Sleepless in San Diego

Sleepless in San Diego

This week I have been losing sleep. On Sunday night I could not find rest. I have been fighting anxiety. I am praying for peace. I have not found my place of rest very useful. I know I am reaching the edge of my new season. I know I am so close to what God has promised but I have been jumping hurdles to get to the finish line.

I am glad I am not alone anymore. I know I have God with me. I know I have My husband beside me. I know I have friends encouraging me. Sometimes I feel weak and unappreciated which is such a lie. There is so much more to my life that I forget to acknowledge and love. I know what God is doing within me will bloom into exactly what He wants from me. I want what He wants because I know He has my best interest. 

Truthfully, my nights are not always sound and restful. Sometimes I lie awake all night. I cannot shake the pain of knowing others are in danger. I have come to the awakening of those who are Christ followers and live their lives hiding who you are in order to survive. Something a prayer seems insufficient. I just have to believe that it is enough for now. I search my heart for a prompting or a calling. Almost always it will be a call to pray. So when I cannot sleep, I pray without ceasing. I learned the truth of this phrase as I became a wife. Newlywed or not, intercession is personal journey of a Christian. It takes more than your problems and your wants. It takes the heart of someone willingly yielding their love into his heart.

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November Hunger

November Hunger

One month from today I will be one year older. I know I have a limited amount of years that I will be excited to announce my birthday, so I am taking advantage of the joy I still contain for my life moving forward in the way God has guided me to live. I am one year closer to seeing my future children, wherever in time I will get the chance to meet them. I am one year closer to seeing God fulfill His plans for mine and my husbands’ life. I am excited for the opportunity to be that much closer to finishing college and paying off my college debt. I am in anticipation of Jesus’ return. I am excited.

Last month I wrote about thirst. This month I am hungry. I am ready to have what God has promised for me today. I am ready to make today count like today is the only day I have to give. Some of you have already walked into your job and others are still sitting at home waiting for a change in your life to happen to you. I am both at home and walking into my job every time I write and every time I publish. This is not about making my voice known, because I had so many better ways to make my written work published. I chose to give God my time these last two months and it has been more than worth it. I have learned so much about others and I have learned even more about myself. 

I intentionally write every day to keep discipline as a part of my lifestyle. I know this will lead to greater opportunities. I know there will be jobs and careers later in life that will be established from this season of growth. I am thankful, in this month of thanksgiving, for everyone of you reading this post and every one before and after. I am thankful for your feedback, for mentioning in person how you have enjoyed my writing, and I am thankful for those text messages as well. Thank you. Your love and prayers mean the world to me.

The coffee shop review part 2

Dark horse-Golden hills

I made my visit at about 5:03p on a Wednesday. For those of you who are not current Dark Horse enthusiast, their hours are 7-6 daily which meant I only had a short amount of time to study and lounge around at this location. 

In view of Downtown and the end of the 94 freeway (yes I know I phrased that like a Californian) I found my peace with an iced coffee,not nitro, and it was excellent. The barista was quaint and productive with a smile and obliging. The workers, while breaking down for their day, still attended to the surrounding customers wants. I felt more than overwhelmed at the opportunity to have experienced this place with limited hesitation to feel displaced. Their outdoor seating is like a courtyard to the other few shops in the complex. I watch friendly dogs and yoga participants passing and I wish to return at an appropriate to time to settle myself in with my laptop, books, and journals to write, read, and plan my heart away.

October Thirst

October Thirst

In October, there are bonfires in the evening. The wind is brisk in the mornings but the heat raises at midday. Have you ever run through a corn maze in the dark? The screaming and laughter really helps when a man with a mask and chainsaw chases you. I remember the leaves falling. I remember visiting Colorado twice. The hillside and horizon was filled with fire-like treetops. The oranges, reds, and yellows were vibrant. I saw the fallen leaves in piles. I was never interested in fall until I fell in love with the season back in 2012. I could not wait to revisit such a beautiful place again.

October is a second shot at a new beginning. Octobers are for healing. We ask for an answer and the leaves even remind us it is time to change. When will the idea of a perfect job or a perfect relationship give us the happiness we have been waiting for? All we need to do is change ourselves. The healing does not come from our own doing. It comes from the release of control.

I can sit in my bed for hours on end reading a book or blogging my life away but none of it means a thing if I do not leave my house and be the change I so proudly proclaim to do. So you can find me roaming around San Diego in search of the next Legacy Live event idea or sitting on the shore somewhere along the ocean or a bay waiting for the quietest moments to hear my next spark of inspiration. Come at me October. I am thirsty for adventure.

 

Munchkin Soup

Last night, Kalvin and I had the wonderful opportunity of hosting some of our close friends for a bloodless battle in our living room.

Our night started out well. The soup and stew Kalvin and I productively prepared was better than I expected. We all sat around the dining room table grateful for each other’s company. Edification was thrown around generously. We were appreciative together and just plain jolly as any group would be on a muggy and wet Tuesday evening; but like the storm clouds that fumbled aggressively into our skies early Monday morning in our glorious sunny San Diego skies, so did the reign of Munchkin.

No grayer clouds could ever call themselves a storm without measuring up to what went down in our lovely yet small living room. If you have never played or heard  of the game, but are interested in possibly risking your own lifelong friendships, please find yourself a way to play and learn about others as well as yourself. Last night, we brought in two new friends into the world of Munchkin. They learned the importance of an alliance while in combat with a level fifteen monster while you are on level two with gear and items that only provide about eight more points which only would bring you to a level ten in battle compared to the fifteen. If any of what I said did not make sense, I only hope it interests you enough to try the game out.

This game was played for three hours and finished at a draw. I was unsatisfied with it not ending in a win, but was absolutely relieved when I knew I did not have to think about loose threats of revenge in the next round. Meanwhile, I must remind you I thought the food was so delicious, I went back for five bowls. I am souped out and Munchkin’d out until at least tonight.

Why I Miss Tulsa, Oklahoma

I cannot stop typing the word “Oklahoma” without accidentally typing an “e” instead of an “a” at the end. It looks like this: “Oklahome.” This is a personal problem that I will hopefully correct by today.

Living in San Diego, California has its positive qualities. Despite what others tell you about the people here, I have made such amazing relationships, this past year especially. The people of southern California are great, just like the weather. Bragging about the weather year-round is absolutely unfair to anyone else and I will not even begin to discuss the beaches. I was born and raised in San Diego. I love it here, but I can only call this place second to what I really feel home is.

I can fly on a one to two layover flight to arrive in a small airport called Tulsa International, or I can drive that twenty-two hour drive through the New Mexico mountains and across the winding roads of north Texas to reach Tulsa. If the wind does not slap your ears every time you walk outside, then you can never say you have been there. I mean, it is in the song, “Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.”

In late August, cliff jumping at Lake Tenkiller with a group of friends, is always a blast. In early November the leaves are falling along with the temperature, but at night the bonfires along Riverside warm up the nights. The Rhema Bible Church Christmas lights are always a must see beginning the day after Thanksgiving and ending shortly after New Year’s Day. In the spring, the Philbrook Museum have gardens that are absolutely reviving. The warmth on your skin and the fresh breeze brushing across your face as the wind dances with your hair will almost make you believe in fairy tales again.

When I moved to Tulsa in August of 2012 for college at Oral Roberts University, I never expected being where I am now. I moved into the ninth floor of a women’s dorm named Frances Cardone. There with my unicorn Pillow Pet, all of my bedding, luggage, a dozen writing journals, and a million dreams-all of greatness, surrounded me.

While attending ORU, I met many different groups of people who became like family. I will never forget the Jones’s Ranch worship nights near Bristow. I hold dear the churches that I joined with and grew from. I will never stop praying for the friends I made at ORU. They lifted me when I was in need and taught me the importance of a Godly relationship and friendship. The culture of prayer and worship has formed me into the woman I am today. No one ever said it was a bad idea to live in the “belt buckle” of the Bible Belt. It was definitely a culture shock coming from a city where I would consider it to be a desert land for Christian culture. San Diego is not for the faint-hearted.

Being back in San Diego, after three impossibly rewarding years of my life, has made me see the value in where I was between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one. Every time I missed San Diego while living in Tulsa, I would plead with the Lord and ask to go back sooner rather than later. Now that I am finally here, I cry out to God and ask Him to take me back home. I believe everywhere I go, I leave a piece of my heart behind. Tulsa is no exception. This is why I miss Tulsa, Oklahoma.

P.S. Kalvin also told me to remind you that I am always home whenever I am with him.

[husband’s note: **cue the audience verbal “aw”**]

The Day After

The day after– it holds untapped and underrated potential for reflection, redemption, and empowerment.

I was probably a couple of minutes late to school. I have passing memories of my brother and I running up the hill to my elementary school in my navy blue and white collared shirt. Ms. Clark’s second grade classroom was quiet with reading time underway. She had been on the phone and very indifferent that morning. Later that day, my brother asked if I had watched the planes crash into the Twin Towers.

I had no idea what he was talking about but when I saw the expression on his face, I became nervous.

I do not remember anything else about September 11th, 2001 but September 12th was a new day. I woke up to the same family and same outfits to pick from. It was Wednesday and that meant school, as usual, and then there was church that evening. No one in my class was bothered by the event that had happened the day before. My friends and I were probably playing a game like American Idol on the playground or running away from boys across the kickball field. After morning recess there was a hummingbird stuck in our classroom. I don’t know why but I held on to the memory of the bird flying around the ceiling attracted to the red piece within the fire sprinkler. Now I know hummingbirds are the ones buzzing from flower to beautiful flower in search of nectar. Like the rest of nature we carry on.

I woke up to the same family and same outfits to pick from.

Today, I want you to remember those who were affected one more time. Acknowledge how they felt on the twelfth of that month in 2001. They did not get the chance to wake up unwithered or somewhat solemn. I believe there were people who couldn’t sleep at all. They may never have the pleasure of only feeling mildly or vaguely sympathetic this time of the year.

Fast Forward fifteen years to the day. I am married. And my husband being a Virginia native recalls the airplanes flying low over his school as he sat in his second grade classroom. He had been that much closer to everything and he too like myself, do remember the day in terms of reflection, remembrance, and prayer. But today evenmoreso is for empowerment. This is for those who mourned to rise and choose joy especially when it hurts.

This is for those who mourned to rise and choose joy especially when it hurts.

There were times I can think of, days and weeks where I was left in tears over stress or a sense of loss. It can cause aching and fatigue. Some night crying put me to sleep and other nights i’d lie awake staring at the ceiling begging God for sleep. We can call my moments like that my emotional growing pains if you want. A sort of coming of age time in my life. What is most important is the next morning. Getting out of bed is a victory. I’ve learned life can easily slam you with a bag of bricks just as much as it can be sweet and beautiful. So in everything choose joy after mourning. See how much strength overwhelms you when joy that only God can give wraps you in its arms.