“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” Jer 31:25 NIV

Maximizing Time with the Teenagers in our Lives 

During our morning commute, I asked my youngest son Cooper, “how do you know I love you?” He mumbled the typical responses kids say, “you provide for me, you give me shelter and food, you have high expectations…etc.”  I proceeded, even if we didn’t have a home to live in, nor enough food, how would you know that I love you?” He said, “because you are always there for me.” His response totally melted my heart. In the bigger scheme of things, its being emotionally available for our children that matters. Are you present? Not physically present, but emotionally tuned in to their needs?

We’ve been taught from a very euro-centric  perspective about adolescent development.  Yes, teenagers desire more independence as they transition into adulthood.  The march toward autonomy can manifest differently: less overt affection, more time spent with friends, contentious behavior, pushing the limits—the list goes on and on. This simply means, we adjust our parenting style. We don’t stop asking and knowing what’s going on and give them all the space in the world because they desire so much more privacy. C’mon now! Does that even make sense?

I’ve seen a pattern where parents are super involved in their children’s education and school activities during the elementary years, but slowly this involvement dwindles as they approach middle and high school. If you don’t believe me, compare parent participation groups from elementary to high school. This is probably because we bought into the idea, to respect their autonomy and independence. Our teens need us even more so.

I remember a college admission counselor was frustrated with me because I was present with my daughter. I’m glad I was there because she lacked the ability to understand her needs when developing a student education plan. What’s wrong with parents helping their young adults navigate the educational system? There is a difference between guiding and supporting & controlling and overbearing. Let’s not get it confused. That old saying, “the helicopter parent, ” doesn’t apply to our children.

Our teens need our guidance even more so because of the times we live in. Its important to continue to advocate on their behalf, teach them to advocate for themselves, be available, know when to step back,  when to say less, and allow them take risks.  Its a different time people. Kids nowadays, especially children of color get suspended for rough housing. Yes, Cooper was suspended for playing. I have the email from the assistant principal. Yep, the school to prison pipeline and charter schools are the worst offenders. Zero tolerance policies are intentionally designed to keep children out of the classroom, so they do not learn. Our kids are not allowed to test limits , to see how far they can go, they immediately get suspended.  Some are training robots, not cultivating thinkers.

Pouring words of Affirmation into our Sons

Cooper has an amazing calling on his life. He is a son of the Living King! I get excited writing about it!  Lately,  I’ve found myself, reminding him of his WORTH and VALUE. I tell him, the world needs your contribution. The Lord told me to speak the WORD and pour into him so he believes what God says, who he is.  There are too many messages on media, in school, and in this world that tell our precious sons, their lives don’t matter. They read about it. They see it. They feel it. Pour into your children. I cannot stress this enough. The tongue has the power of life and death. Being hard on them doesn’t work, the world is already hard on them.

Cooper shared with me about two years ago, he wants to be a judge. I’ve been thinking a lot about his aspirations and I’m praying this will come to fruition. Cognitively, younger teens’ inability to consider the long-term consequences of their actions is real. Some may act without thinking first because of their inability to do so. There is science to back up this concept. When I think about his behavior objectively, its simply foolishness. None of his offenses are with malice or hate. His behavior is normal, not atypical. It’s racism that keeps kids out of college and careers, not their grit or resiliency. Its not that something is wrong with our kids, but its all about what’s wrong with the system.

To Worship

Lately, I’m finding my heart is in a place of worship. I’ve been lead to simply worship. Worship with my mouth, my behavior, my body, and my food choices. Worship Him for his goodness, faithfulness, mercy.  When we worship, God moves. He is the creator of Heaven and Earth. He holds his handout and feeds all living things. He’s our provider and nurtures each of us.  Try simply worshipping him for his greatness and just rest in the Lord.

I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD. Ezk 34:15. 


Supple September 2018

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” – Robert Jordan

The Lord gave me a premonition last year for 2018, as he did at the end of 2013 for the following year.  (Side note: I’d like to remind you all, the Lord is ever merciful and gracious all the time, no matter what happens.) I haven’t yet begun to appreciate these presentiments because I’m not sure what to do with it. Do I share this with others? Do I keep it to myself? Do I bury it? Do I let it consume me? What happens next? Do I pray against it? These are all the questions I wonder about.

Last month, I found myself asking God, “how much more must one endure in a lifetime?” I was reminded, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). God’s peace is indescribable.

No Escaping Sisters

We’ve been taught by the church that when we give our hearts to Christ, we will live a better life and things will get better. This is a lie! Our problems don’t magically disappear, life doesn’t magically get easier, we don’t get to escape life’s hardships and struggles, or pains simply because we are Christ followers. Its quite the opposite, and he tells us, what we can expect in his WORD- the Bible.

Divine Appointment

I met a sister in Christ for dinner today. This meeting was scheduled about 2 weeks ago. We hadn’t talked in over 3 years and the enemy didn’t want us to connect. I woke up with a sore throat, sick, and just not feeling good. However, I didn’t want to flake because I rescheduled yesterday. I felt like God wanted me to be there for her, yet she was there for me. She ended up confirming  in the Spirit realm what I knew was manifesting in the physical realm. (Some of you who are reading this may not understand what I’m saying because it concerns spiritual things.) I’m so thankful for her being obedient to the Holy Spirit. It confirms God does hear my prayers, he is revealing himself to me, and he is going to continue to do a good work in my life and my family’s life.

Prayer of Blessings 

Lord, I thank you for always showing up and using willing vessels to show your love, faithfulness, and compassion. Your timing is perfect. God bless my sister in Christ and her family.


In His Grip,

Chana Marie


September 3, 2018









Active August

August is jam-packed with family commitments, beginning of school, events, and meetings.  I recently had a minor, but painful health issue that came on suddenly too. After thinking about it, I knew dehydration was the cause. I was exercising consistently, running around,  not sleeping well, reaching for Cola, and increased my coffee intake from a grande to a venti, every morning.

TMI- I Know

I am very much in tuned with my body and knew something was wrong late Saturday night. Sunday, I started to self- treat by increasing my fluids, putting lemon in my water, rubbing oregano, frankincense, and On Guard on the bottom of my feet and abdomen, made a bladder bomb, applied the heating pad, consumed cranberry juice, and dashed to the store for AVO (urinary pain relief) because I was in pain. Mad pain!  After urinating, I noticed my urine was discolored from the AVO.  It was only then,  I decided to read the package in detail. I was curious about what caused the discoloration. I come across the State of CA warning, ……this may cause cancer. WTHeck!?  A simple OTC product has this warning sign on it and the red 40 stuff in it. I hate red 40. I stopped taking it.

Antibiotics or Essential Oils

I wrestled with treating holistically or conventionally. Sunday night I emailed my doctor, shared my symptoms, requested an antibiotic, just in case I didn’t catch it early enough. I diagnosed myself after experiencing this  over two decades ago.  Monday, I felt better, less pain and impressed with my EOs. I watched a movie while eating a handful of Dove chocolates.  I asked my husband to pick up the prescription, just in case (notice how many times I write, “just in case.”)

Tuesday morning I’m awakened early  from back pain, the urge came back strong, and the infection appeared to be traveling to my kidneys. Its dark in the house, I climb out of bed, go downstairs, take the pill, check to make sure its not amoxicillin (sometimes doctors make mistakes), drink some water, go potty, and try to rest. Bad mistake! I beame nauseous, had the chills, thought I was going to pass out, skin was clammy, just a hot mess! I could barely take Cooper to school. Note to self: take antibiotics with food.

Yes, my EOs helped with reducing the pain and possibly even helped reduce the bacteria. But, I think the chocolate made my symptoms worse the next day. I didn’t want the pain to get out of control, so I took the antibiotics.

Birthday Month

My birthday was low key, but nice. I’m so grateful for the many kind gestures and gifts  I received. I’m 42 and still get gifts. That’s pretty cool! My work BFF took me to lunch and gave me a waste trainer and key finder for the family.  She’s a great listener. There is a story behind the key finder. Another colleague blessed me with a special card with words written just for me, a cupcake from Freeport bakery (bomb.com), and balloons. Her words meant alot. My administrators blessed me with candles from Bath and Body Works (BBW), rose facial spray, cucumber melon wipes, fancy wallet, and a bamboo plant. All the stuff I love! My husband took me out to eat at Urban Roots. I love a good BBQ spot. My son Johnny bought me BBW (candles and lotion). My daughter Charity bought me more BBW (candles), Body Shop (serum), and a $100.00 Torrid gift card, Elijah doesn’t celebrate birthdays, but his words of affirmation are enough! I love hearing him tell me, ” I love you, mom- give me a hug.” Cooper and Ontonio gifted me their time with massages. They are the sweetest. And all the kind words, well wishes from my FB friends and text messages mean so much! Am I bragging? Absolutely! Birthday celebrations mean alot to me. Its another year of life! It doesn’t cost anything to say a prayer for someone, to wish them well, or to say, Happy Birthday!


Today, I’m grateful for my health, thankful I can still turn it around. I’m grateful for my children. I was able to spend some time with my older boys, we talked about where God brought us from, our journey, our dreams,  and our struggles. We are overcomers.

Still Reading

The Sympathizer by Viet Thank Nguyen

Audible Listening

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

Manage Monday

Lazy Weekend

I had a super lazy weekend. I didn’t cook. I didn’t clean. I didn’t go to the garden. I did absolutely nothing, but finished two novels, Cowboy Pride by Lacy Williams and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. (The latter I recommend reading with your middle or high schooler.  There are some deep topics worthy of discussion related to justice, racial discrimination, interracial dating, etc.)

Last night, I began to feel guilty for not cooking or cleaning, but I just didn’t have it in me. I’m still trying to figure out if this lack of energy has something to do with my impending menses.  You would think after 25 years, I would know by now, but….I don’t.

Funky Mood

This morning I was in a funky mood. I was frustrated because my grand-parenting role becomes blurry at times. More of this topic,  another day.  As I become older, I treasure and value my me time. Sometimes, I wonder if guarding my me time is a result of having children at a young age. I had my first child when I was 18.

Today was a telecommute day, which is always a blessing because it allows me to catch up on reading work materials, its a  change in environment, and let’s be honest – flexibility is a work perk!

I crafted a chore chart for the kids because a couple of them forget their responsibilities and I’m tired of reminding, asking, griping, and yelling. Speak less, mama.

Health goals this week

  • Workout in the hotel gym since I will be out of town for business.
  • Yoga twice this week.
  • Track on MFP daily.
  • Focus on daily water intake, just 8 cups.
  • Abide Meditation daily.
  • Complete my 5 minute Gratitude Journal

Current Read, just started! Join me. 

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Question for you.

How was your Monday? img_9467