Casual vs Dressy

Recently I noticed a major shift in church as I knew it. It was a gradual process and for some time I never paid attention to it . And then one day my mother pointed it out to me. I don’t know if you have ever thought about it and maybe you have never done it …but there is a decline in people actually dressing up to come to church . And the funny thing about this , there is some historical repetition to this and we probably aren’t even aware of it.

In this day and time jeans and tee shirts have become the norm in church . I have wondered often , is our relaxed look making our faith more relaxed and lackluster?  Do we believe that God desires our best or is he comfortable with our, ” that will do ? ” I have personally noticed the lack of respect for the House God in recent years. And I’ve blamed a lot of things on this but I never thought that it could be our appearance that is causing us to disrespect the church .

So let’s get into the reason why we dress for church . We can go back as early as in the Corinthian church where you notice that the women had to cover their heads …there was probably some sort of set aside piece that was only adorn on the Sabbath day . Also further back than that we can talk about the robes the priest had to wear , it also mentioned colors that must have been worn to certain events .  In modern times you can notice that slave women wore hats to church .  They put ribbons or flowers on their hats, why? Well its was the only way that they could have a little individuality because during the work week they were made to wear uniforms . If they could have one day where they could be uniquely them it was on the church day .

John Wesley the man who’s the founder of the Methodist movement often condemned dressing up for church . He thought it had little to do with salvation and more to do with a wealthy lifestyle . And of course it did because it was costly to find fabrics that had colors , and people who could make your clothing for a small fee. It would be equivalent to us shopping at Saks for all of our clothing . And not the sales rack .

And often that put so much emphasis to the one’s who couldn’t afford to come to church with fancy clothes. I guess that’s where the phrase , ” come as you are , ” comes from . Maybe?! But that doesn’t mean that they put on just  anything to come to church.  After his desire to get the church to pay more attention to the inside a rebellion broke out and the wealthier people and the wanna be wealthy people said , NO Sir! We are going to wear our fine clothing , God has blessed us to buy them and so we are going to wear them.

The funny thing about John Wesley’s idea of clothing was… the more flasher the clothes were the more worldly they were . Which makes you think . I was born into a holiness church that neither believed in make up or women wearing pants,  I wonder if they knew that those hats and those loud color suites were equivalent to the same disrespect that they thought make up and pants had, would they still tell me I was going to hell for my red lipstick and shorts?

Wearing clothes goes way beyond just a Sunday Morning fashion show . To my surprise when people started making more money of course they dressed better and then they were participants in church . They started to purchase pews with their names inscribed in the sides. This was just almost  as great as purchasing your first home. Now I really knew it was a significance in the relax church of today from the  dressy church of my youth but I never thought of its significance in relations to how people give to the church .

Of course now clothes are so much cheaper now , factories were introduced and no longer did people pay a great deal for fine clothing. But those working class individuals still found enough strength to continue the tradition of dressing up in their Sunday Best.

So what happened? Why have we allowed our values diminish us to just tee shirts and chucks to Sunday worship? Why have we lost so much respect for the house of God? And with this less prideful attempts to Christianity we have stopped being participants. We no longer think we are worthy to pay tithes let alone purchase a pew. We walk in church and walk out with no responsiblity . We pay people to play music, to clean the church , to do the church books. We have renamed ourselves some business name and attach a 501c3 to it . Now we can’t  talk about God , we have to accept you in our church even if you believe differently than the church does. We have a constant fear of being sued. People hate us when we give to much and too less. Even when the funds are significantly reduced bc the new church doesn’t believe in giving .

Wow I never thought I would gather so much information off one simple example of the new church . Please share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you .

 

Basically

Tesha

Defeat The Things That Defeat You

This week has been one of those weeks that I wanted to throw the entire week away . When you’re at the point that you are trying to achieve something and it seems like you are facing obstacle after obstacle and still nothing is happening, you tend to feel defeated  . It feels like you need to concede before its time or you’re already defeated even when the battle hasn’t even started.  And sometimes trying to handle the problem seems to make things worse instead of better .

Which brings me to the title of this blog, (my mother ministered this particular subject last night in mid-week service) sometimes you have have to defeat those things that try to defeat you. Life is not always easy , heck its even a tough to be born , how do you expect life to be any easier. I mean unless you were born a Trump. Needless to say life brings twists and turns and everyone doesn’t share the same struggle and my struggle in life may be simple in comparison to your struggle but isn’t it the same when you consider it a struggle?

As a daughter of a pastor , working in ministry has been one of my toughest processes. Every week I plan to quit …never to return . I spend a lot of days during my week praying and over thinking . And I mean I think about the smallest things and talk my way directly out of doing everything . At the end of the day conviction comes and I end up doing what I’m supposed to do in the beginning .  In my past I have allowed words to dictate what I chose to do with myself .  I am further behind in some areas because I have  allowed opinions determine my performance.

Have you ever allowed opinions determine how far you would go in life?And you spend your entire time focused on what they have said about you and meanwhile they are enjoying life and you have missed a great deal of life worried about others opinions.

Have you ever allowed money become your crutch ? And instead of spending time trying to make life better for yourself you spend more time mourning and complaining about the fact that money is an issue for you . I still have a problem with people who say that they want more in life but yet they never find a job or create a job for themselves , they are allowing defeat …defeat them .

Have you every allowed relationships affect your progress? Everyone’s relationship isn’t idea and unless you know how to compromise. When to say the right things. And how to say things, sometimes relationships ( no matter how much you love them ) can get in the way of anything . From losing weight , to finding a career your partner may not be the support you.  But that doesn’t mean to not continue to move forward in what you need to in order to reach the results that you desire.

Have you allowed your children defeat you ? Just this week I was having a moment because my husband is training in the Air Force and I am forced to be Mom and Dad for my children , I just had a moment of saying, how can I do what I need to do when I don’t have time for me . And in that moment I heard …” there is 24 hours in a day …” so why complain when there is a time that they sleep and time when they are in school.

Have you ever allowed the word NO defeat you ? Just because they have said no once doesn’t mean that they will say no twice. I can always remember as a child asking my parents for something. Some kids could get a better answer for certain things than others,  in my case I could get the better answer from Daddy and one the boys could get a better response from Mom. It would just all depend but I would always get a yes from Daddy . And in the event he did tell me NO I knew that No wasn’t going to be no in about 5 minutes. Just because there was a NO once …try and try again .

Have you allowed education defeat you ? I never knew that we would live in a day and time that a college education would be free, heck you can go to high school online free and get certified in a lot of fields free . All you need is time a made up mind and a willingness to change your situation. There is not a time to struggle over education when its free for the asking . And don’t ever say you cannot because you don’t have internet because school( public institutions) will allow you to work on their computers free.

I can remember wanting to be a pageant winner. It was just something I wanted to happen for myself. I worked hard, I participated in every pageant that was offered to me and I had a losing record not even placing in many areas. And then one day after losing another pageant a lady bought me a crown bc she knew I was going to lose (LOL ) and said well you’re our winner. I said thanks but I looked at that crown and said NO Ma’am I will not let this be the end of my story I’m going to defeat this losing streak ( you know if that’s something you can do ) and when the next pageant was offered to me I entered it , my confidence was high , I had prepared myself to win . This was one of the only pageants that none of my,”supporters,” attended but I was determined that whether or not I had people in the audience cheering for me or not I was going to win …that night I won and won every one I participated in after because I was determined to defeat the thing that defeated me .

What is it in life that you need to defeat . Mark it on your calendar today and say after this day it will no longer be an obstacle .

Life is for the living ….Basically

Tesha

And So We’re Here…

I just want to take  a moment and talk about weddings . One of my friends is getting married and I have to tell you I liked her better before she was getting married . I mean its no reflection on her or her peaceful personality ( she won’t read this ) and we are totally good as long as she doesn’t talk about this wedding. But the moment she mentions it , it’s like she turns into a totally different person. She’s mean, she’s asks for things that she would not normally ask for , and  she has many questions about things that she already has a made up mind about . I am wondering if this is about her special day or is it about a special day for others to admire?!

