Nothing is too hard …

  
Worry keeps me awake at night. The thoughts of things that could go wrong and how I can make them right make it hard to rest, even though I’m an exhausted mom to an infant who still wakes up most nights.

As a Christian, this constant worrying makes me feel guilty. If I love God as much as I say I do, I should just trust Him, right? I do trust Him. I just always have this need to figure things out. I’m not so good at patiently waiting. I always feel a lot like Sarah. She knew what God had promised Abraham (Gen. 15:4-5), but when the years started to go by, she got restless. She came up with her own solution. 

What happens when we come up with our own solutions? Speaking for myself, I usually end up making a pretty big mess of things. In Sarah’s case, she sent her husband to sleep with and impregnate her servant, Hagar (Gen. 16:1-4). Well, Sarah learned pretty quickly that she probably shouldn’t have made that decision. And that’s been my conclusion many times. “Why did I do that?!”

Over and over, God reminds me that I shouldn’t worry because He will take care of me. So many times, someone will give me something or do something that addresses a need I had without me ever saying a word. The moral of the story is to wait for His perfect solution in His perfect timing. God’s timing may come just after you think it’s too late. For Abraham and Sarah, their son Isaac was born long after they thought they were too old to have children. Sarah laughed at the prophecy, but God assured the couple that nothing is out of the realm of possibility when He is in control. “Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Gen. 18:14)”

So I encourage myself (and you) with this reminder: Do not worry. Nothing is too hard for God. That means He has a solution to whatever your need is if you can trust Him enough to wait. 

How I achieve my super defined twist-out

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I’m not a napturalista with a detailed hair regimen or one who regularly spends hours on hair styles. As a life long plain Jane, I look for simplicity when it comes to hair styling. Plus, I don’t really have hours to devote to hair styling with three kids vying for my attention. This twist-out is one of my favorite styles because it gives me a great look without a lot of work or fuss.

The secret to this style is defining your curls before you twist. Here are the tools I use and how I use them:

Water: I start all my styles with damp to wet hair. Not only does it make it easier to work with, but it helps to bring out the definition of your texture.

Water: I start all my styles with damp to wet hair. Not only does it make it easier to work with, but it helps to bring out the definition of your texture.

After getting my hair damp, I start sectioning it to put into twists. With each section, I use just a bit (about a dime sized smear) of Shea Moisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I've also used Kinky Curly Curling Custard with excellent results. I just always go with what I have on hand at the time.

After getting my hair damp, I start sectioning it to put into twists. With each section, I use just a bit (about a dime sized smear) of Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I’ve also used Kinky Curly Curling Custard with excellent results. I just always go with what I have on hand at the time.

Styling gel is a huge component of any of my curly styles. My hair tends to look frizzy without it. This La Bella gel is my favorite. I've been using it for years, and it's the one product that I will not change. I smooth on a bit of my beloved gel in each section after I apply the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I would skip this step if I was using the Kinky Curly Curling Custard or something like Shea Moisture's Curling Gel Souffle. With those two products, a little bit definitely goes a long way. Don't glop it on or you won't get the look you're going for.

Styling gel is a huge component of any of my curly styles. My hair tends to look frizzy without it. This La Bella gel is my favorite. I’ve been using it for years, and it’s the one product that I will not change. I smooth on a bit of my beloved gel in each section after I apply the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I would skip this step if I was using the Kinky Curly Curling Custard or something like Shea Moisture’s Curling Gel Souffle. With those two products, a little bit definitely goes a long way. Don’t glop it on or you won’t get the look you’re going for.

After applying your product, you want to define your curls. You can simply smooth your hair with your hands to get definition. But when I want to amp up the curl factor, I brush my hair with the Denman classic styling brush before twisting. Some natural sisters don't like the Denman, but you shouldn't have any damage working in small/medium-sized sections. Again, it's not necessary to get a good result.

After applying your product, you want to define your curls. You can simply smooth your hair with your hands to get definition. But when I want to amp up the curl factor, I brush my hair with the Denman classic styling brush before twisting. Some natural sisters don’t like the Denman, but you shouldn’t have any damage working in small/medium-sized sections. Again, it’s not necessary to get a good result. Once your hair texture is defined, twist up the section and move on. 


