In the storm

It can be easy to accept the storms you are prepared for. The storms that surprise you, generally take your breath away.

I live in Texas. Born and raised here. I have lived in another state, but came home to Texas and bought my house. My home state is all over the National News. Not for something amazing… for another botched response to a natural disaster.

There are somethings that one comes to expect in certain regions. Arctic storms in the south don’t match. It’s not even off like a hyperbole… more like acid and hot sauce. It doesn’t match up. Even though like a Hurricane, we had at least four or five days of warning, we were ill prepared for our power grid failures. Thus, I was one without power for too long.

I literally had fingers and toes go numb. It was scary. I prayed and tried to stay encouraged… but imagine how cold it has to be to blow smoke outside…I blew smoke in my bed, under layers of clothes and blankets, holding my 10 pound dog. THAT DAY I cried out. That day a Soror rescued me. That day, a neighbor I didn’t know helped me release my frozen garage door. That day, I had been sitting in my car warming and charging. I realize how close I came to CO2 harm. Making sacrifices the only way I knew how. Venting my house through two open doors. I know I had CO2 in my house because I had trouble lighting a flame to light my candle. I had to stand by the open door. This prompted me to leave the door open a while. Was it already freezing. Yes. But the way my second favorite subject is set up in my brain… I listened to the unction.

I was fortunate where some were not.

That doesn’t change the reality of this trauma. I have lived through hurricanes and floods. EACH brings it’s own layer of trigger. 2020 is a shinning example of what trauma can do and how it can largely affect and effect. We are 49 days into this year, and much like the last one, I have not given up hope. However comma I have been severely tested. The body’s natural response to danger is to draw blood from certain places to help protect vital organs… GREAT… but do you know how scary it is for an artist to have to process danger in her fingers?!? To see them turn colors. To know it’s because someone with a lot of money thought “oh that will never happen” until it did?!?

And that was just up until mid-Tuesday. Wednesday brought electricity after 75 hours and a burst pipe. More almost frozen fingers. But MORE answered prayers by way of neighbors who called the cops when something didn’t seem right. The cops contacted my family who contacted me. One of these neighbors also helped me shut off the water, move the fallen sheetrock and manually lower my garage door. God sent me people. Literally people who came to aid. Again, my Soror Angel helped me navigate and have safe shelter. I am soooo grateful for commUNITY.

Yes, this week has been a nightmare. Yes, I have already alerted my therapist that I will need an appointment to process all of this. Yes I prayed daily for myself and others. Yes I still trust God. Yes I still see a reason, and a strong one at that, for faith. Yes, hope is real. Hope kept me warm under blankets while it was LITERALLY freezing out&inside. Love undergirds the good. Add commas where you need them…

Thank you for reading. I pray you NEVER encounter storms that can literally chase after your life. However comma… storms in concept will come. No one on earth is immune. Look for the blessing on the other side. Hope for it. Have faith that it will come & that your prayers don’t fall on deaf ears. In the storm… HOLD ON TO HOPE. With every ounce of you that you have. It will be the lifeline you need. We aren’t out of the storm… but the sun has come out. Light reminds us that darkness hasn’t won. Look to the light.

Ivy out.


Who feels worthy anyway?

Ahem… it’s 2021… can we de al with this myth of “feeling qualified”? Maybe this isn’t your testimony or story, but CHILE… it is mine!

I have done a few things in my life (spoken at some conferences, created and hosted some, preached, taught, published a book *no longer in print, sang a few places, facilitated a workshop I created while in another country, been on international radio stations, been a part of a Sorority almost two decades, some sisterhoods, a tribe, and this little blog of mine is about nine years old (had to go back and count)) but I have never felt qualified for any of it. I have been teaching for twelve years and I often don’t feel qualified to do that. Somehow, over 1,000 students have passed Miss Maiben’s doors. What does any of this have to do with this blog’s title? You need to stop depending on “feelings” when it comes to qualifications. I will just go out on a holy limb here and say the very fact that you DON’T feel qualified prepares the foundation for FAITH to show it’s fullll self mighty in your life. God shows up when we let Him lead. When you get these God sized opportunities, you end up with a God sized responsibilities. There is no place inside of a God sized opportunity for our human feelings.  You know why? Feelings are not a constant. They shift constantly. If you are waiting to feel worthy to do what you are assigned…you’ll never do it.

Now what I do want us to realize is, when we move in God’s will to do what God assigns that is outside of our capacity…GOD GETS THE GLORY. If we could do it without God…we would attempt claim the credit for the thing. Come on through God… get all of the glory for these assignments gifted to me. My prayer is for the wisdom to operate in excellence, the peace to survive and thrive in the process, the grace to learn and not fail, the mercy to grow even when I miss the mark, and the faith to be obedient.

I don’t feel qualified, but I do feel called. I don’t feel worthy, but I know it’s assigned. With an humble and shaky heart…I keep moving in what I am called to do.

Ivy Out!