The Gift of Time

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Sometimes, I don’t feel like doing anything! Sometimes, I have a good reason and sometimes, I don’t. Am I being lazy? Yes; sometimes, I am. Other times, I’m intentionally resting or intentionally being quiet and that’s good. We should take a short break from the hectic pace of life. With caring for children, maintaining multiple calendars and social media pages, working, familying, churching, sporting… and other made-up gerunds, it all can be a bit much. When we rest our bodies, we should also rest our minds. Yoga, prayer, and meditation are really great ways to be productive by clearing and/or focusing our minds.

When I ran into my favorite high school guidance counselor a year or so ago, she told me that she would have never retired had she started yoga while she was working. You can find a number of websites that show you the benefits of yoga. I will say that there’s nothing like experiencing yoga for yourself– There is an indescribable feeling inside your mind and body that leaves you in a calm state. I love how both your mind and body are on one accord after you practice yoga 🙂

There is a common phrase in the Christian community, which is “prayer changes things.” Steve Harvey has a radio show where he says this phrase and then adds the words “you dig?” on the end. When you pray, you’re having a conversation with God and you’re telling Him what’s on your mind. Whether or not you believe in God is your choice. I just know when I speak out loud and I’m intentional about the words that come out of my mouth that’s both powerful and cathartic. For me, that’s prayer. There is something __________ (you fill in the blank) about not casting your cares on yourself. That’s stressfree!

Be sure to use time, because it’s a gift. I remember a former supervisor saying to me once “you don’t get time back…there will never be another March 2005.” He was so right.

Abundant Blessings!
-Ebony

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Do you have something to say?

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I’m sure you have something to say. You may even have something to sing like I did when I graduated from the MBA program at BAU International University in Washington, DC. I sang the National Anthem. You may not have anything to say, specifically about freedom, however; in the U.S., Freedom of Speech is a citizen’s First Amendment right. This may not be the case in other countries. Even so, what do you have to say?

Do you have thoughts about the future of “smart phones?” Are you thinking about how to save money? Are you working in a field that you love? Did you just go thru a break up?

Whatever your thoughts, just know that they are valid. As you continue to express yourself, you will get clarity about the things that you’ve been questioning. You’ll also find peace, eventually.

Abundant Blessings,
Ebony

Trust Your Gut

My gut is never wrong. Despite knowing this, I continue to make decisions that contradict my gut instinct. Why is that? I have no idea.

What I do know is that it needs to stop immediately.

Trust in any relationship takes time to develop. The relationship that we have with “self” is an established one, so the trust should be there. Right? When we ignore our gut instincts, we’re essentially not trusting and believing what we already know to be true. This does not sound like faith. It sounds a lot like fear.

It may be difficult to act on what we know to be true. It may seem counterintuitive. It also may have been explained to us that acting on our feelings is a “no-no.” Well, never say never. When God places a thought or idea or feeling in you, it must be acknowledged. Acknowledging your feelings by praying about them or writing about them are both appropriate actions. Doing nothing is neither appropriate nor healthy.

Have faith that all is well. Also, have faith when things don’t feel like they are well. How? Simply start by doing one thing– Just one. This will help. I’m sure of it.

Abundant Blessings,
-Ebony

I’m Confused?

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Today, I awakened. It’s a good thing to be awake, yes? What if I started to believe that sometimes, its not good to be awake. For instance, what if I started to speak about all the reasons that being awake is considered “bad.” This would be confusing. As a matter of fact, this could make someone crazy. Being crazy, is not a good thing. I understand that some people get paid to develop two sides of a story; I’m not talking about those persons. I’m talking about persons who read statements and who always see things two ways.

Here’s a word about that:
James 1:6-8 NIV

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

As I continue in my faith-walk, I see that life is filled with many confusing aspects. Holding on to my faith, by realizing that everything is okay, is how I’ve maintained my sanity. Yes, sanity is important.

Abundant Blessings!
-Ebony

Steadfast.

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We all go thru changes in life. It’s normal. We must have a positive attitude as we deal with change. We also must stand firm in our beliefs as we deal with our circumstances.

My Pastor asked us to memorize Psalm 1 a little while ago. Well, verse 3 says: “For he shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water which bringeth forth his fruit in his season. His leaf shall not wither and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

This is a very helpful visualization tool for remaining steadfast and unmovable when we focus on our goals. During our time of focus, we must have tunnel vision. Remember: There is often light at the end of a tunnel 🙂

Trees are awesome! They are strong and tall and can literally see over everything and everyone. They are also old, which means they are wise. Trees weather storms as they change through various seasons in their lives. They may lose their leaves in the winter and they come right back in the spring. This means they are resilient. Yes!

We should strive to be like trees as we FACE life. Stand strong and tall and be unmovable as we reach our goals and get closer to our dreams.

Abundant Blessings!
-Ebony

Officer Ron: Blocks and Mores.

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My father was a member of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC for exactly 20 years. He retired in the 1990’s. After retirement, he worked in customer service for at least one clothing company and he was a secret shopper as well. His last job, prior to his passing in September 2008, was at DIRECTV. He loved this job. He loved it so much that he talked about it all the time. He made quotes for his staff and reminded customers, literally, that “it’s just television.” He was a straight up and honorable man. I am missing  him quite a bit at this moment. When he died, he was 54 and an avid runner.

Growing up with a father for a “cop” was quite interesting. My father was rather unique. He rode his bicycle to work before it was popular and during a time when it was a very unsafe practice. So, he was a risk-taker. He was always up for adventure. Yay?? We biked and swam and played tennis as kids. One time, my brother, father and I walked like 3 miles, in the snow, from my mom’s house to my dad’s house. I was like 8! Who does that?! My legs were really short then too! One time, my father gave me a very valuable gift for Christmas: 4 cinder blocks #TheBigHeavyOnes. Yes, I was a freshman in college and yes, I was a first generation college student. Okay, please stop laughing. Please 🙂

So, the good times were good! My dad was also sad sometimes. Actually, he was very sad. On and off, while he was a member of the MPD, he would only visit his family after the “street lights came on.” So, for a period, he wore dark clothes and exercised a lot and just couldn’t keep his commitments to his family. He just couldn’t. After he and my mom divorced, he became more distant and maybe even depressed. Why? I can speculate. What I know for sure is that his behavior impacted me and my life forever dot com and this is difficult to explain.

My father died at 54. He was a runner. He was a smoker too. I didn’t even know that he smoked…smh. He used to smoke More cigarettes. Mores! How did I not know?!?! Like, I really didn’t know! So, running and smoking was and is not a good combination at all. Dad, you were a bama foreal. You were not a bad person.

Officer Ron was not a bad person because he was my dad. I know that he did what he had to do to protect me and my family. I do wish he would come back to life for a sec so that I could ask him:

  • What all did you experience?
  • How many people did you have to kill?
  • Did you really sacrifice your health and well-being for your family?
  • Do you know how much we miss you?

It is not my desire to see anyone’s life ended. I also do not agree with suicide, which means I value human life. Because I value human life, I cannot hate police officers. Even with the horrible truth that many black lives are being lost at the hands of law enforcement, I cannot hate them. I used to think that I hated my dad a long time ago, until he let me into his life and into his heart.

As I got older and learned more about life and what my dad valued, I started to appreciate him. He sacrificed his life, and even his family’s well-being, to be a hunter+gatherer=provider. I miss my dad. He was my hero. He was perfectly imperfect. And, yes; he was a police officer.

I pray that everything will be okay in the world we live. #ihavefaithalldaylong that it already is.

Abundant Blessings,

Ebony

(Talking in) Circles..

I really like Google+ for some reason. It’s not as popular as Facebook though. Gmail changed their app design to mirror Google+ so we’ll see if people catch on. I like that it uses circles. They remind me that relationships require a level of connectedness and openness to make them work.
Facebook is cool. I think Google+ is coolER because there are fewer users and the information is clearer to view to me. Sometimes, it’s hard to understand things (life) when they seem like they are all jumbled or all over the place. Things (Life) can become difficult to understand this way. Also, when there are a lot of people around or a lot of noise, things (life) can get worse.
I really like to have my quiet time with the Lord so that I can just focus on Him. I love Him so. When I set aside time to focus on Him, it seems like I maintain a clear mind and that I’m focused. How cool is that..quiet time with the Lord 🙂

Abundant Blessings,

-Ebony

Live Your Life! 3 Tenets for a Healthy Life.

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Life is filled with many twists and turns and I’ve experienced a number of them. I draw comfort from the three major tenets by which I live my life. I hope that you draw comfort from them as well:

1. People are doing the best that they can. This is probably the most difficult one to explain, so I don’t explain it. If you understand the concept of empathy or the “glass house” analogy, then you should understand my thinking.

2. Life is short and life is great. I can’t even recall the last time I said that I didn’t have time for something. Hmm.. Stop and make time to do what you like to do. Make time to write it down at least.

3.  If you love someone, then tell him/her the truth. Honesty is beautiful. When you are honest, you show who you are and you are beautiful just like honesty. You want your words to match your inner and outer beauty.

Okay? Yes; #ihavefaithalldaylong that you are okay. And, if you’re not, then please tell someone. You’re just that important.

Abundant Blessings,

-Ebony

I Appreciate You.

This is a very special message.

As we embark upon another holiday, I can’t help but take time to reflect on life. Holidays restore sanity. They help to slow things down. This means that we pause at work and at home as we shift our focus to something that involves others. Thank you God! We can be really selfish sometimes and this often gets on my nerves. Uggghh! Who made us so selfish? No really? Who did that? Whoever and wherever “they” are we should thank them for showing us what not to do and how not to live.

Life is not about me. Life is not about you. I mean…we live in this world but we are not of this world. Life is not about what we want to do today and what we wish to accomplish tomorrow. It’s not even about our collective children and ensuring that their wildest dreams are achieved. Nah… Nope. Sorry!

Only what we do for Christ will last. As a Christian, that’s the focus:  A Kingdom building life!

I often ask Him, “Lord, what would you like for me to do?” I ask this because this is what matters. Not my will. Lord, let THY will be done. Please. I am sick of bumping my head whenever I try to do things my way. I’m over that. Yes, #ihavefaithalldaylong and I’m right where He wants me to be. And, #ihavefaithalldaylong that you are too.

Abundant Blessings!

-Ebony

Open Letter to My Friend

I’ve known you for like..umm…forever! We’ve seen good times, great times, CRAZarious times, and even some once in a lifetime/emotionally draining times. Through all of these times, we’ve been there for each other.

I’m writing this post to openly express that I 1 Corinthians 13 you. If I have hurt you in any way, then I apologize and I ask for your forgiveness. Please don’t be distracted by this writing style. It’s helpful to write the way I would talk to a friend. I’m also just doing and being me 🙂

I don’t have a mean spirit. I don’t seek to hurt people. That’s not what I’m about. I don’t care to intentionally hurt people. I walk in truth and honesty. I have to be honest or I can’t sleep! It sucks too because I am really tired sometimes and I can’t rest until I’m honest. It’s pretty terrible. Yeah, I’m losing a lot of people from my life because of it. Honesty doesn’t always feel good or sound good. We can’t run from it though because it’s the truth!

In the spirit of transparency, I have to let you know that I’m growing in Christ like a mug. It is soooooo Cray-Cray how this whole walk with Christ is going. I don’t mean crazy in a bad way I mean like in a B’s Crazy In Love way. “Yes! Uh oh!”

I am not the same person that I was  when we met almost 20 years ago. Actually, I’m not the same person I was 2 days ago. When you’re in Christ, you’re a new creature and my walk with Him is so serious right now that I am growing and it is scaring me. I don’t talk about it because I don’t know what to say! I mean I’m more intentional with what I do. I allow the Lord to guide me and I pray daily about that. I seek Him first in all that I do.

The best way to explain it is to review some lyrics from “Crazy In Love.” Verse two:

When I talk to my friends so quietly,
Who he think he (He) is?
Look at what You did to me,
Tennis shoes, don’t even need to buy a new dress,
If You ain’t there ain’t nobody else to impress,
The way that You know what I thought I knew,
It’s the beat my heart skips when I’m with You,
But I still don’t understand,
Just how Your love can do what no one else can.

So, yeah….I’m in love hun. I also have really strong faith. It’s like really, really, really strong. I’m doing things I’ve never done before. Like, people are walking out of my life and I’m okay. Like people look me in my face and tell me one thing and behind my back they say HORRIBLE things and I’m like, “Uhhh…Well…Bless ya!” And, I’m keeping it moving. I think too after having experienced so much loss in my life in such a short period of time, that I’m used to people leaving.

When I think about it, I think I know why I remember very little that occured over a span of 11 or so years of my life:  I was traumatized! From 1999 thru 2010, the Lord called home every adult member of my immediate, biological family. So, yeah… my 20s kinda sucked..No, seriously. And now, I live every single day on purpose. I live! I love! I laugh! HarD! I smile as much and as often as I can. I forgive and I can forget too. No, really! It’s kind of amazing how you replace horrible thoughts with the goodness of the Lord. Yeah.. I strive to focus on the positive because I know that my life could be so much worse.

I am thankful to be alive and on this wonderful journey called life. I’m thankful for everything in life and I’m super thankful for my relationship with the Lord. Chile…I’m so grateful. O-M-Geee!

I love you. #ihavefaithalldaylong that all is well and that everything is okay. Foreals 🙂

Abundant Blessings,

-Ebony