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Wednesday Wind Down: Home

Happy New Year, Sweethearts! I hope you’re somewhere safe and enjoying your clean slate.

Last night, I did exactly what I wanted to do and I took no prisoners. I was in Landover, Maryland visiting Zion Church. Every year, they host new year’s eve worship services and an after-party. Two years ago, while serving online as a prayer/chat host, I said the following to myself: “I’m going in person. Just give me a couple of years.”  Well, I made it and it was incredible.

The welcoming spirit of the people bounced between the walls and spilled through the doors and into the parking lot. The line to attend each service resembled that of rock concerts. Trays of sparkling apple cider and snacks were served as we waited outside. The cold wind whipped around our smiles but couldn’t wipe them away. My sisters and I were simply excited to be there… together.

From beginning to end, their hospitality was genuine and infectious. I am still a prayer/chat host in their iCampus ministry and a small group member, so when I introduced myself, the sparkle in their eyes increased and their sweetness expanded. I was already welcomed beautifully when I arrived just like everyone else. That’s what made the visit so lovely. Love was everywhere and it fueled each part of the experience. Then, I thought of us as human sanctuaries. I’ve thought of our hearts as homes before, but last night, a prayer came with that idea.

Lord, I want my life to be as welcoming as this sanctuary. I can’t let everyone live in my heart, but my Light should welcome others to know You. God, please clear my sanctuary for Love to roam free.

People that didn’t know each other hugged like old friends and danced together like they had a rehearsal yesterday. It was exhilarating, warm, and free — and exactly what I prayed for two years ago. Every day won’t be a party, but moments like last night can live forever with the right ingredient… Love.

The basis of Pastor Keith Battle’s message was Isaiah 43. Here’s a verse from the sermon to uplift your week and your new decade.

IMG3870432726647843040.jpg

Peace, Thanks for listening, and See you next week!

Dance Your Heart IN: Part 2 – We Got SOLed

purple-SOL-only-e1462031948219
You need a session. Trust me.

After an invigorating dance-in-the-dark party in February, I was all about having my private party on the night before my August 20th birthday. What better way to celebrate my fresh wind of feminism than with other Wonder Women? I hand-picked a few close friends that I thought would appreciate the unique experience and invited them to dance their heart in with me. When the dust settled, seven ladies were confirmed and I was elated to rock with them.

Related Sidebar: I’m an Olympics fanatic. Seriously. I try to watch everything. You know how the U. S. Women’s Gymnastics Team is usually earmarked with a nickname? We’ve witnessed the Magnificent Seven (Atlanta 1996), the Fierce Five (London 2012), and recently in Rio, the Final Five to commemorate the retirement of legendary gymnastics coach Martha Karolyi. Epic.

I decided to jump on board and nickname these seven sisters + our beautiful host Shannon. They were the Exceptional Eight and this new band of supersheroes were about to embark my birthday SOL ship voyage. Sidebar complete.

I’m a thinker, so I reviewed the dynamics. Three of the attendees were my sorority sisters. Two of the eight ladies I knew since grade school. The remaining two women, I met in college. And Shannon? She was a sister on-site. Our kindred spirits kindled a positive energy that burned over emails and spilled over into our face-to-face encounter. I loved how she fit right into our type of crazy. I even had an icebreaker planned just in case my multiple circles needed some communicative coaxing, but as Shannon pointed out, they already had something in common…me. Each one of them represented a part of me that identified with them, so why wouldn’t they blend? I must admit. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure how the session would turnout for them, but it resulted in an explosion of laughter mixed with bursting sounds of pure joy and freedom. I couldn’t have asked for more. It was a beautiful blend.

Soon, it was lights out and we danced the night away to a perfect mix of my favorite jams (Did I mention perfect?). We ate until our sweet tooths were satisfied. We shared words of love and humor and you could see the strings of sisterhood weaving among us. We were SOL-tied, a band of professional women that had worked hard during the day, but needed the unique forge of fortitude that night. One of my sisters even had to get up for work at 3:00 AM the next day, but was still energized when she woke up. It was that electric. I saw their faces relax and for a moment, we weren’t wives, mothers, students, caregivers…we were an assembly of queens drinking from the pool of cooling strength and being fitted in new armor for the world that awaited us. The shattered stress from our daily roles lie on pieces of pink paper around us and no one walked out in the same manner in which they entered. Everyone returned to the lobby a little taller, brighter, and ready to obliterate any obstacle in her path.

We were walking with sunlight in our pockets and positivity in our hearts.
Our steps had rays of sunshine beaming underneath as we matriculated to our night-kissed cars.

To say that those dance steps charged our feminine energy packs would be an understatement. We may have put on the same shoes, but they didn’t feel the same.

We got SOLed.

So can you.
Sole definition google Thank you, Google.

Peace, thanks for listening, and Happy Birthday to all of the August babies! We ROCK!

Party of 3

Party of 3

If you try to reach me using Facebook, good luck. I’m simply not as big of a user, especially of the messaging system. I turned off the notifications to my phone a long time ago. “This person like your picture… this person commented on a picture you liked… This person liked the same picture you liked…” It was becoming too nerve-wrecking. Then there’s the infamous question:

Did you see my post/get my message on Facebook?

My usual response – No. Do you still have my number? Why didn’t you just call me?

Sure, I understand that social media is the wave of the future in terms of communicating with the masses and with loved ones abroad. It makes perfect sense to use it in that fashion; however, if you truly want my attention for a time-sensitive matter… call me. That’s the direct line to anything you need from me. I’ve often wondered how we moved so far from using the phone for its intended purpose, yet claim that we can’t keep in touch? Don’t hide. I’m guilty too.

With so much technology,
you would think the ties that bind us
would be stronger, but instead,
they’re sparse and brittle.

While I was wandering around this topic, I heard God say the following:

“You have complete access to me,
but you always choose a 3rd party to reach me.
You have direct access and barely use it.”

Wow. I couldn’t believe the conviction and hurt in His voice. We listen to sermons, read devotionals, attend bible studies, all to receive a Word from God. He loves that about us… that we seek Him diligently and collaborate with others to sharpen our Faith. Nevertheless, there is nothing like that sweet alone time with God. Our Father is lovingly waiting for us to use the only liaisons we need… His Son and His Spirit. The requirement to patch through to Him is Jesus. That’s why Jesus died on the cross. His Spirit allows us direct connection any time we wish and without delay.

I encourage you to use your hotline today to say “I need you” or just to say “hi.” You can use any of the above mentioned methods to dig deeper in His Word, but He truly loves to hear your voice. He knows what you sound like.

Its timbre is sweet to Him
because He made it the perfect pitch
and wavelength; it is a custom fit for His ear.

Isn’t that amazing? Out of the 7.4 billion people in the world, He leans forward when you say His name in passion and sincerity. Speak with the Holy Spirit, by way of Jesus the Son, to your Father. Use your party of Three to be heard by the One.

Peace & Thanks for listening.

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