Thursday, November 13, 2008

What A View:

Click the photo for a better view....absolutely gorgeous...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, I did!!!

I grew up in a democratic family. That is what I knew; so that is what I was. I walked around and proudly proclaimed myself to be a democrat before I knew how to spell the word. That's what my parents were and their beliefs were mine.

Each time I cast my political vote, I did it as a democrat and for democrats. I cannot tell you how many times I've participated in presidential elections. My age would reveal that it could not have been that many. The fact that I can't tell you how many votes I've cast combined with the fact that it could not have been that many tells a story. It tells a story of a young woman that ventured to the polls to make a hollow voice heard. I did not follow the elections nor the candidates, I did no research, hell I barely knew who was on the ballot. All I knew was that I was a democrat and if their name had "democrat" next to it, they were my choice.

Although I still call myself democratic, for the first time, I am proud to say that I voted as an "independent". I voted as an independent woman. I voted independent from the beliefs that I had to support a candidate because he was black. I also abandoned the belief that I had to remain loyal to democrats for democratic sakes. I walked into my polling area empowered with the knowledge that I have gained using a filter that I developed via research, observation and numerous debates.

I am overwhelmed with the outcome and the numerous things it represents. I am proud of the vast movement of people that fought through long lines, rain, broken equipment, and intimidation to cast their vote for change. I am proud of my vote and what it represents for me.

When I "spoke" at the polls, my voice was no longer hollow.

I would like to thank the women that run the blogs listed in the sidebar. They may not be aware of the impact their words and work have on many; but I hope and pray that they continue.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Make Your Voice Heard. .

Wow! It has certainly been awhile since I've passed through here to post. Despite the silence, I have not abandoned this place. But, you know how it goes...Life happens. Anyway,I could not allow this historical moment to pass without laying my two cents on the battlefield. It's quite simple: "Get Out and Vote!" Cast aside any excuse, discomfort and/or frustration and exercise your right. With many aspects of our world be tidily packed into a hand-basket for a short and quick delivery to you-know-where; I would say that now offers a great opportunity for us all to participate in change.

At this point, I will refrain from spewing my thoughts and opinions about the happenings of this election. If I go into that, I will need to drink, pop two pills and call it a day. Sooooo, instead I will simply reiterate:

"Get Out and Vote!"

Until then. . .

Friday, August 22, 2008

Old School Friday: Male Crooners

OK! I'm slowing creeping myself back into the existence of my blog. It's been awhile and yes, I've missed a couple of OSF :( But, here I am with this week's theme of Male crooners! Below I am posting a few of my favorites :) Enjoy!!

I'm sorry, but I'm feeling that...bare with me...I need a minute...

And that one is for those looking for ways to avoid the need to sing the first selection. *smile* I'm just saying. . .

One more...I'll bring it to more recent old school years. But, how could I NOT include this one. . .

Yeah, I know...need a minute? Let's just reconvene next OSF. . .

Be blessed!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Old School Friday: Motown

Oh man! I'm so late with this one! Sorry people. I have been so busy that I let time slip past me. I'm sure some have noticed a little inactivity here. Let me assure you, I'm not going anywhere. Life is just requiring me to step away for a minute. So, my posts may appear to be few and far between. But, as things clear up, my frequency in posts will increase. HOWEVER, I simply can NOT stay away from OSF! So, count on THAT!

SO, with that said: Motown it is:

Up first we have. . .


I know, I know...I didn't give you ANY warning with that. Sorry 'bout that :)

Ok! One more (because I have to let the ladies represent):

See you next OSF!! Take care!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Old School Friday - Make Up Songs

It looks like this week's OSF theme is "Make Up Songs" and I must say, I am glad about it. I've yet to find a new school love/make up song that can top the quality and content of the old school (I am accepting any and ALL challenges on that - just bring it). I'm going to warm you up with one that I absolutely LOVED listening to as a child:

I don't know if ya'll are going to be ready for this next one. I may need to think about this for a moment. . .

Ok, I'll do it; BUT, you're going to need to sit down for this one *smile*

Here's a little bonus for those that can hang:

And with that, I'm just gonna walk away. . .

Friday, July 18, 2008

Old School Friday: Break Up Songs

It just doesn’t get anymore real than this.

Hahaha! Ya’ll don’t know nothin’ about that. Now, I know that one is hard to top. But, I'm certain that Patti and Michael McDonald are up for the challenge:

Enjoy! See you next Friday

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Do You Think?

If you could grant your children with only one piece of wisdom to absorb
and/or apply to their daily lives, which piece of
wisdom would you choose?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Old School Friday - Old School Hip Hop

I saw way too many sisters having fun with Old School Friday and HAD to rush to get in on it. I LOVE music (especially old school) so count me in. Now, bare with me. I have no idea how this thing works. I know most post theirs early; but I couldn't let this week's catagory, Old School Hip Hop, pass me by. So, here are my late submissions.

I'm kickin' this thing off with a little "Ladies First". Don't act like you don't remember this :)

Ok, I originally had Yo-Yo up next, but I noticed that someone else had it up and going. Since I'm late to the game, I'm making a quick change . . .

And with that, we'll see you next Friday. . .

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fox's Attacks Against Michelle Obama Are No Longer Tolerated

Hat Tip to SjP of Soujourner's Place

Fox seems to have it in for Michelle Obama as they are constantly found assaulting our potential First Lady. The attacks have no merit and hold no weight.

What is about Michelle's honesty and strength that bring out the donkey in these folks??

The ignorance must come to an end. At a petition to stop the unwarranted and insulting attacks against Michelle Obama is available to be signed.

"FOX must stop injecting racism, prejudice, and fear into our political dialogue. We intend to hold FOX, its advertisers, and its personalities accountable for FOX's attempts to smear the Obamas."

People are always asking me "How can I get involved?". Well, click here to join the chorus of voices that are loudly yelling "Leave Michelle Obama the hell alone!!!"

Color of Change will deliver the signed petition the week of July 13th; so, you don't have much time.

If you haven't been keeping up, view the video below for a preview of the ongoing foolishness:

What Do You Think?

Can love endure the trials of prison?
Do only fools love through bars?
Why or why not?

