life

Pomegranate: The Sweet And Bitter Seeds of Life

Posted on Updated on

I never knew what a pomegranate was until my eyes kept noticing it in the grocery store. One day my curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to purchase two. Once I got home, I went to Google to find out more information about this strange fruit and to find out how to eat it.

What is a Pomegranate ?

IMG_1330

image0

  • It is a shrub or tree that produces a red fruit
  • It looks like an apple with a weird stem…but when you cut it open it has anywhere between 200 – over 1,000 edible seeds that are different variations of red.
  • Pomegranate fruit is a native to Iran and primarily cultivated in Mediterranean counties, parts of the United States, Afghanistan, Russia, India, China, and Japan.
  • Pomegranate has been used for thousands of years and described in records dating from around 1500 BC as a treatment for tapeworms and parasites
  • It is in Greek, Hebrew, Buddhist, Islamic, and Christian mythology and writings
  • Various medical claims of the juice used such as lowering blood pressure, fighting various cancer (prostate and breast) but no scientific evidence to prove that
[source: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-392/pomegranate%5D

I followed the instructions in a random YouTube video that I picked and began to cut the pomegranate down the middle. When I opened it up, I was shock to see so many seeds! A lot more than what’s in an apple! LOL…I stood there staring at the beautiful hues of red that the seeds displayed along with the juice that was oozing out of the fruit. While watching the video, I noticed that they placed the pomegranate in water after cutting it, which made it easier to extract the seeds. I couldn’t wait until I pulled all of the seeds out of the shell of the fruit so I scooped a few seeds in my hand and tossed them in my mouth. Oh My Goodness! I could not stop eating them! They were so good! They started off with a sweet taste but the more I ate, the more I notice the bitter aftertaste. Wow, that’s different, I thought to myself, while I continued to eat more seeds.

While eating, it was in that moment, that my mind went deeper.

God began to show me, through this fruit, how the seeds are like LIFE and they come in different variations of red, which are like experiences.

I’ve eaten some seeds that were SWEET moments that I revisit frequently. When they come, I’m never too busy to entertain. They bring memories that show up as smiles, laughs and tears of joy.

I’ve eaten some seeds that were BITTER moments that I revisit frequently as well. When they come, it’s difficult to replay but I still entertain them. The lessons still feel real and the blessing have either been revealed or still in disguise.

But then there are moments that are not either one or the other but they encompasses both a sweet and bitterness. One of those moments for me was the passing of my mother on April 26, 2011. As I recap my life being raised by my parents, I think about those sweet and bitter moments with my mom that have both played a part in me becoming the woman that I am today. While our relationship was very close we also had some ‘bitter’ times as well. Both experiences have produced ‘fruit’ in me that I have been able to share with others and embrace along the journey of life. Every time I think of my mom’s death and her no longer being here with me, it makes me sad. There are so many moments in my life right now that I long for her advice or even just to hear her tell me something funny while I am sad so that I can laugh through the pain. She had a way of making some of the hardest times in my life feel less heavy with her love and support. I carry in my heart beautiful memories of her life with me.

I know that there’s a plan for my life that involves these sweet and bitter seeds and when I think about this plan, I think about how I can approach life and that is the same approach I took when I consumed a pomegranate seed for the first time:

  • Scoop the seeds and chew them whole: Don’t approach anything without giving it your all. Bring your whole self
  • Eat the seeds: When you make a decision about anything, move towards that decision with effort and intention.
  • Embrace the taste: Whether an experience is not going well or is, learn from it.
  • Don’t spit them out: There are experiences that may not feel good at the time but they will work out for your good.

Trust and believe, God has prepared your palate for a unique experience to come!!

Xoxo Charlene Evans

Follow me::

Facebook: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet

Twitter: @chiccybaritone

IG: chiccybaritone77

Website: www.chiccybaritone.com

 

Pardon “My” Progress

Posted on Updated on

6D40ECFA-86C1-4621-9434-10CE7EB5C7BCI notice over several weeks going into my office building a sign that was posted on a door leading out to the parking garage. This sign simply said, “Pardon Our Progress.” The more I would read this sign coming in every morning for the past several weeks, the more it begin to resonate in my spirit. I begin to think about how that simple message has so much profound meaning. The phrase made me think about myself and what kind of progress have I made. Sure, this message was on the door in lieu of the entire building going through various stages of construction but I could not help but think to myself, “Pardon My Progress.”

But it doesn’t make sense right? Because the meaning of Pardon is: the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense and when I think about some of the things I have changed in my life for the better, I don’t owe anyone an apology for that! So it’s really a little play on words. To define Progress means forward or onward movement toward a destination.

I am familiar with seeing a sign of this nature especially when some kind of work or construction is being done and it would normally say, “Pardon The Mess,” which made more sense. But the phrase, “Pardon Our Progress” is intended to state that this mess that you see now, is a work in progress towards something greater, an improvement, an upgrade. (WHEW~ That BLESSED ME!)

One major change I made on April 11, 2018 was purchase an Apple Watch to keep me accountable with my physical activity and to commit to a workout time that would best accommodate my busy days. For the past 2 months I have been getting up at 5am Monday – Friday doing ‘fasting’ cardio for 30 – 45mins to kick off my day. This change has made a major impact on my life in multiple ways: My energy levels are up and when I get to the office I am ready and alert for work. I love coffee but I don’t feel like I have to depend on it to perk up my mood. I feel better and my body, along with watching my food intake, has resulted in a stronger, healthier body as I continue to slim down gradually.

This change physically has also changed my time management. I wasted a lot of time after work watching several hours of television leaving only a few hours to read and to work on more constructive projects. I really desired to get in more time reading but also time to work on some personal business goals for myself. As a result of staying more active during the day, it helped me to focus longer in the evenings without feeling too tired from the work day. Talk about a huge CHANGE for me! Progress should be measurable in order to be effective meaning you should know what you should change, create a record and test through trial and error. Progress always involves risk. “You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” ~quote by Fredrick Wilcox

Look at it this way also…Progress does not only just involve all of the positive changes you have made but mistakes and failures are also progress! Especially if what you have learned has taught you what not to do! This result gets you closer to a solution or destination in your life because the goal is to be able to look back over your life and witness to progressive changes of yourself. There is a quote by Muhammad Ali that says, “A man who views the world the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Let that marinate….

So, let me give it to you All Black, No Creamer, No Sugar, No Honey…

You have talked yourself into thinking a little change isn’t worth the effort because you looked at the end result from the end instead of looking at the end result from the beginning…the bible says to not despise small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..(Zechariah 4:10). Progress is Progressive….it doesn’t go from 0 to 100…it’s 99 other steps that you missed or ignored. Take it one step at a time until what you desire is present.

So “sorry not sorry” for how I have progressed in a little over 2 months. I don’t owe anyone an apology but I owe it to myself to do whatever I need to do in order to present my BEST self. #unapologeticallyPROGRESSING…..are YOU?

Xoxo Charlene Evans

Follow me::

Facebook: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet

Twitter: @chiccybaritone

IG: chiccybaritone77

Website: www.chiccybaritone.com

 

 

Are You Coming In Or Are You Staying Out?

Posted on Updated on

6876E33D-053D-41C8-BD70-BD2F957F9AF4Are You Coming In Or Are You Staying Out?

I can remember on those hot summer days playing outside with my friends, we will make frequent stops at my house to either use the bathroom, get something cool to drink or going in and out “just because”. I can still hear my mom screaming from the inside of the house saying, “Are you coming in or are you staying out, because you are letting mosquitos inside the house!” My friends and I would quickly run out and shut the door behind us. My mom was very adamant about a decision being made and if we didn’t make it she was definitely going to make it for us. Having the door swinging open and close was never an ideal situation because not only were mosquitos a problem, so was her central air! Running your air conditioning unit in the summer was expensive and my hard working parents didn’t play that!

 

When I think about the importance of understanding the changes in relationships (platonic and personal), I feel like my mommy and her feelings on letting the air out. A decision has to be made. Either you are in or you are out. Managing and dealing with relationships changing is tough and sometimes down right difficult. Whether you have been friends over several years or made an acquaintance with someone fairly new that you are interested in, feeling like a relationship is starting to feel or become lukewarm has to be acknowledged but not necessarily addressed. This depends on the nature of the connection and the reason you may feel that it has reached an ‘in-between’ state.

Guess what? This is also the same way we deal with our personal relationship with God. We are in and out..just fickle… Sometimes we go to church and sometimes we don’t. We don’t pray and sometimes we do. We don’t read our bibles to gave knowledge and wisdom and sometimes we do. We don’t cultivate the relationship and build on desiring a deeper relationship with God for various reasons and then claim to not understand why we are not experiencing the fullness of God. The bible calls this behavior being ‘lukewarm.’

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” ~ Revelation 3:16

This is by no means a personal attack, so please don’t take it as such. Rather, think about the areas in your life where you know you could give God more because we ALL have them. Let me raise my hand FIRST! Just like you don’t care for someone who seems to be ‘in and out’ of your life, God feels the SAME way! As a matter of fact, He is so disgusted by this behavior that He says that he is about to spit you out of his mouth! What an analogy. Picture THAT!

Make a decision about who you desire to be in God. When you think about your relationship with God, does it represent growth? If it was a chart will it have multiple spikes of high and low points or will it be a curve (not a perfect curve), but one that shows an increase that shows that you are not the same person you was 20, 15, 10, 5 years or even a month ago?!? Don’t spend your life running ‘in and out’ of your ‘Daddy’s (The Lord) house. No, once you make a choice you then form conscious, intentional decisions to walk with God every step of the way. Life is short and at some point that door to life is no longer going to swing in and out….so where will you be? IN or OUT.

Xoxo Charlene Evans

Follow me::

Facebook: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet

Twitter: @chiccybaritone

IG: chiccybaritone77

Website: www.chiccybaritone.com

 

 

 

 

Now And Later

Posted on

Now and Later

D88B376D-242C-4596-A369-CB96B4A63FC0

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

 

Follow me::

Facebook: Chiccy Baritone ~ Poet

Twitter: @chiccybaritone

IG: chiccybaritone77

Website: www.chiccybaritone.com