Sabbath Love

 I do Sabbath, sometimes..

I just take a day of rest and  do  what I want. Mostly I spend time in  quiet meditation, and find solitude. But lately , I have taken joy in this.

Self-care used to be hard for me. I have a very busy job and some days I get going and don’t settle at all til the evenings…rather late… Yet this picture here helps me find that and remember it. I try my best to make Sundays a Sabbath. The last few Sundays I have been pretty ¬†good with this goal. I’ve been successful in finding rest. Some try to often make us feel guilty for resting, but no, not I.¬†¬† For me, Sabbath is a place of resolve. And if I cannot find it at ¬†all…in any given day, then something’s wrong¬† with my time management and¬† self-care paradigm. I don’t care who tries to make me feel guilty, I won’t accept it.

Even from my husband .

(And he’s the one that initially turned me on to Sabbath!¬† Interesting how¬† easily we¬† can¬† get out¬† of routine, huh….)

Want to rest with me on Sunday?

Here’s how¬† I do rest:

  • ¬†I¬† get a¬† cup of tea.
  • ¬†I spend time with¬† a friend that may like to contemplate or¬† quietly write.
  • ¬† I¬† go to¬† a cafe’ and¬†¬† drink and¬† journal.
  • ¬†I¬† spend time if it’s nice outside –¬†¬† drinking¬† in the sun.
  • ¬†I¬† spend¬† time¬† near¬† a¬† body of water or in nature .
  • ¬†I¬† read a good book in a¬† quiet corner.
  • ¬†I¬†¬† laugh.¬† I¬† find a¬†¬† comedy movie,¬† a friend¬† who likes to tell¬† jokes,¬† and just¬† chill.
  • ¬†I¬† gather¬† perspective and I may¬† go to yoga.
  • ¬†I¬† catch up with a friend or spend time¬† writing a letter to them.
  • ¬†I¬† scrapbook.
  • ¬†I have a pajama day.
Please read this blog by Shelly Miller it’s on time for learning about how to rest. http://redemptionsbeauty.com/sabbath-society/

.
¬†Keri Wyatt Kent is one of my favorite authors of books called: “rest.” Her blog is here:
http://www.keriwyattkent com is another good Sabbath blog.

 

Why not join me and rest?
Share every Sunday how you take time to relax in the weekend.
Thanks for reading. And sharing!

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Encourage Yourself.

Wow… when life gets tough, where do YOU turn? Encourage is my word I chose to follow for April of 2022. ( It’s been a long April for me, and it’s only half way there.)

It’s been a tough one , this month, with the war in Ukraine, seeing all its devastation, and the people having to leave their country, I cannot imagine what that’s like – leaving all you have ever known, and having to uproot and move from your family to thrive again. As a contemplator by nature, I have found some of the news from this Ukraine war to be very moving, and at times I struggle trying to understand why someone could be so hard hearted towards a people who have done no wrong. On top of this, and a few other personal concerns during the month of April, have caused me to think about my family, my personhood, and my friendships in such a way that I have not considered before. I have been trying my best to be mindful.

What I keep coming back to, again and again is how mindfulness centers me, when situations in life are chaotic. I am a therapist, by profession, a mental health therapist – who has taken a long break from professional therapy, very intentionally – to do some healing myself. It has been the best decision for me, I am finding. I learned a lot about mindfulness, and I don’t think I have shared very much on this blog, about it. That may change significantly.

I have a very peaceful way of finding sleep, when I am a bit restless at night. I usually begin to imagine myself as a pebble, and I am skipping across a pond. Once I hit the water, (as a pebble), I imagine myself falling… and as I am falling , the waters surrounding me are multi-colored and beautiful , glistening and I just fall, until I find sleep. I am very present to what is happening around me as I fall – the colors, the sounds, and the ambiance. I may have to throw the pebble three or four times, but most often the first time, is the charm…and I am asleep. Just like that. It amazes me every single time how quickly I find sleep. I suggest you try it, if you have the same trouble, sometimes.

Mindfulness is how I stay encouraged, and to be honest, it can be quite the task. It takes time to cultivate, and develop the routine of it. So ‚ĶI am recommending a really good book that’s helped me this month to stay focused. It’s called The Light Maker’s Manifesto – by Karen Walrond. Karen gives several interviews on the book of people who are activists in their own right – who just have a cause they live for, and they discuss a myriad of ways they remain faithful to their call and use mindful listening even, to stay present to the call. I LOVE THIS. In fact, I love everything about this book. Karen is someone I have been following on her blog ( http://www.chookooloonks.com ) for several years, and I have sincerely gleaned a lot about life, photography and living – for quite a few years.

The Lightmaker’s Manifesto – By Karen Walrond

In one section she speaks of how to maintain rhythm and how to take care of yourself in such a way that you thrive. And since “Rhythm” was my word last month, and I didn’t write about it, I thought I would share.

Essentially, she says five factors exist:

  1. Cultivation of spirituality by leading a meaningful lifestyle. (And yes, that’s why I write this blog – to assist everyone that reads , in noticing what’s meaningful in life and sticking to your purpose within.)
  2. Taking care of yourself physically, and tapping into the connection between your mind and body so important. Tapping into the realization & connection between why my body was not aligned with my physicality over this past year – has been so enlightening and freeing for me. ( Mind you – I couldn’t do this alone- it took a bit of counseling to determine what I had to awaken to and acknowledge , in my own soul. )
  3. Intentional intellectual stimulation. ( I love this because one of my “strengthfinders” characteristics is “intellectualization”. Sometimes perspective can be so freeing. It‚Äôs how we evolve. Grow. I love sharing with others and working on adjusting my mindset and gleaning from others’ mindsets.
  4. Nurturing meaningful and constructive relationships within, and with others. I love that she says ‚Äėwithin‚Äô – so important to love yourself fully before you can love others.
  5. And lastly, not being afraid of our emotions. Not denying or suppressing them. It s so interesting how being present in this day and age with so many distractions surrounding us, is what saves us.

So, I am quite thankful for this book, ( & finding resolve through it) after a long bout with Covid, wrestling with myself and my needs as a person in a midlife situation, being in counseling – taking a break from work, being a wife and a spiritual mother to many – and caretaker of my parents. It brought a lot into focus.

Stay encouraged,

Jenn

Did you enjoy this reading? If so, visit my newsletter and get regular updated reading in which you can practice self- actualization exercises. We are located at the Mentor My Sister site, simply click here.

how i harnessed myself through covid.

So when I decide to endure difficulty, I manage to “harness myself.” It’s a process.

