Tag: blog

Remember Who’s Really In Charge

I keep going back and forth on if I should comment on this election or not. I should preface this by saying, that I am not the most political person. I don’t get caught up in the arguments on Facebook, and I rarely stand on a soapbox to give long drawn out speeches. However, in the past few days I have read such disturbing comments and post that it is getting increasingly hard for me to bite my tongue. When I say I’ve read disturbing post, it is coming from both sides of the spectrum. Somewhere along the way, we’ve thrown our morals and ethics out the window and it has become a free for all. People are getting diarrhea of the mouth, and they could care less who they offend with their words. When did we become so insensitive to the plight of others? Regardless of who is voted into the office, it does not give a pass to spew hate, and this did not just start 2 days ago, or even a year ago. (So please don’t twist my words around for your own agenda, this post is not to endorse one group over another)

As a country we are going through big changes, and regardless who won the office, today people would be feeling the same exact way. Why? Well because their candidate did not win, and they are upset about it. The problem is, people are in the streets and behind computer screens losing their minds, and how is this productive to our country? How is this making us better?

As Christians, we need to remember who is really in charge and who our true leader is. We do not serve man, but we serve an ever-loving God. Regardless of who is running the US, God is still on His thrown! We live in a country where we have been afforded so many freedoms that others do not. We are blessed beyond measure, and no we are all not going to agree on everything, but that does not mean that we begin to treat each other as less than because I voted differently than you. What we need to do is try and understand each other. My experiences in life are completely different that the next person. I see speaking on race relationships, and it breaks my heart. Some people can not see past their privilege to understand the strife of the next person.

Now I mention privilege, I am not going to say white privilege, I am opening up to American Privilege. This is the title of a song by an amazing singer songwriter Allen Stone, and it talks about this touchy topic. In America we have privileges that we shouldn’t take advantage of; however, we should also try to understand each other and understand that we are not all on the same journey, and we do not all have the same struggles. Our own privilege has blinded us to what is happening in the lives of our neighbors, and it has kept us from being compassionate Let’s be a little sensitive to one another and stop pointing fingers and name calling.

One verse I want to leave with you all before I sign off for the day is Deuteronomy 8:10 You shall bless the Lord your God for the good land He has given to you. As I stated before, regardless who is in charge of this country, we need to remember who governs our lives and that is the Lord.

Gaining the Unexpected

Today I had the thought, I’m not going to write anything today, but as I was going through my daily study, the message resonated in me to share with you all today. Today, I read about when waiting meets the unexpected. I’m not sure if I have mentioned what I am currently reading, but it is titled “Wait and See: Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans” and the author is Wendy Pope. I HIGHLY recommend this book to you, it is blessing me in ways I never expected. So, in the insight portion, Pope asks the question, “Who has God unexpectedly brought into your life to help you as you wait?”

Well, at first, I thought, I just decided I was in a season of waiting a week ago, and no one has really come into my life to help me with this time as of yet. But, the more I thought about it, I realized, I have been in a season of waiting for longer than a week; I just cognitively  decided to be “actively” waiting within the past week. I began to think more about my life over the past year and a half, and I quickly realized that YES the Lord has indeed placed someone new in my life to help me as I wait.

I really hope she does not get upset with me for sharing her with the world, but the person the Lord placed into my life started as just my boss. I was her assistant, Leticia Morales. We have talked about this before, and I honestly think the Lord placed us in each others lives at the perfect time. She was going through her issues, and I was being placed into her store and I was struggling with finding my confidence again. I have known who Leticia was for many years, we’ve worked for the same company for almost 10 years and had mutual friends, however, I never actually knew her on a personal level. I hesitantly walked into her store and we sat down and talked. Over the days, weeks, and months, we grew a new friendship, and kind of became each others rocks through some difficult times in each of our lives.

I value this woman, and she has become my hero over the past year. Many of you know, and others don’t, but my birth father passed away in March. After he passed, I lost my joy for a little bit. I put on a brave face for everyone around me and went on with my life until I sat across the desk from Leticia and bawled my eyes out, and was more emotionally raw with her than I have been with another person in a long time, and she let me feel. She did not judge me, she did not give me any meaningless words to try to make me feel better, she just let me feel. That was the day that I realized, she is more than just my boss, this woman is my friend, and she has an amazing heart. We share our faith with each other, and that is such an awesome feeling to be working side by side with someone who shares the same beliefs with you and you are able to talk about it freely and listen to worship music while completing inventory counts.

Around 4 months ago, my dear friend was diagnosed with cancer and started going through treatment. Throughout this season of her life, her spirit has shown stronger than any other time in her life. I called her one day, just to check on her, and she said you know, I’m not going to complain because this is part of the process that I have to go through to get through this, and the Lord is taking care of me. Those words shook me deeply, because she could have complained and cried and told me all the things that she was actually feeling, but she responded positively. Right then and there, I saw the strength that was inside of this woman. Also, in the midst of all of this, I called her with my problems, and she gave me such an encouraging word that continues to resonate with me.

God placed Leticia in my life and I did not even know it was part of his plan. Before I even recognized I was in my season of waiting He was preparing me. She has been her true self and carried herself with such grace and dignity when facing the biggest giants of her adult life. I am so blessed to be able to know her and call her my friend!

Waiting…

So, I’ve been reading all over social media today this particular quote “Regardless who wins the election tonight, tomorrow God will still be on the throne.” This is very true, whoever becomes our president tomorrow, does not change who we as Christians serve. It does not change our salvation, and it does not determine our blessings. However, tonight as I am sittings watching the news tonight and waiting impatiently to see who our next leader will be I can’t help but think, this is the ultimate symbol of waiting.

We oftentimes wait to see God move in our lives and we wait impatiently. We want to know what is going to happen, when it’s going to happen, and how it will happen. Although, by the end of the night, we will have an answer to the leader of our country, we should be aware that this journey did not just start today. These people have been on the trail for days, months, and years to get to this ultimate destination. In our lives, waiting on the Lord, is the same concept. Yes we want immediate gratification, but the Lord tells us that we must be still and wait for His perfect timing. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in prayer for everything…let your request be known to God.”

I’ve never though about what it truly means to be still. Yes, life is hectic, we constantly have things going on that interrupt the stillness, but I’ve never actually took time to think about being still in the Lord. It actually means taking time out of the day and embracing the quiet. Seeking His word and listening for His voice. When life gets too loud and the nonsense starts to creep in and take over, we need to know where to seek refuge. Times like today, we need to seek refuge in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding.
Waiting on God is NOT wasting time; it’s training time. It is our time to not doubt and complain, but it is our time to build our foundation and build our trust in Him.

Lord, help me to hear Your voice clearly. Help me to quiet all the noise and distractions and really get to know You on a more personal level. Lord help me to continually seek refuge in You and not in the world. Help me to be pleasing in Your sight.

My Foundation

I was raised in the church and  introduced to the Lord at an early age. You see, I come from a family of worshippers and preachers; a family who has been blessed with hearts for the Lord. This has been manifested through preaching, teaching, and singing. My entire life, my mother has been the choir director, which means, the whole family sang in the choir regardless if you had the gift of singing or not. And BIG surprise, I was not given that gift. Many times I remind myself that the Bible says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord…serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:1-2). So I sing joyfully, but not always beautifully or even in the right key.

Many of my earliest memories are in the church, sitting right next to my sister, in front of our nana, as she belted out this bigger than life voice. My mother would be on the piano, and my granddaddy would be in the front pew along with the other deacons of the church. Occasionally, my dad would join us, and he too would be in the choir stand with us. We never missed a Sunday at church. Growing up in a black Baptist church meant their was always something going on: Sunday service, second service, Wednesday bible study, choir practice, visiting neighboring churches for evening service, pastor appreciation day, vacation bible school, summer revival, and the list can go on and on. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time at church hearing about the Lord.

When I was 12, my nana told me it was time for me to “join” the church and get baptized. See, in our church, once you turned 12, if you weren’t baptized you could no longer serve in the church ministries. I remember, I cried because I was scared and did not feel I was “ready” to take the big plunge in the baptismal pool. At 34 I understand what my 12 year old self did not, and that is where that fear came from. It was a lack of understanding exactly what it meant to be baptized and accept the Lord as my personal savior; to enter into a true relationship with Him. However, when the “doors of the church were opened,” and the invitation was extended to come forward if you felt like the Lord was calling you into a personal relationship, I hesitantly walked forward next to my sister and sat in the chairs, and we joined the church together officially. We did it because it was what expected of us. It has taken almost 20 years for me to actually understand what it means to have a true relationship with the Lord. What it actually means to know and accept Him as my personal savior.Walking up to the alter, sitting in a chair and finally being baptized is not what make you saved; yes it is an outward confession, or part of the process, but if you don’t know that the Lord died for our sins and confess that He is Lord, then all it is is an outward show.

I was a teenager when I actually learned what it meant to have a relationship with God; what it truly means to accept Him into my life, and I was in my 20s when I spent hours pleading to the Lord to hold my hand and to heal my broken body and spirit and I gave him 100% trust into the Lord to take control because I no longer could make it on my own. And, praise the Lord, He brought me through. Here’s the thing, at this point in my life, I know the Lord, I’ve accepted Him into my heart, I trust that He is good, but I’ve held back a little bit of me from Him because of some irrational fear that I would lose something. I know it sounds ridiculous, just writing this it seems so irrational. As a follower of Christ, my identity is in God. I have lived just enough in the world that I have had fun without losing my salvation, but if I’m perfectly honest I’ve lived in shades of gray, and the Lord ask us to be black or white, hot or cold. Revelation 3:16 tells us very clearly that the Lord doesn’t want some of us, He wants all of us. For the past two months I’ve felt the Lord making moves inside of me, changing my heart and calling me to stop living in the gray area. I’ve been vocal about feeling like I’m in my season and that I’m ready for whatever the Lord has in store for me, but in order to receive His many blessing, I have to see black or white. I have to stop living for myself and start living 100% for the Lord. I need to feed my spirit and walk in faith. Today I choose to walk in faith!

Continue to be blessed!!!!

Bittersweet

Today is a bittersweet day, it has been 8 years since the hardest day of my entire life. On July 10, 2008 I suffered a tragic miscarriage. I don’t talk much about it, I don’t share my story too often, because it is something I carry extremely close to my heart. I will never forget what it felt like to find out I was going to be a mom, what it was like to go to the doctor and see my babies first photograph, to hear the heartbeat, but…alas, I was never able to hear my babies heartbeat.  

In the beginning, I struggled with understanding of why this happened to me? What did I do wrong in the 4 months that I carried this precious gift that it was taken away from me? From the first day that I knew I would be a mother I fell in love, and I couldn’t wait to hold that special gift in my arms; however, it was not meant to be. It took some time for me to heal from the deep sorrow and hurt, both physical and mental, but my Father in heaven held on to me tightly. Many nights, alone in my room I cried and prayed for understanding, for comfort, and He eventually gave it to me. Not necessarily the understanding, because, not even the doctor could fully understand what went wrong, but the comfort and healing slowly came. The sadness slipped away. 

No, I will never forget the child that I carried, I will never know if it was a boy or a girl, but I know that I will one day see my baby in heaven. I have comfort in knowing that, and look forward to that day. 

During that time, I also learned what true friendship was. My friends, huddled around me, and loved on me so hard in the following days and months. They prayed for me, spent time just sitting with me, and let me know they were there whenever I needed them. So, yes it is a bittersweet day, but I can remember the positives that also came from that loss. There is a beauty in brokenness, and that is when our Father can truly reach out and hold onto us and show us what unconditional love is. Today, I will not mourn over my loss, but instead rejoice in knowing that although I never will see my first child on this earth, one day I will hold him or her in my arms and let him or her know how much their mother loved them from day one and every day after. 

It’s More Than Just a #Hashtag

More times than not, I read articles online, on Facebook, see news reports about issues happening in our world, and like so many others, I stay silent. I keep my thoughts and opinions to myself, because I don’t want to offend others, or have to defend my opinion. However, the time for silence needs to end. I can honestly say, at this point in time, it’s scary being a black person in America. As much as people want to scream and holler that racism does not exist, there are more and more examples that tell me otherwise. Black men and women are being murdered every single day, and the masses are Telling us, no this is not a problem. IT IS A PROBLEM!!!!! Let’s wake up and look around, people are being murdered in the streets at such an alarming rate, and it’s becoming increasingly hard to pretend that it is not happening. 

I had a long conversation with my sister tonight, and we talked in depth about the Black Lives Matter movement, if that is what you want to call it, and I told her, I am scared to become a mother because my children will have to grow up in a world where they need to fear simple privileges such as driving down the street. I also told her, as long as the white people don’t see a problem with what is going on, then nothing is going to change.

Now let’s not get anything twisted, when I say the white people, I do not mean every white person in the world, but the majority of the people who are against black lives matter are not of color. I am not racist or prejudice in any manner, my best friend is a white girl from Indiana, and she, more than anyone I know, understands why black lives matter. It’s as simple as this, I as a black woman, do not have the same privilege as a white man or woman. As much as people say they don’t see color they only see people, it’s not true. You can ask any black person if they walk into a room full of people, if the first thing they notice is how many other black people are in the crowd; especially if it is in a city or state where “we” are the minority.  The resounding answer will be yes. As a black person, from a young age we are taught that we are different solely based on the color of our skin. Does that make us less than? Of course not, but, we always know we are different. And now, society is telling us we are expendable, that our lives are not as important as someone who isn’t black, and it has got to change. 

I’m not going to go on and on and call out names of the individuals who have lost their lives, because we already know. It is now a running commentary that we are all one police stop away from being a hashtag, and as ridiculous as that sounds, it’s true. We can’t continue to excuse these heinous acts with ridiculous rhetoric, oh, well he looked suspicious, or he should have behaved like this. Just a few months ago, I was driving to Dallas with my white friend and I was pulled over for going 4 miles over the speed limit on the interstate. Now, I was going with the flow of traffic, but I was singled out for whatever reason, maybe my car stood out more because of the color. The officer pulled me over, requested I turn off my vehicle, and then step away from my car. Myfirst thought was not that I was being targeted based on my skin color, but instead, that I needed to do everything that this officer asked me to do to avoid any trouble, or a ticket. I was blessed enough to get off with a warning, but my friend was livid. She questioned, why did he make you get out, why did he request you walk away from the car? He didn’t want me to hear what he was saying to you. Praise the Lord, the officer that stopped me was level headed, and I did not question his authority, but many others are not treated  similarly, they are not even given the opportunity to step away from their vehicles. Officers are shooting first and then asking questions later. We can no longer be silent. We need to stand together, and stand for what is right. 

My heart is so heavy right now, for the people who have lost loved ones, as well as for the state of the world we live in. It is time for us to fall on our faces and pray for the world. These are scary times, and as with many things, it is going to get worse before it gets better. As I told my sister tonight, we should not be shocked by what is going on in the world, because we live in a fallen world. We live in a world where sin is now glorified, so we should not be surprised by the disasters state  around, but does that mean we are numb to it? Not at all! 

We need to come together and let our voices be heard, and say that Black Live Matter is more than just a hashtag, but instead a reality. We are no longer slaves without names or homes, we are people who should have the same rights as the person standing next to us. This has got to end, but until the world recognzes there really is a problem,  we will continue to spin our wheels, and get nowhere. 

Getting oily

I recently started my journey as an “oiler.”  By that I mean, I started using essential oils,candy just like that I became obsessed. For awhile I have been interested in essential oils, and many friends on Facebook rave about how great the oils are, and how their lives have been transformed by using said oils, but I had no clue how they worked. Well, that is until recently. A friend and his wife paid me a visit at work, and gave me a small sample of these magic oils and explained to me in great detail the many uses that essential oils have, and I was sold. I took my sample home, it was a sleep blend, I rubbed some on the bottoms of my feet as instructed, and had the most restful sleep I’ve had in months. Like so many people out there, I suffer with sleep problems. I struggle to fall asleep, and once asleep, I struggle to stay asleep. With sleep patterns such as this, I would wake up tired and be sluggish all day. This would call for large amounts of coffee throughout the day. Now, I will not say that this oil has ruined my relationship with coffee, we are 100% committed to each other, but… I did not wake up sluggish and tired. Not only did this tiny amount of oil help me sleep, but my dog who sleeps with me slept through the night as well. Oftentimes she gets up in the middle of the night for various reasons, she’s hungry, she thirsty, she just needs to stretch her legs and walk around. You know, the usual things dogs do.

Anyhow, after sampling the serenity blend, I decided to start looking into these oils, and deciding if it was something I wanted to invest in and if I would actually use the oils. Well, I decided I was in and called up my friend and said, let’s do this. Since purchasing my oil kit, I have used my oils every day, and continue to research all the health benefits. I am sleeping so soundly that I wake up ready for my day, I feel better in my emotional health, and feel a bit more energized. Bottom line, I’m obsessed.

This, is my introductory post about my new love for essential oils and definitely not my last. I’m still learning and as I learn I will definitely share. I’m also still learning the rules about sharing about the oil brand I chose. Originally, when I first learned about essential oils, Youngs Living was the only oils I would see people talk about, and it was quite appealing to me, but ultimately I chose doTerra as my choice. I am completely happy with my decision and will share with anyone interested as to why I chose this brand. Leave a comment or even your favorite blends. I love hearing new blends, Pinterest can only go so far!

Random thinking of a girl with lots of thoughts

I was laying in bed the other night, awake with my thoughts per usual and a poem came to me. Let me first say I am far from a poet, but isn’t that what poetry is…a bunch of thoughts put together? Or I should say feels put on paper? My initial thought after I quickly typed it into my notes was that I couldn’t put this on my blog because it was personal, but hey why not….

So tired of going asleep alone,
I’m ready for my Prince Charming to come sit on his throne.
India Arie said “I am ready for love…”
I know what she means,
Because now I’m ready,
But the question is, where could he be?
The bible says when a man finds his wife , he finds a good thing,
Well I think I’m a “good thing”
So why all this strife.
I’ve stood in silence
And yelled at the top of my lungs,
But yet
I still stand alone…
This life is a journey and I’ve traveled it so so
But how much better could it be to walk side by side with the
individual who completes you

Behind these eyes

image

So, it’s been awhile since I sat down and took time to write in my blog…actually it’s been five months. So many things and nothing at all have happened in those five months. I’m sure that makes absolutely no sense, so let me elaborate on what I mean by that statement. I have a friend who was asking me regularly if I had written in my blog lately and my response was I haven’t read anything to write about. The rebuttal to that statement was, “excuses”, which was probably a little true. I think I was making excuses because I didn’t have anything I felt was interesting enough to write about, but I started this blog to write my thoughts and reviews on books that I read, and also to share some of my own personal writing. So, with that in mind, I could always sit down and write about anything, doesn’t matter if it’s a review or just meaningless babbling.

Anyhow, in September I picked up the first Outlander book by Diana Gabaldon and haven’t looked back. I fell in love with the story of Claire and Jaime, and if anyone has read these books then you know they are thick books with a minimum of 600 pages each. (very time consuming) I was so caught up that I couldn’t stop reading between each book to write a review. Sorry folks for the lack of a detailed review on these novels, but I highly recommend them for sure. I am currently on books 6, I believe, and as far as I know there are two more left.

Also, since Aug I have been working quite a bit. I have moved from one store location to another and back again, and it has taken a toll on me mentally for sure. As soon as I get comfortable in one work environment I’m moved to another which is a huge challenge. I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep my head above water and not become overwhelmed with the workload as well as the various personalities that surround me, and let me tell you, it’s been tough. I’ve had my days when I’ve completely broken down in tears because I feel lost in this world of employment and management. It’s not easy. But everyday I’m learning more and learning what I’m capable of which is a good thing. Challenges keep us on our toes. The holidays working retail was my biggest challenge for sure, but now it’s a new year and no more holiday hours for eleven months…yay!

I have also started a weight loss journey which has crossed my path with some pretty awesome and encouraging people. I’ve done the diet thing in the past, done the lifestyle change, all those things, but this time I’ve surrounded myself with a group of people who are so dang supportive that it makes me wanna continue down this road to be healthy. This time I’m trying out Herbalife and I surprisingly like it. I’m at the health club at least once a day and I love it!

Another thing I’ve done with my time is try to date…I think I was unsuccessful in that area. Dating in your 30s is not easy. Everyone has baggage that they are carrying and we can’t always see their baggage and they can’t see ours. I think I was unsuccessful because I leaned on the side of caution and probably moved slower than most people. Call me crazy, but shouldn’t we build solid foundations in relationships and get to know the person across from us before throwing all caution to the wind? My coworkers told me the other day…”Tia this is not dating in the way that your parents dated, people don’t court anymore, you have to be more free…” the thought of that makes me a little sad, what does that say about the world we live in and the morals that we have? So I guess back to the drawing board for new ideas on dating in 2015. I think back to my 20s and the relationship decisions I made back then that I would never do now, but those are lessons that we have to learn the hard way.

Behind these eyes lies a person who is looking for their happy ever after, but isn’t quite sure how to find the road that leads there. Behind these eyes is a person who wants to believe in people and see the best in them. Behind these eyes lies a girl who just wants to belong and fit in somewhere.  Behind these eyes is a girl who just wants to be happy…