Tag: faith

The Parable Of The Water Glass

It’s just a glass.

 

Melted and shaped rock that was formed and that I can drink out of. This glass was given to me by the Director of FLOW: Where Writing Moves, one amazing Ms. Amanda Wells.

I have not drank from it, and cried when she said I could have one of the many she has on a brown shelf on the wall in her cozy office. I turned it over and over in my hands, tried not to cry. One would ask, “Why cry over a glass? It’s just a glass.” These are the people whom cannot relate to me–they are not acquainted with loss or pain or passions.

It was about two years ago when I decided to forgo nursing school, the goal of becoming a nurse, in favor of pursuing what I loved: writing.

I decided to let go of the safe to do the extraordinary, the unsafe and unheard of. I listened to my heart and the leading of God and have seen my life transform. Since giving up nursing school, the false self, I rediscovered my artistic bent and nature. I began to love me again. I loved creating and words again…I found me.

On this journey, I found myself in rooms I did not unlock, with people I would have never met, and was allowed to have this little Dollar Store water glass.

Which I am allowed to fill…

All my years of trying to please people, of not being accepting of all I was, allowing other people to define me and what I needed–has ended.

I define me now. And only me.

This glass sits in a place where I can see it daily. It reminds me of my potential, my power, my choices and beliefs. It holds only what I allow, and releases only what I say and will. I reminds me that my journey is not over…only just beginning.

And I shall be brave enough to finish it.

 

 

[Image belongs to author]

Mirrors On The Wall

The most radical thing you can do in the land we now inhabit is to love yourself. I mean really, love yourself. That type of love is beyond selfies, ‘Gram posts, video hits and likes. It’s beyond the reach and opinion of other people. This love cannot be defined by the witness and presence of other people.

Love is defined in three ways. Two are nouns:  (1) an intense feeling of affection of (2)  a person or a thing that one loves. The last is what is called eros, erotic or romantic love. However, self-love is or can be defined as to “love of self” or “regard for one’s own happiness or advantage” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Whereas this would be seen as selfishness or vanity, it is not. It’s not a bad thing to be aware of yourself, your needs and wants. It is not selfish for you to be aware of yourself. It is not selfish to be aware of your hurts, fears and frailties.

None.

It is not vanity to be introspective. It is not vanity to be self-aware and present–present in your own life. It is not vanity to acknowledge your own presence, participation and contribution to the life you lead. In acknowledging your entire self, in all parts, you become a sentient being. A being with autonomy, passions, history and future. You indeed are you.

The act of self-love is radical. It involves what a good friend of mine calls *shadow work. It’s unpleasant, it’s hard, and it’s freeing. It is the gathering of the broken pieces of yourself in order to be whole again–recognizing them as still pieces of yourself, and you are worthy of healing and not weight. In loving yourself, you have to become able to love the things you don’t like about yourself, the dirty secret things you will never reveal to even your Creator. Forgiveness is a part of shadow work. Being able to look at whatever you have done, and own it. It is a portion, not the definition, of whom you are.

When you can love yourself when it is hardest to, this is a portion of what it means to love yourself. When you can begin to see yourself as entire being of and for value, this is the beginning of loving yourself–practicing self-love and care.

Life is a journey dear one, do not fear it.

There will be times where the hardest thing to be is yourself–however, that is the only person you cannot do this life without. The beginning to love yourself is to remember you cannot do life without you.

(Luke 1:37:  For with God, nothing shall be impossible.)

*-There will be a post about Shadow Work later this month.

Sun & Bells

You’ve heard the expression Whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee by the poet John Donne–and the Hemingway book of the same beginning clause. Check this explanation:

“…for whom the bell tolls definition. An expression from a sermon by John Donne. Donne says that because we are all part of mankind, any person’s death is a loss to all of us: “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

What is death except the ultimate change and and letting go. What we forget is the impact life, and its loss, has on us as individuals and humanity.

In the space of grief and acceptance, we have to be reminded to live. We must live and continue to live as best we can. Sometimes, this needs a reminder. There needs to guideposts and other people whom love you to continue to remind you life has not ended because one life is not present.

It is trite to say ‘live and do how they would have wanted you to live.” Death does not take or replace personal autonomy. You still own the outcome of your life.

So own the outcomes.

Own the uncomfortable places, the secret things, indeed every outcome. Do not be taken hostage to the dreams of people whom never voiced their own or could speak to yours. Do not be persuaded from what you desire in favors for what may have been hoped for in another person.

This life, and all is sorrow and boundless wonder, is yours. Do not live as if your presence offends people. Do not live your life for the dead. Live your life because it is yours, it is excellent, and it is waiting.

With Dead Wait

This year has been one of total preparation. It has been twelve months which have tested and confirmed the best and worst of all of us and for all of us. This entire year has either been a confirmation or preparation.

