Posted in **RELIGIOUS**, @Cultural, LOVE

**Lady in Waiting**(waiting on love..)

..Will God lay it at your feet? How long should you wait on God to send HIM? Will you know the signs that ‘the one’ has been sent from God? Limitless questions that seem to inspire more questions…>>>

Proverbs 31:10-31King James Version (KJV)

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies….

Exactly what IS a woman of virtue? As Christians we’re taught(correct me if I’m wrong..) that a woman of virtue is pure, upstanding in good character, and waits to be plucked by ‘the one’ sent by God to love only her..But what about those of us who are divorced or will never be virgins again?? Are we also supposed to wait, again? My interpretation of this scripture translates to pure of heart..

1. characterized by or possessing virtue or moral excellence; righteous; upright
2. (of women) chaste or virginal


I think we all interpret things; differently…Also I find that we often pick & choose what scripture we want to emulate or believe in…Is a woman any less virtuous if she employs an active hand in determining her ‘fate’? Do WE sit at home waiting for any other opportunity(, investments etc..) to knock on our doors? The answer is simple..No, we don’t…In that aspect we use our God-given talents; to achieve our goals..Why isn’t that the same universal sentiment for Christian women seeking love? Why are so many of the belief that God is going to do it ALL? One must do their part, good works, to gain anything in this life..Right? There have been phases of praying for discernment in my life(I’m in the midst of one now..); in which I am listening to the ear of my heart..It’s my belief there IS a healthy balance between actively looking (or broadening our exposure, circles..) for a life-partner & waiting for God to send one into our lives..Being passive doesn’t get anyone anywhere! If this is truly the case then why do we hear of so many(including the video clip I posted..) willing to ‘just’ wait??? Doesn’t that mean they don’t trust their own judgement/choices at all? IF a woman’s heart is pure and she is a woman of God; can’t she be guided/led by him to choose a life-partner? Or at the least attempt to step out of her comfort zone(online dating sites, broadening social circles, etc…) in order to be discovered? Real questions. Real thoughts that I wanted to share with y’all..Feel free to chime in or share from your experiences..Stand UP women of virtue and speak on it…

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**

Black. Catholic. Full Stop*Beginning of Lent and Resisting Temptation

I had no intention of discussing Lent today nor its meaning..But it happened anyway..Not within the confines of things I can control..It just happened..Funny thing IS it happened while simply explaining to someone I couldn’t keep my committment to work out due to it being Ash Wednesday..Little did I know that would lead to an entire text chat defending my Catholic Faith..Are y’all ready for this? Hold onto to your caps, hats, wigs and weaves because here I GO>>

I’ve no issue with defending my Faith..But I’ve also no issue admitting I don’t like being put in a position to have to! I don’t ask anyone else to defend their Faith and I don’t take kindly to feeling I have to defend mine..But I shall if I and when I have to..Any day 24/7 365 days of the year. I am Black and I am Catholic. Period. And there is no other religion I’d rather practice and be a pupil of; other than the first. Catholicism. >>

I don’t critique other religions. I feel everyone has the right to practice whatever religion they desire..I also feel folks that do NOT have a clue about a certain practice of religion, other than speculation or hearsay, should never ever speak as IF they’ve got knowledge of a certain religion. I’ve no problem with answering questions about the religion I’m apart of..But when you a. step to me and act as if you know all about Catholicism but come across as not knowing the first thing about it. OR b. step to me with nothing but hearsay and wrong assumptions OR c. step to me quoting me Bible scripture that you think counter the Catholic religion…My interest level wains from the inception and so does my respect level for you. Instantly. >>

Before I go any further I’d like to profess I don’t think nor feel I’m a Bible thumping over righteous type of Christian who bangs folks over the head with my religion nor my Faith…I’ll never show up at your front door trying to convert you to Catholicism. I even sometimes wonder if there are so many things considered SINS in Catholicism that I’m forever destined to be a sinner. (after all we were born sinners..) Though I practice celibacy until my next marriage(OMG that’s tough) it is said even lusting or thinking about SEX is a SIN outside of marriage..IF that is truly the case then I’ve certainly got strikes against me! ..For I’m not of the belief I have ‘credit’ with God; no matter how good I treat people in my day-to-day life. But I’ll try not to stray to far from my point>>

All of that said today was the first day in my entire life I told someone google UP what Ash Wednesday Mass meant to Catholicism ..I’d tired of texting the reasons..And just in case I left anything out, I figure I’ll give it my best shot here. For I believe a lot of folks , even practicing Catholics, might not know what the intent is behind Ash Wednesday. We’re all learning and there is nothing wrong with learning a little bit more & truly understanding the age-old rituals>>

Lent is the forty day period before Easter, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday). [This traditional ennumeration does not precisely coincide with the calendar according to the liturgical reform. In order to give special prominence to the Sacred Triduum (Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday, Easter Vigil) the current calendar counts Lent as only from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, up to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Even so, Lenten practices are properly maintained up to the Easter Vigil, excluding Sundays, as before.]Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.Following the example of the Nine vites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told

“Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.

The distribution of ashes comes from a ceremony of ages past. Christians who had committed grave faults performed public penance. On Ash Wednesday, the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days of penance, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the church because of their sins — just as Adam, the first man, was turned out of Paradise because of his disobedience. The penitents did not enter the church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days’ penance and sacramental absolution. Later, all Christians, whether public or secret penitents, came to receive ashes out of devotion. In earlier times, the distribution of ashes was followed by a penitential procession.

The Ashes

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.

Hopefully none of you will have to answer a litany of questions about practicing Lent(and from a friend no less..) but IF you are I’m prayerful my rant can give you the the info you need..Or , even more importantly, motivate you to learn more about your Catholic Faith. Bottom line as Believers we’re all brothers/sisters in Christ..And at the beginning and end of each day that is what should matter in our interpersonal relationships..Not what religion we practice. Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted and blessed,Berna(the 1 & Only)

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**

Ye of Little FAITH? One Christian’s Honest & Open Questions..

Something happened very recently, and I heard of it today, which brought this topic to mind..And I can’t let go of it..So figured I might as well write it out here. I thought about adding a disclaimer first so as not to offend anyone..But decided against it. These are my raw feelings on the matter of Faith..Based on my beliefs and experiences. Before I dig in let me give a brief, brief personal background ..Yes, I am a Christian. I’m a very active & involved practicing Catholic. Exclamation point. Period. Moving right along>>

Recently death has knocked on the door of my life. In my immediate family. In my loved ones immediate family. In my friends/coworkers families. In my church sisters/brothers families..I’ve been known to say I don’t deal well with death. Not to say anyone does; but I really don’t. I never know quite what to say; although my immediate reflex is to nurture & comfort. I’m old enough to know death is a natural part of LIFE..And as a Christian I’m supposed to trust 100% that it is God’s will being done & he’s calling his children home. Right? Sounds good. Looks good in print..But why then am I so heart-sick when a loved one dies? Why do I get heart-sick, especially when hearing someone has lost a parent? Why is the first thing that comes to mind when that happens..’God please don’t let my parents DIE anytime soon. I’m not ready! There is so much I’ve yet I want to spend time doing WITH my parents. IF either of my parents were to die soon I will NOT be able to handle it‘..>>

I profess to love God with all of my heart & being. And I do! My faith in God has grown from a mustard seed ; to a mighty big forest! And yet..this one area@ Death? I admit I’m very shaky..Very. Is it worse to lose someone unexpected to death? Or does it hurt just as bad either way? I’ve heard varying stories on both sides of that coin. I’ve tried my best to talk about this topic to get a deeper understanding..But still the thoughts that prevail in my mind when it becomes personal? ‘God please don’t let my parents or my sons DIE anytime soon!’ Each time the subject comes up , I’ve added more onto the list..>>

I’ve experienced spiritual awakenings that were as REAL to me as real can get..I am a Believer..I’ve trusted in God to take the reins of my life this past couple years..With remarkable results. I am a Believer! And yet? I admittedly struggle with this subject matter @ Death. My questions have questions. I’m feeling guilty because I’ve so many questions. Why do we grieve for our loved ones IF we’re truly Believers? Does that mean one isn’t a Believer 100% if they grieve? Shouldn’t WE rejoice that our loved one has gone onto be with Our Creator? >>

Again for the record I’ll say it one more time..I Believe. I Believe in God. God hears my prayers; and I pray ALOT. I Believe in miracles; I have lived a couple myself. I’ve held a miracle baby(our youngest) in my own hands(3 lbs at birth) I Believe in love & sharing love & spreading LOVE..But I still struggle with the concept of Death..I don’t properly know how to comfort someone who has suddenly lost someone..NO words seem to be enough nor the perfect words to say. I best handle death by not attending funerals..(except for close family or extended family) I realize this isn’t a healthy way to deal with it though..Yet it is how I cope with it. The topic of death has risen in my life once again. Today. Thoughts are swirling around in my head about it; and I pray. ‘God please do not let my parents DIE anytime soon nor my sons nor my X’s nor my X in laws nor my extended family of friends NOR anyone in my life. I’m just not ready to part with ANY of them. ‘ This is probably a selfish way of thinking..For it isn’t my right to deny anyone the chance to move on to greener pastures..And since that IS the case why do we grieve? Which leads me to my last question. Is grieving a sign of being a Believer or not? I Believe therefore I should not grieve? It is no small wonder explaining death to a small child is difficult..I’m a grown woman of 50 & admit I don’t handle it well. Mayhaps no one does. Perhaps death is meant to always be one of the mysteries of this Life Journey..Just maybe it is something we’ll only truly understand when it happens to us. Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever Sincere, Berna(the 1 & Only)

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**, @Cultural, LOVE, Motivational!, ^Encouraging Words

From BOY to MAN

I simply could NOT pass up re-blogging this write..This young man gets IT

Let's Talk About It


From BOY to MAN

Living under the roof of a two parent house hold, you learn the value of love. Life as a boy for me was mostly all about learning how to become a man. It’s nothing like having a father figure to help you understand how to walk, talk, treat a lady and firmly shake hands as well as look another man in his eye as respect. Understanding at a young age how to honor God and follow his commandments on top of respecting morals brings an abundance of wisdom and discernment to escape peer pressure and scope out trouble from miles away. Having morals and following his commandments proactively helped me as a boy think with my brain and not with my man hood. If I would have thought with my man hood it could have created issues that could have followed me when I became a…

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Posted in **RELIGIOUS**

*Are U a “Believer”?

I had NO intention of blogging this topic. Quite honestly I had an adult “issue” I was going to write about. Its Saturday! night and well, well..nevermind thats another HOT topic for another time. For some reason I find I can’t “not” write this line of thought out..To bounce it off y’all and hopefully get feedback. Either way I’m feeling a need to write-it-out. Might not be able to sugar coat it; but then again thats not my writing style. Ready or not here I go…>>

DISCLAIMER: Sort of;  for I make NO apologies @ I am a Believer in God the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit. I don’t , however, claim to know all Bible Scriptures by heart..Not sure I ever will. But what I do strive to do daily! is live as I think a  Christian is supposed to live and B. Yet, I’m still learning how to even fully do that. So with that as the backdrop here are a few thoughts, ponderings(a Berna’ism) , recent relevant experiences I’d like to share..>>

First things first. A few questions I’ll attempt to answer in this write..Does being a Believer in God; give someone the “right” to claim those who don’t are condemned to hell ? Does being a Believer aka(also known as..) a Christian; require LIVING as a Christian or just professing it? Do folks who go to church get more “credit” or God brownie points; than folks who don’t? Does going to church make someone a Believer? Can a believer in God be someone who doesn’t yet “realize” they are a Believer? Yea,  I really have these type of thoughts from mind has a mind of its OWN I have no control over where my thoughts will wander..So I stopped even trying>>

I’ve been on both sides of the fence..Was once a wanna-B-Believer. Attended church yet! I didn’t have faith nor did I truly believe in something I couldn’t see..I wanted to believe SO badly; but truth be told I didn’t even know how to pray back then. When I listened to how my exhusband prayed so easily & out loud with me; I was in AWE. I kept wondering how that “feeeeeling” was felt..To pray to someone that one could NOT see, feel or touch. I rode on my Mom’s strong, unwavering FAITH for years..I hoped! God gave me credit , brownie points, because I wanted to Believe. Did that count? Wanting to believe; badly? I can say this with utmost honesty..I didn’t know HOW to pray back then but when I did pray? I prayed that I would wake UP a Believer in God! And then one day, finally, while I was wide awake one morning and actually reading a very, big Bible…searching and searching for something to help me! through what I was going “through” at the time..I had a spiritual awakening SO strong & so vivid..that it knocked my socks off! And I wasn’t wearing any I was barefoot…>>

Since then? I’ve been on an UPhill momentum to walk like, I think, a Believer is supposed to walk. Sometimes its a very, very shaky-balance-beam walk & other times its smooth and easy. In my heart of hearts I think that is how it IS for everyone..If not I don’t think we’d be human. But those are just my thoughts …I don’t profess to know anyone else’s experience; but my own. Even prior to my first spiritual awakening(I’ve had 2 more since then..) I was already at heart a kind, compassionate person. I’ve always tried to “see” the best in people; before I assume the worst . And believe it or not; the ratio of that working out to long-lasting friendships/relationships has been great! My  natural instinct about people, the vibes I feel from them, is pretty good. Plus I’ve found often times? If you expect the BEST from people; they’ll rise to the challenge. Now that I think about it God has placed ALOT of really good people in my life; always. Even before I realized that was the case…>>

In my walk..I’ve heard people judge other peoples’ religious practices..I’ve heard people judge MY religious beliefs. I am a fully practicing Catholic. Exclamation point. Period. I’ve heard people, PROfessed Christians/Believers condemn others to Hell who don’t profess to be Believers..I’ve heard people chastise others(behind their backs..) about not attending church often..I’ve seen Christians who look & act miserable..My beliefs? I don’t believe ANY of us has the right to condemn anyone to Hell. How do WE know that the nonverbally professed Believer isn’t truly a Believer; and just doesn’t realize it yet? So to condemn that person to Hell is that God like? Is that what Jesus would DO? I may not, matter of fact I don’t have all the answers..but I just don’t feel that is cool nor the right thing to do. Shouldn’t it just be moreso about living as a Believer and not trying to micromanage other folks souls? Isn’t the best way to teach by …example? IF I saw a bunch of miserable frowned UP faced folks on the advertisement of a so-called comedy..And I love a good comedy cause I love, love laughing..well that is one comedy I’d NOT go see! But then again I’m still learning..and the more I learn..the more I yearn to learn..>>

Lately? In the most unlikely places folks, strangers, walk UP to me & say things like “YOU must be a Believer!” (that honestly happened at my Gyn’s office lobby) or “You are a Believer aren’t you? Can I talk to you? And forgive me for asking first; but some people get offended IF they’re not a Believer”(that happened at the Library) I find myself having UNprompted-by-me-conversations about God, Jesus, believing..etc etc at all sorts of places lately. And its WOWing me..Its like WOW so this is what being a Believer IS like..Other Believers really CAN pick up on it..Reminds me of a song we sing in my choir@ They’ll know we are Christians…>>

What I’ve learned..Its the people who I felt , at first, annoyed me the MOST..that I learn from! And part of the lesson is ME learning; to get over my annoyance & to use tolerance..and next! thing I know they’re my friend. Thankfully this hasn’t happened often..Normally? I easily friend pretty much anyone I come into contact with. You’re not a stranger long in my world..I’ve got an in-your-face-this -is-me personality..Some say its larger than life(actually a friend of mine recently told me without heels on I was MUCH shorter than my personality..) Either like or love me; or not. Whichever way you choose or are drawn IN..I’ll talk you too pieces. Lol, lollll. Aren’t but a few people I’ve met(maybe 3 in my lifetime) that I’ve got NOT 1 word I wish to say. Nada..but thats rare for me. And I’m trying hard to work on that too. I say all of this to say this = IF we say we are Believers; should not we strive to live as such? Outwardly? Better yet…WE shouldn’t have to say we’re Believers IF we’re living as such. Right? Or least this is the way I see it..Would love to hear thoughts on this topic..Until I read/write y’all again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna (the 1 & only)

FootNote: Yep, I accidentally left out a part last night..Sleep was calling my name & I heeded..But anyways question I glossed over my questions  involving  attending church.@  Does going to church grant folks a get-into-Heaven-pass? AND Does going to church make one a Believer? ONE of the main things I struggled with the most in my pre-Believer part of life was attending church on a regular basis. It was my belief that there is NOT a place to go , just one! place, to find/seek GOD. IF that was the case I wasn’t sure if I wanted to find Him…IF that was the case what IF I physically couldn’t make it to church that week? What IF inclement weather stopped me from getting to church? And who the heck KNEW what amount of times of going to church was going to grant this God seeking mission? Was going to church ONCE a week enough? Oh! I had alot of arguements against churching it on a regular basis..Alot. Yet, I felt better overall when I “did” attend Mass on a regular basis even back then..Even though, I didn’t feel fulfilled..something was missing. I was going THRU the motions but I wasn’t feeling a belief in the memorized scripture or rituals. I was going to church because I figured I was supposed to go ; with my sons in tow. Now? I feel attending church(Mass) is an opportunity to commune with my fellow brothers & sisters. An opportunity to PRAY as a group, to WORSHIP as a group I feel is intended. I also believe in the power of prayer & that its multiplied when done in numbers. And when I sing in the choir? Oh my goodness , I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I sing praises to God? Its in a sense a prayer inofitself that I’m offering up to my Maker. My Creator. My Protector of my soul and my very BEing..Its such an intense feeling for me. Sacred. I’m in tune with Him and often times forget I’m in a room, a space, with many. And it is “those” times when I feel the Holy Spirit come down over me in such a way its just, well, overwhelming, and I just lose control of my emotions. And THAT is the best, euphoric, feeling I’ve experienced on this Earth. I sincerely wish I could bottle that feeling UP & spray it on myself the rare times these days when I’m in a FUNK. You know those times when you just can’t manage to shake OFF those yucky, funky, F’ed UP  vibes? Yep, I know I’ve digressed & badly..bottom line is I don’t feel going to church makes one a Believer. Nor does it grant a get-into-Heaven pass..I also believe there are people who Believe that just haven’t put a name on it/haven’t realized they Believe/but walk & live as Believers. I also believe there are self-professed Believers who do NOT act very Christian like; alot. Personally? I fail every day in some way to B a perfect Christian or Believer. I’ve come to the belief I don’t think there IS such a thing as a perfect one. Nada. Zilch. And IF I ever run across one ; I’m going to take a picture of them & post in right here on my blog. They don’t exist..

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**

*REDEEMED*Forgiven*REBORN* Happy Easter !

I am redeemed! i AM forgiven! I really AM so REBORN! If there were any way on God‘s GREAT earth I could share this oh so, SO, good feeling I would. I promise…And I made a promise to my Heavenly Father that I would do MY best to try to share it; right here and now. When I rose this morning; leaped! out the bed as I so often do..filled with such a feeling of thankfulness/filled with a feeling of such inner PEACE/such a feeling of utter overwhelmingness…2day is a brand NEW day. Why? This is the day that HE rose for ME! And U..and yep U too..even for those of U who don’t , yet, Believe in him…Did ya’ll know Jesus died of a broken heart? So much I’ve learned and thirst to learn; during this spiritual journey of mine. I was reading yesterday, led to read something that hurt my eyes/gave me a headache to read! ..and hurt my heart to read the words. I read, word for word, facts about Jesus’s cruxificication..Written by a physician whose does research on what that does to a body, physically. This physician said he felt he’d been taking it for granted..WHAT JESUS GAVE UP FOR US..and I felt I was also. Something in my spirit led me yesterday to read words I’d never seen before. I read things that I’d closed my eyes to when I watched the movie ‘Passion of the Christ‘ years ago. Made a vow to myself! that I would never, ever, EVA watch that movie again..Now I know why it hurt so much to watch. How often do we avoid things that hurt to see? To know? To say? To go THROUGH? Know what I think, feel!, now? That we’ve got to go , through, some bad things to get TO good things. Look at what Jesus sacrificed for US and what the end result was…From this day forth because I’m in a state of NEW awareness, NEW self, NEWly re-born, NEWLY confirmed into the Catholic Faith(as of last night…) I am making a vow to do better…I was once so very blind; but now I see. I do>

Folks out there reading might wonder how I can speak of loving God 2day..Yet, yesterday I could partake in writing sensual poems. Because I am multi-faceted. I’m embracing ALL of who I am. For the 1st time in my entire life..and thats a mighty long time & many moons passed. Most days? I stand before the world NAKED. Off & online…I wear my feelings on my face & sleeves.(a fact my Daddy has said all my life) I do NOT have a poker game type face! Any emotion or feeling I am feeling is displayed on my face…I can’t seem to hide it. So I have stopped even trying to…This is who I am 24/7 and 365 days of the year. And it is who I am going to be until the day I leave this earth. For years I tried to fit my squareness into round holes; not anymore. I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drummer(a full blown band lol! ) the only difference now? I’ve got the courage & confidence to embrace it…I need no introduction. No fan fare. I am just going to be me…A loved child of God created in HIS image. A one and only ME. I am the only one who can do ME; and I’m doing the best I can to do that. Totally unscripted..and I hope ya’ll are doing the best of U daily also. God loves all of us; even those who don’t yet recognize him. I was once so very lost my dang self; but I thank GOD I’m not anymore. I feel relieved! I feel redeemed! I feel so very renewed & reBORN. And I feel like screaming it from the mountain tops; that is how GOOD it feels all the time.

Can’t seem to stop myself from digressing this morning..My mind & heart are all over the place..I am excited! I am on FIRE..As I was saying I no longer wanted to know what it meant about the beauty of Jesus rising TODAY..Which is why I read about the physicalNESS of the account of his cruxification yesterday, even though it hurt to read(I don’t even watch horror movies..yep, I cover my eyes if I’m forced to) because I wanted to know..really know…what Jesus went through for me. Just for ME(and for you also…) One can not know what they don’t know; till they really know. And now that I’m reading up on it more & more(thank U God for my inherent love of reading!) no more will anything I go through seem like I can NOT get through IT…For, if Jesus could go through , what he went through for me, certainly I can get to the other side of any earthly pain/hurts/disappointments. Right? Yes, absolutely right. There was a time I didn’t feel that way. Backintheday…I’ve been in some really DARK deep valleys…It is the reason I can now know such JOY. One can’t know or feel joy; without having felt the opposite. Please google that concept if you don’t believe me..but I’m speaking from a life time of experience. Once I was so very blind; but now I see. And that didn’t happen overnight either..Its taken me a life time. I’m just so very , very happy to be HERE . And for this moment in time? I feel like screaming it from the roof tops>

The fact that Jesus died in an UNnormal fashion for a cruxification; shouldn’t have surprised me when I read it. But he did..he died from a broken heart when they pierced him in his heart. *And he never said a mumblin word* However, if we study the scriptures he did manage(even through his excruciating! pain from the torture…) to utter 7 brief sentences. The last 7 things Jesus said before he died..>1. Father, forgive them for they know not what they DO. 2. Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise. 3. Behold thy Mother. Woman, behold thy Son. 4. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?? 5. I thirst. 6. It is finished. 7. Father! Into thy hands I commit  my  Spirit>

~I was asked a couple days ago IF I knew the last 7 things Jesus said..I was only certain of ONE of those..So I was thirsty to KNOW. I was thirsty to KNOW why I’d been asked that question..I was led to read up on it & that is how I read through the ENTIRE account of Jesus’s death. It wasn’t pretty. It was beyond anything that the human mind can imagine. FAR more awful a death than was even portrayed in the movie “The Passion”; and I can’t bear to watch that but ONCE in my life. I could barely see as I read those words yesterday; through my tears. As if my very heart would break in two reading it..its a tough read to read. Indeed. But now that I know what I know..I truly KNOW just that small amount Jesus endured so that I could live today. That is more heavy of a thought today, for me, than ever before. I hope you’ll remember with me; that he died just for YOU. I hope you realized how LOVED that means you are. YOU are special. I’m going to do my utmost to spread that feeling; of knowing that. Of feeling that. It just feels so very GOOD all of the time..And on that note I’m signing off for now. Stay UPlifted & blessed. Until I read/write ya’ll again have a wonderful , love-filled Easter. It is a brand new day>

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**

~My Holiest Holy Week Ever~

~I honestly thought about not posting this here..Instead I was just going to write it & post on my church’s Faith blog site. And then? I decided this is such an important & integral part of who I am; that I wanted to share it here as well..Take it or leave it, Love me or not; I’m going to be ME no matter where I am..And that includes 4ever and always on my blog site. >Disclaimer in advance= These are my beliefs and my thoughts about God/religion/FAITH; all based on my life journey and experiences. I’m not saying nor implying what anyone else should believe or not. Quite simply professing I am very much a BELIEVER and this is what my Holy Week in 2013 will consist of…Ready for me? Ready or not here are my inner-most thoughts>

^Very brief(yep , I’m still working on brevity…) history lesson about Catholism. The early Fathers of ‘the Church’ used the word ‘Catholic” to describe the church because ‘Catholic’ means universal. Which , in short, means that ‘Catholic religion  ‘ & ‘Christian religion ‘ mean the same thing. Later, when folks began to break away from the ‘Catholic religion’ to form other religions; the ‘Catholic religion’ still remained what it has always been. The Catholic the  religion which I’ve been a part of since I received the Sacrament of Baptism  as an infant. Moving right along to where I am today in my faith and the Catholic faith/religion>

^I’ve not always been as steady on my feet in my faith or my walk as a Catholic; as I am NOW. And while I think it is the NOW that matters the most..I also can greatly appreciate the laborious journey it took to get HERE. Scraped knees from praying & scraped knees from falling; from one extreme to the other I’ve lived it. And I’m very pleased to be able to say, with utmost sincerity, not only am I still standing..but I’m standing taller than I’ve ever stood. All 5’4 inches…well , without heels>

>I’ve gone through periods of life when I wasn’t attending Mass on a regular basis. I’ve gone through periods of life I sent my sons to Mass; yet I didn’t attend. I’ve gone through periods of life that I questioned the existence of a true higher say I’ve struggled with being a full Believer is an understatement. Always wanted to be one; yet I was what I can best describe as a wanna-B-believer. I prayed to a GOD; that I wasn’t quite sure truly was listening at times. There were times I felt IF he did exist; how in the heck could he allow some of the things I lived THROUGH to have happened in the first place?!? My questions had questions…and yet I never totally didn’t believe. But I had serious doubts…and I for sure had doubts in a religion I felt(and experienced) as NOT being totally inclusive of folks of color. Folks that looked like ‘me’. I just wasn’t feeling comfy; and I hadn’t found a church home. (though not for lack of trying/and holding an elected seat on a predominantly ‘Conservative’  Catholic church school board..) And then…>

*My 1st spiritual awakening happened in the unlikely of places; and at the unlikely of times in my life. Unexpected, unprovoked and with no warning..just happened. Bam! What came over me was a feeling of such utter & complete immediate total JOY; that it scared me. I didn’t see any bright light at the end of a tunnel. Very much awake & I was sitting reading a Bible…something , at the time, I wasn’t accustomed to doing. Very early one morning in total quietness..suddenly..I could feel GOD’s presence. Warmth like a comforting liquid flowed down over my entire being; I can’t express it any other way. Just felt good, all over..quite suddenly. Long enough for me to be aware of it & then it was gone. But from that point on I could no longer be totally in doubt of his existence. For once in my life I didn’t have to see something to believe in it. Didn’t have to touch or feel it or taste it. Suddenly I was no longer a believer that seeing was believing..

It was at that time in my life I began to feel a need for re-newness. An inner need to start brand new. A re-start towards A re-birth. I don’t recall sitting and figuring out a plan how I was going to get that accomplished. And I’m a planner…no longer did I feel in control of my own destiny. It was at this time of my life I felt the most; lost. Wasn’t sure which direction I should head at all. Yet I was driven. That might not make any sense to anyone else; but it makes perfect sense to me. In essence I was no longer holding the reins to my life..No longer leading my own foot steps. Yet, I was on a mission. And fast-forwarding> A mission that led me over 3,500 miles>Home to my parents..A place with 2 people who loved me more than any other people on this planet>Yet, it was a place I said I’d never live, only visit, again. But I was on my way to becoming complete. Finally. I’d come completely full circle..

**My 2nd spiritual awakening came in the midst of many who looked just like me..At a gathering I’d flown 2 reach with many to attend the National Black Catholic Conference. Over those several days I knew I was right where I was supposed to be..A week earlier I hadn’t even planned on being there..It was there I realized there wasn’t just a place for me in the Catholic religion; but there was NO other place I belonged to get closer to GOD. I was home & had always been a part of it…Finally I was filled with a passion to learn more about my faith in the Faith that had been chosen for me since Birth. It was then that my re-Birth unofficially officially began..I began to fall IN love with being Catholic. I wanted to learn more &  more about it. From that conference I took with me, within my spirit, the same feeling shared there amongst hundreds of others like me. I  began to make a place for me in what quickly became my church HOME in the new city I now resided in. Same city my parents had lived for over 30 years. Their church home became mine; totally effortlessly. I don’t know if it is because my frame of mind changed & was open to it. Or a combination of that & the feeling of warmth & welcome in which I was received into the church. All I know is all of a sudden I felt like I was HOME. And my new church , almost over night, became my church HOME. I’d never felt that way about a church before..everything was simply falling into place. I joined the choir the week , alongside my parents, the week after my arrival to the “Left Coast”..Slowly but surely after that I began to get more & more involved in my new church home. I’m amazed myself! how involved I’m feeling driven to be..It wasn’t planned..Just keep holding my hand UP to serve more & more!  And with each day I can feel a warmth from within, like my inner GLOW, pouring out of me..There is no other way I can express it. The feeling of contentment I feel majority of the time; is something I wish I could bottle up ..and share with the WORLD. Which is what I am attempting to do , right here and now; with my words. Painting a picture, as only I can do, with my fingerstrokes. This is where I’ve come from 2 Where I am right now. And it just feels GOOD all the time>

**For the past 5 months I’ve been involved in a process..After a lifetime of being part of the Catholic church; I’ve chosen to take the Sacrament of Confirmation. As an adult this is a conscious effort & has consisted of attending 1 1/2 hr sessions every Monday. The sessions cover basic information about the Catholic Faith & fundamentally communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults will climax with receiving the Sacrament of front of my church congregation on Easter eve evening..The Easter Vigil Mass. With the exception of childbirth and marriage ceremony; there is NOTHING I’ve been more in anticipation of in my life. It isn’t simply a step for me. It is part of my re-Birth. Couldn’t be more symbolic than for it to take place on the eve of Easter…This past 5 months has been a period of deep reflection, prayer, instruction, discernment and formation..One of my spiritual advisors leads the sessions and is also someone I call friend..There was the perfect time, a pre-selected time, for me to be confirmed into Catholism. Everything is falling into place all by itself…When things are right, they just feel right, and they just happen. And? It just feels GOOD all the time>

Because I will always keep it real= When I first learned I was expected to attend Mass 4 times during this Holy Week it blew my hair back..WOW thats alot of church for ME in one week..That isn’t including attending my regular session at church last night. A council meeting tomorrow night. Basically that means I’ll be at the church every evening except for tonight..WOW again. Having said that & all of what I’ve shared here; that was only my first response and thoughts. After it sunk in? My thoughts now= What BETTER place for me to be during the Holy Week preceding my receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation? It is where I am supposed to be in preparation ..Quite honestly I’ve got butterflies in anticipation & excitement. I thought as the time neared I’d be nervous. I am not. I am just eager & ready. I probably won’t share with ya’ll the events of this weeks’ church activities. Even having shared this is extremely personal for me. But I wanted to share with each & every one of you something that I feel is very..Beautiful. My testimony. IF you read between the lines, that is what I’ve just shared …My life journey to here. My walk now as I try, with all my might, to walk the walk that I feel most close to Jesus’s walk. It isn’t nor hasn’t been a straight road. It hasn’t been without bumps along the way; and even now. But when I look back, briefly..every single thing I’ve experienced was leading me to ..HERE. And knowing that/feeling that/realizing that ALL my life there has been a MasterPlan..Finally becoming aware that I’ve never , ever walked alone..Reflecting back on ALL of the people who entered into my life; that were unannounced Angels..Leading me/guiding me/counseling me/accompanying me on my journey..WOW, just WOW. Feels so GOOD all of the time. I hope something I’ve shared here with ya’ll has possibly made you reflect on your own spiritual lives..We all have one…Just takes some of us longer to tap into to it. We’re all loved children of GOD created by a mighty Father..One who is so patient /merciful/& loving; that he waits for us to discover that he simply IS. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted /Blessed/and have a beautiful Easter experience..4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, **RELIGIOUS**, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>Daily Prompt WordPress DP Challenge*Who Is The Most Important Person..? ..GOD!

..Who is the most important person in your life? And what would a day in your life be without them?…This is the daily wordpress dp challenge topic..Not often that I do these at all..But I can’t resist the opportunity to challenge myself by participating this time. It wasn’t difficult to choose the person who is the most important in my world/my life/my life journey; though   there were MANY  runnerUPs..Will let my thoughts flow  later as I continue to make my lifelong carbon imprint; in hopes that my sons/future grandchildren/and anyone else who can benefit from my life experiences is touched in a positive way by my words. Some reading this might say, hmmmm, but GOD isn’t a person , and thus doesn’t “fit” the criteria. And they’d be absolutely correct GOD isn’t a person; my GOD is far bigger than that. HE so aptly fits the criteria for this question..that I’ve never, ever been more certain of anything else in my entire life. What would a day without him in my life be like? I would be *dead* physically , spiritually & mentally; and here are a few of the reasons why…Ya’ll ready for this? Well , ready or not here are the reasons so buckle UP and hold onto your hats/wigs>

#1….7 years ago my doctor told me I was a walking stroke waiting to happen. Point blank. My blood pressure was SO high they wouldn’t release me out of the emergency room until it had lowered; a full day later. No one in the ER could believe I’d walked in & that I was only having headaches & not migraines. To this day I’ve NEVER taken a prescription med nor have I been hospitalized since then. I worked hard to maintain my stress level, I exercise daily, I drink raw veggies, and I thank God for having a hand in it so I didn’t stroke out.   For  the past 6 yrs my blood pressure has been above normal ..My GOD is mighty and he is good ALL  the time

#2….21 yrs ago I was in a car crash SO bad, and I was driving, that I was ejected from the car. Through the passenger window…I was knocked unconscious immediately and don’t recall any of it. I had no head trauma, no injuries; except for a bad lesion on my left shoulder. All I have left to show for it is a keloid scar; which I refused to have covered with a skin graft. I want to be reminded of my own dumb actions …but more importantly how much GOD loved me enough to give me another chance to live on this Earth. My GOD is mighty and he is good ALL the time

#3….After a divorce 17 yrs ago from the love of my life; I’d invested so much of myself into the marriage/relationship..I didn’t know who I was when it was over. It was supposed to be the end-all love relationship for me…quite literally I didn’t know how I could bear living without him. Or better yet living without being his wife. I was emotionally *spent & broken*..But now years later? He’s one of my dearest friends & was an outstanding co-parent over the years. It took me what seemed like forever; but I forgave/worked on mending my severely broken heart/and am thankful for the experience of being a very good wife in an excellent marriage…those experiences will help me seal the deal forever with my next & LAST  husband! My GOD is mighty and he is GOOD all the time

#4….17 months ago I was a victim of the recession hitting & drying UP career fields in the housing industry on the West Coast. What had once been a gold mine just poof! dried up like the cactus there..I had NO clue what I was going to do for my next job/my youngest son headed out of state to college/my love relationship wasn’t moving closer to the marriage that I yearned for. Well, wasn’t moving fast enough for me lol! I was at a cross-roads and a decision had to be made. I made one of the biggest , hardest! decisions of my life ; moved cross country with my folks. Which I had never, ever done before…Left a place I loved dearly, and still do…yet, I’ve never looked back since. I’ve got a JOB I love(yep, I know ya’ll are sick of hearing me say that but oh well….) , am surrounded by love, and have met such awesome, and good people that have supported me/my ventures since day 1 of my arrival. Instant extended family of friends that welcomed me with open arms…for I was like a fish out of water at first. WithOUT the hand of GOD in it I’d certainly have fallen into a deep funk or depression…instead? I can’t count on one hand the days I’ve been blue. Real talk. My laughter is multiplied by more laughs; probably more than I’ve ever laughed in my entire life. Life is pretty dang good and I’ve got a schedule SO busy..I’m often wishing I had more hours in a day..My GOD is mighty and he is GOOD all the time

>>GOD patiently waited for me to believe in him 100% for 47.5 years..and that is a very, long time. He has taught me to have patience, patience, and jeeeeez more I wait for the very last piece that will make my world complete. Until then though? I’m complete. I’m completely happy. And I’m completely sure that I don’t ever want to live , not 1 day, without GOD in my life. Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 & only)

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, **RELIGIOUS**, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, Post a Day 2013, Things That Make U Say Hmmmm@, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~To B Continued, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

^The way DOWN is the way UP?^ Makes perfect sense 2 me..*WordPress DPChallenge

**No worries..IF the phrase@The way down is the way UP doesn’t make sense to U yet; it is because you’ve NOT  entered the 2nd part of your spiritual life. Least according to the author, Richard Rohr, who penned the book ‘Falling UPward’.  A recommended read by one of my spiritual advisors & also one of the BEST books I’m glad to have read. Ever…and ever is a very long time. Are ya’ll ready for the way I see IT? >

**I was simply going to do a review of the book,’Falling Upward’by Richard Rohr(also penned ‘The Naked Now‘which is also on my reading list) then I decided to write my thoughts on his book. Which is SO aligned with the phase of life I’m in right now..feels as if I could’ve written it! Ever read a poem/quote/book and said ‘Dangggg I could’ve/should’ve written that first?!?

The message conveyed with the phrase@The way DOWN is the way UP is simple and clear. >A person can NOT avoid sin or making mistakes in life! I tried waybackwhenIwasstrugglingtobeaperfectionist…IF one tries too hard to NOT sin/make mistakes ; it can (and usually does..) lead to worse problems. Trip on this for a  minute…cause I had an AHA moment when I read this in the book . Remember the story about the prodigal son?!? Who had done everything in his life totally wrong? And the other son had done everything totally right in his life? Who ended UP being God‘s beloved?!!!

**ONE of the best-kept secrets of the soul  is this concept…One more example before I truly dig into this..Sleeping Beauty! We’ve all heard that fairy tale story told , right? Hows that for an example of LOSS and RENEWAL? She has to sleep for a hundred years! before she can receive the prince’s kiss..WOW thats a longgggg time to wait for some loving! But the question that begs to be answered is WHY is it this concept a secret of the soul?!? Or is it that we make a deliberate choice not to see it? When we see we’re heading into a down spiral we kick and scream against the flow; who wants to go down or what is perceived as backwards? Or worse at a standstill? Why do we “fear” feeling bad for a minute? Especially when in actuality “during” and once pulling out of those awful times…the clarity achieved during the seemingly “stand still ” positions is mind blowing. Or least it was for me. I knew I’d grown in major leaps and bounds when I could finally! glance back(for a brief moment) and see clearly the lessons I was supposed to GET during the awful bad times. One such case in particular my divorce so long ago. I never thought I’d EVER want to love again after that..Divorce to me then meant failure. And failure wasn’t an option for me at that point of my life. Such a perfectionist I “used” 2 be

>In a nutshell its my belief now that NOT only are we to learn from our mistakes in this life journey; we are SUPPOSED to make mistakes. It is a part of the human experience..Isn’t victory sweeeeeter after having attempted , again, after first failing? Don’t we appreciate the things in life that we did NOT take for granted? And the “suffering” periods some of us have been through..often I’ve said I had to learn the hard way alot of times. Could mayhaps that have been the only way I’d finally get “it?” I once said, after divorce, I could NOT wait to get to the “other side” of the funky feeling I felt. And felt that funky feeling for years and years..A friend quoted me on that in one of his published books. But when I finally did get to the other side?! WOW I can’t stop smiling. And smiling. And laughing..for there were a few years I’d forgotten how to laugh. I can smile and laugh because I made it through and crawled my way through alot of shiiiiite tunnels. Would life have been this sweet to me now if I hadn’t had to wade through “ish” to get here?

What I know for sure is for the past couple years I don’t have many rainy days. Maybe a handful…not because crap hasn’t happened. But because I began to change MY entire way of thinking. Entirely. One must learn to find beauty in everything. Even the bittersweet things. The good times wouldn’t be as good; IF one hadn’t also experienced and survived bad times. And that is the way I see it every single day now. From the moment we “wake” up each day we’re blessed! And in my opinion if we look at the fresh start of each day with that positive thought..the entire day can’t be all negative. We only have all bad days if we want to. The choice is ours<


Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, **RELIGIOUS**, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, =Self Discovery=, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, WOW, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~To B Continued

~~Daily Prompt~UN FaithFUL *DP CHALLENGE*Post A Day@Just DOing IT

I saw this prompt on WordPress this morning N could hardly believe my eyes! A chance to write, solicited, about my journey of Faith. A journey which spans an entire lifetime, mine, N a myriad of phases. From wannaBbeliever/attending Mass all the while over the years, yet not feeeeeeeling IT/starting 2 grasp IT/seeking 2 fully believe/Believer in every bone of my body and HUNGRY to learn more N more. Going to take a few moments to gather my thoughts so that my keystrokes can relay what I’d like to share. ^2 B Continued Soon^

Where do I begin  a topic such as Faith? A topic that has become so very personal 2 me that I’m excited just being about 2 write about IT. Saying that, keystroking it rather, still amazes me because a mere 5 years ago I’d not have felt such excitement over the topic of Faith. I was IN a different time N space then. A different mindset. And yet, I’ve been LED to right where I am now. The here N now. Present in the moment N oh! so content , pleased, HAPPY, to B in this moment. Any1 who has known me for a decent length of time knows that is a miracle inofitself…

I can not promise this will B a post of brevity. But I can promise it will B sincere N hope it is received as such. Never do I profess to be an expert in anything..though I’m experienced in ALOT ..I possess a PHD in life. From extreme moments of joy 2 being down in valleys so deeeeeep I didn’t think I’d make it out..alive. Real talk. There once was a time I didn’t think I’d live to see 50 yrs of age. There once was a time I did NOT want to live to see the age of 50 yrs of age. There once was a time my own actions /feelings were indicative that I didn’t like myself very much. And  yet by my outward appearance people thought I loved ME. But on the inside I was lost…a part of my inner being was murdered when I was a teen. An action that even my own Daddy couldn’t *stop* from happening to ME..and yet here I stand on the brink of making IT to 50 yrs of age. I am in AWE of that and that is tough! to express to people. So I no longer try…I just AM . Trying to live UP to my GOD given purpose. Far from that goal yet I’m so very , very much closer than I ever have been in my life. And you know what? I just feeeeeeeeeeeeeel GOOD about 99% of the time! Real talk. Alive, vibrant, and leaping out of bed each day @O’dark thirty hours eager! to start each new day. I say all of this to attempt to express to ya’ll how very GOOD that my GOD is allll the time. I’d not have wasted these keystrokes to say such personal things if not trying to show you just how FAR my GOD has brought ME..through things I didn’t think I’d ever make it through. Once something I yearned to believe IN(because those I loved dearly@my parents believed so strongly…) and now? I believe so strongly that  at times the feeling of goodness feeeeeels so good I get overwhelmed. Ever felt something that good? So good it scared you? And yet even that scared feeling of butterflies about to burst out of your tummy felt good?!? That is how I feel most of the time now…I can’t properly describe it any other way.

After experiencing a very  unexpected spiritual awakening in a state I’d lived in &  loved! since 1989..I found MYself led, guided, to move cross country. 2 beginning anew. At 48 yrs of age…I was simply put, terrified to do that! Yet everything happening was urging me/gently pushing me towards making such a bold move. I was afraid to do it. I was afraid not to do it. Hope that makes as much sense to ya’ll as it still 2 this day makes 2 me. Shortly after relocating cross country I was fortunate enough to attend my very 1st(but certainly not my last..) National Black Catholic Conference in Indianapolis with my parents & new church friends. AND MY LIFE WAS FOREVER CHANGED. Over a period of  4 days I for the 1st time in my life felt I belonged NOT just to the religion I’d been a part of since birth..but I began to feel remarkably different. I began to see things differently. I began to say things differently. It happened so suddenly! I had begun to believe in GOD fully and almost overnight. Not forced nor reaching to believe as I had my entire 40 some odd years…Bam! I believed. My life, the years past of my life/events of my life/people who had entered my life/circumstances that happened in my life/…began to rewind in my mind. Over days N IF someone was playing a movie of MY life. I couldn’t STOP it..seriously thought I was losing my dang mind. I couldn’t tell anyone what was happening. Not even my Mom. Sounded far too crazy to try to explain..or did IT?

My entire outlook on things changed..Instead of feeling sorry for MYself about things I’d left behind..Stead of lamenting about people /loved ones! I couldn’t see daily(that I missed as if it were the AIR I had to breathe..) I threw myself head 1st into becoming the type of person I so admired. I began to WORK on tweaking/changing every facet of myself that I did not care for. Tough job to do at almost 50 yrs of age…I didn’t consult anyone. But I began to PRAY for guidance. I simply had a chat with GOD N asked him to please let me seeeeee the me that everyone else loves! Let me begin to love…ME. Heal me from things that happened long ago that were NOT within my control. Allow me to learn to lose  the tight, oh so tight! control, I have held over my heart. Let me live life to the potential I know you’ve plotted out for me since before my conception. And then! I realized I was talking to GOD..and I fully believed he was hearing me. Just so happened the exact way  I just wrote it. I became a full believer without the least amount of effort. A process of things over a lifetime brought So I’ve decided that it must’ve ALL been a part of HIS plan. That had my life happened any other way I simply wouldn’t have gotten IT. Once I was so very blind; but now I see EVERYthing so clearly. I kid you not. N I’m as serious as I’ve ever been about anything.

Now? I’m like a sponge. I am on a personal pilgrimage..Still journeying to get closer to my GOD. So much I’ve yet to learn . I don’t confess to have Bible scriptures memorized. Nor do I profess to be a perfect Christian. I am NOT a perfect anything. I am just me..the one and only creation of what my God created me to B. I don’t even long to be perfect! I think that would make me boring as heck…What am I? I am perfectly imperfect.

I’ll leave ya’ll with this final thought. Fear not if you don’t yet believe 100%…just wanting to believe is a start! WE are ALL loved children of GOD..whether we believe or not. This is what I feel. This is what I’ve come to know. And if we just stop trying to follow our OWN will N let HIS will for us B and go with the flow when we are LED by him…life gets SO much easier! I stress and worry so much less than I used 2..that is yet another miracle! inofitself. Not saying I don’t still worry about things; but its FAR less than I used to. Progress…for Rome wasn’t built in a day. And it is ridiculous to think anything, including a person, especially one almost 50 lol! would change totally overnight…but I’m getting closer. I am WISER. I am STRONGER. I am SO much better than I used 2 B. Can’t ask for much more than that. And? If it can happen to me, and I can assure you my words R true, it can/WILL happen to anyone. You if you want it 2. All you have to do is ..BELIEVE. Stay UPlifted N blessed ya’ll. N remember 2 count each and every one of your blessings 2day N every day. 4ever sincere, Berna(the 1 N only)

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**, Motivational!, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

+the REAL meaning of CHRISTmas

Disclaimer:  Any and all thoughts I ever write/say are  entirely based on “my” thoughts/feelings/beliefs..For the sake of this post I am NOT saying that having GOD back in schools would’ve stopped what happened recently in Newton from happening. I understand it could’ve happened anywhere..however what I do “feel” is that it couldn’t hurt matters overall. And I stand by that feeling/thought/belief…

As the days draw nearer to CHRISTmas my thoughts/emotions/feelings  rest  more N more on the meaning behind this season…I love this time of year! Have since I was a very little girl..funny  how even as we mature, age, evolve there are still core elements  about us that never change. That though is one of the many beautiful things about life.

WE find ourselves in a time N place in which one has to be careful in so many ways..How we dress; as to not incite unfavorable opinions of us. What we eat; so we don’t ruin our health. What we say from our lips AND how we say things to others. And even how we address people when wishing them  well wishes about this current season…Well, I’m old skool and will be until the day I leave this lifetime. Know what that means? It means for ME this season will always B as it should rightfully B…CHRISTmas. Why, has it become such a time in our history in which folks wish N choose to change SO many things? And now! think they can also change the VERY things in which created them..

God has been taken out of schools and YET folks wonder why the youth are doing CRAZY things. I can’t even begin to talk abut the recent “incident” yet that took the lives of 20 young children..But the person who made that come about was still very young.  It IS time to go back 2 the very things that brought us into existence in the first place. I , for one, am NOT going to NOT say Merry CHRISTmas. It is literally a crying shame one has to worry about wishing someone something GOOD. Now we have to worry about how to re-phrase or phrase even that..OMG. And yes, oh MY God. I am a believer. 24/7.. There was a time N  place, sure as I’m sitting here typing this, that I thought! I lived in world where everyone , at the least, believed in God. Or wanted to believe there was a God.  Yep, I was once that very young  and naive. 

“”But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” I John 1:9..

Jesus was born so that one day the price would be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. God sacrificed his ONLY son for us! THAT is what the REAL meaning of CHRISTmas is. When I think about that; I mean when I reallly, really think about that@sacrificed his only son. I’ve got 3 sons. 3 beautiful, Black, smart, personable, intelligent sons that I’d literally do ANYthing for without a moments’ hesitation. Would I? Could I? I’d like to think I would; but would I sacrifice even having THREE sons for the good of all mankind? As I sit here now even re-pondering that for the upteenth time …truth is I don’t think so. Why? Because in my realm of think; my scope of thinking…I just can’t give any of my 3 sons up. To or for anything. Period. So even more so reason for me and all of US to be thankful that God did that for US. I think about stuff like that nowadays…there was a time I didn’t. I used to be one of those people out there running AROUND till the very, and I mean very! last minute buying and buying and trying to buy more gifts and gifts and gifts and gifts and gifts to give. And for what????? So that we could ALL be broke or worrried about being broke AFTERwards???  How does that even come remotely close to what the REAL meaning of CHRISTmas is? It simply does not. Not when I was doing it and not NOW….Bottom line IS we are loved children of GOD. He loved us SO much he sacrificed his ONLY son for us. No matter what is happening to us in our lives right here N matter we may miss our sons who can’t be here..or any other loved one we wish we could spend this holiday with…WE know we’re loved children of God. WE are never alone and always, always loved unconditionally. Just knowing/feeeeeeeeling that should bring us inner JOY and PEACE N then we’ve got to share it with others.  I just attempted to do that with my words right here and now. I wish ya’ll a very, very, merry CHRISTmas. Stay uplifted , encouraged and BLESSED..and remember 2 count your blessings 2day and everyday…4ever sincere Berna(the one N only)

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, WOW, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

^YOU better RECOGNIZE, Acknowledge, N Give THANKS…

First & foremost sending out sincere wishes 2 my family/mi familia/coworkers/friends/extended family of friends a  beautiful, loving, relaxing, fun, &  BLESSED Thanksgiving! Woke UP as usual @ O’dark thirty(a Bernaism ..) feeling full of energy, excited, and eager to start the day..As I’ve stated before each N every day has become for me a totally new adventure..I feel like I’m a child on Christmas morning and leap! out the bed ready to run down the stairs to unwrap presents..Remember those days ya’ll? Blessed I am with an excellent memory I can still remember that FAR back…I feel compelled to share what I’m about to say for 2 reasons: 1. To give thanks to my God , again, in a public forum thereby adding to the sincerity of my gratitude 2. To hopefully encourage someone else to STOP for a moment and count their blessings as well.

The truly ironic thing about this is that just a mere 4  years ago..I’d not have stopped to count my blessings nor even recognized my blessings. Which in-of-itself means you can at this very moment begin to “change” so that you can also “see” your blessings N give thanks. What better day to begin than on this day of Thanksgiving? Anywayz fast forwarding to the message I’d like to share..a very BIG blessing that recently happened in my life. I tell ya’ll when God’s hand is IN a situation in our lives he does things in a BIG way. And it is my belief that we/one must acknowledge/give God his props/and be N act thankful. Period. Exclamation point. 

About 3.5 months ago I was BLESSED with a JOB that I not only love..but I’ll go as far as to say it is the BEST  career opportunity I’ve ever had. Hands down..and I’ve held/had some really good jobs ya’ll. But this one stands at the #1 spot. Many of ya’ll out there know people who actually LOVE what they do from 8 -5?? If a poll was taken right now how many would hold their hand UP? I’m not talking about just loving the salary/benefits. I’m not talking about just loving working in a beautiful environment. Nor am I talking about loving vibing with or working well with coworkers. What I’m talking about is LOVING every single aspect of  what one does as a means of self-support for 40 hours a week. What I honestly love the most about my job is knowing without a shred of doubt that what I “do” every day at helping to improve clients lives in a positive/progressive manner. I never even knew how much that meant to me..until I was BLESSED ..with this position. And the ironic part about it all? I knew nothing of the position when I applied online. Nor did my church sister who mentioned to me I might want to check out the organization’s website for “possible” openings. So I did. And on the very same day I went online at approx 2 pm…the position was closing at 5 pm! Wowww. So anywayz I submitted my resume & filled out the online application. For a position I knew nothing about! Real talk folks…For an organization I “thought” I knew what it stood for(I’ve since learned it stands for FAR more than I knew prior) Fast forwarding…out of alot of applicants there was a final top 3. I was the runner UP out of the 3. Now I never aspire to be anything but number ONE..but this time it paid off for me being #2. For reasons unbeknownst(not a Bernasim but love being able to use this word!)  to me after being chosen. And after showing interest in being chosen. #1 choice all of a sudden poof! just didn’t come through. WOW. After I’d been told I didn’t have the position all of a sudden I was called and asked if I’d come in to begin the screening process. (which consisted of a full background check, full Lifescan & criminal history check,drug testing) Well my hair was blown back! I’d just licked my wounds over not being #1 and not being chosen…So of course I said I’d love to come in and do that! And I kid you not I almost ran from place to place over a span of 3 hrs to get it all done quickly as possible . And here I sit 3.5 months later in a position I didn’t think I had & a position that I wasn’t the #1 pick for..but that I now feel I was THE perfect choice for. Wowwww.

This is just one example of things happening in my life lately in which I’ve learned that..When something is for YOU it will happen. Regardless of how much it looks like it..won’t. It will! Now some out there might say it just happened to work out for me…But I don’t believe that! I believeeeee God’s hand was in it. Period. Exclamation point. And though its already been near 4 months I am STILL giving thanks N props to my God. I think that is important. Or least it is in my world these dayz..So on this Thanksgiving Day I want to say one ‘mo time. THANK YOU GOD FOR BLESSING ME WITH MY JOB! And also thank you for the other many blessings in my life now and for allll the times that I did not give you the glory. Because now that I “see” with clarity with my spirit instead of trusting only what my eyes see it has changed my entire walk. For now every day I feeeeeel like I’m walking on air. And yet I am still staying grounded…

If I may ask all of ya’ll to STOP for a moment today. Try to find a quiet place in the house. Close your eyes. Speak with your heart/spirit and call upon the Holy Spirit. Conjure UP thoughts of allll the loved one in your life, allll the friends who grace your life with gooooodness & positive words, alll the coworkers who help you to feel welcome and/or to do your job better, allll the people you encounter while handling business affairs or shopping that offer customer service(rare these days but it still exists..) , allll the strangers who give off such a good vibe when you meet them they become instant dear friends/confidants..Just take a moment 2 recognize, acknowledge that God brought them into your world and then..Give God the glory and the sincere THANK YOU that is deserved.

