This Little Light of Mine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!  Won’t let ____ blow it out.  I’m gonna let it shine!

Do y’all remember that song?  It was a childhood and Pine Forge Academy favorite. At the Forge, we’d be singing that song and clapping like we were singing at a major gospel concert.  Well, some WERE part of Lloyd Mallory’s Pine Forge Choir…the best choir on this planet!  HANDS DOWN! 

Anyway, back to the song…”This Little Light of Mine”! Christians are taught to let their light shine in order to attract those that are in the dark.  Christian by definition is an individual whose behavior and heart reflect Jesus Christ aka “THE LIGHT”. John 14:6, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 

Soooooo…

The goal of being a “Christian” is to be the light of the world. However, how can a “Christian” bring a lost individual into the light, if their light is dim? Let’s talk about it! 🤯

I was born and raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Therefore, I attended church, church school, multiple church services through the week, and eventually worked for the church. Sixteen of the twenty-one years that I worked in the Education System was for the Adventist Church.  During my sixteen years in the Adventist sector, I began to question whether or not Adventists were actually in the business of bringing people to Christ.

I experienced and observed individuals with dim lights, knowingly and unknowingly extinguish the light of others.  You’re probably wondering what I mean by that. Well, the Adventist System had one of the GREATEST Principals to walk the halls of one of its schools and love on its students…Ms. Q!  Ms. Q was a warrior for those children…ALL OF THE CHILDREN.  Whether they were Adventist or not, she loved them unconditionally and went to war for them on many occasions.  Some of y’all may or may not know that she was CONSTANTLY under fire for her “antics” as a Principal.  That didn’t stop her, as she knew that her students deserved and were capable of greatness.  

However, there were church members who weren’t fond of her and the non-Adventist students and wanted so badly to drive them and the school out of the church edifice. Hmmmm! Quite interesting especially since the school is the “feeder” for the church. 🤔

Example: If a student accepts Jesus as his/her personal Savior due to the “light” being shown to them at school, more than likely his/her parents will get baptized and join the church. Hence, the school being a feeder for the church. I’ve seen this happen on several occasions. 

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine but au contraire… 

I have experienced and observed some of the most unkind behaviors from Adventists. Yeah, I know we are all human and aren’t perfect, but aren’t Christians SUPPOSED to be a reflection of Christ?  

I left the church because my light had become dim. Imagine a well lit candle. Now take a jar and place it over the well lit candle. What happens to that candle? The jar extinguishes the light! Well, that’s what happened to me!

Light drives out darkness…

Since leaving the church, applying a lot of work on self and realizing that my past was part of my Spiritual Journey/Awakening; my light has been reignited and I’m able to share it with so many people. It took me 40+ years to realize that my eyes were “WIDE SHUT” but here I am HAPPY and SPREADING LOVE and LIGHT!!!

There’s so much more I need to share but that’ll be another blog on Breaking Generational Curses!  

In closing, Be the light that others need in this cold dark world!

Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. 

Until next time,

~ Elle

FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness is for YOU not THEM!

Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting nor does it mean condoning or excusing the offenses. 

Excerpt taken from What Is Forgiveness ~ greatergood.berkley.edu

I’ve experienced my share of hurt, disappointment, setbacks, and backstabbing! There was a time when I allowed those things to dwell within and cause more pain than necessary. Over the years, I began to truly grasp the concept of forgiveness for SELF and not the offender.

2013-16 my second marriage was unraveling and ended in divorce, a very messy divorce at that!  My ex and I could not see eye to eye and we were going for each other’s jugular. The court proceedings were not fun nor pretty but definitely could have been much worse.  However, being an empath, I chose not to disclose information that could have been a means to an end for him. I just wanted to get this thing over with!

Years after the divorce, we still had issues with communication and “tit for tat” situations. I grew tired of the drama quickly. I was in a new relationship and very happy!  He was in a new relationship and got married!  I just knew that things would improve, as our concentration was on our new relationships (that couldn’t have been further from the truth). I swear this man had it out for me. But I was growing tired of the drama, the “tit for tat” BS, trying to find wrongs in every little thing he did, and reporting stuff to my attorney. Besides, who has money to keep running back and forth to court? So, I decided to let that mess go!  Approximately 2018-2019, I sent him a text, explained where I was wrong, apologized for my wrongs, and forgave him for what I had endured. 

I forgave him for my sanity and well being NOT for him.  Holding onto grudges is DRAINING and I had had enough!  I wasn’t expecting for him to turn around and forgive me…EVER!  

