Now and Later
When I first moved into my house ( January 2011) in Greenville, SC, I was shopping for home decor and paintings like crazy the first couple of months. I was so consumed with trying to decorate and complete every room of the house as quickly as possible. My mom gave me the greatest advice as she watched me stress myself out in this pursuit and she said, “Do one room at a time. When you purchase something, place it in the room and feel the flow of that item in the room. Either it will go with the flow or interrupt the flow and in that case either you need to move it to another location or move it out.”
One particular item that I purchased during this time was a metal flower that had multiple colors. I really liked this flower but it just didn’t ‘fit’ the feel of every room or hallway that I tried to hang it in so I put it away in my closet and would remind myself periodically that I had it and need to use it to decorate a space somewhere in the house. 7 years later, that flower stayed in that closet and never was used. For some reason I never felt compelled to sell it, give it away or even throw it away, even after I sold the house. As I packing my house to relocate to Atlanta, GA I came across this flower. I thought to myself, well, I didn’t use it in Greenville, SC so maybe I will have a space for it in Atlanta. At the time, I didn’t have my residence picked out yet so I did not know if Atlanta was going to be the place where my flower would finally hang. So I included the flower with all of my belongs that were being shipped to Atlanta, GA.
Fast forward to February 2018. I am now in my new place in Atlanta, GA. As I was unpacking my art and home decor, I came across the flower and yes; it flowed very well with my space here! I smile at the journey this flower has been on and how I never felt led to let it go but to wait on the right environment for it to be a part of. An environment where it will enhance the feel and flow of the room. It didn’t feel forced to be a part of the home décor vision. It was created for this space at this appointed time.
I look at my life and what God has equipped in me. Those gifts, opportunities and abilities are not in vain just because they didn’t manifest when and where you thought they would. This is bigger than a flower brought in Greenville, SC that is now being used in Atlanta, GA, but I know you knew that…(smile). This is about never giving up or feeling like what you have inside of you will never get an opportunity to minster outside of you. God has appointed a time, place and season in your life where He will manifest what He has equipped in you. It may not be for where you are now, but trust me, it will be for later.
Believe. Work. Wait.
Xoxo Charlene Evans
Facebook: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet
Hurry Up And Wait
I took myself to brunch after church this past Sunday and once I arrived at the restaurant, I was told there was a 45min wait. I know that normally if you are by yourself, you could just walk up to the bar and eat but the hostess quickly informed me that even the bar area had a ‘wait.’ Standing there for about 2 seconds longer than I needed to, I wanted to leave. Yes, I was hungry but not starving, the motivation was more towards the fact that the wait seemed unbearable. So without thinking any further, I decided to take a seat and wait it out. After only 15mins of waiting, my name was called and I jumped up! I quickly grabbed my purse and put an extra ‘pep in my step’ just in case he changed his mind! Hahahha! I placed my order and my food came quick, not to mention, it was also very good and tasty. I took my time eating and thinking to myself how I’m growing in the area of patience. I almost made an emotional decision that would have made the wait longer. I have been doing this a lot lately and that is, waiting beyond my comfort and praying to God to help me while I wait. Exercising my faith in waiting has been a great challenge for me as I watch areas of my life unfold totally opposite of “my” timeline. In the mist of waiting, God has the ability to change every situation as quickly as he wants to because the laws of man do not define HIM. Your life can change in a blink of an eye and I can testify to that. But I thought about the result of me waiting and how much I will enjoy the reward after I have waited. This wait was a test of obedience and patience. My willingness to wait resulted in me not waiting as long as I thought and my food was worth that 15mins. God made the 30 min difference and expedited my request…not because I asked, but because I waited.
My Prayer: God, you KNOW our beginning, our end and everything in between. Anxiety is never worth the stress of worrying about situations we cannot control. Help us to desire letting you LEAD and relinquish control. Build areas of weakness into strength. Build our trust and faith in your PLAN. Help us to not grow WEARY in well doing while we WAIT. Let the PEACE of Christ rule in our hearts and keep us! God I will trust in you and your timing, not my own! AMEN!
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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A poem dedicated to a real issue in America…Police Brutality
The inhuman behavior that confesses hate so fluently has a root
Check the soil because it determines the identity of your truth
The soil of a human is red
It has four chambers not flower beds
Receiving and releasing generational poison
Pure love has the ability to filter through taught and learned hate
Love is too great to lose
When shown, it prevails everything
Birth into inequity I understand that sin is in me
But what I do to prevent and dispel evil is a moral choice
Mom and dad taught me to choose mankind over a kind
I can remember pigmentation, not skill, was the reason my daddy couldn’t
try out for Basketball in high school but he still chose love…
I can’t imagine
And I remember, being a young girl on vacation to Dollywood in the
mountains and while waiting to be seated to eat at a restaurant, we were
denied service and my dad chose love…
We walked out and ate somewhere else
Too young to understand but my examples practiced what they preached
As I watched, looked, listened and my heart followed
A well, guarded heart that didn’t allow the issues of life to flow without
Because my root has always been love
Even when love was hard to find between hurt, tears and reality
That had nothing to do with me
Matters of the heart are disproportionally killing America
Bleeding internally from dis-ease
That seems to be connected to your sight
I don’t believe you are colorblind
Because that would mean that everyone is receiving the same treatment
You are only as blind as you want to be
Ignorance has become brutal
Before turning deadly
What is it? Tell me…what is it that you revert to in your heart that has
Pulled on but not able to uproot?
It has grown and continues to deny any food of truth
You were not born that way
Hearts become impure
Expose and remove contamination
Pump God in
When will you stop abusing authority?
What will it take for you to stop before it hits home
Because with hearts that choose to not know God
Revenge gets ugly
What if you were holding the power to break this cycle?
What if your decision to kill perception and bury experiences that
influenced police brutality ceased because you chose to speak?
Nothing will change until you change
And when you change
We all will change..
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
Facebook: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet
It’s Not By Accident
On Friday, May 12, 2017 I was involved in a 4-car accident and I was the first car hit. I was on my way to work and it was around 7:15am. I-85S was busy as usual and the traffic was in a ‘bottle neck’ state of stopping and going then all of a sudden it stopped. The car behind me didn’t stop and smashed into me at the rear pushing me into the car in front of me who then hit the car in front of it. So the car that hit me was a young man who said nothing but, ”I’m sorry” when I asked, ”What were you doing?” with the hopes that he would answer me knowing inside that he was not paying attention. The car I hit in front of me was a woman who was in a Ford then she hit the woman in front of her who was in a Lexus. Shortly after the accident was over but before the cops arrived on the scene, the woman that I hit in the Ford moved her car away from the accident scene, which immediately was fishy to me. This crash caused every car involved to have damage on their cars but I later learned that the woman that I hit and her strange behavior would later come back to me.
I received a call probably about a month after the accident from a Lawyer who was representing the woman in the Lexus. He needed me to fill out an Affidavit (An Affidavit is a sworn statement that may be notarized and/or witnessed to represent your full and honest answers to questions you may be asked or issues you may be requested to address. It has the same legal standing as sworn testimony in a court of law.) stating my side of what happened on the day of the accident because the lady in the Ford said that she did not put the damage on the Lexus. Wow?!? That was impossible with the impact of the crash so with no hesitation, I definitely was going to submit my side because it was the right thing to do.
But my actions would serve to be more critical then I thought…
I received a phone call from the lady that was hit in the Lexus who asked if I had returned the Affidavit to her Lawyer and I told her yes. She explained to me that the insurance company of the guy at fault was told by the woman in the Ford that she did not cause damage to her car when it was hit and they needed a statement in order to take responsibility for the damage on her car. This situation held up the lady in the Lexus from getting her car fixed because of the two parties involved not being in agreement to what happened.
Why did she refuse to tell the truth? What was she hiding or trying to avoid?
I then begin to think about this deeper as God spoke to me revealing a powerful revelation about this accident that is synonymous to what the power of God and the intervening of the Holy Spirit will do for us in a time of crisis.
I was sandwiched in between two cars, which caused injury to my neck and my back as a result of the impact from the hit from behind and the push back from the car in front, but I still WALKED AWAY verses being pronounced DEAD ON THE SCENE. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” THAT scripture encouraged me so much! I could have experienced much worse injuries but God’s angels of protection were on their post that morning!
Follow me….I’m going somewhere…God will bring this together….
God kept me a live because I am the only one out of the accident that could bare witness to the last car that was hit being in dispute with the car behind it saying they did not cause the damage. The Affidavit that I gave was the only witness the lady had in order to prove she was not telling a lie.
I felt such a peace when God said to my spirit, ”I will be your witness in times of trouble even when it seems like every witness around you is not supporting you. Because I am alive in spirit, I will never leave you or forsake you. All you need to do is to stand still and seek the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today! Hold your peace, I will fight for you!” Exodus 14:13-14
It was not by accident the way God orchestrated the events that morning. He is a master strategist and nothing catches Him by surprise. Hindsight is so powerful and the revelation behind incidents in life oftentimes is much bigger than the incident. If God brings you through it, He has use for it in another season of your life…stay tuned!
Xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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Personal | Profession | Passion
~ It’s Personal
I have been in love only 2 times in my life. Once while in college and the second time in my mid 30’s. The second time around was the closes that I had ever been to walking the aisle but what sticks out more to me was the “labor of love” that I poured into trying to understand myself and the man that I felt was my forever. During the hardest times of accepting what I knew to be true from the beginning, I learned the most!
The Pain Of My Fallacy:
- ……removed the need to ‘gamble’ with my expectation vs. his reality
- ……corrected a perception that I had about the term ‘potential’ mate. When I looked at the word and thought about what potential is, I discovered that I always focused more on what potential could become verses the fact that ‘potential’ is a energy about a person that is stored or dormant and it shows the capacity of something that is to become or develop into something in the future…if it has not moved out of its current state, what you see, is what it is. Nothing more…nothing less.
- ……taught me that you can’t revise God’s plan for your life. His timing, His strategy and purpose for divine connections with people cannot be forced or created by you. When we spend more time trying to make something work out of His will, because He is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), we are forfeiting our trust in the plan and purpose our creator has ordained for our lives before the foundations of the earth.
~ My Profession
If I could draw a chart to illustrate my career over a 16 year period it would look something like this::
Blue Block = the first 5 years of working
Green Block = working 6 to 10 years
Orange Block = working 11 to 15 years
Red Block = working 15 to 20 years
I bet some of you are wondering why are the blocks going down verses going up?
Glad you asked!!!
This graph has been illustrated to friends when I discuss my current state of working…how I feel like my climb up into my profession has ‘felt’ like it has been a steady ‘decline’. The progression of knowledge that I have obtained was not being illustrated in the “natural sense” and it gave me a feeling of confusion, frustration and resentment…..until I begin to look at it differently and allow God to ‘show’ me what was happening in the spirit realm so that I can trust Him while I walk out two very contradicting realities…
The Pain Of My Fallacy:
- …..deepened my dependency on my faith in GOD. If I know Him as a God who makes no mistakes, then WHY am I questioning this ‘season’ of my life? He has allowed this to happen because what He is teaching me is equipping me for the multiple ways He will be using me.
- …..matured me. Responsibility is your ‘ability to RESPOND’ and my response to this painful time had to change. It does not take away from the fact that pain will cause you to respond at times in a negative way but do you go back to correct it? Do you think before you speak? I have to give credit where credit is due…my response changed due to practicing the power of the PAUSE. My mentor and good friend Dr. Katrina Spigner not only discussed this action but she practices it in her own life. I have observed her over the years PAUSING before she responds and the result in seeing it changed my life forever. Initiating this small but powerful change has literally been my saving grace!
