Chapter 1 Part 1

Graceful Awakening

FEAR, that is not my life anymore!

Surrender

One night long ago, a graceful awakening happened (Before I tell you the rest of the story, I want you to know I am writing this book as if I am speaking to my best friend). Hold on tight, I am about to take you on a journey. 

One night long ago, a graceful awakening happened. Graceful awakenings are life lessons. When God speaks directly to our hearts it is a graceful awakening. The one night long ago was not the first time God was speaking directly to my heart. It was not the first lesson I ever learned about God, but it is the storyline to this book; therefore, I start with a specific story in my life that still brings me hope.

Graceful awakenings happen when we make a choice to follow God’s will for our lives. It happens when we make the choice to lay the plans we had for our lives to the side. It happens when we raise our hands and say “NOT MY LIFE ANYMORE, God. Do with my life what you will.” Graceful awakenings are life lessons and although graceful awakenings are one of life’s hardest lessons, they are beautiful moments of surrender. When we surrender our life for the life God has for us the miracles that occur are beyond our wildest dreams.

There is a process to living our best life and the process for each of us is very different. Even our hobbies have processes. One of my hobbies is playing sports. The goal an athlete makes in a soccer game is different from the goal an athlete makes in a basketball game. The goals I make will not be the goals you make. Sometimes neither of us will make the intended goal. Processes cannot happen without goals that are set. Sometimes we must change the process and try again. This is a never ending cycle; therefore, as we implement the processes of life, we must bask in the glorious moments. 

In sports, the moment we make a hardcore play, the crowd roars!!! That moment, that moment is glorious! That glorious moment does not last long. Glorious moments have a half-life of a millisecond. Scoring a goal is joyful for a millisecond. Then the process starts all over again. Getting back on the field to continue in the game is part of the process. When the process works or does not work we must learn to live in the glorious moments. 

Joy is living in the moment. Living in the moment can be living in the glorious millisecond of a process that worked or making a choice to change the process and trying again. Staying alert to know when that glorious moment comes and fighting for those glorious moments happens when we follow God’s will for our lives. We must say yes to the process and no to our plans. This is when graceful awakenings occur. Once we say yes to the process and no to our plans, we learn important life lessons.

Learning life lessons is the definition of success. With success we must say no to our plans and yes to the process. Sometimes the process does not look like great opportunities. Succeeding is saying yes to the process and no to our plans. When we say yes to the process we can find joy in it and as joy becomes evident in our lives it can then become the emotion that drives our lives.

Life becomes refined in the process. When we keep saying yes, joy begins to happen over and over again. Joy becomes our heart which can fill the positivity gap we all have. When joy becomes more and negativity becomes less the struggles become easier to handle. 

Graceful awakenings do not happen without struggles. Struggles always show up in the process. We must understand that continuing forward without struggles is a lie. Struggles are everywhere. They can show up in the negative words we play over in our heads. They can show up as a childhood memory we do not want to remember. They can show up as a question that has never been answered. No matter how the struggles show up, just know that struggles will always be there. 

Living in the glorious moments makes struggles easier. Living in the glorious moments is choosing joy when the struggles show up. The unexpected events that create struggles for those of us who like to make plans will happen, and the thoughts that create struggles for those of us who wonder how miracles could ever happen for us will happen as well. Therefore, finding joy even in the struggles is a process. 

Come with me on my journey of hope, grace, joy, pain, life lessons that stay, and struggles that come and go as we learn together to let go of the plans we had for our lives and enjoy the journey by being open to the process. Graceful awakenings that lead to life lessons through processes create struggles, joy, and hopeful moments. Through telling stories, teaching scriptures, and touting my struggles, I share WAY too much about my personal life. So get your coffee and sit back and enjoy.

Not So Glorious Moments 

The moment I knew I was to become momma was not so glorious. It was Spring 2011. It was late in the evening, right before I went to sleep. I was lying there, tucked comfortably into my bed reading a book. The book was called, Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. As I was reading the book, an overwhelming sense of Becoming Momma came over me. I want to say that the overwhelming sense of Becoming Momma came over me out of nowhere but in reality I wanted to become a momma for as long as I could remember. I always said I did not want to become a momma because I was hopeless and it was easier to say I never wanted that.

Ignoring God is easy. I am sure God had placed Becoming Momma on my heart over and over again but by this point in my life I was good at ignoring Him. I had been ignoring God for many years. This time, it was a graceful awakening that led to one of my favorite life lessons. I listened, obeyed, and responded with “NOT MY LIFE ANYMORE, God. Do with my life what you will.” I followed the process to lay my plans to the side as I followed God’s will for my life

Saying yes to God is not easy. Once we say yes to God, there is absolutely no more ignoring Him. Although I said yes to God, I had no idea what would happen next. Although Becoming Momma is now my redemption story, Becoming Momma was a 5.5 year fight. Becoming Momma was scary because I was hopeless. I was scared to step into God’s plans for my life. 

I was almost thirty and I had BIG plans for my life (without kids). My husband Brian and I were living in a tiny little house that was so cozy. It was decorated just right; and everything was in its place. It was the perfect size for our family. Our family consisted of three of us, Brian, me, and our little dog named Dash. 

The night I had this particular graceful awakening of Becoming Momma there were several things happening. My pup was stirring because of a thunderstorm, my thoughts were loud, my husband’s snoring was impressive, and my eyes were wide open. The rain beat against the bedroom windows, the lights in the room were still on, and the prayers did not stop. I was comfortable in my cozy bed, but so uncomfortable at the same time.

