Don’t Wait For Death to Show Love

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Sometime in July I got a call from my cousin. We’ll call him B. B is always the life of the party. “Come Mek wi go Jamaica nuh?” He said in his ever vibrant tone. Oh how I love the Jamaican accent!

I asked him, what for? He said he had retired and wanted to get away for a couple of weeks. Would I go with him? I have been away from Jamaica for almost 40 years. I couldn’t readily say yes to a trip there. At least not on the spur of the moment.

I lovingly scoffed and told him I would think about it.

On the early morning of September 20, I got a call from B’s sister. He had passed away the previous night. I lost my breath in that moment. My last conversation with him replayed through my memory. I had to finish the conversation at another time. I couldn’t contain myself.

During the month of August I called my beloved Uncle Tony. I got his voicemail. I left a message telling him I was thinking about him. For about a week and a half after that we played phone tag. I never got to speak with him again.

On sept 29 my youngest sister announced to our family Whatsapp group that our beloved Uncle Tony had passed away. It broke my heart and for the second time in less than a month I had lost two of the most wonderful men in my life.

I’m left to wonder how to prevent these mishaps in life. The answer is to stay connected.

My life is not more important than the people in my life.

Earlier this year a colleague I used to take walks with passed away suddenly. We had cancelled all of the last meet ups we had planned. We couldn’t find the time to get together for 15 minutes despite the fact we worked in the same building.

Worst, a week before she died I saw her near the elevator but she was too far away to hear me, I thought. I didn’t want to shout. I figured I’d see her later. But later never came.

Regret is pointless after death. The person is already gone. You can’t talk or walk with them. A vacation with them is no longer possible

But there are still a lot of people living right now. People for us to connect and bond with. Folks to make amends with and family to forgive.

I hear a lot of complaints from people about what was done to them 10, 15, even 50 years ago. Why?

Last year, I wrote about my friend Lorraine who had betrayed my trust. The next time I heard her name was decades later and I was told she had died.

Or what about my former sister-in-law? For months I kept telling myself I had to call her. Had to write. Had to send photos of my sons to her. But I didn’t. She always slipped my mind.

Then one day I was devastated by the news that she had died of breast cancer.

All this might sound morbid. But the point I’m making is that we can’t waste time. Because tomorrow is not promised.

We must make haste to wake up out of our stupor and connect with others.

What can you do today to add value to someone else’s life? Who do you need to call. Write or visit?

Life is so fleeting. And death doesn’t wait to be invited. He comes when we least expect him. And even when we do expect him, his presence is still destructive.”

He rides in to collect. Because we owe him. And collect he will.

What purpose do we serve in this world if we live selfishly? Telling ourselves we are too busy? Or it’s not our problem?

We can make a difference before it’s too late. What good are we in this world if we cannot show we care? We may need to reach across the globe.

The next state.

Across the street.

In our pews.

Or sadly, in the bed next to us.

We can and must do better.

Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
Napoleon Bonaparte

Meet and Greet Birthday Extravaganza!!

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Wish Danny a Happy Birthday. Visit his page and Dream Big.

Dream Big, Dream Often

imagesWhat day is it??!!  My Birthday!!  And that means Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts off!

See…

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Listen

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ListeningListening. It’s a rare gift indeed.

From the customer service rep on the phone to the clerk behind the counter. Everyone wants to give their opinion.

Yet no one cares to listen to yours.

Are you a good listener?

Are you?

Well let’s see.

Through the hustle of life — raising children solo — we live in a noisy world. Everything and everyone demands our attention.

Yet, we are unable to take the time to listen.

Can’t you hear.    In all that noise.    A still small voice.

Beckoning.

If you have toyed with an idea for years. Whether it’s writing a book or starting a business. Whether it’s creating a product or going back to school.

You have heard the still small voice.

But again. The noise.

We can’t. Or we won’t. Or we don’t want to listen.

It’s too hard. What! Am I nuts? I can’t do that.

Yet that still small voice. Beckoning. Urging. Imploring.

And you hesitate. You take pause. Because your soul ache for something different.

Something new.

But.

You can’t avoid the fear. That nauseating bulge in the spit of your stomach.

That nagging doubt. That critical sound.

But you want it so badly.

All these years of toiling in someone else’s vineyard is taking it’s toll.

Yet. You hesitate.

It’s too hard. I don’t have time. It cost too much.

But how much does it cost. To delay. To wander aimlessly through life.

Passionless.

Void of purpose.

How long will you continue to ignore. That still small voice.

Listen!

It's time

1 Way to Help You Meet New Readers: Meet and Greet

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Join this blog meet and greet

Dream Big, Dream Often

imagesWhat day is it??!!  HUMP DAY!!  No, that is completely wrong…it’s Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts…

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The Virtuous Mom: Having the Courage to Believe

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Faith means different things to different people I think.

But faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 Because if you already see it then what’s the point of hoping for it? (paraphrase).

When you have no one to depend on, your only recourse is to have faith that things will work out.

However it is true that “…faith without works is dead,” James 2:17

Meaning if you need a job but you never look for one it is highly unlikely you will get one no matter how much you believe you will.

When you are mothering solo it may seem like you are all alone. Yet, I find that having faith in God brings me peace. And usually that faith is “rewarded” by an answer I didn’t quite expect.

For example, when my youngest became a teenager, he was quite lippy. I was tired, overworked and overwhelmed. I realize I couldn’t handle him and I wasn’t interested in getting into a shouting match with him every day. I tried that once and I almost had a stroke — literally.

So I just said to God. “He’s yours. Handle it.”

Trust me Olivia Pope has nothing on God. When he handles it. IT’S HANDLED.

My youngest is now a hardworking college student. Charting his own path. I have heard him encouraging and advising guys four years his senior. I marvel at his wisdom.

Faith Takes Courage
On faith alone, I gave away all my possessions. I then moved with my kids to New York City (900 miles away), to accept a two-week temporary job. That was eight and a half years ago and I still work for the same company.

I didn’t have all the answers. Truth be told, I had none. I just trusted that God knew more than I did.

I was scared out of my mind. But when your back is against the wall. When your children’s survival depends on the decision you make — you move — on faith. Because you have nothing else.

Acting on faith (works) take courage. If you are a single mom, you are no doubt intimately familiar with courage.

So have faith. Believe that He can and He will. I know some of you don’t believe in God. What can I tell you? I can only share what I’ve experienced.

You have to ask yourself the question: Why have faith in someone who is just as weak and faulty as you are?

Removing the “Buts” That are in Your Way

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During regular discussions with friends and acquaintances, I often hear them say things like “I wish I could do something else. Instead of showing up to a boring job every day.” And I might say “well, why don’t you…” Only to hear “well…” followed by a litany of excuses.

Or I might jump in with a quick suggestion based on my observation of who I think they are. Then they might say, “but…” followed by a long list of self-deprecation and excuses, accompanied by a violent shake of the head.

What I see though in all these “wells” and “buts” is fear. People are scared of change. But more realistically, a single mom would be scared of taking the leap to follow her dream given she is the only one her children has to depend on.

However, by using the word “but” (first) they send up an impenetrable wall – too high to climb and too wide to get around. In other words before the balloon is airborne, the air gets sucked out of it….by a “but”.
So what is your “but”? What is the “reason” you tell yourself you can’t start working on your dreams, your passion, your calling? And I know some of the reasons are legitimate. But by using words like “but” you are telling your brain “no way, forget it, don’t even think about it.”

As a man thinketh…(Proverbs 23:7)

                  …Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34)

Your buts then drive your actions. You are paralyzed by fear. Because instead of opening your mind to possibilities you close yourself off to greatness by telling yourself it’s just not possible.

Tony Robbins describes this as our “story”. So what is the story you are telling yourself? What is the story that creates the wall between you and your God-given potential?

It is true that you need your job to support your family. It is true that if you do not work you and your children may not eat or have somewhere to live. But those reasons should be your catalyst to your “why”. In other words, if you can determine why you feel you need to be or do better in life, you will have the motivation you need to move forward with your dreams, desires and goals.

So put the brakes on the “but”. Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t leave my job to start a business because…” Start by telling yourself that you will spend 30 minutes each day to researching and taking notes about what you think you want to do.

Action brings momentum.

So pivot.

Take action!

Your actions will tell your brain what to think and do. So start today by reading an article. Or listen to a podcast. Write down what it is you yearn to do. That you can do while remaining in your job.

Start today. Kick the “but”.

Resources to get you started:

The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard

Start by Jon Acuff

48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller and Dave Ramsey

And if you are still having trouble starting, read:

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod