So…Best of 2013 – Relationships

So…Best of 2013 – Relationships

So…I can say one of the most significant things I’ve seen a change in is my relationships.  Now this is relationships WITH ER’BODY!

A few years back…a friend of mine said she was too old for new friends.  I respect everyone’s decisions but I’m so glad that’s not my stance.  While I’m not openly seeking new friends, I’m grateful I keep meeting and connecting with others.  I’ve really made some GREAT friends this year.

It starts with know who you are and what you like.  It makes no sense for me to try and befriend someone who is into extreme surfboarding.  That is soooooooooooo not my style.  I’m a reader and writer, so naturally, I should surround myself with those folks.  Well, I don’t get out much.  Much of my people interaction is either at church in the choir or social media…well..really…Facebook.  Through Facebook though, I discovered Blog Talk Radio.  I connected with some really awesome folks and grew closer to others just discussing books and authors!

Some of these book junkies have been encouragers, prayer warriors, sounding boards, and shoot…just AWESOME FRIENDS!  Some, I connected with over comments over a mutual friend’s post…either way.  Don’t discount social media friendships.  Those friends have been in my corner…they go to bat for me…and if I go missing, they’re ready to board a plane to lead a search party.  Same here…Daphine, Orsayor, Stacy, Yolanda…you guys are the bomb diggity!

Some I met because of The Motherhood Diaries.  Those ladies are so funny.  They are super supportive, they make me laugh and help me remember that I’m not alone in this motherhood journey!  They give advice the help slap me back to reality at times!  I love being a part of that sisterhood.  I even met my kindred spirit Keleigh there…You couldn’t have told me I’d be connected this closely to people via Facebook that I didn’t already know…but it is an amazing bond.

I even found a friend on Facebook who I graduated from high school with…but I don’t remember her from high school!  I remembered her from a weight loss program we both participated in once.  She’s been a wonderful prayer partner.  We ended up being a member of the same church and we get to hang out.  Tamara is such a cool friend…and when I want to hang out..her daughters are old enough to baby sit!  lol..

Now…in the choir, I’ve made some great friends even when I’ve been standoffish and keeping to myself.  I’ve been adopted though and they won’t let me go!  Lol…While I’m away from my family, I have made some new friends who are like family.  Ms. Ruby and Rachel have grabbed me as their own.  Donna and Kelly keep me abreast of what is really happening with folks my age.  I met my prayer partner there too.  One who challenges me.  Nicole has helped me kick off and stomp the rose colored glasses to Hades.  She is the one who holds the mirror to my face and forces me to look and see what is really there.  She won’t let me close my eyes and pretend not to see it.  I love the growth I’ve seen since we met.  She completely and totally rocks.  My sister is like Nicole in that respect too…man…what would I do without them…

Then, there are my tried and true relationships.  My BFF from before BFFs were a thing…Karen…and then my other sisterlings…Melissa, Dashia, Kerrie and Devin…I tell ya…though I’m not in close proximity to them, I feel like I haven’t missed a beat.  When I’m home, we get to hang out some…even for only a few hours.  I’m not afraid to be me.  They keep me grounded, lift me up..make me wanna fly…Best part…I can call them night or day…and I can get what I need…and they can call me too!  This last year I’ve seen our bond tighten it seems.  My favorite part is that since I’m away from my mama…they are close enough to take care of her.  I gave my mom permission to be friends with them…(HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!)  They have adopted my mom…and she’s taken them…and I’m so grateful…where it’d take me 4 hours to get to her if something happened, they’re right there…unlocking doors…bringing food…bandaging wounds…I love my extended family!

Y’all know how I feel about my mom…but this year has really strengthened our relationship.  Never thought I’d get to the place where I could go to my mom about anything…but I’m grateful that she is that person.  Don’t get me wrong…she’s still my mama…but…now I’m now understanding and accepting our relationship because she’s so much more than that…love that lady…

Now…I met a guy this year…seemed like he had it together.  He was a good prospect to end my singlehood…lol..or so I thought.  What he really was for was to give me insight into the male psyche…and yup…help me build my character in my book.  That’s it…that’s all…*deep sigh*  Ah well…I’m still single….and I’m okay with that.  I’m not broken.  I’m not incomplete. I’m perfectly placed for this moment in time.   It’s about not being afraid though.  So…I’m unafraid…waiting until next time.

I’ve also gotten closer to Kimyatta this year.  It’s been a blast.  The last 3 months of this year have really been insightful on who I REALLY am!  I can’t believe that I’ve wasted so much time pleasing others and neglecting myself.  Boy..I could really  beat myself down about that…but it’s no use.  I only have today to get it right.  So…I worry about what I can do today..and keep it moving.  Doing that has made me a better parent I believe.  The girl and I have really changed the way we interact in the past few months.  I mean..she still mostly stays in her room…but we’re better than we were THIS time last year!  Grateful for change.

The best relationship I’ve repaired…mended…reconstituted is my relationship with God.  Man…that’s been rocky…I’ve finally gotten to a place where I can just accept my situation as a building point.  No.  It doesn’t mean that I’m satisfied with where I am, but I can praise Him that I’m not where I used to be and I’m certainly better off than I could be.  He keeps me.  He carries me.  He helps me to understand Him better.  I have to be open to change.  I can’t relive my past.  I can’t worry about my future.  All I can do is commit THIS day to doing the work HE called me to do.  Do I always know what that is?  Nope.  But, I have to stay connected with Him to make sure that I stay on the path.  I’ve taken the scenic route too many times, so now, I want what He wants for me…so…I’m doing the best I can with what I have!  (I say that a lot don’t I?)

Anywho…Two thousand thirteen has been one heck of a year for me.  I’ve seen so many fluctuations.  The folks I mentioned have certainly seen me go from extreme to extreme.  Growing pains are a beast!  As long as no one tries to commit me, I think I’m alright.  I don’t think they will…because then..they’d have to get the girl! I’ve lost some friends…not physically, but we’ve just grown apart.  I’ve tried holding on…but I realized that’s not healthy.  Sorry to see them go, but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do.  Ah well…C’est la vie!

Can’t wait to see what 2014 holds!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

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So…Best of 2013 – Reading

So…Best of 2013 – Reading

So…as far as my life as a reader goes…this has been a FANTASTIC YEAR!  Upon the entrance of the new year, I knew that there were LOTS of books I wanted to read….I keep up with book releases like movie goers keep up with movie releases…I’ve already got a list started for next year’s books. I decided that this year..I’d get every book I wanted to read somehow or another.  And boy did I!  As time allowed, I was able to read…everything I wanted to.

Facebook has allowed me to connect with some GREAT people…many of them authors.  Years ago, when I could still afford them, I stopped buying books because I bought a book at 3 pm…and was done with it by 11 that evening.  Now…this was before I understood the importance of supporting authors and what not…but I was upset because it ended too quickly and I was thirsty for more.  I was seriously ANGRY!  lol…BUT…I still would go to the library and still support my authors that way…I continued to do so when I was no longer able to financially support my book habit.

Well in 2013, the library saw me less and less.  Free books started to come to me out of the woodworks!  And while like my friend Kiera, I did not win free books for a year, I seemed to get free books all year long!  I won a few contests which got me lots of books, then I started being asked to review books and was given review copies…I could not believe how I was actually able to read the way I wanted to still!  I felt soooo awesome….The mail man or ups guy surely got tired of seeing my name.  I certainly didn’t care if they did or not…I was getting my books and that’s all that mattered.

About the middle of the year, something happened though…and I realized…while I can’t go and buy EVERY new release I could make room in my budget for a new book every now and again.  So…I was able to go and get a few other titles that I didn’t win.  But when things were tight or I didn’t think I had the money, something else happened…I somehow had a credit on Amazon!  That lawsuit thingie…yeah…I didn’t even do anything and just ended up with a credit….yup!  Works for me!  Then, a few times, I was blessed with a real gift card to Amazon.

The best thing in books that happened to me this year though was a trip to the National Book Club Conference.  Of course, I got lots of books there and I was able to meet some authors.  I was in book nerd heaven!  My mom saw my photos from the event and said she could see the glee all over my face in every one of them.  This was really the place for me.  I felt so at home and among friends and colleagues.  I made some great connections, got some good information and most importantly…BOOKS!  I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

With all that being said…I must tell you of the best works of fiction I’ve read this year…

Here’s my disclaimer:  These are the best books KIMYATTA has READ….I haven’t read all of the ones I intended to read.  There are some that I wanted to read that I know would be in this list…but I haven’t taken the time to do so because of other obligations…and I’m actually kinda kicking myself!  UGH!  Anyway…here goes…

Parallel Pasts – Julia Blues.  Hands down…this is the best book I’ve read this year…I can’t say enough about it…Check out my review.

Never Say Never – Victoria Christopher Murray.  Get your tissues ready!  I don’t understand how something on paper can evoke THAT MUCH EMOTION from you…Awesome book…Here’s my review.

Dream Girl Awakened – Stacy Campbell.  At the end of the book…you can only say one word…which is uttered in pure disbelieve with your mouth agape.  This is my review.  I’d seen this book posted and talked about so much on Facebook..that I actually thought I owned it.  Imagine my surprise when I went to read it and couldn’t find it on my Kindle app!  I. WAS. THROUGH!  I dreamed about this book!  I had not written it on my list because the cover and synopsis were etched on the back of my eyelids.  When I finally read it though…I was NOT disappointed.

When Baldwin Loved Brendan – Electa Rome Parks.  Here’s another tear jerker…but it’s a quick read.  My review isn’t posted on this blog just yet…but gimme some time to get myself together!  Ms. Parks did something smart with marketing I think…on Facebook, she asked for a few people to promote the book.  We changed our profile photos for a month to the cover…then we posted the link at least twice a day.  Now…what was smart about this…is that the person posting built anticipation of the book..not only for others, but for themselves.  I was so daggum ready for this book to come out that when it came…I dropped EVERYTHING I was doing and read it in a few hours.

Deep Fried Trouble – Tyora Moody.  Very cute story.  If you like mysteries with an element of fun..this is your book.  My review is here.

Now…this is just my top five fiction choices.  The Motherhood Diaries is nonfiction and certainly one of my faves.  I believe this is one for the ages…

Now..there are some authors I discovered this year who had works that were outstanding….you should check them out as soon as possible!

Keleigh Crigler Hadley

Marissa Monteilh

Pynk

Daphine Glenn Robinson

Tyora Moody (realized I have 2 more reviews to write for her books I’ve read this year!)

Iris Bolling

Sheryle Kiser Jackson

Marian L. Thomas

Sadeqa Johnson

Norlita Brown

Brian W. Smith

Raheim Brooks

Rhonda McKnight

There are also some books that were released this year that I own, but haven’t had a chance to read…

A Family Affair – Reshonda Tate Billingsley

Summer Rain – Cherlisa Starks RIchardson

Love After War – Cheris Hodges

Breaking All the Rules – Rhonda McKnight

Breaking All My Rules – Trice Hickman

Phew!  I could go on!  But I know only the book nerds like me have hung in this far…lol….

I also discovered blog talk radio and listened to authors talk about and read from their new books…You have to tune in to some shows…awesome stuff!  I never thought I’d get into radio where I wasn’t listening to music.

Anywho…this is my post about my books I’ve read over the year…I know that I left something out…but please charge it to my head not to my heart…y’all know I’ve got fingerprints on my brain!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…Best of 2013 – Healthy Me!

So…this year has been full of twists and turns.  I can honestly say it started of with a BANG!  For health and wellness, I was really met with all kinds of blows…from day one!

In January of this year, I lost my voice.  For those who don’t know me…you know that’s a BIG ISSUE!  Though I’m an introvert, I do love to talk…and sing…but on top of that…I work in a call center so using my voice is how I earn my living.  I went to work one morning…and thought that the hoarseness I was feeling would disappear…by the middle of the morning, I was in excruciating pain and was barely speaking above a whisper.  My callers all gave me well wishes, home remedies and blasted my employer for making me work while I was sick.  It was my choice.  While I didn’t feel well, I knew that I should go to work anyway.  After all, I work from home, so it’s not like I had to travel to be near anyone.  If I was contagious, then I would only infect my imaginary friends.

