Your church could do More.

6 Feb law_of_attraction_2point0

Don’t get offended, it’s the truth.

I know some of y’all are already shaking your head at this post and before you begin rattling off the list of amazing things that your church does for the community, let me explain.

I’ve volunteered with nonprofits for most of my life and have even worked in the nonprofit sector for 10 years (this year!)  Although my experience may be short to some, I can tell you I’ve learned quite a bit in the few years that I have been here and I can tell you or almost guarantee you, your church could be doing more. Let me explain.

You could provide SPACE- Yes, my friends, sometimes simply having a location or space outside of an organization’s very own offices allows them to expand their reach, and serve more people at one time. While some organizations have space to do the types of services and events they do, many of them don’t.

You could provide PEOPLE- In my experience, a lot of organizations could do more if they had the hands to do it! A lot of times when serving the community, you get bombarded with people and I always think, if we just had DOUBLE the amount of people, it would make a difference.

You could provide SERVICES- Yep. That’s right. I know that many of you provide services already, but if you could reach out to people besides the ones living in your neighborhood to expand those services, imagine what could happen!

You could provide TRANSPORATION- This issue is a big one. I have heard from numerous parents and caregivers, that many times they would like to take advantage of opportunities and do more, but they just don’t have a way to get there or the funds to get a ride.

You could provide FOOD- Of course, that is literal for some organizations that feed the homeless, etc. but have you ever offered to provide food for an organization’s event, or for families,. etc? Do you know how many events, meetings, and programs go on, but we have families that are hungry? I’m just saying.

Most importantly, You could provide something OUTSIDE OF THE WALLS that you dwell in. (No pun intended, well kinda) I have knocked on several church doors and have dealt with quite a few church folks in my life, and I will tell you that a lot of them had something in common: They wanted to do good as long as it was in their comfort zone. It’s time churches stopped pushing this “Church” Agenda and became more people centered. Who cares how many members you have or if you have the biggest and baddest choir in the land! What are you doing to reach ALL people? How are you helping our brothers and sisters?  We’ve got some scary times going on right now, and it’s time that churches
focus on what’s most important: Loving God and People. That’s it. No fancy gimmicks, extravagant banquets, or tv ads. You don’t even have to recreate the wheel! There are already amazing organizations out here doing some great things that just need help! Simply, help people where they are and if I have learned anything from growing up in the church to giving my life to nonprofit, that is it.

So you can roll your eyes at this post if you want to and maybe even get a little attitude in your spirit, but at the end of the day, I’d rather you think about what else you could be doing to advance the mission of Jesus.

“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27  (ESV)

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.SPJ 🙂

My Little Giant Slayer

30 Jan

dsc_0852-1My little Giant Slayer, Christian.

I’m so proud to be his mom and  of each and every stride he makes each day to be smarter and stronger even while his senses at times put him in overdrive.

If you know the back story of my little CJ, you know all about My Sensational Little Boy and the different struggles he has faced from having difficulties with motor movements to being a year behind in speech. I always knew he wasn’t exactly where he needed to be no matter how much I worked with him, and a trip to the doctor and some evaluations affirmed what I already knew.  My child was very behind and not at the level most children his age were.

As his mother, it was heartbreaking. When you dream of having a child, you hope and pray that they will be healthy, have their father’s dashing features and your smile, but you never think, time will pass, and that you will find something is different and not like every other little child. Regardless, I’ve always been grateful that God chose me to be his mom even if at times it was very hard and I didn’t know how to help him.

Fast forward a year and a half since opening up about my son and  hisSensory Processing Disorder  Diagnosis,  we have come so far!! Christian started at Pediatrics Plus Preschool which has helped him TREMENDOUSLY! He has amazing teachers and therapists who love him and truly want to see him succeed. They don’t give up! Since starting in August, his vocabulary has increased, his motor skills have improved, his interactions, and so much more! We’ve struggled with potty training, and I’m happy to say over the last week, we’ve made HUGE Progress that means little to no accidents, trips to the potty (even when we are out and about) and someone has some Big boy Mickey briefs on today!

My little Giant Slayer. At times I feel like I was so eager for him to be where he needed to be because I didn’t want him to be behind and I think my future self doesn’t want him to have to deal with bullying like so many other kids have to today. I also feel like as parents we give ourselves these invisible measuring sticks and when our kids don’t meet certain milestones we feel like failures or that maybe we didn’t try hard enough or do it right.
Christian’s OT said it best the other day, “He just needs time”.

So put down the invisible measuring sticks and ignore what those around you say (or what you tell yourself they are saying behind your back) Just do your best and Don’t give up. I guarantee you, you are probably doing the right thing. It just takes time.

As far as Christian, he continues to surprise me everyday with the things he says, the games he plays, and his little cute loving personality.

