#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story

#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story
Pictured: Audrey Petty, author of High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing

I was invited to sit on a panel for the community discussion of this woman, Audrey Petty’s, book entitled “High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing.”

Not many people know, but I grew up in the Harold Ickes homes; like anybody else, I have experienced good times and struggles.

I realized a long time ago that when you start wanting better for yourself, people might want to tear you down or destroy your vision.

But tonight, I got to share a small piece of MY story, teach other people, and even learned some history from my elders.

This event only confirmed that, in spite of any naysayers, I will still aspire to enlighten myself then help educate the younger generations.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Today’s blog is actually a repost from my Facebook Memories feed. The pictures and the recap of the experience were written on Friday, January 17, 2014 before the development of the Sincerely, Tyra website, before #SlayTheDream was conceived. For more work like the ‘Catalyst Stories’ series, visit the About Tyra page.

#SlayTheDream #myfridaynight #feelinginspired #nevertire #tytaughtyou #productofmyenvironment

Move on, Sis!

Move on, Sis!
Graphics designed by EbonySun, LLC.

Having a conversation with a good friend and she asks me about a guy that I used be involved with wondering about the “end story.”

So I told her we grew apart and let her know that I really believed he didn’t want a committed relationship.

She went on to ask how I knew that he didn’t want one. My response: “If we both wanted the same thing, we would be in a relationship right now.”

I had to explain to my friend that I knew this because he never made a deciding move. Don’t get me wrong now, we’re not on bad terms. We don’t hate each other. We simply aren’t meant to be committed to each other. And ultimately, his actions (or lack thereof) spoke for his desires.

As women, sometimes society wants us to wait around for the man to “get his mind right,” “get his stuff together,” and figure what he wants—or even, lead him into the relationship.

But sis, let me you something: You know what you deserve! Don’t let that man distract you from living the life that you want or sit around waiting for him to pick you.

GO LIVE YOUR LIFE!

The man you’re supposed be with will come along and make his intentions very well known, sis!
—Sincerely, Tyra

You are INSPIRING | #GRWM

You are INSPIRING | #GRWM

Dear Righteous and Holy Father,

I’m sure You heard me say that I would close out this year on “Cloud Nine,” praising You and blessing Your Name for all this goodness that You have done thus far….

I think right as I was saying that the devil asked You if He could try me.

There have been distractions since then; illness and bodily fatigue tried to take me out this week and last; my sense of right and wrong has been challenged; my self-confidence has been tested (and misplaced a few days); changes at work have had people on edge and lacking faith in leadership; I have had to be the example when I lacked encouragement; a few tears were shed over broken relationships; friends have expressed sorrow about situations in their lives; I have had to carry my child in the house on cold and dark nights—alone—wondering whether I’m risking her safety just getting out of the car; and most recently, My Joy’s (and, thus, my own) sleep has been disrupted by nightmares on multiple nights.

But, despite all of this, I know that You are faithful to those who seek You.

So, in this season, You will NOT have to ask me twice to be the person that You have called me to be.

I am not the same person that I was when he tried me the last time. Thankfully, I feel like You have covered me with Your grace, Holy Spirit. You will not be called a lie by the devil on my name, Father God.

My God, You are inspiring!

You are beyond good to me. You have provided and kept us when I turned the corner and found myself on Harm’s Way. You are my rest and my triumphant peace and refuge. Your heart shall not be broken my free will or choices. My stance is to choose You over everything else.

Can I worship You today, Heavenly Father? Would it please You for me to cry the Blood of Jesus over every trial in my life? If You don’t pay me any more attention this year, can I still love You?

My heart longs to be closer to You. Thank You for the touch of mercy You have presented in my life. Thank You for never abandoning me. Your staying power is unmatched.

Thank You for telling me that I am enough—even with my flaws. Your strength has helped me grow in ways I could have never imagined. Thank You for exceeding my expectations of who I can be and what I can accomplish in this earthly realm. Take over me; my spirit belongs to You. Continue making me the person You desire for me to be.

This I ask in Jesus Christ’s Name,

Amen!

This week, I’m listening to: “Incredible God, Incredible Praise.”

Today, I’m reading the book of Job, chapters 32-34.

Go Deeper | #GRWM

Go Deeper | #GRWM

“You are in the air I’m breathing in…”

Good morning God, what a beautiful reminder of Your omnipresence; that Your Spirit is meant to reside in me; that I’m enough just the way I am; that You care despite ______; that You are always desiring to get closer to me…

Thank You for coming after me. Thank You for sending Your peace; thank You for sending Your love in ways that I didn’t know I needed. Thank You for breathing on my situation. Your Spirit came in the room and covered it.

“I didn’t know I could have a friend like you.”

Amazing…

Battling every giant on my behalf…

Bold enough to take on all my doubts…

Creator of everything…

Comforter…

Deliverer…

Deliberate…

Friend and Father…

Great listener…

Matchless…

Reviver of the dead and hopeless…

Strong, yet merciful…

You can have everything that’s within me… Keep challenging me… Keep expanding my prayer life… Keep ushering me into the purpose You have for my life… Keep leading me into the full depths of knowing of Your sacrificial love.

In Jesus Christ’s Name,
Amen

Continue reading “Go Deeper | #GRWM”

Comments on Control and Being Still

Comments on Control and Being Still

Bruh, here’s a not-so-secret secret: I struggle with being in control.

If I’m being real, I can paint a picture for you. Give me a second… Okay, so:

A. Sometimes, I roll my eyes at people who I think don’t know what they’re doing instead of helping them.

B. Although I’ll say when I’m wrong, I want things to be my way in relationships because I know best.

C. At work, my patience is only reserved for my teens—because every adult should “know better than” fill-in-the-blank.

I know, I’m highly flawed and I’m sure there are a few more examples that could be added to the list.

And yet, I’m working on it. This life gets difficult and tiresome and people don’t care and, at times, we get frustrated or ready to clap back or move before the next step of our journey has been revealed to us.

But God operates differently than we do. Just when we think we have control over the situation, there’s a turning point with the purpose of our getting closer to Him; remembering He’s the head; and that He requires our TRUST and FAITH and ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that He is in control.

Last week, I was struggling with changes at work. The week before that it was a change within my personal life. Change will always come. That’s literally how the cycle of life works. It dawned on me (mid-complaint) about one of these changes that I sounded foolish and faith-less. I literally had to stop and say to myself: “Fear or faith? You gon pick one or nah?”

In this season, God is reminding me that with our FAITH should come the desire for us to be still and allow God to take control over every situation in our lives.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

Philippians 2:13 NLT

Praying that He continues to stretch my heart to match His desires as I wait on the way He wants me to move forward. AND that I have the sense to take each of these that I wish to control to Him in prayer.

Sincerely,

Tyra

Breakthrough Prayer

Breakthrough Prayer

Dear God, Help me bring everything to You FIRST.

Every dream.

Every concern.

Every responsibility.

Every decision.

Every relationship.

Every battle.

Every opportunity.

Every obstacle.

Every health issue.

Every need for healing.

Every trial.

Every step outside my home.

Every job promotion.

Every difficult conversation.

Every worry.

Every idea.

Every victory.

Every sin.

Everything, God.

I give it all back to You.

I work in Your Name and for the building of Your kingdom, God.

Fear is trying to overcome me, but YOU are my portion.

You are FAITHFUL. So whom shall I fear?

Thank You in advance for FAVORING me! Thank You for Your Friendship.

Thank You for trusting me and knowing me.

Thank You for keeping me and allowing me to come to You in prayer—always.

Praying this in Jesus Christ’s Name,

Amen.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Yo I’m tired now that I’m actually sitting still

—BY MYSELF. Finally.

Hosted an event, facilitated class today, and an hour and a half-long admin meeting.

But God gave me the strength… This is a Gal. 6:9 moment. Just being able to sit still, alone.

Grateful for a day filled with great conversations, but I am really gracious for this moment to:

—just sit.

—reflect.

—breathe.

—collect my bearings.

—center myself.

—rest my mind.

Did I say breathe?

I love building community, but it comes with a price. I had a guy ask me out to drinks this weekend—and I said no. For a few reasons, but mainly because I’m looking forward to recouping from today and this week and the very similarly structured week ahead.

In fact, the thought of not going to church on Sunday crossed my mind, too. Now that I’ve sat in my car one Tasha Cobb song too many, I have to go and get My Joy with a smile on my face and with energy I do not have this evening.

And I wonder: How many more of us are running on fumes?

As we move into Mother’s Day Weekend, I pray that after the celebrating and the gifts that you get a moment to just breathe the sacred air found in solitude. I pray your weekend is a reflection of your actual priorities and passions and not solely those of beloved family members. I pray you get to breathe in the midst of it all.