- …..revealed that what is happening IN me is building endurance in order to carry the multiple assignments for my life. It feels like I am going through boot camp and in order to physically get through this obstacle course, I must build up my spiritual muscle in areas of my life that need to grow. Building these areas will create the perseverance needed in order to complete this course. The building of my: Character, Focus, Integrity and Love has allowed me to trust the greater plan for my life…and that trajectory is going UP…Faith must be your guide, not your eyes…
~ I live for my Passion
Loving words…and formulating them to telling a story, poetically, is my Passion!!!
When I think back, the inception of this love was circa 1995 while performing in my High School Pageant. This extended into my college years, which lived only in a notebook until I released it publicly at an open mic in Orangeburg, SC right before graduation in 2001. That night I shared prayers on paper that kept me through some of the most challenging years of my life—college. I experience great pain and life altering events that have shaped me forever. This passion is my LIFE, literally. My spirit connects to everyday life through words…I see and hear poetry in everything unintentionally and naturally. I credit this ability to my creator, my friend and the love of my life, Jesus the Christ. I have witnessed through the words that He construct into poetry ministering into the lives of people in ways I could never predict. This gift does come without a ‘cost’ or ‘price’ to pay. But when you are called, you understand that pain associated to your God-given Gift is one of the greatest teachers…
The Reality Of My Pain:
- …..as a writer, pain will either PUSH you or PARALYZE you. I have experienced both but it’s not something I consider to be a bad thing. Sure, at times you need to produce but can’t seem to hear God through the pain, but His timing is impeccable and His word never returns to you void. If He has given you the gift, He will not be mocked but will deliver when its time. For us, it’s not convenient. For Him, it’s divine.
- …..as a writer, God will use pain to correct. Something that hurts could be signifying that something is not aligned. That alignment could be a result of disobedience. This could merit a THOUSAND examples but I trust God enough to know that when YOU read it, He will direct you to what is mis-aligned that is causing you pain and the inability to produce.
- …..as a writer, most people would agree that poets seem to talk about painful situations A LOT! From open-mics to slams to showcases, you seem to get more of a connection with audiences when you discuss pain. I disagree. While it may initially influence a response, I think its what comes out of pain that is key. Pain a lot of times is the byproduct to a blessing and if you listen long enough to a poem that starts a poem discussing pain, most of the time, the poet will not leave it there but illustrate the root or result of that pain that led to something greater…something better….something more profound.
At times, these 3 could feel disconnected due to the pain of the shift that’s taking place. But I’m here to encourage you, don’t disrupt the work of God due to your personal discomfort. Growth will stretch you because preparation is vital for the next phase of your life. Look at your Personal, Profession and Passion and allow GOD to do the necessary changes. I pray as you read only a summary level snippet of how I allowed God to move in these areas, it will inspire you to let Him move on your behalf.
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
Facebook: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet
Hidden But Visible
Today, January 6, 2017, across America, a new film called, “Hidden Figures”, will be showing in several theatres. It is a 2016 American biographical comedy-drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, the African American mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. The film also features Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons. The film recounts the story of the African-American mathematician Katherine Johnson and her two colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who, while working in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center, helped NASA catch up in the Space Race. Using their calculations, John Glenn became the first American astronaut to make a complete orbit of Earth. (Reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Figures)
I am more than excited to see this film because the story of Katherine Johnson resonates with a lot of professional African-American women and their struggle of being hidden due to factors that have nothing to do with their ability to succeed. Black women have bared the ‘background’ in a country that has taken centuries to acknowledge their intelligence and success. Discredited for ideas and concepts due to segregation has felt like a lifetime to some and without the shift in the mindsets of my fellow American brothers and sisters on equality and justice for all, we will continue to fight to prove our place in the contribution of America’s success in various avenues of life that affects our advancement in technology, entrepreneurship and so forth.
I continue to fight this fight professionally. But my method of fighting has been:: my Faith, Prayer, choosing to be a lifetime student, friends, family & mentors who want the best for me and push me even when I have moments of feeling defeated.
With over 16 years of professional experience that includes Engineering, Project Controls and Product Development and multiple opportunities working overseas reflected on a resume that has been ascribed as being ‘impressive’ from interviewers and colleagues, I STILL have to deal with being discriminated, underpaid, over looked due to the color of my skin and blatantly mistreated professionally while I watch other professionals who are not black, with less experience, move ahead. However, I did have moments that were great and nuggets to share that I believe contributed to my success and made me “Visible.”
But know this….The core of my success does not lie in the accolades on my resume as much as it does on maintaining a winning attitude which has resulted in me being BETTER and not BITTER.
I also learned that choosing to have a positive attitude opened more doors of opportunity than my degree and my decision to go HIGH when they go LOW (Thank you Michelle Obama) has saved me from having to apologize or what I like to say, “clean up a mess that I created.” ***whew!****
My humility has created moments of what I like to call, ”God’s favor”, as I look over my professional life where I gained the attention of VP’s and CEO’s who ‘heard’ about me and made a point to reach out to me for various opportunities that came with company wide recognition. I don’t take those opportunities lightly.
I want to close by leaving a word of encouragement to every young, black, female who desires to make her mark on the world wherever she is whether she is in corporate America, entrepreneurship or a stay at home mom raising her child(ren) to be upright citizens in this world…
Don’t you EVER let people discourage you from your destiny….PERIOD.
This walk of life will have many people coming and going and everyone will have an opinion about your life but the only opinion that counts is your OWN. What you feed your heart, will become your belief and will ultimately be what you SPEAK which will create the picture of your life…so, check your vocabulary. What is the language of your faith?
Prayer: “Father God, I thank you for the person reading this blog right now. Give them confirmation of your word when you said in Jeremiah 29:11,”For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Help this person to be more confident in the process of their destiny. Help them to be patient and not be weary in well doing. I trust your WORD Lord and I feel your love for me. God you said that you are with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9) and I believe that in my heart. As this person starts off 2017, let them not do anything without you being in their plans and first in their life. Help them to work unto YOU and not Man and help them to look beyond the offense but still operate in integrity. They can and will do it because they believe in themselves and your spirit which lives within them.
In Jesus mighty name, I pray….AMEN”
Xoxo Chiccy Baritone
I saw this quote circulating on social media and I had to pull it to discuss.
Unless you have been living under a ‘rock’, it is no surprise all of the turmoil our country, the United States of America, has been experiencing on a more frequent basis. I say a more frequent basis because all of the injustice of murders and racism in this country has been going on for centuries but with the advancement of technology, like camera phones and videos, it is capturing things as they happen and putting it right in your face..whether that is the news, your social media timelines or for some, first hand experiences with your own family…
….at times, I feel like I’m playing in a horror film anxiously hoping I’m not next to play in the scene…
….my heart has been hurting but my spirit has been pressing towards the only comfort that I can count on moment by moment, day by day and that’s through my relationship with Jesus Christ and the infallible word of God, the bible.
These times have challenged every Christian in America and the unfolding of this reality is not a surprise to God. In the word, He says….
2 Timothy 3:1 (NIV)
3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
To me, the underlining issue that has linked the injustice in this country comes down to one thing: Racism.
Every act of racism in this country is taught.
No one is BORN racist.
And just like something you learn that has a negative consequence if practiced, racism can only be eliminated once a person’s heart is changed.
So, I’ve ‘listened’ to people who claim to not have a problem with race but their ACTIONS have quickly discredited that notion. Until you respond differently to something you have perceived in your mind and heart, ignorance will rule your actions.
Recently, I heard a local pastor, Pastor Hasker Hudgens, on the news with News Correspondent, Nigel Robertson and he was asked a question, “Do you think Prayers are enough?” and I like his response which were all ACTION items that needed to take place.
He said, and I quote, “ I want to say prayers are working but its four things I think we have to do: We have to humble ourselves, We have to Pray, We have to seek God’s Face, then we have to turn from our wicked ways, then he forgive us of our sins and then he will heal our land.”
Pastor quoted right from this scripture:
2 Chronicles 7:14(NIV)
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
So, this is a call to ACTION…me included….
Social Media platforms are okay when expressing your concerns or voicing your opinion but the problem is, that’s ALL some people are doing…
Your VOICE and your ACTIONS are needed…
Xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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