Category Archives: Uncategorized

2016: The horrible year that may have gotten a bad wrap.

We made it y’all! We made it! With full awareness that 2016 was the celestial, figurative, political, and psychological manifestation of the grim reaper for so many people, I contemplated putting my entire family on lockdown for the entire month of December 2016. Kids. Husband. Momma. Daddy. Sisters. Brothers. Teddy bears. If I had it my way, no one would have left the house until the last second ticked off of the 2016 clock. As a woman of faith, I usually resist against being superstitious, but when you see a year take Prince, George Michaels, AND the last wholesome father figure from an 80’s sitcom (to not be caught in a sex scandal), you are forced to acknowledge that anything can happen at any moment.

And maybe that was the point that 2016 was trying to teach us?

I believe in God more than I can wrap my mind around the concept of heaven. And though death will never fully make sense to me, I always believed that some of us…or maybe all of us…or perhaps just the lucky amongst us, will have a choice when that time comes. I imagine God revealing the door to eternity, full of poolsides, 80 degree breezy weather, endless french macaroons, and outdoor music venues and saying “Look, not so bad, right?” Then behind the next door is life as we know it with its finite number of days, long lines at Starbucks, and the belief that we are better at managing our lives than He.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand why, if offered the choice, one would choose this side of heaven. I would certainly ask God if I could take a rain check and hop the first ‘soul jitney’ back to the south-side of Chicago to be with my family. However, in the strangest of ways, it gives me peace to know that someone like Prince (or David Bowie) who had surely feasted upon every carnal pleasure, looked through the gates of heaven and glanced back on his life of white doves, diamond encrusted guitars, and vegetarian foie gras and said, “Beam me up, Scottie.”

And in the most unexpected of ways, just as I was ready to bubble wrap my kids to keep them safe, 2016 whispered in my ear, “You have nothing to be afraid of.”

In life and in the death, you have nothing to be afraid of.

In the ways that really count, I believe that even in its times of collective confusion and strife, 2016 was a profoundly important year. It was like the universal moment when the world affirmed to itself, ‘We are going to lose weight/learn Spanish/take up yoga/go to South Africa/go to Le Cordon Bleu to become a French pastry check.’

In all its uncertainty, it proved that only thing we can ever know for sure are the blessings that we choose to recognize in the moment we are currently in. The graceful, yet fleeting, passing of time forces us to honor this moment because it was not afforded to so many.

Maybe, just maybe, in 2016 God said, I’m less concerned about making you happy and more concerned about making you holy…and way less neurotic.

2016 was a good year. Despite Donald Trump, let’s not forget that Black women became the standard barriers for excellence in 2016. Between Michelle Obama, Ava DuVernay, Voila Davis, Zendaya, Zim Ugochukwu, Amandla Stenberg, Luuvie Ajayi, and the Godmother of Melanin Goodness, Oprah, the world finally confessed what it secretly knew since its inception: That God is a woman with skin kissed by the sun, shoulders broad enough to carry the world, with the perfect balance of wisdom and attitude to keep everybody in line.

Or at least his momma is.

So thank you 2016. At times you were good and at times you hurt. You held absolutely nothing back but now…we won’t either.

A Letter To My 30 Year Old Self…

 

I woke up this morning to the most magnificent sunrise and looking up at the barrel of my 35th year of life. If I could be honest, I’ve dreaded this day for approximately six months because I knew that, as with most milestone birthdays, there would be a snowball effect of taking stock of my life thus far: The good, the bad, and those many areas where the jury is still out. Sure enough, with time came a daily assessment of everything I had and had not accomplished so far and the expected dread that comes when you realize that not only have you not lost all of your belly fat BUT you also have to cut your hair that you’ve been growing out for two years AND you haven’t finished the first draft of your second book AND you have to face your inadequacies by the time you make your yearly pilgrimage to see your in-laws. Yet, despite the grand plethora of things that I might do differently if time travel is ever mass-produced, I am more certain now than ever that our lives, or at least my life, is unfolding exactly as it should.

This declaration isn’t to be confused with a presumption that I believe that I’ve made all the best decisions up to this point, because that is the obviously the furthest thing from the truth. I should have definitely paid more attention to my Spanish teacher in high school because that would have kept me from almost failing Spanish my senior year of college. I should NOT have left my last health insurance-paying job before I finished that twentieth round interview with the Chicago Board of Education. I should NOT have eaten so many apple pies during my first and second pregnancies and I definitely should NOT have danced on top of that all those bars in my early twenties.

