In Search of More

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

Mother Teresa

Okay so I’m working on my first book which will be fiction (very loosely) based off my life and experiences. It’s weird because I’ve never intended to write fiction, just tell my story. My truth. My way. With no filter. The response to my two short stories have created a surge to write the story of a woman named Faith and her experiences with a man named Teddy.

I’m so excited because the respect and appreciation for my short stories have increased my Twitter followers, Facebook friends and followers to this blog. This means that people get me. You don’t know how wonderful that makes me feel. It is an amazing feeling and I thank you for your continued support.

That being said, I have no plans to quit my job and write full-time (primarily because I love and need my health benefits) but I just want to share this woman’s story. What makes it interesting is that I can see parts of me, my friends, family and women I’ve met on this journey into everything I write now. We all want more. Whether it be a poem or short story I feel like I’m weaving a tapestry that tells one story for everyone…the search for more. More. We don’t want to settle. We know we deserve it but oftentimes we find ourselves trapped in situations where we accept what we can get instead of pulling ourselves away from things that don’t give us more.

My search for more has opened my eyes to things that I never thought I would experience and anthems about taking back your power that I am in awe of how I’m subconsciously moving and gravitating towards my destiny without even knowing it. In other words, I’m not settling. I’m asking, no rather DEMANDING more. More for me.

I hope you do the same love.

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Knowing Your Worth

The sounds of screams, fists flying, furniture breaking and blood on clothing; are all vivid images from my childhood that still haunt me to this day. My mother left. Many women don’t. Domestic violence is not always physical. It can take many forms including sexual, emotional, verbal and psychological. It’s all about power and control. It has lasting effects.

I read this article last month on My Brown Baby entitled “#WhyIStayed: Teaching our Daughters & Sons How to Love Sans Violence” and was moved to write about this topic in October. Why? Because October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month and we need to stop blaming the victims for domestic violence and encourage them to get help and get out of destructive situations.

So, how did domestic violence affect me after witnessing it? I suffered all forms of domestic violence at one point in my life with the exception of physical, but it was just as painful.  Domestic violence affected my self-esteem and made me vulnerable and susceptible to unhealthy situations and relationships. You know the kinds of relationships where you think your first name is B*tch? How about the relationships where you’re being yelled at constantly with no regard to your feelings? How about the relationships where you feel that you’re just not good enough because he likes skinny women and I’m too thick for him? How about the relationship where he forced himself on you?

Domestic violence is serious. I suffered the affects for many years. Silently. As confident as I was on the outside, I was a wreck on the inside. I thought no one cared or that it was “my cross to bear”. Suffering alone and in silence strips you of your voice. You begin to doubt yourself and realize that maybe just maybe you deserved all those bad words or things that have happened to you. But, you don’t.

Domestic violence is simply about power and control. Hurt people hurt people. You can’t change someone. You have to love you first. Loving you is the fundamental point of everything we do in life. If you can’t love you, how can you expect someone else to love you? Truth? You can’t.

You can’t change someone.  You can’t heal a broken person when you in fact are broken. I know. I tried. I failed. All I earned was a broken, battered, abused heart and spirit. So, what do you do? You focus on you. Till this day, the best line I ever heard was from the comedian; Katt Williams when he says “B*tch, it’s called self-esteem! It’s the esteem of your mother*cking self. How the f*ck can I f*ck up how you feel about you…?” Vulgar and crude…Yes. But, it’s accurate and on point nonetheless.

That sketch reminded me that I’m the only one who can control how I feel about myself. I stopped waiting on others to validate me or my existence. I accepted who I am and I love me first. Think of it this way…when you fly they always instruct you in an emergency situation if the oxygen masks should deploy that you secure your mask first before helping someone else. Why? Because you can’t help someone else if you die. Help yourself first.

Yep, I am officially depressed

So, this is what happened. Last year in November I bought a 2012 Nissan Maxima. I was excited. My first grown up purchase. Well, two months later I was living in the hotel (multiple pipe bursts in my kitchen with flooding) and I pulled my beautiful baby out the hotel garage and scraped the driver’s side door on the yellow concrete posts. Ugh. The damage to my car was $2,900. I had to get it fixed. I just got the car. So, I paid the $500 deductible and got “Blue Magic” fixed.

I resounded to pay attention and not get distracted by life because I couldn’t afford another expensive lesson. Well, in June of this year, I went down the wrong way of a roundabout. I realized it and began to back-up when I was hit by another driver who couldn’t see me. Damage to both cars, but no injuries and I thankfully didn’t get a ticket. God was watching after me on that one because I was praying that the officer’s would have mercy and make it affordable. I sat there in shock and realized I can’t afford to keep paying these dang deductibles. I hadn’t had the car a year. What was happening?

My mom didn’t make me feel better. Her response, “Kee, you need to be careful and pay attention.” Like a petulant child, I yelled “I know mom and you ‘re not helping. I’m already depressed. I laid in bed crying.” I said, “I didn’t tell you that when you got into your two accidents within a month of each other.” She said, “No, but I told myself.” She reminded me to count my blessings that I didn’t get a ticket.

As I’ve been sharing I’m exceptionally happy. I said it out loud. I didn’t just write it, but I woke up and thanked God for his continued blessings over my life. But, I always knew that something would happen because I was happy. I didn’t know what form the happiness thief would take, but I knew it was coming. Would I be prepared? Would I crumble? Would it be that bad that it would destroy me? All the questions that I kept pushing out my mind. I wasn’t going to “think it” into existence.

I just went with the flow and enjoyed the moment. Then it happened. I was checking my emails on my Ipad this morning before work and got the renewal information from my car insurance company. My insurance was increasing by 117%. I sat there dumbfounded with tears in my eyes. All these thoughts ran through my mind:

  • I can’t afford this.
  • That is more than my car note.
  • How will I be able to live?
  • OMG, I want to die
  • I would be better off selling my car and paying off the balance and buying a vehicle outright

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I was freaking out. It was way too early to start calling folks and asking them to pray, encourage and remind me that I will be okay. I was already planning on how I would pack up my spot and move back home with my mom with a defeated attitude. I was lost. I was officially one step up from being in a crack den or on the streets or living in Blue Magic. Yes, Blue Magic is roomy and all, but I couldn’t bring my baby to living in our car while trying to get bootleg wi-fi so he can watch Disney Jr. and Netflix on his Ipad. (I told you I was having a mental breakdown).

I called my best friend who said, “Wow! Call around. Stop freaking out! You have 6 weeks to find another insurance company. Do your research.” I sniffled, “Okay, thank you. I will do it.” I hopped in the shower and got dressed and headed into work. I prayed to God that Blue Magic and I will not have to live in a seedy part of town dodging bullets. I went about my normal routine and arrived at work 15 minutes early. I started trying to get insurance quotes to see if I can get a cheaper rate.

I sent a text to my other best friend to let him know and seek his counsel. He replied, “It’ll be okay. You’ll find something. It was your two accidents in one year and the fact that you were at fault for both and your car is considered a sports car because of the horse power. It’s going to be expensive, but you will have to budget and make some adjustments.” I sat there listening to him with tears streaming down my face, “This is one of the worst days of my life. Definitely the worst day in the last 15 months. I can’t breathe.” “Stop overreacting please. I will help you” he replied.

As I sat at work frustrated I decided to go see my good friend to get her advice and perspective. I had already received quotes that were more than $300 over what my current insurance company was going to charge me. I was spiraling downhill fast. She said, “Don’t let this get you down. I am claiming it. You will be saved from this situation. We are not going to give the happiness thief satisfaction in seeing you defeated.” I just put my head down on the table and sighed.

I went into my office after lunch still consumed with this travesty of injustice on my mind and in my spirit. I checked my emails and read my devotional from Bible Gateway called “His Princess Today”. I got too busy to read it yesterday so I opened it up and this is what it said:

Come to Me

I saw you before you were born. Even then you were on My mind, My daughter. I knew you were coming, and I did everything possible to express My love to you and extend My invitation to you. Now that you are Mine, I want you to continue to come to Me. Come to Me when you feel strong and when you feel weary. Come to Me when you are rejoicing and when your spirit is crushed. I ask you to come not only to give you rest, but also because there is so much more I want to teach you. There is more of Me I want to reveal to you. You see, I did not create you for this fallen world. I created you for Paradise, but the curse of sin tore us apart. I’ve conquered sin and death for you through the death of My son, so come to Me… and live.

Love,
Your King who is waiting

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and
carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you,
because I am humble and gentle,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:28–29

I realized that I went to everyone with my problem (that I could think of without disturbing) but the one who could truly put peace in my heart and remind me that He will carry my burden. My burden is heavy. I told you yesterday I grew up poor and I was determined not to go back to the poor house and God was reminding me that His yoke is easy and I should take that. Wow! I sat there with tears in my eyes apologizing for my selfishness and realizing that HE NEVER FAILS!

Yep, I am officially depressed, but you know what? I will get through this because it is a temporary setback. Sometimes we all need a reminder to stop going to everyone first. Go to Him first. My grandma used to say, “Trouble don’t last always” but I know that my God is a burden bearer and he can carry this burden too.

Be blessed my loves!

Yep, I’m Scared

I get scared sometimes. I think back to all the times I’ve hid my true self, my feelings or my insecurities in an effort to put on a brave face for everyone else and how that has somehow held me back all these years. I get scared. I am sometimes too afraid to tell someone how I feel about something because I don’t want to seem argumentative. But, if it’s how I feel, does it matter?

I’ve been exploring and self-evaluating my life a lot lately and I realized that I’m a scaredy cat. I get afraid to reveal the real me and let folks in. My friend gave me a great piece of advice last week when he said, “You can’t go through life being afraid to let folks in and keeping pieces of the real you hidden. Life is about taking the plunge and just wading through the water and see where it goes.” (It was probably less poetic because he is a man, but you get the gist right?). I do hide the real me and don’t like to let people in. I’m guarded. I’m closed off when in unfamiliar territories. Especially those that deal with the heart.

So, I wait. I try to analyze, micro-analyze every problem and situation so that I can’t see the forest for the big tree in my vision. I am a runner. I justify my running away as a part of life. It’s me. If things get to complicated or too emotional, I’m out. I don’t want to get hurt. So, I shield myself, my heart, my mind from folks who just want to get to know the real me. But, the real me is too sensitive for this world. She’s not someone use to sharing pieces of her soul.

Until now. I have bared more of my soul in the last year than I ever have. I’ve let my guard down (that 100 foot barbed wire wall around my heart) and started letting people see the real me. Nothing fancy. Just a glimpse of who I am. I had to. God said it’s time. It’s time to let the wall down and share. But, I keep dragging my feet. Slowly because I’m afraid. I don’t  want my heart to get broken. I don’t want to be uncomfortable.

But, you have to be uncomfortable to grow. I need to face my fears no matter how scared I am. I remember my pastor preaching about growing in the valley with the myrtle trees and I am reminded that life is just that. Growing in uncomfortable places and situations.

I’m terrified, but I know that I need to move forward and grow. Just grow.  Whether it’s my branches that spread to support the leaves in my life or my roots that grow deep in the ground, I need to grow. Growth is good. I’m not saying that it won’t be hard and I will continue to guard my heart, but I can’t move forward if I’m too afraid to jump.  I may get hurt, but I will learn. I will grow. I will survive.

oak-tree

I’m in a Tomato Season

My very first job was picking tomatoes at the age of 12.  I’m sure there were some child labor laws that were broken during that time, but it was a job that paid cash daily.  I earned an honest day’s wage for back breaking work in the dead of summer in a tomato field in Tennessee. 

