Surviving Sixth Grade

Jalen and me – December 2018 (Trinidad)

We are nearing the end of sixth grade, and I’d like to share some things I’ve learned along the way.  This year has been a STRUGGLE.  Jalen has been frustrated, his father, teachers and I have been frustrated – it’s been a mess.  I’ve cried, gotten angry, cried some more and realized now, looking back, that I’ve also spoken things into my child that didn’t do him any good.

I’ve learned so many things about me and things about Jalen this year – and for those of you who may be struggling with a middle schooler, hopefully this may be helpful to you.

1.  I am not alone in the struggle.  What I am going through is not unique to me.  I’ve realized that just about everyone with a child older than sixth-grade age faced some or all of the things I’ve looked at this year – and made it through!  I am not the recipient of some “brand-new-to-the-universe” problem.  There are lots of people who can say, “Been there; done that”.  I need to get over myself.

Continue reading

Should I Let You Call Me Nigger?


This weekend, while a friend of mine was preaching at a black history event at a mostly white university, students on social media were making racial comments about him in particular and blacks in general.


The Adventist social media blogosphere was awash with comments about the incident; many called for the school to stop students from using Yik Yak and to get Yik Yak to identify the students in question so they could be “punished”. Continue reading

It Takes An [Unknown] Village


Image from my iPhone

Would you go to a baby shower where you didn’t know the baby’s mom or dad?  Would you purchase a gift and play the silly baby shower games like “Guess the mommy’s tummy size in toilet paper squares” for a woman you’d never met?

About three weeks ago, I received an Evite to a baby shower, but the name of the mom being showered was completely unfamiliar to me.  Curious, I opened it – because it came from a friend – and read the following (I’ve paraphrased): Continue reading

I Can’t Drink Anymore!!!



Image courtesy

For some crazy reason, I decided to go on this 10-day green smoothie cleanse with some girlfriends.  Those of you who know me well know that I am the anti-natural-anything.  I believe in drugs.  There was no question of me not having an epidural (and for the record, childbirth was NOT intended to be painful – that only came after the distribution of bruised heels and stepped-on heads as detailed in Genesis 3.  Don’t believe me?  Which part of pain would have belonged in perfect Eden?  But I digress…).  Anyway, suffice it to say, I do not do natural.

So I signed up with much fear and trepidation.  The ONLY reason I went ahead with it is that the instructions said that you could eat nuts and crunchy vegetables when you got hungry. Continue reading

Take That, Life!

Tonight I was blithely going about my business – helping the boys with homework, fielding random phone calls, thinking about what I would blog about this evening, wishing for this 10-day smoothie detox to be OVER (we’ll blog about that later in the week) – when a friend sent me a text.  It was serious, so I texted her back and she started sharing the details.  When she was finished, I literally had to sit down.

Just last week, she and I were happily joking about the things going on in our lives, and today it’s like – bam!  Those things seem so inconsequential now. Continue reading

I Get By With A Lil Help…

Today at my church, we executed almost flawlessly on the idea my pastor had for how the service should flow. He allowed us to be a little creative, and it worked wonderfully. Tonight I feel the need to say thank you to the many people in my life who help me whenever I need it, who go along with what ever crazy idea I’m looking to bring to reality, who offer advice and encouragement – to my friends. “Friends” here includes family members, people who I’ve known for years, those I’ve just met, and so on. It’s just a broad category for trying to capture the people who have helped and continue to help me in various aspects of my life.   Because I would never be able to name every single person, I’m simply going to list broad areas here, so that I don’t unintentionally hurt anyone by not including their name.

Thanks to the people who say yes when I ask them to do something: those who readily agree, those who give in to my smiling persistence, and those who just indulge me. Continue reading



[Image courtesy of artur84 /]

It finally hit.  Day 7 of the #My500Words challenge.  I have nothing to write about.  I’m also extremely sleepy, but I have to get 500 words in before midnight.  Earlier in the week, I joked with a friend who is also doing the challenge that writers must be very competitive people.  That was probably an over-generalization.  The people who’ve signed up for this challenge are probably very competitive!  Lol.

So here I am, trying to figure out what I’m going to say for the next 400 words or so.  Nothing interesting happened to me today.  I spent the day doing a lot of driving – taking my aunt on a couple of errands and then picking up a friend from the airport.  My friend had an interesting story – she was supposed to get back here to Maryland last Thursday, but she got caught up in the whirlwind of cancelled flights that swept the country. Continue reading

The Weak Can Never Forgive



This weekend, I did something really horrible to a friend. I betrayed a confidence, and it got back to her. The fallout was extremely bad.

I’d like to excuse myself and say the person whom I told caused the problems, but the truth is – if I’d kept my mouth shut, the situation wouldn’t have happened.

So on Monday, I went about the painful task of trying to make amends – apologizing to all parties involved, all the while knowing my friend was furious and incredibly hurt. It was a very difficult, humbling experience for me, knowing I’d caused that pain. I knew that I would also have to accept the possibility that our friendship was irrevocably damaged.

Tonight, totally unexpectedly – I ran into her. My immediate impulse was to turn and run. But my brain told me I had to face her. She smiled, not quite the smile I’m accustomed to, but encouraging nonetheless. I said I was sorry, and she nodded.

“Don’t worry – we will get through it,” she said.

My tears were swift and hot – the gratitude that coursed through me at the generosity of her forgiveness is indescribable.

My friend and I still have a lot of work to do to mend our relationship. But her willingness to forgive has released me from a world of hurt. Gandhi was right – only a strong person can find the courage to give that gift, especially as she is dealing with her own pain.

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