On January 8, 2022, I received a text from my ex, apologizing for his wrongs!  After all these years of turmoil, I was able to rejoice in the fact that he apologized for everything he put me through.  His apology was overwhelming and caused a tsunami of tears.  NEVER had I EVER thought I’d receive an apology…it felt good! I immediately told my son and daughters, as this was major for all of us!  I wanted my children to know that he took a major step by apologizing. It is my hope that they can forgive him as well. But they may need their OWN apology.

~ Elle

Alignment

HASTY, CRAZY, PRECIPITOUS…🤷🏽‍♀️meh who cares!

July 12, 2021, GOD TOLD ME TO JUMP and on the way up, I asked how high!  I didn’t question the thought or feeling, I knew to go with it!  As I stated in “I’m a Survivor” (if you haven’t read it, check it out), I resigned from my career of 21 looonnng years! People looked at me crazy when I told them I resigned without another job lined up! But by the end of the 2021 School Year, I knew that was the end of the education system FOR ME!!!

I have trust issues

But one thing I trusted in July 2021 was my intuition! BOOM! Here I am, months later still unemployed but receiving ABUNDANCE left and right!  I actually trusted God to take care of me and he continues to BLESS and SHOW OFF!

Background knowledge

Now that I have the time, I am always creating content to post on social media. I created a post using a video of Rihanna accidentally going live on TikTok, which went “viral”. I posted this TikTok/reel on all social platforms and it went crazy on Facebook. 3.5 Million views 😱 (this means that 3.5 million people have seen my face?!) OMG! I was just having fun and “paying homage” to The Queen…Rihanna! Y’all know how I feel about her!

Content creation

Anyway, one day I was scrolling on IG, saw an ad and without a second thought, I filled out and submitted my information.  Thereafter, I totally forgot about the submission until I received an email stating that my application had been received and I would be notified in another email, if my application was accepted.

February 7th, my application was accepted!  Let me just tell you how the tears welled up in my eyes! 

Okay, enough suspense!  I have the opportunity to bring awareness to mental health conditions and suicide prevention by creating content!  Those of you that know me KNOW how near and dear this is to my heart!  With that being said, with YOUR VOTES I will have the opportunity to advance to the next round and appear on a reality show with @InfluenceMe TV who is working in coordination with The JED Foundation.  The JED Foundation changes and saves lives by providing support to assist teenagers and young adults making it less likely for them to participate in unhealthy behaviors.

Voting begins on March 8 and runs through May 6 (my birthday)! This is going to be the greatest birthday gift ever! I CAN FEEL IT! Please look for my link on all social media platforms and THANK YOU IN ADVANCE for your donation/birthday gift!

Had I not listened to my intuition, made that TikTok dueting Rihanna, and not believed that God would take care of me…I would not be where I am now!

Alignment – a position of agreement or alliance

Follow me on ~ Facebook: M. Elle Carter | Instagram: @emme_elle_cee and @ellestake | TikTok: @ellestake

To vote for free: Go to orbiiit.com to create an account and then click on this link to go to my profile. https://orbiiit.com/contest/34/entry/25077. Donations are also accepted in increments of $1/vote! Thank you and let’s help people heal!

I’m a Survivor

Survivor ~ a person who copes well with difficulties in their life

Hello Everyone,

Allow me to properly introduce myself…my name is Elle and I have been an educator for 21 years. Never have I EVER imagined that our world would come to a halt due to a virus. However, the world is full of nasty people so here we are. Never have I EVER envisioned teaching during a pandemic but March 2020 was the beginning of a new era…Pandemic Teaching! (YUCK)

Teaching is difficult on its own, as you have students with various learning styles, disabilities, personalities, and upbringings.  Now let’s incorporate teaching children online due to being quarantined! Teachers had to quickly switch gears from brick and mortar to online teaching via Zoom or Google Meet. This adjustment proved to be difficult for veteran teachers that were not tech savvy but also a challenge for those that were.  Many new applications and software were being introduced to educators to “make learning” accessible and interactive for our students.  However, the training/professional developments were inadequate and rushed.

We made it through from March 16, 2020 to the end of the school year, sometime in June.  Educators all over the world greatly appreciated our MUCH needed summer break which was unconventional due to the Pandemic.  Many of us were not able to go on our usual summer vacations, couldn’t visit our families, and we were just stuck in the house with nowhere to go. Extremely difficult for extroverts!

