April Appreciation

Hey guys!

So, April is actually a pretty big month for my family. We celebrate my cousin’s birthday, Silas’s birthday, my birthday, and we even celebrated the dog’s birthday. Due to everything that has been going on, we weren’t able to have any celebration with family or friends. I have seen some reports where people are throwing huge parties- I ask that you don’t do this.

Despite not being able to physically celebrate with family, I’ve still been on this cloud of happiness because of how blessed I am. I know not everyone has been so lucky during this time- our church lost a wonderful lady due to the virus- so I’ve just spent this month being grateful that I was able to celebrate my son’s first birthday.

My heart goes out for everyone that has been impacted by these events. And this may be an unpopular opinion, but I’m gonna say it anyway, I don’t want things to return back to how they used to be. I think some of the extra steps that stores such as Aldi’s are doing to protect their employees and customers, should stay. I hope that society has a new appreciation for teachers and medical staffs.

I also hope that we don’t lose sight of what truly matters.

I Dreamed of a Lion

On the surface my dream didn’t make much sense, like all dreams seem to do. My husband and I were staying in some house with people that I can’t put a name to. For whatever reason, there was a lion in this house.

The lion was being ‘contained’ by a small fence or barrier. Similar to a baby gate honestly. And no one seemed to pay it any mind, everyone walked past, conversed, and just outright ignored it. Which is crazy right? Lions are loud, huge, and dangerous, and yet no one paid attention to this lion that was being held back by a barrier that it could simply step over, except for my husband and I.

At some point, the lion jumped over the barrier and chaos broke out. My husband and I ended up in a nursery room. I don’t know how that happened or how we got separated from everyone else, but we got led to safety while everyone else was not so lucky. To be specific, my husband and I ended up in a nursery. Somehow I knew that it was Silas’s room. Authorities showed up and the lion was put down. My husband and I were the only survivors. Silas did not appear in the dream, but his safety was never a concern during all of this.

The dream jumped around again, and I was in a hospital. My husband wasn’t with me, instead I had a horse as a companion. The entire staff was terrified, I couldn’t understand why because horses( in my opinion) aren’t scary. The horse and I shared a look, and then I woke up very confused about what I just dreamed about.

So, a couple of things that I want to address here. The significance of a lion in the bible.

  1. Isaiah 31:4 “This is what the LORD says to me: “As a lion growls, a great lion over its prey– and though a whole band of shepherds is called together against it, it is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamor– so the LORD Almighty will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights”.
  2. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”

In my dream, the lion was the enemy. He was behind this ‘barrier’ plotting when he would strike and who he would strike. In this dream, no one noticed him, but me. It was almost as if the barrier caused him to be invisible, and the more I think about it, that’s what the enemy is counting on.

The barrier here is a symbol of our distractions and the result of us underestimating the enemy.

In the bible, nearly every time a horse is mentioned, its in regards to war. So with that in mind, I seemed to be prepared to go to war after the enemy was put down. I don’t think the hospital staff was terrified of me or the horse per say, but terrified of what we ( the horse and I) were about to go to battle against.

This dream was God reaching out to me, telling me of the enemy’s plan to create hysteria, and to prepare for war. I think it is important to note that no where during my dream or my reflections, was fear apart of me, and it should not be apart of you either. I know things are hectic right now, but I urge you all to put on your armor of God, boss up in your prayer life, and don’t take on a spirit of fear, for fear is not of God.

Good Morning!

Hey guys,

Sunday was Troy’s second birthday and I am happy to report that I didn’t cry not once. We ultimately decided to stay at home instead of going out to the children’s museum because the grandparents have a pass that would allow us to go for free, and why spend $50 if you don’t have to.

We were going to get cupcakes, but Gigi’s is closed on Sunday, so our motivation to go out stopped there. Instead we decided to honor God and honor Troy’s memory by being grateful. We focused on cleaning the house that God provided for us, and we focused on spending time together as a family.

How was your weekend?

Black History Month: Medical Trauma

Black history month is a month where we celebrate and acknowledge history’s most prominent figures in the black community. We talk about the hardships, and how those figures helped to shape the world as we know it today. We talk about how we, as in the black community, were enslaved, and shed some light on the racism that occurred back then, and the racism that is still occurring today.

We even talk about the mental health of our community. Many African Americans do not seek help for their mental or even their physical allignments. Many of us were raised to push through the pain. In fact that ‘toughness’ has only served to make matters worse for us. The medical community seems to be less likely to take our concerns seriously, which makes African Americans less likely to speak up.

According to the Center for American Progress(2018), “stress induced by this discrimination plays a significant role in maternal and infant mortality, and a fractured and unequal health care system and gaps in health workforce training further aggravate these racial disparities”. When I was pregnant with Troy, I would voice my complaints about the lack of extra care from my workforce. I wasn’t able to get breaks, and wouldn’t even get a chance to have water before leaving for the day. I was told that I was okay, and brushed off. I found even after the loss of my son, that I had to take ‘drastic measures’ during my pregnancy with Silas.

I had to get a doctor’s note requiring that I be given breaks every four hours. I had to learn that ‘no’ was in fact a complete sentence. I also realized that I had to be very direct at the doctor’s office. I had concerns that occurred, that didn’t affect Silas, but concerns that still needed to be addressed, and I was getting brushed off. It took me being days away from my induction to be more direct.

Some of this boils down to personality, but I believe a lot of it stems from childhood. I never felt like I was taken seriously when I went to the doctor. And even today, I still catch myself just pushing through the pain. I know so many other African Americans are doing the same thing. So many of us have been burned by the medical community or raised to just keep pushing, and we are suffering from it.

How Having a Child Affects Your Relationships

I always believed that having a child would bring family closer together. Now, I’m not talking about significant others. I’ve heard stories of how the stress causes people to drift from one another. My husband and I struggled in the early months with Silas.

But what I want to focus on, is not significant others, but other familiar relationships. For me, I thought that my mom would be over all the time, wanting to see her grandson. I thought that because we lost our first son, that others would want to hold on as tightly as we do with Silas. Instead, we’ve( my husband and I) have gotten crickets. This isn’t to say that my side of the family hasn’t seen him, but there has been no true effort on their part.

In the beginning my mother would offer to come watch Silas for my husband, as he is the stay home parent. Well, she wouldn’t show up. She has done this several times, so much so that we don’t even think to ask her when we need someone to watch Silas. I’m taking this up with God because I realize that there are other factors at play here. I felt lead to share this with you all because someone else may be going through something similar.

We have these expectations that other members of the family will love your child as much or nearly as much as you do. Sadly, that isn’t the case. You don’t truly know what someone is going through. For my family, kidney disease runs rampant, and I know that has been the cause for some of the no call no show, so to speak.

I believe these changes are just the natural order of things. I don’t talk to my mom everyday like I used to. My focus is on my husband and son. Being the working parent, I want Silas around when I’m not at work. This has been another source of conflict on my side of the family. They only try to get Silas on the one day that I’m guaranteed off. It’s frustrating to say the least.

I do want to reiterate that I know my family loves Silas. I know my husband’s side loves him as well. This is simply something that I have to pray on because there’s something much deeper going on. That may be the case for you. There may be a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

So, today I urge you to seek God. Cast all of your worries onto Him. It may seem like your family is more distant because of the new additions or things became more strained. I say, babies have a way of shedding a light on our brokenness. Some of us choose to address our faults, while others try to ignore them. I urge you to seek God, and get to the root of it all.

Please don’t forget to check out Parenting After Loss on iTunes and Spotify. I would also like to connect with you guys on Instagram ( potter_india).