Good morning, Frequenters of the Flog! What a year, eh? I reviewed my journal entries this morning and I must say this was one that defied prediction in so many good and bad ways, as life happens. We’re decidedly ending 2021 with The Good by announcing the opening of our pre-sale period for Leslie Christian’s “Rise Up”. This sales period is exclusively for subscribers to ReadBooksBy.Faith and the Leslie Christian Facebook Group, “Rise Up” until January 3, 2022, when sales will be opened up to the general public. The book is 125 pages long. Pricing includes shipping costs. Copies will be shipped out in order of purchase. Our first printing is a limited series of just 250 copies shipped out January 31st. Please be sure your shipping address is accurate on your PayPal account. The pre-sale link is live here and now!!! Click below to be the first to order:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rise-up-leslie-christian/1140911569
This was a year of great change. My students became #MMIW activists, appeared on Frontline PBS, published their own books, placed Cherokee poetry in the Chicago Field Museum, debuted an original stage play, and basically just slayed, in general. My teaching career came to its conclusion in May and I returned to my true love: writing. But before that, I wrote in April: “I’m writing a screenplay about my teaching experience. Mark it down, dude, we are going to make a film.” I had no idea those words would come true within a matter of months. I signed my first contract with a production company in June.
The students lit a fire in me to figure out some way to continue serving our community and showcase the overwhelming talent of our people. I brought in a number of stakeholders from the Adair County community and the Oklahoma Arts Council to make a plea for an Arts District. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Watch for major, exciting announcements about this in the first quarter of 2022.
We suffered devastating loss this year. Our grandmother died in June, taking with her a source of light and pure joy that, for us, can never be replicated in another human being.
My friend, Lindsey Wise Spirit, who took me in and made me her sister at Standing Rock, died of COVID-19 after many weeks in the hospital. She leaves behind a grieving husband and four precious babies. They are my family. The pandemic continues to wreak havoc in society. Perhaps even worse than the virus is witnessing our fellows tear each other apart in political and religious hatred.
In the face of grief my answer is clear. Lean in and love. Do all things in love. Work to unify even when it seems impossible. That’s what I’ve been sent to do. I am a peacemaker. Above all things this year, this book by Leslie Christian has taken precedence. That’s because its ultimate message is one of love, service, and unification. Consider this excerpt:
Facebook Entry, Leslie Christian:
August 31, 2020 – 6:04 a.m.
We are so humble and thankful for every prayer, word, deed, and financial support. They pour into our broken hearts.
Kayden’s lungs are struggling. We knew this might be the road but watching the struggle unfold is scary. These words give our family sustaining breath when we are not sure how to breathe.
More than anything, we desire this horrific time to have eternal meaning. So share, speak up to lost people, ask each other and yourself, “If I die today, where would I spend eternity?” If you cannot without hesitation say, ‘In heaven, because I ask Jesus to forgive my sin that separates me,” then today is the day. We are so thankful Konner only knew love and that God holds him for us until we meet again.
“God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved when morning comes.” Psalm 46:5
These words! One more for Jesus.
Facebook Entry, Jody Pruitt:
August 31, 2020 – 7:32 a.m.
We all have a habit of taking life for granted. We all wake up and proceed with our day thinking, “there will always be tomorrow.” As we know, that is not always the case. Our days are given to us as a present and never promised.
I unfortunately found this out the hard way, ten years ago, when I lost my baby brother to an accidental drowning.
I have learned since then to love my children day in and day out. I make my life around them so that they know if anything was to happen to me or them that their mother loves them until her last dying breath.
To see the Miller family going through what they are going through right now breaks my heart and makes me even more open to letting my kids know that they are never unloved, nor a mistake in my life, nor an option. It makes me realize that there are more things that I need to correct in mine and my children’s lives. We need to be a child of God and draw closer to him.
It is sad that it takes a tragedy to open people’s eyes, but sometimes it does. You have to take it and learn. You have to grow and realize that your life and every life around you is a gift. You are to conquer everything God throws at you. Know that he gave it to you for a reason. You will not know that reason right away but it will soon come to light.
Just remember your life may be hard today. It may be hard tomorrow. But God loves you and He is teaching you. He’s teaching people around you, maybe using you as an example. Just be strong and pray every day. Love your family, show them you love them, tell them you love them. Never take one day for granted, because it might be your last.
Ok, that’s all for now, my friend. I am always grateful for your love, trust, and generosity. Let us meet again in 2022.