Wednesday, December 14, 2011

34 Days of Worship ~ Emotional Maturity

Proverbs 14:30
A sound mind makes for a robust body,
but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
     Even though I know better, I have to admit that there are times that I completely deal in emotion. I whine (mostly internally, because I don't like to complain verbally) about how I feel like blah blah blah is wrong, or unfair, or taking too long, or hurting my feelings, or stupid, or frustrating, or scary, or stressful, or nervous-making or whatever. I pout, and/or get an attitude because some external need is not being met, and it's causing an uncomfortable internal longing.

     It's almost humorous to me to admit this, because I'm the first mother in town to remind K that, "I don't care how she feels, she'd better (fill in the blank)!" And I know that as our "heavenly" parent, God must be just as frustrated with us, when we lament to Him about how we feel let-down. How we're disappointed. How we're angry. How we're tired. How we've been used and abused and put-upon. How we feel lonely. Unloved. Unworthy. Impatient. Misunderstood. Taken for granted. I mean, God gave us emotions and feelings. In all of His all-knowingness, He certainly could've chosen not to burden us with these things, but He didn't. So, emotions do serve a person. They allow us to connect with one another, and I'm sure, help to put us on the path to our purpose here on earth.

     I mean, I'm not a big fan of animals. If everybody was like me, there wouldn't be any on the earth. So, thank God that He gave some people the feeling of compassion for hurt hamsters, and lizards that aren't slimy, but are supposed to be. Listening to people lament about their problems month after month, year after year would drive me to a.) drink b,) say something really mean c.) stop paying attention. But others were called to be counselors/psychologist/psychiatrist and they have a compassion for people who can't work through their issues without some guidance. God is MARVELOUS. He orchestrated all of this.

     So, God definitely has a plan for our emotions/feelings. I think the problem is that sometimes, I tend to...linger. Like, I've known that K's tuition has to be paid in full by 4/15/12 in order for her to participate in all of the senior activities at school. I've known this since freshman year, but more importantly, I went into this school year knowing this. And I've had a rough plan for how the hubby and I would get this done. It's been a challenge since I left my job last year when I was preggers with K2.0. So, we started this year off in arrears, but still, I've had this rough plan in my head. Well, lo and behold another parent that I'm friends with called me the other day to "chat." She opened the chat with, "You know we have to be paid up by 4/15/12, right?" ever since then, I've been consumed with how we're gonna get caught up by then. I've been fearful, and snapping at people. I've been nervous and even somewhat down about coming up with this money. Why? This wasn't news to me. I was well aware of the financial deadline.

     So, then I started constantly telling God about all of my problems. How I don't have this money. How K won't be able to graduate. How Christmas is gonna be a bust. How I'm not pregnant. How the hubby is being stingy with the loving. How my feelings are hurt, because the hubby isn't tackling me for sex (like he used to). How I wanna be pregnant. Blah Blah Blah.
And the Lord is like, "seriously, Mrs. Mocha? After I hung the stars and laid the foundation? After I sent my son to die on Calvary?After I breathed breath into your mom & dad, who in turn breathed breath into you? After I gave you a good, loyal, hard-working, faithful, caring, funny, sweetheart of a man as a husband? After I've given you not 1, but 2 beautiful children, both with medial conditions that haven't affected them in the least? After I've let the girl have three fabulous years at the school you knew you could barely afford the day you enrolled her? After you've never not had a place to live, or food on your table? After I've given your husband that position in the company and he's one of the FEW who doesn't have a corresponding degree? Come on, Mrs. Mocha. Seriously?"
And foolish me, I'm like, "yes, God. Thank You for all of that, but I still don't have these things that I consider important."
 Then God deals with me, the same way that I deal with K. "Mrs. Mocha, you can't want to be treated like a big girl, and still be a baby, too. You'd better appreciate what you have, and stop crying in my face about how you feel. How you feel has nothing to do with it."
And I go, "but God..."
And He goes, "This conversation is over!" The same way that I say it to K.
And I sit with that for a while and sheepishly realize that He's right. How I feel has nothing to do with it. I need to do what I need to to, because it needs to be done. If I only did what I "feel" like doing, I would spend my days watching t.v., eating cheesecake brownie ice cream and surfing the web. That doesn't get the job done. And since I work for the kingdom, I need to make sure that I always put my best foot forward, and that my works represents the One who sent me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

35 Days of Worship ~ Grace

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

     There's been a lot going on with me as of late. Of course, there's a lot going on with most everybody, and I do realize that. Still, that doesn't lessen the weight of the things in my life that are happening. I've been a little bit of a "funk" ever since November. Actually, ever since I got my period in November. Normally, when I get my cycle, I think to myself "many are the plans in a man's heart, but it's God's purpose that prevails." I was all prepared to think that last month, too, but I think the holiday through me for a little loop. So, a "funk" was gonna come. However, I don't think the "funk" would have been as "long-lasting" if I hadn't received news from a friend that she's pregnant.
     Now, generally I'm not one to begrudge a friend (or a stranger even) a pregnancy. I mean, I've had two of my own, and think every woman who wants to have children should be able to do so. Also, I absolutely DESPISE it when I see/read people "hating" on others for getting pregnant. But this announcement really stung for a couple of reasons...
  1. This friend is older than me (which should probably give me hope, as opposed to giving me "pause").
  2. This friend has been trying for a fraction of the amount of time that I've been trying.
  3. This friend wasn't even sure that she wanted baby #4, until I mentioned that the Hubby and I were trying for baby #3.
  4. The last time she announced a pregnancy to me was in February of 2010. 5 days later, I got my BFP. So, everything was all good. This time, she announced a pregnancy to me and I cycle. Everything was all JACKED!!!!!!
     I have to admit, #4 was probably the biggest kicker, and the main reason for the "funk." I have tried to move passed this disappointment with diligence, commitment, and fortitude. But it has been soooooo hard. Several times, I have thought about just throwing in the towel and forgetting all about the elusive baby #3. I mean, the hubby is barely on board, K is graduating high school in May 2012, the baby is getting older and I feel like I'm not enjoying anything about this process whatsoever (outside of the OUTSTANDING sex hahahahahahahahaha).

     So, I had the one billionth conversation with the Lord about this "TTC" thing. I pleaded my case to the Lord. I begged. I ran down my resume. I reminded Him of the times (rare though there they were in this human vessel) when I was obedient. I talked a good game. I smiled through the pain and disappointment. I laughed, and continued to live. But inside, deep, where only He can see, I was very much bruised. And sore. And discouraged. So finally, He said, "Mrs. Mocha, my grace is sufficient for you." And a weird thing happened, I agreed with Him. He was right.

     I thought back to all of the times in my life when I wanted to give up. Like when the money didn't come through for me to go back to school after my first year of college. Like when the medical personnel gave me the diagnosis for my daughter. Like ( 5 years into marriage) when I knew that I had to leave my husband. Like when we just couldn't afford parochial school for K anymore, and she had to transfer to public school. Like (10 years into the marriage) when I knew I had to leave my husband. Like when the hubby got laid off after 13 years at the company, 9 days before I found out I was expecting K2.0. Like when the medical personal gave me the diagnosis for my son. And I remember how everything worked itself out. I remember how God's grace sustained me. How's God's grace nourished me. How God's grace kept my mind, and didn't allow depression to swallow me whole.

     God's grace has allowed me to have a Mariah Carey "Shake it Off" mentality. it doesn't happen instantaneously. Bad situations present, and I don't break into song. Sometimes, I allow myself to fixate on problems, and stressors, and unfortunate circumstances, but I don't stay there too long. God's grace gives me my swag back after a while. God's grace reminds me that He's working behind the scenes. It reminds me that He's never forsaken me. It reminds me that I can have a faith that might appear cocky to some. But it's not's me boasting about my infirmities, that God's power might rest upon me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

36 Days of Worship ~ Positivity

     Today, I'm so thankful for the nudges from the Holy Spirit that remind me to be positive in all situations. I'm constantly surrounded by people who are looking passed their disappointments or let-downs and focusing on being positive.

     I love it. And I'm glad that I am the kind of person who does not like to "wallow" in unhappiness. I'm a positive person. And I will continue to be positive.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

37 Days of Worship ~ Unanswered Prayers

Ecclesiastes 3:11
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so,
people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

     As I was laying in bed this morning, dealing with the fact that a prayer had gone unanswered, I asked myself how I could thank God through it. Please trust and believe...praising while I was simultaneously experiencing frustration, disappointment, hurt, confusion, anger, envy, failure, discouragement and giving up was not my idea of a good time. Only obedience, and the fact that I  KNEW that I had to get passed the unpleasant emotions allowed me to let my mind go there. I am not a person who likes feeling "ugly" feelings, so I try to deal with them and move passed them hurriedly. I'm not a "wallower." Actually, wallowing makes me EXTREMELY uncomfortable.

