Always Be Being Amazing!


When I was much much much…Younger I had a very bad habit of dumbing myself down so that others wouldn’t feel small.  I convinced myself that I was doing so because I didn’t want them to think I was better than them, smarter than them, or more talented than them.  The truth was that I really didn’t believe in the merits of myself.  I didn’t really believe that I was good enough.

Now I know better.  So if you are one of those people I say to you today-STOP IT!

Don’t ever allow yourself to become small so that others can feel big. Stand confidently in the shine that is you, and if anyone tries to move in on your shine-rapidly boot them out.  It’s your stage-Own it!

My good friend Dr. Karen Townsend, author, business consultant, life coach, and founder of About My Sister’s and Sister to Sister once told me “Lena, you need to create an  I’m the stuff folder! Start writing down all the amazing things you do everyday-on your job, at home, in the community.  Not only is it a reminder of how awesome you are, but when you are updating your  resume, you don’t have to think about the positive impact you have had.  It’s right there.”

So today!-Right now even.  Get out a pen and paper and start writing down all things about you that make you amazing.  You may start out simply with:

  • Got out of bed and made an amazing healthy breakfast
  • Raising strong, confident children
  • Delivered neighborhood newsletters
  • Gave my boss good advice.  They didn’t listen, but I gave it to ’em anyway
  • Didn’t give in to road rage this morning
  • Orchestrated a new business partnership
  • Wrote a blog

Before you know it you will have a whole list of things. You can keep separate list.  One for your job, one for home, one for personal.

So go out there and BE AMAZING!





Recording of “Ode to Bacon”

Now this is a poem I can sink my teeth into!!! Love it. That’s exactly how I feel about 🥓😃😃

O at the Edges

Ode to Bacon

How you lend
to others,

enhancing even
the sweetest fig
in your embrace
over coals,

or consider
your rendered
self, how it

deepens flavor
with piggish
essence, coating

or absorbed,
blended or
sopped. O belly
of delight, o wonder
of tongues,

how could I not
love you
and your infinite
charms, even

when you resist
my efforts and
shoot sizzling bits

of yourself
onto my naked
hands? I pay

this toll
today and

next year
and all those
days to follow,

till the last piece
is swallowed
and our sun
goes dark.

becomes you,
smoked beauty,
salted love,

and I shall never
put you down
or leave you

on a plate
to be discarded
or forgotten,


“Ode to Bacon” first appeared here in July 2017, thanks to T.S. Wright’s challenge.

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Top 5 Reasons Why I Don’t Teach my Kids to Believe in Santa Claus

My annual repost.

Stuff Inside My Head

by Lena Arnold

3021861-inline-i-3-bad-ass-santa-krampusKrampus the Demon of Christmas

Before you read any further, I’d like to offer you the following alert penned by Lydia McGrew on her blog—Curmudgeon alert: If the title of this entry offends you, read no farther. I wouldn’t want to upset anybody. (Right? I’m always very careful not to offend anybody…) Seriously, I’m not implying that anybody is a bad parent for teaching their kids to believe in Santa Claus. To be sure, in giving one of my own chief reasons for not doing so, I mean to present this as a reason for others to consider not doing so, either. But I’m not trying to give anybody a hard time. –Lydia McGrew

Add my own—-Seriously, please don’t send me a bunch of emails that I’m a Grinch.  I get enough heat from my family members who are already pissed that my children have ruined Christmas…

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Importance of Reading to Your Children

Some months ago I posted a link to an article on the Dayton Black Homeschool Network entitled, “Cultivating a Love for Reading in Your Child.” Even though our children are older and can tackle books like the unabridged version of “Les Miserables,” we still read together.  I stumbled upon this article by Michelle Woo that does a great job of explaining why we still do so.  Check it out

Don’t Stop Reading to Your Kids Once They Learn How to Read 


Woo also suggest that parents turn on captions to increase verbal and spelling skills as well as subtitles to help build foreign language skills.  I think I’m gonna try that. Maybe I’ll even make them play video games in the languages they are studying.

Check out some of my other posts and follow me if you like what you read.  As always, visit my Stuff you can Buy page, and Stuff you can stuff page.  Momma needs a new pair of shoes.





Black Man Kicked Out of Yogurt Shop Refuses to Accept Store Owners Apology-Why?

Lena Arnold

November 22, 2018

A black man who was recently kicked out of a yogurt shop refuses to accept store owners apology for the actions of his employees.

Click here to read the full article

The owner of the store has since publicly apologized for the actions of his employees, closing the store for a day and posting the apology on the door of the establishment. By all accounts he has tried to reach out to the victim to attempt to reconcile.

According to the article, Mr Ragland doesn’t feel an apology is enough. He is exploring litigation options and further feels the business owner should lose his business license. My question is, why isn’t an apology enough?

