When I was a kid, my Dad took such great pride in keeping our lawn in Pasadena, California so well-manicured. My Dad thought that it was very classless to have a home and not manicure the lawn. My Dad considered himself a jack of all trades and a bit of an overachiever, so in addition to keeping the front lawn manicured he had a very impressive organic garden in our backyard that boasted: tomatoes, greens, green onions, plums, apricots, carrots, cucumbers, squash, and a grapefruit tree (he did not grow). My Dad grew up on a farm in southern Virginia in the late 1940s, so agriculture in Pasadena, California came naturally to him.
I remember when I was a kid, my Dad would get up really early, eat his breakfast (corn flakes, bananas, and non-fat milk), take his medicine, and head out to work the yard and the garden. My Dad took such great joy in growing his own food, and as an adult, I long to continue his farming tradition, but I will revisit that idea in a later blog.
Anyway, sometimes my Dad’s eyes would glisten with excitement as he got a “God Idea.” His “God Idea” was to go out and mow his neighbors’ lawns. I heard him tell me my Mom that Mr. Davis was recovering from a stroke, so he was going to mow his lawn because he knew that he would like for his lawn to be kept up, even though he was sick. My Dad mowed my other neighbor’s lawn because he did not know or believe in God and my Dad wanted his act of kindness to be a quiet witness of who God is/was.
I recognize that some people reading this will think, “Well, this is a nice gesture that her Dad made, but it is really not a big deal.” For those who will read this blog with that kind of cynical worldview, I think that it is time for me to add the next layer to the story.
In the beginning, I neglected to mention that my Dad was born with Epilepsy. His parents were told that he would not live past 18 years old because of all of the trauma to his brain. He took at least 7 medications for the majority of his life. I recently learned that due to the major earthquakes that his brain experienced, he also suffered with Bipolar Disease. Before I was born in the early 1970s, my Dad was at work using some kind of machinery. He had a seizure (which meant that he blacked out), during the black-out my Dad’s right (dominant) fingers on his right hand were severed. Someone gathered the severed fingers and took them with him to the hospital, so that the doctors could possibly re-attach them. After many hours of surgery, a specialist removed skin from my Dad’s stomach to give him skin on his inner hand, next he re-attached my Dad’s right thumb, but for some reason did not or could not attach the first through fourth fingers on his right hand.
After the finger severing accident to my Dad’s right hand, whenever my Dad did hard work (manual labor), his hand would bleed and the finger nubs would seep fluid a bit, but he never complained about the hard work or the fact that he no longer had the fingers on his right hand. He hated when kids and other people stared at his hand because he felt judged and he knew that most people did not care what happened, they would just label him as handicap. My Dad HATED labels……especially ones that defied who he was as a Black man!!!!
Now that you know a little more about my Dad, you can understand how spectacular it was that he would even think or desire to mow his lawn, manage his garden for his family, and then cut his neighbors’ lawns as a “kind gesture.” Dad’s lawn lesson gives me hope. In this 21st Century, I often find it hard to respect some of today’s men because they tend to be too lazy, too driven by excuses, and too unwilling to accept responsibility. I thought about my Dad today and I decided to highlight him as a great renaissance man who, even after losing the fingers on his right hand: he cooked, cleaned, repaired appliances, planted and harvested his garden, preached, worked at the church, worked as a Carpenter, was an ordained Minister, raised his four children, ran a home peach/berry cobbler business, was a husband for 27 years to my Mom, and helped others whenever he could.
So the moral of my story is, never forget how small random acts of kindness can really impact someone’s day or life, even if it costs you more than you think that you have to give. Love costs! If love does not cost you anything (time, convenience, etc), then perhaps you are not showing love at all.
As I sat quietly at the park, I decided that I just needed to shut out all of the noise and seek God. In my pursuit of God (whom I call Jesus), I was able to find peace. It was only in the “encounter of peace” that I found solutions to the problems that I face.
When life seems most confusing and murky, I search for, and demand an encounter with peace, then suddenly the darkness and confusion suddenly disappears. In my current life, I am praying and seeking peace (or God’s face) because I want to know which direction (s) I should take in my life.
Like most people, I have conferred with people whom I believe to be wise, to ask for their help in deciding which options or which direction I should pursue in my life. Many of my friends have offered great ideas, they have encouraged me and they have nudged me to pursue my passions. Other friends have prompted me to pursue my natural gifts and talents. I have appreciated these deep conversations with Friends, Elders, and Sages alike, but I still feel as if I am not in the right position. For me, I just need to hear from God. I need to know that God has heard me. I need to know that I did not miss the boat. I need to know that I did not miss my stop. I often wonder if other people feel this way. …or if I am alone in navigating this journey called life.
Anyway, throughout my journey for Godly guidance, I have discovered that God has plans for my life as He said in Jeremiah 29:11. God’s Word says that his thoughts toward me are to give me a future and a hope. I have hope! I have a future! I feel like the only way to discover my future is to follow Jesus. What does that mean? To me it means that I cannot be afraid to go into another direction. It means that I should not fear the times when it feels like I am not moving at all. Sometimes I have to stop, sometimes I have to move in another direction, and most often I have to know that this journey may not always be in one direction or may not be on a one-way street, but my faith in God will always lead me in the right direction.
So, the term “one-way” will not scare me because I know that God is leading me and I will follow his direction.
Please feel free to leave a comment so that can reflect together.
There are times when you feel very impacted and you don’t want to take a harsh laxative in order to relieve yourself. Well, you all know that I am a Public Health professional, so I am always looking for ways to improve the human condition without the use of drugs or other harsh methods that could wreak havoc on the body. The tea indicated below is awesome! I add it to my diet a few times a week and it keeps me regular. When I drink it I do not add any sugar or milk, I just drink it plainly.
If you try it, please leave a comment and tell me what you think.
The Virgin’s Island: Journey with Judith would like to wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July.
As the The United States of America is in transition morally, politically, and socially let us continue to fight for the freedoms of every citizen.
God Bless America and the world as the people of America and the world bless God!
As we approach the end of March 2016, I am reminded that there is ALWAYS hope. We live in uncertain times. Many people are still under-employed or unemployed. Some people are overcome with fear from terrorism abroad and locally. Others are facing health and relationship challenges due to fear, stress, and financial strain.
Despite the circumstances that you are currently facing, remember that you are NOT alone. There is a God, whom I call Jesus, who is always available to help us if we turn to Him and ask for his help. The great thing about Jesus is that He will not interfere with your life unless he is invited to enter (such a gentleman).
In closing, please do not allow your circumstances to deceive you into thinking that you are void of hope, that you will never recover, or that your life is so bad that you should end it. Those negative voices and internal impressions are lies! You still have a future, a destiny, and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Simply believe that your life will get better and become better than it ever was before.
Remember, that I am always praying for you and if you ever need someone to talk to feel free to leave a message on the site.
As time has rolled past 2015, take this time to reflect and live in the new moments that you will embark upon in 2016. Forgive others as well as yourself. Allow yourself to live the best and healthiest life that God already predestined for you. Wave goodbye to all anger, bitterness, hatred, malice, and strife. Please kick gossip and backbiting to the curb. Stomp out the failures of yesterday with the strength to rise up and try something that you once failed, one more time; hope that this time, you will WIN!
Come on 2016, give us the best that you have to offer, as God guides our steps!
The Virgin’s Island: Journey With Judith would like to wish you and your family a wonderful and safe day! Enjoy your family, friends, and pets. Please take time to truly rest and reflect on the blessings that you have right now.
About 4 years ago, I went to an Endocrinologist who drew my blood and told me that I had 10 times the amount of mercury in my body than a person should have. Of course I was alarmed, but I did not know exactly what it meant to have this high level of metal in my body. At that time, I did not understand that as a person who was born with respiratory issues, having this toxic heavy metal in body was detrimental to my health. I asked the doctor how I got so much Mercury in my body. I asked her if it could have been from all of the tuna fish that I had eaten. She told me that the culprit could be all of the mercury dental fillings that a childhood dentist had placed in my mouth. Crazy right!!! First, I thought, “Wouldn’t you know it, the very people who were supposed to help me had made me sicker!” I was wondering why I was lethargic all of the time and felt unhealthy…..all, if not most of the time. The Endocrinologist sent me to a Mercury Free Holistic Dentist named Rauzita Rashtian and my mercury free dental journey began…..
My first encounter with Dr. Rashtian was great! She is kind, professional, provides a serene dental environment, and she provides virtually PAINLESS treatment. She is awesome! If you would like to know more about Dr. Rashtian, check out her site @ http://serenitydentalcenter.com/
I am so happy to be back at my keyboard writing again. It’s been a while since I had the courage, strength, or time to write again because I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. At any rate, I am happy to be back. I enjoy exploring my thoughts and then figuring out a creative way to make them interesting to read. I can only hope that I am doing a good job.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend who just kept saying things like:
1. I am gonna be broke for a long time.
2. I work so hard, but I can barely afford to pay my rent.
3. I want to be married, but who would marry me?
4. Most days, I don’t feel so well, but I keep going.
After hearing her spout off these terribly depressing life non-affirmations, I just decided to ask her a burning question. I said, “Do you dream?” My friend said, “No.” I thought to myself, “No? No! No. Noooooooooooo. That just cannot be right! How can you ever move from where you are to where you want to be without first dreaming it. Truthfully, in my own life, and in the lives of the successful people that I have read about or know, those people all have one thing in common……THEY DARED TO DREAM.
I mean dreaming is the one thing that cost you nothing but imagination and time. Dreaming is a great way to use your faith, because you can dream about what you want your life to look like and in so doing you can believe that dream and cause it to come to pass. As I further examined her answer to my question, I realized why the Bible said in Proverbs 29:18 that “….without a vision, the people perish.”
I think that as humans, we have to see our vision before we can realize it. Do you agree? I would love to hear from other people about this. Do you dream? Do you surround yourself with other Dreamers?