Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hold Up! Let Me See Your Shoes

“You can tell a great deal about a man by the shoes he is wearing,” was advice I was given by my grandfather when I was a young woman. At first glance it may seem trite, but I promise if you heed my advice it will save you hours of heartache and frustration.
For those of you who think I’m telling you to look at his feet for that reason, I need you to pause right now. That is a myth! The size of his shoes only tells you the size of his feet. His shoes on the other hand can tell you something about his financial status, but not everything. Just like shoe size doesn’t really reveal anything, neither does the price of the shoes. For example if his shoes are expensive it might mean that he has disposable income, but it could also mean that he prefers style over substance. In other words he might be frontin’. What you want to look for is quality. Unlike women who will trip around in painfully uncomfortable shoes because they either match our outfits or just make us look so darn sexy, most men won’t spend much time in uncomfortable shoes and make sure they protect their feet. It’s like this: a man with money may wear hand crafted Italian leather, while a man with no money, but a lot of potential, will wear the best his money can buy.
But it’s not just about craftsmanship; It’s also important to pay attention to style. Men who wear conservative shoes are usually solid, respectable men. On the other hand men who wear weird, trendy, brightly colored shoes often have perversions. You don’t have to believe me, but be prepared for a night of kinky sex and a hoarse throat from asking over and over again: “you want me to do what?” if he takes off a pair of canary yellow gators before crawling into bed with you.
Another thing you want to look for is cleanliness. A man who doesn’t take the time to polish his shoes isn’t going to take the time to do the little things that are important to you. If his shoes are dirty and scuffed, say goodbye to flowers and little acts of kindness. If the man you’re into wears athletic shoes all the time, he might not be ready for a mature relationship and could possibly have some issues with responsibility. Consider this: even NBA players leave the Nikes in the locker room sometimes.
Obviously this isn’t scientific, but it’s served me well. To all my male readers: please let me know what you think by writing a message below. Ladies, I haven’t forgotten about you: I want to hear your thoughts, too.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This I Know for Sure...

There is so much in life that I don't understand and there is so much of this universe that I have never seen and probably never will, but there are some things that I do know for sure. 

1. In the end, love is all that matters.
2. Sugar, meat, and stress will kill you.
3.  You never have to try to impress the people who truly love you.
4. A good bottle of wine can turn an ordinary evening into an extraordinary one.
5. Never marry a man (or woman) who doesn't take care of his shoes because he won't take care of you.
6. Don't spend everything you make.
7. Your job is what you do. It is not who you are.
8. Sweat for at least 30 minutes each day.
9. Floss!
10. Always buy the best because it will save you money in the long run.
11. Marry the man (or woman) who makes you laugh.
12.  Keep track of the things you're grateful for (try keeping a Gratitude Journal).
13. Travel as often as you can. America is just one small part of this amazing planet we call home.
14. Drink water.
15. Never, ever, ever sleep in your makeup or contact lenses.
16. Have enough money saved so that you can tell them to "kiss your 2$$" if it ever comes to that.
17.  Dogs are angels in disguise.
18. Always wear sexy (and clean) underwear.
19. Know how to change your oil, fix a tire or have AAA on speed dial.
20. Don't waste your time on phony friendships. 
21. Cherish your family.
22. Take time to pray and meditate every day.
23. Spend at least 10 minutes a day outside in the sunshine.
24.  Eat off the good china and drink out of the crystal because tomorrow may never come.
25. Forgive people.
26. Forgive yourself.
27. No one speaks for God. Decide what makes sense to you.
28. Always measure wealth by those things money cannot replace (family, friendship, health, etc).
29. Never get caught up on titles. We're all just people with the same hopes, fears, and dreams.
30. Listen to your intuition, your mother,  and your mentor.
31. Surround yourself with beautiful things (literature, art, music, nature).
32.  It doesn't matter if you can't dance. Dance anyway!
33.  Speak life over people. There truly is power in the tongue!
34. Time is not your friend! It will always be working against you.
35. Turn off the phone sometime. You're really not that important.
36. If a child asks for one more story or one more kiss, give it!
37. Protect your knees and your back because once they're gone things will never be the same.
38. Tell the people you care about how amazing they are. Let the rest of the world point out their  deficiencies. That's not your job.
39. Have a go to meal that you can whip up in an emergency.
40. Smile and say hello to strangers.
41. Believe but verify.
42. Get 8 hours of sleep.
43. Never take yourself too seriously.
44. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time (Thanks Maya Angelou for this one).
45. Don't compare yourself to others because you never know what they had to go through to get to where they are.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Do You Know How Beautiful You are?

Do you know how beautiful you are?
I don't think you do.
Why can't you see your magnificnce?
What will it take for you to honor your own unique beauty?
You ignore the way your smile brightens up the room and your eyes shine when you are happy.
Why can't you see that the world is a better place because you are in it?
In stead you have measured your beauty by standards that don't matter. No one really cares how much you weigh or how old you are. The color of your hair or skin is irrelvent because beauty comes in so many diffrent forms. Haven't you ever seen a garden? Why can't you see that when you offer love by holding a hand or saying a kind word you are the most beautiful thing in creation?

Do you know?

Do you know that you are loved? Not because of what you do or what you have, but simply because you are. Because you were created and you are here and that is all that matters.

But I don't think you see it because I've witnessed you looking  in the mirror and picking  yourself apart. You would never allow anyone to use such violence against you, yet you attack your own spirit constantly by criticizing every thing about your self. You buy pills and potions to make yourself everything you're not. You are tall but you wish to be short. You are short, yet you wish to be taller. You are too thin, too fat, too this or too that. Why can't you see that you are already more than enough? There is nothing about you that needs to be improved upon?

On the day you were born the universe marvelled at your magnificence. Your sheer perfection. Every creature recognized your worth. Why can't you see it now?

It does not matter how many times I show you because you must see it for yourself. Although I wish I could,  I cannot make you recognize  the brilliance of your being, the simple perfection of who you are. Even if I scream it as loud as I am able, I can't make your hear me because your inner voice must be louder.

But I won't give up on you.

Please promise me that today you will try to see just how beautiful you are. Not in an arrogant and prideful manner, but in a gentle, loving one. Can you promise me that today you will try to recognize and acknowledge your loveliness, your magnificence, your beauty in some small way?

I need you to know just how beautiful you are because once you see your beauty  you will recognize mine.

Monday, May 27, 2013

it's Hard to Complain When You're Counting Your Blessings

There are many times when I'm tempted to complain. The very moment when something doesn't happen to my liking I want to open my mouth and curse the situation. If the barista doesn't sweeten my coffee the way I take it or if the woman who cleans for me misses a speck of dirt, I want to fuss without taking the time to realize how blessed I am to be in a position to be able to afford to pay someone to do the things I don't want to do.

As I write this I am watching my youngest child sleeping. We had a health scare and thankfully she is going to be just fine. But never again will I complain about the high cost of health insurance because when we needed a physician's care we received it. I can't imagine the pain of watching a child suffer because you don't have access to help. I will also never complain about my daughter's messy bedroom or wet towels on the floor because if something were to happen to her I would have done anything, paid anything, to have her storm through our house leaving her belongings in her wake.

I used to tell my children everyday is like Christmas morning to God. He looks at our attitude as we unwrap our daily gifts: good health, jobs, family, friends, transportation, clean water and healthy food, fresh air, the list goes on. If we fail to be thankful for these gifts, then He won't bring out the larger gifts of abundance and prosperity. Why should He show us the big box that's hidden in the closet if we aren't thankful for the little one that's beneath the tree?

It is never my intention to preach. I only want to work out the things that I encounter in my own life and I hope that maybe I can hep someone else along the way. From this moment forward I am promising myself that I will not complain about anything ever again and I'm also putting you on notice. If you complain about anything in my presence I am going to call you on it because complaining is contagious. So no more complaining about the boss, the weather, the amount of work we have to do. Instead we are going to give thanks for all things, great and small.

In my Gratitude Journal I wrote this morning that I am grateful for the following:
1. Family and friends who love me.
2. A healthy body and a sound mind.
3. A job that allows me to support myself and my family.
4. Clean water, fresh air, and healthy food.
5. A comfortable home and reliable transportation

If I never receive another thing in my life, I am already extremely blessed and for that I am grateful. I hope you will take a moment to write out the things that you are thankful for and if you feel  the need to complain, I encourage you to focus instead on the list you created.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Right to the Divine

I don’t believe God cares whom we love as long as we remain open to the possibility of love. No matter how hard I try to understand the Fundamentalists who preach that God hates homosexuals, I can’t help but hear the fear and ignorance beneath their loud diatribes. Yes, I am familiar with Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 but I am also familiar with all of the other scriptures that speak against the other sins: judgment, gossiping, overeating, coveting, fornication and adultery. Sin, in all forms, displeases God so who are we to choose which ones are the greatest offenders.

There are some things I don’t understand, but is it really my responsibility to try to understand? Shouldn’t I just accept that God’s ways are not like man’s ways and that when I die and meet my Maker He will explain it all to me?

Recently I had to remind a friend that we all have a right to the sacred and to the divine. Too many churches kick people out under the premise that because they are different in some way they don’t have the right to God. That’s bull because our Creator loves all of His creations and wants us to be in intimate relationship with Him in spite of our imperfections.

So I believe our job is to get to God any way we can. To lay ourselves low at His feet in worship and pray that we learn to look at the world and all of it’s people through His eyes and not our own. Because when we look at people through our own very human eyes we see only their imperfections. We focus on every blemish and every wrinkle and forget to see the divinity in every man and woman.

Perhaps Lady Gaga was right when she said “I was born this way” or maybe she is incredibly deluded. I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve been given only two tasks: to love God and all of His creation.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Carrying the Cross

There has always been something about the Bible verse Mark 15:21 that has bothered me. The story goes that "a certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country and they forced him to carry the cross..." In my minds eye I can see this lean muscled, tall, dark skinned man moving forward to shift his weight beneath the heavy cross as Jesus lay exhausted on the ground. Perhaps their eyes met. Maybe they didn't, but it really doesn't matter because the exchange happened and Simon stepped forward struggling beneath the weight and Jesus was forced up, moving towards his death.

A quick Google search reveals that Cyrene was once located in North Africa, so it seems that this man Simon was a long way from home. Here he was passing by on his was from the country and he was picked from the crowd for this difficult task. I can only imagine how upset he was to be singled out of the crowd and forced to take the journey of an accused man. He was probably thinking: "Here I was minding my own business, why did they have to choose me?" He may have even felt that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. "Maybe I should have stayed in the country longer," he might have said to himself. Perhaps he was wondering what people would think when they saw him walking with the cross on his back. Surely they believed he was the accused!

Maybe I'm reading too much into this story, but every time I hear it I can't help but think that it was not coincidental that it was a black man that was forced to carry the cross. Could it be possible that black skinned men all over the world have been asked to carry a symbolic cross? History tells us that men of color have carried a heavy burden. Have they been selected, not as a form of punishment, but as a promise?

Later in Romans 16:13 the Bible says, "Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too."  If I'm reading this correctly, Simon's wife and one of his sons was later a mother to Paul, the writer of Romans, and played an important role in Christianity. Is it possible that if these men- much like Simon-who have been asked to pick up a cross that is not theirs to bear would just shoulder the weight they will be blessed for it?

Although no one asked "will you help me carry the cross?" the request was always there. But so was the promise: If you share my pain now, I promise to take care of yours later.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


It’s hard for me to sit here and watch perfectly good chocolate going to waste. I see it in her hands and I can tell that she doesn’t know how to handle its complicated flavors and I want to snatch it away, but then again I have my own. What bothers me is the look in her eyes as she gobbles it down and then looks around for the next thing to consume. I can tell by her greedy eyes that she doesn’t really like chocolate all that much. She’s just eating it because it was wrapped in a pretty package and there’s the promise of a golden ticket inside like in Willy Wonka. I imagine the chocolate is trying to catch my eye “Would you know how to treat me right?” I feel it thinking but I look away because who am I to have this conversation with?

Maybe I’ve misread the situation and she truly is a connoisseur. Maybe, like me, she enjoys the way it feels when you first hold it in your hands or the way the first bite, like the first kiss, is always full of such sweetness. The sweetness never cloying but just right. And there’s always just a hint of something that keeps you wanting more. Oh and the smell! There’s nothing else like it. You could be surrounded by every sweet temptation imaginable, but once you realize it’s in the room getting some is all you can think about.

But it doesn’t matter. She has it and for the moment she seems to be enjoying it. I just hope she realizes how special it is.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Eating My Broccoli

     I don't like broccoli. As a matter of fact I never had, yet I know it's good for me. Even as a child my mom could never get me to eat broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts or spinach and the older I get the less appealing these vegetables are; yet, I realize that I have to eat them no matter  how bad they may taste. It's not that I don't like vegetables, because I like the ones that aren't green  but its the green ones that will keep me strong.

            Who wouldn't rather  have oatmeal chocolate chip cookies or fresh bread straight out of the oven?  But there’s a price to pay for bread and cookies that taste good now, but lead to low energy, diabetes or jeans that the whole family has to help me get into. The bottom line is that broccoli may not taste good now, but it has benefits that will continue to pay off in all the days to come.

            It's interesting though because broccoli shows up in my life in different ways. Sometimes it's the conversation I don't want to have but I need to because its the only way I'm going to bring about change. Other times the "broccoli" is a relationship that I am enjoying but I know is no good for me. The person, although nice, is draining me and will eventually deplete me if I'm not careful.

            I've not worked out with my personal trainer in six months since starting my new job and after gaining 10 lbs and catching the flu twice I realized that I needed to do what was best for me and not what I wanted to do. The other day I met with my personal trainer Danny and I swear that there were times when I saw a stalk of broccoli where his head should have been. I hated every plank, push up, and kettle bell swing he ordered me to do, but in the long run I know it's going to pay off.
            I've also gone back to drinking my Green Energy Smoothie every morning. Thankfully it doesn't contain broccoli, but it does have  spinach, celery, carrots, mint, oranges, apples, lemons, limes, and  cucumbers. It's not a Krispy Kreme donut, but its not completely disgusting either. Like my daughter Lyndsay says, "it's a toss up between grass and dirt." Nevertheless, in the long run its good for me so I hold my breath and drink it down.

            I know I would be a lot healthier and happier if I just did what I was supposed to do and not what I want to do, so here I go. It's not about Resolutions or feeling guilty about previous bad choices I've made (food, relationships, exercising). Rather, it's about being conscious about what I'm doing. I really do know what's best for me and when I take the time to think about it I tend to not get caught up and I make better choices, so please pass the broccoli.