Cry Out to the Lord

My Daily Med–December 14, 2020–HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA! ❤ 75🥰🙏I pray always for your health and happiness.

Psalm 107:23-32–23)Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters, 24)They see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep. 25)For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. 26)They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble, 27)They reel to and fro like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 28)Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. 29)He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. 30)Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven. 31)Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! 32)Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, and praise Him in the company of the elders.

Like the sailors in this Psalm, at some point you will hit great turbulence in your life. Perhaps you are currently experiencing a storm with no end in sight. Your situation may be so serious that you wonder how you’ll ever get through it. You’ve tried everything possible to resolve the matter, but to no avail.

The solution is to do exactly what these sailors did–cry to the Lord in your trouble (v.28). He is sovereign over storms and uses them for His good purposes. God knows we sometimes need to reach the end of our own resources before we will turn to Him. When we call out to the Lord and submit to His authority over the storm, He will calm the waves in His perfect timing and guide us to safety.

The goal is not simply to escape turmoil but to learn to depend on the Lord instead of ourselves. Trusting Him to handle what we cannot will ultimately lead to gladness, thanks, and praise for His lovingkindness and intervention on our behalf. Another wonderful result will be that we tell others how faithful God has been, so they can trust Him, too.

Lessons Learned on IsLand

Part 2. This story was finished on December 7, 2018. The author is a work in progress. 🙂

You must not only survive after catastrophe and trauma, you must extend yourself; thrive, flourish, nourish, sustain, maintain. Cultivate your own seeds of faith and patience garden. Stand up for yourself, especially when you stand alone. Respect other people; expect respect in return. Someone who does not respect you has no place in your life. Have NO CONTACT with the perpetually dysfunctional and/or the perpetrators of abuse. Realize that if a pattern of abuse is working for them, they are highly unlikely to change of their own volition. They may say things like, “If you really loved me, you would want to be in my life.” Remain silent, do not engage in their quest for negative attention. Any response gives them their “fix.” The truth is, if they respected you and your personal boundaries, they would change their behavior toward you. Accept the fact that some people will never change. If you want change, be the change. Make waves when waves are necessary.

Give thanks and be grateful. I am thankful for the opportunity to write today, practicing the Art of Becoming. Become beautiful from the inside out. Contrary to popular opinion, appearance is NOT everything. Sometimes beauty is only on the surface. Choose a beauty that endures and grows within. What will you have left when your “youthful beauty” fades? Always be willing to change when circumstances deem change necessary. Bend but don’t break. Become fluid, like water; no longer petrified like a piece of wood turned to stone.

November 27, 2017. I was homeless, jobless. I was no spring chicken. The security and stability of the safest home I ever had went up in a puff of smoke. That morning, I was filled with hope that the dysfunction and effects of trauma, abuse, coercive control, were losing the battle for my family, my very life. By nightfall, I was in a state of grief and shock, unable to comprehend the sudden devastation. I had to let go to hold on, focusing on the changes necessary in my woman’s heart. Healing must begin with myself before I can help anyone else.

The Sea of Humanity calls me; it is my last day on IsLand. I found my buried treasure and I wrote my own message on the Wall of Words. I cross the Pool of Reflection and gaze one final time into the Inside Out Mirror. I have no idea if my hair looks perfect, or if the outfit I’m wearing makes me look fat. Inside, I see the true beauty of a joyful, forgiven and forgiving woman’s heart. I can leave the cave called UrHere since I have crossed the abyss to the other side of dysfunction.

Words written in sand were words that had to be acknowledged, but not memorialized. I leave them here on the shore of IsLand to be washed away by the tides of time; they have served their purpose and will only sink me. I push my canoe into the waters and paddle away. Looking forward, not back, I wave.

Rogue Wave and the Cave

Part One. December 7, 2018.

One thousand years ago, or was it yesterday; I was floundering after a rogue wave separated me from my family, bobbing like a cork in the chunky swells that abound in the Sea of Humanity. What’s that shining in the darkness? A ship sails toward me, glowing and reflecting on the sea all the colors of the rainbow. FriendShip is written in silvery neon brightness. Music, laughter and the sound of many voices meld, creating a language that my spirit understands.

A woman stands before me with each hand on the head of a beautiful dog. The dog to her left has a pristine white coat. Moonlight reflects off his fur and he’s smiling as wide as all the seas. His great doggy heart is so happy to be by the woman’s side. Her right hand rests on the head of a dog with a sleek black coat that absorbs the moonlight and any threats to the health of her companion. Lights flicker and surround them. The tiniest light is just above the woman’s head and shines brightest of all. I know these three have a lifetime and beyond of adventures together.

“Come join us, we sail the seas looking for adventures.” A Captain’s hat cocked at a jaunty angle adorns her head. This quirky Captain rescues me and we have a wireless connection.  Mingling with my shipmates, I know I have found my people. We are all different, but the same. Their conversations are insightful, educational, amusing. Inspiration sparks in the atmosphere.

We drop anchor in deep water and Captain Q leads me to a canoe. She gives me two paddles and a map. “Go. Find yourself.” She winks at me and walks away with those beautiful dogs. I glance back once as I paddle away. Captain Q is swinging in a hammock, lost in contemplation.

I paddle for hours before a speck appears on the horizon. Is it land? It IsLand. I wade through the shallows and pull my canoe onto the sugar sand beach, its grains sparkling white and fine in the sunshine. I rest on the beach, embracing mother earth and thank sister sea. IsLand is a bustling place, but there is no ratrace here. Birds converse in chirps and tweets, building nests and going about their daily business of living. I think they might be discussing me, this creature with no wings washed up on their beach. Bees buzz, humming in huge blossoms that smell deliciously exotic and the island breeze dances in the fronds of palm trees heavily laden with bunches of dates so fat they make my mouth water.

I spy a path and follow it to the mouth of a cave. UrHere is engraved above the entrance. My woman cave is a beautiful space. The hearth in the center spreads warmth and shines light onto a Wall of Words. There! A Pool of Reflection ripples as a blue butterfly flutters its wings. I cross the pool and stand before the Inside Out Mirror, a mirror for all women who seek truth and lasting beauty; all the beautiful things that shine inside each of us regardless of what we look like on the outside. I feel right at home and I know that it is time for my restless and wounded spirit to retreat for a while.

X marks the spot on the map given to me by quirky Captain Q. I begin digging deep to find the buried treasure within my woman’s heart. Patience. Perseverance. Perspiration. Deciphering many messages written for me on the Wall of Words. Obstacles block me. Removing rocks and boulders is hard labor, but the alternative is to give up and never find my treasure. I move a mountain of dirt.

Sands pass through the hourglass as I pray beside the Pool of Reflection, preparing myself before I confront the truth of the Inside Out Mirror and practice the Art of Becoming.

In the private garden of my heart, I see both the beauty and the ugliness of my world; it’s time to choose what will thrive. The thoughts and feelings I nourish here will flourish, spilling over the walls onto the people around me. I name this serene space my Seeds of Faith and Patience Garden. I remove the root of bitterness smothering all the good growing here with the parasitic plant of unforgiveness. The first seeds I plant in my freshly tilled acreage are the seeds of forgiveness. These seeds spread like the seeds of a dandelion, dispersed by the wind, traveling far away from the soil where its roots are planted. I want to be like the dandelion; I want to disperse seeds of forgiveness around the world.

November 27,2016 the rogue wave hit my family, slapping us down with sudden viciousness, each of us grasping our own pieces of wreckage in the aftermath. What lies in a woman’s heart, knowing she must survive alone, not knowing when she will be reunited with her family again? In mine, there is a prayer because I can’t physically save them; clinging to any of them will drown us. They’re drifting away so quickly and none of them are fighting to stay close to me, so I let them go, with my prayers of protection reaching across the waves to find them. This is a solitary journey into the uninhabited and overgrown acreage of my woman’s heart. I am a matriarch on the eve of awakening the eternal wisdom within. I am a woman who will make waves defending my family, yet I am also a woman who will calm any storms that seek to destroy them.

Millions of women around the world are hit by rogue waves. What is heartache? Heartache is an equalizer, reaching high and low. It doesn’t matter if we’re rich or poor; we’re equally miserable when our heart aches. Women understand the universal language spoken from the heart and hearth. The sound of laughter is universally understood and so are the wails of sorrow when women grieve. Our body language speaks louder than words; subtle nuances and cues reveal so much. We smile, we frown, we glow. Some of us glower, burning with resentment, bitter and unforgiving. In sickness, in trauma, whether of the body or spirit, we become merely shadow women.

Daughter, wife, sister, mother grandmother, friend; we fight and strive for the health, happiness and preservation of our families.

This writing from the cave UrHere is to all women and the families they love. To my mother, happy days are here again. To my sister, my sidekick through life for seventeen years, in our travels around the globe, we always had each other and the secret language we shared. After your accident, I loved a sister who could not care for herself and I hated the fraud that robbed you of a better quality of life.

To my young, half-Egyptian, half-American half-sisters, I love you both with my whole heart. Your arabic has a southern drawl. “Salaam Aleikum, y’all.” To my Egyptian stepmother, you taught me more about Egypt than you will ever know. I feel a familial bond with Alexandria, Egypt, since both my sisters were born there. I now have blood ties with a land I have loved since my first visit in the 1970’s. To all women who battle the chunky swells in the Sea of Humanity, may we all set a steady course and keep our vessels ship shape. To be continued.

Henry

I’ll never forget Henry. He loved my little sister so much. I know we would both cry if I did get to see him again. Many miles, trials, lifetimes between when these pictures were taken and 2:50 am as I write through another sleepless night.

I wrote this on the day John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama for the last time. Rest in peace, our Congressman called “The Boy from Troy”. #GoodTrouble

Henry, Sheila (the little blonde nurse) and me (the birthday girl). Halloween. Warri, Nigeria 1968.
We had our birthday party together. Sheila born October 14, 1966. Her car wreck was on July 15. 1984. She was in a coma for eleven years and two days. She died at home and peacefully in her sleep on July 17, 1995. Just as our mother prayed she would.

HENRY

I watched Congressman John Lewis cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the last time today. I was three years old and fifty miles away when he took that beating for equality and racial justice in America.

We lived in Warri, Nigeria 1967 thru 1969. I learned at an early age to see people as people, not as a color. We had a gardener named Henry who fought to protect my sister from a child molester. He taught me to ride a bicycle. He wanted to return with us to America, but could not because there was Civil War and Henry was twenty-three; eligible for military service.

I remember the tears rolling down his face as we left our little village. I do think of Henry often and wonder what happened to him in Nigeria. I also wonder what would have happened to him in America if he could have traveled back to Alabama with us. A white woman with two little white daughters and a very big, very protective black man.

I saw Henry cry; his tears looked like mine. I heard Henry laugh and his laughter was a booming, joyful sound that made you laugh along with him. Laughter, a universal language. On the day Henry fought to protect my sister, his blood was red, just like mine.

One thing was different about Henry. He had a heart of gold.

Khawaga Kid Camping

Girl Scout Troop Jumeirah Beach  1974

Memories of one of my hometowns before it transformed into the glamorous city it is today. I was always a reader and soon words beguiled me, whispering sometimes; shouting at others. Stuck in my head until I freed them with my pen.

Khawaga Kid and Mama V

These were the good years, when our family was close. Kabtn Khawaga was faithful to his First Mate V. No matter where we lived in the world, my mother’s world was her home and family. We have very few photos of exotic scenery; she chose instead to capture family celebrations for birthdays and holidays. No matter where we lived, she made a cozy home for her family.

Me aka Khawaga Kid

This blog is created for my creative and emotional outlet as I finish a memoir I started for NaNoWriMo 2014. It began with another title, but halfway through, I knew it was going to be about Khawaga Kid and her life as a foreigner through moves, breakup of family, loss of friends. “Who is she?” I heard people ask. “Who am I?” I asked myself.

Goodbye Dubai

My first gig as a writer was being Editor of Jumeirah American School’s newspaper, The Desert Sands Rambler. I call my father Kabtn Khawaga in my memoir. He chose to make his secretary his mistress and decreed it was time for First Mate V and her two daughters to leave Dubai so he could be free of family to be an International Playboy. Within seven years, he became an International Deadbeat Dad.

HELLO!

My life as a foreigner began with my birth in Thibodaux, Louisiana. Both parents were there due to the booming oil economy. My mother from Alabama and my father from Mississippi.

I took my first overseas flight at the age of four. I was accompanied by my mother and six-week-old sister. We flew to Beirut, Lebanon for Christmas with my father and grandfather.

We moved many times and to various parts of the globe. I grew used to hearing people ask, “Who is she? She’s not from around here.” While in Egypt, I learned that Khawaga means foreigner and by that trip in 2007, I truly was a foreigner, even in my own family.

Khawaga Kid fits. It just feels right. It’s also the title of my soon to be published memoir.

WELCOME!