Incomparable. . .Indescribable. . .Amazing!

Maya continuing her tradition of topping the Christmas tree with her daddy.

Maya continuing her tradition of topping the Christmas tree with her daddy.

I witnessed and lived miracles in 2012.  It was a year so amazing that I never could have predicted it.  Two major miracles were that I had a successful open heart surgery followed by an amazingly quick recovery, and that I left the world of full-time employment to follow my passions.

My amazing family. Poor babies are tired from too much Christmas shopping!

My amazing family. Poor babies are tired from too much Christmas shopping!

When I think of 2012, I think of the lyrics to my favorite song, “Indescribable” as sung by Kiki Sheard:

“Indescribable, uncontainable, You place the stars in the sky and You know them by name, You are amazing God.
All powerful, untamable, awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim, You are amazing God.

Incomparable, unchangeable, You’ve seen the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing God.
You are amazing God.”

My photo doesn't do this beautiful Christmas tree in Orlando justice.  It was huge!

My photo doesn’t do this beautiful Christmas tree in Orlando justice. It was huge!

God is incomparable, indescribable. . . simply amazing.  And I am humbled that He cares enough about me to be intimately involved in the details of my life.  I’m awestruck that He loves me enough to make everyday miracles in my life.I am looking forward to 2013 and waiting expectantly for more miracles!

What are you expecting for 2013?  I know you will experience amazing miracles this year!

Hope for the Future

Sometimes I get saddened by the headlines I see.  I’m particularly saddened by what I hear and read about our young people.  If you listened to the news reports you’d believe that they are all murdering each other, dropping out of school, giving birth to children that they can’t afford to feed, abandoning children that they can’t afford to feed and about a million other pitiful things.

I was honored to be a speaker for Tau Nu's "The Apprentice."

I was honored to be a speaker for the Tau Nu chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s “The Apprentice” at The College of The Bahamas.

Don’t get me wrong.  These things are happening.  They are happening at an alarming rate.  But there are amazing things happening too.  Young people are quietly doing things that give us hope for the future.

The Tau Nu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc is an organization full of young women who give me a reason to hope.  The chapter of the sorority is brand new and was established earlier this year.  Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is the oldest Greek-letter organization founded by women of African descent, and is known world-wide for providing “service to all mankind.”

As a member of the organization, I was thrilled to see an undergraduate chapter established locally here in The Bahamas.  But I was also worried.  I wondered if the young ladies of today would honor the time-honored tradition of making the community better.  One look at their social media page just a few months after they were chartered told me that I had nothing to worry about.  Through Facebook, I could see that these young ladies were doing great things on campus and in the wider community.

I was thrilled and honored when they allowed me to join them as a speaker for a program they provided to the community.  The program called “The Apprentice” focused on educating future entrepreneurs on the ups and downs of business.  It was my pleasure to share just a few business tips that I’ve gleaned from my freelance writing business.  Then Debbie Bartlett, a Bahamian media mogul, shared valuable pointers.

The event was well-organized and well-attended.  And I was impressed with the questions from the students.  Tau Nu did an amazing job of providing a needed service for their peers.

Less than two hours with these young ladies gave me what I need to combat the unending headlines.  Hope for the future!

What gives you hope for the future?

Why I Love Nassau at This Time of Year

In Nassau, Christmas ornaments laugh at Thanksgiving.

The air is crisp but still balmy.  The palm trees dance in the wind.  Without a care or thought about Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations start to go up on streets and roundabouts.  It all makes me smile.  I love Nassau at this time of year.Anyone who knows me knows that I rarely put the words “love” and “Nassau” together.  It’s not a reflection of Nassau at all.  It’s a reflection of me.  I am so not an island girl.  I’m all about conveniences, getting things done efficiently, justice and walking fast – so not Nassau.  I admit that my American mindset often hinders me from seeing the beauty of this little island.  But when the weather starts to cool off in November and my calendar gets booked up from holiday parties, I absolutely love Nassau.

I think what I really love about Nassau during November and December is that people start to get kinder and merrier.  It’s like the philanthropic heart of this community comes alive.  Organizations start to do food drives for those in need.  Friends get together and volunteer at local soup kitchens.  And everyone opens their doors to make sure that you have a place to eat, drink and be merry from now until New Years.

The holidays bring out the best of people in Nassau.  The cool breezes seem to sweep love and laughter into the island.  And for a few brief months as I smile at the kindness on the island, Nassau feels like home.

Besides sharing my on-again-off-again love for Nassau, I wanted to share some links to my latest online stories:

Raising Sasha, Malia & Willow

Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

Thanks for reading!

Why “Black Girls Rock!”?

Relaxing in beautiful Boca with a little black girl who rocks

Like thousands of black women, I just finished watching the awards show Black Girls Rock!  This annual show and national movement is an amazing celebration of today’s black women, our spirit and our accomplishments. In 2012, when African-American women and women from throughout the African diaspora have accomplished so much, it’s easy for many to wonder why a show like this is necessary.  Many may wonder why black women feel the need to continually affirm themselves publicly?Believe me, it is extremely necessary.  It’s not just that black girls and women continually see negative images of themselves in the media.  Yes, that does happen.  But more often we don’t see enough images of ourselves cloaked in success.  Not in the media and sadly not in real life.This week my husband went to a conference in Boca Raton, Florida.  Maya (my daughter) and I tagged along since it was her school’s fall break and my husband’s sessions were only for half a day.  It was my first time in Boca and my first time at the resort where the conference was held.  Both the city and the resort where we stayed were absolutely stunning. The resort and the gorgeous city were both clearly created for the affluent.  There were lots of wealthy families vacationing and having fun.  But for 5 days straight, the only black family that I saw in this playground for the rich and fabulous was my own.

Although we had a wonderful time, it would have been even more wonderful if my daughter could have seen other black children having fun with their moms and dads.   The experience would have been so much richer if the other black faces she saw weren’t just the housekeepers, hotel staff and resort shuttle bus drivers.

This is not a commentary on the resort.  And it’s not a commentary on beautiful Boca Raton or those that are able to afford this luxury.  This observation is a commentary that shows that we have not arrived yet, we have not overcome yet and we do have so much further to go to make the dream a reality for all of us – especially those of us with brown skin.

So Black Girls Rock! and other programs that highlight the accomplishments of black women are very necessary.  We don’t get to see our own success every day.  And when we see it, the world is always too busy to celebrate it.

So I’m thankful for this show that shines a light on the beauty and accomplishments of black women.  It helps me tell my daughter that black girls do indeed rock.  It’s one thing for me to tell her, but it’s quite another for her to see it with her own eyes.

Latest Article: Where Do Babies Come From?

Hi, Friends!

Things have been busy with business and family lately, but I thought it would be fun to share some of my freelance articles from time to time.  Writing about motherhood, and empowering women is my passion, so I feel blessed to share my thoughts with you.

Check out this link for my latest story:  Where Do Babies Come From?

Can any of you moms relate to this story?  I’d love your feedback!

With love,

Yolanda

Nuggets of Gold

This pen and pad have become my constant companions.  And I do mean constant.  I carry them everywhere — in my car, at my dinner table, next to my bed.  And those very rare times when this pad of paper is not with me are the exact moments when I come up with a new idea or a new angle to write from.  Since I’m a freelance writer, these new ideas are like nuggets of gold falling from the sky.

I love my pen and pad because to me they symbolize new ideas –a constant flow of new ideas that sometimes come so quickly that I can barely capture them.  I love my pen and pad because it wasn’t always this way.  A few years ago my mind was as dry as the desert when it came to new ideas.  I longed for fresh business ideas but all I could see was dust and tumble weeds.

Then suddenly I’d get an idea and I’d write it down.  And then I’d contemplate it, looking at it from all angles.  And I’d contemplate some more until I’d overanalyzed it and planned it to death.  But never, ever would I act on it.  And then it would be another three months before I‘d get a good idea again.  Back to tumbleweeds and dust.

I’d think to myself, “Why do some people always get these amazing ideas that result in successful businesses?”  I’d wonder if it was because of their great networking skills.  Maybe their ideas were generated from interacting with other people.  Or maybe it was from their specialized training.  After all, I didn’t go to business school and sure didn’t have the patience for a master’s degree.  Then one day I realized why my new ideas were rare and far between.

Ideas come from action.  My inactivity was sucking my creativity dry.  I believe that great ideas come from God.  So why would He keep downloading into someone who never made His ideas come to life?

So I got busy.  Every time an idea popped into my head, I’d write it down and (gasp!) act on it.  Even if it wasn’t perfect, I’d get moving.  I could work out the details as I went along.  And amazingly, as soon as I got moving, another idea would come along.  So I’d get moving again.  Soon the ideas were flowing as if the faucet had been turned all the way on.

Now that I’ve discovered the secret, I’m never at a loss for writing angles or business ideas.  I just keep moving and catching those nuggets of gold falling from the sky.

Do you ever have a problem generating ideas?  What’s your secret to keeping the golden nuggets coming?