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Two years ago, my son Kenny was diagnosed with Asthma. He recently had an asthma flare-up. For the last 4 nights, I’ve been up tending to his coughing episodes. Mama is tired.

One of the worst things you can hear from your child is, “Mommy, I can’t breathe.” In those moments I’m faced with a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts. Feelings of helplessness and thoughts of fear. It doesn’t look or feel good. But I remember when Kenny was born with pneumonia there were tubes and wires connected to his tiny body. It didn’t look good or feel good. But regardless of what it looked like and felt like, Ken and I chose to believe and declare God’s word. Healing is the children’s bread. God healed our son. Now, Kenny is a healthy active 8-year-old.

I recall that testimony every time he has a flare-up. “God, You did it before and you’ll do it again.” I hate the fact that asthma is a part of our lives. I know it’s not God’s will for my son to suffer. I don’t know all the reasons why. But I do know what Jesus said about the man who was born blind. “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins…This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”

I do believe that God will heal my son. I declare it over him. I expect every time he takes a puff from the inhaler that it will be his last. Perhaps Kenny will have to grow and learn to use his own faith to overcome.

Whatever or however, I believe this happened so the power of God will be seen in him. I stretch forth to the day we can give the testimony of how he overcame and how great our God is.

So yes, I am t-i-r-e-d. But my heart and mind are at peace knowing that God is faithful to his promises.

To those of you living with health challenges, you don’t have to know everything. But know this one thing, God is a healer. If you’re tired, let your heart and mind be at peace. I believe this happened so the power of God will be seen in your life.

I can’t wait to hear your testimony!

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This could be an abnormal statement, but I love to clean. Growing up, I used to clean houses with my mom. We’d leave our home in the projects and walk across town to the nice neighborhoods to earn extra cash.
My favorite thing was to imagine I was cleaning my own home. In fact, when I got home I would rearrange my bedroom and start to polish my furniture, even if it wasn’t as nice. I started to value what I had, instead of despising it for what it wasn’t. I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment, in that, I took the least of what I had and made it the best it could be.


I still love to clean, especially in the spring. I’m ready to throw out winters clutter, clean out my flower beds and figure out what I’m going to do with my kids all summer!


Nowadays, my spring cleaning doesn’t stop with the house and kids. I need to spring clean my life. Tabatha has to examine herself. Because the last thing I want to do is be in a new season wearing last season’s clothes. I don’t want to be stuck maintaining last season’s issues when this season has issues of its own. As a wife, I can’t expect last season’s meal to suffice in this season. If you know my husband, he likes to eat. By the time spring comes he doesn’t want ribs and cornbread. It’s a new season, last season’s meal will only weigh him down. In the new season, he needs to be light on his feet. He’s ready for some white fish and corn on the cob hot off the grill. (I just know wherever he is right now, he feels a good amen rising up.) I’ve got some spring cleaning to do. I need to clean up my exercise routine, clean up my eating habits and clean up my attitude. I need to clean up my thoughts toward myself.

We are what we think we are. Instead of beating myself up because I missed a deadline, I give myself a good old, “You did your best girl.” Besides, God is causing all things to work together for my good. Instead of focusing on how slobbish I feel because I haven’t worked out in a month, I’ll focus on how I still look good anyway.

Remember that valuable lesson I learned cleaning houses as a child, value what you have. Do your spring cleaning. A cleaner you is a better you!

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I remember the struggle I had with all 3 of my kids. I wanted to be that perfect stay at home mom. The one that’s never tired, always says the right thing and has her hair and make-up done all perfectly. You know, the one that doesn’t really exist.

I used to love the Brady Bunch, I still do. It was my picture of a perfect family. Carol walking around with 6 kids just as carefree and as happy as can be. Come to think about it, did Carol actually do anything? Anyway, as you can see, my idea of a stay at home mom was slightly misguided.

Each time I had a baby, after 6 weeks of being home, I would feel like a blob. That’s right, a big blobby bunch of nothingness. It was like Tabatha got kicked out of my body and I was now possessed by this woman named mommy. I felt like all I did was nurse and change diapers. In fact, I felt totally taken advantage of. Those babies just wanted to take, take, take. They took my milk, my name, my life! Well, I’m being a bit dramatic. But in all honesty, that’s exactly how I felt.

