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Showing posts from May, 2018

Be The Bigger Person

I'm embracing this new season of my life by being the bigger person. I know. I know. It's asking alot of some of you but there's something about following your heart, even when you know you won't get anything in return, that makes "being the bigger person" worth while. I know I may not get a response, but I'm gonna wish that person well anyway. I know I'll never see the fruit of my labors, but I'm going to give all I have anyway. Being the bigger person means releasing immaturity and pettiness. It means, pulling up your big person pants and offering something to someone who can't or won't offer you anything in return.Today, I was the bigger person. Last week, I was the bigger person. I will continue to be the bigger person because that's who I am. Nothing or no one will stop me from spreading love in this world. I'm grateful for the insight and for the ability to give. I'm grateful for the abundance. Mostly, I'm grateful fo…

Stop Telling Preachers What To Preach!

I'm tired of people telling preachers what they SHOULD be talking about on Sunday morning. You don't know their community or what that community needs.
Sometimes people need healing before they can even begin to make space for whatever the latest news story is.
I feel like communities of color have a whole different preaching ethic, and rightly so! We live bad news daily. Sometimes we want to come into the house of God and be made whole BEFORE we can attack the political and economic dysfunction.
Watch more of my rant here:



I Refuse to Sing the Blues

I don't have a song for you today
All I feel is black and blue
Only pain and sorrow came this way

I don't have a song for you
I don't even know my name
All I hear are minor chords
All I feel is somber tunes
But I --

I refuse to sing the blues

I refuse to write another song about the troubles of my day
I refuse to vent, so maybe I'll just scat my blues away
It'll give me the words to say...

I refuse to be angry
I will turn my day around
I will sing until my withered soul arises from the ground

Not inspired. I'm just tired.

And I don't have a song for you
But I found a song me
And it's come to set me free

I refuse to sing the blues

Love Poem #2

You make me wanna write poetry--

A love song...
Or jazz...
Your gaze is like bent harmonies  Making my fingers have Seizures on the keys
my voices contorts into beautifully distorted melodies

I'm Not Responsible For Your Insecurities

I was in a "Bible study" of sorts today, and the leader was describing a situation in which a person was accusing her of speaking too much about being a same-gender loving pastor. She said she was taken aback at first and took careful consideration of the comment. After interrogating this analysis of her "over-sharing," she decided that the person's feelings and assessment of her wasn't her problem. She was not responsible for the other person's insecurities regarding her sexuality, faith and position, and their insecurities regarding the way she chooses to share that information.I started thinking a lot about my life over the past 2 years--saying "yes" to seminary, then saying "yes" to preaching, and finally saying"yes" to my call to be a pastor. I've dealt with a lot of folk's insecurities throughout this process of leaning into my God-assignment and stepping more deeply and firmly into myself. I tiptoed around th…

Embrace Your Evolution

Today, I learned that God's plans for us aren't final--that sometimes life/humans get in the way, and even God has to start all over again with the planning.
We may hear God speaking to us about something very specific that God has planned for us and years later, be questioning whether what was spoken was really God or some made up voice in our heads. Usually, we're interrogating that when we feel betrayed by what we thought was a God-plan that didn't come to fruition, or when we feel that God has been silent for too long and the plan hasn't manifested the way we thought it should've. We start to think we've misunderstood God.
But perhaps, God is rearranging some things--that God is adjusting God's plan for our lives so that it can stay true to the ways in which we've evolved since the plan was spoken. Perhaps, God is staying true to the ways people and the universe have evolved. Perhaps, the original plan no longer fits.
This was a most freeing r…

Summer Sundays

I'm realizing that I need to have plans of some kind on Sundays, even if it means reserving that day for ordering in so I don't have to cook. Just something to get excited about after church, like a special dessert or a good (non-academic) book. I love ministry (well...sort of, lol). I like church. I like serving. I like teaching. Ministry, however, needs to be accompanied by some sort of fellowship or exciting treat or it's like you're giving and giving without being refilled.Today, I binge-watched ER again. The adrenaline of that show helps wear me out, which helps kick my insomnia. Also, watching TV after church instead of napping keeps me from being up at all hours of the night. I digress, I look forward to summer Sundays and filling my post-church schedule with meaningful activities.

Forcing Rest

I am Radiant and Unfading

Yesterday, two people told me that I looked "radiant." I couldn't help but think about the scripture that I preached from in November: Wisdom 6:12-16
One of the lines says that Wisdom is "radiant and unfading."

When reading this text through the lens of my life experience, I immediately sought comfort in wisdom--in myself--in identifying myself as her. We are all wisdom.

The black woman’s wisdom runs deep
Deeply Buried in the bloody soil of this nation—
from pushing white babies through Central Park in expensive strollers
to writing dissertations that the academy don’t wanna publish.
From knowing just how much baking powder goes in the cake without measuring
to braiding your daughter’s hair with your eyes closed,
This Wisdom—this black woman’s wisdom runs deep.
It is ingrained in the fabric of the nation.
She is radiant and unfading—the text says--
Another translation says that “she is brilliant, she never fades.”

Today, I feel brilliant! 

Today, I was awarded …

Bible Study

I LOVE leading Bible study. I love that I don't have to perform,
that it's dialogical, that no matter how much I prep or plan, I can never FULLY prepare for it because it takes on a life beyond my preparation and that is so darn beautiful.Most of all, I love that I learn too.There articles I wouldn't have read--commentaries I would've skipped over--that I hadn't had the opportunity to teach bible study. Souch of my knowledge about the Bible and doctrine has been garnered through prepping for worship leading (and deciding which songs fit the theology of the space or not) and leading theological and biblical (not the same thing) conversations. I feel like I've learned more by doing than by schooling. Of course, seminary has taught me where to look for certain info and what to look for. I'm excited about the future of my ministry. I don't know what exactly it'll look like but I'm believing God for a mind-blowing experience.

Affirmation

Ever so often, we need a dose of affirmation to remind us that we are on the right path(s).Today, I received several doses of affirmation that confirmed my ministerial journey as well as my artistic pursuits. I'm determined to live every breath of life fully, leaning into the various parts of myself, letting the water of my gifts seep into the crevices of my being, filling me up infinitely.Today was the first day that I was excited about the immediate future. I look forward to the ways God will continue to blow my mind as I press forward with dignity and determination.I know that my shortcomings don't determine my worthiness--that God still sees the value in me, amidst my faults and my faithlessness. I look forward now, more than ever, to saying,"Here I am, God. Send me!"Send me forth to be a vessel of Hope in a world full of hopelessness. Send me forth to be a voice of Change in places of stagnation.Send me forth to be a carrier of Love in loveless corners.Here I am…

Shake Shack

Today, I had a fast food burger for the first time in years! I had a serious craving for Shake Shack or Chick Fil-A. I saw the Shake Shack first as I scurried through Penn Station to get to an appointment.At 12:38am this morning, I submitted my final paper of the semester. I'm having mixed emotions. I already ate my feelings this morning, so that's out of the way. Now, I'm in bed--not hungry, not tired (enough), and trying to figure out how to occupy my mind in a healthy way until it's blown again next week at the start of my chaplaincy internship.Many of us really don't know how to rest. I spent the whole semester praying for this moment--the moment when I could finally rest my brain and my body, my spirit and my soul. Now that it's arrived, I feel strange. My to-do list is blank today. I'm learning to leave it like that when I can. One day, I'll look back on this boredom and wrestlessness and wish I had appreciated it more.

1 Page Away From Freedom

I'm struggling through the last page of my final paper of the semester. It has been a LONG semester, and if you've been following me since I started blogging daily on January 8th, 2018, you know how intense this year has been.

I'm not crying. I'm not complaining. I'm anticipation freedom.

One of the things I hope to accomplish tomorrow is spending stress-free time with God. So much of my brain-space has been clouded by looming deadlines and final projects and my time with God has been muddled. I want to wake up tomorrow and not lament about what's due tomorrow or next week or next month. I look forward to laying in bed and praying, or hopping out of bed to have a praise and worship session that doesn't have to be cut short by a 15-page paper hanging over my head. I look forward to going to a restaurant to celebrate my accomplishments and NOT bringing my laptop or some required book for class, but bring a book to do some leisurely reading or a notebook to j…

Sick-n-Shut In

Whenever I'm sick, I think about how lonely this world is for those who don't have people to care for them. I have wonderful friends who have dropped everything to attend to me when I've been in need. I live away from "family" so that's not an immediate option. Yet, I still feel the loneliness, as a single person with no children.I feel like I need a few kids to order around when I'm sick lol -- to go to the grocery store for me or to heat up a frozen meal so I can stay in bed. That'll be years from now, though. I'd take a strapping gentleman, however. Ha! Until then, I'll take care of myself, as usual.

Down with the Flu

I missed posting yesterday
Because I was tryna be superwoman
And failed!What I thought was a little cold
Turned out to be the flu.
I'm down and out.
But not defeated.

I Can't Be Superwoman Today

I woke up this morning with a sore throat.
I'm about 15 pages from being done with this semester.
It's been a painful journey.
My paper will be late.
I've already made peace with that.
I can't be Superwoman--
Not today.  Not tomorrow. Not yesterday.
Maybe in a few months,  I'll put on my breastplate and reclaim my throne.
I feel silenced. 
I wish I could tell the world what broke me--
Who broke me--
Why I'm struggling to meet deadlines--
Why my body is shutting down.
But I won't, because brokenness won't become me.
Just because I can't be Superwoman today,
doesn't mean I can't be whole tomorrow.
And so, I press on.

Bourbon 4 Ice Cream

I had a doctor's appointment today. Well...it was more than that...but basically, I have to seriously cut down my alcohol intake because my ulcers are at risk for perferating. So tonight, instead of having my daily glass of wine or swig of bourbon, I washed down my stressful day with a half pint of double chocolate Talenti (I don't even like chocolate like that...unless it's a man πŸ˜‹) and a half pint of carribean coconut Talenti (ok ok, I went a lil overboard, but I didn't eat dinner so...it's fine πŸ’πŸ½‍♀️).This will be a strange journey for me. Pray my strength in the Lord. But for real, I'm trading my bourbon for ice cream, at least for now. I'm excited...maybe once school is over and I stop stress eating, I'll wash down my day with a green juice instead. Who knows?

Steady My Stumbling

I stumbled into this ministry thing.I just started walking straight months ago, and with the determination that fueled my steady trod came the perseverance needed to weather an unforeseen storm.It seems as if as soon as I got the confidence to stand tall in my call, a hurricane swept through and destroyed the vegetation that was nurturing me.But I have not starved. I have not gone hungry. I have not gone thirsty. I may only eat once a day, but I eat. I am fed. I am full. My cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy have carried me. I need for nothing, despite my wants. So, I say, "here I am, God!" Like the great prophet, "Use me. Send me!" Steady my stumbling and temper my trod. I'm jumping in.

Can You Love Me On A Saturday?

I know you can love me on a Friday--
when I'm dying
and you need to get
one last superlative out
before I slip away.
I know you show your love through grief,
with flowers at my feet,
as you mourn my coming absence
from your life--
as you think about
all the ways I've served you
that will be no longer.
(They say your foes return as friends
when what they thought would kill you
fails.)

I know you can love me on a Sunday--
when I've resurrected,
returning as something
more beautiful than before.
I know you can love me then--
when there is a blessed assurance, a foretaste of glory divine.
But can you love me on a Saturday?
Can you love me in the sunken place?
Can you love me in between  the all-to-familiar crucifixion and the all-to-praised resurrection?
Could you love me when  the flowers at my decomposing feet have died-- when Sunday hasn't come-- when Sunday never comes?
Could you love me then?-- After the fall and before the rise? After the light within has die…

Failing...

I missed posting yesterday...again!I'm trying to be gentle with myself and not fall apart when I feel like I'm failing at life. I spent the day with friends after church, but had to cut the evening short when I started sensing a fever coming on.Take care of yourselves, folks. Life is short. Be kind to your mind. Be sweet to your soul. You deserve to live and live fully--a life full of health and strength.

Full

God always finds a way to fill me up when I'm empty.I've suffered tremendous losses in this season of my life, but somehow, even in the despair, my cup runneth over.I'm full tonight. I spent the evening with wonderful women of color who are on a journey in ministry. There's nothing like being around people who, despite the differences, get you and support you. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share with them and to be empowered by the space that has been provided for us to grow with each other.So full. So nourished. So grateful.#Grateful

Let the World Deal with Itself

I've always been so consumed with my passions--with how to take what I've encountered in this world and use it to create something beautiful that could better this world.But today, I'm exhausted. My body hurts and my brain is about to explode.Sometimes, you gotta get in bed at 7pm and let the world deal with itself. You gotta be gentle with your passions and not let all that youve consumed comsume you.

Grace in the Storm

I was so swamped last night that I forgot to blog. 😧😧😧😧😧

My bad, my few faithful followers.

It's the end of the semester and the sun is out and I'm behind on school work because #life. However, I'm doing well this week. Life is so strange and peculiar and overwhelming all at the same time. I'm learning to gentle with myself--to not be so critical of my shortcomings. I was reviewing a few papers that I received back from professors this week and I was appalled at my writing. It was just...all over the place. I managed to interrogate interesting topics and engage with the course materials, but my theses were misplaced and the quality of my writing is not what it could've been. I started to beat myself up about it--it has truly been a long and hard semester and I was mad at myself for letting the caliber of my work fall. But then I remembered something--

I MADE IT!
I made it!
I actually made it to the end (well, almost...still got 2 long papers left😩)

I was inve…

Black Woman

Black woman
         Black woman
Black woman

Why you gotta be so strong, huh?

What is it about your make up
Your makeup
          Your make up

That makes you care so much
That makes you love so deep
Your black people?

Black woman
          Black woman
Black.

     Black.

           Woman.

Why you gotta go to war, huh?

Why you gotta wave the flag?
What is it about your swag
That speaks power in the midst of defeat?--

That undermines toxic masculinity,
Even when it’s your brother?

With your body
You turn a pew into a pulpit--
A kitchen into a bible study--

Because your call for justice was never selfish.
It was never exclusive.
There is no cognitive dissonance in your
          proclamation of freedom.

     Black Woman
Black Woman

          Woman

               Woman

                    Woman


What is it about the way you
stir that cake batter in the basement
that saves our souls
long before the Black preacher man ever could?

Black Woman

       Black Woman


What is it about the way you li…