This thought came to me, as I was driving to my mother's to put her trash on the street for her. It was the Summer of 1994, working in the Summer work program for the children of the employees of Zeneca, that I first heard the term "CHISUPP." It came up in a conversation between a friend in payroll and I, when talking about the astonishing number of employees who had "CHISUPP" automatically drawn out of their paychecks, each payday. Yes, CHISUPP is child support.
I remember a conversation with a friend, years ago, whose "baby mama" sued him for child support. His argument was that he did provide things for his child, material things. He would buy clothes and shoes and that's pretty much the extent of his version of child support. At that time, not having kids of my own, I felt he had a good argument and that his baby's mother should not have gone to such extremes. As I said, I was young and had no kids of my own at that time.
It's amazing how our views of certain things change when we find ourselves in the shoes of those we once judged and criticized, huh?? As a father, I see now that child support is a hell of a lot more than new material things for your children. Yes, clothes, shoes, & stuff are much appreciated but if there is a monetary obligation, it should be paid. There is SO MUCH MORE to supporting children than these THINGS! Child support goes toward groceries, lunch money, after-school care, field trips, sports, recreation, gas money, bills, and everything else that provides the children with what they need.
Even if there is no legal documentation stating what should be paid on a monthly basis, one should still support his/her children beyond some new "J's" and the latest Polo. Men, it matters not what you are feeling toward your ex. It's about the children. GET OVER YOURSELF and do what's right!! I say the same to the Women out there in the same boat. It matters NOT what you hold against your ex! It's about doing right by the children you BOTH brought into this world!! Children don't ask to be brought into this wicked world! So, when we decide to have them, it is OUR responsibility to SUPPORT them in ALL the ways they need.
I agree that there are some people who should NEVER have the responsibility of children. This is where family should kick in and take over. I am not saying that the dead-beat, irresponsible parents should be enabled, but someone needs to teach and guide them through the parenting process. If the individual just does not want the task, then I feel it would be a good idea for a relative who is capable to take custody. Children should be given the opportunity of a good life, a good upbringing, full of love and support. If at all possible, this upbringing should take place somewhere within the family.
To all Parents, all wannabe Parents, all about to be Parents, GET OVER YOURSELVES QUICK!! CHILDREN TAKE PRIORITY OVER YOUR PERSONAL LIFE, YOUR PERSONAL OPINION, YOUR PRIDE, & YOUR EGO!!
HAPPY WEDNESDAY Y'ALL!! I LOVE YOU, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!
Looking at the picture of my father and I, as a kid, I'd think how cool it was. My father was my hero, and no other dad on earth was as awesome as he. In my mind, there was no other dad in the neighborhood who could beat him. As a kid, looking at this picture, all I could think about is how I could have felt at that moment. Never did I wonder what my Dad was feeling on that day, at that exact moment. It was not until my son, Davyd, was born that I began to get an idea.
Sons bring an enormous amount of pride to their father's heart. I mean, it swells us up real good!! Initially, we want our sons to be little "mini me's" but before Davyd arrived, I decided I would rather he not be like me, but BETTER than me. This is why, I gave him the name Davyd, after God's beloved, a man after God's own heart. I remember reading to him, as an infant, from the Books of Samuel. I wanted him to always know and understand who he is, and whose he is.
As fathers, we want the best for our sons. We want them to represent the family well, making great the family name. When others speak of our sons, we only want to hear good and great things. We just want to be ever proud of them. I feel that I have turned out to be a pretty good dude, from the way my mother and father raised me and my brothers. I pray that I am able to do the same for my son, and also my daughter. I hope that when Davyd is my age and looks at this picture, that his heart is as grateful to me as my heart is grateful to my Dad.
