Like Molasses

tired

I’m tired.

I love my little business and what I get to do, but I am worn out. I’ve been missing out on posting on the Motivational Monday series…not out of angst or frustration but just because I’m tired, and quite frankly, have enjoyed the “quiet.” I know many people in the blogosphere don’t know me, but I work a full-time job, (was) teach(ing) taekwondo part-time, am a multiple-ministry leader’s wife, and have this little gig.

I tell people all of the time that when things get hard/frustrating/dissatisfying, that it might be time for a change. That a breakthrough is coming. I feel like my feet are stuck in a cold pot of molasses. I know a small part of my conundrum is being afraid to step out on faith and take a leap into the next phase of my life. We’re working toward making that happen but for all of my frustration, I’m still afraid of change.

With all of that going through my mind, I wanted to take a moment to encourage you (and myself) and ask that we remember these things:

Life is too short to be unhappy.

Life is too short to not make a difference in the lives of others.

Life is too short to hold grudges against people.

Life is too short to be angry about things that you’re unable or unwilling to change.

I looked up some verses to encourage myself when I want to give up and I hope that they encourage you as well. There is a printable at the end of the post and I will certainly print it out to hang in my office. Whatever you’re going through, stay encouraged.

Wash the molasses off and take some steps forward.

Trouble really doesn’t last always.

 

See Why I Love Memphis

Emerson said something ingenious, that “Every artist was once an amateur.”

Ya know, Ralphie, I think you may be onto something there. I started this business, seriously wondering if I would ever be able to make it work. The more I’ve done, the more I’ve flourished. And that’s not to brag, I’m just really surprised at what I’ve been hiding from myself for so long…

My dear friend is the owner of this company called QBHome Paint and Sip Studio and I’ve been working with her for almost a year now. I usually do the desserts for her paint sessions and always wanted to try my hand at doing one of the paintings, but I didn’t think I could do it. It’s not one of those paint-by-numbers sort of deals, and you actually have to put the pencil to the canvas before you can begin to paint.

I think this is where the “sip” comes in because it helps when your pencil, paintbrush, and inhibitions flow…away.

Quo is an art teacher by trade and an art teacher by talent. The hubby and I finally got to take a class from her, completing the “Memphis” themed painting that I’d been wanting to do for a year. I was nervous about how it would turn out, but one thing Quo emphasizes and reassures her clients about is that the painting is all their own.

I knew that it was a Memphis-themed painting, so I wanted to make it express what Memphis means to me. So I made the painting all “our” own…welcome to our city!

1. It’s our “Memphus”

1

The hubby and I are both transplants to the city. My family moved here in 1993 to help take care of my grandfather after grandma passed away. I never wanted to be here. I don’t like big cities. I don’t like lots of people. There is too much bad and not enough good here. He never wanted to be here either. He had a worse experience with the city than I did.

We both ended up on a social networking site, looking to meet new people because, if we had to be here, we might as well meet someone to make it fun. He liked my outfit. I liked his style. Suddenly Memphis wasn’t looking all that bad! We learned that no place is perfect and every place is what you make it. We made Memphis look good to each other and we were each others’ “home;” I have yet to find another city where I’d rather live and we certainly travel a lot. With everything that is this city, the good and the bad, it is the place that has made us who we are and is helping to mold us into the people we aspire to be. We put a lot of time, effort, and money into supporting this city and the economy…because the city is truly what we make it.

Meeting each other turned out to be a divine intercession. The colors of the arrow were the colors of our wedding. He picked them out.

2.”Who you be? SOUF G!”

2

A big part of our time and identity is who we are as Christians. We are members of the South Germantown Road Church of Christ. We are both youth counselors, he’s (we are) the Young Adult minister, as well as the Audio/Technical/Social Media guy, I’m a teacher of any given group of children/young ladies, and have somehow found my way into being co-leader of the Married Women’s Ministry, in addition to various other committees that pop up. The kids started calling the congregation “Souf G” when we traveled to various youth events and it’s stuck with the counselors.

