JUNETEENTH

I didn’t learn about Juneteenth until I was taught…but I didn’t learn about it in school. It wasn’t until June 2012 when my then TX coworker Melanie Braddy-Skipper of Lena’s Delight Catering & Events, (who can cook her entire face off by the way) asked me if I was interested in the Juneteenth potluck. As she recovered from the literal shock when I asked her what it was and she realized I had no idea what she was talking about; she didn’t fact shame me….she stood at my desk before the next call came in and she taught me. She didn’t revoke my Black card…she taught me. When my defense was “Nah I’m new here. Born and reared in Brooklyn and relocated here from Philly”…she didn’t challenge my wokeness…instead she taught me…in love.

Now dig it…by June 2012, I was a WHOLE grown woman who had been BLACK her entire life and yet this VITAL piece of MY history was something I was completely oblivious to. Selah. Here is a link to a short article that I recommend written by Stephen Brown, the founder of Digital Afro, explaining it’s origin.

In the upcoming days…years ahead, you will have the opportunity to teach and get taught. The chance to get woke and wake others up.
No matter the subject matter and what side of the teaching moment you’re on…I challenge you do it in love…because life ALWAYS has a way of leveling the playing field. Peace💫e

P.S. I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge my new followers and thank those who’ve remained after 5 years of my sharing in this space. May God bless and strengthen you and your families at this time. 2020 has been an extremely difficult year for many. Be encouraged and remember you are not alone!

If you or a loved one is in crisis or having difficulty coping, here are a few resources:

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

The Grief Recovery HelpLine 800-445-4808

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741

If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credit: Original source unknown. No copyright infringement intended.

December 30, 2019

This morning, I sat in the 8th funeral/homegoing I’ve attended this year. Woulda been the 10th if I could’ve gotten the time off from work to pay my respects to the others.

Two suicides; the youngest of which was 10 yrs old, one murder, and 4 of the deaths having made the news. And that’s just my story. One iota of it actually. There’s no doubt in my mind you have your own.

This morning, I sat in the 8th funeral/homegoing I’ve attended this year. My pen listened to the gut wrenching pain around me. Sobs and faint smiles of sweet recollection of the 32 yr old laid to rest, kissed the air. My mind fought vehemently with time as I listened to his aunt read a poem she wrote entitled “We’ve Got To Stop Meeting Like This”.

She was so right. Why do we do that? I’m not sure why we do that. You know…that. Like we have forever.

So if I reach for you. If I hug you from my core. If I tell you, “I love you” or “I miss you” or that I’m happy to see you, its intentional. I am intentional about my love and the way that I love. So very intentional…and there are a myriad of reasons why.

For me, Peter is one of my many reasons why. Supervisor turned family friend who years later even sang at my wedding; I couldn’t wait to see him when we relocated back to the East Coast 2 years ago. Even though we had kept in touch I decided to surprise him with the kids. He had no idea we had moved back.

I had it all planned out. I called him two weeks after we got settled but instead his cousin answered because she recognized my name. She had just came from his funeral.

Yeah.

So if I love on you, thank you, honor you, look into your eyes and tell I miss you, hit you up out the clear blue, let you know I’m happy to see you…every time I see you – allow me.

‘Cause this morning, I sat in the 8th funeral/homegoing I’ve attended this year…💫e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credits: Original sources unknown. No copyright infringement intended.

$700 RAISED!

From my first donor to EVERY donor who kept giving long after the walk on Sun. October 6, 2019. Thank you so much. To my first teammate to the last one who signed up on the day of the walk. Thank you so much. To every intercessor, social media influencer and loved one who shared and covered us in prayer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

God bless you ALL! I am forever GRATEFUL.💫e

#InspirationWithE #StopSuicide #AFSP #AFSPPhilly #OutoftheDarkness #fundraiser #OutoftheDarknessWalk #SuicideAwarenessMonth
#grateful #SuicideAwareness #SuicidePrevention #Inspiration #Motivation #Philadelphia

I thought this was BEAUTIFUL!

Tomorrow, Sun. October 6, 2019, my Team #InspirationWithE walks for the first time in the Philadelphia @afsp_philly #OutoftheDarkness walk to help raise suicide awareness!

Upon check in, we will get a set of colored beads to wear based on the reason we are walking! My colors are TEAL & BLUE. What would your color be?

It’s not too late to help is reach our goal!

Click the link to make a 100% tax deductible gift today!🙏💜💫e https://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/InspirationWithE

Yes – I still write TONS of poetry – I just don’t post nearly as much! Here of late my primary focus has been my faith, family, health, self-care & as a former Volunteer Suicide Crisis Counselor; raising Suicide Awareness!

Much LOVE & thank you for your unwavering support!

If you or a loved one is really struggling today. Yoh are not alone, please don’t faint! Here are a few resources below! New here? | Welcome New Faces!💫e

The Grief Recovery HelpLine 800-445-4808

The National Suicide Hotline
800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance

#authenticiteespeaks #InspirationWithE #staystrong #suicideawareness #stopsuicide

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Phpto credits: Ericka Arthur and photo of beads AFSP: No copyright infringement intended.

Good morning! Please consider sharing with someone who may be interested in walking with me or donating to help reach our team’s goal! Have a blessed day! Thanks!

https://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/InspirationWithE

Click here to learn more about my burden for raising suicide awareness!

Here’s the link if you want to walk with me!

https://afsp.donordrive.com/team/InspirationWithE

And here’s the link again if you prefer to join me as a “Virtual Walker” & make a donation instead:

https://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/InspirationWithE

Thanks for your support!

e

#StopSuicide #AFSP #AFSPPhilly #OutoftheDarkness #OutoftheDarknessWalk #SuicideAwarenessMonth #Inspiration #Motivation #MobilItyIsAGift #Philadelphia

Because of Him,

e

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

No copyright infringement intended.

I remember being barren for the first 4 years of my marriage. It was a difficult time. My side of the family is small but I married into a huge, supportive and loving tribe. And Lord were my prayers answered! I mean like literally almost everyone had 3 – 6 children each. Just a kabillion of them LOL!

I can laugh and smile now. As a single woman; I remember praying that my future husband would have a big family. But I had completely forgotten about that prayer request to be honest. Actually I was so deeply in love at that time – it didn’t matter if my now husband of over 21 years, was an only child…

I can laugh and smile now.

I can laugh and smile now.

But it ABSOLUTELY sucked when we began to try to have children. And false pregnancy test after false pregnancy test after false pregnancy test…my GOD. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME????

It never dawned on me that it could be my husband, right? And it wasn’t.

But why as women are we automatically conditioned to absorb blame in a subconscious effort to cushion the fall of others?

No matter the matter?

I digress.

And instead – I testify.

If you’re new here – welcome. Here’s the abbreviated version.

Kayla was born 6 weeks early. 5 lbs 8oz.

Kevin Jr. was full term. 10 lbs. 6oz.

Kyle never got to see the light of day and is the inspiration behind the song I wrote entitled It Hurt Too Bad (Not To Be For My Good).

Not sure why the Lord would have me share this again nor why would he want me to share it at this moment.

But be encouraged. No matter what you have been believing God for.

After my last at home pregnancy test read negative I gave up. But my Dr. asked if she could do a blood test. Needless to say I was already almost 6 weeks pregnant with Kayla.

Sometimes under the guise of your life’s false negatives, closed doors and rejection – your positive results are just being better prepared to be revealed.

Because of Him,

e

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credits: Original sources unknown. No copyright infringement intended.

There are moments that invite us to stay still long enough to see what really speaks to our souls.

In doing so; my burden for Suicide Prevention has unwavered.

As most of you know, I am a former Volunteer Suicide & Crisis Center Hotline Counselor. However my burden for raising Suicide Awareness is unique in that I have never personally contemplated nor lost anyone to suicide. I strongly feel led by God to not only inspire those in the struggle but help end the stigma surrounding the struggle. I want to encourage those who are hurting and even those in communities of color and communities of faith, who feel the pressure to pretend all is well – when it’s not. Those who suffer in silence; thus distancing themselves from viable resources of support.

On Sunday, October 6, 2019; I’m walking for the first time in the Out of the Darkness Greater Philadelphia Walk to fight suicide and support AFSP’s bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025! I’ve also taken a leap of faith to be a Team Captain!

Here’s the link if you want to walk with me:

https://afsp.donordrive.com/team/InspirationWithE

And here’s the link if you prefer to join me as a “Virtual Walker” & make a donation instead:

https://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/InspirationWithE

Thanks for your support!

e

#StopSuicide #AFSP #AFSPPhilly #OutoftheDarkness #OutoftheDarknessWalk #SuicideAwarenessMonth #Inspiration #Motivation #MobilItyIsAGift #Philadelphia

Because of Him,

e

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

No copyright infringement intended.

About a month ago or so; my daughter, one of my best friends and I went to see Toni Morrison’s documentary entitled:

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

It was SPECTACULAR. Riveting from beginning to end. So much so that my life….no our lives were significantly impacted. That day we renewed vows to ourselves. We were inspired to do better. To dream again. To hold each other accountable. To honor time by never wasting it…again.

And then – she passed away on August 5th, 2019…and the world learned of it yesterday.

I am still hurting.

I feel hurt, sad and convicted. She published her first book at 40. That is inspiring. She was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. That is motivating. But rehearsing the victories of others will never be enough for us to move on what God has called us to do.

Ms. Morrison in her essay titled “No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear,” writes:

“There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”

What is wrong with us wasting so much time??? Why are we so comfortable procrastinating? As though we created and command time. There is so much to be done. Yes. Times are difficult and at times dark. Resources few. But today’s devotion really spoke to me:

So enough excuses. We are ALL going through something. But you are needed. I am needed. Lord!

Lord please forgive us for not honoring the time that you have entrusted us with. Forgive us for not honoring the gifts, talents and ideas that you have entrusted us with. Please help us to walk this thing out called ‘life’ for real. We can do nothing about our past. So we will not beat ourselves up about what has not happened that we feel should have happened by now.

And what will we do with the time that remains?

Because of Him,

e

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credits: Toni Morrison’s -unknown. No copyright infringement intended.

Procrastination Quote and Photo of clock: Unknown. No copyright infringement intended.

Remaining photo credits: Ericka Arthur: Holding the Jesus Always devotional book by Sarah Young.

No copyright infringement intended.

It’s been a minute…eh?

A MILLION THANK YOUS to my readers!! I can not believe the incredible amount of interest expressed. Thanks to those still checking for new posts as well as a few new faces! I see YOU!! God bless you and thank you so much for being here. I’m humbled by your kindness and unwavering support.

I wrote a dedication piece to our 17 yr old. daughter months ago. Never finished it. Dozed off in the middle of writing it. Thought I saved it to my drafts because it was sorely incomplete – only to learn that I had accidentally posted it. So nonetheless I deleted that soon after. But just for giggles….here is our first born MIRACLE:

I love her with every ounce of my being.

To be fair – I also have to shout out our second MIRACLE – our 15 yr old. son! He is now in charge of holding the phone during selfies because his growth spurts give him great angles!! LOL! I love him with every ounce of my being.

These pics were taken this past Saturday.

In the middle is one of my best friends and our son’s Godmother Rev. Dionne Bossiere and of course on the end is my daughter!

Ok…..

So way. And I mean waaaaay too much has transpired in the last few months. So instead of boring you with the details – here’s a quick update on the last 21 days.

DAY 21

I am thrilled – no THRILLED to be DONE w/ my #21DayJuicingChallenge TODAY!! Sooooooo to answer a few questions I keep getting:

1- Nope. Not hungry at all. Seriously like by day 3 you’re straight. but yes i missed eating – esp veggie omelettes & the feel of my favorite fork lol

2- Why? I’d been on the “straight & narrow” since my bday (clean eating/working out 6-7 days a week which I still do) to push myself through agonizing hip pain & PTSD triggers.

So when this challenge came up, it was just that. A challenge. Nothing deep. Not a fast, consecration or levitating in the parking lot on my lunch breaks…

3- It was actually a lot of fun. Me & 5 homegirls did it together, 2 of them, including my mom – only did nights & weekends. Doing it w/ others helped me not get bored w/ trying different juice combos.

4- How much weight did i lose? Not really comfortable sharing that ’cause it wasn’t that kind of party.

When I first started exercising again I would lose nothing some weeks. One week I lost 2 stankin’ OUNCES & that ish hurt me to my heart yo! So had to stop worrying about it. ‘Cause it was stressing me.

But obviously my overall health has improved due to the changes I’ve made. Prayerfully that’s enough info to inspire someone!

Special shout out to the sisters who opted not to do the challenge but checked on me a few times a week. Meant a lot. Love YOU!

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happy 21st Anniversary Husband

Together for 25 years and married for 21 years today…I can honestly say I see love and marriage so much differently than when we first exchanged vows. It was a much simpler time and WAY before cell phones and social media either ruined lives or as some would dare say expose them for what they really were😉!

This was taken in the Summer of ’94 when we had been “talking” for a couple of months and he had asked me to be his girl.

We get asked ALL the time for relationship advice but marriage is not the type of test you can study for! You can’t copy off someone else’s paper in this thing called love and commitment. Every relationship & household is different…so you must do what works for YOU!!

I’m rarely online anymore. Not sure when that will change. But since I have been doing a ton of posting on my personal page in honor of our children’s musical accomplishments in the past 24 hours….

there was no way I could let this night go by without acknowledging our wedding anniversary!!

Thanks to EVERYONE who hit us up – I didn’t realize so many remembered. Soooo very thoughtful! And as I ALWAYS say, “Love – been hurt by it, been healed by it. I STILL believe in LOVE”!

New here? Welcome new faces! Thank you so much for being here…feel free comment below and introduce yourself! Be sure to scroll down to catch up! Perhaps you will find a piece that speaks to you – no matter where you are on this journey called Love 😘💫e

#oldschool #husbandandwife #musician #throwbackthursday #positivevibes ONLY

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.