Friday, July 27, 2012

Boaz or Dumbaz?

This post was inspired by a viral fb post (author unknown) and recent conversations with my girlfriends. The content may be offensive to sensitive ears and delicate spirits. No fear, skip this one. Holy roller post coming soon....

I woke up to long stemed roses today.  No reason. Just because. You see girls, when you marry a Boaz, a hero of sorts, that's what happens. You get roses for no reason. Not only that, but he changes pampers, wakes up at 3am on throw up duty, washes dishes, orders take out, and even knows what a vacuum is.  All while YOU submit to him. It's almost magical.

The problem comes in when women go out looking for Boaz and find posers like Dumbaz, Lazyaz, Brokeaz, or the (worst in my opinion) Stupidaz.

In the words of my friend Marion, "Everything that glitters ain't gold."

How can you tell the difference? Read the book of Ruth.

Does your man live with you or his mama? Is he easily angered when held accountable? Does he struggle with subject/verb agreement?  uh huh....Dumbaz!

Unlike Dumbaz, Boaz knew how to treat a lady.  He gave Ruth provision and protection. He had made name for himself as a businessman. He was successful in his own right.  He was heroic.

Does your man pay? Does he have a legitimate income?  No? He's one of the twins...Lazyaz or Brokeaz.

Unlike Lazyaz and Brokeaz, Boaz worked. He maintained fields with abundant harvests. He was a rich man. So much so that Ruth and Naomi were able to live by gleaning leftovers.

Does your man handle responsibility? Does he do what's right/ required of  him?  If no, he could be Stupidaz!

Unlike Stupidaz, Boaz had a clue. He was sensitive to Ruth and Naomi's needs and stepped up to take responsibility as their kinsman redeemer. He was a man of integrity.

Is there such a man these days? YES, "Boaz" does exist in the 21st century.  He is a man that loves and honors God first and seeks a wife to provide for and protect.

How do you find one?  You don't. He has to find you ( Proverbs 18:22). You seek God first, practice being a "keeper at home" (Titus 2) and let everything else be added to your life (Luke 12:31).

FYI~ Boaz is not interested in your Divaaz

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Didn't Want to Be a Mom

While pretending to be asleep as my crew makes me a surprise breakfast, I reflect on 2012 and I am eternally grateful. (Sidebar~ really guys? How long does it take to scramble an egg and burn the toast? I've been waiting for like an hour!)   This past month of motherhood has been the greatest one yet.  I have watched my children face adversity head on, go into battle like warriors, and come out unharmed. And to think, 20 years ago, I didn't want children.

Twenty years ago, Oprah Winfrey was my idol. I had been groomed to be an independent Black woman.  I interned with one of the largest banks in the nation and had lunch with the guy whose signature was stamped on the checks.  I was trained in management and had every intention of being the Queen Bee of a Fortune 500 by age 30. I was taught to set goals and do something everyday to accomplish that goal, and I did.  When I was 18, I made more money than my mother.  I wore suits to work everyday and carried a briefcase. A family would only slow me down and ruin my life plan of waking up to the Atlantic Ocean every morning.

But God....

During my planning process of world domination and accumulating stacks and stacks of cash, I noticed that it was never enough.  There was always somebody smarter, more connected, and more driven than me.  It became exhausting and overwhelming.  I wanted fulfillment.

So I married a preacher. Ha!

While I still have lunch with the guy who signs the checks (wink), the Queen Bee thing often backfires and the Fortune 500 sometimes ends up a "Series of UNfortunate Events." To be honest, marriage has been the most challenging thing I've ever done.  Parenting, even worse. But God has given me grace to do them both, sometimes successfully. Sometimes, not so much. I am so thankful God gave me the desires of my heart through parenting even though he had to change my desire to the things he desired for me. Going my own way would have caused me to miss out on the most rewarding part of my life~ raising children. I would take dirty diapers and throw up over a designer suit any day. (FYI~ God can do both!)

 The bonus is that my marriage and family is not in competition with anyone else. I get to run the race set before me (Heb. 12:1,2). I am only in competition with myself and ALL God has called me to do. So I don't give a rip who's smarter, more connected or more driven. I'm not running that race. Embrace who you are and where God has you. Whether you have a full house or are praying fervently for God to fill it, run the race set before YOU. God will give you grace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hot Pink Stilettos and Arizona Tea

The day I originally wrote this blog, was the day I read about Trayvon Martin. I had seen it posted on friends' pages for over a week. I decided not to be a bandwagoner.  I ignored it. Annoyed by the repetitive posts, I finally clicked on the link.  It broke my heart. And for about 30 seconds, I wondered, "what's the use?"  WHY would I bother trying to raise model citizens if they would just end up being treated like savages and shot on the street. A black male doesn't stand a chance in America. It added to the frustration I already felt and reopened a wound that had just recently started to heal. I immediately called an audible in my household and ONCE AGAIN, we changed our protocol. 

I changed my son's curfew.  I limited his visitation radius and he now had to check-in with me every time he changed locations. And no, he could no longer wear his hoodie at night.  This new list was added to our ban on wearing red, wearing all black, walking at night with a group of other black boys, and associating too closely with white girls.  Sound silly?  Not to black families.  ALL of these things have gotten black boys both harassed and killed. (Somebody with a gun felt threatened)  Arizona Tea was once a staple in our home. Our taste buds have changed.

The past 3 months have been a whirlwind of emotions for me. The  Prom drama  opened a plethora of opinions, speculations, assumptions, and blatant ignorant remarks from my readers. For all of them, I am grateful. I was especially blessed to have my Christian friends surround me with love and encouragement. The Lord of Hosts was with me, as he was with David facing Goliath.  However, the greatest lesson I learned was about myself. We ALL still have a LONG way to go:

I sat at a recent sporting event and caught a glimpse of my "offender." I wanted to approach him and ask why the melanin in my skin offended him.  I wanted to know why he was such a coward and allowed his daughter to face ridicule.  Most of all, I wanted to know why he had not returned my phone calls. Instantly, I heard the Lord speak to me through my spirit. God reminded me that the anger and bitterness I had for that man was no different from the hatred he had for me. God reminded me that it is only by grace through faith that I am saved. I was humbled. At that moment, I released my offender and walked away. I forgave him. Jesus did that for me on the cross.

You see, we are ALL one bad decision away from an offensive comment, a fit of anger, a life-changing choice. Will you walk away or pull the trigger?

My son went to prom on Friday night.  He had the time of his life.  His date? A beautiful head turning blonde in a silver sequined dress wearing hot pink stilettos. They have been buddies since middle school. We knew her parents. We've been to their home.... (same story, different girl)

As my son prepares to leave my home to pursue his dream of playing college football, his father and I will cover him daily with prayer and believe God for his protection.  As he takes his melanin, his hoodie, and love of Skittles and Arizona tea, I will be left with 2 recently taken pictures of him: one taken at a sporting event with my son standing and cheering next to a man (unknowingly) who showed hatred toward him, and another taken at prom with the man's daughter.

It's how we were razed....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

For Such a Time as This

Have you ever made a decision in your life that pushed you so far outside of your comfort zone that you knew there was no coming back?  You closed your eyes, held your breath, and prayed for the best? Thoughts cross your mind like:  "What the heck was I thinking?" "I've made a huge mistake!" "Can I get a do-over??" I felt that way when I saw the first share on facebook....there's no coming back from this one....

And just when I decided to hit the delete button and sweep it all under the rug like a good little church girl would, it was like I heard a voice whisper in my ear: "for such a time as this!"  It was my 'life verse.' (Esther 4:14) The Word of God came to my rescue.  I began to think of Queen Esther, and how she looked death in the face in an effort to save her people.  And she did it afraid.

A warrior rose up in me as I asked my King (Jesus) to give me grace and favor as King Ahaseurus did Esther. "If I perish, let me perish" (vs.16)  I know there will be some casualties of war. I've been supported by some, rebuked by others. All of which started out in "my camp." The truth is, it was inevitable. It is my defining moment. My basic training is complete.  It is time for battle...

"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish.  Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14)

I would love to hear about your defining moments.  What "battle" has God called you to?

Being razed...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Black son can't take your white daughter to Prom.

It is the culmination of senior year, Prom.  For weeks I have gone back and forth with my son as he has tried to decide who to ask.  He has a great group of friends that have loved, respected and supported each other throughout high school.  They attend every event as an entourage, each taking turns as the superstar.  So who to ask wasn't a HUGE issue, it was more of a technical issue.  Every Homecoming, Christmas, Powder Puff, and yes, Prom picture has been taken as a group.  They are inseparable!