Just writing all of that down, I’m not entirely sure why we haven’t turned a room into an apartment at the building. Souf G indeed…

3. You don’t want none.

3

One day I was driving past a taekwondo school and swerved into the parking lot. 15 min later, I was a student. That was almost 11 years ago. My mom followed me in a few months later. Then after we’d been dating a while, the Mr. decided it was be something cool to try. So now, we’re at this school…Midtown ATA. The instructors here are like my moms. I have a lot of them actually. Pretty much, if you feed me, I’ll never go away. Kinda like a stray cat. Anyway, my school is awesome and I’m there molding young minds and trying not to get my head handed to me by really flexible pre-teens with fast recovery times. It’s the best in the city, with instructors who care about each other and our students. Come by and see us sometime!

4. We’re so Hollywood.

4

We get fancy on date nights. We met online and our first date was my choice of restaurant, so of course I picked Olive Garden. Italian is my favorite food on the planet, with garlic bread being the top of the list. We got there and it was crowded so we strolled across the parking lot to McAlister’s Deli. We ordered our food and he went to pay. He’d left his wallet in the car. I offered to pay so that we wouldn’t have to wait and hold up the line. He later told me that he felt bad and thought he’d never see me again. I told him that he’d see me at least one more time because he owed me a meal. In our own ways, we still don’t let each other forget it 🙂 We actually went to a McAlister’s to do part of our engagement photo session with Crystal Chick Photography!

One of our favorite past times is watching movies. We have the Malco app on both of our phones, so at any given time, we can see what our viewing pleasure options are. I also have the IMDB app on my phone so that I can check out any trailer that is mentioned at any given moment. If it’s a real thing, I’m thinking we might actually be hardcore couch potatoes…

5. Grit and Grind

5

Our hometown team is the Memphis Grizzlies. I love them. They’re even better people off the court, giving back to the community in every way possible. It’s kind of gotten to the point that you expect great things from them and it’s not a surprise when they do something incredibly awesome and charitable. And that’s not a bad thing, because that is the character they possess. We still smile and our hearts get a little bigger, but now it’s like “eh, those men are so stellar, so I wouldn’t expect anything less…” in the amazing way they are.

I grew up loving the Chicago Bulls and the hubby did too, as that’s where he was raised. So once a year, we wear our Chicago Bulls gear and brave our way down to the FedEx Forum to cheer against the Grizzlies… *gasp* Our favorite (and funniest) game time memory was in January of 2012. We went down to support the Bulls, had floor seats, were all decked out in red and black; we’d even gone shopping for hats just for this game. So the game starts, the team gets 6 points out of the gate. I’m cheering and clapping and the hubby is quiet. I’m decked out in Bulls gear and cheering every time the Grizzlies make a point. We lost that game too (Bulls), but we won (Grizzlies)! The ticket sales people still remember me as the Bulls/Grizzlies girl. I was honestly just excited to be there…

But this is the part of my painting that I’m most proud of. I decided that I wanted to paint Grizz, mostly because I needed to fill in some space, so I went for it. To say that I was intimidated, doesn’t begin to describe. But my art teacher encouraged me. RWE basically said that you have to start somewhere. I figured if it didn’t turn out well, I just wouldn’t show anyone. I was so shocked at myself that I sat there for 10 minutes just looking at it, astonished that this actually flowed from me. Even I just kept saying “wow…that is so cool…”

And it wasn’t the sip, I was having water that night lol

6

I told the hubby I painted a sun just because he’s the sunshine in my life. He just rolled his eyes at me and laughed.

And I’m not bragging, just hoping sharing a bit of encouragement. There are typically many things that we want to do in life and they can sometimes be incredibly intimidating. Sometimes you will fail before you succeed, but you will never know until you try. You are filled with infinite potential and an innate gift to be able to make this world a better place. No matter where you are physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally, your state of existence is what you make (of) it.

