Tuesday, July 28, 2015

When I Got Tired (pt 2)

I filed for a legal separation so that child support payments could start right away. It wasn’t much, but my point wasn’t so much about how much child support would be, but about being one step closer to divorce. Quite a few people thought I was crazy for leaving him and the things we had and even thought that I was lying on him when I would talk about what it was like living with him.  I guess that like him, they were caught up in the image.  Didn’t they know that I created the image they saw?  It didn’t have to be real.  It just had to be what I created.  But because of what they saw from a distance and the outside, they concluded that I was crazy or as he put it, under the influence of witchcraft.

I chose to go to my mother’s house. She later told me that when she saw me coming up on her porch I looked like was running from the “pure dee devil”. Me and my babies slept in her extra bedroom for a few weeks until my brother came and took the bed because he said he needed it. I wondered if part of the reason he did that was to try and force my hand, figuring that if I had to sleep on the floor I would take my butt back home to my husband where I “belonged”.  Church folks do stuff like that sometimes.  They take it upon themselves to put you in positions to do what they think you should do. Well, all I have to say about that is, “Sike!” I took quilts and blankets, pillows and sheets and I slept on my mother’s living room floor with my babies for 3 months.  My mother told me that I “slept like them babies on that floor”, so I couldn’t have been lying about the things I said I had gone through with him. She said if I had been lying, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep so peacefully.  I had no idea that she would come in sometimes during the night and sit in the chair next to us, watch us and go back to sleep. I did wake up a few mornings and wondered when she had come in and sat in the chair.  I guess I was “sleeping like them babies” not to notice someone coming into the room and sitting over me in a chair.

From there I went to a roach infested 1 bedroom apt. When I say roach infested that’s exactly what I mean. I only put a few can goods in the cabinets and when I would go to open the cabinets, I would have to step back because whenever I opened them, roaches would leap out. There was also a mouse that traveled back and forth between the first and second floors, and plumbing that flooded the hallway right outside my door. But I was at peace.  From there we moved to a 2 bedroom apartment with horrible LOUD neighbors (who I knew from a church I used to go to). My babies had to get used to the noise without thinking that something bad was happening. My entire living room and hallway was flooded at least twice because the neighbors on the two floors above me put the wrong things down their garbage disposal. But I had peace. In the mean time I had to file bankruptcy because of so many bills that had been accumulated during the marriage. I didn’t realize at the time that when he was encouraging me to have credit cards in my name, it was insurance for him in the event of a divorce. From there I bought my first home on my own only to end up in a bankruptcy and foreclosure, to a duplex, back to my mom’s house where I’d slept on the floor for 3 months. Only this time it was after my mom had passed and I had bought it.

When you get TIRED, you’ll get the hell out.  It won’t matter how much he buys you, or what you have to walk away from.  You’ll go to a shelter, a one room studio, move in with someone and sleep on their floor, sleep in the bed with your babies, put up with roaches for a while, anything to have peace of mind and safety. When you get tired you’ll change your mind about what’s worth fighting for. You’ll come to the conclusion that YOU are the thing that’s worth fighting for, and if you have little ones, they are worth for, not some image that you’ve created for the sake of keeping up appearances. When you get tired of dying, you’ll choose to live.

When I Got Tired (pt 1)

After so many years, pretty much the entire marriage, of doing everything I thought I should do to be enough for him, I finally realized that I wasn’t the one who was crazy. Maybe I was crazy, but I wasn’t the only one who was. The difference between me and him, I discovered, was that I wanted to be better. I wanted to grow. I felt like there was more to life, like there should be some happiness. I guess he was happy with things the way they were and couldn’t understand what my problem was. I suppose that whatever he envisioned for his life, either we had it, or we had exceeded it, and he was completely satisfied. But I was dying and it was because that marriage and my overall environment was slowly killing me.

When I was 7 months pregnant with our baby, he was frustrated because I had only let him touch me once since my 3rd month.  I had shut down.  I was constantly thinking about how to get out. I had planned to leave sooner but when I found out I was pregnant, I felt it would be better to stay with him until after the baby was born. I was extremely depressed, and I didn’t know how high my blood pressure was due to him worrying me so badly.  One day I was sitting at the breakfast bar in the kitchen and he was in the family room. We were having another disagreement, probably about money, and I felt the atmosphere change again and began to get quiet.  This angered him more and he said, “Let me get out of this house before I have to hurt somebody”.  Excuse me?  Ain’t nobody here but you, me, with your baby in my belly, and our 1 year old daughter.  Who the hell are you gonna HURT!!!!   Your pregnant wife?  Your unborn child?  Your toddler? WTH! When he said it he walked past me to leave, and with one hand he did a huge sweep and everything on the breakfast counter went flying all over the kitchen floor. I froze.  And that moment I said to myself, “he just gave me my way out”.

You might wonder why I felt like I needed a “way out”.  If I wanted to leave, I was a grown woman.  Why not just leave?  My answer is upbringing,  environment, religious teaching.  We were taught that women didn’t leave their husbands.  It wasn’t even an option or something to be brought up unless the woman was being referred to as a Jezebel type, or a woman who had walked away from God.  We were taught to stay there and pray and try to do all the right things and wait on God to work it out. Because of my upbringing it was embedded in me that I was responsible for making it right. So I’d concluded that what I needed was for him to give me a “reason”, and this incident became my reason, my grounds.  What I’d really wished for years was that he would cheat on me or at least get caught cheating on me.  But I guess if I was going to use some kind of sexual misconduct as grounds for divorce I should have done it years before when he behaved inappropriately with a few family members.

He came back a little while later (for some reason I was still sitting in that spot, probably petrified) and stood next to me and asked what I wanted.  Did I want to separate? (as if that was a standard question to ask at that time)  I wanted to separate because I knew it was my avenue to divorce.  But I thought against saying it at the moment because he was still angry.  His eyes still had that slightly crazed look in them, and the atmosphere around him hadn’t shifted back just yet.  I didn’t say anything and decided to wait until he calmed down. To be honest, I believe I heard the Holy Spirit advise me not to say anything until he was completely calmed down.  It took a few months but it finally happened.

You see, I didn’t need to tell him that I wanted to separate from him while he was angry. That wouldn’t be safe. I had to wait it out. That one blow up let me know that it would only be a matter of time before I would have my moment, my open door. I was also still considering that I wanted to wait until after the baby was born. I went through my last two months of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and when she was about 4 months old it happened. The newness of the baby had begun to wear off, and there had been more frustration with me not allowing him to touch me. The first and only time he tried, I pushed him off. I decided once and for all that if I’m not going to let him touch me, I should leave. I thought it would be downright cruel to live in the house with a man and refuse him sexually, especially since we were married.

One day we were riding in the car, having just left my brother’s house and he asked again what I wanted to do and if I wanted to separate. I was still cautious until I could clearly hear his tone of voice and sense the atmosphere in the car. It was interesting how he was saying all the things that it seemed he thought he should say at the moment.  It was like he thought he was playing the role in a drama that he had seen other people play, and he had it down pat. I didn’t feel that he was reaching out to me from his heart.  I felt like he was going through all the lines he knew he should say, and then I would say what I was supposed to say, and then we would make up, and then he would get to go to church and preach about it.  But he had no idea. When he stopped talking I quietly said, “I want to separate”.  He also had no idea that my statement that I wanted to separate was loaded.  I knew that for me, separating was an automatic first step to getting my divorce and finally being free of him. It seemed as if he was both surprised and not so surprised when I told him I wanted to separate. He still knew the next set of lines he would need to say, so he began to ask me questions about how long we should be apart, and did I want to go stay with my mother for a few days, or maybe his mother. Not once did he volunteer to leave, especially considering that the babies would be with me.  This was the first sign that as much as he wanted to make me believe he loved me, he loved something else a lot more. Throughout our whole ordeal of separation and divorce he had no clue that I was listening to his statements and responses and coming to understand that he didn’t love me nearly as much as he loved his image with me, the image we created together, or better yet, that I created of us, and the things he’d been able to obtain as a result of being with me. His first love wasn’t me or even God, it was money.  So I figured, “Fine.  You can have it. The house, everything. But you’ll never touch me again”. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

You Be Able!

The job I was hired for...I saw it online but didn't even consider applying for it. After 7 years of searching for permanent employment, and hardly ever even getting called back for interviews, I applied for what LIFE had left me believing I had the best chance at. But after I was interviewed I was selected for the very position that I didn't think I would qualify for. When I saw my official title I almost cried.

Life has beat some of you up so badly that you've picked up the stick to finish the job on yourself. But if you pray and ask God to lead you in the direction that HE would have you to go,  and give you what HE wants you to have, He will take you further than you believe you can go, which might just be right back to that thing you passed by because you lacked confidence. This may not be just about a job for someone, but I want to let you know...
You DO qualify.  You ARE capable and ABLE to do it. Yes, you are worthy and you are worth it. Somewhere someone is waiting and watching for you and they will be glad when you show up.

Moment of Transparency: You Will Regret Not Doing It

This pic shows the look you just may have on your face when you see someone doing exactly what you know God told you to do, but you made excuses not to.

There will be a season of grace from God that He will give you to use what He has given you. After that season is up you will begin to see it and hear it from others. This is going to hurt your heart. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem at the time that you put off doing it, once you see someone else going forth with it, it may just mean the world to you, because as small as it seemed at the time, you did acknowledge God  for giving you the idea. You're going to remember the notes you wrote on it, the plans, all of it...all of the strategies that He gave you that you did not use. You're going to remember the times that you kept it to yourself for fear that someone would "steal" it, and you're going to wish with all your heart that you had done what you were supposed to do. Coming along after the fact and saying, "God gave me that years ago" or "months ago", makes you look like someone who is all talk and no action (which might actually be true). It won't do anything but prove that you didn't move forward in faith when God clearly gave you His blessing to do so. You need to understand that He gave you His blessing when He gave you the idea and the plan. Once you're clear that He's doing the talking, be clear on the fact that He's got your back. You waste precious time waiting for people to come along and support you without understanding that when God gave it to you to do, He was letting you know that you had HIS support, And if God be for you.... (Romans 8:31)

Saying, "What God has for me is for me", is not always true. Some things He has to do because it is a matter of helping you to fulfill His ultimate purpose in you. Other things He will promise only  as a condition of your obedience to His instruction or leading. In those cases you can't walk in disobedience and still lay claim to the blessing that was a condition of obedience.

Many years ago, as I was going through one of the hardest times of my life I began to write poetry. The Lord let me know  that His plan was for me to publish books of that poetry. He gave me the name, The Parchments, and the scripture that I based the title on (I Timothy 4:13). I was also to publish a book of romantic poetry, but The Parchments was supposed to be published first. The Parchments was going to be a ministry tool to help and encourage people. I was excited about the idea of publishing but I had to wait on God's timing.  In the meantime though, in order to keep me from becoming relaxed about what I was to do, the Lord gave me a dream. I dreamed that I was watching television, and saw a man being interviewed about his project, The Parchments. In this interview he was talking about the things that the Lord had given me to do! My heart sank! I realized that I hadn't done what God had given me to do and now God had given it to someone else who had taken it and run with it, and here he was on television talking about it! That was supposed to be ME! When I awoke from that dream I still had that sinking feeling, but  I was determined that no one would get a chance to go forward with something that God had given me but I refused to go forward with.

More recently though, it happened in real life. There was something that the Lord had given to me years ago when I thought I was going to be over a particular ministry. I had come up with the name and the slogan, had made plans for activities, meetings, discussions, all of it. For whatever reason that didn't happen, but I still had the slogan which, although was originally for that ministry, could be used in all of life. I never used it or shared it. Honestly I felt small compared to so many others and felt that it might be taken and used by someone with more notoriety. You see, I knew it came from God. I knew and know that my gift is strong and that I am anointed by God to do it. I know that there is power in my words. I just felt that my platform was too small and that any following I'd have would be too small, or just big enough for someone more popular to get hands on it and get "credit" for it and leave me sitting somewhere  saying, "He/She got that from me". So for years I held it back waiting for the time when I thought I could go forth with it without having someone more popular taking it from me. (Did I not say this was a moment of transparency?) 

Years passed and then one day it happened, I heard someone on the radio using it.  Now let me be clear; this wasn't someone on the radio in another city who I didn't know. The Lord gave it to someone close to me, who I hadn't shared it with. The next time I saw it somewhere was online. Someone in my connections  who I hadn't spoken to about it (remember I was afraid to share it with anybody for fear that it would be taken) was using it while talking about their new project. Again, not someone I didn't know. It goes to show that the Lord will let you see how He doesn't have to go far away from you to find someone who will focus on doing what He gives them and not who will get credit for it. The truth is, HE gets credit for it. The glory is not ours, but HIS. Is He not the one who gives the idea and strategy in the first place? So my attitude was all wrong anyway! I was a vessel trying to make sure I got credit as if I was the creator. Upon seeing this, I was reminded of many other things that God has given me to do and was also reminded that I'd better hop to it because you know, this is not a good feeling.

There are many of us who are born and chosen of God to be leaders in all we do. The calling and anointing is there. The gifts are there, and the favor of God to support those gifts is also given to us. Some will do all that God has placed in their hands to do while others will do only some of it, and others still will do nothing but make excuses. For everything that God gives you and for every excuse that you use not to do it, you will come to regret it. He will give it to someone else, and He will allow you to see it.

No matter what you may have to do to make it happen, just remember something that my oldest brother said years ago while he was preaching, "THE POWER TO SUCCEED IS IN THE COMMAND TO DO". This means that even if you don't have the ability or the means to accomplish something, the moment God speaks to you to do it, the power and means for you to get it done are in His words and if you agree with His words, they will not return to Him void, (Isaiah 55:11)but they will be accomplished. God cannot lie, so if He gives you instructions, your ability to carry out those instructions are in His instructions.

God has promised to prosper what you do, so Whatever He
is giving you to do for the kingdom, do it. (Psalm 1:3)

Refer to Matthew 25:14-30, especially vs 28

1. You’re bigger than you think you are.
2. People you admire and look up to admire and look up to you.
3. You may feel unimportant, but people are waiting with bated breath for you to speak or do whatever it is that you are supposed to do.
4. People with lesser talent or ability will be used by God because of their willingness while you, with greater ability, sit on the sidelines criticizing them, all because you made excuses.
5. You are waiting for the “right time” when in actuality, the right time is now. The Lord will always let you know when you need to wait a while. If He doesn’t say WAIT, you need to be MOVING.
6. REMEMBER: Just like the Lord gave it to someone else because you didn’t use it, He probably gave it to you because someone before you didn’t use it.
7. You, the created vessel should never try to take credit for something as if you are the creator.
8. God won’t give you anything that can’t be a blessing to others and that He can’t get the glory out of.
10. What God gives you to do is great. It is a big deal. It is important. People will want to use it and share it, because it is good. That’s the whole point!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Receive BETTER!

If you are holding onto to how good something USED TO BE, and you keep trying to revive something that died years ago and has returned to the dust form whence it came...PLEASE LET IT GO! 

I understand about keeping the faith. I understand about not giving up. But there are times when you keep brushing off the feeling that maybe you should look elsewhere, expand your vision, and allow yourself to see things from another perspective. You keep brushing God off even though He's asking you to give Him a chance to show you that He has more than one way to BLESS you and that what He wants to give you now is way more than the corpse you keep trying to revive.  

You're trying to be noticed again. You're trying to be appreciated again. (if you ever really were) You're waiting for the people you've always dealt with to forget about the stuff they "heard about you", and it's never going to happen. You're trying to be good enough, prove yourself, you're studying and rehearsing what you're going to say. You're trying to dress right, look right, you're second-guessing your responses and beating your head against the wall trying to figure out how to regain what the LORD BLESSED YOU TO LOSE. 

Somewhere along the line, because of how good things USED to be you convinced yourself that it could never be better than that, so like a junkie or crack addict, you continue to waste months and years chasing that original feeling. You're afraid that no matter where you go or who you deal with they won't be able to make you feel the way that dead thing used to...BUT THAT'S NOT TRUE. Ask God to enlarge your borders. He really does have something greater for you. Open your hand to receive the answer that the Lord is trying to give to you, and not what you are trying to hold on to. Open your mouth and begin to speak by faith, I RECEIVE BETTER. 

The Lord will exceed your expectation. He will give you what the others NEVER would have considered giving you!
If you receive better by faith, you will RECEIVE BETTER in your life! 
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Thursday, July 23, 2015


I've noticed how some people LOOOVE to talk themselves up by saying that the Lord has been showing them that they need to cut some people loose, mainly, and usually, because according to them God said, "They can't go where you're going" or something along the lines of one's level as opposed to their level. Though this is true at times I would like to give you something else to consider...

It could be that the Lord is nudging you to cut back or cut ties with someone and it has nothing to do with levels or where you're going that they can't go. It could be that it's because what YOU don't know that GOD KNOWS  is that they really don't want to be bothered with YOU half the time. They tolerate YOU. People put up with things and other people all the time that they hate for whatever reason, and then eventually there is a blow out that could be avoided if you would only obey the Lord's leading. Consider that He's trying to spare YOUR feelings, because if you don't, you just might wish with all your heart that you did. Sometimes people hurt you out of jealousy, but sometimes people hurt you because they simply don't like you and the only way THEY know how to be rid of you is to hurt you bad enough to make you leave. They are better at causing injury than simply doing what the Lord is leading YOU to do. Don't concentrate on being stabbed in the back. Consider that people stab you in the back because they don't like you to begin with.

Avoid the blow up. Avoid the betrayal. Avoid that thing that will seemingly come from out of nowhere and break your heart. If the Spirit of God is leading you to back away, BACK AWAY, for your OWN sake and protection. Eventually you may see very clearly why you needed to distance yourself even though the Lord probably won't give you those details in the beginning. But for now, don't get caught up in the "they're not on my level" cliche`, and just obey God. It's not always that deep, but if you disobey, it might end up being deeper than you want it to be.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Life Lesson: Your Delay

I got to my drug screen appointment at 9:30 but I forgot to drink water ahead of time.  Who does that? Anyway I had to drink water and wait...30 minutes...45 minutes...two cups of water and NOTHING. There was just me and the lady who works there. 50 minutes later a young lady came in with her little boy. She was told he wasn't allowed to be left alone. She said she won't be able to come back. She was going to go put him in the car to wait for her. The woman told her, "You can't leave your baby in that car.These people will call the police on you." She allowed her to get him situated so she could get her screening done. She told him to come sit next to me which I didn't mind.
2 or 3 minutes later she's done and they are on their way. Then it occurred to me. The Lord already knew that had I remembered to drink water, I would have been "ready" as soon as I got there and long gone by the time that girl got their with her son. She would have been sent away, unable to get her screening done for her new job. What's my point?