Well it could be because it’s a half ass apology as demonstrated by this photo courtesy of “A Glossy Life” (

im sorry

Real leaders own their crap and don’t make excuses for it. As the author of “In the Absence of my Father” I talk to a lot of parents regarding rebuilding relationships with the children they have hurt. They often ask, “What can I do to repair the breach?”

“Have you tried saying ‘I’m  sorry.”

Many will claim to have tried but their kids still reject them.

I then ask, “Have you tried saying ‘I’m sorry without the-but…”

I try to get them to understand that the people you’ve hurt don’t really care about your reasons.  They just care about the sincerity. They want to know you have put yourself in their shoes and truly understand how their actions have harmed you. They want to be ensured that if they put their trust in you again it’s deserved.

In other words, they want to know that YOU know what you did was wrong. Why what you did was wrong, and what are you going to do moving forward to ensure it does not happen again.

Speaking as someone who has been involved with helping friends successfully resolve discrimination settlements, I can attest to this fact-if each of the discriminating entities had issued genuine apologies, and worked to reconcile the problem, not one of them would have resulted in a lawsuit.

However, by all accounts this store owner seems to have done this. So why then not accept the apology? Why not work together to promote positive change? The owners last name is Cruz, which means he is also most likely classified as a “minority.” Therefore instead of hoping the doors of his business close, why not work with him on hiring more minority employees who don’t have the same “fears” as his current employees?

Being discriminated against hurts. I get that. I’ve been there. Like most people of color I’ve been there more times than any white person I know.  At last count nearly 20 in my lifetime either directly, or indirectly while I was with a friend. That’s waaaaaaay too many. So I empathize with Mr. Ragland.

As leaders, and he appears to be one, when those rare opportunities for resolution arise, we should endeavor to be open. I hope he will change his mind and reach out to Mr. Cruz. I hope they can work together and be agents of positive community change. I hope the news will be as eager to report that news story as the current one.


This incident, from what I have read so far can and should be different.

Am I absolving those employees? ABSOLUTELY NOT. The manager who gave the thumbs up should at the least lose a couple weeks pay and be made to attend some type of diversity training before returning to work. All employees should have to take the training. All employees involved should have to write written apologies to Mr. Ragland, as well as the officers involved. Because this could easily have turned deadly. Thank God it did not.

Leaders, lead. I pray all the leaders in this incident rise up and do so.


In Good Company: Michelle Obama’s Infertility Challenge

It would seem my husband and I are in good company.  We share infertility stories with the Obama family.  How cool is that?

NOT that infertility is cool. ‘Cause it’s not.  It’s very painful, as anyone who has ever experienced infertility will acknowledge.  However, knowing you are not alone is half the battle, because when you are dealing with it-you feel very alone.

Doubly alone if you are black because everybody knows that black women do not struggle with infertility right? Wrong.  I attest to this fact when recounting my own infertility in my book For This Child We Prayed: Living with the Secret Shame of Infertility.

Add Christian to the sentence and you feel as if there isn’t a soul who will understand.  As soon as you try to talk about a struggle in a faith based community you can get a plethora of stupid comments like:

Ya’ll need to pray more.

You just don’t have enough faith.

You know you can give your way out right?  Just make a pledge to the church.

Maybe it’s just not God’s will?

Maybe you all just need to shut up!

  “I felt like I failed,” Obama told Roberts. “Because I didn’t know how common       miscarriages were. Because we don’t talk about them.”

Many women who struggle with infertility feel the same way.  It’s as if our bodies have failed us in the worst way ever.  This feeling is compounded when you are black. When I read the former first lady’s words I immediately identified with them.

According to Ronisha Browdy (cited in the article for the Atlantic)

There’s a historical system that has been used to deny black women the status of true womanhood…Mothering is also attached to black women in stereotypical ways, whether they have children or not—they were situated within slavery as ‘mammy’ and sexually exploited as breeders.”

Therefore when you can’t “breed” you have no value, and that thought continues to be ingrained in the minds of black women.  Further compunding this stereotype as the article states is the fact that “Film and television portrayals of infertile women” are preponderantly aimed at white women.

Click here to buy the e book for only .99 cents

Click here to read the “For This Child We Prayed Blog”

So to hear a person like Michelle Obama open up it was refreshing.  It was hopeful that our struggle might now be seen as valid and those like us will find no shame in seeking the help we need.

When I wrote my book in 2007, it was the first to be written from both the black and Christian perspectives.  Since that time more books and blogs have been written.  While I can’t prove it, I like to think I had something to do with that.

To Read Michelle Obama’s Account Click Here


Click here to buy the paperback on Amazon

Unintended Messages

Some needed hilarity for the day.

Mitch Teemley

Bloopers1God: “Keep up the good work, folks. But about that marquee…”

Presentation1Associate: “May I help–“

Customer: “No! Thanks, I’m good!”

f88075aeef2ea05c327c770b84dc986d4b277a25Can a nature film show too much nature?

christmas-bazaar-sign-46536I don’t know, that just seems wrong, eh.

AlignmentAnd do not, repeat do not get your brakes done here!

Hilarious-and-funny-church-signs-from-around-the-US-41Wait, honey, let’s check the nursery before we go. I mean, just in case.

Let-out-all-the-swear-words-83908We have some great @$#!&*%^ing deals on suits!

Bloopers-It starts with a little harmless arithmetic, but pretty soon you're strung out on equations, and turning trigs to support your $500 a day calculus habitGeeks gone bad.

Bloopers2Well, dang, sounds like hog heaven to me!

Philosophy-Sign-47852Whoa, dude, that is so deep.

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The Real Cost of Self Publishing

I’m writing this post to vent.  Im not ashamed to admit I do this from time to time.  I just recently had a second client complain about the investment to produce their book, one of whom I did not charge a dime and the other received a 70% discount because they were my friends. The irony is in all my years of doing this the only two people ever to complain were  the friends who were either paying nothing or a fraction of the normal cost.  Hmm there’s a lesson here for me.

I invested hours of my own time to walk them through the process of self publishing and countless more hours trying to help layout and format the book.  AND because for some insane reason both of these people wanted it all done in three months, we got it done.  The whole time I’m telling them both, “PLEASE PAY FOR AN EDITOR  and Proofreader.”

“But aren’t you the editor.”

“While I have done A LOOOOOOOOT of editing, as a writing coach and content editor,” and am not “THE EDITOR.”  my job was to help improve your content and coach you through the publishing process and yes I have done a lot of things you would normally have to pay for-I’m not your editor.”

“But I have already invested $200 in my book I don’t want to spend anymore!  I don’t want to wait.  I just want my book published now! Why can’t you edit it?”

Now I no longer want to help her.  I just want to punch her. I emailed her a looooong document about the real cost of publishing (when it’s done right) and how I really did not appreciate her complaints because all things considered she’d invested very little. In the document I reiterated what I’d told her a hundred times “Even if I was to edit it, which I won’t, I will miss too much.  I have looked at this manuscript a hundred times and my eyes are going to miss stuff simply because I’ve seen it TOO MUCH.  This is why major publishing companies have multiple editors, copy editors, proofers, etc…  This is why an accepted manuscript can take a year or more before it makes it to print.  You can’t rush the process and you can’t take shortcuts. PAY FOR THE (expletive not written) EDITOR!

I’m no Superman!

Fast forward to her book release when all these errors were read by the people who purchased her book and now she’s calling me asking if I know an editor-and get this-who will do it for free!

Seriously, you’re still trying to get over?

I should have learned my lesson when I accepted the next gig from a friend.  She was paying (she thinks the $1200 price was too much)  but she 1) sent me an incomplete, draft manuscript, with no meat on the bones that was typed by a 12 year old because she is legally blind.  In a nutshell, she dictated  synopsis to a kid, sends it to me and says, “publish my book.”  which I did after again investing countless hours literally re-writing her book, adding content and dialogue where there was none. Laid out the book, created the cover and set-up everything to go to print.  AND I gave her 50 Free books.  When I counted the hours invested in the project, deducted the cost of the books, I worked for less than $5 per hour.

I only had one request of her.  I think you know what it was.

If you guessed HIRE AN EDITOR and PROOFREADER you’d be right.

Did she do it.  No.  Because in her exact words “I’ve paid you a lot of money.  You shouldn’t make any mistakes. Your the editor.”

I reminded her that was NEVER the deal.  Yes, while I am editing throughout the process a final edit and proofing before going to press ALWAYS requires other SETS OF EYES. I reminded the person that I’d told them that before we started and all throughout the process.  “If you don’t want to pay, send the proof copies to friends and family.  Ask them to read the book and catch all the errors they can.  But whatever you do, don’t authorize going to press until it’s been fully proofed.

Did she do it.  NO, because she didn’t want to pay and she also wanted her book published NOW!

So we go to press.  50 proofing errors were found and she wants everything re-done-FOR FREE! Not happening!

So what’s the point of this blog post?


If you are thinking of self-publishing (whether you are paying someone to help you or doing everything yourself) you need to understand the true cost involved.  I talk to a lot of book independent book publishers and they have al dealt with clients like the above.

If you want to do it right it can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a several thousand. Even if you “do it yourself” you are investing time and time is MONEY! So, before you begin the journey, please visit: httpthe real cost to self publishs://

The Blue Ink Review has a whole section on their blog dedicated to this subject.  Once there you will read post from authors committed to their craft and to the process.  Hopefully afterwards you will get a real sense of the investment and come away with a better understanding of the level of work involved and the true cost associated with “self-publishing.”