Have a blessed weekend!

Sincerely,

Tyra

Voice and Freedom

Voice and Freedom

I used to be “the quiet one” in the family.

But my fam knew how to uplift me stoically. Voice is still only revealed or reeled in when necessary—mostly to heighten the sound of another’s. It’s tougher out here for the introverted mind that’s alerted by the time we usually tend to run out of while creatively converted rhymes creep up behind us or before us or however.

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Never one to waste breath so I guess if I’m in front of a mic it’s my time to shed some light on a situation that needs exposing. I’m supposing the fam could be better if we all poised our voices to be a bit more righteous. We are the only ones who can write us into history. Honestly, who’s words are more powerful than our own? It’s a known fact that no one can tell your story better than you. Remember, they used to call me the quiet one, too.

#SincerelyTyra

#SlayTheDream #representationmatters #poetry #poem #community #excerpt #writing #art #artist #creative #family #introvert #design #podcast #voice #worklife

Light, Zest, Space | #GRWM

Light, Zest, Space | #GRWM

Psalm 27:4 MSG is a complete blessing.

Honestly, this whole chapter is a blessing.

So let’s start from the beginning:

“Light, space, zest!”

This whole idea that is God our light, the creator of every space, and our zest/spice of life is really special.

It’s a simple reminder that God is really everything and with Him, I should have no fears!

I mean in the NIV version it literally says WHO shall I fear? Well, whom actually, but you feel me.

This reminder that if the CREATOR OF EVERY CREATURE, the PRODUCER OF ALL LIFE has my back…

WHO gon stop me if God be for me?!

Like WHO? I’ll wait…

…And of course, there’s a responsibility to be sincere and humble. But listen, it doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life. If you are trying to live right, God is going to have your back.

I had to realize that even in the fight of my life, the battle was never mine. God, was alywad prepared and willing to take over—it was up to me to let go and give up my “control” of the situation.

Verse 2 says “when the wicked (devil’s army) advance against me to devour me” (NIV) they can’t touch me and fall flat on their faces (MSG).

Verse 3… I just need to quote this one from the Message verbatim, because chile it’s deep.

It reads: “When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool.” —Psalm 27:3 MSG

It LITERALLY says: When all hell breaks loose, I’m cool and collected!!! (I can’t wait to go back and start studying how the Hebrew translation reads and it’s meanings, but still…)

Chile, if this ain’t a life hack I don’t know what is.

Lastly, verse four goes on to say how we can remain cool as cucumber by only asking for the Lord’s presence “all the days of my life.”

This means I’m asking for God to stay with me in this life AND the next!

Can you imagine?

…Being able to gaze on the BEAUTY of the Lord?

…And then to see His temple.

…And Jesus!

I honestly can’t even!

The idea that God loves me enough to even want ME with Him after my life down here is over is too much to contemplate!

No, like seriously, me?!

But the the fact that my desire for God could never outweigh or surpass His desire for me is mind blowing and inspiring.

And if I would only trust Him and allow Him the room to live in me, I could be cool and collected and confident enough to sit back and let Him fight each battle for me.

The next few verses talk about the ways He keep us and protects us in the midst of it all. Please read/study at your leisure! But the message is to constantly seek Him and live to worship Him forever—and ever!

Now, that’s some good news!

Update: Since titling this post, I’ve included the hashtag #GRWM. Although many people across the Internet’s will say that means ‘Get Ready With Me’ as if for an outing. Yet, at SincerelyTyra.com, we are getting ourselves prepared for the coming of Jesus. So, you’ll see it as an indicator that a particular post includes a prayer or some form of Biblical commentary and study.

—Sincerely, Tyra

#JustSharing #GRWM #gospel #Bible #Psalm

Get Out of My Office!

I had the opportunity earlier today to pick the brains of forty Howard University Alt Spr Break students about our work! I can’t lie, it was dope/my job is dope. BUT, their insight, questions, and mere presence makes me wanna do more/create more spaces for these types of opportunities for my teens to serve our communities while they’re in high school. I want them to have multiple meaningful exchanges with BLACK college students across the nation while they’re STILL in high school. I want them to be in programs that provide opportunities to travel the world while they’re STILL in high school. They need to get out my office 😂 …We can’t just keep them to ourselves anymore…

This wasn’t really a blog, just a rant 😂

But hold me accountable just the same!

—Sincerely, Tyra

#JustSharing #Chicago #Youth