January is synonymous for fresh starts, new beginnings, or a chance to reset. I chose to live with intent and follow-thru with my intentions.
February is all about love and a time of reflection and celebration of the accomplishments of Black America. I love all things love. I have to work on not being so hard on myself but give myself the love I constantly give away. I also chose to support more black businesses, make the switch towards those things that I consistently purchase or those things that bring me joy, like my pins! I also have chosen to celebrate all the beautiful blackness that surrounds me daily.
Which leads us to March. March has been deemed as Women’s History Month. In my efforts to capitalize on the fresh start, Black achievements and the significance of women, I am starting a series called, Know your Weight: Women of Influence and Change. I realized that I needed to use the power of words and my growing influence of my space here to highlight those in my world who are making waves throughout the city of Birmingham, Jefferson County, and the state of Alabama, that are being felt across the nation. My inspiration for this series began with my admiration for Vashti Harrison, an illustrator who created the book, Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History. While reading the book to my 5-year-old niece, I wondered if I could create such a work. I gifted this book to two friends who exceed the bounds on their civic duty to their community predicting that they would be in such a publication in this lifetime. As my admiration for Harrison’s work continued (she made Little Leaders into a board book for younger children and has expanded Little Leaders to women leaders internationally and has illustrated other works that are on my list to for my library expansion), the thought of me being able to create something on that wise would not leave. So I sat and made of list of the women in my circle who are making big boss moves. These are women who are friends, mentors, and colleagues that are commanding their realms. Their stories are worth writing. I am looking forward to sharing them with the world.
To kick-off my extolment series, I would like to begin with two women’s whose stories have coincidently appeared to me in more than one instance. Each story is one where faith persisted nevertheless.
1 Kings 17:9-24: This chapter is the introduction of the prophet Elijah who is probably one of the most recognizable prophets in the Bible partly because his story ends with being called to heaven not by death but a whirlwind. The chosen nation of Israel had come under evil rule. Where there is a king, there is a prophet. Elijah was sent to King Ahab to predict drought in the land because of his wickedness. God gave Elijah instructions to go live near a book as his provision for his survival. When the brook dried up because there was no rain, God told Elijah that there was a widow in the nearby city who would provide for him.
The widow was gathering sticks to bake the LAST meal for her and her son. The prophet met her asking for water and bread. These are two strangers in a desperate situation. When the widow explained that she barely had enough for her family, the prophet obeyed God without hesitation by directing her to feed him first because God was going to supply the rest.
My interpretation: The Bible does not say whether she acted in doubt, rather implied that she moved in faith because the next verse states her family ate for several days. I am inclined to believe that the widow knew God and discerned that she was in the presence of one of His servants. Elijah did not ask for her all but just her first portion. The reward of the prophet is life for you and your seed. Faith + obedience = a miracle
II Kings 4: 1: 7 The prophet, Elisha, a student of Elijah, was met by a widow who had two sons. Creditors were threatening to take her sons as slaves. These were sons of a prophet of God who was now in a dire situation. Elisha asks the widow how could help and if she has anything of value in her home to sell. She told him all she had was a small bottle of oil. In his obedience, he instructed her to go to her neighbors and ask for empty containers. I am not sure how many neighbors she had or how far she traveled within her neighborhood, but the prophet specifically told her to “borrow not a few.” The widow and her sons were then directed to go in their house, shut the doors and pour the oil into the vessels. I can only imagine their faces when that small bottle of oil kept refilling those “not a few” containers. The final directives were to sell the oil, come out of debt and live off the remainder.
What if she had offered these questions, “Are you sure God did not say to sell my furniture?” “What if my neighbors aren’t home and tell me they have no containers to offer?” “Why do I need to close the door to my house? I was going to close it anyway.” The level of her faith brought her from not enough to more than enough. Faith + obedience = a miracle
The biblical stories of these women are ones I have read several times, but this year, I saw how their accounts could be active in my life today. I often speak from a place of hope but hesitate to act on my faith with blind allegiance. Now is the time for me to me and just do it! I am at a point in my life where I must act with blind allegiance in order to create the proper situation for a miracle.
The women in my circle, my village, that I invited to participate in this series are strong, resilient, and truly inspire me to be great. Because if they call me friend, I have to live up to the potential they possess and the greatness they have achieved. They have testaments worthy of publishing, reading, recording, reviewing, rehearsing, and living.
My flowers are ready for delivery.
Give love. Get love.