August Prayer Challenge

Over at Serenity23’s blog, she has issued a challenge to her readers for the month of August.

I want to challenge YOU.  Tomorrow starts off a new month, August 1st.  I know that every single one of you has needs, desires, people you are interceding for, things that concern you.  And if you are not a believer, this isn’t for you. But if you are a believer, I’m challenging you to begin tomorrow and devote 15 mins everyday to writing our your prayers in one central place so that you can keep track of what you are praying for.  Whenever you receive answers to any of those prayers, record the answers also.  Can you do this for 30 days?

She’s posting daily updates at her spot so go and check her out.

I’m a few days late in getting started but what I have decided to do is focus on a specific Bible verse for this month and then keep a running list of things I’ve praying for that are both short and long term goals.

The Bible verse that was suggested to me is Philippians 4:19.

King James Version (KJV)

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

What I will be praying for and hope that God will take action on:

  1. For my husband to get accepted and participate in the Leadership Program that he applied for at his employer.
  2. That my brother will have a very successful first year as an art teacher.
  3. That my brother’s girlfriend will have a safe and successful delivery of my newest nephew Camden.
  4. That my niece and nephew will have a productive school year in when school starts.
  5. That my parents will remain in good mental and physical health.
  6. That I can be blessed with a full time opportunity that will enable me to stop working as a contractor.

There are some other material needs that I am also praying for as well but I won’t list them here.

My plan is to update my list based on my needs or the prayer needs of other folks in my life. Email me or leave a comment if you’d like me to pray for you as well!

 

 

Sandwiched

I was reading the blog of one of my Twitter friends and I noticed that she lives with her mom and helps provide care for her. Then I happened to be on FB and saw the status of one of my college roommates giving an update on the progress of her mother, who had suffered a stroke in late 2012 and who had come to stay with her on a full time basis. That got me to thinking, as we age, our parents do too. And as part of the sandwich generation, many folks are raising kids while assisting with elderly parents. And while if you are married, you may have some help shouldering the load, it’s much more difficult if you are a single person (with or without kids). My folks are in relatively good health for their ages (early 60s) however Myron’s mom left us way too soon at the age of 57 so it’s probably time for me to have that (morbid) chat with the parental units. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it.

Have you talked with your parents about their long term health care or retirement plans? If you are married, how are you handling it?

If you are single, what are you doing? And if you are single, how do you balance managing all of that and trying to date? Are you dating at all?

Thirty Nine

Today is the last day of my fourth decade on this planet. I turn 40 tomorrow. I’m still unpacking that in my head. I. AM. TURNING. FORTY. YEARS. OLD.

I feel some kind of way about it ..I think.

It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from college, then hustling to find a job, then moving to Dallas for said job, then hating Dallas and running back home after 6 months, leaving my college boyfriend in the process. Then I dated a good friend that I’d known since college, then broke up with him, started and finished grad school, bought a house, ran the streets with my sorors and other girlfriends, traveled out of the country for the first time, had good dates and horrible ones and suddenly I was 30. It’s like my twenties were a blur.

At 39, the memories of my fourth decade are more crystalline, more frozen in time, more focused. I guess as you get older, you want to trap more of those memories in your subconscious.

In my thirties I:

• Sold my house
• Moved to Minnesota for my then boyfriend
• Proved to myself I could live somewhere else and have a good life
• Left a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and moved back home
• Dated an ex (for the second time) that I shouldn’t have
• Got therapy when I needed it
• Went to the Bahamas and swam with dolphins
• Saw Prince in concert
• Bought another house
• Got laid off/fired a couple of times
• Lost my final remaining grandparent
• Met the coolest dude on the planet
• Planned and pulled off a wedding for 150 people
• Married that really cool dude
• Got a lesson about who is a true friend and who wasn’t
• Saw the Grand Canyon
• Became an aunt to my brother’s 2 adorable children
• Put my feet in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico
• Supported my spouse in the loss of his dear mother
• And really for the most part came into my own

I’m sure my life event list could be longer but those are some of the ones that really stick out to me. And that’s what is so wild, that’s just ten years’ worth of stuff. Now that I read that, I guess I don’t feel so uneasy about turning the big four oh after all. It might be just another day, but it’s another day I get to learn, growth, evolve and LIVE.

Now that’s worth celebrating, don’t you think?

On Mamas And Marriage

I woke up this morning and looked at my FB feed and my Instagram and saw all of the pictures of kids and their moms and I was loving it all. It made my heart so full and it was so fun to look at my friends and realize from whence they came and see them looking like mini-me’s.

But in the Mack household it was bittersweet. It was very bitter for my dear husband. He lost his mom a year ago on May 9, 2012. Yep, right before Mother’s Day. It’s sweet for me because I am blessed to have my mom still here with me, to love on and to cherish.

So it was hard for him, and it was hard for me because it’s awkward when one spouse’s parent has gone to be home with the Lord and the others is still here. Especially when it’s the FIRST anniversary. Those firsts are always the hardest. And it’s hard because you don’t always know what to say. And so I was stressed out about it. And when we went to the store to get peach roses for his mom to place on her grave and to get a gift card to my mom’s favorite store, it just doesn’t seem fair. And it isn’t, because life isn’t fair. When he hurts, I hurt too.

But my husband is so wise and so brave, and he reassured me that I need not be subdued in my celebration of my mama. After all, that’s what I should do and he was happy to celebrate her, after she was his family now too. And I was able to exhale, and to relax, and to be thankful for the gift HIS mom gave to me: which is him. And this is why I love him so.

And so we remembered his mom with peach roses. And celebrated my mom with cards, gifts, a fine dinner, and lots of hugs and kisses.

Happy Mother’s Day Frances. Happy Mother’s Day Ruthie. Our love overflows for you both.

I’m Still Here

My life hasn’t had too many words as of late but perhaps the pictures can speak for me.

We had a very good Easter:

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My mom and my niece in their Easter dresses.

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Miss Chandler is missing some front teeth!

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Happy Easter from the Macks!

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Daddy’s little girl.

It’s spring time in Houston (FINALLY) and Lent is over so it’s time for crawfish!! We went to the Pearland Crawfish Festival this weekend.

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Corn, potatoes and bugs..10 pounds worth!

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Lots of ducks to win a prize.

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The brothers Mack: middle, oldest, youngest.

And of course, everyone loves a Carnival!

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Hopefully it’s warming up where you are!

A Family Affair

Yesterday, Myron was on FB and saw something his aunt posted about one of his family members which triggered a bit of internet sleuthing and ended up with him mapping out 3 generations of his family tree on Ancestry.com. The site is pretty slick, as it lets you view copies of public records such as draft cards, census reports and marriage rolls if they are available.

We spent a good portion of yesterday evening talking about what he’d found out such as:

  •  A female ancestor of his moved to the UK shortly after being emancipated from slavery.
  • A male ancestor fought in WW1 and we were able to see his draft card.
  • A great-great grandmother was married at least 3 times and we saw the various name changes on the census records
  • A great-great grandfather apparently fought on the side of the Confederacy!!!  He applied for a Confederate pension but was denied. Here’s a picture of the application.

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And we haven’t even started mapping my side of the family yet. I’m excited to see what I find out. I’m going to have to call my mama and take good notes.

Do I have any amateur genealogists out there? Any tips for us??

Odds And Ends: The Monday Edition

I was laying in bed this morning, waiting for the alarm to go off and I had a jumble of thoughts in my head so here we go:

  • I was supposed to be reading 30 books this year, up from last years total of 25. I have failed miserably at this and going into Q42012 I am unlikely to reach that goal. But I have been reading, quite a bit actually. My Pocket app on my phone and my tablet is my new best friend. If I come across an interesting link on FB or Twitter, then I save it to Pocket so I can read it later. I’ve also started following 2 Twitter accounts @longreads and @longform, which tweet a variety of longer articles from the web on various topics from sports to technology to pop culture to literature. If I get stuck somewhere (like at jury duty a couple of weeks ago), I can always pull up something to read.
  • I might not be reading many books but it hasn’t stopped me from downloading them like a crackhead, though.
  • Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual? Do you attend church regularly? I ask because my mama was fussing at me last week about attending church. I must admit that our church attendance has fallen by the wayside in the last year or so. But just because I am not in church, doesn’t mean church isn’t within me. I still pray and I talk to God pretty frequently but I still feel some guilt around  the church attendance thing. I also think that Myron and I need a new church home, as our current church home (that we grew up in) isn’t really doing it for us anymore. This is going to require some more prayer, thought and discussion I think.
  • I went to a kid birthday party of Saturday. I immediately got drafted into refereeing kid disagreements and dealing with tattle tails. It’s not as easy as it looks. And my soror’s little boy (the birthday boy in fact) asked her the same question SEVEN different times. Yes, I counted them. I keep wondering if I’m equipped to be a parent.
  • I’m still having a struggle at my workplace. I’m still praying for peace about it.That’s all I’m going to say about that.
  • I had an interview for a really exciting position last week. Got some goot coaching from a Twitter friend too. I didn’t get it. Turns out they didn’t like ANY of the candidates that were sent over. And of course, no feedback to find out what you did wrong. I think the recruiter was more aggravated than I was. At this point, I figure if I am supposed to get another job then I will.
  • @OneChele over at Black n’ Bougie, did a insightful week’s worth of posts based on the Iyanla Vanzant’s Fix Your Life interview with Evelyn Lozada. Click on this tag: http://www.blacknbougie.com/search/label/Lessons%20learned and read all the posts from the week of September 17-21. You will be glad you did.
  • Myron and I have been eating a mostly Paleo/Primal diet since the beginning of August and we joined the gym. I can see the difference in how my clothing is fitting. Slow and steady wins the race for us.
  • Summer is over. Fall is upon us. I’m sad. Fall isn’t my fave time of the year.

That’s all I got. Got any odds and ends to share?