Monday, May 30, 2016

It's 9:09 pm in Chicago. I'm sitting on my porch swing and tonight is kinda eerie. There is total silence. The church bells didn't even ring. No one is out. It's as if there was a Chicago ordinance that told everybody they needed to stay inside tonight and I'm in violation of the law! I feel weirdly alone....still, I close my eyes and inhale the scent of fresh laundry from my neighbors dryer vent and enjoy the quiet. I open my eyes and then, from a distance, I hear fireworks coming from Oak Park. Slowly, I hear the train, kids, horns...small noises. Were they always there and I was just blocking them out? God reminds me sometimes blocking out the noises makes room for your soul to get quiet....for your spirit to calm down. My soul needs a calming. The noises will always be there, it's the silence we have to listen for. In the quiet, God whispers "Close your eyes baby girl, deep breath, inhale, hold, slowly release. I got you." ‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬
MAY 30, 2016

It's 9:06 pm in Chicago. I'm sitting on my porch swing and the most beautiful breeze keeps kissing my face. I usually come out to hear the church bells and have some moments of silence but not tonight. It's the holiday weekend and all I hear are kids laughing and playing, the smell of bbq coals, families hugging and gathering, old school music (of course loud trap music in passing cars) and my neighbor across the street asking me how my weekend has been gunshots, no cops. I barely heard the bells and I actually preferred it tonight. It was a bit hopeless this weekend with one of my youth who has totally given up hope but as I sit here, God reminds me there is joy to be found in places that seem dark and hopeless. God reminded me, that kid who has given up, still called you today and he laughed. God reminded me, just as many people don't see the beauty in the hood, we are called to look for it and put it on display. I see beauty all around me. I love my Chicago.
 ‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬
MAY 13, 2016

It's 10:13 am in Chicago. I'm sitting on my porch swing waiting for my Uber to take me to the airport. I'm exhausted. I woke up dreading the long day of travel to California...until I thought about holding and kissing on my niece and nephew, seeing friends and going to a conference with people I consider my tribe. Suddenly the exhaustion turned to ecstatic joy. I got a pep in my step. As I enjoy my swing that I won't see for 10 days, God reminds me of how quickly our state of being can change if we focus on our blessings. I am blessed. Life is just like the swing I'm sitting on now. ..back and forth....back and forth...but what a thrilling ride it can be.‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬ ‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬
MAY 9, 2016

It's 9:18 pm in Chicago. I'm sitting on my porch swing after battling the demon of depression all day. I sit here under the heaviness of the downpour, rain soaking the streets and people running for shelter. I feel the heaviness of the streets, of my youth. I hear what seems to be 6 gunshots from afar, then 10 minutes later police sirens. The rain feels heavier...the depression deeper. I'm trying to pray. Trying to hear His voice. I look up and see a lamp post. A lamp post right in front of the Crib. When I moved here, the bulb had been out for awhile I was told. What did I do? Called the Alderman to fix it. WE NEED LIGHT ON THIS BLOCK! God spoke and said There you go bringing light to darkness again....and there goes God reminding me again how much Light is still needed. Didn't bring any light today, was in darkness myself. Even I needed to see the Light.
‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬ ‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬
MAY 5, 2016

It's 6:46 pm in Chicago. I'm sitting on my porch swing after dropping off my luggage in the living room. I missed my swing. I missed the church bells. Though I needed the break from it all to enjoy rest, family and silence, I did miss my City. There's no place like home. ..but both places are my home. As I sit here, my senses are recalibrating back to what is my normal. The train sounds, the loud trap music, kids screaming, police sirens. God reminds me He is in both places. The place of quiet, the place of noise. We just have to open our eyes, ears and heart to find Him. God is home...wherever you find Him. Welcome home says the porch swing. Thank you my friend. Good to be back.
 ‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬
APRIL 28, 2016

It's 9:11 pm in Chicago. I am on my porch swing wrapped in my favorite fluffy warm blanket. My first mentee moved in today and I called her to see if she wanted to listen to the church bells with me on her first night. She didn't answer the phone and I didn't pursue it. As I sat down in my silence of city noises, I heard God say "This is our time. I'm singing to you." It's in my nature to share but God reminded me this is self's OK to have this time just for Him and I. It's what quiets my restless ever busy going's my date time with my Love, not a group date with friends. And I'm good with that. Serenade me my Love. ‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬
APRIL 26, 2016

It's too cold for a ‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ story tonight. #ChicagoWeatherIssues
APRIL 25, 2016

It's 9:02 pm in Chicago. I'm sitting on my porch swing. There is a beautiful breeze warning us of the storm to come. Thunder is crackling and lightening is flashing. A cool raindrop or two splashes on my face. The girl across the street on her porch screams, "I wish they would shut those damn bells up. Ain't nobody want to hear dat." All I do is smile, close my eyes and listen. God reminds me not everyone sees beauty in the same thing. ..the bells, the storm, in themselves. Some just see noise, an inconvenience, their pain. Pray they discover beauty in all things...I Am. Praying for those beautiful teens girls on the porch. ‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬‪#‎SelfCare‬ ‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬
APRIL 24, 2106

It's 9:08 pm in Chicago. I'm sitting on my porch swing after being sick in bed all day to get some fresh air. I just saw one of the boldest moves I've seen in the hood. Dude rolls through on his hover board, it's all lit up blue, while texting on his phone. the hood... in night. Either he's under the influence or a gang leader of influence. Makes me think about the areas of influence that God has given me. I can only pray that I roll up in those circles as boldly as this man rolled up through the hood. May I never be silent about Injustice. (Hope he doesn't get jacked!)
APRIL 23, 2016

It's 9:02 pm in Chicago. I am here on my porch swing wrapped in my blanket to hear the evening church bells...but tonight I can barely hear them. Just as I faintly heard the first bell of 9:00, my neighbor pulls up blasting Chris Brown and sits in the car during the whole thing. Imagine my disappointment. She turns the car off and I can faintly hear the song of the bells. God reminds me. ..even when you can barely hear Me, with all the noises and distractions around you, I am still there making music, singing, talking, moving....tonight, quiet your soul and hear my whisper.
‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬ ‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬
APRIL 20, 2016

It's 8:48 p.m. in Chicago. It's raining and I'm sitting on my porch swing. I am in awe of this ‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬ that allows me to still enjoy my porch swing and not get soaking wet. The sounds of the city are the same... the L going by, loud trap music being played in cars, car alarm going off...but now the pattering of rain reminds me of how God keeps cleansing and making things FRESH...just like his mercies. Today was a day when I desperately needed his grace and mercy. ‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬ 

APRIL 20, 2016

...and there is a church that plays the most beautiful song of bells that I haven't heard in a long time!!!! Feels like God was singing to me! I think I'll be sitting out here every night at 9:00 p.m. to hear His song.‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬
APRIL 18, 2016

It's 10:11 pm in Chicago. I'm sitting alone on my porch swing. Listening to all the sounds of the city...The L rolling through, cars bumping loud trap music, a car alarm going off, teens laughing on the corner ..with beautiful moments of quiet police sirens. This is a beautiful moment of self care...with many more to come. ‪#‎PorchSwingLife‬ ‪#‎SelfCare‬‪#‎KissOnForeheadFromGod‬
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