Thursday, June 22, 2017

BE STILL

Mornings are diamonds in the rough. Mornings are new beginnings. Mornings are the nothingness that can become something big. Mornings are like untouched clay you can mold and make into what you want it to be.
My best time of the day is mornings… the quiet, the nothingness, the peace, innocence, tranquility, my prayer time, but more than anything, the stillness.
If you’re anything like me, you rise up early, just to have that cup of coffee or tea and time alone. The rest of the family and the world are still asleep and don’t seem to exist. Your thoughts are not bogged down with the worries of what’s going to happen next, because your morning is just you, the sunrise and stillness. Then daybreak!
So, what are your days like? Do you take any YOU time? If I were to tell you that taking that short period of time is medicinally invigorating, would you believe me? It is medicine for the soul. It’s an exhalation of heavy weights. It makes you ready for new tasks. It replenishes the spirit. It gives a better perspective on what your next move will be. It’s basically parallel to a power nap. Please don’t go on a guilt trip, or think it’s selfish to have some ‘you time.’ This is not an age appropriate suggestion. We all need that time as mothers, grannies, fathers, grandpas, aunts, and the list goes on.

Imagine this:
Dark space - just before God created heaven and earth, there was nothingness. Genesis 1: 1 states “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep…”
This biblical depiction goes way beyond the actuality of what our mornings look like. But the similarity is there for those who can take themselves to that place of the imagination. It’s clean. It's pure. It's uninhabited.
And then in verse 3, “and God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. 4. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from darkness…” Thus, the beginning of our day and night!
Ever thought about the fact that when you open your eyes to daybreak, it doesn’t belong to you any longer? You become discombobulated as your space gets occupied with other things be it family, jobs, or the hustle and bustle of daily goings-on.
So, before daybreak, if you were to take just a moment... or maybe you're not a morning person, whatever your preference of day or night, to just meditate on some things, I truly think it would make for a purer, clearer picture and outlook on life. Just try to find your ‘before creation’ time, Be Still, and listen…

Blessings,
PJ Payne


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Make the Call


Decisions, decisions! Has there ever been a time in your life when you were left to make an impacting decision on something MAJOR? All eyes were on you and you couldn't bail out because your responsibility dictated that YOU had the final say. The ball was in your court!
Problem: Even if you're passionate about a cause, the execution of a decision you make may not bear the assertive boost needed to execute it, in its entirety. That’s because your demeanor is passive, with a tad of aggression. You generally hesitate to make 'big' decisions for fear of failing, hurting someone's feelings, much less making an 'unpopular' call.

With that being said, how did you get yourself into this situation? Well, as you think about the Chrono-logicality of events, you realize the initial concept was yours; you put it out there, so your counterparts just ‘ran’ with it. Talk was cheap, but now those ideas have begun to come into fruition. The next step is to execute and finalize what YOU had started. Now you've got to step up your game, make a call or foul-out!

Realization: Somebody believed in you, "Now what?” You started this and you've got to progress to the next level. HOW do you muster-up the courage to pick up the ball and run with it... or just pass?
Answer: Don’t EVER make a decision hastily, no matter if you’re under the pressure of a time frame or talking with the ‘head of heads,’ make a carefully thought out, and logical call.

You won’t regret it!

Blessings,
PJ Payne

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Remember When...

Reflecting back on life, it seems times really have not completely changed. Sometimes the memories make you want to go back to those young carefree childhood days. Unfortunately, you have to move forward with the times.
I remember when my mom use to say, "Don't worry about what's going on now or the past. It will come back full circle." Never would I have dreamt that shoes, furnishings, toys, cars, music, styles of clothing, jewelry, even hairdos would evolve. We see this all the time in our children's choices, trends on TV, and social media. The change may be that a style has a different name or different hue in color, but in essence, it’s the same. Somebody just revamped an old style!
Don’t you just hate it though! Think of all of the older styles of clothing that have made a comeback... a complete circle. Makes you think you should have kept that paisley blouse, hoop earrings, or clog shoes you use to stylishly flaunt. But of course fabrics, colors and cut have changes. And ‘new age’ folks can tell the difference, so “Nah, it wouldn’t work!”

Have you ever asked yourself, what will styles be like in twenty years? Who knows? But what we do have are the memories... unless, medical issues arise, they won't leave and sometimes we can vividly go back. They are etched and fixed! 

Deep-Seated Memories
When I was younger, I use to stay in the mirror.  A flip here; a curl there. I couldn’t get enough of trying to find a superior look, to the other look of my hair, I had already done in the mirror.
I was hoping to wear uniquely, a style never worn; never to have it said that I was ever outdone... setting the trend with classiness, not a gimmick. And a leader on my own that others dreamed to mimic.
And now, the mirror I try to avoid. Reflecting back and my recollection of that age, only annoy me; Lol! That hair, my flair, flairs up nowhere. But!  If I look a little closer, I know I’ll find it there.
When I was younger, I use to stay in the mirror! :-)


Ahhh, memories...

PJ Payne

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mama Said...

Do you recall as a child not wanting to turn out like your parents? I think we all have at some point. But what usually happens is the very thing we fought against at a young age, comes to pass and reveals itself.  And now I am so grateful that it has come to fruition in my life.
I write colloquially or use clich├ęs sometimes, because I have experiences that are thought-provoking and memorable. Therefore, I jot down my coffee thoughts, dubbed, ‘Coffee and Thee’.  More importantly, I had a very wise mentor who passed on many gifts and taught me so much about life, living and loving… my Mother.
There ‘were’ six of us; four girls and two boys and each could attest to the fact that our mother literally LIVED for us. She worked as a Maid for many years, and then became what they called in her days, a Beautician and a Seamstress. She toiled countless hours, sometimes throughout the night and just LOVED her coffee. It was the first thing we would smell in the mornings and the last thing at night. I was her ‘coffee-maker’ so to speak; consequently I vowed I would NEVER drink the stuff! Now, “I drink coffee and I AM my Mother’s child!” As a single mother she demanded an education from us, respect her, ourselves, and others. But first God! Proverbs 3:6 KJV In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
My mother was a woman of PLENTY words! But the thing I remember the most is that no matter what she said or how she said it, it was profound!
This is an excerpt from my memoirs - ‘Mama Said’.

Mama said- If God said it, it’s guaranteed!
Mama said- The good Lord knows jus’ what you need
Mama said- You gittin’ too big for yo britches, huh?
Mama said- Chile, don’t ever burn yo bridges
Mama said- A hard head makes a soft behind
Mama said- You might think he’s late, but he’s ALWAYS on time
Mama said- “Boy I brought you in this world, and I’ll take you out!”
Mama said- You might run, but you CAN NOT hide
Mama said- His time is NOT yo time... His way… not yo way
Mama said- Don’t worry ‘bout tomorrow, live for today
Mama said- If it don’t fit, don’t force it
Mama said- Don’t buy it, if you can’t afford it
Mama said- You ‘git’ what you give
Mama said- You only got one life to live
Mama said- God’s gonna ALWAYS carry you through
Mama said- If you make one step, He’ll make two

I remember, Mama, what you said. Your words of wisdom stay in my head. These seeds I’ve planted in my children’s head. So, they too will remember what Mama said.


PJ Payne

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Difference Is...

Sitting and sipping today, I realized something. "In life, there comes a time when an individual has to just STAND out, stand up, and stand alone!" Don't be afraid to be different. If everyone were ALIKE, then there would be no choices.

There is validity, and truth to the statement 'No man is an island' as we depend on each other. And the beauty in that is, we do need each other, so "you're not alone, just not alike"! Individuals! 
Comparisons-
Life has given man so many 'lemons' and not everyone knows how or has the strength to make Lemonade, as the common adage goes. Instead, there are comparisons made, like 'Apples to Oranges'. We are a comparative generation! But when I think about it, we have been compared throughout our lives even from birth... "Oh, she is sooo cute," to "Ummm, isn't he a little short for his age..?"  Judgement and comparison goes on throughout our adulthood. And it's no ALL bad, given the verbiage and meaning behind it.
Why can't people just let well enough alone and let someone just 'BE'? Well, my answer to that is, man has not been able, from the beginning of time, to naturally be proactive. As humans, we need an extra push, motivation, fuel injection, because a lot of us are not self-starters. We are basically on automatic pilot, so we need a  GPS from time to time. That's what comparisons, like apples to oranges is all about, so it is not ALL bad. Think about it. Pick one and see. Look for the difference or likeness; firm or soft, tart or sweet, small or large, green, red, yellow or golden... not measured by seed but weight and texture, indeed... Apples to Oranges, comparatively; Apples and Oranges' diversities.

No matter how much someone is told they are like some one else, they must choose to embrace individuality comfortably. What 'apple to oranges' (comparison of two people or things that are irreconcilably or fundamentally different) does for one is it makes him/her STAND out...
Even if you are an apple also you're not necessarily the bad apples, only a different apple!
As is coffee - just taste and see!

PJ Payne

Thursday, May 4, 2017

'Let's Make a Deal'

Sitting, sipping, and pondering again. That’s my morning ritual as you may realize by now. Question - “Have you ever tried to make a deal with God?” Let’s be real! We know it’s not the norm, but in dire times of need and comfort, we might say, “Lord if I can only get this job, I will... or, Lord if you bring me, my child, or my friend through this, I promise You, I will…” Yes, these are the types of deals we make with the Master!
Don’t you realize that Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2)?  A lot of times we don’t need to know what the finished product will be, but have faith He will fix it. If you’re anything like me, I’d try to change the outcome if I knew it in advance. Lol. Remember, we don’t hold the future in our hands. Enrich your faith in Him and grow in spiritual maturity. He will do the rest.

No Bartering

I wasn’t supposed to know
I wasn’t supposed to find out until now
I wasn’t supposed to know
This was about His timing and how
He wanted me to grasp
He wanted me to ask
He wanted me to depend
He wanted me to defend
what HE stood for in my life
and when it was all said and done
He wanted me to know that
He was the One!
Not because ‘I’ did anything great
hence, He would make life easier
NO! He wanted me to be tried and tested
He wanted me to know
He was the One
who brought me out
who allowed me to evolve 
through these experiences
while being tossed to and fro
learning lessons, being instructed
in the midst of the strain
but not all in vain
And as I come out of it, I will gain 
I will grow with it
and not have had to barter
but just ‘pay it forward’ as I go

God doesn’t make a deal.
 “God is the REAL DEAL!”


PJ Payne

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Last Tear

Do you think one can ever 'cry their last tear'? We hear phrases like 'I've cried my last tear over you,' or 'I'm not going to shed another tear over that'! Well, guess what?  The very next time the situation arises, BOOM, there goes the water-works!
We (women and men) are emotional beings. No matter how we try, some emotions are out of our control. One is the tear
Realize this: Shedding tears is a huge and healthy emotional release especially if you experience sadness, deep pain, or stress. Although there are the so-called "strong" individuals, who think they can control the tear, but can they really?
The urgency to release can be an overpowering feeling, thus taking a toll on the natural expression of emotional release. You must realize that crying is natural. It is a way to release pent-up feelings. If it’s not expressed, usually relief generates in other forms; e.g. anger, extensive exercise, verbal abuse... and the list goes on. Yes, you’ll try to suck up emotions and absorb the hurt and pain. You may even ignore what’s really going on, but don't suppress it, even if you have to 'go to your' quiet place. Let it go… 

And then there it is 
And then they began 
Those unwanted leaks
That can't be dried by hands
You thought it was all over
And you had found you joy
Then all of a sudden you realize
Your emotions have been toyed 
You figured you had cried your last tear
There was none left, no reason to cry
And at a vulnerable moment
You couldn't hold back 
as much as you'd tried

It seems some things get the best of you
No matter how tough your skin
You portray being stoic, unmovable
But the unforeseen breaks through again
It's unannounced, unwanted
Sneaky and riveting
Untrusting, relentless
Piercing, annoying

...and NOT the 'last tear'

Blessings
PJ Payne