Blog

Be About It!

download

It’s weird to me that I seem to make connections via songs, books, and TV.   This post is no different. I was studying day 10 of  “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge” by Mark Batterson. Day 10 is “Crazy Faith.”  That is my way of life and has been since October 2005. Asking God for something crazy and beyond my means; believing Him for it; and then it coming to fruition.  He leaves me in awe once He delivers.   I remember that date because I recorded that in my journal and I remember exactly where I was when I prayed, “Lord, I need you to do something radical in my life.  I need some crazy faith.”  I was driving down Albemarle Road in Charlotte and I was passing the State Employee Credit Union.  Don’t ask me how or why I remember those specifics….I just do.  I knew what I was asking and what He would do.  When you ask God for something, sometimes you see instant results; sometimes you don’t.  It was around that same time I asked God for the “Yellow Rose Promise,” which He delivered months later, like the birth of a baby. He planted the “seed” and I watched it grow.  Be about it.

So, with that being said, I wasn’t just sitting there doing nothing when I asked God for something.  Asking may have been activating my faith, but it wasn’t until I started doing that it was truly activated.  If it was a job I was seeking, I sent out resumes.  If it was something as simple as needing a new outfit and not wanting to pay a lot, I scoured the racks for a bargain and found one.  If I sensed God relocating me, I opened myself up to where He wanted to send me by taking a chance and exploring those places via research.  I ended up in Austin for 11 years and now He’s moved me to Tallahassee.  I don’t know how long I will be here, but it will be as long as He wants me.  Be about it.

Don’t just ask.  DO!  Do your part! Do the work!  We want everything done for us, but will not and do not do anything to help ourselves.  We must activate the very faith we’re asking for.  The Word says that, “Faith without works is dead.”(James 2:14-26).  I get so sick of people telling me what they want, but they do nothing to move in that direction.  God is not going to do all the work for you!  Get off your lazy behind and do something about YOUR life; YOUR dreams; YOUR desires; YOUR hopes!  You must be faithful over a few things before you can be ruler over many things.  (Matthew 25:21-23).  Once upon a time I asked God, “How much of my destiny is up to me?”  He said, “All of it!  Sure I have it mapped out, but you decide the path based on free-will.”  Riiiiiiiight.  So it is for you, as it is for me.  Be about it.

For some people, the concept of faith is very foreign.  How do you get?  How does it grow?  How do you believe in something you don’t even have yet or can not see?  All I can tell you is what I know and what works for me.  Firstly, I spend time with God and in His word.  I prefer to do it early in the morning before my day gets going.  I don’t always succeed, but I strive for that time of day.  Try to make it a point to get up early in the morning.  I have found that is when God speaks, revealing bits and pieces of His plan for me, and when I hear Him the best.  You will not mistake that the voice you heard for some other voice.  So for you folks who like to talk non-stop, this means you will need to be quiet.  In case you don’t understand, it means “SHUT. UP!”  Sometimes, you just need to listen.  Secondly, faith requires a little bit of crazy.  I’ve got plenty for everyone, but only your crazy will work for you!  That crazy is what propels me to seek the impossible; things I can’t possibly do myself.  I figure I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So I put it out there before God.  My methods are a little unorthodox with God, but they work for us.  I’ve always been sassy and I’m the same way with God.  That’s one thing I love about Him…He lets me be a daughter…a little girl who seeks her Father in all things and is not afraid to ask for anything.  In any event, the  last thing I encourage you to do is to go about your daily life, BUT as though you have already received what you’ve asked God for.  Before I relocated, I sensed that was the direction God was moving, and I began packing, with certainty, that He would move me and move me to the destination of His choice.  Be about it.

Be about it.  Don’t just talk about it; do something!  I don’t like to date guys who talk a lot!  I mean, conversation is good, but if all you’re talking about is you and never listening, we have a problem.  It’s not just the guys I’ve dated, it’s the people in my circle, too.  One of my dear friends and I were having a discussion about faith and she said (paraphrased), “This comes very easy for you.  You don’t realize that.  Not everyone hears the voice of God so clearly and just does what He directs them to with such obedience and ease. You don’t hesitate.  You don’t stumble.  You just do.”  That silenced me.  Mainly because I had never thought about it and assumed everyone did the same thing.  She assured me that is not the case.  Regardless, try Him.  All you need is faith the size of a mustard seed.  God will work with that tiniest portion of faith, and then He will exceed your expectations above all that you asked or imagined.  He will blow your mind.  Just be about it.

 

My Abraham Journey to the Sunshine State

It’s been quiSunshine Statete some time since I’ve written, but that is in part due to the fact that I have been in transition.  God has been busy moving me and I was making preparation from packing and selling my house to job hunting.  Needless to say God has worked all things for my good, even when I could not see it, I still believed Him.

How often have you walked blindly into a situation when God told you to “Go”?  I’ve done it a few times and it was no easy task.  I certainly had questions and even challenged Him on a few things.  I now reside in a city which I had never even visited until I arrived on Monday, July 31, 2017:  Tallahassee, FL.  I knew this was the city God had chosen for me, just like I knew Austin was the city He had chosen for me.   He even created a job opportunity, as well as an opportunity to buy new home.  I know, I hear you thinking it. “How are you moving to a new city and house, sight unseen?  Are you crazy?”  Sometimes, you just have to trust God and that’s what I did and stayed determine to do so, despite the naysayers.  My journey was my journey.  I couldn’t be “cautious” because you were afraid.  I didn’t have a choice and I knew God was sending me back east.  I had already declared that if I had no job offer by Monday, July 31st, I would start driving back east.  My plan was to camp out at the home of dear friends in Columbia, SC.  I knew God would be moving me somewhere on the east coast.  I just didn’t know where.  Once I listed my house (May 24th), and as I would walk through my house, God would give me directives about items in the house.  “You’re not taking this.”  “You’re not taking that.”  “Sell this!”  “Sell that!”  “Give this away!”  “Give that away!”  “Daughter, I’ve already restored you many times over.  Don’t you think I will do it again?”  And He did!   I was not attached to any of that stuff.  I trusted Him.  While the house was listed, I would pray daily, “Lord, send the right buyer to this home; someone who will sense your presence when they walk in; someone that YOU will speak to about this house.  Father, I only need one.”  And ONE is what I got.  I got one cash offer on June 18th.  We closed on July 17th.

So here I am at a private school in Tallahassee.  I wish I could tell you it’s been a super easy transition.  In the sense of finding the job and buying a house, absolutely!  I started my job on August 1st, signed loan papers, and put an offer in on a house I had been eyeballing on the internet.  Everything was so smooth.  What has not easy is missing my friends and church family back in Austin.  Heck, I miss my church family more.  What’s weird is that I didn’t even want to join that church but when I did, they became my “blood.”  I know God will plant me in another church.  He’s already orchestrating it even now as I type this.  I’m here for a reason and only He knows what that is.  Walking in the will of God is the safest place to be, and it’s perfect in His mind.  To us, maybe not so much, but still the best place to be.

I Ain’t Worried ‘Bout Nothin’!

original_bob-marley-quote-vinyl-wall-stickerIn his song, rap artist French Montana said it best, “I ain’t worried ’bout nothin’!”  That’s exactly where I am and that’s my new catchphrase.   I have recently decided to take yet another “plunge” of faith.  I don’t expect anyone to understand, nor do I really care if you do.  My only concern is to be obedient to what God tells me to do.  When they ask me, “What are you going to do?”  My response is always, “I don’t have a clue!  I ain’t worried ’bout nothin’!”  I truly feel that!  When God tells you to do something, no one can tell you what you heard or didn’t hear or how to proceed.  Nothing ticks me off more or faster than someone to question my ability to hear God!  Your wisdom ain’t my wisdom and it’s certainly not greater than mine.  When God is ordering our steps, how can we be cautious.  We either trust Him or we don’t.  I’m choosing not to live that way.

