Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: The Year of Harvest

Mom and Me!

Tomorrow, will be 2018, and it seems like the past seventeen years hurried by like a woman scurrying to pick up her child from daycare before those late fees kick in. Yep, it has felt like that type of hurrying; hurrying with a purpose.

My Dad us to say that time waits for no one, and you know, I am in the years of getting answers, and now I see clearly just what my Dad was talking about... Time waits for no one!

To prepare to write my annual end-of-the-year blog, I went back to read a few of my previous blogs, and I realized that in quite a few of my blogs, I was believing God for something. 

Now, in 2017, all praises to God and hard work, many of my dreams manifested. So, in 2018, I am going to do a whole lot more Giving Thanks and Surrendering and Trusting and Giving Thanks and Surrendering, and Trusting, and Giving Thanks and Surrendering and Trusting.....

My cycling teammates!

My bookclub!

A few summers back, I had this strong urge to work on literacy, especially for children of color. My readings and conversations with other passionate educators confirmed some things that were placed on my heart. So, I went to educational consulting camp and did just about every single thing that the leader of the camp told us to do. This past year, my company, Stallworth Educational Consulting Team, was formed, and I was able to work with two school districts on literacy. 

You know how God works, there are many more opportunities coming. All I need to do is Stay Ready, Surrender, and Trust. 

With my dear friend Kathleen and the writer Ibi  Zoboi

My cycling teammates!

I was advised at consulting camp that I needed to get my writings published in a literary magazine. So, I reached out to International Literacy’s magazine, and I wrote a proposal for their “What’s New In Literacy,” edition, and my proposal was accepted. Y’all, my piece was published in the magazine.

I also applied to present at the International Literacy’s Conference in Orlando, and my proposal was accepted. My current school district paid all related expenses, and I went to do what I am called to do. My session was packed, and folks seem to really be engaged. I had soooooo much fun. After I finished, I wanted to run around like we do in African American churches when we are in the spirit. However, I was not in that type of environment, so I had to forgo on the running.

Y’all this was fun!
Can you tell I was having a good time in my session?

While I was doing my thing, a wonderful lady was in my session from the company Booksource. Booksource provides schools with classroom libraries. This wonderful lady asked me if we could talk later about me doing some literacy work for Booksource, and NOW, I am a peer advisor for Booksource. This mainly means that Booksource open doors for me to go to schools and conferences to talk about my love for books and my love of getting children to love them as well. 

Bo Bikes Bama ride!
My favorite writer Jason Reynolds!

For the past few summers I have been training teachers to teach Advanced Placement (AP) Literature for Texas Christian College. However, my desire was to be a full time AP Literature Consultant with The College Board. I completed the application, emailed a few folks, talked to a few people, AND I am a endorsed College Board consultant. My heart leaps for joy when I think about the influence that I can have on college board literature classes; I want to see those classes be more inclusive of children of color, and now I am in the door. 

AND, I actually opened a spam email, and I actually acted on it; I am one of the teachers selected to serve on the National Humanities Center's Teacher Advisory Council for the 2017-2018 school year. This experience has been very rewarding, and I have met some wonderful, inspiring educators. Y’all, this was not an opportunity that I saw coming, but I am appreciative and humbled to serve.

In Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison there is this quote: “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.”  Y’all, I have been riding the air, God, and... I was about to say it has been scary, but it really has not been. I’ve been preparing for every single thing that came my way this year...

So, I did not write all of this to boast; not at all. I wrote all this to remind myself of all of the doors that have opened for me. I am also encouraging you to write down all of the things that God has done for you, so you can see that you really are moving forward. AND, if you see that you are not moving forward, GET ON IT!!!

Today, I was thinking about all of the books that I have read over the last year, and in every story, fiction and non-fiction, people end up right where they are suppose to be and things seem to work out for their good.

However, you know how the mind works, and I thought of the story The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs. Robert Peace was a student from the inner city who attended and graduated from Yale without paying one penny. After graduation he was studying cancer cells for Yale. However, he eventually moved back to New Jersey, started selling drugs, and ended up being tragically murdered. Now, I have to ask myself, did Robert Peace have the ending that he was suppose to have; was this God’s doing?

I think about Robert a lot, and I believe that we all have free-well. Robert Peace could or could not have gone to Yale, it was up to him. The doors opened for him, but it was up to him to walk through them. Maybe, he could have capitalized on the research that he was doing on cancer cells or did something else? I believe that Robert Peace had free-will just like you and me.

I think what I am trying to say is that when we have that pull on our hearts, we can answer or not. We can run towards it or away from it; I think that we have a choice. When doors started to open for me, for some reason, I knew they were opened just for me, and I felt peace and excited, and I boldly walked in. Sure, I was surprised each and every time but READY!

Now, for 2018, I already have quite a few things lined up, and I have other things that I am working on, and instead of believing God, and being that child or spouse who never seems to be satisfied, I am going to try with my whole heart to not ask for more but to EXPECT more.

Not sure what season you are in, reaping or sowing, but know that there is a harvest with your name on it.

Consider writing stuff down and speaking it as well!

Happy 2018!

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