I traded my sanity for motherhood, yay me!

Son of God – New Trailer Released At Last

The trailer for the highly anticipated theatrical release of “Son of God” (Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s follow-up to the mega successful TV series, “The Bible”) is finally here! Though we still have to wait a few more months to catch the feature length film in theaters, the 2 minute trailer does a great job of reminding us why we fell in love with His story in the first place.

Watch here

Son of God

In honor of the release (and to save you some money on Christmas gifts!) we’re giving away a copy of “The Story of Christmas and All of Us”, the full-color novelized retelling of Jesus’ birth from the film. The pictures are gorgeous (almost as gorgeous as “Hot Jesus” himself!) and the cover is made from some sort of suede…which makes it nice  to cuddle up with when your man is working long nights (side eye at you, Fidel.)

To enter, just tell us your favorite Christmas carol and we’ll randomly select our winner. As a bonus prize, I’ll show up to your place of work or your church (or any public venue of your choice) and serenade you with the full, a cappella, Mary J Blige remix of your selection.

You’re welcome in advance.

Contest ends Sunday, Dec. 1. Good luck!

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YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN ORDINARY STAR

Growing up, I, like most little girls, wanted to be a “star.” Dressing up in my mothers lipstick and jewelry, I’d prance around the house, microphone hairbrush in tow, dreaming of the day I’d see my name in lights. If you were anything like me, you, too, have memories of standing in front of the mirror while doing your best Sally Field impersonation.

“You like me! You really like me!”

SALLY FIELD

To be honest, all of this award show preparation was really just a huge waste of time because while I knew I wanted the award, I never figured out what I’d be winning it for…which is to say, I never knew what kind of star I wanted to be…but as a young girl, that didn’t matter to me. All I knew was I wanted to be a star and if you would’ve asked me what kind I’d have told you, “the kind that shines BRIGHT!”

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OCTOBER GIVEAWAY!

The Screaming Child has been contacted by Warner Bros. and Grace Hill Media to give away TWO Blu-ray combo packs of The Exorcist in honor of its 40th Anniversary!

The Exorcist image

To enter to win, leave a comment below telling us your favorite scary movie  (…and while I can admit that Big Worm scared me, too…”Friday” still doesn’t count).

You have until Midnight, Thursday, October 31st to enter.  Good luck!

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The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Combo Pack Collectors Edition includes the feature film and tons of never before seen special features. The Blu-ray and DVD are available in stores now.
The Exorcist 40th Anniversary SetSynopsis:  The Exorcist tells the now-famous story of a girl’s demonic possession, and a gripping fight between good and evil. Linda Blair, in a breakout role, plays Regan, a young girl who starts to exhibit strange, arcane behavior. Her mother (Ellen Burstyn, Oscarâ-winner for Best Actress Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) calls upon a priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller) to investigate. But Karras, who has a spiritual crisis of his own, is suddenly confronted with the unimaginable evil of Regan’s possession. Father Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow), an archeologist-priest, is called to help, and a horrific battle for her soul begins.

Save the Hero

“I lay alone awake at night Sorrow fills my eyes But I’m not strong enough to cry Despite of my disguise I’m left with no shoulder But everybody wants to lean on me. I guess I’m their soldier. Well, who’s gonna be mine
Who’s there to save the hero When she’s left all alone And she’s crying out for help. Who’s there to save the hero Who’s there to save the girl… After she saves the world After she saves the world” -Beyoncé “Save the World”

As women, we are built to endure. We are the nurturers not only for our homes but for our communities. We have to deal with our fears and pain in private because there are so many people that count on us. If you are lucky, you have someone that  is your “go-to” person. If not, it is a lonely and rough battle to fight alone. However, as we deal with our own battles, we understand that it is more important to win the war.

This time last year, I was making plans to move my dad from Mississippi to Atlanta. He had suffered a couple of strokes and I had decided that I needed him here with me so I could “nurse” him back to health. We had sold our home, and we were looking for a house with two master bedrooms on the first floor. This time last year, Daddy was still driving. He was still going to work, and even though his speech was failing, he could still understand and comprehend. He said that he was ready to retire from being an elected official and move to Atlanta. We were all shocked, but we agreed. We were hopeful that the move would improve his health. He had two children already living in Atlanta, and my sister would soon follow. Besides, no one could deal with my daddy like I could. We had a special bond. I was his baby.

daddy

We went home last Christmas and he was still the same old granddaddy to the grandkids. Although the kids understood that his strokes had greatly effected his ability to speak, they were happy because he still was able to take them shopping and even riding to sight see as he always had done. He spent a great deal of time with the grandkids that Christmas. I did a press conference and announced that after 37 years of being elected, daddy would be retiring from the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. Again, he assured me he wanted to retire and move to Atlanta. However, something happened that was strange. Usually, when we leave, my dad sits in his chair and gives us hugs, passes out money, and says his goodbyes and my mom usually walks us out to our car. For 15 years, my dad has never walked out with us to say goodbye, unless he too was leaving the house. But last Christmas, my mom stayed in her room and I looked up as we prepared to back out of the driveway, and there stood Doug Anderson. I told Fidel to stop the car because I thought maybe he wanted something. I said, “Daddy, Do you need me?” He replied “No.” As we drove away, I started to cry. I asked Fidel, “Do you ever remember him coming out to watch us leave?” Fidel thought for a minute and finally said, “No.” That was the beginning of the end and I knew it was coming but I was asking God to  heal him and let me keep him a little while longer.

I am the one that is most like my dad according to my family and our friends. I am the one who is head strong and ready to get the job done. I am loyal like my dad, but if you ever cross me, I never forget… just like my daddy. We both are Aquariuses and his love for serving his community and politics rubbed off on me. I am the one that is there for everyone. I am “Captain Save the World”. I’m used to everyone calling on me for help and advice – and guess who I would call to keep my sanity…my daddy.

Daddy and President and Mrs.  Jimmy Carter

Daddy and President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter

So six months ago, when my sister called and said “he’s gone” my life changed. A feeling of loss and uncertainty came over me. He was gone, but he was the one I needed to talk with to help me get through this. I never knew how much I leaned on my daddy until he wasn’t there and I began to fall. I had friends and family, but daddy was the one I trusted with my life. Now, at 37, I have to grow up. I don’t think anyone can ever imagine the amount of pain I am in. The void that has been left in my life. I wonder if my dad even realized how his strength made me strong. He was the net that always prevented my fall so I was never afraid to jump. I live and love life with no regrets, because of my daddy.

daddy's desk

So now, I have to wipe the tears away once again. This pain I feel doesn’t matter anymore  because it’s time to stop being Doug’s daughter and become Zion, Jireh, and Jojo’s mom. Just like Doug was my hero, I am theirs. But that’s what mothers are. We are their medicine even when we are in pain. We are the strength when we ourselves are weak and we are the Heroes even when we feel we are a victim. Nobody understands our kryptonite, they only see the “S” on our chests. Yes you are a Superwoman. You sacrifice over and over. That’s what mothers do. It’s who we are….

Scandalous… I am a Gladiator

Where are my GLADIATORS! Last night we were able to once again live on the edge vicariously thru Olivia Pope! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Olivia. She inspires me to be better and badder. Olivia is the ultimate “bad” woman! No, she doesn’t fight or curse everyone out. That would only make her a “bad” GIRL!  On the contrary, she is classy, graceful,  beautiful  and brilliant. She is the best at what she does. She is the best pr strategist and crisis communications manager in the world. However,  there is one downside to Olivia’s life. She is madly in love with a man that is madly in love with her, but he belongs to someone else. For me, that makes her even more intriguing. So many times we see women let men be their downfall. Not Olivia Pope! Through heartache and torment, she fights and wins. The beauty of her character is that  her life is far from perfect, but she always pulls it together and gets the work done. She pushes on and she doesn’t let a man define her.

A "bad" woman

A “bad” woman

Every week I have my list of “What makes Olivia a bad woman?” Just for review, last week’s bad girl moment: Olivia called her lover (Mr. President a.k.a Fitz) to help her find her other lover (Jake). He said “ok” and Jake was later delivered to her door.

Now in reality, this could have ended in some Rated R words or a gunfight. There are not too many women who can pull this off and still have both men madly in love with her. Don’t try this at home.

This week’s bad woman moments (yes there are two):

1 – When the United States of America (the President) figured out Olivia was a hostage and did something that the U.S. never does… He negotiated with a terrorist! We all know those famous words “The United States does not negotiate with terrorists.” However, this time they negotiated quite a bit. We all know in “real” life, everybody in that room would have been shot and killed with 10 warning shots.

2 – When Olivia had her lover, Jake, call her main lover, Fitz, to tell him what she said he “better” do during that hostage situation. I am just blown away. I can hear my husband now “one of us has lost their mind, I’m not about to call him. I don’t care who has a bomb. Tell the lady with the bomb to call the President!” Then let’s just forget that I’m potentially abut to get blown up. I’m sure he would start with “So you still talk to him? When the last time you saw him? I don’t care about a bomb, we are going to talk about this now!” The lady probably would have pushed the button because Fidel wouldn’t have shut up.

Anyways, at least Huck is back. Besides him being a complete Psychopath, who knows how to kill and cover a murder up, he wouldn’t be such a bad catch. You may need a few “nerve” pills, but he seems like he would be a nice guy to marry. Caution: I can not attend your wedding, and we probably won’t be friends anymore, but I would really be happy for you.

huck

I’m excited to see where Shonda Rhimes will take us this season. How will our journey play out? I know the concept is so wrong, but the possibilities are so exciting. Yes, I will be going to find a coat similar to Olivia’s white coat this weekend, but please remember when you see me that Olivia doesn’t have kids so her coat will probably always be as white as the driven snow. My coat… not so much.

Fears of a Mother

screamA few weeks ago, my son Zion’s blood sugar dropped so low in the middle of the night that he had a seizure. He has had a couple before but this was, by far, the worst one ever. As a result, for the past few weeks I have been unable to sleep. I wake up almost every hour to check his blood sugars. I quietly walk in his room and prick his finger to make sure that his sugars are not dropping. My husband says that once in the middle of the night is enough, but I just can help myself. He just doesn’t understand the fears of a mother.

The image of him yelling and convulsing is engraved in my head. On top of that, it took Zion so long to come out of it. His language was distorted for at least 15 minutes. He kept saying he was at the hospital but he was home in his room. So every night I am compelled to stay up and watch him sleep. Actually to watch them all sleep.

Any parent that has a child with any type of illness has to be a soldier. When they have an “episode,” we fly into action without thinking. These are our sheep and we are their shepherds. Their lives are in our hands and we must protect them. I once heard a mother say having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body. That is the best way to describe a mother’s love for her child.

Being in  the Children’s Intensive Care Unit is one of the worse places to be. Each parent wants to talk to you. They want to know why you are there. Is your child as critical as theirs? Can you relate to how they are feeling? You can have 1,000 visitors but no one else except another parent with a child in ICU can understand that feeling of helplessness. I still remember how the code blue sounds at the Children’s Hospital. The worse feeling is when you are outside of the ICU room and the “code blue” goes off. The ICU is shut down and you can’t get in to see if it’s your child. So we watch and wait. Then you hear another parents’ cries and as terrible as it sounds, you breathe a sigh of relief. You start breathing again. Your child has lived to fight another minute, another hour, another day, but you also know, that it could have been your baby.

If you have kids and they all are healthy, just know how blessed you are. I can only hope that this insomnia only lasts a few more weeks and I can get back into my regular sleep pattern. However, if not, then I will continue to be the soldier that life has called me to be. However, one of my favorite passages in the Bible is when Jesus was in the Garden of Gesthsemane and He said, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” I understand my burden of having 2 kids with chronic illnesses, but I pray that their diabetes will be healed. This is my personal battle with the fears I deal with. As mothers, we all have fears. However, as mothers we understand we can’t always be there. We have to learn to give them space and allow their experiences to develop their lives. We can only guide them, live as an example, and pray for them.

