When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,When the funds are low and the debts are high,And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,When care is pressing you down a bit,Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.Life is queer with its twists and turns,As every one of us sometimes learns,And many a failure turns about,When he might have won had he stuck it out;Don't give up though the pace seems slow--You may succeed with another blow.Often the goal is nearer than,It seems to a faint and faltering man,Often the struggler has given up,When he might have captured the victor's cup,And he learned too late when the night slipped down,How close he was to the golden crown.Success is failure turned inside out--The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,And you never can tell how close you are,It may be near when it seems so far,So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- Author unknown
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
As my children get older, I'm having to make decisions that I didn't have to make before. The deliberation that I'm currently sitting on the fence about is: to Halloween or not to Halloween.
Ellie Lofarao, who authors a blog called, Kiyria: A Women Chosen in Christ; Called to Influence affirms that in Christian cirlces, the answer to this question isn't so black and white. As a Christian, she always felt that her decision to avoid the holiday was just the right thing to do... that is of course until a turning point, when confronted by her children with an all too familiar rationale. She presents their case:
"Please let us go trick-or-treating next year. We always play dress up and we have so many hats and costumes and wigs, so you don't have to buy any and we only want to get some candy and have fun with our friends! We know Satan is bad and we love Jesus, and I'm sure he'd walk around with us and get candy if he was here. "
Ellie's post pin points the true nature of this argument for Christian parents. What about the kids? They'll miss out!
"..there are no evil spirits in our pumpkins, nor do they roam in my neighbor's black cat. As for witches and black magic, the Bible is clear. All Hallows Eve ought to be a social, wholesome, and yes, even joyful time. For our family, it is."
Angelo Stagnero, a Christian blogger who writes for the U.S Catholic blog approaches the matter quite pragmatically. He places the evolution of Halloween into a historic context. He believes adamantly that Christians should embrace the day. He writes:
"Halloween is steeped in Catholic theology and piety, and besides, it's just so much damn fun. We couldn't have arranged a more perfect synthesis of devotion and festivity had we tried. When you get to the core of what the holiday is, you find an overwhelmingly Catholic Christian holiday. It should be recognized and celebrated as such-warts, spider webs, and all.
On the Christian calendar November 1 is All Saints Day, or "All Hallows' Day." The word "Halloween" is simply the abbreviated form of "All Hallows' Eve," the vigil celebration in anticipation of the feast day."
"Halloween is a great time to get your scare on. If not now, when? Let's indulge in the sticky, the creepy, and in things that go bump in the night on Halloween. This is our night to bump back. You can dress as a devil as long as you don't succumb to the diabolical. If you dress as a demon, you are no more worshiping a demon than you are worshiping an angel if you dressed as your favorite cherub."
I am still a bit undecided on the whole issue, but as a Christian, I think I'll throw myself into the mystery of my faith at this critical juncture.
Will we buy costumes? Yes
Will we buy Halloween candy? Yes
Will my kids collect and eat candy? Yes
Basically, we will dress our girls in some kind of Halloween neutral costume, and head to the church, where the Children's Ministry organizes a "Harvest Carnival". While my children will dress in costume, we will avoid the traditional stuff, and focus instead on costumes that center around careers and things of that nature.
What about you? Will your kids be getting their creep on?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
So why 1989?
Don't know just had this idea and went with it. I thought it would be kind to rewind.
I started by going to google and searching for movies that released that year. That year I would have been around eleven which is a good age, right before you hit that awkward stage and become too cool to watch kids movies. Now, twenty years later and I'm finding that movies from this year were actually very influential part of my life.
See if you can guess this movie quote from 1989.
"Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? / Wouldn't ya think my collection's complete / Wouldn't you think I'm the girl / Girl who has everything / Look at this trove, treasures untold / How many wonders can one cavern hold? / Looking around you'd think / Sure, she's got everything / I've got gadgets and gizmos aplenty / I have whoozits and whatzis galore / You want thingamabobs? I've got twenty / But who cares? No big deal / I want more." imdb.comDo we actually learn from our parents or do we learn from the things we watch on TV? I guess it depends on the household but when I grew up I loved watching movies and my parents didn't mind.
Thinking back to eleven was a great age. I could rent those rectangle shaped things that had a long tape in it that sometimes bunched up in your VCR, what were those things called........
Oh right VHS Tapes.....What an invention!Not too long ago I went to Half Price books and outside they have all the books on clearance. I love clearance especially when I find a good deal. Half Price books also sells old VHS movies and that day they happen to have a ton of the classic kids movies like that I used to watch when I was younger.
I just knew my daughter would love them too!What a bargain. Some really good titles were just a buck! I bought about 8 or 10 different movies for a variety. One of them being All Dogs Go to Heaven.
Such a cute movie!I bring them home and I'm really excited to have my daughter watch the same things I watched when I was younger. It brings back memories and helps me remember things that I had forgotten such a long time ago. I stood there with a glow on my face for finding such a great bargain.
Ten minutes later.........The movie is OVER!Hey wait why was it over so soon? I guess the inventor didn't think that far ahead and neither did I. It takes 5 minutes to rewind a whole movie. My daughter thinks 5 minutes is too long. By the time its done she totally forgot about the movie
My golden glow is gone.....I thought "what a terrible invention".I could kiss the inventor of the DVD....you know the kind of kiss you would give a chef for making a great meal. I have no idea what I would have done back before these gadgets and gizmos were invented. All I know is I want more thingamabobs that make a mom's life easier.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
As a kid the preponderance of such racially charged caricatures completely escaped me-- or did they?
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
and my personal favorite
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Monday, August 24, 2009
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Sunday, August 23, 2009
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Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009
If you're playing along at home, and you guessed the absence of a nap-time routine, then you get the gold star for the day. Ironically, neither does Sadia take naps at home, nor does her new school endorse a nap-time policy, so this will be the least of her worries.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009
I was putting the girls down for a nap yesterday afternoon, when Sadia's routine was broken up by a visit from a June-bug hovering just outside the window beside her bed. It scared the bejesus out of her, to the extent that she refused to get into bed.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I've had a change in perspective over the last few days. It's been a gradual change; like tick, tick, tick, a-ha! I've thought a lot about being a mom. Confession. Reflection. Rehashing. Feeling insecure all over again. But it ran it's course, so I was "over it". Then it became clear, like your vision the first moments after you wake. The view comes into sharper focus after you wipe the haze from your eyes.
As a mother, I get so much unsolicited parenting advice from well-intentioned people. It's as if there's a sign taped to my back that reads: HELP! I'm a Newbie, and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing wrong.
Maybe the fact that I am constantly second-guessing my own decisions makes it seem that other people are more critical of me than they actually are. But despite the fact that I'm doing my best sometimes I get the sense that I am being nitpicked, and that some people are just being downright nasty.
Sometimes I feel like I'm in mommy boot camp, and that my insecurities signal that I need a refresher course in basic training. My becomes a welcome matt on which nit-pickers perch and bark orders.
The new direction....
In these moments the criticism is debilitating, and all I want is the strength to stand up for myself and say, "Thanks, but no thanks," then set my sights ahead, and begin moving my feet in a more positive direction; down a path that does not involve getting beat-up over imperfection. From this stand point, I am fearless. I can tackle any parenting obstacle that comes my way and do it with reassurance that God is able, my best is enough, and I am enough.
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Sunday, August 09, 2009
However, I couldn't compete against the five huge needles the nurses had lined up on the examination table, the two nurses that were sent in to hold her down in case she got jumpy, and the less than personable nurse who administered the shots in succession instead of combining some of the inoculations in one needle (which is a common practice). It was as if they were inviting her to have a huge meltdown. I wasn't particularly satisfied with the level of care we had received.
What you'll see in the clip is Sadia's impression after the appointment. Here is Sadia with her definition for the term doctor's appointment. Please pay close attention to the way she pronounces the phrase:
It doesn't matter how often I pronounce the words doctor's appointment-- careful to enunciate each syllable for her-- this is what she hears. Sadly, I fear that her interpretation may well become the first of many phrases in her lexicon of health care disappointments.
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Saturday, August 08, 2009
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Friday, August 07, 2009
Dear Barack,Something unusual has happened to me over the past few days. To be frank: you have been the subject of my dreams. That's not unusual, you might be thinking. Women dream about me all the time.
