10th Edition

Welcome to

Jubilee News!

 ~The 10th Edition~

Saturday

June 10, 2017

The “business” of encouraging others…continues!  In this Edition and going forward you can expect more Columnists & Artists,  More topics of interest, and more depth!

More!

More!

More!

Jubilee News!

You made us popular. Now, it’s our turn to make you proud.

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~Disclaimer~

The works, When Men Speak, When Men Speak-The Radio Edition, & Jubilee News are the intellectual property of its founder, creator, & Editor-In-Chief, James W. Falcon. However, the submissions of all artists are expressly theirs. Jubilee News wishes to thank each artist for lending this newsletter your gifts, talents, and works. Jubilee News seeks only the best talent to convey the sometimes complicated message of reconciliation between the sexes. Your investment in the “relationship revolution” is greatly appreciated.

Reproduction of material & information found in this newsletter is prohibited. All requests to copy and or to reproduce material and information from this newsletter must be submitted via electronic request to the Editor-In-Chief at wmsjubileenews@gmail.com. Your compliance is appreciated and your professionalism, celebrated. Thank you.

 

From the Editor-In-Chief

     Welcome to the 10th Edition of Jubilee News-A WHEN MEN SPEAK Publication!  The business of women encouraging women about their relationships with the men in their lives continues.  This Edition’s theme is “communication.”  Just as in previous Editions, we have assembled the best and the brightest author-artists possible-all women-to deliver the messages of encouragement that are so badly needed.  In this Edition, we have several author-artists that have returned from the last Edition’s contributions to offer more in this Edition.  And, we have several new Team Members who have decided to help us with this endeavor.  Slowly but surely the unique message of this Publication is spreading. As a matter of fact, one of our newest Members hails from the UK and brings a cultural richness from which we can all benefit.  This Publication is deliberately culturally diverse and consciously seeks to emulate the diversity and the strength represented in some of the most recent Women’s Marches.

     Going forward, we hope to publish a mini Edition in honor of Father’s day as well as to push the envelope in the handling of topics that are of great concern to women in general-women from all backgrounds, cultures, races, & religions.  If we are to fulfill our mission of sparking a relationship revolution, I see having a truly culturally diverse Team and perspective as the very best approach to accomplishing that.  I am professionally vested in this not only as Editor-In-Chief of Jubilee News, but personally as a husband, dad of 4 girls and a goddaughter and a “Pop-pop” of six-3 girls & 3 boys.

     On another note, I’d like to give a very special shout out to my Wife-Erica, to my Daughters and Goddaughter, Unique, Eliza and Trinity for being 2017 graduates.  I am so very proud of each of you for your amazing scholastic achievements.  And…I’d like to extend that “shout” to all of our Team Members and their family members as well as to our readers who are celebrating graduations this season as well.
Onward, upward, and outward we go with the message of encouragement.  Thank you for supporting us.  Your continued partnership is needed as we are soon to broach 8, 000 page views and as we continue our march throughout America and across the globe.  The revolution will NOT be televised! I agree.  Instead, it will be blogged and sparked by Jubilee News-A WHEN MEN SPEAK Publication!!!  You made us popular.  Now it’s our turn to make you proud.

Yours in the trials and in the triumph,

 

James W. Falcon,

Founder & Editor-In-Chief, Jubilee News-A WHEN MEN SPEAK Publication


|———STAFF——–|

 

Founder

 

James W. Falcon

 

Editor-In-Chief

 

James W. Falcon

 

 

Copy/Online Editor

 

Open

 

Director of Marketing

 

Open

 

Marketing Intern

 

Open

 

Manager, Social Media

 

Open

 

Columnists

 

Tiffany Lyles


Shereen


Meredith A. Weber


Kottyn Campbell


Kratina


I.M.


Tracye Brewer

 

JHL

 

Ms. Recia Jones

 

LaVerna Saunders

 

Kafi D’Ambrosi

 

Calene Heureaux

 

Kimberly Martin

 

NV

 

James W. Falcon

 

Jai-ree

 

Nekil (Emeritus)

 

Poets & Spoken Word Artists

 

Kottyn Campbell

 

God’s Precious Flower

 

Kafi D’Ambrosi

 

Ms. Recia Jones

 

James W. Falcon

——————[]——————- 

POETS, SPOKEN WORD ARTISTS, COLUMNISTS

 

This Edition~

 

Tiffany Lyles


Shereen


Meredith A. Weber


Kottyn Campbell


Kratina


I.M.


Tracye Brewer


Kimberly Martin

 

JHL

 

Ms. Recia Jones

 

LaVerna Saunders

 

Kafi D’Ambrosi

 

Calene Heureaux

 

Kimberly Martin

 

James W. Falcon

 

~Previous Editions~

 

MJD

 

God’s Precious Flower (GPF)

 

MJAY

 

Victoria Sharrock

 

Memoirs of a Lady

 

From the Reservation

 

Meredith Duncan Weber

 

Sonja Maxwell

 

LaVerna Saunders

 

Jai-ree

 

Michelle Pringle

 

Barbara K.

 

Ms. Receia Jones

 

Kafi D’Ambrosi

 

Nekil (Emeritus)

 

James W. Falcon

 

I am immensely grateful for the contributions of all of the above mentioned contributors for their voluntary support of Jubilee News. Thank you. 

-James W. Falcon


This Publication wishes to honor the memory and legacy of a special partner,

Nekil R. Colden.

Nekil, a former Editor-In-Chief of another publication, joined the Jubilee News Team in 2013 and made sizable contributions with promises of more in the future.  But unfortunately, Nekil lost her battle with cancer and passed away unexpectedly.  We are grateful for Nekil’s life and contributions to Jubilee News.  Our deepest sympathies go out to her Family & Friends in her lost.  This Publication will forever honor her work and will hold a place for her here among the staff. 

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Rest In Peace

Nekil R. Colden

11/25/1975 – 1/29/2014

 

Respectfully submitted,

-James W. Falcon

 

My Baby Is A Daddy

by Kimberly Martin

Watching you with your son warms my soul. You get to experience milestones with him that you and I never had from our fathers. I am so proud of the father you have become. Though you were young, you have learned to master the art of Fatherhood. I love you and wish you a wonderful Father’s Day.

To all the fathers that left us and to the fathers who did not make us, but chose to love us…

​You are cherished!!!

Thank you.

 

Kimberly Martin is a wife, mother, grandmother, and survivor of extraordinary personal trauma.  Kim is an advocate for and incredibly passionate about assisting those with emotional and mental illness to seek the help and counseling they need. Kim also takes great proud in helping them find their voices.  Kim possesses a rare combination of wisdom and compassion and speaks the language of those hurting-specifically those who suffer in the silence because they are ashamed to admit they are suffering with emotional or mental illness. Kim is also a closet writer and poet who hopes to extend a helping hand to those suffering in the silence of their disorders through her out of the box writing style.   Thank you Kim for your out of the box thinking and for your transparency.

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To Be or Not To Be Daddy’s Little Princess…That Hates Dresses
by Kratina MacKay

Growing up I can’t remember anyone saying, “Oh she looks like an angel!” I remember, “She’s like a bull in a china shop, she’s such a Tom Boy!”

Dad: “Will you stop bringing home: minnows, crawfish, snakes, turtles, rollie-pollies, caterpillars, butterflies, lizards and anything else that requires burial services? We don’t have much more room in the back yard!”.

Dad: “Tina, why do you need Duct tape, foam, and a 2×4?”

Me: “Because Dad, we’re making swords to beat each other up with, the sword that lasts the longest is Excalibur and I don’t want Gene to beat me again.  It really hurts when you get hit by a sword, so I want mine to be longer than his!” And he helped me build my Excalibur!

Yep, that was some of my childhood memories of Father/Daughter time. Not to mention, The Mother’s Death Statement, “Wait until your Father comes home and I tell him what you did! You’re going to be in big trouble little girl. Now go to your room until he gets home!” I think this is where my love for acting came from. Sitting in my room waiting for him to get home, practicing and perfecting the puppy dog eyes, fake tears, pouty lip and the “Daddy please don’t be mad at me” in a quivering voice. However, sometimes those didn’t work. I had to go big, pull out the mother of all manipulations, the vow I only broke when absolutely necessary to avoid THE BELT. I put on my dress for my Daddy. I only had one! And, it was a rag by the time I was 5.

Now that you have an idea of who I was, I’ll explain my relationship with my Father through my eyes and memories. I was a product of a rebound. After 3 miscarriages, I was born.  When I was born, things went south quickly. We moved to Kansas right after I was born. Mom was always busy cooking, cleaning and working, I never remember ever seeing her sit or sleep. I found refuge with my Father because he would play with me.  He was my best friend.

We would play with Lincoln Logs, build card houses, go fishing and swimming, build sheet forts in the living room, go to the park to play and we would make Shrinky Dinks together. He didn’t like playing with the Easy Bake Oven, it was far from easy, but we managed. We liked to color, but I always got frustrated because he wouldn’t let me color outside the lines, so I broke the damn crayons. I didn’t want or like Barbie’s or dolls. I wanted roller skates, bubble makers, critter keepers, Lightning Bug lamps-clearly not typical little girl stuff. My Dad did get me a two-foot plastic doll ONCE. That thing was creepy. It later became a weapon against my future step-sister.

During my parents’ nasty divorce, I was shipped to my Grandparents house in Kansas. I became the bargaining chip. My Mom moved back to Maryland.
My Dad remarried six months after the divorce was final. I now had a step-sister. She was about my age and was the ultimate princess. She had all of the dress up clothes, high heels, make up, Barbie dolls, pink, purple, unicorns, dolls everywhere and the worst, dresses. Not just any dresses, no of course not, my God they had bows and layers of “that scratchy stuff” to fluff them out. Then tights and socks with lace on them, dress shoes, and bows to match for her hair. It was the cruelest of all things possible!

Then the day came, it hovered over me like a Stealth plane. I knew it was going to happen. Why wouldn’t it? They started dressing us a like. I still call the next event, Armageddon. He got me a matching dress with “that scratchy stuff.” Wait for it…the damn thing had bells on it! Are you kidding me? Why can’t you get HER a pair of cut off jean shorts, a tank top, and a pair of flip-flops to match ME? Instead, he humiliated me to my core. I felt like I was a cat that had a bell on its collar.
I knew then, my Father hated me. He stood there, glowing at me, smiling.  And to mark this glorious occasion of me in a dress, we had to have professional pictures taken. One big happy family. Far from it. It was evidence my Dad used for the court to try and prove I was better off living with him. The motive today still burns my soul.

How could he betray me? Wasn’t I good enough just the way I was. Tom Boy, lover of all creatures great and small. Fondness for the great outdoors, nature, building things, sports wasn’t that good enough? My resentment with my Father began over a stupid dress with bells. I was 5. All bets where off.  This was WAR!

I took my anger out on my new step-sister. Poor girl had no idea what the hell she had just been put in. Remember the two-foot doll, OH YEAH, her arms, legs, and head became weapons. Her head became bald because I cut off all her hair. It was causing my aim to be off. It was now my dodge ball. I became resourceful. I would watch boxing and wrestling with my Dad on Sunday’s. I picked up on a few moves. My favorite, the figure 8 hold. I wasn’t messing around anymore. I put worms in her bed and I cut her hair while she was sleeping-an act for which she got in trouble.  I put paint on her pretty little dresses. I disfigured her Barbie dolls as well as her coloring books. Crayons melt nicely in Easy Bake ovens, but they smell horrible. The red wax didn’t look too good on the white carpet in the living room.

This is where my love for bonfires began! I built a fire pit outside behind the shed. As for my dresses, shoes, tights, bows and bells-all burned! “Daddy, I have no idea where my dresses are.” I was no longer going to be Daddy’s Princess. Nope, not me. To hell with all of you. I moved back to Maryland after that nasty divorce was finally over and lived with my Mom.

I rebuilt my relationship with my Father when I was 21 right after I had given birth to my first son. A lot happened in my 34 year relationship with my Father. I now have friendships that have lasted longer.

My Dad separated from his third wife in 2006. I begged him to come live with my family in Maryland. I wanted him to get to know his grandsons and for them to know him. He did just that. He packed his belongings and moved to Maryland. That Father’s Day of 2006 his U-Haul pulled into our driveway. The boys adored their Grandfather and he adored them. He taught them so many things. Unfortunately, in August of 2007, my Father died. My Father taught and loved me a lot. He loved me his way, the only way he knew. I could not redefine who he was any more than I can redefine who I am. We love when we don’t want to hate, we hate when we don’t want to love.

Here is my nugget of wisdom or experience I wish to share with all the Princesses, Daddy’s little girls, Tom Boys and bulls in the china shops: You are perfect the way you are! If you must wear the occasional dress or the cut off blue jean shorts and flip-flops, these things do NOT define us. If you play with make up or snakes and snails, these things do NOT define us. If your parents are divorced or married, single or remarried, these things do NOT define us.

What has defined me is: my truth, my story, my choices, my relationships and my love. They are more unique than a thumb print.
To all the Daddy’s, Fathers, Dads and male donors that have made babies-thank you. To all the Mothers who had to, either by choice or consequence, be both parents, thank you. To other men in our lives who played significant roles great and small, thank you.

Happy Father’s Day and please don’t make us wear dresses if we don’t want to!

 

Kratina is a Mother and health care professional who has worked for some of the largest international institutions in the industry.  Kratina is a service professional, who has years of experience working in high volume, incredibly stress filled environments.  Having overcome many personal challenges, Kratina relies heavily on her faith and her humor to remain grounded and ready to help others.  For years, Kratina has been a closet poet and writer and seeks to use this opportunity to spread her patented brand of insight and humor through her posts.  This Publication is super excited to have Kratina on board.  Please join me in welcoming Kratina in this her first article as a part of the Jubilee News Team.

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OUR FOREFATHERS’ CHALLENGE (A reprint)

Run Son, Run On
by James W. Falcon

I ‘memba it, jus as clare is day

I kin still see his face, wid no smile he’d say

Run son, run on, run all da way

S’wud my Daddy tell me do

Don’t make me git up, run afta you

I said gwon, I’d hear’d him say

Run son, run on, run all da way

Now you run, jus like I’s tell you do

Run night, run day, week’ns, too

Dat’s wud my Daddy say do

Run son, run on, be better d’me

Deys a big bright wurl out dar you’d see

Do mo’, have mo’ be wud I cain’t be

Stud’em books, pray a bit, den git up off dat knee

Lis’tuh me now…hears wud I say

Run son, run on, run all da way

Edumoncation, col’age eem, LORD’d sho you da way

But run son, run on, run all da way

Pappa ain’t gwon be huh alway

I’s gwon close dees weary eyes, one nees day

Don’t let nuttin’ stop you, ya hear, when I say

Make up yo mind’n, run boy, run on, run all da way.

Don’t have much ta give ya, cept dees word I say

Pass ‘long dees huh wurds, my Daddy say to me’n his day

He tow’d me…I nah tell you…tah run son……run on…run all da way.

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A SALUTE TO THE FATHERLESS

     In acknowledgment of all of the children that did not/do not know their fathers;  to those who never watched him shave; who never heard his laugh nor have seen his smile; to those that never witnessed him cry.  And to those who have been forced to create super hero like fairy tales to pacify themselves through the pain of not having a Father present in their homes,  this edition is dedicated to you.  We recognize your strength and we commend your endurance.  To those that have fought/continue to battle the anger affiliated with a father’s absence who have somehow remained sane and, by the grace of god, willing to have and to maintain solid, healthy relationships with men while keeping your frustrations at bay, we honor you today for these reasons and for many, many more. To you and for you especially, we celebrate your understanding of the value fathers can have in the lives of their children.  More than celebrate, we encourage you to hold that understanding near and dear to your hearts with the intent of sharing that value with others, as time and conditions permit.

     Although I had the privilege of knowing my Dad in the best ways possible, I include myself as a member of the “we” category because fatherlessness defines us (in the short term) and diminishes us (in the long term).  In essence, it impacts all of us in one way or another.  For some, it provides the basis for identity concerns.  To others, it prompts a series of questions like, “Why did he leave me?” “Doesn’t he care?”. “Why did he leave us unprotected?” “Isn’t he curious how I turned out?” “What did I do to deserve such cold treatment?”  And, in honor of all of the questions you have posed that may be answered some day and for those that may not, I encourage you as a spokesperson for many men who find fatherhood a privilege and who have but one regret…that their families did not include you.  On this day I celebrate your incredible worth and priceless value.

Compassionately submitted,
James W. Falcon

Founder/Editor-In-Chief, Jubilee News

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The Genesis of Jai-Ree (A reprint)
by James W. Falcon

James Reed Faulcon was born in Littleton, North Carolina on September 7th, 1924.  He was the youngest of 4 children born to James Tyson and Sadie Faulcon.  He was a rare breed.  He was extremely likeable.  He was intelligent.  He was articulate.  He was deliberate.  But above all, he was more than my father-he was my Dad, and there is a difference.

Granddad and Grandma Faulcon migrated to Baltimore when my Dad was very young.  The Faulcons settled in an area of east Baltimore that was teaming with life as so many other African American families from the south did during the period in history later termed “the great migration” yet they were the only Faulcons in the phone book.  Granddad had come to Baltimore to find work as Baltimore was one of may northern cities that offered stable, long term employment to African American.  Granddad worked for a number of companies including Bethlehem Steele to support his family.  The Faulcons lived in the 1200 block of Bond Street.  As the stories go, Granddad was a wiry, fiery passionate man that worked long hours who loved his family while trying desperately to keep his demons at bay.  Grandma, again as the stories go, was just enough woman for him and afforded the precise amount of Ying to his Yang.  As my mother would often tell the story, Granddad would come him from work drunk and Grandma would refuse him entry into their home forcing Granddad to sleep on the bench outside.  While I know very little about my Grandfather (in comparison to the other members of the Faulcon clan, I know this: Granddad displayed a gentleness and a kindness that greatly impacted my Dad in the best ways possible.  In a story that my Dad told me many years ago, Dad explained:

“My Mother had had enough and demanded that I be spanked.  My Father, angrily grabbed by the arm, and rushed me into an upstairs bedroom.  Once inside, he closed the door, sat me down but calmly instructed me to do exactly as he said.  He said son, I want you to start yelling in a few minutes as if I’m spanking you. ‘Son,’ he said, I should probably spank you but I’m going to try talking to you first.  So, make it sound believable. And for the next few minutes, I screamed and yelled as if I was getting the whippin’ of the century.  When I left the room, my face was frowned up and I rubbed my behind to try to be as convincing as possible.  I later over heard my Mother talking to my Father as she exposed his fraud.  And he simply said, ‘the boy didn’t need a spanking-he needed a talk.'”

Those exchanges, however many there were, would provide the basis for the development of an extraordinary man who was thankfully, able to ensure the passing of those qualities and traits to at least two generations-a legacy that I will speak to later.  My Dad grew up in east Baltimore, playing in the streets and alleys, and on vacant lots. At some point in time, he developed a love for the game of baseball that he spoke of quite often.  He as a scrappy, gritty kid that quickly gained a reputation for being a fighter.  At 15, he saw a job offered at the local railroad company and applied as an 18 year old applicant.  The submission of that application would transform his life and legacy.

The U.S. was on the cusp of entering World War II-a draft was initiated and the story began.  Despite the effort of Grandmother who petition the court to try to prove that my Dad was too young for military service, my father was enlisted.  As he sat down at the intake desk, the Sergeant verified his first name.  Then asked, “What do they call you in the neighborhood boy” to which my father responded, “Bill.”  Next, he asked my father to verify his last name.  My father, like many members of the family pronounced it, “Falcon.”  Forever thereafter that exchange, the man born James Reed Faulcon became James William Falcon.

James Reed, or “Jay Ree” as he was called by his Mother and siblings, loved military life and planned to make that love a career.  He rose through the ranks and became a Sergeant and commanded troops in a number of divisions.  Dad served through World War II and the Korean War and received an Honorable Discharge just before the Vietnam Conflict erupted.  When asked why he shortened his career, he replied, “I got tired of wearing the same colors.”  The real reason though was to pursue his dream to start a family.

Dad’s incredible story continued as he taught himself to read, earned his high school diploma, and enrolled at what was formerly called, Coppin State College, as a Sociology major. But above his formal education, my Dad was a wise far beyond his years.  It was that wisdom, that gentle approach to life, to learning, and to love that he left me as a legacy.

Dad once told me when I was very young, “Son,” he said, “You will never have to tell anyone that you are intelligent, or cool, or that you have a particular talent.  If you are any of those things, people will know it.”  That statement more than any other was indicative of the kind of person he was.  He extremely gifted.  He had the ability to carry a conversation like no other person I’ve ever seen.  He could be the conversations antagonist or the everyone’s advocate but remain mild, gentle and very convincing in either mode.  I once saw him jump into a conversation in a barbershop as a means of teaching me how to get into and out of conversation.  It was discussion about religion-the kind of a discussion that they warn against participating in nowadays in the workplace because of its high propensity to provoke offense.  And that was my Dad’s mission.  When we entered the barbershop, he said to me, “Watch this Son,” as he turned to me and whispered coyly in my ear.  I watch…and I listened as Dad jumped in, provoked the lead conversationalists, provoked fiery tempers, advocated for all, and calmly got out of the conversation, while bidding everyone a good day upon leaving as only a gentleman would.  The amazing thing was, the men in the barbershop knew they had been had, but by the time that realization sank in, Dad and I were at the door with our coats on, and ready to embark on our journey home.  As we walked up the street, Dad said to me, “I knew exactly where each man stood, and I poked at’ em all just enough to provoke them, then I left them alone.”  I remember thinking, man!  That could have gotten ugly.  But I also remember thinking, if my Dad could handle himself that well in a conversation, there was no reason for me to think he couldn’t handle himself if the conversation had gone “side ways” as they say.

On another occasion, I remember my Mother and Father having a pretty heated disagreement.  And I, hoping to champion the cause of men, said to my Dad, “Dad!  Are you going to sit there and take that?”  A statement said in utter ignorance, of course.  To which my Dad said, “Son…let me explain something very important to you.  I love your Mother dearly and right now we are having a disagreement.  But I want you to always remember that it is in these moments that a man must mind his tongue.  Because once something is said in angry, it can never be retracted.  And no amount of “I’m sorry” can ever fix it.”

Even though I was a boy of about 12 years old, I remember thinking how deeply rich in advise that statement was-a statement that I have tried so very hard to live out myself.

I could probably go on to write a good six novels in recalling all of the wonderful experiences I had with my Dad.  But neither time nor space allow me to in this edition.  Suffice it to say, that he was truly amazing.  I miss him dearly and I will count myself blessed if I can because at least half the man to my children as he was a man and a Dad to me.  In honor of my Dad and the person he was, I have developed and written a series for Jubilee News entitled, “The Daddy Pages.”  I use the pen name, Jai-ree in his honor and hope that the love filled overtones of the father figure in that series can touch the reader in some small way like my life was touched.  To my Dad and to all Dads, what an awesome task we have!

 

James Wayne Falcon is the founder of Jubilee News-A WHEN MEN SPEAK Publication and currently serves as it’s Editor-In-Chief.  James is also the founder of the parent company-Encouragement Is Key.  Encouragement Is Key is a network of projects that provide encourage to individuals, to couples, and to leaders and teams in the workplace.  In addition, James is poet, a visual artist, and the author of 8 self help publications.  James is also married and has 4 Daughters, a Goddaughter and 6 grandchildren.  James holds an Associate’s Degree in Biblical Studies, a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership.  James will stop at nothing to find new ways to spread the much needed message of encouragement. 

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THE DADDY PAGES (A reprint)

How important is it for a little girl to have her father in her life? Is a father’s presence that important? What are the benefits of having a solid connection with your Dad? Follow a fictional character named Blossom as she grapples with these topics in her growth and development from childhood to womanhood here in Jubilee News. Jubilee News is proud to present the work of a Baltimore native; artist-author, Jai-ree. Enjoy!

Young Blossom had been curious for quite some time so she decided to muster up the courage to ask her Dad for an explanation.

“Daddy,” said the 15 year old, “why don’t you ever want anything for your birthday, for Father’s Day, or for Christmas?  Each year you’ve told me to save my time and my money and to not bother.  Why is that?  Don’t you like presents,” she asked intently.

“Baby Girl,” Dad said, “That is a great question.  And I have been waiting for you to get old enough for us to have this conversation. I love presents.  But for me and for most men, I don’t like to be honored on special days during the year.  I’d prefer being honored every day of the year instead.  I would rather have the offers that are afforded me on Father’s Day, my birthday and on Christmas, made to me throughout the year.  For many, many reasons, we chose to honor each other on special days instead of every day.  So, instead of being given the option to have steak or shrimp, or to see a movie or a play, or to have a blue shirt or black shirt, I’d prefer to have affordable, thoughtful options given to me all year long instead of on special days.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I am extraordinarily thankful for the gifts given to me.  The kind of gift that really hits home to a person is the one that is given with the knowledge of what the persons really desires-what the person really wants or needs.  And all I’ve ever wanted…more than anything else from you and your Mother…is your time.  Whatever we can do to spend time together is gift enough for me.  And to me, that is so much easier and cheaper to provide than a gift.  The gift that I want most is you.  And I would prefer that over all other things.  Does that make sense?”

Whoa!  That was deep, Blossom thought to herself.  So simple that it was complicated, so complicated that it was simple.  She had never thought about it that way.  It occurred to her that Dad prefers me over everything else.  Blossom never saw herself as being a “gift” to her Dad.  She was so touched by the exchange that she was angry with herself for not realizing this sooner.  She was angry for not asking her Dad years ago.  On-the-other-hand, she was incredibly thankful for having the courage to ask.  That one conversation provided her so much insight into her Dad’s heart and mind.  The light bulb came on now she could see clearly.  It all made so much more sense now.

Blossom kept mumbling to herself, “I am the gift” over and over again.  What really amazed her about her Dad’s statement was also the fact that at fifteen, she was overwhelmed that her Dad still valued her.  After all of the rules she had broken.  After all of the things she had done that warranted groundings and punishments.  After missing the mark in school on a number of occasions, she was blown away that her Dad saw thought of her as a gift.

“But how could that be,” she asked herself?  “A gift?  Me?  Yeah right,” she muttered alone in her room.  The fact that her Dad still preferred her over everything else he could have on those special days was too large a concept for her to grasp.  To boot, the fact that her Dad would rather spend time with his Princess every day was even more mind numbing.

Blossom had grown to understand her Dad quite well in her brief fifteen years of life.  Yet the conversation she had with her Dad on that day forced her to realize that there was so much more to discover about this man called Dad.  There was so much more to learn about the makeup of men, she thought.  She wondered if this was just a “her Dad” kind of thing or was this the prevailing thought among men-all men.  In either case, she was convinced of one thing-she needed to know more.  She was now hungrier than ever to learn all she could about her Dad and the way he thought as her Dad but also as a man.  That night was a huge night for Blossom.  That night changed her life.  Her Dad’s few words prompted her to realize how important it was to not take him for granted.  It forced her to get to know her Dad more than ever.  Suddenly, she felt free.  She felt her Dad had given her the key to unlock the miserable feeling of having to find a gift for him on those special days.  For the first time as a daughter, she felt like she could really celebrate her Dad instead of being entangled in a web of preparations and last minute shopping trips.  For the first time in her life, she looked forward to honoring her Dad on those special days and each day.  Blossom was given a new lease on life-a new lease on her relationship with her Dad-a lease that didn’t have to wait for a certain day.  But a lease that could be reviewed every day, all the time.  Even as a young person, an adolescent girl, she realized this is what relationships should be about.  But then she also realized that everyone is different and that she would have to take time enough to really learn what family and friends preferred and to act accordingly.  So many things filled her young mind that day.

“Me?  A gift,” she blurted out in uncontrollable laughter.  “I can only hope I find a man like my Dad,” she thought.

Join us for upcoming installments of…The Daddy Pages!

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In Silence

by Reicia Jones

In silence I love you

In silence I desire you

And when we are alone together

Our silence is loud

I want to reach for you

I want to love you openly

I want to touch you

I want to feel you

I want to need you

Instead in silence

I simply love you

And I wonder if you hear

Our silence

Because it is so sweet

I wonder if you can hear my heart

I wonder if you know

What I feel

I want to tell you that I miss you

I want to show you I miss you

I simply want to kiss you

I want to be vulnerable to you

I want to know that you are okay

I want to hold you

I want to be close to you

I keep silent

Because I’m afraid

The intensity of us

Makes me afraid

So I keep silent

And in silence I love you

In silence I desire you

And when we are together

Our silence is so loud

As I sit in silence

I think of you

 

Recia Jones is a healthcare professional by trade who, through soul searching and self reflection, discovered her many talents and skills.  Born both out of passion and a therapeutic sense, Recia is on a journey of personal actualization in which she wields many tools and weapons to help people, women in particular find their strengths and purpose in their “singleness.”  Recia recently joined the Jubilee News Team where she made her first appearance in the Mothers’ Day Edition of the newsletter, 8.3.  

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Communication: He Says/She Says

by Reicia Jones

The biology definition of communication states that it is the activity by one organism that changes or has the potential to change the behavior of other organisms….So exactly what am I saying? I’m so glad you asked.  Allow me to explain: Communication between the sexes has often been misunderstood, misinterpreted, misrepresented, or blurred since the beginning of time.  Communication can be defined as the activity of one organism (man) that changes the behavior of other organisms or that has the potential to change the behavior of other organisms (woman). And, just to be fair and keep things on an even writing field, let’s make things equally applicable: the activity of one organism (woman) that changes or has the potential to change the behavior of other organisms (man). To gain a full understanding of communication between a man and a woman, there are several other factors to consider. Communication is not only verbal, it is non-verbal as well.  Some non-verbal communication cues include (but are not limited to) facial expressions and body language.  These cues are super important.  And let’s not forget all of the unspoken conversations that exist.  It is my opinion that the unspoken conversations weigh heavily on the potential responses or the lack of responses that can cause escalations in hostility.  Strangely enough, fear keeps some quiet while anger is a catalyst for others to talk to the point of regret.  Both states of mind and mouth can be detrimental to the flow of the communication as well as to the health of the relationship.

Communication today between a man and a woman has drastically changed. We are not as personable as we once were because some of the more modern communication streams have diminished the human interaction component.  As a result, the likelihood of misinterpretation is high.  This can be especially common in text message exchanges.  As a result, I believe text messaging should NOT be used so much.  I believe a return to some good old fashioned back-in-the-day values are in order.  I believe there were more advantages to communication when human beings relied more of each other rather than on electronic devices.  To be “social” meant something.  Modern technology actually appears to have made us more anti-social than ever.

Now-a-days, there is an all out war on communication between Man and Woman. This particular attack is serious and should cause us to pause and take note.  The man-woman interaction will be threatened if this attack continues.  The divide is at risk to widen and the scars could potentially go deeper.  Let’s take a look at a story as an example.

We use to talk all the time in the beginning. There was a time when we completed each other’s thoughts and would burst into laughter when we finished each other’s sentences. There was a time when we felt safe in our own little world. We enjoyed the intimacy of pillow talk. Which is why I can’t help but wonder what happened? We shared our goals, dreams, and visions with so much love and passion. We pushed each other to be better and to go further. How did we get to this place of silence? Man!  When did you check out on me? Woman!  When did you become so angry? Man who has your attention? Why are you so quiet? Woman why are you so angry? Why are you so loud?

He Said:

“Woman!  I love you. Why can’t you see that? I am the man. I am the head. I’m the leader so why won’t you follow me? Why don’t you trust me anymore? Open up to me. Daily I fight many forces outside our walls to prove my worth as a black man. I have to do extra to prove I’m not a threat simply because of my strong stature. I see my brothers dying daily and it bothers me. It even scares me if I were to admit it. But I can’t because that’s not what a strong man does. And then I come home to what should my sanctuary, my safe place, to an even bigger fight, filled with anger and attitude, then silence. To fight with the one so close to me feels like I’m fighting with myself.”

She Said:

“I love you Man! Why can’t you see that? You also see me as the enemy. I can feel it when you stare at me. I opened up to you and shared things I’ve experienced with you and then you throw them back in my face. Why don’t you trust me anymore? Every day you walk through the doors I’m so grateful because I see what is happening to brothers daily. I’m afraid when you leave fearing that you won’t come back home to me. I want to show you each day. But, I’m so angry I just don’t say anything because of my anger. I’m sure it comes across as attitude but it’s really not. What happened to our sanctuary-our safe place? So, instead I watch you when you come home hoping that you will just reach out and grab me-touch me in some way to let me know that you’re still invested in this fight with me! Instead, I sit…in silence. We have become strangers in a familiar place. Our communication has been silenced to nothing. How do we fix this?”

If only they would say this to each other instead of allowing silence to take over, things…would be…so much…easier. (Sigh).

He Said:

“I tried that love thing in the past. I got hurt. I’ve shut down that part of me. I built a wall. I saw nothing but games within relationships growing up so I decided that is what I will do. I’ll play games.  I’ve become a product of my environment. There are too many women out here to struggle over one. I can simply have fun. I will never settle down again. I’ll spit a version of a truth.  I will call my own shots. I’ll date several women at one time so that I won’t fall for any of them. My feelings will stay protected and I’ll treat everyone the same and not let any of them get too close to me. That is…till she came along. Finally, I can be myself. She’s seen me at my lowest point and she still stood tall. Despite my flaws, she didn’t berate me.  Nope! I said I wasn’t going to let anyone come close. I can’t turn in my card yet. I won’t. Because of fear, I pushed her beyond her limits. Now she’s gone and I miss her.”

She said:

“I tried that love thing in the past and it didn’t work. So I built a wall. What I know of love has been nothing but heartache and games. So I’ll play. Why not, I’m competitive. I’ll let you get close but not too close!  If you do, I’ll cut you off with no explanation. You’ll think I’m playing games with you like the kind you experienced in the past.  But I’m not. I’m just scared. I know your type and I know it well. I’m protecting my feelings just like you are. But you let me see you. The real you-not the person you intended. Because of that, I let you see me at my lowest point and you stood tall somehow. I know, because you wiped tears from my face. That scared you and it scared me too. So you pulled a classic you and started acting up.  And, you pushed me beyond my limits. So…I left. I miss him. But I had to go.”

It’s unfortunate how we witness these conversations all the time. So much time is wasted on unspoken words between a man and a woman.

Recently, as I was driving back home from Virginia, I tuned in to a station I never heard of-can’t even tell you anything about it other than the fact that the topic made me cringe. It was about men and women and the topic of Black women embracing their beauty. I turned it up and listened to man after man talk about us and how we need to embrace our beauty and be natural.  It talked about how we should stop wearing weaves and so much make up. It was one complaint after another offering nothing of value.  Not a single solution was given.  Needless-to-say, as I transition myself back to my nappy roots, what I heard on that broadcast did not encourage me to embrace my beauty.  I simply got tired of my thinning hair and in doing so I discovered something about myself that I didn’t see before. Now, I am able to dance in the rain and not worry about my hair. I’m not so restricted anymore. Natural hair isn’t the only way. A woman with a weave, a bald head, or whatever can be comfortable and feel beautiful.

A few callers talked about how Black women are not as submissive as women of other cultures.  That angered me fully and it made me think about this article on communication. Why can’t we just talk to each other without judgment? I had no choice but to conclude that this was yet another attack to widen the gap between the sexes. Everything is designed to keep us mad at each other and silent. I didn’t understand the purpose of that program.  But I will tell you it made me angry. And tears began to flow down my face because we are in trouble as women and men if we don’t get a grip on this. We are so far apart from each other that it saddens me so. Look at it.  We don’t talk to each other at home and our children see that. If we do talk, it’s during arguments and our children see it. Children then pattern those behaviors outside the home which ultimately adds to everyone’s frustration.  And while everyone is talking or yelling nobody is paying attention to the real issue: the bridge between us keeps getting wider. What can we do to sharpen our communication skills? The art of it and the beauty of it need to be reclaimed.  We need to revisit the fundamentals and quickly.  At this point, our communication has been reduced to social media and text messaging. And if we don’t sharpen our skills and close the divide, the state of relations between men and women will remain broken and fragmented.  And we will be lost and remain silent and angry with one another.  If only we could talk-that would make everything clearer. Let’s get back to the basics!  Let’s say what we mean and mean what we say…in love of course.

Now-a-days, challenges are created and promoted on social media all the time.  So…let’s start a communication challenge! Let’s do a little experiment. Let’s start off with one day and gradually make it a week. Instead of texting-call instead. Have a real conversation with someone in your life-a good old fashioned conversation!  You’d be surprised at how great that will feel.  And please, let me know how it goes.  Feel free to use the comments section below.  We didn’t get here overnight and it’s not going to be an overnight fix.  This is going to take time.  Let’s agree that we have to start somewhere…and soon!  Take care.

reidejopoetry@yahoo.com

 

Recia Jones is a healthcare professional by trade who through soul searching and self reflection has discovered her many of her talents and skills.  Born both out of passion and a therapeutic sense, Recia is on a journey of personal actualization in which she wields many tools and weapons to help people, women in particular find their strengths and purpose in their “singleness.”  Recia recently joined the Jubilee News Team where she made her first appearance in the Mothers’ Day Edition of the newsletter, 8.3.  

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Seeking Jubilee

To Single Women Seeking Jubilee,

After the conversation I had the other night with one of my girlfriends,’ it became very clear what communication topic I should address in this Edition. And that topic is texting.

One of the hardest things for women over 40 to do is to date. At least for most of the women I know. You’d think by the time you reach your 40s you’d have enough wisdom to dish out all of the advice you can to young women but all too often you find you still have so much to learn yourself.

But let’s get back to my friend. She was so upset and has been for years about finding a good man that will treat her the way she wants to be treated. (And by the way she isn’t alone on that one.) And that treatment doesn’t include chatting and texting only.
All too often we women over 40 find it hard to meet men any other way but through dating sites. Okay, for those of you who wouldn’t dare try this, this is how it works. You go online to one of the sites and sign up with a user name and password. You create a profile, put up a picture, and for the less aggressive types like me, you wait and wait and wait (Lol!) for a guy to express interest. Then the two of you start chatting on the site. Typically, he starts off with hi or hello. Then you respond with the same. Then, more small talk on the chat.

Well this chatting continues until you say to yourself, “This is getting on my nerves.” Still as much as it does irritate you, he’s a guy and you want a date so the chatting reluctantly continues. At some point, he may ask you for your number. If he asks you for your number, as pathetic as this sounds, there is some glimmer of hope. However, after awhile that hope gets a dose of reality and to your dismay the chatting now turns into texting.

According to Evan Marc Katz’s blog on why do guys send texts, guys across America are saying, “Hey babe. You’re not important enough to get five minutes of phone time. Please accept this weak form of communication and allow me to……” You fill in the blanks. Painful but true. If he’s only texting you, it says something about where the relationship stands. No where. According to Mr. Katz’s blog, text messaging should only be used for a handful of things, letting someone know that you’re lost or running late, telling someone where you’re located in a crowded theater or bar and writing flirty notes. I agree to a certain extent. I’d like to add a couple more instances where I think texting is appropriate. If you’re at a place where you can’t talk, but you need or want to communicate. And, if you’re not feeling well enough to talk on the phone. I’m sure there are a few more, but you get the picture. Texting should NOT be the norm.

In the midst of writing this article, I decided to get a quote from my friend. (The one that originally sparked the topic for this article.) Here’s what she had to say about texting in a relationship, “Texting originated as SMS (short messaging service) during the 90’s. The texts were only to include a few words like, “I’m running late,” “I’m on my way,” etc. We have taken it to a whole other level, when this becomes some people’s only form of communication. What’s worse is some people don’t realize there is a spell check or will make up words to communicate their thought. Smh!” Well said. So true. Lol!

Another friend of mine, Tawanda had this to say about texting, “Texting in a relationship is okay when there is already a relationship because your communication style is less likely to be misunderstood or taken out of context. Texting is not okay when you are just warming up or breaking up.” Great point. When I asked her how she would feel if texting was his only form of communication during the relationship she politely said, “Then it’s not a relationship.” Even better point.

My cousin LaTonya says, “Texting is just a means of communicating with someone quickly. If you’re in a relationship, you need to communicate. And texting is not a proper way to communicate. It shows no emotion. Communicating your emotions in a relationship is what builds a relationship. That’s how you get to know each other. Texting doesn’t allow you to communicate that emotion. You can’t use an instrument that has no way to communicate real genuine emotion to build or enhance a relationship. Women who accept it are validating men who say they don’t like to talk on the phone. And that’s bull crap because if you really want something, you’re going to do what you need to do to go get it.” LT you are right. If they really want something……

To sum it up, texting has it’s place. It’s a way to communicate some quick information and not a form of communication to build a lasting relationship. Evan Marc Katz says the next time he texts you tell him in a flirty manner that the way to your heart is through his voice. I like that Evan. And if I may, I like to add, “After that, if he doesn’t get it, then maybe he doesn’t get you. And you are a queen who is worth getting.”

Yours in Favor of Limited Texting,

LaVerna Saunders

Just One Communications

 

LaVerna Saunders is a woman of highest caliber. She is a sales professional, former radio talk show host, and my former Blog Talk Radio Co-Host. LaVerna’s energetic, upbeat approach to her work and to life in general is unmatched. LaVerna is especially savvy in articulating the nuances of the male-female relationship dynamic. LaVerna is an experienced presenter, Emcee, and trainer in a variety of fields. LaVerna is credited with bringing many aspects of Jubilee News, of WHEN MEN SPEAK and other aspects of James’ Encouragement Is Key network from concept to life. Jubilee News wishes to express its sincere appreciation for all of LaVerna’s contributions both past and present.

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Moving On 
by Tracye Brewer 

You have been abused and you are moving on. You are living in a safe place. You have disconnected from your abuser. You have found counseling to be helpful. You are working, engaged in social activities, and feeling vibrant again. You are no longer afraid. You don’t feel like a victim. You are not trying to be perfect. You are rediscovering the world through a new lens. You are moving on.

And then there’s him: He seems nice. He is everything that your abuser was not. When you talk to him, you feel confident and free. When you are out with him, you feel respected and appreciated. When you are not with him, you are feeling good about yourself. You can hardly wait to see him again.

The relationship is growing and developing based on a mutual trust and genuine friendship. He has witnessed some of your flaws and he doesn’t criticize you or berate you. He just enjoys being with you. You can imagine a long-lasting future with him. Despite this fact, you still push him away or shut him out at times. He doesn’t understand why you do this but he respects your space. You suddenly realize that you are pushing him away to protect your secret: You have been abused.

The feelings of guilt, fear, and shame return. At times when you are alone, your emotions grip you tightly.

What should you do?

Remind yourself that you are not being abused. That was then and this is now. This man is not your abuser.

COMMUNICATE!! Tell him what happened and how you feel. You can communicate general information about the abusive relationship and how you feel about it without disclosing all of the details. A man who is respectful of your boundaries and wants to move forward with you, will appreciate your honesty. He will not try to force you to say or do anything that you don’t feel comfortable doing. He will not blame you for what happened. He will not use your past against you. A man of understanding will listen. A man of understanding will comfort you.

Forgive yourself AGAIN. It’s normal for some emotions to resurface. Grant yourself permission to feel them. Acknowledge that they are there. Make it a practice to remind yourself that what happened to you is not who you are. When you openly express your feelings to the new man in your life and face the challenges in your current situation, you are expressing your POWER. Every time you exercise your power, you are healing yourself.

Everyone is different. The effects of a past experience of being abused can manifest in different ways in different people. You might wonder when is the best time to tell your new man about it? The short answer is: Whenever it comes up for you in your relationship. If you have truly forgiven yourself, then you can trust yourself to take this risk. If you are afraid, perhaps more healing needs to take place before you consider moving forward in the relationship.

If you find yourself reliving the trauma, having flashbacks, or feeling afraid in your new relationship, seek help from a licensed professional. You have not failed yourself or anyone else. You may need to “slow down” in the relationship or reset the boundaries. A man will choose to either walk away or support you in this process and this is okay. Trust that he knows what he can handle and that he may be doing you a huge favor by walking away. He may have experiences that you may not be aware of. This is not a negative reflection of you. This is a process. Don’t give up on yourself. Love yourself.

Rest assured that moving on is a process and no matter how that process happens for you, it is well.

 

Tracye Brewer is a licensed clinical social worker. She facilitates workshops on “The Abuse of Power” teaching strategies for prevention and healing of abuse. She helps to raise awareness of clergy sexual abuse, working directly with clergy and church leadership. She has over 10 years of experience working with individuals, families, and children as a social worker. As a Medical Social Worker at Kaiser Permanente, she currently works with patients who have chronic illness and end stage disease. She is also an actress. She recently performed in the stage production “I Want My Vagina Back” playing the role of Claire, a woman struggling to heal from abuse, misfortune, and poor choices.  Please join me in welcoming Tracye Brewer to the Jubilee News Team in this her debut article.

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A Wife , A Mom, An Entrepreneur…

by Tiffany Lyles

How in the world does one who wears so many hats attempt to find time to try to mildly stay in shape?

As Women, we are the glue and a central figure of our families. We multitask without giving a second thought, we care for our children and/or our significant others selflessly.  We love unconditionally.  We literally dedicate every fiber of our being to making sure that all things are taken care of.  Somehow, we apply these same ethics to our work lives as well.

Although we manage to balance so many stressors gracefully, many of us seem to lack one thing….we often forget to take care of ourselves! Like so many other women, I myself am guilty of this.  I found myself saying, “Oh, I’ll make my doctors appointment later” or “the kids are more important, this can wait.” In more instances than should happen, I put myself and my needs on the back burner. It wasn’t until I came across a post that read, “You can’t pour from an empty cup” that things started to make sense to me. I realized that I can’t be superhuman all day, everyday.  At some point I need to, and I deserved to put myself first. How can I be all things for everyone else, and yet be nothing for myself? I can’t take care of my kids if I’m not well.  I can’t run my business if I’m not in good enough physical shape to endure standing for long periods of time. So I decided to make a change.

My real life changing moment came in January of 2015. My son, who was 7 years old at the time, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just days before his 8th birthday. This diagnosis truly shook me to my core. Although type 1 diabetes is quite common and can occur despite how well you eat or how active you are, I felt guilty that this was now my son’s reality.  I kept thinking, maybe if I had been more knowledgeable of how to cook healthy meals or maybe had I done something different along the way…maybe diabetes could have been avoided. But the truth is, there was no way around it.

We spent days in the hospital working with nutritionists and endocrinologists who helped us get a grip on how to manage and care for his condition. It was at that point that I vowed to learn whatever I needed to know in order to take better care of myself and my family- from a nutrition and exercise standpoint.

I was never athletic in high school and as a kid I felt lost when it came to exercise.  And to boot, now I had the added responsibility of nutritional considerations.  Yup, I was venturing into uncharted territory. I didn’t know anything about portion control, carb counting, how the body processes things we digest, calories, or metabolism for that matter. I was in the habit of eating what I wanted when I wanted it because that’s what I was accustomed to.

The hardest thing about trying to get in shape or being healthier is to figure out where to start and with what to start. Honestly, the only true answer to that question is to…JUST START.  Start with something small such as swapping out soda and juice for water.  Go for a 10-15 minute walk daily.  Stay away from fried foods.  Try to get more rest.  Small changes will begin to make a world of difference in how you feel inside as well as how you look on the exterior. The key is to increase your heart rate which will result in the body burning more calories.

I currently enjoy going for a run or walk.  I also enjoy working out at the gym.  Yoga has become a big favorite for me. Yoga allows for a deep stretch and it’s a great way to regain a mind and body connection. In the high stress work we live in, we need a good way to detox and Yoga provides that something for me.

So, let’s fast forward to the present day.  I’m in pretty decent shape.  My husband and children are way healthier and we all work towards making healthier choices on a daily bases. We are all looking, and most importantly, feeling better than we ever did before.  For that reason alone I am super thankful. I really feel like I am taking care of myself and my family the way I’m supposed to.

Finally, I discovered that the internet is loaded with helpful tips to that I used when I started my fitness journey.  Google became my best friend! And, it will be extraordinarily helpful for you as well.  Remember, the hardest thing to do is to take that first step, but I promise you…it’ll be a step in the right direction.

 

Tiffany Lyles is a Wife, Mother, entrepreneur of multiple businesses and projects including a unisex beauty salon and hair cuttery, and a paint & sip center.  In recent years, Tiffany has transformed her life and the lives of her family by empowering herself with nutritional knowledge.  Tiffany is also an avid runner and a Yoga practitioner.  This Publication is thrilled to have a professional as talented and as knowledgeable as Tiffany.  Please join the Jubilee News Team in officially welcoming Tiffany Lyles in her debut article as Author-Artist to the Jubilee News Team.   

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Ah! The Good Old “C” Word…(Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter!)

by Kratina

The almighty “C” word as I like to frame it. The revolution and the evolution of communication (the “C” word) between opposite sexes is quite an astonishing journey. As I take a moment to reflect on the progression and in my opinion the digression of communication between

  • boyfriend/girlfriend,
  • significant other (to be politically correct),
  • husband/wife,
  • booty call,
  • male friend/girl friend,
  • BAE (before anyone else), and yes, even the newest of them all,
  • FWB (friends with benefits),

I can honestly say, it’s a trip (pun intended.)
When I see the cave people on TV or in History books, hunched over, with clubs in hand, bones in their hair. I can’t help but laugh. How in the world did they communicate? He clubs her, she feeds him rotten meat? Seriously, they didn’t have Hallmark back then. A bouquet of flowers might look more like a man-eating Venus Fly Trap. The movies would look like a scene from Jurassic Park. Ruth Chris probably looked more like a torch on fire sitting with a big rock as a table, and two small rocks for chairs. I can’t see any of that as being romantic or let alone pleasurable at all. But they still managed to procreate and communicate. Grunts, ticking, clicking, head bobbing, smiles, frowns, pointing and yes, maybe even dragging the woman of interest to…no, not the Ritz, more like the Flintstones cave of wonders.

Fast forward to the times of civility (if that is what you want to call it), the next years of one way communication with the man telling the woman (his property) what she will and won’t do and how she will do it and when. And we all know how THAT ended…not so well for the ego driven man, hence the advent of men’s fascination with electronics and the remote. They can program them!

Now, being a woman in my mid-forties, with just a little experience under my belt, I can say to hell with all of that! No, you WON’T pull me by my hair to your cave. (By the way, I would be the one to serve you diseased meat if you pulled me by my hair!) No, you DON’T own me. [My favorite line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding:

Toula: “Ma, Dad is so stubborn. What he says goes.  Ah, the man is the head of the house!”

Maria: “Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.’]

Communication by: sight, touch, words written or spoken, honesty, seriousness, jest, body language (one of my personal favorites) is in my opinion higher on the list than religion, political beliefs, diversity in ethnic backgrounds, family’s thoughts or friends’ thoughts. I believe that when we communicate in play or sincerity, we are acting in love not just for ourselves, but for those we love and care about. Communication is NOT just words, verbally or written, it is physical, mental and spiritual and is, in my humble opinion, the greatest of all actions in our relationships with men!

I read a book…ONCE. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, between being a Mother with two mentally ill children with addiction issues, an employee with a full-time job, a cook, a maid, a taxi/Chauffer, a team Mom, a wife (EX!), a girl friend, a daughter, a step daughter, a church goer, a pet owner, the landscaping crew, the dishwasher, the “MOM’s emergency room doctor,” the Warden, the referee, the bill payer and yes…the list goes on, that I actually was very selfish and spent money on a book.  And, I actually read a full book (with all those things demanding so much of my time.) The book was, The Five Love Languages. It was an Epiphany greater than The Burning Bush. I realized that when I speak another language not native to the person I’m speaking to, they automatically look at me like I have ten heads. Some people will try hard to understand me, (thank you Google Translation app) but they get frustrated and don’t know how to respond, hence the grunts and clubbing back in the day. But today, I have a tool much easier than going to my hair stylist to ask for extensions for my missing hair after being drug to the cave. I simply need to understand which language I understand and which language he understands. I become almost like a cross between Jacques Cousteau and Sherlock Holmes-Explorer and investigator. I want to know that if you understand verbal praise/affirmations more than physical acts of appreciation (get your mind out of the gutter- I was talking about cleaning or cooking) because I want to communicate with you.

When the communication line becomes physical acts of abuse or verbal assaults and treats, then you need to high tail it out. Having spent time (six months) in a shelter for battered women and children and seeing a friend and her four children shot on site from her abuser (your internal bell should be ringing off the damn hook right about now.) That is clearly a sign of disturbance and manipulation/control NOT a sign of frustration that they are having a hard time learning your language of love. Call the police and seek help as fast as you can.

For me, I had to be willing to be honest with myself and not stuff my anger, fear, frustration or disappointment away.  I also realized in communicating with my man, that a lot of my misunderstandings where the result of bad programming. I would say, “I am a strong, smart and confident woman.”  What I discovered is that I was scared to become vulnerable. To bear my honest thoughts, feelings and emotions required me to become vulnerable and that was the last thing on planet Earth I wanted to do. Truthfully, I was afraid to become vulnerable, because I feared that person would use that against.

Finally, Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting. The size of the force on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. This holds true as a fact for me when communicating with my partner. We don’t have to be Newton or Einstein to figure out the certain things have already been tested and proven.  Instead, we must be willing to learn the lessons necessary, as early as we possibly can.  The state and the success of our relationships depend on it.

 

Kratina is a Mother and health care professional who has worked for some of the largest international institutions in the industry.  Kratina is a service professional, who has years of experience working in high volume, incredibly stress filled environments.  Having overcome many personal challenges, Kratina relies heavily on her faith and her humor to remain grounded and ready to help others.  For years, Kratina has been a closet poet and writer and seeks to use this opportunity to spread her patented brand of insight and humor through her posts.  This Publication is super excited to have Kratina on board.  Please join me in welcoming Kratina in this her first article as a part of the Jubilee News Team.

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Why Does He Always Do This?

by Shereen

How many times have we as women said this to our girlfriends?
Sighing down the phone late at night comparing stories of our other halves, or better halves, dependent on our mood.

As a woman-a black woman-I am aware I have triggers-situations or behaviors that can set me off in the blink of an eye. That is not a generalization-it’s a fact. I’m working through it, increasing my level of self-awareness and my maturity to actually talk about some of the things that frustrate me. But it hasn’t been easy.

I can trace back my issues to my father. Yes, it is a story as old as time in the black community unfortunately. Absent father or in my case, a father that would pick and choose when he felt it was the right time to show up. We could go many, many months and not here from my Dad.  Despite his many promises that he would be coming round on the weekend to pick us up, more often than not it never happened.

I remember being 15 years old (I’m the oldest of four children) during the Summer holidays.  That meant that school was out for a whole 6 weeks. We lived in the North West of England, a tiny town called Crewe, and we were one of 3 black families who lived there. Crewe was about 250 miles away from London.

London is where the action was. Our cousins were there.  Our Aunties and Uncles, too. People we didn’t get to see regularly. London is where we could mingle with black people.  In London, we wouldn’t be the odd ones out due to the color of our skin. The irony is that when we went to London, we were still the odd ones out because of our accents. With a Northern British accent we sounded “white.” We couldn’t win.

One vivid memory I had took place on a Saturday morning and we were all packed to go to London with my Dad for 2 weeks.  The plan was to take the train.  That meant, we had to wait for him to come to our house, collect us, and go to the train station. We told all of our school friends that we wouldn’t be seeing them for awhile, ignoring the “yeah whatever” looks they often gave us.  As I got older, I realized my school friends knew my Dad better than I did. His unreliability was obvious to everyone except to me.

11 a.m. that Saturday he was meant to be there. 11 a.m. had come and gone. Then it was lunchtime and still…we waited. “He’s only a couple of hours late,” I remember thinking, “and he’ll be here soon.”

A couple of hours turned into 4 hours.  At about 6 p.m. that day, we realized he wasn’t coming.

Now this was before the days of a mobile phone so there was no way of contacting him. My Mum called his sister, my Aunty, and she thought he was already in Crewe. No one had seen him.  And no one knew where he was.

Not only did my Dad not turn up, we didn’t hear from him for months! When he did eventually call, there was no apology. It was as if the school holidays never happened. I would love to tell you this was a one off, but it wasn’t. It was common practice with my Dad. Unreliability and my Dad go hand in glove. They did then and unfortunately they still do.

Whilst I’ve gotten over that, it has had a profound impact on how I react to perceived unreliability. I use the word perceived because there have been many times when I have overreacted to my partner being late or changing his mind about doing something when we already agreed we were going to do it.

Changing his mind or cancelling our plans used to equate to unreliability in my book. I didn’t need to hear the reason or the context, as soon as I heard “I’m sorry baby but…” I had already filled in the blanks.

Why can’t I find a reliable man who does what he says he’s going to do? Why is it so hard?  Why does my partner always do this?

I would be annoyed and sullen for a couple of hours, in theory I would get over it, but not really. It was a vicious cycle really and not helpful when you desperately love someone but you’re equally not sure if they can be trusted. Reliability equals trust, really, at its core.

One day a colleague half-jokingly asked me why I was always late.
Me? I replied at the time. Late? Well I am optimistic with the time and always try to fit another something in. We had a laugh and I didn’t think anything of it.  But then later that day as I was walking to my car from the train station, I reflected on that conversation.

I can count on more than one hand the number of times I’ve been late for things. Silly things like leaving to go to the gym (in my defense). I have to be at my class at 6:30 a.m. so maybe a bit of lateness is excused? Dropping my daughter off at her drama class is a good example.  Or maybe, arriving late to meet a friend for coffee. Lateness, to be fair, is my middle name.

My lateness is not a sign of disrespect or disregard (at least in my mind) to the other person’s time, but it could certainly be perceived that way.  And here’s the punch line: I am late because it’s the only way I can ensure I’m not the one that is kept waiting. Deep down I am still that 15 year old teenager, frustrated at the many times my Dad has let me down. My way to cope with it, to ensure I can avoid feeling that sense of abandonment, is to be late. And I do that by being the one that keeps people waiting and not the other way round.  Not particularly grown up I know, but I am working on it. It’s only the last few years that I have been able to articulate the deep rooted cause of my tardiness. This awareness; however, has taught me a lot about perception.

As women we can be so quick to connect the dots of isolated behavior and use it to reinforce an opinion (usually a negative one) of how our men can be lacking. We are quick to jump to “oh here we go again” point and we can, without hesitation, list all of the transgressions our men have done in the last decade. Not only can we recall what they have done, we remember the time, date, what they were wearing as well as what food we ate that day, too. Our ability to recall these details are second to none.

But sometimes things are not as they seem. In my case, there are genuine circumstances when plans need to be changed; when unavoidable things happen that delay my partner’s coming home. I have to move away from thinking “Why does he always do that” and instead, spend more time reflecting on “why do I always react like that.”

We cannot control other people. We cannot always fathom the intent behind behavior. It can be exhausting and destructive if we fail to pause and choose our responses so we don’t just react.  As the saying goes, first seek to understand. And, the question we need to ask ourselves is, “How much time I have spent trying to understand myself?”

I’m getting better. I’m a work in progress and I’m fortunate enough to be with someone who I wouldn’t change for the world. I am trying to have grown up conversations, even though sometimes I’d rather pull my own teeth out.  But, it does make a difference.

We cannot always jump to conclusions and somewhere in our past, you will have a story, like I had my story, of the very something that explains why you behave or react the way you do.  Spend the time to work it out.  Be brave and have courage to articulate it to your partner.  They may not be able to understand but they will understand you better.

I’m 36 years old and it’s taken me this long to realize that is what it means to be in a grown up relationship.  Good grief it’s hard work!  Don’t laugh.  I’m still learning.

 

Shereen is a Mum of 9 year Tia and partner of Mehis (her very own Estonian Viking). Working in Human Resources by day and Founder and Creator of Achibé, Shereen is a firm believer that we can take small steps and we can achieve anything we set our minds to. Shereen’s mission is to empower people to better help themselves to live the lives of their dreams. Shereen is also a Crossfitter and a closet writer who hails from the UK. Because of Shereen’s multifaceted knowledge and understanding, the Publication’s Team is honored to count her among it’s writers.  Please join the Jubilee News Team in welcoming Shereen in this, her debut article.

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The Dance of Communication
by Meredith A. Weber

When my husband and I were talking about our wedding plans, we discussed dancing.  As a matter of fact, we discussed it over and over again. You see, my husband is NOT a dancer and claims to have two left feet (I checked and he doesn’t). I, on the other hand, LOVE to dance. So, when we were talking about our wedding, we had to compromise. Aren’t weddings a great place to practice the compromise that a marriage should have? I promised him that he’d only have to dance once with me and that would be during our “first dance.” But then, knowing how he felt about dancing (and not liking to be the center of attention) I took it a step further (no pun intended). I told him that during the first stanza he had to dance with me and that after that we would invite our wedding party on the floor and they would dance all around us so people wouldn’t be as focused on us anymore. He agreed to the compromise and we stuck to the terms we discussed. When the dance was over, I didn’t try and pry him back on the floor or pout that my husband only danced one song with me. Instead, I danced with our friends on the floor and he chatted with those who didn’t dance. At the end of the night, we left hand in hand with smiles on our faces (and bird seed in our hair).

Marriage is so much like a dance and communication is key to staying in step with one another. My husband and I will celebrate our five-year anniversary in July. Since our wedding day, we’ve become parents to two children. We’ve adapted our communication as our family has grown, but there are some main communication ideas that transcend any relationship.  Here are ten points for you to consider:

  1. Start with respect for one another. Speak in a way that shows you respect the person with whom you are speaking and listen with the same mindset. Speak in a tone that conveys you care about how the other person feels and listen (don’t just hear) what his thoughts and opinions are on a matter.
  2. Wait for the right opportunity to have “big discussions” about important topics. Don’t throw an idea at your spouse as he is walking out the door to go to work or some place where he will away from you for a while. Wait until the kids are in bed and you can talk face-to-face for an uninterrupted period of time.
  3. Keep in mind that some topics take a lot of time (and many discussions) to conclude.
  4. Pick your battles. Seriously. If you are debating over something, really examine the importance of it to you. If you realize you arguing over something that’s less important to you than it is to your spouse then let it go. And let your spouse know WHY you are letting him “win” an argument. Make it a practice to let each other “win” as you figure out who is more passionate about the topic at hand.
  5. Before you commit yourself and your spouse to something, talk about it with that person first. Keep one calendar and talk to your spouse as you make plans. You will both feel more valued as you make each other number one when making plans.
  6. Keep your relationship baggage out of social media. Seriously, can we stop this practice?? Getting a few “likes” from your girlfriends as you husband-bash will only backfire on you. It’s super disrespectful to your spouse and it’s a cheap way to get attention. Just don’t do it!
  7. Lift each other up in front of each other. Compliment your husband in front of your friends. Brag on him. Go ahead and see what happens to your man’s countenance and demeanor. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed.
  8. In the same spirit, don’t tease or bash your spouse with your friends whether he is with you or not. You may say something in a moment of anger or frustration about your spouse and then later forgive him and forget about it. It’s much harder for family or friends to forgive and forget.
  9. Listen more than you speak. There’s a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth. Really listen to your spouse and try not to interrupt. (That’s a hard one and one that I struggle with constantly!)

10. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as God                through Christ has forgiven you.”  What a great verse and such words of                        wisdom.  At the end of the day, let kindness, compassion and forgiveness win.  If          you, then you’ll both be winners in your marriage and in other relationships as          well.

It’s hard to go from being “numero uno” to married and having to think about the other person. The true challenge is making your spouse a priority. As you shift into that mindset you will find that it really makes the dance more fun. That…and a good pair of shoes!

 

Meredith Duncan Weber holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and is an exceptionally gifted communicator. Her sincere approach to enjoying life and people comes across in all of her interactions. We are thankful for Meredith’s contribution as she allows us to peek behind the curtain of her relationship with her Husband and the journey of life and commitment that they embarked upon several years ago. Meredith wrote an amazing article for the Publication several years ago.  At that time, we welcomed Meredith and imparted blessings to her and her Husband as newly weds.  We’ve asked Meredith to provide us an update on the progress of her marriage and she so graciousness responded with yet another article filled with wisdom and solid instruction.  Join me in thanking Meredith for her willingness and for her second installment. 

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Kims ad

 

Kimberly Martin is a wife, mother, grandmother, and survivor of extraordinary personal trauma.  Kim is an advocate for and incredibly passionate about assisting those with emotional and mental illness to seek the help and counseling they need.  Kim also takes great proud in helping them find their voices.  Kim possesses a rare combination of wisdom and compassion and speaks the language of those hurting-specifically those who suffer in the silence because they are ashamed to admit they are suffering with emotional or mental illness. Kim is also a closet writer and poet who hopes to extend a helping hand to those suffering in the silence of their disorders through her out of the box writing style   Thank you Kim for your out of the box thinking and for this your debut submission as a new member of the Jubilee News Team.  Please join me in offering Kim a hardy welcome.

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For Spits & Giggles

Welcome to the FUNNY BONE-Jubilee News’ very own place for spits and giggles.  Laughter provides healing on multiple levels.  Allow Jubilee News to offer you a few doses of laughter to bring a smile to your face and a giggle to your soul. Enjoy!

chocolate
Talk about guilty eating chocolate.
darth vader
I think I’ll just skip Mass today, thank you.
mad in china
What did we do now?
pooh
Absolutely no words at all.

 

Over the years, I have greatly benefited from some much needed laughter to lighten my daily burdens.  One friend in particular has always been there to provide those humor filled moments.  That friend who goes by the tag of NV, has a knack at finding the funnies.  I asked her if she wouldn’t mind doing what’s she’s done for me and others on her Facebook feeds for you.  

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My Two Cents

by Kottyn

Pertaining to communicating with a man…
Ladies, contrary to what you may think, some men like to talk. Some men like to express themselves. As women, we have to listen with both ears, our hearts, and (many times) a closed mouth. We need to keep in mind that some men were not raised to express how they feel. They were trained to suppress their emotions. It takes a special kind of a woman to get a man to open up and not suppress how he feels. Once he does, be a good listener! Don’t cut him off. Don’t condemn or interrupt him.

Ladies, consider both contributors of communication. If you believe your man isn’t listening to you, try a different approach. For me, prayer is extremely helpful, especially if I’m upset about a particular topic. Before I engage, I pray. Also, consider taking some time to evaluate what’s been said, maybe a day or two, to develop a thoughtful, loving approach is also a huge help. Whatever you say, be sure to respond it out of genuine love. Engage in a respectful manner. And, at all costs, avoid engaging in communication that can be perceived as attacking or hurtful. Work hard to stay away from tones that are belittling in any way, shape, form, or fashion. I have found that any time I seek the LORD is a good time. But, I’ve also discovered that there are so many more benefits to seeking God’s help as a preventative measure rather from a reactionary mindset. Purpose to put first things first!

 

Kottyn Campbell is a model, poet, spoken word artist, author, radio and television show host that has years of experience performing at Open Mic Nights and has multiple books to her credit.  Her smooth, sensual, purposeful delivery sets her head, shoulders, and vocally apart from all others of her craft.  Jubilee News-A WHEN MEN SPEAK Publication is extremely thankful to host such an immense talent as Kottyn and we welcome her back to another Edition.

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Past Hurts In Present Context
by I.M.

How do you effectively deal with your current boyfriend/husband after you’ve been hurt so badly by past acquaintances? Consider this:

I was married for 15 years and like many females I experienced betrayal of trust and unconditional love. Not certain why our companions go astray but, it happens. Many suggest that usually it’s the woman’s fault for not peaking her partner’s interest anymore.  Others say that a man is allowed to have more than 1 partner. I beg to differ with both statements.
My ex-husband was broken from the very beginning but I failed to see the signs. That is the first rule in dealing with men. It is said in the Bible: “Everyone who keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). If he cheats and you forgive him technically he feels he has gotten away with it and he may be capable of doing it again. Unfortunately, I have heard many of my friends say, “I thought he wouldn’t do it again.”
Women, safeguard your hearts! Give yourself the respect that you are expecting to receive from your lover. Believing that you can change him is not the answer nor a viable approach to take. I tried and it never worked. When you meet someone and you start to notice their flaws, ask yourself is this something that I am willing to accept and live with? We might adapt and conform, but change is rare. If it’s a defect that is unbearable do not think that it’s going to get better or go away. It’s best to end that relationship before someone gets hurt. The longer you stay, the deeper of a bond you’ll form and the harder it will be to let go in the long run.
We have to learn that if he doesn’t make you his priority, down the road you’ll encounter problems. In my marriage, I was silent about the fact that my ex-husband spent so much more time around his friends and away from me and the children. In addition, once we married, he never wanted me to have or to spend time with friends. Now that I look back at it, I believe it was to keep me from seeing the reality of our damaged marriage. His efforts to control and isolate me, were not only damaging to our marriage but to me as a person.

All of us-women and men-have issues.  But accepting those issues and consequently living with those issues is something else entirely.     Accepting someone with the good and the bad that they come with is not always easy. But it’s a two way street. No one is perfect. Men are not our little boys that we are raising to be good men. Those qualities should have been there prior to the union. We should not take on the role of mentors to our men.  There is a far cry from trying to mentor our men vs. suggesting they give us a back massage.  And it would do us well to know, and practice, the difference.

Once you’ve been impacted by the aforementioned issues, it’s difficult to trust another man, especially in the beginning.  But trust, I’ve found is earned in one sense and gained in another.  In my current relationship I feel that I can trust him, my trust is solid. We’ve been together for 3 years now and my man has loved me in ways to free me from suspicions and paranoia.  Our friendship is strong and our love is vibrant because our communication is effective. Those things are all byproducts of making your lover a priority.

 

I.M. is Mother, a linguist of multiple languages, and a customer service professional with 20 plus years of experience.  I.M. specializes in the research of extremely complex service related complaints and issues.  I.M. also specializes in navigating complex personal and relationship related issues.  It is her hope that the pain and the subsequent wisdom that she has gained in recent years can empower other women to find their purpose and to regain their footing after suffering through horrendous losses.  It is this publication’s privilege to have I.M. on board.  Please join me in officially welcoming I.M. to the Jubilee News Team with this her first writing debut.

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Thank you so very much for your time and for your feedback of this Edition.  We are excited for the many strides the Publication has made thus far…because of your support and partnership.  Stay tuned for more from Jubilee News-A WHEN MEN SPEAK Publication in our next Edition.  YOU made us popular.  Now…it’s our turn to make you proud.  The revolution WILL NOT be televised!  It will be blogged…by Jubilee News-A WHEN MEN SPEAK Publication.

 

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