We are rounding out our 5th week in our 6 WEEKS TOWARD CHANGE and it has been quite a journey and there have been challenges and changes that we did not anticipate from the beginning. My 4 year old nephew, Donovan, left to return to Alabama this past weekend after spending 2 ½ months with us. Everyone has had to adjust to the absence of our little SPEEDY and regroup.
All was going well with our young men’s duties around the house until we decided that they should switch responsibilities and master other chores… so that they could be ‘well rounded’ young men. Well, we forgot that we would have to retrain them in their new positions. It felt like we were back at square one again, even though the LISTS are there and the ‘SHEETS DON’T LIE!!!’ they are acting as if everything is written in Japanese. It is coming together again, but slowly.
I bribe them with NAKED POPCORN. If I promise it to them, they move much quicker. It is only the air popped popcorn with a little cooking spray and Butter Buds on it, but they act like it is better than the extra buttered and super salted popcorn at the theater. I guess that is a good thing. They are intrigued about the science that goes behind the little kernel of corn transforming into the fluffy piece of popcorn. Actually, the little guys like it best but the older guys can’t stand for them to get anything that they don’t get, so it works out GREAT! I think they just get a kick out of yelling ‘NAKED POPCORN!’ throughout the house.
GIMME A D! GIMMIE AN I! GIMME AN S!…..
And then there is a time that comes faithfully when I do not care about discipline, exercise, good nutrition and, least of all, a SCHEDULE! During those times, something in me just wants to have an opportunity to go back in time and spend about five minutes with Eve in the garden. Right before she approached that tree and reached out her God-etched hand to touch the fruit, I would GRAB her, SHAKE her (maybe even POP her one good time) and ask her, “EVE, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS DECISION RIGHT HERE IS DOING TO ME?!! GIRL, LEAVE THAT FRUIT ALONE!!!!!”
I am grateful to report, however, that, although I haven’t always been happy about it, I have followed THE PLAN, and I have been able to see where I have been tripped up so many times before. Much of the reason that I have not completed personal tasks and goals is because I would give myself a way out when I don’t feel like it. I have evidence all around that stands as proof that living life solely motivated by feelings yields undesirable results. It is one thing to be motivated because we are promised tangible gain or reward for our actions… or it is required by an outside source like an employer. It is entirely a different scenario to work toward goals when the only person pushing you is you and the reward is most valuable to you. So I have a new found appreciation and respect for DISCIPLINE. Who’d a thunk it?! (Don’t smile too hard, Babe.)
This DISCIPLINE THANG has allowed me to complete my Counseling Courses! YAY!!! WHOO HOOO!!!!! Go, DREA, Go! Actually, it’s more like GO, JESUS, GO!!! I have been learning a lot from the instructors. God is so faithful. I usually end up crying through most of the classes. I am finding that God is allowing me to be ministered to and healed as I am preparing myself to be used as a ‘helper’ to others. I am getting more out of the experience than I had expected. God’s timing is impeccable! Everything is happening just when I need it most.
BRINGING SEXY BACK
Gene has been over here trying to ‘BRING SEXY BACK’! He’s worked his 2 liter back to a 6-pack and he is probably trying to get small children to swing from his arms like his Dad used to do him when he was younger. He’s even back to showing people how to make ripples on their biceps. (It’s a cool trick, you gotta ask him to show it to you.) I think he’s just trying to convince me to go buy him a few ‘one size too small muscle man shirts’ so that he can be my eye candy. He says he’s gonna bring the ‘light-skinned’ brothers back in style! He is GOOFY!
He has been an athlete most of his life and when I met him at Tuskegee he was a hooper. These days, I refuse to rub him down after every evening of him dunking and trying to relive his glory days on the basketball court. So as part of his six week challenge, he has taken up running, something he used to do in high school. He has been doing well. He has made it up to 7 MILES and I am VERY proud of him. He desires to train and run in the Chicago Marathon someday. Now, all I need to do is convince him that he isn’t 21 anymore and he needs to be more careful with my investment.
He is VERY competitive and finds it difficult not to turn any sport or activity into competition. If there are no other players involved, he will compete with himself. The other morning, he gave us both a scare. He had not been listening to his body or giving it the kind of fuel it needed to be most effective as he trained. God is GOOD and he is on the right track now, but I am still ‘telling on him’ (and if you do that to me again, Babe, I’ll do my Drea Thang and tell the WHOLE STORY… you know the LONG, DETAILED, DRAMATIC version!)
THE LOCKER ROOM
We are learning new things about one another as we are working with each other financially. Gene brings his competitiveness to the situation. It keeps him motivated and single minded towards the goal which is to ‘DESTROY’ our debt. I, on the other hand, am perfectly fine with the ‘DESTROYING’ part, but I need to feel some hope along the way… see some colors… celebrate some victories. Of course, no good athlete would celebrate at half time, so we are feeling some tension in ‘the locker room’.
My ideal ‘locker room’ resembles a day spa. I feel the way to become invigorated is to be in an atmosphere where there are inspiring visuals, soothing aromas and peaceful sounds that bring me to a place of serenity, so that I can think clearly about how to approach a task. Any perspiration would come from the sauna that is helping me cleanse as I am focusing on deep breathing.
Gene, however, is more traditional in his approach. The musty ‘locker room’ with its rusty lockers gives him the ‘EYE OF THE TIGER’. He envisions Rocky about to fight the Russian, a seemingly unbeatable foe, and he (literally) tells me, “It’s time to go to the shed!” It’s time to train! It’s time to sweat! He calls me to a group huddle, and gets in my face (figuratively), does his ‘WAR CRY’ and yells something that probably means, “To the victor goes the spoil!”
Neither of us likes the other’s ‘locker room’, so we try to meet in the middle. Gene says it’s like having the players and the cheerleaders in the locker room together. All Gene needs to get inspired is a black marker on a white surface and some X’s and O’s. When I come in the room lighting incense, putting on soft background music or trying to draw hearts and flowers around his markings with colorful markers (to create a canvas that will give the room a better aura), then there is potential for things to get really HOT in our ‘locker room’. We are figuring some things out and making some compromises. We’ll see how it goes.
We are working hard to keep the momentum going so that, when the six weeks are up, we are in a position to be launched further into our purpose and closer to our destiny.
Thank you for your support and for serving as a form of accountability for us.