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Thursday, February 13, 2014

these days and times

It's been increasingly difficult to find time to take a shower let alone sit and write a blog post. Who knew having two kids under three could be such a challenge! As I always say, I have so much respect and appreciation for my parents after becoming one myself. Granted they had a lot of extended family to help but it is still not an easy task. Parenting requires a lot of grace and I need more than I can handle :)

So far this year has been full of downs. First Kyle got pneumonia, then double ear infection and keeps getting sick at daycare partly because he mouths everything and his immune system is apparently not strong enough so he keeps getting everyone's germs. Grrr... Then there's the joys of living in the frozen tundra and having schools and daycares close several times so one of us has to miss work and stay home. Who's going to be paying for these hospital bills when we can't even work a full week without all these interruptions? Oh and I got in an accident just when I thought things were looking up finally! Hahaha... God must have had a good laugh :-)

Truth is, I know nothing I do or don't do will separate me from the love of God but lately I've been feeling a little distant. I've not prayed as much. The few times I string a sentence together, it always seems like a petition or request. I feel emotionally tired, drained, physically weak, mentally challenged and just all around frustrated. There are days when I want to look up and shake my  fist at God and then I am reminded of the book of Job! Who am I to be questioning the almighty when I was not present as He laid the foundations for this earth?

For now, I am going to take it each day at a time. Some days are full of victories and others are not. I remember praying the prayer of Agur and it has been such a reality in my life. It really is true that if you ask to be in God's will, you had better make sure that you're ready for it or the reality of His will concerning your life will put you in total and complete shock.
 Lord grant me more grace to live for You

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Stationery Card

Stationery Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Our newest addition,Shane Steven! To God be the glory!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Where did the year go

My blogging has become so sporadic that sometimes I wonder if anyone follows this blog anymore or if my story impacts anyone's life at all. That's quite alright because writing is a creative outlet for me and not my whole life. It allows me to take an inventory of what is going on in my life and gives me the ability to sit back and figure out what I'm doing wrong or right. There is some comfort in knowing that. That said, I wish I could blog more often but if you follow me on instagram or are my friend on facebook, you'd know we have a new addition to our family tree. It gives me much joy and I am grateful to God for all His provision. That'll have to be a whole other blog post for another day.

So I am pondering over going back to work and putting my kids in daycare. Has anyone struggled with this? It kind of breaks my heart a little :-( I need more grace! Parenting a high needs toddler and a newborn is no joke. I have also felt a little stagnant in my relationship with God lately. Moving and all these changes have made it difficult to commit to a church. I love the African church family I have visited here in MN so far but I also yearn for something more. NOT something similar to my church experience in Michigan per se, but a deeper understanding and fellowshipping with other believers would be amazing. Torn!

Anyways, I hope everyone's year is going great. I celebrated another birthday and hopefully I am wiser :-) God Bless!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Uhm

Wowsers! It'e been another century since I blogged. Being a mama is taking it's toll I tell ya! I've moved again and amidst a few wistful emotional moments, I think I have handled it pretty well. So we're in a new state, new city... we have to make new friends,find a new church, meet new coworkers and colleagues. Oh dear Lord, do have mercy! I must say it's going pretty well so far. The worst part for me is finding new healthcare providers that I can trust. Y'all say a prayer for us!

In all of the chaos of setting up house, I have learned that God is faithful. He's been with us through it all. For me especially, I acknowledge that nothing in my life is possible without God's grace and faithfulness. Just the other day I was sharing with my dad what a toll my son's health issues has taken on my faith without even realizing it. You see, sometimes we lose sight of the hereafter when all we see is the chaos of now. I am slowly getting back up to that point where I am so in tune with God and what direction He has for my life. Through my unfaithfulness, He still remains sovereign! Thank You Jesus.

Do say a prayer for my family when you get a minute... the prayers of the righteous availeth much indeed :-)

Monday, May 20, 2013

The "Why"

My husband graduated from business school this past weekend. So ladies and gentlemen, I have a proud Baylor Business MBA holder  under my roof. I am quite excited for the next chapter of our lives. We got together with a couple different families to celebrate the accomplishments of our loved ones and it was during of these encounters that the inspiration for this post was coined up.

There was discussions on an inspirational piece of literature that talks about finding one's "why" in life. This can be the reason for your existence, the reason why you've made certain decisions or are going through a certain situation. I guess finding this "why" gives a purpose to a person's life. It got me thinking about my life. In the last few years I have reflected on many "whys" without a clear answer.

The thing is, in a way, if I knew all the whys in every situation, then my vision will be somewhat distorted and myopic. I somehow need the uncertainties in life in order to see the bigger picture or keep my focus on this above and not focus on just this earthly view. All I can do is do my very best with whatever situation I find myself in. I could explore all the whys to the point of exhaustion and still be back at square one. If I am doing my best, however, then I can be rest assured that He who holds the future will someway, somehow, crown my effort with success.

I don't want to take away from those in hot pursuit of their "why" in life. I am just saying that sometimes, we need to quit the whining, over-analyzing and just be in the moment and ask God to take our hand and lead us home. May you be content with your lot and find that silver lining no matter how dark your cloud might be.

Congratulations again honey, and to everyone who graduated or will be graduating this year, Job well done!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March Madness

I feel like there are so many changes my family is going through this year that it's made it almost impossible to just sit and put my thoughts into words. God's been good :-) So looking forward to hubby being done with school! I was going through "my little basket of treasures" when I came across and old poem/prayer written about 8 years ago. Enjoy

 God bless the poor in spirit
God bless the afflicted soul
God grant the request of the suffering
God's grace be upon the destitute

Fill their days with laughter
Fill their hearts with joy
Fill their waking hours with peace
Fill their minds with Your love

I pray for a quiet spirit that is reflective on and of God's redemptive presence this Easter for each and everyone of us.

© 03/28/2013 Maxine Mosley Totoe

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Just as I am

I had one of those full on cry, gratitude, thankful filled moments sometime this week and it was utterly and completely out of the blue. See, I don't celebrate Kyle's milestones in the same way other people do because  if you had been with me the day I was given his diagnosis, you probably would have balled your eyes out(which I did) and maybe questioned if you should have terminated this miracle. My God has been simply amazing with teaching me to be patient or better yet to be "still and know that He is God". What an awesome God!

For me, pregnancy was a fearful place to be. I was worried sick. Fear and trepidation gripped me all the way through but I have had to relearn and understand some aspects of who my God is. He has been the healer God, the provider and my victory. Thank you Jesus for your love and grace!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chapter 2013, page 2 of 365

THE FIT

I want to walk in your shoes
Be it Louboutin, Louis Vuiton or just Antoine.
To feel every pinch, squeeze and discomfort.
Whether a step, a mile or the whole way through
 
I want to know how you choose your shoes                     
Be it gifted,Thrifted or shoplifted
To know how you buckle, zip or button it
Whether you snap it close or carefully count the holes
 
I will learn to strut in your shoes
Be it well calculated steps, graceful sauntering or haphazard jiggling
To endure with you if even for a fleeting moment
Whether sympathy is displayed or empathy is conveyed

© 01/02/2013 Maxine Mosley Totoe

Friday, December 14, 2012

of childhood dreams and loves lost

I used to love you from the deepest core of my being
That sense of wonder at your very existence
The childlike awe at the sound of your laughter
But it breaks my heart to realize I'm losing it...

I used to love you from my waking hours 'til dark and in my dreams
That place where fairies, unicorns and Santa Claus were real
The innocence of my love in loving you completely
But it saddens my heart, my Love's disappearing...

How could this be, what do I do?
I can't let go, I only know how to love you
Can shattered dreams be put together?
Would wounded hearts be mended in time?

How far away is the place I dreamed?
I need to go back to love like never before
Can my love be the beacon that beckons me on?
How do I get there, would you show me the way?


© 12/14/2012 Maxine Mosley Totoe

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Marital conundrum


Today's blog is by a young brilliant person I have the privilege of calling friend/sister. Now before any of you start getting any ideas in your head about marriage, I pray that you read this subjectively. Remember it is another person's thoughts and opinions and may not be relevant to your personal experience. 




 WHY SHOULD I STAY MARRIED? by Elsie A.

Last week, I had a rather interesting conversation with one of my aunts in Ghana. As usual, she called to say how proud she was of me and also ask me that dreaded question; 'When are we meeting our in-law'? On this occasion however, I told her the truth. 'Auntie, please I really don't know' and would you guess? There was more that followed. 'Ad3n)why, you want to be by yourself for the rest of your life, you have degrees and so what'? On and on she went. In hindsight, I should have told her exactly how I felt.  And thought; that although the idea of marriage sounded well and good, I still feared heartbreak and divorce. Yes, divorce! The topic that was once the elephant in the room but now the fly on the wall! But of course  a sincere response to those sort of questions would infuriate her all the more. So I ended the conversation by promising that I'd 'pray about it more often'.

  Don't get me wrong. As a young christian woman in my late twenties, the pressure to get married is everywhere. On television, images are painted of 'the perfect couple' who seem to be perpetually in love with each other. They never row, never argue. Instead  they spend hours making love and having breakfasts in bed. Seriously? I don't think that is how real life marriages work. Maybe sometimes but not all the time. On radio, you hear songs about 'we belong together' and this and that and it makes one wonder whether being sinlge is part of this thing called normalcy. And least I forget....each time I go to a restaurant, they ask me if I'm there with someone although my sole purpose is to grab a bite and go home, or how about holidays? They are offered with two people in mind. I do sincerely accept what God says in Genesis 2:18. It is surely not good for man to be alone. It is psychologically not healthy, and spiritually, one needs to be covered by another. However, with rising rates of divorces, do you really blame those who shy away from discussing marriage and its importance? No. Afterall statistics have revealed that half of all marriages end in divorce and as if it it's not bad enough, sixty percent of all second marriages call it quits before the seventh year barrier.There are those who believe that the ease at with which one can now obtain a divorce decree has consequently paved the way for the escalating divorce rates. Really? If that's the case, then surely the likes of Kim Kardashian and Evelyn Lozada could be portrayed as the perfect poster children of the demise of the godly institution called marriage. However, most of us now realize that it is not simply an issue of the 'worldly' folk but even of those of us who believe and cry on the name of the Most High!


One of my favorite pastors once informed me that I lacked faith when it came to the subject of marriage. Eighteen months ago, he and his wife of eighteen years called it quits citing 'irreconcilable differences' as the reason. A few days ago too, I read on the internet a story about one of my favorite gospel musicians who had divorced his wife of over 15 years. Reading that story was painful and heart-wrenching. In fact  it opened the can of worms that is my parents' marriage; of how two incredibly powerful and gifted individuals who achieved so much together could decide that whatever was going on in their lives was enough for them to sever the bond they shared. That is not to say that all divorces are made with wrong intentions bearing in mind the reasons for which people decide to do so. There are many and varied reasons for divorce ie financial problems, sexual issues, communication difficulties, issues to do with abuse, underlying spiritual issues and differences in goals. However, a particular line stood out in this person's public statement which was this; 'If I was that powerful of a man of God,  I would still be married.....it is possible to work so hard and be so driven that you lose everything'! Basically what he purported from that statement was that had he been a powerful man of God, his marriage would have still been intact. And this my friends, is the place I beg to differ in opinion.

As someone who has never been married before, I can never claim to know what exactly happens in a marriage. However, as a child of God and post-modern woman, I realise that statements like that are deeply flawed. Firstly, marriage is God ordained. It is a covenant and as with ALL covenants, there are ramifications should one part decide to sever the bond. If for any reason a divorce occurs, whether because it became necessary for someone to achieve wholeness or to escape something, there are still going to be ramifications( see Mark 10:9 and 1 Corin 7:10). Secondly, marriage is sacred. All that goes on in one's marital bed and home should be kept  sacred! The idea of airing one's dirty laundry in public should be looked upon with disapproval and disdain. If things are so bad between you and your spouse, discuss it between the two of you but if of course it doesn't get resolved seek godly counsel from trusted, sagacious friends. However, this is the part that I want to probe further; the issue of balance. Balance, balance, balance! Christians and non-Christians, please please hear me out!

There is no point of you giving your all to your ministry, career or whatsoever if your number one ministry, which is your family is being neglected. If you disagree with me, look all around you! Ask the Paula Whites, Juanita Bynums, Fred Hammonds, Hezekiah Walkers and Duncan Williams of our day. There is no way you can substitute your marriage and family with your so called ministry or 'godly' pursuits and expect God to bless you always. It just doesn't happen! The Bible compares the earthly marriage to that of Christ and His Bride, the Church ( see Ephesians 5:22-29). If that is the case, do we really have ministers or godly husbands out there who truly love their wives the way Christ loves His church? Hmm. There are those ministers who have their congregations scattered and they wonder what happened. They forget that their priority after God (see Matt 6:33)  was to ensure that thier marriages and families were being watered daily (see 1 Tim 3:5, 5:8). There's no point trying to be a blessing to be everyone else whilst your own wife and children stay at home bleeding and dying inside because you are absent in their lives!

 As a young girl growing up, I watched one of the most amazing men I have ever known in my life, my dad; win and lose big time. I saw him win each time he made my mother and us his children a priority. People often comment on the fact that pastors' kids are bad and unruly but that is not always the case. They are just people inwardly 'bleeding' and 'dying' due to a lack of attention. I vowed to never get married to a minister or anyone who called himself 'a man of God'. That was over a decade ago. Since that time, I've been involved with a 'man of God' and realised that although I had deep affection for him, he had worse issues to deal with than I probably had, lol. Yet in the eyes of everyone else, he was 'such a great man of God'. These days, the prayer I often mutter is one for wholeness and healing. A large number of people in the Body of Christ are inwardly dying. We call ourselves christians yet we have no fruits to show forth. We have been confused with all manner of doctrines....we really need to go back to basics and feed on the WORD who is Jesus Christ Himself. Once you have tasted the bread of life, trust me, it will be hard for you to be blown away by any doctrine just like that. You will be able to rightly divide the word of truth and apply it to every facet of your daily life. When the storms of life arise, you will be able to command that storm to leave. If of course, divorce occurs, God himself will give you the strength to go through it. God hates divorce (see Malachi 2:16) but He loves each and everyone of His children and that includes the divorced... 

To those of you reading this who do believe in their hearts that God wants you married (some people are not called to this state of living; see Matthew 19:1-12, particularly verse 12 and 1 Corin 7:8_9), sincerely ask God to make you whole and prepare you for whoever you may decide to marry. Remember, God does not choose our spouses for us, He only directs us to the right one by His Holy Spirit. Ask Him to endow you with strength, courage and wisdom to go into marriage knowing that it is a LIFETIME COMMITMENT! And lastly to those who have been 'burned' before, listen; God is a God of second chances. He heals and restores (see Joel 2:25). You can surely love again! And lastly to those who are married, please stay that way. LOL....Honor your vows and honor God. Remember Christ deserves that much from His bride too; the church.