Sunday, December 30, 2012

"For Auld Lang Syne"


I've never been a fan of New Year’s Eve celebrations. Call me a stick in the mud but the idea of dressing up in a cocktail dress, say backless, and high heels, which are usually opened toe, and going out in the cold of the night, to a big noisy party with lots of champagne just to wait to say HAPPY NEW YEAR at the stroke of midnight, grab a kiss and then start for home somewhere in the wee hours, never thrilled me. I will leave that to the party experts without judgment. By the way, I looked stunning in that black backless dress oh so many years ago but even with my beautiful grey herringbone coat, I still froze.

It’s not that I don’t like the changing of the years, it’s inevitable, and it should be celebrated. It’s just that the pressure to celebrate in such a grand style, always stumped me. There was always an annual letdown inside of me after the party ended and I just wanted to hurry, clean up Christmas and get on with the New Year.

I've also been a part of very long drawn out “Watch Night” church services that made the kids antsy and had me checking my watch every few minutes so that I could get the little ones home and to bed. It just wasn't practical when the kids came along to drag them out, again in the cold, past their bedtime to bring in the New Year, after a while, I figured God understood and He and I could celebrate in the warmth of home with sleeping children.

I have brought a few New Years in asleep, not fun either, simply because I knew I was trying to avoid the whole noisy event, which of course always led to being awakened by some loud outburst in the neighborhood or noise makers from a nearby party.  No, trying to camouflage my lack of annual end of year spirit by trying to induce the R.E.M stage wasn't the answer either.

I have finally figured out that I need my own way of marking the end of a year and bringing in a new one. I need something unconventional and totally me, something that suits my need for quiet, relaxation and creativity…and no backless dresses.

Along with how I choose to celebrate, I also need some good reflection time. I tried to no avail to put together the top 10 best books I've read all year but the titles from previous years began to run together and I couldn't remember when I read what. So I nixed that idea.

What I do know, what I do remember, is that 2012 was FULL of change for me. It has been a time of great discovery, great pain, great anticipation and new beginnings. I have learned that I can survive on the love of my children (for now) and the few well-placed friends that God has given me. I have learned that God travels and He travels a lot, so the idea of being in any one place on a Sunday morning does not agree with me all of the time. I've learned that I do not like anything that feels religious and I would rather write a poem on Sunday morning and read it to God than perform a ritual just because. I've learned that you can gather together with spectacular people from all walks of life and listen to their stories and grow from the experience.

I have traveled to the west coast for my first writers’ retreat and been published in a poetry journal for the first time. I wrote a song, a book, blogged consistently and produced more poetry than I could have dreamed of. I also reclaimed my maiden name, which was freeing and I discovered that I am not deathly afraid to be alone. In fact, sometimes, it suits me. I've met amazing new people, reconnected with childhood friends, said goodbye to some folks that I've known for a few years and listened intently to the hearts and minds of others that I am somehow connected with, during this past Presidential election. During that time I learned a lot about my surroundings.

Like the rest of America, I've cried during mass shootings and prayed with a grieving heart. I've laughed with my children more and explained life in more detail than ever before.  Overall, good and bad included, I really wouldn't change my own personal experiences this year. I understand that, for the most part, all the things that have occurred during these past 12 months have been for my growth. My mistakes, I own them, my accomplishments, I am grateful for them, my tears, I so needed them and my laughter brought great relief. My heart is still open for love, and the willingness to share…but only in God’s timing and desperately needed infinite wisdom.

Fortunately for us, God is not limited by minutes, hours, days, weeks or years. He, like the experience of living, loving and growing…is timeless. 

Happy New Year celebration to YOU! May this year bring you UNSPEAKABLE JOY!
And as always, I wish you MORE…

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Welcome back Old Friend...



With just five shopping days before Christmas, I have decided on the perfect gift for myself…my name.  It’s the name that I was born with, the one that I signed all of my school papers with, the one that I have been serenaded to by the tune of Billy Paul’s Me and Mrs. Jones (although it does not apply in a maiden name form) and the one that I eagerly hyphenated some 21 years ago – Bonita Y. Jones.

I’m not sad to return to it, in fact I believe that I owe it an explanation and a proper re-acquaintance. Perhaps, I took for granted, being one of 6 “Jones girls” and I thought that I would find a better identity in a new name. Maybe, I didn’t think that my name could stand alone and be brave enough to say “No, not Mrs. it’s Ms.” Or maybe, just maybe, letting it go for a while was the best way to return to it with a new perspective.

Whatever the case, my name and I are back together now and I vow to cherish and to be proud of it because I know within my heart it is something special to live up to…

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Disease of Desperation


As I was driving this morning and listening to the radio, I heard a letter from a woman asking for advice that seemed so bizarre and twisted that I couldn't shake it. The letter was from someone who had been separated from her husband for ten years. Within these years, the two of them have been carrying  on a secret relationship on and off, even though she has given birth to another man’s baby and he (her husband) has been living with another woman all of this time.

Apparently, the secrete ‘affair’ was found out by her husband’s girlfriend. After some painful discussion, they all agreed to have a three way relationship (or so she says.) When the three way did not work out, (go figure) she felt that she had no other options but to become her husband’s mistress. 

Once again, they were found out by the girlfriend. The news that her boyfriend was having an affair with his wife seemed to traumatize this poor woman to the point of illness, which led to her being hospitalized.

As it stands now,(at the time of this letter) this man, husband, and father of her children continues to rendezvous with one woman, (his wife) while attending to another, (his girlfriend) by visiting her in the hospital daily. And now after all of this time, this misguided soul writes a radio D.J. and talk show host/comedian and asks for his advice about what to do with her husband/secrete affair. I said it was bizarre didn't I?

At first, I joined in with the montage of insults being hurled toward this woman from the radio personality and his crew. I agreed with the words stupid, foolish, crazy and just plain dumb. I nodded profusely as the judgments projected toward her like a Lear jet taking off from the runway. This situation was just too unthinkable to validate with sound advice, or so I thought.

The show broke to commercial and I had to get out of my car and come in the house (by now I was sitting in my garage in the dark confused) I couldn't shake what I had just heard. As I unloaded my bags, and walked into my kitchen a single question popped into my head, and I know for sure that I was not the author of it. “How many lies do you think she believed to get to this point?” I stood still, the judgment ended... the compassion began.

“How many?” I started thinking. I assessed that this woman would have had to believe every lie told to her about her unworthiness and insignificance to come to this place in her life right now. I imagined her being driven to a secluded spot after a date and being coaxed into “appreciation” for the evening or just as bad, being ignored and forgotten after the date.  I imagined no father figure, or the lack of the love that should come from one being in her life. No hugs, no Daddy daughter dates, no sweet 16 celebration, no honor shown to her coming of age, just a deep sense of hunger and a profuse neediness. This may be a stretch of my imagination but a plausible theory none the less.

The picture was becoming clear to me, this woman’s mind was diseased with desperation and no quick advice could heal her.

I was then presented with another question: “What would you say to this soul if she wandered your way?” I borrowed my first response from my tutor then added three more:

1. What lie did you believe in order for you to get to this place right now?

2. Is it possible that the only man you have ever loved (as you say) has never, ever loved you, but has only loved himself and uses your neediness to satisfy his selfish desires?

3. And finally…What truths (advice, guidance and prayer) have you passed by all of these years, only to end up embracing a reproductive lie?

It seems that healing begins not with answers but first, with questions.

We have all been presented with two options at some point in our lives. The first is to believe the falsehoods that we are unworthy, unlovable and simply not enough, so therefore we must settle.

The second is to embrace the truth that we are beautifully designed by a Master Creator to add fragrance, color and music to this world with the understanding that we should only share ourselves with someone as equally worthy…

Which one do you choose to believe?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Make a wish...



In three days, I will be 46 years old and ironically, I am finally getting younger. This is the year that I actually feel the weight of life slipping off of me and I couldn't be more content. Notice that I didn't use the words thrilled or happier, such emotions are subject to change, contentment, however, is more of a lifestyle.

I deemed this past year, ‘the reconstruction of Bonita’. There has been a much needed (and no doubt it will continue) overhaul on my mind, my heart and my soul. It has been brutal, full of tears and some rejections (that’s par for the course) but mostly rewarding. And yes, I’d do it all again, if it meant getting the same results.

 It seemed that in every corner that life tried to shove me, there was an endless supply of resources prepared by God, to give me the strength to shove back.

 I am a reader by nature and prayer for me is nonstop conversation with God, but this year, both of those practices increased to an all-time high. I managed to get my hands on some extremely significant material relevant to where I am in my life, all the while talking God’s ears off, then, sitting still when I was spent from chatter to hear His beautiful voice guide me through what I didn't understand…which was mostly everything.

There were moments when I could almost tangibly feel Him cup his hands just beneath my face and catch my tears as they made their way from my soul to my cheeks, no matter how many, He caught them all. The hush of the Holy Spirit was like a cool breeze blowing through my window on a hot night. Often, I would experience the exhaustion of sobbing, followed by the childlike slumber that only He could give me. When I awoke, I knew instinctively, that he had dried my eyes and tucked me in during the night, as only He could do.

 My relational disappointments began to fade into the background of this ever developing story and God became the main Character…sometimes friend, sometimes foe, depending on my emotional state, but always in the end…the hero of my soul.

The wilderness that He so brilliantly has guided me to has been the most lush and beautiful landscape that I ever could imagine. The fear of loneliness that used to taunt me… is now one of my greatest teachers of self-love.

