Category Archives: Christianity

Lent Week Two: There’s No Future in Your Frontin’

Lent Week 2! What have a learnt? “There’s no future in your frontin.”

Frontin: Urban slang. To put up a facade or make appearances to maintain an inaccurate image of oneself “I know that I’m carrying on, nevermind if I’m showing off, I was just frontin'” – Pharelle

I feel like I should put a disclaimer on this. I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop looking at the screen thinking “How I’mma start THIS out?”

I love and appreciate the church I grew up in. That being said i am about to be very honest about some of my experiences. I love the church and everybody (well most of yall) just the same.  I know plenty of people reading are or have been members of this church. Church is a family and there are some cousins and uncles we can’t stand. Hell, i don’t too much like my daddy myself.

If you’re offended by this post, as a member of this church or any, pray about how you can make church easier on people.. and don’t come for my church or pastor. I’ll fight you. Well, probably not. I’m too pretty to fight. I will talk about ya momma though. I digress.

Bailey (my Volkswagen BLookUpDown gifeetle) is in the shop so mom and I have been sharing Condoleezza  (the other beetle). I haven’t been going to church with her, the church in which I grew up. (We live in different cities) I chalked it up to social anxiety but I realized it was something else as well. I decided to go last Sunday (2 Sundays ago by the time you’re reading) and immediately realized why I hadn’t been going. I got so many… looks.

The church I grew up in is very conservative. Women only in skirts conservative, no sleeveless shirts conservative. People wait for us to come out of church to see what we got on. Yall know how we dress for the Derby? That’s weekly.

I DID wear skirts and dresses for years but after ‘while it got uncomfortable. I just didn’t feel like me. I didn’t like the attention I got in a skirt (#thick) and who in hell wants to wear pantyhose EVER?! I used to take them off in the parking lot after service during the summer.

Also, I’ve since joined a church that was  less conservative (with teaching/preaching just as sound.. that’s important). I figured out I could go to church AND be me. I never thought that was possible.

I stayed home from church this past Sunday because I don’t want people to look at me funny for wearing pants.

It is so ignant its funny. No, literally I laughed after I typed that sentence.

Everybody wants to be accepted. It took a lot of rejection for me to realize this. (Well, not a LOT of rejection, look at me – sheeeeeeeeIT) I developed a strong exterior but rejection hurts just the same. I ain’t gon front, rejection hurts bad. 

The two rejections that hurt the most are from my father and from the church.

These rejections have happened over and over through out my life.  But you know what I realized after years of frontin? I’m just fine without them. By the grace of God, I am just fine. 

I have decided that I’m done trying to be accepted by anybody but especially by church niggas  folk and my pop. To hell with them, frankly. I prayed that I’d change, that God would change me to make me more acceptable so i could be more comfortable and Her only response was “I love you.”

fanny2.gif*Baptist Fit*

My goal should not be to be accepted by people that are sinners like me. I only need acceptance from One and he sent Jesus. –Quickens

After I understood what God did for my sin and what he continues to do in spite of my sin it was a teench harder to judge anybody especially for what the clothes they had on. I wholeheartedly understand why people don’t come to church. I just can’t let people keep me from Jesus. I ain’t going to stop going to church. Also, God doesn’t want you or I to be comfortable. But that’s a different subject for a different day.

It is difficult coming to the realization that the church you grew up in is not the church you are going to stay in. I thought I was going to get married and raise my kids there. I ain’t. Y’all know black people stay in church for dozens of generations in the same damn seat for a hundred years. I had to change churches in order to grow in my walk with Jesus. I had to change churches to be able to go every Sunday.

The lesson I’ve learned is that in order to heal you gave to deal. (Ooohh trademark that… sounded like Johnny Cochran.) You will not be able to move on or heal if you fronting about your hurt. You ain’t that tough. Trust me. I’m a professional fronter and I am nuts on paper. I was fronting about being hurt and why i was hurt. Yall know how much sleep I lost? I was up at 3am bothered and didn’t know why.kellyanne

Be honest with yourself. Keep it 100. It will help your skin. Look at KellyAnne Conway. She lies for a living and looks hung up to dry. Lying on top of the way some white women age? I digress.

Some things only come by fasting and prayer (Matthew 17:21). Lent has been a blessing. High-5 your neighbor and tell em “There’s no future in your fronting.” 

Thank you so much for reading and sharing. I never think people I know are reading until they let me know. So leave me a comment or message, dag!

Sola Gratia

-Carrie

 

 

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Lent Commentary Week 1: Sitting like KellyAnne Conway

Peace, yall. Welcome new followers! Thank you for following! Follow me on twitter and snap at @andcarrieon7 and like my Facebook page CarrieAmanda.

During Lent I’ll post every Wednesday, lets get into it.

I won’t assume everybody knows what Lent is so here’s a brief description. Lent is the 40 days before Easter. It symbolizes Jesus’ 40 day withdrawal into the wilderness.

The purpose of lent for the Christian is self-denial in preparation of the celebration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection which is Easter.

