My Memories

My family and I laid my grandmother to rest today. She was a loving woman who took no mess. Her love was tough, but effective and geniune. I’m going to miss her laughter, smile and wit. Below is the poem I wrote and recited at her funeral.  I love you grandma.

God,

Please take care of my grandmother
For she is quite the lady,
She gave us so much joy and wisdom
And we’re going to miss her like crazy.

In my younger days
I remember us sharing many meals,
My favorite was Popeye’s Chicken
And oh how those biscuits sealed the deal.

I remember riding in the back seat
Of my mom’s car when she took Granny to work,
I would listen as she shared wisdom
As she walked away, the sashay of her skirt.

You see Daddy God
She understood family and wanted to leave a legacy,
That’s why when my cousins and I would argue
She’d make us hug and kiss on the cheek.

She introduced us to You
So we would not experience that eternal scorch,
She unapologetically signed us up
To participate in all the programs at church.

I called once to check in
It was sometime midday to be exact,
We exchanged pleasantries
And then she said she was driving her cadillac.

Knowing Granny didn’t drive
I wanted to confirm what she had said,
She laughed at my line of questioning
For the cadillac was indeed her electric wheelchair instead.

Another fond memory I have
Is one where I escaped with pure luck,
When she would call while my mom was sleep
She’d say, “I don’t care, wake her up!”

God, as you can see we have great memories
And would have been grateful for more in store,
But we know Your will is greater than ours
And we understand You love and needed her more.

As we prepare to say, “See you later”
Please share with her this piece,
We love you Retha Mae Knowlin
And we are happy you found peace.

So, to my family and friends
There is one last thing I want to implore,
Know that when you whisper “l love you”
Imagine her gentle chuckle, her smile, and her saying, “No, I love you more.”

Protect Your Value

Regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or you’re single, it’s important to know and protect your value. The catch is that you can’t protect what you do not know and what you do not understand. Therefore, I admonish you to take some time out of your busy schedule to find out who you are. And please, don’t limit yourself to the roles you play (i.e. mother, sister, friend, CEO, writer, artist).

Who are you? What is it that you bring to the table? What are your strengths? What are you capable of doing that someone else cannot? Let me help you – I am giving, compassionate, loyal, analytical, and future focused, to name a few. Do you get the point? I am a great mother because I am giving and I believe my child should have before my needs are met. I serve my husband and remove all distractions or temptations that draw me away from him because I am loyal to him and our marriage. It is who I am that makes me effective in the roles I play.

Once you discover this, protect it. If you have lived, chances are you’ve had a number of circumstances and situations try to make you forfeit who you are and push you into being something and someone you are not. My sister, LIFE is happening or has happened to you and I need you to know that you are not alone. I am not going to say that navigating life is easy, because it is not. And if anyone tells you it is… just don’t listen to them J.

It is permitted for you to act out of character every once in a while, especially if circumstances call for it. However, under no circumstance should you get stuck. I am typically not an emotional person, but every so often, life happens to me and I just have to cry, holler and distance myself from people. I am learning that the enemy wants to shut me up by shutting me down. Could it be he’s doing the same to you? As long as he can keep our emotions tangled up in worry, confusion, doubt and resentment, we can’t be effective in our relationships, our ministry, our vision (literally, spiritually and emotionally) will be skewed, resentment will set in and we’ll be permanently casted for a role we did not consciously sign up for.

It’s OK to have a “moment”, but don’t let the moment have you. You are stronger than this! The world needs what you have to offer. So from sister to sister, please know that you are not alone and there are other women who have experienced what you have. Allow your circumstances to qualify you for the assignment God has placed before you. Protect your faith and protect your value.

Marriage is Work

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Let it be real
Let it be true,
Lord may our love be pleasing unto You.

For You have sprinkled us with sacrifice
Dabbed us with faith,
You even doused us with long-suffering
So that You can get the glory everyday.

As we come before Your table
To partake of your grace,
We pray for Your direction
And on tough days your warm embrace.

Marriage isn’t all sunshine
For days will be good, bad and worse,
We pray our strength will last
For we know it takes much work.

Our Father, who art in heaven
Hollowed be your name,
We pray Your presence will rest
In our marriage as we maintain.

Thank You for being our rock
Thank You for being our shield,
Thank You for your ability
To come and help us build.

Let it be real
Let it be true
Lord may our love be pleasing unto You.