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 ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

the Privilege of Life

I was planning to join (& write..) the zero to hero wordpress challenge..And then life happened..Ever notice how even the best laid plans can be interrupted? That is more than just an age- old cliche..Got news today that has my thoughts circling..Tried to put pen to paper to let it flow poetically(which is usually how I vent the best) ; but my heart isn’t in it. >>

The news I got today was about a very, very good family friend..One of my Dad’s dearest/closest/best friends & someone I consider special indeed..One of those people who serves others(including running a program to feed the needy) almost every, single day of the year..When tragic things happen to such people? It truly tests my own faith..I’m struggling right now to understand WHY bad things happen to such good people..And all the while through my struggle this day, I’ve been in silent prayer..All day long. But it is still so very tough>>

Truth of the matter is none of us knows what is around the bend..My exMominLaw used to tell me that & in my youthful naïve nature; I didn’t understand. Now that I’m all grown UP and seen/lived so much more; her words make much more sense..Life IS precious! So many clichés & adages are flooding my mind right now..I’m sure most of y’all reading have heard them all..BUT how often do we stop during the day to appreciate life as healthy , somewhat sane and normal (although my definition of normal has changed as I’ve aged..) people? How often do we give thanks to our Creator for allowing us to live/love another day? Gratitude..Gratitude for good health & excellent healthcare!..Serving others..Spreading love..Appreciating our family/friends every single day! ..PRAYER..Those are the new phrases I’m adding to the so-called sentiment for 2014..Life isn’t a right, it is indeed a privilege; and in an instant it can change drastically..LIVE* LOVE* LAUGH*>>End of vent<<

UPDATE= Seems like a dozen days have passed since yesterday, when I wrote(or rather vented this) Waited till after further tests revealed there will NOT have to be a second surgery! That is awesome news for someone in their latter 70s(a very active 70something)..No one wants to hear they have a couple of brain clots..And it was highly disturbing to hear it about someone I consider a loved one..The doctors are 80% optimistic of his recovery chances and! he’s able to speak and is FULLY coherent..The lesson I learned is that is it harder to let go of concerns and just let GOD; than just saying IT. I also learned that this was a blessing in disguise; worst option would’ve been for the clots to cause a stroke or worse..Much as I stand by my faith/believe in God/and speak of having faith? I was walking a shaky line of uncertainty yesterday..Silently I was asking God WHY, why , why and why some more..Had friends pray with me and from coast to coast praying; for a person they didn’t even know. What a demanding/taxing friend I can BE..Yet, I’m elated my friends(including WordPress readers!) always, always come through for me(no matter what I ask them to pray for/about) Thanks be to a remarkable God for everything! >>*The official end of my vent*

Posted in ~Poetry A Berna Original~, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

>>FORGIVENESS<<

..Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, nor does it mean that you’ve given the message that what someone did was okay. It just means that you’ve let go of the anger or guilt towards someone, or towards yourself. But that can be easier said than done! IF forgiveness was easy, everyone would be doing it…

..This ’tis the season of love!, compassion, understanding, empathy..I can’t walk or stand as a Catholic Christian without also letting go of negative energy in my heart against those that have hurt me in the past..Forgiving IS not easy! It has meant moving beyond my own comfort zone, BUT, I sigh with relief that my heart is now pure of ANY hatred.. I AM FREE AT LONG LAST.

‘Forgiveness’ A Berna Original Poem

Mandela forgave his captors and set his soul free..
That knowledge certainly had an impact on me
Yet..
I didn’t have the courage to forgive on my own
For so long I’ve had fears that were unknown
But..
A living angel whispered in my ear
True trusted friend & confidant that I adore!
Boosted me UP & convinced me to face fear
Head ON..
I hadn’t realized I could hurt a person by feeling hate
Max of hypocrisy…
To hate=hurt someone who wished to bring harm my way
I am not proud to admit..
It had grown so easy to DO and feel
Try as I must to always keep it real
And..
To live life out loud
And so yesterday I made a vow
To me/myself/and I
I will not hold chains on anothers’ soul
That is not how I get down nor roll
What I fear more than any person on earths’ wrath
Is ruining my relationship with God; my path..
2
Eternal life
So I dumped the hate from my heart in an instant

With hardly advance notice..
Poof!
Erased . Gone. No twisted motives..Just freedom of spirit!
I can’t soar being bogged down with negative internal ‘ish
And soar..
Is what I was created/born 2 do…
To myself I’ll always be true
Who knew?
Saying, I forgive you would help me to grow stronger
I’ll not fear for my safety; not a day longer
I’m a protected & very loved! child of God~~
My soul , and my colorful spirit!, has been set free.

