Who Is SHE?
It was a Wednesday afternoon and I was sitting in Starbucks in downtown Greenville, SC right after a meeting. Working on some details on a project, my attention would shift from my lab top to the outdoors. I could not help how beautiful it was that day and I wasn’t the only one that thought the same thing. There were droves of people that passed by during this mid afternoon period—some dressed in workout clothes and some in suits but then my eye caught this woman standing there as if she was waiting on someone. I said to myself, ”She’s not from here,” and I didn’t mean that in a bad way but sometimes your spirit gives you a confirmation before your head does and little did I know, I was about to find out in the next few moments…
She looked like a young, Patti Labelle, you know the soulful singer who has hits that span over 50 years like, “If Only You Knew,” “On My Own,” and “New Attitude” just to name a few. Her attire was all black—Black top, black boots and these fierce black “cat eye” style shades that definitely fed my curiosity. Who Is SHE? Well, I kept typing away and continuing to notice this woman and somewhere in between typing and looking outside still seeing this woman pacing back and forth, I heard someone call my name. I looked up and it was one of my really good friends, Deanna Hudgens and she was with that lady! As I get up to greet my girlfriend she introduces ‘that lady’ and it’s my girlfriend’s sister! Oh My GOD! So we all made small talk and then it started to click. My girlfriend, who is originally from Flint, Michigan, spoke about this sister in previous conversations but she lived out of town so looks like I was correct!
YES! I now know WHO SHE IS! Well, not on a personal level but enough to make the association since I have never met her before.
But here is where the story takes a very interesting turn that I can only sum up in 3 words…
She IS AMAZING..
Allow me to introduce Greenville, SC to this lady. Stephanie Taylor, Founder of Taylor Made Solutions, where education meets fashion, insight, innovation and impact!
Have you ever met someone who embodied their BRAND before they ever opened their mouth? It’s like once they begin to speak, that intuition that you have about them comes to life in that moment? After the first 5 minutes into conversation, I knew I was face to face with fashion brilliance!
From her affiliations with multiple celebrities and Fashion Group International, to building the Fashion Curriculums for the Art institute campuses of New York, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, Pittsburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stephanie Taylor’s passion for fashion and academia expands beyond the classroom. She has that fashion “IT” factor and her ability to embrace the fashion culture, which is constantly changing, has allowed her to reach across demographics to cultivate this gift and her next stop is the beautiful and constantly evolving city of Greenville, SC.
Stephanie Taylor has landed in an area that can definitely learn from her. What she brings to Greenville, SC is a package that is diverse and fashion forward. This was not her choice but her stop to the Upstate is a divine appointment, one I believe is filled with potential to change the face of fashion in this city. I just happened to meet her and honoring my southern roots and the manners taught to me by my mom and dad, it will be very rude for me not to introduce her to YOU. I know “Who That Lady Is” now…her name is Stephanie Taylor.
Check out her website and stay in touch with Greenville, SC newest Fashion Mogul
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
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For the first 14 days of February, I received instructions from God to talk about Love…not just the mushy, everything is perfect, no issues, unrealistic kind of love because we all know love will be tested. No, this is about Love and all of its varies components. The bible is filled with scripture that is so applicable to Love and love situations and I was excited to be able to use 13 scriptures that served as inspiration for these short, about 1 minute poems (on Youtube). I didn’t want the month to be over without sharing with my Blog followers this series so below I have shared these poems. On day 14, I ended the series with a video poem called,”Highway of Love”…..to catch the videos for each poem, please visit my youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRrn3TMAo8iz5AMjaKnQ9CQ
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”
I know what it means to wait…I mean, I had to wait 14 years to get a drivers permit, I had to wait 4 years for a high school diploma and college degree…and I can remember being a young girl playing with Barbie’s and fantasizing about having my very own Ken. Being told time and time again to concentrate on living your life, getting an education and good job then focus on being a wife. So I did those things and I waited. Even in a relationship that I thought would end in marriage, I waited….even when I knew it was not going to end that way, I still waited. A delay is not denial and a anxious heart does not mean it’s hopeless. Sick at times, tired at times, but still beating…
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay1 #Poetry
Proverbs 24:26 “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.”
I know he didn’t want to admit the pain of the past. The aroma of residue could not be eliminated through lies. Dishonesty has a way of prolonging destiny. God loves to use broken vessels. And just because it’s Jesus specialty to put broken lives back together, it doesn’t make it easy. Fear gripped him like a bully on the playground and pride threw the sucker punches to the throat. But it didn’t silence his voice. He said, he didn’t want to lose me so he persevered through the pain of pride. His honesty was like poetry to me.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay2 #Poetry
Proverbs 24:32 “I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.”
I watched my man praise God. It revealed a spiritual conversation that he didn’t share with me. He went before the throne boldly. At first, I could not help but stare because it was like the God in Him begin to minister to the sin in me that I tried to conceal. Unspoken conviction raised a praise like vomit and my mouth begin to overflow with repentance. His admiration and reverence for the King affected me. I felt my love deepen witnessing his communion with the Most High God as a powerful lead in my life and our family. The power of praise made words no longer necessary.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay3 #Poetry
Song of Songs 7:1 “How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands.
Women with quick, long strides are trying to get to their destination. Movement builds over time and in no time she arrived looking like a bag lady. She was carrying her dignity because she had to take a job that wasn’t paying enough. She was carrying her responsibilities because she had mouths to feed. She was carrying her insecurities worried about how she looked when the load felt unbearable. She was carrying love knowing that her effort was helping out her King who God ordained as her helpmate because his hours at work were reduced indefinitely. She carried weight like a stallion beautifully.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay4 #Poetry
Song of Songs 1:12 “ While the King was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.”
I didn’t even part my lips to speak because the conversation going on in my head was louder than the conversations taking place in the room. Like a California stop, I slowed down long enough to find my seat, my feet suddenly began to pick up speed because the 7 inch heels were unapologetic. I was wearing a new perfume scent. It took me a long time to invest in myself so I decided to wear it tonight. He rose from his seat as if he was hypnotized headed straight towards me. His look spoke a foreign language. I didn’t understand so I adjusted my hair and rubbed my lips together making sure my lipstick was smooth and even. He arrived. Paused. Smiled. And said, ”Excuse me Miss, what’s that you’re wearing?” I replied, ”Confidence.”
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay5 #Poetry
Song of Songs 8:6 “ Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Our friendship is many calendar years old. We stop counting after love was realized but not initiated. Separate life paths were made up of unplanned meeting spots where our check-ins never concluded with us checking out. Open ended until we met again. It wasn’t life but death of a matriarch and patriarch in our individual families that created a closeness of hearts trying to mend individually and together. Laughter with you is not the same with anyone else….you have a way of bringing out that wild, belly flopping, mouth wide open not trying to be cute kind of laugh.
And it picks back up every time we meet.
This internal flame never went out but it was getting weak.
And this time, our meeting concluded with you deciding to never meet unplanned again. So you took my hand and initiated love with a check out day, time and place. The risk was becoming too great to keep meeting with no plan or experiencing a ‘no show’ due to another man.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay6 #Poetry
Proverbs 10:12 “ Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”
I stopped paying attention. My world reduced to an island with one occupant.
And after numerous attempts and arguments to gain my attention,
your silence became loud and your presence empty…your smile no longer filled the room because you made room for someone who slowed down long enough to notice your smile. She knew your arrival to the office.
Her Good Morning greeting was well-timed and her conversation effortless.
The power of words through communication moved his mind and then his hands.
You and her. Alone.
Then Infidelity. Then a Baby.
It spiritually killed me.
But what it taught me, progressed in me, revealed in me, convicted in me, corrected in me and showed me was my love was stronger, long-suffering, wiser, deeper and tested beyond the vows of my wedding day. Love Prevails
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay7 #Poetry
1 Corinthians 15: 33
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
He praised the reprobate mindset and fed my flesh whatever it yearned for making it harder to resist. Being connected to him was encouraging the battle to partake in sin. Countless mornings started with praise but by nightfall my mind was in a daze from all the hell he raised, what’s happening? Struggling between what’s wrong and what’s right but when I thought about life before him, I had discipline, purpose and contentment. I’ve turned into someone else because of someone else I gave my time, my mind and my soul to. His corruption created detours and distractions in the plan and purpose for my life. My money, I recovered over time but my character paid the price.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay8 #Poetry
Proverbs 25:28 “ Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”
She was a walking corpse. Dead to Life because her reckless decisions made her numb to the pain of losing control. Control over her mind and body rejected by love. She bled her insecurities openly to strangers online and at a drop of any dime from any man who pursued her. She ignored the ill will intentions of boundaries that were trespassed by well design counterfeits. Pain convinced her that standing for nothing was easier because it didn’t require a fight. Emotions are not reality. God was not present in her life. She was sinking like a ship with no sail and thought she could do it all without HIM. #EpicFail
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay9 #Poetry
Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.
