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


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