Motherhood, an Opportunity Encounter

Like many other moms, I had several “aha moments” along this journey we call motherhood. However, one of the most enlightening moments for me was the realization that motherhood is filled with endless opportunities from which I am able to make decisions and act upon.

Opportunities:

  • To do what is right
  • To regain hope once lost
  • To maintain hope for now and the future
  • To love unconditionally
  • To be an example of Godliness
  • To lead and guide
  • To help prepare a way forward
  • To teach

I have come to view mothering as a series of phases, each with ts own set of opportunities. For instance, there was the time I was given an opportunity to be a “stay at home” mom. Now I will be very honest and say there were moments during this phase that felt more chaotic than opportunistic. Then through my marriage covenant I was given the opportunity to be a step-mother to two very special children. And with it came the capacity to spread more love and walk in great hope.

Regardless of the phase, what I had to decide was how I would seize the opportunities presented to me. And while the phases may vary from time to time, and mother to mother, I believe most of us face similar questions as it relates to the opportunities we encounter… How will I capture moments? Am I prepared to take advantage of the blessings set before me? What decisions will be made today that will impact our futures?

As mothers we have daily opportunities to decide how we will plant foundational seeds so that our children will be the better for it. Moreover, we have an opportunity to plant foundational seeds to better ourselves so that we live life fully in the presence of our children. Which I believe will lend way to the phrase “I learned it by watching you”; the words I pray every child will have the opportunity to say to their mother.

Words such as “I learned it by watching you.” have become motivation for me to be more of who I was created to be. These are the same words I am hopeful will become an inner prompting, signaling you to stay the course. It is my hope that those words would sound an alarm within each time an opportunity presents itself to do what is best. May they ignite the courage, determination, and love you possess; May you hold onto these words and seize moments like never before, so that words such as these are spoken back to you:

“I learned about faith by watching you. I learned about courage by watching you. I learned about trust by watching you. I learned how to be a good steward by watching you. I learned about self-worth and respect by watching you. I learned to give by watching you.” — Says the child(ren) of the mother declaring limitless opportunities.

In closing, I would like to encourage you to be ever so mindful of the opportunities motherhood presents. Declare victory over every area of your life and the lives’ of your children. Job 22:28 says: “You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways.”

Walk in Hope, engage in Love, and seek daily Opportunities.

Many Blessings,

— Shaniqua Cousins

 

A Letter to My Daughter…

Dear Jada,

This is a vision of my love expressed in written form.

When I close my eyes and envision the two of us it looks a lot like this: Me standing upright with confidence and a warm smile on my face; with a posture that is welcoming and gentle, yet stern. With the light of Lord shining from the inside out, I’m standing behind you my sweet girl with the palm of my hand at the small of your back. The universal code most mothers have that signals “you can do it and you need not be afraid, I am right here at your side”. Equipped with your own confidence, your relationship with God, and the tools acquired as a result of our relationship, you will face the world with an unmatchable boldness, determination, and love. And even if you wander for moments at a time the seeds planted early on bring you back to the place predestined for you to be.

— Mommy

Shaniqua Cousins
For nearly two decades Shaniqua Cousins has been a leader and inspiration to many. Speaking, training and literary writing are amongst the several skills gained during her military career with the United States Navy and post-secondary education. Shaniqua served as a United States Navy Sailor for eight and one half years. She quickly distinguished herself as a superb leader, mentor, outstanding manager, and one truly concerned for the betterment of fellow sailors and civilian employees alike. She provided advisory services to senior management to facilitate workforce development and analysis and ensured the achievement of strategic management of human capital and accountability goals within her department. Her meritorious service stemmed from October 1997 to April 2006. Demonstrating diligence and extraordinary professionalism, Shaniqua led sailors and civilians to meet increased demands imposed by senior officials. Shaniqua's distinctive accomplishments, unrelenting perseverance, and steadfast devotion to duty reflected great credit upon her and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. She continues to serve her country as a proud member of the Federal Civilian Service. As with her military career, Shaniqua has quickly become a respected leader, outstanding manager, and mentor. As a speaker on numerous topics ranging from purposeful living, enjoying life, goal achievement, and self-improvement, Shaniqua has developed unique and insightful concepts that provide practical solutions for application to everyday life. To date she has self-published & authored Life, Experiences, Preparation, and Purpose; Co-Authored My Name is Mommy, Stories of Motherhood and the Lessons it Taught; Founded Shaniqua Cousins World Group LLC; created the ShaniquaCousins.com website and Letters To My Daughter: Moments Captured, Bonds Sealed, Designer stationary gift box collection; launched an international Newsletter, Seek Purpose Live Dreams and produces and host the international Seek Purpose, Live Dreams TV web series, airing regularly on the Social Media Platforms. Additionally, Shaniqua continues to serve as a guest speaker during numerous conferences, meetings, and social gatherings. Shaniqua has been interviewed by both television and radio personalities across the country, allowing her to share her message of purposeful living to thousands. Through the use of her website, company, publications, lectures, television & radio interviews, and social media, Shaniqua is undoubtedly becoming an influential pioneer of the arts for her generation and for those to follow.