Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Power of Love

In order for one to write about the sweetness of Love, one has to truly believe in the power of it. The Power of Love is magnetic and I believe in it strongly! The Bible explains it this way in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “Three things will last forever-faith, hope and love-and the greatest of these is love”.  There’s an electricity that one feels instantaneously the moment that their feelings of love or attraction are reciprocated by the one that they want in return.  That’s the Power of Love. The Bible goes on to explain that, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” 1 Corinthians 13:7.  Wouldn’t it be so sweet if marriages in America were built on this verse? There is something so powerful in the word endurance.  “Permanence” and “duration” are some of the words that Webster’s Dictionary uses to define endurance. Imagine if we lived in a world where people would fight for their Love instead of against one another. I think the Power of Love directly coincides with the Power of Forgiveness. I pray that my next encounter with love will be my last. I promise to Love, Honor and Cherish every moment of it. I’m excited for it even though it hasn’t happened.  That’s the Power of Hope. In the interim, I practice faithfully loving God. Our relationship has gotten so much deeper than ever before.  Waking up daily for prayer, and morning devotionals have helped me to delve into a much better understanding of how our Heavenly Creator operates.  God is Love and all he wants from his children is love in return.

My time spent with God has made me realize my dependency on His love.  Similar to being in a relationship with a man, parent or with one of my children I never want to be without God’s Love.  When a single or a married person takes the time to firmly root their relationship with God; that borne fruit can be counterproductive in one’s other relationships.  This is where the Grace of God takes us.  Isn’t the concept simply magnificent?  I think it is.  I’ve totally conditioned myself to understand that without my Creator’s Love in my life I will fail miserably at trying to extend my Love to a life partner or to anyone else for that matter.  Patience and Love completely coincide.  I’ve learned through years of impatience how important it is to actually have patience.  When entering a relationship with a patient ear you can listen even more intently. One of my biggest weaknesses is my inability to listen effectively; people that talk a great deal typically suffer with this as well.   I walked away from my last relationship not knowing anything of real significance about the person that I thought I wanted to marry.  Other than reading about his personality in the results of a popular on-line exam; I didn’t know anything concrete, significant or really personal about him.  Ultimately, I walked away feeling empty and very embarrassed by that.  With every experience we have the opportunity to learn something about ourselves and to do better in the future.

The Power of Love will defy any human odds over the outcome. The Bible says this in Mark 10:9, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate”.  By couples taking the time out to really listen to one another; they have a strong chance of avoiding any miscommunication that could later lead to hard feelings.  Defining the relationship constantly is also key.  If you have questions for your significant other just ask them.  Within the first year of marriage or any serious new relationship I would advise the couple to hibernate.  During this hibernation period the couple should have the opportunity to acclimate to one another’s needs, wants, ideas and desires for their relationship. The Power of their Love will have a real chance to flourish because outside influences will be kept at bay. Having the chance to figure out what they both want without the judgment, advice or opinions of friends and family members can create a strong foundation between the couple.  By no means, am I suggesting cutting friends and family off during this time.  We all wear different hats with our relatives and friends than we do in our relationship. If someone you’re considering getting deeply involved with says to you, “My mother is my best friend”. I would have to question where do you fit into that relationship.  Is there even room for you to be a part of that friendship? We have a responsibility to actively hear what people say when they say it, and even more importantly to accept it rather than to think that we can change it later on down the line.  We can’t just fill-in the missing blanks or make things up as we go along. We can’t interpret things the way we “think” they should be or make assumptions on our partners’ behalf.  For example, I couldn’t expect that person to ever make me his best friend if he was acknowledging that the position was already filled.  Now had he said something more hopeful to me like, “My Mother is my best friend yet I would love for the woman in my life to eventually fill that space?”  I might have visualized the statement with an idea that implicated a long-term commitment. As I mentioned earlier, the Love seed needs to be watered constantly in order to grow.

In conclusion, with long-temperance and a still spirit we can learn to be way more accepting of everything that God gives us. That includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. In God’s time, He will introduce you to the one that he has handpicked, reared and guided directly to you and for you.  That blissful moment will be impactful and your intuition will awaken you to realize that you don’t want to spend another living day without that special person. Embrace, give thanks and cherish every single moment of your Love for the Blessing that it is.  Always believing and knowing that its powerful force will never die when it’s true.  Come rain or shine the two of you will grow closer and closer to one another with each passing day.  Love holds no records and if you focus on planning your marriage versus your wedding day things will always remain solid.  Relationships are easy to walk away from but very hard to endure.  The person that God has picked for you will never walk away from you.  They will be tested with temptation as we all are but they will never find it easier to take refuge in another because you will mean that much to them.  Doesn’t that sound sweet? J

I’m praying that the renewal of spring 2013 brings fresh and fragrant Love to each of your lives; May God Bless You all.

Much Luv,

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

So Many Failed Attempts

Someone asked me the other day, “BC, how’s your relationship with your Dad?”  I felt this immediate sadness come over me as I carefully thought of my answer. Before I could speak it, my heart was warmed with the feeling of holding his strong hands.  “Pops” has always meant the world to me.  My protector, my provider and the first man I ever loved and trusted.  How could it be that so many years have gone by without us speaking or writing one another?  Déjà vu flooded my mind, as I remembered Pops and I going to visit his father in the hospital while he was on his death bed.  Pops didn’t want him to die and he had not made peace with him in this life.  All I could remember him saying was that they never got along.  Pops and I on the other hand were like two peas in a pod. We were both Leo’s (me in July him in August), we were both the center of attention in our worlds and I could never imagine us being inseparable.  How someone could be asking me about him in 2013 and I not have something positive to say like, “My relationship with my Dad is perfect!” “My Father is so proud of the woman that I have become.” I thought, “Oh Heavenly Father, what have I done? How in the world could I be so cold to the one man that has always given me the softest part of his heart?  I imagined my sit down in Heaven with Jesus Christ.  I could see Jesus saying, “My child you were told to Honor your mother and father”.  What a disappointing response I would have to offer.  “I haven’t spoken to my Dad in years?”; “Oh My God, Why BC?” the next question.  To avoid further embarrassing myself I just said, “We had a fallen out”.  The actual answer should have been, “I didn’t get my way, and I stopped contacting him”. 

What an evil person I must be to do such a thing. My father told me, “No”, at the one time in my life that I needed a, “Yes”.  My father never knew what I was going through behind the scenes because I’m very careful at protecting the feelings of the people that I care about the most. I was facing rejection and heartache by my youngest child’s father like I had never experienced thus far in life.  Had I been younger and hurt I would have just run to my Dad.  He would have picked me up and carried me to comfort like he always did.  God Blessed me immensely with the father that he chose for me.  I can’t tell you how accident prone I was as a child (I’m still an accident prone adult as well).  Pops was just always there.  He bandaged my cuts and bruises, pulled my hair away from my face when I had to vomit and always, always, always tucked me in at night with the big kisses that only he could provide. The scent of his Jovan Musk is something that I will die with embedded in my senses. How could I expect him to know that I was hurt or that I needed him if I wasn’t willing to share what I was going through at the time?  Pops had other children and they shared everything with him.  I being an isolated only child didn’t really understand how to do that.  My fondest memory of him is that he never stopped listening to me.  Anyone that knows a writer, knows that we talk about everything and we can go on and on with great detail.  We can captivate a moment with our words and make you feel like you were there. His long fingers and 6’2”, stature always made me feel safe.  My dad would have gone to the ends of the earth for me.  My biggest fear in life is that the next time I lay eyes on him will be the same way it was when we went to that hospital to see his Dad; “Father God, why is life so immensely complicated?”

I looked for my Dad in every relationship that I ever had. One failed attempt after another, and I don’t know if I should be happy or embarrassed to say that no one quite measured up to him.  My Dad is that awesome!  A hands-on man that can paint, cook, clean, fix things, care and provide for his children and still manage to extend his hand to others.  They don’t make them like him anymore.  I always knew that he would walk me down the aisle when I got married.  I also knew that he would have, “the talk”, with whomever I married.  I knew that my Father was not pleased that I had children out of wedlock, yet and still he supported me regardless.  My Father believed in my ability when I stopped believing in myself.  I’m what you call flighty.  When the going gets tough I run to avoid life’s issues.  I’ve hurt my father many times by this.  Never opening up and never being able to truly lean on him the way I did as a child.  They say the way to a person’s heart is food.  My Father always made it his business to feed me and to feed me well.  Holding my hand, listening to me, explaining how important the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan were are things that my Pops did for me. I can think back to a particular summer day when my sweet tooth was fully charged.  I ate so much junk that day and my Dad said, “Bobbi, you are going to get sick”, but like a glutton I just kept going.  My Dad had a waterbed back then and when I finally settled down to watch TV…oh my, was I sick and I mean really sick.  My Dad took care of me without ever feeling the need to say, “I told you so”, and that is the type of relationship I’ve searched for as an adult.

I did come close.  I know that for certain.  In my relationship with Citrus, I can honestly say that even his voice reminded me of my father in his younger days.  His character, long fingers, love of basketball and stature were also a huge contribution.  Failed attempts at Love are like tripping and falling in the street.  It’s painful, but it’s also terribly embarrassing.  Unfailing Love is so hard to come by in a world that is cultivated by logic.  There is no space for logic in love.  The most analytical thinkers will still only feel love with their heart muscles. Love is simply a feeling, but it’s everything.  Love needs more love to grow, the way a plant needs water.  Every attempt at love isn’t going to be successful attempt and that’s why it’s an attempt. It’s very important to walk away from each attempt with more wisdom than you walked in with to begin with. Love can be so bittersweet at times.  Love is the most special and intimate feeling we can have here on earth. The best advice that I can offer my readers on failed attempts at Love is consciousness.  Many fall into the trap of wanting to fill the void of being alone. Take the, “lonely time”, to study what you could have done better, what you’ve learned and more importantly what you want for the future.  Always live in the moment and acknowledge every sensation of your pain. It’s ok to be hurt because hurt feelings are an affirmation that you loved hard.

I believe in loving hard and I also believe that love holds no records.  Wronged doings will always be forgiven in a love that’s for you.  Love never gives up.  It’s enduring, unfailing and absolutely unending.  Love is sweet, and it’s so very kind.  It’s gentle, humble, righteous and unconditional. My Father taught me that.  Even in my wrongs, his Love never faltered or died. I walked away from my Father’s love and I will have to live with that for a lifetime.  Has anyone ever asked you what your relationship with your Father was like ladies? Fellas, how is your relationship with your Mom?  The answer to these questions will be a major contributing factor as far as what you will and won’t accept in a relationship.  I want you to also keep firmly implanted in your mind that what and who is for you will be just that.  That is God’s Grace.  What God brings together, no man can separate. You won’t have to sell yourself or make someone see what they can’t naturally.  If for some reason, they don’t see you, then that just means it’s time for you to move onto the person that will.  You can still love them and want what is best for them yet you owe it to yourself to keep moving forward.  Often times, I long to be that small child that waited and depended on my Father for everything; as we’d cruise in his Blue Mercury, Topaz listening to Luther Vandross I knew that we would always be one in each other.  Unfortunately, today that just isn’t the truth.  Today our relationship is non-existent.  I want to be the adult-child and leave him responsible to look for me versus me having to continually find himL.  That probably isn’t going to happen and such is life. They say that a girl has to kiss many frogs before finding her true Prince Charming.  Let your heart be open and full at all times.  One person’s trash will always be another person’s treasure.  Stay strong and keep your Faith in the Lord.  God Bless You All.

Special thanks to Mrs. Beyonce Knowles-Carter. After watching her HBO Documentary, “Life is but A Dream”, I realized how fragile I too felt because of my non-existent yet quite fixable relationship with my Dad. Thank God for my Blog.  The B.C. Chronicles is where I talk out loud. When I don’t have answers I still find refuge here on these pages that belong to me.  

Much Luv,

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Never Blink At Gunpoint

As the nozzle of the assailant’s semi-automatic pistol was pointed at my forehead I refused to blink.  My body was frozen, similar to the way an animal is right before an attack.  I briefly remember thinking, “He will have to remember the look in my eyes in the event that he decides to pull this trigger”.  My emotions were mixed, but my sentiment was, “Never blink at gunpoint”.  A parent never wants to be put in a position that disenables them from protecting their child.  One of God’s most precious given gifts to me was hunched over clinging to a wall and screaming in her lowest voice, “Oh My God”.  Standing only three-feet away from her there was absolutely nothing I could do. I too thought of God at that moment and I remember thinking, “Heavenly Father, forgive him because he has no idea what he’s doing”.  The showdown began when the blank stare standing in front of me realized that I refused to break my stare.  Apparently the world sold him a raw deal and he was cashing in on his refund. His spirit was so dark that in essence it gave off this eerie and cold feeling.  I quickly got chills from the very first moment that I laid my eyes on him. 

It isn’t uncommon in a NYC Housing Authority Project (NYCHA) building, to find a random loiterer standing in a lobby. It was gloomy that day and chances were that he could have been either waiting for someone or simply seeking shelter from the cold.  He resembled a student to me.  Looking past his cold eyes he was wearing a backpack, and was decently dressed. I never gave it anymore thought than that.  The vibe that enveloped his entire aura gave my spirit chills. I immediately began to grieve over his soul.  He was angry and he needed to tell me over and over again that he could kill me. “Where’s the fucking money bitch”, “Give it up”, “Give it all up”, were some of the loud shouts that he exclaimed. It was 12:40 p.m., “How in the world could this be happening?” I thought. I like to think of myself as a precautionary type of a person and this was something that I just couldn’t conceive with my own human knowledge.  As he continued to remind me that my life was in his hands I remember thinking, “Is he trying to convince me of that or is he merely trying to convince himself that he is capable of murder?”

 “Forever connected”, was what crossed my mind next whether he killed us at that moment or would decide to let us live, the memory of the event in and of itself would never leave my mind.  My knees disrespectfully began to buckle.  They didn’t share the strength of my heart.  Death was just seconds away for my knees. My heart on the other hand could feel the strongest presence of God beginning to fill that enclosed building lobby.  For a second or two, I thought of passing out but a parent is always their child’s hero and passing out wasn’t an option. My mind began to flash on the beautiful childhood memories I had in this same building lobby.  There was a time in 1986, that it was a clean lobby that always had a bright and warm feeling to it as I entered. I always had difficulty deciphering between the elevator and the stairwell knowing that either way I would always get upstairs to my home safely. Many times I would have my bicycle with me and shove it in the clean elevator. As a child I was often anxious to get inside of my home, my sweet and comfy home.

 This was no longer that place and all I could think was, “How and when did all of this happen?”, “When did this Housing Project go so terribly wrong?” My immediate guess was years of damage, poor property-management, neighbors living in fear and afraid to even care. At that very moment a very grim thought came to mind, and I sensed that there was a complete and total absence of the Spirit of God.  Housing Projects are exactly what they’re called, “Projects”.  Rapper Jay-Z has lyrics in his song, “Do You Wanna Ride”, and his observation of the housing project experience is so accurate.  He says, “You know why they call the Projects a project, because it’s a project!”  Housing Projects are experiments.  People living in a Housing Project are by no means living in mainstream society. Tenants are actually baited like lab rats when they are offered super low rent with all utilities included.  Tenants feel as if they are in control and actually somehow saving money when they sign their lease.  The clause that isn’t on the lease is that they are also signing away their safety and the lives of their children are what the project may take in return without consent.  Some children become a product of the environment, which happened to me by the age of 16, some spend life sentences in jail, and some never make it out alive. What happened to my neighborhood?  When did God move out? When did Satan move in? I moved out of Brooklyn before my 20th Birthday and what I was witnessing now at 35, forced my spirit to grieve deeply. 

How could I ever convince my daughter, a first year college student that the world is a good place?  I wasn’t really sure that I believed that anymore.  How could I turn my back on Brooklyn, a city so dear to my heart? This was an awful situation and I would have to think quickly in order to turn this negative into a positive in one way or another.  As the robbery at gunpoint continued; I watched as the assailant became greedy. Having my daughter’s I-phone, my blackberry, cash, my handbag filled with more gadgets (my 11 year-old son’s cell phone, a kindle, credit cards, contact lenses and other misc items including my favorite patent-leather wallet/clutch and enough MAC cosmetics to open a small store), he still wanted more. That’s when he began ruffling my neck scarf with his hand while pointing the nozzle of the gun at my throat.  “Where’s the jewelry bitch”, “You ain’t got no chain?”. I had enough at that point and I spoke.  I said, “We don’t wear jewelry”.  Then I said, “You took everything”. At that moment the assailant announced, “Go upstairs bitch”, and my daughter and I realized that our mini-hostage situation had come to an end. I was relieved.  I pressed the elevator with haste.  He motioned with his gun that we were to take the elevator and he would take the stairs.  Before the elevator arrived he said, “I could fucking kill you bitch, as long as you know”, “Yeah, just as long as you know”, and like a ghost he was gone. 

We knocked on my mother’s door with complete and total panic.  She slowly made her way to the door which is most often the case.  I frantically called 911 from the kitchen phone, and by the Grace of God was connected with a very compassionate phone operator.  Within what felt like seconds the police were knocking at our door. I thought, “This has to be the assailant, because there is no way possible the police could have arrived so quickly”.  I warned my mother not to open the door before knowing for certain that it was the police. Unfortunately, right before our ordeal the same thief stuck his gun into a 62 year-old woman’s stomach.  Demanding cash and things of worth he went a step further and tried forcing the same woman into her building’s elevator. What I later found out that she was strong and told the thief, “No”, and wedged her foot in the elevator door to prevent being pushed in. The cops were on the scene already as a result of her emergency phone call. Everything seemed surreal.  I was going through the motions yet nothing seemed to be registering.  I walked into my childhood bedroom because I needed a moment. I closed the door and bent down on my knees to pray, “Heavenly Father, Thank you for sparing mine and Portia’s lives”, “Thank you for giving us more time here to have each other and to get it right”.  My knees remained weak as I stood back up but what I couldn’t deny was that my joy was still completely intact.

The same joy that overfilled my cup earlier that morning was still there. That’s God’s Grace.  Happiness may depend on one occurrence or another but the sweetness of concrete joy is given to us by God.  Shock and disbelief carried me through the rest of that afternoon. Everything that happened during the remainder of that day is still a blur to me.  I remember asking God why things like this have to happen. You see when you’re raised in the projects, you don’t fear the projects.  Instinctually, you just come to understand your surroundings. It’s a profound concept to explain to outsiders but it’s really simple for us who grow up there.  You’re always aware of the “going-ons of the neighborhood”, such as, homicides, gangs, domestic-violence, drug-dealers and dope fiends.  There isn’t any conscious fear of walking to your car, going to the corner store or entering your family’s building that might very well be filled with loitering occupants.  Instead, you hold your head up high, possibly gesture with a simple head nod or by saying, “What up”, and you proceed accordingly to your dwelling.

My assailant killed whatever element inside of me that was capable of doing that.  I knew as I sat patiently at the local police precinct waiting for my report that my assailant took more than my handbag and all of my belongings.  For one, that childhood image of home that brought so much warmth and great memories to me as a child was gone. I have no desire to visit there ever again and I will continue to pray that with time that will change.  My hope is still intact for the neighborhood that I once loved.  As I walk away from it, I also vow to never turn my back on it.  God placed a calling on me that very same day and I know that I must help my former community.  My mother’s building now represents a death trap where at any given moment, at any time of day; my loved ones and I can be physically harmed, robbed or even worse. The Serenity Prayer asks God for the courage to accept the things that we cannot change but for the discernment to know when we can.  I will answer God’s call obediently helping and loving all of the residents of the Sheepshead Bay/Nostrand Houses. In time, I will pass the torch to a strong leader that is passionate about seeing NYCHA bring change to these four corners. I will love all of you the way that God mercifully loves me.

Exactly 1 week since the robbery my daughter sent me this text message today:

“I’m so embarrassed. I just walked into the pizza place and I freaked out.  The man that works here was sitting at one of the tables.  He immediately stood up to assist me but I was so startled.  Mom, I thought he was going to shoot me. He said, “I’m sorry I just work here”.  

I read a prayer of Thanksgiving that I would like to share with all of you.  We all have something to be thankful for. Whether it’s our lives, our children, our family & friends, our careers or God’s Blessing and favor over our lives:

“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness.  Come before him, singing with joy.  Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are His.  We are His people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation". ~Psalm 100:1-5 

Praying that God Bless & Keep each and every person that reads this safe.  May your family never experience this type of violation and crime in their lifetime.
To read more about what happened to my daughter & I last Thursday afternoon, please click the link below:


God Bless You All
Much Luv

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