Tag Archives: mom

“How to be a gardener.” A guest lesson by Monise Brabham.

So they say gardening is therapeutic, right? You’d really have to ask my husband, since he’s the gardener/landscaper in the family. He works really hard to keep our flowerbeds looking beautiful. There was one time I felt compelled to help him get all those pesky little weeds out. Sadly, I didn’t realize what I had signed up for until after I had sat down and really looked at the ridiculous amount of weeds that had pretty much overtaken our used-to-be-beautiful flowerbeds. At that point I was thinking, “Uh………therapeutic???” Nope, labor intensive!

For the next several hours, I sat and pulled all of the weeds out. Honestly, what kept me going was the image of beauty restored in our flowerbeds. I began to think about the other benefit of pulling the weeds: weeds not only look bad, but they can choke out life in the flowers because they compete with the flowers for water and nutrients. Ultimately and most importantly, overcrowding would be inevitable if we never pulled out weeds.

Makes sense and seems simple, right? Well now I’m forced to cross reference these simple benefits with my life. Imagine going through your life never cleaning out your closet and getting rid of old clothes, never getting rid of old papers or old technology, never leaving behind old thought processes—and of course—relationships. I begin to think about the amount of space in my life being used on things I don’t use or benefit from.

Going through the daily motions of life, we become unconscious collectors of relationships, issues, emotions, decisions, and things. There is so much power in taking inventory of our lives. Once we do this, we begin to realize just how overgrown our very own “flowerbeds” are. This means we have little to no room for growth. We’re blocking opportunities, self improvement, knowledge, beneficial relationships—and most importantly—becoming a better you.

You have two options. You can choose to ignore all the extra, unnecessary luggage you’re carrying around, and slow yourself down. Or, you can choose to invest your time in de-cluttering.

1. Inspect your relationships closely. While it’s true that not every person has to bring added value to your journey, they should definitely be a positive influence in your life. If that’s not the case, begin the process of shedding the naysayers, pessimists, leeches, and joy stealers, and fill that new space with people who are for you and want you to win.

2. Evaluate your negative emotion meter. Are you holding onto regret, animosity, anger, or fear? Remember: if you think it you become it. Let go and in comes a new perspective. This is the best way to stop blocking your blessings.

3. Purge those closets, drawers, and even under the bed. If you haven’t worn it in the past two seasons, chances are you won’t ever wear it again. Donate everything in that pile and reward yourself with two new outfits to go with the new you that is bound to occur if you truly take the time to pull the weeds in your life.

When you do all of these things, you will have more mental clarity, positive energy, and space for all the good things coming your way.

-Lesson by Monise Brabham-


Lesson #293: An unexpected Mother’s Day.


It’s Mothers Day.

In church today, I met a man and woman who sat behind my family.

The woman turned to me and said, “Appreciate every moment you have with them. You’re very lucky.”

Her husband leaned towards me and said, “We lost our son three years ago. He was 25.”

I didn’t know how to react. For one, I’m awkward. Two, how do you tell someone you just met how sorry you are for their loss, and let them know how much you truly mean it?

I smiled sadly and told them how sorry I was, and gave them both tight squeezes anyway.

I haven’t stopped thinking about it since then.

I went through the rest of the day with this sort of heaviness—this sort of guilt. Their son was only a few years older than I am. How is it fair that I got to spend today with my mother and my grandmother? And her with me? And some people didn’t?

I began thinking about my roommate who lost her mom this past October, and another few friends who lost hers this past year as well.

I know what the nice woman and her husband told me and the loss of my friends’  mothers are only supposed to make me more grateful for mine—and it definitely does—but it also fills me with sadness.

It forces me to face the truth.

One day, my mom won’t be here.

It actually kills me to think about that.

I love my mom more than anything. She is the strongest, smartest person I know. She is the woman who brought me into this life, and carries me through it now. She is my rock. My role model. My best friend. I talk to her every day, and I have absolutely no idea what I’d do without her. I have plenty of people to turn to, but no one could ever replace who my mom is to me—not just as a mother, but as a person.

And one day, I won’t be here either.

As depressing and sad as this,

we need days and moments like these.

We need these days to celebrate life, and the beautiful people who are in it, or who were in it.

We need these times to appreciate and be grateful and aware.

Whenever that day comes—whenever I won’t be on this earth with mom, or whenever she won’t be here with me—I’ll do just as others are doing today.

I will be thanking God for the time I had with such a wonderful person.

I will be celebrating life, and how lucky I am to have known someone so special.

Check out this really awesome Mother’s Day article by Cherese Jackson:


Day 293.