Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Tribute to Maya

"I ought to be as beautiful as I can be, to myself first, and to anybody else who has enough sense to see me." ~Maya Angelou

When I first started to write poetry people would always tell me that my writings reminded them of the early writings of Maya Angelou. I was often called "the next Maya Angelou". I wasn't sure that it was true but I was honored to be thought of and spoken of that way. Poets tend to become people whose opinions and thoughts become important to others. I hoped that I would get to meet her in person and introduce her to "the next".  :-) Like me, she stood tall, at least 6'. Who knows? Maybe one day another poet will find herself being called "the next Albertine Williams". Hopefully she too will consider it an honor.

Today just a few days after her passing, I am more inspired by her than I've ever been, to use my gift, my talent, my words. I am more inspired to use my voice, to be a voice. Whether I read for a president or not, travel to another nation or not, win an award or not, I want my voice to be heard, by as many as are listening, as many as will read them. I'm more inspired not to waste time, or make assumptions about who is interested in what I have to say.  I know that I do have quite a bit to say, and today, I am determined more than ever to speak, in any way that I can, and pour out everything that God has poured into me.

I know that Maya Angelou was most famous for Still I Rise and Phenomenal Woman, but my favorite of hers was....

In and Out of Time
Maya Angelou

The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance...
our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out of time.
When the first stone looked up at the blazing sun
and the first tree struggled up from the forest floor
I had always loved you more.
You freed your braids...
gave your hair to the breeze.
It hummed like a hive of honey bees.
I reached in the mass for the sweet honey comb there....
Mmmm...God how I love your hair.
You saw me bludgeoned by circumstance.
Lost, injured, hurt by chance.
I screamed to the heavens....loudly screamed....
Trying to change our nightmares to dreams...
The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out
in and out
in and out
of time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I was talking with the ex the other day and noticed a scar on his hand and wrist, and remembered the accident he was in a few years ago.  That scar came from doctors having to literally dig glass out of his wrist that had gotten in it as a result of him being dragged while the truck was turned on it's side...his side down. That scar will always be on his wrist, and a reminder of something that could have easily killed him. I thought about how just one incident can scar you for the rest of your life.  Like most people, I too have a few physical scars. 

I thought about how one other incident, my marriage to him, scarred me for life. And then I was  reminded that scars aren't the worst thing that can happen to you. If you are alive and have scars, you're blessed because it means that whatever happened to you didn't kill you.   Scars are what you show as proof of what you went through, and survived. Scars mean there was an injury, there was pain, and there was bloodshed, but the wounds healed. Scars testify that for every day that you felt like dying would be easier, you were strong enough to KEEP LIVING!

I was reminded that wishing my "scars" (the painful experiences) away is not the answer. I tend to look at what I went through and feel sorry for myself. I tend to spend time wishing about what I could have or should have. I tend to spend more time in regret than in Thanksgiving. Not for the fact that what happened happened, and that it hurt me so badly that sometimes I wanted to die.  But thanksgiving for the fact that I survived. I came out stronger, wiser, better, more in tune with myself and my God. Thanksgiving for learning the most odd lesson of all, That God somehow reveals more to us in our trouble, our wrong, our mistakes than He does when we seem to have it all together. I learned about His mercy, and how He doesn't judge me nearly as harshly as I judge myself. At times when I was expecting some sort of punishment, all I received was kindness, gentleness, patience and His loving presence. If not for my scars and what caused them, I wouldn't have experienced this amazing level of God's love and Grace. 

I have even gone so far as to look at my "scars" and see myself as damaged goods. I've looked at my scars and questioned my worth, "Who would want me with these scars? Who will see past them? Who will be able to love me because of what they represent and not shun me because of what has happened to me?" I know I'm not the only one who has done this.  The longer we wait for what we hope for, or promises from God to be fulfilled, the more we sometimes tend to question our worthiness to receive them.  We have to be reminded from time to time, that what happened to us, and the fact that we overcame it, makes us more beautiful. We are not beautiful in spite of our scars, but because of them. I even wrote a poem about it a few years ago, when I was trying to love someone who couldn't see past his own pain. Somehow he had convinced himself that no matter how badly anybody else had been hurt, they could not have been hurt more than he was. As a sensitive person I know that we tend to feel things more deeply and we also tend to take longer to get past hurt, but he was so addicted to the pain of his own sad story that he couldn't see that we all have been damaged at some point. We've all been broken, brought to our knees, on our face weeping because of the wounds we suffered. But it's how we see the leftover scars that determine how we move forward.

There is no such thing as perfection. Trying to wish your scars away, or pretending they aren't there won't make you worthy of love, but proves that you are not yet able to receive it. It blinds you from the fact that the heart that is reaching out to embrace your own has also been made more beautiful by the scars that their pain left behind. We are not better by pretending that we have not been broken and don't still have cracks. We are better by admitting it, owning it, and growing from it. When we do that we are ready to embrace another heart and bond with another soul. We can come together not as two victims, comparing and competing with each others wounds, but as two conquerors, having respect and admiration for the strength that it took each to overcome and the lessons learned, that make us perfect...for each other.

Lord, help us to remember that though the ashes in our lives are real, there is even more beauty to behold. because You have promised us beauty for our ashes. 
Because of You our scars become our beauty marks!

Not all scars are hidden in a broken heart
But many are in the open, visible from the start
I’ve already seen a few of yours
And you say there are even more

I say your scars are marks of beauty
Of things that tried, but couldn’t keep you away from me
Each shows the world something you survived
None could kill you though they all tried

I should like to kiss them, each and every one
To show my appreciation for what God has done
Show me your scars and I’ll show you mine
Of things that couldn’t kill us before our time

Not all scars are in the open, visible from the start
But many are hidden in a broken heart
Though no one sees them they’re there just the same
And undeniable is the pain from whence they came

Even though healing is taking place
We still find occasional tears upon our face
But we’re so blessed to feel safe enough to reveal
Even our deepest wounds that God does heal

Please don’t doubt your beauty, because you really are
Beautiful not in spite of, but because of your scars
So show me your scars and I’ll show you mine
As we begin to walk together through time

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One Year Ago Today

May 10, 2013 I was terminated from a job that paid good money and that I thought would last me a very long time. Without even the decency to give me a reason,she stood over me while I gathered my things, walked me to the door of the building, and then that heffa had the nerve to tell me to have a good day. I barely made it to my car before I began to hyperventilate. That evening I wept bitterly, uncontrollably as I thought about my situation, my age, my education or lack thereof, my chances of being hired again anywhere, by anybody, making that kind of money, even though I had 20 years of experience. I felt hopeless.

In the following months I felt as if I had been humbled in a way I never thought I needed to be.  I felt like I had been brought lower than I'd ever been in my life. I felt like I had been brought down to nothing. Have you ever felt like NOTHING? I experienced fear like I never had before, for my well being, that of my daughters, where we would live, how we would eat, how I would pay my bills, etc. I sank so low, spending days in the bed weeping, with the covers over my head, falling asleep, and waking up to cry some more. I leaked tears for about 3 months, until my eyes began to have spasms and just flutter.

But in the midst of all of the pain and anguish, God showed me some things.  He showed me the kindness of others. He showed me that He could pay my bills without me making a certain amount of money. He showed me how people will take a leap of faith to help you, that when they help you, they may not even know how they can do it, but they obey Him, and help you. He showed me that the thing I feared so much was not going to happen to me. He showed me what I could do with so little. He showed me how people will out of the blue, put money in my hands just when I needed food or gas. I have received bags of meat that has lasted weeks, and enough gas to last a week...more than once.  He showed me a 50.00 bill in the parking lot of a store, right when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for the next few days. He showed me that all those tears I flooded my pillow with needed to come out because they were evidence of fear that had been hidden in my heart, but also that what I feared was nothing to be afraid of.  God showed me His FAITHFULNESS on a level that I'd never imagined I'd see in my own life.

He showed me that the fight I was in (am in) HE picked it for me because He knew I wouldn't pick this fight on my own. But I needed to be in this fight because it is preparation for what is to come. In the midst of letting me know that I can't snap my fingers and get out, He has shown me that He is with me every step of the way. I know Him in a way now that I never would have had I not been placed in this position.

Sunday, May 11, 2014


This Mother's Day I was realized that I needed to wish MYSELF a happy Mother's Day.  I was reminded of the many years I spent unable to conceive a child. I got married, read the story of how God "closed" and "opened" certain women's wombs and decided that I didn't need birth control. I just needed God to close my womb and open it when He was ready to give me babies. People told me I was crazy and that I would get pregnant on my wedding night. But I went to God and asked Him to keep me from getting pregnant for 9 months, since they thought I'd be giving birth in 9 months. (How's that for crazy faith?) Well 9 months turned into month after month, after year after year. Then 9 years, all the way to 12 years, and the entire ordeal brought me more pain that I'll ever be able to explain. Every month when my body reminded me that once again, I was not pregnant I suffered an emotional miscarriage. I grieved the loss of a child that I had not carried but hoped and believed I was carrying.

I suffered a lot of humiliation, to the point where I felt I had no more shame, at the hands of fertility experts, trying to find out why I wasn't getting pregnant. For a long time I had forgotten about the prayer I prayed.  Once I remembered that I'd prayed it, I figured God just didn't want me to have babies.  He didn't think I'd be a good mom. I wasn't good enough.

For all those years I felt less than, inadequate as a woman, unfeminine, and like a failure for not being able to do what every woman should be able to do. I questioned God about why He couldn't trust me to be a mother when I saw women whose children were physically dirty, like with patches of dirt on their skin, women who abused their children in many ways. I asked Him often, "You mean to tell me you can trust HER with a baby and not ME?" How screwed up was I?

But one day as I sat on the side of my bed, God asked me "Give me your babies".  I asked Him, "But what if you don't give them back?" And He said, "You'll have to trust me with them".  I said okay but didn't do it that time. We had this conversation once again, and after the second time I gave Him my babies. I let go. I decided to enjoy every advantages I had without children.  I decided to take advantage of all the freedom I had without having little ones to consider. But God being God, never asks us for anything that He doesn't have an amazing replacement for.  Whenever He asks us for something, it's because He wants to in turn give us back so much more.

I spent all those years crying, hoping, feeling bad about myself until one day I said to God, "I'm somebody's mama. If you're not going to give me a baby by birth, there's a baby out there somewhere who needs a mama. Bring me my baby".  And that's exactly what He did. Today I am somebody's mama.  3 somebody's to be exact. God gave me a miracle of adoption, and then a year later almost to the date, a miracle of birth. Then just a little over a year ago, a miracle of a teenage boy who decided to call me his Mama, and none of us knew that he was about to lose his own mother.

So for all the years and tears God has given back to me greater than what He asked me for that day sitting on the side of my bed. Not only my own babies, but I've written poetry that has helped bring at least 2 babies into the world for others and I've ministered to 2 women that I know of who went on to have children shortly after. I trusted Him with my babies, and He has shown me what He can do with what we trust Him with. He exceeds our expectations.

Even though you may not have endured a closed womb, may you read this and know that whatever it is that God is asking you to give to Him...whatever your baby is, He can take it and multiply it and give it back to you better than you could have imagined for yourself.  But isn't that what the word tells us?  He is able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all that we ask or imagine. He has done it for me, many others and He is waiting to do it for you!

I thank God for the mourning that He has turned to gladness. For that which He has given back to me in return for what I gave to Him. For my being able to say to MYSELF, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Joy Set Before You

We know the purpose of taking tests and exams but we still don't like them.  We still wish there was another way to pass besides actually taking the test. We know they are necessary if we are going to receive promotions, graduations, diplomas and degrees. But most people could do without them if it were possible.
It's the same way with the seasons of testing we have to endure in our walk with God. We know they are coming. We even know when we are being prepared for them. But when they start, we really want them to stop immediately. But just as we have to submit to the process of testing in order to get whatever certification we want in the natural, we have to submit to God’s way of preparing us, certifying, perfecting us, for the purposes we have to fulfill in our lives and ministries.
We are all called and appointed to do something and like it or not, there are seasons of testing in which we prove what we have been shouting about, what we have told others that God said to us.
Nobody wants to repeat a grade or class.  As uncomfortable as it is, we really would rather just do what we have to do, and learn what we need to learn so we can move on to the greater.  Let’s do the same thing with the seasons of testing that we have to endure as Christians. Even Christ had to have endurance. He despised the cross but He focused on the joy that was set before Him, on the other side of the cross. There is joy on the other side of the cross you are bearing right now.  Hold on. Submit to the process. Joy is coming!

Friday, March 7, 2014


DISTRACTIONS can be deadly in more ways than one. They can get you killed physically, or get you off track and kill your God-given opportunities. They appear so real, and the feelings are often so strong that you believe it's true, even though you can't explain it.  I suppose then that a rule of thumb should be, if you can't explain it, question it whether or not it's coming from God, for He is not the author of confusion.  Even when God is leading you in a path that you can't understand, there is still, always and element of peace working, holding you together.  When you can't sense that peace, you should know that you are dealing with an enemy of distraction and you need to shake yourself loose from it and get back on track. 

Whatever you do, DO NOT walk away from anything you're doing in the kingdom when you're "feeling" this way. You're steps away from forfeiting all God has planned for your very near future. Even if you step out of line for a moment, it can be a moment that will cost you what God has been preparing you for and you for it. As close as some of us are to our next breakthrough, the smallest of decisions can wreck our whole future. I know that you don't want to experience that any more than I do!  I really do want ALL that God has for me and I know you do too.

Spirits of frustration and distraction usually have us focus on all the times we were let down in the past.  We tend to linger in the hurt and return to it because we have not yet found a new place of comfort in God. We revert back to the comfort of the painfully familiar and as soon as or very soon after we revert back, we realize that we've been duped...again!  How and why does this keep happening?!  The same types of relationships, the same bouts of depression, the same feeling of being overwhelmed and feeling helpless. While some of you are reading this, you're recognizing some of the same old same old battles you fight from time to time, aren't you?


Do you struggle with always feeling like you're just outside of everything good that is happening?  Do you find yourself always just a couple of steps behind the blessing?  Do you notice or feel like you're always getting to an open door just as it is closing in your face? Do you feel like you're always right within arm's reach, always within close range, but never quite close enough...only close enough to see others, one by one, grab hold of everything you knew was there, and thought for sure was yours too? Do you constantly find yourself asking the question, "Why does this keep happening to me?" or "Lord, what's wrong with me?"  Do you find yourself having the conversation in your head and saying, "They're no better than I am", or even, "They're not even as good as I am!", but for some reason, they are there, and here you are with your questions?  Do you often find yourself toggling between realizing the greatness inside of you, and feeling inadequate and unnoticed. Do you grapple with commitment and follow through?


It's time to take down this giant.  I will call it a giant bug, when it's upon you, it feels so much larger than you and seems to overwhelm you, and it can do an enormous amount of damage, but in actuality, it is nothing but a bug that should be squashed under your foot.
Think back to the times when you felt so close to something big, good, great...and then what happened next?  The next thing that happened was that you found yourself wondering, "What in the world happened? I was so close, I could feel it, taste it". That's the next thing you remember but it's not the next thing that actually happened. What actually happened next was, you got distracted, and then you found yourself with those questions.

Many of us have lived with so much negativity for so long that it's as normal to us as breathing.  We don't even think about it, and we only really notice it when it is troubled or interrupted in some way. It's the same when we speak negatively or when we fall time after time into the trap of distractions. We must become as passionate about fulfilling our purpose as we are about breathing. We need to become so sensitive to anything that interrupts our chasing of our dreams and visions that we recognize it as soon as it rears it's ugly head, not after the damage is done. If you inhale something that makes you ill, or cuts off your air; if you find yourself in a closed in place that causes you to panic and struggle to breathe, your immediate goal is to get away from it, or out of it, and never go anywhere near it again.  But with distractions, we don't recognize them for what they are so we fall again and again into the same ditches and traps and we continue the cycle of defeat. How pathetic we must look to some people who believe that we have so much more to offer than they do, but unlike them, we lack focus, and the ability to see a distraction for what it really is.

Your distractions may be very different from mine.  We all have to do this soul searching on a personal level.  We all have to take the time to slow down, and open our hearts up to the Spirit of God so that He can begin to point this enemy out to us in our own lives. There is so much empowerment in knowledge. Begin to pray now and ask the Teacher to teach you how to identify the distractions that keep backing you into corners, stopping you in your tracks, beating you to the punch, and down to your knees in defeat.  Ask Him to shine the light of His truth on it and point it out, so that you can see it for what it is, and kick it out once and for all. Ask Him to help you to get your ears unclogged so that you may be able to hear His voice teaching you over the voice of your enemy telling you everything you can't or won't do or be. 

We all know that the devil is a lie. The problem is we don't always recognize his voice when he's talking so we take ownership of his lies, believing them to be the truth. But the cycle can stop and with the help of God, it will stop!  Agree with me that it stops today! Agree with God that it is not your destiny to live your life just outside of all He has promised to you and is preparing your for. Declare that you will possess all and walk in all that you have been called to possess, and walk in. You will become who you really are!  The things you have suffered and endured were not for nothing. There is a reward, a breakthrough, a promotion with your name on it and you will not be distracted into missing out on the fulfillment of God's promise over your life!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Shut Down Before You Shut Down

It's fine when you can run and run and go and go without even thinking about it...but one thing about the body, the heart, the soul of you, when it gets tired, it's going to get the rest it needs one way or the other, with or without your willing participation. Running the streets ain't cute. It's setting you up for a shut-down. Between work, household, family, church, and everything in between, your life can feel so full. But then one day out of the blue, full begins to feel empty. Adrenaline can switch over to exhaustion and fatigue. If what you've done up until that point had nothing much to do with true purpose, you will need some help navigating through what you will experience at that time or you will find yourself battling a different level of depression than you ever imagined. 
I don't care if it's ministry, motherhood, marriage, entrepreneurship or whatever, the most precious commodity in all of it, the most important person, the most valuable asset, is YOU.

There will come a day when your body will send a simple message to you, "Either you lay down, or I'll shut down". That message will ring so loudly and so clearly that you may wonder if someone else hears it. Most people won't notice and even when you make the decision to shut some things down yourself, it will look to others more like a breakdown than a shut down. But if you don't shut down, a breakdown in inevitable. Your gifts won't matter, Money won't matter. As much as you need one, a job won't matter. What people are expecting of you won't matter. All that will matter to you is avoiding what you feel in your soul and body about to happen, that is scaring the crap out of you, not to mention you don't feel you have to tools or ability to stop, change or fix it, but you know you have to do it.

Maybe personality types play a major role in what I'm talking about. They probably do. So for some, these words mean nothing, but for others it can mean saving you a lot of difficulty as you go through the next few seasons, or this season you're in now.

If you are one who knows how to stop everything and take care of YOU, I beg you, don't ever stop. If you are one who has never really done this but have always found yourself trying to please, appease, or live up to others' expectations, this will be a challenge for you. As much as you need it, it won't come easy, but it is absolutely necessary for you to learn. It will be like finally, in the middle of your life, (which is probably more like the last third or quarter of your life depending on when you die, and none of us knows that day) coming into your own.

There are some things that you will have to overcome when you try to get back to yourself.  There is a guilt that emerges at the very thought of you saying, "I'm not going to be able to do that", or "I don't want to do that", or "I've changed my mind about that".  You literally feel like you're committing a sin or treating someone unfairly when you think in the direction of putting yourself first. People have come to depend on your predictability. Yours is one of the faces that they can count on seeing. They may be clueless to the fact that you yearn for so much more than just being there for them or others. But then again, it's your job, not theirs for you to fulfill the true desires of your heart and God's heart for you. It's not their job, but yours to stop breaking promises to yourself about the things you are going to do by this time next year, or next week, or next month or for your next birthday. It's your job to shut it down, before it shuts you down. If you shut it down, you may or may not ruffle a few feathers but if you wait too late, not only will your body begin to shut down, but you will find yourself being shut down, or shut out by others, because you're no good to anybody, like this.

So please, stop everything. Do absolutely nothing or do something that you want to do just for you. If you can't afford a mani/pedi, take an extra long soak in the tub, or soak your feet in a small tub of hot water. Play some relaxing music, or play some of your old favorites and dance like you used to, or like you do now. :-) Find some real fulfillment in doing what your soul is begging you to do, write, paint, draw, sing, pull out the business idea and start working on it again. Many of us are exhausted not from working, but from being drained from working on everything except purpose. This is where you get to be completely selfish, and it's completely okay. Find your life. Find yourself again. You haven't gone anywhere. You're still in there. That cry in your heart, is you crying out, to be allowed to come out. The pain you feel in your soul is birth pains. You are trying to give birth to the real you. Do what you have to do to get you out. 

Monday, January 13, 2014


While walking through this current season of testing I've found myself thinking (toward God) that if it was just me involved and not my daughters, I wouldn't have such a problem with thinking about what's going to happen, where I'll live, where I'll go.  I wouldn't have to worry about two other people who are really fully dependent upon me.  It wouldn't be so hard to go through, I think.  I guess in my own little fleshly mind I've been trying to correct God about how He is choosing to walk me through what I have to go through on the way to where I'm going. You see, it's been as if I've been telling God that He's messing up my girls' futures by what He's making them have to walk through with me.   

But as always, He has a word of correction that settles the issue in no more than one or two sentences. I was in the bathroom sweeping and once again I thought, "It would be one thing if I was going through this by myself, but I have the girls to think about. I have to think about where they go to school. I have to think about how many times we've had to move and still may have to move". But the Holy Spirit spoke to me and asked me a simple question that was just as much a statement as it was a question, "What if what they are going through with you is preparing them for the life that God already has prepared for them?"

Suddenly it all makes more sense.  It sort of settles this issue once and for all.  My daughters are not suffering unnecessarily any more than I am. There is purpose for all of our lives.Their lives, their futures, even that which God has called and ordained for them to do for the kingdom are embedded in my own. He gave them to me because the life He has ordained for them starts with me, and not just the good stuff, but also the not so good stuff plays a very important role in their futures. Everything they are seeing, watching, experiencing, witnessing while living life as my daughters is adding to their own personal testimonies, and preparing them for the life He has already planned for them. 

It's building up God's resume with them by everything they see Him do for me, for us, when we walk through challenging times. As they grow into adulthood and step into other areas of life on their own, many things will be brought to their remembrance.  When they cry, they will remember my tears, and they will remember that I didn't cry forever. They will remember that I laughed again.  They will remember how I bounced back, every single time, how I felt so scared and discouraged at times, but then remember how God stepped in and did what only He could do.  They will remember how people helped us when we needed it most. They will remember that God always took care of us.  They are learning way more than I probably can imagine and everything they are learning is preparing them to walk through life in their own relationships with God.

God won't start thinking about my girls somewhere in their future. He has always had them on His mind, engraved in the palm of His hand, since the beginning of time. He knew them both personally before He ever formed the worlds.  His thoughts toward them, according to Jeremiah 29:11 are just as His thoughts towards me. He knew before He placed them in the womb that they would be given to me, and He has an expected end, a future and a hope for all of us! Thank You Lord, for letting me know that you are taking care of all of us, every day, in every situation and all our futures are secure in YOU!