No more Expectations

What you give may not be what you receive, but does that stop you from giving?  Why do we let our own expectations supersede the reality that no one is perfect?  Why do we expect people to be exactly like us?  If God felt that way, do you think he would’ve sent his son, Jesus, to die for our sins?  We expect so much from our job, this life, people we let into our life, relationships, children, and when these people don’t live up to that, we begin to question their place in our lives.  But what we need to do is some self-reflection on why we thought that these people would never do any wrong, and how can we hold someone to a standard that we can’t even hold ourselves to.  It took me a while to get to this point, and I’m still growing and learning.  My hope is that this post helps somebody like it helped me.

I’ve been let down, betrayed, lied to, cheated on, backstabbed and deceived.  Thank goodness not all by the same person.  But seriously, I may have endured a lot, but I’m still standing, and I forgive everyone that’s ever done anything to hurt me.  The realness is that I’ve also been the one to let down, lie to, betray, cheat, backstab and deceive.  I know it’s hard to believe that about sweet, innocent looking Nicki…jk, we ALL fall short.  Thank the Lord that I’ve also been forgiven by those who I have hurt and most importantly I’ve been forgiven by God.  In Mark 11:25 it reads, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you of your sins.”

I’ve gotten into arguments; fall outs and even had a fight (where the bushes really put a whooping on me…inside joke) with people I care so much for.  People who know me well know I have a feisty personality, and Lord knows in the past, when that match is lit….DUCK.  At those times, emotions get the best of you and at that time, the enemy jumps right on in and allows itself to have a party.  That party is to try and destroy everything that you and those people built together.  Friendship, family, relationships, etc… None of it is protected from the enemy’s target.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are some people that we have to let go of, but before you do that, have you taken the time to forgive?  Those people may have just been brought into your life for a season, but it’s also for a reason.  That reason is to teach you something about yourself, not them.  Did you discover what that was yet?  Don’t play the victim, point the finger or act like you didn’t see the signs along the way.  Now is the time to figure that lesson out so that you can set yourself free!

Now my expectations have become hopes.  I hope and believe for the best.  I hope that the people in my life know that I am giving from my heart and my true intentions are never to hurt you (even if I may go in on you..just a little bit :O).  I hope that my life will continue to be good, and that I am able to handle whatever comes my way through prayer and faith.  I hope that you can accept me for me as I will for you; pray for me (especially the crazy part) as I do for you; allow me to make mistakes and me to be forgiven as I forgive you; and know that I am a God work in progress as are you.

I admit I do have an expectation.  That one and only expectation I have is in the one who will never let me down, in the one who makes no mistakes and the one who I keeps on Blessing me with the strength to share my journey with all you read it.  In Psalms 62:5, it states, “My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is (from) him.”

NYM

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No Longer will I

I dedicate this to all of us who sometimes have doubts..yet those doubts become some part of our reality.  I have a daily pep talk with myself to get me back on track.  I’m not perfect, but I’m better than where I once was at.  Do I fall short? Lord knows, everyday.  I hope these words reach you, heal you and teach you.  Vow to be better, do better and feel better..you deserve it!!

No Longer will I try to figure everything out

No longer will I question, for I am fully surrendering to God’s route

No Longer will I let negative thoughts to consume me

No Longer will I worry about others opinions of me

No Longer will I keep things bottled in

No Longer will I continue to keep my gifts within

No Longer will I speak things I know I don’t want to happen

No Longer will I allow my dreams to be abandoned

No Longer will I wonder when my day will come

No Longer will I run from what’s already been done

No Longer will I be so distant from people I care for the most

No Longer will I let the past hold me hostage and haunt me like a ghost

No Longer will my dreams fade away

For I’m not worried about my tomorrow, I’m living and giving it my all starting today!

Blackout….Justice for Trayvon

You can stay at the back of the bus as others continue to fight a battle that is real and still exists

I’m in the front with Rosa,

Marching with Martin,

Singing with Mahalia & Billie,

Sick & tired with Fannie,

Standing with Malcolm, so that I don’t fall for anything,

Because what if this was Your brother,

And although he wasn’t perfect, he didn’t deserve to die,

I can’t understand why someone would want to lie,

Or even deny,

That we all deserve a chance to life and the pursuit of happiness,

So I just continue to believe that God will provide true justice for Trayvon,

No matter what man has to say.

Nym

 

What about the children

The late, Great, but never forgotten Whitney Houston sang it best when she described, the Greatest Love of all. I can hear those lyrics now:
“I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess in side. Give them a sense of pride, to make it easier, let the childrens’ laughter, remind us how we used to be…”

Now I’m sitting here wondering how the lyrics to such a beautiful song can feel so far from the reality of this world we live in. With all the shootings around the country in elementary schools, high schools and colleges, it’s as if securing a place where dreams do come true for our young people is like crossing over into a fantasy land full of fairies and a boy that never grows old. Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world, yet we are overwhelmed with gun violence that is taking the lives of our children. Watching the news has become unbearable for me, because I dread to see the face of the next child or teen that’s been shot. And then to make matters worse, we have the impending risk of watching over 100 schools be closed. With all that is happening, wouldn’t it make sense to keep All schools open and work on restructuring our schools in impoverished neighborhoods and building more community centers for our children to have somewhere to go after school?! Now before my realists (or shall I say my corporate thinkers) go in on my question, I do understand that all of this takes money. As a state, we seem to be lacking in that area due to the extensive deficit. But the philosophy and belief of where there’s a will, there’s a way, seems so fitting for this situation. It’s not that any of us want to spend money that may not necessarily be in the budget, but it’s the need (or honestly, the ‘must’) to make things better. In order to see improvement, we should be spending more time coming up with solutions versus deciding what the easiest and cost effective route to getting out of debt would be. How can we show our kids that we believe they are our future, if we don’t’ try at all costs to make sure that they are given the best resources possible to be the best human beings they can be?

In Proverbs 22:6, it reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old and he will not depart from it.” This scripture to me, is a firm declaration that the gift of life requires much work, and with adhering to doing the right thing according to God’s word, the ability to raise a child up right can be done for those who believe. It’s a Blessing that should be appreciated for it is the greatest job on Earth. However, there are so many times our teachers are tasked with not only the responsibility of teaching our kids, but also with helping to “raise” them. The lesson plan is not just to help build up their mind, but it becomes a guide through life. Don’t get me wrong, there are kids, like myself, who have both parents and a strong supportive family, yet they still cling to the knowledge they receive from their teachers. That teacher that seemed to have all the answers, and who never let them give up on their dreams. Who pushed them, even when they resisted, and kept pushing until they reached their goals. I have so many fond memories of those teachers and the influence they played in the woman I am today. But what happens when you’re surrounded by violence and the people you thought you could count have no control over the outcomes, where is the hope in that?! How can they strive to be better and want better when the system they depend upon during those crucial developmental years, seems to think that by closing schools and placing them in even more dangerous situations is for their own good?!

I don’t claim to know everything about what is happening within the Board, and my jargon may not be as articulate as those who are well versed, however, I’m a taxpayer, and I’d rather my tax money be spent on helping to uplift and improve conditions for children in lower income communities. They deserve it as much, if not more than any of our children. I was one of those kids growing up on the Southside, around the corner from Ida B. Wells, before being Blessed with moving to a better area in another city. See, I wasn’t supposed to leave the hood and go to college and become the woman I am. That’s the stigma that our kids face even today. I am also a concerned aunt, Godmama, cousin, and future parent (and I mean future), and I feel it’s my duty to make sure that our children remain the future leaders of this great nation. We have to keep them, protect them, teach them, rear them, discipline them, inspire them, reward them and ensure that they have every chance life presents to make a choice toward Greatness. Please support the Teachers’ Union, local community centers, the park districts, the DuSable Museum, etc… It’s time to come together as a city and pray, take a stand, march, speak out, write about, but don’t turn our backs on our kids…they Need us!

My God can do anything but fail, and I’m standing on the promise in Jeremiah 29:11 that reads, “For I know the plans I have for you”, said the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” I send this out to our children here, there and everywhere. Keep the Faith!!

For the Good times

For those who know me, you know I really love music. All kinds of music, from Gospel to R&B to Pop to Hip Hop to Country, but I’m truly a fan of Old school R&B and Soul. The other night I was listening to Al Green and one of his hits inspired this new post. The song itself probably has nothing to do with what I’m writing about, but hey, when inspiration hits you, ya just have to go with it! We call on God when we need Him, and thank Him for His Grace and Mercy…but do we thank Him for the good times? How many times have we just said, Thank you Lord for today being a good day at work or Thank you Lord that my rent got paid on time. How come we only celebrate when things get better, instead of celebrating what’s already good? Do we feel like it’s a given, or are we just programmed to think that God is only there to fix us and our situation?

I can recall when I stayed at my grandparents, my grandma and I would kneel to pray at night and we would pray for the family, the church, God’s anointing over our lives, the sick and shut in and ourselves (hey grandma was a talker, what can I say ). We would go to church on Sundays, and the preacher would preach about overcoming trials and tribulations. “The Lord will bring you out, without a doubt.” I would listen to songs about God being a Great friend, how to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how the love of God is like fire shut up in ya bones….just to name a few. I would see people shout about how God brought them out of their situation. They were thankful for what God had done for them to be in a better situation than they were. People came to church to seek the wisdom and healing that God’s Word promised to do for those who believe. They were grateful for All that God has done and is doing. So I saw church as a resting place, a place to come get that rejuvenation I needed to make it through life’s troubles.

In James 1:17, it states, “Every good gift and every perfect gift from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. I truly believe that God grants us gifts, because He is such a loving God, who is ever constant, never changing, and will never turn His back on us. The question for me is what would those gifts consist of? I think they are not only His willingness to make a way out of no way for His children, but the gift of life and its essentials while we are here on Earth. Those essentials are all the things that make us smile; the things that we often take for granted. Every good gift is from above, so why not shout about the good times that those gifts bring. 1Thessalonians 5:18 states, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you.” We need to have more, ‘For the Good times’ parties…God woke me up this morning, let’s party..My car started in this 2degree weather, let’s party…The doctor just gave me a good bill of health, let’s party!

Remember, God just keeps right on Blessing us in Good times and bad times…what a joy, what a true Gift…we should thank him through it all…and we must know there Will be more good than bad times in Him!

I’m Back…for good!

Hello All! I know it’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, without some deeps thoughts to relate to! But I’m back, for good! It’s so easy to say you’re committed to doing something better, something more, something you’ve been wanting to do, but it’s even easier to fall off. To let the events in your life cause you to have long-term writers block. I mean I can still send out words of encouragement on facebook, but this blog meant more to me than that. It was a more intimate look at me. The struggles, the victories, the good times, the sad times, the lessons, the expressing myself through poetry, the journey etc… This was MY blog and I finally put it together, paid to get it on a great site like wordpress (shameless plug Haha), and paid to keep all my work copywritten (yeah so no stealing my work, without penalty).
But what happened?! I believe I got so caught up in worrying about what people thought about me, that I stopped thinking about me. Does that make sense? Well here it is in lehman terms: when you share things with people, you have to know that there will be criticism, skepticism, and folks just hating. But when you believe in yourself, it doesn’t matter what people to say. Hey, at least they’re saying something 🙂 Y’all, I let the world become bigger than my dreams. This blog is a part of that dream. Being able to write and inspire, make people laugh, show others that it is a struggle to do the right thing, but with a good heart and a love for Christ, everytime we fall, we must get up. We must not give up. If somebody doesn’t like what I write or doesn’t believe that I am who I say I am, oh well. God Bless and I’m gon keep writing. Please don’t get me wrong, NoBody stopped my flow, but me. Nobody caused me to question myself, but me. See when you’re focused on using your God-given talent, nothing else matters. Ya heard?! NOTHING AND NOBODY. Sorry for the caps, just had a passionate moment HA. I know I’m a bravebird and I was called to do this and much more.

So I’m back, by the Grace of God, to keep uplifting Him and encouraging us all to know we are all human..especially me…we make mistakes, we fall, we get back up and although this road called life may not be easy, we can and will get through it!

