Dizzying Doublespeak

This article is the perfect example of the dizzying doublespeak I discuss in my post “Strong Black Woman in Recovery.” Check them both out, and tell me what you think.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith

Snapshot Moment

My Three Sons

I had a snapshot moment with my two youngest. They had a synchronized meltdown, crying in unison and both clamoring for mama’s love. After I changed the toddler’s training pants and then the baby’s diaper, I wiped the waterfalls from their faces and let them lay in bed with me. The baby nursed on my right while the toddler caressed my left. That was yesterday. Today was almost a snap back moment when all three wanted something from me: The firstborn wanted permission to play a game; the toddler wanted cereal; and the baby just wanted me. I was only gone for three hours, a needful leave to get my teeth cleaned and some groceries, something my husband usually does, but he was sick. And he was with them when I was gone for three hours, but not all the way with them because he was sick. I had a muffin this morning. I resisted overspending because I was hungry and looked forward to eating when I got home. But with three needy children demanding me upon arrival and a sick spent husband, food for me had to wait a little bit, and I almost said, “Oooo, dese kids,” but I remembered my poem with that line and decided to shut my mouth, suck up my plans and meditate on being a Carrier of Life.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith

Inconvenient Children (via Musings of a (Recovering) Strong Black Woman’s Weblog)

Yesterday Nathaniel, my 2-year-old, asked me 20 times in rapid succession for grapes. I’m not exaggerating because I decided to count as I was in the process of getting them for him. I could only laugh at his little demanding self. I laugh to keep from being overwhelmed, even as I’m on my way to another of his doctor’s appointments. The little bugger’s allergic to so much. With all the demands of motherhood, I remembered this post and know that it is a privilege to be a mom.

Some months ago my friend Renee was telling me that I must watch "La Vie en Rose," the tragic biopic of French chanteuse Edith Piaf. She went on describe that this heartwrenching tale would grip my soul and make me want to pity and rescue Edith from the brothel, street and circus (literally and figuratively) life she lived throughout her life. I watched the movie this morning. Shuffled from parent to parent and place to place for convenience sake … Read More

via Musings of a (Recovering) Strong Black Woman's Weblog

Define Strong Black Woman (via Musings of a (Recovering) Strong Black Woman’s Weblog)

What do you think?

I began this blog with some thoughts on whom the strong black woman could be. I questioned whether I myself was one. Some of you in your responses classified yourself and family members as strong black women. Others of you said you thought she was overrated and had even shifted your thinking about who she is or should be. What I want from you now are clear definitions of the term strong black woman. What does it mean to be strong? Is the strength … Read More

via Musings of a (Recovering) Strong Black Woman's Weblog

The Old is New Again

“The Old is New Again” or “It’s New to You” could be the theme of my blog for July, depending on how you have been following this blog. While I’m taking a break from blogging, you will still get some posts, some reposts, from a few of my more than 200 entries that I have written over the course of this blog. Even if you have been with me since the start in 2008, you may not have read every post. And those who just began following Musings, it’s likely you didn’t go back to see all that you missed. Either way, the old will be new again or it’ll be new to you. See you with fresh content in August.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith

Guiding Through Guideposts

I’ve got good news! My Facebook friends may already know, but I want my WordPress readers to know that I have been selected as a writer for the 2011 Guideposts devotional for new moms. Outside of newspapers and magazines (and one little indie that published one of my poems), this is my first time being published in a book. I will write about 20 short pieces about my first year as a mom to encourage new moms. The stories will be personal. They may be quirky. I hope they are revelatory. I pray they change the pace for a mom having a frustrating, clueless, hectic or simply a “hands up” day. To craft these stories will take some time to make my September 1 deadline so I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the month of July.

I’ve been thinking for a month or so about taking a one-month break from blogging, and I thought July would be that month, but I wasn’t sure. I hadn’t yet gotten the Guideposts position, and I hadn’t told my husband of my possible intentions, but this morning he suggested that I “take off from blogging for a month, the month of July.” I knew then that my thinking was more than just thinking but it was God telling me to take a break.

On Wednesday I’ll sign off for a month, but I’ll see you again in August.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith

Leaving a Legacy

My father was a quiet man of action. I never heard him say that he wanted to be an example of a man with a strong work ethic who provided for his family and comforted his children, but that’s what I saw, and that’s the type of man I wanted. Though my father had strong character that I sought in men I dated, I wished my father had given me clear dos and don’ts when deciding who’s company I would keep. He didn’t get involved because he said he didn’t want to be judgmental. I embraced a legacy that he, intentionally or unintentionally, left me that was good and challenging for me. I have a husband with a strong work ethic who is a provider and comforter, but trying to recognize someone like him without major character flaws took me on a journey due, in part, to my father’s hands-off, “non-judgmental” approach with my dating.

As I thought about my dad’s legacy, my strong black woman one, especially in light of trying to impart a non-Jezebel-like response to my sons, and how I have been challenging my discipleship group to meet their goals, I began to ask “What type of legacy do you want to leave?” For me this question caused me to think beyond the “I want to be a good wife and a mother” response that we typically say. This question forced me to delve into what attitudes and actions I have and if they lead to my being presently known as a supportive and submissive wife, a selfless and sacrificing mother, a wise spiritual leader and a penetrating writer. For the most part, according to others, I have a solid reputation in these areas. But without planning, not purposing to engage in certain behaviors and attitudes, I could easily leave a legacy I don’t intend. I don’t want to teach my sons to court a woman whose mantra seems to be “accept what I say and not what I do.” She says she is a Christian and goes to church, but she is the aggressor and constantly asserts her way. I don’t want them to see Jezebel in me and think she belongs in women so they pick a Jezebel. As I seek to leave a legacy, I am loosing and losing Jezebel so she has no intentional or unintentional part of me.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith