Monday, December 12, 2022

Not So

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" That's what the song says, but I also find it wonderful because of the events we celebrate at this time of the year. Also, it's my birthday! Anyhow, Christians know the Christmas story ad nauseam and the joy around it can sometimes be lost.

There's a part of the Christmas story that I've been thinking about for a while, and it's the first birth - the birth of John the Baptist. John was born three months before Jesus, his more famous cousin, to Elizabeth and Zechariah.

John's birth is also miraculous, and his name even more so.

Monday, November 21, 2022

You Have Your Letter?

During my quiet time yesterday, my brain turned toward church traditions. Ironically, the message at church this weekend also focused on traditions from a different perspective. This post shares a tradition that has disappeared but was helpful.

I grew up in the Brethren church. I distinctly remember as a child that when anyone visited our home church or relocated, they brought a letter of commendation with them from their old church. Depending on the visitor, this letter was usually brief, but sometimes it provided quite a bit of detail about the individual's character and Christian walk.  The last line of this letter was always, receive them as becometh saints.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Getting Up There

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." Have you ever heard this quote by George Burns? I'm at the stage of my life where it seems many are dying; the pandemic has only compounded this. If they're not dying, many friends now have ailments that appear randomly. Stiffness in the joints, random pain in your foot or elbow, a nodule on your skin. My friend calls this old people s!@#!

Getting old will take a toll on the body. Apparently, aging, in and of itself, is not a cause of death. When most of us say that someone died of old age, what we really mean is that someone died as a result of an illness (like pneumonia) or as a result of an event (like a heart attack) that a healthy, stronger,

Monday, September 12, 2022

The Best Add-In

Sometimes, the littlest things excite me. My undergrad is in Computer Science, so I have an affinity for technology. When I see products working beautifully together, well, I get excited.

Recently in my current role, we purchased a new productivity tool. The learning curve is not too steep for this package, but it does require some effort to figure out how to

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Much Fruit

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch can not bear fruit without the branches, neither can ye unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit because you can do nothing without me
. (John 15:3-4)

Much fruit. Later in that chapter, we're told of the promise of the Counselor or the Comforter. He would be in us at all times. He's the believer's secret weapon because we produce the fruit of the spirit through Him - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

Monday, July 4, 2022

Walking and Laughing

Since the pandemic, I've noticed a more active group of walkers within my neighborhood. I used to run religiously, but it took its toll on my knee, so now I try to walk every day between 6 and 7 am as the sky turns bright (it's like God is turning the lights on for the day). 

We walkers all start to notice each other and strike up conversations. Meet some of my neighbors:
Susie - who always greets me like I'm a celebrity who made her day. She always has a bright smile, waves, and says, "Hi, Andree (that's me)." Her greeting makes my walk lighter. She is 72.

Monday, June 13, 2022

A Lesson In Discernment

What makes something good for one person and bad for another? How do we know which path to take when we're at a fork in the road? I think these are the nuanced situations where we find ourselves relying on spiritual discernment to figure out our next move.

Discernment is knowing who to listen to. The word discern, and its derivatives are translations of the Greek word anakrino in the New Testament. It means "to distinguish, to separate out by diligent

Monday, May 23, 2022

Wifey Material.......Not

I have been a wife for 33 years, and I have never uttered the term "wifey material" to another woman as something they should be. I probably never will, yet so many women utter this phrase that I feel sorry for them. 

As a society, we've put marriage on a pedestal, idolized it, and made it the end goal. When we do this, we work backward, trying to figure out how to attain this goal, and end up with terms like "wifey material." Marriage is a worthy goal, but it's not the be-all and end-all. You can still have a fulfilling life whether or not you're married.

First of all, who coined this phrase? And why aren't men walking around being told to be husband material? (not that 2 wrongs make a right)

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Maternal Ramblings

April showers bring May flowers and Mother's Day. Some would prefer the flowers over the annual celebration that acknowledges our mothers, but I'm not one of those. I appreciate the flowers and the celebration of the day itself.

