Tonight I Tripped Over a Barbie Doll

It was pitch black dark in the den.  After a long day, tired and frustrated I was making my way down to the breakfast room for some sense to be talked into me.  For some words of prayer to be spoken over me.  And there she was.  Just a smiling.  All sprawled out on the hardwood floor like that’s where she belonged.  Like I was in her way.  Of course because it was dark, I got a little nervous about what exactly was lying on the floor that sent my feet into an impromptu jig that could have rendered my body bruised and scratched tonight.

Then I realized it was her.  And a funny thing happened.

I didn’t get mad.  I didn’t think about how she got left there or who it was that should have picked her up.  I fought the temptation to use that as a time to run that movie in my mind where I play the thankless mom who cleans up after the girls and cares for the huni and am often overlooked.  Because it’s a reality show that plays on repeat in my head most days.

But not tonight.

My immediate thought was gratitude and thankfulness.  I smiled at that ole barbie.  Because I thought about my little girls and the great joy that they bring me everyday.  I thought about how much fun I have playing with them and how much happiness I receive when they are happy.  And let me tell you, after a day like today when we run out of time for afternoon naps and have to endure each other in our sleepiest, crankiest of states, these were gooooood thoughts to dwell on.  And a sure blessing from God and a sign of His growing me that these were among the first thoughts to spring into my psyche.

This job of being mom and wife is hard.  And everyday carries with it a new challenge, a new opportunity for me to get over myself and enjoy this life I have been given, to see my children and husband as gifts, not burdens and to realize that I am so blessed to have this family of mine.  On the sunny days and the rainy ones.  While the babies are napping and when they’re running off of remnants of last night’s sleep.  Oh, Pamela.  That you would count it all joy.

Tonight I tripped over a barbie doll and instead of wanting to throw her out of the nearest window, I smiled, placed her in her “bed,” and thanked God for the little girls who clamor to play with her each day.

Rock on all you wives and mamas out there.  You are never overlooked.  He longs to be gracious to you and He always sees you.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)

The Sunday Community: Proverbs 17:6

 Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children.

Proverbs 17:6 (NIV)

Happy Grandparents Day, Grandma, Granddaddy, Nana Phee, PawPaw, GG, and GG Mama!  We count it a sheer blessing to have so many of you to celebrate today and we love you.

~Izzie, Ava, Emmanuel & Pamela

  Please join me and The Sunday Community at Jumping Tandem for more of God’s word and inspiration.

Never Will a Rock Cry Out In My Place!

 37-38Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

Blessed is he who comes,
the king in God’s name!
All’s well in heaven!
Glory in the high places!

39Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”

40But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.” (Luke 19:37-40, The Message)

Move over rocks!!  I got this one!  :0)

171.  Kool Moe Va

172.  biggest cheeeeeeeeeese from the littlest

173.  penny wishes

174.  granddaddies

175.  birthday cupcakes . . .scrumdillyum!!

176.  DQ surprise!

177.  TBP intern class of 2012 . . . love, love, love those girls

178.  my first trip to the crepe truck courtesy of Precious, accompanied by Jamaica Swagu

179.  all gone  :0)

180.  excitedly watching Grandma and Granddaddy unload their car

181.  Dragonfly Jones VaVa

182.  watching her be happiest

183.  late night cuddles and cosby show

. . . and I’m only just getting started . . . check the list and join me:

Try Thankfulness Instead

There are many things to complain about.  Most often when we complain it seems so legitimate.  Righteous even.  But it’s not.  And it never, ever makes anything better.  At least not for me.  See, watch:

1.  I am so tired.

2.  I couldn’t complete any of the things I wanted to get done today.

3.  That girl was so rude to be using her phone while trying to serve me at the check-out line at the grocery store.

4.  I’m getting so frustrated with my family and all of our drama.

5.  More dishes in the sink for me to wash?!  I just finished washing two piles!

Anybody feeling better?  Me neither.  Okay, now watch this:

