I Knew The Day Would Come…

Hello everyone! I missed you all. I know I haven’t written in a while and that’s a long story that I will share in an upcoming blog post. So much has changed since the last time I’ve written to you. We certainly weren’t dealing with Covid-19 nor the social unjust issues that have erupted in our country. Overall, I hope you are well and had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Back in August, I spent some time in my hometown of Philadelphia. My two youngest sons went with me, but my oldest son David (22) stayed behind. I wasn’t necessarily worried about leaving him as he’s an adult, but what I’ve come to learn about having adult children is that they’re still your babies. So… while I was in Philly I talked to him to make sure he was okay. He was fine except he realized I wouldn’t be there to cook…  🙂

It has been three months since I returned from Philadelphia, and two weeks ago my son told me what happened while I was gone. I could tell he was hesitant, but he told me anyway. 

The area we live in is beautiful and for the most part safe. We enjoy the quiet and taking walks in the neighborhood. My son LOVES walking and does it often. For most people in the area, walking is a strange activity because most people drive. On several occasions, I have taken walks by myself and with my husband and each walk has been accompanied by strange stares or the question why are you walking?

A few months back, my son decided to take a walk to our local Dollar Tree, something that he does often. When he arrived he realized he left too early and the store wasn’t open yet. He decided to find somewhere to sit and wait until they opened. Before completing his sentence, I looked at him and gave a long stare because I knew where the conversation was going. He said “I just didn’t think about it mom.” I knew he knew I may be upset by what he was going to say…then he said I decided to sit over where the bank is…my eyes widened.
He looked at my face and said “Mom, I know.” 

He walked over to the bank and sat down on the curb and was on his phone. Within five minutes two police officers approached him. He told me he wasn’t scared, but he immediately knew why they were approaching; because although he was just sitting there, he is a young black male sitting in front of a bank with a hoodie on. And whether you agree or not, that’s a bad move if you’re a young black male. He said they approached and asked why he was there, he explained why, and then they asked for ID. He produced his ID, one of the officers took it and stood with him. The other officer called on his radio to check his ID. A little while after, they gave him his ID back. He told them he would go someplace else to wait for the store to open – they told him he didn’t have to then got in their car and drove away. My son told me as they pulled off he walked away.
I’m glad he did because he said another cop car drove by.

People, prayer works! While I was gone, the Holy Spirit told me to pray for my son. To specifically pray for his wisdom. God protected him. But it doesn’t change the fact that it scared me and made me sad. 

Interestingly…about a month ago, my husband and I drove past that same bank and saw a young Caucasian male sitting in front of the doors with a blanket and his phone charging. We thought it looked strange, but just kept driving. There was not one cop car in sight!

I’ve been pretty quiet about everything that’s been happening in our world, because to be honest, I was afraid of what might come out once I started writing. My anger, fear, frustration, and sadness. 

As much as I’ve prayed and trusted God with the safety of my children, I knew in my heart this would happen. And what’s worse is that it will eventually happen to my two youngest sons, who are twelve and ten. Sadly, my husband and I are preparing them for it. 

A week ago, my twelve year old, who plays basketball, wanted to take a walk with his older brother. As my son was preparing to leave, he noticed his cell phone was dead, which meant I wouldn’t be able to reach him if something went wrong. Can I tell you how fearful I was? I just shrugged it off and they left. David (oldest son) came back five minutes later and said, “Daniel wants to run instead of walk.” I said, take my phone and my son Daniel (12) said, “we don’t want people or the cops to see us and think we’re running away from something.” 😦 

And this is where we are as a country that’s supposedly based on Christian values?? Why are we lying to ourselves? 

The Bible tells us in John 13:34 as believers to love one another, yet some of us place stipulations on that scripture. No where in the Word of God, does it tell us to love only those who are like us.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.|

For those of you who are Black, pray, for those of you who are White, pray. The bottom line is we need to pray and have understanding of each other. We need to talk and be honest about our fears, hang ups, and stereotypes. We need to allow God to show us the dark places in our hearts so we can be honest with ourselves so change and healing can begin. It CANNOT happen without God and without acknowledging the wickedness in us.

Sure there will always be people who chose to be ignorant and remain that way. But each of us has a responsibility to change and continue to pray for those who chose not to. 

Blessing to you.

Ephesians 5:-1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Darlene
Healed to Speak

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone! How are you on this Thanksgiving afternoon? 😊 I hope you are feeling blessed. I live in Georgia and the weather is beautiful today. The temperature will be about 60 and that is my husband’s favorite kind of weather. Later today, he will be outside on our deck grilling duck! Not my cup of tea, but it makes him happy.

I have been up since 6 am preparing for the day. A day of chopping, cooking, and cleaning; but most of all, giving thanks. As I cook, I am thankful for simply having food on my table with enough to feed my family and plenty of leftovers. Growing up, my Thanksgivings did not feel this way. The Thanksgivings I remember were filled with nervousness and anxiety because everything had to be perfect. Food cooked perfectly, the right outfit, and I had to be sure I said the right things.

Ephesians 5:20 – “Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (NIV).

I am thankful that as I cook for my family, each of my children enjoys lending a hand in the kitchen. The oldest keeps it clean as I move from dish to dish. My little ones don’t ask for much because they understand the magnitude of what’s happening in the kitchen and that alone is helpful. Besides, they know the mac and cheese is coming…

I am thankful that my Thanksgiving is easy going. My children don’t have to worry about being dressed “properly” and doing and saying the right things. I am thankful that my home is full of God’s peace and joy.

My prayer as each of us prepares for Thanksgiving, is that we focus on what matters. It’s not the perfect turkey, the perfect meal or the perfect outfit. What matters is that you are here another year with the ability to give thanks to our God.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for…

Hello all, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are preparing for Thanksgiving! Like many people, I enjoy this time of year. I enjoy it most because I can spend uninterrupted time with my family as well as reflect on God’s goodness.

This year, I am thankful for many things. One of the things I am most thankful for is YOU! I am thankful that you take time to read, like, and comment on my posts. I am thankful for the opportunity to express myself. I am grateful I have met bloggers all over the world as a result of stepping out on faith and starting my blog. I am thankful to have other bloggers who have the same goal; to share the love of Christ.

I want to take the time to say THANK YOU! Your support means more than you will ever know. You never know who you are impacting by doing the small things. For me, the small thing is reading my posts.

Thank you!

No matter where you find yourself in life’s journey, my prayer for you during this season is that you give thanks. Give thanks for the great things and the small. Give thanks that God has not given up on you. Give thanks that he loves you with an everlasting love. Give thanks our Lord is coming back for his church real soon. Finally, give thanks that he has given all of us an opportunity to share our faith about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Once again…THANK YOU. Enjoy your Thanksgiving

 

 

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

What’s the Secret…

To Forgiveness?

I have written on this subject before, but I believe as Christians it is a subject we need to discuss more often.

When I think back on all the pain I endured as a child, it is still horrifying. I am grateful to God that I have been healed. However, every now and then when I think about it, I am saddened by the childhood I lost. And I am saddened because it was lost by the hands of my mother; the person who was supposed to love me more than any person, the person who carried and birthed me, the one person you can never replace. She hurt me time and time again.

I can recall so clearly, the night my mother made me sleep outside. My mother, brother, and I were playing around. As she tickled me, she thought she heard me say she was nothing. She asked me to repeat what I said, and I said “nothing.” She said, “What did you say?” I said, “nothing.” She said, “So you’re calling me nothing?” I said, “No.” In a moment, things went from happy to sad to terrifying.

She told me to get out! I was bewildered because I did not understand what just happened. It was cold that night. I remember crying and asking God…why but, no answer. Sometime later, she came outside and said, “You can come in, but you have to sleep on the floor.” I was terrified to come in but grateful to get out of the cold. I reluctantly went upstairs and laid on the floor next to my brother’s bed. He held my hand that night. I thank God he held my hand. I don’t remember going to sleep, but I am sure I did.

Over 20 years later, my mother and I were speaking on the phone and she poured out her heart to me in repentance. As she spoke, I heard the deep ocean of her heart. Before she could finish her sentence, I stopped her and said, “Mom, I forgave you a long time ago.” There was silence.

When my mother passed away, my heart was so full. Sure, I was disappointed that I never had a chance to have the relationship I desired to have with her, but my heart was free because before she closed her eyes in death, I had already forgiven her; and she knew it.

The day she died, I stood next to her hospital bed and whispered in her ear, “I love you, I don’t hold anything against you.” I had forgiven her years before, but I felt the need to say it again. One hour after I left the hospital, I received the call from the doctors. My heart broke, and I cried, but deep down I had peace. And I still do.

So…what’s my secret to forgiveness? Just do it! Forgive. I know it seems easier said than done, but forgiveness is a decision. It’s for you, not for the other person. Ask yourself, have you gained anything by holding unforgiveness in your heart? Has your life improved? Do you feel better? I doubt it! As a child, I could not understand why certain things happened to me. But as a saved adult, I chose to simply forgive; to love her and let it go.

I know you are hurt, and I understand. Perhaps we don’t share the same reasons why, but pain is pain. And remember Jesus, died to deliver you from that pain. He desires that you be healed and free.

Be honest with God; tell him it’s hard to forgive but forgive anyway. Mark 11:25 says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Unforgiveness causes distress of the soul, and that is not God’s will for our lives. Psalm, 118:5 says, “Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.” Call on him, so he can set you free.

 

 

Photo credit by Alice NG on Unsplash

Let’s be Balanced!

Hello there. How are you? I pray all is well and you are excited about your week!

Who isn’t busy these days? I am, and I’m sure you are too. Lately, I have been pondering on the word balance. What is balance? Is it something we can actually attain?

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the word balance is defined as a physical equilibrium or the ability to retain one’s balance.

I believe most of us want balance. We already know the effects of being unbalanced. But knowing this doesn’t prevent us from falling into the abyss of it. Therefore, how do we achieve balance? How do we juggle our relationship with God, husbands, children, businesses, ministry, blogs, friendships, and our own personal lives?

To achieve balance, we must take the necessary steps. That means including God in all our plans. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” I believe many of us live unbalanced lives because we have taken on certain roles God never intended for us to take on. Ask yourself, “What can I remove from my life?” “What is taking up unnecessary space?” Once you take stock of what is it, remove it. If you cannot remove it immediately, do it over time.

Next, prioritize. Understand what is most important and stick to it. It doesn’t mean certain things won’t pop up, because that’s life, but learning to prioritize keeps balance and organization. For example, keeping balance in your family life is paramount especially if you have younger children. Those toddler and teenage years go by fast and you should enjoy every moment of it. You want to be there as much as you can because there will be a time your children don’t want you to be around. You don’t want to look back and realize you were more engaged with work, and other activities then the relationship with your children.

Turn it off! Social media, in many regards, is wonderful but if we are not careful, we can allow it to infiltrate our entire lives. We live in a world when everyone and everything is pulling at us in one way or another. One simple thing to do is cut it off completely, but if you cannot rip off the band-aid, work at having a time limit.

Balancing our lives MUST start and end with God. Luke 12:34, says “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This simply means where you place your thoughts, time, and energy is where your focus will be. If your treasure is wrapped in work, that is where your focus will be. If it’s achieving financial success, your heart will be there too. And the wrong focus leads to an unbalance life.

I encourage you to take a hard look at your life. Be honest and acknowledge if there is unbalance in your life. Pray, repent and ask God to help you put him in the center of all you do as God is the architect of balance.

Blessings.