I am / You Are / We are more than just a stay at home mom.

My husband always says I’m more than just a stay at home mom & he appreciates me and that I’m a good wife & mother to our children.  So it got me thinking.  Because honestly in past times when someone would ask me, “what do you do for a living?”  I’d kinda timidly say, “Oh I’m just a stay at home mom or homemaker” unknown that I was demeaning my role.  After some thinking tonight, I’ve come to the conclusion that I took my own role for granted.  I’m much more than just a stay at home mom or homemaker.  If I was paid for ALL I do, I think I’d be much wealthier than I actually am presently.

Being a mom & a wife has given me experience to wear many hats & fulfill different titles.

Bookkeeper

Personal Advisor

Therapist

Financial Advisor

Cable Technician

Publicist

Tutor

Teacher

Physical Trainer

Live in Nanny

Maid

Painter

Instructor

Activist and Advocate

Founder

CEO

Language Intrepreter

Manager

Supervisor

Musician

Singer (I can’t sing)

Gamer

Movie Critic

Plumber

Mechanic

Chaueffer

Mental Health Expert

Lawyer

Driver Instructor

Comedian

Spiritual Mentor

Personal Banker

Payroll Clerk

Administrative Assistant

Receptionist

Answering Service

Stockbroker

Investment Broker

Fashion Designer

Personal Shopper

Personal Chef

Housekeeper

Seamstress

Leader

Team Captain

Accountant

Crisis counselor

Medic

Nurse

Uber driver

Door Dash driver

Librarian

Cheerleader

Life coach

And an expert in Pig Sty’s

I have become all these under the role of being a wife and mom.  And I believe other parents might agree for their role.  I value my roles and my lived experiences because they’ve only given me knowledge, wisdom and much understanding.  All these and so many more unlisted, are in relation to different stages of life and learning “on the job” training, rolling with the punches, and continuing to put on and take off many different “hats” as I live on.

Thanks for being here once again. And for following my articles.

Continue reading “I am / You Are / We are more than just a stay at home mom.”

1 year Anniversary of Not Forgotten Ministries. #SpecialNeeds #families #church

Today, marked the 1 year anniversary of the special needs church ministry that my husband began in May of 2018. I follow his lead as he is operating in his purpose. The name of the ministry is called Not Forgotten Ministries. Such a fitting name for the ministry, because we want other families who have special needs loved ones or individuals living with disabilities or other mental or physical healthcare challenges to know they are not forgotten by God.

Church Info

We had 3 new visitors along with their family or caregiver today. It truly did my heart some good today to see the people participate in prayer, scripture reading and singing along.

A mother sharing her story about her daughter’s health challenges & God’s goodness

Pics from Not Forgotten Ministries

Our service isn’t your typical church service either. It is geared specifically for special needs families. The entire family. Not to separate the individual with special needs from their family but rather include the whole family in one service. We always offer to involve everyone with prayer, scripture reading, and a brief time for sharing their story. Followed by the word of God, more prayer and benediction, but at times we go off script to accommodate the needs of God’s people.

The girls playing with balloons in the kitchen during refreshments

It’s always lovely to hear others share their stories about the journey with their special loved one and all they have overcome or are still handling today. Especially the other mom who shared today, about how happy she was at the service, mentioning that she had been to a different church that was supposed to be for special needs families, but they separated her from her daughter, while she was able to attend service with the congregation, they took her daughter into a private room with others to watch the service on a monitor and she said she didn’t like how that made her feel. So it was really nice to hear that she felt welcomed and comfortable.

As a mom, caregiver myself, I know first-hand the daily battles, struggles, victories, achievements and strength it takes to do it every single day. It’s not always peaches and cream and its not always smooth sailing, but I will admit, it is ALWAYS worth my time, my love, my support and my efforts to help my children and others within our community.

Me holding sis Shana’s newborn baby girl, Novalee. Such a precious baby. She was born premature, but God has blessed her with good health.

I am sharing these short video clips to show the glory of Gods special people. I was told by one caregiver that today was her very first time hearing her client pray and that it touched her heart. These families come from all kinds of different walks of life, Autism, ODDS, Epilepsy, Dementia, Developmental delays, mental health challenges but we all come together here in one place, unified as one body in Christ. We know our loved ones diagnosis but it’s like white noise to us. We only speak, write about, refer to it because it’s how others can identify with us at times.

I truly hope to possibly inspire others by sharing this. And maybe if you happen to be a minister or pastor of a church, you too will become inspired to begin a similar ministry in your town. There are many families just like mine, just like these, that would love an opportunity to come together at church and feel welcomed, accepted and understood. Again, this is not your typical quiet service. We cater to the needs of the people and their families as we realize the sensory issues and the other need to express themselves openly. We are all Gods people. We are all loved. We are all unique and wonderfully made. Created by God in his image and his likeness.

So to that other parent, caregiver or individual who’s reading this and living with health care challenges, don’t ever let someone shame you or make you feel less than worthy, just because your blessed to be who you are, or the person your caring for. Don’t allow others to stigmatize you. Hold your head high, walk in confidence and be proud of the life you have! Share your story to inspire others.  Tell your story to educate others.

I hope I was able to encourage someone this evening!

Thanks for being here again.

Share your story for God’s glory. #MentalHealth #Journey #Truths

This is a thought that came to me this evening. As a person who has been flawed, imperfect, of many mistakes and poor choices along the way and finally one day becoming to the knowledge of Christ, I am unashamed of my journey. Struggles and ALL, because there is power in my story when I can admit my flaws, share my struggles, and exemplify God’s compassion and righteousness through HIS grace.

I have found that the top reason why others either lose faith or won’t even come to Christ is because somewhere along the way, they have been hurt, or mislead by someone who claimed to be “perfect” in Him.

We can strive for perfection but we aren’t without sin. (1 John 1:8)

Instead, just being fair with my soul and keeping my flaws before the throne of grace has helped me to become a more effective witness and better at forgiving my own self. I don’t condone sin, but I’m also not without it, but I also don’t wilfully practice it either. And it’s only because of Gods grace and mercy that I can continue to share with you all.

Be blessed.

Aiming High, Striving for Perfection, Seeking God daily.

-Erika Brooks

It’s only temporary. #Inspiration #Hope

If there’s one thing I have learned along my journey with life and God, its this. Sometimes God put me in temporary inconvenient places because He was preparing me for a permanent position with promotion. So when your dealing with hardship, just know it’s only temporary. All that stressing is just a pathway to your blessing.

I’m talking about what I know, not what I heard. I’m speaking from my own experience and not that of someone else’s.

I’m hoping to give others some inspiration and encouragement this evening.

Thanks for being here. Hang in there! It’s only temporary.

Living with purpose. #AbleNotTheLabel

See the able, NOT the label!

This is my son, His name is Erik. He was just a baby here, he is now nearly 17 and able!

My son far left, with his teammates.

Yes he has developmental delays but he is living his life just as anyone else would. Able and capable to try new things everyday. He has overcome many obstacles.

My son at his dance class

My son at cooking class, washing dishes.

My son working out with my husband, his dad.

For those other parents who might feel hopeless. Don’t give up on hope. It can get better with time, patience, prayer, hope, and support. And to think 17 years ago, he died twice, was on life support, suffered seizures, and doctors didnt give him much chance of survival! Well we proved them wrong! And he isn’t a vegetable either, like they said he would be. We were told he would probably never talk, walk, or be able to eat normally. To God be the glory!

Keep hope, stand on your faith, and stay encouraged, even when the clouds are dark and the news is bad. The outcome is better than where it all starts.

Live with purpose.

Thank you for being here.

Just a little piece of advice #MentalHealthMatters

This is just some advice from my own walk of life.

Oftentimes I think we need to do more of these very exact statements. Instead we set ourselves up for disappointment, because we treat our friends like our therapists, and we go in way too deep instead of keeping things on the surface. Which can ruin the friendship for a variety of reasons. Breaking confidentiality being the main reason.

And instead of sharing our story for inspiration, we either don’t tell it at all, or we focus on the negative pieces ONLY, which just blocks us from reaching our own potential to do amazing things. Stop allowing people or bad memories to steal your happy moments.

Lastly for those fellow believers, keep the important things between you and God. Especially, your dreams, aspirations, goals, because people can kill your dreams, persuading you that your aspirations are ridiculous, or do everything in their power to block you from reaching your goal.

Keep hope alive, operate in faith, continue moving in YOUR purpose and allow God to give the increase! Write your vision, and make it plain.

That’s all for this article.  Thanks for being here again.

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From my heart to your purpose. A poem… #MentalHealth #YOUmatter

I just wanna hug that person who people shunned away,

I just wanna love that person who was abused all day.

I just wanna show that person how much I care,

I just want them to know I’m here, I’m aware.

I just wanna give them acceptance they may have never received,

I really want them to know how much their believed.

Others have hurt them time and time again,

No wonder they trust no one, not even a friend.

It’s hard to explain the pain that they bear,

But I just want that person to know someone cares.

-Stigmasnomore / Erika

Thanks Again for being here!

This is from my heart to your purpose. You have purpose, you have meaning, you have a friend in me.

 

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All about my son Erik.

To those who follow my stories about my children, this is my youngest son Erik. He was born normal and healthy and on time. But some life-altering events with his heart took place when he was just an infant, so it lead to his development being delayed.

After surgery of his implanted ICD. 4 months

He is 17 yrs old and a senior this year in high school. Others see him as abnormal. I just see him as Erik. His normal is his normal. He is just learning to pedal a bike. And still learning to write.

His classwork, handwriting

He is my son and although I didn’t like the early part of his journey, I accept him just as he is, for who he has become and for what he is able to do. I love him. He’s always up for the challenge. 💙😊

Learning to pedal at bike club

Check out this short clip from this afternoons bike club.

Thanks for being here again!