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#GivingTuesday

November 28, 2017

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GIRL... Why wait?!

November 27, 2017

 

Dear Sis, 


I'm just going to come out and say it... I'm impatient.

 

Don't gasp at me! It's rude! 


It's not something I'm proud of, but girl -- it's just the dang-on truth!

Plus, it's not my fault. I blame technology. 


Need a new outfit?? Google it, pay for it and it ships the next day.

 
Need an in-home concert? Pandora at your service. 


Dinner reservations, like NOW? There's an app for that too. 


Any and every thing is at our fingertips. Except, when it comes to accomplishing goals. 
Where's the app for THAT?? 


No matter what we're trying to achieve, or how beneficial it may be, it never... and I mean neeeevvvveeerrrr unfolds when and how it's supposed to. 


Here I am trying to change the world and ish, but life wants to throw me curveballs?! Nah. That's the DEVIL and I. aint. got. time!!! 


Anywho -- Let's take a stroll down memory lane. 


Last year, I was invited to a concert in Columbus put on by the Harmony Project. The Harmony Project is a community choir made up of people who love to sing and give back. It's just that simple.

 

No auditions. You don't even have to sing well in order to be a member. All you have to do is be a giver. 

 

So, here I am,  sitting in this concert and my heart is literally leaping for joy! 


Anyone who knows me knows there are two things that I adore: singing and helping people. And, I'll be doggone if this performance didn't captivate my ENTIRE being. 


I remember calling my mother and saying: "I haaaaave to be in this choir!!"


So, I started inquiring. I found out you have to submit an application online to be considered. 


"It's quick and easy!", they said. 


Cool... **reaches for handy dandy phone with quick and easy access to the internet**


"But, there's a 500 person wait list"... pause, what?!?


"Yes... people wait years to get into this choir."


Arrrggghhhhh.... are you kidding me?!?! Just like that my dream came crashing down like fine china at a Greek wedding reception. 


I mean... Who doeeeeessss that??? Who dangles the perfect opportunity to give back, in front of an aspiring philanthropist and just snatches it away???? 

 

Pure evil, I tell you!


So, like the good drama queen that I am... I waited. And, waited. Went to another concert... sulked.... and, waited. 


I was BIG mad, y'all! But, then --- ohhhhh, then -- there was Roni Burkes. The wonderful, compassionate BOSS-lady at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, better known as the state prison for female offenders. 

 

Madam Burkes is an inspiration all by herself. She started off as a victim advocate and worked her way up to the position of warden! This year, she was named Warden of the Year for her work in reducing recidivism and just being all around amazing!  Yea... "She's a BAD mama jama. Just as fine as she can be!" 


Ironically enough, during the time of my waiting to hear back from the Harmony Project, I was asked to help out with our music ministry. 


Long story not-so-short, Warden Wonderful happened to be in service when I was passed the mic to sing one Sunday. 


A few months later, I had a speaking engagement at the prison and this text message in my inbox: 


"Hi Valencia... I have some good news for you. If you still want to be in the Harmony Project, you have a spot!" 


"Seriously?!?!?!?!", I responded. 


I literally cried. Full blown tears of gratitude. 


How did this happen?!... Well, I forgot to mention one thing. Warden Burkes also volunteers... with the HARMONY PROJECT. 


See, I told you she was the bomb-diggity!!


Here's where our lesson comes in: 


NEVER stop using your purpose-driven talents! 


Yes, I was singing... and yes, I was giving back! But, I needed someone to connect my gifts with the right organization. 


Don't allow a lag in the process to stall your contribution to this world. Be ye not confused... waiting does NOT equal delay. Think of it as a period of finesse for your God-appointed time. So, showcase yourself! Craft your skills while you anticipate the perfect resources or community of people to help execute your vision. 


Before you know it, there'll be a Roni Burkes in the right place, with the right people, at the right time. 

 

Until next time, 

V

 

P.S. Our next concert is Decemember, 7th at Nationwide Arena! If you're in town, grab you a ticket! 

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