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A Time to Pray and Peel

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

As always on every Sunday morning since February 21, 2021, I wake thinking of my mom, my dad, my Aunt L, Aunt Baby Sis and others who took their Heavenly wings on a Sunday morning. On this particular cold and frosty Sunday morning, I look back at the phone log (screenshot), reminding me again of the last time I heard Mama's voice. The phone rang at 7:43 a.m. Total time speaking with her and the nurse was approximately a mere five minutes. In those five minutes, I was able to see her beautiful, yet very tired and weary face. That visual and each second of that phone call are constants in this still fresh phase of grieving gracefully. What a entire lifetime of love encapsulated in a matter of minutes on a clock.....

As I continue to reflect, I'm remembering the many, many, many conversations that I had with my mom. As my cousin reminded me, it didn't matter where I was, whether hanging with the girls, on vacation, etc., I found time to talk to my mama. Even living in another state, the consistency of hearing mama's voice, giving me advice, sharing stories, referencing scriptures, and keeping me up on the latest happenings and a fabric, consistent pattern woven into my entire adult life. What a lifetime of love and heart-talks encapsulated in remembering the five minutes on her last day of life on earth....

In those conversations over the years, and especially in her latter years, she was always trying to prepare me. She told me so much about people. She shared what to expect and from whom to expect certain things from. Although I often tried to find the lighter side of those conversations, giving folk the benefit of the doubt, I find myself in this season of grieving gracefully, nodding my head in affirmation, as so much of what she tried to tell me; why she tried to prepare me, has come to fruition. much imagery; so much spiritual hearing of her voice; so much love and appreciation in how intensely she tried to prepare me. What a lifetime of protection encapsulated in five precious minutes....

As my heart feels a sensation of extra warmth, I'm thinking of a nugget that "dropped" while shampooing my hair this Sunday morning. Surprisingly, the word is "peel." Being in a season of grief, that really started when my daddy passed, the "peel" has been in slow effect. How does it work? Sometimes, it's at our own hand and sometimes it's at the hand of others. Folk and situations are simply peeled back or peeled off. Akin to the peeling of a banana, you may peel the whole thing before proceeding to taste it or prepare it for a dish. It's a matter of semantics, as you may peel just a little at a time. And wow, sometimes before you peel the whole thing, you decide to just toss it because you can't consume it, aren't ready to or you can't stomach its rotten state. In this season, the peel makes so much sense, and it's encapsulated in memories of those five mother-daughter minutes....

A lot to absorb, however, I pray that you're gravitating to the parallels. In the symmetry of peeling a piece of fruit, we get in mature situations that require us to peel. We're not peeling because the love isn't there, but it's because we have to love ourselves more. We peel because negative energy gets in the way of relational building with God. It may start as a petty personal peel, but as we grow, it becomes spiritual. Spiritual in that love is still there, as we are required to (love) by our faith. Spiritual in that we continue to pray for them. Spiritual in that the prayers are authentic, consistent and heartfelt, as we ask God to bless them; to cover them. Spiritual in that we come to understand, after months and maybe years of trying to understand the why, that we can't change people and we don't have a magic hammer to fix every situation that affects people who we love. Spiritual in that our heart may hurt, but we truly trust God to do the repair. Whew, it takes alone time, still time with God, godly counsel and a whole lot of prayer to get to the place of Pray and Peel! A lot of reflection and motherly preparedness resonating back to those five minutes....

Closing out this release of emotions and exhale of peace, it is so important to cultivate good, solid, caring and loving relationships with family and friends. It is what we should do; it is how we should embrace and carry out the authenticity of God's love. However, as life happens things pivot. For some sad reason, grief seems to be the catalyst for some toxic, traumatic and transformative shifts in how we have to restructure how we show the love that we carry in our hearts each day. I've learned that I can write and speak to inspire, but I can only change me! In the words of Bob Marley, "No one but ourselves can free our minds." I will always love, but that love may require a Pray and Peel or Peel, then Pray and let God do the rest. Why? Peeling folk who we love so much hurts the most...believe me. God is the only one who knows how to handle us and the pain leading up to and including "The Peel." He gives us opportunities to exercise our gift of choice...Choosing to convert plight, petty, pain, and perplexity to a place of protection, peace, purpose and prayer---All to live and enjoy the best life that He has blessed us with. Take time to Pray and Peel back or off dulling layers, and take full advantage of the beautiful skin we're in!

Real talk, as I remember those beautiful, unforgettable five minutes with a wonderful woman, a nurturing mother, a divine gift that I carry with me each day that I wake.

Peace & Blessings,

Lisa B

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