Unlikely Champion

26 September 2016



I've told you all before that I am the daughter of a teen mother. Most often when I share this with people they are surprised. They look at me and somehow expect that I would have been less of a person because of this. They expect that my life would have turned out exactly the way my mom's did. My rebuttal is always the same, young mothers can raise good and successful children if they try.

Let me bring you back. My mom was born in the 60's. Her mother was hard working, her father was a retired navy boxer with a drug problem. She had a little brother with epilepsy who was largely her responsibility after school. Her childhood though challenging had tons of silver linings as my grandma worked hard to make sure they had exactly what they needed at all times. She also gave them a beautiful life of experiences even when their Dad wasn't around.

While navigating her early teen years my mom had fallen pregnant. She was 15 and that first baby was born a little over a month before her 16 birthday. A short time later she was pregnant again. This time at 17, I was born 2 months before her 18th birthday. So at 17 she was the mother of two. Beside all the finger wagging from her family members she also had to raise us alone because our fathers were not in the picture. 

Growing up all we knew was love. Unbeknownst to us our mother struggled to care for us. Life was hard but she never complained. She cared for us like it was the best job in the world, and she still does. 

All the odds were stacked against her being an African American teen mom and single mother of two. Resources were limited but she always found a way. She worked and was very present at school and home for us. I never felt a lack growing up and if I did I knew it wasn't because of my mother. She did all that she could do and more. In our teen years she pursued a college degree to become a teacher. She completed a bachelors degree and a few months later her masters. As of now she is working on her doctorate degree and married her sweetheart nearly five years ago. She raised both a son and a daughter (me) successfully. Neither of us have been to prison nor did we have children in our teen years like some people assumed we would.

No one expected that she would make so much of her life since she had my brother and I before she was legally an adult but she did. She's educated, a great mother, wife and a new grandmother - I hope she feels accomplished! She's the unlikely champion in our family and we are so very proud of her.

If you'd like to hear more about an unlikely champion check out QUEEN OF KATWE it releases in theaters nationwide on Friday, September 30. 

Lead me to the Cross

11 September 2016

Source
Have you ever had a song worship song that just speaks to your soul? One that so perfectly details the exact emotions you are experiencing at a particular point in your spiritual journey? I know I do. In fact, I have a few that will transport right back into a previous experience when I hear them.

One of my absolute favorite worship songs is called Lead me to the Cross by Hillsong. This song is very dear to my heart because I heard it when I was experiencing a really difficult time during my infertility journey. Our infertility journey ripped me down to my core and pulled me away from God. I felt as though I was being punished for something and I had no idea what it was. I spent so much time being angry, asking questions, and being filled with bitterness.

A few years into my journey I found a new church and I heard this song. It brought me to tears immediately. God called out to me with this song telling me I needed to be at his feet. With it He reminded me that this experience was an opportunity to see His heart and not a form of punishment. He told me to listen for his voice and that nothing else in this world matter except His glorious heart! With those words he nudged me back to home where I could find freedom from blame, shame, and guilt. The song also reminded me that we serve a God of love, not one who is eager to punish.

If you don't think you can get all that from a song. Read and listen to the lyrics for yourself.

"Lead Me To The Cross"

Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemption's hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as loss

[Chorus:]
Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and trialed
Human
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you're risen

Everything I once held dear
I count it all as loss

[Chorus]

To your heart
To your heart
Lead me to your heart
Lead me to your heart

Hillsong's Let Hope Rise releases in theatres this Friday, September 16. I have the wonderful opportunity to giveaway two tickets and a soundtrack to one of my wonderful readers. Please watch this short clip where Taya Smith talks about the meaning of worship. Tell me here on on Instagram what your favorite Hillsong worship song is.





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