Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.

I would not say that I am a “religious” person, but I was raised in an Israelite/Christian home. My mother is Christian, Presbyterians, to be exact. My father is an Israelite. As a family, we did not go to church every Sunday, but we did fellowship and have bible study almost every other night because this was my fathers’ way. If I was in the presence of my father’s family, then everything had a lesson to be learned and scripture to refer back. Growing up, my cousins and I wouldn’t say we hated hearing about GOD this and Jesus that, but I wouldn’t say sometimes we just wanted to be like every other kid. Church only on Sundays. Once my Pop-pop died, something left with him like our spiritual guide was no more. Almost like the moment when time freezes, and you can see someone’s soul float from their body. Although I could not see him in his physical form, it was then that I would start to hear his voice and feel his existence becoming apart of who I am. Around the same time, I began to realize that people may only be in your physical presence for a season, and learning to let go may be the gift of rebirth.

Rebirth, for me, is planting and plucking. With every new year, I feel like I go through these rituals that tend to repeat itself. I set a goal, lose 50 pounds this year, or read 20 books. Do not misunderstand; a goal is a considerable measure to help map your thoughts and where you are trying to go, so please continue because I do, but what I am saying is, what is it you are hoping to grow with the goals you have set. Remember, you can not grow an apple tree with a Lemon seed. Every year I get a little better with setting goals. I have three significant goals overall for my five-year plan, and each year up until the goal is met, I set goals that will get me a little closer. Like yes, my daily, weekly, and monthly goals are set to read more books, but since I want to buy a farm, then a majority of my reading will center around titles like “How to buy a farm” or “Grant writing.” Yes, I have a goal of paying off 20 items of debt; this, too, will drive me toward my end goal. I must read my goals daily and write down my affirmations every day to stay focused. Whatever method works for you, then stick with it and if it did not work last year, then change it. For example, last year, I set a goal to hang out with my friends and family more, but I never specified how I would hang out with them, so I found myself going out to bars and restaurants way too much, and this hit my pockets and my health hard. This year I had to set two goals to spend more time with people and experience 20 new places each month, checking off my new experiences goal and spending time with my loved ones, because now I have to think outside the box of places to visit and with whom would want to visit them with me.

Letting go of the things that do not serve you anymore is also apart of this rebirth, and I know how hard it can be. I tend to ignore things until the very last minute, as if I have a continuous 11th-hour challenge going. I currently have a family matter involving one of my kids that I have just let fester for the sake of keeping peace within the household. Still, in turn, it has tremendously hindered his ability to grow into the man he needs to become, and it has also distracted me from the goals I have. I have decided enough is enough, and it is time to refocus and get everything back into order. I am not a structured parent. Meaning I go day by day and minute by minute, and I allow my children to learn from their experiences. Communication is extremely important to me, and for two out of my three children, this works but for the one that needs the structure and guidelines will need to learn by tough love because this will be the only way I can meet my goals and for him to learn from his mistakes. But the hardest part is letting him go. Only time will tell and his period of rebirth is now.