All Bottled Up

You know… sometimes I just feel like I have too much bottled up emotion, and it’s because I don’t get it out. Like, most of the time people bottle up emotion with all the bad emotions, but I bottle up good and bad. Like I can talk about stuff all day, but when I don’t laugh and cry, it’s not really sustaining me. I’m such an emotional person, and it takes a toll. 
Let me start here…. God has given me this gift of “empathy“. I’m calling it this because it’s what it feels like. I feel others pain. There could be someone straight across the room, and I will suddenly feel how they feel and why, and I have no explanation other than it’s God. Why sometimes, I don’t know. But the fact of the matter is, I can feel others happiness, pain, sorrow, joy, etc. the problem with this, is that people so often go around wearing a fake smile, and seem happy, but I see through it; and of course those makes me more sad knowing they think, 1, that people can’t see through it, 2, that they’re afraid they won’t get loved on, and 3, that 2 is probably right because of how jacked up this world is. 
In Romans 12:9-15, it says, 
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Paul is talking about a basic human need for one another and how to go about it. So many “Christians” go around with their noses in the air expecting people not to be upset, depressed, angry, and/or hurt. This is unreasonable, because the Bible even talks about all these emotions in Jesus! I mean come on! Would it kill the church to start loving better than the world? 
Yes, go ahead and judge…. judge away. Just remember the same amount of judgment used is measured back to you. You can judge right from wrong, and make choices, but you are not to condemn. You are not to hold non-christians to standards of Christians, and you are not to hold Christians to inhuman standards.
So all the emotion that I keep bottled up, I keep that often times because I’m afraid what others will think or say, because the world is filled with disappointment. Even tonight I held back talking to my wonderful boyfriend, because 1, he hasn’t been getting sleep, and I want him to be healthy, and 2, because I was afraid. Do you know how stupid it is to be afraid of the man that I’m head over heels, totally in love with, and want to spend the rest of my life with? I love him so much, and he’s sooooo understanding, loving, and encouraging, and even in knowing he loves me (so much more than I deserve), I held back. 
We need to stop being afraid to trust the ones in our life’s that have proved to be trustworthy. I love so many, but trust few. And I need to start trusting them more. I love my friends and my boyfriend. Maybe it’s time to stop bottling up stuff. I want to have a healthy life. 
Time for change 

Simply Home

You see….. to y’all this probably looks like another person’s front yard, or driveway, but to me….. it’s home. I’ve been meditating on the concept of home. What is home? 
Many have said “it’s where the heart is“…. many said “it’s where you feel comfortable“… many have even said, “it’s where you lay your head at night“. Though all may be a little true in there own way, I believe home is where God wants you to be. Let me explain….

Do you ever feel like you can’t get enough out of life? Like you feel complacent even though you’re doing what “you want“? Do you ever feel out of place with the people you know, or the places you choose to go? I’m just gunna throw this out there, and I may be wrong, but what if it’s because you’re not where God wants you?
So many people go through life wandering from people to people, place to place, job to job, and house to house; I did this very same thing for a bit. I felt like I didn’t know where I was supposed to go, or if I was supposed to go. This past November I moved into the Launch Pad(my house), and I have never felt more at home than now. I have 3 extremely edifying sisters I live with, a stable job with kids I love, a church that’s encouraging, my family, who though far, are understanding, friends that are true and I plan to be with for a very long time, I’m dating a really out of this world man, and I’m at peace. I am home. 
Home is where you flourish. Home is the place where spiritually, emotionally, and mentally, you thrive. I believe everyone has a home…. you just got to find it. I am home.

If I Die Tonight

Above all, what I would want the world to know if I died tonight, is that God is so real, and He loves so much, but just like any other relationship, it takes work. It takes a lot of time for that work. It takes love. And hey, you can’t fall in love with someone unless you take the time to be with them. He is so nurturing, caring and loving it’s ridiculous that he looks at a person like me that has done what I’ve done in life, and says “she’s beautiful”, knowing every detail of my life better than I. 
The other thing is that I love people. I love them so much. I see beauty in brokenness, and music in the drab. I see who people are at their core, and that’s why I get so frustrated with them sometimes. It’s because I see who they are, who they were, and who they could be if only they believed in themselves, all at once, and it’s overwhelming. They are so beautiful. You are so beautiful as a person. You have your own, unique set of gifts that you bring to the table and no one can take those things away from you, except you. You are the only one through all the things you go through that can stop you from being you, because you have the power to control you. Yes, it is hard in life, and crap happens; but you can take life for what it’s worth, and learn from it, and grow; or you can cast yourself aside and let it beat you. I choose to learn and grow stronger. 
I’m tired of holding myself back. I am so done with stuffing my feelings away and not following my passions in life. I am so done seeing people do this as well. We grow in a society that says you need certain things, and all you really need is food on the table, a place to sleep, and love for the people around you. If you can have these things, you are so rich…. you are so blessed. 
I used to feel like I didn’t have a home. Like I just wandered from place to place hoping to find a place that was home….. what I found from all the seeking is that I was missing it. Home isn’t a physical place. It’s spiritual and emotional. Are you happy with yourself? Are you striving to be better today than you were yesterday? Are you yourself around others? Then you are home. I am home constantly because I have God, who has shown me who I was born to be, and honestly, I am that person right now. At this very moment I am being who I was born as, and it feels wonderful. I am at peace. I am home. 
Why am I posting this? Because a guy just walked up with a tract in the airport, and asked if I were to die tonight, what would I want people to know. This is it. Love God. Give Him a chance and get to know Him. Stop holding yourself back and feel things again. Be yourself. This is it. 

Killing Love

I’m usually not the one to make political or ethical posts, but if you look at this picture, you’ll understand why…. Why is it we live in a country that has made racism ok? Whites hating on blacks, and for what I see, it’s mostly little ways, like avoiding them, seeing a group of young black men, and ASSuming they’re a gang. Seeing a young black woman with a child, and ASSuming she has a baby daddy and isn’t married…. seeing Mexicans on the corner, and assuming they aren’t citizens, and they “stealing” our jobs…. and here’s the “newest” one, people hating on whites, and beating them up because of their skin color… oh wait! According to society and political correctness, that’s not racism, that’s simply a hate crime. 

I don’t care if your white, black, Mexican or Asian, if you have a prejudice against a race, you are a racist; no and, if, or buts about it. Also, there’s no such thing as reverse racism, that’s, in a word, idiotic. 

Now, there’s a simple solution to all of this, and I’m probably somehow going to get flack for this, but it’s love, and seeing people as people. The sign in the picture for this says “kill whites”. This is hate. Hate is the absence of love. How is it, in such an amazing country, where we are free to love, can someone feel this hatred? What got them to this point? What have we done so wrong to let it get to this. I agree there is hatred towards all kinds of races, and if this said “kill blacks/Mexicans/asians” etc, I’d be saying the same. The problem is not racism, it’s a lack of love.

Why haven’t I heard pastors addressing these, VERY REAL, problems? Why aren’t Christians rising up and loving on those on the streets? Why can we not make plans to live the orphan hearted people. People who feel forgotten, put down, broken, hated, and betrayed. Our country is messed up. And as a Christian, I will tell you first hand, we are doing nothing about it. A friend asked me yesterday, “where are the Davids, Esthers, and Johns of this day and age”? He’s right. Where have the strong voices gone that make changes? Why are Christians so wussy that they can’t get out of their Sunday bubble enough to do exactly what God has called us to? Love….. our western society has helped breed a bunch of lukewarm, yellow bellied, complacent Christians, who do nothing but church on Sunday, maybe small groups, and maybe some ministry inside the own church. When is the last time you brought someone to Christ, or avidly loved on someone outside the church? Is it because the temptation is too strong? Is that what keeps you away? No! It’s because of your lack of faith! It is because you do not believe God, in you, is strong enough to protect and keep you. 

This may from outward looks seem like a problem of hate crimes and racism, but it all starts in the heart, and how people are loved and taught. We have a job as Christians, and we are not doing it. Come on. Let’s love.

Missed Simplicities 

I’m a Paraeducator at a middle school in the South Bay. And the long and the short of it, I work with several kids who have a hard time learning, getting along with others, respecting authority, or all of the above. I haven’t even been doing my job a year yet, and my outlook has changed with people. I have come to the realization that adults are just like these “kids”. The reason I say “kids”, is because in all reality, this is the age they become adults; they are not yet, but this is when they develop where their social status lies, what personality they choose to have, are they gay or straight, what friends they will cling to, and political views. I have adults in training. 

With that being said, I change the lives of every person I come across. So do you, you just don’t realize it on a daily basis. We have so much interference in life with who we are. Were told how to dress, what jobs to work, how to get places, what’s socially acceptable, and that we cannot change the world, but simply live in it. I want to live to my full potential. I want, and will be, a psychologist someday, and I will help people see how beautiful and worthy they are to be loved…. I will even help a few how to love. 

Now with all that being said, I work with these young adults. I see people making fun of the kids that come off as rude, I see little cliques happening, popular kids thinking they’re better, kids who long to have friends but are disliked because of their attitudes, and all kinds of abuse, whether it’s self abuse, or from their peers. The problem with society is the people around us don’t know their value. They don’t even know what value is. They don’t understand what he’d work is, nor the blessing of living in America, nor the fact they are free here. We can basically say what we want to almost whoever we want to, simply because we have the privilege to. Privilege…. that’s a whole other rant in itself. 

But hey, what do I know? I’m only 25 right? Wrong. I’m 25, with intelligence, wisdom, love, and a willing heart to love on others. I have so much going for me. I start school in February. I have a church family that amazes me. I have a God who is very real and provides for me. I have a pretty decent work ethic. And I have an awesome place to live. I have running water, and food. 

None of this defines who I am though. What defines me is how I react to others, and the love I give. That’s it. A lot of people hold others at a distance because of hurt they have experienced in the past, and they hurts themselves ultimately. I have done this, and it stings, and just like a drug, you have to do it more and more, and callous themselves to the point they have emotional death. Why live in such a shady matter when we can have a loving life?

We need to put love back out there. One of my coworkers told me I’m such a delight to have around because I’m always encouraging others. I do it because I care. Even the most difficult of kids, they just need love and encouragement, because more often then not, they are not getting it in almost any other part of their life. I will be a world changer… a love changer…. this world needs it.

Insecurity vs Attention Seeking

What is the difference between someone who has legitimate insecurities, and someone who just want attention? With that question in mind, you may have an answer, write it down. Once you’re done reading I hope I can change the way you see people, because we’re all broken.
Attention seekers (in my opinion) are those who want attention, the spotlight, and feel they deserve those things. Insecure people are those who wonder if they are worthy, of they are loved, of what they think even matters. And though some of these things can partially go into the others, they are vastly different. 

For instance, I like attention, but it comes from the insecurity that no one notices me, or even care what I have to say. Is this attention seeking? Yes, but the motive is what is different. I want to be accepted, loved, and cherished for who God made me, aside from all my sin, insecurities, and downfalls. I want to be loved for exactly who I am today, not for expectations met. Whereas I prefer to be loved invisibly, I speak up to make sure I am cared about. If I was an attention seeker, I would think I am worth more than others. I would want the attention because I would think I’m smarter, prettier, or really just generally better than others. I will be the first to tell you, I do not believe this to be true about myself; if anything, I see myself as lowly so I try to serve.

Growing up, I had 3 brothers, and a sister (I now have 5 brothers and a sister). My older brother was a liar, thief, and abusive, and because of this, he got a lot more attention than me. In a good way? No, but still attention. When I was 10, my beautiful little sister came into this world, and though I prayed for her, and I love her more than almost anyone, a lot of attention as the “princess” was taken off of me, and I fell by the way side. Did my parents mean to make me feel forgotten? No. I had good parents, but the fact of the matter was, there was another girl in the house now, and she was also the 5th and last child my parents would have, so naturally, they catered towards her a bit more. 

Throughout high school I tried to work and do school, and sometimes even college while doing the prior 2. I wanted my parents to notice me. In joining the military, I wanted my mom to be proud, because she wasn’t proud of my work ethic in my studies in high school. I just wanted love. When I got to the army, I looked at friends for attention. I would get drunk to fit in, and use my humor as something that would be noticed, and people loved it. And that open doors for more serious conversation and “friendship” in the military. I looked for sex to feel loved and drank to be accepted. I didn’t necessarily want attention. I wanted love, because I had been broken down in life, and thrown to the bottom of the barrel. 

