25 December, 2012

Merry Christmas: No Greater Love

Funny how family is defined by your own terms. Meaning who you want to selectively chose as your famiy and not by the definition of what God has given us by marriage or by his Word. 

We can not chose the one (Family) we have been given but that does not mean they are any less important or valued because you do not want them. Sadly, it is around the Holiday season that people feel the loneliest. Our actions can either draw them closer or push them further away. 

The best Christmas gift you can give is learning to genuinely accept the family God has given you for whom they are and where they are without judgement and condescension. You will never know the saddness/hurt they may feel in their own life. Sometimes it is just that small act of kindness which you showed them that kept them holding on.

The Christmas season is not about how big your tree is, how decorative your home is or how many gifts you purchase/receive. The Christmas season is about the spirit of Unity, Empathy, Concern and most of all Love you exhibit to NOT just your biological family but to humanity on a whole. It is how we take one day and multiply it's blessings in the other 364 days until another Christmas day occurs. It is how we sincerely say I LOVE YOU and mean it without pretense and requirements attached. It is about not forgetting the rough and rugged path that we traveled to get to where we are in our present. It is about seeing the jewels in those we treasure and realizing that they are priceless.

This Christmas don't just say I love you out of habit. Say I love you and mean it. Be the gift of love that you have always wanted someone to be truly to you.

There is no greater love.

Merry Christmas

Fawn N. Rhodes

21 December, 2012

Decisions & Consequences

What I have learned in the last 5 years. You will continously reap the harvest of the decisions you make whether good or bad. We tend to over philophize situations when things are essentially quite simple. 

10 yrs ago I met my sons father, while I lived in Philadelphia. He played professional basketball for the IBA, International Basketball Association.  He was a very polite, kind and respectful man.  Initially, all seemed fine he was still playing with his IBA team and we had no issues that I saw. 
We had a lot laughter and joy within our relationship.  But considering, we had a commuting relationship (he lived out of state) how much was I really going to see? He finally injured out and came home that is really when it hit the fan.

I saw he was completely irresponsible with money and business affairs. He had no idea what he had in his accounts and we CONSTANTLY argued about bills. When Dynnie was born we had already broken up. We tried to make it work for 6months. The part I played, I could have been more understanding less sarcastic.

Now at 39, I am beyond the foolishness of my twenties, make much wiser decisions, treat men so much better and all around a different woman. I write this long epilogue to say, even if you change, the decisions you make effect and affect you for a lifetime. The blessing of my relationship was not just my son, but my integrity and character improved. 

Be wise about every step you make. You can be on top today and in the line at social services by the end of the day. Life has a way of humbling us and I believe that the Lord allows certain situations in our lives to draw us closer to him. 

I haven't always had the faith that I have now nor the character that I have now. I encourage you all on this last day on earth, LMBO. To evaluate and make every effort to make wiser decisions. The consequences of those decisions are far stretching.



17 November, 2012

Hello I am single...

For the record:

When you encounter a person that is single, I find it rude and idiotic when a person says "So why are you single?"  Even if the sentence is supposed to be more a statement than a question either way, I am not a fan.

The older I have become the more particular I have become about the man I want in my life.  I would encourage more to be more selective with whom you elect to be involved with.  

There is absolutely unequivocally NOTHING wrong with being single.  I have never been that woman afraid to do things and go places on my own such as movies, dinner, walks, events, trips, living in other cities or etc.  I never know who I may meet while there.  

Those who are single need to learn to embrace being alone and stop seeing it as some curse on your life.  Just because others are involved (always remember you never know the dynamics of another's relationship) does not mean everything is good.

I will always say everything GOOD does not always come from God. However everything from GOD is always Good.

Think about it and be thankful and at peace with where you are in your life.

19 August, 2012


I am a firm believer that you reap what you sow.

With that said know that "sowing" does not always have a negative attribute attached to it.  Sowing can also have a positive outcome.

I believe in sowing into my environment, family and most importantly those within my contact.  As you begin a new week, I'd like you too reflect upon your actions and words.

Do they uplift, encourage, support, bring joy or love into someones life?

Do they give them inspiration, challenge them to make better decisions for their life, push them to evolving into greatness?

Sow, into those you care about.  Plant seeds of hope, determination, victory, love, prosperity, promotion, and peace into their lives.

Learn to stop tearing people down via what your presume that is going on.  Learn to wait and get the whole story before making your own assessment on what you think is the real story.

Learn to be honest with yourself and your friends. Wake up and say something positive and NOT "Damn its Monday again"  Or "eff my Life".  See, that negativity that is attached to your mood is like a magnet and it brings other negative issues and people into your life.

You may not realize or even care that there is power in the words you speak, but until you do -- you will keep on encountering those same negative, ratchet people that you "so called" detest and most certainly are not alike.

Seed into your life by making up your mind to see things with less of a pessimistic view and more of a hopeful view.  We all have our own book of life, chock full of experiences. One book is no greater or less than another, it is the lessons we come away with that determines the quality of life we will live.

The saying goes, your "Talent will take you further than your Character can keep you" You maybe on top today but if your character and integrity is crappy -- trust me you will be on your way back out that pinnacle of success door just as quickly as you walked in.  So to guarantee, your permanent seat at the table, begin to seed positive words and deeds and let the harvest of those seeds manifest abundantly into your life.

FNR (from my Inspirational book called one day I will stop being lazy and put all these together in a book)

07 August, 2012

Connected... the POSITIVENESS in Social Networking

It is my belief that people do not effectively use Social Media because of their own negative opinions associated with this medium or ineptness.  Too often we read about people who have encountered internet bullies aka E-Thugs, hackers, murders, psychopaths, stalkers or just your basic creep.  However, I am here to put flight to those negative images.

Over the past 10 plus years, I have been an active user of Social Media.  I remember when I first started there was mainly AOL Chat, with all their "rooms" and a variety of discussion boards where you would interact with others on specific subjects.

Eventually, I moved on to Yahoo Groups.  Yahoo Groups was similar to AOL Chat however because Yahoo was soon becoming the most popular search engine of the time it broaden its scope to also include topic based rooms.  These rooms you could leave public or make private, invite whom you chose or allowed  people to join freely.  Around this time other social networking sites were popping up on the scene, the one that I took a liking to was Black Planet.  Black Planet was designed as a social networking site directed towards people of color.  The subjects, news and content was all generated towards African-Americans, it allowed you to create your own "Pages".  You could alter the color, font, graphics and your pictures all on one page.  Whereas Yahoo just had a profile that you filled out your relevant information on.  The other cool thing about Black Planet is you could scroll through other members pages.  I believe this site was one of the forerunners to many of the dating sites we have currently.

Moving on from Black Planet, there was the ever popular, youthful MySpace.  MySpace stepped up what Black Planet had created. Made it more succinct allowed you to add music playlist, photo slide shows and was not centered around your ethnicity. It also targeted a younger audience,  like Black Planet and other similar sites, MySpace allowed people to connect and build relationships.

Fast forward to 2012, we now have an innumerable amount of dating sites, discussion forums, networking sites by subject and generality which allow many the ability to meet and also build relationships.  Through the years I have definitely connected with hundreds of people via these sites and I have seen several people who were able to do the following

a. build successful business ventures via people they have met on social networking sites
b. build successful and lasting friendships via people they have met on social networking sites
c. build successful intimate relationships via people they have met on social networking sites.

The populous that created successful business ventures have been able to maneuver through the offline and online world in such a way that they have remained relevant and been able to allow their business to grow 100 fold because they tamed the online beast early and understood that in today's society you must have presence as a "shop front" so people are able to gain accessibility to all the worldly pleasures they would obtain if the left their home.

 The segment that created successful and lasting friendships learned how to utilize the online tools of chat, discussion boards, emails and video conferencing to build personal friendships without ever meeting each other offline.  These friendships for some have developed into some of the most genuine and endearing friendships than some have encountered in their offline lives via school, work or organizations.

Lastly, you have a portion of people who skillfully learned how to turn casual conversation into intimate relationships that resulted in marriage or long term relationships.  Through the years, I have only met five couples that were able to accomplish this awesome feat.  Now this is not to say there are not more, but these are the ones that I know about.  I am sure if you ask around you will also find many people who have met their partners online.  Several months ago, I connected with a wonderful lady on Google plus who has a penchant for cooking and food photography.  When I tell you, this woman is awesome in her talent, believe me.  She and I began communicating regularly and she shared that she met her husband through a popular dating site.  Recently, they welcomed a new addition into their family, she gave birth to a beautiful baby.  I also encountered another couple that met on a popular social networking site.  They also were able to build a  wonderful friendship which manifested into a strong relationship and soon they too will welcome a new addition within their family in the winter.

The purpose of this blog is to share the POSITIVENESS within Social Networking.

I can attest, that some of the friends that I count very close to me are people that I have met through the years on social networking.  I encourage people to begin to look at your interactions on the net and not see them as a big ball of harm and negativeness. Push through the stereotypes and fears others share with you that do NOT know how to utilize Social Media.   Realize, just like with anything you must execute wisdom and judgement.  Just like you wouldn't leave all your windows and doors open, then leave your home; you wouldn't place or share all of your life with the wholeness of the internet population.

Stay connected it is the key to all things wonderful in your life!

03 August, 2012

I win!

So I have committed to a lifestyle change.  I have always had good eaten habits, so I thought!  I was vegetarian until I was 15 years old always made good food choices, again so I thought.  I was taught early on in my life how to make wiser choices in food but never was advised on the benefits of exercise.  As a young adult I hated exercise!!!!  So now that I am an adult, it truly has been a emotional, mental, physical and spiritual challenge to get up and have some form of physical activity in my life.

I never connected how my grandmother was vegetarian, was morbidly obese and died of obesity related issues.  Her issue like mine was inactivity.  She did not see the benefits within physical exercise at all.  In my youth actually there were activities I was told specifically I could not participate in just because of the uniforms and clothing associated with those sports.  Such as cheer-leading, gymnastics, tennis and volleyball.  My grandmother believed a young woman should be covered and it was inappropriate for a young girl to have her limbs out and wear short dresses or shorts even if it was sports related.  I see how this influenced the way I viewed sports for a woman.  Before my mother passed she was an avid Tennis player!!! I even remember her taking me to buy my own racket, her favorite player was Chris Evert.  She even had some Chris Evert Converse sneakers she would play Tennis in, yet when my mom became sick and eventually passed all that stopped. 
I also had to re-learn a vegetarian diet and realize that it was not a diet that was based solely on processed soy products i.e Boca, Lightlife, Loma Linda, Morningstar, or Worthington products.  I have been using ALL of these products in one way or another for close to 39 years.  I never took the time to look at the nutritional label and see the volume of sodium within these products.  So although they were vegetarian, the amount of sodium in these could kill a horse!  Now, if you eat these products, like anything all things are fine within moderation but not everyday OR every Sabbath dinner.
I have also say, in this process I am so grateful to my brother James Beard award Nominee Chef Keith Rhodes, owner of Catch and Phun Restaurants.  Keith has taught me a lot about food balance, how to make healthy vegetarian food, what organic is and how it relates to the produce you select, food sustainability, why purchasing local foods is better than something shipped in and many other important issues dealing with food.  
This change in my life has affected me so much Spiritually.  Exercising I found myself praying more.  Before, during and after my workouts -- at first saying Lord give me strength, LOL!  However, further into this change it has been not just give me strength but truly "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me" Psalms 51:10 and "Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body."  1 Corinthians 6: 19-20.  
I am proud that I am making even better food choices BUT I am most proud of the fact that I am slowly learning to like exercise and realize the benefits of it.
I have lost 25lbs with much more to go on my 5 feet 11inch frame but I am definitely committed.
So I guess, I win!

17 June, 2012

For Sentimental Reasons...

(1965 Townsmen Club of Wilmington, NC Royce D. Rhodes, Sr 3rd from the right.)

Father's Day is one of those days that makes me smile my biggest and happiest.

After my mom passed, my brother and I lived with my father's parents: Mr & Mrs. Royce and Virgie Rhodes, Sr.  My grandfather and I always had a special bond.  From what I was told, it was from birth.  You see my grandfather was born Feb 14, 1914 (Valentines Day for those who do not recognize the date) and I was born Feb 7, 1973.  My grandfather would tell me periodically through my life that I was his early birthday/valentines gift and thusly called me "my sweet".

I can not remember a time in my life when I was not captivated by the quiet strength that my grandfather always exemplified.  He was not a loud man, a braggart, or arrogant man.  He was a modest, reserved and yet a very matter of fact man. A true gentleman.  Debonair, if I had to choose one word.  When he spoke - it was for reason and not trivialness.  To me it was like I had my very own Black King Arthur, LOL!! Nat King Cole was his favorite singer and Jeopardy was his favorite TV show.

My grandfather walked the walk -- and NOT talked the talk.  He showed me how a man should really treat and love a woman through his interaction not only with my grandmother and myself but all women that came within is contact.  One of the most memorable moments in my life was when he escorted me in the 1989 Delta Sigma Theta Debutante.  He was a proud man, that night...wore his OWN tuxedo.  As we finished our father-daughter dance, he whispered to me "I love you and you have made me proud" it was all I could to keep from crying the rest of the evening.

Chidley Dormitory, North Carolina Central University
Now my daddy on the other hand was LOUD, energetic, and the life of a party.  He knew how to walk into a room and captivate that room in less than 60 seconds.  He should have been a politician!  My daddy could make you laugh until your sides split and make you madder than a hornets nest all in the same sentence.  My father was a man of culture and no limits.  My father was worldly and very confident. My father was what one could say was suave and cool! He would make my brother and I read newspaper articles and tell him a summary of what we read.  He taught us basic spanish at an early age and his favorite shows were Perry Mason and Justin Wilson's Cajun Cooking show "I guar-on-tee"  LOL!!

These two men cut of the same cloth but as different as night & day yet taught me so much about life and men.

Today I salute my grandfather and my father  Royce Dewes Rhodes, Sr and Royce Dewes Rhodes, Jr.  you two are no longer with me in body - but through the values and lessons you taught me I live my life accordingly everyday.  I also, make a point to instill those values into my son.

Not every man - is a dead beat dad.
Not every man - is an abusive husband and father.
Not every man - is an adulterer
Not every man - is a sperm donor
Not every man - is a thug
Not every man - is a ____________(fill in with your own negative statement)

So for sentimental reasons I love these two men so much and I thank God for blessing not just myself but my family and friends with the opportunity to love and be loved by these same men.

16 June, 2012

That Girl...

I used to be "That Girl"...

You know "That Girl" who would say things like "I only date men who are ...".  I never realized how condescending it sounded.  I never realized how belittling or arrogant the statement could be.

As I have grown older, I have come to acknowledge my naivety and ignorance I exemplified anytime I would voice thoughts such as above.  There is nothing wrong with preferences, although preferences should not supercede the value and worth of a person.  When you focus on the height, weight or career of a person you miss the character and integrity of a person.  Basically, when you proclaim views such as these you are limiting yourself.  Often times you miss the person or blessing because a person has now limited their view.  

You let your eyes lead opposed to wisdom.

My Grandma Maebelle used to tell me all the time, to guard the windows of your soul.  Those windows are your eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. In principal pay attention to the things you see, the things you hear, the things you say and eat and things you smell.  Smell, yes she confused me on that one too - basically because scents can trigger thoughts of good and bad experiences.  Nevertheless when you allow superficial items to guide your decisions - you can lose sight of what may be on the horizon.

An example would be, a person says "I will only date a man/woman that is a certain height", -- blinding you to the fact that this person is irresponsible or and not accountable. Thusly, if you would have just allowed yourself to focus on the spirit of the person you are meeting you would clearly see the individual you are dealing with whether they are a good /bad fit for you.  

This type of rationale is used in a variety of ways in our lives, not just limited to physical attributes. These statements are also used in reference to a person's salvation, "I am not going back to church until..." In terms of people's health, "I am not going to eat healthy or exercise until..." 

The Bible speaks highly of gaining wisdom for your life's decisions 

 Prov 4: 5-9 Get wisdom; develop good judgment.  Don't forget my words or turn away from them.  Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.  Love her, and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!  And whatever else you do, develop good judgment. If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.  Embrace her, and she will honor you.  She will place a lovely wreath on your head;  she will present you with a beautiful crown.”

Today, begin the process of not limiting your thinking.  Open your life up to the blessings that are before you.  

Don't be "That Girl" or "That Man"...vow to live your life as limitless as possible, so you may be abundantly blessed in all your endeavors.

13 June, 2012

Family Love

I have come to realize that I have family members and people in my life that I care a whole lot about and love but it is has become very obvious they do not feel the same about me.  Family is more than just an affiliation, sharing of blood lines or last names.

It also means but not limited to, reaching out on occasion -- calling and checking on someone. Send a simple text, email or voicemail to say I love you and you are on my mind.  Not being so wrapped in your own lives that the only ones you consider family are the ones you have immediately around you because that is who you lay your eyes on every day.

We can not pick and chose who God gives us as biological family, yet we can respect, show appreciation for them and let them know they too are valued and worthy EVEN if they are not making the strides that you are.

Each person's walk is individual -- yet unique.

Exhibiting God's love does not begin with those outside of your home it begins right in YOUR home.  Then moves outward to be a reflection of what is being shared there.

Many will tell a friend, church/work family or social network associate that they love them before even opening their mouths to the ones that God has GIVEN to YOU.

