Inspirational Sunday

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light..."
Ephesians 5:8

Rae's Thought: Sometimes, God talks to me in some of the weirdest ways. I love when He does that, though. It comes unexpected. This week's inspiration came to me during one of my walks in the park. At one point in my walk, I looked around me and saw that, in the midst of all the dead grass in the park, lay several small patches of lush, green grass. The withered, brown grass had the green grass surrounded, but it didn't take away from the beauty. In fact, it was the green grass that really caught my attention, despite the fact that there wasn't much of it.

"This," God told me, "is exactly how my children should be." Ephesians 5:8 immediately came to mind. We are told to walk as children of light. Oftentimes, Christians let the world influence them instead of the other way around. If people can't tell us apart from the nonbelievers, we are not doing our jobs...what God has called us to do. We are not living or walking as children of light. In Romans 12:2, we are told not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world. There should be a noticeable difference between the children of God and everyone else.

The children of God (lush, green grass) are surrounded by those who do not believe (withered, brown grass) everyday. The question is, are we letting dead grass take away from the beauty of lush, green grass or are we the ones making the world beautiful? Are you, as children of light, letting your light shine so bright that, in spite of being surrounded by darkness, it is you that draws attention? If you're the only child of God in the midst of a crowd of nonbelievers, would people be able to tell you apart, or are you a carbon copy of everyone around you?



The lack of Internet access sucks big time. I don't have the 'net at home and I haven't been able to get to a computer since Monday. Even now, I'm using my phone to make this post. Next week, though, I'll be able to have access...although, still not from my home. We're working on that. Posts will start back Sunday. *sigh*
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Man-ificent Monday: Reggie Bush

In honor of the upcoming Superbowl, I decided to celebrate by posting pics of an NFL player for Manificent Monday. My original choice for the Superbowl was Jets vs Vikings, but, alas, it wasn't meant to be. Come Sunday, February 7, 2010, the Indianapolis Colts will play the New Orleans Saints. Since the Saints were my 2nd choice for Superbowl champs (Vikings being #1...unless, of course the Texans had made it), I'll be cheering for the Saints on Superbowl Sunday. So, I guess you can figure the team today's cutie pie is from. This man is too delicious for words. If you get a chance, purchase February's issue of Essence, which features him (and other cutie pies, btw). Who am I talking about? Why, Reggie Bush, of course!

Word to Describe: Yum!


Random Thoughts Thursday

Of course, I've decided to join yet another challenge. This time, the 10 in '10 Teen Chick Lit Challenge. There's something about a challenge that makes me wanna do it. And I love reading, so I figured, why not? So, I'm joining in. Interested? Visit Kay Cassidy's Blog.

I, being the nerd I am, have more than 10 books on my list, but whatever. Some of these books are in my TBR pile, some haven't even come out yet. BUT all will get read.

  • Forgive My Fins: Tera Lynn Childs
  • Heist Society: Ally Carter
  • Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover: Ally Carter
  • Only the Good Spy Young: Ally Carter
  • Cindy Ella: Robin Palmer
  • Geek Charming: Robin Palmer
  • Dork Diaries: Rachel Renee Russell (not sure if this is MG or YA, but I'm including it)
  • Perfect Shot: Debbie Rigaud
  • Sea Change: Aimee Friedman
  • Need: Carrie Jones
  • Captivate: Carrie Jones
  • Evermore: Alyson Noel
  • Wish: Alexandra Bullen
  • As You Wish: Jackson Pearce
  • Crescendo: Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Eyes Like Stars: Lisa Mantchev
  • Princess For Hire: Lindsey Leavitt
  • The Lonely Hearts Club: Elizabeth Eulberg
  • The Cinderella Society: Kay Cassidy
  • The Reckoning: Kelley Armstrong
  • Hearts at Stake: Alyxandra Harvey

And the list goes on. Some of these books I do plan to review. Happy Reading! P.S. I'm seriously looking for more MG/YA books for teens of color! I need more.

On another note, I'm not understanding why, after the Liar (which I'm reading now) book cover controversy, why would the publisher do it again? They drew fire for "whitewashing" another cover. The character in the Jaclyn Dolamore's, Magic Under Glass, is described as dark-skinned, while the model on the book cover is nowhere near. They've decided to cease supplying copies because the jacket design has caused offense. Ya think? Guess they didn't learn from the Liar controversy. Sometimes, things like this make me wanna self-publish, where I'll have total control over my jacket design. Either that, or fight for change in publishing...or maybe both. IDK. I'm disappointed that children/teens of color are being left out when it comes to books, whether it's jacket design or books period. This only makes me even more determined to write and publish books for these kids, so they can read about characters that look like them from authors that look like them.


Tickle-Me Tuesday


Man-ificent Monday: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Facts: Born in California in 1972; Father is Black Canadian and mother is of Samoan heritage; He played football at the University of Miami; Became a professional wrestler in the WWF (following in his grandfather's footsteps); The Rock's famous saying, "Can you smeelllll what The Rock is cooking!" I know this because my little 2nd graders were saying this EVERY DAY when I first taught. Started acting in 2001's The Mummy Returns and hasn't looked back since.

Claim 2 Fame: Professional Wrestler in WWF/WWE; The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, The Rundown, Walking Tall, Be Cool, Gridiron Gang, The Game Plan, Get Smart, Race to Witch Mountain, Planet 51, Tooth Fairy, which will be released this Friday...count me in!

Word to Describe: Gorgeous!


Change of Plans

Due to the response to my "Miscellaneous Monday: Cutie Pie" post, I've decided to change things around a bit. I'm separating my book review and cutie pies posts. Cutie pies will start the week off and book reviews will end it. Here's my new blog schedule:

  • Inspirational Sunday: Every Sunday
  • Magnificent Monday: Every Monday
  • Tickle-Me Tuesday: Every Tuesday
  • Writing Wednesday: Every Wednesday
  • Random Thoughts Thursday: Every Thursday
  • Fitness Friday: Last Friday of the month
  • Book Review Saturday: Every other Saturday (I couldn't come up with a catchy name for my book review Saturdays).

Sounds like alot, I know. Sundays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays may be the harder days 'cause I'm acutally writing something. The other days won't be so difficult. So, anyway, with that being said, my Magnificent Monday post will soon follow!


Random Thoughts Thursday

HAITI. Wow! My heart and prayers go out to the survivors and anyone else affected by Tuesday's earthquake. I can't even imagine. The country was already poverty ridden and now this. It warms my heart when I see people coming together to help. Unfortunately, I'm not financially able to help, but I am spiritually able. I'm glad I serve a God who answers prayers and comforts His people in times of trouble.

RUSH LIMBAUGH/PAT ROBERTSON. I get upset every time I think about what these two have said about the Haiti crisis. I mean, really, Mr. Robertson? I wonder if he said America deserved it when 9/11 happened. I mean, this country, as a whole, is slowly trying to erase God and the name of Jesus out of daily life. We as a country are straying far from God and His principles. Does that mean we deserved 9/11? My problem with this is more the judgemental tone that underlines it. We as Christians are not called to judge others. We're not called to point fingers at people who may not believe like we do. We are called to be the salt of the show the world God's goodness and love. We are called to be compassionate...not judgemental.

And Rush Limbaugh...smh. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Get over it! Why he continues to hate on the pres is beyond me. Why would Obama use Haiti's crisis to increase his approval rating among "light-skinned and dark-skinned blacks"? He already had an overwhelmingly amount of blacks, light or dark, who approved of him. What sense does that statement make, Mr. Limbaugh? None! I wonder if he said President Bush used the tsunami of Indonesia to increase his approval rating of Asian Americans.

UGLY BETTY. Wasn't last night's episode just sad and happy at the same time? I loved it. And I absolutely LOVE Hilda and Bobby's relationship. I hope Adam Rodriguez gets to stay on Ugly Betty for a long time.

NEW BUSINESS. So, I found that business ownership runs deep in my siblings and my veins on both sides of the family. My mom's grandparents owned several businesses before she was born. My dad's mom owned a nightclub that started off as a small idea. My parents are business owners, too. No wonder my brother, sister, and I are working to realize our dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. It's like we had to!

So, I'm turning my passion to profits. One of my passions is children and teens. I believe they are the reason God put me on this earth. I've already mentioned AYM Enrichment, my sister and my enrichment venture, of which we're working to get our own building. Another passion is writing, which explains why I'm an aspiring author of children and teen books. Yet another passion of mine is baking. I LOVE to bake. It's actually a stress reliever for me. Put me in the kitchen to bake cookies, cakes, and pies, and my worries go away. Enter GaGa's Goodies, my sister and my other business venture. GaGa was the name my mom and her siblings gave my great grandmother, who died 7 months before I was born. I share my love of baking (and my middle name) with her. Although I've never met her, I feel closest to her when I'm in the kitchen. It was the GaGa's angel that saved me when I was a baby...a story for another time. I decided on GaGa's Goodies because most of the recipes we have come from our grandmothers (GaGa, my mom's mother, and my dad's mother). I'm excited about this. I'm excited about my new career choices!


Tickle-Me Tuesday


Man-ificent Monday: Laz Alonso

Laz Alonso

About: Born to a 1st generation Cuban immigrant couple in Washington D.C. Graduated from Howard University School of Business; worked on Wall Street before acting (smart and!

Occupation: Actor

Movies: Avatar, Fast and the Furious 4, Miracle at St. Anna, This Christmas, and Stomp the Yard to name a few.

Word to Describe: GuapĂ­simo!


Inspirational Sunday

NOTE: Decided to post one of my older IOWs for this week's inspiration. I wrote this one 2 years ago after Hurricane Ike.

"I might have trouble on every side, yet not distressed. I might be perplexed but never in despair. Persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed." ~ Take 6, 'I've Got a Life'

Rae's Thought: We have this tall, skinny pine tree in front of our house – a tree we've watched grow for the past 11 years. This weekend, we watched it go through a major storm that could've left it destroyed, like so many other trees in our neighborhood.

Friday, when Ike's winds started to pick up, we watched anxiously as our tree bent back and forth, side to side. I'd prayed for her strength. If she fell backwards, she would've ended up in my room; if she fell to the left, our cars would've been destroyed; if she fell to the right or front, our streets would've been blocked. So, we waited, praying that she'd make it. And, you know what? She did. At one point, we were sure she'd fall. It looked like she would snap in half, but she's still standing strong. One of her branches snapped and she was hit so hard that sap is coming out, but she is still standing.

While watching this, I had a thought…an epiphany of sorts…an "aha" moment. Many times, I am like our tree. The "hurricanes" in my life hit me on all sides, bending me down. At one point, it looks like I'm not going to make it – the winds of life are blowing so hard, it feels as though I'm going to snap. But, you know what? After all is said and done, I'm still standing. I may have a few scars – battle scars, if you will - but I'm still here…standing strong.

I imagined God picking our little tree up every time she bent here and there – just like He picks us up during our times of trouble. And, after the storm is over, I can imagine Him cleaning our wounds, wrapping us up in His arms, like a mother does when her child has been injured. Watching this tree's struggle against a major hurricane gave me a sense of peace and comfort. Just like Take 6 said, "I might have trouble on every side, yet not distressed. I might be perplexed but never in despair. Persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed." I'm going to make it. No matter what happens to me, as long as I have God, I'm going to make it. And, guess what? So will you.


Random Thoughts Thursday

Brrr!!! It's cold here in Houston! It's like 36 degrees here, but with the wind, it feels like less. My goodness, the whole freakin country is experiencing this cold weather. Crazy

I saw this on twitter: (not sure how to hide the link where it says click here or something).

I only have one thing to say about this: How in the h*ll did he get his private part stuck in the pipe!!! What was he doing (I can only imagine)? SMH

Yay Glee for winning People's Choice Award for fave new TV comedy! I LOVE that show, despite the fact that it comes on at the same time as Criminal Minds and Law & Order SVU. It's easily one of my faves now.

If I weren't so darn shy in high school, I so would have joined something like the glee club. I was in the choir in both junior high and high school, just not confident enough to join the show choir...and I wouldn't have cared if popular people talked about me. Being popular never made a difference to me. You had your jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, etc, then you had Raenice. I knew people in all groups, but was never a part of one group...and I was happy with that.

And what about that Ugly Betty? I don't care what anyone says. Ugly Betty is one of my fave shows. And now that Adam Rodriguez is on there, I like it even more!

Well, that's it for this week. Until next time, adios!


Tickle-Me Tuesday


Book Review: Sassy by Sharon Draper

Genre: Chapter Book

It isn't easy being the youngest. Just ask nine year-old, Sassy Simone Sanford. According to Sassy, she's "the one who has to settle for the last piece of chicken on the plate...who's stuck with the last slice of bread in the loaf...the one who gets the last choice of jelly beans in the candy bowl." Her family has a habit of calling her 'Little Sister' instead of her name, a habit Sassy seriously wishes they'd drop.

Being the youngest and smallest doesn't stop Sassy from making life an adventure, though. From jazzing up her boring school uniform (adding glitter nail polish and shimmery, bubble gum-smelling lip gloss) to carrying her dazzling 'Sassy Sack' (a purple, silver, pink, and magenta handbag that holds a gazillion things), Sassy's sparkling personality shines through. And when her family has to count on her to get them out of a scary situation, Sassy learns that good things really do come in small packages.

The thing that first attracted me to this book was the cover - just as sparkly as Sassy's personality. When I started reading, I realized the cover wasn't the only good thing about the book. I truly enjoyed reading about Sassy, who lives up to her name. I loved everything about the book: the cover, characters, plot, setting...this book was awesome! It kept my attention from beginning to end. I already knew Sharon Draper was a talented writer from reading her YA books. With Sassy, Ms. Draper proves that she's just as talented in writing outside of YA. This book is perfect for young tween girls, especially for African American girls. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Sassy series, Sassy: The Birthday Storm (which I've already bought).

Rating: 5/5


Inspirational Sunday

"So David inquired of the Lord..."

1Samuel 23: 2a (AMP)

Rae's Thought: In this particular passage of scripture, David had just found out that the Philistines planned to attack Keilah, a small city in Judah. Upon hearing this news, David could have done 2 things: ignore the news and hope for the best, or immediately charge into Keilah and fight the Philistines. If he'd chosen to ignore, no one would have really blamed him. He had problems of his own with Saul's murderous vendetta against him. On the other hand, going right into war and defeating the Philistines could have been possible. David was no punk. Remember, this is the same guy who killed a lion and defeated a 9ft giant (Goliath) when he was a teen! Not only was he a military genius, but he was also anointed and chosen by God. David chose neither option. Instead, he chose to ask, then act. So David inquired of the Lord... He took the time out to seek God's guidance.

When it comes to decision-making, we can certainly learn from David. How often have we made decisions without consulting God first, then wonder why things turned out the way they did? How many times have we pondered so long about a decision because we just didn't know what to do? I truly believe that some of the heartaches we've experienced could have been avoided if we only asked God what to do. So many people automatically ask friends and family, imperfect beings who may or may not know, before asking God, a perfect Being who knows all. When asking God for guidance, make sure you stick to what God tells you, no matter how crazy it may sound...even if family and friends tell you you're out of your mind. When David asked God what to do, God told him to attack the Philistines. David's men believed it would've been a suicide mission. So, David asked God again (and God told him the same thing).

Now, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Come in closer. You ready? Here it is: GOD KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING! And you know what else? He has the answers you need, you just have to ask. Even when dealing with what seems to be unimportant, go to God. What do you have to lose? Absolutely nothing! He never tires of hearing our voices. He won't get exasperated if we came to Him for everything. He wants us to come to Him. He loves when His children ask for advice or direction. You can't go wrong with seeking God's knowledge. Uh, hello! He knows everything! When faced with a decision, no matter how big or small, ask then act!


Happy New Year!

Myspace Graphics

Happy 2010!!!

Thank God for allowing me to see another year...and what an awesome year it's gonna be! I have several goals (not resolutions) that I'm already working to achieve, some of which include completing novels 2 and 3, taking another look at novel #1, changing AYM (my business) from side hustle to main job, etc. I'll be blogging more about my goals later.

One of my goals is to blog more and consistently. To achieve this goal, I've made a few changes to my blog, as far as posting is concerned. Here is my new blog post schedule:

  • Inspirational Sunday: Every Sunday; Inspiration of the Week post.
  • Man-ifcent Monday: Every Monday; This day will be reserved for cutie pies. I plan to post pics of cutie pies, or eye candy. Ah! This may be my favorite day.
  • Tickle-Me Tuesdays: Every Tuesday...hasn't changed; posts with funny/cute jokes, pics, vids to brighten your day.
  • Writing Wednesdays: Every other Wednesday; This day is reserved for my new blog opera/blog novel/blog series...whatever it's called. Still working on the storyline, but by January 13th, it'll be ready.
  • Random Thoughts Thursday: Every Thursday (unless there isn't anything to blog about); Posts about my thoughts on what's going on in the world.
  • Fitness Friday: Last Friday of the month; Posts about my weight-loss journey
  • Book Review Saturday: Every othe Saturday; I will post reviews of books I've enjoyed reading - books that have left an impact on me. I read all kinds of books (though, at the moment, I'm reading more YA than anything else), so my posts will reflect my taste in books.

So, there you have it. I'm excited about 2010. Are you?