Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lean In... A Lesson From Science Camp


Two years ago... my son attended Science Camp

and came back with

new lessons
stories
memories

that I hope will last a lifetime

Two weeks ago... my daughter returned from that same trip

and as she and her brother sat

discussing their experiences
and comparing notes

I thought of these pictures documenting my son's completion of some of the fear challenges...


Keep your balance by finding
something secure to hold on to...
_________________________________


Walk the path that is set before you...
_________________________________

Stay determined, focused, and lean in to reach your goal!


Click to read... a Graduation Lesson

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hair Free... My Daughter's Journey

She kept asking to get her hair straightened and I kept avoiding the conversation...

(you may have already read about her usual weekly hair routine here)

My reason?

to keep her as young and innocent for as long as possible
to help her develop a love and appreciation for her natural hair
to teach her how to care for her God-gifted kinks and coils

My goal?

to keep her hair in protective styles

for as much
for as long

as possible...

Braids
Twists
Buns
Ponytails

Styles that really help her hair thrive...

Braids

(styled by Londa)
 

 
Twists

 


Buns



 
Ponytails
 
 

But I knew the day would eventually come
when I would have to let her make her own hair decisions

because it seems that

almost all of us live our lives in one of two ways

either...

avoiding water
or
avoiding heat

(but that's a sermon for another time)

And the bottom line is that we each have our own story

her hair story is not my hair story
my hair journey is not her hair journey

We each have our own...

 

and so I took my daughter to have her hair professionally straightened
and when I saw

the glow on her face
the twinkle in her eye
the smile that spread when she took that first look in the mirror

it was clear to see

That for her

straightened hair
long hair
flowing hair

is what makes her feel truly...

"Hair Free"

 
Click to read... My "Hair Free" Journey

Hair Free... My Journey

He chuckled as he saw me quickly duck inside to avoid the rain
 
"Why you running girl?
Brown Sugar don't melt... it just gets lumpy!"
 
Twist extensions
I was young at the time and didn't really understand what he was saying
until some years later when I started to wear...
 
my hair naturally
my natural hair
my hair as it grows naturally from my scalp
 

and I came to understand that it was a bigger deal than I ever realized
and as I discovered more

about myself
and perception
and the history and pain

surrounding Black people and their hair

I learned that

Our hair has a story to tell...
 
A story that will

not be silenced
not be tamed
not be easily conformed

because Black hair is resilient...
(just like that brown sugar)

and if you've ever baked with brown sugar
then you know that you can't just dump that stuff in there

There is a process involved if you want it to turn out right

and if you've ever dealt with black hair
you also understand that there is a process involved

So when I began transitioning into wearing my natural hair

it wasn't about making a statement
it was about avoiding that process!

I was tired of fighting my hair
I was tired of trying to get it to do things that it did not want to do
I was tired of chemical relaxers

AND...
 
I hated heat
was afraid of heat
wanted to avoid heat at all costs
 
AND...

since I was an adult I realized that straightening my hair was a choice
(not much unlike running from rain)

and so I simply decided to stop straightening it

But it amazed me...

how

my decision
about
my hair

began to elicit so many

comments
questions
unsolicited requests

from inquisitive hands wanting to touch my hair!

And although it was never about making a statement
the statements that were made to me led me to wonder...

If it's "just hair", then why does it all matter so much?

And as I started...

reading
studying
learning how to care for

the coils with which God had gifted me

I was baffled to discover that the best thing for my hair
was the stuff that I had been running from for over 20 years...

WATER!

And that's when...
I remembered that he had told me that

"Brown Sugar don't melt"

And that's when I finally decided... to simply stop running
  

Celebrating 15 years "Hair Free"!
(click to read my daughter's hair free journey)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What My Heart Sings... "Alright OK"

One day when my daughter Mo was about 2 years old, I let out a sneeze
and she asked me...
 
"You okay, mommy?"
 
Then a few seconds later, she let out a fake sneeze and asked herself...
 
"You okay, Momo?"
 
I documented that moment for her scrapbook and 
remembering it has always brought a smile to my face.
 
To ask ourselves... "You okay?" is something that we often forget to do 
 
Well this morning I woke up sneezing...
 
So I took
 
some medicine
some vitamins
and drank some tea
 
and told myself  "you're alright... okay?"
 
Then when my daughter came downstairs she was singing this and I knew for sure

So...
 
Thank you Mo
Thank you J
Thank you Jesus
 
for the reminder that everything is...
---------------------------------------------------------
 
"Alright OK"
by J Moss
 
Everything is alright
Everything is ok
Everything is all good
and I won't complain 
even if I could
 
Everything is alright
Everything is ok
Everything is all good
overcoming the pain
'cause Jesus said I would
 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Becoming Momma

I love my Momma

and I am so grateful for her
and the times that we have shared

laughing
crying

(sometimes laughing until we cry)

Because I realize...

There is no other relationship on the planet
comparable to that of a mother and her daughter


 
And although when I was younger we didn't always see eye to eye

Now...

we answer

the same thing at
the same time

and I have to

laugh
cry

(sometimes laugh until I cry)

at the realization of just how strong my mother's influence is in my life

Then the other day...

when she arrived at our house and sat her purse down on the counter next to mine
I couldn't help but notice just how much like momma I've become!

And when I went to grab my camera, she knew...
and said "yeah, I noticed that too"

 
And even hours later I couldn't stop thinking about the implications

of having a mother
of being a mother

because those types of blessings just shouldn't be taken for granted

And even if it means...

that the older I get
the more like her I will become

I am fine with that
I am happy with that

because I know that it means

that

she was here
she made a difference

she made

an influence
an impact
an impression in my life

so that

I could become the woman that I am...
God's woman...

unique
original
free

graciously loved
available and always
ready to be used

while also...

becoming Momma

Happy Mother's Day 2015! 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Knowledge and Wisdom with the Television Remote

My son and I sat watching one of those science discovery shows
until a commercial with "potentially sensitive content" started playing

and without blinking

my son paused the show
turned toward me and
engaged with me in conversation

Then when our short talk was through...

he pushed a button allowing him to skip past all of the paused commercials
taking us directly back to the show



As a mother I've tried to shield my children
for as long as humanly possibly...

but those messages

seem to be everywhere
seem to seek us out
seem to find us

and their allure is real

So although I cannot control all of the things that are

promoted
propagated
proposed

I can teach my children what to watch out for
and how to handle the subtle (or not so subtle) attack of the enemy

that is inevitably coming their way

while also

praying that they learn to

use knowledge
gain wisdom
get understanding

And I realize that my prayer is being answered

as God proves to be leading us all toward maturity and
my son's discretion with the television remote also shows me

that

knowledge is...
knowing a commercial's content is inappropriate

while

wisdom is...
knowing not to watch it with your mother!