Are We Lovin’ or Naw?
Jesus WILL manifest or show Himself to us if we will slow down and DE-funk. In other words get out of our emotions. We already know that WE, women are some of the most emotional creatures known to MAN.
When I say emotions what immediately pops into your mind?
Imagine what comes with those words. Often times all of the angst and motions behind what we feel impede or stop us for really communing with Jesus. But he gave us those emotions to commune or have a bond with Him first; not everyone and everything else.
After all in Hebrews 11:6 it tells us that it is impossible to please Jesus without faith. How can we have Faith in Him if we are succumbing or giving into the pull of our emotions and others in place of Him? In reality those things are just, “Empty Void Fillers,” you know what we use to feel a space.
A time ago I was using MEN or their attention to fill the void that only Jesus could fill. But then I realized that…
Empty Void Fillers
(poem from Selah, Stop & Think)
People fade to black and sometimes it makes you wonder if you’ll ever get them back!
The spark and glittery sparkles that shined brightly when the brain signaled their presence.
People fade to black and often, never, come back.
Dull residues remain and sometimes bring pain when a trigger signals a huge flame to arise and shock the senses.
Senses that cause a remembrance of the awesome colors that use to overwhelmingly, flood your senses.
People fade to black because it makes them look better…
They wear it well.
They match everything in your life when they’re black.
Their colors aren’t intended to come back.
So just let them fade to black!
~ 2Corinthians6: 15-18 (MSG) ~
“How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way:
“I’ll live in them, move into them;
I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people.
So leave the corruption and compromise;
leave it for good,” says God.
“Don’t link up with those who will pollute you.
I want you all for myself.
I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.
The Word of the Master, God.”
So that poem just speaks to letting certain things and people fade away so that so that Jesus has the chance to be center stage and reveal Himself. He will reward us when we seek Him. It tells us that in Hebrews 11:6 and I am here to testify to such. So what ways has God, the son, Jesus revealed Himself to me. Just by being my Savior. Jesus is like my Homie! Lol Like seriously… He pleads my cost, He brought me out of hiding when I felt like I had a reason to hide, to feel dirty, full of shame, ugly, less, not worthy of what I have now or what’s to come in the future.
Everyone who has siblings can probably think of that one gunho or ride or die sibling that will be riding for you to the end. Well Jesus DID, die for you and He is still riding WITH you FOR you. The word tells us that if God, Jesus be for us than Who in the World can be against us… ABSOLUTELY NO ONE!
He gives the type of Love (poem from Selah, Stop & Think), that runs back and scoops you up although you’re a repeat offender.
A love that is patient and kind.
It’s Love who never leaves you behind.
Love is not jealous, proud or rude. Even if you decide to lock yourself in a corner, shoot up with heroine or visit the club only to return home filled up of booze.
Love doesn’t demand it’s own way.
Instead gently nudges, seeking to build your faith.
Love never gives up,
Never loses faith,
Is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.
Digs you out from the ruins of your sin.
Writes the check for you to cash to cancel out the debts of your sins that have you deeply rooted within.
Love is long suffering when you think you’re suffering.
Love resuscitates you when life depletes you leaving you flat lined thinking you have nothing left to give.
There’s hope in LOVE.
There’s hope in LOVE.
When sweetness of sin is found in a bottle.
When the chocolates melt or the date on the calendar changes.
When death appears.
When you’re left alone on the cold sheets listening to your own heart’s beat.
When the hugs and kisses from sweet lips subside.
When society pushes your gifts and talents aside.
When the rings come off or better yet never appear.
When her beauty fades and his pockets are flat.
When emotions run high and immediately rush to low.
When you’ve sunk so low you have no where else to go.
It’s Love that runs back and scoops you up although you’re a repeat offender.
Love is not irritable, and keeps no records of wrong doings.
Love, “takes you deeper than your feet will ever wander;”
there’s hope in LOVE;
“Your faith will be made stronger ALL in the presence of The Savior.” ~Hillsong
Have you ever been in a dark place. I have especially as a child. I was thankful to have my sister who was just 2 years younger than me. She’s always been my first friend. But SHE GREW UP; Which we all do. I’ve never had a big brother to step up and step in front of me to protect me when I needed it. But it’s cool….there’s always been Jesus even when I’ve been so broken hearted in such a way that I just wanted to die….
Broken Hearts Shoot to Kill (Poem by Sherrie Yvette)
If they don’t die by their own pill
Calculated concoctions smother out dormant hurt
Hurt that left behind side effects.
Calculate the concoction
Stuff the vials of numbing proportion in vast proportions to seemingly sift out dormant hurt.
Stiff shots of lies to smooth the travel of calculated concoctions of vast proportions.
Reality sets in…
There’s HOPE in LOVE…
There’s HOPE in LOVE…
Calculated concoctions shut down Godly purposes
Dying in a grave where the dormant hurt should have been laid;
Buried in a grave.
