Category Archives: Dear Diary

Life lessons I learned from Miss Lucy

Lucy. Lucy, Lucy, Lucy.

She’s the friend every woman has but doesn’t really like. Whenever she comes to visit, she’s a pain in the butt and literally saps every bit of energy you THOUGHT you had stored up. The only time she doesn’t come around is when you have a kid, but then she’s right back at your front door after they’re home a month or so.

imagesIf you haven’t guessed by now, Lucy is the menstrual cycle that comes ‘round every month. The two of us have had a hate-hate relationship since I was in middle school and it’s only gotten better because I know once I hit my fifties she’s outta here! So I can deal with her for another 20 years or so.

Anywho, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had SERIOUS issues whenever Lucy came to visit. More than normal – to the point my little twelve-year-old body could turn from a shining example of happy-go-lucky youthfulness into a tangled pretzel of agony in a matter of seconds.

As I’ve approached 30 years living on this earth, Miss Lucy has brought more bounce to the ounce as the pain has doubled, my energy has gotten freakishly low, and a myriad of other oddities have found themselves sneaking into my life.Menstrual-pain-470x219

When my natural instinct has always been to quit my job, curl up in a ball, and sleep all day; Lucy has forced me to pull it together, pray, and get through!

 

Lesson # 1 – Pain is inevitable in life.

On a scale of 1 – 10, the pain I endure every time Lucy pops in to say hey is about a good — umm — CHILDBIRTH! Now I know I’ve never had kids before, but I’m pretty sure the pain I experience is as close to childbirth as I can get! I’m talking pain where your entire body writhes, pain that lingers every time you sit up, pain that makes you want to throw up and pass out. Yeah. That type. Regardless of how much I hate pain, this experience every trip around my body’s sun keeps my attitude in check. It reminds me that I am human and as unfair as it may seem, I’m not the boss of everything. The only thing I can truly control is my response to negative experiences during this life of mine. I don’t have to let painful events or happenings warp my view of the future or kill my hope….I can just deal, choose to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel and push through!

 

giphy (31)Lesson #2 – I need God.

Maybe this should’ve been listed first. My oh my – the need for God has been scribbled in jumbo marker ink all over my entire existence! To experience the emotional ups and down, energy plummets, and nausea has taught me to lean on the everlasting arms of Abba Father! There is absolutely NO WAY in this entire universe that I would be able to make it through anything without Him. I need the strength only given by God through my salvation through Jesus Christ. I as a mere human do not possess the strength necessary to DEAL with half of the stuff I’m able to day in and day out. I’m don’t agree with “we’re all gods and goddesses” – naw, we are image bearers of God, but we ain’t Him ya’ll. HE made our bodies as they are. HE gives us that extra burst of juice we need to push through the pain. HE whispers to us “keep going, I’m with you” when life gets too hard to deal with. I (and my body) are physical testaments that the help of God is what’s allowed me to not check out.

 

Lesson #3 – Resilience is my spirit animal.

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I’ve always said that resilience is the primary name of my game. Since birth, I’ve had to bounce back from some pretty tough hands, and regardless of what I was dealt, found a way to grow from the experience. When Miss Lucy comes around, there is nothing “prissy or missy” about her. She is a savage Amazon warrior who plays rough and keeps you on your toes. One month, I may be out of work for a week. Over the course of several others, I’m fine. Some, I’ll have close calls and just pray my way through – but in each situation, I’ve found out that I was better than I was before. Whether it’s becoming stronger mentally, getting much needed rest physically, I’m able to emerge from Lucy’s visits happier and more renewed than I was before she came. Sure, I may be running on emotional fumes the first day or so after she leaves, but eventually, I get my mojo back.

 

Lesson #4 – There is never a time creativity can’t come out to play.

giphy (19)What I mean by this is, balancing the consequences of mother Eve’s idiotic decision-making skills has caused me to be creative in figuring out ways to stay working, making money, and functioning at a normal level. Whether that’s taking cat naps in my car or ignoring phone calls to sleep for 5 hours or create a makeshift anti-nausea tonic from ginger, carbonated water, and pain pills – my creativity is usually called to light. You always think of using your creativity to manipulate photos, paint, or create kiddie forts; but you never think of how creative you have to be when it comes to maintaining life balance!

 

I’m about 98.72% sure that reading this post has been one of the most oddly interesting things you’ve done today, but don’t let the lessons escape you. Though Lucy has taught me these things, they are still applicable to every aspect of life.

Be blessed ya’ll

  • Joc
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Comparisons and Idols = #RelationshipKillers

Soooooooooo it’s been awhile since I’ve spilled my thoughts onto these digital pages so let me commence to spillin’…..

17038467_3267564373568_7968188302165185448_oOver the past few months, I ‘ve been gearing up for the website relaunch of my non-profit event The Opposite Sex Revealed. (I’m excited to official be able to say non-profit). At its core, The Opposite Sex Revealed (The OSR for short) is an annual panel forum hosted in Wilson NC that allows guests to dress up, enjoy positive and fruitful conversation while getting their deepest questions answered about and BY the opposite sex!

Naturally, all of this relationship and marriage talk has me in the mindset of — dun dun dunnnnnn love! Seeing as how my last relationship ended going on six months ago (it ended on pretty awesome terms, complete with mutual understanding and all — I’m blessed ya’ll #unicornbreakup) I again found myself single, back in a space where I began to observe the dating world around me.

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One thing I’ve found (that didn’t change during the year and some change I was in a relationship) was the fact that COMPARISON and IDOLATRY have nearly saturated the entire sphere of love and marriage. What I mean by that is this: think about how dating must’ve been in the early 1900s compared to today. Today we can get a date with a swipe, we screen physical attributes before even meeting the person, and with our ability to travel, can carry on a relationship with someone a million miles away! If we feel they don’t fit in our life — on to the next. Before dating as we know it came into existence, there were no computers, cell phones, apps, access to world travel, and most people didn’t move from within 50 miles of their hometown. Many people (especially African Americans) didn’t go to college; let alone own a car so chances are you found your future spouse in the supermarket downtown or crossing the street.

Let me pause to say that I don’t advocate we shun everything technological and move to the Amish Country, but what I AM saying is, perhaps we should take into account that many of the elderly couples we see married 30, 50, even 70s years didn’t have access to the countless dating options we have today; thus they were put in a situation where the dating pool was simple and the lessons in love were hard. 

I think this is one reason why there were more long lasting marriages “back in the day”. Yes, I’m aware, some people just married for security. Yes, I’m aware that some just married to keep their families together. Yes, I’m aware that many marriages of old were arranged. Yes I’m aware that some people just got married to the first person they dated because they felt “stuck”. I’m not talking about those.

giphy (13)I’m talking about the simple courtships that blossomed into fortified “ride or die” marriages through faith and the mindset to love through the tough times. Without the distraction of a million potentials crossing their eye gates every 3 nanoseconds, they were more likely to stick with the 80/20 rule and work through the minor issues and flaws that fell in that 20%. 

Now-a-days, singles seem to fall into two categories:

GROUP A- They are afraid of commitment and often break up over minor flaws for fear of making the wrong choice. With so many potential mates out in the world, they are frequently going back-and-forth on whether or not they are dating the right person. They DO value marriage (or at least long-term companionship) but are often looking for a unicorn ….so they stay single as they float from person to person, refusing to FEEL like they’ve “settled”.

GROUP B- They have no current desire to commit or get married. They can be found consistently playing the field and have no problem changing from person to person until the time “feels right”.  They often believe love is flawed and have no real faith or hope in it anyway, so they just see where life takes them.

The clash of these two groups in cahoots with the “many options” we have and the idolizing of #marriagegoals without the willingness to put in the work has made for ONE BIG DISASTEROUS POOL OF BROKEN HEARTS AND COUNTLESS SINGLES!

What do you think?

Be Blessed,

Joc

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Things Fall Apart – Minute Inspiration #GodReigns

leap-of-faith_724_482_80Many times God allows things to fall apart so we can realize just how much we need Him to not just survive, but thrive in a world that’s crumbling down all around us. To set our minds on the flesh/world is death, but to set our minds on the spirit is life. Many people justify (in their minds) not believing in God due to the constant tragedy going on around us. If it’s constantly raining and freezing, does that not make you appreciate the sunny days that much more? If you’re dealing with sickness or tragedy, does not a smile from a child or the presence of a butterfly create a silver lining in all that’s going on? We may not understand His reasoning with our finite minds, but that’s where faith comes in. Faith allows you to conquer a situation that would otherwise defeat you. God is real, He is sovereign, and He is there with His hand of love outstretched waiting for us to grasp and hold on to it IN FAITH! Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. ‪#‎GodReigns‬ 

— Joc

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God Brings Peace — Psalms 23 In Real Life

I haven’t even had the mental energy to write  this month because of all the ‘life’ distractions looming around every corner. Given what they COULD be, my distractions aren’t really that bad; but when you have to juggle your day job, personal work, family time, friend time, AND church time — things can get a little overwhelming! In my opinion physical tiredness kicks rocks when compared to MENTAL fatigue.

This year has been a period of change for me. I’ve been placed in some uncomfortable situations and have been faced with making tough decisions regarding — life.  You can imagine a computer with a gazillion tabs open at one time….yeah, that’s a visual of my mind juggling all of these day-to-day decisions.

After having my mind racing a mile a minute every single day, yesterday, God lifted up a scripture from the pages of the Holy Bible allowed me to experience it in real life. It was Psalms 23.

After a pretty busy day at work, and going off of fumes from the busy week before, I was MORE than happy to walk through the doors of my front door. Not only was it raining a tsunami outdoors, it was still sticky and hot, so I gladly walked to my room and kicked my shoes off. I sat there for a bit trying to remember if I had anything I needed to work on.

Did I have any pictures to edit? Nope.  Did I need to work on OSR stuff? No.  Did I have to schedule anything for Next Up? Not really.

After going down the list I decided to take some time and spend it with God. So I did. I gently took out my bible, and looked up passages that dealt with my current problem of focusing on God instead of my busy schedule. After reading, I felt more at peace than I had a a LONG while, chatted with God for a while and feel asleep peacefully to the calming sounds of the beating rain outside the safety of my room walls. I truly felt that I was living out Psalms 23 and that God was leading me beside still waters and allowed me to be restored with uninterrupted sleep.

This morning I feel energized, at ease, and more focused. I know this doesn’t mean life will cease and I will be able to sit at home and do nothing but sleep, but yesterday was just the renewal and spiritual refreshing I needed to get me through the last half of this year.

When’s the last time YOU’VE lived out biblical scripture?

– Joc

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[new chapter, same Author.]

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful birthday messages and well wishes! Sometimes I honestly wonder if I’m doing any good in the world or if I’m just “staying busy” — to know that I am appreciated by friends and family really let me know that I am being a positive light in the lives of the very same people who shine and minister to me! So thank you!

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This year, I will begin the journey of being more open to dating, love, and excitement. I will work on saying ‘no’ a little more and dial off of ‘people pleasing’. I will stop making excuses and make the sacrifice to walk in my purpose. I will accept that I may have some sleepless nights due to the fact that I am a hustler, plain and simple. I will focus more on my health and STAYING healthy. I will learn to rest when I need to. I will learn to run from the things and people who are not good for me. I will continue to work on my flaws so I can be the best Jocelyn I can be!

Looks like God is writing a very intriguing and prosperous 27th chapter!

– Joc

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**The Road To 27** Post 1 of 7

Today begins the official (unofficial) countdown to my birthday. Thanks for taking this journey with me!

While the average human being uses birthdays to cash in on gifts and to boost their self esteem, I choose to honor God for the life He’s gifted me to have. I realize that yes, my birthday is a day of celebration, but I celebrate the miracle of life that God has allowed me to live. The fact that I was supposed to DIE going on 27 years ago speaks volumes about the power of God all by itself. It’s not mere coincidence or luck that I’m here today, and I don’t take that for granted. DAY 1

So sporadically throughout the week I will post a reflection to my blog on these 27 years God will allow me to see next week.

With this being post #1 , it’s more of an intro into the vastness of how special another year has been! This past year of life has been particularly challenging in the fact that I launched a new business, hit some life potholes, had to make some hard decisions (some I’m still making), and had to trust God in total faith to make it day by day.

Yep, I said it! Ole perky Joc has had it pretty rough and struggles with dreams and realities just like any other person!

I’ve had to depend on my faith in God like never before as I’ve been discovering my passions, skills, began navigating the dating scene again, and ‘visioning’ out what my next 5 year plan is — need I say more? 

In my next post ( Thursday 4/23/15 ) I will share my first reflection as I continue to travel life’s journey towards 27 and beyond!

#NawlinsJoc (theme of my bday shoot)

Photo shot and edited by Rich Griffis (www.richgriffis.com)

[photo by Rich Griffis ]

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