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

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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.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Thorn in the Flesh

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to [a]buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I have often spoke of the beautiful connections I’ve fostered through the Instagram #WritingCommunity since joining in October 2015; but there are a few who started with me 10 months prior right here on WordPress. Min. Sean Mungin is one of them!

While appreciating each other’s similarities and respecting our differences, Sean and I have consistently supported one another’s work from the onset. I even had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on his website in August 2015 during his consecration series. My raw & very transparent piece Holiness? Have It Your Way did not in any way conform to the traditional devotional format; but Sean was gracious enough to make room for the transparency of my authenticity. His doing so within the Body of Christ, ought not be, but at times is, a rare trait.

Having had the pleasure of introducing him to my Inspiration With E radio show audience as a guest cohost last year; featuring Sean during my Faith Edition episode was most fitting. It was at that time I shared his official bio:

Sean Mungin is a public figure who has embodied the spirit of individual and corporate success. Sean graduated from Lee University in 2005 with a Bachelors in Theology. He also earned a Masters in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2010. He also completed the Masters in Religious Education program from the Mason Kelly Washington Religious Training in Long Island, NY. Sean was ordained as a minister in 2009 under Integrity Fellowship, Inc. (Toledo, Ohio), Bishop Daniel Johnson. He has since served in the roles of Associate Pastor (2000-2002), Youth and Christian Education Director/Youth Pastor (2006-2007) in the Palm Beach area in South Florida.

Sean began his most recent journey by relocating to the Greater New York Area in July 2010. Since relocating to New York, Sean founded The Joshua Generation Ministries on June 19, 2014 to reach the unchurched via virtual media ministry. On February 24, 2016, The Joshua Generation Ministries was officially rebranded as Sean Mungin Ministries. This move was an effort to begin to move in the new direction for 2016 and beyond. It also allowed additional room for expansion into what is now known as, Kingdom Living, SMM’s daily devotional website.

In December 2016, Sean relocated to the Greater Los Angeles area with his current employer, Carlos Lopez & Associates LLC as the Associate Director of Operations for the Greater Los Angeles area. His current positions as an administrator and minister align him with his previous positions as an individual genuinely concerned about the holistic well-being (spiritual, mental, physical, and socio-economical) of all people.

Sean is currently working on focusing on developing and implementing several entrepreneurial projects. His goal is to create multiple opportunities for a higher quality of living for all within his area of influence.

e speaks

I was thrilled to learn that Sean had released a new book entitled The Thorn In The Flesh! I was most impressed by his immediate follow through when he was thinking about self publishing. I found his tenacity, courage, preparedness and commitment to self publish very inspiring!

When I finished reading the book I turned to my husband and said, “Well done Sean, that was dope! Yo my friend’s book was goooood stuff!” Lol! I loved it.

First of all it’s not what you expect. A relatively short read The Thorn In The Flesh is an inspirational piece of fiction with plenty of twists and turns to hold your attention. Sean’s style of writing felt personable, believable and engaging. It’s a highly recommended read that I envision evolving into a series or even a screenplay!

If you’re not already familiar with Sean’s work in any capacity, I encourage you to get to know him. Currently featuring Daily Affirmations that encourages himself and gives inspiration to others; Sean speaks life into the mundane by FAITH. In a world of many an impostor, he is without a doubt the real deal. Imperfect and perfected enough in Christ to humbly recognize the fabric of his human frailty, Sean is intentional about standing in the gap for others, just as much as he strives to stand on the promises of God as his anchor.

Thanks for being here Sean! You can find Sean’s works and social media links by visiting the following:

https://kingdomlivingmagazine.org/

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

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Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Sean Mungin. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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.

I think the most difficult conversation to start is one where we don’t know what to say. It weighs heavily on you and you know something is off but you can’t quite put your finger on it. A loved one, friend or acquaintance is struggling to cope. You notice they’re down, withdrawn, depressed or even angry all the time. You want to approach them but don’t know how. You fear opening a can of worms or saying the wrong thing…

There are times when we may notice but are too overwhelmed by our own problems to extend a helping hand.

Nothing is worse than addressing the issues after tragedy has occurred. It often causes even more distance between though who need help and those who can help.

Taking a moment to ask someone if everything is alright takes courage and there is nothing wrong with offering resources. I encourage you to keep the phone number of the National Suicide Hotline and Crisis Text Line in the note section of your phone so you can pass it along.

If loved ones or social media friends live outside the states; having the following info saved can be helpful:

The International Association for Suicide Prevention is also a great place to start.

You may know someone battling depression, self harming or engaging in maladaptive coping mechanisms. It’s important to not ignore them. When I served as a volunteer suicide crisis counselor, there were times I would get calls from people who weren’t suicidal but lonely. I can remember an influx of calls on Sunday afternoons from people who had been in church earlier that day but still felt alone. Some felt they couldn’t share with those closest to them for fear of judgment or being exposed. Isolation is crippling to someone who already feels alone. However it’s important to be lovingly honest about what you can and cannot do for them and then share resources.

Finally, guilt must be addressed.

Now perhaps you’ve already lost a loved one to suicide or know of someone who attempted. The guilt of surviving. The guilt of “was there something I could’ve said or done?”. The guilt of not keeping in touch or distancing yourself when you didn’t know how to help or when their sadness made your sadness worse. The guilt of not answering that last text or call. Not dealing with your emotions, pain, guilt or grief puts you at risk as well!

It’s ok to not be ok but don’t stay in that space. Reach out. Get help. Look for grief support groups in your area. Whatever we internalize will eventually materialize if it’s not dealt with.

You deserve healing and support too.

And also…

if someone threatens to kill or hurt themselves if you don’t stay in a relationship with them, please know that is a weight no one deserves to bear. There are genuine cries for help and then there are sordid tactics of manipulation. However to avoid misdiagnosing someone’s emotional and mental state or if you lack the ability to truly discern if someone’s in crisis: LOVINGLY OFFER RESOURCES. Direct their attention to trained volunteers and professionals who are willing to help.

I pray this piece is helpful. Won’t you share? You never know who’s going through or someone who has already gone through. Live Through This is a fascinating movement chronicling the lives of real suicide attempt survivors.

Be encouraged and remember:

As you Hold On To Life!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All photos used in this piece are the sole property of the original sources . No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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.

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

My big brother (from another mother) George (Ward) & I haven’t worked together in 7 yrs…almost to the day!! I was cohost on his Spirit & Truth Show for a couple of years. We had a few technical snafoos during our FB live event but all in all we were able to share vital contact info. We received encouraging feedback that it helped to give hope and new insight to our viewers!!

Blessings to you all & thanks again! Thank You Video below!!

The following are resources mentioned during the show! Much love💫e

The Buddy Project http://www.buddy-project.org/ (Twitter Pairing for Teens/Young Adults)

Depressed While Black http://www.depressedwhileblack.com/ (Mental Health stories from an African American Lens)

Hold On, Inc @HoldToLife on Twitter (Faith Based Suicide Prevention Organization)

Live Through This http://livethroughthis.org/ (A collection of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors, as told by those survivors.) Mental Health In The Black Community http://outsidethehousedoc.com/ (Documentary – Language Advisory)

Hotlines

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

http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

LIVESTREAM ON FACEBOOK LIVE TODAY!

Join my big brother George Ward & I today Saturday June 9, 2108 at 3:30pm EST, as we have a laid back but necessary heart to heart about Suicide Awareness & Prevention. We will be discussing real life issues and providing resources💫e

Tune in Live by Clicking the Link Below:

https://www.facebook.com/Spiritandtruth3/

If you’re not on Facebook – stay tuned for highlights💫e

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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.

e

Welcome to Day 24 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 24

To Someone Who Wants To Heal

How bad do you want it, right? I mean certainly that would be the only thing hindering healing, right?

It dawned on me that pages of old record Jesus asking the same question: “Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been sick for such a long time; so he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6 GNT

You see me sick, struggling and bound – why wouldn’t I want to be healed?

Comfort vs. Our Comfort Zones

But wait there’s nothing comfortable about discomfort, or is there? And I don’t deem the poser of the question insensitive or naïve but rather as one viewing the proximity of healing (emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, financially) a lot closer than the infirmed envisions.

Faith vs. Denial

Glass half empty, half full or broken. Only you can decide. No blame gaming here or blame shifting here. No matter the cause, precipitating event or trigger, life has a way of leveling the playing field. As a result; love, compassion and humility are the best way to approach those who may be so weary and in so much pain – they no longer want to be healed. They no longer want the marriage to be restored. They no longer want the house on the hill. They no longer want to be healed – because too much time has passed.

No matter the space you’re in…be encouraged. This a no judgment zone. And be prayerfully open. Don’t let bitterness, disdain and cynicism harden you. Remember healing…well it comes in many forms.

Let me hear your voice🙏🏽e

***************************************

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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

Photo Credits Pixabay, Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 16 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 16

To Anyone Who Is Struggling

I really debated on how I was going to handle the letter writing challenge for today. I kinda felt like I’d been repeating myself lately. I’ve been on this mission of really saving lives and raising suicide awareness for the last few years now and sometimes wonder of it gets old.

But then God reminded me, everybody struggling is not suicidal. And everybody struggling is not struggling with the same thing. But we all struggle with something.

So what I chose for this and if necessary the next few prompts during this challenge is to share a vintage piece that prayerfully will speak to where you are on your journey at this time. If not…bookmark it for a friend won’t ‘cha?

The piece I’ve selected is: Guess I Needed That Cry.

Let me hear your voice…💫e

If you or a loved one are suicidal, is in crisis or having a hard time coping at this very moment; PLEASE know that you matter and are not alone! If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources below!

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

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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

Photo Credits: Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 15 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 15

To Your My Mother

Dear Mommy,

By far the strongest woman in my life.

I still remember the night you sat my little brother and I down to explain why Daddy wouldn’t be coming home. First and third graders hearing wailing cushioned by the sobs of those surrounding you…surrounding us.

And this time the cruelest of Brooklyn streets were not to blame.

Heart failure bending his 34 year old 6′ 5″ frame.

It was at that moment our lives would never be the same.

Daddy; a true gentleman’s King on earth.

Our loss. They say Heaven’s gain.

I love and respect you so much Mommy.

Your unwavering fortitude and class is why I carry with me every story you’ve told and example you demonstrated before our then impressionable eyes.

I remember you working full time and finishing your college degree full time at night. Though I rehearsed the romantic stories you told of Daddy surprising you on your college campus; as an adult I now understand you put your life on hold for the dreams of others.

I remember you coming home exhausted to two teens blaring music, dishes in the sink and occasionally mediocre grades. I can hear your voice booming from the core of your chest, “If I can work full time, go to school full time and be on the Dean’s List; you have no excuse!! All you have to do is keep your room clean and give me good grades!!”

Mommy you always carried yourself like a such lady. The wisdom that you exercised, positive words and blessings you constantly speak over my life; give me life.

What you’ve sacrificed to give – forever stays with me.

I remember you saying there are things I just won’t understand until I get older or until I’m married or until I have children.

Mommy you were so right.

And I’m so glad God chose you to house our potential.

Thank you Mommy…to infinity.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

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Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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

Photo Credits: Ericka Arthur – Mommy Daughter Selfie. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 13 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 13

To The Thunder In Your Veins

Thunder. We hear it but don’t see it right?

Feel it’s roar, vibrato and rumble but can’t trace it?

Knowing it’s there but can’t put a finger on its pulse…

Forced to respect its power though you don’t know when it’s coming so it startles you and forces you to pay attention.

It demands respect.

The thunder in your veins is life itself.

No guarantees with the exception of the guarantee that it’s alive and it will make its presence known.

Remember – we see the light(ning) before we hear the thunder and feel the wind of its effects.

Perhaps that’s what missing from your plans, goals, life focus.

Hence the inability to feel alive and recognize purpose embodied in the thunder in your veins.

Where, who and what is the source of your light? Your joy? Your hope? Your song? Your voice? Your inspiration?

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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

Photo Credits: Pixabay. No copyright infringement intended.

Welcome to Day 3 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up here!

According to Wolf Song Alaska:

Keep in mind that a wolf’s real personality is often hidden under the character of his or her social position. Intelligent, non-aggressive, and friendly with the ability to make strong emotional attachments are among those traits we can generalize about the magnificent wolf.

Day 3

Bark And Moans Beneath The Howl

Written by Ericka Arthur for Authenticitee Speaks

Howling they say keeps the pack together and as I say, the enemy at bay. Life as I know it has summoned different parts of my persona in recent years. Some facets I’ve fully accepted while others even I’m still adjusting to. One thing is certain; I’m serious about warring for my family first in every realm and only the discerning that I’ve deemed worthy, are allowed access to the moans beneath the bark.

So to the wolf in my chest? You’re best served and serve best uncaged.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 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

Photo Credits: Pinterest via Google Images. No copyright infringement intended.