Tag Archives: Receiving

Normalcy in a Pandemic

“Even our pain and hurt should not be compared and ranked .” (Brene’ Brown)

These are Brene ‘ Browns words while experiencing crisis. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a range of emotion during this ” stuck at home time.”

Brene encourages is by saying: “Don’t ration love.” We need to up the ante on self-love.

We need to attend to our own emotion, so we can be also present for others.

We should never compare our suffering, emotions or affect with other-suffering. We should not deny or double down on our feelings. This invites shame, says Brene’ Brown.

Listen in to the Unlocking Is podcast with Brene’ Brown

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unlocking-us-with-brené-brown/id1494350511

Giving from a deficient place.

I’m reading a devotional , and in the devotional it speaks about giving from a deficient place. And I that deficient place, it says more shall be provided than you’ll know. Interesting that ‘lack’ can have an almost amazing fulfillment.

It makes me think about how my esteem used to be really low. But then, I’d go to school with my mom who was a teacher.

And I was famous for a day.🌺

It’s So odd how true truth rests in how we perceive and how we are received. Receiving unexpectedly, like being in the right place at the right time, makes you feel valued. As a spiritual principle, being valued can exceed your imagination .

It gives you strength, affirmation , acceptance, worth. Wholeness …smiles, warmth.

And most of all, LOVE.🌺

When I was younger, my moms would take me places . She’d give me all these new experiences . I’d go to the beach, I’d travel to the library, I’d take days off to go on fields trips with her school, and her school children. She was not just my own Teacher. She was THEIR teacher . And some of the kids would just STARE at me. Like wishing they could go home with her too.’ Like … ‘what made HER so special that she hung out with my teacher?’

I learned from my Momma the power of making people feel special. It made you famous . Well.. sorta. Lots of people like you when you make them feel worthwhile. And make them smile.

Not that life is all about that, but… YOU feel good too when you make them smile inside . For this reason, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, too.

Then I changed my mind once I was in a room with a bunch of kids. Couldn’t handle it.

Decided I’d spend maybe a few hours with them, yet still be their teacher . How could i do that?

Oh! ( Be a school social worker!)

And that was my longest job.

I learned so much about kids and how to water them and make them grow. I learned a lot about myself, too. And what I needed to grow.

Value yourself , today🌺.

You deserve it.

And don’t settle for anything less.

Quite longingly… they would look…as if I were special. So i began to believe I was. 🌺 And they’d desire to play with me and be my friend, and sit right next to me. They knew I wasn’t a student in their class. And they knew I was a pretty special girl, if I’d come to their class, and belonged to Mrs Cox.

Q

I always wondered why it felt so special to be there .To experience the class as an outsider. As I think about that special feeling; I now know what they saw. Value.💜

Read more about Value, here on my podcast, ShineBaby Shine!🌺

For me to see from a deficient space.

To see opposite of what everyone else saw. To see from a deficient space, and give from that special place.

Ask , Believe …Receive.

“Where was grace found in your past when you stepped out on faith? “she asked.

“It was a sort of Surrender, she said. “

“This is a word you should seek again and return to that helped manifest your dreams.” I was speaking to a mentor who helped direct me at a special time in life.

So I was still this morning.

And I listened to the little small, still voice in my heart . And kept whispering… “ Surrender”.

And the word came back to me in Silence:

“Consistency.”

And then a little while later…

“Hope.”

And finally…

“Treasure.”

All these words spoke to me and I allowed me not to take for granted any steps going forward to make them as intentional as possible, and to ‘not hold back. ‘

And I struggled here.

I thought about all the places consistency had failed me: I’d struggled with hope.. and treasures seem illusive.. and I was discouraged for one moment.

Then, I realized I did t need to produce anything, or make it happen. I just had to Surrender.

It’s a discipline, you know .

I must continually remind myself .

And stay

There.

💜

Selah.

Mountains… or Hills?

I am in Dansville, New York today. Just left a really pensive session about family, & what it means to me. I admired the atmosphere; being surrounded by mountains on each side. I kept taking in the views, and exclaiming how beautiful the mountains were, and one of the residents of the community said to me: “Oh those aren’t mountains, they’re hills.”

I smiled and said to myself…”They’re mountains to me.” You see, whether they are mountains or hills depends on the person. The power mountains give us – and the power the hills give us – they may be the same … or not .

I recall a time enduring a very difficult season and it was like my drives in my car during this season of my life were instructing me. I was traveling through a small town and there was this particular part of town where I noticed once – that the mountains had reduced in size!

I wondered to myself : “How did that happen!?” And I realized internally, my perspective had shifted.

Just like that.

Sometimes the life seasons we endure cause us to shift and change (snap!) just like that.

Driving those those small towns I had being enduring a really hard season in my life. And the trees and the mountains were so meaningful. They reminded me of how powerless I am, in comparison to the beauty of this world, and God’s power. God was teaching me. Informing me of my perspective. Stretching me…molding me… shaping me and causing me to shift.

I love mountains and I love hills.

The point is, no matter whether they are mountains or hills, they still encourage me. They still inspire my soul. They still make me think about the wonder of this world and how small I am in it,.. and sometimes my perspective, too.

Thank God for shifts.❤️

Oh, and mountains…☺️

Taking Care of My Soul.

img_9604-1It’s so  very interesting how patience plays into our care of the soul. Almost two months ago, I left Tulsa Oklahoma, tense and overwhelmed and anxious. Across country moves just seem to impact me in that way. I’ve done two of them, in my lifetime. And as much as I plan to be calm and take time off in advance, it just doesn’t work out that way. There’s always something to be concerned about:

Will there be enough income  for the transition ?

Will we like where we are going?

Will totally dislike  the cold?

Wil I make friends easily?

Will I enjoy my job?

So I’ve been out of work now for almost two months. I didn’t plan on that. Just took them a month to have me approved. It’s like, really?  (They don’t manage  job contracts as smooth as  they used to .)

Okay, so now I’m in this place of much more calm and grace and gratefulness. It seems like no matter the amount of time it took, it took this ‘much needed ‘ time to  rest and rejuvenate and re- order my steps.

Everyday I’ve tried to stop and be grateful for at least one thing, then I’d acquiesce ll over again . And breathe. When I’m anxious and uptight , I tend to forget to breathe , and I tend to forget to express thanks for where I am.

Perspective matters.

I really didn’t think I  needed this, but apparently my soul knew I needed it. I’m currently in central NY in a beautiful hotel for the past few days – soaking up sunny days and  breathing in fresh fall air.  Enjoying time as the trees change into their beautiful autumn hues. And I have time to do this, so I’m thankful.

So the next time you’re complaining about how long something takes, just stop and think about where’s the grace in it. What are you grateful for?

Where does your soul align with the process?

And how much are you frustrating grace in the process?

Receive the good, and abandon the eat that isn’t quite helpful.

My soul aligning with “the process”.Receive your new beginning.

Selah.

Clarity.

On the beach in 2019

Clarity.

It’s not easy to achieve. I mean should we even make it a goal? When 2019 happened, I initially didn’t desire clarity. I asked for something else. In fact, that word is a slight misnomer now, because Clarity assumed its position and took a hold of my destiny like none other .

“For sure, you’re wrong”, I said. “It’s not time yet, “ I mentioned as I wrestled with the change and let go of several valuables and said goodbye to friends in the state I couldn’t believe I was moving to nine years ago..

Sometimes Clarity happens so unexpectedly. We ask for it, then we’re really not ready when it comes because it capsizes our entire world.

Or at least it did. mine.

It was my one word for the year, you see. I didn’t intend for it to bring all love and light to pass. To highlight the love of family and allow me to make sacrifices that involved severe change. To move me out of my comfort zone and say: “ Welcome to this New Evolving Space!” Yeah, rhat was Clarity . But she’s become the friend I didn’t realize I had.

When I asked the Universe to give me clarity, God opened the heavens and said: “Take a risk.

And at first, I said “No.” I thought I wasn’t ready, so Resistance spread her wings and tried to escape. But Clarity brought her silence and reminded me how “life really isn’t all about Lil o’ me.” Sometimes the people we love and the lives we love take precedence, as so it was.

Clarity revisited . 2019

So this year, Clarity – my one word – was sort of disruptive of my peace; yet freeing…surrendering, cautious, yet unconditional , loving and necessary, enlightening and freeing. Yeah… Freeing.

Yeah, but it has yielded great results , already. The lesson leavened was to let go of the things we hold unto so tightly because they could free us, almost unexpectedly, if only we were ready for change .

Clarity . (title) On Lake Ontario, N.Y.. in 2017

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth!

In this crazy world where freedoms seem to be changing and lessening, and life seems to be challenged on every side, don’t neglect yourself in practicing necessary freedoms – like finding joy in nature dancing to awesome music; cherishing family and loved ones- and just watching fireworks .

Breathe.

Laugh.

Spark Joy.

Spend quality time with loved ones.

Share.

Eat ice cream.

Smile at People.

Receive smiles from others.

You’re so worth it.

And don’t allow anyone to take away that spark that’s in you. It’s just a good think to have vitality and strength. Keep the flame going. Don’t take it for granted .

Blessings!☺️

Changed My Name, Change My Life…

I recently heard someone mention how names are so important. They said something like this: ‘Names introduce a certain ‘honor’ into your life when you inform people how to honor your name.’

So this blog piece is about naming and changing – and how changing my name to “Make Me Happy” when I went to South Africa, changed my life.

In May of 2003, I searched out my own happiness, and began a new personal journey. I don’t believe I shared much about my full transformation. Interestingly enough,…I found it in Kuma, South Africa.

I found myself having a greater purpose in another country. Teaching and ministering to kids and adults and helping them thrive despite being in poverty situations and helping those who suffered life challenges and found themselves having little hope. To be honest, my own hope was at its lowest. I was trying to decide if I should continue with my first marriage. This journey would be telling.

My “BOUNDARIES of Blessing”, began here, in South Africa. It was a journey that redeemed my worth and my significance. I found I actually existed for a greater cause and purpose. And when living in my purpose, I FELT SO WORTHY. Maybe it was the Resolve I felt. And that, resolve could change a Nation. If I had the team of women around me like I had in South Africa, with me in the U.S.A., I would have more than enough support.

My name change in South Africa – or the African name given to me – was “Nthabiseng “. Nthabiseng means : “Make Me Happy”, and this name became a personal mandate of my own, or a personal mission – and I began the journey for myself first, and then for others. I realized walking in Purpose, in my own Happiness, and in my own purpose and living for myself, my youth was renewed. I felt alive again! Almost as if I’d been resurrected.

Well first of all… my first lesson learned – I had to acquiesce, to get there. (I yielded without protest.) I am learning most blessings come via surrender. I noticed once I stopped trying to make life be something it really was not… neither had the potential to be; and stopped sacrificing my peace for others who didn’t value it as highly as I did – my life became better. I learned so much when I discovered this. I had finally began to live for myself.

I wish I had learned this lesson earlier in life. I would often contemplate and hesitate in my life and ponder were things worth it or was “I worth it” Sure, I was worth it! Should I move on with my life – or keep trying to love where love was not returned? I finally came to the decision love can’t be embraced with someone it was never taught and cherished , with humility. And that life is too short. You have to keep living. Because you can stop living for yourself to the point you are almost dying. And then, what good is that? For your dreams die with you.

 

Secondly, I began to appreciate and be grateful for new experiences learned and used them as stepping stones to get me to higher places. For instance I began to challenge myself and ask myself : “Why  work in Syracuse just because I lived there?” I then found myself searching for jobs I liked outside my ‘four walls’ and found a good one in a small town in N.Y. working with adolescent boys in foster care and this began a new trajectory for me in terms of my work. I realized that loving and nurturing boys who had never been truly nurtured before was definitely a passion of mine, and fulfilling work. That they needed this love; for them to be full grown men. Perhaps innately and most unconsciously if I loved them this way – as a social worker who worked with boys; perhaps then, I would not help some women then- not waste time loving them, as broken men.

I believe I also learned what it meant to be Free. To live and have fun for the very first time in my life. I learned I could enjoy company and make good decisions and make friends miles away in another culture and country and it felt good to not need permission to do that.

