubicle, I marched over there and let him have it.  I told him that I had never said anything out-of-the-way to him so I couldn’t figure out how me cutting my hair was any of his business, and why he felt the need to say inappropriate things.  He never spoke to me again.  Personally, I didn’t care.  I was early 20s during this incident.

I had almost completely forgotten about a time, when I was around 9 or 10 years of age, that one of the neighborhood boys (who was older than we were), would chase us so that he could touch our backsides.  Those of us who didn’t like it, ran as fast as we could, including climbing over fences, to get away from him.  There were girls who liked it and they would, therefore, trail behind.

Sadly, today we have to teach our young girls (and boys, these days) about how to protect themselves from such situations.  We teach them about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and inappropriate touches as well as to what to look out for so that they don’t fall victim.  

Although my story is not one that ended in tragedy, thank God, there are many people who have experienced true trauma by the way of harassment, molestation and yes, unfortunately, even rape.  No one should ever have to endure this.  No means no!

Love ya,

Grace ❤️

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

Thankful in the Midst of It All…

I'm thankful for the people in my life.

We are in the season where most of us are happy as we prepare for the holidays.  Today, many people will share with their friends and family all the things they’re grateful for.  However, there is a portion of society who doesn’t share the same sentiments.  They can’t think of any reason whatsoever to be happy.  They’ve lost a parent or perhaps a child or perhaps a best friend, etc.  They may have lost their job or their home.  They may have just received bad news from their doctor.  They may feel lonely and/or depressed.  For them, being surrounded by happy people makes them just that more unhappy.

Let’s face it, sometimes life is tough.  There are times that we feel as though we haven’t been dealt a good hand.  We look around at others and try to figure out why their lives seem to be flourishing and why the bottom seems to have fallen out of ours.  You might be saying to yourself, “I’m a good person; I don’t deserve this pain”, and the the more you try to control things in your life, the more they spin out of control.

Stay focused:  For me, this year has been challenging and, at times, uncertain as I made a life altering change a year ago; however, I had to keep going.  I had to focus more on the “good” and less on the “difficult” situations.

Counting my blessings:  I’m grateful for the usual things:  life, health, being in my right mind (some would disagree with this, LOL), children, granddaughter, family, friends (and a new friend who has been added to my circle that helps to keep me grounded and focused), job, roof over my head, etc.  I have been able to find my happy place in the “midst of the storm”, and sometimes, it’s in the form of my 3-year-old granddaughter who keeps me laughing by the things that she comes up with.

Don’t forget:  Check on anyone that you know who could use a little “extra love” right now.  I know that we often get busy, but please remember those who need you.

Talk it out:  For those of you feeling down, know that it’s going to be okay.  Your pain won’t last forever.  If no one checks on you, don’t take it personally because sometimes people get so caught up in their own world that they “forget”.  It’s okay for you to reach out for help.  Let someone know how you feel.  Don’t sit around with a lot of unhappy, negative thoughts on your mind because that’s a sure fired way to take you straight down the road of depression which can be difficult to get off.

No matter how you’re feeling today, keep on dancing!

Always remember that #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

list1

Love ya,

Grace

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

You Don’t Know Her Story…

You Don’t Know Her Story

As women, we have been judged since the beginning of time for one reason or another. We were too tall, too short, too light, too heavy, too thin, too fast, too mean, too hateful, too unloving, too smart, too inconsiderate, and the list goes on.  However, no one took the time to get to know us or our story; they simply passed their own judgment and arrived at their own conclusions and assumed they had the answers.  Really?  Let’s face it, some (not all) women can be mean and judgmental.

Some women have really had a difficult road in life and, because the issues weren’t dealt with when they were young, some of their “behaviors” carried over into their adulthood.

Sometimes you may hear people say, “she thinks she’s all that”.  Why shouldn’t she? Do you not know that, as a child, she was made to feel like she was absolutely worthless and/or invisible.  She spent years trying to put her life together, perhaps, by going to therapy or having a good support group or by praying.  No matter how she got there, ultimately, she did and is “finally” happy about the woman that she has become.  Shame on those people who try to make her revisit that dreadful part of her past by their treatment towards her because of their judgmental ways.

You may know women who shop all the time and whenever you see them, they appear not to have a hair out-of-place and are always dressed to the nines.  You wonder where they get the money from because you “assume” they aren’t making a ton of it.  What you don’t know is that this women is in debt up to her ears.  However, on the inside she is hurt and badly scarred, so dressing up the outside is the only thing that makes her feel good and special.

You may have encountered a woman who seems to go from man to man to man.  We Image result for woman with battered faceknow the names those women are often called.  You have no clue that her father wasn’t a part of her life and she has been looking for love in all the wrong places.  She is looking for acceptance and love from her male counterpart.  Perhaps, she may even have been raped at a very young age and she figures, this is the only way to get a man to notice her or pretend in her mind that it is love.

Women of color have been made fun of because they’ve been told that they talk “too "Wild or Sad" - Aidan Photograffeuse, {African-American black woman tear face portrait photograph}
white”.  Wow!  So, now it’s a crime to speak well.  You don’t know that she had a problem growing up and was pretty shy, so she learned to speak and “well”.  She discovered she had a voice and had a lot to say, thus, people listened to her.  Should she “dumb” herself down just so that you can feel comfortable around her?  It’s not her fault that you feel inferior in her presence.  She is just doing her.  When did that become a crime?

You could know someone who is going home and being beaten every single night, unbeknownst to you.  Image result for bruised face womanYou come in contact with her and find her very withdrawn and label her as being stuck up.  She is quiet because she’s afraid that you may just figure out her secret — the one that she’s gone to great lengths to hide from her family and closest friends.

Someone else might be a stripper and you turn your nose up at her and say that’s disgusting.  You have no idea that every single time, she takes that stage that she gets sick to her stomach.  However, she has no skill,  has children to feed, and has to keep a roof over her head.

Have you ever met someone who has health issues and, perhaps, they aren’t supposed to eat certain foods because it triggers negative reactions in their body?  You “remind” them not to sabotage their diets because they can bring harm to themselves; however, they don’t “heed” your advice, rather, continue on the path of self-destruction.  You scratch your head in wonderment because it makes no logical sense to “you”.  However, to them, it’s a “comfort”.  It’s the only thing that makes them feel better amidst all of the problems they are surrounded by.  It’s the same as people drinking alcohol, doing drugs or any other habit — it’s their way of escape.  It makes them feel better, even though we don’t understand.

Then, there are those people who are always rude and nasty for, what we deem, as no reason at all.  We haven’t done anything to them that we’re aware of but, yet, they are always just plain mean toward us.  At some point, we totally dismiss them, and will only have dealings with them, when and if, absolutely necessary.  Most of the time, these people are crying out for help.  No one wants to walk around angry and yell at people all the time.

There is a woman who I work with who always says that she takes a little bit from this woman and a little bit from that woman, and it makes her feel good.  We can compliment each other on hair, clothes, accessories, etc., and know that it doesn’t take away from who we are.  We can encourage each other and share our stories with one another, and come away from the conversation feeling better than when we went in.  She has no idea the effect that she has on her female coworkers.  However, this is what “women” do who are comfortable in their skin.

The Solution

In order for us to get to the root of any problem, we have to deal with the issue(s) at hand “honestly”.  If we want to have a better ending to our story, we must do something.  We just can’t sit around and wish the ending were better.  We must find the strength to do what’s necessary.  What is the driving force behind your behavior?  Get to the root of the problem.  I remember when I was a child my parents made us dig up the dandelions that took over the front lawn because they felt weed killer would destroy the grass.  One of the older neighbors told my father about it.  We literally had to take a screw driver and dig into the dirt to pull the dandelion up from the root.  Well, I thought that was plain ridiculous and, as a child who wanted to run around and have fun with her friends, I often yanked the dandelions up without obtaining the root.  What do you think happened?  They grew back.  Same as life, right?

Image result for woman taking pills in attempt of suicideI want to know when did we  stop building one another up?  As women, we go through so much in life whether it’s issues from childhood, relationship with boyfriends/husbands, children, jobs, etc., we need a good support group.  We need to be accepted for our many flaws and faults.  We just want to be loved for who we are.  If you see a woman struggling, rather than making her feel bad, love on her.  You just might  be surprised at the impact you will have on her life or you could possibly save her life.  Do you know how many people walk around with suicidal thoughts and tendencies that go unnoticed when all they really want to know is that they matter and somebody does care.

I don’t know about you, but I have found myself, at one point or another, in several of these scenarios.

If you see a woman, and her pain is evident, try to talk to her. Befriend her.  Win her over.  Get her to talk to you.  Don’t try to snoop in her business and be a busy body or a gossiper, but be genuinely concerned from one woman to another.  Let her talk and you listen. Whatever you do, don’t pass judgment on her because this will make her shut down quick, fast and in a hurry.  Love on her so much that she will want to talk to you again and again and again.  Then, check on her periodically to make sure she’s good.

Image result for woman with sad face

Related image

We are here to help you!

Don’t be ashamed!

Your story can have a happy ending if you stay the course and don’t give up!

No matter what, always, always remember that #GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

Whatcha’ Hungry For?

i haven't eaten in so long gif

If you’re anything like me, live to eat and not eat to live (stole this from one of my friends groups).  I’m always hungry, or so it seems (and trust me, my body shows it, but I wear it proudly – LOL).  I wake up with food on my mind and am always on the countdown for lunchtime.  Then, there’s dinner.  Woohoo!  Yes, you can call me a “foodie” as food is definitely one of my best friends.  Don’t let me be talking to someone and they mention food, I get extremely excited and hungry all over again.

