32B's Blog

…where I write my words

I Hate Hills!

Today is Monday.  Yesterday was Sunday.  I ran the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 yesterday at 4pm.  It was my first time running this race.  Although I did earn a medal, I wanted to stop several times during the race just to kneel & pray and ask God to forgive me for voluntarily signing up for this race.  10 miles?  Why on earth would anyone want to run such a distance?  And not just a straight out and back flat course.  No!  There were bends, up hills, down hills, trees, thick grass, and more bends, uphills, downhills, etc.  I assumed it would be hot and I’d be gasping for air, water, something…but I was surprisingly good.  My breathing was controlled most of the time which means I wasn’t going too fast or too slow.  My thighs were another story though.  With each small incline, I felt the muscle fibers of my quads scream.  It wasn’t an audible sound.  More like a signal running from my thighs to my brain to tell my legs to completely shut down because, clearly, I was not operating in a sane state of mind.  I kept going.  Slowly I reached the top of each incline.  Focused, I tried to tell myself it was only a small incline which it was each measuring no more than 50 meters but after the 20th incline they all started to feel like they were a mile long.

This is why I signed up for this race.  I live, run, and race in the city (Chicago).  There aren’t many races in the city which take place on hilly uneven terrains which force your legs to work harder than they otherwise would on a flat course.  A flat course is what I am used to.  I might do the stands at the track stadium near my apartment but that was the extent of my hill workouts.  Sunday literally had me crying out to God.  It had to be about the 7th or 8th mile when I just knew I was about to cry for the sake of my thighs.  I asked myself, “are you out of breath?”  No.  “Are you tired or over-exerting yourself?”  No.  “Are you dehydrated?”  No.  “Are you hot feeling faint or needing to get out of the sun?”  No.  “Then what the hell is the problem?”  My legs are tired!  They contract but refuse to relax.  You know the cycle: clinch, release, clinch, release….but my thighs are permanently locked in “clinch” and, oh shit, here comes another incline!  After my literal cry to God, I passed yet another bend in the forest preserve to hear bells and see people clapping and yelling “you’re almost there!”  I was instantly pissed.  What does “almost there” mean?  Another mile?  Another 800 meters?  Up around this here tree?  What?!  The lady just said, “it’s right up ahead of you”.  I do not know this lady, never met her in my life, but I wanted to strangle her.  My mind needed to know exactly how much longer it had to convince my thighs to continue moving.  Now, up until this point, I had only stopped to drink water from the water station which was about 10 seconds max.  Then I stopped again to drink Gatorade from a cup which was another 10 seconds max.  Wanted to make sure I got every drop of liquid into my mouth instead of on my chin, shirt, face, shoe, etc which would have resulted in ZERO benefit to me.  I felt good at the 5 mile split clocking about 43:19 mins. 

Then came the last miles of the race and I started to cuss everyone out in my head.  I cussed the race itself.  I cussed myself.  I cussed the loud guy running right behind me breathing extremely heavy in my ear and stomping the ground like it was the ground’s fault he was running today.  I cussed the old lady who ran pass me so effortlessly with her gray hair and cute running skirt.  I cussed the young high school kids who ran pass while holding a conversation like this was a leisurely stroll on a fantastic Sunday afternoon.  I cussed the gravel I was running on.  I cussed each freakin incline.  I cussed each downhill that followed.  I cussed each bend in the course.  I cussed each tree that did not block the sun from shining directly on me and no one else it seemed.  I cussed whoever decided 10 miles was a great distance to run and thought “let’s throw in some hills while we’re at it”.  And I cussed everyone and everything else vowing never to run another mile in my life but I knew God was listening and sometimes He takes me serious so I vowed to never run up another hill in my life but then I heard God laughing so I decided to just shut the hell up and finish.  That lady who almost got strangled?  She was correct.  The finish line was about 800 meters after that bend in the road.  It would have been nice if I knew that and it would have been nice to see a FINISH LINE banner so my mind would know when this torture was coming to an end.  But no!  I stopped to walk for about 30 seconds because my thighs seriously felt like they were going to lock up on me.  Little did I know I was 400 meters from the finish so imagine how stupid I felt.  Who walks when you are that close to the finish?  Someone who did not know that was the damn finish line!  I saw the lady with medals in her hand, I saw she had several left and there was only one person in front of me, and I felt a glimmer of hope. 

