Archive | December 2013

Fasting in January

Today, my Pastor noted that our congregation would be fasting for the month of January, from sun-up to sundown, during the week.  During the fast, only water may be consumed.  The fast is a form of sacrifice.  When I taught teen Sunday school, I encouraged my class to sacrifice anything that they cherished or valued the most, during the congregation’s time of fasting.  Usually, that consisted of telephone, television, or video game usage.  As an adult, I will take part in abstaining from food and flavored beverages during the fast.  During the month of January, I will post scriptures that I will read throughout the fast, as a form of encouragement and worship.



365 Days of Fitness…Starting Now!

Today is my first day of 365 days of fitness.  This personal challenge was inspired by one of my favorite natural hair and fitness bloggers, Shelli of Hairscapades.  The main premise of my challenge is to incorporate a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity into each day, with no exceptions.  This physical activity can be broken up throughout the day.  On work days, I’m sure that this will be the best way to ensure I don’t fail to get it in.

This morning, I danced to two of YouTuber Keaira LaShae’s dance cardio videos – one was a 20-minute hip-hop/twerking video, and the other was a 5-minute 90’s dance video.  To reach my 30-minute goal, I danced to Beyoncé’s Flawless video.  I truly worked up a sweat!  During the first dance cardio video, I realized that I have gotten completely out of shape since relocating back to my hometown, 7 months ago.  I’ve never really needed to use the “modified” version of a workout video…until now.  It was disappointing that my body wasn’t in sync with the excitement going on in my mind.  Growing up, dance was my life!  I danced all throughout school, and now I enjoy dancing along to videos.

As far as my eating habits go, I avoided my morning coffee today, which was hard to do, yet not so hard, after all.  The hard part was only in my mind.  I typically drink one to two cups of coffee each morning, brewed with a teaspoon of cinnamon sprinkled on top, with evaporated milk and approximately three spoons of sugar mixed into each cup (yep, you read it right).  I have sugar substitute packets, but the coffee just doesn’t taste the same that way, in my opinion (obviously).  For breakfast, I drank flavored water and ate some chicken.  For lunch, I ate more chicken and some baby carrots dipped in beans and low-fat ranch dressing.  I ate some fresh pineapple for an afternoon snack.  For dinner, I am going to eat some turkey sausage and mixed veggies.

Overall, the first day is pretty much the worst day for me, since I basically ate without restriction, yesterday.  No withdrawal symptoms, just slightly hungry and “craving” some of the usual suspects.  For me, my cravings consist of whatever is on hand.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to get something bad to eat; I would simply indulge in what is available.  Since I am living with family at the moment, there are salty and sweet treats within an arm’s reach, all the time!!  This new eating plan of mine will require some major willpower, if I am going to stay on track.

With God’s assistance, anything and everything is possible.

Watch me work!!


Drunk in Love or Dumb Love??

Can I be honest?

If I had to dig deep into the corners of my heart and be completely real with myself, I would observe that I’ve only truly loved one man in my life.  On one hand, it’s a pretty depressing observation.  On the other hand, it is enlightening to discover and reflect on how a woman will give so much of herself – her body, her time, her money, her soul – for someone who she doesn’t even really love, in the Godly sense of the word.  Yes, I have cared deeply for others, to the point that I said that I loved them and even thought I meant it, at the time.  I recently realized that my heart has only been completely devoted to one person.  To put it spiritually, love is that selfless expression of unconditionally caring for another without deviation or regard for how idiotic that person can act toward you.

So let’s reflect.  I have experienced three adult relationships, one which resulted in a dead-end marriage.  I won’t even go into that one.  What I will say is that I retain full ownership of the choices that I have made within these relationships.  I wasn’t coerced or force-fed some lies.  I didn’t have “game” ran on me.  I made choices based on what I wanted to do, at the time, and each of those choices had positive and negative consequences.  Did I go into these relationships knowing that they were doomed from the start?  Hell no!  What I did do is make decisions that have adversely impacted my family, to this day.  Thankfully, God will carry you out of whatever muck and mess that you have found yourself in, and he will deliver you back to your God-ordained, predestined place in life, through his ever-present grace and mercy.  Whenever you find yourself in a pit, so deep that there is no noticeable way out, it is time to get on your knees and reach out to the Creator for help.  Works every time…in His time.

Back to the present…  I am intrigued by just how hard I love.  As I stated, to this day I know that I have only had that unconditional love for one man.  My love is strong and real and true and forgiving and passionate and powerful and at times it is hot and spicy, even bittersweet.  It just is.

So here is where the aforementioned question comes into play.  Yes, one can be drunk in love.  I’ve been there and am subject to being there on any given day, currently.  Then again, one could suggest that the notion of being drunk in love is to experience dumb love.  When I feel drunk by the love that I possess, I may accept treatment that I would never accept, in my right mind.  I liken myself to the strongest, most independent woman out there; however, as a woman, there are many layers of me.  I’m not defined by just one facet of my life.  I can be sensitive, sentimental, nurturing, tender-hearted, doting, and affectionate.  These aspects of my personality aren’t exhibited freely.  My children and my closest loved ones are really the only ones who witness this side of me.  To let a man into that inner corridor of my heart, it means the world.  The value of this gift, my heart, is priceless and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  That, right there, is the crux of my devotion, the plight of loving so hard.  It knows no bounds.  It boggles my mind.  I am incapable of being any other way.  Lord knows I’ve tirelessly tried to devote myself to others (see: paragraphs one and two, above), to no avail.

Don’t get me wrong.  This juxtaposition between what my mind would have me do and where my heart lies has not prevented me from walking away from love before.  I pray that I won’t have to do that again, but I would be naïve to assume that.  My life is a true testament to how unpredictable things can be, from one day to the next.  My desire is to love continually, take the good with the bad, be in a respectful, honorable, positive, faithful, memorable, special relationship that is pleasing in the sight of God.  That is my heart’s desire.  I have no qualms about sharing that with others.  It is what I want for everyone, even the object of my affection (truthfully).

How do you feel about this notion of being drunk in love?  I am such a sensible person, typically, but when it comes to the affairs of the heart, I can be a dumbass, no joke.  Maybe this is a necessary aspect of loving so deeply.  Who knows?



Full Disclosure of My Love (originally drafted in January 2013)

*Note: this post was drafted on January 22, 2013; yet, it is still very relevant to my life today.  I’m at a time in my life that I am all about full disclosure, so here it is.

I am writing this letter to prevent me from calling you, incessantly.  I can’t shake off how I feel about you.  My mood literally ignites whenever you call, and I am constantly looking forward to speaking with you.  To quote one of my favorite love stories (Darius Lovehall from “Love Jones”), “Let me tell you something.  This here, right now, at this very moment, is all that matters to me.  I love you.  That’s urgent like a (mofo).”*

The word “love” can sound so cliché and trivial.  It is not so much the word itself that holds power, but the emotion and actions behind it.  It is one thing to love another, but it is an entirely different thing to have chemistry with someone.

We have chemistry.  Period.  I have never and I’m not sure I will ever have chemistry such as this with another man.  We sense each other’s emotions, we are constantly aware of each other’s hidden desires, we just gravitate toward each other.  In the past, there was a co-dependency that was unhealthy, but now, well I don’t know about now.  Is this attraction that we share simply out of convenience and being on the rebound?  Only time will tell if that is the case.  I hope that our friendship isn’t superficial.  I deeply enjoy all of our conversations, and you make me laugh to no end.  At my current maturity level, I can appreciate that we have our own separate lives, without an ounce of jealousy or a need to be clingy or possessive.

You have a way of masking your feelings in a way that I am sure is a defense mechanism for your heart.  I can truly understand that.  I have been let down and disappointed enough, yet I am a true daredevil when it comes to my heart.  I love, plain and simple.  There is no switch that I turn on or off.  The funny thing about it is that I have always compared men to you.  You were my first true love.  Yes, I thought I knew love before I met you, but it was more like puppy love or simple infatuation.  You will never know how gut-wrenching it was for me to leave your side.  I wanted to stay there, in the trenches, with you while you grew into the man that I knew you could be.  In retrospect, I know that none of the growth would have occurred as it has, if I stayed there to cloud your judgment.  We were always so focused on each other that it was nearly impossible to get ahead.  You know the saying, ‘can’t see the forest for the trees.’  It was just like that.  In the midst of our personal struggles, our individual growth had to happen just like that, individually.

I want you to know that my love for you never wavered.  While both of us were involved with others, I thought of you.  When I gave birth to my sons, I wondered what it would have been like to have your son.  I have never told anyone that.  I want to have the courage to share my innermost thoughts with you, as you have with me.  Those fleeting thoughts that still resonate deep within me.  Isn’t that an oxymoron?  The thoughts always seem fleeting, but I find myself reflecting on them at times like this.  I have never let myself dwell on how I feel about you.  I haven’t wanted to admit it, not even to myself.  Funny how we can lie to everyone else, but we can never really lie to ourselves.