My God is infinite and that means His resources are, too!  Why would I limit the move of God in my life?  The reality is people do it all the time.  I don’t think they mean to, but because of the negative people they surround themselves with, that “feed” starts to take root in them and becomes louder than anything God is telling us.  That voice becomes the voice of fear and they let it rule them.  For me, fear doesn’t deter me; it just propels me to do it even if I’m afraid. I do not have to have all the answers.  Sometimes we just have to step out of the place of comfort and complacency.  God does not desire for us to live that way.  How boring it is to live a life of unexpectancy, especially when you’re not expecting anything from God  I always look for Him to do something…anything…no matter the depth of it.

So, you’re wondering what plunge I took.  I resigned from my job at Round Rock ISD and I’ve put my house on the market.  Yep…I did that thing!  Ever since last year I’ve had this knowing that God is shifting things in my life.  I ignored it at first because I was like, “Lord, I’m happy here!  Why would I want to leave? Besides I only purchased my house a few years ago.”  Well, if you didn’t know, you know now.  God doesn’t care about the plans you’re making especially when His are greater than anything we can imagine.  All last summer this knowing continue to persist.  Around July/August (2016), I was visiting some friends (The Laurels) and I told Melissa that I what I was sensing.  She suggested I watch “Eat, Pray, Love,” starring Julie Roberts.  She loaned me her copy of the movie and the whole time, I wept.  I could sense God speaking to me.  I remember thinking the character she portrayed was so brave to have left everything and live in countries in which she didn’t even know the language.  I was content and thought I had a pretty sweet deal with my job and my home.  For 11 years, I have known that I was living in the will of God AND where He wanted me to be, but to no avail.  He would not have it.  In August I knew without doubt that 2016-2017 would be my last school year of high school.  In fact, in my journal on August 23, 2016, I made the entry, “Today is my last first day of high school.”  I continued to write that throughout the semester.  In October (2016), I sensed God telling me that I need to start minimizing stuff; that I had too much and could stand do away with some things.  I was like, “Okaaaaay!” BUT I did not act.  Then in December (2016), the Lord began to speak to me again.  This time about decluttering.  I didn’t think I had that much stuff, but obviously, to Him, I did!  At someone’s suggestion, I read a book titled, ” The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” by Marie Kondo.  It made so much sense.  I began tackling, not rooms, but categories.  Books.  Now those who know me know I’m not just a librarian, but that I love me some books!  It’s just something so comforting about them.  I had to decide which could go and which could stay.  I eliminated the paperbacks, first.  Then the ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) that I picked up at conferences.  Then I assessed those that I had only read once and asked myself, “Are you REALLY going to read that again?”  The answer was a solid, resounding NO.  Even if I want to re-read a title, I can get it in digital format.  I ended up removing over 250 books from my personal library.  Next came media (DVDs and CDs).  Hundreds of them. When was the last time I listened to a CD since I have the luxury of SIRIUS XM and Pandora?  With streaming media, when was the last time I watched a DVD.  I kept what I deemed my absolute favs (All things Jane Austen, of course and my corny Twilight Sagas).  That left me with about 25 DVDs and 15 CDs.  Then I turned my attention to the closets, cabinets, garage, etc.  That forced me to deal with one “issue” at a time, until it was complete.  This declutter process overflowed to my office at work.  Before I knew it, I had cleaned out files there, too.

After that was done, I began sensing God telling me to apply for jobs.  January 2017 I began seeking out new opportunities with certainty I will not be returning to a school.  As much as I have loved being a school librarian, I was done with teenage disrespect.  At first, I wasnt’ even open to a relo, but who am I to limit what God wants to do in my life.  I began applying in the southeastern United States.  Where I will not say yet, but I desired to be closer to my mother and I have thoroughly enjoyed the perks of being in a state income tax-free state! Resumes out and let me tell you, I’ve never been so sick of writing and rewriting cover letters.  I’ve applied for more jobs than I ever have before!  I’m still trusting God! I’ve had a few interviews and heard back from a few places, but I’m not giving up on the direction of God.

Back in April 2017, the Lord began speaking to me about selling my house.  I was planning to do that anyway, BUT once I had a job.  God was like, “Nope…you need to start this process now.  You don’t know how fast I’m going to move!”  After using three different people to speak to me about it, I was like, “Okaaaaay!  I hear you!”  So I called my realtor to see how soon we could list it.  People, on May 24th my house when on the market.  It’s getting a lot of activity, but not an offer yet.  I find myself praying for the new owner of my home.  The Lord has allowed me to love and care for this home.  I believe that God will place the right family in my home.

So, what is the next step?  I can’t tell you specifically.  I am still trusting Him and know this is part of His plan.  My plan is to stay tuned in to WGOD, listen to His directions and get there with as few distractions as possible.  That means, that I can’t worry about the “how.”  I just have to “do.”  For me that means, God’s got this, and “I ain’t worried ’bout nothin’!”  I can’t wait to share with you where I end up on this amazing Abraham journey, Part 2! Stay tuned!

 

Living with Serpents!

Matthew 3:4 – talks about how John the Baptist lived. One commentary response was, “Do you practice what you preach?  Could people discover what you believe by observing the way you live?”  We live in a pit of snakes/serpents/vipers everyday.  Call them what you will.  When I think about the characteristics of snakes, I associate them being sneaky, crafty, cunning, and poisonous creatures.   Take into consideration some of those crafty snakes from the Bible and movies.  Satan in the form of a serpent visiting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Moses’ staff turned into a serpent, although the purpose was to devour Pharoah’s staff turned snakes.  Kaa, the Indian Python in Jungle Book.  Nag and Nagaina, the king cobras in Rikki Tikki Tavi.  Nagini, Voldemort’s giant hybrid python in Harry Potter.   I even had my own snakes last October, which led me to hire a lawn service to mow my grass.  I went as far a beheading one, which appeared to be a rattlesnake to me.  Then again, I deem ALL snakes poisonous because I’m so terrified of those that crawl on their bellies. While my snakes were only about 13 inches, there were terrifying nonetheless.

I wished the first one away. I was mowing the grass along the sidewalk and I guess I disturbed his rest.  He came slithering out of the grass.  I ran to the garage, grabbed a shovel, but when I got back, he must have burrowed himself deeper into the grass.  My nerves were so shot that I couldn’teven finish mowing the grass.  After taking a 4-hour break and came back to finish, that joker slithers out again.  Only this time, he decides to go across the street into the neighbor’s yard.  Good riddens!

If that wasn’t enough, on a Tuesday night like I always do before I lock up for the night, I looked out the back door to make sure everything was kosher.  How come, I see this baby rattle snack (pictured with this post) on my back porch!  Y’all, if someone had recorded me acting a fool, I could have one a cash prize.  Looking back it was kind of ridiculous, but I was terrified and all I knew I had to do was kill him!  I ran the garage, grabbed the shovel and being too afraid to step out onto the back porch, I cautiously opened the door, to make sure there wasn’t a family of them.  All I had ever been told was to cut off the head to stop the snake.  Being afraid to venture onto the porch, I stood in the doorway, extended the shovel in hand, butt pushed back inside, raised shovel and came down in one fallen swoop decapitating that snake…while my eyes were closed!  OMG!  I opened them once I heard the shovel scrape against the concrete.  His little head was spinning through the air and I proceed to go “Rambo” on him, cutting him into more pieces.  Y’all don’t even know!  Then I had to get that joker up, but not that night.  I took two Benadryl and took my behind to bed.  The next morning I got up and hoped some critter had come along and eaten him, but to no avail.  The only thing out there was a bunch of darn ants gathering to eat his behind! That left me no choice but to rake him into a box and chunk him in the trash.  Thank God it was trash day.

The lawn service was already schedule to come on that Wednesday evening.  Do you know they had the audacity to kill another snake on the side of the house?  WTH?  Did I have an investation?  Was there a nest somewhere in my yard?  I wasn’t trying to find out.  I went and bought some Snake-Away from Home Depot and along with moth balls, put that out in my yard!  Needless to say, I have since sold my Honda lawn mower.  I have no intentions of EVER mowing grass again!

