Thursday, April 28, 2011


On Sunday, I asked my sixteen year old sister what she would want to watch ( a show, a game, a movie, etc.). She shrugged her shoulders and said, "It doesn't matter." I said to her, "No, actually it does." My Mom looked over and said, "It really doesn't matter." I decided to table that conversation for when my sister and I were by ourselves. When "Kiki" and I were by ourselves, I asked her if she knew or recognized the importance of saying how she feels? She said yes, but it didn't really matter what we watched on T.V. I decided to share something with her.

You see, when I was younger and anyone would ask me what I wanted to do, what I wanted to eat, what I wanted to watch, response was "It doesn't matter. Whatever YOU decide is fine." In my mind, it was insignificant so I always would just go with the flow. One day (at the age of 14), we were out and about and my grandmother asked what I would like to eat. I said, as usual, "It doesn't matter." My grandmother said, "Pooh, it does. You have to have some idea as to what you want to eat. You have to know that you would prefer something over the other. My attitude was it really doesn't matter, then.
The thing is "It doesn't matter" can become problematic. It doesn't matter can quickly turn into "I don't matter."

I always went with the flow or with what others wanted because I didn't want to be an imposition. Subconsciously, I didn't believe that what I said mattered, and I just wanted to stay in the background. Over the years of saying, "It doesn't matter", my voice became softer and softer. I lost my voice. I lost my say. I had been giving up the right for so long that matters that once were trivial, soon became larger matters.

I left my sister with this. IT DOES MATTER. IT MATTERS BECAUSE YOU MATTER. I'm not saying that you can't ever compromise but don't be this silent participant in life. If someone asks you what you want, what you prefer, why wouldn't it matter? You matter. You have a voice. Your opinion counts. What you have to say is valuable. I care because YOU matter.

To all of my sister-friends out there, please realize that YOU MATTER. I want to hear you because you are important. All that you say and do is important. Realize how significant you are.
I hope my beautiful sister does.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's only temporary

I hadn't heard from a friend of mine in two weeks. I was becoming a bit concerned as I know the last time we spoke, she was going through a very, very rough patch. I saw her on Saturday and apparently, things had taken a turn for the worse. She said to me, with her head bowed down, "I'm embarrassed to say this, but things got so bad, I had to apply for food stamps. I haven't eaten in three days." Her embarrassment was palpable. I could almost feel it as she stared at the floor.

I didn't have cash or food that she could eat but I gave her my banana and she was extremely thankful, so thankful that I kept saying, "I have to find a way to assist her." I asked her if she received the job postings that I sent her and she wanted to tell me more about her situation but we were interrupted by a co-worker who didn't pick up on the cue that we were having a serious, private conversation. "Maria" said she would call me later, but again, she thanked me for the banana.

I know Maria's pride was the reason she held off on applying for assistance for so long. No, no one WANTS to be in a position where they HAVE to do it. However, these programs are in place for the times when people may need it, not as a clutch, but something to keep you fed and with other programs, to assist you until your situation turns around. I know that Maria is extremely gifted, talented, and intelligent. Our economy isn't on its best footing and she, like many others, are bearing the brunt of it. I am convinced that things will turn around soon for her.

I know this is only temporary. She has been very depressed and that's why I haven't heard from her but I reminded her today via email that the world needs her. As tough as it gets, as rough as it gets, I beseech her not to give up. I told her for herself, for her daughter, for life, she had to continue fighting the good fight, knowing that these seasons aren't permanent. I can't even begin to tell you the amount of times just seeing or speaking with her has put a smile on my face. She just has such a bright spirit and I would hate for her circumstances to dampen it. I said a lot more but I just wanted her to know that she is loved....

She texted me thanking me profusely for the message I sent and she told me that I had no idea how much she needed to hear what I wrote.

God works in mysterious ways because an angel of mine gave me $20 to give her. I will be giving it to her tomorrow. It will be addressed to her and it will say From: One of God's  angels. I know Maria will be surprised but we're all in this together. Don't just talk the good talk. See what you can do to assist someone when they are in need, no matter how small.

It's temporary but to the person going through it, anything you do, will make their burden a lot easier to carry...

Stay blessed and bless others when you can!

