Monarch, A Butterfly

Smile; convince me that you feel happy. Don’t fake one like you did as a kid for your sweet mom, trying to end the embarrassing photo session. Quit holding back, and show your teeth.

Laughter is contagious, like a yawn in Sunday School. Make yourself laugh, and more laughs will come to you.

Take care of yourself. Feed yourself three times a day, and get enough sleep. Simple enough, but what a difference it makes.

Believe that amazing work comes from you. I won’t always be here to convince you that it’s true.

Take the time to grow. Never allow fear to stunt you. Trust yourself, and become who you are meant to be.

This hurts, trust me. But you can do it, and you don’t need me.


Putting in the Time

I think each of us will always carry something about our personality that is unique and distinct to us. No amount of time will take away our little trademarks. You know Mary-Kate and Ashley for their candor and cuteness (even in their thirties they are still cute while rising to the top of the fashion industry). You know Oprah for her confidence and power. You know David Blaine for his coolness and unique ability to entertain people with simple card tricks. Our talents and quirks remain with us as we develop ourselves over time. Sometimes we discover new things about ourselves we never knew, but something in us feels it probably always lived inside somewhere and just needed someone to pull it out of us. The beauty of being known for things that truly reflect your essence comes from putting in the time to know and grow yourself. Each of the people I listed put in years and years of work to get to the place where the public knows them for something that accurately portrays them. I don’t know them personally, but something about the way they act in the media gets through and communicates aspects of them that seem completely genuine and real. They could be incredible fakers, yet I think something more objective lies underneath this observation. Any of us can tap into our ‘essence’ we carry inside and put in the time and work to develop ourselves in a way that expresses that essence to the world around us. I believe when people do this they bring inspiration and motivation to others. 

As a college student, I’m always trying to grow myself and develop skills for things I’m interested in, such as cooking and playing the piano. I also love studying psychology and nutrition. Anytime I really dig into these subjects, I feel so much satisfaction due to feeling more developed and for exploring my curiosity. This sort of slow transformation through discovery and skill building adds so much beauty and depth to life that I would go out of my way as I am today to recommend it to others. 


In life, you can either give up whenever you disagree with someone, or you can press in, engage, and negotiate on something until you reach a point where you can feel proud to call it yours. Where you carry shame, worry, doubt, fear, or disagreement in the context of relationship, you need to talk it out, first with yourself and God, then with the other person/people. Sometimes, it helps bringing up the matter of disagreement you have with an individual to someone else you trust and know won’t judge you for whatever you’re feeling. This way everything is out in the open and no longer bottled up inside you. There’s something about being honest that creates hope and security. Believe me, I’ve wanted to isolate myself so many times before instead of sharing the heavy burdens on my heart with someone who cared. And when I decided instead to get help over staying alone in my room, it healed me so much, and I gained incredible freedom. This is what relationships are for.

I think in order to be in a successful relationship or friendship with someone, you need other relationships for support, feedback, and encouragement. Without those, you don’t get the clarity, discernment, and insight you need to maintain a healthy relationship. You will come up to things in your relationship that will make you fearful, question your beliefs, doubt yourself, challenge yourself in a good way, and unveil insecurities you’ve hidden inside for a long time. Let these things come to the surface, and don’t run away when they come. 

Instead, get help and press into the very issues and bad feelings that make you want to leave. You can find help in many people, though not everyone is safe. Learn how and who to trust, and you really can find success in relationships.

Hearing the insight of people who care about you can help you make necessary changes in the relationship you’re having problems in. If you feel fearful in a relationship but don’t necessarily have a reason to feel that way, talking it out with someone can help you come to a rational conclusion about why you feel the way you do. If they know you well, they may be able to see how much of the problem is yours compared to how much of it is the other person’s. 

You have nothing to lose in persisting in your various friendships and relationships. You will learn where you need to change and how you need to grow. You cannot control another person, and this is why it’s wise to seek counsel when you feel you disagree with another person. Don’t blame them for things they haven’t done. Get help in how to address the issues you see in the relationship. Honest conversation almost always creates a platform for negotiation where you can work out your pain within a relationship and make it even stronger.  This will bring understanding and greater clarity, something everyone deserves in their relationships. 

The Only Thing Left to Do 

As you may know, you can’t control people. No matter how cleverly you think or how hard you work to get someone to do what you want, you really can’t get them to do it. I mean, people try controlling other people, but no one enjoys this- the person being controlled and the person doing the controlling. No one gets any fun out of it? No, because everyone wants to choose for themselves what they wanna to do. If we gotta be forced, it’s not something we wanted or were ready to do.

Think about this, if we can’t control another person, them why do we use things like rudeness and manipulation and condescending attitudes? Those can’t change another person. We think they do. My belief is that at some point you realize that the only thing left to do is to be kind. You can’t control anyone with this either, but it’s through kindness you find who really wants to do the things you actually want them to. When you don’t mention something, but you see the person doing what you wanted, isn’t that a much better feeling than if you had nagged or manipulated them to do it? Yes. They did it from their own free will, and there was no better way. 🙂

When you take care of someone- think good customer service or making someone laugh- you meet a need in them and they feel relaxed. I think we can all learn good customer service and a good sense of humor. When people feel you caring, they stop trying. They begin to trust you. Now, take that a step further. Someone may disagree with your choices in life. Take care of that person disagreeing with you and making it known to you, and guess what? They really needed that glass of sweet tea, so they shut up. They thought your joke was genuinely funny and forgot what you were talking about. They liked the fact you asked about their day, and they wanted to know about yours. They no longer need to or want to think about what ways they disagree with you and your choices. They totally forgot about their reservations toward you altogether. You took their mind off of everything but the moment. You took their minds off of unreal, or at least unimportant ideas, and helped them come back to real life, here and now. What I do and what you do doesn’t matter to others when we’re simply living and validating them. I’m my opinion, this is how humanity is meant to operate. When we take care of people like this, they stop worrying and begin to flourish. 

The Only Anchor I Got

Lately I’ve been practicing the habit of saying “yes” to just about everything that comes my way.  That explains why this month has been one of many,  many firsts. Because I say yes to so much recently,  I carry a new weight and load of responsibility I did not before. Saying no was my way of keeping my nap time safe. Honestly, I started to realize that nap time wasn’t as imorotant or helpful as I made it out to look.  Why did I need all that time doing nothing? 

    Well,  that train of logic is what brings me to today.  In two hours I have a call with my new pastor I’ll be working under as a children’s pastor. I’m sure we’ll just be covering the basics, but add on to that the other chores of the day- three weeks of homework, second shift at work,  getting my laundry done, and getting my junk unpacked from the road trip I just got back from.  This is my new normal,  days packed to the brim with the things I said “yes” to.  

   I don’t want to complain because I actually love my new life of always doing something, and it’s not a busyness.  It’s a fullness.  I would recommend this for a time to anyone.  While writing is the only anchor I have from job to job and chore to chore, this fullness keeps me satisfied and always improving.  Naps are overrated, almost as much as Starbucks;)