Curse Breakers

Hey curse breakers….

Is this easy?
Is this glamorous?
Is this precise?
Is this cohesive with the multitude?
Is this Easily understood?
Is this Instantly rewarding?
Is this Optional?
Is this Smooth?
Is there a roadmap?
Will you always be inspired?
Will you always feel like doing it?
Will you get through this without crying?
Will you be able to rest?
Can you save everyone?
Will you ALWAYS operate in complete faith without exhaustion?

Answer: Nah

But keep going anyway!

It’s harder to fight against your calling than to sacrificially push on. Push through the dark days, the weary nights, the loneliness and misunderstandings. Push through the anxiety, headaches and heartaches. Somebody needs you. YOU need you!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Level up

Every stage in our lives require a version of ourselves that we have yet to meet.

Hi, Hello,how you doing?
To you whom I did not know I was capable of being.
To Whom the scabs over my eyes prevent me from seeing, Whom complacency filters me from meeting, and external voices convince me is fleeting.

Hello you, who is me but I have yet to see because although I carry you every day, I don’t dare let you come out to play
Because I know that you’ll push me higher, press harder, look deeper. You’ll challenge me to Pull myself out of the comfort of blame.

It’s such a shame.
To think that we can just press on into tomorrow just the same as we are today.

Without change. Without growth. Without shedding the skin of whom we once were. A premature, immature, unsure version of who we shall be.

We don’t know…

Yet we convince ourselves that we will collect all of the prizes won in complacency. And they will satisfy us.
Until we wake up another day and realize
Sure, we can ride in the wind of whatever brought us this far
Or blame the challenges as reason for delay…

But one thing I know for sure, tomorrow is another day.
To press on
To rise up
Saddle up
Level up

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Panties…

Things that drain me:
Children
This house
Work
Car
Family
Relationships
Friends
Lack of rest
CONSTANTLY fighting fires
Schools
Full calendar
Things that replenish me:
Children
Home
Work
Mobility
Family
Relationship
Friends
A little rest
ONE fire checked off my list ✔️ at a time
A breath between storms
A smile
A compliment
Hope
Help
Remove anything and you remove a part of me. Either way, this is my life, so I wake up each day, put my big girl panties on and press on!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CHALK

Here’s the thing about you 

You can be whomever you choose 

You may lose, you may win 

But there’s always a chance to begin again 

 Use your tools, your recourses and friends

Life is like a school

you can make mistakes 

And still turn out great!

I for one miss the days of red ink

Chalkboards

And rubber paddles

You see, for me those red marks

Represent opportunity

To acknowledge the things I should know

To wake up

To make up

To reach higher

To pay attention

To make a decision

But Which way do I go?

Do I dare to dream and believe

That if I work hard

I can achieve

Whatever

Or

Do I take a swat to two cheeks

To remind me

That there are consequences to my decisions

And although I may be forgiven,

I am still responsible

For the things that I do

And do not do…

Because ultimately, nobody can control me but me.

But that swat sure can catch my attention.

And snap me back into reality.

Reality…

Which is what?

What’s real?

What’s true?

What’s honest?

Who are you?

Sometimes the things we learn may seem beneath us.

Like 1+1 or 2+2

Grass is green

And the sky is blue

At times…

But is it ALWAYS?

And WHY?

Why are things this way?

Can you really see if you cannot describe to the visionless.

Or to deafness, sound?

You see, today I’ve taken what is within me, to share with you

Do you know, do you see, do you hear, do you understand?

Or do you need to study?

Because tomorrow I can stand before a different crowd using the same words, in the same place, speaking the same tone, wearing the same clothing,

And just like everyone standing here today, they too will hear something different

As I continue though life, I ask myself,

Am I the student or a teacher?

Or a spectator from the bleachers?

Do you show a life that others can learn

Or do you blame others when you crash and burn?

Show me the way

To spell your name

To value up your time

To make someone smile

Show me the way

You work out your problem

You break down the facts

You tally and erase

You conquer another day

Do you know why we use chalk?

Because in order for

CHANGE to be successful, we

HAVE to

ALWAYS

LEARN to honor

KNOWLEDGE that we obtain

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Starlight

As mysterious as the stars in the sky

Sometimes I

Wish I could shine as bright

Regardless

But it’s sometimes hard

…..to not be distracted

By the clouds

By the wind

By the rain

By the pain

which can dampen our spirits and change our plans

And I’m just a woman

Trying to fight the darkness each day

Trying to make sense

Trying to find my way

Praying for a break

From the pressure

Of the pursuit of perfection

You see, once you shine, it’s always expected. And people look at you, searching for that glorious light. That you cannot even see.

All you know is how to BE.

And in Doing so, give off a twinkle. One that give others hope, makes them dream, makes them smile even if just for a little while.