Video Pick of the Week

I love this video. When I first viewed it, I was overwhelmed. These are some extremely talented men. Can you image what it must have been like to be there? What a feeling it had to have been to not only benefit from the atmosphere that was created but to also watch others be drawn into it.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Your Voice May Be Heard: Developing the Democratic Platform

(Hat Tip to Gina of What About Our Daughters)

It looks like the Democratic Party is ready to listen and they are now soliciting our issues. I don't know if you remember my previous posts "Now What?" and "A Movement Has Begun"; but those particular posts addressed the lack of attention our issues as black women receive on the political floor as well as the lack of urgency we have displayed in putting them there.

Well, now an opportunity is staring us all square in the face. It is time to put our money where our mouth is. From July 19 to July 27, Platform Meetings will be hosted all across America. The purpose of these meetings is to
"develop a specific position, recommendation, or policy that [we] believe needs to be addressed" and submit it "directly to the campaign". These submissions will be reviewed and could possibly become a part of the Democratic Platform.

“The platform is an official statement of the Democratic Party’s position on issues. Each statement of policy is called a ‘plank’ in the platform. Traditionally, the process of developing this platform is run by political insiders in Washington. This time we’re doing it differently. These Platform Meetings all across America are the bottoms-up process to generate ideas and information that may be directly incorporated into the platform. Reports from these meetings will be reviewed by the team responsible for the Democratic Platform. Some will be incorporated into the final platform, ratified at the Democratic National Convention.”

Click here for more information on how you can participate in existing Platform Meetings or host your own.

This site eliminates all excuses, by providing you with a list of meeting locations near you as well as step by step instructions, tips, explanations and agendas needed to host your own successful meeting.

It is time to really start thinking about the changes that we would like to see. Let's not continue to be the spectators that sit around and complain about the bad plays that are being made. Get your gear on and get in the game.

I have a feeling that the black blogosphere is going to explode around this topic. Be sure to visit sites like What About Our Daughters and Black Women Vote. They, among
MANY other sites (see my "Blog Watch" on the sidebar), are extremely passionate on this topic and provide great insight. The owner of the blog Black Women Vote, SheCodes, is working to form a Black Female Political Action Committee whose primary focus is ". . .to use every political, social and economic weapon to make the improvement of black female experience a top priority in America" while Gina of What About Our Daughters is constantly shedding light on black women issues and has received press credentials to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

It's time to get uncomfortable ladies. Let's make our voices reach beyond our cubicles. Gather your weapons of knowledge, education, resilience, strength and meet on th
e battlefield. . .

Stay Tuned. . .

Money Matters Part 3 (The Confession)

I have not forgotten the Battlefield Book Club selection "Girl, Get Your Money Straight". However, I do have a confession to make: I have not been faithfully reading it. For those of you that do not know me, I am not much for beating around the bush. I have way too much going on in my life for all of that. Soooooo, I'm struggling with this one. BUT, I have made a commitment to complete this book and discuss its contents, so that is what I will do. I am a woman of my word. However, if this woman does not wrap up her discussion on how our financial problems are tied to our emotional ones, I'm going to search Ebay for the Cliff Notes :) . It was cute and interesting at first, but now, I'm hungry. I'm ready for some substance, the beef, the main course.

With that said, I am going to push myself through the next two chapters and pray that the main course will be worth the wait. Until then, pray for me ya'll. . .

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Bell

I received this email the other day and found it to be very insightful. So, I thought I would share it with you. Since the font that is included on the picture below is too small, I will quote it:

"There is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by you will notice something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

This alone is amazing. If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell.

Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.

Attached to the horse's halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two horses, you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.... Good friends are like that.... you may not always see them, but you know they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours and kinder than necessary- everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle

Live simply.
Love generously
Care deeply
Speak kindly....
Leave the rest to God"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Old School Vs. New School Round 1: The Soul Train Line

There's this constant debate on the old school vs. the new school. Can you think of a better arena to settle this in than the battlefield?

On the side bar of this blog, you will find a poll that will allow you to weigh in. Check out the videos below and cast your vote:

Round 1: The Soul Train Line

In this corner, we have the 1974 Soul Train line representing the Old School:

And in this corner, *sigh* the new school:

Ok, ok! I couldn't REALLY find a new school Soul Train Line that was worthy of contending. BUT, in all fairness, see below:

The gloves have come off and the blows have been dealt. Decide once and for all who you think truly reigns supreme!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Memory Lane. . .

This was the first version of "I Will Survive" that I heard. Now, don't laugh too hard. Obviously, I've learned that this was not the original version. But, it's the version that made me run for my pen and paper to write down each empowering word. I must have worn that poor VHS tape out.

As I listen to it 22 years later, it's still the best version that I've heard. Allow me to take you on a walk down my memory lane. Here's Gladys Knight's version of "I Will Survive".

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Arte y Pico Award

Thank you Marvalus for recognizing my blog with this award. Out of all the other blogs you could have chosen, you selected mine. With me being as new as I am to blogging and not really knowing what I'm doing, it really touches me to be recognized by someone as thought-provoking as yourself.

For those of you less familiar with the "Arte y Pico" award, you must know that it comes with a few rules. These rules are listed below:


  1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
  2. Each awardee has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
  3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
  4. Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award:
  5. Display these rule

In adherence to the first rule, I would like to pass this award onto the following bloggers:

  1. Black Women Vote - This is truly a blog with a purpose. I am always inspired and enlightened by its contents.
  2. Sojourner's Place - Bringing the education and awareness, this blog keeps me on my toes and in the books.
  3. Wise Girl - The title of this blog says it all. It is full of wisdom and challenges others to think.
  4. Character Corner - This is the bloggers' haven of havens; a place I go to be inspired, refreshed and encouraged.
  5. Natasha's World - The owner of this blog allows us into her world via her artwork, life experiences and observations. She is the one that encouraged me to blog and faithfully guards the box that I've recently stepped out of.

Video Pick of the Week

While at work last week, we took a break from the day-to-day and went to a Harambee celebration that was being hosted in our cafeteria area. During this event, a young beautiful lady (in her late teens) graced us with a glorious praise dance to Yolanda Adam's song "Be Blessed". The song and her dance moved me almost to tears (I was at work-let's be real, I had to keep it together). But, it truly moved me; it was so timely. Anyhow, I'd like to share this song with you. Below is a video of Yolanda Adams belting her song. Meditate on the words and be blessed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ain't I A Woman?