When Taylor was born, she confiscated my heart and wrapped the rest of me around her finger. As an infant, the only place that allowed her enough comfort to sleep an entire night was on my chest, next to the heart she now owned. The majority of our nights were spent in my recliner. Even beyond her infancy, she would rarely go to bed without knowing I was home or near. She would refuse to sleep until I arrived home from work. When I'd get there, she'd hug me, say good night, and within minutes, she'd be out like a light. Daddy often served as a pillow to this young lady, as you can see in the pictures above, and Daddy did not mind.
A father should be to his children what God is to fathers. We must be their comfort, their protection, their confidence, and anything else their little hearts make us out to be, even a pillow. I like to think that this bond still exists between Taylor and I, even after all the drama both our hearts have been through over the years. She's 13 now, and we find ourselves disagreeing more than agreeing, BUT she still has a kung fu-like grip on this heart of mine.
I pray that she ALWAYS feels secure in me, safe with me, and loved unconditionally by me. Fathers, we have an AMAZING task of raising the children God has blessed us with. Just as God is EVERYTHING to us, we must be as close to everything to them as possible. Not one of us is perfect, and it's okay for our children to know that we are not. How else will they know reality and learn humility?? There are times we have to lay ourselves down in order for the needs of our kids to be met.
I know, even as an adult, I've had to depend on my own parents more than I'd like to, but I thank God for them and all they have helped me through. Needless to say, parenting is a lifelong occupation. I am still learning more and more from the things my parents said and shared years ago. I thank my Mom and Dad, both, for being my pillows in those times I've needed peaceful rest and peace of mind. I pray that I will always be that for my youngans, Taylor and Davyd.
HAPPY TUESDAY Y'ALL!! AS ALWAYS, I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!
I've mentioned before that we ALL have a story to tell. Then, I asked, "Are we all bold enough to tell it?" Well, within the stories of our lives are sections and chapters, containing the small bits that come together to create the books of us. This picture has a brief story to tell. You ALL know that I love Starbucks and that I have several mugs from there. Yet, this morning, I chose my Trailside Coffee mug. I needed a reminder of peace and beauty this morning. This cup does that for me.
In 2010, Taylor was invited to participate in a youth conference with People to People that would take place in January of 2011 in D.C. 2010 is also when I went through a divorce and lost my job. Sad? Naw, not really. With the help of my Dad and my brother, we were able to pay for Taylor's participation. When the time came for her to go, I decided to take advantage of an opportunity for a road trip, just me and my baby girl. Still unemployed, we were able to manage it. My other brother was stationed in Charlottesville, VA, at the time, which was just a couple of hours outside of Washington, D.C. He allowed me to crash there with him and his family while Tay Tay was at her event.
Any time with family is a good time. Being the lover of coffee that I am, I set out to find the closest Starbucks. My brother suggested Mudhouse, in the little town of Crozet. I checked it out and it was nice. I fell in love with the small town of Crozet. My sister-in-law suggested Trailside, saying that she prefers it over Mudhouse. So, I followed her direction and came to the place, which sat in a valley at the foot of the mountains. I remember sitting at a table near the window, staring up into the mountains. Beautiful, is all I could say. I read. I wrote. I Facebooked. I was at total peace in this beautiful town, in this amazing coffee shop, whose owners were just every day folks like you and me.
I made it a point to purchase a coffee mug from them, simply because of the awesome service and beauty surrounding the joint. In the time I spent in the area, I went there about three times all together. Peace and Beauty in a Crozet, VA is what this coffee mug reminds me of. Peace and Beauty in a time of my life where struggle was the name of the game. I thank God for the opportunity to exist in a place like Crozet, even if for only a few days. I thank God for my family who assisted in making it all possible for Taylor to have a once in a lifetime experience, 10 years old, in D.C. with no parents!! LOL!
