Category Archives: Relationships

My Table is the Centerpiece.

So I’m not certain if the last post allowed any feelings to come to you or not…. but I love colors and centerpieces. They’re what makes a table Shine!

I love the fabrics that grace a table that make it open and inviting.

I invite you here.

So…this is my table. I love to talk about life, and fun insights  that God gives as we walk through this thing called “LIFE.”

Please join me.

I am Jennifer – and at my table , conversations could range from amazing life lessons  to wonderful stories I hear along the way.  I have been in my lifetime a diversity trainer, a social worker, an entrepreneur in life coaching, an author, a book coach, a friend and confidante, a sister, a mother, a storyteller, a writer, and my latest has been in the field of chaplaincy.

Don’t worry… I won’t preach, too much. But I will share stories of grace, redemption and life stories with God often being the center . And hopefully you find peace in these stories and find a similar story.

Thanks for joining me.

blessings

Jenn❤️

Gratefulness is Legacy.

I have learned from  my ancestors and their stories.

Below is a photo of my paternal grandmother and her first husband. They weren’t perfect. But they have a story. And after hearing the story over and over again,  you learn about life patterns, how they repeat and  what to uphold in  true honor.

I attended a play this past weekend a tribute to those who represented legacy on Black Wall Street in Tulsa. If you don’t know the legacy of Black Wall Street, (read here) please read it. It’s a legacy of African Americans who had wealth and prosperity in a community in North Tulsa, and lost it all due to envy , hate and racism.

Many would say they didn’t ‘lose it all’, but I beg to differ what “all” feels like -unless you’re present to witness it, yourself. “All” can be the hope in our hearts, the tragedy of loved ones lost, the memories of a painful and depressing past.

I’m certain hopelessness came in many forms, with many questions: Would they find love again? Would their children be alright? What would become of their legacy they intended to leave for generations, now?

I’m certain with my grandparents when they divorced they were pretty hopeless, too. Same questions, and concerns for family, a hope and a future. As a young child I never saw my grandparents together. One of them had already relocated to New York, while another was in Georgia. I had several memories however, of my grandfather still trying to flirt with her and being light with laughter, and trying to have fun with her. The love was still there.

Being resilient in the face of adversity takes a lot of fortitude. A lot of stamina and forthrightness. A determination and strength to rebuild, and start again. Although I didn’t know my grandparents as adults, yet, I know for a fact the seven sons they birthed help us to see a family unit that stands strong as a forthright people. My family members always told stories of a man and woman with dreams and wishes, despite the hardships. They are legacy bearers and my uncles and aunts always held up their virtue. It was common talk, in our family. The courage, the fortitude, the mercy and compassion,.. the love. The spiritual witness and faith, and most of all, the little & the BIG miracles of recovery and healing and hope. And for that I am grateful, and can witness the patterns over the years of teachers, leaders, community men and women who take to the front lines to work with families and uphold those same virtuous ideals.

I’m grateful before the legacy bearers. The ones that have come before. Even if some may have been caught in a fog of indifference, regret or lost dreams, at least they had them.

Yes, there may have been a trail of tears; but we have to understand ‘what virtue’ was left behind as well and what they stood for- recognizing what was ‘meant to be’ and attempt to take forward what they actually stood for. I have a photo of my grandmother on my mantle I see everyday as I get dressed and go to work. She is a reminder of my communal strength and hope for her people. I want to carry on that legacy in my future.

Black Wall Street was built again. Many were committed to seeing it rebuilt and it did come back together. Today, the history is preserved and I live only a few miles from there. In fact, we just opened a business on Black Wall Street in the Greenwood Neighborhood in North Tulsa.

After seeing the Black Wall Street play, and answering a few questions within my heart, I realized that there’s a lot of legacy left behind , but also a lot to reminisce with, and of course, to rebuild. And if I can be a proud part of that rebuilding, then I am grateful to continue that legacy.

Selah.

Intuition & Love… How Did I Get Here?

How did I  get here?

Ever ask yourself that  question?

I once  thought  about writing on  Intuition and Love a while  ago.  But I  wasn’t ready.  I had to decide how transparent I wanted to be.

Then I realized that I needed to see how the two overlap. I didn’t have enough knowledge.  Or so I thought…  but I DID have the experience.  I mean, this is hard  writing, I thought…  where is my capacity to   speak on this? 

How  can  I speak on this without  true experience?

Then I thought  about it. I guess true experience is the BEST  teacher, sometimes.  I  had to go deep within myself to find answers,  but  I think mostly  I had to  ask myself, first – how  did I get here?  When we ask ourselves  honest  questions,  sometimes we  get  honest answers.

I was in a relationship  that went  south. I mean  all the way south.  Like worse than cheating.  It was humiliating.  And I had to pick myself up with all   of the dignity I had left and determine within myself  and ask myself:

Did I ever want to be in relationship with this person  again?

Did I trust   ever again  being able to trust this person with my  well-being, my life, my friendship?

And the answer was a resounding “No.”

Not to  say that person  couldn’t change one day,  but I had been in hell with them, and they basically let me sink to the bottom of the pit.  People like  that  don’t deserve my trust.  That’s what I determined in side.  Even my dreams  spoke to it.  I mean, I asked God:

“Show me his heart.”

So  check this out –  Spirit showed me this – once I was still enough:

This was the answer to my request:

I had a very vivid dream I was in a car ,  and my  significant  other was driving the car…. (this was before all of the  stuff went down –  and you  know I didn’t want to say stuff,  right ? I’m  just being polite.) –   and so in the dream he drove both of  over a cliff, he got out of the car and saved himself, and I kept  drowning.  In the back  seat though, was the most kindest and  most  beautiful person I had ever known – my brother- and he represented for me: GOODNESS in my life. 

I  found out through this dream, God was speaking to me.  Because Goodness  saved me.  And  Goodness was  what I had been neglecting in my life, all along.

jen

So now here’s what’s true: Without introspective  questions, I would have never  kept my life so sacred. This sacred act of self-inspiration SAVED me.

And sacredness was what I was all about, in that season of my life.  I had to find myself again.  And in the true essence of who I was, I had to determine where had I lost my soul.  My mind – where was it? My will  –  why did I  give it away?  And my  emotions  – why did they numb out ?

That’s  what  I did when I lost my soul, My ability to decide… I lost my thought life. I gave away  what was most sacred – my own personal opinion and thoughts  – to  someone else.  And THAT  was NOT OK.

My whole life had been  turned upside down because I put all my trust in one person.  And I thought: ” How had he become my God?

I had not been intuitive. I had not  thought about  the love I was   NOT  experiencing.  I  just wanted to  be with him.  Not  in love, not loved,  settling for less, and   not living up to my own expectations.  Not , I wasn’t perfect,  but I sure was using my best wisdom, sure wasn’t’  seeking advice from my smart sisters,  and I sure was isolating myself from every one I lived.  How did I get here?

I know. I ignored myself, my needs, and I didn’t listen to  not determine what I wanted, and  GO after it.  Yet this perceived ‘failure’ was  teaching me to respect myself in the future. To ask myself what was important first, then LOVE that, And only that, because it was God’s life first,  and then my own, to decide.

Selah.

This is  a writing on the  “12 Gems” stories .. this one is on Intuition, and I am taking all year to focus on what it means to “”Receive” and  basically,  take a look within.  To think about how I got to the other side of life’s circumstance, and really began living. 

And so here am I. 

Sharing The Window Of Your Soul

What is your soul, actually?

Your mind is precious and should be given the utmost consideration as to “who” you allow to influence it, and “how” they influence it.  For instance, spending time with people who complain, are envious or talk down to you makes you feel vulnerable , and doubt yourself in such a way that it affects  your esteem and confidence.

Your will is the part of your soul that has everything to do with your motivations, and your heart. Unmotivated? Listen to your heart. Think about what’s near to you and dear to you. What challenges you? Where are you inspired? It’s likely you need to find something passionate to work on, or find someone that has similar passion and match that same attitude.

What moves you to  make the decisions tou do? Ever thought about it? Sometimes those are “inner vows” we make to ourselves and in regard to our past and where we determine to go in our  futures.

Our emotions are simply how we feel. Paying close attention to how you feel around influential persons is key to preserving your soul. Who you allow to influence you, and share with you in such a way they respect your feelings or ignore your feelings is key to maintaining healthy relationships. How you even treat yourself, when you’re feeling down or upset helps to reveal whether you care for your emotions accurately. For instance, do you eat junk food when you’re upset, or do you go for a walk in nature and drink more water and meditate?

It’s time to consider ‘who’ you are vulnerable with, and why?

Are they closer to your heart than they should be?

How do my relationships influence my soul positively?

What are their ‘negative’ qualities – or are there hardly any at all, and do you respect them as a person, or do you just tolerate them?

I’m continuing the conversation on Vulnerability, as a part of the 12 Gems  series and course I am  writing here at Pursuing Life. My hope is as you seek the principles here on this blog you will evolve to a greater part of you.

Peace, JennRene