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?

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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.

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 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? 

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(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?

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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!


2B and the Pregnant Pilot

November 20th, 2017. Salt Lake City, Utah.

My attention is being lured by a rowdy leaf blower outside my hotel window. You guys should know by now to expect nothing more than my distracted writing. I should close the window, but the cool air slipping through is the perfect contrast to the 90-degree heat suffocating the room. Plus, it’s just enough noise to make me feel preoccupied.

Today was early. Disrespectfully early. I was out of bed by 2:30 a.m. for a 4 a.m. showtime at Newark. I’m convinced that early mornings need to be illegal: they’re non-functional. Despite my unwillingness to participate, I put on my best fake smile (and a face full of makeup) and headed out. No matter how bad the day may seem, an opportunity to turn it around will always present itself. And to be honest, it hasn’t been a bad day, 4 a.m. is just 4 a.m.

I ended up running into two strangers who made my day worthwhile. There wasn’t anything particularly special about these individuals, I just liked them. One was a female pilot (which is always a treat), but get this: she was pregnant! I don’t know why, but I found it both, intriguing and supremely precious. She’d just entered her third trimester and was positively beaming. She made me proud for many reasons, some I think I’ve yet to understand. Her glow was contagious and being around her made me cheery.

On the same flight, I served a 93-year-old woman at 2B. I’m terrible at guessing peoples age, but for sure she looked to be in her late 70’s. She stood patiently in my galley waiting to use the lavatory. Something in her demeanor told me she had grown use to waiting a long time ago. I busied myself putting away dishes and tidying up from the breakfast service, but the stale, wordless air seemed a bit awkward. Maybe because I’m a talker who wasn’t in the mood to talk. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to appear rude or standoffish. “Are you from Utah?” I inquired in a friendly tone. Of course she was hard of hearing. I repeated myself three times before the conversation took off. Once it did, I was glad I had asked. She has six children, eight grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren. I stood in shock. How amazing it must be to stand before three generations of one’s lineage. Her wrinkles turned upward with pride. I caught a glimpse of her eyes and wondered what tales were locked away in their depth. She told me– wait, can I give her a name? She obviously has one, but I didn’t think to look. Let’s call her Rose. Rose told me that she was originally from Utah. Her husband had fought in WWII and she moved to Boston with him right before he left. There, Rose resided with her love for 73 years. She didn’t say so, but I’m assuming her husband has since passed. “My son has been begging me for years to come back to Utah to live with him.” So there she was, headed to Salt Lake City to start a new chapter of her life at the very place it had begun.

The variety of life I’m exposed to is what I love most about my job. A question I was asked during the interview process for this position comes to mind.

Why do you want to be a Flight Attendant?” 

I knew I couldn’t say for the travel benefits, so I made something up. Or so I thought. My response was that a job as a Flight Attendant would provide me the opportunity to step outside of my own world and see life through the eyes of others. I told them that I thought it would make me less selfish and more selfless. Little did I know,  that’s exactly what would happen. I’m learning to let go of myself: my ideas of how life should be. Exposure to the countless ways of doing life has inspired me to give myself to God a little more each day. It has taught me that I won’t ever be in full control and that things will not go as planned. And I’ve learned to be okay with that.

I wonder how many disappointments Rose has endured during her 93 years of living. How many times has her heart been broken? How many times she felt like dying? I wonder if she was ever someone like me, looking into the eyes of someone like her. I wonder if Sara, the pilot, dreamed of flying planes when she was a little girl. Did she ever suspect that baby number two would be gently pressed against the steering wheel of a plane hidden and protected perfectly in her mommy’s tummy? I wonder if she planned to be pregnant at 35 years old, or if she saw herself pregnant at all.

So much of life involves the unexpected. People like Sara and Rose remind me that no matter how beautiful or tragic life may seem at times, it is possible. Moreover, that each of our journeys involves discovering just exactly what it is.


After the Pain

From hurricanes to earthquakes, and now the threat of a volcanic eruption in Indonesia, the past few months have been rough. When I look at the obliteration of islands, the flooded and powerless cities, and the debris of buildings that once stood tall, I can’t help but think of humanity: we too are broken, without light, and flooded with confusion. The physical destruction surrounding us is a reflection of the festering wounds erupting within us. It’s as though everything has come to a head all at once.

The most pressing concern is figuring out how to move forward- physically and emotionally- after the pain. The obvious answer is for us to bind together and restore productivity to the affected areas. Donating food and supplies, sending money, and volunteering are just a few ways we can each help aid the restoration process.

Yet, I wonder if there isn’t a less apparent answer buried beneath the pain and rubble of these disasters. After hurricane Irma struck The Virgin Islands, I reached out to a close friend of mine from St. Thomas. My heart broke at her distress. I’ve never been good at having the right words for people’s pain, but this time was different. Although my heart ached for her suffering, I felt compelled to offer encouragement. Hope in the face of tragedy isn’t easy but it is necessary.

The irony was that the day I texted her happened to be September 7th. It marked three years since my brother had passed. As I wrote her, I thought back to that day. I’ve yet to feel as hopeless as I did in that moment of my life. Everything was falling apart before me and I felt powerless to stop it. Those days were dark, but in retrospect, I realize that it took a storm destroying my life for me to allow God to restore it. As I poured out my sincerest words of hope to my friend, one word rose above the rest.


Though it may seem difficult to see it as such, these disasters have given us an opportunity to rebuild structurally, spiritually, and sociologically. God’s grace is bigger than any storm and if we make the choice to walk this arduous journey in it, we will come out on the other side better than we were before. There’s a song I love by Bri Babineaux called, My Everything. The main chorus of the song says,

If I lost everything and didn’t have anything, and you were the only thing, I’d still have everything.

It’s what I pray for myself and for our world. In my few years on this earth, I’ve yet to find anything or anyone as sustaining as God. He has kept me in the midst of it all, the same way I know he can keep those of us affected by these natural disasters.


Matthew 7:24-27 says:

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

I’m not making light of the devastation that has taken place. I am in no way trying to dictate how people should feel. Quite frankly, I don’t know how I’d feel had a hurricane come and taken away my loved ones and security. I want to reassure us that though this may feel much like an end, it doesn’t have to be. It’s an opportunity for a new beginning. A chance to relocate our homes to God’s heart. If we lay a solid foundation of faith, love, and trust in God, our homes will never be destroyed again.

Even the thunder and the wind obey
At the command of my Father, Father
I set my feet upon Your mighty name
So let the rain fall harder, harder
So take my everything, my flesh and blood
I’ll lay me down on the altar, altar
I am forever covered in Your love
So let the rain fall hard


-I Am Yours by Lauren Daigle

In the same way that many are without lights and resources physically, we are without them spiritually. These disasters are a literal illustration of what plagues us spiritually and culturally. A wake-up call reminding us that we are not nearly as in control as we believe ourselves to be. We are in such a state of confusion and questioning, we don’t know what to believe. Our foundations are breaking under the pressure of worldly influence and we’re turning over all the wrong rocks to find happiness. So many things sound and feel right, look good and seem okay, but the problem is we have no foundation to test these beliefs.


We’ve grown too accustomed to living in the dark. Now is our opportunity to plant ourselves on an unshakable foundation. Bad things will continue to happen, and there’s no guarantee that we can always prevent them. But if we put our faith in God, everything around us could crumble and we’d remain because we have been planted in the Lord.




Is this when?

 Is this when I write?

When I feel most uncertain? When my mind is plagued with what if’s?When for no reason, I want to curl into a ball and drown my thoughts in tears?

I’m choosing to write right now, not because I want to, but because I have to learn how to exist outside of my emotions. If I had my way, I’d be watching youtube videos to distract me from the choking fear of inadequacy. I’d be doing anything to suppress the seed of doubt threatening to take root in my mind.

Instead, I’m here. Feeling worthless, but here nonetheless. Before I began writing this, I went to my Bible. I’m doing a plan on the bible app that teaches ten habits of intimacy with God. I’m two days behind, so I read for September 29th. The lesson spoke about learning to live out every moment of life walking in God’s grace. I dismissed the reading thinking, “Yea, yea, grace. I don’t want a devotional, I want help.” Despite my impatience, I continued on to the scriptures that supported the reading. Nothing stood out until 2 Corinthians 12:9 was offered for review.


Reading this verse was both affirming and hopeful. But more than that, it opened my eyes to my own frailty. I’m embarrassed at how easily I was led astray from my identity in God. I’m thankful I was granted the strength to seek a different strategy against this attack instead of wallowing in the devil’s lies about me.

Even now as I write, I’m beginning to feel the weight of this emotional attack being lifted. I understand now that it was a test to see if I could stand on God’s word and reassure myself against a psychological attack from the enemy. I didn’t think I could. I was prepared to retreat into my usual hiding place and wait for the assault to pass. But grace.

I turned to God and referenced who His word proclaims I am. My spirit smiles because I know that God has made me victorious in this battle. And along with it, He has blessed me with the vision to see a spark of something I rarely acknowledge in myself-





Run Forrest, Run!

Before I had any business watching it, Forrest Gump became one of my favorite movies.  Although the content was too mature for my age, I always found Forrest easy to understand. He was simple. He made me feel better about my inability to comprehend why life was sometimes the way it was.

It came on television the other night, and even though I’ve seen it a hundred times, I couldn’t help watching it again. I came in at the scene where Jenny and Forrest had reunited in Greensboro. She stayed for a while, then- in true Jenny fashion- left unexpectedly. Heartbroken, Forrest did what Jenny had always taught him to do.


Forrest ran for, “3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.”

As I watched the nationwide coverage and acclaim of his run, something struck me:

How ridiculous it was that a throng of people followed a man cross country on a run that had no clear intention or path. Reporters probed Forrest for answers as to what his run signified: world peace, women’s rights, the environment, animals, or nuclear arms?


Though Forrest’s run lacked a profound why, people were inspired by his uninhibited and audacious spirit. Supporting someone with an unknown cause can be a wonderfully dangerous inspiration. Seeing individuals take extreme measures to better themselves gives others the courage to do the same. The problem arises when we rely too heavily on the journeys of others to fuel our own lives. When Forrest announced that his rove was over, his followers were distressed by the sudden decision. “Now what are we supposed to do?” one man called out.


It’s beautiful to be motivated by the lives of others, but it’s not fair to invest everything we hope to be in the life of someone else. Yet, that’s exactly what those people did to Forrest, and it’s what we do to one another. We see what looks like happiness, wealth, or success in the lives of others and attempt to replicate their actions in hopes of biting off a piece for ourselves.

We follow blindly behind people and movements we know little about just to feel something that halfway resembles happy. The problem with this type of lifestyle is that it’s full of emptiness. Those people who followed Forrest on his run never came to know why he did it.


Forrest’s journey was to run until his past was far enough behind him to move forward. It was for him to discover who he was in that iteration of himself.  What I love most about his passage was that it wasn’t until after Forrest returned home that he realized his why was indeed profound.

That’s exactly how life works at times. We don’t know why God allows us to go through certain hardships, but there’s always a reason. One that is exclusive to your journey, who you are and who you ultimately have the potential to be. Your why.  Yet, if we exhaust our lives trying to find ourselves on someone else’s path, it only leads to added unhappiness.

I know sometimes we just feel like running toward anything with a remote promise of happiness; anything that will take us away from where we are. I get it, but that’s when we have to be most vigilant because that’s when our spirits become clingy and susceptible to misplaced inspiration.

My goal isn’t to devalue the splendor of inspiration. On the contrary, my hope is to uphold it, to encourage us to apply it in a way that is beneficial to our lives.  It’s great to be heartened by someones actions and to even be encouraged to go a similar route. However, we shouldn’t base our decisions on what makes someone else happy.

You’re you and I’m me. What moves me may not drive you. What motivates you may not encourage me. We’re each on our own way, yet how wonderful it’d be for our journeys to cross paths. Maybe there’s something you can teach me. Perhaps there’s something I can give you. Maybe inspiration is a collision of two paths- or ten, or five million- meant to give hope, wisdom, and love so that another would be willing to war on against a world intent on their defeat.