Grace In Action

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God
(Ephesians 2:8, nkjv)

Grace, more commonly known as, the unmerited favor of God-this is how we’ve received His salvation-by nothing we have done and nothing we can do will ever be able to undo the work that Jesus has done for us on the cross

We love grace!

We love the freedom and the innumerable chances it grants us to be in right standing with God

Grace which affords us the liberty to enter into our God’s gates with thanksgiving and into His courts boasting His praises

Grace is beautiful!

God’s grace is bountiful and boundless

Grace this powerful should not be a one way street, nor hoarded as if there is not enough to go around

As we freely receive this grace that we constantly do nothing to earn, what about freely giving this great grace to another in return?

Surely we can think of someone we may have misunderstood or mistakenly walked past in offense-perhaps there’s someone who legit did you wrong

But let’s consider grace, the big picture, are they not worthy of receipt, just like you?

The Challenge:

Don’t hold  grace hostage- in this case, don’t withhold the grace that you feel another person may not deserve-the grace you give may be as freeing as salvation

Of course the grace we give could never compare to what Jesus did for us on the cross; the grace we have looks completely different

Our grace may look like, an “I am sorry,”

“I was wrong,”

Or telling someone, “There’s value in you!”

Grace may even manifest in a long overdue hug.

It’s not always easy, perhaps you’ll need to start with asking God to help you put grace in action even if it takes baby steps

-selah

 

Write a poem about: A Tree

Sometimes we don’t recognize our own strength until we look back over our lives and realize that we’re still here!

I’ve been through what seems like hell and back, and I’m still here, but not just me, my people too; my ancestry

The deep dark truth that hangs from silent trees-seemingly existing only in books, movies and memories- twice removed

Shades of mahogany, chocolate and vanilla swirled with mud and tears of resistance

Seeds planted in forbidden soil have grown into unmovable trees

Resist us!

Resist us?

Fighting from resist-stance

Arms held high, hands wide open and visible yet they still shoots us

Branches on this tree, the blood of you and me only in the books, movies and memories twice removed

Catching Up! LA, LA!

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Goodness! I cannot believe it has been so long since I’ve posted on my blog! So many things have been going on in my life, good things, and interesting things,-well, interesting to me, at the least.

2014 has been very good to me so far. The hubby and I just celebrated 4 years of marriage a couple weeks ago (clap, clap, clap). For our anniversary, we decided to go to LA. We chose California because we wanted to go to a place that neither of us has been before, as well as a place that offered affordable air fare and around the time we booked the flights (December 2013), Cali fell in that category. My husband’s family is from Barbados and my roots on my father’s side, are from Panama. It was my hope to visit one of ‘our’ countries so that we can get in touch with our family history, but the rates (this time around) were not in our favor, so close to our anniversary.

We took a week off from our jobs, left our sweet little girl with my mom and flew six hours away into the pacific time zone, (three hours behind our home time zone). My husband is very good at planning, of course he consults me, but he always manages our flights, hotel, rental car…etc and ensures that all of that stuff is well taken care of. (Thank God!) That’s a nice trade for a neat home, clean clothes and dinner, he receives from me (almost) every day.

Once our flights were finalized, we made mental notes of the places that we wanted to visit: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, Hollywood Blvd, Beverly Hills, I am a huge fan of the movie, “Pretty Woman” so I needed to go to Rodeo Drive and at my sister’s vicarious request; In and out Burger. I am not gonna spend too much time on this, but we did get to visit every place on our list and many, many more! I just have to say, that Hollywood Blvd was not as exciting as I thought it would be, it was a lot smaller (about two NYC blocks long [booooo]) and there were not that many stores. I think being from NY kind of killed the thrill for us because we are used to the convenience of bright lights, brilliant billboards and all of the attractions that city life has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, It was very BEAUTIFUL and fun, just not as vibrant and energetic or large as we anticipated.

The shopping malls in LA definitely got NY and the surrounding cities/states beat! I’ve never been to such beautiful malls, most of which are indoor/outdoor! Ridge Hill mall in Yonkers, NY, is a nice attempt, but it does not compare to The Grove mall, Hollywood mall or many of the other malls we patronized. The foliage, cleanliness and architectural beauty were very easy on the eyes and yes, the sunny skies and personal space from a lack of people, also helped. To me, LA has a NYC meets Florida feel. It has the hype of the city, with a laid back and friendly style. We did not do too much night life because we were still living on the NY time zone, plus we dedicated this vacation to sightseeing and relaxation and to be honest, we are not night-life people either, so it was not too much of an initial interest. We were told by some LA residents that they mainly had comedy clubs and bars open after 10:00 pm anyway, so that definitely did not entice us.

[We also visited the Getty Museum, ate at this really dope restaurant, “The Stinking Rose”, and ate ocean-side at the well-known, Gladstone’s seafood restaurant and tried El Pollo Loco and were blown away at its Mexican goodness, YUM!]

The hubby made sure to rent a convertible, a chocolate Chrome, 2014 Mustang, to be exact! He said there is no other way to drive in LA (ahhhh, the male ego!) And, by the way…the rush-hour traffic in LA is horrendous, it gives NYC’s rush-hour a definite run for its money! Luckily for us, we were fortunate enough to always be in the direction that was against the flow of traffic, so we got around pretty smoothly, but looking across that traffic divide, was heart wrenching! (Oh, the drama!) At least in NYC, there are numerous ways to get to your destination in the event it’s stocked with traffic, also, the miles between exits are not as long, so you can always get off to a side street, but it did not seem that way where we were 9 I may be wrong).

Any who, we hooked up with some very cool people while we were there, one set, were awesome friends of a close friend, the other was a home girl we know who relocated to California months before. We also had a great time meeting new people, seeing new sights and overall, being in a new environment. Yet, while I am the type of person who loves exotic trees, sunny skies and warmth (which is so, LA) my hubby and I agree, that there is no place like home!

<<There’s so much more that I could type about our vacation, but this is the general part of our experience! I am hoping to type a part two.

The Newlywed!

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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.

Feel free to comment and subscribe.

Yes, we can! (November 4, 2008)

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….

A note to Love

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