Sept. Blog Challenge, part III
3. During my final semester in college, my classmates and I were preparing to give a dinner to our professors and other community stakeholders. I was given the task of reciting a poem. As I was thinking about what we’ve learned over the course of the years and how I could translate that, I came across a quote from Maya Angelou and til this day it still resonates with me.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote is special because early on I learned through giving back to treat all people with kindness, from the church to the hole-in-the-wall. We’re all people, we just come from different walks of life. And because one wasn’t raised like me, have the same religious beliefs or dress differently doesn’t mean they’re any less deserving of a hug or a smile.
2. As a kid after we left New Testament, we started going to Antioch in McNair and my mama joined after a few Sunday’s. When it was time to “open the doors of the church” I remember her telling me to c’mon as she made her way down the aisle to sit in those 2 gray cushiony seats as the deacons stood there in all black suits and Sis. Gray played a hymn on the organ. I sat in my seat and watched her walk. Not sure why I didn’t get up other than I wasn’t ready. When she was making her “welcome to the church” testimony speech, the first words out of her mouth was something about me being a disobedient child. In my head I thought “oh no she didn’t” and felt slightly embarrassed because all eyes swarmed my way and how dare she shade me in front of all these people. From that point, I knew she ain’t care what came out of her mouth.. Or maybe I was just the throwed off one. About a year later we ended up going to Mt. Rose MBC, which I joined as a teen and is still our home church today but I never completely stopped attending Antioch. The youth would always do retreats once/year in Conroe and the people I met became life-long friends that I still cherish today.
At this particular retreat we were taught about writing down our vision, praying over it and watching it manifest. I didn’t really grasp the magnitude of how powerful those teaching’s were at the time but as I fast forward to August 21, 2018 I was on the phone with my God-Ma explaining where I was in life. Both jobs had me in a funky/unhappy place and I was slowly losing sight of my direction. She had me read Psalms 143:8- “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life…” which has stuck with me since.
1. Last week I went to Mt. Rose to celebrate Pastor Davis’ 20th Anniversary. The entire program flowed beautifully from beginning to end from the singing, the speakers, heartfelt gifts and the good food afterwards. It was truly reminiscent of 20 years. Lisa B, a good girlfriend of mine, spoke on the topic, “Persistence and Tenacity in my Pastor” and one thing she said as she was speaking is “… people are not your problem, they’re your purpose.” The congregation let out a wave of amen’s, “yessss” and claps as she was speaking facts! Somehow, I blanked out after that statement and thought back to situations where people have tested me but I have always come out on the winning end. Be it my character, my faith or favor, there was truth in that quote as it replayed in my head over and over, “… people are not your problem, they’re your purpose.” As I explained in my blog post last week, I try to find the positive or lesson in each situation I encounter and quickly realized what drains me now is only preparation for what I’ll be able to handle with ease later.
*My Life Soundtrack
Save the Last Dance- This movie is one of my favs and is a combination of dance, romance and finding your way despite fears or the opinions of others. The 14-song soundtrack is a replica of the stories told featuring hit songs from Jill Scott, Snoop, K-Ci & JoJo, Montell Jordan, etc. I loved music from that era!
*Favorite Comfort Foods
I’m not sure if comfort food is described as your favorite meals growing up or fatty foods you eat when you want to pig out. Either way, here’s my tops:
-Favorite meal from my daddy is his salmon and rice. It’s salmon mixed in with sautéed onions, whole slices of bacon and a lemon pepper flavoring served over rice. Or one of his steaks. Favorite from momz is her okra with chicken, shrimp and sausage with a tomato-based flavoring served over rice.
-Caramel popcorn, cookies n cream ice cream, peanuts, sunflower kernels, Pepperidge Farm strawberry cookies, strawberries dipped in chocolate, funnel cake, Paul Masson peach
*10 Favorite Foods
10. Cheddar honey-butter croissants- Look! If you haven’t tried some fresh honey-butter croissants you are missing out! I could dine in or order a quick to-go just for these croissants. They’re best when they’re fresh!
9. McDonald’s French fries- Keep everything else on the menu but after all these years they still have the best fries in the fast food market, hands down!
8. Strawberries dipped in chocolate- Feed me these and I’m a happy girl! I’ve always had this vision of having one of those chocolate fountains at my reception with strawberries, marshmallows and pineapples on a stick.
7. Oxtails in thick gravy (or 40 weight gravy as B3 would say)- Oxtails is one of those foods that’s popular in the soul food world, Caribbean world or any Wilson household. Whether served in a stew, over rice or solo, oxtails are a finger-licking treat when cooked to perfection.
6. Fish- I love a good piece of seasoned and sautéed fish, baked fish thrown in the oven or blackened fish. A topping of shrimp etoufee, a nice white wine sauce or a few slices of lemon is always a bonus. I embrace fried fish around Easter or on occasion.
5. Crawfish- The start of crawfish season is another bill, no lie. I force myself to budget more and cut out other pampering habits because crawfish can easily be a daily occurrence. With all the specials that go on around town, it’s hard to pass up a few lbs. of Cajun-flavored crawfish.
4. Lemon Pie- Big Mama has me started on these when she would make them and give them as birthday gifts to the husband’s. Light and simple in preparation and taste but one of my favorite desserts w/ the toasted meringue on top.
3. Big Mama’s peach cobbler- Big Mama hands down had THE best peach cobbler I’ve ever had in life. But when somebody else makes it I would either look at it in disgust or wait until somebody else tasted it before I try it. Unfortunately before she passed none of us got her recipe so I’ve been working on perfecting my own. I’m on attempt #3 in trying to get the crust right but I’m almost there! Stay tuned.. 😁
2. Gumbo- Big Mama didn’t mind cooking gumbo year-round but it was something special about when the temperature dropped, fall was creeping in and she would sneak in a gumbo for the family. Big Mama was simply a queen in the kitchen!
1. Okra- Whole okra from the grocery aisle, fresh okra from the country, pickled okra, fried okra from Luby’s or boiled okra, this is my absolutely favorite! Momz and my God-mama make this quite often with chicken, shrimp and sausage over rice and I never get tired of it!
*A Letter To Your Teenage Self
Hey girl! I wrote you this poem, dedicated to you as a teen, keep it safe & close and in 20 years you’ll see what I mean. Behind your beautiful brown eyes OH the things you’ll see, trust God and one day you’ll be part of history.
From the womb you were special, never once think you were a mistake, trust Him as He guides you, keep an open mind and be prepared to learn something new each day. There is no one else that has your pizzazz, humor, lime green nails and caring heart all wrapped in one. You will be tested, your toes will get stepped on, everyone won’t like you but in due time you’ll build a stronger backbone. Stand with your head held high and demand your respect, pay your tithes, stay away from gossip and keep your business to yourself.
Throw slumber parties, dress-up and have fun with your girlfriends. Play in make-up, capture those moments as you dance to ‘Tootsie Roll’ over and over again. Find your rhythm, feel the fun, learn at your own pace, float to the beat of your own drum. Study and always strive to be the BEST, be it a doctor, dancer, secretary or a baking chef. Stray away from saying “I Know” for you will never know it all, keep your street smarts in check and book smarts on lock to avoid some of the pitfalls.
Family will keep you grounded, friends make life go-round, there may be times when you fuss or disagree but keep it mature and speak your mind. Learn to own up to your mistakes, never have an ego too big to apologize, that is how you maintain your blessing’s in disguise. Life is fun yet short so always show love and give each other high-5’s. Sprinkle words of ‘I Love You’s’, give hugs and laugh, for we never know when it will be our last moment, last smile or the last time we get to have girl chat.
You’re a child of God, you’re being raised around Kings and Queens, never forget where you come from, never forget where it all begin. Kings Colony is the name, Royal Avenue to be exact, ride bikes through the court yard or play on the swings in the back. Wave to the neighbors, take time and assist the elderly, keep attending Juneteeth parades, trail rides and all those fun neighborhood things.
Don’t rush the process for your teen years fly by, you’ll have plenty of time to be fascinated by boys, lies, corny jokes and romantic pick-up lines. Be happy, embrace your flaws and look at life like dice, one day may be up, the next may be down but it’s all apart of this thing called life. As you embark on the next chapter in your life, know you’re different and uniquely you, a special gift, a rare soul and no one is cut out for what God designed strictly for YOU.
I 💛 You girl, go get em!