An Abusive Shadow

On fighting my shadow:

It wins. It always wins.

How is that possible? What does my shadow know of me, that it can strategize so well? How does it render me helpless with such ease?

The punches are brutal. Fast. Quick. Painful. Lingering. 

My shadow smiles knowingly; teasing, bullying, taunting….

Sometimes, I don’t even fight back.

I’m In Love

I don’t usually get super personal on FB, but…. I’m in love. It’s such a heady and beautiful feeling. I’ve been swept off of my feet. A gift from God, no doubt. Gosh, I’m blushing. 

Anyway….

We’ve known each other all our lives. Save for GOD, he’s actually, my first love. A part of my DNA, I suppose. Yet, I let him go. Not all at once, just a drifting of sorts, you know… until there’s nothing.

Life happens, you grow apart, you have different experiences, but you NEVER forget. You just can’t seem to forget. 

Those moments that creep up, when you least expect. You think of him, and hairs on the back of your neck stand out, because you’re taken by splendid surprise. Your knees are weak, and you close your eyes, just for a moment. Your senses transport you back to… back there, back then; at that time, in that space. You literally feel, hear, see, and smell EVERYTHING, just like it was. 

Then, you put it out of your mind. 

Maybe, when it rains, and you remember – droplets landing on your skin, creating perfect rhythms, to which you danced joyously- carelessly. You composed songs no one heard, but the two of you. Then you put it out of your mind. You have to, right?

Funny thing. When God has a plan for you, it WILL come to fruition. 

A visit, or two. Randomly ( no such thing) having to come in contact with one another, for this reason, or that. Chit chat that turns to talk, and then to conversation.  Quiet glances turn to meaningful stares. Feeling the past and present collide, and knowing a future was inevitable. Being grateful.

I am most fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to be joined with my love, once again. I’m never letting go. Where we’ll go together? Well, I’ll leave that to God. For all we’ve done in the past, this is new, and scary, and glorious. 

We’re in this for the duration, and I’m happy, again. 

Music, I love you.

Random Musings About What I’ve Learned in 2016

​I’ve learned quite a bit, this year.  QUITE A BIT!

GOD LOVES ME MORE THAN MY FINITE MIND CAN COMPREHEND! 

I am valuable. Go figure.

Quiet has a most beautiful melody.

Life is short, so cherish and make time for those whom you care about. 

Pain has depths unknown, and unfathomable variations.

I’m getting my “weird” back. I love it. 

Never allow your peace to be disturbed…. AT ANY COST.

Don’t allow others’ behaviors, responses, expectations, etc.,  change your character. 

Transparency can save lives.

When you are most broken, God can really work on and in you. 

Humans are full of surprises.

Humans can be so predictable.

It’s okay to be happy. Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop, or it will.

When God prepares you for something, He has to purge you, mold you, bend you, stretch you, shape you…… Not always pretty, sometimes quite painful, always enlighteningly wondrous, and definitely necessary.

WHEW, 2016! Whew!

I AM CHANGED! I AM EVOLVING! I don’t have to explain, defend, or apologize for it.

I have NO IDEA what God has in store for me, in 2017, and that’s okay. He’ll show me.

Whatever it is, I’m ready, Lord. Empty me, that I might be a vessel.  Humble me, that You get the glory, and Your people are blessed. USE ME TO DO THY WILL.

It is my prayer that whatever it is that He has me do, will cause a ripple effect of blessings that we’ve not seen the likes of.

I’m praying the same for each of you. That you will receive an overflow of blessings, find peace and joy, and pay it forward. 

I love u all, no strings attached.

Just Write

Write it. Just write it. Write it on receipts in the car while you wait for your kid to finish their piano lessons, scribble on napkins at lunch with friends. Type on crappy typewriters or borrow computers if you have to. Fill notebooks with ink. Write inside your head while you’re in traffic and when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office. Write the truth, write lies. Write the perfect spouse. Write your dreams. Write your nightmares. Write while you cry about what you’re writing, write while you laugh out loud at your own words. Write until your fingers hurt, then keep writing more. Don’t ever stop writing. Don’t ever give up on your story, no matter what “they” say. Don’t ever let anybody take away your voice. You have something to say, your soul has a story to tell. Write it. There is never any reason to be afraid. Just write it and then put it out there for the world. Shove it up a flag pole and see who salutes it. Somebody will say it’s crap. So what? Somebody else will love it. And that’s what writing’s about. Love. Love of the art, love of the story, and love for and from the people who really understand your work. Nobody else matters. Love yourself. Love your work. Be brave. Just write.

