Change!

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Change is one of the hardest things for some of us, especially if we find comfort in what’s familiar. Yes, what we are accustomed to, even if it depleted us, we stay committed to whatever that may be because of fear of change. Fear we might venture into something unpredictable, and if we do, then what? Change can be unsettling because of the unknown quantities that it entails. Therefore, we know what to expect with whatever we’re into or have, whether they be good or bad. As a result, easily sliding into a rigid approach to life by viewing those approaches as consistency, which makes us laidback and side-step change—and unintentionally erect barriers that block progress without realizing being wardens of our self-imposed prisons. This blunt reality hits home for me earlier during a discussion with a family member about my embarking upon a life-altering change. As we converse that idiom, “Two heads are better than one,” let me come to see my truth through her advice. I also realized that as one who considers myself a realist, there were holes in my belief system, which energized me to change. Real and meaningful change isn’t easy, and it can be the hardest thing for us to do. However, when necessary, change must occur, and it’s like the birthing process, which can be painful while going through it, but after it’s over, the reward becomes fulfilling. And within those changes, freedom with validation makes life what we so often longed for and later expressed with joy and purpose. So, yes, what once seems intimidating now provides the path that makes life worthwhile and offers its ultimate, which is peace! What do you think?

We Belong!

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In the illusion of those yesterdays, Greater You are, as you seem to draw nearer,

Eternally, You hovers over time,  past,  present, forever you remain,

You Never falter, You never fails, so strong, yet gentle, you hold us, dear;

Tremendous are your powers, yet, within our fragility, You tenderly guide us,

With Love, and outstretched arms, shield us; and offered up Your Son for us, a sacrifice,

Your Everlasting Love knows no boundaries and always shows us the way,

Gentle are You, Greater are You, sees us as your most valued treasure

In a breath’s reach–patiently, you wait to hear, “Saviour, we hear you when you call.”

Please save us before we fall; place your hands into ours on seeking your face,

It had been a long walk, and we believed we were so strong,

However, the realities of where we are-

And, where we seem to be heading seems wrong…

Oh, gentle Saviour; to you, we belong.                             

My Jewish Mother!

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Several years ago, working privately in the nursing field, I met a woman named Esther, who has forever changed my life. Initially, I was her private nurse, but quickly, we became friends. We changed each other’s outlook as she was Jewish and came from the Holocaust experience, which made her the kind of woman you wanted to talk to when the chips were down, and I can be a talker when I believe I have something to say. Also, as one from the Black Experience, who studied my history, our exchanges were inspirational in their raw honesty. I was never intimidated by wealth or status; although she was on a different social and financial level than I, I saw her as an equal with years of wisdom I didn’t have. I was told right off the bat that she was called the iron lady, but as one who doesn’t allow the opinions of others to dictate my response or warp my view of others, I brushed that warning aside and got to know her. She was a wonderful woman but didn’t allow people to run circles around her, which they tried doing because she was older.

I smile affectionately on remembering my Jewish mother, her beauty, warmth, love of family, friends, life, and her country, America. I recalled a year into my employment; the diagnosis for her was fatal. On hearing the news, she was naturally frightened by the prospect of only having a few months remaining. Her children were all grown and doing well, and her grandchildren also were adults. She wanted to see at least one great-grandchild. She expressed her concern that she wouldn’t live long enough to see it happen, and naturally, I pushed back hard on that. I’m known to have what some call crazy faith. I immediately dismissed the doctor’s prognosis, reminding her he was a learned man, not God! How would he know for sure when someone would die? I encouraged her not to accept that, and after some very animated discussion with her, she relaxed, dismissing the idea of dying soon. For the next five years plus, her health improved with proper healthcare, nutrition, social activities, family support, and me as the daughter she met later in life. Our days became filled with laughter, hugs, and the occasional minor issues caused by simply being alive. She lived long enough to become a great-grandmother and even saw her great-grandchild learn how to walk.

 In the last month of her life, she asked me to take her to Barnes & Noble to purchase a book, which I found strange, although we didn’t know it would have been her last month. She usually reads only the newspaper, so why was she buying a book? I was confused but went along without belaboring the reason as to why. We got the book, and to my surprise, she gifted it to me with a lecture. “The Giving Tree” was the title of the book. She told me to be careful not to end in life like the story’s main character, who gave his all and left with nothing at the end. I understood what she wanted me to be aware of; that life can be cruel, and we need to be careful and not develop a Christlike complex in our choices or decisions.

I appreciated where she was in her thinking on observing me. However, I believe the essence of who we truly are isn’t up for grabs or negotiation. Material stuff changes with time, and when people think they’re shortchanging us, they are doing it to themselves. God knows everyone and has the first and last say about our lives. There’ll always be losses in life, but the greatest loss is that of the soul, which can only happen when we compromise our true essence of what makes us uniquely us. We can be in a room with people who has our name, and they might even share physical characteristics and cultural, social, and economic background; but that doesn’t make us the same. We are different through intrinsic qualities that sets us apart. Therefore, no one changes us unless we allow it.

My Jewish mother has been gone for quite some time, but the warmth and love she has given me remains. It is good to open our hearts to accept love no matter where or who it comes from because it might be what helps to show us the way in life. So, as I look back and look ahead with hope for the future, I pray when my race is over, there’ll be someone who will look back as I am doing now and find peace, joy, and appreciation that our lives crossed, and this is the best any of us can hope. Thanks for stopping by. Peace!

Philia Love

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To love and be loved is one of the greatest experiences any of us could hope for. But, like everything else in life, love comes with its share of disappointments that I’m sure some of us are yet to recover from. Moreover, love comes to us differently; for some, it is complicated and can be intense. Nevertheless, even when we are at a disadvantage, having been touched by love, the prospect of it keeps us in its grasp. Now, let’s take a brief glimpse of Philia’s love from my perspective inside that of friendships.

As we are aware, love comes in different forms, such as Intimacy, Passion, and Commitment, and taking it further, there is Storage, Agape, Philia or Philae, and Self-love. These are also carried over into Romance, Platonic, Unrequited, Unconditional, Obsessive, and Conjugal love. I will speak briefly on Philia love, a love without romantic attraction between people who share the same values and respect for each other. I am not trained or have the authority on this subject matter; I only speak from my personal experiences; and I have been blessed through active exchanges, understanding with acceptance from women I’ve befriended for over thirty years. I have been blessed to forge relationships with some phenomenal women who I call sisters, my friends. My friends and I share similar ideals, we often laugh at the same jokes, and there is intense respect and admiration between these women and me but most of all, they are there for me through all of life’s seasons, which is essential in friendships. Real friendships are relationships that don’t critically evaluate our shortcomings but rather serve to strengthen us whenever or wherever we’re weak, and that I have in my friends. As a result, the emotional fulfillment friendship brings has a pivotal impact on who I am.

Therefore, by honoring the love friendship can bring to one’s life, let us call it for what it is when it enriches us, Philia love. And in its acknowledgment, we come to validate it. It shouldn’t matter what package love comes in; once it comes to us and it’s what we’d hope for, embraces it in the purity of another gift from God. I am blessed to be the recipient of such relationships, and my prayers for you are that you can rest assured in having this kind of life experience. As we enter this weekend, it may be time to reach out to a friend, letting them know how much they are appreciated. Have a safe and blessed weekend! Thanks for stopping by. Peace!!

The Coming of Grace

Chapter 8

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 New Beginnings

Rebekah felt weak and nauseous in anticipation of the inevitable. Fred never traveled without his switchblade in his side pocket. Maybe this was the day she would die. She surrendered to God because only He could save her now. All she could do now was pray. Rebekah prayed like God was visible, petitioning for his mercy. She was a nervous wreck but made a mental effort not to let it show.

“I’ll get your suitcase into the car. At this hour of the day, the roads are busy with beachgoers. I want to get you to the airport on time for early check-in. I’m going to have lunch, then go into the office.”

“Okay, but wouldn’t it be better to let me go by cab? You could spend more time home, so Bella wouldn’t be left alone for the first time with the nanny for an entire day?

“She’ll be fine! Bella adjusts easily, and you know she speaks her mind if she is unhappy. I’ll know if anything went wrong when I get home from work.” “If you say so. Okay. Let me spend some time alone with my child. Then we can leave.”

 Rebekah sat next to her daughter. Leaving her child was one of the hardest things she had ever done. But it had to be done for her sake and Bella’s. She wiped away the tears and caressed her daughter’s hair.[..]

This is taken from “The Coming of Grace” part one.

We Have Dominion

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Sometimes it’s easier to believe that an annoyance comes from being confrontational, “What’s eating you, or what’s your problem?” We often ask that person and do so without genuine concern, asking because it’s polite. I cannot point the finger at anyone regarding that because there have been times in recent years I wasn’t as sensitive as I should have been. Life’s seasons change, and eventually, its lessons teach us to see those who got glossed over and where the gap that created distance narrows because it affects us. The shoe on another foot has become ours to wear, and our approach and perception change for the greater good of the group we all are.

I raised my hand as one not wanting to be too involved in the problems of others because of being busy in the chase for what was considered getting ahead, and as a result, I dropped the ball. But life taught me as I grow in the things of God that knowing Him and recognizing the basic principles of the fragilities and predispositions, I, too, can still evolve to change with meaning. It’s here that change is inevitable. Genesis 1:26, God said, “He makes man in His image, likeness, giving us dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, livestock and all other earthly things, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” The scriptures reminded us that we have dominion, which is powered to create access and make adjustments necessary for fulfillment. By being reminded of that–whatever might beset us, the power lies with us to turn it around, which starts with not allowing short-term problems to morph into long-term ones’ based on our responses. I’ve learned that caring for others is caring for myself because what goes around will eventually return. Life is a cycle, and change is ever-present. Thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed day.   

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Let Your Light So Shine!

Marjorie

Last night I began to write what I’d felt led to do for today’s blog; however, this morning, I’m taken in a different direction. I’m now at a place where I speak about what I consider worthwhile addressing at this juncture of my life. But, first, there has to be peace with whatever I now give my time to. When youth was on my side, this wasn’t even a thought; today, that outlook has changed.

Now, I’ve gotten that out of the way; what’s on my heart is, “Is there a relationship between how we dressed attending Houses of Worship and how we reverenced or see God?”  There is a noticeable change in the dress code attending church today. It has become more casual to the point of no differentiation from food shopping or going to the club, which for me causes moments of becoming perplexed? However, as a human with no extra sensory powers than the next person, who am I, to say what the next person is thinking? How do I know their heart? Based on established norms and cultural beliefs, it can become so easy to be judgmental? Also, going to scriptures such as Matthew 5:16, which tells us, “Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Sometimes, this scripture is quoted out of context regarding how we carry ourselves in places of worship. The scripture plainly speaks of our deeds, not how we dress when entering a place of worship. Therefore, this particular subject matter, I believe, should be left to the One being served, which isn’t us.

I view houses of worship as clinics for those like me who need a Saviour. It is supposed to be a place for healing and spiritual fortification, providing emotional support for mortals towards a fulfilling life that most of us strive to have. Therefore it isn’t a coincidence that there are different approaches in appearance and attitudes toward serving God. There are inherent factors that decide outlooks and behavior in everything we do, and why should serving God be any different? Therefore, I concluded that God is the ultimate judge of us, so how an individual chooses to worship God in parts or in whole, it’s between them and Him. I will serve him in how I perceive him, and if that makes me the odd one in the mix, so be it. In the final hour, it will be about what’s in our hearts; only God knows our truth. Have a blessed Monday. Peace!

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What Are The Reasons?

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The years have now seemed to reduce to a few months, the months a few days, and those days fleeting hours, and here we are, with another weekend upon us! However, some attitudes and perceptions have appeared frozen in time? What are the reasons? Is it complacency, denial, or simply one borne out of frustration? There is a blanketed fear of addressing issues that adversely affect us, starting with just talking to each other respectfully and hearing the other! And attempting to voice your opinion could easily place you as an outsider who doesn’t know when to shut up! This approach confuses me because how can anyone be effectively engaged in life and living but be absent from the dynamics which qualify life and living, starting with constructive communications? It doesn’t have to be aggressive or dismissive? It’s about being heard with a readiness to be equally listened to even when we disagree! So, with the ending of another week, there are those of us who will have time for relaxation; we could carve out some time to invest in assessing and recalibrating our approach to these experiences that confront us each day in “life.” One that initiates understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance. As we look beyond familiarities, we realize every thought instigates an attitude, and attitudes result in actions that become our reality. I pray that this weekend will find us fostering new and productive efforts facilitating the tomorrow possible towards our advancement, starting with a better week ahead. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your weekend. Peace!!  

Beliefs And Habits!

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Seated here in front of my computer, smiling, being reminded that most of us are creatures of habits, of which I am one. Half an hour ago, as I drove past large shrubberies that act as a wall around a commercial building, I noticed something familiar showing through the thick bushes, almost creating a woven appearance among the bushes. I pulled over closed enough to satisfy my curiosity; it was Cerasee, and it weaved through the entire length of the bushes; I removed as much as possible. I recalled harvesting Cerasee as a teenager in Jamaica. It’s used as a detox for skin rashes, bites, and a few other ailments; however, because of where I took it from, I would not ingest it but will use it for mosquito bites or other skin ailments. So why am I smiling about this? First, it shows that although I’ve spent most of my life living in America, I haven’t forgotten certain beliefs or changed certain habits. I’ve also been reminded of unique experiences that colored our lives and contributed to us being uniquely a part of larger experiences reflective of some similarities yet striking differences. I am grateful for always being aware of those defining qualities, which add value to how others are seen; beautifully different; however, we are so alike in many ways. We come to this arena of life where we share, exchange, and seek to better understand and appreciate our walk among each other. Thanks for stopping by! Peace!

We Are!

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We Are

Because He is

We have today

Because He made a way

We are here

Because He cares

We are made in His mold

Because He is in control

We are loved

Yes, because He first loves us

We are blessed

Because He has given to us His best.

So, today whatever we might attempt to do and experience challenges in our efforts, let’s find peace, faith, and hope, knowing we are not alone in this walk of life. Have a wonderful day! Soul Expression.