Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finding A New Church Home

In 2008 when I returned to St Louis I rejoined my old church. I did everything that I did not do the first time I joined. I attended all the new membership classes and even got re-baptized. My guy loved the church and I enjoyed the church too. One of the reasons that I enjoyed the church so much was the pastor. The pastor was great; he seemed in tune with the struggles of his congregation and was very relatable. At first, I was going pretty regularly. I was going to bible study and Sunday service….then things changed.

My guy kept asking me to go back and I just really did not want to go. People would ask me what was wrong and I could not put my finger on it. In addition to feeling a little put off by the church, my relationship with God was slipping as well. We all know that this could’ve been a combustible combination. I spoke with a few people about how I was feeling about my relationship with God and how I was worried that I could not feel his presence as strong as I once did.

People kept telling to go to church, but I did not feel that attending church was the answer. It took awhile but finally I started to feel my connection with God grow stronger. I then was faced with the task of going back to church. However, I did not want to go to the church I joined. I visited a few churches but still did not feel compelled to go back to my home church.

It has been well over a year since I been back to my home church and just the other day it hit me like a ton of bricks why I did not want to go back. I literally just got an answer this weekend and I finally feel like a burden as been lifted from my shoulders.

The reason I felt so strongly about not attending was related to the people in the church. Again, I absolutely love the pastor and believe that he is a God sent….. but many others are not ( to me that is). I remember when I first started going to that church I was tore up on the inside. I was spiritually dead and desperately needed reviving. I am an extremely private person and did not feel comfortable sharing my problems with the ministers at the church. I would pray every time I entered the church that someone could see into my spirit and pray for me, touch me, hold my hand …something. My brother and nephew had died and I was suicidal…but no one knew it. I just prayed that someone would see my pain. Needless to say no one ever noticed me or my pain. But I survived.

I’ve since grown a little wiser and had the opportunity to attend other churches. When I lived in Cali I attended a multi-racial church and loved it. It was wonderful seeing different races praise God with one voice and being treated like a sister in Christ by everyone was a feeling I’ll never forget.

There were ministries to fit every need a person could have, and there were many ministries to my personal need. I joined a small group of women (no more than 8 women) and we did a series of bible studies. These women were from all income levels and racial backgrounds. They prayed for me and allowed me to vent if I wanted. I never felt like I was a traitor of God because my faith was not always as strong and I did not always stay on path. But I always knew if I kept coming I would eventually get the spiritual feeding I needed. The leader of the group even gave me her number in case I need to talk to her over the phone or I just wanted someone to pray with.

When I came home to STL I went back to my old church. I was familiar with a few members and I always loved the pastor so it was a no brainer. However, this time I felt that the word was flat. There was a great deal of story telling and a lil bit of word and yall know when the devil is on the back of your heels you need some word….stories won’t due!

I wasn’t spiritually broken this time but it still felt like some (not all) the arm bearers of the church did not have spiritual eyes. I just did not feel connected to the church anymore. I kept going and each time I could not wait to get out of the building. I just not sure what I am going to do at this point, but I really desire to settle back into the groove of going to church to get fed and worship with other believers.

I don’t know if I’ve just evolved or if I need to just move on and pray for the best.

Pressing My Way Through

Hey Friends and Family,

Yesterday I was in one of those fucked up moods. I tried to fight it all day, but the urge to slap the shit out of someone just keep coming up to the surface. I admit it I am a woman filled with contradictions one minute I can be cussing and the next minute you may catch me in the corner with my eyes closed saying a lil prayer. I’ve tried to change but what can I say…it is what it is.

Anyhow this urge to slap the shit outta someone started last Saturday. Man it rained like cats and dogs and the tornado horns when off and directed everyone to go to the basement. I went to the basement as directed and once I felt it was safe I came back up to find that water was leaking from the light fixtures of my home.

My pisstivity level went up a notch or two. Let me refresh y’all memory, the seller of my home told me I had a new roof and all the supporting documents I have on the home says the roof is new. Long story short I filed a claim to sue the seller. Once she realized that I was in the process of suing her she decided to call me. This heifer begged me to work it outside the courtroom. Me….being the nice, considerate, compassionate and down to earth sistah that I am was cool with handling this issue like grown women. Home girl kept saying she was getting estimates and that someone would call me. Then she would say that she would have some one over to deliver the bid to me so I can go over it. I would press her more then she would say that the contractor would start on the house next week. Well that bullshit when on for over a month. Once the court date went by I never heard from that heifer again.

See when some people look at me or speak to me they think I am one polished and refined lady. What they don’t know is underneath that sophistication is straight hood! I’m like Colt 45…..Don’t let the smooth taste fool ya!

I decided that I needed to take care of my roof and handle old girl later. Needless to say I will be short a few grand so I can get my roof replaced. For her sake I hope she don’t think this is over, if anything this is just the beginning. I am done talking and playing Mrs. Nice Girl, the gloves are coming off.

Today I feel a little better but not by much. Then the job situation is getting on my last nerve. The entire department is sitting around looking at each other all day wondering when something is going to go down. But, the boss is still saying everything is going to be okay and no job losses will occur, work should start to pick up next week. So until then I guess I have to keep sharing natural hair tips with my co-workers and surfing the internet for gossip.

My life seems so complicated right now… I am just trying to stay focus and concentrate only on the things I can fix. I try to ignore the rest but it is extremely hard to do. This is one of those times I need to remember the serenity prayer and it keep pushing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

African American Genocide.....So They Say

Have you every heard of the term “Womb Lynching”… either until I ran across the National Pro Black Life Union insist Planned Parenthood (PP). Apparently this group feels that PP is committing genocide against black people by offering abortion services.

They complain that PP provides a disproportionate amount of abortions to black women. African Americans make up only 14 percent of the U.S. population, we account for a staggering 59 percent of abortions. For PP that means while Blacks make up 25 percent of their clientele, they account for 47 percent of abortions performed through their clinic.

It is noted that many of the PP clinics are located in predominately low income neighborhoods and offers grants to women who can not afford to pay the full price of abortions.

The history of PP with African Americans is a pretty bad one. The founder of PP is Margaret Sanger. She came up with the idea for the “Negro Project” in the late 1930’s. She believed that, by convincing Black people to limit the size of their families, they would prevent the Black population’s numbers from overwhelming those of the white population. And so began an effort to prevent Black women from getting pregnant by birth control, sterilization and abortion.
Let me first start by saying I am pro-choice. It is my belief that the government should stay out of a woman’s bedroom and not involve themselves with decisions women make about their bodies. The choice is between that woman and God.

I often visited PP as a teen. I was provided with birth control pills and a well woman’s exam for a very, very small fee. I never felt pressured to take birth control pills and they always made me feel like I was doing the right thing. I felt like I was in the drivers’ seat making decisions about my body and being responsible about my sexual behavior. There was no other place like PP in my neighborhood and I was trying to stay out of the abortion line so I felt that birth control pills were the best option.

Let’s face it; many women that have abortions are not in a position to have a baby. We can’t complain about high taxes and welfare moms with one voice and want to outlaw abortion at the same time. And to be real honest some of these women don’t need to be nobody’s mama. I have never had an abortion, but I know many women that had to make that choice. Some are haunted by the decision, but most have gotten over it and gone on with their lives. Having an abortion is one of the hardest decisions that a woman has to make. And trust me it affects every last woman that has to lie on that table and hear the whirl of that machine. It is unfortunate that some women use abortion like a form of birth control by getting several abortions throughout their life…….but again, their body, their choice.
Yes, it is sad that PP started with such a horrible objective in mind. However, women of all colors have a choice and if 47% of their black clientele is choosing their services then so be it.

If you ask me we should be focusing on why the women are choosing abortion as an option instead of why PP is providing the service. No one is taking about the dead beat dads, the high cost of daycare, the failing school systems, the fact that black women get paid less than other ethnicities for doing the same job. All these reasons (and more) make some women hightail it to the abortion clinic.

Friday, April 16, 2010

News: Confessed Assassin Of Malcolm X Granted Parole

Thomas Hagan has been held since moments after shots rang out in the Audubon Ballroom in 1965. He has been on work release for more than two decades, but he still spends two days a week locked up at the Lincoln Correctional Facility on West 110th Street in Manhattan.
On March 3, however, on his 17th try, Mr. Hagan was granted parole, the State Division of Parole said. His final release date is tentatively scheduled for April 28. The news was reported Thursday on The Village Voice’s Runnin’ Scared blog.
Mr. Hagan, who turned 69 in jail on Tuesday, was a militant member of the Nation of Islam on Feb. 21, 1965, when Malcolm X was shot while giving a speech at the Audubon, in Washington Heights. Mr. Hagan, then known as Talmadge X. Hayer, was captured by the crowd and shot at and beaten before being rescued by the police.
Two other men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz (then known as Norman 3X Butler) and Kahlil Islam (then Thomas 15X Johnson), were also charged with the murder. They maintained their innocence. Mr. Hagan did not, testifying at his trial in 1966 that he was responsible for the murder and that his co-defendants were innocent.
All 3 men were sentenced to 20 to life. For Hagan apparently, his time is done- his debt to society has been paid- has it?

Mr. Hagan, who earned a master’s degree while in prison, according to a 2008 profile in The New York Post, was placed on work release in 1988. In 2008, he was spending his free days with his wife and children in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and working in a fast food restaurant.
“I’ve been incarcerated for 40 years, and I’ve had a good record all around,” he told The Post. “I don’t see any reason for holding me.”
He…doesn’t see a reason?! How about the fact that he murdered Malcolm X?

********** Disclaimer: This post was jacked from the NY Times and Fresh Express.

Change Is The Only Thing That Is Constant

My life is headed in so many directions I don’t know what to do. It’s funny that as I get older, I get more controlling. If I had it my way I could be in control of every aspect of my life. But who am I kidding………. I simply do not have the power to control everything that directly affects me.

My job is becoming a major issue in my life. My department was told in late February that our job duties were being reassigned. However, we were told not worry because there would be no loss in jobs. My co-workers and I were reassured that we would be given other duties and we could rest assured that our jobs were not in jeopardy. I was asked to write the training manual the employees that would be taking over my department. My other co-workers created other training materials to assist with the transition of work. The transition took affect on Monday, April 5, 2010. That week my department helped with any questions and hiccups that came along. Although we were pissed off, we plastered smiles on our face and threw ourselves into the transition. Once the transition was completed our phones stop ringing, emails stopped coming in, and work pretty much dried up. The “new” project that we were promised never came in. Now it is April 16, 2010 and this is the second week of total boredom at the job. Imagine coming into work and doing absolutely nothing, searching the gossip sites, taking on the phone with family and friends and talking to your co-workers. It’s cool for the first 2-3 days then after that it’s like WTF. My co-workers and I are now afraid that something negative my happen. Who wants an entire department coming to work and twiddling their thumbs? We are afraid of for our jobs, my boss assures me that there will be no loss of jobs. Is this supposed to make me feel secure?

I start school in June and I am looking forward to it. But I did not realize what a hassle it is to register. My God I wanted to scream in the advising office. I added my name it the list to see an advisor and it took forever! Once an Advisor called my name she wanted to discuss my issue while standing up in the front lobby. The lady seemed really rushed and never invited me back to her office. I told her that I needed her to override something in the system so I can register for Chemistry. She told me she would enroll me in the class and would print me out a schedule. She went into her office and came back with a schedule for me. I took it and went on about my merry way. Chile…. I was almost home, while waiting at the stop light my excitement about school got the best of me and I looked at my schedule with a feeling of pride. Then I noticed that I was enrolled in the wrong class, my blood pressure shot through the roof! This lady was in such a rush that she placed me in the wrong class. The next day I called the school with fire in my voice; thankfully a wonderful lady was able to calm me down and was very helpful.

I decided that I was not comfortable with the rates of pregnancy with IVF, so I would like to adopt. This can be a tedious process and a long process too, but this is something that I am willing to endure. I’ve selected an agency and have begun the process. I figure if it’s God’s will it will all work out.

When I was in high school I had my life planned out.

By age 25 have a masters degree…………… Check
By age 26 own a home……………………….Check
By age 30 own my own consulting business……….Fail
By age 32 get married……………………………….Fail
By age 33 me and my husband will have a combined income of over 1mil………..Epic Fail
By age 34 have a baby……………………………….Fail
By age 40 own several rental properties……………………..Jury Still Out
By age 50 retire and purchase the newest Jaguar………………………………………………..Based on current economic situation this may be a fail too

I recall hearing nothing is constant in life except change. Well guess what y’all, life has taught me to be very flexible. Life can come at you hard and fast but its best just to keep prayerful and keep it moving. Change what you can and accept what you can’t

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Who Needs Cable?

A lot of people are surprised when I tell them I only have one television and I don’t have cable. I have never understood why people feel the need to have a television in every room in their house. Do you really need to fry your chicken and watch television at the same time?

I also feel that the cable company prices are too high…. and personally I can not afford them. In most cases you need HD, broad band and the good movie and sports channels, this will run you about 120.00-150.00 per month. I am at work at least 40 hours a week plus the 45 minutes it takes me to get back and forth. Needless, to say I spend more time at work than I do at home so I can not financially justify spending money on cable.

Now back in the day when the rates were affordable and I actually looked forward to the shows coming on HBO ( Def Comedy Jam) things were fine. But now days they show the same thing over and over and over again. I do use Netflix for times when there is absolutely nothing to be found on regular television. But honestly I do not miss cable, I thought I would but I do not. Trust me………there is some great shows that come on regular television. But I am not the only one giving up on cable.

According to an article on thousand are cutting the cable cord

Nearly 800,000 households in the U.S. have "cut the cord," dumping their cable, satellite, or telco TV providers (such as AT&T U-verse or Verizon FiOS) and turning instead to Web-based videos (like Hulu), downloadable shows (iTunes), by-mail subscription services (Netflix), or even good ol' over-the-air antennas for their favorite shows, according to the report.

Now, as TechCrunch points out, the estimated 800,000 cord cutters represent less than 1 percent of the 100 million U.S. households (give or take) currently subscribing to a cable/satellite/telco TV carrier, so it's not like we're talking a mass exodus here. But by the end of 2011, the report guesstimates, the number of cord-cutting households in the U.S. will double to about 1.6 million, and if the trend continues, well...

Even more trouble for the big carriers is the report's assertion that U.S. TV watchers are getting a taste for online video, with an estimated 17 percent of the U.S. TV audience watching at least one or two shows online in a given week last year, up from just 12 percent in 2008, and set to rise to 21 percent this year.

Calling All Nice White Couples: My Neighborhood Needs You

This summer is going to a mess, I can feel it. Well St. Louis is no stranger to violence but every summer I hope that peace will come. So far, peace is absent and the ruckus is about to start. Two weeks ago a lovely white couple rented the home next door to me. I made sure I met the wife and took the time to introduce myself. The wife seemed happy with the home and said she was accustomed to living in an urban area. I was just happy to have a nice couple living next door to me. Things were going well and the neighbors seemed to be happy with the surroundings, then it happened. Three nights after they moved in there was gun fire. I am not sure if someone got hit or not, but I am certain that I heard 5-6 gun shots. I immediately called the police and prayed that the neighbors would not be discouraged by the idiots in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, the couple next door was unable to hang, they moved out the next week. I was so upset, the losers won. The neighborhood lost two productive citizens to the threat of violence. I knew that I was not moving to suburbia when I decided to move in the city, but I do not want to live among gang violence and shoot outs. I plan to do everything I can to curb the violence and keep the police on the block. I live in a very racially mixed area and we all seem to get along, but we can not allow a few assholes to ruin our neighborhoods.

Last week there was a car parked in front of my house. The first day I was okay with it and went on about my business. Then the second day I came home the same car was parked outside and I started to get a bit agitated. The third day a car was parked in front of my home I was totally pissed. I called the police and told them that a car with expired temporary tags had been sitting in front of my home for three days. Next thing I knew the car had been towed…..much to my delight.

We have to start fighting for our neighborhoods instead of moving away all the time. The reason the suburbs are so nice is because they do not tolerate things that make the neighborhood appeal and value go down. Why can’t it be that way in the city too?

It’s sad to say but I need a few more white people in my neighborhood. It seems like when they come in the mayor notice and suddenly it feels like magic pixie dust has been sprinkled on the streets. You’ll start to see more police patrolling the area, littering will come to a complete halt, loiters will no longer be tolerated and bad tenants will not be able to renew their leases. The best part would be the rise in my property value. I need to find a few more white folks to move on my street ASAP.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Failure Does Not Look Good On Me 2

I admit my attendance was not the greatest but when I was in history classes I always shinned. One day I came to history class after missing several days and there was a quiz. Although I did not study and did not know we had a quiz I passed the quiz with flying colors. The teacher pulled a friend of mine (who happened to be an honor roll student) and told her that if she let me cheat off her paper again that he would give her an F. She started panicking with tears in her eyes saying she did not give me the answers. Contrary to her pleas he did not believe her and told her if I continued to succeed he would not pass her. So to challenge him I asked to be moved to the front of the class near his desk to prove to him that I was not cheating. My junior year I was in another history class that bored me to death. I would take my daily naps in this class because the teacher had a speech impediment and it was hard to listen to him talk. One day he woke me up from my nap and asked me “What year did the civil war start?” I sleepily responded, “1861, dang is that all you woke me up for?” I plopped my head down and went back to sleep. I never had another problem with that teacher again.

