Saturday, December 24, 2011
*My Favorite Christmas Carol*
What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
THE BABE, THE SON OF MARY...
Thursday, December 22, 2011
A friend posed this question today: "Who is the Grinch in your life this year?" So I got to thinking... "YEAH!Who IS the Grinch in my life this year?" I got to thinking of the people around me and the complaining and bitching and drama I get to observe every day. For the most part I'm used to it but then a nagging little voice in my head broke through and chimed in: I'm the Grinch in my life this year. I've been told I've been a little bitchy since about Thanksgiving. I can't even deny it. I've been edgy irritable and a little sad. The Season started off with a broken foot and a death. And the frustration of not being able to get my mail key after, Oh let's see we're goin on 2 months now. I truck up the post office about twice a week to get all of my "time sensitive" mail. I couldn't get to the post office very often the 3 weeks my foot was in the boot. So I missed a few deadlines when it came to some home warranty extensions and those kinds of things. My old appartment complex is pimping me for $500 because they decided it was time to change the carpet in the apt I moved out of and claims there were stains they couldn't get out. Both stains were powder. yeah, that's right POWDER. Powder I was able to vacuum and get out myself a couple other times I spilled while living there. Then 2 Saturday's ago I had 2 flat times. TWO. So I'm feeling a little picked on lately. I know it's just my turn and we all go through stuff.
And there really is no one to blame. With buying a new house, and my car going on the fritz every other month and now the latest events I'm emotionally and mentally spent. I've used my reserves and just felt like I haven't had time to renew. This is an excellent recipe for Grinch Casserole. I've been trying to do little things here and there and they do help but only just a little. My mind is telling me if I want little results to make little attempts. So I think I need to make greater attempts to get greater results.
Today is December 22. I've got 3 days to ungrinch myself. And I know what I have to do to get rid of this Stink, Stank, Stunk feeling. Take a quick look around yourself for that Grinchy person in your life this year. If you can't find them, check out the mirror. If you're grabbing for the razor to shave off that green 5'o clock shadow... have a
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I am Christian. YES, Mormon's aka LDS/Latter Day Saints are Christians.
But I also love the story of Hanukkah. I bet most people don't know what Hanukkah is and why it's celebrated. Hanukkah means "DEDICATION." It serves as a reminder of how Jewish resistance claimed back their temple from Syrian-Greeks who declared the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. They forced the Jewish to eat pork and bow down and worship their Greek Gods or be put to death. After much death Jewish resistance began in the village and eventually The Jewish people were victorious. They reclaimed their temple and rededicated it to the God we all worship today.
The name Hanukkah reminds us that this holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks.
Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But there was only one day's worth of oil. They lit up anyway and the miracle is the oil lasted Eight full days.
It is celebrated with a Festival of lights or the Lighting of the Menorah.
Some of their Traditions are quite fun. One tradition I can truly bet into is the tradition of eating fried foods:
Latkes, are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions, which are fried in oil.
Or Fried Donuts dusted in powdered Sugar.
I would not think to discount, discredit or disrespect this Holiday. To do so would defile the sacredness of their beliefs and also the beliefs of Jesus Christ, who was a Jew as well.
Kwanzaa was not meant to be an ALTERNATIVE to Christmas as first believed. Kwanzaa is a Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture. Therefore it is not a religious holiday, but more of a cultural recognition.
There are 7 Principle to African Heritage which are really quite beautiful once you understand them.
Umoja meaning UNITY: To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
Kujichagulia meaning SELF-DETERMINATION: To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves stand up
Ujima meaning COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY: To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
Ujamaa meaning FAMILY: The belief in family and general communal understanding.
Nia meaning PURPOSE: To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba meaning CREATIVITY: To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani meaning FAITH: To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Part of the Kwanzaa celebration entails the displaying of the symbols:
A mat, 1 ear of corn for each child, the kinara that holds the 7 candles that represent the seven principles, fruits, nuts and vegetables that nourished the people of Africa, a unity cup shared by those who are celebrating and gifts.
The gifts should be traditionally cultural, hand made and educational. Given typically January 1st. The celebratory Colors of this Holiday are green, black and red. Green is for the fertile land of Africa; black is for the color of the people; and red is the for the blood that is shed in the struggle for freedom.
The foods enjoyed at the Kuramu are Sweet potatoes, collard greens, various nuts. Wild Turkey or chicken.
Why on earth would I not appreciate or respect anyone, regardless of culture, color or race who wants to focus on and represent the 7 principles of African Heritage?
You don't have to be Black to implement some of these things into your own lives. Just like Celebrating the Miracle of one days worth of oil burning for 8 days.
I find it funny that more people find offense in the Saying of "HAPPY HOLIDAY" than they do with the commercialism. What would the holidays really be like if we spent even half of the time we Shop for learning about the life of Jesus and not just his birth? What if we took one Christmas every two or three years, didn't purchase gifts for our families, and spent the holidays volunteering at shelter feeding the hungry and homeless, or donating the hundreds of dollars we spend on each other to a worthy community cause? What if, instead of buying gift for the family, we spent the year learning what Jesus is all about and then practiced it with our families. In the long run that's really the gifts Jesus asks of us. I've heard parents say..."Well I have to give them something under the tree!" I say WHY? Because they'll be disappointed if not? Because they'll cry and not have anything to show their friends? SO WHAT? It's ONE Christmas out of dozens they will most likely have. Use that time to teach them about real gifts of the world: Food, Shelter, Clothing. Sharing with others who won't have anything. I promise you it will only take a couple of these Christmas's for them to GET IT. And it will cut down generations of overspending for the holidays just to give and get tangible gift that will only be taken for granted, forgotten about, lost, broken, or to have more accessories that need to be purchased.
There's a Reason My Favorite Christmas Carol is "WHAT CHILD IS THIS?"
IF someone were to ask you about baby Jesus, "WHAT CHILD IS THIS?" How would you answer them?
Before you go around Saying... "I'm a Christian. I believe in Christ, so I'm just gonna say "MERRY CHRISTMAS." Spend some time learning about the Life of Christ. Saying Merry Christmas is not what makes you Christian. The way we act and treat each other is what will inevitably reveal us at Christians. I really don't think GOD or JESUS CHRIST care if we it or Happy Holidays. I do think it matters if we claim to be something we have no idea how to be it.
Really think about what you want your families to get out of this time of year. Then spend next year teaching and living it so they will be prepared to be Christlike next holiday season.
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Saying Merry Christmas. Or Happy Hanukkah. OR Happy Kwanzaa or any of the other greetings we hear this time of year. Just know when I Say HAPPY HOLIDAYS, I'm speaking of all that is Good and Holy this time of year regardless of religion, culture etc.
From My Home To Yours.. HAPPY HOLY-DAYS!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
" The Lord Puttin Angels In Our Lives Everyday,But We Don't Even See Them 'Til They Leavin Anyway."
November 28, 2011 was my 44th birthday. I had taken the day off so I could sleep in and enjoy what would be the tail end of a 5 day weekend. For my birthday I just wanted to waste the day relaxing and bailing off all of my responsibilities. I jumped out of bed with Pajama's still to see my daughter back off to college. She was driving back that morning and needed to leave early in the commute to make her hour and a half trip so she cold make it to work on time. Hugged her goodbye..."I Love You"
and she was out of the door.
I went to the living room and sat in my overstuffed recliner and listen to the new to find out the weather of the day. I started to doze of when my phone rang. It was one of my "Sistas." She asked how I was doing and I told her I was "ok." and asked how she was doing. She got silent.... so much so that I said... "Hello?..." She said... "did you get a call this morning?" I told her no and looked at my phone for any voice mails or missed message. There were none. She got really quiet again. "Hello... I said... are you still there?" She was.
I heard her choke -up... She said she was sorry and got quiet again.
Finally she told me... "Morgan Harwell died, Karyn. Im sorry to tell you."
"WHAAAAAAAAAAAT???" I sat up in my chair and closed my eyes.
"Morgan passed away last night. I'm so, So Sorry!"
I belong to the LDS Genesis Group. For 7 years I was the Genesis Youth Advisor. I was called to have fellowship charge on teens/ from the age of 12-18. When I first got called I only had a few youth. about 7. Through out the years the group would grow to about 47 kids. Half of them I would see on a regular basis. We met the first Sunday of each month from 7pm-8:30 pm and every third Saturday we had an activity.
Morgan was well known, mostly for being a pain in the butt. But I saw a different kid. I took personal notice of him when he was about 10 years old. He was mischievous and somewhat devious kind of like myself. He really did remind me of me. No one really seemed to listen to him and he was always in some kind of trouble or always having to be talked to about something. Anytime there was an activity I could always here his mom or dad... Morgan! Morgan..! Morgan! No matter how much of a pain he was, he always did what I asked of him, listened to what I told him. I Liked hanging out with him and watching him annoy others. And when he got frustrated I'd drape my arm around him and and say... "Let's go for little walk or have a little talk." I also liked observing him because he did things with a purpose and not many people recognized the purpose.When I started to notice him and hear what he wasn't saying, I felt he was Genius. He Now at the young age of 21... He was dead. I didn't get much details from my Sista but I could tell she was concerned for me because I kind of just sat and said.. "humph" Again she asked me Are you ok? Because that was, like, your son!" I told her "
yes, I'm ok, but I think I'm in shock and may be in trouble later."
She said she had a meeting to go to and would stop by later tonight, and said our Goodbyes.
I'm not sure how long I sat in stillness and silence but I could feel a thunder starting to rumble in my heart and I knew there was going to be an internal storm. Tears started to well up in my eyes and gritted my teeth and forced them back down. I began to shake. If you know me, You know I don't do death well. See 2009 blog:
I picked up my phone and called my Sister. She answered the phone Cheerfully singing... "Happy Birthday to you..... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU...." And then the storm in my heart unleashed.... I can't say that I experienced such gut wrenching heartbreaking cries I can't remember feeling such heart ache. My mind was flashing all the memories I had of him and how much I loved this kid. I couldn't speak, I just cried. The more I tried to say something the harder it was. I wanted to get something out because I know with the way I was carrying on she was thinking something happened to my daughter. I was able to squeak out.... "Tamu called....and about 2 minutes later... Morgan died.." All she got was Tamu Called. She told me I needed to breath... and i couldn't. the more I tried to catch air it was just short puffs of breath that weren't working.
She finally said.. "Hang up the hone, I'm on my way"
I hung up the phone, fell to my knees and cried a cried I had NEVER cried before. I don't think I could have cried more if it were my own flesh and blood. And the more I thought of it being my birthday the more I cried. It didn't feel right. It didn't feel fair. I refused to celebrate it. I wanted to focus on this young man's family.
I sobbed and sobbed for about 20 minutes then it stopped. I tried desperately to catch my breath as I felt my heart Ice over. I sat back in the chair and stared at the walls.
After a while, Im not sure how long, my phone rang. It was my sister she was down in the lobby. I buzzed her in and sat right back in my chair and stared at the floor.
Slowly (like now...) tears began to well up in my eyes and my breath was shaken. "I refuse to feel this pain any more" I told myself. My sister looked over at me and said... "LET IT OUT, DON"T HOLD IT IN" I wailed.
I never knew a heart could hurt so much. It scared me. How could I survive a parent, sibling or child passing away?
"Ain't no use trying to be strong for anyone we all need to just let it out. And if that's all crying together then so be it" I continued to cry. She sat with me most of the day. Then my Sista Natalie dropped by. She remembers Morgan's parent's bringing him home at the age of 6 weeks old and she used to baby sit him and his brothers when they were babies.
Late morning, about 10:30 my phone would present 4voice mails and missed calls from as early as 7:45. All from Natalie trying desperately to give me the news.
I spent the day Crying and napping. And then napping and Crying. My sisters Lyn, Natalie and Tamu rotated in and out of my house all day to make sure I wasn't home alone for very long. As word got out I received emails, texts and other messages making sure I was alright and not alone. I began to feel guilty at so much love and care being presented towards me. I worried about the family and hoped they were getting as much. It would be they who would have the biggest holes in their hearts.
At some point I was in my bedroom, I don't remember when I went back and layed down but I curled up in a ball hugging my Raggedy Ann Dolls. (God and Raggedy Ann are the go to people when I get like this.)Tears rolled down my face in a steady stream. And then I heard him say... "I'm ok. I never realized how many people loved me. Help my mom Have peace."
(Morgan Lyle Harwell)
"Help my mom have peace" it was so like him. The things I heard him say the most... "Where's my mom?" "Have you seen my mom?" "I need to find my mom." The next thing I heard him say most was... "Where's Richard?" "Have you seen Richard?" He loved his family. His Mama was his heart, and Richard was his comfort when Mom wasn't around. He loved them all unconditionally, even when he was upset with them. He held no grudges.
I spent most of the day in memories of him, which would include memories of most of my Genesis Youth. And I started to think about them all. When I was their adviser there was nothing I wouldn't do for them.(Well,legal ;) For the most part I still try and keep track of them. I would still do anything I could for them. I love them all and I hoped they knew it then and still know it. That is regardless of whatever path they're on or chose to take. Anytime I saw Morgan I made sure he knew I cared. Sometimes I feel there was more I could have done but isn't there always. I know he knew I cared for him and that gives me peace. I want to make sure they all know this.
The week was filled with sorrow, sadness and tears trying to stay busy and make sure assignments were carried out. It was a busy week for the LDS Genesis Group because the Annual Christmas Party was Saturday, The Genesis Meeting Sunday, and The Funeral would be Monday Dec 5th. There was a great desire to be with Genesis Family. To hold each other up where ever it was needed.
Friday we went and saw the family. Everyone was looking well, able to laugh and smile. Full of hugs and love. Everyone except Richard. I don't like how he looked and it broke my heart to know his heart was suffering. As we sat in their home I was filled with a spirit of peace and comfort and laughter. Seeing them began to heal my heart. I needed them in my mourning process.
Saturday was the Day of the Annual Party. It was an awesome party... Santa clause bailed at the last minute. This party is always stress and always a lot of work. Handing out toys to about 100 kids. Me, on a broken foot was responsible for handing out toys, preparing and decorating the stage for Santa and pictures, sorting the toys into age groups and helping in the Kitchen. I was overwhelmed as Im sure everyone was. Heavenly Father sent Angels to help. As Morgan's family came into town they jumped right in. When the time for Santa came, I found 3 angels.. one dressed up as the prettiest elf I've ever seen, helping hand out the toys for Santa. His family came to lay a loved one to rest and ended up serving, Just like Jesus Our Savior. My heart was slowly beginning to heal.
Sunday was the Genesis Meeting. I wasn't particularly going for the meeting. Sometimes you just need to be with your people. Sunday, I needed to be with my people. There is a certain way black people mourn and it's unlike or Caucasian Brothers and sisters. I know everyone mourns differently and no disrespect to my Caucasian Brothers and Sisters. But there is a cultural bond especially during times of loss that goes deeper than I can explain.
I spent much of my time in the hallway with one of my former youth counselors speaking and reminiscing of those times we all spent together and sharing our experiences with Morgan. It was fun remembering him. As the night ended we all returned to our homes to prepare for our final goodbyes.
I woke up early Monday. My thoughts went back to the previous Monday, the day I heard the news. My heart sank. And then it went back to the Monday before that... the night i broke my food. DAMN FOOT in this DAMN BOOT! You'd think I'd learn to walk off a curb after 44 years. yeah, not so much. I packed up the food I prepared for the family dinner after the services, jumped in the car and was on my way.
I recognized my breathing getting heavier and heavier. By the time I hit the exit about a mile and a half from the church, it was last Monday all over again. I called my sister and told her I needed some help...She needed to talk me to the church because I was having another breakdown. When I got into the parking lot I drove in about 20 ft and couldn't drive anymore. I simply broke down, seeing the building where we hung out mostly as a youth group. Being in the ward where Morgan grew up, seeing images of him skateboarding or skipping Sunday school in that parking lot. Just too much to take. I needed a moment. After that moment I sucked it up, parked the car and got to work, preparing the kitchen and some of the food for the family Luncheon.
Around the corner from the kitchen in the Relief Society room was the viewing. I do not do viewing well so I stayed away from that part of the Chapel. I didn't need to "view" him.
I was cool with remembering him in a better way than chillin in that silk lined box.
Before long, it was time for the services to start. The program was unique and full of stories and laughter and tears.
Morgan.. AKA M.O.E was a music artist and a skateboarder. Because we were in the Chapel they couldn't play any of his music. And because We ALL KNOW Mormon hymns sound dreadfully mournful on the norm... The family refused to play them. There was gospel music SANG at this Service. As mentioned in the service... Jesus was a jew and would not have been able to have a Jewish funeral in an LDS chapel because of so many LDS stipulations. It's upsetting there are so many "RULES" to how we can mourn and rejoice in the chapel. When the time came to journey to the cemetery we were given instructions on a special presentation that would be held after the dedication of the final resting place. It was cold. FREEZING COLD. So Cold I broke out in hives. I don't think it was above 15 degrees. But as we sang "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot..." The sun presented itself and allowed us a little warmth.
As a Final tribute, Richard, his brother and 3 other friends wrote a song for Morgan, and presented it.
I listened to the words and the voices of these talented artist as they sang their hearts. It wasn't an LDS hymn however it was, to me, even more sweet to hear. Because it was just as heartfelt as any HYMNS I've ever heard.
Before I end my Novel I would just like to go on record saying:
The last 10 days have been filled with EVERY good, bad and ugly emotion.
Today I experienced them all again. At the end of the day my shock, sadness, anger, compassion, and broken heart are slowly turning to peace and sweet memories of the times we laughed and shared together, served ourselves and each other.
Those beautiful moments in time bonded us all together and will forever remain in each of us so we can call on them to answer our hearts when the ugly moments try to return.
*Dedicated to Every Child I was ever blessed to have fellowship and guidance over and to my LDS Genesis Family*
Love your people.. UNCONDITIONALLY and more importantly...make sure they know it!
"Weren't Ready For Seein' Angels"
*the only reason my name shows on the bottom of this video is because it was copied from my personal facebook page.*
Sunday, November 20, 2011
I passed up that advertisement as I always do and it kept nagging at me. So I applied for a pre authorization. Next thing I know I'm on the phone with a bank referring me to a local Realtor. My friend Dani had just purchases a home and a good friend of hers is a Realtor, so I decided to go through her friend. Long story short, I spent most of the summer searching for a house to buy. I submitted a total of about 3 offers this summer. The first one was accepted and 2 days later the seller decided to move back into the property. Because she broke the contract she had to give me $1000. Which came in handy because I spent that much on car repairs for the next 6 weeks that followed. The 2ND offer came in as a back up offer. I had seen multiple properties that I loved and hated.
During the process I learned that I had certain unrealistic expectations and limitation. I learned to prioritize and bargain with myself on what was really important in the home I wanted. If I found a property I liked online, my Realtor advised me to drive by it and check out the condition of the neighborhood to see if it was some place I really wanted to live. I spent a great deal of the summer doing "drive by's." Toward the end of the summer I was discouraged. I mentioned a couple of properties to my Realtor and she suggested I do a drive by and if I was happy with the location we'd try and get in to view them sometimes in the next couple of days.
I drove by the properties and was not happy with the neighborhood they were in. "That's IT!" I told myself I was done house hunting. I gave it a great run for 6 month, I'm tried and frustrated and just not meant to own a house. I headed back toward my apartment on the east side of town. I was tired and hungry and it was going on 7pm. I forgot I needed to go to the store so I turned town a street to make a U turn and found myself U-turning into a hidden complex which looked to have apartments and Condo. I went toward the back of the property to turn around and thought "where did this place even come from, It's hidden and tucked in a corner." I pulled into the parking lot and noticed a couple of "For Sale" signs. I sort of drove around the property and thought it was a little odd: there were open parking spaces, covered parking space and parking garages. And a big locked garage attached to the middle building. Surrounded by the middle building was more open parking and across the parking is several apartment complexes. The center building was the only building with for sale signs. The whole complex looked fairly new. I kind of scoffed at the for sale signs. What an interesting development I thought. May as well look into it.
When I finally did get home about 7:30 I made some dinner, opened up my laptop and popped in the address of the complex. I found 3 condos for sale. The one that caught my eye: "3 bedroom, 3 full baths, balcony D/W W/D hookups all black appliances. foreclosure. All offers must be in my 9 AM Tuesday." It was 8pm Monday night. I called my Realtor gave her the info and told her I'd like to try and see this property however all bids must be in my tomorrow morning by 9 am and it's 7:30 at night. Oh well, at least I made an effort even if it is last ditch. My Realtor is an extremely busy person so I doubt she'd even get the info before morning. I went on about my night.
About 8:30 I received a call from my Realtor. She had sent her husband out to the property so I could have a look at it if I wanted to meet him there, he was on his way. I jumped in my car and drove over to the property where he was waiting. We entered the lobby of the property and found you need a key card to get passed the lobbie. A key card we did not have. BUMMER! Well at least we tried. But the realtor's husband decided to ask 2 young men who were out on their balcony if they wouldn't mind opening the door for us. They agreed and let us in stating, they enjoyed living here and it was a nice place. We stepped onto the elevator and went to the floor with the property I wanted to see. We unlocked the door and stepped in. My mouth dropped open. I looked at the Realtor's husband, he looked at me. We both said..."this place is huge!!" The living, dining area in this place was equal to the living, dining, kitchen and 1 bedroom of the current place. In total the Sq ft is 1614. My current apt was just over 800ft. We tour the rest of the condo, 2 of the 3 bathrooms are part of 2 master bedrooms with walk in closets. all in all there are 3 hall closets a huge pantry and a place for washer/dryer.
"well what do you think?" says Charli-Mac, the Realtor's husband? "if you like it c'mon over to my house an we'll have Jamie draw up some paper work."
I was shocked at the size of this place. I turned to Charli-Mac and said "Well, this is one of those instances where I would regret not trying."
So about 9pm I headed over to my Realtor's home and we spent 2 hours and a couple of prayers trying to determine a fair asking price. We each came up with the following numbers: 115, 115,500 and 116. After much discussion we decided on the middle number. I signed the needed documents and we sent in the offer just under the deadline of 9:am. Now comes the hard part: Waiting the 2-3 days to see if the offer is accepted. I prepared myself to be another back up offer and settled in for the 3 day wait. I got a call 3 hours later saying my offer was accepted. I was in shock. My realtor who could read me pretty well by this time was not convinced I really wanted the property and since she hadn't seen it she wanted to schedule a time to go back and do a sight inspection in case we needed to add repairs or amendments to the contract. We scheduled a time to see the place, however failed to get an access key. The person with the key was not working that day or the weekend. I was a little sick of taking vacation time off work for dead ends esp when I can be taking real vacations. We returned from the manager's office to where my car was at the condo parking lot. Just ahead of us a car pulled in and went into the parking garage. We basically followed in behind her, found a spot to park and walked in through the elevator as if we belonged. We unlocked the place and I let her walk in so she can see the place. I think she was amazed. She looked questioningly at me. I just kind of hunched my shoulders and let her look around, which she did.
She looked at me and said..."THIS PLACE IS HUGE! IT'S PERFECT FOR YOU!"
I felt the same way. "You don't look excited...!" I had to explain I had a few disappointments so I'm just remaining unemotional. She told we're only supposed to have access to look at the place M-F from 9-5. I've found a way, twice, to get in the place outside of those perimeters. It's close to work, it's pretty high security, easy access for anyone with physical ailments. It's spacious. I could have a roommate if I wanted and never see them.
Long story short, We were going for it. Each step along the way there were road blocks. I had to think: If a bunch of things have to fall in place for this to happen then it's probably not meant to be. It frustrated me. Stressed me out. Took away my appetite. In the process of it all I put in my 30 days notice at the apartment. I called myself "moving forward with faith." I was terrified of being homeless if it didn't work out. So I kept busy with packing up the apartment, and looking for a plan B while trying to maintain my mind at work. In the mean time my car kept breaking down every 2 weeks taking up any extra funds I was saving for new furniture or other expenditures for a new place. I paid for things in the previous month with an understanding of being reimbursed and that never happened. I was basically in a situation where I had to come up with the remainder of my down payment because I used it for other things.
We got to a point of an estimated closing date. although I was excited for it, i knew i wouldn't have all the down payment by that date. In the back of my mind I kept hearing the same thing: It will happen, It will take some work but it will happen the money will come. So I went with it. As the estimated closing date got closer I basically said to myself. If this is going to happen, it's going to happen in a way that I know it was only God. For that to happen I need to close ON the date of October 27Th and not a day before. The estimated closing date came and other stumbling blocks showed up pushing it back.
It was stressing me out and stressing out the people around me who realized I could be homeless by the end of the month. I simply smiled, ignored the fear in myself and said... "It's just GOD workin it out!" Finally we got everything in and to underwriting and they gave me the closing date of October 27Th. Up until the morning of closing, things continued to crop up including another car repair the weekend before. The best thing of all that cropped up was the estimated closing cost was a thousand dollars less than expected and my there was basically a 1 month credit for my HOA fees.
I'm typing this blog as a new property owner from inside MY HOME! And it, indeed, happened in a way that was only God. And he put together a PHENOMENAL team of people to work his plan.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
For the last month it feels like my whole mind has been on big stupor. That being said it makes me feel like I've been S.O.S: Stuck On Stupid making one careless mistake after another. That being the case I know its time for me slow down, look inside, take inventory and have, what we black folks, a "come to Jesus meeting."
I've been going back through the month trying to see if the Lord has been tossing pebbles at me to get my attention.
Cuz y'all know first he'll toss little pebbles at you to try and get your attention, then He'll start throwing bricks.
I've been kind of drifting in a lazy current waiting to see if the purchase of a condo I'm under contract for will go through. It's feeling like on small set back after another. I've been trying to move forward in faith but it's been a little half-assed. I know if the Lord wants me in this place then I'll be in this place. I trust the Lord will place me where I'm supposed to be. I must know that his plan for me is way better than my own. I know where I want to be and he knows where I belong. He not only knows it but he's got the gps on how to get me there. I keep ignoring that gps trying to get there on my own so the Lord has been throwing up these little road blocks here and there. I should be stopping and paying attention but instead I just flip a u-turn, back track wasting time, money and resources just to find another way to run into another set back.
Last Monday I was in a car accident. That's when it hit me (literally) that I need to start paying more attention to what God is telling me. The first thing that went through my mind was... "Really, Lord? REALLY?" Kind of like " you've gotta be kidding me what the hell...?
The Lord answered.. "REALLY, child. REALLY"
The rest of the week it's been occurring to me that I've been ignoring my G.P.S and trying to work things out on my own. I know God has been working things out too but I haven't inquired of him as to what I should be doing to prepare for his work.
Today it's occurring to me that it's not necessarily what I am or am not doing regarding the purchase of my Condo. It's more in regards to what I am and am not doing in my life. It's been a while since I've had conversations with the Lord on a daily basis like I used to. YET I EXPECT HIM TO BLESS AND REMEMBER ME DAILY. When things go wrong, I expect him to help fix it. When I want something really bad I expect him to give it. When I get stuck on stupid I expect him to accept and over look it while I have no intentions of coming out of it anytime soon. Lately I've been expecting the MAX from him while I give the minimal output. I've been forgetting my GPS:
I'm reminded of Doctrine & Covenants 82:10 I, the Lord, am abound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise. And Proverbs 3:5-6
5.Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
I am far from perfect and doing all I know I should regarding the Gospel Of Jesus Christ. I have no shame in that confession. The shame is in the laziness and uncaring way I've Ignored those little pebbles Heavenly Father has been tossing at me to get my attention. I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who allows me the agency and mind to make choices good and bad. For him to take that power away he would cease to be GOD. I'm grateful for the hell in my life that allows me to over come and teaches me more about who I really am and allows me to recognize those weaknesses I need to strengthen. More than anything I'm grateful for a Loving Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ,who, when I sometimes turn my back and walk away, I know they are always there when I Do turn back around, with arms stretched out still.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Do you remember the
21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away!
To make it even that much sweeter! I found a GOSPEL VERSION of my favorite Song! BONUS!! Check it out!
Awesome, right? That also happens to be my future wedding date if Marriage ever happens! The beauty of that day? I'll of course open up my wedding reception with my favorite song! PERFECT right? RIGHT?! I have decided Each Year on this Day to throw a party. And Earth Wind and Fire Party! And just laugh and dance the night away. This is the one song that puts me in a great mood no matter what! I just can't sit still when I hear it. Can you? Try it! I DARE YOU! I invite everyone to Borrow my favorite day and my favorite song and laugh and dance the night away. Even if you're just sitting at home, put on some Earth Wind and Fire and DANCE! BOOGIE WONDERLAND! I promise you will not be able to wipe the smile off your face and stop your feet from tapping! Try it! I DARE YA!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
What are some of your favorite inspirational poems, thoughts, scriptures or songs?
When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly. ~ Patrick Overton
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
To all the single ladies in such a hurry to get married, here's a quick piece of Biblical advice:
Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz. While waiting on YOUR Boaz, don't settle for ANY of his relatives: Brokeaz, Poaz, Lyinaz, Cheatinaz, Dumbaz, Cheapaz, Lockedupaz Goodfornothinaz, Lazyaz or Marriedaz and especially his third cousin Beatinyoaz. Please, wait on your Boaz & make sure he respects Yoaz!!
Friday, June 10, 2011
It's that time of year! We're running into my goofy,crazy,koo-koo season. Since 2008 each June and July has been a tough time for me. Whether I like it or not my Mind and body react to a couple of trauma's that happened during these months. It officially started last Tuesday when I found myself in my car 10:00 at night crying uncontrollably and driving around with no particular destination in mind. It's fascinating the physical signs of a relapse: My vision gets cloudy and everything looks overcast. I get nauseated, no appetite, very sleepy. When I say very tired I mean as I laid my head down on the table while out to lunch with a friend and went to sleep while she was talking to me. Because I will sleep for hours my sleeping patterns are off. Monday, Tues and Wed of this week I came home from work at 5:00pm was sleep by 6:00pm. woke up around 11pm. had some dinner, stayed up til 4:00am. Slept til 7:00am and was at work by 8:30am. I also know during this time I get up in the middle of the night and cook. I'm supposed to do things to reiterate feeling happy, comfortable, joyful and so on. I love to cook, so I cook. I watch old funny movies that make me laugh and feel good. I sleep. I sleep and I sleep. It's a process. This can happen several times during these 2 months or just once. I don't know. But I do know how to deal with it. I keep things low stress, low key and it's all about me during these times. I do what makes me happy during that time and it's all about me!
I had a break down in a favorite grocery store a couple of years ago. I made myself go back to that store and recreate the experience so it didn't become connected to the trauma part of it all. Each year that rolls along will put less significance into the situation. Time will eventually heal and my body and mind will eventually put less importance on this "anniversary."
Starting this year, I've put myself on a 5 year program! For at least the next 5 years I'm taking the "anniversary" date of the incident off of work and Im going to Re-create an AWESOME TIME for myself so that as this time rolls around each year I'll have that experience to draw back on instead of the trauma. And then every week or two until after those crazy dates, I'll do the same. Create absolutely brilliant experience to draw back on. It doesn't have to be something HUGE and expensive, but something meaningful and pleasing. As these events being to fill my life there will be less time for the remembrance of the trauma.
That being said. next weekend will be a 4 day weekend. I'm going somewhere and doing something.
Oh... my blog title! In the last 3 years I've cried, I've been frozen scared to the point of not being able to move. I've been ill, 6 months of my memory is gone, and it's hard for me to remember things. It's hard for me to go certain places that I need to be. Some places I still avoid most of the time.
Sounds like hell doesn't it? I spent time feeling trapped and a prisoner in my own home
Let me tell you something: In all the hell I've gone through, the hours of tears, fears and other crap-o-la that comes with having this life interruption, not once did I ever feel abandoned or alone. I never felt I couldn't get through it. I never felt I would be stuck in a deep dark depressing hole. I always knew and still know that this experience, no matter how long it lasts will not ruin or prevent me from living a great and fabulous life! Each time I felt broken or as if I were falling apart I felt the comfort of my Savior Jesus Christ and the Love of God our Heavenly Father. Each time something new came up I had the strength and desire to do what it takes to get through it for the most part. When I called upon the Heaven's for help it came readily, and abundantly and reassuringly letting me know that no matter where I was, I would be met with what I need. And after 3 years I've been met with what I need.
So I guess my point is I'm not waiting for life to be all roses and chocolate to let everyone know that Heavenly Father and his blessings and protection are real. We go through things and sometimes question why and get angry at the Lord for allowing things to happen. But men and women have morals that govern our actions. Our greatest gift if our agency which was never free. If God were to take this away from man then he would cease to be God. Obstacles are placed in our lives and we either learn to use those obstacles as stepping stones or we trip over them and complain more about it which gets us no where.
Where you are falling about and feeling broken, Just remember your G.L.U.E: God Loves Us Eternally!!!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Somewhere between "Jesus Loves Me This I know, for the bible tells me so" and "I need to get out of this mess" We forgot the stuff in between. As children we believed that Jesus Loved us. We talked to him. We sang of him. We did it in the open and out loud and unashamed.
As we get older and often times not wiser we tend to lose our connection to believing that "Yes, Jesus Loves Me.
Through our own agency we venture into the world and experiment. Some of us experiment with little things like... speeding, coming in late for curfew, cheating on a test. Others experiment with Alcohol, drugs & cigarettes. Then there's those who experiment with embezzling, adultery and various kinds of abuse. We experiment in cheating in various ways, lying in various ways stealing in various ways. Hopefully at some point our Conscious (that little child of God in side of us wanting to come clean and live guilt free)starts to nag at us persuading to do the right thing.
I believe most of us... we want to come clean, do the right thing and be guilt free. We just don't know how to start OR are afraid of the consequences.
Just as we fear those consequences the JOYS of shaking off the burden is so much Sweeter than the pains of carrying them. This is where Jesus comes in.
Why is it we feel like if we're in a mess, we can't call on those who can get us out of it? As a matter of fact we stay far away from the places that bring us out of our messes.
I'm reminded of a friend of mine who was going through a tough time. She said she said a quick prayer of help, then went to the bar. I said to her:
She looked at funny and asked me what would be so exciting about going to the bar.
"When you said your quick prayer, Jesus said.. "meet me at the bar!" right?"
She looked at me and said "of course not..."
"Oh, well since you asked for help and so readily went out I though he might have told you to meet him there to help set a game plan to tackle the issues you're having."
Still looking at me funny.
"I mean when you have serious issues you created some kind of plan to take care of it, right? Like finding options and ways to lessen the problem and increase your success over them."
She was having a light bulb moment.
"Girl, you know Jesus will meet you where you are if you ask him...AND listen to him. Did you pause a few minutes for inspiration? Or did you pray and just leave Jesus hanging?"
*She left him hangin'* (Those were her words, not mine)
I think when we get so deep into certain situations we figure we're too deep. So we try to dig ourselves out only to fall deeper or make no progress.
This, my friends is where that pesky devil comes into play with his mantra: You aren't worthy of his love. You aren't worthy of his blessings. You don't deserve his help. He won't hear your prayers. You're too far gone, forget about it.
Simply by being a child of GOD that gives us the right to pray and be heard. Every child has the right to ask their parent for love, guidance, protection and assistance. But we've got to be prepared to do what is needed on our end to receive that assistance. YOU MUST BE READY FOR IT. Because if you aren't, you'll ignore it. Then you'll be leaving Jesus hangin.
When I say The Lord God and his son Jesus Christ will meet you where you are... I mean THEY WILL MEED YOU WHERE you ARE!
Jesus didn't sit in a throne dressed in fancy clothes and Jewelry and drive fancy chariots. He went out to where the people were. He walked with them, talked with them, broke bread with them. If you think about it, he's just like your Homie. You know how you can use your last quarter to call your homie to bail you outta jail?
You can use your first quarter to call Jesus to keep your from getting in jail.
No matter how far gone you are, how low you've reached and how long the journey back to feeling worthy and loved may be The Lord wants you to succeed. And usually he wants it more than we are which is why we aren't willing to put in the work.
All I'm saying is.... The Lord will Meet you at whatever level you're on. But you have to wait for him to give you the GPS Directions to where is. Think of GPS as: Genuinely Positive Steps.
Before you make that move remember: Take God with you wherever you go. And if you can't take him with you, then DON'T GO. Don't Leave Him Hangin... or else his sacrifice would have been in vain
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Today all over the Nation Mothers are opening cards and gifts, wearing flower corsages, enjoying fancy brunches, flower bouquets, sticky kisses from children's hands and faces smudged with the remnants of homemade breakfasts. Today Is Mother's Day. Mom's are getting dressed in their special outfits with hats and jewelry. During the Sunday Services flowers, bath salts, potpourri and other trinkets of love and appreciation will be handed out as a token of love and appreciation.
Sadly not all Mothers are enjoying these things.
For some mothers day is bitter sweet. There are mothers who lives don't revolve around their family. The strains of motherhood have become too much and they've abandoned their position to chase after other worldly interest. For some it's the love of a man.
For others it's addiction to alcohol and drugs. Others fall victim to mental and physical illness. And some to the selfish desires of the world have caused them to abandon motherhood. For those in this situation Mother's Day can be a painful memory and hated day.
In another perspective there are Mother's who have dedicated their lives to their children and grandchildren insuring they have the best possible chance of taking advantage of opportunities that may come knocking. They've sat in principles, police stations and Pastor's/Bishop's waiting rooms disappointed, nervous and frustrated. Only to end up bailing out kids again and again and again.
Mother's have opened their hearts, homes and wallets to children who can't stay out of jail, can't keep a job, can't catch up on bill, can't provide a stable living for themselves.
We have mama's who are bed ridden and house bound for the physical ailments of life with children who steal their savings, pension, and social security. Their homes are falling in around them, they hire other agencies to care for their mama's because they're too busy, too tired or just don't give a damn.
It's amazing to me how some mothers can care for all their children and all their children cannot care for one mom. It's a shame and an abomination to us all when mother's aren't properly cared for. Fore them, this day can be memories of sadness and feelings lack of gratitude and appreciation.
I believe that Mother's who are successful at raising their children to be good and positive influences in their communities and in society are the success of our Nation.
President David O. McKay said: . "No Amount Of Success Can Compensate For Failure in the Home."
Home is where we learn the basics of how to deal with the world. Done properly we're taught discipline, to share, be patient, communicate, cooperate, cook, clean, negotiate, obey, appreciation, a good work ethic, how to budget and save money, and how to be a good neighbors. We're also taught important gospel Principles, How to pray, have faith, forgiveness, our worth, being accountable for our actions and choices. I'm not suggesting only Mother's corner the market in teaching these things but as mothers when we leave the possibility of teaching these things to others outside the home we risk failing a child in the long run.
A happy mother's day shouldn't be once a year in the Month of May.
A happy mother's day should be every time a child brings home good grades, offers to help with house work or yard work. When a teacher or principle calls announcing how much your student has improved and added to the school community. Graduation from Educational or Religious classes. When they've gained employment. They call excited about a scholarship or promotion they've rec'd. Dropped what they though were friends who ended up going in a wrong direction. A phone call because they're bored but wanted to speak to you instead of the BF or the BFF. When there's an issue and they talk to you for the very best advice.
A happy mother's Day is when they leave the nest to start out on their own. When they're able to feed themselves, pay their bills and make decisions on their own that result in their success.
Happy Mother's day is being able to cut or in some cases Saw the apron strings and watch your child flourish and bring elements to the world you never knew they had in them.
Today all over the country we celebrate Mother's day. I hope for all the mothers of this world, those who gave birth, those who haven't given birth but take on that role no matter the circumstances, that Mother's Day is more than just 1 day in the month of May. May you have many of them throughout the year and your lives. I have enjoyed all of mine!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Let me first state I am not a sympathizer. But as a Christian who believes we are all children of God, regardless of how we all feel about him, the truth is Osama Bin Laden is a child of God. And as the world rejoices at his death I believe the Lord weeps for his life. The world has hated him and his deeds. The were indeed of the most kind of evil.
We all watched in horror on 9/11/01
And we Cheered at the promise and threat of revenge. We swore that we would have our justice.
It's been almost 10 years and to the world Justice has been served.
And it's happened at the end of much heated political situation
Amongst my friends I have heard the following:
"Finally got the son of a *****! Have a great time in hell Osama!"
"Did The Apprentice get trumped by Obama's speech?"
There's much rejoicing. We Rejoice in the name of REVENGE! We Rejoice in the name of PEACE! We rejoice in the name of KARMA! We rejoice in the name of JUSTICE! And why not? That S.O.B Osama Bin Laden was killed. It's been long coming and the American public has waited almost 10 years to celebrate the news! It is a time for REJOICING!
OR Is It?
As Christians would this not be a time for mourning? Mourning, grief, sorrow. He, just like Hitler, just like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, or Timothy McVey, Pope John Paul, Gordon B Hinckley, Mother Theresa is a Child of God. Was he evil at heart? Was he a victim of someone else's agenda, hate, bigotry? No one is born evil it is learned.
Think for a minute of what his life could have been like with the right influences and examples if he possessed the same leadership qualities. What good could he have accomplished. What lives could he have blessed had he chose to go another way or lead a different life. There should be anger and weeping at what could have and should have been. But instead there is much rejoicing. I don't post this to judge or chastise or to fault those who do rejoice. I too am caught up in gladness. But I'm also saddened at the life that has been lost. When I say life lost I mean the good that COULD have happened at the hands of Osama Bin Ladin.
As the world rejoices at getting once last villain of evil off the streets and in the ground I just have one question. It's the same question one of my Sista's asked:
Who is going to do our lost brother's temple work?. Where do we draw the lines of our Christianity?
God Bless us EVERY ONE cuz we ALL need it.
Friday, April 22, 2011
"People often say that you don't know what you have until its gone. What would you DO to get it back? Would you apologize for the things you said and did? What would you GIVE to get it back? The last piece of gum? The expensive technology you own? The last swig alcohol? Or even your life? Find what's important to you. Cherish it. Love it. Be proud of it. It may be taken away before you know it" ~Kaitlynn Burge
I hijacked this quote from my friend. She's 17 years old and like a daughter to me. I found it very profound. And it got me to thinking of loyalties. How much we give lip service to satisfy a current disagreement or situation without any real intent of following through.
It got me thinking of integrity, and how much we say one thing and live and act another without a second thought.
It got me thinking of what effort we actually put into what we want to accomplish. Do we rely on others to get us our desires and when they fall short we blame, criticize and justify our own lack of motivation and laziness.
I'm glad Kaitlynn wrote this just before Easter Holiday.
When was the last time you were happy truly truly happy and satisfied with life?
When was the last time you could be spiritually uplifted and touched on a regular basis. Do you remember the state of your life at that time. What were you doing to maintain that spirituality? Did you Nurture it on a regular basis? Did you hang around with people who were positive and uplifting. Was your entertainment something that let you feeling exhilarated and full of love and life?
Are there people in your life you're at odds with that you miss? Family member you haven't talked to in years? Are YOU unforgiving of shortcomings while presenting shortcomings yourself? Are you wrong in a situation but too proud to admit it or apologize so you find reason after reason to make up situations to justify it?
I had and experience the other day to which I finally gave up my own way in a situation. That situation turned out soo much better than what I could have done myself. I know that my way is not always the best way, or the right way.
What would you really truly do to have real peace, love, comfort & security?
Would you apologize for the things you've done or said?
What would you GIVE? The last peace of gum? The expensive technology you own?
What have others done and given up for you? Grandparents? Parents? Spouses? Siblings? Soldiers and country men? Friends? Strangers?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son..."
Would you give your life for those you love? Maybe not in the way Christ gave his life for us. What about those simple and sometimes inconvenient ways? Help a stranger change a tire? Babysit for a tired young mother. Take a meal to a single loneley old man? Send a letter or make a phone call to someone on your mind?
What about the God who gave his only begotten son? Would you speak to him on a daily basis? Read his words in Holy Scripture and liken them unto your life?
There is one who love use enough to bleed from every pore of his body. Allowed his hands and fee to be nailed to a wooden cross.
Do you dedicate your life to him the way he dedicated his death to us?
Does that dedication end at Tithing? 9:00 am meeting time slot? Sex? Liquor? Someone having offended us?
Thinks of where you are Mentally, physically, Spiritually, emotionally, psychologically? Is it where you would like to be? If not, to get to that point, what would you do?