Saturday, December 9, 2017

And Two Shall Become One

Whenever her husband would start snoring, she would remedy it by gently tapping him on the shoulder and saying, "Baby, roll on your side." Without waking up, he would rollover and the snoring would stop. On this particular evening, she was extremely tired. She had spent the entire week completing end-of-the-year reports, Christmas shopping and planning for both her daughter‘s wedding and college graduation. When it was time to go to bed, she fell asleep before she knew it. Needless to say she was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of snoring. She was so tired she didn’t even feel like tapping her husband on the shoulder, but the snoring stopped so she went back to sleep. About an hour later, the snoring woke her up again. She listened for a moment, but stopped again. She begin to get irritated. She wondered if her husband was in one of his playful moods. She thought to herself, “I’m not in the mood for games. I know he’s not playing right in the middle of the night. He knows how tired I am.” In the middle of her silent tantrum, she fell asleep again. Moments laters, the snoring woke her up again! She jumped up quickly in the bed ready to confront her husband and irritated at his insensitivity. Her words paused in mid air when she saw his side of the bed was empty. Then she remembered,  “Oh wait, he’s not here.” She couldn’t help but laugh at herself and then she said  “Lord I know the preacher said, 'and the two shall become one,'" but certainly you didn’t mean me beginning to snore as well.” With another quick giggle, she snuggled under the covers and went back to sleep.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I Cried In His Arms

I cried in his arms this morning...

It was 3AM and my sleep was interrupted by my heavy heart and nonstop mind racing. I have so much to do, not enough help/time to do it and challenges to overcome EVERY DAY. PLUS, the holiday season is always the hardest for me. I really REALLY miss my sister. I tried to be a big girl by staying busy but I guess there comes a time when even the strongest woman has her breaking point.

I could feel when he sat up in bed. I tried to pretend like I was sleep but he called my bluff. He asked me what was wrong and I replied "Nothing." I didn't want to talk but he was persistent. He took me into his arms and said "Let me hold you and listen to YOU this time." I laid my head on his chest. His heartbeat sounded like sweet music and the warmth of his arms immediately began to sooth me. I didn't know how to say what I was feeling. I'm sure my initial words seemed more like rambling but he was patient. He listened quietly as I talked. My tears melted away into his t-shirt. After I was done talking, he spoke words of encouragement into me and reminded me of my purpose. He gave me tough love about remaining strong and challenged me to remain grateful for all God has done for me. Then he sealed his words with a kiss and in that moment, I was reminded that everything is going to be okay......

I thank God for my sweet Travis....

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Being There...

Last week I had to fulfill one of the most difficult duties as First Lady. A young couple in our church lost their dad in a boating accident. Because of the weather we were experiencing from Hurricane Irma, it took the recovery team longer than expected to recover his body. It was heartbreaking to see the family cry out in agony.They were not only grieving the loss of their loved one, but suffering through the wait of locating his body. I felt helpless and I really didn't know what to do so I prayed silently to God asking him to please give me the words that could help this family in someway. The only thing he told me to do, was be there. 

Please keep in mind, my husband and I didn't know the entire family, we only knew the young couple. While we wanted to let them know we cared, we didn't want to seem intrusive. I was surprised when the mother of the family requested we come back to the site on day two of the search. My husband and I prayed with them. We spoke words of encouragement into their ears, brought them meals and hugged them when needed but still, it didn't feel like it was enough. 



We spent four of the five search and recovery days waiting with the family at the boating dock. Most of the time was spent waiting with family in silence as they watch the recovery team work tirelessly. After five days of searching, the authorities found the body of their missing father in the late afternoon. The discovery was met with mixed emotion. Happiness, because now the family could bring him home and sorrow because his death was now a confirmed reality. We met with the family at the hospital as they waited for the Coroner to complete paperwork. I thanked God for giving the family closure by bringing the search to an end but surprisingly, I found myself giving him thanks for an unexpected lesson that I learned. 

You see, just before we left the hospital, the mother of the young couple pulled me to the side, hugged me and whispered, "Thank you so much for being here. You don't know how much you've helped me." I was surprised by her words. As I said earlier, most of our time with the family were spent in silence at the boating dock. But then God spoke to me and said "It wasn't what you said, it was simply because you were there."  

Sometimes we abandon our friends and family in their time of need because we are afraid of saying or doing the wrong things. By instinct we search for the words that will dry tears and make everything better and when we don't know what to say, we stay away. That can be a huge mistake if the person(s) didn't request privacy. People need love and support. They don't always need words. 

Lesson from God learned....It's not always in what we say, sometimes hearts are comforted simply because we were there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When You Have A Praying Man



I can't tell you all how much this picture means to me. I am so thankful to God for giving me such a wonderful husband who has a heart completely sold out to Christ. As some of you may know, I've been writing and producing video blogs for years. I can't tell you how many times I thought about giving up. This picture was taken a couple of months ago. During prayer, my husband anointed my lips and encouraged me to "keep talking and spreading God's word in the way God had gifted me". 

You see, I worked for years to master the facade of a strong woman who didn't care about what others thought, when in actuality I was crumbling inside. The words from naysayers hurt because they were spoken from the lips of some of my family members, "friends" and fellow parishioners...I.E..the people I cared about the most.

The prayer you see in the picture gave me the strength I needed to be who God called me to be. In the past few months, I've watched my BMack fan page grow from 1500 followers to over 30,000. I am receiving messages from all over the world (Canada, the UK, Germany, Nigeria and the Islands). I am receiving testimonials from people who say where they were diminishing in faith but now they are encouraged to stay in the fight. While my fan base is majority female, the open dialogue on my page has encouraged the men to reach out to my husband for prayer and guidance. 

I  have begun a product line that is beginning to receive sales internationally. Doors of opportunity are opening for my family and I and we are excited about our walk into this new horizon. We give God praise!
God is blessing our "guest house" ministry. In the past two months and during prayer, two people have received Christ as their personal Saviour and four people have received the Holy Spirit. God is up to something big in the smallest of places.

No matter where you are in life (big or small), keep trusting God. His promises are always PROVEN!

First Lady BMack

PS
COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!
I HATE TALKING TO MYSELF.LOL

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Five Things We Ask God For and Then Get Mad About

We are a spoiled nation. We pray and ask God to grant request after request only to complain once he blesses us with them. Yesterday, I was folding laundry when I found myself thinking "Ugh! When am I going to be done with this already!" Immediately, God put me in check by saying "You asked for them." I know we are human and subject to complacency and error from time to time, but it's important to remain thankful for all God has done for us. Why do we ask God for these things and then get mad about them later? That's kind of hypocritical, isn't it?



You Asked God for that Job
You've submitted your resume. You go to the interview. You leave the interview hoping they will call and say "Congratulations, you're hired!" You're nervous. You are anxious so in prayer you ask God for favor. You remind him of his word and beg him for the job. They call. You are hired and you jump for joy. A few months later, you hate Mondays because you don't want to go to work at the same job you asked God for. Why?


You Asked God for a Spouse
We ask God to send us the person that will be our forever and when he does it's a feeling like no other. Isn't it funny how when we first meet our mates we can't get enough of them? Everything they do is cute and adorable. You literally ache when you are not with them, and then we marry. All of a sudden, everything that was once cute and adorable is maddening and aggravating. Hmmmm...

You Asked God for Children
You find out that you are pregnant and you can't wait to tell the world. You try on maternity clothes. You decorate the nursery and celebrate with a baby shower. The baby arrives and you can't stop taking pictures. By the first year of the child's life, things are a little different. I don't know one parent (including myself) who hasn't said at least one of the following; "I can't wait for this child to get out of pampers. "I can't wait for this child to walk and start school. "I can wait for this child to get out of my house." Children are a handful (trust me I know) but they are a part of who we are. We bring them into this world and then we complain about their existence only to miss them heavily when they leave the nest.

You Asked God for a Home
You ask God for a home. You toss and turn in anticipation. Wondering "Will I be approved to buy that home or rent that apartment?" You beg "God, please. I need this for my family." And then God answers and you are overwhelmed with joy. You eagerly pack,  move and perhaps even celebrate with your family and friends at the housewarming....only to complain about having to clean your home a few months later.

You Asked God for Clothes
Whether you purchased them yourself or was blessed with them. One of the greatest ego boosters is a new outfit. How many times have you looked in your closet and said "I have don't have anything to wear?" How many times have you asked God to bless your finances so that you buy clothes for your child's first day of school, that job interview or special event? Now answer this. How many times has God granted your request only for you to gripe about having to wash the clothes YOU begged HIM for?....See what I mean?

We ask God for cars, then complain about gas and maintenance. We ask God for money to buy food but then complain about having to cook i. The list goes on and on...

It's important to remember what God says in I Thessalonians; In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  Be thankful now so that God won't mind blessing you later.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

How to Save up to $8000 a Year By Spring Cleaning


Spring cleaning is a goal many of us have but very few actually accomplish. Cleaning and organizing your home can save you lots of time and loads of money! I know..I know..The idea of de-cluttering and organizing your home can seem overwhelming (especially if you are severely unorganized)  but if you commit yourself to the process, you can do it and the results will be well worth it in the end. Listed below is the breakdown of how much you can save per room per year. Keep these tips in mind while spring cleaning and apply them to your household management plan. You will be amazed at how much your bank account increases while your stress level decreases!

THE KITCHEN: $4168 per year
Did you know that the average American family spends $225 eating out each month? This includes dinners eaten out, on the go snacks, and specialty coffees. Also, according to the USDA, the average US family of four wastes more than 2 million calories, which equates to $1,500 worth of food, every year. By cleaning, de-cluttering your kitchen, couponing and preplanning your meals, you can save your family budget approximately $4168.00 a year.







HOME OFFICE: $3000 yrly
Image from Coco+Kelley
A well organized home office can help you to avoid paying late fees and wasting gas. Money.USNews.Com reported…”If you habitually pay bills late and shrug off late fees as a cost of living and staying afloat, consider what a hefty price you're paying. As a general rule, most businesses charge anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the monthly bill for a late fee. If you pay, say, $2,500 a month in mortgage or rent, a car loan, electric and other utilities, you could easily be spending $2,750 with late fees but budgeting to spend $2,500.” That’s an additional $250 per month you could possibly save simply by getting organized!


I think it’s very important for every home to have a command center to help keep track of day to day activities, bills and important documents. “Creating a place for everything and remaining consistent in putting them back where they belong saves you a lot of time looking for lost items, plus it prevents you from spending money to replace items you can’t find.” {dailysavings.allyou.com}

When it comes to wasting gas, you can save both time and money by planning your day and errand runs. This will help prevent wasted trips back and forth.

Image from Closet Couture
CLEAN YOUR CLOSETS: $700
The average profits from garage sales is between $500 to $700. De-clutter your space, throw a garage sale and earn some extra cash while enjoying a clutter free home!

CHANGE YOUR FILTERS AND LINT SCREEN: $295 per year
A dirty lint screen can cause the dryer to use up to 30 percent more electricity ($25 per year), according to the Consumer Energy Center. Cleanalert.com reports you can save up to $270 per year by consistently changing your air filter when necessary.










Add it all up and that’s whooping of $8163!!! Springing Cleaning and Organization really does pay off!

Friday, April 1, 2016

How to Protect Your Work or Design Idea

People ask me all of the time what can they do to protect their literary work, design ideas or inventions. I found this "in a nutshell" info via entrepreneur.com and decided to share...

Josh Owen, who runs his eponymous design studio in New York and chairs the Industrial Design Department at Rochester Institute of Technology, says one key to defending designs against copycats is being first in the marketplace. He warns his students, "Don't hold your ideas so close that you become a paranoid troglodyte hiding in your basement holding onto these ideas. You have to strike a balance between being a steward of your ideas and finding partners who can help protect them."



Listed Below Are Your Legal Options on How to Protect Your Work
The options for legally protecting a design are complex, especially with changes to patent laws scheduled for this year. It is best to consult with an attorney to figure out the most cost-effective methods. "It's better to invest the money upfront and get the protection," says lawyer Marc Misthal of Gottlieb, Rackman & Reisman, "because it's often costlier to compete with and chase down knockoffs."
Here are various levels of protection available to designers. And one last piece of advice from Misthal: When licensing your work, make sure you try to maintain ownership of the rights (as opposed to handing them over to the person who's manufacturing and distributing your design).
  • Copyright protects artistic expression (i.e., not the idea itself, but the way it is expressed). A painting, movie, song or piece of writing can be copyrighted, but a functional item like a chair cannot. However, if the chair's form is unusual enough to qualify as sculpture, or if it features handcrafted scrollwork or other artistic elements, it might be eligible for copyright protection. The U.S. Copyright Office charges a $35 electronic filing fee; once granted, the copyright lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years.
  • Trademarks identify the product's source. A trademark protects any identifying feature (e.g., a product name, logo or signifier, such as Burberry plaid or the red soles on a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes). The government charges $275 to $375 per claim, and the acquisition process can take several years. Trademarks last forever.
  • A utility patent protects a mechanical innovation (e.g., a new way to fold a chair).
  • In legal terms this mechanism must be "novel" and "nonobvious," meaning that in the eyes of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examiner, even someone skilled in that area would not have thought of it. This is the most expensive protection to obtain--about $7,000 to $10,000--and takes on average three to seven years to secure. It lasts 20 years.
  • A design patent protects the look of a product (anything from handbags to furniture).
  • As with a utility patent, the look must be novel and nonobvious. Typically these patents take 12 to 18 months to secure, cost an average of $2,500 to $3,500 and stay in effect for 14 years. "More people should take advantage of these," Misthal says. "They're very powerful--Apple beat Samsung on design patents." (Applications for design and utility patents must be filed within one year of the product being sold or shown publicly.)
Hope this helps!


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