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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Coming Home Story-Meme

Did you go from this...

to this?:

In her book, The Way Home, Mary Pride writes:

"What can a woman who doesn't have an outside job write down as her occupation? Housewife? The word conjures up a dull creature with her hair in curlers, addicted to soap operas, and possessing barely enough intelligence to wash dishes. Homemaker? That sounds a little better-cheery ineffiency in a frilly apron and high heels. Homemakers are pretty white females who approach housekeeping with zest and enthusiasm-as a hobby. Homemakers are a decorative luxury only a few men can afford...

But to be a "Working wife" is a different story. What do you think of when a woman introduces herself to you as a "working wife?" Smart effiency in a $200 business suit? Paychecks? Prestige? In the battle of words, feminist have mined the harbor. Mrs. Frumpy Housewife can't hold her own against Ms. Savvy Workingwife."

When I was growing up, I thought about being many things: a singer, a lawyer, a psychologist. I even thought of joining that United States Air Force. Never, ever, did I see myself as a housewife! Like, the previous quote by Mary Pride, I saw being a housewife or being a Stay At Home Mom as one of the most degrading jobs for women. I always wanted to be a career woman. This was what I remember being taught to me. I remember comments such as, "You can't depend on a man...get your care of yourself!" This was what success meant to me: Being a strong, black, educated, independent, woman. A husband, children, and certaintly did not staying at home fit into "my plan."

Oh, but I found that God had other plans! (doesn't he always?). I ended up falling in love with my best friend of whom I believed God confirmed was "the one." We ended up getting married two weeks before our graduation from undergraduate school. God blessed us to concieve our first child eight months after we were married. So, there I was, thinking I was on my way to a doctoral program, when I became faced with this huge, life altering decision to stay home with my baby or not!

To make a long story short, I will tell you that after much fighting, crying, confusion, questioning, reading, praying, counsel etc, etc I decided to give the whole "Stay at Home Mom" thing a try. I began to seek God's mindset on women, marriage, mothering, and homemaking. I began to have a change of heart. I renewed my mind with scriptures such as, "...they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed (Titus 2:4-5) and "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies...She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her" (Proverbs 31:10,27-28). Eventually, I began to have more peace about following my (I believe God-given) desires to be the primary caretaker of my children.

I would be lying if I told you that this was not the MOST difficult job or task I've ever done (including graduating from one of the most academically rigourous universtities in the U.S.) There have been times I would have traded in my mothering and household responsibilities for a 20-page research paper anyday!

Nevertheless, as I have grown, I realize that this work has eternal rewards! God has enrusted little souls to me that will live forever. My job is to take care of them naturally and to train them up in the way they should go, so when they are old they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6). I can't fanthom any greater or more important task for God to give me.

Were you a working mom who decided to come home? Or, have you always wanted to be a homemaker?

What's your coming home story? You can write it in the comments section if you don't have a blog.

For those who have a blog: This is my first meme meme ever! Here are the rules:

1)Answer the question: "What's you coming home story?" in a post on your blog.

2)Link your post back to this site.

3)Tag more people by posting their link in your post, and commenting on their blog and/or emailing them to let them know you tagged them.

I tag:

2. Katie @
3. Molly @
4. Victoria @

Thankful Thursday-My Summer Gig!

Today I am thankful for a great first week at my summer gig!

In case you haven't noticed, I haven't been blogging much in the past week or two. That's because there's alot going on over here! (I'll update you in due time;) As for today, I will tell you that part of my blogging absenteeism is a result of my starting a summer instructor position at the Chicago Freedom School on Monday. The Chicago Freedom School (CFS) is a non-profit organization that provides programming and fosters dialogue, coalition building, the study the work of past movements, and the understanding of current social problems between young people and adult allies. The Freedom Fellowship is a one-year program that features a summer institute that includes popular education courses and support for the development of an acition goal plan. "CFS defines popular education courses as those designed to allow youth to become more aware of how their own personal experiences are connected to larger social issues." I am facilitating a popular education course for 10 high school students on the relationship between racial and economic inequality and youth violence. I will meet with them for about 2 hours, twice a week, for four weeks this summer.

Here's a picture of me and some of the CFS staff being silly during orientation week:

Monday was my first "official" day facilitating the class. I have 10 bright and energetic freedom fellows in my class who are between 14-16 years old. We spent our first day getting to know each other better and setting the tone for our class. We made agreements as a class and watched two video clips on the issue. Soon we got right to business, engaging in a very thorough discussion about what has been going on in Chicago in terms of violence, why its happening, who its affecting, and what we can do about it.

