Archive | October 2012

Flourishing not just Existing

This morning I woke up stumbled out of bed tripped on a few loose clothes and finally got to the light. What next? I head into work do the same job I do everyday and then see what happens. This is what many of our lives look like; we have a cyclic motion we do daily but I will tell you now that it’s not meaningless.

Ironically this cyclic avalanche of emotions, dreams, friendships, or work can end up feeling more like a chore than an opportunity. At some point in our lives, We wonder what is the point? and is there something better than this? I believe so. Let’s say you get into a rut where you and your father have the same relationship you always had; does that mean that it has to stay that way? Stagnation is only a manifestation of the lack of motivation or effort towards change. If you don’t take the first step, walking/ running will never occur.

Here is my challenge: if you find yourself in a cyclic rampage of nothingness start becoming active (not just physically even though that is good too) but in every aspect of your life. If you continually rush to food or the next relationship, break the cycle; start a revolutionary manner in which you live. Healthy habits are easy to break and are so hard to regain. But work at it.

I know most of you reading this have father issues; most of you desire some key not only to breaking the cycle you grew up with but reversing the one you allowed to ferment. At some point, each one of us has to face the issue and change it; we have to take action against the thing that has for so long encapsulated us in an invisible jail cell. Change has to start somewhere and with someone; I don’t see why that can’t be with you and now.


Tuesday Testimonial from Tara

We are very excited to share with you a guest post testimonial from a woman named Tara.

She sent us a message on our Facebook page and gave us permission to share this with you all today. We’d love to hear from any of you as well… please feel free to inbox us on Facebook or email me at to be featured on an upcoming Tuesday!

First I want to congratulate all of you on this FABULOUS, WONDERFUL project. This will bring healing to sooo many that need it. I speak many, many blessing over all of you and this wonderful project in Jesus name!

My mother and father divorced when I was five years old. I remember coming home from
kindergarten and my mom was crying while my dad and his brother were sitting in the living room. He told my sister that he was not going to live with us anymore. He was moving to California. At that time I do not believe I really understood what that meant and how that would deeply impact my life until I was into my late 20’s.
I remember as a child growing up with my both of my parents, I rarely remember my dad being home and when he was, my parents were always arguing and Dad would leave… though this time all night, with Mom crying all night. My mom was sad all the time.
My sister and I spent all lot of time at my grandmother’s (my dad’s mom) while my dad was  in California, and we got to talk with him. As time eventually moved on, my mother’s life did as well and she met my stepfather with whom she is married to today.
As we girls grew up with our stepfather, a great wonderful man. We all consider him to be our father due to the fact that he cared for us like a dad. He talked to us, taught us, and loved us as his own. Our biological father was mostly absent. Though he would call from time to time. I do remember when he did, my mother and he would still argue a lot because he was not paying his child support. I remember being so exciting to talk to him but also being upset at the feeling of my sisters and I being neglected. Grown People issues need to be just that. They should not talked about or dealt with around kids nor should they interfere with relationship of the child and parent.

I carried hurt around for years. Due to all their bickering back and forth and other issues, I did not see my dad for 10 years when his mom, my beloved grandmother, passed away. My grandmother cared for my sisters and I when we were babies until we were about 5. We spent a lot of time with her and my grandfather and family. That all came to a screeching hault when my mom remarried. My sister and I could not understand why we were not allowed to go see them and why did mom have to discuss this with her new husband? How many ways can you say PAIN????
So as I grew up and started to live life and go through life something was missing but I did not have a clue what is was. I had very good life but I still continued to search and search for years. I was raised in church, seeking God was how I was taught. I starting listening to my all time favorite, Bishop T.D. Jakes on TV when I was about 25. Bishop Jakes talked about how important it is to have fathers and mothers in the home. When you do not, the children grieve and grow up with a void, trust issues, and many other difficulties, like life is not hard enough.
It started to hit me that my problem was deep rooted and that I truly missed my dad. By this time my dad had moved back here from California. We talked from time to time but nothing like I wanted it to be. I thought that since he was the adult parent that he would make all the moves to form a relationship with his kids. Boy, was I wrong. My uncle, my dad’s brother, lived down the street from me. I would see my dad going down to my uncle’s house and he would not even stop over just to say hey. I became angry with him because I love him still so much. I became angry and stubborn for a very short time.