     Anyway, as I laid there thinking about the MANY prayers that have gone unanswered in my life. I remember being "in love" with this guy in high school and praying diligently  that he would be my boyfriend. We'll call him Pierre Reynolds*. Pierre was easily one of the best catches in my high school graduating class. I mean, he was tall, fair-skinned, had a BEAUTIFUL smile, played 2 sports (football & baseball) {so you know dude had body}, and on top of all of his physical attributes, he was the nicest person you could ever want to meet. He was super sweet. If you saw him 10 times during the school day, he would speak to you 10 times. He was just a REALLY good guy. I was so in love with Pierre. Pages and pages of my senior diary were filled with thoughts, hopes and dreams of him. I wanted that boy so badly. I even convinced myself that if God wouldn't give him to me while we were in high school, I would make some MAJOR changes in my life, and get him at our 10 year reunion. I spent a lot of time praying to God about being Pierre's girlfriend. It never happened. He was in a serious relationship with some chick who I thought was WAY beneath me and my social standing at the school. (I wasn't conceited at all LOL). Anyway, during our senior year, Pierre started missing a lot of school. I mean A LOT. Later I found out that he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He didn't live past the year most of us turned 21. So there was no magical class reunion for Pierre Reynolds.
     There are so many times that God has saved me from myself and my own lack of knowledge. And even though I couldn't see it at the time, God has always had my best interest at heart. So, even though I can't see how this most recent heartbreaking let-down will work out for my good, I thank God. In spite of being disappointed, hurt, frustrated, angry, impatient, envious and confused I thank God. He sees the things that are around the corner that I can't see. And sometimes, paths have to be put in place before you can walk into something. Perhaps God is laying the groundwork for my prayer to be answered at a later date.

     All I know is that I do believe that God's will is what's best for me, even when I'm selfish and self-absorbed and REALLY want my own will. I know that the Lord will help me to come to terms with the plans He has for my life. After all He created me for Himself...not the other way around.

Monday, November 21, 2011

38 Days of Worship ~ Answered Prayer

     There are 452 scriptures in the King James Version of the bible that contain the phrase, "it came to pass." I love that phrase. To me, it speaks of something happening, then time passing, then something else happening that has relevance to the first thing. It makes me think that just because some time passed, doesn't mean that God forgot about the first thing. He just put it on the back-burner for a while.

     It reminds me of answered prayer. Like how you can pray for something, life goes on, then one day you look up and God has answered your prayer.

     As I held a sleeping K2.0 today, I was thinking. There is NO WAY on earth that I could list, or recall every prayer that God has answered in my life. I don't even know that numbers can go up that high. But I was trying to recount how many "dreams come true" that I've experienced.

     Getting into my first choice high school was a dream come true. Getting into my first choice college was a dream come true. Some of the jobs that I've been hired for have been dreams come true. Some of the guys I've dated have been dreams come true. Getting pregnant with K was a dream come true. The fact that she was a girl was a dream come true. Having my first book published was a dream come true. Getting pregnant with K2.0 was a dream come true. Having him be healthy, in spite of was a dream come true.

     I've experienced so many "dreams come true" in my life. As I think about them, my heart threatens to burst with love, adoration and gratitude for the God I serve. How good He's been to me, even when I was undeserving and happy living in my sin. How He rained blessings on me when I was unworthy. I'm just so thankful for every "dream come true." I'm just so grateful that God has created me to be a person who recognizes the goodness in my life, and appreciates it.

     Thank you , Lord.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

39 Days of Worship ~ Another Chance

Psalm 30:2
God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together.
God, you pulled me out of the grave,
gave me another chance at life when I was down-and-out.

     I like to think of myself as an open-minded person, although I realize that's not always true. I mean, a single girl really can't tell me too much about being married (especially since I've been married for 15 years), nor do I go around espousing advice about how to raise multiples, when I was the mother of an only child for 15 years. Then there's the fact that you could never pay me enough money to eat pork and I (get ready to be shocked) believe that corporal punishment is acceptable and sometimes mandatory (depending on the child in question). So, there are some things that I am decidedly not open to. But generally, I work really hard not to color things simply black or white. Good or bad. Intelligent or stupid. And so on. I try to see things from other's points of  view, and be...well open-minded.

     I started considering my own willingness to give things (and people) several chances as I sipped a cup of coffee this morning. Now, I don't like coffee. I LOVE the smell of coffee, but the taste...uhm, not a fan. I have at various times in my life attempted to become a coffee drinker. I can remember days of being in S.eattle's B.est Coffee and pouring half of the contents of my cup out and replacing them with cream, then adding no less than 10 sugar packets. I can remember days of doing the same exact thing the with coffee from C.aribou and St.arbuck's as well. Coffee just isn't my thing.

     Still, for some reason that didn't stop me from making a pit stop this morning to pick up a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I don't know what I expected to taste, other than "pumpkin spice." I guess I conveniently pushed the idea that a "latte" was a coffee product from my mind. As I took the first sip, I chuckled.  Mrs. Mocha, when are you ever gonna learn? I asked myself.

      But there I was, sipping the latte and giving coffee yet "another chance." Then I started to thank God that I'm the type of person who will give things and people "one more chance." I'm thankful that one bad go-round doesn't necessarily write a situation off in my book. If God wasn't the God of a 2nd chance, where would I be? I don't even wanna think about that. So, I thank God for the spirit of "another chance." I thank Him for of all of the one more chances in my life. If I thought back over my life, I probably couldn't even recollect how many times that "another chance" has given me a FABULOUS opportunity. Or how many times, people have had to give me "another chance."

     Thank you Lord that in Your all knowingness, You understood that first impressions wouldn't always paint a correct portrait of a person, thing or situation. Thank You that for those very instances You created the "second chance."

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Gift of Touch

Matthew 9:21
She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

     Today, as I held my sleeping 1 year old son in my arm (the same way that I used to do when he was 1 month old), I started to smile. It pleased me that although he is much bigger than he was then, he still fits so comfortably in the crook of my elbow. He can still be "my baby." I don't have to turn him completely over to the world of "toddler-hood" quite, yet.

     I cuddled him close to me, and held him there for as long as I could. But all to soon, I had to lay him down, so that I could take care of the next matter of business.

     But it made me think about how important the sensation of touch is in my life. I'm always swooping K2.0 up into my arms and attempting to hug him tightly as he fights to get away holding him close to me. I love to rub my cheek to his cheek, or gently squeeze the excess "baby" chub on his thighs and arms. I enjoy the feeling of his warm breath on my neck, as he snuggles in (which is a decidedly rare occurence these days). I embrace him, and wish that time could stand still while I experience the sensation of his body touching mine. Sometimes, when she's not feeling all "big girl", K will let me hold me, and hug her (although it takes patience on her part, because she's several inches taller than I am, and I tend to pull her down when we hug). She'll let me kiss her soft cheeks, and love her up for a few moments. And when the hubby is home, I like to fall into his chest and rest my head there. I like to try to wrap my arms around him and hold him tightly. Having physical contact with the ones I love makes me feel safe. Warm. Loved.

     I'm from a very touchy-feely family. That's probably because my family is predominantly matriarchal. We're always hugging and kissing each other. The hubby's family isn't like that at all, so sometimes all of my "touchiness" is probably annoying too much for him. But I can't help it.

     During my dating years, after giving goo-gobs of fellas the wrong impression about where things mght be heading, I started making disclaimers to guys. They went something like this: *with a pleasant expression* "Sorry, if it seems like I'm all on you. I'm just a "touchy-feely" person. I really don't mean anything by it." I never thought this was a weird thing to do, because 99% of the time, I was with a cousin of mine, who was the EXACT same way about touching strangers as I was, and she would be giving the guy closest to her THE EXACT SAME SPEECH. Looking back, I wonder what was going through the minds of dudes after they got that speech. Hahahahahahaha!

     Lord, thank you for the gift of touch, and the connection to one another that it allows humans to have. Thank you that touch can be a "love language." Thank you that it can convey love, hope, connection, affinity, sympathy, empathy, safety, well-wishes, friendship, positivity, understanding and bring healing. Thank you Lord, that in your all knowingness, you understood that we would at times on this earth need a way to communicate thoughts and emotions without words...and for that you provided the gift of touch.

40 Days of Worship (for no reason at all)

     So, while I was sitting in church yesterday, I started to think about the goodness of the Lord. About His omnipotence. His omni-presence. How He can answer my prayers, your prayers and their prayers without any of us having to accept His "2nd best" or His "left-overs." And I was thankful. I was filled with Thanksgiving that I serve a God such as Him.

     While there is no way that I could ever demonstrate or verbalize the depth of my gladness, I decided to offer my Lord and Savior the praise that I can give. So, for the next 40 days, I will be blogging about the goodness of God as experienced in my life.

     I'm soooo excited!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thought Vomit Thursday


     Since I enjoy being random, I thought I would participate this Thursday.

  • When I'm at the mall in the middle of the day, it really bothers me when there are a lot of other people there, too. In my mind, I'm thinking, "Why aren't you at work?!?!?"
  • I don't think that I'm the world's best driver, but I don't feel like there are too many drivers out there that give me any competition.
  • Why is it that the people you would take advice from, are rarely the ones who offer it freely? Usually, it's offered by the people whose own situation you use in stories as examples of what not to do, who think they could live your life better than you can.
  • I really want to use coupons more often to save money, but it's kinda hard when I always forget step #1...TAKE COUPONS WITH YOU TO THE STORE. I annoy myself with that. LOL.
  • I read on Rose's Daughter's blog here, that you should keep your blogs short. Mine are probably entirely too long, so I'm gonna cut them down...starting now.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

1 Timothy 3:4
He must manage his own family well
 and see that his children obey him,
and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.

     I don't know if I'm able to fully convey it. I'm not even sure that there are words in our language to fully convey it...but I ADORE my family. The three people who share this home with me (two of whom have shared my body with me), are the glory of God in human form in my life. That doesn't mean that I'm always feeling them. I mean, just last night the daughter made me wish that she was leaving for college TOMORROW. The son's constant biting, kicking, and (worst of all) hair pulling makes me call on patience that I didn't even realize I possessed. Many is the time, I could've sent him flying, when an unexpected and excruciating tug to my hair made me yelp in pain, and look around for the culprit who was about to receive a south-side beat-down. And the hubby? There isn't even a need to comment on the number of times he's almost driven me to make myself a divorcee or a widow.

     Nevertheless, all things considered...these three people are the wind beneath my wings. I love them to life. The only thing is, I so rarely get to spend time with the three of them together. Of course, I'm ALWAYS with the baby. Rare are the times you will catch me sans him. As a stay-at-home mom, I guess that comes with the territory (smile). I also spend quite a bit of time with K. Ever since she was a little girl, I've referred to her as "my shadow" (that title now belongs to K2.0) and "my left hand." And it goes without saying that I spend at least 75% of my time with both children. The hubby is a hard worker. He just is. His work schedule is very demanding. And since the career he's in provides parochial school tuition for K, insurance benefits for all 4 of us, and allows me the luxury of staying home with K2.0, he has to work. And I can't ever complain, because 80% of society would LOVE to make the kind of money that the hubby makes.

     But it does leave a void. 90% of the time, I'm the only parent supporting K at school sponsored functions/assemblies. All housework, cooking, cleaning, car pooling, errand running, doctor appointments and such fall on my shoulders. It's not the end of the world. It doesn't bother me much. It is what it is. What really bothers me, is when I have to show up to church...husbandless. To extended family events...husbandless. To holiday parties...husbandless. To weddings or funerals...husbandless.

     Recently, the support group that I attend (geared towards stay-at-home moms of color) had an event for the children. Since the support group is women only, I decided to attend. I had some of the wind knocked out of my sails when I arrived and realized that I was the only one to show up stag. (I mean, K2 was with me, and he is a guy...but he doesn't even walk yet.) I never felt so "5th wheel" in all of my life. I got a first hand look at how single moms (I was raised by one) must feel on the regular. It was a lonely place to be, as couples shared secret whispers, and sometimes wandered off from the group for some time with each other and their respective children. I just felt like the odd-man-out. Not to mention that we had to get on and off of this huge tractor several times, and K2.0 was sleeping soundly in his stroller. Which meant that somebody's husband had to lift the stroller off and on several times. The husbands were great, and very helpful. But in the back of my mind, I couldn't help thinking, "They shouldn't have to be doing this. The hubs should be here doing this." Sometimes, I actually wonder if people think I'm faking the funk. Maybe they think I'm pretending to be married. I'm saying, the support group members have never met the hubby. They don't know me that well. Maybe they think I'm making him up.

     But those are some of things that made today even more fantastic than it would have ordinarily been. The four of us got up early (because the hubby had to work in the afternoon) and went to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch. It was sooooo cool being out there, acting silly, and taking pictures. It was nice to have my best friend there to share secret whispers with, and cuddle up with when the cold wind blew through the rows of apple trees. It was just...comfortable. Even though we had to hurry, so hubby could get home and prepare for work, I got to enjoy more than two hours of being a foursome. Father, mother, daughter, son just chilled and kicked-it like nothing else in the world mattered...except our little family.

     It was so nice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm So Random

1 Corinthians 3:20
and again,
“The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

So, I have more random thoughts...

     About the "Real Housewives" franchise

  • I'm not a real follower of this show. I only watch the girls from Atlanta and Beverly Hills.
  • Of all of the women from Atlanta, Ne-Ne is my least favorite. Followed by Kim. I basically like everybody else. Of all the women from Beverly Hills, I think Adrienne is my favorite. Kyle is kinda back-stabber "ish." Taylor is a victim. Kim has an emotional illness that has yet to be either identified or admitted (not sure which one). Lisa is kinda snarky & mean. Camille is better this season.
About people that I know
  • I asked K if there was any way that I could text somebody "restricted." I've been holding anger towards an ex-friend for a few years now, and frankly...I'm over being mad. I have already forgiven her in my heart, but for some reason I feel COMPELLED to let her know that I forgive her. But I want to do it anonymously. I don't know what this means. Somewhere in there, I think there's some pridefulness happening. I don't like the idea of that. Gotta do some prayer work about that.
  • I really miss my cousin L.R. I hate that are friendship drizzled down to nothing., especially since we've both had babies recently. They could be so close, if only we would mend our fences.
  • I haven't really missed talking to my friend (the one who blames me for her relationship blow-up), but it did hurt my feelings that she didn't call or text on the baby's birthday.
  • My mother is AWESOME in a crisis. If there's an emergency, she's the one you want with you. If something goes down, she's the one you need. She can totally keep a calm head. I really admire that about her. But that lady CAN NOT keep a secret. Telling her a secret is like telling Perez Hilton.
  • K is 16 years older than K2.0. My great-grandmother's oldest child was 16 years older than my grandmother.
     About things I notice while living life
  • I always judge other people's strollers against mine. Whenever I'm out, and see somebody else with a stroller, I can't help but check it out. I think that's because I registered fr my stroller online, sight unseen. I picked one of the cheapest ones, and somebody bought it for me. O, I think everybody has a better stroller than mine, and sometimes I am sooooo embarrassed of my stroller. I think it looks cheap. That is soooo prideful. And I know I shouldn't feel that way. It's not like it doesn't get K2.0 to where he needs to go. Honestly, I have considered buying a new one MANY times, but I can't justify the expense.
  • Most of my friends raise their children totally different than I'm raising mine. It's funny how you can love somebody and have so much in common with them, but then have two TOTALLY different mindsets when it comes to raising children.
     I have so much more I could write..but I'll save it for another day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Close Encounters of the College Kind

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

     My daughter, K is a senior in high school this year. And I feel like she should be prepared for this. Ever since she was little, I have been constantly yakking about the importance of college. During spring break of her sophomore year my husband and I took her on a college tour. We drove across a good portion of the country. We went from Chicago to Nashville (Fisk University), from Nashville to Alabama (Tuskegee University), from Alabama to Atlanta, Ga (Clark & Spelman). From Atlanta, we went through So. Carolina, and No. Carolina, up to Virginia (Hampton University), and from Virginia, into D.C. (Howard University). Then from D.C., we made the 13 hour trek back to Chicago. It was a grueling wonderfully awesome (I was 13 weeks pregnant with K2.0 at the time) week long trip, but we felt it was worth it. Until K started bugging.

     First, she started wavering on her first choice. Now, that was fine with me. Just choose another first choice school. Therein lay the problem. She wouldn't/couldn't choose another school. Brochures and pamphlets have flooded our mail box. Emails are blowing up her phone. Colleges are holding seminars and open houses in our area. She is NOT interested.
     I have tried everything. I have tried to be understanding. I've tried giving up and deciding that college is her deal, not mine. I have tried to sweet talk her. I have tried yelling. I've tried being pissed. I've tried strong-arming her. I've tried it all. It seems like the only thing I accomplish is frustrating myself. Nothing worked. Nothing motivated her. When I asked her what her problem is, she whines, tears up, and tells me that she's overwhelmed at the "college process." She said, "It's my senior year. Why can't I just enjoy my senior year?"

     Now, I know some people are reading this and thinking, "Awwwww. Poor thing." Well, when she said it, I heard, "Filling out applications, requesting transcripts from my school's office, and asking teachers to write recommendation letters for me would require me to get off my butt, and do some something for myself."

