Friday, August 30, 2019


I think that most people want to belong.  It makes no matter who or what they belong to.  As I work with adolescents, I am subject to witnessing this sense of belonging first hand.  As children grow up out of childhood, they experience this need to develop their own identities as well as a sense of community.  They are making connections about who they are and where they belong.  Some of them question their purpose in this world.  Students entering the 10th grade are called "Sophomores."  This word means "wise fool."  My interpretation of this (in my humble experience) has to do with understanding a little about the world and applying what they understand to the whole.  If the world were a pattern continuing and repeating, then it would make sense to do this, but the world is different everywhere.  This is where things get mucked up. 

In thinking about it all, gangs and Greek letter societies provide a fulfillment of these psychological adolescent needs.  There is an initiation, or a process of initiation.  There is buy-in into the organization, there is a purpose and each member contributes to the cause.  They are given a name, a new name.  They have logos and symbols and signs that members happily wear to represent this organization that they belong to.

Belonging is fundamental.  In the larger picture, we belong to the human race.  People identify by geography or by educational institution, culture, gender, religion, political party and any other cultural identifier you can think of.  We all just want to belong.  Some people are walking around and they don't realize that the belonging they seek is to God.

I remember belonging to someone.  I try to imagine what a lost sock or a lost show would feel like.  My other half is gone.  Could there be out there another half for me? I met my husband and it was unbelievable that he spoke my language.  We had the same views.  I want to tell you that I was so apprehensive dating him.  I loved his persistence and consistency.  He wanted to be my other half and he proved it.  He was confidant, smart and attentive.  He liked spending time with me.  We merged together and then we belonged to each other.  Every day I woke with the knowledge that I belonged to him.  We were family.  We had the same last name.  At this moment, I don't know or how I could belong to someone else again.  I imagine it, there are days that I can even envision it.  If you were to ask me, I would recommend it.  I don't think that I am in the minority with this.  I definitely think that I'm in the majority.

This idea of belonging, the way that we belong with God is a big deal.  I am hanging up my dating cap and I'm taking a break but this is also my advice.  If you think you could like someone, I think you should think about it and go for it.  Because life is shorter than you think and the chances that you think will come around again may not.  Take if from me, a widow, someone who once belonged.  I know first hand how short life can be and how fast time goes.  Pray about it.  Have courage an go for it.  God bless.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

No News

I've been reflecting and working.  I'm in the groove of life.  Most of you know what that means.  People have been asking me about how I am.  I guess you could say that they have been checking in with me, which I greatly appreciate; especially since I have not been writing on a regular basis.  Well, I'm not feeling anything.  I am happily subsisting. 

I was at least 10 years old when my mother died and that summer, my father left me with a woman named Doris from church who took care of children.  The summer required a full day of watching.  She had this other little girl that she would watch as well.  I remember Doris bragging that this other little girl's family would clean her room each Saturday.  I thought that this was such a strange thing to brag about.  Apparently the little girl's mother took good care of her daughter.  What was Doris telling me about myself?  There was an implication but I'm not very sure what it was, even now.  I remember weird things about Doris.  She used to have varicose veins and she had an operation but the trade off was that she couldn't wear heels.  There was nothing to do, all day long.  Doris was very particular.

One thing that I remember clearly was being made to watch the Great Space Coaster.  It was for the other girl's benefit.  I came to appreciate this show.  My favorite segment was a line that became a man.  This line man would talk gibberish and yell and was emotive.  I love this line even now.  There was also a broadcaster who's sign off line was, "No gnus is good gnus and this is Gary Gnu."  Well, all this to say that no news is good news.  I'm just sailing on.  Thanks for thinking of me.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Whitney Houston

I have developed this thing for Whitney Houston songs.  I think I know when it started.  I was listening to Spotify one day at work and Sam Smith came on singing "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston.  It was haunting and wonderful and I couldn't stop listening to it.  Then I started listening to her playlist at home.  I was introducing Whitney to my daughter.  We watched a documentary on her.  I let Janet watch parts of The Bodyguard.