Yea, well, it's not those kinds of dreams that I'm talking about here. The truth is, I've encountered lots of discrimination this summer and lately the topic of acceptance is always churning in the back of my mind. I went out on a limb and blogged about my deepest insecurities brought on by bigotry here and here, which opened my eyes to a world of self discovery. I love the intentional visibility of your love for Michelle in such a public forum.Just recently, my need for public acceptance resurfaced when I saw this intimate portrait of you and your gorgeous wife Michelle here:
At first glance, someone might wonder what you could possibly be whispering in Michelle's ear. But a closer look revealed what I believe to be at heart of this candid moment:
As I look at the expression on Michelle's face, immediately something deep inside me was stirred. My first thought was....there is no pretending here. This is the face of a woman that is loved. And desired. And romanticized. And her delight is being broadcast for all to see. Michelle's expression partially resonates with me. I say partially because while at home I live these emotions daily, but sadly the world lags in embracing black love publicly.My husband is the most sentimental man I know. He is very romantic and I experience great fulfillment through his expressions of love, which begs the question: If I am so fulfilled at home, why am I dreaming about you?Well, I am an attractive brother? You might be thinking. Nope. You're fine and all, but that ain't it. Then it must be my power and prestige? No, that isn't it either. Your presidency is so deeply personal to me because in my experience, being dark-skinned in America and being desirable in America are two mutually exclusive ideas. Your publicity puts man's desire for black women at center stage and it flies in the face of conventional thinking.As a child, I experienced a lot of public ridicule both within the black community, as well as in the mainstream. Even at a tender age, I was always aware that I was black. I don't mean black as in African American. I mean black-black, which is the kind of black that is inexcusable for that grade of desirable folks in America: those who are pretty to a point of pain for young dark-skinned women like me.When I was a little girl, being called ugly by my peers was an everyday experience, and for others like me who didn't exactly pass the brown paper bag test. At school (dressed up in my nicest clothes, my braids tightened in neat cornrows) no one ever noticed me. Instead, I was relentlessly taunted and called names like Tar Baby or African Booty-Scratcher by the very people whose acceptance I sought (it's a shame what we put each other through).
As a young woman in college, I dated a few black guys. In these relationships I found myself conforming to something that was not quite me: I began straightening my hair; adding long silky extensions to it. But pretending to be that girl wasn't really my thing, and most brothers weren't ready to accept me for who I was, so I shrank from the world and for years went unnoticed.That is until I met my husband. Teddy loves the black out of me. Through his love, I feel secure in embracing my blackness--bushy hair and all.He relishes me. I am awakened by his love. And there is nothing more sexy than my man, who romanticizes over wholly me.
So, why have you been the subject of my dreams for the past few days? Because you have displayed before the world what I have experienced in a private context. Your affectionate candor for your lovely wife, somehow quenches my own personal thirst for public acceptance. There is no mistaken; you are completely in love with Michelle--a black woman-- and I have a great appreciation for a man who desires dark-skinned women.
Barack, you are a tall glass of water.
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Thursday, August 06, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Teddy and I watched this incredibly corny movie last night called "The Wedding Weekend". Perhaps its one redeeming quality is the fact that Molly Shannon adds some much needed comedic relief from beginning to end. Also, I was introduced to this little nugget. I wanted to share this neat little chart from the movie in the spirit of accentuating the positive.
David, played by actor David Harbour, introduces this graph after reuniting with his college buddies. The chart plays a significant role in illustrating some much needed perspective on how their lives have progressed (or in some instances regressed) since their college heyday. For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I am a visual person, so I tweeked the chart a bit.
David's chart is based on and 80 year lifespan, which is accurate. In the recent census, the US Census Bureau estimated the average lifespan for Americans to be about 78.1 years. Whereas my chart is based on an 84 year lifespan (I needed a number that was divisible by 12 to make adding the other reference points quick and easy). Also, I added a watermark.
To read the chart, you simply plot your age on the life line, then draw a vertical line down from that reference point. In doing so, three other reference points are created to measure against the 84 years of your life: one year; one hour; and one minute. So, if you're 42 years old, you'd be approaching the summer or midday of your life.
I liked this exercise for two reasons. One, it provided three unique lenses through which life can be viewed, which raised some interesting questions for me. At this stage in my life, I'm looking at the woman I've become and wondering if I am journeying in the direction that I really want to go. I am questioning whether some of the tentative decisions I've made are becoming permanent before I really want them to.
Two, it made me recognize how grateful I am for God's presence in my life, because the closer I get to God the more obvious the answers to these questions become. The more I learn about God's character, the more I understand my need for His divine guidance. Through this lens of relationship with God, a more important question emerges: Am I willing to entrust my life in the hands of Almighty God, so that I can enjoy the maximum possibilities of my life?
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Sunday, August 02, 2009
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