Stephanie Hancock's Blog

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Letter to my Mom May 11, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 8:26 am
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On Mother’s Day, we often wax nostalgic about our Moms, remembering how much they have done for us and how they have impacted our lives. This is a letter to my Mom on this Mothers Day, just to remind her of the example she set and what she means to me.
Stephanie

Dear Mom,

I remember when I was a kid, how on cold winter nights you would run the iron over the sheets, so we would get into a warm bed. Friday nights and beanie weenie, the smell of your homemade rolls, and apple pie. The way your perfume smells and watching you get ready to go out, putting on makeup and thinking you are the most beautiful mother in the world. That time you fed the homeless man who came to our back door needing a meal. I’ll never forget it, you piled up a plate for him and even gave him a piece of cake. I dint know it at the time, but we were on wlefare and didn’t have much ourselves. We never did without, always had plenty to eat, clean clothes and pressed hair. I remember you helping me sell over $300 chocolate bars so I could go to summer camp, and going to all those rehearsals so I could be in a teen pageant . You pawned your rings so I could go to senior prom. You baked pies a play in high school Purlie victorious, all the shows, even though you got sick and ended up in the hospital. You came to all my shows, plays, pageants while working sometimes 2 jobs. You were no shrinking violet. I saw you knock down a full grown man, move a refrigerator with no wheels, turn cartwheels and praise God with tears rolling down your face.

When I was in college and hungry, you sent money for groceries. You came to see me after each of my children was born even though you lived across the country and was afraid to fly.

You went back to school at 38 earned a GED then graduated nursing school, became an RN and worked for over two decades in the operating room. Seeing you walk across that stage to receive your diploma, was one of my proudest moments.

You are the example of love, care, sacrifice, strength and courage.
We’ve shared laughs, tears, had disagreements, endured tough times and had some great experiences.

You taught me about faith and trying and not giving up. You are stylish and elegant, poised and polished. You are intense, loyal, fierce and determined. You love God with all your heart. You walk with your head held high.

These are just a few examples of the woman I know as Mom.

Your best days are ahead. Through every ache and pain, through every trial and victory you go on just being you.

Now you have grand-children and great-grandchildren to nurture and love. And pass on your Hoecake recipe!

I Love You, not just on Mothers Day, but every day.
Your daughter, Stephanie

Until next time,
Blessings and Peace

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Dare to be Different! April 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 4:21 am

StephanieI have heard people declare that “I am different from everyone”, yet from what I see around me, in media of all forms, education, fashion etc., the push is for all us to look, think, dress and want the same things. Think about it, TV commercials boast that if you drive this car, you’re the coolest, smoke this and be sexy, the news on most channels tells the exact same story, from the same script.
Its all very slick and glossy and mind numbingly seductive. If you dare to say something different you are labeled, and NOBODY wants to be labeled as “different”, that’s not “cool”. George Orwell the writer of 1984 was way ahead of his time in 1949 when he characterized a dystopian society where those on the top enjoyed luxury and the “working class” lived in terror. If you didn’t conform, you suffered. Wars, rumors of war, thought police, manipulation of information, extreme punishment, distribution of addictive drugs by the government, all to suit a sinister, dark purpose. How could those people have allowed themselves to be controlled like this? Its like a frog sitting in a pot of water, the heat is slowly turned up until the frog cooks. We the people, are being slowly cooked. We are accepting things that years ago would have been unthinkable in this country.

I been watching the news these past couple days and it makes me so angry the blatant lies told by power brokers, the so-called elite and politicians, for their own political and economic purposes at the expense of the community at large. They say the economy is on the upswing, health care for all and there’s lots of opportunity. Tell that to the folks who can’t find a job, barely putting food on the table and got kicked off their health insurance. If you dare speak out, disagree or point out the error, you are called “hateful”, “intolerant”, a “bigot” or even a “domestic terrorist”. Our constitution and civil liberties are under attack. What happened to freedom of speech. Is it only free if you are in agreement?

This is America! Men and women risked their lives and died for our freedom. Right now even our freedom to pray in public is being attacked! It seems everyone gets to have a pass except believers. We used to be “One Nation Under God”. I thought our country was the greatest in the world.
We set the moral compass in the world. Recent events on the world stage clearly show our decline in influence on all fronts. Why? Our nation has turned its back on the fundamentals of our foundation. A recent poll from CNSnews.com sited that only 52% believed in God, the rest believed in nothing, aliens, ghosts, reincarnation, witches and the devil.

If Believing in God and praying makes me different, I will Dare to be Different! I’ve found many examples in The Bible that talk about “non-conformists” that believed, and shook the world! Starting with a man named Jesus and twelve working class guys. I was reading in the book of Daniel, Matthew 24, Mark 14 and Revelations that speak of the tough days ahead world wide, for those who won’t “conform”, for those who stand up for truth.

How can we stand strong in the face of the tremendous pressure from conformists? You’ve gotta know what you believe and stand firm, stand with other believers. Love. You are not alone.

This weeks posting is not my normal positive, bright commentary, but I had to say something. In the end, those who trample on others, rob and steal under the corporate banner, profiteers and cheats, will lose. Remember naked you came in, naked you will leave.

I challenge you to not accept everything that you hear, read or even see. Get the truth for yourself, do your own research, ask questions. In all your getting, get understanding.

God does exist, wouldn’t you want to know Him for yourself? What have you got to lose? I promise, if you look for Him, you will find Him.

Now, don’t go back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Until next time,
Blessings and Peace

 

Don’t ignore the signs, don’t be ashamed April 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 6:56 pm
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Stephanie My heart aches hearing the news of a vibrant young woman who committed suicide last week. Karyn Washington was just 22 and hosted a popular website called, “For Brown Girls” FBG and Dark Skin, Red Lip project. She was an active advocate for brown girls of all shades to feel beautiful about themselves and to embrace who they are. Yet she was unable to encourage and get help herself. What a beautiful young life, gone. How many of you know someone who took their life and wished they had said something, saw the signs, anything!

I didn’t know Ms Washington, but I do know about the hurt and self loathing a little brown girl age 9 felt as she was called “darky”. Looking in the mirror and wishing I was light skinned. I felt not as pretty as the others because I was considered dark. Its an open wound that has been with Black people since slavery in this country, and as I recently discovered in a heart wrenching speech by Oscar Winner, Lupita Nyong’o in Africa as well. I am saddened that this nonsense is still going on today. Its 2014! Its so stupid, nappy hair verses straight hair, wide noses versus narrow, big butt verses flat. What really gets me is how some from other cultures appreciate our features more that we do. How often do you see other cultures trying to imitate the “black” look. Plumped up lips, butt implants and tanning salons. I saw a Japanese girl online this week, that looked like she stepped off the streets of Philly, braids, bamboo earnings and all.

I don’t know if we will ever get over ourselves and start to Love how fearfully and wonderfully made we are. God, the ultimate creator fashioned each one of us to be beautiful. To accept anything else is believing a lie from the pit of hell. I see this as a spiritual issue manifesting itself in the physical and emotional, mental health space. A cry for help that is going unanswered, diagnosed and untreated. Black people have historically not sought mental health counseling and Black people in the Church are even less likely to seek help. For some, there is a stigma that somehow if you seek mental health counseling that you don’t trust God, or they don’t feel safe sharing for fear of ridicule, shame or gossip. Some believe that religious people don’t need counseling, just call on Jesus. If that’s true then none of us should go see a medical doctor about our aching back or an eye doctor for glasses. Isn’t our mental health just as important? I believe that just like doctors of medicine, God can use a mental health professional.

I admit, I took a position and felt that mental health counseling was quackery and all the Psychologists were trying to do was probe into my business while emptying my pockets with endless counselling sessions that go nowhere. It wasn’t until I found Colorado Christian Fellowship (CCFyourhome.org) a church that teaches healing and deliverance ministry based on the Word of God that was able to get counselling and tap into some deep seeded hurt and unresolved pain. Through Theophostic Prayer Counselling that I was able to face my issues and get healing. I’m still a work in progress. God can heal a broken heart if you let Him.

My point is that we are all broken and hurting, no matter where you were raised, color, race or social standing. If you feel sadness and hurt you cant seem to get over, if you isolate yourself from others, lost interest in things you once loved to do, seek help. This is a heart issue in need of healing. Don’t suffer in silence, suicide is a final action with no take back. Call a trusted friend, your Pastor, get good foundational counseling from a trained, Godly counselor. If you are a friend and you see the signs in someone you love, take a step, take a stand, say something. Even if it means the person may be mad at you for a minute. If they get help its all worth it. Its better than regret.
If you see it, don’t ignore the signs, if you feel it, don’t be ashamed, get healing, get whole, get help.

Until next time,
Blessings and Peace

 

Faith Works! April 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 11:00 pm
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Every week when I sit down to write, my mind is bombarded with so many thoughts, so many things I want to talk about that its hard for me to choose one thing. I have to literally sift though my brain to narrow down one thought line to write about. I am concerned and interested in so many things. I want to share so much and I want to do it in a way that is coherent and makes sense to you.

Today I want to talk about the wondrous blessings of God. I don’t have to wait for the “sweet by and by” God is working in my life right now.
Hers a great example. My youngest daughter is a fantastic cook. She made a simple meatloaf for me. the flavor was so rich and deep, I wanted to lick the plate! seriously! People have suggested that she would be a great chef. She has a natural talent. Her first experience in college was not great and I knew her confidence was shaken. She talked about going back to school, but wasn’t sure how financially it could happen.

Have you ever had God speak to you and direct you somewhere or to someone? ┬áThis is what happened to me. I was at work with some down time and I felt an urging, the Father told me, look at culinary schools online. I found one, and chatted with an online operator. The following Monday, Paul called and asked if I was interested in culinary school. I told him no, I’m looking for my daughter and I told him her story. ┬áHe said, bring her down for a tour lets see if their school would be a good fit. So we did. My daughter, her sister and I went. We were very impressed with the school and the program. They were very impressed with my daughter. They provide uniforms, a set of knives, food, books, everything but shoes. Then we started talking fees. $15,000 dollars. Tuition is due paid in full by the first day of school which starts on April 7th. This was April 1st. Here is where God moved. I told my daughter if she would take a step and apply, God would take care of the rest. She protested and asked where is the money going to come from. I told her I didn’t know, but God would provide, if she would just step out on faith.

The following day, Paul called and said there could be scholarship money available once she put in her application. No promises. So, she pulled the paperwork together and turned it in. Paul called her later and told her she got a $6000 dollar in scholarship, and we could work out a payment arrangement for the rest. We were doing the dance of joy!!!!

She is finishing up her first week. She is already excelling in her class, making delicious food. I can’t wait to eat her homework!

I don’t have the $9000 dollars either, but I have faith that God will provide the rest of the money. He wouldn’t have led me to the site and she would have applied if it wasn’t a divine appointment. I believe this with all my heart.

The point of faith is that you step out, not knowing where the road leads, but knowing who is leading on the road.

When she graduates, I’ll post a picture of my daughter, the Chef!

Until next time,

Blessing & Peace

 

Savor the Moment April 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 6:09 pm

Stephanie
In just a few days, I will be a grandparent for the third time. If I’d known being a grandparent was this much fun, I’d have done it first! Yup, I see you Grandparents nodding in agreement. It is so amazing watching my little 11 month old grandson discover the world around him. In the span of a few days, he has gone from barely hunching on his knees to climbing all over everything! Its like he is moving at lighting speed. (I think hes getting moving before his brother arrives). When I was a young mother, I marveled at my children, there was no more beautiful sight than my baby’s face. They smelled so good and felt so soft and wonderful. It was so surreal with each of my three children. As a grandparent, I’m in total awe. They are just a wonder. I look at my son with his son and I realize my life has come full circle. My children are grown and having children of their own. The best part is, I’m alive and well to see it.

I’m beginning to understand how fleeting this life is, and we have got to savor every good moment that we have. Somehow the tough times, the hard times, the sad times, pale in comparison when you look into the eyes of a little baby smiling up at you and giving you baby kisses. My heart just melts.

I cant help but be amazed at how God has created all of us, so unique. Being a parent and now Grandparent is one of the ways I have learned to appreciate my life. The way I see it, it’s pretty good and everything good in life comes from Him. You gotta admit it’s pretty awesome. In a world full of pain, war, chaos and uncertainty, looking for the good is encouraging.

Take time this week to savor every moment. It’s the simple things that make life an adventure.

Until next time,
Blessings and Peace.

 

Change the world around you by being true March 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 6:14 pm
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StephanieYesterday I was listening to legendary trumpeter Miles Davis. I am so amazed by his artistry and was struck by his consistency. The man was an innovator in Jazz, but what really got me was the simplicity of his playing. All throughout the telling of his artistic story, his stamp is recognizable, no matter what tune he is playing. There is a certain phrasing and note selection that he used that is Miles. As artists we develop a “style”, a “signature” and “message” that is uniquely ours. It doesn’t matter what form of art we express ourselves in. Painters have it, singers have it, writers have it. The taste of music may have changed, but Miles was able to adapt and yet keep his unique “signature”. You always knew it was Miles playing. He collaborated in different genres, but he never changed his signature. He changed the world around him, he stayed true.

As artists, we should not ever amend our style, signature and message to fit the ever changing tastes of popular culture. When we stay true, we never fall into compromise. We impact and change the world around us.

I think of Jesus, he ate dinner with tax collectors and sinners, He also taught in the synagogue, He never changed his style, or His message, He never changed who he was, he stayed true. As a result He changed the world!

We are uniquely equipped to deliver the message that God has placed on the inside of us. Lets stay true to it. Don’t be distracted or discouraged because you don’t deliver the message like someone else. There are many voices in the choir, many colors in the spectrum, many words in the poem, we need every single part to bring the work to its completion.

So, go forth and create! Don’t Quit, Keep Going! Stay true to the style, the signature, the message that God, the ultimate artist has given you.

Until Next time,
Blessings & Peace

 

And the winner is…… March 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — steviehanc @ 1:14 am

StephanieThank you for all the well wishes, prayers and messages while I was under the weather. I really appreciate it.

I’ve been thinking lately about some of the music award shows recently on TV. I must admit, as I watched some of them, I had no idea who some of these people were, especially when it comes to the Grammy’s and The AMAs. I didn’t watch all of the show, it was just too much for me, and not in a good way. At the risk of sounding like an old snob, music just isn’t the same anymore. Its more about style than substance, looks instead of talent, and don’t get me started about the lyrics! There have always been raunchy songs. I remember as a kid and young teen, there were certain songs that just weren’t played on the airwaves because the content was considered filthy or not appropriate for young ears. Funk used to be a bad word. Now it seems anything goes. Its like you aren’t edgy unless and you have the language of a longshoreman. (My apologizes to any longshoremen that are offended) Its seems easier to use foul language instead of expressing an intelligent thought. Its just lazy! Man I sound like an old lady! Language is so powerful that words can express a point all alone without have the F bomb being dropped every 5 seconds. Now that I have grandchildren, I dare not turn on the radio in the car for fear that we are going to be assaulted by some tacky, foul mouth version of something that’s trying to be musical. There I said it! I am so sick of the nonsense. Unfortunately it is a reflection of our culture. The racier you are, the more attention you get. These folks are on the “drug” of celebrity and its worse that heroin. They can’t kick it.

But then I get a glimmer of hope, there are artists that are representing and doing us proud. One of my favorites is Lalah Hathaway. She has not submitted to the machine churning out garbage. He voice is true, lush and lovely. Her work with Snarky Puppy is amazing. India Aire is another artist I respect because she also has stayed true to her artistic vision. I know there are others doing the same thing, but you don’t hear them during “drive time” on the radio and they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. I listen to all kinds of music, but I am sensitive to the messaging not just the beat. Some of my favorite Christian artists are, Israel Houghton, Byron Cage and William McDowell. In Jazz, Diane Reeves, Frank McComb, Herbie Hancock and Kirk Whalum just to name a few.

For those of us who have the privilege and honor of sharing a verse, lyric, song we must take our task seriously and treat it with the utmost respect. What we deposit into the lives of others last so much longer that the 3:32 seconds we have. If we remind ourselves every time we share perhaps we will be mindful of the weight of our work and not be so careless. Words can hurt, words can heal. What you speak manifests into something. Make sure it brings life.

And the winner is….You! Every time you listen to a song that brings life! When you hear them, don’t forget to share them. You’ll make the world a better place.

What do you think? Who are some of your favorites? Who should I give a listen to? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, Blessings And Peace