THE REAL DEAL

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THE REAL DEAL, is it luck or love?

Just to keep it real… I am putting a spin on what’s really on the table this Thanksgiving holiday.

Ah… November… there are so many great things to say about it because it’s always a month to remember. Of all the days in this month can you guess which one I love the most? Coming from this natural born foodie, you may assume Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite because it’s the day we purposefully plan to give thanks for everything we are blessed to have loaded up on our plates but in truth, for me the greatest day of all is always the day after Thanksgiving. Not because of the big black Friday deals, but because of all that is leftover after spending a day of giving thanks for and with all that you love.

Of course, I relish the opportunity to revisit every thing I have been previously blessed to enjoy upon my plate each year but there is something amongst this year’s leftovers that I never considered giving thanks for… what life actually dished out.

Chips and Dips

Recent events have caused me to lean in a little closer to get a real look at what I hold in hand and with all the chips on the table, I realized in my past love-life, I have more dips that have been dished out than I would like to choose from. Suddenly, looking at the hand I have been dealt, I am faced with two very important questions.

#1 Am I really, truly grateful for it all?

AND…

#2 Am I still in?

Take a look at your cards because it’s time to ante up. You may be sitting there, with a straight laced poker face, wondering how we ended up at a card table this year to give thanks… WELL… let me explain.

Earlier this month, on a trip to a lovely little chapel in Vegas, I had the honor of witnessing my sister make a vow to love a man not just for the rest of her life, but for the rest of his and into eternity. Now to be in love is one thing but to be “ALL IN”…. in love… is quite another altogether. You see, my sister had already spent more than 30 years enjoying all life had to offer with this man… so, in a heart to heart conversation with her I had to ask “Why now?” Without skipping a beat, she explained how she made him a promise a long time ago to love and take care of him for the rest of her life and since he asked… she couldn’t refuse. During their spoken vows, my sister now being well over the age of 50 and him being 79, I thought about the words they were agreeing to and what they really meant. And I believe this is the real reason people cry at weddings…. “For better or worse, in sickness and in health, I promise to honor and cherish you all the days of my life”. Saying I do, with the latter part of their lives together ahead, the reality hit me that they were promising to continue to love when all that life has to offer could start to lack it’s luster. In short… she was going all in.

With all the cards laid out on the table, in a moments time, I considered the hand I have been dealt and deliberated the good and the bad. Then I thought how it’s easy to give thanks and joyfully jump in when I know I am looking forward to partaking in all I favor and savor. Now, after I have had my fill on all that has been dished out and what is leftover is all that remains… am I just as eager or am I ready to fold? In other words do I count the joy in dealing with  the times I am presented with the dirty dishes as much as I do the filled ones?

The gamble in choosing to love

With all the ups and downs in life and love, realistically speaking, once you’re over the hill luck has little to do with it. You can count on seeing more of the valley than the mountain top, unless you’re committed to always look up!

For an enduring love, consider this…

James 1: 2-4

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Again… revisiting what is leftover today, I will wrap up my thoughts on whether true joy in life comes from luck or love, with a statement made by the mister that married my sister in Vegas. He said “to anyone thinking about asking me if I like to gamble… I don’t have to gamble because I hit the jackpot already!”

The short trip I took down the aisle in that little chapel in Las Vegas revealed more than just the things worth revisiting on memory lane. It reminded me that without a doubt, there’s no such thing as luck in my “loved-life”… and that is a glorious discovery.

The real deal is… the greatest truth  in the pursuit for love and happiness is that neither come from the hand you are dealt, they come from the hand you are holding. “Say what?” you may retort, “Isn’t that the same thing?” To which I say…

My love… it’s not the same thing at all.

Though on love #13:

Choosing to love all the time, in good times and bad is not easy but the reward in doing so is a joy that helps you through all the storms your love will endure.

The joy of my salvation… is knowing true love!

Something In The Air

 

 A LIL’ MORE THAN HOT AIR

 

 

The other day, in conversation, a friend apologized for having what they thought was bad breath.

“I’m so sorry” she said, guarding her mouth with her hand.

“For what?” I replied.

“My breath!”

She immediately explained that what she ate for breakfast had so much fresh garlic, cilantro and onions in it that it seemed to be lingering and ruminating in the air and between her and I, though she brushed and did all she could to prevent it from having that effect, she was embarrassed that it was affecting me. But it wasn’t. I wondered if I made a face or gesture that triggered her concern but in the end she said it must only be her that smells it or I am just too nice to say that it’s putting me off. I thought to myself, I love the smell of those three things, so I am not sure it would have put me off anyways, but I didn’t smell anything still.

We laughed it off together, and I did my best to try to reassure her that the evident experience she was having, as a result of her morning choices, was in no way impacting me the same. However, she remained self-concious about it afterward and still continued to cover her mouth and apologized with explanation again as another approached to join our coversation.

This made me think…

How often am I hyper sensitive to the lingering effects of my prior choices? And… how much does it affect my interaction with others and most important of all, my interaction with my most significant other… God?

It’s funny how we can tend to focus on all the wrong things and do so often in our relationships. Especially, the most important ones; the one with God, our spouses or significant other and ourselves.

Dale Carnegie, one of the leaders and experts on relationships, in his amazing book “How to win Friends and Influence People” speaks a lot on the topic of focusing on what’s positive in our interaction with others. His very first principle is actually “Don’t criticize,  condemn or complain” and it is first for a reason.

God knows and apparently Dale Carnegie does too; it’s extremely hard not to focus on the negative but whether we do or not has the greatest effect on us and everyone we interact with. We are easily drawn to the negative and are critical and offer complaint more often than anything else in our relationship with Him, as well as ourselves and others.

So on this Sunday morning, as I prepare to go to His house, where I hope to meet with Him and am looking forward to Him speaking to me… I’m thinking of what, if anything, will have an affect that may hinder our conversation.

Will it be what He is focusing on or what I am? He already knows all that’s on my plate and what I have to put out on the prayer table this morning. I think He is preparing me for what He has cooking.

Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

Just a little food for thought this morning. Hope you enjoy what is served up enough to join me again!

Lord!! Help me in my prayers and praise to you. That what I bring before you focuses on all that you are doing that is good. May it fill your house with a pleasant aroma that revives you’re spirit in me. In every sense, REVIVAL is what I need!

Thought on love #12:

If you are spoken for….

Reviving your love takes more than just focusing on what you are doing in love. It involves focusing on what the one who truly loves us all has done, is doing and has promised to do.

His love is good, all the time. All the time, His love is good! I AM Spoken for.

True Loves Truths

TRUTH IS…

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What you want is far from what you need

TRUTH IS…

Seeing growth requires more than just the planted seed

TRUTH IS…

For some… feeling only exists where there is pain

TRUTH IS…

To see the rainbow… you must withstand the rain

TRUTH IS…

There must be darkness for you to see the light

TRUTH IS…

Great joy comes the morning after surviving the longest night

TRUTH IS…

Deep love hurts deeply… but He did dive in none the less

TRUTH IS…

True love is worth the cost, I know cause’ He paid my unparalleled debt

TRUTH IS…

The scars that remain are the proof of love’s perfect sacrifice

TRUTH IS…

You don’t care but to do it again and again… He doesn’t even think twice.

TRUTH IS…

He knows you have been holding back because you don’t want to start feeling again

TRUTH IS…

Truth hurts therefore the truest of love will give cause enough to endure the greatest pain ’til the end.

ME in the mirror.

Thought on love #11:

True love can truly be a pain but what comes out in the wash is worth withstanding all the rain.

Loving the TSA

MADE MY CONNECTION

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Ready to get on board? Need to make that one last connection before take off? How about this one…

“The TSA rules”

“Take off your shoes, hat, jacket, and belt or anything with metal on it and place them in a bin. Put all of your personal items in a separate bin and place your bag on the belt.” He says, as another points me in the direction I must go. After successfully passing through the body scanner, I head over to the conveyer belt to retrieve my carry on and find it being pulled aside for further inspection. Putting on sterile gloves and unzipping my bag,  the TSA agent asks “Do you have anything in here that is sharp or could be considered hazardous or harmful material?” With pierced lips “I hope not” I say.

Everyone loves the TSA, right?

Well, I don’t get to fly the friendly skies everyday but when I do, I know the process. To successfully get on board I must follow the TSA guidelines. Before I can hope to take flight, I will have to check in first. I have to abide the rules and listen to instruction. For my safety and the safety of others.

As I begin boarding I can’t help but recognize…. isn’t getting on board to go anywhere in life just the same? No matter where, when or how you travel in life, there will always be a some things you are required to have, bring or do and a longer list of things that you shouldn’t bring because they are potentially hazardous or harmful to more than just you. But what those requirements are depends upon the appointed governing authority.

Keep calm and “Carry-on”

What you choose to bring along can prevent you from carrying on. When the TSA agent asked me to declare anything I knew of, in my bag, that would be of potentential harm, there was nothing I thought would be, but the fact that he asked prior to his search made me realize that the governing authority thinks I should know. I mean I should know, right? The guidelines were provided so I would.

This made me think about an acronym I have heard mentioned a time or two for the B-I-B-L-E. It’s …..

basic instructions before leaving earth. 

This “good book” is filled with guidelines to help me throughout all my travels alone or with others and so the question is… how well do I know those guidelines? Who makes the rules wherever I go? Me or the “TSA” and…. how well do I follow what that governing authority advises?

Proverbs: 4. 1. Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 13. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

The TSA of my life’s travels, better known to me as the “true sovereign authority” is Jesus and He is the author and finisher of more than that book chock full of instructions for life.

Just some pre-flight food for thought.

CARRY ON!

 

 

 

Good to Go

 

Stepping out without breathing in…  taking that first step, where it all begins

To go without, one searches within… needing more than him, feels like a sin

Bags packed, hat tipped at the brim… Painstaking thoughts come on a whim.

No looking back, no other option… Found the path to my destination.

Knowing this chapter has to end…  Where everything else begins.

HIS-STORY IN THE MAKING!

 

ALL THINGS NEW

Meet the Maker

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Once upon a time… there was a girl.

Then one day that girl received a word and that word became her… “everything”.

John 1:1  In the beginning….  was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.

In this brand new year, as I sit and sip my morning tea to break fast, I think about what is placed before me on My Whole Plate. I am a bit hesitant, due to the fact that I know (because my mother told me so), that the first things you choose to consume in the morning or at the start of your day, if it’s not morning for you, are important because they will be what your body pulls from to get fueled to get going.

So I ask… what do you choose to start off with?

After taking an overdue break from all the spoils of 2018, I want and need what’s good for me to march forward. What does the one that made my day have to say about facing it?

I’m glad to say….

Joshua: 1. 9. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Let this be a reminder for me and you… God is the Maker of all things new and He is there no matter where you have been or what you’re going through! Those are words you can count on.

A Soaring Sight

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FAIR GAME DAY

What a soaring sight, birds of a feather, once flocked to be caught by the fowler together
Wings weighted in squalor in a world full of muck
In proclivities of a poverty mindset found stuck
Unworthy vessels in light, now seen fit in His sight
Sanctified and set free, take toward the sky in flight

Game over for the love of my past days … now I’m ever looking forward to the sun going down, gracefully on a Sunday night!

ONWARD AND UPWARD TO FACE THE NEW WEEK I TAKE FLIGHT

I have a new Sunday night game.

The love I once had cannot compare to the love I have found. There is more than one way to express it. On top of that there is more than one level and way to experience it. In the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual realm…I can feel it, see it, and give it, because I have received it.

I did, once upon a time fall in and out of love but that, incidentally, was not the true love for which I was meant. It was a just a feeling through times endured and well spent.

Now into a new chapter, I experience it through a place that I have arrived each morning. It’s more than a memory I can’t let go of, a treasure I pursue, a pleasure I indulge in… it’s more than a pain and trial, it is a gift from God.

It is my opened relationship to Him and all He has given me to do for YOU every day. Each day is now filled with one single full heart longing to serve at a table for two.

This morning’s revelation…

A fruitful love is one that is shared!

 

It’s Just Me

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Whether you’ve just joined me or you’re back for seconds or thirds… You’re WELCOME!

A little full of myself… maybe. I suppose it may sound that way, but life is not meant to be spent empty and alone and that’s why I’m all for sharing everything I have on my whole plate!

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MARK MY WORDS LORD
Isaiah: 52. 7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” 
Beautiful feet…..
is what I long for…
Are you curious? Here’s a little more of what I no longer want to keep to myself.
Okay, to all my friends, forgotten acquaintances, forgiven foes and  hopefully soon to be faithful followers 🙂 I have embarked on a journey that you will be witness to. I’m doing this two fold…to try to be more selfless and also unashamedly selfish.
I’m born the latter but God saved me  later in my life to be better than that for me and you! We’ll see…
To be completely honest… this is one of my greatest fears. I started this blog exactly one month ago, in all my novice to bare my innermost thoughts behind the struggles, strengths, secrets and successes of surviving daily life as a single Christian mom and an aspiring difference maker. I hope to shed some light for both of us on more than just my battle within. This is a monumental baby step outside of my comfort zone and a giant leap toward getting comfortable with what has become the skin I choose to live in.
I am glad that you chose to join me today. I hope you enjoy me. But if you don’t, I hope at the minimum, I inspire you to take a step on your own.. toward a life stripped free from the fear of rejection of the things on the earth because there’s one that was rejected for us all. Jesus Christ!

#UNASHAMED

 

 

At First Glance

“I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free. There was such glory over everything. The sun came up like gold through the trees and I felt like I was in heaven.”
― Harriet Tubman
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My morning fruit continues….

If you looked at me from a distance, I appeared to have it all together. But looks can be deceiving. The truth lying beneath the skin was that I had been struggling with anxiety and depression. It was what I was used to and I had become a master at masking it while out in public. My marriage, of almost 10 years at that time, was unhealthy at best. My three children (sons) were most important to me but I felt as if I could never be enough for them. In my effort to alleviate the way I felt, I drowned myself in work. I was an optimist and believed I could turn things around but I was in desperate need of a change because my ship was sinking…. sinking fast, and even optimists cannot breathe under water.

Workaholics anonymous couldn’t have helped me if they tried. I was in deep denial because I had convinced myself that I was doing the most good. I worked to make a difference, to improve our quality of life or at least, that’s what I told myself. The truth was I had a serious void I was trying to fill. All of my effort was to avoid being home, alone with my discomfort in my own skin, my unhappy husband…far from looking myself in the mirror and to escape the sense of unworthiness I carried ever since I was a child.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” Anais Nin

That night in February of 2008, I was asked to come see a play being put on in honor of Black History month. It was about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. It was a free show offered through a local community church. The invite came from my husband and I reluctantly agreed to attend. “He has been acting unusual” I said to myself. He had been less angry lately and offering to do things he hadn’t done in over half a decade, like buying me flowers, which he did early that day. “I  think you need to take a break and the kids are here, they want to see you too” he said. He knew he could use the kids for leverage… I would do anything for them. I was convinced there was a hidden motive though. Perhaps he was cheating on me… trying to cover his guilt with being pleasant and acting like he was pursuing me when really he was receiving fulfillment elsewhere. That is what I was used to, so it is what I expected.

I learned about the art of deceit at a pretty young age. Growing up with infidelity strewn throughout both sides of my family, I gained the understanding that people stay until they are no longer happy or they find something better. As time passed, my perception became my reality. Worth and value were heavily dependent on what I had to offer. Hence the need to work and have the ability to get every and anything I thought we needed to stay a happy household. To maintain a lifestyle of constant happiness is exhausting. I didn’t realize the toll it was taking on me until that night at The Underground Railroad.

The woman who played the main character of Harriet Tubman, in her last line, said “I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person now I was free.” and then shared her own take on being a slave that was set free. Free from her self-harm and self-inflicted nonsense. Her anxiety and fear over everything she could not seem to keep from slipping through her hands about her future… her marriage. Every word resonated with me. It was as if she was standing in my shoes and speaking out everything written on my heart in secret. I was exposed but for the first time, in a room full of people, I didn’t care.

A man came up after her, his own mic in hand and although I don’t recall everything he said, I didn’t hesitate to respond to his words with a lifted hand. He said, “If you want to be free, If you don’t want to be bound to your sin anymore, there is one that can set you free. His name is Jesus.” With a lifted hand and a prayer, I asked for and received salvation.

There was something that changed that night, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Going home and looking in the mirror again, just like the quoted words I heard of Harriet Tubman, I looked at my face to see if I was the same person, now that I was free.  Who did I see staring back at me? It was still me. And tomorrow is another day.

So, at first glance, I hope you see the change. Tomorrow is here and it’s time for tea. There’s a new day on the horizon.

Morning tea

Thank you for joining me to indulge in my morning fruit!

He Found Me First

growingdriedfruit

 

When the desert blooms

Imagine the last hour of the day… when first light is still so far away

too many hours to fill until light… idle hands itching to end the fight

Wandering alone, in effort to be free but my solitude caught up with me

This was the desert in full bloom… then he found me 

                                          …ME

 

Okay, so now that you know I am here… I guess the next thing to talk about is how I got here. I definitely took the long way and I didn’t stumble upon this page in this chapter of my life accidentally. It was all planned out, but not by me. Here’s just a piece of the story.

Once upon at time, this girl knew what she wanted… the house on the hill, career, kids, happy hubby and a car. A life fulfilled with every need met, but even with these simple things achieved something was missing still. It could not be explained, it just needed to be found. This girl was me and what was missing was my soul.

I was soul-searching for what seemed like the longest time and then one night in February of 2008, I was invited to take my first step toward finding it.  I accepted and I have no idea how I lived without it. I started off with it at one time and it was stolen away, I got it back in pieces and now I am putting it back together.

I invite you to learn more about my soul-searching and what I discovered along the way. If you are intrigued to know more…. come again. This is just a glimpse of my story, the preface. If you want to join me in my reflection, or just feast your eyes on the show… I will see you tomorrow… same time… same channel.

Morning fruit…..