I love this shirt from Beacon Threads because it represents my son so much.  No matter what Giants he faces, he SLAYS them every time! Not to mention, he’s pretty stylish too! These rad jeans came from Farm Fresh Denim!

Stay encouraged friends! Get answers! Work Hard, and whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP!

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs. Spj 🙂

P.S.- None of this would be even possible, if God didn’t continue to look out for us and make it possible and for that I’m eternally grateful!

 

I Can’t.

27 Jan

Seem to get it together.
Writing is one of those things that I love to do so much, yet still I find it hard to post the occasional blog posts for you after promising them to you. (What’s that about?)

Could it be that my life is so chaotic at times I don’t know if I’m coming or going, hence the last thing that pops into my mind is to write?

There were times when I would get a moment of solitude and in my friendly little app, I’d write whatever my heart desires.

I want to promise you that I will bring you stories of laughter, motherhood, and the attempt to do this thing called “life” but I can’t.

I can’t make those promises. So I’ll simply say, I’ll try and do better.

Is that good enough?

Until Next Time, Much Love.

They’re watching.

8 Jul

This morning I woke up, and my son was smiling in his sleep.

He doesn’t know what is going on in our world right now.
He’s oblivious to it. For that, I’m thankful.

But then, I began to think about all the children who DO know what’s going on.
What this means to them, how it affects them, and what they are thinking.
While we are all caught up in our own agendas, our thoughts, our actions;

Our children are watching.

So what will we do?

We will stand up for what’s right, but do it with respect.

We will share truth, as raw and as real as it is.

We will take action, but we will not support violence of ANY kind from ANYONE.
You cannot support the Black Lives Matter movement, by taking the lives of innocent officers who truly believe in protecting and serving.

We will be honest, We will be real, We will be authentic.

We won’t excuse our emotions, but we won’t let them control us nor make us lose control.

I’ve heard children asking, am I doomed because I am black? I’ve seen kids wonder and even question if they’re “black was even beautiful” because society keeps telling them that it’s bad. It’s wrong.

Working in Outreach, I see so many children from various backgrounds just trying to fight poverty, not even knowing the fight that stands before them due to their sex or color of their skin. It’s a completely different kind of war.

We must teach our children that LOVE is the greatest gift on Earth, and that God loved us so much, he made us all very different and beautiful like that colors of a rainbow.

We must teach them that not everyone has gotten the memo, and that YES, in this world you may be treated differently because of your skin color, your academic level, or whatever fill in the blank hate chooses.

We must teach them and PREPARE them to deal with whatever situations they may find themselves in due to them being who they are.

We must teach them that not ALL of one group is bad, and that hate can come in any form.

We must teach them that despite what history has shown, Black Lives Matter. Latinos Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. THEIR LIVES Matter.

So as I watch my son sleep, I want to remind you to stay encouraged, hold on to hope, and remember, They’re watching.

Until Next Time, Much Love,
MRSSPJ

Dear Perfect Parent,

25 Apr

Or shall I say, to the parents I see out and about staring at me, sometimes pointing,  and piercing me with their eyes while my child is having a moment.

I see your eye rolls.  I see your glares.

I see you mouth the variety of statements from the following choices of:

“she has no control over her child”
“my child never acted like that”
or my favorite
“she needs to give him a good spanking”

Yep. I see it all right along with my fellow parents of children  deemed “different” “special” or “misbehaved”.

We see everything. But what is sad is, that you don’t.

You don’t see how desperately we want our children to be on their best behavior.
You don’t see how we want them to enjoy the same activities that your children do.
You don’t see the constant appointments that turn into disappointments, the desire to do what’s best for your child but at times not knowing what that is or even means, and you don’t see the pain that YOU cause, by  your actions.

I can’t tell you how many times YOUR actions have caused me to second guess mine.
How I have sat at a table holding my child with severe anxiety in my hands and tears rolling down my face because at times I don’t know what to do or  how to keep the world from spinning around me in slow motion, to only look at you staring across the way, judging me.

I try to be strong, I need to be strong, for my child, but your judgement, your ridicule, your disgusting lack of respect for my child and situation, make a difficult situation even worse at times. When you have a child that is already labeled “different” and reacts to life on edge at times, you simply want to crawl in a hole somewhere, and there you are, ready to throw dirt on top and bury me.

Perfect parents, I’m sorry my child is keeping you from enjoying your perfect little world. Perfect teachers, I’m sorry my child doesn’t learn the way you teach. Perfect family members & friends, I’m sorry the way I’m raising my child doesn’t line up with what you all did “back in the day”.

