|Posted on April 12, 2017 at 4:05 PM||comments (0)|
The sun warms my skin but my heart’s still cold. I’m numb. I’m void of all of the deeply emotional feelings I used to live with on a daily basis. The fuel for my contemplations has run dry. Am I callused I wonder. Am I hardened from a severe winter in my life? I don’t have the answers and I’m in no desperate need to find them. I’m comfortable in this state. It’s easy. It’s peaceful. It’s quiet. It’s me.
I look back from here and see the stages I went through to get here: the devastation, the disbelief, the denial… all the way to the drive and motivation to persevere. I suffered great loss and rose to the challenge to survive it. I suffered disappointment and still have hope of success. I held shame for a while and then let it go by the grace of God. I am because He is.
There’s so much I’m not saying yet I’m taking the time to write anyway. I think there’s a story in me somewhere, maybe many stories. However, I honestly believe that this is my time to be silent. I’m watching, listening and observing life and people. I think my heart is taking inventory and making a wish list. Maybe not, but it seems to not have the same passions as it used to. It doesn’t gravitate the same way anymore. There aren’t many things that excite me or even interest me but the few that do, they fill me with complete joy in the moment.
I must end here. I’m at the library and it is not quiet at all. People are talking very loudly and it is irritating me. It makes me laugh a little because two years ago there wasn’t a quiet place in all of my existence. I really like the silent life. I’m finding myself in the void.
|Posted on December 23, 2016 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
If 2016 is the year of goodbyes for me, then I sure hope the new year brings many hellos.
As I close the door and leave behind the remnants of the life I had, I take very little with me into 2017. I've learned about people during this past year. I've learned about myself and I've learned the difference between what looks right and what is right.
I have felt this movement building for months and months and did not know what exactly it was about. I've been talking about writing a poetry book and getting the first book I wrote actually written and published. But I have decided to leave those desires along with all of the desires fromt he past exactly there- in the past. I am closing the door on just about everything that I've carried with me this far.
As I walk through the door of my new apartment and into the new year, I go empty. My new expectation is to be filled with unexpected richness and beauty. It is a bittersweet passage though, I didn't plan any of this. I simply get up each day and see what the Lord has for me. Lately, it has been loss. Loss that is too tender, too deep to talk about. Yet, with each painful release, I have grown more certain that there must be something with a greater purpose on the other side.
There is something very important I am taking with me and that is LOVE. It will be a love that owes no explanation, holds no regret, and bears witness to the love of God.
Jesus came down from Heaven, to walk among his creation, to bear witness to the Love of God, to be the witness and the testimony. He holds all things in place and not one thing happens that he doesn't know about. Jesus is enough. He is all I need. Love walks with me through the door of 2017.
|Posted on November 21, 2016 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
I love Jesus. I want to worship Him, talk to Him and about Him, sing songs to Him and about Him, I want to be continually in communion with Him. Jesus is my Lord and there is no other for me but He.
That is the bottom line. From there all decisions I make must come. From there, I must grow- rooted in Him.
I feel an ever growing need to share this love and passion for Christ with those in need. Those dying to be loved need to know there is One who loves them more than anyone ever has or ever will. I want to lead people to Christ. There is where I find the greatest joy- always in Christ.
I have always lived with a tremendous sense of responsibility to make sure the right things get taken care of. I truly believe it is a characteristic God gave me on a primitive level that has been tragically emphasized as a moral obligation dictated by an abject society of negligent individuals. This is often viewed as a flaw by some who apply labels such as enabler or co-dependent and seen as a servant's attitude by people of faith. Most of my life I have only viewed it as "just who I am" - not good or bad, just me. Yet over time, especially in these elder years, I am questioning the true value in this ability of mine.
I have learned that all of my efforts to set things right haven't always balanced the scales of justice nor the scales of moral soundness. Many of my years of striving for "rightness" have left me feeling hurt, deprived of joy and life, and depleted of energy. Striving in any manner outside of God's will is as Solomon discovered "vanity" or "chasing after the wind." Basically everything outside of God's will is pointless.
I'm tired of this type of living. I desire that when Jesus returns for the Bride of Christ, I want to be waiting expectantly for Him. I want Him to see me celebrating our marriage with a glowing joy about me. Can you see me there, beaming with a smile about my face, a lightness of foot, a song on my lips and open arms to embrace my One True Love? I see it. It's beautiful. I imagine that Jesus hopes to find all of us waiting that way especially since He brutally bore our sins for us to experience true salvation.
Tomorrow is not a promise and today is a gift- I'm going to start living like I believe that. I am, from this point forward- each breath, each step, each minute and hour, going to live in the joy of my Lord Jesus. I am going to finely tune-in to the still small voice and seek the will of God in all things. No longer will I bow down to responsibilities nor the opinions and expectations of others. If that makes me a rebel for Christ then I fully accept the implications of that. One day soon I will indeed stand before my Maker and be held accountable. I hope to hear "well done thy good and faithful servant."
To God be the Glory through Christ Jesus.
|Posted on October 31, 2016 at 12:20 AM||comments (0)|
11:20am Sunday October 30, 2016
I just walked out of church for the second week in a row simply to avoid confrontation. For the same reason I avoid contact with people associated with my past married life, I avoid these extremely painful memory-inducing situations. I did not leave my family because I was in search of greater pleasures for myself. I left to protect myself from further damage. I left seeking safety and peace. Even my place of refuge turned into a scene from a psychotic drama movie and thus has left me scarred. So, when the antagonist from that drama shows up in my church, I had no choice but to leave.
Since the memories have already been triggered, I am going to talk about something, maybe just for my own clarification. You see, I understand forgiveness. I understand grace and mercy. But the thing is when someone shows you the depth of their depravity, when you witness it with your own eyes and it is conniving and manipulative, it makes trusting their sincerity highly difficult. When people reveal their motives, I mean tell you out right what they are thinking and why they do what they do, and it is clearly in violation of God’s will, what do you make of that? What do you say or how do you respond to them?