Don't allow pride to block your blessings

My Mother lives in Queens, NY and I live here, in Albany, NY. The distance is sometimes heartbreaking because sometimes, you just need your Mother's pearls of wisdom, a mother's encouragement, a mother's prayer, a mother's embrace. In addition, most of my family is downstate and I am upstate, New York. I've been here since I left home to attend college in 1998...

For the past two years (or close to), I would always try to dissuade her from visiting because my ex-boyfriend took a lot of my belongings when he returned to the house to collect his things close to two years ago when my prayers had been answered and he was removed from the house. Unbeknownst to me, he was coming to clean house and took all of the furniture in addtion to other miscellaneous items that didn't belong to him. The house was left bare with the exception of my bedroom furniture, the T.V. in the living room, and a futon. Everytime, my Mom would say, "We're coming up there". I always say, "No, not yet...I still don't have any furniture."

This week, she wouldn't take no for an answer. I was sick and took my my first dosage of the Z-pack, when she confirmed that she was defnitely coming the following day. Neither sickness nor my silly references to the furniture would stop her. She and my sister were determined to come here.

They came and I had such a lovely weekend. I had the opportunity to rest, to pray with my mother, to talk to my sister, for us to have a little "slumber party". We went to church together, we ate together, we went shopping together. We just had a good time. It was nourishment for my soul, my mind, and my spirit. I got just what I needed without realizing I needed it.

My Mom could have visited so many times but because I was embarrassed that I hadn't replaced the furniture yet, I continued to tell her no. Guess what? We had so much fun, the furniture didn't make a difference. I can't wait for them to visit again. In addition, I know that we all had fun. She actually said she felt as if she was on vacation and she felt so comfortable in my house. How sweet! My sister also felt as if this was the first time, she and my Mother got to spend quality time together as my Mom has three sons as well.

When people want to meet you in your time of need, let them. You don't realize how much you need it but also how much they may need it.

Be blessed!!!! Don't block your own blessings!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Garbage trucks

A couple of weeks ago, a co-worker of mine came into my work space looking for an argument. The issue at hand was the behavior of a work student of ours. Anyone who interacted with this student with regards to a request had an unfavorable experience with him. It was obvious that he felt the work that you asked him to do was beneath him. He felt as if he was smarter than everyone else so he wouldn't check his work (of course, resulting in errors). He would not show up to work (nor would he call), he simply wanted to surf the net and chat while he was in our Office,  etc. His behavior was bizarre and unacceptable for any work study student. I mentioned it to his Supervisor, a close friend of mine and she said that he definitely would not be hired the following year, and that she, too, had noticed how arrogant and irresponsible he was. All was well or so I thought.

 "Shaylah", another co-worker of mine felt the need to follow-up with me as to what was going on and what she should do. I gave her a brief summary of what was going on and told her not to worry about it as his Supervisor was going to speak with him and handle the situation. We spoke for a while but then the students entered and we thought it would be best not to have that conversation in front of them. In addition, I thought the conversation was pointless. It was already being addressed and if she wanted to find out exactly how, it would have been in everyone's interest for her to speak to the student's Supervisor. Our cubicles are in open space. It wasn't the time to have that conversation in that place.

Instead, she comes back into my workspace (as if the students aren't in the area) and says that she has identified the issue. The issue in her mind was that the students went on Spring Break.

I don't know why she felt the need to continue this conversation especially when I said it was being taken care of. The issue was not a Spring Break issue. I then bit her bait and explained to her that the project had not been worked on for 2.5-3 weeks. It had nothing to do with Spring Break. She then takes it upon herself to go back and forth with me and then tells me that I shouldn't expect the students to do my work. What work? Work study students and student assistants don't do MY work. They are here to assist us with certain things that are helpful to us but in no way are they shouldering the burden of anyone's job description.

She felt the need to go on and on about this moot topic in front of these students. Not only was it an issue that was already being handled, but it was a conversation that she and I did not need to have. I continued to say, "I will take this up with "Corinna", our Supervisor. Was I going to speak to Corrina? No! I just wanted this possessed person away from me.

She finally got the hint and went to her desk. Now, Shaylah considers herself a people pleaser. She often describes herself as “sweet as pie”. I believe that she is sweet but she is sweet for the sake of pleasing people, not necessarily intrinsically motivated to help others. She more so cares about what others think and wants everyone to be her friend. She is a nice person but for her own reasons.

The issue I have is that I am the only person that she takes her frustrations out on. Like a garbage truck, she picks up frustration on top of frustration and somehow, someway, dumps it all on me. This has happened before and this is why I try to maintain a strict working relationship with her. I feel as if I need to protect myself from her. The baffling thing is that she will extend apologies to everyone else when she has done something questionable except me. It always leaves me feeling hurt.

I have been very cordial to her but I avoid communication if it isn't necessary because I don't see why she feels the need to unload on me. This poses a conflict to me because I am a forgiving, “don’t sweat the small stuff” type of person but I feel as if she is a repeat offender and I don’t want to be her punching bag. (What am I to do??)

I spoke to the student's Supervisor about what happened and she said that she would deal with the student and to let it go with Shaylah. She felt as if Shaylah was having an off day. That day she went to the doctor and the doctor gave her a poor medical report. Yes, I empathize with Shaylah but guess what? We all have our bad days. We all get a bad report from the doctor from time to time. I don't walk around looking for an argument because of what takes place in my day. Do you???

Unfortunately, it's gotten to a point where I feel extremely uncomfortable around Shaylah. I don't know what to do. I can't address the situation as it happened close to a month ago yet we are still working in the same Office.

All, I can do is try my best not to dump my garbage on anyone else's lap. Life happens. It isn't fair to others around you to dump your garbage on them!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Accept it!

Accept It!!

I tend to buy the C.D.'s of sermons that I miss if I am unable to make it to church on a given Sunday. I then ask my significant other to make a copy for a co-worker of mine. That way, we both have the sermon and can discuss it at length. In my mind, when I enter the courts of praise and the gates of thanksgiving, it is not for myself. Although people find this peculiar, I tend to share my sermon notes with my co-workers. It's called the good news, isn't it? Guess who isn't afraid to share it???? Me!!!! I know it seems a bit odd but if you saw the looks of encouragement and the expressions of gratitude, you too would realize the magnitude of sharing an encouraging word, speaking of God's works, HIS many blessings, the multitude of things we have to be thankful for, etc. Today, a co-worker of mine said to me, "You can't keep doing this. I have to pay for the C.D.'s." I politely declined. Why? Yes, it costs money to purchase the sermons but I know what it does for me and I see what it does for others. You can't put a price on that. It's simply priceless. I refuse to take her money and yes, she will continue to get the sermons (like anyone else who wants it). Her money isn't any good here.

Something about her wanting to re-pay me reminds me of the old me. The young lady who wouldn't allow anyone to buy anything for her, the one who wouldn't like to be celebrated, the one who wouldn't allow anyone to pay for something for her...but that young lady has learned that it is okay to accept gifts. I would always give and continue to give so why wasn't I able to accept from others?

If I reflect, I KNOW that it was subconsciously rooted in not feeling as if I deserve to be treated, complimented, showered with gifts, etc. I’m not sure where that came from but I’m glad that I am no longer that way. I am God’s masterpiece, the apple of his eye. Maybe I didn’t realize this or my worth when I was younger. As a matter of fact, I know I didn’t.

Women, Please know that it is indeed okay to receive. You shouldn’t always have your hands out. No, no, no! You ought to give as well. However, when someone would like to do something kind for you, if it is appropriate, let them. You give a lot and you have to learn to receive also. Sometimes, you’re even making someone feel great about doing something for you because they want to……… so why cheat them out of blessing you?

Learn to accept, just as you’ve learned to give.

I love blessing others and I have learned over the years, that it is okay for others to bless me as well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

...and you think you have it bad

At times, we may feel as if we are backed into a corner. When it rains, they say it pours and as far as adversity is concerned, often times we certainly feel that way. Last week, a co-worker of mine said she really needed some encouragement. She truly felt as if she was at an impasse. Nothing seemed to be working. Her job wasn't in her field, her money was funny, her rent was past due, the bills were piling up, her credit seemed beyond repair, etc. What made my stomach drop was when she said, it was so bad, that she didn't have anything to eat. Upon hearing that, my heart went out to her. I offered all of the money I had in my purse, which happened to only be $2.00 but that's all I had at the time and we were at work. I know I should have been working but my thoughts were preoccupied on "Maria" and what she was going through.

It just confirmed how blessed I am even though I'm going through my own storm as well. You may think you have it bad, but there's always someone who has it worse. My significant other and I spoke about it and the next day, he delivered food at my job for her. I won't reveal this person's identity to anyone but I ask that we all lift "Maria" in our prayers. Before you get in a funk about what isn't going right in your life, see what you can do to to help someone in their situation. I've been praying for her, sending her job postings, and will try to do whatever I can to help her in her time of need.

My struggle may not be your struggle and your struggle may not be my struggle...but we are all struggling with something.

"I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet." -Anonymous

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Love Is You

Love Is You
R. Rowe  3/31/10
Love Is You
I wasn’t looking
You weren’t seeking
Somehow we connected. Talk about the unexpected

We both had no idea and were totally caught off guard
Isn’t life funny? Think about this long and hard……
Our entire experience has been something that one reads about in a beautiful card
Not even the stares from outsiders could ever mar……

What I see in you and what you see in me
We see pass the obstacles and we embrace the bountiful beauty…

Of you and I and where we shall go
We met for a reason. This you must know

Finally, someone where I can speak without inhibition
Love is you. Love is me. No need for encryption

The thought alone brings a huge smile to my face
Remember that day, I said, “Don’t I deserved to be chased?”

You responded, “Of course” but you didn’t realize how magnificent I am.
Well, honey, sugar, ice tea – You are certainly more than a man.

Swimmingly doesn’t begin to capture our time together
I pray that you’ll be here for years, if God wills it, I want this forever
If God ordains it, we'll make it, despite the weather

Everything takes works but promise me this
Never deny me that sweet kiss

If you can give me your word, I promise we’ll dance in the rain
Just take my hand and together we can

Move forward into whatever is supposed to be
I don’t know what that is so don’t ask me
I find myself doing things that I thought I would never do
Again, I must say Love is love, love is me but lastly, Love is You…..

Holding yourself Back

You were uniquely crafted, wonderfully made, and designed with a purpose. There isn't another YOU walking around. You truly are irreplaceable and special. More than amazing, that is you! Knowing that, don't allow anything to stop you from doing anything that your heart desires. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Wouldn't you rather be happy, doing the things you always wanted to do? Or would you rather a miserable life doing only the things "your mind" tells you that you are limited to do? Most of our battles are in the mind. When those negative thoughts creep in, do not allow them to take root. At these times, think of how far you’ve come, and know that your future is even brighter than your past. 
Too often, we are our worst enemies and biggest critics. Inside of each of us are dreams, talents, and gifts. Today, let us commit to dreaming big and then actually acting on it. Join me on this journey!

The only person stopping you is YOU!

Many blessings,


Monday, April 4, 2011


When I penned the blog titled, Advice to my younger self, a friend of mine responded that she loved the quotes. She didn't realize that I was writing to myself. She then marveled that I really should write a book because she gives her daughter similar advice. I don’t know if I will have children but life has taught me a lot. It has been my biggest teacher, if nothing else. My mistakes have taught me so much and actually my wisdom is a result of mistakes that I’ve made or mistakes that I’ve seen others make.

I clearly remember one day when I felt extremely sad and I called my mother’s house to speak to her. My mother wasn’t there but my sister was. Initially, we just had small talk but I was so despondent,  I had to get something off my chest, even if I wasn’t going to give her details. I said to my sister, who is 14 years younger than me, “I’ve made so many mistakes.” I just kept crying on the phone as she listened and then she said, “We all make mistakes.” Simple words but they mean so much.

Of course, I know we all make mistakes but when your little sister or any child shares their pearls of wisdom, you can’t help but smile as they’ve affirmed what you truly know.

Today, know that I am imperfect. I make a lot of mistakes. Please know that I fall at times but I promise you this, I will try my best to keep standing and to always get up. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and know that no matter how big the mistake is, you will recover. Know that YOU are not a mistake and use your mistakes to guide you as to what you ought not to do in the future.

You are smarter than you realize and your mistakes don’t define you. Learn from them and keep moving!

Be blessed!!!