Faith Walk

LaVette: Never Forgotten

When did we become best friends? I can’t even tell you the day. What I can tell you about is the day she showed up at Busbee Middle School and I saw her from afar in the cafeteria. I remember April, Vickie, Shelia and I asking each other who was the new girl? Myra told us her name and that they were neighbors. Somehow we all connected and it was history from there. We would go on to be friends at BC High school. As her circle of friends grew, we still remained tight. She could stay out later and I had a curfew. It would be her, Susie, and Satori who would hang out in Columbia having fun and meeting new people and I would be stuck in Cayce looking at my bedroom walls imagining all the fun I was missing. While being forced to live vicariously through them, I never felt left out because LaVette and Susie always made me feel like I was there with them partying, meeting people, and having just plain old fun.

We had goals and dreams yet to be achieved as we graduated and began the next chapter at Clemson University.

To Clemson University we went and we were determined to get our degrees, have careers, and one day a family. LaVette and I were roommates until our last year. We met many new friends, joined a sorority, and achieved our academic goals. Graduation was a month away and so was my wedding. She was to be the Maid of Honor and that meant her being with me every step of the way. LaVette helped me pick out my dress and she made sure that I was not going to be “too conservative” on my big day. Yes, she was right there until a month before and then she was gone. Just like that! My dear friend lost her life in a car crash and for decades we all were devastated and crushed.

There were times when night and day looked and felt exactly the same.

Part of me died the day she passed. It has taken over 20 years for me to grow again and bloom in that same place. The seeds she left behind in myself, Connie, Susie, and our sorors may have taken a while to grow, but in that time we all had to experience a metamorphosis unique to each of us. After all, I’m told it takes 30 years for an oak tree to become fully grown from a tiny acorn. We were just twenty-one and twenty-two year olds dealing with the unfathomable, incomprehensible, and most tragic event that would change our lives forever.

I’m told it takes 30 years for an oak tree to become fully grown from a tiny acorn.

Fast forward 26 years to present day, I can see the roots deepening and stretching across the country. Every seed she planted has birthed a tree which has produced fruit. From Cayce to Clemson, all throughout the Carolinas the roots have spread. From Chandler to Atlanta and up to the Northeastern States, they stretch far and run deep. Her family and her friends will never forget her. The children she worked with while completing her Education Degree will never forget. No one will ever forget LaVette. Her smile and laughter lives in our hearts and memories. I can hear her now saying my name, “Denise”. I see her eyes bright with adventure and I feel her presence like a feather floating in the wind. I miss you, LaVette. Happy 48th Birthday in Heaven!

Sleep in Peace my friend ❤️

DeWanda LaVette Jones
Gone but not forgotten


It’s Still A Faith Walk

It has been about three years since I have blogged. Time has flown by and the one thing that I can attest to is that Faith has been a constant in my life. Where do I begin? I can’t tell everything there is to tell about how God has walked with me on this journey of life. To do so would make this a book and not a blog. What I will tell you is that through the many trials, times of sadness, and the many persecutions we have endured, God has kept us. He has remained faithful to all of us.

No matter what it looks like or what it felt like, we made it through. Having the courage to keep going, fighting, standing, and pressing is a prayer that I pray daily. Here recently within this past year, we have lost some dear friends and loved ones. The majority were unexpected losses and some not even living to see their 50th birthday. One in particular left behind a husband and three kids at the age of 44. One week she’s going in for a routine doctor appointment with a concern of coughing and some back pain. She’s given a short amount of time to live and a diagnosis that no 44 year old wife and mother want to hear. Stage 4 cancer that is a rare cancer and the prognosis is not good. I can’t imagine her thoughts. A week? Two weeks? What are you saying? I won’t see my kids finish growing up? I won’t be there to see my sons eventually become husbands and my daughter graduate high school? How can that be? I only came in for what I thought could be asthma. Not this.

The pain and agony I know the family is feeling now is too horrific. She was such a beautiful person inside and out. I haven’t seen her in decades but I grew up with her. We went to school together and our families are interconnected. Where I come from we would call her family—a distant cousin so to speak. The one thing I know that since she has passed, more people have picked up the phone and called their long lost friends. They have texted and vowed to stay connected no matter how busy life can become. The day the news hit, communities across the Cayce and West Columbia areas were hit with a blow. The earth quaked that day because no flower as pretty as our Tammy could have caused the rippling affects in our hearts. There are certain things that connect us all whether we have not seen a person or not spoken with them in decades. These bonds can never be broken and it’s because of love, community, and childhood memories. It’s the pure thoughts and childhood innocence that keeps our hearts knitted together. I know I have called and texted many and I still have a list to go. My goal is to be more intentional. Love a little harder, laugh louder, and live a little more. I don’t want to waste time on the minuscule things that tend to weigh us down. I want to do as we were instructed to do by the author of Hebrews 12:1-2

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Empty Nest · Enjoying Life Without Guilt · Needing Some Me Time · Parenting Young Adults · Taking Time for Me · Uncategorized

A Free Saturday But Why I am feeling this way? 

Today is Saturday and it actually felt SO good to NOT have anywhere I HAD to be, to NOT have any schedules, to NOT have to drive or fly to participate in my kids’ extracurricular activities. For the first Saturday in a very long time I have either been packing, purging, moving from one house to the next, unpacking, taking someone to train athletically,  or to get a hair cut, or to attend a function. Hopefully you are beginning to get the message I’m trying to send. 

Life has been so complicated as of late that it has forced me to condition myself to NOT knowing any other way but busyness, schedules, and fatigue. So today I should have kicked backed, listened to some music, relaxed,  or ate a favorite meal to celebrate this day. Instead, I was tired, achy, kind of somber, and not at all in a celebratory mood to enjoy my free Saturday. Somewhere  on the inside of me, I felt like I should be doing something. You know I could have went to the grocery store, walked around and shopped until my cart was too heavy to push. I could have went to that huge SAMs and stocked up on drinks and food. That would have been productive, but instead I chose NOT to “do SAMs”. Today I chose NOT to rip and run and wear myself out, only to be tired and exhausted later. 

That decision made me feel like I was not taking advantage of the time I had to “get things done”. I knew the famous and most popular question would come, “What’s for dinner?” I am a wife and mother and that’s what we do right? We make sure there is food on the table just waiting for someone to grab a plate and a fork to eat it. Well today, I chose not one of the most healthiest places, but by popular vote, Popeyes Chicken to be the chef!  I figured I killed more than two birds with that stone: 1) no grocery store trip 2) no prep work and 3) no cooking for me. All I had to do was get in my car and drive 15 minutes to the nearest location, order, and then return home. 

Why The Guilt? 

Part of me writing this post is to say that sometimes we don’t enjoy our free time because we don’t know how to enjoy it. We feel guilty for just taking a day off and doing absolutely nothing. We allow ourselves to work as machines and then when our bodies start to fail us, we wonder why and how did this occur? 

For me, I have to learn it’s okay to relax. That, in itself, is hard for me because after being a wife for 23 years and a mother for 20 years, that’s pretty much all I know is “doing”, “serving”, and “‘making it happen”. Today I switched things up. I did somethings I normally don’t do. The part I have to work on is being at peace with my decisions to not be the race horse or the “go to person”. I have to learn to say “no” and by now everyone in my household is capable of doing for themselves. In fact of the six persons, five of them can drive and take some of the load off me. 

My Prayer 

My prayer for me today and for others like me is to understand that God created rest for us all. It is written that even He rested on the seventh day. Let us not feel guilty or less of a person for taking time to absolutely do Nothing. 

Side note: I did take longer time on my hair and I put on makeup today which is something I usually don’t do. I went to the mall and exchanged an item and invested some dollars on myself. All of these are huge wins because for one part of my day, I took care of me and did something as minute and simple to some, For Me! Oh and I can’t leave out the fact that I treated myself to an ice cream cone! 

Yes, it started off rough but my day ended quite selfishly and I don’t feel guilty at all! 

Empty Nest · faith · Parenting Young Adults

Empty Nest? Is it really happening? 

Realizing that I will soon be an empty nester gives me mixed feelings and emotions. For one, I have a difficult time figuring out where all the time went. I remember my 20 year old being a baby as if it were yesterday. My 17 year old was my shadow and followed me everywhere I went. Somehow my sweet 14 year old son stretched to  5’11 and gained weight to become a 185 pounder. I understood that they would all grow into mature adults and would leave the nest one day, but what I didn’t realize was how I would feel about it. 

Some days I feel as if I am in a dream where I’m being swallowed up by a whirling tornado where nothing looks or feels the same. Other days I feel as though I am at peace with their growth and maturity and I can even picture our house being empty with just the two of us. It’s hard to imagine such a life but I know that the day will come where the nest will be empty and the days that I know now will be no more. 

I try to embrace it as we are taught to embrace the positive, the good, and the changes that life brings. Though difficult, it is real and somehow I will learn to sit back and appreciate their paths and the journey that God has ordained for them.

I am reminded of Ecclesiastes where it says in Chapter 3 verse 1 (NIV). 

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”

This time of my life is for growing and planting. I am beginning to realize that just as they are preparing to leave the nest, I must also prepare for this stage of life. My hope is that when they leave, I would have instilled in them the very foundation of our belief.  I will pray that it will be so deeply rooted that in their older days they will remember and adhere to it.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Parenting Young Adults

Parenting: Learning to Let her use her Wings

She is Getting Her Wings and Learning to Fly

Empty Nest

Day 1: This is my therapy as I shed tears of joy for Nia’s opportunity to travel the world as well as tears of sadness in knowing my daughter is growing up and yes she is getting her own wings. So from today until she returns I will write, 
Not everyday, about feelings and how parenting is a complete faith walk and how I am dealing with all of this and some.

Leaving the Nest

And she is off to begin her journey to and through Australia! May God be with her. Thank you all for praying and for the continued encouragement and support. I had no idea when I moved away from home, married, lived in many different states, and traveled to different countries how my parents may have felt. Now that I am a parent I know how their hearts felt, how their tears flowed, how their lumps formed in their throats, and how they were torn for wanting the best for me but aching at the same time as I ventured off to different territories. Well Nia christened me today with all those emotions and I tell you the truth, I now know faith on another level. Faith to believe that God has her covered, that she is His child and He loaned her to us and how He knew her before He formed her in my womb. I have faith as I believe that this moment was written before I ever experienced it and I know that God will protect her and the others and those yet to go and to come. As I learn to pray, I hear myself praying ever more….“Never the less, God, not my will, but thy will be done”.