I’m back with more posts, more poems, and I added in a few new pages…the first one is IMO and I have an article I wrote about weave…yeah I said weave 🙂

Stay tuned, be Blessed, subscribe and tell ya friends!

nym

Mr. Telephone Man

I know most of you who know me, know I’m always laughing and trying to make sure others laugh as well.  It’s such a healing feeling to laugh when we are going through or just need a pick me up. It also helps with the aging process…no frown lines…I’m just saying :). Well I want to share a story that I pray will bring you closer to your Faith in God, and of course will make you laugh. 

I remember as a child, I used to see my mother work so hard to provide for me and my brother.  She worked two jobs at one time, and although I saw how tired she would be when she got home, she didn’t complain.  There was never a time when I heard her ask God why she was struggling alone.  She would just tell me that she just needed to call on God and He’d give her the strength to do what she needed to do.  Then she would go in her bedroom and come back out smiling and saying that she knew God wouldn’t let us suffer long.  I used to think, “Wow, I want to talk to God too!” I couldn’t wait to get old enough to get on the phone so I could have my talk with God.

I would hear both of my grandmas say the same thing about calling on God when times got rough.  When I spent the night at either of their homes, we would get down on our knees at night and start praying.  After a while, I actually thought praying was a warm-up to the call.  Like we needed to tell God what exactly our phone call was going to be about.  Once we finished praying, I would go to bed and grandma would go to her room.  In the morning she’d come out smiling.  I was so excited for her.  She must’ve had a Good call! I told her that I couldn’t wait to get my chance to talk to God.  She hugged me and said she was proud of her ladybug.

Then I remember when my uncle’s best friend, Dwayne (who I used to call my uncle too) died. It was so sad, and although I didn’t quite understand the whole life and death situation yet, I knew this was a time when somebody needed to call on God.  We went to the funeral and everybody was crying and praying, and although I was missing Uncle Dwayne, I just kept thinking, “How are all these people going to be able to talk to God?” I just figured He must’ve had one of those phones like mama with all the phone lines on it.  She worked at Rush and I used to go there with my dad and brother to pick her up.  I would stare at the phone and wonder what one person needed with all those lines.  That’s how I pictured God’s phone was.

Music was synonymous with family time in our family, so from gospel to R&B to jazz, it was always playing.  I remember when I was eight years old, this young group named, New Edition came out with a song called, “Mr.Telephone man.” Me and my brother loved ‘Candy Girl,’ so we knew we’d like their new song.  When I first heard the song, I was so upset.  I went to my mama and asked her why were they questioning God.  I told her that in Sunday school, we learned that we are not to question God because He knows what’s best for us.  My mother looked at me like I was speaking in Spanish.  She asked me what I was talking about.  I grabbed her hand and walked her over to the tv and showed her the video.  She busted out laughing.  I was so upset that I ran to my room (not before going to my brother’s room to kick over a few of his G.I Joes first…I paid for that later).  My mother came in and lifted my little face up and asked what was wrong. Oh and why I thought I could close any doors in her house that weren’t the bathroom.  I explained to her about how I felt God was Mr. Telephone Man, and how everybody called on Him when they needed Him and He’d answer their calls.  I couldn’t believe how New Edition accused Him of not putting a call through.

That’s when my mom explained to me the Power of Prayer. She told me that there was no method to praying and that  having a conversation with God is the correct way to pray.  She said as you grow up, you may not pray on your knees all the time, but sometimes we must bow to the Father to truly humble ourselves and be ready and willing to hear His response.  She told me that if I believe in my heart that God has given me the answer and I walk in Faith, His Will will be done in my life. 

I know that after you stop laughing *pause* ok that’s enough Lol. Each of you reading this will understand that even as adults, we must take it back to the old school.  Meaning, stop with all this giving up and giving in and call on God, for only He can make it alright.  You can’t solve your problems alone.  The enemy surrounds us and attempts to break us down everyday, but through God’s Word and our own personal conversations with Him, can we muster the strength to make it past our current trials and tribulations.  Mama may not have the answer, and everybody else is going through their own stuff, so taking the time to help you is out of the question. But God is Always there to hear, to help, to fight your battles if you allow Him to do so.

Pray, Believe and the next time you listen to Mr. Telephone Man, have a laugh on me. God Bless!