Walking a New Path

 Sunday, November 9, 2008

I can finally see beyond the fog, its lifted and I can see my new path clearly. As you probably already know, my job was not one that I was truly satisfied with. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that God blessed me with the job, however, I was struck with this overwhelming feeling of pure disgust. Its almost humorous to me how corporations present themselves to the community. But after working there we learn the truth. And that is what happened to me while working at this job. For me it was as if I was caught in the middle. I loved the patients, the doctor, and nurse in our office. But the management lacked serious managerial skills, which left me fuming. After much prayer, I quit my job this past Friday. It was officially my last day. I've taken a new job at a different Hospital. My official title is Cancer Registrar. I'm looking forward to orientation on Monday, and I'm looking forward to having to report to one boss and one boss only. When I quit Friday I was very nice. I sent a letter to my 3 bosses wishing them the best of luck. It's safe to say that all 3 will be fuming when they come in to work Monday and check their emails and find out that I quit. I'm sure all 3 will gather in a meeting and verbally assault me for not giving them a two-week notice. I'd like to say that I care but not really. If I were treated with the respect every human being should be treated with, the outcome would have been different. So here is to a new journey.


Finally, The Perfect Fit

 Sunday, October 5, 2008

Finding the place where you belong is like finding the perfect shoe, or outfit. After a long day of hunting you finally see it, you try it on and its the perfect fit. That's how I view my experience with church. I can say that I've finally found a place that fits me, who I am, and what God is cultivating me to be for His glory and not my own. It took me a while to find that perfect fit for me. After some disappointing moments in my life I wanted to give up and call it a day, content to concede defeat and give up. For quite a while I had that awkward feeling of not fitting in anywhere, belonging anywhere. After me and Richard married in 1996, we began the hunt for a church home. But it seemed that every church we attended I never truly felt like I belonged. I wasn't like the others. I don't like Jane Austen novels, not a big fan of homeschooling my children, not particularly interested in scrap booking,....basically my cultural identity was extremely different from my counterparts. And by the same token, while I love the freedom of growing up in the black church, ie worshiping, praising, and soulful gospel...I grew tiered of the same old name it and claim it philosophy that has permeated the black church. Now, not all black churches are like that, but so many of them are. Because I'm black I'm expected to vote for Obama, like T.D. Jakes, and Juanita Bynum, and others. I'm expected to shout when the minister raises his voice, expected to dance when the organ plays. For a long time I felt like I was in limbo, caught between two worlds. I'm not a fan of T.D. Jakes or others who preach the name it and claim it false gospel. When I visit my mother's church, upon her request, there isn't a moment that goes by where I'm not srcreaming inside my head at the absurdity of it all. There was no where that I fit in. No one that I could identify with, and none that could identify with me. But at the same time they were like me, understood me, my struggles...understood what others could not. I used to miss that. If there is only 4 black people in the room, we gravitate to one another. Why?, because we can indentify with each other without condemnation, without expecting to leave behind our culture. Those of us who choose not to go to the traditional black church feel as though we are being stripped of our culture. I know that I'm not the only woman of color out there who has struggled with this. And I know many are struggling.

When you find that perfect fit you'll know. It's like a spring breeze washing over your body with the fragrance of lavendar. Thank you Radius church, for allowing me to be me.....finally the perfect fit.


