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Father’s Day can be a bittersweet holiday for me.  I lost my father to cancer 26 years ago.  Not a day goes by, where I don’t think of him.  I was able to honor my dad’s legacy and influence on my journey of transformation in my guest blog post here.  But I also have another person to celebrate for their influence and support on my journey; my husband, Carlton Riddick.  I have a gazillion reasons.  But I’ll just share my top 3 in this post.  :-)

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Our Wedding Day – July 26, 1997

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

I met Carlton online in October 1995 on America On-line.  Remember the AOL CD’s that offered the free trials?  Remember dial-up for internet access?  Remember long-distance bills charges?  LOL  Well, we suffered through all of that to make a genuine connection online.  It wasn’t a romantic at first.  We met in a chat room called, NetNoir.  We discussed all topics in this room.  From relationships, to business, to politics.  It was a great way to meet people all over the country and connect.

After we met, we would chat online and talk on the phone for hours about anything and everything.  (I actually have a saved transcript of our first conversations.)  We became good friends.  But I never thought the relationship would progress to another level because of distance (I lived in CT and he lived in GA).   I also didn’t believe that we could have a real relationship when we hadn’t even met in person.  Back then, we didn’t have the technology to take pics with your phone.  LOL  I had to physically scan a picture or send one via snail mail.  But Carlton was still interested in pursuing a relationship with me, even though I didn’t have a picture.  In fact, he told me that he didn’t need to see a picture of me to know that he loved me.  SWOON!!!

Of course, I was scared.  All of this seemed too good to be true.  Here’s a God-fearing, handsome, intelligent man pursuing me even without seeing me?  I didn’t want my heart to be broken again.  But Carlton assured me that when you know, you just know.  He dedicated Brian McKnight’s song, “You” to me:

“For once, in my life
I finally found what I was looking to find
When I first, saw your eyes
I saw right through your heart
And climbed into your mind

I never thought I would ever have the thing
I believe other lovers do
Now I do

Baby with you
All my life I’ve been waiting for you
And there ain’t no mistaken it’s true
I’ve been saving forever for you
Girl my only desire is you
Baby I’m so on fire for you
It’s not hard to believe, I love you”

Brian McKnight – You Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Carlton taught me the power of unconditional love from the very beginning of our relationship; before we even married.  He loved me for ME; not just what I looked like on the outside.  Now, he did love what he saw on the outside too; even when I didn’t.  But because of his unconditional love, I knew he had my back and believed in me.  Even when I was broken, I could trust his love for me.  He loved me when I didn’t even love myself.  His love and prayers paved the way for me to finally surrender and begin this journey of transformation.  His love helped me become a better wife and mother.  That’s the power of unconditional love.
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SUPPORT
If it wasn’t for Carlton, there wouldn’t be a blog, Blab, Periscope, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Page or Facebook Group!  None of it!!!  Carlton has been my biggest cheerleader ever since we met.  When I shared my dreams, he believed that they would come true.  If you know Carlton, you know that he’s a BIG dreamer.  The sky’s the limit!  It has taken me a little longer to build up that kind of faith.  I’m getting there!

As the father of our 3 children, Carlton has been supportive.  It’s not easy trying to take care of yourself while at the same time taking care of a husband, children, home and other responsibilities.  That’s why it was so easy for me to put myself last.  Everyone and everything else was more valuable than me.  I remember how Carlton would be upset when he saw how much time and effort I placed on other people’s projects and never dedicated the same towards myself and my own dreams.  He affirmed me and told me that I was worthy.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to receive and believe it.   But Carlton never stopped supporting me.

When I complained about my weight, he got a gym membership for the both of us.  I didn’t work out.  When I complained that I didn’t have sneakers to work out.  He bought me brand new sneakers.  I didn’t work out.  When I complained that I didn’t have time to leave the house to go to the gym, he bought me a complete set of Zumba workouts.  I didn’t work out.  This is why I tell people that weight loss is not a cut and dry process.  It is more than just food and exercise.  No one can make you be successful on this journey.  They can inspire you.  They can encourage and support you.  But only when you have surrendered after being sick and tired of being sick and tired, will you finally take steps to change.

Carlton never wavered with his support.  When I began my journey of transformation on April 20, 2015, he made sure the kids were taken care of.  When I exercised, the kids were good.  When I made healthier meals, he made sure that all the kids were on board; no separate meals.  Eventually, Carlton would schedule some of his workouts to coincide with mine.  Our children were beginning to see how important it was to take care of our health, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.  Both Carlton and I are united in this effort.  We can support each other on this health journey.  He even supported me in my first 5K.  He usually runs these races.  But he walked right along side of me, at my pace, the entire route.   This is true support!

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FRIENDSHIP
What does friendship have to do with being a good father?  EVERYTHING!!!  I believe that one of the reasons our marriage has last this long (19 years in July 2016), is because we were friends first.  We truly enjoy each others’ company.  We have similar interests.  We love to laugh and have fun.  We love to dream about the future.

Everything hasn’t been peaches and creams these past 21 years together.  We’ve had our share of ups and downs.  Because we’re human, I’m sure we’ll encounter more challenges along the way.  But I’m grateful that I have someone who will listen to my deepest fears and not judge me.  If Carlton could fix my problems, he would try.  If not, he’ll find a way or will pray for guidance.

Because we’re friends, we’ve learned how to fight fair.  It hasn’t been easy.  Some times you lose focus of what the fight is really about, and fight each other instead of the problem.  But we can always go back to our foundation of friendship to lead us in the right direction towards resolution.  This is very important to our growth as partners and as parents.  Showing our children that we are friends, gives them a great example to follow when they are ready to look for their spouses.

Every day, I thank God for blessing me with my husband.  God knew what He was doing when he connected us.  I am blessed that Carlton is the father of my children.
For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
How are you celebrating the fathers in your life?
Here’s my food journal from 6/18.  As you can see, I had the munchies!!!  I went way over my daily fat goals.  I also counter acted the benefits of my exercise by eating too many calories.  Instead of beating myself up about it, I’m being kind to myself.  I’m learning to see the good in every situation.  In this situation, I still tracked my meals; even though they weren’t the healthiest.  This helped me to remain accountable.  I still ate the suggested serving sizes for each snack.  Now this is a WIN.  No, they’re not the healthiest snacks.  But in the past, I wouldn’t have cared about serving sizes.  I would have eaten mindlessly until I was content.  Now, God has helped me to be more mindful.  I snack while watching TV.  I need to keep healthier snacks on hand so I have more options.

Today is my rest day from my normal workout routine.  I will be completing my 30 Day Ab Challenge workout.  I missed one day.  But I’m still completing all of the workouts, even if I’m one day behind.  I’m getting stronger!

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I am a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children. I am also the creator and Radio Talk Show Host of the online talk show Share My World Show where I share my journey of transformation to inspire and encourage others to begin their own transformation.

Thank you for following my journey! If you would like to connect, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

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  1. avatar Andrea B.
    4:48 pm on June 19th, 2016

    What a loving tribute LaKisha!

  2. avatar Julie
    2:21 pm on June 20th, 2016

    What a lovely tribute to your #1 fan :) Husbands are a great gift and our biggest support system.

  3. avatar Kelsea Sullivan
    7:07 pm on June 20th, 2016

    While we weren’t friends at first (more like acquaintances), my boyfriend and I have been together nearly 3 years because we’re basically best friends. I wouldn’t choose anybody else to live a long and happy life with. :)

    • avatar LaKisha Riddick
      11:32 am on June 21st, 2016

      How wonderful, Kelsea! When you are best friends with your significant other, you have the best foundation for a sustained long life together. Continue to nurture your friendship and watch your relationship blossom! Thanks for commenting!

  4. avatar Abigail Kuhn
    8:46 am on June 21st, 2016

    Beautiful tribute! Fathers should be celebrated every bit as much as moms are, they do a ton for the family too. :)

  5. avatar Danielle
    12:23 pm on June 23rd, 2016

    Yes I remember AOL and the crazy dial up noise!!! Talk about a #tbt. But I love how your relationship developed and the way you guys grew together. Even when he got you a gym memebership, bought you shoes, and so much more you guys have held close. This is such a lovely post LaKisha <3 <3 <3

    • avatar LaKisha Riddick
      1:44 pm on June 25th, 2016

      Yep that crazy dial up noise!!! LOL I am truly blessed Danielle and don’t take my marriage for granted. I am grateful that we’ve weathered the storms together. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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