So…What’s your song?

At the beginning of 2013, I was still working in that call center that I still will not name…I remember waking up with a sore throat but knowing I would just go to work.  I figured, I felt fine…just had a sore throat.  Well, I hopped on the phone like always and the more I talked, the more I realized, I was losing my voice.  Every person that said something on the phone said, “oh my goodness, you sound horrible!”  I remember thinking, “but I feel fine.”  Finally, I decided to tell my supervisor that I was having a problem.  She said, “Well, I can understand you.”  Aggravated, I pressed on.  Like I said, my throat was sore but aside from that I felt fine.  So I kept water near me and throat lozenges were my breakfast and lunch that day.  About an hour after I talked to my supervisor, my manager called me and ordered me off the phone.  I went to the urgent care…strep test came back negative…just a sore throat.  Well the next day, my voice was completely gone.  I couldn’t even whisper!

I waited a few days and went back to the doctor because the issue hadn’t resolved itself.  The doc ordered me 2 weeks of voice rest.  Two weeks turned into eight!  Eight weeks, I was supposed to not talk or talk as little as possible.  Considering I sang every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at church and worked 8 hours a day on the telephone, I was seeing some serious problems!  I wasn’t mad about not talking…I was mad that I wasn’t going to be able to sing!  Me.  The one who wakes up with a song every morning was not going to be able to sing!  I couldn’t believe it.

Well, eight weeks later, I was better, not good as new as allergy season was upon us at that point…just better.  Something strange happened…I went to choir practice and something irritated me.  I mean I was downright angry!  Then when it was time to sing, either Sunday or Thursday and I’d be either mad or overwhelmed with sadness.  This went on for months and I never told anyone for real because I didn’t know how to express it.  We would sing songs and I would think about the words and it meant nothing to me.  One night, our choir director admonished us to encourage the people and reminded us that we have to believe what we’re singing.

That was the moment I realized my problem.  I didn’t believe what I was singing.  We were singing a song called Higher by William Murphy.  My throat closed up.  I couldn’t sing it because I didn’t believe.  There’s a part at the end that says, “I got my joy back” and it dawned on me that I didn’t have any joy.  It was September already and I had gone the whole year with no joy!

The next morning I woke up very early and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I lay there listening and heard absolutely nothing.  The root of my problem was discovered! I had not been waking up with a song!  How could that have happened I wondered over and over again.  I tried and tried and tried but I could not hear my heart’s song.  The music was gone!  I had lost my physical voice which lead to a loss of my spiritual voice. When I tell you that was the worst feeling in the world! It’s undescribable. I cried many days and nights with no reason I could come to. My friend Nicole prayed with and for me. I literally felt my spirit and flesh wrestling.

Before long, I had it back. It was only through prayer and seeking God that it was restored. So on the cusp of the new year I had my song again.

Now I’m more apt to listen for it. If I don’t hear it I immediately pray and wait for it. When my spiritual ears are opened I get my song and proceed with my day. Back in October or November, our choir began to sing a song written by our fabulous lead guitar player, Quintrell Bruno, called Never Be the Same Again. I was at a low point and close to losing my song again.  The lyrics are just amazing. The melody is haunting but it stayed with me.  I’ve listed the lyrics below but the part I needed…The part I always hear throughout my day…goes..:”don’t you know how much God loves you. Don’t you know how much he cares?” That’s the part I always need to hear. It was introduced to me late in the year but I’d heard it more in my spirit in the last quarter of 2015 than any other song all year long. It’s such a healing song. It’s the balm for my wounded soul. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to experience it.  Read the lyrics here and see what I’m talking about.

This same thing with losing my song happened to me again at the end of 2016.  This time though, I was in a place where it was all black.  I couldn’t sing.  Standing in the choir stand, Watch Night, I know my face told a story that words couldn’t.  I couldn’t even open my mouth to sing and I was scheduled to sing for two services on Sunday morning! I didn’t know it but I was at the door of my breakthrough!  One of my choir sisters prayed for me and I didn’t even know it.  All I knew was that between Saturday night and Sunday morning, a wonderful change came over me.  I had my song back and thankfully, I have come to a place of freedom and I will never be bound again.  I don’t have to wrestle with the darkness for that reason again.

So…what’s your song? Have you listened? Listen to your heart. It’s there.

Until next time,

 

Hakuna Matata

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

So…music soothes the soul!

So…music soothes the soul!

So…you know how I told you that I looooooooooove music and I wake up with a song most mornings…well…this isn’t the song I woke up with but it’s the song on my mind.  It’s called Grace by Tasha Cobbs.  The lyrics are simple.

God loves me.  Adores me.  Watches over me.  You are for me.  Grace loved me.  It’s not what I deserve.   And nothing that I’ve earned.  But daily, grace saves me.

If you haven’t heard this song, you should check it out here.  Yes.  It’s that simple.  Grace is just something God gives us his grace easily, and freely.  I think about all the times I have done something that in my mind would ensure that nothing good would ever happen to me again.  I think about all the times I’ve been counted out or dismissed because of whatever.  Then I remember God’s grace.   It’s because of his grace I’m still here.

Now, it might seem odd that I’m switching gears right here to change from Tasha Cobbs to talk about another artist, but in my mind, it’s related.  See, my favorite musical artist EVER is India.Arie.  Her new album Songversation came out this week.  I joked with a friend about the album and the next thing I knew, I had a gift card to purchase it!  WHAT?  SERIOUSLY?  I didn’t deserve it.  It’s not something I would live or die without, but this friend decided to gift it to me.  I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude that it’s ridiculous!   And of course…I absolutely LOVE the album.  There’s a song on there called Just Do You.  It’s so appropriate for this time in my life.

I know that I’m loved by all who know me, but I’m so blessed…simply overwhelmed.  It’s in the last few weeks that I realize that I have so many prayers being answered.  Things I’ve spoken in jest, things I’ve cried over in my spirit, things I’ve been seeking for years…prayers being answered.  I do often wonder if God hears my prayers or simply goes, “Oh…here SHE goes again…”.  Every now and then, I’m reminded that he not only hears my rushed, hurried, muttered or whispered prayers, but he answers them.  He my not be answering my prayers in the order in which they were received or in order of what I think is important (HA!) but they are being answered.

I said all that to say, I’m truly blessed.  When I downloaded that CD, I INSTANTLY fell in love.  The number 8 track on every single one of India’s CDs are usually ones I’m instantly drawn to.  This one was no different.  I think she must KNOW that the number 8 is magical.  Or at least it’s magical to me!  I was born on the 8th and so was my daughter!  Anyway, even though I’m in love with Moved By You…my favorite song on the CD is number 2…called Just Do You.  It is the newest song in my work out mix.  I love it.  It’s encouraging you to BE YOURSELF whoever that self is.  Inspiration is hitting me daily…I’ll have some left over when I don’t feel “inspired” but press on anyway.  Here are the lyrics for my favorite part of Just Do You.  Its the part typically classified as the bridge followed by the chorus:

If you create the game, then you create the rules.  And if you just be you there’s no way you can lose.  There’s a story waiting for you to write it.  There’s a treasure waiting for you to find it.  There’s a picture waiting for you to paint it.  There’s a dollar waiting for you to make it.

So whatchu waitin’ on?  Who are you waiting for?  If you don’t take a chance you’ll never know what’s in store.

Just do you!  Somebody’s got to be a star.  Just do you!  Somebody’s got to raise the bar.  Just do you!  Somebody’s got to change the game.  Just do you!  Today!

So…Just do you!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…Janet Jackson’s Principles For A Perfect Workout

So…I get this email from Blackdoctor.org like all the time. I NEVER OPEN IT! Um…’scuse me! Kimyatta?! WHY DID YOU SUBSCRIBE IF YOU WEREN’T GONNA READ! I suppose for such a time as this…

I love Janet Jackson! That chick can move! I get tired just watching her…*sigh*…ANYWAY…from this article I am most interested in the part about varying the workouts. One of the things I remember most when I was on a role losing weight is the variety of the workouts. We RARELY did the same thing twice in a week. I remember one time, the whole workout was 10 jumping jacks, 10 squats, and 10 pushups. REPEAT! WE did that for like AN HOUR! (no exaggeration…). That was a day I sincerely wanted to quit.

So..here’s where I am now…I haven’t figured out how to VARY my workouts. I’m kinda limited to walking right now. I walk around my apartment complex or the dance studio parking lot…but that’s about as much variety as I get. I could go to the park, but yeah, I want to do something OTHER than walking. SO…I’ll have to keep searching..until I find something that will be different and doable! Enjoy this article.

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…a little bit about me — Part 5

So…a little bit about me — Part 5

So…by now, you should know the “real” me.  This is the final entry about me.  The last thing you should know is that in addition to reading and writing, I love to sing.  Now, before you start asking for my demo, I’m not THAT kind of singer.  I sing because it makes me happy.  I don’t care who knows!  I just like to sing.

Each morning, I wake up with a song in my heart.  Sometimes it’s a song I’ve heard recently.  Sometimes it’s a song I haven’t heard in ages.  Sometimes, it’s even a song I have never heard in my life in which case, I just hum it until it sounds like something I know or another song pops into my head.  If a song has a good beat, a decent melody, yep, I’m going to like it, move to it and sing to it (even when I don’t know the words)!

Now, because I like to sing, I demonstrate the love for the ear God gave me by singing in the choir at my church.  Now, while I am not Mariah Carey or someone like that, I will say that I can carry a tune.  I prefer to sing background though.  I like being taught a part and mastering it or listening to a song and hearing the part that I am to sing.  I sing the part that I hear or am taught.  When in doubt, I just sing an octave above the tenor part!

One time, I had the nerve to volunteer to sing the lead on a song.  Encourage Yourself by Donald Lawrence.  All because Ms. Rutha asked…”would you like to try it?”  Had she said, “Do you want to lead it?”, my answer would have been a resounding NO!  That particular day, I had just finished fussing at my students for giving up on something they had never tried.  All day I preached try! Try! TRY!  It was like God said to me, “Okay, try.”  I couldn’t say no right?  So, I had to TRY because I’d never done it before.    So, scared to death, I lead my first song the 4th Sunday of that October.  My mom called my sister and I looked up that Sunday morning and saw her sitting in the congregation.  I was completely mortified.

Well, after the service, I had many well wishers saying what a good job I’d done.  I laughed inside and thought, “yeah, that’s because the anointing fell and blessed y’all’s ears to not hear the complete and utter mess that I heard!”  Anyway, I do alright.  I have done a few other ones but I’ve learned NOT to volunteer for it!  If I do lead one, it’s because the director has lost his or her mind and somehow said they hear me singing it.  Umm…alright.  I’ll let that slide.

My most embarrassing moments all involve me singing.  Not in church on the microphone as a solo or in the background as a choir member.  No.  That would be tooooooooo easy!  You’d think I might be embarrassed when I can’t sit in a chair because it has arms and my hips are too wide.  Or maybe if I have to turn sideways to go through an opening.  Nope!  Those things don’t get me.  I am not ashamed to ask for a chair without arms and turning sideways to go through a door is no different than a tall person ducking to go through a door in my book.

So, what’s this embarrassing moment you ask?  Well, because I’m such a music lover and I love to sing, I have a habit of listening to music with ear buds/headphones or whatever on.  So…when “my song” (whatever that may be at the time) comes on, I am usually compelled to sing it!  Sometimes though, I FORGET where I am or what I should be doing and end up singing.  Now, I try to keep it low, going so far as to take one of the ear buds out so that I can monitor my volume.  Unfortunately, sometimes I forget to do that and just sing to my heart’s content!  I absolutely LOVE the way I feel when I sing.  BUT, sometimes other people can not appreciate the special *ahem* blend of tones from my voice.  I think it’s just because they can’t hear the music or don’t know the song…(I like some off the wall stuff).  So, needless to say, I found myself at work some years ago with my headphones on, listening to a song by Trin-i-tee 5:7 called Lord.  It’s to the tune of Love by Musiq Soulchild.  Yeah, so….umm…the person in the cubicle next to me had been tapping on the wall for some time trying to tell me that I was too loud because the customer that she was on the phone with could hear me.  I missed it.  It wasn’t until I received a pop up from an email from that coworker that read.  “YOU’RE SINGING TOO LOUD!  WHAT SONG IS THAT ANYWAY?”  I took off my headphones, just in time for my supervisor to walk around the corner.  She asked, “are you training for another career?”  Thankfully she was a good sport and burst into laughter.  I believe I was the one who started the office policy to allow us to listen to soft music WITHOUT earphones.  Now, I’m careful to only listen to my music with one ear plugged or covered.  There’s no point in keeping them both because I am GOING to sing!

So, the next time you’re out and about and you see a lady popping her head to a song you can’t hear, don’t laugh.  Walk up to her and dance with her.  I guarantee she’s pretty darn happy!

Until the next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…you wanna talk?

So…I met a little girl at church on Sunday named Gabby.  She was four years old.  She introduced me to her sister, Nya, who was two.   We met in the restroom.  Her mom was waiting on the handicapped stall so that the three of them could go together. Unfortunately, the mother’s bladder was impatient and she couldn’t wait. I told her I’d watch the girls while she went and umm…handled business.

Gabby engaged me in the story of her short life! She told me that she and Nya went to school and gave me the rundown of her daily activities and school and we had a WONDERFUL conversation.  She continued to talk to me and tell me about her family, including introducing me to her mom and telling me about her dad and her baby sister Savannah.  She was very excited.  Listening to her, I could tell that she was very smart.  I expressed that to her and how she spoke so well to be only four years old.
As we returned to the sanctuary her mom informed me that “she will tell you her life story if you let her”. The fact of the matter is that I was willing to let her!   The mom’s face told me that she had tired of her daughter’s talking. She is a married mother of three beautiful girls. She told me that they named her Gabby and she certainly gabbed. I said to her mom …”oh that’s her money maker.  Her blessing’s in her mouth.”  Her mom gave me a side eyed glance that said, “I just wish she’d shut up.”  I could understand her mom being tired.  She has girls, 4, 2 and less than 1.  I commend anyone with more than one child.  God knows who to give them to!

Anyway, that scene got me to thinking about my own child and what her gifts and talents are.  Gabby certainly has a gift for gab and I would not be surprised to see her with her own talk show or even a published best selling author before she turns 18!  Anyway, I wondered if my attitude has somehow dampened any of my daughter’s gifts.  Of course, it would be unintentional but I would hate to think that in my frustration or disappointment with my own situations, I have let that come across to my child as “I’m tired of you.”  Now, I don’t know what Gabby’s life is like at home, but she was the happiest little girl and was unaware of what I saw on her mother’s face or perceived in her tone.  As she gets older though, I wonder if it will still be there and if so, will she pick up on it?  Again, I wonder about my own child.  She has dreams that in my eyes seem all over the place.  But at 11, that’s exactly how they should be!  She is definitely an artist.  She’s no Da Vinci, but she can draw.  I know that when she draws a dog it’s actually a dog!  Unlike my own drawings that look like well…garbage on a stick to put it mildly.  ANYWAY….she’s artsy….she dances and has taken dance for 9 years.  She likes music and she is certainly dramatic.  I recently proposed that we move to a different city.  She was “distraught” in that she’d miss her friends and it would be different and her life would be over.  I mentioned that she might get a chance to go to a performing arts school.  An hour later, she came back and was wondering when we’d move.  The new school perked her interest and apparently was more important than some friendship’s allegiance.  Gotta love a tween.

I want to do everything I can to encourage her.  I don’t want her to look back on her childhood and think that something I did or said kept her from a dream.  She wants to act and Lord knows that’d be great, but all the opportunities that present themselves cost an astronomical amount of money to just get the “this that and the other” needed to get seen by the right people.  I know that if that is part of God’s plan for her, then an opportunity will present itself that will be within the means He set for us.  When she wants to be athletic, I’ll do what I can to help.  She’s in the band and chorus at school so those all have their expenses.  I just want to encourage her to be all that she can be.  I’ll do that to the best of my ability until she gets tired of me encouraging her and then I’ll keep on until I can’t do it any more.

So the next time you’re out and about and you see a wonderful little girl willing to tell your her life’s story, let her!  She might be the next Oprah and need you on her show one day!

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata