In the Shadow of HIS light.

This is a woman who has made many mistakes. This is a woman who has celebrated lots of victories. This is a woman who asks a million questions. This is a woman who appreciates healing. This is a woman who cried, TODAY. This is a woman who has been poured into. This is a woman who pours out.

This entire blog was inspired by two things.

One: The life of Dr. Lois Evans.

I never got to meet her in person, but I met several people that she personally impacted. I thought I would get to meet her at Chrystal Evans Hurst’s Sister Circle Retreat – which was AMAZING, but she was unable to attend. While she couldn’t attend, she spoke to us via phone several times. Even in the fight of her life, she was encouraging us. I CRIED EACH TIME. You see cancer has plowed through my family as well. When I watched my SUPERDAD fight it, I worked REALLY hard to life faith first. Even when I knew God was going to call him home. Today, after avoiding it for as long as I could, I listed to the video of Dr. Tony Evans preaching the eulogy. I think I cried through almost all of it. I cried because I hurt for them and I cried because I remembered my pain. Cried because when he said she saw her parents, I remembered my dad telling me my grandmother and cousins had come. I cried because she kept the faith and stayed connected to God until she went to Glory and so had SUPERDAD. I cried because no one is immune to pain. One thing that stood out to me the most was just HOW impactful she is. She lived well. So help me God, I want someone to be able to say that about me when it’s my time to go. Dr. Evans spoke of how Paul fought the good fight, how Sis. Evans fought the good fight, and how if we are going to fight… it need be a good one. How much of the weight I hold has been carrying things that did not equate to a good fight? I am crying while typing… but it’s a slow sweet cry. I marvel at this woman who’s life is poured out as sheer magnificence. I remember videos that her daughters and granddaughter posted. Such a rich legacy of a woman who dedicated her life FOR HIS GLORY. To what honor do you give a woman, who even through a third party touch, has inspired you so? Real questions that need answers.

The Second: the shadow effect of this selfie.

Direct your attention to the only picture that will be posted with this blog. When you are directly in alignment with the sun, there is a shadow that is cast over you. The artist in me sees metaphors in a beautiful way. Lord let me align with your Light in such as way that I am a shadow of You. I want to face into HIM in a way that it’s no longer about personal glory, but His light and His glory in me. Through me. Any great thing I do, let it point back to HIM. Abba. God the Father, God the Son – Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit.

January can trigger a lot for a lot of people. I pray it renews a drive to seek after Him. A match that lights a fire for Christ that is redeeming in nature. While I am a well-dressed-mess, weird – and proud to be it, creative and quirky, passionate and purpose driven..I am a child of the Most High. Child- like inquisitive nature, question and answer seeking, and apologetic in my issues. I am no where near perfect. I don’t care to be perfect. In my humanity I relate to those I encounter – my sisters and brothers. I LOVE PEOPLE. I really do love people. Differences and Similarities. Cultures and Languages. The amazing gems of humanity are a plus in my book! Yet, I am also greatly annoyed by the choices of some people. I read somewhere… the people who are the hardest to love need love the most.

If I have to be in a shadow, I pray its in the Brilliant light of Christ. I pray that I live well, love well, and serve well. I pray you do too.

Ivy Out – #AuthenticallyAndonnia #andonniaspeaks

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Assign The Right Value

I haven’t mastered the art of “pretty blogs”. You know, the kind with all of the perfectly curated photos that assume the correct position on the page. What I HAVE done in the past six years is speak my truth. Sometimes it’s pretty and glorious – messages yelling “Yasss Queen!” loudly like a curly afro in full shea butter sheen and glory. Other times, my blog is painfully honest – posting mess ups, loud like red socks in white laundry. But it’s me.

While we are celebrating the entrance of 2020 – #newyearsameme – my mind meanders in the territory of VALUE. Yes, value. What’s the difference between a LBD (little black dress) from Target and one from Chanel? Well, the fashion house that is Chanel – who’s startup is denoted in a children’s book in my classroom, has built a NAME for itself. That name is synonymous with value and a high price tag. It’s still made of fabric. It’s still sown on a machine. IT’s still retailed. Yet because of exclusivity, the difference in price of both LBDs could be astronomical.

My pastor said something that is still ringing in my ears. Too many of us associate material wealth with success. (you can find the sermons here -> )

Are we throwing away people, places, and things because the idea of “success” means exclusion? Do we have to have the bigger to mean better? That doesn’t work with body size for most, but it works for cars and homes? I appreciate my body, but growing up… folks made is seem like bigger meant unhealthy. As if that is the only indicator. (In case you are wondering, it’s not.) Do we really have to compare to succeed? We have to change cars to show the world we have spent more money? We can’t have the same friends we had when we were broke because… it’s an indicator that we are still…broke?!

This is a broken mentality. The things that matter most don’t have a price tag. The piece of metal fashioned in a particular is still appealing with or without someone’s name on it. Why do we not value the work of our own hands like we do the works of others? When will we understand that we have the opportunity every day to determine what is valuable… who is valuable. We should put more heART into those thoughts.

If you call yourself a Christian, and you’ve bought into the theory that you have to discard people, something’s wrong with the way you are doing this thing. Jesus didn’t throw people away. He was the way, and he walked it out. HE loved on people. HE showed up for people. HE valued many that the popular majority did not. Think about that.

You can only use filters online. They don’t work in real life.

Ivy Out