From L.A. to Rock Hill

To think that it’s March already and my 31st birthday is just right around the corner!  To date, this year has been quite productive.  Filled with highs and some unexpected lows…all in all the peaks are outweighing the valleys.

It started off in January with a trip to California.  My spiritual mother was invited to minister at a church in the Long Beach area and I accompanied her to sing.  Welcomed warmly to the region, new connections were established and standing relationships were revitalized.  I gained the opportunity to spend time with family and Oma relived moments with a longtime friend.  The stay, in my opinion, was cut far too short.  The brief stint in the state was thoroughly enjoyed.  I foresee that I’ll travel west again soon.

grandma-annie-and-ayanna family-3

In February, we set off to Rock Hill, SC with the assignment of “moving Patty”.  A friend who once lived in Long Beach, Mississippi, transitioned to South Carolina to take on a new profession.  The move, while long, progressed smoothly.  Finishing rapidly allowed time for new exploits.

Crossing the state line and journeying into North Carolina, Crowders Mountain was next on the agenda.  Frequenting the state many times in the past, the Charlotte region was uncharted territory.  Viewing the mountains in the distance and fast approaching our destination, passions were certainly awakened.  Feeling “one” with nature I anticipated the trek.  The task: an 8 mile hike.

20170303_104743.jpg

Starting the course full speed ahead, was not the wisest of decisions.  Propelled by enthusiasm, little did I know that I would soon lose momentum.  Maneuvering through the course, was rocky mixed with an array of smoother courses.  At points losing breath, there were several stops ahead where I’d stop and soak in the scenery.

20170303_105840.jpg

Still moving forwards, I begin to think, “what in the heck did I get myself into?!”. “You shouldn’t have started out so strong!” the self talk at this point was on overload.  I pleaded to God “Lord, help me go on. I’m not about to have a heart attack in this forest”.  Besides, I was in the midst of good friends and I’ll be darned if they see me cower!

Passing hikers, we reached the uphill course, I was almost to my destination…

img_20170303_110641.jpg

A few more strides and I’ll reach the other side…

img_20170303_111754.jpg

The view…was totally worth it.

Encouraged by the recent accomplishment, I gratefully received my second wind.  I’d certainly do it all over again.  Yes, I’d assuredly do it again.

Until next time, the next venture up is Baltimore. Unless I gain the opportunity to explore elsewhere prior. This year is going to be a great one.  I feel it in my bones.  With some hard choices to make, I don’t expect it to be breezy…it will; however, be a memorable one.

 

Merely June

 

Advertisements

At Times Broken, Yet Beautiful

I wrote a poem last year with the above title.  The writing was brought to my remembrance this morning as I thought on the subject of brokenness.  It’s been my intent for sometime to post about the events that have unfolded since the start of the new year.  I’m certain that at some point I’ll get to it.  For now though, I’ll reflect on this…

As I walked along the seashore in search of seashells, I examined the sand for shells that were complete.  Ones that were bright and colorful.  Those that were appealing and whole. I found myself skipping over particles that were dull or broken.  Pieces that appeared to have lost their luster.  Fragments that were cracked, grayed, faded or black.

As I walked along the bank of the ocean and time passed, I continued in my pursuit of discovering shells.  With the wind blowing gently and the waves splashing against the earth, swiftly I became enlivened to a new notion.  I awakened to the perception of the inorganic material and what was considered beautiful.  I pondered at the rubble and began to view it in a fresh light.  As pieces of minerals that were scattered along the coast, yet if pieced together they would morph and no longer become incomplete.  They would create something insanely exquisite. 

In their defective state, the shells are much like life.  Now and then, it feels fractured.  The existence seems damaged and scattered.  The world gives the illusion that beauty is absent in brokenness.  That one must be perfect in order to be complete.  How falsified this conception must be! Without the shattered moments, the occasions when one feels crushed and bruised, what type of story would that be?

True, no one likes to experience brokenness and cowers at the idea of pain, but life void of it wouldn’t be unique.  And if one didn’t experience roughness, not only would it be unrealistic, but why would there be a need for faith or a Savior?  Who makes all things not only radiant, but brand-new?

Finishing my walk, I began a new search.  This time, intentionally looking for shells that were broken.  Marveling in just how fascinating they were all along.  Realizing they’re just like us, although at times broken, they’re still beautiful.

Merely June

Hello, Goodbye

My 2016 in review:

January- Completed Bachelor’s degree in Business Management!  Tried online dating. Never, again!! I have concluded that I will wait on God.

February– Connected with a ministry that encourages the less fortunate in the inner city.

March– Turned the big 3-0! Asked to lead worship at the above stated ministry and began serving a few times a month.

April– 1st baptism as an adult! Revived my relationship with God.  Received tickets to attend a women’s conference in Pensacola.  Obtained confirmation regarding a word God spoke to me.

May– Recited an original poem in an open mic setting.  Went to a hot air balloon festival with a former co-worker.

June– Traveled to University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with my sister for drum major camp.  Toured the sky box of the Bryant-Denny stadium!  Ate a Rama Jama!  Reunited with a high school friend.  Spent some time paddle boating and hiking at Oak Mountain. Attended the most epic baby shower held for my sister and brother-in-law! Began a series of traveling back and forth to Hattiesburg to pick up my spiritual mother from her missionary exploits!

July– Went on a dolphin cruise with my sister and mother.  Traveled to Richton with my spiritual mother, missions Pastor, senior Pastor and Bishop Holder from Ghana.  Had the honor of fellowshipping with and viewing a baptism (in a lake under a bridge) from three of the aforementioned. Welcomed my nephew to the world!  He arrived on my dad’s birthday.  By far the most precious memory and gift for the year.

August– moved in first apartment! God provided supernaturally prior to my move.  I was so scared (because of a previous failure), but He let me know He’s got me. Invited to a missions dinner with my spiritual mother and accepted a seat at the table for honorees. I didn’t feel worthy.  I wanted to sit in the background buried behind the other invitees.  My spiritual mother; however, convinced me that I was in my proper place.

September– A friend got engaged and I was able to witness the proposal! Spent time with my Godchild and watched my sister march with the South Alabama Jaguar Marching Band! Proud sister moment definitely.

October– Traveled to Baltimore with Oma.  She was asked to minister at Bethel World Outreach and I sung.  The experience was beyond words and we were treated like royalty. New relationships were established and doors of opportunity were opened.  Before coming home, we took the train to D.C.!  We ate at Union Station and I visited the White House, Supreme Court building and saw the Washington Monument from afar! When coming home, I went to Bethel Worship Nights.  Such a glorious worship involvement with thousands of other believers! To close out the month, my mother and I traveled to celebrate my cousin graduating with her Bachelor’s from Columbia Southern University!

November– Time with family and friends.  Tried to sit still some and rest.

December– Had some attacks in my body which resulted in a week off from work.  More time spent with friends and family.  Asked to be a Godmother for the second time; this occasion to my nephew.  I graciously accepted.

2016 wasn’t void of challenges, but looking back, I can say this year was progressive. Certainly not as fast as I wished, but gradual nonetheless.  When I think my life isn’t moving and I feel stagnant, I can look back on this post and know that’s a lie from satan.  God is getting me where I need to be in His timing and not mine.  I pray that going forwards, I will do a better job of enjoying the process.

2017, with the help of God, I will continue to work towards the dreams He’s has placed in my heart.  One moment, one day at a time.

Happy New Year and God bless.

Merely June

Mr. L

Laying on a cold, hard, concrete slab. Acclimated to the roughness of the terrain. Accustomed to the elements and commotion of pedestrians and vehicles passing by as you rest.

Positioned in a ball next to a pile of dung and a tattered McDonald’s coffee cup. Garments torn and body wearied… hanging on after years of life on the streets.

Mean as a whip, but buried deep…a gentle soul remain dormant desiring to surface. Leery of intruders, but under the circumstances, rightfully so. 

The awareness to the absence of your presence rings true when I frequent this area. The corner that once held your vulnerable frame is now empty and has been for quite sometime. Not sure where you are or if you’re alright or if you’ve transitioned to the other side… 

One thing I understand is that I miss you Mr. L. I’m sure that if we met immediately, you’d have no recollection of me and that’s okay. 

I’m grateful to God though to have walked in your path. I’m delighted that your heart was softened enough to allow me in. I aspire that we’ll meet again someday Mr. L. I aspire that we’ll meet again…

Merely June 

Down to the Size of My…

Bra shopping.  One of the things I loathe doing.  Being a female; however, it is a task that is quite necessary.  I recall visiting the outlet mall some time ago to search for the dreaded item.  I walked in the department store and asked for the help of an associate.  Since it’d been some time from my last purchase, I failed to know my proper size.  Gratefully, I knew the style needed, so that was one less thing to concern myself with.

After going through the motions with the salesperson and being fitted for the proper brassiere, I advanced towards the racks.  The first shelf I approached, had the garment, the precise color and size that I needed!  Needless to say, I was astounded. God knew I despised bra shopping and there it was…the only one of its kind, discontinued, marked down to clearance price, waiting for me!

As I moved for the register, I’m quite certain the cashier thought I was nutty.  I couldn’t help but thank God.  I sensed Him in the boutique with me and my excitement showed! What I needed…in eyeshot, was there! I didn’t have to search, try on and repeat the same action for hours!  I took possession of what I needed in minutes! Mere minutes…

Today I’m reminded of that moment.  What I’m seeking, is already there…wherever there is.  It’s only a matter of time meeting up with destiny.  Therefore, I need not fret for  just like God is in the grand scheme of things, He’s in the tiny things also.  From the tip of my toes, to the top of my head…even down to the size of my bra…God knows.  He will get me where I need to be, better than I can get myself.  He’s just that good.

Merely June

21 years ago today…

You left this realm and entered Heaven’s. I couldn’t comprehend it at the time, I only knew you left us…

In this world to live without you. It was never something I thought I’d do…

No, not at the tender age of nine. While I knew we all had to die…I didn’t expect it was your appointed time. 

From a disease whose origin was unknown…Could it have been prevented? Surely God knows…

But it’s ok, I’m glad you couldn’t stay. Your days aren’t filled with sickness, pain, nor worldly sorrow. 

You’re rejoicing and living torture free…with dancing and shouting and worshipping. Oh, how jubilant it must be!

One day I’ll join you in Heaven’s glory! Until then, you’ll remain in my heart and memories. 

I love you daddy.

June

Will I?

Will I get married, will I fall in love, have a rare biography?

Will I experience carrying a child, will I start a family? 

Will I adopt or foster a child and have a household with mixed nationalities? 

Will I design my dream home, nestled by a lake with all the fixings?

Will I explore and travel the world, make a difference in the lives of others? 

Will I walk in purpose…live the life I dream.. one of satisfaction and fulfillment?

You know, I’m not sure how the pieces of my life will flow together respectively. But I do trust in the Master’s plan and will hope continually. 

 

Overrated

Go to school, get a degree, get a real job they say. 

Climb the corporate ladder, start a family, live the American dream, ok?!

Have the white picket fence, retirement and benefits galore. That’s your “security” or “cushion”on earth, but is it really? No.

Not building my life on what they say, at least not anymore. That corporate life is overrated, God, what do You have in store? I want that plan, the one that You established from the beginning. The one you laid out for me before I was in my mother’s belly. 

That’s the life I want, whatever that may be, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It took me a while to get to this point, but I’m here and this is what I say: not my will, but Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. The King is coming, but before He does I want to fulfill Your intentions. 

I know you have purpose for my life. Apart from you I can do nothing. With You Lord I can do all things…please help me in the waiting.

I thank you Lord for who You are and I’m delighted that You’re in control. Push me to rest in that and KNOW that You’ve never left the throne. 

Your daughter’s awakened,

Merely June

Mourning into Gladness

July 24th. A day every year that my sister and I would commemorate my dad’s birthday. A moment often marked with sadness, dashed with good memories of the short time we spent together on earth. A period in time where no longer are our hearts heavy, rather filled with great happiness!

My sister Joy, as I type this, is in labor with baby Isaiah! My nephew! Her first child! On my dad’s birthday! What a miracle for us all! I can’t help but know that this confirms that my dad is with us! Watching over us and his grandson! 

I’m at a loss for words as to how I should close this out…EEEEKKK! I’m overjoyed that God replaced a sorrowful memory with a heartwarming one! 

I can’t wait to see you Isaiah! I love you daddy! 

My heart is full,

June

Pep Talk is the BEST Talk

Yesterday on my journey home I peered at the clouds as I often do. Staring upwards, I saw the chunkiest, faintest rainbow. In order to see it, one undoubtedly had to be paying attention.

For a moment I was awed and immediately I began to reflect. The rainbow reminded me of the promise God gave to Noah, but it also jogged my memory of some promises God communicated to me this year that have yet to come to pass.

Now at one point in my Christian walk, I knew nothing of personal promises from the Lord. A fellow brother or sister in Christ could say, “if the Lord made you a promise, it’ll come to pass” and I would say under my breath”psssht, alright” because I couldn’t recall the Lord vowing anything directly to June…aside from what is written in the Holy Bible of course. I wasn’t comfortable with it, not to mention I was uneasy stating, “Father God said this or that.” In my mind, I didn’t want to lie on Him. 

So, I’m driving and considering the words that He’s spoken and confirmed to me (cause He knows I can be like Gideon… wanting, rather needing the reinforcement) and I took the rainbow as a sign that He hasn’t forgotten about me. I can’t say that it doesn’t appear that way in the midst of it all, but I know He hasn’t. He’s operating on His timetable and in His way. If only it’d rest in my spirit and remain! Stupid satan has a way of disrupting that. he’s going to do his job, so I’ve got to mine!

Prayer:

… the promises of God are solid. Whatever He says will not return empty. God never leaves nor forsakes. Seek ye first! Trust in Him. Have faith and don’t doubt. Stop trying to reason! His thoughts are not yours and neither are His ways. You’ll never figure out nor understand the plan of God. Practice patience and let her have her perfect work. Be led by peace. Pray and don’t worry. God’s got you girl! It’s all working for your good!

In Jesus name,

Amen.