Book Processing

Connect and Redirect Technique

Connect and Redirect Technique

Connect and Redirect Technique

The Connect and Redirect Technique is referred to in the book the “Whole-Brain Child.” This technique is one that I hope to do (aka remember in a moment of chaos) with my children. This is where your left brain, right brain, and corpus callosum work together to create a relatable moment.  

The logic of your left side (that is the side I operate heavily off of) and the emotion of your right side (I’ve been told I’m emotionally stagnant) work together in harmony. “Denial of our emotions isn’t the only danger we face when we rely too heavily on our left brain. We can also become too literal, leaving us without a sense of perspective, where we miss the meaning that comes from putting things in context.”  

How My Parents Raised Us 

My parents, in my opinion, are pretty opposite in personality. Pop is the definition of emotionally stunted, and my Oak allows her feelings to be all over her person. We, kids, are a good mix between the two. I’m a lot like Pop in how I handle things. In the past, I would be considered pretty cold and emotionless. As I’ve aged, I’m coming into my feelings and allowing myself to feel emotions. It is strange to be in the moment and let it go.

Still, I keep my outward emotions more to myself than I do to show them to others, but I’m getting better. My Lady taught me about the concept of feeling and allowing myself to show emotion. When she had her first TIA, it rocked my world. That night, the doctor told us she would likely have a massive stroke and die. He had a procedure he wanted to do in hopes of deterring this impending stroke.

The Night That Changed Me

That night, her youngest son and I sat with her at the hospital. At about one in the morning, her son decided that he would head home. She was resting peacefully, and I was happy to stay on hospital patrol. At about 1:30 am, I was sitting by her bed, and out of the blue, she started singing old-fashioned hymns.  

That woman could sing, and it took me by surprise. She was wide awake and belting out some of the most beautiful hymns ever written. In the midst of it all, her nurse came flying into the room. She heard her singing from the nurse’s station. I looked at this sweet young girl, and she had tears. Stupid me, I thought she was moved by how my Lady sang. I was wrong. She was getting emotional because this was the moment the doctor was talking about earlier.

She was having a stroke and how it presented in her was through music. The brain is so astounding. I held her hand and sang with her. After she sat up, she looked at me with wide eyes and asked me if she was done raising me yet. I told her I didn’t feel like she was done. There was so much more for me to learn from her.

Ever so gently, she held my hand. She told me how strong I was and how far I had come in our journey together. My Lady told me how much she loved me, my husband, and our children. Then she talked about her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She told me I would be okay and that she was so excited to see “her Jerome” and, of course, Jesus.

My Emotions Overcame Me

I cried. My Lady sang. The love she showed me that night is forever etched in my heart. Thankfully, she didn’t leave me that night. The doctor prevented it from taking her life by doing whatever procedure he did. At that moment, my right brain took over entirely. It was such a bizarre feeling for me. However, after that happened, I quickly went into my left brain, where I lived. My emotions were stuff, and I was prepared to call her family and give them a recounting of the events that had happened. I wanted to be strong for them and give them all the information. They loved her way more than me, and they deserved a well-put-together account of that evening. I did that. It felt like I was reading off of a paper.  

When my Doug showed back up, that was a different story. When Chelsea came, that was a different story. I have a bond with them that is different. They know me better than the rest of the family. I didn’t want to be a flake or not know the facts. That woman and Jerome produced some brilliant human beings who loved their Granny Jo very much.

As the Weeks Went By

My Lady would ask me to go over that night. In my mind, this was asked of me because she was having a stroke and didn’t remember. Your brain develops a type of amnesia when trauma occurs. I would busy myself with something mundane. Then, I would go over that night, never looking her in the eyes.  

Her eyes.

I would get to the part of her singing and skip everything that surrounded that moment. My story would always end up with how she survived, how loved she was, and how thankful I was that she was still with us. Left brain. Logic. No right brain. No emotion.

That irritated her. She would rewind and ask me to go over it again. I had to stop and tell her the part I skipped over this time. I had to do this while looking at her. Do you have any idea how hard that was for me?  

My right brain would sneak in, and I would feel the lump in my throat. Then, like a thief in the night, my right brain would take over. She finally stopped me and asked me why I did that. Why do I shut my emotions off?

