Three months later…how’s it going?

 

It’s no secret that I am a list keeper, journal writer, and avid reader.  How I manage to do all three is a question I am not sure I can answer.  I guess you have to decide how much you want to make time for it, and if it brings you joy, aka “Marie Kondo.”

So here we are. The beginning of April.  The first three months are now gone, and it’s time to check your lists.  How’s it going?  Are you meeting the goals you have set before you?  Do you see the answers to your prayers?  Are you walking towards your dreams and visions?  Are you checking off your to-do list?

 If you are not doing any of these things, why?  

As I contemplate on where I am this far, I have to say I am amazed.  And I love being amazed.  It brings me joy, peace, and creates great anticipation.  If you follow my blogs, you know that 2019 is my YEAR OF MIRACLES. And never really knowing what and how that is going to unfold, I just walk in obedience and in great expectation. I have witnessed the miracle of finding a new home in less than a month, I have witnessed the miracle of a dear friend walking towards his healing, and I have witnessed the reconciliation of a son to his family.  I have also witnessed the loss of someone truly special and the unexpected news of sibling suffering a sudden health crisis.

And it’s only been three months!!!  

Neither of those items I mentioned was on my “three-month” goal list, well, maybe one or two were, but in the bigger picture, they weren’t. I have learned that though I make up my list, I must leave room for the unexpected line items that make their way onto my list. I will continue to review my list of to-dos for this year, leaving room for God to insert HIS list for my life.  Leaving room for the unexpected and the answer to prayers that I have prayed over and over.

So as you sit and look over your list of dreams to be fulfilled this year, skip a line between your to-do list.  Leave a blank space for a miracle to happen and for the unexpected line items.  In that space may be the answer to your dreams.  It will come in ways that we never expect but always as it should be.

Lesson:

Don’t be discouraged if your list is not being checked off as you’d like.  The delay is sometimes the answer.  

‘Til Tuesday

-Annette Ortiz Mata

“If only…”

Are you content?

Do you feel – satisfied, pleased, gratified, fulfilled, happy, cheerful, glad; unworried, untroubled, at ease, at peace, tranquil, serene?

So you accomplish all your goals.  You check all your to-dos and sit back say..and then what?  Were you satisfied?  Did it meet all your expectations?  Did you get out of it all that it intended to be?

Sometimes we believe the grass is greener on the other side. That if only I had the bigger house, the fancy cars, the extra cash, the husband, the kids, the family.  We live with the expectation of “what ifs” and when we do get the “if only” we are surprised to find that it is not all that we expected it to be.  We are not as fulfilled as we want to be.  Why?

Well, I truly believe that it is our soul that needs the most tending to.  There is nothing in this earth that can satisfy our souls but contentment.  A spirit of thankfulness.  Recently I stated that I could only deal with what was before me “today.”  I could not worry about the items on my “to do” list for tomorrow. That I could only see what was right in front of me and honor it, love it, show up for it and bless it.

If you find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed and anxious.  Then I would suggest that your spirit is not aligned with what is best for you.  The God of the universe always has what is best for you.  We often run around like a hamster in a cage moving fast, getting nowhere.

I suggest as the year draws near, do something different. Expand your territory.  Host a dinner, go out to dinner with friends, see a play. Do something that would surprise yourself and those around you.  Extend your heart to others. It’s in those moments that your spirit will soar and you will feel contentment. Your “if only” and “what ifs” won’t matter because what is before you in the present is the most important.

Where can you show up, honor, love and be present?

Lesson:

Give thanks for where you are right now and you see all the blessings that will come as a result of your “spirit” being filled with gratitude.

“Til Tuesday

He keeps answering my heart!

Have you ever sat still enough to ask, God, do you see this? Are you listening? Do you know my heart?

Have you ever sat still enough to recognize that God sees all things, He listens to everything, and yes, He understands the desires of our hearts!

Our hearts hide the most intimate details of our wishes, dreams, and desires…and HE sees them!

I have come to understand and accept that though I may not see the answers to my heart prayers instantaneously, I have lived long enough to see them answered in God’s perfect time.

I love it when God shows off in the little details of our lives. It’s there when I see the perfect hand of God moving. It’s when I know that HE so profoundly sees my tears, and is paying attention to my life.

Someone once told me to “pay attention to the details.” I didn’t quite understand that at first, but in the details are the finishing touches that perfect room, a table, design.

It’s in the details that we see the intention of the artist in the completion of their work.

When you walk into someone’s home most folks notice the big picture, but it’s in the details, that we get to the person’s character, know their likes and see their personality.

God is in our details, not just the big picture.

We miss a lot because we focus on the big picture. Yet, if when we are still enough to focus on our life’s details, we will see the visible hand of God sketching out the perfect outcome and in those details, as in all details, is thoughtfulness that is specific to our heart, our prayers, our desires and God sees those.

Those are the answers to prayers that blow me away. Yet, those take time to get answered.

So you see, I have come to know that He still answers my heart. It’s in my heart, my core, that the most intimate desires live! There is a reason it is said: “Guard your heart”…

We keep our hurt, joy, and aspirations in our heart. We love our heart. Our hearts can stop beating, and our hearts provides the flow of oxygen that we need. It is the epicenter from which all things flow.

Yet, when God sees our hearts, he sees the brokenness we hid, the fear we mask, the pain we ignore along with the dreams and desires, and when we are ready, he heals our heart and answers our heart prayers.

What prayers have you guarded in your heart? What desires are you holding onto? What dreams are you still believing for? Keep praying in your heart!

Lesson:

Don’t give up on the secret dreams that you guard in your heart. God sees them and knows when you are ready they will be answered. Believe God

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ 

“Til Tuesday

Walking on Water…

How many times have you felt you are walking on water?  How many times have you felt, it will take a miracle?  How many times have you said this is an impossibility?

I can honestly say I have said it more than a hundred times.  I have had to walk on water more times than I can imagine.  When your bank account does not add up to your financial responsibilities.  When your baby boy is born two months too early.  When your husband tells you, he lost his job.  When you are diagnosed with an illness that is a death sentence. When your child is hurt by a stranger.  When an acquaintance betrays you and robs you of more than your time, but money.  When a friend betrays your confidence.  When someone you thought you could trust proves to be untrustworthy.  When you sell your home, without having another house to move into. When cancer comes knocking at your door more than once.

When you have to believe… for what you can’t see.

Yes… I have had to walk on water way too many times.  And I am here again.  Trusting, believing, forgiving, seeking, praying and giving.  It’s not easy.  Actually, it’s devasting, it’s frightening.  It’s downright horrific. But life brings us to the place where we have to believe, trust, forgive, seek, pray, give and walk, walk on water.  Not looking down, not turning around, but looking ahead.  Ahead towards the possibilities that will come.  Not everyone can walk on water.  Some of us get stuck on shore. We allow fear to paralyze our heart, minds, and souls.  Others get up and make a choice to walk, move forward in spite of what’s around us, behind, and before us and we choose to walk.

We choose to be brave!

Have you had a moment in your life that you’ve had to walk on water?  Was there ever a moment when you honestly said to yourself, I can’t do this, it’s all too much.  Those are the moments we must get up, walk and be brave!

Lesson:

Some days take our breath away in beauty, and others take our breath away in pain. Either way, they are both opportunities to move forward and walk on water.

‘Til Tuesday

When I First Saw You (Repost) In honor of our Anniversary​!

“When I first saw you, I said “Oh my”
I said “oh my, that’s a dream, that’s my dream.
I needed a dream when it all seemed to go bad
Then I found you, and I have had the most beautiful dreams
Any man’s ever had”*

=========================

We met while I was visiting Los Angeles.

He was tall, dark and handsome. He was smart and funny and helpful. He was the man that God had chosen all along to be my life partner. I remember someone saying to me, “whoever marries that young man is going to be one lucky girl.”

That girl turned out to be me!

When I returned to New York, I knew that things had to change, I just didn’t know how. The life I lived was a mix of public and private

functions. Dinners out, concerts and travel. No one truly knowing how alone I was and the many nights I cried myself to sleep, and the many nights I slept alone.

Robert called. He called June 8, 1993, and we haven’t stopped talking. Twenty-four years later and we are still having a conversation. Creating, dreaming, working and believing for our future together. Many folks tried to deter us from getting married…

…. but God!

Our courtship was over the phone. I was living in NYC pursuing my dreams of working as a news anchor and hoping to have my very own talk show someday. I was also Associate Producer for WNBC-TV, on Visions and Positively Black. I didn’t realize that as I entertained his phone conversations, which were harmless,

I was falling in love, and he loved me from afar.

What transpired was a whirlwind romance. The proposal and marriage all within a six month period. Robert knew with all certainty that I was the one and that there was no need to wait. It was truly the most beautiful courtship filled with intimate moments and details that only we know meant the world to us.

I love how God orchestrated our lives, though painful and humiliating the journey was to get to him…

..it was right.

Many folks have asked if I would change anything about my life. They often expect to hear me say my previous relationship. Yes, there are some moments in that eight-year journey that I would like to erase, but it was those defining moments that led me to the life I am living now.

Someone once told me that my faithfulness to God brought me, Robert. And yes, they are right.  It has not been perfect.  But it has been beautiful.  Beautiful pain and beautiful joy bringing us closer to each other.  Even in our silence, in our disappointments, we know that love, commitment and forgiveness are the most powerful attributes to our relationship.

You are still my dream

Lesson:

 Let God lead you to where you are supposed to be.  His vision is greater and with it comes peace.

Til’ Tuesday

*Tom Eyen and Henry D. Kreiger (Lyrics- “When I first saw you, DreamGirls”)

Dream, dream so big it kinda scares you a bit!

I’ve always been a dreamer.
I’ve always had a vivid imagination of life, especially my life.
Growing up in the Bronx housing projects you kinda have to be creative with your mind, and with what the future can be.

I desired beautiful things. A secure marriage, healthy children, and a voice! A voice that would be heard and respected. This past year I found that voice through my blogging. I’ve always loved writing, hence the two dozen journals I currently have and counting! I loved expressing myself in my writing.  Being the youngest of seven children, writing became my outlet, my voice, a place where I felt heard and respected.

Several years ago I realized that I had somehow lost my voice.  I had succumbed to the pressures of judgment and “please like me” and the need to please.  Honestly, I wasn’t very happy.  Then one day while I was visiting my hometown of NYC I was walking in the City and thought of what I had become and immediately recognized that that was not who I was meant to be.  I needed to find my voice, my own voice, my real voice and own her and respect her and at that very moment, I recognized that I no longer needed to be anything other than who I truly was.  No judgment, no need to please.

Just me, as I am and I felt free!

As I write complete this blog, I know that I found my voice and feel secure enough to share it with everyone. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that what I have to say means something to someone else, encourages someone and brings an “aha” moment to my reader.

What are the dreams you have? What’s the one thing you always think about? How do you wish to exercise your voice, be heard and respected? I know that each one of us has a gift, a talent that is waiting on our boldness to share.

This is your season to make your dreams a reality, one moment at a time. Be free, no judgment, find your true voice.

Dream, dream so big it kinda scares you a bit!

I know I did…and continue to do so!!!

Lesson:

Those quiet moments you have with God when you share your dreams… He’s waiting for you to act on it. Move towards your gifting…

‘Til Tuesday!

The Waiting Room (Part 2)

When his name was called, we walked into the lab room.  They asked my husband to hold Rob in his lap and hold down his little arms so that they could draw a significant amount of blood.  My husband’s legs began to shake, his tears just flowed as he watched Rob so quietly, without a whimper, allow the phlebotomist draw blood from his tiny arms.

We were then escorted to the exam room, where a team of doctors along with Head of Pediatrics were waiting for us. They poked and prodded, they took notes.  They told us that he looked incredibly healthy for a patient with such devastating bloodwork.  Before we left, we were given explicit instructions that every week for the next 8 weeks we were to take Rob to the pediatrician’s office for bloodwork.  They needed to keep track of his blood cell count.

And so we did.  

During that time we traveled to Florida to visit with family and celebrate Rob’s first birthday. Rob became incredibly ill. He developed a high fever that sent him into a seizure.  An ambulance ride, more doctors, more blood work, turned our visit with family into a medical emergency. This birthday and everyone thereafter was memorable.

Upon returning to Los Angeles, the last test showed a marked improvement, so much so that the doctors at Cedars did not believe that there was any need to continue with the bloodwork, but simply keep an eye on his yearly checkup blood tests.

Until he turned 4 years old and everything changed…again.

It was a usual four-year-old checkup.  This time Rob was talkative, aware, inquisitive and a lot of fun.  This bloodwork was not good.  They didn’t even let us go home.  The pediatrician asked that we go to the hospital immediately.  I looked up at her and said, “can we wait a week, please give me a week.”  She looked at me puzzled.  Not really understanding how I would consider delaying something so serious.  But she obliged.  That week was the week I prayed, pleaded, fasted, anointed and believed that my son was healed, and he was whole.

A week went by and that Saturday morning we had our follow up blood work.  Before we left the house, we prayed over Rob and anointed him with oil, and he immediately said, “why are you putting oil on my head?” I said, “because we are going to get our miracle.”  It’s was a 25-minute car ride yet it seemed like an hour.  We drove in complete silence.  When we arrived at the pediatrician’s office, this time there weren’t smiles, our nurse was quiet, the mood was solemn. They drew blood and asked us to please wait.  The doctor came in and said she needed to double check something. At this point, our hearts were pounding out of our chests.  Upon her return, she said, “I can’t explain this, but last week Rob had full blown Leukemia, and today his results are of a patient with a cold, you can go home – he’s healthy.” My husband immediately walked out of the exam room and out of the building…he needed to be alone.  I knew he needed the privacy to weep.  I picked Rob up, held him tight and told him, “we got our miracle.”  My beautiful curly haired boy is now 22 years old.  A strong, healthy young man that has seen his share of trials.

 Yet, I can never forget that afternoon, 22 years ago when I  screamed, why me, why him, why us?

I now know why. God trusted us with him. God trusted us with this trial. Rob was never ours, to begin with. He belongs to God, and we will forever be thankful that God chose us to walk through that valley to acknowledge his great love and mercy.

Can God trust you?

Lesson:

Why me, why him, why us?  Why not. Surround yourself with people that will hold you up when you can’t stand on your own and trust a living God that will carry you when you can’t walk

‘Til Tuesday

Just Get Up!

Recently I heard my friends say how much they want to get done this year. They want to lose weight, start a new business, find a spouse, find a new job, move, become more decisive, start school, complete their education, save money, advance in a career.

This list goes on and on.

So my question is, what’s it going to take to get at least one of these goals started and done!

In my experience, I’ve had to make some very hard life decisions that cost me something. In desiring to reach a goal, I’ve had to sacrifice. I’ve lost friends, sleep, weight and put weight on. I had to move across the country, and let go of some dreams to a make room for the ones that were even greater. I had to believe in myself when no one else did. I had to tell myself I was worthy of moving forward, I was worthy of better.

I just had to get up!

We often wait for the one moment, that right moment, that complete clarity, (you know that is just how we create excuses for ourselves because we are afraid)  

Stop expecting someone else to create for you what only you can do for yourself and…

Get up and apply to school. Get up and apply for the job or internship. Get up and start an exercise program. Just start walking! Get up and go out to meet folks (your spouse might be right in front of you). Get up and make those decisive decisions. The hard ones, the ones you fear the most!

Don’t let a day, week, month, year go by without accomplishing what you keep talking about! Just get up!!!

What are you hoping for this year? Think about how you can move towards your new year’s revelation!

Start now and just get up!

Lesson:

It’s not going to be easy. There will be moments that will interrupt your focus and even stop you dead in your tracks! Just get up, dust yourself off! And like someone once famously said, “just keep swimming.”

‘Til Tuesday

Isaiah 43:19

Disappointments…it’s physical.

Disappointment: sadness, regret, dismay, sorrow; dispiritedness, despondency, distress, chagrin; disenchantment, disillusionment; displeasure, dissatisfaction, disgruntlement. 

Disappointments often come like a massive wave! Overwhelming and pulling you in many directions-

She said what? He did what?  They want what?  How am I going to do this?  That is a bold face lie!  Why is this happening again? When will this all end?  How much longer?

This year I can honestly say I’ve caught myself saying these phrases more than once! The year was full of beautiful and memorable moments, along with incredible loss and pain and disappointments.

In it, I finally starting saying  “why, and why not me.” I’ve said “enough already” and “it’s not enough.” I’ve thought “I’m gonna get them” and I’ve also said, “It is not my battle to fight.”

When disappointment sets in, often for me it’s a physical not merely emotional. I feel it in my heart, stomach, and my spirit is immediately grieved. Disappointment can paralyze you emotionally if you don’t get control over it right away.

…And just let it go!

All these thoughts run through my mind when disillusionment visits my spirit. Yet I have come to understand and know that this too shall pass.

And I am here to tell you that it does! 

Right now I am experiencing a series of disappointments, yet I know with certainty that what is to come right behind these moments are lessons that I need for my personal growth.  I embrace the disappointments understanding that I am leaving room for what is intended to be for me.

What unmet expectations did you encounter? How much did we place on a situation or person to do what they really weren’t meant to do? Where did we miss the mark?  Have we started to face the reality of our part of the experience of being disappointed?

As you reflect on your year give thanks for the roses and the thorns.  They need each other to produce beauty.

Lesson:

Not everyone is for you, and not everyone is against you. Learn from your disappointments. There is always a lesson in that experience.

Life lessons are quiet God whispers leading us along.

“Til Tuesday

What does your wife do??…Are you kidding me!!

Hmmm, this question was asked not too long ago and quite frankly if a woman is not working outside of their home the world does not recognize their worth…

I’m incredibly busy….
I own and oversee two businesses.
I host an internet talk show once a week.
I write a blog once a week.
I manage our homes budget and maintenance
I am a mom of two sons. Both of which require my undivided attention.
I chauffeur my youngest son to school, piano lessons, lacrosse practice and his social events.
I try to prepare at least three home-cooked meals.
Keep a tidy house.
Do laundry and put it away (vital part and the biggest part of laundry) on the same day.
I try to work out 4-5 times a week. (Most weeks it’s 3 days a week)
I try and make all my medical appointments along with those of my family.
I make all the necessary appointments for my sons and husband.
I try and go out and socialize to not lose my mind.
I try to get as much sleep as my life will allow.
I try and read a book every two weeks (not always successful) but won’t give that up.
I try to give myself morning quiet time so that I can focus on all that’s on my day.
I get all this done all the while managing my emotions, thoughts, and conversations.

Yet you ask “What does your wife do?! – Are you kidding me…

This is some of what WE all do!!!

As you get older you realize there are some things you fight for and some things you let go.
We have too much going on to pick a fight on everything and everyone
We are ALL busy, so when you ask a woman what she does?
She RUNS the world!

Lesson:

Never question the worth of a Woman, it’s priceless-

‘Til Tuesday