I came to Christ when I was 18, almost 19, and got out of the military. I went back home more broken than before because of the stupidity I took part of. Do I have regrets? Yes. Do I condemn myself for them, NO! God does not call us to condemnation, but freedom (Romans 8:1). So in this, brokenness, I started to heal. I started to see God’s love for me. I started to “feel” accepted. When I became homeless a couple of years later, I started to feel the same condemnation I felt before, because to an extent, I only put away what I felt, because I had been taught, “feelings don’t matter. They are deceiving“, but was never taught how to deal with them. 

When I moved to LA, after about a year, I started going to my current church, where all my insecurities came out without me even realizing, and for the first time, I found surrender in Christ from pride of these sins, and healing. Deep emotional and mental healing. God has delivered me. 

With this said, you never know how people feel inside, how they see themselves or why they are being an attention seeker. Please keep in mind, people are broken; all people. You are broken, I am broken, and the jerk who makes fun of others, or the girl that gossips to keep attention on her, are broken. We need not to look at the symptoms of sin, we need to look at the root. When we can see the root, we can start to remove it and heal. We can start to move on. We can start to live again. Let’s live, and let others live.

Controlling Mindsets

Hey you guys! How’s it going? It’s been a while since I’ve written. In this time a lot of really awesome things have happened. I’m living with some awesome, godly gals at this time. It’s only been about a week, and there is just so much peace. I lost my rock collection I had, someone threw it out (by accident), and it had so many memories attached, and at first I was EXTREMELY mad, because I had rocks from different people that I’ll never see again, and it’s how I could remember them…. after crying a bit, I was ok, cause even rocks will pass away and break down in this world. I have a boyfriend who is massively encouraging, and it’s really the start of something beautiful. I’ve known him for a few years. I’ve been reading more in my Bible again and I feel like my life is continually on the track of loving God more and getting closer to Him. 

All of this has a common thread in it. Mindset. The way I think about things; the amount of faith I allow myself to have. Here’s what I mean…. take the rocks for instance… if this was even a year ago, I would’ve given into what I was thinking. What is that you ask? Well, without giving away too much, the person who did so goes to my church. I would’ve been like, “well, I need a break from church, so I’m not gunna go this week”. I’d also consider not talking to this person for while longer, because of the reminder of what the situation is. Not only this, but I’d redirect my anger towards God and blame Him, because it’s easier to be mad at a person of whom I can’t see. This would ultimately just hurt my relationship with Jesus. It’s really a stupid train of thought, but I think we all think of things like this. 

Even with moving in with these awesome women of God, I would’ve somehow spoiled it for myself. In being transparent, it was a bit hard getting over my thought process for this one. Women and myself have never gotten along. I think because my speech filter is broken. I say what’s on my mind, holding nothing back, because why hold back? I’m working on that, because our speech needs to be seasoned with grace (2 Corinthians 8:7, Colossians 4:6). It truly is much harder, but words affect everyone that listens (Proverbs 18:21). I’m trying to learn how and when to say things because with everything there is timing.

Look, like I said, mindset has to do with anything you have. If I went into this relationship with my boyfriend with the mindset of, “oh, well, I’m just gunna get hurt in the end…” or “this will be nice, but it won’t last forever” them those things would probably be true. Mindset is the reality you live in. I’m not saying these thoughts haven’t went through my mind, but it’s what you do with them. You can ignore them and hope they leave, but they eventually take over when you do this. You can repress them, and never address them, but they will eat you up alive, and that is how you start believing them, and you don’t even realize the control that they have over your life, until they ruin your life and situations. The only way to deal with these thoughts in a healthy manner is to give  them up. People without God talk to therapists and friends, which nothing is wrong with, Christians do the same, and it helps. But the best way is to go to God with these things, He’ll show you the people to talk to, and He’ll even show you a better way. 

He’s shown me a better way. When you can take your thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5-6), you can get rid of the lies, the confusion, and the fear. When you have these thoughts, it’s hard not to speak them out. Your mouth is the hardest thing to control (James 3:3-12).  With God it’s possible to get better; not perfected in this life, but better. You can reach people so much deeper when you know how to speak in freedom, without holding back, with grace. You want to not have to feel like holding back? Take your thoughts captive, give them to God and He will give you the words, the truth, and the courage to move forward. God is my strength in my mindset. What or who is yours?