No matter how big your trials are, there is always some form of peace and beauty to be found and had in simple things. Take today's sunshine for instance. The past few days have been dreary and downright depressing; but today, I look out to see the sun shining bright, on SUNDAY!! LOL! There is beauty in the laughter of your children who are oblivious to much of the struggles you face. Let those small and tiny giggles, chuckles, and smiles be a reminder that there are greater things at work on your behalf than the things that attempting to bring you down. Step outside and take a deep breath, and understand that you are blessed to be able to breathe. You are BLESSED! Take a look in the mirror and smile. KNOW that your simple smile has the ability to bright the entire life of someone who has been shown no kindness in their struggles. Look through old pictures of you, family, friends, vacations, and events and REMEMBER that each one has a story. Again, these little stories make up the entire book of you!!
Whatever drama you are going through now, does not define you! What defines you is your heart and the power, determination, and love within. Obstacles are meant to be gotten over. Trials are meant to pave the way for triumph! Evil just gives GOOD something to do and a place to be. We all are more than conquerors!! REMEMBER THE STORIES BEHIND THE PICTURES OF YOUR LIFE!! KNOW, THAT THERE ARE MORE GREAT DAYS TO BE HAD, BEYOND TODAY!! Often times we, ourselves, need to be reminded of who we really are, VICTORS!!
HAPPY SUNDAY!! HAVE AN AWESOME DAY!! I LOVE YOU ALL EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!!
Back in March, I helped a lady out. As I was on my way home one morning, after dropping the kids off, I saw a woman pulled over to the side of the road with a flat. I had no real plans for the morning so I had no reason not to stop and give her a hand. She had no spare, no jack, no tire iron. When I went to loosen the lugs, my iron did not fit them. So, we drove down to Wal-Mart and I purchased a new 4-way lug wrench. We went back to the car, got the tire off and ran it over to Firestone to get it repaired. Unfortunately, sidewall damage in not repairable. The woman was getting frustrated because she had no money to get a new tire. On this particular day, all my needs were met, and I had about $100 to my name. I asked the manager how much a new tire would cost? "Anywhere from $50 to over $100," he replied. I took a look at the tires and found a decent one of good quality for about 60 bucks. We bought the tire, had it mounted and balanced, and went back to her car. I put the tire on for her, insisted she had no reason to pay me back, and we parted ways.
In all the time we spent that morning, I know not her name and she knows not mine. Anyway, this morning I had about a buck-fifty in my pocket and decided I would spend it on a pack of gum. Wal-Mart of course. As I strolled from aisle to aisle, looking for the gum I like, I bumped into the lady I had helped out months before. We greeted one another, and she quickly asked, "Do you need groceries." I paused because she caught me off guard with that question, and God knew that my family could use a few things. She insisted on helping me out this time. So, humbling myself, I accepted. I grabbed only what I felt were necessities to get us through for a while. Guess how much the total came to be!! About 60 bucks!! HALLELUJAH!!!! AIN'T GOD GOOD!!! HE IS TRULY A PROVIDER!!!
How can anyone truly be good to you in your times of need, if you never take the time (which is not YOURS anyway) to help another who has need??? This reminds me of a few of my favorite scriptures:
"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need." -- Acts 4:32-35 --
We, as children of God are responsible for one another!! When you find yourself with God's time on your hands, do something with it that is good for another. When you find yourself with extra, give it to someone who has none. When you find yourself with all your needs met, meet the needs of someone else.
I thank God for every soul that has been part of my life. I thank God for very bit of kindness that I have received from family, friends, and even strangers!! For I still know not that woman's name, and she knows not mine!! AMEN??
I CAN DO NOTHING BUT SHOUT PRAISES TO GOD FOR HIS BLIND-SIDING BLESSINGS!!!! I was surely blind-sided by this one!! Yet, many will not believe. But it is not my duty to make anyone believe in me. It is my duty to urge anyone and everyone I know, meet and message to BELIEVE IN GOD, THE ONE TRUE GOD OF ALL!!!
There is still some good in this world and there is still tons of good TO BE DONE!!
AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!
(My past writings often serve as my present counsel.......)
HAPPY SATURDAY TO YOU ALL!! I LOVE YOU, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!
