Sunday Message: Moving Slowly

There are many weekends when I move like super fast.  I am on point and getting things done seem like a breeze. Then there are those times when I feel out of place, out of water, and quite frankly there are times when things don’t get done, and I feel overwhelmed.  You have to understand that when you have things moving slowly around you that its not going to take over you.  You will eventually get your to do list done.  You may need to rest or you may need this slow time as preparation for something up ahead but you will be fine.

You don’t have to do it all right now.  Some things can wait.  That is a lesson in itself. Sometimes its one of the hardest to learn and accept. Sometimes you think you have it down but then life throws you a curve ball. Trust the process that it will work out especially if you are constantly doing what you can do to continuously and with effort.


How to Handle Love Week When you and your Love are Beefing

Valentine’s Day is this week and it would be nice if all couples were in an a sea of love and like. That is ideal but it’s not always real.

These man-made holidays don’t always have timing on point. Remember just like no two people are the same; no two couples are the same as well. There is no way that couples can be in the right head space when Valentine’s Day comes.

So how do you manage when you really don’t want to show love to your mate?! You show it anyway. You do not do for someone based on merit. The same way you feel about them they could and probably have had the same feeling towards you. Marriage and relationships aren’t perfect in any way. We have to let go of this ideology that couples marry and ride off into this happily ever after. That happens in television and movies. The real happens after the vows are said.

Now with that same proclamation there is always a disclaimer. No flowers or candy will change the issues that took place regardless of a holiday or not. I think about my first marriage anniversary. In my head weeks leading up to it I expected the day to be filled with little surprises all day, little text messages of how much love we had for one another and ending the night with amazing sex. The reality was days before and even the day of we were arguing. I had one of my postpartum fits and our dinner had more silence then a good flow of conversation. I don’t remember if the night ended in sex or if it was filled with the reality that we had kids to take care of and stress was at an all time high.

There’s a difference of expectation that can be damaging to a relationship if realism isn’t at the forefront. This is why candy and flowers shouldn’t be the basis of how one apologizes. Give whatever gift you had intended but work more on your actual issues without having to have Hallmark attached. Working through the moments when you dislike your mate will make the gifts that much more sweeter trust me.

If I could go back to that first anniversary dinner I would have laid the charges down because the mere fact that I can’t tell you why we’re reacting proves that in the long run it didn’t matter. So ask yourself is the issues are really worth ruining any time that you have with your loved one?! Most likely not. Take some time to work through. The off days and the days of dislike are going to come. Trust me live a little they will. But if you’re friends first and have a strong foundation you can work through anything. Don’t ruin any day. Ask the widow or widower how they feel and I’m sure they would love one more day to be in the arms of the one they love. Each moment is fleeting. Don’t spend the little moments we have wrapped up in things that won’t build a strong relationship.

When 2018 Comes…

Every year we run the same list. When the New Year comes I’mma do this and that. I’mma give folks what they give me. I’mma lose the weight. I’mma, I’mma …..

You know I’m all for goals. However you can start now. You don’t have to wait to give anyone the same energy they gave you later. That can start right now. What are you waiting on?! For them to continue to do some mean and ignorant stuff, trust they will do that no matter what if that is in them to do.

Whatever your goal is for the New Year, do that now. You are important enough to extend the energy into your own life. Don’t wait to be that more upset, that more motivated, or that more encouraged before you can make a move. You know what I am talking about. You wait until a person does one more thing and then you will feel it’s okay to handle it or them. If you know like I know, that the list of wrongs has been long since Jesus was a baby. You don’t need anger to motivate you into cutting off folks that rightfully deserve it. You just need to remember that you don’t want that same treatment in return. Sometimes you can let it naturally cut off while not doing any extras. If you would simply stop giving folks you’re all when they keep showing you that you’re only an option and not a priority it would naturally end.

They can’t get anything from you or even the things they once got from you, the little value they saw in you they won’t see anymore and will move to the next person that will give them what they want. Don’t ever feel that you are the end of the story. Trust me what you won’t do someone else will. They run that you’re the only one; they have no one else game simply because you allow it to be ran!

You don’t need to be made fun of due to your weight to start later. Start now. Start making changes to your diet now. Thanksgiving isn’t an automatic ear until you get sick move. It’s going to come no matter what. If you start pushing back from the table now you may just have the energy to eat in moderation during the holiday as well. So many people say imma wait until the holidays are over to start. You do realize that you could be working on your goal while going into into the Nee Year instead of just starting at the New Year. Make your goals within the holidays. The holiday doesn’t have to rule you. You are tired of how you look in your own skin is more than enough motivation or will you just be disgusted and settle?! You really want results but you don’t want to work. How is that working for you now?! 2018 is going to be filled with the same drama, the same effort and the same lack if you don’t learn to honor yourself.

So on this Monday don’t wait until tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. Make the steps today. You are in charge how you are handled by the people in your life including how you handle yourself. Keep talking down to yourself telling yourself how unworthy you are and don’t be surprised when others treat you the same. Keep taking negatively and putting failure and pain into the atmosphere but keep looking to receive success where you haven’t sown it. News flash it ain’t coming. You’re going to get out of life the very things you put into it.

Take this moment to get clear your goals and work them now. 2018 isn’t promised to any of us. There’s a lot of folks That left this earth in 2017 with ideas that were never accomplished. Some goals that wasn’t even started. I think failure isn’t when you start but don’t finish it’s not honoring yourself enough to start in the first place.

Ask Toi: Can I monitor his weight as his wife?

No. In my mind when I hear you say monitor especially with everything else you have said in your letter you come off as motherly. Your job is to influence and encourage not to mother. When you use words like he’s too stupid, he’s too childish your role doesn’t need to be wife you are acting as if you’re his mother.

If you wouldn’t allow him to speak to you the way you describe yourself as speaking to him than you are out of line and out of order. If he’s so stupid doesn’t speak on his intelligence that speaks volumes on your character. You sound as if you chose him on the basis of control. There’s a part of him that likes your motherly ways. But all good things come to an end. He’s going to realize that the way you’re treating him is wrong and when he does and has enough strength to leave he will.

Monitoring his weight should be his desire. If you think he’s overweight than be the change you want to see. Do you eat right? Even if you’re small and in shape you still need to make sure their are ample healthy choices for both him and you. If you prepare the food are they healthy? Even beyond that you can’t portion control him he needs to do that. Do you work out and offer to work out with him without judgement and name calling? In the letter you have used far more names to describe the man you chose to marry that are negative and condemning. If you are doing this with me who you don’t know then what are you saying to him or your friends?! If you can’t not seriously answer these question he’s not the one with the weight issue, you are. So what is your real issue? He could lose the weight but you are the one with the issues.

No husband needs another mother. Even if you think his mom did the worst job ever, it’s not your job or place to re-raise him. One thing is people don’t even respect the wife that belittles her husband. They can see you ain’t all that you portray. The women who do that usually have some internal issues that need to be worked out. I would suggest you influence your husband and while you’re doing that be sure you find ways to love your husband, love yourself, and return your husband son so one day he can just be your husband only.

Ask Toi: You Got Questions….

Is not inviting someone with kids an acceptable reason for disincluding someone in your wedding?!

No. Bottom line is if you’re being told this the kicker is they didn’t want to invite you. Your kids was the easy get out of jail card and they used it. Anyone with kids knows that if you want to be somewhere even if it’s an adult only invite you will make a way.  So by virtue that you were told the lack of invite is because you have kids I would understand one underlining fact, your friendship isn’t as tight as you would like or thought it was.  Weddings are expensive so I get that brides have a hard time cutting the list but good friends don’t make excuses. They reach out and say hey I need to make some cuts and we are friends but I won’t be able to invite you. The issue is that some brides want to make things right after the fact but sometimes it could be a little too late. I actually had a friend who invited me to their shower but not the wedding for a gift and although I applauded her honesty I sent no gift nor did I attend the shower. If you want to keep the relationship have a conversation if not let it ride and let the natural process of elmination take over.

How do you eliminate group vacation drama??

Be super clear with every detail especially when it comes to money. Prior to paying in be clear who you are inviting. Not everyone that you like is the proper get together group. Too many times do people want their other friends to get along. Keep in mind you need more than one person to cross over the lines of friendship. Once your girl power group is assembled split things properly. When my girls and I went to Chicago we had the accounting friend calculate hotel costs according to the days that everyone was staying. We sent emails out and had everyone confirm that they understood. I made the arrangements and we had everyone pay ahead. It was none of that I got you business. To be ahead of the game, just speak up and keep one thing in mind, do not overbook every minute. Let there be a few group activities and leave space for some in the moment adventures too.  Enjoy, take great pictures and limit social media time and reconnect.

If while there something comes up, speak up and separate drinking arguments from real legit arguments and you should be fine. 

Check Your Own Body

I have so many tips for doing different work outs but I am not a professional so I really have what works for me.  I don’t even act like my fail proof plan is a Godsend for all, however there comes a time when you have to be on top of things because let’s face it, who else will?  I remember a reader asking an Ask Toi about gynecological exams and if they should continue to have them done after they were married. My answer then and now is an absolute YES!

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Marriage doesn’t mean you sexual health is perfect. You as a woman need to be aware that now that you got the ring and are one, you can still be one at risk woman.  I always wish happiness and great sex for married couples but if anything you should know right now, everyone ain’t on the up and up.  Not only that outside of getting an unwanted and unexpected non gift from a mate, is the risk of ovarian cancer. It is your job to do all you can to live a happy and healthy life.  Part of living a healthy life is to be about your health and sexual health is important.  No ring or marriage certificate will keep you safe.  So my advice is simple, get checked.  I’ve told the story before how when I was pregnant with my youngest, my OBGYN asked me if I wanted to get the STD panel done.  My answer was hell yes. Her response is well you’re married and you have kids.  I asked her who licensed her again because if you are giving me of sound mind this advice what in the holy hell was she telling other women.  Ladies get checked regardless of your status even my born again virgins that ain’t had none since Jesus was a baby, you need to get things checked too.

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No married woman should be told, you good and that’s it. Again the amount of women who die from ovarian cancer is enough for me to check.  Also like I said I do not subscribe that my husband is so perfect that there is a chance that I am going to be okay. I do trust my husband but how many women rely on trust alone and find out after it’s too late that there husband was on the “down low” and they have contracted something that a pill or a shot can’t cure.  I have told my husband plenty of times that I love me and my kids enough and I get that sometimes men take chances on getting some new %ussy but I refuse to live my life where I just throw caution to the wind. One of us has to love themselves enough to get things checked out.  So far after 5 years there hasn’t need to put the “man” between us.  I do not live my life on the edge.  If something is wrong I want to know, get a plan and keep it moving. This is why I encourage my ladies and my men to know what is going on with your health.  Avoidance is a sure fail way to not live your best life.  In order to have a good life you need to be here.

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So find what works for you in general.  I would also encourage all to see your doctor as well as a nutritionist.  These two are key to getting your health on track.  What you eat is literally a large component to how healthy your life is.  Eating the wrong things can contribute to high cholesterol, weight issues, etc.  Overall health seems so overwhelming. I think when I am trying to drink enough water, exercise, take care of my kids, go to work, have a good sex life, be good to my husband, and anything else life throws how much it takes to be on point in each other.  This is why I believe in balance.  However when it comes to my health, I believe in going in, getting things checked and then attacking each area.

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Gabrielle Union’s We’re Going to Need More Wine

I am still reading this but have you ever had a moment of pause? I just had mine today. I am almost done with the book and I had to take a pause. There are a thousand and one things in this book that made me jump, cry, or just sit and pause but today’s pause I have to share.

In her chapter, “On mean women and good dogs, Gabrielle describes a boxing session she had with her trainer and life coach.  The coach asked her what 10 things made her happy.  She couldn’t think of 10 things.  The coach reminded her if she couldn’t find 10 things to make her happy what made her so sure she should have gotten married. Pause. This was my pause. I have been in this dark place.  I cried thinking of how I cried in marriage counseling with my husband snotting and having an entire fit over what he was doing, what he wasn’t doing, and why I was ready to leave him. Pause.  I was ready to leave my college sweetheart for a few reasons.  One we have an extremely long and interesting history.  It spans over 10 years almost 20 to be exact off  and on.  This alone was not a recipe to be married.  Two, I got married because I loved him but I also loved what I thought he was when we were together in college.  Pause.  This is not marital love.  This is not one of those things that you rush down the aisle for. I was miserable in my own skin.  I loved my husband, I knew we had been through HELL and back but I didn’t know who I was.  I was a 30/31-year-old women who had put all of my eggs in one basket and with this basket he was supposed to come in and do all the work.  He was supposed to make me smile with gifts. He was supposed to initiate sex while I went with the flow. He was supposed to be my happiness.  How did that work out? Not good if you can imagine. He did it for a while. He opened my life even when we met in college to the finest of things. If things was what I wanted, he got it. His love language is gifts.  He did it well. I can’t even remember what I could have wanted that he wouldn’t have worked his entire behind to get me.  However after the gifts, what did I have to give. Not a damn thing. He was supposed to do the work while I sat pretty.  I was more like pretty damn miserable and it was causing a wedge in our marriage and relationship.

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Ladies this is not how marriage starts off.  This is how marriage will end.  Had I not taken a chance to go to martial counseling the divorce would have been finalized.  Ladies, had I not gone to counseling on my own after that, I would be a miserable rut. NO man or woman is your source.  Let me repeat that for the folks way, way in the back-they are not your source.   You have to come with more than some thighs or checking account to make things work.  You have to be able to be whole before you can unite.  We had done it backwards or at least I did. I take full responsiblity for my part. I came in looking for a dream.  College sweethearts unite, marry and build a family. It sounded cliché and enough until it wasn’t.  Gabrielle is spilling the tea that every woman and man better get with as your progress through life. If Gabrielle or you or me can’t find things that make you happy, that gives you purpose how in God’s green Earth are you to survive?

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Take a point in this book and the tea I am spilling on what I did or didn’t do to get secure.  So many women and men want marriage but have done zero work on themselves.  You haven’t pulled one credit report to fix your own junk.  You realize that when you get married they marry that junk.  You can’t just let it pile up and hope it goes away because it won’t.  You work a job instead of finding a career.  You have never been out of the country or traveled with friends or even by yourself but you’re ready for marriage or just life.  Remember not everyone wants to be married. Marriage is not the end all.  So to my married friends stop selling these fast dreams.  You walk around with your piece of rock and feel and act as if you have made it.  You are the main ones like me (I was) out here stunting on your single friends like you got some badge of honor.  Your husband ain’t seen a genuine smile out of you in years.  You are miserable and you making his life just as miserable. Just stop.  Your husband or wife ain’t seen the real you since Jesus was a baby.  You hide with the lights off and you fake like everything is everything-just stop!

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Get clear.  Self love is important. You should be able to name more than 10 things that make you happy.  These are not to be thought of things that make you temporary smile.  I mean 10 genuine things that make you happy.  The things that makes you smile about yourself.  If you can’t say that, work on that before you connect with another person. Do that while you are with another person. I had to be real with myself during the months it took.  I was frustrated with the fact that I had to go to counseling but I was serious that even if he and I went our separate ways, at least I could walk out whole and happy even if that meant I had to revert to my maiden name.  Ladies and gentleman the time for this soul-searching is ever-present.  Get there and get clear.  To say it lightly, I need a glass of wine just bringing up these old emotions. Well played Gabrielle, well-played.