We are all superwomen. We hurt, we fear, we cry, and we get angry, but as women, we keep going. We put all of this inward torture aside to cook, clean, do homework, go to work, be a wife, a mother, a friend, and to look fabulous while doing it all. A woman is the strongest creature on Earth. That’s the point of this blog, to show you that I understand and to remind you to take time for yourself so you can continue to be all that you are.

So pray for me and I will pray for you. If you haven’t heard it yet.. your are beautiful, you are fabulous, and you are more than a conqueror. Everyday is Mother’s Day.. so have a Happy Mother’s Day!

Jackie

I Choose Me (Well At Least Sometimes…)

Choose MeWoke up this morning to the alarm here at Egleston Children’s Hospital. The voice on the Loud Speaker said “code blue, code blue” and gave the room number of the child that was coding. I looked over at my son as he was sleeping, said a prayer, and tried to go back to sleep (seeing as at the hospital is the only time I seem to sleep the entire night), but I couldn’t… some mother’s child’s heart had stopped. My world is still spinning from the loss of my father 5 months ago at the age of 74…. but a child… I cant imagine.

So why are we here? My son Zion has had diabetes since he was three years old. For the past 10 years he has been stuck and pricked. His life is in a little bottle of clear liquid called insulin. It is the thin line between life and death for him, yet, he keeps pushing. Of our three stooges, Zion has the most challenges. For Jireh, good grades are expected. She is naturally gifted. For Zion, he struggles a little bit more. Yet, he just brought home All A’s and 1 B in Social Studies. He is not the hip kid, or the cool kid that hangs in the popular cliques. He is just plain Zion that loves and helps everyone. I push him hard because I believe in him. Even if I am actually happy when he pulls a “C” in a class that I know he struggled in, I say sternly.. “Zion, I expect more from you.” I don’t want him to think that he can not do better and settle into a life of mediocrity. He is a great kid and will be a great man, husband, and father one day.

J4

So here I sit in this hospital room watching a movie with Zion. I reflect on my life and all that God has given me charge over. I wonder why He thinks I can handle so much, and I even wonder how I manage to handle it. Then it dawns on me…. I haven’t taken time out for me in a while. Maybe I will head over to JeJu spa  in Gwinnett County. It’s where I go to think, reflect, and rejuvenate. As mothers, we are built to handle so much. We get so caught up in giving and giving and giving that we forget to stop and refill our tanks. There is no warning light that flashes when we are close to empty. We just have to know ourselves and our bodies and know when it is time to take a break from it all.

About two years ago, I went through some changes. I didn’t like the way I was feeling about myself. I didn’t lke my husband. My dad was ill and my husband was working all the time. The two men that I depended on the most weren’t there for me. Dad couldn’t speak like he used to due to a couple of strokes, and my husband was working at his full time job and at our store. It was neither of their faults, but I didn’t have anything else to give to anyone, and I needed them. My dad wasn’t improving and my marriage, as a result of me feeling neglected, was falling apart.  After a couple of months of feeling completely insane and lonely, I realized, I have to learn to fill my tank up myself and, as Beyonce’ says, “be my own best friend.”

I learned my name all over again, started hanging out more with my friends, and decided to go back to work after 8 years. It was a tough decision, but when others start to notice your depression, including your kids, it’s time to make some changes. The first step is remembering who you are and what makes you happy. Initially, you will probably say, “My kids make me happy.” If that’s your answer, it’s the first sign that you don’t know “you” anymore.

So write your full name down (hint: “mommy” is not your first, middle, or last name) and then write down what things used to make you happy, or what things you think you may enjoy. Ask yourself, “When is the last time I did this?” Then make plans to go do it. Call up a girlfriend and say “let’s go hang out this weekend.” If she asks “who is this?” don’t be offended. She is probably either shocked that you want to do something without the kids, or she hasn’t heard from you since your last baby shower. Go find “you” and then go and do “you.” You will be a better person and you will be a better mother and wife. I appreciate you for taking the time to read my blog. Now you go appreciate “you.’ You are a great mother! You are a great wife!… and yes…….. you deserve to be a great [insert your real name here] too!

Beach Day

Beach Day

Jackie