     So basically, I've been forcing her to attend things. I've had to drag her to college fairs kicking and screaming. So, the 100 Black men of Chicago host a HUGE college fair every year, which over 300 schools attend, including all of the Historically Black Colleges, and even the Ivy Leagues. ~ Now, this is the fair that she fought me sooooo hard on. For days leading up to the fair, she complained and whined. She even tried to dig her heels in and tell me she wasn't going (now that, was funny. Like she had a choice, once I said she was going). The morning of the fair, she lolly-gagged around and sincerely tried to make us late, but I nixed all of her foolishness right in the bud.

     We visited the table of tons of schools. Some of the schools, she was interested in (Florida A & M, Amherst College), some of the schools, I was interested in for her (Spelman, Hampton U). She got a lot of information, and a lot of positive feedback. In the end, she finally made her school selections. Some of the schools that made the cut have been one the list since the beginning. Some of the schools are brand new, and some of the schools are HUGE surprises.

     But it was worth all of the headaches and frustration when we got in the car and K said, "Thanks mom. I'm glad you made me go to that."

Monday, October 10, 2011

K2.0 and Other Blessings

Isaiah 66:7
Before she was in labor, she gave birth;
Before her pain came, She delivered a male child.

     Today is K2.0's 1st birthday. I'm excited, awed, and blown-away by that  fact. It doesn't seem like it's been a year since I was holding my son for the first time. In just blink of an eye, he's grown so much.

     We had his birthday party on Saturday. It was such a nice event. And so different from K's 1st birthday party. She had a clown (which was less than a "hit", since most of the children including K were scared of the clown), and a ton of guest. Our house was filled to the brim with small children and their parents. K2.0's even was a very laid-back affair. I actually only invited family. The hubby, myself, K, K2.0, my mom, her husband & his mother, my grandmother, and aunt were the only attendees, but it was all right. I wanted him to have a calm day, with people who love him and only wanted to shower him with love and good wishes. Mission accomplished.

     We talked, ate, sang "happy birthday", watched K2.0 demolish a piece of his birthday cake, then proceeded to choke off of it. We laughed, remembered, recalled, hugged, marveled at his capabilities and had a good time. Even K congratulated me on "throwing" a really good party.

     I have already resigned myself to the fact that this will probably be the last "low-key" birthday party for a few years...and that's cool, too. But I will look back on this one with fondness and love. My family came together and had a good time all in the name of a little boy called "K2.0."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Random Thoughts

Ecclesiastes 2:12
Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,
and also madness and folly...

  • I watch a lot of Christian T.V. and I'm not a fan of Joel Osteen. I mean, I don't dislike him, he's just not one of my favorites. I find his sermons are a little to "fluffy." Today, he was good.
  • I have decided that I'm not excited about Carol's Daughter's Hair Milk, but I'm crazy about her Mimosa Hair Honey. My son has the prettiest, curliest, thickest, longest hair. I mean, people actually stop me on the street (in the grocery store, in the mall, etc.) and comment on it. The Hair Milk was supposed to make his hair more moisturized. Instead, I felt like it made his hair look more dry. But the Mimosa Hair Honey, is WONDERFUL. Plus, K kept complaining about the smell of the Hair Milk, but she hasn't said one word about the Hair Honey.
  • I really need new living room furniture. My furniture is gross. I hate it. I find it embarrassing. I don't think it represents me or what I stand for very well.
  • In my opinion, Target is classier than Wal-mart.
  • I love Target! I'm a total Target girl, but sometimes I cheat on Target, because Wal-Mart has better prices.
  • I haven't been able to go on vacation this year. I'm kinda sad about that. But the having K2.0 last October makes up for it.
  • I lost 8lbs last week. I feel really motivated. I thank God that the pounds came off. It was getting depressing. I hope I can lose 30 more, before I have to break out my winter coats. I could only fit one of them last year. This year, I hope to be able to fit into my entire winter coat wardrobe.
  • I'm excited about what's waiting for me in the future. I feel like it's gonna be HUGE!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Practical Believer

James 2:17

Thus also faith by itself,
if it does not have works,
is dead.

    So, I've been very blessed, as I have walked out my Christian life, to have sat under and learned from some wonderful men of the cloth. Men who have decided that in order for them to "rightly divide the word of God", they needed to make the word practical. - Personally, I'm convinced that often, when Christians lose their fervor for the bible and biblical teaching, it's because they don't understand how something that was written so long ago, could have use in their current life. But I have found that the right teachers, will make sure that you understand how to practically apply the bible, and Christianity into your everyday life, in a real, meaningful and results-producing way.

     I, myself, am a VERY practical believer/Christian. When I'm faced with a dilemma, I don't ask myself WWJD (what would Jesus do)? I pretty much know what Jesus would do (it's usually the OPPOSITE of what my flesh is telling me to do. LOL). But I'm not Jesus. So, I have to ask myself, "Self, how can Mrs. Mocha handle this situation in a way that would be pleasing to Jesus, and would also be practical?" I'm like, the Queen of trying to keep things practical, and break them down so far, that I can explain the principle to my teenage daughter without losing her attention, boring or overwhelming her.

     My method includes reminding myself that God is my heavenly parent (Father), while I am K and K2.0's earthly parent. So, in the same way that I love and adore them (but EVEN more), God loves and adores me. In the same way that their smallest success makes my heart swell with joy & pride, God's heart swells with joy & pride in my success. The same way that I'm amazed and super pleased when K repeats back to me, a principle that I have been drilling into her since she was little (and all those times, I thought she wasn't listening to me) , God is super pleased and amazed when I show Him that I "get it."

     By the same token, when K makes me angry enough to physically knock her head off of her shoulders, I'm reminded of all of the times I have spurred God's anger, yet He showed me mercy and offered me grace. And the times that I consider letting her slide on infractions, I'm reminded that God disciplines who He loves.

     This brings me to my current dilemma (and trust...I always have a dilemma).

     I read so much, and hear so much about the things that people (women) have done on the path to getting pregnant. I read the testimonies for I read about the benefits of v.itrex and Pr.imrose Oil and eating pineapple core. And taking Green Tea capsules. And Fer.tile Aid. - I wonder about investing. I'm a bible believing Christian, so I can't help but think to myself, "Mrs. Mocha, you might need to invest in some of this stuff. Faith without works is dead." 

     This is the dilemma. To invest in "aids" or not. For some TTCers, this is a NON question. And I understand that. Whatever products can help their cause are fair-game. They are fully supplied with everything they will "need" to achieve their goal of becoming pregnant. For's just not that easy. I have to review this scenario as an "earthly" parent v/s my "heavenly" parent.

     Scenario: I say to my daughter on Monday, "K, I promise that at 2pm on Saturday, I'm going to take you to the mall and buy you a new dress and matching shoes."

     Her response #1:
     On Tuesday, she goes out and rakes some leaves for the neighbor. When he pays her, she deposits the money into my bank account.
     On Wednesday, she lands a babysitting job. She deposits her payments into my bank account.
     On Thursday, she skips lunch at school and deposits the money into my bank account.
     On Friday, she mows a few lawns on the block and deposits the money into my bank account.
     On Saturday, at 2pm, she's returning a neighbor's dog, after taking it on a walk to make more cash. She doesn't get back home until 3:30pm.

     Her response #2:
     On Tuesday, she comes home from school, and cleans her room.
     On Wednesday, she vacuums the living room.
     On Thursday, she loads the dishwasher after dinner.
     On Friday, she separates her laundry.
     On Saturday, at 2pm, her clothes are still in the dryer, and won't be completely dry for another half an hour.

     Her response #3:
     On Tuesday, she comes home from school, eats chips & leaves the empty bag on the coffee table.
     On Wednesday, she has an attitude and spends all evening in her bedroom, texting.
     On Thursday, she ignores the dirt on the carpet and does not vacuum.
     On Friday, she asks for $10 to attend a school football game.
     On Saturday, at 2pm, she's showered, dressed and ready to go to the mall to get the dress.

     I ask myself, which one is the "faithful" response? As much as I hate to admit it, #3 is the most faithful response. - My daughter knows that if I promised to take her shopping at 2pm, on Saturday, then regardless of if she cleans her room or not, has money or not...she's going to the mall at 2pm on Saturday. She trusts that my promises are real. And that I won't "bait & switch" her at the last minute, like, "well, I decided that I didn't like your attitude on Wednesday, so now we're not going." She knows that my promises aren't contingent on her bringing anything to the table.

     She displayed her faith, by continuing to be the same "K" that she always is all week long, knowing that would have NO bearing on the promise. She displayed her works, by getting up, showering, getting dressed, and being ready to receive my promise at the allotted time. She was "in position" (if you will) to receive the promise, even though, some would argue whether she "deserved" it or not.

     As I was writing this...I promise I JUST got this principle. I'm about to take a "shout" break and do a "Holy Ghost" dance. I'm literally crying at the revelation!!!! God is so good. This whole thing has been eating me up, as of late. I have really felt like I have not been "doing enough" to get pregnant. - That's why the bible says, "That the works are "works of faith" - It makes SO much sense, now!!!!! I don't have to DO extra stuff. God's promise is ENOUGH.