Eyes forced to rest closed; they’re slain
Eyes forced to rest closed; they’re slain
Seemingly no one can reach your soul.
Bodily functions now profit you little.
Slain by calculated concoctions smoothed down by stiff shots of lies built to take you out of hurts misery.
Dead pleasures for dull pains… Dormant hurt.
Flashes of light
Concoctions pumped out by Love
He sift mangled madness
Creates a pure heart
O God renews a steadfast spirit within
We are saved
Like that BIG BROTHER, God’s son sent here to have my back. To love me with a love that’s perfect and never ending. He has NEVER stopped loving me even when I choose to ignore Him. That’s love Honey…. Never “stank acting” or judging me when I already know I am wrong, just always loving on me in such a way that only makes me want to draw closer to Him to experience more and to hear the secrets He wants to tell ME and only ME!
Jesus is love. Take time to allow Him to reveal Himself to you. Do crowd him out. Don’t allow hurt to leave you slain. And if you already feel slain, defeated, lost, hurt, confused, less, insecure allow Him to love you. Open the Bible read His words. They are true. Promise for you.
Please purchase my journal. It includes a compilation of poetry and scriptures to help you slow down and think about your daily interactions.
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Other authors participating in the tour:
Cassandra Ulrich – http://cassandraulrich.blogspot.com/
Karen Kelly Boyce – http://www.karenkellyboyce.com/blog
Kyra Dune – https://theshadowportal.blogspot.com/
Lisa Middleton – http://literalleeme.weebly.com/blog
Marci Baun – http://www.marcibaun.com/blog
Patricia Middleton – http://www.patriciamiddleton.com/blog
Sherrie Wilkins – http://sherrieyvette.com/sherriesjournal/
After steadily hobbling down the cold, slanted pavement beneath the busy overpass in Camden, New Jersey I flung the car door open, hopped into my seat, covered my face with my hands and busted out into tears. I sobbed aloud with my daughter in the backseat and my husband sitting beside me with a somber look upon his face because he too could feel the emotion I’d just experienced. We were expecting to meet people who were homeless on this cold winter night. We had prepared ourselves for that. Statistically, in most major cities like Camden, men are more likely to be found living in unsheltered conditions like underneath an overpass in a box like where we found ourselves on this evening on December 26th. But, as we drove around the dark city in search of the location a group of rather joyful homeless women and men told us to seek out, my husband stopped immediately because he saw two boxes piled up about 15 feet apart and without hesitation, I grabbed two “blessing bags” and I told him I would take them up because his hazard lights were broken and it was best for him to stay behind the wheel of the car.
As I trudged up the overpass I shouted, “Hi, I have something for you!” Someone wrapped tightly in blankets popped up from the boxes and I marched forward putting the bag in front of me as not to alarm the person saying again, “We just want to give you this!” When I got in arms reach of this person, SHE stood up! I was shocked! It was a beautiful, dark-skinned girl, wearing at least 2 coats, one gray in color with two long braids peaking from beneath the hats she was adorned in surely to keep her warm. I was stunned! I handed her the “blessing bag” and she frantically searched it to reveal it’s contents; snacks, feminine hygiene products, socks, razors, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, a personalized message, a small book about God’s love for her, a few other odds and ends. She smiled, and cheerfully repeated, “Thank You, Thank You!” I told her that my family was here tonight to remind her that God had not forgotten about her! All she could say was thank you! The shouts of gratitude had awaken the person who had been sleeping 15 feet away from her so I took him a “blessing bag” and he too smiled and said, “Thank You!”
I descended back to our car sad… Sad that I couldn’t do more… Sad that I was leaving a girl who appeared to be my age (34) or younger on the streets of Camden sleeping in a refrigerator box beneath a busy overpass. As I cried, as always, my husband searched for solutions to ease my sadness. He said, “Do you want to give her another one?” I didn’t know how to fix it or even if I was suppose to. I hopped back out the car and said, “I am going to give her a hug!” It was the best I could do. I’ve read research about the power of 5 hugs a day and I didn’t know if this girl even had one hug or what her story was! I ran back up to where her sleeping quarters were and said, “I just want to give you a hug!” Puzzled she said, “A-a-a hug…. ok!” We stood there embracing one another in the most unlikely of places, under the most horrid of circumstances in a place we were never expected to be.
But, that’s the point… We are called to be light in the darkest of places! Some caution, “YOU BETTER BE CAREFUL!” “WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU TAKE YOUR 8 YEAR OLD TO CAMDEN AFTER DARK TO TALK TO HOMELESS PEOPLE!” “THEY ONLY WANT MONEY!” “I WON’T GIVE TO THOSE PEOPLE ANYMORE BECAUSE THEY JUST TAKE THE MONEY AND BUY DRUGS OR ALCOHOL!” Honestly, that’s not for me to be concerned with. If my husband is led to serve the homeless population, then we are serving the homeless population regardless of the risk, rewards and statistics because we are covered by The Most High so that means we have divine protection! When God places a specific person, group or population on your heart its for a particular reason. We can’t afford to overthink and talk ourselves out of the things that God is leading us to do. People’s lives are tied to our obedience to the things of God!
What I found to be quite strange during our first dates in Philly has become the thing I love the most about my husband. We would be walking down the street holding hands and someone who appeared to be in need would pass us by and then he say, “hold on,” and proceed to RUN like Forest Gump down the street and give that person cash, offer a prayer or a handshake. It’s what inspires our family and me. I’m always reminded to “show myself friendly” to everyone I meet. So wherever my husband leads our family I am surely going to follow because he worships The Most High and is submitted to the God in him. So please don’t be worried about us! In fact, we would hope that you use our experience as momentum to jump start that thing you are called to do; or call that person you know your suppose to minster to and serve the population or church you are called too! There is a sense of urgency to be bold and to meet God people’s in the places they don’t expect people to show up. Make a deliberate choice to humble yourself and serve other people more often than not.
It was such a huge oxymoron for us to witness an entire street full of people sleeping in tents and makeshift shelters on December 26th, the day after citizens of our country have managed to spend $655 billion dollars on material items for one of the most popular holidays in the world. HUGE eye opener and I am glad my 8 year old was there to see and be encouraged to continue to serve God with her whole heart because there are people who need our boldness, selfless acts and love.
We ended our night on the street in Camden saddened because we had run out of “blessing bags” and coats to give (Thanks cousin Darrell for the BRAND NEW COATS you donated)! Alan, Ailani and I gathered there, hand in hand and prayed aloud as a witnessed a lady happily hanging the 2 new coats we had given her on the post of the fence as if it were her bedroom closet and a man come from beneath a tarp and walk swiftly down the dark street toward the stop sign and a man with a face as stoic as stone sitting on the steps of the church surrounded by people sleeping on cots made from boxes and newspaper and we prayed asking God for protection for those who slept around us, provision to carry out the visions He has given us and abundance to be able to give more than we able to give on this night.
It’s not about us; it’s not about you, but what we are called to do TOGETHER! Don’t wait for your church leaders to organize that thing you are itching to do. WE ARE THE CHURCH! As the African proverb states, “Many hands make the work light!”
Would you like to partner with us?
Maybe you can donate cash to purchase items for our “blessing bags,” you’re a Couponer and have a stock pile of toiletries or maybe you’re a prayer warrior and want to go with us because you’re not afraid of loving on strangers who need to be loved…
Use the contact from attached to this post or contact us via one of the following modes:
Instagram: @originalSherrieYvette – @alonsax – @littlegymnastA
Facebook: Best of Me, Youth Enrichment Services
A special Thank You to the participants in the summer sessions of the Best of Me character development program for their diligence and part in this service project. We held a spelling bee and for each word they spelled correctly they were given a dollar in which they decided I would use to purchase the items included in the “blessing bags.”
Search my heart oh God.
Search my heart oh God.
Search my heart oh God.
My mind thinks it but, my lips are reluctant to speak it. In all honesty, I tend to be very stubborn. No matter how hard I try to shed the ill quality, sometimes it feels embedded in me.
STRONGHOLD. That’s what I call that.
I must pull down my strongholds, so as I type this I mouth and the words come out, “search my heart Oh God, make it clean; implant your thoughts towards me inside my mind and heart!”
His thoughts toward me are innumerable!
I had a challenging week at school! When I got home I realized that I missed my sweetheart because he got home before us to change and head off to his gig. I miss him terribly today and want to see his handsome face and I desire his hugs.
I kind of got stuck for a minute. But “whatEVs” in my Hope Mitchell voice (lol). I’m done being stuck.
Worshiping helped me move to a new place of peace.
ADJUSTING. ADJUSTING. FLEXIBILITY. FLEXIBILITY. INTEGRITY. INTEGRITY. CONSISTENCY. CONSISTENCY. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. ALWAYS!
LOVE is what those “babies” need and Sherrie you’re the BEST one to give/show it.
* JOURNALING FOR ME IS ONE WAY I COMMIT TO LEAVING BEHIND NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, SITUATIONS, FEELINGS, EMOTIONS! I WRITE ABOUT WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH AS A COMMITMENT TO MYSELF TO LET IT GO AND MOVE ON. MY POETRY JOURNAL, SELAH STOP & THINK HAS SPACE FOR YOU TO WRITE DOWN YOUR PERSONAL THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS. RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE AND ORDER YOUR COPY PLEASE.
This is my little gymnast 🎀A🎀
She’s 8 years old and has been a gymnast for 3 years now and never tires or complains about the grueling schedule although, mommy sometimes gets tired.
Right now she’s training for 4 hours a day for 5 days a week as a level 4 gymnast according to the USAG standards. During the school year, the schedule is just as time consuming and I am thankful that’s she’s an academic whiz and has always been nearly 2 years ahead of her peers academically.
