The Unexpected….

November 23, 2018 changed everything for me…my sister, Melissa Ann Askew, died. Unexpectedly…no warning. No signs. Nothing that I would have ever seen coming.

I have literally felt as if my heart is breaking inside my chest…unresponsive. life support. no brain activity. These are things I never thought I’d hear concerning my sister, Melissa.

Honestly, everything has been a blur. Nothing seems real. My sister, my childrens second mother-their Auntie, the person who knows me most outside of my husband, the person we have shared a home with for the last four years is gone…

I’ve cried. Screamed. Questioned God. Played the what if game. Laughed. Pinched myself. Wept uncontrollably. Prayed that Melissa’s life, passion and love would be in the forefront of my mind and not just how my sister died.

But I keep coming back to…hope and gratitude.

Hope in the fact that I will see my sister Melissa again. Hope in God never making mistakes. Hope that in time the shattered pieces of my heart will come together again.

Grateful that my sister Melissa was here on earth for 44 years and that I got to share 38 of them with her. Grateful that God saw fit to give me someone who loved my babies as much as I do. Grateful that my sister loved me to the moon and back. Grateful for the good memories, laughs and talks that can never be forgotten. Grateful for how I can now see the hand of God leading her in the last few months of her life. Grateful that my life will honor hers.

God thank you for my sister Melissa’s life. Thank you for her loving us and her loyalty. Thank you for her passion, nurturing spirit, beauty and strength. Thank you choosing me to be her little sister…Daddy God, please tell my sissy I love her and miss her so…

In Loving Memory of my Sister Melissa Ann Askew 4/3/74-11/23/18😇

Hard Things.

I dont like hard things…especially when it comes to people and circumstances. We could all pretty much say that right???

Well, for me this is so true. Maybe bc I’m such a laid back, nonchalant (on the outside) person or maybe bc the thought of inconveniencing others makes me want to break out in a sweat.

Either way, “peopling” can be hard for me. Which is why this is so much for interesting…my job, well my purpose, centers around people!!! Young mothers, young women to be exact. And yall…this is no cake walk!!!

Emotions. Problems. Insecurities. Generational curses. Just not knowing how to handle some things. Lack of attention. Not knowing their worth.

All these things play a role. All these things are familiar. All these things cant go unaddressed for too long.

And again…its hard. Hard to know how to love others well enough so that when you correct them they dont break. Hard enough to nurture and not allow wrong behavior. Hard to give your all when it’s easier to shut down and back off. Hard to go through the muddy waters and not come out covered in filth.

Its hard but there is so much at stake. What I’m learning is that my purpose isn’t going to be lived out doing things that are easy. Being relational, “peopling”, loving others well are not and will never be easy tasks. But they are essential and needed more than anything else.

So for me I’ve decided to not go through the muddy waters trying to avoid the filfth… I’m going to go through, come out, rinse off and clean myself up, and go in again prepared to bring someone, something good, out with me💜

Boundaries…

So today I was listening to a podcast by Havilah Cunnington about boundaries. Yall …straight conviction!!!! I had been putting off setting a boundary, no longer doing something that was inconvenient, because I was afraid that this thing wouldn’t be done…

“It is no ones responbutlty to know what they are taking from you. You are the only one who will know what others are taking from you.”

So after hearing this a made the move to let the person know what I was doing was no longer convenient, so therefore I will no longer be doing it.

No is not a bad word!!!! It is so okay for me to not try to take on every single need that is presented to me… I cant. I’ve tried- its impossible and exhausting to try and do.

Having boundaries can be hard, especially when you have a heart to love and help people. By all means, when I can help I will, but I am no longer willing to exhaust myself and my family trying to do so.

Link to podcast:

https://castbox.fm/x/PrTb

Boundaries…

So today I was listening to a podcast by Havilah Cunnington about boundaries. Yall …straight conviction!!!! I had been putting off setting a boundary, no longer doing something that was inconvenient, because I was afraid that this thing wouldn’t be done…

“It is no ones responbutlty to know what they are taking from you. You are the only one who will know what others are taking from you.”

So after hearing this a made the move to let the person know what I was doing was no longer convenient, so therefore I will no longer be doing it.

No is not a bad word!!!! It is so okay for me to not try to take on every single need that is presented to me… I cant. I’ve tried- its impossible and exhausting to try and do.

Having boundaries can be hard, especially when you have a heart to love and help people. By all means, when I can help I will, but I am no longer willing to exhaust myself and my family trying to do so.

Link to podcast:

https://castbox.fm/x/PrTb

3 BTS Tips…

Alright Mamas it’s that time again…back to school!!!🗂🖊📝

As a mom of six (4 in school) here are my go-to’s for back to school:

1. Plan– I write everything down. St the beginning of the year, I transfer the school calendar to my planner.

2. Get Up Early– I get up at least 30 minutes before my children. This gives me time to prepare myself for the day

3. Get Dressed– listen…this one took me a minute!!! However I always feel more productive and if by chance I have to run after a bus or go into the school unexpectedly, I’m good

Bonus: Buy alllll the school supplies you want…just for you!!!!