"WHAT???!!", many of you may ask. Well, see if you can follow me on this. Yesterday, when I got to the daycare to pick Davyd up, all the kids were in rare form. Some were fearful, some were hysterical, and some were just plain excited.
First, I heard, "There are ducks in the bathroom!!" Over and over the little kids were telling me this. After a few minutes, it changed to, "There are MONKEYS in the bathroom!!" After seeing my nephew paralyzed with fear and crying his heart out, I wondered, "What the devil is going on in this place??" Then, I thought, "Shoot, and I have to go pee too!!"
Come to find out, the kids had just watched Jumanji. As I recall the movie, I must admit that them monkeys were some scary twisted little creatures!! Needless to say, there were no monkeys in any of the restrooms although little kids' behaviors can be a bit "monkey-ish" at times. As easily as the kids believed that there truly were sinister monkeys in the bathroom, I could have told them that my arm was a special arm and could transform into a "monkey pulverizer disintegrator gun". Then, I'd walk into the restroom and closed the door behind me, leaving the kids anxiously waiting for results. After a series of, "Boom's," "Pow Pow's," "AHHHHH's," and "Die Monkey, Die's," I'd come out to inform the kids that all the monkeys are gone and the bathroom is safe.
Don't you wish that gossip was this easy to destroy?? We, as the children were, are more ready to believe the latest gossip, mess, lies, and slander than we are to believe and search out truth. We are prone to believe that which does not exist over what does. We would rather believe what so&so says about so&so than to believe what Pastor says about the promises of God. Some "special person" may say, "well we can't see any of what the Pastor says about the Holy Spirit!!" WRONG!! The HOLY SPIRIT can be seen each and every day in the deeds and words of genuinely good people. It can be seen in the real love the some folks have for others. IT IS EVIDENT!!
Anyway, back to what I was saying: Some of the kids truly believed that there were "Jumanji Monkeys," not just regular monkeys, in the bathrooms. And some of the kids were truly like, "Whatever!" Which are you, a believer in nonsense, falsehoods, gossip, and lies?? Or are you a seeker and believer of truth that comes from God through His Word Jesus Christ??
There are no monkeys in my bathroom, and if ever there are, they would get straight dealt with by my "Monkey Pulverizing Disintegrator Gun!!" Joyce Meyer said this morning that, "The easiest way to kill anything is to simply not feed it." Starve it to death. What is it that we are feeding in our lives?? What is it that we are giving our minds to??
The kids fed their imaginations by believing in the monkeys. In the same way, we feed our own lives with negativity, gossip, slander, complaining, and giving into all things that are no good for our souls or our salvation. Yet, some of us do feed our spirits more than we feed the flesh by giving our minds over to God's Word, Will, and Love.
To kill nonsense in our lives, starve it to death. Don't participate or waste time with gossip and lies. Rumors are no good either. Feed your life with power pellets of positivity!! Remember what power pellets did for Pac-Man against the ghost thingies??? The WORD of GOD does the same for us!!
"Monkeys In The Bathroom" is my new term for gossip, slander, lies, deception, evil, and all other things that are not of God. So, STOP FEEDING THE MONKEYS IN THE BATHROOM!!!!
TRUTH stands and can never be defeated!!
There is something about a country road that gives me peace. John Denver said, "Country roads, take me home...." I agree with him a good bit! Years ago, I drove for the Red Cross, transporting blood and blood product to and from hospitals in south Alabama and along the Gulf Coast. Sundays were my BEST days! Bossman told me, "You can leave as early as you want, just as long as you are back by 8pm." Can you imagine a mind like mine, free to be on the highway for an ENTIRE day? I would leave some Sundays as early as 7 a.m. I'd find the "countriest" of roads and just ride. Of course this was way before navigation systems in vehicles and on cell phones. Hell, there was no such thing as text messaging at that time. There were often days, I could rely on nothing but north, south, east, and west to find my way.
