Tag Archives: inspiration

Drifting

I went to bed last night reluctantly at 10:30pm, selfishly angry that my alarm was set for 6:00am. I had received a text earlier in the week from the production crew coordinator at church letting me know that call time for service had been moved up an hour. Throughout the week I contemplated backing out, since I hadn’t been feeling well and also because I’m stubborn, and I just couldn’t wrap my brain around having to be somewhere that early on a Sunday. My conscience won and I decided to stay committed, excusing it by telling myself this would be the last time I serve on the media team. I barely slept and getting up was rough, but I made it. Over and over in my head I kept questioning to myself why I was there. Why I was needed. My energy was low and my patience thin.

 

It was well past 9:00 and people continued to file in, filling up almost every chair in the room. It’s usually pretty crowded, but something was different today. After the first worship song people were clapping and cheering, and by the middle of the second song at least half of everyone in the room had hands in the air. I could hear God in my ear saying, “I know you didn’t want to listen, but I put you here for a reason.”

 

I’ve been in somewhat of a funk lately, not one I am unfamiliar with. I am well aware that my faith is a roller coaster and it holds a pattern based on what’s currently happening in my life. For weeks or months at a time I’ll find myself closer to God than ever, attending church every week and my small group regularly, making time for daily devotions and prayer. And then slowly I’ll drift into a state of apathy and selfishness. This could last weeks or months or even years, depending on who I’m dating and what my friend group looks like. My faith gets put on the back burner until I crash mentally or emotionally and realize that I still need God after all. And then I seek Him and find Him all over again.

 

For a long time I would be frustrated with myself during those “off seasons,” almost like when I gain weight and think “how did I let myself get this far?” I look at other people at church and think they have it all together, since they are there every Sunday and seem to be on a steady path in their own faith. But I’m realizing that my entire life is going to be made of these ups and downs and so is everyone else’s. And that’s okay. I feel okay drifting because I know God will always lead me back to Him, just like He did today.

 

I watched nearly 20 people get baptized today. And not because it was scheduled, they didn’t reach out to someone a few weeks ago and say “I want to sign up for baptism.” These people happened to come to church today and when they were invited to come up and publicly give their lives to Christ, they accepted. I witnessed twenty lives start over today. I witnessed twenty people’s sins vanish right before my eyes. I witnessed twenty people turn their heads to God never to look back. Last Sunday NINETY-FIVE people were baptized. I’m watching one church transform an entire community. 

 

And so it all made sense. Another face-palm moment for me in my walk with God. Because of whatever He put on my heart I could not walk away from my commitment today, no matter how early. I could not stay angry or irritated because it was so clear that I was there for a reason, and that I have a purpose in the church. Every single person in that church is a part of a whole. We are each a part of this HUGE thing that’s happening. I can feel it moving within me, and I can see it changing others. I know my journey is far from over, and even though there will always be highs and lows, the high I felt today behind that camera makes up for everything else.

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Hello My Name Is: Independence

All this Women’s Rights mumbo-jumbo-social-media-rhetoric has gotten me really worked up lately. I’ve summed my emotions into “If you aren’t for it, you’re against it.” And how any woman could be against her own fundamental rights is simply beyond me.

I was in a relationship for over two years that made me feel like a beautiful, kind, caring doormat. Now listen y’all, I am a ballin’ ass girlfriend. Once you hook me and reel me in, I make it my life’s mission to keep you happy. That’s not me being submissive, it’s just what I enjoy doing. I like to see the people I love happy, therefore, I get really excited to cook a good dinner, do laundry or dishes when my man is sick or stressed out, or anything small that I know makes his day a little better. I like this aspect of myself, because I know I’ll make a damn good wife some day. (Does this paragraph make me look single?)

The problem with this mindset for me is it always takes too long to realize when I’m extremely under-appreciated. I’ve been in more than one relationship where I’ve taken a step back after the relationship ended and asked myself “What the heck was I doing there for so long?” The thing about feminism is it doesn’t mean women are superior, it means women and men are equal. So many fellow women of mine fail to see the equality they are being denied on a daily basis. If you are treating a man with kindness and respect, you deserve just that in return.