As I listen to her singing.  I am realizing that my life is feeling like a Whitney Houston song.  I have been listening to her greatest hits and I resonant with each and every song that I have been hearing lately.  I sing along with her with tears streaming down my face because her words, the words that she sings tell me my story better than a lot of things.

I plan on sharing these thoughts with you but I find that I can not share these songs in just one little blog post.  All this to say, don't be surprised when I pepper my random ideas with a dissection of one of Whitney's songs.

Love me some Whitney.

Saturday, August 24, 2019


I have been thinking about the nature of attraction.  I have been thinking about what I deem as attractive and who thinks I am attractive and what they find is attractive about me.  My lips and teeth are big on the list.  Related to this, I get comments on my smile. I normally don't think too much about my teeth and mouth other than applying lipstick.  Recently I have started brushing my teeth with a new toothpaste and am proud of the fact that my teeth are shinier and smoother thanks to the new dental cleansing. 

I have been complimented on my nail beds and I would have to agree.  I have beautiful beds and strong fingernails that make me proud.  Of course, my hair is a point of discussion.  It's long and curly and I dye it funky colors so many people comment all of the time on my hair.  On a side note, I spent the last 23 years insisting on having short hair when long hair suited me this whole time.

I have been called attractive.  That's nice, but I don't really care about being attractive.  I care about being me, authentically me. I think that the things that are most attractive about people have nothing that can be found on a dating app.  When I remember what I liked about some of the people I have loved, looks have very little to do with it.  I mean... looks have something to do with it.  I used to date this guy who was great but I didn't like his natural smell.  I have a sensitive nose and his smell reminded me of a dry, bitter, desert plant.

Attraction is attractive.  I don't know what is next to happen.  I'm taking a dating break and I'm not expecting to find anyone but myself and God.  I want to be liked by someone who will like all of me.  Who will love all of me.  I want to like all of someone too.  If someone is too good looking, I have to swipe left, even if they have liked me first.  What am I going to do with someone that good looking?  Come on, that's not real.  I want to like someone that goes with me.  I won't settle.  I'm okay not being with anyone if that means I don't get everything that I want.  And so... I am happily writing this blog and deciding to be happy in my present state.  I am so thankful for God.  He allows me to be secure in who I am regardless of my circumstances. Amen and Praise the Lord.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Blessing of Teaching

I have worked in education for what is coming up on 14 years at the end of October.  I was pregnant with my son and needed a real job so my friend, Haja suggested that apply for the New York City Teaching Fellows.  I had been told that I would be a great teacher for a while but it was something that I have always escaped.  I didn't think I had it in me to be a great teacher.  I have  dual certification.  I worked in an elementary school in Morris Heights in the Bronx.  I remember those kids.  They are adults now.  How could second graders be adults?  I wonder where they are now.  I think I am friends with one or two of them.  I wonder what kind of lives they have.  I pray that they are successful.  

I think about my babies from Arizona.  I have been teaching here for what is going on 11 years.  I taught kindergarten so some of them are getting ready to graduate from high school if they haven't already.  I don't think I would recognize them if I saw them.  I hope that they would come to me and tell me hello.  

I was explaining to someone why I teach.  I teach at a high school with kids that need an education.  I'm a salesman.  I sell education and hope each and every day.  I don't know what they hear when I'm talking to them.  I just want them to have opportunities.  One of them came back the other day and he called me, "Mama Miller."  He's not the only one who calls me that.  I look into the eyes of the kids that I am working with.  There is always a wall up when I start speaking with them.  I can see them asking the same questions: Who are you? and Why should I trust you?  There is really no reason to trust me.  I love them.  I do.  I hope the best for them.  

Three weeks in and I'm getting to know the students.  I like talking to them about the world.  I like it when they finally learn something and they are so excited about learning.  I have one student who is getting ready to graduate.  He likes to sabotage himself.  He needs a lot of support.  His teachers call me when he struggles and when he sees my face, it's respect, mixed with fear and just the slightest bit of happiness.  I know and he knows that I believe and want to push him to graduate.  I think he doesn't want to leave the nest.  

