Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturdays with my Dad

Ahhh ... Saturday. I love to wake up on Saturday Mornings before everyone else and just spend time with my Dad. Its my favorite thing to do. I'm trying to be more disciplined in getting that one on one with him during the week as well. My schedule is such that I squeeze in my study of the word in the mornings and afternoons on the train. I'm always talking to dad but there is something about isolating myself from sound and distraction and traffic and work and all of the things that make life so vibrant. Certainly, I can marvel at the sway of the trees in the wind, and brightness of the sun and the glory of each day. I like to take the time to smell the roses. But even more, time a way with the Lord is time well spent. I'm always so invigorated by the time that I get to spend with him,my Dad.

I am also training myself to call him Dad more than I call Him God because I think He likes it. (smile). When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, He told them to pray to their "Father". Its a small change that makes a huge impact. It seems that the slightest adjustments make the biggest changes. In the beginning, I found it hard to call him Dad. I thought that I was being disrespectful. Then I found myself weeping, that I hadn't ever saw myself as a true child of god. That I saw myself as mere peasant at his feet hoping to receive whatever blessings fell on me. Over time it has become so much easier for me to see Him as a dad who loves me no matter what. And knowing this incredible love inspires me to be a better daughter. I don't take for granted the love that has been given to me, but I make it a priority to not forget about my dad.
Thanks Dad. I love you and I appreciate you.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ask ... What do you want?

I have been at a crossroads. And the only consolation that I have is a promise. A promise that I cannot let go of; and further more will not let go of me. I must say that I have been walking along this winding road to perdition since 1995, a mere thirteen years. And along this road, I have noticed a trend. Whenever I get to a place where I have to make the grueling and faithful decision to either turn left or right, I am met with great difficulty. The difficulty isn't in whether or not left is better than right. The difficulty is much more complex because left and right are not decidedly wrong or right, but better or best. And the choice to choose is determined by whether or not I am willing to go the distance for what is better.

What is best is good. Its a shorter walk, less foliage with sporadic trails of water bottles and edible seeds, plants and berries. Its a comfortable, slightly warm yet breezy trot along a sandy path. The better route is promising. It is a hopeless dangle of vines, weeds and thorns, random beast and desert plain. There are no adventurers past or those left behind to encourage you along the way. Only a dark, lonely shoot until you get to Eden. The promised land. An until death do you part, marriage of faith and diligence.

I have lacked strength in areas of faith. At times compromising my belief to dote on the unfairness of life. Questioning the soundness of faithful exercise. Lifting my arms in total surrender weakened by my own passions. I've left myself alone and thought about the reasons why I've chosen to go the long and narrow route. Time after time, met with this decision, knowing its penalty. To the benefit of knowledge, I would I have to say that Christ, alone,for has done more me than I have done for him. Although, I have begged to differ with him at these crossroads. I have always returned to the same truth. He saved me. When I was a little girl and confused and torn and raped ... He saved me. He healed me. He treasured me as His own. And though I cannot touch Him, I feel Him always. And though I can not look him in His eyes and wonder at His mystery. I know him. I know Him as friend, and savior and confident. I know Him. He saved me.

So I turn Him in these moments, when I am met with decision. And I simply ask, what do you want? Faithfully, He responds, " I want what the very best for you. Not just what is good, but what is perfect. Choose what is better."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

ABC's - A Patient Reminder to Faith & Love

Cry Freedom …

My soul weeps. Hear me if you can.

When I last wrote, I left spontaneously and I had planned to write later on the same day. I felt like the theme was weighty and I wanted to be focused and not distracted by work.

I want to write for a moment on the subject of sin. To some degree I feel like I have the Herculean task of speaking a message to believers and non-believers alike; and with regard to both I feel compassion. For the believer who struggles to have a pure view of Christ in the face of many obstacles, not because you have determined to reject God but purely because you have done the exact opposite in receiving Him as Lord of your life. On the other hand there are people who deny the power of God because they don’t have a right perception of Him. To both, however, the subject of sin does apply.

As I was meditating earlier this week, I thought about my own personal struggles with sin, as both a believer and a deceiver. To most people, and not to toot my own horn, I am “just precious”. No one could imagine “Natrietia” having an impure, unholy, mean spirited thought at anytime or any place of life. But I have fought throughout my Christian life to dispose this untruth. And for the first time in the history of “The Lady’s Rage” myspace page … I am going to say loud and very clearly …

“I suck. I struggle. I make mistakes. I made a mistake this week. I yell. I get angry. I feel pain. I hurt. I think sometimes that I don’t wan to do this faith thing anymore. I cry.”

