Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rose Garden

A Rose Garden – Erica

“I never promised you a Rose garden.” Many of us have probably heard this from our mothers and grandmothers. All they were telling us was life isn’t fair, and it certainly wasn’t always going to be beautiful. For years, I took this statement to heart. When bad things would happen or something didn’t go as planned, I wasn’t caught off guard. I’d learned early that life wasn’t always pretty, easy, or joyful. As I got older, I started to re-evaluate that statement as well as Rose gardens.

We all know that Rose gardens are full of colorful beauty. They are sometimes shaped differently and have different colors based on the type of Rose it is. But, there tends to be one pretty consistent thing. They have prickly and sometimes painful thorns. They can be very bothersome, and if grabbed the wrong way, they can draw blood. Knowing this, I began to reflect on my life. There were times of peace, beauty and joy (Roses), but there have also been painful, hurtful, and fearful life experiences (thorns).

After piecing this together, I told my mother that I indeed was promised a Rose garden. We know that our days are uncertain, and that we will experience moments of joy (Roses) and pain (thorns). We must possess the ability to know that moments of pain don’t define who we are, but they do help build upon our beauty.

The number of thorns we will encounter will be many, but the beauty of the Rose (you and me) will remain, and eventually prevail. So ladies embrace your Rose garden (you), and know that in spite of your thorns you possess an immaculate beauty. You can endure big pricks, little pricks and even a little blood from time to time. But when all is said and done, you have to know that you are reflective of a beautiful Rose garden. People will always see the Rose and admire its beauty, but miss the thorn.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Know My Worth - Heather

Four words. Doesn’t seem like much at first glance. After you dig deeper into this phrase, however, one will find that there is so much wrapped up in these four little words. As a young, well relatively (I am knocking on 30’s door), black woman, this phrase is one that I hold near and dear to my heart. Why? Because as young black women, we are not told enough that we are worthy. We do not hear that we are priceless, irreplaceable, and worthy of respect and love, real love. Not just romantic love but agape love, enduring love, indescribable love.

I consider myself blessed. Growing up, I had wonderful images of both black women and men around me. I was taught young that I was special, a child of God, made in his image, and by learning and understanding that, I understood that I was worthy of respect. While this revelation did not fully protect me from bad and dysfunctional relationships, it allowed me to eventually recognize those dysfunctional relationships for what they were.

While it is a powerful thing to hear from another individual what you are worth, tis infinitely powerful to know that for yourself. Proverbs 31:10 tells us that a virtuous woman’s worth is even higher than that of rubies. When a woman recognizes that she is a precious gem, she will walk and talk accordingly. To that end, she will not allow friends, men, or acquaintances to treat her in any manner that contradicts with her worth.

People often ask me how I knew my husband was “the one.” I usually laugh. One because women often think that moment of recognition is like something out of a movie, and two because for me realizing he was the man God had sent me was a prayerful, purposeful process. Having this conversation with my single friends always leads to me reflect on what was different about him, or his approach. This reflection leads to the same simple answer. He loved me the way that I was, and he loved me first. How does this relate to knowing one’s worth? Well, so many relationships before were about me trying to convince a man to love me. They involved me doing the courting or chasing. These men before my husband did not accept me the way I was. They wanted to change something about me, whether it was my weight, my height, my morals, my personality, and the list could go on and on. My husband was different. He recognized right away the priceless gem he had found, and he did not want to change a thing about me. He went out of his way to show his love and care for me because he knew I was worthy.

So let us walk tall and proud. Let us validate for ourselves how precious we are. What we send out in the world will be returned. Walk worthy.

Much Love.

Heather Greenwell