She discovered the great gymnast like Dominique Dawes ON HER OWN through research after her daddy told her he had a crush on her when he was growing up. She introduced me, Mommy to Gabby Douglas. I watched her study Gabby and become ignited by the drive and dedication she witnessed from a girl just like her. I was encouraged as I watched this little gymnast become so determined and taking the steps to learn about her craft instead of bragging about her new found abilities and skills. She’s humble. Gabby’s mother inspired me to make a way out of no way to support my little girl and to trust God to provide for her training cost!
I recently decided to STOP nagging her about putting lotion on her legs before gymnastics practice because after 4 hours of training and pushing herself on the bars (her most difficult event) she comes out covered from head to every dark skinned toe in chalk dust. The evidence of her hard work!
As I drove home one day feeling bad for fussing at her about not evenly applying the lotion on her skin properly I thought, “the last thing she’s worried about as she hurls herself around those bars is how her skin looks and feels.” I felt crummy for making her feel crummy for not doing as my mother had taught me. She’s not me and I definitely didn’t have the guts to be who she is at 8 years old! Now I DO IT FOR HER and tell her how amazingly BRAVE she is while I am doing it.
She’s one of the few black girls at her gym and is honestly loved by ALL the team members surely for who she is. She’s lovable and I think I am probably the only one who has ever made a comment about her hair when she’s finished one of those grueling trainings.
Saying, “YOUR HAIR IS A MESS!” Then proceeding to pick little specks from the pit from it saying, “What were you doing in there?” One day, her eyes lowered and her lips turned to a frown and I thought, “What’s wrong with you Sherrie?”
I had to check myself yet again and ask myself where I found these unrealistic expectations that I was now impressing upon my 8 year old athlete. I’ve never done the things she does in that gym. I have never had the courage to push my body to the limit that she has for the pass 3 years. I admire ALL gymnast of ALL ages because THEY ARE STRONG.
In that moment after I managed to bruise my child’s esteem yet again because her ponytail wasn’t as tight and shiny after 4 hours of training (her edges were poofy just as God intended them to be) I decided to examine my thoughts and my actions to STOP asking her to meet an expectation for how she should look that was definitely NOT attainable for what she loved to do, gymnastics (legs shiny and neat hair).
So what WAS wrong with me and now what feels like the rest of the world? Why haven’t people had the same or similar moment that I had? Why do we feel so entitled to tell these athletes of color how they should look or what their hair is suppose to look like after catapulting through the air…. REALLY… catapulting through the air!
Former Miss Black USA , Ocielia Gibson said something profound via Twitter,
“If you were mad about Gabby’s hair in 2012…& you’re mad about it AGAIN in 2016…that’s not her lack of growth, but yours.”
We need to grow up. Have a personal revelation about our words and how they affect others no matter how old they maybe or what they have done. This sense of being entitled to an ill perspective or public point of view and opinion has become well… Mean.
It hurts when one person is mean to me. So to have thousands of them sending mean words and vibes your way can’t feel particularly good or have you want to be in a place of gleeful joy. Not everyone has the ability to shake words off immediately or erase them from their memory once they’ve been mindlessly spoken. It takes time to heal wounds that words create. So Miss Douglass shouldn’t have to apologize for simply standing and listening to the national anthem nor should she have to explain what she was feeling as she sat and clapped for her teammates opposed to standing.
Maybe we should explain what’s eating us to the point that we publicly humiliate others. I’ll start… I was selfish! As I nitpicked about the lotion on my gymnast’s skin and the poofiness of her hair after training I was more concerned about what people would think about the type of parent I was instead of considering how she felt and what she was actually accomplishing while working her butt off in that gym for 4 hours!!! I was selfish and not-so-nice nor considerate to my child as a result. An apology, I have given and now publicly shouting, “I’m sorry baby.”
I imagine that frown I caused to come across my little girl’s face a million times, every time someone comments about our Olympian Gabby.
Just like I found the error of my ways, apologized and relinquished unreal expectations and borderline mean behavior, the rest of us need to consider doing the same. Search, search for the reason for your ill sense of entitlement for public opinion.
Follow @LittleGymnastA on Instagram to see her growth as a little athlete and encourage her to keep striving towards her passion to make her own mark on the world as a skilled athlete. To support the goal to have her fully funded for one year of training as a gymnast please use the link below. Also, if you think this makes sense please use the methods to share below.
Once upon a time there was this girl who had four boyfriends.
She loved the 4th boyfriend the most and adored him
with rich robes and treated him to the finest of
delicacies. She gave him nothing but the best.
She also loved the 3rd boyfriend very much and was
always showing him off to neighboring kingdoms.
However, she feared that one day he would leave her
She also loved her 2nd boyfriend. He was her confidant
and was always kind, considerate and patient with her.
Whenever this girl faced a problem, she could confide
in him, and he would help her get through the
The girls 1st boyfriend was a very loyal partner and
had made great contributions in maintaining her wealth
and kingdom. However, she did not love the first
boyfriend. Although he loved her deeply, she hardly
took notice of him.
One day, the girl fell ill and she knew her time was
short. She thought of her luxurious life and wondered,
I now have four boyfriends with me, but when I die,
I’ll be all alone.’
Thus, she asked the 4th boyfriend, I loved you the
most, endowed you with the finest clothing and
showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will
you follow me and keep me company?’
‘No way!’, replied the 4th boyfriend, and he walked
away without another word.
His answer cut like a sharp knife right into her
The sad girl then asked the 3rd boyfriend, ‘I loved
you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow
me and keep me company?’
‘No!’, replied the 3rd boyfriend. ‘Life is too good!
When you die, I’m going to marry someone else!’
Her heart sank and turned cold.
She then asked the 2nd boyfriend, ‘I have always
turned to you for help and you’ve always been there
When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?’
‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!’, replied
the 2nd boyfriend. ‘At the very most, I can only walk
with you to your grave.’
His answer struck her like a bolt of lightning, and
the girl was devastated.
Then a voice called out: ‘I’ll go with you. I’ll
follow you no matter where you go.’
The girl looked up, and there was her first boyfriend.
He was very skinny as he suffered from malnutrition
Greatly grieved, the girl said, ‘I should have taken
much better care of you when I had the chance!’
In truth, you have 4 boyfriends in your lives:
Your 4th boyfriend is your body. No matter how much
time and effort you lavish in making it look good, it
will leave you when you d ie.
Your 3rd boyfriend is your possessions, status and
wealth. When you die, it will all go to others.
Your 2nd boyfriend is your family and friends. No
matter how much they have been there for you, the
furthest they can stay by you is up to the grave.
And your 1st boyfriend is your Soul. Often neglected
in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the
However, your Soul is the only thing that will follow
you where ever you go. Cultivate, strengthen and
cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that
will follow you to the throne of God and continue with
you throughout Eternity.
I Selected You
Do you feel like the summer is almost over and you hadn’t had a moment to take your child on very many trips where learning is the primary goal? Well, everyone knows that I love teaching in every capacity. Many people have known for years that I have done “Summer Homeschool” with my little girl since she was 2. As a result, she remains advance in all areas academically.
This year I thought of you as I mapped out our onsite learning experiences for the month of August and we are looking forward to having your child join us on our many planned field trips.
Each trip has a specific learning objective and promises to be both educational and fun. Your child (must be school age) will share this experience with other children in his or her age group.
So what do you need to do to sign up you ask?
Review the trips below and decide on the trips that you would like your child to attend based on your schedule and family budget. *I wish I could take all of the children for free, but please know that the fee associated with each trip includes travel, meals, snacks, drinks, admission fees. * ATTEND ALL 12 TRIPS FOR $135
Contact me, Sherrie Wilkins immediately via email, or telephone to express interest for your child. I will only be taking 5 children on these learning experiences and they will be booked on a 1st come, 1st served basis.
Arrange for payment for your child’s trip(s) at least 3 days prior to the scheduled event via check or money order (mail/in person), cash (in person) or Cash App (FREE app available for use on all electronic devices).
Discuss/arrange pick up and drop off plans for your child 3 days in advance by contacting me, Sherrie Wilkins directly. I will be willing to work with you but, you have to let me know your family’s needs and be flexible.
Sign a permission slip/travel agreement before the day of the learning experience.
Please know that you will NOT need to send any additional money or food with your child unless you WANT to; everything is included with the listed fee.
The children will be able to:
understand the importance of reading for pleasure at the Willingboro Public Library while engaging the summer reading program ran by librarian Sandy Cronce. Children will engage in story time and complete reading logs that will be used to earn free items (TD bank account, free book from Barnes & Nobles, Chuck E Cheese tokens). $5
interact appropriately with children in their age group and be able to understand that rules are there to keep them safe. Before the trip to Six Flags Great Adventure the children will also be taught basic rules to become more aware of their surroundings and how to interact when approached by strangers (if your child has a season pass please contact me to discuss subtracting that value from the listed fees). $59.96
take a walk in the footsteps of the “Founding Fathers” during Constitutional Walking Tour in Philadelphia. The children will gain a basic understanding of the constitution of the U.S.A. $22
learn strategies for writing a great summary or retelling main ideas and supporting details (dependent upon age) after watching a familiar movie at the Regal Movie Theater (NOT A NEW RELEASE). $5
understand the importance of reading for pleasure during a trip to Classic’s Bookstore in Trenton and settling in to read books in the children’s section of this cozy used bookstore. Children will engage in story time, choose one book to purchase and complete reading logs that will be used to earn free items (TD bank account, free book from Barnes & Nobles, Chuck E Cheese Tokens). $10
relax and enjoy a movie under the stars during the Movie at the “Beach” courtesy of the Pemberton Township Recreation Department. $5
understand how each living creature depends upon one another (Food Chain) for survival during an OVERNIGHT (female assistant attending) trip to the Cape May Zoo and beach. $65.62
finish an informative scavenger hunt as we explore the Philadelphia Zoo. $30
begin to realize that Black History is in fact, America’s History as we tour the African American Museum in Philadelphia. $18
turn in Barnes & Nobles reading log (provided by me or downloaded online) and receive a free book in exchange for reading for pleasure. $5
My little Lani already has these learning experiences written down on her personal calendar. She is so excited and so am I! We will go on these trips as planned but, we would love to include your child in each experience. If you need any additional information about any of the scheduled trips or more details about the pricing or learning objectives please don’t hesitate to call, email or text me.
Founder of Best of Me, Y.E.S.
(Youth Enrichment Services)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for the calendar of learning experiences.
There is nothing worse than having 12 kids in the room to minister too and engage and one is in the corner 15 minutes after drop off time with snot and tears everywhere? It’s the saddest thing to witness.
What should you do? Should you call the parents immediately to pick the child up or do you let him or her sit in the corner to cry because after all; you’ve tried everything.
When I was asked by my team to provide tips to decrease separation anxiety. I almost went to the internet to search them out. But, I stopped myself. I thought, WAIT… you’ve been a public school teacher for nearly 10 years, serving children faithfully at church for over 6 years and a mother for 8 years; there’s no need for GOOGLE. So what you will get out of this are a few tips to put into your tool belt to be able to help drop off time within the children’s church become more fun for you and the children you serve.
First preparation is essential. Have everything in place for your lessons and all materials organized so that your prep time doesn’t spill over into your drop off time. You must be prepared so that you can dedicate all your attention to the children once they arrive. At our church you should be in the classroom preparing by 8am for the first service and 10:30am for the 2nd service. But if I were you, I would reserve 45 minutes for prep time.
Once your team teacher arrives. PRAY. Pray for the children before they arrive especially the ones you know have a difficult time during the drop off period. One teacher should stand at the door or immediately rise and approach the parent and child to greet him or her. Just think about how welcomed you feel when you enter a department store and someone is right there to greet you and offers help looking for things if you need it.
Don’t be preoccupied. It’s sends a signal that you have better things to do and aren’t present to meet the needs of the child. So GREET each child individually and promptly.
If the child seems uneasy at the door or in the hallway get down on their level and introduce yourself like you would an adult (Hi ….my name is Teacher ….. Nice to meet you). Remember they are little people too. Invite them in WITH the parent for a TOUR of the classroom (block area, praise and worship carpet, puppet stage, kitchen area and table toys location). This allows them to possibly consider all the fun they are going to have while their guardian attends the main service.
Never let the parent sneak out of the room. The child won’t be happy when he or she will figures it out and they won’t trust the process or the teachers. Only allow the parents to leave if and when the child isn’t crying hysterically or if you know that the PARENT IS THE PROBLEM. We all know the hover-parent. I can be one of those sometimes. The child is now ok but, the parent is still the one who is a bit uncertain. If this happens politely explain to the parent our church’s procedure for parental contact (for our church the number on the child’s sticker attached to him or her is the same number on the guardian receipt. The child’s number will appear on the screen in the main sanctuary and the parent should report the children’s ministry area immediately).
Another thing that I have tried and it works most of the time is I immediately introduce the timid child to one of the older children in our classroom. This creates an immediate connection and that older child becomes like an immediate friend or mentor for the child who maybe having a difficult time that day. Also, invite that child to sit next to the new friend. Don’t phrase your invite or request as questions because the answer will always be NO because he or she doesn’t really want to separate from the parent. So say, “Here have a seat next to my friend….” Instead of “Would you like to sit next to ….?” See the difference?
Be reminded that you and the parent shouldn’t make promises that you don’t intend to keep.
It’s also important to not to make the child feel guilty for crying or not wanting to stay in children’s church. I doesn’t mean they don’t love Jesus or hate church, they are just having a difficult time being away from their loved one.
If the child has been there before, remind him or her of all them exciting things they learned before or encourage the parents to get involved by talking about things they manage to overcome previously. Say something like, “Remember how afraid you were of the zoo? Now you love it!”
Because our church is so large and the children don’t have the spatial ability to understand that their parents aren’t leaving the building or located really far away. Get down on the child’s level and EXPLAIN to the child where their parents will be located. Use the appropriate terms point in that direction (“Mommy and Daddy aren’t going to leave you. They are being a great Mommy and Daddy because they came to church and will be in the main sanctuary listening to Pastor Connie teach the word of God.”).
If all of this doesn’t work and the child is still crying hysterically or clutched to daddy’s do not force him or her to stay. Encourage the family to come back next week before the service begins to Introduce the child to the classroom and new teachers before the service. Encourage the family to talk about church and the children’s ministry before drop off time so that it doesn’t seem so sudden. Tell them that our the way out to take pictures of the front of the building or children’s ministry area and show him or her a few times a week before the next service arrives.
Lets review the 10 Tips:
Be prepared so that your prep time doesn’t carry over into drop off time.
Pray with the children’s ministry teachers for the children before they arrive. Ask for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you during the service and say a sweet little prayer for those children who struggle during drop off time.
Greet the child and parents immediately.
Take the parent and the child on a brief tour of each of the play areas in the classroom.
Never let the parent sneak out of the classroom.
If the parent seems a bit uneasy politely explain the communication procedure to the parents as you walk them towards the door.
Introduce the timid child to an older child in the classroom to create an immediate connection or friendship.
Do not make promises that you don’t intend to keep.
Remind the child of all the fun they will had previously.
Explain to the child where their parents will be during the service.
Thank you for trusting me enough to train you! I love serving our little Seeds of Faith together and look forward to sharing in life and growing in Christ with you!
Matthew 25:21 ~ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
It was near 95 degrees outside. The weight of the door felt like a ton of bricks placed in an orange sack. As I walked down the long corridor I felt like the walls were closing in on me. The smell was old and reeked of mold, the kind you find on Grandma’s old clothes from the 60’s. But I felt like this was a place that they used to house the souls of those who weren’t strong enough to fight for its freedom. My eyes began to water. But, I fought back the tears because I told myself I would cry NO MORE TEARS for this guy! By the time I reached the elevator that would seem to catapult me to a location that I never wanted to be in the first place, I felt like someone placed that sack of bricks on my lungs and I was desperately chanting in my head, “Breathe, Breathe!”
The day prior I was angry. I was angry with him. This was the same him I had begged my mother to, “Please, please choose that name! Name him after me!” My only brother. So I could understand how the citizens of the town where he resides, the town I serve with my whole heart and grew up in too could be angry as well. But, I didn’t feel the same detachment from his life that they felt. In terror and disbelief I pondered, how could one belittle him down to the “punk” who “deserves the buckshots between his eyes” (in the words of some citizens). Although I was disgusted to hear of what took place on that dreadful day and I was horrified, not for my brother, but for the victim; for the family/person who had their space intruded upon. I wondered and thought about asking God, “How can someone you love so much turn into your worse nightmare?” I thought, “How could you spend YOUR LIFE trying to reach children by the masses and not be able to reach the one very close to you, who you love so much and watched grow from infancy?”
BUT I COULDN’T STOMACH KNOWING THAT SOME PEOPLE WISHED HE HAD BEEN SHOT AND REMOVED FROM THE SCENE IN A BODY BAG INSTEAD OF CUFFS.
I didn’t dare interrogate God with such questions that I already know the answer to. Instead I chose to call those thing that be not, as they were (Romans 4:17).
So on this summer day, I found myself in a place with other broken hearts visiting my brother in the county jail only knowing what the newspaper and thousands of people were mindlessly sharing online. Not there or here to make excuses for his actions, simply there to say, “I love you!” You see, the thing about unconditional love, the kind that God wants us to give to EVERYONE is that it doesn’t change just because the situation changes. It requires us to harness all other emotions so that love prevails for all. Therefore, the first thing I said to him was something I have said to him over and over again for the past 10 months since I began to notice the depression in his eyes, the loss of hope in his body language, the increased risk in his actions, the sadness of his words… “Pick your head up Bro’… You are kind, You are important, You are special.” Remorsefully, he replied, “It doesn’t seem like it.”
My brother needs help and there are many other young men, women, little boys and girls who didn’t wake up one day and decide, “I want to jail when I grow up!” I can only pray to God that he is in a place mentally to accept the help this time!
I really pray that before people begin to comment on what should be done when at risk teens find themselves in a world of serious trouble, that they don’t spew directives about how many bullets they deserve between their eyes or years they should rot behind bars and how the country doesn’t need more restrictions for weapons but stricter repercussions against criminals. Please take a moment to pray for your community and offer a helping hand when it’s asked for.
The thing is that most teens and young adults behind bars were labeled, “At-Risk” before they got there. I am not asking for anyone to take responsibility for my brother’s choices or the actions of others who get in trouble. We all have free will. In fact, I teach my students and loved ones that life is about choices and the choice you make determines whether you receive a good consequence or a bad consequence. But what I am asking is that WE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO OUR AT RISK YOUTH BEFORE THEIR NAMES END UP IN THE NEWS FOR THE WRONG REASONS. Let’s question why programs for their benefit in our communities are being dismantled. Let’s show up to make sure the funding for that population of youth is used accordingly. Go a bit deeper. When you see a parent struggling to gain control of their child, help create a support system instead of passing judgment. Don’t make your friend’s name into a HASHTAG, (#FREEmyBOY) because you think that shows some sort of loyalty. Instead, be there to encourage them to take a different path and not to become stuck in that hashtag or make you create one that reads #RESTinPEACE next.
My life is dedicated to reaching children in my local communities. I WILL NEVER STOP. In fact, this situation is just pushing me further and makes me more dedicated to the calling on my life; no matter what people say or think.
I just pray that more people would join me.