Letting it All Go

I told her that if I started crying, I would never stop. We talked about my fear of her leaving me alone that night. She eased my soul and said that crying was God’s way of allowing us to heal from the inside out. It was healthy to cry. By golly, I was going to sit there and tell her that story, and I was going to cry. She had tissues in her hand.

I sat at her feet, with my head on her lap. For the first time, I told her the entire story from start to finish. I cried so much my face was swollen. She just stroked my hair and loved me through it. We went through this same thing day after day.  

What she didn’t realize that she was doing was the connect and redirect technique. She was taking a massive trauma out of my locked box and exposing it to light. She made me talk about it until it was filed appropriately in my brain. I can talk about it now. I do shed tears, but it is not all-consuming tears. I processed this night after many years.

God Moment

Wow, this was such a God moment recounting that and realizing that she taught me all the things I would need to know. I thought I was learning all of this stuff from books. Now, I know that through the love and wisdom of her, my parents, granny, and my few support people, I am equipped to parent differently.  


I may need to eat my feelings.  

Faith Journey

Letting Yourself Be Seen

Letting Yourself Be Seen

Letting Yourself Be Seen

Today, I am going to let myself be seen. Today, I am going to declare that I am enough. For so long, I have struggled with conformity friendships. I desire to conform, but it is not me when I do. I lose myself in that moment and realize that I am doing this to fit in. 

Sisters, you are not created to fit in. You are designed to be salt and light. You are made to be a city on a hill, not a face in the crowd. I was not only a face in the crowd. I had customized masks to wear for each crowd.

God Speaking

I learned very young that I was not like other people. I thought differently, acted differently, and believed differently than my schoolmates, roommates, boyfriends, siblings, and parents. 

At the age of 10, I remember standing in the driveway of my grandparents’ house declaring that, one day, I would adopt from Ethiopia. How I even knew where that place was is still a mystery. I wanted to adopt, and I wanted to adopt an older Ethiopian boy because that is the child that no one wanted.

Storing Up His Promises

I kept that stored in my heart, never releasing it because my family struggled with racism. At one point, I was informed that I could choose my black children or my father. I thanked my father for the love and protection he had given me, kissed him on the cheek, and then told him I would choose my children.

Do you have any idea how hard that was for me? People-pleasing me.

Judgment of Others

The people that no one wants to be around are the people I am drawn to in my spirit. I have been told to be careful who I associate with because it could question my faith and salvation. I have also been told that I cannot be submissive to my husband because I’m loud. I have been told I am not worthy to stand in front of people because no one wants to hear what I have to say. After all, my hair is pink, and I have tattoos. I have been judged on my children acting like children and had horrible things said to me in regards to them. Things have been told, and I still struggle to forgive the words and the people who said them.

My Lady

My best friend was 79 when we met. She was my Lady. That’s what I called her. It started as a mentor, then moved to friendship. Next, it moved to me being her caregiver, then a closeness that I cannot explain, and then I had to give her to Jesus. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My Lady saw me. She saw through the masks and the facades I tried to put on. My Lady loved me without abandon, and Ms. Jo treasured my family, though we were all different. She was my person.

That is What Everyone Needs

They need a Lady, a friend, a confidante who sees you, and you see them. It was beautiful but short-lived as she passed away. I miss her. She told me my tattoos were stupid, but she always wanted to look at them and touch them. She would wring my neck if she knew her name was on my body. I took Faith(i.e.), hope, and love to another level. There is a cross (love) with a semi-colon, doves (hope), and Faith(i.e.) because her name was Faithie.

I challenge you all to be you. Love you. Embrace your weirdness, and never do you have to explain yourself. Ever. Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no and zero explanations.


Depression, Faith Journey, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Get Over It Speech by My Lady

Get Over It Speech by My Lady

Get Over It

 I have struggled with depression my whole life. There are short seasons; there are long seasons, then there are ** long seasons. A couple of times, I missed a year because I could not remember due to my depression. Some seasons are circumstantial, and my sad cloud leaves once those circumstances have been resolved. The other seasons are just plain ole crappy.

 I withdraw, sleep, do not get out of my house, do not change my clothes, or get out of bed. It takes too much effort. My husband does not know what to do with me. In our early years, he was oblivious because I was great at placing my mask. He recognized and then tried to fix the problems in our middle years. Well-meaning spouses cannot cure depression. 

In Later Years

In the later years, he sits and loves on me. He lets me be me, and he loves me through the valleys. We have come a very long way. I have learned to take off my masks and ask for help through lots of prayers, Jesus, therapy, and medication. He has learned to stop trying to fix me and to stop trying to understand the darkness that can consume me. 

 In 2015, I was struggling with a hard season of depression. There were days when I struggled to get out of bed, get dressed, brush my hair, etc. I did the best I could, but at the end of the day, depression won. I would sit in my bed, sobbing about being a failure as a believer, wife, mom, daughter, sister, and human being. Deep down, I knew my worth in Christ. Sadly, I listened to what the evil one was whispering in my ear. Instead, I should have been listening to the Truths of my Jesus.

In Walks My Lady

 On a Wednesday night, my family and I went to church for dinner and our classes. We got there, got our food, and sat down to eat. The side door opened, and my Lady walked through the doors. She is a fantastic lady, and she has taught me so much, and I knew, regardless, that she loved me. 

I got up from my seat and hugged her while my son ran and grabbed her some dinner. She cannot only look at me, but she can also look THROUGH me. 

That night, she looked through me and asked me what was wrong. Tears rose in my eyes, and I said, “I don’t know, I’m really sad and I can’t shake it.” My Lady looked at me and firmly said, “well, get over it. You have a life to live, a husband who needs you, children who need you…now get over it.”


 I think you could have knocked me over from the shock of that statement. There has never been a person, over my long history with depression, that has ever said anything like that to me. I almost let it hurt my feelings. I almost listened to the evil one saying, “she does not love you, she does not care, that was mean.” 

Instead, Jesus took me and shook me that night. With Jesus by my side, He flicked satan out of my ear and said, “I sent her to you. She is my gift. This is your kick in the pants from Me through her. Now, get over it!” I walked around in a bit of a daze that night.

Purposing to Follow-Through

 The next day, I got up and proposed to do a few things to better myself. I am well aware of my deficiencies in the “follow-through” department. There is also the thought of wanting to succeed at something, and if I set my goal too high, then I will not follow through, and I will fail. I put the bar VERY low. 

My first set of 30-day goals was straightforward. The first thing was to brush my teeth every day. The second was to put a bra on every day (you laugh, girls, but you know what I’m talking about, especially being a homeschool mom).

Next Up

I also purposed to read 1 chapter of Psalm and 1 chapter of Proverbs daily. I did this by starting on whatever day of the month it was. It made it easier for me to remember. I had just received a great study bible, a new journal, highlighters, and pens for Christmas. I was set. In my journal, I listed five blessings first. Next, I listed prayer requests. Then, I would read my chapters, highlight the verses that meant something to me, and write them in my journal.

 I made it through that first month! I was so proud of myself, and the Lord revealed SO much through His Word. I also maintained my two tiny goals of brushing my teeth and wearing a bra. 

Month 2

The following two goals were pretty simple. The first was to take my medicine regularly (always take your meds as prescribed by your doctor) and not wear my husband’s clothes but my own. Again, you people might be mocking me, but my husband is a big man, and I feel skinny when I wear his clothes. I like to feel skinny! 

I had powered through Proverbs, and I still had a ways to go with Psalm, so I thought I would add a short book of the bible to make myself feel good about accomplishing something again. I still kept my journal, but I was on a new journal because I had filled the first one up!

Getting Wild Up in Here

 This time around, with my prayer request, I got wild and mixed things up! I went back through my prayer request and highlighted the answered prayers, dated them, and wrote how they were answered. In my dark times, I could flip through my journal, and I could physically see the answers and that God still moves even when I feel He is not moving. 

I also began branching out with my prayers. When I felt myself closing up and moving inward with sadness, I forced myself to look to someone else. I texted people in my contacts about how I could pray for them. The replies to my texts were humbling. 

My friends would say, “How did you know? What do you know? Who told you? I was praying about that, and I feel I have confirmation. In my darkest, you reached out.” Oh, my goodness. The reaction of others was a source of light and comfort for me. The Lord was using my depression to further His Kingdom!

My Prayer Journal

 My journal filled up quickly, and I had to upgrade to a notebook. I asked each person how I could pray for them; I gave them their page and added any requests. I would follow up with their requests to see if the Lord had answered them, and when they were answered, I highlighted and dated that request. 

Eventually, I branched out even further and extended prayer to my friends on Facebook. The responses were overwhelming. I was and still am humbled to stand in the gap, with prayer, for people. My notebook got full, and I have since moved to a binder! I love my binder. It is never far from me, and I have my pens and highlighter ready.

What I Learned in my Season of Depression

 In this season of depression, I not only learned how to pray, but I also ended up reading through the entire bible in about a year and a half. There were the dreaded books of the bible that came to life because I was reading it through a new set of eyes. The Lord revealed so much that I started sending out lessons I had learned along the journey. My season lifted because one person spoke what I needed to hear. “Get over it!”‘

Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness

 Depression is real, and it is not talked about in society. Please, I am urging whoever is reading this to seek counsel. If counseling does not help, go to your doctor and look to get on medication. There is no shame in that. I have been on medication, on and off, for several years. 

There are seasons of your life when “get over it” does not cut it, and you need more help. I hope that the stigma of depression and other mental illnesses is eradicated and that we can talk freely, get support, and become free from this disease. 

If you, or someone you know, has any mental illness and are afraid they may do the unthinkable, the Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. People are there 24 hours a day. Never be ashamed. Never think you are alone. Know your options. Reach out! Live! Teach others! Through your ashes, beauty will be found.


Life or Something Like It

Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Today, I am Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend. Every time I see this picture, this Lady is GORGEOUS in red! That was my favorite color on her. She was smiling because it was her 81st birthday, and her “boyfriend,” aka Big Daddy, was taking her on a fish date. I was the third wheel because all best friends are great third wheels.

How She Loved Bart

She loved him so much. Even during a very trying time in our marriage, she could have just said: “Leave him,” but she did not say that. She carried my weary body into her home, placed her beautiful hand on my hand and the other on my head, and prayed.

Then, she picked up the phone and called a trusted and fantastic human. She briefly (and discreetly) said a few things and then hung up the phone. As she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and a smile, she said: “It is going to be okay.”

In Time

It was, but during that “it time” part, she held me accountable for my words and actions. She also had another man work with Bart. Together, they walked with us through the mud. Our marriage is stronger because of the prayers and advice we received.

I miss her so much that I physically ache. Everyone should have a Ms. Jo. I mean everyone. Someone strong, not afraid to speak her mind, and loves so completely. I never doubted that she loved me. She never doubted that I loved her.

I Wish We Had More Time

We had little time, ten years maybe, not long enough. It is as simple as that. What started as me admiring grace and beauty (and her voice) moved on to noticing her beautifully crooked finger. Then it matriculated into me timidly requesting her to be my mentor. Quickly, followed by me sitting on her porch and squalling. I cried so bad that she said we were making the neighbors talk and, for the love of all, to get in the house.

Next, it moved to me helping out here and there, going to lunch, and running errands. Lastly, it moved more into caregiving and sitting with my Lady. Many nights of me making supper and eating it together while watching Jag. Cleaning. Oh my goodness, I cleaned things out. We looked at her billions of pictures, and I soaked up all her memories.

Find a Mentor

Talk to your church and see if you can set up a mentor/mentee program. It is so worth every moment! “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5).

You will not regret it. I miss you, Lady. More than I can even describe. My best friend, person, mentor, accountability partner, and teacher. I am so excited to see you again! Until we see each other again, I love your face off in heaven!

Life or Something Like It

Self-Care Not For Sissies

Self-Care Not For SissiesSelf-Care Not For Sissies

Self-Care Not For Sissies. For about a year, maybe a bit longer, I have been learning to take care of myself. It is hard as a wife, mom, daughter, friend, and believer. It is hard for a woman to stop and recharge. For me, I felt like I didn’t have time. I had to go go go go and do do do do, and when I was tired, I had to go more and do more.

My Lady


One day, I was at my Lady’s house and had things to do there. I needed to get laundry started, dishes started, do some computer clean-up, get the trash, visit, and then I was going to make her dinner and bring it back and eat supper with her. Those were my favorite days.


I got there, and we chatted for a moment. My Lady looked me square in the eyes and asked me if I had slept any the night before. She always knew when I hadn’t slept. I mean, she always knew. This day, I must have looked pretty darn bad. I just smiled and told her I was okay and would get some stuff started for her. So, I stood up, and she promptly told me to sit my butt back down in my chair.

It’s a Command, Not a Statement


I sat down, looked at her, and asked her what she needed. She had a sense of urgency when she told me to sit down. That smile she just smiled and said for the next 15 minutes, I would sit there, be quiet, and close my eyes. I laughed at her, and then I laughed more. Finally, I told her that I was there for a visit and all I wanted was to visit. There was wisdom that I needed. Also, I needed to get some of her stuff done. She told me the stuff could wait and so could the visit, but I was not to speak or move.


I leaned back, propped up my feet, and eyeballed the clock. I would do as my Lady said, but if I didn’t, she’d get me, but I was not going to enjoy it, and I was not going to sleep. Well, after about 45 minutes and a ton of drool, my eyes popped open. I was disoriented. I had no idea what was going on or where I was. I looked at her with this frightened look, and she was smiling in all her wisdom and beauty. She asked how I felt; frankly, I felt like a million bucks.

Finally, Sleep


I could not believe I fell asleep without the aid of meds or a fan but command from the most extraordinary human ever. It was glorious. She explained that she worried about my constant moving and going and doing. I needed to stop and regroup, or I would be sick, and then I would be no help to anyone.


I took her message to heart. I began, initially, claiming Sundays as a day of rest (literally). After church, I would come upstairs and take off my makeup. Then, I would change my clothes and pile them up in bed. I would watch movies, play on the computer, clean my room, or nap. Bart would buy Chinese, and I would not come out of my room all day. Somedays, I just lay in bed. Other days, I would listen to praise music and pray. To this day, I still do that. I used to feel guilty, and now, I realize it makes me a better human.

Self-Care Ideas


Since that time, I have extended my self-care attitude. Occasionally, I would get a massage. I get out by myself sometimes. Also, some days I would head to bed at about 8. Now, I don’t go to sleep, but I take a couple of hours to be responsible-free and reset my internal clock. There are nights when I take long, hot showers. I also do face masks or hair masks cause I enjoy them. I look at pictures, listen to music, text my friends, and call my siblings or mom.


My kids can still come up here and chat. My husband comes up here to talk sometimes. I still have a few critters up here in my bedroom. H goes to bed at 9, and his bed is close to mine, so it isn’t like I lock the door. Most nights, I sit and be still.

Still, I am a Good Mom


I am not selfish and am not trying to get out of my parenting/wifely duties. Several nights I stay up and play cards with my husband or those boys who have taken over my girls’ lives. I am a mom of 7. Yet, I parent about 11 kids. I mentor, love, cook for, clean for, educate and haul all of these people. Every day, I have four special needs kids…one with behavior issues, one with low functioning and learning disabilities, and then H with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome. Sadly, I am tapped out by the time supper is over.


It does not make us, as women, wrong to go to our rooms and let our husbands take the reins of parenting. It makes me better. It builds relationships that might not otherwise be built if I’m always in the room. Let’s face it, my husband and I could be sitting RIGHT NEXT TO each other, and every single time there is a question or a problem, the kid comes to me. Every. Single. Time.

Daddy Duty


Daddy must know our boy parts are bunched in our new Superman underwear. He also needs to know that the squirrels ate the wires in the car. Oh, wait, Daddy needs to answer the bazillion questions with one of our kids. Also, Daddy must tell a certain boy that poop goes in the potty, not in his pants.


I’m happy to let daddy do ALL the things……….while I chill.

Life or Something Like It

My Lady Go Big or Go Home

My Lady Go Big or Go HomeMy Lady Go Big or Go Home.

My Lady, Go Big or Go Home. Flashing back to June 2, 2017, I went to check on my Lady. When I got to her house, she was nowhere to be found. I walked around, gathered laundry, and straightened her house. Then, I called her son and granddaughter to see where she might be. I knew she had not felt well. I didn’t think she had gotten significantly worse since I had been there a few days earlier.

In They Walk

While I was on the phone with her youngest son, her granddaughter walked in the door with her. My Lady’s belly was huge and tight; her legs were swollen. She could hardly breathe, and all she wanted to do was lie in bed. She rarely does this when I am there. We got her in bed, and I spoke with her granddaughter.

The doctors thought that she needed her gallbladder taken out. So, they had scheduled an appointment for the following morning to consult with a surgeon. However, after more discussion, it was decided that if they happened to keep her, she needed to be at the hospital where her neurologist was. This is because of her stroke a couple of years ago. So, her son took her to the ER. I would run to a baseball game for one of my kids. Then head to the hospital to spend the night.

Once at the hospital, we realized how severe this was.

Doctors were coming in the right and left, throwing out terms like “cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, UTI…” We must have looked like we were from a different planet cause we were unprepared for all of that.  UTI, sure…she has those a lot. The rest, we had NO CLUE. We were constantly asked how we didn’t know and who her doctor was. We kindly told all the professionals that she was always at the doctor’s, and no one had even begun to mention any of these things. The only thing that she needed was her gallbladder removed.

Blood Thinner = Trouble

Little could be done because she is on a blood thinner, which had to be out of her system for five days before any invasive testing could be done. Lots of tests, lots of sharing her info, lots of little sleep, and being watchful ended up with one of the doctors saying call the family in. It was one of those moments that seemed like the person talking was talking in slow motion and that all you see are their lips moving, but you hear no words coming out of their mouths. I stayed with her until the following Monday. We took turns sitting with her and watching her. It was a struggle for her to breathe because of the 2 gallons of fluid on her belly. She had little energy, and she was simply tired.

Calling the Family

I knew on Tuesday that her oldest son was coming to town. Also, some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are flying in. What a legacy this woman has, and she is SO well-loved by her family. I decided that I would not come to the hospital that day. Simply because I wanted to be respectful of her family and their precious time together. I played catch-up around here and ran some errands.

Nothing was out of the ordinary until I got a call. My Lady, Go Big or Go Home. She is never in between.


Faith Journey

Our Story My Lady and Me

Our Story My Lady and Me

Our Story My Lady and Me

This is Our Story, My Lady and Me. Mentoring is something that has piqued my interest for a long time. I never knew where to begin, so I just pushed that thought on the back burner. I am too busy, have too many kids, and life gets in the way. Honestly, I’m too screwed up; no one will understand me, and closed off emotionally. All these thoughts filtered through my mind.

New Church. New Friend.

When my family and I started looking for a new church, I went into it looking to fly under the radar. I’m loud and outspoken. I can be misunderstood easily. Sadly, I certainly do not get along well with pastors. We found a church. One of the first people I saw sitting in the pew was a TALL, white-haired woman. She looked to be in her 70s. Her presence was commanding.

She was faithful to attending morning, evening, and Wednesday night services. I could hear her sing above everyone else. One could almost read her story in the wrinkles of her beautiful face. She is captivating. Honestly, I watched her for about two years. Yet, I never spoke to her. I would hear people say someday; you need to ask Ms. Jo about her love story. I was determined to ask her from that moment, but fear of rejection would pound in my head. I would not ever ask.

Candyland Coming to Life

One year we were doing a type of trunk or treat for Halloween. Our downstairs children’s area was turned into a giant Candyland game. I went to help out and to bring my children. As we walked downstairs, I saw this tall precious woman sitting in a rocking chair. The children would come and sit out her feet and listen to her tell the story of how much Jesus loves them.

I went in without my children (they were in another area). There, I sat at her feet. I was captivated by her ability to quietly and powerfully tell this story. There was not one child who did not have their eyes on her. I sat right by her, entranced by this woman. When the children left, I asked her if someday she would share her love story with me. This smile that could light a thousand Christmas trees flashed across her face. She replied with my Jerome. You could feel that love that she had for him. She told me that she would be glad to say to me sometime.

Another Year Passes

Another year or so went by. I got up the courage to always hug my Lady’s neck when I saw her. Her smile is so inviting and welcoming. Though she did not know me and my scars, I knew that she loved me. She loved me completely and unconditionally. Ms. Jo, well, she was my peace. She guided me in how I used my words toward my children. Yet only did that if she had the feeling my words were out of line. Also, she would talk to me about how I spoke to my husband at times. However, she is bold but never condemning.

Hitting Me Between the Eyes

There was a particular moment when I had been in the pit of depression for over a month. I mustered up enough courage to go to Wednesday night ministry and saw her enter the door. I walked up to her and hugged her. She asked me how I had been, and I just looked at her, fighting back the tears, and said I hadn’t been well. I’m struggling with depression, and I can’t seem to shake it.” She stood as straight as I had ever seen her and said, “well, get over it. You are loved by our Jesus, your family, and me.” Her boldness took me back. I thought, well, she is right. I am loved. God is more significant than this depression.


