Birth

Today I am grateful for the birth that gave hope to the hopeless. In this season of birth and renewal in the midst of confusion and fear, I am praying for sufficient strength to be hopeful, effective faith to believe, and enough compassion to be loving…

“For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.” Isaiah 9: 6-7, MSG

Inhale Creation, Exhale Suppression…
Inhale Inclusion, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe…

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#ThisISAmerica

I saw the #ThisIsNotUS hashtag trending this past weekend and was gratified to see so many pointing out the obvious…that white men carrying torches, white men beating people of color, white men murdering those with whom they disagree is about as American as it gets.

Now what?

Each moment describes who you are, and gives you the opportunity to decide if that’s who you want to be.” ~ Bruce D. Schneider, Energy Leadership

Inhale What IS, Exhale Illusion…
Inhale Knowledge, Exhale Willful Ignorance…
Inhale Transformation, Exhale Status Quo…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
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Compassion

Have you ever watched someone you’re close to make a stupid choice and wondered, “Why can’t she see this is NOT going to turn out well?”

I’ve done that…and then I remember the stupid thing I did when I didn’t pay attention to my accountability partners or my own inner knowing…my God voice whispering, then shouting… “Don’t. Do It!”

And I work on being a little more compassionate…

It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt?” Matthew 7: 3-4 MSG

Inhale Compassion, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Contempt…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Precious Present

Every anxious thought we have about what might happen … every moment we spend replaying and regretting an action we took or something we didn’t say … every time we give into anger over something done to us that we perceive as negative, we stray away from the precious present.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34, NIV

Inhale Present, Exhale Past…
Inhale Now, Exhale Future…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Frustration…
Just Breathe

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Unstuck

I recently had a really clear instance of being triggered by the memory of a bad experience. And because our bodies can’t always tell the difference between a thought and reality, my body reacted as if it was happening in real time. In an instant, joy and hope were temporarily replaced by despair and fear.

Temporary because I recognized what was happening and quickly took action so I wouldn’t get stuck where I was. After some prayer and deep, deep breathing, I was able to get to a state of equilibrium and peace. For that, I’m so grateful.

Life is a creative process and our thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, choices, actions, and words are the tools that we use to invent our experiences and our circumstances.” ~ Katherine Woodward Thomas

Inhale Responding, Exhale Reacting…
Inhale Action, Exhale Stuck…
Inhale Creation, Exhale Victimization…
Just Breathe

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Protected

This week, between traveling in traffic and sleeping in a hotel, I experienced insomnia. I felt like I was in a thick fog and found myself moving like the walking dead. And because I was physically tired and mentally drained, I became emotionally exhausted. With my emotional energy depleted, I started to feel sad.

It was a personal manifestation of all I know to be true about holistic health; that a glitch in one system impacts all other systems. So I thank God for spiritual protection and for guiding me to the tools and the pathway to wholeness.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:13-18 MSG

Inhale Protection, Exhale Illusion…
Inhale Peace, Exhale Chaos…
Inhale Prayer, Exhale Uncertainty…
Just Breathe

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In Memoriam

This weekend another young black male died violently, this time on a college campus, allegedly stabbed by a white male member of a hate group. This newly commissioned Army officer, on the precipice of a “limitless life” had sworn to “support and defend the Constitution” of his country…this America where he is hated and hunted because of the color of his skin.

And I grieve for what has been lost, for his family, his classmates and his fellow Americans who understand that America is great because of people like Richard W. Collins III.

As a United States Army Officer who gladly puts his life on the line everyday…there’s no greater conflict within me.
How do I feel about my country? And how does my country…feel about me?
Are we only to be Americans when the mood suits you?
Lawrence Fishborne as Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin O. Davis in the movie, Tuskegee Airman

Inhale Sadness, Exhale Despair…
Inhale Courage, Exhale Cynicism…
Inhale Reverence, Exhale Disregard …
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
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Seeds

At church this weekend, it was all about seeds and growing, reaping and sowing. Even during story hour for the young and young at heart, the pastor shared a fable about seeds that face obstacles to their growth.

In the story, some of the seeds decide to postpone any attempts to grow until the obstacles disappear (they don’t). But one determined seed decides to face possible destruction and fulfill its purpose to become a palm tree with an extraordinarily strong trunk.

“What do you think happened?” the pastor asked the assembled 6, 7 and 8-year olds.

And one brave young soul answered correctly, “The obstacles made the tree grow stronger.”

Inhale Bend, Exhale Break…
Inhale Slowed Down, Exhale Terminated…
Inhale Delayed, Exhale Defeated…
Just Breathe

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#Development

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Fool Me Once

Have you ever justified staying with someone or in something that is not working for you because of the time, treasure or talent you’ve already invested? Have you ever been wrong about someone you trusted but unable to admit it to those who knew and tried to warn you? Have you ever doubled-down even in the face of overwhelming evidence that what you believe is untrue?

Our level of denial often reflects our level of commitment. The more committed we are, the harder it is to admit when we are wrong.

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” –Mark Twain

Inhale What is, Exhale What is not…
Inhale Evidence, Exhale Illusions…
Inhale Reality, Exhale Delusion…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Faith

I’ve been an up close and personal witness to what stepping out in faith looks like.

I’ve seen how limitless our dreams are when we understand why we are dreaming what we are dreaming…how intense our passions when we direct our energy to our purpose…how impactful our purpose when it’s in service to something other, something greater than ourselves.

But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.”  Luke 17:6 MSG

Inhale God’s Promises, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Belief, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Faith, Exhale Doubt…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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