On July 15th I walked down that same corridor feeling determined not to sob uncontrollably or succumb to any emotion other than hope. I paced back and forth as the very polite officers greeted other people who were at the gloomy location for the same reason. Finally I said loudly, “I am going to pray. I visited my brother for the 1st time here the other day and it was the worst thing that I ever had to do in my life. So I am going to pray; pray for you, pray for your loved ones and my brother.” One person declined saying, “I am not the praying kind of person!” I proceeded to pray aloud and when I was the done the room full of family members chimed, “AMEN” including the lady who rejected the prayer, but this time she was sobbing.
*I welcome your prayers, comments, questions and concerns. More importantly I want to partner with you to reach our children by the masses.*
I quit teaching.
I don’t care who tries to talk me out of it, I quit teaching! Yes I am a teacher and one my wonder, “Well how do you quit teaching if you are being paid to educate our children and you show up everyday in the classroom?” My reply would be one that may startle people and at this point, I really won’t take to heart what people think nor their reactions to my statements or how I choose to engage my students for the duration of my career in the school systems. Especially when, 99.999999999% of the time they’ve never stepped a single foot inside my classroom or delivered a minute mini lesson from the curriculum set forth nor held a single conversation with a single student I am suppose to be entrusted to teach and in many cases mother.
So yes, I will continue to show up in my classrooms but, I will no longer be teaching according to the majority’s standard. There are too many students hurting, fumbling through their days and as a result their RAS (Reticular Activating System located at the base of your brain and responsible for filtering and allowing “data” into our brains according to what we are focus in on the most) is blocked and as a result some students never allow the skills to from the Common Core Standards even get pass that filter. Many children I encounter are focused on the right here and the right now. When you’re trying to keep the school bully off you tail, wondering what you’re going to eat when school lets out for the weekend, why mom keeps yelling at dad, if the boy from room 37 likes really thinks your pretty or why grandma died, when Daddy’s coming from what you think to be a endless war and how to get “Uncle Henry” to stop touching you, learning how to add fractions (or any other math skill) just doesn’t stick nor do the skills it takes to read text on or above your reading level.
I quit teaching. I won’t unwrap books before I “unwrap” and delve into the minds and lives of my students. I won’t encourage them to do their best on the 5 or more test they are mandated to take upon the first month of school before I began to understand the reality of their world or home life they are situated in. Hand me all the packages of new curriculums that you want me to weave into the overbooked school day and I may just leave them in the pile where you placed them in front of me. I quit teaching according to the majority’s standard. “Babies” are saturated with an inward blood bath because their hearts are a bit broken and bullies are breeding faster than we can report them.
So don’t ask me why I didn’t hit my SGO (Student Growth Objective). When you walk into my classroom and you see learning objectives that read, the students will be able to:
- begin to understand that words have power.
- understand how their actions directly effect the lives of others.
- differentiate the difference in between fact and opinion then begin to filter negative opinions from their mind;
don’t ask me if I am REALLY teaching. Don’t give me research about why I shouldn’t give up my lunch break to talk to students during what is suppose to be their recess time because they need to exercise; especially when once they get outside to “exercise” on most days a fight is highly likely. Allow me to work on the RAS, Recticular Activating System so that what I am delivering during my lessons stand a chance at actually entering their brain before the state mandates another test.
Again, I quit teaching according to the broken system’s standard. Why, because I have a heart to serve the youth and “beating” them over the head with books and test just isn’t working for me.
*NOTE: I am speaking from my experience from just about 10 years of being a teacher, not on particular school year or group of students. Click the blue like to learn more about the RAS. I am a huge brain geek and the concept of brain based teaching has been on my radar for years.*
Birthday Countdown & Reflection, TOMORROW is PARTY DAY and I am not feeling well. Here’s what I had on my mind today.
Sometimes being a mother is overwhelming. So many decisions to make and sometimes it seems like so many life altering things that we could mess up in the process. Our children never came with an instruction manual! We must be quick to forgive ourselves as parents when we don’t’ get “it” right or when we just don’t know how to handle the sticky or stinky situations that arise!
Caption: Ailani Faith upon birth; the rowdiest she’s ever been in her whole life!
Yes, we understand that these are little people each unique in their own right. They are all individuals which means one person’s parenting style may be different from the next and that is fine. There’s no need to compare our children nor ourselves to other parents.
Caption: Ailani and Mommy before her pre-school graduation from Future Scholars in Hainesport,NJ (highly recommended).
Truly, my focus is giving my little girl everything she needs and some of what she wants and counting on God the Father to give her her heart’s desires. When I fall short as a mother and am confused about how I should proceed sometimes, I seek our Father, Abba, Daddy, God! I count on Him to supply all of our needs and feel in the pieces that I miss, don’t see and am not capable of fulfilling.
It seems like we are so far away from that goal and the next meet is approaching soon.
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Follow her growth as an athlete and “Little Lady” on Instagram @LittleGymnastA