At that moment, I knew what I had been praying for so long; my prayers had been answered. That following Sunday, I went to get my hug and sat by her. Her sweet aged hands, with that one crooked index finger (I seriously love that crooked finger), held my hand, and I put my head on her shoulder. At that moment, there was no one else in the sanctuary. It was like the Lord had blacked out all the chaos around me and allowed me to focus on her and me at that particular time.

I Have a Question

I leaned into her and said, “Ms. Jo, I have a question. Would you consider being my mentor?” She looked puzzled and said, “well, I don’t know what I have to offer you, but whatever I have, you can have.” My thoughts started whirling, and I knew I looked like I could catch a thousand flies with my open mouth. I just looked at her and said, “seriously, have you met yourself? How you love your Jerome, how you love your boys, your grandchildren, how you love the Lord. I stated, ” I want you to teach me that.” We agreed to set a date for that Thursday. The thrill and excitement could overwhelm me!

Our First Meeting

I showed up that first Thursday, and we sat on her back porch. I sat in the swing, and she sat in her chair. When I say she knew NOTHING about me other than my name and my family’s name, I mean that. The Lord drew our souls together. She looked at me and said, “how can I help you?” At that moment, time stopped again. At an uncontrollable moment, I started weeping. I could not stop. Rarely do I cry. Usually, I fight it; I suck it up. I couldn’t even get a word out. Then I heard her sweet voice say, “well, for goodness sake, let’s go in the house and work through this.” She tells me that I am “almost there but not quite yet.” I wholeheartedly agree! I am teachable, and I am learning.

That One Defining Moment

There was a day recently when my heart was shattered. Usually, I would fall into depression and not get out of bed. This time, my first thought was to get to my person! I vaguely remember driving to her house and knocking on the door. She opened it and said, “Hey girl, how are you?” I fell into her arms. She wrapped her arms around me, not asking me any questions, and she hugged me so tight that I not only felt her love, I felt Jesus’ love through her.

Her Beautiful Hands

We made it to her table, and I muttered out, through tears, what had happened. I laid my head in her beautiful hands, and she caught every tear. She made a phone call. After that, she put her sweet hand on my head. Then, she prayed for my family and me. She carried me through such a tough, tough time. Also, she never judged, condemned, fussed, or bad-mouthed anyone. She loved, prayed, and encouraged. There are not many people who would do that.

Love and Encouragement

The love, encouragement, lessons, simple joy of being in her presence, and her love story with “her Jerome” have been staples in my life. There aren’t many days that I don’t either speak with her or see her. I run errands for her, we go to lunch, I take her suppers, she holds my hand, and she has the best ice cubes on the planet.

We run around town, we talk, we pray, she encourages, I have heard a thousand stories, and I love every one of them. I have learned how to love my husband. My husband LOVES her too!!! My kids WILLINGLY do yardwork because, when we are resting, we all sit on the back porch and listen to her wisdom. In the first place, she exudes the Proverbs 31 woman. Now, she is the living example of the Titus 2 command.

He Created Her for Me and Me for Her

The Lord knew I needed her and needed me. She is my blessing. To help her in any way possible is a joy. I can never repay her for the love and graciousness she has shown me, my husband, and my children. She will forever be a part of my heart and my family. Oh, how I love that woman. Oh, I am thankful that the Lord granted me the desires of my heart and brought forth the most precious mentor and friend a girl could ever have. She’s my Lady. She’s my person.

Find a Mentor

I encourage those who are curious about being a mentor. If you need a mentor, pray for the Lord to meet those needs. He will raise those who can mentor. You don’t have to be 80 to be a mentor. You need to have a willing spirit to vest in the lives of others.

Passing Down the Wisdom

I had a sweet friend ask me to mentor her. My first thought was, I have nothing to teach you. Sound familiar? I spoke to my Lady, and she said I am perfectly equipped to mentor this sweet friend. What I have learned through the trials of my life, what I’m learning through my Lady, I have passed onto this dear friend. She still has a long way to go, but she is getting there! What I learn from my Lady, I pass on to my friend. My Lady prays for this friend, which is what it is all about. She is my blessing. This is Our Story, My Lady and Me.