Monday, July 27, 2015


25 has been a year of relationships: learning, growing, molding. I'm talking friendships, guys, family, God. You name it, I've learned something about it. I've cried. I've laughed. I've ended both things I wanted and things I knew were no longer right. I'm in the process of realizing that some relationships are not what they once were, and that some relationships are going to continue to evolve and be lifelong. 

At the recommendation of my sister, I read a book called Nobody's Cuter Than You. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do. Melanie Shankle uses her witty writing style to explain how our friendships, specifically our girlfriends, shape and mold us. Reading through it brought me joy, but it was also painful. 

I've moved. I was the one that chose to pack up several times and leave. I am the one that desires and craves diverse friendships, so I am filled with beautiful people in my life that live all around the world. However, that doesn't make for your typical friendships. It doesn't make for relationships where you can have a sleepover at your closest friend's house after a bad date or a crappy day at work.

If I'm not posting photos all over Instagram of my million and one closest friends, then I must by society's standards not have friends. My sister and I talked about this a bit since she is also in a similar situation. You know what we were reminded? We have each other! With 2,000 plus miles between us, I would rather have her friendship than a million others. I would rather have African stories that gave me one of my realest, truest friends living all the way in Nebraska than a mediocre year straight out of college. I would rather have a true sister in Christ in Dallas than surface level relationships in my backyard. I'm learning that my life is not like the average 25 year old's life, and I'm starting to think that's pretty great.

The C Word 
Commitment. When did I gain such a fear of commitment? Also, when did dating get so ridiculous?

I blogged last year about dating, specifically online dating. After months of bashing it, I decided to give it a try. Guys, it's still not for me. I had many men message me that clearly did not even read my profile. I had one guy that had such great potential, but in the long run just wasn't someone I could potentially commit (there's that word again) even a piece of my heart to. 

As much as I think I am ready for a relationship, if I'm honest, I'm kind of not. I am afraid of committing to the wrong man. I'm afraid that my expectations are too high. I'm afraid that any Christian man I date I will be forced to marry. 

The enemy has lied to me. 

He has used my previous heartbreaks to wreak havoc on my heart. 

He keeps showing me my sin when Jesus keeps offering me His grace. 

But here's the bigger thing...I've allowed him to. I've given the enemy permission to belittle me. I've kept a door cracked open that should be closed and locked only for the Savior. I've allowed relationships that were over to creep back into my heart and hurt me again. 

This is where those girlfriends that know my heart and my soul, but live so far away, come into play. They speak truth and love to me through words like:
  • "You're never stuck (until marriage that is), and that's not a bad thing to learn how to love and accept people, with all their baggage. But it doesn't mean you have to yoke yourself to them."
Isn't that so true? I'm not committed to anyone before I'm married to them. Don't take that the wrong way. That doesn't mean I'm dating multiple men at one time. It does however give me permission to leave when things don't feel like God is there with us.

  • ...when you drop a bomb, and your girlfriend responds exactly the way you NEED her to with "wuuuut." Followed up with "GIRLS' day you'll meet who you're meant to." And you spend the rest of the day dreaming about traveling the world with your dearest gypsy sister. 
Because doesn't planning a trip cure everyone's weary soul? And how great that she knows my heart well enough to know what my first love is?

I'm 25. I'm single. My closest friends live hundreds of miles away. And to so many, my life is so different. The beauty is different, but it's also not!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Namibian Success and Plans for Central America

As an educator, I received more than just some exciting news this week. I received news that will change the lives of individuals, expectations of future village learners, and potentially the future of families and a country. 

As some of you may remember me mentioning in my posts and Instagram photos about the Namibian school system, grade 10 is no joke. When exams roll around, students camp in tents for days as they prepare for the paperwork that will determine their futures. For many, failing these tests is not an option. Once you hit a certain age, repeating the grade is not a possibility. In fact, students then have to take an alternative route to prove they have what it takes to receive passing marks as a tenth grader. 

Just this past week, my students from Odibo received their tests scores. Thanks to whatsapp, I am able to continuously communicate with one student who has become more like a brother. He passed! Following that message, I received an additional text from a coworker letting me know that 71% of the tenth graders at Odibo Combined School would be going on to the eleventh grade! My heart rejoiced for these learners. I know how difficult these exams can be for them. I know the adversities they face each day. I know the words that make them feel less than good enough. Yes, my heart rejoiced. 

News like this reminds me why I am called to serve God through the education spectrum and mission work with younger generations. The two go beautifully together and offer an endless list of ways to bring glory to God and teach others about the grace we receive each day through Christ's love on the cross. When I made the big job switch, I knew that I would in the future use the breaks to serve in some form of mission field, but I did not know when or how soon. 

El Salvador came to me at a community group meeting a few months back. My church, Bayou City Fellowship, had recently posted their global outreach opportunities for the upcoming year, and I knew instantly that my time would be best spent using my Spring Break in a different country. From there, I applied and was placed on an outreach team that will go and serve the people near San Salvador, El Salvador. 

Myself and about twelve others will team up with Compassion International and serve alongside our sister church and additional churches within the community for a week. This will be a time of loving on one another through VBS and various outreach opportunities. In addition, some volunteers will get to visit with the children that they sponsor through Compassion. How truly special is that? I can't even imagine the excitement that both the sponsors and the children being sponsored feel on that day. 

As these upcoming months approach quickly, each individual is expected to raise $2,600. So far, I have already been blessed with prayers and donations, but still need more to meet my goal. I ask that you prayerfully consider helping to benefit this mission, these children, and my team. This can be done through prayer, contributions directly to me, or tax deductible donations via Bayou City Fellowship. On top of that, I ask that you come with me and be a part of this journey through blogs that I will post leading up to our departure and also during/after my trip.

To give:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Simply to Speak

Name above all
Simply to speak Your name is praise
Now and always
Forever we lift Your name in praise
Our God, You reign
Simply to speak Your name is praise
Your name is higher than the rising sun

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Social Media Sabbatical

For a while I've been contemplating taking a sabbatical from social media. I've expressed several of the concerns I have with our excessive use of these apps, and lately, my heart has been heavy with comparison, which is something that I do not want to get sucked in to. It's easy to do though when everyone is pouring so much out for his or her 600 plus closest friends to see. 

A few months back, I sat in a room where I was technically required to be active on social media and it killed me to watch how the event unfolded. For starters, I don't like to be overly active on these sites. I share when I feel compelled to share, but I don't post every thought, photo, and article I come across...maybe because I do this instead. While at this work event, I watched coworkers of mine all face down on their devices tweeting, instagramming, and checking Facebook while the rest of the congregation mingled and spoke to one another about life and work and actually shared with one another. That was a pivotal moment for me when I realized that maybe I didn't belong at said event. 

In May, I read a blog entry from one of my favorite bloggers. She expressed that our use of social media is becoming an addiction. We check it at red lights, pull it out when someone leaves the table, and worse, can't get off of it when we're face-to-face with real friends. I don't know about you, but I don't want that to be how my generation is defined. I want us to be remembered for greater things. I want us to be invested in one another, share with those closest with us, have time to pursue other interests, and be consumed with more important causes. 

So this is my goal for the month of September…to take a sabbatical from social media. Let's call it the September social media sabbatical. I challenge you to join me if you feel overly consumed with the devices and also unsure why you find yourself turning to Facebook more than calling up a friend. I challenge you to join me on this if you'd rather read a book or take a class than to read about the things others are doing. These are all things I plan to do. I plan to pursue my friends better, read more books, write, be more active in my personal relationship with Christ, and pick-up/finish some stuff that I've been putting off. 