Anyway, I finally had no voice AT ALL left.  I let my supervisor know via instant message.  He had to get it approved from a manager for me to leave.  The manager listened to my calls for thirty minutes before deciding that I sounded “horrible” and needed to rest.  The next morning, I called out.  I went to urgent care and was told I needed voice rest for the rest of the week and to follow up with my doctor if it got worse or if my voice didn’t return.  Well, the pain went away, but I still had no voice.  I was pretty miffed.  I enjoyed my three days off…but I couldn’t sing either!  They called my prescription in to the pharmacy.  When I went inside to pick it up, I had post it notes so that I could rest my voice.  I had written out my note that I was picking up a prescription for myself…OOPS!  The cashier, a Caucasian male, turned the color of beets at first.  It did not occur to me that a note handed to a person behind a cash register could be scary!  When he read it though, he calmed down.  HILARIOUS though…only in hindsight of course.  I saw him hold his breath then start breathing again when he realized what I needed.  But let’s think here…If I was going to rob the store…why would I walk ALL THE WAY TO THE BACK…instead of hitting the cash registers up front?  Oh well..guess there’s no logic when it comes to robbers….

ANYWHO…my voice did not return and I ended up being put on voice rest…which meant for my job, I could not talk on the phone.  When I gave my doctor’s recommendation to my supervisor, he thought it would be fine to ask management if I could perform other tasks as our call center does more than just answer the phones…and because I’d been trained to do the other tasks, and they were behind with them, SURELY, I could do something else while I was on voice rest.  Unfortunately, the powers that be in my organization said…”Well if she’s sick she needs to take sick leave.”  My only problem was that I had no voice.  As long as I didn’t try to talk…I was in no pain…my fingers and brain worked fine…so I didn’t understand why the powers that be wanted me to have to use FMLA to be off for that time frame when there was SOMETHING that I could be doing that didn’t require the use of my voice.  At first, I was like…”you know what…whatever…this is the time I can use to find new employment or work on my book.”  But then…I couldn’t sleep…I was sincerely bothered by the complete disregard for my talents.  Yes.  I had sick leave but I needed to save it for when I was REALLY sick.  They’d been soliciting help for us to work extra time to help out with this other work in the call center, so I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just help out during regular hours because the work was there to be done.  Well, I am my mother’s child…and when something is not right in my world or there’s some great injustice that needs to be undone, I write a letter.  I write to the party involved and copy to everyone in the line of authority above this person who needs to see that I have a complaint.  Maybe that’s not the proper way, but it gets answers.  I was up at 3 am writing this letter.  Sure enough…my phone was ringing off the hook the next morning…with apologies and explanations as to why the decision was made.  Then it was the “I didn’t know you could…blah blah blah”..or the “Sure..we can work that out..”  All of this could have been avoided if folks would just be levelheaded and not get so caught up in titles to think that just because they’re in charge, they know what’s best for all involved.  I don’t like to be a troublemaker, but what makes sense…makes sense…and I’m glad the powers that be understood that FINALLY…because later in the year…I really did need my sick time…because I started having to visit a trillion doctors to get my diabetes care on track…had I used sick leave all of those days…which ended up being 6 weeks of voice rest, I would have had a problem when it came time to see about a more pressing issue.

I’ve gained and lost weight this year…but I finally managed to get my mind right which is the biggest challenge of any wellness program.

I’m grateful though, because not only am I getting my physical self in order, I think I’ve made grate strides with regards to my emotional and mental health.  I’ve learned to accept me…love me…and care about me…I’m learning how to stand up for myself, not hold things in and really really, enjoy this old life of mine.  Breaking the Shell is an experience…an on going process…but it is certainly one that has been life changing.  Super exciting!

I know I have a looooooooooooong way to go with being healthy, but I’m pushing on…I shall persevere!  Here’s to a great year in health!

cheers

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…Merry Christmas!!!

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is HOPE!

May you have the heart of Christmas which is LOVE!

May you have the spirit of Christmas which is PEACE!

Most importantly…may you understand that to me…

Christmas is about the birth of Christ!

I don’t know his exact date of birth, but I am pleased to celebrate it…year round…by giving showing LOVE to others by giving them HOPE which brings them PEACE.

From all of us here at So Says Kimyatta….Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

 

Until Next Time,

Hakuna Matata

So…He is God Alone

So…He is God Alone

God is such an awesome God.  Do you know that He is able to handle His business without any help from us?  We mere humans are His creation.  He gives us free will to do what we may.  Then, we have a nasty habit of making these awful decisions that go directly against God’s instructions.  then, we try to get ourselves out of trouble.  Guess what?  We can’t.  We even have the nerve to try to bargain with God.

I’ve learned that when I stick to His plan, we will fare much better than if we venture out on our own.  That’s when we think we can help God.  He is the creator of the universe who mapped out every detail from beginning to end and we think we can help Him?  God must have the biggest bellyache from all the laughing He does at us.  Because we are TRULY funny if we think we can help Him.  We are absolutely kidding ourselves.  There’s not one person who has never tried to help God.  There are even some that suggest if you do things in a certain order, chanting certain words, with certain people, then the “universe’ will grant your request.  Not so…not so…

The only thing God needs us to do is obey Him.  Plain and simple.  if we do that, everything else will fall into place.  Does that mean we won’t hurt or that bad things won’t happen?  Absolutely not.  I won’t pretend to know why God allows challenges, temptations, tests and trials to happen to those who love Him.  All I do know is that His word says that “all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.”  He predestined us to be conformed to the image of His son.  Those who are predestined were also called, justified and glorified.  So…it may be painful, but there is a purpose in the pain.  Press through and trust that God is not going to leave you.

Through it all, in the good times and bad times, He is still God all. By. Himself.  He sits on the throne and reigns.  Because He is, we need to be in relationship with Him.  That’s the only way we know what His plan is and what He would have us to do.  How do we do that?  I’m glad that you asked.

Here is how you can receive Christ:

1.  Admit your need.  (I am a sinner.)

2.  Be willing to turn from your sins. (Repent.)

3.  Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.

4.  Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit.  (Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)

That’s it.  It’s that simple.  Now the prayer is personal.  it’s going to be something you say.  All prayer is is a conversation with God. The hardest thing to remember is that it is a CONVERSATION not a SOLILOQUY!  He talks back to us.  We just have to listen.  It’s not about begging God to solve all of our problems or to make the pain stop.  Listening is just as important as speaking.  As a matter of fact…listening is twice as important.  That’s why we have 2 ears and 1 mouth.  If you need help starting a prayer…Google Sinner’s prayer…if you want prayer, email me at kimyatta@me.com and I’ll be happy to pray with you.

I started writing this post because I heard it when I was at choir practice a week or so ago.  We were singing William McDowell’s You Are God Alone…that song always speaks to me…I never intended to give the plan of salvation but that’s where that listening comes into play.  As I wrote, that’s where I was directed.  I’m going to be obedient ..so there it is.  I may lose followers, but I know what I believe and how I have been instructed to live…I can only do the best I can with what God gave me.  So..here’s me being obedient…

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…yeah…mmm hmm…

So…since it was too cold to walk outside this morning…and I haven’t exercised in a few days, I knew I needed to do SOMETHING…so I looked at my Pinterest boards and found a quick work out that was simple…called Starting Ten.  Here it is:

Image

Seems simple enough.  It was…but lawdy…it’s a good quick way to get your heart rate up.  but here’s my problem…I’m still faily large even though I’m 70 pounds down from my heaviest and 47 pounds down since May…(well..technically September because I’d gained and lost…)…ANYWHO…jumping is something that is a challenge.  I’m delighted to say that even though I jumped and heard my thighs, stomach and buttocks applaud, I did it anyway.  I hate that sound.  I hate it with a passion.  It’s the same sound I hear when I run.  I’ll keep doing it though, because eventually, the only clapping will be from my hands applauding myself for not giving up and continuing my healthy lifestyle.

Doing this through the holiday season is so hard because I’ve always just allowed myself to overindulge just like everyone else and say I’ll start again at the new year.  This year it’s different though.  Now…don’t get me wrong…I will have cake!  I’m just going to be very mindful of my portions and will also keep finding workouts that are indoor friendly even if I have to hear my body clap as I do them.  The main thing is…I’m not quitting…

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata