Sunday, March 12, 2017

Are you a Hidden Figure?

Hidden Figure

Hey y’all hey!

I finally had the opportunity to see Hidden Figures. It truly was an amazing story. It was a wonderful moment with my son to celebrate Black History Month as well as our last Valentine’s Day together. I know that he was empowered. I pray the nuggets shared are as encouraging to you as they are to me. SPOILER ALERT - By now, everyone should have seen Hidden Figures but if you haven’t STOP reading.

The true story focuses on the life of Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn. These ladies greatly impacted the work within the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) now NASA with their math skills. Both Jackson and Vaughn passed away before the nonfiction work about their lives was published and the movie released last month. We could see this as unfortunate or we can take away the first nugget: Be prepared to have your work overlooked and downplayed. Some folks will never acknowledge how important your role is or has been. Remember you are doing the work because you are committed to living on purpose or you’ve done the work to fulfill a purpose at a specific time in life.  If you worked as unto the Lord, He will reward you.

Nugget #2 Be prepared to wait. The waiting room is a difficult place to be. I am there now. It often feels like my time and new window of opportunity will never arrive but it will. These ladies were retried and into their 80s when their story was told to the world. The season for you to shine and be influential may take years to be arrive but once it does shine bright.
Nugget #3 is so very very valuable. PLEASE don’t lose hope or faith.  Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Vaughn and Mrs. Johnson had doors closed in their face, were told no when they were clearly qualified for opportunities and sent packing after their gifts were no longer needed. Did they flip over a desk and quit? No! They realized the magnitude of their roles and work far exceeded sitting at a NASA desk.

And our final nugget #4 is Be prepared. Dorothy Vaughn not only prepared for the IBM computer to come online but she prepared to be a part of the change that would occur within her department. Not only was Mrs. Vaughn able to take her entire team with her when she was reassigned but eventually she was training her white counter parts.

 I don’t necessarily mean that you must have another college degree but be prepared for the open door. I’m reading Dr. Tony Evans new Detours. The message jumping from the pages of his book is preparation and timing. We’ve seen so many people arrive in places their character can’t keep them. Places they don’t have the depth of knowledge required to sustain them. I’m not talking about man made moves but those places where God has ordained. He wants to ensure that we are prepared for the blessings that are greater than we ever dreamed. Those ladies did the work they loved despite never knowing their story would win multiple awards. As a matter of fact, I’m sure that wasn’t their goal.

As I sat next to my kid, I could feel my eyes watering up. I leaned over and whispered to him that each of those women were born for the moments that we were viewing on the movie screen. It didn’t matter who attempted to stand in the way of their move to the forefront of history, they were destined to do so. Each woman was born with a gift that would propel her into a divine moment. Just like he has inside of him and on his side the same favor of God. Just like you and I have inside of us. If only we would start chasing God’s plan for our life. When our Creator orchestrates a moment in time for His will and purpose to go forth all of heaven will get in alignment.

If like me, you currently feel that you are in the background and not living up to your greatest potential be settle. Often times those who are hidden are being prepared for the moment that will activate their season. You nor I have been forgotten by the Creator. He is faithful to ensure every aspect of His plan is carried out. Stay hidden until the appointed time.

Hidden Figure

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Gift for and from Hannah

If you are like me and grew up in church there are Bible stories we’ve heard so many times. So many times that we know them and have such a familiarity with them that we might not pay as much attention when we hear a message. The story of Hannah (1 Samuel 1 & 2) is one of them. I’ve heard the story ministered and the emphasis seemed to always be that Hannah prayed for a son and God answered her petition. Nothing more or less. Straightforward. End of message. Aww but Hannah in desperation went to the House of the Lord, prayed in anguish for the Lord to open her womb. She was barren. To add insult to injury her husband’s other wife made fun of her. Recently her story was illuminated in a whole new way by the Holy Spirit to calm my anxious heart concerning my son, college, and my future. Now before you get excited do know that I have not been praying for a kid! A good GOD chasing man is welcomed but I ain’t here for diaper duty.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be wife #2. That’s a definite no. The other wife was petty. I have read and heard, even witnessed firsthand the pain of those who desire children and have been unable to reproduce. I have prayed with and for couples who are barren. I can imagine Hannah presenting her request at the altar. She was unashamed of her deep need for an answer from the only who would could say yes. She laid it all out! Ever so gently the Lord reminded me of the times I spent praying praying for my son, for his future, his life. He reminded me that there are desires and dreams that I have laid at his feet, bathed in tears and pieces of my broken heart. Days when I felt like folks were wondering why I would throw myself at the feet of Jesus during worship.

The reality is I knew it is/was because I’ve carried dreams (seeds) inside of me that have yet to be born. I need them to produce. It is/was because I recognized my limitations as a single parent. Like Hannah during those times when my world was titled off course, I asked God to sustain me. I pleaded with him to take care of my son with His resources. He is still doing great things. I know that my best days are still ahead. Krystopher is college bound soon. That my barrenness in specific areas will soon end. I’ll have an even greater testimony to encourage someone. Whatever you are tempted to give up on. Don’t! What you have been praying and praying and praying for year after year after year like Hannah has not gone unnoticed by the King of the world.

Make the scripture personal: “For this ______ I have prayed
and the lord has given me what I asked of Him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

Stay in faith, 



Saturday, February 11, 2017

I'm Guilty

Taps pen on desk! Ok so I’m not really writing with a pen. Although I do. When I journal. But I haven’t journaled in almost a month. Yikes!! I know that is really really bad to share with you but it’s true. Heck this whole entire post is going to be true. Ugly truth. You might not agree but that’s why I decided to come here and share what I’m dealing with so you can give me feedback. I am battling with a huge amount of guilt as if I’m parenting a toddler. Let me explain.

Life has been on 300,000! When I’m not running a race living, all I do is self-care to ensure I’m in shape to juggle the rushed days. Rushed days are 6 out of the 7, weekly. Seriously! This is my kid’s senior year of high school. Bittersweet. He’ll be receiving his high school diploma and transitioning to college. He’s the 3rd male in our immediate family to do so on time and not the GED path. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that path but as a single mom who focused on ensuring he made it to this point; I am extremely proud of this pending momentous event. There are so many things that go into finishing high school strong, picking a college, and having the finances to attend. Plus all the things I must do working full-time, adulting and being a single mom there are some things I simply overlook intentionally.

I don’t want anyone to see my closet of clean clothes stacked on a container waiting to be folded, hung up and put away. I don’t want to confess that I am feeding my kid Little Caesar’s pizza as I type. BTW, I prefer Pizza Hut. How I am walking over and around the stacks of scholarship applications and supporting documentation on my bedroom floor. That my truck hasn’t be washed and detailed in months. I am glad it rains in sunny South Florida. While this may seem horrible, I am laser focused on what I need to complete, manage and maintain to get my kid to graduation day and figure out what’s next for me.

I want to spend time writing and blogging but I’m have zero mental juice after hard days teaching (I will not complain about the world of education in this post). My comfort has been ensuring that I am definitely entrusting my days to God. Reminding myself that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I am careful not to do any living leaning on my own understanding of how this season will play out. But still I feel like I should be doing more and better at this mommy and soon to be empty nester thing. Yes, I know it is false guilt but it shows up occasionally. Today just happens to be the day.

You may not even have any advice. It just feels good to share with someone else that I don’t have it altogether right not. It also feels good that my life isn’t falling apart. The chaos is good stuff. I just need an assistant to manage the things I am not. Please continue to be patient with me here. I have a late first of the year post I started writing and haven’t posted. My birthday blog hasn’t happened but will. Turning 40 was good to me. Most importantly, God has been growing me up through it all. Maybe that’s it. This year which I have declared as the Year of Yes, the Year of Transition and the Year of Transformation is happening so rapidly. Not a bad thing because I trust that God will perfect those things which concerns me.

Thanks for reading. If you know a single mom who would benefit from my thoughts feel free to share. I’m off to eat pizza and read a book I’ve been working on for 2 months.

Being perfectly imperfect,

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Spot On!


When I picked up this sweater during a winter break Starbucks coffee date with @moriahily, I was excited about the price but didn't really think I'd have an opportunity to wear it since the weather has been perfect here in West Palm Beach. I mean I was just on the beach a few days before we decided to meet up.  I considered taking it back and getting my $10 but my love for anything animal print kept me from following through. Plus the additional 20% made it a necessary purchase. #nojudgementzone

Spot On!


Well as you can see from this pic I posted Sunday on Instagram and the ones below, the weather cooperated and the sweater was worn twice. Now that's how you make the most of a purchase!

Spot On!

I kinda felt as thought I pushed the envelope with this look at work but I totally was feeling myself so I embraced it with my head high and hoped I wasn't called out by admin. I'm mean where else am I going to rock such a creative look besides church? 
Spot On!
Jacket// H&M
Sweater// Target
Skirt//Old
Shoes//DSW
Photographer// A student during lunch. #FTW

Too much or nah?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

FENCESSSSSSSSSSS was FIERCE!

Fences was Fierce.

I saw Fences. Before you read my thoughts about the movie please note I am NOT a movie critic. I’m just a teacher who has read a play or two and some novels. And before that I was a student so I learned to identify theme, author’s purpose and intent as well as how the setting affects the plot but I am won’t be giving an English lesson. I would like for you to keep in mind this is the first time I’ve written about a movie. I do more reading than I do watching flicks and I haven’t written about a book here either but I digress.

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I’ll go ahead and state for the record that it is a MUST see because it speaks volumes to the resilience of black folks. It speaks to trial and triumphs of being a black woman, black man, black child. It challenges marriage roles. Forces one to look at the way we view living life with another human being who has the power to shatter our hearts and bring us to our knees in despair. You rethink trust. Honesty. The struggle. Poverty. Dreams especially when they are deferred.  It was brilliant. I want to read the play. Anyone have a copy I can borrow? I’ll try my local library this summer. Yes, summer I have no free time to read for pleasure. I’ve dedicated 2017 to finishing up some books I’ve had for a while and two new ones. Maybe I’ll blog about them. Please don’t hold me to this statement. But for now back to the Academy Award worthy acting of The Viola Davis and Denzel Washington.

IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS MOVE WALK AWAY FROM MY BLOG. CLOSE YOUR PHONE BROWSER AND GO PURCHASE YOUR TICKET.

Their roles were so well played that I was left drained emotionally watching their love story unfold. And it wasn’t just love between a man and a woman but between parents, children, friends, siblings. Honey! Rose was a better woman than I’ll ever be even with Jesus living on the inside of me BIG and BOLD. Rose reminded me of the times when folks, black folks fought for marriage. Ok so our grandparents and parents took a lot of ish and swept more under the rug for the marriage to survive. And maybe the kids weren’t better for it but they built lives and families something we lack immensely today. I am so unable.

I’m still trying to determine if Troy (Denzel) did more harm than good trying to make his sons into men. When you watch the scenes and key in on the dialogue between a father and an adult son with no job and a woman and a younger son who bears all the hopes and dreams one has ever had, you wanna fix the story and then go and fix all the broken black men and sons in America. History really does repeat itself!

Now I told y’all I’m an English teacher so I must make note of the sounds and scene shifts. I’d say this story had multiple climatic points and when they occurred the music was perfection. I kept telling Shea of Curves and Confidence (it was our day out) that I could feel the earth shift and tilt. I wanyted to yell out, “be still my heart” and do a few breathing exercises on my Apple watch. I mean you could feel in your soul the emotions of every character. I can’t say anyone was a minor character in this flick. You talk about supporting roles they held each other up. Or is it down?

I wanna tip my hat to the scene director. Is there such a thing cause I didn’t read the credits? I mean I know Denzel was the movie director but each scene was well crafted like it was supposed to be exactly what it is a stage play. The way the screens faded to black, I knew someone brilliant with an understanding of how setting shapes the readers mood had captured this play and bottled it up for Hollywood in a real unforgettable way. And finally the title. I didn’t go into it even considering the literal and/or figurative meaning. I don’t think it settled in my mind even when Mr. Bono alluded to it. I had to ponder the entire movie to embrace it. 

So here are my thoughts. The characters had been fenced in most of their lives due to the circumstances they were born into, life experiences and their interactions with the other characters. The color of their skin kept them fenced out of opportunities. Troy couldn’t play professional baseball. Rose gave all of herself to her family until she was no more. Corey was kept away from football and college. Some of the characters made and continued to make decisions that trapped them inside a difficult life and kept them outside of a better one. On the other hand, the fence served as a safety net when a character was spiraling out of control.

August Wilson’s Fences compels you to deal with the fence(s) in your life. Look at the ones you’ve constructed and determine if they need to be repaired. You need boundaries to protect your spirit, soul and mind. Should it be torn down? Why did you erect it and have you dealt with those reasons? Face more than your fears. Face your faith and like Rose you’ll discover how strong you are. Like Troy you will have given your all to those you love even when it hurts. As long as you are pouring from a well-supplied place and purposefully walking in your living; you'll know what side of the fence you need to be standing on. 


Image result for fences movie poster
Source


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Lessons from Sweet 16

I would say 2016 has been hard but I’d be lying. Life has been filled with trials since 2012 when my Granny passed away. I kid you not the following year my Mom’s hubby died (2013), cancer showed up in our family 3 ways (2014) and last year my Aunt the baby sister lost her battle with breast cancer (2015). Here comes 2016 and I am forced out of my job because I was injured at the hands of a student.

Are you starting to feel sorry for me yet? DON’T! In the words of Monica “I’m still standing. I been through the storm, had dirt on name. I’m still holding on, champion of the game.” I give God all the glory and the honor His name so richly deserves for being there to see me through it all. Todd Delaney wrote, “Through all that I have gone through, Lord it was you. It was You, pulling me through. When I stumbled, when I cried, when it felt like I wanted to die. When my friends (and I use that term lightly) turned and they walked away, You were here right here to stay.”

Yes to all those lyrics and the emotions. Yes to the heartache, the discipline, the growth. You might be reading this with your head tilted, surprised. Maybe you have never been so low that you weren’t sure how you were going to bounce back. Or maybe your story doesn’t look like the perfectly curated one on Instagram that constantly gets 1K likes but you pretend that all is right in the world. Mine was mismatched, hard and tough. It was painful yet beautiful. I learned so much, lacked very little, learned to hold my head eye even during the dry seasons. I gained some valuable lessons these past 365 days. Allow me to share the Sweeetttt Sixteen.

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1.      I’m strong. Mind, body and spirit. Tragedy and trials built me up where I was weakest. I know how to endue hardship with a smile while the people around me are waiting to see if God will fail me. He won’t ever!

2.      I’m worth the wait. I’ve been praying about love. The God kind. Not the ones I admire on social media because their journey isn’t mine. I’ve been inspired but I desire the relationship designed specifically for me and my future partner based on who we are at the time of our coming together. I know the meaning of marriage. It’s all about Jesus. And Jesus was/is all about ministry.

3.      Parenting is rewarding and bittersweet. You have this little human that you pray for and pour into. You are anxious to see the young adult s/he will mature into. And when they arrive at the stage to transition, you experience a little bit of sadness, ok maybe a lot that your best role will change. Krystopher will always be my little BIG man. I don’t like the idea of being an empty nester but I am grateful for the blessing of being someone’s mother.

4.      Forgiveness is vital. For your own well-being. Too many illnesses and diseases manifest when you can’t let go of hurt. It destroys you spiritual, emotionally and physically. Let it go. Not with the thought that God is going to punish them but grateful that you were/are forgiven for all that you’ve done especially those hidden things.

5.      Love. It makes the world better. It is the cure for all that ails. If not Christ wouldn’t have come as a baby to grow up into a man that would die. He loved us so much that he forgave us before He even descended from His throne. Then He asked His father for an earthly vessel to come down and extend to us the ultimate act of love.

6.      Say NO and mean it. Don’t panic. Don’t go over the woulda, shoulda or maybes. If you don’t want to, don’t. Don’t feel up to it. Don’t! Every event and happening isn’t vital to living well. I’ve found so much joy in being still and quiet and resting. Do more of it in 2017.

7.      Buy less. This one is hard for me and the kid. We love stuff. Especially clothes. #iknowyoujudgingme Pinterest is my friend. I’ve worn pieces so many different ways just by perusing pins to freshen up my wardrobe. Had to remind KingKrys that senior year can be epic or you can have a boat load of clothes to wear home while your classmates are participating in the activities to celebrate. What ya’ll think he chose?

8.      Read something positive daily. A devotional. Your bible. Both! I don’t recommend the news. I mean be well informed (TY Twitta) but feed your faith. Feed your spirit food that produces all the abundant things you want to show up in your life in the natural. That produces peace and fuels your purpose. WARNING: Careful with self-help books that aren’t Christ centered.

9.      Exercise. It reduces stress. Increases your self-confidence. Energizes you. Makes for a healthier and happier you. I don’t care if you walk briskly around the hallways of the building you work in just get moving. Everybody ain’t a gym rat. I treated myself to an Apple watch and my daily goal is to close those 3 rings. Have me standing in front of the mirror after a shower thanking the Lord for his handiwork.

10. Prayer changes things and you so pray daily. Prayer is what I do. It’s a part of my core. I think I pray when I’m asleep. No seriously. It's more than a habit. I mostly pray riding in my truck or in the shower/bathroom. Inspiration seems to flow freely in these places. What I’m attempting to say is getting on your knees is still right but the Lord wants to fellowship with you anyplace, anytime. He doesn’t care who’s around (thanks Janet).

11. This one is new for me but use your time wisely. Time Management. Friday as I was praying prayers from one of my favorite books “Prayers that Avail Much” by Germaine Copeland, I was taken to a prayer titled ‘The Setting of Proper Priorities’. I’m sure I’ve prayed it before but this time I felt the Lord saying I needed to get my life with Him so I could get my life with Him. I can no longer spend all my time looking at others or doing nothing because I have become complacent. My eyes are set on Him and it’s time to move.

12. Clear the clutter. In your mind. Your life. Heart. Home. Work space. Organize it. File it away. Shred it. Gift it to someone else. Let it become their new treasure. But if it isn’t being use or serves no current purpose…POOF be gone. I declared months backs I was going to start the best minimalism lifestyle for me I could. I failed. I still want to but I just purchased a Happy Planner and loads of stickers so nopah. I have been purging clothes. I’m really good about doing this. So if you need to pick an area, do so. Just get it done. And then celebrate without replacing it with something else.  

13. So back to me specifically. I am learning to stop expecting from folks what I give easily and freely. Note to self: you are you are others are who they are. Believe them. Accept them for it. I am the type of individual who shows love through acts of service. I am going to call and check in on you even if you haven’ called me in 100 years. If I hear you are in need of a pick me up, I’m going to send you a long text. I send notecards. Ok well I did it more before I became too busy. Just to let someone know they were thought of or appreciated. I’ll pray for you without hesitation even when it felt like my own prayers were blocked. I didn’t get that in return. I tried to change. I fought so hard to just stay within the boundaries of people who responded like me and it didn’t work.  Too much work to be negative!

14. Don’t shrink to make others feel comfy. Or to accept you.  I realized I had been doing this for a while because of words spoken into my life and over me for years. Not from a malicious place but to protect me. I started hiding and pretending to be mediocre because I didn’t want people to hurt me for being strong, smart, talented, bold and beautiful. I didn’t want people to be drawn to me then fall out of love (both sexes) when they saw I was a wildflower. Well I am.

15. Be you. Everyone else is already taken. Everyone else has flaws. Someone appreciates your quirks. You are made in the image of God. If that doesn’t tell you how vast and how many traits He encompasses then you are in BIGGGGGG trouble. So you like tuna no mayo. Eat it. You drink smoothies each morning for breakfast and still explain your belly fat as baby fat from 17 years so. Cool. You’ve embraced you. I love it!

16.  And finally I learned that music is the blood that flows through my veins and my kid’s. I can’t imagine a world without it. My oldest brother recently asked me what happened to my singing voice. I sang a lot growing up. Church choir of course, but nevertheless I sang. Now I still do, in the shower and care but I sound horrible. Now I enjoy hours of listening to various genres. I have music in my class every day all day for 180 days. We keep a radio on in the apartment. It’s the way God speaks to me. And it ain’t always a Christian song. Go ahead and judge me. He’s still speaking. Turns music louder. So get you a playlist or create a Pandora (am I the only one still using this app?) or Spotify or Apple and Amazon music station and fill your lungs with air, sing. Fill your soul. The atmosphere of your home or workspace with words that makes your soul dance.

2016 has been a good teacher!


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