****FOOTNOTE = Because of the concerns/comments I’ve had from folks who knew of the seriousness of what I forgave(they’re shocked I could forgive) ..I feel inclined to leave a footnote & then I won’t deliver any explanations thereafter..I’ve been asked questions @How do you know the person is sincere? How do you know the ‘ish is truly over?…Truth IS I don’t know if the person is sincere..I’ve no crystal ball & I’ve not yet learned how to read minds..To forgive someone doesn’t mean the scar is gone..To forgive someone does NOT mean you trust them; because in this case I certainly do NOT.(I can never trust liars) To forgive someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be friends; because in this case we certainly will NOT be..It is not on the person who forgives to know 100% if the person seeking forgiveness is sincere or legitimate..But in my book this is now a closed book. It is OVER(& actually should’ve been from the onset..) The onus now lies with the person who seeks forgiveness to own up & let things GO. DISCLAIMER = I’m not advising anyone to forgive someone , until you’re ready. No one has the right to ask another to forgive someone..I didn’t mean to imply that in my poem..Forgiving someone is a personal matter. I think we can all learn from one another; thus my reason for sharing this subject matter with my poem****

“He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.” Quote by Martin Luther King, Jr

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**

*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 timetotime..my 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 ..together..as 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 FIST BUMP Moment

^It IS Fist PUMP Friday^ No News Like Good News*Spirit of a Woman*>

Fistpumpfridayproper fist pump techniqueFistpumpfridayAren’t we ALL ready for some good news? Well, good news is always welcome here..and Fist PUMP Friday has finally arrived. Good news is just a couple keystrokes away..

There are 4 women in my life, they shall remain nameless for this post , whose strength has added strength to my spirit. Their spirits wavered only briefly..like a flicker of a flame..as they quickly bounced back(& steady continual recovery from physical ailment/surgery. What they probably don’t know is how their personal victories; warm many hearts >

For the woman who is a Mother figure to me ; but doesn’t know it..To see you in Mass this past Sunday was an AMAZING pleasant surprise..Your many weeks in recovery/chemo/rest/more chemo/radiation treatments; have been weeks of much silent & open prayer from me and your/our church. You’ve touched MANY and you’ve given many a strong, picture of what true FAITH looks like …Your strength easily equals the strength of 10. Your grace & essence personify beauty. You’ve taught me  with no formal  written lesson plan. >

For the woman in my life who just had recent ‘major’ surgery..Your courage is beyond admirable..As yet another Mother figure to me; you reign high on my list! I know sooner than soon; we WILL dance & dance & dance & dance..your spirit is one of the warmest I’ve ever encountered. Likewise your outer & inner beauty. Forever one of my fave people in the world..

To my sister from another Mother..It was a pleasure to share my parents with you for your week plus some recovering..You bounced back so quickly after surgery; amazed us all! Your never-wavering  strength & silence of your own fears of surgery; only deepened my level of respect for you. Endless regard, highest esteem, and mad love for ya. You rock!

Majority of days after drinking my veggie green smoothie “yuck!” monster drink..I am beyond ready for real food. (I still can’t believe that hospital cafeteria closed at 630p.m. wth??) There aren’t too many people I’d starve for, for what seemed like hours!, LOL, to wait for your test results. Just had to see you that night..and the smile on your face when you saw me waiting in your hospital room? PRICELESS and made me forget my hunger pains & the ache in my feet from wearing heels all day at work..I’m very happy your stay was a false alarm. Yay! Yay! Yeaaaaaa>

Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed..And I hope your upcoming week is full of fist-pump moments! 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 patience..as 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 <<COMING SOON, ***DPCHALLENGE, =Self Discovery=, Motivational!, Positive Movement Topic, ^Encouraging Words

~MAKE Choices *or* MAKE Excuses~

This ‘write’ is inspired by..Life. And will be written from the ‘mental notes” I’ve taken along my journey>

Disclaimer: I don’t claim to know all the answers..to anything. But what I do speak on I’ve lived. Through trial & error; and this theory is what works for me. In every aspect of my life it is working; only exception is my last love relationship. Which honestly I’ve not applied the time it deserves..but the right time for that is coming. Soon. Very soon. Anyways I say all of that to say I practice what I preach. Moving right along>

Keep it moving means exactly what it implies. Stay busy reaching/striving for your goals/dreams! This is a conscious  “choice” we can make. And it is necessary; if one wants to make sound, progressive choices instead of excuses. Ever met a person that just goes on and on about would’ve , should’ve , could’ve? They’re probably also a couch potato ..as IF that will help them do some of those things they wish they could’ve done. Staying busy , productive, and progressive keeps my mind clear of unnecessary clutter and B.S.! I simply don’t have time for it..and the rest of the time I’m sleep. But still working on getting more of that. But anyways moving right along>

Kis..yep, almost just as good as kiss! Keep it simple..Choose what you want to do. List the things it will take to get the job done. And one by one knock down the things on that list..before you know it..mission accomplished! Keeping it simple allows one to NOT get distracted(or delayed) by unnecessary complications. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” Quote by Albert Einstein

I used to live by chance..Trying to do everything in a perfect manner. Wound up feeling disappointed in myself alot because..a state of perfection doesn’t exist! When I chose to grab life and my goals..by the cajones and just do IT..I’ve been a cazillion times more effective in achieving what I set out to do. And a heck of alot happier/comfy in my own skin/content 100% with my choices/decisions. Sometimes  you just have to step out on FAITH. Been there and doing it. Alot. It is never an easy walk; but waiting for others to decide my fate left me feeling unfulfilled. NO one person , nobody, can make the best choices for an adult that will leave that person feeling wonderful. But making a choice that is right for me(you); regardless of whether it fails or not..has been awesome for my soul and self-esteem. When the choice, my choice, works!..I feel like I’m walking on air/gives me more confidence to make more choices & decisions/and motivates me to strive higher. The impossible truly is possible..ya’ll will just have to trust me on that one.  Or try it for yourselves.

IF there is something about your life you’re not content with; work to change IT. We all know the type of folks who whine about this or that..yet do nothing to change it. That is their choice..however for those that truly want to make a change..just DO it. 17 months ago I took a leap of faith(for the 1st time in my life journey)  and I’ve never looked back…Change? It is possible if you want it badly enough. Even at almost 50 yrs of age.

Last but not least most of us have a very, very strong relationship with our “inner voice”. That “gut” feeling. I call mine my “vibe radar”..when I feel good vibes from a person or an environment..99.9% of the time it is spot on. Same for the vibes I get when I’m making a decision or choice. Its called intuition. With most women it is strong; problem is we don’t listen to it half as much as we should. Until we get older/wiser/stronger/BETTER..or maybe that is just how its worked out for me. Word of advice? Learn yourself. Learn what you’re skilled at. Learn what you do BEST. Strive to figure out your GOD given talents. We ALL  have them; just some of ya’ll don’t use them or don’t know what yours are.  Learn your flaws and your faults. Admit them and work on improving them. Daily..Learn your weaknesses. Try to either stay “away” from them or get stronger so they won’t be a weakness. Its my belief the more one learns themselves; the more one’s inner voice can be heard and felt. Real talk. It works if you work it. Least that is the way I see IT…Until I write/read ya’ll again stay UPlifted & blessed. 4ever sincere, Berna(the one & only) 

Posted in ***DPCHALLENGE, *DP CHALLENGE>Post A Day*, Motivational!, ^Encouraging Words, ~To B Continued, ~~FREE Flow of UNscripted Thoughts~~

~Tribute 2 My Eldest Dr. SON~*DPPostADayCHALLENGE*~Berna’s Way..

>>I’m back ! And I’m going to wrap UP this week of leaving my carbon footprints  by giving props to my eldest son. My week began busy; ended busier. (and the upcoming weekend is JAM packed) This week is ending on such  a HIGH note for me..that I’ve GOT to blog about it. Hopefully my thoughts will help someone else out there to hold ON for the good happenings that this life holds for all of us…

**There once was a child born of a single mother. A child who never spoke the usual babbling which little babies speak. When he began to speak at almost 2 yrs old; those who hadn’t carried him in their womb for 9 months , thought something was wrong. His mother said he will speak when he has something to say! And when said child finally spoke he spoke in FULL sentences. WOW.  An  intense child and highly intellectual..from birth. Read to by his mother when still inside her womb. Loved, adored N cherished by his Mom before she ever laid eyes on him. Said son has shared his Mom’s love of reading, yea!, his entire life. Spent every summer in school since the 9th grade till now…Whose legs were so “bowed” they made his legs curve under him. He was WELL fed , lol! , and loved. Those bowed legs and lack of health insurance was the deciding factor for his Mom to leave college N join the military. As a single Mom she felt she needed a steady salary N health insurance for her son…I’m going to fast-forward through alot of this because emotions are running rampant N high this evening..

