Shame & Race in the Workplace & Beyond: When the Elephant Is Destroying the Room

Like any other weekday, I went through my morning ritual of prayer and meditation, and then sat down with a cup of tea to check the morning headlines before starting my workday.  The last few weeks had been quite heavy and intense with the numerous protests against racism and police brutality after the most recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.  As a black male, I saw myself in George and Ahmaud, and Breonna could have easily been a member of my family.  With these events stacked on top of the COVID-19 virus wreaking economic havoc and social discord, along with provocative presidential tweets and the political rollercoaster of having national emergencies during an election year, I thought I was mentally prepared to see pretty much anything come through the news feed.

CZD Feature Student of the Month: Dredon Lackey

In life, God blesses each of us with wonderful gifts… things we do exceptionally well with less effort than most.  Since we are not born with an instruction manual that tells us what those are, we can spend a significant stretch of our journeys searching for what we do best.  In fact, many of us don’t discover our gifts until the mid to late portion of our lives, and those who do know their gifts often don’t develop or pursue them.  As a result, many people go to their graves without ever knowing what they were capable of doing.  However, there are a select few individuals who have a finger on the pulse of what they are meant to do well before the rest of us.  By the age of nine, Dredon Lackey had already...

I See You

I see you. How many pictures did you take before you found one you would post? “My hair’s too messy.” “My smile looks weird.” “I look fat from that angle.” “I should try another pose.” Don’t you ever get tired? Tired of putting yourself under a microscope? Tired of trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations? Tired of letting other people’s social media pages...

If Even Kobe Can Die Young, What’s the Point?

Beyond being stunned, a sudden tragedy like this can trigger many confusing thoughts.  Kobe had smoothly transitioned into his post-basketball career and seemed to be on the verge of matching or surpassing his on-the-court success off the court.  He appeared to be much more at peace after basketball, and the radiant joy on his face when he was with his daughters was evidence of a man who loved being a father.  Such an abrupt end to an incredibly successful and happy life brings to mind the question: Why?  Why them?  Why so soon? Why now, when life was going so well and Kobe was doing so many good things?  If Kobe can have so many accomplishments and do so many positive things and then have them all cut short by sudden death, what hope is there for every-day people like us? 

Anxiety Sobriety: Freedom from Being Overwhelmed

Full of adrenaline, I paced the room with a nervous energy that wouldn’t go away. I tried sitting down, but then instead of pacing I began wringing my hands and rubbing my arms and legs. My body seemed confused… searching for a movement, any type of movement, that would release the energy I was carrying. My mind was spinning, and I’m sure at some point my lips actually moved, mumbling in an attempt to process the flood of thoughts swirling through my brain. It started with one thing I was worried about, then snowballed forward into a torrent of unpleasant thoughts that consumed me with fear and worry. The restlessness extended into the night and I could hardly sleep. For some reason I just couldn’t relax. This might sound quite familiar to anyone who has battled anxiety.

What to Do When Stuff Keeps Interrupting Your Goals

I had everything planned out.  Creating a schedule was a regular part of my routine, and I planned my day down to the minute to make sure I achieved all my goals.  I even built in some cushion between tasks to allow time for any delays or hiccups that might come up.  What could go wrong? I was about halfway through my day, and suddenly I got a call from my wife.

The Price of a Dream

Big dreams require big sacrifices.  The strength to make those sacrifices requires focus, clarity of purpose, and the willingness to swim upstream. The road to success can often be a lonely one.  There will be times when you are up late or up early working alone while your friends or family hang out laughing and having a good time or sleep in late.  There will be precious moments that conflict...

Enough 1 (& Done)

I’m done. Done being pushed around by life. Done feeling like a spectator to my own story. Done trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. Done living based on what other people think. Done giving the best of myself to people who don’t appreciate me. Done sacrificing for those who always put themselves first. Done allowing others to dictate my schedule. Done making ZERO time for ME.