Authentic Self

We place ourselves in a place, a moment, or an activity where we believe we belong. When our true self comes to surface, we discover what is real and what is covering. We discover the stars do align if we see with our inner self.

The authentic self is a beautiful thing when permitted to come to the surface. We live in an age of challenging the normal expected standards. We know the expectations if we are willing to seek what we need an understanding of. Our being is in harmony with itself.

If we are are feeling out of sorts, perhaps it is not the people around us but ourselves. Perhaps, our authentic self is coming out and the time has come that we embrace who we are. Let our true spirit and selves dance in their glory.

Word Play

Hunger = Desire

Appetite = Passion

Taste = Experience

Cuisine = Culture

Spice = Choices

Appeal = Presentation

Diet = Knowledge

We so often look for one way of seeing a word. The power of the word can only be displayed in the structure of its usage.

The hunger of the soul tastes the diet of the words. The appetite grows and with that the spices dance in harmony. The cuisine can only appeal to those who see that hunger is so much more. The experience of the opportunities have made me feel completely ready for the journey ahead.

Thank you for the power and blessing of words for they are fiends.

Awareness

We live our lives feeling numb. We do not want to own up to feeling numb. Many in society choose to live in that state. I'm happy I'm not one of them.

People do not understand the importance of awareness. They're happy where they are and cannot see. Awareness is required, making the future changes a valid option. We continue this battle to stress the importance of the world around us.

Let your awareness all of the world around you grow. Potentially we can only grow. Let growth be the gift you give yourself this lent season, so another words, break your comfort zones. Test your limits!

Women’s Unity March in Annapolis, March 2nd, listening to the speakers

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Breaking Free

Writers cope with the pen. We are better speakers this way. All of my life, I have struggled with third person. I am noticing that I am beginning to use the word I in place of Erine.

It's a scary thing when you begin to break through the layers. It's a scarier thing, when those same words that were used to hold you down want to come back up again. It's a beautiful thing, when you tear each word down, even if it's one word at a time.

I still recall the words and I am not afraid of utter them. These bitter words are now going to be public. They are the following:

1. Cow

2. Fat ugly legs

3. Accident

4. Retarded

5. Nice (double meaning)

These are the ones I'm ready to deal with. Thank you for your support. These word will be replaced.

“ if you don't like what you see in the mirror, change it.”

Reverend Wayne Schwandt, Evolve Christmastide reflection

The Egg Song

Measure…

Mix…

Chill…

Weigh…

Shape…

Coat… (Break 4 beats)

Cool…

Trim…

Fix, (Pause) Maybe?

Wrap…

Label…

Share… (go straight into…)

It’s a rhythm,

it’s a beat,

Hearts, Hands, and Feet

Filling, Chocolate, and treat…

Community that speaks

Something Magical and Sweet <3 <3

coconut egg.jpg

Egg

Coating

It is peace and sweet!

This is Dark Chocolate Coconut Cream.

Social Justice

Why is social justice still an issue? Why does the society continue to make judgments about other races, genders, faith beliefs, and our pronouns? Why do not want discussion when common ground is connection to each other? Why do we continue on acting like these challenges don’t exist?

Why then do we have so many people coming together to do what is being done? People are beginning to honestly discuss the challenges between races, genders, and faith beliefs, and our pronouns. The organizations are many and they understand the challenges of these open discussions. The challenges are not always spoken but you can feel the tension when the discussion opens up. People said the truth and it is a bitter pill to swallow. People push back their conversation when they need to feel free to express it. Social justice begins when the push back is put away.

Social justice means taking risks. It means saying that so many talk and take no action. It points out that people need to see the viewpoint of the other side even if they can never understand the struggle of the people who live with the judgments. This is everyone’s fight and it will never be settled down because nothing ever settles. Stand Up for other races, genders, faith beliefs, and our pronouns. Together, we can change what must be changed.

ACT & The Church Community

Last week, I addressed the church community and it's outreach. Now, that the government has a temporary opening, we need not be comfortable. The churches need to do what they did in the past and ACT is a form of that.

ACT was formed because people were concerned that the issues were being overlooked. Their voices were left in a maze and no way of being heard. People discussed their concerns and decided the church community had the ability to bring people together. Their concerns and stories have people who want to listen.

The issues requiring addressing were:

1. Affordable housing

2. Safe and effective schools

3. Effective and useful public transportation

4. Freedom from addiction and mental health challenges

5. Just and Fair immigration policies

6. Gun Violence Reduction and Safety in Our Communities

They meet on the concerned subjects and bring awareness to the subjects. The experiences make the difference! ACT is community activism and faith in each other. Are you willing to do what you can?

Spiritual shutdown vs societal shutdown

Churches are an important part of the community. They play a role in everyone's life whether we realize it or not. They play a role in government as well. Many of the programs used today, from food programs to housing assistance, started in the church. Only after their success did the government feel the need to regulate it.

Today contract workers and federal employees are trying to figure out what to do about their situation.  Many will not go to their Church community because they feel disconnected. They do not know what to expect, as many are under the impression that they are well-established and are prepared for these situations. They isolate the truth and it leaves them isolated.

How does this fit in with the church and expectations during the government shutdown? The church itself will lose as many that support the community as now requires support. They need to shift gears and look inside the church. The fragile connections show at these moments, forcing people to see the community as a whole entity. Surprisingly these connections come alive, and support is without question. The very programs started here have a quiet awakening and people understand that we are ourselves a government of faith, support and spirit. We are the healers.

The answer is this: The church needs to become what it once was. The church is a place where healing and growth are more important than the expectations of society.  The church taught us that we need each other and community is just that. The disconnect has turned support and understanding of human needs into a battleground. Churches need to unite and express their concern over their communities, whether people are in attendance or not. People don't want to struggle, work without pay, or feel isolated. Let us use this government shutdown as a wake-up call. This is the duty of the Church community.

Outreach

We talk about community connections. Many churches and communities remain self-contained. They feel they need to stay within themselves. Their outreach is limited by their comfort zone. When we need to be breaking comfort zones.

Outreach is important because we all go through struggles. Support is very important, and people need an understanding community or communities to be present. In many cases, the benefits cross both parties and a bond is developed that can expand the gift of reaching out to those in need. Outreach is passed on through the sharing on support and understanding.

Outreach is also education, whether it is a forum, discussion, activism, or marches. Being informed is critical to starting the process of establishing networks. Networks creates outreach opportunities that can lead to other opportunities. This is empowerment and self-regulation.

The next time the opportunity is given to become involved in a community-based action why not try it. There could be a lesson meant to be learned or shared, but if the idea of risking getting involved is challenging then think about the people before you. They took a risk and outreach is a risk. How can break down the differences if we don’t risk ourselves in outreach?

A Body & A Cot

We spent our lives trying to seek what is already there. During Winter relief January 2019, we help out a community that needs a support network. Many see these people as a body and a cot. They don’t have a story and what brought there was their issue. People don’t want to see themselves.

When you are with them, whether it is helping with coffee, hot water, creamers, or refilling sugar they are telling a story. When you bring your coffee and sit with them and everyone shares their story it is clear, they are more than a body and a cot. Some talk about the meals made by their family, the funny pages, and things they have to do. There is no coating of language in the twilight hours. We talk and our connection is refreshing.

The next the opportunity comes to reach out and help the community, do it. You will discover that someone can be completely different from you and your stories have a common thread. In this case, it is about looking at people beyond their situation. They are more than a body and a cot. They are us, and we are them. I look forward to next year, who is with me?

The Game of 2019

The Game of 2019 is an empty board. The moves we make around the board are sometimes none, backwards, or forwards. Some spaces have situations beyond our control. The best we can hope for is the moves we make help us to see that passing GO takes patience, strength, and each other. Welcome to the Game of 2019 and may your moves bring the best out in you.

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Love is strange

My legs are trapped under the weight of an 80 lbs black lab

I need not disturb the sleeping dog

as he snoozed and starts numbing out my legs.

Love is strange,

and reflecting on what it is can be …

an exciting and growing experience.

I am asked to draw hearts

over and over until my desire

to color them secretly comes in

but I resist that as this 2-year old

only wants hearts.

Love is strange,

and reflecting on what it is can be …

an exciting and growing experience.

The oranges are ready

with child-tempting delights,

and a meal that is not a meal

but a gathering of community,

understanding we are family.

Mother nor Father matter not

as we are in the family of God.

Love is strange,

and reflecting on what it is can be …

an exciting and growing experience.

What is love can’t be explained,

but you know when it is present.

Finding Meaning in the Chaos

As a marketing event happens in three days, please remember that the mall, manufacturers, and other merchandisers did not create Christmas. Christmas was created by divine power that I will not argue with who created Christmas. Some people say Christmas is based in paganism. Other folks will say it was incorporated into early Christianity to encourage the other beliefs into early Christianity. I will not debate that as who has that much energy debate where it comes from.

I will say the principal of Christmas is simply this, which is put each other people first. An understanding that each of us needs to be loved. That love does not come in a box, that love does it know what wrapping paper looks like, that love doesn't know dollar values, and love definitely does not know ugly sweaters (as fun as they maybe 😉).

Love this year for me, correction Christmas gifts, was having lunch with a friend on a Sunday morning when I skipped church (yes, I missed church) to be with a few co-workers but mostly to be with her. It was rainy but I had an amazing time. Having someone actually listen to me, accepting my input and seeing the validity and what I were saying. The Biggie was accepting me where I am now and where I will be going. That is my biggie...

If they can sell that at the mall, they are good.

I wish everyone a beautiful, loving, warm, and spiritual Christmas. I love you all and I hope you all embrace gift of each other.

Relationships

Relationships are like plants. Some relationships grow into trees becoming tall and strong. Other relationships are like bamboo, easily cut and grown. Some last only a season and others are annuals as they may or may not return.

We need to understand what relationships we have. Once we understand that, we can see the value they are. When one changes enough, we are left with a choice. Do we change it? address it? or let it go?

It is not easy and as 2018 closes, I’m at that place. What do I do? What relationships are savable? changing? too far gone? growing? It is a lot to think about. Relationships are living things.

Blue Christmas

We race into the store, hoping to find something for that someone on our gift list. We discover an overstock of everything, and the marketers are telling us of what we should purchase. “Pretty paper, pretty bows” are images that come to mind. The exterior image of the illusion that the gift inside is made of love.

The decorations everywhere to charm the spirit into seeing what is a celebration of life and faith. When in truth, it is a celebration of other traditions that have little to do with faith and Jesus’s birth. It is traditions from diverse beliefs from many regions. That is not to say, they do not have importance and value in society. They need to be put into perspective.

How does this make a Blue Christmas? It is the idea that everyone embraces the Holiday Spirit, looking forward to the celebration of trees, charm, and traditions. Many folks have battles, challenges, and losses that are difficult to overcome. The false expectation that everyone can override and continue through these experiences only makes the feeling worse.

I struggle with Blue Christmas. I have been told that I need to celebrate the Holiday, and enjoy it despite my challenges. It hurts, and I have made efforts to adjust my Holiday traditions by adding St. Nicholas Day on December 6th and Hanukkah as I was told as an adult of Jewish linkage in my family history. Despite that, it is the memories of Holidays past that challenge me and I go through the motions.

I have been struggle with the Holiday since the passing of my mother in June 2000 as she loved the time between Thanksgiving and New Years. In reflection, my challenges to the Holiday season are much older. They started as a child who experienced two households and the feeling of being in middle of a battleground with her parents. I learned to embrace the Season of Joy and felt the growth of the silent conflicts. I let myself fell into the seasonal expectations as I knew no difference as a child. As an adult, I see the emptiness of letting yourself see only the stuff and traditions but not the heart and the spirit with it.

How did I get to where I can freely discuss Blue Christmas? I received support of church, community, many friends and family who saw my struggle. They permitted me to go through the challenge of the season. They provided love, support, guidance, time, and presence. Thank you is too little and I’m grateful beyond words.

The season will always be a challenge, but I feel and see love, hope, and courage. I will pass those priceless gifts on to others challenged by the season. I hope you will do the same if you can.

The church is doing a Blue Christmas Service on Sunday, the 16th, at 4 pm. If you are challenged by the Holiday season, please come to the service and trust that people care about your challenges. Thank you for the Blue Christmas Service and those who need it.

Voices of Hope

We are Voices of Hope…

The song we sing

is one of courage,

delighting in the challenge

of what must be done.

We climb the walls

build by injustice

whether we are

in the pulpit, classroom,

or in the community.

We are Voices of Hope…

We follow the path

and our hands

are linked to the greater

yet diverse world.

We will always be

Voices of Hope…

We start movements,

coming together in moments

of challenge and need,

Our being in the Kindom

can only grow with strength,

trusting each other.

We are Voices of Hope…

When we hear messages,

coming from our companions

with their words dancing

into our dreams and thoughts,

We have only one choice,

but to stop, act, and be.

We are the Voices of Hope…

Letting the dust settle

WE CAN NOT!

Our victory is not always

the one we think it should be,

Perhaps our place

is where it is RIGHT NOW!

We know not what is planned

We only know ourselves,

even if doubting our purpose…

It is then that we discover

Our Voices of Hope.

Moments

We steals moments and change our schedules

We see people with new eyes

Discovering what we like is still there

Choosing to spend time with ones

that you let time slip away.

So changing your routine

Maybe something you need to do

Just because…

There are times when the need is unspoken <3

Thankfulness

Reasons to be thankful:

Love that grows day by day.

Faith in each other.

Hope for tomorrow.

Today is a new beginning.

Presence is everything whether in body, mind, or spirit.

Community is family and together we can accomplish anything <3

These are some thankful moments, wishing I could share more <3 <3

Power of Silence

Sitting in the dark,

feeling your heart beat,

hearing the leaves,

noticing the challenge

of trying to sleep.

Your mind races

like a million pics

over and over

with bits of color and tints

until you stare —

Into the darkness

Into the darkness

Into the darkness.

Then the colors and tints

come dance together

until pics are formed.

Your eyes and mind

hope you are on a trip,

It is then you realize

it is the Power of Silence

and it’s God Giving You Sight!