With all that has been going on in the media, this title has been ringing in my ears for the past few weeks. I've seen it in a poetry book that I've been reading, it was mentioned in an article I wrote about on Michelle Obama Watch and I discovered a profound YouTube video that I feel highlights many of our issues today. Therefore, I am including both the video and the speech that Sojourner Truth delivered in 1851.

Ain't I a Woman?
by Sojourner Truth - 1851

"Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Michelle Obama Suicide Watch

I recently posted an article on Michelle Obama Watch about a blog titled "Michelle Obama Suicide Watch". As a result, a crusade to shut this site down has begun. In my attempts to help get the word out, I am posting my report here as well. Please visit this site and flag it.

There is a blog titled "Michelle Obama Suicide Watch" that is listening to every word that Michelle Obama speaks.It compares her purported views of America to that of Hell. The author's method is to list quotes from Michelle and define them with one-line labels such as "Motherhood in Hell", "Michelle Identifies Her Demons", and "Michelle's Inferno". This blog's mission can be summed up with one of its own quotes:


We've been monitoring Michelle's progress since we debuted, and we'll keep posting until she either escapes her Inferno, loses her battle with her demons, or shuts the Hell up"


The blogs that have acknowledge/announced "Michelle Obama Suicide Watch" found its contents to be "hilarious" and commends the author for his/her efforts. When those commenting (most of which elect to remain anonymous) on this blog are not "lmao" and "rofl", they can be found concurring with its sentiments or throwing racially flavored sarcasms such as:
"Mee-shell ma bell has said I’m disabled by depression and will kill my self. I bees disabled and must be given SSD ’cause I can’t work." (Source)

Is Michelle simply staying true to her reputation of being "real" or is the disrobing of the country's "flaws" more than it can currently handle? Perhaps, if a little more sugar were added to her words they would be a little easier to digest. You be the judge.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Message to My Father

I'd like to take this moment to wish my father a Happy Father's Day:

I could have NEVER wished for a better daddy than you. I thank God for selecting you for me. I am extremely proud of who you are and what you represent.

Thank you for all of the love, wisdom, encouragement, compliments, discipline and let's not forget patience that you have given me. If I am able to give my children at least half of what you have blessed me with, I know they will be ok.

Thank you for showing me how a man is supposed to love and honor a woman by how you loved and honored mama. Thank you for working as hard as you did to support me and my brother and making sure we had all that we needed and wanted (in most cases - I'm still looking for that Barbie washer and dryer - just teasing).

You were and still are a true role model. You instilled in us the value of maintaining and protecting our integrity. You taught us how to work for what we wanted and to never give up. LOL-you even taught me many medical techniques (that I forced you to learn on the spot) through your frequent need to bandage me up. I always had to learn the hard way.

Thank you for the waffle dinners when mama was out and the numerous tickle fights. Thank you for putting the fear of God in the boyfriends I brought home (leaving your gun on the table may have been a bit much *winks*). I wasn't very thankful at the time, but having my own daughter to raise, I see the value in it.

I love you daddy and will ALWAYS cherish you. You deserve nothing but the best and a life full of happiness.

With a very sincere heart,

Daddy's Little Girl

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Video Pick of the Week

Ok! It took some doing, but I finally found my video pick of the week. I have known which videos I wanted to feature for awhile. The problem was finding them. I would have posted this sooner; but in my search for the video I ran across a site that plays FULL episodes of Fame. Soooo, naturally I had to watch one...well, ok...I watched 2 episodes.

Anyhow, this week, I am to highlighting the amazing Debbie Allen. This woman is an inspiration. Growing up, I loved the strength and determination that she seemed to represent. My favorite story would be when my parents were telling me that I could do ANYTHING I set my mind to. They used her (amongst a few others) as an example. They told me that Debbie Allen was told she would never make it as a dancer because her legs were too short. She could have made a decision to quit right then and there. But, she disregarded the standards that were set for dancers, she shook off what others thought and set her own standards while chasing down her dreams. Gotta LOVE that.

Unfortunately, the MAIN video that I wanted to share is not available to be embedded on this page. But, I can not help but share it with you anyway. Debbie is gorgeous in this video and she simply flows. Her dancing is inspiring-the mark of a true dancer. The link to this video is:

Debbie Allen in FAME (Dancing with Cocoa)

Be sure to check it out. In the meantime, here's a little taste of the classy, sassy Debbie Allen doing her thing. . .

Friday, June 13, 2008

Michelle Obama Watch Blog

If you look around, you will probably notice (as most others have) that it seems to be open season on Michelle Obama. There has been much debate on whether or not she should be "fair game". Well, according to the media's comments/labels, inappropriate "art" exhibits, and liberal bloggers I'm guessing they have decided that she is.

Gina of the blog "What About Our Daughters" has created a blog to keep watch of Michelle Obama news (the good, the bad and the ugly) and bring awareness to the situation. She has issued an open invitation to others to maintain this blog. I have volunteered to be one of its contributors.

Be sure to visit Michelle Obama Watch often to stay updated on the situation and let it be known that this will not be accepted.


For more information regarding Michelle Obama news mentioned here and to learn more about the Michelle Obama Watch blog or how to participate, visit What About Our Daughters.

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Connecting the Dots #1

I can remember the days of my youth when it did not take much to entertain me. My mother would come home from work and surprise me with a new book of puzzles to satisfy my inquisitive mind. Unlike many things from those days, these puzzle-books have not changed much. They still contain, the color by numbers, the basic word-finds, crosswords and my personal favorite (at that time) the dot-to-dots. I use to enjoy watching my paper transition from a page full of scattered dots into a nicely organized picture. .

When I look out at the world today, I see many things much like an unsolved dot-to-dot puzzle. There are so many people living lives disconnected from one another. Each person appears to represent a single dot on a page that each dot must coexist on. People have adopted and embraced the motto "it's a dog eat dog world". The thought process is that one does not affect the other and that each is self-sufficient.

Well, I beg to differ.

The truth of the matter is that my world affects your world just as much as yours affects mine. We are all intertwined and ultimately need one another in order to successfully move into and create a more positive outcome for ourselves and our youth. The current state of our community is full of examples. You don't have to travel far to examine the evidence. Just read through a few of the blogs that are available out here in cyber world. They are full of articles that recap the injustices that play out day to day. I've seen videos of a man being hit by a car as witnesses stood by to watch as if they were viewing a scene from a movie. Headlines are filled with women being raped, beaten and murdered and children are killing other children. This list could easily go on and on. Our future seems to grow more and more dim.