He had no game…just good conversation and He paid attention.. She was a friend of a friend that caught his eye so after she accepted his Facebook request, he went on a scavenger hunt. Pictures, post, albums, repeat….his research painted a ‘picture’ of her. Cyber stalking check –ins, he decided to pull up and make his appearance seem ‘random’. He knew enough to seduce her mind long without ever touching her. But it wasn’t long before she let him touch her. Then he beat her. The confusion of a love-beat combo perpetuated until it was no longer hidden as she lived in pain and entertained death like a live in guest.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay10 #Poetry
Song of Songs 2:7
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires
I often played too close to the line of “wait” and “regret.” Relying on physical strength to pull me back trying to stay ahead of my mind and not letting my mind lead my body, almost always led to regret. Igniting the fire of temptation with reckless wordplay I created the perfect ingredients for moments of sinful pleasure to become quick memories. This behavior stayed on repeat until my actions caused a reaction and life paused. Everything I desired for my myself became spiritually dormant due to preventable agony and no one to blame but me. I opened doors that were closed, windows that were shut and jumped gates because my desire was greater than my discipline. Time and time again God intervened and then he saved me locking that desire up for the one he has created for me.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay11 #Poetry
Psalm 46: 5
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
I know it wasn’t right but I gave him my life before he made me his wife. I blame love and those butterflies things that seem to consume me every time I would hear his voice…or look into his eyes longer than 5 seconds, I promise you, I think he put a spell on me…or maybe slipped something in my coffee…I allowed him full access with no clearance so it became easy for him to hurt me. I can’t even begin to count the nights where I woke up to tear soaked pillows and puffy eyes, but I woke up. God kept getting me up each day to prove that He had more power than the woes of a broken heart and more purpose than a relationship that I praised more than Him.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay12 #Poetry
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
I hate when we argue but lately it’s becoming personal. I thought we vowed to protect each other’s wounds but we behave like a covenant doesn’t exist. I would listen long enough to respond because to hear the truth about me hurt. It ignited every fear, disappointment and insecurity that I tried to hide and deny. My life was a lie I forced you to believe until you smelled the residue of death on my breathe from dead fruit you tried to reseed over and over again..you never understood why every attempt to speak life got lost in translation….I learned the art to drown sound with fast talking because it didn’t require processing…just a reckless reaction that choked and killed my marriage.
FB: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet #LoveSeriesDay13 #Poetry
For Day 14, see video by clicking Youtube Link above
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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You always knew who the ‘new’ Engineering majors were on campus because they all were carrying these T-squares. One of the classes that every Engineering major had to take was called,”Mechanical Drawing”. This was BEFORE AutoCAD, which is the program used to do all of your drawings electronically. We learned, by hand, how to draw out our schematics which many new engineers have no clue about because its not a method that is used in the industry, thanks to advanced technology to do it quicker through this software program.
I was one of those students. And this class, I feel, was a way of challenging my ability to see things in multiple dimensions (2D, 3D) and being able to draw it to scale with your T-square. If a 1 dimension box is drawn, could you draw that same box in 2 or 3 dimensions? So needless to say, many students who were discouraged by understanding this technique either dropped out of the class or the program..
This ability to see beyond what is in front of me is very symbolic of how I handle issues in my life whether personally, professionally on my job or in my business Chiccy Baritone. I have also tried to incorporate the ‘pause’ method as well which simply is to think about other ways to view something verses only seeing it the way “I” see it. If I am looking for a solution, then I must look at all of the pieces, good and bad, to understand how they all are working for my good (Romans 8:28). There are rich lessons of life through triumph AND pain.
So what do you SEE and what are you LOOKING for?
It comes down to ‘natural’ and ‘spiritual’…One is with the physical eye and the other is with the inner spirit (or spiritual eye). Both are feeding what you believe and feel. FAITH is that change agent that motivates the outcome that you desire. It’s with the power of your FAITH that you will see God in it all. He has a way of carrying you through this journey of life by orchestrating every good and bad piece…and making something BEAUTIFUL!
So can you SEE that its not just a box? It has sides on the left and right and a back side as well…its not small but it has DEPTH to it and can HOLD many things…to some, if you are only looking in the FRONT, you will never know that it has other DIMENSIONS! ***Whew….God, I thank you!!!***
Don’t just look…but LOOK….there’s more….
Xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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Electronics are such a blessing and a ‘crutch’ to our society. And its amazing how you really have to think hard about how it use to be before cell phones, texting and tablets. Me and my childhood friends loved getting on 3 way and spending hours laughing but not AS MUCH as us meeting at the stop sign on the corner which was a perfect intersection between one friend living up the street and the other friend living across the street. We will be there until the sun went down laughing and talking about what happened at school. You really took out the time to get to know a person…facial expressions, laughs and all:-)
Now…talking on the phone is a last resort if you could text what you have to say and emoji’s express our thoughts in our head because our faces are not doing those expressions as we text. Our art of communication, even with multiple streams of communicating, is very limited because we are slowly becoming a generation that doesn’t want to express ourselves publicly or verbally if we don’t have to. I love communicating and even though its easier to text or email, I make a point to reach out through actions and deed. If I am in the office, I will walk to my co-workers desk instead of calling, just to make a face to face connection. With my friends, I try to pick up the phone and call or visit just to make the face to face connection. I want to see your face and hear your voice. I value the human connection.
There are insurmountable amounts of information that is lost through a lack of physical and verbal communication. Those pieces could be holding healing, love, misunderstanding, creation, freedom, resolutions and peace…….so I challenge you…before you allow the disappointment of a disagreement to be the last word in a conversation via text or email…Pick up the phone or get in your car and go see the person. What we try to resolve with no human connection can sometimes eliminate unnecessary time lost and restoration of that situation can sometimes be resolved in a moment::
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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“When The Roots Are Deep There Is No Reason To Fear The Wind”
I love this African Proverb. Well, this is one of many that I love. I wanted to talk about the meaning as it relates to something I learned about myself through the challenges of 2015. The moral values taught to me by my parents, the wise counsel from friends, family and mentors, and my spiritual relationship with Jesus all contributed to the depth and strength of my roots!
So what does this African Proverb mean? It can be a reference to how a firm grounding results in a natural resistance to shifting circumstances.
For example, if applied to private economy, it might mean that a solid savings account and a steady job mean that you don’t have to fear unforeseen expenses. Metaphorically, the wind cannot knock you over, because you’ve set deep roots that hold you in place. In relationships with people, you may be tested through disagreements or arguments that provoke you to respond in a way that is unethical. You resist the temptation because your desire and beliefs in not projecting an action that is not ‘like’ you are spiritually deep rooted! You have learned things to do so that you don’t respond! —like remain quiet, walk away, etc…(Help me Lord….I’m still working on this but I do not respond nearly as much as I use to!…Okay….just had to testify real quick! I don’t want to give the impression that I have mastered this!)
But a few scriptures that correspond to the point of this proverb that I love are:
Psalm 1:3 “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”
Jeremiah 17:8 “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Wow….did you catch that in the scriptures? Both made mention of a key point…that nothing stops the TREE from bearing FRUIT!!! Despite the change in conditions (heat, drought, etc.) it is PLANTED or ROOTED! WHEW!!!!!
My Prayer: God, please plant and root me in your WORD! No matter what storm comes and no matter how strong the winds are, I shall not be MOVED! I thank you God for endurance, steadfastness, forgiveness, humility, peace and LOVE. For Love covers ALL! As I approach this new year of 2016, help me to grow deep roots in the characteristics of you!
In Jesus Name I pray…AMEN!
Happy New Year Nugget Blog#3
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2015 was a major year of transition for me in the area of my career. I had been with a previous employer for several years and found myself laid off. BUT….9 years prior, I was laid off for 2 months and it went a little something like this…
First 30 days: Oh My GOD! What am I going to do? God how could this happen? I have some money in the bank but not enough to go months without a job? I won’t stop TITHING no matter how bad it gets! I hope my bills don’t increase this month! I can’t travel the way I want too, I want to shop and I can’t, I want to eat out and I can’t, God what in the world am I going to do???????????
Next 30 days: (picks up journal, increase prayer life and faith) Okay God, I’m concern but I am going to TRUST you…I will do whatever you want me to do…so my writing increased, I begin to reach out to my network and share my situation of being unemployed. God used an old co-worker who decided to be a recruiter to land me a position! SWEET!
9 years later, I was laid off for 2 ½ months and it went a little something like this…
First 30 days up until the phone call that I got the job: I woke up every morning, prayed, then headed out in the neighborhood to work out as I saw neighbors leave for work. I would wave and smile and not allow my FAITH in God to waver. After walking, I would prepare breakfast, eat, shower then spend 2-4 hours working with recruiters, networking with old co-workers via phone and email. Then if there were networking events going on locally, I would get dress and network. I met amazing connections and kept in contact.
I never kept my mouth CLOSED while in transition….
I spoke positive about the outcome of my situation as God reminded me of how it took a long time, in my opinion, to trust Him. I didn’t want to spend days like I did before worrying about whether or not God was going to provide while I was in transition. I had a savings and I drew unemployment during this time. I also, like before, never stop TITHING and giving sacrificially because one thing I know for sure, I had a financial need and I could not afford, because of disobedience, take a chance in robbing God (Malachi 3:8-18) and not allowing any “seeds” that I have planted to be destroyed. The TITHE protects and provides and I have seen God protecting me as I gave what belongs to HIM…..
God connected me with an old co-worker in whom I had a great working relationship with. She sent my resume to a manger in the department at my new job and the rest is history!
From the first day the news was revealed to me about getting laid off up until the first day I walked into my new job, I had spiritually Grew UP. I could have easily allowed what happened to me before be the excuse to not change. I didn’t want to repeat the same cycle of panicking which was unnecessary if we believe God to be our provider. Philippians 4:19 says, ”And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Do you believe that? I sure do!! But I had to do more than just quote it, post it (on social media outlets), say it, I had to truly BELIEVE that in my MIND…then it became what I BELIEVED in my HEART as well. Then by faith, my life began to travel in the path of that truth!
Transition can be challenging but remember this. It doesn’t happen only once in our life. Our lives will include transition whether we like it or not! It is an inevitable part of life that God ordains in order for us to experience the fullness of Joy and Purpose. Whatever He needs to inspect, correct and direct in us to perfect us, He will do! Its not punishment—-its God wanting to protect and love us. He knows the plans that He has for us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 Whew! What a mighty God we serve!
So as 2016 comes in, filled with blessings that come in the form of a disappointment or a victory, remember this…God wants us to experience growth, preferably growth that goes UP! Don’t let the pain of life take that growth in reverse!
Happy New Year Nugget Blog#2
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Several weeks ago, I was asked to be a panelist for a “Girls Who Rock” STEAM event in Spartanburg, SC. STEAM is an acronym for Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics. The original STEM program decided to add the ‘A’ because ART brings a sense of balance coupled up with Technology which aids innovation! Creativity and Technology are not distant cousins but more like brothers and sisters and I believe that acknowledging the ARTS was making it ‘official’ even though it has always been a part of the technological advancement of science and engineering. I hold a dear place in my heart for every component of STEAM so if you could only imagine, I was delighted when a good friend of mine referred me to be a part of this event.
I was aware of the nature of the event but I did not know anything about the ‘company I would keep’ as one of the 5 panelist. Even though I am an engineer and poet, my role in this forum was to represent engineering. When I received my itinerary through email I begin to look over the list of panelist and something stuck out immediately—I was the only person there that was not a Doctor. My immediate thought was Wow…..Then I stared at the itinerary for several minutes as my mind ran a million thoughts…One of those thoughts were, God I am familiar with the challenge of obtaining a Doctorate and I know several people in my life personally who are ‘Dr.’s’ of their respective fields so I don’t take it lightly…God…just please…represent in me when I open my mouth! (ha! Yes, that was my prayer)
But let me tell you what happened ‘in’ me while I was sitting in the mist of what I deem a ‘powerful panel of very intelligent, not only smart on paper but through life experiences as they opened their mouths” people….I had a lot to contribute as well without the DR. in front of my name. You see, I had a moment where God flashed my ‘past’ before me as I looked out into the sea of people waiting on me to ‘speak’. Sometimes I don’t think about all of the wonderful life experiences I have lived unless God brings it to my remembrance because of something happening in that moment or if I am asked to speak about my past. The Holy Spirit begin to remind me of the part all of those experiences are playing in this moment.right.now.WOW.
Please hear me…I don’t want you to leave this post saying it’s not necessary to get a Doctorate because I think that its admirable and has its place in your career goals and objectives. I just want to encourage someone who feels like they are not ‘worthy’ on paper. God has ‘kept’ you through some good and not so good life experiences that are worthy of mentioning in the company of people who may have more accolades and degrees.
There is a PLACE for your STORY and God will put you on a platform to tell it! AMEN….
And for me….I didn’t feel like, “Okay, maybe God is trying to say I need to get a Doctorate because why would He put me in the mist of all these Doctors?!?!” LOLOLOL! See, some of y’all probably thought I was going to go there but nope, my spirit didn’t unction that to me AT ALL….that moment for me was special. It was powerful and humbling. It made me appreciate my education AND my life experiences up to that moment in time. Things change and life has a way of coming back full circle to reach someone who is listening and living your life experience in that moment. That was confirmation for me as many parents and young girls came up to me afterwards to say how inspired they were by my story. Wow…..
So I say, be obedient and courageous. Speak your truth because God has created you to be a blessing to the world BEYOND A TITLE.
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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