The Great Exchange (It’s Not What It Looks Like)

by Danielle N. Hall

7/21/2019

Picture it…Upper Marlboro, MD…2019. It wasn’t the hottest day of the year, but it sure wasn’t the coolest. Parched puts it lightly when describing how I was feeling, but I had just downed a bottle of water. I don’t know if many enemies I have, but I can say with confidence that Ms. Heat is definitely NOT my friend. I carry a personal fan in my bag just to try to get Ms. Heat to keep her distance…she truly is not welcome in my personal space. We have difficulty getting along and I’m not sure that we will ever find a common ground.

Back to that empty water bottle…

The setting was Sunday morning, in the chapel preparing for service. The issue wasn’t so much that it was warm inside, it was that Ms. Heat and I had a little battle as I was walking into the church. She has NO respect for my personal space. So she decided she would stick real close that morning. I tried to cool down and stay calm so I drank my water. It didn’t quite do the trick, but time was of the essence and I didn’t want to drink much more because I wanted to avoid the risk of making a mad dash to the restroom in mid-song. A kind lady noticed my empty water bottle and offered to dispose of it for me. I usually drop it in the bin on the way to the sanctuary and it seemed to me that giving her what was no longer useful to me would’ve been a bit unfair. I was very hesitant and I kindly declined. I said “Thank you so much for the offer, but you really don’t have to do that.” I continued to gather my things to head to the sanctuary for service. She again asks to take what was no longer serving me any purpose, but THIS time she said “I have something I want to give you in place of it.” I’m a bit of a crybaby when it comes to random acts of kindness. I saw this pink beverage, but the label was covered. I saw enough to know it was a Minute Maid bottle, but it looked like the bottle contained pink lemonade: something I would unfortunately not be able to consume due to my allergy to lemons. Nevertheless, I took a chance and I said thank you so much for your kindness. As a giver, I’ve learned that it is extremely important to give when you feel led and when others might not receive, it could block both you and them being blessed. I didn’t want to block her blessing so I agreed to give her my empty container in exchange for the bottle full of pink drink. Oh, I forgot to mention that the beverage was coooooold.

As I approached her, I saw the label and to my pleasant surprise, it was NOT lemonade at all: it was watermelon punch. Suddenly, the strange eyebrow position I had because I was nervous about receiving something I couldn’t use, changed to one expressing excitement. I’m sure when I smiled all 26 of my teeth were showing. I was so grateful and then so disappointed that I was hesitant.

I know God’s track record and He has not EVER sent someone to bless me with something I didn’t need or couldn’t use. Why would I doubt Him in this moment? I didn’t spend a lot of time beating up on myself, but I spent more time being grateful than guilty. It was a valuable lesson to me that I thought I would share to inspire you. Here’s the thing: we like to hold on to things that no longer serve us and God is trying to remove them from our lives to give us something better. What He is trying to bless us with may not look like what we are expecting, but God is a bullseye kinda guy: He’s ALWAYS on target. He knows what we need, when we need it, and how to get it to us. The next time God tried to take something away from you that you don’t need, LET HIM! Get rid of unnecessary weight in your life and allow Him to fill you with something of useful substance.

Special thanks to the angel who looked out for me last Sunday and blessed me with that wonderful pink drink.

P.S. – pink is my favorite color 💗

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The Other Silent Killer

by Danielle N. Hall

03/17/2018

I don’t watch much television and I’ve missed many movies, but I’m not all the way green…I have seen a few. One that comes to mind is Madea’s Big Happy Family. As with any other Tyler Perry movie, there were many things going on once. However, there’s a particular scene that I recall. “Mr. Brown loses a lot of blood during his surgery and the doctor asks Cora to donate some. When she does, she finds out that she doesn’t have the same blood type as him, implying that he may not be her real, biological father. At dinner later on that night, Tammy and Kimberly have a vicious argument that leads to Tammy revealing that Kimberly is Byron’s birth mother, having had him when she was 13 years old. Byron storms out of the house, angry that this secret was kept from him.”

They say that art imitates life. The truth is that Mr. Brown and Kimberly aren’t the only ones with family secrets: the other silent killer. More often than is acknowledged, families perpetuate lies and deception: choking the life out of the truth in order to spare the image of one. How many children grew up thinking that someone was their older sister only for the actual truth to be that said “sister” was actually their biological mother and who they had been thinking was their mother was actually their grandmother? How many Mr. Brown scenarios are there where people have assigned someone the title of “Daddy” that has no trace of the man’s DNA? The truth is this saving of an image has done more harm than good.

When I had barely entered adulthood, I gave birth to my first child. I was 21 years old and her biological father was 22. We weren’t fresh out of high school, but we were young. Things did not work out and we went our separate ways when our daughter was still an infant. Time progressed and I later married my husband. Now, my daughter’s father has always been active in her life, so she has been blessed with two dads. When she was about 4 years old I explained the difference between her biological father and her stepfather. Some may argue that she was too young, but you’d have to know my children to understand my decision to divulge when I did. She understood and I was never posed with any questions about it because I was straightforward with her. One time, our household had gone to the movies and we saw my daughter’s biological dad outside. When she saw him, she excitedly said: “My other daddy!”. I must admit that was a bit embarrassing, but it was her truth: she has two dads.

Sometimes our truths can be embarrassing or humiliating, but hiding it can be devastating. Suppose one begins dating someone and things get serious and marriage becomes a goal…and then a reality. Then, you through some very unusual way discover that you two are actually blood relatives…close ones at that. Do you see how problematic and destructive perpetuating a lie can be: all for the sake of keeping secrets and saving images?

Let’s not ignore the other proverbial elephant in the room. How about the sexual violation by a family member? This is certainly not foreign or unusual. It’s a sad truth that I am unfortunately very familiar with…more familiar than I want to be. It is common for survivors to not speak of what has happened because they are often muzzled by fear of other’s opinions. In some cases when the survivor does come forward, the common response is “What happens in this house stays in this house.” If you have a perverted individual who obviously lacks self control, why would you not make it known to spare others enduring the same offense? Is it because he’s the bread winner or because he’s everyone’s “favorite uncle”? The image of the perpetrator is salvaged, but there is a wreck in the internal environment of the survivor: her/his voice is suffocated and identity is often lost.

Maybe the family secret doesn’t involve any offense. Maybe a mom or dad didn’t graduate from high school and yet they keep it a secret for fear of others labeling her/him as a failure. Now let me be clear, experience is a great teacher and we can learn a lot in life from experience. High school graduation does not mean that you have arrived. The point I’m making is that in many areas in our lives we fall short and then we play the pretend game because we worry about other’s opinions. When I drafted my father’s obituary in December last year, I was adamant about telling his truth. He spent a lot of years of his life concerned about what others thought, though he often said he didn’t. My dad graduated high school at the age of 21 and even MY existence is a result of one of dad’s unfavorable choices. However, it was his truth and he suffered silently being concerned about his image. In his last couple of months, a family member visited him in the hospital and essentially cursed him. I was livid and it was obvious that it affected how he felt about himself. I discerned what he wasn’t speaking, but was yet communicating. In a rare type of discussion I had with him while I was heading to work one day, I told him that unforgiveness was a sin even when don’t forgive ourselves. He said he never thought of it that way and his voice became more lively.

People can be so brutal sometimes. What I have come to live most about my life, is that I discovered the liberty that Jesus avails to us to walk in. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. So many are bound by the guilt and shame of life choices that they die a slow death inside. This is not the intent of God. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom].” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (AMP)

I implore you on today to be free and I pray that the spirit of liberty will reign in your family so that there will be no more death of the truth as lies are nurtured to save images!

From the Waters…

by Danielle N. Hall

7/29/2017

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you sick and tired of drowning in the seas of others’ opinions of what you should be doing or how you should be? I know I am, but I’ve got news…I’m coming from the waters:

Like Roger Waters: “The Tide is Turning”

Like Muddy Waters: “I Love the Life I Live”
Like Crystal Waters: “From the back to the middle and around again…”

Like Maxine Waters: I’m “Reclaiming my time!”


I’ve learned that allowing people to try to plot out your life’s course, worrying about people trying to determine your salvation, giving people free rent in your head space, doubting who you know you are, and hesitating in doing what God told you to do is a waste of time. It’s official: I’m #reclaimingmytime. I’ve wasted years swimming around in the troubled waters of doubt, fear, and limited thinking. What I’m not gonna do is dwell on how much further I could be if I hadn’t squandered time and opportunity, but what I am gonna do is resolve to move forward…and I’ll do so with great faith and perseverance. 

The tide is turning, I love the life I live…from the back to the middle and around again…I’m reclaiming my time! I’m coming from the “Waters”!!!

2 Samuel 22:17 (NASB) He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. 

Body of Evidence 

by Danielle N. Hall

12/22/2016

This a brief account of Danielle vs. Fear, Doubt, et al.
On August 3, 2014, was when the first piece of documented evidence in this case was established. See “Exhibit A” below:

Exhibit A – The First Step


Fear, Doubt, Procrastination, and Limited Finances had been holding her hostage, but on August 3, 2014, Danielle found a breakthrough moment. She had been searching within for a way of escape and then she discovered Faith. It wasn’t long before she found out Faith was one of her greatest assets. On said date, Danielle broke free from the grips of Fear, Doubt, et al. and, with Faith, she delivered a major blow to the aforementioned adversaries. Though she broke free, they continued to stalk her. However, Faith was strong and Danielle was resolute so those that had once intimidated her could no longer gain control over her.

On July 28, 2015, additional evidence in this case was established. Pictured below is a screenshot of what had been yet another blow to the perpetrators. We will call this “Exhibit B”.

Exhibit B – Progress Made


Surely, this was upsetting to Fear, Doubt, et al. and they continued to rear their ugly head. Months would pass and they continued to stalk, but Faith was still strong and Danielle was still resolute so there was no surrender from the two them. Danielle wanted to ensure she stayed free from the bondage of the adversaries so she delivered another blow just to make sure they understood she wasn’t weak. It’s depicted in “Exhibit C” below.

Exhibit C – The Fight to the Finish


Apparently, this was upsetting to Fear, Doubt, et al. and they would gain a couple more allies: Vertigo and Threat of Absolute Eviction. These two meant business and did temporarily knock Danielle down and weakened Faith. On July 17, 2016, Danielle received a life changing phone call and suddenly she was back up and Faith was yet strong again. Danielle took matters into her own hands and, with Faith, she triumphed over the adversaries (including the new allies).

Danielle would shortly after enter into an agreement with Faith and in just a matter of time the final counter assault was delivered to the adversaries. After many battles with the perpetrators, Danielle (with Faith, of course) prevailed. The last piece of evidence was the delivery of the final blow. On just yesterday, what started on August 3, 2014 was finally finished. Please direct your attention to Exhibit D.

Exhibit D – It Is Finished


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 

“So too, faith, if it does not have works to back it up, is by itself dead inoperative and ineffective.” – James 2:17

If it had not been for faith and the mind to work, the finished work would not be so. Dewdrops: Refreshing for the Soul is the very “body of evidence” of said faith and the mind to work. I allowed fear of failure, doubt of success, procrastination, and little money once hindered me from moving forward, but I pressed and I am pleased to say that I have officially authored my first book. It will soon be available for purchase online and in the near future I’ll have a book signing.

For a final note, please know that you really can do all things through Christ who gives you strength and no matter what you lack, when you write the vision and set out to make it happen, God will make the provision so that it will manifest at the appointed time. Don’t quit. Just keep going!

“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” – Proverbs 24:10 

Dirty Little Secrets & The Little White Lie

by Danielle N. Hall

4/26/16

image

I can’t believe what “he” did to me
It’s truly a crying shame
Who is this “he” you might be asking
Well, there are too many to name

“He” touched me when I was little
In places that were meant for my spouse
I was nervous AND I was afraid
Yet I remained as quiet as a mouse

“He” asked me “Are you ready?”
Inside, I had screamed “NO!”
I wanted to run, but was paralyzed by fear
And I could not manage to go

“He” didn’t have a knife
Nor did “he” hold a gun to my head
“He” stood there ready to conquer
But used manipulation instead

“He” whispered in my minor ears
And said “If it’s all night, it’s all right!”
The next day we entered a secluded place that was void of both safety and light

“He” kissed me and then “he” asked
“Do you want me to put it in?”
I was very confused, yet I refused
However, the next day “he” tried again

Now, this time I didn’t refuse
And decided “Ok. We’ll try.”
Once again I’d been manipulated
But now by another guy

When it was over, I thought to myself
“Ok. I made it through.”
Later I thought: “What in the world have I done? What did I get myself into?”

I actually thought “he” loved me
How silly was I and what was I thinking?
I was in too deep, and in a deep sleep…
Was intoxicated, yet I wasn’t drinking

Exposed to so much before it was time, but convinced I had things under control
To myself I had lied. I was broken inside, but on the outside I appeared to be whole.

My smile is now real and there’s a difference in how I feel.
What I’ve shared is a piece of my “THEN”
My history had me bound and holding my head down, but NOW I’ve gotten my smile again

That monster called “he”, may have stolen something from me…something that wasn’t for the taking
But God’s restored the years and dried those inner tears
Inside my heart is no longer breaking

I’m daily renewed with a new point of view
I’m still here to tell my story
Those bad things that happened will work for my good and, somehow, God will get the glory

I could be bitter, I could be depressed
As a matter of fact that was the old me
I’ve gotten my joy back and a new hold on life
I thank God I’m totally free!!!

The secret is out…no more shame or doubt. From now on I vow to be bold.
I will hold my head high…in spite of the fact…
This is one of the hardest true stories I’ve ever told.