So here’s where I stand.  I am all in.  So much so that it scares me and brings me to tears.  That night, when you told me how you were feeling when you were here in August, I was so full of emotion that I didn’t know what to do with myself.  You haven’t been that candid with me in a long time.  So many thoughts have swirled in my mind since then.  I have forced myself to maintain a sense of normalcy with you, even though I want to shout out loud how I feel.  When I close my eyes, I think of how it would be if you were here.  I just wonder what it would be like.  When all of the BS was going on between us, in the past, our relationship never had the chance to really grow into what it could have been.  I’m sure everything happened just how it was supposed to.  I am here now, though.  And I’m not going anywhere.  I’m tired of allowing a replacement to stand where you should be.  No more seat-fillers, honey.  I want you to rest assured that I am solely focused on getting everything “right” in my home, for me and the kids.  I am fully prepared to ride out this long-distance love affair, or whatever we want to call it.  How about this?  Let’s not call it anything.  It is what it is.  We know what it is, you and I.  It is what it always should have been but never had the chance to be.  Us.

This love that I feel is not only new and fresh, but it is deep and fulfilling.  I am sure you aren’t aware of this, but I feel the love in your voice.  Yes, you may try to be all incognito about it, but I know.  The eternally optimistic side of me says that this is our chance, our shot at loving each other the way that both of us need and deserve to be loved.  We have talked about wanting to be in a long-lasting relationship.  I don’t know about you, but I yearn for real companionship.  Yes, I can appreciate and respect that we both have our own activities that we are involved in, but I don’t want us to simply coexist.  I want you to be a part of my world as I want to be a part of yours.  I have wants and desires regarding how I want to live with my partner.  I want to travel.  I want to have a date night.  I want my children to witness a loving relationship in the home.  I want to not only have a house but a home.  I want to grow with you.  There have been men who thought that they knew me, but I know that you are the only man who really knows me.  Yes, a tremendous amount of time has passed, but there is no limit to what we can have and for how long.  The possibilities are endless.  I know that there is no glass ceiling on my love.  It does not and will not cap out over time.  True enough, there will be peaks and valleys in our relationship, but we have overcome so many obstacles that there is nothing too difficult for us to withstand.  Especially when we have each other.

If it isn’t clear yet, I love you.  I love you from the pits of my soul and every ounce of my being.  You consume my thoughts and my emotions are wrapped up in when you will call, how you sound over the phone, wondering if you are thinking of me like I think of you.  When I talk to you, I find myself sitting with a smile on my face the entire time.  Can you hear it in my voice?  I feel like a young girl when I talk to you, just giddy and all fluttery inside.

Now, let’s touch on the physical connection that we share.  There are so many facets of my love for you that I don’t want to minimize the way I feel about you by focusing on the physical part, but it is definitely there.  It is a major component of our chemistry.  When you shared with me how you wanted to hold me in your arms and kiss me on several occasions while you were here, I was melting on the inside.  I know I have said this a number of times, but it has truly been far too long.  In the early years of our relationship, I loved how you would look into my eyes when we would make love.  There is nothing like it, and I haven’t experienced it since then.  There was always something about the way that you would look at me.  When I was younger, it intimidated me.  I didn’t know how to process it.  Maybe I was unable to do so.  Now that I’m grown, well baby, I’m fully ready and prepared for all that you have to offer.  I am more confident in my own capabilities.  I am a woman with her own qualities to bring to the table.  I’m the same La Nita that you knew back then, just more seasoned.  I am still able to embrace change and adapt to my surroundings, yet I am secure in myself.  I have beliefs and standards that are unwavering, yet I am open-minded enough to listen to new ideas.  I am ready to embrace your thoughts, wants, and needs.  In fact, I welcome them.  I welcome you, into my home, my mind, my heart, and my body.  I want you to stake your claim on me, entirely.  I want to belong to you.  I want you to trust me with your heart and not be apprehensive about loving me, fully.  Due to the walls that we built around our hearts in the past and mistakes that we made along the way, it was hard to trust one another.  I want to finally trust a man.  I have never done that.  Now that I am taking time to learn about myself and what makes me tick, I want you to know that I want to trust you.  I want you to be the man that I finally give all of myself to and not just the bits and pieces that I feel comfortable giving away.

Let’s get back to that physical chemistry.  I have no desire to venture elsewhere.  Deep down inside, you know that I am yours.  You own me – all of me.  All that I ask is that you always consider me.  I know that we have mutual love and respect.  That covers a lot.  With that being said, please consider me when you go through your day.  No, I don’t mean that you should obsess about me.  What I mean is that I want you to think twice before doing something that would be disrespectful, and I will do the same.  I want you to think of us when you think of your future.

Did I ever mention how much I love your sense of humor?  You make me lighten up, which is needed, as you know.  You help me to see the bright side to everything.  We are very good at lifting each other’s spirits.  I thank you for that.  I mean, it is one thing to laugh at someone’s jokes, just because that is expected of you.  It is a different thing altogether when you encounter someone who genuinely makes you laugh and laugh and laugh, until you have tears in your eyes.  I smile when I talk to you, and that isn’t very normal for me.

I love how you challenge my mind.  We can talk about all current events, spirituality, sports, and politics.  I know I’m a spitfire, but you don’t allow me to talk to you any kind of way.  Whenever you call me out for speaking to you in a way you don’t approve, it entices me.  It attracts me to you even more.  It’s what I need.  Just as I am a woman who demands respect, I can truly appreciate a man who does the same.  We disrespected each other on so many different levels in the past that it is refreshing to have a newfound respect for you.  I respect you as a man of God, and also as my man.  When I say that I love you, it is not only the love that I had for you in the past, but it is also a renewed love, full of respect, loyalty, and devotion to you and only you.  I want you to be the last man that I tell ‘I love you’.

Alas, here we are, just over 6 weeks away from being reunited, and I don’t feel like we have covered much ground.  There is still an extreme fear of the unknown coming from your end, and rightfully so; however, I know that our love is worth the risk and we just have to step out on a limb and let nature run its course.  Love is as love does, in my opinion.  I would rather take the risk of loving and losing than hold onto my love and always wonder how things could have been.  Ultimately, I will express myself to you, in as tactful a way as I can manage.  I pray that my love is well-received, meaning that I pray that you feel the same way.  Love unrequited is one hard pill to swallow.  My heart says that even your fear won’t prevent us from being together, but my mind knows that the impossible is quite possible, indeed.  I find myself emitting an exhale, as I type today.  It is so hard to feel so strongly and not be able to release my emotions to the one they are directed toward.  I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I know that, even if your response is that you are unsure or the distance makes it hard or whatever, I just need you to be honest about how you feel.  No, it hasn’t been too long since we were together.  No, there isn’t too much distance between us.  No, it isn’t too complicated.  Most definitely, no, I am not on the rebound, not at all.  So many no’s that you can possibly throw my way, and yet there are so many yeses.  Yes, our love will withstand any adversity that may come our way.  Yes, it has been a long while, but how sweet this renewed love can and will be.  Yes, I adore you and will not let you go this time.  Yes, I will wait while you wrap up loose ends there and make your way here.  I am willing and so ready to go the long haul with you.  I just need you to let me know that you are all in.  I need you to admit to me that you want me to be the one you come home to.  Yes, I need to hear you say it.  I need to know that I make you happy, that I put a smile on your face.  I just need to know.

*I try my best not to use profanity, when possible.  Obviously, Darius Lovehall didn’t say mofo in that line…


This Body of Mine

Let’s talk about this home for my spirit, this body of mine.

I’ve abused this body with junk food, lack of motion, stress, unappreciative men, and self-loathing, over the years.

So what now?

There is no time like the present to get it tight and get it right.  In the past, I’ve started by adopting healthier eating habits.  As we exit 2013, I look forward to resetting my internal metabolic clock.  This time around, I will start with a commitment to the following dietary rules, at least for the first three months of 2014, since I have some birthday goals (35 in March…sheesh):

  • Drink no less than a gallon of water a day
  • Avoid all fast and processed food, sodas (and other carbonated beverages), and sweets
  • No carbs for the first 10 days, starting Sunday, December 29th; then, only consume complex carbs (unprocessed carbs, such as quinoa, steel-cut oats, and lentils)

As far as my activity level goes, any activity that I incorporate, from this point on, is more than I get in right now.  This is what I will commit to:

  • At least 30 minutes of activity, daily

That’s it?  Yes, I keep it simple.  Of course, this will be no small feat.  I’m an all-or-nothing chick.  I can’t commit halfway; I’m not a part-time mother/sister/daughter/friend/lover, so I just like to dive in, head-first.  Call me crazy…updates, including pictures, will follow.