‘Bout time!

‘Bout time I visited my blog and actually wrote something…you know, just in case there really is someone out there who drops by every now and then, wondering what’s going on in my world (hey, it could happen!).

examiner_logo-headerRecently, I got a gig writing for an online publication, Examiner.com. My official title is the Orlando Christian Women’s Examiner. It’s fancy speak for “I get to write articles pertaining to Christian women with a local angle.” When I accepted the gig, I thought to myself “psh, piece of cake!” You see, writing has never been hard for me. Being a student of language, I enjoy the nuances of the art – writing, reading, sculpting words to create a masterpiece, especially on a topic¬†I absolutely love… However, this formal writing adventure I’m just embarking upon has me scratching my head a few times too many.

It’s one thing to blog about n’importe quoi (whatever), but quite another to come up with topics you think other women would be interested in and sound like an expert while you’re at it. What’s more, you have to post frequently, to encourage traffic on your page! If you’re a praying person and have noticed how infrequently I’ve been blogging of late, please consider this a prayer request… and come visit my Examiner page as often as you can – it translates into pennies for me. And feel free to leave a comment or two, or email me (but only if you have something nice to say ūüôā )

Until next time  Рpeace!

Lessons on the beach

beach shells

OK, can I just say that I found out this morning that¬†sand dollars are false advertising? I’ll elaborate in a second.

My family and I spent the weekend at Fort Myers Beach in a beautiful beach condo, courtesy of some lovely friends of ours. I had an idea for a craft project (does that make me crafty?) that required me to collect some shells, so I hopped across the street to the beach bright and early, kicked off my sandals and made a beeline for the shore, armed with my camera (you never know what sights you may come across), cell phone (you know, in case of emergency) and a ziploc bag (to store aforementioned shells).

First, let me digress a bit. Whodda thunk that you can get a pedicure just walking along the shore? Just occasionally grind the soles of your feet in the combo of wet sand and shells as you walk, and let the water wash over them repeatedly Рbam! free pedicure, courtesy of nature!

OK, back to what I was saying. I found quite a few treasures along my walk, some really pretty shells, including¬†a rather large conch and some bits of what looks like mother-of-pearl (well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it until some mother-of-pearl connoiseur can prove otherwise). As I walked, I spotted something large and round that was washed ashore. Let it be a huge shell, I prayed silently. I picked up said object and inspected it. A sand dollar. Only it looked nothing like the pretty white ones I’ve seen in stores and¬†framed art, the ones that are in the picture above (which, by the way, is a stock photo but could have been a snapshot of my collection, minus the sand dollars). This one was brownish-black with fuzz all around the edges. When I flipped it over…ewww! The backside was completely covered with gill-like stuff that reminded me of the underside of a portabella mushroom.¬†I noticed that there were a few others around me and they all looked like that. I dropped it, stepped away in disgust and kept steppin’. A little further up, I stopped to indulge in a beach pedicure. As I dug my ashy heels into the sand/shell pumice, a lady walked up to me. She had noticed me picking shells and proudly held out her hands, with 5 sand dollars in them. “Ma’am, would you like one? I found these back there!” (pointing in the direction I’d come from). I marveled at her enthusiasm. She looked like she’d found a treasure and was eager to share. I tried my darnedest not to poop on her parade and so I nicely declined, thanking her for her generosity.

As she walked away, I marveled. The same object that I had dropped in disgust and walked away from, she had found and gathered like a prize. My trash was her treasure.¬† What a reflection of life! It made me begin to second-guess my rejection of the ugly sand dollars. Then I thought ‘nah!’

Imagine with me that that sand dollar was a person who had feelings. It would have suffered rejection and a blow to its self-esteem by my insensitivity. I saw no beauty at all in it because I was comparing it to an ideal, commercially appealing image. But then right on the heels of that rejection, God sent along someone who did not see it through the same filter that I did. Instead she saw the raw, natural beauty in that sand dollar and ascribed value to it, pouring salve on the bruise inflicted by my repulsion and restoring its self-esteem.

Who knew that my simple quest to gather shells would end up being a gentle reminder from God about the power of love and checking the lenses through which I see? I love how He can get my attention even when I’m not paying any!

