Self-Esteem. It’s not just a cool word.

Self-Esteem. It’s not just a cool word.

I had the pleasure of speaking to some young Tweens a few weeks ago. My topic was having great self-esteem and a winning attitude. It was amazing. It was amazing because I got to pour into them, but they also poured into me. I remember being their age and dreaming big. It was good to see their enthusiasm and then to hear them say from their mouths that they believed in themselves. I talked to them about “Do It Anyway!” – my motto for living. Whether they will remember that day or not remains to be seen. I hope they walked away loving themselves a little more and were encouraged to win no matter what life brings. We role-played and did Q&A’s. They were shy but we made it.

I won’t forget that day. I enjoyed sharing my wealth from the hard knocks of life. May you be inspired as well to love you fiercely, never take no as the final answer, and to chase every dream you know God has given you.

Some folks may never see the beauty you are. That’s okay. Love you anyway. You may not win every challenge. Try anyway! Doing your best every time may be hard. Do It Anyway!
Some one needs your light, your energy, your talent. Share it anyway!

Are your kids defiant?

Are your kids defiant?

I write this post tonight shortly after having told my son to give me his PS3. The rule is they go to bed and all electronics go off. Do you know he took 10 minutes and I had to go in there to get it? Rules are made to be followed. Right. Well, this mama doesn’t play. So, his choice was he and the PS3 could go wherever they wanted, but in my house people go to bed. Of course, he gave me the game, but the problem is the time he took and how he just stood there perplexed as to why he had to give up his game. He’s about to be 15 and so it begins. Defiance. Or, close to it.
“The becoming a man but still having to listen to your mom dilemma” has begun.

I decided to share this because this blog is all about inspiring single parents in life, love, and faith. Well, life as the sole parent isn’t always easy. And if you can relate, I encourage you Uh yo stand your gtound. They are kids. You are the adult and you know best. In my case, they sneak and use it during the night and can’t get up in the mornings.  So, when I figured out why they were dragging, I figured out they were just pretending to be sleep.

Wow!  PRETENDING! That hurt me. I had to talk to them. Have you had that? If so, let’s dialogue. This blog is for support and tips. Here for you.

Single parenting is hard.
Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

4 Signs you are too busy for your own good

4 Signs you are too busy for your own good

Have you noticed that although you are very busy, you are not getting as much done? Or, in other words, you are being busy, but you are not being effective. I have, and it is costly. Don’t get me wrong, we all have stuff that must get done. What I’m saying is learning what needs to get done now and what can get done later has to constantly be evaluated for you to be effective. There will always be interruptions. Get over it. But, every interruption is not a pivotal task to complete right now. Women, especially pride themselves on being mulit-taskers. I tout this all the time myself. But, really I’m tired. Lol. I would really like to not have to do 5 things at once all the time. I just want to do one. And what ensues when we are too busy is what the post is about.

I said to myself, “I have to start sorting these tasks”, and I did. I thought about what is priority and listed them. Then I decided which ones have to get done and which ones can wait. My life isn’t perfect, but if you have any of these signs, you gotta take a chill pill.

I have come up with 4 Signs you are doing too much or rather, how being busy is stealing your life.

1. Your mind is constantly going

Ever had this one? You go to bed but cant sleep? Your mind is racing and you cant turn it off? Yep. You are officially doing too much and need to stop it now. I had this when I was working on my Masters in Spanish. A million things to do, kids to raise, my job to plan and do, etc. Don’t mention housework and feeding myself and children. It was hectic. Until I (this was my cure) prayed. Yep. I prayed. I said to God to help me balance my life and get some sleep. From then I learned to list what I could do and start deciding what had to be done an what could wait. Oh, and of course prayer works every time!
2. You are tired, cranky, and forgetful

If you are here, you’ve got to take a 10 minute step away at least from what you are doing and “woosah”. Barking at people won’t get the tasks done. It will get you unliked quickly. We don’t want that. Get some rest. Lay the list down. I have found that when we get to forgetting things, we are going 100 miles an hour and we should be going 20. Calm down. Take a break. Maybe even a day to get clarity on what you need to do and what can wait. Only you know, but spare us the attitude. We got lists, too.
3. You know you don’t want to do the thing but can’t say NO

Oh this one right here is golden. Yes, we women especially have the inability to say this two letter word at any given moment- NO. But it is so simple and brings so much peace. Yet, we struggle. Let me tell you, if you are here, you’ve got to stop taking care of and saving everybody else’s projects and fix your own. I don’t care what it is, if you are tired, full to the brim with stuff to do, say NO! Nothing good will come of you overworking yourself but you overworking yourself. When you have to take a week off because you’re sick then what? Ok. That was extreme. Surely, you won’t get so run down from working that you wear yourself into a vacation with no fun in it? Say No instead of yes to everything that comes your way, it’ll bless you and they will find a way to still get it done. I promise.  #experience
4. Your schedule is bulging at the seams

You can look at your phone calendar and see it. Your legal pad is full. You are overwhelmed and your schedule has no room. Look, working is good. Providing for your family is good. Going all the time is not good. You’ve got to learn to balance. It is very interesting that God built in a Sabbath. He knew we would try to overdo it. So, He commanded us to rest. If you can’t keep up and you’re kind of mad about it, let something go. Sure, folks don’t like to hear “no”, but they’ll live. Rest. God said so!

Well, did any of these resonate with you? If so, “stop what you’re doing cause you’re about to ruin”…your life! Chill out! Take a chill pill. Let it go. Do you! Being busy is not winning. BEING PRODUCTIVE IS WINNING. Learn the difference.

On the road of life, it get’s tough. Schedules get hectic. Life is busy. But, guess what? You will make it!

Do It Anyway!

Mama, leave the guilt at the door

Mama, leave the guilt at the door

As we wind down 2014 and gear up for 2015, I want to issue a challenge to all the single moms out there- “Stop blaming yourself for any and everything your kids do!” All you can do is be the best parent you can be. They will make some mistakes even with fantastic parents. So, as you get ready to be even more awesome in 2015, remember these 5 things:

1. You are one person doing the work of two
Sure, it would be nice if you had some help. But, look how well you’re providing for your family. Keep pushing. One day, Mr. Right will show up. Until then, work on. It’s not in vain. This is not a reason to cop out or do less, but more of a call to give 150% because they need you. I know it isn’t easy. I do this every day just like you. Even if your eyes are closing and your body hurts from working all day, keep going until the last kiddo is fed, homework done, and in bed. This is work that matters! 

 2. No one loves your kids more than you
I know I will fight a bear today! behind my boys, a lion, whatever for them. So, as a single parent, it is the love you have that inspires them, pushes them to be what you know they can be. Show it everyday and as a family, keep working together. This parenting alone in some ways is a plus. So many kids wish they had a mom like you. Don’t despise the now, enjoy it. I see kids with two parents who have no idea what is going on in their kids’ lives. Although you’re doing your best and you may feel it isn’t good enough, just know that your love is making a difference. 

 3. No one supports your kids better than you
Be their cheerleader. You are the one they want to show their successes to. I know it’s hard and you’re tired, but do it anyway. I have gone home and missed a few events, but I always tell mine in advance. I’m not saying be at everything if work or work life balance doesn’t permit it. But, be present and support them til the end. No one can do it better than you! 

 4. You are amazing and deserve all the good in your life
The job of single mom is a hard one. Sometimes, the kids don’t say thank you or appreciate the car service you’re running with no pay, but just know it’s coming back to you. All the good you’ve given, will return to you. Stay focused. It may be in the form of more peace, it could be a new love, it may be fantastic kiddos that grow up to b e fantastic adults, etc. Just know it is coming your way. When you’re exhausted and you think you can’t go on, go anyway! They need you. Now. 

 5. Your family will be blessed because of the work you put in

Speaking of awesome adults that make the world a better place, your input is building awesome children that will one day change the world. Every Yes and every No (which they need to hear sometimes) is building resilient kids. Because you are constant and involved, they will know how to be consistent, dedicated, hard working people. Relax! They will rise up and call you blessed.

P.S. I know it’s hard to see right now, but just continue to do your best. Even when you know you could have done better, they think you’re the greatest. Take out time to recuperate and love on you this year. Now that’s a New Year Resolution!

Single parenting is really hard. But, you’re going to make it!

Do It Anyway!

Our kids need us even when they say they don’t

Our kids need us even when they say they don’t

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes think my parenting is so awesome that my kids should “get it” by now and be on auto pilot. Lol! They don’t. They aren’t perfect and neither am I. With that said, I want to encourage you to keep the dialogue going between you and your children. I have two boys, and I’m a single mom, so I try not to whine, nag them, or get on their nerves in general (sarcasm). You know, teens! But, I found recently that me talking to them, nurturing them, being on their side is exactly what they want (without them telling me, of course). Boy are they complicated!

Recently, my older boy had an away sports event that I did not attend. He gave me the play by play and it was kicking his behind. My heart hurt for him. He tried. He didn’t win. He tried. He didn’t win. And then, he texted me that he needed encouragement. I was shocked. One, because he asked for encouragement when he usually acts as if he doesn’t need it or me. Two, because I am an encourager by nature and thought I was encouraging him. How does my kid need to ask me for it!?? Three, I felt needed. It was wonderful!

So, of course,I fire off many encouraging text messages. He never won a match, but he left with his self esteem in tact knowing he is growing, and it was an honor for him to go on the trip. He got a bear hug from his momma in the form of 5 text messages riddled with love and affirmation, and maybe for a split second he realized he does need his mom for more than meals and a chauffer (channeling that anger am I). I’m confident he will improve and learn to master his sport in time.  I know he is, too.

For you, how is your conversation with your kids? Do they do things that catch you by surprise? If so, don’t worry. Just dig in where you are. We can’t stop or block all the bad experiences in their lives. We cannot know everything, but we can be there for everything. We can provide encouragement and help them through the tough times. Inspire your kids to be awesome even when they fail, even when life is hard. It’s good for them to fail. That’s how winners are made.

And just in case yours are disrespectful, unruly, entitled, and ungrateful, it isn’t too late to right the ship. Stand up and be the parent. You buy everything, so take some things like electronics, privileges, etc., away. Removal of fun gets a house in order faster than you can say “Who’s house is this?”

God bless. Keep doing your best. You are raising amazing kids!

Life is hard. Single Parenting is hard. Parenting, in general, is hard.

Do It Anyway!

Wealth and the single mom

Wealth and the single mom

money jar2

 

I do not claim to have learned all there is to know about wealth. I myself am on a quest for knowledge and the total transformation of my life. Yet, I want to encourage every woman who is not living her financial dream to seek out advice, tips, books, instructors, etc., so they, too, can change their lives. The above picture is my actual change jar. It takes me a year or two to fill with my leftover change.  Once it’s full, I take it to one of those machines in the supermarket that counts it for you and collects a small fee in the process. I know. I should take it to my bank. See! I’m not a financial advisor. But, I am a mom who wants to leave a legacy.

Wealth is such a personal thing. I mean it’s relative right? Sure, some inherit it, but somebody somewhere had to first take a chance in the right direction and add in some hard work to build that pile of assets to, in turn, pass along.  I truly believe that as long as we have breath, we can change our lives for the better. That includes finances.

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:22 “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” Wow! I want to do that! Don’t you? It may not happen for me or you the way it happened for others, but the truth is we need to start building (if we haven’t already).

I like to listen to a few folks on advice for saving. The Bible says, “There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors”. I say there is confusion in not having a plan. As a single mom, I have seen lack and abundance (my scale may be just getting by). It (life) has been smooth and it has been rocky. But, GOD has kept me and my boys. He has been faithful. Because of this, I like to be faithful with what he gives me. So, I believe that part of wealth creating is giving. I can’t say I always tithe like I want, but I give. I have charities I support. It makes me feel so good inside to help someone else in need. Try it. It’s amazing how even our little is sometimes greater than what some one else has.

If giving money is not feasible, please find time to show your kids how to give back to others by you all doing charitable work. If money is not a problem, consider mentoring other women on wealth creation. We are blessed to be a blessing.

Side note: The sense of entitlement of the youth these days is at an astronomical level. Even my own kids have tried to act as if the world owes the something. I quickly nip that in the bud. I have them help me serve, and I have them give away toys and clothes. I also had them pick out the boy we sponsor in Africa who is around their age. I talk to them about how blessed we are knowing that they don’t fully understand yet. But, I know one day it will be clear. As I work to build something to leave them, I want to leave my wealth to men who know how to handle it and who know the blessing they hold.

So moms, even if it’s five bucks a week, start saving now. Try the change jar idea. Or, refrain from the delicious $5 coffee for a few weeks and watch it add up. We have more than we think even when to us it is not enough. Saving is a family affair. Get everyone in on the conversation. Make it a contest if you can, but by any means, save.

I pray this post blesses you and your family, and you get started on building your empire.

“Saving is hard, and I have bills,” you say.

Do It Anyway!

 

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouraging thoughts for a discouraging time

Encouragement has been hard for me to muster this week. I am usually the first to be bright-eyed and positive. I always have a word for those in need. But, this week was hard for me. Since it was hard for me, I know that it has also been for so many of you. Clearly the issues in the Middle East affecting persecuted Christians, the shooting death of a young black man in Ferguson, MO, and countless other issues in our world affected me. (Maybe they also affected you) As a Christian, my heart hurts for people period. I have and had a deep hurt that just wouldn’t/won’t leave for what is happening to women and children and people period all due to their personal religious beliefs. As an African American woman who is a parent, seeing what happened in Ferguson over the weekend and waiting on confirmation of what happened had me on edge. I was sad for the family, angered by what happened, afraid for my children growing up in a world that shoots before asking questions, etc. I mean, isn’t it normal to hurt for people you don’t know? Well, I think so. I have to live in this world, my kids do, you do and your loved ones. It is outrageous! We should all be upset. Most of us are.

I was so sad that I had to leave social media and pray. In prayer, I was able to remember that GOD truly has all things under control and it is in Him that I put my trust. I know my situation is not that of the parents mourning the loss of their child or the citizens who feel like prisoners in their own city, or the thousands fleeing their homes for fear of death. But, the impact of their trials affected me. It saddened me. My spirit was low. I wanted to help my brothers and sisters. What I could do in that moment was pray. I prayed and that encouraged me. I am so thankful that God is there no matter in what situation we find ourselves. I am so glad that His word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119:05). His word is life, encouragement, air. So, I come today with no solution to actual problems. I cannot bring anyone back, I cannot provide safety to those who have lost it all, but I can pray that the ONE who has the solution and is able to hide us in His secret place will do so. He can hide us in His arms, in His secret place (Psalm 91).

I have to believe that justice will be served in this life. As in past cases, when it is not, we go on peacefully trying to change laws to protect us and spread awareness to help others. But, we know that in the life to come, God says vengeance is Mine, I shall repay. And it is in that I put my hope. It is not ours to decide what we go through, but we know somehow we will make it. Just knowing that God has it under control puts me at ease. I can keep doing my best in a world that doesn’t always treat people the way they should. I can continue raising my boys to be the best citizens I can and yet teach them to protect themselves against possible police brutality, abuse, misuse of power. I can encourage someone today who is down because I have been and now have hope. Let this be your encouragement in the midst of your day. God will provide. Put your hope in Jesus for He cares for you.

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

4 Steps to Pursuing Your Purpose

PurposeThe word purpose has been a buzz word ever since Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life. I mean I remember learning it in school and using it rarely, but oh my! when that book came out it was like cold milk on cornflakes- delicious! It was intriguing, soul-touching, thought provoking- an awesome book. But what is this post about? It’s about me simply encouraging you to find and pursue your purpose. We all have one. If you do not know yours yet, you should do a gift assessment test and some soul-searching. Most churches have their members take these so they can figure out where they can best serve. I know. Most of us are often are too busy to be alone with ourselves one minute to think about what we want. But, what we need is to do exactly that!

So, if you know what you were designed to do, great! Feels good. Right? But if you do not then here are four steps to get you walking out what you were made to do!

Step 1: Do the work to figure out what you are designed to do.

This is a step that only you can do. I encourage you to find some quiet time to be alone and be with you, yourself, and I. Ask yourself what makes you tick, what do you love to do, what would you do with no pay, and if you are already living and doing what you were meant to do. Next, if you are a believer like me, Ask God for direction. Jeremiah 29:11 says God has a plan for his children. A plan to prosper them and not to harm them. To give them a hope and a future (paraphrased). So, if you are like me then you want God’s blessing on your endeavors. Why not get His viewpoint before embarking? The only way to do that is to ask. How can you get the answer without spending time with Him? So, do the work of self-discovery, prayer, communing with God and preparing yourself for the answer. I say prepare because we’ve al heard the stories of people changing fields for purpose or moving and selling everything to follow their purpose. One thing we know is that if God is in it, it will be the best decision ever made. Enjoy this process and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know right away. Keep seeking and it will come. If God is in it, it’ll bless you.

Step 2: Give in to the call.

Once you know what it is you are to do, give in. I know I had a hard time accepting my purpose. I always knew from a young child that I would work in ministry, yet I’ve fought it for years. I now help in the Spanish ministry and it is an amazing feeling to know I’m helping people reach their goals of learning a new language and connect to Jesus in their language. I also get to walk in what I was meant to do. I knew I was a born leader and encourager, but I was an extroverted introvert. Lol! It’s possible. So, I had to give in to that persistent desire of my soul to help others. Maybe you are like me. You know you are supposed to be doing something, but for some reason haven’t started. Go on. Get started. You’re in for a powerful experience. Answer the call today. You’ll be glad you did.

Step 3: Start working even when you’re not ready

I and another lady wanted to teach a Spanish class. We didn’t have all the materials planned out but we had a plan. That’s all we needed. See, when you are in purpose, things will work out. We got started and had a huge turnout. We had time to get the program together before the first start day. But when we said yes, all we had was our desire to do it. We weren’t ready. We got ready after we said yes. The point is time won’t always wait for us. Opportunities come and go. Jump in their and help if you know God is leading you to do so. Perfection is a hold up. Get started helping as soon as you can. 

Step 4: Be open to new direction and inspiration.

We all have a purpose. That doesn’t mean you’ll have the same one your whole life. It may change or expand. Be open to new urges and sparks of creativity that say move in this direction. Prayer is an integral part of my figuring out where I need to be. So much of what I’ve accomplished is due to that feeling in my spirit that won’t subside. Following the regular route won’t do for that kind of passion. You have to chase it! So be open and go where you know you are supposed to be. Starting this blog was a part of my purpose. It has spiraled into many other opportunities that will come forth in the coming months. They all center in using what I am good at, what I am passionate about, and how they all work together to help others.

It is my hope that you have been encouraged to see what is next for you, what you were meant to do, and how you can begin to set about living your life’s purpose. What’s in you? Bring it out and Do It Anyway!

Kaydy

Know when to walk away, know when to run

Know when to walk away, know when to run

Relationships are lovely. Aren’t they? Yes! Until, they go south. Sure, we want our friendships and romantic relationships to last forever, but the truth is sometimes peoples’ parts in our lives come to an end. In that day, you have to know when to fight for the relationship and when to let it dissolve. That doesn’t make you or them are bad. It just means you are at a stopping point and you have come to a fork where you will go one way and they the other.

Kenny Rogers has a famous song called “The Gambler”. In the song, he says “You gotta know when to hold, know fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run”. Of course, he meant while gambling one must consider this, but I submit that in life, business, and relationships one must know- you and me- when to let it go. We all grow. Sometimes that means we grow apart. Any one old enough to love knows that losing a friendship or breaking up can be hard, but you must decide if the relationship is worth it. Only time and you being honest with yourself will tell.

Sometimes, you don’t wanna go, yet deep down, you know you can’t stay. Make the tough decision any way. This is your life and you deserve complete love, respect, and happiness. If you must part, please try to end positively. If staying is the option, make some ground rules going forward. If it’s a business relationship, respectfully discuss the issues and expectations. You must be willing to fold and walk away sometimes. Only you know when.

I’d rather part ways than be together mildly happy. Especially when deep down I know it isn’t the right fit. Do not signup to be treated, worked with, or loved half of what you deserve.

Good luck and God bless on your journey.

Why do we have Mondays any way?

Why do we have Mondays any way?

Monday’s are really hard. Aren’t they? The getting up and getting going takes a while because the bed was so warm, the sleep was so good, and the weekend so short. The lovely first day of the week calls and get up you must. Work awaits. School awaits. Life awaits. The to-do list- awaits. But, you know what? It’s a blessing to have a job to go to, a dream to work on, a way to provide for your family, and yes, a list to complete. We all know or have heard of those who are less fortunate and wish they had the life-sucking job to go to that you have (attempt at humor), the honey-do list to complete, the deadlines to meet, and the errands to run. Yes, somewhere someone wishes they were you. We don’t know who, but somewhere. Now with that reality check and as the Monday blues dissipate and you get into your day, remember how blessed you are to be right there at this moment. How awesome to use your talent to make your life and that of those around run smoothly.

Now that you are thankful for the state you’re in, I want to encourage you to keep dreaming about that thing you actually desire to do, that trip you want to take, that business you want to start because, frankly, you CAN DO IT. Let this post motivate you through the week to chase your dreams and not take no for an answer. Keep believing that your dreams are worthy, and one day they will be reality.

Monday undeniably can be the worst day of the week, but it is also a sign of newness. You get to start all over and each new Monday holds the promise of being better the next time around. So, get going! What will you do with your new chance at a better week to do what you want, go where you want, dream your dreams?

Monday can be stressful, glorious, new, challenging, bright, but Do It Anyway!