Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Longest Post Ever Prompts 16-21

Writing Prompt Day 16
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: What surprising thing have you learned recently?

Say Word! 

That I’m easily distracted! How could this be - miss ‘I’m focused man’ (said in my best Jay-Z impersonation)? Well I am and it’s exactly why I’m cramming the last days of my writing prompts! It’s always so much going on and many times I have to divert my attention to the more pressing issue at that time. Ok, forget all of that. Truth is sometimes I get busy with busyness which leads to total non-productivity! Ok, forget that too. Let me speak candidly to myself: Reebs! Do better! 

Ok well, now for my real surprising thing I’ve learned recently. The New Testament is not written in chronological order but rather it is written in theological order - say word! The actual first New Testament book written was 1 Thessalonians, although it doesn’t come first in that section of the Book. At least this is what the teacher says, I love to research and fact check but I thought this was interesting!!  

Writing Prompt Day 17
PROMPT: Start your story with this sentence. "Don't trust everything you see.”

Probe, probe and probe some more! 

Don’t trust everything you see because it’s not always what it seems. People present things one way but the reality may be something totally different. My Pastor said something interesting one Sunday when he told a story of a young lady he met at the mall. After talking to her for a few minutes he asked if she had a church home. She replied, “Yes, I attend Mt. Moriah Baptist Church!” He then asked her what was her Pastor’s name and she stammered for a minute because she didn’t know it. Turns out of course she was speaking to the Pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. 

The point here is just because someone presents something to you one way, you can’t trust everything you see. As Christian single women we should definitely probe as much as possible and pray to God for more wisdom and discernment so that we are not tricked by untruths. For someone to say, “I attend church” that’s not enough. Some follow-up questions should be “Who is your Pastor?”, “What ministries are you apart of?” and “I was discussing this with someone, what are your thoughts about John 1:1?”. You know, stuff like that! Trust me ladies, if he’s on the up and up, he’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. Probing uncovers the things that people try to hide so it is the duty of every Christian single lady within the “Girrrl Stop Nation” to probe, probe and probe some more! 

Writing Prompt Day 18
PROMPT: Start your story with this sentence. "It really wasn't as hard as it seemed.”

No means No! 

It really wasn’t as hard as it seemed in fact, I felt quite empowered when I told him no. That’s right, I told him no and I actually meant it. For years I said yes to him and it has caused me extra everything! I used to find it hard to say no to him, I couldn’t resist his hard exterior and warm interior. I would try but I was unsuccessful. Then one day I made the decision that I was tired of dealing with the extra. I was tired of not fitting in and spilling over into a region I wasn’t supposed to be in. To hell with him! I’m done! I’ve taken my power back! I told him no but silently I still want him except he’s no good for me. I’m going to do right by me now and moving forward! 

It really wasn’t as hard as it seemed. I told the McDonald’s Apple Pie NO today and I meant it! 

Writing Prompt Day 19
PROMPT: What are you most thankful for?

No Matter What!

I’m thankful for God’s sustaining power! This year has been a challenge financially and I’ve had some hardships. Through it all, God has shown Himself to me as a sustainer. He has indeed kept me through ups and downs and I’m thankful to Him for preserving me so that I don’t look like what I’ve been through! God is a provider and a sustainer and I’m grateful. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 in the MSG version says, “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to christ Jesus to live” . We have to learn to be thankful no matter what! Know that God who created us will keep and sustain us. Being apart of the family does have its privileges :). God is an awesome God!! 

Writing Prompt Day 21
PROMPT: This is not really a prompt as much as it is a directive. Today, when you write, refer to at least 5 old articles. This can be a BEST OF article.

Through it all -Trust God!

This writing challenge has been a blessing to me as it has caused me to be more intentional with my writing and to do so on a regular basis. I’ve been encouraged by the writers in the challenge and I’ve had a great time participating. Throughout this writing journey one post that I want to refocus on is day 11, Trust God - http://www.girrrlstop.com/2017/11/trust-god.html 

I want to encourage all of you to trust God in everything. This life journey is filled with ups and downs, hills and valleys, victories and defeats but I promise you that no matter where you are in your process, walking with God and trusting God will help you!
Excerpt from Trust God:
So when you can't figure it out - trust God!
When you can't find your way - trust God! 
When you feel like you're in this thing called life by yourself - trust God! 

