South Carolina

In between…..

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hands reaching
In between…

According to Webster Dictionary, being ‘in between’ is defined as : a state or position that is in the middle between two other things; a middle position.
The truth of the matter is, being ‘in between’ is a constant state of life as we leave one current season and go into the next. I like to use the word ‘season’ verses a ‘quantity’ of time because its impossible to identify how long God will have you in a season. (or you keep yourself in a season longer than God intended—but that’s another blog post….LOL..let’s continue shall we??)

***Men, please stay with me on this…even though my analogy would probably be most familiar with women, I believe that you will still be blessed and apply the point accordingly…
***Ladies who are relaxed and have transitioned their hair to a ‘natural’ state or who have heard of what it means to “go natural”, I would like to apply this process as to how it feels in life when we are ‘in between’.
My Story: I started training for a half marathon race in March of 2010 that was taking place towards the end of that year (October 2010) which was a goal I set to accomplish for myself. I use to run a lot in high school, being a part of the track team and some cross country training. I picked running back up ‘briefly’ while in college but when I graduated and move to the Upstate (Greenville, SC) that desire came back so I consulted some runners I admired and I put together a 10 month plan to train myself. It was the hardest, most rewarding time in my life as I build up my body and mind to take on a race that would change my life forever. While running many miles weekly, I was having the hardest time trying to keep my ‘relaxed’ hair together. Due to the massive amounts of sweating I did which, cause me to shampoo a lot more often then I wanted, I grew exhausted with trying to keep it in a decent style only to sweat it out that same day. It didn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion that something had to change with my hair. LONG…story SHORT, I decide to ‘go natural’.

There are many ways a woman who has chemically straighten hair can remove the relaxer. One way is to do a ‘big chop’ which means to cut all of the relaxed hair or “straight” parts out which for some women would mean going to a crop style cut that resembles a male’s hair cut. Another way is to gradually cut the relaxed hair while it is growing. This process takes longer depending on when you decide to cut the remaining relaxed hair. Everyone’s hair growth is different so for me, I went 10 months cutting about 1-2inches every other month. When I noticed the ‘line of demarcation’, which is the point at which the relaxed hair and the natural hair meets, was showing more natural hair then relaxed, I decided to wait no longer and cut the remaining relaxed hair..

The “line of demarcation” which is the ‘in between’ state of your hair is where the hair shaft is very, very weak…so weak it is prone to breakage…do you see where I am going with this?

Well, let’s apply this to human life. When you are in your ‘in between’ state of waiting on God to move you out of one state to the next, it can be the most difficult time of your life. Your anxiety to want to get THROUGH this transitional state can come with multiple challenges. Some ‘in between’ situations that come to mind, without going into a bunch of detail, can include but not limit to: jobs, relationships, sickness with a family member or friend, your business, etc. You have done all that you can do and realize that trying to prevent or avoid being in an ‘in between’ state is inevitable. God desires for us to not crumble or break but to depend and trust on HIM in order for us to experience the blessing of what is to come connecting our in between. Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus, for the joy of obtaining the prize on the other side of the cross—the resurrection—endured the pain. Like Jesus, we have to endure that feeling of uncertainty and pain that may come with being ‘in between’. To endure means to be steadfast long enough to let the trial or in between state do whatever it’s going to do in our lives in order to get us from one side of the “cross” to the other. YES!!!!!!

While it doesn’t ‘feel’ good, it will truly be for your good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This time has not caught God off guard or is happening by accident. There is a lesson to be learned through all seasons of our lives but I believe God’s desire is for us to not focus so much on the pain of going through periods of uncertainty that we miss the wisdom that He will impart in our lives. If we don’t grow weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.(Galatians 6:9). I’m curious to know what the end of this ‘in between’ will be and it will be a shame if I crumble under the pressure…so I say, Keep Moving and see what the end will be!

Let’s stay connected!

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When GOD Calls You Out….

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Purpose Over Popularity

So I went to my very FIRST Rodeo on Saturday, May 16, 2015 in Columbia, SC…and if you have never been to Columbia, SC, its not a HUGE city but big enough to not be called a “town”…LOL…

Anyway, my honey and I brought tickets early not really paying a whole lot of attention as to where the seats were but they turned out to be very GOOD seats! We were like 5 rows from the arena where all the cowboys and cowgirls will be performing on their horses. I felt like I could walk 5 steps from where I was sitting and physically reach my hand out and touch anyone or anything inside the arena…I think you get the point, right?? GOOD SEATS! *smile*

The co-host for the rodeo was christian comedian Akintunde, who I truly admire and love. He is one of my homies being that we both are from the Columbia, SC area. He did a great job co-hosting and I really enjoyed the comedic touch that he added to the evening. I didn’t know that Akintunde saw me but during the show he took some time to point out ‘celebrities’ in the audience and the first person that he pointed out was Jamal Bates who is well known as a radio personality for WFMV Gospel Station 95.3FM…then he points me out saying,”Poet Chiccy Baritone is here” along with some other things that I could not hear because I was SHOCK that he would acknowledge me. As shocked as I was, I still stood up and waved to a crowd of what looked like about 3 or 4,000 people! What I observed as I stood up AND as I sat down was that the reaction of the crowd was a polite clap but no indication that the crowd really knew who I was as an Artist….

Now…for those who REALLY know me, know that I have a divine “gift” from God to be able to find the ‘humor’ in all situations, and for me, that was kinda ‘funny’ that the people heard Akintunde give this POET some props but still was like,”WHO IS SHE?” [insert multiple laughs here]

Well….

Let me share with you my God to honest truth of what happened to me in that moment because that was not about me feeling like or being a wanna be ‘celebrity’ but it was more humbling than that to ME. For you to believe what I’m about to say, you would need to know my heart and the relationship that I have with Jesus…I had a God encounter that hit me HARD! It was a private moment made public because I know God loves me and I know He is mindful of me. You see, in that moment for me “God Called Me Out” and said,”Charlene, I want the world to know just how much I LOVE You and to serve as a reminder to you just how special you are to me. I interrupted a few moments in time just for YOU.”

WOW…God…I know that but REALLY? In front of ALL these PEOPLE? and my spirit said…”Yes…”

You see…for ME…my claim to fame is where GOD desires for me to be…and if that does not include a National or International platform then I won’t feel like I did not fulfill my purpose! Now, have I performed nationally and internationally? Yes, I have…but am I a ‘household’ name? not hardly…but what you need to ask me is am I fulfilled in my purpose with what God has done in my life where I currently am (meaning my demographic location and also in my spiritual life): Absolutely!

I can remember waaaay back to the first time I actually ministered a poem that I memorized and how wonderful I felt knowing that I did what God had unction in my spirit to do. My desire has always been that I will never let the applause of the claps or the sound of snaps affect how and WHY I do what I do when it comes to poetry! That I give it the way that God has given it to me–GOING HARD at the mic with all heart and soul whether its 2 people, 200 people, 2000 people or more in the room because as far as I’m concern, I’m performing to my King Jesus and anyone else in the room are my special guests:-).

So to my independent and inspiring artist I have one question to ask: What motivates you to share your gift? For the claps of the crowd? For the praise of people or to receive some kind of recognition? and the next question would be, if the claps were not up to your liking and you never receive an award for what you do or no one comes up to you to pat you on your back and tell you how great you were, would you continue?

Here is something to revert back to. I believe that if God called you out, whether publicly or privately and placed a desire in your heart, He has already equipped you with everything you need to grow and nurture that ‘gift’. Once you understand that the “gift” is for giving and not receiving, those spiritual encounters, like the one I had at the rodeo, will keep you ‘driven’ by your purpose and not how popular you can get.

As I have matured in my Faith and God, I trust what He is doing in the process of me “becoming.” I’m living life on PURPOSE.

Romans 12:3New International Version (NIV)

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

xoxo Chiccy Baritone

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