150.  While my girls were napping, I enjoyed reading a page turner and it was thrilling!

151.  Spending time laughing with Nit and KiKi.

152.  Seeing Iz light up at the sight of her cousins, no matter how many times she sees them.

153.  Peanut butter Cheerios.

154.  A chance to see God move on behalf of my family as I intercede on their behalf.

155.  Hot, running water with which to wash my dishes.

156.  A visit from Mini, complete with dinner, conversation and giggles.

157.  DeeDee’s trust and vulnerability.

158.  KiKi’s new journey to NCCU.

159.  Calvin’s new journey to ECU.

160.  Victory seen on the hopeful faces of two soon-to-be high school graduates, both college bound.

161.  Restored relationships.

162.  Jamaica, serving me ice cream while she ate liver.

163.  Leaping into the wind at the sensing of the presence of courage and fearlessness . . .couldn’t miss the chance . . .couldn’t let them pass me by.

164.  Lisa and Sarah.

165.  Growth.

166.  Determination to pay down more debt.

167.  A plan.

168.  A weekend home with my family.

169.  Honesty.

170.  Expectation.

and the list goes on . . . try counting blessings the next time you want to complain. . . I really do feel so much better!!

As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible.  Joy is always possible.Whenever, meaning–now ; wherever, meaning–here.  The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience.  The joy wonder could be here!  Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be–unbelievably–possible! ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

See my running list here:


photo found on google, from

Love Letter to the Women Who Mean So Much to Me

I think that the term best friend has lost some of its flavor.  Back in the day-day, best friends were as distinguishable as the smell of curry in the hallway of a diverse apartment building in D.C.  If a girl said that someone was her best friend, you could best believe that the two of them would be melded together like the sweet, sticky syrup to the dough on a cherry pastry.  And consistently so–no matter what!  They’d take on each other’s personalities, look out for each other, and fight (of course), but they would essentially create a world made just for the two of them, through which they would freely and creatively express themselves and in which they would endeavor to live for the rest of their lives.

But now it seems like a BFF has been reduced to a fad, the latest trend.  And as her ability to accessorize with your life changes, so do the ideals of friendship.  For some people, that term-BFF needs to be amended to BFFN–Best Friend For Now!  And I am so sad to report that there are even some of us who can’t say that we have very many friends at all–much less a best friend.  I hear so many women proudly say, “I don’t do women.  I prefer to deal with men, ’cause women are just too much.”  And I think that’s just a shame.  I really believe that we are a reflection of each other and if we refuse to unite then what side of ourselves are we giving each other to reflect upon?  And why are we okay with that?

Well, I have come as the BF Fairy to restore your faith in friendship!  (get excited) One fateful day (some years ago today, in fact), the giver of all good and perfect gifts opened up the windows of heaven and poured me out a blessing , and even now, this woman is my ride or die, tried and true homie. I am so grateful that I get to call my mom one of my dearest, bestest, good friends.  I’ve shared my whole, whole, life with her.  She’s seen me inside and out, ugly and beautiful and yet she still loves me.  And she still chooses me, day after day.  She calls me, just to talk, just to know what’s going on with me and to share what’s going on in her life, with me.  She trusts me.  She was careful not to befriend me too soon.  She did me the honor of making sure that I had her love as my mommy before she ever thought of me as a friend.  And it’s because of her that I can dream impossible dreams and pray with faith that the Lord will sift through them and give me what He deems best for me.  She is one of  the most sweet-hearted women I’ll ever know.  I’ve never seen strength and vulnerability contained so beautifully in a person as with my mom.  She’s my shoulder to cry on, laughing buddy, prayer partner, my biggest fan.  And I would not be who I am today if it were not for her.  There is no tribute effective enough to do her justice.  You’d have to meet her to know that these few words were a meager attempt and only hint at the wonder of God’s goodness that she personifies.  She’s inspiration and aspiration to all things higher and greater.  My mommy.

