Looking out my window…I am stunned that it’s anothe record high temperature in Chicago of 66 in February.
I am thinking of…being a part of the productions for WE Day next week.
I am learning…to go for the big ask!
In the kitchen…I’m learning to enjoy the art of eating. Enjoying each bite and being focused chewing and the taste of food.
In the boardroom…I’m redeveloping my brand.
A favorite link… conversations.org
A favorite place…the river walk in downtown Chicago.
A moment from my day…someone dear to my heart going out of their way to meet a need.
Closing Notes…as another black history month comes to an end, I am thankful for the strength of the black woman. When we gather together and support each other, we are strong, we are confident, we are resilient.
Happy New Year! I have not been consistent in blogging the past couple years and I don’t know that there is a particular reason. I decided in 2017, I wanted to get back to it and will also have some guest bloggers again as in previous years.
One of the regular monthly blogs I will be posting is from The Simple Woman’s Daybook…where every day is a blank page.
Here is my January edition…
Looking out my window…I see an array of clouds moving beautifully as if they are doing a beautiful ballet.
I am thinking…Of the historic numbers for the Women’s March in D.C. and the sister marches all over the world that spanned all 7 continents.
I am thankful…For the experience of the Obama presidency.
I am creating…A blueprint for my most adventurous year yet!
I am reading…As it is in Heaven.
I am hoping…Our new president is led by wisdom and the pursuit of liberty and justice for all.
I am learning…to accept the things and people I can not change.
In the kitchen…I am making new salads regularly.
In the board room…I am working on launching Phaeth Place EmPOWERment Center in April.
A favorite link…Amazon.com
A favorite quote…When people show you who they are, believe them.
A moment from my day…Hidden Figures selfie at a photobooth the movie theater.
Closing Notes…I enjoyed writing this blog and using The Simple Woman’s Daybook template. It’a given be the motivation to get back to blogging on a regular basis. Women, I invite you to try this template and enjoy the simplicity of it.
While my uncle was in town, we got to visit my dad’s grave on what would have have been his 72nd birthday. I heard the first hand account about the day my father died because my uncle Daniel was the one who got the call about the fatal motorcycle accident he had been in.
It was ironic that last week during my uncle’s visit, the shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte had saturated the news. I was pleasantly surprised to hear how much of an activist my dad was. My uncle spoke of how he would have been so active in the movement and would have fought for social and racial justice. He said, in case you ever wondered where you get your passion from about social issues…it’s part of your DNA. I never knew.
A mind blowing surprise is that my uncle brought me a momentous from my dad that he had kept for 43 years waiting for the right time…alone time with me to give it to me. So this autograph book was given to my dad when left Haiti in 1969 for Chicago and many friends wrote in it and then Family wrote in it in 1972 one year after my Mom died when he was leaving Chicago for Holland to do his medical residency. When his belongings were returned after he died in 1973, this was with them.
What started off as a promise a few years ago to take me to a football game when Chicago and Philly played at Soldier Field, turned into the most in depth, impactful and moving conversation I’ve ever had about my dad from his younger brother, my uncle Daniel.
I’ve never had anything that physically belonged to my mom or dad besides a photo album, which sadly was thrown away in a state to state move years. I’ll forever cherish our time together and the priceless gift he saved for me all these years. It’s amazing do discover so many new things about my dad that essentially gives me a greater understanding of who I am.
Dad, I miss you more than ever. Rest eternally.
On Monday, I had the honor of attending the Celebration of Life of a simply impeccable woman, Dana Schuler.
I never had the privilege of meeting this phenomnal woman, something I deeply regretted while spending the day celebrating her life. She was the mother of my sweet friend, Grace. Dana lost her battle with cancer.
From the moment I pulled up to the church and stepped inside the sanctuary, I felt like this Celebration was for royalty. I would soon discover, she was indeed a Queen.
This Celebration of Life was a true reflection of the life Dana lived. The worship songs that were selected seemed to be the essence of who she was as a worshipper. Her husband gave the eulogy that timelined her life from the moment they met over 40 years ago.
As I listened to the various precious moments shared by my friend Grace and her 2 siblings, I was moved to tears. The common denominator word they all shared was PRAYER. Dana was a prayer warrior who interceded for her children with fervor and it is something they got to visually experience. Her son, Jonathan shared in his youth, he once saw his mom laid prostrate at 3a praying, and when he asked her what could be so urgent at that hour to be praying for, she replied that she was praying for him and his sisters. I sat in awe as I listened to the stories of the various ministries she served and started. From women’s prison, to taking youth to Brazil for mission trips, to going to Thailand to learn about the core of sex trafficking, she gave her all. Her children went on many trips to Brazil and saw the power of God manifest in their mom through healings. What a gift to have had those experiences with your mother….priceless.
The service unofficially ended with a time of ministry led by her spiritual son and team. They prayed and gave encouraging words to the many people that came forward, me included. What an amazing tribute to the life she led dedicated to ministry.
As I walked into the beautiful Queen City Club for the reception, it was indeed an atmosphere set for a Queen.
The rooms throughout the club were filled with beautiful photos of her life in action and signature pieces she made with love and personal detail and flare, like a floral replica bride dress for her daughter Grace’s wedding and a charm bouquet made for her daughter Genevieve’s wedding.
The word that was frequently repeated during the time of sharing was GENEROUS. My goodness what Dana gave day in and day out to others was simply inspiring. A woman shared a story of how she was the mother of 5 but how sadly 1 of her children died in the month of November. Being so close to Christmas, Dana knew it would be emotionally difficult for this mother to shop for Christmas for her other 4 children while mourning the 1 she just lost. So Dana became Santa Clause and showered the family with Christmas gifts for the children. You can imagine what that did for this mother.
Aside from the prayer warrior and generous woman, Dana was known for her LAUGH! It apparently filled the room. We heard hilarious stories from so many including, Grace’s husband, Jonathan, who shared that one time after picking her up to transfer her from the chair to her bed, looked at him and said, “you’re cute!”
We raised our champagne glasses and toasted to this amazing woman who left a life changing impact on everyone she encountered and befriended.
When I think of the legacy I want to leave, Dana Schuler’s life is the epitome. She lived a life of selfless service, abundant generosity and outrageous love. She made a difference. Her life calls me higher, it inspires me to do more, to be more. I am challenged to fully pursue and live out my purpose. I’m pretty convinced she was an angel walking on this earth in the form of a human. Her children will forever be blessed and favored because they lived amongst an angel. I count it all joy to be able to experience the extension of who Dana was through her daughter, my friend, Grace.
Today in America, we celebrated Labor Day, which pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.
Today is a federal holiday and most people are off from their jobs…but many are still working. We live in a country, here in America, that has a hard time just resting. Rest is so necessary for our overall well being, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.
Today, I am reminded in the reading of one of my favorite scriptures, Matthew 11:28, that I can bring my heaviness to God and He will give me rest. August was a heavy month for me and I got through it with finding much rest is the ultimate giver of rest.
Today, do something you REALLY love! For me, today will be filled with watching the US Open Tennis Tournament…I’m a tennis buff!
Today, just take a day…and rest.
So here we are, July 1, the start of the 2nd half of the year. It’s always the time I choose to look over the goals I set for the year and reassess which ones should still be there. Life happens, shift happens and you are to the change that comes. It’s ok to get off the path you are on and get on a new one and set new goals. Don’t get stuck in doing something because it’s how you’ve always done it.
I’m excited about this 2nd half of 2016. I’ve made adjustment to the original goals. I took some off this list and added others on. It’s so essential to stop and evaluate where you are in life every few months. A year goes by so quickly and if you are not careful, you can lose track of the goals you have set. My #oneword for 2016 is INTENTIONAL! I have been more aware this year of how much I needed to be intentional in every area of my life and it makes a major difference.
So what are you reassessing for the 2nd half of 2016?
What shifts are you accepting and moving with?
What are you being intentional about?
Every year on this day, I remember it as the day my life would forever change. I often wonder exactly what that day was like for you emotionally. You had only given birth to me 12 days prior and now you would never have the opportunity to actually mother your baby girl.
The saying “it gets better with time” is not necessarily true. It’s been 45 years and growing up motherless has not gotten any easier over the years. Every season in life has brought its unique challenges. I have just learned to manage the void.
Today, in the midst of an emotional day of an emotional filled Mother’s Day week…I choose to be thankful.
I’m thankful for the foundation you set for me.
I’m thankful for the family I was born into.
I’m thankful you had a passionate marriage with dad.
I’m thankful I had 2 years with dad before he was reunited with you.
I’m thankful I was raised by my immediate family.
I’m thankful that when I don’t know what to do next, I feel your guidance.
I’m thankful that I know the woman I have become is much of who you were.
I’m thankful that though this has been the deepest void in my life, I have been able to support other girls who have become motherless.
I’m thankful for a God who wraps me in His arms when I feel overwhelmed by the emptiness of not having you.
I’m thankful for the 12 days I had with you, though I don’t remember them, it was a gift.
I’m expecting this to be and AWESOME April! I have some AWESOME goals that I have set for this month, so I am expecting AWESOME results!
I love surprises! I love giving and receiving them! This morning I have spoken things into the atmosphere and am waiting in expectation to be surprised by how many of those things manifest this month.
I am expecting greatness!
I am speaking greatness!
I am walking in greatness!
I am surrounding myself with greatness!
I am made in the image of the great!
These are the first words to come to mind when I think of what embodies us as women. We are entrusted to be the carriers of a new life. We push through the most physically demanding act on the body to push destiny into the future.
There is a bond we share that often times is unspoken. We share the sisterhood of the mom’s club, the wives club, the single women club, the gender inequality club and so much more.
When I consider the women in my life that have shaped and molded me to the woman I am today, I am grateful. From my mother, who I lost way too young, to my grandmother who raised me, my aunts that guided me, my female cousins who were sisters to me, the women in ministry who poured into me and my different circle of friends who have been by side in every phase of my life…I am simple honored and proud to say I am a PHENOMENAL WOMAN!
I believe in daily speaking words of affirmations and declarations to who you are or are becoming! Anything that follows “I AM” has the power in our lives. So as for me…
I AM GOD’S FAVORITE
I AM A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST
I AM CREATIVELY
I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR
I AM PASSIONATE
I AM AN ADVOCATE FOR THE VOICELESS
I AM AN ACTIVIST
I AM HEALTHY AND FIT
I AM A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE
I AM AN INVESTOR
I AM A WOMAN OF INFLUENCE
I AM AN ATMOSPHERE CHANGER
I AM A FORCE OF GOOD
I AM FULL OF GRACE
I AM CHANGE AGENT
I AM A DREAMER
I AM A FULFILLER OF DREAMS
I AM A LEADER
I AM A SERVANT
I AM A LOVER
I AM A LOYAL FRIEND
I AM A FAITHFUL WIFE
I AM A COMPASSIONATE MOTHER
I AM LIVING THE LIFE OF MY DREAMS
What are you declaring and affirming in your life?