No, we’re not twins

Gradandsis

At the moment, I am at Whole Foods writing… I needed some time to breathe outside my parents’ house.  I had a moment of clarity on the ride up here though… my sister is pretty awesome.  I, of course, had some frustrations that lead me to seek an outlet outside my parent’s home and the first person I run to… before Jesus… is my sister.  She is at work but I have her work number in my cell when times like this arise when I need to let it all out.  I am learning that it is best to let out my frustrations and not keep it in… and my number one go-to person is my sister.  Although younger, she gets me… we are always playing on the same team.. and funny when I’m upset or frustrated about something she is stable enough to get me through it and when she is down and in tears I am poised to pull her out of it.. it’s crazy how that happens we are never both down in the dumps, one will always be ready to bring the other back to life.  One would think this has been our thing our whole life…yet, this bond has only lasted for the past four years.

When I graduated from high school, she was in elementary school on her way to middle school.  I was set to live in Austin for my college years.  I was the typical college student in Austin.  I was not this wild child in the streets, but had a nice balance of maintaining a good GPA and exploring sixth street.  My college was consumed with nights in the editing room working on film projects and hanging with some pretty eclectic folk the city had to offer, and didn’t include talking to my little sister on the phone. I don’t even think I had the desire to call her… which is so hard to admit now.  I had heard there was a situation while she was middle school in which my dad had to intervene and talk to the principle about her choice of friends… did I try to steer her into the right direction?… nope.   I think I said a few words about the situation to my parents but never directly had a heart to heart with her….I would come down for the holidays… the perfect time to connect with her but I was caught up in hanging out with friends and my older brother and his friends…not hanging out at home with my younger sister… initiating time with her was never an option… I was caught up in other interests… MY interests.  I’m actually tearing up as I am writing this.  Don’t get me wrong we were cool but it was very superficial… We didn’t know each other on that deeper level.  Maybe age had a lot to do with it… 8 years is nearly a decade.

After Austin, I head straight to NY…. we still don’t talk on the phone but I see her on the holidays and when she and mom come to The City to visit me… we are cool but it’s still not that deep.   I did look forward to seeing her when they would come to visit…I loved seeing her light lit up when she was in Times Square here and when she found the perfect Louis Vuitton knock-off of her choice.  I stay in NY for a few years….I am yearning for something more…some purpose in my life.  I decide to leave and head home back to Houston.  That first year back, I can’t really grab on what I am looking for but I know I need to be with my sister… so I attempt to strike conversation with my estranged sister.  There are no words.  I ask questions but only one word replies and silence.  How do I get through to her?  This becomes a challenging task for me after several attempts.   I then turn to Jesus/God to make this right… to have a REAL relationship with my sister.  In the process of praying and trying, we would have little tiffs here and there, not because we hated each other but simply because we didn’t know each other… how could I expect her to open up to me when she didn’t even know who I was… I didn’t even know who I was.  I spent the majority of her life running away from who I was… who I am… I was being influenced from everything outside myself…

Everyday was a challenge… especially when I had to get my head straight and then on top of that build our relationship.  Yet, it was when I stopped being in the world… in the scene… and looked at my sister I found Him. And in turn found myself.  I was looking everywhere else but all needed to do was be in her presence which then steered me to be in HIS presence.  Timing has it that God brought us together when we needed each other the most… in building our relationship we have both found purpose…. our inner-most conversations have brought on clarity and revelation.  WE bounce ideas off each other and gain courage to go at it.  She has become my rock (along with Jesus, of course) during this time of transition.  I am truly blessed to have such a beautiful, strong, inspiring sister.  Thank you Jesus!

 

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

File Oct 07, 8 47 25 PM

The Plan …

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I know I mentioned in my last post that I have such clarity and clear direction… yes, in this moment I do understand the task at hand is to teach dance, but this is a temporary gig… I can’t but ask what’s next?  I enjoy this new opportunity but deep down feel there is something else in store for me… still in the process…still in hiding…not quite ready to be in the world on a larger platform.  I am content with this, knowing that I don’t want to be out there in the world mis-representing my true identity or falling into the wrong influence and hurting myself and others by being caught up in the wrong agenda.

So, like a month ago, there has been this subtle push to pray stronger…to write it down, speak it out loud and hold on to it.  Keep it until it happens…and have faith that the request is already present.

After reading the book, Fervent by Priscilla Shirer and seeing the movie War Room.. I have decided to create my own war room…a prayer room in my closet.  I actually did it this morning… which is not really when I sought out to do it… I was supposed to do this a month ago but I kept pushing it back.  Events kept popping up or I would be too sleepy to pray, much less set up a war room… but today I woke up… after breakfast and running some morning errands I came home and opened my closet.  I cleared out the floor, grabbed a few spiritual books, my journal, markers, and some notebook paper. At first, I kept the door open… having the natural light come in from the windows in my room… then as I started writing and drawing pictures..I decided to close the door.  It was all so therapeutic… the coloring and writing calmed me.  I then pieced it all together… arranging family requests together, then career, emotional, etc.  The end result was a collage of child-like drawings and prayers.  It was definitely an awakening of that little girl deep within me … a little girl that needs help from her father.  I became her again… maybe this closet will keep me in my place… to have humility in knowing that it is not I that bring on huge, miraculous blessings but my father in heaven that makes it all happen…. my control issues need to be left at the door… the closet door.

I have decided to do this challenge… The War Room Challenge.  I will utilize this sacred place morning and night.   Read aloud every word and mediate on the pictures drawn.  I will have faith that all will transpire in God’s timing and in His way because He has revealed to me that these are His promises from my life.  I will hold on to these promises and know that they already belong to me.  I will have faith.

Fast Forward…It’s been almost a week now and for the most part I’ve been true to the challenge.  These past few days I was in the war room once… in the  mornings.  In the mornings I am more ready to reflect and read each prayer, whereas in the evenings I am content with saying my short prayers in bed… which isn’t bad but I would like to really use the space…. The Challenge!

Any Changes?  Well, I am more at peace in the areas I am concerned about… and my instinct to compare to others has calmed down a bit… the prayers help me to reflect that there is a preparation period at hand… and clarity that these prayers are linked to my destiny… In writing the prayers, I realized what gave me purpose, I realized what concerned me the most… concerns that were outside of myself… concerns that were linked to others.  I came to realize that every little detail, experience in my life guided me to write these prayers… prayers that could only be answered by God’s grace.  These prayers are not minimal to the least… these prayers can no human hand do… only He can.  With this realization, prayer needs to become my top priority… to secure His provision not just over me but provision over the plans he has placed in my heart to heal others.

Not sure when this challenge will end… I guess when I don’t see it as a challenge but as a way of life…

 

This scripture is written in the middle of all my prayers:

For the Eternal watches over the righteous, and His ears are attuned to their prayers.  He is always listening….When the upright need help and cry to the Eternal One, He hears their cries and rescues them from all of their troubles.

Psalm 34:15, 17

 

 

A Healing Request

File Sep 27, 11 57 21 AM

(My other brother is not pictured… lives in Dallas. )

So a few days ago, I did a random check with my brother, who lives in Dallas with a “U good?” text.  I expect the typical response, “I’m good.” then we move on to daily happenings in each other’s lives…but this time he mentions that he had a dream.  Now, when anyone starts off with “I had a dream..” I am at full attention.  Dreams are very valuable to me… like little gateways to heaven….messages sent to guide us… destinies revealed.  So although I am at work, I am looking at my phone waiting for his text.  So, the dream was set in our childhood home and he and my little sister were inside.  There was man in the house too, being nice to them but my brother knew it was devil, so he was trying to figure out how to get out of the house, but then he looked out and saw me in the distance sitting in a car and he knew that they had to get to me to save them.  So he ends the text with that, and I’m like “Wow!” He then adds, “The devil was scared of you in the dream.”  Really?!

I couldn’t help but analyze the dream.  Why were my second eldest brother and little sister in our childhood home with the enemy? And my brother knew it was the devil but not my sister? And why was I there to rescue them?  And why was the enemy scared of me? Hmmmm.

So, I just finished reading Fervent: A Women’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Prisicilla Shirer.  The book was inspired by the movie WAR ROOM, which I saw this past week.  The book and movie encourages the use of prayer for any and every battle that comes against God’s plan…instead of fighting each other, come into prayer and ask God to intercede and allow Him to do His work… fight your battle.  It emphasized that while in prayer declare out loud God’s promises found in The Word and speak out loud to the enemy, rebuking every scheme and lie that steers you to lose your peace and joy.  Now, going back to my brother’s dream, I may have a few reasons on why the enemy is scared of me….maybe this very blog scares me … or my boldness to thank him constantly.  Other than that… I know it’s not my long list of duties at church… I can’t even say I belong to one particular church, to be honest.  I am kind of bouncing around at different churches right now.  I attend Catholic mass more consistently than the others, adhering to my upbringing…I was even for awhile attending 7:30am mass with my mom, which of course made her day, especially when she made many prayer requests for me to return to my Catholic faith when I started to attend other Christian churches, non-denomination churches.  This was not at all an act of rebellion but a call to experience true communion with Christ… to be filled spiritually.  I yearned for something more than the spoon-fed, memorized rituals that kept me distant from building a true relationship with God.  The institution to ensure this never really came into view… well, at least not yet.  I still go to church, mass usually, but may catch a sermon by TD Jakes, Tony Evans, John Gray…. read a book by  Jentzen Franklin, Thomas a Kempis, DeVon Franklin… to be filled… to be awaken again.  Yet, prayer has been a constant… my compass to direct me to the right place, opportunity, and people…

Speaking of people, I’ve been asking God lately: “Why did you put this person in my life?”  I met someone… well, been re-acquainted with someone that I met three years ago.  After some time, being consistent in asking for clarity on that specific question, it became clear to me that he mirrors me circa 2010, my last year in New York.  I was working 24/7, survival mode, attaining money was my drive, heavy, tired, yearning for a healing.   He has actually asked me to heal him.  Believe me I am trying… I wish I could just touch his life and let all the bad stuff disappear… but who am I?  Right now I have such good in my life, newness and clarity, direction… yet God brings a person in my life that needs the very blessings that I have in my life… as if to say, “Now that I have healed you, go and heal others.”

I will say, I am not afraid to go back to the darkness… only because I feel a lot stronger than I was before…. spiritually, emotionally… my inside parts are more stable…and it seems like that’s where He wants me to be…in the dark places… maybe where we all should be.  When you are made whole in Christ, bring others to wholeness through Christ.  I will stick to prayer to steer me to know what to do, where to go, and what to say to strangers, new and old friends and family, especially family, to bring about healing.

Go out into the world and share the good news with all of creation. Anyone who believes this good news and is ceremonially washed will be rescued, but anyone who does not believe it will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: they will be able to cast out demons in My name, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, drink poison without being harmed, and lay their hands on the sick to heal them.

Mark 16:15-18 (THE VOICE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Direction

 

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This past week I had to go with faith in the career arena.  So for awhile now…like for the past five years, God has been leading me to California.  I received this revelation my last year of living in New York, and since then been getting signs of confirmation that this was where I was meant to be. It became quite obvious when I signed with a LA talent management company this past January.  I went to LA to sign the contract, met the CEO and got some new headshots.  Throughout the year, I kept in contact with them and was given a few auditions here and there.  As the months went by, it was suggested I do a showcase in July with other clients of the management to meet agents in Los Angeles.  In March, I decided to do it… not really giving it much thought though… it seemed too far away to really stress over or even think about.  By the time the school year ended, I was asked to teach creative movement classes at my old childhood school during the summer… a hint that I’m still in the process of coming home.

After doing some research, I created a 10 week lesson plan for the creative movement class.  The first couple weeks dealt with using the body to express certain emotions and incorporating levels, shapes and paths which then led to learning choreography.  In the beginning I was really tied to the lesson plan and the activities I attained from my research, but as I got more comfortable I started to add in some other ideas that popped in my head… all within the lesson at hand, of course.  It started to feel like second nature and the positive feedback only motivated me to keep at it.  On the last week of classes they performed the pieces I taught them over the summer… they were 32 count combinations… short and sweet.  I was really impressed because a bulk of them actually remembered them and were counting to the music… even quite a few boys! Some even told me they practiced at home…. really?!  Mind you I didn’t plan this grand performance at the end with strict rehearsals leading up to it, so the initiative to practice at home was really nice to hear. Time flew by pretty fast, so fast I had no time to really breathe in what transpired over the summer with the children.  So, on the last day of classes I had asked one of my classes, (in the picture above) what they learned.  We sat down in a circle, which was how I always started and ended my classes, and one by one they shared their responses.  When they shared they really thought about their answers, some even paused a bit to get their words together.   Their answers varied from learning to dance better to being able to count to the music and create their own dance pieces… all the answers a veteran dance teacher would expect, but to a newbie like me….well, I was moved to tears.

So rewind to about two weeks before the creative movement classes end… and my teary-eyed scene in front of the children… I attend this showcase in LA.  Deep down I am dreading it…not because I am nervous but because I really don’t care. So, I arrive at the hotel and at the very same time the hotel is hosting the Special Olympics.  You have people from all over the world working the event, going to seminars, wearing their badges, speaking different languages… and then you have actors/ models, along with their stage moms and entourage on the same floor.  The first thing that comes out of my mouth, “I wish I was with them.”… the Special Olympics crew.  It was clear to me that God was trying to show me something… but I was confused.  Wasn’t this thing that you opened up for me? Wasn’t this the thing you wanted me to do?

When I came home from LA, I was little discouraged…I thought this was my open door to my destiny but it just didn’t feel right.  I went back to teaching dance and tried to let go of the whole trip…just focus on what was happening in Houston… teaching dance and writing…but then the management contacted me for an audition.  It was given to me on a Wednesday and the deadline was that Friday.  I looked at the email quite a few times and thought about doing it but didn’t want to.  Yet, on Friday I got a call from the management in reference to the audition… I respond by email.  I told them to book me out since it was already the deadline… but then I didn’t want to seem lazy so I offered to work on it over weekend.  They agreed and gave me an extension.  I did the audition…a commercial for a cell phone and received feedback the next day or so.  The client said I was too serious for the cell phone commercial.  In the past, I would have been really upset about this feedback but at the time I really didn’t care because honestly what kind of impact would I have promoting a cell phone… I found greater purpose in teaching and writing.  The feedback only fueled my courage to express myself honestly to the management:

Thank you for keeping me in the know of everything. I have to admit my drive to solely focus on acting has diminished a bit for awhile. I have been working with special needs children in the arts for the past few years and been honing into my writing, which has now cultivated into a ministry. I feel like my purpose may lie outside of acting for now and would understand if you need to drop me. You deserve a client that is truly dedicated to the craft and I am not too sure If I can do that right now.

After sending off the email there was sense of release and the knowing that I did the right thing….a knowing that God has something else in store for me.  Funny, that morning, before I was going to write that email, I ran across a sermon by pastor John Gray.  He mentioned that this was the season that all was going to come together and God was about collide you into the thing you were created to be.  “That thing you thought was thing is not going to work…The Lord knew what the enemy was going to attack so He made the thing look like the promise ….God is about to crash you into The Promise.”

So I sent off the email and I have this nice, peaceful feeling inside… but still uncertain on what to do next…

I have so much more to say, but you cannot absorb it right now.  The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth. He will not speak His own words to you; He will speak what He hears, revealing to you the things to come and bringing glory to Me. The Spirit has unlimited access to Me, to all that I possess and know, just as everything the Father has is Mine. That is the reason I am confident He will care for My own and reveal the path to you.

John 16:12-15 (VOICE)

A Blessing and a Curse

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I am starting to realize a pattern… when something good is coming, the enemy will try to attack… in my case I get theses weird dreams.  Dreams that bring back people from the past that may have caused me hurt… fictional scenarios that try to scare me or get me weirded out.  In the past, I would wake up terrified… not wanting to go back to sleep…and I would not let the dream go… I would think about it throughout the day… causing fear to fill every nook of my mind.  I worried a lot because of the dreams I had and wondered why this was happening to me… I did everything right.  I went to school, got good grades, didn’t get in trouble with the law… I went to church (because I am a sinner)… I worked with children… I even got baptized again…why was I being attacked like this…

On the outside, I have a pretty good life.  I don’t have any traumatic stories that have left emotional scars… both of my parents are married.. I have an amazing family..two older brothers and a little sister… we encourage each other… even my parents encouraged my love for the Arts….My dad created my middle school schedule in which he added creative writing and journalism and my mom always rushed me and my sister to Broadway and dance shows…. along with dance lessons up until high school.  So all is well in my life… yet the spiritual realm took some time to settle down.  I have always had these dreams.. premonitions as long as I can remember.  Dreams not just about myself but about other people… mainly as a guide to help them along their way.  I have beautiful dreams in which seem surreal… an oasis… light… golden hues, huge, calming waves, big gold coins…. a white beach (this was actually in a recent dream I had.)  So with these amazing dreams pops in these dreams that just don’t belong.  I’ll take a nap… BOOM… a messed up dream! Now, in the past I would call a close friend or wake up and watch TV… but lately I have been so bold to stay in the dream and see where it goes… I am curious to see how far the enemy will try to drum up fear.  While in the dream I start to pinpoint lies… and even shake my head (smh) “Really?”  When I do chose to wake up, I pray and rebuke everything that came at me in that dream …. as to say, “Bring It.”

I am quite positive that my single-hood is causing me to face these attacks on my own… not clinging to someone to ease my fear but actually calling on God and no one else. Prayers in which I am speaking out loud and demanding God to come through and even confronting the enemy to leave… knowing he has no power in my life.  These strong prayers have constructed a firm spiritual foundation in Him.  Believe me I had never known about this… good vs. bad.  I have always believed in angels but demons lurking the Earth seemed a bit farfetched… but when I actually felt the heaviness at one point in my life I knew it was real.  The darkness seemed to follow me… people would open up to me and speak of their own worries, fears… the whole victim mentality became a constant theme to my ears.  I would be open to listening… I had no boundaries… I wanted to help but I soon realized that I had to deal with my own darkness before true light could penetrate through to heal.

This darkness I once had clouded His vision for my life.  I was left confused and anxious and not sure where this came from.  I came home to figure this all out.  I came home physically and spiritually.  This darkness was a generation curse that breathed upon me and it was never healed.  In coming home it was as if I was called to bring it to an end.  My dreams and visions led me to move back home, be with my family, and to pray fervently…to resurface and to clean up… a spiritual detox needed to take place.  In this process, clarity on its origin and signs of it coming undone have been revealed…along with shaping my character to receive the blessings graciously He has stored up for me when the work/ process is complete… when all is healed, so nothing will be damaged or undone.  All in His perfect form…all in His perfect timing.

Though I walk in the midst of dangers,
    you guard my life when my enemies rage.
You stretch out your hand;
    your right hand saves me.
 The Lord is with me to the end.
    Lord, your mercy endures forever.
    Never forsake the work of your hands!

Psalm 138:7-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Engagements and Weddings and Babies, Oh My…

WeddingMom

Mom and Momie, 1977

Happy 38th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

I’m not sure when wedding season is but I have been saturated with engagement announcements, wedding dates to save, and on top of that babies are popping up like daisies!  Every year it seems like the numbers double of wedding and baby showers… and the infamous pic of the girl holding up the sparkling engagement ring near her face seems to increase in the Facebook news feed each year.  I have yet to share any news like this in my own life… even with another 2 years added to my thirty years of age. I am still single with no baby on the way…but I am nowhere near acting out like Bridget Jones, depressed, needing a man to end my woes… of course, this outlook took some time to grasp.

When I did have someone that I thought was potential… my life was consumed with fantasizing about being his wife and the mother of his children.  My thoughts, and every outing involved him….I didn’t make time for me…I didn’t know what to do without him… I didn’t know who I was without him.  I had dreams of being in the entertainment industry but they all seemed unclear when I was attached.  I was focused on his successes instead of my own.  I was concerned with his well-being but made no real strides in my own emotional state…or any other area in my life.  The women’s instinct to nurture took over heavily and it needed to stop! Of course God knew that too and created multiple opportunities to wake me up… even it meant I was left hurt.

In letting go and letting God, I found I was drawn to opportunities that were more me… as me… not as a wife or a mother but as Me and only Me.  The bitterness, jealousy I once had for those that were becoming wives and mothers started to go away… I gained clarity in allowing Him to show me that I was made not only to be a wife and a mother but more… and in spending time with Him I started to embrace every opportunity that came my way as a way to mold and refine the very person I was created to be.  A person that can create change… a person that can help build His kingdom…A person that can minister to those that are lost…To fully work alongside and in Him in this refinement phase. This phase is testing me mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually….healing past hurts, dealing with uncertainty, being patient, maintaining inner peace, releasing fears, going beyond my limits, and controlling my temper when frustration arises.  I am learning that certain weaknesses are being strengthen on multiple levels during this time on my own.

I have to admit though, I thank God I am still single because with all this healing I am starting to realize my happiness does not rely on something outside of myself.  I think if I became a wife or a mother before I realized my own happiness I would have walked out on my own family…Or I would have gone through a deep depression that would have caused a cycle of hurt within my own children… a generational curse.  Single-hood has pushed me to heal areas that were hidden within me…. who knew about this little girl that wanted to be seen and dance… or wanted to write… The healing needed to take precedence before roles could be realized…before platforms could be created.  I have to be single to heal… I have to hidden in Him to heal.

Now, the desire to be a wife and a mother are still there.. yet, I am willing to trust Him on that right now.  When my future husband and I ready mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually God will make it happen.

I adjure you, Daughters of Jerusalem,
    by the gazelles and the does of the field,
Do not awaken, or stir up love
    until it is ready.

Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4

 

“Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Matthew 19:4-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dancer

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So, I am not too sure what’s happening but lately I have been bombarded with Dance. The small dance gigs that have popped up have been fun…and the board member gig for the dance company is cool… don’t know if this is too premature but I am starting to sense a revelation… now I am being asked to sub in the upcoming school year for the dance teacher for about two months.  I actually interviewed for this position last year but did not get it, yet somehow this year it fell onto my lap.  Okay, so then we move on to my present position….I am currently teaching “Creative Movement” at my childhood school for the summer.  I have no idea where the name came from because I thought they were leaning towards teaching theater but then I get the newsletter and it reads: “Creative Movement with Ms. Megan.”  I guess I should not be too shocked that this is all creeping up in my life again when I spent most of my life .. well, more like my childhood…dancing.  I would  wake up… no, the night before I would pack my dance clothes into my dance bag, go to sleep, wake up, school, do homework, then head to dance class.  It was like second nature.  It was huge part… no, it was my life.  In time, I got away from it, I would take a class here or there but I was not always consistent.  In college I was a theater major and we had to take a dance class… I didn’t take the dance class, (or any dance classes outside of school) until my last year of college… I took a tap class.  At the time, I was driven to create film.  I spent a lot of time in the editing room and when I did have the inkling to move my body, which was everyday, the gym was my consolation.  To continue my love for film, I majored in Media Studies in grad school and once again put dance on the shelf.   I remember taking an African dance class once or twice but was never consistent.  I spent a lot time at the gym to nurture that need to move.  Yet, dance was always in the back of my mind… conjuring choreography while I ran on the treadmill… and I did grab a chance to see some dance shows while in New York … I think maybe one or two, really… one was a free event in which a children’s dance company was performing at the South Street Seaport …. I remember while I was watching them tears fell from my eyes… And then the other show, I bought one ticket to the Joyce Theater… I don’t remember the name of the dance company but once again tears fell from my eyes.

Now, I have been moved to tears before because something was moving and beautiful but in these two occasions the tears stemmed from something deeper … I was missing something.  When I was younger I never saw myself as a dancer.  I would never wear the t-shirt/ shorts that had dancer written on them because I really didn’t see myself as a dancer.  I was a dancer but to call myself a dancer and to have people know… I just didn’t think I had the talent to secure that title.  Yet, somehow God has brought me back, as to say, “this is where you belong.”  It’s crazy but I feel so inadequate teaching the children…though somehow they look at me with such eagerness, smiling, wanting to be near me… as if I am some principal dancer for Alvin Ailey.  But I only ask, “Why have you brought me back here, God?”

The only answer that I have received: To share.  Share what you are passionate about.  Share what moves you to tears.  Share what gives you joy.  Share what gives you peace.

This is part of me has become my purpose.

I also think God wants me to reclaim my confidence.  The main reason I didn’t see myself as a dancer…even though I spent hours and hours during the week in the dance studio…because I did not have the confidence. When I first started I had so much…tenacity!  All my moves were sharp, executed the precise steps, I was on point and stood out… but then as I got older, more people joined the company, more talented people… my performance level did not change but somehow my need to be seen got dimmer and dimmer each year.  I don’t know what happened.. but I got intimated by the other dancers….I didn’t push hard to get to that next level… I didn’t practice much on my own to get stronger…. kick higher.. I had lost that drive to “dig deep.” (Shaun T)

This second time around may prove to be a test…Will I let myself be seen?

Time spent in the gym in doing drills, circuit training, endurance building have cultivated my mind and body to push harder… to not give up… to keep at it.  I honestly feel like I can handle any workout because my mind and body are a lot stronger than they were a long time ago.  Even when it burns I keep going… I look at the person next to me as my competitor… I can do it faster, better than he can… yep I said HE!

Timing.  If only I could have been like this when I was younger…. This whole process of moving into the new has brought on a healing to that little dancer within me.  The one that shied away from the spotlight… the one that only smiled… the one that did not have the courage to be seen.

I only thank God for giving me this time on my own to heal that wounded child.  To truly love every part of myself so I can encourage others to embrace their dancer from within.

 

You turned my wailing into DANCING;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Psalm 30:11-12

 

 

 

 

Power

McQueen

No man should have all that power… sounds like a line you would say to a young girl in the trance of pleasing a man… or you may just be singing Kanye West’s Power.  I was actually given this same advice at one point in my life.  Yes, it was because of a boy… which really surprised me because before this happened I always thought I was too strong to let some dude break me down.  I was not, (am not) that pathetic girl that needs a guy in order to be happy.  I didn’t (don’t) need a guy’s approval…and I was (am) good on my own…or so I thought… when I think about it now I still can’t believe I allowed it to happen.  It was like it came out of nowhere and there I was lying in bed… not wanting to be anywhere.  I couldn’t even eat… my little sister even looked at me confused… “Over some boy?”

I, of course am able to talk about this now because I am somewhat healed from it and came to realize the bigger picture at work.  I came to realize that the situation caused me to be vulnerable.  Not more vulnerable but simply vulnerable.  I have always played the poker face… smiling and never really showing my scars to anybody.  I was fine with hearing your problems but no need to hear mine… but the broken relationship led me to be more transparent… able to connect with others.  I am not sure how this block within me to not  fully connect with others came from.  Maybe it’s a generation thing… in which you keep it together in front of people and when you are all alone break down in tears and let Jesus hear about it.  I had the poker face thing going on but not the other part…   I never let Jesus know …and certainly didn’t cry about it to Him…I kept it together with my memorized prayers and sign of the cross… but it was the complete opposite of what He wanted.  He wanted me to let it all out… He wanted me to be totally honest with him… and the only way that I could accomplish this was to create a situation that brought me to my knees, in tears, in His presence.

So this whole idea of power was revisited when I witnessed a co-worker, now friend, transform in the three years we worked together.  I remember when I first started working at the school I thought she was the principal.  She had this presence about her.  She walked around with such confidence and joy… and on top of that she was funny, a true comedienne.  She made every interaction lively, which was easy for her because she had this booming voice that did not know how to whisper! On top of that, she treated everyone the same…no matter what position you may have held, she treated you as an equal.  She was simply beautiful.  Yet, I noticed with every year I was there, her light got dimmer and dimmer… all do to a higher authority in the school.  Everyday seemed like a struggle for her.  She resorted to putting on face, starting with a clean slate everyday with the person that only mistreated her.  She always upheld her professionalism and voiced her concern in the most diplomatic way… but had moments in private in which she broke down in tears…She was truly hurting.

This school year, we started taking walks around the neighborhood before school started.  I had always taken walks on my own… my way of setting the tone for the day and she would join me every now and then when she got to school early enough…which seemed to be pretty consistent in the last few months or so.  These walks gave her clarity.  She was able to release all that she was feeling in a very constructive way… exercise.  I mostly listened and didn’t say too much because this was something she had to overcome.  I was there for support, encouraged her to be open to whatever opportunity came her way, but never told her what do because, to be honest, I had no idea what she needed do!  So, in these walks, she had admitted numerous times her spirit was broken, but then she would always say, “Jesus come see about me.” Then she was confused on how to go about her day but then mention the message from Sunday service.  She even admitted she was not happy at the school, but then we would walk to the grocery store so she could buy one her students a birthday treat.  It all seemed a bit contradictory but it was quite evident that there was still something inside of her sustaining her faith.  And in time,  job opportunities started to spring up…I must add without her doing… that led to her attaining a position elsewhere.

In both situations, there seemed to be an oppressing power from someone heavily in our lives.  This “man power” brought us both to tears, took our joy, stripped our strength… seemingly left us defeated… yet, the man power did something unintentionally… it activated HIS power within us.

and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me.  I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Ode to Struggle

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I was in the hot room… sauna with a friend of mine.  A daily ritual of taking a class at the gym, then heading to the sauna to chat with the girls.  One on one, or a small group… topics ranging from light and comical to heavy and serious, which are ususally ended with a dose of clarity and resolution.  I had always avoided this ritual of sharing a piece of me after class but lately.. for awhile now, it has become a platform in so many ways.  I am able to connect with others… the goal to transform my body then leads to a calling to connect.  The gym has become my ministry.  The women that have come along my path range from educators, businesswomen, mothers, wives… This is our time to release everything… the day… our woes…or frustrations…our whatever.  To laugh…to encourage, to soothe.

Recently, I had a conversation in which a gym friend of mine was ready to make a move outside of Texas to the same place I have my sights on.  She admitted to me that she admired my strength, my positivity in making the jump, after witnessing my “stand firm” approach in earlier conversation with someone that only discouraged my move… who, too happened to be a friend of mine.  Yet, the stand firm approach had all to do with my faith and His leading.  This was not the plan I set for me… this was the plan He set out for me… I have been confirmed over and over about it so how could I not stand firm and not allow the naysayers get the best of me.  It has already been done.  Then, the sauna conversation lead to the topic of struggle.  This friend relayed to me that she wanted to make the move but did not want to struggle…hmmmm…

The struggle is real…. and may be good for you.  I will admit I am technically in the struggle right now but I accept and love it…NOW! In the struggle I finding out who I am.  In the struggle I am weeding out those things that don’t belong and don’t promote growth.  In the struggle I am realizing hidden talents and skills… in the struggle I am loving myself more than I did when I had money.  When all was well, not really struggling… I used my time caught up in empty pursuits: shopping, being in the scene… I was not my authentic self.  The nothingness I am experiencing is helping me to remember that something that deep inside me…His plan.

The struggle takes me out of myself and helps me to see others more clearly… the struggle pulls me to help in other ways other than monetarily… the struggle brings me to a real place.

For a long time I hated the struggle… lack of funds, lack of a secure position in a career… I did not understand why things were so “in-between”…”I’m in transition,” is what I usually say when people ask… because I truly am.  The struggle is a transitional period… a process.  In this transition, a transformation is taking place. Perspectives are being changed and destinies are being realized.  Count it all joy (James 1:2)… I get it now.  I remember at the beginning of the struggle… the first year I moved back home, a close friend told me, “Don’t think of it as a struggle but think of it more as preparation.”  At the time I was so caught up in whatever I was caught up in…. I just wanted (and still want) the simple things: my own home, a career, and a family.  Yet, in the struggle I am gaining the knowledge and wisdom to uphold my destined career, to be a good mother/ wife and to manage my very own home.  The struggle is training me…..humbling me…and even bringing me joy.
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.  If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.

James 1:2-5

 

 

 

 

Forgiveness Test

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So, this past week I received confirmation on a dream a had… the sunset dream in which I was walking on water with Jesus and He then tells me, “This is where I leave.”  Well, in my own understanding I was thinking it meant this is my time to reflect, meditate,  which will always be a constant but I have come to realize that I am being tested…tested right before the breakthrough:

“Are you truly ready for what I am about to do?  Let me see,” said Jesus

Now, I was quite aware some tests that have already come along my way.  The temptation test, in which I am presented with something I had let go… will I go back to it? So far, I think I am staying on course.  The old habits, old places, and old activities don’t interest anymore.  Then, the patience test, which is a everyday trial in working with children with special needs… So much better at this…I internalize the desire to throw a calculator at the wall, breath in, then move on.  Also, my anxiety to have everything now: family, career, business has subsided… starting to realize that preparation and His timing is key.  So, I feel like I can handle those tests, but one test that is taking some effort is the one and only… maybe the hardest test of them all….The Forgiveness Test.

So, I had a conversation with my co-worker last week  about the cycle of hurt and the urgency to heal old wounds.   She’s studying psychology and I am always intrigued on what she’s learning.  This particular subject struck a cord with me because just the day before I prayed to God to help me to forgive a friend of mine.  We were really good friends. We had met each other when life seemed like a ball of confusion.  We were both lost but found peace in each other…we found love in a hopeless place (yes, me and Rihanna have that in common.)  I could be all of me… goofy, introspective…the authentic me.  (This was way before me being comfortable in my own skin with everyone.)  This friend made me laugh, and made me not think about my frustrations and worries.  I loved this friend..and still do.  Yet, in time, this friend, out of nowhere, hurt me.  I had never experienced this much hurt from anyone…no one in my own family has hurt me this much as this person did.  Although it has been a year or so since the damage has been done, I still hold onto the hurt.  Yes, I am able to move on and enjoy my life but when I think of this person it goes straight to his actions and how they impacted me.  I have resigned to only connect with this person via social media but to be face to face… I’m not sure if I am able to let go of all that he has put on me.  While talking to God, I asked him to show me what I had done to bring this on me.  I did an analysis of the whole situation, but I found no fault.  I did nothing but love this person… I gave, and gave but he only brought me down.

I had a dream recently that kind of put this issue in perspective.  This person was waiting for me…. and my mom was seated right next to him waiting for me also.  I had always had a decent relationship with my mother but it was strained in some parts throughout my life… and even now.  My teenage years was spent in being ungrateful and treating my mother with disrespect… and now that I am back home there are still moments that I seek rebellion.  I am almost positive God wants me to resolve our relationship and redeem the time that was lost.  She gave, and gave but I only brought her down… wow, am I getting a taste of my own medicine?

My mother is an amazing person.  She has been, and is a constant in my life.  She offers me support, encouragement and unconditional love,  even when my actions can cause her pain….I am sorry mom.

Make Amends.

Forgive.

In this time of waiting HE has made me aware of my hidden talents but also aware of hidden hurt… hurt that I have put on others and those that have hurt me.  Thank God I have never done or no one has ever done anything that has lead to a physical death, but to harbor unforgiveness and a desire not to resolve relationships can lead to my very spiritual death.  No matter how I try to cover it up with smiles and good deeds.  I know I am being asked…NO, I am being DEMANDED to forgive and make amends.

 

‘Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt.   So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.

Matthew 18:33-35