I have a friend who, over the years, has transcended as more than my friend–she is my sister.  I can try to minimize our relationship to words just so that I can tell you exactly how and why it’s been as sweet as it is and still the best that I can say is that in her heart, there I sit–along with her mother, her family, the greatest loves of her life and her darling baby girls.  Her actions toward me have been the spokesperson for these sentiments.  She’s always wanted me to be a part of her life and she has done her share of the work to make it happen.  She tells me all the time that she is going to be the Gayle to my Oprah and this is not because she is settling for being a Gayle until she finds her inner Oprah but because she believes in me wholeheartedly and she gives me the strength, courage and wisdom to pitch my tent among the stars while I rest and dream on a cloud.  I can see the beauty of who I am, and who I aspire to be, naturally reflected in the light of her essence.  She’s been like a mother’s love–comforting, correcting, and sacrificing so that I can be, me.  Of course we’ve had our fights and our friendship has suffered some turmoil.  I’ve wanted to slam and suplex her but I honestly cannot imagine my life without her.  She’s my BFF.

But here’s the real doozy:  I have so many wonderfully incredible women in my life who, through the years and even right now, have deeply effected who I am.  In some cases they have been better to me than I to them.  There is so much grace in that.  I am a big ole mess and if anyone were to decide to give up on me, I couldn’t hold an argument worthy of making them change their mind.  But I’ve got some sit-ins-at-the-lunch-counter-during-the-civil-rights-movement kind of women in my life!  They shall not be moved!!  Each woman who I have the privilege of calling mine in any capacity is a representation of the truth I seek as I grow and develop as a woman of integrity, a woman of grace, a woman of standard, a woman of God.  They not only are friends, they are goals, for if I can but strive to attain the beauty of self and character that these women possess I just may become the first real-life superwoman.  Yes, I love my best friend and her light shines brightly in my life but the evolution of my refinement is continued in the summer, spring, winter and fall that are all of my friends and some of the women in my family and church as well.

Through my life I celebrate you all–a beautyFULL, spring bouquet in the center of an elegant table setting.  You allow me to adorn myself in the petals of your love and grace and in so doing you have given me the confidence to sashay about with confidence in this harsh, judgemental, mean world.  As my stilettos leave holes in the ground, I continue your legacy, inviting those who come behind me to plant a seed in fertile soil–the results of which will be deep, strong roots and the rich, succulent fruit of God’s productivity yielded through me from you.

And all of this– not simply because of me but because God loved me so much that he specifically and thoughtfully placed all of you in my life.

Monday Morning Thanks

I went to bed much too late last night.  Much too late for a mom who has to get up and be full on first thing in the morning of a new day where grace lies fresh and new, waiting for me to receive it–if only I would  just. get. up.

Most mornings I just lie there, pleading for more night hours, more time to just . . . lie there.  Here lately it seems that I’m never ready to face a new day.  Even though I usually fight dread, this morning  I just got up and made a start.  I had it in my mind that I would pass through my morning with praise and thanksgiving and purpose and just see what would happen.  And that’s what I did.

I opened my eyes and . . .

134. Thank you, Lord for another day.

Then realized that without qualifying it I had indeed rested the night hours away.

135.  Restful sleep, uninterrupted as you protected my family, my home and me through the night.

And when a bill collector rang my phone first thing, threatening to steal what little peace and joy I was collecting for the day as I would normally descend into fret about the lack of funds to pay up, I didn’t fret I just added to the list:

136.  Another chance to pay my debts.

As my huni rushed noisily about, scampering madly from the bedroom to the bathroom seemingly unaware of a tired woman trying to put together a morning, a day, again I added:

137.  A diligent man, determined to make it to work on time.

138.  Your provision for my family through a job that E loves and enjoys.

Dressed myself.  Moved into the room of two little girls, wildly excited to start a new day, the sun shining through their window, inviting them to be happy and bask in another chance at discovering their world.

139..   Sweet baby voices acquiring speech and using it well!

Made our way downstairs.  Breakfast.

140.  Delicious, healthy food to feed little tummies.

141.  The silence of breakfast.

142.  Two satisfied tummies.

143.  The silence of breakfast.  The sweet, sweet silence of happily eating girls.

And we, together, did chores . . .

144.  A clean house.

. . .had lessons . . .

145. Eagerly learning little girls.

. . .played together . . .

146.  Peacefully (and sometimes not so much) playing sisters. :0)

. . .and shared yet another meal together . . .

147.  Izzie reciting the grace before her lunch.

148.  The cute little way Ava leans her head to one side displaying an irresistible cheek to kiss.

. . . and before I knew it, it was . . .

149.  Naptime.

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