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Forgive Yourself

As a wife and mother, you never realize how often you have to forgive yourself. For example, yesterday was the first day of school for our older three. Wait, let me rewind and set the stage.

(Que- Black Star Instrumental) Hello, I’m a 35yr old, Brown Skinned Lady, I’ve been married almost 11yrs (Oct. 2005) to my awesomely geeky husband. I have four beautiful, intelligent boys (12, 8, 5, 1). I’m born and raised in the 313.  If you would have asked my 17yr old self would I be married with four children by 35, I probably would have said, “yes” with some variations (music fade out).

I’m a career mom and an entrepreneur when I have time. Being me isn’t easy. Many people ask me “I don’t know how you do it”? My response, “the Holy Spirit,” like if I was to take an outer body experience and look at myself, I would probably want to commit myself. Like, literally in today’s society, it’s a lot to take on.

So back to my original story…. first day of school. I set my alarm the night before for 5:30am. My kids were all in bed. As I set my alarm, I thought to myself, I won’t be there for the first day of school. How does a mother not make it to the first day of school? I mean I’m, a working mother who had a pressing call at 8:30 a.m. The question would be, “couldn’t you have pushed your meeting back? The answer, No.  In all my 12yrs of parenting, I have NEVER missed a first day of school. However, that day had come.

When I think about it, I think of the words of one of my directors said during a meeting, “It’s not work, life, balance” it’s more like “work, life, compromise”. Well, today was a compromise. A compromise, which I also had to forgive myself after it’s all said and done.

I have to forgive myself for being a career mom. I have to forgive myself for actually liking my career and even the times it takes me out of town. I have to forgive myself, for not being there all the time and as attentive as I should. However, I can’t fully say I’m mad at myself though. I am living my best life right now. I’m living the life I’ve always wanted, a home in a historic Detroit neighborhood, working for one of the largest auto companies, I’m well educated and I have four brown boys that keep me alive. Most importantly, I’m married to my best friend and he supports me in everything I do. Can you say WINNING!?!?

Forgiving one’s self is cyclical. There will always be something the makes us think you’re not enough and you can always do more/better. The key to all of this is no matter what, this too shall pass. We have to forgive, dust your shoulders off**jay-z** and keep it moving. Because you know what? There is still so much life to live and as for me… I’m going to live my life to the fullest.

 Constance Thomas is married to Kristopher Thomas and they have four boys Khamani, Dylan, Chase and Levi. She currently works in Diversity Marketing for General Motors. You can follow her on Twitter: @Only1ConnieT

 

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We are more than we have become!

Live Better with Dr. Willie Jolley

My wife loves theater – particularly the play, The Lion King. She can see that play over and over and over again, each time getting the same thrill. And she also enjoys watching the movie with our grandkids.  And to be honest, I enjoy the experience each time as well…because every time I see the play or watch the movie, I get a new perspective about life.

Be More
On my most recent viewing, I was re-inspired by one specific statement. Mufasa, the father, appears as an apparition to his son, Simba, who by this time is a grown, but playful, adult. Mufasa appears and says, “Simba, you are more than you have become!”  

As I listened to that line, I realized that statement could apply to all of us!  We tend to get comfortable with life and don’t always get serious about the possibilities for our lives…

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Leaders Are Shining Lights by Angeline Lawrence

I remember a time in my life that I eschewed the spotlight. I could sit quietly in meetings and listen to the rhetoric spoken by coworkers.  I would write notes or protest by whispering to my neighbor. However, as I grew in my relationship with Jesus Christ, I realized that I could no longer sit quietly allowing issues to remain unresolved.

As a staff member in a municipal department, I was one of the few people that would ask the difficult questions. I could not just accept the norm, but I had to challenge the leadership when I knew we were going down the wrong path.  After many heated staff meetings, my coworkers would come to me and say, “I am glad you spoke up about that issue. I had the same concern.”

I learned how to harness the power of the Holy Spirit to make a difference in the lives of people around me. Yes, as Christians we should always pray, but there is a time when we must speak out. The key is being led by the Holy Spirit to speak with authority to shift the atmosphere of injustice.  Walking in the Spirit is our first priority as Christians. As we walk and are led by Christ others will see our integrity, fairness and passion for justice and will follow. Matthew 5:21 states, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Hobby Lobby SignI took this photo tonight when I went to take advantage of Hobby Lobby‘s 40% off sale on their stamps.  I spent $40 bucks on some awesome stamps, mostly Christian.

I got home and noticed that I received a response regarding the photo you see here on my Facebook.  It wasn’t bad, just their opinion that Hobby Lobby is “suing the federal government so they don’t have to do things like provide equitable health insurance coverage for their workers” and that the sign in the company’s entrance was merely a “window dressing”.  That sign has been up there since I have been patronizing the store.  I just took a photo of it because I thought it was cute.  Who would have thought it would turn into a blog entry?

My response is as follows, respectfully:

I haven’t really followed this, but what i know is that Hobby Lobby is a Christian based company.  They refuse, if i am not mistaken, to agree with the federal’s birth control mandate (paying for the “morning after pill”).  I understand and respect that because they are Christians who standing by what they believe in.  On their website, it clearly states they are  “honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with biblical principles,”

Also, i understand that Hobby Lobby isn’t alone in suing the Obama administration over this mandate (new health care law by President Barack Obama). There are other groups fighting against this mandate, it’s just that Hobby Lobby is the largest.

I am a Christian and I love to craft. I support their decision.  We are still respecting the First Amendment right?  Not all insurances pay for abortions or anything that “causes” an abortion, such as the morning after pill.  So why make this company do it?  I don’t think that’s fair.

I spoke with some workers there tonight and they are not happy with what the government is doing.  They are happy Hobby Lobby is fighting.  I mean, $1.3 million in daily fines if he doesn’t pay for types of contraception. YIKES!  It’s not like their employees are being mistreated.  They are actually getting good insurance coverage and getting paid well.  So, unless an employee had an issue with it, why did the government come after Hobby Lobby?  This company refuses to pay for the morning after pill.  They refuse to pay for “abortion-inducing drugs.”  They are staying true to their faith.  They will not be the first! Heck, my insurance doesn’t pay for it and I have GREAT insurance!

Ok, so now we have Walmart, who is a Christian-based company and Hobby Lobby.  I wonder are they going to go after Kraft’s Macaroni and Cheese next.  He’s, James L. Kraft,  was a Christian and his company was founded on Christian principles.

Bottom line: We all have free will.

This is my opinion.

What are your thoughts?

The Grammy’s decided to not have any “near” nudity outfits allowed this year.  Let’s have a review of some celebrities who wore some “barely” there or “it’s about to fall out” outfits.

This month’s, the focus will be on boundaries.  If you are like me, you may have an issue with it.  It’s hard to say no to some people.  When doing that, you tend to lose control in some areas of your life.  Can you relate to what I am saying?

I am currently reading a book called Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.  I highly recommend this book to those who have an issue setting boundaries in their life.

Don’t know if you are having issues with setting boundaries?  The book asked the following questions if you ever found yourself wondering:

  • Can I set limits and still be a loving person?
  • How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?
  • Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries?

Some of you may be thinking, “What exactly are boundaries when pertaining to me?”.  Well, the book states that they “are personal property lines that define who you are and who you are not, and influence all areas of your life.”

The book discusses three types of boundaries: Physical, Mental and Emotional.

Physical boundaries help you to determine who may touch you and under what circumstance.

Mental boundaries give you the freedom to have your own thoughts and opinions.

Emotional boundaries help you deal with your own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.

Does any of this sound familiar?  Can you relate to any of this? Do you need help in setting boundaries in your life?  Well this book is for you!

Here’s the book information and may it be a blessing in your life:

Softcover: $14.99

Hardcover: $21.99

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Softcover, Workbook: $12.99

Can you use a coupon for this? YES!  Visit Family Christian website to see what coupon to use, if they have free shipping and so much more!

I am currently on a journey to embracing the word “no”.  I have so many stories I can share on this topic, I could write my own book!  It’s a journey that’s slow, especially when you are dealing with folks close to you.  I know, with continued effort, I will soon have boundaries that I won’t regret.

You just can’t please everybody, you know?

Are you having issues with setting boundaries? What are they? Have you conquered the setting boundaries with family and friends?  Share your thoughts and stories with us.  We would love to know what’s on your mind.

Until next time…

La