Mama Grey


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Dear Lord

Take my hand

Lead me on

Give me courage to open these doors you’ve given me to do.

Help these women with children

You gave me this shelter of light to be a guide to those that are lost.

Except I need your help to run this place.

I got no children to help me run this place or children to live this Legacy to.

Buildings run down

roof about to fall on us

Love is the glue that’s holding this place together.

 

Mama Grey         ( a voice outside the office door)

Mama Grey

Laud see what I’m talking about.

 

Mama Grey (Young ladies voice outside)

Mother Grey

we need your help

Chloe’s water broke

Daphne and Linda are fussing over house chores.

Continue reading “Mama Grey”

Aunt Toots Smile


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Hello everyone its been awhile. I’m back just like I promised and this time I’ve written a poem about my Aunt Toot who passed away this past February. She was a very remarkable woman who loved God, family, and life.  She loved life, and celebrated others. I hope that you enjoy this Poem. Let’s take a peek inside her life!

Aunt Toots Smile

It was Summer…….

She had white pants on with a beautiful black blouse. Her gold sandals played peek-a-boo under those white fancy pants.

I thought, when I grow up I want to be just like her. As she laughed and talked to Daisy my grandma, and Aunt Melba, her hair gently blew in the wind.

I can still smell her perfume just like it was yesterday.

Aunt Toots Smile

She was classy, sexy, and a sophisticated lady.

She wore red nail polish on her fingers and toenails. I wondered, how long did it take her to look that beautiful.

I wanted to paint my nails red too, but I was just a little girl in pig tails.

As she talked, she raise her hands and diamonds danced on every finger.

Aunt Toots Smile


She never spoke very loud. Her gentle Spirit spoke for her.

Her smile brightened my day, and her wisdom drew broken and lost souls to her bosom.

She treated everyone with love and kindness.

She wasn’t one for gossip or silly chatter.

She’d give you a look, and you knew to hush up that crazy talking.

She didn’t care what you thought about her cause she was going to be herself.

Behind her smile she saw hardships and pain.

But she keep on smiling.

She captivated my heart like a single red rose standing tall and proud.

Aunt Toots Smile

Some wondered, “What her secret was?” They say,” Why she smiling?”

I believe that she saw heaven. She wasn’t afraid to love others unconditionally.

Aunt Toots Smile

Take Your Sisterhood Deeper


Sisterhood is stong Sisters be kind and respect one another.
Sisterhood is strong
Sisters be kind and respect one another.

There’s something special about true sisterhood-the kind where women share secrets, excited to see one another, and lifting up each other through dark times.  Sure women fall out from time to time, but nothing is more powerful than sisterhood. Sisterhood isn’t only for biological sisters, because your sister is your next door neighbor, best friend, co-worker, etc.

Listening to each others dreams, disappointments, and issues will enhance your sisterhood.

When is the last time you had a heart to heart talk with your BF, and she didn’t judge you?  Did she listen to you, or just talk about herself?  Are you always there for her, and she’s never there for you?  Maybe, she’s there for you and you’re not there for her.  Ladies it takes practice listening to conflict.  When you’re tired, and going through personal issues, it’s hard listening to someone else. But a True Sister Makes Time!

While you’re talking about your day, if your BF is quiet don’t think that she doesn’t have something to say.

I have a friend that I’ve known for several years, and every time we get together she talks about herself.  She’s been like this for years.  I feel, that she’s self-absorbed, and drama finds her.  Usually, I sit waiting to speak, but it’s hard getting anything in.  Sometimes, I ask,”Can I say something?”  She’ll say, “Oh my bad girl-Go ahead!”  Just as I open my mouth to speak she starts talking again.

In later years, I’ve learned to checkout of the conversation by daydreaming or playing on my phone.  If we’re talking on the phone, I’ll put the phone on speaker and do something around the house.  She never notices that I’ve put the phone on speaker.  I know, that’s wrong to walk away or daydream, but I’m tired of asking, “Can I say something?”

TELL THE TRUTH

When I told her how I felt, she apologized and said, “My bad…..I needed to talk to you!”  I told her that I understand, and that I want to hear what she has to say.  But I’m feeling that  she doesn’t value our friendship.  She felt terrible about this, but still didn’t change.  Ladies listen to your BF, and learn to appreciate each other.  You both can take turns talking.  A conversation is active and everyone can share.

Sisterhood is Strong. Ladies be kind and respect one another.

Gumballs, Lemon-heads, and Snickers


20140111-172421.jpgI know that its been awhile since we last talked.  As my website title reads, “Janiese Reveals His Heart,” I can’t share His heart if there isn’t a word to utter.  I want to write God’s truth according to His word and not my philosophies or ideologies.

There’s a lot of blogs written with worldly wit and not enough of Godly wisdom.  For those of you who are reading my posts for the first time, I’d like for you to go back to the beginning of my series, “Am I My Sister’s Keeper?”  Today’s post is a continuation.  Thank you.

Gumballs

I am the oldest of nine, and I have four sisters and four brothers whom I love very much.  The sister that comes behind me in birthing order is my best friend. As children growing up we shared a bedroom, gumballs, lemon-heads and snicker bars.  We fought over socks and underwear too!  We played Barbie dolls for hours, and we talked about getting married and having children.

Last week, we had a family meeting and my sister blurts out,”I don’t understand why we’re not close.  We were close growing up…what happened to us? OMG! It hurt me to the core. WAIT! I’m getting ahead of myself. When my sister was five and I was nine she’d grab gum off of the ground, and eat it.  It didn’t matter if someone had it in their mouth. Often I yelled, “Please spit that out…that’s nasty!” Sometimes, she’d walk in our neighbor’s yard and fall into their Cactus plant.

Usually, she’d cry and I fuss while removing the sharp pieces of the plant from her skin.  The more I told her to stay out of the neighbor’s yard, the more she played in their yard.  My job was to keep her safe and protect her from danger.

Lemon-heads

When I went off to college at 20, I left my best friend behind.  I didn’t think about how it affected her until last week.  At the time that I went off to school, she couldn’t distinguish between fantasy and real. My mother told me that she had Schizophrenia.  What is that, I thought.  I lost my friend between two different worlds.  When I came home for the Holidays, she wanted to play Barbie dolls.  I grew up, and started dating.  I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t listen to my college stories, or my crazy dates.

I Didn’t Think About Her Feelings…….

The lemon-heads that we shared in the summer became a lost memory for me,  I moved on.  In fact, I don’t think that I was nice to her back then.  I became very busy and made other friends. It’s amazing what people hold in their hearts against each other.

All of these years, I acted rude, and impatient because I felt guilty.  I wasn’t there for her.  I didn’t understand what she was going through.  When my sister asked me those questions, I started crying.  Then she began crying.

We spent an hour talking about our differences, and we both apologized to each other.  I would just say that God gave me a precious gift-Sisterhood.

 

Don’t wait arou…


Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.
-Alice Walker

Ladies it’s important to celebrate ourselves because if we don’t no one else will.  You are great, and don’t let anyone tell you anything different.  Don’t let a man define you, break you down, or take your self-worth.  Once your honor is gone it’s hard to come back.  I leave you with this last quote:

When you don’t know how beautiful you are You will always be in search of happiness.

_Ledisi

Chapter 3: EMPOWERED


There were signs something was wrong: the dirty looks, the grunts, the anger and the mumbles. But I never imagined that writing the words’ “Am I My Sister’s Keeper, ” on the board would send the ladies in a tailspin. In the previous post, “Learning to Say No,” a young woman attacked another young woman for giving her food stamps to her cousin. She couldn’t imagine herself being her sister’s keeper. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen among women.

It doesn’t matter how old they are, or what color they are many refuse to help each other. In fact, if they don’t see how helping is going to benefit them they don’t help. Now some of you may read this and think, “That isn’t true,” well I see this everyday. As I work with women from all walks of life, I’ve noticed that many women find it hard to say no to men and family. In fact, many of my clients stayed in an abusive relationship because they were afraid that the men would kill them or their children. Domestic abuse is a serious matter, and domestic victims are our friend’s, mother’s, sister’s, etc. Our goal at Sheffield Place is to empower women to succeed in life by giving them the necessary tools to survive.

TRUTH BE TOLD

Marisa, a beautiful young woman who I’m not going to reveal her real name feels that it’s easier to say no to other people except her boyfriend. She wants to feel loved, and doesn’t want him to leave her. She fears that he may stop talking to her altogether if she says, “no.” Her boyfriend sells drugs, and he’s been in jail twice. Last year, he took her rent money, and bought drugs. Then he brought the drugs home and offered her some, and she started smoking meth to please him.

The key point here is to empower women to make healthy choices. I believe, that God wants that for these women. It’s important to remember that women don’t have to stay in abusive relationships. Many of them love their men, but they need to love themselves more. Some women ignore their feelings because they don’t think they matter. In the movie, “The Color Purple,” Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey were standing out in a corn field and Whoopi says, “Trouble won’t last always…this life be over soon. Heaven last always.” Well, for most of my clients trouble lasted 15 years and more because they were afraid to say,”No.” Whoopi couldn’t empower Oprah because her husband abused her.

In conclusion, if we can get women to see how valuable they are then we can empower them. Women we need to learn that we are our,” sister’s keeper.” It’s important to remember that we teach what we learn to others. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. Many stay in broken relationships because mom-ma did the same. Ladies let’s empower our sister’s!

Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple.
Winfrey as Sofia in The Color Purple. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 1:Change One small Habit


This morning I woke up later than usual. Most mornings I wake up at 7:30, but today I woke up at 8:00. I need to get to work at 9:00, and I couldn’t believe, that I overslept. What’s wrong with me, I thought. I didn’t feel like being a Case Manager, making clients process, or seeing any of them today. Besides, I couldn’t think of anything to wear.

I became a Case Manager partly because I like helping people. Also, I figured that no one cares about the clothes I wear. But here I was at 8:05 wondering if I should wear blue eye-shadow or pink since my outfit had both colors. Deciding to wear pink at 8:30, I jumped in the car and headed toward I-70. As I changed lanes I played a positive confession tape and listened to these words, “Change comes from the inside of you.” I wondered, what I needed to change about myself.

My inspiration for this change in my life came through my office door at 10:00. As Trudy, my client yelled, “Hey, Ms. Janiese I need your help. Yesterday, I saw an old friend I did drugs with a year ago, and I felt tempted to do drugs again. See my mouth–no teeth. I lost all of my teeth doing drugs.” I asked Trudy, “If you could change one small habit what would it be?” She smiled, “I’d get me some new teeth, and get some backbone to say no.”

There’s a book called, The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, by investigative journalist and New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg. Duhigg points out that cues make the trigger unfold. The routine kicks in and a person could end up doing what they don’t want to do. Now he gave example about him going to the cafeteria everyday eating a cookie. Duhigg example is a walk in the park compared to what I see and hear.
Even though my clients are homeless, ex drug addicts, ex prostitutes, etc. I enjoyed this book. Duhigg feels that new habits can become “keystones.” I agree with him, but it’s hard teaching my clients how to develop new habits when all they know are bad habits. If I took a poll my clients would say that they did drugs because it was taught or given to them at an early age. They repeated it over and over again until they were hooked. How can we change one small habit?

In trying to change my habit of being late, I’ve had to set my alarm two hours early so that I can arrive to work on time. I’ve known for years that my staying up late at night would finally catch up with me-resulted in me being late all of the time. Duhigg says its a struggle between reward and reason. I’m going to say that sin is a very nasty habit that develops in our life, and its hard to get rid of. At my job, we teach our women how to deal with stress, anxiety, loss and grief. Many of them attend groups, see a therapist and a case manager on a daily basis.

Many of us have bad habits, and its easy to look down on others that are different than we are. In fact, we may compare our habits with someone else and say, “I’m glad I don’t do what they do.” But the fact of the matter is everyone has a habit whether good or bad-we all have something. Many of our bad habits come from not being informed as a result of us doing what we feel is right. Just because it feels good it doesn’t make it right. I told my client Trudy that change comes when she realizes that she isn’t perfect, and when she learns to know herself. Meaning she needs to recognize her triggers when they come, and break the cycle. In other words, resist the temptation. The Bible tells us to, “Submit ourselves to God. Resist the devil and he shall flee.” Due to the fact, that I don’t work at a Christian organization I can’t speak about God not unless the client opens the door.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (Photo credit: bubbletea1)

God Is For Us


I know, that it’s been awhile since we last talked.  I apologize for that.  Here’s a brief update of what God is doing in me. God has blessed me with favor on my job.  This past February, I received a promotion as Outpatient Case Manager at a women’s shelter. It’s amazing. I’m working with women and their children everyday.  I haven’t walked in their shoes, but they’re teaching me that determination is the key.  Well, I must brag on God for a minute.  Wait a minute….let me get my praise on. (laugh)

When God blesses us, he does well.  He doesn’t half do anything.  In the past few months, I’ve shared Psalms 91.  I’ve shared a few testimonies about God’s protection and why we should partner with him.  In God, there’s a secret place. A place of rest and assurance that he’ll take care of us.

Today God is allowing me to conclude this series with a word of encouragement. Many of you heard about the Boston blasts. No one can find who did it. The media is saying that the injuries are like war wounds.  USA Today shows a women kneeling in prayer after the first explosion. This is what everyone needs to do. PRAY!!

People, this is enough to cause fear and panic.  President Obama stated, “We’ll get down to the bottom of this.” We can’t do anything without the Lord.  Satan crept in unaware and no one saw him. God allowed this to happen. He’s trying to get our attention.  America was  celebrating. It took us by surprise…nobody expected this to happen.  What’s my point?  America needs to pray like never before. I believe, that God is trying to get our attention.

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god (Photo credit: the|G|™)

In your spare time please follow the link above and share this with others. It will bless you and give you hope.

An Encouraging Word

The Lord is our shelter in the time of the storm, bombs, war, death, and famine, etc.

Ps.91 reminds us, that we don’t have to fear, or worry because “God is for us!”

Verse 9-12 is a promise from God that clearly states, “If we make him our refuge,  our God and shelter no evil will conquer us. No plague will come nigh our dwelling. God assigns angels to protect us and keep us safe.  Will you pray today? Will you trust God?

Arrow of Darkness


“Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day.”
~Psalms 91:5

Did you know that terror, arrows, pestilence, and destruction came from satan?  However, God can deliver us from them all. Satan aims his deadly arrow at the hearts of God’s people to destroy us. But the Bible reminds us that, “it will not destroy the righteous.” Ps.11:2. God sees and knows all things. He will protect us from the cunning hatred of men, heresies, and temptations. Although satans shoots his arrow, it will not destroy us. That’s why it’s important to say to the Lord, “You are my refuge and fortress. I trust in you Lord.” Ps. 91: 2

Years ago, my grandmother sang a song called, “I shall not be Moved.” Read these words,

I shall not
I shall not be moved
Just like a tree thats planted by the water
I shall not be moved.

As christians, I encourage you to trust in God. Whatever comes your way please know that your life is in the hands of God.   You’re probably wondering, why am I talking this way?  I’ve seen how satan comes after the saints of God to destroy our purpose and destiny.   Several years ago, I taught preschool in a rural area of Mississippi. As lead teacher, I had a teacher’s assistant who worked closely in the classroom.  Everytime, I asked her to help control the children, write Lesson plans, or teach, she’d ignore me.  This wasn’t a one time event.  Actually, this happened everyday for a year.  Finally, I decided to ask her if I’d offended her, and to my surprise she asked, “What do you mean by this? I don’t want to talk to you.” She stomped out of the room, and she didn’t come back until an hour later.  Have you noticed how some people can really get under your skin?

I tried talking to the Principal, but she felt that I wasn’t listening to my co-worker.  For the whole school year,  the other teacher’s laughed at me, and mocked me.  One day my co-worker decided to talk to me, and in a southern drawl she explained, “Wesley you’re not from here, and you talk different. You got my job! I’m supposed to have that job, but I ain’t got my degree yet!”

I thought, “Finally she speaks, but I wasn’t prepared for this!”  This was crazy, so I asked, “Is this why you treat me this way? Why didn’t they give my job to you instead of hiring me?”  I had never had this happen to me before.

Then the next thing she said took my breath away and not in a good way.  Her voice grew louder, and her eyes grew dark, dark.  Then she said,  “…..there you go again asking questions.  What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you let things be?”

Then the conversation went sour.  Instead of me praying, I told her what I thought about her and Mississippi.  In otherwords, I told her where to stick it (If you know what I mean). Now, I didn’t use profanity, but I said enough.  Let’s just say that we had an understanding.  Guess what? The rest of the year went downhill.     At the end of the year, the Principal gave me a horrible evaluation, and she told me that she gave my job to my Co-worker.  She didn’t fire me, but she demoted me!  I wondered, “On what grounds?”  She informed me that I wasn’t from Mississippi,  and my teaching style wasn’t what she needed.

Wow!  That arrow was sharp and it literally destroyed my feelings.  Satan came after my character.  God, however, reminded me that, “I wasn’t fighting against people, but against evil forces.” (Ephesians 6:12)  Did I mention that, “arrows of darkness,” can mean several things?”  At the beginning, I said that, God will protect us from cuning hatred, heresies, and temptations.  The amazing thing about God is that He helps us even if we are stubborn.  In my situation, I allowed my flesh to take control.  I believe, if I prayed sooner God would’ve protected me from embarrassment.  I failed to trust God and stand on Faith.  Remember if we’re walking with God, He will protect us from public scandals, calamity and destruction.

Some of you are asking, “Will God protect us from natural disaster, polluted water, contaminated food, germ warfaare and chemical warfare?”  Yes the Bible tells us in , Mark 16: 17-18 that, “These signs will accompany those who believed….if they drink any deadly poison it will not them.”

god
god (Photo credit: the|G|™)