And of course, I am not an easy person to manage. I once had someone tell me I was “high maintenance.”

I consider that a compliment. They just didn’t understand me. Looking back… I realize I was I literally a person of influence, and that “becoming” wasn’t my fault – they just didn’t understand how influence was made.

Influencers are complex. And it’s ok. I dont have to “become” like anyone else. I can be unique, and its ok.

Life in the wilderness….

If you look up one of the definitions of the word HARNESS in the dictionary – you will find these words:

Harness” – to bring under conditions for effective use; gain control over for a particular end: to harness water power; to harness the energy of the sun. Archaic.

 to array in armor or equipments of war.

So deep. “If I am preparing for a war…” I harness myself. I get all the right tools. Amazing.

I felt the grief of this war. It was saddening… painful. Yet freeing in many ways.

War… in fact means : “a state of armed conflict between different nations or states

or different groups within a nation or state.”

Fits perfectly.

I feel like this was what CoVid taught me to do: TO HARNESS myself.

Effectiveness is not taught always… sometimes its endured.

Other definitions are: to rein in, to “tackle, belt or fasten…” sounds Like a trip, right? )Haha)

Well… its interesting that when CoVid began I surely felt like I was on a journey. I knew if I didn’t arrest myself and begin to think about this as a journey, I might not make it through the journey. So… I put on my belt, and I endured.

Buckled up.

Prepared to be ‘sacked’.

Tackled some things.

Some I managed well.

Others… broke me totally apart.

Here are a few things I did for perspective:

I prayed hard.

I took the focus off myself.

I sat in complete quiet for an hour or more.

I napped a whole lot.

I talked to friends I loved.

I lamented with others who were hurting.

I prayed for “them”- whomever ‘them’ were…

I sat in the Sun.

Opened windows.

Went on snowy Walks.

Watched a lot of comedy.

Played with babies.

Prayed some more.

Talked to friends on the phone, & Zoom. {Zoom mostly}.

I cried.

Got lost in worship. {the most freeing…}

I went to random spots to eat, even while nervous.

I held a group on purpose.

I lamented to God and my husband, some more…

I spent time with old pictures.

I tried so hard to journal, …but it was hard.

I stayed up all night.. just writing and making new projects.

I prayed for everyone hurting from the death of George Floyd.

I prayed for George.

I cried some more.

I prayed for black men everywhere.

I prayed for the black men in my family.

I prayed for the 3 new baby boys in my family.

I prayed for their parents as they raised them.

I prayed for ways to find my voice amidst the pain.

I lamented to God.

I allowed myself to feel the hurt.

I thought deeply about hate… and how it kills.

I took care of my parents.

I focused on quality and not quantity.

I practiced gratefulness.

I took pictures with my camera.

I thanked God for the little things.

I changed my diet.

I thought a lot about my future.

I spent time working on projects.

I prayed for my enemies.

I trusted God and asked for a harnessing of my soul.

I am sure I did a whole lot more… but these things helped me quite a bit.

Selah.

My Flavor of Being …Happy

NikonCoolpix
Facebook thoughts…

Happiness has been a journey for me. I wrote this on my post today , and boy …was I surprised what I wrote!

I didn‚Äôt expect to write about the ‚Äúflavor‚ÄĚ of my happiness. I laugh inside because I didn‚Äôt expect ‚ÄúHappiness‚ÄĚ to have a flavor… (haha) … But it does! Happiness has a taste of butterscotch ice cream or almond‚Ķor vanilla amaretto (for me)… It‚Äôs a savoring kind of taste. something that makes you wants to taste it, like, forever.
I have tasted happiness but not so much until I reached fifty-something, on a consistent basis.

I attribute this to hard work. Hard work involving ‚Äúworking on ME.‚ÄĚ I have being doing tons of self-evaluation lately. I had a group of women it began with; yet I ended up doing most of it involving me doing it alone. And I‚Äôve been consistently over the past maybe fifteen years working on it with deep, digging , introspective work.

Here are the words that I feel like deserve some applause:

ūüĆłConfidence

ūüĆłSelf-Love

ūüĆłMotivation

ūüĆłSelf-Trust.

ūüĆłSettled.

ūüĆłPlaced.

ūüĆłCourageous

These words helped me to step out of my comfort zone. Amazing how ‚Äúone-word‚ÄĚ reflection can help you to become intentional. If you‚Äôd like to be involved in a group bot individual process for this, let me know and I‚Äôll coach you through the process .

Chaplain Contemplations: Freedom.

I was trying to think of what walking in my calling looks like. So I began to think about for the first time in my life, my ” heart feels full.”

I mean, I get this full feeling sometimes to the point I cannot even explain the emotion, and then I emotionally feel as if I’m about to explode …with sheer joy.

It’s happened more than once. It really has.

And just recently I looked up the definition of heart”; in the Vines dictionary and found this which so explicitly explains my feelings…

Heart is referred to as:

  1. The seat of physical life
  2. The seat of moral nature and spiritual life
  3. The seat of grief
  4. The seat of the affections
  5. The seat of perceptions
  6. The seat of the thoughts
  7. The seat of the understanding
  8. The seat of reasoning powers
  9. The seat of the imagination
  10. The seat of conscience
  11. The seat of the intentions
  12. The seat of purpose
  13. The seat of the will
  14. The seat of faith

ALL of this.. is in our hearts!! No wonder “out of it flows the issues of life!”

Of our sense of purpose , decision-making , our faith and intentions are all tied up in our heart- even our sorrows – that means everything meaningful flows out of the heart!

That why in that same scripture we ask you to “guard it with all diligence”.

What does it look like for you to guard your heart? It means you watch over everything that concerns your purpose and your sense of well-being. All your hope, all your destiny and all your exchanges in life- with people, friends, family and your children .

What’s in your heart is meaningful and should be kept secured in faith.

Because faith has substance you know. It can take root in your soul and change your lifestyle and change your outlook and perspective in life. It can encourage all those around you and help you to become a more rooted and grounded person.

Selah.

#chaplaincy #chaplainlife #lifeofachaplain

Sharing The Window Of Your Soul

What is your soul, actually?

I was  speaking to someone the other day about how the  soul engages with the spirit, and why we  think  we may have been  given  it.  I  believe  the soul  is a part of who we are  because  we  have  volition Рpower  to make choices in life  that may  sometimes  cause  us to  either fall,  or  to  succeed.  How we  take the  reigns of life  and  choose to live Рhas  everything to  do with  to whom we also  connect to,  as well. 

Your  soul is  often defined as your mind, will and  emotions.

Your mind is precious and should be given the utmost consideration as to “who” you allow to influence it, and “how” they influence it. ¬†For instance, spending time with people who complain, are envious or talk down to you makes you feel vulnerable , and doubt yourself in such a way that it affects ¬†your esteem and confidence.

Your will is the part of your soul that has everything to do with your motivations, and your heart. Unmotivated? Listen to your heart. Think about what’s near to you and dear to you. What challenges you? Where are you inspired? It’s likely you need to find something passionate to work on, or find someone that has similar passion and match that same attitude.

What moves you to ¬†make the decisions you do? Ever thought about it? Sometimes those are considered what¬† we¬† call:¬† ‚Äúinner vows‚ÄĚ –¬† those promises we make to ourselves and¬†in regard to our past and where we determine to go – or NOT¬† GO,¬† in our ¬†futures.

Our emotions are simply how we feel. Paying close attention to how you feel around influential persons is key to preserving your soul. Who you allow to influence you, and share with you in such a way they respect your feelings or ignore your feelings is key to maintaining healthy relationships. How you even treat yourself, when you’re feeling down or upset helps to reveal whether you care for your emotions accurately. For instance, do you eat junk food when you’re upset, or do you go for a walk in nature and drink more water and meditate?

Do you often consider ‚Äėwho‚Äô you are vulnerable with, and why?

Are they closer to your heart than they should be?

How do your relationships influence your soul, positively?

 And   do you respect them as a person, or do you just tolerate them, most times?

 My hope is as you seek the principles  of how you engage your  soul with  others, you determine  also  the  volition of  how  you  will engage your  soul Рwith  whom you connect  with on a daily basis.

Peace, JennRene

Who Created Molds ( For Us to Fit Into)…Anyway?

Recently, I’ve been listening to an awesome podcast called “Lead Stories.” Jo and Steph, the presenters, ¬†do a great ¬†job at transforming leaders and they particularly did a good job on this podcast, inspiring me.

They were defining molds and how they get created, in our lives. Molds are what gives something influence, form or shape. In many ways it begins with family and friends as influencers.  Yet there are many other influencers.

But her s another definition: “something that has influence in determining. ” I think about molds that cast a facial form or an image. What that object will become – has everything to do with what people think about the image of it, and what form is cast through that image.
Here are some other intriguing words:

A Frame
a Precursor ( substance by which another is formed ;

A Predecessor
to Persuade
to Influence
to Change the mind
to SUBDUE (to overcome, quiet, to bring under control ( conquer or defeat) suppress)
Yield
Cleave
Engrave

So…what do molds do?
Well. there’s a ‘good side’ they say: they cause us to CHANGE
CAUSE US TO BE DIFFERENT; & THEY PROVIDE NEW OPPORTUNITIES.

Molds can be cast from :
-titles
-expectations
-gender
-age
-race
-backgrounds
-family systems
-roles
-disabilities.

But how can they yet practically and tangibly fit into who we are?
(They ask on the podcast).

They also ask: Who were you before someone told you were to be something else?

And…”What have we “written off” because we didn’t fit into that mold?”

Here are a few statements made that make me think about how my identity matters as it relates to moving outside of myself:

1.”Molds aren’t bad unless there is only one single story. “

Molds tell a story. (What’s yours? ) So in other words – if you have more than one story to tell about breaking molds, you’re evolving, you’re coming into your own identity, you are becoming.
2. Molds can hold us back from our potential. If we stay within the frame that says :” this is who I am and who I’ll always be,” then we sell ourselves short.
3. Molds hold us back from new opportunities.

I think the most enlightening mention was this: “We often cannot see ‚Äúthe new thing‚ÄĚ because it‚Äôs not in the mold!!”

I just came out of a season of having to make several decisions about my career and future. It’s changing. And looking back, I realize I was in a mold. A mold that someone¬† else had created – and¬† had me thinking, believing and trying to determine my influence on another level. Not to say¬† this¬† vision of¬† a future me would¬† be ideal in¬† another phase of my life;¬† but it was not for now.¬† Trying to diecast myself inside of a¬† mental construct that had influenced me for years. Yet, I was¬† eager to¬† entertain a new passion, searching my heart to determine how this new call on my life would impact the Kingdom; and decide whether I really wanted to say yes to it.

But  the mold hindered my vision.

I had to do a lot of self-evaluation and listening within to know where I was to go, and what I was to do. I had to talk to mentors and re-evaluate with my partner, and with friends who understood my plight, and my call.¬† ¬†it was¬† vulnerable time for me. If they didn’t understand and couldn’t pray with me, then I wouldn’t share. I needed to transition and change smoothly.

The more I listened and spoke to God; the more my heart broke for God’s will and His ways. It was¬† a vulnerable; yet intriguing¬† possibility.

But I will admit, God speaks with a still small voice . Hearing my friends voices of encouragement and praying with them helped. So much.

I Am Enough Because I Care.self

Have you checked your “care” barometer, lately?

The “care” I am ¬†talking about is this kind of care:

1.) Self-Care;

2.) Personal  Development as care;

3.) Care that involves you  being  a caring individual in our society.

But¬† sometimes that’s the norm – that we¬† forget about others.¬† ¬† We can barely care for ourselves; at times –¬† so how do we manage to reach out to others? I know. I am guilty. ¬†I remember once, ¬†I was in church, and the pastor was ¬†saying if we want to make a difference:¬† “Ask God to help you be a blessing to someone else.”

It was deep that entire week, I felt like I was the most compassionate human being  I had been in a long while!  I had started something.  I  believe the lesson  was  to  show me that everyone has needs. And that sometimes we can  ANTICIPATE them, if we think ahead. 

I ¬†am a person who cares for others, and I¬† am so grateful I do. ¬†In many ways it’s my profession- as a social worker –¬† yet also in several ways, its also my ¬†calling. ¬† I care because someone cared for me. To be honest, I am not sure caring would come as easily as it does, or had I not gone through a few ¬†situations to ¬†cause me to be cared for. And have had¬† people reach out to me, in very merciful ways. I am very thankful God is in my life, because caring took on a new meaning¬† for me when I met a few sisters and brothers who love God, in a very ¬† caring and ¬†completely ¬†selfless way. ¬† I remember a time when I was ‚Äúcar-less‚ÄĚ. Not careless.¬† (Haha)

My car broke down,  and  I was  living alone and I  was devastated. “How was I going to get to work?!

jen-woods-photo

How was I going to go grocery shopping? And how was I going to take care of all my business?‚Ä̬† ¬† ¬† ¬†I already felt lonely this particular summer… and¬† ¬†I¬† took a break from¬† a relationship- a very needed one – that summer, and it was¬† HOT outside.¬† Things were looking pretty bleak for me. I believe it was a Friday, and my car caught on fire in the parking lot where I work. The engine just blew on me. I ¬†remember having tons of hope, though. I was encouraged. Why… I don‚Äôt know, but I just began to count my blessings, because there were so many things going well for me, that ¬†I couldn‚Äôt complain. ¬† I wasn‚Äôt working that summer, and I ¬†found out I could get employment during the summer months, and I wasn‚Äôt even expecting it. ¬†As surprised as I was, I was completely hopeful things would work out. ¬†I went to church that Sunday with a smile on my face, and telling every one it would work out, just by a testimony, and ¬†I as thanking God. After church,¬† a¬† couple came to me and said , ‚ÄúHey, I have a car you can use ¬†its our second car, we don‚Äôt use it very much, but we‚Äôd like to bless you.” Another friend, said: ” I am going out of town for two weeks, and you are welcome to hold the keys to mine.‚ÄĚ I was shocked! These two persons will be forever imprinted on my life and a part of my compassion ¬†list of people who care.. ¬†I ¬†still love them very much to this day. And not just because they gave me something, but because I saw God in their actions, and they trusted me with¬† something valuable.¬† They made ¬†me smile and believe God even more.

I have had aunts, friends, ¬†and ¬†people in my life who knew me and knew how devastated, broken,¬† feeling unloved and ¬†hurt I have been in situations and ¬†man,… when you are down, and you have even more to struggle with, ¬†as a result of being down –¬† it‚Äôs just good to have someone reach out, and love on you.¬† ¬†I¬† try to remember that feeling, because¬† it helps to¬† know you are in valued in that way and people¬† care about you.¬†

It feels  really, really good, to have someone come and give you a makeover to your office when you feel so disorganized Р(my girlfriend Steph,  in Texas); or someone to give you the keys to a car when you  have none (my former church member friends in  NY), or for someone to buy you a meal when you are starving and have no money. ( My friend  and sister in Christ in everywhere America.) Smile. 

I was once even was kicked out of someone’s home, and had no place to go, and a friend stepped in and opened up their home to me!   I have been on BOTH ends, and I tell you, as  great as it felt to receive, it feels even better to give.

Just today, ¬†I was ¬†out with my best friend – ¬†and we got ¬†pedicures – ¬†and we just had lunch together. ( Uh… that would be my husband. ¬†But don’t tell him I told you that!) ¬† Haha…. And that was self-care. ¬†Was it expensive? Sure was… but it felt so good to be pampered, and his smile- worth a million to offer him that experience!¬† ¬†Having ¬†done this for the first time,¬† for him – it was priceless.

We all need a little pampering sometime. Ask your self how you  can be instrumental in this process and give yourself some  time, once a month, at least to :

DO YOU.

Alright?

So I admonish  you, WATCH who God has sent to cross your path. Be aware of those around you. Love on them.  Pay attention to detail in your life, and how you benefit from being in right relationship with them. Feel their sorrow with them.  Ask them if they need anything. Call them and tell them you love them, even if it does mean feeling vulnerable  for a moment. It’s ok.  And you will  see them turn toward you, or turn a little closer towards God, if that’s the hope you desire to give. I have learned so much from such giving people in my life about how to treat others when they are down.

 And ASK yourself?

What’s my spirit and soul like today?

Do I feel drained, out of touch with myself?

Has life been a little foggy, lately…. Then COMMIT to self care.

God can work even greater in you, when you  are open and have such a surrendered heart.

Did you enjoy this reading? If so, visit my newsletter and get regular updated reading in which you can practice self- actualization exercises. We are located at the Mentor My Sister site, simply click here.

Saying Yes…ūüíú

Saying yes.

I was here today. Trying to do that thing, again.

You , know, say Yes.

It’s like hard to say that, you know? To say yes when you don’t know what’s behind the door.

Saying YES.. when all seems to be going against you…

Saying YES… when I can barely breathe sometimes, You know?

Saying YES… when other things seem to be calling us to higher heights and deeper depths.

Saying YES… to God.

Saying YES… to everyone but Him…

Saying YES because I want to …

Saying YES because I NEED to…

But I keep taking risks, and going there because I want to BE there, so badly.

Yes, you know that place where grace is always present.

Where ease feels like my best pajamas…

Where hope rises for every second .

Where peace lives and rests continually. In my Yes-es.

Yeah, I want to be there. To see my own reflection and just be that person each and every time, in every way imaginable. I just want to be there.

I want what’s behind the YES.

So.sometimes I see the reflection behind it, and I see that beauty of it…yet it still seems so far away.

Yet I keep getting these awesome views, from here.

I keep on dreaming.

And I rest in them.

The views reach for me, too.

They Look Like…

Writing with passion.
Seeking God for heart’s desires.
Hoping I am fulfilling my purpose in Him.
Not getting too caught up in this life,
Knowing and understanding there’s another LIFE to live…
Trusting my intuition.
Hoping against hope.
Sharing and loving on those who need help.
Trusting God more and more..
Serving.
Looking to be fulfilled, & not to take.
Managing what He’s given me and using it wisely.
And more views of beautiful rays and hopes and dreams coming and being deposited in me everyday.

YES.
JennRene
#sistertime 

My Sabbath Rest, Day .

I’ve taken to micro-blogging for the sake of a lack of time, and what you see here is the beginnings of my offering to you –  as  I  share how I  partake of my personal rest.

Self-care used to be hard for me. I have a very busy job and some days I get going and don’t settle at all til the evenings…rather late… Yet this picture here helps me find that and remember it. I try my best to make Sundays a Sabbath. The last few Sundays I have been pretty  good with this goal. I’ve been successful in finding rest. Some try to often make us feel guilty for resting, but no, not I.   For me, Sabbath is a place of resolve. And if I cannot find it at  all…in any given day, then something’s wrong  with my time management and  self-care paradigm. I don’t care who tries to make me feel guilty, I won’t accept it.

Even from my husband .

(And he’s the one that initially turned me on to Sabbath!  Interesting how  easily we  can  get out  of routine, huh….)

Want to rest with me on Sunday?

