Empathy In A Mean World #59

“In my view, the best of humanity is in our exercise of empathy and compassion. It’s when we challenge ourselves to walk in the shoes of someone whose pain or plight might seem so different than yours that it’s almost incomprehensible.” Sarah McBride

True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotions to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.” Anonymous

In Heartbreaking Moment Perspective #33 I wrote about how the sight of homelessness affects me. A few days ago I had another experience with the sight of homelessness. One of my Facebook friends shared a small portion of a video documentary about Skid Row in Los Angeles, California, watching that video broke my heart. This video literally brought tears to my eyes and it made me realize how much empathy I have for all people, especially those who are less fortunate than I am. I have seen dozens of documentaries on Skid Row, but this one really made me emotional for several days after watching it. Just as I did after seeing the homeless man that I wrote about in perspective #33 I began to question why is it that I am blessed with a nice home, and a comfortable bed to rest my head on at night, but there are so many others who aren’t blessed in the same way. I wonder if I am too empathetic.

I look at the sight of homelessness and I wish that there was something I could do to provide all people with a decent roof over their heads so that there wouldn’t be a need for people to be living in tent cities or simply laying on the street. I realize that some of the people who are living homeless are living that way because of choices they’ve made that ultimately changed their way of life, but even in those cases it still bothers me deeply to see anyone who is living on the street and doesn’t even have a clean bathroom to use. At the time that this video documentary was made there were over 2,000 people living on Skid Row with only a small number of portable toilets that the city government had placed in various areas for all of those people to use. That’s unbelievable to me, I really can not even imagine what it’s like living like that. As the young woman was walking down the street there were people shouting angrily at her and her camera person and I honestly didn’t really understand that. I thought maybe its embarrassment of how they are living, but I’m not sure. After posting perspective #33 I had a conversation with my mother about the many reasons why some homeless people make the choice to live on the street like mentally illness or worrying about being taken advantage of while in shelters or other facilities and I thought what an extremely difficult life it must be. Is it selfish of me to have empathy for homeless people and others who are less fortunate than me, but at the same time be grateful and thankful that hasn’t been God’s plan for my life thus far?

In this world we live in unfortunately there is a down side to having empathy for people who are less fortunate than yourself. I recently saw a news story about a couple who were driving in their city and stopped to help a couple who appeared to be in need, well that wasn’t the case, those people who appeared to be in need of some kindness had malicious intentions and ended up killing a pastor’s wife who empathized with them and only wanted to share some genuine compassion and kindness. That was a heartbreaking story to see as well. It made me think of myself, because I am that person who is quick to empathize with someone who appears to be less fortunate than I am. I probably get that from my mother because she is the same way. Whenever I see someone who appears to not have had a bath or shower in several days and is carrying what seems to be all their worldly possessions I quickly feel sorrowful. We all pass by those people who are carrying handmade signs that say “will work for food” or something similar. The empathizer in me is always quick to have sympathy for those people and want to do something for them, give money, food, anything to make their lives better or take their troubles away for a moment. Sadly we are living in times where my second thought to myself is always, “I wonder if they are legitimately in need?” It’s awfully disheartening realizing that this world has become a place where it’s necessary to second guess having empathy for someone, because being a kind, compassionate, loving empathizer can get you killed.

Who ever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13ESV

That’s just my perspective!💜

Another Journey Around The Sun #58

I can’t believe it is the last day of 2018. I’m sure it sounds crazy, but to me it seems like this year went by much faster than usual, although I know that it was 365 days just as all years are.(except for leap years of course) This year has definitely been a year that will remain unforgettable because so much has happened in the world around me near and far. I have been thinking a lot about myself and my place in this world. I feel like I am 36 years old and I have yet to figure out where I really fit in this world and what my purpose is in this life, but I know that God has a specific purpose for my life. I think writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and feelings about various things has helped me to learn a lot about who I am and who I wish I could grow to be. For a long time I felt like God didn’t give me a talent or at least he didn’t make me talented in a variety of areas like most of my family members, but writing this blog has helped me to realize that expressing myself in writing is something that I’m pretty good at and maybe that’s my talent.

Each time I post something here on Perspective By Zena T. I hope that it is something that in some significant way helps the lives of those reading my words, because I want my life to help others. Looking back on my blog posts throughout 2018 I realize that I have written a lot about how the negative things going on in this world affect me and my thoughts. I hope that in the new year God will inspire me to write about much more positive subjects. I always try to be someone who attempts to spread love, kindness, and compassion to others and I don’t think there was very much of those things being spread around the world throughout the 365 days of this year and I just couldn’t deal with all the hatred that was being spread around so I needed to write about it just to purge it from my mind. I have tried my best to be 100% honest about my thoughts and feelings about whatever it is that I am writing about. At times throughout this year I have felt like maybe I write about grieving my father a bit too but I have decided that it is impossible for me to write about my daddy too much. His death had a tremendous effect on my life and I write about him because it’s cathartic for me and I hope to help other people who are grieving their fathers or other loved ones.

One of my favorite quotes is by Nelson Mandela, it says “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” My constant prayer is that God will use my life to put some good into the world. I want to provide some positive light in the lives of others. Through my writing this year I have actually taught myself a valuable lesson and that is to try to stop being so critical of myself. I feel like God is constantly working on me and molding me into who he wants me to be. I hope that those of you who have chosen to read my words throughout this year have learned a little bit about who I am and I hope that something you have read has brightened your perspective. Thank you for all of your kind and thought provoking comments on my posts. In 2019, I hope to make my blog better by writing more often and continuing to share my honest thoughts on everything under the sun. I hope that you all will continue to take a moment to look at life from my perspective.

That’s just my perspective!💜

I hope that the 365 days of 2019 bring you and your loved ones all the love, joy, happiness & prosperity your hearts and hands can hold.💜

No Christmas Spirit But Grateful #57

img_0743

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m feeling a lot of emotions, but festive and the so called Christmas spirit just isn’t on the list. This morning when I got up I just wanted to close my eyes again, get back under the cover and sleep the day away. I just wasn’t feeling right. I thought maybe it’s because today is Monday. I set on the bed and said to myself “ok Zena, you’ve got to snap out of whatever this is, you have lived to nearly the end of another year and that’s something to be upbeat and grateful about.” The self pep talk didn’t help because I was still feeling like Scrooge in a grumpy mood, even after an unsolicited hug from my nephew. I realized that no matter how hard I try to not allow myself to get in this bad mood, it happens every year since my daddy died. Holidays just aren’t the same for me anymore. I don’t know about anyone else in my family, but I always feel my daddy and my granddaddy’s absence even though they’ve both been deceased for twenty years. Holiday family dinners haven’t even been the same for me since their deaths, because at some point during my time with my family I always began to feel their absence. I always try to hide it, because I am not sure how anyone else feels therefore I don’t want to ruin any of our precious moments together because I can’t seem to step out of the pit of grieving.

Today I decided to try my best to just snap out of the Scrooge mood, but boy oh boy is that extremely difficult to do. I know that I will always miss my loved ones whose earthly journeys have ended, but I am still here which according to my beliefs means that God still has tasks for me to complete here on Earth. I have several loved ones still here with me and I am going to enjoy the precious time that I am allowed by God to spend with them. I promised myself that this year during the holidays I am going to enjoy spending time with the people that I love the most in the world and I trust that it’s a reciprocal love. I am going to enjoy watching my mother get her Christmas and birthday gifts all on the same day, although her birthday is two days after Christmas. I am going to enjoy my awesome godfather using his incredible sense of humor to constantly keep our time together filled with laughter, although the other half of his comedy show is missing (my daddy). I am going to enjoy receiving my two dollar bill and bottle of Welch’s grape juice from one of my favorite people, my Aunt Zel. I am going to enjoy watching my 94 year old grandmother just enjoying all of her offspring and being ruler over us all. I am going to enjoy every dish that the taste bud magician (my Aunt Sonja) prepares for dinner. I am going to enjoy just listening to whatever intellectual conversation my Aunt Diane brings to the table. Most of all during the holidays I am going to enjoy spending time with my five year old nephew, I know watching him open his Christmas gifts will put a smile on my face and some much needed joy in my heart.

I vow to myself to try not to dwell on how much I wish my deceased loved ones were still here to enjoy Christmas dinner with us or how much I miss having the light that my daddy and my granddaddy provided in my life. I am going to try to focus on the tremendous love that I have in my life because of my family and friends. Sometimes I feel like I am being ungrateful because I can’t seem to stop focusing on how I wish my deceased loved ones were still alive, especially my daddy because I feel like I need him so much, but I am as grateful as one can be for my life and for all of the amazing people in my life who represent so much of what’s good in this world to me. I just feel like the holidays and many other aspects of my life would be so different if death had not visited my family twenty years ago.

On Christmas Day I think if I find myself slipping into that sadness which causes the grumpy Scrooge in me to emerge I’ll find a quiet place to be alone, just me and my thoughts. Maybe someone out there in the world reading my thoughts here on my blog can help me fix myself. How do you get pass the changes that the death of loved ones brings to your life? It’s been twenty years and I have yet to figure it out.

That’s just my perspective!💜

From me & my family to you and yours I hope that you have a very very Merry Christmas. 🎄

Disheartened, Frustrated & Angry #54

img_0685Lately I’ve really been struggling with what to share with you all. I think in the last week, almost two I’ve been subconsciously distracting myself to refrain from sharing anything on my blog, because I just haven’t had anything uplifting, enlightening or inspiring to share. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy so I’ve decided that as usual I’ll just be honest with my blog family, hoping that someone will understand my feelings. Some of you may even be feeling the same way.

I have spent the last few months wishing that God had made me a little different. I wish that God had not made me a person who is so deeply affected by everything that is going on in the world around me. I really don’t want to keep writing about all the extreme negativity going on in the world, specifically in the United States, but unfortunately right now that’s what is constantly on my mind. Several of you in my blog family know me personally and know that I am not a hate filled person. I am a quiet person who tries to live life getting along with all others even if I disagree with something you’ve done or said I try to avoid conflict with others. I feel like most of the time I am pretty easy to get along with. I wish it was that simple for everyone.

Last Saturday I laid in bed once again watching news coverage of yet another mass shooting, I’m sure many of you were watching. Since I am being honest I have to admit that I laid in bed crying because I’m so tired of living in a world where people use guns to murder other human beings simply because they believe in something different or because they are of another race. A week earlier there was the man who decided to make and send bombs to politicians through the mail, thank God that situation wasn’t as horrific as it could have been. Oh let’s not forget the two people who were killed in Kentucky simply because they were two African Americans at the grocery store. Yes, that’s the world we are living in, all of that happened within what, a week.

I just do not understand how someone can be so filled with hate that they want to kill others simply because they are different in some way. I wish that I understood what’s going on in not only the United States, but all over the world, the hatred that exist is appalling to me. Why is it that we don’t take the time to understand each other? We are all so vastly different and in 2018 nearing 2019 there are still people in this country and in this world who can’t seem to understand or maybe just refuse to accept it. Apparently that’s the way that God wanted things to be, God made us all in his image (read Genesis 1:27) obviously God didn’t mean for us all to be exactly the same.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Let no man pull you low enough to hate.” I don’t want to live my life hating anyone for any reason and as naïve as it may seem I wish I could cure all the hate that has existed in this world for far too many generations. We live in a time where you aren’t completely safe anywhere, not your house of worship or your own home. It makes me angry and sad all at once. Something is wrong in this world and we have got to fix it. The hate and division has got to come to an end.

I really don’t have the vocabulary or full capacity to tell you all just how massively frustrated I am with the state of this country and the world around me. I want my five year old nephew to be growing up in a better world. I know that right now he doesn’t even understand any thing other than the life of a happy kindergartener, he’s not yet focused on what’s happening in the world around him, but by the time that he is I want this country and this world to be so much better. In ten years when my nephew is a teenager I don’t want him to be living in a world where young African American males are being killed by the police or where young people who have been bullied choose to go into their schools and murder their teachers and classmates. I don’t want my nephew living in a world where Jewish people are afraid to go and worship at their synagogue or where African American people go to Wednesday night bible study and can’t be Christ-like choosing to invite in a stranger because that stranger just might be a young man who has been taught to hate and has malicious intentions. I want my nephew and all the children in this country and throughout the world to have better leaders who actually genuinely care about the welfare of others. I am angry and frustrated because the world has been in this state for far too long and it doesn’t seem to be any change near, it seems each day its only getting worse. Change has to come soon, its imperative.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Rainy Day Rollercoaster Ride #50

img_0576I’ve made a list of a variety of topics that I might want to write about for my 50th blog post, but none of those things are on my mind today. On this rainy Wednesday, what’s on my mind and in my heart is the subject that you all know is never far from my mind and always in my heart, my daddy. You all probably get tired of reading about him, but I never get tired of writing about him.

I can’t remember the name of the blog, but earlier this week I read another blogger’s story about the death of her best friend and how she was feeling about it. I left a comment telling her that I hope that writing is therapeutic for her, because grief is a never ending process that can take your life on a scary rollercoaster ride of emotions all in one day.

I feel like it has been nearly twenty years since that Wednesday evening that my daddy left this life and I should be over it, but my mind seems to be stuck in time. I’ve tried as best I can to shake it but I just can’t get that day out of my mind, I can even remember things that I did at school that day well before the hour of daddy’s death.

Today as I began to prepare to write my blog post, I thought to myself, “I wonder if my daddy would be proud of me and my blogging journey, I wonder if he would be proud that I finally found something that I am passionate about and I wonder if Daddy would be proud of the person that I’ve become since his death.” That thought brought along a myriad of emotions for the rest of the day.

I will never forget how happy my daddy was that day, he had been so sick the previous week and my momma had to take him to the emergency room exactly a week before, so it was really great to see Daddy back to his normal self, joking about everything. There was no way to tell that it would be the last day of his earthly life. No son or daughter should have to go through what my brother and I went through that evening, I don’t understand why that was God’s plan for us at 11 and 16 years old. Why did we have to bare seeing our daddy laying over the steering wheel completely lifeless after having a massive heart attack in the car that we rode all over town with him in. I apologize if that’s too graphic for you, but it’s our reality. Can you all imagine how I felt walking out of my high school to witness that, the feeling hasn’t gone away. He was feeling so good that day, why is he gone now? I asked that question for a long time afterwards.

Nearly 20 years later I realize that Daddy died at the moment, second, minute, and hour that God had already chosen for him but that realization really doesn’t make me feel any better. I miss him and I feel like the deep pain in my heart isn’t ever going away, it hurts so bad and I just want it to go away so I can feel better. I probably shouldn’t be sharing all of this on the internet, but I figure maybe someone who is stuck on the rollercoaster ride called grief like I am may need to know that someone else understands. There may be another daughter out there whose father has left this life and she is hurting because regardless of age daughters need their fathers just as sons do, well maybe that daughter needs to know that her struggle is understood.

My daddy was such an awesome person and a great daddy who loved wholeheartedly, I feel like a part of me left this life along with him. I think I may have written about it before, but my daddy’s death has made me love, value and worry about my mother more than I did twenty years ago. I’ve become very protective of her, at times probably a bit overly protective. One of my daily prayers is that God gives my mother longevity in this life. I ask that of God a few times a day, although I know death is inevitable thinking about having to experience her death only adds to the soul deep pain that I already feel. I want to get off of this rollercoaster ride called grief and never have to get back on it.

That’s just my perspective!💜

Finding Moments Of Contentment #49

On my message of encouragement that I have started trying to post weekly on my social media accounts that I created to accompany this blog, I wrote about the ways that I try to encourage myself when I have allowed life to make me feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I believe that it is so important to develop ways to encourage yourself when all of the trials we encounter in this life overwhelm and frustrate you. In this life, we are all going through something and sometimes its necessary to encourage yourself because you can’t depend on anyone else to do it for you.

6550C2A4-D01B-4C68-979B-EEB474497C3BIt was last weekend when I realized that I can find contentment in overwhelming times. Lately I have been feeling like I’ve been running on empty. I have been dealing with some health problems and just feel very discouraged and overwhelmed with a million of life’s issues on my mind. I had a moment of contentment last weekend. It was a bright and sunny, beautiful weekend. The fact that I got a chance to spend some much needed bonding time with my nephew Tristan, made the beautiful weekend even better. He arrived Friday evening, cranky after a long day of being a Kindergartner so he didn’t want to have much interaction with me and I was not offended.

Saturday morning I woke up with Tristan asleep next to me, I couldn’t move even if I wanted to because he was literally almost under me. I am sure if you have a little person around his age (5) in your life then you know just the position I was in. I think little children turn into gold medal winning Olympic gymnasts while they are asleep. I laid there a little uncomfortable yet feeling a sense of contentment, because laying directly next to me was this incredible little boy who in just five years has brought an infinite amount of joy into my life. I couldn’t move, all I could do was smile.

180717_120050_27Once Tristan woke up we spent the next few hours of Saturday morning watching Bubble Guppies together, neither of us had a care in the world. It is amazing how a child can bring so much joy into your life and remind you of what’s really important in life. During my nephew’s visit I didn’t think about all the issues that I had been overwhelmed by, all that mattered was spending time with the best nephew in the world, that was contentment for me.

That’s just my perspective!💜

img_0522

A Thankful Heart #27

There is always something for which to be thankful.” Charles Dickens

pro-church-media-441073-unsplashIt’s a week before Thanksgiving and for the last few days I have been trying to come up with something to write about because I love to write, but since I started this blog the words just don’t come to my mind as often as I would like them to.

I’m sitting in a quiet room alone at home because I need silence for the words to come and I started thinking about my life and the multitude of things that I have to be thankful for. A few weeks ago in perspective #25 I wrote about how I am always questioning my purpose and my place in this world, well in the last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about that and talking to God and praying he’ll soon show me his purpose for my life. I have decided to try and stay in the frame of mind thinking that as long as God allows me to wake up each morning, he has something more planned for my life, God has some purpose for me that I have not fulfilled yet. I am an imperfect human being so I have down days when I question life like when I wrote perspective #25 but I am so thankful for this life that I have been given and as I have stated before I want to be able to make a difference in the world even if it’s only through my writing.

I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy that carries us all through each day. I am thankful for my mother who has been with me through thick, thin and everything in between, she’s getting older,she’s almost to her promised seventy, and I can’t bare the thought of maybe having to live in a world without her some day. I am thankful for that one extraordinary aunt, my second mother y’all know who she is, God didn’t make anyone else like her, the tears come when I think about what she means to me. I am thankful for my brother who tests my patience as younger brothers do to their older sisters all the time, but he also shows me that he cares just at the right moment and he gave me the best nephew ever. My brother is also one of the smartest people I know and teaches me so much daily. I am thankful for my praying ninty three year old grandmother because she is ruler of our family and is aging better than a lot of people her age. I am thankful for my godfather because he has always been like a second father to me, he is a man I admire a lot. I am thankful for my adorable, handsome, super intelligent four year old nephew, because his smile, the way he calls my name and just everything about him makes this world a better place. I am thankful for my aunts and uncles, because they all show me what strength, intelligence, courage, love, and excellence is just by being who they are. I am thankful to have been taught the importance of family and to have family members that I know will always have my back.

I am extremely thankful for all the great people that God has placed all along the way throughout this journey called life because they have influenced the person that I am. I am thankful to have a roof over my head, sadly I realize there are so many people in this world who do not have a decent place to lay their head at night. I am thankful that my life does not lack love, I am fortunate to have people who I know without any doubts love me. As crazy as it probably sounds I am thankful for my physical struggles, because they have given me strength that sometimes even I don’t realize I possess until I have to use it. I am thankful that I have family in my life like my mother, who will tell me the truth about myself regardless of whether I want to hear it or not even if it hurts me. I am thankful to have had a father who was present in my life until God said it was time for him to go. I am thankful that God made me someone who has compassion for others. I am thankful for my sensitivity and all that makes me who I am. I could fill a million sheets of paper writing about the things I am thankful for and I would still need more paper. I think that the older I get the more I am realizing that even though I question life and my place in it, I am still trying to be a positive person with a thankful heart and truly appreciate all that I have been given.

This year on Thanksgiving as you sit around the table with your loved ones look around and think about your life and all that you have to be thankful for I know I will.💜

Thoughts On A Thursday Morning #23

88FF442A-8C06-46D9-BB45-F07A9A3F8535

I recently celebrated my 35th birthday and I’ve been thinking about how the older I get, the more my perspective about many things in my life has completely changed. I am realizing who I am, what things I like & dislike about myself and what is most important to me. This week I have been spending a little time with some of my family and doing a lot of reflecting on my life in my quiet time. A few days ago I attended the homegoing (funeral) service for my grandparents’ neighbor, a man that I have known all my life, who I beheld as a grandfather and who was very special to me. For me death is always one of those things that puts life into perspective and makes me think about life in depth. I set at this homegoing service thinking about how I never told this man how special he was to me and how much I learned about neighborly love & kindness from him and his family. I set there listening to several people talk about him and their friendships with him and the life that he led and all that I heard made me think about the saying “give me my flowers while I live.” Often times it seems to me that we wait to shower people with praises at their funeral and I don’t understand that.

A few days after the funeral that I attended, I had a conversation with another special man in my life, my godfather, our conversation was about how I want to be someone who always treats people like I would like to be treated, in other words I would like to be someone who always tries to treat other people fairly, because I see so many people treating one another so poorly in this world. I’d like my life to be about always trying to spread love, kindness, and compassion and making others smile even temporarily. I’d like to be someone who gives people their flowers while they live.

All of my reflections and experiences in the last few days reminded me of my childhood and all the love that I grew up around which I think has helped to shape parts of who I am, how I think, and my beliefs about so many things in this life. I grew up surrounded by the type of love that I feel doesn’t exist in this world anymore. When I was a little girl I had several people in my life who I always felt cared about me even though we were not related to one another, we were family. A lot of those people have completed their earthly journey and transitioned into the next life, which saddens me but reflecting upon my childhood and my time with the many great people that God placed throughout my life has made me realize that children don’t seem to grow up like I did any longer, it is like the world is a completely different place and its void of love and real kindness. I can remember spending my summer vacation from school in the community where my maternal grandparents lived, where everyone was like family. My cousins and I could go to anyone’s house along the street and feel at home, like we were with family. It’s just not like that anymore, in some communities neighbors live beside one another for years and don’t ever take the time to get to know each other.

I have started to fully realize how grateful I am to have had many good experiences with some great people as a child, because I learned some very valuable life lessons and have a lot of great memories to cherish for the rest of my life. This week, visiting my family in the community where I have spent a lot of time in my life has made me question, when did this world become so void of the kind of love and togetherness that I feel like I grew up around. In the last few days, I’ve had a lot of time to think about how I would like to be someone who brings positivity, light and love into the lives of others just as a lot of the people I grew up around did for me.💜

What Is Happening? Turbulent Times #21

For the last few days my spirit has been so weakened because I’ve been thinking about all that is going on in the world right now, so I decided to write about it and purge everything that I have been feeling, because that always helps me. I think that I have said in a few previous posts that I believe that everything happens for a reason, a reason that God does not always reveal to you as soon as you might like. For the majority of my years over 21, I’ve believed that there is also a lesson in everything that occurs in life, but now I’m at a point in life where it seems like I am always asking God to please reveal to me why he is allowing certain things to happen in the world, because there is so much happening that I just don’t understand. It feels to me like everything and everyone in this world has just gone awry and things have got to change for the betterment of us all.

Something else that I have stated in previous posts is that I try not to watch the news very often because of all the negativity that is happening in the world that unfortunately gets televised, but because I am interested in what’s going on in the world around me, lately I have been watching the news more often. Everyday there are numerous stories on the news about someone’s life ending due to some form of violence, most times there is a gun involved. I am truly saddened & heartbroken by the fact that we live in such chaotic times where people resort to killing one another over temporary anger, or things that are completely meaningless, things that are definitely not worth taking or losing precious life. There is so much selfishness being exhibited amongst the people who are supposed to be running this country, it seems as though they all only care about themselves and doing whats going to be beneficial to only themselves.

All of these things make me wonder what is happening in this world that I’m living in, this world that my three year old nephew is growing up in, the world where he’ll become a man. I grew up being taught not to question God, but honestly I do question God & pray he’ll give me clarity. I don’t understand why it is that God is allowing us to live in such turbulent times, times when one can’t watch the news without hearing about young people killing one another, times when it seems as though the world is completely lacking positivity, love, kindness, and compassion. We are living in times where it seems as though we don’t value one another, times where too much selfishness is exhibited, a time when babies’ lives end due to unnecessary violence. We’re living in a time where young children make the decision to end their own lives because of being bullied by other children who I am sure learn that behavior from someone older. I don’t understand right now what the reason is and definitely not what the lesson will be in the future, but I will try to continue to follow the advice of my grandmother and Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.💜

Simple Sunday Morning Reflections #18

0DF4EEA3-DD57-453E-B9E6-7B92C92E0E87When life starts to twist & turn, and throw obstacles in your path that cloud your vision and make you unable to see a way out of certain situations and circumstances, do not lose faith & trust in God because he will always clear your path unto brighter days.

“Your situation does not determine your future. God will give you a fresh start because He has a destiny for you to fulfill.” ~Joel Osteen

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacles.” ~Christian D. Larson

A Materialistic World #17

4E714ECA-49AB-47DF-8AC9-39721C924DEAI don’t watch television a lot these days, but this is the second time since starting this blog that something I watched on television inspired my feelings and thoughts giving me a subject to write about. A few days ago I watched a portion of an episode of 60 Minutes, the topic of discussion was how the living conditions in the South Sudan are affecting the children that live in that area of the world, causing them to become severely ill. I have a very special place in my heart for children and seeing how ill the children who were featured in the story have become simply because of the conditions in the part of the world that they were born in extremely saddened me and I could not continue to watch.

I did a little research on the South Sudan and the conditions in that part of the world. According to the Living Water, Community Transformation Organization’s website more than two million people have been displaced due to civil war. Four million people face food insecurity and do not know if or when they will eat on a daily basis. More than 90 percent of the population in the area live on less than $1 per day and 80 percent of the population has no access to any toilet facility. I realize that there are many more places in the world where people are dealing with third world conditions and being a person who truly cares about the welfare of others I wish that I had an efficient solution to the problems in those areas of the world as well as in the United States.

00B076DA-1710-476D-BA16-E5755CD0C8E4Seeing and reading about all that the people in the South Sudan are experiencing made me think about how we live in the United States and the many things that some Americans take for granted. I know that there are hundreds of people who live in poverty in this country but there are so many who do not and I believe that we take the way we are able to live in this country for granted. In this country we base so much about others on their material possessions such as houses, cars and clothes which are things that yes, we do work to earn the money to obtain and are things that we may place sentimental value on but they have nothing at all to do with what’s on the inside of a person, what’s in your heart & soul. It isn’t my intention to be judgemental and I hope that no one takes my words in that way, but I feel that there are too many materialistic people in this part of the world. If you really know me personally then you know I like to always have a nice handbag on my shoulder but I realize that having a nice handbag or other nice material things has nothing to do with who I am on the inside.

I know right now our health care system and how health care is paid for is something that is a big issue amongst the government officials who were elected to run the country, but we are so blessed and fortunate to have the health care system that we do in the United States, unlike some places in the world, we have great hospitals that we can be treated at when we are sick, we don’t live in an area of the world where people constantly die because of conditions that are ultimately simple to treat, but don’t have the resources for treatment. We stand in long lives at stores to spend money purchasing material things on days like Black Friday or the first day that the newest Jordans are being sold in stores whereas people in places like the South Sudan stand in lines to receive necessities like food and clean water.

As I said previously I am in no way trying to be judgemental and I really hope that I am not considered to be but I have personally been working on teaching myself that the type of person that I am is so much more important than the material things that I possess and I sincerely hope that this blog post will inspire others to reflect upon the person that you are and know that the things that you have been blessed with that are not material things like family, friends, love & compassion for others and the ability to make a difference all over the world just by being you are what’s most important in this life.💜

Forever In My Heart #16

F5FAC7DF-B599-4092-96DE-7BF907A90ECCToday it’s been 18 years since the light was dimmed in my world when God needed my daddy back in his eternal home, it is so hard to believe that it has been that long, because some days it feels like it was just a day or two ago. People always talk about how sons need their fathers which is very true but daughters need their father just as much. I think most teenagers at the age of 16 completely take life for granted and don’t ever forsee anything changing their way of life. Wednesday March 3,  1999 taught me to think differently about life and realize that you are truly not promised tomorrow.

My daddy died at a time in my life when I feel like I was just realizing how much I loved him, how grateful I was that he was my daddy and how much our daddy/daughter relationship mattered to me.

There has not been one day in the last 18 years that I haven’t thought about my daddy and wished that I could have him back in my world, healthy and happy. I miss so much about the man that my daddy was, things like his extremely optimistic view of life and his sense of humor that until this day is unparalleled to anyone else I know. The world could be falling down on my daddy but he always kept laughter in our lives, he had a way of joking about things that made you laugh and think about things in depth all at once.

I miss his intelligence, my daddy could make you feel like he knew something about everything. I miss being able to talk to him about everything that was on my mind anytime. I miss riding around town with him, when he was in real estate broker/appraiser mode, while never stepping out of daddy mode. I miss being his little girl who he carried on his shoulders all the time. I miss being a witness to the love that my daddy showed my mother, it was true love that surpassed and conquered all and it saddens me that everyone doesn’t get to grow up witnessing real love between their parents. I miss my daddy’s love for my brother and I, I think that he really enjoyed being our daddy. I miss his love and admiration for family. I often wish that Daddy was here to interact with his grandson who is so much like him, they would really be enjoying each other. I am sure my nephew would be taking rides on granddaddy’s knee every day.

I know we all speak of the good qualities that people possessed once they have transitioned from this life to the next and I am well aware that just as all humans my daddy wasn’t flawless but I don’t have a bad thing to say about him, God blessed me with a great daddy who I always knew loved me and that’s all that matters to me.💜

Dedicated to my daddy
Tee M. Taylor Sr.
12/12/47~3/3/99