So I just came across this video on Facebook of Ernestine Johnson reciting this poem on the Arsenio Hall show. The poem is so relevant and also relative as it highlights the backhanded compliment that so many black girls (myself included) have received. Being told by someone that you “talk white” (what is that anyway?) or that you’re not the average black girl only reinforces the stigma that black girls are somehow less than. It falls right in line with being told that you are pretty for a black girl. Ernestine so eloquently put into words how many girls feel. I can’t wait to see more of Ernestine’s work in the future.
Ahhh, the holiday season… Time for connecting or reconnecting with friends and loved ones. Picking up where you left off, reminiscing on old memories, and creating new ones, -if only I could find their phone numbers…
Ok, I’ll admit it. When it comes to keeping in touch with people, I’m not that great. It’s not that I don’t want to stay in touch, I do, honestly. It’s just that somehow, I just lose touch. I’m a texter, I love texting and social media. To me, it’s one of the greatest things to ever happen to the phone. I rarely ever actually talk to anybody on the phone. Maybe it’s my introverted personality, but being on the phone any longer than five minutes with someone is absolute torture. And it’s always been that way. I’ve watched my mom hold telephone conversations for over an hour in pure amazement. I don’t know how she does it. If I’m not shooting you a text within 5 seconds of receiving your phone number or vice versa, chances are that I’ll lose it. On the other hand, if I do have your number or social media handle, you can expect messages on birthdays and all of the holidays! I’ve also got a thing for greeting cards. I absolutely love shopping for the perfect card. So I guess I’m not at a complete loss when it comes to keeping in touch, but there’s definitely room for improvement, and I’m up for the challenge.
So this morning while checking my email, I noticed there was a sale going on over at Spiritual Gangster. And the wonderful thing about shopping online is that when there’s a sale going on, you’re only one click away! So I headed over to check it out. I came across this swimsuit that I thought was absolutely gorgeous, but what really caught my eye was the model wearing it. She’s a beautiful girl, of course. But what was intriguing to me was the fact that she had stretch marks. Yes, she’s a model with stretch marks, and she’s still absolutely beautiful. I was so surprised to see her, because, you know it’s not everyday you see a model that looks like an actual person, not some dreamed up version of what someone decided all women should look like. I’m so glad that Spiritual Gangster didn’t Photoshop or edit her to look unnatural. It was a good move on their end. I hope to see more untouched photos of models in the future. Our so-called flaws are what make us unique and individuals. No one should have to strive for an unrealistic goal of perfection. We’re all uniquely beautiful.
P.S. I totally bought that swimsuit!
Xoxo, enjoy your day and don’t forget to be beautiful!
“Oh what a tangled web we weave…when we first practice to deceive”
Anyone who’s ever watched Pretty Little Liars, knows that Alison, the main character isn’t just a liar. She’s charming, she’s deceitful, and she’s a master manipulator. Alison lies to her friends, then gets them to lie for her. When her friends aren’t willing to lie for her, she resorts to whatever tactics she deems necessary to get what she wants. I could go on and on about Alison, but this blog isn’t about her. It’s about another pretty little liar (and no, it’s not Aria, Spencer, Hannah, or Emily). This blog is about Delilah.
“Who’s Delilah?” I’m glad you asked. Delilah may as well have been the Old Testament version of Alison. Delilah’s story begins in Judges 16, when she starts dating Samson. Samson was blessed with supernatural strength. The source of his strength was in his hair, which had never been cut since the day he was born. Samson was in love with Delilah, but her feelings weren’t mutual. So when the rulers of the Philistines came to her and offered her money to find the out the secret to his strength so that they can “tie him up and subdue him,” she was all for it. At first, Delilah doesn’t even try to beat around the bush with Samson. She literally says to him, “Tell me the secret to your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” (Judges 16:6 NIV) Samson, determined to keep his secret, lies to her. He says, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” Delilah hides the Philistines in her room, ties him up, then calls to him, “The Philistines are upon you!” Samson breaks loose. Delilah, seeing that her boyfriend is alive and well, accuses him of making a fool of her. Delilah tries to detain her boyfriend two more times unsuccessfully. She starts playing on his emotions and the fact that he loves her. Verse 16 says, “With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.” Samson finally gave in to her manipulation and told his secret. Delilah had Samson’s hair shaved while he slept in her lap and the Philistines captured him. Samson went against his better judgement and trusted Delilah, which ultimately led to his own demise.
How often do we find ourselves in situations similar to Samson and Delilah’s? Sometimes we’re so blinded by love to the point where we don’t use our heads and other times we’re manipulating others to get what we want. Maybe there’s a guy you know who really likes you. He’s always buying you gifts; if you’re not interested, don’t pretend that you are. That too, is a lie.
Mean Girls, one of my all-time favorite chick flicks takes you into the lives of the most popular girls in high school and exposes them all for what they really are; hence, the title of the movie. During the course of the movie you’ll find that these frenemies aren’t being mean just for the fun of it. Behind the rude comments, insults, and plain old put-downs were girls struggling with their own insecurities and jealousy. While this movie is both, a classic and comedic gold (or at least, in my opinion) it’s not exaclty original. Girls have been using the shortcomings of others to assert themselves over one another since biblical times. Just look at Hannah and Peninnah…
Hannah and Peninnah were both married to the same man (because it was legal back then). However, Hannah was unable to have children, whereas Peninnah had multiple children. 1 Samuel chapter 1:6-7 says, “And because the Lord closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.” Peninnah’s definitely earned her seat at the table with The Plastics. Instead of having compassion on Hannah, she completely ripped her apart, year after year. So if Peninnah had kids and Hannah didn’t, what did Peninnah have to be jealous or insecure about? Love. If we go back to verse 5, we see that Peninnah may have had all the kids, but she didn’t have her husband’s heart, not like Hannah did. Because of the void in her own heart, Peninnah made it her mission to taunt and torment Hannah. How did Hannah respond to Peninnah’s cruel antics? Did she fight fire with fire by teasing her about not being loved as much by their husband? No, she prayed. She prayed that God would bless her with a child, and he did. Not only did he bless her with one, but also five more.
Have you ever had any encounters with mean girls? If so, how did you respond? Or have you ever been the mean girl? Think of how different Peninnah’s life could’ve been if she’d just taken her sorrows and insecurities to God instead of taking it out on Hannah.
Thanks for reading.
The feeling of abandonment can be very lonely and isolating. It can seem like you’re stuck in your own little bubble. Some people experience abandonment after their parents get divorced. They may feel as though their parent(s) no longer cares about them. It’s only reasonable to expect parents to care about their children, but sadly, that’s not always the case. Psalm 27:10 says, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” Friends can sometimes leave us feeling abandoned and left out as well. Not everybody who comes into our lives will be there to stay. You should never put all of your hope in one person. You’ll only end up heart-broken and disappointed. There will always be someone who does something that’s going to let you down. Even though people may walk out of our lives, we know that God never will. Matthew 28:20 says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Genesis 16 tells us the story of Hagar. She was the maidservant to a woman named Sarah. Sarah was unable to have children of her own, so she allowed Hagar to become her husband’s concubine. However, once Hagar became pregnant, Sarah began to mistreat her. Hagar felt abandoned and ran away. Hagar didn’t think her plan through very clearly; she was pregnant and all alone in a foreign land, with no way to support herself. An angel found Hagar in the desert and told her that God sees her.
We don’t have to run away because God sees us too and He cares. No matter how abandoned and alone we may feel, God promised He would never leave us.(Heb. 13:5) We don’t have to let feelings of abandonment cause anger and bitterness to brew inside of us. We can choose to live in freedom instead. -xoxo