Someone Inspired You… did you say Thank You #PositiveFACE

Think back to that teacher, coach, mentor, role model…pick up the phone, send them a card, use today to take a pause and say, “Thank You” to someone that made a difference in your life.

As Eunice Jones Gibson coined the phrase, “Because of Them…We Can”.

Thank You

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Lower Your Expectations….


Teach Strength – Reach Success #StartToday #LiveOnPurposeDaily

Originally posted on Positive FACE:

If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome. ~ Michael Jordan

Some of the worse things you can do for yourself in life is to prove your critics right or your cheerleaders wrong. The third thing on that list, though, is to live trying to prove anything to anyone. The right formula is to expect the best of yourself – based on the realization of  the talents and gifts given to you. Develop them, fine tune them, OWN them…expect excellence of yourself – not as measured by anyone else’s standards – but according to your on peace and happiness.  Not settling, EVER, for a lesser form or performance of yourself.  If your cheerleaders are happy and your critics sad…GREAT, but it’s just a bonus.

Walk out of the shadows of expectation into peace.

A sure fire way to manage disappointment is to manage…

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…because bouncing goes down hard – and then up… #Hope

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.” ― Frederick Douglass

I met hope the other day….her given name was Marie.

Everyone should listen to the song Mr. Wendal with their head and heart at least once a year. (Mr. Wendal) Arrested Development shares the experience of humanizing someone that has become invisible to the world.  The wisdom that Mr. Wendal shares comes from the  life that he has lived.  I’m know they learned how he got there and why he stays. The other day, my “Mr. Wendal” was a beautiful soul named Marie.

She asked for a dollar, but what she needed was hope. She immediately followed her request with information that explained her whole life.  She was only two years my senior but looked like she could have been my grandmother. Life and beaten her up badly. Both her choices and the actions of others since her childhood. Marie had been a foster child. She learned from those experiences that she was not loved or needed.  She learned that she was ugly and that she should be happy that anyone wanted her around at all. So because she was nothing or no one – she should accept any and everything handed to her.  She had sought a new opinion from family, lovers, friends and CHURCH. They had all told her the same thing. So she decided to believe them.

Her fifth grade education didn’t give her the tools to know better. She had reached out to support groups and empowerment seminars, but she was never accepted or couldn’t afford them. No one, anywhere was willing to help her. Somehow, though, fate had pushed her to help herself. Fate’s path for her lead her by me that day.

Marie had JUST realized that TRUTH.  Not because she knew different but because she decided that her soul was tired of the version of the truth that she had lived. The day I met her, she was surviving through the first three months of  moving herself out of a long-term abusive relationship. She didn’t know how things were going to work out, but she felt better. She wasn’t really happy yet, but she was drinking less and was thinking about what to do with her life. What she was experiencing was HOPE!

We talked about celebrating daily that she was Amazing. That everyday that she didn’t go back was a day that she was a winner. That God made her beautiful as she was, skinny, dark-skinned, and beautiful, and that she didn’t need to look like anyone else for that to be true. We talked about her learning to read and even learning small words were good. We talked about her being an inspiration to other people because she can tell them how to be strong. She talked about her blessings…she said she hadn’t thought about them in so long. She called me an angel that she needed to see – and shared that she is looking forward to a good life. I told her that she blessed my soul and I was so glad that God brought her by my way.

She left and I went on my way.

I met hope the other day…. Her given name was Marie.


Here have a dollar
In fact now brotherman, here have two
Two dollars means a snack for me
But it means a big deal to you

Be strong, serve God only
Know that if you do, beautiful Heaven awaits
That’s the poem I wrote for the first time
I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate

Mr. Wendal, that’s his name
No one ever knew his name ‘cuz he’s a no one
Never thought twice about spending on an old bum
Until I had the chance to really get to know one

Now that I know ‘em, to give him money isn’t charity
He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes
And to think blacks spend all their money on big colleges
Still most of you come out confused

Go ahead Mr. Wendal
Go ahead Mr. Wendal

Mr. Wendal has freedom
A free that you and I think he’s dumb
Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society
For Mr. Wendal’s a bum

His only worries are sickness and occasional harassment
By the police and their chase
Uncivilized we call him but I just saw him
Eat off the food we waste

Civilization, are we really civilized?
Yes or no, who are we to judge
When thousands of innocent man could be brutally enslaved
And killed over a racist grudge

Mr. Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways
But we don’t hear him talk
It’s not his fault when we’re goin’ too far and we got too far
‘Cuz on him we walk

Mr. Wendal, a man, a human in flesh but not by law
I feed you dignity to stand with pride
Realize now that all in all we stand tall
Go ahead Mr. Wendal

Mr. Wendal
Mr. Wendal
Mr. Wendal


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Commitment Equals Life #YourDestiny

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” Peter F. Drucker 

So many people want to do so many things. So they say, but it often just amounts to talk. It’s only hopeless dreams and aspirations until you commit.  You don’t have to be the best to succeed – you just have to be the most committed. You must OWN the PASSION and act daily. Even baby steps are steps.

Whether you love or hate President Obama… the fact is he’s an example of dismissing excuses to reach excellence.  He was a bi-racial child in a single parent household that didn’t have his father present.  He was a young adult in Chicago and subject to all of the minority challenges of every other minority man.  He started at the bottom…and now he’s there. Any one of those excuses could have supported a less that fabulous life. AND, if he’d only shot for being a successful attorney, everyone else would have applauded his success. But he knew the destiny that he wanted for himself and family.  He didn’t become complacent with an image of success.  He, in fact, sacrificed at a time when he could have been “ballin'”. Other people opinion of what his success looked like didn’t matter – positive or negative opinions.  He reached his goal because of COMMITMENT.

You may be doing great in the eyes of others; you may be failing in the sight of others…the important life measure is Are You On Your Path to Success? If not, check your commitment.

  • How much time do you spend doing SOMETHING to fulfill that dream?
  • Do you research and educate yourself in the field?
  • Do you let the feedback of others shade your passion? (Kill that mentality!)
  • Have you accepted or continue to relate to any negativity in your past? (Kill that too!)
  • Are you truly happy where you are in your life?  If NO, change it – You Can!

No one can give you a successful life.  They can help make you comfortable with material things or status, but success is personal.  Only commitment, passion, and hard work can make you SUCCESSFUL.


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New Life, New Day #Promise #Potential #Possibilities

We love because it’s the only true adventure. ~Nikki Giovanni


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…and The Case for Normal – to Be or Not to Be… #FosterCare #Promise

“My whole life I wanted to be normal. Everybody knows there’s no such thing as normal.  There is no black-and-white definition of normal. Normal is subjective… It’s family and love and safety. It’s bravery and hope. It’s work and laughter and imperfection. It’s my normal.”  ~ Tori Spelling

FACES of the Children

So there is this new word that I’ve recently learned called “Normalcy”.  It’s probably the first time in my life that I’ve known what a word meant before I knew it existed.  The noun normalcy meaning ‘the condition of being normal; the state of being usual, typical, or expected’. There are programs being developed and legislation being passed to provide foster and adopted children with the gift of normalcy. I think of it somewhat similar to the blessing of oxygen tanks to people that struggle to breathe.  Air is a natural thing to everyone, but there are those that need that special gift of oxygen with their health requires it just to survive.

I now pride myself on stark individuality.  But in my life for many years past I wanted, desired, and strived for NORMAL.  Just some relatable sense of self-definition that would help me understand me, based on the lives, actions, and mindsets of others around me.

I didn’t talk like everyone else in my home, so for me I wasn’t normal.  We had to ask permission for me to go on vacations with my foster family, and I know that wasn’t normal. My hair, nose, face, and physical abilities was not like everyone else…again reminding me that I wasn’t normal. So I grew to have a bit of a complex about my abnormalities. I was blessed to be able to just accept it. I loved reading and math too much to stop because no one else could get why I’d spend summer days reading on the porch or making long division problems in the air while lying in the grass.  That made me a ‘nerd’ and it wasn’t normal to be okay being a nerd.  So, I skipped that opportunity to be normal.  Normal for me would have continued music lessons, enrolled me in dance, or signed me up for a art class. Normal for me would have known that my eyes looked just like moms or my mouth was just like dads. Even the small dose of normal, the Catholic bible left for me by my paternal great-grandmother to leave me with a sense of connections was taken away by life. So we have a case for being NORMAL.  We must fight for it so that all children have that human place to belong – the city of Normal.

But not to be outdone, the case for “Not Being Normal” can be well founded and strong. You find the best of yourself in your ability to be unique – absolutely NOT NORMAL. The balance is to eliminate the negativity of nature of the Systems to effectively support those that need it without the feeling of being ‘different’ in a bad way.  In the process, we have to help them embrace the differences that make them special. These are the gifts that will help them find success. Once shattered, Dreams – like Crystal – cannot be properly mended.

I found this article today that was good for me. Mostly because it was another of those moments that helped me to see that I’m not unique in this thought.  As we support the HEART of the movement towards normalcy for Foster Children, I pray that we are careful not to turn it into another initiative that makes the intended beneficiary feel like an island. The road to normalcy cannot run parallel to the path called “Cases”. No child wants to feel like part of a caseload, they just want a normal life.  #PositiveFACE


Among Foster Youth, A Need for Normalcy –

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No More Excuses #RIP #YouCanWin

Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. ~Don Wilder and Bill Rechin

Today we mourn the passing of Random Excuses. He had a long and productive life, having most of his success in aborting dreams and killing visions. The only ones that will celebrate his life are those that hold him close to their hearts and refuse to bury him.

May everyone else celebrate his passing by the renewal of your spirit. 




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