Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Years ago (lol) when I was a Junior in college, I participated in the Ms. Junior Pageant-"Dare to Be Different". It's funny, I still have the VHS tape to prove it. One of the requirements was to perform a talent. Now, I am not a singer, don't play an instrument, nor am I a trained dancer. So I decided to do an oration for my talent. Why not?- I had the gift of gab, and I had won an oratorical contest in high school for a scholarship....Well, who would have thought, that that oration would speak volumes and imitate life and resonate so truly in my adult life, years later. I spoke the poem written by Ntozake Shange, in her collection of poems published in her book, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf. The poem?--somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff. If you are familiar with her work, or the poem, (maybe even the movie) it speaks to the fact that somebody almost walked off with all of her stuff....they took advantage of her goodness, her love and kindness and her goodwill. They played her for a fool and THEN had the audacity to try and steal her stuff. Now, physically, sometimes we do lose our material things. Sometimes we don't even realize someone is stealing from us, they are slick, with their sweet talk, their stealth like behavior, their chameleon ways, and truthfully, our rose colored glasses, firmly affixed. Until one day, we wake up, roll-over, the rose colored glasses are shattered and now clear and we realize our stuff is missing....stolen. We are sitting in an empty room wondering, thinking, contemplating, what did I miss? how did I get here? In life, people steal from us, but the important thing to remember...they can not steal our authentic identity, our dignity, our joy or our worthiness. They can not steal our GOD GIVEN right to be loved, respected and treated honorably in a non-abusive environment. They can not steal our story or our destiny or the blessings God has to give us. They can not steal, what we do not continue to give....Once we realize there is a thief amongst us, we can put into place theft deterrent devices. Set your alarm to alert you to an intruder, change the locks...Take measures to protect what is yours--truly yours. And fight to keep it. In my case---somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff, but he can't sell my worth on the street, he will not get a return on his investment and what he took don't make it his---it makes it STOLEN!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Typically at the end of the year and into the new year people take time for self-evaluation, reflection, goal planning, and resolutions. I don't want to focus on resolutions, but I do want to focus on letting go. Have you taken time to reflect? Have you taken inventory? Do you know what you need to keep and what you need to let go? I learned a valuable lesson from my 11 year old, everyone lets go of things when they are ready. A week ago, he cleaned his room (without being told)...and when I say clean I don't mean, move one pile to another pile. He actually cleaned his room and had 4 bags of trash when he was finished. His trash basically consisted of old papers, broken toys and things that were no longer of use to him or anyone else. My point is, letting go can't be forced, but it is necessary. Letting go is a process. Holding on to certain things, weighs you down and prevents room for new and better things.
I want to encourage you to take time and take inventory. Grab a journal and write the good, the bad and the ugly. Evaluate 2013. Evaluate the accomplishments, what made you happy or sad, what made you feel like you had achieved something, lessons learned, what could have been done better, what could have been said differently, what didn't work. What has been in your "carry on" that needs to be checked at baggage check? Whether it is guilt, fear, unforgiveness, self-doubt, a broken relationship, financial woes - make a plan and let it go. Identify your baggage, acknowledge it, pray about it and what ever is in your "carry-on" - lighten it up. To help with letting go, I suggest this releasing exercise. On a note card write "I'm letting go", write down what you need to let go, get a helium filled balloon, tie the "I'm letting go" note to it, go outside and Let It GO!!!!
Here's another reminder...think of (listen to) Erykah Badu's song "Bag Lady."
Bag lady you gon hurt your back
Draggin all them bags like that.
I guess nobody ever told you how
You must hold on to issue, issue issue
One day all them bags gon get in your way
One day all them bags gon get in your way
I said one day all them bags gon get in your way
So pack light, hooo hooo
Thursday, February 2, 2012
I was on a flight to Pittsburgh. For short trips like this; between D.C. and Pittsburgh commuter planes are used. (not a crop duster with a propeller, but close) Our flight started off fine, nice and smooth; the fasten seat belt sign was turned off, flight attendants started serving drinks and snacks, then BOOM...a loud rattling sound echoed through the plane. From that point on, it felt like the pilot, the plane and the air pockets were fighting a revolution! Glasses were sliding off the trays, the plane was being tossed around, and I double checked to see where the emergency exits were as I scrambled to get my bible from my purse. I just KNEW the plane was going down.... I called out to Jesus and started to pray OUT loud. The passenger next to me grabbed my hand and said, "Are you all right?" I said, "NO, but I will be". I continued to pray and read my bible as he looked at me in shock. The flight continued for what seemed like eternity and we finally landed safely in Pittsburgh. At the end of the flight, passengers were hugging and thanking the pilot. However, there was one passenger, also a pilot, that confronted the actual pilot of the flight. He said, "that was awful, you couldn't have prevented that, there was no way around that travel path?" The pilot said, "No, I had to go through it and I did all in my power to get us through it and get us through safely!"
We all hit turbulent points in our life. There is no vaccination to provide immunity to challenges, turmoil or life's stressors. However, with God, nothing is impossible. The turbulence in our lives comes to provide a lesson and draw us closer to God. When it hits, we get desperate, we pray more, cry out more, we are trying to get God's attention. Think about it--sometimes He is trying to get our attention. We have to go through trials and tribulations to appreciate and realize God's power. It teaches us to rely on God's word and promises, not just when things are going well, but during the more difficult times too. Sometimes turbulence cannot be avoided, you have to buckle up, hold on and go through it. Remember, God is our Pilot and He has the power to get you through.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to serve at a local homeless shelter (it is a residency facility). I knew that there might be families there, but the reality is, it didn't HIT me, until I actually saw the children. I talked and interacted with an Ethan - 11 years old, Juliana - 4 years old and Jordan - her 2 year old brother. (Yes, the 2 year talked) I was shocked that Ethan, also has an 8 year old sister, a 4 year old brother and a 8 month old baby brother (Leslie, their mother was there also). ALL were living in the shelter, Homeless. Stop for a moment, and imagine, seeing a family, with children, in a shelter. No permanent home, no privacy - except the room they stay in, with thin walls, they share a bathroom/shower area, a kitchen and common areas. Imagine being a middle school boy, with no home; he can't have "his boys" come over to play video games, because, he doesn't have a home, or access to video games. He can not go next door to see if his buddy can play ball, because, he is homeless. Think about a teenage girl that wants to have a sleepover for her birthday, but can not, because she lives in a homeless shelter.
The mothers looked just like me. Loving their children, nurturing, laughing and playing. The mothers didn't look "homeless". But they were. Candace, drives her daughter Juliana across town so that her daughter can get a good pre-school education. Not any different that what I've done for mine. Leslie said she has been praying for Ethan, with regards to him and school. Not any different that what I do for mine. One common thread--we are all human. A kind word, a gesture, an extended hand can really make a difference....One thing that really made me go hmmmmmm, was, any of us, can end up in a situation, and be where these families are. At any time, we all might need help, significant help. Do not look at others who have fallen on hard times and judge or make assumptions. Instead, look and them and say, what can I do to make a difference. I encourage and challenge everyone to look around you. Look for someone to help. Look for an organization to volunteer your time. Take your children - teach them about community service and a world outside of their comfortable bubble. Look at ways to make someones life and situation better. Help does not have to be financial (although if you have it--give it). Help can be a prayer, it can be spending time with someone, running errands, or a listening ear. It could be cooking a meal for someone that is elderly or just had surgery. The possibilities are endless. In 1970, Diana Ross released a very thought provoking song--Reach Out and Touch. Take a moment and Google the lyrics. The words still ring true 42 years later....Reach Out and Touch, Somebody's hand, Make this world a better place, If you can..... The names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
|Read Psalm 110:1|