However, the residue of divine guidance is apparent. I wasn’t looking for my husband but I found him, right on the front steps of my college apartment. I deeply hated my career and God jokingly made me the world’s most impervious stay-at-home mom and aspiring novelist. I prayed for my children to know God and he gave me one who likes to chastise me for not going to church and another who likes to try to eat pages of the Bible. I asked to be surrounded by people who have my best interest in mind, and God has given me my fair lot, even if the group of people who keep me sane looks much smaller than it once did.

My life isn’t tied with a pink bow and I’m finally okay with the fact that it never will.

I’ve had to accept that there is nothing more disparaging in the educated Black people’s community than being a stay-at-home and pursuing a pipe dream that doesn’t come with a pension plan. In some circles it’s damn near sacrilegious and anti-feminist. But if there was one thing I know for sure is that no one else can live the finite years you’ve been entrusted with for you. And anyone who cares to think about how you are living long enough to form an opinion needs a hug, some sex, and some business. People will surely judge your life for you, but no-one else can walk the walk that is destined for you except for you….no matter how odd your two-step may look to anyone else.

In my twenties, I began to grew suspicious that I didn’t know anything…as far as knowing something worth knowing should be measured. I just felt that something was off — that I wasn’t living in a way that would ever bring peace to my soul – so I sought to change that. In fact, the crowing jewel of my twenties is that I did change that. In dramatic fashion, I entered my thirties with a somewhat clean slate, shedding many titles while gaining others, losing some beautiful, yet painful relationships of the past while becoming more discerning of new relationships that I would build in the future. In one full swoop, God gave me the courage to seek the things that I had prayed for but I never could have anticipated the arduous path that is often set before those who are willing to acknowledge that they need to change their whole direction.

But what I know for sure is this: Despite it’s ups and downs, life is good. God is love. Your happiness depends on no one else but your ability to find gratitude in the very things we so often take for granted.

So if I could go back in time to my 18 year old self, I wouldn’t. She’s a good girl and I trust that she will figure things out.

If I could go back to my 25 year old self, I would simply leave her a fortune cookie that said, “Keep going grasshopper. You are on the right path. Your confusion will lead to a worthy caffeine addiction and admirable tolerance of many types of alcohol.”

However, if I could go back to my 30 year old self I would, even if it was to merely tell her everything that she already knows: Be stronger than you have ever been, be more courageous than you think you can be, invest in Moroccan Oil, stop drinking Starbucks cause it’s pure sugar. Schedule a few marriage booty calls. Drink your water. Read your Bible. Love cops and Muslims. Learn the difference between intuition and fear. Hugs your family early and often. 

I would tell her to respect every decision made with good intentions, no matter the outcome.

I would tell her to be kind to herself always, because no one else has to.

I would tell her to get out of her own way.

I would tell her that other people’s discomfort or dislike of her is ultimately none of her business.

I would tell her that no matter how dark or lonely the path a head, to strap on her big girl panties and her breastplate of righteousness and to take every day one step at a time, because despite the sometimes overwhelmingness of life, today is all we really have.

And knowing my 30 year old self like I know her, she probably wouldn’t listen. She would probably still hoist everyone else’s happiness on her shoulders but her own. And that’s okay because I know that even she will be just fine.

Prince and the mystery of the freezing genitalia

 

For the past few days, fifty percent of the running dialogue in my mind has included the lyrics of a random Prince song. When I’m in the car, washing my hair, cooking dinner, speaking with my husband or on the phone with my mother, at some point in the conversation my mind takes me back to when I was four years old and first became aware of the majesticness of the amazingly danty, hyper-sensual pop star. Outside of my parent’s embrace, he was my first introduction into the wretched agony that could sometimes be known as love, showing the world in a way that only he (and Beyonce) could, that love can make you happy or sad, it could make you dance or destroy a room with a guitar (or a bat). That in it’s best and more purest form, love can manifest magic before your very eyes.

Every time I have thought of him since learning of his death, my mind takes me back to my paternal grandmother’s house, where I would sneak and watch Purple Rain with my siblings and cousins when I was a kid. Like all giants who have passed on, I still have so many questions: How did his feet move so fast? How did he gyrate THAT high off the ground? How did people make bootleg movies in the 1980s when camcorders were the size of a suitcase? Did my grandmother know that we were watching that movie (along with Coming to America and I’m Gonna Get You Sucka) every – single – time we came to visit her?

….I have so many questions.

Shaking off those thoughts, I think back to my favorite scene of the movie and suddenly have the urge to pick up my imaginary neon pink and leopard print air guitar and serenade myself with the epic and only real instrumental that comes to my mind when I think of the late artist. You know which one I’m talking about, right? That moment in Purple Rain when Prince finally liberates himself from his inner demons and played the song written, in part, by his abusive father (who had just tried to shoot himself in the head).

 

On-ly.
Want.
To.
See.
You.
Laugh-ing.
In.
That.
Purple Rain.

[Air guitar in hand. Bending back on one leg. Arched back. Eyes closed. Head rocking.]

I didn’t know what the heck any of this meant as a kid but I wanted to experience it. If Purple Rain would allow me to look at someone from across a very dark, smoked-filled room and make them know exactly what I wanted from them then it was apparent that it was a very good thing.
Even as a tot too young to know anything else, something deep within me recognized that his angst, his passion, his willingness to move through and use his emotions with otherworldly honesty was unique – a rarity to be marveled at because I would not witness it often.

More than with Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, Prince’s death made me feel like a portion of my childhood had died. Not that either of the aforementioned artists were less significant, but despite his many rumored sexual partners and suspected (and assumed) drug use in the 80s, death was nowhere on my radar when it came to Prince. Like Yoda from StarWars, I suspected that 1,000 years from now, Prince would still be here — a bit smaller in statue but anciently wise.

 

 

The day after he died, I woke up only to be greeted by my distraught five year old laying on the couch, staring up at the ceiling in bewilderment. Did his little soul know that the world had lost a huge creative force? Did he sense mommy’s sadness at dinnertime, as the sweet melody of Prince’s songs rang through the air over my phone’s speakers?

“Mommy, something is wrong.” He said as soon as he saw me.

“I know. Something is wrong, Prince is dead. But what’s wrong with you?” I countered.

“Something is wrong with my penis. It’s freezing but it’s not cold!” He whispered worriedly.

Dammitttttttt! I thought as I shook myself out of my funk and my mind began to race.  Not today Lord, not today, I am not mentally prepared to handle this today.

His words were still suspended in the air as I began to rue the day I decided to talk openly to my sons about their genitalia.

I wanted to turn around and go upstairs. I wanted to pull the covers high above my head and turn on “1999,” as loudly as possibly and make the world around me disappear.

But I knew that I couldn’t. This was not a drill. I had to give him an answer.

I figured that I had two options: I could make him feel embarrased about a normal bodily function or I could make him know that everything was okay…that his non-cold freezing penis was just a part of life.

Thinking of Prince, I smiled and knew exactly what to do. I kissed away the creases on my concerned child’s forehead and gave him a big hug.

“I don’t know why your penis is freezing.” I told him. “Go ask your daddy.”

 

 

Rest in Power Prince Rogers Nelson.  

May heaven be filled with electric guitars and pretty girls.  

May it rain down purple in the presence of the sun/Son just for you.

 

For your viewing, listening and dancing pleasure…

Everyone won’t like your stuff and that’s why God created liquor.

Hello!

 

It’s finally Springtime in Chicago and the proverbial fog of random snow/hail/sleet/wind storms seems to finally be behind us.  I’m about 1/4 done with the first draft of my second novel, which I have recently decided sucks, but I’m still oddly confident that I will meet my own secret deadline to complete the first draft.  Call me crazy or delusional…because my secret deadline is ridiculously close, however the burst of Vitamin D that I’m getting has given me a new take on this writing thing and I have officially stopped asking for signs to undo the signs that I have already received that tell me to keep writing between ever-present moments of trying to not do anything that will traumatize my kids…even if it’s just a word a day.

But on the topic of writing things that sometimes sucks…

I recently had the great experience of being in a room with approximately ten people who thought my book sucked.  Well, to be honest, they didn’t exactly say that they thought it sucked because #Blackpeoplesticktogether, however having gone to enough events where I’ve discussed my book, my Erykah Badu aka sensitive artist radar was activated as soon as I entered the room.  You know, Black women are genetically incapable of completely hiding our emotions.  Sure enough, it didn’t take long for my suspicions to be confirmed, at which point I channeled my mother, grandmothers, and Harriet Tubman (shout out to the new face of the $20!) and I put on my BIG GIRL PANTIES + GIRDLE and listened to the critique that the women around me provided.

The real version of myself has horrible control of my facial affect — so much so that I had to wear bandaids on my eyebrows when I pledged a sorority in college.  However, as I stepped outside of myself, I couldn’t help but be proud of how far I had come as I listened to them with an open mind, heart and smile.  Granted, I was also counting the minutes until I could get out of there and pour myself a drink to process the emotional defeat of the opinions that they didn’t have the heart to fully say, but that’s neither here nor there.

In the end, we agreed that I should have made the ending of the book fuller, however, I still wouldn’t change Lotus’ ultimate fate.  To give her an ending in a pink bow would have done an injustice to the story because let’s face it, Lotus needs a therapist or at least three months to get her mind right after all the drama she has been through.

Nevertheless, everything happens for a reason.

Despite being born with insanely thin skin, over time, my skin has become thick as the hair in the kinky patch of my Super Mighty East African to Mississippi hair.  I can take a bad review — as long as it’s constructive — and though they always sting I accept that everyone in the world didn’t like the Bible or Eat, Pray, Love or The Alchemist or Ocean’s Eleven so OF COURSE everyone in the world won’t like my book.  It’s not a happy, bubbly, book.  It is an unapologetically melodramatic fictional book about a women who is in the midst of an epic WTF moment. 

However…

When it’s all said and done, the weirdo in me has to admit that I have an odd preference for one star reviews over three star reviews.  I know it sounds crazy, but when someone gives you one star, there is a level of passion there.  I mean, they REALLY hated it.  It conjured up something within them that they made them take time out of their day to open their laptop, sign into Amazon or Goodreads, and look for the one-star button.  For some reason, that makes me feel better than someone who may have felt ambivalent about the book and gave it three stars.  It’s weird, I know.  After 2-3 years of time and effort, I like the idea of a reader being passionate about the book, even if they end up burning it in effigy. 

 

I’m NEVER going to finish this second book (…without Jay Z and Jesus) (#95)

It’s 7:34, I just opened my laptop, and all I can think is

“How in the [BLEEPPPPPPPPPPPP] am I going to finish another book?”  

[As I hear my oldest child yell at my husband, “I AM NOT AN ALIEN!” from the other room.]

I can’t settle on a point of view, I keep falling asleep during my writing hours, and…

[As the recurring question, “Mommy, am I an alien?” continues to ring through the air.]

and…

[As my youngest kid runs down the hallway, wet and naked.]

…because I’m nervous about introducing too many new characters into the next book because nothing is worse than not being able to keep up with all the characters in a book.

It will get done, it will.  

I just need someone to bring me the Shroud of Turin, the Holy Chalice of the Last Supper, and the single thug tear that Jesus wept when Lazarus died to make this happen.

It feels impossible, it really does, but just saying that makes me want to listen to Jay Z’s verse on the Diamonds from Sierra Leone Remix.  

As a matter of fact…

[Hearing Shirley Bassey’s voice in the background]

[Hearing Jay Z’s voice]

“The pressure’s on, but guess who ain’t gon’ crack? [laughs]
Pardon me I had to laugh at that
How could you falter when you’re the rock of Gibraltar
I had to get of the boat so I could walk on water
This ain’t no tall order, this is nothin to me
Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week
I do this in my sleep…”

[Hands waiving in the air.]

Yes!!! Jigga man, yes! 

[Opened my eyes to see my youngest trying to put a Veggie Straw down a floor vent.]

Yep, finishing this book will be nothing short of a miracle…when it happens.

 

 

 

 

Penises, Paginas, and The Walking Dead (#96)

I am the mother of two boys.

If you don’t belong to the “All Boys + One Girl Club” then just close your eyes, imagine every insane thing that you think a little boy might do in his lifetime, then roll it into 24 hours and multiple it by two.

Add a chocolate milk addiction, a perpetual curiosity with their anatomy, and an eternal attachment to your breasts, then you have finally entered my household.

I love my kids…I love them. I love them. I love them.

[As my youngest walks into the room and falls out for really no apparent reason…]

[Chanting to myself….I love my kids…I love my kids…I love my kids…]

Being a parent can be scary. While you try to nurture your kids’ natural inclination to look at the world with wonder, you also have to teach them to look at the world with a certain degree of caution. No sooner than you ween your kid off the teet, you have to consider how soon you should wait before you teach them about Stranger Danger, anaphylaxis, and the small parameter of people who are allowed to touch their bodies.

