A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3 (NRSV)

Everything Has Its Time

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

I’ve been going through a rough patch over the last few days. It started before my birthday last week and continued through yesterday. My issue is simply not wanting to do what I know I should do. See I know Ecclesiastes 3. I have been taught this for many years. Understanding that there is a time for everything.

But, what if we don’t want to do what we know we should do when that time comes? Are we angering God? Are we being disobedient? Over the last few months I’ve been applying, speaking and meditating on the fact that God brings people into your life for a reason, season or lifetime. What happens when that reason or season is up? How do we deal with it?

I have a confession…I’m not good at letting go of the things and people I love the most. It’s hard for me. I want to hold on and try to repair things to the point that I’m probably doing more harm than good. I guess another way to look at it is what if God is telling me it is time to let go. Why can’t I do it?

A few years ago, I attended one of Tyler Perry’s stage plays and it was good. If you’ve ever seen Tyler Perry live you will know that he tends to go off script a lot. But, it’s a good thing. Because I believe that God is using him to send a message to someone in need. On this particular night sitting in my floor seats at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, Tyler went off script. He said something that has stuck with me until this day…

Sometimes the very things that ya’ll are trying to keep together, God himself is trying to tear apart. – Tyler Perry

Wow! Deep huh? I thought so too. But, I guess it makes sense when you think about Ecclesiastes. There is a time for everything. Shoot, even Chris Brown sang about it, “There is never a right time to say good-bye.” So, why with all these people telling us that there is a time and more importantly the Bible telling us that there is a time for everything, why do I struggle with letting go?

I think it is quite simply that I don’t want relationships to end. If I let you into my circle I never want that bond to end. You are my friend forever. I am fiercely loyal to you.  I will be forever bonded to you and always be there. I will treat you like I want to be treated. With love and respect. I will always have your back.

Until I can’t anymore. Until it gets so painful that I can’t function. Until God reminds me through his Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS) approach that there is a time for everything and I must trust Him when he tells me it is time. It’s harvest time and I must harvest the field of my life.

harvest

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.

Beywagon

Okay, so let me start off by saying that I truly love and respect Beyonce as an artist. She’s talented, beautiful and just an incredible representation of a woman with class. Now, I don’t think I’m part of the #beyhive or anything, but I am a fan. Not a diehard, I would spend my baby’s after care money to go see her in concert fan, but a fan who can watch and observe from the sidelines.

That being said…during my time of transition, I’ve gone through a metamorphisis and I realized that Beyonce has songs that really speak to where I’ve been, where I’m going and where I’m at. This is real here folks, I’m baring my soul so please don’t judge me.

Here are the four songs that speak to my life:

Crazy in Love

Believe it or not, I was crazy in love. I was his ride or die. I was the chick that always had his back until we had a child. I couldn’t seem to balance being his everything and being a mother. I went from being crazy in love to just being crazy in the end. But, in the beginning it was fire! Fire that burned out of control and caused an inferno.

 

I’m Scared of Lonely

Right after it ended and I was laying on the floor wanting to find peace in chaos it was this song that spoke to me. Beyonce sang “And I’m scared of being the only shadow along the wall and I’m scared hearing the only heartbeat I hear beating is my own and I’m scared being alone.” Yep, I was in it. Wallowing, self-pity, heartbreak and pain. Trying to breathe. Realizing that I am alone.

 

Love a Woman – (Okay Not All Bey, but fabulous nonetheless) Mary J Blige featuring Beyonce

But, after I got up off that floor realizing that it is going to be okay, I needed something to keep me motivated. It was this song that spoke life into me.  Mary sang “If you think you know how to love a woman, I feel there are some things you still need to know…”

Yep, I was there like “Sang it ladies”! (As she lifts her wine glass with tears in her eyes) Dang, I was going through it.

 

I Was Here

Now, isn’t that what it’s all about? Getting to the point of accepting your new reality? Realizing that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger? Understanding that pain is a part of life and that you must go through some things to gain clarity on who you are as a person. Beyonce sang, “I was here. I lived, I loved. I was here.” No, there was no happy ending for me, but I loved. Truly. Completely. I’m a better person for my experiences. I’m stronger than I knew I could be.

 

So, there you have it folks. Sometimes you will go through situations where you see no way out and they are seemingly hopeless, volatile and unmanageable, but I tell you from experience…breathe and know that it will get better. The hardest and darkest days are seemingly while you are going through your storm, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Get to the end of it because I promise it will get better.

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!

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!