As a woman trying to align her life up with the Lord’s, I knew that I had to forgive him. So I forgave him and called to talked to him and I cried and told him how I felt and how much I love him and have missed him all my life. That I did not care what him and mom went through that it did not matter, all that matters is that he knows I love him even though he was absent and did not call or whatever.
That night released all that pain. We cried. He told me he loved me and he explained some things. I explained somethings. Now we love. We do not talk still as much as we should but we do talk, we know we love one another. My dad is getting up in age so I do try to make a better effort to talk to him more. That period when we should have been bounding was lost due to grown up issues by adults that did not realize the pain they left to their children to deal with. I know my mother did not realize this for the simple fact she grew up with her mother and father in the home. She does not understand when I talk to her about it.
We have to forgive our parents. We expect them to have it all together when they have us. A lot of times though they do not. They are just walking along the path ahead of them, making mistakes but doing their best. Sometimes we think our parents are mature when they have children but many times they still children themselves.

God is your Daddy. Although it is important to know your earthly father if possible. But if not, your heavenly Father awaits you with open arms.

He loves you dearly. —Tara

Music Monday – A Whole Nation by Kirk Franklin

This week, we hear from Kirk Franklin.

Dads, you are needed by your kids. Do not doubt the influence you have on your children. If you are there in body, engage emotionally. If you are not there in body, make it clear to your kids that you care. We don’t like guessing games. – On a note to the rest of us, it takes the collaborative help of everyone… the entire village to raise the child. Let’s do what we can and keep the dads accountable to their responsibility!

Ladies and Gentlemen
I wanna introduce to you right now
Young Donovan… He’s eleven (mmmmm)
The problem we’re facing right now
Is we’re losing our children (ooooooo)
Father’s we need you (mmmmmm)
Can you feel me?[Chorus:]
It takes a whole nation
To help me raise this generation
When you look out of your window
Tell me what do you see
If it’s a world without a father
Then you’re looking at me
It takes a whole nation
To help me raise this generation
My respect to the mother’s that be holdin it down
But it sure would be nice to have my daddy around.

[Verse 1:]
All I need is one mic (one mic)
I know you can see
I’m not a rapper
But there’s some dudes that are just like me
Everytime you took a picture with you and your family
It was only two people and it’s supposed to be 3
It’s supposed to be me asking
(Why’s the sky blue when I grow up I wanna be like you)
Yo daddy can you teach me how to
(Tie my shoes can I go with you to work so I can see what you do?)
Lemme see what you do
So I can love my kids too
But you didn’t stick around was that too much to ask of you?
Too much to get a blueprint(No)
Too much to show your way (No)
That’s the reason why this building is not finished still today (We’re lost boys)
So you wanna believe that (My daddy’s coming back he didn’t forget about me)
Only child after school
We just sit there and wait (I know he’s gonna come)
Your dad is 78

[Verse 2:]
Check this out
They say raising kids is the parents responsibility (mmmmm)
But there’s a million of Y’all and only one of me (hey)
What happened to the village as far as I can see
It’s been burned down by this modern day slavery

For 11 years I’ve been living here
I’ve seen mamma cry more than 11 tears
Watchin mamma see daddy while he slips away
Does Jesus really hear kids when they pray?

She’s working to jobs
She can’t do it alone
She shouldn’t have to she didn’t get knocked up on her own
[Both:] And I know that baby’s mamma drama
Brothas it’s real
But before you close the door
Don’t forget how it feels

Daddy missed my game and I made a touchdown
I won the talent show but you weren’t around
If a girl breaks my heart what do I do with this pain (and one more thing daddy)
Can you tell me my name?


Tell em!