When I decided to go back to work, I felt so guilty for not wanting to stay home and care for my children. But on the other hand, I felt so unfulfilled by not being able to use my education, gifts, and talents to be successful in life. So I went back to work for about three months until I started feeling guilty because I was spending too much time at work and not enough time with my children. I would then feel like such a terrible mom and put the brakes on my career. Until three months later when I started feeling like an unfulfilled blob again. So I’d go back to work. (Press repeat X 3.)

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

I’m convinced that God doesn’t want us living a guilt ridden life. We were not created to handle the stress of it all and to have back and forth guilt and confusion. I found that life is better when I stop trying to be someone else and just be the best me. I had to shift my perspective. I started to pay attention to how God made me. What I liked, what worked for me, not Carol or any other perfect looking mom. When I did that, I found a happy medium. I worked 2/3 days and stayed at home for the rest of the week . I had the best of both worlds.

If you stay home or even if you don’t, you’re still a great mom!  You have to decide what works best for you and your family. I’m no Carol Brady, but I make a pretty good Tabatha Claytor, and that’s what makes me a great mom.

Are there some unrealistic expectation you’ve been trying to live up to? I’d love to hear about it.

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Sometimes we don’t have the things we want because we have not asked God for them.

In Matthew 14:22-33 we read about how the disciples were out at sea when they saw Jesus walking on water. They all freaked out, because they thought He was a ghost. In the midst of their screams Jesus yelled out to them, “It’s me, don’t be afraid.” Then Peter had the audacity to say, “Lord, if it’s you call me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus said right back, “Come on then.” And Peter done what no other man had done since. He walked on water.

This story fires me up, because it’s easy for me to believe that Jesus walked on water. After all, He is Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. But Peter? He’s an ordinary man like you and I. Now that’s pretty amazing.

Then I got to thinking. Why didn’t the other disciples get out of the boat?Were they too afraid, did they not believe, or did they deem themselves unworthy and unqualified? It could have been all of that, but for sure I know one reason they didn’t walk on water along with Peter. It’s because they didn’t ask.

The bible says that we have not because we ask not. Sometimes you can be waiting on God to show up in your life, but really God is waiting on you to ask. Maybe like the disciples that stayed in the boat, you think your need is insignificant to the larger issues of life. But God knows the number of hairs on your head, He is concerned with your every need and desire.

I love how Jesus responded to Peter’s request. He said ,”Come.” Jesus wasn’t going get in the boat and carry Peter out. Instead He gave Peter an opportunity. Often when we ask God for something, He answers by giving us an opportunity.

When you ask God for peace, He’ll give you the opportunity to walk in it. When you ask God for a new job, He’ll open doors and bring new people in your life that will lead to your promotion. You may have asked God for healing and think that He hasn’t answered, because He didn’t miraculously heal you.

Can I encourage you to ask again? This time look for the opportunity that God gives. Your healing may come through a book, a different doctor, or new eating regiment. Be like Peter have the audacity to ask and the
courage to step out of the boat and walk on water.

Remember all things are possible, if you can believe. God is a good father who gives good things to his children. He is waiting for you to ask. What is it that you haven’t asked God for? Now is your opportunity to ask.

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God says in Matthew 22:32, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  In other words, He says that He is the God of the previous generation, the current generation and the generations to come. God makes it clear that He is concerned with each generation.

When I read the book of Ruth I see a great example of a relationship between an older and a younger woman. Naomi is a widow and her two sons have died. Poor and heart broken, she sets out to return to her hometown. She begs her two daughters in law, who are widows too, to return to their hometown, for she had nothing to give them. Both daughters responded with a loud grievous cry, because they loved her so much.

One returned home and the other, Ruth, stayed. I found it interesting that they both cried out. It made me wonder what kind of relationship they shared that they did not want to leave Naomi.

Ruth had been married to Naomi’s son for ten years. Ruth said to Naomi, “I will go where you go. I will live where you live, and your God shall be my God.”  What kind of woman was Naomi that Ruth would devote such loyalty?

Before Ruth met Naomi, she was a Moabite and did not believe in the God of Israel. Perhaps Naomi displayed a Godly character and faith that Ruth had never seen before.