On these journeys, my mind was free to go wherever it pleased, and I could breathe easy. Hitting towns and cities within my home state that I'd never been to or heard of was awesome to me. Finding good ole southern hospitality in burger joints no bigger than my living room, was awesome. Stopping into gas stations and general stores to ask directions, just gave me opportunity to meet somebody new; someone I know I'll never see again in my life.
I remember leaving Montgomery one afternoon refusing to get on the interstate. I found a highway going south, and I took it. I don't remember the Highway name or number. I drove until I found an even-numbered highway and headed west. I knew that if I continued west I'd hit Highway 43 at some point. Camden and Marion are two towns that I do remember passing through. This was one of my best country road journeys. Every song I heard on the radio, seemed to have new meaning. This particular Sunday just happened to be the Sunday following the Friday when I gave my life to Christ. After a while of driving, I hit 43, going south. As I passed through my Father's hometown of Mt. Vernon, I stopped at Roper Cemetery. I sat for a while at the feet of my Grandparents, Abe & Ollie. I prayed a bit and chatted with them a bit. The peace, at THAT very moment, was amazing. I walked around a bit to see cousin Kevin, Aunt Ma-Mee, and Nanny Chris. I miss them all so much, but I know they are good where they are. After my visit, I headed on downtown Mobile to complete my run. It was a damn good day! I often miss the country roads.
In 2008, we took a trip to Orlando Florida, via back roads. We did hit the interstate at Cordele, Georgia. There was a town we passed through called Americus, Georgia. Prior to this trip, I had only heard of the place once or twice, but for some reason always wanted to check it out. I just remember passing through this country town, thinking, "I like it!" Small towns are appealing to me. I've never been a big city type of guy. My imagination went several places in the few minutes it took for us to pass through. Vivid is my memory of Americus. Even now, I'd like to just go there for the fun of it, maybe crash some random family's barbecue or something. LOL! I love the country and I love the country roads!
Country Roads are another Home of mine.......
Home is not necessarily the house you were born in or the place where you grew up. Home is a place where you feel absolute love, absolute security, and absolute peace. As the "grown" folks we are, as the parents we are, as the spouses and significant others we are, it is imperative that we go there every now and again. Often times we forget about the peaceful places of home, due to the ever growing and non-stop hustle and bustle of today's world and society.
So what is it that takes you home, to that state of mind that mutes out the world and everyone around you? Last weekend, I posted a picture of breakfast, a breakfast I had not eaten in years. That breakfast took me back to the Saturday mornings of my childhood, but the trip home started well before breakfast. I got up early to take my son, Davyd, to the barber shop. Growing up, the earlier the better, in terms of going to the barber shop and getting it over with. The last time I did that with Davyd was almost four years ago. Needless to say, last Saturday was an awesome day for my mind and my heart. The reminder of home was good for me. I need to do it more often.
Ultimately, "home" is where we all want to be. Think about it, we grow up wanting and desiring to get away from home and far away from our parents. Then, when we get to where we are today, adults and raising kids of our own, all we want is to go home again. We want our kids to learn morals and values in the same ways we did. We want to take them back to our homes and show them all its awesomeness and importance. I strongly believe that all a heart desires is love, peace, and security. "Home" is exactly that. Again, it may not be the actual place where you grew up, but there is a place you've been where you had nothing but peace and love all around. That's your home.
I ask again, what is it that takes you home?? Set sail for where it is you truly want to be. Go there often and I am sure it will make every day life easier to bear.
Lord, I thank You for this day! I ask that You bless each and every one of us with peace of mind and peace of heart. Remind us daily of our daily bread, that which is truly important. I love You Lord and I am grateful that You have heard my prayer. Thank You for blessing and providing for all my friends and family. You are an AWESOME GOD!! AMEN!!
HAPPY THURSDAY Y'ALL!!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!
Yes, it is. When you are allowed to enter into a person's heart, treat it with the same respect you would, as you enter their home. If it is his/her custom to remove shoes at the door, then take yours off. Only sit where allowed. Do not enter rooms, into which you've not been invited. Respect every thing about the house.
