Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year, New Decade

2010 is ending, 2011 is beginning. A decade is ending. A new one is just hours away. I am sitting here wondering what this new one will bring. One thing I know is that I need change in my life. I need to embrace new steps, new places, new people, and stop resigning myself for what I allowed myself to grow accustomed to. This is a hard revelation for me. I've grown accustomed to the monotony of daily life, work, relationships, environments. But I know God has never allowed me to stay in the same place for too long or life would inevitably get stale. He doesn't even like a stale or lukewarm approach to life.

So now, I am wondering what this new decade will bring. I would like to speak in faith and say it will bring marriage, children, new positions of leadership, more book publication, speaking engagements, opportunities to do art again. I would like to say that it will bring a new mindset and outlook. Most likely it will. But I am erring on the side of caution because I do not want to be disappointed or to feel that I have been facetious in speaking.

But I also know that if I do not say what I want, I will not get what I want. If I do not make an effort to speak into my own future, life will just happen to me. I do not want to be a passive participant in life. It is far too short for that. I want to be emboldened and passionate about the life I have been blessed to have. So I am entering this new decade with the understanding that I need to be involved in the progression of my own life. I have to agree with what God says about me. And I have to live like I agree with God and like I agree with myself.

So I welcome in this new year and new decade with a purposed passion, a purposed intent to live as I know to live. I am determined to indicate to God and myself what I know is best for me instead of being silent about the life He has given. I am entering in soberminded but excited, content but waiting for more.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Heart Issues

The morning of Thanksgiving Eve, my oldest sister lost her son in a tragic car accident. He was hit by a car while crossing a major street in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There are few words that can express how heartbroken she is, her family is, I am. I have a pain in my heart that I cannot even begin to describe to anyone else and it makes it hard to even know what to say to her. But I hope beyond hope that his death will not be in vain. I hope beyond hope that he is in heaven, looking down on us with the full knowledge that he is loved here too. And he will be forever missed here on earth.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This time of year, I am sure a lot of people think about family, friends, food, and fun. This time of year I tend to think more about Heaven and being there and the people I love that are there. I think about the closeness of Heaven, the love of Heaven, and what it all means to live in the Presence of God. The grandparents and father figures, the children and the cousins that I believe are there experiencing the fullness of God's Presence are all on my mind during this time of year. I don't think of them in a sad way. I think of them in a way that reminds me that one day, the beauty of this time of year will be experienced for all eternity. The continuity and family that this time of year means for so many will be an eternal moment, one day. We will always be aware of God's Presence and the sacrifice of His Son. We will be able to celebrate Christ in a way that we have only touched on here. We will be able to love in a way that can be so fleeting here on earth. I feel Heaven more during this time of year than any other time - perhaps for what it symbolizes. We remember the heartbeat of God more, I think. We remember the love and faith and famiy This is what God desires for us to do year round, but we miss the moment collectively until Thanksgiving and Christmas. God draws near when we draw near those we love. That is why I believe the Sabbath (Sunday, for most) is so important. For that one time during the week, many unite in faith to remember the dictates of faith (even if it is shortlived, even if by Monday, we forget everything we learned the day before, even if the worship we fetlt in our hearts begins to dissipate 24 hours later). In that moment God draws near because we remember what we were put on earth for.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Soooo...basically, my hard words turned a good relationship into a strained one. But I still don't regret telling the truth. I hope one day to have my sister back but for now, I wrestle with having to live without her. I gravitate between deleting her out of my life and leaving the door open. Really it's her choice. I hope she makes the right one.

It sucks having to be fake with people in order to keep a relationship going. So I decided not to do that anymore. I decided that in order to be for real, sometimes people have to be told the truth about a situation.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hard Words

A week ago I had to tell someone something that could potentially hurt for eons. I had waited for a long, long time to break the news to her that something in the past may still be existing under the surface in the heart of someone she loves. Then I wondered if I had done the wrong thing because what if I lose her? What if I lose the one person on this earth that has known me and loved me anyway and isn't entirely related to me? What if telling the secret is the most unfair thing I could have ever done?