Throughout their story we see how the wisdom of the older generation fed the younger, and how the strength of the younger generation fed the older. Naomi instructed Ruth on what to do to gain the attention of Boaz, who was a wealthy man. Following every instruction, Ruth got married to Boaz. In return, Ruth had a child and gave him to Naomi to raise as her own.
Without Naomi there would be no husband for Ruth. Without Ruth there would be no son for Naomi.

The younger cannot say I don’t need the older. Without the wisdom of the older generation we will always start back over again. Our mothers, aunts, big sisters, in the Lord, have learned from mistakes that we don’t have to repeat. Yes, grandma might not know how to use a smartphone, but she knows how to make a dollar out of 15 cents. Grandma knows how to take some flour, butter and water and turn it into biscuits to feed the whole family. Grandma doesn’t need social media likes to feel good about herself, all she needs is the Word. Oh, how we need the older generation.

The older generation cannot say I don’t need the younger. Without the strength of the younger we will become feeble, unable to win in war. Yes, millennials wear skinny jeans with holes in them, but you wore butterfly collars and bell bottoms. Our daughters, nieces, and little sisters have so much to give. Let’s not shut them down in judgement over things that don’t even matter.

Young people like shorter church services and a concert every Sunday. But thank God for them. I personally don’t want to stay in church all day. I mean, I have to feed my kids and get them ready for school on Monday. I also don’t want to go to church and be bored. I personally love worship.I want to dance and sing off key, yes I’m that person. Oh, how we need the younger generation.

Let’s not fall into the same trap of religion and tradition. Let’s speak to each other and not at each other. Let’s feed one another not starve one another.

There is a Naomi and a Ruth in every woman. We all have something to give to someone younger than us and we all need someone older, someone who’s been there and done that, to pour into us.

We are better together.

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va·gi·na

Vəˈjīnə

I said something at our last PIO event that made for an interesting conversation. It went along the lines of, “Why do we whisper when we say vagina? We don’t whisper when we say leg, toe or gallbladder? Are we not created by God? Did God not design a woman’s vagina? So why are we embarrassed or ashamed? What’s the big deal? Vagina. This is how you say it, va-gi-na.”

LOL!

I’ve heard great stories from that night. One group of ladies said that in the car on their way home they just kept saying the word vagina and burst out in laughter. Another lady even had her son overhear and suddenly ask her about the vagina. She of course had to school him and share about the penis and vagina. He found it really funny, but still appreciated her openness on

this taboo topic.

I love this, because it was just what I wanted, to start the conversation. Tell the truth and shame the devil.

As a girl I remember feeling like there was something wrong with me, because I got my period. In fifth grade they separated the girls from the boys and we watched a video about our changing bodies. For most of us that video confirmed the that we were doomed. I remember having to wear a bra for the first time. The boys would be so obnoxious about snapping the back of our bra straps. Back then I thought they were “boys being boys,” but it was humiliating to an adolescent girl. Even as an adult I find myself hiding my tampons and feminine products, as if there’s something wrong with it. As if it would change someone’s perspective of me if they knew I was on my period. Where does that come from? Am I not a woman? I’m pretty sure all women in the history of the world have had their period. No exceptions.

In bible days a woman was considered to be unclean when she was menstruating, not because she was unholy or less than, but because it was unsanitary. They did not have toilets or clean running water,so it was necessary to prevent the spread to disease. But today, we have wet wipes, pads, tampons, sprays and a bunch of other products. To be honest, we really we don’t need most of the stuff that is marketed to us. All those scented products that don’t really do anything, but give us a yeast infection. And then we feel nasty for having a yeast infection. Really? Why do we need to perfume our vagina? A vagina should smell like a vagina. There’s nothing wrong with the way a vagina smells. God made the vagina.

Girls and women are created by God and loved by God. He doesn’t make mistakes. Our breasts, our womb, our vagina is what makes us female, but our heart and our soul is what makes us a woman. Let’s put an end to being ashamed of how God has made us. It’s time to breakout of every unhealthy practice and  mindset that suggests to a woman that she is not enough.

My challenge to you is to start the conversation. Talk with your friends, your daughters, even your sons. Let’s start talking about our bodies in a positive light. Let’s not be afraid to pick up a box of tampons in the store. Say the word vagina out loud. Say it a few times if you must. But the days of being ashamed and quiet should be behind us. Let’s own who God has created us to be, and if anyone is going to be shamed, it’s going to be the devil!