Everyone's life has meaning and purpose - something that can always be learned from regardless if you have gone through their experience or not.

Whether you understand their choices, their character or their personality means NOTHING if you are not first doing what God has already and constantly does for us each and every day -- and that is to UNCONDITIONALLY without expectation LOVE our siblings, parents and cousins.

I encourage you to evaluate your life today.

Stop thanking the Lord for Loving you for the sinner you/WE are - if you are NOT willing to LOVE the imperfect people in yours..

12 June, 2012

People watching.

I encourage you to have a wonderful day. Think about how you are portraying  yourself to others.  Our integrity and character is all we have that stays with us to the grave.  Everything else material, family and friends all leave us at some point in our lives  

Strive to be the person that is consistent in all you do.  No secret behaviors.  Be consistent, whether you are interacting online, on your job, and in your home.  For at some point if you are not it will be seen and you may not be happy with the reaction you receive when others acknowledge this imbalance.   

'Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.' ~Lao Tse

Have a productive and fantastic day.


Your interactions will be the bridge that takes you to and from the destinations in your life.

06 June, 2012

It Pays To Serve Jesus....

Next to The Lord Be Praised this is truly my favorite hymn of all time.  Paul Hefflin is a remarkable singer and he truly personifies perfection while singing this..
I dedicate this to all who are having challenges just as I, stay encouraged our Lord and Savior knows our hurt, our pain and he loves us more than words can explain

05 June, 2012

These arms of mine...

Sometimes the only thing that can describe your emotions is a song.

These arms of mine 
They are lonely, lonely and feeling blue 
These arms of mine 
They are yearning, yearning from wanting you 

And if you would let them hold you 
Oh, how grateful I will be 
These arms of mine 
They are burning, burning from wanting you 
These arms of mine 
They are wanting, wanting to hold you 

And if you would let them hold you 
Oh, how grateful I will be 
Come on, come on baby 
Just be my little woman, just be my lover, oh 
I need me somebody, somebody to treat me right, oh 
I need your woman's loving arms to hold me tight 
And I...I...I need...I need your...I need your tender lips

29 May, 2012


My devotional came from Rev 3 this morning. 

Everyone wants or desires a new start or even RE-start in all we do. Sometimes as we go through our lives we make decisions that begin to cause errors in your life. Like a computer, your life freezes, will not move forward unless you do ctrl-alt-dlt and start all over again. Sometimes from visiting certain sites your computer has acquired viruses and so many errors that you have to do a cleanse and place a virus protection on your computer. 

View your life as the computer. View the errors and viruses as the people, places and things that have come into your life causing issues. View the re-start as your commitment to Christ and lastly view the Virus Protection package as Jesus Christ. Your Redeemer

Revelation 3
1. “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spiritt of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. 3 Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. 4 “Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5 All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. 6 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. 7 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia. This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open 8 “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. 9 Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.10 “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.12 All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.13 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.14 “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation: 15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”

28 May, 2012

What is Love?

What is Love?

HA! I can only sit here and laugh!!!! When I think of how my God works man, WOO! Just man - so I turn the page and READ Isaiah 49 and ha we serve an awesome almighty God. 

He so gave me confirmation about a task I have been commissioned to do for the last month and half -- man its something to do something you do not want to do but you do it out of obedience NOT willingly. How I felt there was NO purpose or reason for it! But the more I have been doing it -- the more I see why God called me to take on this task. But he said if we stay committed to him he will RESTORE all things to us even greater than once was.

I have had said time and time again I have never been in love - even said it yesterday! Oh how that is so not true. Reading this passage, shows me that God created me to Love him and man do I. I kept getting confused earthly, male/female intimacy with what God has been showing me and teaching me all this time. Is 49:16 says See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.

Telling me I am ALWAYS in his mind, always in HIS hands. That is a deep love. God has been teaching me what Love is so I can be in a place to show someone else his Love also. Love can be such a confusing word and emotion - however I am committed to not allow it be that way for me any longer. I see now -- what he has been trying to show me for so very long. Funny when and how we have those epiphany moments.

This passage also talks about our children and the promises he has for them. Providing safety, security and covering of them. 

(New Living Translation) Isaiah 49 1 Listen to me, all you in distant lands! Pay attention, you who are far away! The LORD called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name.2 He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.3 He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.”4 I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”5 And now the LORD speaks—the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The LORD has honored me, and my God has given me strength.6 He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”7 The LORD, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations, to the one who is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will stand at attention when you pass by. Princes will also bow low
because of the LORD, the faithful one, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” 8 This is what the LORD says: “At just the right time, I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you. I will protect you and give you to the people as my covenant with them. Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel and assign it to its own people again.9 I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’ They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare.10 They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in his mercy will lead them;
he will lead them beside cool waters.

11 And I will make my mountains into level paths for them. The highways will be raised above the valleys.12 See, my people will return from far away, from lands to the north and west, and from as far south as Egypt.t”13 Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their suffering.14 Yet Jerusalem says, “The LORD has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.”15 “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.17 Soon your descendants will come back, and all who are trying to destroy you will go away.18 Look around you and see, for all your children will come back to you. As surely as I live,” says the LORD, “they will be like jewels or bridal ornaments for you to display.19 “Even the most desolate parts of your abandoned land will soon be crowded with your people. Your enemies who enslaved you will be far away.20 The generations born in exile will return and say, ‘We need more room! It’s crowded here!’

21 Then you will think to yourself, ‘Who has given me all these descendants? For most of my children were killed, and the rest were carried away into exile. I was left here all alone. Where did all these people come from? Who bore these children? Who raised them for me?’”22 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I will give a signal to the godless nations.
They will carry your little sons back to you in their arms; they will bring your daughters on their shoulders.23 Kings and queens will serve you and care for all your needs. They will bow to the earth before you and lick the dust from your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD. Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.”24 Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrantt let his captives go?25 But the LORD says, “The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children.26 I will feed your enemies with their own flesh. They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood. All the world will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer,the Mighty One of Israel.”

Talking to Me

So as I was in prayer this morning, reading my devotional. God really was talking to me about where I am in regards to my commitment to him.

My faith for me is what sustains me, however I wonder -- when people view me what do they truly see or perceive of me. I feel there are times, more often than not that I straddle the fence by the choice of words I use (profanity), the videos, memes, pictures, comments or music that I post. When I read Isaiah 48 this morning - boy oh boy did God bring it home for me.

I encourage you to evaluate your commitment. How much does it mean to you? No, do not do something to "become" more "saintly" but just walk into the walk that God has FOR YOU. When you do this - you will not be perceived to be more or less than who God has asked you to be.

Isaiah 48 (New Living Translation)

1 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel
and born into the family of Judah. Listen, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and call on the God of Israel. You don’t keep your promises, 2 even though you call yourself the holy city and talk about depending on the God of Israel, whose name is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 3 Long ago I told you what was going to happen. Then suddenly I took action, and all my predictions came true. 4 For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are. Your necks are as unbending as iron. Your heads are as hard as bronze. 5 That is why I told you what would happen; I told you beforehand what I was going to do. Then you could never say, ‘My idols did it. My wooden image and metal god commanded it to happen!’ 6 You have heard my predictions and seen them fulfilled, but you refuse to admit it. Now I will tell you new things, secrets you have not yet heard. 7 They are brand new, not things from the past. So you cannot say, ‘We knew that all the time!’ 8 “Yes, I will tell you of things that are entirely new, things you never heard of before. For I know so well what traitors you are. 9. You have been rebels from birth. Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name, I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out.10 I have refined you, but not as silver is refined.
Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.

11 I will rescue you for my sake— yes, for my own sake! I will not let my reputation be tarnished, and I will not share my glory with idols! 12 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob, Israel my chosen one! I alone am God, the First and the Last.13 It was my hand that laid the foundations of the earth, my right hand that spread out the heavens above. When I call out the stars, they all appear in order.”14 Have any of your idols ever told you this? Come, all of you, and listen: The LORD has chosen Cyrus as his ally. He will use him to put an end to the empire of Babylon and to destroy the Babylonian Armies.15 “I have said it: I am calling Cyrus! I will send him on this errand and will help him succeed.16 Come closer, and listen to this. From the beginning I have told you plainly what would happen.” And now the Sovereign LORD and his Spirit have sent me with this message.17 This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.18 Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.19 Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore—too many to count! There would have been no need for your destruction, or for cutting off your family name. ”20 Yet even now, be free from your captivity! Leave Babylon and the Babylonians.Sing out this message! Shout it to the ends of the earth! The LORD has redeemed his servants, the people of Israel.

21 They were not thirsty when he led them through the desert. He divided the rock, and water gushed out for them to drink.22 “But there is no peace for the wicked,” says the LORD.

17 May, 2012

Graduation Day

I Samuel 26-28: Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the LORD.27 I asked the LORD to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life.” And theyt worshiped the LORD there.

So today was a very challenging day. Not for any particular reason other than this cold is still trying to snuff me out AND I really did not want to go to see my son graduate from Pre-K. Today I realized that my baby is really a BOY -- which means next stop is soon to be a Man. As a single mom, I always think about what Dynnie is missing without having his father in his life. Should I have fought to keep the relationship, should I have stayed just so he can have a Male Role Model. I want so much better for both of us. I want to be the type of Mom that he can say "He is Proud I am his Mom and FRIEND". I want him to be able to be a balanced, talented, cultured, intelligent, educated, respectful, grounded spiritual man. 

As a parent you are constantly questioning if you are doing the right thing. Disciplining the right way. Teaching the correct values. Grooming them for success. Instilling a spiritual foundation and morals into your child. 

I think about the unresolved issues in my life from financial to emotional and wonder - what steps do I need to make to not allow my son to share in my bad decisions. It pains me to know that, I have so much more to do in such a short time -- to teach my son the values of a Man. Four now yet in fourteen years, he will be eighteen, years old! Time flies by!! All I can do is just keep my hand in Gods hand, ask for true guidance and release my fear to the Lord. For those that our not people of faith, it is NOT my intent to offend. I just have to seek what I know will help bring peace of mind and joy in my life, for me that is my relationship with God. So I say this to say, if you are a person of faith. do not pray for me, pray for a continued covering over my son's life. I want to not just be a Godly Mom - but a Godly woman. So he can know -- the character of woman he should select for his life.

14 May, 2012

The Burden of Love

I can truly say that I have NEVER been in Love. Oh, I cared a lot about my son's father, but if I am honest that relationship was more out of convenience and acceptance than based on true love, at least what I was giving. 

John 15: 9-13 NLT 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

I never thought of what or how God's love manifest itself in people or compels people. I only saw God from a Fatherly perspective not from an intimate or endearing type of love. I know the Lord admonishes us to "love" our fellow man, for years I have always thought, "Ok, I can do that" foolishly. 

Recently, God placed upon my heart to truly unselfishly, unrequitedly, unequally love someone without expectation or thought. This has been one of my biggest emotional and spiritual challenges to date. I got so wrapped up in praying and asking God to send "His desired" person for me, that I completely missed that he was calling me to do the same for some else without questioning why. I have to tell you, to say this is a challenge is really short-changing on describing how this is effecting my emotional, mental and spiritual life. I am in constant daily prayer for this person ALL DAY, I honestly don't even sleep well God wakes me up -- to pray for this person at all hours of the night. I am confused at what God is having me do and why me? I am annoyed that am feeling emotions that I have never felt and they are so heavy on my heart that they cause me to cry daily! I am angry with myself because I feel I should not feel such frustration and I shouldn't be fighting God on this task. But it is so so hard!!! When communicating with them, I have no idea even what to say anymore or even how to interact because of the calling God has placed on me. 

Let me tell you what I know, when GOD calls you to honestly do something -- you undoubtedly know. It is the why's, that gets us caught up. I keep saying "Why me, Lord?!" , "Why now?!" , "Why them?!" , "Why, why, why?!"

I am re-reading a book I purchased some years ago -- I know it will bring me solace in this situation.
I ask you to pray for me as I do what he has called me to do. 

My Prayer: Father God, I am but a sinner. As I commit myself to this act of sacrifice, I ask you to give me the strength to be a good Steward of the Love that you have overwhelming placed on my heart to Love this person. I ask you to grant me peace of mind and a calm spirit. I ask you to allow me to feel the joy and freedom in this love and not continue to view it as a burden. Let me bold and courageous in this task. Give me YOUR eyes so I may look upon this person in Love. To see the task you have placed before me as a gift and NOT a burden. To be grateful to have been chosen to embark upon this special task. I ask you to give me YOUR mind to think with YOUR thoughts and convey your words. Let this person become whole and healed. And feel the blessing that you have bestowed upon them in this love. AMEN

A one-sided love, I wonder is this how God feels every day when he Loves us and we barely even think to give that Love back to him. When I think about it, maybe that is what he is teaching me. Teaching me how he loves us.

12 May, 2012

Just As I Am

Just got in from church about two hours ago and service for me -- was so touching. One of the assistant Ministers spoke on Mother's of course. Specifically how there are a whole host of Mothers that need "Mothering". How they are tapped out spiritually, emotionally and physically. How you see a smile on some's face and you never know the volume of pain they are in. She made a point to say that this is also applicable for Men and Women without children but what makes it significant for Mothers is she is the vessel that has to pour into another's soul hourly and daily. 

The pressure to be the perfect good mother yet these same women have no one to Mother them, stand in the gap for them, love them unselfishly and without regard. Many will never understand my pain - so I move forward with a smile with no attempt to explain it or speak of it. I put love as my focus, healing in my words, and peace in my thoughts and press on. My minister prayed for me today. Elder Sparks has said to me on more than one occassion that she has a tender heart for me -- when I touched her hands today she could feel my pain because her tears came before her prayers. In my eyes, there are people experiencing or have experienced worse and I do not want anyone's sympathy, coddling or terms of encouragement. What I do want is to just be -- Not have my confessions deem I am weak. Not have someone wanting to put me back together again.Someone to love me just as I am, as the spiritual goes. There are so many of us that are hurt deeply whether man/woman, mother/father who are silent and will never admit it openly or even to anyone close to them. I want to encourage you that today is your day to know that if you feel that No one else empathizes with you. 

I do. I love you and will be there for you in whatever capacity that God will allow me to be. I ask you to take it moment by moment. Don't think about the next hours or tomorrow - just say Lord I need you to guide my next words or actions because I am to broken to do this. Just as he is guiding me - he will guide you also. There is strength in your tears. There is strength in that heart we feel to be broken. You may never ever "get over" the hurt but it will be more manageable, tolerable and give you the capacity to have total peace in your heart and mind. You can love and more importantly you can BE LOVED and are worthy of LOVE.

11 May, 2012

Sexual Abuse

Understand this Sexual Abuse has long term effects. 

If you or someone you know has been effected by this issue: 
1. Assure them they are Appreciated, Loved, Valued and Worthy. 
2. Help them get counseling. 
3. Do not dismiss your/their feelings and/or thoughts. 
4. Assist them in gaining a new understanding of courtship in the dynamics of a relationship.
5. Do not blame and/or judge them negatively, you may never truly understand their pain.

05 May, 2012

Grateful & Thankful

I will be grateful and thankful for what is NOT in my life currently. It does not mean things will not be added in the future, it does mean I am being prepared for those things presently. 

Lost focus. Time to really put my faith and knowledge into action and not be deceived by mans reality. My values and goals are important to me. I am a valued and appreciated, intelligent and humble, healthy and in-shape, loved and loving, concerned and empathetic, fighter and peacemaker, mother and friend, reserved and sexy, passionately Good GODLY woman.

Don't wait for others to see what you need to see first within yourself.

30 April, 2012

20 min Life Lesson

What life just taught me In a matter of 20 min.

Made Dynnie breakfast, put it in his favorite plate. Eggs, Turkey Bacon. Toast and Ketchup. Dynzcil goes into the living room and instead of sitting at his table he gets on my beige couch and spills ALL his food. Comes into the kitchen to say, "Mom, I spilled my food!"

Honestly, I stomped in there with the Resolve, yelled at him "You never listen to me!", "Why do you listen to your God parents but disobey Mommie?" Was just about to say something else when God told me to hush and just clean it up. (Really was about to seriously cry). I cleaned up the food, it was salvageable -- just ketchup stains more than anything. Would've done no good to spank or say words I did not mean - since he really didn't mean to do it. As people it takes a lot to NOT react in a negative way - it really takes a lot of energy to do the right thing and think the right thoughts. I realize that I am sick so my temper is short so I need to be mindful of what I might say.

I sat down and just prayed to ask God to teach me how to love my son. Pour into me the instruction and guidance that I need so I can show him. Show me the flaws in me - so I can help him overcome the flaws in him. Forgive me of where I have wronged unintentionally -- so I may learn to forgive him. Its not easy -- but I feel better and will be better. He's sitting at his table, saying he apologizes and crying as we speak, so excuse me while I tell him it is ok and he is still loved.

27 April, 2012

Strength of a woman

My strength may not be your strength but don't be so quick to call me weak.

In our lives we all excel in different and sometimes like areas. However because I may not be "stepping up" to your accomplishments does not mean that I am wholly weak. There are things that I have gone through in my life that I know for a fact some do not or will not EVER have the strength to handle. 

Yet some believe and assume that because you have struggled in one specific area
means that you are a weak individual overall.

Please remember one successful accomplishment or even several 
does not define a persons strength.