The Value of Give and Take

It’s a lesson with its root in systematic premise. Really, it is. You can either give it all you’ve got, give it the ‘ole college try, or take a whooping and call it quits well before quitting time. The easier option to choose, naturally, is to take. Which is unfortunate, really, considering that it’s usually when you give that you begin to see results. Get too accustomed to taking, and you are inevitably headed in disaster’s direction.

Now, there will always be givers who genuinely want to help the takers; likewise, there are the takers, who want nothing more than to genuinely get all they can from the givers. It really is quite a fine line; a delicate balance, one that can rather easily swing the pendulum in the wrong direction if not handled carefully, skillfully, and with a heaping dose of wisdom in the mix. While you may have a need from time to time, or may be a in a position to give from time to time also, one must be cautious enough to not overdo it in either one of these areas.

After some in-depth self-examination (it’s quite yucky in there at times, let me tell you), I must admit that I have found find myself at the taking end of the spectrum much more often than at the giving end, which is not where I prefer to be. How incredibly lousy! As I continue to peel away the layers of the onion that is my life (it would be so much better to be some pleasant fruit, I must say, like a pear or banana), I stumbled across a wise saying that I was taught from a former bible-study teacher, who stated that “the cure for selfishness is unselfishness.”

How simple, yet remarkably profound, in my opinion. And as I begin to wrap my mind around the simplicity of a solution that couldn’t have been more clear (had I been paying attention), the putrid stench of the life-onion begins to fade away, and the sweet, savoury odours of resolutional remedy begin to waft down the hallway into my dwelling place.

If I had only given more, sooner. Oh well, at least there is still time, space, and ability to do more, be more, give more, love more.

Time to open the windows and let the air exchange take place….what a sweet smell.

Peace, friends….

Grown. Loved. Changed.


Posted in Healing process, Healing progress, Inspiration, Love, Me: The WEIRDER picture, Motivation, YOU: The BIG picture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retrospective Introspection

Despite the fact that that’s not really the most accurate title for my blog post tonight, it’s the first one that comes to mind; fitting just slightly for how I feel inside.

Tonight as I sit here reflecting on the weekend’s events, I simply cannot help but to let my mind simmer in the stew that is the melting pot of God’s goodness.  I went to a ladies’ conference here in Florida just recently, which is a powerful Christ-centered event that has already and will forever change my life.  I learned a lot, and my spirit is full.  Keeping up with the Joneses is no longer a focus of mine, neither is putting on airs of self-righteousness or arrogance.  I can be perfectly imperfect striving towards heavenly perfection, knowing that Jesus knows about every flaw, weakness, and problem that I have and has just the remedy for what ails me.  Maybe its a soothing word of comfort from a friend.  Maybe its a nod of correction from an elder in the church (we call them church mothers), or simply just a word from the mouth of God…but whatever the ailment, Jesus can fix my problem.

I have come to find that throughout life’s turbulent ups and downs, and even through the peaceful quiet times, that when things don’t go right or as expected, that I can know of a certainty that God is in control.  Sure, things get hard sometimes and don’t always go my way. And yes, there are times when I even question why God allows certain things to happen to me or in my life. We all do.  But you know what? I remind myself that the word of God tells me that He is the “author and finisher of my faith” (Heb 12:2) and that my life’s story begins AND ends with Him.  It’s not over until God says it is over. I can keep running on and finish this Christian race. I don’t know about you, but I’m comforted by that.  Especially because I don’t have all of the answers.

Anyway friends, take comfort in the Lord tonight as you sip your tea.  Bask in His presence and warm ambiance of His love. Let His gentle hand of guidance comfort and lead you by the still waters of life, and bring you to a resting place of surety and security in Christ Jesus.

It will be alright.


Sip warm tea tonight, friends.



Growing. Evolving. Changing.







Posted in Christ-centered, Christianity, Faith, Healed, Healing process, Me: The WEIRDER picture, Ministry, Motivation, Uncategorized, YOU: The BIG picture | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Woman in the Mirror…

So, I look at myself in the mirror, and the woman who stares back at me doesn’t at all resemble the woman I used to know.

This woman staring back at me is deep.  In fact, she isn’t even staring at me; she’s glaring at me.  Challenging me.  Daring me to make a move.  Because she knows that for every move I make, she’s got a counter move right up her sleeve.

This woman is interesting.

She’s soulful and warm, yet stern, cunning, and wise — all at the same time.  She’s different.  Not who I remember her to be.

This woman isn’t at all afraid to lean her head back and let out a hearty laugh from way deep down.  Not afraid to shed salty tears when she’s sad or lonely; won’t hesitate to pray when necessary or asked to.  And throws one mean tea party…ask any 5-year-old she knows.

Who is this woman, and where did she come from?

The woman I remember was timid and shy.  Jumped at sudden noises, resisted challenges with every bone in her fragile, weak body.  She was too careful, and too careless.  Everyone she knew spoke for her; finished her sentences ’cause she couldn’t finish them herself.  Yeah, that’s who I remember.

This woman in the mirror is vastly different, as I said.  Clouded in mystery; yet transparency and boldness are her typical orders of the day.  Born a native to the states, but linguistically apt, she dances in Caribbean rhythms and belts out old gospel hymns with an authoritative power that can only come from heaven.  She whistles as she works with her hands, kisses boo-boos on skinned knees, feeds friends and enemies alike if they’re hungry, and hums low, steady, and strong – like an 80-year-old grandmother – as she prepares supper and does housework.

Not sure where this woman I see came from, or exactly where she is headed, but I plan to tag along to find out.  If I had to speculate – knowing her upbringing- I’d surmise she’s a combination of her momma and her daddy, mixed with some grand- and great-grands, a bit of old-school with a new-school twist, and enough New York in her to stand out in the South but embrace it just the same.


This woman I see has Grown. Evolved. Changed.  And I give God praise for it.




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Don’t think I didn’t notice you! (Seasons)

I see you changing right before my eyes.  Don’t think I didn’t notice you.

Your pine needles are falling, and your berries are lining the streets and walkways.  Don’t think I didn’t notice you.

The air is cooler, the sun comes up a little later.  

I took notice.


I can see that you’re changing, right in time with your season.

Long, dry summer is morphing into cooler, colorful autumn.

And you’re perfectly tuned in to where you should be.

It’s your season.


Although the change is required, and also quite welcome,

You’re careful to not shed it all at one time.  

You know your seasons well, and you adapt and adjust in perfect harmony with 

Your season.


Holiday hustle and bustle can’t force the rhythms already preset to a predestined dispensation.

The time it took for you to be as perfect as you are

was worth the scorching summer heat

and the arid airs devoid of precipitation.

Even with falling flowers and homebound honeybees,

Your graceful transition into your natural orange and brown melody

Is more than my outdoor love can stand.


I love watching your season change.

I know its your time, and words escape my overflowing thoughts

as I try to express just how splendid is your delicate balance.


Autumn is coming, and your season has arrived.

And it’s beautiful.



GrowEvolveChange 2014


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Going ducky….. (Funny true story)

Random little-known Friday factoid:

I am a duck-lover.  

Okay, more along the lines of a duck-liker; I don’t exactly love them, per se.  Not in a Duck Dynasty kind of way.  I do, however, study their behavior when I can, and enjoy feeding them.  Maybe sneak in a snapshot of families together every now and again.

Yes, I am the duck lady.  Hardy-har-har.

I am the one who sits under the trees watching and talking to the fowls that occupy the local ponds and lakes.  Why, you ask?  Because it’s quiet there.  Because it’s peaceful there.  And because the ducks aren’t overly picky with their dinner; they eat what you give them, what they can swallow, eat until they’re full, and they swim away happy.

So not like the rest of us.

My informal career as the duck lady began many months ago.  Having observed a number of duck-families in action, I started noticing behavior patterns among themselves – many of which resemble your typical American family, believe it or not.  What intrigues me the most is how the adolescent ducks behave – it’s hilarious and appalling at the very same time. These ungrateful little heathens with feathers go from soft, cuddly, cute ducklings to ravenous, bread-hungry, duck-brutes in a matter of weeks.  They take no prisoners, I tell you, and they are not afraid to let you know that.  Shameful, it is, really.

In fact, it is this very behavior pattern that compelled me to write this post.  Several days ago, I was out walking my chihuahua, Charlie, when I noticed a mama duck and her then-well-behaved little brood nestled in the safety of the reeds in a nearby pond.  In my mind, I was thinking that it would be nice to unwind by spending some time feeding them, so naturally I had to follow due process to introduce myself before I could be “approved” to share dinner time with them.

Ah, yes.  Did I neglect to mention there is a process one must follow before one can feed a duck family?  Indeed, there is, friend.  Indeed, there is.  To be under the assumption that one can just “feed” a duck without permission from the patriarch and a behavioral interview from the matriarch of the family is to live under false pretenses, you see.  

Here’s how it usually works:

  1. Bread supplier (a/k/a the “duck lady”) makes slow incline or decline toward bank and announces arrival by making weird clicking sound with tongue or mouth.  This lets them know that you come in peace and mean no harm.  Most macho duck patriarchs dig that.
  2. Bread supplier slowly reaches for dinner, in whichever packaging it’s brought in – paper bag, napkin, etc.  It is important to remember to not make any sudden movements.  Don’t let these guys fool you.  They roll deep.  When they stand up and flap their wings, that is not showing off.  That is your official warning to take cover immediately, as they are likely summoning their entire species, including prison inmate relatives who can and will beat you to death if they think you’re a threat.  Death by duck is not a pretty sight.  Proceed with caution.
  3. Once bread is in hand, throw a few crusts toward the patriarch first.  This way he can assess and analyze it, test it for cooties, and let his wife know it’s safe for the children.  Once the wife gets the dad’s okay and gives you the once-over (you are another female, after all), you are now an approved supplier.  You’re the duck lady, congratulations.

Okay, did that, and now I’m clear to provide sustenance for this family, right?  Yes.  So, Charlie and I spent a few minutes today and earlier this week with my new friends, and I’m noticing that the now-teenaged duck-brutes (they’re not babies anymore) practically claw over one another to get to the meal; all the while mama-duck stands back, maintains some distance, and eats the leftovers.  WHAT???  You mean to tell me that mama-duck, after ALL that she has done for the duck-brutes in her lifetime isn’t considered before the feeding begins?  Mama gets no credit at all?  She doesn’t get first dibs on dinner?  Not even a moment of thanks or a unanimous quack to say “thanks, Mom?”  The nerve!!

Who’s running that nest, anyways?

Seeing this detestable demonstration of lack of gratitude left me angry and not a happy camper at all.  I was so upset that Charlie and I left, and I vowed not to return anytime soon.  Or, at least not until suppertime tomorrow.  That’s what they get.  Where is the love? Where’s the humanity?  As much as I love my own children, well, like they’re my own, in some ways they remind me of these little duck-brutes.  Want it all, need it now, “give-me-its-mine”, and Mama gets the leftovers…if at all.  Sheesh.

Well, at least I take comfort in knowing that some day, my little duck-brutes ( ahem, I mean, children…heh heh :)) will have broods of their own and will inevitably learn that parenting – in whatever shape or form it comes in – is a thankless job, in which we are most often left to clean up the crumbs.  It’s still love, and even with the leftovers, it’s still our job to protect them and teach them to never eat bread from strange duck ladies.  It’s for their own good.

….besides, you don’t want to end up like crazy Cousin Steve.  Story goes that he got out of the river and has never been the same since.  Quacks to himself and all.

Hope I made you laugh. 😛


Posted in Me: The WEIRDER picture, Parenting, Raising teenagers, Random Zaniness, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lunchtime limbo?

With regard to bending on my decisions to pursue my dreams?  My response is a triumphant “I think not!”

Interestingly enough, I knew when I first made up my mind to pursue something I started working on a long time ago that there were going to be some disappointments and a lot of nay-saying. I knew I’d face some possible discouragement, too — from the online community and beyond that.

What I didn’t pencil into my plans at the time was how I was going to prepare for that. But the time to implement and execute that game plan is right now.  While I will not profess to be any kind of a science buff, I do know that the Law of Physics tells us that there is an “equal and opposite reaction for every action.”  And so, it would be silly of me to think that I could step out on faith and move forward with new projects and not face backlash of some sort.


That backlash came in my general direction as I was recently conducting some independent research, only to find a number of sources that frown upon “dreamers”, such as myself.  There is certainly no shortage of articles, opinions, and blogs about folks who branch out on their own to do the unconventional in terms of independent or freelance work.  And rightly so — I mean, they can think or say whatever they wish, after all.  It’s just discouraging when you read that stuff, you know?

Now, let me clarify what I mean by the term “dreamer.”

In no way am I insinuating that I am some odd clairvoyant-type with underworldly powers.  No, indeed.  When I use that term, I just simply mean that I have finally made up my mind to actively and aggressively pursue several independent projects that I have always dreamed of working on (it does have more meaning to me than that, but that is another blog altogether).   By the grace of God, I am blessed with the opportunity, time, and space to put those plans into action, and thus, I am.

My immediate focus, however, is to pray about it and push through anyway, despite the negative feedback that’s out there. If I can encourage or help someone else along the way, that’s an added bonus.  A free gift with purchase, if you will.  In the very same way that I can decide on what to eat for lunch, I can likewise decide whether I will accept the negative over the positive, or vice-versa.


Personally, I think I’ll take a heaping dish of positive thinking today with a side of “Let’s do this.” 


Besides…I never really was good at doing the limbo anyway.


Have a great afternoon y’all,





Posted in Faith, Me: The WEIRDER picture, Motivation | Leave a comment

Love at the Forefront

You weren’t an afterthought; you were a masterpiece, waiting to be created in the image and likeness of man from which you were birthed. You are special.

You’re not a “problem-child”. You’re an intimate creation, formed by the very same hands that placed the breath of life in your body. You are a solution.

You’re not an eyesore. You are a dazzling beauty to behold; a diamond in the rough. A true beauty you are; sparkling with the success of a million stars.

Worldwide. Global. Intimate. Mogul. Crafty. Beast. Known in. The streets.

Doesn’t matter what you are, you are mine, and you are loved.


Thanks to all the fathers today,

Grown. Loved. Changed.


Posted in Healed, Inspiration, Love, Motivation, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Swept Away by Almighty God

His Majestic heart has swept me away. He captured my emotions with the warmth of His mighty right hand. And He wouldn’t let them go. His strength kept me. The farther away I drifted, I never went too far away that He couldn’t find me when He looked.

Consequently, when He reached my heart, although hesitant to release the pain, I intentionally took my time in His presence to allow for time to heal from the issues of life.

I tarried there, at His garment’s hem, waiting for an answer. Wafting in my direction was the sweet presence of the Holy Ghost, arriving at the door of my heart to apply the healing balm that I needed for my life.

And so it was.

Congested no more were the highways and byways to and from my heart. God cleared the path and made a way. So, I thank Him.

Angels bow before Him; Heaven and earth adore Him. He is a mighty true God indeed. And I call Him Blessed.

To God be the Glory,

Grow. Evolve. Change.


Posted in Christ-centered, Christianity, Faith, Healed, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

She Wouldn’t Let Go

There was no reason to. God hadn’t forgotten about her. Even if he had, she still had all the reason in the world to praise Him. To lift Him up. To glorify Him. After all, He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. That automatically qualified Him for being the object of her worship. The praise is due unto Him.

Somewhere deep inside, she knew that if she just prayed long enough, fasted long enough, shed just another tear, her prayer would get through. Well, she thought it anyway. It was such a novel idea; she and Jesus for the rest of her life. She under His wings, and hanging onto the hem of his garment. She was protected there.

But our King required nothing of her. So, she praised Him. He told her to trust Him, to let Him lead, to bless His name. In return, He poured out what she never could have requested; never thought she was worthy of. His love. So, he blessed her. She grabbed on to her blessing, praised Him just a little bit more, and this time she wouldn’t let go.

And he wouldn’t let Her.

Hold onto your faith, brethren…God is in control.

In faith,



Posted in Christ-centered, Faith, Love, Moving on / Starting fresh, Relationships, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s an Adjustment Thing

It takes time to adjust. Because it just does. Time for fresh air to come in; time to get things right. Because it’s a season thing. Rather that you take a little while and bask in your new life than jump right in with both feet and plunge to death’s destruction. Enjoy the journey, just don’t go too fast.

Go against the grain. Make sure to get where you’re going. Trust God and trust His process. He will not let you fall. Failure is not an option with God; success, however, is crucial and is the inevitable result of faith in Him, depending on Him, and staying true to His word.

You can only go up from here. Climb your way out of that situation and rise to your success and to the victory that God called you to have. You CAN do this. This is your moment. It’s your time to shine. Go on and bless God, my child, and give God all the praise.

In Jesus’ name,

Grow. Evolve. Change.


Posted in Christ-centered, Christianity, Faith, Healed, Ministry, Motivation, Moving on / Starting fresh, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Move!!!

Clandestine, intimate mind. Shrouded in glory, manifest redefined. I can see a new thing; it’s hidden in me. No more do I run from my true destiny. I’m faithfully following my calling in thee; I’m moving and breathing, no time to be me.

It was written in purpose; it was edged in His stone. It was carved in His image; it was covered in blood. He took pencil and paper, took bone and took life. He formed dust and the dirt, He made man and made wife.

No more dead goodbyes, blue with squeaky-clean fret. This shall soon be a moment I shall never forget. “Hang on to my heart”, don’t you dare let it go. This was the battle at Jericho’s snow.

Battle on, my friends…

Grow. Evolve. Change.


Posted in Eternity, Faith, Healed, Me: The WEIRDER picture, Moving on / Starting fresh, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Discovering your Season

What season are you in? Life is full of seasons. Metaphorically speaking, of course. We have natural seasons; some of the most beautiful that I’ve seen have been in recent years when life slows down enough for you to enjoy the changing of the colors. But I’m referring to the seasons of life.

Many of those seasons are recognizable; marriage seasons, family seasons, seasons of joy, and seasons of pain. Sometimes things can become muddled in our minds when we see things happening all around us, but don’t know what season we’re in. When things begin to shift in your life, and you notice patterns of repetition, pay attention. God is most likely trying to show you that you are in a particular season of life, and your job is to recognize it, embrace it, and walk in it. Make sure to thank Him for the season, regardless of what it is or what it might bring.

And when your season changes, remember the good seasons, pray over your current season, and know and understand that your season WILL come again, if you faint knot.

Own your seasons, friends….

Grow. Evolve. Change.


Posted in Christ-centered, Christianity, Faith, Healed, Inspiration, Ministry, Motivation, Moving on / Starting fresh, Uncategorized, YOU: The BIG picture | Leave a comment

Carnality is NOT a Factor

Good. It wasn’t supposed to be. It was intended to be something you shouldn’t have been in from the beginning. Extricating you from it was not easy. No; no easy feat at all. You were heady, high & lifted up, and had a mind of your own. To do the wrong thing. Coming up with a plan to lower you down enough so you could see within you the carnality….unless I had fainted, it might not have otherwise been seen. Let me explain a little bit more what I mean.

There is a God. Jehovah is His name. He is not the one with whom you play games. He is the one who Himself sits high, and looks down real low. The God of salvation is anything but slow. And so, when He saw that you weren’t living right, He formulated a plan so that you could take flight. Although you were busy with life and with work, His objective remained that you’d not go bezerk. That’s nice that you wanted that house on the hills, but God wants you to have peace so that you don’t need more pills. Come to Him now with arms open wide; the truth in itself is that you don’t have to hide. God wants to be there, so you have time to repent. Smile on Him now, while the time isn’t far spent.

Giving time to you, beloved, isn’t the main issue at hand. God wants to humble you first, then come the houses and land.

It’s all up to you, the choice is now yours. What you do, do in faith, knowing that God opens doors.

Building with you in faith,



Posted in Christ-centered, Christianity, Healed, Ministry, Moving on / Starting fresh, Parenting, Uncategorized | Leave a comment