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A few years ago, I ran my first mud filled obstacle race. When it comes to sports I’m very competitive, so I had a plan to go as fast and hard as I could.

The first obstacle required you to basically head dive straight into a pit of mud water. And I loved it, despite the fact that others were slowed down by it. I was in my element and totally going for it. I went into the second obstacle all strong, climbing over an extremely high rope wall, when I heard the cry of another participant. I so badly wanted to ignore the cries. I knew that if I stopped to help I would be slowed down.

But then I heard, “Help, I can’t do it, I’m scared.” A lady had climbed to the top and was frozen in fear. She was too afraid to move over to the other side. I looked around me and  watched how everyone else just moved passed her. I knew I had to help her. By the time I reached her at the top, my urge to help fueled a confidence in me that would make you think I climbed ropes for a living. As I looked the lady in the face, I said,  “You can do it.” But she just responded, “No I can’t, I’m too scared.” This lady was terrified and I knew that she needed more than just a quick encouragement. So I took hold of her arm to support her and said, “Yes you can. I’m going to help you.” Like a close friend, step by step, I led this stranger over her biggest obstacle.

Sure, it slowed me down a little and changed my race time, but I still crossed the finish line. I realised that I’d rather cross the finish line with someone than cross it alone.   Sometimes it’s not about how fast you cross the finish line, but rather about who you bring along with you to finish.

In your life, as you accomplish your goals, as you lose weight, become a better parent, discover new business solutions, as you achieve your dreams, will you help others to achieve theirs too?

This is your year for breakout. God isn’t only causing you to cross the finish line, but He’s enabling, empowering and anointing you to bring others  alongside you too.

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Be Anxious for Nothing

Philippians 4:6-7 NKJ

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I’m always surprised at how often I recall this scripture in my daily life. It’s like every couple of months I discover this verse all over again. Each time it is equally soothing and revelational.

I thought I’d share a little diary extract of my thoughts whilst travelling.

As I await takeoff, I feel myself getting more anxious. “I didn’t complete my to-do list. What are the kids going to eat? We didn’t finish the school project. I hope I packed enough clothes …”

Typically, I’m use to feeling anxious when I leave my kids, but this time it’s compounded by consecutive nights of interrupted sleep. First, my 9 year old was home from school for four days with the flu. Then the day she went back to school,  my 7 year old was sick and has been home for the last 3 days. Now, all those late night mommy calls are catching up with me.

But before I go into a complete melt down right here in seat 7D, I hear the words, be anxious for nothing.” And out of my heart springs the rest of the verse, “..but in everything through prayer and thanksgiving make your requests known to God and the God of peace that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind.”

Deep sigh of relief. Meltdown aborted.

Believers, study your word. Write it on the tablets of your heart. Get it down on the inside of you, so that when you are pressed to your limit, the life giving word of God can spring up out of you and give you the courage, the strength and counsell to get back up again.

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When I was a little girl, I would often hear, “Shame on you. Who do you think you are? You should be ashamed.”

For many years of my life those words became my truth. I allowed the voice of shame to bully me, to constantly dictate my fate. Even when times got good, shame was always there to remind me of who I was. A girl from the projects, fatherless, a mutt, abused, a misfit, unwanted, never good enough.

I remember walking into restaurants and feeling uncomfortable, because I didn’t know how to order what I wanted. I would go to the mall and feel worthless, because I couldn’t afford to buy any of the clothes. I would feel so  self-conscious and unqualified when I was the only woman or person of color in the room.

The voice of shame speaks to your identity. It tells you that you’re not good enough just because of your circumstances. Shame never wants you to figure out who you really are, because when you find out who you really are, you discover that you are a force to be reckoned with.

God says that you are His masterpiece, created in His image. He is not ashamed to call you His own. You are righteous and redeemed. In Christ you can do anything!

I found that my identity was not in my past, or even my current situation, but in who God says I am. Now I can walk into any room with confidence. If I’m different, it’s because God wants me to stand out. If I’m the only one, it’s because God wants me to lead the way.

When the voice of shame says to me, “Who do you think you are?”  I talk back and declare that I am a child of God.

How has the voice of shame spoken to you? Do you talk back? Do you declare your true identity?

No more shame on you. SHAME OFF YOU!

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