Just Before I Jumped… #Perserverance, #Patience, and #Pain

“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is, that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.” Beecher, Henry Ward American Congregational preacher (1813–1887)

I know that feels like a life threat, to say I’m about to jump. But when you “jump ship” from your purpose and dreams…your soul is dying and your person will soon follow.  I saw a quote a few times this week attributed to Benjamin Franklin that stated, “Many people die at 25, and aren’t buried until 75″.  I knew what that meant the first time I read it.

When dreams die, your spirit doesn’t have a place to live. Your spirit lives by being nurtured in your pursuit of excellence.  Only by fulfilling your true purpose can you truly live. You may become otherwise ‘successful’, but you’ll always feel a gap. It’s that gap and the distance that you move away from that purpose that causes people to get a sense of loss and uselessness. Some die physically with the world thinking that they had everything to live for, some die at heart and never get to their true self, both know that they never truly lived.

I heard twice today before noon, “it’s not about you”.  The voices were from someone that has never seen me before in life and secondly from someone that has known me for half a lifetime. Both, neither knowing the other had spoken the same words verbatim, where referring to Positive FACE.

It’s not that I don’t believe in that dream or haven’t gone through HELL…and back…working on this. I do and I have. It’s because of those realities that I feel sometimes that I need to back off and try later. BUT - The kicker is…Just before I Jumped…I was shown the Positive in my journey.  If you don’t look at the positive and your accomplishments, everything will feel like lost time and effort.

1. In the first place, Positive FACE was, is, a place of healing for me and many of the support staff.  We have been through those pains (some direct others indirect) and know that children lives today need to be healed from the pains that we #understand…because of our pasts. First things first. Positive FACE will heal and help lives. That can’t be put on hold. Children are facing more serious abuses daily and we have been blessed and divinely trusted to reach them and change their lives.

2. It does seem to be FOREVER getting things off the ground. But nothing worth doing happens suddenly. It takes patience to make certain that we’re giving our best. The children deserve it.  This can’t fail them. We may not save every child that comes through the program, but every child that comes through the program will know that WE CARE.

3. I’ve joked many times that this phase feels like ‘I’m crawling to the finish line, only to find a huge wall ahead’. I too seldom look back and appreciate the fact that I’ve traveled 999 miles of the thousand mile journey. The journey has had more blessing than I can count. But I’m soon to move on to the next hurdle with my focus on the fatigue factor. Never mind that Positive FACE has crossed every hurdle well by grace.  I just see the next obstacle wondering, “How will I get over that?” Short answer, the same as the others! GRACE and PERSEVERANCE. Keep moving and jump at the right time. I, we, must focus on the JUMP.  Focusing on the hurdle will get you hurt. If you know how high to jump, you just need to know when – that’s the only value in seeing the hurdle – to know when to jump.

Today…honestly for a few days, okay weeks…to be completely honest, I’ve considered it to be a logic consideration to jump off of the path to my dream.  Every child that I have the potential to help would have been the hidden lives that I would be accountable for missing. But today, Just before I Jumped…a faceless voice, hundreds of miles away, reminded me what I was living for – and for that I am grateful. On behalf of the Children of #PositiveFACE, Thank You Paige.

#LiveOnPurposeDaily #SeekYourPurpose

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Foster children become focus of California schools

Originally posted on Atlanta Daily World:

Foster Youth Schools

In this photo taken Friday, July 11, 2014, Elk Grove Unified School District teacher Michael Jones and his former student Kandance Stagner, a foster child, walk around Laguna Creek High School, where Stagner recently graduated from, in Elk Grove, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California is embarking on a first-of-its-kind attempt to improve the academic lives of foster youth by giving schools more money to meet their special learning and emotional needs and holding educators and administrators accountable.

But first, officials have to figure out how many school-age foster children they have and where they are enrolled in a state that?s home to nearly one-fifth of the nation?s foster children.

Until now, no state has attempted to identify every foster child in its public schools or to systematically track their progress, much less funnel funds toward those students or require school districts to show they are…

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When the Variables X & Y are #Love and #Trust

Love all, trust a few. – William Shakespeare

Love so extreme…as words go.  It’s forceful enough that it can be a verb and a noun. It’s definition can be contained in the dictionary, but not in the hearts of man. It’s presence and absence can absolutely change a life.

Trust, although holding the distinction of also being a verb and a noun, is more direct and final.  Either it is or it isn’t and is generally defined by life itself. Ones character, respect, and foundation of wisdom is usually the driving factor of the trust that they get from others.

The are powerful independent of each other…the are unconquerable together.

It is my experience, speaking from the seat of a child in this post, that when mending the heart, spirit, and mind that has survived any neglect and abuse… one must solve for Y, Trust, honestly before the correct solution for Love can be found. Why the equation analogy? Just because I love math mostly.  But also because the we’re building relation, which adds to our lives, and understanding addition is about basic mathematics.

Why trust before love? Because it is the first factor that shows where your heart and mind are in the relationship.  If you care enough to invest the time needed to build honest trust, you are establishing a foundation to build stable love. Unfortunately, many evil minded people understand this trick well. Yes, there have been dishonest preachers, doctors, and even people that are supposed to love you who manipulate trust to steal someone’s love. Once the love is in place they are taken advantage of and lose their livelihoods, and in some cases, their life. So the trust is destroyed and love…disappears. The wounded is so conscience of this and live braced for it to happen again.  This is what goes on in the minds of many (if not all) foster children and many kinship children. The natural trust and love has been damaged, so why should they trust that anyone else will love them more than mom and dad. That feeling took more than a few months to build. Do you care enough to endure the time needed to rebuild trust?  Candy, trips, and fun are great, but by no means are a trust building factor.

New analogy…have you ever been near a dog that’s been beaten? When you reach your hand to them, even if it has food, the dog will jump away. You have to be patient and allow them the time to see that what you offer them is good. Give them time to get comfortable in the belief that the good won’t be followed by bad (keeping in mind, the abuser probably fed them dinner too). And last allowing them to approach you.  It worked, but chances are that you will need to repeat that scenario until the dog finally reaches a comfort level.  It can take a long time. And even then, some situations may cause them to jump away again. In that scenario, you’ve solved for Y. “Y” representing the reason not to trust and the solution to gain trust again. It’s not personal for the dog, or the child that doesn’t trust. It’s a factor of reality.  That doesn’t go away just because you love them. But because you love them, they can get where they need to be.


The innocence of a child can even be felt by butterflies…

So then you’ve solved for Y (trust) but you want to solve the full equation. In this case you want the (X) love factor. It’s in there, not too far behind. The powerful nature of love will be attracted to trust relationships. Just like in math, it is generally far easier to solve for the second variable once the first in discovered. The solution key is to use the VERB love – the ACTION. What you do, in secret and public, will prove the heart. Not the sexual physical act, and especially not sick perversion.  Keeping in mind that the sexual act is an expression of the emotion and is only “Love” if those involved have an equal commitment. A call, a happy note, walk in the park, showing pride of accomplishment, and just listening can do more to prove love than many people understand. The X factor includes communication, validation of emotion, and genuine concern for the journey that the child has been through. When you care that much, you give love.  When you solve for love, you’ll get it in return. For children, love is as natural as breathing and they’re waiting to exhale.

X + Y = A Positive and Productive Life


Trust and Love is an Option










Great topic article – Dr. John Degarmo – Building Trust with your Foster Child

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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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