Friday, August 8, 2014

When One Door Closes

When my supervisor called me in her office and asked me to sit down, I knew what she was going to say.  I had been hearing about it for several months.  However, I didn’t want to believe that it could happen to me.  “Alicia, you must obtain your license in order to continue working here”, she said.  Even though I knew about the bad news before the meeting, I was still shocked.  I did not say a word.  I just grabbed my things and left.   I had always discussed the signs and symptoms of depression with my clients since I had counseled children with mental health issues for over 4 years.  However, talk about learning from experience; I was depressed for months or maybe a year.  I felt as though my career was snatched away from me and had ended that day, November, 14, 2007. 

I thought about going back to school, but I hated having to sacrifice my limited time to attend school and get a degree for something I was already doing.  I felt as though the system had failed me.  I never made enough money to pay back the previous student loans, and now I have to make more bills. 

After going back and forth with the decision to attend school, I finally decided to attend.  I chose Capella University, because I still had to work and take care of my family while pursuing my degree.  Capella’s online line classes were convenient and well known.  Therefore, I did some research and found out that Capella was accredited, and some of my previous coworkers had already started the program.  So as a result of the above statements, I decided to pursue a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling.     

In my Human Development book, Thomas L. Crandell (2009) explained Eric Erikson’s development theory.  Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development was how I chose to explain my state of mine when I had gotten terminated.  When Eric talked about solving conflict and crisis, I knew this was the theory that described me.  At the time I was terminated, I just could not deal with the reality of what happened, and I could not trust the system.  In fact, I had started to hate the system.  During my depressed moments, I went back to the infancy stage, and I slowly developed to the integrity verses despair stage. I finally feel whole and at peace with how my career turned out (Crandell, 2009, pg. 41).   

You may wonder how I provided counseling without being licensed.  In New Jersey, at first, a master’s degree was sufficient enough for providing mental health therapy. Therefore, for the past five years, I worked in the mental and behavioral health field providing a wide range of services.  I serviced adults and children with disabilities: ADD, ODD, ADHD, PDD, Autism, Bipolar, Schizophrenia and various learning disabilities etc.  I had written therapeutic treatment plans and daily progress notes, and I did individual and group therapy, assessments, bio-psychosocial, and reauthorization of service letters.  I also worked as an Intensive Care Manager for adults and children, and I work as a master’s level clinician for families too. 

Furthermore, once the state board found out that clinicians were providing in-home therapy without being licensed, they were required to stop practicing immediately.  Some clinicians were able to take the license exam at that time, because they already had the necessary course requirements completed.  However, in order for me to become licensed, I needed to start school again, because I had a degree in Organizational Management and Leadership. 

After trying to get a job using my Organizational Management and Leadership Master of Science degree and not being successful, I decided to change my professional goals.  On that day, I had begun to develop new professional goals.  My new professional goals were to graduate from Capella with my Master of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling. 

Therefore, after graduating from Capella, my mission is to provide psychiatric services to children and their families who are battling with mental health illnesses and behavioral issues that are destroying lives.  I want to deliver quality and integrity while providing services to my families.  Now I am ready to bring about a change in the community.  I want to help broken and dysfunctional families to come together as one, and I try to make a difference in the world. My specialization will be to help children with behavioral and mental health illnesses. 

I want to help children reach their highest potential by teaching them new skills, and as a result, they can teach these learned skills to their children.  I also want to apply my knowledge in ways that bring about a greater good to make a difference and have a positive impact on society.  I want to become confident in my education and the services I provide to clients.  I want to be an asset to the Behavioral and Mental Health field helping children and families get through their past traumatic experience and to give hope back to the families.  I want to improve my skills and get the needed foundation for a great practice in the Behavioral and Mental Health field.

My future goals are to start a program that inspires, encourages and motivates young children facing obesity to make healthier choices, raise their self esteem, improve social skills and exercise daily.  Attending Capella University helps this process by helping me obtain and improve the skills needed for clinical counseling.  I want this program to become successful in order to expand throughout the state of New Jersey.  

These goals intersect with my academic interests and selected field of study.  First, it intersects with my choice of a licensure program in mental counseling, because professionally, clinicians must be licensed in order to provide counseling.  The state of New Jersey enforces the law where workers must be licensed to practice clinical counseling if employed by a for-profit organization.  The State will soon make this law applicable to the non-profit organization as well.  Also, licensed clinicians can make more money in their career. Having a license will assist me with bringing in more money.  With all of my student loans and credit card debt, I have to make more money in order to pay the loans off and save for retirement.  Also, with a license, one could better market themselves in the workforce.  When I start the after school program, I will have group and individual therapy sessions which will require me to become a licensed clinician as well.  Therefore, Capella’s program is perfect for me. 

Once I graduate from Capella University, I would then have the skills to accomplish my goals.  I would have Capella skills and my past work experience.  I worked for organization that provided continual educational training where I have received many of CEU credits: crisis management, trauma counseling, suicide prevention, CPR, sexual abuse awareness and fire safety which would help me provide child-centered, family-focused, and strength based approach psychotherapy to my clients.  

Throughout my career, I changed jobs often but the one thing that had not changed was “counseling”.  Some type of counseling seemed to always be in my job description.  I had worked as a life skilled instructor who taught adults, living with developmental issues, how to do daily activities, so they can live independently.  Then, I worked as a case manager for adults with severe mental health illnesses, and I later worked in schools as a consultation and education specialist where I counseled students and provided short term case management services.  I also coordinated meetings and served as a liaison for parents and school staff.  Later, I worked as a clinician for Adults and provided group and individual therapy.  Last, I provided therapy for children with mental and/or behavioral health issues.

Personally, I am a hard worker and self motivated.  I work well people and have great interpersonal skills, and I deal with people with different personalities every day.  I am known to have leadership skills and known to be a good team player.

Attending Capella University is a decision for me, because Capella’s program allows me to work while I care for my family.  For example, Capella’s online program is very convenient, since I can go places and do my work assignments on the computer wherever I go.  Therefore, this advance degree experience will encourage me and teach necessary skills to help me put together the missing pieces so that I can change my life and bring about a social change for communities I plan to help.

~Alicia~

Reference:

Crandell, Thomas L., 2009 Human Development 9TH edition, Mcgraw-Hill Publishing Company, pg.41


Monday, August 4, 2014

Part 1…Today’s Question?

The test I’m going through is beginning to feel more like a punishment. My wife constantly tells me that I'm being punished because of my actions. She reminds me that I’m being punished because of how horribly I treated my mother and how horribly I treat her. Maybe I am. Maybe I’ve been looking at things the wrong way. All I really wanted to do is the right thing. I think I'm a good person, but maybe I'm not that damn good. I believe my heart is good. I help and speak life to people. I express how God has changed my life. I believe I put Him first! Maybe all those things my wife says are true, I mean why are all these things happening??? It seems like I can't stop the attacks from coming. They are coming from everywhere! Besides possibly losing my home that I live in with my children and not having a full-time job, now my car is semi-broke down and I don't have the money to fix it. In addition to not having a full time job, my part time job just called me to tell me that they are deducting $360 dollars from my next check for providing too much counseling to my clients. I don't know what to do! That’s my only money supply! Why is all this happening to me? I feel like giving up. What was I thinking…. Why did I think I could raise these kids on my own! Again, what was I thinking??? I thought I was doing the right thing, but honestly I feel like I'm failing them. Sometimes I feel like a failure. Tears come to eyes because I can’t provide for them. Its summertime and we can’t ever do anything, except go to the park because I can't afford anything else. We can't go out to eat at Burger King or McDonald’s, enjoy a fun activity like bowling or miniature golf, or even buy them a toy or something from the store. The worst part of it all is that I see the letdown in their eyes. I see the disappointment on their faces. I don't want them to look at me like that. I feel like they look at me as a failure. Especially my oldest daughter! She is only here for the summer and we are stuck in the house!  I don’t know what to do anymore? What did I do so wrong to deserve this? What did I do??? Am I that bad of a person? Where am I going wrong? When is all of this going to stop? I need to know! When is it all going to end?

