Sunday, December 3, I decided to not attend church and instead went to Starbucks to blog and catch up on some reading. They have this new drink called the Sugar Cookie almond milk latte. I reduce the four pumps of sugar cookie syrup for the grande to two pumps of sugar cookie and its delicious! I make this work for me in my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. On my drive there, I was wondering if there would be enough tables to sit down because some of the Starbucks are changing, and looks as if, its not intended for folks to stay awhile.
Coffeehouse Kinda Day
The music reminded me of something I would hear at a bar or a club. It was fast tempo, blaring, and not conducive to holding a conversation over a cup of coffee. If it were not for the abundance of Starbucks gift cards, I would patron some other place. I proceeded to ask the barista who was cleaning if she could please turn the music down. She said, “after I finish sweeping.” I said, thank you. Of course, after she finished sweeping the entire store, it was still blaring loud. Reminded me of Dutch Brothers, but that is their culture. Don’t get me wrong, I love September by Earth, Wind, and Fire. I waited 20 minutes and after the crowd left to ask again. She stated, she mentioned it to the manager. The manager told her that some of the songs are louder than others. That was the solution, I guess….ookay. Thank God for my AirPods, its helped to cancel out some of the loudness for me. Another reminder, I am legitimately getting older. Loud noise go away.
I finished my drink and go back up to the cashier and request a water, then asked about the refill on drip coffee to see if that still existed. It does still exist —yay! The barista was really kind. Natomas Crossing Starbucks continues to serve up a decent portion of customer service, that many other stores lack. By the way, did you know Starbucks stop brewing the Blonde Roast after 11:00 a.m.? Its my favorite! I had no clue.
As I was enjoying my drink, I noticed two mothers with their babies in strollers. I was checking out these new strollers and the earth tone color schemes they fashioned their babies/strollers. What a stark difference from when I was a mother in the 90s. We had loud bulky strollers. They were standing next to me waiting for their drinks. I overheard their conversation because they were standing right next to me, so it was difficult to not listen. They talked about their woes of being a new mom, trifling family members, and fussy babies —haaa, can totally relate! I was impressed that they made time for self care — to exercise outside and be with friends during postpartum — so important. I felt a sense of sadness wash over me as I was listening to their trials. I am now nearing the end of the childbearing stage of life and seeing young mamas with their babies, reminded me I am aging. I gently reminded myself that motherhood is not over for me, but just looks different because my children are older now. I also reminded myself, this is not something I should feel sad about. I should be thankful for those memories of being a young mama toting my babies everywhere and appreciate that I am still living to see my children age, and that they are here to see me age as well. Its all about the reframe for me.
Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength – Betty Friedan
I woke up this morning and had to tell myself, “I am a daughter of the King, fix your crown.” I am worth far more than rubies. I just want to encourage my daughters, sisters, sons, friends, and brothers, this too shall pass. This season in your life, will pass. There are seasons of life that come and go. You’re not always going to be in a season of winning. It’s important to recognize what season of life you are in. Individuals have seasons. Marriages have seasons. Friendships have seasons. Relationships have seasons. Finances have seasons. Careers have seasons. There is a season of birth, re-birth, and death. Ecclesiastes 3, mentions there is a time for everything; beginnings and endings. In Genesis 8:22, there is time for preparation. A time for seedtime and harvest, summer and winter.
The Law of God is this: What you Sow, you will Reap.#FACTS
Preparation. During the time of preparation you will not see fruits because it’s underneath the surface. Our culture only mentions producing, in other words, prosperity or winning.
Producing. During the time of producing you should celebrate when you’re in a good season. The enemy never wants you to embrace the season you’re in. Rejoice with those who are happy!
Pruning. During the time of pruning, allow God to prune relationships out of your life. God will cut some of those things out of your life, just like pruning a rose bush. Its not easy and can be painful. He’s shaking things up and OUT, its a violent shaking, and often times can be felt throughout all your senses. This is God putting us in a place to grow to another level. Being pruned, may be very uncomfortable, but its also productive. Sometimes, you don’t understand and can’t see, nor understand how or when you will see the production. Just know, God will never prune without your permission. He does not go against our will. Think about the potter in Jeremiah that jumps off the wheel.
Perishing. Perishing is abnormal for us. We think it shouldn’t happen. We freeze. We question God. We doubt God. Friends, death is apart of the cycle, its apart of the life cycle of things that will happen. People die. Marriages end. Friendships end. Businesses end. Careers end. But, I want to encourage you and tell you, weeping endures for a moment. (As I blog, I’m rejoicing because God’s word is LIVING & ACTIVE, and– so, so good!)
My Season of Pruning & Perishing
I am embracing this season in my life and not running from it. We should be more concerned with what God thinks of us, than what others think of us. I am in a season of life, where I need to focus on what God thinks of me and how he sees me, not what others see, say, or think about my marriage ending. I don’t need man’s approval. If you’re focused on what Chana is doing or how someone else is living, your focus is in the wrong place. I encourage you to use this time to re-focus on your relationship with Christ. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. None of us are worth His forgiveness, but thank God for the blood of Jesus, right!
I hear what they’re saying on the streets and during family gatherings. But know, there are always 3 sides to the story. His truth. Her truth. The truth. Yes, I left my husband. Yes, I walked away. Yes, I committed adultery (still legally married). Yes, I sold my house. Yes, I ended friendships. Yes, I am angry. Yes, I drink alcohol. Yes, I listen to worldly music. Yes, I have friends who are not believers. Yes, I do yoga. Yes, I snapped. Yes, I am angry. Yes, I’m in grief. Yes, I hurt. But, what have you done?
Many people are looking in from the outside and don’t have knowledge of what happened in my life. You’re only able to see the external snippets of my life via Facebook/IG, all of which I chose to share. Not for one instance, did I make my decision lightly. I mulled and cried over my decisions. It’s one of the most difficult events I have endured, thus far and incredibly painful. The decision to leave was not an overnight thought. I was struggling for a couple of years. I prayed to God often, asking him to move and change my marriage. I tried everything, trust me. For so many years, I put my families needs above mine. I worked very hard at being a nurturer, provider, advocate, opened my heart and home to others, served, and encouraged my husband to be the BEST. I tried to be that Proverbs 31 woman in the midst of it all. Side note: I want to share with those who do not understand how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) impact individuals later in life. Exposure to reoccurring traumatic events does have an impact neurologically, including the severity and frequency of events and the decisions individuals make. Some of you know my “story,” and others have only heard glimpses. I was attached through a wound and this is called trauma bond. Instead of judging, ask–what happened. As you mature, you grow in knowledge. I knew as a woman of faith that I did not have to continue to put up with certain events or behaviors simply because of my faith in God. That is absurd!
Sisters, You do not Have to be a Martyr for your Family.
As I reflect at this point in my life, I feel the sacrifices for my family were in vain. I sacrificed my own peace of mind and happiness for someone else’s happiness. Who said, I had to be a martyr for the sake of having “an intact family?” The societal pressures put on women are simply unfair. I don’t owe anyone, anything– anymore. I am tired and NOT confused. I did better than my parents, and I can only hope, my children will do better than I, with their children. They say it is supposed to get better each generation, right? The Word of God says, He will keep his promises from generation to generation. And I put my trust in the WORD of God, that even in my imperfect parenting or the decision to leave last year, that God will keep and sustain my children. I’m sick of people thinking they know what is best for me and judging why I left. Just know I left. I don’t have to answer to anyone, but GOD. But, GOD! Besides, you wouldn’t want to wear these shoes.
Learn to Know who God is and how He Sees you
God sees me as redeemed, and I was predestined as his child. He exchanged my sin for his righteousness. I may not be where others think I should be, and this is okay. Just know the good he started in me, will continue into completion. I was called at the age of 8 years old to serve Christ through my paternal grandmother. No man or no one can tell me differently or take that away from me! Friends, you are loved and valued by God. The enemy is defeated. No matter how far you’ve fallen, God is not far. He never leaves us. Don’t believe Satan’s lies. Satan will use God’s very own people to tear you down, condemn you, wear you out, and tell you that you’re worthless, and not saved. Remember, Satan is the father of lies. Get to know the voice of God. He never condemn us.
No One Can Take your Faith Away
Yes, I have my faith. Yes, God has me. Yes, I love God. Yes, I’m thriving. Yes, I’m healing. Yes, I’m pushing through. Yes, I’m moving forward towards the prize. Yes, I’m forgiven. Yes, I forgive him. Yes, I forgive her. Yes, I forgive them.
Reflect on Your season of Life.
What season of life are you in? What season of life is coming to an end? What does God want to end? How do you embrace these seasons? What is God teaching you? Do you embrace it through unhealthy coping mechanisms or do you seek God, focus on growing, and being your best version yet?
God is Good All the Time
Just know, God is good all the time, no matter what season of life we are in. He’s kept you this far. He will keep you in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Christ because your trust is in Him.
Like Whitney Houston sang, Exhale…Shoop, shoop, shoop, doop…Smile 😊 and be thankful. As, I’m writing this blog, I have to sign off because work is calling and there are fires in Napa.
In His Grip,
Daughter of a King, Chana
Author’s note: This has not been edited. Also, want to share this blog is in no way to put another person down. I believe in Christ’s redeeming power and hold no grudges or unforgiveness towards anyone. I also need to emphasize, just because individuals have strongholds, does not mean their walk is inauthentic, it just means they haven’t surrendered that area of their life to Christ.