Spring Fling

Joy to the World,

I have a dilemma. I am pretty sure I can guess what your response is going to be but I just wanted to write in because I am hoping that the response may be different from what I am anticipating. You see I work with this guy and we went on a date early spring of this year. He was very charming and I was really into him. I thought he was really into me. Then he hits me with lets not push this right now, let’s just be friends and casually see where this goes.

So, I casually just let it drift wherever he allowed it to go….which was no where! Before I knew it summer was over. We barely talked over the phone and hardly text either. Now all of a sudden he won’t speak to me at work and is not returning my text messages. But the thing that is confusing is that a mutual acquaintance came up to me at work the other day and was telling me about all these concerns that the guy has in regards to me. I mean, isn’t that immature? If he has questions about me, shouldn’t he come to me? This isn’t high school. We are adults. Why can’t he be a man, an adult…and come to me and ask me his questions himself. I didn’t even think that he cared what I did or did not do because he wasn’t trying to hang out, not speaking and not replying to my messages. What would you do if you were in my situation?

Hi Anonymous;

Let me first say, it is not wise to have personal relationships with coworkers. They create drama, dissension, and an uncomfortable work environment.  Relationships of this nature can directly or indirectly cost you your job, or worse damage your reputation.

Now, to answer your question, I would go and talk to him. Effective communication is a wonderful skill to have!  When you approach him, leave all the feelings and blaming out.  Leave the 3rd. party AND what they said to you out! Leave all of your assumptions of the motive behind his actions out!  Don’t judge him.

Please take the time to make sure you have moved on from the “spring fling” as well.  You talk as though you left him in your dust.  I’m not so sure you have though.   It would not be wise to approach him in an effort to make peace with a hidden hope to reconcile the relationship.  So please, be honest with yourself by examining what’s deep in your heart.  Then when you are ready, I would approach him and say something like “Hey, things have seemed a little weird between us lately. I am sorry if I did or said anything to offend you.  I just want to clear the air.”  Your expectation should be to bring peace.  That statement should be pure and sincere.  I hope it works out for you!

Thanks for posing your question and sharing your story.

May God bless you with Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding!

Sincerely;

Joy to the World

Fredericks On Stage

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin and Melissa Fredericks are better known on social media as KevOnStage and MrsKevOnStage.  They moved their young family to Los Angeles, California in the latter part of 2013 and since that time their lives have taken off on the course they hoped it would. While Kevin still participates as a PlayMaker his popularity as an individual has grown tremendously. Kevin is well known as a social media comedic personality and his family has been brought on the scene as well. His beautifully spirited wife, Melissa, and two sons Isaiah and Josiah, known as Zay Zay and JoJo, have taken social media by storm.  You have probably seen the family on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and who knows where else. As of this month they can be seen in a family movie titled “The Family Exchange.” Don’t be fooled by the fact that you see them on Periscope several times a day. As Melissa stated during the interview, “they couldn’t be more regular.”

– Meet the Fredericks –

The couple does everything that you or I would do for ourselves. They do not have staff to take care of their day to day needs. They go grocery shopping, fix their own food, and work full time jobs. They were recently excited to participate as presenters for Career Day at their children’s school. Melissa is a Contract Administrator for an Aerospace Company, and Kevin works for All Def Digital – Head of Unscripted Content, under the direction of Russell Simmons.  So you see, they don’t spend EVERY waking moment of their day in front of the camera. Surprised? I was truly surprised. I definitely get several notifications a day for Kevin being on Periscope by himself, one of the boys or he and Melissa. I am sure that many of you have laughed countless times at the video commentary, reenactments, and social media posts that appear on your media outlets. Viewers are able to feel as though they are truly involved in the day to day lives of this family.

There can be many pros and cons to becoming more and more popular. When asking Kevin and Melissa about how they handle allotting family time, Kevin mentioned how he makes sure that even though he is on the road quite a bit for stand up comedy, he blocks out time for family holidays and celebrations. They even have a house rule of no cell phones at the table to allow for communication among each other. For Melissa, with the family being in front of the camera so much, it is the moments without a camera around to capture that are becoming more important.

But, Melissa is not sure that she and Kevin sees themselves as everyone else sees them. She’s just Melissa Fredericks at her job. So it’s still awkward for her to see the excitement that people have when she does something such as commenting on another individual’s status. She wants to remain grounded, even when it comes to raising her children in the star cast city of L.A. She mentions a time when the boys were on set and the items that were available to eat weren’t quite what they wanted at the time. The staff offered to go and get whatever the boys wanted and Melissa let them know that they will eat what is there or they won’t eat. She didn’t say it to be cruel to her children, but she wants them to learn how the real world works. As parents they are not going to train their children to believe that life caters. Melissa continues to be sure to remind herself and her children that they are regular people with a dream and they are trying to make it just like the next person.

-Faith On Fleek-

The family as a whole is strongly influenced by their faith and relationship with God. As if it weren’t obvious that their beliefs influence the videos that Kevin creates from his take on Christian road rage to exemplifying a press conference by a preacher after service. There have even been times when lucrative opportunities have been turned down because they conflict with their beliefs. The Fredericks would rather go without the opportunity than to put their relationship with God in jeopardy all for the sake of money.

While they realize that God is a part of their lives it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a part of everyone else’s.  The boys, Isaiah and Josiah, recently experienced not being able to allow their classmates to preview a trailer for their latest film, “The Family Exchange,” because the movie mentions God and that is against policy for separation of religion in the school. Their parents took that time to let them know that it is more important to live their lives for God on a daily basis so others around them can be drawn to Christ by the example they show. Kevin said it best, “allow your beliefs and relationship with God to be your north star to your compass.”

– The Dream in Action –

The Fredericks continue to adapt to life in sunny California. During the interview Melissa stated that God has blessed them to be where they are and believe that he will continue to bless them for the future. The move to Los Angeles, California was one of faith and planning. The boys’ careers were taking off and with the dream of taking the fame from YouTube to another level Kevin and Melissa packed it up and headed south from their home in Washington. Their h in God is the guiding light to the choices they make.  Melissa recalls moments when she knew God’s hand had definitely been on their lives. Too many testimonies to tell but Melissa did mention a few. It was six months from the time the Fredericks family moved to Los Angeles until Melissa became employed. Kevin went to Russell Simmons to pitch a movie that never came to fruition and ended up getting a job. A testimony of true faith in a dream is when Kevin had the idea to write a movie and use crowd funding. “When Kevin has an idea, it’s not too much time between thought and action,” says Melissa. After six weeks with the goal being nowhere near met, all of a sudden in one weekend Kevin met and surpassed his goal. As Melissa asks Kevin during the sharing of this season of their lives she asked if he thought he would reach $10,000 and Kevin responds, “Of course.” Melissa follows by explaining, “Kevin is dream big or go home and meanwhile I was definitely shaken.” She recognizes that they have a good balance of dreamer and realist between the two of them. While she may plan for the worst case scenario he inspires her to dream a little.

Because of the dreamer and the realist,  a wonderful, family friendly movie with a great message has been released this month. Within the first few days of posting about the film releasing for there were already quite a few orders. The Fredericks understand that at the end of the day the people who watch them on social media do not ‘know’ them personally. They appreciate the hard earned money being donated to support Kevin’s dream to create the movie and not only to create it but now people are purchasing the movie and donating more than the purchase price.

Don’t be quick to put the family in a box quite yet. There are more than several items you can purchase from Kevin’s website, from videos to attire and accessories. Kevin and Melissa have even written a book for married couples, so ladies go ahead and give it a read. The title is 25 Steps For A Healthy Marriage. Melissa expressed a desire to write another book targeted to women to remind themselves that they are a woman who needs to be taken care of in addition to them being a wife and a mother. When asking Melissa if she considered herself funny she chuckled and stated, “I have funny moments, but I am definitely far from a comedian.” Hence many of the times when Melissa is seen on screen it is for conversations about real life topics, especially marriage. Melissa’s passion is to inspire women. “It’s helpful to me and therapeutic to me to help people going through similar situations,” said Melissa. If you don’t follow her on Periscope, you should. She makes the extra effort to not only speak from the experiences she has, but also from many books that have been read as well. She would rather be in front of a group than the camera but understands with the platform that she is blessed to have through Kevin, she can utilize the opportunity to share real moments from their lives with those who will watch and listen.

– Word to the Wise –

Their message to you, our readers, is to dream. “Dream, plan, move in faith. I think those are three key components to anyone living successfully in their dream,” said Melissa. So dream, please dream. But along with your dream make strategic plans for your faith move.

I Choose Joy

by: Zetta Johnson

 

I must admit my excitement for the holidays and the season change is just as giddy as when I was child. I loved walking into the stores and seeing the display of all of the harvest colors and the smell of cinnamon and Christmas music playing in the background as we shop.  This time of the year always seemed to bring out the best in people, with genuine smiles and hello’s.  And of course the preparation of  Christmas speeches and plays for the church and the pressure to make sure I memorized every line. Letting my parents know my Christmas list and making sure I stayed out of my momma’s way as she baked her Russian tea cakes and her famous caramel popcorn all from scratchy .( soooo good).

I’m really grateful for the wonderful memories of my aunts and uncles coming into town. My grandparents pulling into the driveway with the truck and watching them as they walked into the house with arms filled with packages for me and my siblings. Enjoying the sound of my sisters and brothers laughing and singing as me and my cousins ran through the house playing hide and seek. I loved seeing my dad enjoy himself as he played dominos with my uncles and playing until they all realized my dad wasn’t going to get from the table unless he was known as the top best. I miss the memories of seeing my great grandma sitting in the recliner enjoying the festivities and ask me in secret to get her desserts she wasn’t allowed to have lol.

These memories I have to hold close because I must admit, so much has changed just within the last year that should give me a pass to either be depressed or look over this season that I held so close to my heart as a child.  It has been a true effort to just wake up throughout the year with a mind to believe God was going to help me enjoy the day.  Divorce is a horrible travesty that I wish upon no one. Even as an adult my dad recent decision to divorce shook my entire world and even my family.  I have never ever experienced the feeling of abonnement before in my life this was my first. Everything I once knew had literally changed. Sunday dinners changed,  birthdays changed and of course the holiday season changed. I have to literally force myself to create new memories and create new traditions. Because my family dynamic is not the same. Wow! It’s one of those situations that take time to heal and it doesn’t happen overnight.

In spite of it all the Holy Spirit helped me to remember to give thanks in all that I was facing and still facing.  I have to remind myself my good days still outweigh my bad days and I won’t complain.  The scripture that constantly goes through my mind Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.

Holidays definitely have a way to both remind you of great memories and bring good emotions or for some it can be the worst of times and bring sadness. If you’re in the category where it does not bring the best of emotions just remember your still alive moving and breathing and it will get better. Make the best of the season push beyond the hurt, pain, or disappointment. Maybe it will help you to reach out and bless someone else that may be going through or having a tough time.  Life is so short and temporary enjoy this holiday season reminisce on good thoughts and give thanks.

Confessions of a “New” Mother

by: Esperanza Cherry

 

“ No! I don’t want to!” I heard a little boy scream as I saw his mother place him in the shopping cart. His screams continued as he kicked and cried trying to escape from where he was placed. I watched in horror and disgust as the mother did nothing to quiet him or scold him for his behavior. She continued to shop as if she was oblivious to the child’s outrage. As I saw his tomato red face filled with streams of snot and tears, the only thing I kept thinking was, when I have a child I will never let them act like that. I will be consistent and address the issues immediately. I will never have this problem.

Fast forward some years later: “No Mommy, I do it myself!” my two year old daughter screams at me as she slams the metal door of the bathroom stall in my face. I quickly shove the door back open. I get into the tiny stall even while having my two month old strapped to my chest. “ Aliyah, I said I have to help you sit on your potty seat” I say in my stern, I’m in charge voice as I attempt to sit her down. “ I said no! Stop it!” she screams with her face full of fury. It’s as if her voice is telling me, I’m the real boss. Aliyah kicks and screeches trying to break my hold, uncaring of her surroundings or the confined space we are in. What’s worse, she doesn’t care about the audience she created. She couldn’t care less about the woman shaking her head at me while making comments about her ears hurting from my daughter’s screams.

In my frustration I still try to address this issue as I always do because hey, I said I would always be consistent with my kids. But at this point I have reached a whole new level of anger; I’m angry that my child is acting up and I’m angry at this woman who wants me to notice her judgmental comments and disproving facial expressions. Then mostly I notice I’m angry because I am not in control of this situation the way I thought I would be when becoming a parent. I become painfully aware that my perfect plan on how parenting is going to work isn’t so perfect.

I thought I knew the secret to how to have impeccable well behaved children and I would be able to have magical days with them filled with reading books, playing and skipping merrily hand in hand through museums with my children. Instead I was in a museum bathroom dodging my daughter’s foot from giving me a bloody nose.

I believe God has given me situations such as these in my parenting to humble me and teach me that I cannot do this on my own and I’m not supposed to. I need to seek Him in my parenting always. He has helped me realize no one parenting style is the right one and that I will have to constantly adapt. All parents are different and guess what? All children are different and learn differently too. Something that works for someone else may not necessarily work for me.

I sometimes think back to that day at the grocery store and wish that I could have given that mother a word of encouragement, maybe have told her that she was doing a good job keeping her composure or that things would get better. I now know that there could have been a million reasons why she didn’t chose to discipline her child in that moment and none of them mean she is a bad mother. Maybe she just wanted to quickly get the groceries she needed and get home on time to make dinner. Maybe she was tired of disciplining him all day and wanted to give herself a moment to collect her thoughts or maybe this wasn’t her child at all and she was just babysitting. The point is I have no idea; I took those 15 minutes I saw of her parenting and assumed I knew every detail about how she mothered. I presumed this was how her child always behaved instead of thinking maybe he was exhausted and just needed his nap.

I think of this boy and then I think of my Aliyah and how sweet and kind she is. Maybe this little boy was like my Aliyah, a caring mostly polite child who has her challenging moments while figuring out the world around her. I wish I would have been a comfort to him too, perhaps acknowledged him and helped him to smile instead of cry. I know I wish that woman in the museum would have done that for me when I was in the bathroom stall instead of shaming me. But mostly, I wish I wouldn’t have cared about her, because those few minutes she saw can’t compare to the spectacular moments I have constantly with Aliyah. My caring about what she thought about my parenting robbed me from an opportunity to pray with my heavenly father for peace and wisdom in this situation.

I am thankful that through these situations, God has allowed me to realize the need to set aside judgments and instead show compassion and encouragement towards others whenever I can.