Once your twists are dry, just take them out and gently separate them. There you have it … a quick and easy style that should last a few days before you need to retwist. If you’re a busy mom who likes to glam it up every now and then, give this style a try. Already have your own no-fail twist out method? Share it with me in the comments.

Ditch the debate

Hungry babies should be fed. I think we can all agree on that. So why is there this constant debate about the way a mother decides to feed her child? When, where and how a mother decides to feed her child should be her choice.

As a breastfeeding mother, I’m so sick of this sentiment that somehow breastfeeding is this odd thing that women need to hide in a corner to do. It seems ridiculous that we need to “normalize breastfeeding” when I can’t think of anything that could be more normal and natural.

On the flip side, there’s the assertion that “breast is best” and moms who choose to use formula are looked down upon. I’ve breastfed all three of my children, but they’ve also all had formula at some point. I agree that breast is best, but I also know that for some moms and for some situations formula is a good alternative.

It’s not just about feeding; the list goes on and on. From diapering to discipline, everyone has an opinion they’re just dying to share. Each mom has choices to make about what’s best for her children and her family. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. But if the children are healthy and happy, everyone else should mind their own business.

Raise your kids the way you decide is right for your family. Live your life and be happy. And for goodness sake, don’t worry about how a mom chooses to feed her hungry baby. It’s none of your business!

Never enough sleep

It’s after midnight, the kids are asleep, and I’m writing this post. Not asleep as I probably should be, but here stealing a few moments for myself. And really, this is why I never get enough sleep. I’m always trying to read something, look up something, do something, watch something — something I don’t have the time to do during the day.

I love the peacefulness of a quiet house. Even with burning, tired eyes, I often find myself skipping out on snoozing to enjoy it. I need this time to recharge.

As a mom, it’s important to have time to think, to plan, to do whatever I would like to do. My children are my life. I’m always focused on them, but I know I’m a better mommy when I take time to focus on myself and my interests every now and then.

And now, since it’s almost 1 a.m., I’m finally going to focus on getting some sleep.

She haunts me

The Internet is full of conspiracy theories. One of the latest I’ve seen is the claim that maybe Sandra Bland was already dead in her mugshot. Since that creepy theory showed up in my Facebook timeline, I’ve been haunted by that photo, by her face. Really, the whole situation sticks with me. It shows how quickly something can go very wrong. Bland herself expressed her disbelief at “all of this” for failing to use a signal.

It seems like every week, every other day even, there’s another story of a black person dying under suspicious circumstances. And it seems like lots of these circumstances start out as situations that got out of hand. It makes me wonder, what is the one thing that could have kept everything from going tragically wrong?

I have no eloquent words or arguments for things like this. I just think of my three little ones. Universally, as moms, we worry about our children. We worry about how to prepare them for the world they will face. What do we tell them?

Maybe it’s as simple as these words from Israel Houghton’s “Love God, Love People.”

Love God, love people
Love my neighbor as myself
My brother, my sister
Everybody love somebody

If we could really get God’s love in our hearts and walk in it, so many problems would be eliminated. Godly love would cause us to respect each other. Godly love would prevent us from harming one another. Godly love would compel us to understand and embrace those who are different from us.

For now, I am thankful that my children are too young to worry about such heavy things. I am thankful that they are too young to be out on their own. And I’m most thankful that they are here for me to hold and kiss. Remembering that there are mothers who can’t do the same for their children will make it a little harder to sleep tonight.

Back down memory lane

I stumbled on this photograph, it kinda made me laugh
It took me way back, back down memory lane
I see the happiness, I see the pain
Where am I? Back down memory lane
— “Memory Lane,” Minnie Ripperton

The past is bittersweet. There are memories of people who’ve passed on, love lost, good times and hard times, and all the experiences that have combined to make me the person I’ve become today. Whenever I hear “Memory Lane” by Minnie Riperton, I feel that bittersweet feeling. That sadness and happiness all rolled into one.

Traveling back down memory lane isn’t such a bad journey for me. It reminds me how strong I am. The thing I feared most happened and I survived it. That thought reminds me to be fearless and to trust God because He’s never failed me.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”