I love when they come back.  I love going to showers, weddings, graduations and just visiting them.  A student that I had when I first started texted me a picture of the front office to tell me that he was there.  He didn't wait when I came out.  He gave me a hug.  He is doing well.  I don't think that there is a job title for what I do.  I teach and love on kids.  I help them be who they are going to be.  It is such an honor and a privilege to teach them.  I am so happy that they let me into their lives for a moment, a quarter, a year or a lifetime.  I don't complain when I get even a little bit.  I am blessed.  I pray that I can be God to each one of them.  I pray for their protection and contentment.  I pray that they pay forward any blessing that befalls them.  I pray for them.  That's all.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Poor Choices

I make poor choices.  I make poor choices all of the time.  I think it is important to keep who you are in perspective.  I want to be clear that I am not perfect.  I have already confessed to my Doritos addiction.  I also have an issue with cheese.  Put that cheese on a hamburger and life is so good!!! You see what I mean about poor choices?

I have this big black cat.  He is completely black.  He has shiny black fur.  He likes to hang out with me on his bed.  He likes to put his head on my lap.  He purrs on my neck.  I have not one but two cats.  About 9 years ago, a small boy in my elementary school came to me with Midnight in his hands saying that he was the last and smallest kitten in the litter.  Midnight fit in my one hand.  I brought him home.  He is another one of my bad choices.  What am I doing with two cats?  ...and a dog...

I love Amazon Prime.  It's so easy.  Today I received a package.  I need another lip gloss like I need another hole in my head (another idea I'm playing with).  And yet, I bought another lip gloss.  You see, another poor choice.  I don't have buyer's remorse but I'm beginning to think about the long term effects of my bad choices.  Can I be saving more money?  Can I be doing better things with my time?  You don't need to wonder much.  The answer is yes.

I am currently contemplating my poor choices.  A nap instead of cleaning when I'm at home; a movie instead of reading.  I think that in general I am making better choices but then again, there are some days when there is no control.  I have no control.  I want to sit and play Candy Crush instead of doing what I need to do.  I'm praying to be able to make better choices in the future but please pray for me.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

My Favorite Season

I love the Fall.  In New York, I would still be in summer.  I would be soaking the last of my free time before getting ready to go back to school.  As a student, I loved going back to school.  As a teacher, I found it bearable.  It's always hard to go back to work. 

I remember feeling that first breeze that would mark the beginning of Autumn.  I would happily anticipate the trees turning colors and the cold as it made its way into the temperature, forcing me to put on a jacket in the morning.  I looked forward to the last fight of summer as we still went to the pool.  It was such a treat then.  I loved walking with the wind in my face.  Everything is gold, orange and red.  

I had so much to look forward to then.  I loved Halloween.  I loved being someone else for a day.  I loved Thanksgiving and celebrating with my family and friends the best food in the world, Puerto Rican food.  I don't know what I have been doing but I feel myself today.  I am hopeful and looking forward to hikes and trips.  I look forward to holidays and hanging out with my friends and community.  This coming week, my church is having a Kick-Off for Bible Study.  I didn't realize it but I was missing Wednesday Night Bible Study.  I was missing all of the activities that we have throughout the year.  And I am excited as the year begins.  Weekends are filled with cooler temps and cool friends.  I am looking at the FB events that are coming up and I'm making plans to attend things and join the land of the living.  

I am currently thankful for my life and for my friends.  I am thankful that I have a community to lean on.  God is good to me.

Saturday, August 17, 2019


What do you do to take care of yourself?  As I re-invent myself, I'm finding that the things that I need to care for myself are changing.  I think I need a better eye cream.  I'm considering a facial piercing but I'm scared how it will look.  I'm experimenting with the color of my hair.  I mean, have you ever needed a change? 

I love painting my nails crazy colors.  I thought about using gel manicure or fake nails.  Am I the only one who thinks of this stuff?  I mean, I kept my hair short for years thinking that it suited me and now I can't grow my hair long enough.  I think self-care needs to change as you change.  I knew this woman who had the same hairstyle and make up for apparently over a decade.  She needed a change of self-care.  She needed a change. 

When you go through a transition, you usually make a change.  I remember talking to a hairdresser who told me that most women cut their hair short after a bad break up.  I didn't have a bad break up but I am transitioning.  I think that this is just part of the moving on part of my life  I have gone through transitions before but I think that this is one that I have to do without Santi, so now I need to figure out what I need to do to be me.  Not the me of last year or the year before, but the me that is here now. 

I was definitely holding on to something.  I don't know what it was but I find that I have let it go.  I'm understanding more about myself.  I have not had a restful weekend in a while and it doesn't seem like I will be getting any rest in the upcoming future.  I think I need to make demands on my time because I need time.  I need time to rest.  I need time to pray.  I need time to have fun.  What does fun look like now for me?  I haven't read a book in ages.  Why?  I had to think about it.  I liked books that talked about hope and love.  My favorite genre is  Young Adult and Magical Realism.  These genres are full of romantic elements.  I don't want to read about love.  The joy of reading has left me and I have to find another genre to love now.  I think the same goes for movies.  The movies that are out now are crap but I need to find what I like now. 

My advice is to take care of yourself and take time for yourself. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Moving On

There is a time when you agree to meet friends for coffee or tea.  You show up first if you are like me.  Then you wait.  Someone else shows and maybe another person and then there is the three of you waiting.  How long do you wait for?  If you are waiting for a movie, you inevitably go to the movie.  You hope they are okay.  You move on. 

I didn't know this, well... I did know it but I didn't know that I knew it.  I didn't know that I was waiting for someone, just in case, before I moved on officially with my life.  I did the dating thing and I learned so much about men my age.  All of them go to the gym.  All of them like to hike and be outdoors.  All of them think they want smart, assertive women, who, by the way, go to the gym and are fit, just like they pretend to be.  Some of them think they want a friend but I'm telling you, they don't.  I think that I admired those who were explicit in their expectations even as I reported and blocked them.  At least they were interested and honest about it, even if I didn't agree.  But, how long do I wait? 

You see, I understand how I am changing.  My experiences help form my personality and I am growing by the grace of God.  My concern is: will there be space for someone later.  There is also a confession underneath all of my supposed concern.  I confess that I was hoping to have someone to walk beside.  I'm finding that being a provider and a single mother is heavy on my own, some days.  I will tell you that I know for a fact that I am not alone.  I will tell you that I have God on my side.  I know this.  This is my truth and my rock.  I cling to this.  But there are some days that I allow myself to float on the sea of feelings and doubt and all I feel is what I feel.  Yes, I swim back to the Rock of my Salvation... eventually but it can be difficult. 

Moving on entails no longer waiting or hoping that someone will come along.  Yes, just like waiting for a friend, there is a bit of disappointment and care.  You hope that they are okay.  But maybe the plan is for there to be only God and my friends and family.  I turn and I walk my path, modelling good living for my children.  If someone shows up that wants to walk our path with us then, so be it.  But, I'm no longer waiting for someone to come.  I am following my path and concentrating on who God wants me to be. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

On Being Sick

I'm sitting here wondering how honest I should be in my writing.  Today I went home sick.  I hate being sick.  I don't even know how I drove back home.  I'm always so much more vulnerable when I'm not feeling well.  I think it was my father's fault.  He would hold my hand and sit with me until I fell asleep.  It's hard being sick and tired alone.  I feel how heavy I am.  I feel how frail I can be and honestly, I think it makes me scared. 

Have you ever gone for a walk in a forest in the dark?  Usually it's peaceful with sweetness and the sounds of small animals scurrying.  I guess you can say that I'm okay usually, happy and strong even in the sadness.  But when I'm sick it's harder to be and stay strong and then every horrible thing that I have been keeping at bay with my light thinks it's okay to come close to me. Fear and bad things come like coyotes not like wolves.  The bad things are cowards, afraid of light. 