We talked about the natural, but let’s go deeper.  How many times have you planned out your life’s events?  You were going to attend college, you were going to take up sports, you were going to exercise, you were going to diet, you were gonna, you were gonna — but you ended up doing absolutely nothing but talking about those things that you were “gonna” do.

If you were totally honest with yourself, you would know that you weren’t really hungry enough for it.  Those things that we are “hungry” for or “passionate” about, we don’t rest until everything within our power has been done to accomplish them.  If you’re really hungry, the proof will show up in the pudding because you will breathe, eat and live whatever your passion is.

feed me seymorWe may become complacent when our plans don’t seem to get off the ground, but we have to keep at it.  For example, I have been writing off and on since I was around 14 or 15 years old.  I would start a project and stop, start and stop.  This went on for most of my adult life until I took a writing course via teleconference roughly four years ago.  That was the first time that I ever finished a full length manuscript.  Has it been published?  Not yet, but in time it will.  I have since written another full length manuscript which one of my childhood friends has so graciously agreed to edit.  Writing was and will always be my passion.  I work on my craft five days a week in some form or fashion.  One day, you will see my name in print or even “flashing in bright neon lights”, LOL!  In the meantime, I’m going to continue chugging away until something happens, and so should you.

Let today be the day that you take out that list that you’ve held on to for years, and shake the dust off.  No more procrastinating.  Some of you should be doing things that would be a tremendous blessing to others but because of fear, procrastination or both, the people who need you the most haven’t been touched by your gift.  You may not realize it, but there are folk who are waiting and depending on you.

Go for it!

Shake off fear!

Shake off self doubt!

Shake off procrastination!

Tune out any and all negativity!

Realize that everyone isn’t going to share your vision!

If one door closes, keep POUNDING” on doors until one opens!

Always, remember #GurlYouGotItGoinOn!

Love ya,

Grace

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

Grab A Buddy

Grab A Buddy

The end of the year is so close that we can literally reach out and touch it.  Many of you might be asking, “Where did the year go”?  I know because I’m asking the same question.

You’re probably already thinking about the New Year, and saying that it’s going to be “your year”.  Many of us are on the same page with you.  Sometimes, it seems like you don’t get a break because it’s always one thing after the other, and you always hope/pray that the incoming year will be much better than the outgoing.

You may feel like you failed yourself this year because at the beginning of 2018, you were so gung-ho about the list of things you were to accomplish and the “resolutions” you made; however, you didn’t accomplish many of the things on your list, if any.  Oftentimes, we make unrealistic lists.  We may say, “I’m going to lose 50 pounds in three months” or “I’m going to exercise an hour every day” or “I’m going to change my diet” or “I’m going to stop shopping” or, or, or.

Whatever plans we make for ourselves, let’s make sure they are obtainable.  Otherwise, you go in setting yourself up for failure.  However, you have to start somewhere.  Just remember to start slow, and build a little more each day until you get to where you’re trying to go.

However, if you are serious and sincere about your list, but are often a procrastinator (like so many of us) or lack the drive and ambition to accomplish those tasks on your list, you may need a “buddy”.

A buddy is someone who holds you accountable, and will check on you to see if you’re truly doing the work or they may participate with you.

For instance, I have some buddies who hold me accountable for my blog.  They don’t know it, but sometimes, I have a lot going on and don’t really feel like doing what it takes to write.  However, when they ask me where is the current week’s post, they make me kick it into gear, particularly, when I’ve said that I’m going to make weekly posts.  At that point, I realize I have to follow through.  Trust me, I’m grateful for their gentle “push”.

Now, if you want me to be a buddy, it has to be something I can actually do.  My son wanted me to buddy up with him on a no carb/no white sugar diet.  I told him “no” because I knew I wasn’t ready to make that type of commitment.  I did, however, tell him that I could lend my support by encouraging him, but it was going to take too much effort for me to change things around because I currently have so much on my plate.  That’s why it’s important to team up with the “right” buddy.

You want to start working out, grab someone who has the same interest — perhaps, someone who is already exercising.  Want to start a new diet?  Before doing so, do you research.  Is this the right diet for you?  Will you stick with it?  Talk to someone who has already tried it and find out whether it was successful for them or not.  If it was, then, ask them can they mentor you.

Whatever your plans/goals are, start off by writing a “realistic” list, and always, always ask for help when and if necessary.  Don’t ever be afraid of trying for fear of failure.  Fear is not an option or you’ll be stuck in the same place for the rest of your life and then look back and say to yourself, “I should have done this, that or the other”.

Grab your buddy, and go for it!

You can do it!

Don’t be afraid — you got this!

Because,

#GurlYouGotItGoinOn

Love ya,

Grace

P.S.:  I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.”  Also, you may find me on Instagram @Gracedeveraux.  Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊

%d bloggers like this: