Birthday Shout Out to the Peoples Princess

Originally posted at NatashaForeman.com:

There’s no one in the world like my amazing cousin Princess Chere Peoples, that is her superhuman power!

Today we celebrate her 34th birthday. Although she’s my cousin, our relationship has always been more like big sis and little sis, as I’ve been in her life since she rocked and rolled in her mother’s belly. I gave her the nickname “Retabug” when she was a toddler, and I’ve been calling her that ever since.

For 5 years before my sister was born, it was just me and Princess Chere. It’s weird seeing the two of them all grown up as women.

10 years separate our age, but nothing separates us and our love.
Through her ups and downs, my cousin’s heart has always remained the same.

She smiles through her eyes. She’s often seen at work and at play with a big, beautiful flower in her hair. It is becoming her signature look that she rocks oh so beautifully.

She yearns to do more and give more. She’s eclectic and bold, never understated or to be underestimated.

Since she was a baby I told her she’s a Beautiful Black Nubian Princess, and what makes that extra special is that it’s the truth, not just words or affirmations. But the reminder helps when the world acts ugly.

Our names have meaning and we are guided by them. Her name is Princess and so there’s an expectation that she will live up to the royal moves that her name suggests. I’m proud of her for making moves that provide teachable moments and strengthening lessons, because she will better position herself for the decades ahead of her.

I want Princess to always see herself as God does, at all times, and in all ways—and then nothing and no one can change her, derail her, minimize her, or stop her. Always focused on being the Princess that she is!

Join me in wishing my cousin a very happy 34th birthday. 🎀💝💞💖🎉🎊🎁

I love you Retabug!!!!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman.

I’m Done. I Finished Writing My FIRST Book!

Do you see my face?

If you’ve ever written a book, then you know this feeling…when you’ve typed the last word, period, comma….

You poured yourself onto those pages and you’re empty, yet oh so very full.

Last night I finished typing the final words of a book that is inspired by my 9-year journey through my blog BreakingBreadWithNatasha.com and I cried. I cried tears of joy, relief, and satisfaction for putting my all into a piece of work, to glorify God and His goodness and greatness in my life (through storms and rainbows).

I’ve started several books over the past 20+ years, but this is the FIRST one that I’ve finished, and am proud of. It’s taken me almost 3 years, on and off, to reach this point. I would start writing, get discouraged, and stop. I finally reached a point where I was tired of God asking me when I was going to keep my word so that He could keep His. There’s things that I want to do and experience, but I’m holding myself back. Last night was a sweet victory.

I’m not finished. I still have to get final edits and complete a litany of steps including artwork, decide on a title, paperwork, legal stuff, marketing, etc. etc. etc. But that’s nothing, compared to having to discipline myself to sit still for hours at a time, to create something that I would want to read—and hopefully YOU too will want to read.

I will share more when I can. I just wanted to share this moment, especially with those of you who have been asking me to write this book since 2011. Thank you for the loving push!!!

~Natasha L. Foreman

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

These Two Women Helped Make it Possible for Me to Be Here

It feels awkward not having my grandmothers here to call, just because they were on my mind, and to celebrate their birthdays and holidays.

I miss trying to find just the right floral arrangement and gifts for them. I miss their smiles and laughs. I miss their side eye when I would get “beside” myself. I miss hearing them tell about their past, their hopes and dreams, and the wisdom passed to me as counsel. I miss them dearly.

Happy Mother’s Day to my maternal grandmother, Maxine B. Stephens, and my paternal grandmother, Dorrisene N. Foreman. I know that you’re here but I wish that you were HERE to hug and hold hands.

I love you Mamacine and Mama!!!!!!!!

Love you always, near and far…

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

For the Women Called Mom and the Ones Who Desire to Hear Those Words

I would like to wish all of the mothers of the world, a Happy Mother’s Day.

You may have birthed a child that you’re currently embracing and enjoying the day with, or one who lives far away but you’re only a phone call away from saying “I love you”.

You may have birthed a child that has transitioned, and is no longer here in the physical sense.

You may have birthed a child that you chose to give a better life than the one that you felt you could provide, so you lovingly placed them for adoption—-to bless another mother who had been waiting to share her gifts and blessings for a special soul, such as your bundle of joy.

You may have carried life within, for that life to cease, without you ever laying your eyes upon theirs.

You may have or had a desire to give birth to your own child, but through no fault of your own your body isn’t aligning with your dreams and goals—so you decided to pour your mothering love into a child whose been waiting just for you. Through your fostering or adoption, you are investing in and empowering them in ways that only a mother could.

Maybe you have been trying for years to get pregnant and now you sit and wonder, what will you do next. You know at your core that you’re a mother. Yes, you are!

To every mother described above and to every mother example that I overlooked, let me honor you today and every day.

Happy Mother’s Day Queens!

I salute you!!! 💖

Lovingly,

Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Saluting Two Special Queens on Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful, amazing, powerful, and gifted mother and sister.

I absolutely love having you both in my life, sharing with you, loving you and being loved by you. I’ve dedicated and will continue to dedicate my life to loving, protecting, empowering, and uplifting this gang of ours.

My heart is full. 💖

My nephew Logan brings me a joy that is indescribable. Alex, you have done and are doing a remarkable job molding and nurturing him.

I will give his daddy, Shawn, his props next month, on his extra special day 😁

Happy Mother’s Day to two amazing Queens!

I LOVE YOU BOTH SO VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH 😘

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

I’m Divorced: I’m Only Saying This Once , There Are No Re-Do’s 😉

I’ve been divorced for 9 months.

Most of you are shocked to read those words. But they are true no matter how many times you re-read them.

This message has been sitting as a draft on my phone for six months. I wasn’t ready to share this at that time. I thought I could three months ago, but I still wasn’t ready. I made the decision that I would share in December. Symbolic for many reasons. Year-end, holiday cheer, families together, and because I hoped that this December would feel and be better than last year.

So today I share the life-altering news with all of you—family, friends, associates, students, and strangers.

No, I will not share details.

I didn’t share intimate details of our courtship, engagement, wedding, and married life. I didn’t even rush to let people know I was dating, engaged, or married. That’s because I value and wanted privacy. I wanted to protect my man, my life, and what we had together. I didn’t want a bunch of folks all in our “mix” because I know that there are twice as many people hating on you than loving you. So I did my best to protect one of the most valuable relationships I had second to my relationship with God.

You got a highlight reel of my life. So guess what?

I won’t be sharing details about how we got to this point. Because plain and simply, it’s my life, and I value and want privacy.

No, I won’t feed your need to gossip at my expense. Even though some of you will most likely materialize your own content to feed upon. *smile*

We do like “tea” don’t we?

You can ponder and speculate but the end result will remain the same…

What once was is no longer.

I’m only making this statement because I’m frequently receiving emails and comments on my websites, messages through social media, and being approached in public by people who joyfully praise me, him, and us. People make comments about “#MarriageGoals” and I slightly cringe because they haven’t a clue.

Countless times this year I’ve spoken with people who have expressed a level of pride from looking at my marriage, the image that was publicly portrayed and lived, and seeing us over the years at various events. I’ve had people contact me to let me know that they pray for our marriage and the work that we do in the community. I couldn’t bring myself to tell these strangers, “thanks but he’s my ex husband now”. So I always find discreet ways to thank them for their kind and loving words and prayers, and then I leave the rest alone.

I’ve discreetly removed myself from so much but clearly it hasn’t been enough. My absence hasn’t made clear my current status, it’s only made me less visible. People assume they don’t see me somewhere because I’m busy.

There’s so much content of us online that all online searches express and imply the same “message”–that we’re still this visionary powerhouse couple. When the truth is, we used to be but now we are merely two visionary, powerhouse individuals focused on our own separate missions. We are on separate paths. We are no longer a couple. There is no “we”. We can’t erase or rewrite our past, and why would we? It was ours and we lived it boldly and I have no regrets. At the same time we must move forward to what is now the present.

I will not clarify what is most clear. The first sentence of this post can’t get any clearer.

Many who know us personally, professionally, or indirectly through our very public work are or will be shocked by this admission. But just as everything else in life, this too you will get over, get past, and it will soon become a distant memory that resurfaces in random moments and even more random online searches.

But your life will go on, move forward, unscathed, uninterrupted, unbothered—and for those and other more important reasons, I ask that you refrain from further inquiry. There’s no need to dig for what is already at surface level.

If you know me and didn’t already know this big shocker then you should be able to answer your own question as to why you didn’t know my reality months ago.

No offense. I’m good. Really I am. I’m strong. I’ve “got this”—well, God has this and I’m rolling with Him.

Thank you. I love you.

All I want and need right now is peace and the clear space to hear and act on what God is calling me to move forward on. I want to be free to embrace the opportunities that come my way. God has huge things planned for me and I can’t waste His time or mine, because He’s not giving me forever to get these things accomplished.

Please respect me, respect my former husband, respect what once was, and respect what God has planned for our individual and separate futures. Our union is no longer. A seven-year history has ended. Lessons learned, experiences shared, milestones reached, and excellence attained. We built some amazing ideas into real masterpieces.

I’m honored to have served in many roles through Operation HOPE. I’m proud of the work I accomplished, the tireless commitment and sacrifice to seeing an idea become a reality with HOPE Business In A Box, my 7 years as a HOPE Corp volunteer sharing Banking on Our Future with students all over, and my life will forever be changed by the lives that I encountered and embraced over 7 amazing years. Being away from both programs, away from the students and the pitch competitions feels awkward, abnormal, and like a huge void. But I will just have to find a new “home” to connect with, serve, and share my gifts.

I’m glad that my advice and suggestions have led to the start of other programs, technologies, organizational practices, social groups, and organizations over the past few years. No one and nothing can change that. It was, it is, and it forever will be a part of my legacy and the legacy of this great organization and those affiliates that have launched in the past two years. May they all thrive and be successful. I’ve done what I was supposed to and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

If you’re a supporter of the work then increase your level of support, there’s a global mission to fulfill. If you’re not a supporter then consider being one. Support their efforts—or support another organization’s efforts, just do something. Don’t just be a spectator, be a positive change agent.

My job there is done. Sooner than I thought. I wanted to do so much more. But that’s an “oh well”. The season is over and it’s time to move forward.

Now it’s time to end one chapter and begin a new one. Well I’ve already started on my new chapter, I’m just telling you so that you can catch up (*smile*). You can’t keep holding on to the page of this book trying to re-read the sentences, and I won’t entertain you as you attempt to stall. The story doesn’t just pause or remain in your fragmented happy-limbo state simply because you don’t move forward. It’s time to turn the page….

As the saying goes, “people are in your life for a reason, a season, and a lifetime” and the latter just wasn’t in the cards for us. The “reason” for me was and is clear—to see and feel the possibility of giving, sharing, supporting, and believing in someone else as much and in many ways more than myself. I supported the man and his mission while focused on my own. I made it “look easy” (as some have said) because it wasn’t “work” in my mind, for me I was doing my part as a partner, I was doing what it took to help a man fulfill his mission.

Was I perfect and flawless? Heck no. I’m imperfect and have numerous flaws. I did the best I could with the resources that I had. Could’ve done more. Could’ve said more. But coulda, shoulda, woulda doesn’t matter.

For seven years I loved and sacrificed for a man, and I have absolutely no regrets. I was blessed to love so deeply and for as long as I did. If I couldn’t say that, then I would have to question a great deal about myself and my relationship. I put my trust in God and He never fails me. My hurt and disappointment will be temporary because what I have with God is eternal. I keep my eyes, ears, and heart tuned into His station.

For me, my marriage was the commitment to be selfless and to dive in with both feet, dedicated to fulfilling my vows in all ways. I’ve grown tremendously, learned a great deal, and seen (and felt) the joy of giving myself to another while pushing and praying for that person so that they might reach every goal and overcome every obstacle. I did all that I could to protect him, the organization, and the mission.

Marriage is a wonderful union and commitment. I will always honor what it means to be married and to be a wife—both in the spiritual and literal sense.

My ex-husband taught me a lot about life, business, entrepreneurship, perseverance, overcoming adversity, facing fears, the value of building relationships not just networking, having the courage to try anything at least once and to ask for what you want in business—as he always says, “you walked in with a “no” it’s your goal to turn that “no” to a “yes”, if you don’t then it doesn’t matter, you had “no” coming in….”. Those are wise words that I recite when I need a pep talk.

I will take some of the lessons that I learned from observing, listening, and being guided by him, and I will build upon them as I climb to goals yet achieved. I will reattempt things that I failed at, like scuba diving (my deep sea experience was too much for a beginner) and getting back on a scooter (after falling and getting second degree burns from the motor—two weeks before our wedding).

I’m focused on being a better person, servant, woman, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, educator, and entrepreneur. I’m focused on preparing myself as a mother and maybe one day, even a wife again—well, the latter isn’t my focus, but as the saying goes, “never say never” and since I’ve been wrong about my “never’s” before, I will let God guide me.

Let me stop you now—no, I’m not in a relationship. I’m taking this time to focus on healing, praying, and getting stronger spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It would be unfair of me to subject a new person to my post-divorce life. I still have “muscle memory” of living with and sharing life with one man for seven years. I can’t just abruptly jump into a new relationship as though I’m healed, good, and ready to move into something with a new person. That would mean that I didn’t value my marriage and my role in it. That would mean that I had and have no feelings for him and for what we shared and built together. That would be a lie.

It would be cruel and disrespectful to subject someone to that space in my life, when I need to be open and free to give myself without reservations. I’ve grown accustomed to a routine with one person for seven years. That’s not easy to unwind and realign. I’m in no rush.

I need to feel and experience all that God needs me to realize, so that I can embrace, learn, and grow into the well-rounded woman He needs me to be. I can’t be the woman that a new man needs if I’m still wired to what my last man needed. And a new man shouldn’t be compared and contrasted to my last one. I need time and space for a clean slate—or as clean as can be expected.

I’ve spent this year working on me and learning what I want and don’t want, and what I need and don’t need in both my personal and professional lives. I have to work through and push past some fears and doubts. I have to walk the walk as it relates to my faith in God. If I say I know He has me, then I have to walk with my head up and eyes focused with the confidence in knowing that God has already taken care of my needs—He’s just waiting on me to catch up.

All that I want for Christmas is to be surrounded by my family and the peace that comes from knowing “all will be well because I walk with the Lord”. I asked my family for onesie pajamas and a $40 Atari classic game set. I’ve never been about the big, pricey gifts. I’m sentimental, so what is “small” to you is huge to me.

Some of you may be shocked to read this. Shouldn’t I be bitter and enraged? No, not at all. God is constantly blessing me and how ungrateful would I be to wallow in anger and misery when He has blessed me even through this transition. I’m saddened to see a relationship that I valued greatly come to an end—I planned to grow old with this man, and die loving and committed to him— but I know that God has other plans and He has never left or forsaken me. I’m not being punished. I’m being molded, strengthened, focused, and prepared by God. I accept what has happened because I know that if God intended for it to be it would still be.

So although I’m no longer married I am not broken. I am not alone or lonely. God has me in His Hands. I’m surrounded by family and my true friends. My cup runneth over. That brings me absolute joy!

It’s difficult to balance a private-public life and I’ve done a pretty good job with it for several years. I yearn to continue maintaining a semblance of privacy as I look forward on the path God has placed before me. It’s already difficult to remain focused with life’s distractions, I don’t need anything extra coming my way through rumors, declarations, or inquiries. Of course you will see my highlight reels, but the full and complete story of my life is reserved exclusively for me.

Just consider if you were me–try walking in my shoes for a moment and consider how you would want to be treated, and then please try your best to walk, act, and speak accordingly.

Please don’t attempt to be a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys new-age sleuth intrigued by missing puzzle pieces. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out the how, who, when, why, and where. You won’t have time to focus on your own life. Just let us move on with dignity. Please.

Thank you to those of you who have prayed with and for me, been supportive, a shoulder and a sounding board, wiping my tears and holding my hand, and never wavering a moment as my truest of friends. Thank you for never altering your relationship with me, but remaining the same as you have always been. Solid and true to your word. I love, value, and respect you.

Now let’s all get up, get out, and do what God has called us to do!

May He bless each of us abundantly and I pray that we are prepared and ready to embrace those blessings. May your year end better than it started, and may your New Year be better than this year. I know mine will be!

Warmest wishes and deepest respect,

Natasha

Copyright 2017. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.