The Silver Lining.

Hey family! I think that’s what I’ll call you from now on. I’m learning that family is so much more than blood relation, and my readers have walked with me through things that only family would.

Last time I wrote, I described my trip to D.C. It was full of medical terminology, tears, and headaches. I found out about the uterine tumor, cervical fibroids, and mass on my kidney. I was full of emotion and frustrations seemed to be at the forefront. Since then, my doctor decided to put a catheter in which lasted for about three weeks. I have never been more humbled in my life. I’m fully aware of how prideful I can get, but when I tell you that catheter bumped me down a few notches, I mean that. Without saying too much more, it was removed on yesterday, and we took steps to handle what seemed to be a recurring problem. I was relieved (pun intended). I caught myself thanking God every time I went to the bathroom which may sound silly, but I think we forget about the little blessings, and I’ve been reminded of them lately.

The goal is that my new medication will calm my reproductive system down enough to postpone the surgery until May. I have to re-apply for new insurance, and I couldn’t leave my students for the last two months of school. I’m learning to put my health first, but some sacrifices just have to be made. I know this isn’t the most exciting blog, and it may not be the most interesting one either, but yesterday was the first time in about a year that I didn’t leave my doctor’s office in tears. I walked out alongside my mama overwhelmed with hope.

I am encouraged, and I hope this encouraged you. Throughout this entire process, I’ve tried my hardest to stay positive and find the “silver lining” in everything. My joy hasn’t wavered, even if happiness eluded me. I fought. I persevered, and I was thankful to have an afternoon that seemingly relieved some of the pressure I have built up. Even if this new “attempt” doesn’t work, and I end up with a catheter in the next month or so, I can always reflect on the fact that this joy I feel right now, at this moment, has allowed me to step back into my classroom and serve my students with every fiber of my being. It has allowed me to be an encouragement to my friends. It has allowed me to remain steadfast.

Thank you for reading
I love you

P.S. I graduate next month!!!!!

Today’s Milestones 7/15/2014.

I’ll make this quick. I really just want to share what I would consider note worthy in this whole lifestyle change of mine.

1. I sang “Saving All My Love” by Whitney Houston without cracking, not once. That has nothing to do with the healthy eating, weight training, non-smoking (y’all probably didn’t know that I ever smoked huh? 1 year clean this month!),thing I’ve been avidly pursuing but I find it to be a milestone. I mean, come on. That song has notes and key changes that only Whitney herself could sing with ease. I’d like to thank my moms.

2.I can’t fit any of my XL leggings. Now this was only a milestone because IT’S LEGGINGS! They literally squeeze everything. I had a pair fit a little bigger than usual last week, today these basically fell off of my waist. Bye, XL.

3. Cut 2mins off of my mile. Now THIS had me extra hype! I like running. I mean, It’s therapeutic. I sing, pray, think, and sometimes start blogs but today was solely running. I can’t even remember what I thought about, that can either be good or bad. I’ll take good. So will you.

4. T-shirt drive. We’re having one. That may not be a milestone to people who know me because you know how often I love doing this sort of thing. This year has been really confusing with Abraham’s Tent (that’s my adopted soup kitchen, lol), so having this is like a big hug from God. I don’t know. This one is a little complicated. A milestone nonetheless.

You could be really annoyed. You could be really proud of me. Either way, I think today ended up being pretty productive. My life has completely shifted from what I’ve always known to what I’ve always hated (that’s a blog in the making). So having a day that felt remotely encouraging, was nice. It was really nice. I’m going to go and read Hebrews now because I can’t get that book out of my head. I love you guys. This blog felt more like a letter. I like writing letters. Hmmm…

Strawberry Schmear.

Good morning you guys! Okay, so I generally don’t blog about food or anything pertaining to food, mainly because I don’t think you care what I eat but this recipe made my morning. Beside the fact that it’s my first off day in forever, I woke up at 7am……..7……AM……. Instead of going into a Hulk-like rage, I played with my unbearable transitioning hair and tried side-dish recipes.

Strawberry shmear is what I’ll call it. So, since I’ve been losing weight I’ve really tried to kick my bad eating habits in the face but I have 3 vices: 1. Pizza 2. Ice cream 3. Bagels , they’re literally my favorites in life but instead of completely doing away with them, I’ve been experimenting healthy ways to indulge. I’m rambling. Sorry. Okay, to the point. I had a whole wheat-cinnamon bagel for breakfast and instead of butter, cream cheese, or even honey, I did the following:

Blend together (I used a bullet)

-3 medium sized strawberries

-2 tsp of honey

-1 tsp of brown sugar

-1 tbs of skim or low-fat milk


Let it get pretty smooth, you want it to at least be thick enough to smear. This should be enough for one whole bagel, because I only ate half of mine, I just placed the rest in the fridge and plan to use it tomorrow for breakfast. Now, any health guru would probably tell you to steer away from bagels but like I said, I love them, so I’d rather work it until I feel like I’m strong enough to say good-bye. Oh bagels.

Hope you liked it. This blog is a lot different from my usual ones but food is good so I like to talk about it sometimes.

I Won’t Tell My Single Mother Happy Father’s Day.

Let me preface this blog with a couple of things:

1. The title wasn’t meant to trick you into reading it. No where in here do intend on twisting my words and giving my moms any recognition dealing with Father’s day. I titled it that way because it’s true and we both hold true to that truth.

2. This blog is intended for Christian women. If you’re not a Christian woman, stop reading it… If you are constantly seeking God and His will, as well as things that bring Him glory, this blog is for you. I’m not looking for arguments or controversy, although they may come, I’m simply speaking from the point of view of a 22 year old woman with two brothers who has watched her mother independently prepare a family for this life.

Now, with that being said, I do not wish my moms a happy father’s day. One reason being, well, she isn’t my father. It’d be really easy for her to completely do away with my dad’s existence and have us all acknowledge her as the father figure but truth be told, she isn’t. I think it needs to be known and understood that children need a father. Women that boldly state they don’t need a man are seemingly prideful or hurt by some absence. Now, I’m probably biting off more than I can chew but watch me chomp. Young boys need a man that can adequately show them what a man is supposed to look like. In the same token, young women need a man that can love them innocently and unconditionally. Again, this is me speaking from MY OWN experience. Father’s Day has always had this sort of stench in my heart. It weighs heavily on my emotions and insecurities. I know this to be true of my female friends without fathers, as well as the men. I have been more than blessed with multiple father-like figures teaching and loving me in a way that my moms simply can’t. Of these men, 3 are pastors and 1 is simply amazing. This same truth is evident in both of my brothers’ lives. We all need Godly men and my mom knows that and humbly let’s them guide us, not because she’s inadequate, because she’s practically perfect, but because that’s not the role given her by God. THIS IS ANOTHER OF THE MANY REASONS WHY WE NEED MEN IN THE CHURCH TO BE MEN. Not simply to go to meetings or play leader but to actually step in where they are needed and engage with the body.

In Ephesians, God shows the roles of believers and as far as Fathers to children, it reads very clearly, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Eph. 6:4

Growing up I always applied that verse to whatever man decided they wanted to be a “fatherly” figure and if the shoe didn’t fit, he got the boot. Children needing a father isn’t the only reason I don’t celebrate my moms being my dad. The primary reason for my not doing so is because she has so eloquently taught me who the Father of my heart is. She made it evident in her life and ours that no matter what earthy figure ceases to exist, our Heavenly Father is everlasting, unchanging, and will always love me and my brothers unconditionally. Perfect right? I know man. She’s amazing. I do thank her for that though, I sincerely thank her for not being a typical, angry, single mother. I thank her for trusting God with her children. I thank her for trusting God with her own heart. I find myself thanking her a lot. In my thankfulness, she still points me to my Father. Again, in Ephesians 1:3, God is blessed for His giving us, His undeserving children, Jesus as an atonement so we can rest in His presence and glorify His name. I love my Father. My pops, dad, papa, whatever you wanna call it. He is my all and my mother got to use my earthly father’s absence as a testimony of the faithfulness of our God. She did it. As hard as I’m sure it is, she continues to do it.

Ok. I have one more reason why I don’t do it, then I’ll go away. I know a lot of men who are spitting images of what God the father is to His children to their children. I think they can have the same recognition I give my moms on Mother’s Day. I grew up around very few men, let alone good ones so it’s weird seeing the “bash brigade” on Facebook and Twitter every Father’s Day, knowing the De La Rosa, Shepherd, Edwards, Davis, Robles,Thomas, and many other men that are MEN. Appreciate them. Encourage them to continue to raise their children up in the way of the Lord. Use this day to serve in love and peace.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got. God is my Father, not my mommy. My father was imperfect, similar to all of us. We are called to forgive, love unconditionally, and live a life that brings glory to God. So, CHRISTIAN, single mothers, what better opportunity to bear witness the the Father in Heaven to your children, than this?


For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” [Genesis 18:19 ESV] – See more at:
For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” [Genesis 18:19 ESV] – See more at:



Generally before starting a blog I do a ton of research, praying, or even asking others’ opinions on the topic at hand. None of that happened here. This is completely at random and I’m almost skeptical of how it’s going to end.

*dives in*

I just texted a really good friend of mine

“It’s weird how much I love those kids…”

He didn’t say anything back but the more I sat on my couch and thought about reasons that would make my love for anyone weird, it didn’t seem weird at all. It seemed natural. I have this sort of attachment to the children I meet. It’s so much deeper than I’d ever expected it to be. They make me want to be a better woman and love with everything I can muster. I just need for everyone to hear me out really quick-like…

We have GOT to start focusing on the children around us. I know so many people, in so many different living situations, and so many different  on “child raising” that it seems necessary to remind the few followers I have to love a child. Initially, I thought this blog was going to be about the necessity of men in children’s lives, which is definitely a necessity but it is by no means the only one. Hence the picture of the father and son I decided not to take off. I stand firm in the belief that a Godly, confident, humbly selfless men can have more of an affect on a child than they’ll ever know so it frustrates me when I don’t see those kinds of men running to the opportunity to do so. In the same instance. Children need the gentle, quiet, nurturing spirit of a God-fearing woman to set the same example and assist these men in upbringing these babies. I’m not sure if you’ve read my biography but I want to adopt. I’ve always wanted to adopt. I know now more than ever in my life that adoption is and will always be heaviest on my heart. I know that has nothing to do with everything I’ve said thus far but it can, I promise it can. Every time I find myself pouring into a child I feel like I’m doing what I was created to. So many of my relationships with families at Abraham’s Tent are founded on the simple fact that I wanted to adopt those children. Now, that’s obviously not happening BUT that doesn’t mean I’m unable to reach out as far as I possibly can and do everything in my power to show those children that I love them and will always love them. I seriously have no idea what this blog is supposed to be about. I don’t even know what I should title it, or if I should. All I know is, as a body, we need to be sure we are reaching out into our community of children and loving them, Whole-hearted, unwavering, unconditional love.

Meet MawBea


This is MawBea, she just happens to be the most amazing thing to happen to me since January. I’m somewhat a caregiver, I sit with her a couple of days a week and help her with things she needs help with. We talk a lot and spend a lot of time telling and listening to each others’  stories. So, a couple of Thursdays ago, for the first time in a while, MawBea asked me why I wasn’t “going steady” with anyone. Initially I had what I’d say all figured out, being I get asked it so often. This time was different though. I asked her why she asked me that and she said, “What’s wrong with these men? Why can’t they grow up and have enough faith in love and the Creator of it to jump in!?” My mouth hit the floor. I don’t think she was saying it to say that I was so special, I legitimately think she wondered why no one had committed to me. As we continued talking she started telling me stories about how she and her husband met, this was in the 1950s by the way. She went into detail about how much she didn’t pay him any mind at first. Later in the story she said how he decided that he wouldn’t give up so easily and so the pursuit commenced. She told me the biggest leap of faith she had to do was to trust that her husband would love her unconditionally & that until that moment she didn’t think her life really started. By this time, I’d  completely stopped talking because her story captivated my 22 year old peanut brain and this is what she proceeded to say,

“Shakiyla, did I say it right? SHAHKEEEELUHHH? I love that name. Shakiyla, why are you so scared to love?”

I didn’t say anything, I literally sat there and stared at her as if she’d spoken in another language. So, being the delicate little flower she is, she threw her ink pen at me and said,

“I know you heard me! What makes you so scared to love? and don’t say you’re not because I see it on that lil face. You love tough girl, sometimes too tough, but it’s as sweet as friendship bread, why not give that love to an amazing man of God that you know will protect it?”

To my surprise, I didn’t start crying, I simply replied “Fear.” & she reminded me that there is no fear in love.

Yep. That’s what happened. 20 mins into me going to work, this conversation filled the room. I’ll never forget that day y’all. Out of no where she unknowingly told me what had been the heaviest thing on MY heart and used the sweetest most simple scripture to remind me of how INVALID that was. Now, my life has definitely already started, I have goals and desires, and this is not the 1950s but those truths stand just as firm as my fear sometimes. Sometimes.

If she knew I was writing this blog about her she’d absolutely slaughter me! So y’all better not SAY A WORD. She’s more of an answered prayer than she’ll ever know and It’s the little things like this that remind me of her virtue. She’s so special and I just think I need to start sharing things like this with y’all. Disagree? Go have ice cream and take a nap, you’re crazy.



She was walking up the garden in the picture above and the shovel was lodged in between the wall and her walker, so I go, “Maw Bea watch that shovel” and she replies, “I see it baby, thank you. Now, what am I watchin for? Is it gonna dance or somethin?” I told her to LEAVE ME ALONE, and she blew me a kiss. She’s my best friend.

“They can’t BE what they can’t SEE”


The title of this blog came from a man I can definitely consider a friend, leader, and brother in Christ. He said it with so much heart that I couldn’t help but carry it away with me in my spirit.

 I was watching a video last night, that’s January 27th, 2014, on the floor in my living. It was an interview between a 19 year old Black male (James Broadned) and an unnamed interviewer. The boy was awaiting trial for two counts of murder and pleaded innocent on both charges. That wasn’t all James had to say though. Throughout the interview, the interviewers asked him an array of questions related to the murder, the people murdered, the deceased’s families, his family, and his emotions toward the situation as a whole. Without completely giving you the dialogue of the interview, I will attempt to show you why I feel it is necessary for us, as a people, to step out into this world as an example eager for change.

When asked what he came there to do during the interview, he simply replied, “I wanna tell yall my story..”

Throughout the interview the reporter had him re-tell the story of the murder, he was more than willing. In one instance the reporter felt it necessary to remind him that he’d killed 2 young men, Broadned laughed, the reported asked him if he had any remorse, he responded with, “do it look like it?” There was one major occurrence in this video that really took my heart and shook it to the core. That’s probably why I decided to write all of this in a blog.

Toward the end of the interview he started cursing the boys he killed, their families, God, and the Devil. The interviewer responded with, “some people may say you are the Devil..” and Broadned responded with, “maybe, look me in my eyes and tell me what you see.” Now, I was more than frustrated with the fact that the interviewer would even fix her mouth to choose those words as a necessary response, but that wasn’t what turned my stomach. That boy really asked her to look into his eyes in search of an evil that I can’t even understand sometimes.

Here’s the beauty of our God. He gave us His Son, who willingly laid His life down as a payment for the sins we committed, right? That’s our Gospel. In that laying down of His life, He became our identity if we would choose to accept Him and pursue such characteristics. So in that interview, when James would have said look me in my eyes, there would have been the confidence of Christ. But he didn’t. He absolutely didn’t. It is so clear to me and the thousands of people commenting on the video that the boy needs help but I’m not sure how many people realize that he is ONE in a MILLION. We can sit up all night and watch videos like this, go to boys’ homes, visit women’s shelters, boycott strip clubs on Bourbon, and give pity faces to the kids that are engulfed in these sorts of situations, but what we need  to do is move our feet. As children of God we are called to go into this world that we should know is dark and be His light. A light is POINTLESS in a place that already shines; this is why it’s so necessary for us to MOVE.

11 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy.[a] I will feed them in justice.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

This is our God. He’s the example for believers. A couple of months ago I asked an acquaintance of mine if he could make a point to reach out to a young boy I met a long time ago. The boy has been following in the wrong footsteps and really tampering with a lifestyle I’ve seen and experienced lead to death and lots of heartache. It scared me, so I did what I thought necessary, and called on help. The person I asked apologized for their lack in the past, expressed how busy they’d been, and said they’d try to do better. I didn’t expect an apology, I just wanted help. As far as I know, the boy still hasn’t seen him. They haven’t had contact, and that hurts me more than I realized, especally after watching that video. There is absolutely no bitterness, just a lack of understanding. I get that we have our own lives, and I understand that sometimes we get busy, hell I understand that some people reading this may be thinking ‘THAT BOY IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY’…but it’s not responsibility that should drive ANY of our work for the Kingdom, it’s love. I’m learning that more and more everyday.  No matter how busy or pre-occupied with life we get, we need to sit down and remember that

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

Colossians 3:1-3

this reminds us that our lives are HIDDEN in Christ. Synonyms for hidden include, UNSEEN, KEPT OUT OF SIGHT, & CONCEALED. This means that our lives are absolutely, positively, NO LONGER our lives. Our lives are lives granted us to go out into this world that has been DEEMED defeated and show the beautiful light we thank Him for every time we open our sinful mouths to sing

“Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, how great Thou art, how great Thou art”

Oh my goodness you guys. We have to share His love. I’m not saying we can save every boy from the death penalty, every girl from street corners, every kid from drugs, every anybody from anything really, I’m simply saying we need to stop saying “I’ll try to do better” and just DO. These kids can’t be what they don’t see, and man we can show them something really special, I just know we can.

I’m totally open to hear feedback, criticism, encouragement, suggestions. Anything really, I’m open to anything.

I’m gonna go pray now. My goodness I hope you do too.