Tag Archives: marriage

When “Best Man Holiday” Hits Home

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Sixty plus degrees..less than a week from Christmas… in DC? There was something distinctly surreal about that day. As I walked to the church (that fact that we lived so close, struck me as a bit odd) the warmth of the day and the bright sun in December, made each step forward even more unbelievable.

Our friendship was not born out of the fun of college experiences like the blockbuster hit, Best Man Holiday, but through navigating our new lives as young families. I was on maternity leave after having G1 and my esthetician/friend Germaine, told me about Mocha Moms. I attended my first meeting when G1 was 3 months old and 12+ years later, I am still a member and credit my early years with Mocha Moms for giving me my ‘Mommy Roots’. At the anchor of these roots is the Utsey family.

As a young, African American, professional, married woman, I had never been exposed to a group of people of color who were so…different. From discipline, to diet, I learned how to be open minded and explore ideas that were not necessarily the ‘norm’ in our culture. Monica Utsey, the Vice-President of the first chapter I belonged to, and then (and still) President of the second chapter I helped to charter (my first introduction to the term ‘crunchy granola’, lol!) led the way with many of the ‘unconventional’ approaches to family life.  Normal duration breastfeeding, attachment parenting, co-sleeping, alternative/natural remedies, stay-at-home moms, marriage support groups, my on and off again vegetarian eating :), homeschooling, natural/non-medicated births, natural hair, the importance of knowing more than Martin Luther King Jr. as it pertains to African history, and self-employment/entrepreneurism, were all values that were either supported by or in some cases introduced by the Utsey family. I would always say that we were a subculture of our community; it is where the concept  of ‘Off Da Chain and Outta Da Box’ was birthed.

When you live ‘against the grain’, it takes a special kind of man to have the confidence to respond to the critics and live life on your family’s terms. “Everyday I’m Hustling”, was the song that reminded the Pastor of Eric, Monica’s husband. Eric was time enough for anyone who wanted to challenge his family’s choices. He did what he had to do to support his family and provided the much needed ‘comic relief’ when he was around. Our marriage group was always live and poppin’ with the Utseys in attendance, lol! We all shared our stories with transparency and a deep desire to make our marriages work, but Monica and Eric always seemed to bring humor, even to the serious stuff.

It had been almost 6 years since Eric experienced a severe stroke. We were living in Georgia at the time and over the years, we stayed connected to the Utsey family and even visited Eric when he was in rehab (he was still able to tell me exactly how to get from NW DC to Potomac, MD lol!). Since returning to Georgia a few months ago, we had the honor of seeing Eric a few times, he had some physical limitations, but we all just knew that the worst was behind him and although it was a seemingly slow process, he was recovering. So it was shocking to me to get a call from a fellow Mocha Mom to tell me about his sudden passing, at the age of 47. Three days prior, Monica and I were planning to get together for a Yoga class and breakfast because I had reached out to her to share some of the challenges I was experiencing in relation to the loss of my mother (see previous post), something I knew she could relate to after recently losing her mom, grandmother, and grandfather, within months of each other. The weather was bad that day, so we decided to reschedule. After getting the call, almost immediately my own challenges took a back seat, and I set out to go see her.

As I sat in the church and remembered the little, rambuctious toddler and watched him basically officiate his father’s funeral with such maturity (he’s now 13) the tears wouldn’t stop (although there were some hilarious stories shared that did make me laugh…a lot, including all the Philly references, something Eric and I had in common.) I glanced around and saw mama after mama, some couples from our marriage group, and of course, the once babies, now big children that I was connected to primarily because of the Utsey family and the importance of them in my life just magnified. It wasn’t under the best circumstances, but it was a reunion none the less. The pastor (who was good friends with Eric) shared during the eulogy that Eric felt deserted after he had the stroke. Some friends didn’t come around anymore. We were reminded of Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times….” and challenged not to allow another friend to go through something without supporting them when they needed it most. ODC has done an awesome job of garnering financial support for the Utseys, and as a major beneficiary of their investment in community, I was compelled to share our connection. Over the past few years Monica has had more than her ‘fair share’ of challenges; the pre-mature delivery of her son Ayinde, Eric’s stroke, Zion’s car accident, the loss of her mother, grandmother and grandfather, and now this. I know that God will give her the strength to move her family forward, but as we approach Christmas Day, thank you to all who gave, and if you haven’t, would you please consider a gift to her as she now faces life as a widow with 2 young sons? Payments can be made via PayPal to motherjegna@msn.com. May Christ be lifted up during this time of year and the gift of hope and peace be given to the Utsey Family and us all.