Statistics say that Americans age 18-34 spend 3.8 hours a day on social media. Think about what you could do with that time. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Spirit of the Living God come fall afresh on me
Come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul
Pour in me to overflow,
to overflow

-Jeremy Riddle-

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Old Maid

I'm twenty-four and single. Around three fourths of my friends are in some kind of committed relationship, whether that be dating, engaged, or married. Do you know what I've learned being twenty-four and single? Other people do not want you to be twenty-four and single. Women, men, older, younger, same age, no matter what, others are trying to change this status for me. In the past few months, I can't count how many times I have experienced one of two things:

  1. "I should totally set you up with ###"
  2. "Have you thought about using or eHarmony?"
Now, I'm not opposed to being in a relationship, in fact I'd be completely content if some man came along and stole my heart, but I'm also not in any huge rush. I've had my fair share of heartbreak, and I truly believe that timing is everything, so there's no need to speed this whole thing along. I did not realize however that twenty-four was the age people started to worry about your marital status. Is that really where we are now? Twenty-four year old female, single and you're practically an old maid? I like to believe that's not the case, but if I'm honest, I'm feeling a little bit of pressure to start a relationship, which I know is never a smart route to take.

If you are one of those people who has been blessed with a relationship, I'm beyond happy for you. That's really not an understatement at all, if I feel that it is a healthy, mature relationship. I love to share in on these moments, go through the typical girl talk, and hear about the reasons you love ###. 

Here is what I do ask others to consider though: unless you are really going to make the effort to set up your said single friend with said cute guy/girl that you believe is a great match, the comment really does not need to be made. In these past few months, not one person has followed through on comment #1. In fact, it usually (one friend has been the exception) does not go past that initial comment. 

My second request would be that you ease into the online dating topic with caution. I have many friends who have married men they met online, so I do not see it as a bad way of going, but I spoke with one of these friends recently and she told me that she felt she got lucky in the situation. It was completely a God thing, but if that factor was missing, it would not have been for her. I've looked into these websites, but as I said, I'm in no rush to push God's timing. As I started looking through the websites, they were so much work, and let's face it, I was in no hurry to answer/rate my own personality. If you know me, I'm way too hard on myself as it is. I also don't feel like I'm at that point right now. I believe in old-fashioned love. The kind that starts in the grocery store, at a football game, or at dinner with life-long friends.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Changing Paths

When I first moved home and began looking for a job, I had a list of various job titles and companies I was interested in pursuing. Amongst that list, I classified a handful of the positions as "cool" jobs. You know, the career or position that makes others stop and think "wow, that sounds fun" or "I wish I had a job like that." I was blessed to receive said "cool" job on the three-month mark of my return stateside. Throughout these past 3.5 months, I made friends, learned more about the corporate world, and became a published writer. It's been a good experience, one I'm thankful for for many reasons, but one in particular.

I decided when coming home that I was not going to pursue a career in education just yet. For starters, I'm not certified to teach in Texas or America, so my TEFL certification would not go very far. I did see myself taking this path some time in the distant future, potentially after an established career, but I believed at the time, it was best for me to use my degree. To be completely honest, my pride and arrogance got the best of me, and I didn't feel being a teacher would make my life interesting anymore.

Throughout my days at said "cool" job, I felt a happiness disappear from within that I can best describe as a light turning off. Something was missing, I was not fulfilled, I felt like somewhere I made a mistake, and I was confused. Wasn't my "cool" job supposed to make me feel alive?

For the first time in my life, I was not around the education system. Through college, I mentored/tutored, then I went to teach preschool, and afterwards, I set off to Namibia. When 2014 started, there was no more school in my life, no students, no classrooms, and no back-to-school supplies. I never realized how driven I was by education or the beauty of having the opportunity to attend some life altering schools, but Namibia really opened my eyes to that.

At the end of June, I said goodbye to my "cool" job, or I at least put in my notice. The company I work for has been so great about letting me continue to work part-time until the end of July and potentially freelance for them in the future. I did say goodbye to my "cool" job though and decided it was time to follow the path that felt right.

I am currently enrolled in an alternative certification program for teachers, I have been hired as a paraprofessional at a local elementary school for the fall, and sooner than later, I will have a classroom of my own. Although this path has been overwhelming, scary, and a little breaking, I truly believe it led me to a new path that will open doors for me, keep me fulfilled, and provide me the time to pursue various mission opportunities both locally and back in Africa.

Moving to the middle of nowhere Namibia, Africa was the easiest decision I ever made, and this current one has been one of the hardest, but regardless, I'm excited for fall, for the future, for pencils, and tiny backpacks roaming the halls around me.