For Ladies...Only

It is so important to know and love who you are. You know, that person inside the skin you're living in. So many children don't know who they are. They are listening and internalizing what everyone else says they are. The media tries to place certain stereotypes and labels on our children, and without a firm foundation at home to instill in them who they really are, they become lost.

It's so important to tell our children who they are and whose they are. Who created them and that they have a purpose while here on this earth. Create a dialogue with your children and ask them this question, "Who are you to you?" I wonder what answers they will come up with. We have to remind our children every day that they are loved, appreciated, healed, whole, and beautiful ones who were created for so much more. It's not about what the next music "icon" says you ought to be. It's not about the latest dance move or sneakers. It's not about the latest trend. All of those superficial things fade away and are replaced by another superficial thing. It's truly about who you are to you on the inside of you. Who are you to you?

HEY, DID YOU KNOW? THEY ARE AFRAID...

Bullying statistics are extremely alarming! So many children are living in this world afraid. They’re afraid to go to school; afraid to be themselves; afraid to say no to the bully; afraid to confide in a responsible adult about what’s going on in their lives; afraid to stand up for themselves. So many children take their lives each day because they are afraid…AFRAID TO LIVE!

Sometimes we as adults take things for granted. Can you think back a minute to the time when you were a child? I know some of you have to think back farther than others, but, truly, life was a little easier and simpler back then. Our kids have so much at stake this day and age and some of them have no one to turn to.

Let’s take time out to pray for our children. To pray that they find the desire to pray for each other and themselves. To pray for forgiveness and healing in our children’s lives.

It takes a village to end bullying. Take your stand in prayer today! 

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T DROP RAISINS!

My son and I love eating raisins. They're a very tasty treat. My son is five years old and he is a busy body, like most boys his age. One day, we were eating raisins and after we were done eating, I looked down on the floor and noticed that he dropped about five raisins. As I picked them up, I said, "Boy, I can't believe you dropped all these raisins!" Then I got to thinking even more about all the opportunities we come across in life. 

Small opportunities often times grow into bigger ones. As you are building your business, it's not wise to let the small opportunities go by the waist side because you're waiting for the big ones. How do you expect God to trust you with the big stuff if He can't trust you with the small stuff? 

Do you remember that book, 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff?' Well, I do and I agree with the title. You shouldn't stress over what you can't control. Actually, God says you don't have to stress as you can cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you. So, when those small opportunities come, pray first. Ask God to put you in the right mindset of gratefulness. And believe that they're meant to thrust you into even bigger ones. Raisins are small and watermelons are big, but God created both for a purpose. They both have seeds. Sow your seeds, expect your harvest, and remember, "Don't drop the raisins!" 

HAVE YOU TOLD SOMEONE YOU LOVE THEM TODAY? IF NOT, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Love…What is it about this thing called love? Sometimes the word love is thrown around so carelessly. We’ll say things like, “I love my car.” “I love these shoes!” “I love this outfit!” We sometimes express love more for inanimate objects than we do people!

It’s so important to tell the ones you love, “Hey, I love you!” But, it’s even more important to show them your love.

Pray for them. Praying for a loved one is so essential. That is probably the highest form of love we can show.

Give them a hug. You’d be surprised how many people go throughout the day without receiving a loving touch from someone.

You know, life is too short and before you know it, life gets busy. Don’t let another day go by without giving and showing love.

Forgive those that have hurt you. Don’t go another day feeling anger or resentment toward others.

Everyone needs love and it really does make the world go round! So, make it your business to show and tell your loved ones LOVE…

WHY DO LITTLE BULLIES BECOME BIG BULLIES?

Lyle’s Story

“What’s up, I’m Lyle. So what I bully! I like it! It’s cool! It allows me to be in control, you know? The kids I pick on don’t even defend themselves. They just let me do whatever I want, no questions asked. It’s like a game for me, you know. I put a little out there in the beginning to see if they’ll bite. When they do, I go for the jugular! It’s just my way of testing the waters! What’s the big deal? Just a little harmless fun at their expense! I rule the school!!”


We just read Lyle’s story and how he feels about his behavior. Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids who think the way he does. They believe they’re in control; that it’s cool and fun to bully. Some probably truly believe that it’s just harmless fun. But, we all know that bullying is serious business! It affects the lives of so many children, families, schools and society and it’s getting worse day by day. “But, what can I do to help change the situation?” Well, I’m glad you asked. You and I and all of us can pray. We can pray for the bully. “Pray for the bully?” Yes, we can get down on our knees and pray for them. Prayer really changes things. The more we saturate the atmosphere with prayer, the more we’ll begin to see change. There is no “catch-phrase” solution to ending bullying. The thief comes only but to kill, steal and destroy. The thief is destroying our children. It’s time to take our children and families back. And through prayer, a mighty mountain can be moved.

Let’s take time out to pray for the bully. To pray that he or she sees bullying as ugly, as poison, and that God creates in them a heart to want to change.  

HOW TO LAND A SUCCESSFUL JOB THROUGH HARD WORK AND GOD'S FAVOR

It has been a very busy year thus far. While searching for a venue to have The 'I Am Not Afraid' production, I came across Pine Camp Cultural Art Center in Richmond, VA. I called and was advised to email my script and any testimonials and articles I had.

Once confirming everything was received, I was asked if I do summer programs. I advised that I was still in the process of building my cast in Richmond, yet I do conduct workshops. I commenced to emailing my workshop brochure. A couple of days later, I was asked to come in to the theatre for a tour and meeting.

When I arrived to the theatre, I was taken on a tour. It was a nice place, however, the stage didn't have a curtain and I was informed that all tickets had to be pre-sold. Those two items were inconveniences for me, so I knew I wouldn't be able to choose this venue. However, the next thing discussed took me by surprise.

After careful review of all the documentation I sent over, I was asked if I'd like to join their six week summer program entitled, 'The Mayor's Youth Academy Life Stage.' I was told I'd have to speak to the program director next, but they believed I was a great candidate for it. 

A few weeks later, I met with the program director. She explained more about the program and advised she thought I'd be a great fit for their Theatre/Creative Writing/Spoken Word Facilitator. I was floored! I couldn't believe that out of just calling to get a price on their theatre, all of this came from it. 

When you have God in your life... when you have a relationship with Him, His favor follows you. Now I truly understand what it means when it's said, "God is working behind the scenes."  When you work hard, He works harder. Now, get to work!

THE 'I AM NOT AFRAID' STAGE PLAY 2015

The 'I Am Not Afraid' Stage Play is gearing up for an even bigger performance in Richmond, VA September 2015!! We are expanding our cast and auditions are underway! We are looking to go even higher in the production and can't wait to take the performance to a whole new level! With the devastations of bullying growing faster by the day, The 'I Am Not Afraid' Stage Play looks to bring awareness, create dialogue and give an understanding that it takes God and a village to end bullying through prayer and forgiveness. Check out our casting call poster and contact Ayana Sala Baugh for an audition today!!! 

 

HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL AUTHOR VISIT

Hey folks! I just want to share with you how one can have a successful school author visit. I've done a few of them; most have been great; while a couple have been okay, but all in all, I love presenting my books and character Loopiethotamus to a school full of budding little world leaders!! Here goes....

1. Prayer, prayer, prayer!! Yes, I am a Christian and I love my Lord Jesus Christ. In everything, I make sure I pray and allow Him to be in control of all things! We can't control other's actions or lack there of, but we can sure go to Jesus in prayer and ask Him to guide our mouths, minds, hearts and spirits! Love me some Holy Spirit!!!

2. Prepare, prepare, prepare!! There is nothing like being fully prepared to get up in front of how ever many children and teachers and give your all. Before the visit, make sure you have the school contact person's email and phone number. Ask as many questions as possible of that individual so you are prepared for the day. It's also nice to request that that contact person, usually the librarian, prepare the students of your arrival. My character has a value motto which has a lot of different core values that explain

THE MIRACLE IN FINDING MY ILLUSTRATOR

 

When I finished writing the first book and felt it was time to have it illustrated, my husband told me he would do it. This was back in 2007. My husband tried to draw the character, but I had it in my head how I wanted the character to look. I always knew he would have to be cute and adorable. I always knew Loopiethotamus would be wearing a hippo suit with a zipper and his initial “L” would be hanging from his zipper. My husband decided it was time for us to search for an illustrator.I prayed about it and heard the Holy Spirit tell me to continue writing and an illustrator would come. So I did just that. I continued writing and a few weeks later my husband suggested I go onto a website called Elance.com where freelance artists request work. My friend Nicole and I went onto the website and posted the job of illustrating my book. About thirty illustrators applied for the job. I checked out all of their work and was blown away by the illustrations done by artist Mike Swaim. There was this one drawing he had done with a duck in a pond at night with twinkling stars in the sky. I always remembered picturing Loopiethotamus under the stars. I chose Mike and our connection started from there.

Mike and I talked a lot about what I wanted out of the illustrations. I found that he was easy going and always available to answer any questions or concerns I may have had. He drew the rough sketches of Loopiethotamus and my heart almost leaped as I saw my beloved character that I had inside of me for five years coming to life. Everything that I ever hoped for in Loopiethotamus was being formed.

I always write out all of my illustrations for my books before giving it all to my illustrator to illustrate for me. He draws them in the way that I request, but always manages to add little touches to them and I really love that. My illustrator Mike and I are in sync with one another and I think in all aspects of your life it’s really important to make sure things flow well.

I am so blessed to have found such a wonderful illustrator in Mike Swaim and I look forward to working on many more projects with him. It is so critical to never give up on what you want and to strive hard to make your dreams come true. In believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, I know He will help me to attain the dreams and goals I have for myself and He will do more in seeing them come to life right before my eyes.