This morning when I woke up, the first thing I heard in my heart was, “Get up and write.” My immediate reaction was to get overwhelmed, because I thought those instructions meant, write a book. So after I calmed down, I asked, what am I writing? The answer came back, “A blog.” I exhaled a bit but then came the next thought of fear, “You have not blogged in months, what are you writing about?” So I continued to listen. Next instructions I got was, “Make a cup of coffee.”
By the way, I have not drank coffee in months either. But obeyed. Then, I opened WordPress and stared at the empty page. I asked what do people need to hear from you today Father? I sat and waited. Still nothing.
Next instructions I got. Walk to the backyard, I did. I’d like to paint a picture of my backyard so you can imagine it. It has more than 20 very tall trees. Since it’s the fall the ground is filled with dead leaves. I found a paved spot and began using my feet to clear the pavement. As I kept looking down I’m noticing all the things in the backyard that need to be trashed, in addition to the leaves. All I wanted to do was cleanup.
I don’t remember why I stopped looking down and started looking up. My eyes followed the trees from the ground all the way up to the branches and then leaves. The leaves on the trees were alive, some yellow, some green, and some burnt orange. They danced in the wind. Once I changed my focus from down to up, all I could see is life and beauty. I felt the majesty of the trees and the glory of God’s handy work. I stood among these giant 30-year old trees and felt really small.
Then God’s spirit reminded me of this truth. “I made you too, just like those trees.” I felt this deeply, “It doesn’t matter how many giants you’re surrounded by today, understand you are my greatest masterpiece. In the physical, they may be older or taller than you, but with my favor you are a giant.”
Friends, all you need to do in this moment is change your focus. What are your eyes on that is keeping your spirit down? What habit are you engaging in that is not life-giving? Who are you spending time with that takes more from you than they give? What cycles do you find yourself in that is sabotaging your purpose? Is your life-goal momentary happiness or finding and following the predetermined plan for your life?
The time for deep introspection is now, because the clock is ticking for all of us.
MUSING: I’ve heard it many times that God, you have already ordered my steps. What does that look like on a daily basis? Keep my heart and actions from evil. Show me, how my life will help my fellow man. Help me not to be afraid to move forward in your plan, instead of mine. Guide & remind me every day that I have you in me, and like my grandma would say “Little is much when God is in it!”
The Beloved Queens Podcast returns…
Thanks to everyone who supported Season 1. We’re grateful God lead you to partner with him as we followed his call for our lives.
We welcome new supporters to walk alongside us again. This new season will be fire!!!🔥🔥🔥
Women are indeed an awesome creation. I’ve been raised by two, and I promise you, you’ve never seen so much ingenuity at work. My mom and grandmother didn’t have it all. They started with very little, a bare foot walking girl and woman. Grandma, her sisters, and their mother and father carried sugar cane on their heads and walked bare feet for miles to the boiler building. They slept on the floor of that hot place all night until the sugar cane became crystals of sugar.
That is my history, and as we exit black history month and embark upon women’s history month, my heart flutters with gratitude and honor for black women, period. Those in my life today and the ones who came before me are simply extraordinary!
You see black women cry silent tears and, we have suffered long and learned to bear it– get used to it– lived with it.
Our nurturers tell us to be strong and work twice as hard — a mantra too many black girls live by when we should not have to. First-world societies expect us to be the brainchild but not the one in charge. Like my grandma, we still carry the world on our shoulders and the basket on our heads. Meanwhile, we worry about our babies, our men, with too little attention given to our mental health.
So beloveds today breathe. Right here, right now.
If you’re a woman
If you’re a wife
If you’re a mother
If you’re a boss lady
If you’re a stay at home mom
If you’re a single mother
If you’re trying to figure things out alone
If you’re starting in a relationship
If you’re a grandmother
If you’re a godmother
If you’re an aunt
If you’re a sister
If you’re a daughter
If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time
If you’re someone’s maid of honor
If you’ve had your heartbroken
It you messed up
If you’ve been abused
If you feel lost
Lady, you are a hero and, you are valuable. Do you know how much you matter? So stand in the light, like my sister-girlfriend.
We rise to applaud you! For everything you do in the shadows. For loving hard, for working hard, and for crying when you feel invisible.
Today, I boldly proclaim, I see you! You’re doing amazing things, I am proud of you my sisters. Your smile lights up a room. Your aura is powerful and purposeful. Guard it!
Your brilliance is brighter than the noonday sun on a summer day. You care deeply. Your passion is powerful, so focus it on the right things. Your skin, your eyes, your nose, your complexion, your inner self & soul, all of you, is beautiful!
From women gone before to the ones here now, blessed are you for the Creator has made you a Black woman.
Tell another black woman today, you SEE her, you SALUTE her and are so, so, so PROUD of her.
This relationship podcast takes you into the lives of wives who are willing and open to share their raw journey to a healthy relationship. Come for stories, encouragement, tips, and laughs. Subscribe and like on Apple, Stitcher, Google, iHeartMedia, or your favorite podcast platform. Please don’t forget to follow our FB page, Instagram and Twitter.
Please SPREAD THE WORD!
New Release Book
QUEEN SHOUT OUT
Giving a round of applause to Annissa Morgan, who published her 2nd book. We salute you for teaching kids about money.
NEGATIVITY IS POISON TO THE MIND AND A PERSON’S ESSENCE. It can become a 2-way channel, it enters by who we listen to before we make decisions, and then it’s cemented when we act based on the advice. It is really easy to become a host of negativity and not realize it.
With so much negative energy in the world, we must be intentional about injecting some positive energy into our life.
Before the pandemic, I began meditating by using a podcast called Encounter. The goal is to help to shift minds to encounter the divine world. I started listening to it and when the world turned upside down, it provided an alternate space for my mind to exist. A place of less fear than normal. A place of love and acceptance, a safe space, a place where the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were my daily entourage.
Let me tell you a story. One day I shared my meditation episode with my 8-year old son. The theme that day was love. He was downstairs and his dad and I were upstairs. After 15 minutes, I heard his little feet, hurrying up the stairs. He had exciting news for mom & dad. He said, he imagined himself floating through the clouds, and at the end of his journey, he came face to face with a man surrounded by light. He heard him say, “I am pleased with you my son, I love you and you will have a great day!”
That story brought tears to my eyes because my Heavenly Father had made a divine connection with my baby boy. Here is the picture he crafted of his vision.
If you’re looking for a way to connect or reconnect with God, try this podcast. It will help you to channel your positive inner images and open your awareness to the spiritual world.
Testing testing 1.2.3.
It’s important to make self-checks. Tuning in to your thoughts & feelings will help you to access where you are mentally and emotionally. That way you can process and release anything painful, frustrating, worrisome, and fear-filled. How? Sometimes it’s necessary to journal. Writing it out on paper will help you release all that venom from inside to that sheet of paper. Just writing it out raw with no edits, can be the best medicine. It is truly cathartic. Growing up, I felt abandoned for a long time by my father. As an adult, I remember writing a letter to him, not to send it, but to get rid of everything that caused me pain. At some point, I realized that had my father been present, I would not have learned to depend on God for everything. This scripture anchored me. “When my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will take care of me.“
So many of us have abandonment issues because a dad left, a spouse left, a lover left, or a dear friend walked away. For me, the big lesson behind a human being walking away from me is this– if a person rejects me, then supernaturally that gives God more room to take residence in my heart–to love me, and show me real, true adoration. He becomes larger in my life than any human being ever could.
Living better, not bitter
Now those first things are first, let us examine personal forgiveness. Have you ever made a decision and it turned out to be the wrong one? Or how about feeling like a complete failure? It’s time to stop holding yourself hostage. Think about five things to forgive yourself for today, and if you have a journal write them down. Then look yourself in the mirror, and say them out loud.
_____________ (Your name) I forgive you for
GOD FORGIVES. NOW FORGIVE YOURSELF AND WIPE AWAY THOSE MISTAKES. 🙏🙏🏽🙏🏼🙏🏿 This scripture is a prayer of forgiveness. “How happy and fulfilled are those whose rebellion has been forgiven, those whose sins are covered by blood. How blessed and relieved are those who have confessed their corruption to God! For he wipes their slates clean and removes hypocrisy from their hearts. Before I confessed my sins, I kept it all inside; my dishonesty devastated my inner life, causing my life to be filled with frustration, irrepressible anguish, and misery. The pain never let up, for your hand of conviction was heavy on my heart. My strength was sapped, my inner life dried up like a spiritual drought within my soul. Then I finally admitted to you all my sins, refusing to hide them any longer. I said, “My life-giving God, I will openly acknowledge my evil actions.” And you forgave me! All at once the guilt of my sin washed away and all my pain disappeared! Pause in his presence. This is what I’ve learned through it all: All believers should confess their sins to God; do it every time God has uncovered you in the time of exposing. For if you do this, when sudden storms of life overwhelm, you’ll be kept safe. Lord, you are my secret hiding place, protecting me from these troubles, surrounding me with songs of gladness! Your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough. Pause in his presence” Psalms 32:1-7 TPT
Erase the hurt you’ve caused
Have you ever been busy and a loved one came up to you to ask a question, and you responded harshly? Did your words wound them? Or maybe you dismissed them? I am guilty of that! Working from home can do that to you when you are trying to be focused. In the moment of exchange, your whole body language communicates stop bothering me! But later as you thought about your actions you felt so guilty for unintentionally disrespecting and dismissing that person’s essence–especially kids. The Bible calls that sinning against your brethren. Sin is a reaction that when acted out, automatically like a bot, the consequences instantly activates. Once it’s activated, it takes you on a destructive route. It’s cause and effect. But if you realize the err of your ways quickly, and ask the Lord to forgive you for hurting that person, it brings the consequence to a halt. Here’s the simple prayer:
Lord I repent. I now activate the law of forgiveness, to neutralize the pain I have caused to my loved one. Help them to find the grace to forgive me. I give thanks that I am under grace and not under law. They have your divine breath & I’m sorry for dismissing their presence. Therefore, I cannot lose (insert their name) love and friendship, which is mine by divine right.
This law rubs out mistakes, and the consequences that follow.
A friend of mine asked me to write an apology to all children who have been wounded by the words of an adult.
So my conclusion is this scripture. Many are the sorrows and frustrations of those who don’t come clean with God. But when you trust in the Lord for forgiveness, his wrap-around love will surround you. So celebrate the goodness of God! He shows this kindness to everyone who is his. Go ahead—shout for joy, all you upright ones who want to please him!” (Psalms 32:1-11 TPT)
Taping into your creativity by writing sometimes brings beauty that was buried inside. My friend did just that, and out of her came a spring of beautiful words flowing out. This is her poem to her daughters.
First Step – Tiviene Smith
You sat up on your own; we clapped
All in good cheer
You held on objects, fell, oops ,the tears
But we hushed and cuddled you
All in cheer
You never gave up; you tried again ; amidst the tears
We nurse the bruises encouraged
All in good cheer
You crawled to us with a grit of purpose ;We jumped with glee
All in good cheer
And on that memorable day you ran to us with a wide smile on your face
We know you are meant for greatness
And we are running beside you
All in good cheer.
Are you looking for some encouragement? Subscribe to my Youtube channel
Can you believe we made it? We’re still here my people, alive! January, February, March, April, May, June, went by slowly. Here comes July 2020. What a whirlwind! First, the world went on lockdown. Now America feels like it’s going through a metamorphosis. The racial divide, which has always been a burden for black people, is now on display for the world to see. Like a boil has popped and the contents are draining out.
Black people have been here since 1916, and think about this truth for a minute, all that time, they’ve been carrying the weight of not being accepted as humans. From men marching with “I AM A MAN” signs to black women reciting “Ain’t I a woman” poem, begging to be seen. Suffering through national indifference when it comes to basic rights. Yet, it’s sad to see that their white counterparts who have lived in the same country with them, are suddenly surprised about the inhumanity, fear, and trauma that categorizes a black person’s way of life in America. Every. Single. Day.
Here’s the thing, as a black person from the Caribbean, living in America, I understood the burden of being black in America. Things are just not equal. But I must admit, being shut in safely inside and having to deal with back to back murders of black men and a woman, that I’ve felt the collective, compounded suffering and trauma of my black brothers and sisters, born in America. I discussed it in my last blog. Like Buja Banton an acclaimed reggae artist sang in his iconic song, It’s not an easy road ,“He who feels it knows.”
To be born in a place, where boys, men, and even women, are killed so unnecessarily often, is a lot to bear. Where just because of skin color, these people are chained to a history where white folks deem black folks as semi-human. Not just you, but your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents endured great suffering. Overt violence and fear unleashed on them, from slavery to Jim Crow Era, and even the Civil Rights Era. These people tried to tap into their natural ambition to get ahead. The obvious way is to get educated. Starting from nothing, they built their livelihood and began to see shadows of progress, then success, like Black Wall Street and 9th Street in Little Rock. Soon a begrudging, evil mob, burns down the businesses in it’s prime. Constantly harassing and lynching their men. Two steps forward, ten steps backward, economic dependence for blacks is far too often the rule, not the exception. At this point, as the cycle of inequality continues they should all now be traumatized. And like a soldier coming back from war, they can’t just get over it.
Look at the next video where white Americans are giving an apology prayer to black Americans. Begin watching from 10:10.
Did you feel the pain of that one lady as she cried out? It hurt didn’t it? Like she’s been carrying decades of oppression. Now, fast forward to today, in 2020 a recent study shows, there is a 50-year wealth gap between them and their white counterparts. For a college degree black family, a white family without a high school diploma still earns more.
When you hear an African American say the words, “I am tired.” They have been carrying these burdens of alienation for over a century. Emotions always on edge, in the only place they know as home. Then to have a very basic livelihood in a place like Atlanta or cities outside the perimeter, it tells a dismal story. A story of haves and have nots. I read somewhere that the top 5 percent of people living in Atlanta earn 20 times more than the bottom 20 percent. Let me write that again and bold it. The top 5 percent earns 20 times more than the bottom 20 percent. I’m not sure what is the racial makeup of that 20 percent. It’s any body’s guess.
Then I saw another thing, many Atlanta families don’t have $400 on hand for an emergency. Out of a job could mean out of your business, or out of your home. That’s the case for minorities across the country. One large group of people living on the edge and the other comfortably coasting.
I live about 45 minutes outside of Atlanta. One day just driving around, I decided to drive into a random neighborhood. I turned off the main road and drove up the hill and all I saw ahead of me were homes on a lake with boats in the backyard. The very next thought that popped into my mind is this, “Where do the people that live in this neighborhood work?” And there are neighborhoods like that all over Atlanta, some very affluent, some average and others downtrodden, on the same street or just one street over.
To wake up to inequality every day that isn’t a secret– inequality in living quarters, inequality in pay scale, inequality in how they are treated, and inequality in how they are judged. Our black American friends are mentally, physically, emotionally exhausted, and traumatized. So if you are black from the Caribbean, Africa, and any other part of the world, let us join our hearts and pray for them, starting today and continue for the next two weeks.
Lord you are close to those with a broken, weary, tired soul.
So we present our African American brothers and sisters and their children to you.
We feel their burden, and their alienation and according to Isaiah 61,
Lord set the captives free today, heal their broken hearts today.
Let them know in a tangible way that if you are for them, who can be against them?
As they mourn, comfort them for the generations of sorrow they have been carrying.
Cloak them in praise instead of a heavy spirit.
Lord, rebuild and restore everything in their lives that have been destroyed.
For their shame, bring them a double portion of blessing.
Stand up for them and bring them favor, bring them equality, do something brand new that has never been seen in the history of this country.
Anoint them Adonai to live your written plans for their lives.
Root out every counterfeit contrary plan that goes against your will for them.
For God’s sake prosper them, with good health and wealth.
Release the wealth of the wicked into the hands of the righteous.
For the generations going forward, break every chain connected to slavery, & oppression.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I have a mentee. This week she shared something with me that I want to try and hope you can come along as well. Exercising when you’re stuck in the house can be challenging. For me, I don’t do crowds, so going outside is just to grab essentials. But if you don’t move, the pounds will come piling up. So, some people go for walks, some do youtube classes, and my mentee started jump roping, for 30mins. So while others are packing on pounds, she’s losing them. When was the last time you jump roped my lady? I don’t remember, so today I’m starting. Can you join me?
In January, an idea came to me to design a shirt for black teens. Since I have a teenage son, born in America, I didn’t want people who don’t know him to judge him as dangerous, just by looking at him. Instead of accepting him as simply, a teenager, with toss salad for hormones, not 3-4 years older. Mothers you understand my plight. Maybe it will give the aggressor pause, before inflicting harm on teens. Just maybe. My son and his dad designed the shirt, and we’re taking pre-orders in the No DangerZone! Simply order by Venmo (email@example.com). There’s another surprise there as well.
FRIENDS HELP FRIENDS
My friend lost her hubby unexpectedly. This man was her best friend. Their kids lost their daddy. This loving couple was only a few years older than I. I cannot imagine the grief. If you can help, please do.
I’m a list person. I like to write a list and check things off one by one. I have journals, notebooks with a list of things I would like to do. From Outcome lists to Grateful lists to Project lists to affirmations etc.
There are no words to describe how 2020 has slapped us silly. Yet, with just one month left, here is the good news. We are still here. I’m so grateful for that.
Over a month ago, I felt so down. Let me correct that there were multiple moments of sadness and loss. Mental Health has been under assault. The human race has had to fight to maintain our mental and physical health.
Let me get back to my story. One of the moments that I felt myself slipping down the low slope of sadness, I took up a workbook, and the exercise for that day was as follows:
Make a list of as many things as possible that you appreciate about your life.
So I started the list.
I’m grateful there have been no school shootings this year.
I’m grateful my children are safe and alive.
I’m grateful for our income.
I’m grateful for the good health of my mom and grandma.
I’m grateful for a contented and caring husband, who makes me happy.
Girl friends that listen to my rants, and at times are like therapists.
Grateful for prayer partners.
Always grateful for you readers.
As I wrote each sentence to recall the good, positive things that came into my life in 2020, I could feel a shift in my emotions. Before long, the list grew from one to forty-five. Although nothing had changed on the outside, the happy hormones inside were doing summer salts.
Now you do it, stop and think. Since 2020 rolled in, what has changed for the better in your life? Make a list and notice the euphoria that comes by the time you get to the end of the list.
With that dopamine high, I notice that the fog cleared from my mind. I had an idea, acted on it, and saved $250.
Now that your mood has changed for the better, it’s vital to keep tabs on your joy level. Is it full, halfway, totally empty? Well, you can do something about it. You must!
For starters, be mindful of your Joy Killers — and give them no power!
Laugh more. Find a reason to just laugh as hard as possible. Laughter shifts every single dull mood. Remember a funny moment. Sometimes watching cartoons brings you back to happy childhood memories. Songs can uplift your mood. Watching beach videos on Youtube can do the trick as well if you cannot travel. Deep breathing. Meditate on goodness, including dreams for your future, and not the stuff falling apart or filled with limitations.
Strive to intentionally shift your mood, as soon as you feel the sad fog rolling in. Read this great quote. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ― Maya Angelou
Make a list of what makes you happy, so you can reach in your tool kit and flip the switch as soon as you need it. If you are happy, then you can share it with others.
Now you can speak appreciation to those in your life. If this year has shown us one thing is that we’re here today and gone tomorrow. So in closing, protect your joy, activate your joy, count your gratitude moments, daily. Then share it.
My world, my home, my relationships are infused with pure light.
I welcome gladness and gratitude to enter my heart
Joy in my face.
Joy in my mind.
Joy all around.
Today I’m filled with the light of joy.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Offering of Help
Can you help a young mother who lost her job? I asked her to write her gratitude list and after she did, she thanked me for helping her to do the exercise.
Can I be brutally honest? These past few weeks have had me in the lowest place of my life. First, the pandemic hit, it is still here by the way so let’s not be fooled by your favorite restaurant or even your job opening up. There has not been one day where the number of new cases nationally have halted, so don’t be deceived. Then on the heels of that crisis, the tumor of racism has erupted. After most if not all of us saw the video of a man’s life slowly drain away for 8 minutes, as another man put his entire body weight on his neck, by kneeling on it.
For me, the video viewed from many angles felt like a mental and emotional assault on humanity. Transported back to the past, I wondered how could white folks gather to watch lynchings? Families dressed up in their Sunday Best to spectate life draining away from a living soul. In the present, I worried about my husband’s safety and my two sons that are growing up in America. I could not understand why? I began drowning in a dark sea of questions.
Why are black people the most hated people in so many parts of the world?
Why is it open season on black and brown lives?
From lynching, to police brutality to ordinary civilians chasing an unarmed man jogging in his neighborhood, how are their deaths so normalized?
Why are some white folks so barbaric, when they see black skin with their eyes?
Why does it seem there is a mission to stop our breaths?
Why is there a prevailing perception that black men are a threat?
Why continue to crush spirits, emotions, and body and marginalize the divinity in them?
Why is society continuing to hold on to that lying narrative from slavery?
The one that says black men are a danger to America.
Why does rancor for different darker skin tones so deeply consume some people?
How can people find pleasure from hanging other humans by the neck?
Why the constant utter disrespect?
Why does spraying teens and men with bullets not bothersome?
What message are you sending from all this ongoing violence?
Do you expect to continue to harm us, alienate us, and we not feel, fear, and react to your rejection?
How would you feel if your sons and men were treated less than humans?
Why don’t you realize the breath of life has no color?
Why do you want us to be docile, while you are volatile?
What’s so wrong with being us?
Can’t you see the trauma that this is causing us?
Can’t you see the toll this is taking on 47 plus million of us?
Can you for heaven’s sake stop hunting, belittling and mentally and physically abusing us?
Why do I say us you ask. Those black men and boys are connected to us.
All these questions kept me praying and crying, praying, and crying. I kept breaking down in the house because my mind could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Traumatize, can’t eat, scared this behemoth problem to me, doesn’t matter for far too many people.
My mind felt the assault, even before I knew his name. How easily could that guy laying on the pavement be my dearly beloved husband or the babies I gave birth to? My soul grew weary. Why are black folks less human because of our skin tone? My heart. Felt. Heavy. For our men are easy targets in a very strange hunting game. How can all humans not feel the terror of that? My spirit grew tired for the inequities that still prevail today– working for less pay– overlooked for advancement. Unnecessary stress like knees on their necks. Suffering through verbal and mental abuse–like in the past white people calling them boys when they’re grown, men. The physical abuse and incarceration, like living in a warzone in your own home, it’s no wonder so many suffer from high blood pressure. Everything just mounted, all the odds against our brilliantly talented kings. The weight of being a black male in America burdened me.
So I cried some more. I didn’t want to hear from anyone. No speech. No analysis. No sermon. Living race is exhausting. A day in the life of a black boy or man in the USA, not many could survive. It’s PTSD daily. Yet still, we rise.
White folks, what you don’t see if you don’t live with a black man or have one as a close friend is that they are our children’s heroes.
You don’t see that they love their women deeply, and will do whatever it takes to protect us. They are our partners, a firm foundation and their loving arms is a safe place for us. We see them laugh, act silly, cook, and care. We also see them get frustrated because they’re not supposed to cry.
When we get discouraged our men, cheer us to take on the impossible. For example, while giving birth my husband’s voice is the only constant that gave me the strength to endure the pain and push. We’ve seen their strengths and their humanness. The weight of the world is sometimes such a yoke on their necks. These men, the cornerstone of our families, are really important to us. We shouldn’t have to worry about them facing untimely, senseless deaths.
The fighters for civil rights in this country dear to dream of a day different from the one they lived in. A day when they were not just colored, separate, or a servant. Where color doesn’t make them less human, second class, or possessions.
I’ve started meditating, as a mental time out of all this assault. Some days the meditation helped me let the pain out instead of keeping it in. When I hear white people talk about being shocked at the sight of a black reporter getting arrested on national TV, I broke down again, because I’m thinking, you don’t get it! It’s not unusual in our shoes to be misjudged, arrested, and even killed, our crime our skin. I meditated some more to lift myself from my pool of tears and from taking myself out of fight mode. I still had to be a mama. I still had to be a worker. I still had to be my hubby’s queen. But I was a mess. The joy capsule in the house was in mourning. Black people are in flight or fight mode, getting killed and beaten, suffering trauma from watching it over and over again, but expected not to fight. The meditation helped temporarily but my soul hurt so deeply. During the pandemic, my friend Jo created this animation to demonstrate how meditation and deep breathing can help to release the negative emotions. It’s inspiring.
My sister shared some exercises, by text that helped her and have helped me during times of anxiety.
On the morning of June 3rd, I woke up weary and decided to meditate using the Encounter podcast. As I meditated, I had a vision of myself standing at the seashore. Facing the sea, a mighty, growing wave of everything assaulting my mind and spirit charged towards me. Raging fear, racism, and destruction, but then I saw God standing between me and this mounting tsunami. I did not see a person but water in the shape of a human form. He faced me and His back was turned to the vicious wave of hate. Then He shouted in a loud voice.
“YOU WILL NOT PASS!!!”
The verse below immediately came to mind and I just started weeping.
As I wept, the vision continued… the rushing wave stopped in its tracks and suddenly fell flat like gravity began pulling it down. It broke up into droplets and crashed behind God’s back. He stood still a firm foundation. I opened my two hands, turned up my palms, and released the protection of my boys and my husband into the care of the Almighty. I gave him my burden for a race marginalized. I exchanged my fear for His peace. I let it ALLLLL go. And I wept. When I got myself together, I started reading the full passage and found this beautiful promise.
In exchange, I now grab hold of HOPE and I challenge you to do the same. Put your hope in God with me that there is light coming to shine in this darkness. Instead of dwelling on the evil past, I pray you will look towards a new horizon. I hope that not one male in your family will die of violent brutality. I hope that racism will be eradicated out of the fabric of this country! If we don’t hope, we will be miserable. However, if we hope in God, we will never be disappointed. Together let’s hope that conscious and unconscious racism will be annihilated for good. Can you see it? Hope and trust God that black people in this country will no longer feel like second class citizens. Join your hope with mine for unity! For everyone who left their country willingly for a better life, let’s hope they will no longer face hurdles of systemic blockages. For the descendants of blacks transplanted here may they no longer feel like a stranger but finally feel like this place is their home.
These past few weeks of back to back killings and arrests of black men, has been weighing on me. Today, after a reporter got arrested for doing his job, and it shocked some people… It broke me! All morning I cried for my children, my husband and many black women across the diaspora are crying their eyes and hearts out to God. We are tired, mentally, physically, spiritually. Marching, protesting, even filming the hate has not broken this public disregard for taking life. Anything you read here and perceive as anger, it is hurt turned inside out. All of us are connected in spirit, despite our color. So when one life is taken we all feel it. And. IT. HURTS. Mothers let’s PRAY!!! Enough is enough is enough!
Thou shall not kill!
The 6th of the commandments given to Moses,
Yet in the 1800s Jim Crow laws gave the green light for mass Black male xenophobia.
The belief that the bigger, darker, louder the man/boy automatically meant rapist, murderer, a major threat.
The fear almost now 2 centuries old declares some to hold on to the mindset it’s open season on dark male human beings.
Starting with the afternoon entertainment of public lynchings…
Hunt the men!
Hang them by the neck then, kneel on their necks now.
Shoot to kill the boys like a wild boar.
In the hunters minds the only way to defuse the threat is death.
White skin a citizen.
Black skin a criminal.
JEHOVAH SABAOTH, Lord our protector, we ask you to arise and protect all black people in this land from genocide.
For our black men protect them from police brutality, protect them from deep hatred, protect them from untimely death.
May the mindset of fear that persist for black men and boys in the police force be broken in Jesus Christ name.
Lord root out this monster size ancient behemoth of fear, out of the culture, out of society, out from white perception & subconscious.
God has not given us a spirit of fear,
But love power and a sound mind.
Smash this fear once and for all dear Heavenly Father, by my spoken word, cause it to dissipate from our lives forever.
This is a manmade problem that requires divine deliverance.
JEHOVAH-MEPHALTI – Lord my Deliverer – Psalm 18:2
With your mighty right hand deliver black lives from evil.
Deliver racist beliefs that makes people treat animals better than their fellow human beings.
Deliver prevailing mindsets of control to enforce power and status…
Where one race is the head and others are the tail.
Shake this evil out of our society dear God!
Let the fire of God consume this hate into ashes!
We activate the law of forgiveness and give thanks that hate is transmuted into love.
Racism is transmuted into acceptance that black skin doesn’t mean we’re not human.
For all the lives that have been lost, from this day forward we place a moratorium on any further killing.
We transmute all these past deaths into life for our men & boys.
We speak grace, grace, grace over this mountain of hate,
You will become a plain, In Jesus Christ name.
We bind prejudice, we bind inequality, and lose them from their assignments and their effects!
Lord release your peace, release unity and abundant life in this land.
As mothers, wives, sisters, aunts and grandmothers, we cry out in one voice and pour out our sorrow on you Lord. Here our hearts cry today.
Let the Holy Spirit of God, be a fire around our men & boys by day & cloud by night.
Send warring angels to fight for our men and keep them from jail, annihilation and abuse. Dear God, bring grandmas, sisters, aunts, mothers and wives comfort whose son, brother, nephew, boyfriend, spouse or spouse to be have died.
For all who have suffered loss of their men & boys from the founding of this country, deliver them from reverse racism springing up in their hearts.
Turn bitterness into forgiveness, mistrust into trust and loss into preserving life starting this day May 29, 2020 and again today in 2021.
Heal this land of hate. Heal people of unconscious bias & racial ignorance.
Uproot out from the police force, a disregard for black lives.
Replace that mind & heart of stone with only one thing, preservation of human lives.
The public display of death over and over assails us Lord
Like you delivered Queen Esther & her people from that Haman annihilating spirit, deliver black people in America now and forever.
In Jesus Christ mighty name, Amen.
Please send me a baby picture of your son and I will update the blog and add your pictures to mine (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also send me your own personal prayers for your sons, brothers and men. Record audio, send a bible verse, animation or write from your soul.
But most importantly pray for the next 21 days to end racism! This is now cultural & it must go!
There are studies projecting many black children will die of police brutality. You cannot afford not to pray. For prayer, collective prayer, changes things. If all you can do is cry, that’s also a prayer.
Olive oil is traditionally used to anoint and bless people. A typical spiritual practice is Pastors bless the olive oil and use it to anoint babies or a person who has come to the altar for prayer with ailments. I’ve spoken to many mothers who not only make it a practice to cover their children in prayer, but they get a bottle of olive oil and anoint their children and men daily.
Bless your oil and anoint your kids and men for God’s protection.
Submissions from Readers
PRODUCT LAUNCH: We cry together. We stand together
Let’s take a stand together. Moms & dads, our children will not become endangered species. To counter that ancient belief, we launch No Danger products. The goal is to create a cultural shift in the mentality of those people who have trouble seeing and accepting the humanity of our sons & daughters.
A monster pandemic has been unleashed upon the world. Weeks of quarantine. School, work, everything… from home. Hospitals overwhelmed. Loved ones overran by a virus, resulting in virtual or drive by funerals from the sidewalk. For me, the new norm is like an animated horror movie in slo-mo. Does anyone else feel like we’re stuck in the Twilight Zone?
Here’s my first animation of my family at home. The video is just a day in our life during this weird time.
In early March, the first week we worked from home, my hubby went shopping. He was shocked to find bare shelves. It’s hard to believe this was happening in America. He took video of this surreal moment of reality. Take a look for yourself.
2020…In the beginning
Unbelievable right? For me at the beginning of each year, I usually make dissertations sized plans. Since I do documentary production work, most of the pre-production planning is outlined before we hit the road. So I try to model that with family plans, yes you guessed it, control-freak-in-chief. So this may surprise you when I tell you, for 2020 I decided not to make my typical lofty plans… Friends shared their vision boards with me. I had nothing. Oddly enough, I didn’t feel anxious. I prayed whatever your plan is Lord reveal it.
In February, for black history month I got invited to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. When I asked the boys if they wanted to go, they said yes. This would be a visual experience of pivotal milestones in American history that’s not fully taught at school. It was important and necessary. They got the full immersion of how blacks lived as unwanted strangers in a new land.
They learned how different things were back then and how much things have changed. They sat at the lunch counter and heard insults hurled at them. They felt the seats vibrating to replicate the experience of people kicking their seats. My teenager could not go through the full lunch-counter-experience. He said the sound of voices taunting him, berating him, insulting him pierced his heart. It literally hurt him to hear other human beings talk to darker humans like wild animals. He stopped listening before the timer reached a minute.
My little one had no idea how segregation kept everything separated by race– from schools to cemeteries. When he saw the images where everything for blacks was labeled colored and read that white kids could not be in the same schools with black kids, he said with a frown on his little face, “That’s not fair!” It was an unknown world to him, because today he sits with his white friends at church and at school. As uncomfortable as it was I believe it’s important for children to culturally understand their history to help them navigate their future. Every culture understands the importance of this. So much of the history felt like he said, unfair, yet in the middle of that I found a treasure. My personal favorite image that follows gave me a new appreciation for the power of unity. Read each line carefully and pay attention to the numbers.
Logistics planning is involved in my current day job. When I saw this sheet, it blew me away. As much as Dr. King led the March on Washington, this sheet of paper is a testament that united people of color are a force for good. Look at how they and their allies organized their community to stand up for their rights without a single incident of violence! This A-team thought about everything from buses to hotdogs and far exceeded their attendee goals. I felt the power of unity and the brilliance of a people determined to become more than second place. But in this instant I understood the adage, unity is strength. Being the first or only person of color is not a badge of honor, if you can’t pave the way for others. However, the collective effort of a family, a group of women, a group of young people, an alienated group brings bigger better results. The power of unity is unstoppable.
I’ll pause right here to hail all the people of the past and present with the gift of logistics – who can create calm in the midst of a tsunami. You know who you are, put your hand on your shoulders, then reach to your back and pat yourself from me. Change cannot happen without you. Organizations cannot not run without you. I have a person like this in my family. A true gift. You know who you are!
By the end of February, my little one had an idea for a family outing. He wanted us to go to see a basketball game. I had never been to a game. One day as I was searching for tickets, a friend of mine asked what I was doing. I told her and she offered to buy the whole family tickets. 😱 Thank you for your favor that replaced all my plans.
Little did I know that my first game would be my last game for quite some time. Fast forward a month later and one by one things start shutting down. No one knew we were on the verge of a pandemic. No more gatherings. Including work and restaurants. Sporting events nationwide began cancelling.
Easter was coming up, the largest Christian celebration annually. But a week before Easter, my family had to gather around the TV to watch FB live stream church service. With a small group of singers on stage to sing praises to God, only few staff members in the pews and the rest of us at home. Pastor Gwennie said, “Our house was God’s house.” It stuck with me. I was so impressed that our church that had no live service presence, fully adapted to the shelter in place order that came next.
Even Spring Break was … at home. Didn’t think I would have to be an actress, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I dressed up like I was going to the beach in my backyard. I figured if real life felt like make believe, I can have a mental vacation. This is one way I transplant myself from a negative reality to a positive possibility. If you’ve reprimanded a child for daydreaming, stop, I personally feel they are taking a mental break into a visual kingdom. Creativity begins in the mind’s eye. We all need it now, especially since we’re on a prolonged sabbatical. With not a clear end in sight.
We all have questions about the future and a humbling wake up call that we need to replace self reliance with divine dependence. Has it dawned on you that you don’t have control? Not of the next moment, nor the future. Facing this truth is scary. Leaders of families, organizations, companies, schools, food supplies, medical systems and countries need a solution for this ginormous problem.
Many of us have elderly family members– a mother, grandmother, aunt, dad, granddad, uncle that we’re concerned about. Then there is that person who is still in pain because someone they adored got stricken with the virus and then taken away from them. Anyone out there like me that hates this plague?
Information is flowing, mostly negative, some speculative, others informative and all together, that gets overwhelming. I decided to limit my intake of information that breeds negativity and builds up fear. Not because I don’t want to be informed about the latest but because I know the limited nature of my humanness. Negativity is a drug, that once put on autopilot, it forms into an abyss of tormenting questions asking “What if? What about? How can we? When can we?” Questions with no answers is an exhausting exercise. It drains your life source. You get weak and tired.
But what if you accepted that you don’t have the answers to this new abnormal life. What if your idea of a solution doesn’t hold the answer? What if the problem is beyond our human fix? What if the most ingenious person is baffled? The most powerful man is powerless? It’s scary to process that with all our titles, positions, talents, knowledge… we are like grass.
Yet, this acknowledgement forces us to a place of surrendering our entire plan, fix and resolutions to the master planner. Most of us think that the surrender means releasing something for nothing. You may wonder, like I do, “If I let go of what I know, my grand master plan, what will I be left with?” Look at the waves in this next video how they roll in and crash the shore, then recede back into the deep ocean.
Surrender is an exchange, when you let go of your plans, it’s like the waves receding, in exchange you’ll receive His ultimate divine design.
Letting go is not easy, and it can be scary but it has to be done willingly.
Joan Brown went through her own hell. A quadruple murder suicide and lost all her close family members, including her only daughter by gun violence. Yet, having survived and now wheelchair bound, she writes about facing fear head-on.
Listen to her words, and think about any situation looming large over you– no income, loss, sickness, aging, no graduation, no school, no normal. She is smiling. Looking at the world now, paints a grim future but there is life after going through hell and there will be life after a pandemic. Even if we don’t know how it will look, rest assured in this truth from the Psalms, “You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book.”
I lay down my control
I lay down my plans
I exchange it for the plans God has for me today and
Welcome back. Today I’m thankful for a new day. A day, I’ve never seen before or will ever see again. In the book, The Secret Door to Success, by Florence Scovel Shinn, she tells this story. Shinn went to visit her friend in Brooklyn. Her friend loved to do strange things and asked her to go with her to watch the sunrise in Prospect Park. At first, she didn’t want to go but later decided to join her friend. When they arrived in the park, everything was pitch black. As the sun peaked over the horizon, all at once a loud sound erupted. A zoo is next to the park, and all the animals in the zoo broke out in a chorus– birds, monkeys, you name it, made a joyful noise to welcome this brand new day. Let’s learn from the animals to sing praises when we live to see a new day!
I do not own the rights to this song
As the song says, his goodness is chasing us. I truly appreciate that spiritual support especially in the times when things are really sad. Life has those moments when people are in the depths of despair because they have lost a loved one. Since my last blog, my sister Jurmeine experienced the pain of losing her mother. I remember the shock when she heard the news, the confusion in her voice, the despair on her face. Losing a mother has got to be the worst feeling in the world.
As you can imagine she had sleepless nights. As the days went by, then came a slew of dark emotions. A few phobias including the fear of flying and the fear of funerals attacked her. She tried balancing them with the wonderful memories of her mom, but it was hard. After trying to handle it on her own, she decided to reach out and just be honest about the struggle. “Many family members suffer in silence,” she said. But I’m glad she reached out and told her truth. I spent the rest of the day praying for her. I found this song and played it over and over again.
I do not own the rights to this song
I sent her the song but before I did, she texts that she felt the prayers. I asked her to play it over and over again just like I had done. Such freedom filled my mind listening to those words on repeat. Again, I want to say I appreciate the spiritual comfort and support of God. Too many times we overlook it. My other sisters showered her with so much love and her precious daughter never left her side. We all became God’s loving arms extended to comfort her. My dad tried to alleviate stress and God soon gave her a prayer–“Give me strength and give me peace.”
On the day of her flight, as the plane got ready to take off her legs trembled. She called for the peace of God over them. She felt her body tremble, and she called for the peace of God over her body. Friends, it subsided. Here’s a song that you can use to invite peace into your anxiety, peace into your despair, and peace into your fear. Her words were her wand, the vehicle that brought peace into her situation. Like her, if you are in torment and turmoil invite the peace of God to come in.
I do not own the rights to this song
Love, forgiveness and good memories lifted her throughout the funeral and her eulogy moved everyone to the core. The fear of funerals dissipated. Peace was the order of the day.
Here’s the song that is carrying her through it.
When she returned, I saw a double portion of strength and resolve in her. She learned her mother left to join her ancestors on the other side of this life. She knows she’s watching over her and her daughter. A picture of both of them at the entrance of her mom’s home is a statement that they are adored by her. Now my sister is ferociously watching over her health, mentally and physically. She’s bold and embracing a newfound self-care and love. She’s shed the lifestyle of a hermit and opening the doors for more family connections. God may have granted her a double portion mantle of her mother’s strength and kindness.
No matter how much of a planner you are, no one is ever ready for these words, “You have cancer.”
When Cancer Strikes
This year I had two different experiences, an aunt battling cancer announced in a WhatsApp family group chat that she had been suffering with cancer and woke up daily with intense pain. Her suffering was great. I gotta tell you, the news shocked me. I felt helpless. Yet there was urgency to pray because she was in another country.
A nurse, my aunt believe in science but her greatest belief was in divine healing. She prayed as did the family, but that wasn’t her story and she passed away after many many years of fighting. Rest in the arms of the Lord Aunty.
Another family member got news her mom had cancer, after her shoulder cracked. She got the news in an odd way because the doctor thought she already knew. Those words from the doctor were like a death sentence. I could tell from her tears, she felt overwhelmed, so much to do, where do I start? Are you ever so overwhelmed you can’t even ask questions? Thank goodness for people who could fill in when things seem like a big bowl of mental dough. Right in time, family came to her aid, to keep her spirits up. It was hard, scary even because no one is ever ready. Some of the things that she faced were as follows:
Tests to take
Finding a good support system
Coming up with large sums of money to take the many tests so the doctors can know where it started and how it has progressed
And time, time off from work to get everything done
Change of diet for her mom, more money
Getting everything on paper out of her head so she can help her mom
Yup it’s a lot. And no one is ever ready. The automatic financial obligation can be very scary with or without insurance.
Control what you can
As this month is cancer awareness my sister is selling wristbands at work to raise money for cancer research. That inspired me to raise money to donate to St Judes. Awareness is one thing but taking action to help spread hope is my goal. We can’t control some things in life but there are things we can do to make those going through the hard time not feel alone.
Give kind words of hope
Write notes of affirmation
Give them a call: Listen & alleviate some of their fears and confusion
We are much more connected than we think. For one family member we left notes all over the house, so even in our absence, she could read notes of hope, and feel our presence with her. In turn she could find strength for her mom. I’m so thankful those words brought a smile to her face and joy to her heart.
For so many of us life is going on, for others, life has stopped by tragedy or news of impending doom. Let’s make an effort to connect. That’s the biggest lesson I got from my mama, and I’m sharing it with you. Call, text, FaceTime, pray for your family, send blessings of health to them.
For cancer awareness month, I’d like to call it, Cancer Action Month. I’m selling my book & my son’s book as a combo package. We will donate a portion of our sales to St. Judes. Can you help us?