**My eldest son is the type of son that every parent DREAMS of being their eldest child! He has been N is an awesome  role model for his 2 younger brothers..Yet his humility is one of the most beautiful things about him. He has faced N handled adversity in his lifetime with grace , wit, intellect, and a very matter-of-fact manner. He just makes things look SO easy! He had a self-driven desire his entire life to attain a PHD..nothing less was going to suffice. He has gone to school including summers for 17 years(including high school) He IS an academic scholar N an academian. He’s traveled & done research to South Africa & Ireland; as well as countless cities in our country for academic conferences.   And tonight! he faced the Board at a prestigious University(and he is a PHD candidate there riding on a FULL fellowship)  in our country and defended his proposal of his dissertation for his PHD. And after 2 hours on his very FIRST attempt..passed with flying colors! What that means 2 me as his Ma..is almost to difficult to translate into words. What that means for our direct family on both sides of our family tree..is progress! Our very first Dr._____.  Proud can’t quite describe how I feeeeel tonight and have felt his entire life. This tribute is my attempt to express how I feel about my eldest son/his achievements/his humility/his love& concern for his younger 2 brothers/his remarkable REALness/his dedication of doing outreach to others considered minorities(his Masters thesis) /his love of family N his honor to his parent..his Ma..and his surrogate parents..his grandparents(my parents)

**A single parent ALWAYS worries about NOT being enough for their child. I always worried what my child was missing out on because his Father was NEVER a constant in his life ..nor has my son any recollection of what his Father even looks like. But not once has my son used that as an  excuse to fail(quite the contrary he’s always been an over-achiever/honor roll student/Who’s Who in Academia while also maintaining an active social life with an array of LIFElong  trusted friends)  nor has he expressed feeling any loss in  his life due to that being factual. His grands(my parents) stood UP and filled the gap. It has been an amazing journey..I’d like to say to ANY single parent out there the following:  IF you don’t have the physical or financial support from the other parent…reach out to others you trust in your family to fill in the gap. If that isn’t possible find & interview(and do background checks) a Big Brother/Big Sister through that organization. Reach out to trusted clergy and church members. It truly takes a VILLAGE, in my opinion, to properly raise a child . By whatever legal means necessary…

~When my son came into the world my faith in GOD was hardly apparent..I brought my son(s) to Mass wanting SO badly to believe fully in GOD; yet I didn’t. BUT I so wanted to! And as I look back on nights like this when I can hardly sit stillll because I’m SO excited/happy/content/overjoyed..I can clearly SEE how the hand of GOD was in every, single part of my life. Even long before I believed. It is ONLY by the grace of GOD and a patient GOD(that waited years for me to believe…) that I’m even around to taste the beauty of my son’s victorious achievement tonight. I give ALL the glory to GOD..I was prayed UP as my son went before the board..as well as called upon friends/loved ones from coast 2 coast to form a prayer chain.  I’d like to also  say;  single parents hold ON for as long as you do ALL you can DO with LOVE for your child..alllll the years of sacrifice! will pay off in great ways. Don’t lose hope(ever) and stand strong. And read, read, READ with and to your child..reading is truly fundamental. Try hard never to use the word never with your child. Encourage them to reach for their dreams; even if their dream seems impossible. Be their cheerleader!  I’m writing this tribute to my son tonight because he is SO humble he won’t pat himself on the back. So I am doing it for him! Years N years N years of hard work ..I’ve watched you (even from afar) with awe as you never buckled..just kept driving onward and forward. You’ve done things I dreamt for myself long ago…and now I feeeeeel like a part of me  has accomplished that dream. The part of me that is YOU. Many Congrats my Dr. Son! I love you always N always, Ma…

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 days..as 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 me..here. 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)