God will never leave you or forsake you He is always right there! 
Trust Him even when you can't trace Him or track Him! Put your trust in the Lord, He will see you through! 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Reebs Favorite Things!

Writing Prompt Day 15
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: List five of your favorites...favorite books, favorite foods, favorite vacations.

5. Ross and TJ Maxx - I love the hunt I guess! I love the feeling of finding that key piece for a discount!!!

4. InStyle and Essence Magazines - I love to sit down and dig into these two publications. It's simple but it's just something I love to do! 

3. Howard Homecoming - I love going back to my alter mater, seeing friends and creating new memories. God always reveals something new to me about who He is at homecoming time

2. "Family Functions" - these come in the form of family dinners, game nights, movie nights and just plain ole get togethers! I love bonding with my family, it's where I feel safe and loved the most! 

1. Road trips with my Mom - we travel twice a year to conventions. It's great quality time spent with the woman I admire most. I love hearing her stories of her childhood, early adulthood and hearing about her experiences and how she navigated through them. 

What are some of your favorites? 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rules - Who Needs 'Em!

Writing Prompt Day 14
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: When did you break the rules and things still turned out great?

Truth: I break the rules all the time. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't! The Lord is still working on me to follow rules but I can't seem to do right. Even with my rule speaking spirit, God always seem to work things out. 

-I couldn't get to work on time (Baltimore - DC) so God made it so that I could telework 5 days a week! Problem solved! 

-When I was going to the office, I would work jeans into my daily wardrobe professionally (when it was against the rules) next thing you know it was issued in a company policy that jeans were allowed everyday! 

Honestly, it's a wonder I still have a job! But God! 

Anyways, Jesus was a rule breaker. He healed folks on the Sabbath, He turned over tables in the temple, He touched the lepers, He denounced religious leaders, He spoke to a woman he didn't know at the well, need I go on? 

Isn't our goal to be like Christ? Let me be clear, Jesus didn't break the rules to be rebellious rather He broke the rules to show that people mattered more than the rules! I can't say that's my reason all the time but I'm getting there 😀. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Mindset Shift for Balance

Writing Prompt Day 13
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: What change MUST you make before 2017 ends?

You gotta love this time of year when we all tend to reflect on the past year and make plans for the upcoming year. This is a time of year that can actually make or break you for the year to come. If you don’t reflect enough on the current year and really assess some things, you may be doomed to repeat mistakes and the same cycle over again. Also if you don’t plan properly for the new year, you may not progress the way you want to and to the level you would like to go. So looking at this year and assessing what needs to change before the year ends I’d have to say: my mindset. 

My mindset needs to change in a few areas if I’m going to experience 2018 differently from 2017. One thing is I need to become disciplined and stick to a writing schedule. This is going to be imperative to producing work for the new year. I’ve never been a ‘schedule’ kinda girl but if I want to see different results I will have to do some different things! Additionally I need to create more boundaries for myself as it relates to church activities. Sometimes, church people can guilt you into working within the church so much so that if you don’t create boundaries, you will find that all of your creative energy will go to church activities and not to your own projects. I mean, they always have something going on and I think for the new year, I will need to scale back a bit from some activities; there are enough people in the kingdom that if some more people stepped up to work, it wouldn’t all fall on the FFF (few faithful folks). What I’m really saying here is that I need to change my mindset to create more balance. I love working in the church and I feel blessed to be able to offer my talents and gifts there but it should be some balance to life. 

The mindset must shift now for 2018 to be successful!   

Contrary, On the Contrary!

Writing Prompt Day 12
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: "I'm usually not________________________, but in this case, _______________________”

I’m usually not contrary, but in this case, I decided to march to my own drum beat! 

I was called contrary on yesterday. Who me? Imagine that! My church celebrated 90 years and our church colors are royal blue and gold. Royal blue is not a favorite color of mine and gold is a color I feel should be reserved to shoes and accessories. So needless to say, I don’t own any of this in my closet. I searched and searched the stores far and wide to try and find a suitable royal blue dress, one that fit my style and personalty and unfortunately to no avail! 

Then I went into a boutique and stumbled across this beautiful dress that had an array of colors: Royal Blue, Gold, Fuchsia, and Black with the dominant colors being Pink and Royal Blue. I thought to myself: close enough!!! Pink is my favorite color so this dress spoke to me and represented me! The dress was stunning on and I loved it. 

My Godbrother jokingly told me that I was being contrary because I wasn’t wearing Royal Blue and Gold. I took the joke for what it was, no big deal. However, what was I really being contrary to? Honestly, I was in the frame of mind that many people need to ascribe to: staying true to myself. I honestly don’t care what the masses are doing. I’m going to do what feels right to me. I tried to get as close to the colors as I could. The main thing is to not be contrary in your spirit. You should always strive to align yourself with God’s Word and last time I checked, me wearing royal blue and gold wasn’t in the Book! We need to be unified in spirit and unified in working together. Now that’s where some folks were contrary but that’s another subject for another day.  

Yeah I rocked Fuchsia on the church anniversary - sue me! 

That’s all…

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Trust God

Writing Prompt Day 11
Speak Write Now Community

Since I'm a day late I'm not going to hold you long. I just want to encourage you today to trust God. There's a familiar hymn that I love, the chorus of it goes like this:

Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him
How I prove Him more and more 
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
Oh for grace for trust Him more 

Proverbs 3:5-6 says it this way, "Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not to your own understanding and in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path"

I used to look at trusting God as a one off sorta thing, as situations or crisis would arise I would really focus on trusting God. The verse mentioned above I've known since I was a child and could recite it at an early age but it wasn't until adulthood that I actually learned the verses. For many years I thought that I could figure things out on my own and neglected to trust God for all things - I leaned to my own understanding. Trust in God is not a part-time job but rather it's a lifetime career path that you never retire from. Trusting God pays off, he will never lead you in the wrong direction, he is ever merciful, gracious, loving and faithful toward us. 

So when you can't figure it out - trust God!
When you can't find your way - trust God! 
When you feel like you're in this thing called life by yourself - trust God! 

God will never leave you or forsake you He is always right there! 
Trust Him even when you can't trace Him or track Him! Put your trust in the Lord, He will see you through! 

That's all. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

It Was Necessary

Writing Prompt Day 10
Speak Write Now Community

Fantasia did a video not too long ago that went viral and she sang this song by Dennis Reed: 

I am who I am today
Because God used my mistakes
He worked them for my good
Like no one else ever could

God told us to tell you 
It was necessary 

This song touched many people because as you look back over your life, you can see where even the ‘bumps’ in your journey aided you in arriving at this current place. The mistakes you’ve made helped to shape who you are today. How? The lessons that we learn from our mistakes is what molds us into better people. Acclaimed write Oscar Wilde once said, “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”. Those experiences we go through on our journey leads us to new places of wisdom, understanding and even revelation. Authors Dr. Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg said in their book, Get Out of Your Own Way, “We always learn from our mistakes, but we don’t always learn the right lessons”. It’s been my personal experience that when I don’t learn the ‘right’ lesson, I’m presented with the issue again and again until I get it right. 

I’m glad that God is in total control of everything and can even use my mistakes, my hiccups, my trip-ups, and even my unfaithfulness and make something beautiful. Remember, whatever you’ve gone through in your life, know that it was necessary. It was necessary for your development, it was necessary for your journey, and most of all it was necessary for you to be a blessing to someone else through sharing what you’ve gone through or teaching them a better way. Sometimes our ‘experiences’ are given so that we can help someone else and say ‘if God did it for me, He can surely do it for you’! Sometimes those mistakes that we victoriously bounced back from will serve as reminders that if God did it before, He can certainly do it again! 

Whatever your ‘it’ is, remember that ‘It’ was necessary.  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Expert? Eh

Writing Prompt Day 9
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: What do you do really well that you can teach others about?

This is a question I have been pondering for some time now and one that I’ve struggled to answer. I suppose I do not see myself as an expert in any one area so this one is difficult for me to define. There are some things that I love to do like write, speak, and encourage yet I still find it to be a task to pinpoint what I would teach others to do. 

This is an area of prayer for me as I’m working and exploring new things. Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift makes room for him, And brings him before great men.” I believe that! I believe that it is already present but not clear to me. I believe that this will become clear to me in the near future. 

For now, I will continue to encourage the women in the body of Christ to be encouraged and inspired in the things of God, becoming their best self and continually making a positive impact wherever they go. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

My Last Nerve!

Writing Prompt Day 8
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: What gets on your nerves?

I already hear all of you thinking: “She didn’t need a writing prompt to write this”! AND….you’re right!! Let’s jump right in! Here are the top three things that get on my nerves: 

3. Passenger Seat Drivers - Girrrl! If you want to send me into ‘piss-stilistic’ frenzy then do this! Sittin’ over there giving instructions: slow down, watch out, the light is red - Ugh! I come to a stop sign and you sitting up looking for oncoming traffic - if you sitting up blocking the window, how am I supposed to see? If you wanna drive then drive but if you riding with me - CHILL!

2. Church Thugs - These are bullies in the church. They’re mean, cantankerous, and usually fussing about something or someone at any given time. They drive me completely insane! They use any opportunity they can to belittle you in front of others. I have to pray hard because we can’t consecrate enough oil for ‘dem church thugs! 

Drum roll please……

1. Digging my car out of the snow - Ooooh! This gets on my last nerve! When I watch it fall from the sky I be like “Lord, what you not gon’ do is keep throwing this white stuff down - ain’t nobody got time for dat!”. It irritates my soul to take that shovel out there and dig. That’s one of only a couple times that I loathe being single. Yeah, snow gets on my nerves. 

Well, there you have it!! In an effort to stay at peace I: 

-Drive alone
-Stay in my Word so I can let the Word do the Work with the Church Thugs
-Avoid the windows during the winter

Until next time…

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Yeah - I hear ya!

Writing Prompt Day 7
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: If you could invent something, what would it be?

I would invent a serum that when you drink it you could hear people’s thoughts once you focused on them. One dose of the serum would last for one week and each bottle would be 4 weeks worth inside. I think I would call it: The Fake-a-Lizer - the serum that helps you separate the fake from the real! Due to the production costs, this serum would be costly but hey, anything in life worth having usually is! 

So here’s to hearing your thoughts - yeah, I hear ya! 

Monday, November 6, 2017


Writing Prompt Day 6
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: Share something that inspires you.

One of the things I love are the movies with the competition at the end. You know the ones where the underdog has a rough time throughout the movie, facing obstacles and adversity and then at the end of the movie is the competition - where the underdog prevails! Think movies like ‘Bring It On’, ‘Stomp the Yard’ or ‘Take the Lead’, all of these movies have one common theme: the victorious overcomer! I’m inspired by people who overcome obstacles and never lose sight of their goals. I’m inspired by people who fight for what’s right regardless of the challenges they face in the process. I’m inspired by people who never give up no matter what - winners! 

The Boy Who Scarred My Knees

Writing Prompt Day 5
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: If you could have a do-over for a childhood moment, what would that be and what would it be like?

When I was a young girl I was a bit of a tomboy. I did everything from climbing fences, rolling down hills, riding big wheels and then I graduated to riding bikes - you name it, I did it! One time I let one of the neighborhood boys ride my big wheel and I was going to stand on the back of it while he peddled. I was holding on to the seat but I was kneeling on the ground. The boy began to peddle and I was yelling for him to stop because as he peddled, my knees were scraping the concrete! I yelled louder and then he finally stopped but when I got up, you could actually see ‘the white meat’! Cognitively, I don’t know why I just didn’t let go, maybe somewhere deep in my mind I didn’t want him to ride far on my big wheel without me. Maybe I thought he would take my big wheel and not come back - you know those were the worries of a kid growing up in these Baltimore streets! 