When my light is dim, there is nothing to do but go to the source of all light. I John 1:5 says, "This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all."  There is no darkness.  In God there are no shadows to hide the things that can not stand the light.  Even as I write this, the evening falls upon my part of the earth; but I am not afraid any longer.  Yes, I am ill and weak.  Yes, there appears to be an ache in my bones.  Yes, there are those that would attack those who are vulnerable.  And yet... God is with me.  He has enough light for me.  Thank You, God.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Best Friends and Witnesses

I have had a lot of best friends in my life.  My first best friend was Christine from St. Frances of Rome.  We broke up over a disagreement.  It was painful.  Then we grew apart.  Martine was the best friend that replaced her.  It was okay because I had Diana from church.  We were best friends too.  I had two best friends simultaneously. I stayed over Diana's house and we would go to the Boys and Girls Club.  We would listen to music and read books.  I could tell Diana anything.  She was my therapy for when my mother died.  She was so great at listening.  I'll tell you my oldest and dearest best friend.  She is the one that is more like a sister.  Her mother was my mother for a while.  That's Joanne.  I still consider her my best friend.  I love Esther and Glenda but Joanne was more than just a normal best friend, she was a witness to my life.  If there were bodies, she would know where they would be buried.  I love her. 

My husband is sort of like your best friend too.  More than just a friend, boy friend or best, I think what I wanted was a witness.  A witness to my life.  Joanne got married and had children, it was harder to drag her everywhere I went.  I remember covering a museum for the Pace Press when I was in college.  The main piece was a collage.  This gallery was so beautiful.  I went by myself.  I longed for someone to see this beauty with me.  This is when I first thought of Santi.  I said that if ever I met someone, I would take him to that gallery.  I did.  I met Santi and he thought it was beautiful too. 

This past month, I went to Pine Top with Danielle.  We were visitors to this wonderful place and I was so happy to have a witness with me.  I think I have an issue with wanting a witness.  I don't even think I want to date.  I want people to go places with me.  So... I think what I really need is to join Events and Adventures.  I have already agreed to go on hikes with some co-workers.  I'm happy to met up and be active with people.  Want to hike?  Want to meet up for coffee?  Want to hang out with me and my children?  Let's do it.  Let's see things together!!!  Let me know.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Sock Day

I made up a fake holiday when I was younger.  I did it with my friend Edi.  Today is Sock Day.  August 12th because August didn't have any holidays.  Back then, I had a thing with socks.  Novelty socks were just becoming prevalent.  I loved to find the socks at Dollar Stores.  I liked the different colors and it didn't really matter what color they were because I usually always wore black boots... with everything.  Man I miss those days!!!!

Today this day commemorates birthdays and other anniversaries.  I will always remember it though.  Making up a fake day with a great friend.  Now, I'm thinking about it.  I remember New York Days with cool boots and the best socks ever.  Honestly, I don't even like socks now but for a day in a year, I'll celebrate sock day.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

What I'm Putting Out There

I have to be especially careful about what I write today as I'm exhausted.  I posted on Facebook that I tend to do and say stupid things when I'm tired.  I have two dating profiles open on two sites.  I'm deliberating closing one come September and the other one is in January.  The one I like is the one I'm thinking about closing.  The other one I'm stuck in because I signed up for it... when I was tired and now I'm stuck till January.  See what I mean?

I think that the issues that I have with the sites have something to do with what I'm putting out there.  I get attention.  I do  Well, on one site I get attention.  However, I get negative attention.  Well... it's not negative.  Despite the clarity with which I write my profiles, men tend to focus on the pictures.  Apparently I'm... sexy.  Oh Gosh!!!  I'm rolling my eyes even as I'm writing this.  I'm not sexy!!!  I'm a goofball.  Maybe I'm attractive. I have changed my pictures and I promise that I'm not wearing anything sexy.  I'm fully dressed.  I'm considering doing an Amish photo shoot, no offense to the Amish.

I wonder what I'm putting out there.  I think it's hard to sell a good personality via online.  Then there is the chunkiness.  I am okay talking about it.  I'm thick as a sirloin and pretty unapologetic about it.  Is it common for chunky women to have good personalities?  I don't know.  I'm wondering if I take pictures with no make up in my pajamas if I would have better luck then the pictures that are up now.  Some of them I put up are the ones that I was on vacation. You see, I don't care.  I just want to be me.  I want to be seen for me.  I want to be seen for the sharp tongue Elle.  I want to be seen for the me without a lick of make up on.  The funny Elle that has a severe Dorito addiction. 

