Absence

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call me because you can’t live without me
call me because you love me
call me because you’ve decided to cherish me unconditionally
call me because you appreciate me
call me because I’m your “one and only”
call me because you’re lonely
call me because I’m the best
call me because without me you can’t rest
call me because I’m sexy, responsible,  loyal,  and I make you feel safe and free
call me because I make you happy
call me because your adoration for me is why you’re over her
not the fact that her adoration for him is why she’s over you
call me because I decode your messages
and decipher your texts like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics
call me because you want to be on a winning team
call me because my voice soothes you like a dry epidermis submerged in an oatmeal bath
call me because my aura heals you like vitamin e oil on scarred skin
call me because when you feel down I take my manicured fingers and lift your chin
call me because …
because…

-SMN

Good Morning

I’ve never been big on New Years resolutions.  They always seemed counterproductive. People would make them and then break them so quickly. However, I’ve noticed that some of the most successful people (or at least more positive people) are individuals who set goals for themselves.  We live in an age of motivational speakers and affirmation creators.  Social media, bookshelves, and infomercials are flooded with people who claim they can “fix” you.

I’ve had a difficult 2013 and I’m sure I’m not alone.  What happens if what doesn’t “make you stronger” kills your spirit?

I had dinner at my favorite restaurant with my mentor on Sunday.  We laughed and she was excited to see my 6 month old (yes I’m one of those parents who bring kids to restaurants!) We talked about ministry, evangelism, and motivation.  She was glad I was skating by at work, still singing in choir, and squeezing in time to write.  The compliments and praise were pouring in so I was a little stunned when she said :

“So what’s stopping you from really taking it to the next level?  Make your book a reality.  Establish yourself as a writer.  You were published when you were 10! Don’t you want to be more recognized by now?  You qualify for the recognition but do you deserve it?  You want more money at work but do you get there ontime?  Do you dress professionally DAILY? What sets you apart?”

As I picked my ego off the floor, she continued to talk to me about commitment.  She talked about being busy with the Creators work and less self involved.  She said to think about the people who need a word or a push and not to take my blessings for granted. 

Then she challenged me.  It was time to make a pact with the Father and with myself.  She said she practices fasting from time to time, meditation, no devices for a few hours to remove the voices of others so she can hear the answers to her questions.  She tithes regularly to put her money in His “storehouse” and let him decide how to allocate her treasures. 

I’ve been thinking all week about the disciplined commitment that’s right for me…

I LOVE sleep.  I work hard and I look forward to a soft pillow and a warm comforter at the end of the day.  I got lucky because our infant loves sleep just as much as I do.  In fact, right now my typing is interrupting her beauty rest and pissing her off. 
I’ve decided that no matter how late I go to bed due to work schedule, family obligations, etc…
I’m still going to rise at 8am everyday. No excuses.  No rushing. No dodging speeding tickets.  More time for writing. More quality time.  More time for prayer and reflection. 

Its time to take it to the next level.

What commitment do you need to make?

-SMN

(Breathe)

It happens in every film.  It happens in every piece of literature.  It’s that moment when your back is against the wall.  You don’t know what else to do. You’re frozen and you can’t even breathe. 
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You’re exhausted. There is barren land where hope used to grow.  Home is a faraway place that only exists in your memory. Maybe money is keeping you captive (or lack thereof.) Maybe someone is chasing you.
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You had a plan. You executed it to the best of your ability. There was cause and effect. Desire fuels you. You stand there at the end of the line. You fought, you ran, but you have been cornered. There is nothing left to do.

No proverbial bullets left in the chamber…

You take a deep breath…

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…and you say, “Here goes nothing!”

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You take a chance at landing on your feet.  You take a “leap of faith” and all the while you are still holding your breath.  You have no idea what the outcome will be but you know what proceeded this trial.  You know you can fail.  You know this can be fatal.  What choice did you have? Fight or flight right? Some don’t understand your decision. Some don’t understand your loyalty. Some don’t understand your commitment or lack thereof. 

What happens if you stand and fight? What happens if you win? What happens if you claim your prize now? Do you deserve it? Did you earn it? Did you really do your best? Did you sacrifice? If it doesn’t “make you stronger” and it kills you, what will your legacy be? Do the people you love feel loved?

Are your feet bleeding from running, jumping, hiding? Are your legs sore? What if you stood in a fighting stance, left lead, fast jab and pursued your predators diligently?

Do you know?

Why don’t you find out?

(Breathe)

Ready? Set. Stand. Fight.

-SMN