Category Archives: Uncategorized

‘A Letter to My Mother…’: Why Writing it May Save Your Most Precious Relationship.

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So far, I LOVE the cover! Can’t wait to check it out!

The Diary of a Natural Gal

I just love my friends. No, I LOVE my friends! Along with my family, they are the glue that holds me together. So when one of my dearest friends, Charmaine, approached me with the idea to write a letter to my mother that would accompany other letters in a book, I didn’t think twice. She is one of my favorite people with whom I’ve shared so many intimate details of my life. Witty, smart, and compassionate, Charmaine is the quintessential woman; she’s a dreamer that knows about making her dreams come true. 

‘A Letter to My Mother: Letters from Daughters Full of Love, Hope, Despair, Regret, and Forgiveness’ is just  of Charmaine’s dreams that has come to fruition. Birthed during her care for her own mother, this book opens the door for women to examine, or re-examine, their relationships with their mothers. And I’m blessed in knowing that when this…

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I spoke about this thing from a similar angle not long ago in “The New Bougie”!

Great read!

The Diary of a Natural Gal

The topic at hand has been on my mind for quite some time…

I’ve attended a number of natural hair related events (most of them in London). These events had an amazing atmosphere overall, but I couldn’t help but notice the clear divide at some of these events; non-bloggers remained together and all of the bloggers remained together.

Of course I can’t fault people for staying with their friends or with others that are more ‘accessible’ (yes, accessible because I have seen bloggers get together like a clique and it can be quite intimidating), but the divide was clear.

I have met bloggers who were really friendly and approachable, but then I have also met some who were kind of stand-offish or who gave off an ‘holier than thou’ vibe.

At the time it really bothered me. How can you blog and have so many supportive followers but be so antisocial? Then I…

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What’s Next Is Now

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Happiness is here now, today. Live it.

The possibilities for greater and greater fulfillment are immense and amazing. Explore them, and claim the best for your own by acting on them now.

If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, now is the time to get moving. If you’ve been wanting a change for the better, now is when you can make that change happen.

Your dreams and desires are real and alive in this moment. Use this time to follow where they lead.

Your unique and priceless journey has brought you now to this point. Pay sincere tribute to all that rich experience by making meaningful use of it on this day.

Happiness and joy and fulfillment are now yours. Live them today in your own special way.

— Ralph Marston

I like to say, “What’s next is now.”  And it’s true.  We spend so much time planning for the future and get so wrapped up in our planning that we feel like it will never happen.  We have to come to the realization that what we do NOW is in preparation for what’s NEXT and treat our every move as if what’s NEXT is RIGHT NOW.

Quiet, My Clamorous Mind

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This morning I was reminded of why it is important to pray before turning to sleep for the night. As long as we’re alive, our mind is constantly working. Doubt, fear and disbelief hit me hard while I sleep. These things creep in when I’m not consciously able to confront them with the Word or awake to declare the promises of God.

Too many times I’ve awaken out of my slumber to find myself overwhelmed with worry. This is why the Word MUST BE IN US and we must seek to dwell on it day and night.

We must meditate on His Word and the promises within so that even in our sleep, we worship and God can/will be magnified in our hearts and minds.

PRAYING WITHOUT CEASING is real and NECESSARY in the life of the believer! Align your spirit with that of God and peace will sustain you, even while you sleep. ^_^

Contesting the All Men Are Dogs Theory

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“There’s no such thing as a good man! ALL men are dogs! Men only want women for one thing and it ain’t love!” I have heard my sisters’ complaints many times in my 26 years. Around kitchen tables, at the bar during happy hour and sometimes as pearls of wisdom being passed down from a mother scorned, these words, condemning all men as dogs, are at times convincing especially when followed by those testimonies of baby’s daddy drama and love lost.

 I am fortunate to say that within my three significant relationships with men those who have been so lucky to receive the title of Baby, my man or simply put, my boyfriend I have been treated with no less than the respect that my daddy (who ironically at one time in life fit the all men are dogs theory) convinced me that I deserve. There is no doubt that growing up with him during my formative years did in fact mold me into the queen I call myself today. For years, it was not enough for me to be the queen of my own world, but I took pride in ruling over the lives of those men who weren’t so blessed to be with me. Their insignificance in my life got them no title except for maybe cut buddy or that of a friend with benefits, they didn’t get the quality time of a boyfriend but they tried to buy it every first and fifteenth. It was all part of an attempt to tie down a young woman that admired her father and older brothers’ ability to love’em and leave’em.

 What fun is there in doing things considered taboo! Even in the 21st century. Those late night phone calls and managing to sneak back into the dorms, often high off of some Mexican gold and wine, before birds sang their morning song was all part of the game. And let’s not forget that bills needed to be paid, road trips to take on the weekends with my girls and hey, we needed money for gas, food and more liquor. Of all the men that were taken advantage of, they were treated kindly. At any given moment any one of them could surely be convinced that they were the only one, but I found it more honorable to be honest. Not that there was anything honorable about multiple partners to begin with, but I found peace in my wayward ways by letting each gentleman know from the beginning his place was and what the deal was.

 After about two or three years of ripping and running, something happened. I was drinking a pint of tequila in one sitting; I had about three sexual partners going at once, one being my immediate supervisor, when something began tugging at my heart. I knew deep down inside that the life I was living was not the one that I had been created for. I actually acknowledged the fact that I was hurting people the way I had seen my father and brother treat women over the years was the same lifestyle that I had adopted. Then, he came along…

 Part of my social circle involves many artists: poets, musicians, singers. At open mics, these individuals saw me at my best and at my worst sometimes as a lively host, at times in a drunken state of despair as I poured my heart out through poetry or song. For years now every Wednesday night has been my sanctuary. Whether at Club Mitty’s in Hampton or in a small record shop on Granby Ave., the sounds of rhythm and blues, jazz and rock has been the soundtrack for my evolution. And there in a band we call Fuzz was the man who turned my life around.

 For months he didn’t even know that he was being used by my creator to mold me. Jason. Singer, songwriter, drummer, middle school band director and most importantly, a man of God. He’s not just one of those types that simply attends church. This man IS the church. This man reflects the love of God GREATLY. I had had a crush on Jason for at least two years. I never said anything. I knew that this man in ALL his wonderfulness would never, could not possibly want a woman like me. He’s the nerdy, good guy type. Never raises his voice, always has a kind word. And that smile!? A slight gap hidden behind beautiful lips. It was amazing that I never thought of him sexually. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

 I felt at times that he was in fact interested. I floated on air as I watched him watch my interaction with other men. I could see his interest there, but for whatever reason, he would never express it. One evening I sat alone in my room where an autographed poster with a picture of him and his band hang trying to figure out exactly what the problem was. I knew he wasn’t gay. I knew he didn’t have a girlfriend, so what was the problem?! I KNEW I was pretty enough and the idea that maybe I wasn’t his type never crossed my mind.

That same night, somehow a mirror was placed in my face. I saw for the first time the possible solution for this all men are dogs theory. Oh, if I could just send a private memo to all the women of the world, life just might be easier than we make it. It came to meal most audibly, it was so clear. There was no way that I could possibly expect to get this good man if I wasn’t living as a good woman. What man that is truly worth having in your life would be willing to settle for a woman that carried herself the way I did? I cussed worst than any sailor ever could; I drank more than most of the men I knew and for a while. I had even taken up smoking. Even if he didn’t know my deepest darkest secrets or just how far I went with the various men he’d seen me flirting with, I’m sure he could see right through my confident façade.

 I decided that night that even if he never did claim me as his woman, I would work to become a woman of virtue, that good thing that the Bible says a man finds when he finds a wife. I always believed I was a good woman, now it was time to begin to act like it. In turn, I trust that I will one day be worthy of the blessing of one of these good men that I know exist.

Brotherly Love

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During this time we were attending my stepmother’s church where we often remained in service for what felt like the whole day.  I do know that there were times that we’d arrive back home around two or three o’clock in the afternoon tired and hungry.  One particular Sunday afternoon, we arrived home and dinner had yet to be prepared while the morning’s breakfast had long worn off, along with  my taste for “church mints” and water.

Maybe my timing was all wrong but I was hungry.  I didn’t nag about dinner…not a sandwich…no ice cream or other snack. My ten year old appetite couldn’t wait another hour or so for dinner to be ready, I asked my father for a banana.  He had gotten pretty good at maintaining peace in the house and being that his wife was in the kitchen prepping dinner, he replied, “Go ask Ruby…”

So, I did.

I walked in the kitchen as I had many Sunday afternoons before and asked for a banana only to be scolded and called out as if I had not only eaten everything in the fridge but broken into the house to do so.

Ruby cut her eyes at me to show her annoyance and hesitated before replying, “Go on…have it…” mumbling as she turned her back to me, “greedy little bastards…”

*pause*

I do believe that the next moment was the only time in my life, even to this day, that I have ever used profanity when referring to an elder.

I felt, welling up within me, every ounce of anger, frustration and disappointment that I had ever experienced in my ten years on earth…fire burning in my throat…

“YOU STUPID, HIGH YELLOW BITCH!? I AIN’T NEVER ASKED YOU FOR NOTHING…!”

The rest of my words and actions are a blur as my blood boiled and I rushed to attack.  Knuckles clenched into what I imagined were fists of steel ready lay this grown woman out she, expectantly, retaliated as she and I.  She and I cussed and screamed at each other for what felt like forever only ending after it took my father and brother both to hold me back from destroying my moving target.

There had been moments like this before where she’d expressed her distaste for Josh and I but this was the beginning of the end of our lives on North Kansas Street.

Soon thereafter, on a cold night in the middle of my fifth grade year, my then twelve year old brother and I experienced our last battle in the war with Ruby as her and our father argued in the den in the rear of the house.  Josh’s bedroom was closest to the kitchen which separated the house from east to west.  It was there, lying in his bed, that he heard the words that would change our lives forever.  During the course of the argument, our father’s wife threatened to kill his “little bastards”.


As I slept peacefully in my room adjacent to his, Josh came barging through my bedroom door which was covered with a poster of a topless of Patrick Swayze in tight, stonewashed jeans (don’t ask…) and cut outs from “Right On!” magazine.  He stormed in like a hero saving a princess from attacking forces outside of a village and urged me to hurry and, “get up, we’re going to mom’s…”

Shaken awake, I managed to not panic but follow my brother’s directions closely as our father raced in to try to calm Josh down and assure him that we were safe.  I’m sure my brother didn’t think for a moment that we weren’t safe there with him but with Ruby still screaming and attempting to fight everyone in her path,  he knew that he couldn’t take the risk.  With me in tears at the confusion of it all, I followed behind Josh as he smashed through the glass storm door, shattering our world with it.  I ran behind him in the cold air which must have frozen my memories in the yard as the frost on the grass.  I don’t have clear recollection of when our mother was called, who called her or the drive to the small two bedroom condo she shared with her “roommate” Myrna on the Southside of town but just a few short hours later, we were finally home.

The last memory I have of that night is going to the emergency room after Josh began to experience an uncontrollable cough accompanied by the taste of blood. Doctors discovered a broken piece of glass in my brother’s throat and although he went on to totally recover from the incident…my eyes still well up with tears at the thought of my brother doing all he had to do to save his little sister.

Loving Me and the Things I Hate About Me

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Loving Me and the Things I Hate About Me

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.

The Revolution Begins With You

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She called me with shame all over her. The trembling of her voice…the shortness of breath. It was on her every word. Guilt poured over the weight over r back like rain waters on a levy that should have long been replaced. That thing was on her.

She shared that she was sick of herself. That she was tired of the woman she was…tired of using herself to get things…Tired of giving herself away for all the wrong reasons. As she spoke to me melting into a pool of tears, I couldn’t help but stand there on the other end of the phone and smile.

Not just a smile like, “aw bless her heart” type of smile that a mother would give her youngest daughter after her first heart break but a wide grin…like a Cheshire Cat. Ear to ear…every tooth showing…my soul beaming with excitement as God brought to my remembrance the sound of my own quivering voice as I came to Him in despair and at my wit’s end not so long ago…

I knew her pain and as I spoke with her on the phone, I laughed at the thought of that pain and the growth that came from it. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and after doing so, quickly explained to her the excitement that I was experiencing being able to look back at the woman I had been…I laughed. I laughed for her…I laughed for me…I laughed for every young woman that has ever found herself looking in the mirror in disgust at the image that stared back into once loving, beautiful, peaceful yes.

Tonight, I laughed…and smiled. I told her that she was “there”. That she was exactly where she needed to be and although it is never my hope for anyone to feel the pain I endured just 7 years ago, now that she was there, it was time to push.

I remember that time in my life…I remember it ALL too well…

MY HEART

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I have been many things and called many things over the course of my life.  I came into this world as a daughter named Nina Ligon.  I was the rebel Queen Nina, the student Anin, the mirror NinAnin and now woman of God and wife, Mrs. Raphael Brewton.

I have been nappy-headed, too skinny, too thick, too sensitive and too aggressive…I have loved too hard and not enough…I have been too loud, spoken too much and communicated too little.

“Dramas of a Bald Head Queen” is a memoir that takes a look at the girl I was, the woman I am and the woman that I have been created to be…all while giving the reader a glimpse of the road that I’ve travelled all while finding my way to the one thing that has always kept me moving forward: The Love of Christ.

My hope for “Dramas” is that after reading it, any person — male, female, young/old, experienced or inexperienced, will be able to find SOMETHING from my life that will help to make their life a little easier.

 It is said that we learn from experience.  I believe that it’s not necessary for us to always learn from our own experiences but by the experiences of others.                                                                               

I look forward to sharing my experiences in life, both those with and without Christ, with as many people as possible, that they might learn to live to the full potential.

How I Got Over…Him

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This is an old blog but very timely in today’s discussion regarding love and grace. A young sister came to me today asking about a two year committed relationship recently ended, what seemed to her to be, abruptly.

This lesson doesn’t just pertain to former romantic relationships but relationships in general.
It is always my prayer that my experiences and lessons learned bless the lives of someone else.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
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.”