Today is my mother’s birthday. She is 50…. I don’t remember, and don’t feel like doing the math. I am also not about to figure out what year it was last time I was speaking to my mother on her birthday. What year was the last time I acknowledged this day as being significant for more than the birth of Dr. King? I know I haven’t bought a gift in the 2000’s.
My sister taught her how to text. I received a reminder full of grammatical errors yesterday. It’s funny, this space. We’re cordial. We joke. She makes me candy and gumbo. I like her sometimes. We don’t talk about the serious things. Leave it up to me, we will never talk about the past. I know exactly where the line is drawn in the sand and I refuse to go near it. This line doesn’t exist for her, but that’s what the “end call” button is for. I’ve accepted that I’ll never get an apology, or anything remotely close. But it wasn’t needed for forgiveness.
Today is my mother’s birthday. I’m going to call her. I’m going to buy her a card. I’ll probably give her a hug. I might even tell her I love her. I do. I’m discovering that I always did in one way or another. I’m also going to thank God for healing. Thank Him for progress. Thank Him for the desire to tell my mother happy birthday again.
One foot. One step. That was all it took.
I was off-balance. I couldn’t shake the “blah” feeling. I couldn’t string a coherent sentence together for anything. I didn’t feel like reading. I wanted to sit at home and go out and party. I wanted to sleep and dance. I wanted to mover forward and run a mile in the wrong direction. Sunday, I wanted to go to church and I wanted to nap. My life was literally a wreck. My feelings colliding.
But I got up, dressed and in the car. And I walked into Wallace Chapel. That step, the first step, was the best decision that I’ve made in such a long time. As I closed my eyes in worship, I saw a brick wall in its beginning stages. I thought that it was my imagination just wondering per usual. Then it hit me like the ton of bricks that made up the foundation of that wall. The turmoil. The indifference. Tug of war that has sneakily taken over my life. It was the wall. The same wall that was erected all those years ago to keep Jesus out of the most sacred parts of my heart. The bricks were being laid once again. It was on its way back up. Petty justification for all of my sins. Excuses. Nonchalant disposition towards church, my bible and my spiritual growth. Each brick that I saw as I stood in corporate worship represented all the things that I just knew were gone for good building upon themselves.
God works in mysterious ways. He speaks to each of our hearts in a way that only we can understand. He convicts us. He gives us instruction. He forgives and consoles. He directs and reveals. He washes us with compassion and fills us with his love. For everyone, this is unique. Sunday He used a picture. Bricks in my head that I never would have seen if I hadn’t taken that first step. And continued walking forward.
King Remembered In Time
A couple of weeks ago, I went on a thought spree/twitter rant about Jesus and secular music. The dilema of determining what I shouldn’t listen to because of my faith is nothing new. I’ve written about it before, and came to the conclusion that it comes down to being a matter of my heart. Since then, I’ve cut many an artist from my rotation. I thought that I’d miss the old music, but it was a surprisingly easy process. The good thing about cutting out old music is that there was more room for new music! Ok, let me get to the point.
I did an experiment a few weeks ago. Warm weather means concert season in Nashville, and I’m a sucker for a live show. However, the environment at most hip-hop concerts aren’t cut from the pages of a storybook. I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t enjoy myself last spring/summer. So much so that once the cold months came I decided to become a hermit indefinitely. Now that the sun is heating things up, I’ve realized that I’m not meant to be in the house. AT ALL. I want the sun. I want the crowds and people watching. I want the bands and amazing voices. I want it all. But can I have it all and not go left? Or will being in the live show environment make me want to repeat previous years of wilding out? Perfect test was the Big KRIT show.
I love me some KRIT. LOVE. He’s a great mix of ratchet and intelligence. He raps about what he knows and it’s genuine. No, his songs aren’t about God. Yes, there is plenty of profanity. Do I feel some kind of way when I listen to him? No. Like I said before, it’s all about the heart. I’ve been to a few KRIT shows in my day. I think that this one was my fourth. And let me tell you…. I had a BALL! Did I drink? No. Did I identify with what everyone was talking about in every song? Not at all, but I never have. Did I get sleepy and leave early? Yes. I have to work every morning at 7am. No way that I can hang when the headliner doesn’t even hit the stage until after midnight.
This is pretty much the dopest picture of Open Mic ever. Don’t debate me.
I came out of this experiment knowing a few things for sure. OpenMic is amazing and I’m impatiently waiting on FTR2. Petty has this thing about him that’s infectious. I can’t really describe it, but I promise you can’t sit through his set and not vibe with him. He’s had me since I thought he was a random white boy at the AyeVee show. I was so wrong (he’s black). Big KRIT has never disappointed and I don’t believe he ever will. Most importantly, I know that my doubts and agonizing were for no reason. Honestly, I can go into any show on this planet and be just fine as long as my foundation is strong. I know I’m still going to hear the “Watch what you feed your spirit. Be careful of the places that you go, you’re a Christian” speeches. I’ve never believed that my God is one to take away things that we love when we choose to live for Him. He doesn’t want us to lead boring monotonous lives. So catch me at your favorite venue. In the middle of the crowd. Falling totally in love with someone’s performance. Matter of fact, join me!
There are less than 30 days until 2013. Now is the time when most people start thinking long and hard about their New Year’s Resolutions. Not I. Any day is a good day to make a resolution and stick with it. What’s the point of wait until the beginning of the year to make a healthy and necessary change?
My New Day’s Resolutions for Thursday, December 6th:
1. Be more financially responsible.
I’ve been working at this for a while now, but today is the first time that I’ve put my foot down and decided to make it a requirement. I can be a bit impulsive and am seriously lacking in the patience department. The “I want it now” bug is real in my life. As of today, no more buying now and dealing with the consequences later. I have to stick to my budget no matter how tempting the item/event/adventure may be. I have goals for 2013 and the only way that I’ll be able to meet them all is if I’m responsible.
2. Shut Up And Be Positive
This is such a general statement, I know. But I need to practice these things in more areas of my life than I’d like to share. So generally speaking, from this day forward, I will shut my mouth and be positive. I will chase away frustration, anger, and all of the unnecessary commentary that takes up far too much space in my brain with positivity. If I can’t seem to be positive, I will be quiet. There is too much power in the tongue and in my thoughts. I look forward to reaping the positive benefits of the thoughts and words that I sow into my life.
This feels great already.
Taking a break from The Bonnaroo Experience. I’ll be back with part 3 on Thursday. Today I had to share what was on my mind.
How is that people know exactly what to say? Not just what to say, but they have the most impeccable timing. How? Where am I going with this line of questioning? I’m glad you asked. I want to know because it happens to me all the time. And I always want to ask the person speaking to me exactly how they knew that I need to hear the words.
‘After a great dinner and plenty of conversation, my daddy (the greatest man in the world) called my sisters and I into the front room of my Mama Nola’s house this past Sunday for a “talk”. I won’t lie, I was terrified. Our little family talks have a way of morphing into these overly dramatic tear and snot fests that Dr. Phil would give his left nut to have filmed in front of a live studio audience. This talk was no different. But before the waterworks and raised voices, my dad dropped a bomb on me.
That bald head man looked me square in my eyes and said to me every single thing that I’ve been thinking, well attempting to avoid thinking, about myself for the last few months. And I couldn’t do a thing other than nod my head. I can’t stand him.
After Sunday, I can’t act like I don’t know that I’ve been settling. I can’t continue to settle. I have to do something about it. Anything. Merely stating that I”m trying to figure out what that step is will no longer cut it.
A friend told me (on the very same day) that God places everything we could possibly need around us, but it’s our job to open our eyes and look for it. I haven’t been looking. At all. I also haven’t been asking to be led in the right direction. Not doing my part in the least bit. Expecting my purpose to be spoon fed to me instead of discovering it for myself.
So, thanks Daddy. Thanks Friend.
One of my favorite places.
If I have something bothering me, I usually write it out. If I have SOMETHING to say to someone, I write it out first. When I really need to talk to God, I write Him a letter. I work out all of the jumbled thoughts in my head by writing them down. That is when they start to make sense. When my pen hits paper, I enter my happy place.
People (read: various opinionated family members and close friends) always comment on how much I don’t communicate. I started telling myself that I need to start talking more and writing less. I said that I would practice, and eventually I wouldn’t need so many notebooks. I started trying, and it has not worked at all. I’ve been frustrated and confused. Oh, and I haven’t been talking. I’ve been spending too much time trying to work my thought out in my head for fear of saying the wrong thing. Nothing has come out right, at least I don’t feel that it has. I’ve been second guessing decisions and harboring doubt. I never feel this way when I write.
Today I picked up the journal that I bought with the intention of jotting down lists and started penning everything that came to mind. I felt better with every word. Then I picked up the journal that I bought for the sole purpose of writing to God and let the words fly. What started as one of the most ratchet letters of frustration that I ever did wrote, ended a something so much more than anything that I’ve been attempting to say with my mouth. And now I’m back here where I started. Writing. Writing about how I tried to ruin one of the “perfect” things about myself.
I write. If I don’t write, I”m lost. I don’t need to make a living from it; don’t need anyone’s approval. I need a pen and paper to communicate with myself, my emotions, my God and my dreams, my goals and the people who I love. I do not want to change that. Ever.