The Season of Advent 2022

HOPE

This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent (coming). This is the time of year when we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’s birth. 

“The promise for Israel and the church is Jesus Christ. 

The Lord has come to hear and will arrive again. 

This is the essence of Advent.”

The Advent Wreath is usually made of evergreens wrapped around a ring. The wreath has candles placed around the circle surrounded by evergreens.

There are three purple and one pink candle.

Those candles represent HOPE, FAITH, JOY, and PEACE.

There is a fifth white candle inside the ring, and it is lit on Christmas day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

The evergreens of the wreath symbolize everlasting life during winter and death.

The ring’s circular shape symbolizes God’s never-ending love and eternal life HE makes possible.

This past Sunday, we started our Advent season. A family is chosen or volunteers to share a devotion and lite the candle.  We lit the first purple candle, which symbolizes HOPE, sometimes called the Prophecy Candle. It represents the HOPE felt in expectation of the coming Messiah.

The Bible: Isaiah 40:31

“But those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” 

The Dictionary describes HOPE:

“HOPE is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust.”

Bishop Desmond Tutu said:

“HOPE is seeing the light despite all of the darkness.”

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
 And ransom captive Israel,
 That mourns in lonely exile here.
 Until the Son of God appears.
 Rejoice! Rejoice!
 Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

I have thought a lot about HOPE over the years, especially in this current season of my life. Sometimes I had to dig deep to find reasons to HOPE, continue living, and come out of the pit. 

Jesus was the HOPE I had to re-embrace to survive. I said re-embrace because I had let go of all HOPE and had nothing to cling to but pain, grief, suffering, and deep sadness. Ironically, I saw my most significant turnaround during the Advent season.  Toward the end of the Advent season in 2016, I saw a light of HOPE at the end of the tunnel. It took a year of HOPE, prayer, God’s word, and therapy to get into a good head space. I knew that I could not bear my burdens alone, and I desperately needed Jesus if I was going to survive.

During the Advent season of 2017, I started to find my way back to my first love.

Back to HOPE.

Back to Living.

Back to Christ.

I have rediscovered my HOPE again, and I don‘t intend on letting my HOPE or my GOD go again!

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Curveball

June 7, 2022

I wrote this blog a few months ago, but I felt the need to share. One night, I remembered my grandfather sitting on our front porch watching the Detroit Tigers game on television. Yes, we were on the front porch.

The Tiger Stadium (Getty Images)

He took me to my first Detroit Tigers game at Tiger Stadium in the ’70s. I can still feel the heat and smell the hot dogs my grandfather bought from the “Hot Dog Guy.”  We ate popcorn, peanuts, and yes, Cracker Jacks! I would listen intently as he explained what was going on during the game. I remember one particular pitch.

He yelled, “Curveball.”  

All these years later, I remember my grandfather explaining that pitch.

What is a curve ball?

A curveball is a ball that was thrown off course. The dictionary explains that a curveball is a ball thrown hard in a downward motion that caused the ball to go to one side as it reached Homeplate. 

A curveball is also something surprising, unexpected, or disruptive. (Dictonary.com)

In our life, we are thrown many curveballs.

I was looking for my life to go in one direction, but… 
I was thrown a curveball.

That ball took me by surprise.
That ball took me off course.
That ball sent my life into a tailspin.
That ball shook my foundation.

But…

That ball did not break me.
I was cracked and even fractured.
But my foundation was fixed and welded together.
It was not going anywhere!

Why?

Because my foundation was not built by brick and mortar, not by sand or dirt.

My foundation was FIRM!

My foundation was built by the Word of God.
My foundation was built by the Blessings of God.
My foundation was built by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This foundation was built by the prayer of the saints in my life.

God’s Promises

I did not go crazy
I did not stay in depression obsessed with suicidal thoughts.
I remembered HIS Hope
I remembered HIS Promises
I remembered that HE is a man of HIS WORD!

I was lifted up and out of my pit and into the arms of JESUS.

I will continue to write about what God has done for me
because someone needs to hear that they are never alone.

They need to hear, don’t give up on what God has for you.
They need to hear, don’t give in because God has enormous plans for you.
They need to hear that they are worthy of love and so much more.
They need to know that GOD is able.
They need to know that HE has forgiven them.
They need to know that HE loves them with an agape kind of love.

Don’t give up because God will never give up on you!
So, when life throws you a curveball…
HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK!

Letter To My Enemy

devil,

I am sure you meant to destroy me… but you did not!

I will never understand the reason behind your actions.

But know part of me died that day

Too young to realize…

That my opened mind and led to a world of…

Emotions…

Experiences…

Things not for a young girl…

Forever changed…

***

Did you know what your actions would cost me?!

A lifetime of mistrust…

A lifetime of insecurities…

A lifetime of self-hate…

A lifetime of doubt…

A lifetime of pain…

A lifetime of shame…

Secrets destroy!

********

What I could have been…

The things I could have done…

The places I could have went..

Dreams killed and destroyed

Paralyzed in a life that was not my own…

From the inside, looking out the window…

Screaming…

Yearning…

For the innocence lingering outside my view

********

Then I heard you died…

********

Emptiness inside…

Nothing to fill the hole

Engulfed in the darkness of the pit

********

Did you go to Heaven or hell?

How many others suffered because of you?

What about my retribution…

What about my retaliation…

What about your punishment…

What about me, them, all of us…

Does it even matter?

********

You see, you took NOTHING from me.

You may have delayed

You may have stalled

You tried it…

********

A coward

A pawn

A cast-off

You allowed the devil to use you…

To steal, kill, destroy

Because HE loves me so much… I can finally forgive you!

********

your glory, your control… stops here!

********

No worries…

No worries???

Yes, no worries!

*********

Because I know a MAN…

HE loved me…

HE loved me before I knew me…

HE loved me before the foundations of the earth

HE loved me, and HE knows the number of hairs on my head

JESUS LOVES ME!

*********

Because of JESUS, I learned to TRUST!

Because of JESUS, I am SECURE!

Because of JESUS, I LOVE myself!

Because of JESUS, I have FAITH!

Because of JESUS, I have JOY!

Because of JESUS, I am BLESSED because HE is in me!

********

Because of HIM, my dream delayed is NOT my dream denied!

Just another Blessing in the storm

I love you, JESUS!

Because of YOU, I live to dream again…

A Daughter of a KING

Farewell 2021!! Don’t Take the Bait!

Dear Hearts,

As we bid 2021 farewell, I look back on this year, and I have relished in Jesus Joy. I have experienced love and happiness, and I have laughed a lot. I have experienced some success and overcome some obstacles. There were also moments of loss that produced sadness and crying. But through it all, I kept my faith and trusted in GOD for every and anything. 

This year was not easy. We have continued to battle a global epidemic, personal distresses, and a volatile political climate as a country. There is so much in the news and our world that makes us angry, upset, and disappointed. However,…

God still sits on the throne, and if you proclaim to be a faithful follower of Christ, I tell you… DON’T TAKE THE BAIT!! 

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13

Don’t take the bait of the enemy and have a hardened heart. I will tell you to trust God and keep your hope alive in your heart, home, and community. It will have to start from within ourselves. We have to radiate love and respect from our hearts to our communities. But that love and respect must begin with showing love and grace to our families, and then we can reach out to our communities.

I don’t know how often I can say this, but I will keep saying this statement to everyone who wants to hear it. “Life is way too short for/to ….” (Fill in the blank)

Life is too short to bear grudges against one another going into 2022

Life is too short to hold anger in our hearts going into 2022

Life is too short to hold on to resentment and jealousy, into 2022

Life is too short to hold on to unforgiveness into 2022

Don’t take the enemy’s bait and enter into the new year with the old year’s mindset.

I believe that God has a perfect plan for my life and your life. We just need to trust HIM

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I love you all with the love of Christ

Be Blessed!

My moments of joy in the midst of Sadness

December 12, 2021

God will always give us moments of joy in the midst of sadness if we look for them and embrace them.

It is a definite choice that we make each day when we get up from our beds. That joy is not dependent on people speaking into our lives, what they can do for us., or their acceptance of us. Yes, it is an added bonus, the icing on the cake. However, that type of joy is fleeting and temporary.
But the JOY that I have in Jesus is strong, enduring, and everlasting!

It’s the Joy that I choose when I decide to laugh instead of cry…
When I decide to smile instead of yell…
When I decide to stand instead of living in defeat…
When I decided to grieve God’s way instead of the enemy’s way…
Meaning, I will continue to give God praise through every obstacle, barrier, detour, and roadblock even when I don’t feel like it.


I said all this to say even though I am grieving another significant loss in my life, I will still find times to have JOY and experience happiness and laughter in my life.
There is always a blessing in every storm.
I love you all
😘♥️😘

Season of Grief

How I Fought to Reclaim My Favorite Season

September 23, 2021

Yesterday, September 22, 2021, was the first day of Fall, my favorite time of the year.  Anyone who knows me knows that I started talking about missing my boots, sweaters, and fall weather in late August.  (Yes, they do speak to me and call my name… lol) Just kidding!  I love the cool air, the changing colors of the trees, yes, the time to wear my boots and sweaters.  I allowed the enemy to use my grief and depression to control everything I loved for a few years.  

From the middle of September to November, I used to call it my dark season.  During this time, five years ago, my life took a turn for the worse when my late husband passed.  I don’t need to tell you the pain and distress I felt deep in my soul.  The enemy tried to take over my existence with thoughts of suicide and depression.  He tried to take my family’s way, and he almost succeeded in taking away my favorite season and turned it into a gloomy and miserable reality. 

But because I am the daughter of the King and He loves me beyond anything, I could even imagine.

He pull me out of that existence back into His presence of Joy, Love, and Peace. It was a tough uphill battle, but I prayed, and others prayed along with me along the way.  I had to allow Jesus to minister to the Holy Spirit and guide me to get the help that I so desperately needed to combat this way of feeling and thinking.  I could not and cannot fight this war alone; I had to be honest with myself and those around me. I had to make some tough decisions, and I still make them every single day.  This new normal that I live is not easy, but when I get up and breathe and live on this side of the earth, I know that God still has a purpose for my life.

Jesus, my family, my village, and my therapist, helped me to win the battle for my insanity, peace, and mental health.  The war is still raging every second, but now I am one step ahead of the enemy.  Why?  I have a village of people across the world who will lift my name and my family’s name in their prayers: my friends, like sisters, and sorority sisters who encourage and support me. 

 My daughters ShaRonda and Morgan keep me on my toes, and their love and encouragement mean the world to me.  I want to be an example of a strong woman who is not afraid to take risks or reach out for help.  I want them to be proud of me.  

My longtime brother, Minster Kai Brown, told me, “Don’t Worry, Pray.”  

In every sense of the word except by physical blood, my sisters Laura Coaxum always told me to “Stay Close.” And Sharron Williams said, “Lo, Trust God.” 

My spiritual mentor Elaine Belardo has encouraged me when she is dealing with her struggles that God is at work in the detours and roadblocks of my life.  

My heart, my Chapter 2, Sam Moore, through his love and encouragement he tells me that I can do anything I put my mind to do.  

My therapist Dr. Phifer, when I first sat down in her office, told me that God loved me, and he had never left me.  She has given me the tools to keep me mentally healthy and my head clear so I can clearly hear from God. 

I stayed ahead of the enemy, not by my might or any power I could have, but it is the power of Jesus that is at work through me.  

I am not perfect, nor is my life perfect, and I still make mistakes every day.  However, I so serve and worship a perfect God who not only loves me unconditionally, but HE loves you just as much! 

Whatever the devil has stolen from you, tap into the power of Jesus that resides in you and reclaim it back!

Reclaim your Peace, Joy, and the Love that the Father has for you!

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

If I can do it, so can you!!

I love you all with the love of Christ!

What Would You Change?

Late Night/Early Morning Thoughts

March 24, 2021 @ 2:30 AM

I could not sleep tonight, so I am evaluating my life and my choices.  You know the, Did I do this or that right?  What if I could change something, even one thing? Would it make a difference? 

We often ask each other, “What would you change if you could go back in the past?” Like most of us, I always have a laundry list of things I would change like, school and career choices, financial decisions, and places of residence.

At what cost would those changes come?

Would that change who my daughters are and who they are supposed to become?

Would that change mean changing the people who have planted seeds in my life?

Would that change the people who have touched my heart and I have touched theirs?

Would that change who God means for me to become?

Regardless of the hard, sad, painful, and tragic events of my life, I would not change one thing. 

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The Lord said in Isaiah not to remember the former things or things of the past.  He also told me to listen carefully. I am about to do a new thing, and it will spring forth, and I will not be aware of it.  He will even put a road in the wilderness. (Isaiah 43:18-19)

There is a joy that God will instill in you that will allow you to withstand any storm that life brings to you.  God has taken the events of my life and weaved and molded them into who I am today.  The pain, joy, laughter, and tears have led me to this moment and this season of my life.  Healing from God is more than physical illness. God has healed my heart, my mind, and my soul.  The hard times in my life have forever changed me.  They have made me stronger, resilient, and knowing that all things are possible if I trust in GOD. 

“GOD, pick up the pieces.

Put me back together again.3CAC0122-08AE-42DC-948F-BDD61F821720_4_5005_c

YOU ARE MY PRAISE!” (Jeremiah 17:14)

 

 

It is my prayer every day that if God takes everything that I have been through and uses it to help others, it will all be worth it. 

 

You Are Not Alone

Hey Dear Hearts!

It has been a while since I have written in the blog. Trust me, I have been writing, finishing up my master’s program, and this last class was challenging! 

I had an enjoyably week off and now on to my next class. (YEAH) Three more and then I am done!

In the past year we have had over 500,000 deaths from Covid-19, and a lot of people, especially spouses, have joined the club that I never wanted to join. They are widows or widowers. This road will not be an easy one for them to travel, nor for any one grieving a loss. They will need the support of family and friends as much as possible with our current state. When my late husband passed, I was blessed that I was able to physically say goodbye and receive the visits, hugs, love, and support from my family and friends. Support from your family and friends should never stop.

Family and friends, I implore you to check on those who are grieving.  Even if they say, “I’m okay or look okay, please make the phone call or send the text message, most importantly, PRAY for them.

Trust me. They need you.

I also have a message to those who are grieving.  I KNOW this is hard, unfair, and unbearable.  I know that you are sad, angry, hurt, and confuse.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to your family, friends, or a mental health specialist.

PLEASE DON’T BE ASHAMED!  Your life could depend on it. 

Just the notion of people making fun of downplaying someone who says they were suicidal makes me angry.

LISTEN TO ME:

I don’t care who they are or how much money a person has, depression does not have favorites, and it will descend upon ANYONE! It does not matter if you are famous or wealthy.

This horrible attitude towards mental health is why people don’t come forth, which is why suicide rates are so high!  The insensitivity is appalling!  

THIS MUST STOP!!

I almost took my own life pretending I was fine, that everything was fine. I was laughing when I wanted to cry—keeping silent when I wanted to scream.  Just so those around me would not be uncomfortable.  This way of thinking almost ended my life and would have destroyed my daughters. 

When I tell you about the realness of GOD…

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
    he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

Yes, I sought therapy, and I still see my therapist, and I am not ashamed to admit it.  I was angry at GOD for weeks and months, and I was not allowing Him to speak to me.  He never left me because, when I was in my darkest pit, I said that tonight was it, I am done, GOD said NO!  HE pulled me out and sent me to the right person to help me clear my head.   I was lucky, NO, I was blessed that I had previously established a foundation that allowed God in my headspace, even if it was for a moment to make me stop. 

If you don’t have that relationship with GOD and you would like to establish your relationship with God, contact me and allow me to introduce you to my Daddy. 

Even if you are doing have the relationship that I have with God, I need you to know that help is still available, and you can seek the help you need.  Allow those who care to help you. 

Please don’t think that if you end your life, everything would be alright.  You have family and friends that you are leaving behind who will be devastated by your actions. 

You have a life that must be lived.

You have a life that will bless people that only YOU can bless.

You have a life that is of value.

YOU are needed and wanted!

Talk to your pastor

Talk to a friend

Most importantly: 

IF you are anyone you know are having thoughts of suicide, please call the suicide hotline. Listed below is the number for the Veterans Crisis Line.

Remember you are not on this journey alone. Someone will always walk with you.

Don’t GIVE UP!

God’s love and blessings to you all

Christmas 2020 Thoughts

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Jesus is the reason for the season. Yes, many of us know, feel, and honestly believe this. But it does not mean that people may not be feeling the Christmas spirit this year.

So, wait and read what I have to say.

My girls and I always have a house full of people during the holidays.  After my late husband’s death, it has been incredibly comforting to have those closest to us helping us celebrate the holidays. We ate, played games, and sang our hearts out. I know for me, it took my mind of the grieving process and placed my focus on the season, family, and friends.  This year was different. This year it was my duty to keep my family safe, so the decision was made not to have our usual celebration. Instead, we were responsible and opted for a quiet day at home.

I know many of us went into the Christmas season with a sense of dread.  Many of us are without employment, or you are still working from home if you are lucky.  We are socially distancing with no real gatherings of family and friends. Many of us canceled trips to family and friends, vacations, and other social traditions of the season to stay healthy.

So, I also felt a little depressed this year and had a sad moment.  There are so many people in distress and grieving this Christmas.  In a way, I know how these families are feeling. My family knows their pain.  However, now people must deal with their grief and or depression alone, but they are also battling, avoiding, and standing against a horrible virus. Many are spending their first holiday alone without a loved one or two, and many may not have families surrounding them.  It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling.

There is no cookie-cutter method for dealing with grief, depression, and sadness during this time.  I have had people tell me how I should be feeling and when I should be feeling it.  Really??  No one and I repeat NO ONE, can tell you how to express your feeling, when to express your thoughts, or why or where you should be at this current time in your life.  Only you and God can know that, and HE is walking this road with us.  If you have people who are doing this in your life, it may be time to delete those type of people from your life who “support” you. 

Family and friends that support you will understand that what you are going through will not go away overnight, nor will you “get over” it. 

IF YOU ARE SAYING THIS TO PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE, PLEASE STOP!!

The Bible tells us, “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Whenever you and God decide that you are ready to move forward, that’s when you move and not a moment sooner.  I have learned that when must allow God into every aspect of our lives.  Our grief and depression process, our therapy, our recovery, and our overall life every day.  I know that only GOD saw me through the last 4 years, 2020, and HE will continue to see us all through every day.  

When I think of Christmas, and through Easter, I am grateful for the wonderful sacrifice God has made for us all.  From the birth, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Even in the midst of this storm, I can still find the blessings of the miracle of Jesus and HIS unfailing love for us all.  My prayer for you is that you will find your Blessings in the Middle of the Storm.

Merry Christmas (a couple of days late 🤷🏽‍♀️)

I love you all to life!

Reserve Joy!

Reserve Joy!

16 November 2020

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)

I know that many of us are trying to hold on to what sanity and joy they have left.  I have talked to many people that they are trying to find joy in this season.  We are restricted due to an out-of-control pandemic, we have had months of civil unrest, political difference continues, and now we are left to “celebrate” the holidays.  Due to the pandemic, many of us will skip traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions for a smaller scale and fewer people celebrations.  This morning I found myself feeling down, and you know, the conniving devil he was trying to pull me down that familiar dark road that leads to that pit.  As I sit typing this with tears in my eyes, I want to tell you this: I AM NOT HAVING IT!!!

Shake it OFF!

Don’t fall for it!

DON’T LOSE HOPE!

THERE IS STILL JOY!

You may need to reach deep inside and borrow from your reserve joy.  We all have it!  Trust me. I have borrowed from my reserve joy many times over the years.  Reserve joy is the joy that Jesus has rooted deep in your soul. 

It’s the moments that you smile in the midst of tears, or you laugh stead of screaming.

For me, it is knowing that no matter how I hurt, feel, or think at that time, GOD is always with me, surrounding me, and if no one else loved me, I knew that GOD loved me!

It’s knowing that I am never alone because HE is with me. 

It is knowing that whatever I am going through in my life, there is Joy!

JESUS JOY!

There is always a blessing in the storm.

No matter how bleak it may seem

No matter how hard it gets

No matter who says what… HE IS THERE, the GREAT I AM!

Do what will make you happy!

IF it brings you joy, put up your Christmas decorations early… but put them up! 

Cook your favorite foods on the holidays and have a Zoom or FaceTime dinner and games with family and friends.  I know that we are Zoomed out, but it is only for a SEASON. 

This too shall pass.

I want you to dig into your reserve joy; it’s there!  Dig deep!  I want you to bring back the sparkle in your eyes and your soul.  I want you to encourage your family members and friends to do the same. 

We will get through this, and we will survive and thrive!  Call or contact me. I have some reserve Joy that I am willing to share!

I don’t have it all together.  Trust me, I have my days and moments, but I refuse to give in to anything the enemy is trying to execute! Even my own thoughts!

A friend posted this on Facebook today:

In case no one told you today:

You’re beautiful

You’re love

You’re needed

You’re alive for a reason

You’re stronger than you think

You’re gonna get through this

I am glad you’re alive

DON’T GIVE UP!

I am going to add JESUS loves you, and so do I!

You’ve got this/We’ve got this!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!