All this work, sweat (I was seriously rank & stank), tears (on the inside), pain (on the outside), prayers (I was strongly petitioning the throne of Mercy), and hatred (well deserved & intended) was all worth it for this little circular piece of metal.  If I learned nothing else, it was that I need to raise my standards a little bit.  A small circular piece of metal and I suddenly loved running again?  What the hell is wrong with me?!  Am I crazy?  I must be.  I ran to the finish happy completely forgetting about my locked up thighs, slapped a kids’ hand as he said “congrats” like I was the 1st place finisher, and grabbed my medal as some guy yelled out my time.  I could care less about the time but I took my medal and tried to walk off before my legs gave from underneath me and I totally embarrassed myself.  Finishing time: 1:34:19 – 4 minutes slower than expected but 15 more hills than expected too so I’m cool.  My thighs are still sore today.  Might be sore tomorrow.  Wednesday.  Maybe even Thursday.  As much as I hated each hill I ran up, I know they have strengthened my legs more than they were before.  No pain.  No gain.  Oh, my brother ran with me.  With no prior training or conditioning he finished in 1:47:08 – oh, to be young again.  He still got beat by a girl though 🙂

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stress

Sometimes I wonder where all the regular folks went.  Growing up, we had our own little circle of people who talked about home, relationships, marriage, finances, love, work, school, kids, church, God, sex, food, clothing, fashion, technology, etc with honesty.  Now, I keep running into people who want to talk about things that do not matter like celebs, movies, music, etc.  I knew what to expect from life because people talked about their lives openly.  A few weeks ago, a friend asked if I thought she was conceited.  I told her “yes”.  She thanked me for my honesty and I thought the conversation was over until she had to ask “why”.  I told her.  In return, she told me how she felt about me and gave me her honest opinion about a number of things.  I appreciated the feedback and, on some things, I took her advice.  On others, the jury is still out.  I find that I like life more when I am surrounded by people who are real honest about life.  I do not handle stress well….as you can tell.  I never have been good at handling stress.  It scared me, confused me, shook my foundation, and left me confused on where I was supposed to go.  I grew up sheltered by many standards but exposed to the harsh realities within my own home. 

My family is in shambles.  My sister who asked for the $180 went to get her hair done for her and her boyfriend’s 1 yr anniversary while eventually she will complain about being broke and running low on insulin.  My mom is crazy (literally sometimes).  She took out a life insurance policy on my sister because she is convinced her live-in boyfriend is going to kill her.  My mom is in a deep financial hole.  She has struggled with finances from day one and, when God gave her a way out, her spent that on a necklace (thanks Kanye).  She doesn’t qualify for a certain type of bankruptcy and works her life away trying to stay afloat.  My step-dad is an alcoholic.  He has one DUI that I know of, had his license taken away, got a fake license under his brother’s information (identify theft), and has wrecked maybe 3 cars this year so far.  He wrecked this recent car which my mom put in her name (about the time she asked me to buy her a car) and is still driving illegally around Chicago reminding me of the several fatal accidents of drivers with DUIs on the road who killed pedestrians.  My other sister is pregnant without money and her current baby daddy is in jail for whatever reason and all she has is her Link (food stamps) card and whatever agency pays her rent every month.  My ex-hubby is still out of work and still always out partying, eating out, and living it up without so much of $5 in the mail for his kids.  My brother’s prom is next month and he was promised a car but since our step-dad has no license and my mom refuses to let him drive anything but a big wheel, he is screwed and pissed.  My bro is mad at me for not taking his exam for him, he is mad at my parents for not taking him to get his license (or at least take one of the exams), and he is mad that he will not get his shiny new car to rent for prom.  I sound pretty damn normal in comparison.

This is why I do not come around family too much because my head begins to hurt, my heart races, I feel like I can’t breathe, and I wanna cry because they stress me out sometimes.  Yeah, I sound weak.  No, I do not need to toughen my skin and no I do not need to get stronger.  It’s not a matter of me letting them stress me out (at least I don’t think so).  It’s a matter of caring about a bunch of stupid people so much their failures hurt too much.  They are too stupid to see their mistakes.  If I help, I begin to carry their burdens because they will all come with a hand outstretched.  If I stay away from family, my actions are misinterpreted as anything but positive.  That is what I have chosen thus far.  Some things will never perfectly align and connect every dot or even compute.  Some things just refuse to feel right.  My life in its soon-to-be solo state of just me and my kids (until summer vacation) is perfectly peaceful.  No one’s calls to screen, no one’s text messages to ignore, no one’s FB status’ to roll my eyes at, and no one to delete so I do not see their tweets.  If I could, I’d make my blog accessible to folks I approve only but that requires too much work and may be counterproductive.  I wish I had the time to write about health care, immigration (can these folks just get a damn SS card?!), drugs, violence, gangs, economy, politics, or Wall Street.  I read other blogs for those posts.  Right here at least for right now, I feel like talking about what’s going on in my own backyard with my own blood and my own people. 

