Monday, May 18, 2015

The New Modern Family?

I recently heard someone say they were ready to give up on family. It had me feeling some kind of way.  When those words were spoken, my gratitude for Isaiah 55:8-9 was increased, because these words tell us God does not think or act as we do. He will never give up on us.

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I have a crazy kind of love for my family—a reason I breathe kind of love—my life is connected to your life kind of love- and I can’t fathom “giving up” on them. Flaws, hurts, pain and all. God was purposeful and exact in designating our earthly family. No matter what is happening in our lives or will happen,  do we have a right to give up on them? In these modern times, we so easily discard and replace. Yes, I know there are some extraordinary circumstances when the family of origin is not the best place for a person but even in those situations God has a purpose for choosing that particular family. (but that's another post for another day)

The message today is if you’re experiencing disappointment or feeling disconnected from those you love, know you’re not alone. Your heavenly family (God your Father, Jesus your joint heir, and Holy Spirit your Comforter) is ALWAYS ALWAYS available to listen, comfort and guide you into forgiveness and reconcile damaged relationships. You’ll realize (as I did) that forgiveness starts with self and God has healing available to you! Seek Him. Ask Him for His help. Let your healing be the beginning of your family's healing! 

If you have a testimony about healing family relationships, I welcome you to share in the comments. Your story may be the inspiration someone needs.  Thanking you in advance! Oh and if you need support, please email me. I'll be happy to share some ministry resources which have blessed and healed me. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What Are the Causes for a Flat Tire?

This morning, I woke up, greeted the day, got prepared for work, and loaded some laundry in the car. I want to take care of a few loads after work. At some point, I realized I had a flat tire. Before or after coffee? Puzzling, since they are fairly new tires. However, I had to sign into work (a plus when you work from home) and that pushed flat tire to 2nd priority. Work went smoothly. As the time neared for me to clock out, flat tire found its way to the front of my mind again.

My car is about 14 years old. She gets me to and fro pretty well, but she's old.  So, I'm wondering...

Picture on Feasting on the Divine blog writer Trinka Polite

As I was saying, it was almost time to sign off for the day. Since it's already paid, I called roadside assistance. Back in Georgia, I know somebody that knew somebody who had a cousin who was a mechanic who would come over after a quick text and take care of this minor issue. :-) So roadside assistance is the easiest solution for now.  I clock out of work, head downstairs, and look out the window.  My car is hitched to a tow truck! Dude! 

I soon learn from this tanned little fellow that my car did not have a spare tire and he could tow it somewhere to be fixed and by the way, "I've cleaned my seat in case you need a ride." Why not, Trinka!? I grab my purse, jump in and tell him where I want to go take advantage of my warranty.

I'll call him Chad. Chad shares that he is good at what he does--"working with cars for over 27 years"--but he is living his "Dad's dream" and his Dad owns the company. In our short drive, we talked about what he really loves. As he did, his smile grew bigger and bigger. We arrived at my destination, take care of minor details, and as Chad prepares to leave, I remind him of our conversation. Bye Chad! God please bless him to realize his dreams and guide him to live the life you pre-destined for him.

Of course, there's a group of people waiting, and I need this flat tire fixed. Yet, I seemed to have caught the attention of someone. I see braids bouncing in the vicinity of my knees, and I look down to see a big smile--short a few teeth--smiling back up at me. She dribbles her purple ball around me for a while. Then, stops and says, "I like your hair. It's pretty." I thank her and compliment her hair as well. Meanwhile, the adult who's with her is on the phone, trying to complete her purchase and talking with the salesperson. My new friend, still dribbling her purple ball, loses her grip and the ball rolls out the door towards the parking lot. I stop her from running out the door. I go get the ball and whisper to the little girl to "go stand over there." I point towards the adult, because I still don't know who she is to the little girl. Hopefully, she'll be finished soon so I can get my flat tire fixed.

Finally, I'm next. The little girl and the adult are now leaving. She says, "Mommy that lady got my ball." The Mom apologizes and rushes the little girl out the door. Bye little girl! God keep her safe.

Oh by the way, today I had a flat tire today in case you've forgotten by now, in my little story. So, I sit down in the waiting area and surprisingly, now, it's only me. I ask the guy at the counter if they are under new management because I notice some changes. Good ones! He says "yes" with such joy and proceeds to share how he misses working with his hands. How did we get to his hands? But ok.  He apparently made a few wrong decisions in his past and has been working to turn his life around for the last 2 years. He was fired from his previous job due to lack of transportation. He says he was blessed to find his current job because he can walk here. He's also saving to get a used car and to settle his legal issues. "Some days it's hard, ma'am, to stay motivated." And he pauses. One of those pauses which begs to be filled with something..anything good.

I looked around because it's beginning to feel like one of those days where America's Funniest Video or some show pops out from behind the tire display and say gotcha!! Words came and I shared a bit of wisdom and encouraged the young man to continue to seek God and to stay motivated by what he's accomplished. How long have I been sitting here? How's that flat tire repair coming along? Is someone going to tell me WHY it's flat? Finally my car is ready and with my warranty, I get a new tire for $10! God is good!  Bye young man! God please shelter him from the negative influences of this world. Keep him safe in Your arms and give him the strength and provision he needs to stay on the right path.
Picture on Feasting on the Divine blog writer Trinka Polite

Lord just let me get home and relax. Mmmm smells fresh in here. Red light. Bottles tumble. Laundry detergent??? LAUNDRY IN TRUNK! Arrive at laundromat. Turn off car and just breathe for a moment. 

With laundry and supplies in tow, I walk into the laundromat, happy there are only two cars. A little boy is between the machines and me. He's jumping from side to side--playing a video game. Then, he looks at me and says, "hey lady!! I'm winning! I'm winning!" In my auntie-voice, I reply, "you are!!? Good for you!" I make it to the machines. Yes! 

He eventually finds his way near me and just watches. I smile and he starts telling me about his game. He instantly starts talking after I smile and I wonder if I asked him question. I try the "I'm-a-stranger-where-are-your-parents line" and then a squeaky female voice from among the dryers says "oh he's fine! I can see him." I look around to see the face for the voice and she lets me know she's his Mom. Really?

I listen. I'm an auntie and a licensed counselor, so I can do this. He stops periodically to ask me if I need help or if I'm watching TV. Why "help" I don't know. After about 15 minutes (you thought it was longer too, right?), his Mom is finishing up and she tells him to clean up the play area. Yes it's a nice little laundromat. He doesn't move and whines a little, but eventually, he puts the toys back in the right place. He grabs his Mom's hand as he leaves and walks over to me to say he's leaving. I smile and thank him for talking with me. He says, "You're welcome. Be good!" Be good? LOL "Ok!"

Or as I heard it in my spirit: "Bye lady. God please help her to be okay."

I check the dryers--13 more minutes. Lord thank you for letting the tire repair be a smooth process.

"Wooo! Let me get off my feet for a minute." It's the 70-ish year old lady who works here as an attendant. "I'm thankful for my job. It gives me something to do, but I get tired." 

I smile--which is all I have left-- as we watch Dancing with the Stars and Patti LaBelle is now singing Lady Marmalade. My 70-ish year old friend tells me that back in the day "Patti would've hit all those notes better than that."  I agree and respond jokingly, "but who knows what she's saying anyway" and laugh. And what happens next? She begins to tell me the lyrics to Lady Marmalade!!! My 70-ish year old Caucasian sister hits the gitchi gitchi ya ya da da. All I can do is LOL--at this moment--at this day-when all I wanted to do was get that flat tire fixed.

Picture on Feasting on the Divine blog writer Trinka Polite

Oh and about that flat tire--four mechanics and a technician could not figure out why my tire was flat. No punctures. No wear. No rim damage. Stem in tact. The tire was just flat. 

To answer the question posed by the title, there may be several causes for a flat tire and sometimes a flat tire is well... a lesson in faith, patience and compassion.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Childhood Memories: A Thrift Store Find


Exploring thrift stores is a new pastime. I have family and friends who are pros at scoring little treasures. I’m not at “pro” status yet but it is fun! The writer in me wonders about the stories behind some of the items. Wondering how someone was able to part with china or glassware so beautiful. Gorgeous vintage purses! Yes, I bought a couple with wooden handles. Love! My latest trek was particularly wonderful! 

Walking around Goodwill, I browsed some books and old DVDs. Saw a cool magazine table, pie dishes and plenty of clothes. There were so many young people in there creating thrift store-chic looks. Quite creative! Patronage for these types of stores has definitely changed over the years. 

Trek continues… and I look towards the wall shelves and see a painting peeking out from behind another. Beautiful fall colors which always catch my eye. The closer I get the more familiar it seems. Slowly, I remove the obstruction and there it is—a picture that used to hang in my Grandmother’s house. 

Westal picture on blog Feasting on the Divine by Trinka Polite
Golden Days by Westal
My paternal Grandmother was probably one of the first people to wake up and nurture my imagination. We would sit on the front porch in our rocking chairs surrounded by pecan groves, fields of beans, peanuts and corn, rose bushes, dogwood trees and blue hydrangea. Grandma Henry’s house was my sanctuary.  As we sat there rocking away, most of the time in silence and smiles, Grandma would say something like “I see a rabbit in the sky. Look at the clouds and tell me what you see.” Honestly, the first time, I jumped out the chair and ran to the steps to get a better look because “Grandma, I don’t see no rabbit!” LOL We lived in the country as you’ve probably guessed. So on clear nights, we would gaze at the stars too and find the constellations. 

Back to the picture. I stared at it a lot as a child.  Do you see the young lady on her horse? I believe if the horse was standing still I wouldn’t have paid attention to it. But the horse is in mid-gallop. :-) I remember Grandma asking me “where do you think she’s going?” Most likely I looked at her with childlike confusion to mask being caught staring at this pic on every visit, because I do remember NOT answering the question. However, her next words were—“Use your imagination baby.”  

Boom! My world instantly expanded! I did use my imagination. I have used it and I continue to have an open mind and spirit. It sustains me and helps me to see the beauty in all that surrounds me.  Reminds me of one of my favorite movie quotes from Under the Tuscan Sun:

“Never lose your childish innocence. It's the most important thing.” ~ Katherine

What's one of your favorite childhood memories?

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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Scripture: The Voice of God

Welcome to another month of Writeous Reflections! Please be sure to visit my fellow bloggers via the link-up at the bottom of this post! Be blessed!

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The best change I've ever made in my life is studying God's word on a daily basis. Hearing His voice through the scriptures is amazing! His Word tells us who we are, what we can have, and how much we are loved! The latter means the most to me! 

The Bible also tells us that "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. [2 Timothy 3:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)]

Although every scripture in all 66 books will revive, renew and heal your spirit, there's usually a few you have hidden in your heart. Those two or three (or more) you say to yourself on the way to work or when you've been hurt. Those scriptures which warm your heart when the world has been cold to you yet again or when God amazes you with His timing and you're feeling overwhelming joy!  Can I get an Amen?

Here are my heart scriptures:

To remind me I can face anything because my destiny is Yes & Amen

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To remind me of all the times God has saved me...and He always will

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To remind me I've been marvelous, wonderful and a force in the kingdom of God since the beginning of time

Post by Trinka Polite on Feasting on the Divine

Which scriptures do you refer to often?