Before the parade passes by.

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While many are living to die, He died so I could live

Its almost three in the am. I am leaving the laundromat after a long overdue appointment with Mr. Clean. My daughter is playing and not listening.

I grab her. There is something urgent about my message to her.

You have to listen to me. The difference between listening to my words can be life or death.

I get it now. I am working hard on dispelling my disobedience. The difference is life or death.

Right now I am okay with this long run of discipline I have been receiving from God. Discipline from my heavenly Father is the same as a parents discipline. His correction has the difference for me of life and death.

I was on a path headed down a road He never planned for me to trail down. Disobedience is easy. Letting go of pride and thinking I known it all is hard. See God my Father will take the foolish things to confound the wise. There was a straight shot for the Israelites that would have made them avoid the red sea. But God chose the route so that they would avoid war with enemies which may have sent them running back to what God delivered them out of.

That’s why I have been in peace.

I cannot go back. I have seen the light. I am looking at my promised land. When you are in darkness your eyes get adjusted to it so you don’t know you were in the dark until the light comes on.

Yes. I get it. I spent all of 2013 squinting not believing that it could be this sunny and bright. Even in my wilderness. But freedom is hard for some to accept when bondage is all they have known.

So here I am thanking God for his discipline. Thanking God for not allowing my heart to be hardened like Pharoah so He could put a new mindset and create newness within me. I tried to avoid my wilderness but he made everything in my life dry like a desert in order to get me back.

I had always worked many jobs. Before He came for me was the first time I had worked three jobs and had no overflow. I’m like what is going on.

My Father was coming for me. He wanted to prepare me for a rest. He had to correct me on all those paths He pulled me off. I had to be disciplined.

The word says him He loves he disciplines.

Thank you Lord. For love and discipline.

What if I ran from discipline again. What if I tried to take matters into my own hands without asking God what He wants from my life. Is the difference really life or death?

I was dead emotionally, spiritually and with all the weight I was packing around my mid section I surely wasn’t living. I was just getting by.

“This morning. I woke up. Feeling brand new. I jumped up. Feeling my highs and my lows in my soul and my goals. Just to stop smoking stop drinking like I been thinking I got my reasons just to get by. Just to get by. Just to get by. Just to get by.”

Yes Talib Kweli said it best.

It was December 2012. My daughter asked me to stop smoking. She was only two. I knew it was God using her. So I did. I used a patch for three days and like that my thirteen year on and off stint with tobacco had ended. I’m still smoke free today.

I had to be better. For me. For my daughter. Who could I trust to raise her? Yes. I began doing insanity with such fervor one would have thought I lost my mind.

Well since the old one wasn’t worth keeping hold of. I am thankful I lost that one so God could renew a right mind within me.

This time I walked into my discipline. I didn’t try to make a way out of it. No escape plans to man down what God wanted to build up within me. It was time to walk. To the beat of the drummer within me that no one else can seem to hear but keeps me floating and feet a tapping.

I’m doing my moonwalk. Gliding like the singer I was never allowed to listen to because they said listening to a disfellowshipped person singing was like talking to him. I mean really? Why did MAN decide to change the bible? I get the eating part. Bad company corrupts good character. Or bad association spoils useful habits. Let’s not get loss in translation. Let Gods word speak but where does it say in the bible not to even greet your sister or brother? I been reading. I have yet to find. All I keep on reading about is love. Continuous unfailing love. I thought courteousness might have been a part of that.

But I understand. See I was bent on a destructive mindset because when darkness tells you to avoid the light you know you don’t want to be a part of the darkness for some strange reason yet you are afraid of the light.

God has not given us a spirit of fear. But of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND.

There is a great enemy that wants to take all that away. So you mean I can have enough of the power that God has given me to stop living a sinful lifestyle? To stop smoking? To stop giving into the desires of my flesh? To not curse someone out who so desperately needs it? What?

Freedom is attainable? Yet I am bound by the limitations of the orders of MAN to prevent me from accessing it.

Sounds like slavery to me. The enslavement of greatness, destiny, and purpose.

I had to break my chains. When I stopped leaning on Man I opened my ears to hear God.

Go ahead. He speaks. He may just use a few people to repeat the same things that none of them knew the other was saying. God doesn’t work in mysterious ways. He is God. He is bold enough to just work.

If you let Him.

So I stand in my state of discipline. When God disciplines it is much different from the way I watched man do it. He doesn’t humiliate. He takes one to the side like a loving parent who doesn’t want a child to be tarnished by the pain of humiliation and shame. He does it in love and harmony. He does it for life. For that life or death situation. He does it so we can choose life.

