Hello, great people! It’s been a while since I posted here and that’s because God is doing wonderful things in my life and I am busy as Beezle the bumble bee, working on Book 2 of the series. Isn’t that exciting?!? I know God has immense plans for this series and one day, little boys and girls all over the world will experience a land similar to how God envisions for us – peace, harmony, love, friendship, and tons of laughter and adventure.

Please keep me in your prayers as I do all God has entrusted me to do. Thanks and God Bless!

~ MiMi

My Testimony: Why Me, Lord?!?

At the grand age of 30, I sit back and look at my life and I am simply intriqued that I am even here, nestled in the Father’s arms, a safe haven that I can now call home. Arms that I ran from and avoided when all along, I knew with God is where I belonged, but I fought and I fought hard for over 13 years until finally, I conceded, but go back with me to the age of four if you will to where my life began (at least in my eyes and where I can recall):

“Get over here, you little b*%&! Sit down, eat!” I got teary-eyed as she slapped me across my face. A slap so hard that her palm print was artwork on my cheek. Yes, those were the words  and actions I was greeted with at the age of four. I was a victim of physical, emotional, verbal, and mental abuse from the very person who should’ve loved me most – MY MOM. My mom hated me and she made it known with each burn (from irons or anything HOT), extension cord,  hangar, brush, belt buckle, broom, you name it, I got it. I was in and out of foster care but they always returned me to her home in the hopes that she was “rehabilitated.” But if you know any recidivistic criminal – old habits die hard. They just perfect hiding them. For me, it was long sleeved clothes and make-up. Just like you can’t cover sin, you can’t cover bruises; they soon expose.

I recall vividly getting beaten naked with an extension cord and stretching my arms out and asking this person called God to just let me die in the midst of her torture when I was 12 years old. Looking back now, that’s symbolic that Christ began his teachings around that age and my gesture resembled a cross as I endured pain at the hand of the “enemy.”

I was beaten until I bled everyday of my life until I was 18 years old. So how could I love myself when I was never shown love? That’s easy, I didn’t. I had no blue print on how to be a woman of morals, pride, esteem, nor value. I had NO self-worth.

At the age of 17, a friend invited me to her church and  I learned about the man I only knew in name – Jesus. This savior who never saved me or had He?!? After two months of visiting church, I gave my life to Christ and after eight months, God whispered in my ear during service, “Surrender, MiMi. Let go of this world. You are called to evangelize.” I laughed at God as Sarah did (Genesis 18:12) and went about my life. I was on the verge of being 18; I had much partying, clubbing, and dating to do. Holiness was far from my agenda. I felt God never cared as a child so why should I listen to him as an almost adult.

At 18, I left the house of HELL! Not before I cursed my mom and told her that I hated her for abusing me. I made her look at every scar she had marred my body with and told her that I hoped she burned in HELL for being so evil and cruel to a child she bore. I walked away and never looked back. I was so distraught that I considered suicide because I felt so alone. I got in my car and just started driving  despite crying, until I got to a building (which turned out to be the church I now attend) and saw three signs: HOPE, LOVE, and JOY! I closed my eyes and started walking and prayed that I would land on the steps of “LOVE” and miraculously God would send someone to love me. I ended up on the steps of HOPE. I took that as a sign from God to persevere. I chose life instead of death and I picked up my slumbered  body and began living. I found an apartment and went to college where I majored in education.

From 18-26, I was a train wreck. I was sexually active and I used my body to get what I wanted from men. I did not care who I used or hurt, I just wanted my way. At the age of 20, I reunited with my high school sweetheart, Daniel and he drew me closer to Christ and we began to go to church together but still led a sinful lifestyle which led me to become an unwed mother. I was madly in love with Daniel, but he left me when I was pregnant because he did not want to be a father. I was alone and desolate in a big world with a big belly to bare my shame. Again, I wanted to die but God told me to live because in my womb, I carried a divine gift (think Genesis here again with the “birth of many nations”).

