Women In Transition...Where Change Begins

Women In Transition...Where Change Begins
Continue To Follow Patricia McKinney www.womenintran.org

Friday, August 22, 2014

Opportunity...

By Karen Ricketts
 
 
When your situation and circumstances in life change, it can be an opportunity for personal growth. The Lord’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts, so we might never completely understand the "whys" in life. Why did this have to happen to me or why didn’t that happen for me? Jesus can use the adversity and situations in our lives to demonstrate his realness, power and strength, and to give us the opportunity to come in closer to him.
    


Thursday, August 21, 2014

God Sees No Color

 
 
By Patricia McKinney


With all the hatred and division going on in this world today, it's understandable why one wouldn't want any parts of this chaos and confusion. Every time I log onto the internet, all I see is innocent people being murdered, violence, hate crimes, and an increase in racism.
 
I myself am not a racist, and I refuse to pull the, "black victim syndrome" race card every time there's a white on black crime, or black on white crime. I know a lot of black people are upset with me because first, I didn't vote for Obama (the first black president), and secondly, I love white people, and I don't think its necessary to chose a side.
 
I find it odd that we are content with a black person killing another black person, but as soon as a white person kills someone who is black, here comes Al Sharpton and the rest of the bandwagon jumpers marching, protesting, and causing a seen, but why not raise awareness about the fact that we kill our own everyday? Walking around with signs and megaphones isn't bringing forth the peace that is required.
 
I also have been studying the history of my kind and my own personal experiences as a black woman, wife and mother. I know firsthand about the mentality that certain blacks have. I Lived in the hood, I know how we act, what we expose our children to, and what we think is due to us because of the Jim Crow era. We think that white people owe us for the time our ancestors served in slavery, but if we studied our history, we'd see that they were not the only reason our ancestors were slaves, it goes so much deeper than what we were taught.
 
When I got married to my wonderful husband of eighteen years and had two beautiful children, I decided to change the way I lived. I wanted better for my children, but in order for me to do so, I had to change my mindset and raise my children in a home of love, morals and discipline. I taught them how to see no color when they look at others, and how to coexist in a world of diversity.
 
I have a pure heart when dealing with people, and I don't judge them based off of what color their skin is, or how others feel about them. In my book, right is right, and wrong is wrong. I don't get caught up in all the heated race debates circulating on the internet, and I'm not siding with anything that's contrary to what my beliefs are.
 
When the Lord looks at us, he see's no color, but instead looks at the heart, and the problem with society today is that they do the complete opposite, yielding decades and decades worth of mayhem. Those that look to the system for understanding, refuge and truth in the time of need are being hoodwinked. In order for us to find true and everlasting peace, and all the solutions to all our problems, we must first seek the face of God.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

True Happiness

 

By Keesah Pelzer
 
 
Ever see someone that claims to be so happy that its utterly annoying? You know, the type of person that thinks the grass couldn't be greener anywhere else except for where they're located at.
 
From what I've experienced, people try to convince others that they are happy when they're really not, and even if they are, its momentarily, and changes with the weather. They put up a front and hide behind social media and show others what they want them to see, which consists of all smiles, them being deeply in love, and them trying to convince the world that life for them is good.
 
These type of people flood your timeline with happy-go-lucky quotes all day, and really don't even believe the things they post themselves, because behind closed doors its a completely different story. They're stressed, crying, abused (mentally, physically, and emotionally), oppressed, and unable to let go of the past. 
 
Often we spend so much time trying to prove to others that we're doing just fine without them, that it becomes our main focus. I totally understand that type of behavior, of course, because I've done it, but I've learned quickly that there is no future in fronting. It is impossible to be truly happy when God is not the main source in your life and when you're not in right standards with him. He is the creator of all things, so it makes no sense what-so-ever to be able to obtain lasting happiness from anywhere else. Only he can fill those voids and gaps in our lives, we cant fill them ourselves with material things that are perishable.
 
I've been on both sides of the fence, meaning, I've experienced a habitual unhappy life for a long time because of where I was located spiritually, but now I'm getting a significant amount of peace and joy which is only coming from above. Of course I have bad days, but I kid you not, I didn't find tranquility until I realized that laying up with men, and having a bunch of money and designer clothes wasn't getting the job done for me. 
 
You can take all the trips you want to tropical islands and resorts, purchase the latest gadgets, get the job you've always wanted, and marry your high school sweetheart right before you build your dream home, but if all of that isn't built on the foundation of God, and you don't have his blessings, then chances are you will never, ever experience true happiness. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Women That Abandon And Neglect Their Children

By Angela Cox


What does it mean to abandon and neglect? Abandon means, to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert, to give up; discontinue; withdraw from, and to give up the control of .  Neglect means to pay no attention or too little attention to, disregard or slight, to omit, as through indifference or carelessness, to fail to carry out or perform, an act or instance of neglecting; negligence.

This is my story:

At the age of fifteen, I met and later married my teenaged boyfriend that I met through by a group of friends. Prior to our marriage we dated for several years and by the age of seventeen, I got pregnant, dropped out of high school,  and work full time to prepare for our beautiful daughter.  Or relationship although it was dysfunctional, and I tolerated disrespect and abuse, we were both young with issues, but we stayed together in spite of that. Almost two years later I become pregnant with our second child,  and we got married.  I married because I was raised as a child with the value of being married first, then you have children and if your weren't married, you'd be condemned. After the birth of my second child, I got pregnant with our last daughter and by this time, our marriage became very abusive and we went our separate ways.  By the age of 21 years old, I  took on full responsibility of our three children and moved out, stayed at a homeless shelter for four months and then started life all over again single with children in my own apartment.  Things seemed very difficult raising three small children on my own without family support, so I did the best I could  as a young mother and found that it could be done.


Eventually, my children got a little older, more independent and ready for school, so I began to make slow, steady strides of my own.  I went back to school, got my GED, and drivers license, and made preparation to go to college. After several years of being single,  I met a young man through a mutual friend, he was single and very smart, a college student at the time. He was very charming and took an interest in me with children.  This was like a dream come true since my background was full of abuse,  and my self esteem  low, I didn't like my own life, and had no family bond, I thought to myself I can't let lose this one. I think I've got my self a winner. So we dated, and the relationship seemed promising. While this occurred, my ex-husband and his family would spend time with my children and take them for weekends. In my immature mind, this worked out perfect because  I felt that I had a lot of responsibility and needed a break.  Meanwhile, the man that I dated began to expose me to things that I never experienced, a more exciting side of life.  We talked of our relationship and marriage.  Although I didn't even heal from the last one, I paid that no attention.  I met his family and came to his hometown while my children spent time with my ex-husband and his family.  My new relationship seemed promising and I had my head in the clouds daydreaming, living in a fantasy, wanting a better life for myself (SELF), instead of enduring the responsibility that I created by having children.  I slowly but surely began to escape from the responsibility of parenting and began to reason within, telling myself that"my children are in safe hands".   I was like an addict wanting a man to fill the emptiness I felt inside.  So the months I was suppose to spend away from my children become a year and another year with only sporadic visits to see my children and I had forsaken the responsibility of raising them. I had abandoned them by leaving them with their father and his family to take the responsibility.

By doing this I left my children to endure stress, pain and rejection issues while I dealt with regret, guilt and trouble myself. Some mistakes we make in life have long term effects and we effect others by making them. No child ever asks to come into this world, and should be treated with love and respect.  I've learned that when you have children, no matter what you've experienced in your own life, even if you are young,  your children should be first priority before yourself, and God first. It's the responsibility of the parent to provide a home in which it is a controlled, loving and healthy environment.  (All scenarios are not the same, rape etc.) 


I've also witnessed women that have their children living with them, but exposed them to  drugs and alcohol, arguments and abuse, rape, or their children are not monitored. Children have also experienced molestation or rape because of their parents negligence, and by the carelessness of  keeping bad company. 

Through my mistakes, I've learned to come to grips with and accept the error of my own ways, and moved forward to make amends with my children.  I've also learned that the decisions you make in life effect other people either for better or worse.
I hope by sharing my own story this can help you look within yourself and find your own story to share with someone else and that you may help them go down the right path.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mental Slavery


By Karen Ricketts
 

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery". Bob Marley popularized this phrase with the tune Redemption Song, but it was actually taken from a speech given by Marcus Garvey. I'm only just beginning to gain a better understanding of what mental slavery is as I look at what's going on around the world, and in my life and home as a 43 year old single Black mother with Black children.
 
Mental slavery is damaging, devastating, long reaching, and long lasting, having psychological effects on the mind, and on people of all races. Though free to move around, even to migrate to different countries to improve our standing morally and economically in society, we're  unable to break free from the chains that keep our minds in bondage, because we ourselves, don't have the key. 

The black community is especially brain washed to where people will wake up before the dew falls to go stand in line for the latest sneakers, clothing, and phones, all to make other people richer. How sad is it that so many of us depend on the government to house, and feed us while we chase the name brand things in life, never pausing to contemplate getting out of the cardboard box lifestyle we live in? At any moment a rainstorm (circumstances in life), can come and wash everything away, yet some of us are more concerned about looking good, than we are with living better.

The cycle of mental poverty is what keeps generations of individuals going around in the same circles, thinking, reacting and doing the same things because the mind is still in chains being controlled by the unknown, and because we can't recognize it, we fall prey to it time and time again. It takes willingness and the hand of God to open our eyes to see the different ways that we're being held back through mental slavery and programmed thinking.

For myself, the phenomena of mental slavery hit home when I realize my children were getting caught up in the hype. The hype is the negative messages that they receive each day, at school, the internet, and TV that tells them they need to believe this and not that, and in order to be accepted they have to be trendy. As teens they just want to fit in, but I have to continuously remind them that they can't get everything they see. Even if they are bringing in their own money, it's still vital to teach them to prioritize.

Needless to say, those rules also apply to myself as well. I had to come to grips with the fact that I couldn't continue to kill myself trying to keep up with the joneses, and today I thank God for opening my eyes more and more to see how mentally enslaved I really was and for the opportunity to be truly emancipated and set free.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Change Begins On The Inside.


 CEO & President
Patricia McKinney
 
Before the transformation can began, you have to seek God and ask for help to change old habits that are naturally hard to break, and strength to separate from those things, or people that prevent you from arriving at your purpose. You also have to watch, and be cautious of those you allow in your personal space, because everyone that we're so comfortable with, may not have the right motives and intentions concerning you, or be a positive influence in your life.
 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

We Celebrate You!

 
CEO & President, Patricia McKinney truly believes that as women, we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. "It's easy for us to give so much and receive little in return. That's why it's important to celebrate yourself for the beautiful woman that you are." So today, we at Women In Transition would like to celebrate you, Mrs. McKinney for all of your hard work and dedication. You continuously give in ways that can never be repaid, and the essence of your beauty and strength will never go unnoticed. Thank you for all that you do and all that you've done. We love you to infinity and beyond! -Your team at Women In Transition
 

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Only Way


By Keesah Pelzer
 
 
Have you ever felt as though everything is hitting you like a ton of bricks, one after another? Nothing is going as planned, everyone around you has lost all their marbles, the kids are acting like English isn't their primary language, and "stop" & "no" seems to be going in one ear and right out the other. Your money is beyond funny, and you feel like everyone that's doing evil is getting the "pass go and collect $200" card, while you're praying that you get lucky and roll doubles so perhaps you can get out of jail for free.

Figuratively speaking, much like Monopoly, life is a game that no matter how much you play by the rules, and how hard you play the hand that you've been dealt, it's not promised that you're always going to win, or that things are going to turn out your way. I'm totally speaking for myself on this one, because sometimes I think that since I'm trying to live, and trying to cross all my T's and dot my I's, that certain things I'll just never have to endure, and that's never the case.

I felt like some how I would excused from criticism and people telling lies on me because I'm a sweet person and I don't bother anyone with drama, but not all trials are off limits when it comes to plans from a higher power. You know how we say, God will never put more on us than we can bare? Well, that was my excuse so that I wouldn't be challenged beyond what I wanted to endure.

Internally, things do get hard, but in my frustration and tears, I sometimes catch myself thinking about what would happen if I gave up, but then I snap back into reality, and realize that I don't want to give up. I want to hang in there. We can so used to just throwing in the towel when all four walls seem to closing in on us, but where would that leave us, and  our children be all because I want to be selfish? Right back doing the same thing we were doing before. I don't want to go back to the craziness that I was waddling in not too long ago. No structure, no morals, and no God.

Through it all I'm realizing that its not always about winning, but more so about learning, growing, enduring, sacrificing and moving forward, I'm also realizing that to get something that we've never had, we have to do something that we've never done, and in doing so we have to keep going no matter the odds that are against us...It's the only way!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Don't Get Too Comfortable, You Might Be Sleeping With The Enemy!

By Angela Cox


As children we are taught by our parents not to talk to strangers or accept anything from them.  They teach us to be careful when crossing the street and to be alert and mindful of unseen dangers. They're relieved once they see that their child has mastered caution and good judgement, and it takes a weight off of their shoulders.   Normally parents warn their children about dangers that lie-in-wait on the outside of home, but don't pay attention to the dangers that may lie within the household.  

As a child, I moved in with an aunt after being released from foster care. She had a full house of family which included several of her own children and a husband (my uncle in-law).  My uncle in-law was one of my favorites among the group of family members because he was always kind and inviting, while my aunt was  verbally and mentally abusive. So of course, as a child, I was drawn to the one that seemed the safest and more loving, because that's what children do.  Every day when I came home from school, I'd routinely run to the room where he was and I was always greeted with joy.  So I'd make myself comfortable and chatter about my day at school, and I'd ask him what he was watching on TV?  He'd share and laugh, and I'd do anything for my uncle.  My aunt felt very comfortable with my uncles attachment as I did.  Of course at five years old, your mind is on toys, candy, cartoons, and friends.

Upon moving in, I was given my own room with an enormous bed and everything was white with gold trim.  Although the appearance was very nice, as a small child, it was lonely and scary because I was used to a houseful of my own siblings prior to foster care, and not being alone.   So I opted to sleep in a closet space near my aunt and uncle until I was used to the setting.  One night, my aunt decides that she did not want to sleep next to her husband and told me to sleep next to him. As a child I thought nothing of it and could not understand why but you did not dialogue or talk back, so I did what I was told.  So I got on the bed, where his feet were and scooting as far as possible to the wall as I could because it felt awkward, but fell asleep.  But later on that night, I was awakened several times, to these huge hands holding my legs firmly and rubbing them up and down. I'd kick and he'd immediate move his hand realizing that I was awake.  I could not tell right then what all happened because I was sleeping.
 

Too afraid to tell my aunt because she was abusive, I dismissed the incident and really couldn't even grasp what was happening. Beside, he was drunk all of the time, so I thought maybe he didn't know what he was doing.  I continued talking to him and treated him as if nothing ever happened until the next occurrence when  I was told to sleep by him again.  Only to have the same thing occur. That's when  I realized, even as a small child, that I had to suck up the fear and move into the big scary room.  I never knew how far he really went because I was asleep and he was already rubbing my legs when I woke up, but I dismissed it.  As time progressed, I grew and became more independent, I started working and hanging out with friends, never reflecting on the previous child hood incidents. 

But one day after arriving at home,  my uncle was oddly sitting at the kitchen table, and no one else was home, I didn't know until later the he and my aunt had a huge argument prior to my arrival. So he told me to have a seat, so I did. At the time I had a new "boyfriend" that my uncle seemed too curious about, and so he began to ask me if I had any sexual experience with him.  This conversation made me feel very uncomfortable and I wouldn't admit to anything, because he was way out of line.  My own aunt had never discussed the matter with me before, but he felt since he was comfortable enough with me, that he could. So of course all of the answers to his questions were "no".

Our conversation finally ended, and because he made me so uncomfortable I wanted to  make a mad dash for the door, but before I left, he kindly said okay to my response, but like he did when I was a child, he'd expect me to give him a kiss on the cheek.  So I did,  but this time the kiss on the cheek was not enough.  He tried to give me a kiss in the mouth. Then I hauled out of there, and after reflecting on it, the childhood occurrences when I laid beside him validated his behavior.   He knew exactly what he was doing.  This made me realize as children we don't understand what's happening to us when adults violate us, and sometimes adults that should warn us of dangers within the home, neglect this area because  it never crosses their mind that the danger exists within.

This taught me a lesson that I can share with others.  Your body is your own and adults don't always use wisdom when they allow their little ones to get too comfortable with adults.  I thank God that it didn't go any further, because the damage would have been even more severe.   I had to live their until I turned sixteen and did a lot of running away to get away from the abusiveness, which I still believe it kept me from sexual assault.  But there are many young girls who are not so fortunate but are suffering.  God's standard should be the rule of thumb in the household but in reality it's far from it.  Many young children are subjected to rape and molestation from those they know and are comfortable with, and since a child cannot distinguish when they are in danger, they might be right in the lap of the enemy.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Who Is Your Influence?

By Patricia McKinney
 

True leaders, lead by example, and they are catalysts who influence people to change for the better. Their hearts desire is to see personal growth and success among those that follow them, or adhere to their words of influence.  I find that the reason people never evolve in life or rise above adversity is because of what they listen too, who they associate with, and what they've been trained to believe, or have adopted as truth.

Ask yourself this question:  If a person is in the same position as you or in a worse predicament, can they give you advise that will motivate you to change? If they lack "the drive" for themselves, can they motivate you to do better? If they conduct themselves in a manner that doesn't demonstrate wisdom, self respect, or respect for others, would you follow their lead or take heed to their advise? Most of the time, people don't experience peace, contentment, or the fullness of life is because they don't change their surroundings or what they take heed too, and they never tap into the fullness of who they are and what God has in store for them.

Gods plan is not that you remain in an adverse position forever, or be stagnated in  life, which breeds frustration, or confusion, but that you'll have a future that brings fulfillment, even in life's imperfections and roads of uncertainty,  God will give you peace.  This comes by seeking him  for guidance. His desire is that we tap into the fullest of what he's designed us to be and influence others to do the same.
 
Jeremiah 29:11 -"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

The Pursuit Of Happiness

By Karen Ricketts
 
 
Happiness is defined individually in today's society where it seems like every and any type of behavior is tolerated or accepted. In other words, to each his own as long as it makes you happy.

Most of society see's happiness as being tangible, something you can hold, touch or attain, including people. Some chase material possessions and the finer things in life. Happiness to them comes in owning the newest, sleekest, hippest and shinny-est version of anything put out on the market. They are in hot pursuit of anyone and anything that can contribute to their thirst. It's like a happiness pill they hunt, scratch and scrape for, but once swallowed wears off with a quickness that leaves them wanting more.

It is so easy to get tangled up in things that seem to satisfy your craving for happiness and fulfillment. Some fixate on having and finding a partner, because not having a man or woman attached to them leads to sadness. Others seek happiness in a certain car, job, house, or anything conceived in their mind as happiness.

The pursuit of happiness in this manner is like a dog chasing after it's own tail, going around and around in circles, getting tired and dizzy but still somehow believing. Once in a blue moon he might catch it, but only momentarily as he loses his grip and has to start all over again, tired and unfulfilled. That's because real happiness is intangible, related to your mental and psychological state and is not acquired and measured by your possessions, status, or who you know.

You can start by changing your definition and view of happiness from the tangible to the intangible. The roadway or path to real happiness starts when we begin to address the internal hurt, pain, rejection, and failures we endured in life. I've been one of those women chasing practically all of the above mentioned, only to end up winded with added hurt and pain along the way.

Getting older slowed me down, but age didn't change the intangible or physical things I held up as my idea of happiness. The Light that came to show me the error of my ways and thinking was Christ. The attainment of things will only bring you temporary gladness. Christ can lead you to that roadway to heal all your wounds. The healing process does take time, but in the mist of it you can experience real joy, contentment and satisfaction as well.
 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Orchestra Of Life

By Patricia McKinney
 
 
A jazz orchestra (also known as a Big Band) is comprised of many different instruments that come together in harmony to make one melodious sound. No matter how loud the bass or how smooth the sound of the saxophone, each instrument compliments the other, and serves it's own purpose. Each has a part to play in the orchestra.
 
 
It's the same way in life. Like the instruments of the orchestra, each person or circumstance has a part to play or a purpose to fill to touch the life of another in some significant way, either good or bad, and God himself is the conductor of the orchestra, that brings all things together in perfect harmony. 
 
 
Have you ever questioned why we experience people or situations in life that seem out of harmony, and don't carry a beautiful melody? Even they serve a purpose to help us become fine tuned as a person. To know the difference between love and hate, to develop good character, and make us wiser, to teach us the art of forgiveness, and strengthen us when we are weak, making us fit for our Master's (God's) use, fine tuned and giving off a harmonious sound, that will touch the life of another.


Monday, August 11, 2014

A Clean Surface



By Keesah Pelzer
 
 
 
Things aren't always what they seem upon first glance, and many of us walk around with the concept that the ones who appear to live their lives like it's golden, really have it going on.
 
 Its easy to be thrown off by someone else's nice attire, their clean smell, nice car, and their level of achievements and think, "Wow...they've got it together". We get confused by their outward appearance and automatically think that they look the same on the inside, when most of the time they don't. Some people, though seemingly perfect or normal outwardly, are primarily the ones that are hiding the deepest, darkest issues on the inside.
 
Take celebrities for example, they have everything that money can buy, and on the surface it seems like they're just fine, and that they have not a care in the world, but on the inside, they're plagued with all types of issues. Everyone thinks that they're perfect, but they have problems just like the rest of humanity. They deal with fear, rejection, their sexuality, spiritual lack, evil desires, and other personal problems, but because of their apparel, It's not always evident to the carnal eye.

 
I know for myself, I would dress up to hide whatever it was that was going on with me, because somewhere in my mind I thought that I could play my issues off just by cleaning myself up. It can be shameful when the things on the inside of us are recognized and revealed, so that's why we try so hard to cover them up, and to make others believe that there aren't any demons and skeletons in our closets.


When you come to God, those issues don't just vanish because you're in his presence, we have to work our way out of them by dying to our own desires, submitting to him, being obedient, and sacrificing so that deliverance can take place. We don't have the luxury of hiding behind him, our lashes, weaves, or any other fancy attire, because unlike most people, he can see right through the glitz and glamour.


 Now I have a new understanding to the meaning, "Never judge a book by its cover" because no matter what a person looks like on the outside, it doesn't define what's going on with them internally. You can look dapper and be the devils advocate, or a look like a bum, but have a heart of a gold.
 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Change

                                                           Patricia McKinney

 
                   Moving forward means change and not returning to those former things.

Friday, August 8, 2014

TEACH ME LORD


By Karen Ricketts



As a child you are taught how to do things a little at a time, step built upon step until eventually over time as you grow in age and ability, you will need little to no assistance depending on the task. Take potty training for example, before a toddler can even get to the stage of using the bathroom on their own it can take months and even years of training. Starting with pull-ups and the itsy bitsy portable toilet to eventually underwear and the grown up toilet.
 
As a little girl, it took  me forever it seems to master tying my shoe laces. I just couldn't seem to get all the steps right, I was embarrassed by this especially since my cousins made it known that they already knew how to tie their shoelaces. Coming to Christ has made me realize the similarities between raising up a child and being raised up as a child of God and being taught by him. Just like a baby or toddler you have to be taught and trained to do things God's way. But unlike a toddler you have already been raised to think, act, talk and do things a certain way.
 
I realize that coming to Christ means I have to be willing to put to the side almost everything I was taught and be open minded to learning God's way. It's not an easy thing to unlearn a behavior or a way of thinking, but Christ in your life will lead you, guide you and give you the strength you need.
 
It's a process in Christ. We get practical lessons where we're tested and challenged in the areas in our heart and life, because the Lord wants to bring change, healing and deliverance. Just like learning to tie my shoelaces, I have failed lessons, tests and challenges over and over again. But I refuse to give up and have asked the Lord to take away the shame and embarrassment I felt. Like a toddler you have to grow and be able to do certain task on your own, and so it is in Christ as well.
 
The saying, "Growing up is hard to do" comes to mind, but it is essential. The Bible tells me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). "Through Christ" is the key, and as I continue to learn from God, I also hope to advance in my development.