So when he decided to take a buddy that he had known since middle school, I was relieved.  They were in the same group last year at prom so this year would be easy.  We knew the parents.  We've been to their home.  Our kids had even transferred to a new school together.

He asked, she said yes.

Imagine my surprise when my son came home for lunch today and told me that his date gave him a tearful cancellation and said that her father didn't "believe in that."  It knocked the wind out of me, but my son handled it like a man.  He was sober and mature. But I knew he was hurt. He passed up the opportunity to hang with his friends at the local burrito shop to come home and talk to me.

After our conversation, I wept.  I ached for my son. All that he had worked for and achieved in his lifetime was taken away from him in an instant.  For those few seconds, my son was nothing but a worthless nigger unworthy to be in the presence of a white girl. He had been lynched 2012 style. Publicly ridiculed and punished without having committed a crime.  Sentenced to a slow death with a lethal injection of hatred that will inevitably bring about a tinge of fear and inferiority that would last him a lifetime.

This is not an issue that I choose to sweep under the rug.  It is a wound that can only heal with exposure.  We have exercised restraint in many other instances. But this story will be told.  We have pioneered many efforts and made tremendous sacrifices in an effort to break down racial barriers in our community.  It is my belief that this is a "sin thing" more than a "skin thing." Remember, we know this family well (not well enough apparently). Our kids attend Christian school together ~one of which was covenantal~  Yet they have misrepresented themselves as well as Christ.

Yes, there WILL be a dialogue. Unlike the public embarrassment my son was sentenced to today, it will be held in private and the issue will be discussed.  The days of little Black boys being the token friend, stellar athlete, lead singer, and (my personal favorite), charity case in lily white churches and communities must cease. Stop pimpin' the kids!  Was he invited to your house?  Your birthday party? Or do you only sing his praises when he scores in the game? If he can't be part of your (entire) world, you should really evaluate whether or not you are fulfilling your purpose as it pertains to winning souls to God's Diverse Kingdom.

 Let us no longer make excuses. Can we please commit to one another to try to do better?  Can we share this world God has given us with an appreciation of our differences? Can we truly embrace the differences in one another and not just cop out with "I don't see color" and go on our merry way to the other side of town?  Can we TRULY lay our sins before God and ask him to help us, heal us, and restore us?  Can we repent and change our ways?

In time, my son will heal from this, but he will never be as secure in himself as he was yesterday.  I'll get over it, and we'll move on.  Until then,

We're being razed.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why Your Pastor's Wife is MIA (humorous)

Somewhere in a sweet little Southern church.....

I can't imagine where that sweet little thang could be!  We the "the prissy ladies of the church without any sin casting the first stone committee" are completely baffled at why we haven't seen the Pastor's 'little' wife in weeks!? She has every reason to be here!

Reason #1.  We've already shown her how to dress.  Mabel and I personally pulled her aside and showed her the proper skirt length for Sunday 'go to meetin' dresses and  Mabel even gave her one of her old slips to wear.  You know the kind with the big ruffles at the bottom... We even saved her from embarrassment.  The poor thing almost wore blue jeans to church!

Reason #2.  Grandma Nelly saved her heathen children from a burning hell.  I just can't imagine why she would be so ungrateful!  Grandma Nelly has been teaching Sunday School for 50 years, she can recognize a heathen child when she sees one! The Pastor's wife's children wore shorts and sandals to church one day, and Nelly cast that demon right out!  Even unspiked the boys hair with the oil.  Whew! That was close. I can't imagine what the Pastor woulda thought if he'd found out about his heathen children.

Reason #3.  We put her in charge of the missionary society, women of the church, meals on wheels, preschool, nursery, bereavement committee, made her the church secretary, and gave her a solo on Sunday.  I cannot imagine why a woman would deny her God-given talents...

Reason #4.  We take care of the Pastor, she doesn't have to do anything.  We bought him a shiny new suit that he can wear every Sunday.  We pay his rent in their 'cozy,' 'vintage' parsonage.  Not to mention the $100  weekly salary we give him for preaching, teaching, visiting the sick, and being at our every beck and call.  And the care committee makes a casserole for him every Sunday.  Sister WatcHer  even volunteered to call him everyday to see if there was ANYTHING he needed....she's always so willing to help.

Reason #5.  The Pastor is ALWAYS there, why isn't she? We can call the Pastor any day, anytime.  I really don't understand why his wife is always unavailable.  It's not that hard to raise 5 kids!

Being razed.....