Dear God, Sometimes I wonder what You think of me. Am I pleasing You? When look at me, do You smile? Is Your heart satisfied? Teach me how to live out life like You. Hold my hand, order my steps, and set a fire in my soul for Your ways. Consume me, filling all the cracks and crevices of my being with Your Spirit. Make Me Better, in Jesus’ Name. —Amen.
Listen, sometimes what looks like an obstacle is actually an opportunity!
If you can, take the babies with you to vote today.
It’s a reason they are out of school and we are off work at the same time!
It’s the perfect opportunity for them to see the process and learn something.
My Joy had so many questions.
But don’t get it twisted, we definitely had the Black mom’s “don’t touch nothing… don’t ask for nothing… don’t breathe on nothing” talk before we left out the house.
And I Lysoled (I now declare this a verb… It took auto-correct six tries before it decided to let me be great) all of our outerwear when we came back in.
Then we prayed over mommy’s vote, our health and the health of the seniors that live in the building where my precinct is located (and, of course, 5-year-old-life things like play doh and her crayon colors).
Yeah it sucks that we have to vote (and actually work while we’re at home, might I add) during this period of chaos and confusion… But there is definitely a small bright side.
I promise to show you how extremely talented you are. I promise to listen before I say no. I promise to hear your point of view. I promise to make room for your heart’s desires. I promise to remind you that you are the princess (and yes, I’m The Queen—although it sounds softer when you remind me). I promise they can’t tell me nothing about you. I promise not to stay humble when they praise you. I promise to praise you before they ever do. I promise, if you ask, to tell as many bedtimes stories as I can imagine. I promise to only allow healthy people in your presence. I promise to increase your wealth before you graduate high school. I promise you will never lack or need to feel less than. I promise to love you unconditionally until the end of time and then some. —Sincerely, The Queen
(Politickin: The Chicago Peace Project participants discussing future goals, ancient societies, and their favorite cartoons while creating art in trauma-informed breakout sessions facilitated by the Teen Arts Council members.)
(Drop Me Off at the L: Teen Arts Council members facilitate an icebreaker called Mr. Taxi Driver for The Chicago Peace Project participants.)
Is it still Friday? Cool, this “Flashback Friday” is dedicated to the Chicago Peace Project and our awesome day with local artist Karen Perkins and the Teen Arts Council youth. Chicago Peace Plan is a curriculum that I created to foster meaningful exchanges between teens and youth from different neighborhoods.
As the youth talked about their future career and entrepreneurship goals, ancient civilizations and favorite clothing, I thought about the meaning of trauma-informed care. When Black boys talk about ancient history and Black girls laugh and find happiness in the moment. I kinda feel overjoyed.
Were there experiences like this for you as a young person? Share how you benefitted from it in the comments below!
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.
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.
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
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,
This week, I’m listening to: “Incredible God, Incredible Praise.”
Today, I’m reading the book of Job, chapters 32-34.
Crazy quilts are unique and innovative quilts created from scraps of material. They're crafted from odd pieces that don't always match or fit together without the work of an artist. My hope is for a world that values this unique artwork. I blog to make IPOC authors and their works more accessible, to make all the pieces fit together.