It seemed the summer arrived and departed so quickly!  The 2020-2021 School Year began with teachers and students remaining at home.  The good thing is that we felt safe at home! Yet, more responsibilities were placed upon the teachers due to virtual learning. Not only did we have to plan lessons, teach our students, navigate and utilize technology; now we had to learn new programs that allowed us to monitor students interactions online.  SMH!   Oh I forgot! We also had to cultivate relationships with these new students and their parents virtually (not a simple task but we made it happen).

I enjoyed being at home and teaching until I didn’t!  LOL!  As soon as it became burdensome, the governor said it was time for teachers and students to return to the building! SIGH!  I was not ready to be put on the frontlines, but I didn’t have a choice.  I must admit, it was great to be back in the building to see the eyes of some of my students.  MASKS UP! 

A new set of responsibilities and challenges came with hybrid teaching! UGH!  Teachers were urged to be kind and understanding towards our students and their parents. But who was our advocate for kindness and understanding? HA…a joke! This was also OUR FIRST PANDEMIC! 

The workload was ridiculous to say the least. Trying to test students in person and virtually to maintain state funding, analyzing skewed data, teaching in person and online, and maintaining a pleasant disposition! Needless to say, a complete and utter SH*T SHOW! But it was either adhere to the mandates or lose your much needed job! WE WERE STRESSED OUT TOO! Many of us had our own children at home, husbands, grandchildren, elderly parents, and/or pets to tend to after school.  But we weren’t important enough to receive such consideration.  

I could feel myself losing it…patience, zeal, motivation you name it.  I became extremely tired, mean, nonchalant, and my children (the ones I birthed) were getting the brunt of my frustrations.   I wasn’t the greatest Mom.

All of the sudden, I got this feeling (my intuition kicked in). I’ve had this feeling before so I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. I confided in two friends/colleagues and let them know what I was thinking/planning. They were saddened by but supportive of my decision.

I began discarding 21 years of educational materials slowly but surely. I knew this was the end for me. I could sense that the 2021-2022 school year was going to be a mess and my mental health couldn’t sustain what was about to go down.

After much thought, prayer, and a phone call (I received two days before the last day to resign without prejudice), I resigned!  There are no coincidences and it was my time.  God knew what was about to occur, he told me to take that leap, and I listened!  

Since my resignation, I have been denied unemployment due to voluntary resignation.  I haven’t received any type of financial assistance from anywhere, lost health insurance, and a nice paycheck!  I had just received a $20,000 salary increase, but I did not lose my sanity! MY MENTAL HEALTH AND HAPPINESS WAS WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN A PAYCHECK!!! Who would  take care of me if I lost my sanity?  

ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE! Well, I was strong enough to say that I had enough and stepped away at the right time. Now, I have to sit back and watch my friends/colleagues dealing with the abuse that is “OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM.  It hurts my heart to read and hear the horror stories that I knew were coming but couldn’t save my friends from. SIGH!  It is NOT going to get better.  I just hope they get out in time.    

I AM VERY PROUD OF MYSELF…I completed my 21st year of teaching with 18 months of virtual teaching without adequate training.  I cultivated relationships with my students and their parents.  My students loved me and we all survived a very difficult year.

My heart is full!  I did my best for 21 years and now I begin a new chapter!  

Sincerely,

Elle ~ A Survivor of Pandemic Teaching

P.S. This is a current depiction of the education system 2021-2022

BE KIND TO OUR TEACHERS!

Moanick

Three deep breaths

Ten steps backwards

Going backwards

Now I’m switching lanes

Tyre marks

On my heart

It don’t beat the same

Rest your weary heart

Dry your teary eyes

~ Jhene Aiko (Born Tired)

I’m so tired of losing loved ones.  August 1, 2011, I lost my brother to suicide. Losing my brother caused me to go numb and then death just hit different. November 22,  2016, I lost my favorite student! That really took a toll on me. Now, here I am facing the death of his mother, MY FRIEND, Moanick Fenner. SIGH!

My heart is heavy, VERY HEAVY!  I cry myself to sleep every night.  I wake up with sad swollen eyes that can only be semi-tamed by applying ice. I don’t feel like myself, as I’ve lost a very important part of me.  So, to comfort myself (because I don’t talk about what I am going through with anyone cuz I can handle this…just like I‘ve handled all the other deaths that were sudden and beyond my control), I scroll through our text messages so I can laugh and cry, while replaying Jhene Aiko’s Picture Perfect or just fall asleep with tears in my eyes. I MISS MY FRIEND! 

