[church visit] …He remembered me…

…Imagine this…

Imagine that you are in love… and you tell them so.

Imagine the place where you told them and they return your love. They propose and you start to live your lives together.

Imagine that their family would rather that you were not there and let you know that and after many years, you leave.

Then, after many more years you run into them and they invite you to where ever they are now. They want to start over. You are doubtful, but they are persistent, so you go and you are happy.

But you have your doubts. And you tell them so.

So one day they call you and say “Meet me 2 and a half hours from where you currently live at a place you were at only once before and that was because you were lost on the way to the RenFaire”

I said ok…

I listened to His call. And I ended up here:

The door to the Brenham Education Building

Where is here? I’ll get to that… but first a story. That’s on the next page…

[the path] SeulaVista

All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point — a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved.

Virgina Wolfe

….this place delivers on the peace of mind it promises…all that is missing is a random chicken strutin’ by…

I will give you that this was written when women had precious little access to either money or their own space, but I think the principle of what Virginia Wolfe holds true:

All a woman needs to write fully is a space with which to write and for that place and the surroundings to be nurturing; to be able to have fullness and peace while working on the sometimes difficult task of putting butt in chair and words on paper.

What does this have to do with a sleepover?

Everything… from the very moment I got out of my car-

Wait! … Aren’t you kinda old to be having sleepovers?

Nope! Moving on…

From the very moment I got out of my car, I felt peace. Granted at first it was the peace from being an acre or 2 from everything else, but was exactly what I needed. I needed to have my mind clear and a clear mind helps you separate what is real from the white noise generating, crazy-making dubstep produced by an over stimulated, over stress and over worked brain. I stepped out the car, took a look around, saw a chicken and [for the privacy of those that were gracious enough to open their home to me, I will not use real names but will instead call you] Ian waiting to greet me and my head felt about 10 pounds lighter.

In the body of Christ, Lent removes pieces of YOU!

For my second year of Lent, I decided to let go of a third of my belongings. I like my things and I knew going through all the memories and the way this thing or that makes me feel wanted or smart or shows how far I have come or proves how relevant or hip or fun or friendly I would be hard.
What I didn’t expect was that it nearly broke me.

And you know what the funny thing is? It isn’t a priceless family heirloom or an irreplaceable painting or book that the girls made for me that was so hard to get rid of.

It was the extra D&D 4E rulebooks, all of my notes from grad school and French graphic novels. I’m talking about books I read once, thought ‘meh’ and slide onto the bookshelf…3 years ago. I nearly cried when I put a copy of Carl Sagen’s ‘Cosmos’ in the sell bin (never mind that I had 3 copies).
I realized that it wasn’t items per se that I was throwing away, but the pieces of my finely engineered persona [Sique], the brave face that I showed t o the world (at least in my own mind). I love this brave face and it has served me well. And as I look over this stuff, trying to leave that persona [Sique] and that way of life behind, I ask myself ‘What if I the person that I am giving all of this up to be [that is, the person God has called me to be] is nothing like the person I have spent so many years building a life to be? What am I going to when the hard times hit?’
That’s the question I wrestle with.

Whenever I was worried, felt not-so-great about myself, or wondering what I was doing with my life, I would look at these things and think:

“See! You have education, you have passions, and you have thousands of books!! See how [insert wonderful adjective here] you are?”

And I feel better (I put this in present tense because it still works).

But then I think back to the times when I didn’t have these things. I think back to when I was a widowed ghetto girl with two girls that wanted to see the world. I remember days without food so my girls could eat. I remember when all we had was what we could carry in a couple of backpacks. I remember when I struggled to read all the assignments and raise my girls and watch as my marriage died.

I would later get married to a wonderful man that gets on my nerves regularly, have a bunch of travel stories, and get that degree. I even found reconnected with God again; but during the times when all I saw darkness, I would sit and pray:
“I know that I don’t deserve this from You, but please give me a small taste of the strength and love I had when You still loved me.”

And even though I didn’t fully believe it, there is no doubt in my mind in hindsight that He did carry me through all of those times. When I had nothing but hopes and studies and blind leaps into fate to define me, I leaned on Him…ish.

But what about now?

Now, as I look at all the things I have given away or sold, I admit that I still wonder if I should let this stuff go. It scares me to think about having to deal with pain and loss and disappointment without Sique and I spent many days crying and talking myself into and out of taking ‘just one or two things’ back.

But it is done.

I may not fully trust that He will be there to lean on, but He is there and he wants me lean on Him. He craves it. Removing these things and the labels that they bear leaves room for Him to define who I am.

I hope I like her.


It is in such times that we know we are not doing things because we are terribly efficient, or very clever, or physically in great conduction, but because the answer to our prayer for help has been not a changed circumstance with everything going well, not a removal of pain and suffering, but it has been instead an outpouring of His strength, to do that He would have us do or to simply have a patience (not out own) or a surge of increased trust of Him whereby we may whisper, Lord, I don’t understand this, but I love You and trust You.

Edith Schaeffer

It there ever been a passage that explains the last year, it is this one.

I was raised to believe that Jehovah would make me happy I just DID everything that He said. And if I did everything right, I wouldn’t have to worry because He would fight for me.

This year has taught me that following my God didn’t make me happy…

It made me joyful.

What’s the difference?

To be happy is to be feel free and to have everything fall into place. When things go bad, God (so they say) will help put things place so and I will know what is going on, have full control and all things will work out – all I have to do is go in that direction with full force.

Yeah, no. That is not what God promises. He promises that we will be joyful.

To be joyful is to know that this situation is and have always been a result of a plan that is higher than me and needs an entity higher than me to take care of things. I don’t know what is going on. What I do know is that I have learned to be patient, that I cannot save the world, that I will never have the reasons why I was betrayed and I was called to a place that reminds me that I have not forgiven him and that he will get away with the damage that he caused.

But if I listen and follow and trust and do (there is action that is needed), He would give me constant and strong reminders of his love for me.

He would send me to Servant Church with it’s glorious 70’s styling remind me of all the time spent with my Grande learning how much God loved me.

He would send to Hill House to remind me of the hours studying His Word, getting to know Him.

He would surround me with people once that would reflect His love and allow me serve and to find out the hard way that I was not ready to lead.

When my oldest daughter went to build her own life, He made sure that I saw all the little things that showed that she was listening when I wasn’t looking… all the things that told me she would all right. That was a true comfort.

I said goodbye to a great friend during this time as well… one used to remind me that it wasn’t a sin to love the comics and games that shaped my fantasies and my later written works…

There were several false starts in finding a church home… only because I’m hard headed and knew where I was to go… and I finally made it there.

I finished a year of therapy, which helped me readjust my perspectives and let me rant and rave and kick until I got tired and decided to do things that I knew should have.

And I quit smoking…

I’m writing all of this to say that this was a good year. It was the year that got me strong enough.

To do what?

I don’t know…. But I promise that I’ll tell you as soon as I find out.

The Dark Girl observes the Sunset Limited.


By the time I got home from Hill House at about 11pm, I was physically drained (due to fact that they served tiramisu and I just can’t resist- which does not mix with having celiac and pre-sugar) and emotionally drained (for reasons I will detail in a moment). Bill came in from teaching minutes later to find me looking blankly at a blank Word document, trying to record my feelings about the evening and coming up blank.


He greets me and gives me a peck on the head; gets a Mt Dew from the fridge and goes in the room to change. He comes back out, fired the PS3, loaded Skyrim and saw me still looking at the screen.


“How was the movie?”


“It was good. Just like the play… but you can’t go wrong with Tommy Lee Jones and Sam L. Jackson.”


“Then what’s wrong? Someone say something? Don’t get me wrong; you don’t look mad. I can’t tell what it is…”


“Bored. I’m bored – I was bored.”


“I’m glad I wasn’t there,” he ran back laughing so I couldn’t pop him. He dropped into the chair and started playing and I went back to my blank page.


About 10 minutes later, he turned to me as the Skyrim patch (finally!) was installing and found that there were no words on the page. He waved me over and met me on the couch. I even let him tug at my gauges.


“What happened?” (tug, tug)


“I was asked where you were again.” (tug, tug)

“Did you tell them I was working and not generally inclined to sit and talk a movie I don’t care about to people I don’t know?” (light elbow jab to the ribs)

“Yes… but that never keeps folks from asking. I just get sad looks. But you do have an invite if you wanna come.”

“That’s okay. So what’s wrong?”


I stopped there… mainly because I didn’t know. It wasn’t as if I was offended; I was treated with the height of hospitality. There was a bit of uneasiness, but few folks have a frame of reference for a returning, single-in-the-faith, black amazon that has a small voice, likes to debate, hates to talk and will clean your kitchen. These kinds of folks just come around that often.


The conversation was great before the movie. I was put on the spot for a brief moment only because I wasn’t quite listening, but that was a small thing. The food was great with all manner of things I wasn’t supposed to eat (which didn’t stop me.one.bit).


“…and after the movie?” Bill had started the game, put his best armor on the character, sent the character into a cave to fight 5 skeletons. The Skeletons whaled at the character with all of  their God, to no avail. 30 seconds later the Heavy Armor Level up bar flashed on the screen. Bill grinned at me. He was grinding. I rolled my eyes. He muted the game and turned to me.


“Well, he asked a question and there were crickets…” I laughed. “complete and total silence. I said a bit, but I didn’t say too, too much. Enough to be just a tiny bit provocative,”


“hoping someone would jump in?”


“yeah… but not so much. Everyone was just afraid to talk.”


“Because you were “The Only Adult Black Female in The Room?” he said the last part with air quotes.


“No…” my voice was a bit too defensive. He picked that up and smiled “not at first”


I should stop here and provide a bit of context. For the last 20 years of my life, I have found that for whatever reason, whatever I am doing, I am the only adult black female in said group. There may be another one there occasionally, but when it comes to the usual suspects, it breaks down like this:


Q: 20 white folks and one black female at a party, playing games and having a blast. What do you call the black female?

A: Chrishaun


Q: 7 folks in a room playing D&D, 6 white and one black female. What do you call the black female?

A: Chrishaun


Q: 30 white folks and one black female in a room. What do you call the black female?

A: Dr. Keller-Hanna


Q: 1 white guy, 2 mixed raced girls and one black female in a room, playing Rock Band. What do you call the black female?

A: The Drum Goddess (or mom…)


You get my point. But this is the live I created and chose. And I love my life- it is badass by many definitions, especially if you knew all that I went through to get here.


I think that more than anything else, they were willing to walk in the room see the movie, feel intellectually better about themselves for seeing it, but then pussy out on getting to the real meaning of what they had just seen.


“They didn’t want to discuss the deeper things… they just wanted to appear and to be seen as smart just for showing up. So instead of having to be put on the rails once again by Greg, I just washed dished”


“So you fight being seen as the help by being the help?” I threw the cat at him. He ducked.


“No… by being a servant to the saints”


“You going back?”


“Yeah…especially if the desserts rock”


He gave me a disapproving look, took the game off mute and laughed.


“That’s not why you go”


I know.



















High Traffic [Devotional]

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything”

Psalms 46:10, The Message


One adjective that is constantly attributed to me is ‘busy’. I work two main jobs and several smaller ones, have a variety of hobbies and interests, a (surprisingly) vibrant social life filled with the most interesting and wonderful people, and a strong, happy marriage with one grown child and one that’s nearly there (if you ask me… ask her and you will get a totally different answer).  I also have a relationship with God that is growing stronger by the day.

