Obama’s time is done. It’s High Time for Wisdom.

I remember watching the television alone in my living room, curled up on my sofa as I listened to Senator Barack Obama prepare to give his victory speech on the night of November 4, 2008.  At the time, I was the mother of a toddler girl and barely three years in marriage.  I watched Barack and Michelle Obama take that stage with their two girls.  You might be thinking that I was sitting there grinning from ear to ear.  I wasn’t.  Several clips flashed across the screen of people all over the world witnessing this historical moment in the United States.  It appeared to me that many of them were more proud to be Americans than I was at that moment.  I wasn’t a fan of Barack Obama. I feared for Obama.  On that night, visions of Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy raced across my mind.  I clutched my decorative pillows.  As people were carrying signs at Grant Park in Illinois that stated “HOPE”, I sat there gripped with fear.  I feared for the life of the next president of the United States. 

The years passed after Inauguration Day 2009 and I grew weary of hearing the dialogue about RACE IN AMERICA. I am not one to say that race relations worsened under The Obama Administration.  I believe the evil of discrimination just got really bold.

I served as an officer in the military. I was taught that you never speak harmful words about the Commander In Chief.  You can have your convictions but it would be best not to share them publicly and certainly not in uniform. Was I the only officer that got that training? You have to wonder that when you hear high officials speaking of the leader of this great nation with such hard to hear disdain.  If my child hears me screaming through the house, I set the example for him to follow.  And that is what I felt was taking place in America…everybody screaming how much they hate Barack Obama.

When the following election came, I just wanted Obama out of office so the screaming would stop.  I just wanted to see him and his family go back to their lives and safely live.  For those first four years, I believe he had a target on his back and I just knew it was a matter of time before someone would try it.  So, there I was election night in 2012 waiting to hear that the Obama Era had come to an end and I would get my wish.  But when it was announced that he was elected for a second term, I sat alone in the quiet of my living room.  I looked up at heaven knowing surely this was the Lord’s doing because the Bible says that the existing authorities are established by God (Romans 13.1).  I asked a question of God, “What does this mean?” For three presidential elections in a row, it appeared that I had voted contrary to God.

Do you think that after his second term elected to office that my feelings about him would have changed? No.  I am not a fan of his politics.  I don’t support his views on many, many issues.  But you know what, I have to tell you that despite the fact that I disagree with him, I’ve grown to love the person.  I am extremely proud of the family man that is Barack H. Obama.  I am not his fan but I love him for what his image has done for me; a black woman, the oldest of three girls whose father was absent when we were Sasha and Malia’s ages.

Family Man: President Barack Obama

If I can say anything about his presidency, I cannot deny that he has stood the test against much adversity AND he has represented the versions of the leading man in black families that we rarely see (how many good examples of that do we see in celebrity?)  For that, I give you a high five and a bow President Barack Obama.  You showed the world.

1)      Black men love black women, faithfully. (First Lady Obama has hips and an attitude too.)

2)      Educated black men seek out talented black women, marry, raise families and treat each other like royals.

3)      Black men want to be involved in the lives of their wife and children. They want to build families and not just breed seed.

4)      Black men aren’t afraid to show deep affection for their queen in public.

5)      Strong, black men are not rock hard, unfeeling people.  They cry and they get emotional at times.  They are forgiving.

6)      Black men don’t have to curse, change their facial expressions or get loud to let you know that they are in charge.

7)      Black men can have non-black buddies and really get along to the point it is special to watch.

8)      Black men demonstrate what a good man looks like to their little girls because they treat her mother so well.

9)      A black man is unselfish and he wants you to have the best and he will give his best trying to give that to you.

10)  Black men want to see younger black men succeed and so they lead them and mentor them.

“Pretty sure I’ve never cried during a President’s speech until tonight, for he’s a fantastic orator. Please tell me I wasn’t alone.” – Jodi McGovney Sewell, USNA Class of 1999

I didn’t watch President Obama’s Farewell address.  I was grading papers that night. But I certainly heard about it the next day. It was my Naval Academy classmate’s Facebook post that reinforced my need to write this note.  (Thank you Jodi Sewell for allowing me to share this.)

You may not have liked everything that he was about.  You may not have liked anything he put out.  But I believe there is plenty about this President of the United States that you can say that you absolutely loved.  And you loved it to the point that you are going to miss it when he moves on.  Go ahead, be honest, Barack Obama, got under your skin…in a good way.  I won’t tell anyone you said it.

So, on to tomorrow.  I have another kind of fear for tomorrow’s Inauguration Day.  I am asking you all to pray.  Pray for this nation.  Pray for the Trump Administration.  Pray that he leads with wisdom and that he makes us proud.  I am not his fan either but who knows, Obama had Hope.

Blessings to the Obama Family! Live Long.

QuaWanna Bannarbie

 

Real Ways to Engage without Facebook Live

Have you noticed how much “live streaming” is dreadfully disturbing? It is becoming addictive just like Candy Crush. People seem to be hooked on this stimulant that is screaming “watch me, watch me”.

via GIPHY

I will admit that I was attracted to that LIVE LIFE for a while (although I haven’t streamed anything live myself).  Each time I saw a friend “go live”, I was immediately there to check out what they had going on.  But this past week, I realized this “live buzz” is killing us and we need to get back to some real effective ways to engage with people via our social networks without suddenly becoming a witness to a crime. (It really is that serious.)

Social media has its bad points but I believe if we use it socially as it was meant to be used, we can make better use of its good qualities.  Think about how much you scroll through your accounts during the day.  No one has time to read everything posted and truly some of us need to let go of a few subscriptions (but that is a conversation for another time).  However, for the things that we do read, what would happen if you took a moment just to let the content creator know that you were hooked in the scroll?  Just stop to say “keep it coming guy, I liked this!”

Every family has that member that spends their life on social media.

Well, why don’t you employ that auntie to help you out with your reach and expansion?  Ask Aunt Jen to share your content, every time you share your content.  Then tell Aunt Jen to make a comment that says something like “My Niece is Doing Great Work.” Her engagement on your post is going to get others engaged.  If Aunt Jen can share Bishop Jakes sermons and she is not his auntie, why shouldn’t she share your goods? Support is best understood when people give of their resources to another person’s work.  Family members are good encouragers in words. They can be good encouragers in deeds too. 

Speaking of encouragement.  How many times have you read a post on Twitter and loved it but kept scrolling? YES? Well, shame on you.  We are too focused on getting rather than giving.  If the content blessed you, let the content creator know it and encourage them to continue.  We have got to encourage each other more.  I recently joined the 500 word challenge with Jeff Goins.  I have scrolled through a few of the other sites in the challenge and I have taken Jeff’s advice to say hello on the blogger’s site. I haven’t been blogging that long but I know it must make anyone feel great to know that their words reached another human being. I know there is power in my engagement so I don’t mind giving a little bit here and there. Own your power and use it to lift others.

Several people I know are on a path of something new at the start of 2017. 

You all know it is hard to keep the momentum going after January 15th has come and gone and certainly after February 1st arrives.  So, do this for me.  For every person in your life that you know is doing something new, challenging and exciting, text them and let them know you are looking forward to the next thing.  People want to deliver when they know that you are looking for something from them.  So encourage them to keep it going.  Don’t let them give up on whatever it is that they are working on.  Your encouragement keeps them engaged in whatever they have purposed to accomplish this year.  You’re helping them see it through.

Lastly, take the time to encourage those people in your life that serve you.  Recently, my bus driver texted me that my daughter had gotten into a bit of trouble on the bus.  I have told the driver many times that she is free to contact me if she ever has trouble out of my children.  She took me up on my offer.  I responded to her compliance with a hearty thank you and encouraged her to stay safe on the roadways.  Her response, “Thank you. I will.”  Everyone can appreciate encouragement.  Encouragement is the ultimate power of engagement and we have it at our finger tips with these mobile devices. You don’t need to be in someone’s personal space to be engaged.  Invite yourself in by merely saying “I SEE YOUR HUSTLE. KEEP FLEXING YOUR MUSCLE.”  Engagement is a super power.  Don’t give all yours away to live streaming.

Good Year

Hello family of Notes and Commentary.  Tyrone and QuaWanna Bannarbie would like to thank you so much for accompanying us on our blog quest in 2016.  It is our hope that we have provided some words of encouragement for family leaders.  May you impact your community as you serve your family and your home well. We are believing for a great 2017!

We wish to share some highlights from our year that blessed us as we reflect on Twenty Sixteen.

I made a list of prayers during our January Consecration.  Each year, we participate in a Daniel Fast for 21 days with our church family at Covenant Community Church.  The past two years, I have kept a prayer agenda to help me recall my prayers.  I love looking back to review them.  Some prayers were answered and some I just gotta keep praying.  Prayer Works!

We have the testimony of the following God deeds:

FAMILY

1.)    Tyrone and QuaWanna celebrated ELEVEN years of marriage on September 3, 2016.

2.)    Our family friend, Satoya, who was diagnosed in JUN 2016 with breast cancer, is healed.

3.)    Children have grown in their love for God, participating in Bring Your Bible to School Day and they used their submissions into the Virginia Parents Teachers Association Reflections Contest to share “What’s Your Story” regarding their faith.  They were also Honor Roll students all year.

4.)  Visits with family in GA, MD and TX.

COMMUNITY

1.)    Tyrone led the Covenant Community Church Ambassadors Outreach in serving over 35 families with a full Thanksgiving  basket complete with a turkey, all the fixings and a gift card.

2.)    It’s been a year since I posted the sign, “Jesus Loves You” on the back of my NISSAN QUEST and we are still spreading the message of the unfailing love of Jesus.  (People probably wonder does the van ever get washed because the sign hasn’t gone away.  But I do wash it! I just replace the sign each time.)

3.)    QuaWanna facilitated a leadership summer program in Greensboro, NC with Leadership LINKS, Inc. during AUG 2016.  She submitted an article regarding the event in the Verse newsletter for Indiana Wesleyan University faculty and it was published in OCT 2016.

LIFESTYLE

1.)    WE STARTED THIS BLOG and have more lifestyle business ventures coming in the near future.

2.)    We paid off the debt for the van. We are now driving two paid vehicles with titles in our hands.

3.)    Tyrone and QuaWanna voted in the 2016 Presidential Election in NOV.

We hope you enjoy the picture presentation. (Can you spot our Bannarbie Blessing Board display?)

We encourage you to look back on 2016.  Look at what the Lord has done for you.  Don’t just think about it, write the things you recall on a nice piece of stationery and frame it in your prayer room.  Write a thank you card to God and place it in a memory box in your family room.  (The Original Love Box is a beautiful gift to your family.)

Blessings in the New Year!

Now that I have your attention…

Pastor Andrew Brown, assistant Pastor of Covenant Community Church, shared a revealing word this past Sunday that I will not soon forget.  His text for the sermon was from the well-known story of Moses and the burning bush in the book of Exodus.  “God will use what already has your attention to get your attention”, he said.  Pastor Brown shared how he had questions about the burning bush and how peculiar a choice this “attention grabber” was for God.  Surely, God could have chosen anything.  I thought, “if that already had the attention of Moses then how?”  Sitting among the congregation, I realized it wasn’t so much the bush as it was what had Moses’ attention. The bush just happened to be in the area of Moses’ attention.  Moses had consumed himself with the job of a sheep herder probably thinking he had avoided his past.  In fact, he was wandering carefree in the back of the desert when he stumbled upon this bush.  I would venture to say that God realized it was time to let Moses know he couldn’t avoid HIM any longer.  I believe God used the bush because Moses’ occupation had his attention.  I could relate to Moses in that moment Pastor Brown explained the choice of the bush.  I briefly took a job as a tax preparer when I left the U.S. Navy.  It was okay work.  My husband was deployed, our oldest child was less than two years old and I thought this was a good idea.  I found out that God didn’t think it was a good idea.  For three years in a row, something happened as a result of me taking that job.  It affected me and my family adversely.  The first year I was there, they got rid of all first year tax professionals within the first three weeks of the tax season.  I still went back the next year.  Then, co-workers had accidents that caused me to take longer shifts.  The kicker was when my young son of 8 months got sick at daycare and had to be hospitalized.  He had swallowed a coin and it had to be surgically removed.  I put him in home-based care after the ordeal and that didn’t work out either.  So, I finally left the job.  In my over-occupation with what was not the will of God for my life, my family suffered.  Looking back on it now, I assess that getting my attention wasn’t really my problem.  It was difficult to keep my attention because what I wanted become more important than what God wanted for me.

But God has a way of using things that will keep your attention.

I woke up yesterday morning to learn that the country had elected Donald J. Trump to the office of President and I knew immediately that the President-Elect is “the burning bush” but there is not the voice of God coming out of this one.  This burning bush represents the government of which we have taken such an extreme interest. It reminds me of the story of 1 Samuel 8 when the prophet Samuel went to God on the behalf of the people who asked for a king to rule over them.  Although Samuel had reminded them that, as God’s people, they had God and therefore no need for a king to fight for them.  The people had their eyes on the things of other nations and not the things of God.  They replaced God with worldly occupation.  God gave them exactly what they wanted but he used that very king to keep their attention.  I submit to you that since that day, government has represented the replacement of God with worldly occupation.  No matter how much we put IN GOD WE TRUST on our money or our courthouses.  History has repeatedly proven how people replace the things of God with the things of the world.  Our recent national history repeatedly shows how God uses that very thing you replaced Him with to keep your attention.  It will be with Donald J. Trump.  It has been with Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Barack Obama.  I strongly believe it would have been no different with Al Gore, John McCain, or Mitt Romney.  And yes, it would have been no different with Hillary Clinton.  Sadly though, we haven’t realized it yet.  But thanks to Pastor Brown, I can say I see it now Lord.  I can say this now because I voted in every last one of these past elections and I couldn’t understand how in each one the decision became more and more difficult and less appealing.  But I do now.  You have my attention now God.  In fact, you have the attention of the whole world. The world is watching the United States of America.

Moses asks the question in Exodus 3:3 “How is it that this bush does not burn?”  Moses turned aside toward the bush and then God spoke to Him.  It is time to turn America.  There is a burning bush blazing in a great flame right now.  I recommend we give God our undivided attention.  What is important to God must become important to us.  Be careful that we are not consumed.

My Write Path: “It is Not Too Late for You (or Me)”-Episode 2

I said this is the last episode of My Write Path and it is worth repeating, people are often curious about progression.

Since I started this blog, I find myself reading the posts of other bloggers wondering about their “success path” and trying to follow their timeline.  But as I shared in the last episode, my sitting, reading and watching their work was hindering my own progress.  I am not pointing the finger at them.  I am very much to blame.  I was spending so much time on the sidelines that I wasn’t putting action to what I learned from dissecting their stories.  I read and I listened in on the webinars.  I admit, I kept wishing I had started a long time ago.  I found some old piece of my work in a journal and thought, where would I be if I had gotten off my tuff then?  Well, I am so glad that God heard my foolish thoughts and told Jeff Goins to send me this message, It’s Not too Late.

Why It’s Not TOO Late For Us To Become Writers

I am actually a subscriber to Jeff Goins’ emails but I missed this recent message from him about Sandy.  He was announcing that he would be releasing a 3-part interview he recorded with Sandy Kreps, a student of his who founded the popular blog modernsimplicity.org and recently became a published author.  I had not opened the email yet.  But then I saw two message from another influencer of mine, Jonathan Milligan, who mentioned these same videos with Sandy Kreps.  When Jon sent his message, it made me think, “you probably want to go back and take a look at this if Jon has mentioned it twice now.”  So I did.

jeff-goins-and-sandy-kreps

I actually downloaded the transcript for the first two videos before I watched them.  (Jeff really knows how to do it doesn’t he?)

After I watched them both, I went back and read the transcript of the first one specifically because I was intrigued by Sandy’s timeline on her way to becoming a professional writer.

So here is what I gathered:

  • Sandy, a full-time wife, and art director gave birth to her first child in 2005.  (That probably means we are about the same age.)
  • So in love with her first child, she dove into the world of mommy blogging in 2007.  Her first son ignited the “blog spark”.  But she only considered it a hobby.
  • She was laid off her job in 2010 and wanted to stay home with now two boys because her husband traveled a lot.  She still needed income.
  • The lay-off fanned the “blog spark” into a burning flame while unemployment checks provided a bit of kindling.
  • She signed up for the first Tribe Writers Course with Jeff Goins in 2012.  Meanwhile, hubby is not so sure about all the social media stuff that is going on.
  • She spent 2007-2012 teaching herself “the ways of a professional writer.”
  • With the support of the Tribe Community, she released her first ebook on Amazon called Fresh Start.  More book ideas followed and she just keeps writing.
  • She attended the Tribe Conference in 2015.  During the conference, her table talk manifest into a JUST DO IT challenge and she finished the book she had gotten stuck on in 90 days.  One month after finishing the book, Mommy Simplicity, it was published and on Amazon.  She went from stuck to a book published in print in 120 days.
  • Today, Sandy Kreps is a Lifestyle Business Writer full-time.  She has four books under her belt, 12000 email subscribers, blogging business and repeated writing income.

What the success of another person should mean to YOU

If you are able to read this post and look back on Sandy’s story like I did, guess what?  YOU ARE ALIVE!

The timeline was important to me because it spans eleven years from the time her son was born until today.   Which speaks to the beginning question that Jeff asked in this video series, “Can this still be done today?” It’s never too late.

I paid particular attention to the point Sandy made about the years from 2007-2012 that she spent “teaching herself”.  I think intelligent creatives really think we can “figure it out.”  I read something in Jonathan Milligan’s blog that made so much sense to me regarding our sensation with “gathering information.”  He says, “education without action is futile. I see it first-hand all of the time. People take courses, but never take action.”  When I think how relevant that statement is, it stings like a hornet.

In October 2015, I participated in Michael Hyatt’s virtual stream of his Influence and Impact Summit.  Since that week in OCT last year, I have listened to about 25-30 webinars from professional bloggers and creatives who are using the gift God gave them to get their message out to many.  I wish I started then.  I’m convicted of being a bystander.  However, I plead NOT GUILTY of sitting on my gift.  Not Anymore.  It’s Not Too Late for Me.  You Either.

I’m On My Write Path.

Q.Nikki

This post is dedicated to my loved one who have believed I can write and prayed for me to believe it too!

In the beginning God created…

STATUS: For months now, I have had the best intention of sitting down at this computer to search my inbox for an email message that is nearly six years old.  I thought I would know it when I saw it although I didn’t remember the subject but I knew the sender and the content.  You see, this email is so important because I am writing a story and I need this email to help tell the story well.  I thought the message chronicled the start of a journey to a status I am presently living that I had no idea at the time where I was going. But I was wrong.  I still don’t know where the journey is going to end up.  But I was wrong about the importance and the content of the email that was lost among the over ninety-five hundred unread messages in my Hotmail inbox.  It would have been easier to find had it been unread.

I thought the email was about a group of dynamic professionals that I affectionately refer to by the name of Leadership LINKS.  When I found the message from Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, Visionary and Chairperson of Leadership LINKS, it wasn’t what I was looking for.  Her letter wasn’t informing me about Leadership LINKS.  Her letter was informing me about me and who I am through her eyes.  Her letter was about our connection and the story inside that connection.  Natasha and I have a long and progressing herstory of a journey helping each other truly define who we are.  As I read the email that starts out Dear QuaWanna, I am overwhelmed that indeed we don’t know how full circle our God is when He shapes the world, even your world, in HIS hands.  He is indescribable.