Integrity

I have some big dreams.

My dreams require some places that most people would never be able to enter into.

I need God to help me get there.

How in the world can God entrust me with my big dreams, if I can’t be trusted with some of the smaller things he gives me?

Like, the ability to love the people who have shown love to me. Or, the responsibility to be honest in my intentions towards others? Or, carrying someone’s secrets who came to me in distress and wanted me to hold onto their pain? Or, respecting people.

Sometimes I have a hard time respecting people.

My issues with authority is long standing. My mother always promised me my big mouth would get me into trouble.

And I will never forget. It did. 

2011. I was driving down the block my daughters father liked to smoke on. I saw him, blunt in hand, in the car with his lady, and became livid. Yep. I did my vindicative thing. I called the police. Little did I know the police that came would put me in jail. 

But I was talking. Every time they tried to get me to leave I reminded them I wasn’t going anywhere. I had rights. It was a free country, etc, etc, etc.

I am not easily scared.

When they removed me from the situation and I had to be bonded out of the situation, I wanted so bad to run and tell all my daughters father’s secrets about himself to his face and anyone who would listen. I mean he told a lie, the policeman told a lie, and I had to pay a couple of stacks to a great lawyer to free my name from something that had been made up.

But, integrity.

I recently was close to a young man who enjoyed telling me all the sordid details about his significant other. He also told me all about his friends and their secrets. 

How can a man with no integrity expect to go any place in life?

It doesn’t matter how great a person’s talents are when their moral fibers are few. It doesn’t matter what a person does well when they treat people like trash. That may be why a talented person who has been working at their talents for decades still has shows where no one can sing along with the songs. Or, no one shows up at all. 

Mediocrity at its best. 

Mediocrity and lack of integrity goes hand in hand. 

It’s hard to build a following of people when respecting people is at a minimum. It is hard to be loved by adoring fans when a person is not honest about their motives for another person. Why not be honest about what your purpose is in a persons life?

Who sent you?

I am thankful for every area in my life I fell, I failed, and had to work hard to rebuild. 

Rebuilding teaches humility and with humility comes integrity. 

There are moral principles I live by these days. 

I will not lie to get my way. I will not disrespect those who have been kind, or have come to help me. I will not pretend to be interested in a person’s life just to get them to consume something I have to offer. I will not pretend to love someone just to get their attention when I feel no one else, I want, is giving the attention I want. I will not be disloyal. There will be no talking about the people I am close to when they are not around if I have no intention on telling them how I feel about them when it all cools down for me to share. I will have concern for others. I can’t be a person who is only concerned about what a person can do for me and how they make me feel. I have learned to take responsibility for my personal actions. When does one grow into maturity to hold themselves accountable for behaviors that may have led to discomfort in relationships?

See this last situation God used all types of things to remove me from was something I was never supposed to be involved in, in the first place. I kept letting what I saw get me distracted from faith, which is a substance of the things hoped for and belief in the things UNSEEN. 

For all that is in the world is lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and boastful pride of life.

All that character did was talk about himself and his perceived accomplishments. What good is accomplishments if changes aren’t happening around us. We live in a society where everyone is so consumed with themselves. Pause, flash for the click of the pic. Where men need to have a woman that represents everything society says we are supposed to be going for and wonder why our children are failing as a generation killing everything like open season at target practice. It almost seems like Everything has a bullseye on it in Chicago these days. Who is raising the children? 

Are they women and men of value, moral integrity and substance? 

Men in the music world are constantly promoting sex. Women believing they have to be sexy in order to be chosen. Divisions happening between women in competition for what they feel is a valuable man. And men confusing women, and overconsuming product to create bait for women to bite. Who has time to raise the children. Who has time to fill them with moral values? Who has time to show love, when lust and greed are the central and key ingredients to our societies potluck?

See in honesty I can say finally I am single because I never had the closure I needed with my ex. I was too busy lying telling him all we were, was sex partners and that’s all it was about. The truth was, I was head over heels in love with him.

But closure came at A visit to my daughters birthday party. The same man, from back when my then two year old called Dadas, like she never knew her father, walked in the door to say happy birthday, and left with a sense of closure. We made the right choice all those years ago.

See while he was chosen for being one of the most handsome men. His encouraging words built me up. A woman has to be up built by her man in order to be the healing nurturing light the family structure needs to grow. He was let go for his inability to be honest, and communicate with me. He chose to get his information from the woman who called herself my sister but hated me like an enemy. 

I let go then, and where I grew over the last four years in one direction and he grew in another; closing doors to a purpose we chose not to fulfill became the plan for our future.

