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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finding Your Voice

When you have been raised in an emotionally or verbally abusive environment, it can be hard to speak, express, or demonstrate positive words or actions. When you have been told your words or opinions don't matter. When you have been slapped or hit for voicing your opinion it can be hard to find your voice or speak up for yourself.

Whether the abuse was inflicted by one person or an entire family it can have long term far reaching effects.

I know because I was once there. The Word of God delivered me from ALL my fears. You would have never known I had stage fright or performance anxiety. You would have not known that I grew up with a verbally abusive parent (though she is not anymore)and became a better writer because of what I could not voice.

So when I see people who struggle to receive love, who struggle to speak anything good because it has not been apart of their framework, who struggle to speak English without profanity, I am reminded that I was once there.

And I am reminded that the WORD of GOD reframed me. It reshaped my thinking. It gave me confidence in God so that I did not need to exist on the words of people who change opinions like underwear. The Word of God helped and continues to help me heal. The Word of God in its own mysterious way was healing itself. It showed me how to live life, not just survive it.

If you are starting fresh today, ready to leave painful people, situations, or circumstances behind, I am here to say YOU CAN DO IT. Start with the Word of God. You may not have all the answers today, but START. Begin. God is with you. He has felt your pain and he wants to remove it. Let him take you by the hand. Let him speak his Word into until you longer hear the voices of condemnation, fear, intimidation, or ill will. All you will hear CLEARLY is the Father.

I'm rooting for you today. Run to the Father.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mentoring Youth: Ground Zero

This week I had two incredible opportunities to make an impact and I want to share them with you. One was with a young teen, tenth grader who had spent last year reforming his ways. This week, he came rushing to me to share his good news: all A's and one B. For a sophomore in high school, that is good news! This was a student who had a low C average last year due to not applying himself. The awesome thing about this was that through Ground Zero Mentoring, mentoring from where young people are, not where you want them to be, he was now looking forward to showing off his grades and taking pride in his intellect that he had spent the last year hiding by under performing and earning a juvenile record. We are still working to remove the overcharge from his record. But the good thing is, he has turned it around.

Also this week, I had an opportunity to turn my 'down time' into time to comfort a teen girl who was down. Something dreadful had occurred: the end of a long-standing relationship. I co-teamed with another mentor as she simply said, " I feel horrible and I need someone to talk to. My friends are OK, but I need someone to talk to." What she didn't have the words to communicate at that moment was she needed mentors rather than peer advice. She needed someone not on the same level of experience, but more experienced.

Here are some things we did in thirty minutes:

* We affirmed her worth- because it is not found in a boy
* We encouraged her to strengthen her female relationships
* We encouraged her to focus on her interests and enjoy them
* We humored her with our transparency and what we had learned around her age about putting our hope
    in dating at a young age
* We challenged her to be okay with the relationship ending and begin to value herself as worth finding
* We did not sugar-coat that breaking up is hard to do, especially after a long time, and depending on the        level of soul and body ties involved (which we did not ask)
*We let her know we would be praying for her and that our door was open if she had any questions

After this, she shared that she would definitely like to keep talking to us.

What happened in both these instances?
We valued the young person
We valued their thoughts
We valued their emotions
We valued the fact that they chose us
We chose our words and actions carefully
We stopped what we were engaged in and listened

It begins there. People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
That's why I started this blog.
For young teens in person and all over the world.

Have a question? Don't hesitate to email me. I am all ears. And I will take it to God who has the answers.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Games Guys Play

 So. God wants to breathe life into your heart today. No matter where you are. You may be in a healthy relationship. You may be in the recovery room, suffocating, or shattered into a million emotional splinters. This word serves as a reminder that you are valuable to God. He does not want any man using you as his plaything. You are NOT a game. You are a GIFT. God wants me to share 3 Games Guys Play. I've met enough Mr. Wrongs and Mr. Righteousness to share these with you.

1. The Teary Eyes
Some guys actually use tears to draw you in emotionally to get you to do what they want because you feel sorry for them. They will even play the victim while they wound you. Talk about reverse psychology. Don't buy into it. If he cares for you, he will not try to manipulate his way with tears.

2. American Idols
Music- pay attention to what's in his ear; it affects his thoughts
Sports- pay attention to how much times he gives to stats over the status of your relationship
Style-what is he wearing? Is it more important than putting on Christ?
Drive- is he driven by the upkeep of his car, his game collection, or His Spirit Man?

Ladies, if the material means more to him now, it will only magnify when you get into the relationship

3. Doors of Opportunity

If you are an OPTION, you should OPT OUT.

Girlfriend is just that- it is not you, Tina, Sally on weekends, and Shakira quarterly.

You are not a menu choice, YOU deserve to be THE ONE.

I charge you to value yourself enough to walk away from the games. YOU are a GIFT!

Monday, March 17, 2014

God's Eject Button

Rejection. Nobody likes it. None of us are ingrained with a 'get over it' mentality. No matter how old you get, the feeling of rejection never gets easier. I recently had an encounter that left me feeling rejected. Though it did not last, and though I was essentially given the advice to get over it, the sting stayed with me until I was able to treat myself to some self-talk and prayer. Though the person apologized for their behavior, as Maya Angelou wisely stated, People will forget what you said, but they won't forget how you made them feel."

This is true in relationships and in business. I recently had a HORRIBLE eating experience at Qdoba's. This is a place I had been patronizing for years and one of the few places (I can count on 1 hand) that I liked to eat at. Notice the past tense there. I began choking uncontrollably on the food I had ordered. When I sought an exchange for the order, they said, no. And they were quite rude about it. They told me I should have asked for a sample. No where in the store states you can ask for a sample. I will never forget how they made me feel. So, I'll be taking my money somewhere else in the future. There are other places that offer the same food with an appreciation for the customer.

What am I saying? Simply put, we don't or rather shouldn't invest or time, being, or resources in places that do not recognize our value. I have come to learn even more as time passes, that God often pushes the eject button to save us the pain of rejection. Some times God allows us to experience the pain as a nudge to the heart that as Laura Story sings so beautifully, "to remind us that this is not our home."

There is a fine line between gracing someone and giving them the benefit of the doubt, and being assured that a person is not interested in you, not interesting in changing harmful behaviors, and simply does not value you as a person.

I encourage you to love yourself enough today to walk away from what is unhealthy for you. Whether that be a love interest, a friendship that has turned harmful, a place you return to that does not leave you with a feeling of well-being, do an inventory.

Will God have to come to the rescue for you to figure out you don't belong with him or her? Your time in that place is up? Will that friend have to turn into an enemy before you sever an unhealthy connection? Can you see the red flags, or will God have to eject you from the relationship to get your attention on him?

Let's listen to God the first time. Let's heed the red flags in our life. Let's not be the last person to recognize the expiration date on the experience.

God' ejection, God's redirection, is often God's protection. Let God protect you. He knows what He is doing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

E- Streakers (The Look At Me!!!!! Generation)

A 'selfie' taken by the hubby

Let's Be honest. If you have a healthy DOSE of self-esteem, you enjoy YOU. You enjoy being with you, the skin you are in, and sometimes you feel a little self-conscious about your looks. That's okay. Having an awareness of yourself, and appreciating who God made you to be is NORMAL.

What's not normal?

E- Streaking. I- Streaking. Making a public exhibition of yourself in an inappropriate way. As young women and young men, you have to be aware that what you post CAN come back to haunt you. Some states are allowing youth under 18 to 'erase' their history of posts, pics, and comments, but GHOST images guarantee that if someone really wanted to find a blast of the past of you, they could. Not to mention the added annoyance of a Photoshop smarty pants who decides to give you a whole new face, body, or figure all together.

Here's  some things to consider in this day of "post to your heart's content without THINKING of the content"

* If you aren't KFC, think twice about advertising breasts, thighs, and legs.

* Taking a selfie? Cool Taking a selfie in a towel and little else? Leave that selfie on the shelfie
 (Even celebrities have been phone hacked and pictures only meant to be seen by one are seen by all)

*Wearing clothes that accent your shape? Not a problem. Wearing something that looks poured on? Think again!

*Underwear is never considered outer wear. Note the first part: UNDER.

Ladies and  Gents, the last thing you want to be remembered for is the person who couldn't keep their clothes ON.

Respect yourself, respect your friends, respect the people who mentor you and those who look up to you. Leave the E-Streaking behind!You are fearfully ad wonderfully made, which is all the more reason to honor God by honoring the Bodysuit he gave you!

Remember, some pictures are best left in the mind's eye!

A woman with No mystery will soon be History- Leary M. Davis, My grandmother