I second guessed myself all week, not texting her, not calling her after it was all said and done. I wondered if her marriage falling apart would be my fault because I didn't keep the secret.

So what do you do when you love someone and you know something that could break their hearts into a million tiny pieces?

She told her sister later that she wished she didn't know; she wished I hadn't told her.

And now...there is this impenetrable silence from her. I do not know if believing the truth must be told is enough anymore. It does cost a lot to tell the truth. Nobody ever tells you that when you are learning the difference between the truth and lies. Certain truths are costly. The truth Jesus died for on the cross was costly and every day those who are followers and believers have to die their own private deaths for the same cause.

I have wrestled with telling the truth but at the end of the day, even if it means losing someone to the winds of change, I'd rather tell it than sit in silence and watch them be betrayed. I can't live with knowing someone is being lied to over and over.

But still...sometimes I wish I could bury my head in the sand.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Stranger than Fiction

I finished my first novel about two years ago and have recently felt the urgency to return to it. I've looked at it briefly over the last few weeks, just merely glanced at it, but now I feel like since I have published my memoir, it is time to bring forth the fiction. I am not a genre writer. I do not stick with poetry or creative nonfiction or fiction. I kind of just go with the flow and entertain the muse, whatever it may be.

I have two novels - this first one, We Run From Ourselves - and a new one just in the first stages gestationally. It is called, We Have Our Reasons. Both books cycle around a persistent theme, the same theme as in the memoir I published in April: the absence of parents and what that does to us individually and as a collective whole. The absence creates a vaccuum and everything in life that we could ever deal with gets sucked into us, without the filtering that parents bring. I am not sure why this theme haunts me beyond my own persistent issues with the absence of my father. That seems so exclusively personal. But it does and I see it everywhere.

But if I am praying to be a better writer, I have to dissect those personal issues and decide how much of those areas need to be surfaced in my writing. I study the craft of writing and why some writers stay as closet writers and why others take a huge role in our literary development as humans that crave story and a witness to what we all go through as humans. One thing that seems evident is that writers that draw from their own experience as part of the human race and also from the truth of what it means to be a part of that race become voices for what none of us are always so brave to say on our own. Truthfully, I seek to be that kind of writer.

I may not understand why I feel God has called me to this theme in my writing, but I know that the truth of story and experience is multi-faceted and multi-layered. It is always so much deeper than the visceral evidence of pain. We dig deeper because we do indeed have our reasons.

So today, I am working both manuscripts - reimaging one, leaving it, going to the new one, and back again. And although it is a little like reopening wounds, I am glad to be here, fingers on the keyboard, characters speaking in my ear, words transcribed on page, breathing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

33 Years, Time for a Change

I turned 33 on Monday, and enjoyed every bit of my birthday weekend with my sisters. It was a great time to be had by all and I am now grateful that God has blessed me to live another year. I want so many things for myself, but I received a great revelation the other day. I realized that while I am praying for God to send me a husband, praying that God bless me financially, praying that I become an even better writer, I have been seeking God the wrong way. It's not that what I was asking for was wrong per se. I just wasn't asking for them the right way. I was being much too selfish regarding these areas.

Instead of praying for God to send me a husband, I need to be praying FOR my husband. I know God has promised that I would have a family of my own. He has promised me that since I was a little girl. I know it is going to happen, so instead of praying in doubt, I am going to pray like my husband is standing right here in front of me. I am going to pray for him like I already know him and we are well acquainted. I am going to pray for his health, spiritual walk with Christ, pray for him as he faces challenges on a daily basis, pray his strength in God. I am going to pray that God bless his hands and everything he endeavors to do. I am going to pray for his dreams, his goals, his aspirations. I am going to pray that he fulfill everything God has mandated him to do in this life. I am going to pray that he become a great husband and father. I am not going to pray for him to come; I am going to pray FOR him.

Instead of praying that God bless me financially so I can do everything in my heart, I am going to learn how to give more, sowing into fertile ground. I am going to give and pour out of myself into the lives of the people around me. I am going to invest my time, energy, and even money into the places where lives can be impacted - both in church and outside of the four walls.

Instead of praying that I become an even better writer, I am praying that God use my words to impact a nation. I am asking God to use the talent that He has given me to influence many, many people - even when my body is decaying and my spirit has gone on to be with Him. Words transcend time, space, physical limitations. Words are life (or death - depending on how you use them).

I haven't been praying the right prayers. It isn't a way to manipulate God. It is a means to change my focus and change the impact of my prayer life. It is NOT all about me. It is NOT all about MY husband (he has his own life to live, now and after we are married), MY money (it has a life of its own as well), and MY books (they have the power to impact lives if I let God use me beyond even those lives I have the liberty to bear witness to).

So now it's time to change the way I pray...

At 33, it took me a whole lifetime to realize this.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October Sky

It is October already and I have to settle myself in the fact that summer is truly over now. I didn't get outside as much as I thought I would, but I do love fall too. I am not looking forward to snow, but I know that it is part of the process and each season brings with it something to appreciate.

I am going to be 33 in a week. That too is hard to swallow. I am so grateful for life and am looking forward to what this year will bring for me. I am believing God that I will meet the man meant for me, that I will truly be happy and settled in my spirit about some things I have been seeking God for. But more, I am believing that I will continue to make a difference in the lives of the people God has sent me to impact.

One of the assignments my pastor has asked us to complete by next Sunday (10/10/10) is to list the things that we want to improve upon in our lives, that we want to be better in, the areas where we want to successfully complete some things. I listed most areas that are common to us all: relationships with God and people, my careers (writing, art, and social work), my finances, and also living totally as the woman God intends me to be (not under the constraints that others may put upon me). I have come a long way and want to go further.

So much has changed in my life and in the lives of others around me. I see those changes but also know that I need to fulfill the destiny I am called to fulfill. Now is the time to fulfill some things for myself. I have strived to help others fulfill and complete their assignments. Now is the time to complete some things myself.

The October Sky is full of possibilities. I am turning a new age this month, entering a new season in my life at this time. And I am excited.

It has been a long time since I have been excited about my own life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Love Story: Marvin and MaLinda Sapp

Today I went to the Homegoing Celebration for Dr. MaLinda Sapp, wife of Pastor/Psalmist Dr. Marvin Sapp. It was rather close for comfort, as I recalled what it felt like to sit in the front of the service for my godfather Apostle William Nichols.

What I realize more than anything else today is no matter what - no matter the length of time it takes, there is a culmination. Love never dies...

Even though we cannot see those who have gone on before, we (Believers in Christ) know that as sure as we believe in God and know He is real and exists, those we cannot hold close are not so far away. There is no distance in the spirit. I learned a little about a real love story today...a love story very similar to my godparents' story. And now I know what to pray for.

I am not just going to pray to be married. I am going to pray that God would grace me with a real live love story of my own.

Three things I learned today:
(1) Dr. MaLinda loved her husband deeply. She knew she would have to go and her first and last thought was for him and their beautiful children.

(2) Dr. MaLinda was a great mother. Her daughter Mikaila told her friend last week, "My mom was my best friend." How many children and teens can say that today? Her son Marvin II was completely speechless at the funeral when it was time for him to say something to the audience. And her baby girl, Madisson, asked the best question of all on the way to the service when she saw all the signs for the funeral (likely the funeral flags placed on the cars). She asked, "Why do all the signs say funeral? This is a celebration!" One thing I cry for even now is that these babies miss their mom.

(3) I have a giant in the faith to map my life after, besides my mother and my godmother.

Her name is MaLinda Prince Sapp.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yesterday,one of my she-roes passed from this world into the arms of our Heavenly Father. I admired Dr. MaLinda Sapp so much and being from Grand Rapids, Michigan, I had great respect for the work she and her husband were doing in my hometown. There are not very many people that are from my city that come back and pay it forward. They could have lived anywhere, but they decided to live in Grand Rapids.

