I think “adult” is just a word : embrace your 20-somethings

Standard

Hi everyone! I am so sorry I haven’t been blogging. These past few months have been transformative and my blogging is about to shift completely with a really awesome partnership. I am super excited to share in the coming weeks.

I ran across a post that really had me meditating over the past year or so as I entered the “adult” world.  This particular post stated:

“relax you will become an adult. you will figure out your career. you will find someone who loves you. you have a whole lifetime; time takes time. The only way to fail at life is to abstain” – Johanna de Silentio

adulthood and adult are just words.  Words that we place meaning to… I had the hardest time with them once I graduated from UVA last May. People were like “well…you are an adult now…” “you are just like us..” “on to the next step…marriage…career”

man. I hated it when I first graduated because I was like “WHY ARE WE PLACING OUR LIVES IN THESE COMPARTMENTS?!” Is this all that there is too life ? Expecting hardship?….hating bills?….hating life?….embracing the mundane?

I freaked. I freaked when I started my new job. I freaked when I didn’t have a prospect for a relationship. I cried because I didn’t have the connections that I had in Cville. I missed my friends.  I flipped when I moved to a new area.  I was super stressed because I didn’t have everything figured out at once. Things didn’t come in levels or were so predictable when I was in college. I thought because it was done a certain way the past four years – that the formula could be used to tackle my new life. Buuuuuut. That didn’t exactly help at all. 

Adult is just a word. don’t put pressure on yourself to fulfill each aspect all at once. I’m no expert but I realized my life is about being patient with myself, my relationships, and allowing God to lead me on the right path. I try not to be hard on myself but I know God has called me to greatness. I want to love hard and fiercely. I want to be vulnerable and show people the real me even when the world doesn’t want me too. I want to trust God even when things don’t appear to fit the “compartments of adulthood”

I’ve learned to respect my journey.

If I could give some advice over the past year it would be these simple statements:

1.) DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF…

2.) agaaaain…..Don’t be hard on yourself

3.) Realize that you are growing and becoming more wiser and that you don’t have to fit the standards that people want to place on you. You  are becoming wise. 

4.) Believe in something. Have a foundation that you can always go back to

5.) Sit in the silence….turn off the technology. In that silence – you will find who you are – your dreams, goals, strengths, weaknesses

6.) Take time for yourself – look yourself in the mirror every morning – pick out an outfit that screams you, brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on that makeup, paint your nails, wear that blazer, those chuck taylors… give yourself that time in the morning to just care for YOU

7.) exercise for health – not to achieve a certain look because you will end up pressuring yourself once again

8.) love fiercely  

9.) but also learn to let go when something is weighing you down

10.) Last but not least – RESPECT YOUR JOURNEY. Your journey is YOURS. Not your mom’s , dad’s , sister’s , friend’s, boyfriend’s, girlfriend’s. Comparisons are sooooo debilitating. Focus on what is in front of you. Go out and utilize those gifts and do those things you’ve been telling yourself you would do forever….DO IT….now =D

I’ve been really reflecting on Maya Angelou’s life these past few days and this quote stuck out in “Letter to My Daughter”

” Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant. Parents, siblings, and neighbors, are mysterious apparitions, who come, go, and do strange unfathomable things in and around the child, the region’s only enfranchised citizen…I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside , are still innocent and shy as magnolias.  We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do. “

– Maya Angelou in “Letter to my Daughter”

 

Find what makes you at home. Remember your foundations and what makes you who you are and respect your journey.

Image

– Tonyette

 

Give me that Bow Wow puppy love type faith

Standard

 So for those who have known me forever know that I LOVED Bow Wow. After witnessing “Bounce With Me” play on the television at my late great aunt’s home at the age of 9 – I was officially hooked. My parents took me to Walmart and I bought the “Beware of the Dog” album and a CD player.  Each year I became even more obsessed. But my obsession skyrocketed once I was around more pre-teen girls who overlooked boys’ cooties LOL.  Everyone of my best fifth grade best friends had an email dedicated to Bow Wow. Mines was LadyBowWow4002 LOL and my other friend’s was Shadzgurl with a whole lot of numbers behind it. Each week we anticipated the release of a new Word Up magazine because we knew Bow Wow would be on the cover and we would have new posters to put on our walls.  So by my 6th grade year – I started creating a wall dedicated to him with posters and paw-prints. In addition to this – I would buy any product with paw prints on it – shirts, stickers, coats….it was super tragic.  I watched 106 and Park every night to make sure Bow Wow’s videos stayed in the top 5 and I participated in a variety of Fanfiction boards to talk to girls from other states about my love for him (But I actually made life – long friends that I still keep in contact with…Heeeeey Marcia<3) . AND when my parents bought me tickets to see Scream Tour 2 – let’s say I FLIPPED. There were a lot of tears and hollering on August 2, 2002.

 

Okay…. So beyond the fact that I just gave you a summary of my tragic pre-teen years this story has a meaning. I was a fan for a LONG time – I prayed and asked God to allow him to be my husband  and give me the gift of bearing his children (LOL) but if not all I wanted was a chance to meet him. 

The summer before my freshman year of high school I learned about a meet and greet contest hosted by a local radio station in Greensboro, NC. This station was giving fans a chance to meet Bow Wow before the Scream Tour 4.  Of course I had already bought my tickets but I snapped when I found out about this contest. The VJ had announced that if we hear  two Bow Wow songs back to back we should call in for a chance to be the 9th caller. So I started calling the station for hours straight (tragic) and I eventually gave up. We had experienced death in my family and so we had to switch gears and so I sort of went into mourning mode. I had spent all week at my late great aunt’s house (Yes the same aunt whose I was visiting when I first seen Bow Wow’s Bounce With Me video). My cousin and I decided to sit outside and talk and we were sitting by our uncle’s truck. His radio happened to be on that local Greensboro radio station I was calling earlier that week. I  remember singing “Let Me Hold You” and then eventually “Like You” came on and it clicked THIS WAS THE CONTEST. I freaked and told my cousin to call and then I called twice and eventually I heard “hello” and I am like “Am I the ninth caller?!” and the VJ is like “Yes you are!” and I am like “NO YOU ARE LYING.” So basically he spent a few minutes trying to convince me and let’s just say I almost passed out. I think my mom had to pry the phone out of my hand because I was screaming and crying so bad. I spent the rest of the night in tears and shock. On that Saturday – I was blessed with an opportunity to take my sister to the Bow Wow Meet and Greet. I was able to talk to him and get a picture and have him sign a photo for me. Man- that night was super surreal and even though I forgot to ask him to marry me (LOL) – it was definitely one of the best nights of my teenage years. 

I guess I am telling this story because I realized how much faith I had in God to give me this opportunity. I spent 7 years of my life as a Bow Wow Stan but I knew that my years of dedication would afford me that opportunity. I called because I believed and God gave it to me. Yes – it is just a silly meet and greet but God placed me in that same house 7 years prior when I first learned of Bow Wow and allowed me to hear those songs that just so happened to be on at that moment.  I knew that God showed me favor because out of everyone else that could’ve won – I was picked. 

Yes this is a little insight into my crazy teenage years but it warms my heart because I realize that if God could bless me with that opportunity I know that He will continue to work in my life and fulfill His purpose through me. These past 7 months have been a rollercoaster packed with many tears, confusion, doubt, and hurt. I have had to BATTLE the devil’s attempts to attack me through people and I literally had to fight anxiety because of the crazy amount of negative thoughts.  I almost let my lack of certain things overshadow the beauty of my job and the community/family around me and the fact that God was using this season to sharpen me. I struggled to trust God’s essence and ability to care of my needs. Yes I believed in his promises but I just couldn’t allow God to be God. My faith was sooooo weak by the end of the year BUT God showed me that my FAITH NEEDED TO BE STRENGTHENED. No – it didn’t need to grow because God had already given me my portion of faith(Romans 12:3) and I needed to literally learn more about it in order to strengthen it.  As a young girl I trusted God to provide for my needs when I became a Christian at 10 and my faith was so immediate and non-wavering. It was a beautiful child-like faith (Mark 10:15). I want to encourage  you too to remember a time when you had child-like faith? Why do we allow our pasts or our doubts  to keep us from channeling that child-like faith we had when we first learned about Christ? Your story doesn’t have to be as super dramatic as my Bow Wow story.  By faith we are saved through faith and we must continue to walk in that faith<3

Yes- even crazy Bow Wow stans can have crazy child-like faith and I am super grateful to be reminded of mines through this story. 

Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for evidence of things not seen – Hebrews 11:1 

 

Image

❤ 

 

a beautiful walk. day 19.

Standard

I am truly grateful for AMAZING friends. When I first graduated I was afraid I would never speak to them again…I know, I’m dramatic – but I really was afraid of losing contact. I’ve had the opportunity to really meet some great people in college. In addition to those awesome and beautiful friends I met in HS, God placed people in my life during college when I trusted Him with my friendships.Yes college was alienating and overwhelming. In a place where people often get a do over, people often OVER DO IT.  I remember wondering why I should try to be like one person when our lives are totally different.  I couldn’t walk in their shoes, I had to walk in my shoes and develop my own identity and perspective on life.

The other day I was reading this awesome article entitled  21 Habits of Supremely Happy People on Huffington Post. I laughed because most of them were true for me. LOL. Towards the end I was laughing at the Gif of Beyonce and her fierce walk.  The caption above it stated They walk the walk lol. I truly agree with that piece because I believe in walking with confidence. I always try to walk with my head held high.

Anyway – I’ve been really thinking about perspectives today and how they translate into relationships. It sort of gets tricky because we will never truly understand what it means to walk another person’s walk.  We can try to understand and give as much support as possible! I support my closest friends and we give one another advice – we listen and we are their for one another when we are at our lowest points.  I am able to go to them and they give me Godly advice and help me see my situations in a certain way.  Yes they support and they try their hardest to understand my situation. BUT their journeys, their walks are totally different than my journey/walk.

I guess today reminded me that we are called to give support to others. We can’t solve their problems, we will never know what it is like to be them or to have their thoughts – but we can listen – we can give TRUE, helpful, Godly advice. We can be nonjudgmental, loving, and caring.  In addition, our walks are ALL different. We will end up where we need to be to fulfill our purposes. We can’t compare ourselves to others.

Whether you are supremely happy or not LOL walk your walk, hold your head high, and strut/swag it out ❤

peace/love.

TW

strut.

beautiful newness. days 16 and 17

Standard

Over the past 16 days, I am truly grateful that I did this beautiful challenge. I’ve been thinking about the word “new” these past days. As you all know, I’m constantly being nagged by how impatient , emotional, and manipulative I was in the past. smh. I get ahead of myself, I say too much, I overthink…it overwhelms me . I am always concerned with not being who I was a year ago…two years ago. I don’t want to be that empty person. I don’t want to be reminded of certain characteristics. When I am, it hurts, it’s scary, and it numbs me. I don’t want to be reminded of my weaknesses or my past failures. I don’t want to make the same mistakes. When I see even a glimmer of my past – I am distraught.

I have really been meditating on God’s ability to make us new and renew us everyday. See, those words sound nice on good days, but they sustain in the lowest, most confusing, or trying times. When you don’t know or don’ t have the energy God’s words sustain. They hit heart, the mind, the body and literally change the person. See the beautiful thing about the Cross is that I am new. Yes, I will be reminded of my not so happy times, but Christ and the Word overcomes everything. It renews us and allows us to take those weaknesses and see them from another angle. Yes I overthink and I’m pretty sensitive, but God gave me a heart for helping people. I will go above and beyond to help; I want the best for others. I love with all my heart and I truly try to see the best in others. Even though I overthink and my sensitivity gets in the way, God has and continues to reshape them and help me use them another way.

The butterfly comes to mind when I think about renewal. Even in though it goes through all these crazy phases – some beautiful others ugly – it turns into this breathtaking insect.

God reminded me of the renewal through butterflies today. This morning I woke up late – arrived at work and had to travel back to my apartment because I left my jump-drive. I came in my bathroom and my butterfly earrings dropped into the sink. I’ve been looking for them for a few days so I was pretty happy. When I left the school today – a HUGE butterfly flew out of nowhere. I haven’t seen a butterfly in a few days. Definitely needed that reminder this morning!

Embrace your past. Don’t let it scare you. Allow God to overpower that all. We are all made NEW.

 

new

https://www.facebook.com/MarydeanDesigns

beautiful health

Standard

a few months ago I was diagnosed with diabetes – a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  This past summer has been really overwhelming because I’ve had to really fight this condition on so many fronts. I started practicing healthy eating, exercising more, and taking medicine. The first week I took the medicine – I felt like a robot – I couldn’t eat, I was nauseous, and I felt so unlike myself. Every few weeks, the medicine would make me sick and I pretty much wanted to throw up at the sight of any food.

My diagnosis was pretty sad – my HbA1c percentage (fancy name to test for insulin levels and blood sugar levels) was extremely high. The HIGHEST it could be. That didn’t scare me or my family much – we hit the ground running making sure I change my lifestyle.

Over the past few months  I really thought I was doing well. I went back to my endocrinologist a few weeks ago and she quickly gave me the news that I would be put on insulin. She told me that if I didn’t get on insulin I would eventually end up in the hospital. I left the office so upset – I couldn’t understand why I had diabetes and why no one had detected it until then. My parents and I wanted a second opinion so we talked to another doctor.  This past few weeks have been a true waiting period – I had to wait about a month before I could take another HbA1c test and last week I got another test.  Today I received the awesome news that my percentage dropped by 4 points – I don’t have to take insulin and I could even be taken off the pills with future progress. God is so amazing!

Even though the past month has been really trying and scary not knowing the outcome, I have constantly kept this one Bible verse in my mind.  

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.- 2 Corinthians 4:16. 

This verse sustained me. Yes my body is wasting away but my spirit lives and it will continue to live eternally. We will live forever! Even when health seems uncontrollable – we have a spirit that is living in us

Diabetes is unfortunately a common disease for Americans – especially African Americans. It may seem commonplace but it is not anything to play around with. If not treated, major organs CAN SHUT DOWN – everything can be affected. So I encourage anyone to get tested for diabetes. It is better to know now than wait until it’s too late. God gave me the wisdom to check my blood glucose levels (at which point I found that I was very sick).  Yes, our bodies waste away but we have to care for the temple that God has entrusted us with. Please visit http://www.diabetes.org for more information.

 

Also, I’ve been really listening to Oceans by Hillsong United constantly!  One verse really gets me so hype!

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon waters, wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior” 

beautiful growth….beautiful redemption

Standard

If you’ve been following my blog over the past two years you all know my story. For those who haven’t – God has taken these past two years and transformed my life SO MUCH.  During Summer 2012, I decided to read my Bible every morning and night/journal every morning and night and let’s just say – I haven’t been the same person since.  After slipping and falling my way through 2011 – God’s hand still covered me and kept me safe. I had to surrender so much about myself in order for God to use me. I used to manipulate EVERYTHING…I tried to control EVERYTHING – my relationships, friendships, grades, looks – it was ridiculous. When I lost control in 2011 – I had to surrender.

Manipulation and control have really been knocking at my door lately and it is SO DIFFICULT not to want to answer. Yes- manipulation sounds harsh but that is exactly what it is when we try to do things our way and not God’s way. A few minutes ago I was reading about Tamar (Genesis 38:1-30) and I was actually really thrown off by how she disguised herself as a prostitute just to get an heir. As I read my devotional content – the She Reads Truth owners rallied for Tamar- even with her dysfunctional past, family, and ability to manipulate- She is STILL apart of God’s story.

 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

Perez the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

(Matthew 1:3)

Just like Tamar – I used to want to manipulate EVERY aspect of my life for MY good. Even though I’ve been reminded of that part of myself – I realized that clinging to God can overpower any desire to control.  Just like Tamar- even though I’ve slipped and fell trying to control – God utilize those moments of weaknesses to show me that I don’t have everything under control. I’m perfectly fine with that…God’s guidance and counsel sustains me.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

please don’t hesitate to ever reach out via FB/IG/through email (trw8aw@virginia.edu) if you ever need prayer or want someone to listen. I also have a contact form posted at the end (erase my information, for some reason it continue to pop up in the form) . God gives us companions for this journey, don’t do it alone.

peace/love.

tw

Day 9: beautiful rest

Standard

One of my friends reminded me of my ability to overanalyze so much of my life. I’m a natural worry wart. I’ve suffered from anxiety and migraines since 10 and I’ve spent so much of my life trying NOT to stress. I shared a pretty important situation with her to get her perspective and she immediately said “You’re over thinking it”. It stopped me in my tracks and I couldn’t even disagree with her lol because she was right. I was doing waaaaaaay too much thinking instead of resting in God’s promises. So grateful for awesome friends like Renee <3.

What have you been worrying about? Why continue to stress? Yes having faith is easier said than done but God can take every thought, doubt, and concern and allow you rest.

So rest. Rest on the promises. One of my favorite verses comes from "Holy" by Eric Gordon. "You see me as I am, frail and broken but still in the palm of Your hand. Beyond the pieces, beyond my tears, I surrender myself and the way I feel . Surrender and allow God to make sense of every situation.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you…Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act… (Psalms 37:4-7 NLT)

So glad He sees me as I am.