Melodie Ramone

Random Musings for A Rainy Day

​The rain beckons me like a siren

One only I hear

Each drop a musical note

The showers a melody

Drench me in harmonies

Envelope me, blessed downpour

As I dance joyously, face toward the heavens

Soaking wet, simply happy
Cryss A Jones 2016

Copyright 2016

Writer’s Block and Grace

​I’ve been trying to write for days. Song, poem, chapter, web content …. My name…. NOTHING!  Late last night, I was inspired by a phrase, during a conversation, and knocked out a few stanzas, but no more. (Thx, JB).

I’ve been feeling independently of my senses, of late. I CAN’T STAND THAT! It’s like being numb and still feeling pain. ANYWAYS….

This morning, I wandered through my home, quietly praying, asking God what He wanted me to do and, moreover, if the answer was right before me. Earlier, I shared a black and white photo of people lined up at the Baltimore City Jail to post bail, for those arrested during the 1968 riots. I engaged in a conversation with someone about why we don’t see lines like that to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, PTA or Council meetings, etc. I also questioned whether or not I would line up for those things.

Heck, we don’t really even read anymore, we skim for specific words, to get the gist, etc. Wonder why we keep looking to the left, and the knockout punch is coming from the right. Honestly.

It really stuck with me, that photo. Men in suits, ladies in dresses and heels… Pride, commitment, sacrifice. I began to wonder if there weren’t some in line to pay bail for a neighbor, a cousin, someone they didn’t really know. Would I?

Back to the stroll around the house. (OK, I ate Thanksgiving leftovers, while contemplating). More thoughts of what an I supposed to be doing, in the greater scheme of the Kingdom of God. Then, I said “Cryss, if you can’t write, just read.” Enter Max Lucado “Shaped By Grace”. It was given to me as a gift, by a wonderful woman of valour, and I’d already read it, cover to cover. What a great blessing. I popped it open right to these passages:

***The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: grace.

We talk as if we know what grace means. Especially at Church. Grace graces the songs we sing and the Bible verses we read… Hymns proclaim it. Preachers explain it…

But do we really understand it?

… We’ve settled for a wimpy grace. It… never causes trouble or demands a response.

Have u been changed by grace? Shaped By Grace? Emboldened by grace? Softened by grace? Snatched by the nape of your neck and shaken to your sense by grace? 

… God’s grace comes after you. It rewrites you. From insecure to God secure. From regret-riddled to better-because-of-it….

Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off! (Lucado).

Back to the photo. Well, grace got me focused this morning. It said, “Cryss, it’s not that you can’t write, but you’re not writing what God needs you to write, right now.” Huh? Gwen Ifill’s legacy; your love for Journalism; the fact that you prefer writing to typing/texting, etc.; the fact that you still have stamps and envelopes, and you write to people; the fact that you love to read and research (find the facts); the fact that you feel the sprit of everyone in that picture;  the fact that every elected official had a USPS address, and you’re a hyper puppy, when writing (can u say bulk mail?); that you ALWAYS say a well-written and articulate letter can be very effective…. WOW! RIGHT IN MY FACE.

I may not be able to stand in a line, YET (beat it, fibro), but I have more pens and pads of paper than normal, an internet connection, a STELLAR BCC education,. SUPER intelligent and gifted folks all around me, and a heart for humanity. All that, AND GRACE…. It’s on.

Thank you, Lord, for not only giving me purpose and grace and mercy, but for renewing it daily.

There are too many issues out there that need to be tackled. If I can write a long post like this, or a funny joke, or post a news story I’m outraged about, it’s time I get into action. 

My action may not be there same as yours. Maybe you’ll go to council meetings, maybe you serve on the board of a change agency, maybe you have money to donate (DON’T FORGET #USA4Cryss lol), maybe you mentor and coach, maybe show up at schools regularly, randomly; not to police, but help…I don’t know, but it’s time for ME to stop letting the buck stop here in my Facebook feed. Care to join me? I’ve got plenty of writing utensils. Love u guys.

P.S. If I “disappear”, or anything else funky sounding, I finally wrote the right letter. FIND THE STORY. 😉