Eye of the Storm, That’s Where You Want to Be

The Storm

Daily Prompt
Your blog just became a viral sensation. What’s the one post you’d like new readers to see and remember you by? Write that post.

Here is my contribution…

Webster’s defines a storm as a disturbance of the atmosphere marked by wind and usually by rain, snow, hail, sleet, or thunder and lightning; and a disturbed or agitated state. A hurricane is one of the most devastating types of storms. For the purpose of this post, I will use hurricanes.

The Parts of the Hurricane

  1. Outflow
    The high level clouds moving clockwise out away from the hurricane. These clouds are indicative of air spreading out over the top of the storm, which is essential to its development.
  2. Feeder Bands
    These are squally bands of showers characterized by strong gusty winds and heavy rains. These bands become more pronounced as the storm intensifies, and are fed by the warm ocean.
  3. The Eyewall
    A band of clouds, strong winds and heavy rains surrounding the eye of the storm. At the eyewall, there is rapid movement of air toward the center and upward into the cloud.
  4. The Eye (This is where you want to be)
    What goes up must come down, so with the violent rising air converging toward the storm center at the eye, sinking air develops within. This air dries out, creating the clear, calm eye. Winds are very light here since the focus of convergence and hence strong winds are in the eyewall.

Now that we know what a storm consists of let me explain how this relates my life and my struggles. We all know that tornadoes and hurricanes are terribly horrid storms. They destroy everything in their paths. They blow through towns and cities with gusto that no living thing is able to withstand. So, why the heck would I want to be right in the center of it???

Well, if you are on top of the storm, you risk coming into contact with the Outflow. This is the part that gets the storm going. In real life application, this would be the rumors being spread, lies being told, acts of betrayal, and any other negative thing being done. The Outflow is where it all begins. All the things that are vital to creating the massive storm converge in the Outflow.

You don’t want to be near the Feeder Bands either. The storm is under way; there is no stopping it. In fact, the Feeder Bands is where the storm intensifies. This is where things go from bad to worse. Let’s apply this to real life. You’ve been lied on an decide to counter with another lie or a much worse truth. Now you are caught in a bitter battle of back and forth. Who can trump who and outmaneuver the other? The idea is not to make things worse, but to avoid being hit by the worst parts of the storm. You don’t want to be the one getting hit. Move out of the way!

If you thought the Feeder Bands were bad, then Eyewall is exponentially worse. This is where you can lose your mind. The strong winds rushing to and fro, the pouring down of rain, gusts of air rapidly uprooting foundations are all too much to bear. In this place, in the Eyewall, you can get caught up in the very mess you were trying to avoid. If that should happen, it will MESS YOU UP!

I have talked about wind and rain. The wind is an agent. It propels the storm and transports all the things that have been destroyed while destroying more. The wind carries rumors, lies, backbiting, deceit, betrayal; it uproots faith, healing, and deliverance. The rain drowns out the faith, healing, and deliverance, while the stormy waters pour out more rumors, lies, backbiting, deceit, and betrayal. There is nothing good about this storm. However, because “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Now if we truly believe this then we know this storm is meant to better us. In the midst of the storm, God has something for us…a blessing or a lesson, maybe both. To get optimal results, you must remain safe and seek shelter in the storm…the Eye.

The Eye of the storm is the region of the most calm weather conditions. Wind and rain are mild, and the rage is quiet. It is in the Eye of the storm that you will find safety in His arms. While everything is bad around you, you are safe in the midst of it all. From the Eye, you can SEE the damage, but you don’t EXPERIENCE the damage. From the Eye, you will experience the storm, but not the consequences of the storm. Here, in the Eye, there is peace, calmness, and even stillness. You will have to move your position as the storm moves so that you remain in the Eye and do not get caught up in the Eyewall or Feeder Bands. In the Eye, you avoid the Outflow.In the Eye, you are safe… In the Eye, you are SAFE! In the Eye, you praise God. In the Eye, you thank God for your victory. In the Eye, you have clarity. In the Eye, God can grant you vision and sight…that means you can now see clearly.  In the Eye, you will find rest. In the Eye, you will find God. Stay in the Eye, if you do, no one can touch you.