Ain’t nothing gonna break me down (Yes sir)
Can’t let nobody take me down
Can’t let nobody break me down
Me down (Sing it)
Say it with me now

Ain’t nothing gonna break me down
Can’t let nobody take me down
Can’t let nobody break me down… Me down (Take me down no)
(Sing it!)


Ain’t nothing gonna break me down (Hey)
Can’t let nobody take me down (Nobody taught me)
Can’t let nobody break me down… Me down (Break me down)
(I had to figure this thing out by myself)

(Heaven can you hear me?)

Ain’t nothing gonna break me down
Can’t let nobody take me down (can’t you here we’re lonely?) (Come on)
Can’t let nobody break me down… Me down (I’ll be their father… I’ll be their man! Come on)


Fathers, don’t aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying.

– Colossians 3:21

A Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad,

I’d rather smile when I talk about you…about us or what could be or was instead of suck my breath and look away. What we have isn’t so bad, it’s better than what it was even though it’s nowhere close to where it should be. This is not about the past, this is about now.
I heard you were working again. You drove to the other side of town to take my sister out to eat…good. She needs hope for your case. You  let her down when she was the only one left believing in you. I bet that eats you alive doesn’t it? Or maybe not. That was almost 4 years ago…
Months pass like weeks and we never speak. Crazy knowing you’re only 10 miles down the road…I’m doing well for myself, by the way. I wish you knew what I meant by that. I feel like the lone instances of our limited discourse is always about why you are where you are and doing what you do. When you tease me about my success, you call me a “fancy secretary” – Uh, no. Try a secretary’s BOSS. Mmmmm, but you’d only laugh that off like a Jim Carey joke. You don’t take me serious. Ha! Maybe that’s why I’d rather laugh at you than listen. Laughing covers the hunger for your validating glance; that’s what I really want. That and one serious talk: five minutes of you sincerely listening to me. Is that too much to ask?
I imagine this makes you feel awkward huh? Sorry – I should lighten up, huh?
It’s not that deep? Oh, MY bad. How silly of me. Ha ha ha…
You know what, Dad? Laughing is easier, but each chuckle is a lie. I’m not okay with this. But until I can see you will understand that, I cannot brig myself to break the mirth. Truth is, I don’t think you’ll ever get it…
I don’t know if you can.
Don’t trouble yourself.
Forget I mentioned it.
Your oldest girl,
Keila Harris


I have mentioned this before but there is a hole in each one of our lives. (Disclaimer: I stole this from a book… and I will reference it at the end.) The hole in our lives that we want to fill to have a sense of purpose. The hole may include the desire to be heard, to be loved, to receive attention, to be needed, honored, and/or respected. The list goes on and on and even as I write this I am conscious of a similar desires in my life.

Now, I want to combine this concept with another: managing your inner world. Management of your inner world means dealing with this  “hole” appropriately. Many times we look to sex, alcohol, or cheap thrills in order to fill this hole in an attempt to be balanced. The problem with these attempts is simply the fact that cheap thrills are only temporary.

Track with me here…

How do we do manage the hole and our inner world? The challenge of the human heart is a healthy balance of every aspect of our lifestyle. It may be difficult but I want you to start thinking about the things that make you feel whole and if they were not there what would your life look like. Do you lean on friendships, lovers, sports, or your job to fill the hole in your life? Or is it a matter of sleeping with someone to feel loved? If you have something pinned or you realize there is a hole, analyze what you fill it with and how you do so… is it healthy?

Humans commonly rush out of pain/solitude/emptiness into a make-shift place of perceived wholeness. However, if we rush into a fabricated, temporary wholeness, the hole will remain.

Ideas inspired by the writing of  The Well by Mark Hall of Casting Crowns

Go to DBMH Project, Inc. Website

Music Monday – Just Like You by LeCrae

LeCrae is a Christian Hip Hop artists that sheds light on a lot of real life issues. We cannot be true to who we are called to be until we discover who we are.

This week’s song is focused on how young men deal with their dad being MIA, incarcerated, or disconnected in any type of way. I listen and wonder how my brothers and other men deal with having a father who is completely disengaged. How do you deal with the neglect? How will you do things differently for your kids?

Watch and think about what you do differently because of what your dad did. Share your thoughts about the message here. Do you agree? What could he elaborate more on?

Men, we wanna hear from you. Comment or email with your thoughts.

I just wanna be like you,
Walk like, talk like, even think like you
The only one I could look to
You’re teaching me to be just like you
Well I just gotta be like,
I just gotta be like you

(Verse 1- Lecrae)
Dear, Uncle Chris, Uncle Keith, Uncle Ricky,
Before the Lord get me I gotta say something quickly
I grew up empty since my daddy wasn’t with me shoot,
I wasn’t picky I’d take any male figure
stepped in at the right time,
It’s ‘cuz of you that I write rhymes
You probably never knew that
I loved the way you used to come through come through,
Teach me to do the things that men do
You showed me stuff I probably shouldn’t have seen,
But you rebelled and made it out your teens,
and took me under your wings
I wanted hats, I wanted clothes just like you,
Lean to the side when I rolled just like you
And care people didn’t like you,
You wanna bang, I wanna bang too
You would’ve died, I would’ve died too,
You went to prison, got sick, lost your pops,
Yeah,I cried too
You never know who’s right behind you,
Gotta a little son now and he do whatever I do
But it’s something deep inside you,
That tells there’s gotta be more than doing what other guys do,
Ain’t have nobody there to guide you
But I followed your footsteps and this shouldn’t surprise you,
You realize you, you, you

I just wanna be like you,
Walk like, talk like, even think like you
The only one I could look to,
You’re teaching me to be just like you
Well I just gotta be like,
I just gotta be like you

(Verse 2)
Now all I see is money, cars, jewels,
Womanizers, tough guys, guns, knives, and scars,
Drug pushers, thugs, strippers, fast girls, fast life
Everything I wanted and everything I could ask life
If this ain’t living and they lied well,
guess I married an old wives’ tale
Wow, fail
I don’t know another way to go,
This is the only way they ever showed
I got this emptiness inside that got me fighting for approval because I missed out on my daddy saying, way to go,
And get that verbal affirmation on know how to treat a woman,
Know how to fix an engine,
To keep the car running
So now I’m looking at the media and following what they feed me,
Rap stars, trap stars,
Whoever wants to lead me
Even though they lie they still tell me that they love me,
They say I’m good at bad things at least they proud of me
I just wanna be like you,
Walk like, talk like, even think like you
The only one I could look to
You’re teaching me to be just like you
Well I just gotta be like,
I just gotta be like you
(Like you)

(Verse 3)
I was created by God but I ain’t wanna be like Him,
I wanna be Him
The Jack Sparrow of my Caribbean
I remember the first created being,
And how he shifted the blame of this thing
For fruit he shouldn’t have eaten
And now look at us all that are eating,
Wearing designer fig leaves by Louis Vuitton
Make believe it
But God sees through my foolish pride,
And I’m weak life Adam another victim of Lucifer’s lies
But then in steps Jesus,
All men were created to lead but we need somebody to lead us
More than a teacher,
But somebody who buy us back from the darkness,
Say He redeemed us,
Taught us that real leaders follow God,
Finish the work ‘cuz we on our job
Taught us not to rob
but give life love a wife like He loved the Church
without seeing how many hearts we can break first
I wanna be like you in every way,
So if I gotta die everyday
Unworthy sacrifice
But the least I can do is give the most to me
Because being just like you is what I’m ‘spose to be
They say you came for the lame,
I’m the lamest
I made a mess you say you’ll erase it,
I’ll take it
You said you came for the lame,
I’m the lamest
I broke my life, but you say you’ll replace it,
I’ll take it.

(I just gotta be like,….)

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Soda Pop Emoplosion

soda pop exploding like emotions
No matter how hard I try to avoid shaking and causing an Emoplosion, every once in a while, my can explodes and leaves me frantic and confuddled, grasping whatever Kleenex or paper towel in reach to dry my face. This time, I feel awkward and embarrassed in my trying to keep it hidden. I am NOT an over-emotional woman. But this is different. I feel helpless, man-handled, and even victimized.
I try talking it over with someone disconnected from the situation that set off the response. With every word the can is shaking. This situation is far from the first to rattle me enough to shake my can. The pressure became more than I can bare. I find a quiet place to regroup, but the opposite overtakes me.
Why do I feel this way?
Attacked, scared, alone, misunderstood… and sadly enough, overdramatic. But no matter how hard I try to stop the gush of my emotional soda pop can, it sprays relentlessly.
I pray to receive help. I know I must acknowledge it in as specific terms as possible.
“Lord, I need your strength because I am weak. Give me courage, cuz I am afraid and I do not know why…this feeling of helplessness is causing me to panic and feel confused–and You, Lord, are not in confusion. Clear my mind…show me where I can be more humble. Help me understand what’s happening to me!” – Simply being a woman is not the only reason I am braking down. The inexplicable rush of emotions in these situations always have an explanation.
Thankfully, God gave me an answer beyond my gender and emotional tendencies. The emosoda pop I carry is shook around when I bristle against the difference between reality and my expectations. My perception of situations also comes into play. I feel violated due to something that is yet to be proven. My can explodes because Pride tells me I have a right to be furious. No one should make you feel helpless. Pride tells me the reason I hate it so much: my dad did it to me first. Somehow, I feel I have to prove to the world, whoever it may be, that I’m strong enough to fight back. But what good is a fight against the end goal you pursue? Would I let Pride hinder me from arriving at my goals because of feelings if pressure and anxiety from external forces that may or may not have valid reason?
After much thought and reflection, I confronted the situation face to face with the person. I left my emocan outside… I came to listen. I realized how polarized our perspectives were and how dangerous my original reaction was to myself. My emoplosion shows me that I have to release all the bubbles of anger and confused emotion to pin point the real issue. Suppressing the feelings only causes more stir. By doing that, I can name the problem and address it. I am able to discuss what I perceive to be a problem without being defensive. Yes, some people will attack you. But everyone is not against you. I have learned a few things through this experience which applies to anyone, anywhere dealing with conflict:
  • Do not be so quick to assume the worst.
  • Get as much outside (and objective) perspective as possible. – Talk it out before confronting anything.
  • Listen and get all the facts
Keep your emosoda pop still. Be chill. No need to get shook up over what honestly is 90% of the time, a misunderstanding.


Back when I was in undergraduate school, I had a few buddies who would always joke about things being a crutch. For example, if you have a slow person on a track team and everyone else was fast, they are considered him a crutch. The joke did not really make much sense considering a crutch usually helps a person, but they always made it sound like a hinderence. So here is the thing, every one of us can be a perverbial crutch (in the way my friends used it) at work, in a relationship, social system or anything else. None of us should be a crutch.

Earlier in the blog we talked about how women often become super independent because they don’t want to put themselves in a place of vulnerability. The truth is its a balancing act. At no point will I say independence is a bad thing, but I will say complete independence is unhealthy. The truth is that this applies to being dependent as well. Many times the fathers in our lives can leave a gaping hole the size of Texas in our hearts and in an unhealthy response we fill it will something. After filling that hole with work, mom, brother, food, grades, ect., we tend to be reliant on it. We begin to fall into a sense of dependence, which eventually becomes our weakness. I know you might think I am bringing you down a winding rabbit hole but my point is that its easy to become reliant on unhealthy aspects of the human life.

I want you to think about the things you need in life; the things that you can never live without. Are they healthy? It might even a healthy thing but even healthy things can lead to toxicity if not managed. If we allow ourselves to drop into a pit of unhealthy dependence, we often become a crutch. Perhaps only in certain social networks or small circles of our lives but it is never healthy for any part of your life to become a hinderence.

