Friday, December 31, 2010

Thank you

I don't know who you are but according to my stats people are reading this blog all over the world! While I may not know who you are, you know a little bit about who I am. Maybe my story is one you can relate to, perhaps you have struggle in your life...things you didn't know you could get past. Perhaps you too have found the ability to find joy in the little things. Perhaps you have found a way to thank God for good and the bad in your life. Perhaps you have found a way to "count it all joy". Perhaps you know what it feels like to experience loneliness and the joy and hope of love. Whatever your story is, perhaps you saw a little bit of your experience in my experiences or perhaps my experiences have made you even more grateful for your own. Whatever your reason is for reading, thank you for taking the time. Blogging has been very therapeutic for me. It is helping me dig a little deeper and go a little harder on this journey we call life.While I started this blog just for me...the biggest blessing I get is when I receive messages from others who can relate or messages just to say thank you for writing that today, it blessed me...I hope you keep reading, I know 2011 will bring about some exciting times, growth, and experience...teaching me more and more each day that there is truly "beauty for ashes".

Happy New Year! Catch you in 2011!


Well it is officially the last day of the year...2010 is coming to a close! It's been an interesting close of the year, but I remain hopeful. My biggest hope is that in the next year strongholds will be released from my life and from the lives of those I hold nearest and dearest to my heart. I read somewhere that 11 signifies transition...well I feel my life is going through major transition. I also feel like my family is going through major transition. It seems like yesterday, my cousins and I were all playing at my grandmother's house and our biggest obstacle was what rules we would follow for UNO, or who had to wash, rinse, or dry the dishes (not my male cousin, his only task was the garbage!). I grew up in a family of women. There is only one male per generation, for the last 4 generations, so we are a family of strong women. We had to be! Our mom's take care of us, even now and we are all close to 30 or in our mid-thirties (hard to believe b/c we come from such great genes you wouldn't know Holiday dinners are always prepared by the "Momma's" as we call them with love, but they have started entrusting us to the side dishes...and we have gotten pretty good! However, now it is time for us to start making the main dish, the turkey,the ham, the's time for us to start taking the lead and let the "momma's" sit back and relax. It's time to pass the much as we hate it, it's a necessary part of life...we have to be prepared so that we can then pass the torch on as well. Change is not always easy, but it can be good. With change or transition comes the potential for failure but also the potential for our turkey may not be as good as our mom's but it will be in time...and if we cant make it, we know how to order it! (Most people get a fried turkey anyway now) The point is, it's TIME.

I am blessed to come from a family where my "extended family" is my IMMEDIATE family. My cousins and I are more like siblings and my aunts are more like second mothers. I didn't understand how "different" we were until I became an adult and realized everyone didn't do it like my family did. I come from great stock...great women, who come from a great woman...strong women, who come from a strong woman....god fearing women, who come from a god fearing woman...resourceful women, who come from a resourceful woman. Even still there are strongholds that exist...out of respect for my family I will not discuss those here. I am praying that my family will break strongholds and continue to walk in the greatness from which we were created. It's time to transition, it's time for the little girl inside of us to take a back seat, as my BFF says all the time. With that transition, comes great responsibility, and with that responsibility comes great influence. I am ready to walk in my greatness...I am ready to transition.

I'm the daughter of a great woman, 
who is the daughter of a great woman,
now I'm just trying to be a great woman....JPF

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 1Cor13:11

Sunday, December 26, 2010

L.I.P (Live in Peace)...Effective Immediately

Today we lost a musical legend, Teena Marie. Facebook lit up with lots of statuses giving her praise, links to her songs, and praying for her peaceful rest in eternity. I am sure her record sales will increase starting tomorrow. I remember when Michael Jackson passed away, I bought several cd's, t-shirts, dvd, and it seemed like I couldn't get enough of MJ. Now, I have to admit I want to get a best of Teena Marie cd (yeah I am behind on, but I have never bought her music before. I have always liked her but I never felt moved to buy her music. Why is we often see value in people and things when they are gone? This year I also lost two peers, who I considered friends. Facebook has been great for reconnecting and staying connected, but there is still nothing like the human connection. I recall one of my friends passing away the morning after I had spoken to him. We all know death is a part of life, but when it comes it always seems to side-swipe us. I am a spiritual person, so I believe that people (who are believers) are definitely in a better place when they leave this earthly place. Still, even the most spiritual person feels a sense of loss when our loved ones leave. I can only speak for myself, so I won't speak for you, but for me there is always a sense of unfinished business, unspoken words, things I should have, would have done...I remember when my friend passed, I thought about the several times we planned to get together when I would be in town, but for some reason it never was always "next time"...then it was too late.

As humans, we take tomorrow for granted. We assume tomorrow I will do this, tomorrow I will say that, tomorrow I will forgive, tomorrow I will stop this, tomorrow I will etc, etc...but tomorrow turns into days, days turn into weeks, weeks to months, months to years. There are 5 days left in 2010. This is the time of year when many people reflect on the past year and make plans and "resolutions" for the next year. We all have done it, "in january I will...." As the saying goes, why put off to tomorrow, what you can do today? Prior to hearing of the passing of Teena Marie today, I had been reflecting most of you, I was planning my "resolutions". Saying, "in 2011 I am...I will...I won't"...but 2011 is 5 days away...this is the mistake we make...assuming tomorrow will be here. I remember as a child, my grandmother would have me say a bedtime prayer "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." This prayer gives reverence to God, acknowledges that tomorrow is not promised, and submits a request that God will allow us to rest with him when we leave this earthly place. There are alot of things in my life that must be resolved, effective immediately. I can't wait until 2011, I can't wait until tomorrow. Time to forgive, call a friend I haven't spoken to in a while, embrace those I love and that love me, remove toxic people and habits, have a little more patience with others, pray more, make the right people and the right things a priority, and find joy in each day. I am sure I will stumble along the way, but I will do my best to take advantage of today and not take for granted tomorrow. Still, I look forward to what is to come tomorrow and in 2011, if it is my will to see it.  When loved ones pass we often say R.I.P (Rest In Peace)...well, death is guaranteed but while I can I want to L.I.P (Live in Peace)...Effective Immediately. I pray for comfort for the family of Teena Marie and for all families who have lost a loved one, but most of all I pray that those who have passed on had found a way to live in peace.

R.I.P Teena Marie...L.I.P family and friends......

Jesus said
"I am he who supplies all your needs"
And you said
"I know, but tomorrow, ooh, tomorrow, ill give my life
tomorrow, I thought about today, but it's so much easier to say...Tomorrow, 

who promised you tomorrow,
better choose the lord today, for
tomorrow very well might be too late
.~The Winans

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:13-14

Monday, December 20, 2010

This Little Light of Mine

Around 2AM there will be a total lunar eclipse! How exciting! I had to google what actually happens during a total lunar eclipse, it is when the earth, moon, and sun are completely aligned, with the earth in the middle. I started to think about this, I saw an image of the earth between light and darkness...however both the sun and the moon provide illumination. Then I started thinking about the word "illumination", so I looked it up. Definition: an observable property and effect of light (per wikipedia). Then, something (I say God) told me to see if there was a lunar eclipse on the day of my birth...I couldn't believe it when I saw that there was actually a partial lunar eclipse on the month, day, and year of my birth. So then I really started thinking. What could all this mean? I started thinking about my I was born: to teenage parents, born with illness, my life: suffering with illness throughout my life, sexual abuse, my father not being in my home, great failures and great accomplishments, great loves and great heartaches, marriage and divorce, dreams accomplished, dreams deferred, dreams never to be adulthood: great friends, relationships ending, dependence, interdependence, co-dependence, and finally experiences: good decisions, bad decisions, happiness, depression, surrounded by loved ones, wilderness...darkness and light...night and day. I started to wonder what will be my "observable property and effect of light"? Then I looked up the word "eclipse" Definition: a temporary or permanent dimming or cutting off of light (one definition per wikipedia). Then I thought to myself, my light is God. I am so thankful that he is the creator of all things, therefore his light can never be eclipsed. So the sun and the moon (day and night/good and evil/lightness and darkness) have always continued to shine light on me, shine light on my situation, shine light on my growth, and shine light on who God created me to be. It's time to start walking in my light. Maybe that night on June 4, 1974 when I was born under a partial lunar eclipse it was to remind me that darkness will come (my light may be dimmed) but there is always going to be light (God, hope, love) over my life. So I am learning to walk in the light, to see the light, even when that light seems so small....I know it is cannot be totally eclipsed. My decision is that I will not let anyone, any situation or circumstance permanently dim my light. I will not be eclipsed. Whatever your darkness is, I encourage you to walk in the light! I pray that my "observable property and effect of light" (my testimony) will be that I am God's child. What will be yours?

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine"

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his 
light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the 
glory of God in the face of Christ. 2Corinthians 4:6 
*I encourage you to read all of 2Corinthians Chapter 4* 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Game Over

Competition is meant for sports, jobs, and other aspects of life, but it is not meant for love. If you have to compete in love, you have already lost. I am a single woman, and it is not easy. Last night I was having a moment and I called my mom, and she knew just what to say. The thing I appreciate about my mom is she is willing to share her own experiences, openly and honestly. I think if people were a little more transparent we could see we are not crazy, everyone makes mistakes, and learn from the lessons of others. So I will admit, I have shared a man, sometimes knowingly and sometimes not. We all make excuses, "everyone is doing it...this is just how men's not my problem...if she was keeping him happy he wouldn't be here with me...etc etc" The worst lie we tell ourselves, is that we can do enough, be enough, love enough that he will CHOOSE us. This is the very moment, when you have already lost the game. Once you become a player of the game, you become a loser of the game. Now I am sure there are some folks out there who can give a testimony of how their story didn't turn out that way, there are exceptions to every rule...but 9 times out of 10 you will lose. My mom told me last night don't be so desperate for companionship that you lose yourself or your integrity. Last year, I suffered a really bad hurt. I found out I was in a competition I didn't even know I was in. Honestly, I am still getting over it and the pain that came with it. I couldn't understand, how someone I loved so much, could hurt me so bad. My competitor and I talked and discussed the game we were both a part of it, and to be honest it was pretty sick. However, in the end I lost (or so I thought) because he was choosing her and not me. So through the pain, anger, and tears I have had a lot of time to reflect and evaluate. Often as women, we try to do things that we were not created to do. We try to play the games of "men" (who are really insecure boys) but that is not who we were created to while we try to play the game, we always get played.

Sometimes the competition is not another player, maybe it's a job, emotions, a parent, friends..etc, thing I have learned in my 36 years is people are always right where they want to be and doing exactly what they want to do. Well, I've played this game way too long, reached all the levels, and my last man has fallen off the over! Maybe I'm old school, maybe I believe the man chooses the woman, maybe I believe God created woman as a helpmate for man to cherish, maybe I don't believe in SisterWives (lol)...but whatever it is I know God didn't create me for objectification, degradation, humiliation, or disrespect. Like alot of my fellow sisters, I have a lot of love to give...I just have to give it to the right person...and the first person I must give it to is ME. So in the end, in my competition I didn't lose...I who entered me into lost. So however, you have to get out of the game, do reset..whatever you do make sure it's GAME OVER.

Why do I play? I’d rather play alone
I can’t play the fool anymore, no
No, I don’t need a game anymore, you could play the fool
I’ma play my hero, you gonna be a zero
I’d rather play alone, I can’t play the fool anymore
I don’t need a game anymore, you could play the fool
I’ma play my hero, you gonna be a zero
I’m playing the goodbye game
...Chrisette Michelle

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Kitchen Table

Like most homes, especially old homes, people always gather in the kitchen. Growing up in my home, people were always at our house and when they were there they were always at the kitchen table. I recall my mom sitting at the table with her friends talking, giving advice, or playing Bid Wist! Luckily, my mom didn't play eating all over the house, so we always ate at the kitchen table too. As a teen, there were many silent meals, but as I got older oh the conversations she and I had. Now, that I am an adult, I get to sit at the "grown folks" table and I cherish the many conversations that take place at the kitchen table. My mom is my best friend and I have received a lot of advice from her at that table and some of my closest friends aka her other "children" have also benefited from the blessings and wisdom that was given over that kitchen table. Dreams, hopes, fears, tears, laughs, and hopes have all been discussed over that kitchen table. So tonight, I'll just reflect on some of that advice and share some of it with you.

Like my momma always says...:

"Whatever choices you make, make sure you can live with the consequences."

"Trust God, not will let you down, God won't"

"What God has for you, is for you"

"Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you aren't worth it, you are!"

"Nobody has to wake up with your life but you"

"Nobody is perfect. Everyone has their s%*!...even you"

"Find something in life that you are passionate about"

"Sometimes you have to just look in the mirror and say I'm beautiful"

"You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped"

"You can't take care of others, if you haven't taken care of yourself"

"People and things can't make you happy"

"Don't give so much of yourself, til you don't have anything left"

"When people show you who they are believe them"

"You are not the lamb"

These are just a few bits of advice she has given me over the years. I hope it blessed you as much as it has blessed me. Next to God, my mother gives me strength. She is the strongest woman I know. She raised me as a single parent and always makes me feel like I was the greatest gift God created. In addition, she modeled the type of woman I hope to be: humble, giving, compassionate, loving, beautiful, stylish, resourceful, and trusting in the Lord at all times. I didn't only get nourishment for my body at the kitchen table in my home, but I also received nourishment for my soul...thank God for my mother and thank God for the Kitchen Table.

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.Proverbs 31:29

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Do the Lonely Do At Christmas?

I know it has been a long time...I made one of the mistakes I often tend to make...getting sidetracked! Or rather not taking time for me. I guess a better statement is not taking the time to do the things I want to do or need to do, or not doing the things I need to do but don't want to do (i.e., going through mail).  My mommy tells me is there is always something that needs to be done (like that unopened, it's up to me to take advantage of those times when I am alone to be productive or to reconnect to myself or those things I blogging :-)

It's easy to get caught up with people or activities, then you become dependent on those things, neglect yourself, and then boom....all those people and activities are unavailable or gone. Then you are left alone and bored. I've come a long way, but I admit I am one of those people who hates being alone. I've adjusted to it, because I had to, but it is still one of my least favorite things to do. In the last year, I've felt alone more than I've felt connected. One of my friends reminds me that being in the "wilderness" can be a good thing, and it has in many ways, but it is still horrendously hard! I guess we weren't meant to be alone. I even read a spiritual devotional this morning and it talked about one of the four human weaknesses is fear of being alone. If you are like me, you are one of those person's that has to answer the phone when it rings or return a text as soon as it comes. Part of it is politeness and part of it is the need to feel connected. My goal is to get comfortable in being disconnected, to carve out a time in the day that is just for me (without interruption), and to find peace in solitude.

I am realizing that in the end, whether I am single or in a relationship, in a city with all of friends and family or a city by myself, I have to depend on myself and on God. In the end, that is all any of us have. My mommy used to say (at the height of my spirals of being alone) that man will always let you down, but God won't, so learn to depend on him. I guess I am still learning that. Being alone is also a great time to pray and reconnect with God. It is in these silent moments,when you can hear from God and commune with him. I believe there is a lot God wants me to hear from him, and a lot he wants to hear from me. I've been asking myself, "what do the lonely do at Christmas?" I guess, they do what everyone else does, put up decorations and spend time with friends and family, or as one my friends said "grin and bear it." In the end, we are not truly alone, for God is with us...How awesome is that?

A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me." John 16:32