We keep getting the same test until we pass it. So the question should be, what am I supposed to be learning? The answer will come if you open up your mind and heart and not lean on your own understanding, acknowledge God. He will direct you. So take that new direction and run to the place He is leading you.

The difference really can be life or death.

I vow to do right next time

I would have never believed it. I didn’t. So I guess that’s why I didn’t take care of it.

I heard everyone at every turn telling me to look for a particular person.

It was my first semester at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I thought I had it all under control until blow one hit me. Hit me hard.

I wasn’t checking for anyone after that.

Somehow though he ended up on my path. Somehow I ended up loving him. Somehow I wound up drying his tears the day he thought we were through. Somehow we wound up saying vows to one other.

Somehow we wound up breaking them.

I’ll never forget looking up at the voice asking me was I sure I wanted to let our love story end like this. Bitterness and pride had settled in my heart.

Yes I was sure.

Heads held down in low conversation. He always was my friend. From his superhero stint of saving me from my oppressor. From the words of life he spoke into my dying spirit. From the homework assignments he would complete for me since he had already been through the class and passed the tests. He had elevated to the big league. He was pursuing his Masters. From the club scene we would visit on Fridays. The look in the eyes of the girl who wanted my position, not even knowing how big a title I had, when he told me to dance. Show them how its done. And I worked the floor as did he gleam in our eyes.

For the first time sharing my body was allowed. It was legal. He was not but our acts of love transcended our cultural differences.

And I loved him.

He loved me.

The look of hurt in his eyes when I gave back his mother’s ring.

Yes. He loved me.

I just didn’t know how to love me. I needed help. I needed something. Something besides being submersed in our ownselves forgetting an outside world existed. Something besides those rainy days bundling up with him forgetting how his athletic body was supposed to be taking control of a field as his footwork commanded attention and his athleticism was up to par with his intelligence.

He was the perfect package.

He was mine. He was not. But he was. He knew it.

See there is something about having everything you have ever dreamed of that makes you almost forget how long you’ve wanted it and sabotage the one thing that will break down the barriers holding one back from greatness.

He was my key.

That’s why almost everyone I talked to told me he was who I needed to be in contact with. See before my relationship with God became a personal one He would use people to lead me on the path He has for me. If I avoided my enemy. If I avoided the same people that had never been any good for me I would have experienced success.

But like I said. Its something so daunting about getting what you really want so the need to lessen its value becomes so real that it then is easy to walk away from what makes our hearts skip a beat and our smiles come alive. So self sabotage takes over.

All last year still trying to develop my personal relationship I had so many people get on my work vehicle telling me about the grief counseling they were taking. I would hear and disregard. I mean I can do this on my own. The same way I didn’t need the man everyone kept saying to get in contact with. But I do. So when the announcement came about a grief counseling for motherless daughters. I knew.

I would never be able to give this love I have on the inside to anyone until I deal with losing the most important figure of love I have ever touched in my lifetime.

See I gave back my ring. I shut down my capacity for love. It might have become my ring if I had allowed the covenant we had made between God, he and I. But I kept putting me first.

I forgot about a purpose bigger than either one of us.

I forgot about God.

I forgot about love.

I forgot about my friend.

See he was my friend. He was my friend first. Months of sharing our struggles and trials we had overcome gave us that title before any paper gave us any rights to believe we were supposed to be anything more than exactly that.

Friends first. Friends forever.

I miss my friend. I want to apologize to my friend. I want his forgiveness.

So I shake fear. I see doors opening. I just have to be diligent about walking through them. I have to forego pride. Making amends for my wrongs.

I tell you that’s no easy task.

But for a piece of mind I can’t buy. It surely is worth it.

Someone said to me recently. It’s hard to move on when you always regret one. Boy is that the truth. But stagnancy is crippling.

All I know is people that make you feel like you can fly when you don’t even know where the wings would come from don’t come around too often.

Often times we let our pride, fear, ego, and past prevent us from being who we are destined to be.

Which is great.

We are all destined to be great.

So the question is how long will it take before I allow my Mordecai to get me ready and create a new inner aesthetic to prepare me for one night that will change my life.

Because our destinies are connected to more than we could imagine.

I hope the man whose last name I wouldn’t take has allowed the freedom of forgiveness to settle into his heart. He is such a great leader. I watched him. I was supposes to be the half to help him be better. But when he asked me to choose I chose the wrong choice.

Such is life.

We live. We learn. We pray in earnest that when we get our next chance we will make the right decisions.

It won’t be like this always. Love won’t wait forever. So. We build on the positives.

I am getting the help I need finally. That way I can be a helpmate for real. Tuesday starts the first session. Isn’t it amazing how God has a way of putting everything we need right on our paths.

So we take it and run. You’d be surprised how much you can soar with eagles when you stop perching with pigeons.

Modifications not excuses and justifications

I find myself doing the Lots wife thing when I am afraid of moving forward. I pretend as if I am strong enough to go back and get the ones I was assigned to get, once I get my strength, because I am too fearful of dealing with myself. What I have learned is that if I am not ready to help them grow because I turn back to them too soon, I continue to grow and people stay stagnant stuck in the place I left them so when I turn back with no strength to pour into them I realize how we have nothing much in common. 

But fear is paralyzing.

Stagnation is comforting and the thought of moving forward without the ones my heart longs for is daunting. I mean don’t I need these people that have been such an intricate part of my growth process.

I fail to recognize the anchor they really are. The anchor they become when I fail to walk into the authority God has given me. When I speak life into those hurting they grow like roses from concrete because with God all things are possible.  
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For the past month I felt so heavy. I didn’t know where the pull was coming from so I had to shake everyone. As soon as I did that I ran five miles straight no stopping. I began to get my apartment and life in order and I was able to stay true to my clean eating.

Sounds like I made some moves.

I have decided that if a person won’t come up to my level I cannot stoop to theirs. Its in that moment of stooping that I get pulled down into the mess of others and who is there to pull me out? It seems like as soon as I get there I am getting kicked in my back, and I cant do anything besides look up at the person like really? I been here through all your mess and as soon as I get into something as a result of you not handling your business you throw me under the bus.

So your true colors are revealed. I knew I was ignoring something. I just never wanted to believe that’s what I was seeing.

Its hard for people to love another when they don’t love themselves. The only reason I keep on saying this is because that was my story. I couldn’t understand how someone was able to love me when I saw nothing I should really be loving about my own self. So I definitely had no love to share with others.

Word. So I had someone come at me about being farther along than I at my age. 

I paused. You think so? Do you even know me? Can you know what’s in my heart? Are you basing this on material things? Well let me see. At your age I had my own place no roommate. I had never lived with a man. I had just left my career where my pay was more than enough to pay for rent in Boston where the lowest rent for a one bedroom was eight hundred and fifty dollars, but I had just gotten the hook up from my friend’s cousin the apartment manager who gave me my studio for a little less than seven hundred dollars a month. That favor yo. Mind you this was 2006. So yes that was still steep. I had no children. I had one degree and working on my second. See the low blows that life hit me with was supposed to throw me off track and kill me. Literally. But I let God be God. Let Him bring me to a safe place. I am still standing after every fall. But I watched this naysayer of negativity nearly unravelling when the realness of life started pummeling against him. I get it. See while I had things. I had no peace of mind. The things I avoid now were constants in my life back then as I sought to avoid my reality. Now things don’t move me. My peace of mind is priceless.

See I knew the many times life hit him. I knew he was a conqueror. I knew he was truly a Victor. Overcoming many battles and many knockdowns never letting the one two punch knock him out completely. I saw his strength. I knew fear, that God doesn’t give us, had gripped him again. Probably to push him into the arms of a person that will prevent him from getting to his destiny while pushing him away from the one God sent for him. See what’s worth having is always a lot of work and effort. Sometimes the grind is so real people roll for about seven days to stay awake to get all they can. So I can’t help but wonder why he fall asleep on us? Why he stop fighting for what his heart longs for?

Because when real life hit me I had two options fold up and give in or fight back.

I chose to fight back.

I mean some people love to kick you when you down because they are intimidated by your strength. They are intimidated by your drive. They would rather blow smoke in the wind, sit on their behinds too lazy to do anything worth mentioning. But that wasn’t him. So I couldn’t understand why he was associating with it.

I know about the easy way. Not firsthand. But I’m a storyteller. A relayer of events I remember accounts better than most. You know the things that constitute a prostitute. Young men using their bodies to get women to relinquish cars, money and keys to doors that stay open to men that would rather make pimping a woman their other job than getting out there and working for real. Yeah. I can’t. I mean they say pride comes before the fall, but my pride would never let me exchange my body for resources. I remembered. That was the first man I loved in my youth. I hoped I was not being reintroduced.

I. Just. Can’t.

So. I’m in make me better mode and I am waiting for the exercise class to begin. Someone catches my eye. There are not too many that make me take a second glance. But he was fine. Beautiful. Handsome. Whatever he was I was sure he was used to the attention. 

6’4. Bright as my daughter. Slim physique. He said he played ball. I could see he stayed conditioned as he kept pulling up his shirt to show me his six pack. 

One thing I know is that when a person is willing to put in work on their own self they are willing to put in work with another. So he starts a conversation. I can barely get my words out. He’s amused. I explain that he is so handsome he is taking my words and breath away. He laughs openly. The exchange begins.

See I find out that not only does he play ball but he plays college ball with dreams of playing overseas. Dream big. That’s right. GPA over 3.0, working three jobs. I can dig it. While I am still standing on not dating until I feel like I am ready to give love to another its nice to know that I’ve got options. 

I mean who wants to settle. Maybe the lazy unwilling to put in effort or work. But if I’m running/walking 24 plus miles a week in addition to my other stuff I am always willing to work. So why shouldn’t I have someone with the same mindset?

So here I am. I’m looking forward. I know I have not been given a spirit of fear. I have decided to forget about what lies behind. Straining forward to what lies ahead and press on toward the goal. I will no longer remember the former things nor consider the things of old. The Lord my God is doing a new thing in me. I am a new creature in Christ, and that does not mean that I am perfect. It just means I strive to be better than who I used to be. If you don’t know who I used to be, you may judge me in who I am now because you probably couldn’t imagine how bad it used to be, but if you knew Rae-Rae you are surely sitting in shocked amazement waiting for the phase to past.

Thank you Lord. You did it. You are still doing it. I am thankful. Its not a phase but a strong desire to be better tomorrow than what I was yesterday. Letting go of what once hurt and those who are quick to put me down instead of lifting me up. Letting go so hard and heavy that my appreciation for their abandonments outweigh my complaints. Maybe one day they will sit at my table like Josephs family did his after coming to Egypt in the middle of a famine.  

So I purge. Find solace in isolation and enjoy my time alone. Giving my heart the opportunity to heal. Nothing stays the same forever. So I learn flexibility in not being stuck in one mindset but like a river willing to flow.

I know it will not be easy, but through all the departures of man I know I can trust in my Father to never leave me nor forsake me. If I continue to allow Him to be light to my path I won’t take any wrong direction, His one direction will give me fresh songs to sing when I thought I needed a muse for my prose. I was wrong. I thought I needed someone. I realize now I need no one but God. He will supply my every need. If it be what I want, so be it. If not, oh well. I’m still trusting God.

So my faith grows. I used to believe the sun can’t shine without Radiance. No I know its is through the Son that I am given my splendor. It is the light of God reflected through me. So I grow stronger. Believing in what I can’t see and willing to push ahead anyway. 

See the foundational understanding of life is, we can always modify, but never stop moving.

Don’t be bitter. Be better.

I never thought much about me.

My brown skin that made the pretty too bright light skinned dream boat sail past me because I was dark as night and he wasn’t trying to see me.

My pretty hair was so long and lush but the fact that my face ears and neck had to get burned by hot steel in order to straighten it made it a nuisance. Especially once the nasty girl played in my hair to give me ringworms. What a tragedy.

I guess I got what I asked for. I didn’t want my long hair so half of it came out after that.

I never thought much of me.

They said I looked like a cabbage patch. Or Webster’s little sister.

I mean one light skinned dream didn’t want me but the light skinned dream with Hazel eyes liked me enough to propose to me. I’ll never forget he was five I was three.

My mother had the longest talk to me that night about how I wasn’t ready to be thinking about marriage. Maybe that’s why I avoided it in my youth. That night she talked me to death. I was only three or maybe four. It wasn’t that serious.

Anyway. As the years grew I noticed girls would come around for my relationship with my mama. She never differentiated. What she did for me she did for whatever friend was with me. There was always someone.

I started seeing jealousy early. Not directed towards me. Other women towards my mother. See I grew up as an observer. Sit still be quiet and watch. I read a lot. I had little time for the boob tube to reprogram my mind. And she was beautiful. Inside and out. She kept her defenses up so as not to get back bitten but if she was for you she would empty her treasury for the next person. I would often remember women running from abusive men camping in our house for weeks with three children. We only had a one bedroom. It was cramped. But our home was never lacking love.

Anyway. I guess some just had difficulty believing a person could be that kind. So they showed quiet disdain for my mom all the while pretending to be her friend. Obviously I couldn’t help but notice when it happened in my life.

The guy interested in me. Probably because I’m not interested in him. The hair still draped down my back. Oh that’s a problem? I’ll cut it. The physique? I’ll hide in boy clothes. My mother? You can have her. My intelligence? I’ll do this ghetto princess thing so no one well ever know. Oh. My singing? Nah you’re right I can’t sing. I’ll smoke my voice away. Wait wait. My words? I’ll stop metaphorically blowing the minds of the masses. Or at the very least entertaining them with my flair for the dramatics in my spoken word liveliness.

Whatever I must do to be accepted.

So I just finished a weight loss journey. My first of many for the year. I would catch myself eating to make others feel comfortable with my strides. Not working out as hard as I can so others wouldn’t feel uncomfortable.

I would stop posting my ten mile run/walks. I found myself caring about being accepted again. Not understanding the only people unwilling to celebrate successes are those that either don’t do what needs to be done in order to get those successes their own selves or don’t want you to get those types of results. It’s fine for a random stranger. But when they know what kind of trials you have been made to overcome they find their excuses holding little to no value.

So here I am working hard. Still working hard. Still pushing to be the best me.

There are people out there that want to see you fail. Maybe not fail. Maybe just not be better than they perceive themselves to be.

Maybe they don’t want the guys to give another woman the attention they feel will validate their existence. Maybe they don’t want the success that naturally comes to people that work hard at what they believe in. I mean they say the way you do one thing is how you do everything.

I go hard in the gym. But since I fail in the gym so easily it sets me up for success in life.

So I never thought much of myself.

Until God opened my eyes. Now I think the world of myself. I’m a Kings kid. Got my Queen Esther flow going on. Yes. I believe I have been chosen for such a time as this.

See God chiseled these features. He gave me my body. I mean it was him that made my waist 12 inches smaller than my hips and bust. He did this. Gave me my nose my almond shaped eyes. My blemish free skin. He gave me this beauty mark underneath my left eye. I don’t have to paint anything on. He gave me the voice. A desire for reading so I can play with words.

I was fearfully and wonderfully made.

So. I have spent so much time talking about my negatives I almost believed it. No. My body was made for power. A powerful woman. I am so awesome. I will focus on my greats. On my abilities and my accomplishments. Whether spoken aloud or that quiet smile I keep on my face knowing I was able.

I let go of all excuses. I release whatever pain was hindering me.

And I flew.

And here are my results. 12 weeks of work. Yes. I did it. I may have only lost twenty pounds but twenty is better than none. I got off my behind. I stopped flicking through my amazon prime membership for anything to catch my attention.

See I caught my own attention. I like the mirror now.

I understand there will be others that will not like me but what about the few who will. See the negatives are not my problem. It cannot change me. It cannot stop my drive or my motivation. It has to propel me.

So it does.

I may not be everything I’ve always wanted to be.

But I am further along than I used to be. So how about that. I focused on me. Forgot about others and was able to do something so productive.

How’s that for a revelation.

Be better not bitter. And watch your hand unfold. It may just be the winning one everyone was betting on, they just never knew the underdog had it.

If not silence then guarding my lips

I spend so much time on my negatives you’d think I’d have enough on the equation to create a positive.

No. No. No. When I really mean yes yes yes!

I think I am a child of destiny. A beloved child of God. One of His special ones.

No there is nothing special about my make up. That is not as special about any one else’s. I just read about the judges of Israel. The thing that made them special was their willingness to be submissive to God. Not man.

I’ve been loving my Lord and Savior for a long time. He is the one that presents me approved or not to the Father. I believe my deeds can only take me so far because what does it all matter if I have no love?

Love for the one that created me. So much so I will go places I can’t stand the sight of because He sent me. Talk to people I would never interact with because He sent me. I would tell you the stories. I’m sure you’d get bored.

So yesterday Pastor preached about personal relationships. Saying we should tell our enemies to keep our names off their lips they don’t know who we are to God.

I just sat and thought of all the people that tried to attack my name and character. The things that happened to them. Repeatedly. I’m like when are you going to shut up. I think I would be tired of trying to clear the smoke after tearing someone’s name down. I mean have you even paid attention. When does the calamity befall.

Everyone loves to talk about how merciful and slow to anger God is. Yes. But against the enemies of His servants He spared no expense. Look at Joshua. Thirty one kings were killed. Whole kingdoms burned down.

People that go against God His commandments His laws. His servants. Miriam was an Israelite and still struck with leprosy for talking against Moses and Moses was a murderer. God didn’t look at Moses’ sin but what Moses was willing to do for God. Be His mouthpiece. He believed in God.

See. I don’t know what deeds a person has done for the Most High. No matter what it looks like relationships are personal. So I am learning to shut my mouth and not speak against people. Quiet as kept is the best solution for me.

I meant it silence is golden.

So what if they did something offensive. Love is holding no record of wrongs. That’s what my Father does. He blots them out. So why would a group of people keep a record of a persons sins to condemn them with. Then put their mouths to speak the condemnation and not understand why… Why? Why?

A question for God. Thought and logic cannot explain a powerful God who uses the foolish things to confound the wise. That’s why personal relationship is so important.

It’s never been a gut or intuition. It’s always been God.

Greater is He that lives in you. Body is a temple for the Holy Spirit.

Did you think those were just words and not actions.

In my sacrificial living I have learned how clear His voice is.  Sacrificial as in a life free from willful sin. Just one step in the wrong direction can remove His guidance because obedience is better than sacrifice so I watched last week. I learned.

I learned and I corrected.

My growth will always be necessary. In growth we challenge others so maybe my love of God may be offensive to those that want to remind me of who I used to be. Maybe they are uncomfortable with who they choose not to be. A loving obedient servant and child of the Most High God. Well. In discomfort we are challenged and if I am not challenging a possible contender to bring light to darkness then why would God have allowed my mother to name me Radiance?

Light bearer. Shining in the midst of madness.

See if you still talking about what happened last week, last month, last year. Sorry that’s my past. I don’t live there anymore. If you can find that woman congrats because I know who has changed me. I am a woman of God. He loves me. I love Him back. He loved me more. So. I walk.

Its never been easy. But oh the peace. The love that never leaves me with a void. Its the disappointments of man that leaves my mouth hungering for the whole refrigerator but when I enter into the rest of my father between his shoulders on his chest I relax lay back and let Him know all that troubles me. If you’re on the list begin to repent.

I’m sitting in discipline and in the wilderness now. Trust me I know the things my mouth have confessed. The names I’ve trampled. I apologize. I have learned my lesson.

Now I just pray. Pray we all make it. Pray we all find freedom. Freedom to become all we are capable of so that we have no time to murmer against another…

Because really? How can I claim I love my God I can’t see when I am not loving my brother I can??

Silence is golden…

You know that moment..

That moment when you don’t know what to say, how to say it, or when to say it so you say nothing at all.

A moment of silence for the moments we’ve lost.

Okay maybe two moments. Maybe two weeks or four. Who knows?

The woman of ten thousand words has a few pennies at her disposal as others ask for her thoughts. So I get even more quiet. My words are my strength. They are worth much more than that. I have been giving them away for free to people that wouldn’t appreciate them, or wanted to protect me and my destiny.

So I take a silent reprieve. Its time to get me together.

Why is that so offensive to others?

How dare I shut my mouth when so many are used to me pouring into them. Well when I was sending back to back texts I was a stalker. When I was letting someone know how something made me feel I was cray cray. Now that I hold it in something must be wrong with me.

No.

I am fine. Finally I have gotten the premise of life I have been giving to others.

Save your life vest for you because it was given to you because whomever gave it to you knew you would go back for others once you got your strength. Save it for when you finally make it to your destination. Others will take your life vest to your destination and pretend as if your identity was theirs all along.

They learn how to love you when they love themselves. How can you love yourself when you don’t even know yourself? You don’t know what you want or what matters to you?

Some people only know how to take. They only take because if they had to create that would mean finding out what appeals to them so they take an identity so they have no need to create their own. So if you give them your life vest they won’t tell you about the boat they had around the corner and will leave you to drown and the sharks to attack you.

Then when you ask them to give you a drink of water to wash out the taste of the salt water they will look at you and talk about you so bad.

While many are forgetting others are remembering. They remember my love my kindness my warmth my generosity so why even bother worrying about what isn’t when so many are.

Poets, writers, professors charge for their speaking engagements and here I am have used my God given gift to help a few find the freedom He showed me and now I’m broke.

But I broke my self when the words given me by God was used to help put together your broken pieces. I didn’t want to hear the same thing over and over again. I love to love and love people back to life so I took one look and felt my tears coming. I noticed your unshed ones. I saw your selfish behaviors remembered that we all have growing to do so I loved you anyway.

But now I have a problem..

See my assignment from a little girl was always to love those hurting and in need. So when I need the same and I want to be understood I’m told to get it together.

You’re right. Together two heads are better than one and I find another who can help me put my head on straight. Hug me through my tears not tell me to suck it up.

You suck it up.

Yep. This silence. Suck up the silence. Know its not about you all the time. God gives seed to the sower. So where do you begin to plant?

I been planting seed on soil. I’ll continue to plant seed on soil. Maybe now its just time to reap my rewards from a seed I planted years ago. I’ll continue to let God work. He been working on me. You can tell a tree by the fruit it bears.

Material things don’t always mean much. Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world. Never forget that. But what does the heart bear. The heart is revealed by the fruitage of the lips. Gossip. Envy. Tearing down the very people that was sent to build you up.

So. I gain my strength. I’ve planted good seed on fertile ground. They will pick me up now that I’ve fallen.

But when you kick the one that came to carry you who is going to do the same for you?

My first date of 2014

I have never in my life been treated the way I was this weekend.

He has been trying to get my attention for such a long time. I finally decided to give it.

I turned my phone off. We sat we conversed. He told me to take off my shoes and get comfortable.

He filled me up with his words.

My God! His words were enough to make me fall in love. I wanted to fall in love. I wanted to let everything go and fall in love for the first time. My first real love.

He told me how beautiful I was. He saw that I was a bit rough around the edges my first evening with him. So when he invited me back to spend the following day with him he picked something out special. Something he got for me. Brand new hoop earrings in my ear. A pretty ring with two hearts. Mine and his meeting to become one. Still beating. Bringing new rhythm to a heart once broken.

See he knows all about broken hearts.

He told me how his had once been.
The story was reminiscent to a melancholy melody. So I cried.

He told me how he had been watching me for awhile now. He showed me how I had been doing things the way pain hurt and regret were easy to find me so he gave me some advice on how to change it. He showed me how to sit still and listen as I was caught up and enraptured about all the tales of the wonderous things he had to share with me.

He is so beautiful.

See like I said he had been trying to get my attention for years now. But I chose all the ones that were dead set against my happiness.

He said that’s all he wanted to bring me.

He asked me to show him my scars. The wounds that had almost choked the life out of me. He held my hand. He wiped my tears. He let my runny ugly crying face be made beautiful because it was in the brokenness that he reminded me that sometimes you have to be broken to be remade whole.

He sat silent through my tears and screams of distress. Rubbed my back. Told me the importance of letting it out. Then he assured me he was here now. He would never leave.

For the first time in my life. I believed. Not just wanted to believe and said I did. But finally. I had met my king. He was so real to me.

He told me things. Some things I just relish in the memory. A secret he and I will share until it is time to reveal to the world. One thing he reminded me was how far he saw my potential reaching.

For the first time I felt for real. Someone was willing to believe in me. Vouch for me. And hold my hand even if I am being sent to the deep or about to walk on water.

He said he would be right here.

Right here be right here. No fear have no fear. And this sister with a voice wants to sing songs so great. Songs of love. Songs of adoration. I know. I wrote songs last year for someone special. I meant every word. But this here is so much different.

And after all my tears. I traded for joy. We danced. It was in dancing I hit my knee so hard. The knee that I used to put a knee brace on. I’m like wait. Did that just knock my pain out the way. So I danced harder. I danced more freely. I danced with vim and vigor. I danced. I let Him carry me the rest of the way. What a pleasure!

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See I spent the weekend at New Life Covenants Womens Retreat with my King. My Lord and Savior. He told me to be quiet. To be still and learn what I need to learn so He could use me. When I screamed the gut wrenching screams He used my sisters to rub my back and continue to speak life into me. Every tear that fell was met with a tissue to dissolve and be discarded along with the pain that caused it. When he broke my will my stubborn resolve He used my sisters to pick me right back up. But I asked him. I sing my song at least once a day when I say, “Shake me break me make me humble.”

Yes. He sure has.

It has been the best weekend of my life. I never knew Him to be so real.

I mean last year when He told me to leave the apartment and walk and I walked into the word that perfectly described my life. I thought it was a coincidence. When I prayed to him and said I was tired of getting up at 4 in the morning since I had been taking up to 8 busses a day and two trains when he put the keys to the car in my hand I thought maybe it was man. Being nice.

Nah.

When he told me to let go of the men that were playing the mind games with me I thought maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. He kept reassuring me he has something better.

I believe.

So when we ended the retreat. I gave him my vow. I gave him my vow. He gave me his. His word. The orange piece of paper that contained His word and I saw that my vow lined up with the word he made stand out to me for me to reach out for and receive.

Yes Lord! You are real. You are alive. And He loves me.
But you know what. He loves you too.

He really does.

I felt it because I was willing to be open. I stopped believing who man said he was and asked him who he was. I Am… He began. And as he showed me I fell in love.

I believed. I believe in his love and fell in love with him.

So. The weekend that changed my life. May 23-24, 2014. I am who I Am says I am.

That’s between me and him. But maybe you’ll get the chance to see. All I know is who he is to me. I hope you know who He is to you!

Houses stand on the rock of salvation

Its been a hard week.

What do I usually do when the going gets rough? I run. Usually figuratively. Now literally.

These thighs I have always hated were built for power. Had I not grown up in a religion that told my mother not to allow me to play sports, go to college, or be around anyone that wasn’t in the same religion for extended periods of time if we weren’t trying to convert them I probably would have ran track and field. I mean I kept taking the treadmill up got to 7.6 and still felt like I was running slow. Its not nearly as fast as I run when I’m out there on the field by myself and a good praise song comes on and I’m fighting back tears. I let the pain hit the pavement and let my powerful legs push it as far into the ground as 220 pounds will push.
But that’s almost 220 pounds Anowa Adjah style. Powerhouse physique style. Just seven more inches yo off this waist. I’m aiming high. My goal is for 22 inches like my momma before baby but this will be my after baby. I’m just saying. What good is dreaming if you’re not dreaming big?

But a few days ago that rain yo.

Got the ache of what the doctors have called a bulging disc nearly crippling me.

But I stand strong.

Until today.

I keep rereading a text. I want to reply. I want to tell him how much I love him. But he’s right. We are not ready. What good is love in a state of torrential turmoil. If we are beating the love out of each other to the point of turning it into ashes. Dust to dust. We cannot and will not buryour love in other people instead of working separately to get ourselves together so we can be our best version of ourselves for each other. He has more sense in his 26 years than I do in my 33. That’s why I kept telling him age is the amount of time spent on this earth. The wisdom comes from the experiences faced and overcome.

I thought I came to help him.

I believe now he came for me.

So here I am recognizing I have to heal as a woman in order to prepare to be a helpmate for my man. God is supposed to be our rock. Mine and his. My man is supposed to be strength, protection, and provider. I am his helper. So that means if he isn’t up to par I haven’t pushed him to his level. I mean Barack Michelle. Jay-Z Bey. I’m just saying. I saw Jay-Z in lackluster performance mode pre Bey. Black album retirement mode. He bored me. Now he’s a brand new man. My free ninety nine watch the throne called to GCI and won tickets showed him showcasing a brand new flavor for my ear. Craig Mack style. Yep, my favor has had a long standing run.

But anyway. Back to this bettering people. Women are supposed to do that.

Make men brand new. Make them better.

Men think they are supposed to fix women. Wrong. Epic fail. Nurturers heal. i.e fix. Women are nurturers. Not so much men. Roles get reversed in black households where men are scarce and mother’s have to take on multiple assignments.

Forget the enemy. We have a Savior that came to show us how to live and live more abundantly so as to avoid the  confusion that causes families to fail to be in the roles God designated for them. Not a surprise for this new generation. Everything goes nowadays.

But I serve a God that never changes. Not his ideals, values laws or decrees. We just have some grace and mercy to go on top like a cherry of our foolishness we think is sweet like cake and ice cream.

So here I am trying to get me together.

I can’t get up today.

My perfect live story cliché protagonist told me the first couple of days of our last departure had him struggling. That was about seven months ago. I didn’t believe him. But if its anything like what I feel now. I understand. I get it now. My heart wants what it wants. Not one of these more than a handful can pull my interest away from him.

Evey time I go to lay on the pillow here comes my little lady talking about momma let’s pray.

Where did she come from? Rubbing my back when I cry. Holding my hand while we pray? She just turned four in February.

See now I get it. Its not just about me. I saw the beautiful little girl who I wanted to fill her birthday bag with more goodies than my last minute shopping had in mind. See I forgot about the beautiful pendant filled with diamonds I put to the side in my safe that I wanted to give to a stepdaughter I want so badly to claim as my own.

Forget step. A daughter for my own to grow up with. A sister of her own.

There are so many young girls who never understand their worth and let men call them names like thots which they wear like its a badge of honor. Young women who may not have had a mother like mine who put me and my view of self above any and all things. I mean I NEVER saw my mother in any intimate position with any man besides my step father. Not until after they were married. I mean not even my father.

I may not have always followed the rules. But I definitely have the standards down pat. But maybe more than anything is my willingness to share. I don’t mind baring my mess ups to give another the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. And my love is for real. May seem a little too much. At times.

Hey like I said I am getting me together. And since I finally realized I can’t get me together I am leaning on my Lord and Savior to do it. He leans over to the Father and tells Him what I need. So I receive.

He said whatsoever we ask in His name. For the glory of God of course. Never the Glory of man.

So. I pray. I pray harder. I pray with my daughter. I pray while running. I got to pray without ceasing.

I love me. I love someone so special. I mean to be Victorious we must find Glory in the little things. Advance the positive. Work on the negative. Take a breather and let God show us how to make Him our rock.

My babe was so right. A house won’t stand when built in sand. So I just pray we get an opportunity to have it built on a foundation which will last!