And yes, I do not anticipate this relationship lasting….he is pissing me off weekly now.  I shake my head oftentimes wondering why I am destined to be single for life.  I tell him to quit his job because he is their slave….he acts like it was his idea.  He runs a business but his employees run him to the point where he must stay nearby to check on them as if they are infants instead of grown men.  I told him to fire them.  He says “they have families”.  I say “they don’t care about their families to skip half a day at work without notice”.  They show up to work when they want to, complain about him to his brother, his brother has to cuss them out to get them back on track, and then he has to pay them out of his savings account.  It’s bad business all the way around but my degree in management means little to his years of entrepreneurial/management skills.  He even asked me if he could do my job.  I replied “yes but they require a college degree first and you have to pass a test to even get an interview”.  He said he was only asking cause he likes computers.  I like math but that doesn’t mean I am good at it!  I told Mr. D I would never hire him to manage anything of mine so why would a relationship work?!  Is that not a form of business with love as the foundation? 

No IRA, no 401k, no investments, upside down on your car, not enough savings to carry you thru a lay-off because you use it to pay lazy employees, a business barely in the black, and more expenses than income…yes, we can talk about everything else that is all cutesy and girlie because that is what will make me happy.  But, when I outline all the ways in which your ship is sinking either now or later, he says I am getting too personal.  Money is personal.  Being an entrepeneur with business cards and driving a Lexus is a front.  You are no more wealthy than the crackhead outside your door.  You just have a better chance of getting that small business loan than he does.  But, his money matters are too personal because I struck a chord when I said “I am right”.  Of course we aren’t retiring at the age of 65 anymore so you might have another 20 yrs but time is the valuable component available to you when it comes to retirement esp when you are about 30 yrs from the traditional retirement age which means you will have to set aside more monthly than someone 21 yrs of age would to play catch-up.  Compound interest.  Time.  With little savings, no retirement account, and existing debt with the hopes of children….this is one fool who is too arrogant to listen to some skinny divorcee chick who runs miles for fun and can see a liability before it sees itself.  But, most black men are always complaining that black women do not see the potential.  I see potential but I also see defiance and refusal to listen.  It’s not always about who is the head of the household.  Where is the respect?  Why do I care more about your financial future than you do?  And who pays a car off just to buy another one?  Idiot!

I still pray for them.  I honestly haven’t prayed in forever but I started again because someone needs to pray and since it’s my family I guess that someone is me.  Mr. D?  He’s a man….they figure these things out naturally.  Isn’t that what that Y chromosome is for?  Let them tell it…

May 3, 2010 Posted by | Life, Love | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Color Me Bad

It took me a weekend to get back to the normal me so now I feel better.  Saturday I spent hours that night applying to jobs, researching which certifications are in demand, and figuring out how to better position myself for a better opportunity.  I’m not in search of more money but in search of satisfaction.  I keep asking myself what would I do even if I didn’t get paid for it and my answer is always running but I have my days when I don’t feel like running so my real answer would be nothing.  If I could get paid to do nothing that would be great but, if I had to choose, if I could get paid to do something it would involve about 5 things which kinda defeats the point of the question itself.  Sunday I did laundry but I ran out of laundry detergent so I didn’t finish.  I applied for more jobs which I liked which weren’t many.  And I cleaned up.  Well, I gave the kids tasks and I did the things they usually half-ass due to age. 

I have gotten to the point of letting things go or at least I am trying.  My co-worker asked if Mr. D and I go to the same church and I wanted to say “I dnt go to a church at all” but instead I said “no”.  My soror asked if I’d gone to church and I said “no” and then she asked if I was an atheist again and I laughed and said “no” again.  I stopped answering the phone for Prayer Line on saturday mornings often because I don’t go to sleep until past midnight and other times because I don’t think I should continue with it anymore.  I haven’t talked to Mama Allen in months.  I haven’t talked to anyone really.  Someone asked if I was against the establishment of organized religion.  I didn’t know how to answer that.  I have been told that I will find the same problems in any and every other church I go to.  Well, that leaves me perfectly content staying at home.  Someone asked if I cared about my kids and teaching them about Christianity.  I am confident in my own abilities to teach them everything I know including what I never learned in church.  

Some things I do not agree with and it’s present in every church.  Some things I have questioned since I was young that I see in every church.  Some things should be overlooked in favor of Christian fellowship.  Some things should be ignored in favor of having some place to give your time, talents, and treasures.  Some things are bigger and more serious than people care to admit.  I passed a church….honestly, I walked pass millions of churches and saw names in big bold letters on the outside.  When did it become important to know who is pastoring or leading the church?  Why isn’t it more important to announce the denomination instead?  Just thoughts I have had.  I walked into quite a few churches and saw huge pictures of men in leadership inside the church.  Where is the picture of white Jesus?  Or the brown Jesus most black people put up?  Why is this guy on this huge ass picture instead of Jesus?  Who are we following?  Are we Thomasians (Pastor Thomas) instead of Christians (Jesus the Christ)?  Why do we go to church once a week to worship Christ but about 4 times a week to worship the men in leadership for their big days (anniversaries)?  I do not agree.

