…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 – https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/opinion/among-foster-youth-a-need-for-normalcy/7374

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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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The Beginning…Again #FosterCare #Renewal

“We attain freedom as we let go of whatever does not reflect our magnificence. A bird cannot fly high or far with a stone tied to its back. But release the impediment, and we are free to soar to unprecedented heights.” – Alan Cohen

It’s been a distant Wednesday since the last time that I shared my heart here in cyber-space.  I have so much to share, but for now I just smile in my heart with the excitement of “It’s going DOWN!

Today marks the first of what will be a LOT of meetings spanning the rest of my life. In today’s meeting I will have the pleasure of sharing air with more than a dozen people that just want to be a part of raising ‘my baby’. Positive FACE , my baby, will be a source of life, strength, and renewal for 1,000’s of children across the nation.   We’re done packing, we’re getting in the car to start the journey today.  I’ve fallen a lot many times on the way and didn’t want to get up. Sometimes, I’ve just been afraid to fly and wanted to stay grounded – settling for something else that would be less risky.

Today, I’m Standing – Standing for all of the children that know distance, neglect, abuse, and instability.

Today, I’m Flying – Flying for all of those children that been told that they will fail, either directly or through the unspoken words of someone that doesn’t understand the key to success.

That doesn’t mean I’m not tired of standing or not afraid to fly – that means simply that I believe in our next generation so much, that I’m willing to sacrifice everything for what I believe.  If you believe that a better chance can breed a better future, keep us in prayer today as we plan a better chance.


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Thank You for Rising #RIPMayaAngelou

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ― Maya Angelou


LDrAngelouike you, the news hit me like a rock. As the Amazing Dr. Maya Angelou made her final ascension, I was sitting at my computer preparing to continue the pursuit of my life fulfillment.   The newscaster behind me reported in breaking news that this Queen had taken leave of her mortal body.  Of course not in those words, but that is what I heard.

Her spirit, the true essence of herself was now gone.  The last words with which she blessed the world – would be her last new words of inspiration. Her life story, her wisdom, and her unique God given way of feeding life to the world will live on FOREVER. 

I couldn’t believe how quickly my spirit broke to tears. Someone who had passed a light to me is now a part of eternal LIGHT.  My tears were for the child that suffered pain, for the celebration of a woman that learned her purpose, and for the teacher that gave all the wisdom she could.  In my thirst for PURE WISDOM, I tremble a little knowing that well is now dry.  She touched my life, but more importantly her gifts blessed and nourished my soul.  She was knocked down by abuse, racism, sexism, hatred, family and so called friends….but she chose to RISE. Time and time again, she rose to the challenge of life, not blaming what happened for defeat…but instead using her trials like iron sharpen iron.  She ROSE above all and became more than anyone would have assumed when she was the child in pain. Just think how many would not have been touched and nourished, had she chosen not to RISE.MA Post

In her last breathe – The World Mourned. No one could have done a better job of using the gifts given them by the Father of all.  My I honor you, my ancestor- mentor – teacher, but following your example in the use of my gifts.  May we all Show Respect for your giving by living in your example.




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