So you stand tall and proud and shine from within. With the energy that comes from The creator, bundled and empowered within you. You can’t contain that!!!

So Even on my darkest days, I don’t pause the shine, but I am able to breathe… and let the clouds do it’s thing,

cleansing

and nourishing.

And I Humble myself.

Get ready for the next. …. Time to shine.

So don’t worry about me. Because Honestly, even when you cannot see, the light still shines. Those clouds will go on about their way and you can once again see the fire that burns within me

….continues

star fire- (interpreted as hot, dangerous, damaging, consuming

…. but it also brings light)

Night and day. Day and night

I fight to shine bright

Like the star in the sky

Just there

… in it’s magical wonder

Mesmerizing those under

…Simply because it exists

Under the Stars
RhymeNChatt
Poetess MartinaMartina

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hard Desire, Soft Calling

Me & God keep having this tug of war. And I don’t mean to keep fighting against Him but life, habits and comfort sometimes plague me. Yet no matter how much I fight, he taps me on the shoulder, laughs then nudge me forward!

Sigh… so I go…

I told Him I wanted to work with hardware to fix broken stuff and He let me for a while, then said “play time is over, go work these pivot tables and queries”.

I reluctantly learned how to do so with the hope in my heart that I’ll love it the way I love tinkering but I don’t. Yet I kept going. I kept looking for that “first feeling” of glee when something works! But God has broken me from that superficial desire. He told me “Your duty is no longer to fix the broken, but to help the functioning be the best version of itself”.

Just wow!

So now my work as an analyst weighs heavily on identifying “at risk” opportunities, creating a plan, design, test and implement then leave users with a training manual.

How much different is my life? I spent the better part of my life being hardcore, because that was the safety I learned to rely on. But the older I’ve gotten, the more God helps me pull back, follow his lead and tap into my femininity…. the softness…. the software within me.

Sometimes our calling graduates from what we want to do, to what we are called to do. Our previous work is not in vain, but we are called to do greater.

My conference call this morning ended with “if you can throw in some graphs and charts to display trend, that’ll be great”. Oh so now they want me to tap into the software AND make it look pretty! 🤦🏾‍♀️

Thanks God, for using such a practical thing to get me to hear your voice and to let me know that you laid with me last night as I prayed. 🙏🏾

Ima still use my pink tools. Just for smaller, recreational projects. Cause I still know how to do it. I just don’t HAVE to do it nomo!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Survivors remorse

I struggle with survivors remorse.

When I started going to counseling,the truth came out. Through most of my complaints was the underlying “but look at all you’ve accomplished regardless of your hurdles.”

On one hand it’s a great motivator, it pushes me to stay on top and to continue to have a heart to help others. On the other hand it holds me back and delays further progress.

I’ll be sincerely doing good, walking in my current calling, then here come my triggers, affecting my decisions.

causing me to stay longer than I should…

hold harder than I should…

tolerate what I shouldn’t…

wait longer than I should…

pull myself back…

dumb myself down…

and carry more than I should…

Then I get tired.

But I had to learn to confront my reality. I have to acknowledge my triggers. I have to constantly fight.

I’m up for the challenge, but sometimes When I look in people’s eyes, I can read spirits so vividly and sometimes they are SO loud…

part of me want to block it out….

part of me want to show empathy….

I wish I could do more….

My calling requires a little of both so I have to learn to balance.

The battle is not about losing control. It’s not about the inability to be effective. It’s not a weakness. You cannot always “run from” your triggers. It’s not as simple as that. The things I’ve survived have no respect age nor gender nor race nor social status, therefore I can bump into them at any time, any place so I must continue to grow.

I don’t feel bad enough to ever go backwards. I can’t stop, won’t stop moving forward. I acknowledge that part of surviving means I have to respect my history and my limitations. That’s the only way I ensure that Guilt has no home.

This is one of my favorite selfies. It captures me perfectly. I call it “The Battle Within”.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dear Life

