Check out my newest song “I Do This For The Culture! (New Song Released by Vintage Retroman on 02/20/2021), produced by JTBS productions” on YouTube
Do you remember in the past how puppy love and infatuation used to make you feel? Think back to middle school, high school, and college. Valentine’s Day was something that many of us looked forward to! As a boy, this was my chance to win big in front of my peers! For many of us, flowers, candy, teddy bears, hand-written notes, and other items filled our minds as we strived to impress that one girl! Ah yes, many of us at that time created fantasies in our minds on how our dream relationship situation would look like! If this was not your story, I understand the other side too! The heartbreak side of Valentine’s Day! Afterall, my Sophomore year in High School I broke up with a girlfriend on February 14th, because I caught her kissing someone else! I’ve been through the rejection, the heartache, and the young pain side of this sometimes awkward holiday as well. At any rate, it’s good to look back and see your own personal growth, whether it was a blessing or a lesson.
Fast-forward life to your adult years. This world has the amazing tendency to suck the life out of love and our relationships. Between work, children, church responsibilities, hobbies, and passions, it is easy to get lost in a never-ending spiral of “notpayingattentionness” to what’s important. I am guilty of this myself. Many of you know that I am remarried and am blessed with a beautiful blended family that includes 4 children. My oldest daughter is a senior in high school, varsity cheer captain, lacrosse captain, and does everything in between. We stay busy with her activities, preparing her for college, so on and so forth. My 2 boys are both in middle school, which is another blog in and of itself! Those of us with middle school aged children reading this blog know what I am talking about! Ha! My baby girl is 9 years old and full of spunkiness! Her personality is so mature that there are days we say, “Is she 9 or 19?” Life is so busy all of the time. Many times my wife and I only see each other for a few minutes per day! Oh, and I forgot to mention that my wife is furthering her education as well, which I am so proud of her for going back to school! Still, we have to be so intentional when it comes to one another. If we don’t, days will go by and we get lost in the whirlwind of everyday life! Is there anyone reading this with the same struggle? In my best preacher voice, “Can I get a witness?!”
I am here to encourage you! Just know that as we grow in age and experience, the struggles that our relationships and marriages go through are not only completely normal, but I believe are God allowed or God ordained! Why do I say that? Think of our examples in the bible. Adam and Eve’s relationship transitioned later in life when they had children. Of course we know the story of how Adam fell and the result of his fall in the book of Genesis, but they continued in fellowship with God and through their bloodline came the very Savior in Jesus Christ who would restore man back to God. Jesus is even referred to as the “Second Adam” by many in Christian circles. Fast forward slightly and look at Abraham and Sarah. Through all of the struggles that they went through they eventually brought Issac into the world, then Jacob their grandson. Through his lineage, this fulfilled God’s promise regarding the Abrahamic Covenant and his seed. It was another building block eventually leading up to Jesus! There are countless other examples of couples in the bible that overcame challenges and issues, but I hope you get the idea. Not every struggle is punishment. Not every pain is cause and effect. Some hardships are from God or God allowed, so a greater good, a greater glory, can pour forth from the cistern of His almighty throne of grace.
I personally believe that God ordained marriage. Because of this, I decided to encourage the people through this blog along with my new song by the same title, “Once In A Lifetime”. This song may be a reflection of my story with my wife on YouTube, but I hope that it encourages someone out there not to give up on love. Whether you are single or married, this song is for you. Why? Because I’ve been on both sides. I was a single father for a while between marriages! I know the heartache, the pain, the good times and everything in between! This is my first new release in a while and it is something positive to celebrate love, just in time for Valentine’s Day! Since I’m not on social media at the moment (fasting), check out this link below for “Once In A Lifetime” released today, and feel free to share it with your spouse if you have one or other friends! God bless you all- Your Neighborhood Hope Dealer 🤟🏾
Happy Valentine’s Day folks!
Be encouraged from this short song everyone! I hope everyone likes the Super Mario Bros. sample in the music! Remember, God loves you!
Take a moment and imagine if you could go back in time to a specific year for one day. What would you do? Who would you see? How would you live during that one day? I would like to think that we would all seize that day! I would go back to Christmas Eve, 1991 and spend some time with my sister at KB Toys again! I was 8 years old, and will never forget the feelings of nostalgia when I saw 2 video game kiosks. One contained the newly released Super Nintendo Entertainment System with Super Mario World. The other contained the newly released Sega Genesis with Sonic The Hedgehog! Pure nostalgia! The 1990’s was an incredible decade!
I started to think about a conversation I had recently with a co-worker. She was born in 1996 and had questions about the 90’s culture because of course, she was a baby in the 90’s. I told her how long a decade seemed to take back then, and how the year of 2020 felt like an entire decade in one year due to the number of major events we had. We all know what happened in 2020, so I will spare the details. I began to think about how much the human race went through last year! It is no wonder that mental health issues have skyrocketed since the start of 2020!
My co-worker had been struggling with anxiety and other issues. I struggle with the same and told her that I have learned to give myself permission to do certain things for my sanity. I give myself permission to go back in the past in my mind. I give myself permission to enjoy a cheat meal sometimes. I give myself permission to feel emotions, even sadness. I give myself permission to be silly at times, to dance crazy, to sing loud, and to live in the moment. I gave myself permission to become a Christian music artist, better known as “YOUR Neighborhood Hope Dealer!”
My question to my audience is this: When was the last time you gave yourself permission? Permission to do the things you like to do? Permission to live for today, not tomorrow or yesterday? Remember, we have lived a decade in a year with the number of events that happened in 2020. Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you struggle with anxiety like I do, take time out to watch 90’s sitcoms, 80’s rock videos, or 70’s movies. Sometimes I watch videos on YouTube of the “Roaring 20’s”. Yes I am talking about the 1920’s and how they lived back then! Whatever makes you happy, take time out to invest in your mental health. Life can’t be serious ALL of the time! We have all been through a lot, and we are all in this together! I hope this short post encourages you to give yourself permission.
V.R.- YOUR Neighborhood Hope Dealer!