Martin And Me…

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

 We’ve – I’ve – got to do better. As a community, we all have to do better. I know you are thinking, “isn’t this a marriage blog?” Well, yes and no. I believe that strong marriages make strong families and strong families make strong communities. Today I am dealing with the strong communities portion. Here’s why:
Yesterday was a wonderful MLK day in Nashville. My family and friends took part in the MLK events at Tennessee State University (my alma mater). At the convocation, Dr. Steve Perry got in our asses. Literally. He laid out the Tennessee education system and called us all co-conspirators. And guess what? He’s right. Everyday I sit here with my pompous, M.Ed.-having tail and think “Well, my kids are ok because they are smart and they know I value education.” While that is partially true, Dr. Steve Perry reminded the audience that the best Tennessee kids are just the best scholars of the worst education system in America. And that just isn’t good enough. We’ve – I’ve – got to do better.After Dr. Perry verbally kicked my butt, I took my bruised posterior over to Vanderbilt University to hear Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) speak about the “beloved community.” He implored us all to be active, to take a stand for right in our community. To be champions of a cause. To write our congressfolks and let them know what we think about what they are doing. To vote. We’ve – I’ve – got to do better.So instead of telling you what YOU should do, I am going to tell you what I am going to do. I have to be the change that I want to see in the world, right?:
1. I am going to speak to people and smile more. That is so major for me. I type and I ponder. But actually smiling and speaking is something that I am definitely working on.
2. I am going to a school board meeting, not as a journalist, but to have my voice heard as a community stakeholder. I need to know how the decision making process for my school system works and then I need to work the system.

3. I am going to attend a neighborhood meeting and join a committee. Attending a meeting and complaining about stuff isn’t productive. It’s time for committee work.
4. I am going to forgive folks that I don’t like. It’s easy to be nice to and forgive folks I love, but folks I don’t like – well, I struggle in that area. But I am going to forgive and speak nice to those that have offended me.
5. I am going to be more present when with my family. No more checking work email, looking for a job, writing the next post while talking with my family. They deserve my undivided attention.
See 5 little steps. I know you are looking at the list and thinking “You really entitled this ‘Martin and me’ and that is all that you are doing?” And my answer is “YES!” See I can’t advocate for change anywhere if my own little piece of the planet is jacked up. So I am starting at my house. I am going to make sure that the lessons learned on MLK day aren’t forgotten a mere 24 hours later. I’m starting with me.Neysa Ellery Taylor is an integral part of the writing team here at She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work

Got A Goal?

By Aiyana Ma’at

Each morning that I wake up I am absolutely amazed at how much I look forward to my day. There is excitement in the air and I can say that I honestly love the work that I do and the life that I’m living. Now, this is  not to say that I don’t have off days sometimes but what I am attempting to make plain is this: I got a goal. Living life each day doing the same old thing, following a routine that doesn’t serve me, and being caught in a mundane & monotonous cycle would absolutely kill me. I have to have purpose and meaning in my life and I won’t settle for less. Period.

The sad thing is that so many of us find ourselves traveling the road that leads to no where and just don’t know how to get off. We wake up to a spouse we don’t know, work a job that we can’t stand, carry out superficial tasks as the day drags on, hang out with friends we know don’t elevate us, and do some more meaningless stuff before our day draws to a close. In the midst of it all we find ways to rationalize the insanity.  While living this way is truly no way to live it’s stunning to me how many of us find ourselves in this category and just kind of accept that this is the way it has to be. We may talk a good talk but our actions and lack of action tell what we really feel…this is just the way it is.

Well, today, I want to offer you a glimpse into a different kind of reality. A reality that is authored and edited by you and only you. A reality that will make you feel as if there is nothing that you can’t do. A reality that will free you to see yourself, your life, and your possibilities through new eyes. “How can I get a glimpse? How can I get a taste?” you ask. GET A GOAL. I find that, oftentimes, folks know when they are stuck, unhappy, or not living the kind of life they’d like. However, they don’t know how to tangibly and concretely pull themselves off of the road they’re on and onto the road to fulfillment and destiny. But, trust me when I tell you (If I don’t know anything else I do know this) getting a goal, deciding what’s next, and moving towards it can abruptly change the trajectory of your life in a way like you’ve never imagined. It doesn’t have to be huge and overwhelming. Actually, even if you have a vision that’s huge and overwhelming; you have to tackle it the same way you would the smallest of goals—one reasonable step at a time. We don’t even have to know where all of our steps will lead us. We just need to do something different to shift our hearts, minds, and possibilities. Not convinced? Put this to the test and do something different. Get a goal!

A couple of weeks ago I heard a very wise man say this: “Life’s greatest tragedy is to look up and find that where you’ve been–you currently are and where you currently are is where you are going. You might want to read that twice so that can really sink in. 🙂 So, get a goal and get going!

Originality Is …

By Lana Moline

Sometimes concepts are so abstract that we have a hard time wrapping our minds around what it actually means for our lives.  I know for me it truly helps when a word is made flesh and actually comes to life especially when its essence is explosive.  Since it’s the beginning of the year and we can’t help but think about putting our best foot forward, I figured I’d do the same.  So let’s make sure we are clear on the given by looking at the personification of originality.
Consider this:
Originality accepts its unique ability to never fit in. It moves to its own beat and gets bored with the norm. Originality lives outside of the box refusing to dwell amongst conformist who are only looking for approval. It spreads it wings and flies to the unthinkable heights where eagles soar and thrive with grace and regal elegance. It basks in the realm of an innate desire to move, dance and float wanting so much to make the world a better place and leave a mark. It challenges its very best to top itself. That greatness that others stand in awe of is the power of God and the magnitude of what that means will never be understood. Originality does not stop to seek or tally its reviews. It doesn’t wonder whether others will even agree. It exists to simply fulfill a creative purpose. In and of itself, originality is a force that requires nurturing 100% of the time because without that degree of attention extinction is imminent and growth would come to a halt.
Originality’s diet is simple. It feasts on equal portions of self-acceptance, self-love and self-approval. It drinks courage and bathes in wisdom. Its vitamin blend include doses of risk taking and a positive attitude. It grows its own garden of fresh ideas careful to dine on the best. For desert, originality delights in the decadence of knowing its worth.
Originality is an elite whose atmosphere adapts to its presence and whose bright light lends its radiance to everything in its path and causes the world to change.  Originality is what happens when you marry your creativity and will.  Originality is when you are truly doing you.
Originality is the result of what happens when you stop playing and start pushing!

Lana Moline is an integral part of the writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her at Lana Moline Speaks

Something Far Greater Is Waiting For You!

By Ilex Bien-Aime

It’s funny how life works. Steps that you took and decisions that you made years ago can change your life today. Some believe it to be Divine Intervention, while others say that it’s just dumb luck. However you like to see it, I am amazed by the results. Every time I think of my wife, I am reminded that there is a force greater than myself working.

I was raised in Ft. Lauderdale, FL not knowing that my wife existed. She was raised in East Orange, New Jersey not knowing about me either. Elementary school, middle school, high school, and college yet still no clue about each other. First crush, first kiss, homecoming dates, prom dates, and a few heartaches later but still no knowledge of each other.

I like to believe that it was meant for my wife to attend Morgan State and decide to settle  down in Washington, DC. Though I attended school at Florida State, I feel that It was meant for me to go there and meet a few exes from the DC metro area. Had it not been for them I probably would have never visited DC and maybe I wouldn’t have wanted to move there. Even though I was not dating these young ladies when I moved to the area, I now see that I was meant to be here.

There are always little things going on behind the scenes that we are not aware of. For instance, I remember moving to DC with no job and a few hundred dollars in my pocket. It took me months to land my first real job so I had to work in a coffee shop just to have a little spending money. It was there that I met a woman who offered me a temp job with Lockheed Martin. A few months later I landed a permanent position with the company in another division. Had I not gotten this job, I may have never met my wife’s Morgan State classmate and ultimately I may not have met my wife.

At the time I had locks and my co-worker suggested that I get my hair done by her friend Lea. Never in my wildest imaginations did I think that this advice would lead me to the woman who I would later marry. At that point in time, I was heart broken and not looking to date anyone. My wife was in the middle of a break up herself so we didn’t get together right away. It took a few years for us to start dating but it was because of that chance meeting five years ago that we became interested in each other.

So you may be reading this wondering what point I am trying to make. I guess what I want people to know is that there is a plan for all of our lives. When we make certain decisions and suffer certain set backs, it’s easy to feel down and out but something bigger is in play. You date people and because things don’t work out, you feel as if you made a foolish decision. Some people can become very hard on themselves and shut down. Don’t allow yourself to give up and never allow someone to take your spirit and drive. What I’ve learned is that every bad situation has led me to the beautiful place that I am now. Sometimes your wishes are not fulfilled because something far greater was meant for you.