Flat out.

The country is being thrown into a meat grinder, the survivors into a Brazen Bull, and all witnesses to justice thrown from a cliff as the Emperor Caligula’s uncle, Germanicus, did:  for amusement.

This being one of last two blogs I shall write for this year, I write from the vantage point of vigilant hope. The woman I call Mother Oracle or Grandmother Oracle, Maya Angelou, said when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Believe them.

This election, the result, the dismantling of legacies, the erasure of progress, the erecting of the resurrection of every demon conjured by Confederate ancestry–it has been enough to make one utterly give up. It is enough to make sure your heart remains broken and eyes more comfortable closed.

As you watch this year close and the year before you open–be mindful of these things, these people: the heart breakers, the liars, those whom left as swift as they entered your life. Those whom shunned your apologies, dismissed your purpose, challenged ideals you held, and thought nothing of what you would become after all had been taken from you.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

I am fond of saying this, “Anger is fruitless lest but towards a positive purpose.” You can be mad, but what are you going to do when you stop being mad?  Will you stop being mad, can you stop being mad?

There are times in this life where it is imperative to know what is you want, why you want it, and what you will allow to stop you. One of my favorite scriptures is from the Apostle Paul. He says this in the book of Hebrews, and in times of heartbreak and frustration, I gather strength from it:

As you determine your course along this life, you will be convinced and confronted to hold on to things and people which no longer suit you, aid you, profit you or add to you. There will be and are times where it is easier to carry what is bitter and sour than to let go of these same things in order to heal, be better and run faster. Being able to admit that which does not suit you allows you to own all what you will become.

Being able to allow into your life and limit negativity yields the medicine of peace. Releasing those whom desire to bring energy and situations to your life set to overwhelm and hinder you is a protection of your sanity.

These types of weights settle in your heart, these type of people bring you shadows where there was light to adequately see their intent. In times of transition, like the ending of a year, it gives you pause to decipher the motives of other people  as well as your desire to be what it is you desire. Do not be dissuaded from what you want.

Do not be dissuaded from what you want.

In not allowing these weights to persist, you make the decision to grow. You decide the formation of the self you shall become is worthy of torturous waiting. The dirty truth is,  beloved, it is work to become. You must work in the waiting. There is work to become, and sometimes–this involves waiting.

The year of 2017 has four days remaining. Take this time to consider what you will hold onto, let go of and need to find solace or more of in the year to come. Why? Not everything, nor everyone, is suited to accompany you on your journey. Don’t fear this. Even if you have only you to go–that is enough.

You are enough…rest in that.

RUNITBACKFRIDAY- 12/15/17

10 days till Christmas.

8 days till you gotta prep for this meal no one will help you wash dishes afterwards.

Let’s get it!

#BlackMedia #BlackNews #BlackMen #Platforms #MediaPlatforms #TVOneNewsNow #BlackEverything #RolandSMartin #TVONEYouTube

I like Roland Martin. I enjoy his show! I love that he is knowledgeable, and does not take any. I love the fact TVOne made room for him and all his blackness. The troubling thing is near the end of the month TVOne is cancelling his show (I believe it’s December 21).!

This is troubling because we can’t afford to be silent or silenced by any force. The advantage of technology is it is a tool which gives everyone a platform, should they desire it. However, there is a power that comes with the audience gleaned as you hone your particular platform. With that audience, you garner and perpetuate influence.

TV ONE NEWS ONE NOW has a predominately black audience. It is a platform where national issues are discussed as well as issues that affect us as people of color. It has been reported that he will still have a voice on TVOne (as he is a commentator) but no longer will he have a show. I wish Roland the best and larger platforms! #BringTheFunk

#Eminem #NewAlbum #MarshallMathers

I heard today, literally minutes that bae has apologized to his ex-wife on his new album. I don’t know what to make of this. I remember the MARSHALL MATHERS LP (yes, I bought the CD and wore it out so that some of the tracks skipped!), and I believe it was track 15 that was titles Kim that was too much for me to listen to. The chorus goes, “So long/bitch you did me so wrong/I don’t want to go on/living in this world without you.

BRUH.

I mean if Jay-Z can grow up and apologize to the woman he calls a soulmate at damn near 50, I mean let Em do the same. 2017 seems to be the year to try and do better. Perhaps we need to give space to let people atone–perfection is a myth and err all too human. Before you snap off on Em, check your own porch.

#ThePutOut #Omarosa #TheWhiteHouse #ChilePlease #SunkenPlace #Georgina #GetOut

I know y’all have been waiting to hear my take on this mess. Chile, I AM STILL LAUGHING. Why you may ask is ALL of Black America laughing? It’s the ultimate I TOLD YOU SO. It’s the validation that she got exactly what she deserved–no more no less.

There is nothing wrong with being brilliant and ambitious and beautiful. And she is all those things. However…to what cost! She turned her back on the very people whom look like her. Omarosa thought her MBA stood for Make a Bitch Acceptable in certain company.

No.

No ma’am.

Am I hating on her degree? No. Her education? Of course not. I am happy to see anyone strive and achieve. It’s enough light for everyone to have some! But I don’t have to get my light from taking yours, blocking yours or stealing it!The hard reality is she is still a black woman in a world that sees her as less than a white woman.

I said it.

Fight me.

Omarosa had to be reminded that she was a black woman in the most public and degrading way possible. It’s hilarious because she really thought she had transcended race…when Barack couldn’t. It’s hilarious because she forgot the first rule of engagement: know your enemy. Know what it is you are fighting.

In the Shakespeare play Coriolanus, there is a quote that says , The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Omarosa believed she didn’t need a people to help or warn her. She didn’t believe the secret knowledge of her foremothers in how to balance academia, excellence and blackness. She forgot that when she made it, would need to help someone else. Omarosa just got fronted as an ‘uppity negro’ and now she mad. We are laughing because we all saw it coming. We ALL saw it coming.

I don’t feel bad for her. I wish her the best and with everyone and everything else this year, “Do better.”

Revolutionary Is Christlike


I don’t know this docile Jesus Christ people speak about. I don’t know who this passive Jesus is. I don’t know who this Christ they mention whom never had an emotion, a reaction or passion. I don’t know Him, and to be frank? I couldn’t worship a God that was like that or be familiar with that sort of robotic person.

Years ago, there was this WWJD movement. This acronym meant, “What Would Jesus Do?” Okay, that’s pretty alright, we can roll with that. This acronym was supposed to promote Christ-like thoughts, ergo similar behavior.

That’s always a good thing.

In the matters of justice, freedom, truth and activism, there are some in the faith whom seem less able to ask such holy application of wisdom to these situations.

My husband says he believes if Our Lord, the one we call Jesus Christ, were alive and among us, He would be an activist—out with the protestors.

For proof look no further than the Book Of Micah, chapter 6, verse 8:

 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.


In these instances and opines, it is easy or even customary to associate the iconic, oft referenced Christ flipping tables as it relates to revolutionary behavior or disturbing the status quo.

Where this space is not appropriate or sufficient to discuss this passage in the Gospel of Luke, I will ask you to consider the parallels between what Christ did and what the activism community is trying to do.

Call attention to what is wrong. There can be no struggle without progress, but for progress to come there must be acknowledgment. If you acknowledge it, that means you’re paying attention to what is going on around you. If you’re paying attention? Well, the revolution can use you.

Not accepting the mistreatment of what and whom is important. What you accept, you allow to continue. What you do not accept, you will make concerted effort to change.

Revolution through forward motion. In flipping the table and chasing money lenders, in protesting, in organizing, in economic boycott, we are putting effort and energy behind what we are determined to do and showing exactly how serious we are about this myriad of things that are happening, have happened and are to come. It’s what my Father calls making a believer out of you. 

I don’t know this quiet Christ, this conservative (whatever that means now-I think it’s coded language meaning Jesus is white), Republican Jesus. The Christ of the Gospel, of the Bible I have read, the One I serve, tells me that to be silent in the face of what is wrong is not what He has called us to do.

Since He was not quiet, don’t ask me to be.

Found Faithful


My life at present is unbelievable.

From a quiet, daydreaming little girl to a lioness that preaches the living gospel of Jesus Christ, I would never have planned this for myself. Ever. And I write.

From this journey, I have met unbelievable people and been confronted with situations where my faith has been tried, questioned and subjected to further scrutiny.

It was at 16 when I told God I wanted to be a ‘mighty woman for Him.’ I had no idea what that meant or even what that demands of me still. The Holy Bible tells all those who believe they should have childlike faith.

After living past childhood and into adulthood? Sometimes this is the hardest thing to be asked. You believe but you have so many reasons not to believe anything besides what your eyes and hands validate.

However, there is one thing I strive to do in regards to life so far:  hold on to the childlike faith. 

The daily goal is to remember that my life is a process. I am responsible for my life and all decisions therein.

I hold on to this faith by belief. The belief that all that is happening to me is the tapestry that is me.

The strength I have found to continue, despite what may be happening, is found in that continuation. The motivation behind it is to be a better woman while trying to be the woman that God can use.

In that being used, I have to be willing to be separated from what it is that is comfortable, to be lonely and watched afar off. In that being used, I decide that nothing is worth deviating from the plan I have been set on.

It’s not worth deviation because of the valuable resource of time. The Bible tells us to be faithful over a few things, and He will make us ruler over much (Matthew 25:23).

I believe that God can indeed do all He promised me if I would believe and follow. That childlike faith is what makes everything I have encountered bareable.

Every time I wanted to quit, I found life impossible (or grief made it dark), or I didn’t believe anything else would happen for the better, my grip would loosen, but I couldn’t forget.

There is a portion of belief that requires discipline as patience. From that, all things can come.

I have decided it is better to believe in what shall come rather than focus on what will never fit. From that, I have the strength to keep going to see what the end shall be.

The Strength To Wonder


There is a portion of faith that is driven solely by imagination.  Even the Scriptures remind us to ask for what we want, not doubt, and to believe that we have what we ask for even as we ask for it.

Sometimes, as adults, that is a constant reminder of the necessity of having child-like faith:  it’s the coin of the realm of belief. Sometimes in order for new things to happen, believing that they will is the first step.

However, there is an esoteric nature to telling what you want or need to the Creator, to a High Power, the Almighty.  While doing so, have the audacity to believe that the being, with all power to sustain full utilization of the universe seen and unseen, will acknowledge you. From that acknowledgment, He will answer you in accordance to the greater plan and purpose for your life.

Incredible.


What I have found, especially in the position in Christian ministry I occupy, is that sense of hope and wonder you fight to maintain. You fight to maintain it because the onslaught of the world contends with you to siphon out any sense of love, hope, faith or wonder.

It is by hope that we can we believe and seek the better. However, if we cannot see the better, no hope exists. If there is no hope that exists, there can be nothing else that will exist outside of it.


In the space which God’s grace allows me to occupy, I have learned to maintain that sense of hope—from it, I cultivate gratitude. I am grateful for the minuscule and the grand because my hope lies in the sustainer of all those things given to me.

It is in that hope that I can and do wrap myself when life becomes overwhelming.  In that time away from the diverse temptations of the world, I get to see as children do again:  the world as open and accessible. I get to ask for what I want, beyond a Santa Claus capacity.  The relationship forged in those moments results in an intimacy incomparable.

It is the intimacy that grants me strength to believe for better and know that better will come. With the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune accosted as an affront to my person daily, I am settled to know I don’t walk through this life alone.

Even if I were to give in to that, as I sometimes have, I am reassured it is only for a short time—and He whom sustains the world by desire of thought is never far from me…neither will He take me where He cannot be, for that is not His nature.

Of this knowledge, in this space, I can recite one of the first scriptures I had ever learned, from the book of Esther 4, verse 14 (I learned it in the King James Version):

Why I Believe

I am a theist.
I believe in God, His sovereignty, and His Son, Jesus Christ—born of a virgin, through the line of Jesse, then father of David, crucified, ascended and coming again.

This is not a secret.

I take my Jesus everywhere, including my Facebook wall and Twitter feed. I don’t browbeat people with my faith, and I don’t try to cherry pick scripture to assault people with. I try my best to love people and remember that there are many ways people find God. My job is to show His love to all people—even if they can’t believe what I believe.

In all the chaos in the world, I would be remiss to say I haven’t had my own struggles with my faith. I would be liar to say believing has been easy. I am not immune to the suffering in the world, the injustice, the cruelty and violence—I have had my days where facing the world outside my door is on the short list of things to do.

However…I do.


One of the first scriptures I had ever learned was from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 17, verse 21. In the King James Version it reads as follows:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Even now, that scripture settles me. It lets me know I’m not alone. This God I learned about in a small church in North St. Louis, MO was real, and He was with me no matter where I was.

In the face of an unbelievable world, there is a believable God.

I often tell people when asked about why I believe, that faith is a tangible, personal thing. God shows Himself to everyone—all the time.

From sunrises and a good night’s sleep, to laughter and in darkest times, there is someone that will come after you. I believe because I have seen Him heal my daughter whom had post-birth jaundice and almost died (because an insurance company wouldn’t let us keep the machine that was needed to treat her).

I actually had to call the company to have them pick it up! Even then, while having the invoice in my hand, and the machine in my house (and hearing the technician’s voice whom dropped it off!), Apria Healthcare had no record of them having this machine.


I saw faith sustain and rebuild my mother after the death of my father. I saw God heal my youngest daughter and sustain her life as I carried her in my body amidst my marriage dissolving and the toxic breakdown of it.
I believe in God because I don’t have the faith required to believe this is all an accident. There are too many things that have happened to me to make me believe there is not an orchestrated webbing to all things.

I’m human. I grapple and struggle with it sometimes, and I don’t always understand life and its evils or know how to make it better. But what I do know is, as I go through this life, my hope isn’t in what I see around me… it’s what I know inside of me.

I know that this relationship I have with God is amazing, and that’s because it is real and sustaining. He has been proven in my life that He is exactly what He has shown me. That is indescribable.

Faith does not make me above the reasonable intelligence or regular expectation of humanity, but it does make me believe that humanity is valuable, valiant and redeemable.