Here’s how  I do rest:

  •  I  get a  cup of tea.
  •  I spend time with  a friend that may like to contemplate or  quietly write.
  •   I  go to  a cafe’ and   drink and  journal.
  •  I  spend time if it’s nice outside –   drinking  in the sun.
  •  I  spend  time  near  a  body of water or in nature .
  •  I  read a good book in a  quiet corner.
  •  I   laugh.  I  find a   comedy movie,  a friend  who likes to tell  jokes,  and just  chill.
  •  I  gather  perspective and I may  go to yoga.
  •  I  catch up with a friend or spend time  writing a letter to them.
  •  I  scrapbook.
  •  I have a pajama day.
My noted change as a result of this practice has been: ‚ÄėNo   dreading  with the pre-Monday  blues‚Äô I‚Äôm better   – because I  feel rested  On  Monday , now, and ready for the day! Check out my links I post, or my blog posts.. you’ll find rest….ūüėĄ Please read this blog by Shelly Miller it’s on time for learning about how to rest. Shelley is no longer with us, but she left a legacy of restful words. Check out her blog here: http://redemptionsbeauty.com/sabbath-society/

.
 Keri Wyatt Kent is one of my favorite authors of books called: “rest.” Her blog is here:
http://www.keriwyattkent com is another good Sabbath blog.

Why not join me and rest?
Share every Sunday how you take time to relax in the weekend.
Thanks for reading. And sharing!

Taken in Tulsa, OK.

Being Enough & Being Wise.

I was inspired by this series after I participated in a ¬†Celebrate Recovery group and ¬†talking about feeling “helpless”. It was a process for me to discuss in group, because as soon as I ¬†spoke about why I tend to feel worried and procrastinate on some things, I realized that ¬†This vulnerable space I often feel between ¬†not worrying and trusting God ¬†causes me to feel¬†way too vulnerable.
 I Am  Enough Because I Am Wise.

So what does it really mean to be wise?

Does being wise mean… to be humble?

Does it mean we should consult with someone else who has  good advice, can problem-solve, help us manage our lives better or may give good counsel?

Or does it mean simply having good sense In knowing how to respond?

Perhaps.

…Or maybe it means being still enough to take care of our lives ¬†because we care enough about our lives to be safe, discerning and aware.
Perhaps where I am wisest is when I spend time in the presence of friends. I have wise friends. There is a scripture in the bible that says :

“There is safety in a multitude of counselors.‚ÄĚ

Proverbs 11:14

I love that scripture. It has resounded over the years with me. I have realized over time that perhaps the best ¬†acumen, has come from ¬†having “experience” as my ¬†teacher. With all my experiences, I have ¬†gained such rewarding ¬†insight from friends who have “showed up” ¬†in my own¬†personal¬†struggles, when I needed¬†such¬†wisdom, – and ¬†sowed¬†complete love and admonition ¬†for me, ¬†and their wise actions and advice, benefited me greatly. ¬†The intuition ¬†and ¬†inspiration was on an entirely different level and ¬†completely humbling most of the times, because I allowed them to pour into me, and ¬†I trusted them. ¬† As a result, I have ¬†compassion for ¬†them and for others who have experienced similar situations.

 It led me to  write my book, Red Sea Situations.

I have many women “mentors” ¬†that have guided me over the years, and who have also ¬†guided me in counsel, and one of them is my mother. I’ve placed her picture here ¬†of my mom, because Mom has been over the years one person who has supported my dreams more than I have even believed in them.
I remember when my ‘far-fetched’ dream of traveling to South Africa ¬†came as an opportunity. Mom was so concerned about me traveling so far not really knowing the people very well, and being safe. ¬†I was traveling with someone ¬†knew, but had not known them for very long. She was excited for me. And so.. She reminded me if ‘God gave you that opportunity, Jennifer – I will have to trust in His divine plan for¬†your life.” That was so humble of her. To trust God beyond seeing her ‘babygirl’ – at age of 38 years – ¬†going so far. She had to place me in God’s hands. And you know that’s cool¬†because¬†God¬†gave¬†her that¬†strength. she expected it to keep her in wisdom, and so wisdom ¬†came.

Mom over the years has supported me in several endeavors, but most of all she has led me to discern friendships that are also “safe emotionally and spiritually.” ¬†I believe this is a lesson all mothers should teach their children.

I believe one of the most humbling ¬†situations I experienced, was ¬†a friend who helped me when I had no where else to go. She had always told me, because she knew I was going through a hard time no matter when or what time it was, whenever I needed a place to go, I could just stop by. One night i thought I was close to losing it, and i knew if I didn’t get out of the house, ¬†I would . ¬†So indeed, I ¬†went over and it was about ten fifteen pm. When I arrived at her ¬†door, her husband answered, he smiled, and ¬†didn’t say a word. All ¬†he said was: “She’s ¬†is upstairs, go ahead on up.”

Clearly, I had been crying, and I slipped past him. When I go to the top of the stairs, ¬†I heard her talking to her boys ¬†in a very sacred moment, and she said , “Come on in,¬†Jenn.” She was there with the two of them, they were about three and six years old, and ¬†she was hugging on them in bed. She made space for me, and ¬†welcomed me in me bed with them. We didn’t talk much that night, we just laid there in quiet and peace. Her boys smiling and ¬†she interacting and mothering them, and I quietly watched them enjoy and love on one another. I’ve ¬†never felt so welcomed.

…And to this day, our bond is unbreakable.

Now, this has nothing to do with me, and my wisdom. However, my friend’s wisdom – ¬†in this moment taught me how to be wise. It taught me how when I am at m lowest point to embrace someone in love and just acceptance, is the very best ¬†action of love. To just be present for them, regardless. ¬†That night, we never spoke much, ¬†I didn’t pour my heart out and all my business. ¬†But her presence,¬†just meant the world to me.

For me, wisdom and love, really are not far ¬†apart. In fact, they are like semi- cousins. I ¬†also found out that I don’t have to know all the details, I just need to love on them. ¬†There’s a time and a season for everything, and sometimes knowledge isn’t necessary. She didn’t know, and still doesn’t know what I was experiencing that evening, but what matters is that I ¬†knew she was there, and that she loved me. To me, that’s agape love. The God-kind of love.

From this one action, I have found that I can love people without words, in such an amazing way, and that it involves just seeing that their soul is so worthy of love. This type of ‘friend -awareness’ has allowed me to be the same kind of friend. It’s also give me a greater burden to be a mentor to my sisters in Christ. ¬† And any other women who need advice in any shade, color or form. I am not particular to them ¬†knowing and loving God, first… I just need to know they are open to my might shining in that regard if I have to share an occasional miracle.

On a lighter note,

I am wise because I am clever.

Cleverness is not  a word I use very much n my vocabulary, yet I find very attractive.

