Saturday, March 17, 2018

Humbly Yours by Val Crawford

ABBA FATHER, I thank YOU for the opportunity to share YOU again. Thank YOU for showing me my own issues and more importantly for extending YOUR Forgiving Love at the same time. Speak LORD! YOUR servant-daughter is listening! Decrease me and Increase YOU through my writing and allow the words that come from it to strengthen another (and me); to grow another (and me) and to cause us to be a greater reflection of YOU and YOUR Love in all our ways, in the matchless Name LORD JESUS.

Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Much like a stubborn, two-year-old, I really did not want to engage in this particular lesson. I tried to find and follow an alternate path but this one wore on me. I've learned that the most challenging lessons - when the words seem to be pressing against your own window - are the hardest to share. Likewise, I realized that where there is no test, there really is no testimony. And, too, if you have never been hurt, you haven't really learned to forgive.

Now, in all honesty, that last one was a lesson that I’d rather pass on! If I have to be hurt, nevermind! But alas, I could not. My Spiritual Mom says it this way, like the scriptures say - We 
"must needs go through Samaria'…"

My sons grew up in the Boy Scouts of America. They all started out as Tiger Cubs. And we determined early in their Scouting careers that they would not be just scouts, but that they all would goal for and attain the rank of Eagle. An Eagle is the highest rank and most rare of Scouts, with only two percent of all boys in the world reaching that level. To earn this rank, one must complete a series of activities. At the completion of each activity, you earn a badge. A young man may choose any combination of badges to reach his goal. Most of the activities are loads of fun for the guys - camping, hiking, archery.

Others call for more thought and attention to a task and are designed to stretch a person beyond his own self-imposed boundaries. These are the required badges. They are the badges you must earn… if you want to matriculate from 2nd/1st class to Star to Life to Eagle Scout. You “must needs go through Samaria.”

My son, Daniel’s ‘boundary-stretching Samaria,’ was swimming. We discovered, around age 13 that Daniel was not particularly fond of large bodies of water. He didn’t care for dinner cruises, paddle-boat rides or … swimming. That was a problem because we needed that badge to complete the requirements for his Eagle. I am happy to report that my son faced his aversion to water activities, took lessons, added a swimming badge to his Scouting resume and attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 2013.

This is a lesson that I have periodically drawn from (thank you, Daniel). Sometimes, you must go to it or through it – whatever ‘it’ may be. There have been times that I was afraid (to show my vulnerability). There were other instances that I just didn’t want to! “I mean – Really, LORD?? YOU want me to do this, or say that?!? REALLY? Don’t YOU remember how many times I did that… and the response I got in return?? Don’t YOU remember how it made me feel?

In short, Paul is telling us in Galatians 6, “Well – yeah… GOD DOES know how often you have availed your Self. Yes - HE does know how many times you have set your personal needs aside for the desires of others. And YES – HE especially remembers how deeply you were hurt when you gave your very best to those that you loved so much, only to have them walk away without as much as a ‘thank you.’

Yes - GOD does know and it's why HE had Paul to warn us to “… not be weary…”

Webster’s online definition of ‘weary’ includes the following:

“Annoyed by something because you have seen, heard or done it many times.” A synonym for weary is sapped – to gradually weaken a person’s strength or power.

Okay! Now I get it! Don’t allow the good you do to drain you of your strength and power. Don’t allow your graciousness to others to become such an annoyance that you are unwilling to assist someone when you see a need.

The fact of the matter is – you might not be recognized right away. You may very well never hear the ‘thank you’ or ‘feel’ the gratitude. Somewhere along the way, you might even get your feelings hurt… but please – don’t give up. In due season, if you don’t faint (weaken), you will reap. Somewhere along the way, your efforts will be acknowledged and your hard work will be recognized.

One day, when you least expect it (and probably from a different source), your hard work, your generosity, your kindness will receive the acknowledgment it deserves. One day, you will get your swimming badge and find yourself soaring above mountain tops… like the Eagle that you are! (Thanks, Daniel!)

Val Crawford
Contributing Writer

Friday, March 16, 2018

Q: What is a teachable spirit? I was told that I didn’t have a teachable spirit… could you explain?

Signed: C.P. ~ Willing to Learn

A: I commend you for wanting to know about your spirit. It’s not easy to accept criticism from others for yourself. Having a teachable spirit simply means that you are not willing to listen and learn from others. You are possibly giving off the vibe that you don’t need anyone or you can do it all. You may feel like what someone is telling you is unimportant. This can sometimes be perceived as rude and arrogant.

However, this may be the opposite of who you are. You may be a person that doesn’t like to burden anyone. You may be a person that is trying to do it all but with good intentions. Evaluate your personality and see if you can see yourself the way others see you. How do you handle constructive criticism? Do you dispute or simply try to make your point in discussions? Are you a team builder? These are just a few questions that you can begin with. Also, reach out to the person/people who shared their views with you. Ask them what is it that they see?

Until next time, laugh, live and love life!



Trinette Collier Green is a Certified Relationship Stylist
Submit your questions to

Friday, March 9, 2018

Q: What are some ways women can connect with each other without the drama?

Signed: A.N. ~ No Drama

A: Believe it or not, there are many ways to connect with each other without the drama! I know the world sees women as petty, dramatic, argumentative and downright nasty towards one another but that is far from the truth. Women all over the world are eager to connect and prove to the world that we can unite and be drama free. However, there are still those that choose to not represent the positive. Listed below are some ways that you can connect and as always, pray about your connections.

  1. Visit Women Ministries of friends and participate in their calendar events.
  2. Get involved in charitable events for women and children.
  3. Connect with women groups on social media. Social media CAN be used for good.
  4. Gather up your girlfriends and make monthly plans for dinner, movies, plays, etc…
  5. Start your own group.
Until next time, laugh, live, and love life!


Trinette Collier Green is a Certified Relationship Stylist
Submit your questions to

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Theo's Sports Corner by Theo Abbott

The 2018 D.C. United Team is excited about the New Season and their New Home.

There is an excitement surrounding soccer in Washington DC. The 2018 D.C. United season will be United’s 23rd in existence and in playing in Major League Soccer (MLS). The 2018 season will be the team’s first season playing at Audi Field after playing 22 years at RFK stadium. Audi Field is the new home for United. The state-of-the-art facility has a capacity of 20,000 fans and will feature 31 luxury suites.

The 2018 team is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2017 season where they did not make the playoffs. DC United has had success over the years winning four Major League Soccer Cups. The team is led by head coach and former MLS star Ben Olsen. United is paying preseason games now but the games actually count when the regular season begins on March 3, 2018, vs. Orlando City. DC United made various offseason moves to bring in players to improve the team. However, their best and most well-known player, goalkeeper Bill Hamid, will be missed. Hamid departed to play soccer overseas.

United got rid of some aging veterans and brought in some youth including Junior Moreno, Yamil Asad to go along with talents Ian Harkes and Luciano Acosta. The team was also able to make trades for proven players Frederic Brillant and Darren Mattocks. The team is excited about the potential for the 2018 season if all the talent comes together. United can not wait for fans to come visit their new digs at Audi Field. Will DC United bounce back from last year’s disappointing season? That remains to be seen.

Theo Abbott
Contributing Writer 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Divine Wellness by Traci A. Fonville

 What’s the Stigma?

Change the way you see things and the things you see will change.
-Wayne Dyer

Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person. It’s used most often as a way to attach a negative connotation to something… usually, something that is either not well liked or understood. Such is the case with natural health and healing, including an area that I am particularly partial to, essential oils.

As a Wellness Advocate for a well-known essential oil company, the stigma I’ve found attached to our products is that of disbelief of credible evidence that they work, as well as how powerful they could be for our emotional and physical health. Now don’t push pause right here. This is surely not a ploy to rush to the website and buy! My purpose is to shatter the stigma of essential oils and perhaps many other products or ideas that you may find questionable due to unfamiliarity or the stigma that has been attached to them.

Normally when faced with an illness, what do you do? You go to the doctor, pick up a prescription, take the medication, and voila! You are cured... or so you think. But what if you were given an opportunity to learn about solutions to your minor aches, pains, and illnesses so that you can truly manage your self-care and healing at home, without the meds that sometimes cause side effects? Would you explore it? Or would you question its credibility? Not dismissing conventional health care at all, but just to give you options to help your mind, body, and spirit use its innate power to heal. Typically, we don’t think of our bodies being able to overcome illnesses without a pill. We want to be well immediately without waiting. Allowing time for rest and rejuvenation is unheard of as society has placed so many “have to’s” on our plates, that we barely have time to breathe.

Holistic healthcare addresses the underlying problem of the
disease. What’s causing it? What is the root of the problem? Are the triggers for the discomfort emotional or physical? Once uncovered, appropriate methods of treatment are suggested, which could be anything from acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy and yes, essential oils, and that’s only a few modalities to choose from. The stigma that is attached to all things holistic, in my opinion, originates with society’s view that our current healthcare system is the only way to go. To that I say, give me some options. I’d rather be able to choose between one or the other or have a combination of both if I feel that’s what my body needs. My body, my choice.

So don’t close your mind to an alternative way of thinking. Essential oils, plant medicine, can be so powerful when added to your self-care. Minor discomforts such as headaches, digestive issues, achy joints and so much more, can all be supported at home by these precious gifts given to us by mother earth. Be adventurous and try cupping, detox programs, juicing, Chinese herbs, yoga, and homeopathy! Do your own research and find doctors to support your personal health plan.

Just don’t let the stigma fool you!

Traci A. Fonville
Contributing Writer

Traci A. Fonville is a board certified holistic health coach, a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and a registered yoga teacher. She is the owner of I Affirm Wellness, which specializes in health coaching and beginner yoga classes. She is a Wellness Advocate for dōTERRA Essential Oils and educates on proper usage and benefits. Traci is also a Brand Ambassador for ItWorks! Follow Traci on Instagram and Facebook @iaffirmwellness. Log onto her websites for health and wellness products at and

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Model P31 Moms by Bridget McCray

What Do You Expect?

Have you ever told your children to do something and their understanding of what was supposed to be done was different from yours?  Did you feel frustrated?    

For example: Let’s say that I told my children to fold the towels and put them away.  Then later, when I looked into the linen closet, I grunted and started to mumble to myself about it.  Why?  The towels were not rolled into balls and thrown into the linen closet but had been folded and put where they were supposed to be, as requested.  

If you are anything like I am, frustration would happen, because I would see folded towels that were not perfectly matched at the corners, nor perfectly stacked, one on top of the other.  In other words, it wouldn’t have been done exactly as I wanted it done.  Hmmm…

Last fall, my family and I participated in a community service project as part of the church where we are members.  My children and I volunteered to serve at a bus barn for the local school district.  We were supposed to sweep the busses and clean the windows.    

My 11-year old declared that she wanted to have a turn at sweeping, so I let her.  As I watched her, I reminded her that a broom does work the same way as a Swiffer dry mop does.  She made adjustments, but I kept making comments about how she was doing the job, and they weren’t positive comments.

A few minutes later, she told me that she didn’t want to sweep anymore. At that moment, I could not understand why, because she was initially so excited about doing it.  I told her that she’d have to give a good reason why she should switch back to cleaning the windows before I allowed her to do so.  Looking at me apprehensively, she quietly said, “Mom, you keep getting on to me.”

Completely oblivious to what I’d just done, I grumbled that it was because she didn’t want to be corrected.  She continued to help but did not sweep anymore.  It still hadn’t clicked for me.

On a totally different subject that evening, I asked my husband a question, since I know he’ll give a truthful, yet gentle answer.  Part of what he said was that I’m too critical of myself, that if I don’t do something “perfectly,” I tend to give up and do something else.

Oh my goodness!  It was then that the Holy Spirit convicted me.  That’s when “the light bulb turned on” in my head!  I realized that that’s exactly what I’d done to our daughter that morning, and it drained all the joy she had for serving in that area.  I wanted to crawl under the nearest rock!!

I felt so ashamed of myself.  That certainly was not my intention, yet that’s exactly what happened.  I went to her in tears to apologize with specificity for what I’d done and to ask her for forgiveness, which she graciously granted.  I also asked her if she’d help me to do better, to which she smiled and gave a big hug.

Without even being aware of what I was doing, I was imposing perfectionism onto my daughter.  Who could live up to that??  Not once did I applaud her effort, and she really did try hard.  I just continued to let her know that she was falling short of my expectations.  That was some message to send, especially during a community outreach event.  No more!  That attitude of mine had to change!

What do I expect now when my children have an assignment, whether it’s homework, chores, or serving others in our community?  Simply put, it’s their best effort.  Respect and kindness are understood.  They have my permission to expect the same from me.

I’m so grateful for forgiveness, so grateful for the opportunity to be a mom, and so grateful for the chance to learn and grow every day.  Goodbye, Perfectionism.  You are no longer welcome here!

How about you: What do YOU expect?

Bridget McCray
Contributing Writer

Connect with Verse - Poetry Corner! Featuring Glacia Townsend!


He took it by force! It was not of your will

So why have you lived years as if it is an ill?

You are living with the pain still giving him power

While you bathe time after time crying in the shower

In your mind, you still believe you did something wrong

Trying to scrub off all of that dirt so you can move on

But you were not dirty he was the dirty one

He took your innocence before your life begun

Getting caught up, and lost through the years

You learned to turn your pain inward instead of tears

You felt like your cry was not loud enough

And if that did not kill you, it would only make you tough

However, during those years you got lost somewhere in the shuffle

You became a people pleaser because your story was muffled

You felt ashamed and embarrassed around the few people that knew

Wishing that had not happened to anyone, ESPECIALLY YOU

Your teenage years progressively got worse

You had died but no one noticed because you did not leave in a hearse

Your soul had died but the human eye could not see

That you were just a shell with your inside empty

You did not learn who you were because that meant dealing with the pain

So every time you saw a storm you would run from the rain

However, you did gain strength in other ways

Just so, you could make it through your days

You became a controller so no one could control you

Even the door that brought you pain you gained power to

You begin to learn the art of sex well

But the invisible shackles still had you in a mental hell

You feared to say the powerful word NO

Because you buried the past but you did not let it go

From time to time, certain things would still spark a nerve

You became complacent and settled for less than you deserved

Never really learned what you liked or really wanted

Because of your past, you were still haunted

You never learned your true value or your worth

The Goddess that you are the mother of earth

Analyzing yourself, you said you are like grits

You take on the flavor of whatever fits

Raped the first time, very lost and confused

Emotionally scared and very badly bruised

The second time oh no it could not be

Out of all the women in the world, God why me?

The third time overwhelmed and just plain numb

Asking where is all of this coming from

No longer fighting because you gave up your will

While he lays on top of you and your body just still

You have focused on the lamp way across the room

Because the physical and mental pain was just too
much for you to consume

The 4th time the 5th time oh you just can’t count anymore

You left feeling dirty and your whole body is just sore

You look in the mirror to see if there is a sign on your face
What makes your temple Satan’s dwelling place

Demons being released time after time

Your body becoming the home of sexual crime

Your mind has built its own recycle bin

When the pain seems unbearable, you toss it, right in

However, you have not emptied it, so the baggage you begin to carry
Light on the outside but the inside quite the contrary
You just wanted someone to love you for whoever you were

But you did not love yourself because of the things that occurred

Not knowing you became an addict to affection and attention

This caused self-destruction beyond your own comprehension

You gave affection in abundance and you wanted it back

You begin to feign for it like a junky feigning for crack

You were almost to the point of selling your soul
That’s when you realized you had given God total control

You had to face what was deep down at the core

Because through the years, your inner cry you to
begin to ignore

Written by Glacia Townsend 
February 12, 2002