I started thinking about the planting process of the tomato and wanted to give you a simple and realistic view of how God works with me by planting His seeds of grace, mercy and favor over my life.  He is nurturing my spirit, just like the tomato so that I can grow and be fruitful during the planting process.

Now, there are 5 steps that you must do in order to produce viable tomatoes:  select a site, establish stakes or cages in the soil (staking keeps the fruit off the ground and caging lets the plant hold itself upright), planting seeds two feet apart, pinching and planting deep enough and finally watering well.

Stay with me folks …I have a point.

Step 1:  In order to plant tomatoes, you need to select a site that is full of sun and well-drained soil.  I’m from the south, so you need to know that light afternoon shade will help tomatoes survive and thrive. 

Thinking about how my own soul now seems to be planted and rooted firmly in God, I know that I need a little afternoon shade (aka rest) to survive and thrive in these tumultuous times.  You see, people think they know me or know what I’m going through, but they have no idea.  They don’t see me broken and crying and falling out so they begin to assume things about me or my situation.  Don’t worry, God’s got me!  Just like the tomato, He knew where to plant my spiritual seeds to provide the optimal chance of survival.

Step 2:  You have to establish stakes or cages in the soil at the time of planting.  Staking keeps developing fruit off the ground while caging lets the plant hold itself upright.  Some sort of support system is recommended, but sprawling can also produce fine crops if you have the space, and if the weather cooperates.

Wow! I’ve been staked and caged in situations and realized that I wasn’t producing fruit that was edible to God.  So, God said, “Okay, let her sprawl and grow low to the ground.  She’s good.”  He knew what I needed and when I needed it.  The sprawling helped me to get the necessary nutrients from the word He was providing.  It was at my lowest that I learned to be still and listen. There was uncooperative weather, storms and flooding, but I still grew.

Step 3:  Plant seedlings two feet apart.

I love this because it is in the space where you can grow and find out what God wants for you.  You see, I can’t get to Heaven on anyone’s merits but my own.   It’s in the space that I can stretch my mind and absorb the things that God wants me to see.  I am planted with like-minded folks, but I am growing at my own pace and not at theirs.

Step 4:  Pinch off a few of the lower branches on the transplants and plant the root ball deep enough so that the remaining lowest leaves are just above the surface of the soil.

You have to be planted in the soil in order to grow.  How can I grow in my faith if I’m halfway in the soil?  Aren’t I just trying to grow in mud instead of letting the spirit water my soil and grow in the right situation?  I’ve been in muddy situations and it’s no fun.  But, God has allowed a farmer to come along and replant my seeds just where they needed to go.  It’s the transplanting that takes place that allows me to thrive above the surface of the soil.

Step 5:  Water well to reduce shock to the roots.

No explanation needed right?  But, let me try…you need to water the seeds of your spirit well with God’s word or you will be shocked.  See, your roots won’t grow and you won’t develop into viable fruit.  Watering reduces shock to your roots.  Imagine the electrical shock you get when you run your feet against carpeting and then touch someone.  It hurts right?  Do you think your roots could take that kind of shock on a regular basis with poor watering? Nope, they can’t. So, it’s important that you know that God’s word is the truth and understanding and accepting that Christ is your personal savior will reduce the impact of that shock.  It doesn’t mean that you won’t get shocked, it just means that the shock will be reduced and you can still ripen in your faith and walk with God.


It is in the planting that the hardest of the work is done.  You can’t skip a step in this process or you will realize that you will not grow like God wants you too.  See, there is no shortcut or secret to being what God wants you to be.  You have to do the work.  You have to go through the planting stage in order to grow and become edible.  A process takes time, but I promise you that it is worth it in the end.  He is a phenomenal God and there is no other like Him.  He will do exceedingly and abundantly when you let Him in to do His work.  Let him go through the steps and feed your spiritual seeds.  

Be blessed my loves!