As women, I strongly believe that we should never rely on man, but especially A man, for anything. We should constantly be relying on God, and ourselves, to satisfy our needs. If you rely on a man for anything, that thing is no longer yours. That goes for your material belongings like your clothes, your car, your home, but it can also be applied to your emotions, your self-worth, your confidence.

Picture this: You fall in love with Mr. Right. He has a great job, great hair, he’s funny, charming, and takes care of you. He makes enough money to support you and even your kids once you have them. He’s generous, he buys you gifts every now and then like a new pair of shoes, he takes you to fancy dinners and tells you you’re the most perfect woman in the whole world. He tells you he loves you and you trust him. He gives you a big ole’ diamond. Sounds dreamy, right? Sign me up!

So naturally, you get married, you quit your job and start popping out babies. You get fat, you lose your confidence because he stops appreciating you. He takes you and everything you do for granted and you resent him for having to stay home all day with the kids. You fight a lot because you’ve lost your self-worth and want more out of life than talking to toddlers all day. Then one day, he cheats on you. He decides to leave you for the other woman. I don’t know how you find out but you do, because you are woman. Your life crumbles before your eyes. Literally. He. Owns. Everything. Your house and everything in it. Your car. Your insurance. Your clothes and shoes and bags and jewelry. Your body. Your mind. The groceries in your refrigerator that you were going to use to cook him dinner! 

Custody of the children (and probably a hefty settlement) aside, you are now forced to completely start over. What’s on your resume? Nothing, child care. What’s your credit score? Nada, nothing in your name. I would say it’s not your fault, but it totally is. Where did you lose your independence? When did you forget that you are a perfect and beautiful creation of God’s that deserves happiness and fulfillment? When did you forget that you have a purpose for your life here on earth? A lot of women will say that being a mother is their purpose, and I am 100% on board with that. But please, I am begging you, do not give up your independence in exchange for motherhood. That child needs a strong, unwavering woman to teach them how to be the best version of themselves.

When I see women marrying (or dating) for money it makes me want to crawl out of my skin and force my hands around her neck. You are submitting in the worst possible way! You are giving that man complete control over who you are and what defines you. Not to mention, you should never waste your time dating or marrying someone who you could do without. Call me a romantic but, I believe there is someone out there for everyone. Yes, a soul mate! And that soul mate wasn’t put there so you could use them for their money, their money should have ZERO influence on your feelings for them. If their money or worth has ANY influence on why you’re with them, you need to reevaluate your life, my dear! And your identity, and motives, and passions. Who the hell are you, anyways?

The moral of this rant is…Don’t ever let a man control you. Whether he does that with money or manipulation, you are your own person and should ALWAYS be your own person. Don’t forget to take that step back every once in a while and ask yourself if you are being treated equally and with respect. And if the answer is ever anything besides “YES PRAISE JESUS FOR THIS AMAZING SPECIMEN OF A MAN,” get the eff outta there!

 

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Stretch Marks

Lately I find myself subconsciously searching for something more, I’m not entirely sure what, but can’t seem to find it anywhere. I look for it as I scroll through social media, at the bottom of my beer, at the end of a long Netflix binge (I’m such millennial), but I always feel the same. I’ve been trying to find an explanation for that feeling, a word to associate with it, something to blame it on.

Complacency. I’ve been hearing this word a lot lately and actually paying attention to it when it touches my eardrums. Unlike other words, it flutters in and stays there, resonating for reasons I can’t put my finger on. Like an itch you can’t scratch.

To be complacent means to feel unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction. My own personal definition of complacency is “ignorant contentment.” I love when people say that you aren’t growing as a person unless you’re outside of your comfort zone. I love even more when these growing pains are referred to as metaphoric stretch marks. You grow, you stretch, you learn, you adapt, you are forever changed because of it.

So I started really thinking about that word and realizing all the different aspects of my life I’ve slowly grown complacent about. My job, my weight, my city, everything has become so routine that I feel content for the most part. The problem is I can’t label that same contentment as happiness, or pride, or even satiation.

The problem with complacency is you can think about it and talk about it until you’re blue in the face, but unless you actually do something it isn’t going anywhere. It pulls up a chair and sits next to you and you both idly watch the world go by day in and day out. You stare out the same window and watch the same cars go by and think the same thoughts and have the same observations, until after a while you don’t see the window, or the cars, or observe new things, or conjure new thoughts. Life happens and you don’t even know it.

I wish I knew the secret to avoiding complacency altogether, but I guess that’s half the reason we’re here. We all live to know what our life’s purpose is and once we find it, we channel our hearts and souls into that purpose. It’s the waiting period that’s the hardest part, and it could last forever if you don’t force yourself into growing some more stretch marks.

 

 

 

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In Church

In church I don’t care how fat or skinny I am
or what I ate the day before
or when I’m going to the gym next.
In church I don’t think about how much I hate my job
and how hard it is to get out of bed in the morning
and how I come home in tears most days.
In church I don’t wonder if I’ve chosen the wrong path
or if my efforts are tiresome and pointless.
In church I don’t worry about when I’m going to meet the “right” guy
and fall in love and get married
and whether I’ll be able to have babies
or live to meet their babies.
In church I don’t doubt that I am capable
of anything and everything I set my mind to
as long as I fully rely on Jesus for my successes.
In church I don’t care about what the people around me think
about the fact that I’m crying over the sermon
or stretching my arms high into Heaven while I sing.
In church I know that today is the only day that matters
and that tomorrow’s worries and burdens should be placed on Him and Him only.
In church it doesn’t matter what mistakes I made years ago
that I feel define me sometimes
because I am a child of the Lord and my sins are forgiven.
In church I am me
just as He made me.
Perfectly imperfect.

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Cliche New Years Post

Oh look! Another article in your news feed about how to better yourself in 2015. “Fifteen ways to be happier in 2015.” “Fifty Resolutions You Should be Making This Year.” “The Top 10 Resolutions to Make for Next Year.” You can be a journalist, or even a blogger, and have your own writing style without using a list for every single article you write.

#overit #endrant

I’m not making any resolutions this year. That’s right, I’m so awesome already, I don’t need to change myself. Not really, I just think about last year at this time when I made my resolutions, and the year before that, and the year before that. And how they never happened. And how they’re always the same.

1. Lose weight.
2. Stop biting my nails.
3. Exercise more.
4. Eat healthier.
5. Pray more.

[It’s really sad that “pray more” is at the bottom of that list below losing weight and biting my nails. Probably if that were at the top of the list I wouldn’t need anything else on the list.]

None of these things about me have changed over the last several years. My weight and routines have fluctuated but I am still the same person. New Years Resolutions don’t drastically change who you are just because the date on the calendar changes. You change because of things that happen to you over the course of that year, things that you have NO control over.

I sat down last December, much like in years’ past, and told myself I would lose weight, blind to what God and the universe actually had in store for me for 2014. A stress fracture in my foot, a new job, and most recently, a car accident.

Sometimes it feels like the more determined you are to do something, the more obstacles you find standing in your way. Just when I hit a great momentum of motivation I am stopped in my tracks. The accident left me with a concussion, back pain, a gastrointestinal bleed, and a ulcer (in a nutshell). Last night was my first night exercising in 20 days. The longest I’ve gone since my stress fracture. And there’s not much more discouraging than trying to work out in the gym when you feel tired, fat, and unmotivated.

Spoiler alert: people think that a new year means a new start, but the reality is your life continues the way it’s been going! You can’t change yourself, but you CAN change your attitude. Maybe 2014 wasn’t so shiny for you, I feel ya, man. But 2015 might be better for us if we change our attitudes and outlooks. It really sucks to get back in the gym after 20 days of not working out, but exercise is always the better choice than sitting on your fat ass at home! And sure, life may not always go as you plan, maybe you got laid off or got broken up with, but you know damn well those things always turn into something better down the road. I got into a car accident and got a brand new car, see? Case in point! So keep on truckin’ friend, headstrong into 2015.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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