With Christmas fast approaching I must give thanks for the blessings God has given me.
Let me first say, I’m thankful for my family. My mother is still the living
embodiment of grace, strength and compassion and I’m so fortunate to call on her for wisdom and understanding. I’m grateful for my siblings – they watched me live my life without excuse and never once laughed at my mistakes. They’re fiercely loyal and encouraging, and I really appreciate their support.
I’m thankful for my daughters. They are becoming intelligent young women yet I still see them as inquisitive youngsters making Christmas cookies and hanging festive holiday decorations. It has been so nice to have my oldest daughter doing well at the university and watching my youngest child enjoy her final year of high school. My heart is truly filled of love and pride when I think of them.
Now, at this moment I want to speak about my guy. I still can't believe how our paths crossed. He was searching for his better half at a time when my heart didn’t want any emotional entanglements. I resisted his overtures as he persisted with his friendship, and then something in my guarded spirit said walk this journey with him. Take it one day at a time… slow and steady… and see what unfolds.
And I’m so glad I did.
I believe some people are destine to be aligned together and I’m thankful God granted me the gift of his thoughtfulness, respect and adoration. Every day, since our meeting, has been filled with adventure, admiration and wonderment at the groundbreaking endeavors that laid before us. To have a companion that wants to be my safe place, my protector, and the reason for the blush on my face is amazing. In many ways he’s an answer to a prayer my lips hadn’t dare to utter.
I know with every fiber in my being, ours is a purpose driven union.
As we grow in deeper understanding of each other, I’m touched at how he steps in and steps up for me when my shoulders aren’t strong enough to bare the weight of my frustrations and doubts. He also knows how to deal with me, when my ideals of perfection, cloud my ability to let go and relax. Or when I want to be silly (about my favorite university team) or making up quirky phases (I’m going to be holly holly, jolly jolly!), he encourages my whims because he knows I work too hard not to blow off steam now and then. If I'm his yin, then he's my yang.
Oh, I didn’t mean to be long-winded but I just adore everything this man bring to the table. What a wonderful addition to my life.
As we celebrate the holiday season, I wish for all of you the happiness and gratitude I feel now. Stop looking in the past and look forward. Stop holding on to something God wants you to let go of, so He can bless you with what you deserve. You deserve happiness and joy all year long. Don't forget that.
(Here's a short inspirational story I heard growing up - Jenny's Pearl Necklace. Enjoy.)
May you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season.
A Special Thanks to the NAACP
There are very few times in my life where I’m left speechless but last night was one of them. The Southern Burlington County NAACP bestowed upon me the 2011 Rising Star Award. It was an unexpected honor and I’m humbled by the unanimous decision of this historic branch’s executive board.
To be recognized in the same event as nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis and state Senator Richard Codey (D-27th) is almost surreal but I’m so flattered this chapter, which dates to 1966, believes my daily efforts matter and are proud to call me their ‘teammate’.
I’ll try my best to exemplify the sentiments of William Layton, chairman of the Burlington County Republican Committee and 2011 Courage Under Fire Award recipient, when he prompted all the honorees to live up to what their awards represents and to work hard in all the ways our time and talents permit. I’ll also take to heart the words of New Jersey State Trooper and Legacy Award recipient Stacy James, when she encouraged everyone to stop and converse with one young person because one conversation can change the trajectory of their life.
There were many beacons of light at the gala last night from Senator Ron Rice (D-28th) to Rev. Guy Campbell Jr. to Civil Rights attorney Yvette Sterling and it was a pleasure to be inspired by their words and deeds. For as long as I can remember I’ve wished, dreamt, and prayed for God to use my life in a way that would matter and surpass the range of my limited imagination. So when my path crossed with the branch of the nation's oldest, largest, and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization, I knew it was going to be a substantial part of my journey. (That’s right, people be careful what you wish for.) So the work has begun and I’ll keep assisting the NAACP in their mission on the branch and state level until it’s time to pass the torch to another ‘rising star’.
(A challenge to future award recipients: God made the heavens vast for a reason, so all of his stars can illuminate the night sky with their brilliant. I challenge each new member to work hard to make this branch shine. Let’s work together to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate racial prejudice.)
This award means I will strive to light the way for others that wish to serve an organization that has given so much to me, and my people, so that I might even be more worthy of last night's honor. Thank you Southern Burlington County NAACP for your recognition because it encourages me to continue to serve with the diverse multiracial army of ordinary women and men from every socio-economical background, race and creed—united to awaken the consciousness of a nation.
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