Under construction/Under contract

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I was driving my daughter to school today and realized that a brand new house located on a plot that we have been driving by for at least 2 years is finally under contract.   Last November (2012) I wrote a Facebook post noting that after almost a year of wondering what they were building on that once wooded plot, in about 2-3 weeks I noticed the house taking shape (first image in pic). In that post I wrote the following:

“I have been driving by this intersection for at least a year. It was a vacant lot and then it seems they worked and dug for about 6-8 months with a fence around it with all kinds of equipment. I had no idea what they were putting there. Now in the last month, this house began to take shape. First the framing and now quickly it is taking its form for all to see. I was reminded today, that this is exactly how God works. The foundation building is a lengthy process done in secret. Many people don’t know what is going on but He does. It is messy work and can inconvenience others in the process. But when that is done, our lives start to take shape revealing in time what we are becoming. Consider the cost, pay attention to the foundations for which the rest of your life is built. Jesus is the chief cornerstone. He is that rock, that sure foundation.”

In February of this year, they finished the landscaping etc and listed the house for $1.7 million (it is absolutely beautiful inside) and I thought to myself, “I sure hope they get the asking price (especially since it was not brick but that’s my Louisiana roots speaking)”  Well, after a little over 3 months later it is under contract (second image in the pic) and I was really happy!!!  I almost felt like it was my house because I used to park by that wooded lot and pray sometimes.   Yes, it took a while for that foundation to be built because something of great value was being built to last.  It was really messy  over 2 years ago, but look at it now!  I saw the time, toil and work put into it!  I realize that I have been impatient with God’s process in my life especially as I am trying to transition into another career.   People looking for value  will pay for it.  It just takes a little time for that marriage of mutual respect/values/senergy to be made.  God does not want you to settle for less than what He has for you.  Jerimiah 29:11 says

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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Lessons from my mother:Real Beauty

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My mother ‘s salt and pepper hair after her first bout with cancer and my mother before cancer. Always beautiful!

Thinking about my mother this morning – about how her life continues to speak to me. One thing that I find myself thinking about is that she never considered herself to be a great beauty. She always said her sisters and many of her friends were always better looking, but that she didn’t mind at all. She said that she always focused on being the best person she could be.

She was always VERY popular because she really was a GREAT person to be around. My mother made more friends at Howard in that first week when she brought us there for my freshmen year than I did. Other freshman and students would say, “I met your mother and she said to look out for you. What a nice lady — she really encouraged me too. “

My mother was a doer… for all her glamour, she was many times the last person to get ready for an event because she was normally there putting it together. She never compromised on the hair (every week at John Jays with Wyona) but while others were getting their nails done, she was doing her own because she would have been helping make sure the arrangements were just so. That includes my wedding.

It came as a shocker that she never thought she was pretty because she was always fabulous to me whether she was a size 6 before she stopped smoking or 12-14 when she stopped smoking, when she had red/light brown hair before cancer, to salt and pepper hair after cancer. She kept pressing, moving, doing, cheering the next person on and bringing laughter in the room. In this my mother taught me that real beauty REALLY REALLY does come from within.  It is who you ARE, not what you look like..

Remembering my mother today and all that she continues to teach me.

Absolute Power of a Song: True Story

ImageLast night, I received the text  (featured in the above photo) from my son,just minutes before going into our church’s First Wednesday service AND I was responsible for leading worship. I would normally ignore this text, since my son plays pranks, but I distinctly remember him being pressed to “go running” after we got home around 5:15 and him ending on the neighborhood playground playing basketball. I  frantically called him and couldn’t get an answer.  I called my husband who was doing something and refused to discuss this pressing concern.

I was deeply troubled but decided to go inside to the service.  Thankfully, they were praying when I came in, and then there was a technical difficulty with the cord to the piano, so I would not have to “be on”.  While we waited, someone shared a testimony and our pastor followed with a brief word of encouragement, so that in just those 3-4 minutes I heard the song come in my heart, ” Bless the Lord, O my soul”(Tye Tribett).  Well we sang that song, followed by a worship song and I tell you that I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT MY SON’S TEXT!!!  The Pastor then exhorted us about the power of a song-   the song of Moses(deliverance)  and the Song of the Lamb (victory)!    I was very encouraged and only remembered that stupid text when saw my son when I got home.   Of course, it was a random trend on Instagram to send a text to alarm your parents and then post the results. I couldn’t even get mad for almost causing me the stress.

This morning I realized that I had in fact “lived” last nights exhortation – that as the Pastor was preaching about the power of a song, it was unfolding in my life when I made the decision to follow God instead of giving in to confusion…

I was reminded that  we get distracted all the time by things that “seem” devastating — diverting our attention, depleting our energy,AND producing unfounded doubts about our circumstances, families, careers etc.  In those moments, lift up a song, a praise before reacting!  The power of praise lies in the fact that all of our attention is directed to an almighty GOD who deeply loves us and empowers us to do the greater works.  It absolutely works, every single time… and even if the circumstance is, in fact, a challenging one, you arise from that praise knowing that you have an Almighty God who is working things out for your good.   And THAT is GREAT NEWS!!