     I was going someplace different with this post, but Since the Lord has spoken, and revealed to me the answer to my prayer...I will close this post now.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The "Other" Me

1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be misled:
"Bad company corrupts good character.”

     Truth be told, the Mrs.  Mocha who exist now, is for all intents and purposes...a "new" Mrs. Mocha. As I have stated in other posts, the Lord really did remake me about six years ago. And I am so glad He did. Although, I was very used to the old me, and familiar with the old me, I can honestly say that I didn't like the old me very much. Some of that had to do with self-esteem issues on my part. Some of it had to do with the fact that I used to be angry, mad, sad, confrontational, attitudinal, quick-tempered and judgmental.

     As a person who has had an very real encounter with Jesus, I was changed. And I like the new me. I like being happy, and celebrating others. I like being pleasant, and compassionate. I like giving compliments and smiles. I just enjoy being positive and upbeat. I enjoy loving on people, and supporting them. However, I am very much aware, that deep down inside of me...the "old" Mrs. Mocha still exist. And even though I like the "new" me better, there are some character traits from "old" me that not only come in handy from time to time, but are necessary, when people who haven't met Jesus...start to act a little too foolishly for "new" Mrs. Mocha to overlook. Do you know what I'm saying??

     Back on August 30th, I made a post called, "I've Got A Secret." it spoke about the fact that I unwittingly stumbled upon the fact that a good girl friend's boyfriend was cheating on her. Ever since then, it's been one dramatic episode after another.

      Now, I'm not the type of person who wants to know other people's business. Sometimes, I secretly wonder if I'm apathetic, because I am soooo disinterested in what's going on in the personal lives of others. I mean, I just feel like I've got my own stuff to deal with, so what time do I really have to be wading around in your stuff? So, please believe me when I say, that I never intended to be the one to go running to my friend with evidence I had "gathered" against her boyfriend. It was actually a mutual friend, who brought it up. Still, I got left holding the bag, because I (semi-innocently) said to the guy (in font of group of people, which (un-beknownst to me) included 'the other woman') that I hoped he showed my girl friend a really good time on her birthday, because she deserved it.

     The guy involved in all of this totally cursed me out, to the point that the Hubby was ready to kick a$$ and my hubby is an EXTREMELY peaceable person. "The other woman" has called me, as well as sent me, not one, but two, emails about the situation (yes, I know her. We ALL went to high school together, and apparently are still in high school,based on the way this situation is going). And my friend is TOTALLY  blaming the fact that her relationship blew up, on me. 

     But what I have discovered in all of this, is that all of the times that my friend was telling me about her "wonderful" relationship, she knew there was another female all along. She knew she was "sharing" this guy all along. She and the "other woman" had been having heated arguments over this guy for the last six to seven months.

     At this point, I don't even know how to feel about my friend. I mean, I totally couldn't care less if she's open to being in a relationship with a guy who has a "main" woman. That's her business. I don't judge her on that front. But I really don't appreciate the fact that she has been LYING to me ALL ALONG. And that her LIES, are what caused me to be involved in this mayhem in the first place. If I had known that she was the "side piece", I would have acted accordingly. And never would've said anything to the guy at all!!!!! But here I was thinking she was the "only." - I don't know which is the bigger slap in the face: the fact that she's been  lying to me all along or the fact that she's blaming me for the blow-up, when she's known all along that her relationship was on fire.

     It's all so SUPER dramatic!!!! My friend is barely speaking to me (as I said, she's blaming me for the relationship blowing up), the guy has said that he feels he was COMPLETELY justified in cursing me out, and the 'other woman' seems as if she's trying to convince me that my friend is delusional (at best) and/or a hysterical stalker (at worse). She's so brazen, that she's actually attempted to recruit me to "talk" to my friend about her "irrational" behavior. - Yeah, that's gonna happen.

     The "other" me, is about five seconds from coming out and either verbally or physically abusing everyone involved.

     The "new" me, is just praying. And praying. And praying.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

(The) Wait for Love

Psalm 130:5-6

 5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
         And in His word I do hope.
 6 My soul waits for the Lord
         More than those who watch for the morning—
         Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

     I don't mind admitting that I have been known to struggle with waiting. I don't think that makes me weird or unusual. Patience, has not always been a close acquaintance of mine. I have gotten much better at it over the years. I like to think that with age, has come maturity. But FB has taught me that idea is not true at ALL. I am FB friends with PLENTY of people that I graduated high school with, and many of them are on FB bragging about how impatient they are. So, it's not the age thing. It's God.

     Patience has been one of my prayers for as long as I can remember. As a young wife and mom, I knew that I needed to have more patience with my husband, and with my daughter. But when it really became most evident, was when the Lord began to remake my heart. It was then that He showed me that I didn't have much patience for me. I was sooo hard on myself. Never allowing myself to get away with anything. The slightest infraction caused me to lash out at myself with ugly thoughts, and mean self-talk. I was a perfectionist, and so help me if something I did didn't turn out perfectly. I would have words with the person who pointed out my mistakes...but they got off easy. They would only catch my wrath as long as they were in my presence. I would catch my own wrath for years and years. Constantly reminding myself of the mistake I had made. Always aware that I could never make that same mistake, again. It was a hard life.

     But when God began to put me together, again, He left out a lot of qualities that weren't serving me well (Thank you, Jesus!). So, perfectionism went out of the door, along with negative self-talk, low self-esteem, constantly complaining, seeing the glass as half-empty, rebellion, discontentment, selfishness, unprovoked anger, meanness and general dis-satisfaction. He replaced that stuff with things I would need like compassion, empathy/sympathy, acceptance, positivity, happiness, joy, peace, desire to be harmonious with others, obedience, the ability to laugh at myself and patience.

     Soon, waiting wasn't as difficult, anymore. It still wasn't something I would choose to do, if given the choice. But, I no longer went into tempter tantrums at the thought of not getting what I wanted, when I wanted it. God even began to reveal to me the gift in waiting. The beauty in waiting. No where was the gift and beauty so evident, as when I was pregnant with my son.

     While I marked off the days of my daughter's pregnancy with unabashed impatience, my son's pregnancy was different. It was an easy, breezy period of time, where I grew to know him, and experience him daily for 39 weeks. I knew when he was asleep, or awake. Hungry or content. I knew when he liked something...or didn't like it at all. I knew that every night, when I settled down for bed, he would get geared up to play. He would kick, and roll, and have a jolly good time for about 30 to 40 minute each night. I could count on it. I would climb into bed, pull the blanket up on my legs, and watch and giggle in awe as my baby performed for his audience of one. I enjoyed that time sooo much. Not once, while he was dancing inside me, did I think "I wish he was out here dancing in front of me." I understood that time would come, and I was content to experience him on the inside, for as long as God saw fit for him to be there.

     To be honest, God has shown me these last five years or so, how much I actually enjoy being patient. I remember my life before patience. It was very stressed (not to say that I don't currently have stress, but over other things...not waiting), and I was often disappointed that things weren't happening on my timetable. I was often curt, and frustrated, because people weren't moving fast enough for me. I've had WAY more than my fair share of "road rage" experiences. I was often mad, cranky and short-tempered.

     But with patience, my temperance is MUCH more even-keeled. I like to joke and say I'm Like President Obama. I once heard him say, "my 'highs' don't go very high, my 'lows' don't go very low." That's me. The best things in life bring me joy, but I don't (try not to) worship them. The worse things in life bring me grief, but I try not to wallow there. Patience has given me the gift of even-temperance. (If some people from my past could see me now!!!) Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

     Sometimes, the evil which is impatience rears it's ugly head. TTC definitely brings out the beast in me. And I find myself justifying all of the reasons that it's only natural that I feel impatient about getting pregnant. I mean, first off...I'm 40. That alone is enough to make a 20+ year old TTCer cringe. Secondly...I'm 40. Thirdly...I'll be 41 VERY shortly. Each month, I remind God of my age while I'm doing my begging prayer work. I remind Him that the odds are rapidly gearing up to go against me. I remind Him of the (alleged) condition of 40 year old eggs. I remind Him that I'm only gonna keep getting older...not younger. I remind Him.

     And occassionally, He reminds me...sometimes, there is a gift in waiting. Beauty in waiting.

     So, I will wait for the Lord. In His word, I do hope. And His word, I will use as my anchor as I navigate the stormy seas of TTC baby #3.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Good Life

1 John 5:12
He who has the Son has life;
he who does not have the Son of God
does not have life.

     I have to admit, while everything is certainly not perfect in my life, I find it hard to complain. I mean, I have a loving, compassionate, caring, hard-working, tall, dark, handsome, hilarious, semi-sensitive, and all around nice guy as a husband.
     My teenage daughter has been known to give me the fits. She's at times varying levels of bossy, unappreciative, intolerant, messy, selfish, spoiled, entitled, dramatic, hormonal, bad mannered and attitudinal. However, for all of her annoying and problematic ways, she's a good girl. She's never given me one ounce of stress with fastness, sneakiness, lying, slickness, untrustworthiness, or anything like that. She spends the night with friends I'm able to be 100% sure that she's with the friends...and not with some saggy-pants, kinky-headed, white-t shirt wearing thug (or even a nice boy, who wears a letterman's jacket from his high school). I drop her off at school each morning, with no fear that she's leaving out the back door as soon as I pull off (hey, I went to public high school in the city, this was a real and frequent occurrence). Since the arrival of K2.0, and her subsequent "no holds-barred" introduction to wonderful life of having a baby in the house, I am POSITIVE that I have helped invent the first fool-proof method of teenage birth-control. K, for all intents and purposes is a good girl. She's the teenage a lot of parents would kill to have. But sorry, I'm keeping her for myself.

     The boy (K2.0) is soooooo mischievous. Granted, K was a FREAKISHLY well-behaved baby, but I have NEVER known or seen a baby get into as much stuff as this child does. My living room is a series of maze and obstacle courses, all designed to discourage K2.0 from A.) getting to blinds and tearing them down B.) Crawling into the dining room and finding some stray piece of food that I just KNOW will end up being a hoking hazard or C.) Crawling into the few spaces of the house that I let people wear street shoes, thereby exposing him to some incurable fungi or bacteria. But K2.0 is determined. He won't let a little obstacle course or maze stop him from attaining his goal. 20 times a day, I'm up retrieving 2.0 from the area in which the blinds are located. 5 times a day, I'm coaxing away from the dining room. He wears me out! And how come a baby that has yet figured out that he has to remove his pacifier from his mouth, BEFORE he can insert his bottle, has the cunning to work his way through obstacle courses?? I still can't figure that one out. But when he has finally had his fill of mischief, he will wander over and entertain me by clapping his hands, grabbing my face in his hands while planting a big, WET kiss on my mouth or climbing into my arms and resting his head on my ample cleavage. He's such a sweetie, that it's almost impossible to stay mad at him...ALMOST!

     I love my family...small, though we might be. I have enjoyed this month of September with them. It has included family birthday dinners, BBQs, apple picking, college open houses, parent-teacher night, shopping malls, uproarious laughter, embarrassing mishaps, group hugs, and prayers for good health and safety.

     Dear God, I'm so glad this family and these experiences are mine.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dedicated to the Ones I Love

Proverbs 31:27-29

27 She watches over the ways of her household,
   And does not eat the bread of idleness.
   28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
   Her husband also, and he praises her:
   29 “ Many daughters have done well,
  But you excel them all.”

     In real life (IRL), I'm a very private person. I'm talking VERY private. I really have a thing against people knowing what I'm thinking. Not that it's bad (not usually. *insert wicked laugh here*), but it's just MY thoughts. MY private thoughts. Anyway, I think that's one of the reasons that I enjoy blogging soooo much. I can share and share and share, yet you wouldn't recognize me if I walked up to you on the street. it's so freeing! I have finally found a place to let my hair down. (Smile)

     Anyways, I've been thinking a lot about my family, lately. Not my entire family, but the small branch that lives in my house.  The hubby, K, and K2.0. The three of them are the loves of my life. I'm sure everybody feels that way about their spouse and their children, but this is my blog, so it's my choice to restate the obvious. (LOL).

     I met The Hubby during the summer. I was hanging out with a girlfriend of mine, and he was hanging out with one of his guys. I spotted him down the street, but didn't really think much of it (spotting him), or much of him (he was like a all, dark blur).  Then, my God-son asked me to go down the street with him, as one of the neighbors was selling "snow cones" on her front porch, and he (with his 4 year old self) needed "Auntie" Mrs. Mocha to pay. I don't know if the hubby was there when I walked up, or if he came later. All I remember, is that my God-son was enamored with the tall, dark man. My husband had ordered a "suicide." You know, where you get a little bit of every flavor. My God-son ordered a "suicide." A friendship was born. The hubby began to connect with my God-son, and engaged him in a conversation as they ate their matching snow cones. Looking back, it was CLEARLY a set-up. But at the time , all I could think of was how sweet The nubby was to take the time to be so friendly and engaging to my God-son (who was my "first" child, and who I will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart for).

     Anyway, The hubby won me, and soon we were creating a family of our very own.

     My daughter, K, was a planned pregnancy. Of course, I had no idea about timed-intercourse, Pre-seed, or any of those "high-faluting" aides. All I knew was that I needed some vitamins (check), and some sex (check). During ttc, I thought my cycle was late, so I visited Plan.ned Parent.hood for a free testing. BFP. I was sooo happy..but cautious. I only told one person (not DH) and wasn't overly optimistic when I shared the news. I needed to be sure. So a few days later, I returned to the scene of the crime and retested. You guessed it, BFN. Apparently, my test had been switched with some pregnant girl's test. I got her "yes" (*tears*), she got my "no" (probably BIGGER *tears* when she realized the mistake).

     Months went by, and in March, I realized that I hadn't had a period in February. 50 HPTs later (all BFN), I was still no closer to knowing where my period had disappeared to. I was distraught, and in limbo. What should a person think when they have no period, yet, are not pregnant? Whatevs! Life was marching on. On April 18, 1994 I called my Dr with renewed self-assurance. Somebody was gonna tell me what the HECK was wrong with my body. I wanted an appointment, ASAP! They really didn't care how badly I wanted an appointment. They're protocol was for me to take (yet another) pregnancy test, as I had never taken one with them (Didn't wanna pay the $10 co-pay). Once they had those results, they would decide how to proceed.

     I waited on pins and needles for the 24 hours to pass (back then, it took 24 hours to get pregnancy results at my Dr's office). Finally, I nervously phoned for my results. They couldn't tell me. They didn't have a test matching my name. They had a test for a name close to mine.

     Okay, I have to insert here, that I have a rather common first name. However, there is another common name that rhymes with my name, that I have been mistakenly called ALL of my life (think: Sharon/Karen ~ Nicki/Micki ~ Kelcey/Chelsea)

     I was beyond pissed. The stress of the situation, and the fact that I was now into my 2nd month with NO period was not helping matters. I KNEW the test was mine. I mean, I had been mistakenly called by this name my ENTIRE life. All I kept thinking was, "Who the $%#$%# writes the %^$$#$%# names on the test tubes???!!!?? Off with their head!!!!!!" They couldn't assume that it was my test (even though the wrong first name was followed by my CORRECT last name (and I paid $10 for this mess, when Plan.ned Parent.hood was giving out their mistakes for free!!!!!)), I would have to come in and re-test (for no charge, of course). The 2nd time I came in, the nurse let me write my own name on the test tube. I don't know why, but that made her look like the guilty party to me.

     An additional 24 hours later, and I found out that I was indeed, with child. The relief manifested itself in non-stop tears. Okay, some of those tears were from fear, as well.

     K2.0 was a planned pregnancy as well. Right before K finished grade school, I went on a health kick. I started exercising  and eating in a very healthy manner. I dropped a lot of weight and dress sizes. I looked good, and felt excellent. The hubby said to me, "Man, you look so good and you got the weight off. Now I know you're not gonna want to have more kids. I guess I should give it up." I assured him that I was still interested in more children. Whatever happened, happened. Then one night, I had a the most vivid dream. I was giving the cutest, caramel colored, little boy a shower. He was smiling at me, and giggling as the water rained down on his smooth skin, and I could hear myself saying, "who's the cutest? who's the cutest?" Then, I scooped him up into a towel and cradled him close to my chest while he grinned at me, and made me love him even more. The next morning, I told my husband about the dream. I said, "we're gonna have a little boy." TTC commenced.

     Six months later, I was at a birthday party.  I have never been a big drinker, but I do enjoy a cocktail every now and again. My girlfriend had paid for an open bar, so I decided to indulge. The hubby was driving, and I was showing off. I actually had TWO drinks. In the middle of the 2nd one, I turned to The hubby and said over the music, "wouldn't it be so crazy if I was pregnant, now. I mean, here I am drinking for the first time in like a year." Then, I was like, "hahaha" and finished the drink. I would've had a third and/or fourth drink that night, but after the 2nd one, I stumbled a little on my boots, so I knew that my drink tank was full.

     Fast forward two weeks later, my period was a "no-show." Unlike with my daughter, I knew. In my heart of hearts, I knew I was pregnant. I wasn't even concerned. I didn't even test for an additional week. I urinated on a Clear Blue Easy Digital test, and was only shocked to see the word "Positive" pop up, because I had never had an HPT reveal a positive result for me (not even when I was pregnant with K.) The hubby and K had gone to the store. So, I had to wait for them to return. It only took about 20 minutes, but I was going crazy. I wanted to call everybody. i wanted to run into the front yard and scream it to the atmosphere. I was pregnant. I was beyond excited.

     I showed The hubby and K the test together. K cried. it was the sweetest thing, ever. Her tears made me cry. The three of us hugged. It was an AMAZING day. I will never forget it!!!

     Dear family, this the story of us. If you should ever happen this one, you will know (maybe) a little more about yourself than you knew before you read this.

     K, you are my mini-me. You have definitely grown me up, and taught me about being self-less, sacrificial, loving unconditionally and being fiercely protective.

     K2.0, you are my life changer. You have definitely caused me to re-evaluate what healthy is, what adversity is, what acceptance is, and what beauty looks like. You are a reminder to me that God is in control, and He's overcoming this world. You have taught me about pridefulness, self-pity, happiness, statistics, advocacy, and God's grace.

     Hubby, you are the priest of my home, and owner of the key to my heart. I've made billions of mistakes in this life. I've done millions of things wrong. But the ONE thing I did right, was accept your marriage proposal!

Proverbs 31:27-29

27 She watches over the ways of her household,
   And does not eat the bread of idleness.
   28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
   Her husband also, and he praises her:
   29 “ Many daughters have done well,
   But you excel them all.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Plans? What plans?

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

     So, the Holy Spirit spoke this to me, on CD14, whilst I was in the middle of "doing the deed" (also known as DTD) with the hubby. And even though the time might have been a little "precious" for some, for me it was completely apropos.

     I mean, I have been known to schedule and plot when it's time for us to DTD. I have been known to purchase OPKs, and Mucinex, and green tea capsules, and Geritol. I have been known to scour the web looking for tips on ttc, and to consider buying Pre-Seed, or trying acupuncture, or purchasing CDs to help me visualize the sperm having a rendezvous with the egg, and the egg safely implanting itself in the loving confines of my uterus. I have been known to either do, or contemplate all of the things in my frantic attempts to render myself pregnant. And while logical Mrs. Mocha sees the irony of all of this, desperate Mrs. Mocha just wants to be pregnant already!

     The truth of the matter is that all of that stuff is just a distraction (for me. Others may honestly need them, me...not so much). I mean, I already have two children who were both conceived naturally, albeit 15 years apart. But even during the "hiatus" that is the length between the birth of my children, I was never really "trying" to get pregnant, again. I mean, we would go weeks...even months without DTD at certain periods during our marriage. And I can't ignore the fact that once we started actively "trying", I was pregnant within 6 months...and that was at the age of 39.

     I was naturally pregnant with my son, after 6 months of trying at the age of 39. No Pre-Seed. No OPKs. No Mucinex. No acupuncture. No special Yoga. No special diet. No Geritol. All we did was have A LOT of sex...and try to make sure that we got it in somewhere around the 14th day of my cycle, because that's when I assumed that I would ovulate.

     So, why all of the hoopla, now??? Honestly...I don't know. I don't know what has turned me from the cool, calm, and collected Mrs. Mocha who enjoyed DTD and found herself pregnant...into this raving, spending, fixated creature that I see when I look in the mirror. The only thing I can come up with is...KNOWLEDGE.

Don't get me wrong. I totally believe that knowledge is power. I want knowledge, and generally I love knowledge. But sometimes, knowledge can cause unnecessary stress, heartache and pain. When I was pregnant (PREGNANT!!! Did you just read that???) I would read this magazine at my Dr's office, called "Conceive." It probably goes without saying that this was a magazine for people who were having problems conceiving (did I mention that I was PREGNANT while reading this???). It contained articles with helpful hints, information and encouragement. I would practically study this magazine, knowing that the hubby and I wanted a third (and possibly 4th) child, and I was getting "up there" in age.

     Before I read this magazine, I had no idea that at 39 I was supposed to have trouble conceiving. I had several friends who had conceived at the same age or later. It was a pretty normal occurrence in my circle. ~ I also had no idea that so many things could kill sperm, and you should use Pre-Seed instead, if you found yourself a little less than moist "down there." I had never heard of Pre-Seed and had conceived two children using whatever was handy at the time. ~ Furthermore, I had never purchased, or even seriously considered purchasing an OPK. Shoot, every time I think back to 1994, I'm still pissed about the fact that I spent my daughter's college education on HPTs, only for EACH and EVERY one of them to come up negative...even when I was pregnant with her. So, the idea of me buying a $20 OPK was out of the question. I had read somewhere that women with a normal cycle usual ovulated around the 14th day of said cycle. I considered myself normal. I considered my cycle normal. It came every month, and lasted the same amount of days with very little variance in the amount of flow or pain. I assumed that I ovulated around the 14th day, and tried to tackle my husband on or around that day. ~ Not to mention that I have asthma, and I get REALLY bad menstrual cramps, so the thought of taking medication that I didn't need, when I needed so much so frequently anyway, was preposterous. I never would've entertained the thought of taking Mucinex to increase CM (what in the world is "cm???"), nor would I have been willing to spend $15 unnecessary dollars.

     So, who is the broad who has been doing all of this stuff? Who is this chick that is fixated on trying every wives' tale and witch's brew she reads about on ttc forums??? Who is this cow???? Cuz I, for one, don't recognize the heffa (or heifer, if you're into standard English). Nor do I like her very much.  She actually makes me think of another scripture, that didn't come for the Holy Spirit...

Ephesians 4:14
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro
and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting

     But thank God for His faithfulness and mercy. Thank God that's He's willing and able to pull me out of the mire, when I'm, unable to do it for myself. Thank God that He's willing to bring me back to my right mind, and remind me of what I already know.

     What I already know is that I didn't conceive K or K2.0 because of anything I did. I won't conceive baby #3 (and/or 4) based on whether or not I go by the OPK, how often the hubby and I DTD, if I have acupuncture, if I take Geritol or Mucinex, if I use Pre-Seed of something else, if I waste spend money on visualization CDs.

     I will conceive the next baby (or babies) the same way I did the first 2...because "it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Same Time, Last Year

Psalm 17:1
Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry.
Give ear to my prayer— it does not rise from deceitful lips.

     "[Mrs. Mocha] has officially become an internet/bookstore Doctor. I gotta do MY own research on EVERYTHING, just to feel adequately informed. ~ Why is it normal for MAJOR surgery to be passed out like Halloween candy to women? ~ Self-preservation is a full-time job!"
That was my Face.Book status on Tuesday, September 14, 2010. It was after I had seen that documentary that Rikki Lake made on the over-reliance of C-Sections in this country, the night before. I remember it so clearly.

     My OB/GYN's office had repeatedly informed me since week 19 that under NO circumstances would I be able to have a VBAC. When I was initially told this, I was devastated. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, the delivery of my daughter into this world was a NIGHTMARE!!! Those people (and I use the term lightly) were doing whatever they wanted to me, with no explanation or compassion for the fact that was a terrified 24 year old, with no idea as to what to expect from a labor experience. My (then) OB/GYN was a no-show, so I was "handled" by various rotations of hospital staff...each one, doing their own thing, with (apparently) no conversation or input from the person before them.
I won't go into the entire story, I don't want to relive it anyway. Let's suffice it to say that I was given MASSIVE dosages of pit.ocin, that caused me to have UNBEARABLE contractions, while simultaneously stopping my dilation and progression. The situation ended in a C-section, with the causes given as "failure to progress/fetal distress."

      Fast-forward 15 and half years to pregnancy #2. I was determined to have a VBAC, as I have always come to feel that if things had been done differently, I could have avoided the original C-Section. So, it was a bit of a let-down when I learned that they wanted me to do a repeat C-Section (especially since I was led to believe that VBACs were commonly and routinely offered after C-Section births).  The nurse (whom I grew to DESPISE, then cordially tolerate) at my current OB/GYN suggested that I find a new Dr's office pronto, if I was really determined to have my VBAC. So, I began the task of trying to find a new Dr, who would do a VBAC, accept the hubby's insurance, and would take me on at 19 weeks & "advanced maternal age."

      I hit road block after road block. I was told repeatedly that the main Mal-practice insurance company that carried the doctors in my state, didn't cover VBACs, so most doctors wouldn't perform them. I was finally, at around 29 weeks, given information about the "holy grail" of hospitals. It is connected with a large, and prestigious university here, and they stay on the cutting edge, so VBACs are small potatoes to them. I called the hospital with fingers crossed. The woman who helped me was so nice, pleasant and sweet, but it was basically for naught. In order to deliver at that hospital, you had to have a Primary Care Physician w/that hospital, who would then refer you to an OB/GYN at that hospital. Unfortunately, all of the PCPs were full, and weren't taking any new patients. I was back to square one.

      Then, a friend of the hubby's told him how she went about getting her VBAC. She works in the medical field, so she was a trusted source. She suggested that upon the beginning stages of labor, I just hold tight. She advised me to remain at home until either my water broke, or the pain became so unbearable that I couldn't see straight. That way, when I got to the hospital, I would already be so far along that they would have to just deliver me. I ran this idea passed my aunt (who is a practicing nurse practitioner and mid-wife (who works and delivers at a hospital in another state)), and while she didn't give it a ringing endorsement, she certainly didn't shoot it down. Her only advice was to make sure I gave myself enough time to get to the hospital, in the slim event that there was a problem.

