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No matter how far along I get in life, I'll always refer to myself as "That chick that grew up poor in the drug-filled streets of Port Arthur, Texas." Always a bad ass!

Right now, I'm going through a top-down transformation. I'm starting with my hair - taking it from processed to natural; and so far I'm loving it. Get updates on my process on newtonatural.com.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Be careful what you pray for

I've learned (again) that God will give you what you pray for. . even if it's not what your heart truly desires. In this particular case, I don't know if He came through because he wants to reassure me that he supplies my every need OR because he wanted to teach me to Be Careful What I Pray For.

I got out of a LONG, tumultuous, really awful relationship and was feeling a little lonely. I took a little time off to figure out what I needed out of a relationship. All the while devoutly praying for God to send me The One. Eventually, God came through and answered my prayers. I met a wonderful, sweet younger man who lived in a different state.

He was a student with a master plan to get his degree, get married, and live his dream. There were sparks. Shit, there was fire.. OMG. I don't even know how to describe how I felt except to say, "Right." Everything felt like it was right.

Well, things got hard. I got scared. And I let go. I just let go.

I just could not grapple with the idea that God would've sent me what I want and then make me wait for it. Huh? I mean, why should I wait? I was ready! Right?

Well, once I "let go" (sort of), I got back to devoutly praying. I'm a good prayer, ya know. "God, send me someone who does not want to wait?" Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Here's where God taught me a lesson.

God heard. He delivered, and did not even make me wait. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Could there be a catch here?

Soooooooo, what did I get? A man that did not want to wait. . for anything. Then, I realized it. He was not close to being ready. I was not ready either.

God had already sent me what I needed. And now, he was displeased with my lack of appreciation. I prayed. God delivered. He delivered not only what I prayed for, but much much more. More for now and more for the future.

OK, God. I've learned. I can wait. I can wait. I can wait. I will wait. Because while I'm waiting, I'm going to be making changes so that I can be right for the man you have sent me.

Amen.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm a HORRIBLE valentine


This episode actually began more than a week before Valentine's Day, on February 5, 2010.

I received a new position at work - an amazing accomplishment - and within 30 minutes of the announcement I received a very beautiful bouquet of flowers. They were so fragrant and diverse. I have to say they were really beautiful. I was actually surprised that they were sent by The Flower Guy. Simple card: "Congratulations on your new job."

It's really weird. I met this guy one day and we chatted, but I just did not feel a connection. Apparently, he did, and has been sending me flowers pretty often since then. What's weird is that I'm not even a "flower person," although my daughter is, so when I receive them at work, I bring them home and brighten her day. I appreciate the fact that The Flower Guy continues to send flowers (for two years now) because it's one of those constant reminders that I'm not as petty as people think I am, and if they'd spend just a few moments getting to know me, they'd get it. . and save a few bucks on flowers. But oh well.

On the Friday before V-Day, one of my really good friends sent me a really beautiful Wine Country Gift Basket with a simple card, "Happy Valentine's Day." Now, this gift touched me because the guy really did not have to go all out for me. I have not even been a good friend, breaking our last 5 lunch or dinner dates due to other commitments. So, I was actually really touched that he sent me a gift because it sent the kind of message I can appreciate. "I don't expect anything" is what it said to me. So, we are having lunch today since I'm off, as I make an attempt to be a better friend. Hey. I may even pay.

Saturday before Valentine's Day, I received an even more beautiful bouquet of flowers in an amazing vase with a really thoughtful card from someone that I have just really been going through it with. I will not detail the tawdry details here. Just trust me. It's been rough.

These flowers were hand delivered with really thoughtful sentiments, but with one downside: an expectation.

Oooooooooooooouoooooh. I just cannot tell you how it burns me up when someone gives me a gift with the expectation of getting something in return! Not a gift. But my heart.

That's not how it works. If you suck on all days leading up to Valentine's Day, but go out and break the bank on Valentine's Day, that does not reduce your sucky-ness. It just does not work that way.

