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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “life perspectives”

Book Review: YES!

Shonda Rhimes?  Private PracticeGrey’s AnatomyScandalHow To Get Away With Murder.  Yes, you know the one!  YES!  The one who has ABC‘s Thursday nights on lock!  YES!  THAT Shonda Rhimes.  No, I don’t watch them either.  Well…maybe Grey’s Anatomy…maybe.

WriterCreatorVisionaryShondaLand.  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one!  College graduateMotherSingleDream CatcherHistory MakerYES!  The one who is not afraid to address “controversial” matters in honest, educational ways!  YES!  THAT Shonda Rhimes!  YES!  Sign me up!  I’m a supporter.

So, she wrote a book?  Really?  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one.  It’s entitled, “Year of Yes”.  (See:  http://books.simonandschuster.com/Year-of-Yes/Shonda-Rhimes/9781476777092)  Interesting….

OK.  OK.  I LOVE THIS BOOK!  It is a great balance of honesty and humor.  I enjoyed how she intertwines her experiences, explicitly including reflective examples of race and gender.  (YES, this is her life.)  Rarely have I seen that done in such a matter-of-fact, I’m-simply-saying, the-world-through-my-eyes way.  Through the chuckles, you realize that she is growing and that you are too.  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one.

I’m glad I made time (specifically three days) to read this book.  In its pages, I discovered glimpses of myself.  It helped that like her, I am a writer and can relate to the solitude of the craft.  Finding inspiration, it did not take long before I began to say, “YES”, to more invitations and to facing fears.  After all, have I loss pieces of myself in the safety and security of the “No”?  Maybe.

You know, I have a strong sense that a lot of amazing things are coming my way.  Life is what you make it.  I am saying, “Yes”, to new opportunities; to working to achieve greatness; to being happy, healthy, and whole; to being unapologetically abundantly blessed and great beyond measure.  I am saying, “Yes”, to living!  What about you?  Need some motivation?  Check out Shonda Rhimes’ book!  Yes, you know the one!

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

SPEAK Your Successes

I read something so troubling yesterday that it pained my soul.  Why?  Well, it was a description of a community by a writer who does not know that community, to an audience (who I would like to think is) genuinely curious.  The article I read was one of two things, truth or blatantly offensive.  Either way, the commentary is sad, but it sells.

Unsettled, I actively pulled up the perimeter of the community of focus.  I did so to compare, in fact, the picture painted  in the article with the one in my head.  Maybe I was being too optimistic in thought?  It is possible.

Actual people and families living within this targeted area flooded my thoughts.  I began to identify (by name) residents within these boundaries who, contrarily to the writer’s depiction:

  • live with their spouses,
  • parents who take care of their children,
  • are educated and believe in the value of education,
  • work and work hard,
  • are faith-filled and faithful,
  • are respectful and respected,
  • actively strive for success,
  • are not criminals,
  • are not receiving any form of “free” governmental assistance,
  • and so and so forth.

I began to list residents who, if you are in distress, they will take a moment to listen, and to help.  I began to note people of and from that community who have done and are doing positive and amazing things.  The list is long and growing, and silenced.  The sadness of my soul grew heavier.

You know, people have their own agendas when telling your story.  Far too many times, far too many people consent to other people’s versions about their lives because they do not know (for themselves) their assets, their value, their history, their truth.  Once you understand that your very presence is a miracle, that alone should give you life.  Once you accept that your life is one of purpose, that your value is too great to be measured, that your destiny is greatness, you will understand that your responsibility to be great is owed not only to yourself, but to those who sacrificed before you and to those who will follow.  You will recognize that the inspiration and focus which lives within you is intentional, disallowing you to accept another person’s truth about your circumstance.  You will know you for yourself.  It is for them to accept, or not.  Either way, you are not deterred.

A few years ago, I learned that there is a language of success.  SPEAK it!  Insecurities may tempt you to hide the good of your life.  People will be jealous.  Oh well.  People will talk about you for being true.  Shrug.  People will attempt to be stumbling blocks.  Rise above them.  These people should not be walking close to you anyway.  Be thankful that you can recognize them.  Do not be bitter.  Be better!

Speak your successes!  People will be happy for you!  Some you will see.  Some you will not.  Be encouraged.  People will help you!  People will watch you.  People want to see positive manifestations in both people and in situations.  Be honest.  You want to see it too!

Speak your successes!  SHINE and SHINE BRIGHTLY!  Do not apologize for being your best self.  You will draw onto you new associations, new experiences, new opportunities which will challenge you to be all you can be.  You will challenge theirs.

Speak your successes so that when others share their versions of you for their gain, the audience will have a rebuttal.  One rebuttal may be considered an exception.  One rebuttal will make a truth not absolute.  Just think…..a non-absolute truth presented in an absolute way…well…..that is a lie.

Be Well,

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

Light Within

Have you ever gone through a really tough time and only a few loved ones plus God knew it?  I am talking about a time that is so tough that you knew that within your own strength you were defeated, but God!  I am talking about a time so tough that your peace confused the enemy!  I am talking about a time so tough that you truly learned to remove your self from the equation and watch God bring resolve!

By being taken aback, you observed how He provided all your needs the day before; You rested assured that your needs were being met in your current state, and via that awareness your were convinced that He had tomorrow covered!

Have you ever been through the kind-of “tough time” that through your tribulations you were still a constant blessing to others, as a result of God’s constant blessings toward you?  Have you been here—in this place where you grew in understanding God’s love—through His grace, His mercy, His kindness, His voice?  During your struggles, you understood that you were not alone; you were not forgotten.  You knew, God was bringing you through.  He had your complete attention.  You began to thank Him for the big and small things.  You found yourself thanking Him for everything!  In hindsight, what did you learn?  This is my reflection.

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed.  Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. —Luke 8:16

Woman Standing On Rock

A picture comes to mind:  Light in darkness.  Do you possess Light within?  I do.  I know it.  Finally, I know it  (Praise Him!)

Possessing Light is power.  This power has responsibility.  Once I understood this, my perspective enlarged.  Yes, I beamed brighter. …….I beam brighter!

Seek opportunities to shine as God would have you to do.  Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ want to see you radiate His Light, just as you celebrate seeing His Light in them.  We are One.  And note, unbelievers will pay attention to your “rays” too.  Do not be surprised.  Be aligned with God!

When I truly embraced my spiritual gifts and talents, combined with when I surrendered to grow in God’s truth, I understood that I have a duty to shine with purpose.  My light—His Light—helps others.  This Light within is bigger than my body in which it lives.  It is bigger than me.  Can you relate?

Dismiss those thoughts which keep you “small”.  Change your life experience.  You were created to be great!  BE GREAT!  Our God is a BIG GOD who specializes in doing BIG THINGS!  Do not be surprised.  BE EXPECTANT!

If you know that within you lives His Light, then you better let it SHINE BRIGHTLY!  Do not let low self-esteem or peer pressure restrict your radiance.  The Light within you is BIGGER than YOU!  It is within you for a purpose.  LIVE PURPOSEFUL!  His Light will touch lives you will know and may never know.  God knows, however.  He always does.

Where Are You From?

I decided to try something new this week…… YES, a video post!  (It was a spur of the moment thing.  LOL!!!)  OK, I am new at this so keep that in mind, but I am enjoying trying new things!  (NOTE:  The end cuts off a little prematurely….Sorry!  It is still a good discussion piece though.)  What new thing have you tried lately?

Female Friends

Female friends…thank God I have them.  I have heard numerous stories, negative portrayals, of women by women about how we relate to one another.  Sure, at times I am left confused by our interactions in workplace environments (but I will again address that at another time).  Likewise, there are those moments when we pass each other on sidewalks or in hallways and turn our heads.  Are we serious?  With all of the dangers that lurk, can we really afford to dismiss each other so easily or have we collectively agreed to each her own.  Friendship though, now that is different.  (Or is it?)  After all, we invite these relationships into our lives.

Friends

There have been times when, though my best efforts, I still seemed to end up with a few Judasettes in my crew.  Such is life, right?  All the while,  I defined—only to redefine—what friendship means to me.  In doing so, I learned more about myself.  Likewise, I began to pay even more attention regarding the world in which I live.

I understand that for me, it is vital that I have strong female friendships.  I not only want to hear, but I need to hear words of wisdom from wise women.  Why?  Well, I hear viewpoints—wise or not—from men all of the time and let’s face it, I am a woman.  I want to hear what other women, particularly wise ones, have to say.  (Iron sharpens iron.)

There are things that I experience because I am a woman and I want to hear of shared experiences, learn from similar experiences, avoid pitfalls, celebrate, guide, receive advice from, laugh, cry, encourage and be encouraged by people who know what I am talking about.  When I say, “It’s too hot to wear pantyhose,” I do not want to have to explain why. If I am asked, “What’s wrong,” and I respond, “Cramps”, I want that to end the conversation…for the day.  If I am addressed as “Hun” or “Dear” in a workplace environment (which I have been), I want support on how to best handle such a scene from a woman’s vantage point.  Also, spiritually, there are situations of faith where women may minister to me more effectively.

I am extremely thankful for the female friends I have.  My hope is that all women have a group of women who uplift, enhance, and advance their lives.  Maybe if we speak more on our positive experiences, others will too.  It will be evident that it is not only possible to have positive female friendships, but that they are plentiful.

Be well my Sisters,

What Do You Think?

An interesting thing happened. A man told me that my life is easier because I am a woman.
Frog
At first I was a little stunned. So many thoughts battled to be heard. The most obvious question was, “How would you know?” Instead of partaking in a conversation that could have resulted in us both being upset, I honestly said, “You know, I am so tired of people saying my situation is worse than yours. It’s a different experience. Why not just share your experience to educate others and be open to being educated by theirs? No one has a problem-free life.”
He responded, “You know, you’re right.”
I could have listed the numerous injustices which target women, not just in this country but world-wide, not just historically but present-day, not just theoretically but practically. Maybe in another setting, to another audience.
As I ended my conversation with this man, I found that I appreciated his candor. It was his thought and he did not say it with malice. In truth, he made me think about how little I actually hear women share their hardships (in a public sense). In that way, I can see how people may conclude that women have an easier life.
What do you think?

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