FaithWalk Clothing by William Renae
In today's world and in times past collaboration and partnering has been an instrumental strategy. Partnering helps us to grow, learn, change and exchange ideas. Even the Bible endorses partnering based on the scripture that says, "Where two or three are gathered, I am there."
I want to introduce to you a mother/son partnership, which currently launched a new clothing line. The clothing line is called FaithWalk. The new line is created to encourage others to save themselves and to take control of their own destiny.
Renae Parker Benenson is a Mom, certified Chaplin (spiritual listener and encourager), writer and co-founder of FaithWalk. William Marshall Parker II is a Son, entrepreneur, writer and co-founder of FaithWalk. Together they compliment each other and have found support for their individual and collective growth and development.
They started FaithWalk because they get it. They have figured out that their life is to get better spiritually, emotionally, financially, intellectually and physically it will be because they have prayed to God and believe that the Creator will equip them for the journey and fill them with unfathomable power to be and to do more than they can ever imagine.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I have been on a sabbatical from work and writing. The sabbatical from work was necessary because I moved from the Midwest (Illinois) to the Northwest (Washington). I stopped writing temporarily so that I could leave home (again) only to return home to FaithWalk with something fresh and new to say.
I have left home six times. The longest I have stayed gone is 4 years. Leaving home is like an adventure for me. I like having the option of taking an “adventure” from time to time. It is a gift that keeps me hungry for life, vibrant and balanced. Whenever I go off on one of my many adventures, I usually return home, eventually, with interesting stories to tell. People acknowledge how much I have grown. I acknowledge how much I have missed them and how they have grown too.
I left home this sixth time to reunite with my husband. He left for Washington without me. It was not what he wanted to do but what I needed to do. I delayed relocating with my husband (for two years) so I could realize a career opportunity. I found a job in Illinois that was just right for me, and six months later I was offered a promotion. I took the opportunity, despite the emotional affects on my husband, and I developed leadership skills and personal power that I had never known. Though I had amassed this personal power, feelings for my husband didn’t dissipate. They grew. The distance helped me to see not only my personal power but his too. After we got through the initial pain of our separation, we also discovered, with the help of friends, that we both valued flexibility and unconditional love. And we wanted the other to have flexibility and self love no matter what the cost. I’m glad I delayed my leaving because I expanded my world view and sense of self. I also learned to assert my personal power and to embrace the knowledge of the “equality of opportunity”.
Love comes hard when done alone. However, when couples collectively and responsibly decide to grow their relationship, love happens. Our relationship was tested. What we learned throughout the adventure is that we shared something special. It was that specialness that would get us through the worst of times. I pondered this same stream of consciousness again when I resigned my position to move to the Northwest. I relied on my personal power and understanding of “to thine own self be true” when I told my sons, my siblings, my granddaughter, my friends, co-workers and church members that I would be leaving. Many anticipated, suspected and acknowledged news of my eventual move. Still it caused them and me some emotional distress.
If leaving causes so much pain, why leave? Well an adventure for me is both exciting and anxiety producing. It hurts like hell and yet it stirs up my senses and my child-like wonder. It begs the question, -now what?! The universe responds with an invitation - live each day fully. Convinced by my faith and beliefs, I risk leaving, loving and letting go of home; I know God can and will do a new thing with me- if I’m flexible. He will also do the same thing for those I love and left- if they’re flexible.
Once you recognize love and you embrace self love, you cannot go back. Love is powerful. Self love is freeing – it allows you to be true to yourself. It also means being true to what you hold dear. Love is one of those values I hold dear – for myself and for others. My children, siblings, friends, granddaughter and church community miss me and I miss them. My loving response to them is: I’m a plane ride, a phone call, a text message and an e-mail away; I believe that neither death nor life-neither an address change nor miles can separate us. More still, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” [1 Cor. 13:7].
My son and I talk about love all the time. Though the picture of love may appear bleak in the circles he travels, he still believes in love’s promise. He hopes for a good woman who knows how to value herself rightly. While he waits for her, he is deepening his faith in God, assessing who he is, discerning his values and smoothing out his rough edges. He is learning more about love –for self and others too.
bell hooks, a well known cultural critic, feminist theorist and a favorite author wrote this in her book, All about love, “Everyone wants to know more about love. We want to know what it means to love, what we can do in our everyday lives to love and to be loved. We want to know how to seduce those among us who remain wedded to lovelessness and open to the door to their hearts to let love enter.” She also maintains in another book, Salvation, “To choose love, we must choose a healthy model of female agency and self actualization, one rooted in the understanding that when we love ourselves well (not in a selfish or narcissistic way), we are best able to love others. When we have healthy self-love, we know that individuals in our lives who demand of us self-destructive martyrdom do not care for our good, for our spiritual growth.”
I care about my growth…spiritual, emotional, financial and physical. I’m happy that my husband cares about my growth as well as his own growth. I care about the growth of women and men. I care intensely about the growth of youth – our children, my children, their children and their children’s children. I want all people to be self actualized. It takes collective responsibility, equality of opportunity, love, courage and other values to get us there. It also takes faith and trust.
I believe loving and leaving are both acts of faith. These acts certainly do not come without struggle. No it is not easy to let go of what is familiar and safe. Yes, I miss those places where I’m known and loved. No, I’m not known here in the Northwest yet. However courage and perseverance says I will be. Therefore, I embrace the change; I enjoy the adventure; I take advantage of every opportunity; I build new loving relationships with those around me and keep sending love to those I’ve left behind; I preserve the love between my husband and me; I help out where I can; and I love and replenish myself daily, doing creative and heart healthy things. Last but not least, I also pray and live out my values rightly knowing that the journey “from your kindred and your country” is a sacrifice and a powerful act of faith! [Leaving Home: Herbert Anderson and Kenneth R. Mitchell]
Wishing for your happiness, peace and excellence without reservation…..Renae
Rev. Renae Benenson, a.k.a. Serena Cliff is a minister, professional chaplain and writer. If you would like to comment on her work, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org