In fact, today this morning as I am writing, my daughter, Ari El, wants my attention and I have to stop and listen to her recite her ABC’s for the umpteenth time. My baby, Chloe, woke up unusually early and has postponed my prayer time this morning. Both of these things, slightly irritate me because I am so focused on “doing” what I feel needs to be done in the moment that I am doing it. Hearing ABC’s for the millionth time and a sleepy child who refuses to go back to sleep, when you are trying to focus your attention on an important thing, is frustrating. Not the “nicest” thing to say but notice, though that I didn’t say, It was MORE important.

I have learned and am continuing to learn to be a better mother. Not one who selfishly pursues her own righteousness by works but one who can take time out from ambition, to say “Hey, Baby let me hear you ABC’s.” Let me affirm you. Let me bring you some comfort. Let me rock you back to sleep. This is love. And Love is what I am after.

I mentioned previously, my uncomfortably with writing about the obvious repercussions to a life of sin. Obviously, no one wants or likes to point fingers and honestly, that is not my job. My job here is not to say, “Liar, liar pants on fire!” My occupation is to impart faith to you, so that you will believe that Christ has already paid the price for whatever sins that you deal with. If its lust? If it’s lying? If it’s stealing? If it’s hating? If it’s bickering? Christ died so that you could live.

According to the Law of Moses (aka “The Thou Shalt Nots”) if you did it you die, you cannot have communion with God. The only way out of it is to bring a sacrifice. In the case of you and I, Christ is “that” sacrifice. He died once and for all. He doesn’t have to die repeatedly for sin. He doesn’t have to come to your house, knock on your door and say, “Hi, I’m J.C. I’m selling forgiveness, want some?” Sin is done with, the price has been paid.

The problem with our culture is salvation is treated like an exclusive right. Only the “good people” get in. If you are a sinner then, in text messaging terms you are (S.O.L) and if you don’t know what that means then, n/m. (LOL).

Salvation isn’t exclusive to the elite. Salvation isn’t a member’s only club. In fact the parable that Jesus gave to his disciples was this:

“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guest. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited,”Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses… The servant came back and reported this to his master … then the owner of the house … ordered his servant “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” Luke 14: 16-18, 21

In invitation has been made, you need only come. When He calls you, answer, accept the invitation. You don’t have to be perfect; you don’t have to own a house and two luxury cars. You don’t have to be a virgin. You don’t have to know how to budget your checkbook. You don’t have to wear a dress. You just need to believe. Believe in the awesomeness of the Lord. The greatness of His love for you. Believe that you are worthy, by God’s choosing, to receive the gift of eternal life.

My soul cries out. I’m weeping for change. Not because I have done something so horrible that I need forgiveness. But I am crying out to the Lost and to those who because of their sin believe that they can have no communion with God.

As it relates to the series of writings about The Nobility of Righteousness – I though tit integral to the conversation to address sin. Because sin is no longer the issue. Christ already took care of that. The issue is a matter of perception. Do you think you’re evil? Are you convinced that you have fallen from grace? Do you believe that you are condemned because you made a mistake?

Hebrews 5:13-14 “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

Salvation is the milk. Righteousness is the meat.

The power and the ability to resist temptation and sin in your life are by faith. You can believe something about yourself and begin to manifest it by entertaining those thoughts. If what you perceive about yourself is negative and you meditate in the negativity long enough, it will lead to sin. If what you believe about yourself is positive, meditate in it. As Phil 4: 8, expresses, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

Let me pray for you:

Lord, I pray that you would give peace to my friends. Help them in the areas of their lives where the struggle the most. Teach them about your love and show them that you care. Don’t let them think badly about themselves. But help them to see that they are worthy, by grace, to receive the very best that you have for them. Don’t let them settle for anything less than the very best. I know you Lord and you are good. There is no love like your love. And I just want my friends to know that you can help them. Jesus died for our sins and we can’t save ourselves. Save us Lord. Help us Lord. And we are saved. Thank you Lord for all of your goodness. I know that you have changed our lives today.


In closing, I just want to share that though I have struggled to mature in certain areas of my life, I am in no way despondent. I know that God’s grace and love is sufficient to save me. Even when I “feel” like the challenges are too great for me and I just want to throw in my towel. I am convinced that the Lord loves me and will help me. The Lord has never failed me and I know that He never will. The challenges that I face exist only to make me stronger. If I keep in step with the Spirit of the Lord and do not deny his invitation to experience closer relationship, I know that I will only get stronger and better. I’m saved today not because I’m perfect or better or a more moral person than anyone else. I am saved today because of Jesus Christ. And whatever good that you see in me, know that its Christ who stands out in me.