Nothing more than I do not agree.  I am not saying these things are wrong.  I am not saying these things are against God because I don’t know how He feels about it.  I am not saying anything other than “I do not agree”.  I thought this same thing as a youngster but my father was associate minister eager to climb the ladder and get his own church so I kept quiet.  He also had a good backhand so I didn’t wanna injury this pretty face of mine.  I thought the same during college when friends went to church Sunday morning after partying and laying up with ol’ dude Saturday night.  I did the same things too and had plans on doing it next weekend as well so I didn’t wanna lie to myself or fake the phunk.  I didn’t agree with it.  It is not to say they shouldn’t have, should apologize to me, or should change their ways.  The beauty of disagreements is the freedom to have an opinion but not impose that opinion.  Just to have one is beautiful.  I thought the same here but church people from various places in the USA whom I call friends have told me “that’s what churches do” and I agreed.  That is what churches do but that does not mean I have to follow the crowd and participate. 

Other than that, I am the bad girl who does not attend church anymore, who does not pray on the Prayer Line, who does not believe all in the Bible, whose friends joke is an atheist, who questions everything so I know in what I believe, who does not think even man is qualified to lead no matter how many were “appointed” by God, who is in complete disagreement with more than I am in agreement with.  There is more I would like to type (financial matters in the church) but I promised I would not since it is sensitive information and, frankly, I should not know about it anyways.  I color myself bad so I can stand out in direct opposition until someone can give me an adequate explanation of “why” as opposed to “it’s tradition”.  Let’s see if I will make it to Heaven with no active/current church membership.  I guess if ol’ dude hanging with Jesus (literally) on Calvary can make it to Heaven without the earthly hoops to jump through then I should be good too.

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Christian | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pray For Me Too

Today is the 2nd Saturday of the month which means it’s Prayer Ministry time.  Meeting is from 8-945a…I got there about 815a.  I have missed the last 3 weeks of any & everything church related partly because I’ve been out of town so, when I walked in, I could tell some people were surprised.  I sat down and looked over the agenda to see what we’d be discussing today.  Our book of the month is Spiritual Warfare.  Honestly, this has been the book-of-the-month for the past few months.  Why?  Because no one has read it and because Mama Allen refuses to go on ahead without knowing most of the Prayer Warriors gained something from the book.  The point of this post is to highlight my own shortcomings, the time I was downright rude during the meeting, and the time I talked to Mama Allen about my own concerns with the ministry. 

We have a facilitator for the book who has been absent from the ministry most of this past year while she battled cancer so it was good to have her back.  She opened the discussion and a couple women shared their opinions on the book, what they got from the book, and how it somehow pertained to their personal lives.  No big deal, right?  Wrong!  What the discussion is supposed to do is get everyone talking about key aspects of the book highlighting some line or passage from the book that they liked.  That did not happen too much today.  I won’t say it didn’t happen but I will say it didn’t happen as intended.  One lady (who we all know you can’t pay her to shut up) started talking about something in right field.  Then another lady (who should honestly never speak publicly) started talking about something in left field.  By this point, I was highly irritated because, yet again, we were off topic, not discussing the actual book, and we were going to add yet another month to this already old book!  When the lady talking about left field started to recap a story involving her friends’ house, casting out demons in this house, how she went and bought a bottle of oil to anoint the house, and how she went from room to room speaking the word of God and pleading the blood of Jesus….I was past pissed.

Maybe it’s just me but some people want so badly to be used by God for all the wrong reasons.  She has no anointing.  I will venture out there to say that.  Everyone kept saying how real and serious Satan and his demons are.  How you shouldn’t play with casting out demons because they will surely find a home in you if they know you are just faking the funk pretending to be anointed and all that oil in your hand is good for frying some chicken only!  Yet and still, they say this and people will take up a good 15 minutes recapping their stories.  It’s cool if you wanna take that risk but not during the time when we are supposed to be discussing the book.  So, since I’m used to people at this church constantly muttering under their breathes “I wish she will sit down” or “here she go again” I raised my hand and the lady stopped talking probably assuming I had something to add to the story but, instead, I pointed to the facilitator and said “you can go on to the next chapter”.  You should have seen her face!  She looked like she wanted to say, “how dare you b*tch” but I held my ground cause I was serious….move on!!  Mama Allen starting talking, this chick gave me one of those looks, I leaned forward about to tell her what part of my anatomy she can kiss, but instead I got up and walked out.  I was feeling frustrated all over again.  The ministry is not meeting my expectations nor is it meeting Mama Allen’s expectations given to her by the Holy Spirit. 