Mrs. Sapp passed away yesterday morning from complications surrounding her battle with colon cancer. It is still hard for me to believe someone so vibrant and young could have a disease so deadly. Often medical professionals tell women in our age group not to worry about breast cancer, colon cancer, and any number of terminal illnesses until we get older. But lately so many women I know personally have been diagnosed with illnesses that middle-aged women even ten to twenty years ago rarely battled.

That doesn't mean a whole lot to me today.

Dr. MaLinda was only 43.

And my city, the people I know, the neighborhoods where we both grew up, the parishioners that attended Lighthouse (the church she and her husband, Pastor Dr. Marvin Sapp shepherded) are reeling from the loss of such a beautiful woman. Her children will enter adulthood without their mommy. Her husband is lost without the bone of his bone and the flesh of his flesh.

Please pray...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Inspiration in a Place That Lacks It

I am eight months into my new job as a foster care worker and I have never felt like I was making as much of an impact on people's lives as I am right now. I don't know if I will do this forever, but I know that my present employment situation is doing more than lining my pockets. I enjoy what I do, which every time I tell another person in the same department, they tell me I haven't been there long enough.

I never really respond to the negativity because, truth be told, I didn't enter this job haphazardly. I knew it would require much more than any job I've had before. I knew it would kill my pride. I knew I would be challenged. But one thing can be said about me - I never back down from a challenge. I might step back and take a better look, but I will never run from a challenge so long as God has my back.

I don't really interact with a lot of other people at work, either. At first, I felt bad about that. But now, I realize that many of the women (mainly women) I work with either (a) don't like me, (b) have their own things going on (cliques and whatnot) or (c) are too nosy about my affairs. I keep my distance from naysayers, and I do my job to the best of my ability. That's what I do to keep myself inspired every day. And I keep my fire lit - the fire on the inside that reminds me of the passion I had burning on the inside when I applied for this job.

I'm not perfect at what I do, but I am passionate. If nothing else, that is what keeps me walking in the door everyday.

What about you?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Preparing for September

Thanks FullComplexity for the comment. You made me realize that I need to keep up on what used to be really important to me.

I have taken way too much time away from my writing on here (again). Life is happening way too fast for me to keep up, quite honestly. At the same time, I know that I cannot escape from who I am as a writer, artist, lover of books, lover of art.

The long and short of my life right now is that I am working hard at my job, building rapport with my families, loving the kids that have such difficult beginnings, and being better at what I believe God has called me to do. I struggle at times with having enough time in the day to be a SuperHero. But at the end of the day, I celebrate the fact that I am still me and I don't have to be a SuperHero. I can just be Myama Myowne and that is enough, for now.

In a month's time, other things have changed.

The guy I met disappeared back into the crazy world where I found him (or to be more exact, where I bumped into him). He wasn't the simple man I thought I wanted. He was way more complex than I realized, more layered than I care to deal with right now, more of a mystery than I desired to figure out. And the truth is the older I get, the less I like complex. Complex in his sense of being was annoying and wierd and not at all what I need. So he has melted back into anonymity. And to be honest, it is better that way.

My book sales for all intents and purposes are at a standstill, though I could be wrong. Haven't got the first royalty statements from yet. I haven't had any engagements yet and I haven't had a chance to do much marketing but I am hoping that I will be able to do more in another month or so. I am proud of the book, but I realize that I am not a marketing agent and am struggling with getting the book in the right hands.

Any ideas???

For now I am back...ready to jump full-fledged into Myowneworld. And life is still crazy. My prayer is that I will gain the necessary balance to be a part of it, fully there. Starting in September, I am hoping to post more interesting tidbits from my hectic life at least twice a week. I feel better already...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Way Too Long...

I haven't posted on here in eons and I should be spanked for that. I have been so busy at work and publishing the book that I haven't been writing on here or anywhere else. Please forgive me for being so lazy.

I have so much to tell since my last post. I had my first book release party and signing and am hoping for many, many more. That was just an opportunity to see if I could do it and it worked out just fine. I didn't have a plethora of attendants but it was great being in an intimate setting with people that care so much about my dreams.

