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Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a day where love is shown, but everyday should be a day we show our love.  Love should not be saved for special days.  It should be something we do all the time, without thinking and without expecting something in return.  

1 Corinthians 13 is scripture that is referenced to when talking about love.  I grew up knowing it was the “Love Chapter” and my mom made me memorize it.  I want you to re-read the verses and replace your name where the word “Love” is.  Can you say you really know how to love?

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.  Love doesn’t strut,  Doesn’t have a swelled head,  Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. (The Message)

True love only comes from God.  He is the one who loves unconditionally.  He loves us unconditionally.  If we are following God and learning His ways, we should also strive to love unconditionally.  Love is shown in many different ways:  a smile, touch, hug, candy, flowers, dinner, phone call, note, letter, text, voicemail, time, etc.  Let someone know how much you love them today, because you are not promised tomorrow.

Whom Not to Love

Usually I write something fluffy about Love before Valentine’s Day, but I decided it was time to come clean.  Being transparent is one of the hardest things to do, but if it helps someone else or points people in the right direction, that’s a story I want to tell.

Let’s talk about Online Dating Scams!  If you have ever been contacted on a social media website to have a conversation with another person whom you might be interested in, it could be an online dating scam.  Maybe not always, but of the three conversations I’ve had with gentlemen over a social media site, it was always true.

The first time, the conversations lasted about a week before he asked me for money and that he loved me.  I told him he was crazy and that I was not sending him money.  I reported him to the social media site and blocked him.  He claimed he was in the military. He was widowed and had a child living the states with his aunt.  So sad.  He had stolen someone else’s pictures as his own and they found out.

The second time, I was a little weary but I was curious to see what would happen.  I know, curiosity killed the cat.  But I was curious anyway.  I had my wall up, so I just went along with it.  We talked for about 2 weeks before he wanted me to transfer money for him through my bank.  Yeah, right!  I told him, NO! He kept asking in different ways, but my answer remained the same.  One day, he asked me in a way like I had already sent him money before, then I knew that not only was he trying to scam me but was also scamming other people while talking to me.  So sad.  He talked about being a widow and about his kids.  No conscience at all.  I reported him to the same social media site and blocked him.  I also reported him to the FBI because I realized this happens a lot and they need to know the names of these folks.

The third time and last time,(still curious, I mean really, 3 in a row?) I conversed with someone who claimed to be in the military overseas.  He was a widow and had a young child living in the states.  It only took a week before he asked me to send him a $50 gift card.  Really?  First he asked me if I had a credit card.  I told him that I didn’t discuss money with people I don’t know.  But he just wouldn’t quit.  Then he outright asked me for the gift card after, of course, he told me he loved me twice.  Really?  I told him that he couldn’t love me, he doesn’t even know me!  So, I reported him to the same social media site, the FBI and blocked him.

Please, Please, Please don’t fall for these people.  I pray that you will be able to discern the difference between them and the ones who are true.  If you can’t, please don’t have anyone!  It’s not worth it.  With all these social media sites, it’s really easy to be drawn in to want to talk to someone and see if there is a way to become friends or be in a relationship.  But not at the cost of your life and financial freedom.  They don’t deserve you!

There are signs to avoid an online dating scam:  BEWARE!

  1. They say they love you, but they’ve never met you.
  2. They want to get off the social media site and message you directly.
  3. They are working outside the states or traveling overseas.
  4. They are single with children or widowed with children who are living in the states.
  5. They act like they are interested in getting to know you, but eventually ask you to send them money by credit card, gift card or wire transfer through your bank.

Love is out there, but not this way!  Find someone you can meet face to face, talk to a long time and pray for your future.  They are not on social media, they just maybe around the corner.  You just haven’t run into them yet.

Please check out these online dating scam articles:

1. https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/sandiego/news/press-releases/fbi-warns-of-online-dating-scams

2. https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/dating-romance

3. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/07/20/fbi-says-internet-romance-scams-rise/485311001/

Article References:

1. Special Agent Davene Butler, (February 11, 2016)

2.  ScamWatch.gov.au, ACCC

3. Kellie Ell, USA Today, Published 1:27 p.m. ET July 20, 2017 | Updated 4:16 p.m. ET Nov. 29, 2017

Protecting Your Children at all Costs

I had an interesting day yesterday.  (say that three times)  It reminded me that my children will be my children regardless of age and where life takes them.

The Story

I was awaken by a car alarm at 2:30 am Friday morning.  I got up to see what the noise was and to make sure it wasn’t our cars.  When I opened the door, I found that it was one of ours; my daughter’s.  I ran to her room to get her keys so I could turn off the alarm.  When I got to the door, I struggled to find the right button but eventually did.  I looked out the side door and then the front door, but saw no one outside.  I locked the doors and went back to bed.

After getting back into bed, I realized that I couldn’t go to sleep.  This was very bad.  The alarm would go off at 6:00 am and that was fast approaching.  I texted a friend who I thought might be up and we talked for a while, but I knew that I needed to try and get some sleep.  My students would count on me to be alert, I mean, it was Friday!

I did fall back asleep but not until 5:30 am and then the alarm went off at 6:00 am.  I got up and did my regular morning routine.  I went outside to check our cars to make sure nothing was done to them. (at 2:30 am, I was not going outside to check on the cars by myself) Everything seemed fine until I got to my daughter’s car.  I unlocked it and went to open it,  that’s when I realized it wasn’t really closed.  It was like someone opened it, the alarm went off, they got scared and slightly closed the door so it would catch and look closed. (her locks don’t always work)

I checked inside, in the trunk and underneath the car.   I was mad!  My ninja skills kicked in and I was ready to kick some butt.  This was my child’s property.  Nothing was taken, but it was violated!  You mess with my kid, you mess with me!  I prayed for her safety.  I prayed for protection over her life and her property.  I prayed over our home and over my family.  I know God has our back and he encamped His angels around us that night.  

She didn’t want to leave by herself, so we left together that morning.  That afternoon, I had an outing with my parents.  My daughter didn’t want to go home by herself, so she came to hang out with me.  After getting home that evening, she made sure to remind me to check and make sure all the doors were locked before she went to bed.

Reality

I know that my child is a young adult.  But I also know that regardless of their age, marital status, their own children, their jobs and lives, my children still need me to protect them through prayer.  Prayer is the only way you can protect your children when you aren’t around them.  Prayer should be the first thing you do.  I know I can’t always be with them, even with my grandson, but I do know that God loves them and me and He wants what’s best for us.  I know that He is always with us and He protects and provides for us and you, if you let Him.

Be encourage today to let go and let God protect you and your children; your whole lives! He wants to and He does even without you knowing.  He loves you!

 

Self Promotion

Self Promotion is something you do to help others recognize who you are. Whether you’re an author, artist, singer, actor, entrepreneur, etc., you could do so much for yourself and others when you promote yourself.

No, it’s not selfish.  No, it’s not self-seeking.  No, it’s not conceited.  You are promoting your purpose, the gift God has given you to give to others.  You are creating doors to open for you.  You’re creating lives to be changed.  You are creating that one moment for your “just one”. (the one person who you are suppose to encourage)

No matter what you do, people are going to talk about you, which in this case is a good thing.  Even if it’s bad, it gets the word out.  People that really know you, (your friends and family) will stand by you and would never believe lies people make up about you.  Plus, as I tell my first graders, people who talk bad about you are just jealous.  They’re making you look bad so they can look good.  

Do what’s best for you!  Do what’s best for your business, your book, your career!  Don’t worry what other people are doing or not doing.  They are not you!  You are wonderfully and beautifully made for your purpose!  No one else has your gift, your purpose!  If you want it to go far, doors to open, fame, money, etc., then you have to fight, sweat, promote, speak, advertise, sell, work, dream, network for your purpose to bloom and remain!

What works for you may not work for others.  What works for them may not work for you!  Keep going, don’t stop.  Don’t give up!  Find new ways, new friends, new relationships.  You must have others who believe in you!  Stay positive and avoid the negative.  How you do what you do may not be for everyone.  But it will be for the “just one”  it’s suppose to be for.  That’s all that matters.

The most important thing you can do is encourage others, support others, believe in others.  It sounds so easy, but what if your not doing well.  Encourage others anyway, support others anyway, believe in others anyway, it takes your mind off your troubles and could open doors for you.  It will definitely change your perspective and your outlook.  

If your in a waiting season, work, promote, learn, advertise, connect, network.  Things will start happening for you.  Don’t be lazy.  Don’t wait for others to notice you.  Don’t wait for doors to open.  The right doors will open at the right time.  Trust yourself, trust God!  What have you got to lose if you have nothing anyways.  

I believe in you!  I love you!  You are destined for great things!  You are wonderfully and beautifully made!  Keep striving, keep learning, keep doing, keep loving what you are made for:  your purpose!  And eventually, others will too!  

Home

Home as always been the place I can go where I feel safe and secure.  It is the place where love abounds.  It’s where it is always a mess of toys and dirty dishes.  It’s a place of wonder and questions.  It’s a place of “who done it” and “nobody”.

Home is where you can be you without the judgement of others.  It’s where it is warm from the cold and cool from the heat.  It is where all your most prize possessions reside.  It’s where you can stay and never leave.  It’s where tears are shed and hearts are healed.  It’s where love is found and happiness survives.

Home is where memories are made and remembered.  It’s where water is wasted and experiments become creations.  It’s where learning takes place and character is made. It’s where forgiveness is rendered and grace still flows.

Home is where you invite your friends and grow your relationships.  It’s where you hold tight those you love and never let go.  It’s where you sleep to dream and dream to live.  It’s where you grow old and move on and someday be remember by the “home” you created.

 

Even When………

Even when I can’t see it,

They are learning.

Even when I can’t feel it,

they are learning.

I know I want it now

But someday, somehow…….

Even when I think I’m failing,

They are learning.

 

I wrote this poem after testing all week and all day.  My brain was tired, my body was tired, and when I saw the growth my students had made.  I was scared!  I worked really hard everyday, every week, everyday off, every holiday to improve my teaching and find ways to reach the hardest students.  I know this, too, is YOU!  

Teacher, you are inspiring, lovable, inspirational, incredible, awesome and a hero!  You put yourself on a front line everyday!  You don’t know from day to day what your students are learning no matter how hard you try teaching it.  But there comes a day, you can actually see your hard work pay off.  You can actually see your student’s hard work pay off.  It will happen!  You are more than what parent’s see.  You are more than what society sees.  You are more than what the world sees.  You are wonderfully and beautifully made for this PURPOSE, your PURPOSE……………. To be a TEACHER!

 

I am proud to stand with you!   Congratulations!!!

You Inspire Me

You inspire me to think ahead

Of the future that could be.

You inspire me to want to see

What you already see in me.

 

You inspire me to believe

That things could change.

You inspire me to feel

Something wonderful and something strange.

 

You inspire me to write

All the words I cannot say.

You inspire me to speak

Of love and relationships that one day….

 

Will inspire me to think, want, believe, feel, write and speak of

A greater thing that will happen because

You inspire me!