This morning my mother and I had one of our rare “mother-daughter moments.” Turns out she gave me some really good advice about the current situation I’ve been going through. I pretty much asked her why is it that I feel like my life is a cycle and that I find myself making the same mistakes I made a year ago? Why hasn’t anything changed and why haven’t I learned how to properly apply what I know?
To basically sum up her response she told me that I needed to check my surroundings. The people and the things that I have been surrounding myself with aren’t in alignment with where I’m trying to grow in God. Although I may have this appetite for growth, no one around me is really pushing me to do better when I find myself slipping. I don’t have anyone around me to reinforce a higher level of thinking. Also she told me to take some time out to focus on my relationship with God and figure out what things I need to keep and let go in order to be in better alignment with his plan for my life. The only way I’m going to get my peace back is if I cut off all the unnecessary things and get back to the basics. She said that I’ve probably taken on more than I need to at this point and just to keep things simple and focus on what’s important, school being one and a better relationship with God being the second thing. Everything else I’ve been doing should fall back on my list of priorities. When it’s all said and done I need to be able to make the decisions for myself and learn when enough is enough and to not go beyond my own boundaries.
Although our “mother-daughter moments” are rare, when they do happen I do value what comes from them. Anytime my mother can say something and get me together, this is a for sure sign that I’ve been slipping because any other time, our relationship is a bit distant. But today her advice came right on time and it was definitely something I needed to hear.
I recently had a friend who passed away and it still doesn’t quite seem real. It’s always weird when someone you were just talking to fine one week, is gone the next. Seeing all the friendly post, and the prayers posted on my friend’s Facebook wall made me realize that life is truly too short. You can never really know what to expect. So even while we may only be here for a short amount of time, it’s important that we do something with the gift of life that God gave us.
Reading the different post on my friend’s Facebook wall, touched me because I had no idea how many people’s lives she had touched. I always knew her to be a happy and cheerful person, and it showed that her presence truly went a long way. Whatever you put out there in the world, is what you’ll get back. Reading her comments and post I can tell she got back happiness and joy ten times more than what she put out. She was truly loved and will truly be missed.
Knowing that my friend was still young makes me want to be more appreciative of those around me. It makes me want to hold on and remember every moment before it has a chance to slip away. Her death seemed unfair at first, I kept thinking to myself why? She was a good person, never really bothered nobody. But in the end God has a plan for all of our lives. It made me realize that sometimes even the worse days are our best days if we can live to see the next day. That is the true blessing.
I also learned that even when you don’t think you’ve done a lot in people’s lives, that they somehow take notice of your presence. What you physically do and say around people is one thing, but your presence stands out more than your actions and that’s what people remember most. So lesson here is be mindful of what you do with the gift of life that God has given you. Life is too unpredictable to take it for granted.
It’s important that we try not to be too sad, because I’m sure she wouldn’t want us to be. It’s important that we remember her as she was : always happy and full of life.
I dedicate this blog to Sia Christine Yoker “Gone but not forgotten” 7/15/91- 6/21/11
*If you’re reading this and you knew Sia personally, feel free to comment and leave behind your best memories of her to share with others to let them know just how much she meant to those around her. *
I can remember being in fourth grade writing an essay on why I thought my grandmother should be president of the United States. My grandmother is a real life superwoman. I love this woman to death and I wanted to take the time out to share with others how much of a blessing she has been in my life. My grandmother has been there for me more times than I can count in the last 21 years of my life.
It’s because of my grandmother that I have been able to get through some of the toughest moments of my life. Recently she has been doing soooo much to help out since my car accident. In the beginning when I felt like I had lost everything and all hope; my grandmother was there with an encouraging word. She had faith and hope for my situation even when I didn’t. When I was disappointed in myself, she saw something else in me and encouraged me to push through the disappointment and learn a lesson. Some of our biggest mistakes, turn out to teach us the most valuable lessons of life.
I think back to other mistakes and downfalls I’ve had and my grandmother has always been there to help me pick up the pieces and learn from my mistakes. Her love is truly unconditional. Sometimes I feel like words would never be enough to truly express my gratitude for her and everything she has done. She truly goes above and beyond sometimes, even when I’m really undeserving. Knowing that she believes in me is always the extra “umph” I need to keep going when I find myself discouraged.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I often say she’s my second mother. She’s as much of a mother to me as my own actual mother. I thank God for making her the amazing woman that she is and blessing her with a kindness that she has been able to share with others. I’ve never seen anyone who has so much strength and faith. No one knows me like her. She tells you like it is and doesn’t hold back. Her determination is inspiring. Since I can remember, I’ve always been a “granny’s baby.” My grandmother is like my best friend and role model. Seeing her do the things she does inspires me to not only be a better person, but most of all a better woman.
