Tag Archive | God’s promises

Do You Want a Cat?

Sometimes God is just funny. Like, I normally think about Him in terms of being loving, and gracious, and kind. Caring, and gentle, and intimate…but not really funny. Today, I had to literally laugh out loud though, because I realized, He really does have a sense of humor. The Guy is a straight up comedian.

About a week ago, I was not in the best mental space. Let’s face it, we’re in a pandemic, and no one really knows how long this thing is going to last. 2020 has been one shock after another, and I feel like, as a collective whole, humanity just could not catch our breath. We took one big gasp in January, and have been holding it ever since.

The first shock was Kobe. I sat there on the couch in my well-furnished basement, with a good friend, and watched CNN, for hours. We were told that Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter had died with several others in a helicopter crash. We were horrified and entered into a period of grief along with the whole world at the sudden loss of a well-known superstar. We were all suddenly reminded of the brevity of life, even if we weren’t avid sports fans. For months, Kobe and his family, (and those other poor souls), were the talk of our conversations. Were the topic of our heartfelt prayers. But then, the senseless injustices of the Black community came to a head, (once again). For me, it was Ahmaud who gripped my heart. Ahmaud Arbery was a young Black man who was gunned down while running in his neighborhood by three white men. He was unarmed. He was vulnerable. And he was killed. I laid out on the floor, weeping profusely. I could not stop. I couldn’t believe he was so young, and I kept imagining his mother finding her son. Dead. Bleeding. Lifeless. But then I didn’t have much time to even grieve that, because George happened. George Floyd, whom the nation responded so loudly to, was murdered by a white police officer, while his fellow officers stood by, and watched him kneel on George’s neck, mercilessly, while George cried out in agony, weeping for his mother. I could only watch (stomach) some of the video footage.

And somewhere in between these men, was Breonna. Breonna Taylor was gunned down in her own home, by police officers. A horrifying case of mistaken identity. The police officers were released by the way. No charge. No justice.

Throughout these atrocities, there were riots, and looting, and chaos. Grief, and fear, and sorrow. Not to mention, a recent presidential election which usually has folks up in arms in general, but would now have them even more so, during this particular election.

And all of this has happened in the midst of a world wide pandemic, of which the United States is leading in cases. I don’t even want to get into my own feelings of personal loss. My own personal grief. I just shared all this to explain why finally, after the last eight months of walking around with a mask on and dousing my hands in hand sanitizer at every moment’s chance, I felt the heaviness seep in. I felt it, and I recognized it from a past experience I didn’t think I would make it out of.

Well, that particular morning while feeling the heaviness, I decided I needed a pet. I have looked a few times in the past for one, particularly a kitten, but every time, it just never panned out. One time, my bestfriend and I went to the animal shelter near me. This was right when the pandemic hit, but they were closed due to the new crisis. Another time, I looked on Craigslist, but whenever I spotted a cute furry creature I could fall in love with, they would already be sold, once I reached out to the seller. I remember even over a year ago, my old roommate and I looked for a pet, but I didn’t find one I connected with, so I waited.

This particular morning while looking online though, I figured it was time, because of what I was dealing with. But I had a lot of work to do, and so after 20 minutes, I needed to switch gears from online perusing for a furry companion, to bookkeeping for clients. 5 hours later, I was spent. I actually remembered that I was looking for a kitten that morning once done working, but was too tired to go back online. I just wanted to veg out. Interestingly enough, within minutes of me having that thought, I heard a knock on my door. I was confused. It was the middle of the day. Who could it be? Anyone who visits normally calls first. Why didn’t they do that? Why didn’t they ring the doorbell? These were all the thoughts swirling in my mind as I made my way, cautiously, up the stairs, to the door. I peeked out, and saw this little light brown kid. He was holding a black kitten in his arms and peered up at me with large eyes and disheveled black hair. “Hi. Do you want a cat?” he asked.

Now, call it my upbringing with a single mom who was from the streets of Toledo, but my brain was racing. Is this kid in cahoots with a rapist, or mugger, or killer who is going to pop out while I’m distracted by his cuteness with this kitten and knock me out cold? So I start praying, Lord, please don’t let me be a victim in my foolishness to open this door to a stranger! (I’m serious too. I really did pray that.) Then I’m channeling my discernment, feeling for God, because what are the chances that someone is going to offer me a kitten on the very day I was looking for one? I looked at the kid, confused, and he explained, after glancing over his shoulder down my driveway, “My aunt is giving them away.” I stood back, assessed him some more, and knew I had to make a quick decision. I also knew it was God, and that this was my time to commit—or not to commit—to being a pet owner. Did I really want this? But never one to miss out on a blessing, I opened my hands, and he dumped the scared little fluffy bundle into them. I said, “Thanks,” and that was that. He left, and I was in awe.

I have been the proud owner of a small black kitten since that day (it will be one week tomorrow). His name is BJ and I named him that after the suggestion of a good friend who said to name him after a character in my book. (That is, my newest book, and first novel, that I’m still working on.) But people kept asking me what “BJ” stood for and I would cringe because I really didn’t know. It bothered me greatly because I’m someone who values words, values names, especially. I wanted some weighty, deep name that meant something, but all I came up with was, “BJ”. I loved BJ in my novel because he is a loving male friend to my female protagonist, but that couldn’t be enough. I needed a deeper meaning.

So here is the funny part. Remember, I said God was funny? I was driving today from making my normal daily Starbucks run (this began during the pandemic to get out of the house). A venti coffee with light cream sat in the cup holder, while I was thinking about God giving me a black cat, and thinking about how He had done the same thing before and gave my old roommate a black cat. She had named him Benny (short for Ben-Samuel, a nice, strong, Jewish name), and if you’ve been following this blog for a few years, you’ll remember a couple of blog posts about him. He was definitely an interesting character! So I was thinking this, and not for the first time you see. I was thinking about its significance. That God was doing something twice (usually in the Bible when He says something twice like, “verily, verily”, this means to pay attention). And then I thought, Isn’t it funny that God gave us two black cats whose names both start with B? Then it dawned on me! I had to laugh, and I had to share the laughter with someone whom I knew would understand its humor, so I called my old roommate Lianna. I told her how I just realized what “BJ” stood for! “Benny Jr!” I exclaimed with glee, and she laughed with me, and told me that was what she had figured when I initially shared his name!

Lianna, Me and Benny, 2016

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked. Of course she thought I already knew, but I didn’t. It was plainly in my face and I couldn’t see, I guess, until the time was right.

I laughed hard, and it was a good laugh. A needed laugh. And I think God held that little secret from me for a whole week just so He could see me laugh that hard. Just so He could see my face fill with joy.

Which it does, every time I look at BJ. AKA Benny Jr.!

God is so significant in ALL things. He is an amazing provider, and loves giving us the desires of our hearts. He also loves a good laugh, I’m convinced.

Meet BJ (Ben-Samuel Jr.)

SHALOM

Not A Good Match


I remember the last relationship I was in, God kept telling me “No”.  At one point around this time I was doing laundry and found a mismatched pair of socks.  The socks looked so similar to each other but they were not exact.  I felt He was using it as a picture to show me that yes the person I wanted to be with was similar to who He had in mind, but not the same.  It was not a good match.

These words were echoed by a friend recently.  They observed that while this person may be good, they were not good for me.  I find comfort in that observance because they know me well.

God knows me better.

He knows my insides and my outsides.  He knows my tendencies to be attracted to the wrong type and the difficulty this 11 year journey of singleness has been for me.  He knows how much I hate being bored at work, and how easy it is for me to take up a multitude of projects to stay busy.  He knows these things and uses them all in the revealing of my true self.

I told my friend last night, I feel I have lost it all in this journey.  On the outside there is much fruit and that is probably all people will see.  But on the inside, I have nothing left I am holding on to.  I have “counted it all as dung”.  She understood.  She has let it all go herself.

We keep letting it go.  As our sisters continue to age without their dream being brought to fruition.  As God moves in His very specific areas and has us waiting in others.  As we lean not to our own understanding and follow Him…

When Adam saw Eve He knew that she was the compliment to him.  No other species had existed that could be as compatible as she.  There was something other worldly and supernatural that occurred between this couple when this realization occurred.  I look forward to having my own experience of that sensation.

One day, there will be a good match and it will be evident to all those who know me.

It will not be an “almost” but it will be a “completely”.

SHALOM

Facing and Slaying Your Giants

Numbers‬ ‭13:30-33‬ ‭

Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants ( the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
In this passage the Isrealites have just come from Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey. A land of much fruit. The Lord told them to go there in preparation to receive their promise land. The problem was the promise seemed to have giants in it. When the spies went they found the reward God spoke of but it pailed in comparison to the enemy they would need to fight for it. Atleast, in their minds it did.  

Many of us are familiar with this passage and we know the outcome. We know that over and over again Yaweh proved His deity. He had delivered the Israelites so many times. He had rescued them from slavery, showed His hand with powerful plagues and even fed them with manna to sustain them in the wilderness! They witnessed so many signs and wonders at His hand one would think they could never doubt Him. But when it came to the promise, they became fearful of their own stature. They became fearful of what seemed to be larger than who they were.

Maybe that is what happens when we look to ourselves to overcome the battle? We become smaller in our own site and our enemy is magnified. I have faced some “giants” in this season. I have wondered if God would deliver…could deliver. Even after all of the miracles I have experienced. Yes He helped me to overcome then but could He overcome THIS situation? If He could, wouldn’t He have done it by now?

Notice the Lord did not speak to the Israelites about these “giants” beforehand. He only spoke to them about the promise. He only said “This is the land I am giving you”. I believe God doesn’t tell us about the giants because they are not giants to Him. All enemies will be used to take us further into our destiny and calling. I also believe He does not waste His time on what is temporary. Giants are temporary. The real promise lasts forever…

In this passage Caleb shares that he too scoped out the land but he was certain they could have victory. What did Caleb see that the other spies did not? I believe He saw the eternal. He saw with the lense of the Lord. He did not see the temporary but He saw the eternal victory that is wrapped in the Word of promise.

Rest assured He has already spoken your victory over you. The giant isn’t really a giant at all. It is just another tool to propel your forward into purpose.

SHALOM

Waiting on The Reward

I’m sitting in one of my favorite restaurants. Drinking beer and eating lamb. It’s heaven. Except I have battled in my mind 60 days and my shield of faith is wavering.  Experience and history tells me this is only temporary and there will be a breakthrough. Just gotta keep moving forward. So I came here for comfort food and decided to start writing. Adele blasts in my headphones and for some reason it sounds like a worship song. An anthem declaring me and my friend’s victories from all that we have endured. I remind myself of the words spoken over my life and God’s word. 

He gives us a future and a hope. 

He completes the work He started. 

This cannot be my end with Him.  Maybe it is just a new beginning.

It has been 2 months and even with the elation and joy the waiting started with those high emotions haven’t been seen since the 2nd week.  Not that I am struggling financially or hard pressed to work, it is just the path. The waiting on top of the waiting on top of the waiting.  I can see its purpose. It gives me a testimony when I have doubt. It shows I couldn’t have made it without Him. Still, its not easy. Waiting is never easy.

I was told 2016 is the year of reward. That God is better than any Accountant and has accounted for every tear wept in the waiting and the sacrifices on this journey. That really resonated with me since Im called to Accounting. I take pleasure in keeping a record.

Im sure my tears are floating around a bottle somewhere on the Lord’s shelf in heaven. Not just for myself but tears for my loved ones. 

I know they are reminding Him of His promises. I cant wait to see those promises.

I cant wait to see Him.

SHALOM

End of the Year Review (2015)

2015 started off with my good friend flying in all the way from Haiti to spend the New Year with me! We ended up at her friend’s neighbor’s house and captured the moment with a selfie.  
February brought in a huge blizzard but that didn’t keep me from celebrating the release of my first book “How to Overcome Heartbreak: Recovering from Misguided Love”. On Valentine’s Day I slipped and slid all the way across town to pick up homemade cupcakes from my friend who has her own bakery. I did think about re-scheduling the event due to the many accidents I was seeing while I was out and about getting ready, but I’m glad I did not. Apparently 6 inches of snow and ice does not scare Clevelanders when there is a holiday to be celebrated. I had a great turnout for the first release party.  
March was full of planning for the larger book release party being held on my b day. I scheduled the caterer, made the playlist, booked the venue, and hired the photo booth people. April came in style and my 32nd b day with it. My 2nd release party was a smash and I was overwhelmed by the love of the Father. This was truly a time of celebrating the work He had done in my life thus far regarding healing, wholeness and relationships. I was able to share my story at the party via the youtube video I created. The food was amazing, the photo booth was so much fun and everyone had a grand time. It felt like we were in some ritzy club in New York. God is faithful.   
   
That very next month my friend flew me in to Boston to continue my b day celebration. We were spoiled by her rich sister and enjoyed walking the city. We visited MIT, ate at a 5 star hotel and took the Harvard tour. We even watched Legally Blond in honor of being in Boston 😆.   
 

That same month my friends and I made our way to our alama mater to walk the campus and celebrate our 10 year anniversary!   

 

And of course there was Mother’s Day…  

The summer was full of time with friends, b days, graduations and wedding celebrations. My high school BFF dropped in for a visit and we hung out with our fam.    

My college BFF flew in from Florida and we kicked it Cleveland style. Then I made my way to Cinci to celebrate my friend’s 32nd b day. In August I got to celebrate my friend’s wedding. She married as a 50-year-old virgin. God is faithful.    

    
   
 The big event came in September when I took my first international trip to Haiti. I could not have imagined what a blessed time I would have there and how naturally beautiful the country is! My friend spoiled me with showing me its beauty and I enjoyed the tropical waterfalls, the pools, the mountains and so much more. I will never forget Haiti.    

   
 October revealed another first. I took my mom to Disney World for her b day.  She had never been before and we had a grand time.    

 I also had the blessing of selling more books!  

 But little did I know, God had another huge blessing in store for me around the corner. After 3 years of waiting, He released me from my current employer. Once again, I had learned contentment, I had learned joy, I had learned endurance, and His grace was sufficient to finish the assignment that once brought me to tears. I honestly did not think it would ever end. I projected 2 more years of the same. I succumbed to my destiny of boredom and humility. But He saw, when I didn’t see. He believed when I didn’t. And He showed me that once again, there is an end date to the waiting. 

 I had another miracle occur in November. Some much needed healing from a broken relationship. My mantra for this year has been “healing 2015”. It has even been passwords on my work computer. I have been so adamant about getting healed from childhood issues and other relationship trauma. God has shown me the purpose of my singleness and why He kept saying “no” to all the previous men who pursued. He has been making me into the woman He originally intended. That takes TIME. I never wanted to give Him time, but that is what He asked for. When the Creator of all things asks you for something, you can’t help but give it to Him.  

This week I will plan for a gathering at my house. I will show a slide show of highlights from 2015 and all of the blessings God has given. He has overtaken me with blessings (Deut 28:2). I will celebrate the New Year with women who love me with His love and I will look forward to the new door He will open in my career. 

 I am still in waiting. I am waiting in my career (again) and I am (still) waiting for the man He has promised. I am learning that I am a work in progress and always will be. But I’m thankful that the burden is not on me to complete this work. It’s on Him. And He already did it on the cross.

  
Shalom & Happy New Year!!!!