Simmering Spices

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Simmering Herbs

I always love the smell of fresh linen, fresh herbs and simmering spices in my home.  Some of the herbs I grow in my garden.  I planted a Rosemary bush a few and it grows in abundance.  So I am always trying to find recipes and formulations to use it.  This is one of my favorite recipes for room scent.  Those who visit my house are always looking for a candle or a plug in as the source of this great smelling fragrance in my home during the fall.  But, they need look no further than a small pot on my stove the fills the air with such a warm fragrance.

Recipe

1 qt of water

4 Sprigs of Rosemary

3 Slices of Lemon

1/4 tsp of Cinnamon of clove

or 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Simmer on stove at a very low temperature.

Organically Walking

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This is the image of my journey last Saturday as I walked with my friend Diane in the cool of the morning.  I had awaken to a sudden burst of energy.  I was anxious to get out.  This is also known as a “new high” for people when they first start or restart exercising.  I was so excited this morning that my body wasn’t aching as bad as I thought it would be from the previous day of bootcamp that I thought I would try my luck at this exercise thing again.  As I journeyed through the park, I put on my favorite gospel music and I began to dance.  Now this is new for me.  I’m not shy anymore, but I am reserved.   In my car I am subject to dance like David danced, but never in public would I do such a thing.  I don’t know if it is the fall weather that I enjoy so much or the fire that it stored up in my bones when I hear music.  Whatever the reality is, I’m heading into unchartered territories.  Some might say that I am reinventing myself, but I lets just say that I am reimagining myself.  But, I am Happy, Happy, Happy.  In fact, I think I will download the happy song from Pharrell Williams because we are both HAPPY.

The fellowship with Diane as we walked our 2 1/2 miles was filled with Diane telling me everything inside and outside her life.  (You just gotta love Diane.  She will give you all the details).  But, as we walked along this pathway to health, I stop my thoughts just to observe this sister friend.  In the most pivotal times in the past two years, I realized that often times when I looked to my left, she was there.  When Leading Lady Lashanda died she was there to experience the pain with me.  Diane was also  right there as a supporter and encourager with Lashanda as they FORCED me to start a natural company.  Then, when my sister died two months later.  It was her, at the hospital as I agonized on whether it was biblical to remove my sister from life support holding my hand.  For all the years that I didn’t have close female fellowship, I looked over at Diane this day, and saw sisterhood magnified.

We are two totally different people.  I’m more cerebral and she is more spontaneous and aloof.  Yet, she gets me and allows me to be my quirky, nerdy and don’t-fit-in self. I allow her to be her and I love it.  She has taught me so much and I’ve known that there has been a purpose in our friendship.   How lucky am I now that I am removing myself from off the grid to know that she is still my friend who didn’t take it personal that I took a break from life.  I began to calculate some of the additions to my life and I realized that God has added Diane and for this I am grateful.  The past two years has allowed me to see God and gratitude in so many things that I would have casually dismissed or flat out ignored.  It is easy to see the beauty in nature and people when given the time.  But, it is much more special when you can find gratitude in someone calling you, a friendly text or last week a friend calling me singing Stevie Wonder’s song, “I just called to say, I Love You”.  I had sung this to Deanna (off key of course) one day and it gloriously made her day.  The day that she left it on my voice mail, I realize that you do reap what you sow.  It came at a great time, HARVEST TIME! I play it over and over again.  Her voice is beautiful.

The rest of my day was filled with such wonder and awe.  I went to a baby shower of a neighbor and the joy of a newborn filled the atmosphere. The baby clothes are so cute and all the new stuff for babies is amazing.   I can’t remember a time that I have looked in the face of a baby and it didn’t make me smile.  In fact I have several people that just bring joy to me.  Several years ago, I met three kids that inspired me in such a strange crazy way. I met them and I instantly knew that Charity, Nasia and AJ had destiny written all over them.  They carried that “It” factor and I knew greatness resides in them.  To this day, I carry pictures of them and when my day gets a little low, it is them that I can always look at and I am instantly uplifted.  I believe everyone should have someone that instantly picks you up.  I’m glad I do.  They represent the future and possibilities and I’m the better for it.  It doesn’t help that they think I’m the coolest.  In fact, Charity calls me her favorite big person.  Guess, what?  She is my favorite little person.

My day ended at an event called Judgment Journey.  It is a 45 minute walk into the End Times.  This reenactment of the end times is just what I need to strengthen my faith just a little bit more.  We could all use a wake up every now and then especially in these perilous times.  The state of our current condition in politics, medicine and war, we could all use a little more Jesus.

 

Organic Sista

 

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http://researchandwellness.com/leadingladiescolumbus/844/

The Men of His Will Her Way

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What A Man Really Wants Conference

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Lagrange - What a Man Wants

Journey Back to Wellness

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I’m back on my journey to wellness. Yesterday I started fitness training to get rid of unwanted pounds, but really to deal with some health issues. I’ve gotten off track for the past two years and my journey back to health will be daunting. But, I am determined this time to not let Life get in the way. My first day in the class about 20 minutes in the class, I felt faint. My heart rate climbed and I knew I was headed for trouble. What a minute! There is no way that I could be this out of shape. What happened to muscle memory all my trainers before told me about? Someone need to talk to my muscles because none of them remembered anything about training. My new trainer was excellent. He didn’t push me, in fact for the first time in my life, I knew I needed to stop and that I wasn’t going to pushed, forced, screamed to continue. This has been done to me so often in personal training and other classes. This time I listened to my body. My new trainer, knew that I needed a break and he actually forced me to admit that I needed a break. That was different.

To start things off, I am double dehydrated. Did I mention that I hate water? I had not drunk the 24 hours before which is a no-no. I am also on a medication that has diuretic properties (yeah, for someone who doesn’t drink water). So you can imagine how that is working out for me. Finally, I have diabetes. What in the world was I thinking. I hadn’t prepared my body at all. I recently had a conversation with my physician. Oh did I mention that I doctor myself. I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. The last few months my diabetes was out of control despite my best effort and I finally surrendered and went to the doctor. I knew that she would tell me about diet and exercise. What doctor doesn’t? Any who, I purposed to start back exercising. I had already adopted healthier lifestyle, but I know for my particular body, I get healthy through exercise. I know that I can pretty much eat what I want when I exercise. My body just responds very quickly to exercise. So when my very next door neighbor of 6 years (whom I just met a month ago, I’m so embarrassed) told me about a personal trainer, I said, Oh! Here’s your sign.

I’m a type A personality so to not finish the class would have messed with my psyche all night, not to mention my neighbor Catrina had been so kind to allow me to come with her. But, I will tell you what happened to me yesterday. I walked out of my comfort zone twice. I started taking control of my health and I started building on a friendship. This isn’t just health, that’s wellness.

I woke up with anticipation. This Fall weather makes me feel so excited. It’s a season of health and love for me. For some strange reason, the Fall makes me want to fall in love again. Hopefully in a few weeks that will be less of me to cuddle next to as I set reasonable goals for weight loss. I have purposed to detox the first five days of each month until the new year and then I will do a 30 totally body detox. I’ve done a detox every January for the past few years. This, I believe jump starts my health for the year.

On my way to work, I got excited all over again as I heard nature talking to me. I will find time to create space in my head for meditation and for walking in the park again. There’s something to be said of walking in the park on a Fall morning that is so peaceful. My respect for nature has returned. I see God in it’s beauty and his amazing ability to make the earth sing as I walk along. Happy Organic Thursday!

I am the Organic Sista. I am married to the sexiest man in the world and the mother cutest kid in the world I call “Beetle.” I hate to edit and it somehow’s throws off my organic nature (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it). I’m at my best when I’m making natural products, gardening, crafting and reading the Bible.

Welcome To Organic Sista

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10/9/14

Today is my first blog on Organic Sista.  It’s been a long journey for me to get back to this place.  I’m so excited to share with the world the gifts that I have bottled up inside of me.  I’m a natural enthusiast.  I love all things natural.  I love organic as well, but my scientific mind knows that most things are truly not organic. Over the past 10 years my life has evolved into what one might term naturalista.  I still travel comfortably in the not so natural world.  I don’t practice organically 100% of the time, because I haven’t freed myself from the dependency of certain inorganic things.  But, I’m in process.  (bet you heard that before)

I didn’t take notice for many years that my ideologies had changed about many things I put on my hair and body. I found myself looking at labels and wondering what I am putting inside my body.  But, more specifically, I seemed to disagree with most popular opinions on everything we do as a culture.  At this time, I also embarked on a spiritual journey.  From a small child, I was always curious about God.  I had so many questions that I never got the answer to.  There was never a time in the church service that I could raise my hand and ask a question.  For the most part, I’d been in church and listened to the sermons of the pastors, but, I was no more closer to God than just a mere acquaintance.  I knew God through what I was told and not what I had experienced.

As with all of us, we get older and our perspective begin to change.  Then comes this certain awareness about the brevity of life.  I found myself wanting  to know what my purpose was.  Why am I here?  What is my contribution to the universe?  I began to ask these questions of myself.   I knew I had to surrender to God to find out.  I said God, I need to know you.  I mean, really!  Who are you?  I know I  had joined the church at an early age, that I am to love my fellow man, and that I got live a Christian life.  But, what does a Christian life look like?  There were too many opinions to narrow down which one was right.  Too many denominations to know which one was the better one.   But, God, “DO YOU REALLY EXIST?”  Yes, I said it out loud.  I had to ask.  I wanted to know.  I desperately needed to know.  I can commit to anything that I believe in, but my starting point was God, I don’t really know if you exist beyond my belief in that I’ve told I had to trust you and not doubt.  The journey took me to the Grand Canyon…..where I would finally get my answers. (a future post, I promise)

What I learned from these questions, was that  our Lord didn’t  look at what I said as doubt.  It was more or less that I needed proof.  The Lord was all to eager to provide me all the proof I needed.  He simply pointed out everything I have ever known and seen.  He said, that is evidence that I exist.    Even in the Bible, we see that Jesus said if you have faith…               I actually had the faith, but I didn’t believe.  I had the faith  that God was real, but I needed the proof to believe.  I felt so much guilt for questioning God this way.  He began to show me in the Bible, instances where he spoke on faith to believe.  Each of those instances, I notice  that Jesus had taught in the area that he healed first.  So the people had to hear the world of God or his Word had spread through the region and they developed their faith.  It brought me to Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? I realized that I hadn’t been taught the Word of God to believe.  I had been in church and had faith, but my faith wasn’t activated by belief.  So my faith was just hope.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve allowed the Holy Spirit to teach me exclusively.  To detail what that means will take up more time than I have in this post.  But, just suffice is to say, that I’m being taught by the Master.  He has struck down my beliefs, my own understandings and substituted his word.  This leads me back to the original intent of my post.  Because God in his infinite wisdom knew me before I was formed in my mother’s womb, and knew the steps he had ordered for me, I have been on a journey that I thought I had led.  I can look back over my life know and see all the footprints of the Master, either leading me, carrying me and sometimes dragging me!  He has been preparing me for my highest purpose.

Today, I start this post with the best intention of allowing God to use me as his vessel to share and disburse all that is within me that he has given me that was not for my ownership.  The gifts, I have, I know were meant to be shared.  They were never mine to keep or to use for self fulfillment.  I’m the chosen vessel to transport his Word from point A to B.

So what can we expect from this blog?  I truly don’t know.  I have many talents and I know the Lord will explore them all.  But, variety adds spice to life.  So, I am WONDERFULLY EXCITED about this new chapter.

I am the Organic Sista. I am married to the sexiest man in the world and the mother cutest kid in the world I call “Beetle.”  I hate to edit and it somehow’s throws off my organic nature (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it).  I’m at my best when I’m making natural products, gardening, crafting and reading the Bible.

GONE TO SOON!

lashanda

FRIEND FOREVER

It’s been over a year since I have been able to visit the pages of the website. For the most part this website has laid dormant. I’ve been paralyzed to say or do anything as it relates to Leading Ladies. The end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 were horrible times. In two short months, we had the unexpected death of two of our Leading Ladies and the devastating separation of my marriage. Grief crippled me and I retreated. I went totally off grid to grasp the pain and deep sorrow that I felt inside. Words cannot express the loss of a biological sister and a best friend who was a sister all while dealing with a painful separation. What was I to do? I didn’t know how to navigate this new normal. I didn’t have a set of instructions. No college course had ever prepared me for LIFE.

Leading Ladies was formed out of a longing for true connection with women. I had discovered that I wasn’t open to female friends. It was my mistrust of the female’s deception that kept me from forming any bonds with most women. A casual conversation with an assistant of mine, informed that I was a loner and an introvert. This couldn’t be right I thought. I interact with people all the time. How could I be, dis-associative? After all I do have a best friend. It was at this point my assistant said, your mother has died and you didn’t allow anyone to come to your house. It had not occurred to me that I did that out of some desire to be apart from people, but it got me to thinking. I looked around and I only had one friend. A best friend who was 600 miles away. Even she and I didn’t talk much. I looked around and I suddenly felt lonely. I had management systems in my life not to feel or become close to anyone. I saw what hurt did to people and I surely didn’t want any of that.

The death of my mother allowed me to take stock of my life. I had worked my way to success and was climbing even higher when my mother died. Today, I don’t understand how I ran all the businesses, church affairs, marriage, and life in general. I was on several board of directors and was always at the ready to help someone out, but when my mother died, I couldn’t think of one person that I could call except for my assistant. I remember calling Erica, and saying I’m taking this week off because I know my mother is going to die. She later called me that day to check on me and I knew that it wouldn’t be long before my mother passed. What happened next was the most healing words of my life. “I’m on my Way.” I didn’t give it much thought, but it brought a certain amount of peace for the moment. My died that night with Erica there with me. The Lord knew in that moment, I needed someone. Erica went from being my assistant to best confidant a person could have. I was able to lay all my fears, sin, shame at her feet. She carried it on her shoulder and never showed me that she wavered from the stress of it. I had lived inside my head for so many years that I didn’t know how to come out. My mother’s death left room in my life to sit and think. I learned that all my success and ever setting goals was a mask for the guilt that I felt.

I had gotten pregnant in college. I felt ashamed as I was one of two people from my community who went to college. Everyone knew that I was succeed, but the shame of returning home pregnant created a drive in me. I wanted to repay my mother for the shame I had caused her. My mother dropped out of school in the 8th grade. She endured the pain of my abusive father to make sure I had what I needed. I still recall the day my dad told me that I couldn’t go to college because he wouldn’t pay for it. I cried. Those words still haunt me today. It was my father who threatened me to get good grades. It was he that told me a “B” means bad. I strove for straight A’s. But even with good grades he was never impressed. I thought the idea of the good grades were to go to college. My mother later told me to not worry about college. She proclaimed, “At the end of the summer you will leave her for college. I don’t care if I have to mop every white person’s floor in America, you are going to college.” So that’s where the guilt came in. I became focus at locking everyone out and creating a life that my mom would be proud of. The death of my mom released me from that guilt.

In walks in Lashanda Miles. I knew her from my orthodontist. She treated me special at my appointment for my braces. She made me a VIP. I would have never thought we would be friends much later. I was way too different. She was contemporary and I was awkward and nerd. I didn’t fit in with many women. I wasn’t into fashion, clubs or what was going in pop culture. I was into nature and science. This brilliant angel saw the best in me. She thought I was cool. She had so much confidence in me that I was scared to let her down. She would call and ask questions and I would just so happen to have the answers and she thought I was intelligent. I thought I was just lucky. It was through her pushy assistance that I launched my third company. Maybe demanded is the right word. She encourage me to be and to do all. She forced me into interaction with others. It became fun and then it became addictive.

Who knew friendship could be so good? I wasn’t totally naive. I did have a best friend. It is still the most sacred friendship I have, but it still had left me with wanting. Lashanda Miles was the gift that God gave to me to open me to the gifts that I had inside. I struggle to navigate without the footprints in my life. What do you do when one of your biggest cheerleaders die? She along with my sister has been the greatest teacher for me. I live INTENTIONALLY ever day. To do otherwise, would be a disservice to them.

Leading Ladies has been such a source of great joy and pain. How do I find my way back?

“His Will, Her Way” Conference Highlights

There are a multitude of women empowerment conferences across the globe. With hopes of doing better, being better or receiving a one word from a guru or the Lord, women pursue empowerment. The challenge with several conferences is that women attend and receive deposits without deliverance, connections without commitment, meet sassy sisters without embracing sisterhood and walk away with information without direction on application. That was a mouthful.

The Leading Ladies “His Will, Her Way” Empowerment Tour was unique. Prayers were for God to show up like fire. Belief was that every single woman that attended would get exactly what she came for. The expectation was that women would be set free. God delivered on His promises. The consensus is that the attendees feel better, faith has increased, excuses have decreased, hearts were mended, and true sisterhood has been cultivated.

If it had to be described in one word, it would be "Awesome."

His Will, Her Way Tour
Leading Ladies and the NFL & NBA Moms visit the
Tree of Life Clinic in Columbus, GA

What happens when you don’t have insurance? The Tree of Life Medical Clinic can provide healthcare cost to approximately 40,000. Unfortunately, there are no physicians, equipment, or support staff for the new facility donated by Columbus Regional. Leading Ladies and the NFL & NBA Moms joined forces to help with this endeavor, tour the facility, share testimonies and charge the community to invest in this free opportunity for healthcare. Sheryl Howard, mother of NBA Player Dwight Howard, shared with the Charity Gala attendees “the face of no health insurance.” After changing health insurance companies, Mrs. Howard lost health insurance for 3.5 years due to a pre existing health condition. Her testimony taught the audience that the face of no health insurance is not about social class, race, creed or religion. Every socioeconomic class, culture, race, etc. are affected.

The vision for the Tree of Life was clear and made plain. Attendees caught the vision and invested in the call to action.

His Will, Her Way Conference