My husband is rather clever. It was attractive to me from the first day I met him. And his cleverness tends to rub off on me at times. Cleverness involves, quick wit, charm, and ¬†wise words, and at times a bit of playfulness. Perhaps the playfulness is the most fun. Being clever involves finding ¬†a certain resourcefulness from within. It’s understanding how to use integrity to teach someone by not reacting. It also involves ¬†not ¬†stooping to a level of ¬†personal embarrassment or ¬†ignorance ¬†because someone else does. Not allowing their impulsive demeanor, unkindness and lack of integrity¬†move me with words. I think I learned how to be clever once I ¬†decide din my mind I didn’t care what others thought about me. It was freeing. ¬†I decided that once I had made up my mind, and it made sense and I had ¬†filtered it through my wisest ¬†friends, and they were in agreement, it was well. And no one’s opinions mattered. My clever quick wit would then pounce back on others when they had comments ¬†or opinions about my ¬†actions in which they did not agree. I admire folk who can take judgment and ¬†crush it as soon as someone swings it at them, and ¬†keeps on ¬†walking without shame or resentment because they are confident they are in a good place.

I am wise because I am contemplative.
Contemplation is one of my favorite things to do. As an introvert, I tend to find myself when I contemplate. Whether it involves speaking to myself, my heart, and pondering the actions of my day I find rest in re-evaluation. If I don’t do re-evaluate, I become restless.
What is in this restless space? Unawareness? A lack of purpose? Dis-alignment? Is that why when I am not looking within, I falter?
I get nervous, my anxiety peaks, or I have a loss for words? I prefer contemplation in order to help me rest. I may not have even realized the extent to which I depend upon what I call : ‚Äúfinding center‚ÄĚ Laraine Herring in the book: “Writing Begins With Breath: Embodying your Authentic Voice‚ÄĚ, says after the basic needs of food air, water and shelter are met, most of our actions and behaviors stem from a need for love, compassion, understanding and emotional safety.‚ÄĚ I find that interesting, because that means if this is true, most of what I seek, when I look within, is about finding self-love.

(Read about  my  self love and being enough in another story, here.)

I must say however; some of the most unwise persons have hurt me. have been unreasonable, ¬†inattentive ungraceful and ¬†ill-mannered people I know, because they lacked compassion. ¬† Indeed, perhaps this scripture measures up when wisdom is most attractive: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalm 85:10)

If you enjoyed reading this ¬†excerpt, please take the time to ¬†read the series:¬†Completely Validated &¬†Meditative Thoughts on ‘Being Enough.’ ,¬†which will soon be an audio course and workbook series online .

Interested in learning more about being enough and reading more about it?

Contact me below for more info on the  Kamau Care Meditative Series!

For a small price of $15.00, you can have the e-book series audio format where you can download and listen as you go!

Self-Determination

prayer-of-gratitude-for-gods-blessings

I’m self determined. Yeah, that didn’t come easy though. It took a few great leaps of faith. It was the spring of 2005, and I was in ¬†rat race for time. I was determined to move onward my life, and relocate to Maryland. I was almost done with my divorce and I needed to breathe. And my breathing became very very labored, as I was ¬†preparing to leave Syracuse, N.Y.

Self determination began for me, with a HUGE commitment to myself that I would never again get in a relationship that was going nowhere. No promises, no commitments, no effort. And that was  the first self -commitment . I held onto that, until later that October of 2005, until later that year, God messed up my plans .

The second determined fact was¬† – that I needed a new ¬†start. A new job and a better and more intriguing place to live . I had friends in Maryland. And surely with the money I’d saved, I could truly begin anew.

I remember it clearly.

I wrote down my dreams . Where I wanted to go… and ¬†I ” built a spiritual ¬†altar…” – so to speak… I placed it right above my head¬† so that¬† it was the first thing I saw when I awakened,¬† in my lofty bedroom,¬† in¬† Utica, NY.

I lived in with¬† two¬† college roommates in¬† Hamilton, N.Y. And here I was .. long out of college, but seeking a new¬† way of life.¬† I would awaken and the first thing I would do, was¬† pray. ¬† I began to thank (God) and I worshiped Him for where I was going. I began to affirm highly with thanksgivings into God where I was going to go. I’d¬† read my card,¬† give thanks, and proclaim it as a prosperous place.

With the ¬†cultural ¬†holiday of Kwaanza , they call self -determination: “Kuji-cha-gulia”. After what was entirely messy year – I¬† was almost at the end of¬† 2005, and had ended up taking on three part time jobs¬† ( at the same time)¬† to¬† survive, and was about to¬† lose my apartment. ‘

I was¬† in¬† a very agitated and¬† anxious state.¬† I had just met my husband to be, but I didn’t¬† even know it.¬† He would call me daily and pray with me.¬† At that¬† time, he had resorted to just be my friend, and pray with me, since I was a having a hard time. I had¬† told myself¬† that¬† I would ¬† have to move back to N.Y. if I didn’t¬† find a cheaper¬† apt.¬† And then…. it just happened.

¬† Every thing I spoke into existence ¬† eight months earlier, just started happening. One after the other.¬† The job, the home, the¬† increase in pay… etc. My¬† husband to be became¬† the love of my life that October,¬† and six months later I relocated to Texas with an even better paying job. But¬† here is all the misfortune that occurred before¬† that¬† happened: my money bottomed out , I quit the $7 dollar an hour job ; lost¬† a few¬†¬† of my friends; and failed ¬†the test I thought would help me find a better paying job. I was all alone, at one point,¬† but I was okay with that. I had been alone with God before.

But I learned something about myself and …God. That you have to believe in your dreams.¬† Not matter what bottoms out, you still have to keep dreaming. And just when it appears those dreams won’t manifest , God will come through.

The Life Lesson:

God comes through because He’s so pleased you believed in Him and in your¬† belief in His ability to pull¬† you through.

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Becoming Bolder.

I took a month – in December – to just quiet my mind. To stop the life of busyness that requires similar patterns of nothingness. To consider what’s important, and to befriend myself again. And I found something.

Treasures. I remembered why I existed. I found rest again. Inner rest. Physical rest too – but that was secondary. I remembered again what made me smile. Where comfort was. And hope, most of all – was renewed.

I also found comfort in encouraging friends. Some who were not doing so well, but others who were. And were practicing gratefulness -(as I was ) and reading up on issues that enlighten and encourage . I also found those friendships to be invaluable. And in my reaching found new friends. With inspiring and positive perspectives. Of course, my husband as friend – and beautiful were the conversations of my friends of accountability, fun and the friends who keep me focused.

I even asked myself: “Where have you been that you became distant, and untouched?” How did you get here? Where and when did the shallowness enter in? I don’t consider myself shallow by any means; yet as I considered the terrain lack of depth – the hard work I had not purposed myself to accomplish recently – I was unsatisfied.

So – I disconnected.

I usually am one who self-evaluates with regularity – however; my life had become so consumed with ‘living’ – I forgot about myself. Life began to fill up with “uncompassionate things” and issues that don’t really matter in the fullness of time. And gosh – fear – it seems to come in waves and tries to gather all the faith I ever built up within my soul – into a ball and this fear – caused me to retreat. So life takes on this form that tends to blend everything together, again.

And the cycles of life continue.

I have to retreat again.

So… I decided to step out and be BOLDER.

I was reading Michelle Obama’s book : “The Light We Carry” – she speaks to our “differentness”… and finds great value in being different. She says there’s essentially a certain kind of strength in differentness: “Your differentness will often precede you in to a room and people see it before they see you.. she continued by saying .. “ you figure out how to guard your energy, to count every step. And at the heart of this lies a head- spinning paradox: Being different conditions you toward cautiousness, even as it demands that you be bold. “

I love being different. So, now, I want to reach for being bold. The older I become, and the more time I spend with myself, the more I find I really like myself. And liking yourself is a good thing.

Take some time to consider why you are here on earth, what’s meaningful, involves connectedness with your purpose. There , you will find center.

I find myself – in centering myself.

Often.

I mean, this world will rattle you. it will shake you off your rocker. If you let it.

Did you know the opposite of the word ‘centered’ – is inhumane? So heck, I am trying to do everything I can to remain centered. And to be in tune with my God, myself, and the life I have been given here on earth. And how I have been positioned to serve.

Michelle’s words rung with me about being “bold”. There’s definitely a demand on my life at this juncture of a new year : enter 2023, … that I be BOLD.

And I have been so afraid to really be bold. Bold in being 55 years of age, bold in noticing my strengths and occupying them fully, bold in trusting my intriguing personality and creativity for all its worth.. I could go on.. but I don’t want to share all that here, cause I’m still discovering…( smile)

But you know what?

I am delighted.

I sincerely feel I am on to something pretty powerful. I have begun to practice principles and habits that energize me; make me happier, help me to smile, and find joy. And it is beginning to resound. And feel good inside. Not like the unraveling uncomfort of not being & feeling centered, of feeling inhumane and uncompassionate.

So finding joy and being bolder is just where my life shall reign in 2023.

And I think I will stay here til a miracle happens. (Or two..)

Selah.

Oh yeah, my word for 2023 is BOLDER.

And my phrase: “I can be bolder, and I will be better.”

I will keep you up on the journey of where the better happens and also the boldness.

Happy New Year. And thank you, 2022, for being you.

“The Voice of the Mother

“The voice of the mother is kind, soft, serene, nurturing, warm.  
The voice of the mother is instructional, healing, 
encouraging
The voice of the mother watches out for her young,
Tailors their lives on the path of hope. 
The voice of the mother warns her babies of harm or danger of the need for safety.
The voice of the mother brings life to death situations.

The voice of the Mother is guidance, 
She arms her young wisdom, endurance, love and description. 
The voice of the mother teaches, shares, develops. The voice of the mother is stirring, firm, positions, directs –
The voice of the mother reaches, questions, inquires, searches and mends.  
The voice of the mother is empowered, informed by struggle and ensures by experience – is focused.

The voice of the mother is growth . 
The voice of  the mother stills, quiets, hushes brings attention. 
The voice of the mothers sings .

Is beautiful lovely .
 A fragrant,  comforting
 the voice of the mother is peace.

-Nthabiseng

Cousins.

Cousins. We’re pretty special. We look like each other but don’t live in the same houses, unless our parents saw fit. We remember the fun we had at dance parties, staying up late all night playing monopoly and board games…

We grow up and we move apart, yet as youngsters they felt like siblings sometimes . Today, we are not without around them much, but it doesn’t take much to feel close again.

And when we are around them, amazing how much it feels like another extension of us.

We have weathered storms together, losses and sometimes feel like friends.

Cousins are great people and ‘places’ to be… sometimes .

We shared sleepover, birthday parties, slumber parties with friends and cousins meeting our friends for the first time – and riding bikes, cookouts and races in the street. We even traveled far and near to see each other on regular family holidays.

Thankful for cousins, today.

They are our mirrors of memories.

Call or write that long lost cousin, today and send some love.ūüíē

Porch Stories…

So …today I’m home from work and just taking a day. And quite pensive.

I’ve had a completely FULL week and it took more emotional, mental and physical strength than I’ve exerted in quite some time. Sitting and allowing the sun to hit my feet and soak up sun, is just: peaceful.

There were transitions for people in my life and who were ordained to cross my paths. And whether by prayer, conducting acts of service, or simple conversation,… I completed the tasks – so I’m worthy of the much needed rest.

Sometimes I’m not fully aware how much virtue leaves me when I’m completing such tasks. This led me to blog a bit about this story of being tasked to “assignments” versus being tasked to “a job“. I realize there is a difference.

There’s what some of us call: employment and then what employs us- that being a call to work in conjunction with other to fulfill their own destiny.

And that was last week, for me.

So .. that’s all folks.

So think about it: Which are you fulfilling?

Your calling or your assignment? Or are you working in futile places, barely being fulfilled?

Do we need to pursue our calling so that we can complete our full assignment?

Who assigns it anyway?

Is it us, …. God…or the ” little gods ” we serve: (work, people, houses , cars or the things we own):

And …what can you do to ‘reduce yourself’ to less of what you desire, so that your life might be full?

Selah.

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Feel.

I guess I could’ve chosen another word this month, for July to focus on, but as a Nation, I believe this is where we are. I chose “Feel“.

America is changing. There are many things that have occurred that causes trauma to bring out actions that were once hidden and contained in one space – to open up into the main arena- which often is the community, at large or even small communities as of late.

The mass murders that have occurred over the past few months have caused me to put a few projects on hold and to take take to be present to you feelings, lately. I am not feeling just for myself, but I find myself feelings for others, as well.

The victims, the perpetrators, the communities affected. And I’ve been doing the only thing I know how- which involves prayer, and open lamenting. Open lamenting involves talking about the grief , and the actions and behaviors and losses I don’t quite understand. I choose to feel.

I am still feeling. And possibly will be all year- who knows… Because someone has to. Someone has to make the things people numb out to – be at the forefront. And if that’s what I do by writing, so be it.

Someone has to speak to the pain, the hurt, the challenges, the shifting of this world as it evolves. Sometimes faster than we are changing ourselves. Someone has to respond with love, encouragement, to love this life with freedom even when it seems it’s too risky to go out in communities for fear of being harmed.

I used to live on the Arkansas River in Tulsa, Ok. And this photo above was a place where I considered to be my safe space. When things began to shift and change, I would walk the path alongside the river and it would calm me. Until one day the river overflowed its banks. And it was in my backyard. We had to move. We shifted. And not reluctantly, at all. We just knew it was time. So together, we shifted with the way life was leading us.

Even as things shift and change in your life, find yourself safe space. As life shifts and challenges, you and atrocities happen all around. Remember also what “centers” you. Remember to ” give thanks” even when it’s hard to. Keep a heart of gratitude.

We need to have a certain level of adaptability to life, when things shift. We cannot choose numbness, or indifference, or ” anger” as our way of dealing; because it may cause self- sabotage, or systemic sabotage, or even resentments and hate. We have to tap into where love is. We cannot freeze up. We must feel.

Pray. Cry. Deal with and talk about how you feel about women’s rights, death, loss, grief, murder. Don’t distance yourself, don’t ‘veg out’ on TV.

Feel. Believe. Trust.

Even if believing is a challenge.

Choose to feel. Allow yourself to breathe. Because when challenges sometimes happen , the first thing we do is hold our breaths.

Forgiveness.

photo by You Are So Beautiful Photography

So I don’t write on forgiveness often. But I do read about it. And I do have conversations on it.

Because its complex. And recently I had a conversation with a group of people about it and I had an epiphany : Forgiveness is an act of self-love.

That it’s a gift to myself to not take on the burden of stress, overwhelm and complexity of being hurt.Choosing to be present to life and living it with purpose, intent and joy. Not resentment, fear and discontent.

It’s freeing when you can notice what helps you to thrive, and man, to be honest- unforgiveness isn’t what helps you thrive. It negates your spirituality- your Oneness with the God of Creation. And ,your inner being is at the core Рto be kind, gracious, loving hopeful, and at peace. And to practice all that in the humility of loving yourself first. This is completely impossible if I forgiveness is in the way.

And i‚Äôll be damned – excuse my French~but choice words can be literal- if I allow a ‚Äėperson or persons‚Äô to steal that level of self- love within me, then it‚Äôs a slow death, for me..

But how do we know the level of self-love within? If all we have ever experienced is harm and hate and displeasure? I believe it begins with acceptance of the things we cannot change. The Serenity prayer. The wisdom to know the difference. Surrender. Even to things we don’t like, want or need. Finding rhythm, despite the tumult.

I do not have all the answers- but I do have experience. It can be discovered. And discovery with forgiveness takes much courage and faith.

No‚Ķ we cannot forget about the harm and the pain and the years of disgrace and the numbness that wants to forever keep us hidden and ‚Äúfeeling‚ÄĚ safe‚Ķ however, that really isn‚Äôt safety. If you thought it was, you‚Äôve been misinformed.

Seek Safety. Safety begins with an act of volition. of choosing to ‚Äėsay yes‚Äô to you- to being your own healing by forging a path of self- honesty that says : ‚Äú I matter‚ÄĚ. First.

And that’s where forgiveness begins.

With self-prioritization. And once you realize your healing and freedom is wrapped up inside of it- you will release everything that comes in opposition.

Yet you must realize your worth, first.

Selah.

If forgiveness had a mantra: it would be:

I seek Healing.

I seek Wellness.

I am Worth.

I am Content.

I Matter.

I Belong.

Me First.ūüĆļ

Quiet.

Quiet is my safe space. I get quiet, and my whole world changes. It’s wisdom for my soul.

I’ve learned over the years that quiet is not just a way of being. It’s a healthy place. A place where growth happens. A place where the world stops and all its ‘chaotic-ness’.

Quiet is a place of security. Where I become my best friend.

Quiet is where I practice self-love.

Quiet is hope for my future.

Quiet is a soft, soft, song. And sometimes without words.

Sometimes I go to this place knowing it will free me and rejuvenate me.

Other times it’s when I lack courage and need to nurture and feed myself only ‘good words’.

And then there are times when Quiet helps me rest. Long for myself and my identity , again. To remember who I am, ‘Whose‘ I am, … and where I belong that’s safe and calm.

Yeah, quiet is my best friend.

It’s a concrete and completely divine way of remembering

That I am special.

Ase’ .

Thank you, Quiet.

Hello, …South Africa!

South Africa was a really fun place to be. Smiles everywhere… from the people and not just small smirks or blushes but bright, shining smiles that were pure joy!

For faces to light up after years of oppression, death and sadness showed me that people were really blessed find a secret joy that made them feel alive and free. Even the little brown children’s cheeks would glow red. It was like I was living in a dream, actually, because the people’s lives were so vastly different than my own.

I pondered this thought: after years of the suppression and oppression, that the people of South African descent would have loads of residue that would still exist – even ten years after apartheid ended its reign- which was when I visited. Internally, this may be true; however the fact remains that maybe also they were glad to finally be “free” and that joy is what resonated with me upon my visit.

There were several signs of poverty and the shantytowns ( row and rows of tiny homes and shacks made by those living in the villages) that had several holes in them that kept out some light- not all, but not the cold. I remember the chill of the morning in May of 2003, and seeing the cold of my breath, in the AM hours, and the tiny holes where sunlight came in.

I wondered to myself:

How do they rest, when it’s so cold? Then, I realized  REST in something developed within. It really doesn’t matter how cold you are on the outside, if you can  develop a peace within and contentment from  living in  a community with people who care for you. My South African friends taught me this.  I was only there for  three weeks, and  it feels like the lessons I learned were  forever lessons. 

 I can only imagine how difficult it was to sleep in a place like this in the winter.

Yet these smiling faces never stopped showing up .. time and time again…they were inspiring for me, hopeful and helpful. Even to me, as a visitor. At the time, I was facing an imminent divorce, as I returned to the states.

I can truly say,  the  people in this country inspired me, rejuvenated me, and sparked my joy once again. Their inspired living caused me to reach for more. To make certain I lived out the meaning of my new name: Nthabiseng -which means Make Me Happy.

Thank you, South Africa.

Ase’

Did you enjoy this reading? If so, visit my newsletter and get regular updated reading in which you can practice self- actualization exercises. We are located at the Mentor My Sister site, simply click here.