7 Reasons Why I Love the 4th of July

While most people celebrate the 4th of July for America’s Independence, I celebrate it for entirely different reasons. A few significant things happened to me on this day. I am very grateful because these things affect many other aspects of my life. Here’s why the 4th of July means so much to me. To be fair, America did make the list! 😉

1. America, & The World’s Longest Unmanned Border
I am grateful that I live beside/above the United States of America. I love that we can take day-trips to Buffalo to shop (from the Tdot). I love that we can be Snow Birds to Florida, Arizona or any other warm winter spot. I love that we share so much history with you (although some were through wars! LOL) We do have the world’s longest unmanned border. It means that there is no military at any of our border crossings. To bring it home, no one with a gun is standing guard at the Peace or Rainbow Bridges. That is a great feat. We should be very proud!

2. New Lease on Life #1
My New Life began four years ago today. After strategizing for 156 Days, I finally left a 23-year, verbally abusive marriage. Has it been easy? No! Will I go back? Not a chance! I thoroughly enjoy my new life, challenges and all. I am now an advocate for Domestic Violence. I’m very, very happy that I left when I did. Wished I did it sooner. Grateful that I’ve been given a chance to redesign my future.

3. New Lease on Life #2
For those of you who don’t know it yet, “Children Learn What They Live”. I believe this so strongly that I have put the poem in one of my books, and it’s part of a talk that I give. My daughter followed my example. Thank God, she learned from my mistakes~and her own~ and is living free from abuse as well.

4. My Kids & My Grandson
My kids went through more than any little girls should. They saw their Mother crying A LOT! They stuck by me, giving me hugs and crying along side me on the bad days. I’m forever grateful for the times that we spent bonding in Sista 1’s room, and laughing over silliness. As a result of those times, we can make up the wildest stories about the most mundane events! I thank God for these beautiful young ladies.

When my Grandson was born, we women were determined that the “Little Man” would have a very centered start to his life. He essentially has 5 Mamas (his paternal grandmother has joined the fray). Manners are essential, and he loves to hug and love on people (after he’s checked you out). I’m thankful that his history does not determine his future!

5. New Lease on Life #3
I am very, very grateful that the doctors figured out that I had a Small Bowel Obstruction on July 3rd, 2012, and not on July 4th, 2012. See, if they didn’t do the surgery a year ago today, I wouldn’t be making this blog. It’s only after I recuperated, that I realized the severity of SBO. I am grateful to the doctor who wouldn’t let me leave the hospital when I was tired of waiting~yes, I actually wanted to go home, even though I had not eaten in 3 days. I am really happy to be alive!

6. Free Healthcare: T&T, Canada
So, free Healthcare has been a debate for many countries. I am so thankful that I didn’t have to worry. If my SBO surgery was required in Canada, the Healthcare is free. It so happened that I had the surgery in Trinidad. I’m a native…it was FREE. There are two eerie things that happened with this, though. First, the day before I left on my trip, I was asked if I wanted travel insurance. I refused saying, “I’m not going to Trinidad to get sick!” H’mm, interesting. The second is that I had a stop-over in Miami. Had I gotten ill in Miami, it would have been a whole different story. I’m VErY grateful for free Healthcare!

7. Freedom, Plain & Simple
I can worship my God, sing, dance, or not. I can walk the streets freely. I can go to school~or not. I can wear booty shorts~NOT! The list can go on and on. There is NOTHING quite like living in a FREE country. NOTHING. It’s only when you go to a country that’s restrictive that you can really appreciate it. I’m not American. We Canadians celebrated our Independence Day on July 1st. Yet, I am very aware that we both are very, very grateful for our freedom.

Last week, I discovered my “WHY”. I knew it in my belly, but I got my AHA moment then. Here it is: “I have almost lost something precious to me (my life). I am on a mission (compelled) to tell people that they cannot go through life numb!” Find your passion and pursue it! Live your Legacy!

A different post, for a special day! God Bless Us, Every One!

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess


Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini

It’s Theological Thursday.  As is the custom, here is a post from a Christian point of view.  Enjoy!

I remember the day as if it was yesterday.  I was warned, but nothing prepared me for what I saw that day.

A few days before, I lay on a hospital bed in the emergency ward, preparing for surgery.  I had developed a condition, a Small Bowel Obstruction, which required emergency surgery.  The doctor explained what he was going to do, and where they were going to cut.  I looked at the Doctor, mortified.


Surgery (Photo credit: Army Medicine)

“Can’t you cut across my belly, below my belly-button?” I asked.

“No, that’s not possible,” the gentle Doctor quietly responded.

Well, when they got to the surgical floor, I prayed that the situation would change.  My procedure was successful (or I wouldn’t be writing this blog! 😉  ).  A day later, a nurse came to change my dressing.  Most of my stomach area had gauze or surgical tape.  I eagerly awaited the revelation of where my actual scars were.  As the nurse worked and explained what she was doing, I peeked.  I would eventually be doing her job when I was released.  As the gauze was taken off, I gasped.  I had been cut from my sternum, past my belly-button, all the way down to—well I couldn’t tell.  I couldn’t see that far!  My hopes of a low-lying scar were dashed against a rock, and broken into a million pieces!

“Who would want a scarred body like this?” I thought.  Turning to the nurse, I said,

“Oooh gosh, look at dat!”

“Girl, yuh had may-jah belly sur-dree”, she replied.

Not only was the surgery a surprise, I was also in a foreign country.  I was in the second week of a vacation to my birthplace, Trinidad.  It didn’t take me long to revert to being a “Trini” again—embracing the slower pace of life, and the sing-song method of speaking.

A few days later, I was released from the hospital.  During the next couple of weeks, I had some major fights with God about my scar.  It was a bone of contention during many of my prayer sessions.  I believe that it even started sowing the seed of ingratitude in my heart.  I was upset that now, I couldn’t wear an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie” bikini of any colour.

One day, I came to my senses and thought,

“Hold up!  This is ridiculous!  You have borne three children.  Your belly has been stretched to the maximum.  You have all the rivers of the world etched into your belly as proof!  There’s no way under the sun, that you’ll even ever go out in public in a bikini!”

That was a huge turning point for me.  Perhaps being angry at the scar was a way of taking my mind off the seriousness of the surgery.  Either way, I was finally able to thank the Lover Of My Soul for creating my body to be the wonderful machine that it was.  I was grateful that I was able to bear three wonderful children and nourish them.  I had strong legs, hands that worked, and a sound mind.

I looked back at the events surrounding my surgery, and they had God’s hand written all over them.  My room-mates were all Christians.  Visitors provided prayer coverage, and worship music was constantly playing.  I was surrounded by relatives who loved and cared for me.  This included a prayer-warrior aunt, who mustered up the support from my childhood church.  I had the surgery in a fabulous teaching hospital, with the head registrar leading my team of doctors.  I was able to have the surgery for free, as I was born there.  And when I was released into the care of my relatives, I didn’t have to lift a finger.  My laundry was done for me, my food prepared…that would not have been the case had I been in my own house.  This is the first time in my life that I was truly pampered.  Fussing over an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” seemed so puerile.

Recovery was a challenge, I won’t lie.  This surgery really changed my life.  Each day I’m thankful for my health.  I look at my “bikini” line”, and I’m well-aware that God saved me from the jaws of death.  The Lover Of My Soul has a great plan for my life.  I will reap my heavenly rewards, after I shake off this broken-temporal body.

What life-changing (near-death?) experience have you survived?  Please share…

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess



Who Moved My Ball?

Many of us are fans of the comic strip by the late Charles M. Schulz.  His “Peanuts” comic strip, was one I looked forward to reading on a Saturday evening~after all my chores were done, of course!  Charlie Brown was a character that most of us could identify with at some point in our lives.  The recurring scene where Charlie Brown attempts to kick a football–which Lucy is holding, is a familiar one.  “He’s been through this before”, we all think.  “Lucy always moves the ball!”  However, each time Charlie Brown trusts her again.  For the umpteenth time, he takes a run for it, and when he’s ready to take a goal-scoring kick…he goes flying, and lands flat on his back!

Who moved my ball indeed!

That Charlie Brown scene was what was going through my mind recently as I, too, lay flat on my back.  Except, I was in a hospital room recovering from emergency surgery.  WHO MOVED MY BALL?  Was I even playing the game?  Why me?  Why now?

Many other questions went through my mind while in that hospital room.  The first thing was that, if doctors come to do emergency surgery, “no” is not an available option.  The second thing was the magnitude of my procedure.  This, I discovered the first time the nurse came to change my dressing.  “Oh my word!” was all I could say at the sight of my belly-length scar.  The third thing that troubled me was the thought, “Will I ever be able to use my left hand again?’  I am left-handed.  My IV was in my left hand, after an unsuccessful right-hand run.  The left hand had swollen and my fingers non-functional. (Call me self-absorbed!)

As quickly as those thoughts came to me, my analytical brain found answers~go figure.  For thought number one, I was grateful that I had a fabulous team of doctors.  I was especially grateful that the doctors found my problem in a timely fashion.  Some people who had my same problem were not as fortunate.  Secondly, I was never gonna wear belly-tops anyways!  After bearing three children, I have all the tributaries of the world etched on my belly in the form of stretch marks.  This new scar added another dimension.  And, writing with my left hand…I needed to suck it up and learn to write with my right hand, if need be.

To be quite fair, those questions were secondary in comparison to this one:  What about my business?  Up until that point, I had many things regulated that related to my business.  I was attempting to blog twice weekly.  I was tweeting regularly again.  I checked my stats, etc. etc.  However, I DID IT ALL…I was not at a place where I had an assistant as yet.  So, if I wasn’t physically doing these things, it wasn’t happening.  After I got sick, I couldn’t wrap my head around doing things for the business at all.  All I could manage was eating, napping, and pacing the house to pass gas!  But my subconscious still worried about the things that were not happening to let the world know that I was in business.  Finally, I got a recurring internal message, “Just drop the ball, Stephanie”.

And, that’s what I did.  Dropping the ball freed me in ways I could never have imagined.  I was able to enjoy the pampering from my extended family.  To be fair, I’ve never really been pampered like that before!  I allowed people to do my laundry, serve me hot chocolate in bed, make me food, and bring me mangoes and coconuts~and I loved it!  I was able to enjoy the birds singing, the daily chasing of lizards and birds from my room…the fact that I was alive!  During this pensive time, I discovered that:  1.  My opinions on failure and disappointment have completely changed (I feel another blog coming!);  2.  My business structure has also morphed;  and 3.  My feelings on what is important to me have completely evolved.

I totally was not expecting that “Lucy Manoeuvre” in my life.  I was on vacation, visiting family that I had not seen in years, for goodness sake!  Although, I am still healing physically, I’m slowly picking myself up, I’ve dusted off my behind, and am re-positioning myself in the game…with some valuable life lessons.  I wasn’t happy during the “Manoeuvre”, but I am glad for what I learned from it.

The next time someone or something moves my ball, I am hoping that I can turn and say, “Thanks, Lucy!”

May Your Cup Always Be Full!

I remember this song from when my kids listened to it years ago.  I’m not a lover of the skimpily-clad dancing scenes, but the chorus really speaks to me.

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Water For The Journey

Book Release PartyOctober 25th, 2013
The long-awaited release of Water For The Journey: 156 Days To Freedom. All day givaways and book release party!
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