Graceful awakenings make us uncomfortable. They usually happen when we become comfortable, but they are the opposite of comfortable. I was comfortable laying in my bed with a man who loved me fiercely and a dog who never left my side. But as I continued reading the book, Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick, God spoke directly to my heart and that is uncomfortable. 

Becoming

“Becoming Momma?”

“Really God?”

“How would I ever become a mom anyways?”

“This is going to ruin the plans I have for my life…”

“Being a dog mom is hard enough…”

“What type of mom would I be anyways?”

“A stay at home mom?”

“Well that is impossible…”

“We cannot afford that!”

“I know nothing about being a stay-at-home mom!”

“Aren’t stay-at-home moms special???”

“No, NOT ME, I am not stay-at-home mom material…”

The thoughts kept coming and quite honestly I was pissed off. God was pretty clear this time about Becoming Momma. My soul was unsettled at the thought. But through the uncomfortableness of the process, I kept my hands raised and said, “NOT MY LIFE ANYMORE, God. Do with my life what you will.”

That night, I spoke to God all while throwing a temper tantrum. I took the book Sun Stand Still and threw it across the room. I was not happy. But somehow I murmured the words, “NOT MY LIFE ANYMORE, God. Do with my life what you will.” 

You do not have to be happy about what God is calling you to do. You do not even have to know the process that will unfold. You just have to be obedient and trust that God will show you the way. Throwing that book Sun Stand Still across the room felt good but it did not change anything. It made Dash startle and jump above the covers and it made me lay there and wonder what my life would look like as a momma. 

I laid there and stared at the ceiling fan. The blades went around and around. The cold breeze from the fan gave me chills as I cried.

“WHY???” 

I yelled at God as I shook my fists at heaven.

“I tried to become Momma over five years ago!!!!… and YOU…YOU didn’t allow that to happen!!!” I screamed.

“I don’t WANNA become MOMMA!!”

“I’M SCARED!

“I can’t stand to go through any more pain!!”

I turned to my right side and stared at the wall. My pillow was drenched from sobbing. Although my eyes were filled with tears, my heart was filled with grace as I woke up to God’s plans for my life. I reached up and turned off the lights as I drifted off to sleep. Becoming Momma was embedded so deep in my heart that there was no more running it. 

Stop Running

The next morning came quickly after a deep sleep. My day went on as planned, but the thought of Becoming Momma never left. When God lays something on our hearts we cannot run for long. Again, I tried to forget about Becoming Momma. I could run for short amounts of time, but I was unsuccessful. Our bodies are not trained to run for too long. 

I sent a few emails in the weeks that followed. God was not going to let me forget. I made a conscious decision to start embracing what was to come. Months went by and Becoming Momma became top priority. I picked up the book Sun Stand Still to finish reading it. I opened it and a little white piece of paper marked the place where I left off. It was marked on Chapter 7. A tiny 3 page chapter in the middle of Sun Stand Still, Chapter 7 was titled Tiny Babies, Giant Faith. Capturing my attention, I read the story.

The story in Chapter 7 was about a young couple who were staff members at Elevation Church. Furtick wrote about this couple who got to share the joyous news of expecting twin girls. Expecting twins is something special. I knew this feeling deeply and personally. Furtick (2010) wrote, “out of nowhere things got scary. The day that your child is born is supposed to be a day of joy…” (p. 75). I knew all too well what he was talking about. The day I was to give birth to my twins was the day things took a turn for the worse. That day in April of 2006 was supposed to be a day of joy, but it ended in a terrible tragedy. My faith died when my twins died. 

The faith the couple from Elevation church demonstrated during a painful time in their lives was honorable. Tears streamed down my face as I read Chapter 7, a tiny chapter about a momma I could relate to. She had no idea if her twins would make it home and only hope could sustain her. This story propelled me into my destiny. A couple from Elevation church found out they were having twin girls. These twins survived, but not without complications and questions. 

The pain this Elevation family shared helped me to say yes to God. If I can help one person say yes to God, it is worth every painful story shared. When we experience the pain of this world and share our testimonies it helps people. Throughout this book, I share my pain honestly and I share how I found joy eventually in the midst of the most painful moments.

Chapter 7 woke me up to the grace bestowed upon me. I could not continue to be disobedient. God had an entirely different plan for my life. I wanted to know what my life would look like on the other side of trusting God. I was not going to let fear drive my life anymore. I raised my hands once again and said “FEAR that is not my life anymore. God, do with my life what you will.”

“I will become momma.”

“Show me the way.”

Tuesday Truths Column

I am hoping to find some time to rebuild this blog site starting with a Tuesday Truth column.

Drop a comment about what you would like to hear me talk about. My everyday lifestyle of raising 5 boys, the last 8 years, the 4 most memorable Aprils, the next 11 years, raising 5 boys during a pandemic while in grad school, my journey to finding myself, an airplane ride home from Vegas, mental health, a dog named Frank, my everyday emotions in the here and now, white privilege and my acculturation process in the African American community, communication styles and techniques, therapeutic writing and journaling, in Heaven’s Rocking Chair devotional, friends who are my key to success, my loud obnoxious German- Catholic upbringing, sisterhood, motherhood, grief grief and more grief, love and laughter, my awesome husband, my anxiety, or how I stay sane through it all.

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