Busy is good, especially by Western standards, and being productive and successful is good as well. But all too often I find myself busy, busy-busy…

An hour and a half at church (Amen) then DASH-

Back to the house where I sit for a couple of hours watching folks play video games (die a LOT!!) then DASH-

To this event that a friend has going on at this or that place then DASH-

I dash here and there, trying hard to fit it all in, but never quite taking it all in. Or sometimes none of it in.

What would happen if I took fewer commitments and sat down with the Holy Spirit gave prayerful consideration to the things covered on Sunday?

What would happen if I dedicated my time to encouraging and being encouraged by a few quality people instead of being simply known and generally liked by many?

What would happen if gave up the things that make me look ‘busy’ and ‘successful’ and became more of a fixture than a blur?

When we ‘step out of traffic’, when we stop running around and being busy (or trying to look busy) and look loving at God, we find that we want to slow down, spend time, and connect, not just with God, but with those in our lives as well. It only makes sense, considering we are made in His image and He desires nothing more than to be and connect with us.

For many of us, looking to God and slowing down would mean not looking as important, popular (which is something we still seek…even after high school), or successful as we want to be. But in God and through seeking Him we become what He wants us to be… and if we have the courage, this is worth much more than anything that we have to give up. It is above everything.

weakness is a good thing [Devotional]


“You were the weakest of all nations, but the LORD chose you because he loves you and because he had made a promise to your ancestors. Then with his mighty arm, he rescued you from the king of Egypt, who had made you his slaves”

Deuteronomy 7:7-8, Contemporary English Version



We are taught the need for perfection from a very early age. You have to be the best, because the best are the ones that are chosen. Whether it’s not being the last picked for a pick-up game, or getting to date that guy (who in turn is doing two a days to get on the team), or not getting to date that guy because you have to study so you can get into that college, so you can get that job. In the secular world, the best are the ones that are picked.


But Abba makes it clear that the reason that He chooses us is not because we are the best. Yes, he wants our best, He wants our whole souled devotion to Him and our love, but not because we are the best. Not because we dress the best, give the best offerings, have more tithes to offer, are the most ‘righteous’, are top orators, help the most people or anything like that.


We are chosen because we are loved by Him. Because He made a promise that He would love us even though we are not the best, we are broken and undeserving. John tells us that “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation [appeasement] for our sins” (1 John 4:10, ESV).


We are not capable of giving Him the love, devotion, worship, and commitment that He deserves. And you know what? He knows that. And He still loves us. He gave Jesus and the Cross (grace) to fill in the gap between what He deserves and what we can give. Grace is the bridge that connects our lacking, broken lives and spirit to a loving, long suffering, and just Father who wants nothing more than for us to embrace Him the way He embraces us.


This is a view that was very different than the one that I was raised with. We don’t have to stand in fear that we are not ‘righteous’, but we can have full faith that He spends every minute, every second, thinking of us and loving us, even though (and even because) we are weak.


Thanks be to God.


Call me Patches!!

The holiday season ended properly for me at my sister-in-law’s New Year’s Eve party. It’s the one night of the year where I dedicate myself to getting drunk (which was successful) and meeting the New Year with an empty head (and stomach once I have recovered from the hangover).

 A good part of the Tribe was there as well as a few new faces. The same stories and the drama were there as well as Rock Band and Telephone Pictionary. The food was good. The laughs flowed and I slept well and made it home safe in the morning after crashing on the couch.

 But there was a sharp, vital difference this year. I looked around at all the folks several times over the night and one thought just would not leave my head.

 “You are not part of this anymore. This is no longer your Tribe” I nodded and I understood.

 And I drank to numb the matter of fact tone in my head and my absolute agreement to it. And I felt lighter as a chunk of my old worldview, my old personality, fell off my body. I tried to pick it up and slap it back on my body, tried to make it fit, but it wouldn’t stay.

I tried to be Sique (the load, rebel-rousing good time girl type intellectual type person) and it rang false. I acknowledged that and there went another chunk of the worldview. And for the most part, I was quite fine with that.

 It was the little itty-bitty part of my heart that freaked out.  That was the part that wanted to be numb. That was the part that wanted to slap the pieces of the past back on body which kinda felt like a raw meat suit like a FrankenChrishaun.

 That was the part that cried when I got home and had a weird, paranoid text exchange with my sister-in-law between trips to the bathroom.

 It was the part that was scared. It was scared because all the bitterness and anger was gone. All the drama that fed and defined me was conversation fodder and it was actually an effort to engage. Most times I was happier being silent. And still.

 And that was the scariest part of the whole thing.


I am actually accepting that my worldview changed and the things that mattered, the people that mattered, the pastimes that mattered don’t really matter as much as they once did.

 They are important. They make me happy. But they are not my happiness. They are not my everything (everything? EV-ER-RY-THANG!)They don’t define me. I can live without them if I needed to and would miss them dearly. That is crystal clear. What isn’t as clear is what replaces it. Or does it even get replaced. Will I be in another group? Does that matter? What the worst that could happen? Could I handle it?

By the time I could verbalize these questions, I had already cried a patch in my therapist’s couch. I got up off of my side, looked dead at him and asked:

 “Is Grace going to be enough if I never gain back anything to make up for what I have lost?”

 He smiled softly. We had had the talk about not giving trite answers and I could see him measuring his answer, which was the other extreme. I didn’t want to feel better; I wanted the truth.

 He leveled his gaze at me.

 “In time. It’s like when I asked if you were ok… what did you say?”

 It was my turn to smile. “I will be”

 “And you will…”

 And once I calmed down I realized that … I am ok.

 NYE was that last push out of the skin I had been in for years. I knew that I would change and I liked where my life was headed. But on many levels, I wanted my old life back, but it was always empty (the benefit of hindsight) and to keep on that path is to do the same thing I accuse other folks of doing.

Fighting to be the Queen Bee of Nothing. Fighting to lead a group that does not want growth or grace or to progress in any beneficial way. They just want things to be the same as it has always been; a world of denial. A world where there is no tactic too underhanded, no lie too boldfaced and no depth to deep to prevent the truth to reach the light of day. A world where pity and the guilt trip rule.

 I’ve done my fair share and now I’m just done.

 I don’t want pity. I want God’s grace and His love. I want my husband and children to be core of my life like they used to be.

I want this new path and all the fear and joy and labor and promise it carries.

I wanted the New Year to be fresh and filled with the people with the lifes I aspire to.

The ones who the very embodiment of kindness, faith, trust in spite of, and sometimes because of, all of their faults. Those who soldier on the path of discipleship.

Just soos you know… since I started on this article, I have gone to both Holly’s B-Day and The Regifting Party, the first parties of the New Year for me. I still felt really wobbly and unsure and kinda shy, but I didn’t have to drink to get through them, either.

happy new year…








there might be something to this…

Would it change your spiritual life if you knew without a shadow of a doubt that God not only loved you and desired you, but desired to be with you and to spend time with you?

Would you believe it? Would it take you some time for you get used to the idea?

My truth is that I don’t know if I believe it yet. I want to believe that something as big and grand as the Heavenly Father knows that I even exist.  Yes, I have read Mathew 10:29-30, (where Jesus is talking about how a sparrow can’t fall to the ground without Him knowing and the hairs of our head are numbered), but there is a big difference between knowing and well, knowing…

Here, let me illustrate….

Imagine that you are hanging out and an absolutely devastatingly gorgeous, powerful, and rich person comes up to you and tells you that they want to be with you, spend time with you, and that they love you, always have and always will. You know your background, you know that you are broke, that you don’t have anything to offer that s/he can’t get somewhere else (with better quality than you can even imagine) and you tell them so. But they don’t care- they want you and they want you to want them too.

“Well, I would drop everything and go!” I hear many of you saying.

“If some hot, rich person came up to me, I would be gone in a minute” And I would agree and even then there would be difficulties; you would have to adjust to his lifestyle (I’m gonna use the male pronoun because I’m straight), you have to deal with folks who are upset because you are around (How dare she come here…) and ridiculed by others for thinking that you have what it takes to be with him…and keep him.

I get that…

Now… what if you have never seen this person in life?  You have heard of him, his power and what he feels for you, but never actually saw him? And the only communication you ever get from him is through emails and other people telling you? Not even the Charlie’s Angels voice box- you can’t hear a voice- just written communication and hearsay?

Would you be so willing to drop everything then? Would you be able to believe whole heartedly? Would you be able to trust?

I wasn’t able at first… because at first the thought of God wanting anything to do with me seemed foolish and stupid… and all I had to go on what was written in the Bible. What I didn’t know was adamant He was about being close to his followers in the Scriptures, especially those who have less to give than others (Deut. 7:7-8).

And the more I studied and prayed, the less it started to feel foolish and it started to sound less stupid. But then I had to deal with the outside ridicule. And what I realized was that for every ridiculer, there were many, many more that came to my aid and encouraged me along this path. People who are loving and patient like He is and can attest to how loving, kind and patient He has been to them. 

And now I am starting to hear the love of His voice in the chorus of his true witnesses, those who truly follow and tell all of His loving kindness, long suffering, and tender mercies and show them through the lives that they lead, even though they are as broken as I am.

I said all of that to say this….

That I don’t fully believe or trust that God loves me or wants anything to do with me, but this last year has proved that opening my mind to even the concept that that could be possible has changed my physical and spiritual life more (for the better) than I could ever imagine.

This is the Way… and I am walking in it. Not kicking and screaming anymore, just going slowly.






in the beginning and at the end [Devotional]

“Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal…Give thanks to the God of heaven; his love is eternal.”


Psalms 136:1, 26, English Good News Translation



These verses open and close Psalm 136. What comes in the middle is not covered here, because that is not the point of this piece. The point is that in the beginning and at the end, no matter how difficult, awkward, painful, or depressing the things are in the middle- all things being said- God is good and His love is eternal.

This is a thought that I easy to dismiss based simply how many times we have heard that.

“ow, god is good, chil’…”

God is good. But it is easy to forget that simply based on the things that he has allowed to happen.

“but why did this had to happen to me?”

But it does not dismiss that fact that God is good. His goodness is present in everything in nature. It is present in the beauty of the ocean, the awesome spectacle of a night sky full of stars, the horrific destructive power of the hurricane, and the ability of the human mind to create everything from chocolate the space shuttle.

It is present in the ability of kindness to sooth the pains that we come across, no matter if we are the giver or the receiver. It is present in the power of God that excels all thought that keeps us when all human understanding has failed us.

I want to trust what I can see. I say that I don’t trust good because I don’t trust Him. I blame God for the things that I have had to go through. But it is during those times that I forget about all the tiny, random, little things that bring me joy and peace. When I go through hell, I forget about all the people and things that God provides that truly comfort and instead rely on food, cigarettes, and shallow companions to ease the pain.

It is times like this when I have to remember that I see the past that was shaped by a friend that taught me about the real world and gave me the strength and the knowledge to live that world, one that was foreign after years in the [cult]Church. I see the girls who again and again gave me something to live for. I see all the wonders of the world in a search for myself. I see the Great Lesson that brought me down enough to be able to hear the Call and follow the Path, even as messed up as I am. I see the mentors and guides that have patiently helped me process my past.

I have gone through so much hell in this life that the one on the next life seems almost like a release. But I have also seen that God is good.

I don’t always believe it. And it sometimes takes me time to remember it, but that knowledge makes enough of a difference to keep me going.

Because God is good.

Thanks be the God.