If you read my last post, then you know this Christmas was different for me.
My son lives out of town, and I didn’t host my family as I have done in some previous years. Instead, I planned to spend my day alone with the birthday boy. Happy birthday, Jesus.
But as I scrolled through my timeline Christmas, I saw a post by Pastor Shelia Floyd and remembered that I had planned to go to church and get a great word and hug from my friend, Apostle Ricky Floyd. To my surprise, Ricky only spoke about ten minutes of the entire Christmas program, but he still delivered a powerful message to me.
Ricky and I met in 2001 as account executives for the Memphis Grizzlies.
He was the clown of our little family and always kept us entertained. At the end of our contract term, I stayed on with the team in marketing. Ricky and his wife started a church- in their living room.
But let me back up a bit and tell you a little about his wife, Shelia. Shelia was a single mother when she met Ricky. They married, and her son became his, and they then had a daughter and another son.
After Ricky left the Grizzlies, we stayed in contact and remained friends…now fifteen years later. He has loved me and supported me and even called me his daughter. Although I am a member of a church closer to my home with a pastor I also love, I adore Ricky and Shelia and their family and stay connected to the awesome things they are doing in the Frayser community, in Memphis, and the world.
Fast forward to this Christmas.
The child Shelia had before marrying Ricky is now a married minister with a sweet baby on the way, and he organized and hosted an amazing Christmas program for the church. Their youngest son was also a part of the program rapping and telling a story with the humor he got from his parents. With skits, gift giveaways, amazing singing, and more, the program was fun and engaging while still expressing the meaning of Christmas. It was a beautiful program. A great product.
However, what stood out for me was another product.
As I sat in the packed audience, I enjoyed the events on the stage, but I equally enjoyed watching Ricky, Shelia and their family sitting and watching the stage too. You see, Ricky will openly share how he was born to a fifteen year old mother, failed high school English multiple times, barely graduated from high school, was not the purest man, how he and Shelia have not always had a great marriage, and much more. He is open and real, funny yet seriously anointed.
The product this imperfect man has created is incredible. Powerful.
He openly loves his wife and his children. He embraces his flaws and challenges (so what!), and he and Shelia have an amazing church including an exceptional marriage ministry. They are a model for the family. Love and support. He is a model for manhood, fatherhood, and husbandhood (he deserves a made-up word). He has an amazing heart and will share it with anyone.
After his brief opportunity to speak because his son was running the show, Ricky hugged his son. For a long time with a genuine embrace. That site brought tears to my eyes because I felt that hug. I felt it for his son, for my son, and for every son. I felt it for me and for every daughter. Ricky knows the power of a hug. I know the power of a hug. And I am thankful for the power and the impact of the imperfect man, Ricky D. Floyd.
I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges. provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.
Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker? I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.