Please click on the link to read, TOMORROW’S ANSWER and leave your comments! I appreciate and love you all….Be Blessed! http://the4wallscorporation.wordpress.com/fallen-leaves/

Sunday, August 3, 2014

First Step to Becoming Debt Free

Before you start saving money, you should first start tracking your spending. It is important to track financial spending so that you know where your money is being spent. This process helps you become aware of unnecessary spending by showing you what areas the unnecessary spending takes place. This allows you to make necessary changes. Tracking also helps you keep create a realistic monthly spending budget to keep you on track when spending. Budgets are very useful for making sure you stay on track when achieving your financial goals. Some people believe that budgets keep them restricted, however, that’s not true. Budgets are just guides that allow financial visual during the chaotic times. Following a budget ensures that you do not over spend or forget to pay an important bill. In order to track your spending, take a small note book out and start writing down everything you spend. Just write down the amount you spend as the spending occurs and then write the word of what you purchased next to the amount such as ($2 bread). Track your spending for a week and then categorize them at the end of each week such as (adding up all the food amounts). Keep this up for a month and create a budget based off what you spend on certain items (such as grocery $100 and bills $900). If you notice unnecessary spending in certain areas, you may have to reduce the spending in those areas. Just remember to save at least 10% of your income.


~Alicia~

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dealing with Divorce

Divorce is an unscheduled family transition that affects the development of family (McGoldrick, 2011). Take Sherry and Phil for example, they went through the divorce process after being married for eight years. Thanks to the help of their therapist the process was very civil, because she assisted with reducing the level of impact the divorce had on the children’s develop. The family had worked together with the therapist to manage the stress. According to McGoldrick et al. (2011), divorce was ranked the highest for stressful life events (McGoldrick, 2011, p. 296). The decision to divorce was very difficult in that it involved the entire family. They realized that the family nuclear would never be the same.  The form of the relationship would change and parents had to think about custody and living arrangements for children (McGoldrick, 2011).

Furthermore, the challenges faced by Sherry, Phil and their children were like being on an emotional roller coaster. They had stable days as well as unstable. Therefore, they went to see a therapist to help them decide what to do with issues concerning the children, financial, and emotions. They had trouble figuring out children visitation and legal financial matters. The family had unpleasant emotions, and they had to handle each carefully so that they would not affect the children. Understanding that the divorce was a process with predictable transitions of disorganization followed by structured process of reorganization helps to at least reduce the intensity and duration of the crisis (McGoldrick, 2011, p. 294). The transition of disorganization could involve betrayal and blame after the announcement. It may also involve feelings of retaliation, anger, and injustices (McGoldrick, 2011).

The therapist had helped Sherry and Phil through this divorce process by using the Solution-focused model. Their major disappointments were the losses of future plans, and their presenting problem was the difficulty of staying rational at the time of the crisis (McGoldrick, 2011). Therefore, therapist needed to assist them in keeping in mind the healthy development of the children, so she helped them breakup in the least destructive way.  She assisted the family to better understand and cope with the issues relating to divorce (McGoldrick, 2011). She focused on solutions that involved the learning and teaching of conflict reduction techniques (McGoldrick, 2011). The therapist knew the state law regarding divorce. and she advised them to attend mediation. Finally, the therapist had discussed the arrangements of their finance (McGoldrick, 2011).

Reference:

McGoldrick, M., Carter, B., Garcia-Preto, N. (2011). The Expanded Family Life Cycle: Individual, Family, and Social Perspectives, (4th Ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
~Alicia~

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Never Alone

I was 18 when the doctors told me I had contracted a STD. Scared, lost and confused was how I felt. However, by the grace of God, it was something curable and not life threatening. You may read this and think to yourself that it was careless of me not to use protection. You may also think I was being a foolish teen having fun without thinking of the consequences.  Meanwhile, I was a straight-A student, loved sports and was president of my class. I never thought in a million years something like this would happen to me, but it did.  

I remember it like it was yesterday, a bad dream hunting me. February 2005, I was invited to a friend’s birthday party. We were having fun, enjoying ourselves and that's when Mr. Tall dark and handsome came along. He was cute as can be and the image of what I thought was perfect. He had a great smile; he had goals and dreams; and he wanted to be somebody. I thought he was too good to be true, and I turned out to be right. As the night went along we kept bringing me drinks, and I kept saying no. I wasn't a big fan of alcohol, because I saw what it did to my mom growing up, but he kept pushing, so finally I said okay. Then, he asked could we go somewhere more quite.  I was not thinking at the time, so I told him yes. We were outside in the back talking, having an innocent conversation when he kissed me. I kissed back, but he wanted more. I told him I wasn't that type of girl and that I was a virgin. I explained that I wanted my first time to be special. He kept pushing and I kept saying no. I was taught if a guy can’t take “no” for an answer get out as fast as you can. Don't wait for him to react; get your stuff and leave. I told him I had to go, and he asked if he could take me home. I told him that I had a ride and that I was fine. I didn't see it coming. He snapped at me grabbing my hair, and he began to beat me up like I was one of the guys. I try to scream for help, and he said "No one is going to hear you. You’re not leaving until I get what I want.”  After he was done, he asked me if that was special enough for me.

Once I arrived home, I spent the next two days in the shower trying to unmask his scent and everything about him off me. I never told my mom or anyone. My grades began to fall and I wasn’t the same person anymore. I had supporting teachers who would talk to me asking me if everything was okay, because they noticed a change in my grades. With the help of staying after school and make up tests, I was able to pull my grades back up. Time seemed to be moving slower than usual, and with time, changes with my body began to happen. I was scared. The first thought came to mind was that I have a disease, and was going to die. I went to the hospital where I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant and I had Chlamydia. I could hear the sound of my heart beating, and I felt like a bomb had gone off in my head. I cried my way home and for many days after. I tried to terminate the pregnancy and my life on several occasions. I told myself that my life was over, and I truly thought it was. My doctor told me the side effects of having Chlamydia and how it could affect my unborn child life. I finally found the courage to talk to my mom and let her know what had happened and explained that I was now pregnant with a child I never asked for. I thought she was going to be angry, but she held me in her arms and told me everything was going to be okay and that whatever I decided to do she was there with me every step of the way.  

I graduated high school and took a year off from college. I have two beautiful 5 years old twin daughters that I love each and every day and a degree in Human Service after deciding to keep the babies. My life didn’t turn out as planned, but it turned out to be much better than I hoped.

I'm married to a man who loves me and my daughters like nothing else in this world.  I have a mom who supported me through it all, and God who held me in his arms and never once let go.  

My advice to you, especially our teens, BE CAREFUL and SPEAK NOW. I thought no one would have believed me, and I thought I was alone, but remember you are never alone. When you find yourselves in dark days, pray and talk to an adult. If you find it hard to talk to them, write a letter. If I had went to the cops or an adult, maybe I could have helped the next female victim out there, but I will never know. Be encouraged and stay in good faith for when one door closes another opens.  

I always told my daughters you are more than a conqueror, but now I can tell them you are I-Female.   

Still pushing forward Hallie
“You are I-Female”
You Are Never Alone
J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2 / I - F E M A L E M A G A Z I N E  





Ms. Z’s Traffic Report

 As I opened my eyes this morning, I felt proud of the way that I have been handling and dealing with all the circumstances in my life. It has been really hard trying to stay focused on the task at hand sometimes, due to quite frankly, the personal problems in my life. I have separated from my wife and she recently informed me that she filed for divorce. I’m okay and have come to terms with it being over; however I must admit that the loneliness at times can really get to me. There are times when I  feel that I can and want to go out there and seek things and individuals that I know can take that feeling of loneliness away, but something inside of me keeps me convicted from doing so.  I had a great, yet busy Saturday and was feeling as though I wanted to take the term, Turn Down For What, to a new level. Just as Lil Jon is mimicking my thoughts of what I was about to decide to do, all of sudden the conviction inside of me always seems to set in just as the beat is about to drop. Again, I was proud of myself, but more importantly, I was happy that God convicted me.  After eating breakfast and completing hygiene necessities, and watching my online church service from Baltimore, I decided to go to church. As I’m sitting in my seat at church, glancing at this week’s highlights, I suddenly began getting and becoming very distracted. I know what made me distracted, but unfortunately that’s between me and God.