Mama Allen called me later during the day and I told her I did feel irritated, I’m tired of waiting until someone decides to do the work needed of Prayer Warriors, I’m tired them wanting the entire church to know they’re Prayer Warriors but not do the work to build the foundation, and I’m tired of feeling stagnant.  My shortcoming?  I felt arrogant during that moment in the meeting before I raised my hand.  This lady said “and I dos it” instead of “I did it” and it was all downhill from there.  In my head, I started to have arrogant thoughts such as “I’ve read all the books and memorized the scriptures so I should be on an accelerated track” or “this lady can’t even speak properly but she’s casting out demons?!” or “these people are holding me back” or “I refuse to call grown women to make sure they have read their books”.  When I walked out, I felt guilt at my thoughts, irritation, and the sad realization that some people need someone to hold their hand in this.  I admit I am not that person.  I am hands off.  Either you work for it or you won’t.  I am not a teacher & I am not a coach because I am the best student/athlete you can find.  I don’t give up.  I don’t whine the whole way.  If I know I can’t then I bow out but not before giving it my all.  I lack patience for people who complain more than they try.  Mama Allen has bust her skinny azz tryna put shyt together for this dang ministry so it pisses me off when some grown azz woman says “I ain’t got time to be reading all these books!”  Do they say that to Mama Allen?  No, they’s bytches.  I hear them say this shyt all the time and they say it to me or when I am standing right there basically not caring how time and effort Mama Allen has invested so it does piss me off and I wish they’d just bow the phuck out.  I told Mama Allen on the phone that the meetings aren’t timely and people talk too freakin much.  How can we move on?!

In the end, I don’t know what I wanna do.  I stepped outside to gain my composure, the Pastor walked in with a deacon and didn’t look at me just muttered a “hello” as if it was required, and I just about screamed.  Why am I even here?!  Why?  My mood is ten times worse from being here for just 2 hours.  Maybe it is Satan up to no good.  Maybe it is a spirit of discord and division.  Maybe it is but I know I want to learn more and I should have learned more but the ministry is not where I would have hoped it would be.  Mama Allen mentioned a “what if” situation that involved her leaving the church or letting the ministry go in the hands of the current leaders….I’d surely leave it as well.  It prb won’t die but it will be on life support for awhile.  I cursed.  I yelled.  I stomped my feet.  I grabbed my coat and left as soon as I could.  I ran from the church and doubt I’d be there tomorrow morning.  If this is Satan’s way of keeping me at bay then it must be cleverly disguised because all I can think about is the mess called organized religion and the Christians who resemble Satanists if anything.  Strong words to type but imagine the way I feel to even type that and stand behind it.  Pray for me too.

February 13, 2010 Posted by | Christian | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunflower

Sunflower%20%20WEBI went to a farmers market in Oak Park, IL and bought the cutest & biggest sunflower.  It’s gorgeous.  I have it sitting in my living room window right next to me in a water bottle because I don’t have a vase.  It’s gorgeous.  I saw some people walking down the street with several in their hands and I exclaimed loudly like a kid, “I want one of those!”  So I went to get one.  This was yesterday.  Friday I was on the train talking on the phone to a soror of mine.  Her boyfriend’s birthday was coming up so she was going over what she had already bought him, what she was still going to buy him, and I was helping her out via phone with a carwash package when I felt my heart flutter.  Not a little flutter like a baby’s movements in womb (for those who have been pregnant), it was a hard thud in my chest that jarred my attention from the conversation.  Immediately two things happened, my body forced me to cough hard, and my right arm had this pins & needles feeling for the next hour.  The thud, involuntary cough, and tingly were within split seconds of each other and I immediately thought about the Stroke bulletin hanging in the break room at my office.  Coughing is supposed to be good for the heart.  To restart it or “jump” it like a car battery.  Since my body forced me to cough then I assumed it was something related to a stroke but I am 28 yrs old and a runner….it’s kinda unlikely.  Fast forward, my visit to the ER produced a normal EKG, blood & urine work, negative blood clot test, and a normal chest x-ray.  The only thing weird was an elevated blood pressure before they released me so the doc told me to lay off caffeine.  I think she told me that just to tell me something since my symptoms were weird and everyone I repeat the situation to (even the ER staff) look at me as if I said I saw a unicorn.  I know my body and I know what I felt.