It’s not just a Catholic holiday as many believe. Many Christian denominations observe lent; Normally by giving up or fasting from something. Use your Googles for more info. This ain’t Wikipedia.

I haven’t observed lent in a few years. It always sneaks up on me and I’ve been too lazy to give up something. It takes effort.

I gave up Facebook, am doing the #BathroomBreakChallenge (word to my friend Imani at christiancontrolfreak.com) and a Lent Bible reading plan. It has already been very rewarding.

Hindsight is 2020 right? I’ve learned that I was relying too much on my job/money, my material possessions, social status/friends and not God. Idol gods aren’t just golden statues. God will take all that away to get your attention. I left my job (money and insurance), lost some people my damn car broke down, and I’m nuts.

God Got me leaning on the everlasting arms, honey. It may not feel like I have much but this Peace I have outweighs all of that.

Since I’m not on Facebook, i get most of my news a little later when I sit down and look so heres my commentary on notable news:

kellyanne, girlKellyAnne was sitting on that couch like a child with no home training. You know how a
little girl isnt used to wearing a dress and you have to tell her “put ya legs down baby”. I had the urge to tell KellyAnne that but she’s a whole entire adult. There ain’t but a FEW reasons to have your leg open this far and this was not one of those occasions.

Ben Carson is another whole entire adult that has life wrong. I am still waiting on Ashton Kutcher to come out on the country and tell us we’re punked. This nigga is a brain surgeon that said the ancestors were “immigrants” that came over on slave ships. If they were immigrants WHY WERE THEY CALLED SLAVE SHIPS. The leader of HUD, yall. Has he ever seen Roots?!? I didn’t know brain surgeons could be THIS stupid. Maybe he’s in the sunken place, him and Kanye. Can we go get them or..? The bar has been lowered tremendously for all things. Now is the time to pursue whatever you want. I’m trying out for the NFL.

Third and final commentary. Yall want Ciara to be miserable so bad. If Ciara had stayed ciarawith Future, was raising Baby Future by herself, getting cheated on, singing sad ass songs and miserable, nobody would have anything to say. She released this gorgeous maternity photo and black ashy twitter is up in arms. Yall mad at Ciara for having the nerve to move on and marry a man that loves her and her son instead of being mad at Future who is nowhere to be found. A miserable black woman is so normal to us, we’re offended when she is happy.

If you don’t want another man in your son’s life, BE THE MAN IN YOUR SONS LIFE, NIGGA. Keep on prospering Ciara. Keep right the hell on.

me daddy mommaI’m so passionate about Ciara because look at this photo to the left. That is baby Carrie. The man holding baby Carrie is not my biological father. But he is my daddy. He married my mom when I was that age and raised me as his own. My biological father still ain’t interested in being a parent. It’s too late anyhow. So F you and your couch if you’re mad at Ciara. She isn’t the one in the wrong.

Note: I know it looks like that’s my brother holding me. LOL The resemblance is uncanny. He wasn’t even born yet. Ah the days of being an only child.

Ok, I think that’s all I got to say. I never know how to end these things.

Till next Wednesday. Bless your heart and all your parts.

– CAGW

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I would like to front for yall. I’d like to tell you I have it all together, that I’m healthy and not broke. I’d like to tell you that I know what I am doing and what I want to do in life.

I can’t.

I’m stressed. My skin looks bad and my hair is thinning. My cycle is irregular and I ain’t got an appetite. I am not myself. I’m super sensitive. I’ve had 2 bad anxiety attacks in the past two days (at the time I’m writing). My father has me blocked on facebook and I didn’t hear from him on my birthday. I’m fighting mad at him. I’m broke. I was sick on my birthday. I am grieving. I don’t enjoy the holidays. Seasonal depression. Crazy dreams. Donald Trump is the President-Elect. So, I’m not ok.

BUT.

I’m still here. (Runs around sanctuary)

There comes a time when you have to get honest and make a decision. I WANT to give up. But, I’m still breathing. I still wake up every morning and that means it aint over.

fb_img_1481767149017I got this damn semi colon tattooed on my hand.

I was inspired by project semicolon. Check them out.

Yall know I’m a grammar/spelling snob. Punctuation is useful. A semicolon separates two independent clauses; I like to think of it as more than a comma and less than a period.

The semicolon project brings awareness to people who have struggled with mental illness, for people who have struggled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The idea is that if we are the author of our lives, a semicolon goes after that struggle, not a period (oooh, i almost shouted. The Holy Ghost almost threw me off of this couch).

I am at the point right before the semicolon. I’ve learned that God will keep you in the storm until you learn your lesson. I am hardheaded and oblivious. It took a year almost to learn why I was struggling. So what did I learn?

I learned that I am not invincible.

I learned that I need people. I need friends and family that will listen or just sit with me until I’m ready to talk. I need friends that will go off on me if I’m not taking my medicine.

I learned that I must struggle (financially, physically, mentally) in order to help people who are struggling. Hebrews 4: 15 says “… we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one… who was tempted.. yet did not sin” Our greatest help went through what we go through in order to identify with us and intercede for us. I ain’t Jesus by a long shot. I certainly need a lesson or two in sympathizing. I feel a calling to help people. I believe good help comes from those who can identify with those in need.

