We’re a lot like Snow

Another winter storm is racking the northeast with high winds and heavy snow. Concerned with our safety, the company released us from training early. Most flights to and from Newark have been canceled. Luckily, I made it back to the crashpad just in time to avoid getting stranded by the inclement weather. Before settling into the rocking chair with a missing arm cushion, I drew back the curtains and made myself a hot breakfast. Now satiated, and entranced by the budding storm, I’m finding it difficult to write. These are prime conditions for both, streaming creativity and sleeping. With only one other person here, the apartment is quiet. Tucked into the deepest crevice of the couch, my roommate could easily be mistaken for a crumpled blanket. Strays of orange hair and a messy top bun ornamenting the crown of the cover are the only indicators of her company. I too, am fighting the urge to lose myself in a blanket and watch anything involving Meryl Streep.

Somewhere in the recesses of my uterus, my cramps are producing just enough of that stabbing sensation to keep me awake. A good thing for the sake of productivity I suppose. Three years of being based in Newark and I’m still hopelessly fascinated by the snow. Today, especially. A decaying brick accent wall is home to the only window in the living room. Ordinarily, the view is a mere reflection of our brick apartment building, but today it’s a backdrop to a spectacular show. The diminishing browns and oranges of the brick wall make the snow look 3D. It’s sort of…poetic. I feel like a stranger who’s stumbled into the delivery room of something extraordinary: the sky giving birth to a little peace of heaven.

Meteorologically, this is considered a storm, but it feels like anything else. I never knew snow could dance. Without adherence to any form or technicality, it gracefully moves. Beautifully wild, it flows. Some snowflakes are falling rapidly in a race to the ground, while others take their time, slowly drifting to their destination. Some sections are falling straight down, while others are descending at a slant. Then, there are the snowflakes that are simply riding on the wings of the wind. Some are stuck together and some are traveling alone. Some are falling to the east and some are headed west. Somehow though, regardless of direction or form, they’re all in sync. Each doing their own dance, yet fully aware that they’re part of a grand ensemble.

We’re a lot like snow. Multilayered beings, composed of various facets, all contributing to one single source. Sometimes, we put too much focus on one aspect of our lives. We spotlight the areas that need work or aren’t panning out the way we hoped. I’m learning to give those areas of my life grace. I don’t want to lambast them into a place of hiddenness and shame. I want to be encouraging and provide a positive environment to recalibrate those areas.

When we admire a place blanketed in fresh snow, we don’t analyze its beauty by each particle. Instead, we acknowledge it as one body of snow comprised of many snowflakes. Together, each snowflake creates one breathtaking body of natural art. We are each, a wonderous expression of art formed by our creator. God doesn’t look at our rough edges, jagged lines, and the pieces of us that aren’t quite falling right, with ridicule. If we commit every aspect of our lives into the hands of God and trust him to mold us into something extraordinary, he will. He can transform all of our mess and chaos, into splendid portrayals of his love.


A Warm View on a Cold Day

A huge gust of smoke rose from the engine as we pushed back from the gate. Panicked, I fidgeted to unbuckle my seatbelt. Suddenly I remembered and my alarm subsided. It’s fourteen degrees in Newark today. It’s just the normal breath of the engine being chilled by the below-freezing temperature. Relaxing back into my chair, I bathed in the slither of sunlight offered by my window seat at 30A. It doesn’t look cold outside. The clouds are few and the sun is positively beaming on this chilly day.
Seeing how beautiful it looks outside despite the harsh weather is exemplary to how life with Christ should be. Some people are under a grave misconception that reliance on God means a life exempt from hardship, but God tells us in his word that it “Rains on the just as well as the unjust.” Believers don’t get a pass from tribulation but are protected from it by seeking refuge in God. We know that because we are His children, there is no storm that can overtake us.
As followers of Christ, we should not look like what we are going through. If we do, what sets a life with God apart from one without him? This is not to say that Christians shouldn’t feel pain or express it, we’re human too. But ultimately, we know that God is in control of our lives and knows what’s best for us. Every situation we encounter- good or bad- is an opportunity for God to display his love, grace, and sovereignty. Therefore, Christian affliction should not be expressed by hopelessness. It’s during these times that we need to seek God most. He doesn’t allow us to go through difficulties just because. At times, it’s his way of communicating with us. And if we’re honest, too often, it’s only during our struggles that we’re interested in what he has to say. But he is calling us to more. He wants us to be in his presence always. When we establish a regular dialogue with God, we gain security in trusting and relying on him. It’s in that realm of intimacy with him that we come to truly understand that our problems are no match for God.
Don’t confine conversing with God to a prayer on bended knee at an altar. My dialogue with God today was me sitting on a plane and observing. A rare moment when my mind wasn’t fixated on anything that wasn’t right in front of me. In that moment, God opened the conversation with imagery: A warm view on a cold day.
I want to look more like today in Newark, NJ. (Never thought I’d say those words). I want to be secure in God despite the challenges I face. I want to rest in the reality that even when life is cold, I am warmed and protected by my saviour. As long as we’re prepared, the cold can’t kill us. Preparation is simpler than we make it. Trust. Our trials expose the depth of our faith. Study his word and learn to rely on him even when it feels useless. Trust doesn’t happen overnight, but with prayer, practice, and intimacy with God, it will become the most secure aspect of our lives. Then others will wonder how it is that we are so warm in this bitter, cold world.

“I AM… Love” by Heather Templeton

This desperately needed to be said. – Celestial

– Celestial

Selflove. It’s a huge fad these days.
We’ve all seen the posts and the blogs and the memes about how we can’t truly love others if we don’t love ourselves first.
How if we want to be there for others, we need to put ourselves and our needs first.
THEN we can help others, and help them more effectively.

Friends, this mentality is NOT biblical.
This is a worldview that too many Christians have bandwagoned onto, and it’s growing at an alarming rate.

Read the entire post by clicking the link below.


Am I Doing This Right? (Part II)


Now what?

Still dealing with the compunction of having signed up for something so ridiculous, I decided that my going to this singles mixer” would be a covert venture. As January 13th drew closer, I became more and more uncertain. What am I doing? I contemplated not going, but I knew that in order to resolve my suspicions, I had to find out for myself if I was missing out after all.


 After a few days, it became unbearable to keep quiet about the event. My thoughts had taken a turn for the dramatic and I was in desperate need of sound advice. I casually mentioned the event over phone conversations with a few of my best girls. Much to my surprise, they were on board with me going to this singles mixer. Their optimism gave me permission to be, at the very least, cautiously hopeful.

How didn’t I know about this place? I thought as the host led me to the back of the restaurant. We slipped through an obscure door that immediately exposed a narrow stairway. Two flights of stairs later, we arrived on the third floor. The host pointed out the restrooms and stretched his arm toward the back of the room. “They’re in the back,” he said plainly as he dismissed himself. I looked around, surprised at how big the space was. The dim lighting and classical decor made the room seem smaller, more intimate. As I headed back, I was grateful that I had chosen to wear flat boots, instead of heels. My entrance would be less noticed.


“Hi! Welcome! My name is Leah. The name tags at the bar have different colors. Pick one and write your name on it!” Leah was nice. Bubbly. The way I would’ve been had I not been brimming with apprehension. Aside from our lovely entertainer Leah and myself, there was one other woman and one man. The woman (shall we call her Tracy?) was lively and chatty.  She didn’t seem nervous at all. I don’t remember exactly, but she made a joke that suggested that (let’s call him…) Brooks would be the only man to show up and all the women would have to fight over him. “Like the Bachelor,” she joked. I choked out a  laugh and made a beeline to the bar to fill out my name tag.

Slowly (and late), others started to arrive. And when I say others, I do mean women. “More men were supposed to come,” Leah promised. Some of them had to cancel for work and others just didn’t show up. The final tally was twelve women and one man. I was a little letdown, but not at all surprised. I had predicted and mentally prepared for this turnout.

The event commenced with Leah giving each person five flashcards that matched the color of our name tags: it was Q and A time. The questions ranged from, What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? to What character in the Bible do you want your partner to be like and why? It was overwhelming. All the women were so focused on not being desperate that we sort of ignored Brooks and instead, got to know one another. Though, at some point, I checked out. The questions were too involved and some people spoke for twenty minutes straight. I ate my shrimp orecchiette in silence, while I faded in and out of the conversation. Although I was proud of how successful and independent this group of women was, I hadn’t known them long enough to care to delve into the intimate details of their wants and desires over lunch. It felt artificial. Forced. But the food was good.


