Monthly Archives: May 2016

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The Land of the Brave

My parents married in 1945.My mom often told the story of their first meeting. She said he was visiting his sister, dressed in his military uniform and he looked so very handsome. Mom was slated to move to Norfolk, Virginia and attend college in the fall, and this would have been a first for our family. This did not occur. However, my parents were blessed with three great children and one exceptional child (me). Okay, to be fair, I think my siblings are all pretty exceptional. Both my brothers served in the military, one in the Navy and the other in the Air Force.

My husband’s dad also served in the military with honor and distinction. He had the privilege of flying on the B29 (the flying fortress). Both men were fortunate. They had the opportunity to serve their country and return home to see their children reach adulthood. They were even blessed with the opportunity to see most of their grandchildren be born. Charles’ dad passed away before we had children and my dad died weeks after our oldest son was born. Neither of our sons had the opportunity to learn from these amazing men.

So many of our brave men and women don’t have the opportunity to return home to family and friends. They lay it all on the line and make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure we enjoy the freedoms of living in the Land of the Brave.

To them and their families, who sacrifice so very much, we say a heartfelt “Thank you”. To my nephew, Marcus, who is currently serving his third tour overseas, I say “Stay safe and come home one piece.”


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Etched Upon My Heart

 

My second book, Etched Upon My Heart, was birthed during a visit to Old Salem, NC.  While reading through some literature on a middle school field trip I learned about the Moravian people that helped to settle and develop the area. The truly interesting aspect was that up until 1863 those that resided in Old Salem—both those of African American and European descent—lived and worked together in harmony. I thought what if that culture had not been disrupted, but rather allowed to thrive as a beacon of hope for the rest of the country.

For me, touring Old Salem gave me a sense of peace. It also brought to mind this image of a Utopia of sorts where the residents of this small community could interact, fellowship, love and marry without judgment or prejudice. That thought is still intriguing today. No matter what side of social issues you fall on, your attitudes and beliefs are typically formed by some kind of intolerance.

The thought of a society in which no one was judged on the basis of the color of their skin, but rather on the content of their character predated Dr. King’s speech by nearly two hundred years.  I personally believe that no one group of people has the right to enslave another group of people, whether that enslavement takes the form of physical chains, discrimination or dictating how another person should identify themselves.

A place that tranquil was worthy of a love story. And not just any love story, but one that could incorporate the peacefulness of the community and contrast it with the harshness of the outside world and yet tell a tale about an amazing love. That is the story of Etched Upon My Heart.    

From that beginning a love story was born that is part historical romance and part contemporary romance. Christine, Richard and Julian are involved in a love triangle in which someone must lose. The story shifts from 1865 to the present day as the reader is introduced to their descendants. The question then becomes whether history indeed does repeat itself. Is each generation doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? Or is true love strong enough to transcended time and even death?

I hope readers will enjoy the romance that is Etched Upon My Heart. Happy Reading! #EtchedUponMyHeart.

Click here for my book


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Worth Fighting For

According to Divorce stats found on the internet, roughly 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. This is approximately one divorce every 36 seconds*. That’s nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces a year.  Why would it not when you have people entering into marriage not taking the vows nor the commitment seriously. You have those that believe a marriage license should be like that of a driver’s license, renewable every seven years. A driver’s license was not sanctioned & blessed by God, however marriage was. Just because you say “I do” does not mean you will never have an argument, a disagreement or a verbally heated exchange.

Couples need to learn to fight clean! What do I mean by that? No physical contact (I.e. pushing, hitting, or shoving) should occur. You should never be so bad with your spouse that you wish to lay hands on them in a harmful way. And no mama or family jabs. Simply discuss your issues or concerns and if you can’t do so rationally, place yourself in a communications time-out. Let your spouse know you want to discuss things, but can’t do so at the moment because you might say something you may later regret. And absolutely no arguing in front of the children; your children have enough pressures to deal with without adding the baggage of the parents brawling like they are in a “pay per view” match.  

Respect each other’s space and agree to disagree on the small stuff and learn how to compromise on the big things. Marriage is a journey; not one that should be taken lightly. Nor is it a journey where you should jump off at the first sign of a few bumps in the road. Those bumps are called life and a happy marriage is worth the attention & time that it takes to make it work. Hence divorce should not be the norm, but rather an exception to the rule.

Divorce is a reality because sometimes people simply marry the wrong person, marry for the wrong reasons, things become violent, or you grow, but not together. I tend to think the last one is the easiest to eliminate. Do things together, stay connected & remember you said ‘I do’ to that person and not ‘I will try’ or ‘I will stay until we run into tough times’. Invest more time in making your marriage work than updating your status on Facebook and getting ahead at work. We tend to stick our marriages on the back burner as we strive for corporate success (don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with success). I’m just saying to keep your priorities straight. Your marriage is worth putting in the time and effort to make it a great marriage.

Say no to divorce and yes to living a fulfilling married life. #staytogether  


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Living The Dash

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with my beautiful and dynamic cousin. (Okay to be fair I have several truly beautify and awesome female cousins that have been my role models most of my life). This one, however, will be seventy in December and looks more like fifty. To paraphrase Yoda, “When 70 years old you reach, look as good you will not.”  My prayer is that I will look that good and still have the energy and vitality that she displays.

Anyway, we started a conversation based on a sermon that she recently heard entitled, “Living the Dash”.  Charles and I heard a very similar service several years ago.  What does living the dash mean… when you look at a tombstone it reads born 1926 – died 2010 (for example). The dash represents the life that you lived between your birth and your death.  So the question then becomes are we living the dash or  simply existing or enduring life? I think for me, for years I simply endured life. You go into survival mode with work, the kids, playing chauffer, church and 100 and 101 other things that claim our time and our attention. The question for me then became how to enjoy the time and the days that I have been gifted with. Make no mistake, life is a precious gift from God and should be lived to the fullest.

I’m so grateful that God blessed Charles and me with the insight early on in our marriage to appreciate the small things. A walk in the park, a picnic with our boys, the blessing of spending time with our family, especially my mother who was such a strong and positive influence in our son’s lives. We learned to enjoy the everyday moments from listening to the birds sing, to watching a butterfly land on a flower. Then the other things started to come, weekends at the beach, traveling to other states, taking a cruise, and traveling abroad.

The truth of the matter is – the chores and necessities of life will always be there: making a living, raising a family, taking care of your parents, volunteering, church, etc. Those are all things that make up this journey called life. The important thing is to enjoy that journey and learn to appreciate the detours. Live the dash so at the end of your journey you can truly say that you enjoyed this thing called life.

Here’s to a life well spent! Until next time – live your dash! #Livethedash