Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Naturally Speaking

Exactly, what is natural hair?

This may sound trivial to some but I have debated this issue many times with more than one person. It's kind of a pet peeve with me.

Like I said in the comments of my last post, any way a woman chooses to wear her hair is awesome. No hairstyle is better or worse than the other.


 

But... black women who make a big deal about how long they have been natural but never wear their hair in its natural state baffle me. I'm just saying, what is the point? If you don't have a relaxer yet still alter your natural curl pattern you are relaxer-free not natural. In my humble opinion, there is a difference. But nobody asked me my opinion.

Times have truly changed. When you walk into a room full of black women, the sistas with permed hair are in the minority. This was not the case 5 years ago. Ladies who still have relaxed hair actually feel they have to defend it to others. 

On the other hand, some well-established natural sistas are offended that many women have hijacked their style just to be trendy. A new generation of Black women want a "faux natural"- a style achieved with curlers and/or added hair which insults the real natural sistas who have been doing it for years.

One thing is for sure, some black women have found freedom in not perming their hair. They aren't held hostage to a Euro - centric idea of beauty anymore or a slave to harsh chemicals and painful processes. They truly believe black is beautiful,

Black hair is still a contentious issue that will probably extend to the end of time. The debate can be divisive and injurious but is ultimately not that deep; just a matter of preference.

Can we all just get a long?






Monday, August 4, 2014

Good and Bad Hair

Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
                                   ~I Am Not My Hair  India.Arie

School Daze is one of my favorite movies of all time. Spike Lee must have the lyrics to Good and Bad Hair on lock 'cause I can't find them anywhere on the internet. I have the soundtrack but, of course, I don't know where it is so I'm trying to remember the lyrics by heart. If you can finish the lyrics, please put them in the comments for me!

Chorus
Good or bad hair
whether you're dark or you're fair
See if I care, good and bad hair










Wannabe Verse-
Don't you wish you had hair like this
then the boys would give you a kiss. . .

Jigaboo* verse:
You have so much grease up there
on the weave that you wear. . .











Is this movie from 1988 still relevant today? Emphatically yes! 

Everyday, I hear African American women talk about curl patterns/textures that are acceptable for natural hairstyles. In their opinion, it is a necessity for some people to use what Chris Rock calls "creamy crack." This suggests that the way some women's hair naturally grows out of their head is undesirable.

I'm sure African American women rejoiced when Madam C.J. Walker widened the teeth on the hot comb. "Good hair" became accessible to all Black women.

Achieving that look is painful though. I remember sitting in front of the stove in my mother's kitchen while that piece of iron heated up until sparks flew.

My Aunt Jean or Aunt Shirley, I don't quite remember who, put a perm in my hair and left it in for too long. The hair on the nape of my neck was so traumatized, it was decades before it grew back.

When my stylist, Cal used to hot comb my edges even after giving me a perm, I would squirm in my seat from the heat. She would reassure me that she wasn't burning me, it was the sound of the grease. That didn't keep me from feeling the heat! 

People with "good hair" are worshiped for their long and flowing non-relaxed straight hair. Nappy hair don't move. As the saying goes- if you had "good hair" you must be mixed and/or have Indian in you.

Oh how the tides have turned though. Black women who still ascribe to the "creamy crack" feel judged my the natural sistas.

We will explore that in the next post. . .


*an offensive word, do not use at home.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wake Up!





Surprising to some but common to many, hair is still a taboo subject in the African American community. Black women judge each other by their hair and single ladies wonder if a natural style is limiting their dating potential.

My freshman year in college, I came up with this half permed/half natural curly afro thing that I tied a scarf around; I kinda became natural by accident. There wasn't an epiphany one day to connect with my African roots as a byproduct of my HBCU experience. It wasn't that deep.
 
I wasn't confident in my new 'do and allowed certain people's comments to dictate how I wore my hair. Several times, I went from getting a virgin perm one month to cutting it all off the next. Finally in November of my senior year at Clark Atlanta University, I cut the relaxer out for good!



There are so many issues connected to this natural hair debate-
 
-What is good and/or bad hair?
 
-Have the tables been turned and now people with striaght hair are being shamed by people with natural hair?
 
-Are you really natural if you straighten your hair?
 
-Why does Chris Rock call relaxers creamy crack?
 
-What is a faux natural?
 
Too much to explore in one blog post. Stay tuned for the rest of the discussion and weigh in!
 
 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How Many B*tches. . .


Dear Ms. Deloris Tucker

 keep stressin me

 f*ckin' with a muthaf*cka's mind

 I figured you wanted to know

 you know

 why we call them h*s b*tches

 and maybe this might help you understand

 it ain't personal

 strictly business baby

 strictly business

~Wonder Why They Call You B*tch, 2Pac

 
 
My last blog post expressed my conflicting emotions about rapping alongside inappropriate lyrics at a concert held at an old church. That tête-à-tête sparked another internal debate.
The “B” word; I hate it. I’m not talking about bossy, bling or Beyoncé. The “B” word I am talking about is now used interchangeably with woman, lady, or girl. Not to mention, the FCC has determined that it is okay to use on public radio and daytime television.
I understand that some women have reclaimed the word so that it no longer has a negative connotation. I have not jumped on that bandwagon. I still cringe when I hear the word; I do not feel empowered when people use it.
Unfortunately, some of my favorite artists use the word in their songs.
Feeling nostalgic, I have been listening to 90’s Southern rap on Pandora lately. Admittedly, I overlook the derogatory word if I like the song well enough. That is discriminatory, right?
How can I judge? How many B*tches is too many? Two, three? Do I judge it by tone or context clues? Should I stop listening to all of it? That would be like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
How do you feel?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Green Eyes"


“Humbly seeking to hear God when he's speaking”
~ Goodie Mob, Beautiful Skin 
 

I was so jealous of my Facebook friends' pictures of the Jayonce “On the Run” concert in Atlanta. I’m not a fan of The Carters, but I seriously thought about becoming one after all the hype. Trying to fight off my green envy of Blue Ivy's parents, I went back to my memories of my favorite group, Goodie Mob’s reunion concert a few years back.
It was held at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. The Tabernacle sounds like a religious dwelling, doesn’t it? It’s because it is or at least it used to be. Some of the concerts there can be likened to a religious experience. I’ve seen greats like Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Nas and Mos Def perform there.
“Put some fire on the ass end of that weed cause in the SWATS red hots don’t drip or bleed.” Conviction abruptly stopped me from dancing and rapping in mid-verse to this song, somewhere around- “on the ass end of that weed.” The other concertgoers continued partying as I stood in the midst of the standing only crowd in a daze.   
I was beset with unease, “Would the Lord be pleased with this? What would the teens at church think if they saw my hands up and head bouncing to these lyrics?” I felt convicted but not condemned.
I decided I didn’t have to make a decision in that moment and continued to enjoy Cee Lo’s verse on Beautiful Skin as scantily-clad women danced behind a frosted screen.
“And I, was attracted to your class, I couldn't see all yo' ass...,”

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Club Discussion questions for ...and you win some by Alison S. Moore

Please consider choosing ...and you win some as your next book club selection or bible study topic. Your group can use these questions to guide your meeting. I would be more than happy to come discuss the book with your group!

 Feel free to use the contact form below or email me at MSASMoore9903@cs.com

 
Coming Soon:
A companion Youth and Young Adult Bible Study!
 
 
Discussion Questions
 
1. Which character did you most identify with? Why? Are there any real men like Daniel? Did Daniel have any flaws? Does Wynsome’s thought process and attitude exemplify those of modern, sophisticated women?
 
2. How can Church have such a modern and progressive worship service but still have stagnant church leadership?
 
3. At the first Truthseekers meeting, Rev. Ashley said it is not safe to assume all people in the church are Christians. Do you agree? Xavier states he is a believer even though he does not go to church and that his relationship with God is personal. What do these statements indicate if anything, about Xavier’s spiritual condition?
 
4. Read page 104. While in prison, Xavier reflects on the last conversation he had with Michelle and wonders why a man is forced to pay child support for a child he did not want when a woman can abort a child she does not want without the consent of the father. Does he have a valid argument?
 
5. Is it realistic that the Roberts believed all along that Xavier did not mean to hurt Michelle and did not hold any hard feelings towards him?
 
6. Xavier’s actions could result in a double murder charge. Moreover, abortions are legal up until 6 months of pregnancy. Do these facts present any inconsistencies? Note: laws differ by state.
 
7. What is your impression of Jodie? How would you describe the sexual experience Jodie had with Amir? Is it rape if sex starts out as consensual but someone changes his or her mind in the middle of the act? Note: What constitutes rape differ by state.
 
8. Read 1 Peter 2:16 and 2 Peter 1:5- 11. How do these scriptures relate to the issues discussed in . . .and you win some?
 
9.  Read page 135. What would be different about the world if we actually used sex in the way God designed and intended it? Like Wynsome asked Daniel “if we already know we are going to get married, why wait?”
 
10. How do you feel about how Wade and Jodie’s relationship progressed? Daniel and Wynsome’s?

Not Enough Jesus

Can't keep it in a box cause it just don't fit
My God, he's bigger than just music
I can take it to the church where my people go

I can take it to the people that just don't know
I can take it to the people that feel real low
To the poor, to the rich, to the CEO
                                            "Something Bigger" ~Mary Mary



I heard someone say the gospel duo Mary Mary's WeTV show is the realest reality show they have ever seen but it does not embody the same inspiration found in their music. They said the show only revealed the dark reality of their lives.
 
Why do the two have to be mutually exclusive? They are not.

I must admit, I also said it wasn't enough Jesus in the show. I wanted to see more praying, quoting scripture, divinely inspired writing studio sessions and witnessing to others in the music industry. I wanted all their employees and support personnel to be Christians.

This is not what I got. I got real working women in the competitive and cutthroat music industry making business moves. Their music is their ministry but it is also their bread, butter, and jelly. Their professional careers and reputations are on the line.

While they are not quoting scripture and having prayer meetings on camera both Marys shared their experiences with infidelity. Big Sister Mary, Erica Campbell and her husband Warryn have moved passed their issues but Tina and Teddy Campbell (these sisters are so in sync they both married men that aren't related but have the same last name) wounds are still fresh. Tina and Teddy decided to stay together and work it out no matter how hard it hurt and no matter what the world thought.
 
But when my back is against the wall
And I feel all hope is gone,
I'll just lift my head up to the sky
And say help me to be strong
I just can't give up now
I've come too far from where I started from
Nobody told me the road would be easy
And I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me
                                                  "Can't Give Up Now" ~Mary Mary
 
I love that Tina is allowing God to use her, her marriage, and her heartache to help not only women in similar situations but anyone who has experienced disappointment, frustration, and chaos in their lives. Anyone who has ever seen the show can tell you Tina is clearly not a weak nor stupid woman but she loves God, loves her husband, and loves her family too much to give up. She is doing her best to lean on God and his promises.

Tina is walking out the inspirational words found in their songs. As I've written before, Mary Mary so beautifully uses deep spiritual truths in the simplest of ways in their songs. I used to listen to their song, "Get Up" every morning on my way to work when I was in the thick of depression. Jesus, real life and inspiration is in every breath and beat of that show.
 
 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

No New Friends

 
 
 
No, I don’t want you to bring me something to eat for us to just chill at my house and watch movies. No, I don’t want to see you every once in a while on my days off. Don’t nobody have time for that. Besides, I have enough friends I can do that with; I don’t need anymore.
 
I’m not saying I don’t need or want a man. I’m not that chick. God created us for companionship and I look forward to having a life-long mate.
 
I feel you, I know there are guys out there that will tell me they want the same things I want just to get with me but I’m definitely not going to willing and knowingly waste my time hanging out with someone who I know just wants to hang out. I don’t have time to waste.
 
Now, I’m welcome to any new friends who share my same interest in music, film, books, writing, and Christ. Those are the kind of new friends I’m looking for. We can hang out over coffee (or wine) and discuss the issues of the day and our relationships with God. But if you just want to be my "friend"….umm, no.
 
 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Love is…Not Easily Angered


 
From time to time I invite fellow gleaners to share their gleaning experiences here at the gleanse. My first guest gleaner of 2014 is Mrs. Coretta Collins, one of my closest friends. She is an intelligent and driven professional, wife, and mother. Many call her friend and many call her blessed. This post was originally published February 10, 2014 in EmpowerMoments.

Love is not easily angered. I know it is sometimes easier said than done. However, as a Christian striving to be more Christ-like, it is important to know what love is and is not. Interestingly enough I had been pondering and asking the Lord what to share on this topic and my answer shed more light on what love is and is not.
 
Have you ever been dealing with a tense or sad situation and the person you’re talking about it with responds with an insensitive comment? This happened to me just the other day and immediately I was angered by the seemingly insensitive and inappropriate comment and I responded as such. Then after I responded, I started to think about it from her perspective and how surely she must not have meant her statement that way. Anyway, I wished I had not said anything about it but it was too late. I had been easily angered and acted on it. She apologized, and I told her it was okay and that I understood how things can be misconstrued  sometimes. I should have thought and processed for a moment before I responded and things would have gone differently.
 
What would Jesus have done in such a situation? A situation a million times worse than the one I described? John 18 gives us some insight as Jesus goes before the high priest in His trial before He is crucified.
 
Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. (John 18: 19-24 NIV)
 
A man slapped Jesus! I’m sure a lot goes through our mind thinking about if it had been us in that situation, but Jesus did not immediately blow up at the provocation. He did not take it lying down either. In a calm manner, He confronted His tormentor with the injustice of his action but He did not want to give the devil a foothold by allowing anger to control Him, although it would have been understandable of Him to respond with anger. Jesus is love, the very definition, and love (Jesus) is not easily angered. (See 1 John 4:8) Now knowing this, we, who are trying to be like Jesus, should also not be easily angered. 
 
Gleaners, I empower you to not lose sight of who you are and whose you are when faced with anger-provoking situations. I implore you to follow the examples Jesus gives us in being slow to anger and sinning not. I encourage you to remember what love is and is not. Jesus is love and love (Jesus) is not easily angered. 
 
Lord, help us to remember Your example when we are faced with issues that make us angry. Thank You for Your examples of how to handle anger and for admonishing us not to be easily angered. Calm our tempers, bridle our tongues, and help us to not sin in our anger. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

 
What lesson have you learned from a situation in which you have been easily angered?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Legions (inspired by the Jordan Davis trial)

 Jordan Davis, 17, was fatally shot after a spat over loud music being played in the parking lot of a Jacksonville gas station.
Mark 5:2-10(HCSB)2 As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him anymore—even with chainsbecause he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones.When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me,[a] Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg[b] You before God, don’t torment me!” For He had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”“What is your name?” He asked him.“My name is Legion,”[c] he answered Him, “because we are many.” 10 And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

Oscar Grant III hugs Tatiana 2007
There are so many demons of injustice in this world. I’m sure you already know that, I don’t have to tell you that. I am agitated that it is necessary for me to write yet another blog post about racial disparities in the American justice system. In the 15 months that I have been blogging, I’m sure I’ve written about this issue in some shape or form at least 5 times.
It seems like it is open season on all young black men and mothers are afraid for their sons' lives. When I thought about writing this post, I couldn’t decide on a title. So many appropriate ones, which escape me now, came to mind. While contemplating all of the possibilities, the above quoted scripture also came to mind.  It was kind of ironic.
I considered a parody of SaturdayNight Live’s Black History Month’s skit, “28 Reasons to Hug a Black Man Today.” (I still may do that one, so keep an eye out.) The first reason SNL gave was- because he deserves it and reasons 2-28 were all slavery. But we don’t even have to go all the way back to slavery, we can just read yesterday’s headlines: Guilty, but not of murder.
I don’t know how anyone can deny the disparities of how the stand your ground law is applied in the state of Florida. US Airman Michael Giles and mother Marissa Alexander felt their lives were in danger and shot one time to defend themselves. No one died in either case but they are serving a minimum of 20 years for standing their ground. Two grown men, George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn shot unarmed young black boys several times and killed them because they felt threatened but neither of them have been convicted of 1st degree murder.

There is a broader problem here- absolute disregard for human life. These shooters don’t seem to care that these boys are someone’s child, grandchild, friend, and even parent. Someone at home depends on them, loves them, deserves them, and belongs to them. And you sir, do not have the right or the authority to take that away.
Who does? Refer to the above mentioned scripture.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday!!

Over the last few days, I've been thinking a lot about the old "not so good days." So it was a welcome distraction to run across fellow Jane, Angela Scott Moore's blog post about fond memories. I was immediately inspired to write my own!

Author C.S. Lewis gave a warning in his classic book, "The Screwtape Letters" against spending too much time ruminating and/or romanticizing the past or being pessimistic or fanciful about the future. Instead, we should live and appreciate the present.  I agree with him but it's also heartwarming to take a brief look back on the carefree days of my youth when the hardest decision I had to make was whether or not to shave my hair off in the back, Halle Berry-style.

Here is my throwbacks:
 
  • Eating things I'll never eat now- sandwich spread, Thousand Island, burnt bologna sandwiches, hot links, and hot dogs.
  • Trips to "the country" or Sawyerville after church in the summer.
  • The usher room, ladies lounge, library and Annie Joe's theatre at St. John A.M.E. Church.
  • Saving my lunch money to buy CD's at Turtles.
  • 95.7 Jamz Flava Unit service projects.
  • Catching fireflies and using the glowy parts for earrings.
  • Daniel Cason's 20 minute teen choir rehearsals once a week and we were 'fie' Sunday morning with Brian Hamilton as our hype man. 
  • Spending the night with my Aunt Jean and Cousin Erica.
  • Playing monopoly with my brothers and pick up sticks with colored toothpicks at Mudear's house with my cousins.
  • Parker High and J.O. High School rival football games.
  • Going to Quincy's or Po Folks with my family after church.
  • Watching Nick at Nite's real old school shows like Patty Duke, Sugar and Spice, and That Girl.
  • Going to City Stage with my parents then meeting up with friends at the fountain in Linn Park. The funnel cakes, fried potato chip rings, gyros, and fresh squeezed lemonade.
  • The Magic City Classic parade, half time show, and my birthday party afterwards in my parent's basement.
  • High School fraternity and sorority step shows.
  • Soundtracks with songs that were actually in the movie instead of "inspired by," i.e. Above the Rim and Menace II Society.
  • Taping up a used cassette tape with your old favorite song on it, then waiting for your new favorite song to come on the radio so you can record the new song over it.
  • Spaghetti Wednesdays before bible study.
  • Baggy clothes, body suits, dashikis, tennis skirts, Timberlands, and Bass shoes.
  • The gospel song at the end of R&B girl group albums.
  • Rap City, Teen Summit, Video Soul with Donnie Simpson
  • Vacation Bible School trips to Point Mallard and Six Flags
  • A.H. Parker High School Class Days
  • The debate team
  • Selling Coke at the 1996 Summer Olympics soccer games and then later that night in my sleep.
  • The Christmas frenzy at Just for Feet and The Galleria.
  • Western Hills Mall before it became the "ghetto mall", Century Plaza before it became the "ghetto mall".

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Open Letter to the Angry Black Woman

Picture it-
The year 2013, a small southern town
A black woman abruptly approached the receptionist’s desk with disgust searing from her eyes tucked behind her dark wide-rimmed glasses. Dressed in a black knit hat, black trench coat, and black knit gloves, she cradled her purse in the bend of her arm with her wrist limp. The receptionist gave her the side eye in the most professional way she could muster. The black woman’s female companion’s face was already apologizing for her friend’s behavior.
 
Angry Black Woman in a gruff tone: My name is ABW and XYZ is supposed to have a sealed envelope for me. Are you XYZ?
REP: No
ABW: Could you get XYZ?, ABW demanded as she welcomed herself to a seat.
REP: Ummm. . .yeah, let me see if I can find her.
REP returns: XYZ appears to be at lunch. You can take a seat in the lobby and I’ll have her come get you when she returns.
ABW haughtily responded: Where is QRS?
REP sighed heavily: I did not see her on my quest to find XYZ. The proper protocol is for you to take a seat in the lobby until someone comes for you. Not to just walk up to the desk.
ABW: I know what the protocol is. I couldn’t receive what I needed by fax so XYZ was supposed to put it in a sealed envelope for me to pick up.
REP increasingly agitated: I’ll be right back.
REP could not find QRS but she did run into HNC and described the situation to her.
HNC: Is her name ABW? We know her, we know her well.
 
Angry Black Woman, why did you approach that receptionist with no warning? I mean, like you just had a phone argument and you were coming in to settle the score? Look, I don’t know what your day was like. I don’t know who upset you, who disrespected you, or who hurt you. I know it wasn’t that receptionist because she obviously hadn’t laid eyes on you before.  Please don’t put the pressures of your day or your life on innocent bystanders.  No, you didn't raise your voice or use foul language but your posturing was foul. You are perpetuating the angry black woman stereotype. Oh you think that’s not fair; I’m taking it too far. I can’t hold you responsible for how others view an entire race? Obviously you just did the same thing to that poor receptionist.
 
Love,
Alison

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Did He tell you to move?

"the road to Hell is paved with good intentions."
                                                           "Mr. Intentional"~ Lauryn Hill
 
After many years of trying on my own to make things happen in my career and my relationships, I finally decided to surrender it all to God for real (read more about it here). I was tired of running into the wall. It hurt. I needed Him to guide me step by step instead of me demanding He show me the full picture all at once. I told God I wanted to learn whatever He wanted to teach me during this season of my life. I may as well, because it didn’t look like I was going anywhere anytime soon.
I kept asking God if I could make a change in one particular area of my life. When I asked, I felt Him saying it wasn’t time. Then I attended the first night of the Magic City Classic Revival at my church. The revivalist used a scripture from 2 Kings about a group of lepers that sat outside Syria where a great famine was going on. They were trying to decide if they should stay where they were, go back where they had come from or move on to a new place. After taking all factors into consideration, they concluded that if they stayed where they were, they may die. If they went back from which they came, they would surely die but if they moved forward, they may live or they may die. They decided the best option was to move forward because they still had a chance at life though it was not guaranteed. 
That was confirmation for me to move forward. That decision seemed to work out so well, I started to think I should have made the change sooner. But after the change took place, it seemed that I had run right back into the obstacle I was trying to get away from. Nevertheless, I reminded myself that I prayed and heard from the Lord. I had to trust that God knew what was best for me.  Before I could blink an eye that perceived obstacle was removed almost instantly! As Pastor Hart Ramsay said in one of his text devotional messages, “God is talking to someone about you right now. Keep praying. God has a plan. And it’s already working.”
Even though it looked like I had gotten myself in a potentially bad or worse situation, God had already worked it out for my good. Even though you may not see the moves taking place on your behalf, God is working it all out in your favor. Your situation may appear to be stale, stagnant, or even dead but if you pray and wait on God, He will tell you when to make the right move.
 
 
 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

When I Move, You Move






Numbers 9:15-16 The day The Dwelling was set up, the Cloud covered The Dwelling of the Tent of Testimony. From sunset until daybreak it was over The Dwelling. It looked like fire. It was like that all the time, the Cloud over The Dwelling and at night looking like fire. 17-23 When the Cloud lifted above the Tent, the People of Israel marched out; and when the Cloud descended the people camped. The People of Israel marched at God’s command and they camped at his command. As long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, they camped. Even when the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for many days, they honored God’s command and wouldn’t march. They stayed in camp, obedient to God’s command, as long as the Cloud was over The Dwelling, but the moment God issued orders they marched. If the Cloud stayed only from sunset to daybreak and then lifted at daybreak, they marched. Night or day, it made no difference—when the Cloud lifted, they marched. It made no difference whether the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for two days or a month or a year, as long as the Cloud was there, they were there. And when the Cloud went up, they got up and marched. They camped at God’s command and they marched at God’s command. They lived obediently by God’s orders as delivered by Moses.
 
 
 
Several years ago, I discovered this passage of scripture and it has had a profound impact on me ever since. I am amazed at how God led His people with such a visible sign and in such an intimate way.

For the longest, God’s will seemed to be such an elusive thing; like finding the key in a video game to unlock the next level. But I’ve learned that it is just as simple as it is stated in the above scripture. I don’t move, until I see God move. If I don’t see Him moving, I stay right where I am.

That is not the answer you want to hear if you are ready to move. We surmise that this must not be God and refuse to accept it causing ourselves a lot of heartache, pain, and frustration.

This scripture makes me feel uncomfortable too because it states that the people had to be prepared to go at a moment’s notice; kinda like Survivor contestants don’t know when they will be voted off so they must have all of their stuff packed by ever tribal council, but with a little more complication. The Israelites had to break down the camp, pack it up, and make sure all of the holy parts stayed holy. They had no time to get comfortable because they had to stay ready.

Let me tell ya, it takes a whole lot more energy to try to make things happen before it is time and you still won’t be successful. Why? Because it’s not time! Save yourself some heartache and trust God; only move when He tells you to move.

Share with me in the comment section what pattern you are in right now- a waiting pattern or is it time to move?