A Mother’s Salute: I am the Daughter of Sallie

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who are birthing live and love in your homes and communities. Today, I am participating the GirlTrek‘s #DaughtersOf campaign by walking with my daughter, Ashley.

I am Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, daughter of Salle F. Johnson, who enlisted in the U.S. Army and helped her parents pay of their home. She was a woman of poor health, yet vibrant spirit. A kind, gentle, and loving woman who was a fierce advocate for her children. She made a mean macaroni and cheese from scratch, and everyone loved her peach cobbler. She is the person who taught me how to host parties, forgive when hurt, seek Jesus, and live a life of gratitude. Today, I walk in her honor with my daughter, Ashley.

You can read more about her in my memoir, A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World.

I am also reposting a tribute that I wrote for her:

It is true, we become like what we see. Growing up, what I saw was my mother, Sallie. She worked hard and gave everything she could so my sister and I had opportunities to thrive. She served in the church and in the community. She loved family and was always hospitable to strangers. She was a humble woman who led—a woman of influence.

When she married the strong man who raised me, she made him believe that his contributions in this life were valuable. He was an ever-present father, and together they started a business. He labored earnestly and built his team. She was the keeper of the books and office administrator. They cooked and cleaned and did yard work together. Sometimes he braided my hair. They welcomed another child into our home, this time a son.

As our family and business grew, so did my mother’s faith. She was like Lydia—when she committed her life to Jesus (I mean really committed her life) she took the whole family with her. Sallie and her household were baptized. There we stood at the pulpit in our swim caps, white robes, and new Bibles with my mother sanctifying our home.

Download or continue reading at CBE website.

Let’s Have an Honest Conversation

Over the past decade, I have used my voice through writing and speaking to have honest conversations. Truth-telling is important to me. Most of the time learning about the truth and being willing to hear the truth is the first brave and humble step. We must be willing to do that before we can ever speak the truth with boldness.

I’m honored whenever I have the opportunity to have honest conversations with people who care enough to listen, learn, and share their own heart and experiences. I recently had such a beautiful conversation with my brother and author James Bryan Smith.

James is the author of several books, including The Good and Beautiful and The Apprentice Magnificent Series, and one of my favorites, Hidden in Christ. He is the director of the Apprentice Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation at Friends University. Through his leadership and encouragement, I have had the opportunity to speak at Friends University and the Apprentice Gathering twice.

The “Our Stories in the Wilderness” talk that he mentions in our discussion can be found here:

Listen in on our conversation at the Things Above Podcast.  

Share your questions and let me know if you would like to continue a conversation about A Sojourner’s Truth.

Why I Signed the Statement on Anti-Asian Racism

One of these days, people are going to learn: racism is not about whether or not you like or have a friend of another people group. Racism is about power, and how systemic structures are used to will that power to the benefit of some at the expense of others. Racist actions are often carried out either through political practices and policies or violence.

Therefore, we must pay attention to racist speech, rhetoric, and practices, and call them out when it happens. A few weeks ago, the President of the United States intentionally renamed the coronavirus, the Chinese virus instead of saying that the virus originated in China. Across the country, there was a rise in public violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans. This has led to a fear within the Asian American community, and a public outcry from those who stand in solidarity with them.

Several weeks ago, I signed a Statement on Anti-Asian Racism in the Time of COVID-19. This is #WhyISignedAACC:

  • I value human life. It is true that All Lives Matters, and yet when the lives of a specific community or people group is violently threatened, then we need to come together in support and solidarity with those whose lives are endangered.
  • The statement was written by the Asian American Christian Collaborative, and the voices of Asian Americans have drafted the language and are leading this movement of engagement, education, and support.
  • I have dear friends, mentors, and leaders who I respect who are a part of this community. I want you to learn and hear directly from their leadership, lives and stories: Kathy Khang (author and podcaster), Vivian Mabuni (author and podcaster), Helen Lee (author and publisher), Margaret Yu (mentor and leader), Nikki Toyama-Szeto (leader and author), Jenny Yang (leader and advocate), Soong-Chan Rah (professor and author), Eugene Cho (global leader and advocate), Gail Song Bantum (pastor and leader), Dorcas Cheng-Tozun (author and leader), and Al Hsu (editor and author).
  • I believe that God calls us to humbly pursue justice, right actions in the face of injustice.

You can find out more about the Asian American Christian Collaborative (AACC), read and sign the statement, and follow their social media channels to get the most up-to-date information.

The page can also be used to report an incident, get individual or church resources, listen to podcasts, watch videos, and so much more!

Would you please consider signing the statement and sharing with others?

I am so thankful to have this rich community of people to love and learn from. Which Asian Americans are you learning from, and what have you learning?

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