Thankful…I’m (About to Be) Bout That Life


Thanksgiving is one of those times of year that makes me reflect even more on being thankful. As I scrolled through my Facebook timeline and recalled where I was this time last year I thought about this year and how, at times, it has been more difficult to stay focused on being thankful. With the exception of the deaths of the two matriarchs in my family since this time last year, nothing majorly bad or unusually awful has happened. I thank God for that. However, at times, this year I’ve been internally challenged with being thankful for, and content with the past and present, while still thinking of, and clinging to hopes for the future. I’ll be honest and say that sometimes it’s hard to be intentionally grateful. And thankfully, still, something inside of me emerges and say, “Oh, give thanks”! So I do.


I know I’m not the only one who has been in this place before feeling like I didn’t do, exceed, excel, overcome, offer, change or conquer like in times past. As the kiddos would say, at moments, I’ve been feeling “some kind of way” about how this year will be recorded in my history book of life wondering where the many milestones were or if I’d missed the opportunities for end zone worthy victory dances. The strange part about it is, again, nothing unbearably bad has happened. Not that daily personal struggles don’t try to make themselves at home in my life, but this year has tested my patience in trusting the maturation process of blessings and victories as few other 365 days have. This, while at the same time staying set on being thankful for life and all the Lord has to offer, even those gifts some might call “everyday, average or small” blessings, as if there is such a thing. So I’ve had to focus on being thankful during the times thankfulness didn’t come as easy as before.

I totally get what my issue has been. I’ve been through a lot. I realize that most of what I’ve been through probably would be a walk in leave-strewn, Autumn park to some who have experienced far worse. Even in all that my lot in life has allowed, I’ve come to become accustomed to the big-ticket testimonies. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. Read any of my blogs posts to back me up. I’d just become used to those challenges leading to super-duper testimonies popping up and popping off like Jiffy Pop Popcorn on my mother’s banana, yellow stove in our house in 1977. As I type I recognize that I’ve been spoiled by God (shhhhh…don’t tell him I said that because I don’t ever want Him to stop spoiling me.) He’s so good to me! I’d settled into a “thankfulness” routine with Him that obviously needed to be shaken up. He would allow the test. He would allow me to pass. He would even throw in some extra celebratory concessions for good faith. I would be thankful, writing about it, talking about it, relishing in it, sharing my nuggets and the pattern repeated itself.


Before pondering this blog post it felt like this year hadn’t (yet) been one for the record books so I’ve had to dig deep into my repertoire of blessings to find everyday reasons to remind myself everyday that I always have an abundance of reasons for which to be thankful. And I do. I really, really do! So I’m challenging myself, even until some situations change, to always, as the kiddos would say “be bout that life” of thanksgiving, never taking for granted the opportunity to be thankful, which is an opportunity for which I am thankful.

Give thanks


Rest in Peace Mike Brown. Live in Peace America.

I wasn’t going to blog about the life or death of Mike Brown, or why black lives matter, why I believe all lives matter, or what I think is the “matter” with law enforcement, or how I feel about the foundation (or shoulders) on which this country was built until I read a Faceboook post which said “enough praying”. Huh? What? Who? Us? Never. And if ever…NOW!

via Rest in Peace Mike Brown. Live in Peace America..

Rest in Peace Mike Brown. Live in Peace America.

I arose this morning to the nightmare that is Ferguson, Missouri, USA. The same horrific scenes, seemingly picked from the director’s cut of a high-budget, Sci-fi thriller that I went to bed with are still being repeated and replayed on the morning news and news feeds. Perspectives of varying natures are running as rampant as the looters, the frantic reporters and teargas dodgers, all of whom, have something to say about what happened… or didn’t happen. All the while, this is nestled under the backdrop of a family in mourning and a country in a deeply rooted, boiling over, smoldering, centuries old crisis-come-to-pass.

I wasn’t going to blog about the life or death of Mike Brown, or why black lives matter, why I believe all lives matter, or what I think is the “matter” with law enforcement, or how I feel about the foundation (or shoulders) on which this country was built until I read a Faceboook post which said “enough praying”. Huh? What? Who? Us? Never. And if ever…NOW!

So I pulled, and edited an excerpt from a post I wrote called “The Truth About Trayvon” expressing my feelings about Trayvon Martin, which unfortunately, still sums up my point of view regarding the tragic death of Mike Brown, and the madness which has sadly ensued.


I pray that we never forget that it’s God that has the final say so. I pray that the only fires we ignite are ones that bring about an end to senseless violence. I pray we all respect life as much as we expect others to respect it. I pray social media and mainstream media don’t cease covering stories like this until stories like this are no longer around to cover. I pray we champion another cause, and another cause and another cause like Mike Brown’s and bring it to the attention of those in authority. I pray we really learn how to bring about long-lasting, effective change.  I pray we don’t become consumed with rage or fear, but use this as fuel to move this nation forward in the spirit of the civil rights activists who transformed our land’s landscape. I pray we stop the “snitches get stitches” or “loot where you live” rules. I pray we don’t turn a blind eye or deaf ear to any stories of mass murders, shooting sprees, school killings, kidnappings, black-on-black crime, white-on-white crime, brown-on-brown crime or any other color of crime for that matter. I pray we never stop fighting for justice and learn to celebrate the victories that have been accomplished, even as we fight for the victories that remain. I pray we no longer take one another for granted, that we hug a little longer, talk a little longer, truly become invested in each other’s lives as a reminder of how essential we are to one another. I pray we use our voice and our vote to stand up for EVERY single life lost, not contribute to lives being lost and not become desensitized or discouraged by the overwhelming amount of lives lost, or any injustice. I pray we don’t give up hope in the good that remains in most people. I pray we don’t operate in judgment or stereotypes, regardless of the color spectrum with which our hue rests. I pray we realize that there are people who look like us that don’t like us and people who don’t look like us who love us, regardless of our race, and not contribute to further building the wall of division and destruction. I pray we become more media savvy, more legally savvy, and more involved in order to do what we need to do to learn how to keep a story alive, and see a case to justice if needed. I pray we learn how to articulate our frustrations through effective open forums, workshops, mentoring, seminars, symposiums, community service, legislation and plain ol’ conversations with each other. I pray we talk about race, really talk about it, with hopes of greater understanding and that in those talks we realize not all people who aren’t like us are against us and get to know each other since we’ll all be here together for as long as we’re here. I pray we don’t forget about the families who have to live after death. I pray we don’t forget to pray for Mike Brown’s family, or Trayvon Martin’s family, or Keveland Wood’s family (my high school sweetheart who was shot in the head by another black teen in 1989), or the Williams family who helped raise me and lost a young man at the hands of the law, or my two best friend’s and their families who both lost their brothers, murdered at the hands of others who looked like them. I pray we remember all the families of others tragically killed at the hands of police or peers as they deal with life “afterwards”. I pray WE PRAY more than ever before, knowing also that faith without works is dead. And once we’re done praying I pray we get up, get out and at least let those men, boys, babies, women and girls who have lost their lives live through our actions, honorable enough to bring about a positive change in us all.


So to the notion of “enough praying” my response is “not ever, and certainly not now.” Rest in Peace Mike Brown. Live in Peace America.



C Is for Cookie…That’s Good Enough For Me

Rarely do I take the time to write about things for the sake of just writing. This time, however, is different. I really don’t know the purpose of this other than to rehearse in my mind my recent introduction to cookie-wonderful. Recently I had an opportunity to try Insomnia Cookies, a new hot spot in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. I was a bit reluctant to sample the sweet concoctions, not sure if I was sure that a chain establishment which prided itself on warm cookies delivered as late as 3am which cost more than $1 each would be worth its weight in cocoa.


I’m a cookie monster of sorts who fondly remembers baking homemade chocolate chip cookies each year for Christmas at least since the original airing of Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. While most children delighted in candy out of wrappers I preferred cookies out of bags like Archway’s Windmill, Iced Molasses or Frosty Lemon Cookies. I still relish the smell of the scent of Ginger Snaps (name brand or not) which my mother dished out, served in true Tupperware containers. I even remember as an adult when I cracked the code (as in found a recipe on the Internet) for the Double Tree Hotel’s famous cookies, started baking them and passing them out in Ziplock bags as gifts. I love cookies!


Back to the lecture at hand. A co-worker of mine, who is a bit younger in age, carried on and on about the cookies from Insomnia Cookies. She talked about how she remembered them from her days in college just a few year ago and how, in her Midwestern words, I quote, “OMG, Angela…They’re soooooooooooooo good”. Not wanting to mess up my love-love relationship with cookies and ruin any lingering memories I had I held off trying them for an entire day. Then I tried them. I’m glad I did. I’m really, really glad I did.


Melty. Ooey. Gooey. Warm. Moist. Delicious. Flavorful. Rich. Filling. Satisfying. Memorable and Worth It are all words which readily come to mind as I reflect on those small, round, tenderly sweet, disks of baked dough. The White Chocolate Macadamia and Chocolate Chunk were worth writing home to mom about. The Peanut Butter, on the other hand, was worth writing a blog post about. Baby, it was that good! My father does a little dance anytime he tastes something pleasing to his palate. These cookies made me want to break out into a jig right in the middle of my office. They were that good!


Again, I’m not sure of the purpose of this post, other than to allow Insomnia Cookies to channel my inner Sesame Street puppet and say C is for Cookie…that’s good enough for me.


It Will Be Alright

I’m 6:22am in the morning, on a rainy November Sunday as I try my best to stay focused on this blog post to make sure I make it to Church of the Highlands by 8am. The semi-perfectionist part of me says to wait until later to write. The not-always-as-obedient to the voice of the Lord as I ought to be, but want to be as much as possible part of me says write right now. So I am. I’m writing this blog post, hopefully in less than 15 minutes to remind some and inform others that “it will be alright”.

So many I know, this writer included, are going through challenging things. I’m fully aware that “things” are a part of life. I watched them from a child’s-eye view in the lives of others growing up, and honestly, had no idea of the true the struggle and strength of those before me. It wasn’t until I became like those before me and surrounded myself with some dynamic men and women that I recognized the purpose of the struggle and the power of the strength of those I know and hold dear. To them all (this writer included) I say, “it will be alright”.

I have nearly a handful of close, qualified, educated, dedicated and faithful friends who at this present juncture in life are without a job. That’s got to be tough, yet they still smile, serve and sow. I have others who are facing financial battles, which, would appear to have been plucked out of a really bad Lifetime movie. That’s got to be tough, yet they still believe God will provide. Still some, are desperately seeking favored answers to prayers about their marriage, their children, housing circumstances, starting over and care of ailing loved ones. That’s got to be tough, yet they still hold fast to what the Lord says is theirs for the asking. And even others who are fighting for their lives literally, in more ways than one. That, has to be the toughest, and still, they choose to wake up each day with the intent of prayers being answered.


As I type the final words to this post and look forward at the clock on my Charter digital box, which reads 6:47, all I have to say is “it will be alright”. It has to be. God is not going to let His best work go to waste. Some of what we’re enduring now is in line with those of Biblical proportion. Operating in the same faith they had then brings about the same results now. I don’t know how things will work out for better. I don’t know when things will change. I don’t know why things happen. I don’t care who is to blame. All I know, and I know it without a shadow of a doubt, is that “it will be alright” because God says so. And God saying so makes it certain, regardless of ANY situation. Just watch and see.

God's timing