Here’s to another successful school year!!! 🥂🍾🥂

The One Thing That I Forgot….

If I am being completely honest…this week has started out hard. Our washer broke (with a family of 8 that’s a no-no), fridge isn’t getting cold (uhhhh…I just went grocery shopping at Sams!!!) and things are just hard.

I’ve caught myself pondering on if I can do it. Be the mother that my children need, keep our home afloat as the fall rolls in (school and football), be the wife that my husband needs and do whatever it is God has called me to do….

I’m tired. Frustrated. Feeling Unproductive. Angry. Feeling as if I’m doing things in vain. Just Down. Unappreciated.

Is this how I’m supposed to be feeling going into my 38th year? It’s an unsure place to be in when I’m so used to having it all together…at least by appearance…but lately, yeah I have zero time or effort to put into trying to look as if I’m good and I’m not. No, I’m not walking around upset and disheveled but there is this part of me that’s like “bump it, you feel what you feel, it is what it is”.

But the one thing that I had forgotten within all of this is that I was made for this!!! Is this adoption process going to be easy? No. Is it easy dealing with an energetic, curious toddler who can destroy a room in 5.2 seconds? Nope. However, I do know that God placed him in our lives to love and care for. Is it ideal havin to be out of the house at 640am to pick up another child and get him and my daughter to school by 730am? Nah son, but the way the situation unfolded itself let’s me know God put me in the path of his mother to be a help for a time.

I can sit here and complain about all the things that I have to do and all that needs to be done or I can just do it and be thankful that God put me in position to be His “go-to” woman.

Things will slow down, seasons will shift but right now….its go time!!!!!

Congrats On The Seemingly Small Wins….

Sometimes I am so quick to look over the “small wins” in everyday life. I don’t take the time to say “hey, good job on that” whether its to myself or another mama…

It is so easy for me to dismiss the seemingly little things that get done throughout my day that contribute to our home running better, my body feeling better or even cause me to be more efficient at my job.

So dear mama friends, I hope you take the time to congratulate not only yourself, but other mamas, on making it another day, loving on your babies, being a bomb wife/partner, crossing off tasks on your to-list….you’re worth it and you definitely deserve it!!!!👏🏾👏🏾

Changes…

What if I told you that when I got up this morning one of the issues that came up in 2017 had presented itself today, on January 2, 2018? 

Well, this happened. And I was so tempted to handle it like I always have with negative self talk, asking why does this keep coming up for me and then the dreaded, deadly comparison game.  

The one thing that is sure is that a new year is only a new start, if you start doing new things, thinking new thoughts and building new normals. 

Nothing changes, if nothing changes…

Lets make the appropriate changes to make this year the best year yet…heres to an ever changing, productive, joy filled 2018!!!🥂🥂🥂

The Great Reminder…

A few weeks ago I spoke at our women’s gathering about our gifts. The gist of it was that our gifts and talents are given to us by God for His glory and to be a help/encouragement for others, they should be deepened by us, and that we shouldn’t dumb down the  great things that God has given us and put in us to fulfill.

Well, guess what?  I did it. I dumbed down something that God has given me to do. I didn’t talk about this particular thing with a humble confidence that I should have. i spoke with uncertainty and fear. No I don’t have all the answers but I know that God does and that HE will give me the wisdom, favor and plan to get done what needs to be done, for His glory.

So, today I had the great reminder…Its ok to be ok with the great things that God has given me to do and be. Now its time to walk in it and thank Him for what He has so generously given me to do for Him….

First Teachers…

Parenthood has so many twist and turns. Some days I am completely convinced that I am crushing it! My planner is up to date (including color coded events and a current to-do list that has checks by the majority of the items), the kids have had a hot breakfast before school, the house is clean, lines are in the freshly vacuumed carpet and it smells like either a tropical fruit or a warm sugar cookie, and I am dressed in appropriately cute mom attire and lip gloss is applied before 8am.  Then some days it’s the complete opposite. I get up late, the kids are scarfing down cereal, the house is a wreck and I may have picked up one of my youngest from school in my slippers… On those not so good days, it is so easy for me to criticize myself on how I should have gotten up earlier and if I only would have planned the night before, instead of falling asleep with my baby, I could have been deemed a success by the imaginary “mothering board” (these people exist solely in my head when I having not so good days, especially on the mommy front).

But one of the things that has stood out to me as of lately is that I am teaching my children, even if it isn’t intentional. As parents we have to set a standard for our children so that when they grow up and go away from home they have an example to refer back too.  Hopefully that example is a good one.

I want my children to always be able to recognize what real love is and does because of our home. I want them to know what a healthy relationship is because of our marriage. I want them to be able to take care of their home and be faithful to their families and careers because they have seen it from us first. I also want my babies to know how to live gracefully and be able to start again, with a clear mind and heart, when things go left.  All of it starts from home…Our Home…Their First School with us as Their First Teachers.

So today as you go about being a fabulous mama, think about what you are teaching your babies…on purpose and by example