Lessons from the Wizard of Oz

Dorothy-Toto-Wizard-of-Oz

 

On Thanksgiving Day, I watched the Wizard of Oz and noticed some things that reminded me of my walk with Jesus:

  • When Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion made their way down the yellow brick road to see the wizard, they encountered obstacles—the Wicked Witch of the West made them sleepy with poisoned poppies; she also threatened to turn Scarecrow into a mattress and Tin Man into a beehive, and she used her flying monkeys to capture Dorothy and her dog Toto. They were frightened but they kept going. Those scenes reminded me of how we’re on our walk with God and we face trials that are discouraging, frightening, or frustrating. We may get distracted or knocked down but we’ve got to get back up, realign our focus, and keep going.

 

  • In the scene where Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion fell asleep after running across a bed of poisoned poppies from the Wicked Witch of the West, Scarecrow and Tin Man cried out for help and Glinda the Good Witch caused it snow so Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion could wake up. This reminded me of how we call on God to help us and He’ll come to our rescue.

 

  • Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow were rescuing Dorothy and Toto from the Wicked Witch’s castle and the witch set Scarecrow’s arm on fire. Dorothy grabbed a bucket of water to toss on him and some of the water hit the witch, causing her to melt. This scene made me think of the various psalms in the Bible (or even Bible stories) that refer to our enemies scheming, plotting, or planning to hurt and destroy us but they end up falling into the trap they set for us (Daniel chapter 6, the book of Ester, where Haman was killed by the pole he set up for Mordecai and psalms 7 and 9, to name a few).

 

  • Dorothy wanted to return home to Kansas, Scarecrow wanted a brain, Cowardly Lion wanted courage, and Tin Man wanted a heart. I remember someone (on TV, online, or was it my mom?) saying that the things they were asking for were already inside of them. Sometimes were constantly searching for someone else to give us things we desire—validation, happiness, etc. but we have to seek God for those things. Our validation comes from Him (he loves and approves of us) and not from the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the homes we live in, and the people we associate with. Our happiness comes from Him when we focus on how He’s helped us in our lives and how He’s been good to us.

The trials or obstacles that we face in our lives show us what we’re really made of. Our trials reveal our weaknesses (complaining, shrinking in fear, etc.) and we tend to think: I don’t know how to deal with this, I don’t want to deal with this. At times, it may feel like we’re being torn to shreds. This is why we need God’s help and strength to get us through every obstacle because He’s the only one (not money, fame, etc.) who can get us through it.

Whatever you’re facing, let God help you through it. He’ll give you the strength to keep going.

 

 

Changes Part 1–Cutting My Locs

Sorry I’ve been away so long—there’s been a lot going on (stress at my job, spiritual warfare, and changes that God has been telling me to make, etc.) and I didn’t make time to write.

Since last month, God has been instructing me to make some changes in my life. One of those changes was to cut off my dreadlocks that I had for 8 years. I’d actually been thinking of cutting them off during these past few months (and maybe the year before) because the maintenance became too time consuming and doing certain styles were too uncomfortable for me:

  • It would take four hours to retwist my locs and I found myself avoiding retwist sessions.
  • When I styled all of my locs in an updo at the top of my head, I would get a headache; as a result, I didn’t wear updos as much.
  • I’d have to lean my car seat further back to be able to drive without my hair scraping the roof of my car (and to be able to turn my head back and forth to check traffic)—it felt so awkward!
  • Whenever I washed my dreadlocks, it took ALL DAY for them to dry; sometimes I had to use 2 towels to help them to dry.
  • There’s been a few occasions when they’ve gotten caught in my car door or a door at work. Ouccch!

But I talked myself out of cutting my hair—after all, I’d had long hair all my life: long virgin hair (no chemicals but straightened with a hot comb), long permed hair, long natural hair, and long dreadlocks that reached my rear end. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to have short hair and was afraid that I wouldn’t “look right.” Plus, I felt sexy with my long locs. They were my stylish accessory. Maybe I could keep them and just find some tips online that could help me better care for them.

Last month, the Lord spoke to my heart and told me to cut my locs. I was alarmed—was He really telling me to do this? Was God serious?! Well, I might as well—I’d been thinking about doing it anyway! I prayed and asked if I could have a few weeks to mentally prepare myself. I just couldn’t do it ASAP. So I started wearing my locs pulled back away from my face to get an idea of how my TWA (teeny weeny afro) would look since I had some new growth (a.k.a fuzzy roots). Ehhh, I don’t know. Not sure if I like this. Ugh, I feel so exposed.

I started looking at several Youtube videos of women cutting their locs off, which inspired me. They looked beautiful with their TWAs and faded cuts. I also looked at various photos on Pinterest which were also inspiring. I kept praying for God to give me the courage to do this. I had urges to cut my hair sooner, but I wanted to make sure I was ready; plus, the word “wait” kept coming to me. But on Saturday 8/18/18, the Lord spoke to my heart again in the early morning hours: “I told you, do what I say.” I realized that “wait” wasn’t coming from God but the enemy; the devil always wants us to doubt and second guess what God says. I got up and started cutting my dreadlocks off, one by one. It was strange to see the pile of locs grow bigger and bigger and not attached to my head. The process took about an hour and a half. I put my locs in a bag and noticed that they felt slightly heavy since they were no longer attached to my head (but they never felt heavy when they were on my head, which was weird, except when they were wet). I cried a little but enjoyed how simple it was to wash and dry my hair in a shorter amount of time.

When I went to work that following Monday (and for the rest of the week), everyone was shocked (they were used to seeing me with my long dreadlocks), but I received a lot of compliments, which I appreciated because I was SO nervous! I still had to get used to the shorter look. At times, I wondered if it made me seem less feminine or less attractive (you know what they say: “Men looove long hair!”).

Now, a month later, I’m learning to love my TWA; although there are no more long locs to toss over my shoulder and I can’t feel them swinging against my back when I walk, I realize that even with long hair, I was only hiding behind it. But I love the low maintenance and the simplicity of my TWA! I also like how I can see my facial features more! I just feel freer and not weighed down by my hair. Lord, thank you for giving me the strength to cut my locs. Maybe this realization was what You wanted me to see.

Continue to Be You

black casual woman on white background

If you are an introvert, loner, quiet person, or heck, if you feel you can relate to this post, then this is for you.

I’m an introvert who’s quiet and a loner. I’ve always been quiet and introverted since I was a child but I became a loner as an adult (in my thirties?) because it’s more peaceful not dealing with other people’s junk and ulterior motives; I have my own stuff to deal with (now that’s not to say I won’t help someone in need).

Continue reading

Keep Moving Forward

keep moving forward word abstract typography

This past Saturday, I decided to check out a thrift store on the northwest side of town. During the previous week, I had tried to find an interesting event for the weekend, but in Chicago, a lot of their downtown events don’t start until June and July (Summerdance, Taste of Chicago, etc.). I couldn’t find anything interesting to do in my area so I decided to check out thrift stores in Chicago instead of always going to the ones in the south suburbs or in Indiana. I just wanted to get out of my small city, LOL!

Continue reading

When Rejection Turns Violent

Text Rejected typed on retro typewriter

 

This episode of “Your Worst Nightmare” which aired on Investigation Discovery was based on a true story.

Lois Peterson was a 62-year-old Texas resident who was independent, lived alone, and kept to herself. She had a neighbor named Jeffrey Alan Maxwell who would visit her and do nice things for her. He even asked her out a couple of times, but she told him that she would prefer to remain neighbors.

Continue reading