And if you’re interested in making some art, head over to QBHome’s Paint and Sip Studio. She’s opened a brand new location at 206 E GE Patterson and you can see the schedule and register for classes here. If you’re in or around Memphis, that’s downtown in the arts district and the zip code is 38103. I hope to see you there real soon!

awesome tag

In the Storms of Life

Wow.

There exists a lady named Eunique Jones Gibson and she is a phenomenal artist. She has been doing a photography series called Because of Them We Can. Her series started as a tribute to Black History Month, but has expanded to so much more! I found her through another friend, who is also a big fan of her work. The point of her series is to encourage our youth through the lives of those who have blazed the trails before them.

It speaks not only to African American children, but to all of us who live with hope and purpose.

I’ve been inspired and in awe of everything she’s done, but this morning, it was definitely worth me taking the time to say something to others.

This morning, she shared this piece of work:

till

“We must teach our children to weather the hurricanes of life, to pick up the pieces, and rebuild.”

Wow.

In the wake of all that is going on in our society…racism, sexism, bullying, sexual discrimination, suicides…I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate to teach our children. I won’t work under the assumption that everyone knows who Emmett Till was, but the lesson shared by his mother in the wake of the crime committed against him is amazing.

I don’t think it is at all acceptable to tolerate any injustice, discrimination, or any other hardships that come our way, but it is so vitally important that we teach our children (and adults) how to cope with what life will inevitably throw at us.

Teach them that the world owes them nothing and that they are not entitled to anything. You have to work hard, and diligently, for the things you want in this life.

Teach them that when someone makes them feel bad, it’s not the end of the world. No matter how bad a situation is, it could always be worse.

Teach them that part of a successful life is forgiving others, especially when it’s the hardest to do so. Holding a grudge lets them keep a hold over your life.

Teach them that people are different, and those differences are what make them unique and interesting. People hate what they fear, and fear what they don’t understand. Make a friend and/or have a conversation. You’ll be amazed at what you learn when you just take the time to talk to someone.

Teach them that it’s OK to love everyone, even if you don’t necessarily like them. Agape love is the strongest love around. It means humbling yourself to be more concerned about another person than you are of yourself.

Teach them that violence, hatred, and discrimination are NEVER the answer.

I could go on for days about this, but I won’t. I think Mrs. Till-Mobley’s words are more than enough to build a strong foundation to weather the storms of life.

awesome tag

 

Let Their No Be Your Yes

Happy Monday!

I haven’t written a Motivational Monday in a little while, but today I came across something worth sharing. I follow Marc and Angel Chernoff on Pinterest and on Facebook. They always have something positive to say and I love to read their posts. They’re a pretty awesome couple and I’d love to meet them one day and just talk to them. Anyway, this morning, they posted this:

ein

When I read this, I immediately thought back to the beginning of my business. I tried to partner with someone who didn’t respond well to that proposition. It hurt my feelings a little (a lot actually) but it turned out to be the biggest blessing in disguise 🙂  I decided that I was going to learn to make some things myself and take some classes, you know, learn my craft!

art

In the process, I rediscovered my love of art and baking and it’s actually been something very convenient and fun to add to event planning services for my clients!

So my thought to you is simply this: stay motivated! If there is something your heart truly desires, go for it! The reality of the situation, sadly, is that not everyone will want you to succeed and prosper…that applies to life, business, love, parenthood, ministry. But let their “no” be your “yes!”

On the other side of that reality, there are people who do want you to be a success and you should be at the top of that list! Seek out encouraging and like-minded individuals and build genuine relationships…your success is definitely tied to your determination and resilience. Be inspired and steadfast…take your dreams into your own hands 🙂 Romans 15:2 says that we should please our neighbors for their good and build them up in the process. I hope that you’ve been encouraged and built up 🙂

awesome tag