I always stay in contact with her, especially around Benjy’s birthday. I sent her a text in October with no reply. I figured she was just going through the motions, but was confident that I’d hear from her soon. Life happens and me being the understanding friend that I am, just allowed her time to respond because she ALWAYS  texts or calls me back.  But I won’t be getting that text or call back this time. UGH!  NOT MY FRIEND! I’m gonna miss her laugh, hearing her call me her Lite Bright, and her strut.  Moanick was short but she walked HELLA tall!  There was nobody bold enough to test her and I ADMIRED THAT ABOUT HER!  I could confide in her and she in me.  The unselfish side of me is happy that she’s not going to be sad anymore.  She hasn’t been herself since she lost both of her son’s suddenly. But the selfish side of me wants her here. I’m gonna miss my short feisty friend! 

Picture Perfect

You are

Picture perfect to me

So I keep you in a frame

Keep that frame in my brain

When I don’t want to see

What is in front of me.

~Jhene Aiko (Picture Perfect)

I will forever miss you, Moanick!  Rest well my dear friend!

Love,

Your “Lite Bright”

JUST BE

I’m gettin’ on my way

‘Cause these days I ain’t tryna complicate things

My heart’s in the right place

I’m setting intentions, manifestin’ good change

And life gets hard, but a purpose

It’s gotta make the bad days worth the tears

So, I’ll just be still, be still

‘Cause things are happening that I can’t see

And if I got patience, then I got peace

I have to let go, let go, let go of everything

And watch what happens when I break free

AND JUST BE

Justin Timberlake ~ Just Be via Khaled Khaled

April 29, 2021 my “relationship” came to an abrupt E

                                                                                                N

                                                                                                         D!

The reasoning was rather confusing especially since we weren’t experiencing any issues.  We had just come back from an extraordinary trip to Mexico.  No arguments were had and nothing indicated that a breakup was imminent.  However, I received a text message asking me to check my email.  I sent a text back informing him that I was driving and would check later but my intuition told me to check it IMMEDIATELY and I did just that!

This guy sent an email that insinuated a break up…first thing in the morning. 😱 On my way to work and got hit with that mess!  Thankfully, I didn’t dismiss my intuition and checked it before I got to work.  I shed a few tears but was able to gather my thoughts and emotions before I went into the building.  I made it through the day!  YAY ME!

The following day hit like a ton of bricks! My emotions were on 1,000!  He broke up with me 7 days before my birthday!  😂🤣😂…I am laughing cuz I just looked at the calendar to confirm if it was a week or more before my birthday. It was exactly 7 days before LMAO!  7 has always been a significant number for me but DAYUM!  I’m still laughing cuz there’s so much more to this story. 

Anyway…

April 30, I received the best gift ever!  DJ Khaled dropped Khaled Khaled! I had NO idea that he was gonna drop an album 🤷🏽‍♀️ but as he said on his April 26th TikTok, “To make this album was God’s hands all over it! Be great but be grateful!” Maaannn, if only he knew how much this album helped me get through a very dark and confusing time.

I wrote the words from Just Be” on post-its and put them on my mirror to read as I listened to the song…EVERY DAY.  

Music is a Love Language for me and this album was God’s way of letting me know I am covered and can get through ANYTHING!

So…I’ma CHILL and JUST BE!!!

 

 

Unwanted Packages

I had recently been trying to find an app that pushes bible verses to your phone but I wasn’t quite pleased with what I was seeing in the app store. I can be pretty picky when it comes to aesthetics. Anyway, I was longing for something more than just prayer every morning with my significant other.

Some time last week, I received an “unwanted” package in the mail. I didn’t pay attention to the sender but I definitely noticed it was addressed using my divorced last name. Of course, I was immediately turned off and set the package on the table. Typically, I would have thrown it in the trash but I was impressed to hold onto it.

One day, I got tired of looking at the “unwanted” package that was STILL sitting on my table. I peeled back the plastic covering and saw, “2021 Year of the Bible”. My interest was immediately piqued! 

Mind you, I had been looking for Bible verse apps.

As I flipped the book over, the color scheme warmed my soul, I read the title…“words of life”, and said to myself, ”This book is the answer to my prayers! God knew exactly what I needed!”

Across town (most likely on the same day), my significant other also received an “unwanted” package.  Now, he is more attentive than I am so HE noticed the sender…Columbia Union Conference.  Typically, he too would have thrown the contents in the trash.  However, he too was impressed to hold onto it.  He kept the “unwanted” package in the plastic covering for a few days, as well.  One day he finally decided to check out the contents in the plastic covering.  He also received the “words of life” devotional from the Columbia Union Conference.  His response to receiving the devotional was different from mine but he still decided to hold onto it.