The thing is it happened again today while I sitting in church just before the benediction.  My heart has felt “fluttery” since then but when I check my own pulse its fine and, at the hospital, it was irregular but no cause for alarm.  Well, at church, I kinda felt like I did on the train and on my way home that Friday….like I had just got done running.  After I run, I feel fatigued in my chest and I feel like I’m working hard to catch my breathe which is expected after you exert yourself.  But, sitting in church and standing on a train which I do often with no effort, it was completely out of place but it’s what I felt.  Like I had just gone running but hadn’t.  So, at church I didn’t feel a thud….just a lump that rose in my chest and into my throat and then my body forced me to cough again.  It was so sudden.  I was told these are likely panic, anxiety, and stress related…I guess.  Coughing though makes me think my heart is stopping on me or threatening to and I have a built in defibrillator to “jump” it every time.  Every time, I honestly feel like I’m dying.  Like my heart is not going to start again and that’s it.  Anywho, for some time I have complained and written about my ex and his sleazy habits recently.  Well, he is still unemployed, finally admitted he quit his job without due cause, and is now trying to find work at a temp agency since the Casino which had allegedly promised him a job is now laying folks off.  Great great great plan.  We discussed the boys and how they wanna come back home but I am not about to foot the bill for 100% of their care but there isn’t anything I can do about it.  My landlord is selling the building looking to find a buyer by the end of 2009 but, if not, during 2010.  She had to give a reference for me as a tenant which resulted in them keeping me in the building so I won’t have to move esp since I pay my rent on time monthly.  The good thing was that, when I first moved in, my rent was $750 for a 2 bdrm.  When I first had an issue with my ex not paying child support I prayed about it and the next day my landlord told me she was lowering my rent to $700 because I’m a single mom & we were entering a recession.  When she told me about selling the building, she told the agent that my rent is $650 so they will lock in that rate in the event a new buyer comes along.  Come on buyer! lol see how I get ? I’m worrying, tryna skin my ex for his silly ways, and cussin & fussin when I was wasting energy focused on the wrong thing.  I didn’t even pray about this recent issue…He just knew I needed his help.  🙂

Apparently, my blog is rather negative and misleading.  I tend to write about what is bothering me.  What I am frustrated with.  What I don’t understand.  Things like that.  I hardly ever talk about work because work isn’t an issue.  They laid off 2 people recently on back-to-back days and I was thinking I was next on the totem pole but we were reassured that our job is safe at least thru 2009.  I don’t write about my kids because my kids are normal boys who wanna eat junk food all day, play outside all night, and avoid homework like the plague.  My youngest is stubborn as a mule so getting him to do anything without getting arrested is tricky.  My oldest is Mr. Smarty Pants who debates everything on the table which is fine but mama ain’t up for debating EVERYTHING…..sometimes, “because I said so” is enough or you will have my hand print across your face.  I write about things I need to release so I can see how it casts a bad light on me, my life, and anything else related to me.  If life is grand….I might write about but, more times than not, I’ll be out and about enjoying it and off this freakin laptop.  Anywho, my chest is feeling “weird” again and I’m trying not to incur another ER bill so I think I will sit here and relax a bit.  I did google my “supposed” condition and it seems to be quite common.  People live life with palpitations without any major issues including the involuntary coughs and shortness of breathe.  Feeling out of breathe is so not good.  I feel like an obese woman instead of a petite woman with an extremely small bust size.  Take care everyone.

August 9, 2009 Posted by | Life | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Besetting Sin

1236021854Just how personal can I get on a blog?  What is the line that you must never cross when it comes to your own business?  Well, we shall find out because, for some reason, I just do not care too much when it comes to being honest with myself about myself to others.  I have written a few blogs about sex as my way of talking about it instead of….well, read on.  The Prayer Ministry at my church have an assigned book discussion each month.  This month, or the last couple months, has been about fasting.  Fasting for spiritual breakthrough.  Fasting with prayer.  Fasting to break chains that oppress and bind us.  The last one is where this blog is leading to.  The book we are reading talks about fast and the different types of fasts and the purpose behind them.  There are two in particular that kinds sorta apply to me so I will briefing discuss both. 

One is the Disciple’s Fast which aims “To loose the bands of wickedness” (Isaiah 58:6) – freeing ourselves and others from addiction to sin esp those besetting sins.  “This kind goeth out not but by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21 KJV).  The second one is the Elijah Fast which aims “To break every yoke” (Isaiah 58:6) – conquering the mental and emotional problems that would control our lives and returning the control to the Lord.  My besetting sin is sex.  I don’t think it has always been this way but, maybe since I was married or in that relationship most of my adulthood, I wouldn’t know.  I am writing this only because it frustrates me.  Most people enjoy sex whether they are married or not and I do too but, knowing I shouldn’t be doing it, haunts me.  Someone told me that I am hard on myself.  Is it me being hard on me?  Or is it me knowing I hate what I am doing?  I hate it.  I don’t hate sex but I hate that I allow my flesh to control me.  I am a control freak.  When I feel I have lost control of a situation then I freak.  How can my body control my mind?  It should be the other way around and, for the life of me, I can’t explain it to myself.

