Purging my Life 5.2 Purging the House Making my House into a Home “Meet My Dream Team”

September 2, 2019

My Dream Team

Now before I get further into this part of the Blog, you must know that I did not do this by myself.  Remember I said above I tried and tried to do this. But we (my daughters and I) were paralyzed and overwhelmed.  We could not do anything but survive the pain that consumes our heart.  We knew that this was not the way to live, nor was it the way we wanted to live.  Our house was not nasty by any means. It was just cluttered and unorganized.  I have to give you the back story about who we call our Dream Team and our deep connection to them.

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Meet my organizers Lauren Poe & Kike Ojo, Clutter to Clean.

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Jose and Elaine Belardo

Elaine Belardo (also my one of Spiritual Advisor) will beautify, and turn your house into a home by making it a cozy, warm, oasis. She is also the founder of the “Deeper Windows Project” that she founded when her husband Jose’ Belardo, was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Ironically he was diagnosed around the same time Michael was diagnosed with Lung Cancer in 2016.

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Elaine, Mike, and Jose

I want to tell you how God works in our lives.  I know for a fact that He knows what we need before we know we will need it. He prepares us for things that we are going to go through in our future, and he places the people you will need to lean on and glean from in your life and specific times.  Only God can orchestrate our lives like this.

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The book of Jeremiah states, “For I know that plans I have for you. Declares the LORD. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you a home and a future.”   God knew what was ahead for my life from the moment I was born, and when I looked back on my life, I can see where God was preparing me for such a time.  He has always had, and He still does have my best interest always in mind. I prayed for a way out and trusted in the LORD, and He answered my prayers!

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Tragedies can pull people apart, but they can also bond you for life!

When I met Elaine, her daughter Lauren was in high school. Looking back, both of our families were in a high season of our lives.  Michael was retired after 21 years in the military and had a good after the military carrier going and Jose’ was a distinguished officer with U.S. Public Health Service.  We were all very active in our churches and communities.  Elaine was in charge of one of our Chapels Women’s group here at Fort Leavenworth, where we became friends.  When our husbands were diagnosed with their respective debilitating diseases, we shared the bond of becoming caregivers to our husbands who were both the STRONG head of their household, something at our age we were not expecting!

Unfortunately, as you know, Michael made his transition home to be with God, but we both soon discovered that we were both grieving what was to be our future and we became each other’s shoulders to lean on. She has been there for me even though all of the work, pain, and grief she is going through.  We have been each other’s sounding boards because some people, as well-meaning as they are, do not understand this type of grief and what it takes to keep going day by day.  She has helped my girls and me through some of our darkest days and is always there to help us celebrate the good times in this new normal of our lives. I hope I am doing the same for her. I am proud to not only call her a part of our village, but she and our dream team are a part of our family. (I am still waiting on my adoption papers to come through)

So, to have them come in a do a total overhaul on our house was more comfortable than having strangers in my home.  They had stock in our memories and an investment in our lives. Because they knew us personally, they knew how difficult this was and would be.  They were very gentle and loving throughout the entire process, which took a couple of months.  If the girls and I had to do this on our own, it would have taken us years to complete this type of project.  Lauren and Kike kindly encouraged us to purge and did not push if something was too difficult to process or get rid of; they just found a way to organize it.  Wait, now I am getting ahead of myself.  Purging and reorganizing in the middle of a difficult situation is very hard and can be excruciating.  But our Dream Team made the task bearable and yes, sometimes even fun!

I love you all

Have a blessed and Amazing Day

 

The Road to Restoration

Friday, August 30, 2019

My word for this Friday is Restoration. 

Restoration means a lot of things:

Refurbishment

Repair

Renewal

Rebuilding

Transformation 

Rejuvenation 

Reconstructing 

Restoring

For me, restoration means reestablishing and discovering who I am outside of who I was. I am learning to find my own way with my rules.  I can tell you in the past three years I have made tons and tons of mistakes.  There were so many things I was not aware of or had never done.  You must realize I went from my grandmother’s home to my husband’s house. My life was completely turned upside down in every single area! There are things I wish I knew, there are things I wish I hadn’t done, and many there are many things that I have done that I am very proud of. But…

 

For a while, I did whatever I wanted because I seriously was not planning on living for long.  (Don’t be surprised or shocked... depression and grief are real, and I was suffering!) But then after hours of prayer and therapy, God convinced me of my worth on my own and that I was NOT going anywhere! He said He had somethings I needed to do; He was not finish with me. Now I needed to get my act together! I do have some major cleaning up in my life to do, but I know that I am not alone! 

 

My life now is nothing like I thought it would be.  Nothing worked out the way I wanted or the way I planned. However, my life is not bad, it’s not easy, it’s pretty good, but I am also learning every day how to move forward with the hand I have been given. God has placed some extraordinary people in my life that pray for me, check on me, and will continue to love me in spite of my defects, flaws, and imperfections.  

They are my…

Let me leave you with this: Mostly we must know that God will love us, forgive us, never leave us, and guide us no matter what we do. He will always be there for us.  Believe me; it took me a while to get back to this frame of mind and way of thinking. 

What is left now… I continue to move forward, learn from my mistakes, and operate in the attitude of restoration. Meaning I will not be hard on myself for living and making mistakes. I am thankful to be alive, breathing, walking, testimony of HIS great love for me.  I am a mess, but, HE will take this mess and turn it into a great message!

I love you all

Have a blessed an Amazing Weekend!

 

Purging my Life: Part 3

Mentally

Learning How to Breathe Again

Purging the Toxins Out of My Mind & Finding Joy Again

May 10, 2019
Good Afternoon Lovelies!!

Here is part 3 of Purging my Life.  Sorry for the long break, my life got very busy. Between church and my sorority, I did not have time to blog, but I did write and capture thoughts of how I was feeling.  I am continuing in this journey of purging my life to my mental health.  I think this blog comes in handy as May is Mental Health Month, and if you have been reading my blog you know, I am a big huge advocate of therapy and taking care of our mental health.  Remember if you even think you need to talk to a therapist, do it anyway.

I know my last post was super long so I am going to break this one up because it is getting long as I write. 

You have to know that during this time of my Spiritual renewal I was in therapy.  Michael transitioned on October 25, 2016 and I went into therapy in January 2017.  This was not so hard for me.  I have already talked about the need for therapy when you are depressed, near depression, or even thinking about depression. I am and I have always been an advocate for therapy!  I believe that God has people he has gifted in this area in dealing with our minds and how we think and act.

I can only speak for me, but I needed someone to help me sort through all the pain, anger, sadness and grief I was experiencing so I could SEE and KNOW that God was still with me.

The pain I was feeling He was feeling as well.  Yes, prayer changes things and prayer works.  I did pray, however, how could I sincerely pray to God when I was holding Him responsible for not answering my prayer, the prayers of many, and for “taking away” someone I loved?  I could not hear from Him because I was closed off.  I did not want to hear from Him because I was angry and hurt. I went through all the motions but my mind was everywhere but on God.  My prayers were empty prayers that derived from my traditional needs and not from my heart.  It was like a muscle reaction, something I always did.
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Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

What is Grief?

According to Merriam-Webster, “Deep and poignant distress caused by of as if by bereavement; a cause of such suffering; an unfortunate outcome” (3Mar2019)

Greif through the ages:

Latin – gravis-to weight down; gravare- to make heavy

Old French – grever– to burden, afflict, grief – oppress, injustice or misfortune

English – grief – mental suffering & deep sorrow (Loveliveson.com)

For me grief is the painful, emotional, agonizing, loving, heartfelt way to show how much you care for a person that has transitioned out of this life.  If you grieve for a person you truly care of loved that person.

I believe how you grieve depends on the person you are grieving for…

My mother Betty Florence (Shaw) Williams died when I was very young from Cervical Cancer when I was 5.  Sadly, I do not remember much about her, just few memoires here and there.  However, I do remember grieving for her especially in my teen years where every girl wants her mother.  Therefore, that grief was situational.  My grief for my mom depended on the situation.  Some of her Birthdays and many Mothers days were hard and people could be so insensitive.  I have heard everything from “Well you did not know her” to “It has been long enough for you to be over it”

My grief for my Grandfather and Grandmothers, Lister Shaw, Hunter Florence (Heath) Shaw, Mary (Hayes) Williams and my Mother in Law Hattie Law (She passed at 55 in 2002), was deeper because I had a relationship with them, but you always expect them to pass before you do.

I cannot imagine the grief of a parent and I am not going to compare it hers, but I did witness it first hand when my mother passed I experienced the aftermath of my Grandmother’s grief.  She never got over my mother’s death.  She coped with it the best way she could and some ways were not healthy. She would drink her sorrows away, so I lived with a grandmother/caregiver who was an alcoholic.  Of course, this had an adverse effect on my life growing up because I never outlived my mother’s shadow and I had to help my grandmother deal with her grief.  I knew that I needed help because; I was not going to put myself, or my daughters through this nightmare.

The grief of a spouse at a young age is also an unbearable pain. You expect to spend your life together, you have hopes, dreams for a future, and then in an instant, it is gone and you are left with nothing but a heart that was broken into a million pieces and a broken fractured future. I knew I had to pick up the pieces of my life, and try to put it back together again. This is where I needed therapy. I could not pray, drink, or ignore these feelings away although I tried nothing worked. Therefore, I HAD to seek help but I had to find the right therapist.

Be Blessed and
I love you all,
Lolita

It’s A New Season

January 4, 2019

There is a song that my teen choir sings called, “It’s A New Season”

“It’s a new season, it’s a new day
A fresh anointing is flowing my way
It’s a season of power and prosperity
It’s a new season coming to me”

When Michael passed, it left a tremendous void in my life. For a while, I did not know what I was going to do or how I was going to survive the next second.  Every aspect of my life totally changed.  Every dream, every goal, my future plans, even my own purpose had to be reconfirmed, redefined, and reevaluated.

When tragedy strikes in your life, we have to take the time to reevaluate our lives.  While I was learning to live through my worst nightmare, I still had to learn who I was without him, and rediscover who I am with GOD.

The year of 2016 was the worst her of my entire life.  We went from diagnoses, treatment, and then death.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

The year of 2017 was a year of crying, anger, sadness, depression, love, connection, healing, learning, prayer, and trusting in GOD.
“Weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

SO, last year, 2018, was a season of rediscovery, redefining who I am, and who GOD is now molding me to become.  The LORD helped me to make some dreams a reality.
“But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

This year, 2019 is a new year and a brand new season.
BUT, let me tell you what is NOT going to happen.
There will be…

No fear
No hesitation
No room for regrets
No negativity
No doubts
No limits
No boundaries
No running
No excuses
No attitudes
No anger
No hate
No darkness
No worries

This Year…
I will let my faith be bigger than my fears.
I will continue to trust in GOD.
I will be stronger
I will be braver
I will love and love hard
I will be happy
I will serve
I will grow
I will live my life with purpose
I will worry less and pray more
I will expect the unexpected
I will be persistent in my dreams and goals
I will NOT GIVE UP!
I will NOT GIVE IN!

I am not sure what you are going through in this phase of your life but know this… GOD is always in control and he is only a prayer away.  Maybe this is your year for rediscovery, growth, or increase.
Is this your year to not only step outside of box but to crush the box?
Only you can look deep into yourself and determine this.

My prayer is, LORD, I know you are always by my side and I know I have a fresh anointing coming!
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Lord I am ready to move to the next level.
Lord, I am ready to CRUSH the BOX!


In JESUS NAME… AMEN

I Love you all
Have an Amazing and Blessed Day!

Good Bye 2018: My Year of Discovery

December 31, 2018

As I bid goodbye to 2018, I thank GOD and I look back on lessons learned and the accomplishments I have made.

I have accomplished some lifelong goal in the past two years.  God has blessed my girls and myself with some wonderful people in our lives who have become our “Village” and “Our Tribe.”  In 2018, they have seen us through and prayed with us through some tough times in our life. They have also celebrated, applauded, remembered, and honored along with us. Never any judgment only love.

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We celebrated Michael’s 50th Birthday with a “Thank You Dinner” for our village.

In 2018, I have stepped out on faith and started some new and wonderful journeys. I have discovered my own voice, navigating, and finding my way as the LORD plans the course for the rest of my life. I have said good-bye to more friends and family than I wanted too, but I take joy and I praise GOD knowing they are all in capable hands.

I have also added to my family when my 13 Line Sisters (14 M.I.L.E.S To The Crimson DynaSTy) and I were initiated into the illustrious sisterhood of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Therefore, it is with bittersweet regrets that I bid adieu to 2018, but I cannot leave without mentioning some of the “Blessings in the Storm” I have navigated in 2018…

In 2018, I have discovered that:

I have chosen to come “Out of the Darkness”and live in and with the LIGHT.

I will “Never Ever, Give Up”, because God is in control and HIS grace and mercy surroundsimg_0898 me.

“There is Good News” I have the joy of the LORD in my heart and I am never alone.

Because the LORD is in my life and my heart, I know that “It Is Well with My Soul”

Life is so short, and tomorrow is not promised to any of us so don’t live in regrets, “Love Hard”

God is amazing and His love is unconditional “He Is a Mighty God”

God has great things planned for me and I am ready, so “Fear is Not in My Vocabulary”

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I am learning to overcome the obstacles of my life and my past because I know that “I Am a Survivor,” and I know that with GOD I can do anything because Christ gives me the strength.

“Dear Future, I am ready” I can, and I have the right to be excited for the next phase in my life.

“God is in Control” of my life and I have no reason to fear it!

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WELCOME 2019

We have taken some knocks and obtained some bumps and bruises along this life’s road, but we still stand strong.                                         

We have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, but we continue to be victorious because, we know to whom we belong.

We will never give in and never give up on what the Lord has planned. We have given HIM all things and placed them under his command.

So come on in 2019 we are not afraid of you,                                                                        We will wait, watch, fast, and pray to see what the Lord will do.                                                          

Family and Friends, all the ones we hold dear,                                                                     We pray that you have a Very Merry Christmas and a God Blessed New Year! (LJL)

 

I love you all

Have a Blessed and Prosperous 2019!

It Takes a Village

November 8, 2018

An African Proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, I think it takes a village to raise a child, to live life, and to survive.  I have the best village ever!!  They are my tribe!  My peeps! My Family!!  However, you may wonder, “What is a village?  What does a village consist of?”  For my purposes, my village is something else.  It is something very special.  It may be easier for me to tell you what a village is not.  My village is not as the dictionary describes it, “A group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town, situated in a rural area. Nor is it a self-contained district or community with in a town or city.”

My village
They are the people who are important to my family and me.

They are of many backgrounds, nationalities, and religions.
They are the closest to my heart.
They love me fiercely as I love them.
They belong to me even though we are not blood related.
They have celebrated and laughed with us during our happy times/strong>
They have comforted & cried with us during our times of sorrow, grief, & despair.  I love them with all of my heart!
They are my family!

On the night of Thursday, October 25, my daughters and I decided to celebrate Michael’s 50th birthday (which was September 16), with a small thank you dinner to our village and a candle light prayer.  Pop Skipp, my Father-in-love was in town for Morgan, my youngest daughter’s, homecoming and it just happens to be what we call, Michael’s Angel Anniversary. This is the day he made his transition from earth to heaven.

It was fun to gather with our family and reminisce about Michael, and what was going on in our lives.  It also gave us a chance to spoil them a little.  We had some of what has become known as my famous Mac and Cheese, Collard Greens, Chicken, Brisket and of course cake.  We sang happy birthday to Michael and we just loved on each other.  The only thing missing was his voice and his laugh.  We know that Michael had an amazing time celebrating his birthday in Heaven, but we celebrated as if he was there.  (He was there in there in the spirit)

Everyone that attended this celebration is special to my girls and me.  We love them, with all of my heart, and I know that we could not have made it through the last couple of years without them and I thank GOD they are forever in my life.

Whom do you consider your village?  Who is your tribe?  There is a quote from Danielle Laporte states, “Find your tribe. Love them Hard”

Consider this…

My Tribe
Women Who Adventure with GOD
Be Around the Light Bringers
The Magic Makers, The World Shifters
The Game Shakers,
They Challenge You, Break you Open,
Uplift and Expand You.
They don’t let you play Small with your Life
These Heartbeats are your People.
These People are your Tribe
(desertoutpouring.com)

I love you all!
Have an Amazing Day!!