Mountain Top

On Elegance: Introduction Message

Defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary as “having dignified richness and grace, as of manner, design, dress; tastefully luxurious.”

While doing my evening shopping, I observed an older black woman working in the drug store. I happened to take notice of her manner – the way she spoke, how she chose her words, her dress and how she carried herself. Though she issued gentle criticism and was soured by a recent turn of events pertaining to a fellow worker, the words seemed to pass by as a light inquiry. I passed a remark to her fellow worker behind the counter and asked if she (the clerk serving me) knew about Dixie Carter. She replied with a disinterested, “No.” I went about my way.

Strolling through the park, I began to envision Mrs. Dixie Carter−graceful, multitalented, demure, classic, intelligent, wise and beautiful. I remarked aloud, “She was an elegant lady.” As I think of her now, I recall the evening we met after a stage show in downtown Houston at a nearby Italian pub. So merciful and gracious, she was, making eye contact with each person who quietly and peacefully clamored to receive her attention.

I stood back and waited until she came closer and greeted her “Hello, Mrs. Carter,” with a smile and gentle bow of my head. She looked me straight in the eyes and asked, ”How are you?” I said I was well or something of the sort, but she seemed genuinely interested and honored by our presence to meet her. It was as if she released grace and honor through her presence.

This line of thought brought me to consider the lack of pure quiet, powerful grace and beauty in the media. Walking down the street, I tend to notice the harsh words women speak to their children, the antagonistic tones and failures to reply when greeted. Why? From whence does the shame come?

I’ve decided to dive deeply into this matter and bring forth the truth of the issue: the lack of elegance in modern American culture.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Overcoming Victimization

Invitation to Women: Rise up. Reclaim your power. Come from under the system of bondage and take your seat in the throne room. Only then can you know, understand and discern what is happening, has happened and what is to come. No longer be bound. Reclaim your power. Know who you are. Reject all falsity. Go deeply into the constant One, you are being called and invited to truth.

I love healing. I have dedicated my life to receiving and giving healing as needed to those who are broken. Recently, having encountered a situation where I needed breakthrough in many areas, I found I was flowing in victimization. I was shocked to find it was not only a condition of my heart, but of my mind, affecting my ability to progress in spirit and in the earth. It was hidden and I was carrying it. It had been affecting my perception, understanding and ability to move from a place of clarity. I had to face, admit and release many manners of abuse, fear and victim/poverty ideologies.

Judgements, shame and expectancies of abandonment, lack, thwarted plans and oppression were all over me encumbering me from moving in the direction I needed to walk in. I was paralyzed in spirit and had not known.

As I began to allow healing through yielding to the promptings of my Holy Spirit, I could feel the weights being released. I could sense the difference as I approached topics which once plunged me into a pit of hopelessness, despair and expectancies of failure. I realized where my power had been resting. I was taught to take it back.

I’ve learned victims and those who have been victimized through lineage, society or personal shortcomings tend to be extreme in type: they gravitate towards victim or predator. Neither is healthy or yield lasting good fruit, so I’ve been monitoring this behavior in word, action and thought.

The key is to overcome obstacles. To achieve new heights. To unlock new doors, enter and shut old ones where hungry ghosts lurk. To embark on untouched territory and take it all. To walk in promise. Only through self-actualization in God unhindered by the past, present or future forecasts of deprivation can one overcome victimization.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Chain Reaction

 

Methodical lies, theft, manipulation and false accusations were the tools of my opposition. Now I laugh. Through spending time in quiet, releasing the cares of the situation and relying on the Almighty God, I’m beginning to see breakthrough in the areas I have been fighting in, and for, by faith. Seeing is believing. My walk has been one of believing without any sensory evidence. Continuing in the fight for my cause day in and out without observing what I believed to be true has been a place of growth. There were many stumbles, but babies have to crawl and stumble before they walk with confidence.

I possess a burning desire. The desire to recapture what was first given to me in word, then stolen. Though my motivation has always been to fight the good fight, I have to admit, I tried the various methods of the opposing team. My emotions betrayed me, every move seemed to fail: I cursed people, wrote nasty letters, threatened, and even destroyed material goods, eventually, the light began to shine. I am not condoning my behavior. After all, these are the very things that brought me into a place of rage with my opposition. However, when my back was against the wall, what was hidden inside came to the surface. Finally, exhausted, I merely passed out from exhaustion. Only then, was the surface skimmed and elements of my true self came forth. Patience, mercy, love in the face of hatred. To God be the glory! Of myself, I was on the verge of destruction and couldn’t see it.

There are ways that seem right, but end in destruction. When I came to myself, I realized I had fallen into the trap that had been laid for me. The plan of the opposition seemed to be in full swing, I was like them! I cried out! I asked the Lord to forgive my antics and lead me in His way. Any long battle. . .is a long battle. I am human. I get tired. Tired of believing. Tired of being good.

When I was tired, I released hell, and hell was waiting to drag me right on in. So I just stopped everything and reflected on all that happened. In clarity, I was able to see the way of truth and wisdom. Also, truth and love has in turn infuriated my opposition and caused a great release of my goods. My stuff!!! Being nice, being humble, being good, using wisdom caused my stuff to come to me!

Again, this is only the beginning. We aren’t entirely there yet. Nevertheless, I will continue in goodness, faith and love believing for the full return of all that was stolen. There are many things of which I am uncertain. The more I know, the less I know. One thing I know for sure, my thoughts are more powerful than anything anyone can ever throw at me. I become what I think about most. Think on that.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

The Big Move

 

When I first realized I was moving, I failed to take my spirit into full consideration. I believe humans are tripartite beings: we are spirit beings, living inside of a physical body, possessing a soul. The spirit is the part of every man that never sleeps. He lives eternally and has always been in the mind of God long before we were ever placed into the womb of our physical mothers. Being body, our flesh eventually wears to death. Our souls are what dictate the realm of our mind’s will, imagination, emotion and intellect. So, when I heard, “It is time to move,” in my spirit, I immediately began thinking of a physical move. I failed to realize what was actually said to me. I heard it through the filter of my soul and flesh. However, it was later that what I heard accurately register acutely in my spirit.

Since I heard those words, much has happened. Though physically, I may seem to be in the same geographical location, I have indeed moved. The Bible tells me that I am to move from “faith to faith.” I mention faith often in these logs for one primary reason. Faith is the only way to believe in God, therefore without it, it is impossible to please Him. Everything in my spiritual walk begins and ends with faith.

Of late, more has been accomplished in my life by faith than I ever achieved without it. I have intentionally focused my energy on building faith, like a muscle. There are times of weariness, and bouts of fear, which must be overcome and moments where, intellectually, I have to remind myself (soul) that I am no longer choosing to live by the dictate of my flesh and I am dying to its demands.

I have to go with the Spirit. I have frequently thought, “What must Abram have felt when he chose to set out in search of a Promised Land without his family?” and “After twenty years of waiting for a son, being physically unable to reproduce, what must he have thought?” Then I am quickly reminded, “He did not waver at the promise. He believed that what God had promised, He was also able to perform.”

Man! I see why this man who is later called “Abraham” is named the “Father of Faith.”

Though I am beginning to grasp my move physically, I am not there yet. I have chosen to continue to stretch my muscles and attain as much faith strength as possible until the promise is fulfilled.

Kwjuana Thomas

Crawfish

Crawfish Delight

I’ve always uncovered the most amazing grace upon walking into an otherwise awkward situation where there is food or alcohol present. Throughout my life, many social interactions have been staged in such a setting, mostly on purpose.

Food & drink are necessary indulgences. When prepared with purpose, passion and creativity, and food or drink can “break the ice,” enhance an experience by dominating conversation, or transform an atmosphere. The notions described are reinforced anytime I recount my first “boil.”

Standing around an elongated table in the backyard of a family I met, maybe twice prior, surrounded by 60 people (of whom I knew four with whom I had arrived), I enjoyed live Zydeco music, and was entreated with hospitality characteristic of the Southern United States. Oriented and embossed by my first encounter with the strange looking, rubbish-red crustacean resembling both a tiny lobster and a bug, my experience began.

Initially disgusted by their sight, I was lured like a seaman to the rocks upon hearing the siren’s beckon. Both by smell and the perception of joy exuded from the faces of the partakers. My first crawfish boil shaped not only my palate, but kick started a dormant cultural awareness (which has tremendously evolved) and rendered me seeking similar cultural adventures with food. From that time forward, I’ve never declined an invite to food that smelled delicious or was carefully prepared, or an event where food would be presented.

Nearly twenty-five years ago, I still reminisce of my first crawfish boil rather often. The experience molded my perspective, heightened my expectations of flavor possibilities, elevated my sensibilities of what I believed to be edible, and redefined my appreciation of local food culture.

Please do not misinterpret my message. I am from a generous lineage of cooks. Each one greatly saturated with Southern Coastal tradition, creative and respectful of the influences they possess relating to previous generations. I have attended my fair share of real Texas barbecues, cook-offs: gumbo, chili, crawfish and the like, grill-outs and picnics. However, I am unable to ignore the power of great food in an atmosphere where culture is prevalent.

Kwjuana Thomas

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