I’ll tell you this- I don’t. I cannot see inside their hearts nor can I judge their actions, nor their intentions. I have only their words to base my personal assessment on. And if that assessment goes against my own moral code or my own moral compass or whatever you want to call it, then my strategy is to avoid them and let God deal with them. I walk away.
I know I have flaws and I know that I can be inappropriate at times as my mouth goes off faster than I (choose to) stop it. I am not perfect. I am not a good Christian. I am a sinner saved by Grace. I am forgiven.
Life is full of painful things. In order for us to deal with any of them we must first find strength to stand; for if we are buried under the weight of these pains, we cannot actually do anything but suffer. So stand, stand firm in the faith (1 Cor. 16:13, Eph 6:11.) I know where my strength comes from so I ran to Jesus! I stand here with Him. I am human still remember. I know my limits. I know that my wounds are not yet healed as was evident at the mere mention of the antagonist this morning. My words were actually that “the thought of her brought the devil out in me.” Is that possible? I don’t know. I only know that painful memories resurfaced and it was more than I could bear. I don’t think God wants me to be confrontational. So here I am at home, listening to worship music, reading the bible and writing a testimony. I am getting my head straight. My heart is still in pain, not about seeing her, but because the memories triggered are pretty intense, and all of my children are here in the apartment and that is also a tremendous reminder of what led us to be here instead of in our home. Oh…. The pain…..but Jesus! Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.
On my stereo right now: Lauren Daigle: Once And For All:
“God I give you what I can today/ These scattered ashes that I hid away/ I lay it all at Your feet/ From the corners of my deepest shame/ The places where I’ve worn Your name/ Show me the love/ I say I believe/ Help me to lay it down/ O Lord I lay it down/ O let this be where I died/ My Lord with Thee/ Crucified/ Be lifted high as my kingdoms fall/ Once and for all/ Once and for all/ There is victory in my Savior’s loss/ In the crimson flowing from the cross/ Pour over me/ O Lord I lay it down/ O Lord I lay it down/ Help me to lay it down/O Lord I lay it down.”
Pain is everywhere. So is Jesus. Some situations allow you an escape, some don’t. I was able to walk away from one this morning but I walked right into a different one. Now, I have to head into work. God gives me strength enough for each day. He allows me to walk where I want and speak for myself. I am not a puppet. I endeavor to be a good Christian, a good human, a good mom, a good friend, a good worker, and where I fall short- there is grace- thank you Jesus.
|Posted on October 1, 2016 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
Post Concert - Sling Shot David Tour - NYC - September 22, 2016
The title says 'the end' but truly it is only the beginning of a new leg of my journey called life. For on this day in history, my life will forever be remembered as the day everything changed. I can't even write about all of the transformations but there is just a few hours left to share of this wonderful day. You see, many people probably went home and went to sleep in order to go to work or school the next day but Ben and I continued on our NYC adventure. After walking Towana to the subway station we headed to Times Square. We were there from about 11pm until 1:30am just taking in the sights. We ate breakfast at a 24 hr diner where he caught the last few minutes of the Patriots game (they won.) Then we sat in the very center of Times Square and watched the street performer, and gazed at the buildings all lit up. I was amazed at how buzzing this part of the city was in the middle of the night. The sidewalks were lined with artists of all kinds sculpting, drawing and painting people's portraits. It felt like a carnival at noon on a Saturday. It was beautiful in it's own way. I am glad I was there. More importantly, I'm glad I was there with Ben.
Ben was an encouragement to me that night. He accepted me for who I am - and let me tell ya, after a full day and all of the emotions I held in, at that late hour I began to lose some of my manners. Ben never did. He was such a considerate gentleman and when I got tired of walking, especially on the walk back to the train station, he kept positively encouraging me that I could do it. He was so respectful of me... (I am all choked up and tears are streaming down my face as I type this just remembering.) Respect is something that is hard to find these days. It is something I am not used to. It should be the norm and yet I found it a privilege to receive. Ben is half my age and though I could have been like a mother figure to him, we were like long time friends that night. We shared some personal conversations, and mostly just shared our appreciation for all of the events we experienced together on this trip. Thank You Ben for being such a great person!
We made it on the train at 2:40am and headed back to Providence, RI. Four hours later, Ben drove me home and headed back to his own home to go to work. By God's grace the trip to NYC to see Dee-1 in concert was a tremendous success.
When I got home, in my mailbox was a CD I ordered from Lauren Daigle titled 'How Can It Be" and that is exactly how I was feeling. How can it be that I just had that time of my life in NYC? How? Because God is good that's how!
Lauren Daigle 'First' : http://youtu.be/26Mqmc5rWM8
Just as I was finally going to sleep, I was getting text messages from those now waking up whom I met at the show- deeply touching messages from my new sisters. My heart continued to be overwhelmed by their love. Blessed is how I fell asleep. Praise God!
And now that I've finished writing about the entire experience I can move on to the great and wonderful things that have happened in my life outside of the concert. So much! So much to talk about in the near future. Stay tuned.
|Posted on September 30, 2016 at 9:30 AM||comments (1)|
SOB’s New York City, September 22, 2016- a day I will never forget.
By now you know the original intent of my travelling to NYC was simply to support David Augustine, a soldier in the Lord’s Army, known by the name Dee-1. If you’ve read parts 1 and 2 you also know that God had more in the works for this trip than I could have ever imagined. Still, there is more!
While standing in line outside of SOB’s more and more fans began to connect. Many of us exchanged social media tags and even exchanged phone numbers so when we went into the club we were already friends.
Zoe and I went together to get our tour t-shirts from the merch table and decided to wear them for the show. So we headed to the ladies room to change. While in there we began talking and our friendship entered a new level. I don’t fully understand how it is that all of the conversations that night were able to make us feel so connected except to say that it was the Holy Spirit moving through us. Zoe and I formed a bond as women, not fans, this was girl talk going on. While talking, another woman, Brittany, came into the restroom, overheard our conversation and apologized for cutting in but explained she just had to stay and join because she felt the need to also connect with us. She began to open up on our Godly topics and shared some things that were on her heart. It was truly amazing to witness God working in real time. Two more girls entered, Angelyn and Towana, and like the rest of us, they began sharing their hearts. Within minutes each and every one of us had tears lining our eyes as we were fully aware that the Lord brought us together in the ladies room. The concert had started but we were having a mini-revival and all that mattered was lifting up Jesus. Praise His holy name!
(Towana & Dee-1)
Finally, we returned to the concert floor and met up with Ben. In this moment, I learned that Ariana had left and was not going to be there for the show. (Read part 1 for more.) I noticed a fan wearing a Mission Vision shirt standing alone so I collected the “family” and we all approached this girl. Instantly, she connected with us and joined our ever growing fan-family. I believe her name is LaToya. (I was a bit overwhelmed at this point of the night. Please forgive me if I got the name wrong.) We also met Akita who was helping out at the merch table.
The moment we all were waiting for, Dee-1 entered the room and thus began the show. However, upon taking the stage, he informed us that the venue had cut his show time nearly in half and he was not happy about it, but he was going to bring his all in the time he did have. God was there- no fear, Mission Vision was in full effect.
This was my third Dee-1 concert and I have to tell ya, this one was the most powerful. I thought Boston was intense when Dee had to perform without beats, without music because the equipment failed. He delivered the message without fail that night. This time, with the pressure to condense or shorten his set, he packed it with emotion! I’m talking 100% raw feels! He spoke to the audience about painful things. He told us some private stuff that really hurt his heart. He even cried about all of the killings. He left his heart open for all to see. God bless that man!
So, in case you don’t know this, Dee-1 has publically called me his “official Northeast Region Moms” because as he says I have that “motherly presence.” Imagine my heart when while singing his song 3’s Up he dropped to his knees in front of me, placed his forehead on mine, held the back of my head with one hand and sang these lyrics to my face “I coulda been rich, but that’s another story. I’m tryna do it in a way to bring my mother glory. And bring my father honor.” I thought I was overwhelmed before the show started! I cannot even put words to how I felt after that. Just…PRAISE GOD.
Right before Dee-1 walked off the stage he shouted out “I don’t normally do this but…” then he lifted a hand to God and began praying for everyone there. I knew what he was doing. He was battling demons with the power of God. He prayed for his enemies and those who are against him. He prayed for the people who own or work at the venue. (Who were flicking the lights and displaying unfriendly looks at fans and Dee-1.) Yet, through all of that, Dee kept his cool. He met with fans and took his time doing the right thing. He knew many had traveled far to see him perform. He eventually took this unofficial meet-n-greet to the street outside the club where he once again took unselfish time to connect with everyone waiting. Even had his camera man take video out there and that clip is in the recap video posted on Dee-1 music social media.
I have so much respect for this man of God. His music is a reflection of him. He is a walking, talking example of what he believes, of his Mission Vision.
|Posted on September 29, 2016 at 11:40 AM||comments (0)|
Who knows the secrets of the heart but God?
This month I set out to make Him my number one priority by reading a chapter of Proverbs each day and praying daily and specifically for Dee-1 on his first ever headlining tour. I never imagined what would happen to me as I walked this journey more intimately with the Lord. Already I am changed.
From the moment I decided to get serious about my relationship with God, I mean more serious than I had recently been, truths have been revealed, prayers have been answered, hurdles have been overcome, light has shined in the darkest corners and love has burst around me as brilliant gems sparkling in the sun. Until now I have kept these treasures in my heart like Mary held Jesus in her heart but I cannot contain them any longer.
I’ve talked about being alone in my life, as far as my faith walk and my love of Christian Hip-Hop music so I will not reiterate from where I am coming. I will spring off from the Sling Shot David concert in New York City this past week. Blessings upon blessings upon blessings!
Just before leaving work the day before the concert, my co-worker Danielle informed me that she checked out Dee-1 on YouTube and Facebook and is now a fan. She even told me her favorite song was ‘I’m Not Perfect (I’m a Christian)’ and that made me ecstatic! I have been so alone in my music world and to have someone tell me she Googled my favorite artist, read everything she could find, and listened to his music with joy- that blessed me beyond measure. Now there is someone I see daily at work who understands the mission I’m on and wants to walk it with me. She also wants to go with me to the next the concert in the area. Praise the Lord!
Listen to the Sling Shot David Mixtape tracks here:
Weeks before the concert, I had messaged a somewhat local Dee-1 fan from Massachusetts to see if he was going to the show in New York. He wasn’t planning on going because it was too far but when he heard about my decision to make the trip and how others were travelling to support Uno (one of Dee’s nicknames) he ultimately decided to go with me. I have only met Ben briefly at previous concerts and have not communicated with him prior to looking him up for this concert. Yet when we were in NY everyone thought we were best friends or at least had known each other for a long time. Ben and I spent nearly 24 hours together and had the time of our lives connecting with other fans and experiencing the busy city life of NYC. Let me tell you though how crazy the start of the day was.
Ben was travelling by car from the north of Boston to the Providence RI area to then take a bus with me to NY. He was planning on meeting me in my city an hour after leaving his home. He was not planning on sitting in traffic through Boston for over two hours which means Ben did not make it in time and missed the bus. My heart was broken for him and I prayed. I couldn’t comprehend the fact that I was sitting on a bus alone with an itinerant that included a travel buddy and Ben was now in RI with no guidance. There are times in life that things are completely out of your reach of control that you have no choice but to let them go into the hands of God. I did not try to make calls for Ben, I didn’t try to explain how to get around the city or what he should do, I simply expressed my sadness and told him I was trying not to cry. I felt so bad for him.
