Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Flower Bloom


I bought my first house a year ago and out of nowhere a list of never ending tasks seemed to erupt out of thin air.  One of the first things I wanted to do this summer was plant
 flowers in the front yard.  I couldn't wait!  I always envisioned this task being so relaxing and fun.  Almost like becoming one with nature or some crap.  Until I got my butt out there myself I realized it was a full day of sweat and hard work.  Boy was it difficult!  I even had to ask one of my girlfriends to help and even still, after hours of work we only got 6 flowers planted.  It was hot, there were inch worms crawling all over us.  I broke my new hand shovel and tore through a couple sets of gloves but thank goodness we finished.  The mulch was in, the flowers were pretty and the house finally looked polished.

Then the madness started-- the flowers started to die.  Oh hecks no! After all the money and time spent on these flowers I would not have it.  Not to mention all the years of dreaming about having beautiful flowers in front of my house.  I tried everything.  I learned some flowers liked a little extra water.  This would make them stand strong and tall.  While other flowers would threaten to kick the bucket if I gave them too much water I bought a sprinkler and woke up early to turn on the water.  I bought plant food and tried to revive the soil.

Every single day I would drive into the drive way and look at these flowers.  This was my huge project—keeping these flowers in bloom, but they were wilted, half way and on the brink of dying every other day.  They look sad. I began to give up.  I didn't know what else to do.  They were no longer accents to the home.  They were eye sores. 

Until I received this picture... 



This entire time I have been looking at the negative.  Just like me these flowers have good days and bad days.  Some days they're holding on while others they're in full bloom.  But on one rainy, cool day this beautiful flower stood alone and was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  Guess what?  It came from my front yard. I have been walking by these flowers every single day and only seeing suffocation.  These flowers have been making me mad, so mad that I wanted to give up on them, but on this particular day someone else took notice of this beautiful flower and decided to take a picture of it.  Because of this picture I was finally able to see the beauty that had been there all along. 

Our moments of blessings are sometimes subtle and quiet. In many instances they're right under our noses.  We pull up to them every day:) 

What blessings have you been missing?



Monday, August 11, 2014

For A Woman


For the Women's Empowerment weekend at Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Hickory NC, all the women in the congregation wore white with pink and black accents.  We were pinned with pretty pink roses and pearls, absolute beauty flooded the sanctuary.  

I wrote a poem for the occasion.  God gave the words instantaneously.  They flooded my notepad so fast it was hard to keep up.  During service, I asked all the women to stand and to take in every word.  I wanted each woman to receive these words as their own.  

After service ended I had one woman walk up and ask for a copy of the poem.  She said she needs to be reminded that she is loved everyday.  WOW! Look at God.  Answer His calling.  You never know when and how your work will be a Blessing to someone else.  



A Woman

You are strong
Bold
Lovely
A flower born from a seed
You grew through grace
You stand in elegance
Exude beauty

YOU ARE LOVE



Sometimes you cry
You shout,
You feel hurt
You wild out
You wear all hats
At times you don't know what to do, but you push forward

YOU ARE LOVE



You are a winner, but have also lost
You stay humble
You are a teacher
You are uniquely qualified to walk into your destiny
You have a spiritual calling
A talent only you hold
Your smile is contagious-- show it more often
You create life
You are needed

YOU- DO-IT-ALL

You are wonderfully made
There are no apologies
You are a miracle
God's gift
You are a Blessing to those who know you
Shine brighter, and brighter, 
You are a woman
There's nothing in this world like a woman

YOU ARE LOVE

-- Jacinda





God gave me an assignment-- Bring the word to Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church.  Whaaaaaa?  As you can imagine I have never in my life preached or delivered the message so nerves immediately started to flood in.  Accepting this assignment came without hesitation.  I knew it was a calling and there was a purpose for the mission.  But what would I talk about?

The theme for this message was tailored around "Hope & Joy".  For the last 2 months I have had to sit in silence waiting on the Lord to give the message.  I am the vehicle, the vessel for which He will use., but what will I say?  Then it came!  The word literally fell out of my bible.  An index card I had tucked away inside the pages years ago.  On the top line it was titled, "Hopelessness".  I was led to the scripture versus and guided to the message He wanted me to share.  

Hope needs faith and faith brings joy.  I shared how you can turn your storm into joy by leaning on God. Being obedient will have God literally carrying you out of every valley. I've watched it happen, it happened to me!

Absolutely no nerves in the pulpit, just pure excitement to do His work.

The above picture was taken with all the women of GFMBC.  Thank you to Rev. Williams, Michelle, Rita and all the other leaders who were so graciously showering us with love.  Thank you so much to the entire congregation for receiving my brothers and I.  Thank you to my brothers who took off of work that day to come and support.  The experience was an absolute honor. It was a life changing experience for me.  I will never forget that day! And I have the mug to prove it------>

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

40 Day Meditation



I've struggled with mediation for a long time.  I would always find myself falling asleep in the process.  I recently decided the best way to strengthen my spiritual man would be trying my hand at mediation for 40 days. I am currently two weeks into it.  I would like to share some of my findings so far.

The purpose of mediation is much deeper than sitting still and breathing slowly.  Deepak Chopra says it best, “Prayer is when you speak to God, but mediation is when God speaks to you.” 

Day 1 of my 40 day mediation I went to YouTube to find some soothing music.  I found a 7 minute selection and figured it would be a good start.  During the first go round, I noticed my thoughts were running wild.  I found myself thinking about everything.  I would hone in on a thought and begin to have a conversation with it.  Then out of nowhere I would feel my body jump a little bit like, “You’re not mediating you’re thinking”.  So my first lesson in mediation was developing a habit of viewing or hearing the thoughts in your but not giving them any attention.  Spending time on a particular thought is thinking not mediating.  Don’t get angry of frustrated at yourself if you run away with your thoughts.  This is a hard practice to conquer, it will take time.  This is the art of mediation.
The second day I sat down to meditate for my 7 minute music selection and noticed when the music stopped it felt like I had only been sitting for a few minutes.  This was a huge surprise and a great sign. By the 3rd and 4th day I started extending my meditation sessions to 15 minutes.

Here’s what began to take place.  Initially when mediating you can feel yourself breathing fast and your eyelids are jumping.  Your body is well aware of everything going on in the initial stages.  Maybe your phone rings and jolts you or a text message comes through, you pretty much hear every single thought in your mind etc.  Once your body starts to settle in you feel yourself get heavier, your eye lids no longer jump, and your breathing gets deeper and begins to slow down drastically. 

I think I am still in the beginning stages of quieting my thoughts and learning to be still.  I am growing to love the solace in this practice and look forward to moving deeper into it. As I learn more I will continue to share.  Today I am up to 20 minute mediation sessions.  When I close my eyes I envision different scenarios like sunsets, still waters and nature.  I yearn for the times where everything around me falls quiet and heavy.  This is the space I try to get to daily.




Sunday, August 3, 2014

Detoxing Your Mind

A few weeks ago I participated in my first cleansing detox.  It was quite difficult; I’m not going to lie.  This detox consisted of 5 days with no solid foods and the 6th & 7th days you were only allowed fruits and veggies.  The first 3 days I solely drank the lemonade detox mixture (recipe below).  The final two days I made fruit infused detoxifying drinks.  The last two days of fruits and veggies allowed for a nice transition back into the world of solid food again. 

During this detox I developed a new found respect for food.  I have a craving to taste bold flavors, see grandiose colors, and only eat foods that are worth it.  I have not given fast food a thought since the detox.  I learned, when something has been taken away from you, you develop a new found respect for it once it’s back in your life. Today, I appreciate a healthy balance of food and sweets. Goal accomplished!

The Dark Side
Being deprived from food had my mind in pure panic mode.  My every thought consisted of food.  I wanted to quit every second of the day to go get Arby’s.  First of all, I haven’t had Arby’s in years so I have no idea where that came from.  Some of the other foods I craved were Five Guys, pizza, and tacos, etc.  There was one instance where I was thinking about something for work and out of nowhere I had a vision of sautéing sausages and cutting up peppers and onions.  Where did this even come from?  This is my mind on a detox. 
A detox to this magnitude solely breaks down your mind.  Most of us have been raised to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Not being able to eat naturally can throw your thoughts into frenzy.   

Strong Body
My body on the other hand was perfectly fine.  Do you hear me? Perfectly fine!  Drinking water was all the nourishment my body needed.  If I was hungry I would drink and most of the time I would actually feel full.  One red flag is to make sure your body is still getting the sugar it needs.  The lemon detox is great for providing a balance.  Pay attention to your body. 

We're Blessed
Another eye opener was the realization of just how Blessed we are to eat when we feel hungry.  I thought of communities and cultures that still have to hunt for their next meal.  I thought about our ancestors, they did not have the luxury of eating different kinds of foods or eating throughout the day.  What a Blessing! Thank you Lord.

In all honesty, I am happy I tried it.  I learned so much about myself, my weaknesses and my strengths.  Now let's eat!


Lemonade Detox
2 Liter Bottle
4 Lemons
3 Pinches of Cayenne Pepper
140 ml of Maple Syrup
Pure Distilled Water