God has spoken…

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies

Proverbs 31:10

I found one. And she is my grandmother. Outside of my mother, she is the most classiest, sassiest, funniest, loving, God fearing woman I’ve ever known.

My grandmother, Cora B. Jones.

Let me tell you, when I was a kid, my grandma would make my dresses and dolls. She took me on trips. My favorite one is when she took my cousins and I to Pittsburgh one summer. When I got into high school, me, my cousins, Bri and Arielle would meet up at her house and stay on weekends. Sitting on trash cans and taking over her house. She never complained.

She and my daddy would go fishing for hours and hours. I don’t know they could have been talking about but they did it up until she couldn’t anymore.

When I became an adult, I started to go through things that I didn’t want to talk to my parents about. So what did I do? I called my grandma. Nobody knows the amount of times I would stop by her house or call her and talk for hours at a time. That was hard to do because her phone rang ALL DAY! She gave me some of the best advice that I still carry with me til this day.

Follow your heart but take your mind with you”

My grandma would look nice EVERYDAY! There wasn’t a time that I can remember that she wasn’t dressed up. And on Sundays, there was NOBODY cleaner than Cora at church. From her hat to her dress to her stockings to her shoes! She was fresh! And she would be guest speakers at churches and she was always requested to mcee a program. She was the best one I’ve ever seen. Grandma would write down everything that was said in between songs or speeches and when she got back up to announce the next thing on the program, she would be able to bring everything that happened back together. The best. If you didn’t see her in person, you missed out.

Around 2012, my grandmother started to get sick. I remember after Chance left, that she came over to my parents house where I was and she was quieter than normal. I recall her walking around the house with the house phone in her pocket. But I was too grief stricken to really talk with her. We could have bonded more because she too lost a child. Unfortunately, we never had that opportunity.

She was diagnosed with dementia. And this is a sickness that I hate. My grandmother who read everyday. Completed countless 1000 pc puzzles. The one who did crossword puzzles because she was told that it would help her keep her memory. Unfortunately, she would forget. No matter how hard she tried to prevent it from happening.

It’s so hard seeing someone as vibrant as she was slowly deteriorate. Everyday, she would get a little worse. One of the most heartbreaking things to experience is to look at your grandmother and she doesn’t know who you are. Then she started to forget who her children were. I remember my daddy being upset because she couldn’t remember him. Next, she started to get smaller. My granny was nicely built but she became a shell of who she was. And that’s hard to witness. I can admit that I didn’t go see her as much as I could have but I didn’t like seeing her in that state. That wasn’t the Cora that I knew. But I would still go to the hospital when she would fall and hurt herself. I went to the rehabilitation center to visit her but it was hard. In my opinion, dementia strips you of all of your dignity. I commend my Aunt Ollie for taking care of her day in and day out. I can’t imagine how hard it was to witness it daily. I’m praying that now she can try to get as close to normal as possible. My grandmother lived with her and my aunt did the best she could with her. Thank you, Aunt Ollie.

Do you remember the story of Lot and his wife? Lots wife was the only one in the Bible to ever turn into a pillar of salt. I don’t know why she looked back but the moment she turned to look back, she was turned into a pillar of salt. And it’s funny that she turned into a pillar of salt because like salt, her presence was important. Like salt, her presence was holding the family together. Because a GOOD mama holds the family together. Like salt, she was the preservative. The only reason why most families made it through everything that we went through aside from God is that a GOOD woman preserved the family. A GOOD woman is like salt because she keeps everything from spoiling. She makes it work when it’s not working. She doesn’t murmur and complain. She just does what she has to do to make it work. A GOOD woman can make her children and grandchildren feel like superhero’s even when things aren’t going right for them. She makes them feel like they can still conquer the world. A GOOD woman makes you want to cuddle up under her because a GOOD woman is a shelter in your life. A GOOD woman is like salt because she seasons up the house. She makes it a better place. She turns a house into a home. She turns a crisis into an opportunity. She turns a tragedy into a moment for us to believe in God. A GOOD woman is like salt. The food could exist but it wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t sprinkled in salt. She’s like salt because she’s a purifier and over the years she’ll take a wild child and purify him. She’s like salt. Everything is better when she’s in it. She cleans up messy situations and drives out bacteria. Telling the devil to get up out of her house! A GOOD mama will wake up and pray at 2 am while everybody is sleeping and cry and ask God to cover her family. You probably didn’t know that she was stressed because a GOOD mama never makes her kids worry. That’s a GOOD mama and a GOOD woman.

My grandmother is the salt. I’m not saying that she looked back but I’m showing you her importance in our lives. She could know the worst about us but still believe the very best about us. When all hell was breaking loose she prayed us out of situations.

On Saturday August 11, 2018 at 2:00 am, like a thief in the night, God called her home. I know in my heart that she was ready. I’m going to miss her sassiness. I’m going to miss popping up at her house. I’m going to miss calling her so she could make me feel better. I miss the butter rolls she would make me when I asked her to. I’m going to miss the annoying way her and my daddy would answer the phone when they called one another “whatcha saying with your mouth open? Blah blah blah.” That’s literally what they said to each other. But that’s my flesh speaking. She suffered for a long time and I know now that she is at peace and resting in that mansion that the Lord had prepared for her.

Cora B, you finished your race. You left a great legacy. I know God is pleased. And while you had to suffer here on earth your last few years, your reward in heaven is so great that I can picture how happy you are. Now, you’re with Pop, your parents, your siblings, your son Clarence Jr and granddaughter Sydney Chance. I’m sure they welcomed you with open arms and beautiful songs. Your crown is beautiful and that robe is going to be fresher than any suit you had on here. And while my daddy and his siblings will miss you, your grandchildren will make sure that things get better. We will meet you in heaven one day.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:7-8‬ ‭

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We love and will miss you.

Breakdown to Breakthrough….

So many times we look the other way when we’re in pain or when the people we love are in pain. Like I said last week, we ask how they’re doing but it’s just habit. We aren’t really ready to hear the truth behind the answers. Our family members and friends are suffering everyday and we won’t come out of our selfishness to really see their hurt. But do you know what they are? What we are(because we’re hiding, embarrassed and hurt too), we are, DEAD PEOPLE WALKING!!

I’ve never really watched Ivlana Fix My Life, but for the past two weeks, I’ve been enthralled in these episodes featuring Shelby and Neffe. This episode was so powerful. They’re marriage is…WOW! It’s always good to see what really happens in someone’s life. Not just what they “post” themselves to be. (that’s another post for another day though).

Here we have Neffe, she was a young mother, a young wife, angry, hurt, trying to find herself. I mean, she’s struggling to be who she really desires to be. Per her husband, she runs him away. He told her what he thought of her but she said basically that she’s grown and she can do what she wants to do. Problem one. She feels that her voice needs to be heard. No matter how rough and angry she comes across.  How many of us women feel that we have to be hard?

Then we have Shelby. Oh, Shelby. Let me say this, we do not acknowledge the pain men have. We don’t take the time to allow them to voice their frustrations and tell us what they really go through. But Shelby is a man that has had a rough past. He accepts things and doesn’t challenge them just to keep peace. He had a heart attack and he said that when he looked into the mirror he didn’t see anything. He said that he felt invisible. This man would have rather died than survive the heart attack.  Do you know that 10% of black men are depressed?  That’s nearly two million men!!! Do you know that most of them are not being treated because of the stigma’s associated with this illness? Let that ponder. But he enabled a lot of unnecessary things in his life. Like most of us do. He’s a man that didn’t have an outlet. Let’s stop looking away and putting our pain onto to men. Mothers, ask yourselves what we are bringing into our sons. Don’t make them so strong that they’re weak. It’s going to make them repeat the cycle.

He avoided the baggage that he has brought into the marriage. Neffe avoided the baggage that she brought into their marriage. We bring in so much bs into relationships. We don’t take the time to really heal from the things that we’ve been through. From issues with our families. Being abandoned by a father. Being beaten down mentally by a mother. Our children’s fathers or mothers leaving you as a single parent. Insecurities about not being good enough for love. Being cheated on or physically abused. We’re brokenhearted and exhausted. At some point these things that we’ve been through will show. We’ve all been through something that we’ve experienced that have changed and shaped our lives and made us who we are.  However if you’re reading this, you can change things.

And because we haven’t healed properly, we tend to hurt the new people that come into our lives. They don’t deserve it. And ultimately, we cause them damage. We turn them into people that they shouldn’t be. We make them bitter. We cause them to change from the good man or woman they were into someone that will eventually break somebody else down. We are killing them. Because we’re hurting ourselves.

We have to heal from the pain. We can’t keep hurting ourselves and each other over and over and over again. The cycle has to be broken at some point.

When Chance left, I got in two relationships that I had no business in. The grief I was in caused me to try to feel the void of her leaving. I didn’t give myself time to properly grieve. So therefore, you know what I did, I caused myself more pain. But you know what else? That’s not all I’ve been through. I’ve never healed from any of it. Here I am five years later realizing that I was ALLOWING more pain in my life. Because I was running from what I was going through. I’m not running anymore though. Again, another blog for another time.

When you don’t heal from your hurt, THE PAST WILL CONTINUE TO BE YOUR PRESENT!! Again, THE PAST WILL BE YOUR PRESENT!! Take responsibility for the things you’ve allowed in your life. Heal from it and move forward. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Overcome the fears. God cannot move when you’re covered in fear. Fear is not of GOD.

The depth of the sorrow in your heart will put your life in danger. Here are some things that I hope can help someone else:

  • Don’t let anybody diminish your feelings. If you’re hurt by something or someone, face it immediately.
  • Don’t allow what you don’t accept. Remember, what you allow is what will continue. ALWAYS. Don’t start a relationship accepting the things you don’t like.
  • Don’t be a voluntary victim.
  • Don’t make dysfunction okay.
  • Pain will not kill you so don’t avoid it. When you face it head on, you can heal from it.
  • Don’t allow someone to continuously hurt you. Nine times out of ten, if they do it once, they’ll do it again and again.
  • Learn how to live. Don’t just exist.
  • Remember that depression can kill you if it’s not treated properly. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to say that you need help. Don’t suffer in silence.
  • You can’t heal what you don’t speak. If you’re hurting and you’re not saying anything, you will always have that same problem. You have to let it go.
  • Get rid of baggage and stop having fantasy relationships. While you’re trying to portray this perfect relationship and life for people, they know what you don’t think they know. So stop pretending.
  • Don’t invite the drama into your home.
  • Exhaustion is not hopelessness. Ask for help.

At the end of the day, God is a restorer and He wants to heal you. He can heal you and all of the pain that you’re going through. Don’t let what you’ve been through cause you to turn your back on Him. When the storms of life rage and you think you have nowhere to run, remember to look towards the hill to where your help comes. No weapon, depression, hurt, anger, helplessness, loneliness, sickness, desperation formed against you shall prosper when you give it over to God. Remember that God loves you and I do too…

Be blessed.

Why you won’t see me judging anybody

On social media, you won’t see me posting about mass shootings. Mothers killing their children. Fathers killing their kids. People committing suicide. You know why? First of all, I don’t know what anybody’s mindset is. Second and lastly, I CANNOT JUDGE ANYBODY!!!! The bible says,

1 Peter 3: Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brother and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”

Now, lets be clear, I do not condone any of it. It broke my heart when I HEARD(I did not watch. You have to be careful about the things you allow into your mind. That image will forever be there) about the video of the elderly man in Cleveland that was killed today. Like, always, I wondered what he was thinking when that situation was unfolding. I’m praying that his relationship with God is on point. But at this point, Heaven is so much better than this cruel world.

What I want to say is, MENTAL ILLNESS is real!!! And like I always say, you cannot see it from the outside. You know how I know? I battle with this daily. Severe depression. Post traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety. All triggered from things that I go through daily. ONE traumatic situation caused a series of mental illnesses. Again, I struggle daily! I’m just blessed with an awesome support system. My family and friends LISTEN to me when I’m having rough spells. They don’t understand but they don’t blow me off. All it takes is a few moments to listen to someone when they’re expressing themselves. Just listen.

Do you know how many people suffer in silence because of shame and embarrassment? Do you think it’s easy to admit to someone that you have a mental illness? Do you know the stigmas attached? Do you know that it’s by the grace of God that you’re not suffering? It’s free to be there for someone. But do you know that a few minutes of being there for a friend or family can save people a lot of heartache. It can deter some tragic situations. Example, what happened in Cleveland today. I didn’t watch the video of the man being killed. But I did watch the video of Stevie Steve talking to a friend and one thing that stood out to me was him saying, “I snapped. And when I try to talk to ya’ll, you blow me off like I’m just talking..” No one listened. Now, 14 people are dead. Likely 15 when the police catch him or if he commits suicide. No one took his pain seriously.

That’s just like when Shanynthia Gardner murdered her children last July. The first thing people did was condemn her to hell. They wanted her to be stabbed to death like her children were. They wanted her gone. But when I heard that story, my heart immediately asked questions. Why didn’t anyone see the signs? Why wasn’t she being treated for mental issues? Was she overwhelmed? Why did she snap? I didn’t judge her because I’m not God. I wish more people would look around at their friends, family and coworkers to see if they’re really ok.

And why is it so hard for people to understand that black people suffer from mental illnesses? Why are we exempt? When tragic situations like these happen, people automatically say, “black people don’t do that!”. Well, we snap like any other race. Why do you have to pretend that you’re ok? It’s ok to not be ok! We are killing ourselves mentally because we don’t want people to look at us funny. But guess what? When you snap, they’re going to talk about you anyway. So get the help you need.

My friends, when you ask someone how they’re doing, don’t accept the “I’m fines” or  the “everything is goods”. They’re not. Take five minutes out of your day and genuinely listen. Be sincerely concerned. Don’t run back and tell their business. That’s why people suffer in silence. We’re afraid that you’re going to tell everybody you know that I told you that I’m having problems. Don’t revel in someone’s misery. Don’t be giddy to spread a private conversation. Encourage the people that you love to seek the help they need. Prayer is great. God is a healer and He is faithful. However, I feel that he wants you to utilize the resources that are available.

I know people are going to rip me apart for this blog because I’m writing this from a different perspective. But at this point, I’m just writing what I feel led to share. I’m unashamed to say that I suffer. I won’t suffer in silence anymore.

You won’t see me judging anyone for their actions. I may not agree with them, but I won’t speak about what someone else is going through. We are all one situation from something tragic happening. I will attach some scriptures. I hope that people read and study these with open minds and hearts.

Romans 14:13 “So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall”

Luke 6: 27 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

1 Timothy 5:24 “Remember the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.

Love each other. Be compassionate towards each other. Pray for each other. Pray for peace of your mind daily!!!!

Keisha

Who’s fighting for you?

Do you sometimes wonder how you’ve made it through certain situations in your life? Like, why your situation didn’t kill you or make you just completely give up on everything? 

That’s because you have someone in your life that’s fighting for you. Even when you don’t see it or feel it. God is still there. Always! Fighting those battles that you don’t even know you’re in. Battles that Satan are trying to take you out with. 

God loves us so much more than you’ll ever know. He’s waiting for you to put all of your faith in Him. He wants you to trust Him wholeheartedly. 

Isaiah 12:12 I trust You to save me Lord God and I won’t be afraid…

When you can’t figure out life and you’re stressed out beyond belief. Look at, 

Proverbs 3:5 trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding…

Stop trying to figure out everything on your own. 

Also, He blesses those who depend and trust Him during these trying times. It’s not in vain. 

Jeremiah 17:7 but blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence 

He protects you because you believe in Him. 

Psalm 91 the Lord says, l will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name..

Don’t worry about what people think about you. Don’t be concerned about who or what they want you to be. Trust that God knows what He’s doing in your life. He knows what’s best. Even when you don’t understand. 

Have faith in yourself and have confidence in your abilities. Follow your dreams. If you want to be a writer, don’t let anybody censor you. If you want to be a singer, sing your heart out and make sure you’re giving the glory to God. Sing for Him. If you want to start a business, start it. But don’t be discouraged if you don’t make millions of dollars your first few months. Perfect your craft and keep going. 

No matter what people think about you, know that God is fighting for you. He doesn’t want to lose you. 

Fight for your marriages. For fight your family. Fight for your friends. They can’t be replaced. Fight for your dreams. Just keep fighting. God has the rest. 

And also, so many are rooting for you. We have to support and generally love each other. Let’s fight for each other. Listen to this song by Mali music 💜

I know they see you and they want you
I know they see you and they want to

Make you who they want you to be

I know that life is tryna to get you

I know that life is calling out to you by your name

But don’t listen, resist it

Keep running, don’t you stop for nothing

Just keep kicking, remember where you came from

Don’t forget what you already know

What you got is amazing, hold that, don’t you let it go

You hold the light, you hold the light
You hold the light and it’s shining

And making darker places bright and you lighter

You hold the light, you got a lot

You bring a lot, you bring a lot

And it’s evident they can see it, they want in it

But it’s not for the taking, it’s not for the changing

No it’s not for remixing, it’s not for remaking alright.

So they lining up to take it alright

I can’t let them take my you, you know I write for you yeah

I won’t let them take you, I won’t let them
I won’t let them take you, I’ll be your protection

I’ll be your direction yeah, I’ll be your protector

You know I’ll rather fight for you, I’ll fight for you

I’ll fight for you, you knowing I’m fighting

Cause I refuse to lose you 

Fighting cause I refuse to lose you…

Going up…

Brandon and I were driving home tonight and I had my music playing from my phone. Now, I have some of everything in my library from Evanescence to Beyonce to Tupac to John P Kee, lol. I love music and if I can get meaning out of it, even better. 

Well, it’s quite ironic that this song I grew up hearing came on. I haven’t heard it in a while but it’s so befitting right now. So many people are suffering from painful, life threatening, difficult illnesses. They want to get better and they try so hard to hold on. Or they are involved in freak accidents that leave them on ventilators and leaving family members with the heartbreaking tasks of removing them from life support. (My family and I have been there with Chance). A couple of months ago, I lost a relative to a motorcycle accident. He fought for a few days. Until he couldn’t anymore. (Another blog for another time)

Anyway, we want for them to make it out of these situations. For us. But they are going through so much. It’s almost unbearable for them. They hold on in pain and agony for us. Because they know how hard their leaving will be on us. They love us that much that they’ll go through the chemos, the therapy, the surgeries, etc just to be here for us. But they’d rather be free from the suffering. 

Back to our ride home. This song came on that most people in my age group( I know my brother Zrano knows it because our parents played it ALL the time) and older know. It’s called “Going up Yonder” by Walter Hawkins and the Love Center Choir. Now, when you’re a kid, you can’t really understand the meanings behind these songs. But when you get older and you experience some things, these words can speak to your heart like nothing else. The part in the song that completely broke me down tonight’s says, 

I can take the pain

The heartaches they bring

The comfort in knowing

I’ll soon be gone
As God gives me grace

I’ll run this race

Until I see my Savior

Face to face

So to me, what this says is, our loved ones can endure the pain of their illnesses. They will take on the hurt but they find comfort in knowing that once it’s over, they’ll be safe in the arms of Jesus. They know that God gives them the strength to gracefully enter His Kingdom. Once the temporary suffering is over, they’ll be face to face with Him. 

Let me tell you that Brandon had to ask me if I was ok because I cried like a baby. I told him I was great because as long as we have breath, we have another “chance” to get our lives together. 

So for those that are facing illness and possibly death. Those who have lost family members. Those who have family members that are in pain and facing some difficult situations, pray for peace for them while their transitioning. For those family members that have gone on, they’ve gone up yonder and we wouldn’t want them here in the state they were in. God has made them whole and new. They are soooooo happy. Be thankful for that. 

I’m going to leave the song here for those who’ve never heard it. I promise, it will bless you. 

K. Bowles