      That's what I did. When labor started that Saturday morning, I went about my day as usual. At around 1pm, I decided to go grocery shopping, so that the hubby and K would have food while I was in the hospital. The grocery stores that I shop at are about 20 and 35 miles from my house respectively. I ignored the contractions in Super Target, and prayed that my water didn't break in the store, resulting in an all-out pandemonium. It didn't. I made it home, put my groceries away, and endured labor for another 6 to 7 hours in the comfort of my own home. I breathed slowly through contractions, and basically functioned as my own doula. I was home alone with my 15 year old daughter, and didn't want to scare the living daylights out of her, so I forced convinced myself to stay as calm as possible. I think it helped both of us, actually. She was confident that I was handling things "okay", and (I think) remaining calm and keeping a cool head kept the contractions at a level where the pain was totally tolerable (I should insert that I have an extremely high tolerance for pain, in normal situations, anyway).
By the time the hubby got home from work, and we made it to hospital, the water bag was still intact, and I was 6cm and 70% effaced. Less than two hours and four pushes later, we welcomed our son. Via VBAC!

     Wow. Looking back it's funny to me how determined and militant I was about having that VBAC. Nobody told me that my lady parts would be on fire for three weeks following delivery. How it would hurt to sit down and potty. In the end, I have to say that there are pros and cons with both methods of delivery. If I had to have a C-Section with #3, I think I would be fine with it. I don't think I would mind giving my pelvic floor a break, at all. (smile)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Make Every Crooked Place, Straight?

Psalm 6:3
My soul also is greatly troubled;
But You, O LORD—how long?

BEWARE: This is a sensitive topic, with race-related undertones.

Today, I read a very disturbing article on Yahoo news. It's not the first time that I've read a story like this, and I am MOST certain that it won't be the last. Still, that doesn't make the story any less gripping, crippling, heart-wrenching or mind-numbing.

The story revolved around a young lady who is/was a very accomplished and heavily recruited basketball player from NYC, who was gunned-down in an apparent incident of mistaken identity. This story is heart-breaking on sooooo many levels. However, for me the story is most heart-breaking, because this 18 year old young lady was black, and I am raising a black daughter myself.

I am an over-protective parent. My daughter has never given me a reason to hold on to her so tightly, it's just who I am. It's my nature. My daughter has been educated mostly at parochial schools, and she's been raised almost exclusively in the suburbs. My daughter has never come face-to-face with violence (other than a school yard fight), nor has she ever been the victim of a crime (except maybe some teasing that went too far or bullying). Still, I've always been very over-protective. I've been like a hawk...a tigress even, making sure that harm has never been close enough to touch or mar my daughter's world. And as protective as I am and have been with her, I've always felt that she's had a little bit easier, because she is a girl...and not a boy. I don't have to worry about some of the things that parents of sons (black sons in particular) have to worry about. I've always been relieved to have a daughter.

Well, my innocence was brutally snatched away by a well-meaning u/s tech during a 20 week scan of my pregnant stomach, back in July of 2010. She happily announced that I was expecting a baby boy. My heart sank. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having three beautiful daughters. I felt confident that I was pregnant with daughter number 2, and that my long-awaited dream was finally coming true. However, all of my hope was dashed with three little words. "It's a boy."

My husband was excited, while I was numb. I walked around for the next several weeks just...stunned. I rubbed my belly and imagined the black baby boy growing inside of me, and all I felt was fear. Fear of what the future held for a black boy in the millennium, in America. I watched the news and heard horror stories of black boys gunned down in the street, left dead or "for" dead, like trash. And these crimes were mainly committed by other black boys. Boys who's mom had heard the words "it's a boy" either at an ultrasound, or in a delivery room, and began to contemplate a future for her son. Who had dreams of her son doing great things. Who had dreams of seeing her son marry, or become a father, or heck, even graduate from grade school. Moms who would now, sit in a courtroom and watch her son be judged for a terrible offense. Or moms who would a few years later be on the news with tears streaming down their faces, as they tried to wrap their minds around the fact that the baby boy they loved, prayed for, and had hopes and dreams for was no more. Now he was a memory. They would never see him walk into a room, in his oh-so-familiar way. They would never hear his unique voice call out to them , "Ay Ma." They would never feel the touch of his lips on their cheek. Or the grooves of his hand on their shoulder.

I was scared. I was scared for my son, who was at the time safe and protected by my womb. I was scared for myself. Scared of being one of those moms, crying on the news, trying to make sense of something so...senseless. Wanting and needing to hate and/or blame somebody.

I was resentful. Resentful as I walked through the mall and saw moms of other races pushing their strollers. Their little boys riding along happily. Resentful that they would never know my fear. Never understand it. Never be able to relate to the thoughts that would occasionally grip me. I was resentful that when the u/s tech had told them that it was a boy, they were able to celebrate without thoughts of their sons lying dead in the streets with bullets holes riddling their bodies ever ONCE entering their minds. It was sooooo unfair!!!

But God had to remind me that the battle isn't about flesh and blood, race or color, suburbs or inner-city. Those things are simply distractions to keep us as the human race from coming together and addressing the problems. The battle is spiritual. We've gotta find a way to win hearts, and change mindsets for all of our children's futures. We are intrinsically connected. And these killings aren't happening in my neighborhood, on my block, or in my backyard...but if they're happening somewhere in America, then they're happening to me. If they're happening to black children, white children, Latin children in America, then it's happening to my children. And it's affecting me.

God bless the family of Tayshana Murphy. May the Lord show Himself to be the Prince of peace in their lives, that they may have a peace that surpasses all understanding during this time unbelievable heart-break.

Good people lose their children to random violence, too. Every child that is killed in the ghetto is NOT necessarily the product of a broken home, a poor single mom, a crack mom, a negligent mom, etc. Good people live in bad neighborhoods, because it's all they can afford, and they do the best that they can to raise their children, the best way they can. ~ Evil visits all of our houses, and most of us don't invite him in with open arms. ~ Bad things happen to good people. Compassion and sympathy are free to give.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random Thoughts

Psalm 94:11
The LORD knows the thoughts of man,
that they are futile.

My church called a fast this week, and I for one am glad about it. I have been praying to the Lord, and telling Him how much I desire really want to get my life back to that disciplined place that it was about a year ago. Once I found out that I was pregnant, and "morning" sickness subsequently kicked in, I let myself slide on daily devotions and such.

And once my son was born and the diagnosis came down, all I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and eat chocolate cake. Of course I cried out to the Lord during that time. I thought I was losing my mind, while simultaneously falling into a black pit. But when I called out to the Lord during that storm, it WASN'T for relationship, it was for survival. I was in a place where I knew if God didn't do it (pull me out of the darkness), it wasn't gonna get done.

Anyway, today is my "fast" start day (even though everyone else started this past Tuesday), and I feel really good about it. I opened my scripture reading today with the story of Gideon. He defeated the army of Midian with 300 men, and freed the Israelites from (yet another) captivity. During my reading, and just in general some random thoughts popped into my head.

Things That Keep Me in Awe of God

  • God is faithful. It's so cliche to say, but it's so true. The Israelites (and Mrs. Mocha) were just so determined t get off track, but when they cried out to the Lord for help and deliverance, He answered their calls with mercy, grace and love.
  • God is patient. Enough said.
  • God is gracious. God doesn't go around throwing what He's done for us in our faces. He reminds us, but not with arrogance.
  • God is merciful. I can personally say that God has NEVER ONCE given me what I deserved. Knowing myself the way that I do, I can honestly say that based on behavior alone (we won't even take thoughts or words into consideration) I deserve hell, hell, and more hell every second of every day. And I have had some hell in my life, but the magnitude has been buffered lovingly by God, so that I'm chastised, but not defeated.
  • God is funny.
  • God is loving.
  • God is gentle. Again, God has had to "deal" with me on several occasions. But once I come out of the storm and can see clearly, I'm always blown by how God has handled me with kid-gloves, rather than giving me what I deserve.
  • God is patient. Did I say that already? It bears repeating.
  • God is amazing.
  • God is on His own time clock. Time in the natural is of absolutely no consequence to Him. What we expect to happen and when is our business.
  • God is forgiving.
  • God is kind.
  • God is strict. He doesn't take too kindly to a lot of foolishness.
  • God can not/ will not be bribed. You can try to cut "deals" with the Lord if you want to. Most of time, you're fooling yourself.
  • God is unbiased. "Good works" can't get you into the good graces of God. He gives gifts without works, and time & chance happen to us all.
  • God is unchanging. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. He remains the same.
  • God is mind-blowing.