As a young person, I was involved in alot of activites and programs similar to the Freedom Fellowship. I can't stress enough how invaluable the experiences and relationships I made during these programs were. They both helped to mold my outlook on society, myself, and my possibilities. Thus, the work I am doing at CFS very important to me. I hope to do, say, or be something that will cause these young people to think deeper and motivate them to go further than they may have gone before our interaction. I remember one of my favorite preachers saying some years ago, "You ought to cause someone to be something that they would not have been without an interaction with you!" -J.L. Jones

After leaving my full time employment to stay home with my first daughter, I was concerned that I would not have the opportunity to do anything "professional" until all my children were grown and out of the house! Neverthless, I let God know that my desire was not to be gone working a 40-hour plus job, but to spend the majority of my time raising my own chlldren and taking care of my household. Nevertheless, I told Him "It sure would be nice if I could somehow stay involved in the youth development/violence prevention field even though I am choosing to stay home." I'm so glad God honors those, "It sure would be nice..." prayers, don't you?

Not long after having my first daughter, God opened up the doors for me to start doing independent consulting. I have been able to do flexible jobs, in my field and volunteer at my convienence ever since! I am thankful to God for continuing to be so mindful of me, giving me the desires of my heart, and the ability to accomplish those desires!

"And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life" (Mark 10:29-30).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"Building your Life on Christ's Mission"

With all we have going on in our daily lives; work, family, friends, bills, hobbies, cleaning, travel, church, ministries, etc, its easy for us Christians to get a little sidetracked from time to time. This following message preached by my pastor, Bishop D. Rayford Bell, admonishes us to build our life on Christ's mission.

Jesus knew the purpose of his life. He came to seek and save the lost. After he died, rose, and sent back the holy ghost, he charged us to make that mission our own. When Jesus saved us he didn't just save us to go to heaven, but we have recieved the ministry of reconciliation. God has charged all of us to "go ye into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost."(Mattew 21:19).

Whenever you need a little reminder of your mission as a Christian, feel free to remind yourself by clicking on this powerful message! I know I will.

Thursday, July 3, 2008



Two different kinds of bats.
Wonderful creatures.

Written by: Laila H.(9 yrs. old)

Bats are wonderful creatures.
Amazing mammals.
Terrific animals.
Scary-looking species.

Written by: Laila H.(9 yrs. old)

Genius in the making!

My nieces spent the night at our apartment last night. While they were with us, they decided to show off their literary ability.

Here's a taste:

I love my daddy

I love my daddy because he loves me.
I love my daddy because he’s sweet.
I love my daddy because he helps me.
I like me daddy because buys me stuff.

Written by: Alyssa H.(7 yrs. old)

Soon to come... "Bats" by:Laila H.

Thankful Thursday-Our Place

Whoa...Is it Thursday again already?

Well, this Thursday I must tell you that I had quite the praise going for the Lord this morning! With a husband, children, and many responsibilities, sometimes its difficult for me to concentrate during my morning prayer to the extent I would like.

Yet, today God allowed me to think back to last spring when my husband and I were looking for an apartment. We were residing on the Northside of Chicago in a one-bedroom apartment. However, we needed to move to the Southside so my honey could be closer to his new job. I was pregnant with baby #2 so we really needed another bedroom and we needed to pay less money! In addition to this, we wanted to be in an area where we would feel safe and that was populated mostly by families.

My husband put all of those request before the Lord (and I added in there that wanted new carpet and fairly new kitchen. The cabinets and appliances at our old apartment where so filthy from past tenets, I desired something newer that we could have the first crack at dirtying it up ;) So, My husband and I prayed and looked at many apartments for about 3 months and nothing seemed to work out. There was one landlord who seemed very kind, but had just rented the apartment we wanted to someone else. However, he told us that we seemed like nice people and because was important to him, when choosing tenets. He said he'd give us a call if something opened up in another one of his buildings. We were really disappointed that things didn't work out with him.

We continued to ask God to order our steps to the right place, and the whole situation was a really big faith test for us. Sometimes we'd stay up all night on online apartment hunts! We had to fight worry alot, especially after we didn't renew our lease and the date we need to move grew closer. God wanted us to trust him.

Soon after we got the victory over our fears and began to trust God to bless us, the landlord we liked called us back! We came to see another one of his apartments and it wasn't in very good shape at the time. However, the landlord let us know that he was in the process of doing a lot of work on it and we could come back to see it when it was closer to being finished. We were feeling that with the way everything worked out, God seemed to be behind this particular place. Needless, to say we took the apartment! We ended up in an area that fit our preferences, with an extra bedroom, brand new wall to wall carpet, fresh new paint in every room, and the best of all...a newly remodeled kitchen! Hallelujah! My faith in the Lord was strengthened yet again through that experience! He keeps on doing great things for me!

I'm reminded of Matthew 6:8:

"Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Girls are Back in Town!

My nieces are here visiting from Virginia for the summer. Although they've only been in town for about two weeks, they may very well have seen more of Chicago than I have all summer!

Here are some pictures of their recent undertakings:

On their way downtown via Chicago's "L" train.

More fun downtown Chicago.

Welcome to the Taste of Chicago!

Hubby and I plan to accompany my brother and nieces when they go to Taste of Chicago tomorrow night for the annual Indepednece Eve Fireworks! Attending the fireworks was always an annual tradition in my family since my brother and I were toddlers. As we have gotten older, and its been more difficult for my parents to get around, we haven't been as faithful. So, it will be nice to be together with our own children this year. What are some of your family traditions?