These were new beginnings for me. I learned I could live and survive on my own. Eight months later I was moving to a place I loved: Washington, D.C. It completely changed my LIFE.

 Then, I decided to look inside. I went a little deeper; & began to self- evaluate.

I believe in the power of naming. Naming can change perspective and change life commitment. In my book, Red Sea Situations, I speak to powerful names of God and how altars – like the places I’ve been to – these representations of love and struggle in life are not always negative places – but places that ushers God’s true presence in your life, so you can change your life and perspective.

Get a revelation on how changing your life, your purpose, and your direction can change your life. It may also change YOU.

To dream a bit brighter, be a little lighter and smile a little happier.

Selah.

The Value Of The Table.

This is my table at home.

If you have a table at home, it’s likely much happens around that table. Or, if you’re like me in the past few months, things have piled up on it, like books and magazines and … “stuff”.

I’ve decided this year to honor my table, at home.

It’s so dear to me. It’s been in my life now for about ten years, and it’s still holding 💪🏾 strong.

This means to invite folk to sit at it, to do rituals around my table, and to have great conversation around it as well.

It was a few weeks before it was actually up and ‘present’ in my new place. And boy, did i miss it!

I love my table.

It’s wooden and large, and it’s quite spectacular. I’ve had friends there, meals there, great conversation and dinners there with friends and family, and it’s just been a great gathering place for us. Change has happened at that table.
Marriage work, has been a focus – here, as well. Prayers and blessings have been given and good writing has even been accomplished with friends, at this table.

At work I have a table too, and there I receive great wisdom from my peer pastors, presenters and chaplains. Unbelievable memories exist as we determine outcomes around that table, and I gather a certain excitement even before I reach it. I’ve met new people and crossed paths with persons I may have never met had I not sat down and chose to walk this process out I’ll never forget some of those conversations as they have given me a spiritual maturity that has helped me recognize what really matters and makes me fulfilled in life.

The fact that so much growth happens has opened me up to new possibilities, and quite honestly it’s been making me be quite conscious about the interactions that happens around other tables in my life.

It’s so interesting that it’s symbolic for the places we receive, refresh, replenish & re-energize – what was once on a tree, is not something I also use to symbolize my personal, professional, and spiritual growth. The fact it’s so connected to nature and to my sense of peace and ‘groundedness’ are symbolic , as well.

What grounds you? Is it similar to an object, like a table? Is it a place? Or a certain feel you get when you have that wonderful sense of nostalgia?

This is my place. would love to know what’s yours. Just respond below.

I’ll continue to share with you those places and pictures in the next few blog posts.

Below is a pic I took in a park in Tulsa called The Gathering Place. Just sharing because it’s such a big wonderful, table in an open park and invites community, right smack dab in a big, beautiful city with lots of nature surrounding it.

( I also simply adore the fact it’s outside.☺️😉)

This was the first table I was going to use…at a community park, but I decided to simply use my own.

Contemplations of a Chaplain on (Self).

In the places where I am most transparent with Self, I find strength & resiliency. I am learning what I think really matters. I am learning that people have an inner compass they can trust to bring them through any adversity, and they only need to tap into that strength to make it happen.

I have learned this after finishing my first unit of chaplaincy. There is something given to being in complete transparency with those you trust. It rids shame, confusion and brings about a certain clarity, & depth of character. If you want to work on becoming more authentic, choose to be transparent, and share your life with those who need change. Show them how you’ve overcome. Gather together and learn from one another.

Trust God.

Through God, trust people, authentically.

Get to know yourself . Spend time with you. Be honest with yourself.

Bring your realness to the table and then push restart and begin again.

Rid yourself the shame, and celebrate the good, in life. Shame takes away your sense of positive pride. It crushes your reputation and your integrity. One can rebuild their integrity by choosing to be better and live better very intentionally. Don’t allow what others think of you to mold you.
Allow God to transform you from the inside out. Receive His Grace His mercy, His love. And forgive yourself and go on.

#chaplaincy #chaplainlife #lifeofachaplain