Chelle



                               

This week I had the opportunity to experience several moments of Grace, and it wafted a sweet fragrance…Petrichor?

After what seemed like an eternity wondering what my next career move might be, I landed in the hospitality industry. I work beside people who consistently challenge me outside my comfort zone; our lives are different, our experiences and expectations as far as East is from West, and yet we are the same…children of a Loving God. How I interact with them is the manifestation of the Something within me, and my children are watching.

Some days, as a function of poor planning or unfortunate traffic or timing, there is not enough time to pack breakfast and/or lunch to carry me through work days that routinely stretch 10-12 hours. I am grateful for a supportive husband and children sufficiently independent to take what I’ve set up and make dinner, offer suggestions, taking care not only of themselves, but often of me. Thank You, Lord, that You blessed us to set good examples. I am mostly confident that they will grow up, do well, and be successful human beings. They are considerate (mostly), loving (usually), and collectively minded. My Beloved and I do are best; our children are watching.

pancakes, lemon curd, fruit, and Grace I ate breakfast at my desk yesterday  morning. My morning routine includes  walking the hotel, checking in with  departments in pursuit of that sacred first  cup of joe (don’t judge, coffee can be a  sacrament). God knew I needed  breakfast, so when the chef inquired if I  liked pancakes, I said yes (I do.)  Apparently she mixed batter for two  orders rather than one and didn’t want to  waste…and then there was the turkey bacon they’d been chatting about. I could’ve said no, but I considered something I’d been taught, that being sometimes you need to be gracious when someone offers to bless you. I went back to my office and shortly after, another chef popped into my office with an offering that took my breath away. I was thankful. Momentarily I thought, “Why this?” My answer came almost immediately, as someone walked by my office who needed this more than me; I cut in half the gift I had received. We broke bread together.

Therein lies the lesson.

Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over–will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 HSCB

Breakfast, lovely as it was, was never about me; it was an opportunity, and (as is the case with every interaction) my children were watching. Every step, every action we take in life begs the question…Am I my sister (brother)’s keeper? Do I live in a state of Grace-grateful for today’s blessings, mindful of yesterday’s challenges and dependent upon Him alone for tomorrow, like the lilies of the field.

At the beginning of this year, I defied myself to embrace my life as a watered garden,

…like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Isaiah 58:11 ESV

clear that without water, without Living Water, we all die, and it’s not just about me. It’s about sharing the water, even if you are alone at the wellspring when the waters come, because each of us is our sister (brother)’s keeper. And our children are watching.



                               

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Stay low…

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

I’ve been thinking a lot about being new, about the biblical notion of having a transformed mind. My life is different lately; hectic even, and though our circumstances are changed; I am moreso.

In only 6 short weeks, my career and my professional learning curve went from long-stalled to back in full motion. My new job is a smaller role than I’ve had previously, but coming back from nothing professionally for seven years, I am truly grateful to have been provided the opportunity to work in my field, learn, and contribute again.

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I am in recovery…

I am in recovery, and my children helped restore my joy. I love that they do that for me. That may be one of my blessings as a Mid-Life Mama (you raise them, and if you are blessed, they raise you back). Welcome to my spiritual recovery. I mean no disrespect; I have immense regard for people who have fought demons and overcome addictions, but that is not this story. I am in recovery from the dangerous notion that I was ever in control of my life. I am in recovery.

I am walking out of the wilderness that was my life for the last several years.

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I do not look for lost things…and it’s a lesson I am teaching my children

Okay, I’m certain that statement makes me sound a little crazy, but trust me, it’s a personal object lesson in Faith. I am inclined to get agitated by the little things, e.g., misplaced keys, lost documents, items I just had my hands on. Oddly enough, the bigger things I am adept at managing. Trust me, when disaster rolls in, I’m your go-to girl. But it’s the little things, conversations I anticipate will be difficult, silly things that manage to get under my skin, waiting for information beyond my control, until I decided to get a handle on them, those lost things would have been my undoing.

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Be who you are…

be yourself
At a time when just being a young black man in America is enough to get you killed—you know what I’m talking about, you’ve read the headlines—I wonder what the other mommies tell their sons. All mommies worry about their sons, don’t they? All mommies tell their sons to be careful, to be respectful, to stand up for themselves, walking in the Truth of God in whose image they are made, right? Are other mommies afraid for their sons?

Here is what I know of fear.  I am sufficiently realistic to acknowledge that I will never be free from them. However, I declare that they are not the boss of me, and will never paralyze me to the point of immobility.

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Motherhood As a Threshing Floor

Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from Him.
Psalms 127:3 (NLT)

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My Bestie, whom I refer to as “my Gayle” (because every one of us harbors a secret Oprah fantasy, right?), and I were talking about the frustrations of motherhood one morning. It’s something we talk about most mornings, in one fashion or another. It is a popular theme among my friends. We are high achievers. We like to do things well. We have (or had) spectacular mothers, and struggle with doing and being to our own children what they are to us; despite our world being vastly different than theirs…but we try.

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Mid-Life Mama

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Wednesday morning, our eldest (aka The Princess) came downstairs and greeted me, warmly, for the first time, as “high school mom.” Her brother, (aka The Professor) moved up from middle school and will be a member of next year’s freshman class. He and his sister will spend one year in school together before she graduates high school in June.

It occurred to me that there are (at least) three phases of motherhood. There are the “moms of littles” years, the “mothers of grown children” years, and, my current situation, living as a Mid-Life Mama. My husband and I are raising teens, and I find the experience of being here remarkable.

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