I left just before the event was over because I had booked an early evening flight back to Newark. I gave my sincerest thanks and wished everyone well as I headed out. What should’ve been a disappointment, left me feeling revived. As I galloped down the stairs, I felt my happy, effervescent self returning. The cool air welcomed me as I walked out of the restaurant. The wind whipped my face as I ran across the street eager to seek refuge from the cold. As I approached the other side, I almost bumped into some man. I said sorry and proceeded to my car, but he stopped me. “Excuse me, your shoe is untied.” I bent down to tie it, but he beat me to it. “Let me get that for you.”

“You really don’t have to do that,” I blushed. “I can tie it.” But he insisted, so I stood there while he bent down and tied my shoe. After he finished, he walked away and told me to take care. I was completely taken aback by such a random act of kindness.

Then, it occurred to me. Remember that wink or nudge I told you guys I had been praying for God to give me in Part I? In the simplest, kindest, and most unexpected way, God had answered my prayer in a way he knew I’d understand. On my drive home, I kept hearing in my spirit, That’s how it will be- a beautiful surprise. I was reassured that when the time comes, my delight in what God has planned for me in a partner will far exceed anything I could’ve hoped or created for myself. My soul rested in this undeniable truth.

However naive or close-minded it may seem, I trust God with choosing someone for me. He’s never let me down before, so why start doubting his ability now? The desires of my heart were embedded in me by my creator and I fully believe that in the most impeccable timing, he will bless me with those desires.

So to answer my question: yes, I am doing this right. 



Am I Doing this right? (Part I)

“Are You Putting Yourself Out There?” was almost the title of this post. Mainly because I’m tired of being asked that question. I’ve never understood how to answer it. And with the current dating trends, I’m not sure I want to be part of the putting myself out there gang.

It’s weird, other people seem to be more concerned with my singleness than I am. This wasn’t always true. Up until my early twenties, marriage was my mission. While friends and acquaintances worried over which I said yes photo to share on facebook, I panicked. I was falling behind. They were starting families and I’d never even had a boyfriend. I was beginning to wonder if there wasn’t something wrong with me.


It took time but I eventually moved past the stage of feeling like a defect. The truth is, I don’t mind being by myself. I’m more weary of the prying “why are you single?” questions I can never seem to adequately answer. Unintentionally, others try to convince me that the absence of a man in my life is an indication that something is wrong or that I’m abnormal, but I don’t feel that way anymore. I cherish dearly this opportunity of discovering who I am through my own eyes.

My desire for marriage has never been to fill an internal void. I recognize it as a gift from God meant to be an earthly expression of his unfailing love. A union that serves to magnify our understanding of the depth of that love. It’s not something I’m willing to forfeit for the sake of a warm body and sweet nothings. I’d much rather wait on God to send me someone of value than put myself through the horror that is- very loosely called– dating.

Although I’m pretty stable in my season of waiting, I still have moments when I need reassurance. A nudge or a wink, something to assure me that I’m on the right path. I find myself praying to God, I’m totally cool with waiting, but I just wanna make sure- Am I doing this right?

giphy (30)

I had a bout of doubting debbie a few weeks ago. An impromptu girls night at my crashpad in Newark led to the overwrought topic of boys. The evening lasted well into the next morning as the other two girls gushed about their complicated love lives. I was exhausted just listening. One of them had been trying to figure out if she was actually in a relationship with some guy she’d been talking to, while the other spilled about how she’d rejected going back to her guy friend’s place after dinner in the city that night. Then there was me. Single as a dollar bill. No stories of one night stands or swiping left for love. As quickly as I could, I blurted out the riveting details of my love life-  “I’ve never had a boyfriend. I’m a virgin. I’m trusting God to find someone for me.” I waited for their reactions.

giphy (27)

 Initially, they were all, “That’s great, there’s nothing wrong with that!” But as the conversation continued, I talked myself into a box. A close-minded Christian girl who’s just going to stand idly by and wait for God to send her someone. Those words were all but plastered across their foreheads. One of them in particular. She asked me, “Well, do you put yourself out there?” I rolled my eyes in exacerbation. When I told her, “not really” she returned the gesture. “I hate it when people think that trusting God to do something means sitting on your butt and doing nothing!” She was annoyed by my small thinking. I explained my perspective. If I was striving to be a lawyer, I wouldn’t pray to God to make my law degree appear while I sat on the sofa binge-watching Law and Order: SVU. There is a clear process in what must be done to attain a law degree. Relationships are different. Unless I missed it, there’s no certain equation that leads people to lasting love and marriage. I’d much rather let God do the weeding out. In the meantime, my focus is my relationship with God and learning to enjoy that journey.

I hadn’t wanted to admit it, but my roommate had gotten to me. Her words rang in my head for days and I began to question myself. Am I doing this right? Maybe I am too close-minded. Maybe I should try to find out what it means to put myself out there.

So I did.

Although I had no plans, I’d decided to take off from work for New Year’s Eve. For a change, I wanted to celebrate! I browsed the internet for Christian parties or anything remotely wholesome to attend. Nothing. I didn’t want to go to church because I’d gone that morning and I wanted to do something more festive. I didn’t want to watch fireworks downtown by myself because it seemed a bit pathetic- even for me. I opened my meetup app hoping to find some last minute get together. Nothing. Just as I had come to terms with having a quiet New Years Eve, I came across an event: New Years Single Mixer for Christians on January 13th.

Still hung up on girls night, the meetup event seemed fateful. Is this a sign? I bookmarked the event but didn’t register. It was at a nice restaurant and cost $23, which made me feel better. Yet, the idea of a “singles mixers,” made me nervous. I felt awkward and angsty at envisioning what it’d be like. And as if I’m not enough of a girl scout, I felt like I’d be doing something wrong by attending the mixer. I know, I’m ridiculous. But every time I chickened out, my roommate’s words reignited my insecurities. After a few days of teeter-tottering, I finally committed to the event.

I had something to prove. Although to whom, I still can’t be sure. I don’t know if I was more fixated on proving to my roommate or to myself that I don’t live in a box. Either way, for three hours on January 13th, I put myself out there.

To be continued…

Oh and by the way,  if you’re wondering how I ended up spending my New Years Eve: I showered and went to sleep.



Restless Dreams

January 6th, 2018. Newark, NJ. 8:28 p.m.

It’s a whopping ten degrees here in the tri-state area, but the wind chill makes it feel like negative ten. I went outside once today and that was to get food for my hibernation. Out of nine days, today is my only day off. I had planned on being responsible with my time by calling my car insurance company, washing clothes, finding a way to lighten my suitcase, and most importantly, WRITING! Instead, I made a big breakfast, talked on the phone, and slept. Another perfectly good day wasted.

I woke up from my nap around 5:30 p.m. to a room bathed in darkness. I hate daylight savings because it steals the sun before the day is gone. Convinced that productivity for the day was hopeless, I phoned my best friend. “Why am I so lazy?” I chided aloud to her, as I rolled out of bed.

I usually blame fatigue for my inactivity, but isn’t everyone tired? How are other people staying productive? God knows I love to write, but sometimes it requires more energy than I have to give. My writing is sacred to me. Even after having this blog for over a year, it still takes courage to publish every post. It matters to me whether people think my writing is good or not. I do my best to deliver worthy material by trying to create the optimal environment to release my thoughts. But that’s not always possible. The perfect time or place is an illusion. If I believe otherwise, I’ll be waiting forever. I have to find my place in the chaos. We all do.

Part of my lack of consistent writing is legitimate physical exhaustion due to poor health choices and a crazy work schedule. However, the other side has to do with mindset. I burden my craft with the need to be flawless. If I don’t feel that my writing will be impeccable, I don’t bother. But creativity is like a child and requires much tending to and plenty of patience. A child who has just learned the alphabet is not expected to form coherent sentences. Yet they are encouraged to practice until they are able to sound out words and carry short conversations. I imagine that if children were (and many are) forced to perform above their ability through abuse, they would shut down and become inactive altogether.

If my writing is my baby, I’m afraid I’ve been a bit of an abusive mother. Or I’m just making this all up to validate my unadulterated laziness. I’m choosing to believe the former. Either way, we commonly make the mistake of pampering the dream and neglecting the process. There is no state of perfection, only constant progression. We are evolutionary beings and so are the things that we create. Inventions don’t just poof into existence when they’re thought of. They have to be put together, tested by trial and error, and developed. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and see a piece of the world we didn’t behold yesterday.

We must give our passions room to breathe. If we suffocate our dreams with the pressures of measuring up, we will always feel unworthy and unfulfilled. There are people who have met their goals and still have a void because they spent too much time nurturing the dream and resenting the journey. Empty success is not the goal.

A year from now, I want to be able to look at my writing and be proud of my improvement. That will only come through relentless effort and caring enough about my craft to not let it fall by the wayside out of fear of what people might say. I have to decide what’s more important: what people think or giving them something to think about?

We each have a gift. Don’t tire it out by placing unrealistic demands on it. Treat it like a flower seed: plant it in rich soil, give it rain and let it bask in the sun. It may not be visible right away, but with consistent care, it will break through the soil.

Remember, a seed can’t become a flower without nourishment. Feed your dream.




Happy New Year…I Guess

I’ve been writing this post for at least a week in my head, ruminating on what the heck happened in 2017. After college, the years become a bit of a blur. If it isn’t a death, a marriage, a milestone, or a child, I most likely won’t remember it happening. In these precarious times, I’m just glad to have survived another year. I swear, I’m not this cynical in real life. Personally, I had a pretty decent year, but generally speaking, the good times are beginning to feel like a game of Where’s Waldo.


I wanted to be the cool hip person who didn’t make any new years resolutions because I don’t need the hand of a clock deciding when it’s okay for me to change my mind. Blah, blah, blah. It sounded great, but as the days dwindled to hours and new years eve inched closer, I couldn’t help but have some angst about assessing the past year. And because I’m a loser, I didn’t have a party dress to shop for, an event to attend, or even the empty company of alcohol to preoccupy my thoughts. I was home alone.

Have I changed? Have I grown? Did I accomplish the things I said I would?  Did I even bother setting goals? 

source (4).gif

(Pretend the year says 2017. I couldn’t bear to part with this gif. I tried)

As expected, the week of New Years delivered much remembering and renewing on social media: all the things that had happened in 2017 and all the things people hope to happen in 2018. Yet, I was disappointed at seeing so many individuals focused on making copious amounts of money and eager for material success. I’m all for being ambitious and setting goals, but if your main goal in 2018 (or ever) is to be filthy rich, money is the least of your worries.


Regardless of how superficial some people were being on my Instagram feed, my cyber buddies had unknowingly peer pressured me into taking stock of my life. What happened in 2017 and how can I improve in 2018?

I started 2017 off wanting to feed all of my attention into my writing and building my blog community. I tried to be consistent but again and again, I failed. Somewhere in between the bruises to my ego, I felt called to enter into a period of pause. It was time for a realignment. I know that my writing is a gift from God, but I had begun to idolize it. I thought about it even when I wasn’t doing it, which was usually the case. I was so overwhelmed with disappointment in myself, that I wasn’t leaving any room for God’s input. That pause became the theme of my year. I stopped with the blog schedules and the commitments to writing and redirected my energy to spending time with God. I read a book called, “Unseen” by Sara Hagerty and it was a total game changer for how I viewed my identity in God. I began to study (not just read) his word, I intentionally made time to pray and talk to God throughout the day, and I shared my concerns and frustrations with him. As I result, I’m more grounded in my identity in Christ. I understand now that my writing is a partnership with God, not something I have to cultivate on my own.

My word for 2018 is continue. It’s not about starting something new, but continuing to dig myself even deeper into God and his will for my life.

All that to say, I made two New Year’s resolutions.

  1. Get out of God’s way in my life.
  2. Take more risks.

I have a habit of confining God to the limitations I place on myself. I know that on my own I can do little, but through Christ, I can do much, but just to make sure, I like to set up the scene for him to work his magic. A little insurance never hurt nobody, right?

tenor (4)

Too often, I feel the need to control how and when God’s promises will manifest in my life.This is where my two resolutions intersect: because I think it’s my responsibility to create the perfect opportunity for God’s will to take place, I do my very best to not color my decisions outside the lines. I don’t take a lot of risks, which can lead to a really dull existence. Moreover, presuming how God will show up and making decisions expressly off of that idea is a sure way to miss a blessing. I want to live my life, not unintentionally, but with God’s Romans 8: 28 promise in my heart.


Besides, who am I to box God’s plans into 365 days?

A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

Psalms 90:4

I don’t know all of God’s plans for my life, but I know that Ephesians 3:20 says God is able to do above and beyond what I desire. I trust that. Do I have goals and things I’d like to happen in 2018? Of course! But even if my plans don’t come into fruition this year, God will still be God. He won’t look at me as being unsuccessful or a failure, it will simply mean, there’s more. I know that what God has for me is mine. As long as I continue to seek him above all else, his plan for my life will far exceed anything I can imagine or create for myself! In his perfect timing.

I pray that we don’t become so fixated on our goals that we neglect to establish a connection with the way maker.

Happy New Year!