18 September 2013

Keep Dreaming

25 is right around the corner. I love birthdays and like you, I get excited for my own. Since it is 25, I'm wondering if this is the last birthday that I can get excited for.

Really. What is after 25? I'm crossing society's final threshold. I'm now allowed to rent a car and my insurance rate will finally drop to something reasonable (I hope).

24 is young but I've still learned quite a few things. So I'm going to share them once a week until October 27 is finally here.

So Lesson #1. Keep Dreaming.

I've always been an idealist. The kind of person that eat rainbows and poops butterflies (quoting Dr. Suess here). It can drive my family, friends, and me a bit nuts but I will always dream big dreams.

My dreams are what made me write the President when he was a Senator and tell him that I hope he runs for office. I received a letter back from him not too long after--a treasure whether you lean left or right.

My dreams are what made me apply for a summer internship in Washington, D.C. when I was in college. I met lifetime friends and learned so much about life on the Hill and off.

Dreams don't always come true and I'm thankful for that-- I wouldn't change the sequence of my life for anything. The blessings are too big to compare to the blips of disappointment and heartache.

But I've also seen that the happiest and most grounded people are the ones who continue to put goals in front of them.

When you're out of college, it's up to you to create dreams for yourself. It's a crossroad for most people--am I done or do I keep going? 

KEEP GOING. I wanted to quit when I graduated college with a pile of debt and no job. I was convinced that there was no way that I was going to become a writer. Three years later I'm writing and still dreaming. 

Successful people have goals for themselves. It's not elementary to keep a journal or write out a 3, 5 or 10 year plan. Instead it shows that you're not willing to settle for the present--you expect more from yourself and your life then just the current predicament.

So go, dream away!

15 September 2013

The tiara that changes everything.

I'd be freaking out, too! Courtesy of Miss America

I learned that an Indian girl won Miss America via Snapchat (sign of the times). Since then, I've spent the last 30 minutes making sure this was ACTUALLY TRUE.

Let me tell you why this is huge.

The woman is BROWN. You're thinking, "Uh yeah Nincy, we know."

You also probably know that Indians by and large are not interested in staying their skin color. Being dark or brown is an insult. We want to be lighter, we want to be white, we want to be fair. It's an unfair standard that's been part of our culture for centuries and it tears our society apart (especially when 96% of us are not fair).

Dark is Beautiful is one of the many campaigns trying to change this impossible double standard but it's not easy to change something that we've been bred to believe.

Well, Nina Davuluri** has shook the ground.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family where color didn't matter. Beauty fades but no one can take your brain which is why my parents only praised my intelligence--not my cute outfit for the day. My parents also didn't keep me from playing outside in fear that the sun would make their daughter unmarriageable. But that didn't keep me from doubting. It didn't keep me from looking in the mirror and wishing I could wash "the brown" off.

The now-Miss America when she was competing for Miss New York.

I was bullied for being dark/ugly when I was 12. It was in India, ironically, and it was the first time I even considered my skin color as inferior. That's where my obsession with fairness began. I would layer on the Fair and Lovely before walking to school in the sweltering heat in hopes of being pretty. Even after moving back home to Texas,  I would steal the turmeric from the kitchen and bathe in it night after night. (Yes Mom, that's where all the munyull went.)

Though the thought of being inferior (and fear of getting darker) is always there, I don't let it stunt my life (Yeah, I sunbathed during my vacation in FL). But I'm hopeful that, with this kind of win for the Brown, my future daughter will never have to think twice about it.

Because Dark is Beautiful. Thank you Nina and Miss America for making that real tonight. I pray that India and Indians all take notice.

Nina is more than just a pretty lady. This young woman is on her way to being a doctor. She's a talented dancer who was battled bullimia and weight before making it to Miss America. She is a remarkable person and this is a definite win for every little girl who's ever noticed that she's different.

You go, girl.

**Disclaimer: I don't know Nina Davuluri. In my brief time researching, I'm aware that she's probably not a perfect person but that doesn't make this win any less encouraging for the millions of women out there who have been told that they are not beautiful or worthy because of the color of their skin. Any negative or harsh comments that don't encourage conversation will be deleted. 

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10 September 2013

The mind is a battlefield.

My mind runs 1000 miles an hour. I often stumble on my words because my mouth can't keep pace. That can be embarrassing but not as harmful as what my mind can do to my self-esteem.

We are our own worst enemies. 

We have those days when we don't feel as confident as usual. But do you become self-conscious and insecure that it stunts you?

Yesterday wasn't the best day. Getting Invisalign has been an adjustment. I'm two weeks in and got attachments (little pieces of composite the ortho puts on your teeth to assist with the shifting of them). Well, he might as well put black soot in my mouth from the way I was acting.

I was feeling insecure (normal feeling) and not myself (also normal) but I allowed myself to degrade who I was because of how I felt (not normal).

For me, it's my teeth. For you, it might be a bad haircut, a lip sore, whatever.

I'm publishing this at the risk of sounding vain, but the truth is, we have bad days--14 or 24--that are caused by little things in retrospect but big things in our heads.

Dove has an awesome campaign called Real Beauty Sketches. I would be no different from these women who are unforgiving and harsh critics of their own looks. I'm challenging myself to change that. Join me!


09 September 2013

Happy Monday.

When your best friends live hundreds of miles away, you improvise. That's why Caroline and I email back and forth throughout the week to talk about serious (and not so serious) things. 

Her email came in this morning and it read, "Happy Monday! Wait, no. not happy Monday. I forgot that we aren't supposed to like Mondays." 

I let out a laugh and thought about how ridiculous it is.

I don't like the alarm waking me up before I'm ready either, but the day has a lot of great things waiting for me. 

A job I love, a class (that will eventually lead to a degree), time with friends, and HELLO--another day of life. To breathe, laugh, think and just live. I don't care what's happening today. There is at least one thing you can thank God for. 

You can never take enough time to count your blessings. 

11 July 2013

Don't go to Mumbai.

Don't go to Mumbai if you're not ready for your life to turn upside down. If you don't want to see your dreams to fade away like dust
because you realize that there's little meaning in anything that doesn't glorify God and expand His kingdom.

Don't go if you're not ready to see the Church alive and growing,
to see what the first church was probably like.
People sharing everything they have, none of them lacking in anything.

Don't go to Mumbai if you're not ready to see people healed and families transformed because
of what the Holy Spirit has done for the new believer.

Don't go if you're not interested in hearing about the visions they've had and the miracles they've witnessed.

Don't go to Mumbai if you're can't hear about people being persecuted for their belief and standing up for Christ--boldly and courageously proclaiming their faith through beatings and the mocking of people who were once their family.

Don't go to Mumbai if you think the women who stand outside the brothels waiting for their next customer are getting what they deserve and aren't worthy of the Gospel.
Don't go if you don't believe their children should have the chance for a better life.

Lastly, don't go to Mumbai if you don't want your faith tested and your Spirit convicted.

Church, these people have less than we can imagine. For many of them, their only possessions are the clothes on their back and the shoes on their feet. Education is a luxury.

But they have what many of us don't.
JOY in knowing that God doesn't count their treasures on earth but is hoarding them in Heaven.
CONTENTMENT in their salvation and the amazing grace that flows freely from the God that loves them.
PEACE in where they are in life, because God's purpose and will is not and cannot be broken or changed by earthly things.

Their faith is unwavering and constant. They may only make a few rupees after hours of labor, but unlike us, they don't cheat God from what belongs to him. I saw people give 10 rupees in the collection plate.

Ten rupees. That's how much you and I give on a normal Sunday. You and I. Who sleep on elevated and cush beds, have central heated and cooled homes, who can eat and buy as much as we wish.

Don't go to Mumbai if you're not ready for your life to change. Because it will change.
Mine did.

25 June 2013

Who throws the first stone?

"Women are worshipped as goddesses and treated as dirt."

Dolly Jacob, a social worker for Navjeevan gave us an inside look on why prostitution and sex trafficking not only exists, but succeeds in Mumbai.

The moment they are born, they are seen as a burden. So abortion and infanticide is all around. What they forgot to think about is how that may affect how many women there would be left to marry.

What I failed to understand is most women are not here out of choice but out of no choice. They come to Mumbai from all over (a huge population from Nepal) because of a promise of a good job or marriage, but then are sold to brothels. They are sold based on their age and beauty for an average of Rs.3000 to 1 lakh ($50-$1700).

The women are not able to escape until the brothel owner earns 20x more than what they paid. If girls are not willing, they are gang raped while being held down by other prostitutes.

When minors are trafficked, they are hidden from the public. They'll never leave their rooms that are often hidden behind cupboards and walls.

The average day for a prostitute includes 20 men. Ten during the day and ten at night. You would think that would mean the woman would make enough money fast enough to escape, but a lack of education and manipulation by the pimp, he will lie to her about how much she actually makes.

Once a woman becomes "smart," she is set free. But with no where to go and no family that will accept her, she choose to continue life in the red light area. And the cycle continues.
Prostitution is a supply-demand system. The demand comes from society. So why do we condemn the prostitute and not society?

Where Navjeevan comes in
Navjeevan creates a haven for the prostitute and their children. In fact, Navjeevan's vision is that the rescued themselves will manage the facility and become its directors, social workers and teachers.

Navjeevan wants these women to get out of the brothels and become contributing people of society. However, finding a job is a struggle because they have no documentation--no way to prove they are citizens. Which leads me to the government. There is no government program that supports these women. In fact, many political leaders spread the lie that because there are red light areas, your child is safe.

The social workers of Navjeevan teach the women basic skills--how to count, add and multiply. They give them hope of a life outside of Kamathipura. A life of dignity. The kind of life Christ paid the price for.

Boys of Navjeevan
We saw Dolly's words come to life shortly after. About 20 boys from the Navjeevan extension home joined us for dinner and fellowship. These boys were no different from guys back home, except they were more polite, cuter and could dance. The Navjeevan extension home is where youth who are in college and employed have an opportunity to live after they finish grade school. There are four in Mumbai, two for boys and two for girls. They live together, cook and clean for themselves and become responsible adults. We heard from Shankar who lived in an abusive home until his mother finally left and from Anil who lived on the streets of Mumbai until the Navjeevan Centre found him and gave him a home.

Because these boys are prone to exploitation by those who learn of their situation, I can't publish any photos of them. But trust me, we had a good time. I don't think I've ever laughed so much in my life.

Navjeevan is breaking the cycle of prostitution and poverty. It's giving new life.

21 June 2013

Mumbai-Day २, Part 1

Note: Day Two was a big day and I'll confuse you if I put it all in one post. So here's the first part.

Day Two is when we met K.C Chacko Achen (Achen means Father). Achen is a dedicated missionary. Though he is Malayalee (from Kerala, India), he is dedicated to the mission fields and villages of Maharashtra and at this point, he's the only Achen that can conduct a Holy Communion Service in Marathi. Huge deal. 
K.C Chacko Achen (and three little ones from the hostel in Nalla Sopara)

K.C. Chacko Achen's church!

He took us to his parish in Nalla Sopara, about an hour and a half from Navi Mumbai. We got there just in time to meet with the 40-something evangelists from all over Maharashtra. They came for a monthly meeting and took time to worship with us and tell us about the villages they serve. Most of them serve from 13-30 villages EACH. They look over worship centers, Sunday schools, bible studies and organize baptisms. From my count, there are more than 1000 baptized believers and still more coming to know Christ! 

That's just unbelievable. Praise God. His church is growing and flourishing even still! Some of these villages see opposition from unbelievers but most welcome their belief. Why? Because families are transformed. Domestic violence and abuse disappears. Girls are being educated instead of kept in the house. They are seen as a prize and not as a possession or burden. 

I can't explain, my heart is full just thinking on these things. The Gospel, The Good News--it's real here. It really is GOOD NEWS.

So Nalla Sopara also has a hostel, the Daya Niketan Asharam. 

13 girls who wouldn't receive education otherwise, live here during the school year and get proper education. Below is a picture of the couple who leads the school and takes care of these kids. The three little ones in front: Their mom gave birth to four girls. When the fifth one was born and their father saw it was another girl, he abandoned them. When they were found, the one on the right was eating mud, the middle child was malnourished and the child on the left had a head full of lice. Their youngest sister died (and the fourth is not pictured here) but they are now well, have tummies that are full and are now going to school! A video of them singing is below. :) The song is Anoka Pyar Hai Yeshu Ka. They taught us this song before we left! It catchy. It's translation is God's love is so wonderful, oh so wonderful love. It's so tall, you can't get over it. It's so wide, you can't get around it. It's so deep, you can't get under it, oh so wonderful love.

We heard stories like these again and again the whole time we were there. Education is the key to eradicating poverty. It's wonderful to see the church giving these children the opportunity to change their lives.

20 June 2013

Vomiting words.

That's what I've been doing whenever someone has asked about my trip to Mumbai.

Honestly, I don't what to tell you. I don't how to describe with words what my eyes have seen. The beauty and horror that is stitched to my heart. So I'm going to try my best and hopefully it will come out in a readable fashion.

Makeshift bus station.
First off, I should reaffirm that there is a need in Mumbai. In all of India, as a matter of fact. A half a million (no exaggeration) NGOs have registered themselves in the area, claiming to be saving children, offering education and better lives for those in poverty, but many of them are just names. The money is going to no one who needs it. So friends, beware. If you have a heart for India and want to help a country that needs it so much, make sure you know where your money is going, because so much of it is not ending up in the right hands.

So the only way I can organize my thoughts is in days. Our days were extremely long and often blurred together. This was partly because life in India is not as planned and detailed as life here at home. K.C Chacko Achen (I'll introduce you to him later) said it best, "Our days are only as planned as far as we can see." And most of the time, you didn't see beyond the hour ahead of you. As frustrating as it was to not know how planned, packed or scheduled or was, it was liberating to not live by a watch but only by how much light we had left in the day.

Day 1

Looking out the window in Navi Mumbai or Thane District.

Finally in Mumbai at 3 AM. When we got off the plane, I was met with the smell of rotten potatoes mixed with body odor. A heavenly scent that said, "Welcome to the Motherland, Nincy. We missed you." I haven't been to India in 8 years and of course my memories blocked out the smells, chaos and squatting toilets. As I'm writing, there's sweat on my brow and my paper is curling from humidity--we're enjoying our only day of rest before traveling the whole state of Maharastra for the next ten days.

We are staying at the Diocesan Centre in Navi Mumbai. I may be wrong, but for each diocese we have a Thirumeni (a Bishop) overseeing its projects. In Mumbai, it is Thomas Mar Theethos.
Before breakfast, Thirumeni spent some time with us explaining the Mumbai diocese, its mission and projects. He explained that in most of these places, we're not going to be expected to do a certain thing, but to listen to the stories and testimonies of the first believers in these villages, and observe how and what the church is doing to grow His kingdom. In some ways, this was disheartening. I wanted to leave a mark; make a difference in the lives of these people. Only after did I realize, they were leaving their marks on me. 

Tomorrow we will be visiting Nalla Sopara, K.C Chacko Achen's parish and the Centre for Missological Studies. There we'll meet about 40 evangelists who serve in different villages and hamlets all over Maharastra. We'll also meet Dolly Jacob, a social worker and psychologist who works in the red light area of Mumbai. Dinner was a surprise--we met the boys of the Navajeevan Extension Home. Guys in their early 20s who were taken off the streets of Mumbai at a young age and given a chance to turn their lives around.

Are you overwhelmed? Yeah. And this was only DAY ONE. Now you know why I've been choking on words.

23 May 2013

9 days till.

Nine days until I'm on a plane (more than one) to Mumbai!

I can't believe this trip is here. First of all, I haven't packed. 

The group has started getting to know each other solely through Facebook messages. We're exchanging songs that we want to teach the kids and pulling our resources and talents together (anyone know how to play the guitar?). 

It's crazy and awe-inspiring to think that God can bring together a group of 10 that hardly know each other for His glory. I can't be too nervous simply because I know this venture is His plan. The first shock to my system will be the widening gap between the prosperity of the city and dire need of those in the slums. 

Continue to pray for us. We need it. 

21 May 2013

Ricky is 2.

If you didn't know that I love my dog, then you don't know me. 

Ricky was born in our house 2 years ago on Mother's Day--fitting. He was one of nine puppies but from the beginning, he stood out from the rest. With a white triangle spot on his neck, you couldn't miss him. For about a year, his ears did not fit and we wondered if the mutation that gave him extra toes on each leg would come back and bite us.

As pathetic as it sounds, he's my everything on this earth. The feelings he shows when he runs through the door with a crazy, wagging tail and a tongue flipping out of his mouth, ready to kiss me--that feeling is mutual. 

Happy Birthday to my little Ricky.

13 May 2013

What to do when you're verbally attacked

I've read many books, but not that one. 

I have no idea what to do when verbally attacked. That's why I started crying, stayed far away from the fellowship hall as possible and asked to go home right away. The rest of the day I spent hiding under the covers, replaying the--what seemed like hours--attack on a pure-hearted slideshow for Mother's Day.

I was upset, to say the least. And any time I retold the story to someone, my heart couldn't help but break all over again. I told myself that I'm never standing in front of the church or doing anything for it. What church deserves my enthusiasm and energy, my commitment, when it can't accept and appreciate a small, by no means perfect, show of love?

Then pride stepped out of the picture and Jesus came in. 

This morning, I remembered that I don't love the church. I don't even love the youth. What I love is Jesus. He's the reason I do what I do. He's the reason I will inconvenience myself and get a little uncomfortable--for His glory. It's the reason why I will put myself in a situation to get verbally attacked again.

The church and our youth will always disappoint. If it was for their approval that I worked, the towel would have been thrown in a long time ago. But it's for Christ and a debt that I can never repay.

"But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen." 1 Timothy 6:11-16

05 April 2013

I miss my friends.

Being 20-something sucks sometimes.

There's the bills.
The job (that I love but still).

But then there's living so far from your friends!
My best friends do not live anywhere close and though I speak to them almost everyday via text, email, Facebook, it doesn't replace spending hours with them doing pointless things. Things you only could afford to do when you were in college.

I guess that's why we have vacations.

Don't get me wrong--I love my 20-something life. I'm doing what I dreamed of when I was 14 and going out of my mind. Yet, without my rosy memories of college to look back on--I'd be a sad, sad person.

So if you're in college--IT'S THE FREAKIN' WEEKEND. 
Go enjoy it. Responsibly of course.

And I'll be at the wedding I'm obligated to go to...
P.S Here's a funny:

29 March 2013

You'll stumble but not fall

The title is a promise from God--not some clever saying I came up with. 
Psalm 37 has been on my mind for the past couple weeks. It's given me a piece as my world just seemed to be coming to a crashing halt. I was kicking myself, wondering what was going on, how could I be so dumb and hurling other insults in the mirror. I was stumbling and tripping all over myself. I thought, "Soon enough, I'm going to fall right on my face." 

That's when I came across Psalm 37. Here's the golden nuggets I highlighted in my Bible-

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act. (Psalm 37:4-5)

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices! (Psalm 37:7)

And what's been on repeat for sometime:
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)
The Message puts it in such a great way.

"If he stumbles, he’s not down for long;
    God has a grip on his hand." 

So he's got you. You are held up by someone who will not let go. I think of a child who's learning to ride a bike. A parent supports you until you get control but sometimes you stumble any way. Hopefully, the parent is there to pick you up, dust you off and get you back on your way. 

But with God, hold on for the ride of your life. 

21 February 2013

Leaving Footprints

I cannot believe I haven't blogged about this yet.

Well, tada!

We're down to 38 days. The decision was almost impulsive. I've wanted to go back to India for a couple years now but the time has never been right. That was, until I heard a brief announcement about a trip to Mumbai that my church was hosting.

The announcement was like a whisper in my ears. Like, "Hey, Ninz. This is for you. Here's your chance."

So I jumped on it. And (not) coincidentally, I took the last spot available. It's exciting but nerve-wracking, too. This will be my first trip without my parents, the Indian natives. I know my skin is brown and I look Indian BUT I'm not. I may need to pack toilet paper...

But I digress, the two weeks I'll have there will be packed with exposure to some of the most impoverished areas of India I've ever seen. Living and visiting Kerala, I saw some poverty but the exposure was limited.

I'm also excited to meet the people that work for the Mar Thoma Church in Mumbai. The diocese itself is considered the "missionary diocese" and missions is its number one priority.

Now, I'm guessing here, but some of the places I'll visit are:

Navajeevan Centre - The centre includes a day and night care center for children, a women's unit focused on rehabilitation, empowerment and reintegration, primary and secondary education, and a vocational training center.

Kalyan Special School - aids in the education and development of mentally challenged children

The burden of this diocese is to cover more than 250 unreached villages in Maharashtra and Gujarat. 

Obviously, this trip will be transforming. And I'll be taking you with me!

18 February 2013

Weekend Recap

Oh, three-day weekend, you will always be loved.

It went by at a pace I can handle. The bro celebrated 23 years of life.

I've always been jealous of him.
He shares his birthday with one of the greatest men in the world.

My grandfather.
They were only 78 years apart.
Here we are. Pardon my hair... and outfit. Appachan (granddaddy to you) is holding my hand. I was always his favorite. He is missed greatly and the few moments I had with him will forever live in my memory. He's one of those people you want to go to Heaven for, you know?

It's been years since he passed, but it's one of those wounds that never fully heals. I rest in the hope I'll see him again soon.

So as you can imagine, my brother's birthday is a bittersweet celebration. But a celebration nonetheless.

The way the Mathew family celebrates

Tres Leches Cake. Frosting missing your mouth and smeared on your face instead. Love.

My brother and I are extremely close in age. We were each other's best friend and number one playmate growing up. That was until looking pretty became important to me and cars became important to him. Un-relatable. I call him an old soul. He looks and acts older than me and he's getting married next year, which makes me realize how grown up he really is. I love him a lot. Maybe too much.

But is there such a thing?

Tell me about your sibling bonds. What were you and your sibling  like? How does that translate into now?

08 February 2013

Cut them some grace.

The Westboro Baptist Church has offended everyone in some way. If they haven't offended you, you probably just haven't heard of them.

In a nutshell, it is an organization that exploits the name of God to hate on homosexuals, minorities, soldiers and the dead for publicity's sake. They were recently in the news for threatening to be at the Newtown funerals.

Considering all that, I was surprised to read that two sisters, Megan and Grace, one being an heir to the congregation, left the church. Read the article here.

Megan and Grace left everything that they've known their entire lives because they finally understand the grace that Christ freely gives.

The author writes, "Consider how traumatic it would be to know that your family is never supposed to speak to you again. Think of how hard it would be to have a fortress of faith built around you, and to have to dismantle it yourself, brick by brick, examining each one and deciding whether there’s something worth keeping or whether it’s not as solid as you thought it was."

Megan and Grace made a decision that I'm not sure if I'd be brave enough to do. Their present journey may be rough and lonely, but I know God has a reward for them in heaven.

I rejoice that Megan was able to understand, " that if the death penalty was instituted for any sin, you completely cut off the opportunity to repent. And that’s what Jesus was talking about."

Megan and Grace's wrote their own statement (read it here), "Up until now, our names have been synonymous with “God Hates Fags.” Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what we did."

Their hope is that the changes they make in their lives from here on out speak for themselves. And that's where we come in.

Pray for these girls as they try to figure out their lives apart from what they've been taught and raised to believe. Pray that they will not be the only ones to see that Westboro Baptist Church does not preach the love that our faith is about. And pray that God supplies people to support them, to care for them, and to love them.

Basically, cut them some grace.

04 February 2013

My best friend's wedding

Do you remember your first movie?

My Best Friend's Wedding was mine. It was the beginning of my love affair with Julia Roberts and that guy with the scar (you know who I'm talking about). I was eight at the time and the movie was not appropriate, like most of my childhood firsts. But that's another post.  

This weekend was literally my best friend's wedding. It was nothing like the movie, though I wish we sang, "I say a little prayer for you." 

I continue to relive the occasion through Facebook by looking through pictures and remembering all the special moments. I hear that weddings go by so fast but this one moved at a precious pace. 

Family and friends absorbed the day in all its glory. And so did the bride and groom. 

These two are especially close to my heart. I can't explain why; I'm not the clingy type but for them, my heart is soft. They are also the reason I will move to Houston in the near future. ;-) 

I had the privilege of standing next to Maize when she said her vows, exchanged rings and worshipped the Lord for the blessing that is Jon and his family. It's a privilege I hope to share with her soon enough, too.



Now girls, I know I'm skipping something. And I'm hesitating including this in fear of getting labeled as an "overly attached friend." I was scared of losing her pre-wedding. But post wedding, I can tell you that I haven't lost my BFFer and our friendship is no different. 

The girls that lose their friends to their husbands sometimes lose them out of their own selfishness. Don't let that be you. Instead: 

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

Rest in His Peace and path for your life and rejoice in these times of celebration! 

04 January 2013

I'm into threesomes.

Eavesdropping is a past time of mine. While chowing down a quick dinner, I heard this:

"Logan definitely loves you. I mean, he has waited 2 years for you."

A usual beginning of a bad conversation. 

The problem: 
1. Love is assumed to be equal to the patience a guy has for sex.
2. Sex is being talked about within a dating relationship, not marriage.
3. It is also assumed that there's a right time to have sex other than after marriage. 

This conversation is too common and we only have ourselves to blame.


Because we give our girls the "sex talk" when we should be giving the "your worth" talk.  
Because we're showing our girls that life is complete after marriage when its really complete after death.

Girls, you are not saving yourself for a boy. You're saving yourself for God.

Boys, a girl is not your reward. You don't get to take her to bed because you love her or because you were patient enough to wait two, three or five years. If you are blessed enough to be married to a woman, she is God's gift to you.

Let's speak to our loved ones in a way that says, "I know you're worth more. I know you belong to more." Maybe, if we spoke and taught with this mindset, things would change.

Maybe, if we stopped trying to take God out of the equation...

It's not Boy Meets Girl. 
It's Boy meets God. Girl meets God. God brings Boy and Girl together. 
Boy and Girl glorify God together. 
It's a threesome. 

How's that for wild?

03 January 2013

Lost in 2012

Unfortunately, I'm a clutz. Have been my whole life. So much that my mother has given up on me.
In fact, I spilled water on my desk while writing this!

Things have not changed and on my downtime, I compiled this list of things I've lost in the last year. I don't even want to add up the cost.

1. Kindle. I left it on a plane. I think about it every day. Not to mention, it was a Kindle Touch-- the model Amazon sells no more.

2. Fav Black Cardi. I got it on sale at LOFT. It was so soft and had glass buttons.
Last seen: On a chair... somewhere.

3. My Gray Peacoat. This was a recent loss. It was a only 35 bucks at Target so I don't feel so bad. I left it at the salon where I got a bad dye job. So I'm scared to go back there...I'll let you know if I find the courage.

4. All the earrings I own. I no longer waste my parents' money, I waste my own. And my ears are bare.

5. Lucy. This one is sad but my dog passed away last year (read about her here). It was all of sudden and I miss her so much. My dad did a wonderful thing and buried her in the backyard. A sprouting lemon tree stands in her place.

6. Free oil changes. I lost this by going over 25,000 miles in the new car. Goodbye money that I could have used to buy a new Kindle.

Well, that was depressing enough.

02 January 2013

Catch Up

There's a great website--Foxgram-- that prints your Instagrams. I got mine this week and they're so gorgeous. It's great to be able to capture moments from your life with just a tap of the phone but I haven't gotten over having them tangible. In a shoebox or on the wall.

The end of 2012 was a whirlwind.

I traveled to Chicago for a company trip. It was my first "grown-up" trip. My cousin Cibi came along and we went all around the city. I ate deep dish pizza, hurt my neck checking out the skyscrapers, and enjoyed looking out the coast.

I watched my niece cousin Suraya grow up. She's a girly girl to the max, with the tutus and headbands. The moment I walk in the door, she drags me upstairs to show off her shoe collection! She keeps me young.

Speaking of young, my great uncle turned 7-0 this year. People had plenty of good things to say about him. I hope I can lead a life like him. He is good to all.

Me and Ricky. Oh, me and Ricky. I can't believe he's been in my life for only 2 years, it seems longer. I can't imagine not coming home to him.

My college friends have transitioned into my adult life friends. Though we live far apart we find time to see one another...and we have a groupme. It keeps us talking and up on each others' lives.

2013 will be so good. God has been faithful and he will continue in His love.
It a year full on unknowns but there's no reason to fear the world.  We are saved by The One who overcame it. 

01 January 2013

I'm back.

Creepy, right?

I thought the first day of the year may be the best day to resurrect the blog.

Faith is something I've written about several times. The lack of it, how God requires it, and that your relationship with God is nil without it.

You can also take it too far.

Give me a second to explain.

I'm grateful to have the kind of relationship with God where we speak to one another. I can honestly say that I speak to God and He speaks back to me. You're probably just as blessed as I am!

We pray and He answers. Many times, I ask for affirmation or for discernment. Am I making the right decision? In which direction should I go?

This time, I asked for God's blessing on a decision and He gave it to me. How amazing! I was jumping up and down.

Sadly, I took his blessing and took it farther than it was meant. In other words, I took God's blessing on one thing, and applied it to another. Something, that in hindsight, did not have His blessing. 

We know the rest of the story. Things fell apart and I had to depend on God to pick them up again.

Because of God's grace, I'm going to be ok. His grace is sufficient and His mercies are new every morning.

But I'm not going to forget the thin line I crossed here.

We can't manipulate God. We can't ask for His blessing and twist His words. 

I wouldn't do that to a friend, how could I do that to the Creator of the Universe? Our close relationship with God is a privilege. Let's not take it for granted.