Thursday, March 24, 2016

16 Golden truths in my Golden year!

Last year I turned 26 on October 26th and so began my Golden year or as I like to call it, my year of glorious fulfillment. I was praying about what the topic of the blog should be today and I feel like maybe sharing some truths about myself, being vulnerable and real about my life would be a good idea. After reading this post, if you get through all 16 things, you'll know more about this girl that's just trying to live a life that means something. Enjoy!

1. I'm extremely sentimental. I keep every letter and note that anyone every writes me, even silly ones and every birthday card that anyone ever sends me. There's something about knowing that someone thought enough of you to take time out of their day to write you a note =)

2. I HATE cats but I love kittens.

3. I love public speaking. I love getting in front of a group and sharing my heart or discussing a topic that I have some level of expertise on. I feel like I've been blessed with the gift of public speaking so when anyone asks me to speak in front of a group I get super jazzed.

4. I am disgusted by the thought of going to bed and actually falling asleep with socks on.

5. In 2011 I had one of the most realistic and world changing dreams of my life so far and I'm convinced that one day it's going to come true. Because of that dream, I believe that I'll have at least three kids and the third one will be a boy and his name will be Mason.

6. My favorite numbers are 4 and 16.

7. My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. The reason why I love this book so much is because it deals with such a heavy topic yet it's approached from such an innocent and sincere perspective. Harper Lee was such a mastermind with words and I'm truly saddened by the fact that we only have two full pieces of literature from such a legend.

8. My favorite color is purple.

9. I use sarcasm as tool to keep people at an arms length distance in relationships. I have a lot of friends but I wouldn't say that a lot of those people truly know me and that's 100% my fault. I struggle with connecting to people on a level that is intimate and real and not just fun and that's definitely something that I'm working on.

10. I LOVE dogs. One day I'm going to own the cutest labradoodle the world has ever seen.

11. Even though I'm single I know for a fact that I'm going to get married one day. I have never had a successful relationship, that's mostly because I never wanted to be in one and because I always went after the wrong kinds of guys. With that being said, thinking about the journey that God has me on and how I've changed SO much even in the last six months I have no doubt that I'm going to get married and that I'll have the life I want.

12. I can not stand being hot....can't stand it!

13. I used to struggle a lot with food and having healthy eating and fitness habits. Now that I'm older and I've learned a lot about the body and the mind and have grown to truly love myself I still struggle with maintaining a healthy passion for fitness. It's hard for me when I see people who are thinner than I am or more fit than me but I have to remind myself that the only person that I'm competing against is the person I was yesterday and no one else. I feel like I'm at a good place where I'm mentally trying to keep the "why" of my fitness journey in clear view and not focusing on a scale or other people that take away from that healthy and loving perspective.

14. My spirit animal is Mr. Moose.

15. My relationship with the The Lord has grown so much since last summer and I can't help but to mention it in this post. I went from going through the motions in my prayer life and even church to truly coming alive in Christ. I still have SOOO much to learn and so many areas where I need to grow but I'm so glad that I'm not doing this alone and that he's with me, in me and always for me!

16. I've learned that my story is not going to match the story lines that I'm used too, ones that I've seen in movies and in the lives of people around me. Though my life hasn't at all been what I thought it was going to be, it doesn't mean that it's not all going according to plan.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The quest for identity.

Ephesians 2:10 "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

I decided to start this post with a scripture because I believe that it sets the tone for what the post will be about. Today, I want to talk about identity.

For years, I struggled with who I was. I felt like I was supposed to be short even though I was tall, that I should be bone thin even though I was thick, that I should have straight hair even though it was curly and so much more.

For a long time I longed to have a life that was better. I thought that with more money, a smaller waist, a nice car and a cute guy on my arm that I would suddenly have status. I thought that I would suddenly know who I was and so would everyone else around me, I thought that I would discover my identity. NOT true at all.

I've talked before about happiness and how it's something that you carry with you and not find and I think identity and who you are is similar to that. My journey to finding out who I truly am and becoming secure and rooted in my identity started almost a year ago when I started to discover the heart of Christ.

In June of 2015, I had an experience at church that completely changed my life, I'll share in detail on that in another post but from there on I couldn't stop reaching, running, thirsting... after the father. The Lord took away my shame and gave me acceptance, took away my pain and gave me hope, he turned my darkness into light and my feelings of abandonment into adoption.

As I've continued to seek to know him more and continue to read the word and books on living life with the Father, I realize that I've been fed so many lies my entire life about who I am and who I'm supposed to be. Instead of listening to my parents that would always speak life into me, I listened to social media and books and pictures from magazines.

I think we all struggle with insecurity at times, with looking in the mirror and not being 100% satisfied with what we see and I've found that the only way to truly fight that is to bring yourself back to truth and tell yourself who you are.

You are chosen, without blemish, loved, worth dying for, perfect in the eyes of the father and you're his own.

When I feel moments of doubt or insecurity I remind myself that God loves me so much and he made me just the way that I am! I am a masterpiece! I was made for a purpose! I am not just occupying space rather I'm fulfilling the will of the king! The lies of insecurity have no place to rest their head when truth comes to town.

I hope that you read this, whether you're a believer or not and that you know that every single thing about you is valuable and every single fiber of your being is loved!

Father, I pray that anyone who reads this and is struggling with identity that today they see themselves through your eyes. Lord help them to see that they're adopted and chosen and made with intention and a specific purpose in mind.  I say no to identity crisis in Jesus name and yes to truth!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why I stopped reading the comments....

About a month ago, I had the honor of being featured in a video on BuzzFeed. In the middle of January BuzzFeed posted a status and asked for video submissions for Black History month for a video dedicated to black fathers. I saw the status and almost immediately made a video and sent it in and was presently surprised a week later when I was contacted to sign a release form.

When the video came out I got so many messages from friends who had seen it and they made me so excited to watch it myself. When I saw it, I was and still am so pleased with how sincere all of the submissions were and how BuzzFeed compiled them in such a thoughtful way.

After I watched the video I was curious to know what people thought about it so I read the comments. I don’t know why I thought that I would find comments that were sweet and considerate of the feelings of those featured. I thought that I would find comments that would reflect the spirit and community feel of the video but man was I way off.

The majority of the comments that I saw were insensitive, racist, crude and so hateful. I wanted to stop at one  but just like a bad car accident you think it’s awful but you can’t help but to slow down and stare.

Just to give you a taste of what I saw in the comments on the video about MY dad, I’ve pasted some below:

“I thought this video would be a lot of ‘Where you at though”

“There would be less crimes if black dads stopped leaving their kids,”

“lol how pathetic that when speaking about black fathers in general you have to start with ‘when you’re around”

“What’s the difference between a black man and a picnic table? A picnic table can support a family.”

After reading these comments and more and more and more like them, I got off of my computer; I went for a walk and made a decision to for one whole month stop reading the comments section.

I admit that this idea was a long time coming but this video, one that gave me a platform to talk about how awesome my father is, that was made a joke and belittled in the comments section was 100% the icing on the cake.

I took a break from the comments section because I no longer wanted something that I thought was beautiful to be tainted by the hate of others. I took a break from the comments section because I wanted time to decide what I thought about a topic before being bombarded by the opinions and thoughts of others. I took a break from the comments section because I wanted room to let something be sad or important in my life without being told that “it’s not that big of a deal.”

After not reading the comments section for a month I can honestly say that my life is filled with less hate and misguided aggression. I find that I have more conversations with the people around me about topics that matter. Now, instead of just searching for articles and reading other people’s opinions I’m working hard to form and develop my own.

I’m so open to having tough discussions and diving into topics of race, politics, religion and so much more but not with people that spew hate behind the comfort of their computer screens. I stopped reading the comments because they stopped serving and developing me and instead began to fill my eyes with words of malice and hate. This was only supposed to go on for a month but I think that reading the comments section, if I decide to start doing that again, will be the exception in my life and not the rule.

 I hope that this blog, if nothing else, gives you permission to care, be offended, to love and to cry without someone that you don’t even know or even someone that you do know telling you that you can’t.

May the comments never tell you that your dad is a “dead beat” or “non-existent” when in reality he’s the most present, loving, consistent and responsible man alive!  I’m the luckiest daughter in the world to have a dad like mine and there’s not a comment in the world that could change that.