Thursday, October 21, 2010
I’ve got an unwritten book with unwritten words yet to be expressed. I’ve got unspoken words that have yet to be shared and unsung songs in my heart that have yet to be sang. Yet, each day I am hopeful that as I face each day, one more letter, word and song will be placed in my heart. I’ve got faith that as God blesses me to rise each day, I am to be in the moment and feel the presence of Him. I’ve got faith and staying power that as my life plays itself out, the pages of thought, words of expression and the gift of song will find its place like so many. It’s all a process and that is why it is important to stay close, remain open and willing to receive. I’ve got a book without pages, words unspoken and a song without a tune but I am highly inspired, highly hopeful and even more faithful that at just the right time, that perfect time, all will be delivered just as it has before. Don’t let your book collect dust, words fall on deaf ears, or song be for naught.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I know what Love is….
Love! If you’ve ever felt love, ever been in love then you can’t mistake it. Love makes you want to do some crazy things. I’m talking about things that could certify you as a nutcase! Yes! That kind of love! Love forces you outside of yourself… to please the other person without thinking of yourself at all. I’ve been blessed with much love. I’ve been in love and I’ve given lots of love. I can’t help it; it’s who I am and what I am made of. God is love and if we can feel His presence, then we can experience the power of love. For those who love, keep loving. For those who struggle with giving love, let yourself go and move toward it and for those who struggle with receiving love, open your heart, take a chance and experience the wonders of love. There is nothing on this earth more powerful. You will be fascinated with love and once you’ve truly experienced love you will never be able to live without it. Say Yes to Love. Don’t wait until tomorrow, Say Yes to Love Today.
Love truly, always and forever Tori!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Even when we know we are doing wrong, we still can’t help ourselves because we have convinced ourselves that just for the moment; I need to choose this behavior. Why is it that knowing that one day, we will all have to account for every single one of our actions, we still choose the behavior that we know God does not approve of? What’s worse is that we’ve convinced ourselves that we are saved, are Christians and can be forgiven, so we decide to please ourselves by hurting others, believing that our ticket to eternal life is guaranteed.
Why is it that some simply refuse to make an effort to improve their lives through sacrifice and hard work? It’s easier to believe that God wants for us what we want for ourselves and therefore, God will grant it. Let me be real clear for you.. God is so much more powerful than you or I. HE does not think as we do, act as we do, sin as we do and choose as we do. HE Is God!
Men are called men for a reason, yet so many men fail to understand what the true definition is. A real man is a Godly man. A man with honor, who loves and serves God unconditionally. A real man will protect, provide and put himself last to ensure he has cared for those who God has given him. A real man will know and love who he is and will want to be all the man he can be for himself, those who depend on him and God.
Women are called women for a reason, yet so many women fail to understand what the true definition is. Women are the brides of Christ. She is a caregiver, lover, nurturer and supporter, yet she sells herself short each time she engages in behavior that is not becoming and pleasing to God.
We are all given these titles and more for a reason, yet day by day, we consciously choose to ignore. Day by day, we choose not to love and day by day we choose to behave in such a way that would bring tears to any mother’s eyes if it were his last.
You don’t have to believe me. You don’t even have to like or agree with what I am writing, but one day you will have to answer to an authority so much higher than you. One day, you will have to recall each time you hurt someone and knew it, did not honor or love your wife or husband, ignored your children, did not live up to your obligations, lied, cheated, stole, manipulated or wavered in your faith to make it convenient for you.
You will have to answer to not knowing how to drive in life when you had the manual all along. You will have to answer to manipulation, selfishness, being controlling and trying to even outwit God. Even when we know we are doing wrong, we still can’t help ourselves because we have convinced ourselves that just for the moment; I need to choose this behavior. No you don’t! Choose God's way.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I could not have hand picked a better father for my daughters. A man who is committed, loving, unquestionably and undeniably 100% dedicated to his daughters. I've never quite understood the chemistry they have for him, one that simply does not allow me in, but I surmise that's the mystery of a father and his daughters. When his smile looks upon them, my heart skips a beat. His smile becomes so wide and although no words may come out of his mouth, anyone witnessing this will know that it's pure and unconditional love.
When he speaks, they listen. When he advises, they take it. When he comforts, they ease into his arms like a small child. They run to him with their cares and concerns because they know their father will always have the answers. He is their cure. He is upright. His actions, conduct, attitude and purpose is always filled with good intentions toward them. With as much love as I have for my daughters, I as their mother can't compare to the type of love he has for them. This love has to be celebrated. There are not many feelings that can touch me than when my daughters say, "Mom, we have the best father in the world. " I know what they mean. I have a Father too.
Father, thank you for blessing me with the gift of two daughters and for blessing them with a Father who, like you, would lay down his life for them.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
All of my life, I have had friends, I thought. They've enriched my life and I pray I have done the same for them. But lately, I've been really thinking about the true definition of a friend. Websters Dictionary describes a friend as "a person you know well and regard with affection and trust." That short definition is true, but I desire to add on to that definition based on my experience with friendship.
Not everyone is a friend. We have associates, co-workers, neighbors and casual acquaintances. Some of these people can not be trusted and frankly, some we really don't know all that well although we may see them everyday.
A friend to me is someone who has not judged, someone who can tell you the truth in the spirit of love and with no hidden agendas. A friend can cry and laugh with you. A friend can get angry at you but then realize that the friendship is much greater than the anger they hold. A friend will love you unconditionally and will always want your best. A friend is your cheerleader, coach, counselor, mentor, leader, and when necessary your truth serum.
So while I started off by saying that "All of my life, I have had friends," really, all of my life I have had plenty of associates, co-workers, neighbors and casual acquaintances. Being a friend and having a friend is a tall order and not many people can handle this kind of responsibility.
I have been blessed with a few good friends and I thank God for them. So, thank you:
Arnetta (My sister)
Lisa (My alter ego)
Glenda (Accountability Partner, Sister from another mister, Ace in the hole)
These are the people who have allowed me to come into their lives and who have come into mine and been a blessing. Pick your friends wisely as not all people have earned the right to be your friend and for those who have, bless them and thank God for them.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.
She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?
I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.
When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.
My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside
the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.
I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.
Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.
At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.
My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage?
If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you.
If you do, you just might save a marriage.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
A CHRIST-CENTERED MARRIAGE IS A MARRIAGE THAT IS SURE TO LAST A LIFETIME.
So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:6
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The very next time you get upset because someone cut you off in traffic; consider that they might be rushing to get to a loved one who needs them…
The very next time a clerk is rude to you at a grocery store, consider that they just received their paycheck and it’s been confirmed that they simply cannot feed their children…
The very next time you eat buffet style and throw away your food because you put too much on your plate, consider that there really are people who would love to eat your scraps…
The very next time you say something hurtful, mean or just downright ignorant to someone, consider how that might make you feel if someone said it to your mother…
The very next time your children try to guilt you into buying them something because their friends have it, consider not negotiating with them. No means No and don’t ask again…
The very next time your co-worker doesn’t speak to you after he/she’s passed you 19X in the hallway, consider speaking to them instead…
The very next time a homeless person asks for money, consider giving them food instead and remember, they are someone’s son, daughter, mother or father.
The very next time you throw clothes away because you have too many, consider giving them to a shelter or better yet, the person who has never had a new pair of pants…
The very next time you debate over whether you should tithe, consider what God gave up for us. HIS SON…
The very next time you see a young boy whose pants are hanging at his knees, consider buying him a belt instead of determining he’s a thug…
The very next time you see an overweight person stuff themselves with food, consider they are really feeding an emotional need with a physical act…
The very next time you tell someone that you love them, consider whether your actions pair up with your words…
The very next time you stress or worry, consider praying…
The very next time you think of someone who has been on your mind, consider calling them on the phone instead of emailing them…
The very next time you say T.G.I.F. (Thank God it’s Friday) considering thanking Him for the entire week…
The definition of CONSIDERATION means to give careful thought. I challenge you to give careful thought the very next time.
Friday, May 7, 2010
I never knew that at the age of 47, I would be so in love with Jesus Christ. As a child, I grew up in an A.M.E. Church. My mother made sure that we attended Sunday school each Sunday, cooking classes on Saturday’s and Bible Study on Wednesday nights. She even sent us to summer long bible camp and tutoring class to make sure her children stayed grounded in Christ. As I grew into my teenage years and young adult years, church and Christ became further and further from my mind. Please don’t misunderstand, I have ALWAYS loved Christ, however; I never appreciated his power until I became an adult.
Fast forward 30+ years later; I have never been so in love. I have never fully given myself to any man, woman or child. Man disappoints….Christ doesn’t. I am not in the business of putting down someone else’s belief. If you want to pray to rocks, mountains, monkeys in cages, scorpions, or gaze at the stars believing they will grant you your wish, that is your belief, but I can tell you this…none of those things will get your soul into heaven and none of those things will have mercy on you.
Christ is the only one who will have mercy and grace when we don’t deserve it. He is the only one who will take you as you are. He is the only one who will forgive you over and over and over. He is the only one who will divinely protect you once you confess your sins and believe that He died so that you can live. He is the only one who promises that you will live forever with Him by accepting Him. I am living proof that Christ lives and is working in my life. When I have good news, I want to tell someone. I am telling you. You have to trust that what I am saying is truthful and that in order to escape the eternal fiery lake, you must turn to Christ.
What deeply saddens me is that some people will read this and never think twice about these words. Some will read and will choose to remain forever lost. They will go back to praying to rocks, mountains, monkeys in cages, scorpions, or gazing at the stars. Why don’t you give Christ a try? He will never leave or forsake you. I promise and HE promises!
God Bless You.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
See the curtains hanging in the window
In the evening on a Friday night
A little light a-shining through the window
Lets me know everythings alright
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
See the paper lying on the sidewalk
A little music from the house next door
So I walk on up to the door step
Through the screen and across the floor
Sweet days of summer, the jasmine's in bloom
July is dressed up and playing her tune
When I come home from a hard days work
And you're waiting there, not a care in the world
See the smile a-waiting in the kitchen
Food cooking and the plates for two
Feel the arms that reach out to hold me
In the evening when the day is through
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Summer breeze makes me feel fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my mind
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Just a not so silly thought…
Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the "would've, could've and should've in life. It's a peaceful place for me because it describes a time free of mistakes, pain and loss and I enjoy getting lost in those moments of yesterday. As a young girl growing up in Philadelphia, I had no idea of the challenges waiting to face me as I matured into a woman. Yesterday was such a safe place. No cares, no worries, no debt, no responsibilities, and no heavy loads to carry when you could barely carry yourself.
As a woman today, I realize that I lived a life burying pain, hurt and loss in order to rid myself of my rightfully justified emotions. I also realize that I have been angry and resentful as a result of abandonment, injustice and punishment that wasn't mine. I buried these feelings so deeply that for years, there was no trace or evidence to show that they were ever my reality.
Thirty years later, I am now challenged to embrace the little girl within, love and comfort her and let her know that it is alright. I will never be able to change my past, the pain, the discomfort, injustice, punishment or abandonment but I am starting the process of realizing that even “would’ve, could’ve and should’ve would not have been able to save me because the life I have was predestined.
I have to be my own soldier and stand up for me. There are lyrics that say “You can’t hurry love” well I say “You can’t bury love.” For many years, I buried a part of me. I am love, I have love and I gave love to everyone and everything except the depth of me. Yesterday is long ago, but today and tomorrow, I am raising up the dead. I will love the depth of me.