So…it’s a new season!

So…it’s a new season!

So…by now, I’m sure you’ve figured out that I’m moved by music.  I’ve said before that I wake up each morning with a song on my heart.  I also live my life by soundtrack…meaning…at any given moment…if you ask me to name a song…I can tell you what’s playing in my head.  If I don’t have a song…well…there’s something the matter!

Anywho…as I shake this shell off…I keep having new things revealed to me.  The other night at church, baptism was part of the service.  One of the songs we sing is called, It’s a New Season.  The lyrics we sing are simple…”It’s a new season.  It’s a new day.  A fresh anointing is flowing my way.  It’s a season of power and prosperity.  It’s a new season coming for me.”  To hear the whole song, click here and enjoy.  It’s sure to bless you!  But as we sang, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that THIS is a new season for me!  I believe that with it…a fresh anointing is coming!  Things I’ve not been doing or not been able to do are coming fresh on me.  New ability…new vision…new determination!  I’m excited.

My friend shared a sermon by Joel Osteen with me a few days ago.  It could not have been more on time.  It was called, Seeing Yourself the Way You Want to Be.  In line with this fresh anointing, I’ve realized that I haven’t visualized myself doing a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do lately.  I just haven’t.  Yeah, I hope and wish and pray really hard about them…but can I actually see myself doing it, being it….saying it?  When I was a student at Mercer University, I contend that the reason I didn’t graduate is that I did not see myself graduating from there.  As such, I did not complete my program of study.  Fast forward 8 years…..at Albany State University…from the time I enrolled until the day of my graduation…I saw myself standing on the stairs at the James H. Gray Civic Center holding a blue card with my name written phonetically so that I could hand it to the announcer to call my name correctly.  I saw it…I dreamed it…I knew that it would happen.  I was ready.

So, the dreams I have…the gifts I have…are waiting for me to use them.  I can see myself walking in that fresh anointing to use these gifts God gave me!  Donald Lawrence’s latest, The Gift, is speaking to me as well.  “The systems of the world will try to take your confidence but these systems were designed to make you doubt what heaven sent.  The systems of the world will try to take your confidence but these systems were designed to make you sit down on your gift.”  Light bulb!  So…if i sit and don’t do anything with my God given gifts…then…I’m not making God happy.  When you use what He gave you…and give it back to Him, He graces you with more of it.  It’s  compliment to Him!  I’ve been hearing that your gift will make room for you…now..I get it.  You’re not in a competition with what others who have the same gift as you…you’re there as part of a community of like folks…the way your gift works is different from how theirs works.  As such, don’t be afraid to get out there and do what you’ve been gifted to do!  Your gift…it looks good on you!  It’s yours…now go and give it back to Him…watch it grow…

Now…some of my gifts…I’m well aware of…because I use them….and I can tell how they’ve blessed other people when someone lets me know how a particular thing has changed them.  Others of my gifts, I’m getting to know.  At first, this part can be a little scary because it may be something new or that is so outside of your box, you’re trying to figure out why God chose you for it.  Don’t worry, in time, He’ll let you know just what to do with it.  You have to trust Him…and let’s not forget…CONSULT HIM….lol…(that’s called prayer…).  Some have been being developed for awhile…one in particular since I was a child…Now that I’m aware of it…I’m trying to see how God wants me to use it…because there are certainly ways to abuse it.  I just want to be able to make Him happy!  Compliment Him even!

Now…there are still other gifts that I’ve either not been given or haven’t considered a gift…so..yeah…praying God opens my eyes for things I’m missing.  Don’t want to sit on it!

So…I just want to encourage you to go after your dreams…they’ve been given to you for a reason.  Line up your desires with God’s…and man oh man…there’s nothing you can’t do!  When you start doing what God has purposed you to do…what He has gifted you to do…you’d be amazed at how that gift increases.  It truly will make room for you!

Your talentUntil next time,

Hakuna Matata

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Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2013

Okay…I think this is utterly hilarious! I can sooooo this being me and Karen one day…fussin’ at the kids and grandkids ’bout some new fangled foolishness.

Margaret and Helen

Dear Family,

This war on Thanksgiving has gone too far.  Bacon, butter, sugar and cream are as important to Thanksgiving as the damn turkey.  Vegetarians, God help them, have always managed to graze through my table and find enough to satisfy them.  And if they stumbled upon a piece of bacon or two… well nobody has died in all the years I’ve put this meal on the table. But this latest request for a gluten-free meal has gone too far.   A gluten-free Thanksgiving is like a rainy day – gray and soggy.  I ain’t gonna do it, honey. Get mad, get glad or scratch your ass, it don’t make a difference to me.  My Thanksgiving meal will have some gluten in it just as sure as a pig’s ass is pork.  And we just might have some of that, too.

The holidays are not a time for dieting.  This family…

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So…who’s that girl?

So…who’s that girl?

So…what happens when you take a girl who is on a journey of self discovery and place her in front of a mirror? You get someone who never paid attention to her own beauty before.  For too long, I’ve accepted that my size was a barrier to my beauty.  The numbers on the scale said that I was ugly and unattractive.  Celie said it best, “You’s think I’s ugly.  Mmm mmm mm…You show is ugly!”  Well…here’s what I’ve learned about the scale:

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My numerical relationship to gravity!  I love it!

A few weeks ago, I was at the barber shop getting what’s to be my signature hair style. I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection on the door and froze. “That’s me?” I wondered. “Wow…look at my waist. Look at these curves.” I turned around and checked out my view from the back and wanted to go slap the fudge outta Kim Kardashian. “Looka there!” Lol…I was suddenly enamored with what I saw. I saw a sexy 30 something staring back at me. I finally realized that I was not alone in the barber shop and went back to being civilized.

I would always hear people say, “you’re pretty for a big girl.” I’ve even heard men say, “you know..you’re sexy for a big girl.” or my favorite, “you know when you get down in your weight some, you’ll be just as sexy as Beyonce’.” Really guy? That’s how we’re doing it? Ugh…(men are stupid – okay..not all…but really?) Here’s one for you…I’m just as sexy as any of them…RIGHT NOW! I know this post sounds a little vain, but I’ve said so many negative things about my physical appearance in the last 37 years…I think I’m due some self love. know what I mean?

Last night, we had church at our main campus (we have 4 soon to be 5).  In the sanctuary, there are cameras and at any given time, you’re subject to be on the big screen.  Well, because I’m in the choir, that happens a lot!  I used to always cringe at my image, because I was just angry that I looked that much bigger on that big ole screen.  Well, last night, I walked in the view of the camera and as I did, I happened to see myself on the big screen.  Again, I thought…”DANG!  That’s me?!  Hey sexy mama!”  lol.  Sexy is a word I’ve NEVER used to describe myself.  But after these last few weeks…I do believe that’s about to change!  Honey…This one here is a brickhouse! OW!!! (now they’ve got my measurements a lil wrong in the song…but it’s alright.  I wasn’t born yet…) lol…

So…this morning, when I got ready for church, I was as we say…”feelin’ myself”…I was sure enough believing what I know to be true.  I’m not only beautiful, but I’m daggum sexy!  Ha!

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Now…the top that I’m wearing in actuality is a dress.  I bought it and loved it but I thought it was a top.  It wasn’t until I saw my sister in the exact same one in orange that I realized it was a dress.  Now..in my more conservative age…it’d be too short for me to want to wear it as a dress.  I’d be worried about showing all my goodies.  I’ve even covered cleavage because I just don’t want everyone seeing what all I have to offer!  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m no longer ashamed of the body I’m in.  Some things though, I’d just rather wait to show to the right person!  (you know..the him that the Him upstairs is preparing…yeah..him..)

Anywho…while I realize that my weight loss journey is going to result in a slimmer me…I’m not going to wait until I’m slim to be beautiful and sexy.  I already am and dagnabbit I’m going to act like it!  In the infamous words of Chuckie Finster, “I’m not ascaird anymore!”  Anyone who can’t accept that can just go ahead and take a hike with my ex Fear.  I gave him some very specific instructions on what he could do if he didn’t like me as I am.  I want you to know that it’s a new day!

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So…the next time you decide to drop by unannounced and I answer the door in a bikini, my underwear or my birthday suit…well…just stop blushing and get unashamed…because I’m not.  I love this body of mine…no matter my current size…and I’m gonna keep being me.

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…we’re breaking up!

Dear Fear,

I’m writing to let you know that we’re done.  Our toxic relationship is over.  Finished.  Kaput!  I want nothing more to do with you ever.  I’ve participated in your foolery far too long.  I’ve let you convince me of things that were not true for far too long.  You’ve told me, I wasn’t good enough.   You’ve told me I wasn’t pretty enough.  You’ve told me I wasn’t tall enough.  You’ve told me I wasn’t smart enough.  You’ve told me I was too fat.

I even gave birth to your children:  Fear of Lack, Fear of Rejection, Fear of Failure.  You can have full custody of them.  I’m signing over my parental rights.  Oh..wait..they are grown!  I birthed them a long time ago…I’m letting go.

You may kiss the right side, bottom half of my grand ole derriere!  I’ve had enough.

You see…”You held me down but I got up!  Already brushing off the dust!  You hear my voice?  You hear that sound? Like thunder gonna shake the ground.  You held me down but I got up!  Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough!  I see it all!  I see it now!  I’ve got the eye of the tiger!  A Fighter!  Dancing through the fire ’cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar!  Louder!  Louder than a lion ’cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar!”  Yeah…Katy Perry had it right.  I think she wrote it especially for me.

From now on, I’ve got a new beau.  His name is Joy!  I’ve been seeing him on the side.  Not full time of course…but I’d been sneaking to see him.  Why?  He gets me!  He makes me feel wonderful.  He lets me be me.  He encourages me to be me.  As a matter of fact, he’s the reason that I can write you this letter.  That’s right, he helped me pen it.  It’s been a long time coming.  So…he’s now my full time love.  I’ll not have to cheat on him.  Like I said…he lets me be me.  He doesn’t mock me.  He encourages me.  He speaks life over me.

I am ready.  It’s been a long time coming.  See ya later boo!  Ooooh…wait…you won’t…our ties are forever obliterated!

In the infamous words of Martin Payne…”GET TA STEPPIN’!”

Signed,

The girl who is no longer plagued by you…Kimyatta

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

P.S.  Check out the official video for Katy Perry’s Roar.  Get inspired.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CevxZvSJLk8

So…India Arie is the bees knees!

India sing

So…I’ve told you all before how India.Arie is my favorite musical artist.  She is absolutely beautiful!  Her music is soulful.  I can tell she puts her all into creating everything she brings forth.  If she doesn’t believe it to be her best, she won’t put it out.  She’ll postpone or whatever until she has perfected it to her satisfaction.

When I found that she was going to be coming to my area for a concert, I said…”I’m going to that concert.  I don’t know how, but I am going!”  Sure enough, one of my angels heard that and laid it on the heart of someone to coax me out of the house with a ticket to the concert.

It was one of my best experiences this year.  It was the second time this year I could truly say I was in my element.  The vibe in the place was so appropriate.  There was excitement all over the place.  Appropriately, it was held in the Cobb ENERGY Center.  Lol..so much energy there…

I absolutely enjoyed the company I had. There were 7 ladies all together. We were to make it a weekend but mommy duties let me off only long enough to go to the concert. I was accompanied by 6 other soul birds. We had a blast.

Unfortunately, the concert started late!!!! The opening act came out…unfortunately I don’t remember the fellas name…but he came out at 730. He was done by like 7:55. Then…..we waited..with sweat on our brows…songs on our hearts and wiggles in our hips…for AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES for THE Soulbird to emerge…when I tell you it was rough..it was rough. People do crazy things when they wait…we laughed…we talked…we fidgeted…we had to get some folks out of our seats!  There was this couple that misread their tickets and were causing some problems for folks because they were in the wrong seats.  Our lead soul bird Kerrie took care of it though!  “They need to see your tickets!” The man was mortified.  I think deep down he knew…he knew….

Anyway…I later found out that the reason the concert started late was because of the VIP experience.  I guess more people signed up to meet India than expected and the entire process took so long.

So!  She finally came on stage…and looked absolutely AMAZING.  The dress she wore was made by her mother and it was so fitting for the performance.  It was a true Songversation.  We laughed, we talked and felt her pain as she shared through words, pictures and videos what this journey has been for her.  She talked about her journey with love.  It’s been a process and how she finally arrived in a place where she understands love truly.  Guess what she said?  It starts with loving yourself!  HA!  Going to that concert was truly part of my process.

We sang and danced so much that night that I was truly on a natural high for the rest of October…and shoot….even now!  I can’t describe how I feel now when I listen to those five CDs…Each song means something different to me than it did before.  I used to think that knowing the lyrics to a song helped to understand it better.  But hearing her explain what she went through while writing the song or what prompted her to write it or what transpired to inspire the song…REALLY made me get it.  I really feel like I know her personally.  Knowing that Moved By You is about an experience with God changed the whole meaning of the song.  I mean…I liked it from the beginning, but when you hear what you perceive to be a love song…if you’re single, you immediately think about an ex who the song could apply to or you imagine the person you’ll sing that song to…but to find it’s a love song to God…makes me see it with new eyes…I can groove to it more.  It’s meaning is different.

I had a blast at this concert.  I felt like I was in a wonderful place.  I was among kindred.  That’s how I felt when I went to the National Book Club Conference back in August.  I was home.  I wasn’t ashamed to sing.  I wasn’t ashamed to dance.  I felt so free!  Kinda how India looks here.

India free

She is so gracious.  India has so many talented people in her entourage.  Her band, her stage folks…ALLA DEM!  Lol…at one point in the concert, her mother came out and sang…She was not afraid to let others shine and let every one of those talented folks have a moment in the spotlight.  I don’t know her personally but I feel that she is so genuine.  I can only imagine what it’s like to be her friend for real.  Thankfully, I have some real friends who are just as awesome!  We don’t fight for the lime light.  We’re all special in our own rights.  I had the pleasure of sharing the night with some of them.  Some were old friends like Kerrie, Devin, Dashia and Sunshine.  Others, like Janeika, Deidra and Stephanie were awesome to meet.  I had an absolutely AWESOME time with them.  At the end of the concert, we took this photo.  Can’t you see all that energy on us?!  When we got outside, they gave us souvenirs…we got cocoa butter lotion! Her love is like..cocoa butter on my heart! (that’s part of a song).   lol…

Soulbirds rise

I learned a lot about myself that night.  I was truly amazed that I could be this person.  This transformation has been at least 37 years in the making…(ha!)  Truly though…the last three years have been such a challenge but this last year, I’ve seen my healing…I was telling a friend how she “sat on my egg”…this concert was more of my incubation period.  The final stage even.  The Soulbird herself contributed to me being ready to break the shell.  That’s how special I am!  I’ll keep growing and picking away at this shell.

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…how do you break the shell?

time to break the shell

So…I’ve always classified myself as an introvert.  I like people, I’m just not so easy to open up and let folks in.  I have a select group of close friends who know everything about me and then there are others who I know and am friendly with, but I don’t always let them in.  Sometimes, I’m shy and of course you know I’d rather be in a corner with a book somewhere than in the middle of a crowd any time.

Recently, I had the pleasure of going to an India Arie Concert for her Soulbird tour.  It was amazing.  I’ll post more on that later.  But her new album Songversation has a track called Break the Shell.  When she talked about it, I could so see myself in the words.

“Child it’s time to break the shell.  Life’s gonna hurt but it’s meant to be felt.  You can not touch the sky from inside yourself.  You cannot fly until you break the shell.”

I thought about all the different things I’ve missed or haven’t experienced because I’ve been so stuck in who I thought I was.  Sometimes I’ve doubted who I could be and haven’t even tried to for fear of failure.  There are so many things I’ve started or attempted but haven’t finished for that very reason.  I always wonder what would happen if <fill in negative action here> and would ultimately decide it may not be worth the effort because “it’s not going to work anyway.”  I can’t worry about tomorrow.  God’s provided provision for today and that’s all I need to know!  Today is the day I’ve been given.  I can’t change yesterday and I am not promised tomorrow!

I think that’s how I started getting lost in books.  It didn’t hurt to read.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I absolutely love to read and won’t stop doing that.  But that’s always been my escape.  It does not hurt.  It’s easy.  No one is going to judge me for doing it.  No one could tell me I was doing it wrong.  (though…some crazy people tried…but I blew them off.)  If I didn’t want to read a book, I didn’t have to.  If I wanted to skip pages, I could.

There are lots of things I’d like to do…but I’ve never been brave enough to do them because…I’ve convinced myself that I couldn’t…I’ve had so many disappointments…that really really hurt and I’ve not wanted to keep experiencing that.  I’ve had days where I’ve just felt so numb that I haven’t wanted to do anything to, for or with anyone.  I just wanted to not feel.  Then, when I’m trapped inside that numb box, I just want to not be there.  I want something else.  I see folks experiencing life…and I’ve been a voyeur for too long being jealous because others were enjoying themselves…

Well…that ends now…I’m tired of sacrificing my desires based on my on fear.  I can’t do it any more.  “Life’s going to hurt but it’s meant to be felt.”  So what if I fail.  That just means I should try again only harder if it is something I REALLY want to do.  If not, then it was not for me!  I’m so excited.  There are so many emotions flowing through me right now.  I can’t begin to describe them.

This morning, I sent a friend a prayer because she was on my hear this morning.  The words she returned made me laugh and overwhelmed me.  The shell breaking…she said I already do it in this blog.   She was echoing some of the things I felt in my spirit.  Some of the things I’ve written in this very post were repeated in her reply.  She told me that I need to find a way to do that OUTSIDE the internet.  In the real world…through my words that are written, spoken and sung.  Hmm…she may be on to something there.

As if that was not enough confirmation, my daily Joel Osteen devotional spoke to those same things in my spirit!  WHAT?!  God is absolutely amazing.  I’m going to be still in this season.  In this season…I’ll just be still and in that stillness, I will enjoy my life.  The chaos that surrounds me will not be a deterrent.  I’m in charge!  (well…not really…God is…but you know what I mean…)

I always see those photos like these…
laugh_loveThen…I think…I’m living….NOT!  I’ve simply been existing.  I’ve been afraid to laugh because laughter sometimes lead to tears.  I KNOW I’ve been holding back on loving…because like I told you before, people disappoint you, but as I’ve embraced God’s love for me…I’m embracing the concept of loving much.  I’ll love so much that I’ll tell the truth!  I will no longer be able to withhold the truth or bottle it up to keep from hurting feelings.  I used to do that exercise where I just wrote whatever I was feeling down without ever telling a person how I felt.  I’ll probably still do that, but it doesn’t help if I don’t tell the offender.  Whether that person is a friend, family or other, it’s important to say it.  Bottling it up never helped a single person.  In fact, it’s done more harm than good.  It leads to health problems.  Lord knows I’ve got enough of them….PROBABLY FROM BOTTLING STUFF UP!  The only thing I want bottled is water…and maybe some of that Red Electra on occasion!  I’ll no longer forfeit my own peace for the sake of others.  My needs are important too!  Look out world.  Kimyatta’s breaking that shell!

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So the next time someone shares a dream or goal, do all you can to encourage them no matter what.  While you can’t be accountable for the actions someone takes, you can be the difference between someone living or dying.  Speak life.

I am

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…Do you know what love is?

So…my favorite scripture is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  You know it…it’s the “love” scripture.  Forrest Gump said, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.”  He did.  He really did.  Think about the movie and how he waited for Jenny.

1_corinthians_13-4-8-sunflowers

This is it.  This is the essence of what we should do to one another and ourselves!  But guess what?  WE DON’T.  Do you know why we don’t love each other? Because we don’t believe that God loves us.

I know you’re saying…”I know God loves me…that doesn’t apply to me!” But it so does.  We know on an academic or intellectual level that God loves us.  Absolutely.  it says so in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  You know that.  I know that.  My daughter knew that at 3 years old.  But I dare you to consider this…do you believe it?

Yesterday, I visited a friend’s church.  I don’t really like to do that because I’m usually serving in ministry each Sunday at my own church and hate to not be present.  But, I’ve learned that God will put you where you need to be to hear what you need to hear.  So…at the behest of my friend, I visited a church that was not my own.  The message was simple for the most part and the pastor suggested that we don’t believe that God loves us and that’s why we treat people the way we do.

Think about it.  When we lie to people, we’re really saying, they aren’t important enough for us to tell them the truth about something.  I think about the books I read.  I used to not like to write a review if I didn’t like a book because I was worried about hurting an author’s feelings.  When I became an author, I had that fear even more.  In the last few weeks though, I’ve come to the conclusion, that not saying I didn’t like a book is lying by omission.  In the grand scheme of things, my opinion of a book is not that important, but this is just an example.  If the grammar is horrible, the editing is deplorable and the plot has holes, SOMEBODY should have stopped that particular book from EVER being published.  Unfortunately, that does not happen and the book market is flooded with less than publish-worthy books and when someone tells a friend they want to write a book, they get a response like, “Oh everybody is writing a book these days.”  That’s not demonstrating love.  You’re not honoring a person by withholding the truth from them.

That didn’t resonate? Well let’s look at it this way.  When you see a person that has something you don’t, whether that’s a material thing, a gift or talent, a personality trait, a physical trait or whatever, what do you do?  Sometimes, women are the worst culprits of this.  We see another woman and via a quick once over, we’ve made up our minds about her.  “She should be ashamed for coming out the house like that.”  In reality, we might be saying on the inside, “Why don’t my thighs look like that?”  But this is envy.  Love does not envy.  (It’s right there in the text…look at it…).

This goes back to us not believing that God loves us enough to give us exactly what we were meant to have.  The thighs God gave you were meant for you and no one else.  I remember once I was out walking and a lady stopped me to say that she loved my legs.  WHA?  I hated my legs.  She said that all of her life, she’s had “these lil chicken legs” and would love to have big beautiful legs like mine.  I didn’t know what to say to that because at the time, I was thinking the opposite.  She said I should be sure to show them off because everyone isn’t blessed like me.  Can you say floored?

Psalm 139-14

 

Now, I understand this scripture a little better.  I have accepted that there are things about myself that I may be unhappy with, but God made me and I can love all of me no matter what flaws I may find.  In His eyes, I’m the way I am supposed to be.  He loves me, and I believe that He loves me.  I’m making it my business to believe that no matter how many times I have to say it every day or how many places I have to post it each day.  If I don’t believe that God loves me, then I can’t love myself.  If I can’t love myself, then I can’t love anyone else.  I’m special and I have a unique set of gifts, talents and abilities that He gave me to perform a specific task for Him, so today, I embrace that.

He loves me so much, He sent his Son to die for me.  I can’t thank Him enough.  Would you have given YOUR kid to save all of humanity?  That type of love is unfathomable.  But today, I believe that kind of love is possible.  I believe that I’m loved that way.  There’s nothing I did to deserve it and there’s nothing I can do to earn it.  Here’s the kicker….there’s also nothing I can do to make Him not love me.  Imagine that.

Be free of your pain, your hurt and your self hate and know that God loves you.  Accept it and move on.

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata