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…He is God Alone

So…He is God Alone

God is such an awesome God.  Do you know that He is able to handle His business without any help from us?  We mere humans are His creation.  He gives us free will to do what we may.  Then, we have a nasty habit of making these awful decisions that go directly against God’s instructions.  then, we try to get ourselves out of trouble.  Guess what?  We can’t.  We even have the nerve to try to bargain with God.

I’ve learned that when I stick to His plan, we will fare much better than if we venture out on our own.  That’s when we think we can help God.  He is the creator of the universe who mapped out every detail from beginning to end and we think we can help Him?  God must have the biggest bellyache from all the laughing He does at us.  Because we are TRULY funny if we think we can help Him.  We are absolutely kidding ourselves.  There’s not one person who has never tried to help God.  There are even some that suggest if you do things in a certain order, chanting certain words, with certain people, then the “universe’ will grant your request.  Not so…not so…

The only thing God needs us to do is obey Him.  Plain and simple.  if we do that, everything else will fall into place.  Does that mean we won’t hurt or that bad things won’t happen?  Absolutely not.  I won’t pretend to know why God allows challenges, temptations, tests and trials to happen to those who love Him.  All I do know is that His word says that “all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.”  He predestined us to be conformed to the image of His son.  Those who are predestined were also called, justified and glorified.  So…it may be painful, but there is a purpose in the pain.  Press through and trust that God is not going to leave you.

Through it all, in the good times and bad times, He is still God all. By. Himself.  He sits on the throne and reigns.  Because He is, we need to be in relationship with Him.  That’s the only way we know what His plan is and what He would have us to do.  How do we do that?  I’m glad that you asked.

Here is how you can receive Christ:

1.  Admit your need.  (I am a sinner.)

2.  Be willing to turn from your sins. (Repent.)

3.  Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.

4.  Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit.  (Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)

That’s it.  It’s that simple.  Now the prayer is personal.  it’s going to be something you say.  All prayer is is a conversation with God. The hardest thing to remember is that it is a CONVERSATION not a SOLILOQUY!  He talks back to us.  We just have to listen.  It’s not about begging God to solve all of our problems or to make the pain stop.  Listening is just as important as speaking.  As a matter of fact…listening is twice as important.  That’s why we have 2 ears and 1 mouth.  If you need help starting a prayer…Google Sinner’s prayer…if you want prayer, email me at kimyatta@me.com and I’ll be happy to pray with you.

I started writing this post because I heard it when I was at choir practice a week or so ago.  We were singing William McDowell’s You Are God Alone…that song always speaks to me…I never intended to give the plan of salvation but that’s where that listening comes into play.  As I wrote, that’s where I was directed.  I’m going to be obedient ..so there it is.  I may lose followers, but I know what I believe and how I have been instructed to live…I can only do the best I can with what God gave me.  So..here’s me being obedient…

Until next time,

Hakuna Matata

So…Step Into Summer Aqua Blue Book Tour

So…Step Into Summer Aqua Blue Book Tour

Today on So Says Kimyatta…Meet Marian L. Thomas!  From her website:

Clean Fiction novelist, Marian L. Thomas is a dynamic story-teller with three engaging and dramatic novels to her credit.  Her books have been seen on national television stations such as, the Oprah Winfrey Network, Ovation and the A&E Network. She has been featured in print magazines, newspapers and a guest on many broadcast and online radio stations. Her titles, “My Father’s Colors” and “Strings of Color”, both received the USA Best Book Finalist Award. Each of her books have reached a #1 bestseller position on Amazon.com for their respective categories and have placed on the bestseller’s list for Barnes & Noble.com, as well.

What makes her books, unique? Mrs. Thomas might be the first African American pioneer of contemporary women’s clean fiction. She refuses to lace her work with explicit sexual themes or profanity. What does she include in her books? “A refreshing and engaging dramatic story that revolves around strong female characters,” stated, the author.

Ms. Thomas’ books, are rich with ever-intriguing themes of race, family strife, love, divorce, friendship and abuse. And yet, her tales which seem to pre-stage current tabloid headlines are spelled out in ways that suit the delicate moral tastes of both the Christian Fiction reader and the Clean Fiction book reader.

Without further adieu…Marian L. Thomas!

SSK:  Thank you Marian for agreeing to let So Says Kimyatta be a part of your tour!  I’m super excited to have you!

So…we’re here to talk about your new release:  Aqua Blue.  Tell us a little bit about the book.

MLT:  From the back of the book:

In 1968 a child was born. Her father’s eyes boast a beautiful green and her mother was born with hazel. Yet, Aqua Blue was brought into the world with neither.

Haley wishes her parents would forget her. Her mother wants to control her, her father constantly beats on her and Haley, however, just wants to dance on Broadway. Will her dreams cost her more than she ever expected?

Jonathan Jacob Benjamin Brown is running from the memory of a mother he loved. His journey will thrust him into a world filled with secrets so shocking, he must determine whether he will forgive or walk away.

As they each step foot into the intoxicating city of New York, their dreams are standing before them with open arms. Yet, in order to embrace the possibilities, they must first learn to live, love, and breathe.

SSK:  Where did you get the idea for this book?  I love when her friend, Haley, finally asks her about her eyes!

MLT:  My hubby and I were driving through a rural part of Tennessee when I couldn’t help but notice the dirt roads, the old and barely able to stand gas stations, the carts that lined the roadway where goods had been sold and the one small car sales lot that had cars that were probably older than it.

Everyone seemed to be at the same starting point.

As I watched a few individuals travel along the sidewalks, I wondered what it would be like for them to escape a place such as that and travel to a major city, like New York. The story took off in my head from there.

SSK:  So…there’s a contest associated with this blog tour…can you give us some information on that? 

MLT:  The Step Into Summer AQUA BLUE Book Tour, is a great contest that features a $25 Visa E-Card that will be given away to one winner. Another winner will receive a copy of AQUA BLUE. It’s easy and fun to enter.

(1) Leave a comment on a blog that I’m stopping by (such as this one).

(2) Visit this website: http://mlt0925.wix.com/aquabluebooktour

(3) Enter the contest.

SSK: Well that’s easy enough.  Did you see where she said followers/fans/readers?  Leave a comment on a blog?  Yeah…like this one!

SSK:  What kinds of things do you like to read? 

MLT:  Poetry is my favorite.

SSK:  Do you have a favorite book? 

MLT:  I have had the opportunity to be in the company of many talented authors, so picking a favorite book from them, would be hard.

SSK:  Yeah.  I have trouble answering that question too!  lol.  Good to know I’m not alone.

SSK:  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

MLT:  No journey can start unless you put two feet on it and start walking. Being an author is a journey. You start by writing. You continue by writing with passion. You grow by writing with purpose.

SSK:  Truer words were never spoken.  I’m sitting here with my mouth open…wow…

SSK:  What can we expect next from you?

MLT:  I am looking forward to releasing a new book in 2014 called: Precious Blue.

SSK:  How can fans get in touch with you?

MLT:  http://www.marianlthomas.com

Again Marian…I sooooooooooo appreciate you coming to talk to us!  Aqua Blue is really…REALLY awesome so far!  I’m mad that I’m reading it so slowly!  (My fault..not the book’s…got a lot going on!)  Go ahead and pick up your copy wherever books are sold!  You will not be sorry.  You can read the first chapter on Marian’s website…when you do…you’ll NEED to get the book!

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