Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Alone With Self and Consequences

This poem was written years ago but will finally be put into print with many others in my new book, "Heart of a Queen - Poetry and Prose from the Soul" coming January 2013

I think I’ll sit atop trees to cry these tears of mine so that people may say,
“Oh, it’s raining again,” instead of, “damn, she’s crying again?”

I sometimes wish that a thousand bugs would crawl across my skin
Leaving small bumps as evidence of their feeding so that I could think of that and not of you…

I want to drink until I black out so that I may have no remembrance of the look in your eyes the first time we met.

I wish that scientist and surgeons would all come together to perform a revolutionary procedure removing all memories of you and me that are still creeping around in my mind…

I would like to be circumcised so that I may never touch myself again in an attempt to relive how it felt to make love to you…

I at times desire to have my hearing lost so that I cannot hear when people ask if I’ve seen you, or how have you been?  Because I DON’T KNOW!!!!!!

I want to have my hands removed so that I might not reach for you…as you walk on by…

© Nina Brewton 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

#ThrowbackThursday - The Habit of Disappointment

From the archive: 1/30/11 - I woke up feeling quite disappointed in myself. From my excessive use of blue cheese dressing to my failure to write consistently, I've been slippin'...

Layered in between the blue cheese and my loss of significant use of words you can find too much sleep and not enough prayer. Over-eating and lack of cardio...

It is believed that it takes 21 days to form a new habit - whether that habit be good or bad. I have found this to be true, which is why it is detrimental to our continued growth that we not "wait til Monday" to go back to the gym or the beginning of the month to start eating right.

If it takes 21 days for a new habit to be formed, NOW is as crucial as ever. Although I woke up disappointed for various reason, I can't allow myself to remain disappointed for too long. NOW, not tomorrow, not next week, NOW is the time to take an honest assessment, shake off the disappointment and keep it moving.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

Romans 8:1 shares a great promise to those who are in Christ. Now to just STOP walking according to my flesh...self-control in every area...

Every day that we wallow in what we didn't do yesterday is throwing God's gift of today back in His face! 

TODAY is what we have. Shake of the habits that keep you bound in disappointment and GO FORTH in the gifts of grace and mercy that we receive with each new day! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dramas: Loving Me & The Things I Hate About Me

I hate that I'm the one to always reach out...

...that I seem to love harder than ppl seem 2 love me...
...that my heart is as big and as open as it is...and that I can't help but show it...
...that I cry over the sunrise and Kleenex commercials...
...that I am either hot or cold...
...that there is no gray area...
...that I am so expressive...
...that I oftentimes want more for others than they want for themselves...
...that I find it easier to encourage/support others more than I encourage/support myself...
...that I...
...that I still struggle with loving the things I hate about myself.

But because I realize Who created me, I am learning to love me, and all of the things I hate about me…

…because all of these things, are what make me me.

I understand that my heart is open in a world so easily closed off to the warmth of a full heart...

...that people may not know how to love…
…that maybe I can show them how…
...that God gave me arms for reaching…especially for those who pull away…
...that it's my responsibility to teach people how to love me...
…that sometimes, people want more for me than I want for myself…
…that people know they can count on me for encouragement and support…

…I am learning to love me…in spite of me.

To love me just as God created me to be.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

#NaturalHair - The New Bougie

Note:  If you would prefer to view the vlog based on this same topic, please see the video below! ;-)

I have recently had mixed emotions about the sudden "trend" of sisters wearing natural hair as I have worn my hair natural for the majority of my adult life after completing my first "big chop" when I was 15 years old -- before there was ever a big chop to be had.

With recent popularity, I found that I began to take a somewhat elitist stance on natural hair, making me no better than the sisters who choose to go natural or even rock a "bald head" because it's the current "in" thing to do. I was no better than the hair care/beauty industries, magazines and advertisers who are riding this new wave to capitalize on the trend.  

I had to take a step back and realize that, from pop culture to politics, sometimes it takes a trend or a "fad" to generate change in the hearts of even one person and in turn, that one person can be the spark that revolutionizes the world.

So, who am I to keep the trend from growing into a true way of life?

As I've grown as a woman and a “naturalista”, I am dedicated to not only sharing with sisters the truth that "good hair is healthy hair" and that natural hair is healthier hair but that living a healthy lifestyle overall enhances our beauty in ways that go well beyond the way we wear our hair.

I’m no “natural hair Nazi” who feels that all women should wear natural hair. My concern is for sisters who feel they can’t wear natural hair and be beautiful; those who feel their hair has to be “relaxed” to be “good”. My issue is the same for sisters who feel they have to wear make-up, weave, false lashes…

But this isn’t about them right now…

This is about us. This is about those of us who have somehow managed to “recondition” our minds to understand that we don’t have to maintain societal standards of beauty. This is about our position and the power that we have to encourage those sisters who are still growing in their hair journey.

How dare we take an elitist stance on something that many of us struggled with ourselves? Many not so long ago…

Most of us were raised by generations of women who depended on lye, weaves and wigs to fit into European standards of beauty. As sisters attempt to renew their thinking, they should not feel alienated because they haven’t “arrived” to where you are in your natural hair revolution!

As with any other area of life, growth and revelation are an ongoing process. For those of us who have found comfort and confidence in our own natural texture of hair, we should be encouraging our sisters in every way possible to feel beautiful, regardless of their current position in life.
We don’t want sisters to fail to see all of the benefits and beauty that comes with being natural. We don’t want our lifestyle to not be received, or even considered, because of an uppity, belittling attitude towards those who are still growing with us. As with anything, presentation is everything.

***Quick sidenote/example: I hate math. Always have and I’m certain I always will. Regardless of how I feel about the subject, math was an important part of my intellectual, scholastic and social development.

As much as I disliked math, I wasn’t a total failure at because every so often, I would be assigned to a teacher who was willing to be patient and work with my non-mathematical mind, presenting equations and formulas in a way that I would understand and receive. Their angle made the difference. Many were able to make it so that I actually enjoyed the class! Who would have ever thought...?

So, bottom line: Get over yourself. In all things you do, seek to inspire others to be their best and to recognize the beauty that was planted within them when they were created. Sisters have it hard enough without us tearing one another down.

May the trend continue to grow and may the revolution begin with you! To my sisters considering going natural, welcome to the club! Don't stop til you get enough! *cues MJ*

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dining with Bevy: Life with Vision feat. Bevy Smith

Note: Some prefer the book and others prefer the movie. At BE{AM} INSPIRED, I provide both to meet you where you are! Readers and viewers alike, enjoy!

I’m a believer in the idea that nothing happens by chance. As we walk according to a pre-destined purpose, opportunities are presented to us and from there, it’s our responsibility to either take hold of such possibilities or pass them by. 

I too have been guilty of “missing the boat”, failing to walk through open doors due to a variety of made up inadequacies, lack of funding and unfortunately, blatant lack of preparation.

But here I am. Proud to finally be at a point in my life when, not only am I confident in who God has created me to be, but I am prepared to walk according to the vision that He placed in me so long ago.

This past weekend I was invited to attend 'Dining with Bevy: Life with Purpose', an exclusive brunch hosted by Bevy Smith - socialista, fashionista and SO much more! Beyond her work as a host for top music/fashion industry red carpet events, Auntie Bevy, as she is affectionately called in her Twitter world, is a woman dedicated to inspiring others to believe in themselves and the power that lies within waiting to be activated to in turn, inspire the world!

 Upon entering the ‘mocktail’ reception at Bernardin's Fine Dining in Charlotte, Bevy puts her eyes on you, making you feel as if you’re the most important person in the room! Immediately excusing herself from conversations at hand, she takes the time to greet every individual as they walk to the door while effortlessly engaging others in conversation in between the arrival of her hand-selected guests.

After being ushered into the beautiful main dining room at Bernardin’s, the brunch is called to order by Bevy’s own lovely hands, elegantly tapping an empty wine glass holding a small tea candle; nice touch Bernardin’s! *wink*

Having gathered everyone’s attention, she begins by assuring us that, "everyone here is qualified..." 

Throughout the process of growing towards my destiny, I’ve learned this truth over and over again as God convinced me about two years ago that wherever He sends me - be it amongst celebrities, pastors, politicians, those with multiple degrees, whatever the case - He has qualified me to be wherever He sends me.

WARNING: "People will often give you the side eye (as if you don't belong here) but don't let that deter you." - Bevy Smith

Too many people go through life thinking that because they’re from Smalltown, USA or because they have no higher education or come from a less than well-to-do family, that the visions, dreams and aspirations within them aren’t worthy of pursuing. 

Again, Bevy encouraged everyone to believe that "You don't have to "get" somewhere to do something…" Reminding us that there are plenty of people who were born and raised in big cities, or who have families that provide them with every opportunity to succeed, who lack ambition and motivation. Where you’re from has no warrant once you finally get sight of where you’re going.  

I tell my friends/followers in my social media world to 'Always #ChoosePeace'! Peace of mind can't be but, but is a choice that we make every day of our lives. Bevy made a decision to always seek 'tranquility, serenity and clarity' and has found that while seeking these things, she is able to sort through the noise,  mess and naysayers when it comes to business, love and life and general. 

If we would seek the intangible, we'd be that much more prepared to receive our tangible desires when they come along. Bevy reiterated many of the lessons I have learned in life and try to instill in my viewers/readers.

A few more of my favorite Bevy quotes from the day:

The Incomparable Bevy Smith and I
"Everything we do should be reciprocal.” The laws of sowing and reaping do apply, whether you’re consciously sowing or not. This is why it is imperative that we be mindful of where we sow our seeds!

"I actually achieved my goals in TV and as a writer. I was broke but fulfilled. I was still successful because I was doing what I set out to do."

“There is equity in relationships! It's time to start cashing in on the equity that is in the relationships you've been building!”

I am grateful for the lessons learned from Bevy sharing her life and journey with us. I am also grateful for the opportunity to meet so many fabulous people who are looking to stand on ambition and  take the opportunities afforded them! 

On ambition, Bevy reminded us, “when you're given an opportunity, assess it, but don't be afraid to take it!" Determine that fear and uncertainty will no longer hold you back from your purpose and vision!

CJ South aka @creativejenius
Sasha aka @naturalhighco of The Natural High Blog

Friday, August 10, 2012

Six Ways to Receive Your Harvest (Pastor Isaac Pitre of Christ Nations Church, Texarkana, TX)

I had to revisit this from last year! The Word of God stays TRUE!

I declare: From this day on, I walk in revelation knowledge of the Word.

First of all, we cannot stay at home and reap. Just like a farmer cannot sow from sitting around doing nothing, neither shall he receive a harvest without action! Psalm 6:6-9 speaks to the life of the sluggard and shows us the truth that poverty will fall upon those who are unwilling to work.

With that being said, we must truly gain an understanding of this truth: 

EVERY time we give, it IS given back to us! If we don't discern how we're receiving it, we will MISS the harvest!

1) Unexpected Income - We all like the idea of receiving random, unexpected money in the mail, but this is actually the LEAST of the harvest...however, it is VERY possible (I'm a witness!)

2) Favor - God speaking to somebody to do you good! Don't miss your favor! If you are a giver, SOMEBODY around you is trying to favor you! FOLLOW THE FAVOR!

The key to this is also one of the GREATEST areas of harvest that we can receive. If we don't have relationships with PEOPLE, how can God use others to extend His favor? We have to be in a position to receive and that always begins with our attitudes towards others.

3) Relationships and CONNECTIONS - Again, your harvest is in the hands of PEOPLE! If you don't discern your relationships...YOU'LL MISS YOUR HARVEST. 

4) Opportunities - Open doors. When a GOD ORDAINED DOOR OPENS, WALK IN IT! 

5) Ideas, Visions, Dreams and Plans - God will continue to bless us with ideas that can be used to build up the Kingdom. When we sow, God sees our level of spiritual maturity and sees that once we are obedient with a little.

6) Divine Obedience to Assignments - Give into the Kingdom! Whatever you give, YOU WILL PROSPER!

We so often miss our harvest because it comes in unexpected "packages". If you sow, ALWAYS look to receive your harvest! As with all things, practice discernment so you don't MISS IT!?

Another word from Pastor Pitre: 'Be Seated'

Monday, August 6, 2012

Positivity: Muting the Case of the Mondays

So, as I build my life as a writer and speaker, I work full-time as an "Assistant Production Coordinator" for a production company here in Hampton. In other words, I'm a receptionist. :-)

Some wouldn't think this job very glamorous, and they'd think right but I must say, I love my job and the people I work with. Besides having the freedom to write and work on my creative life freely, I am constantly supporting a company and individuals who work directly with the likes of Harpo Productions, Discovery Communications and Sony Records to name a few.

In other words, I'm cool by association, even as a measly receptionist.

Truth is, I have over 10 years of experience in administrative support and my heart for serving people helps me to keep things in perspective when I think about the careers that my peers have as full-time artists, educators, etc...

Over the years, God has shown me that my position, wherever I am, goes well beyond answering phones, keeping the calendars of executives and distributing mail. I have embraced my position recognizing the opportunity that I have daily to enhance the lives of those I work with. By simply being ME I am able to meet simple needs of stressed out producers, editors and researchers both in house and around the country.

Prime example: When I answer the phone at work declare, "Happy Monday! Thank you for calling...this is Nina. How may I help you?" *BEAM*

"Happy Monday!" normally catches people off guard. After giving pause, many callers express their appreciation for my enthusiasm!

Every day I seek to make someone's day brighter in whatever way I can, even if that means helping them to get over their "case of the Mondays"! Those who question my energy on Mondays will see that if they call on Tuesday, Wednesday or any other day, I generally share this same energy every morning even though I'm not a "morning person".

My thinking: Why be miserable JUST because it's Monday?

Monday is just ONE of seven days that we get and is a day wasted if we allow it to be. So, we've been told that THIS is how we are to treat Mondays...or how we should let it treat us. Mondays are a part of time which is continuous & out of our control. What we DO with this time is up to us!

How we FEEL about time, in this case, Mondays, is up to US! So, with that being said, HAPPY MONDAY!

Make the most out of every day that you're blessed to live and every task given to your hands!

BE{AM} BE inspired as iAM inspired! #iShineYouShine

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

6 Day Detox Drop - Smoothie Recipes

Vanilla Blue – Breakfast
½ cup crushed ice (optional)
1 scoop or 4TBSP vanilla protein powder
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 small banana, sliced
6-8 oz distilled water

Pomegranate Blend – Lunch
½ cup crushed ice (optional)
1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
½ cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 scoop or 4 TBSP vanilla protein powder

Misty Red – Dinner               
½ cup crushed ice (optional)
2 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
½ cup organic unsweetened orange juice
1 scoop or 4 TBSP vanilla protein powder

Other Smoothie Options

Hawaiian Breeze
½ cup frozen or fresh pineapple chunks
1 small banana
1 scoop or 4 TBSP vanilla protein powder
½ cup original Silk soy milk or non-fat milk (I prefer Rice milk)
¼ cup organic unsweetened orange juice

Soy Smoothie
¾ cup original Silk soy milk or non-fat milk
½ cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
½ bananas fresh or frozen
½ scoop or 2 TBSP of vanilla protein powder

Summer Chill Smoothie
1 scoop or 4 TBSP vanilla protein powder
1 cup peeled and seedless red watermelon, cut (fresh or frozen)
¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
¾ cup distilled water
¾ cup organic unsweetened apple juice
1 TBSP lime juice

Do's of the 6 Day Detox Drop

1.    DO follow through with the Cleansing Ritual twice daily on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes prior to food.  Note: If you get nauseated after the Cleansing Ritual, you may be one of the rare individuals who needs to have something in their stomach prior to the ritual.  If this is the case, eat breakfast first – wait an hour and then do the Cleansing Ritual.

2.       DO drink at least two quarts of distilled water daily


6 Day Detox - 15lb Challenge

Looking to kick start a healthier lifestyle?

Every four months or so I send myself through a detox in order to bring some order back into my food life.

I have gained about fifteen pounds in the last two months...what to do, what to do!?


So, here's what I do... Robert Ferguson's 6 Day Detox Drop which is part of the Diet Free Life

I'm not looking to lose the whole 15lbs in the next six days, although, it is quite possible ;-)

6 Day Detox
Days 1-3
Cleansing Ritual (within 10 minutes of rising)
Part 1
4 or 6 oz unsweetened apple juice
1TBSP Psyllium Hulls
1TBSP Aloe Vera juice
Add all 3 to a jar or container with a tight fitting lid. Shake well to mix and drink immediately.

Part 2
8oz distilled water
1TBSP liquid chlorophyll
Add chlorophyll to water and drink. Swallow capsules.

Cup of Green Tea (within 30 minutes of Cleansing Ritual) Decaffeinated, Hot or Cold
Breakfast (at least 30 minutes after Cleansing Ritual) Vanilla Blue Smoothie
Morning Snack (2 to 3 hours after breakfast) 12 oz organic unsweetened carrot juice or 8 oz of unsweetened apple juice

Lunch (2 to 3 hours after Morning Snack) Pomegranate Blend Smoothie
Afternoon Snack (2 to 3 hours after lunch)
Choice: Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Soup
Low-Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
Men: 2 cups
Women: 1 cup

Evening Cleansing Ritual (at least 2hrs from Afternoon Snack and 30 minutes before Dinner)
Dinner (at least 30 minutes after Cleansing Ritual) Misty Red Smoothie

Evening Snack - Choice: Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Soup
Low-Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth
Men and Women: 1 cup

Evening Tea (1 to 2 hours before bedtime)

Days 4-6 – Are much like the first three days but notice the change in the snacks*
 Cleansing Ritual (within 10 minutes of rising)

Part 1
4 or 6 oz unsweetened apple juice
1TBSP Psyllium Hulls
1TBSP Aloe Vera juice
Add all 3 to a jar or container with a tight fitting lid. Shake well to mix and drink immediately.

Part 2
8oz distiller water
1TBSP liquid chlorophyll
Add chlorophyll to water and drink. Swallow capsules.

Morning Tea (within 30 minutes of Cleansing Ritual)

Breakfast Smoothie (at least 30 minutes after Cleansing Ritual)
*Morning Snack – 1 piece or 1 cup of fresh fruit (2 to 3 hours after Breakfast)

Lunch Smoothie (2 to 3 hours after Morning Snack)
*Afternoon Snack - 1 piece or 1 cup of fresh fruit (2 to 3 hours after Lunch)

Evening Cleansing Ritual (at least 2 hours from Afternoon Snack and 30 minutes before bed)
Dinner (at least 30 minutes after Cleansing Ritual)
Evening Snack (2 to 3 hours after Dinner) – Men and Women 1 cup

Evening Tea (1 to 2 hours before Bedtime) – 1 Cup Decaffeinated Green, Milk Thistle, Ginger or Dandelion Root Tea


Part of my problematic weight gain has also been my lack of activity so...back on the horse uh...trail I go!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Spirit vs. Stars - What Rules You? name is Nina, and I'm a Cancer. In this truth, I recognize that I am an emotional, sensitive, energetic, loving, nurturing being who has been known to hide in a hard shell (often a shell of sarcasm) when trouble arises instead of dealing with my emotions.  I’m that sister who seems to have it together and be strong when really, I’m the type to cry over anything and my feelings, get hurt easily. 

“Cancer motto could be, "A good defense is the best offense." Like a Crab in its cave, your attack can consist of baiting your opponent into your territory. What appears to be a retreat to others can be your best aggressive tactic. As you feel your way through life, building your security by developing your home and family relationships, remember that unexpressed anger can turn into resentment and depression, so find someone you can trust and share your feelings.”

Your Biggest Strength: Your ability to nurture others
Your Potential Weakness: Fear of the past repeating in the future name is Nina and I'm a follower of Christ and am filled with His Spirit.  Because of THIS truth, I am learning that I must make a CONSCIOUS effort to walk according to the Spirit, NOT the stars.

Even when dealing with the most painful feelings, I am learning to walk in love, patience, suffer practice self-control (to include emotional responsibility). This is not always easy considering I’ve always been encouraged to express myself. In my adult life, I still find myself seeking a balance between the best and the worst parts of me. This is when walking according to the Spirit is evermore important.

Math bears truth - Two plus two does indeed equal four.

Science bears truth - Gravity is REAL.

The moon circles the earth. Its pull raises the tide. Its cycle works within women of a certain age.

This is truth.

Astrology bears truth. The stars continuously align while time as we know it continues on and with those alignments, energies from outside of us play a part in being who God created us to be.

The difference between Nina who is a Cancer and Nina who is a child of God is the Truth that I CHOOSE to live according to. No horoscope is going to tell me how my day is going to go when I live according to plan greater than what our natural mind can comprehend. 

Just because my mind doesn't fully understand the equations that make up mathematics, doesn’t make their outcome any less TRUE.

Knowing that my life does indeed align with the stars within Cancer, I also know that my emotions cycle with the moon and that they ebb and flow as the water. In knowing this truth I also know that I must make a concerted effort to not allow the stars to rule me but to always be ruled by the Spirit.

Let us not make excuses for our emotional irresponsibility.  Just as people use the Word to justify their behaviors and ideals, women have been known to use PMS to act like the devil once a month and people use the zodiac to their advantage…or the disadvantage of others.

*puts on churchy voice* Choose ye this day...what will you allow to rule you?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hear My Call - Standing On the Word

Lord, I thank You for Your word and I stand on that word knowing that You began a good work in me and that You will see it through to the end, to perfection. Philippians 1:6

I only want you glorified in all that I do. As I seek to glorify You, this releases from me any pressure to complete anything by my own strength. I know that I am nothing without You, my Creator, my Redeemer. John 14:13

May Your Light continue to shine through me, even when my natural eyes can't see the path illuminated before me because of doubt. Forgive me Lord for even allowing that doubt to begin to consume my mind. Matthew 5:14-16

Right now, I cast away worry, grief, doubt, every insecurity, every feeling of inadequacy and stand in Your presence giving thanks for being the loving, gracious God that You are. Mark 11:23

May others see Your goodness and love through this very situation at this very moment, may You be glorified. *exhales* ^_^

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Mary and Martha Within

I have been stressed.

Like, so stressed that the details of what the stress has been doing to my physical body is TMI. Lol

I have cried. Cried some more...laughed hysterically until tears overwhelmed me yet again...lost sleep, all because of my stress when it comes to what I know to be the will of God.  My life as a first time author has been exciting and exhilarating yet more stressful than even planning my own wedding just four short years ago.

God has not only provided me with awesome words to share my story, with the world but He's also surrounded this whole project with a collective of individuals who are dedicated to make this experience a great one.  I have still had to do quite a bit on my own but the parts that were out of my hands made the process more stressful than I expected.

But if I have such an amazing team of people working with me to bring 'Dramas of a Bald Head Queen' to fruition, why the stress?  If I trust the connections to truly be divine, why not trust in the Divine One who established said connections to complete the work He began in me so long ago?

Just this morning, I awoke to more doubtful and wearied thoughts.  I found myself getting angry and frustrated again with...myself.

God immediately reminded me that, in order to truly rest in Him, I must place myself in the posture of worshiper.  Even as a servant seeking to do the "greater good", bringing glory to God in the things I do and in walking according to His will, I have failed to walk in that part of servitude where I consciously worship.

Often times when we think of the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), we are able to point the finger at other individuals who we see in church or in our respective ministries who are doing "too much" yet, not enough.  God showed me this morning that this conflict has risen within me, one individual torn between walking in God's will and sitting and taking time to worship.

THIS is where my stress has come from and today, I release it and seek to worship God wholly trusting that the things He's called me to do will be done according to His will and the purpose He's called me to.

So, there are two words for today 1) balance and 2) worship.

We worship God in many ways.  We worship by serving, the giving of our time, talents, ultimately and by walking in obedience.  In this world, we need to find a balance between doing {for God} and being {with God}.

Today Lord, I worship You with my heart, with my presence, with my communion with You. I love You and release the stresses that are present only in my mind and rest in You.  Amen. *BEAM*

Friday, June 8, 2012

$1150 Testimony - Priceless

The other day I had lunch with my friend and event planner to continue confirming plans to celebrate the release of my first book, 'Dramas of a Bald Head Queen'I told her how this whole process feels similar to the energy and process of planning my wedding. I also shared with her the story about how the Lord literally handed me $1150 cash just weeks before my wedding day.

I was living in a dormitory on campus at Hampton University where I was then working as a residence hall director. Since I didn't sign up to work that summer, I was off but my building was still being used to house special groups for weeks at a time during the summer.

We still had to buy last minute odds and ends, pay the caterer and pay the Magnolia House Inn where we had arranged to stay our wedding night. Raphael and I remained prayerful and relaxed trusting that we had done everything we knew to do.  We are both tithers/givers and in doing so, stand EXPECTING God to do what His Word says.  We stood trusting that He would do as He said He would and did a pretty good job at not doubting.

So, three weeks before the wedding a group of 50 or so youth and 6-8 Chaperones from the Eastern Shore of Virginia came to stay in my building. Things were quiet the four days they were there and after they turned in keys and departed, I simply had to go through and do a sweep of the building, opening the doors of the rooms they occupied so that housekeeping could come in to clean.

After getting to the third closed door, I use my master key to unlock it, briefly glancing in the room when I noticed something on one of the beds. I entered the room to find...sitting there, neatly and untouched in the middle of the bed, a stack of money. Ten $100 bills and three $50. 


I quickly put the money in my pocket and headed back to my apartment to call Raphael. I knew that no one had been in the building since the group left so we decided to hold on to the money so none of the housekeepers could try to claim it as theirs. Thinking that one of the adults maybe left the money by accident (in no envelop, in an EMPTY room...?) I put a sign on my office door "If you were with *group name* and left anything behind, please call me at..." 

No one ever came. No one ever called. 

I contacted the special events office on campus to inquire as to whether anyone from the group contacted them to report anything lost. Nothing.

We waited a full seven days deciding to pay our tithes and keep it moving! Lol

$1150 CASH. Seemingly out of the blue.

That was just four short years ago and although I don't expect God to move in the exact same way, I have no doubt that He will bring the vision for this event to pass, just as He did with my wedding!


Monday, June 4, 2012

What's Next Is Now

Monday, June 4, 2012

Happiness is here now, today. Live it.

The possibilities for greater and greater fulfillment are immense and amazing. Explore them, and claim the best for your own by acting on them now.

If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, now is the time to get moving. If you’ve been wanting a change for the better, now is when you can make that change happen.

Your dreams and desires are real and alive in this moment. Use this time to follow where they lead.

Your unique and priceless journey has brought you now to this point. Pay sincere tribute to all that rich experience by making meaningful use of it on this day.

Happiness and joy and fulfillment are now yours. Live them today in your own special way.

— Ralph Marston

I like to say, "What's next is now."  And it's true.  We spend so much time planning for the future and get so wrapped up in our planning that we feel like it will never happen.  We have to come to the realization that what we do NOW is in preparation for what's NEXT and treat our every move as if what's NEXT is RIGHT NOW.