Every stage I go through, I always think, “I don’t have the strength to get through this.” And every time, I pass, with wisdom for generations. So I’m sure this too shall pass but when I say my soul is SO tired!!!
I notice I never sit back in a chair. I tend to sit on the edge, my body is never relaxed, legs bent with one poised for push-off, so I’m always “ready for whatever”.
I’m tired of feeling guilty for smiling because right around the corner will come tears.
I’m tired of finally breathing only to be blindsided by the next hurdle.
I’m tired of the drastic roller coaster of battles to overcome. Dear Lord, can I at least catch my breath?! Sometimes I just want to walk alongside the shore with my eyes closed, feeling the wind and sun, hearing the sound of the waves, the birds and clueless children’s laughter.
I’m tired of always making safe choices, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because of fear of lack of mercy from this perilous planet.
I’m tired of being the strongest person I know. I NEED SOMEONE TO LEAN ON TOO!
I’m tired of talking but not being heard.
I’m tired of keeping everything to myself because the world has bigger problems than my “issues”.
I’m tired of not being able to cry.
So every morning I pray for peace
For strength
For mercy
For a gentle word or a gentle touch to let me know i’m alive.
For wisdom
For guidance
For rest
And every day I wake up happy to see a new day because it’s a new challenge, and if I have survived the mounds piled behind me, surely this cape that I’ve been forced to wear contain the superpowers I need to run this race!
And I do so, with a pep in my step and a smile on my face, head held high, chest stretched wide. Because someone I cross paths may need positive energy from me.
“I can do this” I say. Then I press on to conquer a new day.
I learned a long time ago, this life is not my own. So whenever I’m disappointed or angry or sad, it does not last long. If you listen closely to the lyrics of any sad love song, you’ll grow to understand that the only reason it hurts so, is because I love you more than you’ll ever know.
~Dear Life
Sincerely, Martina

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Put me in the game coach?

I am going to share a story with you and I will not apologize for the language because I want you to feel a (fraction) of what those children felt….

My son made the decision to transfer back into public school his junior year in high school. Although he liked the private school he was attending, he wanted to be back “home”. We supported his decision with the caveat that he maintain an upstanding high school experience considering he was back among peers. And he did not disappoint.

Academically, he maintained. He ended up taking honors math classes and was even voted “best overall student” by administrative staff his senior year. The first year of him returning, the basketball team advanced to the state level. He got a chance to participate in that. The following year (his senior year), most of the seniors graduated so this was a challenging year of figuring out how to mesh the remaining as well as the new players. The team was decent but there were some obvious challenges which caused understandable frustration all the way around.

In one particular game, besides making mistakes, the team overall was not performing well. Although they were still ahead, the game was too close for comfort… The coach expressed his discontent in his usual colorful manor, then, In the middle of the game, his frustration reaches a high and he starts yelling at the players (voice protruding, veins popping, leg stomping yelling). Most of the players shrugged it off because this is unfortunately normally (accepted) as a part of the game and besides, that’s just how he is… On this day though, the coach dug deeper. “Yall play like some little BITCHES. Yall some punks and I don’t know why yall even here… The belligerent tone from the coach started on the court in front of hundreds of spectators then continued into the locker room, where the cheap shots started.

Some of the things thrown at the players from the frustrated coach had nothing to do with the court mistakes, nor with basketball. He chose instead to hit them remarks about their parents and other personal matters that they trusted him to know about what was going on with them at home and otherwise. One player even burst in tears, which caused the other players to shift. These boys are like family, and what is done to the least of them is done to them all. They felt one another pain. Many of the players threatened to quit. Some never returned to the court after halftime, a couple returned to gym without their jersey on and for the rest of the game, the overall spirit was defeated. It was just too much..

From coach:

“Your dad finally came to see you and you play like a little  bitch. You should be embarrassed that he drove all the way here to see this”

“You don’t contribute anything to this team, I don’t even know why you are here”

“I should call some of the players at (Local inner city high school, his alma mater) to come over here and pay them $20 each to come beat yall asses.”

One player he got in his face so close and started yelling so hard that the player could feel the spit on his face. The player turned away, the coach followed him. The player stretched our his arm to distance himself, the coach pushed away his arm then got closer in his face. The player then pushed him off him to which the coach threatened to take his jersey. The player took off his jersey and gave it to the coach then walked away. The game went on but the team was never the same.

Guess who witnessed all this? Hundreds of people, including small children and staff.

What did the assistant coacheS say? Nothing

What did the referees say? Nothing

What did the admin staff say? Nothing

What did the principal say? Nothing

Through the eyes of these players, here are members of their community watching this type antics and nobody says a word. Here you have children that was not in trouble, nor failing grades, nor being a nuisance, most of them took the abuse and never spoke back. They were merely under-performing in a basketball game which resulted in demeaning them publicly by an adult authoritative educator in front of hundreds of people.

If you are an educator, shouldn’t you be held accountable for having the ability to effectively express yourself in a respectful manner?

As a leader, shouldn’t you be held accountable for being able to display emotional control?

As an elder, shouldn’t you be held accountable for setting an example of conflict resolution?

As a coach, shouldn’t you be able to bring out the best in your players in an effective way?

After the game my phone rings for hours, call after call. It is spectators, other parents, other COACHES and even a couple refs. They saw the whole night unfold. It was my son that had the physical altercation with the coach and it was uncharacteristic.  They acknowledge the coach was wrong and was checking on my son in particular because they knew him well. They applauded how he handled himself and wanted to make sure emotionally he was okay.  I expressed my appreciation. I know that sports can be intense at times but these phone calls confirmed I was not overreacting in my offense ESPECIALLY the ones that came from other coaches who know the game. (One of the coaches was the varsity coach for the team we were paying against).

“He is fine, thanks for checking” I replied. Trying my hardest to not emotionally react.

To one coach, I opened up. “I just don’t know how to handle it. I don’t want to tell my son to kiss ass and subject himself to the continuation of this, but at the same time I don’t want him to quit. This is not an isolated occurrence, it is merely the ONE that the public got to finally witness. This year, I’ve seen the flame for his love of this game dissolve and it saddens me. He does not even play the same. I really do not know what to do but we will figure it out”. I valued his input because I know as a man and as a coach, he can give objective perspective for me to consider. He’s known my son since elementary school, my son played AAU ball for him for years, and was concerned.

So I, finally call the coach, to which he says “I knew you would be calling. I know that your son does not like people violating his personal space, but I did it anyway, and for that I apologize”.

I said I understand your frustration, and feel that my son handled himself well considering the circumstances, but besides that, but do you really think taking cheap shots at the boys, whom you KNOW are experiencing struggle and pain and using that against them is the best way to handle this situation? And getting in my son personal space like that, he is months away from being a grown man and double your size and you dare try to demean him in that way and expect him to just sit there and take it just because you are an authority? Not because he did something wrong, not because he was in trouble, but because he did not perform to your approval. Do you talk to grown men that way you encounter on the street?

His response “ If these boys are planning to play sports at the next level, they will encounter adversity. I am helping them out.”

He never did apologize to the boys. Instead, they saw each other at school the next day, spoke and head nod. After missing a few practices, my son returned to the court to finish the season but the team was never the same.

And to think, this happened unapologetically in the public. The boys don’t talk about all that they endure privately just so they can play ball…. “Put me in the game coach”?

 

Moral of the story:

While we are so quick to degrade “troubled children”, who is checking your peers? It’s not just educators but adults in general. Are we holding ourselves to the standards that we place upon our youth? Are we SHOWING them how to be? Are we teaching them how to be? It is a vicious cycle and many times, the children are returning the respect (or lack of) that they are receiving, yet we hold them at a higher performing, educational, moral and emotional standard than the adults that should know better. But we say the children are the problem.

Who else, should we accept this method of “Adversity training” for underperformance?

The police?

An employer?

A spouse?

A prejudice neighbor?

Hey coach, how did that “adversity training” work out for you sir? Did you get that trophy?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ego.

One thing you will never catch me doing is talking about someone else. Through my struggles, it wasn’t the struggle itself that hurt as much as the reactions and treatment of others. That is coming from family and non, people you know and those you don’t.

I never want to be that person that feel like I “made it” high enough to sit on the throne judging others. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DEALING WITH OR WHAT THEY FACE!

I have been that woman going to the store in a bonnet and you know what, fighting depression, it took every bit of energy for me to even GET OUT OF THE BED!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been that wayward teenager who learned at 5 YEARS OLD that NOBODY HAS YOUR BACK BUT YOU. NOBODY… (Innocence lost) It took me decades to take down my own wall (that i didn’t even understand existed) to trust people. Can you imagine FIVE years old carrying that baggage? but all folks could do is label me and suck their teeth.

I’ve been that unkempt woman who didn’t have female guidance to teach me how to properly care for myself

I’ve been that person that learned how to survive so knew nothing about thriving.

I’ve smoked a lot

I’ve drank a lot

I lost virginity BEFORE adulthood without care or concern about tomorrow.

I had babies outta wedlock

I’ve raised children alone

I’ve felt the agony of losing not one but 2 children that I never held

I’ve had to figure out this parenting thing and made sacrifices and questionable choices along the way. Heck I’m STILL LEARNING!!

I’ve been that woman who stood by and supported a man who’s loyalty was outside our home.

I’ve had bad weave

I’ve left out the house without lotion

I’ve made bad financial decisions

I’ve had and been a bad friend

I’ve dealt with toxic family

I’ve been that person sitting in church pretending

I’ve been made fun of

I’ve been broken

I’ve been confused

I’ve felt invincible

I’ve stood in the middle of the room and cried because I did not know what direction to go

I’ve wanted to DIE

At times I didn’t know there was another way to be. Other times I didn’t know HOW to break free.

The list goes on and on but the bottom line is, unless you understand that people go through stages and not every one story is the same, you have NO IDEA what it is like to live in their world. Even with those making bad decisions, what are you doing besides talking about them, judging them and passing negative energy about them? But the way these opinions are flowing, you’d think God himself appointed you emotional gatekeeper over someone else story.

I’m SO GLAD God stepped directly in my life, because if I had to rely on yall for my deliverance, I’d still be right there giving yall something else to talk about! But shoot, yall talk anyway. Stay tuned! What you see now is just a stage. None of us is where we shall be until it’s the final call.

#BeHumble

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment