O Ye Of Little Faith

Every few years I read through the Bible. Back in the “olden days” (you know, 2010) I carried around a little tattered up piece of paper with each day’s assigned chapters. Now thanks to technology, I use the YouVersion Bible app. The plan I’m using this year goes from beginning to end – except that you read one Psalm every day – so far, so good. I generally read using the NIV translation, but sometimes there’ll be a particular passage I want to read the way I learned it and I’ll use the KJV for that that section.

Anyhoo, I’m smack dab in the book of Numbers. Now I’ll be honest – this part of the Bible drags for me. A lot. Basically the Israelites are wandering around in the desert (because of their disobedience), complaining a lot, doubting God, angering Moses, and more importantly, angering God. They wander, God smites, they repent, they anger God…repeat.

So as I was reading this go round I was thinking about what awful people the Israelites were. God chose them to be his people. He delivered them from slavery, he promised them a land full of milk and honey over which they would have dominion. He was giving them a pretty sweet deal. But they just weren’t feeling it. So many times they wished they’d just been left in Egypt as slaves – at least they’d have meat, water, etc. Then they’d do something completely contrary to His word. So of course I’m thinking “man, if God did all this for me, there’s no way I’d ever doubt Him.” Well…lies.

God shows up for me over and over again. He shows me that He is in control, that He’s got me. And yet, there are times when I can’t see or feel His presence the way I’d like, or nothing’s going right and I complain, get all moody and funky, wonder why things aren’t happening for me when, where and how I’d like. And that makes me just as wrong as I was so ready to accuse the Israelites of being. No, there’s no Moses leading me out of wilderness, tapping on rocks for water, or telling me to go out and collect baskets full of manna to sustain my family. But God is always there, He is always faithful, and His love and concern for me are unwavering and never ending.

I need to remember that.

 

 

Grrrrrr!

I try to be positive and upbeat. I try to focus on those things which bring me joy as opposed to those that don’t. But today? I just want to complain. So I’m gonna.

  • Sick of people telling me I don’t look nice/happy/joyous. And yes, I mostly mean white people. I don’t walk around smiling. But that doesn’t make me mean/sad/angry. Unless of course you keep telling me that I am. I’m over it. Shut it. This is the face God gave me. Deal with it. If you don’t like it, get out of it.
  • I am overwhelmed. I’m behind at work. I’m behind at home. I’m not sleeping well. I don’t know what’s going on.
  • I feel like I’m not doing right by LG. Like I don’t make her do enough, that she’s not as responsible as she should be. I told her she was to sweep the floor every night after dinner. Then I promptly forgot. But when I went in the kitchen this morning, the floor was a mess. So I was peeved. But I’ve not enforced my rule so…
  • I’m almost done applying for grad school. I must be crazy. I feel like I’m treading water with work and home. Going back to school? Ugh.
  • I’m tired of children being killed for no good reason. Is there ever a good reason? And while yes, I’ve got Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Adrian Davis at the forefront of my mind, really it’s all madness. I don’t care who is pulling the trigger, for the love of God – stop it. If you’re so crazy/scared/down with guns that you feel the need to pull out a gun because you are forever feeling threatened/disrespected/trigger happy keep your crazy self at home. Or voluntarily commit yourself to a psychiatric facility.

Okay. I’m done.

  • I lied. I am also tired of my oh so sensitive, break out for any reason whatsoever skin. It’s almost time for hot flashes and I’m still dealing with zits. For real? For real?

Okay. Now I’m done.

I’m about to turn on some gospel music, say a prayer of thanks for all that is right and good in my world – and there’s a lot of it, and try to shake these blahs.

Have a good day. Really.

WWYD

Here’s the situation:

LG attends after school care. It’s held in her school cafeteria – students are divided up into “classes” and each class has a teacher who is responsible for them until they are picked up. Pretty standard operating procedures.

So, yesterday I go to pick LG up and she says “my teacher is always calling you Jamaican.” Sigh. I ask why. “Because of your hair.” Of course.

I really, really – really – want to tell the little teacher dude that I’m not Jamaican, stop telling my child that I am, and stop with the foolish categorizing of people because they look a certain way.

Should I? Or should I not worry about this dude being PC and keep it moving?

What would you do?

Thanks!

Date Night!

Smoochy and I finally got to go out this past Saturday night!  We’d tried the week before when LG spent the night at a friend’s house, but she called crying right before we left the house – her stomach hurt, etc., etc. so I had to go pick her up. Smoochy was like “this is just a setback – we are going out next week – call the sitter and set it up.” Yay!

Y’all just don’t know. Or maybe you do. But when you have a child, a husband that drives trucks and likes to be at home, no nearby relatives, and a budget, it’s not always easy to figure out when/how to go out for couple time. Smoochy and I have talked about it and we both agreed to make more time in our schedules – and budget – for a night out together on a more regular basis.

We ended up going to a spot (lounge? bar? club?) that had a live band and we had a ball. The band was really good – billed as a blues artist, Dexter Allen played a little of everything – the blues, R&B, and of course, the ever present Electric Slide. We danced, we talked, we hung out. It was a good time and I can’t wait to do it again.

Now, I’ve got a question – what do you usually wear on your nights out? Saturday I wore a silky green dress and brown boots. And that’s the extent of my date night clothing. Seriously. Everything I wear is either very casual or for work (which is admittedly pretty casual as well). I need a few new pieces in my wardrobe so that the next time we step out I’ll be ready. I saw a lot of women in red lace dresses, pleather (or maybe leather) dresses with low fronts and backs, etc., etc. That’s just not me. So, where should I start with this mini-wardrobe I’m looking to build? Head on over to the comments and help your girl out. Thanks! And happy Monday.

Stay Ready

As I’m sure you know by now, we here in the south were hit with a storm Tuesday that left us covered with snow, and more germane to this post, ice.

Thankfully LG’s school closed and I didn’t “have” to report to work since I had to be home with her. Hospitals? They don’t close. Ever.

The roads were a mess, people were stranded on the freeways and bridges for hours and over 200 accidents were reported. And we got off easy. Folks in Atlanta and Birmingham were stuck in stores, schools, their cars and jobs overnight. Overnight y’all! I have heard many reports about the kindness of strangers – opening up their homes, feeding stranded folks, etc. God bless them.

I got to thinking about my preparedness – or lack thereof – should I ever get stuck in my car for hours on end. I have a blanket, some water, a few granols bars and a pair of tennis shoes in my trunk. I’m adding more – a change of clothes for me and LG, another flashlight, a little cash, a book for me, and some paper and crayons for LG.

What’s in your trunk? If you were stranded for hours – or days – would you be okay? If not, get to getting. Hopefully you’ll never need to use your car “jump bag” but if you ever need it, you’ll be glad its there.

(There are websites dedicated to what you should have in your car, please give Mr. Google a whirl for a more thorough list of things you should keep. I have other stuff in my car- toiletries, etc. and am working on getting my jump bag more complete.)

5

I’ve got questions, I know y’all have answers. Let’s do this!

  • What’s your favorite kind of cake?
  • Is a 10 slim just a long pair of size 8 jeans? LG’s pants are all too short and I’m not sure how to remedy this.
  • Do you like PDA?
  • Are you a member of a civic organization or club (outside of a sorority/fraternity)?
  • Do you run? Does it hurt your shins? How do you deal?

Sigh. And Then Sigh Again.

So. I said I wasn’t going to blog about my youngest brother anymore. I lied. Because here I am again. Maybe this is the last time I’ll use this space to discuss him – who knows?

~ ~ ~ ~ picture it, Christmas Day 2013 ~ ~ ~ ~

Christmas Day I get a text from my Mom. It’s a picture actually. Of my brother, his wife, and their two children. I think “oh, isn’t that nice, they sent my Mom a pic so she could see the kids.” But wait. I recognize the background. The picture is of them outside of my Grandma’s house. In Los Angeles. California.

So I text my Mom back the only thing I could “uh, is that X and his people? In California? At Grandma’s?????”

Yep, sure was.

My Mom said she walked in my Grandma’s house, said a general “hey, Merry Christmas y’all, let me put these cheesecakes down” and then she thought she saw my brother, but figured she was tripping.  So she went in the kitchen, put the cheesecakes down, came back and stood in front of my brother and said ” X is that you?” “Yes. How are you mother?” Here we go with this ultra formal foolishness…

Anyhoo, turns out that my brother called my Grandma’s house one day about a week earlier and my uncle answered the phone and told my brother that Grandma was in the hospital. Which he would’ve known if he, oh, I don’t know, talked to his family….So from what we gather, they decided to take a week’s vacation and spend it in California checking in on my Grandma and playing tourists when not visiting at the hospital. Back to Christmas – my mom and dad tried to engage him in conversation, he wasn’t having it, nor was his wife. They were polite, but distant. My Mom did say the kids are really sweet and friendly. So there’s that. At some point my Mom asked if they were planning on coming to the house. “No.” Sigh.

After about an hour, they wished everyone a Merry Christmas and rolled out. My Mom says she didn’t see him anymore while they were in CA. My Grandma or aunt would say “X and his family came by today,” but the extent of his visit with my parents was that 60 minutes or so on Christmas Day. (I told my Mom a few years back I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’d done something along these lines – in and out without contacting them – guess I was right)

~ ~ ~ ~ Fast forward to Friday, January 3 ~ ~ ~ ~

My Mom calls and lets me know my Grandmother died. She asks me to call my brothers and let them know. So I call Brother 1 and tell him. Brother 2 doesn’t answer, so I call Brother 3 (X) who, of course, doesn’t answer. Brother 2 calls back and I give him the news. Then I tell him that I tried to call X and let him know, but dude didn’t answer and I didn’t want to leave a VM or send a text to tell him Grandma’s died. So Brother 2 says he’s just gonna call X at work and let him know. Which is what he does. About 10 minutes later my phone rings “This is X. I’m returning your call.” Sigh. “Dude. I was just calling to let you know about Grandma. But I know you know, so really, that’s all.” So he asked about my family and I asked about his. Then I told him I’d call him back with the details about the services, or if he preferred I’d send a text. And that’s when he tells me he’s not going to the funeral – he saw Grandma alive and has no interest in attending her funeral. I say okay, take it easy, and the conversation ends.

~ ~ ~ ~ Fast forward to today ~ ~ ~ ~

I just don’t care anymore. If we talk, we talk. If we don’t, we don’t.

At the same time, I do still pray for reconciliation between him and the rest of us.

I pray that God not harden my heart toward my brother.

I wish he and his family the best. I pray for them just like I pray over my other brothers, SILs, nieces and nephews.

I can’t believe he’s not coming to the funeral. I know some people don’t “do” funerals and I get that (but not really), and I know my Grandma doesn’t care if he’s there or not, but I think it’s disrespectful not to attend when you have the means to do so.

I think I’ve gone through most of Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief when it comes to my brother and his self-imposed exile from the family – denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. I most surely have not been depressed over  his antics.

I’m 41. X is 30. I do know that life has a way of handing your ass to you in ways you’d never expect and that he’d better pray to God above that his family never hurts him the way he’s hurt his.

And that’s all I’ve got.