Shortly after he called me and said he was on a train to NYC and would see me there. He expressed his sheer joy and excitement about going to the Big Apple and going to the concert. As it turned out, my bus ran into traffic and Ben and I arrived on Seventh Avenue within a half an hour of each other. Standing at the top of the stairs at Penn Station in Madison Square Garden Ben and I exchanged a hug and set off on our adventure. Neither one of us had been to NYC since we were kids. We made it! Praise the Lord.
At 2pm we headed for Times Square with no plans except to explore. Finally deciding to eat at the Hard Rock Café, we ended up getting our picture taken. A great way to remember the day!
Walking down the Seventh Avenue I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was Quinn! She is a fan who messaged me on Facebook about meeting in NY for the show. Quinn recognized me in the sea of people walking down the street- how is that possible? Yet she did and we all hugged and became a party of three! Quinn is a local New Yorker with a much faster pace than us; for the next half hour we simply tried keeping up with her as we headed to the venue at the complete opposite end of Seventh Avenue. Ben and I sang songs from the Sling Shot David mixtape as we dipped and swerved through the people getting out of work heading for the train. It was fun.
Finally at our destination, we met Ariana already standing in line. Immediately we all connected and began sharing our experiences. It didn’t take long for us to all feel like close friends. I know it sounds strange to say but it is true. It’s like Dee-1 fans are family.
|Posted on September 28, 2016 at 11:05 AM||comments (1)|
I am overwhelmed with how deeply the Lord is working things in my life. It occurred to me this morning as I meditated on His word that something big is changing in me. I used to get caught up in the little things of this Christian walk but after meeting some new people and hearing their testimonies I realize how limited my understanding is and I believe that the Lord is in the process of changing me to show me more of Himself. That right there is enough to make me drop to the floor and worship Him. He loves me and He knows my heart. He chose me and lifted me to see things I couldn’t see before. Had I not walked out into the world and obeyed His call on my heart I would have missed getting to know Him more through these people.
It has taken me days to write anything about my trip to New York City last week because I have been actually getting to know the people I met there. I’m still talking to them and God is still revealing things to me. When I say I am overwhelmed it is because there are so many different people and each one has a story and each one touched my life. Each one touched my heart! It wasn’t just a concert I went to, it was a life changing meeting and fellowship of God’s people. I have been cherishing them in my heart since our meeting.
Since I was on the phone with Ariana just last night I will tell you about our meeting and show you how God was and is very present in our new sisterhood.
I travelled to NY with Ben (I’ll tell you that story later,) met Quinn on Seventh Avenue (another story for later,) and we all walked up to the venue to see Dee-1 in concert. Ariana was already standing in line so we all introduced ourselves. After the meet and greet we were back out in line for the actual concert and that’s when it began. All of our testimonies of the day so far, how we each arrived at this place, how we each came to know Dee-1 music became the connecting point for all of us because we all had an amazing journey leading there. Ariana and I broke off into our own conversation and instantly it was deeply personal. You know how you can tell a stranger something you can’t tell your friends? Well, this is how it was and we both related to what the other was saying. It was like a light being plugged into a socket and illuminating the Power Source. God led us to each other and in the moment of revelation Ariana prayed for me. I have never been anointed with oil on my head but right there on Seventh Avenue outside of SOB’s she did just that. She prayed in my ear words that reached down deep in my heart, words that only God knew would speak to me, she prayed and I heard God. He said “I see you. I see the very core of you and I am there.”
Ariana told me a part of her testimony of faith which included her coming to the Lord and praying about a husband. In her testimony she told me that a woman came up to her and gave her a ring and said “God wants you to have this. He wants you to know that Jesus is your husband.” The ring has a silver cross and diamonds on each side and engraved on the band is “I know the thoughts that I think of you.” Jeremiah 29:11. Her testimony prompted me to share more personal stuff with her, after which she then presented the ring to me in the like manner in which it was given to her. I refused the gift but she insisted it was from the Lord, lifted my hand and slipped it on my ring finger where it fit perfectly.
We went into the concert venue broke off into different circles where I headed to the ladies room with Zoe (another story for later.) After I returned from the ladies room, Ben informed me that Ariana had to leave. She did not stay for the concert. I was stunned because that means she was there to minister to me, like an angel sent by God. Later that night I received a text message from Ariana saying that she had a dream in the morning that she would not make it to the concert and when she got home God reminded her of that dream. She told me she knows she was there to meet me and I her. It was a divine meeting for God’s purpose.
I have spent the last week getting to know Ariana and we continue to see the hand of God work in our friendship. Who knows the heart but God?
I have many more stories to share about my NYC experience but each one is full of God’s grace so I want to savor each one. Before I end this however, I want to share the music link to Ariana’s Sound Cloud page.
She goes by AriKarii and she is a Gospel Rapper. She has been given the gift to rap worship music for Jesus and I am blessed to know her and to hear and feel her music.
All praise and glory and honor to the most high Jesus.
|Posted on September 6, 2016 at 4:05 PM||comments (0)|
How do I tell this story in a few words, I think it's impossible, but I will try. I had to change my address on my checking account at the bank so I went to the local branch and sat with a banker. While in his office (the big office) I told him I had been waiting to make this change until I had all of my tickets purchased for the concert, the train etc. He asked me what concert and where I was going. Boom! Opens the door to the most enthusiastic Dee-1 fan run down of who, what , where, when, why and how!
As I spoke of Dee-1 and how I became a fan, my concert experiences, lyrics on the Sling Shot David mixtape, to other Christian hip-hop artists, to the movement, even to Farrakhan and Birdman - this young 24yr old man kept expressing his appreciation and approval and at one point double high-fived me. He said he was definitely going to check out Dee1music on Youtube and he THANKED ME for telling him all about this. He said he was truly thankful. (Of course I told him about Salle Mae Back -since he is a banker.)
From my perspective, as I watched his reactions to my Dee-1 stories, it reminded me of the reaction of the people standing in the front row of the concert in Boston. Some of those people had never heard Dee-1 lyrics and it was like they were shocked at how REAL they were. Well, this banker had similar reactions when I , in a quiet voice, spit some lyrics in his office. He fell back in his chair with the hugest smile and WOW on his face.
I left there with way more than just an address change. I had found a new Dee -1 fan up here in the North East Region of the map for sure!
16 more days until the Sling Shot David Tour hits NYC!
|Posted on September 6, 2016 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
There's a shift happening in my life. The waters have calmed for me personally but I as I look around I see others still in the storm. They can't hear me anymore, they've turned a deaf ear to me. All I can do is watch and pray. The storm is rising against them, I see it. I know I can't go pull them out. I know they have to get through it on their own, but watching them is agonizing.
I turn to the Lord who brought me out of the storm and I cry out to Him who saves. I cry from a place so deep inside I finally get a glimpse of what the bible means when it says Jesus prayed and His sweat was as drops of blood. I feel the very air of life squeeze out of me and I realize I have poured out my heart completely to the Lord, there is nothing left for me to do.
Now I must hold onto the promises of God. I must trust and obey. I must walk and not grow weary.
"When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came unto thee." Jonah 2:7
Proverbs one a day for September
Proverbs 6:1-5 Spoke to me personally as timely advice and a reminder of boundaries I should keep.
Verses 6-19 made the tears stream down my face. I can't exactly speak of it but just know that a conversation I had last night before going to bed was about this. AGAIN, I wake up to to God's Word and discover HE KNOWS. Yet, these verses hurt my very heart because I do not know the hearts of those I'm considering, I can only witness their actions and hear their words. So, I cry out to God to save them. "Please dear Lord Jesus, bring them through the storm safely."
|Posted on September 4, 2016 at 7:50 AM||comments (0)|
September 4, 2016
I'm not looking for signs nor confirmation for any of my thoughts towards God. I really am just taking each day as it comes, waiting on Him and listening. The only reason I am writing each day is to have something to look back on. I'm not trying to teach you anything, and I don't have a great need to write out the details of my life like I once did. Yet "it" just happened again right now. Pretty much the same thing that happened a day or so ago.
Yesterday I spent the entire day in Proverbs chapter 3: before work, during work, after work, into the night. I read it in several different versions of the bible, a couple of study bibles and then by late at night I closed all of the books. I had nothing to write, nothing to share, nothing to journal. I was saddened by this. Oh don't misunderstand, I did in fact have Holy Spirit moments. As I read different verses and highlighted and underlined, I broke down in tears, I burst into prayers, and I cried out to God. One would think that that in and of itself was enough. Tender times with the Lord.
Yet to me those were moments that went as quickly as they came. I listened to worship music at work, after work, and into the night. I also sat in silence for many hours in between. Again, I did not talk to anyone. Prior to going to bed I Googled "life after divorce for the Christian woman."
Article upon article I felt like someone finally understood what I was going through. There was much I skimmed over because it didn't apply to me but finally I read some things that not only explained some things to me but comforted me tremendously. In a way it validated my thoughts and made me feel less alone in that area. I felt so much better after I read several pages.
I turned off the lights, turned off the phone and just sat in my room. Then my feelings were released. I again cried out to God and told Him how I felt, then I wrote two poems. One was about the flowers of my heart and soul not being watered until I cried out to God and He sent the rain. The other was about my feet digging for water like a plant in search of nourishment. Sometimes poems only make sense to the poet and those meant something to me.
This morning when I woke up I didn't open my bible because I had read Proverbs 3-9 yesterday, many times. I already know what chapter 4 is about. I also already read the Daily Bread for today. I decided to reach for "Jesus Calling" - a book I haven't looked at in over a year.
Let the dew of my presence refresh your mind and heart... As dew refreshes grass and flowers during the stillness of the night, so My Presence revitalizes you as you sit quietly with Me. A refreshed, revitalized mind is able to sort out what is important and what is not."
... Ever since the Fall, man has experienced a gaping emptiness that only My Presence can fill. I designed you for close communication with your Creator. How I enjoyed walking through the garden with Adam and Eve... When you commune with me in the garden of your heart, both you and I are blessed.... together we will push back the darkness, for I am the Light of the world.
And there "it" is once again. My poems before bed were about God watering the flowers of my heart and soul and my deep emptiness and longing. I woke up to these two devotionals and I just know God is fully aware of me.
Now I will go reread Proverbs 4 to see what it says in the newness of today. And by the way, yesterday I had the BEST day at work. I was happy and cheerful and even told the head cashier who was having the most stressful day, "I don't mind taking my lunch late, I love my job." She burst into laughter and said that made her job much easier.
3 days down, 3 chapters of Proverbs and a mystery of today to begin. That's a wrap folks.
|Posted on September 2, 2016 at 10:00 PM||comments (0)|
September 2, 2016
This morning when I woke up I read Proverbs 2 as planned. However I had no idea it was about wisdom prior to reading it this morning (especially vs. 7-12 kids bible spoke this plainly.) You see, before I went to bed late last night I wrote about being unsure about being wise.
I know what I meant; that making the right choices every day can be boring at times. Keeping my mouth quiet is sometimes unrewarding. Knowing the truth and seeing others make the wrong decision and not being able to do anything about it, is frustrating. It would be so much easier to just follow along, obey the boss who is doing the wrong thing and not care about what's right. That would be much easier. But it would be wrong. I have a big problem with that; so I have been taking the route of silence, while doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. This is what I call being wise. But it separates me from them. I know that's a good thing, but it is awkward at times. Even so, I would rather be alone with God then in a crowd of those against God.
"Lord, please make this obedience more of a blessing to me. Please help me see the positives of choosing right. I love you Lord. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen"
I wrote that immediately after reading the scripture this morning. I'm only just now posting it because I've been going non-stop since then. I was shocked that hours after I wrote that poem about being wise, the message was about wisdom. Yes, I have new thoughts about it, but I don't have time to talk about it. Just sharing the journey. I am so curious what tomorrow morning will reveal. No peaking! I'm going to bed thinking about today. Gonna read vs.7-12 one more time first. Then sleep on it. Goodnight.
|Posted on September 1, 2016 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
What I want to write about and what comes out of me to write are two different things. No matter how hard I try to focus on writing "nice" things, it is always the struggle that screams to be penned. I've been fighting it for weeks, no... months. I thought maybe I was being negative in my thoughts so I dismissed them. I even let the words be put on paper then I threw them away. I don't want to write about difficult things. I don't want to write about heartache and pain. I have told everyone that I want to write a poetry book about flowers and have the book be so nice that it could sit out on anyone's coffee table. Yet, that is not was comes to me when I sit down to write.
When I tell you I have been struggling with this, it is real. I have sat, like today, in my room without any distractions, without any calls or social media demands and have been unable to write what I want. After, giving up and taking a nap, having a good cry, and praying I decided to quit trying. I decided to just do what my insides wanted to do. Of course, listen to music was my first thought. This time I searched my computer for something different. No luck with different, but a different selection of songs by my favorite artists Dee -1 (of course) and Propaganda. It didn't take long for the emotions to get flowing. As I listened to Propaganda rap about the black experience, the struggles and the desires of his heart it occurred to me that I love listening to him because he in-fact shares the difficult stuff. So does Dee-1, and Lecrae, and Tripp Lee, and KB... etc.
Their songs don't put me in a sad mood even though I cry, they just make me more aware. They open my eyes to a life I have not lived. They tell the facts and their feelings in the manner of their art. When I realized this, just a few minutes ago, I thought maybe I've had it all wrong in my head. Maybe the reason I am struggling to write is because I'm not listening to the voice inside me. Well, I am aware now.
All around my room are pictures of flowers and poems. That's it. On every wall, words and flowers. The floor is stacked with books, notebooks and paper. Everything else is away. I spend all of my free time reading, writing and looking at pictures of flowers on Pinterest. Yes, I also love music but it's not what you think. Some days go by and I never listen to any. Music serves a purpose in my life, it is not my life. I try to analyze my own life, by the things that interest me, to find meaning and purpose especially in light of all the changes I've gone through. When I talk to God, when I pour out my heart, I often ask Him "what am I supposed to do now, now that I am no longer what I once was?" Everything I once had, everything I once loved, I thought, made up who I was. Now that most of those things have been removed from my life, I find myself asking "who am I?"
Today is September 1st and I am starting a new journey. The idea originated with the desire to pray for Dee-1 every day this month as he does his tour around the country. Then I considered the significance of the name of the tour, the Sling Shot David Tour, and how it lined up with the lessons I've been teaching the kids in Sunday school. We've been in the book of Samuel for a while and we are learning all about David. Remembering that God is with those who trust Him, and answers the prayers of those who come to Him, I decided to focus my prayers not only on Dee-1 but on myself and others too. I'm doing a Proverb a day so that I can learn. I'm going to let God speak to me deeply and trust Him. I've recommitted my life to Him and all that I hope to do. I'm going to pray intentionally and read the bible daily. (I know, you thought I already did this.) And I'm going to write whatever wants to come out of me. (That last sentence was hard to type.)
Lastly, around mid-day today I decided to check out the new Daily Bread devotional for September. Are you ready to hear the title?
"Because You Prayed"
I'm certain you see the awesomeness of that.
Today is day one and look what I just did. I wrote something. I can do this.
|Posted on July 29, 2016 at 7:30 PM||comments (3)|
We’re all motivated by love on some level, whether we’re passionate about good things or evil things the love of it moves us to action. It’s the love of nature that guides me to make conscious decisions about how I care for it. It’s the love of stories that keeps me reading books and the love of God that keeps me focused in all areas of my life. I have a deep appreciation and love for people who choose to do the right thing and who realize that they have a purpose in life. David Augustine, also known as Dee-1, is an example of a person with this type of integrity for God.
Dee-1 is my favorite hip-hop rapper. Not that I listen to rap music on the daily nor that I even understand much of the hip-hop culture, lyrics or movement, but as far as Dee -1 is concerned I am a genuine supporter and I’m here to tell you why. It’s all about his purpose- to bring glory and honor to God with his music. In fulfilling his purpose, he created the Mission Vision Movement which is a mind-set or a lifestyle that keeps God number one, encourages individuals to use their God-given talents to make a better existence for people and includes the three fingers up expression to symbolize #1 Be Real, #2 Be Righteous, #3 Be Relevant. Think about those three for a minute.
Dee-1’s music is a declaration of his personal truths, his integrity, and his faith. His music ministers to people where they’re at; even someone like me can connect with his lyrics because they ultimately have to do with trusting God. He breaks it down to a human level, a real gritty level. You just have to listen to hear that he is speaking the truth about life. One of my favorite verses in a song of his says “The devil don’t take a day off, so I can’t either, pick a side ‘cause we’re fighting in a spiritual war, and grab your heater, I got mine, and it don’t shoot bullets it jot lines.” (Only God Can Judge Me) As a writer this verse impacted me with a strong reminder that my pen (filled with the truth of God) is my weapon against spiritual warfare. I must use it to fulfill God’s purpose in my life.
Two other songs deeply move me: I’m Not Perfect (I’m a Christian) and One Man Army. Both of these songs deal with the everyday struggles of living your purpose. When I listen to these songs I am motivated to press on through everything because “God’s got me.”
So why am I writing about all of this? Because Dee-1 taught me something, opened my eyes and inspired me. He recognizes my support, calls me a fervent fan, says I’m trill, and gave me the honor of being called his “Northeast region mom” because of my “motherly presence” at his concerts and on social media. He accepts me as I am, respects me as I am, and appreciates me as I am, even though I am not a typical listener of hip-hop music. He has shown me the love of God in a way that inspires me to do likewise. I am a member of his street team, the Mission Vision Posse or MVP’s. Like I said earlier, I am unfamiliar with hip-hop but real recognizes real and that is what we have here. I support him on his journey because I believe God is using him to change lives. I buy his music, learn his songs, go to his shows, and tell people about him- all because I want to for no other reason than I believe it is God moving me to do so. It feels right.
Remember I started off by saying that we are all motivated by love. Well it’s because I love the purpose driven mission behind the man at the mic that has me promoting Dee-1. He has just released a FREE mix-tape called Sling Shot David and will be soon headlining a nationwide tour in September. His album will be released soon after that. I would like to encourage you to check out Dee1music on all of your social media sites, Google him, follow him, and listen to his songs on YouTube. I believe you will be blessed simply by getting to know the man, David Augustine, and you will discover a boatload of truths in the music of Dee-1.
One of the things he opened my eyes to is what true fans are. I am no celebrity but I did publish a book recently. I only published the book because when I was writing the stories online everyone told me they wanted it as a book. I gave it a shot, made a few mistakes in editing and formatting, but put it out there on Amazon and Kindle anyway; told all of my “fans” that the book was done and guess what? They didn’t buy it. But everyone is talking about it. I saw it on Facebook; I saw a string of comments about how great it was that I wrote a book. I got some “congratulations” in email and text messages, but no sales. Excuse me, a handful of people did in fact buy the book the day it was released. Those are my real fans. Those are my true supporters and I love them. If any of you are reading this, I sincerely thank you for supporting me.
You see, I get it now. I get why I matter to Dee-1. I get why he works so hard to live his purpose. He said it in his new song “I don’t prostitute my soul for dollar bills.” He isn’t in it for the money. He has a purpose and he’s doing what he loves. That is my inspiration! I will keep writing and keep publishing but I will no longer do it for the fans. I will do it for God and to fulfill His plan in my life. I love God more than I love anything on earth. He is my motivation to write. I know my purpose and I too have Mission Vision. Any questions- Google it- it’s all “Googleable” as Dee-1 said in a recent Facebook Live video.
|Posted on May 20, 2016 at 6:25 AM||comments (0)|
I didn't see that one coming! All I was thinking about yesterday was how I was going to handle being labeled "divorced." I never figured in how unpredictable people are, some more than others.
The good news is that God did in fact answer my heart's cry for strength and peace while dealing with the matters of the court. Even when the other party walked out of the court house before we ever met with the judge, I never once felt shocked or sad in any way. You see, walking down the street prior to entering the court house I prayed, "Today is in your hands Lord." As the events unfolded, I knew God was with me because I was smiling and laughing through all of it. Thank you Lord!
When I got home that was a different story. I've told you that I live in the city and now that the weather has become suitable for opening windows I hear the cries of the people. Literally, I hear people crying all the time. I hear screaming and yelling, hysterical crying, doors slamming and I must admit it is a bit frightening. For two days I listened to a domestic dispute echo between the buildings. I have no idea where they live, maybe even in my building. She screamed and cried for two days "Why are you doing this to me?" she repeated over and over. Still, no police came. Yesterday, I saw water leaking into my bathroom from the upstairs bathroom so I went and knocked on their door. "Who the *beep is knocking on my door?" shouted a deep voiced man followed by more expletives from a woman. "It's your neighbor.... there's water leaking...." I tried to explain the reason for my visit but was interrupted by a woman soaking wet, wrapped in a towel, pressing her hand against her chest saying "I'm not the landlord." And again the deep voiced man was yelling from the shower. Let me tell you, I heard them screaming for ten minutes from down in my apartment. I was home alone. I was scared!!!!
When I go to work I hear the woes of others as well. It seems from my point of view that not too many people are happy in their jobs nor in life in general. I am surprised to hear the comments of people buying items: their shock at how much they spent, their inability to carry or lift the items they purchased. Everywhere I go I hear the cries of humanity. Yet I hear something else as well.
I hear the birds singing. I see them gathering nesting material and searching for food. They are in the mix with us humans and still they sing. I see the flowers I sell at work and the green trees now in full bloom as I drive to work. OH! The clouds!!! Driving to the court house yesterday I saw the beautiful sky filled with clouds. It reminded me of my book cover and that reminded me of Kaleidastorm- seeing beauty in the storms of life. Yes, these are the things I will keep my thoughts on, for the heavens and the earth declare the Glory of God
|Posted on May 19, 2016 at 7:20 AM||comments (0)|
May 19, 2016
Twenty years ago a meeting occurred with a Justice of the Peace to discuss the details of my marriage. Today I am meeting with a Judge to discuss the details of my divorce. In my endeavor to always move forward I try hard not to look back. It is nearly impossible to do though. This post is to document my thoughts and feelings today. If I ever I want to look back, it will be here.
One of my favorite aspects of being a born again believer is that the bible is full of rules that were created to help mankind in their relationship with God. Since I didn't know who He was when I first met Him, I loved the rules. I tried to obey the rules. It was a good fit for me. However, with this decision I've made to divorce my husband, my heart and mind towards God's rules are in a terrible spin.
In the bible when people like Moses grieved for the people of Israel in their disobedience to God, they would rent their garments and fall prostrate on the ground in prayer. That vivid display of heartbreak and submission to God has always stayed with me. It has always had a powerful impact on me.
In my life, I find there is no more vulnerable position to pray to God than in the shower, naked before the Lord. I am always overwhelmed with the symbolism of washing the outer surface and usually end up praying to cleanse the inner self as well.
Last night, as I stood there in prayer, crying, I couldn't ask God for what I needed. I wanted to ask Him to help me get through tomorrow. I wanted to confess how weak I was and in need of His strength but His rules were in my mind. God hates divorce. How could I ask him to help me do something He hates?
I felt even more weak in that moment. I thought about God in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world. I thought about the God of love. I remembered that above all things, God loves me. Yes, first and foremost, God loves me. In that moment, I raised my hands up to Abba Father and simply said I love you Lord, I need you. Forgive me.
I know that He is with me through everything. I know He will never forsake me. I know He loves me and will still love me after I am divorced. I have no idea how I am going to continue being a Sunday School teacher after this. How can I teach God's Word when I have broken his rules. Yet as I write this, I am reminded that none are without spot. I don't have the answers right now but I trust He will show me.
|Posted on May 15, 2016 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted on April 14, 2016 at 5:00 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on March 24, 2016 at 10:40 AM||comments (0)|
I often say there's an ocean in me for I feel the rising tides and crashing waves and even the ebb and flow of a calming sea. What stirs the universe to cause such swells is all a mystery to me. I simply know as the days pass by, the seasons change and so do I.
I'm standing here on the shore as the sun shines upon a new day. I'm taken by the soothing breeze as it sweeps over the cooling waters and right into me. This is the Lord's will for me today. He heard my heart, he listened to my tears, wiped them off and erased my fears. What was a terrible burden, felt like misery and shame, has been removed and I'm no longer the same. I cannot cry out the same prayers for he took and made repairs, cleansed and made me whole, to fulfill His purpose this I know.
What stirs the mighty rolling sea? I have but to trust the force is also in me. Today may not be like yesterday, tomorrow will not be the same, but today I will trust and obey the power in His holy name. Jesus is my constant, steadfast and true. He's my North star, my sun and moon. He's my East and West, North and South, my gravitational pull. He alone stirs the seas and He is alive in me.
|Posted on March 17, 2016 at 9:55 PM||comments (0)|
"I tell you, if they remain silent, the rocks will cry out" Luke 19:40
Even the stones praise God
There's a fire burning in me that won't go out. I'm not talking about acid indigestion, I'm talking about a Holy Spirit fire. It's a passion to live like Jesus did... as I see it.
I see a man who sought the will of God in a very personal way. He didn't ask others what he should do, he just did it. Even as a boy, Jesus was found in the temple courtyard with the teachers. He didn't understand why his family was looking for him.
John the Baptist didn't understand why Jesus wanted to be baptized. He didn't explain he simply said "baptize me."
There are many other examples of Jesus going against popular opinion. He ate with people they thought he shouldn't, talked with women who thought he shouldn't, he went places they thought he shouldn't. Yet Jesus did according to what he thought was right because he was doing the will of God.
Jesus didn't give an account of his walk with God, he was a living example. I look to him and seek to follow his lead.
Still, I feel like an outcast everywhere I go. In church I feel isolated because I have interests outside the church. In the world I feel like an outcast because I have a deep desire for Jesus and speak as such. In both situations I get a silent reply when I speak and no one to share my heart's delight. To that I say "though none go with me, still I will follow."
Oh I hear the outrage from here! I can hear each one of you pleading your case of how you support everything I do. That is not my point. I know I am loved. I know I am welcomed. I know I am encouraged and by some I am admired for my faith. There is a much bigger concept here. It is a world vs. church concept and I am not the only one talking about it.
The world has exploded with assaults against the church. There is so much outrage against organized religion that it makes people throw up a hand and stop you from uttering a word if you are "one of those." The world is eager to show you the err in your ways and in your thinking and quick to tell you that they don't need your God.
The church is is equally as judgmental and sharp in their opinions about what is acceptable in order to get into Heaven. "The scriptures say..." and that is all they need to win the battle. Quoting scripture at every mention of a contrary way living other than according to what they believe. I see this daily...at work, online, with people in conversations. And when I bring an issue to the foreground and hold one of these people accountable the answer always falls in the gray area... left to interpretation.
Why am I talking about all of this?
Because I am sick of the disrespect and lack of love for people.
JESUS DIED FOR US WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS!!
He reached out to the sinners of the world. He went to them. He loved them. He pointed them to God. He lived what LOVE IS.
I am trying to do the same. I see both sides of the issue. I see so much more than I care to speak of. I don't want to sit here and point fingers, there's enough of that going on. What has my heart twisted and in pain is the hurting people of the world. The weak and suffering need God. They need a savior, though they say they don't. So many have been hurt by the church or the people who claim to be Christians. So many have been broken by life. So many children need guidance and love, yet not many can even stand toe to toe with the youth of today.
I am involved with those soldiers of Christ who are on a mission to reach the lost. I am actively involved in the mission field in hopes to do God's will, for he says the end hasn't happened because more will be saved. More will also die but I'm clinging to the fact that more will be saved. So while there is still time.... I am a vessel of love and light to the lost. If I am following your lead that's because I see your light is brighter than mine and I am encouraged by you.
The world will laugh at the church. The church will not step foot in the world for fear of not making it into Heaven. I say "what would Jesus do?' I believe he would get his feet dirty by walking out into the world to reach out his hand to save a lost soul.
When your heart is set on God and you're walking with Jesus, there are no questions to whether you are doing it wrong or right. I have no questions. I am on a mission. I know who I believe in and I know he is able to work his will through me. Here I am Lord, use me.