Thursday, February 23, 2017

In Honor and Love, Extended

As I nestle in with my cup ‘o Joe and pen in hand, I am reminiscing as usual. But I am also thinking about history and the future. I have concluded that in this time and age, we ALL want and need love. The display of love should not just be about this month and all its connotations. More importantly, we need to share love continuously through giving of self or just saying ‘I Love You’. That can be more rewarding than any gift you can give.
I ponder on my own life as a child… growing up in the country with humble beginnings. But with the love of family and through God’s grace, I persevered. And my ancestry has taught me so much about unconditional love. I had a God-fearing and strong mother who taught me and my 5 siblings ‘from whence cometh our help…’ She fervently instilled good morals, values, and loving others unconditionally. What my mother passed down to us emanated from someone who lived on this earth over 102 years - her mother and my Grandmother. Without her, there would be no us. In appreciation of Black History and love, today I honor a loving, brave and strong woman, Bessie Johnson-Howard (10-10-10 – 7-31-13). She lived, loved and sacrificed for her 12 children. As she extended her love and touched many other lives, she was known as Momma, Auntie, Grandma, Miss Bessie, but most of us just called her ‘Madea.’

Love Extended

Over a hundred years ago
She really bore us all
Over a hundred years ago
She took the fall
For what was to come
And what was to be
For what the future held
For the family

Over a hundred years ago
She didn’t know
A hundred years would pass
And she would live and last
Through blood, sweat, and tears
All over a hundred years
To see the light
Of that age-old fight
That was fought for you
And for me too
The right to live freely
For over a hundred years

A hundred years
Is a century
A hundred years long
Something WE may never see
But think one minute
Just take a peek
At life through her eyes
All in a century
Births, marriages, deaths
Defining the family tree
Out-living some of her own
All in a span of
A century
And what’s amazing is
Her life didn’t stop there
She lives and keeps living
A bloodline that streams
Through many veins
And more to come
As her off-springs
Had off-springs
Springing off those
And then some…

So, the moral of
This story is
That a seed of love was planted
And that seed lives
and lives… and lives
through our Madea

In Love,

~PJ Payne

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Open Hand - Let Go

Sometimes instead of worrying, we have to meditate and concentrate on the shocks and disbeliefs in our lives... there is always the question of why or the second thought of 'if only'.  I believe nothing happens in life by chance. We all had our territories charted out for us, even before we were thought of and made.
Therefore, given such an awesome, pure, simple and fresh beginning in life, it gives reason that we should focus on the fact that destiny is not ours, but His to plot. We tend to make our own circumstances problematic. Just think about it. At inception, we were like an uncharted map because He held the plan in His Hand. So when we begin to take life's 'little' circumstances (and they are little to Him) out of His Hands, that is when we feel the brunt of the trials and hardships we face. Endurance becomes traumatic!! Too many times without realizing what we are doing, we put 'self' in a matter where self shouldn't be. We think everything needs to be touched, or for lack of a better elucidation, 'controlled' by us. In my instance, by ME, lol.

We must learn to 'Open Hand - Let Go'. That's right! Open your hand and let it go! When we bite off more than we can chew or take on more than we can handle, it's okay to let go of some things. This is NOT about you or me! It's about God!
Right now you're probably steering in the wrong direction, traveling on the wrong highway - taking the back roads instead of the main thoroughfare; focusing on the wrong prize. Remember He has mapped out the path for you.
"Take YOUR hands off and let it go!'

PJ Payne

Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Somebody Oughta Say Something"

Have you ever gone someplace and after the fact, you swore you’d never return because your encounter was one of displeasure and not quite your ‘cup ‘o tea’? Basically, you DIDN'T enjoy the experience. You brushed it off, didn’t speak of your distaste at the time, just grinned and bore it. As time went on, you may have made reference to it in conversation, but still did nothing because you figured you would NEVER have to return.
Well, as happenstance or a twist of faith would have it, I found myself in that very situation. Opportunity and circumstances dictated a ‘Revisit’. When I realized I would be returning, I immediately remembered dislike and thought, “this is the last time”. So, I girded up courage and planned  to encounter what I thought would be a very unpleasant recurrence!

To say I was pleasingly surprised is an understatement! Not only was there a noticeable change in the ‘look’ of the place, its whole aura and atmosphere wreaked of joyous mysticism. My first thought…  What Happened?? Whereas I was regretting the return, I found myself pleased and engrossed. I began to feel guilty though, about my initial memories; how I shunned the thought of engaging in a return visit and most of all not speaking up about the experience.
“OBVIOUSLY, somebody said something”!

Like me, someone else had the very same mundane, uninviting, humdrum and uncomfortable occurrence. But unlike me, instead of enduring the discontent and saying nothing, they spoke up. Better still, somebody was listening and changes emerged.

What I'm asking now is “how do you change something if you say nothing”? You may even think, as I did, it’s not your place to voice your concern. Well, it’s not even about what you say as much as it’s about how you say it. The voice is precious and it speaks volumes without a rise in its tone, over emphasis on any words, or even additional demonstrative actions. Think first, then let the Spirit lead you.

I’m so happy ‘somebody said something'! Thank you and I shall return.

-PJ Payne