Reflecting, Saturday, July 28, 2012

Reflecting on my teenage years, I remember constantly praying to God on behalf of my mother. What seems like everyday, I asked Him to spare her life and release her from the relentless grips of drug addiction, which had her bound way before I can even remember. I remember fearing that she wouldn’t live long enough to see me graduate high school or college. I remember the many days I nervously wondered if she’d ever be present to happily watch me take the plunge into holy matrimony or with a motherly comfort, walk me through the path of pregnancy and the birth of my first child. This day, I am glad to remember her standing at my side as I graduated college. I remember the kiss she gave me the day I got married and I remember the support and many stories she told about her pregnancy with me and about my baby years. I remember 15 years ago when God delivered her from drug addiction and not too long after that, saved her soul. Today, I remember her crying while declaring, “I am a follower of Jesus Christ!” and being baptized in the powerful name of Jesus Christ!

I am a living witness that God still answers prayer! I feel like I cannot thank Him enough. The road started out very rough, but God has redeemed the times and I am grateful!

“All things work together for good…”

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The Newlywed!

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It was around 4 a.m. and day three of our honeymoon, when I was awakened by my new husband. He was tugging on my arm saying, “Chaz, get up! Chaz, get up! Go use the bathroom!” Dazed, sleepy and confused, I said, “My name is Tika, and I don’t have to use the bathroom!” I forced my gaze on him in the almost pitch-black room and noticed he was looking me directly in my face. As if he did not even hear what I said, he continued calling me his brother’s name and telling me to get up and go use the bathroom and I kept telling him my name and that I did not have to use the bathroom. This back and forth went on for about 30 more seconds. Finally, when I didn’t budge, he relented, walked into the bathroom, which was connected to our room and mumbled, “Don’t be mad at me…mumble, mumble, mumble…”. Once he returned from the bathroom, he got back in the bed, laid down and put the covers on himself as if nothing strange just took place.

At this point, even though the only concept I had of a sleepwalker was the zombie, closed-eyed person walking with their stiff arms in front of them (usually depicted on old TV shows and cartoons) I was almost positive I was married to one.

Thankful that that was the extent of his sleeping episode, I lay there wondering if we passed the annulment period in our marriage already? And somewhere between that thought I fell back to sleep. Since then, my married life has been nothing short of this strange yet awesome adventure, hence my new blog section- The Newlywed. It is in this blog that I will share some of the experiences, lessons learned, works in progress etc…that came along with this next step in my life.

Feel free to comment and subscribe.

Yes, we can! (November 4, 2008)

Today, the day that may change the world forever,
Voting lines shaped the trail of a desperate demand for change
Early risers, rise with a new energy;
A powerful intent to make that which lies dormant many days of the year- a vote, count today
Some looking pass color lines and gender; selecting hope and empowerment through the suffocating grip of a battered economy and a stifled future
(Many walk to make their difference on this final day)
Not sure what November 5, 2008 will look like, nor what the year 2009 will hold
Still we place our bids confident, yet humbled, in favorable results
So glad to be an American,
Proud of a battered past and grateful for a hopeful future
Tears well up on the inside, praying against corruption and retaliation, from those who reject this change….

A note to Love

You are my dream come true
The manifestation of a dream deferred
in word, thought and deed, you fulfill my ideals of love
My heart and soul follow suit after your adoration
My womb leaps with anticipation, and I can see myself bringing forth your nation
Working hard with your hands, creating a legacy for your seed, you are a man, fully a man indeed
In stature and frame can none compare, coupled with wisdom and knowledge, a combination so rare,
I’ll cherish you as a precious stone, and pledge to be yours and yours alone
For who can time love? And for love who can tame? One day I’ll vow to take your all from your heart to your name
I can barely believe all of life’s events led us to meeting here, for I am yours and you are my answered prayer

Aside

This feeling, similar to the way a single woman feels after falling in love with a knowingly married man-

Being the culprit of an idea once so far removed that it would make her loathe the very thought, 
but some how, the concept is now not that bad
and the consequences understandable-justifiable even
“He’s different and so am I”
The blindness that covers the mind
Not too soon looking in retrospect seeing where a way of escape from this hopeless temptation was provided,
but today seems too late, 
already caught up, unable to undo this sinful vow, 
the only thing left is to pray he never leaves….

Vicarious

Aside

In a matter of days three world renowned deaths,
One sticks out in mind
Execution by hanging-seemingly a thought-a threat proclaimed against a fearless dictator
Seconds dwindled into fate and the pages of your life read, “The End”
I wonder, although your face was calm, what was in your mind?
You declined a mask to cover you, as you welcomed eternity,
Appearing ready and expecting to hear, “Well done” as you closed your eyes and breathed for the last time
Who were the men who prepared your body to take its eternal plunge? And what beats at their hearts this night? (Which in their time is really day)
This I wonder as I lay my head to sleep and they rise from slumber…
Vengeance is God’s, is He pleased?

Is God Pleased?

Untitled, written the night Saddam H. was executed!

Aside

I cried at my grandfather’s funeral, mourning not for the loss of life, but for precious memories that were never formed and infinitely severed ties between myself and my history

Now, a grown product of a man with different baby mommas, who 30 years later still blames our disconnect on, baby momma drama

Toward him I really desired to feel hate, I looked for it behind every broken promise, every unreplied text or ignored call, sometimes I wish to have never loved him at all

To find like many others, solace in, ‘I can’t miss what I never really had,’ but instead of having just a father, I wanted a dad

To him I forgave for walking away to claim kids that he did not even experience the pleasure of creating while leaving my heart begging, praying and waiting for a love that should have been rightfully mine, an act summed up as another waste of time

What’s greater, the intensity of love or the bondage of hate? Or to create a child with no desire to participate?

As roots take place and grow, becoming one day un-remorsed and unable to be controlled a vicious cycle- only imagining the unknown

Based on the physics of a present reality, creating in the mind a possibility, a might have been, or a maybe,

I could be the descendant of a slave or perhaps from the line of a builder of the Panama Canal

But some things I’ve resolved to never know

Father, Untitled

Aside

Layers and layers of people we encounter moment by moment, Oh, for the secret thoughts and battles of the mind to be revealed. . .

The real you, the real me padded and primmed, tucked and trimmed; gently covered like knees under church doilies, clasped like staunch prayer fingers aiding in the request for deliverance from condemned temptations, but, “The Lord looketh at the heart”…

Uncovered

Wisdom (simple thought)

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

 

If we ask God for Wisdom concerning our day to day encounters and experiences, we will have a better perspective on how we should respond to people and situations. Wisdom gives insight to the purpose of things that happen. Knowing the purpose of things that happen leads to endurance and endurance leads to victory.

Wisdom->Purpose->Endurance->Victory

Better, the road toward perfection

20130218-175342.jpgAbout two weeks ago I was professionally asked this question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” My initial thoughts to the question went in almost 10 different places in a span of about three seconds. The things I quickly considered were family, education, finances, church, home, work, me and the list went on. I did not have the opportunity to linger on these thoughts, so I wondered, “How can I sum it all up in a way that is general, yet covers all of these bases and does not take twenty-five minutes for me to state it?

For my family alone, it would take a substantial amount of time for me to state where I would like to see us in five years. And while many of these areas overlap, the same is true for every area of my life considered. Of course, I know that my plan may not be God’s plan for me and I have heard the quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” But, I do believe in creating a plan and at least giving God something to work with. I give God my plans, knowing that above all, I want His will for my life. Any who…When I think of all the areas of my life that make me who I am, the bottom line is no matter where I would like to go and what I would like to do or become, I know I have not reached my greatest level of potential. Life is something that is progressive, no matter what we do, no matter what we think. Days are always added, never subtracted-even if we seem to personally regress or come to a point of life where we decline, it is an impossibility for the world to go backward. Only in movies and dreams are there opportunities to go back in time and undo, redo or erase. Time is that consistently fleeting, ever present, intangible blessing and curse that hangs over the head of each of us. As powerful as time it, time is really useless without our existence, and it is our very presence which gives time its strength.

So, I’ve pretty much given you a slight scenic route to this end, in five years I see myself better. In every area of my life, Better is what I expect. Better is what I see and it is what I am working toward. Many times, to become better it is a step by step, moment by moment journey of cohesive thoughts and actions. To me better is progressive; it is always moving forward. The aim/goal is perfection, because in my understanding, perfection is definitive and denotes completion; there’s nothing more to attain in perfection. The day we reach perfection is the day we stop living because there will be nothing more to strive toward. Now, don’t misunderstand me, in school, a perfect grade 100 % is the goal and in sports, nothing beats a perfect score, but in life as a whole, I believe our road to perfection is named Better.

Now for those of us who like to seal our mental deal with the Bible, I believe that Better is what Paul was referring to when he said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14 NIV). This text was written while he was in prison, so he clearly was not in the place of total contentment or perfection. With a little bit of deductive reasoning we can determine that, if there is a goal to be reached, it is a clear indication of (at least) two things, 1. Perfection has not been attained and 2. In order to reach the goal, positive progress [aka Better] must be put in action.

I would like to conclude that the concept of Better takes the pressure off and is less overwhelming. When we see pieces of a puzzle, rather than the puzzle as a whole, even though we are working toward the same end, it seems more manageable and able to be accomplished. Physically, we are less stressed and mentally more clear. An example is someone who decides to go to college and complete their Bachelor’s degree. Now, usually, this takes a minimum of 4 years and about 120 credits to complete. Considering your life over the next four years and all of the things you have to do along with completing 120 credits can seem so overwhelming that many people may decide not to even give it a shot. But, if it is broken down to what it really is; about 15 credits per semester, a few hours a week, it is not as devastating and more convenient and has a much greater chance of being completed. And it is with this reasoning that I put one foot in front of the other and take minute to minute steps of progress toward better.