I read 2 Corinthians today. Paul and the thorn. I wonder what Paul’s thorn was. I have my theories. My thorn (one of them) is my mental health. God didn’t take away the thorn even after Paul asked 3 times. But he did give Paul grace to deal with it. How would we know the power of God if we had the power? God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (v. 9) so we can boast about our weakness because that is when God sees us.

Thus are my birthday reflections. Thank you so much for your support.

– CAGW

 

 

Reflections on The Black and Blue Lives Matter Form

bluelives 2Let me preface this by saying that the following reflections are mine and mine only. They don’t reflect the thoughts, feelngs or values of any organization. Don’t hold my ratchet mouth against anybody but me (but know idgaf).

This flyer (left) appeared on my Facebook newsfeed last week. I reposted with the caption #Nope. I then shared it in a certain group and on my Timeline with the question “Why do we (local BLM activists, millennials and regular ass people) keep getting left out of these conversations?”

A few people had the “kumbyah we all need to unify” rhetoric. I ain’t with it. I’m a proud member of the #CallOut Ministry. The old heads keep having forums and panels with the #BlackLivesMatter tag AND keep not inviting the activists or anyone under 137 years old. There is an official BLM chapter in Louisville. If BLM is not invited, don’t put #BlackLivesMatter on your flyer. RESPECK THE NAME. Is we finished or is we done? I’ve had to voice this to two events. In the words of Snoop Dogg “Do I look like the type of nigga that likes repeating himself?”

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with beef and arguing. Especially if we have the same goal ultimately. Should we do it publicly? Absolutely not. But we should do it. (I’m sure Dr. King and them argued. I’m sure somebody was like Dr. King can you quit fucking everybody?)

Nevertheless, we had a good conversation and somehow I got bamboozled into attending. I’m still not sure how it happened but here I am on Saturday at 9am at this fuckshit forum.

9am on Saturday was the first mistake. People my age and younger are not going to be anywhere at 9am on Saturday given a choice (I don’t even go to work until 10 at the earliest). People my age and younger are also the ones that are victims of police brutality. You cannot have a conversation ABOUT people that you won’t have a conversation WITH (Darrell Scott and Omarosa don’t count, Donald Trump).

2nd mistake. There was no repast. Jesus preached, and then everybody got fish sandwiches. Any time I’m a guest at somebody’s church I expect to sample the punch of the shadiest church motha. WWJD?

For this reason (in my opinion) there were only about 30 people tops. Which looks like 5 when in a sanctuary.

The forum was held at Spirit Filled Ministries (Louisville, KY). I THINK Bishop Kelsey (a retired police officer) is the pastor. That’s another mistake. Having a forum in the sanctuary. The sanctuary of a black church is (typically) NOT a space that young people or women can be comfortable speaking out. I also am not going to cuss in the sanctuary and I need to be able to cuss at a forum called Black and Blue Lives Matter.. ’cause yall out your rabbit ass mind for that title.

The first speaker was attorney (Tibbs) that gave us this handout. (below) I’ll try to provide a better pic tomorrow. Yall gon deal for the time being.

bluelives 1

His main point was to know our rights, not argue with a police officer but instead take up our issue with the police officer in court. So I asked “what if the police officer kills me first?”. Tibbs and Kelsey responded by telling me to get involved in local politics. Bishop Kelsey also kept calling me ‘baby’ and cut me off. I passed the mic and knew I wasn’t going to take it anymore.

How in the entire hell can I get involved in politics if I’M DEAD MY NIGGA? Somebody told Philando Castile to be respectful to the police. He was and he was still killed. When are we going to address police officers behavior and not victims?!?!?!?!!? Whew. Let me calm down.

I AM involved in local politics. I’ve worked on (winning *flips hair*) campaigns for judges, council members and state reps. That doesn’t make a bit of difference if a police officer with bad aim and bad judgement pulls me over.

“But officer, I work in local politics!”

“Oh you do?” *Puts gun up*

The next speaker was DeVone Holt. He could only stay for so long because he had to get to the studio for his radio show. He finessed that appearance so he could talk and not have to answer questions. He talked about how he’s not going to vote for Trump or Hill and how Black America hates him for it. As a member of Black America, I don’t give a damn what DeVone does much less who he votes for. Hell, I #barely know who he is. Negros are soooooo important. *Rolls eyes* I don’t know what any of what he said had to do with the forum.

The speaker after that was Ray “Sir Friendly C” Barker. He got up and talked about… himself. He discussed the thousands (i promise he said thousands) of children he mentored and his experiences as a cop.

He was reminiscing about the good ole days and trying to defend shooting somebody. He said that cops are trained to shoot twice in the chest (not the leg or arm) and damn near had an orgasm talking about it. He also talked about how he didn’t agree with some of the ‘antics’ of the BLM movement. I think this was the point I wanted to lay in the pew and scream at the top of my lungs. But God. I. got. your. antics, old man.