Beyond The Fog

 Sunday, September 28, 2008

I've officially ended my first week of work. It was pretty uneventful. Monday----orientation---Tuesday half a work day and the other half finishing up my training. And then we hit Wednesday. I walked into work Wednesday morning and the first thing that was told to me is "If they see you dressed like that they'll send you home. "They" meaning the powers that be. Apparently me not having my issued uniform shirt on was a problem. Never mind the fact that I had ordered the required shirts 2 weeks before hand and never mind the fact that they came in that day. Was I suppose to walk into work naked? Nope, I was dressed in business casual. Wednesday afternoon I spent my time running around town getting my shirts, Which were not monogrammed with the name of the group that I work for, go home and change and come back to work. It was all too much...way too much to handle. And might I mention that the doctor is out of town at a conference until this Tuesday, so we aren't even seeing any patients. Okay that was my first inclination that this may not be the place for me to work. Second incident......You can't ask for any time off for the first 90 days. Okay, I get it, that I understand....the whole probationary period. However, it got a little sticky when I asked if I could have a couple of hours to take my exit exams at college so that I can graduate and get my diploma and have my transcripts released. The answer to that question was a definite no! At this point I'm just hot under the collar. Can't an exception be made so that I can graduate from college..officially? What's the big deal? All I'm asking is to leave work 30 minutes earlier. I've spent thousands on my education and I do plan to continue it. The one thing all of this has taught me is that people are just as uncaring as they were when I was working. At my current job we push patient care....but have no employee care whatsoever. I know there are no prefect jobs out there. I know that we are all flawed and have our own issues, but some things should just be across the board. Like how about a little empathy, compassion, consideration. I've never been one to tolerate bureaucracy, people in authority on power trips totally turn me off. I like my job, but not necessarily the management , which everyone can say that. So now I'm asking the question, God why am I dealing with this. Why can't I do what I want...my ideal job....the job that I was called to do. I don't want to hear the answer...."this is the job you were meant for, this is what your suppose to do". Right now I can't see beyond the fog, can't see beyond the tree line, can't see what path I'm currently on in my life. It's all so frustrating. I feel like I'm in a place of uncertainty, I'm in the unknown just drifting past time and space...caught in a continual loop of chaos.

My life isn't what it could be at this moment in time. I wish I had some quick resolution, I wish that money grew on trees. I wish that I could see beyond the fog, beyond the tree line to see exactly what path I'm on. And if I'm not on the right one, well Lord give me the wisdom to known, and the courage to change it!


Breaking the Piggy Bank

 Thursday, September 18, 2008

If I had a piggy bank I can assure you that it would be broken into a thousand tiny pieces right now. More than ever, we are all feeling the crunch. Between the loss of jobs, price of gas going up, and food prices rising, life is definitely getting harder and harder. Bills will always be there and the grind of living becomes more and more. I'm feeling the pressure...reaching the boiling point. How much longer will these conditions last? Hopefully after starting my new job, next Monday, a lot of the pressure will ease off and melt away. One thing that all of this has taught me is that dark days will come, they will hover, and we will stress, but its not the end. Through it all we gather strength. We will push our way through the thorny bushes. We will learn to lean more and more on God than on our own. Sometimes it takes a jolt to wake us up.


Crossing The Finish LIne

 Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've officially crossed the finish line in the race for a job. I begin work Sept. 22nd. So thank you, everyone, for your prayers. It means so much to me!


On The Hunt

 Thursday, August 14, 2008

If there is one thing that I hate more than anything, it's job hunting. Which, is the one thing that is consuming my life right now. Chasing down leads, filling out applications and filling out resumes can be somewhat daunting. And when you do get the interview you have to sell yourself like a prostitute on a street corner. Not to mention you have to answer insane questions, like " When was the last time you were angry? What happened?" It's enough to make anyone pull their hair out. One thing that I've noticed is that employers never want to pay you what you should be paid.....you're worth, so to speak. At some point you concede defeat and settle because the bills need to be paid and happy that a pay check is finally coming to you. I went out this afternoon to fill out applications and drop off resumes. First place I went to....well let's just say I got the feeling that my resume and application went straight into the trash after I left. Seemed too much like a "good ol' boy" place to work, not to mention it smelled kinda like a dog kennel. Then I was off to place number 2 but when I got there a sign was posted on the door that stated the job in question had been filled. It would have been nice if the company would have stuck to their classified advertisement on the deadline to fill out the application or removed the post altogether. Gas costs money and it was a total waste of my time to make the drive and have to turn around. However, I did receive an email from a wonderful lady that interviewed me for a position ( that I didn't get) and stated that I was a top candidate for the job and she would like to recommend me for another position that is coming open in another department that would be more challenging for me. Through it all I'm confident that God will put me where I need to be in his timing. But I tell you one thing, it sure is painful.


Art Imitates Life

 Sunday, July 20, 2008

This is art imitating my life. It's chaotic, yet beautiful. My life at the moment is filled with a variety of things. I haven't been able to read a book in a couple of weeks. My last class has consumed most of my time. I'm faced with the realization that I will have to re-enter the workforce, which I confess I'm not looking forward too. Riley, my youngest, starts kindergarten in one week and 4 days. Life is moving at neck-breaking speed right now. I'm desperate for a slower pace, a time to stop and smell the roses if you will. If art imitates life, what is your work of art like these days?


How Great Thou Art

 Sunday, July 6, 2008

I have this annoying habit that drives my kids crazy. My children find it odd that at various times through out my day I, without any reason at all, belt out songs of praise while working around the house. "Mom", they cry out in aggravations, "we can't hear the television."
My favorite is How Great Thou Art. It's not just the song, but the memory that surrounds the song. This is the first song that I learned to play on my grandparents piano. Memories of sitting next to my grandfather on the bench, his hands guiding me, showing me just the right notes to hit. I will always have that memory. It comes to me at the times that I miss him the most....the times when I'm stressed out to the point of just breaking down. That's when I hear...How Great Thou Art.


A Box Of Cheese Sticks

 Friday, June 20, 2008

There was a time when my husband, Richard, wrote me beautiful poems that expressed how much he loved and adored me. There were flowers, and long talks on the phone. Twelve years of marriage, and 4 children later its safe to say that both our romantic side has shifted a bit. Not in a bad way just different. We have our ways of expressing our love towards one another. Knowing one another's likes and dislikes plays a pivotal roll in expressing that love. And Richard expressed his love for me with a box of cheese sticks. He knows how much I love 'em.


Who are better parents....Conservatives or Liberals?

 Friday, June 6, 2008

Every once in a while when I watch the news there is something that will grab my attention. And one did this morning. An author, Peter Schweizer, has just written a book, sure to cause controversy among individuals. He poses the question Who are better parents conservatives or Liberals? According to the author of this new book in his interview, Conservatives are better parents. I think that I'll put this book on my list to be read this summer.


Look Mama

 Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Riley has become a master at the monkey bars. It's one of his favorite things to do at the playground.



 Thursday, May 29, 2008

A few days ago my nose began to bother me and swell. It swelled so much I'd thought that it was actually broken. And since I'm not one for Doctor's..not unless its absolutely required, Richard had to force me to go to the doctor the other day. After spending too much time in the office the diagnosis left me very puzzled. They told me that I had a sinus infection. Okay, I don't know about you, but I've never heard of a sinus infection that makes your nose swell so big it looks broken. If you could have seen me with ice packs on my nose this past week..wondering why the swelling wasn't going down. Now it is getting better....after having to take 2 doses of antibiotics daily the size of horse pills....Nasal spray once a day.....and nasal cream that has to be applied inside the nose 3 times daily the swelling is going down and the soreness isn't so bad. I think that I just may make it through the entire ordeal. My nose is big enough on its own.....and this didn't help any.


New Blog

 Sunday, May 11, 2008

Richard is always joking about how fast I read. And he has become more than annoyed for my lack of restraint when I enter the bookstore and come back with the receipt of purchase, which makes him cringe. Money is no object for me when my eyes gaze upon the thousands of books that are neatly stacked throughout. My children make fun of the way I open a book and inhale its sent. Every book has a different smell, a different story to tell. And this is where my new blog comes into play. It is called Reading In Bed and the address is www.imdreamingof.blogspot.com. I love books so much that I've decided to post reviews of the books that I read. And please feel free to leave comments, suggestions for other books to be read, and if you've read some of the books and would like to discuss...please feel free to do so.

My taste for books are all over the place. I love romance novels, chic-lit, non-fiction, mystery and every book in between. I hope that you will mark my new blog as a must read for yourselves. Just in case anyone is wondering....I'll still be posting on this blog also.


Proverbs 31 Woman

 Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Proverbs 31 woman can be somewhat intimidating . For many she's something that can never be obtained....an eluding ghost that we read in the pages of God's word. Just the description of such a woman invokes envy and a desire to be like the woman who is beautifully pictured in words. There are thousands of Proverbs 31 woman walking this earth now. She is the woman who has sacrificed her wants, and needs so that others may have. She is strong, wise, tender, and loving to her family and others. She gives without expecting anything in return. Her hands have cradled, feed, wiped the tears, consoled the hurting, and given words of wisdom to live by, and loves the Lord with all her heart, and mind.

Yes I've met plenty of proverbs 31 women. So to you all.....I RISE UP AND CALL YOU BLESSED!


UnChristian Part 2

 Sunday, April 27, 2008

My most recent post was in regards to how Christians, as a whole, are perceived. And if we are truthful none of the views expressed by "outsiders" should surprise anyone. At some point in our lives we've experienced a less than Christian attitude from those in the body of Christ. The question is-----How do we, as the body of Christ, change how the church is perceived?