There are those who like to enter into the homes of others and make changes, in order to "make it look better." What these individuals fail to realize is that when changes are made, the person being changed becomes less and less like the person they once adored prior to being allowed into the house. I'll say this; no one knows a heart better than God. For God is the only power that can change a heart if and when necessary.
When we were younger, we all had that one relative whose house we just hated going to. Right? We just didn't like being there, and being there was ridiculously uncomfortable. Now, were we able to change these placed to our liking? NO! We just had to suck it up and deal with until we were able to leave. As adults we are able to choose where we go. We go to the places we like and enjoy. The reason we like these places is because of what makes up these places. We like them as they are. Changing them would mean risking the affection, attraction, and desire we have for these places.
So, when we enter the houses of the hearts of those we love, adore, and care for, it is imperative that we be willing to accept everything about that house, as it is. Know that EVERYTHING in that house makes up that person you claim to love, adore, and care for. There is a sleeping lion in the basements of every house. He remains sleeping as long as the house remains intact. If awakened, the lion will remove all that threatens the peace of the house.
God gives us little reminders in our children. They remind us of the simple and truly important things in life, with LOVE being the main one. Think about how a child's love for his/her parents is an unbreakable love. No matter how jacked up the parent, that child's love is the truest of true! Thinking back to 2001, I remember going through a whole boat load of unnecessary drama. Taylor and I spent a few months living in Georgia. On one particular day, I was sitting on the floor and watching t.v. Taylor, only 15 months old walks over and puts her arm around my shoulder, saying "Iss okay daddy!" in the sweetest whisper. She laid her head on my shoulder. WOW! I thought! The reminder I gained from this is to focus on the love of your life. As long as I had this little girl in my corner, I could conquer the world. Stop stressing over folk who don't love you. We often find ourselves in drama wrapped around people and issues that mean us no good and offer no life to our hearts and souls. I think that was the happiest summer of my daughter's life. I'd never known a child to just shriek with joy at the act of doing nothing. It's like she knew I needed as much uplifting as possible, at that time. Focus on that which matters the most, LOVE!
I have this love, coming from both my youngans. They are getting older and a bit more stubborn every day, but when all is said and done, I can always count on their love when I need it the most. Davyd is my comedian. The boy is a master at sarcasm and when he catches me off guard, I can't help but lose my composure. He often reminds me not to take certain things in life so seriously. When it's just me and him, I find myself being extra silly and laughing a lot! Children often remind us of how simple life is SUPPOSED to be. I would be bold enough to say that the majority of the complications we face in life, we bring upon ourselves with the choices we make or don't make.
Thinking back, once again, to 2007. Doctors say I had a T.I.A. Again, it was during a separation when this occurred. It was just Taylor, Davyd, and I. Losing the feeling and use of an entire side of my body, I relied on Taylor (7 at the time) to call 911 and give directions. As I lay helpless on the floor, She got me dressed and covered me with a blanket. Davyd (2 at the time) stood watching with concern. By the time paramedics arrived and started to check me out, I could feel the life reentering the dead side of my body. Once Davyd saw that I'd be fine, he began to dance. I watched him and all I could think about is how David danced before the Lord, as the Ark was brought into the city. I thank God for my youngans EVERY DAY!! I love them as God loves me.
Kids will be the most honest with you when it's time to be called out, especially concerning the things you've said, done, and promised. As parents, we have to be humble enough to accept due rebuke in order to maintain open and honest relationships with our kids. We sometimes feel that kids are too young or not entitled to certain things, but they have EVERY right to feel entitled to our love and our honesty, plain and simple. I am reminded this very moment that I LOVE my kids BEYOND human understanding!!
I pray for ALL parents, that LOVE for your children overwhelms your heart OFTEN, reminding you of the things that are MOST important in life. Life is too short to go without love.
HAPPY FRIDAY!! I LOVE ALL Y'ALL!!
Bryan Hollomon Williams