Integrity. I live to love on purpose. I am not interested in a man who sleeps with women for sport. Who calls women out of their name. I have encountered too many down low men, thank God for the Holy Spirit being a snitch. Men who disrespect any woman is suspect. I am not interested in a man who speaks ill about a woman who carried his seed in her womb for months. I am not interested in a man who is not loyal to his circle of friends. I am not interested in a man who has nothing to offer to his community. And while many other women may be, I have to be honest and show integrity to my needs and the needs I want to meet for my daughter.

And if that means I wait until she is a teenager like my mother did and all the raising has been done so be it. If I teach her sheer drive and determination from the beautiful people God has surrounded us with, I shall. I refuse to settle just to say I have something when that thing does not fit my needs. 

I operate in integrity.

I walk in purpose.

I treasure my moments.

And I love.

I love like splatters of paint on an empty canvas. There is no containing it. And I give it freely. Integrity means I give because that’s who I am. I never expect anything in return. I store treasures in heaven for my God to release to me as he sees fit.

And. His treasures have been abundant these days!

My integrity looks like a sun peeking out of storm clouds letting it’s rays illuminate bleak and drab skies. 

So what does your integrity look like?

Advertisements

Why you hatin’ though? When Love is so necessary

I called my old co-worker the other day.

It really was a business related call. But he and I never kept our relationship professional while we worked together.

And I know the old adage. Don’t make a mess where you eat.

The job I had before taught me that.

Women I tell you.

They will make life difficult for someone when the person they are interested is interested in that someone.

And I used to struggle with humility. The guy everyone wanted always wanted me and I would gloat. Nah.

Nah. Neeeee.

Booboo. Boohoo. Who you?

Yep. Women crying to their friends about how I looked at them cross eyed when I was paying them no attention. Poetically thinking about that funny text the guy they like sent me.

It’s never been personal. I just be me. No holds barred. Men tend to like women who not talking about their “friends” behind their back, then keekeekeeing with them later on.

I’m usually the only woman in a room full of their boys. I hear. Conversations about what women do to push their man away.

Never wanted to be her.

All lonely and bitter. Hating other women. Hating the pretty woman. Hating the woman the guy I like likes. Hating the confidant woman. Using my judgements of others as my excuse as to why I can’t be better.

Man, men can be a trip. Especially when they forget I’m the lone lady in the room listening to how they really feel about the women they’ve been playing for a fool.

So. I digress.

I talk to the unprofessional nurse. Who used to follow behind me in all my rooms. Tall brown and so FINE! In a nursing home of women he was prime picking, with his eyes set on me.

And the way he cared for our residents caught my attention. And the way the other women started rolling their eyes at me kept me in the game of chase.

I mean if you must hate me.

Let’s have a good reason.

But then. My residents started having bowl movements from their feet to their neck. And guess who can’t get out of bed? And guess who sweating and rolling people to change whole linen. And guess who won’t help this CNA in a place where help makes life better. And the other nurses, not understanding why the handsome available nurse would be interested in a CNA, making a little change when the lady nurses were making that paper. They were probably giving the residents stool softener at the beginning of my shift.

It seems like for everyone is a lose lose.

I maintain great friendships with guys. No strings attached. Boundaries set in place and limits intact. My friendliness is not flirting. Nor is it an invitation for someone to get closer. I love to love on people who are not mean to me. So I do.

If I’m friends with someone who likes the guy that’s interested in me, I’ll gladly send him in her direction. Why hold onto what I can’t do anything with?

Now, though. I’m learning teamwork. I’m learning love all over again.

The art of love.

As the Master’s brush strokes against the inside of my heart to create and change mine to clean and one of flesh when it was formerly made of stone. From the inside out. His beautiful splendor touching my mind to help me see things his way.

I used to anticipate the hate coming for just being Radiance. Giving ammunition. But now I seek the whole armor of God. My feet shod with peace. Body armor of righteousness. That means the blows of the enemy are cancelled when I choose to live a righteous life. Doing the right thing. Walking in integrity. Weapons form but they do not prosper, because how can attacks penetrate when I have on the full armor?

See hating my sister is against the grain of what Christ commanded me to do. He said if I love him I’d keep his commandments. And loving my sisters is number two. They have to be a part of that neighbour category.

See when we work together we thrive.

We help each other. I don’t care if it’s helping a sister eat healthy, learn a musical part, distinguish the difference between alto and soprano, work out, clean her space, be a blessing to her. Love is patient and kind. Love keeps no record of wrong. Like you know what a person did, but you don’t hold it against that person for the future. Love is forbearing.

We take offenses. A forgive repeatedly. Last year a sister of mine did something totally hurtful to me instead of just saying, no thank you Radiance I don’t want to go to church with you.

But this year after finally joining the church she was running from last year she invites me to a girl spa weekend in a couple of weeks.

We hugged and she’d a couple of years when we reconnected this past Sunday. She said she had been coming to check looking for me. But I was probably there early in the morning.

Anyway.

We fall short. We forgive. We move on. We become great. Loving and nurturing each other back to life one day at a time. Not leaving a sister behind that wants to stay in the race.

So. Next time you say, uhh unhh I don’t like her. And stay slandering her name to the men folk, women folk, check your heart. Where is this really coming from?

And correct. We never are too late to ask God for forgiveness in the land of the living.

So who you loving, wanna be hugging on today.

Love your sister!

 

Happy New Year World: Running races, but staying away from rat packs

A rat ran across my path yesterday on my way to New Year’s Eve service at church.

Here I am walking from my new place and taking the path that’s usually open. But this evening it had been closed. I had to climb and squeeze through the gate but before I did that the rat ran across my path.

I used to be afraid of rats. But my approach these days is like a hawk.

Hawks may give a fierce yell and attack with their hands for prey, like rats, but can be quiet and gentle creatures. Flying high to observe everything. Swooping down on rats.

Yeah. Stay high. Like a hawk, who was designed to destroy rats.

Rats have been designed for their purpose. Eating what others won’t. Social creatures who live in colonies. They have an inate fear of anything new. They stay intuned with their environment. And fitting in places many other things cannot.

Oh those rats!

Sometimes in life it feels like we’re in a rat race. A rat pack. Doing whatever one can to fit in.

Eating whatever. Not literally. Sometimes people leave scraps of information behind. Information that we’d do well to discard. Not carrying it back to the colony. Because the new addition to the colony is a threat, the goal is to get the person to leave because like rats who lose a fight in the colony the social stress that comes along causes that one to leave.

Did you know God is like a recycling bin. If you take the trash of information that people who may be hurting have left behind He can and will turn that information into a healing salve for the parties involved. If, in a rat like mentality, you take the trash back to the colony y’all all eat the trash. Continuing in a rat like mentality, continue to nest in your colonies of thought. And most rats burrow in small nasty spaces. Being known to destroy crops, the good harvest that others have planted.

My connections, God has blessed me with were just speaking about staying high. On another page. Blessing God with our words, not destroying others with them. Not running to take the trash and filth of words that don’t promote unity to people who need to stay on one accord.

I have had many crops of friendships eaten by people with rat like mindsets, eager to take the venting of a hurt filled rant back to someone I once connected with. Instead of being the mediator and taking it to God for Him to heal the hurt. So even when I apologize for my wrong doing, those with rat like behavior continue to bring the trash into the colony never quite allowing for the mentality and behavior to change.

But I serve a God.

Joel 2:24,25a And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25a And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…

And the rats too?

Making connections only to be destroyed by someone in their own misery and bitterness to keep others apart. From being like the body that needs one another to effectively move the cross and work within the body of Christ to help people come to know God. Yes. You can praise Him real good but can you help others get to Him?

I can praise Him really real, but will I pick up my cross to help others get to him?

Not alone. We need one another.

So thankful I no longer look for pretty friends. We look fierce and important walking into clubs with all eyes on us. But I no longer live that life anyway. Those pretty faces keep one blinded. Look for the heart. And out of the heart the mouth speaks.

And words that cause divisions are the worst anti-Christ behaviors!

Proverbs 6:16, 19b These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 19b and he that soweth discord among brethren.

I no longer fall for sorrowful woefilled stories of those whose hearts I don’t know because I have seen God give me peace in awful circumstances! And if you don’t know peace you might not know God, so I step back and ask Him to do His job.

Prayerfully. High under his wings. Like a hawk. With my other hawks. Not stooping like a pigeon. Or worse yet, scurrying like a rat. Not rat races. Not part of a pack. God had chosen and set apart. After all He is the Master Exterminator!

Thank you Jesus!

So whose side will you stand on for 2016?

 

Don’t get caught in the friend zone!

Let’s talk about honesty.Honesty and integrity when dealing with others.

Honesty, integrity, and loyalty when dealing with the opposite sex.

I watch people who claim to be or have a best friend get little ( be gone) when the friends new love interest comes around. This goes for those who call people brothers/sisters, cousins, or whatever because of not having courage. Or rather the humility to let someone know you are interested. 

What if they don’t share the same interest. What if they tell someone.

So what?

It’s life. Live it without regrets. And pray for discernment that you are interested in a person who knows how to be discreet. And reflects the discretion you carry within yourself. 

Remember we are a reflection of the things we are attracted to.

I mean all I’m saying is don’t get friend zoned.

I had a best friend turned boyfriend once. The longest relationship I was ever in. There was no fighting. There was mutual respect and understanding. There was love. Because love built on trust and respect turns into something greater.

But he didn’t operate in deceit. He didn’t like me in the beginning. It took a transformation (of mine), and a sweet potato pie for his birthday before he became interested. But as soon as I felt the shift he told me, he didn’t wait and act in cowardice. See before hand he listened to me talk about the guy I was interested in. Quietly. Giving good advice. And even after we got together and I was confused about whether I should choose him or the one I had been dating, he was willing to take a step back and let me pursue the other relationship because his love for me was unconditional. Not based on what I had to give him, or what he wanted to gain.

See I have had people play the friend role, then slip in outings that they secretly calling dates. And then give me the googly eyes.

We are friends. Stop it.

Be bold enough to state your intentions so I can let you know early that’s not how I feel, or maybe it is.

But I’m usually bold and blunt. I won’t pretend to be someone’s friend when I am interested. I don’t want to hear about your love interests and I’ll tell you why. 

Because if I was your girlfriend…

Someone got mad at me. He could no longer carry out his role as my friend because when he had the chance to tell me he was interested someone else was showing it. 

Someone is always interested. Someone is always calling. 

I get to choose who. 

Who will be the best fit for my daughter and I. Because she’s just as much a part of the equation as I am.

Anyway. Someone else saw what Common says in his song The Light. It don’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine. I opened up. I blossomed. And he decided to pursue something. And my friend got mad. Couldn’t even be a friend when I got hurt in the situation. But had he been honest and let me know he was interested, instead of constantly talking about the guy that was for me, he would have had the opportunity to see if I could’ve been the one.

But. Loyalty is everything. And a person that turns their back on me in my time of need when I have done nothing to physically or verbally hurt them, has shown their true colors and for that I am thankful.

So. Maybe my sisters have made this too easy for men. 

Always throwing themselves at them. Turning our backs on each other or cattily in our interactions with one another for the affection of a man. Throwing one another under the bus to make ourselves look as if we shining in there spotlight when we see his eyes connecting dots with another woman. Or tearing her name down hoping she wi be like Eve manipulating that man to see things her way when she needs to be pointing him to God, asking God to order his steps and praying. So now brothers don’t know how to pursue a lady. They don’t know how to act around a lady. A woman who won’t pursue a man. A woman who will be wooed, pursued, and courted. 

Whatever my past contained it did not contain me running behind a man, trying to make him love me when he wanted to be somewhere else. Talking bad about another sister that may have been a good for for him. Because anyone knows if a man choose someone that’s not a good fit he will eventually make ways to get out of her way and go back to pursue what he wanted in the jest place before being blind sighted and deceived. My thoughts are; If you want someone else go. I know my worth enough to know you’ll probably be back here like a few others have been crying for me to give you another chance. But. IT’s all in how one ends a thing. How much integrity does one operate in?

I believe a man should be a man. He should make choices. He should pursue. But women that make themselves so available playing the friend role, sister role, or whatever role waiting for vulnerability doesn’t let that man do what he needs to do as a man, which is take a stand, a choose what he wants. Not just what had been made easy for him.

So. Friends. Don’t get zoned. Level out your clear intentions so both people can feel safe in the interaction. 

It’s all in the name and sake of love!

Because we can’t build up our community until we first build up our family structure!

Brand new mercies, my cup is filling!

My job had been to get people to their destination.

For the past few months I have been driving down one of the roughest streets on the west side of Chicago, affectionately coined Chi-raq by someone, and made famous by Spike Lee, for ten and a half hours on Sunday. Times I have wanted to be in church. But I have been, mostly, faithful in getting up for 7:30 AM service. Singing with the choir, going back home to get a nap before starting my shift at 2:46 which ended at 1:55 am. 
God has been faithful, even though I haven’t always been.

Who I was and who I am is two different people, but because of that I take heart in being a servant. By serving Gods people I serve him. And getting people to their destination is a blessing. I love to hear the stories of happy healthy lives free from toxic people after God has used me in some way form or fashion. Seeing Him work in the lives of others builds my faith!

So. 

I have been driving this bus. But before I was driving a bus I had been encouraging friends off floors with suicide letters tucked away. I have been giving my last to make sure friends got where God intended for them to be so they could experience the best lives ever. I have used the word of God, the Bible, to encourage and upbuild hurting people from near lifeless situations. And I never needed the applause. I never speak of the homeless I feed. Or the clothes I give away. When I do I do to receive a reward in heaven. Man is fickle. One minute they love you. The next they turning the people you thought you needed away from you.

It’s all about hearing God say, well done my good and FAITHFUL servant. 

I just want to be like him. A reflection of him. In my dealings with others. Because where I haven’t always been this Radiance, I am thankful for knowing who and what I was a capable of being so I can forever be grateful to God for seeing something in me to use me. For giving me not just material needs but blessing me with peace, love, joy, and a little bit of kindness in the mix. 

God was thinking of me when he saw I was once a dishonorable vessel used by our great enemy to bring turmoil and distress in other people’s lives. But God! Cleaned me up: got the hatred, anger, envy, bitterness, greed, deceitfulness, fighting, confrontationalism, and the list goes on out of me. He poured all that out my cup. So he could break me to remake me In order to fill up my cup with goodness.

So many times we forget how gracious God had been to us. How merciful he has been. When we have been caught up in wickedness. How he covered over our sins. But some are quick to point at others transgressions. You can’t take the splinter out of my eye with a tree in yours. Your vision is distorted. 
So God reminded me!

Matthew 18:32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” 

 

I get to forgive! Because I know what it’s like to be in the wrong and God still loving me, using me, blessing me, and forgiving me!

So. Next time you see fit to remind someone of a past thing. Or something someone else has done to offend you. Don’t worry about the perks. You’re trying to hurt. God is watching. He is remembering. He knows what you ask for. He is the one with mercy and grace to give. And he is watching is all.

So for that I am thankful. No more needing to defend myself! God been fighting for me. And He will fight for you too. Forgiving you too. As long as you remember that mercy we give is an extension of what has been given us.

And I remember so I never again have to forget.

Don’t be bitter be better! Again… I’ll say it.

I had to stop asking God to deliver me from crazy. I just need the fruitages of the spirit. The Holy Spirit. One of which is self control. Because sometimes I have to go crazy in warfare prayers to pull down the high things that try and exalt themselves above God!

This woman who used to go hard in life, now knows the weapons of my warfare are not carnal. Because I don’t wrestle with flesh and blood. So now I go hard in prayer!!

God will fight for me. But faith without works is dead. So I have to do something. Pray without ceasing. Out loud.

So what happens when one is attacked? 

Some choose to retaliate. Some choose to speak ill of the person. Some want to check and correct. 

I am learning to pray. I am learning to speak up and let light shine and emanate. I am learning that not every thing needs a reaction.

Some people throw their shady shade behind smiles and think that an innocent face won’t notice. Innocent faces get bred in the streets because bad guys love good girls and love even more so to teach them the games people play all their lives because of a life of misery and bitterness.

They choose to be bitter instead of being better.

I am learning that disrespect is not personal. 

People treat others the way they feel about themselves. Their perception of people is really their inner view of self. Happy people tend to think everyone is happy. Messy people think everyone is gossiping behind other folks backs.

Some people keep the word of God near and know. One of the seven things that’s detestable to God is someone who sows discord amongst brothers. Or causes conflict in a community. Not alternative lifestyles they quick to throw shade at. But that last one is the seventh thing God hates!

Proverbs 6:19 if you don’t believe me.

I have noticed there is a community of women that believe if they make a single and available woman look bad that will make them look good. I’m a tomboy. I ran with the boys. I heard the stories.

Men see messy women and want to distance themselves from them. Unless they actually have more feminine traits and characteristics than male. A man doesn’t want a woman constantly calling up her friend talking about everyone else’s business. How is she going to take care of her own?!? How is she going to push that man to be great constantly talking about some mess?? I thought we flushed mess down the toilet? I mean doesn’t the word of God says that it’s not what goes into a mans mouth that defiles him but what comes out.

See I can eat all the bacon I want to. It’s going to have health effects God wants me to steer clear from but it doesn’t make me unclean. 

A dirty nasty heart pushing dirty nasty words about Gods people who He sees as the righteousness of Christ Jesus is what is unclean.

See. Women that stay dogging, or cattily speaking negatively of other women are like birds. Flocking together. Or rather like pigeons. Stooping. And someone’s disrespect won’t get me to come to their level.

Like this gospel CD that stays in rotation by Jonathan McReynolds. One of the songs is called Stay High!! Imma be praying and reading my word. To stay High. The Most High. Keeps me hidden and safe under His wings!!!

HE is faithful. Even when I am not. Going off in my mind. SAYING A euphemism or two in my inner thoughts. But God is faithful. He got this. 

I don’t even need to acknowledge the ugly. Ugly words said. Coming out a heart in need of healing and cleansing. Like all of ours. We all fall short. And since I KNOW mine does I try to remember to ask daily for God to cleanse and heal my heart and renew the right spirit in me. I never want anything to be about me.

Not what someone forgot to do. Or what I wanted someone to do. Or what I wanted to do. I want Gods will to be done. Whatsoever he wants done in me and through me. 

Making sacrifices not because sacrifices are special to Him. But because the relationship I have now is one of having a desire to be pleasing to him! 

Had it not been for that. When I was asked to carry out an assignment that had me front and center in front of people. I would have said no. But for Gods glory I will do anything. For the spotlight to be on Him. I’ll do it, say it, perform it.

He’s done too much for me not to!

I love, LOVE, the people I left behind. The people that delete me off their Facebook page because I go to church. But I still speak because I hope one day they join me and find the truth like I did. That they have a desire to want to know more than what they’ve been taught.

But God. 

Until then I’m patient. I can deal with perceived disrespect. They disrespecting my flesh, but can’t disrespect the spirit of God in me. He will deal with all that.

So. Yes. God has changed me. Women need each other. And not the  same ole comfort zone that allows them to stay stagnant in the same place but people who push for growth and changes. 

I am praying for us all. Because we all are running this race to make it. 

And with a new heart and healing we shall!

Do diligence: on friendship…

Today, as always, I am multi tasking.

Being a single mother, and a single woman who works a part-time job, serves in ministry and adjusting to a new school schedule for a budding kindergartener: life gets busy.

Like I told one guy calling my phone today, calling me telling me how I don’t call you or text you back is not going to make me sympathize with your whining.

I explained my list and provided a solution. Call me to see how you can be of assistance. If you are courting me, like a couple of men showed me  after starting this new journey with Jesus, you are going to make sure my groceries, laundry, and General needs are met.

Stop bothering me otherwise. But said in my soft demure tone, low calm voice, and no hint of aggression they agree and apologize.

Words read sometimes are read the way a person would say it. But if you have softness and kindness in your heart you read the words the way you would say them. With love and affection. Everything can be said, just not in any type of way.

Don’t be sorry. Be better. With a smile on my face and laughter in my eyes can warm a persons heart and make them want to be better.

Like I joked with the guy on the bus who bumped past me without saying excuse me. Are you too good to say excuse me? A smile on my face, and laughter in my eyes brought his excuse me. And when I was getting off and bumped him accidentally with my cart my excuse me brought a smile to his face.

Anyway. Multitasking. Laundry. Grocery shopping, and a little mundane shopping. Long sleeve shirts for a cold season for my little one. And thank God all this is available in the mall the laundry mat is in.

Then I notice: the laundry has free transportation. I got there on the bus dragging bags and carts behind me. But I made it. 

I learned something. If I put forth the first effort the last one will be made for me. I reached out to do what I had to do. And something was given to me in return. A free ride home!

Like friendship.

If I put forth effort to be friendly friends will come to me.

I used to be a friendly person. 

Then something happened to make me not trust, and be hateful towards people. But I had friends before that. And now I am making friends. Or sisters are becoming friends. These sisters in Christ are becoming my friends. 

I don’t know too much family. Some rule in the religion I grew up to not associate with unbelievers. Which included family. My mothers doing. And adulthood kept me working two and three jobs sometimes and going to school full time, to make connections that should have been made in childhood.

Life happened.

But today. In the midst of  all the stuff I was attending to, my Boston best friend called me.

Her son was 1 year old when he came into my classroom. He’s twelve now. We connected as she was one of my parents, and her son spent too much time watching His father box. He always had a boxing stance for us. And I was the only black teacher. He didn’t listen to anyone else to put them hands down.

But professionalism meant we couldn’t kick it until she was no longer a client. 

When I was chosen as one of the teachers to open their third daycare center she and I started kicking it on the regular. She was my faithful workout buddy. Even getting it in on thanksgiving day!

My B. I used to call her. Now I’ll reuse the letter and call her my beauty!

Anyway. 

I made an untrue statement the other day about it being difficult to make friends. Not true. I’ve made plenty of wonderful friends in my life time. We don’t have to talk everyday. Or like all I each others status. But when I need a hug. Or a call. Or a laugh. Or some real talk. They are there.

My friend who hears me worry about maybe not being able to pick up my daughter and is there to get my daughter before I get there. My friend who makes sure I get to destinations like grocery stores or home from church. My friend who taught me how to draw on eyebrows before they were a black American thing, and was definitely a part of her Dominican culture. Or the one who reminds me that it’s going to get better. Or the one who let’s me know to keep on writing when I was in the verge of giving up. Or the one who keeps on calling and leaving messages even when life makes me feel so consumed that I forget to call back. She always makes sure to encourage me in The Lord! Or the new one I have just met who doesn’t even live in the same city as I do. But she texts and keeps me on her mind. Or my sister friend who made sure my paperwork got in to cta so I could go back to work after being off six weeks, without pay. Or the  one who just so happened to bless me with a gift card not knowing I was going to be out of work all that time without pay.

God has placed some amazing women in my life!!!

There is a list. Some know me Better than others. But we show love. Continuously.

It’s something about life how it’s easier to pay attention to who isn’t there, than it is to pay attention to who is and always had your back.

My A1s are not the people who have been there from day one. They are the ones who never left. Never used words to hurt me. Never talked about me behind my back. Never turned others against me, to disguise the hurt they carried in their lives.

I am enjoying the love these days. I planted many more seeds of love than I did hate. So I will enjoy my harvest.

Thank God for friends. Sometimes we just have to meet them half way. Like I did today going to get my laundry done. And the rest will fall in place.

This place is starting to get a little more comfortable: and I am thankful for that!

Help yourself, pray for others

I have a tendency to give my all to others leaving little for myself.

I give all the encouragement to the woman who feels defeated. And when she gets on her emotionally balanced feet to make moves she overlooks me.

Well praise God. Somebody will be blessed.

I spend my last money to help someone get to their destination. Or give someone something. Or take people places. And when I am in lack I can’t find them. They’ve created some offense in their mind to overlook the help God allowed me to give.

Well praise God! I hope they will pay it forward anyhow.

I am learning to be effective in taking care of me and my daughter.

So someone was vandalizing my car. I don’t do enemies. I livepeaceably  amongst men. These days. And only one person from my old life knows where I live that would have an ought against me. I mean The bible says when you live in peace even your enemies will bless you.

I should know. A woman who has tried on many occasions to harm me wound up giving me some much needed money not too long ago.

Praise God. I always get what I need. So forget what I seem to be expecting from man.

Anyway. I put my car away. I put it in hiding so whoever was vandalizing it wouldn’t be able to get to it. 

Anyway. One of the men in my neighborhood with an addiction was living in my car.

What in the world.

I roll my eyes, but really what can I say?

My heart goes out to those whose lives share similarities to my own.

I’ve struggles with my own addictions. Just mine weren’t debilitating enough to stop my progress in the world. Not too much anyway.

I understand now why I’ve lived this life. It is so God could create compassion in my heart. I no longer ask why.

That’s why.

Anyway. I kept invisioning him with a needle in his vein not breathing in the backseat of my car. I kept feeling a tug that I needed to get rid of the car. But was feelin bad that he would no longer have a place to sleep.

Anyway.

I give my car away to a charity. And all of his things were in my car. He had taken over.

In that moment I realized when you give a person an inch they take a yard. I can not enable a person when they sometimes need to hit rock bottom before they cry out to the one who can solve their problems permanently.

Oh Jesus. Out mediator. Praying in our behalf. Sitting next to God the Father on the throne. 

God the Son!

All I could do was pray on his behalf and ask Jesus to take the wheel. 

I asked my grandmother the night before if she’d seen him. 

He not family but he’s eaten in my grandmothers kitchen more times than some family members.

My grandmother was telling stories of how since her father worked for the  railroad they always had more money than most. She laughs about how she never ate beans like the rest of the kids, but she was given access to the town store to charge bologna or whatever else she wanted.

Because of the good heartedness of those who had, and because she knew of but no longer had to experience much lack, she watched her mother be generous with those who were hungry.

She follows the same tradition. 

She has taught me the same.

So when I ask about the man who was sleeping in my car, she tells me that an infection sent him to the hospital.

That opened the door for him to get into a treatment center.

And they are sending him away.

The correlation between me getting rid of my car, and his going to the treatment center may not seem like much of one. But only God knows the truth.

All I know is nothing. God teaches me all things. I know that I know nothing at all and that allows me the opportunity to learn something new, and relearn old information with a new twist. 

So. I am learning how to let God take care of those who refuse to help themselves. I am learning to take off my superwoman cape and that I can’t save the world until I accept the fact that my savior saved me.

And walk into his victory!

And I am learning how to be kind to myself. I am forever a student. One will never learn anything new if they think they know it all.

So. As I help myself. I pray for others. I am working on obedience. And I watch God continue to work on my behalf.

I got a free three day, two night vacation for a twenty year old car. I have options as to where I would like to go. Massachusetts is one of them, California is another. Thank you Lord! Obedience is really better than sacrifice!

No fear

I used to wonder how did I get into an abusive relationship.

He knew I didn’t want to be alone. And he knew I was afraid of mice.

And you know how old buildings sometimes can be. Their idea of exterminating was setting down oversized sticky traps. Of which I couldn’t handle the squeaking. 

Guess who was of mice and men?

These days though.

I can set my own trap. 

Last winter grandma held the mouse down with the broom while I beat him with a bottle.

Sorry.

Cruelty to animals I know.

But I can’t share my space with them, because they are downright disrespectful.

Rattling paper. Eating my food. Running inside walls.

I’m trying to sleep for goodness sake.

These days. All my weaknesses have to be taken care of. I will not allow fear to get me to invite someone into my life that I know will not be a good fit even as a friend. 

Fear of being broke? Here comes the CTA bus driver trying to shoot his shot after my friendly joking nature asked if I could bring A shopping cart on the bus. No, you can’t be my sugar daddy. Yes, I see your wedding ring. 

These old school money makers seem to like meat on bones? Or is it for cuffing/cuddling season? Confident strides with thick thighs these days are for the glory of God. To go where He sends me. To show love to whom he wants me to love.

So no, thank you. No banking with you. God is still my provider these six weeks off without pay, treating this sciatic nerve.

Fear of being alone? Well yes. Every guy and his brother is going to come along and tell you everything you thought you wanted to hear.

That’s why I offend. And ignore. If you for real, you will persist. And forgive. Because any relationship for an extended period of time is bound to have disagreements. If you are willing to walk away now, thanks for the two weeks notice. Like jobs with revolving doors, someone will be to fit your shoes sooner than later. And later, if not sooner.

Nope. God said He would never leave me nor forsake me! How can I be lonely and believe God too? Isn’t He good enough. His company shows me how to enjoy myself. How to find myself. How to enjoy myself before meeting someone else. 

So I won’t be that one who never has any fresh ideas about something fun to do.

I’m a Spring, Early April, baby. I have this fresh, youth filled outlook on life. As an adult, I still love to be silly and have fun!

Fear of the unknown. People be so worried that they will never find. Or that everyone else is. That they don’t trust that when God is done  preparing:  He will present.

Like I told the man in the furniture store today. I can’t understand why people choose the first thing they come to. Shop. Without using your body to do so. Use your mind. Let it sit and marinate and find the best fit. For you. Everyone else might not like it because it’s not for them. 

But you’ve never been like the people pleasing crowd.

Who changed you? Who did you give permission to rearrange you? I thought God was getting ready to prepare you for such a time as..

Yeah. Patience my dear caterpillar. Be wise. Because there is always a bird looking for prey. And sometimes when we forget to pray to God our Father about His will; we end up in places where we never imagined we would be.

But God. Gives second and sometimes third chances. Sometimes.

So. No fear. I have power. Love and a sound mind. The Lord is my rock. My fortress. My strong tower. Who should I fear? 

Nah. The other way around. Fear God. Keep His commands.

Knowing that obedience is better than sacrifice. Because He will straighten out crooked paths. The God of new things. Will renew somethings in you as well!

if money grew on trees

what type of world would it be?

no one would ever have a need to compete, work too hard, everyone would be able to rest, peacefully?

i wonder if we would be like Cuba.

Access to healthcare and education for all people.

Maybe Ive said too much. I didnt mean it America. Capitalism is..

designed to tear apart families, make friends envious, create competitions in life and make classism the worst ism to have to battle against.

Sorry Kanye. You were wrong. George Bush didnt not like Black people. He didnt like poor people.

While hooded young men die in the streets lawyers know their families probably don’t have enough for lawyers, and because every hamster on the wheel trying to get the cheese, nobody feels like stopping what they are doing to collaborate with another to make things any bettter.

and textbook revolutionaries be all talk, down for the cause but also down for mysogeny.

Sounds like an oxymoron. How can you be for downgrading the women who hold nations in thier bellies.

in Pac’s words, hate the ladies that make the babies?

Still, all these years later.

Well if the love of money is the root of all evil and God has told me to hate what is bad, then I’d hate to love something which is only designed to give me necessities, and sometimes wants.

But I should never have to neglect him in doing so.

Especially since he is my provider and my source.

I have found that when you have meaningful interactions with people it makes the need for useless things unnecessary. 

So today. I laughed. Chatted a little with two different sets of groups of women. Sharing our perspective on life, allowing each other an opportunity to let our voice be heard about things that matter to us and not superficial things was refreshing. 

Not only was it refreshing it was intentional.

and intentional leads to creativity of thought. Thinking opens doors that one can only imagine.

maybe thats why this is a microwave society. Quick solutions dont give sound  resolution for others to obtain dissolution of problems. We cant hear our reality, for the blare of nonsense filling speakers, and tv shows that violate every code of ethics and morality.

I’m not french, but cest la vie.

I cant help change anyone elses world until i first change myself and have solid solutions as to how I achieved success with dealing with some of the issues I have faced.

I fought demons. I am a warrior Queen. I kept wondering why in some of my battles I could not win. Well I just found my belt of truth. It was hidden on my fathers death certificate with an understanding to why my personality is so addictive.

I get addicted to people, and thats why someone once told me to stop giving my ether away when one of my female friends got mad when I was no longer giving her the attention i gave her before this older long time friend came around. i treat people like I really need them, beccause for those moments they are in my life I really do need them, before overcoming addiction.

I’m still in recovery.

measured doses of everything.

So I’ve been off five weeks with no pay.

and no I didnt have to be nice to former frineds who like to show me commas in net pays. I didn’t have to downgrade my dignity. My daughter and I havent been hungry. whatever our circumstances God saw fit to keep us covered for this season. A time of resting in Him. A time of seeing the world through eyes of love from a formerly angry, bitter and full of rage individual.

And as I walk in stores just to browse and have conversations with random strangers whom I may never see again I realize how blessed I am.

It has never been about things. but about feelings.

And living a life of happiness, choosing happiness, choosing love over hate is such a blessing.

It is only in love that we can create seeds that leave lasting impressions.

You will always know a tree by the fruit it bears!