And because boys are…well, boys…as soon as my kids begin to pull on their penises with curiosity, I try to make a big deal out of their discovery.

“Hey, that’s your penis! Say, ‘Hi Penis!'”

As most Child Psychologists recommend, there’s no “Mr. Winky” in my house. Taking ownership of the one thing that will likely be their best friend and best enemy is something that we try to start as early as possible. When they interrupt a phone call with a non-emergency, I calmly ask, “Has your arm or penis fallen off?” After taking stock, my boys know that if everything is still attached, that their request can probably wait.

And it’s worked out fine so far, that is, until my oldest boy came home inquiring about “Paginas.”

Suddenly his frequent  bursts into the bathroom weren’t just to ask for pickles, but to ask, “Are you peeing from you PAGINA?”

These questions would follow me throughout the day, and have become increasingly more difficult to answer.

“Why do women have PAGINAS?”

“Did God take away your penis?”

“Does your PAGINA belong to the urinary or digestive system?

Suddenly, my cool, calm and anatomically-liberated thinking began to unravel. Do I go the religious route, the medically approved route, is this the time to mention Caitlyn Jenner?

Overwhelmed at his sudden curiosity about the anatomy of the opposite sex, I defaulted to a response that is tried and true, one that has been handed down from generation-to-genearation.

I said, “(Boy #1) The word is vagina. Va-gina. Girls have va-ginas. They are girl’s super-secret personal area and it does strange and scary things. Just like no one should touch your penis, I hear that you might die if you touch a girl’s va-gina. And this is a good thing, because girls have horrible cooties. Even the cute ones.”

Somehow, he was appeased by the answer and I was able to walk away from the conversation without further trauma to either of us.

And since cooties = zombies….

Can we give it up one time for how PHENOMENAL “The Walking Dead” was last night?

Oh Maggie…Oh Carol…Oh Glenn…my bet is that one of you all are not going to make it through the next episode. I’ve come to the conclusion that (on 99% of the shows on television, Wheel of Fortune included), if someone makes you the beacon of hope then you are going to die…or hit bankruptcy. As soon as they showed us the ultrasound of new life in the last week’s episode, and everyone was on the bus smiling as they drove back to the Alexandria Safezone with Jesus to vote on whether they were going to kill all the Saviors….I shook my head. I knew that they were goners.

Although I hope that I’m wrong! But with Negan lurking in the background to make his on-screen debut, I’ve already put all three characters on my prayer list this week.

If you need a little inspiration…(#97)

Around this time of year, most Chicagoans are already planning ahead to the first day of summer (since Spring IS NOT guaranteed in our dear city).  Though this has been a fairly mild winter, most of us recognize that we still may have between 1-3 additional months of cold weather with the possibility of a random blizzard popping up out of nowhere.  (Thanks Canada!)

Despite the frigid temps, I can already smell the fajitas at Uncle Julios on North Avenue and can already taste the Rum Punch at Ja’Grill in Hyde Park.  I wish I could go and get a mani/pedi right now for my yet-to-be planned vacation and am already trying to lose weight in honor of the beignets/grilled oysters/crab/fried catfish/gumbo/pralines that I’m going to eat in Louisiana.

So whether you are in the Windy City or elsewhere and are like me — depleted of Vitamin D and in desperate need of a change of scenery and a strong mojito – check out this list I came across of world destinations, close your eyes, and imagine yourself someplace you have never been, with people you want to be with, doing things you probably shouldn’t be doing.  🙂

World Vacation List

 

 

 

Good morning ramblings…(#98)

I have always been a very early riser but my kids take early mornings to the next level.  The littlest one usually comes creeping into our bedroom around 5:00 am to try to steal our vacuum cleaner (don’t ask me why).

On days when he doesn’t feel like early morning housecleaning he simply climbs into our bed, sits on top of me and says, “Mommy. Mommy. Mommy,” until I decide to stop faking like I’m sleep.

My oldest, sleeps a bit later and doesn’t creep out of his bed until closer to 5:30 am.  By the time he slumbers into our room, he is dressed in his spiderman robe, a winter cap and gloves, and is usually carrying an obscene amount of children’s books with him.