My job is going well and I am building my caseload. It is so much to remember for each case that I think I need to take some vitamins or something, but I am glad that I am in the trenches, doing the hard work of repairing families (or at least trying to). I do feel a bit lonely at work but with so much to do, I don't have a lot of time for fraternizing anyway.

I have met a really nice guy who is slowly stealing my heart. I of course don't want to rush anything with any of these things but I don't want to deny myself the pleasure of caring about someone and something bigger than myself.

Honestly, life is good. Things are constantly changing around me before I know what to do about any of it.

I have left the church I attended in my city of residence, and although that was hard and my relationship with my godmother has become distant (it's not like it hadn't become that anyway), I am so glad I stepped out in faith. It's so important to be where you are supposed to be even at the risk of changing your entire life.

That's where I am right now.

And now, we are in the midst of summer's warmth and new beginnings and love. That is the way life should be.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Father to the Fatherless

My book is in the final stages of production through Xlibris Publishing. I chose to self-publish rather than wait and wait for a publisher to pick it up. I had sent the book to various publishers two years ago and had some positive responses. However, because of the economy no one wanted to take a risk on an unknown author, no matter how good the concept or how good the read.


I took a risk on myself - invested my own money in the project, marketed the book before it was even out amongst friends, family, and co-workers. I am not looking to be at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list (though that would be nice). I am not even looking for reviews in literary magazines.

I have a message that I believe God wants me to say to this present generation, and no editor at a publishing company can dictate when that message should get out. I know that mainstream publishing is the way to go if you want to make a name for yourself. But right now, that is NOT the most important message I want to send. Lots of people de-bunk self publishing, but I happen to believe that if you have worked for years on a project you believe in, you put your money where your mouth is and push that thing out for yourself. You don't wait on anybody and you don't hide behind the mantra that you wrote the book simply for the work's sake.

That is admirable but it wouldn't be true. I think it is better to be truthful with yourself - especially as a creative person. If you are writing, painting, singing, acting, and sculpting just for the work's sake, then wonderful and keep at it because it is accomplishing the purpose meant for it. But if you are opening a vein and pouring out of yourself, then be real about that too. If you intend for your work to reach an audience, drive it there yourself. Wait for no man to affirm your gift; affirm yourself and others will follow.

It would be a horrible thing to put that manuscript in a box under my bed because the publishing companies that could publish it don't think it's worth the risk. I happen to believe I and my book am worth the risk, so I will handle the business of getting my book into the right hands myself. If I don't believe in me, who else will?

The book should hopefully be released and available for purchase by the middle of May. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Moving on...Momentum

I am in a constant state of motion (it seems). My life is moving so fast that sometimes I can't keep up with it. I am ready to publish my next book, getting more acclimated to my job, and getting ready to change churches, I am wondering how all things are taking place without my being able to contemplate my next move. This is so unlike me. I still battle with loneliness and depression but it's like I can't even focus on what's going in my head when those feelings hit me. God is moving beyond my expectations and sometimes it gets scary. But I'm here and am hurtling toward destiny.

It's March already and I have been so behind in my posting on here, but I am determined to stay on top of my writing. So basically I am back to being me again now that I am regaining my footing.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year, New Challenges

It has been a crazy start to a new year for me, with a new job, my godmother's surgery, having to make the decision to send the girls back to their home county, and getting ready to publish my books. But I have to remember as with anything else that I can't do anything without God, no matter how I may try (because to be truthful, we all do, and then we end up looking foolish). So everyday, I start out acknowledging that I need Him more than I need anything or anyone else. When you are young and have no limitations, the temptation is to think you can live life without God's intervention and without seeking His face for everything. I have been guilty of that, but I feel that urgency to pray, to rekindle the relationship I had with Him at the start, and return to my first love. God is my first love and sometimes, stupidly, I try to seek another when I know that there is no one else that could ever love me like Him.

So, now, once again...I start over...