One pastor in Sugar Hill Georgia asked himself that same question. In turn he issued an apology for his less than Christian attitude over the years. Their sermon sign read We're Sorry. No clever ante dotes, but a humble we're sorry.You can view the article here at The Christian Index. And also listen to the sermon he preached that morning at mysugarhillchurch.com.

No surprise that this has caused an uproar among some Christians who believe that there are no apologies to be made. Pastor Richard Lee, has been accused of watering down the word of God to boost his membership and has been called one sorry church by one blog. Overall from the 2 blogs that I've read on the subject, they have been pretty ugly, and I wonder if anyone listened to the sermon. I've listened to the sermon and in my opinion he's not compromised the word of God, nor has he catered to anyone. He's simply said the truth. And let's face it, some people can't take the truth.

The truth hurts, it stings and I realize that some won't get it. Through out the sermon Pastor Richard Lee has made it clear that he believes the word of God is 100 percent truth without error and will never compromise the word or Jesus. His mission and the churches mission is to love others, embrace them and help them on their journey to know and come to have a true relationship with Jesus. A relationship that transforms and changes from the inside out . It's not about man-made tradition...it's all about Jesus! I encourage everyone to read and listen to the sermon and judge for themselves.


What do Non-Christians Really Think About The Church

 Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This past weekend I went to the bookstore in search of a particular book, Lord Save Us From Your Followers. After seeing this new book, the title intrigued me. However, the book wasn't available. Undaunted I roamed the store and saw another book that peaked my curiosity. Unchristian, written by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Happy with my purchase I set out for home and devoured the book within one day. This is a book based on 3 years of research about what the younger generation, particularly those 16-29 years of age, really think about Christianity. Eyeopening----yes, but not surprising to me as I read what "outsiders" (the term the book used) really think about the followers of Jesus. Said many times by those interviewed, it's not Jesus they have a problem with, but rather those who call themselves His followers. One man stated this about Christianity. "Christianity has become bloated with blind followers who would rather repeat slogans than actually feel true compassion and care. Christianity has become marketed and streamlined into a juggernaut of of fearmongering that has lost its own heart." WOW!

It wasn't surprising to me that those on the outside view Christians as hypocritical, sheltered, have a get saved mentality, anti-homosexual, judgmental, and too political. I've often said if your going to talk the talk walk the walk. Unfortunately that doesn't always happen. I often find it unbelievable that a lot of Christians expect those who aren't christian to have the same ideals about morality that they do. Judgments are made about people without even getting to know the person. We jump to conclusions that often lead us camped out on the side of the road somewhere and wondering what the heck just happened. Are we really being Christ like? Are we following Jesus' example of Grace?

One job that I had, all the employees would meet in the morning and have prayer in the break room before clocking in. One day while working, a group of women were clustered together, and one said "Did you hear about that gay pride parade their having?" Yeah, one girl replied. "We'll I hope God strikes them all with lightning!" I couldn't believe what I just heard. Weren't these the same women I prayed with every morning? Unable to contain my anger and hold my tongue I stood up walked over and stated the following " The last time I checked God's Grace was extended to everyone. Do they not deserve the same Grace. Sin is sin, and there is no sin greater than the other." No one said a word. I'm not sure if they were caught off guard or simply searching their mind for a comeback reply. But none answered, they just looked at each other and quietly walked away. I have a couple of family members who are Gay, Muslim, and Louis Farrakhan Muslim, but I love them regardless of their sexual orientation or religion. Everyone in my family knows were I stand on these issues. We've had candid conversations, but at no time was I hateful, spiteful, or lacking compassion. I am simply the instrument that God uses. But if I'm brash and offensive I've totally turned this individual off and they may never come to know Jesus. It's about creating meaningful relationships and letting God do the rest.

A friend Kristina Alford has issued a challenge called the 3 challenge. Here it is in her own words:

The 3 Challenge:

Pray and ask God to reveal at least 3 people in our lives that we could be friends with.

Purposefully pray for them.

Purposefully set up times for coffee, lunch, dinner or outings to just hang out and do stuff with.

Invite them to be a part of our life—the good, the bad & the ugly of our lives

(Christ Followers aren’t perfect ya know—so key: to just be real…)

Realize that no matter what happens that we must choose to continue the friendship…even if they never come to know Christ…

a side note:

the idea was to not be so

“in your face”

and religious or fake…

but rather kind and encouraging,

simple, and real about life.

Growing up in the church I've seen some things done right and some done horribly wrong. If we are ever going to engage "outsiders" we must be honest with ourselves and evaluate what we've done wrong, learn from our mistakes and be willing to reach out to others in kindness, compassion, and love. I will leave you with this excerpt from the book Unchristian:

"Stephen, a seventeen-year-old from New Hampshire, offered this gut-wrenching description of his life in one of our survey: "what is God? Simply put, God is a figment of our minds grasping the sad fact that we have nothing else to believe in. I live alone. I am alone. I will always be alone. So Why should I lie to myself about a God that lets me live a life where the only people I care for treat me like s----? I want to die every day; that is my one wish. I pray to God for that, sure, but it's only because I need something. Every day I have to go through realizing that my life amounts to nothing. I quit."

"Does this tear you up? Do his thoughts about God offend you, or do you see them for what they are: an expression of his deep hurt? What would it take to help him, to keep him from suicide, to really see and develop his potential to be a Christ follower? It would take more than a few nice conversations. It would take sincere, deep engagement over many months to deal with his depression and anguish."

I recommend that everyone read this book!


As we forgive those who trespass against us.......

 Monday, April 7, 2008

Prayer comes so much easier when its something that we want or an event that catapults us to prayer for an individual such as a natural disaster, sickness, or some other traumatic event. However, it doesn't come that easy when we've been hurt. If you read my last post then you know what sent me into a tail spin this time last week. Since then I've been praying for forgiveness, and the ability to pray for the stranger that had me seeing red. The world would tell me people such as this girl needs no compassion, love, or prayer. "Let them all burn in hell!" would be what most would say. As much as I would like to say that, my heart won't let me. Even after the entire incident I found myself secretly praying for her. Bitterness and anger have such a way of rooting itself in our lives that it slowly turns a soft heart hard as steel. Forgiveness never comes easy. Forgiveness comes with getting on your knees and praying through the hurt. If I am in Christ and He in me then the end result is clear, Love your enemies. If He is merciful then I must be merciful. There is no fine line, no straddling the fence and no if's and's or but's. Through it all I pray, please Lord Give Me Strength!


Sticks and Stones

 Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." We've all quoted this line at least once or twice in our childhood. A phrase that has been a rebuttal to someone who has said something cruel to us. Oh how I wish this were true, that words never hurt. But the power of words can cut us deeper than any physical wound could. The actions of others in our lives, whether they are strangers, friends, or family can leave us bitter, angry and wanting revenge.
The ugliness of what words can do hit me at my own home yesterday. While standing on my front porch talking to my sister on the phone a car drove by. Some girl in the backseat, whose identity was shielded by tinted windows, stuck her hand out the window, waved and said "Hi nigger." Needless to say I hollered back some not so nice language. Here I was in my own yard and minding my own business. It hurt me to my very soul. Richard wrapped his arms around me and tried to comfort me as best he could. I had the urge to beat that girl silly. But all I could do was bury my head on my oldest daughters shoulder and cry. I've been fighting against harboring any bitterness for this young girl, trying my best to muster a pray for her. Now I'm finding myself running the event over in my head like some bad episode. Honestly I'm struggling with having any compassion, forgiveness, or any feeling for this girl, other than giving her the whooping she deserves.

All these emotions flooded me and my mind was consumed with getting "even." However, I know that's not how you handle the situation. Some people might say "Oh anybody can be a n----r. Well, no they can't. This was a word specifically given to African-Americans, to demean, humiliate, and bully. This is not just a word, this was a stone aimed and fired at me. "Lord" I say "please don't let me be bitter, and angry. Help me to forgive because I don't want to."

She needs Jesus, just like anyone else. I'm trying to remember that, though wounded from her stone. And this is another lesson that I will learn about the grace of God, healing, praying and loving those who hate me just because my skin color is different.


I'm Back

 Saturday, March 8, 2008

After a long hiatus I am back on the saddle again ready to blog. For some reason the holiday season takes its toll on me and I slip into a funk. Spring is in the air and I am rising up from the ashes. So join me as I continue my journey. Be prepared for a new post in a few days.


Pictures of Lady

 Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Here are a few pictures of our dog, lady, an English Springer Spaniel. She was having a relaxing evening in Richards Recliner..."old faithful". Ain't she just the cutest things!