I know you aren’t supposed to call your kids bad but at a minimum I think I can fairly call mine quirky with strong anti-authority tendencies. Their most favorite activity in the entire world is running around the house naked before bath time. I could write an anthology about how bad, explorative, mischevious my kids are but I don’t want them to sue me when they get older.

(Right now my oldest is trying to talk to me about the solar system.  How do I tell him to beat it without breaking his spirit? #mommaproblems)

Moving on…

So my husband challenged me to a 100 day write-off (to get me out of my writing coma) which probably sounds odd since he is a dentist.  In college, shortly after we first met, he let me read a few short stories that he had written and I desperately tried to convince him not to go to dental school (true story) because they were so good. #thankyouforignoringmyhorribleadvice

This was before I had ANY thought of being a writer myself and way before I realized that writers are typically impoverished.

The last time we wrote together, the superiority of his story made me stop writing for months. I’m not saying this because we sleep together but there is a genius to his storytelling that I hope the world gets to read one day.

On the topic of writing…

It’s almost time to leave to make the kid’s breakfast but I’m excited about writing my second book.  I’ve had 90% of the story in my head for a few months but there is a part of me that still wonders if it’s the right story to tell.  Until I know how the first and last chapter will end, the story can still go anywhere.  I know what I want to write and I have an idea about what people want to read, so I’m just trying to figure out who will get what they want.

About tragic endings…

I’m also thinking about the SUITS finale on USA last night.  (Clenching my heart.) SOOOO GOOD.  Now, I kinda get why people were traumatized by the end of the Lotus.  I NEED for Mike Ross to be okay.  I need for him to get his happily ever after.  Just thinking about him going to federal prison makes me want to cry but, I get it.  We don’t realize just have much we love our heroes, even when they have done bad, until we see them hurt.  But if Harvey Spector would have gone to jail, I probably would have just died in my bed.  That would’ve been too much.

So to all of you who sent me late night emails and text messages about Lotus getting left in the airport, I’m sorry.

…But I had to do it.

 

On being no more, and no less… (#99)

 

 

When I was a child, my father instilled two major lessons in my siblings and I:

1.) Always try to do the right thing (which included getting good grades, doing our chores, and NEVER EVER walking around the house barefoot),

2.) To remember to always “put the shoe on the foot” when faced with almost any life problem.

The platitude of considering other’s perspectives became an attribute so steeped within me that it almost became an otherworldly gift I possessed.  With time, my father’s directive to always see myself in other people, felt like equal parts quest and calling.  So in the 3rd grade, when I became friends with a girl who would become my best friend for many years, I tried hard to understand why our lives looked so differently.

Technically, I didn’t do anything but be born and I wasn’t even as good of a student as her, so trying to wrap my mind around why her family had to struggle financially and mine did not never made sense in my young mind.  As a result, the idea was born that nothing I received in life could be solely attributed to my own effort.  In fact, as I became older, it was easier to speculate that divine luck was on my side rather than to believe that I deserved anything over anyone else.

It wasn’t until recently (and by recently I mean last week) that I realized that the problem with always believing that I was no better than anyone else was that I couldn’t depart from that narrative over the years that it felt like my life suddenly began to go apesh*t. (Sorry mom.)

During the many years where it felt like nothing was working for me remained the thinking that my difficulties and challenges were happening because I truly was no better than anyone else.  My way of understanding myself in relation to others had become cancerous.

For a time longer than I would like to admit, disappointment began to make a certain sense.  Of course things would happen to them and not me, I would unconsciously believe.

Because: Me = Unworthy and underserving

My poor understanding of God and humility almost sent me to the pity party of no return.

Even though I am far from my roughest days, it wasn’t until recently that I came to understand how and why my well-intentioned thinking had led me so off track.  By only believing that I wasn’t worthy of the good things in my life, I subjugated God to the role of an arbitrary hoarder and unreasonable warden of good will and blessings.  By failing to also understand that I am also no less worthy of any good thing, I made it more difficult to trust God to be who he is, the bearer and boundless receptacle of all good things, who gives willingly in his perfect and ordained time.

So while I still believe that I am no better than anyone, I certainly more clearly understand that I am no less than anyone else either.  And as long as I am no less than than anyone else, that means that I am JUST as worthy as anyone else and afforded the same possibility (and probability) of seeing miracles happen in my life, getting free Starbucks on any given day, or being discovered by Shonda Rhimes as anyone else.