My fellow activist friend and Sir Friendly got into a heated discussion and a few of the men of the church including Bishop Kelsey surrounded him. My friend was speaking passionately and using his hands, but he wasn’t a threat. Back up off the homie.

I got up and used my womanly charm to defuse the situation. These soft hands, tiddies and eye lashes serve many purposes, one is to manipulate men.

Bishop Kelsey and I ended up exchanging numbers and he’s gonna invite me to some talk he’s having with somebody next week. Negros aren’t getting another Saturday morning out of me for a few months so it better be on a weekday evening and HAVE REPAST.

After that Judge Denise Brown got the mic and stanched edges. She said not voting is the ‘dumbest argument’ she’s ever heard. I again resisted the urge to lay in the pew.

I then got up and observed conversations in the lobby. This lady, wife of a police officer asked me and my fellow activist friend if we wanted to be police officers. #Nah, Lady. I’m tired of people telling us (young black people) to become police officers whenever we have criticism for the police. I criticize my doctor. I’m not going to medical school. I criticize my mechanic. I’m not going to mechanic school. I don’t want to be a police officer. I shouldn’t have to be one to ensure my people aren’t getting killed.

I told her we could set up some programs in predominately black high schools that puts kids on a track to become a police officer like ROTC but I certainly won’t be becoming a popo. I can’t pass the drug test. 

This concludes my reflections on The fuckshit Black and Blue Lives Matter Forum. I’m not going to anymore forums/panels/discussions/pow wows/hotep meetings. I AM going to invest my efforts in programs and organizations that are worthwhile though. Stay tuned.

It’s 2am and I got *sings* church in the morning.

-CGW

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Things That Tickle Me about the Black Church Experience

This article was inspired by Very Smart Brotha’s “10 Randomly Specific Things to Blackness that Always tickle the Hell out of me” shoutouts to Damon Young and all the brothas at VSB.

I’m told that I first went to church when I was 8 days old. I was born on a Saturday, Lisa (aka momma) rested the next day, but when Sunday came back around her super saved self was in church with a big ass newborn. I have always been chunky and I have always been in church. Since my granddaddy was the ‘passa’ I was probably in church more than the average church goer. The black church was all I knew until my white home girl from middle school had her confirmation and invited me down to the white Catholic Church. I was amazed and confused. (I need a white contributor to the blog, affirmative action)

I have “backslid” to one service per Sunday and since Empire comes on Wednesday, I usually miss bible study. I’m gon watch via streaming faith this afternoon though. Here are 10 things that tickle me about the black church experience.

 

The Ushers  

The ushers are the church’s bouncers and you want to be friends with them. For some reason, their right, (left?) hand is stuck to their back. If church is full when you show up, they will tell somebody to scoot down while looking over their glasses and show you your seat.

No, you can’t sit with your friends/family. You’ll sit where the hell she/he told you to. Sit on your coat/jacket or put it on the floor. You can’t save seats, and put the lap scarf on she/he gave you even if your dress is down to your ankles. Don’t argue.

Get a fan or envelope when they come down the aisle. Cause if they have to come back you will get a side eye.But they will take care of you, I was distraught at my grandaddy’s funeral and the usher wiped my eyes for me WHILE fanning me. They the real MVPs.

Believe it or not, I was an usher back in my day. I quickly realized that I was not humble enough to serve in this capacity and put my white gloves up. I haven’t picked ‘em up since… ain’t going to.

The Musicians 

My daddy and brother are musicians so I got to deal with musician foolery 7 days a week. They may have on a 3 piece suit. They may look like they are about to go hoop at the Y. They will not have the right colors on. They disappear like your baby’s daddy during the sermon (especially if your church has multiple services). They probably played down to the bar last night and will start a groove during offering and forget and slip some secular music in there.

The length of service 

My church at home has combined men/women’s day (see the next one) and we were in church until 2pm that service; in large part because somebody let my mom and her sister (aka my auntie) on program. Make sure you bring a bag of grippos and your soda/juice of choice to service (there’s a store walking distance of every black church in America). You’re in it for the long haul. 10 songs, 2 scriptures, memorials, offering, prayer, 10 more songs, shouting and THEN the sermon, altar call, remarks, and benediction. I usually get a headache mid sermon.

The “Days”   

Children’s Day, Youth Day, Young Adult Day, Men’s Day, Women’s Day, Senior Adults Day is what I grew up with. We called it “Loyalty Month” not sure why. Loyalty month is the only time we saw most of the participants. These hoes ain’t loyal.

Women’s day is coming up. The theme is “Get In Formation”. I’m probably gonna participate just out of curiosity of how we’re going to take Beyonce’s song and put Jesus on it.

The “Days” are a big production, complete with a theme, assessment ($$$) and what colors the ushers and choir are supposed to wear. There’s always one person that isn’t going to buy a new outfit and will either wear their black suit/white suit REGARDLESS of the colors (ask Lisa if she buying something. She ain’t)

The kids/teens 

Somebody’s baby is crying. EVERYBODY turns around to see who it is and why they ain’t took that baby to the nursery. As if there aren’t some grown folks that don’t want to throw a fit from sitting for 3 hours. Lots of churches have a separate service for children now. I’m pissed because I didn’t have a separate service to go to when I was a kid. I had to sit with my auntie (my mom was in the choir) and endure. Spoiled brats.