I try to tell myself that every one else does it too but that matters not to me.  I am not everyone else.  I have no desire to be everyone else.  I shall be set apart and I try to be by following God and His teaching but this is the one thing that keeps me from Him.  I don’t attend church often, I sometimes curse, I lose my temper once in a while, but all those things I can stop doing if I wanted to.  They are easy for me to stop.  Sex….it is my vice.  We all struggle with something.  But, have you ever had an addiction that really bothered you?  You know everyone else eats chocolate and probably too much but, you of all people, when you eat chocolate you have an innate sense of the wrong as you are doing it.  You discuss it with your mind.  Your mind discusses it with yourself.  You know you and you know your body.  Flesh is powerful.  My mind is not.  Not yet at least.  We openly talk about our drug addiction, our alcohol addiction, our spending addiction but, truth be told, in the ‘hood it’s like the same ole crap!  Who does not struggle with drugs, alcohol, and frivilous spending in the ‘hood?!  You can easily find someone who does but what about those who struggle with refraining from sex?  Preachers mention how you shoudn’t do it but how can I stop?  How did you do it?  What steps did you take?  Who helped you and don’t say Jesus or the Holy Spirit because, I need a human face just to tell myself I am not the only person on the face of this earth struggling with this.  Tell me you suffer this way too.  Tell me.s

Let’s get this straight….I am not promiscuous.  I have had sex with the same person for quite a while with two others sprinkled in there.  I choose to overlook the other two because they were drive-bys in my time of need when my “regular” was unavailable.  I tell myself that it’s only with one person consistently….no big deal.  That does not work or make me feel better.  I wonder why others can go on and not be bothered.  Why me?  Why can’t I do that?  I write this now because my Prayer Ministry did a fast for this week and I choose to do a partial fast which is skipping one meal.  I skipped lunch and it was then that this craving for sex came out of no where!  I was hungry, drinking  these dang liquids wasn’t working, and I wanted to get my hands on something to satisfy my flesh whether it was food or a man.  When I have gone months at a time with the goal of abstaining I consume chocolate and sweets like no body’s business.  I put on about ten pounds which is nothing if you start off at about 110lbs.  Once I fail that and give in to sex I stop eating chocolate but I am still satisfying my flesh with another sin.  Often times than not I wish I knew someone like me who was going through something similar just so I could have someone to relate to.  I don’t want another, “girl I been there done that but I love sex!”  No, I wanna stop and I need to stop because I want and need to defeat my flesh.  If not sex then it will be something else.  Sex is just so easy for me to get.  Guys don’t turn me down.  I thought maybe if I was fat and ugly but I doubt it then even.  There is no one.  I keep it to myself.  When I say I am ashamed no one takes me seriously.  It hurts me.  I am not like others.  I can’t just have sex and not feel wrong.  Now, I feel good at the time but that lasts only so long.  I am getting no where right now and, if I was to tell someone at church since church is supposed to be a hospital, they will laugh or think I am kidding.  Young petite intelligent physically attractive lady who suffers from not being able to control her carnal urges.  Every man’s dream but I am not crying because of man.  I cry because I feel filthy before God.  I separate myself from Him because I don’t know what to do.  Prayer has not been strong enough….or I am doing something wrong….maybe I do need to add fasting to the equation.

I feel good when I have gone months without.  I feel powerful and strong.  I under-estimate my appetite though because I put myself right back into situations I do not need to be in.  Even with my regular as much as he respects and loves me (don’t laugh here….I actually mean that) there is this connection that exists which is the reason he is my “regular”.  He is not my “best” I have ever had but the connection I havr to him is something I can never explain or make sense of.  Anywho, I am constantly reminded of Romans 12:1.-2 which says we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice before God which is our reasonable service.  I can sacrifice myself all day but, unless I change something that has not worked before, I will end up right back here complaining about the same thing.  I was told that there is strength in admitting you have a problem or are suffering from something.  Well, right now I don’t feel strong at all so I guess I will discuss more later as I take this journey to, once again, try to keep myself from myself.  That is the thing…I try to do it alone and pray but, until now, it has been pointless.  I like to think this bothers me so because He wants to teach, train, and chasten me to be stronger than what man thinks is such great strength in me.  “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law” (Psalms 94:12 KJV) More to come later and, to my “regular” (because I know you are reading this), no offense but this is why I said we gotta stop.

April 6, 2009 Posted by | God, sex, Spiritual | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warrior

matrixbulletsI love the movie Matrix!  I only kinda liked the second and third sequels but my fav is the original…the first one.  I fell in love with Keanu Reeve’s character Neo because his innocence and naturally human approach to his “destiny” was understandable…relatable (if that is a word).  The shift of the movie occurred when Neo stopped using his sheer force and strength to fight his adversaries and, instead, he began to tap into his own strength he never knew he had but was always there.  This began when he finally believed.  Morpehus said it as well … “he is starting to believe”.  When Neo began to believe he no longer had to dodge bullets … he stood there and simply stopped them in mid-air. 