I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Xoxo, Natrietia

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Space Page

I'm on MYspace. Check me out at Thanks for the support & prayers.

Silence of the Lambs (Part 1)

Is there anyone who loves God?
Is there anyone who appreciates His wonder?
Dissatisfied with common weakness and bewildered by the soul’s desire for sin …I imagine His Highness and Honor
I ponder, this power, to care especially for one so intimately acquitted with
Every vile thing
Having slept with my own flesh, knowing my own body’s lust for men,
To be one with them and worthed by them.
I imagine His Honor and His helpful taste for them
To what do we owe for His love … His perfect, matchless, unashamed, without condition love?
Crafting us in his image and likeness
Without repentance, He named us his sons, giving us
A will, desire, thought, perception and faith …
To which we threw away to neglect
And forsake … to judge for ourselves a better way
Debased, afraid not to fear, insanely jealous for gifts and trophy
Proud and arrogantly wise in the mechanics of opinion, greedy for lust
Breathless and without power … we shake but do not quiver at the sight of Him, comparing ourselves to majesty, we lift up our idols that sing and perform for us their magic … empty and glued to the tube, a lifeless, lightless void …
Incomprehensible is His depth
Unimaginable is His worth … vulnerable He s not
Needy of approval He is not
And with open hands He gives without fear. His love perfect and unshaken
As we masquerade, pretending to know what we do not know …
Giving names and locations to what we did not create …
We hide ourselves in what we do, evading, we hope the Presence
Lacking knowledge of His omnipotence
We cover our selves, for this we hope will hide our shame
Our naked selves, true from birth, a slow depiction of the deteriorated state
The moment we ate and began to imitate the likeness of wisdom outside of grace
We became illegitimate, no longer children
But slaves, to the will, of our nature uninhabitated by the Holy Spirit, who makes even
Our flesh enemy decides to will good and right and true and pure things …
Unmoved, having no compassion for ourselves,
We seek what cannot heal,
Cannot protect,
Cannot save us
Watchful eye
Rest on the meek
That we may inherit the earth
And bring to birth our sons
If we speak
If we say what we heard from the beginning …
The word
Is Life

I wrote this poem out of a desire to create a reverence for God in the hearts of men. In my own heart, a desire to love compassionately and unconditionally, has been formed; not that I have perfectly attained to this great feat. But I hope to continuously test the limitlessness of God love in my own life.It is so important that we be conscience of His existence, His ever presence and His ability, if He wills to return today, to harvest those of us whose hearts are inclined to him. I hope that this expression will draw some out of the wilderness of hopelessness into the comforts of right standing with God. It moves me to know that even in the greatness of God, though He need no man’s approval or praise, he chooses to have communion with us. There truly is nothing like being alone in His Presence. Surely, there is no peace like Him.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rain Dance

My husband took our children to the park a weekend or two ago. It was so HOT! Like 112 degrees HOT. Anyway, he told my son, "Hey, son its hot outside. Are you sure that you want to go the park?" (OMG this sounds like one those viral Anyway, as the story goes, my son replied, "Dad its not hot outside. It's cool."

Scripture says, "We must be like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven." What is the kingdom of heaven? Jesus said, "it's neither here nor there." Its not a place that you can point to but a state of mind. For a child climate makes little difference, if there is fun to be had, they have it. If there is life to live they live it. They don't see obstacles, they see that great big jungle gym of fun.

I said to the Lord, "The other night, I just want to be a little girl again." And I meant it. I just want to be so simple minded that the cares of this life get brushed off of my shoulders. When I see rain I want to be like a child and dance around in it.

I decided today, that life is too short to seat around complaining. So what if I made a mistake. so what if I had a bad day yesterday! I am going to have a good day to today. My husband said something to me & our son, that was very poignant. He said, "When you change, the world around you will change."

Are you ready to change? Me too. Let's dance!!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sometimes are Special ...

Last night, I was washing the dishes wishing that I had someone to talk to and I thought of my BFF, who just so happens to be preggers. I'm so excited for her and her family. She and her husband are expecting their 2nd child, a little girl, they are naming Grace. I had called her earlier in the day hoping to reach her but I got her voicemail. I didn't want to call her again. So I decided to talk to the Lord. I had been avoiding that conversation because I didn't want to get all weepy eyed and tearful. I don't think that I have allowed myself to hit my breaking point. I've been dancing around the idea of change and wanting it badly but not really committing myself to making the moves necessary to see those changes come to fruition in my life.

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I feel like I've been climbing this insurmountable, jagged death trap for about 10 years. There have been peaks and valleys, dry places and stormy roads along the way, but I've kept my eyes on reaching the top. The top! I see it. There it is. Yes! Yes! I'm jumping, I'm laughing ! I'm shouting waving my hands . I look to my left and I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirage ... I realize that I've climbed the wrong mountain. This isn't where I'm supposed to be. Heck! I'm supposed to be over there. That mountain. Not this stupid, big hunk of crap! I climbed 10 years to get here! You mean I have to climb all the way down and around this and up that equally as large, jagged, insurmountable, hideous monstrosity over there.
Do you see? Do you see why I'm loosing focus here? (Smile) Ah, just rants. Just rants I tell you. I'll make it yet. I'll climb it yet. I will. I have to.

Monday, July 07, 2008

An Ignoble Confession (Cont. from Love is a Lion)

So, I was a blundering idiot on my last post. (Smile.) I couldn't quite get what I was trying to say out. I have this terrible feeling inside that I have been going about things the wrong way. Somehow along the way, I lost sight of what really matters. For me the loss of compassion & love is worse than death. I have always esteemed myself as being pretty balanced and kind and incredibly sincere. Toot, toot. But I realized something while going through that trial ... when I uttered those shameful words, "I can't do this anymore." I realized that I was selfish. That I had become a "me" person. What about ME? What about MY feelings? What about MY dreams? What about what "I" want? Poor wittle me was my anthem and rage. I wanted MY esteem. MY own will and MY own set of do's and do not's. I wanted ME to be happy doing want I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it and how I wanted it done. Reminds me of a little song I used to sing, "Me, myself and I are quite a trio. Me, myself and I are good amigos!" I have visited MEland and it gets pretty lonely. In my sheltered little hut and my me-so-sad-and-alone blues song, I realized this humbling "truth", I'm perishing if I do nothing ... I'm dead if all I care about is myself. I'm dead. I might as well bury my head in the sand and take my last breath. Forget about whatever dreams I have ... They mean nothing if they help no one. If I'm not helping than what the heck am I doing.
I've been thinking about life's purpose. Certainly, it can't be about cars and houses and places to see. Those things are nice, but heck there are too many cars on the road, houses that aren't homes and places all over the world devoid of peace. So I took a step further and I thought about Christ. Like, what did he die for? What was the purpose for his existence. Let us just imagine for a moment that he wasn't "messiah". That he was just some ordinary guy , with ordinary problems and ordinary ways. Would the world have changed because of him? Perhaps, then with a little compassion we might weep at his death, whether he was raised from the dead or not, here was a man, that most people agree was an agreeable guy, who was martyred by his peers. Could we then feel sorry for the guy, shed a tear maybe? On the flip side, if we acknowledge the person of Christ, who dies for the sins of the world, we have to address an ignoble series of questions ... Are we perishing? Are we avoiding the most obvious questions in life because a small part of us knows that we are all guilty and we like most are trying to ignore the elephant in the room? There is a commonality that we all have, that goes beyond race, color, creed, pedigree, sex and religion ... ALL have sinned ... ALL have fallen short ... we easily, almost, matter of factly mutter, "Nobody's perfect" to ourselves and counterparts. But then we never acknowledge our human desire for perfection. Our longing for godlikeness is obvious, we deify our intellect, our philosophy, our pop stars, our luxury cars, our bodies, our countries, our politics, our opinions, our Jimmy Choos, our SUVs, our Green earth, our art .. and we say , "This is perfection. This is greatness. This is noble. This is without fault. And god damn anyone who thinks otherwise." I am growing tired of this grossly sensational world we live in ... I have had my senses overloaded with images that condone everything from greed to sexism. And I'm just tired of it all. So much so that I sometimes which I could just disappear to an island all by MYself ...and then I realize this too is pride. Am I perfect? I'm I without fault? OH, if only the world could get its self together, because "toot-toot" I have myself together. Yes, I am a work in progress. I'm striving ya'll ... to LOVE so much more.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Love is a Lion

Today is my daughter's 5th birthday. I remember the day that she was born. Her sweet presence was so fragrant and magnificent. Until this day, she continues to fragrance our lives with her love. Her name which means "Lioness of God, " is why I decided to title this entry, "Love is a Lion." I am very excited for her, who she is now and who she will be not many years from now. I am truly blessed. But there is a story behind the joy. There is a principle behind the peace. There is one thing that I have to laud above all the pre-packaged gifts, confetti, bells and whistles that go along with the celebration. You see, I am excited and prepared to celebrate and greet my baby with the biggest kiss and hug when I see her after work today. My eyes fill with water as I think of the precious gift she is. She is a reminder to me of God’s awesomeness and ability. Nothing truly matters more than love.
I would really like to take this time now to explain why I am so emotionally scattered. Let me take a moment to collect all of the random thoughts floating through my brain. Inhaling … Breathing out ... Okay. Over the weekend I said something to my husband that I never thought I had the ignorance to speak. Scripture says that, “Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps quiet.”
So, I opened my mouth and I said, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
And he said to me, “Okay, you need to be clear about what you are saying to me. Because if you are saying you don’t want to do this anymore, you are saying that you quit. You quit me. You quit our children.” Etcetera, etcetera. I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I just felt like I could no longer walk with him.
“I love you,” I said but “I just can’t do this anymore.”
“Don’t say you love me, he said, “because if you say you love me than you can’t say you can’t do this anymore in the same sentence.”
I wanted to share this because I think that most people have this idea in mind that a perfect marriage has no complications. That a perfect commitment is without challenges. And this, my friends, is simply untrue. If someone were to ask me what makes a good marriage. I would have to take my cues from the word of God, LOVE. Love is the key. Many of us are struck with images of hearts and chocolate covered strawberries, a glass of wine, a warm fireplace, tender kisses and lavish adventures with a charming person holding your hand as you walk a white sand beach. Many would be troubled if the image of love looked like passionate arguments, hot dogs and ramen noodles but sometimes love looks like a place that is completely devoid of comfort. That is what commitment is. It’s not being committed under pristine conditions. Love is commitment. Love never fails to believe. Love hopes against all hope. When hope is lost, love says, “I believe”.
To be continued …

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Change is Come!

Change is come!
There is a shift and our lives are dramatically changing because the Lord has set a time for us.
There is a word that that He seeded in us … that is ripe for bearing fruit. And that fruit is both spiritual and natural. Anointing, power, favor, love and satisfaction. The Lord is giving opportunity, ability, favor and provision. We have all that we need, nothing is missing or broken. The blessing is not cut short or defaulting. The covenant is at work. The word is working for us. The Lord has given wisdom. His grace is on us. We have what is needed ad we are operating in the Spirit of Christ. We see our efforts, faith, ability, provision multiplied.
Isaiah 60:1-3
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

Monday, May 12, 2008

Change (To be continued)

Granted it has been quite some time since I last published a post. Longer than I anticipated ... It was an unexpected, completely unforeseeable pause in the plan. But I'm back. This has been a very interesting first quarter. I will be turning 30 years old this month. And obviously this a pivotal age for me. But more noteworthy, is this sense that I feel of something big. Huge, in fact, is about to occur in my life. Some monumental change ... I don't know if its the election, the climate, the economy, fuel prices or what ...but I feel like this culture is crying out for change and I feel "it" breathing down my neck. When I wake up most mornings, I'm tired and don't really feel like going to work; but then I feel this expectancy of "something" just around the corner. And my eyes just kind of pop open anxious to see what might be. I've been in this place before in my life, around the time my husband and I began dating. I had prayed & hoped for so long concerning him & then one day out of the blue, there he was, and there we were and unashamedly so. I wasn't ashamed of the newness of the relationship, or my inexperience. I was just happy and excited to be engaged in something with someone that I knew was apart of a bigger picture. I had this sense that the marking of our lives was a part of a system changing. A system of doing things alone. A system of being alienated. I believed that we had formed something and that are union was a flicker of a greater destiny. I am reminded of something the Father shared with me some months ago. He opened my eyes to the scripture and I began to see the virtuous wife depicted in Proverbs as a model of the church. And so when I speak of a system changing it is in direct relationship to where I am right now in my walk, my husband and I. It's almost as if what I saw my future being, some 10 years ago, is my right now. My present situation has been marked, highlighted if you will, to indicate that I have arrived at a place in my walk , where its time for me to live in, settle in and make a home. a Literal, resting point. I believe that I am hearing the Lord right now, and so I am just flowing with Him as I write. Change is eminent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Still ...

"And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963

I believe in this wonderful dream. I believe there is something very significant about this small section of this amazing speech. The words are so inspiring and just a glimpse of what America should be. In a world full of decay, hate, rage, prejudice and injustices all around, its nice to get an image of something better for us ... not just in heaven but a little heaven on earth. So nice ...

I thought I'd incorporate my word of the day into this post:

kith /KITH/ noun :familiar friends, neighbor or relative.

I count it a blessing to call a wide variety of people my kith and kin, from the darkest to the lightest in hue, my friends are those who stand with me in adversity.

Thank you friends!

The Real Deal

The Real Deal ... when I first began writing "The Lady's Rage" I found myself betwixt a rock and a hard place. I felt this urgency to "do" something with what I believed was a gift to express myself in the form of fiction and fantasy. As a child, I was very much performance driven. I loved performing, even if it was for myself. I would create comedy sketches and record myself doing various foreign accents and impersonations. I would play my recordings for my family and friends and they would die with laughter. I remember feeling "good" about my ability and I wanted more of that "good" feeling. And so, I kept creating. I pushed myself to invent new ways of performing. Not just tapes, but stories. And not just stories, but poems. And not just poems, but spoken word. And not just spoken word, but acting. And not just acting but directing. When I finally, slowed down from my ambition, I realized that to some degree I had become a slave to whatever ability I had. I began to measure my worth on the basis of whether or not I was "doing" something. I had to learn to see the value within and that my worth had nothing to do with performance.

This brings me back to my earlier post, "There's Something About Mary ..." What did she really do? Why her? I can literally here the kid sister in Eddie Murphy's Coming to America wail "How come she always gets the good ones?" After finding out that Hakeem, is really a Prince and not just a broke African national working at her father's fast food chain. It's kind of like that. What was it about Mary? Why her?I was actually meditating on that very fact this morning in the shower. I began to imagine. Let's see, Mary. I have held onto this idea that she was a mature woman. That she knew a thing or to about being in the face of God. She knew how to be intimate with Him and isolate herself from the cares of the world. She must of had some sort of revelation of God and was bowed down before him all of the time. Worshipping constantly, right? But wait a minute, the reality is that Mary was a kid. In today's culture, Joseph might be facing statutory rape charges. Seriously, though. I think that seeing her as a child changes things a bit. I am reminded of the scripture that says, "We must be like a child to enter into the kingdom of heaven."

There are so many promises that God has for us. So many wonderful and glorious parts of God that we barely get to see because our minds are clouded by "the cares of this world." A child has no cares, except to eat & be merry. Whatever enjoyment there is an life , a child is open to receive it. A child doesn't ask, "Do I deserve that?" "How much does it cost?" A child merely, says "Thanks!" A child receives. And so it is.

As I am transitioning from having had this "performance driven" way of writing into writing from my heart my true testimony and my real experiences, I am finding that I enjoy writing so much more. There is no stress. There is no headache. There is no pressure to perform.

I like that.

Monday, January 14, 2008

There's Something About Mary ...

I'm not Catholic. And I don't hail, Mary. But I do think that her name is worth mentioning in the context of this blog. Mary, mother of grace, I believe she has been called. And yet, her name means sorrow. I have found her story a very interesting one throughout the years. There have been films made about her & her son that depict the young Hebrew woman as a quiet and mysterious soul. Not much is known about her apart from the Miracle she birthed and yet she was chosen among others? Why? What was it about Mary?

I believe that like Mary, many of us have fallen in the catagory of "saint" who has been chosen among others; not on the basis of perfection, holiness or status ... but merely by saying what Mary said, "May it be to me as you have said." It hasn't been stated nearly enough, that Mary wasn't perfect. (Please don't stone me.) But she did believe that what was told her, however, extraordinary, was DO-ABLE, not because of her own ability but by His (The Lord's) ability. I love that! There is so much freedom (as scripture says, "it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free" ) in knowing that the promise of God is not disabled by my inability. I love worshipping the Lord as El Shaddai, God Almighty, All sufficient because it takes the pressure to perform off of me and puts it (the pressure) on Him, who is ABLE to bear ALL things.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Excellence, Perfection, Maturity and Dust

"Am I getting old? I am old." A woman in her late 30s whispered to me. I thought, gee, I'll be 30 in 4 months, but I don't feel old. I don't look old. I don't act old. But, maybe I am old. Am I that lady who thinks she's in her prime when the reality is that certain unmentionables have gone south for "forever" and she really shouldn't be wearing that top at all! Perhaps, I'm not so outlandish, but I have noticed myself "thinking" ... Am I too old for that? And so here I am examining myself , wondering what is the difference between excellence & perfection ... maturity and dust.

There was an elderly man on the Commuter bus last week on my way to work who said, "I'm getting to old for this!" In reference to his bowels (yes, he was discussing his bowels, flatulence and other embarrassing situations he has found himself in on the highways & byways of life). And to my surprise the woman who had whispered to me only a day before, "Am I getting old? I am old." Stunningly, replied to the old man, "You're only has old has you feel." And so, I was perplexed.

I've noticed a trend all these years commuting ...people like to talk about their problems. They like to feel sorry for themselves. They like to discuss their woes. Almost every single person that I commute with has shared with me (or I've overheard ... ) some horrible tale or some life threatening issue. And while it is saddening to note, I realized that there are alot of people in pain, without answers. I realized that apart of maturity isn't beating yourself up because you have not. Apart of maturity is however, listening to the hearts of people and responding with answers that save. It's so much easier to chime in and say, "yeah, me too, my back hurts too. My husband left me too. My kids are crazy too." And while you may be able to relate to the woes, apart of maturity, is saying, "It gets better and I won't let you sulk. I'm going to tell you what you need to hear even if you don't want to hear it." I'm going to be the one at the end of the day that challenges you to get off of your Cry Baby Babble and onto the next phase.

I'm guilty, yes. In fact, I'm guilty like yesterday. Feeling sorry for myself because I have bills I can't pay & time away from my family, and yada yada yada. But wait a minute, I have breath in my body, hair on my head, children that are healthy, a husband that loves me ... a promise from God. Perfection isn't never failing ... Perfection is never failing to believe!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Word of the Day: Anathematize

anathematize /uh-NATH-uh-muh-tyze/ (v.) curse, denounce.

I decided that I would increase my vocabulary as a part of my New Year's resolution by introducing or re-introducing a new word a day. Okay so I'm only 10 days behind schedule. Perhaps I should have resolved to doing things without procrastinating. Hey, what can I say, I'm a work in progress.

Speaking of progress, I've made some, hee-hee-hee, regarding crochet. Ah, yes, I started and restarted the same scarf at least 12 times! I became so discouraged by my inability to double crochet, hook and loop ... chain 31 ... etc. that I vowed never to touch the craft ever in life. Though it sounds extreme. I am extremely hard on myself. And the harder on myself I get, the more discouraged I become and thus, the more prone I am to throwing in the proverbial towel. New Year's resolution #2 ... or is it #3. (Are you keeping count?) Anyway, one day after visiting one of my favorite craft sites , I became inspired all over again. "I can do this," I said to myself. "Why not?" So, I started another scarf, but this time I added two tones! I had never been taught this technique nor had I ever tried it, but I felt confident. Mmmm ... it was so refreshing to get back in the sticks and just go for it! I am 1/2 way done with my very first two tone scarf. Yeah!

New Year's resolution #4: Start to Finish. While it may seem like a small thing, follow through means so much. From the slightest instruction to the impossible dream ... the difference is a matter of faith. The task I face could really be difficult, no kidding; but my reality doesn't have to be marked by fear - fear of failure is a BIG one for me. Oh, LAWD, don't let me fail. Don't let me be an embarrassment to myself and to my generations. Don't let my mama anathematize me and damn me to hell for I have failed! No matter the task, the opposition or the odds stacked up against you so high that they tower like Babel (babble) ... you can make it ... Just don't quit! Don't quit! Start to finish! Run the race, you've been running and don't quit!

I have more to say on the subject but I will reserve that for another post!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Headline: Britney Intoxicated ...

OMG! The first thing I read when I turned on my computer this morning was an incredible headline about Britney Spears. Now, over the past year or two there have been many headlines about the pop star. But it was almost eerie given my post yesterday about the pop princess. For more info check out

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I See, I Dream ...

Some years ago, I started a work of art that I entitled, "The Chill Machine: An Expose on the Detriments of Chill." The title itself was inspired primarily by the phantom expose written by Axel Foley (of the original Beverly Hills Cop movie), on the then popular musical icon, Michael Jackson. I believe his was to be titled, "Michael Jackson ..." Gosh, I can't remember what it was supposed to be called now. I'll have to research it. I just remember the scene. It was so classic. Axel ,a Detroit cop, played by 80's Eddie Murphy, who was 100% funnier than the Millennium Eddie. Anyway, Axel walks into the Beverly Hilton and he's trying to get a room there and he goes on about how he's this writer for Rolling Stone magazine, writing an expose on "thee" Michael Jackson and says,

"I was going to call it (the article) 'Michael Jackson is Sitting on Top of the World,' but I might as well call it, 'Michael Jackson is Sitting on Top of the World as long as He is Not Sitting in the Beverly Hilton because There's No N***as Allowed in Here!'"
I don't know why that is so funny to me. I guess, I imagine a post Thriller red & black leather jacket clad Jacko sitting on the blue & green marbled earth with "Bubbles" in his lap, smiling with childlike glee. Its whimsical and utterly hilarious.

Anyway, back to "The Chill Machine ..." I began writing this work with the intention of like provoking our culture to change. We live in a time where celebrity has pervaded politics, religion, history, news ... the Internet! :) Its like this social cancer that's eating away at us. And we are kind of bulimic with it. We gorge ourselves on the flesh of our idols: pop tarts like Britney Spears (God bless her, really.) We want to know what she's doing. Where she shops. Who she's dating. What club she was at. What she ate for lunch. And then, we spit her up, spewing out malicious comments like "You suck!" "You're scum" "Rot in Hell" "Trailer Trash!' "You ate that! You wore that! You clubbed all night, where!"

It is so obscene the way we obsess over these people and then with almost no consideration for their "lives" we just throw them away. Toss them aside as meaningless and unimportant. I dreamt of Britney last night. And no, I'm not a fan of her music. But I dreamt of her last night and there was this media frenzy surrounding her. It was like her life had turned into the Jerry Springer show. And she was feeling bad about K-fed and she was doing anything to get his attention. She was drunk in the dream and I remember her asking me to dance for her. Like I was her show monkey. Her attitude was like 'you'll do it because I'm Britney'. But I refused. I said, "I won't be apart of this circus.' She kind of laughed it off in her drunken state. And then she asked me again, "Dance for me." And I said, "Britney, I'll dance for you if you let me pray for you." And then she was like, "No, don't pray for me." I got really close to her and I put my hand on her head. I just touched her and she fell back as if something struck her down. But it wasn't the force of my hand but the power of God. She laid on the floor smiling as if ... drunk. But it wasn't that. It was like she finally had peace. Strangely, her eyes popped out of her head as she laid there. And everyone looking at her was amazed that she was lying there with her eyes popped out. Then I came to her and said, "The Lord is giving you sight." And I pushed her eyes back in. I remember them feeling like boiled eggs without the shell and they were bigger than her eye sockets yet when I pressed them in they fit perfectly.

It was a peculiar dream. I 'm not entirely convinced that it was meaningful yet I'm not entirely convinced that it was just some random stuff I was thinking about before I went to sleep. But I felt like writing about it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Consume and be Merry!

Mmmm ... It feels rather good to just chill. However, daunting the the holiday season may have been for the masses ... shopping, spending and eating, still I am hopeful that there remains some degree of childlike expectation of what those few moments before the 25th of December symbolize. Certainly, like the rest of the "world" I've seen those wonderful signs lifted up overhead, "Don't forget the reason for the season." And I've even heard myself, smiling faintly at the dim notion that Christmas, is well, "About the kids, you know." I have felt the wayward call to consume and be merry! Actually, I found myself doing everything my crafty little hands could muster to make Christmas "the most" for my husband, children & loved ones. I had to sit back and say, "Wait a minute. Natrietia, you are worried about many things, but only one thing is needed."

When our family went to Christmas Morning service, the Bishop asked how many of you spent a little too much this Christmas season and need some (financial) help come the New Year?" Slowly, hands began to rise, waving limply over there shamed heads. It was embarrassing. Even people, myself included, who are supposed to know what the REASON we celebrate is, find themselves caught up in the rapture of over consumption. No way should we be finding ourselves in debt in celebration of Freedom. True freedom.

Galatians 5:1 says: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." I believe that is the place where we are, a place we are experiencing true Freedom. I feel like there is going to be a flow of supernatural power to those who will receive it that will bring liberty to our lives. If you will consider that Christ has set us free for freedom's sake, then as a believer in that grace, access has already been given. Scripture teaches us that Christ is the way, the truth and the life. For us, Christ is the door, the means to gain access to the kind of liberty, peace and joy that God, the Father intends for all of His children to enjoy. And each of us has a part to play.