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Life Lessons

Growth, Life Lessons, Wifehood

The Break Up…

March 26, 2018
“Hunnie, I’m home!!” Hot meal sizzling on the stove as the scent of coconut and lavender circulates the two bedroom apartment from underneath the master bedroom door. Fresh vertical lines kiss the carpet, while the sound of a streaming river rush from the bathroom door. “Hunnie, welcome home! Relax, the shower is waiting for you.” She gracefully plates the food as a smirk runs across her face. “He’s gonna love this” she whispers to herself.

Today is the day- the day her fantasy will knock at the door of reality and shake hands with the truth of marriage. Name changed and a pass to be free, she is ready to follow the steps of that recurring fantasy. Now if she could only go to sleep and grab the instructions. This dream had accompanied her for years but never left any remnants of instructions behind.

Faced with truth, she still daydreams about dancing with her longtime companion. She’s committed to this dream and waits for it to show up on her doorstep. Observing her posture, he’s confused and begins to question everything. Her body is physically there, but her thoughts seem far off.

The Reveal
She was me and I was her. We were one and our oneness hindered my ability to become one with my husband. So committed to a dream, I put a major strain on my marriage within months after saying “I do”. I couldn’t understand why my husband seemed so different. So tense and unhappy. I was a good wife according to my dream. But that was the problem, I was desiring credit for my intentions and not my actions. Ever find yourself meaning well…. but never really doing well?

The Breakup
Time is what I was requesting, and time is what I received. And along with that time came a harsh reality. I was no longer going to be able to flirt with my fancy of being a good wife. I was going to have to become a good wife if I wanted a good marriage. So I had to break up with the idea of what being a wife to Marquis should be and give him the opportunity to train me (yes train, as in teaching me how to be his wife). I quickly found out that my fancy was a false idea of what my husband actually desired. For example, cooking is greatly appreciated, but it is not required that I cook every night. I was waiting for that desire and excitement of cooking every night to come, but it never did (and still hasn’t). When I realized that my husband wasn’t holding me to that standard, I knew the break up with that fancy was final. I seriously had been spending time waiting to be someone who God and my husband never expected me to be. While this example may not seem like much, it was very liberating. It literally opened the pathway for me to be myself in our marriage.

Breaking up with my fancy wasn’t easy, and every once in awhile she tries to pop in and check on me. But I’ve made a decision to allow my husband and Holy Spirit to guide me into being a wife.

Signed,

God’s daughter. His wife. Their mother. Your friend.

Life Lessons, Motherhood

Dear Emi Grace

November 1, 2017


This is a letter I wrote to Emi almost a year ago. I figured it would be cool to share with you guys. Hope you enjoy!

Good Morning Emi:

You just walked out of the room with stinky breath, wild hair, and a wet pull up, but I’m so excited you’re awake. I know in just a short amount of time I’ll be yelling, ” Emi sit down! Emi stop! And Emi take nap!”. I’ll soon be stopping you from counting 2….5…8 (btw it’s 1…2…3 baby) right before you attempt to jump on your sister, but right now in this moment I just wanted to capture the wave of emotions I’m feeling. In a few days you will be two years old, and in honor of your birthday there are a few things I want to tell you. 

Two year old Emi:

1) You’re beautiful, smart, and kind

2) These meltdowns are temporary 


Five year old Emi:

1) You’re beautiful, smart, and kind

2) These meltdowns are temporary 

3) We’re training you to lead. All leaders must    learn to follow.

4) Your supply is nesscessary 

5) I value you

Eight year old Emi:

1) You’re beautiful, smart, and kind

2) These meltdowns are temporary

3) We’re training you to lead. All leaders must learn to follow.

4) Your supply is nesscessary

5) I value you

6) Enjoy being a kid, seriously don’t rush to be an adult.

7) Differences makes relationships fun

8) Remain teachable 

I’m sure you’ve notice that mommy repeated things from year to year. That wasn’t by mistake. No matter how old you are I believe you can be reminded of these things. At (2+5+8=) fifteen you will need to remember that you are beautiful, smart, and kind. Everything around you will be grabbing at your identity. May you stay grounded in the truth of what God has said about you.

Your emotions are a gift from God, but they don’t replace Him. Emotions are usually temporary and if you take the time to let them settle- truth will separate itself like oil from water. 

Baby girl, the essenence of true leadership  rests in your ability to remain humble and follow. There will be moments in life you will lead and others moments where you will be required to follow. Leadership isn’t about control- rather it holds you to a higher standard of living. It requires you to know what you are doing in order to lead others to a safe destination. 

Your days may be rough, and you just might not feel sufficient in the world around you. On these days quiet the voices in your head. Pray and remember you are indeed necessary. This world needs you more than it knows. 

I truly thank God for the opportunity to be your mother. You are everything I thought I needed and more. You are a constant reminder of God’s best for me. I’ll value you at two, five, eight, fifteen, and for eternity. 

I’m telling you, slow down as much as possible. Embrace the season of adolescence. One day it’s here and the next it is gone. You don’t get to go back and forward between being a child, young adult, and adult my dear. Please don’t rush into adulthood prematurely. Remember your present season is preparing you for the next. Build today what you want tomorrow and you will be ready for adulthood soon enough.

Please, please, please allow people room to be different and unique. Everyone will not think like you, act like you, or even agree with you. That’s okay, really! Be able to identify differences and learn to deal with people accordingly. You may even have a little fun while you’re at it.

Lastly (for now), never stop learning.  You won’t have enough time on this side of earth to know everything. Remain teachable. Allow knowledge to inform you and revelation to instruct you. 

I love you Emi Grace Brantley! 

Signed,

God’s daughter. His wife. Their mother. Your friend.

Growth, Life Lessons

Wild Mushrooms 

August 8, 2017


Recently I’ve been intentional about offering to assist my husband with cutting the lawn. I figured getting behide the mower would be beneficial in a few ways:

1. I would gain some points with my hubby (teamwork)

2. It would serve as a mini workout (guaranteed to sweat)

3. Emi would think I was cool (gotta win points with the daddy’s girl)

So the other day as Marquis was preparing to cut the lawn, I rushed outside to offer my help. At this point I think I’m a pro (lol, nah seriously). As I began to push the mower Holy Spirit instructed me to pay close attention. I quickly noticed that there were wild mushrooms in the grass.

I never notice them before, so I began to ask Holy Spirit what was so significant about the mushrooms. God immediately began to minister to me. The reason I hadn’t notice the mushrooms before is because my motive was gaining points; not on making sure I produced quality work. And bam the reality of that truth hit me like a ton of bricks.

See cutting the lawn that day was an experience I will never forget. I noticed my husband was pleased with my help (teamwork). Sweat definitely poured down my back (exercise) as Emi cheered me on, ” Go mommy, Go” (my kid thinks I’m cool)! But I believe I produce quality work not only on the lawn at my house but also the lawn of my heart. 

It’s easy to get caught up in just “doing” things and not paying attention to what you are doing. No longer will I allow myself to focus on the benefits of my serving but rather the quality of my service.

Key take away: The quality of my work reflects the quality of my heart. 

Signed,

God’s daughter. His wife. Their mother. Your friend.

Growth, Life Lessons

Invisible Life

July 15, 2017

It seems to me that society has been handing out these guidelines for success and somehow I’ve misplaced my copy. Not to worry my friend, I’m no longer interested in

following it’s basic guidelines anyway. It’s disheartening  to think about the years I’ve spent trying to fit the mold of success. Talking about bondage! 

 Recently I made a conscious discussion to stop trying to be successful and just be successful simply because God created me to be a successful being. Once I embraced the reality of this truth I no longer spend precious moments looking for things outside or around me to feel successful. My time is best spent working from the inside out. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe appearance, correct grammar (which isn’t my strong suit), and connections all play a role in a level of success. However, they don’t determine it.

So what I perfer not wearing makeup, and I’d rather a pair of pants over a dress any day. What good am I if I dress up a “living” body yet my soul (mind, will, and emotions) are dead? What value do I truly bring to the Kingdom of God if in public my speech is polished, yet my internal thinking is corrupt and muddy? 

 

The moment I chose Jesus, I received success. I’m not sure about you , but I often have to remind my flesh that we’ve chosen Jesus over everything. The appetite for people to know me is simply my flesh trying to run the show. Maybe one day people will recognize the things that God has gifted me to do and maybe they won’t. Maybe I will spend my life invisible. I’m okay with that possibility. In fact I embrace it because if I can pour out my life before people and all they see is Jesus, than I would’ve done exactly what the father has called me to do. I’m not here to build my Kingdom but to build HIS. My success is only a by-product of an obedient heart.  

Are you considering tossing those guidelines? Do you want to be free? Ahhh my friend it’s simple. Just BE what you were created to be. Success has Jesus’ name written all over it. Embrace HIM and success will embrace you. And this is the freedom that you and I have been waiting for. Receive the Freedom of being YOU!

Signed, 

God’s daughter. His wife. Their mother. Your friend.