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The Lazarus Story.

6 Jun

Ghost. I know.

It’s like in my mind, I have this perfect idea of writing all my thoughts down at least once a week and then time flies, and I don’t.

I know. No excuse.

How do people in the blog world keep up?

Any who, I’ve been leading a Bible Study by Jennie Allen (she’s pretty awesome), called “Proven” with a wonderful group of ladies. This study has blessed my soul in so many ways and this week , we discuss Lazarus. It is one of the classic stories repeated over and over again in the Bible, and I mean, can you blame anyone? It’s good stuff!

Man dies. Everyone is sad Man dies. Jesus is sad, man dies. He comes, he raises him from the dead. The end. Right?

Wrong!

I’ve heard the story a million times and I’m sure you have too. But today, there were so many snippets, so much goodness that spoke to my spirit, I wanted to share it with you and go beyond the “typical story” you’ve heard on a daily basis.

  1. When bad things happen, it’s not always about you.
    You pull yourself apart. Wondering what you did wrong, what you could have done differently, and how the circumstances could have been different, but what about thinking, “God what are you going to do with this?” John 11:4  states”The sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of god, that the son of God may be glorified through it”.  Ill tell you one thing, I much rather wonder what God is going to do with a situation then harp on the fact that it’s happening.
  2. Focus on the Light.
    We’ve all been there. Grief. Suffering. It’s not fun. But we must remember to hold on to the light, the good things, our father. “If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world (John 11:9) God sees, he hears, and he’s there.
  3. Believe in who he is and what he can do.
    God is powerful and to think, he loves us! He even asked Martha if she believed in John 11:26 because the key my friend is in believing. When you allow God to show up to a situation, believe that it is handled because you know who he is, and what he can do. Wont he do it?!? I assure you (in his way and time) Yes, he will!

    Disclaimer: Don’t mistake this as me saying he will give you a million dollars or cure your sickness or illness. Don’t miss this part. I’m saying, I believe God to do everything he said he will do, even if that means not exactly what we are specifically asking for. This lady in church once was talking about two people being healed, one on earth and one in heaven.  I remember sitting in the Fresh Grounded Faith Conference thinking, I’ve never looked at it like that. God’s will is always upheld and done, even if not the way we would like or prefer. Got it? 

  4. Believe in who he is and NOT what you see.
    It’s hard, and this goodness is something I know I’ve struggled with myself. It’s so easy to think about the circumstances, what other people say, and the difficult task at hand, but I assure you God is ALWAYS in control. Not only that, what you see in front of you isn’t what God sees. I love that John 11 constantly reminds us that Lazaraus had been dead and in the tomb for four days. But sometimes when we see Death, God sees life! He hears our doubts, our concerns, but just as Jesus did, He knows who his father is and he holds onto that.

    PAUSE
    This is where some of you need to take a deep breath and just give it to God. Whatever it is. He can’t fix it, if you won’t give it to him. Let him fix it.

  5. Allow People In!
    Sometimes we try and do everything ourselves and carry the weight alone. But God created his people to be there for each other and to comfort one another. Even Mary and Martha were comforted by the Jews on the loss of their brother.
  6. He feels our pain.
    We use to make jokes when I was younger about memorizing bible verses and John 11:35 being the easiest one to remember, but as immature as we were, we failed to look at the power in that message. Jesus wept. He felt pain. His heart went out to the loss of Lazarus and he was there in the tomb weeping with them. Make no mistake, that God feels. He cares and his heart goes out to his people when they are grieving or suffering. He isn’t absent. He’s right there. Beside us. With us. Holding our hands, wiping our tears away, and silently grieving with us.
  7. God is in the miracle happening business. Last but not least, this also means that even if a situation wasn’t handled the way you would like for it to be done, or in the time, God makes no mistakes and just as he revived Lazarus, he can revive you or your situation too. This is the main point we always get from the Lazarus story, but it’s too good not to share it again! Whatever it is, ask him! I love that Jesus simply said, “Come Forth! (John 11: 43)

 

So much goodness in that story. A father that love us and who always wants what is best for us. He can do it, like he did it for Lazarus.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.Spj:)

 

 

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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

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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A loss & Arrival

18 Jan

Early on my 310917423_10100273058226660_8342578752251464810_n3 birthday, January 16, 2015, I received a phone call, that my beloved 1st cousin had passed away. This news has been devastating for me and my family, since we lost his mother just 2 years ago… (Aunt Artie) Friday, I was exhausted with all of the phone calls, details, and a small birthday gathering, so late last night, I really had some time to sit and think. I found myself up in the middle of the night, and I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I wrote a poem for what was on my heart.

 

 

 

DWIGHT’S ARRIVAL259248_978882819180_1307935396_o

Shock and stunned you arrived,
This is different than before.
Not a nighttime of hanging with the Buddies,
you came upon the golden door.

“What am I doing here?” you thought,
“I was just asleep?”
“You belong here with me child,”
They said, “these wings, for you to keep.”

“What about those I have left behind?,
They will miss me terribly.
I’m the life of the party, everyone’s friend,
what about my family?”

“My dear,” the angel sweetly said,
“They’ll grieve but they’ll be fine.
No one will understand it at all,
But everything in God’s time.

We have a place right here for you,
a golden guitar and magical keys.
The world’s greatest soundboard
you could ever imagine, drums too,If you please.

The angels will get to enjoy you sing
So don’t feel sad and blue.
Although this is a lot to grasp,
Your heavenly father has been waiting for you.”

“But I must go back, they need me there,
I bring smiles to everyone!
They won’t understand, they’ll be heartbroken,
when they find out that I’m gone. ”

“They will, but life’s a journey,
and sometimes it just ends.
Without a notice, without a reason,
that’s simply life, my friend.

But I promise, you will love it here
you are free, what a better place you are in!
No more hardships, No more ailments,
No more pain, and no more sin.”

With that he smiled and scratched his head,
but walked on forward,As he should.
But then he couldn’t believe his eyes,
In front of him, there she stood.

He ran and embraced her,
and began weeping quietly.
“Your home now son,” she said,
“it’s time for you to rest easily.”

She was so beautiful, and smiling,
“come on “she said, “I have a treat.
Remember my dog, screechy? He’s here!
Now there’s someone special I want you to meet.”

She took him in to meet God, who said,
“I’m so glad you are here.”
They talked. They laughed, and it all made sense,
Everything became clear.

“It’s not for them to understand, ” Dwight said.
“For some this will be a test.
I get it now, they love me,
But God you’ve always loved me best.

Its all in your plan, you make no mistakes,
You always see your will through. ”
Artie said, “you understand now son.
I’ll take you to see Pop Pop too.”

With that, they went along in heaven,
though we feel an empty space.
Our new angel says, ‘Don’t cry for me,
I’m now in a happy place.”

So as the tears fall, and our hearts our broken,
we will need some time to grieve.
But remember the good times, always smile,
stay positive, always believe.

Love everybody, be a good friend,
help each other, stay kind.
Remember our beloved Dwight and know,
you’ll see him in due time.

Stephanie Jones
January 17, 2015
12:30 am

MM: Sometimes being Mommy Sucks

14 Jul

Now before you leave nasty comments or deem me a “horrible mother”, Let me explain something to you.

I love my son. I love all the joy he brings me, all the wonderfulness he has brought to my life. I love being his mother.

but sometimes it sucks being mom.

I wanted to write this post to share the frustrations that mommyhood sometimes brings.

Yesterday was “one of those” days.

It seemed that about nothing could go right, my son was whining more than usual for of course, mommy, and he was constantly going back and forth between rather he wanted to be up on the couch, or down, what toy to play with, etc. Absolutely nothing was working and he just fussed. Daddy was taking care of some stuff so couldn’t come to the rescue, and let’s just be honest sometimes Daddies suck too ( I know my fellow mommies can feel me here)

So I just wanted to let my other fellow moms know, that I get it. Sometimes you try to be supermom and no matter what you try and do, it just doesn’t work. It’s okay. Things don’t always go as planned, and you definitely can’t predict your child’s temperment or behavior for the day. But what you can do is just say, “This is a mommy sucky moment, and I just need to take a step back and breath ( i know very sucky sounds childish, but trust me it works)

Kids are fun. You never know what you are going to get from day to day, but just take it all in stride. I know that you wouldn’t trade being mommy for the world, but it’s okay to have a moment of frustration. I think it’s important to take the time to go through those moments, so that you won’t get stressed out!!

Now go kiss on those beautiful babies of yours.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

MrsSpj 🙂

 

P.S.  I write this as my son is pulling the bottom of my clothes going back and forth under the table. Gotta love Mommyhood!

Mommy Mondays: Affection

16 Jun

Hey Friends!

As a mom, I find myself constantly bonding with other Mommies over our incredibly cute and amazing human beings 🙂 I’ve had so many people ask me my opinion on certain things when it comes to being a mom, so I thought why not start Mommy Mondays? If you have anything you would like to see me post about, etc… Let me know! I’m open! (Well kind of..)

So for this first Mommy Monday.. I have to be honest and tell you what I’ve been thinking about. My heart has actually been aching for those children out there who will never see the happiness of having two parents actively involved with one another, loving one another, etc. This post may seem a bit controversial for some, but those are not my intentions. In fact, my intention is to truly shed some light and get your feedback.

I just know Christian knew these past few days that it was Father’s Day weekend. He constantly cried for “DaDa” and wanted to follow him everywhere he went, and lay on him. It’s the cutest thing I tell ya. Last night, I was joking around with my husband, telling Christian it was Father’s Day (Happy Father’s Day to those daddies out there) which means we have to smother him with love, hugs, and kisses.  Well I noticed every time I showed Christian how to give Daddy hugs and kisses, his little face would light up with joy! He was beaming from the inside and out. At first I thought he was just getting a kick out of my movement, but that wasn’t it. Christian showed complete utter happiness, uncontrollable almost, at his mommy and daddy showing affection (even if we were being super duper overly silly). This went on for about 5 to 10 minutes and he just clapped his hands and smiled from ear to ear.

Then it hit me.

How many children grow up without seeing this?

How many children miss this kind of joy or don’t even get the chance to experience it?

It makes me sad. I know there are some incredible single parents out there doing their job, and I don’t want to take away from that, but I do want to stress the importance of children seeing adults in safe, loving, relationships, teaching their children about affection.

I want my son to grow up knowing how to properly show love to others. I want him to know that as a boy growing up to be a man, it is okay to show affection. You don’t have to hold emotion in, and I want him to learn what it means to love and what isn’t love.

My son is learning this at a young age. As a 1 year old, he’s growing each and everyday, and I know that he’s soaking things in this early, even if he can’t recall the memory.

I’m not perfect, nor do I ever claim to be, but I encourage you to be careful what kind of relationships you introduce to your child, as well as what you allow your child to see. If you have a significant other, who treats your child like their own, then I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the mothers or the fathers out there constantly going on dates with various people, introducing them to your children. I’m talking to those out there in abusive relationships “because you love him”. What are you teaching your child? It’s so important to teach them how to love, show affection, etc. I can’t stress this enough.

That’s all for today. This is so important to me. Our kids are watching us! They want to make us proud, and if you’re lucky, they want to be like you too!

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Just something to think about.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs. SPJ 🙂

 

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The Friendship Rules, Grown Up Version (Kind of)

10 Jun

Hello Friends!

Another week, so much to be thankful for… Including Friends.

“Friends”. The word is so weird to me actually. I mean it is used so loosely. Depending on the person, it can mean so little or it can mean so much. I remember being in kindegarten telling my mom all about my dear friend, Macie Kennedy.We were classmates, went to the same center afterschool, and she was awesome. Pretty, a killer smile, and back then we were obsessed with Paula Abdul. In fact, Macie was Paula, and I was Janet (that’s Ms. Jackson if your nasty).

Then there was those Kelly boys. You couldn’t tell me anything. Nick was my bestest friend in the world, and so was his brother Andrew. We would always act out as if we were the Save by the Bell cast. I had so many great friends at the time. I mean being in 4th grade, I thought it was cool. There was Summer, too who was pretty awesome, sometimes bossy.

Then I met Valencia my first day of middle school. No joke, I remember running home to my mom saying, “Mom! I met my first black friend!” Not that race mattered, but for me it was nice to have a friend who happened to share my heritage (and school). “V” was edgier, cooler, and I looked up to her. She had the coolest parents in the world, and finally, I had someone to go on long bike rides with in the neighborhood. It was also during my middle school year I became close to Tiffanie and Muffin. I always had a relationship with Tiffanie because we were great friends (our moms went to church together), but in Middle School we really became close.

 

 

The Band Room with V, 6th Grade (Please disregard the socks)

The Band Room with V, 6th Grade (Please disregard the socks)

 

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Me, Tiff, and Muffin across the bridge I believe. We liked to hang out there although our parents always told us we couldn’t. We did occasionally. (Sorry mom)

I could go on and on and tell you about my episodes and the word “friend” or “best friend”. It was in college I met Amitria and her twin, Anitria. I love those girls, and I always look back and smile at the connection of  my bestie Mitra and her husband, who when we were in college was one of my best friends too!There’s my Kelz from Grad School, J Cole, and so many more! I can’t even begin to tell you all the great friends I’ve made in this life so far. Some I consider friends, Some I consider “besties”. I’ve always had best friends, great friends, ok friends, etc, but I believe as you grow older, some friendships prove to grow stronger, others, dwindle away, and then some, well they go in “we have an unspoken understanding” mode.
So I know your thinking, Okay I get it, so whats with these so called “Friendship rules”. Well, recently I was having a discussion with one of my girls, and I was telling her how when I moved here, I didn’t realize how blessed I was with the friends I already had,  and that my husband was urging me to find friends when I moved to Arkansas. Surely that would be easy right? Notsomuch.

I’m a loving person, I love to meet people (or so I thought), but making friends as a grown up for me is quite awkward. I lucked out and made a good friend when I accepted my first job here, but I was still quite lonely. I was missing my circle of friends back home (even those I didn’t see all the time). Arkansas felt like a very lonely place. I tried to make plans with people, but it sometimes felt forced, or it felt like I was hanging with my husband’s friends.Grant it, i’m grateful for the fun times, but it felt weird. So in my process to make friends, keep friends, etc.. I’ve decided to come up with the Friendship rules. I think many women can relate, and maybe even reconsider some of their friendships after reading this.

1. Always Be Yourself- Don’t become a skydiver or wine drinking gal over night if it’s not your thing. A real friend should accept you for who you are anyways. This especially goes out to my younger girls that are reading this!

2. Try and put yourself out there, but don’t be stupid- My husband was right. You have to go places, to meet new people. Try and make plans with new friends, but if they cancel all the time, then maybe you should make a different friend! Don’t let go of this one, just don’t try and make plans with a friend that will be canceled anywho.

3. Drop the Drama- There comes a point in time in your life when you realize you are grown. You don’t have time to play games (unless it’s Taboo or Phase 10), or be friends with someone who you constantly have to be drawn into drama with. You know, you go to a club, there’s that girl (she’s your friend)  that’s gettin crunk and loud about to find in the club. I mean, when I see posts about things like this on Facebook, I want to ask the people that post this stuff, “how old are you?” or “do you know how stupid and childish you look?”

4.Find Friends in your Interests- Okay so it sounds weird, but I’m basically saying that if you like something, and someone else likes something, doesn’t it just make sense to like it together? Some of the greatest friends I have made, have been in Zumba. I found myself wanting to go to the gym and actually work out, due to some of my friends. I even have Stef with an “f” to thank for introducing me to some new workouts (that totally kick my butt.)

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5. Understand that friends Shift, modes change, Relationships change- Some of my friends, or girls, I’ve never skipped a beat with. We still text everyday, talk, pray for one another, etc. We are constantly in the automatic driving mode. Then you have friends that for some reason, you dont talk to as often, or maybe you find that things are just different and there is no way to even explain it. It just happens. Don’t spend so much time (like I did in high school) trying to figure out what happened, why it happened. Sometimes you will find out that it just does. No need to put the car in reverse, just accept and move on. I’m not saying they have to be removed  as a friend(maybe?), I’m saying accept the shift.

6. Some friends don’t shift, life just happens/changes- I have friends that I may not talk to everyday, because I have come to accept that they are busy, they have accepted that I have a lot going on as well. We love each other and keep in touch with one another probably through social media,text, etc…. However, there is this “unspoken (sometimes spoken) understanding. I love how Mitra and Tiara often texts or leave messages saying, I know I don’t talk to you often but your still one of my best friends and I love you. Love you too girls.

7. Stop with the Friendship/Bestie Time Requirements- At the end of the day, you can find that one of your very best friends you’ve only known for a year(maybe even less). It’s all in the level the friendships take- How you treat them, How they treat you. The quality time you spend together, yada yada.

8.Be Open- You may make a friend, when you least expect it! I made a great friend at a New Year’s Even Party once because we had so much in common.

9. Understand the Give and Take- Friendship is give and take. I’ve tried to make friends with some people who require so much out of me. I’m calling all the time, I’m leaving messages, inviting them places, sending you messages on Facebook, opening that door, only to find them constantly closing the door. Friendship requires TWO people. Working Together. It sounds like a given or basic for you, but you would be shocked how so many people forget this MAJOR Rule of Friendship. I don’t have time to make friends with someone who isn’t willing to do what it takes to make it work.

10. Remember You’re Grown (if you are)- At the end of the day, if you are like me, you have responsibilities, a family, and so much on your plate. It’s nice to have friends, besties, but it should ADD to your life, not take away from it.

That’s it friends. It’s really rather simple, there are just some things to remember. I’m so grateful for my besties/girlies (is there an age limit to this word?), long time friends, church friends, family friends, co worker friends, and my friends out in this virtual world (this means you.)

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs. SPJ

P.S. Go make friends and be merry! Don’t stress! Oh and enjoy some pictures of some of my besties, girlies, friends.. Whichever term you prefer 🙂

Longtime Besties  (Almost 20 years of friendship here.)

Longtime Besties
(Almost 20 years of friendship here.)

Me and Kelz

Me and Kelz

 

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Some of my AR girls!

 

 

 

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