I believe that God puts certain people in our lives for a reason. Sometimes I think to myself that God must have made my grandmother my guardian angel because she’s always there to rescue me. Whatever it is the Lord has put in my grandmother I can only hope that 1/2 of it rubs off on me. I often wonder if she’s always looking out for me, then who is looking out for her? I know that in the end God is truly going to bless her ten-fold for everything that she has been doing. She has taught me so much about life and I wish there was some way I could share more of it with others, so that they too can see how much of a blessing my grandmother has been. One day I would like to be a role model for someone and set an example, the way she set the example for me.
I went to my church’s youth night for the first time, and I can truly say I’ve never seen a group of young people who minister so well through their various presentations. Seeing those youth participating in something positive that glorifies GOD made me proud. Even though I didn’t know any of them personally. Just by their presence alone it was obvious something spiritual had been put in them. Near the end of the service there was an altar call and some of the youth walked up there. And the guy who was over the program told the parents: if your kids are at the altar you need tobe behind them. And to me that was something so awsome.
And it made me think of my own relationship with my mother. I got to thinking and realized we never truly formed a spiritual bond as mother and daugther. And she hasn’t really formed that bond with my other two sibilings either. And this made me throw up my hands in prayer because it wasn’t me that I was concerned about. I know that I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve formed a relationship with God and I’ll be okay. Although I didn’t have my mama to truly show me when I was younger, I know my training came from my grandmother (another blog in itself…to be continued…coming soon) But I was concerened for my brother and sister and the example my mother has been setting for them. I love my mama to death but I know that she’s a very broken woman. She’s had an abusive history with men, and the men she chooses to allow in her life ultimately break her down rather than build her up. To sum it all up the “drama” in her life has 98% of the time involved a man; and there have been many. Not to call my mama out, but she’s always had a man. She’ll leave one just to go find another one a few weeks later. Back to back. And so this is the example she has set for a 13 year old son and a 7 year old daugther.
Imagine 7 years old, my little sister may grow up thinking that men are suppose to beat her, talk down to her and treat her any kind of way. Not knowing that when GOD puts a man and a woman together they have a purpose. To help lift each other, build each other up, challenge each other to stay in the word and fufill the purpose placed on their lives by God. But children can only go by what they see. Imagine being 13 a growing young man. My little brother has been troubled since he was small. He was diagnosed with A.D.D and he wasn’t really doing well in school at one point. Not only does he have to go to school and deal with everyday puberty just growing up but then he comes home and he doesn’t have a solid male figure to look up to. All he sees is mama with a thug. A man who takes part in drugs, alcohol, cursing, anger issues and always yelling. Is this an example of the kind of man my little brother should aspire to be? But believe it or not it’s really al he’s been exposed to. Not a man of God to sit down with my mama to put something in him to keep him when nobody is around and life gets hard.For now I thank God that both of my sibilings seem to be doing okay. My little sister is extremely smart and my brother is making A’s and B’s compared to the D’s and F’s he used to make. And he’s also active in sports.
But I know that nothing in this world can compare to having a parent who cares enough to take time out to instill certain values in their children. The bible says to train up a child in the way they should go so that when they grow old they won’t depart. Mama and daddy will not always be around but if a child knows God then instead of turnin to the streets, or to drug when the world gets hard, they’ll turn to HIS word for guidance. Since I’ve gotten back on track with my own spiritual journey, I try to be that example for my sibilings. I take them to bible study with me and invite them to my church. But I can only do so much. I’m still learning the training starts with the parents.
Not saying that my mama doesn’t take them to church. But she doesn’t attend with the intent of truly opening her heart to God’s word to grow. Hearing the word and then applying the word are two different things. My mama can hear a good word and then never follow through on what God has said. Sometimes it might seem like she’s on the right path and then before you know it, she’s turned around and going back down the same road. I’m not knocking her, I love her honestly. But to me this says my mother is not desperate enough for change. She hasn’t reached the point in her life where she craves truth in God’s word.
But today, for the sake of her being a better example to my sibilings I say a prayer: God open my mother’s heart so that she may recieve the word and believe all that is spoken. Open her eyes so that she’s aware everything she does affects my litte brother and sister. Give her the spirit and the mind to want to desire to follow your will. So that she can live a life that glorifies you and that it be enough in her to put something in my siblings. By becoming a better example I pray that it helps take their relationships to new levels. That it helps to keep them close to God when times get hard. I’ve tried to be the example, but I know I can’t do it alone. I’m not asking that she be perfect, but that you at least give her the desire she needs to seek you continuosly for guidance. I hope that the changes in her life set an example for my siblings so that they may see with you all things are possible. Allow them to know you God. Let them see your glory for themselves that they may know and believe and never stray too far from your word.