After putting the highlights down, I actually decided to go outside the sanctuary for a second to take a phone call. After taking the call, I walked back in the sanctuary and sat back down to hear a word from God. I thoroughly enjoy hearing the word of God flow through Pastor Cedrick Brown, internationally known within our church body as Pastor C. I couldn’t wait to hear it. With all the crisis and battles, nah! With this war I’m fighting, I needed to hear the word! A word from God! I needed to eat! As I sitting in the seat listening to Pastor C explain about our missionary from South Africa, Joyce Ray, I all of sudden remember that she is speaking today. When I realized that I would not be listening and hearing a word from Pastor C, quite honestly, I became instantly annoyed. Some of you may say, well why did you become annoyed and the reason is simple, I didn’t come to hear Joyce Ray speak. I came to hear Pastor C speak.  After discovering this new information, I plotted and contemplated what I was going to do. I decided to text my boy Roderick, who drives the church van, to see if I can ride with him, as he makes his rounds to pick up some of the members who have transportation needs. He texted back and told me to meet him out in front of the church in 5 minutes. After gathering up my belongings, I made my way out of the sanctuary. Just as I am opening the doors, my dear friend Ms. Z smiles at me and follows me out of the sanctuary. While in the corridor, Ms. Z questions me on why I am deciding to leave. Due to our close and honest relationship, I simply told her that I didn’t come this morning to hear no Joyce Ray. I continued to tell her that due to all the situations that I’m currently facing, I needed to hear a word from God. Ms. Z continued to persuade me that I needed to stay and that I needed to hear what she was going to say. She told me that I needed to be here. I told her I’m leaving and that I would call her later.

After embracing and saying goodbye, I went outside to meet Roderick. When I got outside, I didn’t see him. I know he told me 5 minutes, but due to my conversation with Ms. Z, it had been about 10 minutes or so. I waited for a couple of minutes because I was under the impression that when someone says 5 minutes, it usually is longer than 5 minutes. After waiting an additional 5 minutes or so, I called Roderick to see where he was. He told me that he stopped by and when he didn’t see me outside, he had to leave, as he had other passengers to pick up. He also told me that he wouldn’t be able to come back and get me. Feeling disappointed, I decided to go back inside. Once inside the sanctuary, I didn’t really have a choice but to sit next to Ms. Z. As she was laughing, I told her it was her fault that I missed my ride.

At first, as I’m listening and right on cue, I began to tune her out. I already expressed earlier that I needed to hear a word from God, not necessarily Joyce Ray talk about her experiences in South Africa. Then the strangest thing started happening. As she is talking, no matter how much I try to continue to tune her out, I couldn’t do it! It’s like something pierced me as I became interested and engaged in what she was talking about. She told the story about Balaam and the donkey, or better yet how Ms. Z. says Balaam and his ass, and how it relates to her life. For those who don’t know like I didn’t know, basically Balaam, who was a sorcerer, was sent to curse the Israelites just as Moses was leading them toward Canaan. He was promised by the king that he would be paid handsomely once he completed the task. God warned him not to carry out the mission, but he proceeded anyway. As he was riding his donkey to carry out the mission, the donkey, all of sudden, stopped moving. This upset Balaam, as he beat the donkey and instructed the donkey to proceed. As Balaam was riding the donkey to carry out the mission, again the donkey, all of a sudden, stopped moving. Infuriated, Balaam again beat the donkey and instructed the donkey to proceed again. As Balaam rode the donkey, again the donkey, all of a sudden, stopped moving. Balaam began beating the donkey again. As Balaam was beating the donkey, all of a sudden, the Lord spoke through the donkey. He asked Balaam why he was beating the donkey and what had the donkey done for him to beat him three times. The Lord showed Balaam why the donkey had stopped 3 times. The Lord had sent an angel, which scared the donkey and caused it to stop.

It was at this point in Joyce Ray’s testimony that she revealed that her life, as well as the lives of others, is all about the ability to handle and be obedient to the turns, the turns of life. I wanted to hear a word from the Lord, but in my ignorance I assumed that I could only hear that word through my Pastor. I had fallen victim to a humanistic belief and truth that I am strongly against. I focused more on the title than the power of testimony. The wonderful thing about God is even when we try to outsmart and take the reins and attempt to take control, He shows us how ignorant we are and engages us into auto pilot.  His will, will be done, no matter what. I needed a word from God and that was what He gave me. He knew before I ever knew that I needed to hear what Joyce Ray had to say. He also knew that I would resist. Even when I tried to sabotage and leave, He orchestrated the interference that lead to a trickle-down effect that eventually brought my behind back in the church. Not only back in, but back in sitting right next to the one who He summoned to provide the interference. No matter how much we assume the position and attempt to control the course of which way to go, God will always orchestrate a traffic stop to inspire you to relinquish control.  God is the compass of our lives. Let Him provide the direction. Just drive! I love you all! Be Blessed!        



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Where Do We Go From Here?

My eyes opened this morning seeking and searching for an answer. I cautiously opened the blinds to allow the morning light to come in, but today seems like it’s going to be a somewhat gloomy day. Either way, I looked up at the sky and meditated on what God is trying to say to me. I meditated on what direction God is moving me to. As I continue to look up for answers, the emptiness in my soul from not knowing, not having control, and simply not knowing what to do begins to take over. Luckily when this begins to happen, it’s about 7am and I can turn on Crefflo Dollar and listen to his service on television for a word from God. As I'm listening to Crefflo, I realize that I’m not really engaged. Normally I am, but today I’m not really feeling him. He is coming across like one of my old social studies teachers, Mr. Laky. He is knowledgeable, but he is sleepy boring!

When Crefflo goes off, I turned to watch the Potters House with TD Jakes. I just know that his word is going to help regenerate my soul. When I listen to him and his word, it really speaks to my soul. As I’m listening, I realize that I’m having the same problem I had when I was watching Crefflo. For some reason it wasn’t really hitting me the way I needed it to hit me. I did have a déjà vu moment for a second when I saw someone there running during the church service. I immediately thought of when I went to church with Donna White in Baltimore, MD sometime around 1998.

Back then, I never went to church, but I did have a spirit about me. It was a spirit that I kept hidden and allowed to lay dormant because everyone around me didn’t have it. I hated being the odd person out. To be honest, I kind of always felt like I was on the outside looking in, but that’s another story for another day. Anyway, while we were at her church, the service was going well, until all of a sudden, it became like the church Olympics up in there. Everyone began running around the church with Usain Bolt speed. Donna even began jumping up and down right next to me. So much so, that someone had to come over and grab her son she was holding. I was in shock! I was in disbelief. I tell you, I couldn’t wait till it was over because I was ready to go home, immediately and home I went!

I didn’t know what to do! I needed to hear a word from God! My normal routine wasn’t working for me today. I wasn’t feeling Crefflo. I wasn’t even feeling TD. I didn’t know where to turn. It always seems like life at times will always put us in a position where we don’t know where to turn. In a position, where we don’t know where to look. Where we don’t know where to go from here! I decided to read the daily message on the Bible app on my phone. The message was from Jeremiah 32.17NIV. Reading the message, I was empowered and reminded that I have great enormous power inside of me and that nothing is too hard for me. Reading, hearing, and meditating on this message not only settled my soul, but it also sparked a recent memory of something that confirmed that God speaks to us at all times, even in the most unusual times, in the most unusual places.

As I was traveling back from New York after July 4th, I got off the NJ Turnpike at my exit and stopped at my usual spot to get gas. While my gas was being pumped, and yes those of us who live in New Jersey are spoiled from never pumping gas, I went to the bathroom. As I holding my mouth closed, barely breathing, using the bathroom, I began looking at the very wonderful things that people wrote on the walls. After reading the last f-u, your father’s cousin’s mother’s an a ….., I came across a bible scripture. In the midst of all the profanity and vulgarity, there was a bible scripture in big bold letters, Jeremiah 29:11. How amazing is that! I’ve been to that restroom countless times and have never seen that scripture there. Maybe at the time I wasn’t looking for it and truth be told, I still wasn’t looking for it. But, it found me.


When I got home later that day, I totally forgot about it until today. I looked at it and it assured me that He is the only one that knows the plans for me, plans to bring me prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future that I have hoped for. My soul is at peace. I know where I’m going! When you don’t know where to go from here, let God’s word be the compass of your life to always provide direction. There are signs all around. HE IS EVERYWHERE! I love you all…Be Blessed!    

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

10 Minute High

I tell you, it always seems like it's always a battle living this life.  A battle to fight always enduring until it’s time to fight again, and again, and again!  It almost seems as though we never stop fighting! There is a saying out there that simply states there is always a calm before a storm, but it never seems to be calm for long. It's like it can storm for 72 hours, then it's calm for 8 hours, then it begins to storm again for another 72 hours, only to then yet again be calm for another 8 hours... It’s like it just goes on and on and on and on! One minute I can see the light at the end of the tunnel then suddenly…. The light is gone! I know it's all a test and it’s meant to prepare me and best believe I hold these values and truths dear to my soul, but in the words of my homie Rod Brown, CMON!

Sometimes I wonder if you can be or are you ever truly prepared. Is there ever a time when enough is enough; when you’re finally ready; when it's finally time to perform all the things that you’ve previously learned from previous tests that you’ve endured; when it's finally time to play all and put everything into action; when it’s time to start moving the chains; and when all the tests are over!  

I went to an interview yesterday and the interviewer, who I discerned was tired and a tidbit unprofessional as she sucked on her mint candy, kept asking me thought provoking interview questions.  Even though she asked me an enormous amount of questions for a temporary customer service position, there was one in particular that really stuck out to me. She asked me if I had a lot work to do in a short time frame what would I do to get it all done. I thought about it and simply stated, the first thing I would do is outline the most difficult tasks first, and then proceed to doing the most difficult to the least difficult tasks until the job was completed. She then said, well how would you do it? Thinking to myself that I just told her what I would do, I repeated what I originally said and emphasized that I would do the work and get the job done! She didn’t seem to understand me. I informed her that due to my professional and personal experiences, I don’t panic! I do what needs to be done to get the job done! She seemed taken aback by what I said as I assumed that she probably wanted more than that, but honestly that is really all I could give her. Henceforth, I didn’t get the job! I didn’t get the job because I wasn’t meant to go down that path again. He has something better in store for me. God told me just as He tells all of us to trust in Him and that His ways and thoughts are higher than any of our ways could ever think to be. That’s amazing! Think about that for a second…..His ways and thoughts are higher than any of our ways could ever THINK to be!  That means before we even think about it, it’s already higher! What does it all mean? Hmmmmmm…. Simply put. Don't panic! He’s got my back, and he has yours as well! Draw closer to God! I love you all….Be Blessed!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Miraculous Change in You

Do whatever you can to stay focus on your dreams.

If you have to listen to inspiring audios throughout out the day, then listen to them.

If you have to do affirmations in the morning and before you go to bed, then by all means do them.

If you have to put inspiriting quotes or scriptures in plain sight throughout the home, then put them everywhere.

If you have to go near the ocean, sea, or lake, then go.

If you need to look in the mirror to tell yourself “I love you”, then say it. Say it every day.

In fact, write everything about yourself that empowers you to feel good and say it daily when looking in the mirror.

When you say it, say it as if it already exists.


This process creates miracles. 

~Alicia~

Survival of the Fittest

After enjoying the last 3 days spent with family and visiting some old friends, I made the two hour ride back to New Jersey early so I would not be caught up in any traffic, especially on that Belt Parkway. Before leaving, I made arrangements with my wife for her to pick up the kids late Saturday morning. I anticipated we would be back by 12:30pm. As we were riding, I attempted to make her aware of where we were at, as well as wanted to provide her with an updated estimated eta. For some reason, she never responded to any of the texts, as we arrived back home at 12:33pm. The kids called her periodically, but she did not answer the phone. She finally responded at 1:00pm and informed my son that she is not coming right now, but she will be coming soon. Around 2:10pm, she called and spoke with the children, as they continued to express how excited they are for her to come and pick them up. After talking with them, she wanted to speak to me and wanted to know why I waited so late for her to come and pick them up. Again I say that she wanted to know why I waited so late in the afternoon for her to come and pick them up. I politely responded that I told her that it would be late morning and in all actuality, we have been here since 12:30pm. I know that 12:30pm is not technically late morning, but come on! She asked me if I was gonna come get them tomorrow and I informed her that I truly don't have any money. Of course her response was how come u don't have any money seeing that you just came back from NY. I told her that I don't have any money and asked her why do think I constantly ask you for money? 


After going back and forth about the money situation, she then proceeded to
tell me about how I try and play the victim to people all the time and how this is my fault why all this is happening. I know when I was younger, I had and I'm sure many of us did, have a victim mentality. But that was when I didn't want to accept any accountability or responsibility for anything. With life experience and maturity, I know I don't look at myself as a victim anymore. Quite frankly, I feel like I'm more of a survivor. I separated from my wife in August 2013, basically because I could no longer ignore the problem that continually plagued our relationship. My wife is a beautiful person, inside and out, however her past experiences from childhood, hinder her from showing the world that beautiful person she really truly is. I know that I've made mistakes and done things to light the match on the rage and fire that burn inside her, but I can't and will not take responsibility for all the things that is causing the fire to burn out of control. I separated because I no longer could be the blame for her behavior. When she decided to tell me how much I was a piece of shit and how much my family wasn't shit, I could no longer accept her blaming me and her telling me that I made her say those things to me. When she decided to tear the house and my belongings up in a fit of rage for my children and I to witness, I could no longer accept her blaming me and telling me that I made and caused her to behave that way. Lastly, for the sake of time, when she decided to tell my kids I was a bum with no job and a ho, I could no longer accept her blaming me and telling me that I made her act that way. When my mother died, my life changed instantly. I no longer had the voice of reason, comfort, love, understanding and security that my mother provided throughout my life. I remember telling my wife the day she died that it was going to be me and her against the world, but instead it became me and her versus one another. There are always three sides to every story and quite honestly, I am not trying to tell my side because I don't really feel like I need to defend myself. Again, I know and understand that I am not perfect and neither is she.  I didn't separate because of our or even her imperfections. I separated because of the way those imperfections are disrespectfully displayed. We were together a very long time and I KNOW I stepped up and tried to do right by her because not only was it the right thing to do, but really most of all because I really loved her. I'm sure she will agree that I have a funny way of showing my love, but honestly I think most of us do especially when the pressure of life arrives. My language of love is different from her language of love and vice versa. I tried to show her, but it was ultimately something that I had to come to terms with that no matter what I did, no matter what I would say, and no matter how much I compromised, nothing would ever be good enough. I remember her telling me how if I did this or if I did that, then this would change and that would change. Nothing never changed as the level of disrespect only increased.  I distinctly remember her saying all I want to do is be your wife Brice. We were together for a long time before we got married because something inside of me told me that if you act this way before the ring, you will act this way after the ring. I look back now and realize I should have trusted my instincts, but I don't have any regrets. I married the woman I loved and the mother of my children. I made us a family under the authority of God. I became a better individual through this whole process and experience.

I remember my co-worker, Dr. Yrenki, a psychologist from Baltimore, once told me that God wants us to come to him when we are nice and broken. Well as was broken at the time, dealing with spiritual warfare, as she was the one who brought me to Celebrate Recovery Church in Columbia, Maryland, which inevitably led to me getting saved and acknowledging Jesus Christ as my love and savior! Before leaving Baltimore, I was sort of in the same transitional period in my life that I'm in now. One Sunday, I was tuning in to New Psalmist Baptist Church online service when Bishop Walter Scott Thomas said to pray for a Road to Emmaus. That night I prayed for a Road to Emmaus, which eventually brought me to New Jersey, which then eventually brought me to my home church, Commitment Community Church. After meeting with the Pastor and now my favorite Pastor, Cedrick Brown, I realized how closed my heart had been for so long. Even though all these positive changes were happening in my life, I still never really understood the meaning of praying for a Road to Emmaus. I assumed for so long that it simply meant praying for finding the right road. I knew I was on the right road when my son and daughter were coloring bible activity worksheets called the Road to Emmaus in Sunday school classes, but I still really didn't know. Honestly, it wasn't until recently, maybe a week or two ago, that I finally understood what Bishop Walter Scott Thomas was saying when he said pray for a Road to Emmaus. It took me 4 years to finally know that praying for a Road to Emmaus simply meant that I was gonna finally meet Jesus! I finally met Jesus for myself! That's the reason I am attacked and pressed on all sides. I finally met Jesus! My wife can think that I think I am victim all day long, but I know I'm a survivor! I survived everything that was meant to destroy me. I survived and continue to survive because I met Jesus! I am sure all of you who are reading this know of the old saying, “It is the survival of the fittest, and only the strong survive”. This saying is so true, but only if you know who your strength is and where it comes from and that's Jesus Christ!  I have a responsibility to pay it forward so I want you to hear me and hear me loud and clear! During these difficult transitional times, pray for a Road to Emmaus so you too can experience what it feels like to truly be a survivor! I love you all...Be Blessed!!