 At this point, when I think of my future, I am no longer consumed with the question of who will be by my side. I am more invested in protecting, the fierce, strong, peaceful, fiery, resilient woman that I have come to be. And I realize, that rushing the process of who, could truly put this treasure in jeopardy and she deserves someone who is willing to journey to the wilderness of his soul and become whole and full of self-love, all the while looking up for guidance.

Nothing less will do for this “Wilderness Princess”…

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In the Secret Place...


Sometimes, walking toward the future can feel much like wading through tall grass in the thick of night without a moon to guide you. It’s as if God has dropped us off on a remote island and hid the sun, indefinitely. At first, we may panic and start running off in various directions, trying to find our way to…anywhere. But after a while, if we’re smart, one day, we just stop running and stand still. That’s the day that we realize that our journey is our destination.  Realization hits us, that everything that we learn and everyone that we encounter is part and parcel of our life story.

If we are blessed at all, it is not by the fact that we have so much to do. It is not by the fact that we know so much. No, we are blessed because we know so very little, which leads us to an infinite being that can guide our path with great grace.

 I call this phase of my life “slow motion” because all of the energy that I used to put into being busy and making an appearance here or there, has completely diminished. Now, a successful day for me is when I can identify God’s still small voice and receive my directives for the day and carry them out. As for the busyness and the bustle, I allow very little and even then, I take great care not to step out of bounds and risk being out of my place.  

If we are ever going to find out what it is that we need to do for our own lives, then there will come a time, a season, when we have to close the door to society’s neediness of us, risk being forgotten or even yet, resented and just simply be. Be still…be quiet…be at peace.

As part of my legacy to my children, I try to demonstrate on a daily basis, the act of being still and silent before God. I want them desperately to know that God is not impressed with our “on” switch but He does take notice to when we switch to the “off “position. That’s when He can make His way into our day and begin to speak life, abundance, healing, peace and balance to us. Until we become still, our encounters with Him are much like fast food dining, we grab it and eat it on the go, which only leaves us in a perpetual state of hunger, because we have not taken the time to sit and savor our meal.

I find that when it comes to dining Jesus, the lover of my soul, likes a beautifully dressed table where we can sit undisturbed, eye to eye, and engage in a beautiful exchange.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you, don't go back to sleep. - Rumi

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Out of the box...Again


I was raised in a cult. I’m sure it wasn't on purpose. I imagine that my family (minus my father who did not buy into these beliefs) felt very strongly that this was the way of God. Overnight…literally, things changed in my house when this belief system came in place. All holidays were permanently banned. Birthdays were gone as well. It was believed to be vanity to celebrate your birthday. As you can imagine this “religion” brought on many depressing days this time of year for me. No one was allowed to vote or take part in the military by any means. I imagine, if we were allowed to vote, we would have been told who to vote for and why. We would have been expected to do it without question, in mass. No free thinking here, because WE SAID SO was enough reason to obey, along with a few scriptures neatly placed to drive in the point.

I was only about six years old when this heavy ban was placed on our home. My mother was roped in by her siblings and thus the disease of “one mind” continued for many years for us. I remember wanting to question everything but being told to question nothing. It’s like having your vocal chords squeezed into submission along with your mind. At age 19, I was finally free. Kicked out, disowned, but free nonetheless. By the way, I found out that my mother pulled away from these people before she died, that information was not privy to me until I grew up… she too was free.

The search for the true meaning of my life began after 19, and I spent many days like a hobo in life, meandering about in my mind as to where I belonged. Nothing could have surprised me more to find out at age 28 that I was in fact loved and accepted by God.  I had no choice but to conclude that the God that held His hand out for me then, was not at all behind all of the brainwashing and behavior that I learned in my childhood. In fact, this new God of mine allowed me to ask questions, as many as I needed in order to understand Him better…and He still does.

Because of my upbringing, I see life differently a lot of the time, people who have been in my shoes know exactly what I’m talking about. I tend not to want to stand in the same lines (figuratively speaking) as everyone else at the same time. I don’t like playing ‘follow the leader’ (many of ours were very dishonest people) and please, whatever you do, DO NOT ASK ME TO REPEAT AFTER YOU in a church service, I know you mean well, but it feels…well…cultish to me. I must seek God and the words that He wants me to speak, the things that He wants me to believe and the way that He wants me to live on my own. I must hear His voice. I must know for sure that my decisions were not influenced by the majority, because the majority can be wrong.

God is unconventional, this I know. He is not cut and dry. Look at creation. Okay, so He made an ocean, but why make waves and add sea life?  Fine, He created a sky but what’s with all the beautiful fluffy clouds and the sunrise and sunset? He didn't have to do so much extra, but He did, because He is the originator of creativity in action. So, I got to thinking, God if you are so creative with our landscape we call earth, than I’m sure that you have many more unconventional methods of bringing change to our world. Why do so many Christians believe otherwise and stick to conventional thinking? We say “get out of the box” but then jump right back in it again when challenged.

God never asked us to picket, protest or wear t-shirts about what we believe. He simply asked for one radical movement of love and then He demonstrated it by being Christ who showed no form of discrimination whatsoever. He simply loved. Oh, He was honest and direct with people, but the mercy and grace that flowed from Him was all that was needed to understand right from wrong, the rest was up to them.

These past few years of cleansing myself from any form of religion has led me to one astounding truth...NOT ONE PERSON on this earth, has claim to God more than the next.  Christ died for ALL. Is it possible that those who profess to know so much about Him would be willing to demonstrate His love?

Or will this life changing movement come from an unexpected source with a willing heart?...

The person that does not love does not know God because God is love. 1 John 4:8

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Truce...


If I offer to listen

And not judge

Will you speak?

If I extend my hand

To pray the tears away

With you

Will you reach out?

Is there a place for us

To call a truce?

Or shall we grow old

With silence and frozen hearts?

If you knew that I still cared

Would it make a difference?

Can anything change for us

 Besides the falling leaves

And chilly nights?

Do you know for sure

That this is how it ends?

Or are we worth the chance

Of a new beginning?


“Truce” 
Bonita Jones Knott © October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Relationships and Rocket Science...same thing


I have a confession to make…I really don’t understand this human experience 90% of the time. I am particularly baffled by relationships and the disposable nature in which they come and go. I’m not necessarily talking about marriage, I understand how they dissolve, it takes intentional negligence for a marriage to die. I’m talking about friendships.

I have come to the conclusion that in order for me to fully discern whether a person is supposed to be in my life for a moment, a season or a lifetime, I am going to have to do some serious research on human behavior. As much as I love the idea of doing life with a chosen few, I get that this desire is simply not enough. So, for the past couple of days, I’ve gone to two different libraries picking up books with titles such as:

Make Peace with Anyone (Breakthrough Strategies to quickly end any conflict, feud, or estrangement) by David J. Lieberman, PhD
I really like this one so far. I’m only on the second chapter but I’ve already learned a lot about caring for people who have low self-esteem.

The Law of Forgiveness – Connie Domino

Authentic Relationships – Wayne Jacobsen & Clay Jacobsen
I recommend this one to people who prefer to read Christian authors. Very insightful on why “church” friendships don’t always last.

Living with Your Heart Wide Open (How mindfulness & compassion can free you from unworthiness, inadequacy and shame) – Steve Flowers, MFT  & Bob Stahl, PhD

A Weekend to Change Your Life (Find your authentic self after a lifetime of being all things to all people) – Joan Anderson

If it Hurts It Isn’t Love (and 365 other principles to heal and transform your relationships) Chuck Spezzano, PhD

Last but not least…
Being in Balance (9 Principles for Creating Habits to Match Your Desires) – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

As you can tell, I’m on a mission to attract more positive, loving and thoughtful people into my life, who want to commit to lifelong relationships. However, this will not come without an effort to understand human behavior and uncover the mistakes that I have made in the past. I have much tolerance for my own quirkiness but very little for someone else’s at times. This is partially because I have become proficient at being my own best friend and therefore I’ve learned to forgive myself more often than I have learned to forgive others. I think that this is a common behavior with most people.

On my new journey, with the help of God, prayer, meditation and the desire to read at least three books at once, I hope to achieve a profound sense of empathy, patience and compassion for others. I hope to see into the hearts of people close to me and understand their actions when they are unable to communicate with words. I would also love to be a soft place to fall when my friends are overcome with hurt and pain. Not to be mistaken however, for an emergency crash pad where people spin out of control and land on you, baggage and all.

I realize that even after all of my efforts, there will still be those encounters that leave me baffled but at least I will be better able to discern the behavior and remove myself quicker without taking it personally. Minimize the damage…yes, that would be nice.

It’s Sunday and it’s the only day of the week that I am truly alone for at least a few hours. I've shut the dog out of my room, listened to Israel Houghton (my favorite Sunday sound), I’m dressed in my “I am NOT leaving the house” clothes and now I’m ready to dig into some reading. I’ll start with the scriptures and work my way through the rest of the books, reading a chapter here, and another there.

Wish me well…the clock of life is ticking and so I must begin…

Love and Peace to You

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Good Goodbye


The hardest thing for me to accept the most about my father growing up was that he had very high standards and a critical eye. I never felt smart enough around him and every question that I had (I sometimes made them up just to talk to him while on a road trip) felt stupid when he answered them. In short, there was no father - daughter magic between us.

However, when I got married and had children he often complimented me on being a good mother and for the first time in my life, I felt approved by him.

But when the cancer came, things really changed. He called me personally to tell me that he was out of remission and he wanted to see me. In fact, he wanted to see all of his children.  He was still gruff and hard around the edges but he seemed to be on the cusp of change. Unfortunately, the change came on his death bed and all that was harsh and distant between us melted away at the last minute.
 
On his last day of life, I came into his hospital room and whispered into his ear that all was forgiven between us and that he was free to go if he was ready. Ten minutes later, my father reached up out of a coma toward the ceiling and opened his eyes and tried to speak. Something powerful had gotten his attention and I’m sure I know what it was. I was there to witness his departure from this world and although it was somewhat startling at first, because it happened so fast…it was amazing at the same time. After reaching, he lay back on his pillow and seconds later, I leaned over and closed his eyes. We sang and prayed our goodbyes and when that was done, I put my head on his chest and wept. I wept because he was gone, I wept because I was there to witness it and most of all, I wept because he called for me to come to see him before he slipped into the coma…and I was there to say goodbye.

Death has been a steady stream in my life ever since childhood.  I’m very familiar with the pain of loss and its’ dreaded finality (or so it seems.) For that reason, after losing my mother at 10, my oldest sister about 10 years ago and a slew of relatives in between, I live to die the right way. I desire to leave nothing important unsaid to those that I love. I laugh as much as possible with my children, so that the legacy of joy is passed down to them.  And more importantly now than ever, I only allow relationships that are whole, nurturing and healthy in my life.  Anything else just won’t do.

What I know about life I learned early on, that it is fragile and doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it.

What I can appreciate about death is that it just keeps reinforcing the purpose of life to me over and over again, to live, to give and to love wholeheartedly.

From this vantage point, I can see much good in my father now and I realize that he, like all of us, struggled with the sentiments that leave us vulnerable to others. I am not marred by his lack of affection; I am simply encouraged to display it to my children as much as possible. I will speak with the voice of love that my father did not master. I will do it in his honor.

I wish to live a long full life with more joy than sorrow but what I really want, in the end, is to leave a legacy so full of the fragrance of love that it lingers in the life of my children forever.

And you?...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Alone in the Powder Room...



Recently I watched a program called Iyanla Fix My Life. I wasn't nuts about the title because it seemed a bit presumptuous, but the concept intrigued me. In short it is a show with a relationship specialist Iyanla Vansant, who works at helping people to resolve issues that have torn them apart. On this particular night, Iyanla was helping six women restore their friendships after having a devastating falling out over a project that they were working on called “Six Brown Chics” a blogging site consisting of each women’s area of expertise. The project was designed to help women in different areas of their lives…relationships, finance etc…

What unfolded during this episode struck me from many different angles and caused me to look at the failures of many of my female relationships. Each woman came with her own issues, insecurity, control, not being able to trust and blatant insensitivity. The accusations that were hurled back and forth consisted of, hurt, abandonment, lies, mistrust and so on.  It seemed that Ms. Vansant had her work cut out for her. It seemed that these women’s issues brought out the very worst in them and the disrespect was surprising at times.

In the end, after many shed tears, confessions and forgiveness, the women made great progress and healing was taking place. There was much call for introspection and less for projection. In other words the dialogue had to change from “you did this to me” to “I own my part in this.” It was a very mature approach with very effective results.

I wonder what would happen if we women would start owning our own stuff when it came to mending relationships with each other, instead of finding an excuse for our bad or insensitive behavior. I wonder if we would make great strides and be able to work together in the community, the church or wherever we are called, if we took the time to work on our own trouble spots before pointing out our sister’s.

There is so much that we can accomplish if we put our minds and hearts together and decide to rise above the childish notions that cause us to fall out in the first place. I wonder what my life would be like if I were part of a strong team of women who decided that no matter what, we would stand together and accept each other for who we are. That we would not judge, gossip, or criticize one another for the cause of the greater good…the unity of sisterhood.

Wouldn't it be worth it so that we can leave our daughters a legacy of healthy female relationships? From that many more things would be accomplished and a deep healing could occur in those of us who often choose to stand alone because we are tired of the disappointments that come from being in the midst of our sisters.

The bottom line is, whatever I leave unresolved is the very thing that I will project on my sister. However, the very thing that I choose healing for, may be the very thing that heals my sister...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pretty is as Pretty Does...

Yesterday, I came across this picture of me in my early 20’s. Immediately, I focused on how young, slim and pretty I looked back then. I began to travel to “past tense land” saying things to myself like:  “Bonita you really had it together, look how slim you were.” I felt a bit of remorse for my older self for not maintaining the complete image in the picture.  

Just as I was about to light into myself for not being 23 and a size 6 anymore, I felt a HALT in my spirit. My older, more enlightened self was taking offense to my thoughts and did not like being “dissed”.

Older, more mature me began to speak with much authority and insisted that I changed my inward dialogue. “Tell her how much wisdom you have gained instead of weight” she commanded. That first statement jarred me a bit but it didn't stop there.

“Tell her what you know now. What you have learned since the time of this picture. Tell her how you cherish the road that it took for you to get where you are at this point in your life. How you have learned so much from your mistakes as well as your triumphs. Tell her how you are raising 3 amazing children and are in full swing of living out your dreams as a writer. Let her know about your intimate walk with your Creator and how priceless it is to you.  Thank her for being hungry enough to search for Him and brave enough to accept Him when He revealed Himself.

In that brief moment, I learned that my tendency to glamorize the old me and compliment her size and emerging beauty, does not do any justice to the woman that I am today. In fact, it is a truly shallow approach to looking back and it discredits my journey.

My new perspective, gained through that moment, is that I am more than lips, hips and fingertips. I am an amalgamation of the little girl in patent leathers, the young woman in search of love, the woman that I am now, who is loving God and life at the same time and the future me, who will look back one day in awe of her life’s journey and be grateful…no matter what my measurements have been.

Get the picture? ;-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

BLOGGER-Rhythms



One simple word
Can give birth to a beautiful phrase
One that can touch the heart and soul of another person

If you so desire
To be a wordsmith to the masses
Try to remember the strength that such communication can have

A tiny phrase
No matter how innocent it may seem
Can ignite a flame or snuff out a single candle

Wisdom comes from
Knowing who you desire to speak to
Is your audience the world? Than expand your mind learn many ways

To connect to others
You may start today with
One simple word

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicken Little was NOT a Prophet...


Social media has become the new norm in most of our lives today. It is not uncommon for me to wake up, start the busyness of my day, only to take a pause to see what’s going on in the Facebook or Twitter world. I usually like to shoot a message out to my friends online that may inspire a smile, muster a laugh or maybe even provoke a thought. Sometimes it’s nothing quite as deep as that, just me being me and using an open forum to do so.

Recently, I’ve been plagued with the onslaught of intense dialogue that occurs on my Facebook wall that sound a lot less like discussions and more like irrational judgments about the people in this country who do not represent “mainstream America” ,as well as religious demonstrations that are going on right now across the country. What bothers me is not that these things are happening. Anyone who has read their Bible clearly knows that things like this occur as a sign of the times.  What bothers me are the overzealous reactions by those who claim to lead in the local church and who say that they represent Christ. What bothers me is the lack of understanding of how one word or phrase can incite hatred and division further instead of bridging the gaps in society that so desperately need bridging. If we are to be conduits of love, then what is so loving about reading a news article about a certain group of people and then posting that these are the very same people that are going to destroy America? My question to you heralding prophets is: On who’s watch? If America is going to be brought down by extremists, what are you doing to prevent it and does it include posting END OF TIMES DOOM AND GLOOM MESSAGES ON FACEBOOK IN ALL CAPS?!

I try to live by two specific directives in my daily walk. The first one is: 1 John 4:7&8 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. 4:8 The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
The second involves intense dedication. 2 Chronicles 7:14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven forgive their sins and heal their land.

I feel strongly that when we are doing what we have been asked to do by God Himself, we don’t have time to yell and point and shout at others. Living by these directives takes daily self-evaluation that at the end of the day should leave us more humble than we began.

If there is any sin in me, any unjust thinking, any judgment in me…Lord please reveal it, so that I may lay before you and be renewed. When I get up Lord, allow me to show the same mercy to others that you have shown to me.

I honestly don’t care to live any other way.

However, if you are one of those people who are convinced that BOLD CAPS WORK BETTER to alert the masses of the despair of our world let me just leave you with this:
CHICKEN LITTLE WAS NOT A PROPHET! She was a scared, confused, misinformed creature who led many of her friends astray. Get the picture?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I didn't know my own strength...


“And I crashed down and I tumbled,
But I did not crumble

I got through all the pain

I didn't know my own strength…”

For whatever reason the above lyrics from Whitney Houston’s song on her final album “I look to you” have been my personal anthem for the past few days. Dianne Warren wrote this song for Whitney, and her explanation for bestowing such a powerful song to our late performer was that this was her story.

Music means a great deal to me. It and poetry were my first form of comfort in my early years and the two have been inseparable in my life ever since. I study lyrics and have been known to listen to any genre of music as long as the writer of the song has managed to capture my heart. Love songs are the very best and worst at the same time. The memory of a love song can celebrate you or haunt you, depending on the circumstances that go along with the tune. But good or bad, I must admit I sing it all…loud and strong, mostly in my shower.

When this song began to resound inside of me, I was curious about what was coming about that would make me need these lyrics to get by. Initially, a friend came to mind and something inside moved me to share this soul stirrer with her. I thought that I had done my job in passing on this encouragement but it seemed that this melody would reveal itself to me a day later.

I recently took an amazing trip to Breckenridge Colorado to be with a group of beautiful people from the writing community. On my way to the airport this past Sunday morning, a beautiful spirit who is now one of my closest friends wanted to take me to Loveland Pass, the Continental Divide. I stood atop the pass at 11,990 feet in elevation and knew for sure that this was my God moment for the day. I had been ill the night before and still recovering but when presented with the opportunity to climb to the top, I went for it…strength. While up there I looked around took several photos and declared that this was symbolic of how high God wants to take me.

Before leaving the lodge that morning I received an email that when I was to return home, life would be different. I accepted this much needed changed and packed with teary eyes…strength.

When I turned the key to my house that evening, I walked in and felt a change in the atmosphere immediately. I knew for sure that this was my new beginning and I walked around fully aware that this had been granted to me from God. I hugged my kids, chatted with my daughter and finally locked up the house and turned off the lights to go to bed alone…strength.

The next morning, I woke up with a burden on my heart that I could not shake. I thought that I needed to apologize to a very close friend but when I listened more closely for direction, I found that I needed to reveal my heart to that person. I had been avoiding this moment for quite some time now but it seemed that on this particular day, I could go no further in our relationship without being truthful. I sat down to write what will always seem to me to be one of the hardest letters in my life, and I have written many. After reading and rereading several times, I sent the letter at the risk of losing my friend…strength.

For the rest of the day, tiny revelations kept coming to me and they were the fuel that sparked me to keep moving even when I couldn’t see light. One revelation was that love revealed is most powerful when your love for a person does not rely on their response or validation…strength

The other is that as a woman, I was created with an enormous capacity to love. Love ignites our wombs. Love bears down and pushes children into the world. Love sparks the desire to bring a child into our lives and raise them as our own. Love reaches out to ailing friends and dying parents. Love nurses, and protects, and walks along side of the people in our lives. Love revealed is extremely powerful and I am finding within my lifetime that very few are able to express it.

I want to speak a fresh word into the spirit of my kindred sisters who love to love. I want to tell you that you are never more powerful, or necessary, or alive than when you open up your heart to love the people that God has placed in your life’s path.

And when the pain of living in this world starts to wear on you, tap inside to the maker of such love and allow Him to reveal all of the strength that He has placed inside of you…






Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to find True Love...


So… I go to God in the early morning and sit with a cool breeze, a warm blanket and the sight of majestic mountains in my view. This is a perfect setting for an important encounter. I ignore the slight chill that races around my ankles and enlivens my senses. My concentration is on my Savior’s company and the conversation that will take place right now...  

Lord, so many people take you to such a cerebral level. They want to study about you without actually encountering you. What is the biggest fear that you see with our timidity toward you?

The biggest fear that I see in the heart of man is the fear of the unknown. I have been so grossly misrepresented as an “iron fisted God” by many of my so called “followers” and it pains me to be portrayed as being harsh toward ANY of my children. There is a lie in the earth realm that if you commit particular sins, I am unforgiving. There is a double standard in the church world that would highlight lying for example over gluttony, as if sins have levels. I say in Romans 8:28 that “there is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Me” yet it is man who tries to decide who gets condemned or who is “in Me.” I have not given that right to any man, yet so many self-appoint.

Because of the churches constant harsh criticism of the people outside of the four walls, many have taken to discovering me through philosophy and theories. Many sit and discuss who they think that I am and if I actually exist without ever consulting me personally. Because the love that is supposed to be portrayed through those who claim me runs cold. Often, I am in the room because my name is being used but seldom am I addressed personally. This saddens my heart for the simple fact that truly I reward anyone who seeks Me… I reward them with my presence. I never turn away a true seeker, though I will walk away from a mocker.

The problem with the conclusions that are drawn from man-made theories is that they lack a spiritual base and anything that lacks a spiritual base is only partially alive.  For example: I created the sun which suspends in the sky but without light and warmth it serves no true purpose. It is simply something to behold but can never be experienced as alive (as it were.)  So it is with religious or man-made theory, without a personal encounter, it makes for interesting debate but it does not feed the soul and breathe life into the atmosphere.

What do you wish above all concerning this subject Lord?

I wish that those in search of me would call on me and ask me anything that they so desire. I wish that they would walk away from endless debates and arguments (which only manage to fuel fire with no purpose) and walk into my presence and dare to meet me.

What will they find Sir?

They will find a Savior, whose arms span the distance of the universe and embrace ALL mankind. They will find TRUE LOVE that never ends…

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Simple Wishes




I wish to be seen and heard by a party of one.

Don’t compare me to other beauties with different features, I come with my own. 

I am a masterpiece not a showpiece.

The keen eye can see what I am truly worth.

The wandering eye only wants to know what I am worth for the moment.

I wish to talk far into the night of hopes, plans and dreams…

Only the one that has dreams will be able to participate.

I’d like to give daily offerings that make you smile and touch your heart.

A tender heart would receive my gifts and not question my motives.

I wish to be treasured not traded.

The seasoned one will know that it is best to seek heaven on my behalf and ask permission to be in my life.

There will be a moment in time, when all the faces and many figures that dance across your life’s screen, will cease to excite you and then fade and meld into one lone silhouette…

She will be holding your hand frail and aged but still in awestruck  wondrous love till the very end…

Don’t miss out…


Bonita Jones Knott 8/18/12






Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dreaming with Our Eyes Wide Open



Dreaming has always been an integral part of my life. It is the catalyst that sends me into a frenzy of creativity and wonder, but it is also the thing that sustains me when times are rough and I can no longer see my way. Just when the circumstantial cave gets too deep and my last candle gets snuffed out by lack of oxygen, God sparks a dream or a reminder of an old dream in me, that allows me to breathe fresh air and relights my flame.

We used to be ostracized for being day dreamers in school, accused of not paying attention and that may have been true, but what was really happening, was that we were being beckoned to a place far more real than the classroom and rote learning at the time. We were being called to our own reality which did not include fractions or grammar. Who’s to say that the dreamers of this world need to remain in a state of mundane living so that they can learn a “skill” to survive? What if the best way to insure a dreamer’s survival is to let them enter through the portal of imagination and endless possibility?  Isn’t that where all the great inventors and discoverers lived? Actor’s dream of acting and singers of singing, mostly on a grand stage in front of a large audience, but dreaming is not limited to those with what we call “creative” talents. A young man gets his first science kit and dreams of inventing a cure for disease, a little girl gets a toy stethoscope and the desire to help heal may be birthed within her at that moment. This indeed, is a good thing.

The problem, I have decided, is not with excessive dreaming but with holding on to our dreams when the impossibilities of life find their voice and begin to drone out the “could be’s” that we hold so dear to us. Year after year we are told that we cannot, instead of being encouraged that we can. Negative reality overtakes us and hypnotizes the dreamer into believing that this is in fact, is the way our lives will be. We grow tired, weariness puts us in automatic mode and we wind ourselves up every morning, like toy robots, to perform a duty that has all the luster of pollen on a spring day. We drift, we wish, but we do not dream anymore…

I would like to summon all of the dreamers back to their original childlike states, of looking into a future created solely by limitless wonder. What if’s are required to survive here, along with an endless supply of why not me’s? Turn on the music of your soul and allow God to choreograph the dance to your life. Ask Him to remind you of the dreams long forgotten and dare Him to take you there…what’s more, dare yourself to be led. Is it a love, a book, a gourmet meal? Is it a cure, a trip or a baby? Whatever your dream is…I’ll let you in on a little secret that I found out long ago. God knew your dream first, in fact, it was Him who placed it in you…and it is Him that will walk you to your desired destiny. So go on…dream…with your eyes wide open…

Monday, June 18, 2012

What I Do Not Know


The vagueness of our future can often drive us to a place of solitary madness if we have believed God for a concrete sign to mark our way for so long. I am astounded at the level of uncertainty that I experience on a daily basis given the situations in my life. Why must everything be a wilderness experience and when will I receive the vision or sign that is crystal clear to me that says “walk this way?” For whatever reason, there does not seem to be a definitive answer to my right here and now and it is melting the place in my mind and heart that needs to know now. It is causing a death of self that is painful and somewhat traumatic. I don’t know, therefore I can’t plan. I can’t plan, and therefore I cannot move. I cannot move, therefore I must stand still. I am standing still…but I cannot see. I cannot see, so I must believe in the One that can.

I would love to pick out my future much like one chooses their wedding china with the exact pattern and style that they fell in love with. The excitement of knowing that those who follow the registry will purchase exactly what they have chosen. No disappointments, no returns. That is how I would like things to be, but God has a more complex plan. So He allows me to glimpse some evidence of what I would like it to be, without allowing me to scan it and place it under my name. He is creating a montage of options, a variable of choices, an air of suspense, if I will allow it. The question is…can I allow it?

The only way that we pre-empt God’s plan to surprise us is by refusing to trust Him. Most of us do not wake up in the morning and declare “I refuse to trust God today!” We are generally frightened children at heart, having lost so much in our past and left to feel so helpless because of this, we fear abandonment. We fear rejection, we fear neglect. We fear that God will forget that we are standing with our hands cupped ready to receive our portion and that He will pass us by as we look like hungry orphans. We fear. That is why we cannot trust. That is why we wrench in pain when another day comes and there is no concrete sign…”Is this for me?”…Silence…”Should I proceed?”…Silence…”Am I safe with this person?” ...Silence. By nightfall, we are masses of trembling flesh, hungry, hurt, tired and cold because we do not always understand that there is peace in the silence, if we choose to seek it.

I can testify that “golden opportunity” has a twin that is not identical and its name is “uncertainty”, they generally travel together. And when you meet the first one, the second one is bound to reach out to shake your hand immediately after. I can also attest that the only solace that I have found in the midst of these two, comes as a result of the cries of my heart out into an untouched placed called the heavens. And after releasing all of my fears, all of my doubts and all of my insecurities…the answer comes in peace wrapped in more silence…