I admit Daniel jaded me a lot. He was the first person besides my dad to show me love and for him to leave me when I needed him most, pierced my very soul. But that is an understatement because I felt like someone gutted me, actually. To make a long story short, Daniel only saw our daughter once (when she was 5 months) and this is when the testimony turns into sorrow:

On November 1, 2006, I got the WORST phone call ever. Daniel had DIED! He was a pilot and his plane had engine failure and it crashed and burned. I WAS DEVASTATED. All the anger, bitterness, and hatred left my body as I fell to the floor and cried out to God, “WHY? WHY ME? I graduate from college in a month and I need to focus. I JUST GIVE UP, GOD! WHAT’S NEXT? I GET ABUSED FOR 18 YEARS OF MY LIFE, I FIND LOVE AND HE LEAVES ME, NOW I AM ALMOST THERE IN MY LIFE AND HE DIES! WHEN WILL SOMEONE STAY AND NOT LEAVE ME? WHO WILL LOVE ME FOREVER, GOD? WHOOO??” I asked in tears. God responded, “I WILL LOVE YOU. JUST TAKE MY HAND AND I WILL GUIDE YOU!” I rolled my eyes in disgust and sobbed into the pillow the entire night.

At the age of two, my daughter met her family for the first time at her father’s funeral. I was so humiliated and embarrassed because what I failed to tell you was this: DANIEL WAS ITALIAN and I AM BLACK. His family did not want us together because of OUR SKIN COLOR. So here I am, an abused child, living as a woman and ousted by the man I love because he could not defend me and his child. What more could a person go through?

Years passed, I healed and I even got married in 2010. That marriage was a disaster waiting to happen and we divorced in 2011. I realized then that I COULD NOT and was not CAPABLE of loving anyone until I learned to love myself. Daniel had taken my heart to the grave or so I thought….

On January 2, 2012 (my 30th birthday), I was leaving BAR ONE in Atlanta. I was on the Interstate headed east to my hotel when all of a sudden I realized my exit was coming and I could barely see it approaching even though I had on my contacts. My car skidded off the road and I was headed for several trees. I knew if I did not turn my car, I was going to die. I was scared and trembling but I veered to the left and my car halted on the side of the road with a major flat tire. My life was sparred and right then I conceded to Christ. I was tired of fighting and resisting such a loving God. I opened my arms and allowed God to take His rightful place in my life and heart.

Weeks later, Daniel appeared to me in a vision and told me to NEVER regret my decision and to, “Go with God!” I smiled because when we were at our best, he would always tell me that. He also gave me permission to let him go and to love again. He said I had held on to him for too long and since he could not return to me in the flesh, I needed to let go and love another again. As tears streamed down my face, I reached out to him only to wake up and see darkness.

For the first time, I felt free on all ends. Free to love and to accept God. That was six months ago and today I stand proud as a child of God who has endured the storms of life but I know God was always with me. I was created to be an evangelist, missionary, and work with youth. And no matter what I did, I could not run from what God wanted me to do. My life’s triumphs and struggles led me to where I am today: I am a teacher, writer, and speaker. And most importantly, I am His. Years ago, I told God, “NO!” Today, I proudly say, “YES, GOD! I am YOUR CHILD! I WILL OBEY YOU! I WALK INTO MY CALLING: I WILL BE AN EVANGELIST!”

I forgave my mom shortly after I cursed her very soul. I apologized to her for being rude and I repented before God. Thankfully, on September 25, 2006, Daniel called me and talked to our daughter – a mere month and a week before he died. I forgave him, as well. Since then, I have been hurt by many others and I forgave them. I don’t know how to hate or hold grudges. It’s not in me and I am grateful God made me that way.

Presently, I am letting God have His way in me. I am active in church. I am not evangelizing yet, but I am in spiritual training. When the time is right, I will preach my first sermon — NOT in my time, but in God’s time and I sit well with that because His timing is not ours. Pray for me and I will do the same for you!

Spiritual Exile: Isolation with a Mission

For awhile, I felt like I was on the road to perdition in my life. Have you ever felt that way? You take two steps forward then eight steps back. Doors slam in your face.  Faltering Faith. Sleepless Nights. Slight and Blight Prayer Life. People who said they will never leave your side flee at the slightest breath of opposition? And you find yourself alone. Is it alone or simply solitude? Despite all that happened, I knew that God would not allow me to slip and fall through the cracks, especially when I desperately clung to His hand and the hem of His garment. Then just how did I end up on the island of Patmos?