You see, in the Feeder Bands are full of people saying and doing things to hurt you. The Feeder Bands are meant to crush your Spirit. The Eyewall is meant  to devastate you and make you feel lost. The Eyewall will cause you to lose your ground. Don’t let your haters and enemies have access to you. Stay in the Eye!

Once the storm is over, you will be able to STAND and SEE all the damage that has been done. Once the storm is over, you will be able to STAND and SEE! The enemy cannot keep you down. Stand on the Word and be encouraged. God promised He would never leave us nor forsake us. When trouble comes, He will protect us. Once the storm is over, you will come out victorious!

Note: Information about hurricanes was taken from http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/HurricaneFacts/what-are-the-parts-of-a-hurric/31027


Bitter Backstabbing Betrayal, Pt. 2 – The Feelings

It’s Day #3 and I have run the ambit of feelings and emotions.

  • Disbelief
  • Disappointment
  • Heartache
  • Sadness
  • Extreme Pain
  • Anguish
  • Beaten
  • Betrayed
  • Confusion
  • Shattered
  • Weak
  • Broken
  • Loss
  • Foolish
  • Disgust
  • Outrage
  • Bitter
  • Sick
  • Nausea
  • Repulsion
  • Hurt
  • Devastation
  • Anger
  • Seditious
  • Resent
  • Insecurity
  • Embarrassment
  • Desperation
  • Rage
  • Numbness

I have cried. I have moaned. I have groaned. I have tried to rationalize. I have tried to make excuses. I even thought there was something I could have done to prevent it(that didn’t last long). I keep telling myself it’s not my fault. I am blessed to have such wonderful family and friends to support me through such a trying time. Healing from emotional wounds is far more difficult than healing from physical wounds. 

I am reminded of the scripture…
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Backstabbing Bitter Betrayal

Sorry, this post is not very inspirational. Today, I’m ranting. If you find a lesson or can learn from my pain, then I’m happy.

People come into and out of our lives on a regular basis. Has there been a person enter your life that you thought would be there forever? They became your best friend and closest confidante. You found yourself wanting to hang out with and talk to this person all the time. You have built a great relationship, even spent time with each other’s families. You loved each other, or at least the other claimed to love you, so much nothing could tear you apart. Your love and devotion toward one another has been tried and tested before, but nothing could ever break your bond. Then, out of nowhere…BOOM!!!!

Like a sack of hot coals, it all comes crashing down. This person, your best friend, confidante, has taken a machete, shoved into your back, and twisted all in one movement. The wound is immediately treated with salt and washed with lemons. This tree hugging hippie has betrayed you in a way you never thought possible. You never even thought they were capable of such treachery. What they did makes the Judas kiss look like a frolic in the park. I mean, they committed such duplicitous treason that you cannot even fathom what they have done. Has this ever happened to you?

Well it happened to me. Let me tell you, it has literally turned my world upside down. In the last 24 hours, I have experienced, sadness, gut-wrenching pain, heart ache, deceit, shock, disgust, disappointment, feelings of betrayal, loss, insecurity, anger, disbelief, denial, embarrassment, and an entire array of emotions I am unable to identify or coherently explain. It is as if this person planned a barrage on my heart. Questions, so many questions have entered my mind, some of which I did not have answers for. With so much at stake, all the risks, and everything to lose this nincompoop did it anyway. The one question I do not have a sufficient answer for is, “Why?” How could someone so close to me be so selfish? Yes, stupidity obviously but, really why? Did they not consider for one instant how this would affect you or those around you who have come to rely on our bond? NO! The selfish jerk was only thinking of him/herself. Why am I even bothering to protect this jerk’s identity? Why do I keep the details of the betrayal private despite the significance of the pain and the circumstances behind it? I have no freaking clue!

