Retreat Part I

This plaque was on the wall in the lobby & caused me to pause & reflect on this truth every time I passed it

I have LONGED to go on retreat for YEARS now but I always had an excuse. Someone needed to be home for the kids when they returned home from school, and who was going to make sure everything ran as smoothly as me, “Wonder Woman?” That was back in my martyr mom whoa is me role where I selflessly gave of myself, placing everyone else’s needs and wants before my own. Needless to say this behavior created a very bitter and resentful me!

Rewind to a few weeks ago. Remember that list of things I long to do? Well, retreat is on that list and I started thinking what would be a great birthday gift to myself? It didn’t take me long to come up with a day of prayer at a retreat center. I am so fortunate to have a retreat center only a few miles from where I live. I called the day before and excitedly made reservations. I wrote down my goals and objectives for the retreat which mainly consisted of praying for each of my children for a lengthy time (I wrote down an hour first but decided 45 minutes per child, then 15 minutes of silence would probably be better – that way I could HEAR God speaking to me). I knew I would need my bible, journal, camera, water bottle and pens. I did a quick google search for more ideas but I kept it really quick because I didn’t want to be bombarded with information. One tip I really liked was to meditate on the cross. I hadn’t done that but in passing and wrote it down as a reminder. I also liked the tip to not bring reading material because the purpose of an individual retreat/ day of prayer is to PRAY and talk with God. 

My rough draft schedule went something like this:
9:00 – Thank God for his many blessings/ confession
10:00 – pray for oldest son
10:45 – silence
11:00 – pray for daughter
11:45 – silence
12:00 – pray for D
12:30 – lunch
1:00 – pray for extended family members and friends  (I did also write to pray for children who were suffering, President and other issues that are dear to my heart).
2:00 – pray for self
3:00 – pack up and head home

Well, wouldn’t you know the devil had other plans? My schedule was thwarted by a late night phone call saying there was a change in plans. I was sooo upset because I really wasn’t equipped to deal with any negative news. I decided I would STILL attend retreat even though I would go later than planned and leave earlier. I simply had to revise and I figured that there was a reason the devil was so busy trying to keep me from this special time. I was going to get a breakthrough and leave with clarity and peace. I HAD to do this for me no matter what! 

Stay tuned for Part II. 😉

My Birthday Party/ Fundraiser

Getting started

I was inspired by NikStar to have a Paint Party after reading about her fun experience recently. I wanted to make this party more than just a typical birthday celebration and was able to accomplish this by turning it into a fundraiser for the New Orleans Women’s Shelter thanks to New Orleans Paint n Party. I volunteer at NOWS once a week and thought this would be a great way for us to support a worthy cause and give back to our community.

Needless to say that when the girls get together with cupcakes, fruit, wine and Beyonce on blast, a fun time will be had by all! One of my friends commented how this was so out of her comfort zone but she was glad that she came and had a good time. Sometimes you have to try and do something different. This is how we grow as individuals and women.

In addition to FUN we raised almost $300.00 for the shelter and the ladies brought donations of clothing, shoes and toiletries for the women as well!!!! #myGIRLSrock

Fleur de lis
Finished! Pelican, oysters, shrimp, blue crab, tabasco & fleur de lis – NOLA
Receiving a check for New Orleans Women’s Shelter

After painting we went for dinner at Camellia’s Grill – VERY yum food and from what I’ve been told you can’t go wrong ordering anything off the menu. They also serve breakfast all day! Since we were right on St. Charles Ave. we hopped on the streetcar and ended the night like tourist!

I love my city!

In conclusion, I had a wonderful birthday weekend with my friends. My insides are still smiling.

New Orleans African American Museum

When you say African-American AND history my interest is immediately peaked. There is a list of things I’d like to do now that I’m back in my hometown and visiting the Nola A.A. museum in historic Treme was tops on my list.

I love these old cottages & all that was missing were the rocking chairs and glasses of sweet iced tea.
Historic cottage

One rainy morning last week my friend and I had a “Girls DAY out” and visited the museum. We did a self-tour of the exhibits and one that really impressed me was of a beautiful bedroom suite made in the 1800’s by a free man of color named Barjon. Barjon gave the suite to his daughter for her 16th birthday and she was said to have kept it until her death. It was absolutely gorgeous. The family ran a successful furniture making business and the pieces were exquisitely crafted. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed but I did sneak a shot next to Marie Laveau, famous voodoo queen.

Aunt Marie taught me my mojo 😉
There are two additional cottages on the property with exhibits open for viewing as well as slave quarters that are not for touring.

After the museum, we had lunch at the famous Lil Dizzy’s cafe located around the corner where I enjoyed a spicy shrimp salad.

Moss draped trees

I love nature’s beauty and moss draped trees are top on my list of things I LOVE. These trees are so peaceful looking and remind me of days long past. Once upon a time when the main source of transportation was horse and wagon, men earned a living off the land by picking moss from trees. They filled their wagon beds with moss and returned home where the moss underwent the process of curing until it turned black.  It was then taken to a factory that further processed and cleaned the moss. The moss would be used to stuff furniture and bedding.  I find the history of moss picking fascinating, but I most enjoy looking upon the beautiful things God has blessed us with here on earth. It feeds my spirit.