The more I ask;
the more I receive,
The more I seek;
the more I find,
The more I knock;
the more doors open,
The more Your Word manifests;
the more I pray to remain humble
Today is an extremely hot, sunny and beautiful day; somewhere in the mid-nineties. Surprisingly, apart from the sweat factor, I’ve been pretty comfortable. I am not sure why, but my mood has been on a fiery roller-coaster, one minute I am calm, cool and collected, the other, I am sensitive and offended by everything and everyone (my poor husband). I don’t know if it’s the weather or if I’m a true victim of the injustices of this great life-I know I am mighty dramatic too, right? But, life for me lately has been this on and off, hot and cold emotional ride.
As I type, I am sitting in my AC chilled living room, eating yogurt and waiting for my husband to get home (to watch our daughter) so that I can go to the gym. I am tired from a long and hot day at work, but an evening workout with two of my great friends (one of whom is my sister), seems to give me enough energy to forge ahead, especially since there has been talk of getting some kind of ice-cream/frozen yogurt afterward.
Today has not been too exciting, so far, but I did accomplish a lot and that’s what I am extremely proud of. The goals that I set for my day will be completed, as soon as I post this blog, finish my workout, eat that ice-cream yogurt stuff, read a few pages in a few books, spend quality time with my little family, reflect on my day, consider tomorrow, say my prayers…WOW! This looks like a long night ahead. I think I kind of overwhelmed myself a bit- I never realized how much stuff I do in a few hours timeframe, and to top it off, I am still sleepy from this morning.
I also feel like I am coming down with a cold, my mildly sore throat from yesterday turned into nasal congestion and a day full of sneezing. The good things is, I don’t feel sick or rundown and I pray that I won’t. I am really boring myself with this post, but pressing past procrastination and actually sitting down and typing a post is a long overdue goal of mine, so this is a step in the “action” direction.
I enjoy sitting in front of this computer, but it seems I never have the time, but deep down, the truth is, there is time when I make time, and I have not been making time the way that I know I can. There are always thoughts and ideas running through my mind of what I can write about, but most times, these inspirations are suppressed by Fear. Fear has turned my dreams into a nightmare and Procrastination has been its sedative! Day after day I awake with a heart filled with passion for things I would like to see happen in my life; publishing a book, becoming a certified Sign Language interpreter, starting a side business…and the list goes on. As the numbers of candles on my birthday cake go higher and higher it is clear that I am not getting any younger. Focus and motivation dance before me, like two blind flames relentlessly fighting in the dark; sometimes energized and ready to win and others, distracted by the desire to simply stay aflame.
There are many different kinds of fear that contend against me putting effort toward my goals, but it can all be summed up as the “Fear of the Unknown”-not knowing whether I will succeed or fail, lingers in the back of my mind. It’s hidden under almost every excuse and distraction and is often found in the basin of what appears to be progress and busyness. Procrastination is always moving, appearing to be active, but is never productive. It makes you feel as if you are making headway, but never renders any edible fruit or proof. In order to realize our goals, we have to pull Fear and Procrastination from the bowels of our thoughts and stare them in the face and create a counteractive plan. It is not an easy thing to bring the subconscious to the forefront of our minds, so we must practice it. Routinely ask ourselves a few questions and evaluate what’s holding us back and then take steps in a progressive direction.
There are many things in my life that require my constant and loyal attention like my God, my family, my finances (employment) and some others. The loyal managing of these things can cause the other, more personal goals to be placed on the back burner, especially when there is the physical and mental need to rest. I know that taking care of myself is of utmost importance because if I don’t take care of myself, I may eventually not be well enough to take care of anyone or anything else. But there also needs to be time and focus designated to step-by-step work on my other goals. It is this understanding that forces me to identify my Fear and push past Procrastination and at the very least, make the attempt toward achieving my goals-something that, I’m glad to report, I’ve already started. Stay tuned.
I had a great Fourth of July, with family, friends and strangers. Everything was great, the weather; the food and the festivities. I’m not sure if this is considered complaining, but through all of today’s goodness, I can’t help but consider the various posts I saw on my social networks stating their ‘discontent’ with ‘Independence Day’ and what it represents. There were statements about slavery, racism, segregation, and the fact that Blacks were not free during Independence Day…etc-The statements are completely valid, so in no way am I downplaying or refuting the truth behind the information stated. What bothers me is that as a Black woman, who lives and has lived in ‘black neighborhoods’ all of my life, I feel like what’s the point of pointing the finger at other races for disparities and stereotypes that we perpetuate?
“The tragedy in devastation lies not in the event, but in the lack of a lesson learned.”
When I consider various life threatening or life taking occurrences around the world, whether it be natural disasters or personally dreadful events, I am touched at how it often leads many of us affected, to want to embrace life, love, God…etc. more diligently. It causes the deepest offenses of our hearts to fade away and leads us to reach out to those we’ve disconnected with. We begin to see how truly small and insignificant were the moments of anger and bitterness that we’ve held a deep grip to, sometimes for a very long time. Our minds grasp a realization of how impermanent not only are we, but are those around us.
But as time continues, we tend to forget the desperation and sobriety that clings to the unveiled frailty of life. We become once again comfortable in the probability of being the exception in death’s rule book. Careless are our days. Bitterness finds its way back into our hearts and distance regains its wedge between us and our God.
Tragedy comes in many sizes; it is often on a relatively small scale, but many times wide-spread. No matter the range, there is always a lesson to be learned. When confronted with devastation, we face reality at the foundation of asking ourselves, “Right now, what really matters?” Things that we hold in high importance are usually what we seek after or have regret about in our time of grief-hence, the rekindling or deepening of relationships with God and others.
With life, which is ever changing and situations that never stay the same, it is hard to keep the same fervor and intensity concerning things that are important to us. We should try to remember the things that will matter most to us at the end of the day and use that awareness to guide us in how we deal with our day to day situations and relationships. The next time we are faced with a challenge or difficulty, may we weigh out its true worth in our lives and allot adequate time and energy to it, then move on. May we hug our loved ones, extend grace to our enemies and complete the God-given tasks that we’ve been given.
The harsh reality is, we will not always have the time to get things “right”. Death does not always send a heads-up notification. Tragedy is often a reminder that death is not too far and that it respects no one. We will all one day have to give a response to death and eventually, “Not right now” won’t cut it.
In no way am I suggesting that we should we live in a bubble or in fear of things to come. I propose we try our best to live in love and appreciation of what matters most in life, which will cause the fear of death to lose its looming power. Should-have, could-have and would-have will all be dissolved at their roots, because opportunities will have been seized, indiscretions forgiven and love generously given.
As continued sojourners in Life’s journey, it is my hope that we can sustain our focus and give all that we have to give. What good is storing up love or an apology for a tomorrow that is never promised? No matter how short or long we live, we will all leave our stamp here on earth, but how deep and staining the impression- is usually up to us. So, be diligent in giving your all and not assuming that another time will come or for tragedy to reveal an already available opportunity.
Reflecting on my teenage years, I remember constantly praying to God on behalf of my mother. What seems like everyday, I asked Him to spare her life and release her from the relentless grips of drug addiction, which had her bound way before I can even remember. I remember fearing that she wouldn’t live long enough to see me graduate high school or college. I remember the many days I nervously wondered if she’d ever be present to happily watch me take the plunge into holy matrimony or with a motherly comfort, walk me through the path of pregnancy and the birth of my first child. This day, I am glad to remember her standing at my side as I graduated college. I remember the kiss she gave me the day I got married and I remember the support and many stories she told about her pregnancy with me and about my baby years. I remember 15 years ago when God delivered her from drug addiction and not too long after that, saved her soul. Today, I remember her crying while declaring, “I am a follower of Jesus Christ!” and being baptized in the powerful name of Jesus Christ!
I am a living witness that God still answers prayer! I feel like I cannot thank Him enough. The road started out very rough, but God has redeemed the times and I am grateful!
“All things work together for good…”
It was around 4 a.m. and day three of our honeymoon, when I was awakened by my new husband. He was tugging on my arm saying, “Chaz, get up! Chaz, get up! Go use the bathroom!” Dazed, sleepy and confused, I said, “My name is Tika, and I don’t have to use the bathroom!” I forced my gaze on him in the almost pitch-black room and noticed he was looking me directly in my face. As if he did not even hear what I said, he continued calling me his brother’s name and telling me to get up and go use the bathroom and I kept telling him my name and that I did not have to use the bathroom. This back and forth went on for about 30 more seconds. Finally, when I didn’t budge, he relented, walked into the bathroom, which was connected to our room and mumbled, “Don’t be mad at me…mumble, mumble, mumble…”. Once he returned from the bathroom, he got back in the bed, laid down and put the covers on himself as if nothing strange just took place.
At this point, even though the only concept I had of a sleepwalker was the zombie, closed-eyed person walking with their stiff arms in front of them (usually depicted on old TV shows and cartoons) I was almost positive I was married to one.
Thankful that that was the extent of his sleeping episode, I lay there wondering if we passed the annulment period in our marriage already? And somewhere between that thought I fell back to sleep. Since then, my married life has been nothing short of this strange yet awesome adventure, hence my new blog section- The Newlywed. It is in this blog that I will share some of the experiences, lessons learned, works in progress etc…that came along with this next step in my life.
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Today, the day that may change the world forever,
Voting lines shaped the trail of a desperate demand for change
Early risers, rise with a new energy;
A powerful intent to make that which lies dormant many days of the year- a vote, count today
Some looking pass color lines and gender; selecting hope and empowerment through the suffocating grip of a battered economy and a stifled future
(Many walk to make their difference on this final day)
Not sure what November 5, 2008 will look like, nor what the year 2009 will hold
Still we place our bids confident, yet humbled, in favorable results
So glad to be an American,
Proud of a battered past and grateful for a hopeful future
Tears well up on the inside, praying against corruption and retaliation, from those who reject this change….
You are my dream come true
The manifestation of a dream deferred
in word, thought and deed, you fulfill my ideals of love
My heart and soul follow suit after your adoration
My womb leaps with anticipation, and I can see myself bringing forth your nation
Working hard with your hands, creating a legacy for your seed, you are a man, fully a man indeed
In stature and frame can none compare, coupled with wisdom and knowledge, a combination so rare,
I’ll cherish you as a precious stone, and pledge to be yours and yours alone
For who can time love? And for love who can tame? One day I’ll vow to take your all from your heart to your name
I can barely believe all of life’s events led us to meeting here, for I am yours and you are my answered prayer
This feeling, similar to the way a single woman feels after falling in love with a knowingly married man-
Being the culprit of an idea once so far removed that it would make her loathe the very thought,
but some how, the concept is now not that bad
and the consequences understandable-justifiable even
“He’s different and so am I”
The blindness that covers the mind
Not too soon looking in retrospect seeing where a way of escape from this hopeless temptation was provided,
but today seems too late,
already caught up, unable to undo this sinful vow,
the only thing left is to pray he never leaves….