In Which I Shouldn’t Drink Coffee

You know how people are mushy drunks??? I’m a mushy coffee drinker. As soon as caffeine hits my system I’m an emotional wreck. If ever anyone has been fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) to receive an “I love you!” or “I’m so proud of you!” text from me trust I just finished a mug of coffee…..Welp, could be worse! Or could it….

My friend in Alabama sent me a message last night with the link to her home health website for me to take a gander at.  She’s been working on the idea for a while, but never really started putting it into action because while she was in Mississippi, work ate most of her time and also did not allot her any disposable income to put her plans into motion.  After receiving a better paying job offer in Alabama, she loaded up her truck, tossed her two sons in the back seat, and hit the dusty trail.  But she even with her more comfortable living arrangement and higher rank job, she still had the itch to start her own business.  Well it took a while, but she’s been getting her business license paperwork, designing her business card, and completing the website.  Even though she sent me the message last night, I fell asleep before I could open it (it had been raining all day here and as you know, rain is perfect reading and sleeping weather) so I didn’t open it until I was sitting at the kitchen table reading “Rappaccini’s Daughter” and drinking my morning coffee. And I just had to tell her that I was incredibly proud of her. And I am. I probably would have told her that regardless of my choice of beverage, but still, it intensified the need to tell her. Coffee. It’ll make you do things. It won’t help you be productive, but…it’ll make you do other things…..

I’m a bit of a weirdo when it comes to such things.  My friend Bianca used to tell me all of the time, “Amber, you know why you’re cool? Because you have friends, but you act like you don’t need them. That’s cool.” And in my mind I was thinking, “that probably means your standards of cool are pretty low…..and also that I’m apparently a bit of an asshole….” But as I’ve said before, I’m very defensive of myself. I may act like I don’t need someone for the simple fact that I know that it’ll hurt less if that person ever decides that my companionship is not needed.  At the same time, I habitually ask my friends what their life dreams and goals are. Some don’t have any dreams or goals other than to survive in this crazed world, and others have very specific goals. If they tell me a goal they have in mind I’ll let them know I believe that they can do it or be it, whatever the “it” may be. Because, for one, that’s what friends do. I suck at being a friend, but I’m pretty good in that area if I say so myself.  And also because life has a funny, not funny, way of kicking you in the shin and going, “NOT TODAY!” whenever you start inching closer and closer towards your dreams.  Some times your family may tell you that what you’re hoping for is not realistic. Maybe an article pops up on your timeline that says, “Top Useless Degrees” and right there on the list is your degree. Or maybe you’re still in the progress stage and you feel like you’re going to be stuck there forever. And all you really want and need is for your slightly asshole-ish friend to randomly say, “I believe in you.”

It’s funny how time can bring about a change, because back in the dizzle I would be the last person to express anything of the like.  Well, when I was kid I would because I was born to be a delicate little muffin. I remember when I was about five or six, I told my granny, “Granny. I love you. Even after I die and go to heaven, I’ll still love you in heaven.” That’s just the kind of person I was. All kids are kind of like that: hopeful, gentle, optimistic. Then puberty drop kicks you in the neck and well….it was nice while it lasted. After that, being kind is an uphill battle. Specifically, once I hit high-school I lost my gentle edge for a while.  Mostly because during this period you’re trying to find your place in the world. So I was mostly struggling with just being myself, and it bothered me if I did something that my friends liked so they would do it too. It legitimately bothered me. Because I figured if they did it, especially since they were more popular, they’d get the most attention for it. Yea yea yea, I know. Sad *Donald Trump voice* Even when I dyed my hair freshman year of college, both of my closest friends dyed theirs afterwards and I hated it. HATED IT. *Big Sean voice* Poor self image and envy are a terrible mix. *shakes my head* The thought of someone doing better didn’t sit well with me because it made me realize just how NOT better I was doing. But now I know that’s really a sucky mindset and poor heart condition to have.  If someone is doing well then you should rejoice, unless they’re a criminal….And if someone isn’t doing too great then you should empathize because we’re all human and none of us like to suffer. If you extend kindness to someone they will return it to you in your time of need (hopefully. We all know that doesn’t always work out). If you practice being a hater, then you’ll receive hate in return.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can make it through life alone. And when you act maliciously then you increase your chances of spending your life by yourself, with no one to celebrate your success or lift you from your own despair. That’s a tough life to live.

I’ve also internalized the truth of the matter: If God can and will do it for someone else, he can and will do it for me.  Of course, I struggle with this from time to time. At some point later I’ll have a post about God NOT doing it for me because emotions…they’re fickle things….BUT I also know that if my heart is not in the right place, then he can’t give me anything or do anything for me, at least not to the extent he desires to.  So now when I see someone else being blessed, I thank God for it. Not solely because I know that he can do the same for me, but because I’m grateful that each of us has a great purpose for living.  We may struggle to get there, but it’s still there. “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you, not to harm you…” Yes. Yes I did use profanity and quote a bible verse in the same post. Forgive me, Lawd. I especially think of the people who swam through the swamp, and still ended up on the peak of the mountain. You never know what people went through to get where they are. It amazing to hear individuals’ stories about their backgrounds and compare that to their accomplishments. Truly amazing. Let that be encouraging, not envy inducing.  And believe that God has things in store for you as well. Now, it may not come in the same package as someone else’s and it definitely won’t come when you think it will, but it’s coming.

So in my caffeine chronicles I’m here to say that I’m proud of everyone here. Even if you don’t think you’re where you need to be or should be. I’m still proud and I still believe in you. *cue the national anthem playing in the background, and an Eagle perching on my shoulder….And my head on Barack Obama’s body….but with his smile….* Too much detail…..

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Dysfunction

There is love
But there was this
The hunger for validation
With words and with touch
Sparks in the midst of raging flames
Happiness that wavered
Faded
Rose from the ashes
Yearning for affection
Attention
Recurrent anger
Raised voices
Deafening silence
Crying
A great deal of it
Bitter
Ceaseless
Little warmth to thrive on
Fear
Questions
Animosity
Selfishness
Hatred
A great deal of it
Neither knew compassion
Neither extended forgiveness
Forgetfulness was nonexistent
Memories overflowed and drowned out what little hope there was
There is love
But there was us

By This Will They Know…

I haven’t done a post in a while which had not been greatly bothering me until my friend started greatly bothering me about my lack of writing. Thus, I’s here. There is so much going on in the world right now that there is much to write about, but in order to keep my calm I’m just going to keep it…tame. The hardest thing about dealing with the recent events (police brutality, black people killed, that heathen chile who received 6 months for rape) is to continue to walk in love with people.  Now, I’m not sure if someone has said this before but it is excruciatingly difficult to be a black christian and a female christian these days. We are often given the option of being black OR christian and the like with being female.  Well I hate to break it to you out there, wherever and whoever you are, but it’s okay to be both. There is no “or;” just an “and.”  But let me revert back to my subject.  As I am a Christian I acknowledge that Jesus did not leave us a thousand and two instructions and laws before he transcended. But the most important one he left was that we love one another. And by God was he dropping a two ton task on us when he said that. It is so so so so so so…so so so so hard to walk in love with people who have not only stepped on your toes, but stomped on them.  They’re the people who eat your $20 dinner plate and buy you a mcdouble in return. The people who change the channel even after you confirm that you are indeed still watching that.  I’m not going to act like this is hard for everyone because there are plenty of Christians who will say, “aw Pete, I still love ya!” and mean it while their clothes are smoking from the fire that Pete set to their home.  I can only say that I am struggling with walking in love.

I think my last post was about forgiveness and how you aren’t entitled to someone’s forgiveness. Well, that fact is still true. No one has to forgive you for anything. BUT I admit that I was coming from a place of bitterness and resentment when I wrote it.  Somewhere in that post I mention that my grandmother, who has always been a bit…..difficult, now has dementia. When the dementia first developed she would lash out at everyone, but I particularly took offense when she lashed out at my mother.  I don’t care much for defending myself, but my mother is my heart so I carried that grudge with me up until..hmmmm say….two words ago…But after that my cousin and sister moved in with her so that she would not be alone and she treated them with a savage deal of disrespect. As a result they moved out and of course she doesn’t remember them ever living with her.  When someone mentions, “well Granny, you did have some folks living with you before,” then she goes, “well why did they move out?” And you’ve got to tell her, “well you lied about them, locked them out, and mistreated them.” Since she doesn’t remember she’ll respond, “I don’t even remember, but I am sorry.” And to be honest it just burns me up. I’m man/woman enough to admit that it just grates my cheese. Because with all of the hatred and venom she spewed she remembers nothing and can’t even sincerely apologize for it (which isn’t her fault because if she has no knowledge that she did it, then she can’t really apologize). And now that I’m living with her to assist my aunt in her care, every little thing she does irks me to pieces. For one, I’m a very space needy person. I crave space. I’m sure I’ve posted about that before. On the other hand my granny is a companionship needy person. She has to have companionship. So if I go outside to wash my care for some…cleanliness therapy (trust me, washing cars is great for the soul) then she’ll follow behind me.  If I move to a certain room to read or watch netflix she’ll follow behind me. She doesn’t really allow anyone to have quiet and solitude.  I can be reading a book quite blatantly and she’ll try striking up a conversation. To which I just read the book even more blatantly. We have clashing personalities. All in all I’m having a rough time walking in love with her due to this as well as the past offense.

Kenneth Hagin has a book about love that…I can’t remember the title of, but anywho, I am currently reading it.  And it is eating me alive because I know what God has asked of me. I know what he has required of me. And I am struggling to do so. I know it’s not impossible because many people walk in love, forgive, forget, and go forth and prosper. But I am not one of those people right now.  I find myself fighting the urge to use sarcasm, to be rude/hurtful, or to simply pack my bags and go. I know its not very honorable to admit that one has a raging little savage on the inside chomping at the bits, but it is honest.  I also admit that I an uncomfortable with my lack of love because out of all the selfish and unruly things I have done God still loves me unconditionally. He only asks that I do the same to those around me. I use only in the way that commercials say, “WOW this TV set is ONLY $1000!!!!” There’s not much “only” about love and forgiveness.

Not only does this reflect in my personal relationships, but it relates to current events as well.  I have to remember that the raging racists on my facebook timeline…well, I still have to love them.  I have to pray for them. I have to forgive their ignorance and hatred even though they don’t feel it’s something that requires forgiveness. Because that’s what God tells me to do. I really want to reach through their computer screens and poke them in the eyes, burn their confederate flags, and throw them into a pile of fire ants. It literally takes every ounce of my being to be calm, and just unfollow them. I try to save my high blood pressure for salty foods and not salty people. Its hard to walk in the God kind of love.  The flesh wants to jump in and have some fine print going on. It’s the old “eye for an eye” itching in my soul. But as we are under a new covenant, then there are some new instructions.  God says love so we must love.  He not only says that but he says that lack of love can hinder our faith and our prayers. So love is VITAL to our growth. I only ask how to walk in the love that I need to walk in? I tell myself to “just do it” but this isn’t Nike. I start just doing it and by hour number 3 I’m just about to throw the skillet through the window.  My heart is in the right place as far as desiring to walk in the love walk, but I’m having a difficult time getting my feet to move in that direction.

Anywho, this was a short post as compared to others. I’m just writing to get my voice back as its been a while since I’ve written anything other than my signature.  I really am asking for advice from my more mature Christians though. How can I move past offense and into love? Especially when dealing with differing personalities, dementia, and so on. That’s all. I’ll probably be writing something else tomorrow, but y’all know I be lying…

Float On

Catch a cold breeze
In the gulf of the seas
On the cusp of your eyes so blue

Veer left and right
Around mountains of ice
Into the core of the heart of you

Set sails in the storm
That drag us along
And further away from the sands

Toss caution to sky
Too hard and too high
Until our boat reaches land