Everyone Needs One…

Our five year old is my husband’s football team’s biggest fan. He goes to practice everyday. He’s cheering the loudest at the games. He asks each player their name.

Last week, they lost. Umari was there…sad and couldn’t understand why the Rams didn’t win. “I told them to run” was his response.

He walked inside the gate and high fived every player and coach that walked by.

After the game, our family stood by the gate, as usual, and waited for my husband to come over…not Umari.

And that’s when it hit me…everyone needs a cheerleader. A person who’s there to celebrate when the times are good and the person to encourage and just be there when times aren’t so good. Think about it, the cheerleaders are there no matter what the score is or how the team is doing, they’re there.

As much as we need a cheerleader, be someone’s cheerleader…everybody needs one 🫶🏽

What Will It Look Like?

If I’m being completely honest, it’s on 10:15am and I’m ready to call it quits for the day. I’m a my wits end. I’m tired. I’m irritated. I’m embarrassed. I’ve ugly cried.

I’m the mother of a 5 year old child who has ADHD, possibly ODD, and sensory issues.

We brought our son home at 3 weeks old. As fast as it seems, the days are longer than I could ever imagine. I don’t wake up to a quiet house or the smell of coffee brewing. I’m usually met with chaos, yelling and some type of disarray. There is rarely a moment of peace. It’s usually a fight with a sibling, a mess that needs to be cleaned or yelling bc he didn’t get his way.

Yall it’s hard. It’s draining. It’s exhausting.

Just today we went to our usually weekly event and he ran through the parking lot. When I finally caught him and got him in the building, he ran out again. I dragged him back inside to where he ran under a table…finally, I called it quits and just scooped him under one arm, grabbed my younger son by the hand and left. It was too much. Chaos makes me anxious and I feel like everything is unraveling. And on top of all that, I feel horrible that my youngest missed out on being involved in something that he loves. But I guess right now, this is what my life looks like.

And If I’m letting you see my heart, this sucks. I amd in the very midst of discomfort and everything that I hate. And I hate that I hate it… I hate that I am not just letting all of this roll of my back. I hate that I don’t feel gracious. I hate that even though I’m praying, seeking medical providers, creating routines and doing all that the books say that I should, our son is still not okay. I mean if I feel like this as the mother, I can’t imagine the unrest and chaos that’s swirling in his head, body and heart 24/7…

What will the future look like? What does advocating for and loving our son well look like? What does it look like to love our other 5 children well while navigating through his behavioral issues without neglecting their needs?

What will it all look like?

I can’t say. But what I can say is that I have to take this moment to regroup and redirect negative behaviors. For my own sanity, I can’t live in the “what if” mode.

I can’t say for sure what it will all look like but I can continue to put the blocks in place to build a steady and firm foundation. I’ll continue to learn and apply what I can while teaching him the tools to calm himself and self correct. I’ll continue to pray and have him speak good things over himself. We will continue to consult with his doctors and adjust when we need too. I’ll continue to start over minute by minute.

And I’ll continue to trust God that it will all look exactly as I should…

Chapter Forty-One…

My birthday was yesterday…I turned 41 years young. Being in the 40’s club has been good for me, for the most part.

The one thing that I realized is that I have to be. See, I spent my 20’s and a good portion of my 30’s doing. Doing all the things that I thought I was supposed to do to be the ideal woman, Christian, wife and mother.

That was exhausting…

I didn’t have joy. All I had was obligations and things to check off of my to-do lists. But I didn’t feel as if I had purpose unless I was doing what appeared to be purposeful.

I was in it to make people OK, make sure that everyone was content except me.

Then one day I just stopped. I stopped doing what others wanted and stopped caring what they thought. Honestly, it was the best feeling ever. My mantra became “I walk in my purpose on purpose”.

Purpose means saying no. It means not making someone else’s emergency my own. It means being in the moment. Enjoying my husband and children. Going all in to love them and support them well. It means going to mini vacays to see family to have fun and be recharged. Purpose means being honest when and saying I’m not going bc I don’t feel like peopling.

The 40’s club hasn’t been all sunshine and roses. I have to deal with grief, anger and really realizing that people are people.

So even with the not so good, it’s good bc I’m learning daily to give myself the space to process and not feel as if I have to put on.

Cheers to 41…may it be another year of goodness, grace and growth!!!

He Belongs…

So today was one of those days…the days where there is absolutely no reasoning with your toddler who is doing theee most, raising absolute hell with no regard for your sanity or schedule.

So let me give you a little bit of the backstory on our oldest toddler (by ten months). Big boy U is three years old, meets no stranger and if by chance, you even thought of telling him that I wasn’t his mama, you’d definitely have a fight on your hands. We brought Big boy U home with our family when he was just three weeks old. I know his biological mom and you can say throughout the years, I have tried to be a mentor/big sis to her. Unfortunately, she has had some struggles. Growing up in foster care, mental health, teenage pregnancy, drug addiction/abuse, and homelessness are just a few. So when we got the call that she had given child services our contact info due to her newborn needing a home or would be placed in foster care, I knew that we would be loving on this little baby.

But what I didn’t know was all that would come with him; the unexpected world wind that comes with dealing with foster care and the twist and turns that happen to a child who was exposed to illegal drugs and alcohol while in the womb. The first few months I literally had to put him on my chest to put him to sleep. He would cry and shake uncontrollably. After the first few days of this happening, I took Big boy U to the doctor. With a look of sympathy and a voice filled with confidence, the doctor told me that this was normal due to Big boy being exposed to drugs and alcohol throughout the pregnancy. He told me to hold him close to me, tightly, throughout these tremor episodes and eventually they would pass.

Honestly, these three years have been a little rough. Listen, I am so not used to all that goes in to this. Yes, we have a total of six children, but let the record show that I am the mom that can give my children the “look” and hey get their lives together. So for me to have to be in the midst of the extreme tantrums, anger, screaming, disobedience and sometimes hurt that can come from my sweet boy, I have totally been out of my hook-up. I’m not used to this. I’m not used to dealing with so much from such a small package….

So, I’m learning.

I am learning to be patient. I am leaning to be calm and consistent, even when my guy is in full meltdown mode.

I am learning to hold him close and allow him to adjust to my heartbeat when his is racing.

I am learning to speak in an even, kind tone although there is so much screaming happening all around me.

I am learning to redirect negative behaviors.

I am learning to advocate for my child, the ins and outs of IEP’s and to not take the stares and uncomfortable looks of others personally.

But most importantly, I am learning that there were no mistakes made. Without a doubt, I know that Big Boy U being our son is God ordained. He was meant to be with us. So learning to teach, love, discipline, advocate and redirect him with love, and without breaking his spirit, is my mission…not easy, but for sure, it belongs to me.

Balance…Is It Possible?!?

Over the past week or so, I’ve been thinking alot about balance. 

Is there any such thing?

We have been pretty productive during this season. 

Marriage. 4.5 Children + 1 Bonus Baby (through foster care). Home Manager. Working Part-time. 

Honestly, there isnt a lot of me time. I love the idea of self-care but when the rubber hits the road, I have to make the best of our situation. While I would love to go get a pedicure and spend some time alone, honestly I have loads of laundry that need to be washed, dryed and folded so the best that I can do is listen to one of my favorite podcast and read a chapter in a book while I wait for my children at baseball practice.

I know it won’t always be like this but for right now I have to grab the moments when and where I can. So to all my mommy friends, take the little moments until the big ones are available. 

16 for ’16…

2016 has been a good year…went by seemingly quick but it has been full. Full of good and some not so good…

Here’s 16 things that I’m thankful for in the year 2016…

#1 Community. During this year I have seen ppl support us in great ways. Our church, neighborhood and school have been a steady stream of support and encouragement.

#2 Minivan. The younger me never seen myself as a minivan driver, couldnt even wrap my mind around the possibility. But the 36 year old, mama of a crew- took a dive into the unknown land of minivans and has never returned. My 2013 Honda Odyssey, Heather the Honda, is neva, eva leaving!!!