If I could have a do-over, I would have let go and not scraped my knees. Those scars are still here today 30-something years later! If I had let go three things would be different: 

-I would not have seen ‘the white meat’ - this was emotionally scarring for me lol!
-I would not have punched the boy when I was able to come outside and play again - God don’t like ugly!
-My legs would have been even hotter in my mini-skirt days of my 20’s - early 30’s - when you grow in God’s Word you bring those skirt lengths down - holiness is right! 

I wonder what the boy who scarred my knees is doing these days. I pray all is well with him.   

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fall Back!

Writing Prompt Day 4
Speak Write Now Community

I think everyone has a favorite time of year (excluding birthdays). For some it may be Thanksgiving or Christmas, for others it may be spring or summer. For me it is Daylight Savings time! I do a happy dance in my head when I get to fall back!! I love to get that extra hour of sleep, it is a divine gift from above. It gets dark earlier but the positive thing about that is it puts everyone in focus mode. I focus more this time of year because the fun distractions of summer are gone, the cooler weather keeps me inside a little more and the new year is approaching and it makes me reassess. 

Here’s to Daylight Savings Time and the Fall Back!! 

You gotta love it!!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Half-Time Strategy

Writing Prompt Day 3
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: If you could sum up your life in one or two sentences, what would you write?

The first quarter of my life was characterized by learning and the second quarter by experiencing. It is now half-time where I’m revising the strategy, reverting back to learning so that I can bring home the win. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Party Starter

Writing Prompt Day 2
Speak Write Now Community

PROMPT: Name a moment in your life that you remember on a regular basis?

When I was in my twenties I lived in Atlanta, GA. During this period of my life I hadn’t been through too much at that point and I was on serious confidence overload! I mean honestly, you couldn’t convince me that my poop stank because in my mind I was the bomb! 

One time at band camp - uh - I mean Club 112, the DJ was doing his thing but no one was on the dance floor. The DJ was spinning all the hot trap music at the time (think Master P vs. 3-6 Mafia - yeah that’s hood right there) yet no one was out on the floor. Then he switched it up to Biggie Smalls Big Poppa and I knew I had to turn this party around! 

When that flute sound came in that starts the song and B.I.G begins with “To all the ladies in the place with style and grace” I eased out to the middle of the dance floor!  I had a small sway in my hip, a snap in my finger, and a roll in my waist that was so captivating that it brought a man out to the floor with me by the time the line “I got mack then Craig and in the bed” came on! Then by the time of the lyric “to the honeys gettin’ money” the dance floor was packed! 

The DJ was relieved and shouted, “Shout out to my party starter!” Ha! Free drinks for my friends all night. 

This was 1999 B.I.W.S.A.J. days - Before I Was Serious About Jesus! I sometimes think back and I miss that confidence on 10 young lady. Where did she go? Oh that’s right: Life. Life has a way humbling you to a point where you can begin to question some things. It’s at that moment that God reminds you of who you are in Him and who you can place your true confidence in! He equips us to do great works and we can have confidence in God’s Word and what His promises are toward us. I’m still a party starter, I’m just starting Holy Ghost parties now lol! 

Stop Trying to Recycle What God is Trying to Replace

Fall is my second favorite season (summer is numero uno) because it’s a welcomed break from the extreme hot temperatures, humidity and all of the not so fun stuff that comes along with summer. On certain Fall days where the temperature is just right, I can always be heard saying, “It could just stay like this all year around”, it feels good and it is a good transition period between the two extremes: Hot and Cold. The Fall season is also what I often refer to as the Recycle season. It’s something about the cool air that makes people want to slow down a bit, settle and dare I say snuggle - hence the birth of Recycle Season! 

Girrrl I hear you saying, what is recycle season? Ok, this is when we are heading into the cooler seasons and people attempt to recycle friendships that have already ended. This season is characterized by going through your phone/email list and reaching out to that old boo so that you have someone to snuggle up with when the weather gets cold. Particularly in the Northeast part of the country, this happens even if it’s just to have someone help you dig your car out of the snow (sorry ladies, but that’s trifling - lol). Men recycle too, but the subject of this narrative is for my ladies: Stop trying to recycle what God is trying to replace!

3 reasons not to recycle: 
-When you recycle, you forfeit the new. 
Girrrl, you so busy calling up ‘ole boy and when he comes around, he’s blocking anybody that may want to come around. A new guy will pass you by if he see ‘dis fool hanging around! Staying stuck in the old and what could have been will make you forfeit the new! 

-When you recycle, you forfeit time for personal development.
Learn how to be with you! If you’re in between relationships (I hear some of my seasoned saints saying it’s been a long in between!) it’s okay, choose to be in a relationship with YOU, don’t waste time going backwards. Time alone is time for personal development. Look at the books you’d have time to read, new things you’d have time to create and the time you’d have to work on yourself. You ain’t got time to recycle!

-When you recycle, you repeat old disasters. 
Look, I do believe people can change but from my experience they don’t change all that much! When you recycle that man, you will find that not too much has changed with him at his core. He may re-package it in the beginning but when you peel those layers, you’ll find the same foolishness that caused you to leave him alone the first time - is still there! The same irritants will resurface and the same arguments will rear their ugly heads! Girrrl, you ain’t got time for this!

Recycling is for trash, not people. If it didn’t work before, it will likely not work again. Then you’ll just add more months to the ‘time wasted’ pile. God is working on the replacement but you’re prolonging the process by keeping the recycled around. It’s totally okay to just be with you, I mean if you don’t like being with you why would you expect someone else to like being with you? Girrrl, get it together! 

***There are exceptions to every rule but be very clear, for that couple that you know that recycled and now they are happily married (I know one too) they are the EXCEPTION and not the RULE.***


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Process Before Promise

Writing Prompt Day 1

I’m a certified church girl at my core. I grew up in the church and am a believer in and follower of Christ. This does not exempt me from life’s challenges in fact, I believe it makes them come on even the more. I can recall growing up having a timetable for my life that went something like:

-Graduate college by age ____
-Get married by age ___
-Have kids by age ____

and so on! 

As life happened and the years unfolded, I begin to see my timetable was a joke that made God laugh hysterically (in love of course). As it stands today, I’m a single, childless, successful marketing professional who is now trying to get my business off the ground. It’s not the life I mapped out on my timetable but it has been a blessed life nonetheless. I used to sulk about some areas particularly being a Christian single, but as I began to study God’s Word even more a fundamental truth became clear to me: I am exactly where God has ordained me to be. 

As we study the story of Moses, we see that he spent the first 40 years of his life in Egypt. He had to flee because he murdered a man (murder, sex, lies - it’s all in the Book!) and he came to Midian and married Jethro’s daughter. He worked there as a shepherd for another 40 years and then God came to him with his life purpose and assignment at the tender age of 80. 

As we look at the story of Abraham and Sarai, God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations - only one problem - he didn’t have any children. Years went by and no child. His wife decided to help God out and had Abraham lay with the handmaiden and a son was produced from that union by the name of Ishmael. He wasn’t the promised child. Years went by and Abraham was 100 and his wife was 90 and then they had the child of promise - Isaac. 

My point is this: God transcends time. We are exactly where we are supposed to be. The process it takes to get us to our place of purpose can be hard but it is necessary for God to develop character in us needed for the next level. Moses had to be a shepherd for 40 years in order for God to be able to develop patience in him that would be needed for the task ahead of delivering the Israelites from Egypt - the Exodus. Abraham had to wait on God so that his faith could be developed. It’s all apart of the process and as things go - Process before Promise. 

This has changed my thinking in an indescribable way! I am no longer rushed or feeling like I’m behind schedule because I know that I am exactly where God has ordained me to be for such a time as this. 

Do the Work in 2024!

Happy New Year Girrrl!  I pray that the first 3 days in 2024 have been fruitful!  As women, God has called you to do the work in 2024. It...