I used to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I want to be seen the way that Oz saw Willow for the first time.  She was dressed in a costume and he saw her.  He saw her for who she was.  I think that when I met Santi, he saw me too.  And here is the real honest truth... there is a part of me that really does not believe that lightening strikes twice.  It's not about me really because I'm sure that I'm fine no matter what happens.  The real issue is waiting, waiting and trusting that God has a good plan for my life.  It all comes back to this.  I need to work on this in my relationship with God.  I'm praying that God works with my unbelief.  Maybe that is what I'm putting out there.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Christopher St on a Sunday

I recently saw this movie.  The music was upbeat and sweet with a jazzy feel.  It reminded me of Desiree's "Gotta Be."  The movie and the song reminded me of walking in the Village on a quiet sweet Sunday in New York in the Spring.  I may even be able to say that it was 1994.  I can see the places in my mind.  I would wake up early and get dressed.  The style was baggy boy jeans with a mock turtle neck body suit.  I wore black lace up combat boots.  Of course, I had bangs and my hair was half up.  I loved wearing peacoats.  I loved winter because of the coats.  That was when I liked the cold. 

There were days when New York had a smell.  It had a feel to it.  Sometimes it was hard and other times it was sweet and gentle.  I get a reaction when I talk about New York today, here in Arizona.  People look at me like they envision a movie.  They don't know how humid it gets in New York.  They can't imagine all of the sound.  We don't walk here.  I miss that about New York.  I hear that even in New York, they are using dating apps.  I can't imagine.  I used to just walk around all the time.

I watched that movie, the one I mentioned above and it brought me back.  I can see myself walking up 7th Avenue.  I can see the little park by the infamous basketball park.  I liked the pizza on the corner.  I had a boyfriend that used to work in the record store that was not far from there.  The thing that I liked the most was walking anonymously with and without music while looking and browsing at people and things.  There were shiny new stores with beautiful displays and old vintage stores with wonderful old dusty things.  You never knew what you would see walking around.  There was possibility.  That was the thing.  It was all so hopeful and real.  There was a peace to the busyness.

Here there is peace all of the time.  Is there such a thing as too much quiet?  It's hard to be at peace in a busy place, with sun shining on my face.  The sun is different there.  There are too many high buildings to get a lot of direct sunlight.  Here there is direct sunlight all of the time.  Here I look for shade wherever I go.  I think it is called nostalgia.  I don't know if it is one of the stages of grief but I think it should be.  I may have to pull some more thoughts out of the old nostalgia closet. 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Yankee Fan

I'm from the Bronx, so, I'm a Yankee fan.  Santi was a Mets fan.  I was a Mets fan for only one year and I'm man enough to admit it.  That year was 1986.  Some of you know what I'm talking about.  I can almost hear the cheers as we remember the iconic 86 Mets.  I think it was my favorite year for baseball.

I told someone that I was a Yankee fan.  The Yankee symbol is the N from New and the Y of York and Yankee on top of each other.  I love it.  The simplicity of it, white embroidery over a navy background.  Yankee Stadium is located in the Bronx, MY BOROUGH!!  The Yankees have 27 World Series Wins.  Here we are in this humble sweet borough, the "not Manhattan" of New York City.  And then in the midst of one of the biggest metropolises of the world, in The Bronx is found the world famous Yankees. I was pooh poohed.  If you don't understand, you don't understand.

It is with pride that the Bronx can rep Yankees.  I think there have been times that me personally, I needed something to be proud of.  I may live in the Bronx and my boyfriend just broke up with me but I live in the same borough as Yankee Friggin Stadium, so show some respect!!!!  I am a vicarious winner through the Yankees.  This is the commonality that I have with them.  The Yankees mean more to the Bronx than just their wins.  They are iconic, authentic and awesome, just like the people of the Bronx.   I'm a Yankee fan and I tell you that there is every possibility that I will be a fan till the day I die.  Go Yankees!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Blue Nails and Purple Hair

I like colors.  I like vivid and bold colors that pop.  If you pile on glitter, I'll like it even more.  Right this second, I am wearing a royal blue colored by the name of Wired. I make a concession regarding my hair.  I may have mentioned it before that dying my hair a natural color seems like lying.  However, I don't know how I look with just gray.  I like dying it an unnatural color to have some fun with the grays.  I have to ask myself why I choose these colors.  What does that say about me?

I have piercings.  I have seven in total.  I'm thinking about adding some more. Can I get away with getting a nose ring?  Can I add some more on my ear lobes?  I think I can go all the way up.  There are new places to get piercings like in the cartilage on the other side of the lobe.   I'm a purple hair, blue nails, red lipstick, multiple earring wearing Mama.  I have have a tattoo on my right ankle (that's a story for another time.  It's really good!!!  I promise).  I'm thinking about getting a few more.  Where would I put it?  What would it be?  And here is the real question: What does it all say about me?  Because what you choose to do, how you choose to present yourself talks about you, sometimes more than what you say does.

I think about what I say when I'm not talking.  I think about what my walk says and what my choices say about who I am.  I look at my pictures.  All I see is me.  I don't think I'm saying anything at all, except that I think that it is clear that I like who I am and I like the choices that I make.  In fact, maybe I want to say that I'm not sacred to wear purple hair.  Maybe I'm not scared to wear something other people won't.  And why do I do it?  Because I care what other people think?  No!!!  I do it because I like doing it.  Because I like bold colors.  Now, if only I could be this wonderful when it comes to interior decor.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


I'm going to leave this post short.  I think that we don't encourage enough.  I want to know how encouragement motivates people.  What do people think about being encouraged?  I bought a pack of blank cards.  It's back to school time.  What would happen if I were to give encouragement cards to teachers on the first week of school?  I'm going to have to let you know.  Maybe this is part 1 of part 2. 

Monday, August 5, 2019


I have been talking and thinking of validation lately.  Validation or the act of being valid speaks to the value of something.  However rather than the intrinsic worth of someone or something, it is like the process of finding something valuable.  I think that each of us would like to think that we add worth to this world and that we are valuable in our own eyes.  But what of the eyes of others?  

I think that I have struggled with acceptance and validation. I think that this is the reason that I had a hard time with insecurity.  In general, I am a very secure person.  I believe that this is the first thing that you would notice about me.  And yet, I think that I had a lot of trouble with finding validation with other people..  

In high school, I wanted to be a singer.  I loved to sing.  I sang often in church and I would find avenues to sing in.  I met my husband and he loved that I was a singer.  I sang in school choirs and college choirs.  I would audition.  My father supported me in my love of singing.  I thought that I would try my hand at it as much as possible when I graduated from college.  It was a thing.  I hung out with Abigail Alexander and she would tell me that I was like the Counting Crows song, "Mr. Jones."  I wanted it all so badly, the creativity, the fame and the wealth.  I thought that my personality and my life was about this.  I remember waking up one morning and instantly understanding that this life that I wanted so badly was not what God wanted for me.  In a moment, all desire to be a singer disappeared.  Instead, I was led down paths of education to educate.  I am soooo stubborn, God saw fit to lead me down the only door that was left and I went... kicking an screaming!!!

I didn't want to be a singer, I wanted validation.  I wanted to find value in what other people thought.  But...(And I say this with love), people suck!!!  Not all people but trying to seek validation from people is definitely not a good idea.  I read Romans 8, yes, the whole chapter.  It tells me that I am more than a conqueror.  It tells me that if God is for me than who can be against me.  It tells me that there is now no condemnation for me in Christ Jesus.  As the school year starts and I develop new friendships with co-workers.  My prayer is to not go after what I already have, validation.  Because God's validation is enough.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Using Things

I'm in the process of changing.  I'm discovering this new version of myself as I'm doing it.  You see, I've been thinking of who I am now.  Who is this Elle who does not have another half?  At first, I'll be honest, it is so hard to think of who you are without the reminder of who you are missing.  Now that I'm reinventing myself, I find that I am not who I thought I was.

On the same topic, I am aging.  I had this whole other post trying to explain aging but I think I can embed the idea in this post.  Years ago, when I turned thirty (and started using moisturizer), I came to the conclusion that I have to be more than just being pretty.  Actually, the idea started earlier.  I struggled with conventional ideas of beauty as an adolescent.  I said to myself, "Who wants popular and thin when you can have an authentic mess?"  Okay.  So I didn't say that but I was thinking along these lines as I questioned society's ideas of beauty.  Then, when I hit thirty, That's when I made the decision of not worrying about aging.  Here I am almost halfway to a hundred and I'm dealing with identity.  I find I have to remind myself that I am not about what I look like or what I do.  I am a Child of God and I have to be about this first.

Okay, so... let me talk about using things.  As I move toward greater understanding, I am discovering that even in the brief time that I have been a widow, I am changing.  This surprises me.  I'm not recognizing myself.  I feel like I'm Whoopi Goldberg as Rita Miller in "Ghost."  I have to ask out loud if I like things or have things.  I look at my things and I'm like, "Why do I have these shoes?  I don't even like them."

When I was in my twenties, I went to Bergdorf Goodman.  I remember buying this beautiful lipstick from Chanel.  It made me feel so special.  I loved it.  So I saved it to wear on special occasions.  One day, I had a special occasion.  I went to wear it and it was so stale I had to throw it out.  I think of this story all of the time.  Now as I go through my things, I realize that I need to use things and if I don't plan on using it then I need to throw it away or give it away.  Maybe I even need to sell things. When I get stuck, I think about this Bible verse:
"For everything in the world- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." I John 2:16-17.

I can't be about what I want.  I have to be about what God wants.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Get Rest

There's a saying. There's no tired like first week of school tired.  There you are, living the life fantastic.  Waking up late every morning.  Staying up late at night.  Getting rest.  With the time I had, I was reading and walking.  I was taking naps.  I made plans and resolutions.  The summer was a time of both vacation and stay-cation.  I mean, I was making coffee dates and meeting people.  I was spending time with my children.  Every day was wonderful!!!  There is nothing quite like summer for a teacher.

I heard some where how exciting the first days of school are.  They were saying how wonderful it is to get school supplies.  I'm not excited!!!  I see school supplies in stores and I get anxious!  Cold sweat pours down my face.  It means that my summer is over.  Now, I like and appreciate my job, but I'm not bored and waiting for it to start. I miss my time, especially with my children.

I've been back at work for five days.  Already I am tired and the students are not back yet.  They come on Tuesday.  I had all of these plans that in the bright light of summer, were feasible.  I have not been meal prepping because I just fall asleep when I come home.  I have been eating horribly.  I have not been working out.  I've been cranky.  When I'm tired, I think that I am the worst version of myself.  Here I am tired  I'm the worst!!!  I snap at people  I'm judgmental.  I'm emotional.  Add hungry to the mix and I become the worst person that ever existed.

I think of this in light of Christianity.  Matthew 11:28-30 says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." I make my own interpretation of this which doesn't necessarily mean that I am right.  This past week has been busy and I know that it will only intensify.  Okay, I think, "God, how do I come to You?  What kind of rest are you talking about?  I can't stop even if I wanted to and You're going to make this happen?"  I question God.  This is bad!  I doubt God's ability to give me rest.  In doing this, I am sinning.  I want to be clear about this.

So, I think about my exhausted state.  I remember this Bible verse.  I'm tired so I go to God in prayer.  This is what my prayer looks like, "God, I'm tired.  I don't like this because when I'm tired I'm cranky and I eat and act poorly.  Please allow me rest or strength.  Thank You, God. I love You.  Amen."  Then I wait to see what that rest looks like.  I am thankful because my prayer has been heard.  I am grateful to have and serve a loving Father who looks after the needs of His children.  Praise the Lord!  I'm going to believe that God is going to help me in doing what I need to do.  So, my Friends, don't be like me.  Trust that God is going to help you too.