A Murder

My sister lives in Richmond. In 2003 according to  www.cityrating.com/crimestatistics.asp  there were 38 murders in the city of Richmond.  For Oakland there were 109 murders, for San Francisco there were 69, for Pleasant Hill there were 0 and for Tracy there were 2.  I realize that these are super old statistics; however for the benefit of this blog post I will just use them to illustrate a point.

Around 11 o’clock my phone rang 2 different times – each complete rings. I was downstairs and when I came up and looked at the phone, my first thought was I wonder what she wants and then my second thought was she never calls me this late, something must be wrong.  I called her back. She was crying, she was shaking, she was a mess! I went into calm mode and listened and spoke with love.  

My sister was doing laundry on Saturday night and she heard gunshots.  She said it was loud and she was afraid.  She ducked down in the laundry room, pulled another lady down who was doing laundry to the ground, and called 911. The agent instructed her to stay in the laundry room until the police arrived. She says she was shaking, she was frightened and she was praying.  When the police arrived, very shortly after the 911 call, they came and escorted her and the lady out of the laundry room and walked past the crime scene.  It was a young man in his early 20’s who had been shot while sitting in his car. My sister described it like it was in the movies, where the body is riddled with bullets and all of the windows of the car are broken and shattered.  This was in her apartment complex.  When she called me she was incoherent and could hardly breathe, the pain in her voice, the fear, the disbelief – all I could do was ask her to breathe and take her time.  She eventually was able to calm herself through my voice and her inner strength; the dialogue that she spoke to herself worked more than my words could ever have.

It got me to thinking about how casually murders are reported.  Close your eyes and remember the last time you heard the news. The teleprompter reader’s voice gets lower, a sadness comes over his or her face and they read that there was a murder at approximately such and such a time and the victim was in his early 20’s, late teens or mid-40’s, whatever the age, death is death.  The reader continues with an interview with the police officer on scene or a witness and then as quickly at this is out of their mouths; facial expressions change and the teleprompter reader now talks about the weather, the festival coming up, the latest happenings of Lindsay Lohan or Charlie Sheen and the death as well as the sad expression are gone. 

People are murdered in real life and in television shows and in video games all day and everyday.   We are so desensitized to it that we don’t even give it a passing ear, as we go about the business of taking care of our duties for the day as the tv blares in the background. Our subconscious picks it up and stores it somewhere and then our conscious mind has to leave it stored so that we can go on to more “important things”.  However, we do this as adults with the full knowledge that there has been a transition of sorts in our mind and in order to remain healthy we have to compartmentalize the pain and the drama or else we will just lose it.  We do this constantly as adults.  What must it be like to be a child who does not have the benefit of aged knowledge that murder really should be something to fear? My sister was traumatized by this incident.  All of the adults in her apartment complex that heard the shots and then saw the body were traumatized. She said because it happened late at night, the body was not removed until the morning.  The dead young man was out there all night and no one came to mourn for him. Oh my.  Where were all of his homies then? Where was his mom or dad? I don’t know, perhaps they came and were told to leave so as not to contaminate the crime scene.  I don’t know the answer to that one. What I do know is that my sister has been affected by this incident. I am sure she relives this incident and yet she knows that it has passed and it will soon get better for her. 

There is a phrase not in my backyard (nimby) which indicates as long as it is not in my backyard I don’t really have to care about it. Well times have changed. There are indeed towns where murder is not a factor and that is a good thing; however murder is always possible even in those cities that can rely on low statistics . One murder is one too many. Murder of our children is an abomination and one that our leaders who take away funding should realize is going to get worse. What is a child to do when there is nothing to do? Most children invent games; hide and go seek, four square, and hopscotch are games of the past, now our children keep their heads crooked and their fingers poised either on the controller or the cell phone or the Ipod or the gun or the drug or the knife, never looking up to see what the person who reads the weather teleprompter is saying and that is it is going to be a great day for going outside and enjoying the sun.  Oh to go back to the time of our youths when hide and go seek and coming home when the street lights came on were really all we worried about.  For my sister, this too shall pass.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

http://www.yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

ybarial@gmail.com

http://www.examiner.com/motherhood-in-stockton/yolande-barial

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/11154526/article-Her-Voice–Children-are-a-parental-responsibility?

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/12489710/article-Her-Voice–To-helmet-or-not-to-helment?instance=home_opinion_lead_story

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/tag/yolande-barial 

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”

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Sunday

I woke up loved and in love, excited and looking forward to the drive to church.  The place where like-minded humans sit in different seats and worship the Lord. Rest. My children were left in bed!   The singing this morning was off the chains! The choir hit every note and introduced the congregation to a sound that was magnificent.  My best worship feelings arise when I hear words and music that move me. When I feel a tear coming and I feel my words coming out – the presence of the holy spirit has come. The pastor’s sermon was the Love of God. The scripture reference that he chose did not speak to me, the one that did speak to me was the one that was in the front of the church bulletin that morning.  It is from 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 and it reads (NKJV):

“Stewards of the Mysteries of God

 1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court.[a] In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”

In particular, verse 5 which told me to stop stressing about what another will or will not do.  In time God will handle and will reveal what is the truth of a person’s heart.  I needed that this morning.  In these times when I am juggling so many balls in the air; paying bills, paying mortgages, taking care of kids and the lawn and going to work and dealing with others personalities, it can overwhelm.  It has caused me in some respects to wish that my knight in shining armor would just come on and hurry up.  However, knights are for fairy tales and if he comes riding in, I have to remember that even he and the horse are tired. After all riding like the wind, wearing full body armor, carrying a big sword, slaying dragons, and making key battlefield decisions can wear the average knight out.   (smile)

God in this scripture is telling me, the Proverbs 31 woman, to remember I have never left you and I have never forsaken you. It tells me to continue to say thank you Lord as my mantra, to walk in faith and to know that He will provide and He will reveal all that is the truth for me. These words are like a blanket that warms me at night. In His arms I am enveloped in trust. He has always been my knight and he has never been too tired to let me know he has my back. God is the real ladies man.  Like a woman he works tirelessly and as long as we sing his praises he will speak to us and let us know that everything is gonna be alright.   And he added stop tripping gurl you are one bad mamma jamma!! I felt satisfied, renewed and refreshed.  That is what going to church and gathering in an assembly of men and women who are seeking to know Him does for me.  Collectively our yearnings combine and all of those cries internal and external are heard and felt and God works it all out for each one of our benefits.  I will retire at 55 and this writing will be my supply. 

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

http://www.yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

ybarial@gmail.com

http://www.examiner.com/motherhood-in-stockton/yolande-barial

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/11154526/article-Her-Voice–Children-are-a-parental-responsibility?

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/12489710/article-Her-Voice–To-helmet-or-not-to-helment?instance=home_opinion_lead_story

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/tag/yolande-barial 

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”

Easter Sunday

April 24

I woke up with anticipation of the day’s day, Sunday, my favorite. This morning I did not go to service. This morning I awoke to the weather channel, to the sports channel, to Charles Stanley, to the smell of toast and eggs and the aroma of coffee. This morning my mind was thinking and my stomach was jumpy. In preparation for a long awaited vacation; I found that I was unable to relax.   After spending the last week preparing for this day; my children safely kept with family – I am not packed. I am not packed because as a mother and divorced parent my mind is still racing.  Not beginning the day in the customary Sunday slower pace, I could not yet begin until I could get the grace that sustains me.  I hummed, I prayed, I grabbed my laptop, I went downstairs and I wrote. I find that as I write my mind begins to slow down and my brain is rejuvenated. I thank the Lord for all He has done. I can pack now.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445
 

http://www.yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

ybarial@gmail.com

http://www.examiner.com/motherhood-in-stockton/yolande-barial

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/11154526/article-Her-Voice–Children-are-a-parental-responsibility?

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/12489710/article-Her-Voice–To-helmet-or-not-to-helment?instance=home_opinion_lead_story

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/tag/yolande-barial 

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”

Sons

As I sat with my daughter taking down her braids, I hear a crack. My middle son kicked a soccer ball and put a very, very small sized hole in the front glass window of the home; which had already been cracked by my older son tapping on the window with a key. Both of my sons lost their keys to the house. My older son  had his bicycle stolen from his school.  The middle son is a pre-teen and the older son is a teen. Their brains are made of smush and their ability to think past their next breath is often times amazing. I find myself constantly reminding them to do the chores on the chore board and when reminded; they moan, they walk even slower than they normally walk, and they act as if I, their mother, has asked them to run a marathon. The mother who feeds and clothes them and takes them wherever they need to go; as well as to places they want to go.

 They say only a man can teach a boy to be a man. I tend to believe ‘they’.  To have a man willing to step up and teach a boy is a good thing.  As I wipe the right side of my cheek with my thumb, I ponder this man, and think my sons are on their way to knowing that money talks and the other stuff walks.  As a mom I am to give guidance, discipline, consequences and expectations to my children.  These little almost teens will grow up one day and in my mind’s eye I see them taking care of me.  (one can dream) This is one of those times where unconditional love comes into play.  I suspect there will be many more of these days. My daughter is only 9, soon to be 10, I have a feeling that she is going to be more strategic  than the boys. We’ll see.

Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

http://www.yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

ybarial@gmail.com

http://www.examiner.com/motherhood-in-stockton/yolande-barial

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/11154526/article-Her-Voice–Children-are-a-parental-responsibility?

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/12489710/article-Her-Voice–To-helmet-or-not-to-helment?instance=home_opinion_lead_story

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/tag/yolande-barial 

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”

Thank you Mom

The writer writes about what is important to him. I blog and wax poetic about the things that light my fire and as a way to make what I believe real.  Once a thought has been written on a paper it becomes reality.  Think about all of the reality shows and expose’s and documentaries and movies that we see daily.  Our minds are able to take the impossible action or the over-the-top action and make it believable.  That is the awesomeness of our thoughts. If we think it, even for a little while, it becomes real.  So, to that end we must be careful what we allow into our thoughts.  We often times can not stop the thought when it comes; however what we can do is to immediately recognize it as good for us or bad for us and when we make that connection we can “fix” it.  We can make it stay or we can make it go away.  Sometimes either or both of  those reactions are hard to do.  However, just like everything that we want it takes practice.  Practice doesn’t necessarily make things perfect; what it does for me, anyway, is to make things better and better. The more we practice the better we become. 
 
I have been writing since as long as I can remember.  My  mother raised me and my brothers and sister to be a little crazy, yes; however we were raised at a time when the term single mother didn’t exist.  What it was, was I guess you can say kinda normal.  My parents were married in name only. My mother raised us to be independent.  At the time we didn’t realize it, we were just doing what kids do.  We sometimes bucked her and thought she was crazy or slow or embarrassing; I admit sometimes still; however the woman did an amazing job.  She loves us unconditionally and  respectfully and disrespectfully, she is opinionated and pretty much always right.  This woman; strong, dark and chocolate has kept everything I have ever done as a little girl. Over the last 20 years she has begun to send me things.  She sent me my Brownie beanie when I was a 10-year-old, my pictures that I framed and decoupaged when I was 17, my fathers dog tags when he was in the Navy  and my  diaries from when I was a pre-teen to  about 17.  I have read my thoughts as a child and today my life has become the thoughts I had written.  When I read what I wrote as a child it is comical and thought-provoking and just down right silly.  The problems I had back then – cute. The belief in God has always been a part of the little Yolande then and now, it is what makes me the big Yolande. 
 
Thanks Mom for believing in me and in us when we didn’t even know that you were doing it.  By keeping those things that mattered to me when I didn’t know it and giving them to me when I know now what I know makes manifest my belief in your incredible ability to mother.  It is in this action that I see manifest true love and true care.  It is what I hope to become. A mother who believes that her children can do anything infuses into the child the belief that they really can do anything.  It is not so much the words that are said, it is the actions behind those words. A touch, a smile, a giggle, a grimace,  sucking air, an oh my God these kids are gonna kill me look – whatever the action – my mom had it all.  My brothers and sister and I knew then and  now  that she loves us.  And we love her.
 
 Please click on the link below.  This is my first article published for the Examiner which is an online newspaper. I am an official journalist and will be writing on this site and hopefully more jobs that pay will follow.  Thank you mom.
 
 

My Sunday

Today is my Sunday and the day I so look forward to coming. I woke up loved and in love.  I rose realizing that as soon as my feet hit the floor I will be in constant motion, getting myself, my children and now my sweetie moving in the forward direction of beginning our day.  Today the pastor preached from Mark 21: 1- 11. His sermon topic was Going by the book. Here we see Jesus is talking to two of his disciples and he tells them to go and get a donkey and a colt and bring it to him. They did it.  As the pastor spoke what my spirit heard was that when we are obedient go God’s word and follow His plan all things will work out for His best. I have heard this a million times, today it resonated with me.  It told me to get out of God’s way and let Him take care of what needs to be taken care of, he really doesn’t need me in his mix. 

On Friday might my divasister and I went to see Joel Osteen.  He preached from 2 Kings 8:5  and even though I don’t recall the title of the sermon, I do know what it meant.  It meant that God has the right people at the right time in your life and God knows how to connect you with the people who can show you favor and propel you.  So as far as I am concerned, what this means is that there is no need for me to worry and fret about anything for there is absolutely nothing that I can in my OWN power that can beat God.  These 2 messages delivered on 2 different dates by 2 different preachers appear to have some kind of connection.  God will give you what you need, when He wants to, so if I was you, I would just enjoy the journey.

As a restless soul, I have to fight the urge to do something; volunteer my time, pick up a child who needs a ride and take him home, work on this committee or auxillary; .whatever I feel the urge to do I must NOT.  I must languish in the moment and in this Sunday and thank God because I so needed Word today. I got it!

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers all sisters, young and seasoned, to become on-purpose for themselves.”

 Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

http://www.yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

ybarial@gmail.com

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/11154526/article-Her-Voice–Children-are-a-parental-responsibility?

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/12489710/article-Her-Voice–To-helmet-or-not-to-helment?instance=home_opinion_lead_story

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/tag/yolande-barial 

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”

The Pea Patch

Sunday my favorite day is here and I am grateful.  The kids and I had one of those weekends that I would say was productive.  My 3 children, who are absolutely fabulous were all punished.   Yep no cell phones all weekend. This is the first time I have ever, ever done this!  The eldest son brought home 2 D’; one in English and one in Spanish-2, the younger son brought home a D in math and my daughter decided that she was going to blatantly refuse my request to see her spelling words by refusing to take them out of her backpack while we were driving to school – I decided it was time to exercise some tough love. I had already been in training for this new phase of my life and of their lives; for several months and it just so happened it all came to fruition at the perfect time for it to be enacted. 

 My sweetie bought and brought us a white board that he posted in the kitchen. Here  is where I proceeded to put up a calendar and to write chores for each child  for all to see. As I write, I should probably put up the penalties for infractions, hmm. Anywho, the good thing about these grades is that they can be pulled up and better get pulled up.  The 3 loves of my life, have 2 months to do so and I have no doubt that it will happen. I take some responsibility in that they have been so busy with school, social stuff and sports and I have also been busy making sure they accopmplish all of their schedule and busy on my own schedule; the house has been fruiful and yet a little over booked, that I have not checked their homework and have been signing their agenda’s believing that everything has been done.  Well, I am back now.

My older son was disappointed in himself and graciously turned over his cell phone, my middle son was not so gracious; he began negotiating for the cell phone’s return within the hours following retrieval, and my daughter did not appear concerned at all – she simply asked why I was taking the phone and once I reminded her of her beahvior that Friday orning, that was all she seemed to need. I then proceeded to have a private, no yelling, talk with each one of them alone, about my expectations and what I needed from them. I was stern and loving and my boys did make up school work, cleaned their rooms, went through old clothes and shoes to give to Goodwill,  performed their regular chores and seemed to enjoy not being tethered to their cell phones. My daughter did the same along with exercising with me, and then playing with one of her dear friends in the afternoon – the laughed, they sang and they danced and teased each other and even made me a picture our of some kind of fake diamond thingee’s – cute.  I was able to enjoy the down time and uncluttered my room and cleaned the house and even cleaned the ceiling fans for the first time since I have lived in this house.  Wow and yuk at the same time!

The reverend that spoke this morning was one who doesn’t preach that often. He spoke about 2 Samuel.

2 Samuel 23:11-12 (New King James Version)

11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines had gathered together into a troop where there was a piece of ground full of lentils. So the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he stationed himself in the middle of the field, defended it, and killed the Philistines. So the LORD brought about a great victory.

The sermon title was The Pea Patch.  It is a simple message.  Shammah was one of  the 37 warriors of  King David.  He was the only one who stood in the field of lentils which was the food for the people. http://www.agricultureguide.org/how-to-grow-lentils-a-complete-guide/   Lentils are a type of bean that really looks like a seed. It has a high level of protein and  comes in a bunch of different colors and sizes. Lentils grow on short shrubs and have to be picked. The advantage of the lentils is that they have slight tolerance to the drought and hence can survive a period without water.  The advantage that one has with growing the lentils is that since the plant grows round the year once the proper conditions are met it will grow and act as nutrient year round for the people. The Philistines wanted the lentil farm, Shammah stood his ground to protect that which the people had conditioned for growth. He fought the Philistines alone and won.

As I listened, I sat straight up and though wow, the Bible is an amazing book.  Here we are talking about fighting over beans in a field and what it really means to me is what will you fight for if you had it fight all by yourself?  It meant that as a parent we are called to fight for our children and if we have to stand  against the outside influences of the world and shake our children back to reality we are called to do so.   As mothers we birth our children either through actually having them come from our bodies or from having them come to us in a foster or adoption scenario – either way, we  are there when they first learn so many things and we are there when they make mistakes and as they grow older we are there to train them how to correct mistakes and that requires some kind of punishment to shake them up just a little bit to allow them to say hey I better make a change.  We are called to fight for them and to not allow the outside to get into them.  The challenge as mom, who will retire at 55 is to balance it all  and to realize that I have great children. Their grades consisted of A’s, B’s and C’s on a regular basis, these D’s are just an indication that I need to be alittle more vigilante. As any lentil farmer knows that the soil needs to be watered, not daily; but enough to cover the pea to allow it to grow strong and healthy and productive. Now this to me is what you call an aha moment.

Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose
Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.
510-589-6445

https://yolandebarial.wordpress.com/

http://www.redroom.com/member/yolandebarial

ybarial@gmail.com

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/11154526/article-Her-Voice–Children-are-a-parental-responsibility?

http://www.tracypress.com/view/full_story/12489710/article-Her-Voice–To-helmet-or-not-to-helment?instance=home_opinion_lead_story

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/tag/yolande-barial 

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”