When I originally started this post, I intended to touch on multiple ways of “connecting the dots”. As I progressed, I realized that this topic was way to vast to squeeze into a single post. So, I’ve decided to break it down into a series.

Let’s begin, by instigating some action, shall we? How do we connect the dots? First we must acknowledge that something is wrong and be willing to do more than talk about it. I would like to suggest that we (myself included) get more involved.

Dot #1: Our Youth

There are little girls/teens/women (both young and old) in need of guidance. They need to be taught to see past the images that are being force-fed to them by TV and music. They need to be taught to love and respect themselves. They need to learn their true value so that they will not allow anyone or anything to treat them less than they are worth. Their self-esteem is in desperate need of healing. They need to learn to dream for what they may now deem as unreachable. Sometimes, all it takes is the consistent sound of "you are beautiful", "you can do it", or "you are worth it". They need to be inspired, empowered and educated. If we don't start reaching out to our girls, we are going to have a world full of women teaching their children the same self-destructing behaviors and values that nobody took the time to unteach them.

We need to shed our self-titled team jerseys and join together to form a new team that will support, teach and heal one another. Let's reduce the amount of time we spend competing against and judging each other. Nobody is perfect. But we are all qualified to teach somebody something. Because none of us are without faults, mistakes and lessons that can be passed down and used to redirect a young mind.

One day we will look to these girls to guide the future that we will still exist in. If we do not take a moment out of our life to strengthen them and teach them to unite, what would that future look like? A house divided can not stand. We have enough to deal with then to be forced to worry about “friendly fire”. We are the backbone of our community. So, we need to learn to stand together and be strong enough to help bring it together. And when our backs grow old and tired, we need to have a group of strong, willing, educated young women that are prepared to step in to take our places. Let’s show our girls something different.

As we focus on the condition of our young women, let us not neglect to consider our young men. During a time that single-mothers are prominent in the world. Little boys are in desperate need of mentors. And I must say that there is a major shortage. I am a single mother. I have both a boy and a girl. My son will be entering into the teens this year. I am not naive to the fact that there is only so much I can teach my son about being a man. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I can not teach him about what a man is and what it takes to be a “real” one. But, although I may face and deal with some of the same situations he will face and deal with, I deal with them as a woman. I can’t address his issues from the male perspective that he will view things from. This is where a male role model would be ideal. Thankfully, his father is now in the picture and is doing all he can to be there for him. But that was not always the case and not everyone is that fortunate.

Approximately, 4 years ago, I placed my son into a mentoring program. When asked, I informed the coordinator that I wanted a black man to mentor my son. Now, don't take that the wrong way. But, I wanted someone that could relate more to the life and issues that my son would face. To my dismay, I was informed that there would be a THREE YEAR waiting list. In TWO YEARS, my son was matched. The problem is, that our-boys-need-help-right-now. They can not continue to wait 2 and 3 years for someone to step up to the plate and take an interest. They need someone other than a band of women teaching them how to be accountable and responsible for their actions. They need to learn how to respect and appreciate women. They need someone to combat their definition of “cool” and show them that they can get more. They, too, need to hear “that image is not you or what you stand for”, “you CAN do it” and “you deserve more”. We need to teach our boys how to get out of their own way and strive for the excellence that is theirs to claim. We need to show them how to stop collecting trash and start collecting things that add value to their lives—things like a great education, “real”, self-respecting, strong women, and a life’s purpose. They need to learn to be the leaders and protectors of the community. If we fail to do this, what would our future look like? How easy will it be to control the fate of our community?

Let’s rebuild that “village” that it took to raise our kids….literally. Get with the parents of your children’s friends and form your own “village”. Develop a circle of parents in your neighborhood and at the schools and empower them to respectfully hold the children of that group accountable. Allow them to redirect and teach them. As a young mother, I foolishly had the motto: “If someone has a problem with my child, they need to let ME know and I’LL deal with it”. To an extent, I still feel this way. But, my son quickly taught me the true value of having a “village”. I became EXHAUSTED with the back and forth trips to the school and daycares. My mother passed away when my son was 2 years of age. So, my village was a village of one. I quickly began to rethink my “brilliant” theory. I say this part to say, that there is no shame in knowing when you need help, there is no shame in seeking it and there is definitely none in accepting it. Don’t let pride get in the way of progress.

I know what some of you are thinking..."What about the parents? They should be handling this!" But, my question is this: "If parents are just as lost as the children, what is to be done?" Who will reach out to them?

We may not be able to reach everyone. We may not be able to completely change our world. But, we certainly can make a decision to work to make it better. Let’s commit to work towards connecting the dots so that the picture of our future can be more appealing than our current scattered state. We CAN do it; but only if we WILL.

Battlefield Challenge:

* Expose a child to a new experience. Show him/her something that will force them to look outside of their box.

Bonus Challenge:

* Do something nice for a stranger for no reason at all.

Share your experience here. I'd love to hear about them.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Movement Has Begun. . .

If have you read my previous post and corresponding comments for "Now What?", then you know that a time has come for us to become more involved in the world we live in. It is time for us to start sticking our noses and two cents (or more) into the doors of political offices. Shecodes of the "Black Women Vote" has acted on the comments posted on her blog and took the initiative to get things going and flowing.

Black women are coming together in a group that she created in Facebook. This group is named "Black Women's Political Exchange". If you don't have a Facebook account, be sure to sign-up for your free account and join this growing group of strong, determined women who will no longer sit still and just accept what is handed to them, their families and their communities. This is a group created not just for discussion, but for a group of women ready to take action.

The following information is taken directly from the "Black Women's Political Exchange" group description that was written by Shecodes (Arlene Fenton):


What do black women want? What do black girls need?

Doesn't it seem that everyone except black women and girls are being asked to weigh in concerning our collective image, our social value, and our economic power?

It's time for us to speak up for ourselves! Let's combine our skills, voices, votes, and economic power to make America a better place for ourselves and our children.

1. Family Integrity. We want healthy, supportive environments in our homes. We want a national climate that is conducive to producing mutually satisfying, loving and equal family dynamics for any black woman who desires to marry and raise a family. We want a plethora of marital options. We want a national climate that is supportive of black women who elect to remain single or childless.

2. Media Integrity. We want to be represented truthfully in media. We want to be the final arbiters of what is an 'accurate' depiction of the average black American woman. We want to be able to own and control our own media outlets.

3. Financial Integrity. We want to be financially empowered to control our own destinies. We want to exercise our full rights as American citizens to create and manage wealth for ourselves and our families.

4. Educational Integrity. We want educational opportunities that will make our children and ourselves intensely competitive in the world's markets. We want fair and balanced educational treatment of our children, and we want to have the final say on what is taught to our children about the black experience in America.

5. Safety. We want freedom from ALL violence. We want to exercise our right to express ourselves, improve ourselves, and BE ourselves without the threat of violent retribution by anyone. We want to be safe in our neighborhoods, in our homes, and on our jobs. Our safety will never be on the negotiating table for any strategy that will be employed by anyone, including that of the black community.

6. Health. We want to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy and whole. We want to create the the tools and pathways for our total health, without undue resistance from any source. We want a national and local environment that is conducive to maintaining our established physical, mental, and emotional health.

Follow this link to Facebook and create your profile to join this group:

In addition to my regular posts, I will be sure to provide updates on this group's events, plans, discussions, etc. Stay tuned. . .

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Now What?

Barack has clinched the Democratic nominee. Hillary Clinton has FINALLY conceded. Now what? Do we all just wait for our turn at the polls and blindly select our choice for president? Or do we actually take this opportunity to hold each candidate's feet to the coals and make them actually TALK about something.

To many elections have passed where we allowed well-written speeches and entertaining (and sometimes disturbing) mud-slinging matches to determine our vote. When is the last time a presidential candidate felt the pressure to provide DIRECT answers to questions and concerns that were issued from the community. Other than the universal gas issue, when is the last time you heard a presidential candidate speak, in detail, about how he/she will address YOUR concerns. Have you ever watched debates and press conferences and wondered where in the world the questions were coming from. It seems as though they put a collection of news headlines in a hat and pull them out at random. Now, we all know that not all of our issues are highlighted in the news. I want to know what the candidate plans to do for me and my family. I don't want their "high-level" views. I want them to get down to ground level and make it CLEAR what they plan to do and what they represent. You (the candidates) are asking for my vote. Now, tell me why you should have it.

I'm a single mother with two kids to raise, feed and protect in a world that seems to profit, thrive and turn a blind eye to violence and corruption. Sure, I can teach my children the "right" way to live. I can shield them from becoming desensitized by monitoring what they watch and hear. I can even teach them to live by the golden rules. But, eventually, they have to step out into the real world that the government encourages us to view through rose-colored glasses. Doing this almost feels like raising victims in the world today. Something has got to give and I feel like it is my responsibility to make sure that that "something" is not me.

This election is the perfect opportunity to make a shift in power. The people sitting in office are there to represent US. They are suppose to represent our ideas and needs and then work together to bring them into fruition. There was a time when the government was held accountable for what they did and said. The Civil Rights Movement is a perfect example of this. But today, it seems we have learned to be complacent and adapt to whatever situations they create. We don't seem to question much anymore. We watch the news to learn of the new living standards that have been set for us. Then we go to work and complain about it and go home to make whatever adjustments we need to make to try and survive in it.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired. We need to take our control back. We do have power and that power is not limited to just our vote. It just starts there. There are more new voters on the scene than ever before. There's a whole new group of voices standing in line at the polls. Don't waste your presence there. Make them EARN-YOUR-VOTE. Make them say to the world what they will do for you. This way, you can call the world to the stand as your witness.

So, yes, I am going to take some time to really identify and pinpoint what my issues are as a single-mother, a black woman, and human-being. I will do my research and look for ways to get involved and get those issues out there. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, I recommend you do the same.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Video Pick of the Week

Many of you have heard the song sung MANY ways (the truth be told, I could do without some of the versions I HAVE heard). You've seen it imitated on TV sitcoms. You've probably even seen her life story played out by the ever beautiful Ms. Angela Bassett. BUT, if you have NOT seen what inspired all of these events, then you can not JUSTLY say you know what's going on. So, let me enlighten you:

I love good music and dancing just like the next person, but it is my opinion that today's entertainers wouldn't be able to hold a candle to that! They didn't need all of those voice enhancing tools. They didn't need any cars and bling to take the stage. No videos are playing in the backdrop. No fire and explosions were needed to entertain a sold-out stadium. All they brought on stage with them were their instruments, a few dance moves and their own NATURAL talent. Don't believe me? Ok. Here's a little more for you...look out Beyonce! :)

Good Lord, I could go ALL DAY on THIS one! Ok! Ok! ONE more...

The Defense Rests.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Money Matters Part 2

Wow! The introduction and first chapter of the battlefield's current book selection, "Girl, Get Your Money Straight!" is deep. The author, Glinda Bridgforth, presents a very compelling case that financial problems are intertwined with our own emotional problems. Now, this may not be news to any of you; but it was very intriguing to me. I mean, it's not rocket science or anything; but sometimes it's the simple things that are hardest to see and figure out.

In the first chapter, Glinda suggests that the first step to getting your money straight is by making peace with your money. The way we handle money usually tells a story about our emotional state. When I relate her ideas to my personal life, I find a lot of truth in what she is saying. How many times have you been frustrated with a situation and tried to treat it with a good dose of shopping? There have been many times that I've been frustrated with my financial situation. It felt confining and made me feel as though I was being denied things that I wanted. My remedy? Shopping!! "I'll show YOU who's in charge!" I thought as I piled unneeded products into my basket. Oh, I felt a great sense of FREEDOM as I walked out of the store with my bags in hand. I felt even BETTER as I unpacked. Then reality hit. And I found myself even more annoyed and frustrated than I was before I went on my "Freedom" escapade.

There are also some that throw money at other people's problems because it satisfies their emotional need to be "important" to others (or a particular someone). "Codependency" is the term used in this book.

Glinda guides you through her own personal life and experiences not only to proclaim her credibility but to also let us know that we are not alone. The first assignment she gives in her book is to write a letter to money and then write your money's response. I found this to be very interesting and thought, "what the hell, I'll give it a try". So, at the risk of being too transparent, I share my letters below. Maybe you can relate...

Dear Money,

I have always viewed you as a necessity to live successfully and comfortably. I have put the weight of my existence on you. My relationship with you has been the barometer of my success. Yet, you seem to be absent in the times I need you most and barely give me just enough of you. Chasing you is tiring, frustrating and at times depressing.

Money's Response:

I have made several attempts to be there for you. When I try to be there in your times of need, you cast me away on worthless things. I'd much rather be used to lift heavy burdens from your shoulders. But you take me for granted and act as if I will always be around. I won't stay in a place that does not value me.

After writing these, I realized that having money is EXACTLY like having a relationship. So, I agree, so far, with this book. The first step to repairing my financial situation is repairing my financial relationship. Per Gilda, doing this would require determining what type of relationship you have with your money and why you have that relationship.

What are your thoughts? Are you bold enough to try this exercise?

To join the book club in this reading, get your copy of "Girl, Get Your Money Straight.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How Do You Love a Black Woman

I have read several blogs discussing "sexualizing American girls".
Although I will eventually address this topic, I could not articulate or report the situation any better than these two blogs already have:

What Tami Said


What About Our Daughters

At a time when the image and identity of black women are being tainted, attacked and misconstrued, I would like to post one of my favorite poems written by Patrick H. Porter Jr. It is entitled "How Do You Love a Black Women". He wrote this poem years ago. It contains a word and a message that I think many males and females will find refreshing. Thank you Patrick for sharing your gift with those on the battlefield.

Enjoy. . .

How Do you Love A Black Woman

How do you love a Black Woman

You love her with all you have inside

Never neglecting her emotions

To protect your own foolish pride

You love her with your heart

You love her with your soul

How do you love a Black Woman

You love her till the days old

For she’s like a rose

Blowing softly in the wind

Soft, smooth, and gentle to the touch

And full of mystery within

When you kiss her lips

Kiss deeper to her heart, her soul

And tell her constantly

Your love for her will grow neither tired, nor old

Like a rain drop

No Black Woman is exactly the same

Like the rain that woman

Brings to life many of things

The nectar of the rain

Feeds the young plants that have sprung

As the Breast of a Black Woman

Provides life, and nectar to the kings, and queens to come

For she is a queen

Our queen, to rule by our side

For without our child-bearing queen

Our black kingdom would surely die

As strong as a raging river

As beautiful, and majestic as a waterfall

With feelings as deep, and mysterious as an ocean

Our Black Women remain true to us all

How do you love a Black Woman

You love her body, you love her mind

But most importantly

You love her one piece at a time

By: Patrick H. Porter Jr. ©

To read more of Patrick's poems, follow this link to obtain your copy of his book of poetry titled Spirit and Emotions

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Money Matters Part 1

Ok, there comes a time in a woman's life where she has had all that she can take and can do nothing else but throw her hands straight up in the air and scream! Well, I have finally reached that point. With every price going up and salaries remaining dormant, what is a woman, a family, and/or single mother to do. It's as simple as this: Get-Your-Money-Straight! This is the point I have finally reached. This is not going to be easy because it will take a certain amount of climbing and discipline. The same discipline that I've decided to leave rotting on a shelf covered with all of the deferred gratification that I carelessly threw over it.

The depth of this hole I now have to climb out of is overwhelming and discouraging; but, I know I can't be alone. So, I decided to start a book club on this blog. The first book is appropriately titled "Girl, Get Your Money Straight" by Glinda Bridgforth. Now, I'm not looking for this book to provide me with some magic spell that will solve all of my financial issues. Instead, I am looking at it as a guide and reference to help me START my journey. If you'd like to join the club in reading this book, click on the title that is located on the right-side of this blog to get your copy.

Periodically, you can look forward to future posts regarding the contents of the book along with money saving ideas and tips that I will be researching on the side. Feel free to join in by contributing your own thoughts and tips. It's time we started to own our power, one penny at a time. Let's get started. . .

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Video Pick of the Week

One of the things that I think is missing in our society is good 'ol fashion entertainment. I was browsing through YouTube and found a treasure. If you are a "youtuber" then you know how easy it can be to go searching for one thing and end up viewing something COMPLETELY different. Well, this was the case for me.

I spent the better part of my younger years growing up on a military base in Germany. There we had only one channel - AFN (Armed Forces Network). I can remember the excitement when 6pm(ish) rolled around. My family would gather around the TV and watch the ever popular "The Cosby Show" and "A Different World". My mother would record each show every week onto a VHS tape. I still have those tapes and share them with my children. I consider them to be a gift from my mother that keeps on giving. My children love to watch these shows just as much as I did. As I watch the videos with them I become tickled at the fact that the shows' humor have not lost their appeal.

There was one thing missing from my mother's collection of these shows. It was the "A Different World" episode where Whitley and Jalessa (I'm sure that's spelled incorrectly - but it's about the story not the spelling) were auditioning to sing back-up for Gladys Knight. To my pleasant surprise, I landed on the video clip for this episode. It starts in the exact spot that I remember most. So, this week I am making this video my choice for the week. Enjoy. . .

Hillary Sticks Her Foot in Her Mouth ONCE Again

What is going on in the world today? Now, I usually try to steer clear of posting my views on the democratic election because, despite the nominee, I have every intention of voting democratic. However, I MUST make an exception this time. I was doing my usual blog-hopping when I ran into my friend's latest entry and was very disturbed with the most recent comments of Hillary Clinton.

I guess it is true when they say that she is willing to win this election at all costs. Of all the available scenarios to choose from, why would she select the possibility of assassination as her means of winning the democratic nomination? Is this what she is hanging in there for? It's very sad.

I originally, blindly supported Hillary. I couldn't WAIT for her to run. I too bought into her pre-campaign image. However, it did not take long for her to shed her disguise of integrity. I once thought she actually stood for something and would fight for what she believed in. The problem is, no one truly knows what that "something" is. This "something" seems to change with her location and audience. Hillary has made several "blunders" throughout her campaign, but this one takes the cake. Listen to the following clip to hear for yourself:

Unbelievable. . .I'm truly disappointed in who Hillary has shown herself to be. Thank goodness Obama is ahead and is likely to win the nomination; because each time Hillary asks the country to excuse, forgive and/or disregard her and her campaign's ignorance, the more disturbed I become at the idea of our choices boiling down to her or McCain.

Visit to see some very interesting reactions from the media.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remember. . .

Before this day closed, I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to the soldiers (past and present) that serve this country. Memorial day is so much more than a day of barbecue and family gatherings. It's so much more than a fun day at the lake. It's a day to remember and thank those that have fought for their country. It's a day for those that have died for their country. It's also a day to remember, pray and thank those that have watched their children take their first steps and speak their first words just to watch them march courageously into battle for their country. They cry and pray for their safe return. Some get their wish, others do not. Let's not forget them. Let's not forget the family or the soldiers. When we lay down in our comfortable beds tonight, remember them, say a prayer for them and thank them.

Whether you support the war or not, please support the troops. . .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Change is Coming. . .

Some may have recognized a few posts that have appeared on this blog. Yes, some of them are the same posts that appear on

So, I’ve been caught.

I copied and pasted these posts from that blog and put it on this one. BUT, I am innocent of plagiarism. Why? The Perennial Garden blog also belongs to me. The problem was that I felt limited. I felt limited with the types of posts I could place there. I have a lot to say; but, not always in that format. I won’t always feel like being inspiring. I may want to rant and rave. I may want to discuss something that one might view as controversial. Don’t miss understand, you will find those same types of posts here on the battlefield, but you will find so much more. You will find guests posts, videos, puzzles, jokes, etc.

Maybe it’s me. The need for change could be all in my head. It could be purely cosmetic. In any case, I am looking forward to maintaining this blog and I’m certain I will post much more frequently to it than I did in the garden. So, stay with me, participate and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I laid relaxed and calm in darkness
And awaited sleep to overtake me
It never came
My emptiness was too thick

My soul was crying out for warmth
My heart yearned for stability
My mind searched for understanding
My spirit prayed for hope
It never came

Cries from dying dreams
Echoes of abandoned promises
Drops of melting faith
Softly filled the air
As if they were a harmonious lullaby

How deep must my slumber be to drown it out?
When will sleep come?
Or is i trapped within the enigma of my identity?

I listen to the tumultuous silence that surrounds me
I lay relaxed and calm in darkness
And await sleep to overtake me
It never came
My emptiness was too thick

© 2008 From the Battlefield

Words of Wisdom from My Father

It has been quite a long time since I've posted to this blog. It seems as though everything stopped just as soon as it started. Trust me, I will have many posts that will stem from the circumstances that have kept me away. In any instance, I received this e-mail from my father. These are words that are truly wise and I figure that they are the BEST way for me to get this blog rolling again. Enjoy!


"People are not and will not always be or do the things we want them to.

But Who's Wrong?

For as long as we live we'll be confronted with situations, people we like, dislike, or just don't understand.

But Who's Wrong?

The bottom line comes down to values. Always stand up for what you believe in. But remember, there's a time to confront, a time to manipulate, and a time to re-examine. That choice is yours and it can be wrong. Take that extra second to evaluate before you communicate, or compensate and nothing can stop you.

Keep in mind the words "want", "need" and "desire". Strive to achieve yours, but consider those of others.

Life is too short. Values, help from God, and determination will see you through.

Only you can stop you."


Thank you, Daddy for sharing. Love you much!

~**~Go to to view past comments for this post~**~

Appraising Your Home

If you were to get your house appraised today, what would it be worth? Who would you get to do the appraising? And would you agree with their findings? In this post, I'd like to discuss a little about getting your house appraised. However, the house that I am referring to is not the physical house that you sleep in at night. Nor is this house the one that you decorate for the holidays or prepare family meals in. The house that I’m referring to IS you and every thing that makes you who you are. This home truly impacts the quality of your life. Like regular homes, there are certain things that need to be done to improve its worth. I have four tips that will help you achieve just that.

My first tip? Clean out your garage. So many of us have garages that we can barely fit a bumper into, much less a car. We keep it packed with "stuff". Typically, a lot of us will find that our emotional homes are just as full. Clean it up. Go through your mental junk. What are we holding onto that we need to let go of? Take some time to clear those clutters of grudges, unpack those boxes of fears, and knock down those cobwebs of doubt. These things are useless and just get in the way of our own progress in life and happiness. This will not be an easy feat nor will it be quick. But, it will be worth the time and effort and will dramatically increase the value of your home.

While you are cleaning out your garage, you will want to be sure to install a security system. This tip is very important. You must protect your home from emotional thieves. Be careful of who you invite into your home. Not everyone that comes to visit will have your homes best interest at heart. Some will come to your home just to compare your stuff to theirs. They will come with the sole purpose of pointing out what is broken in your home and will not be content until they have made you aware of why your home is not as good as it should be. Be careful of these visitors. They will leave you feeling self-conscious and insecure.

Take a moment to evaluate your circle of influence. Who do you willingly involve yourself with? How do you feel about yourself when you leave their space? If you are always feeling like a part of you has been stolen or is need of defense, you might want to revise your guest list. You want to invite friends that will help you enjoy your home. Invite friends over that will support you in repairing your broken things; not those that will come just to point them out.

This brings me to my next tip: keep up the maintenance of your home. Don’t wait until your kitchen floor is flooded to decide that a plumber needs to be called. Go to the doctor when you are supposed to. Exercise regularly to keep your wiring and plumbing in good working order. We all know, the longer you put this kind of maintenance off, the more costly it will be for you later. If something is bothering you physically, emotionally, or spiritually, deal with it right then. If you do not, you may find yourself with another full garage.

Also, take time out for YOU. There is no crime, guilt or weakness in this. We are all human and we need to remember to allow ourselves AND others to be just that. Although I am VERY guilty of this, I feel that I must say: There are SEVEN days in a week. Yet, we seem to only live for 2 1/3 (Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday). If this is true, then that means out of 365 days, we are only looking forward to approximately 104 of them. Try to do something enjoyable with EVERY day that you are blessed to have. In today’s society, we are caught in a cycle of “work” and “prepare to work”. Let’s get out that cycle and focus more on living instead of merely existing.

This next tip is crucial. Do Your Own Appraising. No one could every appraise your home as accurately as you can. You are the only one that will truly know what it is worth. That dent in the wall may be invaluable to you. To the outsider, it is simply an eyesore. But to you, it may be a reminder of past life lessons that changed the course of your life. So, be proud of that deck that you built. It does not matter that it barely stands. No one could ever really appreciate the time and effort that went into building it. Just like the other things that you may have survived and accomplished in life. No one can evaluate your life as well as you can.

After applying all of these tips, I am certain that you will find a home that you can label as “priceless”. If not, go back into your garage, search for that box labeled “Expectations” and see if you have anything realistic in it.

~**~Go to to view past comments for this post~**~

Outside of My Box

I have always played with the idea of posting my thoughts and experiences on the web. Instead, I would tend to lock all of those things up in what I considered to be a safe place. Yet, with the encouragement of my new friend Natasha of and some extremely profound podcasts from The Black Women's Round Table of, I decided to give blogging a chance.

Now, I don't claim to be as clever and thought provoking as Natasha; nor do I claim to be as educated and well-versed as Gina from Whataboutourdaughters. However, I do claim to have a voice. It is my hope that this voice will be encouraging, inspiring and at times a little convicting. I, like most women, am a woman with experiences, life questions and life lessons. I plan to make these things available to be used as a compass, gauge or even a key that might be used to unlock a closed mind. Bear with me as I work my way into the driver's seat of this blog. This is completely new to me; but it is essential to my venture outside of my box. .

In my day to day living, I have noticed that I am constantly in the space of people that are living what I consider to be unfulfilled lives. There is so much talent wasted and trapped inside of personalized boxes that are carried to businesses 8 hours per day. I can't help but wonder what this world would look like if more people lived fearlessly and actively sought to fulfill their dreams and purposes. This topic is so broad that it would be impossible for me to cover it in its entirety. But, I would like to attempt to scratch the surface of "boxed" living and hopefully ignite something in someone to abandon it.

To truly understand the importance of stepping outside of a "box", we should probably first examine the effects of living in one. When packing a box with an item, we usually seek one that will comfortably fit it with little or no extra room. In fact, if we discover that there is spare room, we will take extra measures to find useless material and stuff the box with it. We will continue to stuff that box until the main object in it is immovable. After being satisfied with the security of the packed item, we close the box and seal it.

Unfortunately, there are many of us living our day to day lives in this exact state. Consider the conditions of the box's interior. Such conditions are detrimental to the growth of anything. The darkness limits our ability to see beyond our current circumstances. It distorts our perception into believing that the only tools accessible to us are the useless pieces of material that we used to stuff our cramped surroundings. Such materials could be easily recognized as fear, hopelessness, self-doubt, and self-pity. Other materials can be viewed as wasted ideas, untouched goals and unused solutions. Like shredded newspapers and bubble wrap, these things can render one paralyzed. At this moment, you may be wondering "If the living conditions of a box are that poor, why do we choose to reside in them?" The answer, in my opinion, is simple. It feels safe.

We often use boxes to contain, hide and/or store items that we do not want to throw away. Why do we not want to throw them away? Because, somewhere deep inside, we still see the value in them. Have you ever been on a quest to clean out your garage and happened upon a box full of items that you simply could not get rid of? You would probably stare at it and try to determine exactly WHY you still had it. After what would seem like an eternity, I'm guessing that more often than not, you would return it to its original spot and move on. Here is my question: Is the item any more useful to you in the box than it would be in the trash?

Let me attempt to be a little transparent for a moment. I will confess that although I have stepped out of my box, I have not strayed too far from it. Now, I am not one to boast, but I consider myself to be full of potential. I have many developed and undeveloped talents and gifts. But, someone close to me once said that unused "potential" is worthless. He went on to say that he would accept a hard-worker over someone that is full of "potential" any day. To me, this statement was simple; yet profound.

The longer I sat inside of my box, the more I witnessed my skills, abilities and "potential" go to waste. The more I witnessed them go to waste, the more my confidence declined. The more my confidence declined the more I settled. Why is it possible for us to be so content with watching our dreams deteriorate? Is it really more comforting to settle for less than it is to take a risk and achieve dreams and/or a purpose? Ok, I will speak for myself and answer this question with a shameful, yet resounding "YES!" But something happened in 2007. I got tired of my situation. I got tired of being the victim of the circumstances that I ultimately chose or created.

When the discomfort of sitting in a box becomes greater than the unconfirmed discomfort that MAY be awaiting you on the outside, movement will be made. You'll begin to recognize the needless things that you have packed into your life and slowly begin to dislodge yourself. This can be a slow and painful process because you must first take a true look at everything in your box, determine whether or not it is serving as a help or hindrance to your purpose and remove all unnecessary and harmful materials. However, hold onto those untouched goals. You will later find great value in them.

Once you have completed this process, take a moment to allow yourself to dream. Visualize yourself living the way you want to live. Don't place any limits on this vision. It doesn't cost to dream, so take it all the way. Remember your dream; don't lose it. You are going to need it to fuel your courage later.

After the dream has been developed, you are going to need a plan. The key here (in my unprofessional opinion) is to create your plan in small achievable pieces. The quickest way to find yourself back in your box is to attempt to take on too much too soon. Create a plan that will provide flexibility and will allow you to take your time. Attach small goals and realistic target dates to your plan. Remember, as long as there is progress, there is victory.

OK! Here's the tough part. Stand up. Take a deep breath and inhale a spirit of commitment. Be committed to yourself and your dream. Remind yourself that you are worth it. Now, one foot at a time, step out of the box and work your plan.

Yes, this can be intimidating because your new surroundings will no longer be filled with the familiar. But, if you give yourself a real chance, you are bound to embrace a new sense of empowerment, freedom and adventure. Although my box is still within reach, each of my small victories gives me the courage to step further away. I have made the commitment to myself. I want to know how far I can go. I have decided that I deserve it. I have not only made it my mission to step outside of my box, but it is my commitment to take up residency there. If you are living comfortably inside of your box, I am extending you a sincere invitation. Please, join me.

~**~Go to to view past comments for this post~**~

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Voice From the Battlefield

Initially, when I got the idea to begin this blog, I had a specific purpose in mind. I will refrain from specifying what that purpose was because it is no longer relevant. I decided not to limit my topics of discussion by labeling this blog. I will say this, you will most likely find a multitude of things here. You may find poetry, rants and raves, questions that boggle the mind, testimony, a cry for help, news, jokes, politics, etc.

Now, please keep in mind: I don't declare myself to be one that has "arrived" and mastered life. Sometimes, I may provide a piece of advice or a thought that I struggle with. I'm sure you are familiar with the term "easier said than done". This is why I decided to name this blog "From the Battlefield". Everything that I have to offer and express comes not from a place that is higher than you. It doesn't come from an outsider looking in. It comes from a sister that is standing beside you, on the battlefield. . .