A little background…

As a couple, we agreed to have dinner and “Wednesday Night Prayer Sessions”. So, January 6th, I arrived at his house, walked upstairs, and placed my things on the barstool. I glanced at the counter and saw the devotional and immediately had to gather my thoughts because I didn’t recall bringing mine. So, I inquired about the devotional and he told me the story above.

For the past few years, I have been anti-religion, anti-prayer, anti-Jesus…just keeping it 100 (but that’s another story). But 2020 taught me that I must rely on GOD not religion. 

Growing up Adventist we were taught that during the last days we would be worshipping in our homes because our churches would be closed.  HA! We never thought that the churches would be closed due to a pandemic. Columbia Union Conference was proactive by publishing and distributing a timely “unwanted” package has been a blessing to me and my relationship. It is amazing to sit back and contemplate how God is guiding two different people, on opposite ends of the beltway, opposite genders yet are simultaneously experiencing God working in the same manner.  God knew before I began my search for the perfect bible app that a tiny “unwanted package” would provide the “extra quality time” that I was longing for. Thank you, Columbia Union Conference for my timely and MUCH NEEDED PACKAGE! 

~ Elle

1:39 AM

Tossing and turning

Breaking into a cold sweat

Body ignites and sleep is broken

 Hands fumble upon my phone

Notification illuminates

Glance at the phone to open…

Message read

 I wish I hadn’t woken up

I wish I hadn’t picked up my phone

I wish I were back home

I wish these things would just stop…

Happening

I wish I had the power to take the hurt away

 I wish I could run outside and scream

I wish no one would hear me

I wish I could cry,

But I’m afraid

If I start

I won’t stop!

 

 

 

 

Is he really absent?

Being a single parent is EXTREMELY hard!  Sometimes it is a choice other times…NOT SO MUCH.  I’ve been a single mother and it’s not easy. BUT I’ve also had the support of my children’s fathers one way or the other.

I recently saw a meme on either Facebook or Instagram (I can’t remember) and when I saw it the first thing that crossed my mind was, “This is a sad but a true reflection of so many households.”  I continued to scroll without liking because although it is a true reflection of MANY households, it is not MY reality, therefore NO LIKE FROM ME!

Before I get to the main reason for waking up in the middle of the night with this darn meme on my mind and the urge to write…I also know women that are living that meme.  The meme is a true depiction of their past or current situations; whether the father be ordered to pay child support and doesn’t or the father doesn’t pick up his child when he says he will and disappoints the child time and time again, so much so that the child no longer becomes excited because he/she knows disappointment will follow. A woman in this situation may very well like the meme and has every right to do so, as it is her reality.

BUT, there is gonna be that BITTER BITCH that will tag her “Baby Daddy” on that meme because he has moved on and is no longer with her and she’s in her feelings; she’s trying to drag him because she is miserable with herself; or she’s just trying to get a negative reaction from the father.  If this is you, YOU ARE LAME!

Let’s take a look at the definition of absent and absentee parent.  ABSENT – (adjective) not present in a place, at an occasion, or as part of something. Hmmmmmmm! ABSENTEE PARENT – is a parent who either wanders in and out of the child’s life, is inconsistent, one who was an active part of their child’s life before abruptly CEASING (putting an end to) contact, or a parent who has never been involved in the life of their child. HMMMMMMMM!

If a father IS in fact not only paying child support but spending time with his child, is he absent? Mind you, absent means not a part of something.

This goes to those women that are gonna screenshot that meme and send it to their child’s ACTIVE father or tag him on FB or IG:

Sis,

If your child’s father is in his/her life, Sis, he is NOT absent.  No matter how hard you try to make him look bad, Sis, the man is present! LOL!  You are just bitter because he chose to leave, you chased him away, or simply let him go.  But also, SIS, you can’t fault a man if you refuse to let him see his child.  Stop being CHILDISH and making everything about you, SIS! Your child will be better off if you put your bitter ass feelings to the side and allow that father to step up (if he’s willing) and be a father to his child.  There are so many things that we as women cannot show or give our children like their fathers.  Little girls need their daddies to teach them how women should be treated.  Little boys need their daddies to teach them how to be men…WE CAN’T DO THAT! So, Sis, put on your BIG GIRL PANTIES and let that man be a father to his child and stop trying to guilt trip him because YOU in fact are the guilty party! Guilty of keeping your child away from his/her father. Guilty of holding onto the past. Guilty of manipulation. Guilty of being a selfish, evil, bitter HAG! GET OVER YOURSELF!

Sincerely,

~ Elle

Found it!