When my husband and I got married 20 years ago ( seems like it ) we put very little effort in our wedding day. Was it on purpose , no and if I could do it all over again I probably would still have a simple garden wedding again . And that’s fine especially because that day was just about us and we chose to invest in our life and not in our wedding . There is certainly different strokes for different folks but you have to wonder are we wasting time and money for a day that we are not even going to enjoy because we are so busy trying to make the day perfect.  We are really wasting money on one day and some of us don’t even have the relationships to back the weddings up , remember this is just one day .I have asked myself why do we invest in the wrong things anyway. I guess I’ll never find the answer.

So as this month approaches for my sweet friends day she has asked me to hire a make up artists to do my make up ($50) I have to purchase my dress ($209) my shoes ($90) get my hair fixed ( $120) now if you have not added that up already that’s $469 for one day . This is not even calculating all the money she is spending on one day. She has a dress, flowers, decorator, musicians, venues, and all the other things that she wants to happen on one day . I wanna say Girl we won’t be mad at you if your napkins don’t match and if you don’t have real china or if my chicken is served on plastic…just as long as you’re happy. And as long as the man you’re marrying is satisfied and I’m sure considering men he doesn’t care either .

I don’t know how you feel but as a mom and wife I can see a lot of things that I can do with $469 . I probably can buy groceries for a month ( well at least 2 weeks) , I can put gas in my car and travel to Nashville well maybe Memphis for a week end of fun .  I can buy me a nice Tory Burch bag. I could buy me a pair of Jordan’s and some Lucky Jeans. I could purchase some Coco Chanel at least two bottles. I could buy me a month load of drinks from Starbucks. I could pay for someone to do my laundry . I could pay for tuition in school for Portland .  I can pay my cable bill…pay for this site. I mean I can go on and on about the adult things that can happen with that $469.

Needless to say you make your day special and whether its big or small you will never look back on that day and think …did they have fun but rather you will think of how you felt about him or her when you finally said I do.

I’d say I do all over again in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt as long as we are happy that’s all that matters…well Basically

Tesha

The Role of The Black Woman

A friend and I had recently finished watching this season of the crown and because we are not series watchers and most of our time is spent doing other things its quite rare that we indulge in watching television series. Yet as school is currently in session it freed up a few hours to indulge in a little Netflix or Hulu action . Well we both are black women and wanted to watch a show that depicted strong black educated women . We both are college graduates, both mothers, both wives, both sisters, daughters, shouldn’t it be easy to find a show that is for and about us ?

Well we all agreed that both blackish and Marlon captured our attention . I even gave the Carmichael Show some credit although she hated it , yet we wanted more , less comedy more seriousness , strong story lines , something that reminded us of our life. And then I stumbled into Being Mary Jane. I binged watched the first season , I frequently watched episodes over and over again because I felt like I was missing something . I asked my husband to watch with me and he started using the word , whore and slut when describing Mary Jane and honestly it was exactly the words that I was thinking but just wasn’t ready to commit to such terminology when considering the one show on television that I could possibly relate to.  Then I started being embarrassed that I watched it , started questioning my decision to watch it, kinda like eating a whole box of donuts and then your stomach started getting tiny bubbles. It was that feeling . And then I started wondering did other people lead lives like this and never told anyone .  Like that one friend I had in college that always dressed sexy and went out but never had kids. Or the one friend who had already been married multiple times , is this real life and I’m just not a part of it?

I went over all the other shows on television who had a strong black lead, typical sex non-influential mad witch w a B . What is wrong with this picture . Why are we always depicted as mad and sexy ? I’m not always mad and sexy , I have my hair tied up in a scarf as we speak and I’m watching Finding Dory.  Does that sound sexy or mean ? Still I do not understand why I’m always shown in a negative light. Well not me per se but black women as a whole. From reality television to sitcoms there is little to no variation in the role of a black woman.

Remember when our roles were that of maids and mammy’s . Is this the new maid and mammy?

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Can I only be noticed for my sexuality ? And what does these plot lines have to do with the job role they have ? Why show her as a journalist when the only real thing they are focusing on is who and when she has time to have endless none romances with a lot of different men . Would I want my daughters watching this and thinking that this may possibly be their life in a few years.

And then there is Scandal …I have never watched Scandal but I did read about it .  A show that is partially based off former President Bush’s press aide, Judy Smith , who happens to an executive producer of this show. Now Kerry Washington’s role of Olivia Pope has an adulterous affair with the President . Remind you of anything ?

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Haven’t we evolved as a people that we should demand better roles ? Has the money superseded  our ability to fight for better roles. Are we as equal as our counterparts? Think about the show the Good Wife. Why is it called the Good wife ? Well because she stayed with her cheating husband and emerged from being  a stay at home Mom to go back to work and did she succeed? Yes  !

I am wondering as a whole how do black women really feel about their roles as a whole are they comfortable , should we be comfortable?

 

Basically Confused

Tesha

Finding the Right One

I don’t count myself as a professional relationship expert but in recent years I have had my fair share of hits and misses when it comes to the opposite sex . And if it has taught me anything its taught me what to really look for when trying to find the right one for me.

I think that everyone has been in the situation where they have felt that there was no one in the world that could possibly be their direct match or even if there was actually someone out there for them  where  would you find them. Now I do not have a scientific method to find the right one but I believe that I can definitely give pointers in finding the right one.

A few years ago I stumbled upon my husband .  The funny thing about it was that of all the men that I had met in that one particular year he was actually the last person that I saw myself married to. It wasn’t that he was ugly or any other thing it was just that I didn’t think that we would possibly be compatible and above all I just didn’t think that I wanted to give him a chance.  We met one day before my birthday in 2007 , it was a chance meeting . I actually thought that he was someone who I knew from a previous time . Or maybe he was someone who I had met in passing but for some reason he had a familiar face , as if he was a part of my life for some time. And that’s exactly how our relationship started out. We talked to each other as if we were old friends and for some time we were , “just friends!”

I never thought I would ever say this in my life but its good to  just be friends. In that time that my husband and I were just friends I really got to know him as a person. And we found out most of the most embarrassing characteristics of our lives. I knew when he was out of a job and he knew the day I lost my boyfriend. It was just a time that we relaxed , we didnt concentrate on previous relationships, we didnt concentrate on future relationships and we never tried to impress each other . We spent time talking about life and life goals, politics and God . We were just two people that just happened to meet and we became two people that enjoyed each others conversation.

After a  year of just talking to one another , I noticed that this man had a little bit more for me than I once knew. I agreed to finally meet him in a general location for dinner. One dinner became a date and pretty soon we were actually seeing one another and it was at last our relationship became  official , we were a couple.  It was an easy transition because we had built a great foundation of friendship and if nothing else we knew how to express our feelings and thoughts because we always had good conversation.

I often laugh about our meeting and our relationship now and the most funny thing about it is, the moment I get so terribly mad at him and want to say all the things that you would like to say but know it’s not so good to say, I remember all of those late night conversations and how easy it is for us to just talk it out . His comforting words allow me to realize why I am here with him today.

I know you are saying , what does this have to do with me finding the one but I have clearly given you some major things to look for in finding the right one. Let’s recap : 1. Get out of your comfort zone and give the person you would least likely consider a chance. 2. Develop a friendship 3. Leave your past relationships in the past 4. Learn that communication is done by talking and 5. Have fun no relationship is worth always being nervous around a person.

Have fun withdating take your time and enjoy the dating moments !

Am I a Good Friend

From the time I was a little kid until I was a young adult I was taught the importance of what it means to be a friend. My mother would always instill in me the importance it was to show kindness to others, she would say you never know, one day you may need the person that you are mistreating .  And of course as a child I kind of listened but the understanding wasn’t really there. Also having grown up as a Pastor’s daughter I had to learn how to be friendly and sometimes in that case it was harder to just want to be nice.

I met my first best friend in church. We were close in age and she made me laugh. Not only did she bring me a lot of joy to me with her infectious laugh  , she being 2 months older than me , often gave me instructions on how to play games or just how to have fun.  She was the only person I remember spending the night at her house and one of the only person that I wanted to stay at my house . I met my second best friend in middle school. After meeting in a class we became inseparable.  I thought that we would end up going to college together and even living in an apartment together during college. But in  high school we went from being best friends to just being acquaintances. My last best friend that I have ever had , we met in high school in a biology class. She seemed like a breath of fresh air.  Even though I had two other very best friends she seemed like the one that I had the most in common with. There were times that we even dressed alike and didn’t even plan it . We would buy the same clothes, we had the same taste in music and we had uncommon passion for life and living life. It was nothing for us to wake up early and enjoy the sunrise as we headed to our favorite breakfast spot for chicken and biscuits. I felt like we were destined to be lifelong friends. And who would ever tear apart such a great friendship.

But just like the others before her, one day we just weren’t as close anymore. I remember that one day I just moved on . I didn’t break any bridges and never spoke ill of her we just weren’t close anymore. A few months after I left for college. I got caught up in myself and the things that I was doing that just for a moment I forgot what a great relationship we had  . Later on  I would often think about the emptiness that I would feel when there was not a person that share what was going on with my life. No one that I could pour details into and no one that could share with me or feel compassion for me or that I could feel compassion for or hear about the details of their life and laugh. Yeah I met other people and from time to time I felt close to some of those people but I always struggled with what it really meant to be a best friend.  And I questioned myself asking can I be a friend again?Have you ever thought of what it really means to be a best friend?

I think we often use the word best and friend together without really defining or living up to the definition of what a best friend is. I think that everyone is placed in your life for a reason and whether or not it’s for a lifetime or for just a moment those spaces of time where you call someone your friend should be the time that show the most kindness, loyalty and trust. Integrity is a key to being a great friend. Friendship comes without competition , or jealousy.

Friendship is a two-way street. If I help you out with your problems, listen to me and help me out as well. If I hold a secret  for you , hold a secret for me and show the same kindness that was shown toward you . Take the time to appreciate the people who you have in your life. Remember that you have to give and be able to receive.  Friends are few and far between so open up your heart and embrace a great friendship! Just so you know my best friend from high school and I still speak and talk at least 3 times a month , we may not be best friends but we remain good friends.

I don’t really like you

With a smile he greets her .  He leans in for a hug and she backs up and places her hand out to shake  his hand. His big smile diminishes to a half grin but who cares at this point its time to get the date started.  The restaurant is already selected and its now time for dinner. During dinner as he ordered chicken tenders and fries and as she orders the fish of the day and a Quiche, she can’t help but to notice the odd way he bites his lip and rubs his eyebrow as he talks to her. Is this a nervous habit or is he just weird . As the dinner is served and after he puts the napkin around his shirt, she realizes that she doesn’t really like him. And for the remainder of the dinner , she looks at the ceiling , the floor , checks her cell phone often , pretends that her food is too much to handle and constantly looks for the waiter just in the hope that this dinner will end just as quickly as it started. Heading to the their next destination , she talks about all the things that she has to do in the morning and how it’s so important to get some good rest. Suddenly she reaches for her phone in a panic, she says its her boss sending her an email and that she must go because she has to get some work done before the morning.  And the date ends. She leaves and walks off and as casual and polite she says , ” call me.”

The next few days she tries to forget the date and promises to herself and her friends that she will never ever go out with him again. But even though she says that , she still politely answers his phone calls, replies to his wall post on facebook with kind thank you for the date , she answers his text messages and tells him to call her later on because she’s sort of busy but wants to answer him. He on the other hand takes this as if she likes and he tries to have another date with her. She on the other hand is just being nice but always has something to do . She just cannot bring herself to say , ” I don’t really like you . ”

We have all been in this situation and just like the examples I have used above you cannot see that the other person just doesn’t like you . Here’s what to look for when you want to know if the other person likes you . First things first , eye contact is very important, good conversation is also a great thing,  a date will never be cut short for work ( we’ve stayed up late for work), texts will usually have more words than , “thank you ,” or “call me later”, and last but not least everyone says thank you on replies on facebook!!!

A new day

Previously on the last episode of Tesha goes without facebook and text messaging, I was able to tell you how much I learned during a course of a week. I was reading books , looking up extra vocabulary words , talking more and then I entered back into Peyton Place better known as Facebook and entered back into the world or religion and politics! But its fun!!! Until next time you guys …. TESHA

The Power in Networking

Previously on my post I just talked about random things that were happening in my life. I often do that when I have absolutely nothing to talk about or if I have not talked to one of my good friends , Elisha. Anyway , this particular subject has played over and over in our conversations for the last few years.  So as I always say when starting my Dads show, here we go!!!!

Over the past year or so my life has been upside down, I got married and pregnant at the same time.  And my plan to get a great job and buy this super delicious house and live , work and shop was delayed because now I was pregnant, sick and down!!! A few months after our marriage I made the decision to finally move away with my husband to his hometown of Birmingham, AL. It was an exciting time for me, not only was I in a new city that was just a bit larger than the city that I had grown up in but it was the first time that my husband and I had ever lived or even spent a night together.  Well aside from the wedding night and what not. Anyway as we made our home in Birmingham, AL , renting  a Condo right down the street from the Summit ( Best shopping EVER) we tried to make that city our home.  First things first was to try to find a church that we both could attend. After a few weeks of visiting churches, we met someone who was able to invite us to his church.  We were happy to have made the connection but unhappy that church was more than 30 minutes from our home.  The next thing was finding a home and purchasing it. We found a newly built home in the Pleasant Grove community.   The home was brand new and idea for a newly married couple. After getting the home financed and just as we were about to sign the last paper on the house, I hesitated. For no reason whatsoever , I hesitated and the deal did not go through. Little did we know what would happen during the next month.  We decided to make  Edenton our home moving from a two bedroom to a three bedroom . We purchased new furniture, bought all things for the baby. We were having a girl.

In the month of April I came home for a week-end and ending up staying home because of the storms. The neighborhood that we were purchasing the first house in was devastated during the tornadoes in April .  And because of the storms , I prematurely went into labor and ended up having our little girl in my hometown instead of the place that we called our new home.

It seemed that in the months that we had spent in Birmingham, without family and without a foundation of friends were struggled in areas of movement.  We  lacked the mobility that we needed to be stable and steadfast. Did that mean that we were out of the will of God? Were we not in the city where our promises were?

To be continued…

Christmas is Here

Who would have ever believed that 2011 would go by fast. I can remember last year after moving to Birmingham, AL we spent our very first Christmas expecting the birth of our first little girl. I was only 5 months along kinda fat and counting down the days til I was able to get back into a belt and a pencil skirt and let us not forget those four inch platforms.

Christmas 2010 was a bit unusual, not only did we get our first snow fall in 20 years on Christmas but it was my first time that I was ( and not from college) driving in and making arrangements about where and when Christmas would take place. Sometimes the last few days of the year can really determine how your next year will turn out.

After driving back to Birmingham my husband and I spent New Year’s Eve watching Netflix Movies. On that same day we found out we were in fact having a little girl. So the earlier part of the day we bought a few pink items for the baby  which was something new for me , I was used to boys. We had planned to stay up the entire night and indulge in film , little did I know that before 10 PM he would be sleeping . I prepared myself to welcome the new year in alone. With a peanut butter snickers, a big kit kat and a bag of cheetoes I lifted my glass of water and counted down to midnight , and as the old year ended and new year began lightening struck and a roll of thunder sounded.  Alarmed I reached for my husband who was by then snoring uncontrollably , he didn’t move. I  then reached for the phone to make sure I was not the only person who heard the thunder roar. I wasn’t alone, no fireworks went off that night, there were no yells or screams from neighbors and little to no traffic.

The year came in chaotic.  The months seemed to drag,I can remember wanting the spring to hurry up and come but it never seemed to happen. I can also remember driving through the rain and storms as the tornadoes ripped through the south in April.  Funny thing is that right after the storm is when I was blessed to finally give birth to my baby, PK.

Although this year was filled with chaos and disappointment it was also year of reconciliation and change.  Somehow even though we lost lives and certain thing ended it seemed like God was preparing us for a clean slate for the new things that were in store for us in the next year. In this year relationships were also renewed, and confirmed.

As we spend the next 20 days or so decorating our homes, buying Christmas gifts , and having Christmas parties , lets reflect on the year and what we have done , and what we have not done. Take some time to mend some relationships, take time notes on yourself and ask yourself what can I change about myself that could possibly change the outcome of my  life in the next year , then  take some time to laugh, love and be happy!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!