Introspection

The Beautiful Ones... There'll Never B Another Like U!

I've been in a writer's slump for some time now. But today my lyrical world was rocked. Prince is one of my most favorite artists of all time and his death shook me up in a way I wasn't quite expecting. I don't often get emotional over people I don't know, but Prince laid the sound track for most of my life. The creativity and musicianship he embodied greatly inspires me. Music "moods me" and Prince knew how to set my atmosphere with many different moods. Whether it was Funk,
Jazz, Classical, or Blues, Prince was able to tap into all of those genres with ease. He played multiple instruments extremely WELL. He wrote, produced, arranged and performed some of my most favorite songs of all time. I won't even begin to list them because I probably wouldn't be able to stop...there's just that many. His genius spanned multiple decades. Decades! He was still making music and building a lasting legacy at the time of his untimely death. He was only 57. Which brings me to how I was unexpectedly shook.

You make me so confused
The beautiful ones
You always seem to lose.
— Prince Rogers Nelson

Today I was compelled to write. When I got home from work, I went into my own personal archives and looked back on some of the things I've written over the years. Now that was some good 'ol motivation! Sometimes, life has a way of stifling creativity....if you let it. This week I've been reminded that I can't continue to allow that to happen. On Monday, a dear family member passed away. However, she left behind people whom she poured into with immense love and "Joy". Prince leaves behind a phenomenal catalog of music and people who will never forget how his music makes them feel. (And let's not forget the vault of music he's yet to even release....I really hope they find a way to share it with us!) It made me think about what I'll leave behind. What will my legacy be? Who have I impacted, and how? Death visited me this week. Although I'm sad, I'm also glad that it is the death of my stagnation as it relates to pursuing my passionate purpose of creating. What will I create? You'll have to stay tuned to find out.

Rest in Peace Joy Rubin and Prince Rogers Nelson. You will be truly missed!

♥ ❤ ❥ ❣♥ ❤ ❥ ❣♥ ❤ ❥ ❣♥ ❤ ❥ ❣♥ ❤ ❥ ❣♥ ❤ ❥ ❣♥ ❤ ❥ ❣♥ ❤ ❥ ❣

I want to leave you with this. A poetic piece I wrote in 2008 after a special night of being serenaded by Prince. Oh to be fly on the wall that night!

I'M A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

The intrigue that is you

Dates itself

And travels back into time

In your world

I didn’t really exist

However your entry into mine

Should be labeled a crime

The mere presence of you

Stole my attention

Moments passed

Days gone by

Months and also years

A memory thought to be forgotten

But in the blink of an eye

It reappears

Curiosity still reigns in my spirit

A wondering oh so deep

Is it possible to come and go?

And come and go

And come again

My heart’s palpitations

Hardly even skip a beat?

Finding your way into my dreams

Affecting my subconscious

Yet keeping my reality in a bind

Tapping into my wildest fantasies

As if you’d read my mind

You and all of your allure

Lingering

Idly standing by

Ever so cautious and patient

Savoring every second’s high

Subtly seducing

Causing even more attraction for sure

It’s an enduring itch

That wants to be scratched

The desire extremely pure

Trying intently to redirect my focus

Not even acknowledging anything’s there

Except when I get around you

I wish I could help it

But I can’t

So I start to stare

Looking beyond your exterior

Pit-stopping at your soul

It takes everything in me

To show restraint and self-control

It’s a high stakes game we’re playin’

I know you see it

As observant as you are

Unable to hide what’s in plain view

Upon each and every encounter

I yearn to arrest

The intrigue that is you!

© 2008-2016 LyricLL Expressions - La Donna L. Lewis

The Greatest Love-Gift of All!

Christmas is a time traditionally spent with family and friends. What if you're single? What if you're sick? What if your loved ones have passed away? What if you don't have money to buy gifts? What if you can't cook? Our human emotions tell us these circumstances should prevent us from celebrating and "feeling" the joy of the season. God has shown me over the the years that none of those things really matter as much as I thought they did. Why? Because they all take the focus away from His Son.

There is only ONE reason for this season and that's Christ. He is what makes this Christmas day. Without Him, it's just another day. I'm so very thankful for both the birth and death of Christ. Because of Him I walk in freedom from sin and will have eternal life with Him. The gift of Salvation! I didn't have to buy it. And no one else spent any money to give it to me. It truly is the greatest gift of all!

This season let's be certain to share the greatest love-gift of all which is Jesus Christ. May His offering of salvation be received by everyone with whom we come in contact. May He comfort the lonely, heartbroken, and grieving. May the joy He brings overcome all sadness. May His peace impact the world. May His Love pierce our hearts.

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:10-14"

Merry Christmas!

A Thanksgiving Moment...

Once upon a time, Thanksgiving was one of my favorite days of the year. I loved the food, fellowship and simply being around family. Then as I got older and our family didn't/wasn't able to come together as often, things changed. Thanksgiving became hard for me without MY OWN individual family to share it with.

Being single and without children was magnified and seemed like the worst thing ever. My perspective was flawed. Instead of recognizing all of the wonderful opportunities I had when friends would invite me to share with their family, I was bitter about my own temporary circumstances. I'm so grateful for growth and a transformed mindset because being UNthankful on Thanksgiving was miserable.

I pray for anyone who is feeling alone today regardless of the reason. I pray for all who are grieving a loss and this day is difficult without your loved one(s). I pray your hope is not lost and your joy is restored. Allow yourself to be loved on by others. People really do care about you. And most of all, may God's love and peace overwhelmingly comfort you today and always!

Dear Hubby, My Love Awaits

By Cassandra N. Vincent

At one point, it was MY ULTIMATE goal. Marriage. I talked about it, dreamed about it, got mad about not having it, and eventually the thought of it annoyed me. The desire that was once such a pleasant thought eventually became an aching reminder of the desire that was not yet fulfilled and seemed so far off.

It was that want for affection from another person, to be in partnership with an equally loving person as I was, and to experience matrimony that was authentic even its most valley-like moments. Marriage in my mind was definitely not perfect, I had a beautiful example in my parents. I was not expecting the perfect man, but I was expecting a blessing in the man I would eventually marry.

Since the age of 21, marriage was one of the goals, more of a deep desire, that I was set on. When it didn't happen at 21 I waited and counted down to 24. When 24 came I just KNEW it would happen before 30---surely because at this point I hadn't dated for 5 years, I was in church EVERY Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday! SURELY this kept, praying, Sanctified young lady would be 'found' by her mate before her 30th birthday.

No, but "it" didn't happen. I was not "found" by my dear hubby.

"GOD! ARE YOU SERIOUS?" Ha! Yes I questioned every bit of the God I served about this desire now "thorn in my side". What happened in the next few years was shear humor, a mound of dating woes and dating no's. After a year and a half of non-stop dating, I experienced absolute burn out and heart break, but gained a load of knowledge about my wants.

Fast forward to today at 30-something-and-a-half, I am completely liberated of the idea that 'love won't manifest in my life any time soon'. As a matter of fact, love is very present because 'I found love inside of me first'. This epiphany has in turn allowed me to grasp hold of the truth that my dear hubby is developing and being prepared for me as I was for him. This liberation in my heart and spirit has released me from fear, pressure to rush, the need to settle, but has graced me with peace and wisdom to look to God.

Despite all of my bad dating experiences, one of the major practices that helped me get through some of the mental while waiting on my, "Dear Hubby" was to write down all of the attributes I wanted him to possess. I mean EVERY detail. This activity was a true blessing because just journaling his attributes made me happy. Some people set an extra plate setting for their dear hubby, others write love notes to him, I chose to write my vision of him.   Do what works for you!

In early 2014, I wrote a vision of my "Dear Hubby" and at the end of 2014 I began dating a very phenomenally-spirited man who fully embodies that vision. {I'm sure I'll be giving DearHubby.com a delightful update soon}. Until then here's what I've learned about this journey & the power of your vision:

  • Dating seriously helps you discover what you DO/DON'T want in a mate.
  • Time is valuable so that on some levels we grow into the people our future mates need as a partners.
  • The condition of one's heart is so key in "being ready" to receive the love and challenges that come with any relationship.
  • When a woman (or man) becomes LIBERATED from tragic dating experiences, pain, and poor relationship choices -- love seems to be given and received with much more ease.
  • The power of vision helps strengthen the heart.
  • The power of words, intentions, and actions are essential. What you believe and practice is what creates the life and love you desire.


Here's to Love & Liberation!

-Cassandra


Cassandra N. Vincent is a speaker, blogger, and advocate for women living life fully and liberated. Cassandra blogs at www.TheCassieBrownProject.com

Faith Moves Us From One Place To Another

By La Donna L. Lewis

This photo is full of so much meaning for me. It is the first photo I took when I got to Austin,TX; a picture of Lake Travis. Being a California Girl, I had to find some water immediately! Lol.

This photo is full of so much meaning for me. It is the first photo I took when I got to Austin,TX; a picture of Lake Travis. Being a California Girl, I had to find some water immediately! Lol.

At this time--11:37pm 4 years ago, I was on the highway by myself driving from California to Austin, TX. Well, I wasn't really alone though, thankfully it was me and Jesus because I still had about 4 more hours to go. I had embarked upon a journey and chose to leave the place I loved and lived for my entire life. A place I honestly never imagined leaving---unless of course a husband was on the other side of that move.

But that's not how it all went down. There wasn't a husband waiting for me, not even a fiancé. No house that I was going to be carried over the threshold of, nor a job to look forward to. No money in the bank, nor credit to rely upon. All I had was hope in Jesus and my faith to know that He had me covered. I left all that I knew for a "New Beginning". Some folks thought I was joking around when I told them I was leaving. I know they didn't really believe I would do it. Why? It didn't make sense...not to them anyway. I can only imagine the things they were thinking. They probably thought I was crazy. But for me, it was more about obedience and trust than anything else. I had to trust that I heard from God, and because I knew I did, that meant I had to trust that He had me covered, protected and would provide everything I needed. He did exactly that. He showed up in ways that I knew it could ONLY be Him. I had a peace about it all. I had no clue what was going to happen, but I knew that if HE had His Hand in it, I would be just fine.

Stepping out on Faith means doing something without knowing the ins and outs, ups and downs, etc. But because of Faith the ultimate outcome would be for MY good and for HIS Glory. Y'all, I'm GOOD, and He gets ALL THE GLORY for it! I encourage you to step out on Faith with whatever it is that has been tugging at you. Trust Him. He has you covered.

There Would Be No Bridge Without the Bridge-Makers

Williamsburg Bridge, New York City

Williamsburg Bridge, New York City

We all experience difficult times in life. Through pain and struggle we manage to get through it all and make it to the other side. Once we get there, it can be easy to forget all the details of how you actually got there. Sure, you can admit you had help, but do you remember who was there for you? How often have you expressed gratitude for what they've done? Did you make the time to show them appreciation? Or did you just go skipping along across to the other side of your bridge never to think about those people or their help ever again? 

There are MANY super-nice, giving and kind-hearted people in this world. They deserve to be thought of. Unfortunately we've been trained to spotlight the negative more than anything else. Let's change that! How about we consider and acknowledge more than just the fact that we got over the bridge. Let's celebrate the bridge-makers too! 

Do you have any bridge-makers in your life that could use a "Thank you!", "I appreciate you!", "I couldn't have done it without you!"? Call them, write them, visit them and shower them with gratitude.