Finally in my senior year the board of education decided to combine our school with another school to save money. Although we were in a new building and a few new teachers, the separatist education continued. My advisor suggested that I join the military because she highly doubted that I would be accepted into any college with my low grade point average. I wanted to spit in that heifers face, instead I just looked her in the eye and said, “No thank you, I will be attending college.” I went to college and obtained my degree but I was scared of failure. I was ruled by this fear and it caused me to pick a major that I knew that I could easily pass. Business classes were easy to me and did not require me to use a great deal of brain power. So without little thought I choose business administration as my major. No I did not get all straight A’s but I did well enough to walk across the stage. Shortly after getting my BA I decided that I wanted a master’s degree. I started out wanting a degree in procurement, this proved to be more challenging than I initially thought. I got scared that I would fail and changed my major to human resources. Again ruled by fear, I made a decision that was not based on logic and good thinking. But guess what… I passed all my classes and obtained another degree.

While I am happy that I was able to go against what some people thought of me and obtain two degrees, most of the time the degrees feel worthless. It did not feel like a major accomplishment. I guess anything done in ignorance and fear will produce less than desirable results.

Although I appreciate my job and I am fairly compensated I want something that is more challenging. I want something that requires me to use brain power and to really think. Going back to school was not an easy decision for me, but a necessary one. After careful thought and consideration I decided I wanted to be a civil engineer. I know that it requires a lot of math and science but I am putting fear aside and trying something that requires me to think!

This time I am saying to myself ‘No more doubt, no more just getting by, you can do it”.

I read a quote by Rachel Carson that said:

The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road / the one less traveled / offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures preservation.”

This is the way I feel about what I am trying to accomplish. It will certainly be hard, but it will be a well fought victory and the prize will be sweet.

I just want to take a moment and say fight for your children education. Make sure that the staff is giving them a equal shot at success. If you find that your child is not getting the education they deserve make your thoughts known and keep raising hell until someone listens.

Failure Does Not Look Good On Me 1

This summer I start school, I will be taking my pre-engineering classes in hopes of one day becoming a civil engineer. This is my 3rd time going back to school, but this time is different. This time it feels like a challenge, this time I know I will have to fight tooth and nail to accomplish this goal. Although I have a master’s degree, this degree will mean more to me than the first two.

Let me explain. I did not do exceptionally well in high school. I did enough to pass and get by, but I certainly did not win any accolades for being a great student. I accepted D’s, was happy with a C, excited with a B, elated with an A, but the A’s were few and far between. I lived with my aunt and she worked a lot and did not really focus too much on me academically. As long as I went to school and did not become pregnant she thought I was a wonderful kid, talk about low expectations.

Then there was the school I attended, it focused solely on academics. The name of my high school was Center for Management, Law and Public Policy. The school focused on grooming the managers, lawyers and politicians of the future. The school was small….very small, we had about 500 students. There was little to no pressure to fit in, the teachers and administration knew all the students personally and all the students were expected to go to college.

Of course it is very rare that 100% of students at any given school would get into college, but that was the expectation. If students did not show a high aptitude in learning they were left behind. The tutoring programs were directed at students that were at risk losing their 4.0-3.0 grade point average. Yes tutoring was only for the smart kids; you had to have a high enough GPA to qualify for tutoring! Although we did not offer special education classes if students GPA dropped below a 3.0, they were placed in “slower paced” classes. I was placed in two “slower paced/less intense” classes, the first was Civics and the second was English. I loved both teachers, Ms. Smith and Ms Parker were both awesome teachers, they made their students feel wanted and often offered great advise. However, they did not demand much from me. I was able to talk as much as I wanted and lectures were short and to the point. The work was easy and required only that you could read with comprehension. Needless to say I did not feel challenged but I was passing.

I spent two years of my four year high school years going to summer school. Because I did not qualify for tutoring I had to go to summer school for the classes that I did not pass. All of my high school friends were honor roll students and were treated like royalty by the teachers. Me…..I was accepted but looked down on. I always excelled in history due to my love for reading. This was my secret passion I loved history and loved to read anything that kept my attention. I could excel in history without trying.

My Infertility Dilemma

My struggle with infertility as been a quite struggle. At times I’m aggravated and upset with my inability to naturally conceive. There are times when I feel alone and like a leper. Women were placed on this earth to be fruitful…..right? When I initially found out I was infertile I felt robbed. I felt like my choice had been made for me and I no say so about it. I felt I had all the time in the world to think about starting a family, until I was told that I could not have children the traditional way. Initially I was ashamed; I did not want people to know. I had accomplished so much yet I could not do this basic thing. My crack head cousin has birth 7 children and I can have one! It was very traumatic and I refused to believe it was true. By the time the third doctor informed me that I was unable to conceive naturally, I had no choice but to believe it was true. I joined support groups, cried for days and felt like staying in bed all day. Then like decided the world was not gonna end because I could not have a baby. I picked myself up and decided to keep pushing. Aint no point in crying over spilled milk.

And honestly, there are times that I am thankful that I do not have any children. I love to travel, I love to jump up and leave when I get ready, I love to spend money on frivolous things and at times I can be pretty selfish. I am pretty sure these are not favorable motherly traits.

I don’t concentrate on my inability to have children very much, but every time I hear that some one is pregnant it reminds me I am unable to bear children. I often wonder who will take care of me when I am older. Will I be an old lady with a million cats? LOL. Seriously… I doubt it!

The word no is a foreign concept to me. I am the type of person that looks for answers. If no answers can be found… then so be it, but you won’t be able to say I did not try. Currently I am looking into in vitro fertilization (IVF) or adoption. My sister agreed to be a surrogate for me if I needed it and two of my girlfriends agreed to give me eggs. What love my sister and friends must have for me to help me have a baby! I am carefully considering IFV, but the cost is no joke. It takes some serious dough to have a test tube baby.

The average IVF cost is $12,000, but it can be as much as $15,000. It may be as low as $10,000, but it’s rarely lower than that. These prices are for one cycle of IVF. The prices are enough to make me scratch me head and ask myself is this something you really want. I am amazed that the procedure is so costly and 99.9% is not covered by my insurance company.

I’ve decided to get as much information as I can and to speak to as many good doctors that will give me their time and pray on it. I’ve been a firm believer of what will be….will be. This is an issue that I must consult with God. He has to give me the go ahead, because without his blessing this could be a big waste of time and money. And let’s face it baby or no baby a sistah needs all the money she can get…for real.

Right now I am purely just seeking information. I am trying to understand if I really want kids, or do I want kids because I can not have kids. I am young right now and at times I feel that children are not necessary but what about when I am old, will I regret that I never made an attempt to have children? I don’t know the answer to that question just yet.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Poor Body Image or Pure Bullshit...You Decide

I am a magazine freak. Beauty magazines, design magazines, financial magazines and career magazines are all piled up in my bathroom. Regardless of the magazine type there are always advertisements that tell women what they can do or use to improve/enhance our beauty. The models are beautiful and flawless, their hair looks healthy and shiny, not an once of fat on their body and their skin is poreless like pure silk. Yes we know most of the models are digitally enhanced and the advertisers are selling us a dream….but we want to look like the lady in the picture. Look what Kimora is selling… slim, sexy, and beautiful after birthing three babies. Oh yeah, she is hocking her new fragrance, but I barley notice the perfume bottle, all I see is her long hair and perfect skin. We all know that Kimora is a knock out without air brushing, but why did she feel compelled to present her audience with a fake body image. What about the young women that desire to look like the Kimora on the magazine…never mind that Kimora doesn’t even look like that in real life. What is wrong with promoting realness and accepting the fact that we all come in different sizes? There is nothing wrong with promoting healthiness and proper body image, but sadly this is not the case. Advertisers ,Hollywood and fashion designers want to sell us an unattainable dream, armed with airbrushing , photoshop and suggestions of diets. They believe our self esteem is so low and we are so stupid that we would believe that a bottle perfume would make us look/feel like the photo shopped Kimora. I can’t help it this aggravates me.

The statics show that the average size of the American women is a size 14 and weighs 162.9 lbs. Since I have gained a few pounds I no longer can shop in my favorite stores like The Limited, The Loft, Ann Taylor, White House/Black Market, H&M, Victoria Secret, BeBe, J. Crew, Hollister, Banana Republic, Express and The Gap. I would also like to include Macy’s and Dillards in this list because when you do find clothes that fit a larger frame, it is not fashionable, full of sparkles and look like a HAM. People I wear a size 16 and finding clothes in these store that fit me is damn near mission impossible. If you are over a size 10 (as a woman) you are damn near invisible to the fashion world and beauty world. Of course there are stores that cater to women size 14+, but there are only a small number and do all the plus size women in the USA want to shop at the same 5 stores? Did you know that Wal-Mart is the number one seller of plus size clothing, outside of internet sites? There are a few sites dedicated to plus size women but lets face it, we want to be able to touch and feel the merchandise before we purchase it.

I want to ask designers whom I love like Tracy Reese, Isaac Mizrahi, Donna Karan, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, and Diane von Furstenberg why don’t you make designs for women over the size of 14. Isn’t our money green like the skinny girls, aren’t we worthy of great design styles and great fashion? Although the market is ripe for plus sizes many designers feel that producing a plus size line will cheapen their brand. Despite the possibility for making tons of money, designers seem to fill as if women past a size 14 (really size 10) is unworthy to rock their clothes. Prada designer Miuccia Prada stated that she would not sell clothes over a size 10. In 2009 Karl Lagerfeld was quoted as saying “What I designed was fashion for slender and slim people," he said. And in an interview in the March 2009 issue of Harper's Bazaar, he sniffed, "The body has to be impeccable . . . if it's not, buy small sizes and less food." The perception in the fashion industry is that full figured women have less disposable income and are less concerned with new styles and trends.

Because some design houses fail to recognize the beauty and profit in the plus size industry is not reason for a full figured girl to look a mess. If they don’t want our money….cool. I just hope that someone sees the need and create a trendy and dynamic plus size line. In the mean time I would like to recommend Rachel Pally for plus size ladies. Pally's full-figured collection is one of the top-selling vendors for Nordstrom. Another great place to find wonderful plus size clothing is Kiyonna, this brand is find mostly online. Old Navy has a nice selection of plus size online. Target plus size section is ify but if you find something it’s usually nice. Then of course you have the good ole stand bys….Torrid, Lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart. My personal choice is to find a tailor, a great pattern with luxurious fabrics and have pieces made to fit my body.

Prayer Warriors

I was reading a story at and it was a write up about the prayer warriors at Refreshing Spring Church of God in Christ in Riverdale New York. These prayer warriors prepare for service by coming to church two hours before the congregants and pray that the spirit of the Lord abides and the church. They pray before morning services, and during the week they pray on behalf of those in need, excusing themselves to a quiet room at their jobs, gathering around hospital beds, or bowing heads on a conference call. If you are unfamiliar with the term or concept of a prayer warrior imagine someone who is going into battle. That is also true of prayer warriors, except their weapons are prayers not weapons. We are also called intercessory prayers because they pray to God for others. Have you ever felt a nudge in your spirit to pray for another person or a complete stranger? There are times when I pray I see the faces of people I know and I am led to pray for them. How wonderful God must be to have his people praying you those of us who need it.

My intention was not to make this a churchy but a spiritual post. To me prayer is simply communicating with God spirit to spirit. It’s solving problems and addressing issues spiritually. It can be like salve on a painful sore. There is nothing more beautiful and unselfish than to pray on behalf of another person, to put your own wants and needs aside and go to the Father on behalf of another person. I believe God has millions of prayer warriors and you never know when he has assigned one to pray specifically for you.

Thankfully I am past the stage of feeling like I have to be a saint devoid of sin to pray for others. I can’t count the times God has grabbed me in the spiritual collar and told me that regardless of my stage in life his love for me was boundless, immeasurable, infallible, justified, impenetrable by other forces, uninfluenced, pure and the highest form of love one could be blessed enough to obtain. So even if I am knee deep in trouble or sin I still feel confidant enough to pray for other people. And yes……….I believe God hears my prayer.

Now back to our regular scheduled programming.