I thought about this when I was in the shower about an hour ago because one of my sorors called and asked me to pray for her.  I, nonchalantly, said ok.  She then made sure I didn’t forget at which I replied “ok” again.  Then she asked me the definition of a warrior.  I replied that it is someone who fights and wars in the spirit.  Dictionary.com says this:

A person engaged or experienced in warfare; solider.  A person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness

Maybe I am naive but what if we really do not have to fight so hard in prayer?  Several places in the Bible, and in life, people are said to have prayed so hard that they tired themselves out from the effort alone … became weak and drained … from emptying themselves completely before God in an effort to make their prayers known and heard.  There is a time and a place for all things but, everyday, is that required? 

Sometimes I feel abnormal because I do not yell.  Some people say I do not speak loud enough because I focus so hard on speaking to God that I know He hears me and the people listening matter not.  Sometimes I feel abnormal because I do not close my eyes and bow my head.  My prayers and my prayer life are not consistent with what most are taught.  I enjoy praying in my head, in my spirit, as well as aloud when I am alone, or with my head bowed and eyes closed.  The connection is most important to me.  That connection is what I attempt to understand.  That connection is what I strive to maintain.  That connection is what I miss when I have gone astray. 

Must I “war” in the sense of the word?  Yes, there are evil spirits who indeed seek to kill and destroy.  I guess when she asked me the definition of “warrior” I was thinking about someone who is bloody, exhausted, and staggering on one leg with a severed arm.  But, I think of a skilled warrior who has perfected the art of this war and knows how to efficiently and effectively tap into the strength they have to get the job done.  Believing is only a starting point.  Staying connected is the ongoing difficult part.  Speaking to your Father as you know He hears you is an individual process.  Being a prayer warrior is a calling for everyone.  I truly believe that an exhausting all out battle is not necessary for our everyday requests and petitions of God … if I am wrong then I am still in training.  I simply believe that my God hears me … my God sees me … my God is near me  …. and I Him so I can stand and know that He is.

Neo:  “Are you trying to tell me that I can dodge bullets?

Morpehus:  “No, Neo, I’m trying to tell you when you’re ready you won’t have to.”

January 24, 2009 Posted by | Spiritual | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ex-Factor

becca20raynes1I was so gonna write about something different today but my focus was changed when I checked my email.  My ex-husband and I claim one of our kids on our taxes each every year so I emailed him today to make sure he was claiming the one he had claimed last year.  A simple email one full sentence at the most …

Hey, just checking to see if you were still claiming blah blah blah on your taxes this year so we don’t claim the same SS# by accident.  Let me know what you decide.”

So, he replies back within an hour or so with a brief response of …

I think it may be best for you to claim the kids since I may end up owing and not reaping any benefits from it.  I will let you know next week though.  How are the kids?  How are you?”

Ok, so the question concerning the kids was normal but my eyes lingered on the … “How are you?”  He has never in recent history asked about me.  We have kept things about the kids and this has been pretty civil and I thank God for that since it could be much worse.  I replied with a response to the tax issue and said I would wait for his email or phone call next week.  Then I spent the “How are you?”  portion of my email talking about the kids, their doctor appts, school, grades, and my work-from-home days recently.  Then, trying to be courteous, I added a “How are you?”  at the end to close out the email.  What he replied back had me speechless. 

I miss being able to help you out with things instead of you having to do it all yourself.  I miss you very much.  I dream of you from time to time. I know I may not be what you are looking for but I have realized my mistakes and feel that I am a different man.  I am sure you have found someone by now that treats you better than I had.  I have no shame in saying that I am sorry and wish that I could have you back again.

He ends the email by stating that he will stop being mushy and will see me and the kids soon.  My thoughts?  I have none.  You know how you can go so long without seeing a face you used to love that, when they return, you recognize them but are they the same person you used to love?  That is me right now.  When I see him that is just it … I see him.  I feel nothing.  Not that I am trying not to but because there is nothing there.  Apart of me notices a pattern of behavior where he messes up, loses something of value, realizes it later, and makes an attempt to have it back again.  Only … this time it is his umpteenth mistake and his umpteenth time trying to come back. 

I will never say he has not changed because I don’t spend enough time with him to determine that.  I will never bad-mouth him (anymore).  I will never laugh at his efforts.  I will continue to support him and encourage him but a man must be a man whether he has a woman on his arms or not.  I have yet to see that man … that does not mean I never will … but regret is a b*tch.  I can only imagine what he may be feeling right now.  I commend him for his honesty.  I applaud him for getting his life together.  Who is he getting his life together for?  Me?  To win me back?  The one thing he does not see is that if he would just focus on God and take his eyes off me, when he turns around, I will be there waiting. 

I prayed to God a month ago concerning my ex-husband.  I was sitting at home thinking while he had the kids for Christmas and something came over me making me miss our family.  I talked to God and said that if He brings him back to me in all seriousness then I promise to give “us” a real consideration.  I see him coming back but I don’t see God anywhere in the vicinity.  I need confirmation….

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Love | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments