Mountains, lakes, land or sea…I love capturing God in all of His glory.
Yesterday I needed to drive. To simply go. To do something impromptu. To break the mundane and deviate from my typical schedule.
Being a Sunday, that normally equates to church. Whether greeting parishioners by passing out bulletins or teaching toddlers about Jesus…either praising the most high with like-minded believers, church is the traditional go-to. Not this day; however…
I woke up at my mom’s house from a weekend celebration, further observing my birthday with a knowing that I wasn’t going to church. I got up, got dressed and set out for I-10 westbound. I’d contemplated only going to the beach, but quickly decided against it. With laundry in my backseat and perishable items on hand, I mulled over dropping the items off at home, but knew if I did, I’d get comfortable and stay. So I persisted to drive.
The good thing about my state (good ole Alabama) is that in either direction the bordering state is only hours away. Mississippi was up first, then Louisiana.
I’d added to my bucket list some time ago to take a picture with all the state signs. This requires back tracking to say the least, but I figured it’d be a fun feat.
Stopping at the Mississippi sign, a family before me exited their vehicle. Giving them space, I stood a ways away…(you never know about people nowadays). Before they left, we made an exchange and they volunteered to take my portrait. Before long we both hurried on with the next target at hand.
Initially I was only going to drive through Mississippi…find a spot, hang out and go home. With Louisiana only an hour away, I decided carry on.
Stopping at the Louisiana sign was a bit frightening in part. I kept envisioning an 18 wheeler flattening either me or my car. With the cars whipping by, it was quite a rush! Louisiana marker, accomplished!
With about 30 minutes away, I’d be in one of my favorite cities. N’awlins! Since childhood I’d frequented the area. With its faster pace, southern twang and delectable etoufee…New Orleans is certainly a special place.
Canal street underway, I found a parking space and headed to the Riverwalk. Attempting to take a selfie, a nice woman bid to help. I accepted graciously, in hopes that the pic would fare great!
After saying my thank yous, I walked along for approximately an hour or more. I was grateful I came. It ended up being such a lovely day. All it took was a little gas in the tank and a bill to cover parking. I must say…this randomness I should do more often.
Now it was time to go home. After driving through two states, I’d reached my stay. I look forwards to doing this another day.
Thank God for 31 years of life! Today has been stupendous and I’m anticipating that the remainder of the year will be smashing! I’m inching closer to my goals and striving to enjoy life one day at a time! Praises going up! I’m already blessed! I’ve got the favor of God on my life! All glory goes to Him! The best is yet to come.
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.
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.
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.
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…
A few more strides and I’ll reach the other side…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.