Monday, June 20, 2016

Redemption


Who doesn't love a good redemption story? As I come down from my high from the Beyonce concert (you all know the depths of my love for her right?), I continue to be in awe at how she just speaks to my soul in her music, through her business savvy, and through the Black Girl Magic that she sprinkles in places that we didn't even know we needed it. As a Black woman, a lover, a mother, and a working mom, you cannot leave one of her concert's and not feel empowered to overcome whatever is trying to hold you back. The other night she said one of her favorite songs from her new album was All Night; a song in which she sings about redemption.

This season of my life has a lot of redemptive qualities. I was reading my girl's blog the other day and it reminded me that I do not need to be overwhelmed by what I have to accomplish ahead of me but instead, I need to take time to remember where I started from and what I have accomplished. There were so many things that could have held me back but by the grace of God, they did not. There were so many things seemingly out of my grasp but I was able to surpass them all.


So as we stand smack in the middle of 2016 here is my recap:
  • 2nd master's degree completed.
  • New job secured.
  • First paid therapy client.
  • 9 years of being an educator completed. 
  • Survived being the mom of a Pre-K student (I really must write about being a working/teacher mom...very interesting experience with your own child in school and dealing with the micro-aggressions of white teachers).
I don't list these things to boast on myself but to boast on the goodness of God---our true redeemer. I have come a long way and have been able to do some really awesome things along the way but, sometimes I am quick to just move on to the next thing without savoring the moment. In fact, I actually almost listed out what else I would like to accomplish in 2016 but instead I will just revel in this moment.

I am feeling this season of my life.

My journey is truly a testament of God giving someone a vision and him equipping me with all that I need to execute it along the way.

There may other things that I want to do in 2016 but I am mighty proud of what I have been able to do so far.

Silly Bee's Chickadees:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Failure is Feedback


The idea of failure is often stifling to most people--especially to me. In my mind failure and the idea of failing use to be equated with a lack of true effort. Now, in my thirtieth first year of life, realize that failure is not so cut and dry. You can in fact give something your all and still fail and that failure may be just what you need in order to propel you into the next part of your journey.

Failure is feedback.

Failure is probably the most constructive form feedback we can ever get. It forcibly guides us to pause and reflect. Did we truly seek God in whatever it was we were trying to do in the first place? Did we ignore red flags that should have given us pause? Were we choosing to settle for the good and not pursue the great? Did we settle for less than Gods best to look good to other people?

My failures in 2015 have allowed me to find my voice, to learn the power of fasting, praying, and really seeking quietness so I can hear God's voice. I have learned to be more intentional with my time and my talents. Failures inspire creativity and develop our ability to be resilient. 

My failures are proof that I am growing and striving to do better each day. Just because it's difficult doesn't mean it's not where we are supposed to be. God will remove our difficulties when we are ready. Some things we can only learn in the struggle.

What have your failures taught you?

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20 NLT)


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Master Gardener

Words have a way of filling us up when we need it the most. Sometimes they cannot leave our mouths but only come pouring out through our pens. Reading good poetry pierces the depths of my soul the same way a good gospel song sends chills down my spine in church on a Sunday morning. Beyonce's Lemonade has reignited my craving for good poetry. Poetry that speaks of Blackness, womanhood, love, life, heartache, and loss. Poetry that evokes tears, joy, fury, passion, and gives hope. I am grateful to personally know some really good poets.

Here is a poem from one of my dear sister friends that is serving up all kinds of poetic goodness right now.

Whoa. 

I told y'all she was good! Make sure you read that at least three times to let those words sink in.

Know any other great woman poets we need to be reading right now? Leave their names, blogs, or books in the comments below. Be sure to come back for more poetry from @cecewriter and others in the coming weeks and months.

Be lifted my friends.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mid-Week Boost: Beautiful Transitions

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty:
Contrary to the title, transitions are often far from beautiful. They are in fact often extremely painful. Childbirth, failure, heartbreak, and rejection--nothing glamorous about those. Beyonce's Lemonade displays the many sides of transitions in a way that is so real and applicable to almost any life transition.

Intuition. Anger. Apathy. Emptiness. Accountability. Reformation. Forgiveness. Resurrection. Hope. Redemption.

It is perhaps through the most painful transitions in my life that I have filtered through that very same spectrum in order to be led to a place of redemption, joy, and love. My sweet baby boy being born. Stepping out of my comfort zone as an educator to embark on a new career path as a family therapist. Taking the painful yet courageous step to end my marriage of almost nine years in order to not settle for less than God's best for me and in order to save myself from breaking to the core. Leaving my work family of over seven years to start a new career in which I will be able to do something that I am fully invested in every single day. These transitions have given me a chance to stand on my own, find my voice, and speak up for what I really need to be whole. They have allowed me to start to move beyond a place of merely surviving to a place where I can actually thrive. I am reminded everyday that God does not allow for something to die without replacing it with something far greater than we could ever imagine.

I have lost greatly and been hurt deeply in this season of transition; but now more than ever I am grateful. Being in my thirties has caused a major shift in how I see myself and what I want my legacy to be. I have long craved for something new that would allow me to find an ebb and flow of love, motherhood, work, and life. I may not be where I want to be yet but I am certainly on my way.

Our problems---especially those we encounter during transitions are real but the promises of God are realer. This year has been a transformative year for me so far and I know that in the end it will be beautiful.

How have the transitions in your life allowed something beautiful to born?

Pause and take in that beauty.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Extend Grace

It always astonishes me how mean people can be. Maybe it is the sensitive Pisces side of me but I cannot wrap my head around why people make deliberate choices to do things that hurt and exclude others. Even in our current political climate and with all the terrible things happening throughout the country, unkindness still baffles me. I wrote about rude people a while ago and it seems like not much has changed. Doesn't it take more energy to be mean? If we were all just a little nicer, our world would truly be a better place.

A recent turn of events in my life have led me to be on the receiving end of meanness from people that I love dearly. This weekend I had enough. I was tempted to venture back to my hot tempered spicy mouth days and meet their meanness with the same and then I saw this:
Have you ever read something that just causes you to stop in your tracks? Like I know that God placed this right where I would see it so that I would pause before reacting. So often people project their own insecurities on to us. Rather than address their own issues or talk to you directly, you become the target. In my case, it took me a while to realize that I was in fact the target. What reason would people I love have to ignore me? I must confess my immediate response was an immense sadness for what I was losing and then anger because why would any one treat me this way? 

Then I realized three things after reading Pastor Ryan's tweets: 
1. The reasons people are being mean have nothing to do with me. 
2. God is ordering my steps even if others don't understand it. 
3. God wants to stretch me through this process.

I need to shift my focus from what I am not getting to the work that God has given me to do. I am called to be a game changer. Pastor Ryan said that just a few weeks ago (come on over to Christ Church one day---I promise it will bless you)! In his sermon on Palm Sunday, he talked about the fact that as a game changer, I am called to give great grace. When we are hurt and offended and still show the love of God--we can really change the game. So today, I choose to not be petty and extend the grace that God has given me---even when it is not asked for or deserved. Today I will not meet hate with hate but continue to show the love of God. I need God's grace myself so instead I will pray for those that curse and turn their back on me. I will carry on in peace because I am the daughter of a King and I know he is directing my steps and has great things in store for me.

I accept this challenge not because I am better than but because of what I am striving towards. I challenge all of us to just be nicer. Before we ignore a text or talk about someone behind their back, can we pray for them instead? You never know what someone is going through. Be the bridge that leads someone to Christ and not the hand that pushes them over the edge.

Have you ever been stretched by God to show grace to someone you felt didn't deserve it?

Join me in praying for whoever that might be in you life and watch God move!