Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You Don't Know My Story

You don’t know my story
For if you did you would lift up your hands
So just let me tell you
By faith you may as well break out and dance.
                                                “Life and Favor” by John P. Kee
When I was on my way to a doctor’s appointment before work one day, this song came through the speakers of my car. Before I knew it, I was raising my hands, weeping and singing along.  It hit me. The realization of how far I’ve come, hit me un-expectantly that morning.
You don’t know my story
You don’t know the day He set me free
You cannot imagine
The strongholds and the walls that severed me
I went through a period of about a year and a half of severe depression. I’ve been told by many people I have nothing to be depressed about. The bottom line is no matter how you look at my circumstances and lifestyle, my negative thoughts about myself were killing me. You don’t have to understand it just know it was very real to me.
In all God has been faithful to me
He promised He would never leave me
My story proves that God can use me
Deliverance is my testimony
You don’t know -- my story!
Strangely, I started to gradually get better after one of my friends committed suicide. I don’t know what he was struggling with, he kept it well hidden. Frankly, I never discussed with him the severity of what I was going through. After his death, I was inspired to live my life with purpose.
With the help of a therapist and medication, we developed a plan to get me well. That plan included the blood of Jesus and getting rid of negative thought patterns. It took time but I am better now. I still struggle but now I have the coping skills to make it through the struggle.

You don’t know my story
The anguish and the guilt that consume me
Grateful I can tell it
For no more shall the shackles condemn me

I’ve wanted to tell my story for a long time but I’ve been hiding behind my contributing blogger, Jeralyn Powell because she is braver than me. What was I afraid of? Airing my dirty laundry, worrying about what people would say and think about me and afraid of being treated differently at work.

In all God has been faithful to me
He promised He would never leave me
My story proves that God can use me
Deliverance is my testimony

There were many days I couldn’t find the strength to get out of bed in the morning and go to work. But now, but now, I have self-published a Christian fiction novel that I started writing in 2008. Because my God never left me and He kept me, I wrote a book y’all! I finished a book y’all! By the grace and mercy of God I have favor and life. The fruit of that favor and life can be seen on Amazon! You don’t know my story! I still can’t stop crying tears of joy when I think about it. You don’t know how hard it was for me to get to this point.

I’m delivered, here’s my story
Life and Favor upon me He brought me out
You don’t know it, let me tell it
Life and favor upon me He brought me out

God of mercy He who loves me
Life and favor upon me He brought me out
Oh how wondrous is my story
Life and favor upon me He brought me out

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Favorite App: My Fitness Pal


myfitnesspal FUN FACT: A Methodist communion wafer has no calories but an Episcopal communion wafer has one.

Back in March, I received a call from my primary care physician. He was concerned about my creatinine levels because they had greatly increased since my last physical the year before. When he sent me to a Nephrologist, the Nephrologist told me the necessary things to do in order to preserve my kidneys.  Of course, the first step was to lose weight.

The doctor highly suggested I use an app called myfitnesspal to jumpstart my weight loss. I took his advice very seriously and became immensely immersed in it. Annoyingly, I would go around telling my co-workers and family members the calorie count of what they were eating. For twenty minutes, I would sit in the parking lot of food places planning my order.

One starts by setting up a profile inputting current weight, target weight, height, and activity level. The app uses your responses to formulate the number of calories you should eat each day. My favorite feature is after recording all your activity, water intake, and calorie intake for the day, it tells you, "If every day was like today you will lose x amount of pounds in x amount of days," or " You are not eating enough calories putting your body in danger of going into starvation mode."
I was able to be honest with myself and myfitnesspal that my activity level would be sedentary and it computed my calories accordingly. I lost about 11 pounds by my next doctor's appointment two months later. I have lost a total of 23 pounds since March. Of course like an obsession, it waned after I lost 20 pounds but it does not take away from the fact that this is an awesome app.
When I told my doctor how I lost the weight, he was so excited and exclaimed, "Yes! I love it when my patients do what I tell them to do."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

My Blogging Bucket List



Chautauqua of the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church's
Young People's Division (YPD)
Growing up, I had to learn the above saying as a YPDer at St. John A.M.E. Church in Birmingham AL. It has an accompanying hand-clap that we used to show honor to our distinguished leaders. Most of the time, I just use those words to help me stay on beat with the hand-clap without giving much thought to the meaning of the words. But these words came to mind as I was trying to formulate a blogging bucket list.
My blogging bucket list consists of one thing: to be brave. I need strength to be brave enough to share my truth on my blog without fearing the consequences. I don't want to worry about offending anyone, personal and/or professional backlash or disappointing myself by not  "keeping it 100." I want to take risks by saying the things that others are afraid to say, expose my insecurities, inconsistencies, and imperfections by sharing whatever is on my heart.
One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Corinthians 6:12-    
"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.
Those words give me pause when I want to be strong, be brave, and be true. . . to myself. Hopefully one day I will find a beautiful balance between the two or exchange caution with reckless abandonment and go for what I know! It wouldn't hurt if some literary agent or publisher stumbles upon my blog, becomes so enthralled with my point of view and whisks me off into the literary sunset. I guess that would add a second item to my blogging bucket list.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Who is TED?


Javacia Harris Bowser asked See Jane Write members to blog about their favorite TED Talk.
I have a confession to make: I don't know TED and what he talks about. I've heard people rave about Ted Talks in passing but I've never taken the time to listen to one.

This assignment gave me an opportunity to find out more about the TED organization and share my findings with my readers. I'm sure many of you haven't discovered TED yet either.

I started my research with my most trusted source for information other than Jon Stewart, Steven Corbert, and FOX News: Wikipedia. TED's mission statement sounds in line with my mission statement for What do you think?

According to Wikipedia, TED's mission statement begins:
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.
It was my plan to watch a TED Talk to further my research for this post. When I got to the website, I felt overwhelmed and I'm tired and hungry. So, tell me about your favorite TED Talk. Or tell me about one you have heard is worth checking out. I promise I'll look in to it, after I find something to eat and take a nap.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Just Scandalous!


Mama, I'm in love wit a gangsta (damn)
Mama, I'm in love wit a gangsta (y'know)
Mama, I'm in love wit a gangsta and I know he's a killer
but I love dat ni**a

                       ~ "Mama, I'm In Love Wit A Gangsta,"  Coolio

Brace yourself, I have a confession to make. I'm almost ashamed to admit it. Almost.
I have fallen into the wrong crowd; hanging out with people who I know do bad things. My parents taught me better,  but now even they enjoy the company of my new friends.
The ringleader looks like she has it all together but is having an affair with a married man.  She pretends like she has concern for her friends but still coaches them to do the very things they have been working so hard not to do.  All she does is keep secrets and tell lies. For some reason, she is always nearby when a dead body surfaces and no one seems to question it. She gets away with murder.
Everyone loves her. They admire here style and cheer for her relationship with the married man while talking about his wife like a dog.
I must admit, I look forward to hanging out with her every week. Sometimes when we are spending time together, I hit pause and replay her words in my mind. I wish I always had a perfectly crafted comeback like she does to shut up my haters without consequence. She is the "Teflon Don."
After our visits, I seriously contemplate if I should hang out with her again because I have become desensitized to her cunning ways. They appear attractive and brilliant and almost harmless. Then I remember: they are not.
Only time will tell if I will show up for our weekly scheduled meeting this Thursday. Something I do know is she will be wearing earth tone clothes and a fabulous coat to be envied!

Monday, November 4, 2013




. . .and you win some
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nothing is Ever Useless

#bloglikecrazy  |Day 3
The first weekend of every month my mom and I have our special "mommy/daughter time." The location: Wal-Mart. We shop for her and my father's groceries and household products that are supposed to last until the next first of the month.
She may not realize it, but I love spending those times with her even though I may grumble and complain because I want my Saturday to myself.
We use this time to catch up mostly on church gossip, my job woes, family updates and Facebook statuses. As she searches the shelves for the Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce that is always difficult to find, I use my smart phone to locate pictures and status updates from Facebook I think she will get a kick out of.
Main topic this past Saturday: pledging. My mother is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority and she pledged at Lane College in Jackson, TN. While trying to find kosher dill pickle spears for my dad's lunch, she stopped in the middle of the aisle to tell me all she had to go through in order to be an AKA and how the kids these days have it too easy. I learned that crossing the burning sands was not just a figure of speech.
When we made it back to the car, she looked at the clock and realized how long we had been in the store. She said, "I spent that time giving you useless information on pledging." I told her nothing is ever useless because that will probably end up in one of my books at some point. That is my writing process.
I say all that to say, watch what you say around me, it may end up in a book. My friends will tell you that I'll break out a notebook in a minute to write down something from a conversation that has inspired me.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Now What?

I started December 16, 2012 mainly to build an audience that would eventually support me when my first novel was released.
As I mentioned in that first post, Mama, I Want to Write I was afraid of blogging.  How dare I think I had something to say that people would want to read?  I'm no expert. Yet, I do have a lot to say and I'll say it to anyone who will listen. I was also afraid of writing something that would haunt me and eventually come back to bite me.
I felt so stifled by this fear that I thought it was unnatural and I was determined not to let it get the best of me. Sharing my writing is something I felt compelled to do; I couldn't not do it. So, I went out and bought a bible study guide focused on fear to help me overcome it.  The study didn't eliminate the fear but it was no longer stifling.
Blogging has become much more than a means to an end for me. When I started seeing that people were really interested in what I had to say, I decided that blogging was something I wanted to take seriously and be successful at doing.  Looking at those pageviews increase from week to week, motivated me even more. I started attending writing and social media conference to learn how to up my game.
Like I said yesterday, I started to slack off but my desire to be successful at this thing has not waned.
I can't not do it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Never Too Late. . .

. . . to #bloglikecrazy
I'd like to say that I have been on a planned hiatus from blogging to focus on self-publishing my first novel, . . .and you win some but that would be a lie. (By the way, the anticipated release date of my book is November 13th on )

The truth is: I'm a slacker.
But it is never too late to start again.
It is tempting to give up when so much time has lapsed since the last time you worked on that thing. You know, that thing you started researching but got sidetracked by unexpected circumstances; that thing you were so excited about but was immediately shot down when you shared it with your family and/or friends; that thing you talked yourself out of doing for various reasons; that thing you actually finished but was disheartened by an expert's opinion.
But it is never too late to start again.
That burning desire you have for that thing is inside you for a reason and your soul will not be able to rest until you do it. You were created to do that thing.

When you see me slacking on my blog, leave me a comment, tweet me @msasmoore or facebook me and say, hey get your hands back on that keyboard!  Accountability is important and I need to know that my readers miss me :-)
I challenge you to start again that thing you've always wanted to do. Study for that dental entrance exam, finish your master's degree (another thing I dropped), write that novel or autobiography, get more fit and healthy, start that ministry or volunteer project, apply for that job, or call that friend or family member you haven't talked to in awhile. 
Fill in the blank ________________________________________
So what's that thing you need to start again?