I’m raising my child, I’m loving him, and I’m fighting for him along with a large majority of parents out there still learning how to find the right resources for their children and fight for their needs. At times, all I can do is pray because I’m trying so hard to “love like Jesus” when your actions make me want to go off on you in public and say things which Jesus would definitely not approve of. But I leave you with this-

When you see a child having a moment in public, think long and hard about how you respond. Before judging them, before putting them in categories, and deeming  my parenting “unfit” in your eyes, just stop and think- there’s a chance it couldn’t be what you think. The child having a moment could be struggling with a disorder, disability, etc.
Everything can’t be seen with the naked eye.

To those people who are supportive- I’m not talking to you. I love you. I thank you. You give the “high fives” when moments are rough.

To my fellow mamas and papas of these special children God has blessed you with, don’t lose hope. I get it. I know it’s tough and people are mean. But we can do this. God gave us these awesome children for a reason.

Until Next Time, Much Love

SPD MOM- Steph

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The Black Post

18 Feb

Guess what?

I’m Black.
(as if you couldn’t tell with the picture to the right of this post)

But I am.

Which means…. The current state of race relations in America and the things people say about my  brothers, sisters, friends,etc sometimes frustrate me to no end, and at other times they make me sad. So in lieu of Black History month, and well, me, being black, there are just some things on my mind I just have to express.

You see, you can’t understand certain experiences unless you have them.

You don’t know what it’s like to have people stare at you when you go in the store like you are going to steal something, just because you are black.

You don’t know what it’s like for people to express “how smart you are” or “how proper you speak” as if a black woman who is intelligent is something unheard of. (GASP)

You don’t know what it’s like to have people constantly accuse you of only caring about current politics because our president is black. (Come on people, really?)

You don’t know what it’s like to witness an African American man, who COMPLETELY deserved the sports honors he received  get called “thug” and the one that makes my skin cringe the most, “boy”.

You don’t know what it’s like to see your people in the streets fighting for justice and equality be called “thugs”, while white men do the same and are called “armed militia”

Yep. This is the world we live in.

So because of the melanin in my skin and because I have this burning desire to do so, I have to say something! I just have too. These are the things, my blackness wants to scream from the rooftops:

Number 1 : When you say, Love sees no color, you are right. But guess what? Racists do.

Number 2. Black Lives Matter, isn’t saying that the lives of others don’t. Every time you see #blacklivesmatter just add the adverb “too” on the end, k?

Number 3: We don’t care how many black friends you have. The number of black friends you have doesn’t qualify you for some type of program, badge, etc..
(I still don’t get this one)

Number 4: My hair, is my hair, because it’s the hair God gave me. Rather it’s straight, curly, kinky, relaxed, or natural it’s mine and I can do all kinds of things to it. Oh and no, I didn’t magically grow braids over night, they are extensions.

Number 5: There is nothing you can say to me, that will convince me that Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland, and the list continues that these people should be dead. NOTHING.

Number 6: Refers back to Number 5, don’t tell me that race didn’t play a part when you have people like Dylann Roof getting burger king after killing 9 people.

Number 7: No, I don’t have a baby’s daddy, yes my husband and I are married, and yes we are doing fine. It does happen. Don’t believe everything you see.

Number 8: Black Panthers were NOT terrorists. They were PROTECTORS. They ran free breakfast programs, sickle cell anemia screenings, and so much more. They wanted to show love for a people at a time where black people were forgotten most. They EMPOWERED black people and stressed that “black was beautiful” when the world said it was NOT.

Number 9: Saying I LOVE black people, and I LOVE being black, doesn’t mean I hate everything else. We should all love ourselves. Stop trying to turn Self Love, into <INSERT GROUP HERE> hate.

Number 10: God is love, he loves you, he made us all different and that’s okay. But don’t disregard my blackness.

This my friends, is my black post. Things I’ve been screaming to say on the inside, but maybe haven’t.

I still love you’ll!

Oh yeah, and #blacklivesmatter (too)

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Stephanie 🙂

P.S. – I love you’ll.. I hope you (STILL) love me 🙂

 

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When you Look At Me…

19 Jan

DSC_0721.jpgThere’s so much I want you to see.

The Joy.
The Journey.
My Life.
A girl who once hated being so short (but now embraces it)
Who always rocked the FIVEhead but is convinced my brain is so full that it shows!
A woman who loves God FIERCELY and so SERIOUSLY.
Someone who gets up everyday (although sometimes I just want to lay in the bed),
to be a wife, a mother, and someone there for my family and friends.
I’m also committed to loving people, especially those who sometimes feel unloved.
I desire to always be authentic and kind, but to not be afraid of expressing my TRUE thoughts.

When you look at me..
I want you to see someone who God loves, faults and all,
and I want you to know he loves you too.

I welcome 2016, and all that it brings.
When you look at me, I hope you see me for who I really am.

Until Next Time, Mrs. SPJ 🙂

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