Until I became a mother, I can't recall that we ever spoiled our mother as children on this day. It might have been cultural (we grew up in the Bahamas), but we should have, considering what it took for her to deal with eight children. 

As a child, I had no idea all that went into motherhood and only saw what I thought was the detritus of a soulless caregiving role. The yelling, the never-ending chores, and trying to split herself into eight so we were all happy. Subconsciously, I

Monday, April 4, 2022

Book Review - This Here Flesh by Cole Arthur Riley

The local library is one of my happy places. As I walked through the library, absorbing its calm and quietness, I saw This Here Flesh on a pedestal as a featured book. I sighed audibly as I grabbed it. I follow the author on IG on her Black Liturgies page. Her writing often encourages me that I add her posts to my stories. So when I heard she wrote a book, it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on a copy.

Where do I begin? We are sacred human beings, flawed and all. From this space of holy humanity, with stories from her elders, particularly her gramma and father, we are serenaded with words that heal. Hers is not an easy story to tell, yet the Divine is woven through her story. There is deep trauma in her family in the form of racism, poverty, abandonment, and abuse. She also wrestles with unexplained health challenges. These moments bring out a depth of thought, reckoning with our circumstances, and still having joy in endeavoring to live life the best we can. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

Do Over

I remember when I went back to school to get a graduate degree. By then, I had four children, the youngest a toddler. I liked being an older student, but the challenge was balancing my time - an already scarce commodity. My grad program required lots of research and papers; I found I liked it. 

Have you ever typed a document and then lost it all? I have, and it was gut-wrenching. This paper was due in a month. So for the past month, I researched, outlined, and wrote notes. I kept track of my sources so they could be appropriately cited. Finally, on a Friday evening, I sat down to type. I powered up my computer, reviewed my notes, and started typing. My thoughts were flowing seamlessly, and I was pleased with the way my research came together. This is amazing! I'm going to ace this paper. But then something happened, and in an instant, all my hard work was gone. AARGH!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Rumble in the Jungle

When Muhammad Ali was scheduled to fight George Foreman in October of 1974, the fight was coined the Rumble in the Jungle because it took place in Zaire (now called the Democratic Republic of Congo). 

Sidebar: this fight was almost 50 years ago. I remember my Dad watching this fight; he was a huge Ali fan.

Ali was the underdog as he was recovering from a series of legal challenges and was not allowed to box simply because of his anti-war stance (BTW, Ali was right, the government was wrong). Muhammad Ali was also a Black man trying to make his way in this world, and boxing was his means of doing so.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Black Is Love

This is not my typical post, but since I've been Black all my life, I want to share my thoughts and reflections around Black History Month, which intersects with Valentine's Day; hence Black is Love.

I became aware of Black History Month through going to school in America. Without knowing America's history, I didn't understand the need for a month dedicated to Black History. Once it became clear, I never quibbled about it but have had mixed feelings about how this month is used in corporations, organizations, and the media.

Most times, the broader culture seems to celebrate this month, reluctantly forgetting that Black History is American History. 

Corporations try to tie it to diversity initiatives, but it falls flat because it is often lip service. The media tends to highlight important facts and figures around Black history, and so it is often at

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New Seasons

When seasons change on the calendar, the days before and after can look the same. Only as you continue moving, do you see markers that indicate you're in a different season. When we go from winter to spring, the days become longer, the weather becomes warmer, the air becomes more fragrant.

When seasons change, it's like taking a road trip, leaving one state and going to another. When the sign says "Welcome to NY," initially everything looks the same. The road doesn't change; it's still

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Am I Too Old?

Have you ever played Bananagrams? It's a fun word game of chance where the object is to be the first to use all your letters. There are 144 letters on tiles (similar to Scrabble tiles). 
Each person draws twenty-one tiles from the BUNCH. To start the game, someone yells SPLIT.
Then each person individually turns over their tiles and forms words. They can be vertical and horizontal (again, similar to Scrabble).  You may rearrange your grid at any time and as often as you like. Once a player has used all of their tiles to form words she yells PEEL and grabs another tile from the BUNCH. She uses this tile to create another word to add to their existing words.