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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spirit Matters

I received a call from a young man who, at one time, professed an interest in dating me.  We went out on several dates and actually had a great time together. We spent some time getting to know one another, but the communication ceased and there were no more dates. He recently called to inquire why.  I told him the turning point was during a time I was having a crisis of faith moment and I asked him to pray with me.  You see, up until that point we would often discuss our lives, hopes, fears, goals and what we believed we were called to do. He would always say that he would pray for me and I would say that I would pray for him, which I did. However, when I asked him to pray “with” me, he hesitated and either wouldn’t or couldn’t. He said, he always prays for me and he would pray later.  I asked why couldn’t we pray then and the only thing that flowed were excuses.  I understand possibly feeling put on the spot, but this young man is a minister and he had previously told me about the times he has prayed with others. This was a major red flag that could not be ignored.
 
We can have all the physical attraction, mutual interests, amazing conversations and gut-busting laughter in the world, but I also require attention to matters of the spirit. Can I trust you with the essence of my being….my spirit? Can you help heal her should she become wounded?  Can you speak life to her, when life is waning? Can you help compel her to be her best? This should not have come as a surprise, as previously he asked me what I considered attractive. My answer was intelligence, confidence, sense of humor, passion about life and purpose and spiritually grounded. I believe we are spirit beings in human form and I need someone who is able to transcend the flesh and all other material substance/obstructions and speak to, reach, and nurture the essence of my being…my spirit. I don’t really need another person to pray for me. I can do that and I have a group of great friends who I know can and will fulfill that petition. I want to know can you/will you pray “with” me? Can we be open and vulnerable with each other in sacred places? Can our spirits commune and fellowship in a space where divinity encounters divinity and creates what is divine and sublime?  If not, then my spirit requires me to keep it moving until she meets one who possess the spirit who can and will attend to her.
 
 
Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,
 
 
Veronica

Friday, August 30, 2013

Becoming

Free to love unconditionally
In the face of possible rejection
Believing those ordained to be
Will enter in to divine connection
...............I am Becoming

Praying and seeking for love's recompense
Welcoming it's reward with open arms
Given freely, unashamedly with focused intent
To cover me, protect and keep me from harm
...............I am Becoming

Admiring the mirrors reflection of beautifully sculpted lips, hips and fingertips
Silhouette of thick thighs, ample bosom and bottom
Fully connected body, soul and spirit
Understanding the intertwining....erotic and exotic
Captivating movements with sensual mystery that's intrinsically hypnotic
................I am Becoming

She who is not afraid to speak of the horrors that cre-ate her story
Reclaiming self, found her voice and sense of agency
Declaring the oracles of God in awesome glory
Preaching, Teaching, Speaking...setting the captives free
...............I am Becoming

Preparing for the future, living in the present, embracing the past
Releasing perceptions not meant for me
Crafting a creating a legacy to last
Passionately pursuing the revelation until manifestation...Reclaiming Destiny
..................I am Becoming..............I AM




Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,

Veronica

Sunday, August 18, 2013

...Once Was Blind but Now I see

As I write this blog, I know there is no need to be lengthy.  It is what it is....simple and right to the point.

Yesterday was a little difficult for me. There was so much on my mind and on top of it all, I wasn't feeling well. I knew I needed to pray. During prayer, God was showing me that the old cliché, "we can't see the forest for the trees" is so very true. I had two "AHA" moments.

1.) Sometimes we are so busy looking for "it" that we miss the blessings that are right in front of us.
2.) Sometimes we are so busy asking for "it" that we may miss the fact that "it" has been here the whole time.

We can be so busy looking for "it" to manifest in one form, that we can't see or miss out on what we already have. So, I guess all I really have to say today is let's not miss the beauty on the journey. Let's not miss or mess up the blessings we already have thinking we need something else.  Maybe what we want isn't what we really need. On your way to "it" appreciate the beauty of the forest and stop to smell the roses....maybe you will find out that you already have "it".


Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,



Veronica

Monday, July 8, 2013

Be All That You Can Be

So God made you a promise and it’s yet to be manifested, huh? You’ve prayed, fasted, been dedicated to your call, but it seems to tarry? The most difficult time for many of us is the “mean” time, the in between time…the time between when you embarked on the journey and when you finally reach the promise. Honestly, it takes little faith to hear the promise and even less to enjoy the promise. However, when we live in the space of no longer being who/what/where we were and not yet being who/what/where we are to be, it takes all the faith we can possibly muster. It is when we live in the space of “be-coming”, that we experience the true test of whether or not we believe the promises of God are yes and amen.  This is a lonely place, a frightening place, a vulnerable place, a risky place, a frustrating place…a place few would volunteer to exist. Nonetheless, it is a very necessary place.  This place reveals our true character and our resolve. This place makes us (creates an identity worthy of the promise), it breaks us (shatters the hype we believe about ourselves and reveals nasty/unbecoming habits, attitudes, actions), it constrains us (presses us like the olive used to produce the oil for anointing…it squeezes every dormant gift and ability to the surface) and restrains us (keeps us from people, places and things that would lead to our detriment and keep us from entering into the promise).
Beloved I wish I could tell you how long this phase would last, but I cannot.  However what I can say is that there is date of delivery associated with the promise. I have often wished that God’s time operated according to my desired timetable, but it does not. God’s time is accompanied by a process, a process that cannot be avoided or denied. What matters is our attitude while we are “be-coming”.  An attitude of gratitude along with a mind open to learning and spirit opening to growing will keep us and allow us to be all that we can be. With this attitude, the journey doesn't seem as long and I believe to God's delight doesn't take as long.
 See you in the Promised Land!!!

 

Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,
 
 
Veronica

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Exposed and Clothed

One of my latest blogs dealt with my fear of vulnerability. I’m happy to say that I’m letting this process have its way with me and listening to all that my hopes, joys and fears have to say. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone I gratefully and graciously now call friend. I voiced my thoughts/beliefs to him and he captured our verbal interaction with great literary and lyrical genius through poetry. He described our conversation as us being completely naked and yet fully clothed. What a beautiful space to dwell…completely naked (honest, sharing thoughts/words that leave one totally vulnerable to ridicule and rejection) and completely clothed (invited to share in safety and confidentiality and embraced with no fear of condemnation) at the same time.  This exchange has allowed me to go deeper into my hopes and fears and uncover and re-discover something amazing----ME!!!  Friend, I need to thank you for giving me that space, for sharing in this process and pushing me to give voice to my experiences.
My prayer is that we all find that person and place to help us reclaim our wonderfully created selves.  When that opportunity presents itself, I pray you have the courage to undress.

 

Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,
 
Veronica

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beautifully Scarred


Scar – mark left by the healing of injured tissue; mark or indentation resulting from damage or wear (Merriam Webster)
I’ve been thinking about healing quite a bit lately and gratefully experiencing it in amazing ways. Ironically, it was a recent injury that brought this to my attention. I was cooking dinner a few days ago and burned my arm. While tending to it, I had somewhat of an epiphany. I actually took a trip down memory lane as I examined my entire body and listened to my scars speak.
There are three scars in particular that speak volumes to my spirit:
1.)    A burn mark on the back of my leg (I accidentally backed into my father’s motorcycle and my leg brushed up against the exhaust pipe)
2.)    A iron burn on my arm (let’s just say this was due to an "incident" with my older sister)
3.)    A scar on my ankle (I was riding on the handlebar of my cousin’s bicycle after my father just told me not to and my foot got caught in the spokes)
These three incidents are examples of some of the ways we experience injury in life. The first is representative of life happening. There are things we may experience and there is no real rhyme or reason to it, no real answers for it. It's not anyone's fault in particular, sometimes accidents happen. The second is injury at the hands of another. What I’ve learned to realize and accept is that people can only love and give according to their experiences. Sometimes their own lives limit them and they cannot be or do what we would like. This does not diminish the injury, but it is sometimes the explanation for the injury.  However, God does have a way of sending others in our lives whose presence and gifts of love and grace overshadows the bad memories of those who hurt us. The third is a result of our own actions. When we know better, we should do better, but it is not always the case. There are times when the only person to blame for the pain we feel is the “man or woman in the mirror.” We received warning, had a feeling that perhaps we should not make a certain choice, but we did it anyway.
Each of these injuries brought about pain, tears and loud cries. These all happened when I was young and not afraid to cry.  These cries were all addressed by someone who came to my aid in time of need. We get older and are told that big girls don’t cry or that men don’t cry.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Tears are a necessary release of emotion and pain that can keep us stifled, stagnant and scornful. Cries are an alarm to those that love and care for us that something is wrong. Unfortunately, we are conditioned to believe that it’s best to keep our pain/fear/hurts from others. Unfortunately, we don’t let others see our scars.  We are afraid of judgment. Well, I now have another take on this issue. I believe my scars are a sign of triumph for they represent victory over pain and hurt. So as it is in the natural, so it is in the spirit realm. Some may look at my scars in disgust or pity, but I look at them and now smile. While the scars still remain, the pain no longer exists. I realize there is healing in the scabbing over. While it looks ugly to some, it appears to me as a beautiful sign of recovery. I pray you too can learn to rejoice and let your scars speak for themselves. There's a story of victory, if we listen closely and look through a different lens.
 
Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,
 
Veronica
 
 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fighting Back

 
 
 
 
 
 
The past few days have been very interesting.  The conversations I’ve had and my prayer and meditation times have revealed quite a bit. Those of you who know me or have read previous blogs, know that I battle with fear of others reading my thoughts. I can verbally articulate them with no problem, however writing them down seems to trap them and make them permanently available for critique. I know there are several books inside of me that must be released, but the fear keeps me procrastinating. I expressed to a friend last night that it makes me feel vulnerable. After this conversation and meditating on my thoughts and emotions, I understand that it is this same vulnerability that will ultimately set me free and place me on the path to help others find freedom.
As I continue to peel back the layers to get to the root of this fear and vulnerability issue, I realize that it has more to do with pride and rejection that anything else. Pride and rejection are the sources and fear and vulnerability are the symptoms. So, I’ve decided that I will fight back. How? I will tell my story. I suffer from hurt pride and rejection because…simply my pride has been hurt due to rejection. I’ve been rejected by one I gave my heart (all of me) to. I’ve been rejected by groups and people that I wanted so desperately to be a part of or connected to. I’ve been rejected by ministries that I served faithfully. I’ve had papers/research proposals rejected by professors in the academy. I’ve been rejected by companies I wanted to work for. All of this rejection…well it hurt, it hurt my pride.
Now even with the hurt, I still have a choice. I can let fear and vulnerability reign or as I stated earlier I can fight back. What I now realize is that the rejection doesn’t mean that I’m not good enough. It means I have a story to tell. So, rather than cover it up with a bandage, I rip it off the wound and let it breath. I expose it so that others can see the ugliness, the oozing, the redness…, but so that they can also see it heal. I expose it so that others can see they are not the only ones with wounds. I expose it so that the wounded can see healing is possible. I expose it so that I can also be fully engaged in the healing process.
Another aspect to this pride situation…is that I was left asking why not me? Why couldn’t I be the one chosen? Why was I not good enough? What I have since learned is that there is a path we all must take. Sometimes rejection is a blessing in disguise. Sometimes rejection is the method used to help us receive God’s best and not what is just good or good enough.  I shared with a group of ladies a few days ago, that it is actually an insult to God and the work of the Spirit when we compare ourselves to others.  God says, “I know the plans I have for YOU”. This is an individual purpose and while it works for the collective good, there is a path for us individually to take. My path has created a not so typical minister. I don’t read the bible with the same lens as others. I don’t hold true/fast to some religious thoughts/practices as others. And you know what, I’m cool with that.  My path has lead me to the knowledge that God is not transcendent (somewhere out there to be found) but rather God is immanent (dwelling within waiting to be heard). My path has taught me that God speaks even in the silence. When I’m writing and the words don’t flow, I sit because it means that there is something to which I have not paid close enough attention.
So I write this as a form of resistance. I have vowed to fight back against the hurt pride, rejection, fear and vulnerability by writing, by telling my story. I have decided to step out of the boat instead of clinging to the side.
 
Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace
 
Veronica
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Take Me to the King







I have a confession...I don't like church. Well, church in the terms as many define and experience it. I don't like the church that refuses to acknowledge the divine gifts women embody and the positions we are called to occupy. I don't like the church that continues to disengage its members from the reality in which they live by being told to just pray about it, when there are real issues that need to be addressed and possibly even some practical measures in which it can be done. I don't like the church that prioritizes a few over the masses (the first family vs. everybody else).  I can actually go on with my list of things that I don't like the church. My own experience in church has left me drained and somewhat cynical. Some of the things I have experienced and been exposed to, willingly and unwillingly, leaves me asking questions...what are we (the church) doing and what am I doing???
 
As I write, I have to admit that if feels great to acknowledge my truth. It feels great to not go along to get along. Even though I can almost hear some of my counterparts give the, "well you can't love the head and hate the body" rationale people give when someone critiques the church, I don't care. I do, however, care about are those who have been abused (sexually, financially, emotionally, spiritually....). I care about those who sit among others every week, but for one reason or another are isolated. I do care about those who hear about the love of God preached from the pulpit but don't experience it.
 
Tamela Mann has recorded a song entitled Take Me to the King. In this song she sings about what many feel too afraid or embarrassed to admit.  She states that her heart is torn in pieces, she has been abused, she has no tears left to cry, she is all churched out...I can relate. I find myself wondering where are the Christians with the courage to help the hurting see God over the church? Yes, we are flawed and have faults, but too often the leaders are presented as infallible and the view of God becomes eclipsed. Too often the church is seen as an organization that cannot/must not be questioned and the view of God is eclipsed. The church is to be representation of God, but what happens when the representation, misrepresents the will and heart of God?
 
Will there be someone to help that person get to where healing can happen? Will there be someone courageous enough to call out the mess we sanctify each week and call it worship? What happens to those who have had their hearts torn in pieces, those with little to bring, those with no more tears to shed? Can someone, anyone help them get to God, the healer they need?
 
Tamela also acknowledged in the song that we are in God's way. The church should be pointing people to God and not becoming mini gods. No, this blog is not to suggest that there aren't any good churches, but it is to state there are too many hurting people.  I will continue to pray for those (self included) who have been hurt by the church. I will never again shun or silence one who needs to voice their pain. I will be the one with the courage to help them get back to God. Will you?
 
 
Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace,
 
 
Veronica

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

"I am about to do a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19 (NRSV)
 
I woke up this morning to the sound of rain. My normal response on a rainy morning when I don't have to go to work would be to roll over, pull the cover over my head and return to blissful sleep.  However, this morning I was compelled to lie there and just listen to the raindrops.  While the rain fell, I thought there could be no better time to commune with God than now.  I began to meditate on the past, the good and the bad, and started to thank God for being present in every moment.  I contemplated on my spiritual state and felt the need draw closer to God. I had a strong desire to know God in a deeper sense. I wanted to know God in a new way.  Listening to the rain this morning resulted in a transformative moment that I feel I will result in eternal gratitude. As the rain fell, I imagined it cleansing me...it was purifying the pollutants. I allowed myself to become the embodiment of this process.  I inhaled positivity and exhaled negativity. I inhaled joy and exhaled sadness. I inhaled peace and exhaled confusion. In essence, I inhaled grace (the presence of God) and exhaled garbage (everything that stands in opposition to divinity and who I am in that space).
 
I am not big on resolutions, but I do know that when one receives revelation from God the gates of hell cannot prevail!!! When God speaks, the diligent and hungry hearer indeed has a resolve to see the spoken word manifest. My experience this morning has created a sense of expectation different from any time before. I do indeed feel like a new creation and I'm glad about it!!!!  This does not mean that I believe there will be no difficult times ahead, living life has taught me better.  However, it does mean that I'm confident that when those moments arise, God will be present to see me through. I believe God will give me/has given me the stuff needed to get through the stuff not wanted. God will not do for us what we are capable/able to do for ourselves. God specializes in doing the impossible.  For where and when we fall short, God stands to make up the difference. So when I come to time when I have to do the hard thing like closing a door on a relationship/circumstance that I may not want to, I have to look at the bigger picture.  When I am faced with doing the hard work to create a better future, I need to be willing to sacrifice in the short term for the long term benefit.  Perhaps that's another way to examine what Paul means by "For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure".  (2 Cor 4:17)
 
My excitement is not based on any trite cliche that rhymes with the year, (I'm going to win in 2010...couldn't think of anything that rhymed with 2013 off the top of my head), but rather it is simply based on what I know about God. I know the God who creates new mercies morning by morning. I am expecting THE NEW.  I am becoming THE NEW. Do yourself a favor and sing a new song, dance a new dance, visit a new place... These things don't have to have the same pedestrian meaning, but you can really create a new profound meaning for yourself.
 
Happy New Year!!! Happy New Me!!! Happy New You!!!
 
 
Abounding in Love and Growing in Grace!!!!
 
 
Veronica