You know the story, right? In the book of Revelation where John is isolated from humanity and exiled to the island of Patmos, a small rocky island in the Aegean Sea? John reveals that he was preaching the word of God and presenting testimony for Jesus when he was exiled. God’s words to him were, “Write in a book” (Revelation 1:11) and “Write down what you have seen – both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen” (Revelation 1:19).

So imagine my surprise as I was praying for God to show me why I felt spiritually extradited and it seemed no matter how I tried, I could not get in the presence of people who were normally there. John always comes to mind when I go through this trial in my life and I know that in these moments of extreme silence and human absence, that God has set me aside for a purpose in Him. He has an assignment for me to do for His kingdom and if I am busy with my little life, then maybe, I won’t hear Him or see what is before me. As much as it hurts, I am forever grateful for a God who loves me this much. One who desires ALL of me so He can get ALL of my attention.

Today, God instructed me to go to Revelation 1 and read. As I read the book of Revelation, God revealed that He set me aside so I could be prepared to write for the various aspects of my life (journals, books, dissertation, lesson plans for work, etc.) and to clear my mind because He is shifting me in the atmosphere.  I was planning a vacation but I wanted to have a book tour while on vacation. So I kept asking myself how exactly was I vacationing if I didn’t have any alone or “me” time. To answer this for me, God isolated me from everyone. People who I normally entrust with my spiritual life left for the summer, or are too busy with their lives to even stop and acknowledge me, or our friendship is at odds and we are not speaking at the moment. Whatever it is, God is present still and He knows that writing is my catharsis, so I was supposed to write and consult Him this time — NO MAN needed to intervene! Basically, God wanted His rightful place in my life, once and for all. And I was left pondering this……

God is also the ULTIMATE friend and He will always be there for us. At times, there are some times when we need to learn to let GOD be our first resort, instead of running to MAN! There is much work for me to do and some situations in my life would keep me from doing what God wants me to do. After two weeks of praying, I now see that God wants me to spread His Word and share my book as much as I can while I am traveling to various states and events this summer. It is not time for me to rest as I had thought, because God has paved the way for me to witness and along the way, people will bless me in ways unimaginable. And to prove this, I was blessed with a new car which I got the most AWESOME deal on this past Thursday (makes for great and pleasant traveling), and yesterday out of the blue a close friend invited me to Cirque Du Soleil and as soon as I hung up the phone with her, another friend demanded I accept free tickets to Disney World. So imagine if I did not take heed to God’s actions? I would’ve missed my ultimate purpose and perhaps sulked at the thought of “working” while on vacation. When in reality, Christians should be elated and prepared to work for God at any moment. God works behind the scenes and pushes us onstage for the performance.

I had been praying for “Less of Me, More of You” from God and to see Him bring this in fruition left me awestruck, when in actuality, I really shouldn’t be because NOTHING is too hard for our God. If you find yourself in the midst of thousands one day and then alone for days and weeks at a time, God has you in spiritual exile for an ordained purpose for His people. Be vigilant. He wants you to hear Him clearly as He prepares you for the assignment. It may take you out of your comfort zone and away from those you love, but in the end your reward is in heaven.

As I end this blog entry, I feel better because I have communicated with the Father and I am ecstatic about sharing Faith and her friends with youth in Florida and North Carolina. I will go wherever you want me to go, Lord. I will do whatever you want me to do because I know that you will take care of me. You are omnipresent and with me ALWAYS!

Faith’s Garden

ImageWOW! Where has the time gone? Although I have not posted much, I have been busy going to schools and events reading and sharing Faith’s story and message. I have visited several schools and Career Day events where I shared my life as a writer. Despite all the joys of this journey, I have a confession: I get jaded at times. And honestly, I must admit, that somewhere along the way, I have stopped believing in the mere message of what I wrote. My faith has been dwindling in a lot of areas but I rest assured that I am nestled closely in the arms of God and He will restore and heal me.

At my new church, I have been attending a women’s conference session on “loss” and I learned that in our deepest despair and grief, it is best to share our hurts and sorrows instead of letting them manifest, so I do that. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to read my book at a center for abused children. I was in tears when I entered the door. I just can’t imagine who would hurt a child. The girls loved the book and me and they showered me with hugs and love. They even made a project called, “The Faith Garden” after I finished reading. Imagine how awesome I felt! I know God smiled down on me at that moment. Because of that, I share my testimony even more and I reach out to women in my area. I donate and volunteer my time to church and at times on the job. But there is still a minute hurt and “ouch” area in my life. Much of my hurts come from the journey as a writer and I had to refocus on why I write. I am left with three reasons:

1. God

2. Enjoyment/leisure

3. Share Christ and His goodness with the world

No where present is the hope nor desire to make tons of money and become rich or to be famous. But somehow the enemy sneaked into the crevices of my heart about my book and the promotion I put behind it. I sale a lot of books but I don’t inundate the world with massive promotion. I promote my book, but I don’t use it as a marketing tool for the world; I use it for God. I give away more books to charity, unfortunate kids, and anyone who can’t afford a copy. Is there something wrong with that? No, I don’t think so because I believe that God is at the apex of it all and when it is time for me to make extreme profitable gain from book sales, it will happen in God’s timing! For now, I am basking in what God has told me to do, which is “WRITE FOR ME, LIVE FOR ME, GIVE FOR ME, DO FOR ME!” Isn’t it amazing when one is obedient to the Father?

As I practice obedience, I am even more spiritually aligned with my call to missions and just being a servant of God. I am reading Kelly Minter’s, “Nehemiah: A Heart that Breaks for Others” as my personal Bible Study and I must say, it is a mirror before my very soul. Kelly chronicles that which I can not put into words nor say, but what I deeply feel. It’s so wondrous how God works and for that I am grateful. I am also attending a church in my hometown and I shared my book with people in the church. I have full faith that my series will take flight as I just sit back patiently while sharing with all I can.

I have a book event on tomorrow that I am thrilled about – reading to my sponsor school and I am also in process of finding an illustrator for “Frankie Mincey, Tie Your Shoes,” a multicultural book I am working on. So as you can see, culture, writing, traveling, God, and just being an altruistic person is who I pretty much am and I am learning to accept who I am in Christ, even when life thwarts me to change.

Pray for me please as I walk this beautiful journey God has planned for me and while you’re at, take the time to smell the beauty of nature along the way and take a peek into faith’s garden and see what you can pluck. Okay?Image

All the Small Things

I’m a believer in signs from God. I truly am because throughout my life, that’s one way God has confirmed or denied me of things I prayed for fervently. The Bible does declare that, “The fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much,” right? So it comes as no surprise when a cloud is in a certain shape, a license plate speaks to a situation, someone accidentally bumps into me and shares a a scripture that was necessary, etc. I am very vigilant to the ways and people of God and I try not to let anything go unnoticed, which explains this…….

On Wednesday, when I arrived to my classroom, I noticed a ladybug on my calendar. I immediately started beaming because I knew what ladybugs symbolized: luck (or in my case blessings because I don’t believe in luck per se), money, and love. Now, I can stand all the blessings a person can get so ladybug, bring them to me. Money, well, who wouldn’t want to add to their financial bliss and investments? Love, now that’s the one that gets me. I am newly divorced and I have been struggling with all the emotions of what I used to call a “failed marriage” but now I see it as an experience and a lesson. So love isn’t my forte right now or at least in the secular sense. However, there has been this new blossom of love in my life – Christ. I am working on renewing my life through Christ and living solely for Him so was that confirmation that I am on the right path?

Or did you forget that my next book is about a ladybug? Yes, a precious ladybug named Lillith. I believe Lillith came to visit me to remind me that the little things in life often go unnoticed, but if you pay attention you just might catch a glimpse of magic in the making. I was so excited to see the ladybug that I told everyone at work about her and the next day when I arrived at work, Lillith was still there. It was ethereal at that point, and I just sat for minutes and marveled at speckled body.

