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Poetry that Moves You

A few nights ago, my husband and I watched a movie: Invictus. If you’re not familiar it is the story of Nelson Mandela when he was elected President, and his goal of trying to unify a divided country. Throughout the movie, the word Invictus kept popping up. It turns out it was a poem that Mandela kept with him during his 27 years of incarceration. It is what kept him together. After I heard it, and read the whole thing, I can see why this poem can totally lift you up, and lend you courage. Invictus was written by William Ernest Henley. When he was 17 years old, he suffered from tuberculosis of the bone. The disease spread to his foot compromising his heath. In order to save his life, doctors had to amputate his leg directly below the knee. I don’t know if it’s true, but according to Wikipedia, he wrote this poem while recovering from his surgery. Invictus Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. For me, these are just powerful...
Sunday Prayer: Holiday Shopping

Sunday Prayer: Holiday Shopping

Dear Lord, The Holidays are officially among us (yes, please pray for us). While we are shopping for that perfect gift for our little one, or hubby, or boyfriend or anyone, let us not forget that there are others out there who are trying to do the same thing. Usually during the holidays when we are trying to spread good cheer and good will, all that usually stops when we walk through the door to the shopping stores and find that there is only one Hello Kitty doll left: then it’s every woman / man for themselves. Even though there are some of us who can afford to have that “perfect” Christmas, let us not forget those who do not have the means to. Let us be mindful to donate toys to children who’s parents cannot afford them, food to the food banks, and clothes to families and people in need. I know it seems like it’s something that I’m asking for now, because most of my favorite radio stations are playing Christmas music, but it’s something that we should be thinking of all the time. Please help us to not forget that. Holidays are more than great gifts, its the perfect time to try and do something nice for a stranger. Please help me be an instrument of this good will....
Sunday Prayer: Family

Sunday Prayer: Family

Dear Lord, This week was so much more than I bargained for. Not only did we get to spend ample time with family, we did it around dinner with no television on. A feat within itself. Aside from spending time with both sets of parents (Mine and Mr.C) we were also able to carve out a bit of us time as well–something that is usually hard to come by. Even though our feet hurt and our backs are aching, neither one of us would change this week’s event for anything. Thank you for watching over my family and all of our families during this week. You know how stressful family gatherings can be, so thank you for keeping us in the palm of your hand. Please continue to watch over us and remind us that we can have family time all the time if we make the time. Thank you....
Sunday Prayer:  Rejuvenation

Sunday Prayer: Rejuvenation

Dear Lord, Please help me collect myself. There are days when I feel like I am not myself. Constantly being lost in the haze of caring for someone or some people, but usually never seeing the efforts return. I know why I do what I do Lord, it’s not to martyr myself, or talk other into helping out. But there are just days when I feel like my efforts are expected. I pray that during this Holiday season, I can re-align myself with my needs and feelings. I need to remind myself that time for myself is not something that one has to ask for, it’s something that needs to be demanded. It is only through rejuvenation that one can feel themselves again. I ask Lord that you grant me clarity for me to see things as they truly are....
Sunday Prayer: Surrounded by Beauty

Sunday Prayer: Surrounded by Beauty

Dear Lord, You have given me so much this week, how can I not thank You? Just before my eyes I can see the magic and power of your work when looking out the window. It doesn’t matter how often things don’t go according to my plans, everything is still working according to You. Even though I know in a few months the bright rust color of leaves will be replaced by snow, I know and I am humbled by a greater power at work. All I ask Lord, is for you to help me to keep my eyes open, and never take advantage of the beauty around me....

Acknowledging A Spouse’s Efforts

Being at home, you know you have a profound impact on those around you. Maybe you changed your family’s point of view of stay at home moms, or homemakers. Perhaps you realized that it’s okay for not doing it all–after all something will be lacking. But you do what you do for your family, because you love them. You want to make sure that everything is running smoothly so that everyone can do what they have to do. It may be hard sometimes, but which job isn’t? There are still many things that take my breath away, and I am still capable of being swept off my feet. This past Sunday, we were sitting in the kitchen eating dinner. My daughter was doing her usual, singing, and humming and eating, while my husband and I were talking. Out of the blue, my husband just thanked me. Just like that. He thanked me for everything that I do around here, and for having such a good attitude about it. He thanked me for making his breakfast at night so that he can eat it on the way to work in the morning. He thanked me for taking care of our daughter, and said he was proud of what I was doing with her. He thanked me for keeping the fort down, and thanked me for marrying him. Like I said, I can still be swept off my feet. I know that mothers and wives do what we need to do not because we want the fame and glory or we want our spouses in debt to us. We do it...
Sunday Prayer: Day Lights Savings

Sunday Prayer: Day Lights Savings

Dear Lord, When you sent out the memo regarding day light savings, why did you skip my daughter? The one night in the year when I could have gotten an extra hour of sleep, has been reduced–by a lot. Not to complain, but I haven’t has this much less sleep since she was a newborn. It might have been funny seeing me wake up every 2 hours for some reason, while everyone else around me is sleeping (happily–might I add) with the extra hour you gave them. Well, not to sound ungrateful, but thank you for letting my husband try his hand at keeping Zee entertained while I try and rest. Not like I know how to rest when I finally get it, but I tried (You know I did). Even though this is going to be the longest day of the year (for me at least) I am going to do my best to survive it. So, umm, yeah, thank you for that extra hour of sleep–I know someone enjoyed it [giving the side eye to my husband] ....

Talking to Kids about Sensitive Subjects

Eventually, I know that this conversation is going to come up. There will be no way to avoid it, and there is no sense in delaying it. I’m referring to explaining culture and race to my daughter. As some of you know, I’m African-American, my husband is Chinese-American and my daughter is Blasian (Black and Asian). The way we are trying to raise her is with a mixture of both cultures and traditions. Our goal (one of many): when she grows up with the mixture of both cultures, it will be just what her family celebrates. No separation between the two. Seamless. It would be easy to say that since we live in New York City she is “exposed” to all cultures and see that there are no differences, so there is no need to have this conversation. But the truth is… If parents do not talk to their kid about race and how to perceive people that are ‘different from them’, they would simply form their opinions based on whatever [right or wrong] they gather from society. …they will learn exactly what we don’t want them to learn. It may seem like in this day and age there is no need to have this conversation, after all we’ve come a long way as a nation; we have Obama as president, and Opera the richest woman alive. Regardless of these figures (and other millionaires), we really haven’t progressed far enough to not talk about race and culture. This country has yet to have an honest discussion about race, cultures, and everyone’s history in creating this country (at least why...
Sunday Prayer: Music

Sunday Prayer: Music

Dear Lord, For the past several weeks, I have noticed that my daughter has developed, musically. Aside from thinking she’s Alicia Keys when she’s singing Empire State of Mind, my daughter also sometimes thinks she Yo-Yo Ma with his cello, and Santana with his guitar. It’s funny when you see it (as I’m sure you see it often), but I still get a kick out of it. I do wish that I had the means to get the instruments that she’s pretending to play (piano, cello, guitar, ooh her new favorite, clarinet), but I know reality is, I don’t know how long this phase is going to last. Did I do a good thing by showing her a video of these artists playing their instruments? Who knows. Only thing that I do know, is that a seed was planted. Hopefully in time, it can grow. Amazingly, I don’t have anything to complain about (aside from not winning the lottery yet–I know, I know, I have to play it to win it. I thought You can just take of that for me). So I just want to say, Thank you....
Sunday Prayer: Free Will

Sunday Prayer: Free Will

Dear Lord, I don’t know where to begin with this one. I want to say thank you for common sense, but I wonder why you gave us free will first. For example Lord, I tell my daughter not to climb because she can fall–see, common sense that I’m sharing. Her free will says climb anyway can come to after she falls–common sense not working. Of course I understand that if you changed things up now, our parents will not be able to smile at all the “trouble” our little one gets into. I know it’s an insider joke between you and the grandparents–I’m not offended (if you were worried). If you were to make any changes (please, not just on my behalf), then might I suggest common sense before free will? We all know children are impulsive, but if they had common sense (or listened when the parents share theirs) then this world might be a better place (cliché I know, but it sounds nice). However, deep down I’m probably just wondering, why couldn’t Zee just take my word for it–I haven’t lied to her yet, why start now? Hmm…maybe my next prayer should be a sedative for me. If she’s like this now, I shudder to think about how it will be when she’s a...
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