Monday Meditations: In My Brown Skin

October 1st saw the beginning of '31 Days' an annual event  where bloggers across the internet blog daily throughout the month of October on the subject of their choice. Instead of my regular Monday post I want to point you to one of these blogs where I know you will find much to meditate on.

Deidra Riggs is the visionary at JumpingTandem (deidrariggs.com), managing editor at TheHighCalling.org and a monthly contributor  at (in)courage.me .  During the month of October Deidra is participating in the annual 31 Days blogging event where she will be blogging daily on  the perspective of being a follower of Christ as  a Woman of Color. 31 days in my brown skin is open, honest, insightful and informative, and a must read for followers of Christ of any color. I encourage you to join Deirda on her journey this month as she hosts the needed  conversation on this very  interesting and important subject with grace and candor.

Today Deidra is posting about her mission trip to Haiti which is this week. Please go and leave her a word of encouragement and prayer for her and for the mission team she's traveling with. I'd love to hear your thoughts on her 31 days project so please share them with us. I would love for Renaissance Women to be a part of this wonderful conversation.

Have a Blessed Week!


The Bunkbed Parable, Pt. 2

Over the years I have come to appreciate how God will take a situation like assembling a set of bunkbeds for my sons as an opportunity to teach me a lesson for living. The lesson He taught me in this situation was perseverance.  (The Bunkbed Parable Part 1 )

Perseverance is defined as a ‘steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite difficulties or setbacks’.  Difficulties and setbacks. That described my situation. The bunkbeds needed to be assembled, they were not going to assemble themselves and they had to be up by a specific time. I had to get out of bed and go do it. I could whine and cry while I put them together but put them together I must. Yes, it was true that someone had given me the wrong information and no, it was not fair that they did it but the fact was the boys needed a place to sleep. I had to do it. I need to persevere until it was done. 

When I got back to the boys  room, I sorted through the pile on the floor, got the directions and started putting the bed together. Halfway through I found that I needed to have a small Phillips head screwdriver to continue. My toolbox at that time consisted of a hammer, a pair of pliers and a regular sized screwdriver which no matter how hard I tried didn’t fit the top of those screws. I was ready to quit again but I had to go buy a Phillips head screwdriver. I was miserable but I had to get it done. It didn’t matter that my head was aching and my foot was throbbing, I had to persevere.

Thank goodness the rest of the assembly went quickly after that and two and a half hours after I started, the bunkbed frame was done. As I stood back and took a good look at what I had done, a sense of satisfaction started to replace the angry frustration I had been feeling. I still had a killer headache and my toes still hurt but I had gotten it done. In fact, I was so proud to have conquered the situation instead of letting the situation conquer me that I went back out and bought two new sets of matching Star War sheets for the bunkbeds. The boys loved it and were sufficiently awed to hear that their mom had put the beds together all by herself. They were proud of me and I was proud of myself.

That was over twenty-five years ago. The boys are now all men and those bunkbeds are long since gone but the pride and satisfaction I felt at persevering until the task was completed is still with me.  Many times I have thanked God for the experience of assembling those bunkbeds. It has given me the strength to accomplish increasing larger tasks and to handle unexpected situations. It has taught me that no matter what it is that I attempt in my life, if I persevere by the grace of God, I can get it done.


The Bunkbed Parable Pt.1

The Bunkbed Parable was an experience I had when my sons were little that started out in frustration but ended up being a valuable life lesson for me. I had gone to buy a set of bunkbeds for the boys and having been assured by a very nice furniture store salesperson that they did indeed deliver and assemble the beds they sell, I purchased a set of those heavy duty metal bunkbeds. I was especially happy about the assembly part because at that time in my life I was not a screwdriver friendly type of person. Imagine my shock on the following weekend when the delivery men set two twin mattresses and a very heavy cardboard box against the bedroom wall, headed back downstairs to hand me a clipboard and said, “We’re done. Sign here”. A short discussion with the deliverymen and a long one with the store manager revealed the fact that they did indeed assemble all of the beds they sold – except bunkbeds. He was as sorry as he could be that I was given the wrong information, but no, the deliverymen were not going to assemble my bunkbeds. All they could do was either leave them there or bring them back to the store where the manager would arrange for a full refund – minus the delivery fee, of course.

After allowing the delivery men to leave I sat down on my living room sofa preparing to have a good old fashioned cry even though I knew it wouldn’t help the situation at all. My head was already pounding because of a 48 hour virus which had decided to stay a few extra hours so crying would only make things worse. I was a single mom and there was no one else to do it but me. I also couldn’t wait to find someone else to do it because the boys were flying back from spring break vacation with their dad the next day and their old beds were already gone. Wiping away the few already escaped tears, I squared my shoulders and went back up the stairs to tackle the job. 

As a person who believes in prayer I took a moment to ask for strength and patience before I started. I then proceeded to open the large flat box leaning against the wall only to have everything tumble out in a heap on the floor because I hadn’t laid it flat before opening. As a result the heavy metal frame was upside down, the two heavy end pieces landed on the toes of one of my bare feet and what seemed like a million little bags of nut, bolts and screws were flung all over the floor. To add insult to injury, the directions for assembly were in the on the bottom of this pile. 

That was it. Even though I had just started, I had already had enough. I followed my first inclination to limp angrily out of the boys’ room slamming the door behind me, crawl back into my own bed and finally have that cry. I threw a real hissy fit even though there was no one but the Lord watching and I knew from experience that a tantrum wouldn’t cut any bait with him. I had a good long cry but after it was over, the bunkbeds were still down the hall waiting to be put together. The boys couldn’t sleep on that mess when they came home so and they were too little to put them together themselves. I was going to have to do it. Brushing the tears out of my eyes and with both my head and my foot pounding I hobbled back down to the boys bedroom to began to sort out the mess in the floor.