ODB

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41 Minutes to a NEW MARRIAGE!

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Marriages are taking a hit and we are always super honest with our readers.  This week has been rough in my home and I am not sure why marriages are going through such a tough time currently. I am receiving inbox messages on Facebook with prayer requests.  We are hearing about separations that are shocking and rocking us to the core.  There are close friends of ours that are losing sleep because of emergency visits to others, wonderful couples with beautiful children that are currently discussing divorce and a few that we have already lost to divorce.

What I have realized is my marriage has a global purpose and when we have these rough times it is a smoke screen to prevent  my wife and I from grasping something HUGE and sharing it with our community.  It is a distraction to make us believe that maybe this blog was created for fun and laughs only and not to change and impact the lives of those around us.

Well we made it through the smoke screen and I would like to share what I would like to call the ‘Crossfit of Marriage’. What I am about to share with you will challenge all your marriage muscles in one workout and you will be done in less than an hour.   This information packs such a punch that it left me in tears when I first viewed it.  It is a series that you should catch but if you know you will only watch one portion, that is okay.  I have given you that one video.   If you have a spouse who will only sit still for one, here it is.  This is for the Non-Christian or the Christian.  Enough already!!  I present to you:

41 Minutes to a new marriage!!

http://bit.ly/R8hjam

ODC

p.s. Special thanks to Andy Stanley and family of www.buckheadchurch.org.  We also are enjoying his book Principals of the Path.

“Call me if you need anything.”

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The weekend started with a phone call while on 285 just before traveling through spaghetti junction.  On the phone was a friend of mine who I have known since before I married the pretty lady that shares this blog with me.  It was a friend that I had always wanted to be closer with but us always living several states over coupled with many long hours for the both of us at work, it has never worked out that way.  I actually was thinking about my mother and how brave she was to have cancelled her surgery at Duke University Hospital.  A surgery where she was to receive a heart pump that would buy her some quality of life while she waited on a donated heart to complete a transfer.  She told the doctor that she would rather wait on the heart transfer and only have to go through one surgery.  Just as this was sinking in my friends call came through.  He immediately asked, “How is your mom doing?”

I replied, “She is being a tough cookie.”  I updated him on the latest information and he mentioned how he was pretty happy the current surgery was not still a go.  I asked. “Why?”  He then shocked me and told me, “Because I want you to be here when your mom has her surgery and my wife and I have decided that we would like to pay for your travel expenses as our gift to your family.”

I was driving and was glad I was because it was the only thing that stopped me from fainting.

Can you say……RIGHT ON TIME!! Taking off from work is one thing, but taking off and then having to pay for travel is another issue.  I don’t think he realized how much this gesture meant to my family.  My family was already forever connected to his before this gesture and regardless of the miles between us he felt a need and did not call to say, “Call me if you need anything.”

THEY JUST DID IT!

ODC

“Your Body Language is NOT ENGAGING”

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This was part of the conversation I had today, with my beautiful wife,  on the way to church. Those rides to church can catch you off guard sometimes.   It came about 4 minutes after she said, “I really love you.”  She then stated she really knew this to be true.  My wife said to me, “I know it because sometimes you make me extremely  angry but it doesn’t last for long.”

This is a result of an issue from last night that caused us to finish our night with a long emotional hug and cry.

There was a time in my life when hearing a statement like this would have shut my entire day down, but today I am able to hear wisdom from my wife.

What makes her statement ironic is last night when I was speaking I actually felt my hands were giving up to much energy and did nothing to make an adjustment.  At some point, we need to hear the spirit and make the adjustment….RIGHT THEN!

I am able to do this sometimes and last night I failed.  But I am man enough to admit when I have missed the mark and on this opportunity it was one of those times.

I also am man enough to APOLOGIZE in front of the entire universe.

And in doing so I realize exactly where I went wrong.  I forgot one of the golden rules of marriage.

Don’t win the argument and lose your wife. (I think it is speaking about priorities…which I had out of order)

The great part about this ride to church is my wife is so wise and understands that she made a commitment to Christ when entering our marriage.  I would like to thank God for her commitment and her ability to see past my faults and horrible body language.

ODC

Do we take the Easy or Hard road?

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Happy 1 year anniversary: ReMix and it is still relevant!

I just received an amazing article from a friend…am I wrong if I say she is white?  Well I have spoken to her and she is okay with me saying it…so you just get over it.  We actually were sharing with each other about raising children and I said something that sparked her memory and she promised she would send me a copy of the article…AND SHE DID! (I told you she was white)…Some of you guys need to learn to laugh a little and get over yourself.  I am not a racist!  Quick…Who do I sound like?

There I go again…off the subject.

Well back to the lecture at hand.  So the article is awesome.  If I did not think she would read this I would just retype it and take credit for it…Naw because I have to add my 2 cents.  But the question at hand…….Why is life so tough?

The answer is…….

It’s not! For most of us, it is very simple…EASY EVEN.  Because we take the easy way out.  Here are a few examples:

Spending is easy, Saving is hard.

Cheating is easy, Faithful is hard.

Public school is easy, Homeschooling is hard.

Sex is easy, Love is hard.

Going along is easy, Walking alone is hard.

Epidural is easy, Natural is hard.

Formula is easy, Nursing is hard.

Reaction is easy, Action is hard.

Pizza is easy, Salad is hard.

Sleeping in is easy, Early workouts are hard.

Watching TV is easy, Reading is hard.

Talking about God is easy, Praying to and following God is hard.

Getting married is easy, Staying married is hard.

So why is all this true?

Because nothing in life that is worthwhile comes without effort.

Thanks for stopping by…

See you tomorrow.

ODC

“March Madness Blogging Series”

In Marriage is Cheating a DEAL BREAKER?

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You better believe this one is going to get HOT!

I presented this question on my Facebook page over the weekend and it did not turn out like I had expected. Send me a friend request at Michael J. Covin(don’t forget the period) to see the responses.

Let me begin…

I love to present issues I believe need addressing.  I am not attempting to get permission for anyone to CHEAT!! (make sure you read that last sentence again…out loud if needed)

There are several of us dealing with challenges in our marriages and attempting to navigate to a successful outcome.  Many married couples are dealing with overcoming infidelity in their marriage and are finding it very challenging.

First let’s define CHEATING as it pertains to this posting.

CHEATING in this post is going to be defined as sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse.  (I do realize that there are other actions that can be defined as cheating but for this post we will use this definition) (UGH! OK for those of you who are asking. In my marriage, if your spouse doesn’t know about your actions…that is defined as cheating)(now back to our post)

It is amazing to me how many of us give a response to this question that sounds like when we were just in the dating world.

Examples taken directly from Facebook responses:

1. Yes. (Period)

2. Depends on if MAGNANIMITY exist in the relationship along with strong community support

3. Yes. Always

4. as 4 me, it is definitely a deal breaker

5. YES, IT CHANGES THE WHOLE RELATIONSHIP,IT DEMEANS,DE GRADE AND DESTROYS…..LISTEN TO ELTON JOHN…SACRIFICE

6. we don’t marry until death do we part….it is until real life happens we part…

Of course there were several other responses but it seemed like the women were a sure…I AM HITTING THE ROAD! (So fellas…You have been warned)

These responses were disturbing to me because I like to know the answer to the question:  How did we get here?

And I feel if you don’t ask and find the answer to that question you could very well find yourself in the next marriage and at the same point for the exact same reason.  I am not saying cheating is okay but when people continue to have conversations in their heads and not speak to their spouse about what they are thinking…

Confusion and thus cheating happens.

I really need your help on this one, because we are all human and I am not feeling the human side to some of these responses.  I know I present it like I have all the answers but I am stumped on this one.

HELP…

ODC

“March Madness Blogging Series”

Blogging for March Madness!!!

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I just decided that I have soooo much to write about that I am going to join the March Madness festivities by writing a blog post everyday until the end of the month.  Topics to follow:

1. Changing my last name

2. Wives asking husbands to help around house when their wives work FT out of the home

3. To spank or not to spank

4. I hate my job!

5. My chase to join the Social Media Movement

6. Hard Conversations with Family

7. The Grocery Shopping battle in my home

8. I never want to tell my kids, “No”

9. How to spice up your sex life when you have been having sex for ___ years.(I can’t put the number because my father-in-law reads our blog)

10. Marathon training when you are over 40

11. My kids make their own healthy juices

12. Is Divorce easier sometimes?

13.  Why do Black Men not get it?

14. My thoughts on Rush Limbaugh

15. My thoughts on The View

16. Why Syracuse should fire their Basketball coach over the drug scandal and just start over

17. The Struggles of Single People vs. The Struggles of Married People and how we can help each other

18. Should women expect men to be faithful in marriage?

And more…

Let’s Go!!!

ODC