The teenagers do not want to be there and have no problem showing it.

The “muthas” 

I’m not sure the history of the mothers of the church. But a group of older women are the matriarchs of the congregation. They have their own row at my home church.

Give them the correct title, not “Sister soandso” or Mrs. “soandso” MUTHA soandso.

If your skirt is too short, a mutha will pull you to the side (maybe) and let you know. If you need a perm, a mutha will ask you when you’re getting one (even if you’ve had an afro for a year… happened to Lisa. I DARE you to ask her the story. She’ll go off) No matter how shady she is to you, you have to respond ‘yes ma’am’ and be respectful for no other reason than she’s 100 years old. I think it’s extra points in Heaven when you can stay respectful to Mutha Shadyboots. She always has her head covered in the sanctuary. Dressed impeccably, accept the shoes. She’s been on this world a few decades and is gonna put her sneakers to come to service.

The Deacon Board 

I suppose this makes the Deacons the fathers of the church. They have been serving communion/Lord’s supper since the Emancipation Proclamation but still manage to argue and look confused when 1st Sunday comes around. The pastor/church’s body guards, a few of them are packing. They take the offering to God knows where and count it. Their wife is on the women’s usher board and also participates in serving the communion but knows what she’s doing.

The Kitchen Committee/Culinary Ministry   

On special occasions, such as a ‘day’ or anniversary the church has a meal after service. The church pays for the meat. The members got to bring the side dishes. Everybody takes a to-go plate. The senior citizens eat first.

This is the best seasoned food you’ll ever taste. Ever. There are a dozen cakes/pies to choose from and the tea will put you in a diabetic coma. It’s made with the Holy Ghost and crack cocaine. Give yourself time to nap before evening service.

I think being mean is a requirement to work in the kitchen at church. I also had a short-lived stint in the kitchen. When I was a teenager, they had the youth help in the kitchen/dining room for some event and the saints were so IGNANT the youth refused to ever work in the kitchen again. I think that was the first boycott/protest I organized. They had 16-year-old Carrie ALL THE WAY FCKED UP. I hadn’t been saved that long.

Funerals 

No matter how much of an asshole you were, if you went to a black church, we’ll MAKE UP some fond memories of you to reflect on at the funeral. These services can also be very long (bring a snack). The ushers have backup in the funeral home staff. They have extra supplies (fans, peppermint, bottled water) and you AIN’T getting a program before the family comes in. If the family is large and takes up all the programs, you’re not getting a program. If the family is large and needs more seats, you may have to stand. Do what the usher says. Please. You can find one after service. Somebody left one in the pew.

White Jesus

You may go into a church with black people and a black pastor. There may be a picture/painting of white Jesus somewhere. There isn’t in either of the churches I go to. I’d have them take it down. White supremacy runs deep. If I talk about it any further I’ll start cussing.

 

 

Thus is my list of of 10 things that tickle me about the black church. Honorable Mention entries that I didn’t have energy to cover: The First Lady, The Church Secretary, Offering, Pastors/Church Anniversary, The politicians we see once every few years and Testimony Service.

-CGW

Self-Care: Benefiting the Activist and The Movement

audre lorde

Activism is a calling. Activism is my calling. My purpose is to fight against white supremacy, racism, classism, homophobia and rape culture (to name a few). I cannot walk in my calling if I am not the best possible Carrie. In order to be the best possible Carrie, I need to sleep, exercise, have me a glass of wine (not in that order) and put my phone on ‘do not disturb’. We must recognize Self-care as caring for the movement. Self-care is a political act.

The day after I went to a Donald Trump rally, I lashed out at a Facebook Friend. He was being funny. (He’s a comedian in real life). I had just dealt with a very traumatic experience and I took it out on him. I had not processed the trauma properly. What I did was completely out of character for me. It was not fair to my friend and I’m glad he called me out on it.

As a black woman from many generations of black women, the idea that I have to be strong 24/7/365 is normal. But this idea isn’t healthy. I am a black woman so yes, I’m a super hero 🙂 but I’m also human and trying to be strong all of the time is detrimental to my physical, emotional and mental health. I need a ‘woo-sah’ moment every once in a while.

Activism is hard work. Fighting for freedom is draining and at times disappointing and we’re doing it in 2016. I cannot imagine what our ancestors went through in 1916. We have to deliberately proactively practice self-care. Sometimes, we may have to choose our personal well-being over the protest, the panel, the debate and the TV.

Here are some “Self-Care/Care for the movement” tips. These tips are for me and by me so all of them may not help you. I hope you are inclined to develop your own list and share your tips with me.

Know Your Role

nah rosaA body has body parts. Everybody cannot be the head. Everybody cannot be the feet. We need hands, hearts, eyes, lungs, a gallbladder.. all ‘at (I got a C in biology) There are things I’m good at that you are bad at. There are things I can’t do that you can.

Take the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 for example, the only two names most of us know from this movement is Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. They have written the history so that we think Rosa just happened to say ‘nah.’ that day because she was tired. What Rosa Parks did was planned and strategic.

In preparation for the boycott, The Women’s Political Counsel had circulated 500 leaflets calling for the boycott of the Montgomery buses. Those boycotting had already arranged the alternatives to using the bus. (They organized a city, and later regional-wide boycott without Facebook or public transportation. Our grandmomma and them was LIT)

You may not be the 2016 MLK or Rosa Parks. You may be Ralph Abernathy, you may be Claudette Colvin, or you may be the one passing out the flyers or driving the church van so your homies can get to work. I would’ve been the one designing the flyers and organizing some kids to pass them out. I certainly would not have been Rosa. I’m not going to jail for you nggas.

Know your role because nobody can do it better than you. There is less anxiety and stress when you’re doing something you do well. Perform in your role even if it means you may not be in front of a camera or publicly recognized. You must love the cause more than you love your fame/reputation. But that’s another blog for a different day.

Take time to grieve

“The condition of black life is mourning.”

In Judaism, Shiva is the seven days after the loved one’s funeral. The family of the deceased gathers at home to mourn and pray. They don’t go to work or participate in normal daily activities for a week.

We forget to mourn. We forget to cry. With so many of our brothers and sisters being murdered and not seeing justice, we do not take the time to mourn before we get angry and political. We don’t even have the time. But ee MUST take the time.

Grieving is a deeply personal and necessary process. Everyone has to do it their own way. In December, 2 of my childhood friends were shot and killed within a week of each other. I beat myself up for still crying and being angry; but it’s only been a matter of months and my feelings are justified. Daniel. Alicia. Jamaal. Gyasi. All murdered childhood friends and nobody has been to jail about it. That pisses me off.

Cry. Scream. Pour out some liquor. Put one in the air in their honor. But do what you must to grieve/mourn.

Choose your battles wisely

You cannot educate everybody all of the time. Sometimes you have to say “God Bless You” and move on. When people disagree on my Facebook posts, it makes me very anxious. At times, it is an instant anxiety attack. For this reason, I cannot always debate/educate or engage. I have to force myself to leave that thing alone sometimes.

Last week I posted an article about Ciara and Russell Wilson getting engaged I (jokingly) said “Ladies, see what ‘click clank’ gets you?” A few of my friends (who are sleeping with men who aren’t going to marry them) got offended. It was Friday night and I was at the bar having a good time. I finally said “No standards. No walls. I love you anyhow.” and left it at that. I basically said that to say I’m not going to change my views, I’m not going to judge you and I’m done arguing about it.

I’m also not going to every protest, every event, and every community meeting or participating on every panel. I’m just not always available. We must learn that ‘No.’ is a complete sentence that needs no further explanation.

Unplug

unpluhFor a couple of weeks, I wouldn’t get on Facebook from 8am-8pm. My mind was clearer and I was less anxious. My jobs require I get on social media, but I think I’m going to start scheduling my social media messages and limiting personal use of FB to an hour a day tops.

Researchers have studies the effects of social media on mental health. Check this article out.

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-anxiety-of-facebook/

Unplugging also means not checking text messages and emails. The #BusinessHours rule means that if you hit me up before or after a certain time (9am-9pm) it will get handled the following business day.

Self-care means not being available 24/7. If you give people an inch, they will take a mile. I have had to stop people from talking “business” with me while I’m at the bar trying to have a good time. Let’s take a shot (of water, cause my momma reading) instead.

Get your house in order

sarah palinYou cannot change the world if you cannot get a grip on your house! (See: Sarah Palin’s kids) It is my belief that your spouse, children, bills and legal affairs must be in order before you can be an activist. This applies to self-care because you must be able to come home and find solace from this crazy world. If your kids are hungry and you ain’t had sex with your wife/husband in months you cannot do this.

Also, I believe if you don’t have a heart for your loved ones, you don’t have an activist’s heart. Activism is largely fighting for the rights of strangers. How much more should we work for our loved ones? We’ve got to make sure we have the time, money, resources and connections necessary for activism. How you trying fight for our rights without a ride to the revolution? Amen lights.

Go down to the church

(This may not apply to you if you are not religious. I’m an unapologetic every-Sunday-church-going Christian.)

God called me to activism. God has kept me safe in spite of myself. My activism is tied up in my Christianity. I need a weekly reminder that God is still on the throne and to shake my dreads to some gospel music. (*sings and sways* I’m GLAAAD TO BE IN THE SERVICE.) I also need to be around my brothers and sisters in Christ. The sense of community is healing. The hugs and kisses help. Sometimes you just need a church mother to suffocate you with her bosom. More often you need to be reminded of your role in the shadow of the cross and that God is still on the throne. *Runs*

Have Fun

james baldwinIt would behoove you to loosen up, beloved. Take time to chill with your loved ones, go dance. Go to the movies. Do something you like. Unwind. Wind down. Don’t talk about the struggle. No activists allowed. No hotep-ing. Play spades, eat good food. Do it around people you love. I feel much better after I’m with my friends/family. My friends and I like Kart Kountry. Go-karts, arcarde, mini-golf… be the oldest ones in there knocking the kids down. SMH. Find something fun… grab your best friends and do it often.

These are my 7 Self-Care Tips. I hope they help you and again inspire you to develop and share your own list.

-CGW

 

 

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The Holy Ghost doesn’t make you dance

Because of the time this blog took, we’ll pick up my music critique next Monday. I wish I had time to do both. Work takes up too much time for important stuff like blogging. SMH.

I saw this video this morning. I chuckled. I reposted the original link and said ‘they are imitating some adult. What are they shouting about? Spongebob?” It sparked an interesting discussion on my post and the original post had thousands of comments. So, you know me… I had to blog about it.

[[For my white friends who have never been to a black church. We do some crazy stuff and you are welcome to message me with any questions and/or come to my church Sunday for 10am service. Don’t be alarmed if somebody runs by you or starts screaming out of NOWHERE. It’s hard to be black, we let it all of our black frustrations out in church ]]

What those 4 little beautiful black boys were doing was cute and it made me laugh. But it was NOT the Holy Ghost. I’m happy somebody took them to church and I’m happy they can have fun in church. I’d rather them imitate somebody shouting than Chief Keef, yes. But I don’t want them to imitate anybody. I want them to gain the knowledge/belief of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and live a life accordingly. If being in church was enough, a few more of us may be saved. Amen lights.

Do I shout in church? Rarely chile. I don’t do public displays of emotion well. I don’t do private emotion well. LOL. But I actively participate in service. I’ve been in church since I was 8 days old. I know how to do church. I know when and what to do. I know what to say when and where. Doing church has nothing to do with Jesus. I’ve been in plenty of services and not encountered God for myself. A lot of it has been just going through the motions, doing what I’m supposed to do on Sunday. That’s why I stopped going a lot in college. Another blog for another day…

On this video I kept seeing people talk about the ‘Holy Ghost’ and I’m thinking ‘what does the holy ghost have to do with any of this?’ Yall really think the Holy Ghost is responsible for this clowning? Chiiiiiile.

I would argue that the black church is confused about the Holy Spirit/Ghost and what its role is in our lives and in the trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit/Ghost). Some denominations believe that “receiving the Holy Ghost” and salvation is two different things, I do not. Again, different blog for a different day. Paul is clear that ALL believers of Christ get the Holy Ghost. God in three persons works in three persons. Not separately.

(The white church could be confused to, but I’m not part of one and my experiences in the white church are limited. I don’t know WHAT the white Holy Ghost does. I got any white friends that will take me to church?)

Now that we have that established, let me tell you why what RayRay TayTay DayDay and LayLay were doing was NOT the Holy Ghost. In order to properly praise God, I believe you must have an understanding of sin and Calvary. I’m 26 and I don’t fully understand it so I know these little boys don’t. They would dance if Chuck E. Cheese or Santa Claus came in too.

The big misconception is that the Holy Spirit makes us dance, shout, foam at the mouth and other physical displays. That’s not the Holy Spirit. That’s our human emotions. We could be displaying human emotions because we are overwhelmed at the person and works of God, but we could also be displaying these emotions to impress people.

Nothing is wrong with emotional displays in church, but the Holy Spirit isn’t responsible for it. It is just much bigger and more complex than that. If I’m going to tell you what the Holy Spirit does NOT do. I’m going to tell you a couple of things that it DOES do.

Here are 3 things out of MANY that the Holy Spirit does in our lives.

The Holy Spirit gives us a God consciousness. (John 16: 7-11) It convicts us when we are doing something wrong. Outside of the Holy Spirit we would sin and not have a problem with it. Inside of the Holy Spirit, our sin grieves us and we are called to repent. The Holy Spirit puts God’s truth in our hearts and minds. Jesus left the Holy Spirit here with us as a ‘help mate’ to compensate for his absence. (John 14:16)

The Holy Spirit produces God’s fruit. (Galatians 5:16-24) The fruits of the spirit are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. (Some of the fruits of the flesh are jealousy, anger, drunkenness, idolatry, sexual immortality). I am not naturally a patient person. The Holy Spirit pours patient seeds in my heart daily with these co-workers of mine, honey. What does the fruit of the spirit does he pour into you?

The Holy Spirit is a translator. (Romans 8:26-28) I was at waffle house the other day and these 2 ladies were eating. One of the ladies didn’t speak any English, so her friend had to tell the server what she wanted. The lady didn’t know the proper way to tell the server what she wanted, so her friend interceded for her. “She wants coffee and cream, water no ice. Her steak well done” (I’m about to shout)

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to ask for. But I can still cry out to God and the Holy Spirit will intercede for me. “Lord, send her some peace, some self-control. Let her learn how to shut her mouth.” (LOL)

The Holy Spirit is so much more than shouting in church. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit when we establish a faith in Christ Jesus. Those sweet little boys are imitating their parents, aunties, older siblings or somebody and the Holy Ghost had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Thank you for your support, please continue to read and share with your friends 🙂

CGW

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Glamour Woman of the Year – Caitlyn Jenner – Transgender People

glamour

Today in Mad-for-no-reason news, Caitlyn Jenner is one of Glamour Magazine’s 25 Women of the Year. #EveryWomanCan #GlamourWOTY25

I saw a post on my Facebook newsfeed that said something like “Caitlyn Jenner was chosen as woman of the year. Women, are you offended or empowered?” I answered the question to myself ‘Well, I don’t really give a shxt…’

Then I saw a post of a drawing of a baby coming through a woman’s birth canal. It said “Bruce Jenner can’t do this! He can’t be woman of the year!” and I knew I’d have to blog about it. We’re going to discuss the problem with that picture and then why I think society is so offended by transgender people.

The problem with the picture is that some cisgender women never pass a baby through their birth canal. (I’m not 100 percent sho I’m going to do it myself. I just want to order some 5-year old African twins off Amazon) It is not fair or accurate to measure womanhood by the ability to push a baby out ‘cause not all women can or chose to and that doesn’t make them less of a woman. Also, after a long day of work I don’t want to see a baby coming out of a vagina. Like, I just didn’t need anymore reasons to be stressed that day and that head coming out of a vag nearly sent me over the edge.

Furthermore, it’s Glamour magazine’s prerogative to choose whoever they want for their magazine. Those of you hating on Caitlyn weren’t nominated so I mean there was no danger of you ending up down to the awards. I struggle to understand why you’re so personally offended. Do you even read Glamour magazine?

Caitlyn Jenner was one of 25 remarkable women chosen by the committee of past honorees. One of 25. Yall act like she was THEE woman of the year. She ain’t. It’s a group of them. 24 vaginas out of 25. Not a bad ratio. The vaginas still have the game here.

Let’s get serious for a minute.

There are transgender people in my life that I love. One of my best friends/mentors is transgender. I can’t sit and watch anybody or any group of people be drug through the mud, especially for having the courage to be authentically themselves. I am angry when I see my (Black, Christian) Facebook friends talk silly about transgender people and THEN post a meme of John 3:16.

There is a transgender person (often a woman of color) who has been murdered in the news every other week. It’s a little more serious than Caitlyn Jenner or Laverne Cox on the cover of a magazine and how uncomfortable that makes you. These people are being murdered and THEN their identities aren’t being honored in their death. We have to stand up and have the courage to have at least a conversation.

If WE are going to be boldly Christian and boldly activists, we cannot then chose to exclude Queer people from the movement just because we may not understand them. #BlackLivesMatter right? Some black lives are transgender, gay or lesbian. Those matter too right?

Science

A transgender person is one whose sense of identity does not correspond with the gender assigned to them at birth. A cisgender person is a person who’s identity does correspond with their gender assigned at birth. For example, I am Cisgender. I was born a female. I identify as a woman. Laverne Cox is transgender. She was born a male. She identifies as a woman.

A person’s sex is their anatomy (penis, vagina) a person’s gender is their social role/personal identification based on their internal awareness. Some argue its nature vs. nurture. Others argue its way more complicated than that.

My opinion is even if I don’t fully understand sex, gender, identity, preference and performance; I do not have a right to tell someone else who they are. If Caitlyn Jenner says she’s a woman and wants to be addressed that way, with the proper pronouns, that’s enough. A person’s identity is their own and we don’t have a right to misgender them or call them the wrong name because of our own confusion and insecurities.

I’m also just not interested in what’s between a person’s legs. The brain and heart are more important than sex organs to me. I certainly am not going to publicly speculate on if a transgender person has undergone gender reassignment surgery or not. That’s their choice. I don’t want somebody asking me about my box.

You mad? Or nah?

I see a trend of people being personally offended by Caitlyn Jenner and transgender/gender fluid people in general. I live by what the prophet Jay-Z said. “What you eat don’t make me shxt.” So I’m very interested as to why people seem to take it so personally.

I believe that what we are offended by says more about us than it does about what is offending us. As a society, we put a lot of value in our genitals. For example, manhood is measured by penis size and womanhood is measured by how well you can manipulate/trap a man with your vagina. So, if somebody has a penis and that doesn’t necessarily make them a man, the value of a penis is in jeopardy. If a woman still has the traits that we associate with womanhood, minus a vagina than maybe my vagina isn’t so special.

I also think that the hierarchy/heteronormativity of manhood and womanhood is a part of what makes people so mad. Like dude, you have a penis why would you wanna downgrade and be a woman? Or… you don’t have to endure a menstrual cycle so you can’t sit with us! I think people take the things that make them who they are and elevate themselves. If somebody jeopardizes that, confusion turns to anger.

At the end of the day, transgender people are PEOPLE above all. They have feelings. They have families and friends just like I do. As a Christian I’m going to treat them and everybody with the Love that Christ has shown me…. And post memes of several SEATS on people’s ignorant Facebook posts.

Thank you for your continued support. Remember, this is all my personal opinion. God bless your heart and all your parts

 

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