I am not those things you called to say
None of those words are my name
Yet here I am hiding in shame
Why?
Why have I allowed your lies to label me?
To hide behind a mask that doesn’t belong to me?
A guilt that was never assigned to me?
All because you felt the need
The need to replace your pain with misplaced guilt
So no one will demolish the wall you’ve built
But it’s okay to wreck mine
Even though I just rebuild for the seventh time
Why?
Why did you choose to use those words?
Did it not occur to you that they might hurt?
That they may be that last chip
That last chip that forces me to flip
Or sink and drown
Are you proud?
I am not those things you called to say
None of those words are my name
It is not my guilt nor my shame
But if you let me, I can help you heal your pain

You should’ve been here
We should’ve been together
But now she’s gone
And she’s gone forever
How can you live with yourself?
How can you go on knowing you chose someone else?
You aren’t a delight, you are a disgrace

The tears start streaming down her face
She wants to scream, she wants to shout
Instead she continues to hear them out
Each word contributing to her guilt
Slowly wrecking the wall she had just built
Her fortress, her protection
Fallen to natural selection

No, this is not okay
No, it shouldn’t be this way
If only they could understand
Their words are much like quicksand
She is sinking deeper and deeper
All from the guilt they have given her

I thought about killing myself yesterday
I thought about leaving it all behind
I thought about walking away
I thought about how much better the world would be
How much better it would be without me
I thought about grabbing a knife
I thought about slitting my wrist
I thought about pulling the trigger
Maybe then it will be over quick
These thoughts come and they come quick
So fast in fact, I never expect it
It’s debilitating
Sometimes I can’t breath
Sometimes I’m screaming but no sounds come out of me
Where will I go?
What will I do?

Get a grip! They can’t see this side of you.”

 

 

break the S I L E N C E 

You know that thing called family

Yeah that word doesn’t mean much to me

And I’ll tell you why

They love my kids differently

I’m not a lion but hear me roar

Because there’s nothing that frustrates me more

Than seeing favoritism right in my face

To see the ones that I birthed less embraced

To protect them

There’s nothing I wouldn’t do

Even cut off those they have blood ties too

You know that thing called family

Yeah that word doesn’t mean much to me

And if my words offend you

Then you’re guilty

Some of us struggle in silence
Afraid to allow the world to see
All the broken pieces we hide underneath
Underneath our laughter and our smile
While deep down, we’re wailing like a child
Kicking and screaming, making a scene
Yet we don’t say a word because the world is so mean
They call us too sensitive
They say we’re too weak
These are the reasons we choose not to speak
To not say a word, to let it all fester
Instead of fighting we choose to surrender
Some of us struggle in silence
Afraid to allow the world to see
All the broken pieces we hide underneath
We keep them hidden
We keep them out of sight
So don’t always trust us when we say we’re alright

Did you know she smiled through the worst times of her life
Did you know people left her, left her all alone
Did you know that she wasn’t safe, even in her own home
Did you know that she was bullied
Did you know they took her stuff and threw it in the trash
Did you know they spilled cold milk all over her head
Did you know they tried to jump her, seven girls to one
Did you know one girl even filled her hair with gum
Did you know someone pushed her up against the wall
Did you know that same someone spat at her in the hall
Did you know that she reached out, asked someone for help
Did you know that person told her to help herself
Did you know she didn’t want others to hurt so she reached out to them
Did you know that after she comforted you, she went home to be sexually abused
Did you know she tried to kill herself
Did you know she tried three times
Swallowing pins, drinking Clorox, cutting with a knife
Did you know that she struggles, even to this day
Did you know

Have you ever experienced an abrupt change? A sudden shift? I have.
A sudden shift can be scary. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the shift is negative.
Maybe, just maybe, it means that a new adventure awaits.
After all, life is all about adventures, right?

I cannot count the number of times I made a plan and when I say made a plan I mean I had every single detail down. Yet somehow it still seemed to spiral out of control, slipping further away with each second that passed.
It was no longer what I intended.
Instead, there was a scary, sudden shift. An abrupt change.

Maybe life hasn’t been the adventure you anticipated and maybe you’re not where you intended to go BUT maybe, just maybe, you have ended up exactly where you were intended to be.

Maybe, just maybe, that sudden shift didn’t really spiral out of control but rather set in motion something greater.

Maybe, just maybe, that abrupt change was the adventure after all.

That’s how I’ve chosen to see those abrupt changes.

Tap, tap, tap
The sound of my anxiety
My hand against the table
‘Cause life is overwhelming me
Tap, tap, tap
The beat goes on
As agony grows strong
Tap, tap, tap
You wouldn’t even know
‘Cause the second it’s over
I jump back into the show
Tap, tap, tap
Let you see a side of me
I’ve been hiding from society
Tap, tap, tap
But if I don’t speak
Someone will take that leap
That jump, that dive, that only way out
So ima keep speaking
I won’t shut my mouth
Tap, tap, tap
The episode is almost over
Hope my honesty has brought some closure

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. So heavy in fact it was hard to get out of bed. I just wanted to curl up under the covers, close my eyes and lay there until all the heaviness went away. But that’s not how things work, is it?
Action is the process of doing something – typically to achieve an aim.
Laying there? Not really much movement. Not really an action.
Getting up?
Making my bed?
Praying and meditating?
Sipping on some Café Bustelo?
Snuggling with my sleeping sons?
That’s a start.
I just can’t stop.
Not for the sake of being busy but to see that there is so much happiness in the small things that there shouldn’t be any room for heaviness in my heart before the day even starts. I believe joy comes in the morning and because I believe, the enemy loves to dangle depression over me. Is he trying to force me to question my faith? Of course. But I will not falter. I will not allow myself to drown in depression ever again.
So, I keep moving.
I keep looking for the light.
And if I don’t find it, I create it.
I act on it.

Why?
I came to the realization that it’s all about action. But even better than that, I made the conscious decision to L I V E that realization. To live each and every day with intention, to live each and every day searching for the things I have to be thankful for and if I’m honest, it’s really not that hard. No, not every day is perfect. But every day I am making progress. I am constantly choosing action. And because of that, I am growing; spiritually, mentally, emotionally.

Each and every day I consciously choose J O Y

What are you choosing?

Last Saturday I hosted my very first Reflection Connection Sisterhood gathering and it was sensational!

First and foremost I’d like to thank the lovely ladies who came and celebrated sisterhood with me. Without each of you, this event could not have been possible.

32349518_2016854328563044_373811198707105792_oReflection Connection is about inspiring women to shift the way we speak to ourselves and forming friendships with other women who will remind us how incredibly remarkable we are. It’s about gathering women of all ages and races and circumstances, examining ourselves, finding commonalities and creating bridges to restoration.

This was our message for Reflection Connection 2018…a282cfa919620b121dacdb00fa8f98fdProverbs 15:4 tells us that a “soothing tongue is a tree of life.”

Trees of life symbolize many things; a fresh start, positivity, growth, and strength. The Bible compares our spiritual journey to trees several times. For example, in Proverbs 13 it says, “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles but [SHE] who gathers gradually by honest labor will increase [HER] riches. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Let’s read that last part again…
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Deferred – to put off – to wait – to postpone
What does God desire for YOUR life and are YOU honoring His expectations or are you putting them off?

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Let’s bring it back to elementary school for a moment and talk about the parts of a tree.
One of the first things we notice when we see a tree is its beautiful crown; the crown of a tree is made up of leaves and branches. The leaves are the part of the tree that converts energy into food – some kind of tree sugar – this sugar is stored in the branches. The branches provide the support the tree needs to distribute the leaves evenly and efficiently (based on the environment that particular tree is in). The trunk of the tree is the base, it provides the shape and holds up the crown. Last but certainly not least are the roots. The roots are only part of the tree that grows underground. Trees have tons of roots and the size of their roots are usually as big or even bigger than the tree itself. The roots are the strongest part of the tree. The roots are the support system.

During Autumn the leaves start to fall off and by winter the trees are essentially naked, bare, exposed, with nothing to cover them, nothing to keep them warm during the winter. But it is during that time, during that season that the roots of the tree dig deeper into the earth. They grow in search of the nutrients they need to survive.
We are like trees. The seasons we find ourselves naked, bare, exposed, lacking protection from the cold, the bitterness of the world, the schemes of the enemy – that is when our faith should increase, that is when we should relentlessly search for the nutrients we need to survive, to dig deeper, to grow closer with God and when Spring comes again, our growth will be evident, our crowns bigger and brighter than they were before. With each season we grow – sometimes that growth is hidden, sometimes that growth is slower than the others around us but just like trees, that growth cannot be forced to happen before it’s time.

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The good news is, we know that beautiful crown is coming.
In Revelation 22 it says, “The angel showed me a river of water, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing [not one but] twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations.” We are trees of life, called and created to bear fruit, to use our leaves (our gifts, our hurts, our joys, etc) to help heal others. BUT FIRST, we have to heal ourselves. We need to train our minds, we need to stand in the mirror and say, “This woman looking back at me is all I need because God is in me and because God is in me I am wonderful, I can capable, I am powerful. I can and I will” and adjust our crown as we say it.

We already know that beautiful crown is coming but we can’t have a crown without roots. We all want the bright, beautiful leaves but we gotta get deeper into the dirt first.

Which brings us back to our focus scripture, “a soothing tongue is a tree of life.”
Our words are powerful – our words kill or give life – they can be poisonous or prosperous – the choice is ours.

What words are you choosing?

What words have you chosen? What do your words reflect? How do you speak to others? How do you speak to yourself? If I’m being honest, I have spoken very unkindly to myself, even just this morning. I won’t hesitate to say harsh things to myself and yet I wouldn’t dare to say them to others. We as women have a tendency to self-sabotage. But why? Where do these toxic words and thoughts stem from?

Take a few moments to reflect
What words have others called you? What words have shifted how you see yourself? What words sting a little more than others? What words come with a negative connotation? What words have marked your life?

Now take a few moments to connect
Who else is affected by that exact or similar word? Why does it affect them? What’s their story? Can your commonalities provide the coverage they need? Can you help each other heal?

Watching these lovely ladies, who were essentially strangers to each other prior to this event, openly share some of their stories while simultaneously encouraging each other was exceptional. There is so much strength to be found in sisterhood. I believe that now more than ever.

See you at Reflection Connection 2019 

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When the roots are deep,
there is no reason to fear the storm. 

 

Subscribe and stay tuned for a Reflection Connection worksheet later this month

 

* I do not own the rights to the tree coloring sheet *