I was gracious. I showed gratitude. I upheld my graciousness even after he insisted that we go out even though I said I did not want to. I even maintained it later in the evening after I enjoyed a few hours of Monopoly with the kids - I kicked their butts! - and he mentioned that he was disappointed we did not go out.

I was raised to have manners. It's actually a big negative a lot of times because I find myself biting my tongue in a lot of situations when I'm completely repulsed. I hear myself saying, "It's OK" when I want to slap someone in the face.

I probably don't have to sum it up. Dude that gave the flowers on Saturday came up short. I feel bad, too, because I know he could not afford Tipton Hurst, so I'm struggling with my feelings today.

However, this is one of the cases when my drive to the kids school proved to be more helpful than usual, in that I heard a radio personality sum it up.

-- If you have been 100 up until V-Day, in a bad economy, there's really no reason for you to go all out.
-- If you got it, and you've been doing it big all year round, go head and splurge for V-Day. Maintain the consistency.
-- But if you are trying to use V-Day to make gains with someone whose not feeling you, save a few bucks. The results will only disappoint you (and her).

I had to type this out without thinking, so I may come up unappreciative. You gotta take it or leave it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some of my dumb Mistakes: Getting my child to act smart

I've gotten more feedback on the post "Getting My Child to Act as Smart as She Is" than I've ever gotten on a blog post.

I was a little relieved because I was grappling with a topic I felt was unique to my situation without a lot of support from others, and it was a little frustrating. . I'm feeling better about the situation - which, of course, continues - but wanted to build on my explanation of the issue by highlighting the root cause that ushered this whole problem into my life.

All of this did not come into my life just because I was that kid who tried to avoid getting tagged as a nerd for being smart. The major portion has to do with HOW I tried to elude this very unpopular label.

I grew up in a small town - Port Arthur, Texas. It has two claims to fame - Jimmy Johnson, ex football coach of the Dallas Cowboys; and UGK, gangster rappers. There was no city-wide spelling bee, academic conferences, organized mentorship groups.

Well, I guess Port Arthur has a 3rd claim, but it's more of a local thing. I'm pretty sure it had more crack cocaine dealers per square mile than any other small town city in the US. And the dealers were probably the most popular (and wealthy) people I knew.

So, I figured that the best way to excel in the popularity contest was to either become a drug dealer. {Which wasn't going to happen since my older sister at the time was a police office. Now, is a seasoned detective, BTW} Or, to date a drug dealer.

Now, here's where it becomes interesting.

Who would risk their freedom to date the baby sister of an over-protective cop? Well, yippee! I found one.

In the tenth grade I dated a high school dropout that had been selling drugs since he was 12. It was SO exciting! I would attend my talented and gifted classes during the day - or often not - and then hang up with "the element" after school. I never used drugs. I never sold drugs. But boy did my popularity soar at my high school. I was the Queen Ill Nana. Hah!

Well, all good things come to an end (Good - a word based on the perspective of a confused 16-18 year old). Here's how it all played out: I got pregnant. My boyfriend got locked up. Reality set in. "You're screwed, Dude."

I had to go through it! I had to. Fortunately, I had a praying and patient Momma who refused to see me fail and a God who covered me with his grace and mercy that wipes clean even the most awful sins.

Here's the upside of what I went through and what I'm now going to with my teenage daughter who BTW is not as far gone as I was in trying to avoid being labeled as The Smart Kid - I'm a praying and (sometimes) patient Momma AND God does not change, even as man does.

From the time my daughter was born, I got it. . and I changed. I don't believe it will take such a life-changing (and permanent) change in my daughter's life. God gives each of us exactly what we need. And somehow, he knew that I needed someone who depended on me to do the right thing and to get my life together. He saved my life. My daughter saved my life.

I tell my testimony not because I'm proud of some of the dumb stuff I've done. I tell my testimony because I know that there are others out there that are going through and they need to know that, even though it's hard and feels overwhelming, this too shall pass.