“Why are you still here?” I asked as I placed her tiny body on the palm of my hand and watched in amazement as she traveled the lines of my palm as if she were enroute to some destination.

Lillith flapped her wings in response and continued to circumnavigate. I placed her back on my desk and I proceeded to prepare for my students. About two hours later, I began to look for Lillith but she was nowhere to be seen, so I counted my joy for her brief presence and took my students to the library. After they began their assignment, I stole away to the restroom to lament on Lillith’s leaving. I stood in silence while leaning against the wall and eventually walked to the mirror and looked at my face. I fixed out of place hairs, reapplied lipstick, and turned to view my hair for a side view when I noticed a minuscule orange dot on my sweater. Guess who it was? Yes, it was Lillith. She had been on my back the entire time. I was ecstatic.

“Come here, you!” I exclaimed as I peeled her orange, spotted body from my garment.

“I was looking for you, Little Miss Sunshine. I thought I’d lost you FOREVER!” I whispered to her as I placed her in my palm.

At that moment, I realized what happened.  Lilith was a sign from God and was all those things – an increase in blessings, love, and money. That’s what writing does to me: I LOVE to write; I make MONEY from writing; I BLESS others through my writing and in turn I bless myself. She also meant renew – as in my relationship with Christ. Her wings meant “release” – to let Go and Let God. Lillith being on my back was God’s way of testing my vigilance. Will MiMi recognize the little things in life? The little things lead to bigger things and God will always be with me even when I do not see His presence, which goes back to my first book – “How Big is Your Faith?” Lillith had fulfilled her purpose as a sign sent from God.

Hesitantly, I carried Lillith back to the classroom and placed her on my desk and I made no attempt to say good-bye  at the day’s end because it hurt knowing I would not see this tiny speck of perfection again.  I  just felt in my spirit I wouldn’t see her again. She’d fulfilled her mission and as I left the classroom, I smiled and said, “Thank you, little friend. Farewell.” I closed the door gently and walked away.

The next day, I admit to looking for Lillith, but she was not there. She was nowhere in sight – just as God is, and I was reminded that just because we don’t see God, doesn’t mean He’s not there, but always stay vigilant to other ways to hear and see Him.

Where’s the Dream, Today?

Me at MLK Center (Atlanta, GA)

As I reflect on today, I am bittersweet for a man whose life was stolen and for a social conscious that was birthed from his untimely death. Martin Luther King, Jr. was more than a man of rhetoric and compassion. He was a vehicle of social change and equality. He used his mouth when most used their hands and weapons. He practiced love when most sought hate. He was the Gandhi of his time. The Malcolm X after the storm. The Mother Teresa of humanity. The Barack Obama of today.

Thinking of MLK, Jr. and all he stood for, I can’t help but to ponder on how he would feel if he were alive today. Would he cover his ears as “niggas, bitches, hoes, and drugs” are blasted from the lyrics of the radio? Would he hide his eyes as women pose on Twitter and Facebook in nothing but their underwear or at times “bare it all?” What are we really crying out for because there is no true message this self defamation is sending. Have we failed, MLK, Jr. when people compare our First Lady to apes and gorillas? Is that society’s way of saying we have “evolved?” We blame every Muslim for the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 and we continue to spew forth hatred and blasphemy at anyone who does not ring true to Christianity or have the same religious beliefs as us. As a Christian, I know the way, the truth, and the light and I can only hope to dim, if not overexpose that.  I don’t have to result to injury because someone is DIFFERENT. But when will we as a nation stop oppressing the oppressed and learn to love in spite of differences?

In 2012, race, class, social, religious, etc., issues are still evident, but we have come a long way. Our battle today is political moreso than anything. There’s a power struggle with which party will come out on top and who will sink to the bottom. I acknowledge that we need differences. God wanted it that way because too much of anything is not good. But at some point we need to place, woman/male, black/white/Asian/Hispanic/Indian/Multiracial,etc. Republican/Democrat/Green/Independent, working/retired, old/young and all other divisive factors aside and learn to work for the common/greater good of humanity. That’s what MLK. Jr. fought for. Now, has his dream come true? Partially, it has but we still have a long way to go and I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from him to marinate on:

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” ~ Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin & Coretta Scott King's Burial Site (Photo taken by MiMi Atkins)

How Big Is Your Faith? Book Review and Author Mimi Atkins Interview!

My first review by a child book reviewer! I just had to share it!

This Kid Reviews Books

Today I have a special interview with author Mimi Atkins! I have followed Ms. Atkins’ blog for a while because she would blog about writing her children’s book and it was interesting to read about her writing the book. Well, her book was published and I couldn’t wait to read it! Ms. Atkins also let me ask her some interview questions about her book and writing. Keep reading after the interview to learn about Ms. Atkins’ book “Adventures in Rainbow Valley – Book 1: How Big is Your Faith?”

Did you always think you’d be a kid’s book author? How cool is it to have your first children’s book published?!?

My first book was a romance, then it became a memoir, and then I had the idea of a children’s book based on my experiences as a mom and after falling in love with the character of Faith, I proclaimed that…

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21 Days of Fasting and Praying

Normally, I keep fasting rituals to myself since it is a covenant to God but this fast is different.  The church I have been attending announced that it wanted the members to pray for a revival in the community. This moved me because I feel there is an incessant need for Christians to crusade for Christ. Daily, I see the world and its tyrannical demise and am constantly drawn back to the message in my book: Faith is believing without seeing.  Even when we think the Almighty has forsaken us, He is busy molding us for his will and purpose.  But how many of us can truly say we have faith that does not falter? I am guilty myself of grimacing at the slightest hint of things not going my way in life. If I, one who proclaims to be a Christian, cannot believe then it comes as no surprise that the church is in need of revival to reach out to the lost in our communities.  It is Day #5 of the fast and prayer and I can see God’s work and revelations in my life. I don’t know where I’m going, all I know is where I’ve been and that I have extended my hand and asked God to guide me as the Holy Spirit comforts me on this journey.

What I do know is there’s light at the end of the tunnel and writing is here to stay for me. I do know that much.

Until next time, pray without ceasing and smile because someone depends on it.

Here I Stand

It’s been awhile since I blogged. I apologize in advance and I must become an avid blogger again since I need to build an audience for my books. The Adventures in Rainbow Valley series is coming along well and I sold quite a bit of books during the Christmas holidays. I beamed with pride as I autographed books and conversed with people about the journey. I’ve been editing the 2nd book and working on a book targeted at young, Black males entitled, Frankie Mincey, Tie Your Shoes! I was inspired to write the book based on a former student who tickled me with glee with the innocence of his youth and the pride he held in academia and the arts. I felt he was admirable and would be a welcome character for minority males. He defies the odds and breaks social barriers and stereotypes.

On today, I took How Big is Your Faith? to the local news station in the town I reside in and left it with a news anchor and talk show host. I should be making my first t.v. appearance soon and I am excited about that.

Earlier this week, I did an interview with a young lad (This Kid Book Reviews) who houses a book review blog here. As a mother and a teacher, I am always impressed with children who love to read. He had some very interesting questions for me and as all kids, he loved the illustrations in How Big is Your Faith? I will post the link to the interview when he makes it public. The school I work for also posted a huge window display in the media center to recognize me on the publishing of my first book. I’m deeply humbled and moved by all God’s doing.

Before Christmas, I made my second public appearance at a Pre-K developmental school and the students were so awesome. Their curiosity and nuances had me smiling because it reminded me of how antsy I was as a child. I didn’t mind that when I asked them, “Do you have any questions for me?” That they would instead make a statement like, “I really like your book,” or “I want to be a writer, too,” or the all time compliment every aging woman loves to hear, “You are so pretty!” *sigh* The age of innocence will forever win me over with children.

As I close this blog, myriads of other blog topics are roaring through my cranium. The juices are a flowing so I promise to be back very soon. In the meanwhile, may God bless you and you chase the rainbows of life, and at the end, a pot of gold awaits your grasp

Happy New Year & 30th Birthday to Me!

Look at all this awesomeness on New Year’s Eve and My 30th Birthday (January 2, 2012)!

NYE 2011: Atlanta, GA

Flirty 30

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