Perhaps fittingly, I'm beginning to explore the life practice of doing little things everyday as opposed to saving one day for an 8 hr. Project. Why not take 8 days in bite-sized chunks?I've been trying to function this way for only a few months now & it's driving me nuts. For most of my professional career, I've sent my kids to daycare & had 6-8 hours of straight focus time. If I wanted to work on my blog or books I'd head out to Starbucks for 3-4 hour chunks on a weekend or a weekday evening when inspiration hit. This past half-year, I've been attempting to work from home while juggling my newborn & drop-off/pick-up times at my boys school. Maybe I'll attempt a bit of productivity before but definitely not after the bedtime routine. It's just plain old different. When I see 15 free minutes I don't get excited for what might be accomplished, I tend to think "oh yay, 15 minutes on Instagram because what else is the point?" And then of course, inevitable … [Read more...]

39 Birthday Pearls

Today, I am 39.  How woefully late thirties of me.  Each year I add one new pearl of wisdom I’ve picked up along the way. I started this post when I turned 36 & many things have changed. I should probably re-edit this when I, Lord willing, turn 40. But for now...1. People are hurting, err on the side of kindness.  If they aren’t now, they will be soon.  So many of us, so often in misery taken out by life’s brutal curve balls.  Your kindness can make all the difference in the world.  Be kind.  Be kind.  Be kind.When you tweet, when you blog, when you visit family, when you come home to a cranky spouse, when you change a diaper, when you are in traffic, when you are on your period, when your cat pisses on your shirt, when you have no words for the exasperation you are feeling….no matter what, be kind.  Play nice.2.   Always have hope, preferably in Jesus.  Beg, borrow or steal if you have to, but maintain a steady supply.  Or, like me, you could get it tatted on your ha … [Read more...]

I remember

I remember when I used to get up before my kiddos to read through my favorite daily devotional, Seeking God's Face.  Ransom would eventually lumber out of his room and he'd snuggle up next to me while I sipped my coffee & read.  Sometimes I'd ask if he wanted me to read the closing prayer out loud to him and he'd say "sure" in his sweet, tiny raspy morning voice.I remember when we all shared a house together, before divorce and any of ALL OF THAT. I remember a lot of the mundane moments, the day-to-day of family moments. I remember a good number of the happy moments and of course, I can pull into memory with crystal clear view the cringe-worthy moments of hell and absolute desperation.I remember a few sobering moments last March when I knew I was in trouble beyond what I felt like I had the mental, emotional, physical resources to address in any sort of manner one could construe as appropriate.  There was one day in particular, when I knew I'd scrunched myself into a barrel … [Read more...]

See How They Love One Another – #BlackLivesMatterSunday

Around 260 AD the second of two great plagues killed much of the world.  It was estimated two thirds of Alexandria died as result.  Frightened people immediately began to shove diseased loved ones outside. They were dumped in roadways before they died and the dead were left unburied.  Many who fled died of this epidemic, as it was nearly inescapable.The Christians responded differently. They stayed and cared for the sick. They saw to basic needs of those who suffered.  Many of these Christians became ill and lost their own lives, even while heroically nursing the sick, burying the dead and caring for others.There was such a vivid contrast between pagans, who immediately abandoned their dearest to die alone, and the Christian community, who stayed and fed, nursed and served others to the end.  According to Tertullian, the Romans marveled, “See how they love one another!”We should have always led the way. We should have shown the world how people who are different from each ot … [Read more...]

A ranty two cents on #BlackLivesMatter

I've wanted to write more (articles, posts, novels, books, etc.) on why #BlackLivesMatter & throw in my .2 cents on #Ferguson...this movement that's global now because The Rest ALL READY hated The West & now -thankfully- they have something they can stand WITH us on, but there isn't anything eloquent or p.c. about the simplistic anger I feel: white folks in power keep killing black folks...and then resigning. If not that, then using systematic racism at obnoxiously subterranean & unconscious levels to shove us into stereotypes and ghettos and categories.  If not that then, trying to make us feel shitty & stupid for being hurt and scared because again, WE KEEP DYING...we keep being used as INCOME for prisons...etc. etc. And if not that then telling us how uncomfortable our perspectives make them feel.  So.  I get stuck somewhere between my messy ass anger & complete silence & asking God a million times over, "double you teeee eff God?!?!"White peeps & tw … [Read more...]

For You, Netizen

When Whites Just Don't Get It by Nicholas KristofCome up Higher by Lisha Epperson7 Highly Effective Ways to Raise Lazy & Entitled Children for Balancing Beauty & BedlamThree Troubling Things Exposed by the Ferguson Police Shooting of Michael Brown for the Washington Post.Teen who Got into ALL 8 Ivy League Schools Makes His Choice for CBS News. He's a black male & with all of the negativity surrounding the media exposure of black & brown men, I'd like to highlight some of the positive stories as well.What did you write that's worth reading this week? Add it in the comments!  Anything you'd like me to share next week?Finally, I wrote a post for Christianity Today's Her.meneutics blog this week, The Lie Poverty Tells Us, based on a recent Bible Study I just released,Converge Bible Studies | Cries of the PoorIf you haven't yet, check it out! I'll be talking more about this study soon! … [Read more...]

VIDEO: Letting the Stupid Little Nigger Go

You can watch me read & sob my way through reading my piece, Letting the Stupid Little Nigger Go at Blogher '14."For me, growing up black in America meant carrying that sentence was EASY.  I was less than, and what was proven over and over and over and over and over again is that our lives had little to no value at all."&nbs … [Read more...]

What Fighting Racism is Like as a Black Woman

Your necessary air is restricted.  You take short breaths.  You wait for relief.  One day, it hurt so bad you took a viability assessment.  Will you live?Verdict's out.There's a gatdamn boot on your neck.  One day, it will come off, you reason.  You wait.  One day, you'll take a long, deep breath.   Until then, short, quick breaths are gold.  Just survive.It's been so long, this boot made its home.  You've readjusted.  You will live, boot-in-neck.  You will live.  Boot-in-neck living is your new normal, rather, your only normal.  You take the quick, fear-laced breaths because you have to.You grab the boot.  You dig your finger nails in, you dig elbows into the ground, aided by leverage, you push.  You push hard. There's one glorious second.  A single moment exists frozen in time and you breathe.  You BREATHE! The air flows in with a gush, your lungs expand, the relief mighty. The boot responds accordingly.  It turns right then left, grinding down harder in angry fear: SH … [Read more...]

“I Don’t Like Black People”

Last Sunday, I took my boys to our new black Church.  When we pulled into the parking lot, Ransom (8.5) sighed."Ugh. Mama, I don't want to go this one.  I wanted to go to Daddy's (white) Church!"Rhysie (4.5), of course, followed suit.  "Yeah, Mama.  I didn't want to go to this one."I lug them out of the car, pontificating about having a good attitude and being thankful for all things blah blah blah when I realize I need to tell them the truth."Look boys, it's good for Mama to be around other black people. Mama needs more black people in her life.""I don't like black people!" Rhysie says in a huff, stomping his foot for good measure.I sigh.  What I remind myself quickly --he's 4.5 he does not know what in thee hell he's talking about.  Also? I'm positive he's blissfully and conceptually challenged to what race, ethnicity and cultural identity *actually* mean.  After the mental check point, I kneel down to face him and smile, "Rhysie, it's not nice to say you don't like people … [Read more...]

Voices of the Year ’13

A little while I go I got an email that I was one of the 100 honoree's for Blogher's Voices of the Year  in the inspiration category!  The post nominated was one I wrote for Rachel Held Evans' about my hope for Evangelical Christians to become more racially reconciled,  Even though I just wrote the other day that I believe the entirety of the world are racist I'd still love it, obviously, if everyone else could reconcile too.  Starting the conversation with those who have an actual mandate from their Savior to do so, just felt like a good place to start.  I had no idea that post would land me here, obviously, but what an honor to have that all important message highlighted and platformed at such a time as this.So.  Here I am in Downtown Chicago at Blogher #13 getting ready to descend upon the stage with 100 other women with Queen Latifah presenting the awards?! (wtf, y'all!)  But, what I'm feeling is how the h - e - L - L did I get to come here?  All the way back in Jan. I signed up … [Read more...]