All this to say, yes, I am terrified of snakes!  In fact, I’m scared of any reptilian-like creatures, i.e., frogs, lizards, salamanders, gekos, etc.  So I had to decide how to face the snakes in my life because they will come.  I decided to do what the Lord promised me in His Word.  When the serpent deceived Eve, God spoke and said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” ( Genesis 3:15).  God was speaking of Jesus.  As I was bringing that shovel down on the snakes head, that is exactly what I thought, “Jesus is going to crush your filthy head and so am I!”

Now this was an actual snake, but we do encounter people who have snake-like characteristics.  In the same way with an actual snake, we must, metaphorically, cut off their heads when they lie and cause descension.  We crush it before it ever begins.  But we also have to learn how to recognize the venom they spew.  I know of a person who actually has the physical and characteristic traits of a snake.  Small, hard lined lips.  Slit eyes.  Never looking you directly in the eye when she talks to you.  Throwing you under the bus as sure as I am A.Redbone. Never accepting responsibility and always blaming someone else.  She gossips about everyone around her and remains hush, hush about her own life.  She gets dirt on others, but you know nothing about her.

Regardless of the snakes, I try to always be aware of my surroundings.  I look high and low for snakes lurking around corners, hiding in trees, sitting in a cublicle next to me, etc.  They will always be present, but the choice is mine in how I decide how to face and conquer the snakes.

White People Just Don’t Understand

I have said it before and will continue to say it.  America has a heart problem!  I am so sick of having to justify being Black or feeling a certain way when ignorant comments are made and especially, when you have not (and are not interested) in walking in my shoes as a Black woman!  OMG!  You tell us we’re being too sensitive, or that we’re too angry, and that simply is not true.  Perhaps you’re not being sensitive enough!  You make stupid comments that I endure daily and you laugh at ridiculous comedic skits about Black people  and those skits aren’t hardly funny!  What’s worse is you have the audacity to show me this stuff and think I’m going to laugh and be okay with it.  All you get from me is the look that says, “WTF,  Dumb ass!”  And I then walk away shaking my damn head!  Really?  Yes!  It happens all the time.  I’m just pretty fed up with ignoring it and sitting back silently and taking it (or so you think I should).  Now, I just ask, “Really? Why would you show ME that? It’s offensive to Black people.”

This week I posted an article by another Black librarian and the jest of the article for me was that Black librarians (male & female) don’t get the same level of respect our white counterparts do.  However, someone bothered to claim this article was about Trump, while minimizing the message of the article.  Everything is NOT about Donald Trump!  Needless to say, I have now deleted that person on Facebook.  I must acknowledge that he is a white male and I’ve known of his overly conservative, right-wing views and comments for some time, but the fault was mine in that I ignored them.  Now, I’m done!  Kick rocks, Buster Brown! You can post that crap on your page…Not mine!  Don’t go looking for him because he has been DELETED!  The article in question was this,  Librarians in the 21st Century: It is Becoming Impossible to Remain Neutral  , by Stacie Williams, a Cleveland, Ohio Librarian.

Back to my main point.  When a patron approaches the desk and looks around as if I’m invisible…I look around with them.  Finally the exchange goes like this:

 

Me: May I help you with something?
Patron: Is there someone here who can help me?
Me: What is it you need help with?
Patron: I need helping finding information. (still not acknowledging that I’m at a desk that is clearly marked Reference Desk or that I have a name badge on with my tile, Librarian).
Me: Sir/Ma’am, this is a reference desk. Anyone at this desk is professional trained and has a master’s degree in library science and can assist you. Please don’t ask that question again. Now, how may I help you?

As a public servant, I try not to profile or judge a person based on looks.  Do I fall short?  I’m sure I do!  When helping students select books for pleasure reading, I always tell them not to judge the book based on the cover.  This hits home with me everyday because when I feel myself moving in the direction to “judge” without having all the information.  We could all stand to be more sensitive and accepting of each others’ differences, but DO NOT claim that you understand being Black, when you’ve never been Black.  By the way, having Black friends does not count!

 

 

My Walk Ain’t Your Walk

CaJo_Kingdom Business Canton Jones, gospel artist, has an album called, “Kingdom Business.”  One of the tracks on the album is titled, “My Walk.”  The jest of the lyrics is to not concern yourself with what he does or how he does it because at the end of the day, “still we gotta praise Him!” I learned a long time ago not to compare my walk to anyone else’s, but I also learned not to share every detail of what God is doing in my life.  While I’m excited about the move of God, everyone else may not be.  Just when I think I can share what God is doing, with the very people I think I can share it, I’m proven wrong. It’s those very people that are my friends, but have the hardest time with my journey; my faith walk.  I have more support from acquaintenances and strangers than friends and family.  Instead of praising God with me for what He’s doing, they get out of their lane and shovel out  unsolicited advice and plant seeds of doubt when you clearly know you heard from God in the situation.  They are the very ones not walking their own faith walk or following their own advice. In their lives are tore up!  Over time I have learned to ask two questions when people give advice I didn’t ask for.  “What is the real motive? Why is s/he telling me this?”  Sometimes it goes back to them wanting to discourage you because your life is moving ahead while theirs seems to be in an abyss of excuses, lies and denial.  You think you’re being cautious, but sometimes you can be overly cautious. Slow and steady is okay, and it allows you to finish.  However, sometimes there is no slow and steady with God when he is ordering or reordering your steps.  Sometimes He needs you to do it without delay or excuses!  In case you didn’t know it, a delayed response to God is disobedience,  In any event, maybe, sometimes He may need you to speed up and stop questioning every single thing. I’m sure when I think about how we over think His process and methods, me included, we wear God out!  I know He is whupped at the end of the day!

It all goes back to the previous article I wrote, “No Safety Nets Allowed.”  I don’t have to have a plan B, C or D because God has plans B, C, D, Z, and everything in between!  All I am required to do is to put my trust in Him; put my hope in Him; and put my faith in Him.  He’s got this and He’s got me!

As much as I’d like to share the good news of His works in my life; what He’s saying to me…the reality is that I can’t.  To those people who over analyze the things of God, guess what?  GOD IS NOT COMPLICATED!  We make Him complicated!  We just over think it!  Sometimes we overreact, under-react or don’t act at all!  Where is your faith?  What is it exactly you are waiting on?  Are you waiting on God to speak to you in some BIG BOOMING voice?  He could, but it’s not like that.  Sometimes it’s just a prompting, an unction if you will, from the Holy Spirit.  That quiet, still knowing voice of God may be all you get.  In order to get it, you have to have interaction and encounters with God.  You have to know it’s Him speaking to you.  In John 10:27 it reads, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (NIV)  That is what some of my people aren’t getting.  They question what God is doing as if I don’t recognize His voice.  It is not my first time at the rodeo and this is not the first time God has moved in this way.  Your fear will not become my fear; your delay will not become my delay; your no will not become my no.  The question becomes, “Will I be ready when He is moving and I’ve heard Him?”  I want my answer to be “Yes!”  What about you?

A Dirty 4-letter word: The “F” word

No, silly!  I’m not taking about THAT “F” word!  I’m talking about the other “F” word, F-A-I-L!  Fail is not a dirty word.  However, most people regard it that way. I fall off the horse all the time, but I get up, dust myself off, and I get back on the horse!  All it means to fail is this, according to Dictionary.com, “to fall short of success or achievement in something expected; to receive less than the passing grade or mark in an examination,class, or course of study;  to be or become deficient or lacking; to be insufficient or absent ;to fall short.”  There are many other ways this can be applied, of course, but I’m just talking about life failures, in general.  

In any event, I didn’t realize that it was okay to acknowledge failure until I was completing a job application.  I applied for this job and knew I was not really qualified, but I submitted the application anyway.  I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.  While answering the questions, I was asked what qualified me to do this job. HA!  I replied, “I’m a fast learner, willing to listen, to adapt, and to fail, if necessary.” Now, who the heck writes that on a job application?  I did.  I don’t see failure as a dirty word. It’s that thing that propels us to the next level.  It’s what we can learn from, but first we have to accept it.  It doesn’t mean we bask in it.  We re-examine the failure, why it happened and what we can do better next time.  Yes…you will have a next time!  We can try over and over, but still keep failing. So what?  It doesn’t define you; it doesn’t make or break you; it doesn’t make us a loser or unsuccessful.  It’s not who you are.  It’s our opportunity to make whatever it is better.

I think about all the failures in my life, especially at love.  I have to keep believing that some guys weren’t right guy for me.  I almost married one, but God orchestrated it so that guy would call off the wedding.  I didn’t realize that to be the case at first.  I just felt like I had failed miserably and let all my family down. Each time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was a failure.  In time, I have come to learn that the failures saved me from some long-term hurts that I could not see at the time, and that could have emotionally paralyzed me.

Being a Christian does not exclude us from failure.  In fact, I like to fail!  Don’t get it twisted…it doesn’t feel good, but it definitely keeps me depending on God and acknowledging Him in all things!  He is my source…my provider.  His in infinite in everything.  There is no failure in or with God.  When we attempt to face that failure on our on is we when get stuck.  We focus on it and waddle in our pity.  “Woe is me!”  I don’t have time for pity parties….mine or yours!  I may feel bad about the failure for a day or a few days, but rest assured I am restrategizing how to accomplish what I need to.  I simply ask God to reorder my steps; to give me wisdom; to give me understanding; and to give me discernment.

Michael Jordan Quote2How easy it is to quit.  I see students all day who quit.  “The class is too hard.”  So they quit.  “I don’t like this job.”  So they quit. “The manager gave me too many hours.”  So they quit.   “I don’t like the way that teacher looked at me.”  So they quit.  “She disrespected me.”  So they quit.  How much harder would it be to stick it out?  Life is hard, and it will not get easier.  There will be some successes and there will be more failures.  Think about our young people.  There are systems which are failing them.

They don’t know how to stick with anything because parents, educators, and administrators have made it too easy.  Why?  The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)of 2001. We’re pushing them through a system of standardized testing, pushing what’s on the test instead of pushing real learning.  Students aren’t even allowed, or able when required, to think for themselves. Instead of letting them get a “bad” grade (God forbid), we allow the to retake/redo the test/assignment until they get a passing grade.  For real!  This is really happening in the schools.  Those of my generation (born in the mid to late sixties), do you recall getting an “F” if that is what your work reflected?  Teachers did not give do-overs because they didn’t have time to do extra grading.    Does that mean they wanted us to fail?  Absolutely not!  what they wanted and expected from us, as did my mother, was for us to put in the work and effort to get that passing grade on the test or assignment.  Not anymore.  We spoon-feed information that they can’t even regurgitate and will not commit to memory.  But let there be some foul lyrics to some rap song?  You’ll hear that mess all day!  We have failed them by lowering the standards…the expectation.

F-A-I-L is not a dirty 4-letter word.  We loosely use the other “F” word, which truly is a dirty word and we allow it.  I walk the halls of the school and hear students throw it around loosely all day, with no reverence or regard for the adults in their presence.  Heck, I have adult friends who will do the same!  Let us utter “FAIL” and it’s like, “How dare you?  You’d better fix it so my kid passes and can keep playing sports!” Really?  How about this?  You get out of life, what you put into it and that includes all endeavors.

To encourage you, here is a list of people who failed at some point before making it:

  • Jay-Z
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Walt Disney
  • Steven Spielberg
  • R.H. Macy
  • Soichiro Honda
  • Colonel Harland David Sanders
  • Vice President Dick Chenney
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Vera Wang
  • Thomas Edison
  • Sidney Poitier
  • Albert Einstein
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Charles Darwin
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Harrison Ford
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss)
  • Lucille Ball
  • Stephen King
  • Lady Gaga

In the words of Henry Ford, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”