Category Archives: relationships

Dramas: Loving Me & The Things I Hate About Me

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I hate that I’m the one to always reach out…

…that I seem to love harder than ppl seem 2 love me…
…that my heart is as big and as open as it is…and that I can’t help but show it…
…that I cry over the sunrise and Kleenex commercials…
…that I am either hot or cold…
…that there is no gray area…
…that I am so expressive…
…that I oftentimes want more for others than they want for themselves…
…that I find it easier to encourage/support others more than I encourage/support myself…
…that I…
…that I still struggle with loving the things I hate about myself.
But because I realize Who created me, I am learning to love me, and all of the things I hate about me…
…because all of these things, are what make me me.
I understand that my heart is open in a world so easily closed off to the warmth of a full heart…

…that people may not know how to love…
…that maybe I can show them how…
…that God gave me arms for reaching…especially for those who pull away…
…that it’s my responsibility to teach people how to love me…
…that sometimes, people want more for me than I want for myself…
…that people know they can count on me for encouragement and support…
…I am learning to love me…in spite of me.

To love me just as God created me to be.
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#NaturalHair – The New Bougie

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Note:  If you would prefer to view the vlog based on this same topic, please see the video below! 😉

I have recently had mixed emotions about the sudden “trend” of sisters wearing natural hair as I have worn my hair natural for the majority of my adult life after completing my first “big chop” when I was 15 years old — before there was ever a big chop to be had.
With recent popularity, I found that I began to take a somewhat elitist stance on natural hair, making me no better than the sisters who choose to go natural or even rock a “bald head” because it’s the current “in” thing to do. I was no better than the hair care/beauty industries, magazines and advertisers who are riding this new wave to capitalize on the trend.  

I had to take a step back and realize that, from pop culture to politics, sometimes it takes a trend or a “fad” to generate change in the hearts of even one person and in turn, that one person can be the spark that revolutionizes the world.

So, who am I to keep the trend from growing into a true way of life?
As I’ve grown as a woman and a “naturalista”, I am dedicated to not only sharing with sisters the truth that “good hair is healthy hair” and that natural hair is healthier hair but that living a healthy lifestyle overall enhances our beauty in ways that go well beyond the way we wear our hair.
I’m no “natural hair Nazi” who feels that all women should wear natural hair. My concern is for sisters who feel they can’t wear natural hair and be beautiful; those who feel their hair has to be “relaxed” to be “good”. My issue is the same for sisters who feel they have to wear make-up, weave, false lashes…
But this isn’t about them right now…

This is about us. This is about those of us who have somehow managed to “recondition” our minds to understand that we don’t have to maintain societal standards of beauty. Thisis about our position and the power that we have to encourage those sisters who are still growing in their hair journey.
How dare we take an elitist stance on something that many of us struggled with ourselves? Many not so long ago…
Most of us were raised by generations of women who depended on lye, weaves and wigs to fit into European standards of beauty. As sisters attempt to renew their thinking, they should not feel alienated because they haven’t “arrived” to where you are in your natural hair revolution!
As with any other area of life, growth and revelation are an ongoing process. For those of us who have found comfort and confidence in our own natural texture of hair, we should be encouraging our sisters in every way possible to feel beautiful, regardless of their current position in life.
                                                                                          
We don’t want sisters to fail to see all of the benefits and beauty that comes with being natural. We don’t want our lifestyle to not be received, or even considered, because of an uppity, belittling attitude towards those who are still growing with us. As with anything, presentation is everything.

***Quick sidenote/example: I hate math. Always have and I’m certain I always will. Regardless of how I feel about the subject, math was an important part of my intellectual, scholastic and social development.
As much as I disliked math, I wasn’t a total failure at because every so often, I would be assigned to a teacher who was willing to be patient and work with my non-mathematical mind, presenting equations and formulas in a way that I would understand and receive. Their angle made the difference. Many were able to make it so that I actually enjoyed the class! Who would have ever thought…?
So, bottom line: Get over yourself. In all things you do, seek to inspire others to be their best and to recognize the beauty that was planted within them when they were created. Sisters have it hard enough without us tearing one another down.
May the trend continue to grow and may the revolution begin with you! To my sisters considering going natural, welcome to the club! Don’t stop til you get enough! *cues MJ*

Pruning and Purging

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To all of you dealing w/the purging of “friends” in your life, again I remind you that you are not alone in this purging season. A plentiful harvest cannot come forth without properly purging. The harvest you’ve been expecting from your sowing is coming forth. Be prepared to receive it! If you hold on to what God is trying to remove, you won’t have room to receive what He has for you! MAKE ROOM in your life for the promises of God to come to fruition!

Be mindful, when you are purging to not be too rough on the pieces you’re removing! Those pieces may not be dead totally and can be revived later with time and proper care. Just like with pruning a plant…there may be a piece that was too weak to help the whole plant grow, but on its own, it can flourish, becoming a whole new plant later in life. Relationships are the same way. Some may not be healthy for your growth NOW, but in the future, they may be a vital part of your life.

So, as you prune and purge, do not do so with a spiteful heart. Always walk in love and grace. I am glad to say that I am still friends with many who, at one point, were removed from my life! No distaste or bitterness involved!

I give thanks to God for allowing my life and my experiences to help you overcome! He is so good!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005–Peace in the Kingdom

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I have a sister who asked me to pray for her that she would get her mind off of “him”. She said she’s prayed and prayed about it herself and I realized that I had went through the same thing with my own “him” a few years back and as I was speaking this to her, it ministered to me as well:

If you’re gonna pray for the Lord to take your mind off of a person or thing, pray it once, call it done and move it forward. It didn’t make sense for me to keep going to God sayin, “oh Lord…blah, blah, blah, take my mind off him.” By continuously doing that, my mind was still on HIM!? (the very person I was “praying” I’d get over…)

Instead…to truly find peace, take more time to worship God. Tell God how amazing He is, how wonderful, how merciful. Thank Him for the good times and the lessons learned.
When we get involved in relationships, we tend to give ALL of our energy, time and emotions to that individual and to making it WORK with that individual.  If God were truly our priority, we would take the time to worship and praise God, that way we won’t even be thinking about worshipping and praising him/her.

Nothing and no one deserves all of my energy/emotions BUT God!

My favorite Scripture in life right now…Matt 6:33:
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added unto you.”

February 6, 2010–Additional thinking:
Although this original blog was in response to someone’s failed relationship, these same principles must be applied to every single area of our lives.  It is a matter of us having our priorities in order.

We have a lot to deal with in the natural world going beyond mere relationships; Finances, education, work, material things, these are all things that can take a toll on our spiritual stability and maturity if we keep our sights on them and not on our life’s purpose and on God.

Seek ye first…

Prayer & Fasting-Focus #2 Friends & Family (Relationships)

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So…people, build families and families build strong communities and the cycle carries on to create the world we live in. The Word speaks of a time when people will be:

Romans 1:30 “…backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents…” If our families can’t hold it together, how do we expect any salvation for the world lest we seek Jesus…?

We see evidence of this Scripture coming to pass DAILY.  Some in our personal lives, on TV, in music…it is everywhere.  This means that it’s up to us to change the cycle in our lives. 

Lord, today I focus on You and Your relationships with people…or shall I say, our relationship with You. First and foremost, parents and their children need you. Families need you. Help young children and adult children alike understand that their parents are human too. Help them to be patient and loving towards their parents and allow parents to do the same with their children, regardless of their age. Increase their communication with one another Lord…not only communication but understanding of each other as well.

Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

Heal our wounds and refresh us with Your Spirit…

We are human. No one is perfect but You Lord, and although many of us have You within us, righteousness only takes us but so far when it comes to other humans…allow parents to live according to Your will and may children see You in their parents, always…even when mistakes are made. May they see Your love and your intentions for their life…with You.

May relationships in general grow stronger because of Your strength. I pray that You show Yourself strong Lord, help us to make wise decisions regarding every relationship that we are introduced to and those that we are currently involved in.

Some relationships we’re born into and some, we walk into willingly. With those that we walk into, sometimes it’s Your will and other times, it’s our own. I ask that You help those that I know and love to receive a relationship (or greater relationship) with You FIRST.

From there Lord, I ask that You show them what relationships to hold onto and which ones to release. For those that they are called to maintain, I ask that you help them to cultivate those relationships according to Your will.

For every relationship that You’ve given to Raphael and I, help us to not only “fellowship” with our friends and family, but to show them You and encourage them with Your Spirit and Your Word. Always. Help us to minister to them constantly through our lives with You.

I pray all of these things in the name of Jesus. Amen. *says “Amen” in sign language…and sings it like the end of doxology* LOL

"Giving Credit Where Credit is Due"

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This note was originally in response to a note on Facebook by a young lady named Rochelle but after being “checked” by facebook and getting my looong reply shut down, I decided to just write a note myself. And then it turned into a blog!??!?!

This note is not dedicated to only Rochelle, but to anyone who is currently in any sort of “romantic” relationship and if you’re not and you read this, I pray that the words will be useful to your life somewhere in your future…

Rochelle,

First of all, I’d like to commend you for giving credit where credit is due. Our men need to hear us admit that we are wrong (when we are wrong). It takes a strong person to humble themselves and admit when we have hurt someone else, regardless of the reason…I am SO very glad for one line that you said in this note…a lot of it was important, very important, but the number one thing for you to always remember is that you DESERVE to be loved!? No matter what you’ve done, what’s been done to you or even who you give love to, you deserve to be loved, respected, cared for…all of those things that your heart desires and your life needs, you deserve.

Don’t you dare ever settle for anything less…and just like you deserve all of these things, so do our men. Women often get caught up in wanting so much “respect” that we forget to give it. We are used to seeing our mothers, aunts, sisters, friends being the victims of “no good men” that being disrespected has become the expectation. Don’t ever let this be your expectation…but in order to receive, you’ve gotta give.

I wish I could meet this young man…and hope that I can some day…in the meanwhile I pray that you two are walking in God’s will and that you are learning to COMMUNICATE. Communication is the ultimate key to any relationship. People think the key is trust but if you are communicating, the trust will be established. Others think it’s good sex…um…if you’re communicating, the sex will BE. GOOD. (When it’s time of course!!!!??? Ha!)

The only way armies can be effective in war is with open, clear lines of communication. Without communication, there is no unity, without unity, the battle will be lost…Understand that relationships, marriages in particular, are ordained by God and they represent His relationship with us. Anything that looks like God, the enemy wants to destroy. This is why relationships are always attacked. This is why the divorce rate is so high, in this country in particular…because we are at “war”.

I don’t mean to get all “spooky” or “religious” on you but for real, take a look at the relationships of those around you and even your own and ask what is it that causes any drama that we/they encounter? Most times, it will be miscommunication that leads to arguments, fights or whatever…I could go on and on, but I’m tired *looks at clock* so, I’ll leave you with this…

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NLT) 2 “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

Humility+Patience+Communication=Peace=Unity

Fathers and Daughters

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I love my father!!! I mean, I REALLY, REALLY love my father! I cannot express how blessed I am to have watched him grow into the man that he is today! I cannot thank God enough for even allowing my father the grace to be in my life the way he is today…it wasn’t always so easy…
…I spent the majority of my life with my father. I have many of his mannerisms and I definitely have his sarcastic sense of humor…my eyes belong to him as well as my forehead…and the afro that forms after I go for even a month without a haircut, that’s all Carl!

This past Saturday, February 16, I had the opportunity to share my life with my father with about 50 middle school students within the Hampton school district as they sat, dressed in their best, having dinner beside their fathers. I commend Valerie Patin, Courtney Fields and the staff of the Northampton Recreation Center for their vision when it comes to the betterment of young people, our little sisters in particular. By hosting events such as their first annual Father/Daughter Banquet at the Northampton Community Center here in Hampton, they are aiding in the continued growth and development of these beautiful girls. It was a delightful time and I am most grateful to have received the opportunity to speak to both fathers and daughters about my relationship with my father, Carl Ligon, and about the importance of the relationship between kings and princesses!

After watching my father struggle over the years with alcoholism, financial irresponsibility and other life changes, I can say that he is one of the greatest influences in my life. His tenacity and strength have afforded me lessons that I have never learned in school and through his interaction with others, including with the police, various women and employers, I’ve learned how to (and how to not) communicate with those that I come into contact with. His honesty and ability to be transparent taught me the importance of the being same. Whether right or wrong, he stood tall. His integrity is matchless and because of his life, I am definitely the woman that I am today.

I can only pray that the young ladies that I spoke with will remember my father and me when they get to be my age. I pray that they recognize the humanness that is within not only their fathers, but mothers as well and all adults as they mature in age and make that they will make allowance for the things that their parents might do that they don’t necessarily agree with.

I pray that these parents can continue to be the leaders in the lives of these young women and that they might be transparent in allowing their children to see that they are indeed human…and not so perfect. I pray that the lines of communication have been opened and will remain open, strengthening the relationships and ultimately strengthening families! Amen!