Pain and hurt do not adequately explain what I am feeling. Oh how I would love to choke the mess out of this quack until their eyes pop out and their tongue flails about. How do I go about getting over this? Forgiveness is for me, not the other person. Honestly, I do not want to forgive. All I can do is cry and pray and my prayers right now are just vocal tears.

God, help me!

I am reminded of 2 scriptures…

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10


Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. Psalm 6:2

I have been listening to “Can I Lay in Your Arms” by Donald Lawrence all day. I mean it has quite literally been on repeat the entire day.

Day #1
Cry out to God and seek His comfort. This hurts like the devil!!!!

Who’s Ya Daddy?

This topic really hits home. I was the screwed up child with an abusive stepfather and very absent father. Had it not been for my grandfather and my adopted father taking the time to love on me, I don’t know where I would be. My misfortune was having an absentee father. My blessing was, and still is that I had a very present grandfather and adoptive father. However great my blessings, I have never been able to negate the sadness I felt behind not having my father. Never in a million years did I want my children to experience the loss and pain I did at not having my father around.

Fast forward to December 1999…my grandfather passes away. January 2000 I met my kids father. It was a textbook case. Troubled girl seeking to heal pain with the love(lust) of a man. Things were great in the beginning, as they always are. Once the twins came and he did not step up to the plate, that’s when the poo hit the fan. We fought, argued, and fought some more. We were prime for an episode of Jerry Springer with our Baby Mama/Baby Daddy drama. Fast forward…2 restraining orders, 1 child support order, and me winning sole legal and physical custody despite his antics in court and we are current.

The twins are now 11 and doing well. Overall they are happy, healthy, smart, and talented. In a nutshell, they are blessed and highly favored by God. To know them is to love them. With all the accolades, extracurricular activities, trophies, and tremendous outpour of love and support from family and friends there is still a gaping hole in their lives…the absence of their biological father. They would look for him at their karate class and tournaments, football and baseball games, performances, swim practice, birthdays, and holidays. The great misfortune for them is that he is never there. He neither answers phone calls or returns any messages. It matters not the great urgency in the message or its magnitude…he does not pick up his phone. Keeping a promise would be like Prince wearing green. He spends more time with his young girlfriend(who, by the way, is so young I can see the Similac dripping from her ears) than his own children.

Three years ago I met and started dating this wonderful man from my church. I admit, he was not the type of man I was accustomed to dating. As I would later discover, he was exponentially better! Fast forward to present day and we are now planning our wedding. He has children as well, so I thought this would be a little tricky. However, I was pleasantly mistaken. We’re the present day Brady Bunch. Our children all get along great. My children absolutely adore him and have taken to calling him “dad”. At first, I did not think this to be prudent and was very hesitant. I discussed this with my fiance’ and my children. He was okay with it from the beginning. I know now that he has always intended to marry me. Upon speaking with my children, I was taken aback by my daughter’s wisdom and maturity for her age. Out of her own mouth, “Mommy, when we call our dad he never picks up and never calls us back. When we call Mr. [Fiance’] he answers the phone and returns our calls. We spend more time with him than our own dad. He’s more of a dad to us than dad.” Now how could I argue  with such logic coming from the mouth of my then 8-year-old daughter? I couldn’t, but I had to at least play devil’s advocate. After all, the dad they have has broken their hearts multiple times. The emotional trauma caused by their absent father displays in their behavior regularly. Why would I allow this man to play the role, then deal with more trauma once he decides my family is too much for him to handle? This man has no bond or tie to my children. There is nothing to make him stay. He can up and leave at any moment and there would be nothing I could say or do. Countless scenarios played in my mind while I wrestled with this day after day. Maybe in time it would work itself out. He would leave before my kids became attached and everything would be okay. Or maybe my kids would change their mind and listen to reason. Eventually, a decision had to be made, and it was. In the end, we all won…they got their dad.

In the time that I was dating my fiance’, every imaginable challenge arose, and some my mind was was not capable of envisaging. Several hospital stays, doctor visits, therapist appointments, DCFS appointments, and court dates later…he is still here by our side. In fact, he has been here through everything. The Lord has blessed my children and I with a dad, a strong man, a God-fearing man who loves his family and adores my children as his own. Blending families is difficult enough without the added challenges mine brings. Forget baggage, we come with a veritable cornucopia of luggage that would put Coach to shame. My God has seen fit to take care of us through it all and continues to show His love. My children have the dad I have prayed for, and I have a mate, a partner who blesses me, loves me, and lifts me up. Here I am, after struggling to raise my children without a constant and strong male figure in their lives, and no child support being blessed more than I could have imagined. Y’all don’t know! Any other man would have run for the hills with all the madness I have to endure. This man right here…this man of God that I have been blessed with is STILL HERE and WANTS to stay. Either his crazy or a sucker for punishment, LOL. He’s mine and I love him. He completes me…he is the missing piece to my puzzle. I thank God for him!

Yes, my children’s biological father is a deadbeat, absentee father, full of drama, immature, childish, and irresponsible; that is my mistake for being with him. So what! My children have been blessed with an even better dad, siblings, and more family who love and support them.

How many dads does your child have? How did your blended family come together and what hurdles did you have to overcome? How do your children accept and relate to your spouse? How is God blessing your family?

Science of Tears

It’s funny how tears work. Slicing an onion, uncontrollable laughter, loss, anger, joy, happiness, and sorrow all bring tears. Sure, many other emotions and factors cause us to cry as well. Consider this… Is the thing that makes you begin to cry the same reason you continue to cry?

Last night I watched Steel Magnolias for probably the trillionth time. I know it like the back of my hand. Despite this being a newer version, it was still the same movie. Lifetime remade the movie with an all Black cast. Now, anyone who has seen the original knows that Shelby is going to die. However, knowing this was not enough to keep me from crying. The moment Shelby was put on life support, tears began to well up filling my eyes and blurring my vision. By the end of the movie, I was in full cry mode…tears covering my face, eyes red, even a runny nose.

Despite the reason for my tears and the movie coming to and end, I could not seem to stop. It was as if something had taken over me. Suddenly I could feel something begin to swell inside me. I began to cry even more and uncontrollably. It had been a long time since I have had a good cry. I soon realized the reason for these tears had nothing to do with the movie. As if it just happened yesterday, I felt the pain at the loss of my grandmother followed immediately by the pain of losing my grandfather. It has been almost 13 years since I lost my grandfather and a full 7 since my grandmother. Even as I am writing this, tears are skewing my vision.

I am conveniently reminded that they are not here to share in the milestones of my life and walk with me on my journey. No longer will I be blessed with their wisdom, advice, and love. Only my memories to get me through each day and each hurdle. The simplest things are made exponentially more difficult. Who will walk me down the aisle? From a little girl, it was always my grandfather. He promised me he would.

Now I lay here, drowning in a pool of tears. How did I get here? I was fine 2 hours ago. The movie is over. It is my belief that we can hold on to things for only so long. I try to be strong and not let things affect me. At some point, the emotions and feelings buried deep inside come to the surface. They can either explode like a volcano or pour like gentle rain. Crying purges the soul. It relieves us of our grief and pain. It helps us express extremes emotion, both happy and sad. They are necessary to keep us sane. I welcome my tears and I’m grateful for the release they bring me. I feel lighter. Of course I miss my grandparents very much. The pain does not go away. It only eases and become more bearable.

Today’s moral: Embrace the love of today, cry regularly, and laugh often. Sometimes you have to laugh until you cry; others, you may cry until you laugh.

The Great Reconnect

Have you ever lost touch with a friend? What about losing contact with someone you hold dear for over a year? When you reconnected, did you immediately pick up where you left off? Severed connections between good friends and family are often painful. However, reconnecting is often more pleasurable than the separation was painful.

Today, I was perusing my facebook page and began to think. An old friend entered my thoughts. Instantly, I was happy as my memories took on a journey to some of our past conversations. I wondered where this friend was. Had he been okay? I immediately searched to find an email address for my dear old crony. I quickly dropped a line to my pal hoping that it would land in the right place. It did! A few hours later I received a phone call. On the other end was a thick English accent, gentle and jubilant. YES! Oh how I have missed this. As my pithy friend greeted me, and I him, an exuberant smile began forming in my womb, worked its way from my belly, penetrated my heart, and emerged with elation onto my face.

The nearly 5,500 miles standing firmly between us instantly shrunk with a simple, “How have you been love?” We didn’t waste time. It was as if no time had passed since out last encounter. After all the niceties were taken care of, it was back to business as usual. Our in-depth discussions on life, family, politics, religion, etc. were just as fulfilling as they had been many moons ago. The enthusiasm and warmth permeated the phones lines. In fact, I believe the excitement and build up are the cause of the frequent smiles that could be felt on both ends through. Even the quality and frequency of our laughter was greater.

Reuniting with an old friend often lifts spirits. As I am sure he is reading this, I am confident in saying that our lengthy conversation made both of our days much more pleasant than they already were. God has a way of placing people in your lives at certain times and for certain reasons. I believe each person is around either for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. My dear comrade, I pray you are around for a lifetime. It is rare that any one person is afforded quality friends; friends who genuinely have your best interest in mind; friends who encourage you and hold you accountable; friends who love in good times and in bad. God has blessed me with many. Today, I was able to reconnect with one.

It matters not the frequency with which you speak to or see someone. It matters only that you make the best of the time you are afforded.

My Son, the Slacker

As a single mom with twins, my children often team up against me and try to take me down. There is never a dull or quiet moment. They seem to take turns driving me insane and getting on my nerves. So, my adorable 11 year old son seems to think fat meat is dry and his mother was born last night. Like many boys his age, he hates doing chores, homework, and anything else productive that removes him from the television or video games. The rule in our house is no video games on school nights and no television until all homework and chores are done. Does he listen? He listens about as well as an elephant does acrobats. My charismatic, handsome, talented, and intelligent son follows instruction and abides by rules with as much accuracy as a blind man trying to playing darts.

For some reason, my son has gotten into his head that he can continue to miss classwork and homework assignments with no consequences. I don’t think he even cares anymore that his video game system is not plugged in. Taking things does not affect him. He finds other things to occupy his mind and time. You really have to admire his creativity and imagination. This boy turn pens and pencils into fighter jets, erasers into missiles, and crayons into wrestlers. Why listen to the teacher when there is wrestling match happening courtesy of your pencil pouch? Who cares about positive and negative integers when Triple H and John Cena are going at it?

So the question becomes this…how do you punish, discipline or motivate such a kid? He does not care to anything unless it directly affects him. He doesn’t even want to chip in and help around the house, but he will surely ask everyone for help when he has a task to complete. The vicissitudes of life, maturing, and responsibility are all things he would much rather ignore. I don’t blame him. Why grow up, embrace change, and become responsible if the only thing that happens is loss of all privileges and some else is going to do the work?

In my sneaky mommy mind I have come up with a plan to fight back. He wants war, well he’s got it. There’s no way my 11 year old son is going to out smart me. My plan is simply this, I will give him a hefty dose of his own medicine.

Tactic #1 – For each missing/late assignment, he will do 50 push ups, up-downs, or leg squats (I reserve the right to decide which). This will take place every day the assignment(s) are not turned in.

Tactic #2 – I will no longer do anything for him. Let me explain. Of course I will cook and drive him to school, help as needed with homework, etc. However, I will no longer be washing his clothes or his dishes. He will wash, dry, fold, hang, and put away all his own clothes. He will be given a set of dishes; 1 plate, 1 bowl, 1 cup, 1 set of eat utensils. He will only eat from these. It will be his responsibility to clean them. The same with his bath towels, and bed linens.

Tactic #3 – He will only be given what is required by law. That means he gets food, shelter, a ride to school, and a place to sleep. All the extra stuff like Movie Night with popcorn, cookies, and ice cream are gone. When I take special trips to get frozen yogurt, he will get what his money pays for. Since he has no money, that will be nothing.

Tactic #4 – Make him practice his playing the drum until his arms get tired. Maybe this way he will stay focused instead of trying to hit the other kids with his drum sticks.

Now I have just typed a pretty good game plan if I don’t say so myself. Will I follow through? That remains to be seen. I can be a pushover. Get me frustrated enough and it’s World War 3! Parenting does not come with a handbook. Rather it is a daily, lifelong, learning experience. Whether or not I stick to all the things I have mentioned, the important thing is that I recognize the need for positive change and improvement in key areas. I will continue to do my best.

Lord, help me so these kids don’t conquer me!

6th Grade Camp Part 2: The Let Down

This morning began with last minute packing as I prepared to send my son off to camp. We rush out, stop for breakfast on the way, and make it to school just in the nick of time. I found myself having a different conversation with him than the one I had with my daughter when she left. Instead of “giving him permission” I admonished him to behave. He likes to show off for attention. My son is the class clown. So, my concern was the he mind his manners, behave himself, be respectful of all adults, and follow the rules and directions given him. I encouraged him to have fun and reeled him in to a realistic level of excitement, getting away from the cartoon-like Bugs Bunny excitement building inside him. I was beginning to feel comfortable with my coaching and we were pulling into the school parking lot.

We did all of that prepping only to find the kids were no longer going; the trip had been cancelled. Apparently, something like 30 plus kids and staff from the first trip, which my daughter returns from today, took ill. They contracted a virus and no one knows where it came from. Now I am concerned about my daughter. I have not received any phone calls from anyone at camp, so I assume she is okay. However, as a protective lioness, I worry about my cubs when they are away from me and faced with even the slightest danger or adversity. As if I weren’t already anxious enough, now I really can’t wait for her to come home.

Today’s mission: find a way to cheer up my son and relieve his disappointment from missing out on camp.

Update: My daughter is one of the kids who got sick. New mission…nurse my baby back to health 😦

6th Grade Camp

October 1, 2012

This morning my daughter left for camp with her middle school. It’s a great experience for the kids. However, my little girl is not big on sleep overs and she rarely spends the night away from home. She was excited to go, and I was sad to see her leave. In an effort to ease her apprehension, I “gave her permission to go”. What do I mean by that? Of course she had my permission to go, I signed the trip slip and all the paperwork that came with it. When I say, “I gave her permission” I mean that I did not say or do anything to make her sad or reluctant to go. I encouraged her and reminded her what a great time she would have bonding with the other girls in her class. It was important for me to make sure my daughter was comfortable leaving. So, I gave her a couple of assignments…She is to have fun and enjoy herself immensely and she is to take pictures and share her stories with me when she comes home. Was I sad to see her go? Abso-freakin-lutely!! However, it would not have done either of us a bit of good to go on and on about how much we will miss each other; that is a given. There is no need to emphasize that. Positive affirmations only.

That said, as soon as I left, I was a ball of tears. I did great at keeping them from her. As parents, it is often very difficult for us to let go of our precious angels. For me, it is very emotional, but it must be done. As I pray, trying to make it through the first day without her, I think forward to Wednesday. In just 2 days, I have to bid farewell to my son as he leaves for the same camp trip. Oh my goodness! Why do they do this to us? Let’s see how this week goes…