I grew up in on the north side of Little Rock. My mother was a single parent. My father died when I was four years old and she raised five kids on her own. And she didn't drink or drug or club or anything, she raised me in church and everything, but as I got older I felt like I was being sheltered. I felt like I couldn't do what other kids did, or she favored my brothers and sisters more than me, because she expected more of me. And that made me rebel against what she wanted me to do in life. And as I got older, I just went astray.

I have six kids. Through my drug addictions, I was on drugs and everything, when they were little kids they used to run around the house with bibles in their hands asking God to save me. Really, they was the parent and I was the kid. They wonderful, you know. I should have listened to their instructions. Instead of me giving them instructions, they was giving me instructions but at the time I wasn't myself. You know, I was off into what Lula wanted to do and not listening to the right thing in life.

I used to be a people pleaser because I was overweight and I wanted to have friends, a boyfriend, but I was real low self esteem. I was affiliated with this young lady that lived next door, she was going with a young man that lived next door to me and I began to smoke weed and pop pills with her trying to lose weight. And it went from drinking to marijuana and then from pills and sniffing cocaine, and as I got older, I saw my older brother smoking crack and I asked him to let me try it and he just wigged out, he didn't want me to. But I pushed the issue and pushed the issue, "if you don't somebody will." And I went behind his back and I did it, and that's where I made my mistake because even though he was doing it, he was telling me that it's a drug that you don't want to get mixed up in because it's just something that you can't put down, it's a real addiction.

I just lost out on life you know. I lost out on life. I was going to cosmetology school, but when I enrolled I never did go and I said I loved my children, but I would push my mother off on my children because I wanted to go get high. Or I would so to speak buy them, give them money and then go my own separate way. I would misuse people to get what I want. I manipulated people, telling them that a bill needed paying or something to get money for drugs.

I'm here on a first degree murder charge with possession of controlled. I was at a friend's house and I was on cocaine, we had been smoking all day long. My brother was like "please Lula, let's go home." But I didn't want to hear that, I wanted to do my thing. I went to a friend's house and I saw his gun hanging out of his pocket and I wanted some more crack because I was out. And I got the gun from his pocket without him knowing it. I was getting ready to put it in my purse and he rushed over and grabbed me and I was telling him, "I'll give it to you, I'll give it to you just let me go." And I'm really not for sure if I pulled the trigger back, you know it happened so fast I really don't know what happened. But I got scared and I ran, but I turned myself in because I just couldn't live with that on my conscience. I couldn't live with it. I stayed in jail a year over that and when I got out I tried to sell some dope to get a lawyer. I went back to jail on a dope charge. And I took a plea for fourteen years. And I'm not really mad about my charge, I'm not mad about the time I got to do, I'm more depressed because I wish I would have told the truth. Because there were more people involved in my case and I know God will bring those people forward in due time. But I have to take responsibility for what I did, and I'm not mad. I thank God that the family forgave me, but I just made some stupid choices in life.

I told my mom to tell them. And I guess a few months later when they came to see me, I told them. I told them I lied about what happened, but I said I was the one with the gun in my hand and I was trying to steal his gun to get some crack. They know I was on drugs and that I needed some help. They understand. They say they forgive me.

First of all, I know my role is going to change because I've got more of Christ in me. I know that I don't have to be a people pleaser no more. I don't have to do drugs no more, because there is a better life. One thing I have learned from being in prison, I learned out there but I didn't try, is I have to change my people, places and things. I do have Christian friends and I know that those are the type of people I can hang around because those are the type of people who truly do love me. My children, I know that they're going to be by my side, and I'm going to be by their side. And yes I know I've missed a lot of years in their life, and I've got a long way to go, to miss some more years of their life, but I know that God is bringing us together while I'm in here and they're out there. He's still bonding us together.

The first year I was here, I was in and out of the hole, fighting, talking bad to the officers. But the rest of the year and a half, I got on my knees and said, "lord I can't do this. I'm either going to kill myself, you need to let me die, or you need to do something with me. I'm sick and tired, and I'm sick and tired of myself." I have more peace. I still stumble and fall, but God is letting me know what track I'm supposed to be on.

My daughter, I haven't heard anything about the boys, but my daughter, she was at school and they was like "your mom is in prison, your mom is in prison" and "I was going to slap one of those girls!" and I said "no ma'am. You can't do that." "But momma, they talking about you." I said, "okay, but let's think about Jesus." You know, and that's all I know to talk about. That's how I know to keep my kids sane in that world. Because I told her, they don't know no better. You have to look at the situation. They talking about me, but do they know me? Is it hurting me? Why let it hurt me? Why let it hurt her? I understand that I'm your mom and that I'm in prison, but that's a mistake that I made, not a mistake you made. But through God we're getting the mistake corrected. So when you look at her all you do is say, "Yes, my momma is in prison. God bless you." And go on.

My mom is awesome. And I thank her. My friends here, some of their parents are out there on drugs. Some of their parents don't want to have no dealings with their children and I am truly blessed to have a mother put up with six kids, you know? That's a blessing. To put up with six kids. Because she didn't have to do it. She raised hers. She didn't have to do it. And I thank her. I thank my momma.

Don't look down on a man unless you're bringing him up. We all have to change before it's too late. We can't let the devil make us hate. Because when we hate in our heart and in our mind, that makes us blind. So I just want to say that those that are guilty, they deserve a second chance.

It matters not what day I get out. All that matters is that I be a better mom when I get out. That's all that matters to me.