The Good Child

Any of you who were born into a family, (all of us – even orphans) recognize that there are some us who are expected to achieve (over-achievers) and those who underachieve (slackers).  If you are offended then, I’m assuming you are the latter ; )

With that being said, I have learned– being a product of my own family and other experiential factors, that the slackers have strategically positioned themselves to not be held accountable, or asked to be responsible for anything.  So clever…I wish I would have come up with this thought myself!

I would go a step further to say that these underachievers have underwhelmed the family unit so much until, not only does the family not trust them to complete even, minuscule tasks, but the family has successfully designed a system around these underachievers to be enabled….an enabling that can endure for the rest of these underachievers lives…

 if they are clever enough ; )

Now for those over-achievers…

Or should we say the successful ones ; )?  Okay, okay – I’m flattering myself.  It seems that those who dare to conquer all that has been laid in front of us, tend to be taken advantage of the most.  It’s like the moment the family learns of your talents, someone said you would forever be bound in eternal servitude to the benefit of your family, – I mean you can’t even get a little credit…and not that we should be in the credit-seeking business (I hear it’s quite disappointing.) But, just common respect and courtesy from the family to recognize that despite your youthfulness and your having it together (from their perspectives), you are human, and to be human you do grow weary, you do grow tired. 

And without being compassionate to the “successful ones”, the family can in fact ride a good horse until it slowly dies beneath the saddle that you placed on it’s back. 

Don’t be a killer!

Don’t take the talents of others around you for granted through unneccessary abuse…especially for insignificant advantages, such as the pleasure of being competitive or as I prefer to say, “to one-up” somebody.

It’s not easy being the good child, remember he or she could have chosen to give up a long time ago and joined a team of slackers.  If this is you, I encourage you not to give up today.

If you are a slacker, I encourage you to strive to achieve more, and give your loved ones a break.

God Bless! 

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“He was yelling for help!” “Why didn’t anyone come out to help him?”

Flabbergasted, I am currently sitting on the couch in my den listening to the 911 calls that were placed on the night of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s cold-blooded murder.

This young man was deemed guilty of a familiar age-old charge and placed under citizens arrest for walking while being a Black male. 

“When someone yells for help…you know you feel like you wish you could have helped him.”

Literally, my stomach hurts and I feel every heartbeat during these moments as I am currently taking in 35 minutes worth of 911 calls.  These calls which began with Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, describing a Black male with his hand in his waist band and looking at houses while walking towards Zimmerman. Zimmerman also described Martin as being up to something and took it upon himself to mention Martin’s ethnicity more than once. 

I never knew I could call 911 because I saw a person simply walking down the street….hmm?  Racial profiling is bad enough when used by official law enforcement, but when a neighborhood watch person takes matters into his own hands we are in trouble, especially when you have people who are as delusional as Zimmerman proved himself to be.  Zimmerman’s delusions allowed him to interpret Trayvon’s bag of skittles and can of tea to be threatening to his personal safety – a delusion so strong that it led Zimmerman to take Trayvon’s life.

I wonder if any one of those neighbors would have only stepped outside onto their porches, could they have saved Martin’s life?  Unfortunately, we will never know.  And while  I can easily criticize the shoes that are on someone else’s feet, I can’t exactly say what I would do, if I were ever in such a situation.  I do pray that I would do the right thing. 

Until then, I am empathic for Martin’s parents and I am using my voice to speak out against this injustice.

Why hasn’t George Zimmerman been arrested yet?

I challenge everyone who hasn’t to sign the petition via the following link:

http://www.change.org/petitions/prosecute-the-killer-of-17-year-old-trayvon-martin

If you need to feel my passion, listen to the 911 calls:
 
If you desire to read a little more, then feel free:
 

Whatever you do….do something to get the word out!  No one on earth deserves to be treated like this.

 
God Bless.
 
 

“Recovery” – Josh, here’s looking at you kid!

During my time spent at the College of Charleston (CofC), I had the pleasure of meeting my brother from another mother, Joshua Hamilton Scott.  Josh and I met during the Spectra 2001 program – designed to support students of color in their transition from high school to college.  Spectra was designed to, not only market the College of Charleston to diverse populations, but also to establish a network for those students.  This network was established through Spectra’s providing an avenue for them to get a head-start on college coursework and be introduced to mentors. 

Like most 17-year old boys, Josh entered CofC ready to party, be single, and mingle if you get my drift ; )  Ironically, Josh and I hit it off from a place of humor, as he frequented my all female dorm – hint… hint during visitation hours – and to set the record straight…Josh was not coming to see me.   My first memory of Josh is: One day in the middle of summer session, as I passed him in the hallway and joined him on the elevator, I made a comment to Josh about always seeing him around. 

On the flip-side Josh recalls seeing me at an informal Spectra event, in which our counselors thought it was okay to have a private “cuss-out-session” about certain behaviors from our group.  Either way, I stood up at this event and expressed that it was such a waste of my time, and I could be studying.  One of the counselors, Natasha Venner – Love you Hun ; ) said, “Would you really be studying?!”  A group of peers chimed in and said something to the effect, Actually she really would. Lol!  I could tell that this urked the counselors, but to my advantage I was excused from the session.

Fast forward to the fall, after transferring from an over-crowded suite at Berry (All-Girls’ Dorm), I moved to Wentworth/ Glenn McConnell (ironically named) the co-ed dormitory – where Josh and I would reunite.  McConnell was one of the more affordable and last-to-be- placed housing options for students at CofC.  We were the butt of many jokes from our “uppity” peers who lived in the more lavish residence halls and houses on the other side of campus.  Little did they know, we had more fun!  We got very little sleep, we played rounds and rounds of spades.  We were constantly entertained by the slew of students who would come in plastered and try to put on facade of “sober” to make it pass the public safety officer at the front desk.  Life was really interesting at McConnell…unfortunately, those of us who hung out in that lobby, and in each others rooms did very little studying that freshmen year; but we definitely made connections to last a lifetime.

In the beginning of my McConnell connection, there was Josh and Scott, (following my disconnection from my high-school peers who attended CofC and lived in McConnell – Akeem cough…and Phuong…who just hung out there ; )  Either-way, Josh was from Anderson and could relate to me as a southern African American.  On top of that, Josh was and still is a clown, like I am.  I mean we enjoyed a good laugh…jonin…playing the dozens..etc. 

Today Josh is proving himself to be a warrior (show-off ; ) as he is battling a high stage of cancer.  Lord knows we would have never imagined ourselves here almost 10 years ago.  Eitherway, he must be pretty strong because we know that God never puts more on us than we can bear.  (1 Corinthians 10:13) 

Recently I invited Josh to join me in a Facebook battle where we co-authored a poem entitled, “Recovery.”  It is listed below for your perusal.  To connect with Joshua monetarily, to share good jokes, laughs, and/or prayers feel free to find him on Facebook @Joshua Hamilton Scott.

Here’s looking at you kid!

First step is denial
Think of first steps as a child
When your last step
We all want to know when
Want to know how
Than the man in the all white…..coat
Tell ya it aint all right and ya body broke…DOWN
But u cant break now
Just look on up
Cause its only one whom you should trust – Josh

Second step is acceptance and the realization that this you can’t shake.
Now it’s time to deal with the body and the pain you can’t take.
Praying for help, from The Father, begging for him to relieve you from this cup..
“Is He listening?” you wonder.
Cause sensation’s burning, and it’s bite won’t let up! – Valencya

Rest up for this final journey
Dont stop believing
Mustard seed faith can move millions
The healing I claim in yo name
So we on this bed waiting for da manifestation
I don’t acknowledge the disease just the recovery
Cause I believe more in what He said then what u see – Josh

Rest up for new life is on the horizon, can you hear me now?
Catch my signal and I ain’t talkin’ Verizon.
I’m talkin’ about hope, that substance that faith is!
Leaning on the everlasting arms
Aint no breaking down in this biz.
Cause only the strong survive on the road to greatness…
How hard you push, how hard you strive, how much you’re willing to give to make this…Journey count?!
Ain’t no way I can see me on my way out.
No way, Un-Uh! Not have’n it!
So tell me… what are you made of kid?– Valencya

We made of this slaves blood
Off the chains they came from
Now off the chain we stay dumb
Just to stay slum and stay numb
Walking dead if heaven was cross the street
Most of us couldn’t walk in there
Cause ya souls sold and ya morals fold
apathetic don’t care won’t move
If the devil was at ya bedrest
Where our head went
Where we headed.. –Josh

Let’s head to newer places…
Like the holies of holies,
Oneness with God, in three persons.
Smiling faces,
Not SC
But where grace is…
Sufficient.
On the road to recovery
Life ain’t easy
Conquer this, take all
for the life that will be
Push on, press hard, blocking voices of naysayers, and never letting down your guard.
For this battle, indeed, is the Lords!
Just show up, He’ll show out,
And victory will be yours!  -Valencya

God Bless!

Checked Out?

Why is it that when we’ve almost reached the finish line after a long journey…we feel the urge to give up? 

 There are but a few warriors who actually have what it takes to push through and actually meet the mark. 

It seems as though no matter how much you have worked to develop and maintain your stamina to endure a long race, it is that last quarter of the way to the finish line that appears to be the most difficult to push through. 

Your breath becomes even more difficult to catch – as though the air is thinning.  The sweat beading off of your forehead is pouring into your eyes.  You can feel the burn – it is as intense as ever.   Things that are small and you used to look right over, now coupled with some other small things…are trying to break you.

 Oh if only, I could just quit! I mean I’ve come so far….it’s like that old Gospel Great by Lee Williams and The Spiritual QC’s “I Can’t Give Up”.  You know the song. 

The lyrics go: “I’ve come too far to turn around.”  One of my favorite parts is the vamp that goes, “I see hills, hill, and mo’ hill, and mo’ hill, and mo’ hill, and mo’ hill that are already waiting on me, make me feel like I wanna just fold my arms – sitdown somewhere and just moan…but then when I begin to take inventory over my life turn around and look back and  I see all the hills, I see all the mountains, and the valleys, God has already brought me over that  makes me know so I steal away, look up, and tell the Lord…I’ve come too far.” 

Praise God!  I had to listen to this song this morning.  Because Lord knows it looks like there are “too many rocks on these hills”, seem like when I turn to my right side, I find trouble…and then I turned to my left side…find out somebody’s sick, somebody’s in the hospital, somebody done passed and gone on.”

It feels like this sometime, but it is important to remember why you started this journey in the first place. 

Remember what God has called you to accomplish.  Think about the dreams that He has laid on your heart…there is someone coming after you who is depending on you. 

So you can’t check out!  You can’t give up now!  If you need to rest…take a small break, but don’t you dare give up. 

For there is much work for you to do!  Keep pushin’, keep praying’  we are waiting on you.  We need you.  You are important!

God is Good!

God Bless!

Fresh

It is important to keep a fresh perspective.  It is important to remember that God blesses us with fresh new mercies every day (Lamentations 3:23)!

On our best days, we make mistakes.  Even on our best days, we can find ways to be hyper-critical of ourselves if we aren’t careful.  How many of you will make a mistake and ponder on it for the rest of your day?  I do! (Raises Hand ; )

Even after I have received a verbal affirmation of forgiveness from the person whom I believe I have offended…these thoughts seemingly try to linger on.  On my least self-aware, or least meta-cognitive days, when I am not managing my thoughts or directly paying attention to what I am thinking, thoughts of criticism seem to run rampant in my mind.  These mistakes can be as simple as over-sleeping and neglecting to remember a meeting, yet I will find ways to beat myself up.

Usually these thoughts revolve around what others may think of me.  How will an action that I took, intentionally or unintentionally be misconstrued today?   These are some very unhealthy thoughts and if I were to be candid I would say that I have battled with them for my entire life.  I can say that I struggle with them less and less as I grow, so I thank God for progress, yet human nature continues to remind me that they are still there.

I can hear my Grandmother’s words loud and clear, even as I draft this post…”Valencya, people are going to talk about you for the rest of your life and there is nothing you can do about it, so don’t worry about it.”  As much as I can hear her, it is a battle that I have yet to overcome….  

on my own. 

I am rejoicing internally as I now realize that God didn’t give me these feelings so that I can agonize over them or put on my superwoman cape so that I may rescue myself.  He allowed me to experience these feelings so that I will gain greater humility as I continue on the path that He has laid out for me.  He allowed me to have these feelings so that I would constantly draw upon His strength which lies within me to re-gain

a fresh perspective every day. 

For just as the Bible reads in Lamentations 3:23 New Living Translation (2007), “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

And I thank God for that!  I pray that you will be encouraged to do the same. 

Now think easy and keep a fresh perspective ; )

Peace be still.

Peace Be Still ~ Rev. James Cleveland

I have been playing this song on repeat all morning.

After experiencing last night’s intense storm/tornado watch at home alone with the dog, I have been reminded of my super- reliable security system.

No I’m not talking about Pinnacle, who does a great job of arming and providing surveillance of my home, but I’m talking about a man named Jesus.

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace be still. And the wind ceased and there was great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

~ Mark 4:37-41 (KJV)

Assuredly I had a calm about me, as the mighty winds appeared to shake the house, the heavy rains pounded, the lightning flashed, the thunder bolted, and the dog released the most dreaded howl.

Our Heavenly Father has an amazing power to allow the weather to commence like a symphony of many instruments with bold sounds contrasted by the soft heartbeats of His children who have truly known Him long enough to trust His unwavering faithfulness.

I thought that even the strongest atheist can’t help but revere God when beholding nature and witnessing how amazingly God can orchestrate it to do just want He wants.

Over the past few weeks I have witnessed some amazing sights and wondered, how can anyone doubt that God exists after taking in some of the greatest wonders in the world like: mountains, oceans, flowers, rainbows?Beautiful, beyond human imagination! Here are a few of those sights I’ve been privileged to capture.

God Bless & Amen.

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