My name is Ilex Bien-Aime and I live in Washington, DC with my lovely wife. I write as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. I write as a man who wants to give my future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly I write what I write because my female friends are always asking my opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at or via email

Make It Plain. Where Are You Going? Write Down, Edit, & Perfect YOUR Vision.

By Lana Moline

It is now 2012 and I still haven’t won a Pulitzer or saved the world. My efforts haven’t ranked me in who’s who and I haven’t gotten an invitation from Michelle Obama, herself, to the White House to have tea. I haven’t made my first million dollars and my company hasn’t reached fortune 500 status. I shop sales and absolutely could not survive without being on a budget. You want to know why all of these things are so? It’s because we’re not at the end of my story yet.

The goals listed above are on my long list of goals. The invitation from Michelle is on my “great things just happen” list. The point is, I have a few lists that I prioritize. My short-term list of goals are the most immediate goals that I work to accomplish everyday. That list is detailed and includes specifics steps, an agenda and itinerary. My long-term goals are life long goals that are more of categories such as “Professional Goals,” “Personal Development,” etc. Those goals are detailed to an extent because they are redefined the more I grow. What’s important about all of these lists is that they reflect a clear vision for the direction I’d like to go in life. They represent my passions, interests and desires.

Have you defined the vision for your life? If not, start by making a few lists!

Here’s how:

First off, recognize that your lists are personal so don’t feel that anything is silly or that you can’t put whatever you choose on your list. As such, keep them in a place that’s personal. Next, invest in a nice journal. Look for one that speaks to you and says something about who you are. For instance, if you like hiking – find one with a mountain on it. Then give yourself all the time you need to write it out. Factor in genuine areas of interest such as socializing, watching a good movie or your favorite television program but challenge yourself to develop new interests and then find unique ways to make that happen. I usually challenge myself through birthday excitement, one year it was rock climbing and the next year it was skiing. I haven’t decided what the new year’s excitement challenge will be, but I will.

Ultimately what will happen is that you will get to know yourself a lot better and it will probably surprise you. You will also find that other areas of your life will improve as authenticity shines through. A few years back one of my goals in Socializing/Personal Development was to spend time regularly with the people who care about me. By doing this one simple thing, I’ve managed a consistent lunch or girls night out with one of my closest friends in the whole world, spicy date nights with my husband and movie nights with my kids. What I get during those times is the affirmation that I am loved just as I am. It encourages me to keep trying and also lets me see how much I’ve grown.

Write it down and make it plain!

Lana Moline is an integral part of the writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her at Lana Moline Speaks.

There’s No Need For New Year’s Resolutions In Our House…We Walk Around Affirming Who We Are And Where We’re Going ON THE REGULAR.

By Aiyana Ma’at

There’s no need for resolutions in our house. We walk around affirming who we are, who we want to be, what we’re gonna have, and what it’s gonna look like on a regular basis–seriously, pretty much like every day. That’s one of the reasons I am so deeply in love with Ayize–he has a mind that sees his goals and destiny like a sharp shooter sees his target. He’s focused and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we will keep knocking our goals down one by one when I have a man like him by my side.

At the risk of sounding a little on myself, I have to admit that I’m no slouch either. I’ve always known that I was capable of greatness and that my life would subsequently be great. Why? Just because God made me that way. God made me so that I could fulfill what He put in me. These were lessons that were constantly taught as I was growing up. When I was younger, I remember talking to my Dad about what I wanted to do when I got older and I was thinking out loud about how I would concretely be able to make that happen and each step I would need to take and then I would pause here and there because I wasn’t exactly sure how to make certain things happen. My father then said something that has stayed with me to this very day and guides much of how I live my life. He said: Kai, (that’s my middle name) you don’t figure out what you want to do by trying to figure out the details and whether it’s “do-able” first. That’s backwards.  You think and visualize what you want to do FIRST. Set the goal and then trust and know that the HOW will come. That is how I have lived my life and I have seen great accomplishments and blessings come my way as a result.

There are 3 things that we do in our family and here at to make sure we are in prime  “manifestation mode” 😉





We’re going to be talking more about the extreme importance of these things in the days to come. So, for now remember you should always be striving to go the next level in your life and in your relationship. You’ve got to visualize what that looks like and strategize (get some tools/know-how that you didn’t have before) to get the job done! Let 2012 be your year!

Happy New You!!!!!!!

The Answer Is Simple….Stop And Wait.

By Lana Moline

When I turn on my computer, I typically open up beaucoup tabs and multiple windows.  Like most of us, I have a lot going on.  I want to catch those emails as they come, maybe listen to a little music as well as write.  For the most part, this is my normal routine and I can get a lot done provided nothing goes wrong.  However there are those times when circumstances beyond my control causes me to deviate from my norm and incites a crazy click frenzy.

It’s bad and admittedly illogical but at the time, it’s what I do.  When I am working in one tab and there is a pause or an interruption in internet services I immediately go to the next tab hoping that it will be different there.  I usually find that the same problem exists but for some strange reason, I move to the next tab and before you know it every tab at the top of my computer is spinning, the address bar is permanently half blue and I am staring at the computer muttering something to the effect of “what’s wrong with this thing.”  I do this every time although I’ve heard that definition of insanity.

Here’s the thing that we must keep on the forefront at all times.  Things happen!  We can lay out our best plan and execute it to a fault and inevitably without even realizing the possibility – something will through us off guard.  Let me tell you from experience, clicking all the buttons will only magnify the problem and cause everything to become even more out of sync so that’s not the answer.
The answer isn’t a simple one but comes when we do what we all hate to do sometimes which is stop and wait.  By stopping we acknowledge another variable, perhaps something we hadn’t planned for and this gives us time to refine the scope of our mission.  It’s all divine and in order for us to reach our destiny we’ve got to remember that the interruptions play an important role as well.  I believe that the moment when we must wait is God’s way of telling us to be still.  Think about it – we never regret the insight we gain when we are still.  That is where brilliance is born.
So resist the urge to click every single button with the reassurance that everything will work out when we broaden our measure for success.  I’ve let go of things going according to plan because that never happens.  I leave lots of open space and expect the ride to be filled with many interesting and exciting changes.  I embrace them because it encourages a better me.  The same is true for you.

Lana Moline is a freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her at

Can I Tell You About The Time I Almost Lost My Smile?

By Al- Lateef

There were two days that I didn’t smile. Never. Not one grin, not once did I show all 32. I didn’t smirk, I didn’t even laugh. As a matter of fact, I didn’t watch television, listen to music and had no contact with the outside world. I was half past 30 and still smarting from the loss of my great-grandparents and the fact that Valentine’s Day was a few days away illuminated many of my fractured relationships. I was a broken man with three types of vodka, a bucket of fried chicken and a couple of grape sodas.

Yeah, I almost lost my smile.

I was beating myself up and calling the police telling life was the culprit, when life had done nothing to me that it hadn’t done to anyone else. Who was I to think I was so special that life zeroed in on me to wreak havoc? Why should I be immune to what I witnessed and advised others through? I guess I thought I would be exempt from the problems of the world, if I lived in my own world. Boy was I wrong…and stupid!

Somewhere between the second and third bottle of liquor and my last piece of chicken I stopped. Then I cried. I cried like all three times I was told one of my grandparents died. The tears had no end in sight, so I sat in the shower for hours to hide them, from who I don’t know. As that water washed over me and tears escaped me, I deconstructed who I was at the time and realized that was not who I had always been. My frustration with an inability to change the past shaded the fact that I had the power to construct my future. It was the most simple of lessons I’ve ever learned, but had totally forgotten in my current state.

I couldn’t change the fact that I didn’t eat dinner with my family that Thanksgiving when my great-grandmother passed or the fact that I was too busy to answer my great-grandfather’s calls during the last few games of the Mets winning streak before he died. However, I could work at repairing the fractures in the relationship with my mother; I could identify a growing problem with alcohol and relate my womanizing directly to the dysfunction of my father/son relationship.

Yeah, maybe I’m just like father…

Most of my life I always wanted to be better than my father, regardless of the situation, but here I was repeating some of his actions and compounding them with a set of issues exclusive to me. So I cried some more and looked deeper into my life to see where I went wrong, trying to peel through over 10,000 days to determine where it went sour. Wait, that’s the wrong approach. More tears and the hot water left long ago, but I couldn’t move. There was no one incident that led me to the bottom of that shower, so I couldn’t expect one answer to how I was going to stand up and walk out of that bathroom.

It was at that moment I did something that I had not done in a long time, I prayed. I prayed a prayer of forgiveness and redemption. I prayed for answers to questions I didn’t know, direction to a place I once knew existed, happiness. I prayed for peace in my heart, my mind and in my life. I didn’t ask for immediate help, I prayed that in time my wounds would heal, because in all of my mess I knew change didn’t come overnight. And for the first time in days, I smiled. I smiled like I just discovered I had teeth. I stood up and smiled as my tears shut off and the hot water returned.

Just as my life became a metaphor, it also became a challenge. My mom always says that change isn’t change until you change and for the next year or so I had to work at being a better me. I had that conversation with God, who I thought I left at my grandmother’s house, but didn’t follow through on my end of the bargain for quite some time. I made baby steps and smiled. I had setbacks and smiled. I made a giant leap and grinned like a Cheshire cat. I smiled through pain, I smiled through joy, I smiled when I was helpless and smiled when I had the strength to sustain ten men. It didn’t matter what I was up against, I learned to face it all and continue to smile, despite the circumstances. Yes, these days I’m smiling often, I’ve repaired my relationships with God, my mother and myself, I’m married to a beautiful woman and curbed that desire for vodka. My smile is love, it’s peace, it’s joy and I’ve learned it is also pain, emptiness and sorrow.

That was the time I almost lost my smile.

Al-Lateef: Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find The World According to Teef.   Social commentary rooted in independent thought that’s unfiltered, uncensored, unforgiving, but never unreal!

Pay Attention…This Is Your Awakening

A time comes in your life when you finally get it…when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out – ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change… or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that neither of you is Prince Charming or Cinderella and that in the real world there aren’t always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you… and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions. And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself… and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself… and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties.. and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, what you should do for a living, how much money you should make, what you should drive, how and where you should live, who you should marry, the importance of having and raising children, and what you owe your parents, family, and friends.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with… and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that you can’t teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love – How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. And you learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK… and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want… and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won’t settle for less. And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve… and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that Wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone… and that it’s OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest robber baron of all: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state – the ego.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart’s desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can.

This piece was shared with me (Aiyana) by one of my Facebook friends and it absolutely spoke to my SOUL. The original author is unkown. The messages in it are something that I plan to read again and again and use as a part of my journalling process. I am so thankful to have been presented with such a powerful piece. I hope it was as inspiring and soul moving for you as it was for me. Stop Playing. Start Pushing. 😉

Somedays I Am Grateful….Somedays I Want More.

By Lana Moline

My friend Jo and I were talking about all the excess stuff we have that’s just sitting around. Separately, we both came to a decision not to purchase anything else until we used what we have. I don’t so much mind because my excess is with my body oils. Every time I visit The Big Easy I stock up on body oils from the French Market or from my absolute favorite spot on Dorgenois Street.

As I dabbed on a little Egyptian Musk one morning, I started thinking about excess in other areas, particularly my relationships. The thought exploded in my mind in a number of ways.  I wondered if I was making good on the promises I issue out and whether I show appreciation for the love I receive continually or do I simply demand more every time.  With Thanksgiving only a couple of days away I see the need for a resolution that begins and ends with simply being grateful for what I am blessed with right now.  Things have not always been easy.  In fact, I can admit to you that this year has been an absolutely bi-polar year where I have truly seen extreme highs and desert valley lows but as Antwone Fisher says “I’M STILL STANDING.  I’M STILL STRONG” and that is praise worthy in itself.

I am guilty of stock piling love.  Between all the hugs around my neck from little hands to the big ones that envelope my whole body, time and time again I receive love and find myself at a lost when it doesn’t come my way immediately or in a manner that I desire at that moment.  I’ve got to remember that everyone reaches out and gives differently and what I am realizing is that often times I am in possession of what I desire.

I am blessed each day as I awake to brand new grace and mercy and I am ever so grateful for being supplied with that “daily bread” that I pray for every night.  It amazes me that each day I am granted the strength and a measure of wisdom to complete that day’s journey and yet some days I still want more.  This is a humbling lesson for me and one that I won’t soon forget. I’ve come to see that ultimately by using what I already have, I will tap into an unlimited supply of provision. Thanksgiving is the key!

Lana Moline is a freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her at