Again ya’ll have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family/friends..N remember to count your blessings 2day and every, single day. Sincerely, Berna(the 1 N only)


Posted in **RELIGIOUS**, ^Encouraging Words

~~Bruised *But*NOT*Broken~~

Good Monday Morn Church Family/Family/Mi Familia/Friends/Extended family of friends..I know I promised to not post anymore new topics till next week..and I won’t..after this one. On this beautiful morning IF you saw a Sista with a bright orange shirt and work out pants on brisk  fast walking pace  with bright purple earplugs in her ears N an Iphone clasped in her right hand singing loudly with joy as she walked down a very busy major street you should’ve waved N I’d have waved back! Anywayz this topic came to me as I was on my morning walk. AND I am going to go with the flow and let the vibe just flow..for I simply can not resist the itch to write N share N hopefully impact someone out there reading this that is presently..going thru a tough , dark time in their life journey…

It is probably evident by now as you read me..that I march to the beat of a different drummer. I readily admit and own that fact. Yet there was a time when I felt that being “different” was a very bad thing. I felt on an island. Tried to fit my “square ” Self..into social circles that were”round”. Afraid to speak my opinion for fear of being laughed at or worse totally IGnored. REjected. Now? I care less, honestly, what folks think about who I am, what I am, or where I have been. I am secure in the fact that its been revealed to me, over a lifetime, of not “seeing” signs/confirmations..what “my” God given purpose IS. And I am on a mission to fulfill it and reach the fullest level of it with every ounce of my being. I am SHE~ N ~ it  is personal…

For those that are reading this that are currently going thru a difficult , dark time N feel you are alone pleaseeee let me assure you are never, ever alone! And I have been in your shoes. Let my past life experiences and my words be a testimony to convince you that you WILL get thru to the other side of how you feel at this very moment in time. Just hang ON. Try to be still N listen to the signs/confirmations that are before you. Sometimes the hardest things in life to “see”are the very things right before our eyes/ears. Know always you are a LOVED child of God N  if you call on him , pray!, he will bring you comfort to ride thru the wave of the “dark” times. For some of us this can take many, many me. But God sent me SO many angels in my life journey thus far that it became impossible for me NOT to see, recognize and give glory to where it was coming from…And when it hit me??? It hit me with such full force that it almost took my breath away. And now? I find myself testifying (which I NEVER thought I’d do!) N praying(OUT LOUD even which is a remarkable turn-about for me..) with words flowing from my lips that I didn’t even know I felt..until the words come out. Real talk.

As a passionate music lover(not much I do without listening to music..) these Joss Stone words from a song called Bruised but not Broken (I’ve lived thru these words also)  come to mind regarding this topic: “Gonna pick my heart UP/Take MY life back/Shake the hurt away/Pull mySELF 2gether, put the pieces back into place/I learned love’s so hard/Love left my SOUL scarred/I was shattered inside”…N after many years of living a life using my “own will” and not following God’s lead/will I finally, yep finally!, realize that as Jill Scott says it best how “Blessed” I am!

N last but not least these words come to mind as I try , with all my might, to further convince you that you’ll be alright ….These words from one of my fave artists on the planet@ Marvin Sapp. A song called , I never would’ve made IT:”I would have LOST my mind a long time ago/If it had not been for YOU/I AM STRONGER/I AM WISER/NOW I AM BETTER!/So much better/I made it thru MY storm & my test/Because YOU were there 2 carry me thru MY mess..

I say all of this to remind you to get to a point of “stillness & quiet” . Make a time every day to give yourself time to find that. God talks to us in quiet times. No boob tube on. No cell phone on. No music on. No incoming faxes. No other voices talking. One just has to be open N LISTEN. And usually that will mean doing things that one does NOT want to do! I speak this from my soul N my spirit. I have very much beeeeen there. Listening to HIM might mean at a ripe age moving back home after not having lived at home since one was 19 yrs of age; can you imagine that??? I stand here as a testament that doing things like that  can make one finally, yep finally!..bring one to feeling totally complete. Real talk…so never, ever give UP. Hang ON and you’ll get thru the troubled, dark and difficult times. Stay lifted, Stay encouraged N Stay blessed. Sincerely from the depths of my soul, Berna(the 1 N only)

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**, @Cultural, ^Encouraging Words, ^^Thought Provoking^^

******IRON sharpens IRON******

*I’ve got a lot stored UP that I’m ready to open for discussion so I hope ya’ll can keeeeep  up with me..I promise this is the last new topic from me for a bit N I’ll jump into each listed topic this week dropping my thoughts.  THIS  is one of my fave topics so sit back & get comfy.

There was a time I had 2 deal with a very, very difficult person on a regular basis. N a mentor advised me to remember that Iron sharpens Iron. What the heck was that supposed to mean?? Give me something that can help me deal with this horrid woman! Yep, it went right over my head..However, anyone who knows quite a bit from the Bible(which at the time I didn’t..) knows this phrase come from Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” At the time I didn’t realize how many adages/sayings we use come straight from the Bible! What my mentor was trying to gently tell me is to USE the experience of dealing with such a difficult boss to my advantage. And isn’t that what we should do in any situation we “feel” is bad?@ Try hard to find the good in it? Or the lesson we can learn from it? Hmmm. So anywayz “there is a mutual benefit in the rubbing of 2 iron blades together; the edges become sharper, making the knives more efficient in their task to cut N slice.

Lets take this in another direction since this is after all Sunday and many of us have attended Chuch 2day…”likewise the Word of God is a double edged sword(Hebrews 4:12) and it is with that we are to sharpen one another ~ in times of meeting, fellowship, or ANY other interaction. Wowww think about that @ any other interaction..Doesn’t this mean that as Christians this proverb indicates there is a neeeeed (or should be) for constant fellowship with one another? Could this be why we’re always so excited to see old friends after having been away? Could this be why we’re so excited to see one another at Church after not seeing each other for a week? Could this be the main point of the argument to support “why its important not just to BELIEVE in God but to gather at Church to worship together? ..I feeeel this is an important topic 2day because so many youth have either left the Church or were never properly introduced to Church by their parents…Believe it or not there was a time in my life when I felt I didn’t need to go to Mass. Yep, I confess. I was a pew parishioner from time2time when it was convenient for my schedule. And now??? Lawd, some weeks I’m trying to fast-forward to get to choir practice on Saturday N Sunday Mass! I feeeel like it is the fuel I need to gas UP for the upcoming week..its that important to me now. For the first time in my 49 yrs I’ve fallen in love with a church. My church.The PEOPLE that make up the church.  Where everyone is someone…If that turn-about can happen to me; it can certainly happen to anyone. I’m going to open this topic up for discussion..Hope ya’ll have a topic relevant story to share N tell. African roots has is its very foundation the story telling aspect from elders to the youth..Remember the youth are watching us always N I hope they’re reading this* Lets rap..

Posted in **RELIGIOUS**, ^^Thought Provoking^^, ~To B Continued

IF 2day Were Judgement Day..

Wondering if anyone out there thinks about this day from time2time as I do…Reaching out to open dialogue on what I personally, as of  late, have grown to believe is an important topic. I wonder HOW to prepare for this day. I wonder IF the life I’m living on a day2day basis is one that will pass judgement on this day. What will I say?? Will I know what is the right thing to say? What IS the right thing to say? And how do I from THIS day forth live a life that I’ll feel confident will be worthy of speaking on when Judgement Day arrives? Deeeeeep thoughts indeed. Did not Jesus warn (Matthew 7: 21-23) that… “not” everyone who says to Me ‘Lord!, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those that DO the will of my Father in Heaven will enter…Now I admit folks I don’t have alot of Bible verses memorized but this is one imprinted in my mind.  In the next couple days after a bit more thought; I’ll post what I feel my responses are to date on the above questions..Please feel free to post more questions/insight/responses. This is a topic I am eager to discuss with ya’ll