Go to DBMH Website

Music Monday – Because of You by Kelly Clarkson

This week’s Music Monday is around one of my favorite songs: Because of You by Kelly Clarkson.This song has been posted on the Facebook page before as well. This song feels like a timeless classic in my life because my mindset has changed my interpretations of it over the years.
When the song was first released, I was pointing fingers at my dad just as she is in the song.
I could have said a handful of years ago: “Dad, if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be a heartbreaker… because maybe just MAYBE I’d trust a man to be real. Instead, I’m manipulative and controlling. Because of YOU!”
Other parts of the song did not resonate with me as they did my sister. She felt “so young [he] should have known better than to lean [on her]” yet for us both we knew “[He] never thought of anyone else, [he] just saw [his own] pain…” How, I muse, does this separation affect my dad? What is he thinking?
Now, I simply refuse to be fenced in by fear. My dad has made poor choices. My dad’s behavior is not indicative of every man’s behavior. I will not disrespect others out of my frustration with him. I will not hold others accountable for the love he neglected to show me. I refuse to give my heart to someone in pieces. I choose to be mended. I choose to forgive him and hope for a better future.
When you listen, know that this place where she is in the song is not where one should dwell. Let your season of “Because of You” end with a strong determination to stand up for yourself and your self-worth.
You are better than the ones who brought you down. You are so much better.
I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did,
You fell so hard
I’ve learned the hard way
To never let it get that farBecause of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I lose my way
And it’s not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that’s weakness in your eyes
I’m forced to fake
A smile, a laugh everyday of my life
My heart can’t possibly break
When it wasn’t even whole to start with

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I watched you die
I heard you cry every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry in the middle of the night
For the same —- thing

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt
Because of you
I try my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don’t know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I’m ashamed of my life because it’s empty
Because of you
I am afraid

Because of you
Because of you

Magnify the Good

I’m willing to take on the challenge presented by my co-blogger, Caleb, in his last post, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly… but where is the good?” –  The negative elements are so easy to see for obvious reasons: they rub us the wrong way. I for one do not like to be mishandled, let down, or taken for granted. When it happens, I have had the tendency to build walls to protect myself against people who breech this trust. My dad has been one of those people.

I sensed the tension between my parents when I was very young. Unfortunately, as a result, I closed myself off to a lot of the good my dad brought to the table because of my disappointment in him. However, in more recent years, I have broken down those walls and I can’t help but shake my head and laugh at the things he does. My dad is hilarious! He takes himself so seriously. He will guffaw in a restaurant where people are being quiet. He will get out of his seat and reenact a story from work or elsewhere to deliver the full effect of the story. My dad will talk to strangers like their his friends. He refers to past servers who have waited on him as his friend. If he sees a bum more than once in the city… that’s his “buddy that couldn’t catch a break.” Seriously? Hot mess. So funny. I love it!

Sometimes his jokes aren’t all that funny to other people, but I have made a habit out of laughing at his outlandish enthusiasm. My sister will cut her eyes at me to see if I’m seriously enjoying the embarrassing rendition of whatever while I’m focused on fueling him with giggling energy. He gets even more intense with an audience. Haha, I’m the same way. I love it when people are right there with me, even if I’m acting stupid. Sometimes you have to soak in the awesome feeling of the moment. Ride the wave of laughter into the next moment of tears and smiles. That’s hoe good memories are born. Silly memories with no event attached. Just awesome feelings.

I know I wrote a post titled, “Not Everything is Funny” What’s interesting is that I was focused on the empty part of the glass of my situation. Yes, my dad has more flaws than I can count. But, he is not all bad. I mean, I am a by-product of his existence, so clearly, there is good and a lot of potential for more wrapped up in my dad. I thank God for him. Even though he is a complete failure as a father, he will always be my dad. I can choose to make the most of what we have or disdain it. I’d rather get creative. I’d rather magnify what good there is and hope that in time, maybe he can be reborn and adopt a new perspective. Just like I’m doing now.

If all you see is dark and dreary, that is all you wish to see. Look beyond what you see clearly, and see the light that shines beneath. @keithoughts

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