#3 Hospitality. This year I have cooked more meals than all my years put together. Being a wife of a head high school football coach has blessed me to make many meals. Throughout the season and summer, Sundays were for team dinners and anywhere from 6-10 teenage boys calling me “Mom” and making our home theirs. Not to count the days when I would get random phone calls from my guys asking what was for dinner. I love it and wouldnt trade it for anything!

#4 Self-Care. Cant say that I have completely mastered this but I have made threading my eyebrows and fresh sushi a part of my monthly regimen.

#5 Introversion. I have accepted that I am an introvert who loves people. I used to long for a best friend-that person who I could tell everything too and spend lots of time with. Well, that person is me…and alot of times my husband. Im okay with having a super small circle and for the acquaintances that life has introduced me too. 

#6 Supportive Wife. I absolutely love my hubby and supporting his goals and dreams is non-negotiable. Being his number 1 fan, being at his events, being his listening ear and biggest confidant are all my priviledge. 

#7 Home Ministry. Home= Husband. Children. Household. If home aint right, its impossible for me to serve at 100% anywhere else.

#8  Welcome Baby. A few weeks ago we welcomed a new baby into our through kinship program. This wasnt planned, by us, we got a call, went through the process and a week later brought home a 3 week old baby boy. Dont know how long he will be with us, just committed to loving him, taking great care of him and praying for his parents. 

#9 Saying No isnt Hard. I used to dread saying no bc I thought I would make ppl angry and that scared me. However Ive learned that its okay for me to say no and without explanation.

#10 Everybody Isnt For Me. I used to really get down on myself if I didnt have an instant connection or feel a certain warmness from ppl. Often I’d ask myslef what had I done or what was wrong with me. Now I’ve realized everybody isnt for me and that’s okay. It doesn’t even have to be anything personal. Somethings/ people arent worth me wasisting my time pondering over.

#11 God is my Source. Its been times when I thought certain hhings happened bc of me or what I’ve done, but I come to realize that God is my source. He is my source of eveything good whether its him providing or allowing someone else to see His glory through my family-It’s Him!

#12 No Longer Living in the Comparison Zone. I used to be so horrible at comparing myself to others. Eventually Iearned that comparisons don’t compare. We are all unique and can only live our lives to the best of our abilities.

#14 Being so Blessed in My Marriage. This year I have seen and heard of so many married couples living like roommates. No affection. No friendship. No sex. No fun. No butterflies. To for me to be in a marriage with a man who truly is my best friend; who I can do life with all while loving, appreciating and wanting to be with him is lit!!! I’m blessed.

#15 Evaluation of My Words AND my Actions. Yes, we as people have to speak good things over ourselves. Heck, I have a list of affirmations right now!! However Ive learned that my actions have to line up with my words in order for change to take place.                             So speak it. Do it. Be it.

#16 Cutting of limitations through Limiting Thoughts. Ive caught myself mentally talking myself out of greatness quite a few times. Like Id think of something or see something and instantly think “that’s great…for her, for them. I couldnt do it bc Im just (fill in the blank)”. No more limiting thoughts. No more self-imposed limitations!!!!!

I hope you have learned some great things in 2016 that will carry you to greatness in 2017.                                              HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!🎈🎉🎈🎉🎈🎉🎈🎉

How Our House Hunt and Our Mission Collided…

For the past year or so we’ve been on the house hunt. Finally a few months back we found a home we loved and put in an offer…only to find out that the seller decided to take it off the market…
When we first started out looking for homes, I went straight to the suburbs-no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I wanted a bigger house and to “feel” as if we were moving on up…
Then things changed. My husband got the head coaching position at a local high school and I started volunteering in the same community with teen and young moms.
My perspective started to shift.
Within myself, my family, we were becoming more mission minded; it wasn’t about status, it’s about where we felt called to make an impact.
And that’s what we’re doing.
Moving into a community where we want to be lights, live amongst people who want to do the same.
We found a cute house~just the right size for our family. The buyers accepted our offer and we have an inspection tomorrow.
It’s so different from where the journey started and I’m ecstatic…
Ready to give my all for what we believe in…being a missional family in the midst of where we are chosen to serve😊🏡
Xoxo

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