Striving

Words of inspiration by Shanna Flowers

The Gift of Words

Posted By on December 22, 2016

     I offer you these words that appeared Dec. 25, 2008, in The Roanoke Times in one of my final columns as a journalist. I believe the message timeless and the words even more relevant for Christmas 2016. Merry Christmas! (more…)

Learning to leave the driving to Him

Posted By on July 18, 2016

Those plans that God promises us in Jeremiah 29:11 sometimes don’t jibe with ours. (more…)

Overcoming my Jonah complex

Posted By on July 12, 2015

For more than two years, I have applied for jobs all over the country — Roanoke, Salem, Memphis, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Honolulu — and have been rejected for each. My plan had me using my freshly minted Master’s degree earned in 2013 as an immediate springboard to a corporate job with a fancy title and hefty salary. (more…)

Losing my inhibitions…and maybe my mind!

Posted By on June 24, 2013

At a company function, I was supposed to be watching the youngsters, but I kicked off my shoes--and my inhibitions--and joined in the fun.

At a company function, I was supposed to be watching the youngsters, but I kicked off my shoes   — and my inhibitions — and joined in the fun.

Yup, that’s me, the “Bounce House Queen,” as the event’s organizer dubbed me. There I am, holding hands with children in my care — and connecting with my own inner-child.

The irony of me acting like a big kid in a bright-orange inflatable is that I celebrated my 51st birthday a few weeks before. What the activity (and the picture) helped distill for me is that in aging I have come to appreciate life’s fullness. When I was younger, I was so consumed with life’s seriousness — establishing myself professionally and immersing myself in all the other business of adulthood — that I undervalued or even overlooked the lighter moments. (more…)

Single or married, this message is for you

Posted By on June 24, 2013

Charles Stanley delivered an extraordinarily powerful message yesterday titled, “Starved for Love.”

Here are a few gems from the sermon: (more…)

Not my will but His

Posted By on June 6, 2013

I sat in my car at lunch 10 days ago and wept.

A week earlier, I had graduated with my Master’s degree, and my plans were to start actively looking this fall for another job in another city. But during my lunch break, I suddenly realized my plans weren’t God’s. So I wept — out of petulance. (more…)

It’s all over but the shoutin’!

Posted By on May 20, 2013

The late-night reading marathons. The predawn writing sprints.  The lunchtime cramming. The vacation days from my job spent not vacationing but in the library. The occasional stressful drives to work with tears welling up, overwhelmed by a daily docket that seemed much too daunting.

Graduation Weekend culminates with Graduation Day, May 19, 2013!

All that stuff is over. Nothing left but the shoutin,’ as the old folks used to say. On Sunday, Hollins University conferred on me a Master’s degree in Social Sciences. I told the secretary last week that it’s good to be in a spiritual place where you see God in everything! And from beginning to end, this academic journey is no exception. I like the way one of my friends put it in a laudatory message: “Congratulations for what you have accomplished through God’s grace and your perseverance.”

In earlier blog posts, I have chronicled snippets from my two-year Master’s odyssey. But today, I chronicle in pictures the celebration dubbed “Graduation Weekend.”

 

"Graduation weekend" kicks off Friday evening with a delicious meal at a trendy downtown spot with my former boss and now good friend, Carole. (How many folks can say they are good friends with their former boss!?)

“Graduation weekend” kicks off Friday evening with a delicious meal at a trendy downtown spot with friend and fellow “gym rat,” Carole.

After an evening of carousing, I showed up for my standing appointment with the best barber in town, Dyon. After all, one has to look good for the big day.

After a Friday evening of carousing, I show up for my standing Saturday afternoon appointment with the best barber in town, Dyon. After all, one has to look good for the big day.

Later Saturday night, brother and sister arrive from Michigan to celebrate the special weekend.

Saturday night, brother and sister arrive from Michigan to celebrate the special weekend.

I arrived on campus early Sunday morning and took in the serenity of the place that had been my home away from home for the past two years.

I arrive on campus early Sunday morning and take in the quiet beauty of the place that has represented hustle and bustle for the past two years.

We all need someone to save us from ourselves. Janice, a Hollins employee, was my someone. She made sure my hood draped correctly.

We all need someone to save us from ourselves. Janice, a Hollins employee, is my someone. She makes sure my hood drapes correctly.

I wear my pumps in honor or my mother, who has Alzheimer's and can't attend. I  once heard her lament how young people wore their caps and gowns with such casualness and disregard for what it represented. She said, "We wore it with pride. We had our hair done and wore dress shoes." We carry pieces of our parents with us...always.

I wear my pumps in honor of my mother, who has Alzheimer’s and can’t attend. She used to lament how young people wore their caps and gowns with such casualness and disregard for what it represented. “We wore it with pride,” she would say. “We had our hair done and wore pumps.”

My book-ends: Kelsey Gibb, (right) was in my very first graduate course. Angela LaCoste (left), was in my very last course.

My book-ends: Kelsey Gibb, (right) was in my first graduate course. Angela LaCoste (left), was in my last.

Dr. Ra

Dr. Ra, my adviser and three-time professor, helped me realize my passion for learning and set expectations for excellence.

Glynis and Brad

As Billy Dee Williams’ character said in Mahogany: “Success is nothing without someone you love to share it with.” Who better than my sister Glynis and brother Brad?

Wait on God….actively

Posted By on December 26, 2012

My friend and gym buddy texted me Christmas Eve: “Merry Christmas! Your 2013 will be amazing.” (more…)

Red-headed devil

Posted By on August 26, 2012

I’m so sick of gunmen who go into  into public venues, slaughter innocent men, women and children and then seek refuge behind the label of  “insane.”

They’re not crazy; they’re evil. (more…)

Down but not out

Posted By on August 22, 2012

As I drove home one evening, I felt empty. I wasn’t depressed or sad. Just sorta bored with my life. As Christians, our faithwalk can put us at odds with society. So I said, “Lord, give me a hint of encouragement that lets me know you haven’t forgotten me as I try to live a life representative of you.” (more…)