Happy Momma’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day¬†this Sunday¬†to all you beautiful women out there!

In our church, we don’t only celebrate mothers, but all women on this special day. This is because all women are mothers, in a sense. We are wired to be loving, nurturing and life-giving, whether it’s to our own progeny –¬†biological, adopted, spiritual or otherwise – or someone else. That’s just how we roll!

For those of you women who are dealing with the characteristic frustrations of raising well-mannered children in a sometimes contrary culture, you’re not alone, as the following video featuring Anita Renfroe will demonstrate. For others, I know you will recall hearing these words at some point earlier on in your life. It’s amazing how similar mothers are, regardless of the language they speak, or what part of the world they live in. Even if you’re one of the 10,000,000 viewers who’ve seen it before, have another laugh at this¬†video. By the way, you should hear some of the things she says in yoruba (a Nigerian language) like I did, growing up.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day, y’all! ūüėČ

Sugar ‘n’ Spice (Ruth)

Ruth

Ruth: every mother’s dream for her son. What a girl! I call her sugar-n-spice (and everything nice).

After her husband’s death, when she had every reason to heave a sigh of relief and wish her mother-in-law Naomi a good life, she stayed with the older woman. A Gentile woman, like Tamar and Rahab, her quiet devotion to Naomi earned her a good catch in Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer (see Tamar’s story) who happened to be a kind and generous man. Didn’t hurt that he was was well-off, either (I’m just sayin’…)

What I love about Ruth is that she was this sweet, gentle, fiercely loyal girl, yet I detect a hint of caliente in her. When Naomi gave her instructions for catching Boaz’ eye, she didn’t shrink back from it. What was it about her past that made her choose to stay with Naomi rather than go back home to her family after her husband died? Was it a fascination with the God of Israel whom her beloved mother-in-law worshipped? I suspect that she’d seen enough evidence of Jehovah’s living presence¬†to want to return to the dead gods of her people. She knew which life she wanted. Those famous words of hers to Naomi: “your people will be my people and your God will be my God” still give me goosebumps when I read them. Lord, give me a daughter-in-law like that! I’d bet after Boaz and Ruth got married, they moved Naomi into the White House – I mean, their home, with them.

At the end of her story, she earned herself a good man, her very own book of the Bible and a spot in Jesus’ lineage.¬† You go, sweetie (pun intended).

Sometimes Christmas Makes Me Cry

This Christmas, I’m a little more pensive than usual.¬†I’m always amazed at the hype of Christmas, with everyone in a frenzy over parties, gifts and the “Christmas spirit.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against parties or gifts. I definitely am against the “Christmas spirit”, though, especially in the way many people mean it.

If I were a songwriter, I would have written the song “Christmas Makes Me Cry” sung by Mandisa and Matthew West. It captures my feelings exactly! But since they wrote it before I got the chance to, I’ll just listen to it and cry each time. This Christmas, there are men and women in the forces who will be far, far away from loved ones, not even knowing for sure if they’ll ever see them again. I have a friend who is a single Dad just dreading spending Christmas alone. I know of people facing eviction on Christmas Eve. And me, it’s my first Christmas without my Mother.

So as you celebrate Christmas this year, however you do so, spare a thought and a prayer for those around you that you may not even be aware of, for whom Christmas is not necessarily a happy time; those who may not have gifts or even a tree; those who are struggling with their health…the list is endless. And if these things move you to tears, I pray that they will be “tears of thankfulness, tears of hope…tears of joy at Christmas because [you] know there is peace on earth for every heart to find.”

Yes, I pray that Christmas makes you cry…

You know you’re getting old when…II

 

OK, can I just go on record for saying this (all the while naming no names to protect the identity of the innocent)?…

No woman, regardless of age, tribe or tongue, color or creed, whether dead or alive, in the past, present or future. No woman – EVER! EVER!! EVER!!! – deserves facial hair!

And that’s all I’m gon’ say about that!

Think Pink

 

A friend shared this video with me. Since I’m such¬†a fan of Pink (the ideology, more so¬†than the color), I thought it was very ‘a propos’. Long live strength and femininity; long live pink! Enjoy…

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