Monday, December 28, 2015

Tyler McKinley and Jaiden Arnold Class of 2024 Putting On A Show

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Learn To Have Fun In Your Mirror

On December 4th my friend came over and gave me a new look. It's always a fun time getting through the process. Sending me to the hair store is so funny and I think Enjoli now knows to send me with a list or just come with me. There are somethings I get, going to the hair store renders me clueless. What I know for sure is that I love the hair color 1B/30. Love it!!! After a sew in it's always cool to play in my mirror. To capture my new look and to say to myself.. Oh, she cute!! 

Growing up I loved flipping through magazines and looking at my favorite fashion models, Beverly Johnson, Iman, and Wanakee to name a few. I loved and still do love shopping for make up. I love the MAC counter but staying on a budget I stay in Milani Makeup. In this pic I have Milani eyes and Jordana lips. The funny thing about the lip liner is that it's eyeliner but I love the color and I rock it daily. (Easyliner for eyes in Coffee Bean and Lip Out Loud Gloss in TTYL)

I love this picture of me. It really captures the essence of how I see myself most days. If I dwelled on other people's perceptions of me I would be a mess. I have to stay focused on how I see myself and if I don't like what I see I need to determine how to get to my best self. You have to deal with what you see in your mirror. The one you look in daily and not worry about other's thoughts of you. Do you have fun in your mirror? Are you happy with you? If you are not, no one else will be either. Yes, I love hair and makeup but I love Arlinda way more. God has been doing a work on me. I'm hard on myself, sometimes my confidence slips. Sometimes God has to place me in front of a mirror to remind me of the me created by Him. 

Learn not only to have fun in your mirror but to appreciate who you are in your mirror. What you see is looking back at you and it's so very beautiful. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Most Natural Thing

Over the past couple of weeks a friend and I had discussed going out to reconnect. To be honest we had not seen each other in a while and we had some catching up to do. Plus he's been wanting to publish a book, so yes, we had to sit and talk. We had discussed getting together but I thought he had things going on and he could get to me later. I didn't perceive him seeing me as a priority. I was really thinking after Christmas but it was clear that it was going to be sooner. After going through my calendar I decided on Friday. Like yesterday Friday. Then I had to decide where to go... Ugh!!! Decisions. Decisions. Taste of Belgium? I really wanted a lavender crepe. I didn't even get it. #sadface 

Y'all I was so mad on Friday morning. I couldn't figure out what to wear and it was the last day of school for Winter Break and the previous night Tyler hits me with, "Can you bring cupcakes to my school?" I just didn't have this type of time. Lol. In my mind I'm like you're going to see this day through. It's all going to work out. It always does. School goes well. Tyler gets his cupcakes. I think I look o.k. I didn't feel cute in my mirror. I looked tired but I wasn't. Then it got mad cold and the wind was blowing and the restaurant had too bright of lighting. Another Ugh!!! He's running late. Hell, I just want to run. I should find another restaurant, I should cancel. I know my girlfriends are reading this and either laughing or laughing really hard. When the going gets tough, Arlinda simply gets gone. Ain't nobody got time for this. Lol

Then he calls and tells me he's parking his car and I check my makeup using my phone's screen. I don't feel cute at all. Though I'm glad I put the effort to appear together. But who cares? Why am I stressing over this? It's just my friend. My friend who I have never went out to eat with. My friend who I have not seen in a long time. My friend who is coming into the restaurant right now. My friend who comes to me and hugs me, while planting a kiss on my cheek, and sits in front of me with this absolutely beautiful brown skin and warm smile. And he's well groomed, well dressed, smells like a cologne sample and I think that somewhere between the time he entered the seating area and sat in front of me I have lost my train of thought. I had to sip my tea. Where's Kermit when you need him?

We talk for well over an hour while eating chicken and waffles and hamburger with goat cheese. The more we talk I notice something. He's sees this as a natural conversation while I all of a sudden need to find the server. "Ice water please! With extra ice." "I can get you extra ice, you want lemon too?" "I don't want extra ice but water please." By now my nose is sweating and I'm blushing constantly. He asked me if I was warm, I told him no, my nose was just sweating. He asks why. No...... Wasn't going to answer that question. Not right then. I'll share now that I'm in more control of my setting. I've learned over the years that my nose sweats when I'm attracted to someone. My nose doesn't sweat often and it hasn't in a very long time so... Yeah. As much as I try to be in control of situations my nose tells on me. Lol. 

As we leave the restaurant he makes it known that he's a gentleman and we continue this conversation as we walk to my car. A couple of hours later we have another conversation and we laughed and laughed. I'm like am I 46 or 16?  I've become a little more comfortable since my nose is trying to clue me in. As we end the conversation he makes it a point to bring up my shyness and the conversation ends on a really good note. As we say our goodbyes he says to me, "That felt natural didn't it?" After I calmed down and understood that he's a part of my journey it actually felt like everything was supposed to happen in the exact manner that it did.

I know I'll see him soon. Instead of trying to force controlling the situation I'll let it flow. Naturally. He's a cool guy and apparently my nose knows. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving With Black Families ~ Curtis Mann

Things to remember for a mistake free Thanksgiving 2015:

• Kraft cheese and macaroni is NOT macaroni and cheese. [I will punch you in your face and set your kitchen on fire if you invite me over with this sitting on your table]

• Stove Top Stuffing is NOT dressing. [I will karate chop your throat and set your kitchen on fire again if you take this out the oven]

• Regardless of how you feel, cranberry sauce (without the cranberries) is essential to any Thanksgiving menu. #period

• Keep your generic watered down hot sauce in the cabinets, on Thanksgiving Franks Red Hot is the only hot sauce that should be on any table.

• If the best dessert you have to offer are 2 over hyped Patti Labelle Sweet Potato Pies, please take me off the invite list...on Thanksgiving the only people who should be eating #Pattipies are the Labelles... #letusnotbeLAZY

• If nothing on the table looks or smells right, you're probably at the wrong house...[The eyes and nose don't lie]

• Don't sit until someone directs you where to sit: many-a-guest get cussed out for almost sitting in "Granddaddy's Chair"

• Always, always, always have a reason to leave on one ever questions, "I gotta get up and go to work in the morning" [even if you're out if town] #thankmelater

• If you can't cook, now is NOT the time to learn. #youWILLgetyourfeelingshurt

• Even if you CAN cook, now is not the time to experiment with new recipes. #itneverturnsoutright

• If it's your first time cooking for a group this large, don't get offended when people ask who made what? #itsjustwhatwedo

• DO get offended if after everyone has eaten there was only a scoop out of the corner of your means someone (normally the best cook in the family) sampled it and gave it 2 thumbs down. #wordtravelsfast

• Stay in your lane, dont get cute and stick to what you know. [What do I mean? Glad you asked...If you are the greens person stick to greens, if you are the sweet potato person stick to sweet potatoes, if you are the dressing person, say it with me...STICK TO DRESSING]

• Don't be that person who starts eating before the matriarch or patriarch OFFICIALLY blesses the food [everyone will begin to question your hometraining]...not sure what a #matriarch or #patriarch is? I suggest you #Google it before Thursday.

• Just because all the family is together doesn't mean it's time for show and tell...[all announcements aren't good announcements] #ijs

• When people begin to argue [and yes they will argue] if it isn't your momma or something being said about your momma, mind your business and continue eating your Macaroni and Cheese...

• Please don't stop talking abruptly, making things more awkward/uncomfortable when your uncle walks in the door with his new girlfriend while his ex-wife of 2 weeks and kids are sitting on the couch talking to granny - just mind your business and continue eating your Macaroni and Cheese...

• Don't tell people to be at your house at 3pm and start cooking at 2:30. [This is not the time to be fashionably late or on CP time]

• If your skills in Spades or Taboo are subpar trying to play on Thanksgiving day is a NO-NO. Just do everyone a favor and join the kids in the den playing chutes and ladders...

• Know who to let bless the food. You'll mess around look up and your cousins are preparing to take offering... #JesusweptAmen

• Bringing over your own to go plate supplies is smart yet tacky and frowned upon in many establishments. [So be smart and discreet about yours].

I can't express the importance of this next one, it could potentially save jail time, lawsuits and friendships:
• Don't leave your friends alone with your drunk uncle. [This scenario could end in so many ways - none of which are good]

• Looks can be deceiving, please understand EVERYONE has a drunk uncle no matter what they say...

• If it's not your house DON'T change the channel - even if you're the only person in the room. #trustme

• NEVER accept an invite to Thanksgiving dinner from someone you aren't serious matter how hungry you are [trust me it never ends well].

• Make sure you don't stuff yourself so you can be at my bday bash [The 9th Annual Sagittarius Birthday Bash] on the 28th @ Taste!!! Doors open at 10:30pm and we rocking late...

• [lastly] Enjoy your time with your family and friends and be THANKFUL for the things you do have...

Cheers to a mistake free Thanksgiving πŸ˜‰

This post was gently lifted from Curtis Mann's Facebook Page. I had to share it. 😊

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How Did You Get Here?

I spend a great deal of time working on me and attempting to be at my best self. I was on this journey and I was doing well.. Until.

Until I had to make some really hard decisions. Until I had to decide if I wanted temporary pleasure at the cost of my integrity, my character. Until I had to decide if I wanted a few occupied evenings by someone who was not completely available to me, not completely honest with me.

I had to look at my brand and although it hasn't gone mainstream yet, LindarInsights is based on my belief in God and that He'll work things out for my good, that He'll perfect those things that concern me. I write about those things and post online. So how did I get here? With him? And he's not a bad person, just at this point in our lives he's not the one for me.

And so he comes back into my life after a couple of years to "see". See if we can try again. To work out the wrongs of years ago. He extends his hand for me to walk through this open door but as I begin to walk through this door I see the same stuff that was there years ago. The same people, the same actions and I know immediately that I deserve so much more.

Yeah, maybe I deserve someone to love me and to spend time with me but not at the expense of me losing me. So I express this to him and eventually he cuts me out of his life. If it can't be his way then it's no way. So now I have to choose. Do I hang in there or bust a move? I made the choice and it's been so hard to not speak to him or be around him but like my pastor said on last Sunday. I had to do something. I had to make a move. That move was to simply respect his boundaries of cutting me out of his life and deal with it.

The past 2 months have been so difficult but I don't want to stay here, in this place of sadness, hurt and rejection. Just like before I have to move from it and not be hard on myself or bitter with him. I don't know why we met up but then again his "no's" make me run straight to my Daddy who will forever perfect those things that concern me.

I wrote this 3 years ago and it really seems like only minutes ago.

MeKayla Smith invokes the presence of God at MECCA Conference!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ryan S. Ragland, J.D. ~ What Excellence Looks Like

First let me say I've been waiting for years to be able to post these pictures of when Ryan was a little girl. Her mom and I would sit in my parents living room, probably watching BET and eating trail mix while Ryan got her hair combed. My father, who didn't miss too many moments, captured Ryan in a not so happy state.

On tomorrow family and friends will travel to Columbus, Ohio  to witness this amazing young lady being sworn in at the State House as an attorney. Wow!!! It doesn't seem like that long ago that we were trying to figure out the word lists at Marva Collins, watching her excel with honors at Walnut Hills or moving her into her UC apartment when Ike decided to hit our city. 

Ryan has always been an achiever, sometimes it's hard to believe that she worries about anything because she works so hard at "doing well". I thought this blog would be hard to write because I've seen her go through high school and college. I've listened to her in good times and adverse times. The road has been hers to travel and Ms. Ryan, you've done it in complete excellence. You are what excellence looks like. You've keep your eyes on your goals and one by one you've achieved them all.  The village celebrates you and all of your accomplishments. 

We all love you so much and we are looking forward to the amazing journey that awaits you. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Women's Worship Encounter III ~ Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Guest SpeakersProphetess Linda Roark & Quiera Lige

"Ask About Her"

Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, "Who does that young woman belong to?" Ruth 2:5 NIV

This year we are going back to where it all began, Hilton Garden Inn in Blue Ash, Ohio. This will be a luncheon filled with fellowship and worship. 

We are so blessed to have awesome women of God speaking into our lives.

Minister Quiera Lige of Light of the World Ministries and Pastor Linda Roark of World Commissioned Church, Hamilton Ohio.

We are also excited about the dance ministry of J & J Ministries. 

Tickets can be purchased on our Eventbrite Page 

If you are interested in being a vendor or would like more information please contact me at

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Kingdom Fest 2015 ~ Kingdom Word Fellowship Church ~ Lexington, Kentucky

Last night I traveled to Lexington, KY for Kingdom Fest 2015 at Kingdom Word Fellowship Church. I fell in love with their Praise Team. My 9 year old filmed a majority of this because mommy couldn't stay still. Lol. One thing remains..

Friday, September 18, 2015

My Morning Post

I don't always do the right thing and I don't want to continue doing the wrong things. I can't say I love God and act as if I don't  have faith in His plans for my life. 

He will perfect those things that concern me. If I seek Him, He will add. His word won't return void. His gifts are perfect. He's not like shifting shadows. He pours in abundance. He's consistent even when I am not. He tells me the battle is not mine. He sets a table. He works all things for good. His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tyler McKinley (Class of 2024) Ranked #9 By Coast2Coast Prep

Today, at 12:45p.m., Coast2Coast Prep released their National Player Rankings of 2024. While I could not log online at that time Alex, was texting and calling me. Then I see the text that simply said, "He's ranked 9th." Wow!!!!! We have so much respect for Coast2Coast Prep and we feel excited and honored to be a part of a an incredible group of young basketball players.

Tyler ends the summer with Top Ten Rankings by Coast2Coast Prep & Middle School Elite. He received an MVP award at The NeoYouth Elite Camp and went to Orlando with Detroit Express where the team placed 7th in the nation. For most of the year Tyler played with InouGsio, out of Indiana. Coast2Coast ranked InouGsio 3rd for their National Team Rankings (Class of 2024). What a summer it has been. We  are expecting more great things for him. 

Follow Tyler on Instagram and Twitter

Monday, August 31, 2015

My 31 Day Blog Challenge

As August was slowly coming towards me I knew I had to prepare to get ready for another school year. I needed to do something that would get my mind into gear so I challenged myself to blog everyday during the month of August. When I missed a day, or two, I then decided to have as many blogs in August as there were days. This post will be the 31st post for the month.

Thank you all for the kind words, thoughts and encouragement.  I almost feel as if in 31 days I cleansed myself of negative thoughts and perceptions of myself. I went back through some of the titles and was amazed and encouraged. I believe I'm moving toward operating at my highest self. Summer was really good to me. I saw my family at peace and achieving. I laughed a lot with an incredible group of friends nearly every Sunday. I tried to stay on track with my weightloss. It was a summer that I won't soon forget. And then there's him..... Hmmm. #allsmiles Yes, it was a really good summer. 

Again thank you.

This Above All To Thine Ownself Be True 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Inadequacy of Self

Sunday I tossed and turned. Went from pillow to pillow. From the head of the bed to the foot. From being covered in a blanket to just laying in my night clothes. God said to me, "Ok, Arlinda that's enough. Get up." I sat up on the side of my bed attentive to what God had to say.

"Arlinda you have to write. Here's your title. The Inadequacy of Self" With that information given to me I fell right and I mean right to sleep. I woke up to schools closed and Quiera speaking for Morning Manna.

Yes, God had my attention. I wasn't purposefully crying out to God. I wanted to figure it out on my own. But God....

When I was a little girl I was doted on. I had cute frilly dresses from Polly Flinders with matching tights and sandals from Sears or Bakers. My parents made sure I was well read. We had dictionaries, encyclopedias, every major African American magazine and books galore. I attended good schools from elementary to high school. I'm degreed twice. I teach. I have a good relationship with God. I birthed wonderful sons. Heck, I have a son on a collegiate scholarship and one is an elementary Honor Roll student. I just self published my second book. I am pretty together, on paper.

But put me in a room of my peers, I'm not good enough in my mind. I'm too tall, overweight, not cute enough. I'm not adequate. I don't measure up. This is how I fell asleep Sunday night.

Imagine being a whole lot of incredible things but feeling low in comparison to others. Though I didn't ask for God's assistance He showed up anyway. He didn't give me a way out. He simply gave me a title and told me to write. Why was I able to fall straight asleep and that feeling leave me? My God knew that His answer would come to me in my own words. That he had equipped me to move from that moment. 

Later that night I watched Dr. Juanita Bynum at Empowerment Temple. Her scripture for the service was Song of Solomon 5:2 AKJV

I sleep, but my heart wakes: it is the voice of my beloved that knocks, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

Dr. Bynum defined sleep in this text as a loss of identity. The heart being awake represents that even with the loss of identity I still seek God. 

I was sleep. My heart was awake. God spoke peace to my heart. He spoke to that restlessness. I woke renewed, refreshed. Quiera confirmed it. Dr. Bynum confirmed it. The inadequacy of self was me feeling bad about me, about me comparing myself to others. That's not of God. It shouldn't be of me. 

If I just go back to paragraph 4 and reread I'd know that not only am I fine but I always have been. We don't need the enemy to tear us apart we can self-destruct all by ourselves. 

I was asleep but my heart was awake. 

I wrote this piece on 1.28.14 and I've held on to it always saying I'm going to get to it. Two things prompted me to finally blog it. One I found a picture of me when I was a little girl that simply takes me back to that little girl in her frilly clothes and two on Friday Quiera had a group of women complete a thirty second piece to speak about themselves. I've come a long way from that cold winter day. For that God gets glory.

And thanks to Quiera who unknowingly blesses me to be able to see the me that exists but I have refused to acknowlege previously. 

I know my mother is probably reading this. Possibly in tears. I can honestly say that everything that I am and will every be she always knew that it existed. I love you mommy. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Preserved For Greater

Tonight I'm reflecting on how God has me tucked away. Yes, I sometimes go through my "Why God" moments. I'm like , "Okay if You can perform all the miracles in the Bible surely what I'm requesting is minor." I get that same quietness from Him each time. 

Today I've gone from chair to couch to bed all day. I've not really been feeling myself lately. Again I'm going to God. He knows I have things to do. Between lesson plans, grad school, my family and everything else, He knows now is not the time for me to break down. Didn't He heal and raise people from the dead? I need healing. Where's His hem? (Oh, wait. That will preach.) Still, more silence from God. 

Stephanie reminds me earlier today that Let The Church Say Amen is coming on BET. I sit from 8-10 and I watch the movie and guess what, God begins to speak. Well, I'm worn out now all I could do was listen. 

He says to me that I will marry again and that He has preserved me for greater than what I would want for myself. I'm like really God, you have me ducked off in the cut? (Please pray for me I had a hood moment.) God's response was, "Yeah, you've been hidden for an eyes have not seen, ears have not heard moment."

After God speaks the character in the movie says this. "Some prayers might still be circling around in heaven. God will get around to fulfilling them in His time." I immediately think of the scripture that talks about God perfecting those things that concern me. 

Maybe that perfecting is keeping me single to focus on His will and His ways. Maybe it's keeping me from myself. Hmmm... Maybe He's hidden me to prepare me for what He created for me in eternity. I've decided that in the meantime I'll wait patiently for Him to bring me out of hiding for those good and perfect gifts He has for me. 

God preserves us for greater. Wait for it. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Romans 8:28 #ItAllWorks

#Romans828 is absolutely everything to me. #allthingsworktogetherforgood Even when it doesn't feel good, it's still good. When it hurts, when they leave, when your money is acting funny, when it seems like there is no way... God is working it out for your good because He has purpose for you. After obstacles and adversities try to tear you apart you will be able to look back and minister to someone in a similar situation and tell them #itallworks

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Prepare Myself For You ~ Excerpt From Ghetto Chick by Arlinda McGlothin-McKinley

Dear Lord,

I’m having a hard time. Things aren’t going the way I would like them to. My heart aches and my self-esteem is low. Sometimes the pain is unbearable, unmanageable.

But I see my chocolate boys and realize that I have to keep pressing. Many people see and don’t know how when he left it hurt so badly, so deep.

I saw my child falling and didn’t know how to pull him up. The best is all I want, to move from this and rise into a survivor and a worshipper.

My favorite day of the week is Saturday. That is when I prepare for You! On Sunday I don’t want anyone to know or see me falling apart. I want my mind and heart in the right place to teach Your Word, sing Your praises, and worship You”

“In your presence I want all to realize that throughout all the obstacles and pain. The most important thing for me to do is to Prepare Myself For You.”

Excerpt From: Arlinda C. McGlothin - McKinley. “Ghetto Chick.”, 2011-06-27. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Made For More ~ Excerpt From Ghetto Chick by Arlinda McGlothin-McKinley

My mother raised me to be a woman.
She raised me to be intelligent and responsible.
I was taught how to cook and that I should keep my bills paid.
Most importantly I was taught the Word of God.
All things work together. You will reap if you faint not were scriptures that were instilled in me.

My father taught me to be independent in case I ended up alone.
So I add well to keep my checkbook right.
I can patch a hole and hang a picture.
Because of him if something goes wrong I can figure out how to fix it.

My parents raised a woman meant to be a wife.
They didn’t raise some naΓ―ve, crazed individual.
They didn’t raise me to be a girlfriend.
So when I enter a room, enter a conversation, enter a life
All who encounter me
Know that I was made for more. 


Excerpt From: Arlinda C. McGlothin - McKinley. “Ghetto Chick.”, 2011-06-27. iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store:

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I ❤️ Shopping For School Supplies ~ I Get It From My Mama

Growing up my mother loved shopping at Sears, on Reading Road and Lincoln. Yeah, that was a long, long time ago. I remember several things about that store. One, it was not far from our home. We could catch a bus in front of our house and be dropped off near the front door. Two, my mother loved to purchase warm cashews in a paper bag. I remember thinking as a little girl, "How is that light keeping all that stuff warm." I believe around that time I discovered chocolate covered peanuts too. The third thing I remember is my mother buying school supplies. She would get so excited about notebook paper being real inexpensive. She would always buy more than we needed. I can honestly say that having supplies for school was never an issue for us, or our friends. 

I don't know if my siblings and I really grasped my mother's excitement at that time. Oh, but today is a different story. I love, literally love shopping for school supplies and Staples makes me so happy at the beginning of the school year. Last Tuesday I went there and bought supplies for all of my students. It was so much fun picking out folders and notebooks. I immediately decided there would be no blue or red folders or notebooks and my classes would have everything they needed in order to be successful. In my search I came across really cute folders to give to special little people. 
The employees asked if I needed help and my happy response was, "No, I'm ok." All I needed was a ballroom skirt and a spot of tea. 

There is something about school and office supplies that sends me to my happy place. After leaving Staples I went to my parent's home to celebrate my father's birthday. Unknowing to me I spent $14.29 on ice cream from Graeters. (That's a whole nother blog) As I'm walking to my car my mom comes to the porch and says, "You didn't show me what you bought at Staples." She seemed kinda upset that I didn't show her. Well mom this blog is just for you. 

Yeah, I get it from my mama. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dying To Self

One of the hardest things for me is having to die to self
It's not just a daily task
It could be hour to hour
Minute to minute
Moment to moment
But sometimes it's necessary 
And it's at that time that I need to 
Remember that I was birthed for purpose on purpose
I have to remember that there's a calling on my life
My life is not my own
It doesn't simply benefit me
But also my family
Other families
I attempt to live a life pleasing unto God
I slip up
I mess up
I remember that I was birthed for purpose on purpose
That my gifts make room for me
That I'm not ordinary
I'm extraordinary
While I'm in God's holding pattern
Waiting on His promises and gifts
That are good and perfect
That are exceeding and abundant
I die to self daily


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

*NEW* Fred Hammond "Better Love" (God, Love, and Romance)

For the past two days I've been singing over and over to myself, "I've tried Him and I know Him". You really have to get to the point in your relationship with God that you know Him for yourself and not what you have heard about Him.

When things were bleak, I tried Him and I know Him. When the hurt was too much, I tried Him and I know Him. When depression tries to creep in, I've tried Him and I know Him. God's love is consistent. He walks with me and He talks with me. You can't make me doubt Him. I know too much about Him. You see, I've tried Him. I know Him. There is no better love.

Monday, August 17, 2015

My Search Turned To Serenity

This weekend I set out to find a notebook to write sermon notes in. I started at the grocery store and everything was too plain and too simple for what I was looking for. I continued my quest today.  A friend sent me to a Christian bookstore on Winton Road. I drive there and guess what? It was closed. So I thought, I am going to Staples on Reading Road. That is where the last notebook came from. I wanted the notebook to be cute, compact, with a ring binder and with lined paper. You see, I've learned to be specific with my requests. Plus where I write notes from sermons has to be in a special book so I can seek it out easily.

I arrive at Staples and I see a row of notebooks. I walk down the aisle to the compact notebooks. Now, I'm getting somewhere. The notebooks I liked were a little bigger than what I previously had and I was okay with that. I go through the pile and I see pretty pink notebooks but they have cats on them. Well, I'm not a cat person. Then a grainy looking book catches my eye and the words are covered up with paper binding. I can't make out what the cover says so I gently lift the binder and I read the beginning of the Serenity Prayer. I was completely sold at that moment. Now that I think about it, the notebook was everything I wanted and more. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and He will add. 

I often share and I will continue to share that my mornings begin with Matthew 6:33, the Serenity Prayer and the Prayer of Jabez. So yes, I believe that God ordered my steps to Staples and sent me down that aisle to find my notebook. I went on a search for a notebook. In the end I found serenity. I feel blessed indeed because God granted me what I asked for. Actually God granted exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could have asked for. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

What Your Heart Desires Desires You

Sometimes the very thing your heart desires desires you too. 
We try to control situations that are designed for us to heal and to grow. 
When we push away we don't heal, we don't grow. 
We're stuck in that same place until we learn to let go of being in control. 
Once we let go of that control we are able to see that those things we desire have patiently been waiting on us. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Jovaan Daniels Top 7yr Old in Michigan

One of the best things about youth basketball is the amazing kids you meet. Jovaan is definitely one of them.

Friday, August 14, 2015

65lbs Weight Loss Goal Hit

I knew it was getting close but this morning when I got on the scale and I saw the number that I only dreamed about last year I..... Well one I got on the scale three times and two I'm always on the scale without my glasses so I had to get real close to the screen for verification all three times. Lol Each time confirmed that yes, I have lost 65lbs. To God be the glory for the things that He has done. 

The biggest struggle in this process has been my struggle with self. So I had to learn patience with me and my habits. Now, it's easy to say no to certain things that I know aren't good for me and to be accepting of myself when I mess up. After awhile I did have to incorporate cheat days. I'm thankful for my mother and my sons for encouraging me daily through this process. My friends are simply the best in that they now include me in their meal preparations. For instance when my Pastor's wife offers me dessert it's a smaller portion than everyone else's. I so appreciate that because she makes desserts sometimes from scratch. Who can say no to that? 

I just want to say thanks to everyone that travels on this journey with me. I would like to say that this is just the beginning but in actuality it is now more of my lifestyle. The next goal is to be down 35lb by December 31, 2015 for a total weight loss of 100lbs. I'm calling it #35to100. Once I reach that goal I feel a photo shoot in my spirit. The funny thing is that I already know who the photographer will be, what I plan to wear and who I want to do my hair and makeup. Write the vision and make it plain.

Jeremiah 29:11 reads "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." I truly believe that God has plans for me and I can't effectively walk into His plans for Arlinda while carrying the weight of disappointment, sadness and rejection of years ago. I had to lay it down and let it go so that His will may be done. 

If I could say a special thank you it would be to true male friendships in my life who never turned their backs on me or treated me negatively because of my weight. They see my heart and that has meant more to me than they will ever know. I love them to pieces. 

Also thanks to Pastor Sally Davis of Embassy Church in Porter, Texas for planting incredible seeds last year and to Rhonda Patmon for creating an environment of fun and fitness that I simply love. 

I'm in a real good place. The best is yet to come. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Passage From "The Healing Runes" by Ralph Blum and Susan Loughan


We have all known periods of hopelessness and despair. It is only when we begin to realize that we can no longer continue living in the old way, and come to believe in something greater than ourselves, that hopelessness turns into hope. 

Hope is God's work in our lives. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

From Nothing

Sometimes a friendship will come along that challenges you and encourages you to see things in a different light. When we met it was quite simple and to be truthful I could find no connection to him. In time he's turned out to be an incredible and supportive friend that I now can't imagine him not being a part of my life. It's complicated and endearing. He's black and white and I'm loving all the shades of gray. All of this started........

From Nothing

It went from nothing to something
It took a while
At the onset not my type, not my height
To be real honest I like them dark as night
Nothing was of interest
For the second time 
He's reached out to grab my attention
I often wonder why 
Especially if I bore and frustrate 
Surely he could spend time
Waste time 
He said, 
There's hope
For some reason he keeps trying
I try to
To come out this shell
To be more of me
To try and get it right
And even when I don't 
He is still there
Attempting to guide me through my resistance
The truth of the matter is
I fell years ago and I pushed away
He came back
With his truths
His thoughts
His real self
And I....
I have to decide 
Decide to navigate through the hope
Through this constant open door
To see if our friendship can withstand
I still can't believe I've fallen for this man
In the beginning nothing was of interest
To be real honest I like them dark as night
At the onset not my type, not my height
It took awhile
But yeah
It went from nothing to something
Something so beautiful that
It can never be just nothing again
@lindarinsights @81015

Monday, August 10, 2015

Standing In The Presence Of Greatness

I love when my friends have incredible experiences. I totally believe that we are created on purpose to do incredible things. I also believe that our gifts make room for us and puts us before great men. 

So, recently I was on Facebook. I see this picture of my friend Greg, who teaches and practices martial arts, standing with a group of men & The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Instantly I became like an extra proud friend. I was like "Oh, my God! How cool is this." Greg is such a humble man in that he never brags or boasts about things like this. Had he shared this with me in conversation I probably would have drove him crazy with my questions like, "How did it feel to be in that room?, How were you picked?, Did you know in advance?" Even as I look at the picture now I'm still like "Wow!" I'll probably still drive him crazy with my questions when I see him. 

One thing that many people are not aware of is that I have great respect for Minister Louis Farrakhan. Growing up my father ensured that we were exposed to the Nation of Islam. I can't tell you much about them but I know I enough to respect their faith and their presence in our communities. I was so excited recently when Minister Louis Farrakhan was on The Word Network with Pastor Jamal Bryant. I made sure my sons sat and listened to what he had to say. I believe that he is one of those great people and leaders that they simply need to pause and listen to him. I even remember seeing him back in the 90's while I was in college. We were so excited, we stood in the rain and had to give up our umbrellas but we had come to far to not hear him. 

I know in his well put together self my friend was honored to be in his presence. I hope that Greg also knows that when his students and players are with him they are standing in the presence of greatness also. Greg, keep doing amazing things and watch as doors continue to open. 

My tweets from The Empowerment Encounter

Chance Meeting

It was a Friday afternoon and I am sitting on my porch with my family and a door to door sales guy comes and tries to sell me something. I was not going to buy anything nor was I thinking that this 5 minute sales pitch would turn into a nearly four hour visit.

What happens when a 45 year old African American woman sits down and spends time with a 26 year old Caucasian male? A whole lot of laughter and discussions about nearly everything under the sun. He's from San Diego. He drove here for a new job opportunity. He likes to hunt and eat what he hunts. Ummmm... Yeah. About that. One, a drive from San Diego just doesn't seem right to me and two, you kill the ducks, eat the breast (stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon) and you give the rest of the duck to the coyotes? Oh, this conversation was quite interesting. 

We sat and had lemonade and strawberry shortcakes. We watched the train go buy and I told him about feeling like I live on Little House On The Prairie. He met everyone that was home at the time. We discussed his shortened collegiate football career and his view on relationships and divorce. I think that after he saw that I wasn't buying the product he was selling that he decided to just simply enjoy this unique moment. 

After my friends left we discussed fashion and he showed me pics of his parents and more hunted animals from his Facebook page. I shared my blog with him and I asked if I could take a pic of him. Hence forth my Love Jones moment and with each pic he seemed to get more comfortable on my porch. He threw the football with my son and we had laughable conversations about stereotypes. For instance the perception that white people know everything and black people are reluctant to travel long distances in a car. In a time when there are many racial issues in the news, especially in our city, this moment was reflective of the possiblity of people of different races simply getting along and laughing at and with each other. 

One of the funniest moments I recalled is when he did something real silly and I said, "I can't." He responded, "You can't what?" Lol That was much needed laughter from all of us. We had to explain to him the urban definition of I can't. By the end of the visit he used the phrase on me. We both laughed at the interaction. 

Prior to him leaving I sent some of the pics of him to my girlfriends. What a conversation that prompted. He even took a selfie and sent a text to them. The evening ended with us taking a selfie. How cute. It didn't hurt that he's 6'5 and quite attractive. He took our pic and offered to clean up the mess we made. We hugged and he gave me his information, you know in case I wanted to purchase a new system. 

Recently we were inboxing on Facebook about all of us going out to dinner before he leaves to go home and he said to me, "Been checking out your blog... Ain't no white chocolate stories!!!! Smh." Lol Well here it is Alex, yeah go figure him and my son share names, the story that you have been waiting for. I'm so glad we met. I can't wait for us to meet up again for more fun, more laughter and more selfies. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Your Faith Is Stronger Than Your Struggles ~ Prophetess Linda Roark

Last night at World Commissioned Church, in Hamilton Ohio, Prophetess Linda Roark spoke from Luke 22:31-32. Her sermon was entitled "Your Faith Is Stronger Than Your Struggles". I generally take really good notes but there became a moment when I put my little notebook up so that I could just stand in God's presence and really listen to what He had to say. 

Here are a few take aways from my notes. In Luke 22:31 it reads, "And the Lord, said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:" Prophetess Roark went on to provide several definitions of the word sift. Sift means to shake, breakdown, or attack on every angle. In a sense this is what the adversary desires to do to us. To shake us and break us down so that we lose our faith and simply give up. She told us that if the foundation is shaken the whole house will be destroyed. Satan is after those people who believe in Jesus. 

I don't know about you but my faith is pretty messed up sometimes. I see other people prospering and it's easy to fall into a "Woe is me moment." Then when it seems that things are going kinda ok at any given moment things just seem to start falling apart. This reminds me of a song from my childhood, the lyrics included "if it ain't one thing it's another". We've all been there. 

The very last note I took blows my mind. I know I go through stuff that sometimes just makes me want to sleep the day away. I've questioned God sometimes. I'm doing the right things. I go to church, I'm raising my sons, why am I going through this? (Do you ever do this?) Before I put the pen down for the evening I heard this message, "If you can handle it, you're built for it." 

To you I say, stay confident. God knew in eternity what you would endure. When situations get too hard and you can't seem to understand why you're "growing though" remember you're built for this. Your faith is stronger than your struggles. 

Visit World Commissioned Church at 180 N. Fair Avenue Hamilton, Ohio 45011

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Saved In The City

Last week my niece sat for the Bar for 3 days. Now that Ryan had finished Law School I knew that her coming back home to Cincinnati was going to change some things, I just didn't think it would be so soon. You see I am such a "homegirl". Like really, just give me some books, magazines and a throw blanket and it's all I need. I come out only when necessary or sometimes dragged. Lol Ryan thinks I need to get out more and experience new things. 

On Monday the plan was to go shopping at Kenwood Mall and then we were going to the Chart House for lunch. I don't just think that Ryan was excited, I now believe this to be her "normal." In my mind I'm thinking the mall is too big. How many stores does this entail? First stop Macy's shoe department and the Mac Counter. Now..... I love shoes but just browsing the MAC area was like breathing new air. I watched as Ryan got a new lip and saw that MAC had several multi-colored eyeshadow selections. What? I need to add the Eye Shadow X9 and Eye Shadow X15 to my cosmetic bag. Let me catch my breath. I'm browsing through the lipstick and something caught my eye, I excitedly told her and her mom "Is that Kate Spade? I gotta go." I left them and I went over to look at the Kate Spade purses, (see pic below) one of those purses will be mine I just know it. I really like the black and white one in front of the black bag, I mean just in case someone wanted to bless me. #smile.

After leaving the Kate Spade area I walked over to the Michael Kors selections and it was hard to contain myself. Every purse I saw just did something to me. They were all so beautiful. 

Ok, after I had this incredible moment I thought it would be time for lunch. No, the journey had only started and by the time we left Kenwood I had discovered Lush and Nordstroms. "Do you want to go to the Kate Spade store?" Ryan asked. "No, no. I can't do that to myself." I did peep in from a distance though. It's something about Kate Spade that makes my little heart flutter. In Lush I discovered natural skincare products where samples are made fresh daily and kept on ice. That place was kinda cool and listening to people explain the products reminded me of being in Whole Foods or something. 

By now I'd taken nearly 3,000 steps and we realized that Chart House doesn't open until 4:30. So where should we go? Of course I think Cheesecake Factory becuase it's right there and I'm a bit tired and I want to nap. It was just convenient. Ryan suggests the Yard House on The Banks. The wheels in my brain start turning. We are in Kenwood. the Yard House is on the river. I like naps. (Please pray for me.) Well to the Yard House we went. We find a meter and go inside and outside seating is requested. It's hot. I'm a trooper though and so we venture out to the covered patio area and this happens. 

Outside eating at the Yard House turned out to be everything that I love. Wide open spaces, beautiful views, and as Stephanie would say, the ambiance was really nice. It sealed the deal. We sat and upon looking at the menu that had one of my favorite appetizers. Lettuce Wraps.

As we were eating my niece, with her MAC red lip asked, "Well how did you enjoy your day?" Ok, Ryan you win. I need to get out more. After a day of resisting I had discovered so many cool things in my city that I wouldn't have discovered wrapped up on my couch reading a magazine. 

To my niece, Ryan, one I'm so proud you and two, thanks for encouraging me to do new things and for coming back home to save me in the city. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Matthew 6:33

Every morning my alarm goes off at 6:33 a.m. I immediately begin to say Matthew  6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

It is so important for me to seek God first on a daily basis. This image is my Facebook cover photo. When I created it I used the beautiful flowers sent to me after my grandmother passed last year. So every time I see this image or share it I'm honoring the woman who instilled in my mother to instill in me to seek God first. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

It's About To Be Different

This past Monday our pastor said so many incredible things on our Morning Manna call. One being, "It's About To Be Different." He spoke on how the enemy brings up our past and tries to ruin our joy. You could be on your path to healing and greatness and hear something that reminds you of how you used to be and what you used to do. Sometimes that sends us spiraling into sadness and depression. Like Pastor Mike told us on Monday, "Don't let your past ruin your today." You have come too far to turn around. You've done the work to be at peace with those who have hurt you and with yourself. God has greater for you. Keep pressing forward. When trials and tribulations arise don't worry and be anxious for nothing.

Today is the first day of August and I have experienced so many blessings this year. In 8 months I have traveled and watched God work through my children, I've almost completed a program at Xavier, I've lost 60 pounds, and I have decided that in regards to God I don't have any more no's. Oh yeah, it's about to be different. My faith is different. My praise is different. My thankfulness is different. My view of God is different. God brought me through dangers seen and unseen specifically for His will to me done and for His goodness to come to light. 

Recently I was on Instagram and I saw a post by DiShan Washington that stopped my fingers from scrolling. I'll share her post with you but it was this sentence that silenced me and gently explained to me why I was going through a current situation. "You can strut confidently because although you haven't made all of the right decisions God still has need of you and you're here because there's purpose demanding your presence." There's purpose demanding your presence just sit and let that sink in.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Princess Has Married

I met Megan Piphus Peace several years ago when she came to Light Of The World to minister to our children. She was so gifted and the sweetest person ever. I became her friend on Facebook and through this media I was able to see her simply flourish into this incredible young lady who was making moves all over the place. With all of this going on she fell in love with a very handsome young man who was also making moves and doing incredible things. 

Their wedding was over the summer at Music Hall and the pictures are everything beautiful and absolutely breathtaking. One of the first pictures I saw was of her alone and I thought to myself, "The beautiful princess is married."

What a beautiful couple. When I look at these pictures I'm reminded of the couples in Jet Magazine of years ago. They were so accomplished and I'd think to myslef I've never known people like that. Well I do now, Dr. Wesley and Megan Peace. Congratulations to the both of you!! πŸ’•πŸ’•

Detroit Elite Express Places 7th at 9u AAU Nationals in Orlando, Florida

Congratulations to Detroit Elite Express for placing 7th this past week in Orlando!!!!

So Filled

This morning I woke up so filled with the acknowledgment of God's love for me. As I prayed the Prayer of Jabez and the Prayer of Serenity I just kept thinking of how much God loves me. So much so that He will allow somethings to happen and somethings to cease. In all things I seek Him. In all things I trust Him. Yes, Jesus loves me. πŸ’ž

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Undignified ~ Men's Worship Encounter 2015 ~ Cincinnati, Ohio

And I'll Become Even More Undignified Than This

On Saturday September 26, 2015 join men from the tri-state area as they come together to fellowship  and worship. 

10:00 - 10:55 - Young Men's Discussion
11:00 - 11:30 - Breakfast 
11:30 - 1:00 - Worship Encounter
(Guest Speakers  Pastor LaMarque Ward, Cincinnati Urban Ministry Outreach (CUMO)Dream Builders University and Pastor Dion Sampson, Dayton, Ohio)
1:00 - 2:00 - Fellowship

Vendor opportunities are available more information will be forthcoming. 

I will become even more undiginifed than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor. 2 Samuel 6:22

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Traci Lynn Fall/Winter Catalog 2015

The Take Off ~ From Fearful To Fearless - Da'dra Crawford Greathouse

Hey, Good morning! I’m about to go workout, but before I do, I felt in my heart the need to share this story with you. I haven’t met a person yet that hasn’t experienced being held back by fear. Some have a fear of failure while others have a fear of success, fear of the future, fear of trying new things, fear of others’ opinions or fear of people in general. Others have a strong fear of rejection or abandonment while some have a fear of heights and small places or even a strong fear of dying. Or, how about those who have a fear of being alone for the rest of their life or have a fear of not ever having the life they’ve dreamed of? And, I could go on and on with the list of fears and phobias, but I’ll end with these. It’s interesting that the scripture says fear brings torment and those of us who have lived beneath the weight of it understand just how heavy this scripture is. (Get it…weight, heavy…ok, it’s not that funny. LOL Why am I laughing? LOL) Back to my story….

Last night, I was speaking with a friend on the phone and I told her how fear is one of the most prominent emotions (and I personally believe a spirit) I remember having my entire life. The bible says that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind (self-control).(Ya’ll, I memorized verses in the King James Version so that’s what comes up. Oh, bless thy name. LOL) Back to what I was saying, I have had to pull out every weapon in my arsenal just to gain any level of victory over the spirit of fear – prayer, warfare, praise, worship, confessing the word, listening to teachings on fear over and over and over again, you name it, I’ve done it to fight it. 

You see, I believe the enemy uses fear as a way to keep us from soaring to our highest and best purpose in life. It’s like an airplane with too much weight, baggage or cargo. Have you ever been on a plane and the pilot wouldn’t take off because they had to get rid of some of the weight or the plane wouldn’t fly at its optimum speed or even worse, crash upon take off? What do they do? They wait until they remove some of the weight. Then, they take flight.

Fear is excess baggage in our lives and until we are free from its domination, we won’t be able to take off and soar the way God intended. So, my prayer for you today is that fear will loose the hold it’s had on your mind, your soul and your spirit. I pray that you will not only defeat that spirit every time it tries to come back, but that you will enter into a place of total deliverance from it’s power. The Lord is your light and your salvation, whom shall you fear? (KJV again. LOL ) In other words, your creator has conquered fear and has made you an overcomer because you are made in His image and likeness. I speak freedom over your life. I declare that you will no longer be afraid of anything or anyone and that you will go from fearful to fearless so you can take off and fly as high as God will take you. If you receive it, say, ‘Amen.’   

Da'dra Crawford Greathouse is a member of the Gospel group Anointed and currently serves as a Worship Leader at Lakewood Church in Houston, TX.