Freedom

Coloring In Christmas With My Favorite Things

  Raindrops on rooftops and polka dot mittens Bright lights that flicker and Big Momma’s kitchen Brown chorus angels whose robes look like wings These are a few of my favorite things. Buttermilk cornbread and crisp chicken drumsticks Hotels with stairwells and greens that are handpicked Wildflowers that spread in dry deserts I’ve seen These […]

Freedom

It was in that Bible study that I realized I was not free. We were eight couples, all of us fresh into our time as expats in Singapore, struggling to find our footing in what we jokingly called “Fantasy Island.” That group was a lifeline in the midst of our turbulent transition to a new […]

The Key to Our Joy

My best friend growing up was Canadian-American, with a feisty, strong Scottish mother who peppered my childhood with various helpful witticisms, bromides, and proverbs. One such—“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.” And another—“Just because there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s no fire in the furnace.” I’ll leave the meaning of that one […]

What I Want for Our Children

  You asked me if I care about your children and my heart sank right into my chest. Oh, how that hurt. Do I want your children—or mine—to grow up in a world full of danger and evil?    I didn’t answer then. The words I saw sprawled across the internet were written in black […]

How Can I Write about Freedom Now?

How can I write about freedom now, when the world (and my heart) is so often caged? How can I write about surrender when refugees are turned away? How can I write about joy when people of color are treated as unequal? I only have borrowed words to fill my empty cup: “How long, O […]

When Things Get Under My Skin

Yesterday, I took a deep breath and told Laura all the things that were on my mind.   It took a while.  I listed the disappointments and the complicated relationships. I told her how everything was changing and I didn’t know how to respond to this shifting landscape. I told her of anger that had started to fester in the […]

Saying Good-Bye-My “Ifs” and My “Onlys”

Autumn is in full chorus. Leaves shaded in hues of yellow-limes, tangerine-reds, black-purple-plum are bursting in symphony against the backdrop of November gray. And I can’t get enough of their beauty, diversity and surrender—I am jealous for each leaf’s resolve. Looking at the “burning bush” in front of me, full abandon is its message. Outstretched […]

Cast Off Your Chains

Cast off your chains, my friends, the ones that have been weighing you down. On the left wrist, the chain reads “try harder” on the right “do better.” Wrapped around both ankles is the chain of “you are not enough,” it is held together with the links reading: “should.” I should be thinking this, feeling […]

Why I Wouldn’t Be Where I Am Without Reality TV

I just had to manually input the word “vlogger” into my spell check. I’m using that word a lot lately. After three years of writing words, on screens, and posting them on blogs, I’ve started monologuing to the camera. For most of my life I would never have dreamed that I would sit in front […]

The Night my Blackness Was Stripped Away in the Dark

I was weary of dumbing down my brain smarts and body parts to fit into the present day image of Black beauty and sexuality.  Truth is I didn’t have the breast size or small waist and curved hips to compete in the first place. Instead of placing MTV’s coke-bottle-super-model-video vixens as my prized goal, I […]

Dear Fear, You Are a Mouse

I walked into the bedroom and I knew you were there. I could feel you lurking, waiting to pounce on little hearts. To enter whenever we would give you an opening. So I taught the kids at a very young age to say this: God has not given me a spirit of fear . . […]

Heartbreak and Shipwreck

“What are your worst fears?” Tammy asked me. My first reaction was, well, this is a no-brainer. I’ve lived most of my life with anxiety and dread. I should be able to rattle off my fears like a grocery list. And yet my hands lingered over the keyboard. I hesitated. I realized, I don’t know. […]