Let it grow, Let It Grow, LET IT GROW!

Luke-8-5-8“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” Luke 8:5

It’s Fall. Multi-colored leaves lie on the ground in witness, rustling underfoot as I (and my new rottweiler puppy Rocco) walk by. Harvest time. Bringing to my remembrance years gone by, when I lived another life. I was married then, my children were small and I had a garden. It was my first garden ever and a wonderful accomplishment, full of tomatoes, peppers and squash. I planted string beans and cucumbers, and watched them climb up against my chain link fence as they grew. I even tried my hand at mustard and collard greens but that didn’t turn out so well, lol! I accidentally threw out the baby mustards and picked the collards too soon but on the whole, I thought my garden was a rousing success. Especially considering, I never had what you would call a “green thumb.”

Before my garden, I couldn’t get anything to grow. Not even a Chia herb garden. I killed every plant I owned. Me, the descendant of farmers, couldn’t get anything to grow. My mother and grandmother could coax life from a plant that was seemingly dead. I had no such luck. That skill set completely passed me by. Until one day, my sister-in-law gave me a plant that she was sure that I could not kill: a cactus. I was dubious, knowing my track record. Nurturing plant life just wasn’t my thing. Up until that time, I had never even mowed a lawn. I was given an exotic plant once before, a “shy plant,” by a family friend. It grew leaves that would open in the light of the sun and close at night. And although it provided some entertainment for my family and friends – the leaves would contract and fold at the slightest touch – it, too, died. I even managed to stunt the growth of those bamboo shoots that (usually) curve so beautifully. It may as well have been dead because it did not grow. So a cactus? Well, we would see.

As it turned out, the cactus was the perfect plant for me. It required very little water or attention. Every time I pulled my kitchen curtain aside to peer at it, normally after months of neglect, it was taller than I’d last seen. At last! A plant that I could not kill. From that, I was encouraged to try my hand at growing a few seedlings inside my home, just to see if I could. Wondrously, they began to grow! And I was completely satisfied with this, my meager progress, until I spoke with my late Uncle Pap, a retired farmer. He looked at my tray of seedlings and said something I’ve never forgotten: “If you put those in the ground, they’ll take off!” Huh? But they were already in the ground, so to speak. Well, they were resting in little peat pots of dirt. Plus, I’d consulted the seed packets; they had to be planted on a certain schedule, in a specific month. I was skeptical. “Isn’t it too late for that, Pap?” I asked of him, feeling sad then because I’d missed my opportunity. “It’s not too late,” he immediately replied and repeated what has become a stock phrase for me: Put it in the ground and it’ll take off.

His words came to mind recently, as I was contemplating the recent release of my book. For so long, I let fear of what could happen paralyze me to do nothing. Until one day, I looked up and time had passed. Time and opportunity that I, looking back, should have capitalized on. Pap’s words come back to me, resonating in my spirit – it’s not too late. In other words, take your dream out of the safety pot of your mind. Plant it so that it can grow for everyone to see. Give your book the chance to take off. And so I did. Now, I’m praying to the God of increase that this seed will yield a bountiful harvest, even one hundred fold.

Be blessed,





“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

2 Corinthians 4:16

As my birthday loomed before me, a certain television show from my childhood repeatedly came to mind: James at 15. All I can truly recall of the show is its title. I even Googled it to make sure it wasn’t just a figment of my imagination. Sure enough, there it was. Three of the main characters (I’m assuming) came up in many pictures, including the obligatory token black character. But none of them rang a bell or stirred up any memories. Still, I couldn’t get that title out of my head. Why couldn’t I get it out of my mind? Then it occurred to me … James at fifteen … without the n. Fiftee … Loria at fiftee … no “n.” Wow.

In typical womanly fashion, I have remained at a playful “39 and holding” state for quite some time. Indeed, for some, my actual age may come as a surprise. But it’s the best surprise and has been the most fun to pull off – what woman wouldn’t want to pass for younger? So while I’ve enjoyed my time of shaving off a decade, I thought that now would be a good time to retire from the game. Besides, my main reason for not turning over – not having a big 40th celebration because I was in the throes of divorce – is no longer valid. My children, bless them, managed to make that dream a reality by arranging a beautiful, intimate dinner with close friends. Even still, I was not yet ready to make that leap, until I determined I would repackage the event to make the transition easier. I’ve decided to think of myself as being upgraded instead of getting older. A newer, better version of myself has been uploaded. Loria 5.0 (five point oh)! I do like the sound of that!

And it’s true, for right now I am the very best version of myself. I’m pursuing my dreams in a way I never have before. I’m living a life, at last, which is true to my calling and gifts. My relationship with, and my dependence on God grows daily, as does my peace. And although, at times, my life seems like it is in a constant state of upheaval, it feels now like I’m settling into it. It’s resting easier on my shoulders. Like I’ve truly grown up after all this time. I feel matured and seasoned. Tried and tested. Built to handle more than the previous, flawed versions of myself. Past errors have been taken into account, creating a version that is stronger and more resilient. The resulting version is learning to love and accept herself; to be beautiful and accomplished in the skin that she is in and not wait for “one day” anymore. That day is now here. Finally.

“O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” Psalm 71:17-18

Be blessed,



Why Worry?

what-me-worry-715605“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25-27)

A lot of things are going on in my life right now; of utmost importance are my mother, MaDear, and her health. And then, there’s a bunch of other things that can take a number and get in line behind her because I don’t have time to deal with them now. Wait for it … here he comes again – my long time companion. Ah, worry – why do I cling to you so? Why do I keep coming back to you again and again when you have proven that you are not helpful and mean me no good? Why do I let you torment me?

God sent this Word to comfort me one night, as I was cataloguing my problems. It sounded something like this: “And then this happened and then that happened… and how am I going to do this? And to top it off I still haven’t done that!” My feet were slipping and I was about to give in to despair. He said, in the face of all my problems, “But you’re still here. I love you.” Well that brought my list of issues to an abrupt end. I was warmed by that thought and dwelt on it as I drifted off to sleep. Even after everything that had come to plague me, I had survived. It hadn’t defeated me. Oh yeah – and the other part, too. He loves me.

I’ve had so many problems in need of my immediate attention lately that I was past being overwhelmed. That night I just gave up, threw my hands up in the air and said: “Lord, I don’t know what to do. I’ve done all I can. I put it in your hands. HELP!” And that’s when deliverance came. AFTER the surrender. I woke up the next morning, about to reach for my not-so-good-buddy Worry, and God said, “Don’t worry – it’s my job to take care of you!” I see now that I was trying to do too much in my own power and taking ownership of things I didn’t have any control over. I was frustrated because I couldn’t control them. And I was letting it beat me down. Like any parent that sees a situation is about to get the best of their child, God stepped in.

After a harrowing day, things began to look up. Issues were handled, some without even so much as a whimper, some after much battling. The day after was much better and things began to fall back into place. God was fixing it. I rejoiced in the revelation – it’s God’s job to take care of me! I knew that He was doing just as He said. I resolved going forward that I would try to stay in my lane, do the things I have been called to do and let God do what he does best.

Be blessed,