Tag Archives: wisdom

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.

I Am Enough Because I Am Wise.

 I Am  Enough Because I Am Wise.

So what does it really mean to be wise?

Does being wise mean… to be humble?

Does it mean we should consult with someone else who has  good advice, can problem-solve, help us manage our lives better or may give good counsel?

Or does it mean simply having good sense In knowing how to respond?

Perhaps.

…Or maybe it means being still enough to take care of our lives  because we care enough about our lives to be safe, discerning and aware.
Perhaps where I am wisest is when I spend time in the presence of friends. I have wise friends. There is a scripture in the bible that says : “The is safety in a multitude of counselors.”
I love that scripture. It has resounded over the years with me. I have realized over time that perhaps the best  acumen, has come from experience as my  teacher. With my experiences, I have  gained such rewarding treatment and insight from friends who in my own personal struggles, when I needed such wisdom, – sowed complete love for me,  and their wise actions and advice, benefited me greatly as I endured my situation.  The intuition  and  inspiration was on an entirely different level and  completely humbling.   As a result, I have  compassion for  them an for others who have experienced similar situations. It led me to  write my book, Red Sea Situations.

I believe one of the most humbling  situations I experienced, was  a friend who helped me when I had no where else to go. She had always told me, because she knew I was going through a hard time no matter when or what time it was, whenever I needed a place to go, I could just stop by. One night i thought I was close to losing it, and i knew if I didn’t get out of the house,  I would .  So indeed, I  went over and it was about ten fifteen pm. When I arrived at her  door, her husband answered, he smiled, and  didn’t say a word. All  he said was: “She’s  is upstairs, go ahead on up.”  (Can I say I just admire a  man who allows his  wife’s friend to come over so late in the evening , so she can support her?)Clearly, I had been crying, and I slipped past him. When I go to the top of the stairs,  I heard her talking to her boys  in a very sacred moment, and she said , “Come on in,Jenn.” She was there with the two of them, they were about three and six years old, and  she was hugging on them in bed. She made space for me, and  welcomed me in me bed with them. We didn’t talk much that night, we just laid there in quiet and peace. Her boys smiling and  she interacting and mothering them, and I quietly watched them enjoy and love on one another. I never felt so welcomed. to this day, our bond is unbreakable.

Now, this has nothing to do with me, and my wisdom. However, my friend’s wisdom in this moment taught me how to be wise.

Her wisdom taught me how when I am at my lowest point to embrace someone in love and just acceptance, is the very best  action of love. For me, wisdom and love, really are not far  apart. In fact, they are cousins. I  also found out that I don’t have to know all the details, I just need to love on them.  There’s a time and a season for everything, and sometimes knowledge isn’t necessary. She didn’t know, and still doesn’t know what I was experiencing that evening, but what maters is that I  knew she was there, and that she loved me. To me, that’s agape love. The God-kind of love. From this one action, I have found that I can love people without words, in such an amazing way, and that it involves just seeing that their soul is so worthy of love. This type of ‘friend -awareness’ has allowed me to be the same kind of friend.

On a lighter note,

I am wise because I am clever.

Cleverness is not  a word I use very much n my vocabulary, yet I find very attractive. My husband is rather clever. It was attractive to me from the first day I met him. And his cleverness tends to rub off on me at times. Cleverness involves, quick wit, charm, and  wise words, and at times a bit of playfulness. Perhaps the playfulness is the most fun. Being clever involves finding  a certain resourcefulness from within. It’s understanding how to use integrity to teach someone by not reacting. It also involves  not  stooping to a level of  personal embarrassment or  ignorance  because someone else does. Not allowing their impulsivity, unkindness and lack of intellect, to move me with words. I think I learned how to be clever once I  decide din my mind I didn’t care what others thought about me. It was freeing.  I decided that once I had made up my mind, and it made sense and I had  filtered it through my wisest  friends, and they were in agreement, it was well. And no one’s opinions mattered. My clever quick wit would then pounce back on others when they had comments  or opinions about my  actions in which they did not agree. I admire folk who can take judgment and  crush it as soon as someone swings it at them, and  keeps on  walking without shame or resentment because they are confident they are in a good place.

I am wise because I am contemplative.
Contemplation is one of my favorite things to do. As an introvert, I tend to find myself when I contemplate. Whether it involves speaking to myself, my heart, and pondering the actions of my day I find rest in re-evaluation. If I don’t do re-evaluate, I become restless.
What is in this restless space? Unawareness? A lack of purpose? Dis-alignment? Is that why when I am not looking within, I falter?
I get nervous, my anxiety peaks, or I have a loss for words? I prefer contemplation in order to help me rest. I may not have even realized the extent to which I depend upon what I call : “finding center” Laraine Herring in the book: “Writing Begins With Breath: Embodying your Authentic Voice”, says after the basic needs of food air, water and shelter are met, most of our actions and behaviors stem from a need for love, compassion, understanding and emotional safety.” I find that interesting, because that means if this is true, most of what I seek, when I look within, is about finding self love.( Read about  my  self love and being enough in another story.)

I must say however; some of the most unwise persons have hurt me. have been unreasonable,  inattentive ungraceful and  ill-mannered people I know, because they lacked compassion.   Indeed, perhaps this scripture measures up when wisdom is most attractive: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalm 85:10)

jennifer