An Open Letter to my 3rd year Self

Dear 3rd year self,

As you move into your 3rd year of college acknowledge why this year feels different than the years before. Recognize the growth you have made and identify where you still need to improve. Your second year was a marathon, and you were crawling at the end, so don’t put yourself in that position again.

Work hard in school, and know that you are the queen of time management and will get everything done. Say yes and figure out the details later. It will be worth it. Do well on your first midterm so you don’t have to stress later. Have someone read over your papers and make sure to use commas!

Plan for your future but don’t take for granted where you are right now. This is a special time and you don’t want to miss out on things because you are too focused on the future.

Always choose people. But don’t neglect your other obligations.

Love Jesus and know His grace.

Don’t feel like you need to go out, because you know there is a 76.4% chance you will end up sitting in the window seal watching everyone else. Sit at home, read, hang out with people who have similar interest. Find museums, art shows, new coffee-shops, movies. Be able to entertain yourself.

Never stop loving as hard as you do. But protect yourself. Sometimes it is necessary to make decisions with your head instead of just your heart. Don’t let anyone consume who you are and your emotions, because at the end of the day, you are the sun.

Ain't no rain getting in my way What's broken


Podcast Party: Back To School Style 

This past weekend I drove home for the last time to pick up some rather large furniture for my new house (updates on that to
come).  I finished listening to Serial on my last trip home, so I had to find something new for this round. With the help of some quality Buzzfeed articles I found a podcast series called “Call Your Girlfriend.” In effort to not get too bored of one thing, I separated episodes of Call Your Girlfriend by listening to 3 different interviews by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on one of my
favorite new books “Americanah”, as well a inspirational Ted Talk from a principalIMG_6485 in a tough low income school district, and lastly a NPR interview of Buzz Bissinger, the author of the original Friday Night Lights book.
I have to be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect with Call Your Girlfriend as it is dubbed the “podcast for long distance best friends.” I was pleasantly surprised with what I got though! The two host are best friends who travel a lot and live far away from each other. Ann Friedman a successful freelance journalist, and Aminatou Sow who founded a tech company called Tech LadyMafia, use some technology that I have not been able to quite understand yet, that allows them to record together even when they are on different continents. Anyways, together they discuss current events, popular articles floating around the web, their own lives, and there is usually a update about the most recent studies regarding menstruation (lols). In the past three days of ease
dropping on their conversations I have learned some new lingo, including:
         IRL:  in real life, usually referring to a friend you have met in person
         URL:  referring to a friend you have online
         Shine Theory: a phenomenal concept directed that encourages women to not look at other women as competition, but as a resource to “shine”/be great together. The quote from Ann Friedman’s  article in The Cut, explains it perfectly: “if Kelly Rowland can come around to the idea that she shines more (not less) because of her proximity to Beyonce, there’s hope for the rest of us.”
Read more of Ann’s published articles here and learn more about Aminatou and her company here!
Have you listened to any of these podcasts before? What do you think of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend?

In Case You’re Feeling Like a Fake

Have you ever sat in church and felt like you shouldn’t be there? Do you ever feel so distant from God that you don’t see why or how you are going to fix things? Do you ever blatantly disobey the Lord and feel little remorse?

Do you ever feel like a “Fake Christian”?

Over the past month or so this is exactly how I have been feeling. I could blame not being in school and therefore not being in my routine for why I haven’t been reading the Bible. I could blame not being around my christian community for not having anyone to keep me accountable. I could blame my work schedule for leaving me busy and tired, but no. It is really my fault and there are no excuses. Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 10.24.52 PM

The other week I met with the women who has been discipling me over the past year and she asked how my “Jesus life” was going. In efforts to be honest I just came out and said that I was feeling like a fraud. I went on to explain how far behind I am in my Bible reading plan, and how far away I have felt from God. She immediately reminded me that this is happens to everyone and that the devil is who is making me feel like I am a fake. In reality, God is trying to draw me back in, and I just need to cancel out one and focus on the other. In the moment I felt relieved and encouraged but the feeling didn’t last long.

That conversation was at least two weeks ago, and I still have not given a real effort to spend time with the Lord, and I think I know why. I am hiding. When I sin, and I know I am sinning I feel as if I need to hide. Like who would I be to sin, then open my Bible later that night and stand directly in God’s spotlight?! Well guys, it turns out that God can see me no matter what. Obviously I know that but it doesn’t make things easier. I also tell myself that when I decide to stop sinning I can run back to the Lord, repent, then get back on track. I am right, I can do that, but that is taking advantage of God’s grace, that is not how it is suppose to work.

So here I am feeling like a fake and feeling like it’s the wrong time to turn back to the Lord. But really, there is no better time then now. I am reminded of the story of the prodigal son. He turned his back on his family and did everything wrong, but when he decided to come back home, he was celebrated and welcomed with open arms despite his obvious mistakes! Beautiful right? 

God knows what we have done, it is impossible to hide, and because we know we are wrong, and because we know we need Him it is time to come back home. Run back into the arms of the Father. Let him celebrate your homecoming, and realize that you were never a fake, you are a child of God and He will always celebrate your return.